Let's talk time!

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Gangrene
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Let's talk time!

Postby Gangrene » Fri Dec 12, 2014 10:25 pm

Okay, today I'll share some thoughts on time... Firstly there are two flows of time happening. One is a daily flow of time and the other is a long term flow of time.

On the daily flow of time... after playing this game for probably 50 hours now I feel I can say that the daily flow of time is TOO fast. The clock should at the ">" single arrow of time at half or a quarter of the current rate. I have a big prison sure... but it takes way too long in time to move around the place. I think the characters are moving at a good speed(animations, not to fast or slow), but that time is ticking by way to fast. I often have to set 2 hours for each lunch just to make sure all of the prisoners can walk there in time and get a meal. In reality a hour should be more than enough for even the farthest prisoners to walk there, get a meal, eat it and still be waiting around... It doesn't take an hour to walk the distances we are talking about to cross a prison... we're talking a few minutes max. Add a few more speed options, but make that regular speed time a lot more slow.

If the daily time is accurately done I think we could easily break the regime into 30 minute segments which would give us more options and flexibility to the day via our 48 options instead of 24. That might be controversial. I can't wait to hear what other say about that, but I'd be for it.

Long term time... Okay, the other amount of time is the long term time and I think that should be adjustable by the player to suit the amount of time they have to play the game. I feel the options should be... 1 day = 1 week, 1 day = 2 weeks, or 1 day = 1 Month. If a inmate has a 1 year sentence if on the first setting... he would be there 52 days... on the fastest setting 12 days. If it took two days to build a new large foundation on fast speed.. that was 2 months. If a player has just a little time to play, they might want prisoners to rotate out of their prison faster, others with more time might want to have the year take longer and have their prisoners they know stick around longer. I'd probably take the slow or medium setting.

What do you think about the time aspects of the game? Are there any other things about the time that should be taken into consideration and discussed?
Inge Jones
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Re: Let's talk time!

Postby Inge Jones » Fri Dec 12, 2014 10:53 pm

Agreed about the timescale on clock compared with animation time.
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Re: Let's talk time!

Postby Gangrene » Mon Dec 15, 2014 10:33 pm

Thanks Inge, I'm glad someone agree on that. :-)
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Re: Let's talk time!

Postby Haz » Tue Dec 16, 2014 1:52 pm

Definitely need to slow the time down quite a lot. Quite often if you allocate an hour for eating the prisoners don't arrive until it's nearly over even when the canteen is right next to where they were before. It's quite annoying. If you allocated 30 minutes for eating your prisoners should be able to get there in plenty of time to actually have their meal, but as the time just flies by their meal time is over before they walk there too often.
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Re: Let's talk time!

Postby redd » Tue Dec 16, 2014 1:54 pm

Absolutely agree on this.
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Re: Let's talk time!

Postby Gangrene » Tue Dec 16, 2014 5:53 pm

Yay, more support.
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Re: Let's talk time!

Postby RichieGrape » Wed Dec 17, 2014 3:52 am

Gangrene wrote:Yay, more support.

yea i agree with this as well ... i feel like prisoners should be able to get more done in a day (especially since 1 day = 1/4 year or something like that)
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Re: Let's talk time!

Postby czar mohab » Wed Dec 17, 2014 4:54 pm

RichieGrape wrote:
Gangrene wrote:Yay, more support.

yea i agree with this as well ... i feel like prisoners should be able to get more done in a day (especially since 1 day = 1/4 year or something like that)


1/5 year per day. 1 year is 5 days.

This means when it takes your guards 6 hours to move a prisoner from deliveries to his cell (for whatever reason), its 18.25 days of his sentence. Two and a half-ish weeks in cuffs waiting at the front gate just to get in. For perspective, 2.5 hours in solitary (to reach max suppression) is 7.6 days of sentence time. 1 hour is 3.04 days of sentence; 1 day (24 hours) is 73 days of sentence.

Slowing down the game time without reducing the amount of time it takes to do anything (a point, if I may - some things would have to be rebalanced to adjust to a new time scheme, such as heal rates, licence plate fabrication time, and weapon recharge rates, to name but a few) would be a welcome addition, along with 30 minute regime slots.

If adjusting the time proves too difficult, some mitigation can be achieved by improving pathfinding, improving walk speed modifiers for slow, normal and fast surfaces, 30 minute regime slots, and a handful of tweaks to how long it takes to do things. Perhaps even some background tweaks that I am unaware of.

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Re: Let's talk time!

Postby Gangrene » Wed Dec 17, 2014 8:05 pm

Any thoughts on the day to year ratio?
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Re: Let's talk time!

Postby czar mohab » Wed Dec 17, 2014 8:37 pm

Gangrene wrote:Any thoughts on the day to year ratio?


I think that the initial 1:1.5 back a few alphas ago was much too fast - no one really stayed around more than a week if they were min sec (which is a reason it was changed).

The 1:5 it is now makes the repeat murderers stay much much too long - requiring alternate handling of such entities.

Problem is that LONG long ago Earth's orbit decided 365 days in a year was brilliant. Well, 365.24somethingsomething. Anyway, with the current derivation of time (24 hour days, 60 minute hours, etc.) the ratio between Years Served to Days Passed will never really make a whole number when the requisite conversion of years to days and days to hours occurs (Days Served to Hours Passed). The original was 1:1.5 which is 365:36 which is 10.13888888 days served per hour. 1:5 is 365:120 which is 3.0416666666 days served. The Devs could slow it more, say 1:15 which is 365:360 for 1.01388888 (about as close to 1 day served per hour as we could get easily) but then no one would leave between alpha builds.

But I don't want longer here.

The current is fine enough as it is. I'm sure that things like execution or prisoner transfer may make it in game, or even some other form of dealing with the extreme long term residents (such as death from old age) so I'm inclined to leave it as it is. However, the ratio could be adjusted to 1:3 (365:72; 5.0694444 days per hour) and turned over to us testers - but then everything else would probably need a rebalance as well. Making the game days longer in conjunction with this could, in effect, keep the prisoners in prison just as long real time as they are now.

So, yeah, I'm for supporting the "leave 1:5 as it is until something better comes along" side.

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Re: Let's talk time!

Postby Chris » Thu Dec 18, 2014 1:32 pm

Regarding the issue of time advancing too quickly whilst prisoners are moving around. I actually agree that it's weird that prisoners often can't even get to their destination within an hour, so I could easily make time advance at 1/2 speed to solve that. In fact we do exactly that with large maps - there is a value called TimeWarpFactor that is set to 0.5 for the biggest maps. You can probably try some experiments yourselves by setting that value. Set it to 0.1 and time will advance 10 times slower than currently, but everyone will still move around at the same speed.

HOWEVER, there is another chorus of players who think the day progresses too slowly. They want to be able to advance time to tommorow at 8am for example, to get more prisoners. If I made this change, they'd be pissed off because now you'd have to wait twice as long or ten times as long for a day to pass. A day will feel much longer if we make this change.

I'm still undecided, is what I'm saying.
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Re: Let's talk time!

Postby Gangrene » Thu Dec 18, 2014 4:49 pm

Chris,

1. Okay, I'd love to test it for you. Do I open up a file in the game directory and change a text file? If so, what directory, and which file? Is the variable a int or can I go into decimal precision?

2. So in software development I always favor options. Options make everyone happy because they can set it to suit their play style. If, you, design it to favor your preference someone is going to be miffed.

Make a menu item... "Clock Speed" and translate the variable .5, .1, etc.. into Very Slow, Slow, Default, etc... The player sets it according to their play style and everyone is happy. Why try to "decide" or figure out what is a personal preference... that kind of issue can only be resolved by the player themselves.

I'm not sure I follow you with players wanting the day to progress faster though. Isn't that a completely different mechanic and issue? That's a separate issue of the ">>" and ">>>" buttons and a increase of game time, not the clock speed. The animations and everything else speed up. Are they related in that if the general day time is slower that it can't process a day fast enough to make them happy with that other issue?

The part I don't understand is setting it faster... If you set it to lets say, really fast... The clock could theoretically go through 24 hours before your prisoners could walk(animated) to the shower if that is the first thing they do in the morning... All of their needs would skyrocket(I'm assuming needs progress to the clock time) and they literally wouldn't have time to meet any of them... Who wants that? I'm pretty sure every player wants their prisoners to be able to get to the canteen and eat in a hours time.

So, now I'm assuming the issue is that ">>>" goes half as fast in regard to the clock... Can we make a ">>>>>" button to compensate or are we running into a hard wall of the inability of the computer to process that faster than ">>>" button option?
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Re: Let's talk time!

Postby czar mohab » Thu Dec 18, 2014 5:38 pm

Gangrene wrote:Chris,

1. Okay, I'd love to test it for you. Do I open up a file in the game directory and change a text file? If so, what directory, and which file? Is the variable a int or can I go into decimal precision?

2. So in software development I always favor options. Options make everyone happy because they can set it to suit their play style. If, you, design it to favor your preference someone is going to be miffed.

Make a menu item... "Clock Speed" and translate the variable .5, .1, etc.. into Very Slow, Slow, Default, etc... The player sets it according to their play style and everyone is happy. Why try to "decide" or figure out what is a personal preference... that kind of issue can only be resolved by the player themselves.

I'm not sure I follow you with players wanting the day to progress faster though. Isn't that a completely different mechanic and issue? That's a separate issue of the ">>" and ">>>" buttons and a increase of game time, not the clock speed. The animations and everything else speed up. Are they related in that if the general day time is slower that it can't process a day fast enough to make them happy with that other issue?

The part I don't understand is setting it faster... If you set it to lets say, really fast... The clock could theoretically go through 24 hours before your prisoners could walk(animated) to the shower if that is the first thing they do in the morning... All of their needs would skyrocket(I'm assuming needs progress to the clock time) and they literally wouldn't have time to meet any of them... Who wants that? I'm pretty sure every player wants their prisoners to be able to get to the canteen and eat in a hours time.

So, now I'm assuming the issue is that ">>>" goes half as fast in regard to the clock... Can we make a ">>>>>" button to compensate or are we running into a hard wall of the inability of the computer to process that faster than ">>>" button option?


1. Its in the save file, 13 or so entries down. "TimeWarpFactor 0.500000"

2. Options are good, and if adding this as a slider or toggle under the options it would be nice, but definitely something that can be easily seen by new players; as time goes on we'll hear the same "its too fast" posts, invariably answered by others saying "check your options" - you get the idea.

I'm thinking that the too slow complaint comes from players wanting to skip ahead to specific events, such as eat or prisoner intake; and is someting I can sympathize with - we are testers, after all, and we should be able to test things like how well does it run with 8k prisoners. Kind of slow going when it takes a while just to cycle the next day. Its a weird, strange delicate balance that would need to be reached. Its a pain some times when something real world distracts from the game and you miss something you were looking forward to seeing and have to either reload or wait another day.

The addition of a super turbo button for the too slow times that affects the entire game, along with adjustable in-game "clock" speed? Heaven. Add in an auto-kick-down-from-super-turbo-to-regular-speed for a few triggers (player options, of course) and wow. Winner.

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Re: Let's talk time!

Postby ElSalvaje » Fri Dec 19, 2014 12:28 am

Gangrene wrote:
The part I don't understand is setting it faster... If you set it to lets say, really fast... The clock could theoretically go through 24 hours before your prisoners could walk(animated) to the shower if that is the first thing they do in the morning... All of their needs would skyrocket(I'm assuming needs progress to the clock time) and they literally wouldn't have time to meet any of them... Who wants that? I'm pretty sure every player wants their prisoners to be able to get to the canteen and eat in a hours time.


Yeah exactly! At first i didn't fully understand what the TimeWarpFactor did when I was messing around with it. I just wanted to speed things up a bit. At first I couldn't understand why income from exports went down drastically until I found out it only speeds up the clock haha! :roll: This can be useful (like Chris said when playing larger maps), but just not for what i wanted to accomplish :D

czar mohab wrote:The addition of a super turbo button for the too slow times that affects the entire game, along with adjustable in-game "clock" speed? Heaven. Add in an auto-kick-down-from-super-turbo-to-regular-speed for a few triggers (player options, of course) and wow. Winner.


Awesome! I would love to be able to speed things up every now and then. "Add in an auto-kick-down-from-super-turbo-to-regular-speed for a few triggers" preventing me from missing a riot or escape for example? Excellent idea!
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Re: Let's talk time!

Postby Gangrene » Sat Jan 03, 2015 10:53 pm

Finally got to do this test and report the results.

This DOES NOT work! It's game breaking to change the warp factor. From what I can tell in my testing is that the accumulation of needs is not effected by the warp... That's not what is needed. Accumulation of needs should be directly related to the time warp factor.

Chris Delay... If you want me to make a recording of this let me know. I can make a YouTube video...

The game had a .5 warp factor originally. I played for a while on .1 warp factor... That was TOO SLOW. A night is unbearable at that pace even with (>>>) clicked. So, I switched it to 2.5, which seemed fine... but when my prisoners woke up they ALL peed and crapped their cells before they even reached the toilet, in their cell. All of their needs were MAXED out except sleep...

That's another mechanic that should be fixed... If the bowels and bladder are getting toward max and the sleep is low or none... They would wake up and go to the bathroom, but that is beside this point.

Overnight my prisoners were starving. Even though my prison was 40+ days without incident. I had my first incident since day 2 as the starving prisoners started kicking off after waking. Changing the time factor should never of made that happen.

The warp factor shouldn't effect how much need is stored over time. Let's say you gain 5 bladder (+)'s in eight hours... If the clock is going fast or slow 8 CLOCK hours should equal 5 +'s regardless... independent of if that 8 hours took 15 minutes of game time or an hour. It does not work that way.

Do not change the warp factor currently until it is redesigned.

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