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Offline The Hood

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Station costs
« on: September 25, 2009, 08:18:46 AM »
Currently, stations are priced (both in terms of capital and maintainance costs) according to their "level" as set in the dat file, and a "price per level" set in simuconf.tab, and the capacity of a station is always 32 per level (cannot be changed).

I'm proposing that this is changed so that the dat file specifies the cost, maintenance, and capacity of each station explicitly.  Why?  Because then pakset maintainers can be more flexible in balancing the costs and capacities of stations, and allow low capacity low cost stations for rural areas and early game periods (note the discussions on this in pak128.Britain).  You can do this for vehicles, so why not for stations too?  It seems unnecessary rigid at present.  Hopefully it's not too hard to code either, as it only changes how the costs and capacities are determined, not how they are used.

Offline jamespetts gb

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Re: Station costs
« Reply #1 on: September 25, 2009, 09:06:54 AM »
This seems to be a very sensible suggestion.

Offline Fabio

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Re: Station costs
« Reply #2 on: September 25, 2009, 09:30:21 AM »
I like it! It could give much more variety to stations.
But unfortunately, beside capacity, there is nothing else a station can offer, so in the end bigger stations would be more expensive and smaller ones cheaper. If a different offer could be provided (e.g. coverage area, loading time, happiness) different costs would be much more useful.
On the other hand, i don't like prices in conf files, i prefer them incorporated in paks.

Offline z9999

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Re: Station costs
« Reply #3 on: September 25, 2009, 09:54:06 AM »
In very old simutrans, capacity of each stop was 128 only, all the same capacity.
So, cost of current stop is 4 times higher if people didn't change this.
And people don't think about stop cost when determine vehcile cost. AIs also don't think about stop cost.

Offline Frank

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Re: Station costs
« Reply #4 on: September 25, 2009, 09:56:45 AM »
How they want to avoid that the cheaper stations are being built for the country in the city?

The players will give preference to the stations with high levels which are the cheapest.

Offline The Hood

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Re: Station costs
« Reply #5 on: September 25, 2009, 10:38:54 AM »
Obviously the cheapest stations would have very low capacity.  Currently the lowest capacity is 32, which is very large for the small flows earlier in the game.  Also earlier in the game, as the convoys are less powerful and can't carry as much stuff and are slower, the total volume of passengers/goods moved is small, so the operational profit on each route is lower.  This means early in the game, station costs are very high compared to income, which can harm overall profitability.  With my suggestion, the early stations can have low capacity and low costs, with the necessary higher capacity stations being available later and later, but each one is more and more expensive.  It gives flexibility and allows fine tuning of the balancing for each pakset.

Offline wlindley us

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Re: Station costs
« Reply #6 on: September 25, 2009, 01:05:28 PM »
Restaurants, hotels -- borrowing a concept from Railroad Tycoon -- station improvements could generate revenue based on number of passengers arrived/departed (or based on number of happy passengers).  Pak64 already has a "station with newsstand" but it's just eye-candy.  Obviously a hotel would generate far more revenue than a news-stand, but would cost more too.

For Sim-Exp, there could be a comfort multiplier for passengers arriving at fancy stations... 2.0 for the red carpet and marble station!  And a factor of 0.1 for graffiti-strewn platforms (if the game could actually forcibly downgrade your stations in "bad" neighborhoods! -- Nobody wants to travel there! Hmm, Maybe that's too much realism.)

Offline Fabio

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Re: Station costs
« Reply #7 on: September 25, 2009, 01:18:58 PM »
I like the idea of stations-with-addons

Offline colonyan

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Re: Station costs
« Reply #8 on: September 25, 2009, 02:35:55 PM »
I strongly agree with this suggestion.
While it is not easy task to balance a pak, it is important.
Actually, there is a proportion in play value in keep the company in profit.
Anygame will make huge profit later in the game, it is important to fight against it
by making cost setting more flexible.

Just connecting everything is not what all interesting about ST, I found.

Offline Spike

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Re: Station costs
« Reply #9 on: September 25, 2009, 02:38:32 PM »
How could this be done while keeping new MakeObj versions compatible with old dat files? (I'll most likely be too lazy to update all my dat files, and I don't want to stick to an old MakeObj version just because of this ...)

Offline The Hood

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Re: Station costs
« Reply #10 on: September 25, 2009, 02:56:27 PM »
Perhaps the old "level=x" could be read if present, and that would imply current behaviour.  If level=x is missing, then look for "capacity=y", "maintenance_cost=z" etc.  Would that work?  That way you can have the new behaviour for those that want to use it, but it allows old paksets / dat files to keep working without any changes (which is always helpful for pakset authors!)

Offline Fabio

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Re: Station costs
« Reply #11 on: September 25, 2009, 03:06:40 PM »
it would be an interesting balance capacity/cost/maintainance, so that for comparable capacity there could be cheaper stations with higher maintainance and more expensive stations with lower maintainance.

Offline prissi

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Re: Station costs
« Reply #12 on: September 25, 2009, 06:24:31 PM »
Apart from the boring initial phase only maintenance counts. Making things more expensive mean just that it takes longer for break even.

Offline dannyman

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Re: Station costs
« Reply #13 on: September 25, 2009, 08:21:23 PM »
Hello,

I like the idea of having the option for simpler or fancier stations for gameplay.  However if this is a bear to implement, I too would suggest that expensive stations in early time periods could just inform player strategy: if its 1830, a tile or two should suffice.  (Historically speaking, the earliest days are going to be financially difficult anyway.)

Maybe also make the earlier passenger stations / stops also handle mail or even serve passenger, mail, and cargo all in one stop.  I reckon early stations were pretty flexible this way . . .

(An aside: I find the need to build a mailbox next to a bus shelter annoying, and I like that these are combined in pak.comic.)

Offline colonyan

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Re: Station costs
« Reply #14 on: September 25, 2009, 08:49:25 PM »

    @prissi   
      Its actually better balance wise to take longer time to break even in later stage of game,
      since income would be abundant at that stage anyway.

     First stage should cost low and player must choose when to upgrade.

    Station cost should exponentially grow as their capacity grows.
    Bigger accommodation means more payer stored in your network.

Offline prissi

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Re: Station costs
« Reply #15 on: September 25, 2009, 08:59:21 PM »
Some settings, like the income only based on direct distance favours direct connections much and gives a penalty to large circle line and other stuff often used. ANd there is already the capacity setting; however, maybe finer granularity is needed there.

Offline The Hood

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Re: Station costs
« Reply #16 on: September 25, 2009, 09:03:31 PM »
That's pretty much it - all I'm asking is for the price and capacity to be independent of each other and both set as a variable in each dat file - that way if any pakset wants the greater flexibility and fine-grain detail they can, or if others prefer the current simplicity, they can keep it too.

Offline Frank

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Re: Station costs
« Reply #17 on: September 25, 2009, 09:51:41 PM »
Capacity is unimportant, as long as 'no_routing_over_overcrowded = 0'

Offline jamespetts gb

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Re: Station costs
« Reply #18 on: September 25, 2009, 10:04:38 PM »
Even though the only variable in a station is capacity, and one would naturally expect a higher capacity station to cost more than a lower capacity station, there is still good reason to be able to set them independently. Setting them independently would allow a non-linear relationship between price and capacity, and would also allow the ratio between price and capacity to change at different points in history.