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Admiral Joeslop
Jul 8, 2010







Developed by Moyuwan Games.
Published by Coconut Island Games.

Chinese Parents? What?

I was as surprised as you might be to see this pop up in my Steam Queue almost exactly two years ago. I linked it in a chat I frequent because the idea of a Chinese-centric child life simulator (without English support) amused me. Then someone bought it for me as a joke so I went ahead and played it just to spite them. And.. I actually liked it! Despite not knowing anything about the Chinese language and the translation app on my phone being useless, I powered through and had some fun.

In June of 2019, an English translation was officially released, and by then I had completely forgotten about the game. Here we are at the tail end of September 2020 and on a whim I loaded the game up and had even more fun this time because I could understand what was going on! Now I hope to share some of the joy with you.

--------------------------------------------------

But what is it?

Steam Page posted:

In this casual yet realistic life sim with a Chinese authenticity, you step into the shoes of an average kid from the first day of life towards the end of your high school days.

Study hard, have fun, make friends and face the Gaokao, one of the most critical examinations in your life. And perhaps this experience might also give you a special perspective to explore your relationships as a parent and as a child.

Here's the Steam Page.

Basically, you have 18 years (divided into 48 "turns") to guide yourself through childhood in preperation for the National College Entrance Examination. The NCEE is a standardized test that is required for entrance into almost all higher education institutes at the undergraduate level in China.

Things start out easy as you learn to walk and talk then quickly become harder as you need to juggle schoolwork, stress, parent satisfaction, relationships, and extracurricular activities. The choices you make along the way will determine how well you do on the NCEE and also determine which career path you will go into.

After finishing your character, you will choose a partner to marry, and the game is over though not forever! You'll be able to continue your family line with a brand new baby, who begins life with several stat boosts based on what their parent did in life.

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Thread Rules

1. I dunno, don't be an rear end in a top hat.
2. There's not really a whole lot to spoil besides some events so please don't.
3. drat, I don't know, whatever you want.

--------------------------------------------------

What's the end goal of the LP?

I'd like to do several generations. Probably at least five, to give a good feel for the game as well as a diversity of choices. If the thread is feeling good at the end of baby #5's life, who knows! There will also be various choices to make along the way, some more long term than others, so we'll be doing thread votes for those. These are all our babies, you see.

The schedule will probably be pretty loose. Turns can go by pretty fast without too much happening; if anything I'll probably end up waiting around for goon decisions. I don't want to spend the next year LPing this game unless a bunch of people get real invested so we'll play it by ear.

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Admiral Joeslop
Jul 8, 2010






Updates

Update 001: Potatoes Are No Basis For A Baby
Update 002: Elliot Rising
Update 003 - It's time to d-d-d-d-d-d-d-duel!
Update 004 - Do Ninjas Need School? A Study.

Admiral Joeslop fucked around with this message at 16:29 on Oct 18, 2020

Admiral Joeslop
Jul 8, 2010






Update 001 - Potatoes Are No Basis For A Baby



https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dQvx-EhTszA
Main Title Theme: Easy Day - Kevin MacLeod (all of the music in this game is Free No Copyright Music)

Today, we become a baby. We will forge ourselves into the best we can be.





First though, a look at my non-LP save. Those are alright stats, not that most readers will have anything to compare them to. I'm on my 4th generation there.





Goons are babies, and poo poo babies at that. 5s across the board, the bare minimum. Let's go make ourselves better.

--------------------------------------------------

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nmP7dhvywBM

The intro is short and cute. That baby has a flower on her head because she's a girl.



Such is life.



C'mon baby, you can do it!



Look! Our happy mother and grandparents! Grandpa is in the military but the year is hazy at best. In fact, the game doesn't make any overt mentions of politics or government that I've noticed. Just consider it modern day.



Hell yeah dad, cry those happy tears.



Like many goons our baby has made a bad decision already, being born to goon parents. Godspeed, child.

Also we're a boy. The game generally sticks to "traditional" gender roles and expectations.



https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RYhlXoOHfaU
Male, Age 1: Snack Time - The Green Orbs

Here we are at the main screen. This will change as we age but the same options (with newer ones appearing later) will be here. On the top left is our name and age; we don't get to choose a name until we turn 2 years old.





Here we have the mostly-non-mechanical stats. Age, name, generation, current location. Mental status won't come into play until later; we'll receive various things like Brave/Resolute/Coward from Satisfaction/Stress, as well as potentially breaking our mind through Stress. I've never actually had this happen so I'm a little curious.

I don't actually know what determines Closest Friends but they're all references to famous people.

Our dad's name is Neighbor Wang (names in this game are very strange) and he pulls in a pittance every month as a Motorist. This is something that is affected by previous generations. If you go into a good paying career, your child will receive a larger allowance.



Someday, this will have stuff in it.



Back on the main screen we have our stats and talents. The stats are what we currently have and the talents are what we receive every turn. Both of these are affected by the learning minigame, events, and our extracurricular activities. I usually hit around 10k in IQ/EQ/Memory/Imagination by the time I graduate. I haven't done an athlete yet but a lower Constitution can lead to problems.

Charm and Face aren't directly affected by the learning game but are by events and activities. Charm is what people think of you, very important for certain professions, and Face is something like your honor. The more Face you have, the more options for entertainment you can earn from Dad. You earn and lose Face from events and Face Battles which we'll get to later.



Clicking on our baby takes us to the learning minigame. You don't have to do this every turn but there's literally no reason not to unless you start your turn with no energy; that's the lightning bolts on the top right. The Action Points are refilled by events and certain activities. Each of the different types of nodes cost different amounts of AP. The basic stat ones, like IQ and Con here, are 10 AP each.

It's a reasonably basic Minesweeper kinda thing; clicking one of the color icons will collect stat gains for the relevant color, as well as unlocking every node immediately surrounding.



As this is the first turn, there's very little strategy. I usually go for an even spread of Con and IQ.

We can see in the bottom left there's a log of what we earned. Each node is worth +2 to the stat. We can also see we're on Mind map level 1, which confers no stat bonus. We go up in levels by hitting special nodes that start appearing pretty soon.



Now that baby has spent the day learning and wiggling around, it's time to schedule everything else.





Babies don't really do a whole lot. They can roll around and listen to music.

Turn Over is very cute and makes our parents proud, giving us a boost to Face/Con/Charm for every use.

Clap to the Music is also cute and will help develop our mind and creativity, as well as give us a slight boost to the amount of Action Points we'll have next turn.



We'll quickly gain access to more studying and entertainment so for now I split them evenly. I never said I was an expert!



During the Event phase, we'll have our six selections as well as three random events spread around. The six things we scheduled will happen in order but may be broken up by the events.

Here we see baby and dad having a laugh. Just a normal scheduled event, no bonus.





The eternal strife of mother and mother-in-law, arguing over cloth or disposable diapers. Witnessing the argument has lowered our IQ and EQ (Emotional intelligence/quotient) by 5 each. Life is terrible. The Yes/No question at the bottom is kinda neat; you select whether you've experienced this in your life and you can see how many other people match you. I chose no.



Grandma continues trying to kill us. I don't know if our stats can go negative and I hope to never find out.



Gawwwwwd why is life so haaaaaarrrrd. We got a bonus on this event though; an extra +30 to our Action Points! I assume the bonuses are random and can occur on any event.



https://i.imgur.com/IfP9g0d.mp4

The animation for this one really amuses me. Most of the artwork is pretty good, even!





After finishing our day, we have some new skills available! Our parents also expect more of us now that we've turned 2.





I know it says 1 year old still but don't worry about it. We can see that our stats have increased, and that we have a goal to work towards.





We have 4 turns to earn another 85 IQ, which will give us a one time bonus to IQ and EQ.

We also have new studies to work towards! We currently have 50 knowledge and as we can see, even the cheapest one needs 333. We'll earn more from the learning game starting this turn. As well, the knowledge cost of skills goes down the higher your relevant stat is. Our EQ is in the dumpster so Learning to Speak and Being Patient are way out of our leagues for the moment. Thanks a lot, grandma and dad.





The Study Route shows us how many skills belong to each Study. They're pretty simple now but get much longer and more important. Soon, we'll be getting things like Math/Chinese/English/Science, as well as career studies that we'll need to focus on. Once you've unlocked the last skill in each and actually bought it, you'll have the bar filled out.





Traits are earned randomly from our scheduled events. We start with Rolling Maneuvers and Rhythm Control, both common traits, since we scheduled both of them. I don't know the chances of getting a particular trait when you schedule, they're not listed anywhere. Besides the one time bonus listed (+1 IQ per turn for Rolling) you will also use Traits in Face Battles later. The higher the rarity (Common/Rare/Epic/Legendary) the more they're worth in a battle. All traits only give +1 to a single talent, regardless of rarity.

Also girls and boys have some exclusive traits from each other. Girls can get Ballet and Baby Yoga while boys get Baby Swim and Bicycle Riding. Some of the shared traits might also give a different talent depending on your gender.

There are 351 total traits and it sounds like a nightmare to get the achievement for earning them all. It will require a lot of generations and potentially save scumming if you're dedicated. The Trait Gallery is per save file, no sharing between files.



Finally, the time has come to give baby a name! Please, I'm begging you, someone give suggestions and we'll come to a consensus vote.

1. Up to 7 characters.
2. Seems to allow all alphanumerics.
3. Cannot contain "illegal characters." I have no idea what the limitations are here; "test" is not allowed, for example. Whatever the winning name is, I'll adjust if I can or just go with the next legal name.

If there's enough response I can probably do another update tomorrow; otherwise I may give it a few days for naming votes.

--------------------------------------------------

I'm well open to criticisms and suggestions to improve this LP. Still getting used to cropping and standardizing screenshots from a modern resolution so there may be some growing pains. I play at 1080p but some of the screens can be hard to see when everything is lowered to 900 pixel width for LP Archive purposes; I crop them but then also might have to timg some and it's just a big mess.

Let's make it better together!

Admiral Joeslop fucked around with this message at 14:29 on Sep 30, 2020

PMush Perfect
Sep 30, 2009


Elliot, in honor of the best meme.

Quackles
Aug 11, 2018

Pixels of Light.


Well this looks unusual yet interesting. Count me in!

fucking love Fiona Apple
Jun 19, 2013

samus comfy so what



This game is interesting to say the least.

Ibblebibble
Nov 12, 2013



Man, I don't need to play this game, I've lived the Chinese parents life.

In honour of our neighbour Wang, let's call our goon baby Da Xiang (Big Elephant).

Nyaa
Jan 7, 2010
Like, Nyaa.



Grandma knew the great destiny of this clappy turnny one. This child is close friends with two billionaire and a Hedonist, so grandma must teach this child the meaning of thriftiness with budget paper diaper and expired milk.

In this House of Wang, frugality is the key virtue. This child shall thus be named after the coin: Penny, Penny Wang.

Junpei
Oct 4, 2015

REAL TOP DOG SHIT
We Have Unlocked Woke Junpei Mode
Fuck Up Cops 2020
Beloved Forums Poster
Evolved Heightened Level Junpei
Junpei Is Not Ironic And That Is Why He Is Good

Jin.

...no particular reason, I've just always liked that name.

The_White_Crane
May 10, 2008


Technology is one of China's main industries now, so clearly we want a name which reflects our aspirations, as well as honouring our father.

Therefore, we should be Computers Wang.

mrpwase
Apr 21, 2010

I HAVE GREAT AVATAR IDEAS
For the Many, Not the Few


Ibblebibble posted:

In honour of our neighbour Wang, let's call our goon baby Da Xiang (Big Elephant).

Snugglecakes
Dec 29, 2008





My vote is for Wimp Lo

Admiral Joeslop
Jul 8, 2010






These are all really good names.
code:
Baby Names
	Elliot			|
	Da Xiang		|| (Big Elephant)
	Penny			|
	Jin			|
	Computers		| (Comptrs?)
	Wimp Lo			|
Only one has multiple votes so far. I waited too long to make an update today so it won't be until maybe tomorrow or this weekend, plenty of time for opinions to congeal.

After some thinking, I'm going to keep track of all suggested baby names. Whenever we get a new baby, I'll drag out the list for people to vote on, or come up with their own new one. I also think updates will go roughly by age? The major changes in the game happen at birth then ages 4, 7, 10, 13, and 16. I figure future updates will go through all the turns within those major ages, so the next update will finish up birth age and maaaaybe go all the way up to age 7 to keep things in order.

BlackPersona
Oct 21, 2012




I usually don't look at LPs nowadays thanks to having more on my plate, but this game looked so out of left field that I guess I'll be following it.

Ibblebibble posted:

In honour of our neighbour Wang, let's call our goon baby Da Xiang (Big Elephant).

Let's go with another vote for this one.

Guildenstern Mother
Mar 31, 2010

Why walk when you can ride?

I like the Elliot idea. That kid looks ready to found a dynasty of white collar suburbanites.

Tevery Best
Oct 11, 2013

Hewlo Furriend


Pooh

Quackles
Aug 11, 2018

Pixels of Light.


Gonna toss my vote in for Da Xiang.

wologar
Feb 11, 2014


Qin Shi

Sylphosaurus
Sep 6, 2007


Mi Pooh

KYOON GRIFFEY JR
Apr 12, 2010




I like Elliot in honor of Da 100 Day Gawd

Kaboom Dragoon
May 7, 2010

The greatest of feasts



Dumpling, mainly because the art for the baby makes me think of those steamed buns

PMush Perfect
Sep 30, 2009


Ill change my vote to Da Xiang, just to get things moving.

Nyaa
Jan 7, 2010
Like, Nyaa.



Changing my vote to Elliot

wokow6
Oct 19, 2013


I'd also like to vote for Elliot.

Admiral Joeslop
Jul 8, 2010






PMush Perfect posted:

I’ll change my vote to Da Xiang, just to get things moving.

She said, surrounded by votes for her own submission

Work absolutely ruined me and I have to go back in again in the morning, I hope to play and have the update out tomorrow. I have a 100% success rate on finishing LPs that I can't break now!

PMush Perfect
Sep 30, 2009


Fine, Elliot!

Forgall
Oct 16, 2012

What're you lookin' at?


Was expecting a different game when I clicked on the thread

PMush Perfect
Sep 30, 2009


Dibs on Evil Baby as a band name.

Akratic Method
Mar 9, 2013

It's going to pay off eventually--I'm sure of it.

Any day now.



I played this with a friend from Hong Kong and had some fun courtesy of having all the untranslated bits and cultural in-jokes explained. It's simple but kinda fun!



What is Evil Baby from? Because I'm weirdly compelled by that phrase.

Forgall
Oct 16, 2012

What're you lookin' at?


Akratic Method posted:

What is Evil Baby from? Because I'm weirdly compelled by that phrase.
Some mobile microtransaction hellgame. Sorry, I hope I didn't derail thread about actually good game too much.

Viga_TCB
Dec 12, 2018


Man, are you saying that I can get to relive my first 18 years of life in this game, Gaokao included?

benjoyce
Aug 3, 2007
Swashbuckler from Mele island

Another vote for Da Xiang!

Also, w00t, I really loved this game when it came out in English. I had a Chinese girlfriend at the time, and it was nice learning all the Cultural subtexts, I hope that some goon will elucidate that for the rest of us.

Also-also, I can't wait until we get our very own pioneer red scarf!

Akratic Method
Mar 9, 2013

It's going to pay off eventually--I'm sure of it.

Any day now.



Viga_TCB posted:

Man, are you saying that I can get to relive my first 18 years of life in this game, Gaokao included?

Assuming your main form of study was clicking shapes, it is a precise recreation!

Admiral Joeslop
Jul 8, 2010






As I know absolutely nothing about growing up in China or with Chinese parents besides what this game has told me, I'd love to hear any experiences from anyone who has and wants to share. There are some events that are familiar to an American child like myself, and some context clues for others. Plenty of things that still go over my head.

Viga_TCB
Dec 12, 2018


I don't see many obscure references yet, but yeah if you can't get something I can explain. For example, Neighbour Wang is the blanket term in Chinese slang for the guy that your wife cheated you with.

PMush Perfect
Sep 30, 2009


Viga_TCB posted:

For example, Neighbour Wang is the blanket term in Chinese slang for the guy that your wife cheated you with.
...well, that explains why you start with a family that's got basically nothing, I guess.

Admiral Joeslop
Jul 8, 2010






Update 002 - Elliot Rising



Our baby has survived their first year and earned themselves a name! Welcome, Elliot.





With a new name comes new skills. We've progressed beyond crawling and can learn to walk, the world shall fear us. I don't know the exact formula on reducing knowledge cost for a skill but it can ramp up pretty quickly once your stats get rolling.





We now have access to nodes for all the stats, and some of the special nodes! This exit node is very important.



When you click it you gain 50 action points and get an entirely new mind map, as well as gaining a mind map level. Each level increases your stat gain by 3%; you also go up a level each turn. 3% per level isn't very much since we're only getting 3 stats per node right now but it will quickly begin adding up if you do the game right and get lucky. The mind map level will increase throughout the generation but resets with a new baby.





Not every map has an exit but there's a chance they will. You can go as far as your luck and action points take you. The general strategy is to reveal as many tiles at once as you can, and to never use an exit node until you're at least 50 points from max AP, otherwise the extra points are lost. The lightbulbs are knowledge and give +25 Knowledge Points each, at the same AP cost as a stat node.







We had enough points to learn how to walk! Mom is very proud of us, as are all goons.



I grabbed the wrong picture but Walk gives us +3 Face, +7 Con, and +5 Charm. It's still early so we're splitting our schedule evenly.



Dads are ever watchful (except when they aren't.)



SPEAKING OF DADS





Dad makes up for nearly killing us again with surprise smooches. He's alright in my book.





Dads are also wise. We all know our dads probably spent a lot of time learning many things that they then never do again.





The next step in the Ordinary Study Route is Run, something many animals are born with. Humans have to learn because brains too big.

We earned another trait during our last schedule, a Rare one! Common are worth 7 points, Rare are 14, Epic are 21, Legendary are 28, and the special ones we can get are worth 31. We'll see a Face Battle sooner or later! (It's later)

The turn counters are when you lose that trait for use in Face Battles. In 15 turns we'll be like 10 years old and no one will be impressed that we can roll around. Some are good enough to last the entire generation.



We get some new nodes again! These are talent nodes, and they increase the corresponding stat by +1 per turn, for the rest of the game. These are less useful in the beginning as our stat gains are already so low but they become much more powerful in the late game where actually gaining skill points isn't as good as preparing for the next generation. They cost 15 AP instead of 10.



Oh I lied, here's the stats for Walk. See, they're exactly as I said!





I'll only show off new events, as previous ones can repeat themselves. Isn't it embarassing when your family laughs and points at you for crying?

I'm not entirely sure why it gives you a bonus to three stats but hey I'll take it! +10 Charm is cool too, depending on which profession we end up chasing.



gottagofast



Every so often we get a choice! There are several ones that can occur per age, and they're all multiple choice. Most of the time, there are 1-2 good ones and 1-2 bad ones but some of the events are just bad overall. There are guides out there that tell you what gives what but in the interest of fairness I'm just going to pick what feels right or matches our little Elliot.



Elliot has not chosen either parent yet so has them choose who loves him more. Dad wins again!



Another new node! The question mark will improve a random stat or talent; in this case we received a Memory increase. Obviously, talents are better if you get them as you save 5 AP compared to the actual talent node. Supposedly, you can gain more Action Points but I haven't seen it happen.



We're only at 46/100 IQ gain, gonna cut it pretty close. I'll have to spend the next turn working on that.







I blow some Knowledge on Learning To Speak, now that our EQ is better. Please, nobody say a swear. God only knows what the kid will learn from here.



Some kids are shy and quiet, others never shut up. Elliot decides to test out speaking to see how it feels. It's also our first skill that trains IQ and EQ!





I can't help but feel these two events are related. Look at that loving face on the panda.



Elliot is already learning how to say Vore and Tubgirl. We've failed him.







(I didn't standardize the crop and now it's bugging me :argh)





New node, and a doozy. When you click it, it reveals and activates all adjacent nodes. For 15 AP, you get everything around you except for Exit Nodes. It can get very lucrative if there are more of these nodes next to it, as they keep exploding.



Before you Run, you gotta Walk. And before you play the piano, for some reason, you gotta learn to speak.







When I was a baby, my mom worried that she was going to have to buy me a helmet because I kept bumping into things. Maybe that's why my head is so big?

Dad remains aloof.







Learning Walk also gave us the Leisurely Stroll Entertainment. We diversify our time a little bit, being well rounded at our age is good!



After these events, we'll have progressed to the next age category and into school. We did it, team!







Wikipedia's explanation

quote:

人之初 (rn zhī chū) People at birth,
性本善 (xng běn shn) Are naturally good (kind-hearted).
性相近 (xng xiāng jn) Their natures are similar,
习相遠 (x xiāng yuǎn) (But) their habits make them different (from each other).

If someone can translate what Elliot is saying instead, I'm very interested to know.





Mom tries to teach us, granny takes us on a nice couple of walks, and Dad continues to be a jerk. Why, dad? Are you going to pay for the therapy when we're in our 30s?





Movin' on up in the world. Mom and Dad expect us to be good at sports, despite a complete lack of aptitude so far.



We made our goal just in time, Elliot is so smart and caring.



https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wZO4kOrdFlc
Age 4 Male, Unknown song title (I know it says we're age 3, don't worry about it)

Our kindergarten class is kickin' rad, we got a fancy car, crayons, even a giraffe! Hell yeah, this is gonna be great. We also have a new expectation, that of a Low Level Athlete.







Next time we'll have our first Face Battle, and we'll see if we're good enough to give Mom the victory.

--------------------------------------------------



What should be concentrate on for our next update? Should we learn Bicycle Riding, Piano, or Painting? Please only vote once and BOLD your vote so I can see it easily. Be Patient is something I'll be picking up when it's a bit cheaper anyway. As our single goal at the moment is also tied to learning a skill, we won't vote on whether or not to work towards it. In the future we will have multiple goals and the decision to go for them or not, potentially at the expense of something else.

Admiral Joeslop fucked around with this message at 05:27 on Oct 3, 2020

Akratic Method
Mar 9, 2013

It's going to pay off eventually--I'm sure of it.

Any day now.



Bicycling. We need a powerful butt to excel in life: the rear end is the foundation of all success.

PMush Perfect
Sep 30, 2009


Our parents want an athlete, but our Constitution is terrible (thanks, Dad) so let's learn the piano and make it clear from a young age that we're more of the intellectual type.

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BraveLittleToaster
May 5, 2019


Piano playing. The groove of the music will call to us, and from this fresh and early age, we must follow.

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