A few complaints, and possible solutions.

Post here your suggestions for future Towns releases

A few complaints, and possible solutions.

Postby SoralTheSol » Mon Jan 20, 2014 11:38 pm

So here I am, posting in the suggestions board once more. I recently started playing Towns again after a good long break and sure enough, ran into some of those age old problems that succeed in driving me batty.

AI pathing is still faulty. A few recipes need to be rebalanced. Still can't build farm land except on naturally generated terrain. I know at first it doesn't seem like much but it does effect how the game can be played. While Towns has indeed come a long way, to be honest I was expecting more by now. This may sound odd coming from someone who has never made it to the final floor of the dungeon, but the world under the town was never that important to me. So let's get to what this post should be about, my ideas to fix the issues.

AI Pathing: To be blunt, your townies are still derpasses no matter what amount of processing power you have dedicated to them. Not only will your townies decide to take the longest possible rout in situations because of the way they are coded, they will also go out of their way to trap themselves in a horrible situation. Tell them to block the entrance of a cave with some walls? They can do that, but they tend to block themselves into the cave with no escape. I look at this and I realize what the problem is, and the solution is obvious. So obvious it has been suggested multiple times by multiple people and should honestly be on that fabled "To Do List" for all things Towns dev.

The AI need to not only find the shortest route from point A to point B, they also need to have before and after pathing. The purpose of Before and After tracking is to figure out if their current action is going to destroy their path back out. The second bit is considerably harder than the first so for now I will just work on the first segment. The best way to find the shortest distance between the two points is for a path counter to be implemented. Now the reason why this is important to me, in my most recent game I built a scaffold bridge to cross a river. I did this because the only land bridge was on the other side of the map and the trip was too lengthy to be practical. So I build it block by block from one side towards the other, and when I get to the point that the next block connects... The townies take the long way, cross the land bridge, come to the other side of the scaffold bridge and place the final block when all that had to do was walk a measly 30 spaces to finish their damn job in the first place.

Why does this happen? Well, my only guess is that the towns pathing works on a radius or an "as the crow flies" method of finding the closest block to stand from. This is not a good method. Infact, it is downright terrible. It causes your townies to often times take the worst possible route when you are expecting them to go elsewhere. I know many of you have probably lost several townies to them stupidly crossing a river when all they needed was just a few blocks away from your current home. My solution, Townies need to count some form of distance. I get that having the game keep up with counting each individual block would probably cause lag, so instead how bout you divide the map into something a little more sensible. Have another grid on the map, this grid takes up a large area, not just the little squares, but 8x8 or 9x9 area of squares. Basically, give the map chunks, and have the townies count the chunks they have to travel. However you cannot have overlapping chunks on the river, that will continue the problem. This is actually something the developer of Banished had to deal with.

So that is the solution to the first part of the problem. The AI need to start measuring the actual distance traveled before traveling. Hell another way to do it is since a river runs through each map, everything on one side of the river is Part A, everything on the other side of the river is Part B. If you are on Part A, everything on Part B is automatically further away then everything on Part A. Now the downside of this method is that it would effectively break bridges. So you would have to do a bit of programing to work around that.

Recipes: Why is it, that two stone will make a flagstone block, a bloc mind you that is as tall as your townies, yet that same recipe will only make one tile of flagstone road? Am I the only one that finds this a bit silly? Now I am sure many of you have complained about this and many other recipes in the game where it seems like each time you are effectively getting less and less. I feel your pain. So first of all lets set up a few plans to give a better pay out. How bout for flagstone road you have to spend a flagstone block? How bout if that block gave you four road tiles? Have them appear around the workstation like the extra fruit from a tree, or the townie pull them off in succession. The point is, some of the building recipes are rather costly. Yes, I know once you get into the dungeon you get more stone than you will ever need. I don't like going into the dungeon until I have a few soldiers and my first two Heroes. More than that, I like to build pretty things, which cost stone.

New Farms: This is my solution to the farm problem. We get a few new buildings that act as farms for the produce of the game. These buildings are green houses. They would cost 1 of the plant you wish to grow, some mud, some stone, some glass, and either some wood or iron. They can be built on anything, as long as it is a 3x3 area. Crop yield would be somewhat less than that of an actual farm though. That would be the price of convenience though, much like with the mineshaft. This would also solve the problem of farms for other items in the game such as snow cherries, cactus fruit, and wheat for the desert. Though to be blunt, wheat is a very versatile plant and can grow in many places, including the desert, as long as it has a sufficient supply of water. There is a reason it is grown across the globe after all, it is easy.

Many of you are probably wondering why this is an issue with all the grass/snow/sand on the map. Well the problem is that you are limited to where you can make farms. if you want an elevated farm you would have to find a hill or mountain to use. The area used would need to be relatively flat, then it is a matter of space. for me, it is again because I like to build pretty things when I can. Many times I have been aggravated because I can't raise my farm up by one block, or I find a nice area to build but the ground is patched with stone leaving me with little place to put farms close to my townies. I would really rather have more terraforming options but I will take what I can get.

Well, that is the end of what I have come up with.
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