Straight from the Comments: A Monorail Opinion Poll

Hey Howdy Hey Tappers!

Well…still nothing new in our games to speak of.  In fact it’s still Valentine’s Day in Springfield.  Despite the countdown clock ending just under 12 hrs ago & today being February 25th there is still no update.  But that’s ok.  We’ve got TONS of great posts to keep your Tapping minds and fingers fresh!

One such post hit the blog this morning and that was Wookiee’s Monorail post, truly a great read!  What I love most though is it’s sparked so many of you in the comments to sound off on your opinions.  Your opinion on the Monorail being added to TSTO, ideas for how it can be implemented into TSTO AND even a great debate about the best Simpsons episodes!  (nice to know my fellow Tappers LOVE Homer at Bat too!)  We love hearing/seeing/reading your opinions in the comments and you guys never fail to make us laugh or think!  You guys truly are the BEST. READERS. EVER.

One awesome comment that really sparked my interest was this question from Tapani Kangas:
“Here is a question for all of you ‘fellow pro-tappers’
Just to be curious.  Let’s just say that:
-It would come with 4h, 10h, 24h tasks.
-Would have a nice animation
-Does not include a character
-Adds a 5% overall bonus”

Between that comment and another comment on the same post from Mike:
“It would be perfect if it worked like the Squidport. Build the monorail station, tap on the station to build a new section of track every few hours, and then you could design the path/route around town any way you like.”

I’ve been thinking and I want to know YOUR opinion.  Pretend for this example YOU ARE EA and you’re designing the Monorail to enter into Tapped Out.  How would you do it?  Would you make it a premium item?  If so for how many donuts?  Would you make it an expansion like Squidport?  Where you have to build one piece of track at a time?  But it would cost game cash?  If so how long would each piece of track take?  Would it be able to go around Springfield AND Krustyland?  Or just one or the other?  Or would you make it just a broken down Monorail, that doesn’t run.  It would be some broken tracks and the station.

After that I want to know….if it does cost donuts would YOU buy it?

So put on your design hats and sound off in the comments below about what YOU would do with the Monorail if you were a game designer for EA.  You know we LOVE hearing from you & can’t wait to see how creative you guys can be!

Lyle Lanley

All original art and content © Up All Night, LLC and
All Screen Shots of Game Graphics & Dialogue and Game Graphics from files ™ and © EA, Gracie Films and FOX

80 responses to “Straight from the Comments: A Monorail Opinion Poll

  1. Another option is that at some point the monorail enters an underground tunnel to end the line. Then the line runs from the initial station to the tunnel, where it disappears. Ordinary track could cost in-house currency, premium track elements donuts. Players could add as much or little track as they like, and start and stop it where they like. The train could run every so many minutes when the someone is in Springfield without being prompted or it could run only when the player sends it on its way either by tapping on the train or by setting a task. The train could be set for various tasks, e.g. a milk run that takes forever, stopping for a flying pig on the track, express run, etc. Doesn’t sound that complicated for me, but then I am not a programmer.

  2. I don’t think it should cost donuts, but it should be expensive and should only come up after you reach level 41 (there’s no need for it in a small town with a centralized population after all).

    The Monorail Hub should come with Lyle Lanley and allow you to build other sections of the rail that can be placed over empty areas, streets, concrete or rivers.

    Citizens should be able to use the Monorail to get to places far away to do tasks in addition to just taking a ride as a separate task.

    There should also be a new button added to make the monorail invisible (not just transparent) so you can see your town unobstructed.

  3. If they made the monorail station payable with on game cash and then worked on a basis of the squidport we could slowly assessmble the rail. But, the mountains are void at the moment so if they became playable we could place down the track and unlock new buildings and decor which we could use to jazz upthe railway. You would only b able to place the tracks here and the buildings, similar to the squidport, can only be placed here

  4. I would love it if they turned it into a whole event with lots of different additions from the episode. A conductor outfit for Homer, Lyle Lanley, Sebastian Cobb, a family of possums (or at least the big one, Bitey), and maybe some silly decorations, like Lanley’s map with Brockway, Ogdenville, and North Haverbrook crudely drawn in. Maybe even a Mr. Snrub outfit for Burns. Leonard Nimoy would be a cool addition too, but I bet that would be a licensing nightmare. And maybe add some tasks related to the Escalator to Nowhere, 50ft Magnifying Glass, and Popsicle Stick Tower, since they also came from that episode.

    The monorail episode is one of my favorites, so I know a lot of the little details from it. 😉

  5. I think that it’d be cool if the monorail worked just as the squidport. It could cost 10 donuts to build the station and then every part of track could be payed with normal money just as the squidport.
    And it could come with a new costume for Homer as the monorail driver.
    I know that most of you would pay lots of donuts, but I’m pretty sure that I’m not the only one who can’t pay for donuts. So it would be a good thing if everyone could have the chance to buy it. I mean right now I have 57 donuts (Im in level 38), and I’ve been saving them in case that the monorail comes, so I would never be able to spend 200 donuts on it.

  6. I would have no problem with the monorail having to be built Squidport style. It would force me to have to redesign my city (which I have done several times) that would be the fun of it. It would be easier if EA gave more land also with the update.

  7. Capital City Goofball

    I’d rather build it to go around the town with in game cash than have a “wrecked” track that costs donuts.

  8. I’m 36 years old and still sing the monorail song randomly so heck yes I’d pay donuts for it. 200-300 would be acceptable (the whale was 300 and I would not buy that, but monorail of course. I would prefer to use in-game cash for it though(what else to do with millions at this point?) and have it be buildable by tracks. Maybe a day a track? Also, maybe have stations for donuts if they have to have some of it premium. Regardless, if it’s there I’m buying it.

  9. The only way I see the monorail being introduced into the game is the same as the most popular ways mentioned.. donuts or squidport style quest. Personally I would like to see a quest style that could start after level 38 but do realize the design hurdles that would go along with doing it this way. This is EA we’re talking about though and I’m pretty sure they could make it work if the time was put into it. I would settle for the donut option as well just because I’m selfish and want to see it in the game regardless. Could see it as a 200-250 donut item that resembles the rollercoaster in Krustyland. A 5% bonus wouldn’t justify that many donuts but if characters could ride and earn $ and the animation was super awsome it could be worth it.

    Fingers crossed and hope to see it soon either way.

  10. My own personal preference would be an in-game quest to build a dilapidated monorail station with a broken-down track, perhaps with a task or 3 associated with it once built. For those who want to have the monorail zipping around town, the initial piece of working track or a repaired station could cost donuts, and every piece thereafter would cost in-game cash, similar to Squidport I suppose (which I’m not bothering with much until the costs of the other stuff I need to build are greater than the Squidport investments but I digress). Those who used donuts for the working stations could get an extra task or two with them, as well as another questline. I also like the idea of a monorail conductor skin for Homer and maybe a stand-alone Lyle Lanley – if they must cost donuts, maybe the extra questline opens up one of these options, while the other can be found in a mystery box as well as for donuts.

  11. I think the premise of building the monorail ala Squidport is the overall “most enjoyment” for the premise idea, but the programming issues would be sizable in nature for most of the reasons above (where and how to place track as to not obfuscate view of your Springfield especially).

    You likely end up with it being like Krustyland, but instead of a shuttle to get there, you take an escalator (make use of the one to Nowhere already anyone?) or some such to get “above” Springfield, which now causes no conflict and still allows it to appear in the “friends view” of other Springfields.

    From there the problem is having an animated monorail which has to be able to work in cases where the builder (you) don’t supply closed loops for it to run on while purposely avoiding non-closed loops.

    Ever notice how hard it is for some of your characters to simply follow the street to get to where they perform their assigned task…and eventually they start walking through houses, walking on water and/or just give up and disappear to where they need to be instead? That’s because these sort of “path algorithms” (shortest path in that instance, see Dijkstra or A* algorithm for those aspiring computer geeks out there), especially ones implemented without those sorts of “escape logic” can end up in faulty logic loops easily unless very exhaustively defined to never have edge cases in the first place…in the case of the monorail it’d just be crashing off the tracks constantly otherwise.

    Assuming those problems get solved… If it were like Krustyland, how could you really ever have tasks in Monorail-Land which make sense to have your characters waste away without spreading the, say, 60-ish freemium characters out there too thin? At least Krustyland can have buildings and trees…what would you be able to add equivalently “above” Springfield (a dome and some clouds, then what)? You can already see them almost randomly and arbitrarily one by one letting you send more of those characters to Krustyland… Do you end up eventually having Tapped Out have a Springfield with no inhabitants IN Springfield for potentially days and weeks at a time? That’ll certainly start to fracture their ability to set up random tasks, “free update content” triggers, level updates, etc. without eventually having “complete-ist” players (I.e. The main players who spend real money) eventually either getting really angry or giving up due to complexity… Not to mention not satiating the freemium players who struggle to keep up with feeling they aren’t wasting their playtime on Tapped Out just because they either don’t or can’t pay real money to play but are who play as much or more and are always the “potential” payday for EA.

    I’ve babbled too long I’m sure by now…

    It’s a pickle to juggle it all from a development stance, notwithstanding the EA expectation for it to also justify the maintenance and updates from their developers and still make a profit for sure. I don’t envy their developers but any time I think about it all I sure can fully appreciate what they’re trying to do. They’ve built a game which works (yes for any software there are inherent and continuous bugs, the end.) and keeps the larger percentage of players at least placated if not happy, and despite what you may think …that in and of itself is both impressive and admirable.

    Monorail? Try all new MonoLand Rail Systems, LLC. When it makes sense, you must have forgot the train!

    • Wow! What a great take on the Monorail, what could be! 🙂

    • I love a good rambling, eapeciallly one that keeps my attention such as this one! LOL I think you gave a great understanding of the dynamics involved!!

      • Heh, thanks… I was trying to ramble and babble *just* long enough to include some specifics in regards to general development without drowning out in semantics… As long as at least two other people read it enough to reply I think I accomplished that feat…

        Hopefully I’ve done justice to the posted article’s premise…

        I think The Wookiee had a decent concept with the auto-expanding monorail around your Springfield which could be fleshed out further too as a form of pure aspirational building.

        Anything less than an implantation of those sorts honestly ought be left to leaving out of the game. I think those Tapped Out developers clearly fixated on that one episode from this game’s inception, especially once those aspirationals were added, but just haven’t been able to wrap a truly meaningful implementation to the monorail yet… Or maybe I, too, am just that wide-eyed and hopeful to see it be a part of the game.

        Anyhow, thanks for the comments!

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