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Author Topic: Add Regions to Climate  (Read 3079 times)

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Offline Leartin at

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Add Regions to Climate
« on: May 02, 2014, 10:12:51 AM »
I know this probably won't be done, but I post it anyway :D I try to keep it short.

I suggest Regions. Mostly, Regions would work as Sub-Climates, something inbetween Climates and Cluster. The difference to climates is mostly that they don't have their own ground texture, enabling more differentiation between regions in the same climate. Eg. In the desert climate, you could have a region "Mexico" with cacti and a region "Sahara" with pyramids, but cacti and pyramids would never meet. Furthermore, Regions don't have to be stored in one central tab file, so Add-ons can implement new regions. But that's just like "moar climates!" - it does not end here.

Not only buildings, trees and ground-objects can be of a specific Region, everything can. For example, the British-Addon for pak192.comic, which only contains trains, could still be marked as "region=britain". The reason for this is simple: Just like you can 'turn off' climates right now, you should be able to turn regions on and off at the start of the game. If a Region is turned off, not only does it not generate on the map - also all objects that belong to that region will not be available. It's as if you choose wether to play with or without Addons, but more flexible.

Now to the most game-changing aspect. Depots should be aware of the Region they are placed in, and only show vehicles that belong to that region. Of course, everything that does not belong to a specific Region could still be found in any Depot. Let's look at it from a balancing point of view: There always will be vehicles which are better and vehicles which are worse, and if you can get every vehicle, you obviously use the best. However, if the balancing works out in a way that Region-specific vehicles are slightly better then universal vehicles, your choice is dependent on the region you are in, thus more different vehicles will be used.

Offline Vladki cz

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Re: Add Regions to Climate
« Reply #1 on: May 02, 2014, 04:02:38 PM »
This would be also a nice solution to the religious problems. Just choose if you want mexican desert with christian church, or arabic desert with mosque.

Offline prissi

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Re: Add Regions to Climate
« Reply #2 on: May 02, 2014, 07:24:45 PM »
Most paks do not have that many objects to allow for meaningful regions. Moreover, trains are a bad example, since once track are laid they could drive everywhere. Also pak sets use climate for regions, like pak128.german.

Offline Leartin at

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Re: Add Regions to Climate
« Reply #3 on: May 02, 2014, 09:00:25 PM »
Most paks do not have that many objects to allow for meaningful regions.
No they don't. Let's make them :D
Also pak sets use climate for regions, like pak128.german.
True, but why does pak128.german even exist? Not that it's not allowed to, but there are three reasons why anyone would start a new pakset.
1) because they want to use a different style or pak size. And maybe that was a motivation for the German pak, as it has quite a different style, especially in trains.
2) because they want to use a different economy system.
3) because they want to localize the game.
[4) because they want to be the guy who created a pak, but those won't exist for too long ;) ]

So, why does the third point require a new pak in the first place? The simple answer: If you'd create an addon instead of the whole pak, you could never get the localized flair, because all the standard objects are still in it. Say a pak has 100 buildings in a certain climate, and you create an addon that adds 50 localized buildings, you'd get cities with mixed buildings in a 2:1 ratio. And with more localized addons, it would only get worse. So you have to create a new pakset where everything you don't want to have in it is removed.
So pak128.German has a different style then pak128, but just for a moment, suppose they don't. With Regions, every climate of pak128.German would be a region in the same climate in pak128. If you want to play "pak128 German", all you do is deactivate the "standard"-region which has all the pak128 stuff in it (if it does not get sorted in appropriate regions on it's own) and only play with the climate Germany is in. The only difference is the grass which always looks the same now, but I really don't think the different grass colors are used because grass in bavaria actually has a different color then the grass in Holstein, it's more like "yay, different climates, let's use the possibility".

HOWEVER! You could add in pak128.CZ and pak128hungary, to play "pak128.CentralEurope".

So yeah, this does not happen, pak128.German has a very different style. But just think of all the addons out there which are not in a main pakset because they are too similar to another train, and obviously you don't want to overfill the depot. If this is something all pakset authors disagree on, I'm fine with that - I said it probably won't be done. But I think you missed the potential of my suggestion (it was too short I guess).

Moreover, trains are a bad example, since once track are laid they could drive everywhere.
Yes, of course. Which means that potentially, you can have every train everywhere. You could also change the Region of the gound the Depot is standing on to get other trains. Or even use a checkbox to enable that every train can be bought everywhere.

There are reasons why I think having only regional trains in the depot is a good idea.
First, You could have more trains in the pak without a too crowded depot, because you only see part of the vehicles.
Second, in bigger maps you can't have only one depot. Usually you'd use the depot next to the line you try to establish, unless it is really important to you to use some other trains. But in that case, you probably turn that function off and choose on your own.
Third, in multiplayer or szenarios, you might not be able to build a depot on any ground, effectivly forcing you to use whatever is at hand.

See, in Simutrans you can do whatever you want anyway. You can turn off the timeline, you can turn off bankrupcy, you can build high speed tracks only in curves,... But just because this is possible, it's not like timeline, bankrupcs or slowdown in curves should not exist. It's like a suggestion what to do, which in my mind makes sense for vehicles as well.

Offline Flemmbrav

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Re: Add Regions to Climate
« Reply #4 on: May 02, 2014, 09:14:55 PM »
maybe i really like this idea!
and yes, i would create trains for different regions/countrys/continents (!),
what i aktually won't do becouse they even won't come into pakset.
well there are just some trains for different regions like british addon and "E231 500" and so on...

Offline prissi

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Re: Add Regions to Climate
« Reply #5 on: May 02, 2014, 09:27:24 PM »
All pak128 (general, german, japan, britain) use a completely different scale and alignment of vehicles and even styles for buildings. One of the reason for pak128.german was also to have larger size vehicles. In pak128.britain (apart from the very dark theme) everything is darker.

In order to have meaningful towns you need about 20 buildings per climate and region. So about 160 per region or you get strange towns of extended street and almost no buildings. Or generating a map becomes a challenging game in itself.

Offline Ters

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Re: Add Regions to Climate
« Reply #6 on: May 02, 2014, 10:08:45 PM »
Further problems with combining all sort of national pak sets into one big mega pak is that it not only overwhelms Simutrans with objects (some pak sets are bumping against the limits already), but also the player.

(And there are players like me that find a 4000x4000 map hardly covers a small European country like Switzerland or the low countries, which therefore see no point in this.)

Offline Leartin at

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Re: Add Regions to Climate
« Reply #7 on: May 02, 2014, 11:21:14 PM »
All pak128 (general, german, japan, britain) use a completely different scale and alignment of vehicles and even styles for buildings. One of the reason for pak128.german was also to have larger size vehicles. In pak128.britain (apart from the very dark theme) everything is darker.

Yes, I am aware of that. I am certainly not suggesting to put everything that's already there together, I used these other paksets to prove my point because it's easier then to throw around random numbers about what regions would look like. I don't want to retcon existing packs, but let's assume someone decides to create pak128brasilia. If my suggestion was in place, unless that person want's to make it in a very different style, it would be far easier to just create a brazilian region instead.

In order to have meaningful towns you need about 20 buildings per climate and region. So about 160 per region or you get strange towns of extended street and almost no buildings. Or generating a map becomes a challenging game in itself.
Ah, but there is a misunderstanding. I actually thought that regions are bound to a specific climate. After all, there is no German desert, is there? Thus, by your numbers, you only need 20 buildings per region, which is not that much. I think it's a point in favour of a regions system - you only need to do 20 buildings, and not 160 as you would be required if you wanted to do your own pak.

And actually, if you say yourself that only 20 buildings are needed, how easy would it be? Going back to the desert, a big part of the flavours is actually done by cacti, rocks, camels and pyramids. I assume some buildings fit in both regions, while some are very specific. You probably can go away with less then 20 region-specific buildings, or maybe slight alterations are enough (change the cacti with palm trees in the garden). I don't do 3D-graphics, but if you ask me if I'm willing to do 20 graphics per Region in pak192.comic, I'd happily provide one region per month ;)

Further problems with combining all sort of national pak sets into one big mega pak is that it not only overwhelms Simutrans with objects, but also the player.
Yes, if there was a "mega pak" and everything was there at once, I guess it would be overwhelming. Coincidentally, it's mostly newer players who think the more the better and just throw everything together, leading to such a mega pak. If you can choose which regions to use before starting a game, there needs to be some kind of default, which is not "everything that's there". Even if they throw everything in, the act of finding the locomotive to use is still easier, as there are less in the depot. Sure, at some point you'd need to learn that there are different vehicles in different depots, but giving out stuff in smaller portions is a way to avoid overwhelming the player.

some pak sets are bumping against the limits already
If it is about the amount of objects, wouldn't this other suggestion I made help out? By packing more graphics into the same object, there are less objects.

Offline Ters

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Re: Add Regions to Climate
« Reply #8 on: May 03, 2014, 06:24:21 AM »
By packing more graphics into the same object, there are less objects.

Well, the main problem is the number of images, not object types, so this won't help.

Offline prissi

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Re: Add Regions to Climate
« Reply #9 on: May 03, 2014, 01:08:06 PM »
Increasing the image size of 32 bit is not the show stopper, and can be done when needed. But looking at pak128.britain which is 218 MB. Imagine five such sets (to cover germany, because as the discussions about the Marterl showed, even germany has about five different major styles), which will need about 1 GB just for the graphics (and surely beyond any reasonable cahching). If SImutrans is to be run on tablets as well as on normal PCs, this is a show stopper.

Coverign a region with 22 houses is the bare minimum for level up to 20 (a house for com, ind, res every 3 levels and one townhall) which gives repetetive cities and no attractions.

Desert does not have to be desert. In pak128.german it can be a coastal region. There is no need to have a sand texture for it too. The only climate treated different are tropic (which can have trees on every tile) and arctic (forever snow textures, no trees).