How come the characters do not age at all for a few games, and then jump three years the next?
Which game are you referring to? 'Cause if it's Baseball 2007, that's probably a result of the Continuity Reboot.
Nope, I'm referring from Baseball 03 to Hockey.
In that case, I guess it's because the characters all got a redesign.
The NPC kids. Where do they come from? Why do they change appearance from game to game?note To elaborate on the latter, I'll take an NPC from recent experience, say... Debby Nagasawa. In Baseball '05, she's white with blonde hair. In Hockey '05, she has black hair and asian skin.
My personal interpretation is that they're the kids of all the other neighborhoods. Considering the insane amount of people they have to recruit for a whole season note Take the original Baseball for example: in a single season, you play seven teams in the regular season, then two in the playoffs, plus we see that the opposing team you play in the final series of games also plays another team of their own in the playoffs — at nine players per team and ten witnessed teams total, that is ninety players total. And that's not even counting the fact that there's other conferences we don't even get to see!, it's not a surprise they'd have to consult other neighborhoods to get the proper amount. I imagine that, because the Backyard Kids don't know the players personally, they just see them as generic kids they've never met before — and as such, that's how we also see them.
This can probably be chalked up to Rule of Cool, but in Baseball— where'd they get a blimp?note In a later iteration (Baseball 2005), it's replaced with a biplane.
It's probably in actuality an RC controlled blimp, but it's so close to the camera that it looks actual size.
Why does Hockey (can't remember which iteration) butcher all the kid's designs?
Because Humongous wanted to appeal to an older audience.
Not sure it helped too much. I'd been playing the games for a while and actually liked the fact that the characters were a bit younger. It helped make the more bizarre events fit in.
How was Atari allowed to use NFL teams and players when EA had an exclusive license?
Why is Reese Worthington referred to as male in his bio, yet Sunny Day refers to him as "she" in-game?