Author Topic: How complicated can stuff in a basic pakset be  (Read 286 times)

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Online Leartin

How complicated can stuff in a basic pakset be
« on: August 04, 2017, 07:09:21 AM »
Simutrans is not an easy game to master. And by master, I mean "using japanese addons properly without getting a headache". To achieve certain visuals, it gets more complicated and in cases more restrictive.

For example: It's easy enough to build normal tracks. But then, there are tracks which 'connect' to one side or both, so parallel tracks would use one bed of gravel. Looks fancy, but currently requires 4 different tracks being used in a particular way, and 'disables' map rotation. That's probably not something a new player would want to deal with when struggling to build their first functional line, and I can't think of any pakset which features those kinds of tracks by itself.

Another example: Curved roofs over stations spanning over two tracks. These are more complicated and more restrictive than common stations, since you are required to build them in the correct order (otherwise, they face away from each other) and you can only use them if there is an even number of tracks. Those are much easier than the track example though, and indeed, they are relatively common in paksets.


I wonder how complicated stuff in a base pakset can get without harming the expierience for new players, and which methods could be used to mitigate their effect without outright removing them.
Getting back to curved roof stations, those are usually in later eras - the player would not have access to them at the beginning of a timeline game and would first learn with easier stations where building order does not matter at all. Perhaps even with double-sided goods stations before using one-sided pax stations, and since they are not THAT complicated, this might be enough for a learning curve.
Another possibility are submenus for more advanced stuff, seperating it so new players don't encounter it, while advanced players could still use it.


What do you think? Should anything advanced be removed from base paksets and offered as addons, or what could be done to keep it in without disturbing new players? Especially newer players: How was it for you to discover game mechanics, what were hickups that could be prevented?

Offline Ters

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Re: How complicated can stuff in a basic pakset be
« Reply #1 on: August 04, 2017, 08:03:34 AM »
I don't think all pak sets have to be basic. Some pak sets could aim solely for advanced users. If so, the presentation of the pak sets should clearly label the pak sets as basic or advanced. This can lead to some disagreement as to whether a pak set is basic or advanced, though.

Also, I associate stations with curved roofs spanning multiple tracks with old stations. The typical modern station for me has roofs only above individual platforms, but not over the tracks. Minor stations do not have roofs at any time, but, in pak64 at least, all roofless platforms are, with one exception, freight platforms. Even though only non-containerized cooled and boxed goods are loaded/unloaded at platforms as far as I know (maybe also live animals), but that is a different topic. So it is my impression that players will run into multi-tile roof construction when they start building big stations, not due to the timeline.

Online Leartin

Re: How complicated can stuff in a basic pakset be
« Reply #2 on: August 04, 2017, 10:32:33 AM »
Also, I associate stations with curved roofs spanning multiple tracks with old stations. The typical modern station for me has roofs only above individual platforms, but not over the tracks. So it is my impression that players will run into multi-tile roof construction when they start building big stations, not due to the timeline.
You are right, I mixed up two thoughts. I was thinking of the even more 'complicated' modern station of pak128, which offers outer and inner parts and is only introduced at a later point in time. But the idea stays true - typically you don't start with a big station, but some small goods station, later small pax stations, and by the time you build a bigger station, there was time to expierience how they work - in theory. Due to p64 having only double-sided stations except for the largest one, you would need to actively learn how building order affects station sides at that very station.

p64 has another oddball - those station extensions that are a small plaza with a wall. They can't really be used just as a station extension since they require a wall to cover, they would only turn the correct way automatically if the station is on the higher ground, but p64 does not offer an elevated track that is fit for building stations on (graphically), so it only works with landscaping. And I don't think I've ever seen a station elevated on a dirthill, if anything, the railway station would be below the other stuff in a pit, utilizing tunnels. A bit weird.

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Re: How complicated can stuff in a basic pakset be
« Reply #3 on: August 04, 2017, 05:05:42 PM »
With pak64, I start with passengers more or less at the same time as goods. And those plaza extensions are for use next to roofed platforms, I think. They look good next to the vaulted roof platforms.