Author Topic: Balance: Too many passengers in 1750.  (Read 300 times)

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Online DrSuperGood

Balance: Too many passengers in 1750.
« on: December 06, 2017, 04:42:26 AM »
In 1750 it was fairly rare for people to leave the town they grew up in, let alone do so on a regular basis. Journeys were expensive, people often put on their Sunday best for them. Roads were uncrowded and often live stock or animals were seen roaming them.

Not so in Simutrans Extended Pak128 Britain! With a small transport network consisting of 7 towns I am employing over 62 Stage Coaches that are near always overcapacity and in constant motion. There seems to be no stopping to the number of passengers appearing as my stops are constantly overcrowded. The stage coach lines are approaching theoretical maximum capacity as one cannot turn them around much faster (sub 15 minute timetable on a 10 minute load time convoy). All this makes for pretty good profit as well, so much so there is no point doing goods in the small numbers they are available.

For this time period there should probably be at least half the passengers, if not even a quarter.

Offline Spenk009

Re: Balance: Too many passengers in 1750.
« Reply #1 on: December 06, 2017, 10:21:53 AM »
I agree entirely. I've exploited experienced the same issue.

Could the issue be more related to revenue per passenger? If we lower the fares, players could be forced to focus on limiting their customer base to profitable classes. Incidentally we may then create the conflict for ship-based companies to offer cheap mass transit, but potentially unprofitable supply/feeder lines.

Offline jamespetts

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Re: Balance: Too many passengers in 1750.
« Reply #2 on: December 06, 2017, 10:22:23 AM »
May I ask what prices that you are setting for your stage coaches?
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Offline asaphxiix

Re: Balance: Too many passengers in 1750.
« Reply #3 on: December 06, 2017, 01:32:12 PM »
It is theoretically possible that part of the reason why people wouldn't travel back then was because such transport services weren't available in such a regular fashion, possibly not profitable enough to start even, at prices that people could afford.

Offline Spenk009

Re: Balance: Too many passengers in 1750.
« Reply #4 on: December 06, 2017, 03:09:07 PM »
It seems the server has reset, in which case I can't give a definite answer. I believe it was later set to Low and High, which didn't curb the overcrowding.

Offline jamespetts

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Re: Balance: Too many passengers in 1750.
« Reply #5 on: December 06, 2017, 04:10:47 PM »
It seems the server has reset, in which case I can't give a definite answer. I believe it was later set to Low and High, which didn't curb the overcrowding.

It was reset yesterday in order to correct the effects of the industry spacing bug.
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Online DrSuperGood

Re: Balance: Too many passengers in 1750.
« Reply #6 on: December 06, 2017, 05:20:14 PM »
Mine are set to Very Low (default) and Medium (down from High). The difference in profit is so little the larger volumes are worth it.

How many sub 15 minute interval coach lines do you know of from 1750? How many that were between 6 towns and not major cities as well as involved over 500 horses?

People should not even be trying to make journeys that were not economically viable for the time period. If transport economics are used to apply this limit the result is illogical game play for the player as they generally try to transport what is available but most of what they are given is impossible to transport.

« Last Edit: December 06, 2017, 05:34:45 PM by DrSuperGood »

Offline jamespetts

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Re: Balance: Too many passengers in 1750.
« Reply #7 on: December 06, 2017, 07:11:42 PM »
Mine are set to Very Low (default) and Medium (down from High). The difference in profit is so little the larger volumes are worth it.

How many sub 15 minute interval coach lines do you know of from 1750? How many that were between 6 towns and not major cities as well as involved over 500 horses?

Thank you for your feedback and details: that is helpful. The purpose of the new classes system is precisely to simulate the fact that some forms of transport were uneconomic for all but wealthy people (at least until advances in technology reduced the cost of providing that transport; also, over time, the proportion of wealthier people increases). Thus, in this case, the limiting factor ought to be that the stage coach would only not make a loss if its prices were set too high for most people to afford - even outside (the passengers who ride on the roof and pay a lower fare). Setting this to very low by default will need to be changed, I think, as the very poorest would not be able to travel even on the roof of a stage coach. Similarly, I should (and plan to) change the steerage cabin on all of the ships from "very low" to "low", as the very poorest people would not be able to afford ocean voyages even in steerage.

Obviously, changing the defaults will not by itself affect the balance: if your stage coaches carrying farm labourers on their roofs and clerks inside (rather than clerks on the roof and gentlemen and women inside) are profitable now, one could easily just change the defaults. The key to making this work is in balancing the costs so that players cannot make a profit with these services unless the higher prices be charged (as in real life). Balancing of costs is something that I have set aside next year to work on, although I am not sure that one year will be enough for that project, involving as it does substantial changes to the code and then major pakset works to calibrate the costs in light of those changes. Any help in relation to this when I start on it will be much appreciated.

Quote
People should not even be trying to make journeys that were not economically viable for the time period. If transport economics are used to apply this limit the result is illogical game play for the player as they generally try to transport what is available but most of what they are given is impossible to transport.

Whether this is a sensible way of looking at things depends on precisely what you mean by "trying to" here. The classes system is set up so that passengers will not set out on a journey which is not possible for a passenger of that class because the only means of transport within that passenger's budget (which might be nothing other than walking) would exceed that passenger's journey time tolerance. However, the fundamental basis of the passenger generation system is that, absent the practical and economic constraints of the actual transport network, people would ideally want to be able to go anywhere in the world that there is somewhere worthwhile to go to in proportion to how worthwhile that the destination, wherever it may be, is to those passengers. The passengers will go to those destinations (be they near or far) if possible within the passengers' time and economic constraints, but, if some destinations be not reachable within those constraints, will in some cases go to other places instead (e.g. a local general market rather than a far-flung specialist shop), and in other cases not travel at all.

Thus, if in 1750, it really were possible for extremely poor people affordably to travel within a reasonable time to the next town with some regularity, no doubt many, many more people would have travelled in that era. Even once the balancing of costs (and further balancing of revenues with the yet to be implemented inflation feature: it may well be that the fares of "very low" class passengers are set to be extremely small in the 18th century and get closer to those of "low" passengers in the 19th century, assuming that I implement inflation in such a way as to allow for different classes of passengers to have different rates of inflation as to the fares that they pay) is complete, it would make no sense if a player using freeplay mode (or who had a lot of surplus money) were to set up an unprofitable line allowing very poor people to travel by horse would not give rise to the results that would actually occur in real life if somebody had done this.

I do not think that a system that aims to simulate reality as accurately as possible is one that can sensibly be described as illogical. Indeed, doing it this way is very important for the new logistics system: it is very important that realistic numbers of passengers be generated who walk to local shops, farms and factories. I have tested the balance of this aspect of the game extensively in the last few months, and having the current number of passengers is necessary for enough passengers to patronise local shops and markets and work in local industries. There is an important conceptual point here: in Simutrans-Extended as it now stands, passengers are no longer just something for the player to transport: they are fundamental to the economy of industries and towns (and will become even more fundamental when I modify the town growth algorithm to take account of the passenger success percentages that you can see if you click on residential buildings).

Edit: I have now pushed the changes in the defaults discussed above to the Github repository for the pakset. Those playing on the server will need to check that the ships and stagecoaches have the desired settings on reloading the saved game to-morrow.
« Last Edit: December 06, 2017, 10:55:06 PM by jamespetts »
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Online DrSuperGood

Re: Balance: Too many passengers in 1750.
« Reply #8 on: December 07, 2017, 12:45:48 AM »
Except it is counter productive to the player because there are passengers that say they want to be transported but cannot/should not be transported.

It would be better if during early times very low and low start out only wanting local destinations (same town, commute to factories, basic daily stuff, occasionally the odd neighbouring town) and only medium and above look to travel far abroad (wealthy businessmen, gentry, royalty, people with more money than sense). Some time during the 1800 this changes as trains brought more economical travel. By 2000 odd even very poor people might want to go to the edges of the earth.

Offline jamespetts

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Re: Balance: Too many passengers in 1750.
« Reply #9 on: December 07, 2017, 01:04:12 AM »
Except it is counter productive to the player because there are passengers that say they want to be transported but cannot/should not be transported.

It would be better if during early times very low and low start out only wanting local destinations (same town, commute to factories, basic daily stuff, occasionally the odd neighbouring town) and only medium and above look to travel far abroad (wealthy businessmen, gentry, royalty, people with more money than sense). Some time during the 1800 this changes as trains brought more economical travel. By 2000 odd even very poor people might want to go to the edges of the earth.

I am afraid that I do not understand this reasoning at all. Why is it counter-productive for there to be people who would ideally like to be transported to places to which it is not currently practical or economic to transport them within what they consider to be a reasonable time? What productivity, exactly, does this counter?

The idea of passengers choosing destinations based on distance (rather than travel time) has been tried in the past, and worked very badly indeed, which was why this new system was introduced. It is not clear why you think that a distance system would be better than what we have now. I did explain in some detail why the current system is preferable; it is not clear what, if anything, about that reasoning that you do not think to be sound.
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Offline Jando

Re: Balance: Too many passengers in 1750.
« Reply #10 on: December 09, 2017, 03:51:08 PM »
I also think it's not counter productive, it just requires a different sort of thinking.

In the early years in history - if cheap transport would have been available - low and very low class people would have travelled as well. They didn't because there was no cheap transport. In Simutrans-Extended the player can let them travel by providing transportation - or the player can stick to history and offer transportation for upper classes only. In general I'd always say that giving players choices is a good thing in any game/simulation design.

I have set my stage coaches to medium/high (changed the roof spots from very low to medium in the class manager) and get what I would consider reasonable transport numbers.

Offline asaphxiix

Re: Balance: Too many passengers in 1750.
« Reply #11 on: December 09, 2017, 04:06:19 PM »
I also think it's not counter productive, it just requires a different sort of thinking.

In the early years in history - if cheap transport would have been available - low and very low class people would have travelled as well. They didn't because there was no cheap transport. In Simutrans-Extended the player can let them travel by providing transportation - or the player can stick to history and offer transportation for upper classes only. In general I'd always say that giving players choices is a good thing in any game/simulation design.

I have set my stage coaches to medium/high (changed the roof spots from very low to medium in the class manager) and get what I would consider reasonable transport numbers.

That does beg the question though, of why wasn't cheap transport offered to them. Other than the simple genius required to enterprise such an unusual service (for the time), assuming it is profitable, why wouldn't anyone offer it?

Not that I am suggesting that such affordable transport services were not being offered back in the day, in the UK or otherwise in the world. I don't know enough about that. But then, I would also find it a bit surprising if such services weren't offered at all.

Still, the "free market" rationale as I see it, is that assuming no man-made barriers such as regulation, taxes etc. (or even accounting only for those that do not specifically prohibit it from being offered), the presumed lack of such services at more affordable prices can only be explained by availability of factors such as the entrepreneur's tech, know-how and resourcesfulness (and obviously, the required capital), all of which are required to introduce such a service. So I do wonder if such services were offered or not, to what extent, and if not very much, why not more.

On a side note, I should point out what may be obvious, that passenger profits are much less in excess now, since the last few builds.

Offline zook2

Re: Balance: Too many passengers in 1750.
« Reply #12 on: December 09, 2017, 06:03:53 PM »
My uneducated guess is that
a) people walked a lot. I remember old relatives (born pre-war) mention how they walked five or ten miles to visit Aunt Minnie and bring her some apple pie. Lucky for you if you had a bicycle. And that was the first half of the 20th century.
b) transportation in 1750 was so slow that any journey longer than a 10-mile stroll in the afternoon took a day. And another day to get back home. Money for the coach fare aside, who can spare several days to go shopping or visit Aunt Minnie? And often enough, it wasn't exactly safe, either.

Online DrSuperGood

Re: Balance: Too many passengers in 1750.
« Reply #13 on: December 09, 2017, 07:23:43 PM »
Quote
In the early years in history - if cheap transport would have been available - low and very low class people would have travelled as well
Except this is making up history which kind of defeats the purpose of a historically accurate pakset.
Quote
That does beg the question though, of why wasn't cheap transport offered to them.
Transporting people was very resource intensive. Not only were 1-2 people needed to man a stage coach, but it needed 4 (or 8 in Simutrans) horses to work properly. These horses had to be stabled which meant stable hands to attend to them. Additionally the horses needed hay, which either needed to be transported in (people to harvest, people and animals to move, place to store) or used a grazing meadow which was land that could have been used to produce food for people.

Many people were lucky if they could ride their cow to a place.

Offline jamespetts

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Re: Balance: Too many passengers in 1750.
« Reply #14 on: December 10, 2017, 12:16:06 AM »
Indeed - the reason that more people did not travel much in years past (and walked very often when they did travel) is because it was very expensive to transport people using horse technology, and most people were too poor to be able to afford it (also, travelling took longer, and would often exceed people's "travel time budget" as some researchers refer to the concept). This is partly simulated by the class mechanism (and the journey time tolerance system so far as times are concerned), but the simulation of this will not be complete until costs are properly balanced (simulating that it is unlikely to be profitable to transport poorer people by horse-drawn transport). As noted above, cost balancing is something on which I intend to work next year.
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