Author Topic: A history of TetraTerra, playground for pak64.combuijs  (Read 3547 times)

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Offline Combuijs

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A history of TetraTerra, playground for pak64.combuijs
« on: March 27, 2013, 09:21:42 PM »
This is the story of the Simutrans world of TetraTerra. I use it to play and test my own composed pak, pak64.combuijs. In this topic I will tell something about the developments on the map, while showing some features of the pak.

Pak64.combuijs is tailor made for my own style of playing. That style is:

- free play
- timeline on
- start with an empty map
- connect everything with everything
- no automatic city growth
- no automatic new factories
- 14 companies
- no climate dependencies
- low city car density

Then the pak itself. In short:

- Based on standard pak64
- Limited choice of vehicles
- Use of villages
- More and more complicated factory chains
- More city and land attractions
- More and larger monuments
- More city buildings
- All types of transport supported
- Tailor made user interface
- No relocation of townhall

I am not a pixel artist, far from it. Don't expect new pictures, I've brought everything together from all kind of
Simutrans sources.

This first post will serve as a kind of index:

1) TetraTerra, the map
2) 1900: The village concept
3) 1901: Naming things
4) 1902: The long and winding road
5) ...

I hope to give you an update every week...
« Last Edit: April 19, 2013, 07:27:45 PM by Combuijs »
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Offline Combuijs

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TetraTerra, the map
« Reply #1 on: March 27, 2013, 09:24:37 PM »
Let me first introduce you to TetraTerra:



I made the map myself by just pushing pixels in Gimp. You see four continents (tetra is four in ancient Greek), one mountaineous, one hilly, one flat and one archipelago. The goal was to provide different terrains on a map, where all types of transport could be used in a sensible way. Its size is 1500x1500, big enough to play for a long time, small enough to get acceptable saving times and memory usage. All edges are real water, so ships can come around continents.

The rivers were generated by Simutrans itself. On the mountaineous continent you see it does funny things with depressions in the landscape without a water drain. I tempered the number of forests on the map. I do like trees very much, but with the standard settings simply too many forests are generated. Further, the winter snowline is on base ground level, so everything is covered in snow in the heart of winter. That was probably influenced by current weather conditions...

The whole map is divided in 14 nations (every nations gets its own company). You can see which nation is where in this Excel sheet.



Every nation is divided into 14 or 15 counties, which are all squares of 100x100 tiles. Not very realistic, but
very easy to administer...

We start the game in the year 1900.
Bob Marley: No woman, no cry

Programmer: No user, no bugs



Offline Combuijs

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1900: The village concept
« Reply #2 on: March 27, 2013, 09:29:58 PM »
It has always struck me as odd to start a town with a townhall. In real life towns rarely start with a townhall, towns start with a few houses gathered together. To get a sense of history I introduced villages in my pak. These have a rural character and are non-growing communities. They are represented by one house and are coded as attractions. I have 10 different ones (with levels 1 to 10). The pictures were taken from normal residential houses which looked rural to me. Some examples:



From upper left clockwise you see the villages of Nunkeeling, Hunsworth, Barsham West and Farthingstone. Every year I place 10 to 15 villages in random places, and at the start of every year one of the existing villages is promoted to a small city. To get some passengers going the first year I start with placing one small city.



You will find the city of Graveny in the south-east of the mountaineous continent. You can also see (with
difficulty) some villages on the map. As I connect everything with everything you also see some (dirt) roads with passenger and mail transport. All infrastructure will be laid by the public player, every company can use it as he likes. The two villages on the coast have ship connections to other continents.

At the end of 1900 there were:
350 inhabitants
20 lines
41 convois
« Last Edit: March 27, 2013, 11:02:10 PM by Combuijs »
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Offline Carl

Re: A history of TetraTerra, playground for pak64.combuijs
« Reply #3 on: March 28, 2013, 11:17:42 AM »
This looks great, Combuijs - I look forward to seeing more! :)

Offline Combuijs

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1901: Naming things
« Reply #4 on: April 01, 2013, 02:03:57 PM »
When I play, I like to name things. It gives a sense of history and reality. I have a list of 13231 real English
place names I use for cities and villages. More frequent names will occur more often than less frequent names. Names are chosen randomly and then adapted to the situation. From there on I derive names for nations, counties, rivers, bays, mountain tops, passes and forests.

Some examples:



The first city was called Graveny, so its county became Graveshire and its nation Graveland. I still have the song "I am going to Graveland" by Paul Vimon (inspired by Elvif Prefley) in mind whenever I am doing something in that area. The river Tedburn got its name from Tedburn St. Mary, a village further up the river. Appleton gave its name to the river Apple and Apple Bay, while the nation itself influenced the Graveland Straits.



Some village got the random name Barsham East. As it had sea on its west coast there would never be anything west of it, so the village in the end got the name Barsham West. The nearby river was named Bar. When the village promoted to a city this year it got the name Barsham. It is in the nation of Parrania, named after the village Parracombe, the first in that nation. Hatton gave its name to the river Hat. That nation should have been called Hatland of course, but as I had already Haggland (from Duke's Hagg) and Hindland (from Hindlip) it got the name Hatland Borders, with corresponding abbreviation HBO...

This game I started giving numbers to roads. Roads between nations are named N with a number, roads within a nation get the nation's abbreviation with a number. I don't know if I will keep up this administration, but it again gives a kind of history and reality to the game.

At the end of 1901 there were:
879 inhabitants (+529)
53 lines (+33)
106 convois (+65)
Bob Marley: No woman, no cry

Programmer: No user, no bugs



Offline Combuijs

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1902: The long and winding road
« Reply #5 on: April 19, 2013, 07:26:22 PM »
One of the first I changed from the original pak 64 were the diagonal roads. I am mainly interested in building a transport network and not in fancy graphics, but the winding roads irritated me. So while I am really hopeless at drawing pixels, I took some time to make them less worse.

Another shortcoming of pak64 I think is the lack of crossings. I took the liberty to introduce them for all combinations of road, water, train and narrowgauge. They were all copied and resized from pak128. Fabio made most of them.



On this picture you see a passenger coach and a mail coach going from Hindland to Trowland (lands 7 and 8 on the Excel sheet). One coach has just crossed the river Hind. It paints a quiet rural picture in the early 1900s.

Some places are already crowding a bit. Here you see the Eshton Coal Mine, north east of the first picture. It is situated at the foot of Mount Esh and it has some brisk traffic.



The coal mine attracts workers and mail of course, and horse - wagon combinations try to get the coal to Oswaldkirk Port in the north. Capacity is too low however, so some measures should be taken to increase that. As a general rule I always start with one vehicle road transport. If capacity is too low I double to two and then to four vehicles and if that still is not enough I will be looking for other kinds of transport. This is what will happen here in the near future.

At the end of 1902 there were:
1318 inhabitants (+539)
59 lines (+6)
136 convois (+30)
Bob Marley: No woman, no cry

Programmer: No user, no bugs