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15.04.2024 14:17

Yeah I agree on the "multiple channels" being overkill, in fact even the hugely extended schedule of TVTower feels like quite a lot to fill compared to only dealing with 7 hours in the original. :-)

In MadTV 2 (which has to be one of the buggiest games ever created) having multiple channels felt like overkill, as did several of the other things they added there.  I rather agree on going back to the "tower" mechanic of the original.

15.04.2024 01:01

> Not sure I really agree with the sandbox thing.  I like to feel that a game sets me a clear win challenge I can't just easily change.

I mostly meant having a lot of options and parameters to choose from before you start a game, which will then apply to every player and opponent. I didn't mean "cheating" (though of course it's already possible today to edit your savegames).

It's also about (if we get more developers) adding new features which might be controversial, because so many "clones" got Mad TV wrong, and took it into the wrong direction. So it may be difficult to pinpoint what exactly makes or breaks this game. So maybe these features should be optional, that's what I meant with sandbox.

For example, there is a feature request to have the ability to manage more than one channel, have niche channels, etc... I personally believe this is overkill, but maybe I'm wrong. Maybe some developer will implement it anyway. But I would propose this to be an optional feature at first, one of many sandbox options, and if most players like it, only then it may become a default.

14.04.2024 07:44

It may well be, that the technical interpretation of speed/pacing already is as described - the higher the better for any genre. But for an action movie, a high value is more important than for a drama (genre weight for the attribute).
The database definitions already provide several tweaks for changing the overall outcome. Adding more and more of such modifiers will make things more complicated!

Being able to edit does not mean you have to, so I don't see a general problem. If you do not want to "cheat", just don't.
There is VERY much that can be configured already and I would not extract more from the code immediately. Being able to configure something does not imply that the configuration is interpreted correctly (as intended).

In the last build, the developer mode was activated by default. You can turn it off in a running game (chat command /dev devkeys 0), for new games change the DEV_KEYS value in DEV.xml.

13.04.2024 19:01

Not sure I really agree with the sandbox thing.  I like to feel that a game sets me a clear win challenge I can't just easily change.  Somehow being able to edit everything easily takes some of the fun out of it.  I'd remove all the built-in dev stuff that the game has now and put it in a special build, actually.

13.04.2024 17:24

> Where did the original MadTV have "speed"?

Ok I just checked MadTV again, I might have misremembered that one. When I first played TVTower I definitely thought the "Tempo" (in German) rating wasn't "new", maybe I saw it in one of the other clones.

> High speed/pace may important for an action movie

Fine, but what about the other genres? That's why I find it "unbalanced" and a feature that is not fleshed out when there is an attribute that only affects more or less one genre. Also, what does pacing mean, really? How "fast" the story is told? In this case, it might be a quality criteria ("Der Film hat einige Längen.") that applies to other genres as well. But on the other hand, the story might be told "slowly" on purpose to focus more on other things. Or does it mean the number of cuts? In that case, "many", doesn't mean "good", even for teenagers, see e.g. see https://youtu.be/4GDPNK_da7U

Hence I came to interpret the parameter as "how *right* the pacing is" (not how *fast*), and this *will* coincide more or less if the average consumer will find it "good" and have the gut feeling they like the movie or not.

> It would make things more complicated (and not necessarily better) to specify which target group finds which attribute more important

I think it will make it better because the audience results still look a bit formulaic today and not "organic". It's already better with the sub-genres but it's still not quite there yet. More parameters will help with that. But it's for the long-term. I think the game should eventually be more sandbox-like and very configurable, "freeciv"-style.

> "critics" is "sophistication for dramas" more or less, already

Also not necessarily the case. A sophisticated drama with low critics rating might mean it's pretentious, or it doesn't fit into the "zeitgeist", but it still might find its audience.

> I'd randomize all those values completely when starting a new game.

A bit randomization is ok, as it is already implemented today, but *completely* doesn't make much sense (but sure, could be configurable like that one day), I think there are a lot of players that play this for nostalgia and to "relive" the past, and some are film buffs that do actually care about these things.

> there will be never-ending discussions if the critics rating for movie X is 45 or 47

I personally try to survey the values as objectively as possible. I'd like to minimize the subjective impact of individual contributors. Ideally, there would be fields for imdb_rating, rotten_tomatoes_critics, rotten_tomatoes_audience, metacritic_metascore, metacritic_userscore, wikipedia_box_office and so on, and the program would "translate" these into the overall ratings with certain (optionally configurable) weighing formulas applied.

08.04.2024 18:32

I just had a look at https://www.myabandonware.com/game/mad-tv-176/play-176
In the original there seem to have been different attributes depending on the genre. I guess speed/critics/outcome were chosen as unified set to be used for all genres. As to who made that choice when for what exact reason... I cannot say.

08.04.2024 18:20

OK so it seems like the correct term would be "the pacing of a movie" in English then.  Bit of a weird metric to use if you ask me but ok.  When you say it was in the original Mad TV was it in the source code or in the UI somewhere?

08.04.2024 18:12

None of the single attributes of a movie description corresponds to "rating by average person" / "popcorn rating". And I don't think such a single attribute should exist at all! Well, unless you want to eliminate all attributes and use a rating between 0 and 100 as single indicator of how attractive a movie is no matter which genre/target group.

All attributes have a different importance (weight) for different genres (and different genres have a different attractivity for target groups). Just to give an example: High speed/pace may important for an action movie - what critics say about it is less important for the movie to be attractive. For a drama the pace is way less important, but without a good critics rating fewer will want to watch it.

It would make things more complicated (and not necessarily better) to specify which target group finds which attribute more important (e.g. for teenagers a high pace is the only relevant aspect whereas pensioners abhor more than minimal pace but require high critics rating) - possibly even genre specific. "critics" is "sophistication for dramas" more or less, already. Again, introducing more criteria will not make things better.

To put it bluntly, I'd randomize all those values completely when starting a new game. You should not care whether the database value for any of the attributes is in any way realistic - there will be never-ending discussions if the critics rating for movie X is 45 or 47, anyway. When playing, you should develop a feeling for which combinations work well for which target group/genre/time to plan your programme.

08.04.2024 16:41

Where did the original MadTV have "speed"?  I've only seen it refer to "critics" and "box office" rating, or in German, "Kritik" and "Kinokasse".

08.04.2024 16:27

The reason the "speed" rating exists is simply because Mad TV had it too.

Even with the same term (Mad TV's English translation was even worse, arguably laugh).

There are still a lot of things that have to be fleshed out better, and this is one of them.

I guess *either* "speed" should be repurposed in the long term to mean the "popcorn" rating (some entries already handle it like that), *or*, because actual *pacing* (nevermind being something very subjective and hard to define exactly) is very specific and should have an effect on individual genres and target audiences, there would need to be other criteria too (like depth or sophistication for dramas, accessibility, i.e. if the film is understandable by children, and so on).

08.04.2024 15:36

I still don't really understand "pace" either... what is it supposed to indicate?  I wouldn't say the "pace" of a film is the same thing as "how the average person rates the film".

08.04.2024 15:31

The database meaning of "speed" is indeed not the rating or the quality. This terminology issue was raised somewhere else already. It is a translation error and "pace" would be more accurate. (The overall quality/rating is a combination of speed, outcome, critics and topicality.)

For a consistent use in source code, database, saved games etc. we will probably not change that soon. I.e. database xml files will not be changed.

However, we could fix the translation for the game's movie descriptions. Feel free to open an issue or a pull request.

08.04.2024 00:32

All movie descriptions have a "Speed" rating (which doesn't seem to be a mistranslation into English; it's the same kind of word in all the languages) which seems to describe how the "average person" would rate the movie.  Is this term "Speed" common in German to mean this?  Because in English it's odd to call it "Speed" instead of "Quality" or "Rating".