Author Topic: [TUTORIALS] Video tutorials for the new signalling system  (Read 7223 times)

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Offline jamespetts

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[TUTORIALS] Video tutorials for the new signalling system
« on: August 10, 2015, 12:54:17 AM »
I thought that it might be an interesting idea to make a series of video tutorials for the features of the new signalling system in the forthcoming release of Simutrans-Experimental nightly builds of Simutrans-Extended to make it easier to understand how they will work. To make it more interesting, and fitting, I thought that it might be rather nice to make them in the style of films made by British Transport Films in the 1950s.

I have just uploaded the first video, which is Drive by Sight signalling, explaining the most basic of the new signalling working methods, which is particularly suited to trams and early railways.

I should be interested in any views that people may have as to how worthwhile that these films are and how easy that they are to understand.

Edit: The below list is added (17 October 2015; updated 12 August 2016; further updated 16 October 2016; updated again 11 December 2016; updated further 31 March 2017)

« Last Edit: March 31, 2017, 10:43:56 AM by jamespetts »
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Offline Junna

Re: Video tutorials for the new signalling system
« Reply #1 on: August 10, 2015, 01:09:25 AM »
That is a charming accent, I dare say.

I am particularly interest'd in explanations of the later signals. Am I correct to assume that this, however, will not be realised until the implementation of the signal boxes?

(On the signal boxes; how would then CTC/power signalling be implemented once signal boxes are centralised?)

Offline jamespetts

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Re: Video tutorials for the new signalling system
« Reply #2 on: August 10, 2015, 09:23:49 AM »
Yes, there will have to be signal boxes before the later signalling systems are described, which should be my next coding task (unless any significant bugs emerge first).

As to power signalling, the signal boxes would have a greater range, and the signals would be of the track circuit block rather than the absolute block type, which work more flexibly and efficiently than signals using the absolute block working method.
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Offline Ves

Re: Video tutorials for the new signalling system
« Reply #3 on: August 10, 2015, 07:49:44 PM »
Yes, what a very nice film making it very clear how it works! And its a lovely accent :)

One question that wasnt answered in the film:
How will you make the trains go back to 'drive by sight' once they passed a signal? will there be a 'drive by sight'-sign you can place?

Offline jamespetts

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Re: Video tutorials for the new signalling system
« Reply #4 on: August 10, 2015, 07:59:20 PM »
Whenever a train stops at a station or a reversing waypoint, it reverts automatically to drive by sight until it passes a signal: this is why there usually need to be signals at the end of a platform.
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Offline kierongreen

Re: Video tutorials for the new signalling system
« Reply #5 on: August 11, 2015, 04:29:51 PM »
Very interesting, I wonder whether signal by sight could ever be used in Standard...

Offline jamespetts

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Re: Video tutorials for the new signalling system
« Reply #6 on: August 11, 2015, 06:04:43 PM »
Do feel free to adapt the code...
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Offline Jando

Re: Video tutorials for the new signalling system
« Reply #7 on: August 11, 2015, 09:45:34 PM »
Congratulation, James, very nice!

Looking forward to Simutrans Film productions! :)

Offline DrSuperGood

Re: Video tutorials for the new signalling system
« Reply #8 on: August 12, 2015, 12:33:45 AM »
Would be nice if we could get a written overview of what the new system is. I mean not everyone watches only videos.

I hope it fixes the problems early trams had. I never got that loop working because tramways had no signals and only stops defined blocks.

Offline Junna

Re: Video tutorials for the new signalling system
« Reply #9 on: August 12, 2015, 02:11:06 AM »
I hope it fixes the problems early trams had. I never got that loop working because tramways had no signals and only stops defined blocks.

Didn't you use the railway signals?

Offline jamespetts

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Re: Video tutorials for the new signalling system
« Reply #10 on: August 12, 2015, 07:29:12 PM »
I think that committing it to writing will need to be after all the work on signalling is complete; but it should indeed fix the problem caused by only stops defining blocks in tramways and having to use railway signals on the street, which looks silly and is inefficient and unrealistic for trams.

To what loop are you referring, though?
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Offline DrSuperGood

Re: Video tutorials for the new signalling system
« Reply #11 on: August 13, 2015, 12:58:28 AM »
Quote
To what loop are you referring, though?
GRANITE on the server operates a tram loop around some city island. It was constructed with the very first steam powered trams (although has been modernized since). The practicality of this line is questionable but I still made it just for the sake of owning some trams.

At first it did not have signals. I am unsure if that was because no signals showed on the Tram UI (non-intuitive) or that early-ish signals were not working on the tram ways. The result was quite disastrous, especially when trying to replace (since they would try to go the wrong way round the loop). It seems modern signals can be used however but again they do not appear in the tram tools.

Surely drive by sight should reserve more than 1-2 blocks ahead based on visibility? I would imagine reserving up to 1 km on a flat straight line would be more realistic since the driver can see trains in the distance. However if a corner is encountered then it goes to only 1-2 block ahead reservation which would limit speed (since driver cannot see around the corner).
« Last Edit: August 13, 2015, 05:48:23 AM by DrSuperGood »

Offline jamespetts

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Re: Video tutorials for the new signalling system
« Reply #12 on: August 13, 2015, 10:11:26 AM »
Your experience with the loop is an interesting one, and mirrors problems that a lot of people have had with trams. The drive by sight working method should help that, as will the availability of a new one way sign for railways (which also works on tram lines).

As to the number of tiles reserved, I think that this is probably accurate, especially since t is not really practical for a train/tram to keep speeding up/slowing down depending on whether there are any bends. In reality, it would be hills, undulations, slight corners not simulated in Simutrans combined with lineside obstructions, etc. that would also interfere with sighting, so a sighting distance of over 1km will not be realistic. However, I do plan for the sighting distance to be set in the pakset eventually.
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Offline jamespetts

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Re: Video tutorials for the new signalling system
« Reply #13 on: October 17, 2015, 04:32:41 PM »
Here is the latest tutorial on signals and signalboxes in the forthcoming release of Simutrans-Experimental.
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Offline Isaac.Eiland-Hall

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Re: Video tutorials for the new signalling system
« Reply #14 on: October 18, 2015, 04:16:31 AM »
Wow. A lot of work for someone just wanting to set up a game --- but amazing for someone who wants to get into a more detailed simulation. That's amazing! I'm glad this is available. I'll have to play with it when I have time. :)

Offline dannyman

Re: Video tutorials for the new signalling system
« Reply #15 on: November 16, 2015, 02:13:04 AM »
NICE!!  esp line-of-sight ...

Who is the voice talent in the videos?

As far as line-of-sight goes, you might be able to SEE 1km ahead, but you need to be able to STOP within a certain distance.  And in town, you might expect a shorter distance for stopping, which might be reflected in the speed limit.

It might be nice to have an option to disable the signal box requirement for those players who are not ready for the complexity.  I know I've turned axle weight off on occasion because my little brain just can't deal. :)

Any wild guess when the next release might make it?  2016Q2?  If I pull and compile master ex+pak128is it playable?

Cheers,
-danny

Offline jamespetts

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Re: Video tutorials for the new signalling system
« Reply #16 on: November 16, 2015, 12:54:37 PM »
I am glad that you like this: hopefully, it will be a useful enhancement. (The voice in the videos is mine, with a little bit of compression and EQ to make it sound like an older recording).

Disabling the signalbox requirement is not readily possible as one particular type of signalling - absolute block - relies on signalboxes for the actual signalling logic (the distant signal shows clear when all following home signals controlled by the same box are also at clear). Pakset authors, however, if they are content not to use signals of the absolute block method, can allow signals to be placed without signalboxes by altering the signals' .dat files.

It is very difficult to predict the release date, as it is very difficult to predict: (1) how much time that it will take to implement any given feature; (2) how many bugs that there will be; (3) how long that it will take to fix each bug; and (4) how much free time that I will have. Each of those things can vary by orders of magnitude, so the overall possible timing can vary by orders of magnitude of orders of magnitude. My current plan is not to release after each new feature, but rather keep going with adding new features until I have finished the balance critical features, as, without proper price balancing, there is really only half a game. This may take a fair while, quite possibly well in excess of a year.

However, in the meantime, there have been people who have been playing with a self-compiled version of the code and pakset. This is not an easy option, as the code will constantly be changing, may be unstable, and there will be balance issues and incomplete features. However, people playing the game in this state are very useful to me in finding bugs that I do not have time to test for.
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Offline jamespetts

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Re: Video tutorials for the new signalling system
« Reply #17 on: August 13, 2016, 01:54:26 AM »
I have now added a further video on the one train staff working method.
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Offline jamespetts

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Re: Video tutorials for the new signalling system
« Reply #18 on: August 17, 2016, 11:39:23 PM »
I have added a further film about inland navigations: not strictly about the signalling system, but documenting several new features in the 12.x series of Experimental.
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Offline Junna

Re: Video tutorials for the new signalling system
« Reply #19 on: August 18, 2016, 12:13:16 AM »
The frame rate looks bad in the videos. Is this due to the recording software used or does the game give you that bad performance? Might turn people off if the game if they think it runs that sluggishly.

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Re: Video tutorials for the new signalling system
« Reply #20 on: August 18, 2016, 09:05:07 AM »
The framerate seems to drop considerably when I run the recording software (Cam Studio). Have you or anyone else any idea how to prevent this from happening?
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Offline Junna

Re: Video tutorials for the new signalling system
« Reply #21 on: August 18, 2016, 03:02:21 PM »
I can only remember Fraps, and I'm not sure it would produce better results. I tried to make recordings myself with some other program, and it too produced a very laggy video with both Simutrans and oTTD. Carl might know, since I seem to recall things ran reasonable in his videos.

Offline jamespetts

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Re: Video tutorials for the new signalling system
« Reply #22 on: October 16, 2016, 04:21:21 PM »
I have now uploaded a new film on the time interval working method, here. I have managed to find different software (Open Broadcast Studio, used by Carl, I believe), which seems to have a better framerate.
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Offline jamespetts

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Re: [TUTORIALS] Video tutorials for the new signalling system
« Reply #23 on: December 11, 2016, 03:59:27 PM »
I have now added a new video on the time interval with telegraph working method.

Watch it here.
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Offline Ves

Re: [TUTORIALS] Video tutorials for the new signalling system
« Reply #24 on: December 11, 2016, 04:20:38 PM »
Very nice and informative! :)

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Re: [TUTORIALS] Video tutorials for the new signalling system
« Reply #25 on: March 31, 2017, 10:44:20 AM »
A new film on absolute block signalling is now available.

Watch it here.
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Offline Ves

Re: [TUTORIALS] Video tutorials for the new signalling system
« Reply #26 on: March 31, 2017, 04:22:28 PM »
Nice video James! Well informative and clear I think!  :thumbsup: