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Question re: the pipes

Posted: Sun Sep 30, 2012 9:32 am
by Arclight_Dynamo
There's been a lot of, well, complaining about the way that the plumbing has been implemented. I don't mean just the fact that large pipes can't pass under walls - that seems like it's a bug. I mean grousing about the fact that one needs to use large pipes and small pipes unlike with the electrical system which uses just one type of cable. I don't really mind the big pipe/small pipe system, but it seems that a lot of people do. Having watched the Rezzed video, I think I know where the system came from: Chris seemed very taken by the plumbing that he saw when he visited Alcatraz. The notion of a large pipe with a number of small pipes branching off of it to supply, say, shower heads seemed to appeal. And, yeah - from what I saw, it is a really cool bit of engineering to see.

Now, this is where I ask the potentially awkward question. And I assure you I'm not trying to be an arse about it... but it's going to come off a bit harsh no matter how I ask it. So, here goes:

Chris, did you include the plumbing system as it is because it contributes to the sort of gameplay that you're looking for, or did you include it because you like the pipes in Alcatraz? Because if it doesn't contribute to gameplay, well, it does seem a bit cumbersome, and quite a few people seem not to like it. It might be one of those "darlings" that needs to be killed. And if the piping does serve a gameplay mechanic, it really needs to be developed more, because right now the dual pipe system does seem a little extraneous.

Again, I really hope I'm not speaking out of turn, here. I absolutely love what you've done with this game so far - this is just my honest reaction and an attempt to help provide you with useful feedback.

Please do feel free to tell me to stuff it. I'm just some schmuck on the internet after all. Still... I think this is something worth thinking about.

Posted: Sun Sep 30, 2012 9:48 am
by Trecares
I think the large pipes are simply bugged atm. But honestly it's not a very difficult issue to work around. My general rule is to extend the large pipes OUTSIDE of the building. That way if I plan to drop a new building, I can just route the large pipe into and then out of the upcoming construction so I can always easily extend it as needed. A bit of advance planning helps. If you somehow mess up, simply drop a concrete floor where a wall is, and pass the pipe through that and then rebuild the wall. $20 of work. They are either bugged, or simply forcing you to be more conscientious with your planning. It was something of an annoyance initially but I don't think it's a big deal anymore.

As an aside, the electrical cables do have smaller wires extending from them, but that's done automagically. Some items require direct mains access while other can work off the smaller wires.

Posted: Sun Sep 30, 2012 9:50 am
by SlashLife
One small pipes is *exactly* that you can't build big pipes beneath walls: You will usually have your main water grid running through the landscape without caring too much to put a big water line through a building - you can just put up to 39 small pipes in a line into the building to get water inside. Cables are much smaller anyway (even though they're laid out flat on the utility map), so the real life resemblance works.

Of course you could now say: "Well, I could just plaster small pipes all over the place, so we could automatically have water 39 blocks around each big pipe from the start."

But: Electricity does NOT only use one kind of cable, there are two kinds as well. The only difference is that the small cables are laid out automatically through wall openings; you can even see their routing as thin dark lines on the utility map. Cables are not as important, though:
Destruction of water items can very well give you flooding, in which case strategic choke points for the water come in handy for repairs. However, you can only introduce strategic choke points for a network if you can *control* the layout of that network. While you have only rudimentary control over electricity, it suffices to prevent the major danger with it: Overloading your power substation by connecting it to another substation or by putting too much load on the grid. If either happens, you're pretty much lost to get it up and running again, so you will attempt never to black out in the first place. A water break on the other hand is annoying and mostly unpreventable, but easily fixed if you can turn off the water for that area.

These are only my personal thoughts on the matter, but maybe they make sense to someone else as well.

Re: Question re: the pipes

Posted: Sun Sep 30, 2012 12:10 pm
by a__gun
Arclight_Dynamo wrote:And if the piping does serve a gameplay mechanic, it really needs to be developed more


I'm sure they will - my assumption has been that there has to be a drawback to large pipes introduced at some point, and my first (awesome) thought is always escape.
Knowing that they're planning on implementing escape tunnels, I think it would be awesome if large pipes could be used as part of an escape plan, as in Shawshank

Posted: Sun Sep 30, 2012 6:05 pm
by Nibbles
I like the pipe system, makes the game seem a little more.. realistic.

Re: Question re: the pipes

Posted: Sun Sep 30, 2012 6:43 pm
by Arclight_Dynamo
a__gun wrote:
Arclight_Dynamo wrote:And if the piping does serve a gameplay mechanic, it really needs to be developed more


I'm sure they will - my assumption has been that there has to be a drawback to large pipes introduced at some point, and my first (awesome) thought is always escape.
Knowing that they're planning on implementing escape tunnels, I think it would be awesome if large pipes could be used as part of an escape plan, as in Shawshank


Well that would be fantastic. It's just that, at the moment, there really is no gameplay reason for the system that I can see.

Posted: Sun Sep 30, 2012 6:50 pm
by nameghino
Maybe prisoners will be able to escape through large pipes...

Re: Question re: the pipes

Posted: Sun Sep 30, 2012 7:57 pm
by Pinus Strobus
Arclight_Dynamo wrote:
a__gun wrote:
Arclight_Dynamo wrote:And if the piping does serve a gameplay mechanic, it really needs to be developed more


I'm sure they will - my assumption has been that there has to be a drawback to large pipes introduced at some point, and my first (awesome) thought is always escape.
Knowing that they're planning on implementing escape tunnels, I think it would be awesome if large pipes could be used as part of an escape plan, as in Shawshank


Well that would be fantastic. It's just that, at the moment, there really is no gameplay reason for the system that I can see.



Remember that this is the FIRST Alpha build, and that the developers are flat out busy at Eurogamer at the moment. Be patient and remember that by buying into the Alpha process, we are here for a long haul of brainstorming, feature introductions, playtesting, balancing, and bug squishing. We've got to trust Introversion's vision for this game, and be patient enough to allow it to develop over time.

Posted: Sun Sep 30, 2012 11:32 pm
by a__gun
nameghino wrote:Maybe prisoners will be able to escape through large pipes...


I already said this....the post before yours quotes it lol

Posted: Sun Sep 30, 2012 11:34 pm
by Hessen
As mentioned, I think they'll definitely be used as escape routes so planning where they are and how they're used will become a mini-game in itself.

Posted: Sun Sep 30, 2012 11:41 pm
by a__gun
Theres no way they can implement escape tunnels and ignore the pipework. At the very least broken pipes will be an indicator of prisoner excavations