Entertainment - More than you may want to know

By Nero Would.

A note about "days". A sixteenth of a month is a significant unit of time in Pharaoh, it is the shortest period in which the production of buildings or farms increases. Several people (including myself) have taken to calling this period a day. Conan mentioned that the programmers called this period a week, but 16 days to a month seemed more reasonable to me than 16 weeks, so I stuck with "day". What I had forgotten until now is that the length of a day is already defined in the game. When you right-click on an entertainment venue, the pop-up tells you how many "days" the current performances will last. It turns out there are 32 of these "entertainment days" in a month (although the number is only updated 16 times a month, so if you repeatedly right-click, you see the number decreasing in twos).

So we have a conflict, and however we resolve it, there will be some confusion. What do people think, should we start using "week' for a sixteenth of a month, or should we stick to "day" and talk about "entertainment days" when referring to the length of performances. Until there is a consensus, I'll try to remember to remain write "sixteenth of a month".

Functioning entertainment schools produce performers as long as they are connected by road (which may be roadblocked and may include staffed ferries) to a functioning venue with the appropriate kind of stage. If you right-click on the school, it says it can train up to 4 performers a month. Fully staffed juggler schools and conservatories do produce four performers a month (one every four sixteenths of a month). Fully staffed dance schools produce eight performers in three months (one every six sixteenths of a month). I did not test with partially staffed schools.

The performers start walking to a venue with an empty stage of the appropriate type (presumably either the closest or the one that has been without a performance for the longest, but I didn't check that). If there is no venue with an empty stage, the performer walks to one that still has a performance running (again, I assume it chooses the closest or the one that has been without a performance for the longest, but I didn't check). There is a maximum distance that performers will walk to get to a venue. I only checked this for jugglers going to a bandstand, so I don't know if it is the same for all cases. If the venue is more than 213 squares from the school, the performer sets of walking towards the venue, but disappears after walking 213 squares (slightly less than 4 months walking).

A performance starts as soon as a performer reaches a venue and lasts for two months. If you right-click on the venue when the performance starts, it will say the current performance will last 64 "days". The number of "days" remaining is reduced by two every sixteenth of a month, but is reset to 64 whenever a new performer from a school arrives at the venue.

So under ideal conditions, each juggler school or conservatory can provide continuous performances at 8 venues and a dance school can provide continuous performances at five and one third (5.333) venues. Ideal conditions mean that you don't have two of the same type of schools sending a performer to the same venue at the same time. As you will see below, you don't need to have continuous performances, you just need to have enough performers (from schools or venues) passing the right houses every six months or less.

Random walkers are produced by the venue as long as a performance is running. They are produced by a senet house as long as it has enough beer. The walkers wander for between 10 sixteenths and 14 sixteenths of a month at which point they either disappear or become destination walkers and take the shortest route back to the venue and then disappear. If there is still a performance running, another random walker is produced after a recycle time of between 0 sixteenths and 8 sixteenths of a month.

The length of the walks and the recycle time is not random, but follows a pattern that I have not been able to decipher. As with other random walkers, the pattern seems to repeat every 4 trips. In most cases, the shortest walk is the most common (3 out of 4 trips). In most cases the recycle time seems to be 8 sixteenths of a month for senet players, and either 1 or 4 sixteenths of a month for performers.

While running this test, I noticed a couple of strange things. The first (which has been mentioned by others) is that when one of my pavilions produced random walkers, instead of them starting at the venue, they would teleport to a piece of road about 4 squares from the venue. The second is to do with where senet players enter the senet house. Normally you can tell where a random walker will enter and leave a building by going to the North corner of the building and going clockwise until you find part of the building with a road connection, and this is the entry/exit point. This works for senet players as far as the exit point is concerned, but in some (not all) arrangements where there is a road along the SW face of the building, the walkers will enter at the S corner (where you can see the people drinking beer).

Senet houses use beer every time a senet player is produced. The amount used for each trip is 60 units when difficulty is set to very hard, 40 at hard, 20 at normal, 10 at easy and 5 at very easy. In my tests, senet players were produced roughly every 23 sixteenths of a month, which means the average monthly beer consumption of a Senet house is about 42 units at very hard, 28 at hard, 14 at normal, 7 at easy and 3.5 at very easy.

One factor that can affect the consumption rate is how far the random walkers are from the venue when they reach the end of their random walk and return to the venue. It could take just as long to return as it did to walk out there in the first place, or if they have walked in a circle, they could be right next to the venue and take no time to return. The average used above assumes the return trip takes half as long as the outward trip. The two extremes would result in beer consumption that is 17% higher or lower.

City-wide entertainment coverage is reported by the Entertainment Overseer and is based on the number of stages of each type per head of population. No performers (or beer, in the case of senet houses) are required for this purpose. The level of coverage you have provides bonus entertainment points to all houses in your city. Entertainment points are one of the requirements for evolving your houses.

"Perfect" coverage requires one juggler stage (in a booth, bandstand or pavilion) per 400 people, one music stage (in a bandstand or pavilion) per 700 people, one dance stage per 1200 people and one senet house per 5000 people. The level of city-wide coverage for a particular entertainment type (which I call the Coverage Index), appears to be calculated as follows: [Coverage index] = 5 * [Number of stages] * [Stage coverage] / [Population] where [Stage coverage] is the number of people served by on stage (e.g. 400 for a juggler stage). The way the Overseer describes your coverage for a particular entertainment type is described below.

Coverage Index Description Maximum population per stage
(approx bonus points) (Overseer) Juggler Music Dance Senet
5 or more Perfect 400.00 700.00 1200.00 5000.00
At least 4.5 but less than 5 Excellent 444.44 777.78 1333.33 5555.56
At least 4 but less than 4.5 Very Good 500.00 875.00 1500.00 6250.00
At least 3.5 but less than 4 Good 571.43 1000.00 1714.29 7142.86
At least 3 but less than 3.5 Above Average 666.67 1166.67 2000.00 8333.33
At least 2 but less than 3 Average 800.00 1400.00 2400.00 10000.00
At least 1.5 but less than 2 Below Average 1000.00 1750.00 3000.00 12500.00
At least 1 but less than 1.5 Poor 1333.33 2333.33 4000.00 16666.67
Less than 1 Very Poor 2000.00 3500.00 6000.00 25000.00
0 None 4000.00 7000.00 12000.00 50000.00

The number of bonus entertainment points provided is approximately equal to the coverage index, so you can get an idea of how many bonus points you have simply by checking the Overseer's description (e.g. average juggler coverage = 2 points plus very good musician coverage = 4 points equals 6 bonus points). The actual calculation involves a couple of rounding steps. As far as I can tell, you take the coverage index for each of the four entertainment types (but use 5 if the index is more than 5)and round them down to two decimal places, then you add all four numbers and round down to the next lowest whole number.

For example, you have one bandstand and 785 people in your city. The coverage index is 5*400/785 = 2.5477 for jugglers (average) and 5*700/785 = 4.4585 (very good). Round to two decimal places and adding gives you 2.54+4.45= 6.99 and rounding down to a whole number gives you 6 bonus points. Note that if the population drops to 784, the Overseer will still report average juggler and very good musician coverage, but the bonus points will rise to 7.

Performers give entertainment points to houses they pass. Jugglers give 10 points, musicians 20 points, dancers 30 points and senet players 40 points. These points last for six months, or until another performer of the same type passes, in which case, the timer is reset to 6 months. The Overlay for each entertainment type is a visual display of the 6 month timer counting down. The "overall" entertainment overlay is a visual representation of the total entertainment points that the house has (including bonus points).

Entertainment points needed for housing evolution depends on difficulty level the as shown in the following table:

Entertainment points required for housing evolution
House type Difficulty level
Very Hard Hard Normal Easy Very Easy
Crude Hut          
Sturdy Hut          
Meager Shanty          
Common Shanty          
Rough Cottage          
Ordinary Cottage 10 10 10 10 10
Modest Homestead 20 15 13 13 12
Spacious Homestead 25 20 16 15 14
Modest Apartment 30 25 20 18 16
Spacious Apartment 35 30 25 22 18
Common Residence 40 35 30 25 20
Spacious Residence 45 40 35 30 25
Elegant Residence 50 45 40 35 30
Fancy Residence 55 50 45 40 35
Common Manor 60 55 50 45 40
Spacious Manor 65 60 55 50 45
Elegant Manor 70 65 60 55 50
Stately Manor 80 75 70 60 55
Modest Estate 90 85 80 72 65
Palatial Estate 100 95 90 83 75

As I've been rather longwinded, here's a summary of the rules as I understand them.

  • Juggler schools and conservatories produce one performer every 4 sixteenths of a month.
  • Dance schools produce one performer every 6 sixteenths of a month.
  • Performers (jugglers at least) will walk up to 213 squares to a venue.
  • A performance lasts two months (described by the game as 64 days).
  • If a new performer arrives during a performance, the timer is reset to 2 months.
  • Random walkers walk for between 10 and 14 sixteenths of a month.
  • Random walkers sometimes disappear at the end of the walk and sometimes return to the venue
  • Recycle time for random walkers is 0 to 8 sixteenths of a month.
  • Approximate average monthly senet house beer consumption is:
    • 42 units at Very Hard
    • 28 units at Hard
    • 14 units at Normal
    • 7 units at Easy
    • 3 at Very Easy
  • City-wide coverage for each entertainment type is determined by the Coverage Index which is
    [Coverage Index] = 5 * [Number of stages] * [Stage coverage] / [Population]
    where [Stage coverage] is
    • 400 for juggler stages
    • 700 for music stages
    • 1200 for dance stages
    • 5000 for senet houses
    Maximum Coverage Index is 5.
  • Bonus points for city-wide coverage is determined as follows Round down the four Coverage Indexes to 2 decimal places, add them together and round down to a whole number.
  • Points from performers passing houses are
    • 10 for jugglers
    • 20 for musicians
    • 30 for dancers
    • 40 for senet players
  • Points from performers passing houses last 6 months (reset each time a performer passes).