[idea] Add multi levels

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Xydonus
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Re: [idea] Add multi levels

Postby Xydonus » Sat Aug 10, 2013 5:39 am

AngryOwl wrote:Would be really cool to have a way to have an upstairs and downstairs++. This could lead to some really fun designs and possibly to prisoners digging tunnels out of their cells overtime with a spoon to VICTORY!

Definitely not the easiest thing to implement and probably has been suggested before but an idea to think about.


Being a realist here, there is no way for this to happen with the current performance not being fully optimized, especially on larger prisons. I myself don't see the trade-off for sacrificing what will undoubtedly be a huge performance hogger even on the mightiest of beastly rigs for a mechanic that adds little to the game other than additional levels to build/simulate.
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Postby Artophwar » Sun Aug 11, 2013 12:06 pm

Ric666 wrote: it's already been confirmed by the dev's that it's not happening.

I don't have a source but you're just gonna have to trust me :)


I dont really care either way. Theme Hospital, Dungeon Keeper, and lots of similar games only used a single level and they worked fine.

But you dont have a source for this and even if it is true NOW that doesn mean they may not change thier minds LATER. This is alpha. Features are being added and potentially removed or changed. I think its way to early to say what the Devs are going to think down the road, because even they themselves dont know if they will change their minds.[/u][/i]
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Postby RWBlackbird » Fri Aug 23, 2013 4:31 am

I think multiple levels would be a nice option, for those who choose to utilize it. I can think of many different prison ideas that are simply not possible with only one z-level (a proper Panopticon, for example, or this). It would do much to enhance the depth of the architect portion of the game, and would also positively affect efficiency. I'm not convinced adding multiple levels would be that much of a performance cost, but only the devs have a better idea.

Even allowing only a lower level would have interesting and space-saving aspects. Think of a hub-and-spoke prison with a central cafeteria and support areas below. Prisons would be more aesthetically pleasing. People could build prisons in the style of this real-life prison in Leoben, Austria.

(And yes, I realize multiple z-levels may not become a reality for a while (if ever), but what's the harm in discussing it? If you don't care to read about it again, don't.)
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Postby Ric666 » Fri Aug 23, 2013 8:53 am

Spectre Incarnate wrote:I do have a question, though. A lot of older members have been rudely telling off the newer members not to start threads with old ideas. "There's 400 other threads of the same idea..." Are we even allowed to necro any of those older threads, then?? Cause it doesn't look like it. It seems we're in a lose/lose situation here.


I would think that is the best option yup. It's funny as you would get crap for it on other forums but that seems to be the way it's done here.
Some newer members do get a lot of flak. It's unfortunate. I don't like seeing people being put down so much as it's not the way to grow a friendly community. I also understand the view of a lot of the more seasoned posters. As I already mentioned, most of us see the same posts day in , day out which can get frustrating.

We're not all that bad though. Please stick around & continue to contribute.

Just remember to use the search function before creating new topics! ;)
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Postby Novbert » Fri Aug 23, 2013 9:48 am

RWBlackbird wrote:I think multiple levels would be a nice option, for those who choose to utilize it. I can think of many different prison ideas that are simply not possible with only one z-level (a proper Panopticon, for example, or this). It would do much to enhance the depth of the architect portion of the game, and would also positively affect efficiency. I'm not convinced adding multiple levels would be that much of a performance cost, but only the devs have a better idea.

Even allowing only a lower level would have interesting and space-saving aspects. Think of a hub-and-spoke prison with a central cafeteria and support areas below. Prisons would be more aesthetically pleasing. People could build prisons in the style of this real-life prison in Leoben, Austria.

(And yes, I realize multiple z-levels may not become a reality for a while (if ever), but what's the harm in discussing it? If you don't care to read about it again, don't.)


I'm against it for multiple reasons:
- It would provide way too much effeciency-optimization possibilities for not using it
- But by using it I'd lose the ability to oversee the whole prison and I'd be forced to switch back and forth between different levels continuously, which would harm the gameplay experience - at least for me.

I also think that providing an ability to create hardcopies of existing prisons have ever been a goal of the developers. You also can't create curved walls (like one of the prisons you've linked has) yet no one is really complaining about that.
Actually I consider having a single z-level an interesting limitation which forces me to think about creative uses of space.
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Postby xander » Fri Aug 23, 2013 4:01 pm

Spectre Incarnate wrote:I do have a question, though. A lot of older members have been rudely telling off the newer members not to start threads with old ideas. "There's 400 other threads of the same idea..." Are we even allowed to necro any of those older threads, then?? Cause it doesn't look like it. It seems we're in a lose/lose situation here.

Do you mind if I try to clarify?

One of the missions of the forums is to share information. It is easiest to share information when similar thoughts and ideas are lumped into single threads for discussion. It is the difference between an organized town meeting, in which everyone takes their turn to talk and speaks only on the current agenda item vs the trading floor of the stock exchange where everyone is shouting at once. For instance, in recent weeks there have been at least five topics suggesting that the staff be personalized. Anyone who has been paying any attention at all knows the arguments that have been made for and against, but a newbie who is interested in the idea needs to search for and find these five topics (and probably more) to get the full picture.

Additionally, posting a redundant topic is kind of insulting. It basically declares that the poster was too lazy to search for anything related, or felt that their time was more valuable than everyone else's. Honestly, redundant topics don't piss me off nearly as much as redundant topics where it is clear that the poster didn't do even a cursory search. If a redundant topic starts with "I searched the forums and read through the topics on the front couple of pages, but didn't find anything related. Here's what I have to say..."

Of course, "reading through the first several pages of topics" is much harder right now, because of the large number of people that post about a thousand little suggestions in a giant wall of text. Protip: one idea, one topic.

Finally, I don't think that there is anything wrong with bumping old topics, per se. If you have something to add to an old topic, bump it. There are two things, however, that will prevent you from pissing people off when you bump an old topic. First, acknowledge that the topic is old and being bump (write something like "Hey, I'm sorry to bump an old topic, but I thought this was relevant..."). Second, make sure that you are really contributing to the topic. The general rule of thumb is that the longer a topic has been dead, the more interesting, insightful, or worthwhile your comment should be.

At least, that's how I see it, and I assume that I am one of the older members that you are referring to.

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Postby Novbert » Fri Aug 23, 2013 7:29 pm

xander wrote:
Spectre Incarnate wrote:I do have a question, though. A lot of older members have been rudely telling off the newer members not to start threads with old ideas. "There's 400 other threads of the same idea..." Are we even allowed to necro any of those older threads, then?? Cause it doesn't look like it. It seems we're in a lose/lose situation here.

Do you mind if I try to clarify?

One of the missions of the forums is to share information. It is easiest to share information when similar thoughts and ideas are lumped into single threads for discussion. It is the difference between an organized town meeting, in which everyone takes their turn to talk and speaks only on the current agenda item vs the trading floor of the stock exchange where everyone is shouting at once. For instance, in recent weeks there have been at least five topics suggesting that the staff be personalized. Anyone who has been paying any attention at all knows the arguments that have been made for and against, but a newbie who is interested in the idea needs to search for and find these five topics (and probably more) to get the full picture.


Let me agree and disagree.
On one hand: The search function of this forum is crappy to say the least. You can't define if you'd like to search for matching titles only, and if you set the search to list only relevant messages, only the first few rows of the message text is displayed, the ones containing the searched string aren't. Personally I find the search function annoying and I try to avoid using it if possible. (on a sidenote: Even google doesn't seem to index these pages so there isn't even a workaround for this problem)

On the other hand: The idea of using forums to share information, collect information or organize large amounts of information in any way is rather nonsensical. Wikis are invented for that. There are actually multiple PA wikis for that purpose and they fit that purpose very well.

As I see the mission of these forums - if we can talk about that - is to collect ideas and suggestions from the entire community. This is brainstorming, and forums aren't too useful for that either. They could be, but that would require some effort from the forum admins as well - supposing that they actually want to use these ideas for something. It wouldn't even need that much effort though. The only thing necessary would be to organize the forum, create sub-forums and set up a simple structure. It wouldn't even be that hard, as the structure of the game itself dictates that. There could be a forum for building-related suggestions, object-related ones, staff related ones, et cetera. And the admins could move topics, should they get opened at the wrong place. Even searching would be a less tiresome task if you could focus it on the given subforum only.

The point is: Brainstorming activities always require an organizer to remain organized. Currently anything which is off the first page of the forum can safely be considered dead. Not to mentione the ones on the 10th, 20th pages. They are forgotten. And you can't expect noobs to browse through all of them. And without someone actually putting effort into getting this mess organized, it won't change.
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Postby xander » Fri Aug 23, 2013 8:05 pm

Novbert wrote:On one hand: The search function of this forum is crappy to say the least. You can't define if you'd like to search for matching titles only, and if you set the search to list only relevant messages, only the first few rows of the message text is displayed, the ones containing the searched string aren't. Personally I find the search function annoying and I try to avoid using it if possible. (on a sidenote: Even google doesn't seem to index these pages so there isn't even a workaround for this problem)

I addressed this point above. The search functionality is far from perfect---the issue is that people don't even try. It is arrogant and lazy, as it presumes that the person posting does not value the time of others.

Novbert wrote:On the other hand: The idea of using forums to share information, collect information or organize large amounts of information in any way is rather nonsensical. Wikis are invented for that. There are actually multiple PA wikis for that purpose and they fit that purpose very well.

Wikis are good for disseminating information. Fora are good for discussing information. The underlying structure of any forum is one geared toward discussion. Discussion doesn't work if everyone shouts out their ideas without engaging with the ideas that others have brought up. If all IV wanted was a list of suggestions, then they would provide an email address that we could send ideas to, and there would be no need for a forum. The fact that there is a forum means that discussion is possible and desired, and repeating the same things over and over again breaks the advantage that fora have.

Novbert wrote:As I see the mission of these forums - if we can talk about that - is to collect ideas and suggestions from the entire community. This is brainstorming, and forums aren't too useful for that either. They could be, but that would require some effort from the forum admins as well - supposing that they actually want to use these ideas for something. It wouldn't even need that much effort though. The only thing necessary would be to organize the forum, create sub-forums and set up a simple structure. It wouldn't even be that hard, as the structure of the game itself dictates that. There could be a forum for building-related suggestions, object-related ones, staff related ones, et cetera. And the admins could move topics, should they get opened at the wrong place. Even searching would be a less tiresome task if you could focus it on the given subforum only.

Basically, this comes down to "We shouldn't bother trying to impose structure on the forum from within because IV have not done so from above." It is as though you want there to be more structure, but when people try to organize that structure, you object because they have not been magically blessed as admins or moderators. You want the same thing that I do, but because no one has "official" moderating powers, you are going to object to my efforts. That is, at any rate, what it feels like from my perspective.

Novbert wrote:The point is: Brainstorming activities always require an organizer to remain organized. Currently anything which is off the first page of the forum can safely be considered dead. Not to mentione the ones on the 10th, 20th pages. They are forgotten. And you can't expect noobs to browse through all of them. And without someone actually putting effort into getting this mess organized, it won't change.

I addressed all of this in my post above. Where did I say that newbies should read through 20 pages of crap? I said that they should try to search, read through the first page or two, and clearly indicate that they have done so when they post.

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Postby paktsardines » Sat Aug 24, 2013 2:57 am

Wikis are good for disseminating information


Sorry, not really relevant to the topic, but you spelt 'disappearing' wrong. ;)

Every wiki I've used inevitably ends up as a series of disorganised dumping grounds where the 'contributors' vomit their knowledge whenever and wherever they can. Finding what your looking for in such a steaming mess is unpleasant, if not impossible.
The problem is, not everyone who contributes to a wiki is an information architect, and not everyone who contributes has the same audience in mind.

I'd much rather read the information in a formalised document with a specific purpose and scope any day.
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Postby Novbert » Sat Aug 24, 2013 11:16 am

Xander: The funny thing is, that I think we are on common ground. I'd also like to see the community's suggestions in a well-organized structure. The problem here has multiple aspects.

1) The forum is unstructured
2) There aren't forum admins (or at least they don't seem to do anything)
3) People are eager to share and discuss ideas
4) There is a 'policy' which says you should search before you post
5) Search is crap
6) Some people still want to see the ideas in a structured way so they behave as self-proclaimed admins, trying to enforce the above mentioned policy on noobs.
7) Noobs get offended.
=> Unhappy noobs, unhappy 'admins' - lose-lose situation

For the sake of argument imagine this scenario:
- The forum is structured and there's a policy about how that structure should be used
- There are forum admins with the ability to close/relocate threads.
- There is a clear forum policy on where the given threads belong.

All the problems would be solved. 1) and 2) would get solved by definition. 3) is not really a problem, but the source of current problems, but if the forum was structured, people could more easily share their ideas in a structured way. Even if some noob would open a thread in the wrong place, admins could move it to the right subforum. 4) and 5) Would be solved mostly by the fact that if the suggestions would be collected in subforums, users wouldn't be so much enforced to use the crappy search anymore. 6): Self-proclaimed admins wouldn't be needed if there were real ones. 7) If the rules were clear, there would be little reason to get offended if a real admin enforces them.

I still maintain that it would require minuscule effort for these forums to work that way. IV has already asked the community to help with wiki administration - I can't see why the same thing couldn't work for these forums.

xander wrote:Fora are good for discussing information. The underlying structure of any forum is one geared toward discussion. Discussion doesn't work if everyone shouts out their ideas without engaging with the ideas that others have brought up. If all IV wanted was a list of suggestions, then they would provide an email address that we could send ideas to, and there would be no need for a forum. The fact that there is a forum means that discussion is possible and desired, and repeating the same things over and over again breaks the advantage that fora have.


My point: The structure of this forum is not geared towards anything, as it lacks any structure. Imagine what a noob sees when he first visits this page. A single unstructured forum with a forty-some pages long list of totally unrelated ideas on top of each other. Do you seriously expect him to try to obey some stuctural rules if there's no apparent structure?

If IV wanted a structured list of suggestion, they would have already provided a structure, the suggetions can fit into. The fact that they haven't set up such thing so far, implies that they are okay with this mess.

xander wrote:Basically, this comes down to "We shouldn't bother trying to impose structure on the forum from within because IV have not done so from above." It is as though you want there to be more structure, but when people try to organize that structure, you object because they have not been magically blessed as admins or moderators. You want the same thing that I do, but because no one has "official" moderating powers, you are going to object to my efforts. That is, at any rate, what it feels like from my perspective.


You got it right. The supposed purpose of the forum is to provide input to IV for further development. Only IV knows in which format they require that input, and if they wouldn't like the way this forum works, they would probably have changed it already as they have the power to do so. Apparently they are okay with the way it currently works. This is why I see the efforts of all the self-proclaimed moderators pointless. If IV would think that moderaion is really necessary here, these forums would already be moderated.


On a sidenote: Shouldn't we open a separate topic for this?
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Postby xander » Sat Aug 24, 2013 4:35 pm

Novbert wrote:For the sake of argument imagine this scenario:
- The forum is structured and there's a policy about how that structure should be used
- There are forum admins with the ability to close/relocate threads.
- There is a clear forum policy on where the given threads belong.

These things would be nice. IV have not give us that structure. Doesn't seem to be in the upgrade, either. There isn't anything that can be done about that from our end.

Novbert wrote:My point: The structure of this forum is not geared towards anything, as it lacks any structure. Imagine what a noob sees when he first visits this page. A single unstructured forum with a forty-some pages long list of totally unrelated ideas on top of each other. Do you seriously expect him to try to obey some stuctural rules if there's no apparent structure?

I expect anyone dealing with any new communication medium to spend a little bit of time reading the READMEs before doing anything else. There are stickied posts that deal with almost all of everything that has been said in this thread. I also expect people to have a little bit of respect for my time and the time of others.

Novbert wrote:You got it right. The supposed purpose of the forum is to provide input to IV for further development.

That is not the only purpose. It is also supposed to be a place for all of us to discuss ideas. When people post the same thing in new threads over and over and over again, no discussion occurs.

Novbert wrote:This is why I see the efforts of all the self-proclaimed moderators pointless.

(1) Who is a self-proclaimed moderator? I (and others) have, on multiple occasions, explained how things generally work around here, and we tend to get pissy when people refuse to acculturate. It is the same in any group of people.
(2) You come across as believing that because there are no official moderators, you should actively seek to subvert the existing system. I assume that isn't what you mean, but it is certainly how I read the above.

Novbert wrote:On a sidenote: Shouldn't we open a separate topic for this?

Why? The idea of multiple story prisons has been played out over and over again. That being said, paktsardines did start a new thread, so perhaps we can move over there?

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Postby Causeless » Mon Aug 26, 2013 5:22 am

I vaguely remember a video where the producer said it wasn't going to happen.
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Postby JackTheHat » Thu Aug 29, 2013 6:23 pm

I could definitely swing for multiple Z Levels. If just for the ability to build staff access that can over and/or under other walkways.
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Re:

Postby knoest26 » Sat Nov 30, 2013 7:35 pm

Causeless wrote:I vaguely remember a video where the producer said it wasn't going to happen.

It's not likely it will ever happen but this makes me hopefull:
https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=541888989228478&set=ms.541888989228478.541887412561969.bps.a.529244637159580.1073741828.492262177524493&type=1&theater

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