Need Your Input - Shows!

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Need Your Input - Shows!

Post  Aislynn on Sun May 08, 2011 10:29 pm

So - I need your input on something. I'll soon be tackling a re-tune of the shows and a possible re-tune of the way show scores are calculated. I know I'm going to switch it so a cat's score is calculated upon entry to the show rather than when the show runs, but I need an opinion on something before I proceed.

How did you find the old show system ran?
Did the cats level too fast? Too slow?
Did the cats title too fast? Too slow? Where exactly was it too fast or too slow?
Was there a specific spot where they'd get "stuck" in either level or title?
Did they level too fast in the beginning and then slow down or vice versa?
Did they reach the title cap too easily or did it take too long to get there?

What I'm trying to discern is where additional work might need to be done. If I need to rework the amount of ribbons needed to gain each title or how much experience a cat gets based on placement in a show or how much experience is needed per level.

Any thoughts on what you remember from your time showing cats on the game is appreciated - it'll help me figure where the most work is needed. I know for a fact there was a certain range of titles where cats used to get stuck for weeks and the sheer amount of entries would drive down the experience they were getting - it led to them getting trapped there longer as they couldn't get much experience to level or gain stat boosts to get a higher placement.

Thanks for any input!
- Aislynn

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Re: Need Your Input - Shows!

Post  Draf on Fri May 13, 2011 4:26 pm

The first title you earn takes forever, and the second took a while, too, though not nearly as long as the first. I think there was also a crazy delay at AMa.
I can't really remember all the titles, but there are a few more aggravating ones...

The leveling seemed to go okay. The only thing that bothered me about leveling was frequently there would be 150 or more shows in one title but then the default number in half the titles. So sometimes I'd get a pair that ended up at lower levels than their parents because no one was making shows for their titles. I actually stopped playing because it was so frustrating having my work undone due to dumb luck. So, uh, maybe introduce a cap to how many shows could be hosted per title until a certain number of other titles reach 60 shows?

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Re: Need Your Input - Shows!

Post  Eltafez on Fri May 13, 2011 4:59 pm

The old show system (mostly) worked fine for me, but that's the dedicated breeder in me talking. xD

Like Draf said, the first couple of titles take forever to get through-- if it's a store-bought cat that's entering. Kittens of high-leveled parents pass them easily enough. The block is when, again as Draf mentioned, the cats are entered in the higher-titled shows. Because so many players are struggling in Beginner and such, titles of Champion and higher get neglected. Thus making players with high-titled cats struggle to gain more levels, thus falling back and not surpassing the parents' levels and titles.
Note: with "high level", I mean levels over 30.

Before CT got into remodeling, I made a small user-based system wherein volunteering players got assigned a title to create shows for. It worked pretty well until some users left (on a hiatus?) After that, my improvised system went down the drain and some of the dedicated breeders (including myself) got back into the habit of creating shows to complement our cats' titles.

Edit: I agree with Draf yet again. 20 system-made shows just don't cut it, especially when upgraded members get almost double the maximum entries that non-upgraded members have (60 versus 35)...
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Finally lol X)

Post  Endless on Fri May 13, 2011 9:19 pm

Playing on and off for 5 years, this was one of the aspects that always drew me away from the game. As such, here's my reply to this post:

How did you find the old show system ran? The first titles were a breeze... once you had a few generations into your lines lol Seeing as we still don't have litter picking, you always had to buy a store cat for you to be able to continue your line, which was outcrossing taken to an extreme. I tried once to run a few lines of Blues and it just turned me off once breeding came around, ended up with 6 females. I was NOT going to get 6 store males at that time and that was one of the times I left the game. XD Anyway, those store cats would sit in that first title sometimes for a month or more, depending on whether high generation cats were competing.


Did the cats level too fast? Too slow? Now here's where it gets interesting lol At first, higher gen cats leveled up faster because there were many cats competing (see store cats) and thus, they were getting more points as they had higher stats. However, once they caught up to better/on par cats, their leveling drastically reduced as all of the cats were fighting for same three spots. In such, higher leveled cats were constantly winning and until they moved onto the next title, high gen cats were stuck leveling wise. In a twist of irony though, store cats would in the end get up to the same if not higher levels than higher gen cats because they were competing on a friendly level (see lower titles). I don't know how many times my store cats would get higher leveled than my gen cats and I'd just be like ".........." It's not that I didn't want that to happen. XD It's just that, in theory, it shouldn't have been possible because well, what's the point in continuing a line if a store cat can beat out a multi gen in levels? Titles really meant nothing since all that factored in was levels in breeding lol Anyway, if I had to look into what title took the longest to pass, be it store or multi gen, AJN took the cake.


Did the cats title too fast? Too slow? Where exactly was it too fast or too slow? I think I've covered this in my previous ramblings. XD


Was there a specific spot where they'd get "stuck" in either level or title? Again, I'll point out AJN lol After that... well, any of the higher titles above CH. Because of the slow leveling and thus title gains, once you got higher than CH your cat was around retiring age, and if you were obsessive about showing, they'd be around SACH or such (I'm trying to remember the higher titles {higher than GCH}) before retiring. In five years of the game being open, I have never seen a cat with the top title you can achieve, even when we had an amazing amount of players and people showing (the days of Cava, Acey, etc...).


Did they level too fast in the beginning and then slow down or vice versa? Covered this too lol


Did they reach the title cap too easily or did it take too long to get there? Again, five years and not one single cat has ever achieved the top title. That's a bit much lol

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Re: Need Your Input - Shows!

Post  Aislynn on Fri May 13, 2011 9:52 pm

Much thanks for all the input so far guys - it's really quite helpful. Honestly any little thing like that you can remember about the shows will help me revamp the show scoring.

Things I intend to do:
- raise the amount of official shows (possibly to 30 at least?)
- introduce some kind of cap to the amount of shows that can be created per title.
The only issue I see with a strict cap is that some will take advantage of this and try to be the first to make the shows in the higher-entry titles with the highest entry fee possible to make money. This might put off beginning players who don't have the money to pay for this.
On the opposite end of the spectrum some may go to make shows for the titles they want and, seeing them already capped, not bother to make anymore in other titles.
In order to try to combat this I will add:
- A listing of which show titles have the lowest amount of created shows (top 10 maybe) at the top of the Host Show page. There is a Show numbers page which you can go to to view how many shows have been created for a particular day in advance. However this additional top 10 will only show the titles in need for the following show day.

The show formula is likely to be updated. I'm going to have to try to figure out how to fix these issues and it's going to take some serious thought.

Some things that'll affect a cat's show score:
- Conformation Ratings
These already play a role but I'm waffling about whether to make the boosts they give higher or to perhaps make it easier to maintain in the higher levels. I noticed the range of "average" gets bigger as the cats gain a higher level and it thus makes it a bit harder to push them into a spot where they get a boost (you only get boosts for being Superb+).
I can make the range smaller, though this is dual edged - it makes it easier for cats to fall into the Poor and below range. And Poor and below provides a negative to any boosts (so it can negate a Superb/Wonderful if the cat has a Poor or two, as well.)
I suppose any thoughts on this would be good, too - not sure how many people paid strict attention to keeping their ratings up.
- Happiness, Training and Grooming and being Fed
Simple stuff.
- Possible an extra random boost TBD.

As it is I am working on breeding now and that's a task unto itself. Heh. I'm adding kittens and litters in, as well, so that'll make maintaining lines a lot easier.

Keep suggestions rolling in, please!

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Re: Need Your Input - Shows!

Post  Eltafez on Sat May 14, 2011 8:33 am

Most breeders boost the weakest stat of a cat and don't really pay attention to the ranges... I don't know about the cut though.

A lot of kittens' stats (if not all) fall in the range of Poor immediately after their birth. Six days after that, when they get to enter shows, most of their stats should have reached Average (if the breeder uses the boost method I mentioned earlier), in which they get stuck for a long time unless the breeder switches the boost technique to focusing on one stat only until it reaches Superb. If the cat is a quick leveller, however, the ranges of the stats might get pushed back a little/a lot - depending on the other cats' stats in that level. In that case, the stats with Superb fall back to Average, and those of Average either stay Average or fall back to Poor.

I think in most cases I've seen level 40+ cats with Wonderful stats, so I'm guessing the common range of levels for Superb is around 30-ish? I don't know the exact scores, or I would've provided you with the average points for each range.

I do recall seeing several retired (high) levelled cats with all stats Perfect, even though those must've been Superb/Wonderful when they were still active in the show world. Which poses my following question: do retired cats' stats count toward the conformation ranges, and are they affected?
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Re: Need Your Input - Shows!

Post  Aislynn on Sat May 14, 2011 10:14 am

Kittens (Aged below 8 days) have Conformation Ratings compared against other kittens only - they aren't included in the ratings for older cats and vice versa.

Cats who are retired or 120 days or older are not included in current conformation ratings.

Cats are only compared against average stats of those who are the same level. At first I was going to make it the same breed AND the same level, though this would provide a lot of Perfections to rarer breeds who may only have 1 cat at a certain level - so it's ALL breeds at whatever level the cat is.

The older retired cats with Perfections are being compared against current ratings - there obviously are not any other cats at that level so it lists as Perfection.

I think I may put on a list of things to do to make it so the code captures the current averages when a cat retires so it maintains those conformation ratings forever. It would be difficult to retroactively do this for already retired cats, though - they may just end up listing as Perfection.

Either that or I may simplify it and have retired cats not show Conformation Ratings at all - it doesn't really have much baring on a retired cat and the calculations of the Ratings are the most DB intensive thing on the Cat Lookup page.

But anyhow!

Yes - Conformation Ratings will be more integral and I'm hoping I can find a way to smooth it a bit so it actually works how I wanted it to when I first released it. Either I'll have to shrink the range somewhere (make it easier to shift between the different ratings - both bad and good) or make it so there isn't as much of a negative when reaching a Poor rating or something.

I also have to wonder how many seconds it took to load the old Cat Lookups on average?

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Re: Need Your Input - Shows!

Post  Eltafez on Sat May 14, 2011 11:20 am

I agree with retired cats not needing ratings. You can't do anything with them anymore, anyway.

Also, the latter suggestion seems good - not too much of a negative in the Poor range. ^^

For the old Cat Lookups, my browser (Firefox) needed 5-8 seconds to load everything. IE needed 10 or more, which is why I switched to FF in the first place. Speaking of which, my inventory is a snail to load. Would it be possible to have an option to compress the items or something? Firefox loaded my page in 16+ seconds...
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Re: Need Your Input - Shows!

Post  Aislynn on Sat May 14, 2011 2:11 pm

Hm. I've been unable to really accurately test an exact time but I'm estimating my re-coded version of Cat Lookups takes like 2 seconds.

This includes a cat with Conformation Ratings (which as I said is the most DB intensive thing as it gathers averages on things.) Once the site re-opens I can have users gauge the speed of things. If it turns out to be an issue I have a way which will speed up Conformation Ratings but make them slightly less accurate.

Also I have yet to get to the Inventory/Items code but I believe that's on the list after breeding and shows. It may be that the code itself is extremely old and not very optimized. Likely when I re-code it will improve the speed substantially to a mere fraction of that (likely 1-2 seconds at max).

Also I was pondering switching to have it compress the items so multiples will not show. IE If you had 10 Chicken and Veggies Pouches it'd just show the image once and show you as having 10 of them. This would reduce on screen scroll, too.

If anyone can think of another area that could use improvement in either speed or useability - now is the time to mention it!

I could still use any ideas/suggestions on show and show scoring or things relating to that.

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Re: Need Your Input - Shows!

Post  Spyder on Sat May 14, 2011 3:08 pm

Of Topic:

What I personalty don't like is that you have to enter your cat in 30 Shows. Thats lots of clicking & time. I recently joined another sim that you only have to do 1 show & you have different shows agility, ratting, conf, ect. Yes; cats can do that all realistic. Its called Ailo.

Its hard to show cats. I think 10 shows & 20 shows for prems sounds more beter. cats stats going up the same they did with 10 shows > 30 shows.

I am still thinking about joining back. Even if I do this time I will have no more then 10 cats.


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Re: Need Your Input - Shows!

Post  Aislynn on Sat May 14, 2011 3:51 pm

That's just the way the game is - competing with cats = a lot of clicking. If you find it's too much time then don't have so many cats - that's all I can say. I won't be lowering the number of shows people can enter.

I will probably consider adding a feature that can be bought with CTC that will allow people to enter cats in shows using checkboxes - still requires some clicking but less intensive.

My only fear is that once showing becomes simple then interest will be lost in the game - it will be boring.

Cat Agility /is/ on my list of upgrades to the site, though it's such a major upgrade that it may have to wait til after we re-open. It won't be the same as the conformation showing, either. Different stats, different strategies, etc. I want to make it fun and a different challenge. That'll fill any void left by the showing turning too easy. I won't say anything else on this, however! It's a surprise.

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Re: Need Your Input - Shows!

Post  Spyder on Sat May 14, 2011 4:34 pm

The game won't lose interest. The game Ailo I play has lots of Care features. CT does not even have vaccinations or some realism to it. I sometimes wonder what is the key point in CT? What are you looking to focus on? My only problem is its not realistic.

As for Agility I don't think its very fair for only upgrades get it there would then be no point...


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Re: Need Your Input - Shows!

Post  Eltafez on Sat May 14, 2011 4:57 pm

I like your checkbox idea. It's a combination of the "enter all" button (which was a pretty intense subject) and the traditional way (link clicking).
Eg: There are 30 shows and 3 ways to enter them.
1) Individual link clicking. Including the "Back" link, the total of clicks is 60 per cat.
2) Link clicking with quick tabs. Total of 30 clicks per cat. Including the "Close Other Tabs" of some browsers: 32.
3) Checkbox idea. That's 30 clicks per cat. Including the button to enter: 31.

Showing /is/ easy. One just has to stop being lazy and find the most convenient/fun way. And, as Ais pointed out earlier, don't take more cats than you can handle. You'll end up neglecting those pixels.

Spyder - Cat Tails is a cat /showing/ sim. The main focus of the game is to level your cats as high as possible. And whoever said Cat Agility was for the upgraded member? When Aislynn said upgrade, she meant feature. Cat Agility is a new feature to the site, the idea being introduced a few months before CT's downtime.
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Re: Need Your Input - Shows!

Post  Aislynn on Sat May 14, 2011 6:34 pm

The checkboxes may also have a "check all" feature ... but I am not 100% sure if that will be added in so don't quote me on it. xD The checkboxes are definite possibility as a feature you get when you use CTC.

Also - yes, Cat Agility would be for the whole site and not just for upgraded members. Sorry for the confusion.

And I'm all for realism, though there's a point when realism may need to be blurred or ignored to make for better playability. Cat Tails is focused on showing, levelling and genetics. It's realism sort of shifted to make it a better game.

In the beginning I did consider adding vaccinations but decided against it. Why? It was just another tedious thing that would need to be done every month without any real bearing on the show system. Cats are assumed to already be vaccinated on Cat Tails just to save that extra step.

I sort of envision Cat Tails to really be sort of like a "virtual cattery" you can run - it focuses on the show world. The jobs are all focused on things actual owners of purebred cats would be skilled in -breeding, training, grooming, handling and show judging. Veterinary medicine just seemed like something completely unnecessary.

And there's some point where realism can interfere with game play - I remember one sim where the male and females had to be in a particular correct mood or temperament to be able to breed without fighting. Then if they fought they'd get injured and you'd have to heal them at the vet office. It really turned me off to the game. Realistic but ... perhaps a bit too realistic.

If I was really quite keen on realism I'd introduce the Manx tail gene and the Scottish Fold ear gene in their true forms - double dominants don't survive to birth. Smaller litter sizes would ensue and there'd have to be some Manx or Scottish Fold with tails/normal ears for breeders to maintain lines. But in the real world these cats cannot be shown because they don't meet the breed standard - a conundrum to work this out into gameplay that's fun and not just annoying. A reason why I didn't include it in CT.

To make a long story short - I try to add as much realism as I can while still keeping it realistic in a gameplay sense. Smile Having a game that's 100 percent realistic can be a bit tedious after a while.

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Re: Need Your Input - Shows!

Post  Spyder on Sat May 14, 2011 8:46 pm

Cheek boxes are an interesting idea. I would buy something like that if I get comited to CT. So far I have not. I also think its just an easy was out that I why I thin[/b]k 10-20 shows is a beter Idea.

Oh sorry; misunderstanding then. Huinting is also an interesting idea. Maybe it could be Hunting instead of agility?

Yes I understand not everything can be that realistic. Even so I just don't like that there is no Genetic System. What I mean is... Test cat for disorder & such. I think there should be something that should be considered?

I get where your coming from. I also think it won't be hard to click a few time a month to vaccinate the cat.

There is a point were things get to realistic & that can turn you of a sim. Though now a days sims are geting more & more realistic. What was the name of this sims?


I see where that comes from.

100% is pushing. Maybe 60-70% is a good number to round up on...

A few things I hate about CT:
Very Immature Community; I had so many messages of can I get your cat, money, ect!
Some What not realistic
Inactive community
Inactive owner (I am sorry but ever since I joined back like 4-5 years ago you have never gave an update one the site till now...

-- I think there should be at-least a 12 year age policy. I do prefer 13... but...

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Re: Need Your Input - Shows!

Post  Eltafez on Sun May 15, 2011 3:23 am

Ais, you're considering the check-all button? I don't know, a lot of the "older" members are going to protest. :/ So you might want to take the price of this up a notch if this is to be implemented. Or how about this - the check-all button would only work for the 30 Official Shows, so that the rest still has to be clicked?

Commenting on Spyder's dislikes.

"Very Immature Community; I had so many messages of can I get your cat, money, ect!"
Apparently you're judging the community by its newbies. The kind of PM you mentioned is against the rules here and should've been reported... You haven't been to CT's forums, have you?

"Some What not realistic"
There's a point where each sim isn't realistic. And genetics are part of CT, they're just simplified.

"Inactive community"
Going to point you back to the forums bit. I admit the community's a little inactive, but that's why Ais is doing the remodeling.

"Inactive owner"
Considering Ais' release out of the hospital a couple of years ago, I think she's doing pretty good.
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Re: Need Your Input - Shows!

Post  Spyder on Sun May 15, 2011 7:25 am

I just wanted to say I am not trying to pick a fight.

Even 2 cats can be a lot. That means 60+ clicks. Then there are "cheat methods like enter all so you don't have to click as much. As for this show all button I just don't know about it. Some people would consider me older. I would make it a higher price. My reasoning behind that is I think I put all this work in & then these new member get a easy way out.

I have reported many newbies. A few I asked not to message me & they went in to a a attack of words (We all know which are). I just cain't stand that about CT I will like its a monthly battle die not to get messages from there people! Don't get me wrong if one messages me asking for help; you got the wright person I will do it with in a heart beat! Yes I have been on forms? Confused why you asked this.

Yes & I understand this.; but I like more complex genes. It scares away children.

I am very happy for this re-modeling! I did not know she was realed from the hospital? I have been there countless times. What was she there for?

Will we get at-least monthly updates?

When should I expect a date for CT to open back up?

I think the layout is very child like. Thats why kids are brought into it. Maybe it should be changed it to a different kind of layout.

Are you considering a map?


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Re: Need Your Input - Shows!

Post  Toccara on Sun May 15, 2011 12:23 pm

Aislynn wrote:That's just the way the game is - competing with cats = a lot of clicking. If you find it's too much time then don't have so many cats - that's all I can say. I won't be lowering the number of shows people can enter.

I will probably consider adding a feature that can be bought with CTC that will allow people to enter cats in shows using checkboxes - still requires some clicking but less intensive.

My only fear is that once showing becomes simple then interest will be lost in the game - it will be boring.

Cat Agility /is/ on my list of upgrades to the site, though it's such a major upgrade that it may have to wait til after we re-open. It won't be the same as the conformation showing, either. Different stats, different strategies, etc. I want to make it fun and a different challenge. That'll fill any void left by the showing turning too easy. I won't say anything else on this, however! It's a surprise.

I have to disagree with you here. I lost interest in showing: it wasn't interesting, it was tedious.

Maybe that's just me.

The CT community is far from immature. I must tell you that in my 1-2 years of playing, I have NEVER received a begging message. Never.
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Re: Need Your Input - Shows!

Post  Spyder on Sun May 15, 2011 1:58 pm

Yes I have to say it is tedious.

immature --- CT is most immature community i have ever come across. I have been on CT 4-5 years.

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Re: Need Your Input - Shows!

Post  Michelle on Sun May 15, 2011 6:59 pm

I personally like the showing system, though some of the titles get stuck (Most notably AJn) But I really enjoyed all the clicking... It was relaxing to me after a long day of school and such, it just gave me time to relax my brain a while and gave my hands something to do while I listened to music.

I do support the check box idea, but you'd really have to go about it carefully. I really don't like the idea of a "Check All" button simply because if would make it far too easy for people who don't really want to click buttons (Which is already one of the easiest showing systems I've come across) to get up to the same quality of cats as a person who put a lot time and effort into it...

It was really annoying that so many of my cats got stuck in Ch and the higher titles like that because there weren't any people making shows for that title, so I think the 30 or so site generated shows idea would be fantastic!

Spyder:

The fact that the game doesn't have complex genetics is one of the reasons I play it. Having to think through all the possible combination that could be harmful if you breed two cats together (even if they're both really good cats) just sort of sucks all the fun out of it... I generally come on SIM sites to escape complicated reality...

I fail to see how the layout was childish, it was just simple and easy to navigate. It was almost business-like...

Also, I've played for at least four years now and I've never really seen you around, maybe you haven't gotten to know very many active people in the community, because the ones I know aren't immature...



The updates planned so far sound awesome! I can't wait to see the new, improved site! ^^
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Re: Need Your Input - Shows!

Post  Spyder on Sun May 15, 2011 8:59 pm

Another reason I come on sims to escape complicated reality --- I fell the same.

The layout need updating.

Maybe I miss spoke on that part. 90% of active people I know are mature. The newbie are just bad! They message all the time...
canz pleze haz yorz catz and yorz moneyz!

I just don't get it why people do it?

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Re: Need Your Input - Shows!

Post  Toccara on Mon May 16, 2011 8:30 am

OT: The way you delivered your statement made an impression that the whole CT community was childish and immature (quote: immature --- CT is most immature community i have ever come across. I have been on CT 4-5 years). I'm glad that it got cleared up. Every community has its weak links and it's not right to judge the community based on a few black sheep. Besides, CT gets far less traffic compared to dog sim games, that alone keeps beggars and trolls at bay.

I like that the gameplay is simple. If I wanted genetics I'd play Pure Felinity. Sadly, the breeding aspect is very shallow on CT. Baby animals are so much fun, I wish there was more of it on the game; picking a kitten, special foods for young cats or whatever.

Showing takes a very long time. I kept a few cats off and on, because I didn't have the drive to repeat the awkward clicking process every day. Maybe I could be more persistent with my lines, if the locking feature is added, but I would be extremely grateful if there was some change to the show entering system.

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Re: Need Your Input - Shows!

Post  Spyder on Mon May 16, 2011 5:23 pm

Yes. But honestly CT is the only sim I get messages like this. So to me its annoying.

Yes this would be a nice addition. Pure Felinity I hated that sim!

The new cat sim: I know there are other ones out. So there is "competion" coming.
http://ailouros.net/

Lock system will help me very much!


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Re: Need Your Input - Shows!

Post  Eltafez on Mon May 16, 2011 11:39 pm

Spyder, who are you on Ailo? I'm #20 out there. And did you have a different name on CT? I can't say I've seen you before... Like Toccara, in all the years that I've played CT, I've never got a newbie PM once.

Toc -- Long time no talk! I'm glad to see some familiar faces. ^^
About your comment to the showing system, what would you want to see as a replacement for the clicking process? Because I really can't imagine it, and I need my brain intact for the finals. xD
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Eltafez

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Re: Need Your Input - Shows!

Post  Toccara on Tue May 17, 2011 9:22 am

@ Elta: I'm not sure, lol. Check boxes? I dunno, in other sites it takes far less than 30 clicks to get everything done, so it's quite awkward that on CT, showing alone takes this much...I know, I'm not being very helpful. o_O CT isn't like any other site and I don't want it to be, but as I said, the show entering process is a bit of a turn-off.
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Re: Need Your Input - Shows!

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