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Offline zook2

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Industry chain balance
« on: December 07, 2017, 02:13:45 AM »
I know this topic is oooold, but I can't find any recent discussion where it is addressed. I started a new map in 1840, 4480x4480 tiles, all parameters on default except a few more towns (and therefore industries).

It has:

175 cities

4 bakeries
1 brewery, brewery which is connected to two sawmills, 80 grain farms and one pub
1 cabinet maker
1 cannery
58 cattle farms
1 china shop
1 clay pit
3 clothes shops
1 coal merchant
7 collieries
1 brewhouse
2 dairies
5 fisheries
8 fishing ports
3 fishmongers
5 sawmills
1 furniture shop
146 grain farms
1 grain mill, which is connected to 49 farms and one brewery
1 grocer
2 hardware shops
6 iron ore mines
2 ironworks
9 markets
6 orchards
1 pottery
1 pub
~80 sheep farms
8 slaughterhaouses
1 tavern
3 textile mills
100 vegetable farms
3 windmills
---------------------
475 industries (a few of them were built in the two game years I've been playing this one)
384 of them are farms
33 others are countryside industries (i.e. not in towns). That leaves:
58 industries incl. shops for 175 cities

So far I haven't found one route where transporting goods would make any sense. With 3/4 of industries being farms, very few of them, if any, will ever be connected to my transportation network. At the same time it appears they pretty much crowd out all other business, because the number of industries is limited. Also, I've seen quite a few industries which have suppliers but no customers (all bakeries and dairies).

I've had a look at the .dat files, and I can only guess that the "distributionweight" parameters governs industry distribution. Yet cattle farms have distributionweight 32 in 1840, sheep farms have 20, textile mills have 12, pubs have 30, collieries have 18.

I'm not sure how this system is supposed to work, but it's either buggy or needs some calibration.

Offline Vladki cz

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Re: Industry chain balance
« Reply #1 on: December 07, 2017, 07:58:19 AM »
Bakery and dairy are final customers. They just sell their products to visitors :)




Offline Jando

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Re: Industry chain balance
« Reply #2 on: December 07, 2017, 10:01:21 AM »
I'm seeing the same, screenshot is here: http://files.simutrans.com/index.php/s/stGLLXwulaLgEfp

Huge numbers of farms but hardly any consumers.

Offline jamespetts gb

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Re: Industry chain balance
« Reply #3 on: December 07, 2017, 02:09:32 PM »
Thank you for your feedback. I am not sure that I fully understand the issue here. Firstly, as Vladki observed, dairies and bakeries are end consumers, so one would not expect any furhter industries.

As to the actual balance of the industries, the farms have been carefully calibrated to give a realistic level of production relative to their size, and the consumer industries have as close to a realistic level of consumption as I can produce given the amount of data currently available to me on the topic (if anyone has any better data, please let me know).

What I am not clear on is why the industry routes would not make sense to transport. Can you elaborate on that? If you started your map a few days ago, before the fix to the industry spacing, then the industries might be too far away from one another; the remedy to that would be to re-start the map with the version with the corrected industry spacing. However, industry spacing varies depending on the era, so industry spacing in 1840 will be greater than industry spacing in 1750. By 1840, if one has been playing since 1750, one will have an extensive network and adding a link to that existing network for a new industry further away from its consumer than before is less of an issue than it might be if starting in 1840.

Offline Jando

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Re: Industry chain balance
« Reply #4 on: December 07, 2017, 02:39:39 PM »
Hi James!

... What I am not clear on is why the industry routes would not make sense to transport. ...

Because there is far more supply than demand. On a given map you may have 50+ suppliers of, for example, grain - but only one supplier is needed to cover the total demand for grain on that whole map. 90% of farms will never see any demand from a consumer, thus there's nothing to transport.

Offline jamespetts gb

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Re: Industry chain balance
« Reply #5 on: December 07, 2017, 02:54:49 PM »
Hi James!

Because there is far more supply than demand. On a given map you may have 50+ suppliers of, for example, grain - but only one supplier is needed to cover the total demand for grain on that whole map. 90% of farms will never see any demand from a consumer, thus there's nothing to transport.

I see - thank you for the clarification. The current system is set up to make sure that there is enough supply to cover demand. The demand itself is set by the consumer industries. I have recently instituted a change to increase the number of consumer industries built, although this is something of a temporary fix. In the long-term, the plan is to change the way that consumer industries are built entirely and integrate that with the planned new town growth model, but that will be a huge amount of work, and will only be able to start after I have finished work on cost balancing. I have set aside the whole of next year to focus on work relating to cost balancing, but I am not sure whether that will be enough. I expect that town growth related work will take a further 6-18 months or so.

If anyone would like to assist with the town growth code, that would be extremely helpful, and could significantly hasten the implementation of improved balance for towns and industries.

Offline zook2

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Re: Industry chain balance
« Reply #6 on: December 07, 2017, 07:03:17 PM »
Hi James,

yes, I should have been more specific. The basic problem is indeed too many farms: I have 146 grain farms, three windmills and one grain mill. The "distributionweight" parameters (if that's the relevant variable) I've seen look reasonable and they seem to work OK with most industry chains, but not farms. The result is that with so many farms, hardly any other industries are created by the algorithm.

I'm afraid that I'd need to spend half a year myself to learn at least some basic C++ before I could be of any use with coding (I used to work here and there with VB and PHP, but even that was a long time ago). But if you could explain how the program creates industries in the first place and determines their ratios, maybe I or somebody else could help? Because if consumers are created first and their demand then sets the amount of supplying industries, then something is off somewhere. Or do you already know what it is and it's unfixable without re-writing the algorithm?

Offline jamespetts gb

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Re: Industry chain balance
« Reply #7 on: December 07, 2017, 10:46:31 PM »
Can I ask for clarification on one point: you say that too many farms are generated - do you mean that more farms are generated than are actually needed to supply their downstream industries at full capacity, or something else (and if something else, may I ask what)?

Offline zook2

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Re: Industry chain balance
« Reply #8 on: December 07, 2017, 11:12:12 PM »
My three windmills have a combined demand of 6 grain/month. A single grain farm produces 8-16/month. I have 146 grain farms.
My nine markets have a combined demand of 72 vegetables/month. A single vegetable farm produces 4-16/month. I have 100 vegetable farms.

Offline Jando

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Re: Industry chain balance
« Reply #9 on: December 08, 2017, 12:09:17 PM »
Just in case it matters: during map creation, while the game places industries, I see the blue progress bar going outside of the progress bar window, further to the right of the screen.

Offline DrSuperGood

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Re: Industry chain balance
« Reply #10 on: December 08, 2017, 07:01:10 PM »
Quote
My three windmills have a combined demand of 6 grain/month. A single grain farm produces 8-16/month. I have 146 grain farms.
My nine markets have a combined demand of 72 vegetables/month. A single vegetable farm produces 4-16/month. I have 100 vegetable farms.
Please read the industry info window...

Each vegetable farm only produces vegetables at 8% efficiency. That means despite 16 product a month they only produce 1.28 vegetables per month. Most produce a lot less than 16 product a month, in fact one farm on the server only produces a vegetable unit every 4-5 months. Hence the number of farms is correct.

That said I would love it if covering a field with pickup could cover the farm building. It is very hard to access the main farm building when it is embedded 5-7 tiles deep in fields. Destroying fields is expensive, it is as if the farmers do not want their product to ever get to market so have fortified themselves in a moat of fields.

Offline jamespetts gb

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Re: Industry chain balance
« Reply #11 on: December 08, 2017, 10:08:23 PM »
Dr. Supergood - thank you for checking the figures: that has saved me some time. It is unfortunate that the percentage is not clearer in the display, but it is necessary to use this mechanic for non-integer numbers of units per game month. Perhaps one day, it will be possible to modify the UI to make this clearer to players.

As to field coverage, this might well be sensible - I will have to look into that if I get some time to do so.

Offline Jando

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Re: Industry chain balance
« Reply #12 on: December 09, 2017, 12:15:56 AM »
Please read the industry info window...

Each vegetable farm only produces vegetables at 8% efficiency. That means despite 16 product a month they only produce 1.28 vegetables per month. Most produce a lot less than 16 product a month, in fact one farm on the server only produces a vegetable unit every 4-5 months. Hence the number of farms is correct. ...

It's still 100-200 grain farms on the map and 1 pub and 1 bakery, the only end-consumers for grain. 4-5 grain farms could do the job. :)

(My game is in 1930, efficiency is at 21%.)

Offline zook2

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Re: Industry chain balance
« Reply #13 on: December 09, 2017, 04:06:05 AM »
Sorry about my earlier mistake, but as Jando said, the end result is still pretty much the same. I have connected a market now, and 1-2 cattle farms can fully supply it. Not to speak about the impossibility of making money by transporting single units of food per month...

Offline Jando

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Re: Industry chain balance
« Reply #14 on: December 10, 2017, 10:54:37 AM »
Funny thing happened. I took an old game of mine (from pre-13.0) and had it running on fast forward a bit, I just wanted to see how much passenger numbers had changed with the new version. The game is a regional bus network in 1947 (passengers only, no mail, no freight).

Game founded a new industry: car dealership with 89 industries. There already are a couple of car factories on that map that would urgently need consumers. Game created a completely new supply chain though. About 70 of the newly created industries are sheep farms. :)

Offline DrSuperGood

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Re: Industry chain balance
« Reply #15 on: December 10, 2017, 11:21:39 AM »
Trying to do industry in 1750 is not at all rewarding. It costs 5,000 per farm tile to destroy, and farms are often embedded in them. Some farms do not even let you destroy their fields to reach them. Trying to make profit from selling vegetables is near impossible as each farm only produces 1 unit every few months, not enough to cover road and other costs. Lugging coal around also does not earn one much, requires huge road setup costs and is overall highly inconvenient.

So far only industry one can turn a reasonable profit with is Fish. Milk can break even but there is really no money in it. Also moving goods by ship at this age has practically no profit in it, as even if you tag an appropriate hold onto a passenger ship you lose out on profit you could have made if it was a passenger hold.

Offline Rollmaterial fi

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Re: Industry chain balance
« Reply #16 on: December 10, 2017, 11:51:03 AM »
You can use as many holds as you want, actually. I have been able to keep myself afloat by bundling several supply routes into one ship line.

Offline jamespetts gb

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Re: Industry chain balance
« Reply #17 on: December 10, 2017, 01:35:25 PM »
Thank you all for your feedback. I will have to look into the industry chain generation mechanics when I have time, as what is being reported appears not to be consistent with how things should work.

As to the balance more generally, firstly, the number of holds per ship are not unlimited. Secondly, costs are not yet balanced, so the final profitability is not yet fixed; but it may be necessary to have a system in which roads are automatically created to industries out of towns on map/industry creation, which would deal with various aspects of infrastructure cost, and make the issue with farms/fields irrelevant (provided that the roads be generated before the fields). However, this would be a major project and take a very large amount of time to implement - possibly many, many months. If anyone would like to work on this, this would be exceedingly helpful.

Offline DrSuperGood

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Re: Industry chain balance
« Reply #18 on: December 10, 2017, 05:52:52 PM »
Quote
You can use as many holds as you want, actually. I have been able to keep myself afloat by bundling several supply routes into one ship line.
Except the ship becomes less profitable doing so as those now mostly empty cargo holds would be full passenger holds earning a ton more profit per km per ship. I would take an extra 25 very low passengers per trip over 1-2 units of food every time. In 1750 it is very hard to fill goods holds to any reasonable number, but filling passenger holds is near trivial especially if one lowers from low to very low for the bulk classes.

Offline jamespetts gb

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Re: Industry chain balance
« Reply #19 on: December 10, 2017, 06:21:14 PM »
The issue of goods versus passengers in terms of quantity should in principle be solved by making very low class passengers uneconomic to transport in the 18th century, but that will have to await cost balancing.

Meanwhile, I have been considering how to deal with the issue of older forms of goods transport being much less efficient than modern forms. I should be grateful for considered feedback on this feature suggestion (in that thread, not this, please) to deal with that issue.

Offline wlindley us

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Re: Industry chain balance
« Reply #20 on: December 12, 2017, 11:56:56 PM »
I shall not say there are too many vast, low-producing, vegetable farms with the newest releases, but they are beginning to eat up my cattle ranches.



For a test, I created a new map with no industries.  For one butcher created as a city chain, eighteen cattle farms and two sheep farms were created for one slaughterhouse.  This seems slightly excessive, surely?

Offline jamespetts gb

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Re: Industry chain balance
« Reply #21 on: December 18, 2017, 02:01:39 AM »
I have looked into this briefly. I have not been able readily to reproduce map generation with a huge over-supply of producers for a consumer, but I did see some degree of over-supply (of perhaps 1.5-2.0x the needed amount of supply in a number of cases).

The code for generating industries is quite complex, and I do not think that I will now be able to look into this in detail before Christmas.