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Offline Roads

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My new game
« on: November 07, 2012, 12:57:51 PM »

Over the last couple weeks, I've come to a new realization - aw heck, let's go ahead and call it an epiphany.  For probably the last 10 years or so, I've had a general idea of the game I would like to play if by some magic I could just have it.  What I've come to realize is that I've alienated people on various message boards trying to turn their game into mine.  This stops now.  From now on, I've got a new game.  This game is creating the game I've been wanting to play for such a long time.  When I take a breather from "my game" I'll play Simutrans and maybe other games but with a new attitude - this is their game - follow the rules!


I'm not going to talk about my dream game yet because it is far too complicated (and likely boring to many) to do in one post.  Instead I would like to hear from y'all - what you would play if you could just request it today and it would be delivered tomorrow.


Also it would be great if people talked about what is needed to make a game.  I'm planning on using OGRE.

Offline Fabio

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Re: My new game
« Reply #1 on: November 07, 2012, 01:08:10 PM »
When I take a breather from "my game" I'll play Simutrans and maybe other games but with a new attitude - this is their game - follow the rules!

I speak personally, but I believe many share my point of view. You didn't bore or alienate any of us-- on the contrary. I really appreciated many of your inputs and this is why we chose to appoint you "devotee" here. I hope you'll still play Simutrans and share your ideas and accomplishments here the way you used to do.

Best luck with your personal project!

Fabio

Offline Roads

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Re: My new game
« Reply #2 on: November 07, 2012, 01:45:48 PM »
Thanks Fabio!

No doubt there will be times (and already has been) when I just cannot study any more code or absorb any more Blender concepts.  At times like this Simutrans is a great get away. :)

Also I certainly will offer whatever I can in support of this really great game.

Offline Markohs

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Re: My new game
« Reply #3 on: November 07, 2012, 02:02:53 PM »
Welcome to hell. ;)

Offline Isaac.Eiland-Hall us

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Re: My new game
« Reply #4 on: November 07, 2012, 03:24:44 PM »
Okay, I've banned Roads. There. Problem solved.

But no, seriously Roads, I agree - your feedback here is welcome. But if you can pull off making your dream game work... in another few years, perhaps we'll have another good game to play, too! :)

Offline Roads

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Re: My new game
« Reply #5 on: November 07, 2012, 04:05:58 PM »
Quote
Welcome to hell.


After advancing a bit in the C++ tutorials I was merely lost but when I had trouble getting my compiler to compile the setup for the Ogre tutorials and looking for a solution on the Ogre message boards I recognized the location...


Glad to know you can survive here. :)


Thanks Isaac!  All I can do is try...

Offline Ters

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Re: My new game
« Reply #6 on: November 07, 2012, 04:51:44 PM »
Welcome to hell. ;)

The road to hell is paved with abandoned game projects. I've contributed with my share of those. By the time I actually get something moving on the screen, my motivation is gone. When the motivation returns, the code is so rotten or badly written that I start all over again.

Offline Sarlock

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Re: My new game
« Reply #7 on: November 07, 2012, 05:23:47 PM »
The road to hell is paved with abandoned game projects. I've contributed with my share of those. By the time I actually get something moving on the screen, my motivation is gone. When the motivation returns, the code is so rotten or badly written that I start all over again.

The first part of writing code for a game is very fun, seeing it on screen for the first time, etc... then you realize that you have 20,000 hours worth of writing the not so fun stuff that doesn't have much impact on the visual part of the game... I half wrote a lot of games back when I was programming many moons ago (early 90's) some of which I put many months of work in to.  None of them go anywhere close to being done...

When you take in to context that Simutrans probably has 100,000+ hours (a complete guess, but I bet it's up there) of accumulated programming time put in to it (and probably just as much time with artwork), you realize the enormity of getting a fully developed game completed...

My "ideal" game would be exactly what Simutrans is except in a full 3D a massive world and a fully detailed economy down to the lowest level of detail and complete freedom to lay tracks and roads in any direction/curve/etc.  Given that this would probably take all of the supercomputers in the world to run, I'll have to wait for another 15-20 years for Simutrans and computing power to slowly get there :)

Offline Roads

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Re: My new game
« Reply #8 on: November 07, 2012, 09:54:41 PM »
Ters, Sarlock,  Do you regret the time you put into making a game?

Guys, I really appreciate what you are saying.  I may well be saying something similar to someone else one of these days.  The thing I'm thinking right now is to try and make the game as minimal as I possibly can, then expand it later, possibly with the help of others if there are some who like it.  Of course it will be open source.

Sarlock, your 3d massive world of Simutrans sounds great.  Who knows?  It might not take 15 years although I'm not sure where in my house to put a super computer. :) 

Offline sdog

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Re: My new game
« Reply #9 on: November 07, 2012, 10:29:38 PM »
Roads, i enjoy your posts and should like to hear more of your game.

What i don't like very much in your posts are your apologies for saying something or being there. It is very inappropriate, since you deserve being listened to for good posts and thanked for because of your contributions (might i mention the new desert houses?). Even if that was not the case, you would still be respected just for being yourself here. Speak up.

Offline isidoro

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Re: My new game
« Reply #10 on: November 07, 2012, 11:10:06 PM »
Roads, I started my own project in summer 2007.  I have been recorded the number of lines of the project since then.  You can see the data plotted below.  As you can see the project has now around 20000 lines (in r69 or so), but the effort is made mainly in the summers (x axis is year).

If you embark in such an effort, my advise is to enjoy it because you can throw there all the time you want and more.  The results will not be evident, you have to redo more than you do, technology changes while you are doing it, etc., etc.

The good thing is that you learn a lot and enjoy making decisions, rolling back, ...

Good luck!



Offline Sarlock

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Re: My new game
« Reply #11 on: November 08, 2012, 12:28:35 AM »
I definitely enjoyed my game making time and so will you :)  I learned a lot of programming tricks and techniques that I used in later projects.  I certainly don't want to discourage you, I'm sure you will have lots of fun!  But to achieve a game like Simutrans is beyond the scope of any one human being to create entirely by themselves, I think that's just the general message... but then again you haven't said what your ideal game is... maybe it's a Pacman clone... in which case it's easily done by one person!  ;D

It's my hope that through collaborating with a community to further develop an amazing game like Simutrans, we can all get a little piece of our "perfect" game in the end :)  Hope to still see you around lots still, I'm sure we could all give you lots of input for your new game!

Offline Roads

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Re: My new game
« Reply #12 on: November 08, 2012, 02:17:56 AM »
@sdog
Okay!  I had not realized.  Thanks.  Also thanks for the comment about the house, that's what us artists love to hear.

@isidoro
Thank you!
It is good to hear you have a project in the works.  I hope you all the best and will echo Isaac's earlier comment and say maybe one day we'll have another good game to play.  You hinted at something I've thought about and that is you don't have to work on it constantly, you just have to keep at it.  That's how I got my house built.  Early in the project my brother told me I would never get it built - it took five years - but I never gave up.

@Sarlock
Yes Sarlock, I've no doubt you are exactly right about the magnitude of creating a big game.  It is the reason I had put off trying to do this for so long.  Anything small just didn't seem worth the effort and anything big seemed too big to accomplish.  My hope is when I get my little game to the point I can publish, people will like it and want to join the project.  So now is the time to talk about what I'm wanting to do.

Of all the games I've played and really liked, Civilization is the one that captured my imagination - the struggle of humanity not only to survive but flourish.  What happened to the Jamestown settlement?  How did a little country like Great Britain survive and maintain the power it still has today.  Of course there are many others and all their stories are great.

It seems games like Civ always link survival for the most part on war.  But I don't think that was ever the key to survival.  It was the ability of a country to at first, keep its people from starvation and then to lift them out of poverty.

Eventually I want my game to take some of the elements of Civ, RRT1, SimCity, Tropico and of course Simutrans and create a game where the player can play different roles on the macro level and also on the micro level with the goal of creating a great nation.  I know this sounds like a monstrosity but beginning it won't be so much.  At first all it will be a is a few "pilgrims" landing on the shore of a new land.  Some of these pilgrims you will be able to play in 3rd person - an explorer and a hunter at least.  Some will simply exist but be unplayable like laborers, farmers, etc.  The explorer can explore without the player moving him around, same with the hunter.  The key here is how fast the explorer explores, whether he survives the wilds - there's bears in them woods - and how well the hunter hunts.  After all, the pilgrims have a limited food supply.

But I think the game needs to be able to play possibly completely independent of the player, much like a movie or at least with minimal input of the player if he so desires.  At least at the early stage of the game because there simply will not be cities to shape or trains to run.

There will be trade.  The ship that brought the pilgrims will return every so often and you will be able to trade raw materials you've collected for finished goods and such things as coffee unless of course you can grow that.

I've got a lot of thoughts about how this will all work but maybe this enough to give people the idea.   

Offline sdog

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Re: My new game
« Reply #13 on: November 08, 2012, 02:48:27 AM »
For a game of such complexity, perhaps the approach dwarf fortress took would be interesting:

Very minimalistic interface but a very complex and large world below the surface. In large part the world lives by itself, with the player having their niche. The game can be played in fortress mode where one builds fortesses and in adventure mode where it is rogue like. An abandoned fortress could be visited as a dungeon in an adventure game or get re-seteled in a new fortress game.

It is also one of those crazy one-man-+-a-brother--projects

Offline Roads

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Re: My new game
« Reply #14 on: November 08, 2012, 03:19:00 AM »
Haven't heard of that one but sounds like it plays something like I have in mind.  Simutrans gave me the final idea on my game with the paks.  The core game could be all at the macro level.  Then it could have addons for things, even like the explorer and hunter.  There would need to be a hierachy where pak A was at the top level, pak B would have to work with pak A and so on.  That way it could be expanded to include a huge variety of things.

BTW I've pretty much settled on the name Nation although Great Nation works as well.

Offline el_slapper

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Re: My new game
« Reply #15 on: November 08, 2012, 01:21:51 PM »
95% of amateur game projects never reach a playable status. The biggest game I did finish(but not polish) is a Pong on C#(with tricky rebounds & realistic bounce effects, I'm not a beginner programmer after all).

Have fun, but I think 3D is not suitable for a single person. Ogre is 3D right?

Offline mEGa

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Re: My new game
« Reply #16 on: November 08, 2012, 01:39:24 PM »
@Roads :
Best luck with your personal project!

Offline Ters

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Re: My new game
« Reply #17 on: November 08, 2012, 03:35:08 PM »
95% of amateur game projects never reach a playable status. The biggest game I did finish(but not polish) is a Pong on C#(with tricky rebounds & realistic bounce effects, I'm not a beginner programmer after all).

Have fun, but I think 3D is not suitable for a single person. Ogre is 3D right?

I think I finished a pong game on an embedded platform. That was a group assignment in college, though. Several other of my games have reached a playable state, but are otherwise far from completion.

Ogre is a 3D graphics library, but a game can still be very much 2D. In some cases, 3D graphics can be easier than 2D as there seem to be more off the shelf solutions available, such as for things like character animation.

Offline prissi

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Re: My new game
« Reply #18 on: November 08, 2012, 04:34:50 PM »
The 95% rule never finish is most true for almost every program.

I think the best way to improve the likeliness of finishing is to release early to find external motivation too, when the internal enthusiam was burn up. Which happens quick. But satisfying a need to have an instant fan base became so much more difficult with nowadays huge amount of good choice programs available. For instance I doubt that I would write an text editor again (as I did in '92) ...

A joke of the early 90ies: A man must achieve three things in life: built a house, have children, write a text editor. (Oh my I feel old now.)

Offline sdog

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Re: My new game
« Reply #19 on: November 08, 2012, 06:46:17 PM »
I thought after 1978 everyone was too busy to personalize their emacs to write a text editor. Unless they where vi disciples and were to busy dissing emacs followers. ;-)

From the 95% abandoned game projects quite a lot is learned. So don't worry too much about it before starting. (I don't start things at all, as i'm too realistic on the outcome: self-fulfilling prophecy)

Offline Roads

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Re: My new game
« Reply #20 on: November 08, 2012, 06:53:12 PM »
@el_slapper
I think the enemy is what Prissi said in the last post: "when the enthusiasm is burned up."  My only defense against this is to keep thinking making the game is my current game and try as you said to have fun with it.

@mEGa
That post you made for me about PhotoFiltre awhile back and the links got me really interested in doing something again besides just playing.  Also you have been helpful all along the way.  Thank you!

@Ters
I'm thinking those shelf solutions will help a lot.  No doubt sometime in the future making a game won't be the vast undertaking it still is today.  If Unity was not so buggy and limited, it looks like it would be fantastic.  But the fact is, you have to make the soup out of whatever you have on hand.

@Prissi
I'm going to make you feel young again.  I'm 64.

I tried to get some people interested in this game several years ago.  They did seem to like it a lot even though the idea was not as developed as it is now.  Eventually they just lost interest, I guess when they begin to realize what it would take.  So yeah, I know as much as a developer needs a fan base, if only for encouragement, it is not something easy to attain and less so as time goes by because so many more people can produce and have such varied tastes.  I come to the conclusion that this is something I have to try to do and not hope for anyone's help except for advice.  That I sure hope I can get! :)

@sdog
Going to take your advice about the 95% too. :)

The one thing I would love some input on right now is the map(s).  At this point I'm not sure I can even talk about it intelligently but I'm thinking it would be possible and possibly best, to create parts in Blender - ground surfaces - grass, sand, etc. and then have some algothrym to place them together.

I'm looking at Terragen.  Maybe the way to go is like Simutrans does and offer a variety to choose from.  That pretty much kills the idea of having an explorer though.  That idea I'm not sure is so great anyway.  It was fun in Civ finding resources and I think it would in Nation because not only would you have more resources but you would discover things like fertile land, edible berries...apple trees! :)
That is if the map was darkened except for a small area around where the ship drops anchor.

So I would like anyone's thoughts on maps, either technical or the game play.
 

Offline sdog

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Re: My new game
« Reply #21 on: November 08, 2012, 07:04:55 PM »
The gold way when you need large areas is 3d is to have them generated by a height map and a ground texture map OR generate them dynamically. Vegetation etc is generated with shaders (clutter) based on the ground texture.


here's one example:
http://www.chandlerprall.com/2011/07/dynamic-terrain-without-heightmaps/

Offline Iluvalar

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Re: My new game
« Reply #22 on: November 08, 2012, 07:24:25 PM »
only 95% :o . Sweet, I'll soon have one working then XD .

Offline IgorEliezer br

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Re: My new game
« Reply #23 on: November 08, 2012, 11:15:52 PM »
only 95% :o . Sweet, I'll soon have one working then XD .
This means that, if you have failed at least 19 times, at the 20th one you will succeed. ;)
« Last Edit: November 08, 2012, 11:41:06 PM by IgorEliezer »

Offline Carl

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Re: My new game
« Reply #24 on: November 08, 2012, 11:17:45 PM »
I think that is what is know as "the gambler's fallacy" ;)

Offline Ters

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Re: My new game
« Reply #25 on: November 09, 2012, 05:37:27 AM »
If I got another try, I'd do the successful 5% first.

Offline Isaac.Eiland-Hall us

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Re: My new game
« Reply #26 on: November 09, 2012, 06:31:01 AM »
I also wanted to say, without taking over this topic in any way - I feel the pain. I have my own little project:

http://jumpspace.us/

I got as far as getting map generation to work, which isn't very far, but still, an actual start: http://jumpspace.us/0.1 - and had to pause the project. But I'll be picking it back up in a bit. :)

Offline Roads

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Re: My new game
« Reply #27 on: November 09, 2012, 07:08:58 AM »
@sdog
I don't think that will work for me as I'm limited on my internet usage and don't think I would want it web based anyway.  It sure looks like a good way to go for anyone liking that route.

@Isaac
I hope you get back on that project!  I liked what I saw.
Please don't think you are hijacking this thread because I originally intended it to be about not just my project but our projects.  Maybe we can all help each other simply by talking through the problems we are having?

@everyone else
Well guys, these thoughts on the possibility and chances of me finishing this game do not worry me.  I'm passed that.  In fact I was really passed it when I created this thread because I had already came to the conclusion that when I get a new game I don't think, "it will be so great when I finish this game" but rather "it will be so much fun playing this game."

The thing that does worry me is the fact that no one has said, "Roads, this is a great game idea" or "I would like to play your game."  And it is not, I don't think, for some egotistical reason.  It is something Prissi mentioned - how difficult it is to get a fan base.  Of course this is a small sampling but I would be deluding myself if I thought my game was going to have anything more than at best, a very niche audience.  Of course this would be an absolutely fatal flaw if I hoped to sell the game.  It does in fact throw cold water on the hope of getting any help with expanding the game if I do eventually get it to a release stage.

Even these things are not what worries me most.  We humans often do not know what we want.  We think we want something until we get it and then we realize it wasn't what we wanted at all.  This is the 64 thousand dollar question, the sticky wicket...this is where the rubber meets the road.  But I can't know this until more is done.  Also, I'm hoping you guys will be plain spoken and not worry about hurting my feelings.  If something sounds boring or tedious to you, please say so.  I doubt at this point it will dissuade me from continuing with this project but it certainly might dissuade me from putting a lot of time in doing some particular thing I will never implement or regret implementing.

Offline Sarlock

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Re: My new game
« Reply #28 on: November 09, 2012, 07:12:16 AM »
I also wanted to say, without taking over this topic in any way - I feel the pain. I have my own little project:

http://jumpspace.us/

I got as far as getting map generation to work, which isn't very far, but still, an actual start: http://jumpspace.us/0.1 - and had to pause the project. But I'll be picking it back up in a bit. :)

Interesting, reminds me of a game I was developing with a couple of friends around 1991/1992 that was based on TradeWars 2000 which was a multiplayer text based game from the BBS era.  The basic idea was that there was an infinite universe in the game to explore (mathematically computed as new regions were revealed) that would expand the game as the player base grew and players spread out-either stay near the core for trade and war or expand out into the distance and be more isolationist.  I got as far as getting the world to auto generate and database the new discoveries but the other 2/3rds of our team lost interest.  The 95% theory at work :).  I wish I had seen it through though, it would have been an awesome game!  There would have been anarchy in some areas and order in others as players organized... Similar to the dynamics that occurred in the early Ultima Online days (if anyone here ever played that).

Offline Roads

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Re: My new game
« Reply #29 on: November 09, 2012, 07:19:53 AM »
@Sarlock
Ultima Online *raises hand*
It sure was fun for awhile.

Please let us know if you resurrect your game and where we can look at it.

Offline sdog

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Re: My new game
« Reply #30 on: November 09, 2012, 07:23:10 AM »
@roads: ignore the webGL, it was meant only about the procedural terrain. (BTW the limited internet usage would not be a problem, you can run everything locally. Such an approach might have some advantages with regard to mobile devices and multi platform availability.)


Quote
The thing that does worry me is the fact that no one has said, "Roads, this is a great game idea" or "I would like to play your game."  And it is not, I don't think, for some egotistical reason.  It is something Prissi mentioned - how difficult it is to get a fan base.

Just the wrong crowd here. And, much worse a lot of devs, to get them as fans you have to show them some running demonstrator. Don't get put off by lack of interest, if something is running, you find your users. (internet is large, long tail etc) Getting something to work is the real barrier you have to master.

Offline Sarlock

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Re: My new game
« Reply #31 on: November 09, 2012, 07:24:54 AM »
The thing that does worry me is the fact that no one has said, "Roads, this is a great game idea" or "I would like to play your game."  And it is not, I don't think, for some egotistical reason.  It is something Prissi mentioned - how difficult it is to get a fan base.  Of course this is a small sampling but I would be deluding myself if I thought my game was going to have anything more than at best, a very niche audience.  Of course this would be an absolutely fatal flaw if I hoped to sell the game.  It does in fact throw cold water on the hope of getting any help with expanding the game if I do eventually get it to a release stage.

I think like anything like this, once you can construct an initial demonstration of your idea, people will begin to understand the larger vision that you have.  Until then it's pretty hard to explain the concept that you have built in your mind... I look forward to seeing some initial progress reports :)


Re: UO, I played for 8 years, loved that game!  Too bad EA ruined it.

My game was 20 years ago... I think I'll leave it dead now  :D.  Don't really have the time these days and my programming skills are obsolete.  I keep meaning to learn C... I tried many years ago but I was too used to the nicer structure of Pascal.  I did do some Perl a few years ago (did all the scripts for my old UO guild website http://www.elvenorder.com , members page and a lot of backend database stuff) which has a bit of similarity to C so it might be too hard to pick up.

Offline kierongreen

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Re: My new game
« Reply #32 on: November 09, 2012, 08:25:47 AM »
I've not commented for a few reasons. I've never played tropico, so am not sure exactly what you are aiming for. I do quite like the SimCity series, but not so much Railroad Tycoon. Really though, I also didn't want to be too negative on the basis of my personal experience from programing games, which is similar to others here, unfinished projects, most unplayable and the rest not reaching the expectations I had to start with. I hope that won't be the case for you.

Offline Roads

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Re: My new game
« Reply #33 on: November 09, 2012, 08:37:05 AM »
@sdog
I'm beginning to get a real admiration for your understanding of what is going on here.  Getting this thing off the ground looks like will be the real barrier...

Just last night I got my compiler, MinGW with Code::Blocks setup to run the first Ogre tut.  This after searching for quite awhile to try and figure out why I was getting an error for boost.  I got that solved and ran the setup.  It worked fine.  Tonight the same problem again.  I just noticed there is a new note on wiki that I need a different version of MinGW.

@Sarlock
Many thanks about the advice about the game concept.  Actually both you and sdog - I had not thought about how difficult it would be for other people to see what is inside my head...maybe I need to phrase that differently.

Anyway, y'all know what I mean.

The problem for me with UO, at least early on and I began playing when the game was released, was that you could max out your character too quickly and there wasn't much left to do.  I had a great lord and a house...think maybe a boat, can't remember it has been so long ago...then Everquest came along and took the spotlight.

About the programming, it is just hard for me.  It seems like it takes forever for me to really understand some of the concepts but an odd thing is happening.  Sometimes when I go back and look at something that I sorta, kinda understood, it is suddenly clear as a bell.  Go figure.  Guess it's the French bath, sub conscious, whatever.

@kieron
Many thanks for the well wishes.  You've certainly done a great job with pak128.Britain

Offline Markohs

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Re: My new game
« Reply #34 on: November 09, 2012, 08:55:08 AM »
 I'd advise you to use VS 2010, has a great debugger and inspection tools, plus code assistant editor. I'd say it's the best programming IDE around, and it's free.

 I'll be critic to make a difference in this topic, I'll be the bad guy now: ;)

 I hope you prove me wrong, I think you don't really realize how hard and titanic your project will be, the ogre tutorials are just 5% of the Ogre Iceberg.  Remeber a 99% finished project is not a working project and nobody will take interest on something not finished (not playable), I'll advise you to embrace the extreme programming style and just go for incremental working prototype, and allways focus on the simplest piece of code that works, do not over-design.

 Organize your thoughts in items, then pick one and split it in sub-projects. Take now the most important one and implement it, FULLY, WORKING 100%. once you finish, think about what you've done, think what you did good and what you did wrong, and pick the next item on the to-do list.

http://www.extremeprogramming.org/
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kanban

 Don't expect nobody helping you until you have something interesting in your hands. ;)

 Good luck, I hope you suceed, but if you don't , remember there are lots of things to do and finish here in simutrans. ;)

Offline Isaac.Eiland-Hall us

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Re: My new game
« Reply #35 on: November 09, 2012, 03:12:10 PM »
Heard of Minecraft?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F9t3FREAZ-k

That's a great example IMHO of how today you can get something to show - if it's compelling, keep working on it; I'm in the "release early, release often" camp.

Offline IgorEliezer br

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Re: My new game
« Reply #36 on: November 09, 2012, 03:25:07 PM »
Heard of Minecraft?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F9t3FREAZ-k

Quote from:
Markus "Notch" Person, 2009
This is a very early test of an Infiniminer clone I'm working on. It will have more resource management and materials, if I ever get around to finishing it.
Way to go. 8)

Offline Roads

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Re: My new game
« Reply #37 on: November 09, 2012, 04:37:16 PM »
Kieron,
One thing I wanted to say and forgot about Railroad Tycoon.  It bothers me having a train that is loaded only one way.  Maybe it is because for the better part of my life some of my family and many of their friends were truckers.  Their one big complaint was not diesel prices or being away from home, sleep deprivation, etc., it was having to dead head home for the weekend!  That was by far their biggest expense on a weekly basis.  I can only think trains would be similar.  Railroad Tycoon (only the original) had switching stations that allowed you to change cars, add cars, remove cars,  wait forloads, etc.  You could create some really complex operations.  It is unrealistic to think every little factory would have a switching station with an unlimited number and variety of cars though so some compromise would be needed there.  Perhaps only switching stations in the larger cities.  This should allow for only short dead head trips and actually even an added element - moving empty cars from one location to another.

Being unrealistic is not the number one reason I dislike having trains, trucks, boats being loaded only one way.  It is simply not interesting having a train
pick up coal at a mine and delivering it to a power plant.  There has to be some complexity to a route to make it interesting.

@Markohs
When I first decided to learn C++ I downloaded VS2010 because I had used it before and 4 out of 5 sites and at least that ratio of you guys, maybe more, said that was the way to go.  It was not what I wanted to do because for many years now, I've tried to support non proprietary stuff.  My oldest son is a huge fan of Apple and my experience with that has only has only increased my contempt (maybe that is not the right word) for proprietary stuff.  I get videos of my grand daughter in .mov format which will not run on my computer.  Trying to find something that will run it without paying for it is like
looking for a needle in a haystack.  It will run on my TV video player but it plays upside down.  That is not the worst of it.  I dabble in the stock market and when I look at Apple margins, they are incredible.  Then I see kids (and I use that term loosely), working for minimum wage and running around with iphones.  This, IMHO, is nothing short of corporate victimization of the poor.

Microsoft products are very expensive as well.  If no one uses this this free and non-proprietary stuff it will cease to exist.  At that point I doubt VC2010 will continue to be free.  So as much as I respect your advice, and I do hugely, I have to try for the MinGW.  This is especially true since my experience with VC2010 recently was not good.

I followed your links and read most of it.  I think I had pretty much already decided to do what is talked about there to some extent.  That is I'm going to concentrate on the Ogre tuts and the landscape until it is done.

@Isaac
Yes, I followed your link in another thread about minecraft.  It just will not do what I want though and at this point I'm in no hurry to publish anything.  I've been thinking about this game for at least 10 years.  Now I'm happy when I get a program to compile, understand a new concept in Blender or the C++ tuts.

@Igor
The only thing I have to say about this is to Markohs and that is - Dang it!  Don't let this die - you are way too young to someday regret not finishing it.


Modify:  Actually if you give us a link to it, I think I might be willing to do some Blender files for it if you want.
« Last Edit: November 09, 2012, 04:46:35 PM by Roads »

Offline kierongreen

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Re: My new game
« Reply #38 on: November 09, 2012, 06:13:25 PM »
The lack of management required with waggons is also one of the aspects I dislike about Railroad Tycoon. I can understand the reasoning behind this simplified gameplay - with there being more to do in the wider economy in RRT having to design detailed track layouts and manage waggons could overload the player. However I prefer the aspects Simutrans focuses on.

Offline isidoro

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Re: My new game
« Reply #39 on: November 09, 2012, 10:53:11 PM »
Roads, I think that you should keep all the fan support (success, etc.) apart from all this business.  Your goal is to accomplish a 10 year dream.  Don't make that depend on others' viewpoint and enjoy the way, the travel...

Take the example of your self-made house.  Would you regret having built it just because no one liked it?  What about the feeling of accomplishment?

Fan support is like other types of love, you plant the seed but the crop is not guaranteed.

Offline Roads

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Re: My new game
« Reply #40 on: November 10, 2012, 01:57:01 AM »
Yes Isidoro, I agree to some extent.  Still there is so much that will have to be done just to get the bare bones playable, I'm thinking 2-3 years at least, it sure would be good if at that point, some people liked it enough to contribute in the way of code or graphics to add things to the game.  So it does matter...

BTW, would you consider telling us a little about the game you are working on?  I'm certainly willing to make the same offer to you as I did to Markohs in the way of graphics if you need/want any of that stuff.  I'm still learning and actually it would even help me if something I did was for a project instead of just practice.

In case anyone is wondering why I'm making these offers instead of doing graphics for Simutrans, the reason is two fold:   I want to see the ins and outs of doing something for 3D.  Also, Simutrans has a wealth of artists already.

Offline Isaac.Eiland-Hall us

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Re: My new game
« Reply #41 on: November 10, 2012, 09:59:53 PM »
BTW, if you get to the point of needing/wanting a forum, I'd be glad to host you on my part of the Simutrans server - I have plenty of resources :)

($10/yr for a domain, although a subdomain off sitedev.us would work too)

Offline Roads

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Re: My new game
« Reply #42 on: November 10, 2012, 10:29:41 PM »
Thank you Isaac!  The thought had crossed my mind about a forum at some point.  Of course that is awhile away as long as y'all will tolerate me posting here.

$10 a year is great!  Can you just deduct that from my contributions to Simutrans?  I certainly do plan on continuing that occasionally.  To be real plain spoken and honest, I think you have done more than your share in that area.

Offline isidoro

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Re: My new game
« Reply #43 on: November 10, 2012, 11:31:09 PM »
[...]
BTW, would you consider telling us a little about the game you are working on?
[...]

Of course.  I want to make a game on the line of Simutrans but with some things changed.  For instance:
  • Not exclusively centered on transportation, only mainly centered
  • Not forcefully realistic (in real life, that and that happens, not an argument for or against something)
  • More detailed: transportation by feet
  • With independent documentation, part of development
  • Better multiplayer/network support
  • To be run in present-day hardware
This summer I centered on network code and it is done.  Terrain has been done some years ago.  Now, as I wrote earlier in this post, technology has changed and I want to move most calculations to the GPU.  It is fun to learn it.

Thanks for your offer of help.  I would like the buildings, vehicles, etc. to be generated by algorithm based on few models vs. one element-one design followed in ST.


Offline Roads

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Re: My new game
« Reply #44 on: November 11, 2012, 02:51:57 AM »
@Isidoro

Your concept sounds like the reason modding came about and its popularity has exploded in the last few years to the point some games include modding ability in the release.  This is a good thing.  I had at times wondered why there were no mods to Simutrans but it was likely released before the idea was embraced by developers.  Maybe the idea was there but in the form of the paks.  At any rate I'm under the impression that a mod to the game core would be...well just easier to start from scratch especially since you only want to support present day hardware.

This is something I agree with completely.  As much as I would like to see 3rd world nations rise in stature, I don't want to tie my gaming experience to their machines, anymore than I want other aspects of my life to reflect their living conditions.

I also agree that a game based exclusively on one thing does not offer enough variety even though this is the universally accepted practice.  Society has been wrong about things before...i.e., the earth is flat. :)

I'm not sure what you mean by more detailed...transportation by feet; also I'm not sure what you mean about the documentation.

Multiplayer/network support seems a necessity these days.  I never play it because I'm such a slow thinker.  By the time I've decided what I want to do everyone else is half way through their session.

This idea of creating graphics with a program is entirely new to me.  I haven't a clue how it could be done with a 2D paint package but I can see possibilities with Blender or some other package where images are built with vertices, lines and faces.  Since you can save images at various stages of development thereby giving the artist the ability to create different images with far fewer clicks/key strokes, I'm not sure the time involved in writing a computer program to do it would be efficient.  I might be wrong since so many images are required though.

If you tell me specifically what you want, whether a building, an engine, truck or whatever, what level of detail you want - finished, solid, wireframe and the file format, I'll try to produce that for you.  I'm not saying I'll only do one, two or a hundred but it has to begin with one.

Offline sdog

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Re: My new game
« Reply #45 on: November 11, 2012, 02:57:21 AM »
Quote
I had at times wondered why there were no mods to Simutrans but it was likely released before the idea was embraced by developers.  Maybe the idea was there but in the form of the paks.  At any rate I'm under the impression that a mod to the game core would be...well just easier to start from scratch especially since you only want to support present day hardware.

paksets are exactly the answer to your question, just a different name for mods. don't forget they change game parameters too.

the game core can be modded in a sense: you can have your own fork of it. its just going much farther than a simple mod.

Offline Roads

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Re: My new game
« Reply #46 on: November 11, 2012, 09:07:44 AM »
@sdog
I did not know you could change game parameters within the core game with a pak.  That is good to know!

Offline Isaac.Eiland-Hall us

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Re: My new game
« Reply #47 on: November 11, 2012, 03:45:00 PM »
Simutrans Experimental is a fork, which is what sdog is saying about changing core features; not a pak. :)

Offline isidoro

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Re: My new game
« Reply #48 on: November 11, 2012, 11:45:56 PM »
[...]
At any rate I'm under the impression that a mod to the game core would be...well just easier to start from scratch especially since you only want to support present day hardware.

Roads, there is more to it that what I've mentioned.  That makes modifying present ST not a choice.  I would like to change the design from the basement.  For instance, I would like 0% CPU time expense in pause mode or with small maps.  Big maps are not a goal.  I would like not to lose a saved game when there is a memory error.  I would like to have real day/night cycles (with different traffic patterns)...  I would like everything more connected, for instance, a real role of mail transportation in game mechanics.  Money won't have a central role in the game and even will be able to be played without it...  Too many differences to be able to do it on a well-developed, running project as ST.

[...]
I'm not sure what you mean by more detailed...transportation by feet; also I'm not sure what you mean about the documentation.

One of the things I don't like about ST, but also RailRoad Tycoon series is station coverage.  It seems pretty unnatural to me that you have an advantage in placing a station some tiles away from a factory and you don't get penalized in any way.  That could be done in ST by merely making the goods in coverage area travel by themselves to the station and lasting some time in doing so, but I intend to do it with a person carrying things door to door.

Multiplayer/network support seems a necessity these days.  I never play it because I'm such a slow thinker.  By the time I've decided what I want to do everyone else is half way through their session.

The way I have done it will suit you since the game go as quick as the slowest of the players.

This idea of creating graphics with a program is entirely new to me.
[...]

The idea is not to make a program to help artists design buildings but to have a program inside the game that designs buildings on itself on the fly when needed based on some data.  Sort of a procedural city algorithm.  I think Prissi gave some good examples of the concept in a recent post.

If you tell me specifically what you want, whether a building, an engine, truck or whatever, what level of detail you want - finished, solid, wireframe and the file format, I'll try to produce that for you.  I'm not saying I'll only do one, two or a hundred but it has to begin with one.

 ;D   By the time I come to the point of needing that, you will surely have finished your game.  Progress is sooooo  slow.  But I'm enjoying the walk...  For me, accomplishment is just doing it, not finishing it.  That will come, if it eventually comes...  But, thanks anyway.

Offline prissi

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Re: My new game
« Reply #49 on: November 12, 2012, 09:21:26 AM »
Some stuff is done easily.

0% for pause: no problem, if you are ok loosing the building during pause option.

Not loosing any data on crash: Play on your local server. Otherwise you need a miracle program, which not looses its stuff during crashes.

Real day-night cycles: That is a very easy to mod, you just had to alter step_passagiere() in simcity.cc to not generate factory and tourist pax during nicht and maybe also only 1/4 during night. Trivial. The problem though: People in simutrans of wait a simulated day for one bus quite often ...

Freight has zero station coverage (.i.e. need an adjacent extension building/station tile): Would weed very little modification. (Same for different coverage areas for different station types.) Unlike the latter a different behavior for freight would be less confusing than different station coverages. It would only break every exisiting game. Still, it is an interesting challenge.

Those are all much much less complicated stuff than double way single directional roads ...

Offline Roads

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Re: My new game
« Reply #50 on: November 12, 2012, 11:54:22 AM »
Isidoro,

A real role for mail in game?  Yes, of course.  For example, a factory should not accept raw materials until it has mail service.  Contracts need to be signed and even if hand delivered there is still the matter of payment for raw materials which is almost always mailed I believe.  Since there is now no real penalty for mail piling up in the post office, some mail should be tracked.  If payment is not delivered on time, then the mine stops producing coal or whatever for the factory.  Of course currently there are wild fluctuations in mail generation and something would have to be done about that.

What to do about night is a problem in every game I've ever played that had it including RPG games.  I'm neutral on that because I have no ideas for a solution.  I do have some ideas.  In ST night time is too dark.  Were is just light enough to actually do anything, you could continue playing.  If this were the case though, and I think we are on the same page here, it should not be business as usual.  There would only be certain situations and vehicles that traveled normally at night such as trains and ships.

I had not thought of your idea of money (I'm assuming you mean the player making/losing money) until you posted this.  It is intriguing, my impulse is to like it and will think further on that.

On this idea of station coverage there are possibly several solutions and perhaps different solutions for different situations.  Often it seems game developers get into the mode of using a broad brush and painting everything the same way and the results are just monotonus.  Trucks could back up to factory unloading docks or pull into unloading bays with cranes for example.  It would also be very cool having fork lifts doing the job of moving cargo from vehicle to factory - only the graphic is needed.

If you can come up with a way to do multiplayer where the individual can play at his own speed without irritating the other players I will be eternally grateful.  I actually do enjoy playing with others.  In fact it does work in RPG games but no idea how it could be implemented in a strategy type situation where the early bird gets the worm.

I'm sorry I missed the thread about the game producing graphics as needed.  Since I began playing computer games there have been a few situations about graphics that always bothered me and seemed to be little or no solution.  One is when you have a guy cutting trees down.  The last time I saw this in a game the animation simply went away after the guy chopped for awhile.  It sure would be nice to see the fallen trees.  I wonder if this is an application that would apply?
 

Offline Ters

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Re: My new game
« Reply #51 on: November 12, 2012, 04:23:54 PM »
I think that realistically, loading bays for road vehicles would be part of the factory. The problem with that is that the player, as a potentially pure transportation company, has no control of how many loading bays there are. The way Simutrans works, it's best to have one bay per vehicle carrying goods away (and at least one vehicle per consumer), plus one for incomming trucks. For railroads, I'm not quite sure who's responsible for the siding. When it comes to shipping, oil rigs already have their own stops, and factory with their own airports (beyond helipads) is probably so rare that it can be ignored.

Offline Roads

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Re: My new game
« Reply #52 on: November 12, 2012, 05:52:12 PM »
When applying the concept of realism to a game, people often fail to think critically.  There are at least two aspects of the concept.  One is what happens in the real world.  The other is what appears realistic in a game to the player.  Personally I'm unconcerned with what happens in reality as long as the simulation of it appears realistic in a game.

Offline Sarlock

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Re: My new game
« Reply #53 on: November 12, 2012, 09:30:28 PM »
There is also a third consideration... what works best for the simulation.  When modelling something after reality, sometimes you have to play around with the formula in order to make the overall game still enjoyable and work.  The idea of having realistic night time traffic flows would necessitate the ability to adjust night time transportation flows (shutting busses and trains down) which may overcomplicate the game... it may model reality better but makes the game play less enjoyable.  Transportation companies have teams of engineers, planners, etc, to help design the overall flow of the system... the player probably doesn't want to devote the same amount of time to the minutia of planning and balancing the details of their system.  Therefore you need a balance between micromanagement and macromanagement.  Some things you welcome the player to set up and some things you let the simulation run for you.

If you look at Civilization... from a realism standpoint it had some similarities but it also makes a lot of generalizations in order to make the game actually fun to play.  If you made an empire game true to reality, I doubt anyone would enjoy playing it for long... balancing gameplay vs. realism in a simulation is a tricky balance.

And then if you throw in multiplayer, you add a whole new complicating element to the mix... what might work well in single player may not work at all in a multiplayer game.

Offline isidoro

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Re: My new game
« Reply #54 on: November 13, 2012, 12:24:35 AM »
Nice comments.  It's a pity that I can only connect once a day.

@prissi: there are many more changes to the game engine to be able to do it in present ST: native 3D rendering, for instance.  It is much easier to do it from scratch than using the present design of ST, which was thought for other time's hardware.  A working 3D rendering map with objects, forests, etc. took me a summer.  Compare that with the efforts of Markohs and others bringing 3D to ST.

There is also the problem with understanding the code.  If you do it from scratch, it is easier than understand someone else's work.  And the problem with the language...

The same happens with multilane roads, as you put it, a real nightmare to implement in ST.  Direct and easy in a new game.

Regarding not loosing data, the idea is to have incremental saving.  The game is saved at the beginning of each month and from them on, only the changes are saved on the fly.  If a problem happens, you get your last savegame and increments and rebuild the exact situation you have before the crash.  It is true that I don't know if that will scale well enough for big games...


@Roads: by a real role of mail, I mean mail with real content.  For instance, if a factory wants a contract with other factory, maybe it sends a message to the other one.  If you don't deliver that message properly, that possibility is lost.  That is the trend I want to deepen in the simulation.

I working now so that nighttime is skipped altogether.  Although you have to go to work early in the morning: more traffic then.

By making money lose its central role I mean that all these games are more or less moneycentric.  I see money as a way of exchanging goods between elements of the game.  It is not the player's money.  In my game, money is no more different that coal or mail in present ST.

When playing multiplayer, my idea is that you have to look for players you like to play with.  If someone is too quick or too slow for me, it is not a problem of the game, but of choosing the right opponents.

@Sarlock: you are very right about your comments on playability.  One can make the best of simulations, but, hey, it may bore the sheep.  That's a big concern, specially since there are many tastes among people.  That's why if I come to an end and I like what I get, I would be satisfied...

Another problem is the short run/long run player.  If a simulation is too complicated, new players won't dare come close to it.  But if it is very simple, an old player will get tired of it.  I have some ideas about how to deal with it, though...

Offline Ters

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Re: My new game
« Reply #55 on: November 13, 2012, 06:42:22 AM »
There are several compelling reasons for thinking of doing Simutrans 2, rather than continue developing Simutrans (except for bugfixes). One would take the concepts that works well in Simutrans and combine it with the most universally wanted new features, free from the inherent constraints of the old code. The biggest problem is that Simutrans fans seem to be extremely divided about what works, what they want changed and how.

Offline Roads

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Re: My new game
« Reply #56 on: November 13, 2012, 08:05:46 AM »

So many good points here, I'm going to start with the last one first:


@Ters
Yes!  I'm wondering if in my game I should have little more than a landscape and everything be an addon.  I think if there is ever a Simutrans 2 it should be as bare bones as possible with at least one layer between the core and what is now the paks.


@Isidoro
So the mail could in fact make the game completely non-linear?  That is a fabulous idea, wonder if you can make it work?  We don't normally think of a strategy game in that way but it really is.  Whether we play big games, little games or in-between, we are all playing with the same set of conditions.  This would allow branching, quite a revolutionary idea, IMO.


I do not think I will have night time in my game either, certainly not at first.


The money:
This I think you are touching on moving from a player controlled transportation company to god mode and personally I like that better.  The reason is when it is all about the player making or losing money it is tied down one dimensionally, there are so few options of different things to do without stepping outside the player mandate.  The thing that bothers me much more though is that the engine is required to be the bad guy and do all sorts of "cheating" type things to make the game challenging for the player.  If the game play is set so the player only interrupts what would normally happen with a new set of instructions, this is far more interesting.  This is what I'm planning on doing in my game.  Not sure if we are thinking similarly here or not.


@Sarlock
Absolutely.  The trouble is sometimes you really do not know what you like or dislike until you do it and sometimes that even takes more than once.  To some extent it is just a guessing game of what can be fun doing and what will be just boring or tedious.  If you add to that what players like/dislike, it is pretty much a crap shoot.  You just hope you hit on something you and others will like.


As much as I loved the early versions of Civilization, the game play always left me dissatisfied because of the lack of, or inadequacy of, economic factors.  The idea that appealed to me was the concept of empire building...apparently the Devs thought empires could only be built by employing the ideas of such personalities as Alexander, Caesar, Napolean and Hitler, that is, expansion by conquest.  Later versions only reinforced this idea to point I didn't even bother buying the last release.

Offline prissi

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Re: My new game
« Reply #57 on: November 13, 2012, 08:59:22 AM »
I easily confer that simutrans has many restrictions. And there were interesting 3D games around like Straße & Schiene and the game in the other thread just under development.

The main problem is to get somewhere where things work good enough. I know at least of three other approaches to 3d transport simulation, from which one is not completely dead (Transport Empire). But all of them stopped/stucked when the landscape was working, i.e. are more model railways than transport simulators. (No judgement here.) While some at least still aimed for transport simulation, aparently the effort to get a nice landscape working was enough for most.

Given the effort needed to be just about state of the art graphically, it is very hard to be one the same time good enough (motivated too) for a nice UI design and mathematics and algorithm needed for routing and so on.

While in principle simutrans is simple in its core, it took 10 years of refinement to be at the level we are now. JUst play an early version (some 0.78 and 84.22 are still around.) Therefore I think the only way to realize something like a full range transport simulator in 3D base on current designs is a team of at least three people. Or you will have strong contrains either at 3D, UI, or Routing - strong enough to may even miss critical mass.

Offline Roads

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Re: My new game
« Reply #58 on: November 13, 2012, 09:55:32 AM »
Yeah Prissi I honestly had not thought about all the stuff that would have to be done - all the many things like routing that works great in Simutrans.  I guess I have sort of sub consciously and it is why I'm a fan of the game.

If my effort at some point joins the many, many others on the pile of unfinished projects it is then what Markohs said in a previous post, there is still Simutrans.  This is why I plan on continuing support of this game because, IMO, it is the best one.

Offline isidoro

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Re: My new game
« Reply #59 on: November 13, 2012, 02:08:51 PM »
I've stolen five minutes to connect, since this thread is highly interesting to me.  I see similarities between ST (software) and PC architecture (hardware).  You can almost run a 1987 piece of software in present PC and that's amazing, but that also carries a burden of compatibility in all the PC design.  ST is an impressive long-time work, with better and worse design decisions, with decisions that were formerly good and now not so good, but overall a working solution.  Not only from the simulation point of view, but also from the playability point of view.

Part of the time I cannot have spent in my project was time I have spent playing ST!  And that's good.  A new project has the advantage of a new design, but the disadvantage of the huge amount of work to be done.  So I think that ST should continue to be developed as it is now.

I'm afraid that most of the things that may seem logical, feasible, even desirable, most probably won't work for a game.  That's the main risk for a new project, for sure.

@Roads: yes, mail can give a non-linear behavior, but interesting systems are non-linear, aren't they? ;)  Another thing I would like to play with is locality.  In ST and other transportation games, some things happen instantaneously in places distant apart.  I don't like it.  Another thing a working message system can help.

Yes, I think that my idea is more similar to a God game.

One thing I want to keep apart for the game is war and similar...  Why?  Why not.  There are a lot of war-like games out there.  I don't like any.  There'll be no armies, weapons, etc.  That doesn't mean that you cannot be evil...  What would happen if another player relies heavily on the coal I transport and, from today to tomorrow, I stop doing it?





Offline Sarlock

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Re: My new game
« Reply #60 on: November 13, 2012, 07:06:34 PM »
For any given graphical approach to a game, it makes certain tasks easier and some harder.  For ST, the 2D approach probably makes the pathing, train blocking and collision calculations a bit easier as everything is based on a set grid.  A true 3D game would have no such grid and everything would have to be calculated using more complex algorithms and systems (and any complex system is prone to bugs) to get all of the vehicles moving properly.  I can see a lot of 3D transport games hitting a wall at this point as this becomes the not fun part of doing the game.  The 3D landscape is fun because there is a visual reward for your efforts.  Doing the transportation groundwork could take months with little to no reward until it's finally all done and working.
Besides division of labour and different skill sets, the other advantage of a team is that members will motivate one another to keep going when they might otherwise be losing a bit of momentum.  Releasing a prototype of your game can also achieve this in some part by having excited future players push you along with their enthusiasm.

Offline sdog

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Re: My new game
« Reply #61 on: November 13, 2012, 11:08:19 PM »
This [the dynamics] becomes the not fun part of doing the game.  The 3D landscape is fun because there is a visual reward for your efforts.  Doing the transportation groundwork could take months with little to no reward until it's finally all done and working.
That's fun, always thought it's exactly the other way round.

Offline Roads

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Re: My new game
« Reply #62 on: November 14, 2012, 04:36:15 AM »
@Isidoro
Yes, non-linear is good.  I think for it to be really good, it can either favorably or adversely affect either the player's goal or something he simply likes.  For example, a truck carrying chemicals wrecks and spills chemicals over the landscape.  If there is no clean up possibility in the game - the economic loss for the trip would be minimal in a big game but the chemical spill lasting a few years before it goes away would be an eye sore.

Again about the money:
I really hope you can come up with something that works.  The player needs some gage as to how he is doing.  I'm thinking in my game it is going to come in way of welfare and happiness.  That may not be enough of a reward but hopefully we'll see.  Of course losing means the people starve to death or they return to the mother country.

I do not like war either but I would not rule it out completely.  In fact if I needed coal desperately and another nation had tons of it and would not sell it to me simply to be evil, I would probably start a war with them. :)

@Sarlock
You make an excellent case for releasing something where people can get interested in a project.  I'll keep that in mind if/when I get to that point.  Right now this learning process is something like Frodo's trip with the ring. :)

One thing I want to add here.  Modular programming has been the accepted way of doing it for many years now.  I wonder if there are people are talking about modular games?  I haven't googled but will probably do that.  As was mentioned early, SimuTrans has an absolutely excellent routing system.  Why should anyone try to reinvent that wheel?

Offline el_slapper

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Re: My new game
« Reply #63 on: November 14, 2012, 12:07:41 PM »
(.../...) One thing I want to add here.  Modular programming has been the accepted way of doing it for many years now.  I wonder if there are people are talking about modular games?  I haven't googled but will probably do that.  As was mentioned early, SimuTrans has an absolutely excellent routing system.  Why should anyone try to reinvent that wheel?

Modules need a common language to speak between them. As Simutrans routing algorithm uses simutrans map definition, any game wanting to reuse it would have to :
(1) reuse Simutrans map definition
or
(2) map its own definition into simutrans algorithm, call the module, & map the answer back to its won model

Both solutions are limitating; the first one because you stay within simutrans's limit, the second one because you spend a lot of time mapping heavy datas.

Offline Roads

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Re: My new game
« Reply #64 on: November 14, 2012, 12:37:17 PM »
Seems like #1 would be out, going from 2D to 3D, and I can see where #2 would likely not be worthwhile.  Really though I meant this in more of a rhetorical way because obviously SimuTrans was never designed to have parts of the code ported to other games.

Now that I think about it though, it might certainly pay to look at the logic...

Offline prissi

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Re: My new game
« Reply #65 on: November 14, 2012, 04:35:37 PM »
Well the logic of (for instance passenger generation) is quite independent from the graphics. It just need to what level the hoses in the city are and where the next stop(s) are. That would easily survive going to 3D. Same for the production and routing of factory goods.

Even the routing would survive. Old simutrans version had 16 z-step per height level. The algorithm could hand an arbitary number. It just need a function for next koordinate(s) from current and ned to remember whether it has been already at said location. Would not change by going 3D.

Obviously, if you want to run threaded, you could do all each ship routing, all palnes together, and all rail types in threads, and just synchronize them for level crossings. THat would need to go beyond simutrans, although not much. Same for different multiplayer modes.

Offline isidoro

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Re: My new game
« Reply #66 on: November 14, 2012, 10:56:59 PM »
That's fun, always thought it's exactly the other way round.

I'm with you, sdog.  I'm now with all 3D objects business and it's not much fun...  I'm learning stuff, deciding whether go to OpenGL 3.x or stay with old OpenGL 2.x...  I'd rather be doing the algorithm part...

@Roads: I'd like to keep the goal of the game more to the player's likings.  You can play to try to reach certain population before certain year, or to have more assets (or money, even) than another player, others may want to play for the real pleasure of building working systems (that is the way I like when playing ST, together with some money issues, although I cheat a lot with the Public Service...)...

I'm not for or against the war, in fact.  Simply put, war games are flat and boring to me.  I don't even like chess at all!


Offline Roads

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Re: My new game
« Reply #67 on: November 15, 2012, 04:57:59 AM »
@Prissi.  This is good to know.  Thank you.  At some point there is no doubt I'll have to download the source code to SimuTrans and get at least a little familiar with it.  That's awhile down the road yet though.  I certainly won't have transportation in my game at release but that will have to come pretty early on.

The thing about the SimuTrans code is, it is a necessity either way.  If I fail to get my game to release, then I will want to do some stuff for ST.

@Isidoro
I think everyone just about cheats at Public Service.  In my last game I was not going to and didn't realize the changes I had made to the river system before I actually began playing carried with it a monthly charge to Public Service...

About the war thing...I'm not a big fan of competition.  I like figuring things out but not solving puzzles.  What I really like is having a set of options and being able to choose and see how those choices play out.  Since this concept is sort of vague, I'll compare it to having several life times and making different choices each time since in our lives we have many options.

This idea of player rewards is a problem and goes to the heart of what people like.  The rewards really need to match the kind of game you are making and maybe that is obvious but maybe not...


Modify:  BTW, I found almost nothing in way of modular games.

Offline Roads

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Re: My new game
« Reply #68 on: December 07, 2012, 05:23:02 PM »
While the process of learning C++ and Blender is on going, so are my thoughts and attempt at documenting the things I want in the game.  One thing is a balance of nature.  I think that it needs a balance and then man is introduced into that environment.  Early on, the game will really only consist of keeping the human population from starving to death without upsetting the balance of nature to point that the animals destroy the human settlement.

I also want to do this in a way that is not linear.  That is, a player can "win" with different strategies or even discover ways that I have not though about.  This seems entirely possible if the spawn rates and food chain of the animals is set up such that it will allow for human consumption introduced into the food chain.  Also I think humans will add food to the chain with agriculture (fields and vegetable gardens.)

At any rate, here is what I'm currently thinking...any comments/thoughts will be greatly appreciated...some items have not been documented yet:

Animals types: fish, mice, snakes, rabbits, ducks, deer, wolves, bears
Special types: cats, dogs

climates: hot/dry; hot/wet; temperate-rainfall/light; temperate-rainfall/medium; temperate-rainfall/heavy; cold/variable between 10F and 40F;
Initially there will be no seasons of the year; no day/night cycles.

A terrain unit can be thought of as an acre.  Terrain fertility is zero to three with zero being sand/rock and three most fertile.
special vegetation: grassland, berries, fruit, nuts
grassland will occur on all climates except hot/dry
fruit trees will occur on all climates except hot/dry and cold
berries occur on temperate climates only

Animal spawn is counted at the beginning of each month according to terrain unit and special vegetation type.  They will only spawn if the terrain unit population is below max supported or there is a special circumstance - an abundance of food above normal.

Mice spawn on every terrain type at different rates depending on terrain and special vegetation.  Snakes spawn at a ratio to mice except they do not spawn on cold terrain type.

Only mice can spawn on terrain improved with a building.  If the home terrain unit of snakes and rabbits becomes 50% improved with buildings, these animals will cease to spawn on that terrain unit.  All other animals will cease to spawn if a single building is erected on their home terrain unit.

Rabbits, ducks and deer spawn on any terrain covered at least partially with grass. 
Wolves  spawn on same terrain units.  Bears spawn on same terrain units and additionally next to water where fish are available.

Insects are assumed, are not documented, and provide food for lowest level animals:  mice, ducks

Insects will provide food as follows:
mice population per, terrain unit, climate:
for non-grassland: 02 - 10 - 04 - 08 - 10 - 02 
if grassland:     n/a - 20 - 10 - 16 - 20 - n/a
if b/f/n:         n/a - 16 - 16 - 24 - 30 - n/a


Snakes eat two mice per month so assuming an adequate food supply, the snake population would be 1 - 5 - 2 - 4 - 5 - 1 etc.  If adequate food supply, the population of each terrain unit will remain constant month after month.  If inadequate food supply, snakes will search the terrain units adjacent to their home unit.  The search will continue until the end of the month or until adequate food is found.  If none found the snake will die and none will be re-spawned the following month.  If food is found outside the home unit the new unit will become the default home for the snake.


The default behavior for snakes is non-aggressive unless hungry.  A hungry snake has a 50% chance of attacking any entity it encounters.  All snakes are poisonous.  Their bite will kill mice, rabbits and ducks.  Deer and wolves have a 25% chance of survival.  Humans and bears have a 50% chance of survival.

rabbit population per terrain unit, climate:
grassland:  01 - 04 - 04 - 10 - 04 - 04 
if b/f/n: n/a...
« Last Edit: December 07, 2012, 06:52:46 PM by Roads »