A27: Spreadsheets & Apologies

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an otter
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A27: Spreadsheets & Apologies

Postby an otter » Fri Nov 28, 2014 6:45 pm

Like, it was necessary, but it makes for a luke-warm update. A handful of bug fixes, a couple balance tweaks, and one new security object. Especially considering not everyone had a problem not exploiting the previous fix (or no more than putting showers and fleets of TVs in every major room, which are yet-addressed logic exploits), and we were hoping for a real update this month.

Don't get me wrong: the fix was needed, but I was hoping for a content-heavy update after that last custodial update. Them instead spending the month incorporating a spreadsheet to re-fix the previous fix is kind of disappointing, even if it's a better solution.

I mean, spreadsheets, yay. :/
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Re: A27: Spreadsheets & Apologies

Postby zbyrne » Fri Nov 28, 2014 7:50 pm

nah personally i'd rather they put this in and it work than adding a load of new things that don't work properly, and this big problem remains.

Anyway, this now opens up the opportunity to apply this to other areas/rooms etc. in fact I'd say what's great about this is its a bit of a philosophy change on the devs part - allowing us more input into the management parts of our prisons, rather than have everything automated and not work quite properly. After all i'm building a prison of my own design, so presumably (at least as a more experienced player) i'm applying my own logic to the layout, and the game doesn't always understand what i'm trying to do.

so no on the face of it, not much has changed, but i'd argue a pretty big fundamental shift has happened, and that gives us a good new foundation to work off of
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Re: A27: Spreadsheets & Apologies

Postby an otter » Fri Nov 28, 2014 8:06 pm

I agree it's a fundamental shift, but some of us argue it isn't necessarily the best one. While I agree players should be allowed to micromanage if they want, ideally all the agents in the game have their own, well, agency, and drives, and do as they're intended. If the AI "doesn't know what I want" then that means two things: I don't have enough input into schedules (fixed by the A27 Spreadsheets Update), and the AI isn't robust enough.

I for one like to depend on AI. The AI can be improved, and I like to build and have them operate their agendas within that building. A number of us don't like playing the game like a tax form, which is what this update further shifts the game into. Automation is a big component of sims/models like this game, and AI robustness is key to proper automation.

Of course if they plan to continually improve both sides of the ball, with giving players more levers and making AI more robust, I haven't an issue. As long as the spreadsheets OCD side of the game remains as optional as possible.
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Re: A27: Spreadsheets & Apologies

Postby neale1993 » Sat Nov 29, 2014 12:03 am

an otter wrote: I haven't an issue. As long as the spreadsheets OCD side of the game remains as optional as possible.


The Scheduler, or 'spreadsheet' as your referring to, is completely optional. Its a new addition that actually gives opportunity to apply classes to different rooms based on specific needs. When you start building multiple 'training rooms' (Ie workshop, kitchen, classroom) then it became impossible to schedule a lesson to a certain room.

For example, say you have 3 kitchens. 1 Medium security, one Maximum security and one shared. You want all your prisoners to learn at the same time, in one room, simply starting a class does not let you choose which kitchen it applies to. Thus could potentially be stopping others from getting to the room to learn. To some of the smaller prisons, this may seem a bit too much. But for the larger prisons especially, this was a well needed addition.

Plus the continuation in the food changes are again quite a big addition. You could choose now to have 2 main kitchens with some smaller sub kitchens dotted around. Before, cooks would have been going everywhere, food wouldn't have gone to the right place... now it has a structure.
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Re: A27: Spreadsheets & Apologies

Postby rlgjiojgboirtjnb » Sat Nov 29, 2014 5:32 pm

an otter wrote:Of course if they plan to continually improve both sides of the ball, with giving players more levers and making AI more robust, I haven't an issue. As long as the spreadsheets OCD side of the game remains as optional as possible.


Im pretty sure this is now the case.

And, maybe not as easily to see, but i think this update has a huge bonus for everyone:

Since they now allow and accept that their algorithms dont have to be these know-it-all-super-hero-algorithms, they can actually focus more time on development of all other things instead of trying to get these hugely complex algs to work. The 2nd last update (iirc) was basically mostly spent trying to figure out and fix kitchen algorithms and then in the end they gave up and made food teleportable. This (wasted time spent) wont happen again for other systems (like i.e.laundry) because they now accept that they only need to design a functioning basic algorithm, which should be a lot easier.

I think their paradigm shift was necessary, good and really improves the forward development of PA in pretty much all areas. By accepting your AI has certain limits, you can make it a lot more robust overall.

As a (bad) comparison: By accepting that a car has to keep one alive in accident only to a limited speed (lets say 120 km/h), i can design it way better/easier and safer than by trying to keep you alive at 200km/h where i have to addon 2 tons of steel and safety components to achieve a goal that 99.99% of the time is irrelevant since noone (legally) drives any faster. Hence the limit actually improves the designing process a shitload.
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Re: A27: Spreadsheets & Apologies

Postby knoest26 » Sat Nov 29, 2014 8:17 pm

I always try to watch the Alpha video without looking at the new features so I'm surprised by whats in the video but I accidentally saw two words; "....food delivery..."'. Needless to say I was extremely dissappointed after the Alpha video
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Re: A27: Spreadsheets & Apologies

Postby Reeferken » Sun Nov 30, 2014 3:18 pm

My guess is they're working on something really really big and in the meantime supply smaller alphas

The bug bash wasn't that big
This update isn't that big (besides the shift in micromanagement)

Has anyone checked the files for any new objects or code or leads on what they're working on?
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Re: A27: Spreadsheets & Apologies

Postby RGeezy911 » Sun Nov 30, 2014 5:28 pm

I noticed some new prisoner sprites in the people.png. They are located above the also recent hostage sprites. A new item was also added into the people.png and materials.txt files. It was called the battering ram. I didn't notice anything else major. One minor thing I noticed was two new properties for the research.txt file. They are for non wide-screen users, so the bureaucracy won't fly off the screen. Apparently, it doesn't work right now.

That's about it.
Cheers!
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Re: A27: Spreadsheets & Apologies

Postby Jacq » Sun Nov 30, 2014 5:53 pm

Well I thought it was a GREAT update. They looked at food delivery and said to themselves "this isnt good enough" and improved it immensely, something I am very happy about, as I was disappointed by their initial "hack" version. Now we instead have a great system, and we can continue on to new things and finally put it behind us. Same for the schedules.

Algorithms that work 90% of the time is a lot easier to make than some that work 100% of the time it at all possible. Some manual input required is really a satisfactory solution for most of us.
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Re: A27: Spreadsheets & Apologies

Postby lugaru » Mon Dec 01, 2014 7:51 pm

I agree this was them looking back and fundamentally changing a feature, which is a good thing. It opens up the ability to organize other rooms better, and makes food and programs work better now. I too was hoping for at least one new big feature (other than eavesdropping) so it might be one of those months where I take a break. Still I do want to check the full log to see if they added any meaty mod options.

Edit: here are a few new things...

Game balance : (all good changes in my opinion -lugaru)
Reputations rebalanced : Legendary, Volatile, Deadly are all less likely
Contraband smuggling via deliveries has been halved
Prisoners needs now start at zero

New Reputation : (kind of silly but really cool and I dont think anyone suggested these -lugaru)
Skilled Fighter. Can sometimes disarm an opponent during a fight.
Expert Fighter. Can sometimes take a weapon from his opponent during a fight.
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Re: A27: Spreadsheets & Apologies

Postby vogtml » Mon Dec 01, 2014 8:07 pm

RGeezy911 wrote:I noticed some new prisoner sprites in the people.png. They are located above the also recent hostage sprites. A new item was also added into the people.png and materials.txt files. It was called the battering ram. I didn't notice any else major. One minor thing I noticed was two new properties for the research.txt file. They are for non wide-screen users, so the bureaucracy won't fly off the screen. Apparently, it doesn't work right now.

That's about it.
Cheers!



It seems there is another much requested feature currently in development. Maybe for December and it just wasn't ready this month? See https://drive.google.com/file/d/0BxiVGw ... luZlk/view
(Coming from this thread: viewtopic.php?f=43&t=51061)

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