Author Topic: Notes and Questions on Returning to Simutrans  (Read 509 times)

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Offline cellofello

Notes and Questions on Returning to Simutrans
« on: September 28, 2017, 04:03:02 AM »
I've played Simutrans for ages, but I stopped 1-2 years ago because the "stable" release of Experimental was frustrating and kept crashing. I'm not sure why I didn't try the Nightly Builds then, but now I'm glad I finally did! I'm excited about half-heights, lakes, signals, and more features that weren't there the last time I played.

A few issues:

1. The cities all seem extremely square when the map generates. Have there been changes to town placement or map generation? I recall cities having more varied shapes based on nearby hills and valleys that made them much more interesting and unique. I imagine the code was changed to help cities not just stop growing when they encounter a slope, but the result is rather bland.

2. I'm very picky about my maps so I tweaked several settings a few times to get it just right. One of the industry settings allows you to set the input to 0-100. When I set it to 0, it generated only consuming industries within cities, without any producing industries anywhere on the map. I'm not sure if this affects many others, but I might recommend limiting the input to 1-100 to avoid making maps unplayable by making freight entirely useless.

3. Question about road construction: I'm starting a large map in 1750 with small budgets to start. Short-haul freight and passengers are the only way to stay afloat, but the road costs don't seem to add up correctly, making this style of game unplayable. The bridleway tooltip says it costs 28.50 to build with 0.16 maintenance cost, and the unsurfaced road is listed as 32.50 with 0.32. I'm assuming these figures are for each kilometer. But when I build these ways, it costs almost 2000 for 8 tiles. My budget is blown just getting one road over to the next town! Something is clearly wrong, because these basic roads cost over 10 times more than the available bridge types. I thought maybe the tiles/kilometer setting was way off, but the maintenance costs seem unaffected. What is going on? Is there a problem with the .dat files, or did I miss a configuration setting somewhere?

Thank you for your feedback. If it helps, the other day I downloaded Simutrans Extended 120.2.1 Nightly Development Build 12.2 r3a19b5f

Offline jamespetts

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Re: Notes and Questions on Returning to Simutrans
« Reply #1 on: September 28, 2017, 10:24:05 PM »
Welcome back! It is always good to have people return to the wonderful world of Simutrans. You might be relieved to know that the nightly builds for Simutrans-Extended did not exist until earlier this year.

As to the issues, the town generation code has been changed somewhat: the work was done by another coder who does not regularly undertake coding work at present. It is planned at some point to review the town code further and prevent the towns from being square, but this will be a major project (of which making the towns non-square will be a small part), and there are a number of other, higher priority major projects to deal with before then. I did look into whether there was an easy solution to the towns being square, but discovered that this was a complex issue and would require considerable work to change.

In relation to road construction, one of the new features introduced since you last played is the forge cost. It now costs more money to build a way where no way exists than to upgrade a way of one type to another way of the same type. This difference is the forge cost - the cost of forging a way in hitherto virgin terrain. Building a way next to an existing way so as to create parallel ways has half the forge cost of building a way without a parallel.

Please note that the prices are not balanced yet - this will be a very major exercise, and can only be started when some other features, themselves major exercises, have been implemented. Work on one of those, passenger and mail classes, is currently underway.

I hope that this assists. Happy playing!
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Offline cellofello

Re: Notes and Questions on Returning to Simutrans
« Reply #2 on: September 30, 2017, 12:56:15 AM »
Thank you so much for your reply! I never would have found the forge cost without it.

Is there a way to alter the forge cost to make it a bit more balanced or even bring it down to zero? I tried to edit the simuconf.tab file in the pakset, but it had no effect when I generated new maps. Once again, I'm sure I'm missing something.

Offline jamespetts

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Re: Notes and Questions on Returning to Simutrans
« Reply #3 on: October 01, 2017, 11:39:26 AM »
Note that the forge cost is per way type, so altering the forge cost for railways, for example, will not affect the forge cost for roads. You can amend this for a running game using the advanced settings dialogue (press the "i" key), and look for the "Extended" tab.

At present, these numbers are quite hard to modify, but this will be improved in the next nightly build.
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Offline cellofello

Re: Notes and Questions on Returning to Simutrans
« Reply #4 on: October 02, 2017, 01:03:04 AM »
That makes sense, but altering the forge costs in the Extended tab did not have any affect either during map generation or after a game has started. I'm not sure why.

I would really like to get the bottom of this. As I said, my playing style is not feasible with these unalterable forge costs. And those new features are so tantalizing after a few years of knowing they were on their way!

I am also about to file a bug report because of something I found while trying to change forge costs.

Offline jamespetts

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Re: Notes and Questions on Returning to Simutrans
« Reply #5 on: October 03, 2017, 09:59:58 PM »
Apologies for the delay in replying. I have now looked into this, and I am afraid that I cannot reproduce the problem that you describe: when I set the forge cost to zero in the in-game dialogue, the building costs are reduced.

Can you set out in more detail the steps necessary to reproduce this issue reliably?
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Offline cellofello

Re: Notes and Questions on Returning to Simutrans
« Reply #6 on: October 14, 2017, 02:02:37 AM »
I must apologize for my own delay; I was on holiday.

I downloaded the latest Nightly of simutrans.exe just to be sure, and I still have the same problem.

I'm not sure what else I can tell you. Simply put, I load my map and build an Unsurfaced Road eight tiles long. Whether I changed the Forge Cost to zero before or after the initial creation of the map, it has no effect. The eight tiles of road should cost around $3.00 but costs over $1500. The tooltip estimate of construction cost also remains unchanged. (I play with road transport and limited ships starting in 1750. There is no way for overland routes to be profitable within several decades with construction costs this high.)

I thought maybe my enormous map caused the problem somehow, but I created a much smaller one for testing and it has the same problem.

Any thoughts on what could be causing this issue, or why you can't reproduce it?

Offline jamespetts

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Re: Notes and Questions on Returning to Simutrans
« Reply #7 on: October 14, 2017, 10:08:47 AM »
Testing again, I find that, with the default forge cost, 8 tiles of unsurfaced road costs 1,620c, whereas with the forge cost set to zero, 8 tiles of unsurfaced road costs 1,516c (in both cases without demolishing any trees or being parallel to any other ways). Is this different to the result that you are getting?

Edit: Looking into this in more detail, there are two other issues that might be relevant here. Firstly, there was a bug in the tooltip display, which showed incorrect values. I have now fixed this, and that fix will appear in the next nightly build.

Secondly, in addition to the forge cost, you also have to add the cost of buying the land when you build a new way. If you would like to customise this for a single player game, you can modify the "cost_buy_land" setting in the "costs" section of the advanced settings dialogue. Currently, the minimum that to which you can set this is 1, but, from the next nightly build, it will be possible to set it to zero.

It is not possible to show the land cost in the tooltip dialogue, as this cost aries depending on the tile on which the way is to be built, which cannot be known when the player views the tooltip.
« Last Edit: October 14, 2017, 12:30:50 PM by jamespetts »
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