Path tool improvements

1. Give us access to the "path edge":

Make path edges into "active elements". Objects should be able to snap to them. We should also be able to select a path edge "from point A to B" and apply an object to it. Here are some possible use cases:

-snap food stalls and other buildings directly to the path
-snap little alcoves/niches to the path (basically making the path wider) with benches and trash bins
-select an edge from A to B and snap a flower bed to it
-select an edge from A to B and snap a fence to it

Flower beds should only contain the soil, but you can use paint-brush-like tools to fill them with flowers. Also, their outer edge should also be selectable so we can snap a flower bed onto a path and then a fence onto the flower bed.

For fences, let us define "pillar type", "average pillar spacing" and the actual "fence type" in between the pillars. This should then be automatically applied to a selected edge from point A to B.

2. Allow us to draw polygons (probably only convex) and declare them as plazas:

Plazas can basically be used as paths by peeps, but to the game engine they are mere path edges. You can snap objects to their perimeter as described under (1). Also, within their surface area plazas can contain a multitude of objects. However, these need to always have a certain minimum distance between each other as well as towards the plaza perimeter. This is to ensure that a plaza is basically a completely walkable surface with only small obstacles in its center. Thus, creating "mazes" with these objects would be prohibited to make pathfinding easier.

Possible placeble plaza objects:

-active: benches and tables
-active: small playground areas and water splash zones
-active: some types of fountains (like a wishing well or the Trevi fountain with a dedicated animation)
-active: ice cream vendors and other "movable" food stalls.
-active: animatronics
-active: facades that people can take photos with
-passive: regular fountains
-passive: flower beds
-passive: patches of grass (that can be decorated with trees and other scenery)

3. Give us the option to declare building floor tiles as pathways:

-it should be possible to mark on-grid walls as actual obstacles so people don't pass through them
-this would make it much easier to create buildings that aren't just a facade but can actually be used by people
-this would allow to integrate stairs and elevators into this new path system for buildings

4. Also, give us a path selection tool for certain in-game purposes:

-allow us to assign staff to certain areas of the park
-allow us to define points of interest (not on the path) and a viewing zone (on the path). People could then stop, admire the scenery or event and maybe also take some photos. People could then finally appropriately admire your landscaping capabilities or fully enjoy an event like a fireworks/laser/fountain show while also looking in the right direction.
 
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> -select an edge from A to B and snap a fence to it

I'd rather have the type of fencing, if any, be selectable when you edit the path. Just like you put chains on the rollercoaster.
Elevated walkways already have fencing, which should be able to be replaced with something else, e.g. wood railing.

Also I would like to add, when building elevated walkways, the support type should also be selectable, like for example wooden scaffoldings or stone pillars.
 
> -select an edge from A to B and snap a fence to it

I'd rather have the type of fencing, if any, be selectable when you edit the path. Just like you put chains on the rollercoaster.
Elevated walkways already have fencing, which should be able to be replaced with something else, e.g. wood railing.

Also I would like to add, when building elevated walkways, the support type should also be selectable, like for example wooden scaffoldings or stone pillars.
For regular paths my method would allow to add decoration afterwards. You wouldn't need to have a finalised theming concept while initially laying down your road network or rip out all the roads just to add them back in with a new fence style in the middle of a running park. Also, you could probably remove decorations much easier by simply selecting the edge segment again and getting a "bulldoze decoration" button.

I haven't thought about elevated paths, yet. You would have railings instead of fences on them anyway. I think the type of railing and the support structure should be part of the path type. Maybe, to allow greater freedom, it could be allowed to assemble custom path types by picking "floor cover", "railing" and "support construction" from existing paths. With this you could achieve every possible combination of existing assets.
 
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I just got an idea; why not have a path "painter"? Instead of a linear tool, have a free form path tool that automatically attaches to preexisting paths, allowing for customizable plazas.
 
That's basically a matter of preference. A brush-based path tool would definitely be more powerful on the ground. In the air, however, it would still need to be supplemented by a spline-based system. In the end, you'd have a conglomerate of two systems (still possible) that only slightly increases your freedom.

Personally I prefer to give almost complete freedom while still maintaining a good amount of structure. Keeping paths spline-based and plazas polygonal allows for much easier pathfinding. With the amount of work that Frontier already put into the guest AI I would be highly surprised if swapping out the complete path system were that easy.
 
+1

The game is missing this, currently plazas are impossible as you're only limited to the standard path, which even still is rare in non-rct theme parks...
 
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