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Author Topic: Closing of industries  (Read 5881 times)

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Offline Sarlock

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Closing of industries
« on: November 18, 2014, 12:11:51 PM »
In playing the large server game, one thing that has been a source of frustration is the closure of industries.  When an industry closes, a message is given and it is added to the "Towns" tab in the message centre.

"(1924/6) Industry: Bakery has closed, with the loss of 16 jobs, 10 upstream suppliers and 0 downstream suppliers affected."
"(1924/6) Industry: Coal-fired Power Station has closed, with the loss of 9 jobs.  22 upstream suppliers and 0 downstream suppliers affected."

Click on the link and it will show you the nice piece of land where the bakery once resided.  Fair enough.  Now go and remove/reassign the line(s) that served the bakery and remove the station.

Problem: Which upstream and downstream suppliers are affected?  I have no way to know.

Closures have an economic impact on the player yet the player has no way of easily knowing what the impact was.  On a small map it should be fairly easy to figure out, but on a large map, where there can be hundreds of possible suppliers, this is nearly impossible to determine.

Next problem: The "Towns" message tab can be flooded with information during certain time periods.  You have to now go through this list, locate the closures and go through each one and make changes.  In a multiplayer game, where 1-2+ years may have passed since you last logged in 12-24+ hours ago, there can be scores of closures to have to address, all of which without any supporting information on what the permutations of these closures were.  Add to this the fact that information drops off the list past a certain point and you can see where it gets complicated.

I've had some closures have a cascading effect where a raw material provider closes, which was the only connected supplier for a secondary industry, which then cuts off some of the supplies to the end retail industries.  I had no way of knowing what the impact was until I chanced on a money-losing line and realized the impact.  Often the line wasn't losing money, however, as it served multiple industries, and so it was only by luck that I would stumble on these once connected industries and shut down the connections to them.

I am wondering how best to address this -- listing 22 all upstream suppliers would consume a lot of message window space.  One idea I have is a 5-10 year advance warning of a closure -- that way the player can click the connection links in the industry window and prepare.

Offline prissi

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Re: Closing of industries
« Reply #1 on: November 18, 2014, 12:31:33 PM »
Make it a factory producing/consuming nothing for some time (e.g. five years). It would still show the contracts in the window.

Offline DrSuperGood

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Re: Closing of industries
« Reply #2 on: November 18, 2014, 04:51:17 PM »
In the case of cascading closures, it should show all the closures that occurred, not just the top industry.

On a lesser note why are Coal Power Stations both closing and opening at the same time?! I mean why close something that is still in demand?

Offline MCollett

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Re: Closing of industries
« Reply #3 on: November 18, 2014, 07:54:06 PM »
On a lesser note why are Coal Power Stations both closing and opening at the same time?! I mean why close something that is still in demand?

It certainly happens in the real world that small, old, inefficient power stations get shut down as big, new, more efficient ones are built.  (Whether that is behaviour wanted in the game is another matter.)

Best wishes,
Matthew

Offline Aquin

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Re: Closing of industries
« Reply #4 on: November 18, 2014, 08:34:38 PM »
It's also common that energy companies will build new blocks next to existing blocks on the same site. And eventually they will shut down the old blocks if they become too inefficient. So I would say upgrading should be the usual thing that happens to coal power plants.

Offline jamespetts gb

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Re: Closing of industries
« Reply #5 on: November 21, 2014, 11:20:30 PM »
This is an interesting and tricky problem to solve, which I think will require some careful UI work in the future.

As to coal power stations both opening and closing, this is because older, smaller and less efficient power stations are replaced by more modern types. This should be clearer when each type of power station through the ages has its own graphic.

Offline DrSuperGood

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Re: Closing of industries
« Reply #6 on: November 22, 2014, 12:47:22 AM »
Quote
As to coal power stations both opening and closing, this is because older, smaller and less efficient power stations are replaced by more modern types. This should be clearer when each type of power station through the ages has its own graphic.
However, as mentioned, it should build them nearby the existing plant (if not simply upgrade the existing plant) so that the same stop will work to serve them. The only time they should close down is when there is already sufficient power on the map that it cannot upgrade anymore without oversupply. Currently that is not the situation with about 2-3 larger ones popping up for every closure.

However the biggest problem I believe is the consumer electric model is too big early on at the moment. In the late 1800s total electric demand should be very small so even a well developed map such as the server would get away with only a few power stations. While currently they consume power closer to modern day people so each town needs 2-4 power stations. The result is that some areas of the map are literally solid power stations which is total nonsense and obviously closures will occur as the map progresses and station production improves.

Offline Junna

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Re: Closing of industries
« Reply #7 on: November 22, 2014, 05:41:30 PM »
However the biggest problem I believe is the consumer electric model is too big early on at the moment. In the late 1800s total electric demand should be very small so even a well developed map such as the server would get away with only a few power stations. While currently they consume power closer to modern day people so each town needs 2-4 power stations. The result is that some areas of the map are literally solid power stations which is total nonsense and obviously closures will occur as the map progresses and station production improves.

I believe James went to some lengths to get accurate electricity demand data, however, and considering the development and population explosion bug that has rendered the entire landscape an endless urban jungle, it might not be so wise to judge it based on that abomination of a map. This also means that any new industries will cluster in ridiculous numbers in the few open greenfield spots left...

Offline zook2

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Re: Closing of industries
« Reply #8 on: November 22, 2014, 10:27:14 PM »
In my large (1900x1900), 100-year game I could never provide more than ~50% electricity to the map. After 1950 it gets really bad. Smaller plants close, supplying the larger ones is a pain and demand explodes. I'm down to supplying about 15% of demand. Clustering, on the other hand, isn't too bad (I've toned down city growth a lot) and most of the time quite welcome.

Offline Junna

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Re: Closing of industries
« Reply #9 on: November 23, 2014, 12:42:24 PM »
In my large (1900x1900), 100-year game I could never provide more than ~50% electricity to the map. After 1950 it gets really bad. Smaller plants close, supplying the larger ones is a pain and demand explodes. I'm down to supplying about 15% of demand. Clustering, on the other hand, isn't too bad (I've toned down city growth a lot) and most of the time quite welcome.

I think default power-setting is 33% of demand (which it attempts to reach by building power stations, etc). I forget if the behaviour was changed for Experimental or if one should manually set the power ratio to 100.

Offline jamespetts gb

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Re: Closing of industries
« Reply #10 on: November 30, 2014, 11:10:09 PM »
In Pak128.Britain-Ex, production is set by default to 110% of demand.

Offline Octavius

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Re: Closing of industries
« Reply #11 on: January 06, 2015, 09:50:03 PM »
However, as mentioned, it should build them nearby the existing plant (if not simply upgrade the existing plant) so that the same stop will work to serve them. The only time they should close down is when there is already sufficient power on the map that it cannot upgrade anymore without oversupply. Currently that is not the situation with about 2-3 larger ones popping up for every closure.

However the biggest problem I believe is the consumer electric model is too big early on at the moment. In the late 1800s total electric demand should be very small so even a well developed map such as the server would get away with only a few power stations. While currently they consume power closer to modern day people so each town needs 2-4 power stations. The result is that some areas of the map are literally solid power stations which is total nonsense and obviously closures will occur as the map progresses and station production improves.
I don't know about Britain or other countries, but in the Netherlands several power plants have closed in the last twenty years or will close soon, and at the same time many new plants have been build or are being build at completely different locations, mostly close to seaports. This has to do with availability of fuel (directly from ocean shipping, no river barge for the last 100km), availability of cooling water (for environmental reasons they are not allowed to make the rivers too warm, so bigger plants need bigger rivers or sea water. Cooling towers are expensive), municipalities refusing licences for construction of new blocks or rich municipalities simply buying out the power plant, because plants are big, ugly, polluting and don't provide many jobs.

I think the number of power plants has actually decreased slowly over the past century, which has everything to do with the development of the power grid. Before the grid was well developed, every town needed its own power plant. Nowadays, a few huge powerplants (with several packs each, for extra reliability) can supply an entire country.

Offline AvG

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Re: Closing of industries
« Reply #12 on: February 16, 2015, 08:32:36 PM »
I am also experiencing HEAVY problems with the automatic generation of industries and especially
with their related automatic generated connections with other industries.
What kind of problems?
You have an industry chain like:colliery>gasworks>foundry. (gasworks produces coke)
They all have only one supplier and customer. You spend a fortune on infrastructure and running stuff and you are making money. (Balancing that profit is a problem but I am working on that)
It is a BpM24-scenario, so you check it for a couple of days, and the moment you think it's reliable
you move on.
Some time later (can be monthes or years) you discover that the foundry is not producing anymore.
Cause: The gasworks, with only 1 customer in the past, has now a second customer. Allmost all
production goes to the new customer. This happens quite often.
Via i (settings) I decreased industry-growth from 2000 to 100000 and have to wait now for the result.


IMHO it could be very helpfull if you could uncheck automatic industry-growth and connecting in the settings.
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Offline DrSuperGood

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Re: Closing of industries
« Reply #13 on: February 17, 2015, 04:07:38 AM »
Quote
Allmost all production goes to the new customer. This happens quite often.
This should not happen. Industries should distribute ~equally to all connected consumers as long as they are accepting orders (in-transit limit not reached).

That said the in-transit limit is not always reliably computed. You cannot set a huge ship to "load to 100%" for some chains since it will never allow enough in-transit for the ship to be completely filled. This plagues the server game resulting in industries and consumers fluctuating and seldom reach 100% utilization (only really massive industries like steel mills reach 100% as their in-transit is such an overshoot it does not mater).

Offline jamespetts gb

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Re: Closing of industries
« Reply #14 on: February 17, 2015, 10:43:10 AM »
AvG - may I ask what version that you are using? Are you using 11.35, or a self-compiled version of the code from devel-new? Some of the in transit percentage bugs are fixed in the devel-new branch.