Author Topic: Vehicle constraints. What is good gameplay?  (Read 1705 times)

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Offline Ves

Vehicle constraints. What is good gameplay?
« on: October 31, 2016, 08:32:49 PM »
Having had a little brake from painting and coding vehicles for a while, Im currently set my efforts to create the X60. Pictures -> Google image search.
This multiple unit train have 6 cars. Different companies have ordered train sets with different amount of cars, different door and interieur configurations for long range/short range etc and those variations are called X61 and X62.

My initial thought was to have both X60, X61 and X62 in the pakset as different trains with fixed lengths, but I am unsure wether I am in fact limmiting gameplay instead of adding gameplay by doing that. The alternative to have three train types with fixed lengths would be to have maybe two types, one high comfort, one low comfort, and make the player decide how many cars it should have (up to a limit). The later would also not be historically accurate (neither would the liveries).
This also concerns a big bunch of other multiple unit vehicles, as well as steam engines with their tenders (which is something of a jungle....).

What do you think is good gameplay? Do you like having set rules and play more historically correct, like fixed length of emu's described above, or do you prefer to be able to use configurations which, theoratically, could have been true in real life?

Offline Vladki

Re: Vehicle constraints. What is good gameplay?
« Reply #1 on: October 31, 2016, 09:05:56 PM »
Well, I will have the same problem with czech EMU classes 440, 640, 650, 660. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/%C5%A0koda_7Ev
They exist in 2-, 3- and 5-car units and differ mostly in comfort and capacity. And they are for the same company (and livery).

I would make all the variations fixed in game, because you cannot easily reconfigure them. So, once you purchase them you have to use them as they are. (Or join 2 of them to make longer train).

On the other hand, units like 450/550 (http://www.pantografy.estranky.cz/clanky/natery.html) could be easily made longer or shorter, even though they are usually not rearranged. Originally built as 5-cars units, some of them recently got one extra car. These should allow for arbitrary configuration.

Offline Ves

Re: Vehicle constraints. What is good gameplay?
« Reply #2 on: October 31, 2016, 09:31:11 PM »
I did not think about that it is more "easy" to disassemble some vehicles than others. The boggies on X60-X62 are shared between two cars, so althoug it is possible, it is a major mechanical thing to do. Would be cool if could cost money to dissassemble some vehicles! :)

What are your view on situations where there is not many irl variations of a vehicle? The czeck emu's you described appears to come in a bunch of variety, so it is more possible to get the exact variation you want. If there had only been in one variation of it, would you also hardcode the length of the train, or allow one to have both 2 and 4 (which appears to be possible)?

Offline Vladki

Re: Vehicle constraints. What is good gameplay?
« Reply #3 on: October 31, 2016, 10:14:07 PM »
I really don't know. We have also less flexible example - pendolino class 680 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/%C4%8CD_Class_680
Which comes only in 7-car units.

It is apparently possible to manufacture some EMUs in arbitrary combinations depending on the needs of railway company. Also there are non-trivial combinations of powered and unpowered cars in units.

I would tend to make them flexible, if the middle cars are all the same, and fixed if the middle cars differ (powered/unpowered/1st/2nd/buffet)

I'd like to hear other's opinions as well

Offline Ves

Re: Vehicle constraints. What is good gameplay?
« Reply #4 on: October 31, 2016, 10:27:40 PM »
One thought, merely as a concept, I've had about emu's:

The Regina trains (X50-X55), one of the main differences between the different models (beside interior) was the number of powered boogies, which all had the same output. If one coded the boogie as its own vehicle, then you would "build" the train by selecting first the coach, then which two boogies you want (powered/unpowered). You would be able to pickpock exactly how you want to construct your train: ie, all powered boogies for good traction or only one or two powered boogies for cheaper trains. Downsides are you probably would loose oversight of what you are doing, due to a huge number of hidden "vehicles".

I too would like to hear others opinions

Offline jamespetts

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Re: Vehicle constraints. What is good gameplay?
« Reply #5 on: November 01, 2016, 01:42:29 PM »
What do you think is good gameplay? Do you like having set rules and play more historically correct, like fixed length of emu's described above, or do you prefer to be able to use configurations which, theoratically, could have been true in real life?

My own preference is the latter, as it is more consistent with a simulated world where the player is in control, making decisions that make economic sense in the context of the simulated world in which they are taken rather than the different circumstances of the real world. The former would make more sense if Simutrans were more about creating cosmetically accurate models of reality (as in a sort of computerised model railway) than were it a simulation game in its own right.
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Offline Ves

Re: Vehicle constraints. What is good gameplay?
« Reply #6 on: November 01, 2016, 02:44:41 PM »
My own preference is the latter, as it is more consistent with a simulated world where the player is in control, making decisions that make economic sense in the context of the simulated world in which they are taken rather than the different circumstances of the real world. The former would make more sense if Simutrans were more about creating cosmetically accurate models of reality (as in a sort of computerised model railway) than were it a simulation game in its own right.

How is Pak.britain oriented? I know there are a bunch of constraints, but I have never really played an endgame with the pakset.

Offline jamespetts

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Re: Vehicle constraints. What is good gameplay?
« Reply #7 on: November 01, 2016, 02:48:11 PM »
It may not be entirely consistent, as the vehicle constraints have been put in by different people over a long period of time. Whenever I add or update anything, however, I always try to do it on the basis of what would have been possible (or, at least, reasonably practical) with the actual vehicles at the time in question, rather than either what was in fact done or what might have been possible had the vehicles been modified. There are some simplifications (e.g. there is currently no representation of the fact that the LBSCR had a different braking system to most other railway companies), but, in general, one can connect things that might have been but were in fact not connected in reality, and one can have, for example, a High Speed Train formation of other than the 7, 8 or 9 carriages that they historically had (for example) without any buffet car, etc..
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Offline Vladki

Re: Vehicle constraints. What is good gameplay?
« Reply #8 on: November 01, 2016, 06:35:39 PM »
With this is related one question I had in mind:

how do you treat vehicles that were built only as a single (or two) prototype?
in pak.CS we have quite a lot of them. Some have been abandoned because they were technological failure, some were improved further, and others for economical or political reasons.

My idea was to either make them significantly more expensive (those that were technologically bad), and to retire them within short time after introduction.

Offline Junna

Re: Vehicle constraints. What is good gameplay?
« Reply #9 on: November 01, 2016, 06:48:31 PM »
I'm in favour of being generous and inclusive with regards to "lemons" and experimental units and vehicles in general, I don't think they should be penalised specifically if they were, seems perhaps in an 'ideal' scenario where the vehicle in question at least somewhat worked out-- or higher maintenance cost if the vehicle had serious maintenance problems in real life.

Offline jamespetts

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Re: Vehicle constraints. What is good gameplay?
« Reply #10 on: November 01, 2016, 07:27:23 PM »
Again, in Pak128.Britain, the approach is not always consistent because there have been different authors of material who have treated things differently. However, the better approach, I think, is to leave out entirely the prototypes that were failures because something inherent about the design meant that they never could have succeeded (or, where this is unclear from the evidence available, where this seems fairly likely), such as the GER "Decapod" locomotive, but treat vehicle types that were unsuccessful for other reasons but that might have been successful in different circumstances (such as the Advanced Passenger Train) as though they were production units. It is preferable to assume that any defect in the design or construction that could at the time have been remedied without a major change in the design (giving rise to unknown performance data) had been remedied. There are many cases in which certain vehicles had only limited success or were useful in only limited situations (e.g. because of high running costs), and this should be reflected realistically. It is better not to include any vehicles that will always clearly be the wrong choice no matter what the situation. It is always preferable, I think, where a type of vehicle (or way, for that matter) had a particular sort of flaw in reality for the game to simulate that specific flaw as realistically as possible by the means at its disposal (e.g., unreliability translating to high maintenance cost, etc.).
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Offline Ves

Re: Vehicle constraints. What is good gameplay?
« Reply #11 on: November 01, 2016, 09:56:48 PM »
Many of the examples of odd rolling stock in Sweden, lemons, onetimers, comes from the privatisation/state-ification/back to privatisation history. If you look at this page: http://www.svenska-lok.se/motor_main.php?s=21, you see 30+ of principally identical vehicles. In such case, I put each vehicle in categories, based on year, KiloWatt, topspeed etc, and the final decission on which to include would be made by choosing the most "popular" vehicles from each category. Then, I think every vehicles in the pakset would have a place and a role, especially when shunting is introduced! :) Also, I look wether rolling stock are/where well known or unknown, and prefer to choose a littera that many people would recognize.

In the later years, the famous Rc family had its relative unknown mother, Rb, which was built in 6 examplares to experiment with the equipment later installed in Rc. I have included Rb in the pakset due to its role in relation to Rc, and also because the graphics are very similar to the Rc. I intend to make the cost and maintenance cost slightly higher than the RC to reflect the "experimentation" and unstandardized electronics and make it obsolete in the depot as soon as the Rc arrives, which will give it 5 years.

I too think that there should not exist vehicles that in every occasion is worse than any other existing vehicles. However, with the introduction of shunting, I have faith that many vehicles, which in the current simutrans would be pointless, suddently might make sence (as the locomotor-page linked to earlier).

Quote
how do you treat vehicles that were built only as a single (or two) prototype?
in pak.CS we have quite a lot of them. Some have been abandoned because they were technological failure, some were improved further, and others for economical or political reasons.

My idea was to either make them significantly more expensive (those that were technologically bad), and to retire them within short time after introduction.

It somehow feels weird to have a one timer in multiple copys on the layout. If an engine was an experiment, it should only exist in one example on the map. If a second hand marked was ever introduced, it would be cool if you could buy that ONE vehicle (cheaply, due to the original owners finnished the experiment). Maybe set a flag in the datfile with "can_only_buy_second_hand=1" along with a "max_quantity=". It would at least greatly add to the immersion to be able to buy second hand vehicles, also in respect to buying other old vehicles (Sweden imported from around year 2000 old diesel locomotives from Denmark, originally built 1960'ies)!

It really is a time investment to create graphics (and also code) for a vehicle, and it really would be a shame if graphics for a vehicle is not needed due to the vehicle appears not to fit in balance wise.

Offline jamespetts

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Re: Vehicle constraints. What is good gameplay?
« Reply #12 on: November 01, 2016, 11:09:08 PM »
I am not sure that I understand the economic basis for restricting the maximum quantity of a vehicle: surely the only reason that no more than one vehicle would be built is that whoever wanted the first one did not, for one reason or another, want any more of that same design, either because a better design became available, its requirements changed, because it was not as useful or reliable as originally intended, or for some other reason. There would never be a situation in which somebody wanted more to the same design but could not obtain any, surely (short of time-based obsolescence, perhaps)?
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Offline Ves

Re: Vehicle constraints. What is good gameplay?
« Reply #13 on: November 02, 2016, 05:38:43 AM »
Restricting number of vehicles was merely a suggestion regarding the odd vehicles, in order to make it easier balance wise to include them in the pakset. Afterall, an experiment vehicle might in fact be better than the ordinary one, for whatever reason, and I would not like to push the player to leave the history (too much!).

Offline jamespetts

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Re: Vehicle constraints. What is good gameplay?
« Reply #14 on: November 02, 2016, 10:33:34 AM »
If an experimental vehicle was better than an ordinary one, why was it not built in quantity? If the reason was that it was not suited to the particular circumstances that obtained historically, surely it would make the balance better, not worse, if players were able, in other circumstances that might hypothetically occur in the game, to build them in quantity? If, conversely, the reason was that there was some flaw in the design (e.g. high maintenance costs), then reflecting that flaw in the vehicle's statistics should not adversely affect balance either.
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Offline Ves

Re: Vehicle constraints. What is good gameplay?
« Reply #15 on: November 02, 2016, 02:08:08 PM »
You (the company that you play) may not have been the one ordering the build of the vehicle in the first place, so you have therefore no say in which quantity the vehicle was built? You get hold of it after it has been experimented with. But somehow, this more relates to second hand markets, which I am unsure if you intended to implement?

Offline Vladki

Re: Vehicle constraints. What is good gameplay?
« Reply #16 on: November 02, 2016, 05:29:38 PM »
There were a few examples in czechoslovakia of more or less succesful desings which did not make it to mass production for political reasons. E.g. manufacturing of the strongest diesel engines was monopolised by USSR. Although we had our own strong engine "orange/pomeranc", it was built only in a small series, and then many many "taiga drums" were imported. Express engine "kyklop" was also abandoned, already in prototype phase. It is not clear whether for technical or political reasons.