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Author Topic: Prehistoric theme for OpenPak128  (Read 9148 times)

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Offline Celery_Rhubarb

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Prehistoric theme for OpenPak128
« on: March 30, 2015, 08:04:14 PM »
I was thinking of starting a prehistoric theme for Simutrans OpenPak128.

And I was wondering if it might be possible to start from the year 20,000 B.C and go in reverse to 0.B.C?

Then continue from 1 A.D and onwards?

For the B.C era how about the word - (Minus) before the year number?

Example: -20000

Remembering that B.C years go in reverse and A.D years go forward?

Is there any way to reprogram OpenPak128 so that I can add the minus years?

How would I go about doing this?

Offline Isaac.Eiland-Hall us

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Re: Prehistoric theme for OpenPak128
« Reply #1 on: March 31, 2015, 10:30:38 AM »
This would need to be an extension request for the game engine itself, and I can tell you that it would, at present, nearly certainly be denied.

Here's how to increase your chances: Start painting your historical vehicles, going back in time. Start adding things from the 1600s, 1500s, 1400s... it wouldn't have to be too much. But if you can stay true to the project and see it all the way back to Roman times, then it's much more likely devs would consider such a thing.

Although the Simutrans engine really isn't geared towards such a thing. It's already difficult in late 1800s dealing with cargo via roads. Factories produce a LOT and it takes a LOT of road vehicles to fulfill contracts. So going back before that time, you really need factories that ramp up production over the centuries. Although it would be neat to set up a camel train in the middle ages, it would also mean starting with a huge amount to transport a single item of cargo that goes down over the centuries.

Also, finally, it takes long enough to play a single year in Simutrans time - have you played a single game through an entire century of time? It's unlikely anyone would play a game from BC to modern times.

All of these things - and probably others I haven't thought of - mean it's very unlikely to happen at all.

However, that being said, there's probably room for a pakset intended to be set in prehistoric times. If the entire set is geared toward such a thing - it could be done for some period of time, and really, that could probably easily be some centuries BC to, say, 1500 AD or something like that. But at present, it would be better to do it as a separate pak. But if you put together a full, working pak like that, it also might then be **possible** to talk the dev team into considering dates, although even then maybe not BC because it might cause all sorts of problems across code that was written to only consider positive dates.

But even in :that: case, it might be workable just to use an alternate date system. For example, the Jewish calendar, it's over 5000 - something like 5775 or so, I don't keep up.

Meanwhile, I'm moving this to Extension Requests, but it won't be approved for sure without work being put in to prove that the feature is necessary, and not guaranteed even then. :)

Offline gauthier

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Re: Prehistoric theme for OpenPak128
« Reply #2 on: March 31, 2015, 04:17:11 PM »
Quote
Also, finally, it takes long enough to play a single year in Simutrans time - have you played a single game through an entire century of time? It's unlikely anyone would play a game from BC to modern times.
Indeed, pak128 is playable, with its current pace, between 1930 and 20xx because this period of time has enough new vehicles and speed increase over time. This is due to the enormous amount of technological improves over the last century in the domain of transportation.

On the contrary, the period from prehistory to the invention of trains, or to the first use of steam engines on boats, has few technological advance, so very few new vehicles and speed increase over time. Then it needs a much faster pace not to be completely boring. So it could not be an actual extension of pak128 or any pakset currently playable.

Offline Ters

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Re: Prehistoric theme for OpenPak128
« Reply #3 on: March 31, 2015, 08:22:22 PM »
Also, finally, it takes long enough to play a single year in Simutrans time - have you played a single game through an entire century of time? It's unlikely anyone would play a game from BC to modern times.

In my time as a Simutrans player, which is somewhat less than a decade, I've played a total of five Simutrans games, including the one currently underway. Sure, I'm not the most active Simutrans player, but my last game lasted 200 game years from mid 19th century to mid 21st century. Starting before 1900 is more important than playing many years. Playing those early years is part like watching grass grow and part like trying to run fast while breathing through a straw. The latter part is that vehicles are very slow and have very low capacity. It's impossible to put enough vehicles on the roads to keep the goods flowing. With Simutrans' original good distribution logic, it would also be virtually impossible to keep factories evenly supplied. The new JIT2 is supposed to have improved on that, but I haven't tested it. The fact that roads are so congested makes it very dangerous to use fast-forward, and it will take forever to clear out the goods that has piled up during the jam.

Online An_dz

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Re: Prehistoric theme for OpenPak128
« Reply #4 on: April 01, 2015, 03:50:58 AM »
Ters pointed the most obvious, it's like watching grass grow.

If we take examples from Age of Empires: AoE III starts at around 1500 AD and goes up to 1800 AD, that's 300 years, AoE II starts around 500 AD to 1500 AD, that's 1000 years, and AoE I starts around 4000 BC and goes up to 500 AD, that's 4499 years.
Firaxis Sid Meyer's Civilization starts at 4000 BC but after the first turn you already advance hundred of years, as you reach later ages the year period per turn reduces reaching 1 year per turn near our current date.

The technological advancements on early ages were too slow and Simutrans does not have a variable time scale, it advances linearly.

I doubt anyone will want to play for 1000 Simutrans game years to then finally get horse powered carriages. There possibly have many options to fasten this, like a non-linear timeline, or masquerading the actual year with "fake" dates but it's a layer of complexity that right now there's no need for.

Offline Sarlock

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Re: Prehistoric theme for OpenPak128
« Reply #5 on: April 01, 2015, 04:18:02 AM »
To use a Simutrans specific example: pak128.Britain starts in 1750 and the first 75 years or so is quite like watching paint dry.  Basically no technological changes, just the same vehicles, same industries and nothing significant changes.  Once you set up the infrastructure to serve the time period, you just wait until the rail era opens up.


Offline Ters

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Re: Prehistoric theme for OpenPak128
« Reply #6 on: April 01, 2015, 08:22:52 AM »
To use a Simutrans specific example: pak128.Britain starts in 1750 and the first 75 years or so is quite like watching paint dry.

If watching paint dry is as slow as playing Simutrans in the proto-industrial times, you need to get some modern quick-drying paint.

pak64 starts working about 1400 I think. I'm not sure if I've started a game that early. If I did, I never saved it. 1850 is slow enough. Trains have become available, but are slow. (Interresting fact, in the Great Locomotive Chase during the American Civil War, they pursuers travelled on foot at times. Other factors than the locomotive's top speed contrbuted to make this feasible, but still.) And road vehicles are even worse.

Another issue with aiming for large timespans is that Simutrans doesn't modernize or retire existing factories. That means that although no new flint knife workshops will be built once the iron age sets in (or thereabouts), those already built will continue operating into the space age and beyond, looking just the same. (Industrial evolution is a previously requested feature. I don't remember whether it has been denied, is still awaiting a decision on how it should work, or is hanging around for a developer to adopt.)

Offline Isaac.Eiland-Hall us

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Re: Prehistoric theme for OpenPak128
« Reply #7 on: April 01, 2015, 10:32:31 AM »
pak64 starts working about 1400 I think. I'm not sure if I've started a game that early.

Challenge accepted, although I'll try 1500 first. :)

edit: 1800 did not work, but 1850 did.

Offline Ters

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Re: Prehistoric theme for OpenPak128
« Reply #8 on: April 01, 2015, 11:35:10 AM »
1850 is when I've started my latest games. It's a long wait for the first buses and electric trams to appear to relieve me of roads clogged with horse and ox drawn vehicles. Still over thirty years to go, and I can't take my eyes of them, because they will jam sooner or later.

Offline Vladki cz

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Re: Prehistoric theme for OpenPak128
« Reply #9 on: April 01, 2015, 03:28:02 PM »
(Industrial evolution is a previously requested feature. I don't remember whether it has been denied, is still awaiting a decision on how it should work, or is hanging around for a developer to adopt.)

Experimental has something like that.

Offline DrSuperGood

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Re: Prehistoric theme for OpenPak128
« Reply #10 on: April 01, 2015, 04:28:39 PM »
"How should industries evolve?"

It is a big question, in Experimental it was done by closing and opening new industries with better stats. However is that the best implementation? Maybe it would be better to have industries with time variant stats instead? Maybe entire good types should appear/disappear with time? How should closures be dealt with?

The first step would be to define a normalized value for all industry. This would mean that every industry building has an industry cost comparable to all other industry buildings. By doing this upgrading/removal/renewal can occur without affecting the total "value" of industry on the map. It also solves industry growth problems as total industry resources can be computed from global population instead of on a town-by-town basis.

Maybe instead of new industries being founded all the time, existing factories could grow? For example a steel mill could expand by opening another "steel mill unit" nearby which raises the total productivity of the steel mill by some quantity. This would help turn industry growth into something closer to population growth, where quantities shipped increase over time rather than number of sources and destinations.

Offline Ters

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Re: Prehistoric theme for OpenPak128
« Reply #11 on: April 01, 2015, 06:17:52 PM »
Last time industrial evolution was discussed (that I was aware of), a major issue was that the newer industry might not fit where the old was, and relocating the industry was not wanted.

Offline Fabio

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Re: Prehistoric theme for OpenPak128
« Reply #12 on: April 02, 2015, 07:00:41 AM »
The issue whether a replacement fits would be entirely up to the Pakset: if the upgrades are designed to have the same size, they should fit anyway.


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Offline Ters

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Re: Prehistoric theme for OpenPak128
« Reply #13 on: April 02, 2015, 08:15:21 AM »
The issue whether a replacement fits would be entirely up to the Pakset: if the upgrades are designed to have the same size, they should fit anyway.
[...]

That was brought up then as well.