Continuing the thoughts related to the pictures I have posted in the “Voxel Pirate´s Qubicle Creations”-Thread…
What if there would be 3 stages of your workers life?
Stage 1 - Baby:
While you could exchange a specific resource for a new settler (like food as mentioned in the last Live-Stream), the new fellow might not appear as an adult. Why not having a Stork fyling in and delivering a baby? Sure, is sounds like a stereotype… but might look funny and for sure is in no other game (which I know at least).
Similar to the beds, which are required for people to sleep, the delivery of a baby might require a “baby crib”, otherwise no baby.
Growing the baby could work in different ways. One could be that there is a Nanny-profession which requires resources as others to “produce” a good… in this case develop the baby into a teenager. Resources could be milk, maybe wood to heat up, some fabric for the diapers, etc.
I think it was mentioned that the devs do not like to implement mini-games. However, growing up babies might also work like a “Tamagotchi” kind of game. Depending on how much you care, the better / faster they grow up. Maybe the traits-system which was mentioned could link in here as a reward / punishment?
Stage 2 - Teenager:
Once the baby turns into a teenager, they could populate the city, play around and interact with your pets, just as @SteveAdamo suggested. To bring more value, they might cause a “happiness”-buff related to having kids running around. Or even a de-buff if you have a settler who has a “Grumpy” as a trait.
Teenagers also could be used as aide for professions and provide buffs like increased speed. They could even be a central part for some professions, like taking care of small chickens, rabbits, etc. (which children love to do). @Smokestacks has some ideas in this direction.
Stage 3 - Adult:
Once everything goes well and some more time has passed… you have finally the workers available.
This are just some of the thoughts I have had up to now. In general something like this could support a lot of other ideas. We have wolves. Why shouldn’t a wolf (or other NPCs) attack you and steal your babies. They might even raise them and once you attack them again (or they attack you), you will be facing your own fellower as a grown-up.
For sure there might also be some obstacles to overcome. E.g. if you want your worker right now and you have to grow him up over the next 2 years or so… you just might become upset. However, for sure it would add some additional planning to the game.
Any other ideas or opinions?