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Offline jamespetts gb

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Miles per hour
« on: December 16, 2008, 12:52:27 AM »
One thing that might help Simutrans to gain more popularity in the UK and (especially) North America is to have an option to display speeds in miles per hour instead of kilometers per hour. This should be fairly easy to acheive at the UI level without altering any of the underlying mechanics (i.e., if the player requests it, automatically convert all kph figures into mph figures just before they are displayed to the user). The amount of difference that this might make to the adoption of Simutrans in North America ought not be underestimated.

Offline vilvoh

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Re: Miles per hour
« Reply #1 on: December 16, 2008, 01:09:32 AM »
Althought I respect your point of view, I won't support this. That speed measure (km/h) is part of the universal metrical system so everybody understands it. mph is a speed measure only used in UK and USA. If we accept this, next thing might be translate weight from kilograms to pounds..and imho that's something that goes against a game that tries to reach as many people as possible.

P.D: in addition, I personally hate those strange ways of measuring things (inches, lbfs, pounds, feet, etc..) but that's a personal feeling. Anyway, the intention is good ...:)

« Last Edit: December 16, 2008, 07:33:04 AM by vilvoh »

Offline Roads

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Re: Miles per hour
« Reply #2 on: December 16, 2008, 01:53:47 AM »
Well Vilvoh, that would be feet, not foots. :)
But I have to agree with you.  Although I do think it would have some appeal, I don't think the impact is enough to gain new players.  This is because we don't have to convert any measurements in the game.  Now if and when that happened I would certainly be clamoring for both types of measurement. 


Offline VS

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Re: Miles per hour
« Reply #3 on: December 16, 2008, 09:05:28 AM »
TTD had that option, and also currency selection. But I never used it and always played with $$$ in metric system. Easier to remember the numbers…

Regardless of "politics", I would be concerned with non-integer numbers or rounding errors, especially when cumulated. Imagine a train, where each carriage has capacity 8, and 6 of them sum up to 45. That's a bit disappointing…

Offline jbode

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Re: Miles per hour
« Reply #4 on: December 16, 2008, 10:26:14 AM »
To attract more American players a American pak would be of more use. These units are more on low level awareness - i believe. But starting in 1930s and all vehicles are European ...

*ironic mode on*
advertise on Obama.com
*ironic mode off*

James imho we need more an Americam look (maps, buildings, vehicles) than everything else to get more Americans playing and that way get reviewed in public.

Offline vilvoh

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Re: Miles per hour
« Reply #5 on: December 16, 2008, 10:41:22 AM »
Completly agree with jbode..as an example you have TommPa9 cz trucks; japan, german and british paksets, etc... imho, if you give people a known and close playground, they'll probably feel attracted by the game. As I said before, the intention is really good but imho exist easier, and probably more suitable, ways to carry it out.

BTW, we don't have to forget that most of painters and coders that took part in Simutrans were from Europe (germany, england, spain, and many others) and Asia (japan and HK)

P.S: yes, we can....create an USA pakset   :D
« Last Edit: December 16, 2008, 10:55:15 AM by vilvoh »

Offline jbode

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Re: Miles per hour
« Reply #6 on: December 16, 2008, 10:43:08 AM »
BTW, we don't have to forget that most of painters and coders that took part in Simutrans were from Europe (Germany, England, Spain, and many others)

And please don't forget Japan, China+HK ;) - not just Europe, but definitely away from the US ...

Offline jamespetts gb

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Re: Miles per hour
« Reply #7 on: December 16, 2008, 12:32:12 PM »
Some people prefer kilometres per hour, others prefer miles per hour: it is therefore reasonable to offer both options. No doubt there would be rounding inaccuracies, but they would only be present at the GUI end, and would not alter the actual calculation of figures by the computer. It may well be the case that a US pakset would be more enticing to Americans than miles per hour alone, but, since it would be quite a straightforward modification, and would be important to people who use that as their usual speed measure (who might be singularly confused by kilometres per hour, however easy that it is for those familiar with such a measure), it would seem sensible to implement it.

Incidentally, someone mentioned that "only" the UK and the US use miles per hour: given that the population of the US is about 500 million, and of the UK about 60 million, the combined total is a little under 1/10th of the entire world's population of six American billion (6,000 million), and a far higher proportion again of active computer users.

Offline VS

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Re: Miles per hour
« Reply #8 on: December 16, 2008, 01:16:29 PM »
Then how come nobody complained about this in the past... what, 7 years? :)

Speeds are relatively high numbers, so some small inaccuracies there are not so bad. Actually, I take that back completely. There aren't that many units - km/h, m3, bags, people, tons... is that all? Which would you replace?

Offline vilvoh

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Re: Miles per hour
« Reply #9 on: December 16, 2008, 01:17:25 PM »
Offtopic:
US population what??  :o ....The latest figures say 305 millions, more concretly 305,893,429 people..perhaps you mean NorthAmerica (514 million -- 8%) but on the other hand you don't have to forget that there are 1,327 million of chinese people..

Back to the topic: if It's only present at the GUI, you've my support although I think it's a minor detail.




Offline Combuijs

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Re: Miles per hour
« Reply #10 on: December 16, 2008, 01:20:59 PM »
Quote
This should be fairly easy to acheive at the UI level

If it's fairly easy, what's exactly stopping you?  :D

(And to give you an answer: it might be fairly easy, but probably a lot of work. One always tends to find all places where km's are used, except for the last one...).

Any plans to convert the simucent as well?  ;D

Offline Roads

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Re: Miles per hour
« Reply #11 on: December 16, 2008, 01:35:11 PM »
Vilvoh you are right about the U.S. population.  It is just over 300,000 which was reached I believe last year.  At any rate I remember the news bulletin.

It is inconceivable that anyone would not play this game because of the method of measurement used.  I think the biggest reason for it not peaking a lot people's interest is simply the type of game it is.  Most kids and many adults prefer action games.  Of the smaller percentage that is left, most want war or some kind of conflict.  Also it took me a long time to discover the game.  I had grown tired or contemptuous of everything the game companies were offering and began searching for open source games.  I have to say the pic on the, I believe sourceforge site where I saw this, was not very appealing and neither was the write-up.  Needless to say I was blown away when I actually saw the game.

Offline Fabio

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Re: Miles per hour
« Reply #12 on: December 16, 2008, 02:11:50 PM »
To attract more American players a American pak would be of more use. These units are more on low level awareness - i believe. But starting in 1930s and all vehicles are European ...

In an American pak the sped could be exressed in mph and setting the speed of the game according to this (there's such a param in simuconf.tab, if i recall it correctly). And in the translation file km/h could be translated mph. Could this work?

Offline vilvoh

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Re: Miles per hour
« Reply #13 on: December 16, 2008, 02:17:10 PM »
I was thinking on that, but although you translate km/h by mph, the figures wouldn't be correct and I'm afraid that more than a player would get a high speed surprise...  ::)

Offline Fabio

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Re: Miles per hour
« Reply #14 on: December 16, 2008, 02:33:47 PM »
but isn't it possible, to change the speed of the game in simuconf.tab? in this case, we could correct the look anyway...

Offline Combuijs

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Re: Miles per hour
« Reply #15 on: December 16, 2008, 03:03:11 PM »
There is a possibility to reduce the number of frames per second as a start parameter, e.g.:

simutrans -fps n

but this can also be influenced by an entry in simuconf.tab:

#frames_per_second = 25

(Thank you FrankP for the Wiki!)

Default it is 25, so 15 would be a good approximation for miles instead of km. Hopefully we don't need to adjust ship speeds to nautical miles per hour or knots. ::)

« Last Edit: December 16, 2008, 03:23:07 PM by Combuijs »

Offline VS

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Re: Miles per hour
« Reply #16 on: December 16, 2008, 04:54:56 PM »
Muhehehehe. It's a can of worms, served fresh 8)

Miles in speed should be primitive. I'll take a look (instead of a school project, duh).

What other measurements present in game are different and common over there?

Another question: do you write mph or mi/h or something else?
« Last Edit: December 16, 2008, 07:11:16 PM by VS »

Offline jamespetts gb

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Re: Miles per hour
« Reply #17 on: December 16, 2008, 08:11:26 PM »
Muhehehehe. It's a can of worms, served fresh 8)

Miles in speed should be primitive. I'll take a look (instead of a school project, duh).

What other measurements present in game are different and common over there?

Another question: do you write mph or mi/h or something else?

Mph is the most common abbreviation. Isn't there a speed_tostring(int) method in the code somewhere the changing of which would by itself suffice to convert speeds at the GUI level? The only other major difference in measurement of which I can presently think is weight: pounds instead of kilograms, tons instead of tonnes. However, some people would prefer to use metric for weights, but imperial for speeds.

Offline VS

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Re: Miles per hour
« Reply #18 on: December 16, 2008, 08:25:18 PM »
Oh, there is even a schism over what a ton means, cool.

For now I'm trying only speeds. It's certainly not so easy, because for some unclear reason conversions happen in both directions. There is some infernal kind of internal speed, converted to km/h and back here and there. Why it isn't consistent across the whole program is beyond me.

Take a look:

Code: [Select]
#define VEHICLE_SPEED_FACTOR  (80)

#define speed_to_kmh(speed) (((speed)*VEHICLE_SPEED_FACTOR+511) >> 10)

#define kmh_to_speed(speed) (((speed) << 10) / VEHICLE_SPEED_FACTOR)

Offline isidoro

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Re: Miles per hour
« Reply #19 on: December 17, 2008, 02:42:30 AM »
Thanks goodness that time is still Imperial and not metric for anyone!  :D (Imperial, what a nice word.  It sounds so Star Wars like...)

There is some infernal kind of internal speed, converted to km/h and back here and there. Why it isn't consistent across the whole program is beyond me.

I guess that the original intention was to use that internal speed for moving objects and only use the kmh speed for displaying purposes or for specifications of vehicles.  Now both methods can have spread everywhere (I remember using both in the overtaking patch. My fault  :-[ ).

You have to also change weights as has been said, but don't forget power units (Horse Power instead of kwatts), and even distances (miles instead of km) for running costs of vehicles...  Too much work.  Something desirable, but there are so many things to be done to spend the efforts in...  For example, current efforts to make the format of savegames eXtensible, or multiplayer...

[...]
I think the biggest reason for it not peaking a lot people's interest is simply the type of game it is.  Most kids and many adults prefer action games.  Of the smaller percentage that is left, most want war or some kind of conflict.  Also it took me a long time to discover the game.
[...]

OMG, I thought I was alone in the world...  I could have expressed myself louder, but not clearer.  Even "The Settlers", another German game with a very refreshing and nice not warlike part became a conquer-and-rule the world stuff with newer versions.
Free market, no doubt.  That's what people like and would pay for.

Offline Roads

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Re: Miles per hour
« Reply #20 on: December 17, 2008, 05:12:31 AM »
Yes Isidoro I have often felt alone as well.  It is easy to feel that way when you go to gamespot or some other commercial site and there is not a single game you can stand the thought of playing.

This is why and please pardon me for saying so but I think this mph thing is trivial.  When I look at all the stuff offered and there is one game that is very appealing, I couldn't care less what the speed of vehicles is measured with.

Offline VS

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Re: Miles per hour
« Reply #21 on: December 17, 2008, 09:16:43 AM »
For now I'll try just the miles. If it's too hard, let's forget :)

Offline vilvoh

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Re: Miles per hour
« Reply #22 on: December 17, 2008, 09:38:36 AM »
Aha!! finally seems the metric Rebels have defeated the Imperial forces....

P.S: just joking... ;)
« Last Edit: March 10, 2014, 08:19:48 PM by An_dz »

Offline prissi

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Re: Miles per hour
« Reply #23 on: December 17, 2008, 11:06:46 AM »
On the fly conversion is not non-trival, since all translations must be changed accordingly. Given the bad state of the english translation (only 70%) I highly doubt anybody would do the effort for units.

Offline leopard

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Re: Miles per hour
« Reply #24 on: December 17, 2008, 09:58:26 PM »
I may be "being thick" here, but given the games somewhat flexible scale system, and the fact it lacks certain other bits of realism...

why not define the speed unit (for display) in a config file. e.g.

units=[mph|kph|furlongs_per_fortnight]

its the relation between the vehicles, the actual speed doesn't matter. just which units are faster than others.


Offline VS

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Re: Miles per hour
« Reply #25 on: December 17, 2008, 10:00:30 PM »
I thought about this, too :) Certainly easier!

Offline prissi

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Re: Miles per hour
« Reply #26 on: December 18, 2008, 06:57:16 PM »
That still does not solve the problem that a several places needs another tranlation to show correct units. Doable, but not very urgent for me.

Offline PatrickN

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Re: Miles per hour
« Reply #27 on: December 18, 2008, 07:10:32 PM »
It would be nice to see miles per hour.  I have to admit, I almost never use metric measurements, and when I do I do it wrong because I never bothered to memorize the conversions, so in my bad math 2 km is about 1 mile and 1 meter is about 4 feet, yet I know 100 km is about 60 miles.

The rest of the world is just plain nuts. haha  (just joking!)

Offline DirrrtyDirk

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Re: Miles per hour
« Reply #28 on: December 18, 2008, 07:35:26 PM »
so in my bad math 2 km is about 1 mile and 1 meter is about 4 feet, yet I know 100 km is about 60 miles.

Closer approximations would be one and a half km per mile and 3 feet per meter (also not exact, but more accurate than your numbers)

Offline VS

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Re: Miles per hour
« Reply #29 on: December 19, 2008, 10:17:12 PM »
Aborting. This was just too much work for little merit (to me) - if anyone else wants to try, the macro names I quoted somewhere above are a good starting point. You can easily get vehicle speeds to display in mph, but otherwise the charts and such are substantially worse. Maybe refactoring of speed data usage would be a better start :)

Alternatively, just showing different string for speed units, without numerical conversions, is different, probably easier.

Offline Combuijs

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Re: Miles per hour
« Reply #30 on: December 19, 2008, 11:27:04 PM »
My own quote:
Quote
it might be fairly easy, but probably a lot of work

VS quote:
Quote
This was just too much work

I won't tell you that I told you so. It was a brave effort from your side, VS. The problem with these kind of things is that if you know beforehand that it's important, then you take care of it in your technical design of a program. But if it's not foreseen, then it becomes a hell of a job to do it afterwards. Mind you, not impossible, but just too much work.

Offline jamespetts gb

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Re: Miles per hour
« Reply #31 on: December 19, 2008, 11:35:13 PM »
VS - thank you for trying, at least :-)

Offline isidoro

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Re: Miles per hour
« Reply #32 on: December 20, 2008, 03:34:20 AM »
Alternatively, just showing different string for speed units, without numerical conversions, is different, probably easier.

I thought about that too.  If we make, for the Imperial thing, the side of the tile one mile long (instead of 1 km long), everything will be a question of changing the labels.  But two problems:
  • A 60 mph train (90 km/h), will look slow.  There had to be a way to speed up simulation in 1.5
  • The power thing and weight: an interface numerical translation would perhaps be easier

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Re: Miles per hour
« Reply #33 on: December 20, 2008, 10:46:08 AM »
I have to say, I don't think that simply changing the text labels without changing the values is a terribly good idea: in many cases, the values given in kph are there quite deliberately to reflect real-life top speeds of the vehicles. The speeds would all be far too slow, and look very odd indeed, if they were suddenly expressed in mph. It is better to have just kph than a confusing non-conversion to mph.

Offline prissi

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Re: Miles per hour
« Reply #34 on: December 20, 2008, 10:32:39 PM »
I mean, changing the text and the display. Real numbers are only given in very few places.