>Pic related is me now
>I don't feel the same rewarding punch when I read the results screens either.
Aww, I'm sorry to hear that hon. I do hope that if you come back later with a different energy it can be a better experience, but if it has changed too much for you, I respect that. I've recently been wrestling with similar feelings in Catacylsm: Dark Days Ahead. Its an open source apocalypse survival simulator where a bunch of world ending stuff happens at the same time. Zombies, alien invasion (multiple different, unrelated alien invasions), a rift between worlds resulting in a situation like The Mist; It's a bad time for humanity. It used to be a near future setting, something like 10-15 years in the future with scifi elements and bionic enhancement. In like last 4-5 years those scifi bits have been mostly stripped out, the setting changed to be just one year in the future. Now this was overall a good thing, I think. The setting was northeast US, not cyberpunk town california, so the new vibe is more cohesive. However, in my head the near future setting and scifi vibe was a part of the whole gestalt of the game. The newer game builds, while very improved from 5 years ago with a more consistent tone, doesn't retain the vibe of the older builds. I find myself missing the way those older build felt, but not willing to give up all the new features that have been added. There used to be a mod that was maintained for the game that re-added the old scifi stuff that the main game dropped, like laser turrets, emp grenades, magical super drugs, the stuff I would like retained for sake of nostalgia. Problem is, that mod is now going to be a total conversion mod set on some extrasolar colony in the far future. My vibes are now entirely dashed. While a game fork does exist called Cataclysm: Bright Nights with a stated focus on maintaining/adding scifi related content, that's a full on fork and not a mod. That means the changes made in DDA are not ported over to Bright Nights, including several features I like. I will still play CDDA, I might even give Bright Nights another shot down the road, but for now I feeling left behind by a dev cycle that removed a core part of the experience for me.
>did the end-of-week screens get longer
Overall, I think so, yes. I make use of the accordion effects for slaves and the tabs for economic reports option. I default the accordions to closed, then only click on the bits that matter to me. Then again, I know which bits to pay attention to as I've been playing this game around once or twice a year for... a long time. Gosh I'm old. And a pervert. Either way it means I know which bits I don't care about and can check every few months, or just look at their current values during the week rather than the week end reports. If you do play again, I can share my rules assistant settings with you? They're mostly rules for automating devotion conditions like the game has recommend since the beginning, but I also have a rule to handle all the cosmetic procedures I want like removing implants, giving everyone corsets, setting weight and fitness targets, stuff like that. They might help you get off the ground and you can tweak them to your liking (read: improve them. I know I need to split out my contraceptive rules for female and male slaves and I'm sure there are other things I could be doing better).
>in a sexually-focused game like FC where the player's bringing their own preferences and squicks into the picture, cramming more fields onto a slave just increases the chance that something's going to appear that sours it.
It might have been a good this to bump into during your coding exercise? You can avoid the same pitfall, no?
>There's always a temptation to make games more open-ended, to give the player more freedom in how they wish to play
So I think FC has this. but it's more like the game starts out with a good amount, then adds more later. Once you have around 200k cash on hand, the corporation kicks in and now you have a new thing to manage if you chose to incorporate. After enough time passes, you get opportunities to increase the militarization of the city until you can eventually quarter a private army there, after which you get to manage that. There are a number of facilities that provide advanced functions for you in the form of new or expanded mechanics(new drugs, sex toy creation, the incubation tanks that enable my daughter harem, etc.), but they are locked at start and you have to build them before you get to play around with them, and some of them also have reputation requirements that close them off until later in the game too. None of this helps with the initial hump, there is a still a good deal that's there to absorb at the start and that can be overwhelming. The game is pretty opt in about stuff, you often don't need to engage with all its parts and you aren't really on a time limit so you can mostly take things at your own pace. There were times when I thought "I wish I knew about this sooner," like when I added a bodyguard and she got more and more tired until she was too exhausted to be deadly, then I realized she needed the armory upgrade to give her a room and she could rest enough to actually be effective. Once I fixed that, she was back in the game. I did feel bad about working one of my girls ragged because i get emotionally attached to fictional characters for no reason, but that led to me resolving to be extra kind so I could make it up for her. She got personal attention for the next month or so, and I initiated dickings each week too since she deserved it. I also sharpened her teeth as a mark of her station, which she thought was pretty dope. I made it into a story beat and that made it more palatable, maybe you can try some roleplay if you play again to achieve similar ends? Your MC has more knowledge about this world than you do, but they are still new to running an arcology and they're in a cutthroat world where they could be scared to ask for help for fear of looking weak. It could be in character for them to make mistakes, and you can try to make in character responses to those and hopefully you wont get pulled to far out of the roleplay to make that mindset ineffective.
>I thought it was pretty funny that my male player character couldn't grow pubic or underarm hair and had a "plump" butt by default
I assumed it was the latter, especially because that whole part of the system is very new. Last time I played in September I don't think it was there?