Park Flow

I'm not sure how to best describe this concept, but a lot of games I've seen in the park builder genre usually don't really think that hard about how people move through the park. In most of the videos I watch of people playing said games, however, you can see that it's something players usually take into consideration when building their parks. I recall seeing a parkitect video once where they show off the feature where you can track where a guest has gone in your park, and it's this strange sadistic pattern of running back and forth across the park to hit up two or three rides, which generally isn't how people go about enjoying theme parks in real life. It would be nice to see some consideration given to how people plan out their trips and their day. This would make park layout a bigger concern in the game, where you want to encourage people to move through in a natural way to get the maximum coverage for your rides, shops and attractions.

I think this could be accomplished in a number of ways. You could have groups and families have a present path that they come in expecting to follow. They may deviate if something they want is close by (like if they're hungry or need to use the bathroom), but otherwise will stick to that path during the day until they run out of money. Other possibilities are a bit more complex. People have mentioned implementing things like fast passes, which would direct guests back to an attraction at certain times. Other possibilities might include time tracking in the game and having certain rides, stalls, and attractions have peak times. People would eat breakfast, lunch, and dinner around certain peak times, which could be accomplished by modifying the hunger rates of guests when they enter the park so that people are getting hungry in certain ranges. Water rides like Log Flumes could be more popular during midday and afternoon hours. If you have shows or parades, people may flock to those at specific times (I know Disney uses the parades and fireworks to get everybody onto main street and headed towards the exit at the end of the day). And all of this could have an impact on park performance. A poorly planned out park might get congestion on the paths, slowing down guests and reducing the number of rides they can get to in a day. It could cause massive lines for certain rides and events, causing guests to simply not bother with that ride because of its popularity. Or forcing people to move across the park for certain needs may just waste time.

But all of this would contribute to players putting together a design that gets guests to move through the park smoothly. You could even implement a "standing" stat that determines how much time a guests spends on their feet vs at attractions. It may be harder to please a guest if they spend a lot of time walking between attractions rather than one rides.
 
I like some of your ideas, but I feel if this were to occur then the game would have to follow a more accurate time schedule. IRL people dont wait days/weeks in a line for a ride. Also how much money can a guest spend, what happens when we add ATMs. The AI just cant be programmed to that degree without it taking a loooong time and delaying the release of the game.

Guests will probably have "favorite" or preferred rides when the game is complete, so if one group of guests prefers coasters they will go to them. If its little kids, they want less intense rides. So if you want to place a small ride near a big ride, then it might cause the current AI system to behave sporadically, or less realistic. I think for this game the ideal way to organize your park would be to have all the kids rides in one area, and intense rides together in another. There may also be some form of advertising (like in RCT3?) which could also change guest behaviors.
However, Frontier already stated they are working on this aspect of guest movement in a highly complex way so hopefully with the next version of the alpha we will see that improve.

I really hope we can do shows/parades but that has not been confirmed as far as I know *crosses fingers*

What I want is picnic areas, open fields with blankets, stuff like that!
 
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I like some of your ideas, but I feel if this were to occur then the game would have to follow a more accurate time schedule. IRL people dont wait days/weeks in a line for a ride. Also how much money can a guest spend, what happens whe...........!
+1 for Creaper [up]
 
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There are already requests for more accurate time tracking. No matter what you do, though, the scaling will never be the same as real life. Plus at the moment, time has very little effect on the gameplay apart from being annoying when it changes to night while you're building. Would be nice if it actually had some impact on gameplay.

As for the complexity, you mention wanting open fields and areas, but the devs have already stated that sort of thing would be too complex to add to the game since it would require major changes (possibly a total overhaul) to the pathfinding system. I think ultimately, your idea is more complex and problematic on the programming side than what I'm suggesting which just builds on existing systems. From the sound of things, despite the demand, it's looking very unlikely that we'll be seeing open areas, functional restaurants and shops in this game.
 
There are already requests for more accurate time tracking. No matter what you do, though, the scaling will never be the same as real life. Plus at the moment, time has very little effect on the gameplay apart from being annoying when it changes to night while you're building. Would be nice if it actually had some impact on gameplay.
I agree with you here, completely.

As for open areas, I never heard this wasn't possible, I don't know why it wouldn't be. I'm not talking about HUUUUGE fields covering the whole map, I just mean a small little area. I actually thought they said they are working on shop/restaurant facilities with benches etc.
 
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I think the smartest solution to this problem would be to give each group of guests not just one thing they want to do, but a small list, like 3 to 5 options, and they would accomplish the nearest ones to themselves first. This would at least stop guests from zigzagging across the entire park because they picked one ride at random and want to do nothing but that.
 
I think the smartest solution to this problem would be to give each group of guests not just one thing they want to do, but a small list, like 3 to 5 options, and they would accomplish the nearest ones to themselves first. This would at least stop guests from zigzagging across the entire park because they picked one ride at random and want to do nothing but that.
This is a good idea
 
I agree on the thought of how a family would rather follow a route instead of zig zag all over the place. Just think how you plan your day in a big Theme Park like Disneyland. You would stay in a certain area for a while and try out all rides, shops, restaurant and facilities in that area before going on to the next themed area.

Talk about a ineffective way of spending your time in a park zigzagging all over the whole day. Poor peeps. [shocked]
 
The problem with people establishing a route as they go in is that this is a building game, where the park layout can be massively changed on the spot. Having their path pre-determined simply isn't an option.
 
As for open areas, I never heard this wasn't possible, I don't know why it wouldn't be. I'm not talking about HUUUUGE fields covering the whole map, I just mean a small little area. I actually thought they said they are working on shop/restaurant facilities with benches etc.
Except how are you going to limit the size in a freeform editor? You really can't, and you know that SOMEBODY will end up wanting massive fields and open courtyards for their parks, or someone will build a park that's all restaurants simply because they can. They aren't going to implement something that will make user experiences hardware specific. I forget the thread, but there was some mention of the devs claiming adding open areas would be problematic due to it requiring a totally different and more complex pathing system which would add too much overhead to calculating guest movement.

As for Salmonman's claims about this not being an option, why not? Nobody said the path had to be so restrictive it couldn't change as the park evolves. I'm not talking about a specific path that all families follow, it's more along the lines you were talking about where you have several preferred attractions and the families visit them in a more logical order based on park layout. Basically, I'm talking about a system similar to how google maps works. Mostly people know what their preferred rides are going to be going in. So when you enter the park, (or maybe make it specific to buying a map) it charts out the best possible path to hit all those attractions and loop back to the entrance/exit. Things like shops, food, benches, trash cans, and restrooms would be impulse areas and would change the proposed path, kind of like getting off the freeway to get gas with google maps. If a new ride is added while a family is at the park, they may change the remainder of their path to reflect a desire to ride it. This may cause some congestion as guests alter their routes to include the new ride, but that's not all that irregular for real parks. Overall, though, it would make the flow more natural and could play into placement for shops, food, restrooms and such because you don't want to force people to go across the park for impulse decisions. Design your park well, and it'll be easier for them to plan trips that loop them around the park and back to the exit without wasting as much time walking. That's totally within the realm of possibility and could reduce some of the calculations required for pathing since most of it wouldn't be on the fly.
 
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