Is quality being appreciated?

Hey,

something currently really bugs me and i have to say i keep questioning the point of making custom items for this game.
In the past few years i wasn't really able to pursue my own things because both my parents were terminally ill and i helped taking care of them.
Nonetheless, after many dark years, i was actually really looking forward to throw myself into modding and 3D modeling again,
and the TMT being released looked like a perfect opportunity, given i'm a true RCT nerd from the very beginning (RCT1).
But apparently i seemed to have been a bit too optimistic.


So, people complain about lag and long loading times,
at the same time they download almost each and everything
(this is a hypothetical analogy, for explanation's sake)
with the name Mickey in it.
Whether that Mouse is made by someone who hardly knows a thing about LODs, they don't care.
Then their system slows down the more mickey's they have in their inventory.
But they keep telling the creator how awesome those Mickeys are without knowing


But the creator(s), since they don't really care about performance, less even, know about how to do that properly, they can basically spam the Workshop because it's much faster than building something from scratch, draw the textures, rigorously reduce polygons in the LODs.



Then there's the other bunch, like me, who actually has a slow output (not only due to time constraints, but also for the time i take for any item i work on)
and who only upload when it's really finished and polished. Then there's the additional LOD QC that i do, meaning i check ingame whether the LOD reductions are smooth and whether even more triangle could be taken out. The textures are also checked for their resolution and placement to avoid unecessary data(and filesize).


Long story short, when i look at others' items comments it reads something like this: "wow so awesome this must have taken a lot of time and work" or "omg you should charge money for it" or "you're soo talented" … (i think you get the point)


These are some comments that i tend to get instead:


"you don't deserve any attention"

"Really too large for what it is." (how about a plain white box instead)(even the PlanCo example items are bigger than most of my items!) :D



(the next two comments concern a wall/floor item that uses the complete spectrum
(including normal and roughness, 6 maps total) of texture slots and still is under 5 MB
(still less than the size of the smaller PlanCo example item)

"looks great but i think the size is a problem... i mean 4.5MB for a piece of floor?
I'm no expert, just asking and I think you should try to lower its size if you can.
other than that - nice tiling and shading"

"well you obviously havent tried to make an entire park,
therefore you dont really know the game is very poorly optimized.
an entire park usually weights between 6MB and 12MB.
when i do the math considering your piece of floor something doesnt compute."


and then there's stuff like this:

"It really is great quality. But eventually installing more and more items over 3-5mbs is going to make my computer crawl.
It looks great but I can't download until it is at least 1 mb or so.
Compare it to other Planco items and you will see your quality is way too good for this game lol."

I can't decide whether that's an insult or a compliment, especially considering my "quality" is still much MUCH more easy on performance
than most of the "simple-looking" stuff.

But apparently ppl rather download the simple-LOOKING stuff instead and thern they complain about lag and loading times..

I haven't a single Workshop item subscribed and my game works like it used to (of course i have my own TMTK items ingame.)


The work and skill it takes to build great game assets and the way you get (i get)
treated for creating unique and exclusive things in return, THAT'S the true math that doesn't add up!


So, i'm quite on the brink of just quitting this, because i keep thinking "why bother".
It's not that i don't like to build items i can use ingame, but the Workshop... naaaaa
I'd like to know how you see it, is skill appreciated in this community?
(or do people just still think 3D models with LODs are just like Blueprints with bigger filesizes?)


And the subscribers, do they make a difference between a downloaded, converted marketplace item
compared to something that has been fully done from scratch,
with the goal of optimal ingame performance vs. just throwing another item on the Workshop
to get more followers and to further screw ppls' game performance?
 
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heatherg23

Volunteer Moderator
Personally, I only subscribe to items that I KNOW where made for Planet Coaster. I can imagine the time it takes to create an item and I appreciate the time everyone takes to create them. [happy][up]
 
for me, quality is very important, so I can appreciate it when it is there. Quality does not only define how something looks, but also how it works, both by design and technical.

And for the comments on Steam...... There are a lot, and I mean a lot of trolls there, it happens in multiplayer games as well, we've all been there.
(I like playing F1 games, just to improve skill and knownledge in setups. While others consider it something like Destruction Derby (o I loved that game)).

Your question about continuing or ending? For who do you create these objects? In the first place for yourself I presume?

If you only do it for others, I would stop. If it is for your own enjoyment, continue and don't let negative comments of people who are only there to annoy influence you.
 
Hi Artix, Simple answer is 90% here, do not appreciate the work that goes in to a well optimized model. Let alone if it is a original creation. I have not released any assets in a long time due to this, But i still make 3d assets every week but there are far more appreciated areas on the web that love new and original stuff. So if you feel underappreciated it may be time to find a community that respects you and your well designed work. Its a shame that PC has just a few users that realize how hard this work actually is. yet the main vocal people can spend countless hours criticizing everything you do. but never contribute a single thing, just hate.
 
Hi Artix, Simple answer is 90% here, do not appreciate the work that goes in to a well optimized model. Let alone if it is a original creation. I have not released any assets in a long time due to this, But i still make 3d assets every week but there are far more appreciated areas on the web that love new and original stuff. So if you feel underappreciated it may be time to find a community that respects you and your well designed work. Its a shame that PC has just a few users that realize how hard this work actually is. yet the main vocal people can spend countless hours criticizing everything you do. but never contribute a single thing, just hate.
Very well said![up]
 

Joël

Volunteer Ambassador
Volunteer Moderator
Hi Artix, Simple answer is 90% here, do not appreciate the work that goes in to a well optimized model. Let alone if it is a original creation. I have not released any assets in a long time due to this, But i still make 3d assets every week but there are far more appreciated areas on the web that love new and original stuff. So if you feel underappreciated it may be time to find a community that respects you and your well designed work. Its a shame that PC has just a few users that realize how hard this work actually is. yet the main vocal people can spend countless hours criticizing everything you do. but never contribute a single thing, just hate.
Can you explain why you have that opinion? It seems to me that you have a misunderstanding of this community and this forum.

Also, please read your private messages. It looks like there's something that you don't understand about how this forum works.
 
I can totally relate, but on other terms too. Unfortunately this is how the internet works.
I stopped supporting planet coaster through Twitch streaming during the more early days of the game, due to how the Dev's were favouring 1 or 2 content creators, and using them as poster boys for the game. the rest of us just got ignored even though others were just as good or offered something different. i was one of those who got shunned by the community because i spoke out about how biased the dev's were.
Its still happening today where 1 or 2 park creators get all the attention, yet everyone else gets ignored. its definately something i do dislike about frontier and not treating its community on an equal bearing.
Notebly that did change for the better when devs began streaming, showing off many peoples custom made creations within the game.
However for me, the damage was done by that stage, and had no interest in community based affairs.
I simply separated myself from the community and played the game for my own enjoyment, becasue in the end that is what its all about. It doesnt help when a game such as this pushes the pro community button where everything is about friends and sharing content though. it just turns into a huge popularity contest where 1 or 2 get all the praise and everyone else just gets thrown into the dust bin.
thats just how the internet and gaming is today. and unfortunately, that will happen here too.


To get back on topic.
The feelings you have, isnt a new phenomenom within the games industry. Rollercoaster tycoon 3 / simcity 4 / cities skylines, and many other games, all have this issue revolving around mods. theres some really good mods out there, yet lag, or even brake the game in some cases.
cities skylines is a great example of how many mods look great but really do tank in the LOD department.

the fact of the matter is, people dont notice how well done a model LOD is because people dont see it nor care. its only when the game lags, people start to moan and groan about it. But thats only when they have made big parks and already obtained alot of pleasure out of building it. People dont check the poly count of models when they play the game. infact i dont think theres a feature to even show this statistic ingame. all people want, is to make their parks look as realistic as possible, and therefore the models that pump a large poly count will always get more praise than an optimised one. even if it lags out the game.

I too am one of these creators where i do not release content until its 100% finished, having optimised the hell out of each LOD. I wont release any work until i know its 100% done.
infact, im still not finished with simply testing stuff out with what we can do and what we cannot.
It does however mean that the creations we make will ultimately take alot longer before their released, and thats just how it is. we probably wont get any praise out of our work either.

And remember. Im pretty certain i could optimise the hell out of the original game, let alone the mod creators. unfortunately we live in a day and age where time is money, and therefore content gets rushed.




The way i look at this Artix, is that im creating content that "I WANT", within the game. not what the community wants. that way, i will gain far more satisfaction out of the results. only when i feel the time is right, will i release it onto the workshop for others to enjoy.
I wouldnt care too much about other content creators, and how good or bad their work is. its not worth caring about.

the only aspect in all of this process, where i expect the community to be great, is giving those who are new and old, all the support and advice as possible to enable them to make content that we're making. aslong as TMT is very well explained and the devs support us creators fully, and listen to our issues, and improve the game to help us produce better content, then to me, thats all that matters.
 
I think you also need to remember that there isn't an easy way to determine quality right now other than looking at the file size (which doesn't tell you much about the object as a whole) or to download and look at it yourself, (and that only allows you to make a visual judgement), the only other way is also somewhat objective and that's by reputation of the creator.

The comments made about your objects aren't fair, but when there really isn't anything to judge by other by file size people will look to that first thing. And that file size amount doesn't show your work, your efforts, nor the finished product. But right now there isn't really any other criteria to go by. Even downloading it for visual inspection only tells you how it LOOKS, it doesn't tell you how it performs. And reputation only works if you have enough people who know your work, making it really hard for someone just starting out. And even reputation isn't proof of quality. Some creators are popular because they make stuff people want, doesn't mean it's stuff that works well.

I think a lot of Disney stuff is downloaded - good or bad - because it IS Disney stuff. Not because it's good. There's a limited amount of Disney themed items so people tend to grab whatever they see.

I have very few TMT items downloaded. Most fit one of the categories above, I can't tell you myself which were made as you make your items, because frankly I have no way of knowing. There's only one piece I've even used much of in a park. Am I missing some great well-made objects? Sadly yes. But there isn't yet a system to divide the good from the bad...

At least for me the lag and problems I have with menus loading is a problem in the game, not because I have too many TMT items downloaded.

Much of what you seem to feel sounds much like how some felt when making custom scenery in RCT3. Haristess makes a great suggestion...create things for YOURSELF, not for others, make what YOU WANT. If you later decide to share what you made...fantastic! If not, fine, you'll still be happier just pleasing yourself.

So I don't think it's always a case of quality not being appreciated, I think it's more a case where quality isn't always easily recognized...
 
As Wagi has mentioned. there is no database, or tool to measure the quality of an item. theres no way to determine this in anyway.
Even the file size means nothing. I made an item, a week or so ago and the FBX shot up in size, simply because i had applied a texture to the objects material in 3dsmax.
i only found out because i was having issues getting the zip file to upload into the TMT. If i had made a smaller texture map, and did the same by applying that texture to the material, and exported everythign as an FBX, the file size would be bigger, than without the texture applied.
i can very easily see others doing the samething. So knowing the size of the FBX doesnt always ring true with the quality of the object.

I can also imagine people uploading 2048x2048 texture maps for small objects which again would lag the game.
Believe it or not, the poly count of objects in games today isnt always the critical factor. Its actually more so about the texture maps and their sizes. When you play a game and switch between graphical settings. most of them have nothing to do with how dense the models poly counts are. those settings merely apply additional texture maps, whether its bigger sized maps, to ambient occlusion etc etc.
The only texture map that interferes with a models poly count is a displacement map, and planet coaster doesnt use them. The displacement map basically tell the model to increase its poly count to add addition depth using said texture map, increasing its detail.
So just remember that the LOD's of models arnt always the reason behind why the game lags, but the heavy use of large unecessary texture maps such as 2048x2048.

I actually do think it would be useful if frontier could release a tool that would reverse engineer imported items, so that people can get an idea of what is goign on. if not to reverse engineer, then a tool that enables us to see statistics about said object ie:
The poly count of all 6 LOD's
The Tri count of all 6 LOD's
all the texture maps and their size.

Iam aware that cities skylines has a mod tool that feeds through all the installed mods within the game, and shows which mods have higher poly counts and texture maps applied.
Perhaps something similar could happen here.

The problem there is that Frontier isnt open to their game being open source like what cities skylines is, and therefore we're limited.


As i mentioned before, just make stuff that you want in your parks to enjoy for yourself, and ignore the demands and what the community wants. Make stuff the improves your own game, and gain satisfaction from what you make. when your happy with them and their finished, you can choose whether or not to put them onto the workshop for others to enjoy.

@wagi
Im having the same issues where menus take forever to load, and thats without any custom content. just the vanilla game.
it seems frontier needs to get that fixed, because i cant imagine what its like when you add all these custom content.
 
Can you explain why you have that opinion? It seems to me that you have a misunderstanding of this community and this forum.

Also, please read your private messages. It looks like there's something that you don't understand about how this forum works.
Hi Joel, My opinion stems from my experience with making assets for PC, never had this with any other game, or mod work i have done. while I do 3D for my own enjoyment, And I dont want or need people to says its cool, I feel a little underappreciated when I spend weeks on something and post it for the community and the first Ratings on all 8 items were 2 Negative ratings within the first few days, and this was the only ratings I had for the first 50 days (or so) I know its the internet and some people do these things. Im not sure how to say this part without breaking forum rules "remove the offending info if needed", but somebody requested a item for the park and I offered to make it for them and they basically bit my head of saying i had no idea what i was on about , which was very strange indeed if you read the conversation.
 
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another suggestion is to take screenshots of your model LOD Poly count and file sizes, and attach them to the steam workshop so people can see what their getting. :)
 

Joël

Volunteer Ambassador
Volunteer Moderator
Hi Joel, My opinion stems from my experience with making assets for PC, never had this with any other game, or mod work i have done. while I do 3D for my own enjoyment, And I dont want or need people to says its cool, I feel a little underappreciated when I spend weeks on something and post it for the community and the first Ratings on all 8 items were 2 Negative ratings within the first few days, and this was the only ratings I had for the first 50 days (or so) I know its the internet and some people do these things. Im not sure how to say this part without breaking forum rules "remove the offending info if needed", but somebody requested a item for the park and I offered to make it for them and they basically bit my head of saying i had no idea what i was on about , which was very strange indeed if you read the conversation.
Hi Asgaurd64,

Thank you for your reply. It's clear to me now, and what you are saying makes sense.

I can see why you, and others, can and do feel underappreciated when you get replies like you've mentioned. I also get that a large part of the community may not realise the work that goes into creating 3D models and TMT items for Planet Coaster.

Like you and others have said in this thread, it's not only the appearance that is important, but also the technical design, such as the polygon count, well-optimised LOD's and textures. Unfortunately, not everyone realises this, which in turn can be one of the reasons why community members may express their negative opinions about specific items, simply because they do not realise how much work and time it costs to make an item for the game in a way that it is both good looking, usable and also causing no (or minimal) negative impact on game performance.

I'm only not sure how finding another community for sharing TMT items is going to help in getting rid of these negative comments. There will always be people who share their feedback, whether it's based on facts and knowledge or their own opinion (or a combination of these).
 
There will always be people who share their feedback, whether it's based on facts and knowledge or their own opinion (or a combination of these).
Or trolls. Just giving bad reviews and ratings for the "fun" of it.

This has been a topic before, but about blueprints. People having bad or no reviews at all. But that's the way the Steam Workshop works unfortunately.
 
Its a shame you cant see who gives you bad reviews, and see if theres a trend.
but yes. thats not planet coaster's fault. thats the gaming community as a whole.
there are ways of avoiding this type of behavour, however that would mean not using steam and using your own platform, and unfortunately most gaming companies and publishers use steam.
I personally hate steam. it has its uses for storing game libraries virtually, but i hate how you have to have steam running in the background when playing your games, which for some users like myself with older pc's means a great deal of hate, given we want as much cpu and ram for our games not stuff running in the background. I just miss how games used to be, where your brought a game and that was the entire product. no dlc. i also miss how you had control over updating your games by simply going on the game website and downloading an update, and not having a situation where steam forces updates upon you, and sometimes cause issues.
i could go on and on, but unfortunately theresn othing you can do about dislike reviews on steam.

aslong as you make good content, then people will notice that, and will become loyal too you. all in all the like and dislike reviews dont mean much.

Personally i dont give a crap if i have bad reviews. i make content that improves my own game. what i like may not be what you like, and thats fine.
Im currently making an Alien scenery Set, and i can imagine that alot of people will dislike it, simply because they dont like alien stuff.
thats just life, no different to whether you make disney content. i dont like disney personally, but i simply wouldnt search for disney content and put them in my game.
 
Damn i need to take some time to read all this, and i will!

[content deleted from this post because of openly arguing about moderation, which is not allowed as per the Forum Rules and Guidelines]
 
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I needed a little time to cement my observations, but i think this is my final conclusion:


Quality, when it comes to TMTK items is not quite as appreciated as it should be, and please don't think i'm just observing on my own behalf, i actually would like to see more appreciation towards all the ones who create beautiful things, and with TMTK that certainly takes some skill in craftsmanship and the technical aspect of it.

But, the root of this might not be quite as obvious as it seems. People only can appreciate what they can relate to. That's why if you look at a Blueprint item, you will find there are often multiple pages with appreciative and thankful comments from subscribers. It's because they know it's not so easy to make a good looking creative Blueprint, most of them tried to make their own, so they know the work and imagination that needs to be involved and applied.

With TMTK, hardly any casual player knows it takes days, often weeks to find a performant workflow and how much effort and trial and error it takes to not just make an item, but how it's even harder to not create unecessarily big files. Balancing between performance and optical quality, texel conformity and especially homogenous shapes is an art in itself. It often takes years to even know what you're doing and how to apply such experience. In game design, only senior level artists with years of experience are able to make
complicated assets, on junior level you usually are tasked with the simpler assets, which are still hard to make.

So i think there are two mistakes that can be alleviated if we put our attention towards it.

Number one: Educating the community a little more about the differences between classic Blueprints and TMTK assets.

Number two: Building a kind of Quality Assurance mechanic so people lose their skepticism towards user generated content.

If we work on these two issues, i think the Community and TMTK culture might become a lot healthier and positive than it is today.

I also think the YT channels who are promoting Blueprints or rather showcasing them should make more of an effort, and in a neutral manner,
to help support this culture. And don't forget. What we do with the TMTK will also affect PZ's custom asset policy in one way or another, which i'm sure will be a delicate
topic for FDev, as they have to somehow push their own agenda through without one having a negative influence on the other.


All sides should make an effort here to make the Toolkit more reliable, usable and future proof.
I think by now some of us have made so many experiences with
working with the toolkit, we could actually be very helpful in the further development of it.

It really took me a while to be able to write this comprehensively and from a neutral standpoint
(as much as i can, i know i have an ego, and i'm, sure not an easy one to be around)
But i'm willing to make the effort.
 
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