The International Simutrans Forum

 

Author Topic: [13.0] New major version release (passenger/mail classes; logistics)  (Read 2843 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline jamespetts gb

  • Simutrans-Extended project coordinator
  • Moderator
  • *
  • Posts: 18679
  • Cake baker
    • Bridgewater-Brunel
  • Languages: EN
This new version has now launched as version 13.0 of Simutrans-Extended. It is available to download in the usual places.

Many who frequent this forum will probably be aware that a new and significant set of features has been in development for Simutrans-Extended for a number of months: passenger and mail classes. There is also a feature that has been in development that has been less discussed, but is at least as important: logistics.

Save for some pakset work relating to first class rail carriages, which will take a long time to complete, these features are now nearly ready to launch. I thought that it might be helpful to give some advance notice of the new features and a brief outline of how they work and the significance of the work that has yet to be completed.

Passenger and mail classes

Until now, passengers and mail have all been of one class. Because of the way in which the routes are computed (and doing it this way is necessary to obtain reasonable performance on large maps), passengers and mail always take the exact same route between any given origin and any given destination. This route is the fastest route (that with the lowest overall journey time). All passengers and mail pay the same per kilometre cost for their journeys.

This has several unfortunate effects. Firstly, a competing route (especially a long distance route where small differences in closeness to starting and destination stops make no significant difference to the overall journey time) will either take all of the passenger traffic or none of it. This means that a low capacity, high speed, high cost mode of transport would take all the passengers on a route for the same price as a low speed, high capacity, low cost mode of transport. Imagine, for example, competition between a DC-3 aircraft and an express train in 1935: the aircraft would be significantly faster, and would abstract all the passengers from the train (until the waiting times at the airport become excessive as the route becomes overcrowded). Secondly, it makes it very difficult to balance prices properly: passengers would pay the same per kilometre cost to travel on the aircraft as on the express train, even though the former has much higher costs. The same goes for mail.

When the passenger and mail classes feature is introduced, passengers and mail will have different classes, each of which are able to pay different amounts for their journeys, and each of which can take different routes. The number of classes is decided by the pakset author. In Pak128.Britain-Ex, there will be five classes of passengers (very low, low, medium, high and very high) and two classes of mail (normal and priority). Players will be able to designate different vehicles (and in some cases, different accommodation within the same vehicle, as with different classes on an aircraft, ship or railway carriage) to charge different prices. Only passengers who can afford to pay that price can travel on that vehicle or accommodation within that vehicle. However, passengers will travel in a lower class of accommodation/vehicle than they can afford if (1) there is no alternative; (2) that route is faster; or (3) it is in the same convoy as higher class accommodation and, having regard to the length of the journey, the additional comfort in the higher class accommodation is not worth the extra price.

To give some examples: an air route in 1935 might be set only to allow passengers who can pay prices at the "very high" level. A route between the same two towns served by train might have two classes of accommodation on the train: one class for "low" (third class) and one class for "high" (first class). The first class carriages would be more comfortable than the third class carriages to attract passengers who can afford to do so to travel first class and pay the higher fare. Thus, passengers of "low" and "medium" wealth would take the train (third class), passengers of "high" wealth would take the train (first class), and passengers of "very high" wealth would take the aircraft. One might also suppose that a player might start a road coach route between the two towns, taking even longer than the train, with prices set to "very low" (as road vehicles have lower overheads than trains). Thus, passengers of "very low" wealth would be transported by coach.

As for mail, one might similarly imagine that "normal" mail might travel by rail or sea, whereas "priority" mail might travel by air. In earlier eras, where the means of transporting mail was unavoidably expensive, it might be that only "priority" mail can be carried by post boy, and that "normal" mail would only be able to be sent if its sender can walk it to its destination. As roads and coaches improved, it might be feasible to charge a lower price for mail, so that "normal" mail could then be sent by mail coach and, eventually, by rail. (It is notable that, in reality, the penny post was introduced in 1840, 15 years after the first steam hauled public railway in the UK opened, and at a time of great expansion of the rail network).

Different buildings (not just city buildings, but also industries and player buildings such as depots and signal-boxes) will produce and demand different proportions of passengers of each different class. It will be possible to see what proportion of each class that each building (aside from some types of player building at present) produces/demands by clicking on it with the inspection tool (for town halls, click on it twice).

Each vehicle will have sensible and realistic defaults, but these will be able to be overridden by the player on a per vehicle basis (and, where a vehicle has mixed accommodation, on a per accommodation basis). Players can thus choose, for example, for how long to keep second class (an intermediate class between first and third, initially universal, but abolished on British railways between 1875 and about 1912, depending on the company), whether some railway trains are designated as workmen's trains with low fares to get workers to factories (which will now be more important: see below on the logistics feature), and whether to charge higher prices when one is in a position of monopoly.

Aside from fixing any bugs that can only be found by the thoroughness of actual playing, rather than by testing, the task that remains is adding all the data about different classes of accommodation to the pakset. I have so far completed road vehicles (motor vehicles are all "very low" by default, but horse drawn 'buses are "medium" and stage coaches mixed class depending sit inside or outside), water vehicles, aircraft and modern (post 1948) rail vehicles, but earlier railway carriages still need some work.

My current plan is to release this new feature when I have completed an initial phase of adding class data to rail vehicles. This would mean that first class carriages designed to be hauled by locomotive introduced before 1948 will be missing when this is first released, and will be added slowly afterwards. (Anyone who would like to help with this task would be very welcome to do so - I can supply detailed research material). Currently, I have nearly completed the older multiple units and giving basic data for third class hauled carriages (so that they are all set by default to "low" rather than "very low"). The fares for "low" wealth passengers will match the existing fares for passengers generally, so the absence of first class carriages for the time being should not cause the game to become too unbalanced in the meantime (and costs are not balanced yet in any event).

I am very grateful to Ves for all the work that he has done on the GUI for this feature.

Edit: Incidentally, when I first posted this, I omitted in error to mention that the passenger and mail classes feature replaces the old speed bonus feature, which no longer exists in Simutrans-Extended. Also, although the comfort bonus feature is retained, its effect has been greatly reduced by pakset settings in Pak128.Britain-Ex, although other pakset authors are free to use more traditional settings for the comfort bonus.


Logistics

This has been less discussed than passenger and mail classes, but is just as significant, and will be released at the same time. Until now, industries will demand passengers, but there is no particular effect (other than the industry not being eligible for a "boost") if no passengers be supplied. Similarly, consumer industries will consume their stock at an even rate per month.

With the logistics feature, industries that do not have enough workers will slow production, and those with a severe staff shortage will shut down altogether. That means that factories will not produce or consume goods, and that consumer industries will not accept visiting passengers.

Consumer industries will now only deplete their stock when visiting passengers arrive (i.e., when customers come and buy the stock). The more visiting passengers that arrive, the more stock that is depleted.

If an industry cannot function because it has no supplies, passengers will not be able to travel to it, either workers (commuting passengers), or, in the case of consumer industries, visitors (visiting passengers).

Thus, good passenger transport becomes important to a trade in goods, and goods transport becomes important to passengers. However, because passengers can, within realistic limits, walk, it is not necessary (especially in the early years, when industries are generally close to towns and other industries in the chain) to build an extensive passenger network before transporting goods.

Extensive testing to make sure that this feature balances properly has also led to a significant improvement in the calibration of passenger generation, more than doubling the number of passengers produced per unit of population and reducing the proportion of commuting trips to visiting trips from 67% to 20%. The testing that I have conducted shows that this seems to balance sensibly and realistically.
« Last Edit: November 30, 2017, 01:48:48 PM by jamespetts »

Offline Bear789

  • *
  • Posts: 129
Re: Forthcoming major version release
« Reply #1 on: November 29, 2017, 08:53:46 AM »
Awesome! I've always wanted something like this since I first touched Transport Tycoon as a kid.

How likely is this update to break previous savegames (except for the obvious, that is vehicles not properly set up for their service)?
And what about a savegame with no transport yet, but in the process of being manually populated with cities?

Because if it's coming soon, I'd rather wait for it before starting my new game or even finishing the map.

Offline Ves

  • Devotee
  • *
  • Posts: 1664
  • Languages: EN, SV, DK
Forthcoming major version release
« Reply #2 on: November 29, 2017, 12:02:50 PM »
As far as I have seen, I don’t think it breaks any savegame. I do not know, however, if some stuff will behave differently, say a house generating passengers, if it has been generated with the non-class version. Maybe James can clarify? Hopefully there would be no issues as I also already have a game running which I would like to preserve.

On another note, without going too much into the code here, but my impression is that it is going to be very important to the player to see what kind of passengers visits stuff when the player is debugging his network. I remember briefly talking about this somewhere, but without coming to any real conclusions.
In other words, what numbers/values/calculations will be important for players to know?

Offline jamespetts gb

  • Simutrans-Extended project coordinator
  • Moderator
  • *
  • Posts: 18679
  • Cake baker
    • Bridgewater-Brunel
  • Languages: EN
Re: Forthcoming major version release
« Reply #3 on: November 29, 2017, 12:46:57 PM »
For saved games, there should not be much difficulty in principle, although you might find your networks not well adapted to cope with some of the new features, depending on how they are set up.

However, some of the important new settings for changing the calibration of passenger generation will not be automatically set in saved games and will need to be set manually: see here for details on how to do so.

As to numbers/values/calculations, the design aim of Simutrans-Extended is for players not to have to undertake calculations or memorise exact numbers, but simply to plan a network in the same way as they would if they were planning a real transport network in the circumstances simulated. Players might want to base their decision about how much first class provisioning (for example) to make on the proportions of wealthy passengers at the origins/destinations, however.

Offline DrSuperGood

  • Dev Team
  • Devotee
  • *
  • Posts: 2711
  • Languages: EN
Re: Forthcoming major version release
« Reply #4 on: November 29, 2017, 02:03:54 PM »
Quote
but simply to plan a network in the same way as they would if they were planning a real transport network in the circumstances simulated.
So they spend thousands of hours and millions of real money just to plan a network in experimental?!

That probably needs rewording... Planning a transportation network in real life is extremely time consuming and expensive. The case studies to even justify thinking of engineering it can take years.

Offline jamespetts gb

  • Simutrans-Extended project coordinator
  • Moderator
  • *
  • Posts: 18679
  • Cake baker
    • Bridgewater-Brunel
  • Languages: EN
Re: Forthcoming major version release
« Reply #5 on: November 29, 2017, 02:09:02 PM »
So they spend thousands of hours and millions of real money just to plan a network in experimental?!

That probably needs rewording... Planning a transportation network in real life is extremely time consuming and expensive. The case studies to even justify thinking of engineering it can take years.

This is not how things were done in the 1780s or even the 1870s, when things were much simpler.

Offline Ves

  • Devotee
  • *
  • Posts: 1664
  • Languages: EN, SV, DK
Re: Forthcoming major version release
« Reply #6 on: November 29, 2017, 02:40:18 PM »
I think I worded unclear:
When a factory doesn’t produce for whatever reason, it is good UI (“GUI” haha :p ) to show what is wrong. Currently, it is a little bit of a hassle to debug the network and find out why a factory doesn’t deliver anything or produce anything. When even more features are introduced which alters the rate of production, it might become an even bigger hassle.
It is in this context that I am asking if there is any new values that we can show in the gui to help players.

I must say that I really like that one should use ones common sense and think how it is in the real world. We also just need the tools to be able to do so and take educated decisions.

Offline jamespetts gb

  • Simutrans-Extended project coordinator
  • Moderator
  • *
  • Posts: 18679
  • Cake baker
    • Bridgewater-Brunel
  • Languages: EN
Re: Forthcoming major version release
« Reply #7 on: November 29, 2017, 02:52:42 PM »
Ahh, I see - this is already implemented to an extent in that there is a new status colour - purple - to indicate a staff shortage. However, if you think that this could be made even clearer, do feel free to implement such increased clarity.

Offline Ves

  • Devotee
  • *
  • Posts: 1664
  • Languages: EN, SV, DK
Re: Forthcoming major version release
« Reply #8 on: November 29, 2017, 04:16:24 PM »
Hmm, one thing which should be easy is to write out the status of the “status”. Now that there are a bunch more statuses, also for schedules and convoys, it can be hard to remember exactly what’s what. Il try some stuff and see if it looks good!

Offline zook2

  • *
  • Posts: 321
Re: Forthcoming major version release
« Reply #9 on: November 29, 2017, 05:27:37 PM »
Excellent news! Thanks for your hard work, James.

Just one thing: over the years I've spent much time on the forum searching for detailed information about a particular feature. Could you perhaps change the thread title to indicate that there's not only an announcement, but some detailed description of Passenger and mail classes/Industry Logistics?

Offline jamespetts gb

  • Simutrans-Extended project coordinator
  • Moderator
  • *
  • Posts: 18679
  • Cake baker
    • Bridgewater-Brunel
  • Languages: EN
Re: Forthcoming major version release (passenger/mail classes; logistics)
« Reply #10 on: November 29, 2017, 05:41:35 PM »
Excellent news! Thanks for your hard work, James.

Just one thing: over the years I've spent much time on the forum searching for detailed information about a particular feature. Could you perhaps change the thread title to indicate that there's not only an announcement, but some detailed description of Passenger and mail classes/Industry Logistics?

Done - thank you for the suggestion.

Offline DrSuperGood

  • Dev Team
  • Devotee
  • *
  • Posts: 2711
  • Languages: EN
Re: Forthcoming major version release (passenger/mail classes; logistics)
« Reply #11 on: November 30, 2017, 03:57:17 AM »
Quote
To give some examples: an air route in 1935 might be set only to allow passengers who can pay prices at the "very high" level. A route between the same two towns served by train might have two classes of accommodation on the train: one class for "low" (third class) and one class for "high" (first class). The first class carriages would be more comfortable than the third class carriages to attract passengers who can afford to do so to travel first class and pay the higher fare. Thus, passengers of "low" and "medium" wealth would take the train (third class), passengers of "high" wealth would take the train (first class), and passengers of "very high" wealth would take the aircraft. One might also suppose that a player might start a road coach route between the two towns, taking even longer than the train, with prices set to "very low" (as road vehicles have lower overheads than trains). Thus, passengers of "very low" wealth would be transported by coach.
How does one perform passenger upgrading?

Say there is a route that is serviced by a train that offers both low and high passenger services. A competing line opens up and starts to take away all the high passengers from the line. However the line is overcrowded so there has always been a back log of low paying passengers on it. What one should be able to make happen is that some of the low paying passengers are automatically upgraded to use high capacity while still only paying for low, allowing more low passengers board. Without this feature the high part of the line would be completely disused and be wasting a lot of money until the player gets around to servicing the line.

This is vaguely realistic, it almost always makes financial sense to load as many people as possible even if ideally you would have wanted them to pay more.

Offline jamespetts gb

  • Simutrans-Extended project coordinator
  • Moderator
  • *
  • Posts: 18679
  • Cake baker
    • Bridgewater-Brunel
  • Languages: EN
Re: Forthcoming major version release (passenger/mail classes; logistics)
« Reply #12 on: November 30, 2017, 11:41:43 AM »
How does one perform passenger upgrading?

Say there is a route that is serviced by a train that offers both low and high passenger services. A competing line opens up and starts to take away all the high passengers from the line. However the line is overcrowded so there has always been a back log of low paying passengers on it. What one should be able to make happen is that some of the low paying passengers are automatically upgraded to use high capacity while still only paying for low, allowing more low passengers board. Without this feature the high part of the line would be completely disused and be wasting a lot of money until the player gets around to servicing the line.

This is vaguely realistic, it almost always makes financial sense to load as many people as possible even if ideally you would have wanted them to pay more.

It would be extremely difficult, if not practically impossible, to code this in a workable way, as there is no useful way of predicting how many higher class passengers might want to get on at the next stop, but may be unable to do so because all of the higher class accommodation is full of lower class passengers.

Offline DrSuperGood

  • Dev Team
  • Devotee
  • *
  • Posts: 2711
  • Languages: EN
Re: Forthcoming major version release (passenger/mail classes; logistics)
« Reply #13 on: November 30, 2017, 01:02:42 PM »
Quote
It would be extremely difficult, if not practically impossible, to code this in a workable way, as there is no useful way of predicting how many higher class passengers might want to get on at the next stop, but may be unable to do so because all of the higher class accommodation is full of lower class passengers.
Which is why it should be an option and not automatic. If one has a long distance express line (say point to point or with few intermediate stops) then it might not matter and would be worth using the option in case some major dynamic changes. One must remember that networks need to be robust enough that major dynamics can change and several game years run before a human logs on to eventually service them.

Offline jamespetts gb

  • Simutrans-Extended project coordinator
  • Moderator
  • *
  • Posts: 18679
  • Cake baker
    • Bridgewater-Brunel
  • Languages: EN
Re: Forthcoming major version release (passenger/mail classes; logistics)
« Reply #14 on: November 30, 2017, 01:14:36 PM »
Which is why it should be an option and not automatic. If one has a long distance express line (say point to point or with few intermediate stops) then it might not matter and would be worth using the option in case some major dynamic changes. One must remember that networks need to be robust enough that major dynamics can change and several game years run before a human logs on to eventually service them.

If a player has to set this optionally, it is hard to see how this is an improvement on the player just manually downgrading the higher class accommodation.

Offline jamespetts gb

  • Simutrans-Extended project coordinator
  • Moderator
  • *
  • Posts: 18679
  • Cake baker
    • Bridgewater-Brunel
  • Languages: EN
Update: This new version has now been merged into the master branch and is now the new version of Simutrans-Extended, available to download in the usual places.

(Apologies for double posting, but it seemed sensible for an important announcement to have a separate post than a reply to Dr. Supergood about a specific suggested feature).

Offline sheldon_cooper

  • *
  • Posts: 177
  • Languages: PT,EN
Re: [13.0] New major version release (passenger/mail classes; logistics)
« Reply #16 on: November 30, 2017, 04:58:23 PM »
Let me see if I understand, now a factory needs people (passengers) to produce, and make the factory work, serto? Will this work the same when a commodity is missing? For example, a car manufacturer needs glass, and when that glass arrives at the factory, the factory produces the cars, until the glass, or some other product runs out, and manufactures it to produce. Will this work just like the passengers?

Offline jamespetts gb

  • Simutrans-Extended project coordinator
  • Moderator
  • *
  • Posts: 18679
  • Cake baker
    • Bridgewater-Brunel
  • Languages: EN
Re: [13.0] New major version release (passenger/mail classes; logistics)
« Reply #17 on: November 30, 2017, 07:46:11 PM »
The way in which a industry works when it runs out of input goods has not changed.

Offline thegamer7893 england

  • *
  • Posts: 787
  • Languages: EN
Re: [13.0] New major version release (passenger/mail classes; logistics)
« Reply #18 on: November 30, 2017, 09:33:07 PM »
James, what is this prices thing thats new to the game?

Offline jamespetts gb

  • Simutrans-Extended project coordinator
  • Moderator
  • *
  • Posts: 18679
  • Cake baker
    • Bridgewater-Brunel
  • Languages: EN
Re: [13.0] New major version release (passenger/mail classes; logistics)
« Reply #19 on: November 30, 2017, 09:36:30 PM »
James, what is this prices thing thats new to the game?

See under "passenger and mail classes" above. You can change the price of travel on particular convoys, vehicles or parts of vehicles so that only passengers of a certain level of wealth (or mail whose senders are prepared to pay a certain amount) are able to travel.

Offline thegamer7893 england

  • *
  • Posts: 787
  • Languages: EN
Re: [13.0] New major version release (passenger/mail classes; logistics)
« Reply #20 on: November 30, 2017, 09:57:20 PM »
Okay, I'll read that.

Offline sheldon_cooper

  • *
  • Posts: 177
  • Languages: PT,EN
Re: [13.0] New major version release (passenger/mail classes; logistics)
« Reply #21 on: November 30, 2017, 10:27:33 PM »
The way in which a industry works when it runs out of input goods has not changed.

the car factory was just an example, my doubt is, if the factory has the goods, but does not have passengers, does it stop producing? If yes, how many passengers does the factory need?

Offline jamespetts gb

  • Simutrans-Extended project coordinator
  • Moderator
  • *
  • Posts: 18679
  • Cake baker
    • Bridgewater-Brunel
  • Languages: EN
Re: [13.0] New major version release (passenger/mail classes; logistics)
« Reply #22 on: November 30, 2017, 10:31:52 PM »
the car factory was just an example, my doubt is, if the factory has the goods, but does not have passengers, does it stop producing? If yes, how many passengers does the factory need?

The number of passengers that an industry needs in any game month (6.4 in-game hours in Pak128.Britain-Ex at default settings) is shown in the industry's information window, along with the number of workers currently there. Passengers can walk to industries from nearby towns, but, in later eras, this may well not be enough to keep a large industry supplied with enough workers. Industries that are short of staff have a status colour of purple.

Offline DrSuperGood

  • Dev Team
  • Devotee
  • *
  • Posts: 2711
  • Languages: EN
Re: [13.0] New major version release (passenger/mail classes; logistics)
« Reply #23 on: December 01, 2017, 01:29:49 AM »
Quote
See under "passenger and mail classes" above. You can change the price of travel on particular convoys, vehicles or parts of vehicles so that only passengers of a certain level of wealth (or mail whose senders are prepared to pay a certain amount) are able to travel.
Would an automatic pricing option be possible for this? Technically one can use it to limit passenger flow rate to only what a line can handle, so there is no build up and increasingly worse waiting times at stops. This is kind of how it is done in real life, with very busy routes having raised ticket prices to deter too many people from taking them.

I would imagine such feature consisting of various ranges the player has to specify and prices automatically set based on what the people queuing can afford. If the line is consistently unable to load waiting passengers due to already being full then it would look to raise the price towards the maximum to eliminate some fraction of the queue. Equally well if the line is consistently running to stops with free capacity then it would look to lower the prices to encourage more people to come. I would imagine minimum generally being set to the default values while maximum might be set to something only higher paying passengers could afford.

Such feature would be very useful to provide some robustness to lines that suffer dynamic change. A line that was once a monopoly connection and charged a fortune as a result could automatically downgrade to charging less in response to competitor lines being built that are stealing passengers/mail from it with a cheaper service.

A big problem on the old server game was that passenger routes were unstable due to the volumes involved. I set up a high throughput airport across the map and all passengers flocked to it due to the higher speed. So many passengers came that the result was ever increasing waiting time at the airports. Eventually all passengers left to take the cross map train due to the train station now having 0 waiting time and taking shorter than the waiting time of the planes. The result was empty planes flying from empty airports due to an impossible waiting time being left on them for an extended period despite no one actually waiting. This is already less of a problem as the planes might only take a small fraction of passengers generated due to the higher ticket costs, however it could still theoretically happen if too many people state to queue for the line to handle. Eventually all those high paying people might take a much slower train or boat rather than wait for years at the airport. This is where automatic price adjustment could be useful as it could start to reduce the queue at the airport by deterring people away with price before it becomes impossibly long. One would even make more profit as a result!
Quote
Update: This new version has now been merged into the master branch and is now the new version of Simutrans-Extended, available to download in the usual places.
Does that mean the persistent multiplayer test server will be coming soon? Or are there still changes left to make?
« Last Edit: December 01, 2017, 01:40:22 AM by DrSuperGood »

Offline jamespetts gb

  • Simutrans-Extended project coordinator
  • Moderator
  • *
  • Posts: 18679
  • Cake baker
    • Bridgewater-Brunel
  • Languages: EN
Re: [13.0] New major version release (passenger/mail classes; logistics)
« Reply #24 on: December 01, 2017, 02:58:59 AM »
Thank you for your thoughts. An automatic price adjusting mechanism is an interesting idea, but would take quite a bit of time for me to implement, which I must for the time being spend on more pressing matters, especially cost balancing and also adding all the first class railway carriages that the passenger and mail classes feature requires. Would you be interested in coding this? I should be happy to incorporate a workable and stable price auto-adjuster so long as it were optional.

As to a persistent online multiplayer game, I have just finished setting this up: see the game servers subforum for details. I have created a very large map (the size of Great Britain turned sideways), and I am interested to see how this performs. If it turns out to be too slow, I might have to create a new, smaller map (perhaps the size of England). I am currently noticing somewhat long map loading times on the server - considerably longer than the client for some reason, even though the server uses a multi-threaded build and has 4 cores available to it.

In any event, if you are interested in playing on the server, I should be interested in any feedback that you might have as to how the new features are working, and also as to stability and performance.

Offline DrSuperGood

  • Dev Team
  • Devotee
  • *
  • Posts: 2711
  • Languages: EN
Re: [13.0] New major version release (passenger/mail classes; logistics)
« Reply #25 on: December 01, 2017, 05:24:22 AM »
There is no way to alter the prices for all active convoys of a line. The only option I can find is to replace them, however that sends them to the depot needlessly as one can change prices outside the depot for individual convoys.

Copying a convoy does not copy its price settings. This means using non-standard prices on a line is a real pain as each copied convoy requires price configuration. Seeing how lines might need 30+ convoys...

The "pulls" information shown for road convoys is buggy/incorrect. I assembled a stage coach using a pair of Friesian horses which "pulls 4.69t at 12 km/h". The total convoy weight is at most 3.250t with coach limited speed of 11km/h, much less than that quoted by the pulls value of the horses. The auto calculate speed shows a maximum speed of 0 km/h even empty and so it refuses to start the convoy despite the horses being capable of pulling 4.69t faster according to the UI. The only way to get the stage coach moving is with 2 pairs of Friesian horses, despite each theoretically being strong enough alone.
« Last Edit: December 01, 2017, 06:02:04 AM by DrSuperGood »

Offline Vladki cz

  • Devotee
  • *
  • Posts: 2677
    • My addons, mostly roadsigns
  • Languages: EN, CS
Re: [13.0] New major version release (passenger/mail classes; logistics)
« Reply #26 on: December 01, 2017, 07:52:05 AM »
If automatic pricing is implemented, there would be a risk that it will have similar effect as waiting times. Too much pax - price increase - pax go to competition - price reduction - pax come back - overcrowded - price increases...




Offline DrSuperGood

  • Dev Team
  • Devotee
  • *
  • Posts: 2711
  • Languages: EN
Re: [13.0] New major version release (passenger/mail classes; logistics)
« Reply #27 on: December 01, 2017, 08:05:03 AM »
I thought one could set arbitrary prices when I read the announcement. Turns out one can only select 1 of a few pakset defined prices. That said many important usability features with price setting are missing.

It seems near impossible to send any mail as well. I think these 1750 people are being too fussy about mail delivery times.

The logistic part of industry UI is confusing. I have no idea if a factory has good labour, could do with better labour or is struggling to work at all due to lack of labour.
« Last Edit: December 01, 2017, 08:18:51 AM by DrSuperGood »

Offline Ves

  • Devotee
  • *
  • Posts: 1664
  • Languages: EN, SV, DK
Re: [13.0] New major version release (passenger/mail classes; logistics)
« Reply #28 on: December 01, 2017, 11:21:15 AM »
Congratulations with the release!  ;D

Quote
The logistic part of industry UI is confusing. I have no idea if a factory has good labour, could do with better labour or is struggling to work at all due to lack of labour.
I am working on a small note which will show up for different states in the factory window.

As to what the jobs, workers entries etc, I myself dont 100% understand, so James maybe could check back if they are working as intended.
Other lacking GUI-stuff might simply be to the reason that not that many people have given feedback, so I have just created GUI from what I think would be necesary and usefull. If you have some suggestions to further elements/values/ etc, write it and I will take a look on it. For instance the posibility to change all classes in a line would be quite usefull I can see, so I might have a look in how that would look like in the best way.
Copying the convoy prices also sounds good.

I have altered the code in the depot window, but not altered the actual calculations, so I think the error must be somewhere else.

Offline jamespetts gb

  • Simutrans-Extended project coordinator
  • Moderator
  • *
  • Posts: 18679
  • Cake baker
    • Bridgewater-Brunel
  • Languages: EN
Re: [13.0] New major version release (passenger/mail classes; logistics)
« Reply #29 on: December 01, 2017, 12:43:15 PM »
Thank you for your feedback: this is helpful. I will reply under various subheadings.

Changing the prices for a whole line
I agree that this would be a useful thing to be able to do. Ves has been working on the GUI code, which has been helpful. I will leave it to his discretion how best to implement this, but one simple idea might be an "Apply to all in line" button in the change prices window, which would then overwrite all the price settings in all convoys in the line with those of the current vehicles.

Copying prices
It would indeed be better if the customised prices were copied when a convoy is copied: I think that we overlooked that. Ves - is this something that you could deal with? It should be reasonably straightforward. Do let me know if you have any difficulty with this.

Prices/classes nomenclature
I note that Dr. Supergood had incorrectly believed that it was possible to adjust the individual prices exactly as in Cities in Motion 2, rather than choosing from five price bands. There are good reasons to have the price bands (the most important of which is that the routing system as it currently exists does not allow for more than one factor, here journey time, to be taken into account in deciding how to route passengers, so we simply have five classes of passengers each with different routes that could be taken; the secondary reason being that exact price adjustment is likely to result in excessive tedious work for players, as was a common complaint in Cities in Motion 2), but I wonder whether the "change prices" label on the button in the convoy details window is confusing?

This window was originally named "Class manager" by Ves, who designed it, but I re-named it "change prices" on the basis that this would be easier to understand. I wonder whether this might have been an error; does this name give too readily the incorrect impression that what this does is allow players to change prices exactly rather than choose from one of five pre-set prices? Would "class manager" or "change classes" be clearer?

Physics data in the depot
This appears to be an issue unrelated to the new features, and in code that I did not write and, I am afraid, barely understand (as it involves highly complex mathematics to simulate physics; it was written by Bernd Garbiel). Unless there is some obvious flaw in the input or processing of the output, I may have considerable difficulties in debugging this. It is rather odd that this should be not working now, as I thought that it did work. Does this not work for all vehicles, or only for some (such as horses or very low powered vehicles generally)?

Mail
Mail does not have a journey time tolerance (although if it gets to its destination by being hand-delivered by the sender, the people carrying it do have a journey time tolerance).

When you write that it is near impossible to send any mail, is this because too little mail is being generated, or because, although plenty of mail is being generated, not much of it is travelling on your network?

Logistics and industry
An industry that is under-performing through lack of staff will have a purple status colour. You can see whether an industry has sufficient staff by looking at its information window. It will have text reading,

"Jobs (available): 978 (4)"

(or with other numbers). The numbers represent, respectively, the total number of jobs in the industry, and the number currently available for workers to fill. Thus, the lower the number "available", the closer that the industry is to being fully staffed. It is not necessary to keep the industry 100% fully staffed: there is a substantial margin of error. A producing industry will perform normally down to 80% staff (this can be customised by changing minimum_staffing_percentage_full_production_producer_industry in simuconf.tab). Below this level, it will continue to produce, but at a reduced level, the reduction being directly proportionate to the number of staff (e.g., if the industry has 50% of its full quota of staff, its production rate will be halved).

For a consumer industry, which is treated as being equivalent to a shop (power stations are treated as producer industries for these purposes),  the industry will be unavailable to consumers (i.e., the shop will close) with less than 66% of staff (which can be customised by the minimum_staffing_percentage_consumer_industry setting in simuconf.tab).

As to the consumers themselves, there is no minimum for them: the industry's stock will only deplete, however, when visiting passengers arrive at the industry.

Offline DrSuperGood

  • Dev Team
  • Devotee
  • *
  • Posts: 2711
  • Languages: EN
Re: [13.0] New major version release (passenger/mail classes; logistics)
« Reply #30 on: December 01, 2017, 08:07:40 PM »
Quote
I agree that this would be a useful thing to be able to do. Ves has been working on the GUI code, which has been helpful. I will leave it to his discretion how best to implement this, but one simple idea might be an "Apply to all in line" button in the change prices window, which would then overwrite all the price settings in all convoys in the line with those of the current vehicles.
All that is needed is that when replacing convoys in a line with themselves but different payment options it does not send them to depot and instead instantly changes the payment options of all convoys that the replace applied to.
Quote
This appears to be an issue unrelated to the new features, and in code that I did not write and, I am afraid, barely understand (as it involves highly complex mathematics to simulate physics; it was written by Bernd Garbiel). Unless there is some obvious flaw in the input or processing of the output, I may have considerable difficulties in debugging this. It is rather odd that this should be not working now, as I thought that it did work. Does this not work for all vehicles, or only for some (such as horses or very low powered vehicles generally)?
Maybe I do not understand the physics, however by "pulls" I would assume one could make a convoy of that weight and it would work at the speed specified. Maybe rolling resistance is a factor here, in which case the pulls needs to add an assumed rolling weight.
Quote
When you write that it is near impossible to send any mail, is this because too little mail is being generated, or because, although plenty of mail is being generated, not much of it is travelling on your network?
Maybe too little mail is generated. Just I connected a few cities together with post boys set to standard pricing (not priority) and set a regular hourly service and no one sends any mail ever.
Quote
(or with other numbers). The numbers represent, respectively, the total number of jobs in the industry, and the number currently available for workers to fill. Thus, the lower the number "available", the closer that the industry is to being fully staffed. It is not necessary to keep the industry 100% fully staffed: there is a substantial margin of error. A producing industry will perform normally down to 80% staff (this can be customised by changing minimum_staffing_percentage_full_production_producer_industry in simuconf.tab). Below this level, it will continue to produce, but at a reduced level, the reduction being directly proportionate to the number of staff (e.g., if the industry has 50% of its full quota of staff, its production rate will be halved).
So an optimum industry looks like...
Jobs (available): 100 (0)
While a working badly would look like...
Jobs (available): 100 (97)
Is that right?

Offline jamespetts gb

  • Simutrans-Extended project coordinator
  • Moderator
  • *
  • Posts: 18679
  • Cake baker
    • Bridgewater-Brunel
  • Languages: EN
Re: [13.0] New major version release (passenger/mail classes; logistics)
« Reply #31 on: December 01, 2017, 11:01:03 PM »
All that is needed is that when replacing convoys in a line with themselves but different payment options it does not send them to depot and instead instantly changes the payment options of all convoys that the replace applied to.

This is an interesting idea, but I do not think that this would be any easier to code than an "apply to all in line" button, and would be much more confusing for the player.

Quote
Maybe I do not understand the physics, however by "pulls" I would assume one could make a convoy of that weight and it would work at the speed specified. Maybe rolling resistance is a factor here, in which case the pulls needs to add an assumed rolling weight.

I do not understand precisely how the physics works either - "pulls" should indicate what a convoy can haul, and rolling resistance ought to be taken into account. Do you notice this issue only with certain types of convoys, or is it equally a problem with horse drawn coaches, steam trains, motor lorries, motorised ships and aircraft?

Quote
Maybe too little mail is generated. Just I connected a few cities together with post boys set to standard pricing (not priority) and set a regular hourly service and no one sends any mail ever.

How much mail are you seeing being generated on the graphs in the cities' information windows? This should give an idea of whether the issue is the total level of generation, or something to do with the routing (I cannot check myself as I am away from home with only a tablet computer and mobile telephone).

I should note, however, that an hourly service is almost certainly far too much for 1750. Mail, unlike passengers, does not have a journey time tolerance, so frequency does not drive use for mail. In reality, one would expect to see a service of daily at best in 1750. Even a hundred years later, twice daily was the norm. I have never heard of anywhere in the world with hourly mail deliveries. Nobody sending mail ever suggests that something may need rebalancing, however. How large is your mail network? Is it within the sort of range where passengers could walk at 4km/h within 30-120 minutes or so?

Quote
So an optimum industry looks like...
Jobs (available): 100 (0)
While a working badly would look like...
Jobs (available): 100 (97)
Is that right?

Yes, indeed.

Offline DrSuperGood

  • Dev Team
  • Devotee
  • *
  • Posts: 2711
  • Languages: EN
Re: [13.0] New major version release (passenger/mail classes; logistics)
« Reply #32 on: December 01, 2017, 11:10:15 PM »
Quote
How much mail are you seeing being generated on the graphs in the cities' information windows?
Very little mail is being generated. So maybe there is nothing to send.
Quote
Do you notice this issue only with certain types of convoys, or is it equally a problem with horse drawn coaches, steam trains, motor lorries, motorised ships and aircraft?
Well the map only has horses at the moment and the ships seem to work fine...
Quote
How large is your mail network?
4 cities.
Quote
Is it within the sort of range where passengers could walk at 4km/h within 30-120 minutes or so?
The total round trip time for the route is about 7-8 hours.
Quote
Mail, unlike passengers, does not have a journey time tolerance, so frequency does not drive use for mail.
Would be nice if this was emphasized somewhere. In standard Mail and Passengers work almost exactly the same. I will do things differently knowing this.
Quote
Yes, indeed.
It would be more clear to say something like...

Assuming the factory needs 100 workers.
Labour: 100 of 100 -> This represents optimum.
Labour: 78 of 100
Labour: 17 of 100
Labour: 0 of 100 -> This represents no one working at the place.

Additionally in sub optimal labour conditions a message gets tagged below such as...
"Low production due to insufficient labour."

EDIT
The "East Indianman" and "Brig" high and medium class passenger holds are missing loading times.  They should take 2-3 hours (East Indianman) and 0.5-1.5 hours (Brig). This is to prevent a possible exploit where one can have 0 loading time by forgoing very low class and mail.
« Last Edit: December 02, 2017, 02:40:44 AM by DrSuperGood »

Offline Jando

  • *
  • Posts: 496
Re: [13.0] New major version release (passenger/mail classes; logistics)
« Reply #33 on: December 03, 2017, 12:07:01 PM »
Awesome news! Congratulation, James!