Author Topic: How to know if a line is profitable before starting it  (Read 1063 times)

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Offline accord2

How to know if a line is profitable before starting it
« on: February 16, 2017, 09:43:22 PM »
Is there a way to know if a line is profitable before starting it? I am playing in 1750 and I find most cargo lines are not profitable: or the distance is too much, or it transports a small amount of cargo, etc. Is there a way of calculating the profitability? How you do it? I just end spending money that could be used in more important things  :-[

Offline jamespetts

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Re: How to know if a line is profitable before starting it
« Reply #1 on: February 16, 2017, 09:47:34 PM »
Sorry that you are having trouble. Part of the issue is that the pakset has never been balanced properly; this is because balancing is a very, very large job and proper balance requires a number of additional game features, some of which would also be a very large job, and there are a number of other things (such as fixing bugs) that need to be done before I can implement the features necessary to begin work on balancing.

However, to answer your original question, there is no certain way of knowing whether any given line will be profitable in advance, just as there is no certain way of knowing in real life whether any new business will be profitable. When the pakset is balanced, however, which lines are profitable should be very similar to what the position would be if these were real transport undertakings of a similar nature.
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Offline accord2

Re: How to know if a line is profitable before starting it
« Reply #2 on: February 16, 2017, 09:54:26 PM »
I see, I was thinking if there was a way of making mathematics with the distance and the cargo price. Do you plan to add a new feature about this? Anyway, great game!

Offline jamespetts

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Re: How to know if a line is profitable before starting it
« Reply #3 on: February 16, 2017, 09:58:52 PM »
I see, I was thinking if there was a way of making mathematics with the distance and the cargo price. Do you plan to add a new feature about this?

It is difficult to see how such a feature would work given the very great complexity of the game (current and planned), including things like how much that vehicles wear the ways, the cost of the ways, inflation (a future feature), the different maintenance cost of a vehicle over its lifetime (a future feature), the possibility for back-loading on a goods route, and so forth. This complexity, of course, is identical to that in reality, so the relative uncertainty as to profitability is realistic.
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Offline Dutchman on Rails

Re: How to know if a line is profitable before starting it
« Reply #4 on: May 02, 2017, 06:37:51 PM »
Hi Accord2,

I like to play the 18th-19th century as well, and found some things in the latest versions that may shed some light.

First off, some of the cargo vehicles, especially the 1t carts, are just too small to make a profit at this stage, despite the friendly maintenance costs.

Second, if no passengers are transported to the industries, after the first month production will collapse to almost zero.

Third, in part because of the low speeds and comfort levels, passenger generation is very low. I've tries several games now, and just saw the first four passengers being generated in a 6-month old game in 1805 (to a mansion, but not a single one yet to the connected forest). By comparison, if I put a 48km/h (speed limit of the road), 74 comfort bus on the road in a 1930 city route, it attracts passengers almost instantly.

So playing the 18th century may be a challenge for now. I'll do some more experimenting, and see where it leads.

Offline Jando

Re: How to know if a line is profitable before starting it
« Reply #5 on: May 03, 2017, 11:53:09 AM »
I find it actually pretty easy to make good profits early on, here's a screenshot from my 1831 game, started in 1830.



Shown in the graph are revenue and operational profit. Vehicles on the left and stops on the right side of the screenshot. It's all freight, no passenger transport. And for freight you have to think from the end of a production chain, i.e. from the consumer. You won't make a continuous profit supplying a producer when this producer has no continuous demand from elsewhere. Thus try to find a large consumer first, preferably a builders' yard near coast or river, cause these demand large amounts of various shipments. Then organise that builders' yard supply chain.

Whatever you can do apart from that is just bonus. Like, you already have a sawmill connected to the yard for the planks, well, bring wood to a brewery as well, you already have an ironworks connected to bring wrought iron to the buidlers' yard, well, bring piece goods to hardware shops as well, etc.

Direct link to screenshot also here: http://files.simutrans.com/index.php/s/CJzFJhuRHK9gMRN

Offline Dutchman on Rails

Re: How to know if a line is profitable before starting it
« Reply #6 on: May 04, 2017, 05:15:39 AM »
Hi Jando,

Your comment made me check on the dynamics again. I thought the production stop I saw was because of the labor, but it was in fact that production will cease when the total amount of goods in storage at the consumer and in transit reaches the limit. My usual method of having vehicles wait until full doesn't work that way. The rest was easy enough to set up my first profitable cargo run, just make sure the vehicles wait for a reasonable amount of cargo, but not over the limit of the consumer. Thanks for the lesson.

Kind Regards, DoR

Edit: While it certainly works, I do find myself in a snag with my style of setting up games. I tend to play with very poor regions (my latest test game starts with a mere 7568 inhabitants in 35 towns), and the industries follow suit (consumers consist of 3 demand 2, 1 demand 4, and a Dairy with demand 22, but that has an entirely landlocked connection with the cattle farm).
« Last Edit: May 06, 2017, 05:35:06 AM by Dutchman on Rails »

Offline Jando

Re: How to know if a line is profitable before starting it
« Reply #7 on: May 06, 2017, 04:13:03 PM »
... and the industries follow suit (consumers consist of 3 demand 2, 1 demand 4, and a Dairy with demand 22, but that has an entirely landlocked connection with the cattle farm).

Hello Dutch! That's nothing remarkable really, at that early time I see that low demand too, and with a normally created game. Note that any industry (I don't know whether bug or feature) will demand and consume 4 or 5 times the amount stated as monthly demand in the industry window. But like I said in my earlier post: look for a builders' yard (or coal merchants) for a steady large cargo demand.

I believe this to be historically correct as well. Many of the small canals were made for bulk transports from resource sites to early industries and workshops.

Offline Dutchman on Rails

Re: How to know if a line is profitable before starting it
« Reply #8 on: May 07, 2017, 05:30:27 AM »
Hi Jando,

I noticed the higher consumption rate.

Unfortunately, on my maps, I often don't have a suitable coal merchant or builders' yard on the starting industries.

Live Fish turns out to be a good alternative. Precious little needs to be transported, but it turns a high price, high enough to overcome the infrastructure maintenance. If there is a sea route, milk also works out nicely.

Kind Regards, DoR