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Author Topic: Proposal: Core and add-on paks for trains  (Read 3296 times)

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Offline The Hood

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Proposal: Core and add-on paks for trains
« on: August 25, 2012, 10:06:06 AM »
Following discussion about how to add in jamespetts' new train graphics it's becoming increasingly apparent that we have a lot of quite similar locos and carriages which differ only in historical detail, original company, or some factor such as comfort that is not simulated in the standard version. I would argue that, for many new players, the large amount of depot clutter is somewhat off-putting and the choice of vehicles overwhelming. It's also getting pretty hard to manage the many files in the folder now! I'm therefore proposing a re-ordering of the train pak along the following lines:

- a core pak containing a continuous set of vehicles for the whole timeline covering all the main operations (suburban, middle distance, express, light and heavy freight). There would be one-two for each at any given time. These vehicles should, where possible, be the most iconic and widely recognised ones, e.g. "Rocket", Stirling Single, LNER A4, HST, Pendolino. Coaching stock included would be fairly basic (normal passenger, brake, mail) and not necessarily of the correct company for all the locos in the core pak.

- Various add-on paks containing the other content which users could choose to include to expand the core pak where desired, e.g. LMS locos, BR multiple units, LNWR coaching stock.

A couple of questions would need resolving:
1) which vehicles should constitute the core pak (some will be obvious, others may involve some debate!)
2) How best to split the non-core material into various add-on paks
3) How best to distribute add-on paks - separate downloads or included in the main download but in a subfolder that can easily be moved by the player?
4) What about nightly builds?
5) How best to ensure compatibility with existing versions of the set as many vehicles would be moved out of the core pakset? One solution is to start a new series (e.g. 2.x) to indicate compatibility is slightly broken (but would be ensured if all add-ons are included).

I'd like to get this right as it's a fairly large job, so please do let me know your thoughts, even if you don't normally contribute on the forum.

Offline kierongreen

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Re: Proposal: Core and add-on paks for trains
« Reply #1 on: August 25, 2012, 12:14:06 PM »
Other must have vehicles off the top of my head:
Black 5
LNER A3
GWR Pannier and Autocoach

225 and Mk4
37
47
55

66
Eurostar
Turbostar (170)


Options for splitting:
By time - Pre-Grouping/Grouping/British Rail/Modern. This would neatly split the extra vehicles up and is easy to understand. However I'm not sure how much use this would be in game.
By type - Locomotive/Passenger and Mail/Goods. Again easy to understand but may involve adding a lot of extra vehicles (e.g. if you just want restaurants this would add a lot more than you want).
By company (especially pre and post BR) - Potentially requires a full timeline for each company.
Detailed - Individual carriage types (restaurant, brake, lavatory). Maybe complex to understand.

One problem with any of these is incompatibility between people playing in online games. Also compatibility config file could become a nightmare without a script to assist with keeping this updated on players machines - (e.g. when they add or remove optional vehicle sets).

Offline jamespetts gb

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Re: Proposal: Core and add-on paks for trains
« Reply #2 on: August 25, 2012, 01:15:12 PM »
I suggest only one add-on pak for all extra vehicles, or else it will get far too confusing for players.

Offline The Hood

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Re: Proposal: Core and add-on paks for trains
« Reply #3 on: August 25, 2012, 04:17:12 PM »
Hadn't thought about problems with online. That would suggest the best option is Core + single addon with everything else as Jamespetts suggests. If people really want to pick and choose, they can get makeobj and decompile the pak and choose vehicle-by-vehicle.

Attached is a quick spreadsheet of my proposal for the core pakset. All freight wagons are assumed. I'm inclined to omit dining vehicles and TPOs from the core set but include in the add-on.

Offline kierongreen

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Re: Proposal: Core and add-on paks for trains
« Reply #4 on: August 26, 2012, 04:37:55 PM »
Overall looks good. Is there a reason sub version rather than mainline mk1 is used? (I think 410 EMUs use mainline length so it would be in anyway). Also personally I'd say 465 is suburban, 365 is medium distance. Is the plan to have overhead and 3rd rail suburban and medium distance EMUs?

Offline The Hood

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Re: Proposal: Core and add-on paks for trains
« Reply #5 on: August 26, 2012, 05:20:50 PM »
I intended to include both sub and mainline mk 1s. Looks like I also got 465 and 365 the wrong way round, and yes, we probably should have 3rd rail and overhead options (even though it won't make a difference to gameplay).

I had been thinking, as you will see from my extension request, that an alternative way around this problem is a more sophisticated depot window which allows filters. If we could also then flag different vehicles as belonging to different groups, we could then easily filter the depot window to the core group without requiring different pak files.

Offline kierongreen

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Re: Proposal: Core and add-on paks for trains
« Reply #6 on: August 26, 2012, 05:55:36 PM »
Great :) I've seen the request - my gut feeling is that I'm not sure how likely it is to get into standard.

Offline The Hood

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Re: Proposal: Core and add-on paks for trains
« Reply #7 on: August 26, 2012, 08:24:08 PM »
Mine too unfortunately, and I can't code so can't provide a patch... Oh well. I'm not rushing into splitting the set anyway, and I can't believe other players haven't got a view on this. At the minute I'm trying to work out what to do with all the carriages - do you personally have a view on dining cars in standard? I'm coming to the conclusion they are un-necessary clutter as they have limited capacity but no requirement in train. Another option would be to code carriage constraints such that all express coaching sets had to include one...

Offline jamespetts gb

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Re: Proposal: Core and add-on paks for trains
« Reply #8 on: August 26, 2012, 08:33:04 PM »
Another option would be to code carriage constraints such that all express coaching sets had to include one...

Hmm - this sounds as if it would be very fiddly indeed. I think that dining carriages are best confined to Experimental, where they have function. Remember that all but obvious constraints are not transparent to players, so the sudden inclusion of a dining car in a set automatically is potentially very confusing for players.

Offline kierongreen

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Re: Proposal: Core and add-on paks for trains
« Reply #9 on: August 26, 2012, 08:48:43 PM »
Quote
Mine too unfortunately, and I can't code so can't provide a patch
While I can code I know that there is a backlog of patches already waiting to be incorporated, and at the moment my time is limited enough that I'm not going to use it to code something that may never see the light of day.

Quote
Remember that all but obvious constraints are not transparent to players
Very true - I'm also coming to conclusion that the default distribution should be simple and easy to use, so I'd support there being effectively 3 paks:
pak128.Britain core
pak128.Britain standard
pak128.Britain experimental/extended (for use with simutrans experimental)

with core and standard being compatible with each other (via compat.tab - obviously you'd lose some detail going from standard to core), and standard should have all the vehicles present in experimental unless there's a good reason not to include a particular one.

Offline The Hood

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Re: Proposal: Core and add-on paks for trains
« Reply #10 on: August 26, 2012, 09:10:24 PM »
While I can code I know that there is a backlog of patches already waiting to be incorporated, and at the moment my time is limited enough that I'm not going to use it to code something that may never see the light of day.
Sorry if my last post sounded like begging you to do it - it wasn't. I'd much rather see your landscapes patches finally incorporated!

Quote
Very true - I'm also coming to conclusion that the default distribution should be simple and easy to use, so I'd support there being effectively 3 paks:
pak128.Britain core
pak128.Britain standard
pak128.Britain experimental/extended (for use with simutrans experimental)

with core and standard being compatible with each other (via compat.tab - obviously you'd lose some detail going from standard to core), and standard should have all the vehicles present in experimental unless there's a good reason not to include a particular one.

I've been thinking that for a while. It's probably the easiest way of splitting everything and ensuring network compatibility. Given where we are with the SVN repository, I would suggest that nightlies are the "standard" version and only official releases have "core" and "standard" versions. The core version can also lose the multiple industries for different times which adds to download size considerably.

Offline The Hood

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Re: Proposal: Core and add-on paks for trains
« Reply #11 on: August 29, 2012, 09:20:13 AM »
OK, this is what I'm going to run with. I'm also thinking of revamping the constraints system to reduce the options in the depot when "show all" is off. The idea is that you'd only get a passenger and mail choice to follow the locomotive for each rolling stock group. At present, some groups have front brakes and others do not. So the question is whether all groups should have brakes at both ends, or just the rear (in which case start with a standard carriage for those groups). Dining cars would be allowed, but not at the front of formations. Hope this makes sense. Comments?

Edit: I did some tests to ensure compatibility - it seems simutrans only checks for "legal" combinations of vehicles when a train leaves a depot, so changing constraints would not break existing saves with newly illegal combinations of vehicles. It would however, mean that if a player sent their vehicle to a depot it would not be allowed to leave until fixed.
« Last Edit: August 29, 2012, 10:10:28 AM by The Hood »

Offline ӔO

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Re: Proposal: Core and add-on paks for trains
« Reply #12 on: August 29, 2012, 12:00:22 PM »
I can foresee people asking what the difference between core and standard is...

If it's not too late, I'd suggest "Lite" and "Full"


or, if "Core" is preferred, then doesn't simutrans support addons already? Last I recall, one just needs to place them in their simutrans folder where all the maps and saves are stored.
« Last Edit: August 29, 2012, 12:51:30 PM by ӔO »