Author Topic: [Mega Project] pak128.Britain Balancing  (Read 10822 times)

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Offline The Hood

[Mega Project] pak128.Britain Balancing
« on: January 25, 2016, 08:40:27 PM »
As I've hinted in a few places elsewhere I think it's time to make a serious attempt at balancing the pakset properly. I'm under no illusions this will be a massive project but no doubt worth it in terms of playability in the end.


I thought it worth mentioning my vague strategy as it's likely I'll need help (advice and testing!). A lot of it I intend to follow on from my previous attempt in 2013 (discussion here: http://forum.simutrans.com/index.php?topic=11849.75


Basically I intend to fork development of pak128.Britain now and I'll be making a series of releases for play-testing. I'd appreciate people taking the time to try out the physics (acceleration and power) and economics of the new versions, either on existing games or on new games, and to comment to me for refinement. First step will be to rebalance the trains (as the most numerous and most complicated mode so hardest and most important to get right). I will start with the conclusions from my old work in 2013 but will add in ideas about station cost which have now been added to the code. This will mean a significant change in how physics and economics work in game, so old saves may not play to well - I wouldn't recommend switching mid-game for any reason other than to see how the new versions work!


Any thoughts or ideas are also very welcome (except where they involve a big headache and lots of work to solve! :p)


Offline jamespetts

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Re: [Mega Project] pak128.Britain Balancing
« Reply #1 on: January 25, 2016, 08:49:15 PM »
Goodness - I wish you the best for this marathon. I am still some way off (in coding terms) being able to do this for Experimental. It will make a huge difference to how worthwhile that it will be to play the Standard version, however.

I should note that I am part-way through producing quite a number of rail data (including many new locomotives, carriages and electric multiple units) in addition to re-scaling large numbers of things already in the pakset, the new vehicles of which will need balancing when they arrive.

I expect that the balance for Standard will end up being really quite different to that for Experimental in the end owing to the limitations in what can be simulated in Standard; it may be worthwhile in some cases adding .dat file comments (marked with the # symbol) showing what has been changed from a researched value, where applicable.
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Offline Drewthegreat87

Re: [Mega Project] pak128.Britain Balancing
« Reply #2 on: January 26, 2016, 01:47:41 AM »
The Hood,


What all are you planning on using to balance out the trains? When 1.17 was released, I went though the trains and updated (Mostly LBSCR and a few Midland locos) to bring up their power/gear within ranges which could haul trains(LBSCR locos for example might not have had a gear listed, or it was low and couldn't sufficiently haul more than, say, one or two carriages). I didn't update them to prototypical specs, but changed them to fit in with contemporary units for their era. My playing bench mark is to utilize locomotives that can haul trains at their maximum speed (i.e. the green bar is green when I fill out the carriages/goods wagons etc). I've only recently gone past that so much as speed isn't impacted too much.

Road hauling vehicles in later game need some help.

As far as economic balancing, what are you specifically looking at? Pricing? Factory output/needs per era? I think some haulage forms are a bit overpowered (ships for example) I am willing to help play test when I have the time family/work/real life come first naturally, but I usually have a bit of time during the week to do whatever with.

Offline The Hood

Re: [Mega Project] pak128.Britain Balancing
« Reply #3 on: January 26, 2016, 08:05:29 AM »
@jamespetts - I think experimental is doing a great job of cornering the "realism" market. You've noted in many places how standard doesn't accurately simulate the real world so for balancing the standard pakset I intend to adopt a "semi-realistic" model, i.e. reasonable historical top speeds, kW powers (for diesel and electric where known), but after that to imagine what a "sensible" historical load for each vehicle would be and fiddle the other numbers to get it about right in proportion with other vehicles. The idea is to get a sort of realistic "feel" to the whole game without breaking the limits of what Standard can achieve. Clearly that will mean quite different data from experimental, but standard is supposed to be more entry-level and there will always be experimental for those who wish to go for the extra realism.

@DrewTheGreat - thanks for the offer, it will be very helpful. Power and gear will be completely overhauled. The plan is to have gears more or less the same (actually electric, diesel, early steam, late steam (superheated) will all have different gear factors I think but within each group the same gear). I have an excel spreadsheet that should ensure a "sensible" load is possible with each loco. Many of the vehicles I made over the last few years have placeholder dat values or just copied straight from experimental, hence the need for rebalancing. Economics-wise it will be everything. First job is to ensure that full loads are profitable for sensible convoys and infrastructure, considering prices, maintenance costs and track costs. After that I'll look at the supply/demand side.

Offline wlindley

Re: [Mega Project] pak128.Britain Balancing
« Reply #4 on: January 26, 2016, 02:27:04 PM »
Perhaps the various station add-on buildings could be sized and priced along a somewhat logarithmic scale.

For example, in 1850, taking a smaller base railway tile capacity [perhaps 16 or 8 versus 32 now] as 1 unit:
BuildingCapacityBuild CostMonthly Cost
Goods siding
Livestock Pen
Goods Shed
Goods Warehouse10×
Bulk Goods Loading Tower20×
Fluid Storage Tanks50×10×10×
Bulk Goods Bunker100×20×20×

and likewise for the various passenger stations.  In the 1850s-1860s, there should be some incentive to use brick platforms over wooden ones, perhaps much higher building costs and lower monthly:

BuildingCapacityBuild CostMonthly Cost
Wooden Platform
Brick Platform10×
Wooden Platform with Overroof
Country Station Building20×
Brick Platform with Building50×
Wooden Station Building10×20×
Brick Platform with Overroof10×50×
Stone Station Building20×100×

Note too that the fluid storage and country station are introduced later but fill in between some of the earlier larger tiles.

This would go a long way in upgrading station construction from mere eye-candy to require considered planning.

 

Offline Iluvalar

Re: [Mega Project] pak128.Britain Balancing
« Reply #5 on: January 26, 2016, 04:30:00 PM »
Before going too far, may I suggest you give a try to my pak128-ilu (http://forum.simutrans.com/index.php?topic=14891.0). Where pak128, pak128.britain and pak64 coexist without timeline and all vehicles being balanced ? It might show you what you can achieve, and what it will cost in term of realism and gameplay. This is balanced a completely different way then other paks.

There is some high level game design problems I needed to tackle before doing the actual balancing. Mostly, once everything is balanced, what will make the player opt for a slower road ? How to make different speed roads really coexist intentionally by the player ? And not just enforce it by the last better vehicles given in the timeline.

Also a good one : What will make a 3t bulk truck and a 5t bulk truck really stand out for each other and make the choice engaging for the player ?

Another thing you need to pay attention before hand : The very important balance between vehicle earning, operational cost and maintenance cost. Their ratio  dictate the gameplay and you need to figure what you really want. I made a big mistake first on that, I'm happy I was using a script that could redo the balance from scratch I would have been mad if I was doing it manualy. Here's the  trap : You will probably try to make the game hard the wrong way around. I.E. you will try to make the vehicle earning low compared to the costs. Maybe 1:3:3 (profit:vehicle:road). Thinking this will make the player more prone to bankrupt and therefore the game more challenging. But nope, this will lead you to the exact opposite; the lack of room for creativity in the lines will cause the optimal solution to be in the great majority of time a straight road between 2 points. And you will have to make the balance so that's a viable (if not optimal) option for most of the lines. The players would draw straight lines everywhere which is just the opposite of difficult.

I'm very enthusiastic about balance. I'd be happy to answer any question you have :).

Offline jamespetts

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Re: [Mega Project] pak128.Britain Balancing
« Reply #6 on: January 28, 2016, 12:23:50 AM »
Here is some music to keep you going during the long, lonely hours of rebalancing purgatory:

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Offline The Hood

Re: [Mega Project] pak128.Britain Balancing
« Reply #7 on: January 31, 2016, 10:06:21 AM »
Perhaps the various station add-on buildings could be sized and priced along a somewhat logarithmic scale.

For example, in 1850, taking a smaller base railway tile capacity [perhaps 16 or 8 versus 32 now] as 1 unit:
BuildingCapacityBuild CostMonthly Cost
Goods siding
Livestock Pen
Goods Shed
Goods Warehouse10×
Bulk Goods Loading Tower20×
Fluid Storage Tanks50×10×10×
Bulk Goods Bunker100×20×20×

and likewise for the various passenger stations.  In the 1850s-1860s, there should be some incentive to use brick platforms over wooden ones, perhaps much higher building costs and lower monthly:

BuildingCapacityBuild CostMonthly Cost
Wooden Platform
Brick Platform10×
Wooden Platform with Overroof
Country Station Building20×
Brick Platform with Building50×
Wooden Station Building10×20×
Brick Platform with Overroof10×50×
Stone Station Building20×100×

Note too that the fluid storage and country station are introduced later but fill in between some of the earlier larger tiles.

This would go a long way in upgrading station construction from mere eye-candy to require considered planning.

 

What do we think about this? Certainly earlier in the game the comparative cost of stations should be less (a because they were less permanent structures at first and labour costs would have been cheaper, but also from a gameplay perspective as revenues are lower with lower capacities). I was toying with the idea of reducing the capacities and costs of all the sidings and platforms (therefore requiring more extension) - the flip side is it becomes cheaper to build sprawling stations that have huge coverage. Any thoughts?

Offline Vladki

Re: [Mega Project] pak128.Britain Balancing
« Reply #8 on: January 31, 2016, 10:41:30 AM »
I would just suggest putting higher maintenance on wooden platforms than brick ones.
Capacity should be the same, dependent only on having overroof or not.

Why a bulk goods bunker has so high build and maintenance costs? I thought it is just an open place to pile up coal (etc.), perhaps with a wall to separate it from other bulk goods.

Anyway, I'd gladly do some testing. Though in my previous game with pak128.Britain, I felt that the most unbalanced things are airplanes, busses and mail trucks. Those could not make profit even if running full both ways.

Offline The Hood

Re: [Mega Project] pak128.Britain Balancing
« Reply #9 on: January 31, 2016, 01:46:04 PM »
Problem with that is that wooden platforms are earlier than brick. More maintenance per month hits profitability really hard with old slow convoys with smaller capacities. The incentive for brick wood be higher capacity instead.

Offline Spenk009

Re: [Mega Project] pak128.Britain Balancing
« Reply #10 on: February 01, 2016, 04:16:22 PM »
Wooden platforms should be cheaper to construct, but if a tile is in use for more than 3-5 yrs it'll be much cheaper to have invested in stone. Station buildings should be the way to go in terms of adding capacity.

May I suggest you fork a portable, compiled and readily-playable version of Simutrans-Ex? Every incrementation would get a new branch and there'll be fewer version discrepancies between savegames. People download the most recent branch and can move savegames as they wish.

Offline jamespetts

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Re: [Mega Project] pak128.Britain Balancing
« Reply #11 on: February 01, 2016, 04:21:18 PM »
Wooden platforms should be cheaper to construct, but if a tile is in use for more than 3-5 yrs it'll be much cheaper to have invested in stone. Station buildings should be the way to go in terms of adding capacity.

That is the way that I have done it in Experimental.
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Offline The Hood

Re: [Mega Project] pak128.Britain Balancing
« Reply #12 on: February 02, 2016, 07:08:44 PM »
Latest thoughts - it seems most very early railway stations didn't even have platforms so maybe we just use the existing goods station graphics at that time and have the passenger facility and capacity via an extension. The siding may even not be goods enabled (requiring extra facilities for storage/goods enablement). Wooden platforms and brick platforms would come in later with higher capacities and maintenance. Stations costs cease to be a significant burden once trains can go at 50km/h or haul longer loads e.g. 1840 onwards.

Secondly I've taken another look at the power and gearing situation. I reckon we can do a better job of balancing by significantly reducing overall gear*power, especially for steam engines. They would only hit their theoretical maximum speeds on long straights/downhills with moderate loads and have quite low acceleration compared to now. The question I need to answer is this: given top speeds didn't increase much with the introduction of diesel power (and on most routes aren't much better even today) does anyone have any knowledge of comparative accelerations of steam vs diesel vs electric from the 1950s to now? Obviously you can get much faster overall and much better capacity if you have better acceleration...

Offline Spenk009

Re: [Mega Project] pak128.Britain Balancing
« Reply #13 on: February 02, 2016, 07:33:22 PM »
I like the platform idea, it adds realism and additional use for the sidings. You need to ensure that it isn't more effective to build this way throughout the game (althought transfer times may cancel that out). Also, is this intuitive for new players?

Maybe it's worth having a look at train sims, comparing how different convoys do on similar sections. These usually feature a selection of vehicles from many ages. But that raises the question of whether such a sim used is accurate for our purposes and (especially with steam) how hard the engines are driven.

Offline Junna

Re: [Mega Project] pak128.Britain Balancing
« Reply #14 on: February 02, 2016, 08:23:25 PM »
As I recall Petts has done quite a lot of detailed work into that as far as I recall. Top speeds will be limited by other factors as well though; modern speed limits are far more restrictive than they were (because monitoring and so on is better), things that in the past were more fluid and there was a somewhat large tolerance for speeding which would be unacceptable today. A somewhat large percentage of travel time is spent on long and slow-speed approaches to stations and associated pointwork.

It seems to me that in general the "power at drawbar" for steam engines is always ridiculously overestimated (given those old American steam locomotives that were rated at absurd levels near 4000KW, only to be replaced by sub-3000KW diesel-sets with greater loads...) Like the A4 being given at 2,200KW yet in practice it seems to have been nowhere near this.

Offline Spenk009

Re: [Mega Project] pak128.Britain Balancing
« Reply #15 on: February 03, 2016, 08:40:46 PM »
I have no idea how the drawbar measurement is set up, whether all systems are at maximum or usual operating level. Testing a loco at full steam and power is different to normal operating conditions. Electric and ICE are run at their "best" performance which is always available and used under normal operating conditions.

Offline jamespetts

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Re: [Mega Project] pak128.Britain Balancing
« Reply #16 on: February 03, 2016, 09:30:36 PM »
I should note that the physics in Simutrans-Experimental is different and, signifncatly, includes tractive effort whereas Standard does not, so one cannot just use the same values.
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Offline The Hood

Re: [Mega Project] pak128.Britain Balancing
« Reply #17 on: February 03, 2016, 10:09:00 PM »
I should note that the physics in Simutrans-Experimental is different and, signifncatly, includes tractive effort whereas Standard does not, so one cannot just use the same values.
Quite. From your research into this though did you get any idea about the variation in accelerations from older to more modern traction systems?

Offline jamespetts

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Re: [Mega Project] pak128.Britain Balancing
« Reply #18 on: February 03, 2016, 10:10:51 PM »
Quite. From your research into this though did you get any idea about the variation in accelerations from older to more modern traction systems?

Because acceleration is determined by tractive effort, and those figures are generally available historically (although hard to find for multiple units for some reason), I have not researched this specifically, but you can largely do the same thing by researching tractive efforts and extrapolating acceleration from that.
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Offline The Hood

Re: [Mega Project] pak128.Britain Balancing
« Reply #19 on: February 03, 2016, 10:13:47 PM »
OK. Presumably a simple F=ma for the initial acceleration as tractive efforts quoted are usually maximum values which occur at lowest speeds. How have you dealt with TE curves though? I'm more into a "squares to max speed" sort of idea - overpowering the vehicles gives quicker rise to max speed.

Offline jamespetts

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Re: [Mega Project] pak128.Britain Balancing
« Reply #20 on: February 03, 2016, 10:19:57 PM »
I am not sure  how Bernd, who wrote the physics engine, dealt with curves: the idea is that one just specifies the starting tractive effort in the vehicles' .dat files. I know that steam locomotives are accounted for differently in the code on account of being constant force machines, whereas other types of traction are constant power machines, but I am afraid the details are a little beyond me. It does seem to work, more or less, when comparing the performance of the vehicles to real life performances recorded, however. In Experimental, altering the power has a very limited effect on acceleration.
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Offline The Hood

Re: [Mega Project] pak128.Britain Balancing
« Reply #21 on: February 06, 2016, 11:27:35 AM »
I've done a bit more reading on this. There are differences in drawbar force at different speeds but these are quite complex (far too complex for standard balancing levers to model well). It appears diesels are better at getting heavy loads going but tend not to reach such high speeds as steam theoretically can (we can model this with higher power and lower max speed) and that they are better on gradients (don't think we can do this at all) but the main advantage is financial - they are simply much cheaper to maintain. In the overlap period it will probably be a choice of better performance (steam) v better profit (diesel).

Offline Vladki

Re: [Mega Project] pak128.Britain Balancing
« Reply #22 on: February 07, 2016, 10:27:13 AM »
Latest thoughts - it seems most very early railway stations didn't even have platforms so maybe we just use the existing goods station graphics at that time and have the passenger facility and capacity via an extension. The siding may even not be goods enabled (requiring extra facilities for storage/goods enablement). Wooden platforms and brick platforms would come in later with higher capacities and maintenance. Stations costs cease to be a significant burden once trains can go at 50km/h or haul longer loads e.g. 1840 onwards.

Have a look at this type of platform:
It still is used on Czech railways, on small stations - low capacity, low construction and maintenance costs. I think Ves has already made something similar for pak128.Sweden. Here is even a blueprint of such platform (at the bottom): http://www.parostroj.net/modely/stanice/nastupiste.htm

Offline jamespetts

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Re: [Mega Project] pak128.Britain Balancing
« Reply #23 on: February 07, 2016, 12:25:28 PM »
I think that, with perhaps some very early exceptions, nearly all British railway stations, even the tiniest halts, had full height platforms: it is one of the distinguishing feature of British railways compared to those in many other parts of the world, where passengers often have to board at near track level.
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Offline dannyman

Re: [Mega Project] pak128.Britain Balancing
« Reply #24 on: February 16, 2016, 05:59:21 AM »
Good luck and more power to you.

Couple of thuoghts:

1) Mighn't it be easier to start with the simpler stuff, like busses?  I played a game recently in the 1910s and the busses were tricky and then I think it is the little green Leyland Cub comes along at like 1/10 the operating costs and then suddenly we are rolling in cash.

2) Thank you thank you thank you thank you.

3) Personally, I am not enthusiastic about Experimental platforms have 0 passenger capacity. I have read the argument that British passengers are not allowed to wear hats, and so can not stand outdoors in the rain, but as someone who lives in a developing country (USA) I almost only ever know crowded open air un-elevated train platforms and little other infrastructure. Fortunately it is usually sunny in California ... but please please please let at least a few folks stand on platforms at say crowded urban stations where bulldozing extra tiles for the passengers to wait gets expensive.  (I always wait on tube platforms when I visit London Underground. ;)

Offline The Hood

Re: [Mega Project] pak128.Britain Balancing
« Reply #25 on: February 16, 2016, 12:16:25 PM »
Thanks for the ideas.

1) Actually I'd rather not fix buses until I've got something that works for the trains - far more combinations of consists with locos + wagons/coaches etc. to think about. It'd only lead to wasted time once I got onto the harder stuff and found it didn't work after all. The buses should be easy to do once I have a system that works for rail.

2) Thanks

3) Currently I'm thinking goods stations need extra storage facilities. So basic sidings will do capacity=10 each with some of the towers and cranes going up to 50 but the extensions will each have capacities between 100 and 500. Similarly platforms will have small capacities of 20-100 but the extensions will be required for large interchanges and termini with capacities up to 500 per tile. That allows unprofitable early trains to get by with little extra infrastructure (which costs maintenance) but as train capacities and profits increase, more maintenance is required for extra station capacity. Just haven't got the cost numbers right yet...

Offline jamespetts

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Re: [Mega Project] pak128.Britain Balancing
« Reply #26 on: February 16, 2016, 08:43:14 PM »
I should note that the reasons that, in Experimental, I gave no capacity to the basic platform type were: (1) it is important to decouple the cost of accepting longer trains with the cost of increasing storage capacity; and (2) stations consisting entirely of bare platforms with no buildings were previously commonly being built before this was implemented, and this type of station is entirely unrealistic: in the UK, more or less all stations have some sort of facilities. It seems to me that both of these matters apply equally to Standard.
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Offline The Hood

Re: [Mega Project] pak128.Britain Balancing
« Reply #27 on: April 09, 2016, 03:49:04 PM »
Believe it or not I'm actually making reasonable progress with the balancing. There's just a huge amount of it to do!

I'm beginning to wonder if the selection of trains in Standard could do with a simplification, especially on the rolling stock front. This is for two reasons - one, depot clutter, and two, the fact that many vehicles, especially carriages, have no purpose in Standard (e.g. kitchen/dining/tpo). Jamespetts has created a huge variety of different images for experimental but I think carriages can be simplified down into express (low capacity high speed), normal, and suburban (high capacity low speed). I'm thinking to ditch the dining cars and TPOs and just have brakes and ordinary cars for passenger and mail. Also where there are several different lengths of car available at the same time in a similar style (e.g. a 8 wheel and 12 wheel version) just to keep one set. Anyone got any strong views? Do people want all the dining cars etc in Standard for eyecandy value or better to keep it simpler?

Offline jamespetts

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Re: [Mega Project] pak128.Britain Balancing
« Reply #28 on: April 09, 2016, 05:41:06 PM »
Perhaps those things that are not capable of having an economic function in Standard could be moved to an official addon? Splendid that you are making good progress with balancing, though.
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Offline kierongreen

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Re: [Mega Project] pak128.Britain Balancing
« Reply #29 on: April 09, 2016, 08:40:40 PM »
Getting rid of vehicles that serve no purpose seems reasonable.

Another question would be how many companies to support - when I set out I had envisaged at any point in time having inner suburban, outer suburban and express (which I guess would work out the same as suburban, normal and express) for each of the "Big 4" (or one of their constituent companies, or the successor BR regions or later one of the privatised companies that then took over each region).

Even that would mean up to 12 (or 24 once electric appears) passenger trains available at any one time which I think is more than enough. Up to not necessarily all of course, no use in hunting for particularly obscure examples just to include. In the BR era the multitude of DMU and EMUs I think should stay but strictly timelined so that they don't crowd the screen.

Offline The Hood

Re: [Mega Project] pak128.Britain Balancing
« Reply #30 on: April 09, 2016, 08:55:32 PM »
What to do about companies is another tricky one. We currently have complete lines for LMS (and LNWR, Midland, LTSR) and Southern (and LBSCR, some LSWR). LNER (and GNR) is good for passenger locos but not freight and GWR is OK from grouping onwards but not before.

As part of the balancing process I have created a "timeline" of different types of vehicles for each company so I can manage the intro/retire years quite ruthlessly to avoid clutter.

That should give a manageable number but obviously there will be some duplication as different companies will still produce similar locos.

But it may still be too many for newbies. I have toyed with the idea of producing a "cut-down" set of just the most famous examples, with complete company timelines as an add-on, but then most people seem to quite like having lots of trains to play with anyway (I'm always surprised how much people demand any new locos to be released even when they duplicate existing ones in purpose)

Offline kierongreen

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Re: [Mega Project] pak128.Britain Balancing
« Reply #31 on: April 09, 2016, 09:02:45 PM »
Early GWR has the problem of gauge obviously... Yes, part of pak128.Britain's appeal is the number of vehicles, I think it's a case of if people choose to play it with timeline off on their head be it!

Great to see this anyway - once it's done I might even have to try a proper game :)

Offline jamespetts

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Re: [Mega Project] pak128.Britain Balancing
« Reply #32 on: April 09, 2016, 09:42:00 PM »
I do plan to get around to filling in some of these locomotive gaps and more* at some point (and am working on the LSWR now; just the Drummond era locomotives for teh time being), but coding will have to take priority for quite some time once I have finished the current project.

We must not forget that a lot of people like this pakset so that they can recreate things in a sandbox mode, for which full vehicle availability is a worthwhile thing.

* We could also do with more things from the Highland Railway, Great Eastern Railway, North London Railway, North Eastern Railway, Lynton and Barnstaple Railway, Lancashire & Yorkshire Railway, Mersey Railway and probably quite a few others.
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Offline DrSuperGood

Re: [Mega Project] pak128.Britain Balancing
« Reply #33 on: April 10, 2016, 04:59:43 AM »
You must remember that the trains various real life companies used in the past where engineered based on requirements and necessity. Although several of the companies never had certain types of train the main reason for that was that they never had need for such a train due to how they operated. If they had the need then they would have had the trains. In simutrans you have to provide the player with a choice of engines and they need to select one based on their requirements.

From a game play perspective it does not make any sense to provide 2 different engines that perform the same role because they were created and developed by two different historic companies in parallel to fulfill the same role. Equally well it would make sense that fake/imaginary engines are created for certain time periods for certain roles that were never needed in real life but might arise in Simutrans and were possible with technology at the time, or were performed by engines in other countries.

Offline Vladki

Re: [Mega Project] pak128.Britain Balancing
« Reply #34 on: April 10, 2016, 10:46:11 AM »
I agree with putting dining cars, tpo and liveries as addons. I would keep similar but not identical vehicles from historical companies in the main pak.

Offline The Hood

Re: [Mega Project] pak128.Britain Balancing
« Reply #35 on: April 10, 2016, 12:21:37 PM »
Thanks for the feedback - it more or less tallies with what I'm thinking.

One thing I have found doing the balancing is that I can only get a consistent set of balance parameters across the full timeline if older goods trains get a lot longer than they are allowed (30-40 wagons of 8t or so). This is reasonable in that historical goods trains were easily this long (some were up to 60 apparently). The problem arises that Standard has a vehicle limit of 24 per convoy. Either we convince the coders to allow this to double, or I draw versions of the old wagons that are two wagons back-to-back but coded as a single "vehicle" for Simutrans purposes.

Offline jamespetts

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Re: [Mega Project] pak128.Britain Balancing
« Reply #36 on: April 10, 2016, 01:52:43 PM »
The former seems sensible, especially as this is very easy to change.
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Offline kierongreen

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Re: [Mega Project] pak128.Britain Balancing
« Reply #37 on: April 10, 2016, 02:11:01 PM »
It is an easy change to make however some dialogues might look strange.

Offline The Hood

Re: [Mega Project] pak128.Britain Balancing
« Reply #38 on: April 10, 2016, 02:29:43 PM »
It is an easy change to make however some dialogues might look strange.
I think this may have been raised as an objection last time I requested it. Jamespetts - how does it look in experimental (where I think it allows longer convoys?)

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Re: [Mega Project] pak128.Britain Balancing
« Reply #39 on: April 10, 2016, 04:51:45 PM »
It looks fine, but this is because the depot dialogue is set to be extended automatically.
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Offline kierongreen

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Re: [Mega Project] pak128.Britain Balancing
« Reply #40 on: April 10, 2016, 05:43:49 PM »
Extended by allowing scrolling or just by making the window bigger?

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Re: [Mega Project] pak128.Britain Balancing
« Reply #41 on: April 10, 2016, 05:47:34 PM »
Making the window bigger
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Offline kierongreen

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Re: [Mega Project] pak128.Britain Balancing
« Reply #42 on: April 10, 2016, 06:50:37 PM »
Hmm, scrolling really needs to be there to allow this to be viewed on older displays.

Also - will shorter goods trains with less powerful locomotives be possible TheHood?

Offline Drewthegreat87

Re: [Mega Project] pak128.Britain Balancing
« Reply #43 on: April 10, 2016, 07:00:07 PM »
If it isn't too late, I would vote that all the equipment stays in, but if I may ask, if they are to be removed, could the removed assets be made into an "add-on" to the base pack so users can have any and all equipment they would want (as also stated earlier in the thread)? I'm a bit of an equipment hoarder. I've been adding many of the new assets and different liveries of existing equipment from Experimental into Standard so I can have even greater variety. I might be in the minority on that one, but I would really appreciate it if there was some way to keep all the existing equipment or at least the .png files and .dat files available for download and packing in makeobj.


On a side note, I know this isn't prototypical, but if in the game, you're one company, why not have it set up where all equipment corresponds to either player color (I understand that would require a massive graphics re-do...). That or have just one livery for all equipment (I know, heresy!)

Both of those ideas would involve some hefty graphics changes, so I know they wouldn't be practical, but still, they're considerations. 

Offline The Hood

Re: [Mega Project] pak128.Britain Balancing
« Reply #44 on: April 10, 2016, 07:34:36 PM »
Also - will shorter goods trains with less powerful locomotives be possible TheHood?

Not without serious anomalies - I've tried all sorts of hacks and the only one that works is the scheme I've got at present which is also the most similar to "realistic" length convoys. Mixed traffic locos need to work equally well with pax or freight; while modern carriages have similar capacities per vehicle to in the past, that's nowhere near the case e.g. for bulk transport. To get the accelerations about right (given different speeds of different cargoes too...) you get a particular weight of train the loco can pull for each cargo type. Having underpowered goods locos for shorter goods trains means mixed traffic locos become insanely good at freight and pathetic compared to even modest passenger locos, UNLESS you have a weird system where 1t of coal in game actually weighs 2t (!), but this then means that modern freight trains are only a couple of wagons long which looks odd. On my scheme the LMS 8F can turn a decent profit with 36x 12t wagons (432t) which takes up 8 tiles. It's long, but then if you want shorter trains you buy a 4F (16x 12t) or a 3F (12x 12t) instead and it's far more economical. For comparison a modern class 66 goes with 9x HTA (675t) and comes in at 7 tiles. I suppose you could just make EVERY train shorter, including passenger trains, but then you run into problems with the EMUs/DMUs as they are fixed length (unless you then start halving their capacities, and soon virtually nothing in the pak resembles realistic numbers anymore...). So to me its most intuitive to have the system I've got where you need long trains for heavy freights, which you either achieve with increasing the vehicle limit or you create "double vehicles". I know to some people 9 tile trains is excessive but pak128.Britain has always had a large scope and I seriously don't buy the 1 tile = 1km rule.The demo game has 8 tile stations and the only game I've played myself has stations 6 tiles as standard, and that's in 1900 before the bigger, more powerful trains come along.


Maybe there is a way of doing it that works better than the way I've found, but I've spent the best part of a month (or even more) on it, and got similar conclusions to when I last tried it 3 years ago. I don't want to put anyone off finding a better way, but you're a better pakset balancer than me if you can pull it off!

On a side note, I know this isn't prototypical, but if in the game, you're one company, why not have it set up where all equipment corresponds to either player color (I understand that would require a massive graphics re-do...). That or have just one livery for all equipment (I know, heresy!)

Both of those ideas would involve some hefty graphics changes, so I know they wouldn't be practical, but still, they're considerations. 

I have occasionally toyed with the idea of a player colour set (probably a cut down version rather than the hundreds of vehicles we have at present) but it's a HUGE amount of work, and doesn't even work well with the blender workflow. I've decided against doing it myself as I prefer the realistic liveries aspect - I'm probably happiest in the pseudo-sandbox style. I just can't justify spending that much time on something I wouldn't get to use myself - sorry that's a bit selfish but then again I'm just an amateur... Most happy for someone else to go about producing them though!

Offline kierongreen

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Re: [Mega Project] pak128.Britain Balancing
« Reply #45 on: April 10, 2016, 08:26:29 PM »
On my scheme the LMS 8F can turn a decent profit with 36x 12t wagons (432t) which takes up 8 tiles. It's long, but then if you want shorter trains you buy a 4F (16x 12t) or a 3F (12x 12t) instead and it's far more economical. For comparison a modern class 66 goes with 9x HTA (675t) and comes in at 7 tiles.
7 or 8 tiles for long trains is fine! That fits in well with long (eg full length HST) passenger services. Would just be nice to ensure there are Class 20, and as you indicated 3 and 4F or equivalent to operate shorter services (maybe even shunters) :)

Offline Vladki

Re: [Mega Project] pak128.Britain Balancing
« Reply #46 on: April 10, 2016, 08:29:39 PM »
Double freight waggons are already a part of pak128.cs, also to overcome the limit of 24 vehicles. If you want you can look at their sources at sf.svn

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Re: [Mega Project] pak128.Britain Balancing
« Reply #47 on: April 11, 2016, 11:10:37 AM »
Hmm, scrolling really needs to be there to allow this to be viewed on older displays.

Are there many people playing Simutrans on 1024x768 these days?
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Offline Vladki

Re: [Mega Project] pak128.Britain Balancing
« Reply #48 on: April 11, 2016, 06:01:14 PM »
Once upon a time, there was a poll about screen sizes among players...

Offline kierongreen

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Re: [Mega Project] pak128.Britain Balancing
« Reply #49 on: April 11, 2016, 09:29:35 PM »
Even for users with higher resolution displays they might not want to use Simutrans fullscreen. Or they might have altered the scaling (see the 4k thread). I would say that all dialogues should be usable at somewhere in the region of 640x480 (some dialogues are a bit tight with that at the moment). Of course these days practically everyone will have significantly more space than that, which allows people to have multiple windows open in Simutrans. Or for windows which benefit from larger areas they could resize them to use more of the screen. However a window which has to be 1024x768 or bigger is really going to constrain what people can do.

Offline HarrierST

Re: [Mega Project] pak128.Britain Balancing
« Reply #50 on: April 12, 2016, 02:05:41 AM »
Are there many people playing Simutrans on 1024x768 these days?

Sorry can not play any higher. :-[

But ignore me - I can not play your game anyway.

Because, I am not a programmer and do not know how to update your changes.

Do not point me to threads - I have tried to read them - they are just black magic.

Pity as i liked the way you were going.   ::'(

Offline kierongreen

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Re: [Mega Project] pak128.Britain Balancing
« Reply #51 on: April 12, 2016, 09:15:30 AM »
Quote
But ignore me - I can not play your game anyway.

Because, I am not a programmer and do not know how to update your changes.

Do not point me to threads - I have tried to read them - they are just black magic.
What is it in particular you are having difficulties with?

Offline Isaac.Eiland-Hall

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Re: [Mega Project] pak128.Britain Balancing
« Reply #52 on: April 12, 2016, 03:07:00 PM »
But ignore me - I can not play your game anyway.

I see prior posts where you cannot play Experimental, but are able to play Standard, so that shouldn't exclude you from this particular topic.

Offline HarrierST

Re: [Mega Project] pak128.Britain Balancing
« Reply #53 on: April 13, 2016, 01:06:24 AM »
What is it in particular you are having difficulties with?

I have an old system (XP), my system only supports  1024x768, efficiently.  I can run at a few higher resolutions, I tried 1280x1024, but when I exit a program it  is like a car crash (flashing - black screen then back to normal).  So after trying a few times I reverted back to  1024x768.

I see prior posts where you cannot play Experimental, but are able to play Standard, so that shouldn't exclude you from this particular topic.

Sorry, I got confused and was thinking about Experimental.  :-[

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Re: [Mega Project] pak128.Britain Balancing
« Reply #54 on: April 13, 2016, 10:43:45 AM »
Sorry, I got confused and was thinking about Experimental.  :-[
Don't worry! Simutrans (standard) has quite a few players with older and/or less powerful systems and we try to make sure that it will keep running on these :) Hence comments about needing to ensure that Depot window is usable in smaller resolutions :)