Author Topic: Simutrans on Steam  (Read 18779 times)

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Offline HaydenRead

Simutrans on Steam
« on: December 08, 2015, 11:14:03 PM »
NOW PUBLISHED ON GREENLIGHT

Hi all, there was some discussion in this topic http://forum.simutrans.com/index.php?topic=10440.0 around Simutrans on Steam.

I was considering going through the process of trying to get SimuTrans onto Steam, and was wanting to see what the communities opinion on this was.

Looking at the release history of Simutrans it seems to be updated around about yearly, so I would have no problems with keeping the Steam version up to date (Looking at Sourceforge I see 1 - 2 new versions per year.)

Initially I would be looking simply at getting the game onto Steam, then as time permits, working on integrating any desirable Steam features (such as Achievements, Server location options, etc) into the build (if agreed upon by the current dev team). I feel that by putting the game on Steam it will get in front of a larger audience.

The intention would be to make the game Free on steam, but with donation options, as has been done by ShareX http://store.steampowered.com/app/400040. These donations would then be passed on to the donations PayPal account that is already listed on the SimuTrans site.

I already have a Greenlight subscription, so there would be no additional cost to me to do this, other than the time it takes, which I am willing to commit to.

Overview of Concerns Raised so far
  • Which should be the default Pak used with Steam - No Decision Reached
  • Changing Pak folder names to be more 'user friendly' for Steam Audiences would break online game compatibility - Keep Existing Pack folder names - could some form of 'Friendly name' file be incorporated into the Steam version
  • Should there be any charges, and if so how should the money be managed
    The license does not allow for money to be charged for the game, but money can be charged for services and support - No Decision Reached on how to handle any funds
  • What happens if the maintainer is unable to continue maintating - Grant Multiple Users access to Maintain the package on Steam
  • Issues with new players flooding forums - Increase documentation (create Manual), possibly create separate support forum for Steam?
  • License Compatibility - The License is compatible with distributing the game on Steam, and there are compatible options available for integrating Steamworks into the game
  • Other issues???
« Last Edit: December 22, 2015, 06:41:54 PM by HaydenRead »

Offline DrSuperGood

Re: Simutrans on Steam
« Reply #1 on: December 09, 2015, 02:51:27 AM »
This really has to be done in a group by the Simutrans administration. It could end up causing a lot of problems if there is a failure to update regularly for some reason and they cannot update it. Additionally relying on a "middle man" for donations is kind of risky as there would be nothing to stop them from taking an "administration fee" on all donations which may not be wholly transparent.

Offline HaydenRead

Re: Simutrans on Steam
« Reply #2 on: December 09, 2015, 06:28:13 AM »
You raise some good points, especially in regards to "middle man administration fee", especially as Steam also take their cut from all sales, so possibly a better option would be to have a link to the donation page from the games page.

In regards to 'failure to update', if I do package Simutrans for steam, I have no problem with granting a small number (1-5) Simutrans admins access to update the application, although as noted I am willing to commit the time required to do the Steam updates myself, but I understand that if something happened to me they would want to be able to continue updating the package.

The other solution to the "middle man administration fee"would be to also grant the Simutrans admins access to the financial reports, so that there is transparency and they are able to see that no skimming of the funds is taking place.

Offline jamespetts

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Re: Simutrans on Steam
« Reply #3 on: December 09, 2015, 11:51:03 AM »
This is a very interesting idea, and would certainly open up Simutrans to a whole new audience. I know that it was discussed a while back and the conclusion reached that Steam was not really suitable for a project such as this, but things may have moved on now. The logistical concerns raised are understandable, but can possibly be overcome. It would certainly benefit the Simutrans community greatly to have a fresh influx of new players, not least because a small but non-trivial fraction of players eventually become developers.
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Offline Ters

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Re: Simutrans on Steam
« Reply #4 on: December 09, 2015, 04:34:06 PM »
I'm a bit worried how the community would respond to any significant influx of players and developers.

Offline Isaac.Eiland-Hall

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Re: Simutrans on Steam
« Reply #5 on: December 09, 2015, 05:53:27 PM »
If we were to walk down that path..... I'd suggest the creation of a new forum to be linked from Steam - the Simutrans Steam Forum or something... just so the older playerbase doesn't get overwhelmed. Also because the culture shift would ruin this forum.

There's a lot to be said for getting Simutrans on Steam. I would certainly be willing to volunteer time for community policing and customer service. But I'd be worried about tech support and related issues. We're all volunteer now. Would being on Steam change that?

Maybe a fork of the codebase and community would be a good thing. Anything desired for the master branch of Simutrans might could be ported back.... maybe it could be done without splitting the community too badly.

I know we had some worries about Experimental - and people do sometimes think of it as a "beta" rather than a fork..... but I think for the most part that's settled out alright. I'm not sure Steam is something we want.... but maybe it'd work. I dunno.

Offline Ters

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Re: Simutrans on Steam
« Reply #6 on: December 09, 2015, 07:12:24 PM »
A forked community would find support even more lacking, and find their way here anyway. And as for the code, very little has ever been backported from the forks that I have noticed, be it the Japanese patches or Experimental. The latter has even diverged to the point that it's difficult porting from Standard to Experimental judging from some comments I've seen. I'm not sure what the the best realistic option is.

Offline HaydenRead

Re: Simutrans on Steam
« Reply #7 on: December 09, 2015, 08:05:47 PM »
There's a lot to be said for getting Simutrans on Steam. I would certainly be willing to volunteer time for community policing and customer service. But I'd be worried about tech support and related issues. We're all volunteer now. Would being on Steam change that?
I imagine with it being a Free game that support expectations would not be high.

Maybe a fork of the codebase and community would be a good thing. Anything desired for the master branch of Simutrans might could be ported back.... maybe it could be done without splitting the community too badly.

I know we had some worries about Experimental - and people do sometimes think of it as a "beta" rather than a fork..... but I think for the most part that's settled out alright. I'm not sure Steam is something we want.... but maybe it'd work. I dunno.
Not sure if a fork of the codebase would be a good idea, as mentioned by Ters, back porting seems to be patchy at best. I am pretty sure that the game can go on Steam without any changes to the code, however there are some Steam features that could be added to the code if it was decided that they would be beneficial, and my thoughts in that regard would be to use #ifdef blocks to add any Steam features, so it can be compiled with or without Steam support, or code it in such a way that it will just ignore Steam code if not using Steam. Either that or a set of patch files that get applied to the base code before compiling for Steam.

Offline Ters

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Re: Simutrans on Steam
« Reply #8 on: December 09, 2015, 09:26:26 PM »
I imagine with it being a Free game that support expectations would not be high.
We have almost no up to date documentation as it is, so expectations don't need to be high to not be met. And just because Simutrans is free doesn't stop people from filling up the extensions request board, without checking if it has been requested or denied before. How much they expect someone to just fix it is hard to tell from plain text.

Not sure if a fork of the codebase would be a good idea, as mentioned by Ters, back porting seems to be patchy at best. I am pretty sure that the game can go on Steam without any changes to the code, however there are some Steam features that could be added to the code if it was decided that they would be beneficial, and my thoughts in that regard would be to use #ifdef blocks to add any Steam features, so it can be compiled with or without Steam support, or code it in such a way that it will just ignore Steam code if not using Steam. Either that or a set of patch files that get applied to the base code before compiling for Steam.
Well, it was Isaac that brought up forking. What I think can lead to that is Simutrans not liking the feature patches that start coming from the expanded community, or being too slow to accept them. This is regardless of whether those patches are Steam related or not. That's more or less why we have Experimental. Someone wanted features the others did not want. A relatively recent rewrite of the GUI was aborted to due to a mix of disagreements and misunderstandings.

Offline prissi

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Re: Simutrans on Steam
« Reply #9 on: December 09, 2015, 10:06:29 PM »
I think there was once some issues with the Artistic License and Steam. Or more precisely, a closer intergration with the Steamworks API is not compatible with the GPL. Not sure about the Artistic License though.

Steam may have the big advantage of solving the SDL installation issue on mac OS, as well as the eternal 32 bit/64 bit Linux issue. That comes with a price. There are so many pak sets: Which should go with it to not overwhelm a casual user? (My impression is that any pak which forbids bridge/tunnel for single height steps will frustate a novice.)

As I do not have steam, I am not sure the pak downloader that comes with Simutrans at least on windows is compatible with a steam distribution? Has Simutrans to be downloaded every time when you start it on steam? In that case some of the larger paks are out too ...

I the steam can be esily integrated in the distribution script, then I see no reason why this should not be an "official" support. More fans could mean also more developer, artists etc. For a quicky is SImutrans too slow paced anyway, thus I am not so afraid of an evil forum takeover.

Offline Ves

Re: Simutrans on Steam
« Reply #10 on: December 09, 2015, 10:53:19 PM »
My experience with steam is that for a good experience, the game must work as a whole out of the box with no problems, issues, missing help files etc. many players are lazy players and you also want to make a first good impression.

Afaik, steam always downloads the game when "bought".
I think there are some tools to select different parts wanted, so called DLC (downloadable content), which is optionally for the player.

Some of the best benefits with steam, next to new players, are the multiplayer possibilities which I think works really great with steam.

As to new players flushing the forum: the better help files in game, the less help requests from new members.
Also, isn't it possible to have a new forum, eg steam.simutrans.forum, with some folders, and then the main simutrans.forum (this forum) but with the steam folders kind of integrated?

Offline DrSuperGood

Re: Simutrans on Steam
« Reply #11 on: December 09, 2015, 11:00:23 PM »
Too much feedback is never a problem. Especially since we have practically no feedback at the moment. For example, I only found out about an error in one of my JIT2 patches when a developer went out his way to fix it himself and committed a change to fix it.

Obviously a lot of the feedback will be nonsense or impossible. Not everyone will be able to be satisfied. However inside the walls of text one can identify underlying issues from time to time.

My only concern is from a developer point of view. Steam support would be a separate layer. How can new features be tested by developers when most people are playing it through steam? You end up in the same state we are at the moment, few developers making changes that no one plays for a year only to find out there were mistakes or faults in those changes when someone finally uses them. A lot more rapid development cycle would be needed, which would tax people more than currently.

On a positive side it might attract more interest. Some people might come up with new and highly polished paksets. Some people might go out their way to help add new features they need for their pakset which could be incorporated. Over all development speed could increase because there is more drive behind development (no longer a game played by a few, but more than a few).

How Simutrans on steam would work? Simutrans + pak64 comes standard. It will work out of the box. Free DLC would be available for other mainline maintained paksets like pak128, pak128.britain etc which replaces the current way they are acquired. All of which would need to be updated regularly, and the updates would then be automatic as part of steam.

Offline HaydenRead

Re: Simutrans on Steam
« Reply #12 on: December 10, 2015, 12:06:50 AM »
My experience with steam is that for a good experience, the game must work as a whole out of the box with no problems, issues, missing help files etc. many players are lazy players and you also want to make a first good impression.
I do think that creating an up to date manual may be required before the game goes on Steam... (however the Greenlight process can be started while the Manual is worked on).

I think there was once some issues with the Artistic License and Steam. Or more precisely, a closer intergration with the Steamworks API is not compatible with the GPL. Not sure about the Artistic License though.
I have checked through both the GPL and Artistic licence, and neither present problems with putting the game on Steam, although the Steamworks API is another matter. Under GPL, the Steamworks API can be used so long as it can be easily removed without cripling the game (i.e. it is not an integral part). For the Artistic License I am still trying to determine if there are any issues with integrating Steamworks.

Steam may have the big advantage of solving the SDL installation issue on mac OS, as well as the eternal 32 bit/64 bit Linux issue. That comes with a price. There are so many pak sets: Which should go with it to not overwhelm a casual user? (My impression is that any pak which forbids bridge/tunnel for single height steps will frustate a novice.)
I would presume that the default Pak would be used and the others would be available as DLC or through the Steam Workshop if that will work for the game. As far as Mac installation goes, someone with a Mac would need to provide the Mac package for Steam (as packaging for Mac requires using tools that only work on a Mac, to capture file execute/run permissions etc). I would have no problems doing the packaging for Linux and Windows.

Also in regards to the Pak's, I think giving more descriptive names when released on Steam will make it easier on Steam users (i.e. if the 'Pak' one is renamed Default (or something similar) for the Steam Release, so when it displays the list of Available Pak's users have more of an idea of what they are looking at.)

Afaik, steam always downloads the game when "bought".
Steam downloads the game when the user clicks install, and keeps the game on the computer until / unless the user tells Steam to remove the files. When a new version comes out, it then patches the files using a diff method, unless the user has opted not to have automatic updates.

As far as the 'requirements' for listing the game on Greenlight (the first step to getting it on Steam), the only requirements are 4 pictures of the game, and a Game Play Video hosted on Youtube (preferably without Adverts enabled, otherwise the ad's will come through to Steam, which is not a good look when trying to get a game through Greenlight).



Mention of the Simutrans Experimental got me thinking:
Steam allows users to opt into various 'beta branches' of the application.

If Simutrans is put on Steam, would it be desirable to add the Simutrans Experimental fork in as a branch on Steam?
Or would it make more sense to focus only on the core Simutrans build?

Also, would it make sense to add in a 'dev brach' based on the nightly builds, but not necessarily updated nightly (if it could be integrated into the nightly build process, then that would be fine, but otherwise, do a weekly or monthly update of the dev branch depending on how much work is involved).
« Last Edit: December 10, 2015, 10:40:13 AM by Isaac.Eiland-Hall »

Offline jamespetts

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Re: Simutrans on Steam
« Reply #13 on: December 10, 2015, 01:06:10 AM »
I am not sure that Experimental is polished enough yet for a wider audience, but I hope that there will come a time when this situation changes.
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Offline Ters

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Re: Simutrans on Steam
« Reply #14 on: December 10, 2015, 06:00:23 AM »
Steam allows users to opt into various 'beta branches' of the application.
If Simutrans is put on Steam, would it be desirable to add the Simutrans Experimental fork in as a branch on Steam?

Experimental is not a beta. It's more equal to something in between an expansion pack and a sequel. Using a beta branch would just cause more misunderstandings. Experimental is not for testing out new things, but for doing different things.

I would presume that the default Pak would be used
There is no default pak set. Even if you consider what used to be in the game before the concept of pak sets was introduced, there are at least two pak sets descended from that. The most original of them isn't very popular, and I'm not sure the other one is the most popular either.

Also, isn't it possible to have a new forum, eg steam.simutrans.forum, with some folders, and then the main simutrans.forum (this forum) but with the steam folders kind of integrated?
I don't quite understand which forum should contain the other from that sentence. Having the Steam forum contain everything plus a little more would be the best, I think. However, I suspect Steam related questions would creep into the other boards as well, just as Experimental questions do now.

Offline HaydenRead

Re: Simutrans on Steam
« Reply #15 on: December 10, 2015, 08:48:43 AM »
There is no default pak set. Even if you consider what used to be in the game before the concept of pak sets was introduced, there are at least two pak sets descended from that. The most original of them isn't very popular, and I'm not sure the other one is the most popular either.
I figured Pak64 was the default pak set, due to this text on the help page...
Pak64 as the main and a base set for Simutrans, developed along with Simutrans executable.
Pak64 always contains the most recent features and was the first to be developed. Currently Simutrans is being available in ready-to-play version with this pakset.

If there is any agreement over the most popular Pak, then that could be packaged as the Default with a Steam package instead.

Offline Isaac.Eiland-Hall

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Re: Simutrans on Steam
« Reply #16 on: December 10, 2015, 10:51:20 AM »
I don't think there is any agreement as to the most popular pak. Pak64 and Pak128 are probably the most widely distributed, but especially these days, who knows which paks players are using? I don't remember if there was a survey that asked that or not; maybe time to run one. But the players that are here on the forum might well show a different distribution than players who don't frequent the forum.

I guess we have a game somewhat like Battle for Wesnoth - a dated-looking engine with gameplay deeper than it looks at first appearance. Only a smaller community than that game, meaning even fewer people making things who come and go with time.

Money is one of those big problems, too: Let's say we get it on Steam. Where does any incoming money go? For a while, I accepted (and was extremely grateful for) donations to help cover the cost of the server, as I was having financial difficulties. I didn't like that - so many people have put in so much effort, and I think I was probably the recipient of some donations that - even though it was said what they were for - still probably thought they were donating to the game itself somehow, not merely the server.

So, if someone must write a manual, do they get paid? And if so, not the developers? How is the money distributed? So far, with the exception above, we've not had to worry about money. And so everyone volunteers equally, i.e. as much effort as they wish. If money comes into it: Will Hajo be paid? There's a hornet's nest I don't think anyone wants to open.

I'm completely torn by the idea of Steam, to be frank. Some of the benefits might well be nice: attracting more support for the project; being able to direct some monetary rewards to developers and contributors who have worked long years. But there are many potential pitfalls: license, influx of a lot of people who don't have time to assimilate to the generally polite community we have here, writing of a manual, who does customer/tech support…

Offline jamespetts

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Re: Simutrans on Steam
« Reply #17 on: December 10, 2015, 10:57:18 AM »
Donations could perhaps be used to pay for some official servers for online games, perhaps?

Ters is right about Experimental not being a beta, incidentally.
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Offline Ves

Re: Simutrans on Steam
« Reply #18 on: December 10, 2015, 02:27:00 PM »

I don't quite understand which forum should contain the other from that sentence. Having the Steam forum contain everything plus a little more would be the best, I think. However, I suspect Steam related questions would creep into the other boards as well, just as Experimental questions do now.
Www.forum.simutrans.steam.com -> a couple of folders visible, eg support.

Www.forum.simutrans.com -> full fledged forum (this forum) with the additional folders from the "steam forum" shared with this forum.

A quicky steam user would only use the steam forum, more engaged people would find (via links) the big forum.

Offline An_dz

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Re: Simutrans on Steam
« Reply #19 on: December 10, 2015, 03:39:48 PM »
I don't think there is any agreement as to the most popular pak. Pak64 and Pak128 are probably the most widely distributed, but especially these days, who knows which paks players are using?
We can always check the downloads from our SourceForge:
https://sourceforge.net/projects/simutrans/files/?source=navbar

And pak64 is the winner.

So, if someone must write a manual, do they get paid? And if so, not the developers? How is the money distributed?
We get donations and pay a third party company to write us a manual. ;D ;D Hahahaha

But there are many potential pitfalls: (...) influx of a lot of people who don't have time to assimilate to the generally polite community we have here (...)
That's my biggest concern, Da ppl ho spk lkie dis!!!1!!1!

Offline Ters

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Re: Simutrans on Steam
« Reply #20 on: December 10, 2015, 05:02:23 PM »
Www.forum.simutrans.steam.com -> a couple of folders visible, eg support.

Www.forum.simutrans.com -> full fledged forum (this forum) with the additional folders from the "steam forum" shared with this forum.

A quicky steam user would only use the steam forum, more engaged people would find (via links) the big forum.
Seems backwards to me. Basically, everything that applies to non-Steam would apply to Steam, but Steam specific things do not apply to us old-fashioned Simutrans players. Although to what extent the Experimental, various pak and the modding board applies to Steam is not yet clear to me. Maybe neither is the superset of the other.

If also find the big forum quite big already. The recent posts list is often 95% stuff I don't care about.

I figured Pak64 was the default pak set, due to this text on the help page...

If there is any agreement over the most popular Pak, then that could be packaged as the Default with a Steam package instead.
Well, pak64 is descended from the original game contents, and is maintained by one of our most senior developers. It is perhaps the pak set used for testing new functionality, but I do not think it is the most actively maintained pak set. And it certainly has some flaws. Sometimes, I even feel that I'm the only one using it (I know that at least DrSuperGood has used it, as must its maintainer to some degree), although it might be more popular among the non-vocal majority.

Offline DrSuperGood

Re: Simutrans on Steam
« Reply #21 on: December 10, 2015, 07:12:46 PM »
Quote
There is no default pak set. Even if you consider what used to be in the game before the concept of pak sets was introduced, there are at least two pak sets descended from that. The most original of them isn't very popular, and I'm not sure the other one is the most popular either.
Pak64 is the default. When you install Simutrans on Windows it always forces you to install pak64 (you cannot toggle it).

That said, pak64 gets very little love for being the default pakset. Its factories have not even been assigned power values and there are a lot of vehicles missing or which require to obsolete.

Offline HaydenRead

Re: Simutrans on Steam
« Reply #22 on: December 10, 2015, 07:33:11 PM »
I don't think there is any agreement as to the most popular pak. Pak64 and Pak128 are probably the most widely distributed, but especially these days, who knows which paks players are using? I don't remember if there was a survey that asked that or not; maybe time to run one. But the players that are here on the forum might well show a different distribution than players who don't frequent the forum.
We can always check the downloads from our SourceForge:
https://sourceforge.net/projects/simutrans/files/?source=navbar

And pak64 is the winner.
I agree that Pak64 is most widely distributed, but which Pak is most played is another matter (users may start with 1 Pak, and move to another). I guess when it comes to Steam, some form of determination would need to be made as to which Pak should be default.

Money is one of those big problems, too: Let's say we get it on Steam. Where does any incoming money go? For a while, I accepted (and was extremely grateful for) donations to help cover the cost of the server, as I was having financial difficulties. I didn't like that - so many people have put in so much effort, and I think I was probably the recipient of some donations that - even though it was said what they were for - still probably thought they were donating to the game itself somehow, not merely the server.
Donations could perhaps be used to pay for some official servers for online games, perhaps?
The licence of the game does not allow for charging for the game itself, but there is nothing that prevents donations, or charging for a service, such as hosting game servers. So if donations are required, i.e. for the maintenance of the Simutrans servers, the 'donations' DLC could be enabled, and if it is not required, the DLC could be disabled. Likewise, it may be possible to charge for 'Game Server' hosting as is already done...

So, if someone must write a manual, do they get paid? And if so, not the developers? How is the money distributed? So far, with the exception above, we've not had to worry about money. And so everyone volunteers equally, i.e. as much effort as they wish. If money comes into it: Will Hajo be paid? There's a hornet's nest I don't think anyone wants to open.
A manual is not 'required' but would definately be beneficial (as users would go there first for information). Having taken a look at a few of the manuals that have been produced previously, I would have no problem working on an up to date english manual, using whatever Pak was decided as default for the manual, in regards to other languages, we could either ask others to work on manuals for other languages independantly, or ask them to translate the manual after it is finished, or only supply the manual in a single language.

But there are many potential pitfalls: license, influx of a lot of people who don't have time to assimilate to the generally polite community we have here
There is nothing in the licence that prevents the game being on Steam (section 4a of the license allows distribution so long as there is a link back to Simutrans).
In regards to Steamworks, there seem to be two possible options.
1) Any code changes are submitted back to Simutrans (as detailed in section 3a of the license)
2) Both the standard game, and a Steam enhanced version are packaged together. (as detailed in section 3c & 4c of the license)

In regards to assimilating people into the community, I do think that it would be wise to have some form of separate, or partially separate Steam support forum.
Another option as stated in section 5 of the license... 'You may charge any fee you choose for support of this Package.' Possibly we could direct users from Steam who do want 'advanced' levels of support to a paid portal for support, and any funds generated could be paid out to those who choose to do support.

Offline Ters

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Re: Simutrans on Steam
« Reply #23 on: December 10, 2015, 08:51:27 PM »
Pak64 is the default. When you install Simutrans on Windows it always forces you to install pak64 (you cannot toggle it).
Having never used the installer (only downloaded it to see what Windows Defender said about it), this was unknown to me, and this fact is certainly not reflected in the screen shots I see on this forum. Is it bundled in the installer, or does it download separately. If the latter, the download stats on SourceForge will be skewed.

Offline prissi

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Re: Simutrans on Steam
« Reply #24 on: December 10, 2015, 10:24:12 PM »
The installer just want to install a pak set, it does not have to be pak64. You can uncheck it, as long as you install another.

pak64 has the advantage of being small, while some stuff (like pak192.comic) is some 100 MB and thus excludes people on less able connections. Or no pak and the downloader will pop up upon start, so the user sees that there is a choice.

I would not change the pak folder names, as this would make online games incompatible.

Offline HaydenRead

Re: Simutrans on Steam
« Reply #25 on: December 10, 2015, 11:34:32 PM »
I guess the question is, would a larger default graphics set result in more users (as the game looks better by default), or would a smaller graphics set, with the option to download a larger graphics set be better?

Looking at the Steam user Statistics
With the 6mb graphics set, it would take 25 minutes to download the graphics set for the slowest 2.79% of users
With the 100mb graphics set, it would take over an hour to download the graphics set for approximately the slowest 15% of users.

If the pak64 graphics set is used as the default, would it be marketed on steam primarily with that pak (with reference too, and screenshots of other available paks).

With the monitoring steam provides, if it is found that most users use a different Pak, would there likely be a backlash if the default was changed later (leaving the option to download the previous default).

I do think that deciding a primary/default Pak for inclusion by default is an important step before marekting it on Steam Greenlight.

Offline Ters

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Re: Simutrans on Steam
« Reply #26 on: December 11, 2015, 06:50:12 AM »
I do think that deciding a primary/default Pak for inclusion by default is an important step before marekting it on Steam Greenlight.

I suspect that this is a decision the community will not or can not make. Simutrans has very much a what-you-want attitude. As long as you make it happen yourself, that is.

Most of the active participants on this forum probably don't even run a standard pak set, but have done modifications to it by editing simuconf.tab and/or installing add-ons paks.

Offline HaydenRead

Re: Simutrans on Steam
« Reply #27 on: December 11, 2015, 09:09:44 AM »
Ok, how do people feel about this idea:
  • I place Simutrans on Steam Greenlight, to get the ball rolling towards getting the application on Steam, with a focus on Pak128 which will be packaged with the Steam version, but also referencing the other Pak's that will be made available as DLC on Steam.
  • While it is in the process of getting through Greenlight, I work on a manual based on Pak128, to go with the game on Steam
  • No fees, charges, donations, etc get placed on anything on Steam initially, until it has been further discussed and decided upon.
  • Even after the game has made it through the Greenlight process, it is not published on Steam, until the manual is complete, and decisions are made around Support Forums, and any other issues that arise prior to Greenlight completing.

I figured going with Pak128, as several polls have placed it as the most popular, and Sourceforge shows it is the most downloaded after Pak64.

Offline prissi

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Re: Simutrans on Steam
« Reply #28 on: December 11, 2015, 09:45:11 PM »
pak128 is currently unplayable for most novices, as building railway bridges and tunnel will fail on most occasions. Maybe we should get a pak128, that also allows single height bridges, even if it looks ugly.

Or maybe diistribute both pak128 and pak64, so 90% of all network games are covered.

Offline Yona-TYT

Re: Simutrans on Steam
« Reply #29 on: December 12, 2015, 01:30:44 AM »
pak128 is currently unplayable for most novices, as building railway bridges and tunnel will fail on most occasions. Maybe we should get a pak128, that also allows single height bridges, even if it looks ugly.

Or maybe diistribute both pak128 and pak64, so 90% of all network games are covered.



It sounds like one of those problems without short-term solution (who knows), but I think it is best to create a version without slopes of medium height, at least until it is solved (maybe someday).






@HaydenRead
By the way, I really like the idea of to wear Simutrans to new horizons, and making life easier for new players with Steam.  :thumbsup:

« Last Edit: December 12, 2015, 01:46:24 AM by Yona-TYT »

Offline HarrierST

Re: Simutrans on Steam
« Reply #30 on: December 12, 2015, 03:46:49 AM »
We can always check the downloads from our SourceForge:
https://sourceforge.net/projects/simutrans/files/?source=navbar

And pak64 is the winner.

Only because that is suggested in the old threads, that have not been
updated.


We get donations and pay a third party company to write us a manual.

No way. You still have to do all the hard work to provide them with all the info text and screenshots etc.

They just make it look pretty and charge you a fortune for that.


Well, pak64 - but I do not think it is the most actively maintained pak set. And it certainly has some flaws. Sometimes, I even feel that I'm the only one using it (I know that at least DrSuperGood has used it, as must its maintainer to some degree), although it might be more popular among the non-vocal majority.

The problem is, the help forum screens, for newcomers says this is always  the most up to date version. Then pak128 will be updated and after that any other paks (i.e  pak128 Britain) in that order.

Which is why I started playing pak64 - as it is supposed to be the most developed set.



Sorry for the double post - I got  confused  and could not merge them properly.  :-[


Having never used the installer (only downloaded it to see what Windows Defender said about it), this was unknown to me, and this fact is certainly not reflected in the screen shots I see on this forum. Is it bundled in the installer, or does it download separately. If the latter, the download stats on SourceForge will be skewed.

I did not uncheck anything.  You get :

Pak  (64)
Pak128
Pak128.Britain
Pak48.Excentrique
« Last Edit: December 12, 2015, 08:09:47 AM by Isaac.Eiland-Hall »

Offline DrSuperGood

Re: Simutrans on Steam
« Reply #31 on: December 12, 2015, 06:24:04 AM »
Quote
pak128 is currently unplayable for most novices, as building railway bridges and tunnel will fail on most occasions. Maybe we should get a pak128, that also allows single height bridges, even if it looks ugly.
A little bit of in game help can solve that.

The main problem with pak128 is that its balance is quite iffy. For example you could install a coal line and barely make profit, but installing an oil or milk run will give you pots of money. If pak128 is used it would need a lot of work and polish. Localizations also need work, and simutranslator does not seem to be working.

There are also a number of engine fixes that could be done as they confuse users. Eg powerlines that can be built over ways but not over stops yet stops can be produced under power lines. Elevated ways that can exist over tall buildings yet not be built on them. Bridges always being able to be built over all buildings. Etc.

Offline Isaac.Eiland-Hall

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Re: Simutrans on Steam
« Reply #32 on: December 12, 2015, 08:19:26 AM »
I think including multiple paks would be a very good step - since that's a basic part of how Simutrans works.

Offline Ters

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Re: Simutrans on Steam
« Reply #33 on: December 12, 2015, 08:30:42 AM »
The main problem with pak128 is that its balance is quite iffy. For example you could install a coal line and barely make profit, but installing an oil or milk run will give you pots of money. If pak128 is used it would need a lot of work and polish. Localizations also need work, and simutranslator does not seem to be working.

Sounds a lot like the problems with pak64, although I don't know how the various translations are.

Offline Vladki

Re: Simutrans on Steam
« Reply #34 on: December 12, 2015, 10:03:16 AM »
To the half/double height problem. Partial solution is in pak128.britain, where track is allowed also on steep slopes, so bridges can be built without problems.

I dont know if any pak128.* is using double height the same way as pak64.

I think pak64 is good for beginners. The fact that there is not so much choices (vehicles, road/rail types), one level clearance for bridges and tunnels and complete feature set is imho good for beginners. And more important than overall look. Balancing the game is also important and pak64 is quite ok.
« Last Edit: December 12, 2015, 10:34:07 AM by Vladki »