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Author Topic: Mail Transportation - New Concept  (Read 2604 times)

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Offline mad_genius

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Mail Transportation - New Concept
« on: June 15, 2009, 09:53:55 PM »
Hi everybody!

I've been a simutrans player for a long time now.
One thing that I always thought a bit unrealistic was the way the game deals with mail.

Simutrans deals with mail the same way it deals with passengers. Mail is produced a little bit throughout every building in a city. That means that you have to build stations with a radius that covers several buildings in order to have a good amount of mail produced. That also means that you have to build several stations with post offices in order to cover an entire city.

What I suggest is a new way to see mail in simutrans based on a central point of mail "production". Real cities usually have a single post office that collects all mail from the city and sends it to its destinations.

Following this concept, cities in Simutrans should start with a post office building close to the city hall.
This post office should have certain specifications:

1 - the building would have a 2x2 base;
2 - the "production" rate would be calculated based on the buildings that belong to the city;
3 - that means that, has the city grows bigger, the production rate of the post office would increase;
4 - when the production rate reaches certain amounts the building could evolve, always remaining a 2x2 building in order to stay in the same place.

This way the player would have to deal only with the transportation of mail between cities.
Now the difficult thing is the part of destinations. The post office would "produce" mail based on the buildings of the city. That means that it would have to "produce" different quantities of mail to different destinations.
In order to do this the post office should have an algoritm capable of calculating this. Here's my suggestion:

1 - each post office would have an internal database or table where they would record different destinations and the respective production rates;
2 - each time a building is built or updated in the city that table would also be updated;
3 - the total production rate of the building would be the sum of all those "mini" production rates;
4 - just like it happens with passengers, the stations would only receive mail to the destinations it is connected.

What do you think?

Offline jamespetts

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Re: Mail Transportation - New Concept
« Reply #1 on: June 15, 2009, 11:07:19 PM »
Mad Genius,

welcome to the forums! It is always good to see new people contributing. I think that the question of whether Simutrans deals with mail unrealistically depends on precisely what function that one imagines that the player is discharging by carrying mail; if one imagines the player as a transport contractor hired by the Simunation postal service, then you are correct; however, if you imagine the player as the postal service provider, and if you imagine the individual mail stops in cities as post boxes (that is how they are represented in PakBritain, for example), then the current arrangement is very realistic ;-)

Offline X

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Re: Mail Transportation - New Concept
« Reply #2 on: June 16, 2009, 04:44:00 AM »
I imagine that each bus stop represents actually more like a bus transfer station; and that each mailbox represents more like a post office...

Contractors (in the US) do deliver mail between post offices, so the current system is sufficient for me.


But I always like new ideas :)

Offline Severous

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Re: Mail Transportation - New Concept
« Reply #3 on: June 16, 2009, 09:57:10 AM »

The idea takes away the mail collection within a city.  I must admit I find this part of the game uninteresting probably because my cities seem to descend into chaos.  My mail within a city is currently relegated to just keeping out of the way of everything else.

For a new mail about 'unsorted' mail' and 'sorted mail'? 
- buildings only produce 'unsorted mail'
- 'unsorted mail' has a very short range when looking for finding a destination. 
- 'unsorted mail' only wants to go to a 'sorting office'. 
- Sorting office produces 'sorted mail' out of 'unsorted mail'
- 'sorted mail' wants to go anywhere on the map..just like now.
- If 'sorted mail' cant find a route to its destination it acts like now..and disappears at the sorting office with 'no route'

Not really thought it through.  Suspect it would create more 'unsorted mail' than 'sorted mail' with lots getting lost in the post. How unreal is that ?  ;)