The International Simutrans Forum

Development => Extension Requests => Topic started by: leopard on May 15, 2009, 08:28:45 PM

Title: rush hour
Post by: leopard on May 15, 2009, 08:28:45 PM
time based passenger generation, e.g. at certain times of day passenger generation is multiplied by a factor, the rest of the time scaling down.

effect: creates "rush hour" with a surge of passengers to either travel or cause road chaos.

an added challenge to handle
Title: Re: rush hour
Post by: IgorEliezer on May 15, 2009, 09:23:34 PM
* from silence, he wakes up *


I'm foreseeing someone will come and say: "This is not Simcity"

Aw... This makes remember another city simulator similar to Simutrans. :)
Title: Re: rush hour
Post by: leopard on May 15, 2009, 09:38:10 PM
oh its def not sim city, this is worth the space on the hard drive *ducks*

jut thinking for a simulation, well the commuter rush is a key part of moving people, the challenge being to make money doing it, and not to stuff up moving goods round.

would suggest a 'flag' to turn something like this on/off
Title: Re: rush hour
Post by: vilvoh on May 15, 2009, 09:45:05 PM
I really think this feature will make Simutrans become Simcity. imho, sounds reasonable to suppose that there are hours with more traffic of passengers and goods than others, and this would complement the day & night cycle, adding a little bit more realism. People usually travel by day and goods by night. The rush hours may be when people go to work at first hour (6:00-9:00 AM) and when they come back home (5:00-7:00 PM)

To sump up, I think that would be more appropiate to focus this on passengers generation and transporting, better than trying to cause road chaos in cities. That's not the Simutrans way.. ::)
Title: Re: rush hour
Post by: leopard on May 15, 2009, 09:49:40 PM
oh the point about city chaos was simple, I though road cars were generated by passengers who were unable to travel by public transport. hence a naff transport grid = clogged roads, not a deliberate feature just a result.

the hard bit would be making these passengers fickle, so they don't wait too long, otherwise you just geta  buildup you can handle over time, which isn;t the point.

the goal being to emulate the way people move trying to get to and from work, the road traffic is a result, not the point
Title: Re: rush hour
Post by: jamespetts on May 15, 2009, 10:07:19 PM
This is a very interesting idea. I do not understand the objection that Simutrans is not Sim City, as peak and off peak (and presumably also night-time) passenger generation has more to do with transportation than city building (it would make more sense to have objected to the appearance of that feature in Sim City 4 on the basis that it's "not Simutrans").

The difficulty is not so much the categorical one of what sort of game that it is, as a logistical one. Having varying passenger flows would require the player to be able precisely to time trains (etc.) to match those flows. But that is very hard work, and few people are likley to find the intricacies of timetable planning fun. Indeed, in real life, timetables are designed using enormously expensive and sophisticated computer software, and weeks of solid work by highly skilled mathematicians and railway personnel. Unless, therefore, there is some way of having a very easy way to create quasi-timetables in Simutrans that would add challenge in a fun way but not require Simutrans players to have a degree in mathematics, then flat demand is probably the only thing that will work.

If the feature was added, it would certainly make the operational side of things much more realistic - the real challenge is finding a way of doing it without making the game more hard work than fun. I cannot presently think of any way of doing that.
Title: Re: rush hour
Post by: Isaac.Eiland-Hall on May 15, 2009, 10:17:18 PM
I think it's a valid idea to discuss. We have citycars and day/night, after all. Traffic is a concern with transport already...

I'm not saying I'm all gung-ho on the idea -- for one, I love the persistence of the citycars in Simutrans, and hated how cars appeared and disappeared in SimCity4, for example... Otherwise, I think it would be neat. :)
Title: Re: rush hour
Post by: VS on May 16, 2009, 08:40:07 AM
I am not sure if it could work. Engineer thinking here: once the people get to stations and stops, they just sit there waiting for transport. So all you would have to do is increase station capacity enough to contain these surges and then eliminate the built up masses during the less active phase. That is an easy and probably also economical strategy that takes out all the fun. Seems to me that players would converge to this solution.

In a way, it is the opposite case of rectifier with capacitor ;)

That said, it does not sound bad - it's definitely more Simutrans than Simcity! (imo)
Title: Re: rush hour
Post by: knightly on May 16, 2009, 09:00:10 AM
Currently, a day in Simutrans is rather short, and the number of tiles a convoy can actually travel between the rush hour peaks is rather limited. Thus, probably before the player convoys manage to clear one rush hour peak (or even before the convoys reach the next stop), another rush hour peak will set in.

This can be remedied by increasing bits-per-month, but I think not many players prefer to play such time-detailed games.
Title: Re: rush hour
Post by: mobo on May 16, 2009, 09:01:22 AM
The problem i see is the time. Time is running fast in ST - Vehicles are slow if you measure it in game time. So the morning rush hour passengers haven't even reached their destination when the evening rush hour begins. So the desired wave effect (many people - little people - many again) will become diffuse, and you will have busy stations and lines  and less busy ones (just like before).

The in game time can be adjusted however. But i don't know if you can make it slow enough to feel that wave effect.

Title: Re: rush hour
Post by: jamespetts on May 16, 2009, 10:24:27 AM
I don't think that players would really want to be playing for two or three hours just to get past a year ;-)
Title: Re: rush hour
Post by: mobo on May 16, 2009, 10:46:58 AM
I don't think that players would really want to be playing for two or three hours just to get past a year ;-)

Why not? The game is about transportation - doesn't really matter how fast the time runs as long as you don't get bored.  There are many ways to play simutrans - so i really don't think this is totally odd. BTW:There are also people that simulate 10 hour intercontinental flights in real time. Or people that do 24h slot car races.

The problem is, you'd also have to change maintenance costs and you would probably also nee higher passenger levels in pak files to get more passengers. So you need a customized pakset.
Title: Re: rush hour
Post by: VS on May 16, 2009, 11:16:37 AM
No, these numbers adapt according to time...
Title: Re: rush hour
Post by: leopard on May 16, 2009, 08:16:45 PM
swap hours for days, sort of, rush hour starts say 09:00 one day and last a few hours, the next one is the following days.

the trick is to make the passengers vanish if they are not already travelling by the time rush hour ends, thus move 'em or loose 'em
Title: Re: rush hour
Post by: prissi on May 16, 2009, 08:52:21 PM
You can even play simutrans without hours at all, only months. Thus the shortest relyable measurement of time in simutrans is a month. Hence the unit in the waiting dialoge.
Title: Re: rush hour
Post by: leopard on May 16, 2009, 08:58:32 PM
would work just as well with rush months ;-) maybe every year two months have higher generation than others or something.

btw, do passengers have a maximum time they will wait before buggering off?
Title: Re: rush hour
Post by: colonyan on May 16, 2009, 09:17:24 PM
Simutrans trunk: they will wait indefinitely
ST Experimental: has some limit

Divide One year in 6 days.
Day1 Jan-Fev. Jan(0:00~12:00) Fev(12:00~24:00)
Rush start and peak at 6:00~8:30 and 17:00~21:00
Attribute Holiday, where more passenger created for tourist destination.
ex. Day1 and day 4 for end of year season and summer.
Sounds fun but how will dev will think, about this rush hour idea...

This idea is definitely not simcity. Simcity always shows rush hour traffic data on data display and
the rush hour effect/graphic visual applied only at that time of day. (in Sc4)
EDIT: Either way, network should designed to be able to answer max possible demand.
Title: Re: rush hour
Post by: VS on May 16, 2009, 10:26:06 PM
Making it instead a holiday sounds plausible!
Title: Re: rush hour
Post by: leopard on May 16, 2009, 10:54:03 PM
holiday season...

not thought of that, but some possibilities:

sports grounds having "match days" with higher traffic etc?
Title: Re: rush hour
Post by: colonyan on May 16, 2009, 11:03:40 PM
There is a NHL ice rink near my house. Traffic at match night is pretty messy around my district.
Sports event traffic seems too local for my opinion?
Or does they attract people from pretty good distance?

About rush hour.
I remember the game "sim tower" Like 12 years ago.
If you had mainly office tower, the demand at rush hours was really phenomenal.
The scary part comes next. If you failed to provide efficient cargo service, there was huge line
of people waiting in front of elevator entrance and people turned in from black, pink and red
to represent their anger. Red being outraged. And if that persisted, you will have your tower
reputation hurt and tenant moved out. Or you have to lower monthly fee.
But destruction of passengers is not an option I think. How do we distinguish travel passenger
and commuter? Tag each passengers is too demanding computing wise I believe...
Title: Re: rush hour
Post by: Isaac.Eiland-Hall on May 17, 2009, 03:01:47 AM
So perhaps one month would equal one cycle, with 'morning' and 'evening' rush hours around the 8th-10th of the month and 18th-20th as peaks?
Title: Re: rush hour
Post by: colonyan on May 17, 2009, 03:33:11 AM
Yes, one year and 12 rush hours to manage.
Well maybe not really 12 because there will be 2 days (4rush hours) of vacations.
Well, at this point there is choice on number on cycle with work rush hour, vacation rush and day with reduced traffic at all.
If done, it will be pak designer's choice.
For date of month, we can just abandon since its only a indication in progress in month.

resummerizing my advice on time presentation
1year:8days(2day-night cycle per seasonal graphic) [or 4 days(one day per season)]
Day1&2 Season1(displayed, winter or Jan Fev Mar)
Day3&4 Season2(spring or Apr May Jun)
Day5&6 Season3(summer or Jul Aug Sep)
Day7&8 Season4(fall or Oct Nov Dec)
2 rush hour per day(morning one being short and high, evening one being long and relaxed)
Pak maintainer could set which day should be either work, rest or holiday and
gives different amount of passengers for different type of destination.

Yes, leopard's this idea sound fun to me alot.

EDIT: ok, 4 or 6 or 8 days, I don't know what the best. It depend on how much hard to manage those rush hours.
          Another reminder. As fabio says, maybe we should devide passengers into commuter(including casual shopping/visiting) and traveller(tourists, business trip etc).
          commuter can only ride normal trains without seat designation. Traveller can use both type of train.
          If it can made so that passenger generated at residential citybuilding only destinate commercial building, it could help building network capable
          of answering rush demand.(ok at this point its getting simcity)
          Maybe there is more simpler way to do this? Needs more reflection how to make if more fun...
Title: Re: rush hour
Post by: jamespetts on May 17, 2009, 09:57:16 AM

how would this work effectively without players being able to set precise timetables, which would be very hard work?
Title: Re: rush hour
Post by: colonyan on May 17, 2009, 02:45:22 PM
Ok, I know I went too wild on my imagination. And about timetable. I want also avoid using timetable
at all cost since this will be pretty crazy amount of work both coding and playing. And I have this quick thought.

We could make some "Service Hour Group" for trains.  Kind of like line management but only three entries. Starting hour and end hour and resting depot location(s).
If we preset "Service Hour Group" such as 6AM to 24AM, trains will leave depot at 6AM and start serving from top or bottom most station on its line schedule
which is closer. After 24AM, trains will be unload all its passengers arriving at first or last station on its schedule, and go back to closest designed depot.
This way, player can set without too many orders which trains to serve which hours of day. Or player must make sure there is enough station plathome, signals
and track so its trains can flow without too much waiting.

Advanced player could set different "SHG" for one train group to make them serve 2 different rush hours. like 4am-10am and 4pm-10pm.
Title: Re: rush hour
Post by: jamespetts on May 17, 2009, 03:22:43 PM
That's a very interesting idea indeed, and is a possible way of making daytime variations work without detailed timetables. One issue is that the way in which time is represented in Simutrans might have to change to make the whole "rush hour" idea make sense to players, for, if the game works such that there is a rush hour in January and February, and then again in August and September, that will make no sense at all to people who know rush hours as functions of days rather than months.
Title: Re: rush hour
Post by: colonyan on May 17, 2009, 03:42:00 PM
If we suppose none of player would read documentation, we can simply discard the displaying of month.
Show only Year, Day, and hour. They will know that there is only some days represented each year.
And there will still seasonal graphic.