The International Simutrans Forum

 

Author Topic: Understanding a map once play is underway  (Read 5415 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline AP

  • Devotee
  • *
  • Posts: 1202
  • Languages: EN
Understanding a map once play is underway
« on: April 25, 2014, 09:50:35 AM »
It might be desynching when the passengers decide to reroute, en-mass, due to backlogs.

Although, I am not entirely sure where they really want to go.

The above comment in the server game thread made me wonder if an open discussion might be helpful:

How do people go about understanding the complex flows of traffic and goods on a map that has been built up so comprehensively as our server game/ How should we 'unpick' it so as to understand what interventions will be worthwhile and what would be unwise?

It just seems to have become a kind of awesome monster..

Offline jamespetts gb

  • Simutrans-Extended project coordinator
  • Moderator
  • *
  • Posts: 18690
  • Cake baker
    • Bridgewater-Brunel
  • Languages: EN
Re: Understanding a map once play is underway
« Reply #1 on: April 25, 2014, 10:20:07 AM »
I should note that these things are not entirely easy to understand in real life, either: very often, all that can be done is to make educated guesses and make transport decisions based on those educated guesses. The possibility of making a mistake in that understanding, ever present in reality, is part of the challenge of a game intended to simulate the complexity of reality.The intention is that players approach the game and the decisions to be made in it in exactly the same way that they would if the state of affairs being simulated was reality.

Offline Sarlock

  • Devotee
  • *
  • Posts: 1340
  • Languages: EN
Re: Understanding a map once play is underway
« Reply #2 on: April 25, 2014, 02:31:43 PM »
I have a pretty good mental handle on the eastern side of the map and to a lesser degree the south-western part of the western island (the rest of mostly Azure and I am pretty unfamiliar with that part except for a few sparse resource collections).  I know the locations of at least half of my cities just by memory, so when I see the name I know where it refers to.

I have been living and breathing this game almost daily since it started so this has bred this level of familiarity.  Given its sheer size I can imagine if you are not intimate with your section(s) of the map, it can be wholly overwhelming to try and figure out what's going on.  It's only going to get worse.

That said, this has been an amazing experiment in the capabilities of Simutrans.  This map is beyond the abilities of any one player to comprehend.

Offline AP

  • Devotee
  • *
  • Posts: 1202
  • Languages: EN
Re: Understanding a map once play is underway
« Reply #3 on: April 25, 2014, 03:31:37 PM »
I find myself wondering if we need some high-level map overlays to aid comprehension? We have the network overlay, but that barely scratches the surface.

I mean, not everyone has the vast amounts of time to invest in trying to draw out the intricacies of the map. Interesting yes, fun not so much.

Offline ӔO

  • Devotees (Inactive)
  • *
  • Posts: 2345
  • Hopefully helpful
  • Languages: en, jp
Re: Understanding a map once play is underway
« Reply #4 on: April 25, 2014, 03:39:39 PM »
On the map, check show the pax lines only and waiting.

The stations should now get circles of varying size and colour instead of player colours

Offline Sarlock

  • Devotee
  • *
  • Posts: 1340
  • Languages: EN
Re: Understanding a map once play is underway
« Reply #5 on: April 25, 2014, 03:53:04 PM »
There are quite a few tools that come in handy and I use frequently: I use the network overlay quite often, it's great for an overview of the network connections.  A lot of it has to do with the logic of your network design as well... better designs make it easier to add on and address issues.  Since I redesigned my freight network life has become much easier.

Offline AP

  • Devotee
  • *
  • Posts: 1202
  • Languages: EN
Re: Understanding a map once play is underway
« Reply #6 on: April 25, 2014, 06:47:03 PM »
There are quite a few tools that come in handy and I use frequently: I use the network overlay quite often, it's great for an overview of the network connections.  A lot of it has to do with the logic of your network design as well... better designs make it easier to add on and address issues.  Since I redesigned my freight network life has become much easier.

Yeah, a point-to-point freight system isn't really a "network", is it. It's only if you start operating a hub-and-spoke system with transhipment points that it will appear more clearly.

Offline Sarlock

  • Devotee
  • *
  • Posts: 1340
  • Languages: EN
Re: Understanding a map once play is underway
« Reply #7 on: April 25, 2014, 09:36:15 PM »
This is the network that I've set up for freight now:



Now that it's set up, it is extremely robust.  All I have to do is attach a new industry to one of the hubs and the rest is taken care of (unless I also need to connect the other connecting industry as well-but generally I am just adding industries that are already connected to one or more of my existing connections).

Watching the ships zip around the map down the shipping lanes is very cool.

Offline jamespetts gb

  • Simutrans-Extended project coordinator
  • Moderator
  • *
  • Posts: 18690
  • Cake baker
    • Bridgewater-Brunel
  • Languages: EN
Re: Understanding a map once play is underway
« Reply #8 on: April 25, 2014, 10:25:39 PM »
I have to say, it is rather splendid to see people finally making a freight network consist of more than individual point to point connexions for specific industry chains.

Offline Sarlock

  • Devotee
  • *
  • Posts: 1340
  • Languages: EN
Re: Understanding a map once play is underway
« Reply #9 on: April 25, 2014, 10:38:00 PM »
Thanks... I'd been mulling about setting it up for quite a while but hesitated due to the extremely large task that it represented.  AEO inspired me to do it once he made a similar switch.  It took the better part of 8 hours to get everything rescheduled and probably another 8 hours to make adjustments and correct issues with the network.

16 hours well spent, however!  :D

Offline ӔO

  • Devotees (Inactive)
  • *
  • Posts: 2345
  • Hopefully helpful
  • Languages: en, jp
Re: Understanding a map once play is underway
« Reply #10 on: April 25, 2014, 10:39:07 PM »
I am half tempted to connect hubs between the different networks, but I think I will wait for the blackwall frigate first.


Offline AP

  • Devotee
  • *
  • Posts: 1202
  • Languages: EN
Re: Understanding a map once play is underway
« Reply #11 on: April 26, 2014, 07:36:30 AM »
I have to say, it is rather splendid to see people finally making a freight network consist of more than individual point to point connexions for specific industry chains.
I'm not sure which is more efficient. I mean, most of my ships are full both ways because they serve two reciprocal industry pairs. I'm not sure what the gain (other than clarity) would be to convert to a network model. I suspect income would drop as industries would shortcut and supply more local consumers, rather than only the distant ones I have concentrated on.

Offline Carl

  • Devotee
  • *
  • Posts: 1593
    • Website
  • Languages: EN
Re: Understanding a map once play is underway
« Reply #12 on: April 26, 2014, 08:36:28 AM »
OT: that's a really nice-looking map.

Offline Sarlock

  • Devotee
  • *
  • Posts: 1340
  • Languages: EN
Re: Understanding a map once play is underway
« Reply #13 on: April 26, 2014, 03:31:46 PM »
I'm not sure which is more efficient. I mean, most of my ships are full both ways because they serve two reciprocal industry pairs. I'm not sure what the gain (other than clarity) would be to convert to a network model. I suspect income would drop as industries would shortcut and supply more local consumers, rather than only the distant ones I have concentrated on.

You're correct, AP: the network model produces slightly less income per tonne of freight as it distributes all over the map, including industries just down the canal from the one your connected.  It's certainly more efficient and profitable to have long distance connections.  Freight connections are also a bit longer as it is no longer in the most direct route, but directs to hubs first.

On the flip side, it is far easier to manage and much faster to add additional industries as they come online.  It also helps to even out the supply/demand quantity differential as each industry is supplying/being supplied by multiple connected industries.  I've been able to add a lot of smaller demand industries with this model as it is now an easy thing to supply 40 of an item on a full ship delivery supplies to multiple industries in the area.  I would have never connected these industries otherwise - they weren't profitable by themselves.

EDIT: The other very cool thing that can happen is that a new industry can be built within the radius of an existing station and it will just get instantly served by your network (assuming one of its suppliers and already connected someplace in your network).  The other bonus is when another player connects to one of your freight stations and inadvertently supplies a new good to your network, your hub system will automatically take care of the problem and distribute it accordingly.
« Last Edit: April 26, 2014, 04:08:16 PM by Sarlock »

Offline AP

  • Devotee
  • *
  • Posts: 1202
  • Languages: EN
Re: Understanding a map once play is underway
« Reply #14 on: April 26, 2014, 11:09:09 PM »
Are you having any issues with freight making circular journeys / going the 'wrong' way around? I presume your network system can in some ways be compared to a circular passenger route linking several key hubs? Or is the freight being very efficient in the way it moves about?

There's presumably an issue that the "lion's share" of the profit comes from the long distance part of the transport - all the local feeder/distribution lines are essential but, like branch passenger services, don't necessarily make much money by themselves (if any?). I assume the unduly low operating costs for ships are helping you here?



Offline Sarlock

  • Devotee
  • *
  • Posts: 1340
  • Languages: EN
Re: Understanding a map once play is underway
« Reply #15 on: April 27, 2014, 04:40:24 AM »
There are no actual circle route lines, just multiple lines that form eventual circles, but it doesn't seem to be a problem in that respect.  What is a problem, however, is the miscalculation of distances between stations and this will sometimes make freight take very strange routes to get to its eventual destination, only because the program thinks that this is the shortest route due to the miscalculations (the total calculated distance in one direction seems shorter than the other, even though this isn't actually the case).