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Offline NightElfik

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Few suggestions
« on: August 05, 2012, 12:34:44 PM »
Hello, I've played Simutrans Experimental and posted general feedback with suggestions and bug reposts: http://forum.simutrans.com/index.php?topic=10308.0. Since the most of sugestions are not experimental-only (as jamespetts says), I am reposting appropriate ones here.

In mentioned topic are also some bugs, which I will repost to appropriate section too.

  • FPS is lowered in paused game which makes exploring the map and mini-map (in paused game) very laggy. I suggest to lower FPS only if the Simutrans window is not focused. Better solution is event based approach, fire next frame after mouse move, but I think this can not be done since mouse move is captured on beginning of each frame?

  • Speaking about FPS, It should be possible to set FPS cap higher than 30, I want more! like 50-60. I feel the game is not compeletly smooth on 30 FPS. But this may be caused by "choppy" movement of vehicles.

  • Speaking about "choppy" movement of vehicles, the vehicles movement is "choppy" if they are moving over straight roads (NW-SE, NE-SW) but it is smooth while they are moving up/down or let/right (on screenm N-S, W-E). I think that they are jumping more than one pixel but not every frame.
    Also in non-1:1 zoom the "jump-moment" of individual wagons in train is different which causes weird train rubber-banding. Some frames I can see side between wagons and some they are tight connected.

  • Settings of inspection tool should be settable in the "Display options". It becomes annoying to close informations abbout ground, trees, cars. But it is hard to know before starting the game. Also you may want to temporarly enable them.

  • I WANT AREA DEMOLITION TOOL really bad! I missed it when I was
    • destroying whole train stations,
    • destroying whole airports,
    • clearing areas of city...

  • In line management window there should be possible to send all vehicles from line to depot. Now, I use the replace interface for that. I just do not replace the vehicle and press "Replace but stay" but this is not clean solution and took me a while how to figure out (I really do not want to click all 50 planes and send them to hangar). Maybe even button "Sell all vehicles in line" could be useful sometimes.

  • EDIT: moved scrolling problem to bug report as "annoying feature": http://forum.simutrans.com/index.php?topic=10316.0

  • It would be nice to be able to bind the Print Screen button to take the screen shot. I know I can just press the C button, but the Print Screen is more natural.

  • There should be warning about CapsLock :-D :-D :-D It took me like 10 mins and 3 restarts of the game to figure it why when I press A (to have Inspection tool) it will show the Attractions list instead. On the other hand while trying to pick the Remove tool, I've learned that map can be rotated! Yay!


Thanks for nice game!
« Last Edit: August 05, 2012, 12:43:14 PM by NightElfik »

Offline Ters

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Re: Few suggestions
« Reply #1 on: August 05, 2012, 01:13:13 PM »
6: there is a button for retiring all vehicles on a line. The vehicles will stop loading new passengers/cargo, and will be sold automatically when empty. Just remember to click this before assigning the new vehicles to the line.

8: Print Screen is bound by the operating system, so it might be against some guidelines to use it.

9: This was fixed already in the previous century by adding a light on the keyboard. ;D
 
I also think the choppiness is due to the internal workings of the game, so it would be just as bad with more rendered frames per second. I might have misunderstood some earlier post on this point, though.

Offline NightElfik

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Re: Few suggestions
« Reply #2 on: August 05, 2012, 01:42:21 PM »
9: This was fixed already in the previous century by adding a light on the keyboard. ;D
Some notebooks do not have hardware signalizations of CapsLock whatsoever! There is only software overlay which shows only if funky utilities from manufacturer are installed (which I really hate).

Anyways I really don't know why so lucrative place on keyboard is taken by so useless key as CapsLock. I would rather see it completely gone OR to be somewhere near scroll lock/numlock.

Offline prissi

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Re: Few suggestions
« Reply #3 on: August 05, 2012, 09:18:02 PM »
There are some nice tools the chance caps lock to a shift key. I would have rather control there too, liek in old times ;)

About choppy movement: The smallest amount a sprite in an isometric engine along a string (NS) way can be moved is two horizontal, one vertical. No matter of FPS, this will be choopy. Thus fps beyond 25 are meaningless. Moreover, every frame ALL vehicles on the map must be moved. Thus fps beyond 30 will not work in later games.

Finally, with large screens, we are reaching the bandwidth of the main memory to screen more or less (with cache missis) as in the larges zoomout level you could easily have 1 million objects on the screen. (Which is more than most 3D games have.) Even hardware assisted OpenGL did not improve rendiering speed. So fps 25 is already a very meaningful limit. Thus in pause only 10 fps, otherwise CPU consumption would not be reduced much.

to 4) You can easily define a tool to open it. However, it could ruin your savegame economy completely, when activated the wrong settings. Thus such a tool is hidden at the moment.



Offline Ters

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Re: Few suggestions
« Reply #4 on: August 05, 2012, 10:25:21 PM »
One thing I didn' think of with caps lock earlier: Should Simutrans really pay attention to that for other things than text input? If a shortcut is Shift+A, you should have to press Shift+A, no matter what the caps lock state is. I don't think any other program I've used lets caps lock affect keyboard shortcuts. Alt+tab doesn't go backwards with caps lock on; shift must be pressed to go backwards.

Offline prissi

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Re: Few suggestions
« Reply #5 on: August 05, 2012, 10:31:14 PM »
Problem is, if you are asking for the "scan code" then you need different scan codes for different keyboard layouts.

And SDL in "text mode" is required to handle unicode correctly. It aparently also uses caps-lock.

Windows uses also caps lock for login. Just after failing, it reminds you, that caps lock is on ...

Offline Ters

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Re: Few suggestions
« Reply #6 on: August 06, 2012, 11:39:44 AM »
The sym field in the SDL key event structure seems to hold unshifted character, but only according to some default (probably US) layout. For Win32 and Allegro backends, it's seems possible to get the "correct" character for a virtual key.

But how robust is it to bind to ASCII (or Unicode) values, rather than keys? Wouldn't almost all of them be inaccessible on a Cyrillic keyboard? Though I know from first hand experience how annoying it is to hunt for the key on my keyboard that has the same scan code as a certain letter/symbol on the US layout. Yet binding to virtual keys seems to be the standard, even in post-internationalization-awareness APIs like Java AWT, and there must be some reason for it. Java even uses virtual key codes to specify mnemonics (the underlined character on buttons, menu items, etc.), which annoy me as a programmer, as I'm trying to tell Java that one of the letters in a string I just passed it is the mnemonic, not that a specific key is.

Offline prissi

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Re: Few suggestions
« Reply #7 on: August 06, 2012, 07:06:19 PM »
Binding keys to a letter instead to their scancode means, that you can could use those directly in the menuconf.tab files. And while for shooter A instead of a could mean sure dead, it is rather harmless in SImutrans.

Furthermore, only windows has scancodes at all.

Offline Ters

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Re: Few suggestions
« Reply #8 on: August 06, 2012, 07:25:18 PM »
Well there are scancodes, and there are virtual key codes. Since not all keys have an associated ASCII value, all keyboard APIs must have the latter (though some may call those scancodes).

I guess it also depends on whether the hot key for rotate is R or shift+r. (I also discovered that some keyboards have a shift lock instead of caps lock, which is meant to affect non-letters and hot keys.)

Offline NightElfik

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Re: Few suggestions
« Reply #9 on: August 06, 2012, 10:01:03 PM »
I support the idea that CapsLock should not affect keyboard shortcuts at all. Only writing of text (like name of saved game).

Offline isidoro

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Re: Few suggestions
« Reply #10 on: August 06, 2012, 10:55:11 PM »
Maybe an intermediate solution.  Forget it if it is nonsense: if SDL detects 'A' and Shift key is not pressed (configurable, of course in simuconf), turn it into an 'a'...

The same if SDL detects 'a' and Shift is pressed, since in some configurations, when CapsLock is on, pressing SHIFT and a letter gives the lowercase one.


Offline Ters

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Re: Few suggestions
« Reply #11 on: August 06, 2012, 11:02:45 PM »
I have briefly considered that, but I'm not sure there's any cross platform reliable way of finding out what the lower case of any given letter is. For pure ASCII, there should be, but I think we're in the Unicode world here.

Offline prissi

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Re: Few suggestions
« Reply #12 on: August 07, 2012, 07:42:01 PM »
For most commands it would work. But this leaves shift lock, when all numbers give special characters. Since some of them on some keyboards are without shift or with shift, this detection is aalmost impossible then.