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Community => Social & Contests => Stories, Screenshots, Videos & Saves => Topic started by: Dutchman on Rails on May 04, 2020, 02:31:08 PM

Title: [Pak128.Britain-Ex] Experimenting with industry, a screenshot thread.
Post by: Dutchman on Rails on May 04, 2020, 02:31:08 PM
 Experimenting with industry, a screenshot thread.

After getting the industry to work in Simutrans Extended through some workarounds, I’ve started a game to experiment with some views on industry and commerce.

The screenshots of the game(s) you’re about to see are based on a game that works through the manual placement of objects through a series of loose house rules. At the core, it abandons the familiar concept of industry chains and places industries as independent objects within a loose and dynamic supply and demand model. Also, a demand doesn’t have to be met under all circumstances. If I feel at the time the placement house rules do not make it possible (mostly when there are not enough laborers to go around), I will not place an industry to meet the demand and leave it open for later. The idea is to give an impression of town structure and traffic concepts that hopefully will look familiar.

Apart from the house rules, the game implements a series of goods and objects through .dat file modifications of the pakset. Some of the rules and mods implement ideas that are on James’ roadmap. There are too many house rules to mention here, and also I play loosely according to them. So I’ll explain them as much as possible as and when making screenshots.

Also if people are interested in the pak modifications, rough material as they may be, don’t hesitate to give a shout and I’ll see if I can upload them.

I hope you all enjoy.
Title: Re: [Pak128.Britain-Ex] Experimenting with industry, a screenshot thread.
Post by: Dutchman on Rails on May 04, 2020, 02:35:52 PM
 Welcome to this game. It takes place in a small district called of Chafferhamshire, starting date January 1st, 1812. The main town is Chafferham of some 1200 inhabitants. There are 7 other villages, each less than 300 inhabitants and mostly too small for their own shops or major factories. They rely on  travelling salespeople.(1)

There are also portals to the outside world. 2 For passengers and mail. One for importing goods, and one for exporting goods.
( A view of the map. The portals are visible at the southern and eastern edges of the map. Also visible  are the scattered farms and fishery, and the cluster of industry in Chafferham. More on this further down.(  closer look at the portals on the southern edge. The passengers/mail portals are simply improvised attractions with a town hall as picture and a massive visitors capacity and mail demand. The Goods portals use fisheries for pictures. As both producing and consuming goods in a single portal would trigger a production relation, separate ones are needed for exports and imports. Britain of the early 19th century was famous for her textiles exports, so I made that a demonstration good for the exports. Later versions I intend to export machinery and cars. If anyone has other suggestions, they’re most welcome. As imports I created four new goods that Britain imported: Wine, Foreign Books, Spices, and Tea. Later on, other imports will be needed. The portals in many ways will regulate the trade flows as exports and imports will vastly outnumber local production. Thus industries may produce chiefly or only for exports, and/or rely on imported goods.( A look at Chafferham. A small market and church town. There is a lot to see and explain here: The church and four of the industries are in the center of the town.(2) Near the Town Hall, at the corner of High Street and Bridge Street, three consumers are close together.(3) Note that the industries have some extra consumption. The Grocer consumes spices and tea, the tavern wine and a whole series of foodstuffs (most taverns in the UK sell food).

The windmill at the river mouth is actually a water powered textile mill. I have no drawing of a water mill, so I borrowed the windmill picture. Later textile mills are steam powered and also require coal to operate. Still later, they are electrically powered and no longer require coal. There is no clothes shop anywhere on the map, the textile mill exports textiles to the portal.

The other windmill is set up according to a house rule on the edge of the town to catch wind.

The market (meat), tavern (meat, beer) and the Grocer (canned foods) have unmet demands.(4)( A view of the small fishing village of Cramingham. The bay forms an ideal natural harbor, leaving a small fishing port. This is placed on the waters’ edge, next to the road at the edge of the village. The fishing grounds are in the deepest part of the sea, taking care that a route can be traced across the water to the fishing port.

Finally, each of the farms (Grain, Vegetable, Orchard, Cattle, and Sheep) only has one instance at this time. This is not enough to supply the consumers in at least some cases, but the farms can grow. Only when the growth is exhausted will more farms spawn. Later on shortages may be solved by national imports.

1) A house rule I play with is that each industry is only placed at a town of a minimum rough size, taking into account the amount of industry the town already has.
2) Two house rules. Some industries and attractions prefer town centers or other segments of towns. And buildings can be displaced to make room for them.
3) Since none of these consumers have a potential consumer-supplier relationship, these ignore each other. Also, the choise of consumers isn’t entirely by change. Food shops are normally the ones you see in the smallest towns, while less basic necessities you find in larger ones.
4) This is because there’s simply not enough workforce to go around for a cannery, slaugherhouse or brewery along with the other industries. Nor do the other towns have enough population. So according to the house rules I conclude they cannot be placed now and leave the demand vacant.
Title: Re: [Pak128.Britain-Ex] Experimenting with industry, a screenshot thread.
Post by: Dutchman on Rails on May 04, 2020, 02:38:22 PM
 Stage 1 in the game consisted of connecting Chafferham with passenger connections to the nearby village as well as the passengers and mail portal on the east side of the map by stagecoach. While the villages didn’t generate all that much traffic, the portal made its presence felt, taking up the lions’ share of the transport demand.(
A view of the passengers generated on the portal by April. The portal generates in the order of four times the number of passengers as one of the smaller villages, meaning the bulk of the traffic goes to the outside world.

With the passengers service providing a small base income, the next two steps were to expand into a mail service and to set up a shipping route to the southern portal. When the southern portal connected, an unexpected side-effect happened in the form of a portal-to-portal transit route, especially for mail. After some experimentation, it turned out that a brig was needed for the traffic, a few months later reinforced by a second one.
( August 1st. With our brig underway, 385 bundles of mail are waiting for from the country to the world, and 185 in the opposite direction.
Title: Re: [Pak128.Britain-Ex] Experimenting with industry, a screenshot thread.
Post by: Dutchman on Rails on May 04, 2020, 02:41:04 PM
 The brigs paved the way for the next phase, to make a piece goods connection. Piece Goods can be transported both ways: Textiles to the export portal, then wine, spices and tea from the import portal back to Chafferham. A brig has 7 holds, which after some experimenting were settled to 3 Passenger compartments, 2 Mail, 1 Piece Goods and 1 Food.
 ( Our brig underway by January 1813. Being able to load the ships with a wide variety of goods provides for a fun route. In between you can see the dock has grown to a modest size. The buildings are needed to provide enough storage capacity for transferring. You will also notice that the shipping depot was connected by road to the town. This is another house rule. Depots need to have road connections and be reasonably close to a sufficiently large source of labor.(
With the brigs making a tidy profit, it was time for the last major phase for the time being. A reminder of the map shows that halfway Chafferham and the Portal, there’s the fishing village of Cramingham. With the brigs’ capacity for taking a variety of goods and high capacity, it makes sense to make an intermediate stop to load up fish here and drop off and load any passengers and mail while at it anyway. The village of Telby with the Vegetable Farm could be connected as well from Cramingham.( Crammingham with the dock and the final route of the two brigs. As reloading the game to make screenshots puts all lines in red, the profit graph is on to show the profit the shipping rout makes.( As most major routes have now been set up, there was little to do but to set up the remaining smaller routes and let the towns grow naturally. As a final screenshot the profit graph. Most of the profit comes from the transit and imports.


Title: Re: [Pak128.Britain-Ex] Experimenting with industry, a screenshot thread.
Post by: accord2 on May 09, 2020, 04:57:16 PM
Hi! This is great! I have some questions, I'm sorry if you already explained this before:
Do you place all industries yourself? If so, how do work around the game mechanic that spawns industries according to industry density. From what James told me there is no real way of disabling industry spawing because of density, even if one tries to disable it using the industry_increase_every.
Also, do portals have that fixed exportation/importation item and quantity?  It would be nice if each portal representaded a nation. For example, UK portal exports textiles, French portal would import a traditional import of France and import another one, a USA portal would behave the same but with different products.
And how do you tend to avoid player exploits? I guess if a portal demands X items every month it could litteraly become a gold mine for any player...
Title: Re: [Pak128.Britain-Ex] Experimenting with industry, a screenshot thread.
Post by: Dutchman on Rails on May 09, 2020, 07:30:14 PM
Hi Accord,

Yes, I place all the industry myself. Disabling the industry takes sabotage with extreme prejudice, and is probably not recommended for any normal game. The industry_increase_every setting afaik is a dead letter. Also, starting the game with zero industries didn't help, they kept spawning. After initial situations where I kept deleting them, I did find a way, but it's ... mad. I edited the .dat files and set all the distributionweight to 0. This means industry cannot be placed, automatically or manually. As the engine cannot find any industry to place, it is completely knocked out of the game. Then if I want to place one or more industries, I set it the distributionweight to 1, recompile the industry, place the industry, set the distributionweight to 0 again and recompile again. The engine is still out of the game as it only checks on the 1st of the month. The only reason that doesn't become tedious though is because I have scripts that can quickly compile the entire directory of industries, and Notepad++ can set the distributionweight value for the entire set of .dat files in a single command.

For this experiment/Proof of Concept, the portals have fixed items and quantities, though over time these can change (for example, historically Britain was a textiles exporter in the 19th and early 20th century, then became a textiles importer). If this gets some interest and people start programming, one could think of all kinds of effects. I don't think individual countries will do the trick, as one can probably barely make out the major shipping lanes (which in a tiny shire like this will be pretty much a single one to the end of the bay). But I do have national and international portals with different kind and amounts of goods. I also cheat a bit for the purpose of making a storyline, so the portals will produce what I happen to need to keep the story going. Always on the assumption though that the good was in fact produced in the UK or imported.

In industry chaining, the export portal would instantly become a gold mine, as the export demand would be met instantly by spawning industries. In my house rules, for now, it does not. Simply said, there's only a small population, so there's only a single textile mill and a single sheep farm, producing a tiny fraction of the capacity of the textile mill. Also I found out the terrain doesn't have all that many hills for sheep farms. Upon the railway age, I intend to use once again a deus ex machina in the form of a land portal producing a bit more wool (coming from the highlands or somewhere else). The mail portals are definitely a gold mine as they generate traffic between each other by the hundreds/month. But I don't mind that too much. It more or less simulates the effect of a port town playing a major part in the arrival of the mail (like Plymouth). I could easily make the textiles portal into a gold mine by making a national portal producing textiles (Manchester), but I don't see the fun yet.

I'm sure a lot of your questions will have to be sorted out over time if this will be going anywhere.
Title: Re: [Pak128.Britain-Ex] Experimenting with industry, a screenshot thread.
Post by: Dutchman on Rails on May 18, 2020, 09:31:28 AM
Time for an update in 1823. Not much has been happening. The smaller hamlets around Chafferham have been growing very slowly indeed. The only growth worth speaking of has been the town of Chafferham itself.
( town of Chafferham as it looks in 1823. Aside from the town growth, a new slaughterhouse was opened in the eastern area of the town, and a clothes shop at High Street (directly opposite the town hall).
( network map as it looks in the same year. Note the routes to the portals.
Next update there will be something more to see. The demand for textiles both in Chafferham and in the outside world is far more than our textile mill can handle with the limited supply of wool, aside from using water power. However, the owner heard rumors of something called a steam locomotive. It seems to be mostly a short haul contraption. But he wonders if an improved version could be used to bring in coal and wool from the rest of the country to power a steam-powered bigger mill...
Title: Re: [Pak128.Britain-Ex] Experimenting with industry, a screenshot thread.
Post by: Dutchman on Rails on May 24, 2020, 09:04:48 AM
1825 saw the arrival of Locomotion. This was the signal for the textile mill owner to make contracts for more wool from the rest of the country (opening a portal for this). A new railway line transports the wool and some passengers as well.
Another network map shows the new railway line clearly. just visible on the edge are the passengers/mail and the new goods portal. Once again the portal is an improvised industry.
As it happens, the railway line crosses the road to New Lydingsea. Though this is only a hamlet, at the crossing the tiniest of railway stations was built to give it some better journey times. Also a few cars were added to the train for the milk and cattle from the nearby farm.
Title: Re: [Pak128.Britain-Ex] Experimenting with industry, a screenshot thread.
Post by: 1993matias on June 15, 2020, 08:44:24 AM
This looks really cool, it's always nice to see actual stories here!
Title: Re: [Pak128.Britain-Ex] Experimenting with industry, a screenshot thread.
Post by: Dutchman on Rails on June 29, 2020, 08:40:29 AM
Thanks. The main goal though is to tinker a bit with the industry and portals and see where it leads.
By now the game progressed to 1832. The textile mill has been moved and replaced with a steam powered one. Naturally, the steam engines require coal, which it brought in from outside the country. One picture of the new mill.
Note: There are several variations on this. Mines could require hardware (large amounts of tools and machinery), cattle farms grain, and all kinds of combinations. But such a more complex system can't rely on on-map industries alone, they need the portals as a Deus Ex Machina. Some next experiments, either on this map or a new one, I'll probably experiment a bit with how that would work out.
Title: Re: [Pak128.Britain-Ex] Experimenting with industry, a screenshot thread.
Post by: KneeOn on June 29, 2020, 05:59:23 PM
I echo the sentiment, seeing a real story develop is nice.

This play through also reminds me of the classic Simutrans I first started playing with in 2008. I had to use a small map and so wanted to try to tinker around and make interesting stories in my own head!

Will you play this through until modern day?