Author Topic: Viable gameplay?  (Read 5642 times)

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Offline AP

Viable gameplay?
« on: November 28, 2013, 10:13:52 PM »
So I've just loaded up the latest version of pak britain experimental and simutrans experimental, new map, 1750. It's now seriously hard! Any pointers for what makes money now? I can't get any passengers interested in any kind of travel...

Offline jamespetts

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Re: Viable gameplay?
« Reply #1 on: November 28, 2013, 11:36:31 PM »
Bear in mind that it's not fully balanced yet; but if you are able to make any general balancing suggestions, that might be helpful.
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Offline Jando

Re: Viable gameplay?
« Reply #2 on: November 29, 2013, 12:55:08 AM »
That early ... forget about passengers. A brig carrying cargo and providing a basic passenger service might work.

Look for freight along the coast and along rivers. Find a dairy and a sheep/cattle farm that you can connect with ships. Likewise with Builder's Yards and Sawmills would be my advise. Both milk and planks pay very well, perhaps even too much. You can also try the Grain Farm->Grain Mill->Bakery chain.

Offline AP

Re: Viable gameplay?
« Reply #3 on: November 29, 2013, 08:13:13 PM »
I generated an industry-free map, so haven't played with that. I just recall that on the server game people were turning a profit with passengers by land and sea in that time period previously.

At present there isn't enough passenger interest in travel around to make it worth running an urban service. There is also nowhere near enough demand to make it profitable to build turnpikes and run a stagecoach service between large towns.

I don't know whether it is the comfort level or journey time tolerance which affects this. I tried running a very frequent service on both and reducing the waits to effectively nil did not lead to an increase in traffic.

I also tried intercity rail circa 1830 and had the same lack-of-demand issue.

I'm aware that there shouldn't necessarily be vast demand in an age that was predominantly industry driven, but there probably would have been if a fast efficient service had become available earlier, so I think something isn't balanced quite right at the moment.

I would also expect there to be enough passenger traffic to pay for the maintenance on a normal turnpike road built privately between two moderately sized towns.

Offline jamespetts

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Re: Viable gameplay?
« Reply #4 on: November 30, 2013, 11:52:53 AM »
The demand for passengers in the early period might be affected by the known issue with distance ranges and journey time tolerances. Also - are your towns realistically sized?

Incidentally, comfort has no effect on demand or routing: only revenue per passenger.
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Offline AP

Re: Viable gameplay?
« Reply #5 on: November 30, 2013, 12:53:26 PM »
I was trying to link two larger towns of population e.g 8000-15000 each, via a couple of villages of 2000-3000. Decent distances between the towns (40/50 unnpopulated tiles between each).


Offline Jando

Re: Viable gameplay?
« Reply #6 on: November 30, 2013, 10:34:26 PM »
My experience from a number of maps I started in 1800 is that there's no way to make a profitable company with only passenger service in that time period. Travel times are so slow that people walk instead. Personally I think it's a good design.

(Well, I don't really like the waiting mechanic in Experimental, but I do like that passengers consider travelling time before they board my stagecoach. :)

I have had a number of maps with mostly cargo service where I took along passengers on my cargo ships. I think that's fine cause it happened in RL during that period as well. Im even running a number of coaches to get people from smaller towns and villages to the harbour but I'm fully aware that the coaches will run at a loss.

Offline AP

Re: Viable gameplay?
« Reply #7 on: December 01, 2013, 02:47:45 PM »
But they shouldn't. Before the railways, there were stagecoaches from Oxford to London taking 12 hours and the traffic was sufficiently profitable that they turnpiked the road to achieve that.

The daily maximum a normal person would walk would be far less than that distance. Armies marched up to 30 miles per day I recall (but I doubt they enjoyed it!)

Offline asaphxiix

Re: Viable gameplay?
« Reply #8 on: December 01, 2013, 05:12:47 PM »
You can turn a decent profit in those years with the new versions, at least from passengers, and cargo ships of course. For coaches you just need much space between stops, and the pax are more likely to go. try 2-3 km between each stop.

Offline AP

Re: Viable gameplay?
« Reply #9 on: December 01, 2013, 06:14:39 PM »
2-3km being what in current game tiles for experimental?

Offline asaphxiix

Re: Viable gameplay?
« Reply #10 on: December 01, 2013, 06:15:24 PM »
16-24 tiles.

Offline AP

Re: Viable gameplay?
« Reply #11 on: December 01, 2013, 07:50:23 PM »
So within a town, bus stops closer than 16 tiles don't do much any more? Wow. Guess I need to start using bigger cities!
« Last Edit: December 01, 2013, 07:55:47 PM by AP »

Offline MCollett

Re: Viable gameplay?
« Reply #12 on: December 01, 2013, 08:09:46 PM »
So within a town, bus stops closer than 16 tiles don't do much any more? Wow. Guess I need to start using bigger cities!

Stagecoaches aren't really for use within a town.  In the era under discussion, most towns should be small enough to get away with just one coach stop in the town centre; the biggest places might supplement that with suburban stops served by hackneys.

Best wishes,
Matthew

Offline zook2

Re: Viable gameplay?
« Reply #13 on: December 29, 2013, 11:34:14 AM »
Try a map with lots of ocean and send clippers (appear in 1837, use six passenger and one mail module) from a central hub to every town. Running costs are so low that a 50km route with even 5-10 passengers per trip can be profitable. Then build "feeder" lines running coaches to your ports. Most of them lose money, but the increased traffic on your ship routes makes more than up for it. But you need to expand quickly and use at least 2-4 ships on each route.

Fortunately, sailing ships cost practically nothing. I haven't tried early steamships yet (it's 1861 in my game), but their price is insane: 10-30 times of what a clipper costs. Plus twice the cost for the shipyard.

Before clippers appear, it should be very, very hard to survive on passenger/mail transport alone.

Rail in the 1860's is a sure money loser. Narrowgauge networks less so, but still bleeding money.
« Last Edit: December 30, 2013, 09:25:18 AM by zook2 »

Offline AP

Re: Viable gameplay?
« Reply #14 on: January 16, 2014, 09:59:58 AM »
Interesting, I shall have to try a water based map in due course.

Quote
Before clippers appear, it should be very, very hard to survive on passenger/mail transport alone.
It shouldn't be unprofitable though. There was reliable demand for overland transport in the 18th century - Thomas Telford was upgrading the London-Holyhead road to speed up the Irish Mail coaches from 1790. Wikipedia says the first turnpike road was authorised in 1663! Not saying there should be vast amount of traffic, but enough to turn a profit.

Quote
Rail in the 1860's is a sure money loser. Narrow-gauge networks less so, but still bleeding money.
If true, that suggests a serious balancing problem.

Offline zook2

Re: Viable gameplay?
« Reply #15 on: January 16, 2014, 04:08:57 PM »
If true, that suggests a serious balancing problem.

I started this 1860 game with default settings and found it hard to make a profit for the first couple of years. In my first two games on the same map, I went broke early on. It gets better after you can expand your passenger network enough to generate enough mid- and long-range traffic and trains can be profitable after a few years, when better locomotives appear. But up to that point my only reliable source of profits was the clipper.

Offline Junna

Re: Viable gameplay?
« Reply #16 on: January 16, 2014, 08:02:36 PM »
Wikipedia says the first turnpike road was authorised in 1663! Not saying there should be vast amount of traffic, but enough to turn a profit.

Turnpikes were just toll roads though, they didn't operate any services.

Offline AP

Re: Viable gameplay?
« Reply #17 on: January 16, 2014, 10:24:51 PM »
I'm not sure it matters to balancing the game whether historic turnpike trusts and stagecoach companies were one and the same or legally distinct.

Sufficient services existed and paid tolls (and collected revenues from passengers/mail) to cover the cost of building the roads (or they would not have been built).


If simutrans toll-collection code is up to it, there would be no reason one in-game company couldn't focus exclusively on  building roads, with others exclusively running stagecoaches.


RE 1860s rail - the railway-mania boom was pre-1850 - most of the big intercity lines were completed in this period. Rail transport should be very profitable to allow this, James may want to look into this.

Offline Junna

Re: Viable gameplay?
« Reply #18 on: January 16, 2014, 10:34:36 PM »
I'm not sure it matters to balancing the game whether historic turnpike trusts and stagecoach companies were one and the same or legally distinct.

Sufficient services existed and paid tolls (and collected revenues from passengers/mail) to cover the cost of building the roads (or they would not have been built).


If simutrans toll-collection code is up to it, there would be no reason one in-game company couldn't focus exclusively on  building roads, with others exclusively running stagecoaches.

Well, the tolls would have to be raised (particularly for city cars!) or the road maintenance should be lower. It would perhaps be interesting to see how much of the income for turnpike trusts was from goods transporting carriages (which I suspect were a significant part of the actual income) and how much from independent transport (cabs, individuals, single horses) and stagecoach services.

Offline jamespetts

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Re: Viable gameplay?
« Reply #19 on: January 16, 2014, 10:43:48 PM »
Hmm - I wonder whether that information might be buried somewhere in the National Archives...?
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