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Offline NightElfik

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General feedback -- suggestions & bug reports
« on: August 04, 2012, 04:03:18 PM »
Hi, I've started playing Simutrans long ago and about once a year I always try a new version. Simutrans experimental is really good, thank you! :)

I always loved the passengers, especially the way how they want to specific destination (in contrast of OTTD where they want anywhere, which is ridiculous).
So I've played few games and here is my feedback. Some (or even most) of following items may apply to classic Simutrans as well, but since I played experimental, I am posting it here.

Version 111.0 Experimental 10.11 Mar 25 2012 r1011, Pak128.Britain-Ex-0.8.3

The most of following feedback is from following game (timeline on, started 1950 I think): http://simutrans-germany.com/files/upload/MestaMestaEx-savegame.sve
Preview:



Legend:
{S} -- suggestion ({S} -- must have suggestion :)
{B} -- bug

  • Minimap
    {S} When you examine connections (with "Industry details" on) it is very hard to put the cursor over smaller industries. Even in 1:2 (one step zoomed in) industries which are 1x1 (like sheep farm) are 2x2 px on the map and it is really annoying to hit it.
    There is quite nice option in map legend called "Industries" which will render them as large boxes, but this option makes impossible to hit that 2x2 square entirely!
    I suggest that those large boxes (with "Industries" option on) will show route on hover (over that big boxes, not original small industries under them). Maybe add next option to legend called "Connections" which will show all connections to avoid hovering.

    {S} When I pan the map in non-isometric mode I really miss that I can not "over-pan" to the black a bit (reach the black background). I mean if the map is on border, I would like to drag it like 100px more to black to see the edge more clearly. I hate looking on borders. In isometric mode it is fine because there are only 4 pixels on the border and I cal live with that :-)

    {S} With zoom 2:1 (one level further than 1:1) some horizontal and vertical lines disappear completely (i mean roads, rails, power lines, rivers etc.). I know this is due to scale because it is drawn only every second tile, but this should not happen. This is especially painful with power lines which can be only horizontal or vertical.
    I suggest to use anti-aliasing, something like draw map 1:1 in memory and then scale it with bicubic interpolation (can be cached)

  • Paused game
    {B} The "Fast forward" button in paused game just unpauses the game which is running normal speed but the Fast forward button is pressed. So you have to press it twice to activate fast forward mode.

    {S} FPS is lowered in paused game which makes exploring the map and mini-map very laggy. I suggest to lower FPS only if the Simutrans window is not focused. Better solution is event based approach, fire next frame after mouse move, but I think this can not be done since mouse move is captured on beginning of each frame?

  • {S} Speaking about FPS, It should be possible to set FPS cap higher than 30, I want more! like 50-60. I feel the game is not compeletly smooth on 30 FPS. But this may be caused by "choppy" movement of vehicles.

  • Speaking about "choppy" movement of vehicles, the vehicles movement is "choppy" if they are moving over straight roads (NW-SE, NE-SW) but it is smooth while they are moving up/down or let/right (on screenm N-S, W-E). I think that they are jumping more than one pixel but not every frame.
    Also in non-1:1 zoom the "jump-moment" of individual wagons in train is different which causes weird train rubber-banding. Some frames I can see side between wagons and some they are tight connected.

  • {B} Sometimes when I turn off the Fast forward mode the game is lagging for a while (10-60 sec). I could not figure what is the reason but after long gaming session this happens nearly always.

  • {S} Industries should get "better" over time, like If i have power plant from the start of a game which produces 100 MW it is completely OK at the start, but after few decades, it it ridiculously low amount since one city wants on average 100 MW.
    I would like to see it the power plant (or industries in general), which is on 100% capacity to grow, increase the production over time. Also for those which do not produce, decrease of production.
    My solution is to destroy old plant and build a new one with greater production. Also I need to increase production or amount of mines.

  • {S} The previous problem brings me to the next suggestion: Instead of destroying, building and connecting industries, the Public service player should be able to change production of existing industries.

  • Planes & airports
    {S} Planes uses only one runway to land even if the airport have many of them. They use the nearest for take off which is OK. This makes airport capacity very limited. Cap is somewhere about 100 planes per month. I'd like to see planes will pick free runway to land but I think that random one will resolve the problem as well :)
    For example see attached game, right after loading, Inningborne airport.

    {S} Whey you but an airplane and send it from the hangar, the airplane take off and land before loading first pax even if the hangar is already on the airport correct airport. I think that this is because plane's waiting spot for free loading bay is on the end of runway so taking and landing is the way how to get there.
    I would like to see the plane will wait in the hangar for the first free loading area OR to pick free if it exists and it not, just take off and land to wait on runway (to avoid waiting in the hangar).

    {S} There are no planes before 1965. Why is there grass tawixay and runway when I can not produce any "light" (small) airplanes? I was lucky to start 1950 so I have to wait only 10 years (after building city transport). Also I would like to not be able to build depot/hangar if I can not build any vehicles from it.

    {B} In the attached save-game, planes cost 2, 3, 4 (units of currency) etc. It is clearly some bug, since planes should be ridiculously expensive (like 10x more than train).

    {B} Once I've replaced (with replace UI) all planes to newer type, all planes on one airport stuck (they filled all slots) with "changing schedule" forever. After a while the save-laod combo + depot and demolish micro helped me out.

  • {S} The "Go to depot" order can not be canceled? Sometimes I just missclick it instead of schedule. It should be possible to cancel it.
    Also the "Convoy has been sent to the nearest depot..." message after sending convoy to the depot is really annoying! I can not see any purpose of it.
       EDIT: As Roads says, It is actually possible to cancel "Go to depot" order by deleting it from the schedule. Better then nothing, but still I think there should be implemented button for it.

  • {B} Train get totally stuck when placed opposite semaphore (one way) just before it. This happend to me when I was placing some extra one-way semaphores in fast forward mode and just after second click (1st both way, 2nd opposite direction, 3rd correct direction) the train was under the cursor. The trains stopped and can not move whatsoever. I've tried to send it to depot. After few months other trains started to ride through it (it became "immaterial" :). Save-load game combo helped me to resole this somehow.

  • {B} After removing Oil rig (on sea) as public service player, orange squares from station coverage do not disappear. They disappear only after hovering them (for example with inspection tool).

  • {S} Settings of inspection tool should be settable in the "Display options". It becomes annoying to close informations abbout ground, trees, cars. But it is hard to know before starting the game. Also you may want to temporarly enable them.

  • Towns can not use diagonal road segments while growing. They will build their rectangular grid over them and without player's demolition tool there are huge "squares" of roads. See little example in the attached game (village Proswater and other villages around).

  • {S} I WANT AREA DEMOLITION TOOL really bad! I missed it when I was
    • destroying whole train stations,
    • destroying whole airports,
    • clearing areas of city...

  • Power & powerlines
    {S} Power sell value should be based on amount of power sold not on percentage value of power sold. Why I get the same amount of money for selling 24 MW to colliery as for selling 240 MW to some city?
       EDIT: As jamespetts and kierongreen corrected me, I was confused, that revenue will show after reaching $20. I was looking only at numbers but not at their frequency. It is true that big city throws $20 much more often that colliery. But this brings me to another suggestion: {S} It whould be nice to have revenue listed in the Downstream substation window in the same way as some vehicle (to be able to check its revenue :).

    {S} Why there are not diagonal power lines? Probably already asked somewhere, not necessity.

    {S} I'd like to use underground power lines. It is hard to electrify cities when there are more of them close together and they are grown together.

    How am I supposed to power a farm which has fields all around it and they can not be removed (demolition tool says: "Not enough fields would remain around this farm." for all farms).

    {S} If some power plant produces max 1000 MW of power but it has materials for producing only 50% of the time (so it should produce about 500 MW) and the demand is much less (like 200 MW) the power supply is jumping form 0% to 100% so there is no steady power supply even if it could be. I'd like to see this resolved somehow. Like the power plant should have some "persistence" in producing electricity. For example to increase production each "cycle" by 1% if there are materials and decrease by 1% while there are not. If input of materials is constant this will cause production to be around 50% and power supply will be steady.

    {B} The sprite of the Downstream substation with red flash (powered) is one pixel higher than without the red flash which causes jumping of the building if power is not steady.

  • {S} Weight limits are weird. Why there are trains which can pull tens (20-64) wagons at full speed but with weight 1-3 thousands of tonnes if the best track (at year ~2000) can carry only 160t (whit no speed limitations)? I think that weight limit of tracks should be as weight per axle, not weight per convoy. Then the freight trains would need better track in terms of "weight limit" and speed trains will need max speed tracks. Freight trains would not be able to use those high-speed tracks.
       EDIT: As jamespetts corrected me, weight limit is actually per vehicle which is better than per convoy. Still, per axle will be the best ;)

  • {S} In line management window there should be possible to send all vehicles from line to depot. Now, I use the replace interface for that. I just do not replace the vehicle and press "Replace but stay" but this is not clean solution and took me a while how to figure out (I really do not want to click all 50 planes and send them to hangar). Maybe even button "Sell all vehicles in line" could be useful sometimes.

  • {B} I noticed that on the vehicle card on the life preview of the vehicle (above the "Follow me" button) the scene is rendered incorrectly. When I am watching the bus riding south-east (on the right side) the building on the south-west neighbor tile is drawn after the bus which causes the bus is "on top of building" which starts "lower" than the bus. This is clearly wrong. This happens only on NW-SE roads. In the game it is rendered correctly.

  • {S} I play on dual monitor configuration. The secondary monitor is on the left of the primary, where is maximized window of the game. When I try to scroll the map little bit faster (or minimap) by right clicking and dragging to the left, it stops scrolling. This is probably caused by the cursor leaving the game window between frames and game will not return it to original position. When I return the invisible mouse cursor to the game window it starts to scroll the map. Also if I release it (when it is not responding) It appears on the secondary monitor.
    This happens more likely if I grab the map closer to the left edge. Like 50px from the edge is not possible to scroll in the direction out of it. This can even be simulated if the window is not maximized (thus there is nothing to stop the mouse cursor to leave the game window).
    The game should scroll the map even if the cursor is not in its window or the cursor should be "locked" in the game window while scrolling.

  • {S} It would be nice to be able to bind the Print Screen button to take the screen shot. I know I can just press the C button, but the Print Screen is more natural.

  • Finances
    {S} Vehicles definitely should show revenue from the last year! How many times I was exploring and comparing revenues of vehicles when new year came and everything was gone! The last year value should be visible in vehicles list and also in vehicle detail.

    {S} I'd like explore complete history of values in the Finances window. Now you can see last 10 years. Some scrollbar will be nice. Or button to export all data to CSV! Wow it would be cool! And maybe third tab with Years graph but rendered with Months data (to have the graph more smoother).

    {S} Hovering over nodes of graph should show exact value. Now I can only guess based on scale.

    {S} There should be option to exclude zero from scale to make the scale dynamic (to have the scale from minimal to maximal value only). This will allow to see only "interesting values". If you have operational profit 10 M you can not see changes between 10.1 M and 9.9 M. This option should also exclude current value since it is always off till end of the month/year.

  • {B} Reversing in Simutrans experimental is nice feature. But for example electric trains are able (and they actually) are riding backwards (with engine last). If some train will arrive to depot in the "reversed" state, it can not be started again since is is in bad configuration (applies only to some trains). The solution is to manually reverse it by removing all wagons and inserting them after the engine.
       EDIT: This was bug and it was fixed by jamespetts, thx :)

  • The sprite for crossroad (all 4 roads connected) of the Motorway road (115 km/h, gray) is completely missing (invisible tile is in the place) but is is working normally (buses are riding on it). See attached save game, near airport of Inningborne city.
       EDIT: As jamespetts says, this is not bug but feature. {S} So I suggest to set the crossroads tile to some "Forbidden configuration" tile. Because with this transparent tile, lonely segments are invisible (which can cause some unexpected behavior). This happend to me when I had cross 3x3 and deleted middle "invisible" tile. All others turned invisible (since they become lonely 1x1 "crossroad").

  • {S} There should be warning about CapsLock :-D :-D :-D It took me like 10 mins and 3 restarts of the game to figure it why when I press A (to have Inspection tool) it will show the Attractions list instead. On the other hand while trying to pick the Remove tool, I've learned that map can be rotated! Yay!

I also noticed many more bugs with stucked vehicles but I do not have the save game since after loading the problem was resolved.

Also I have many more little things to suggest but I thing they are not as significant as things I've written.

Thank you for reading and I hope that at least some of listed items are useful.

EDIT: Reposted feature requests and bugs to appropriate sub-forums of Simutrans Standard (as jamespetts recommend):
Bugs: http://forum.simutrans.com/index.php?topic=10316.0
Features: http://forum.simutrans.com/index.php?topic=10315.0
« Last Edit: August 05, 2012, 12:47:31 PM by NightElfik »

Offline kierongreen

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Re: General feedback -- suggestions & bug reports
« Reply #1 on: August 04, 2012, 05:30:42 PM »
That's a lot of suggestions! Underground powerlines have been in simutrans standard for a while now, maybe there's not been a chance to include them in experimental yet?

Offline Roads

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Re: General feedback -- suggestions & bug reports
« Reply #2 on: August 04, 2012, 05:54:13 PM »
In standard you can cancel the "Go To Depot" order.  In fact I do it just like I change the route of a vehicle.  When you click "Schedule" you will see "Depot" in the list of stops.  Just remove it.  Most of the time you have to do this twice because often the game engine will put it right back the first time.  Also if you pause the game when making changes (which I always do) you generally have to un-pause it for a few seconds between changes.

Offline jamespetts gb

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Re: General feedback -- suggestions & bug reports
« Reply #3 on: August 05, 2012, 12:04:43 AM »
Thank you for such detailed feedback - very helpful! A considerable number of the suggestions that you make are equally applicable to Standard as Experimental, especially those that relate to graphics or the user interface, which I generally leave alone and do not (especially in the case of graphics) have much of an idea how they work. I shall address comments on several of the points that you make using your numbers as a reference. Where I write that the issue is equally applicable to Standard, it might be worthwhile to post a thread in the extension requests/bug reports subforum (as appropriate).

1. Standard has had an improved minimap for a while. I have not yet had the chance to integrate this into Experimental, as I have been waiting to get the next release out before adding any major features. I am hoping to look into some merging after the next release.

2. This is equally applicable to Standard.

3. This is equally applicable to Standard: I might well be able to change the limit in the GUI control, but I don't know whether the graphics engine is capable of going any higher than 30fps.

4. This is equally applicable to Standard, and not an area of the code that I know anything about.

5. This is equally applicable to Standard, and not an area of the code that I know anything about.

6. There is actually a mechanism for this: two mechanisms, in fact. The one is the industry upgrade system, whereby one industry can be upgraded to another industry of a similar type instead of closing down. The other is the industry "boost" system whereby industries can increase their production when supplied with more passengers, etc.. This needs to be implemented in the pakset in order to work, and I am hoping to implement the necessary settings before the next major pakset release.

7. See above.

8. Some of these ideas have been discussed recently: see here for details.

(a) As to the takeoff/landing when new thing - this seems to happen when aircraft have to cross a runway to get from the hangar to their gate.

(b) On aircraft before 1965, the set of aircraft in Pak128.Britain is incomplete, but Giuseppe is working slowly but steadily on adding more aircraft: the next version should have the Ford Trimotor aeroplane from the 1930s available (this is already in the 0.8.4 release candidate for use with testing the latest Experimental release candidates).

(c) On the aircraft cost bug, this has already been fixed for the next release. As to the replacer issue, I have not encountered that before: can you give more details as to the circumstances in which this can be reproduced?

9. See Roads' answer

10. I think that this is not specific to Experimental - but can you upload a saved game in which this problem can be reproduced?

11. This is equally applicable to Standard.

12. This is equally applicable to Standard.

13. This has been discussed recently - consideration needs to be given to developing a new settings file for towns, but that is no small task and there are higher priorities. I agree that this ought to be looked into, however.

14. This is equally applicable to Standard.

15.

(a) On the revenue from electricity distribution networks: this is an interesting issue that I have not considered before; can any of the Standard developers comment on why it was done like this in the first place before I think about changing it?

(b) On diagonal power lines: this is equally applicable to Standard.

(c) On underground power lines, as Kieron says, this is in recent versions of Standard: I hope to merge this feature into Experimental some time after the next release of Experimental.

(d) On farms and fields: this has been discussed before, and is not an easy issue to deal with. Some consideration will need to be given at some point to building farms with more than the minimum number of fields, as this affects transport as well as power.

(e) On reducing production if there is a shortage of raw materials: this is equally applicable to Standard; it would also be very difficult to implement, as electricity networks are fiendishly complicated to simulate.

(f) On the graphics for the downstream substation: this has now been fixed for the next release of the pakset.

16. Weight limits in Experimental are per vehicle, not per convoy: I hope that this makes more sense?

17. This is equally applicable to Standard.

18. This is equally applicable to Standard, and I know nothing about the graphics code, I'm afraid.

19. This is equally applicable to Standard.

20. This is equally applicable to Standard.

21.

(a) On revenue from the last year: this is equally applicable to Standard; however, this might be worth considering for inclusion in Experimental if the Standard people are not interested in adding it. May I ask - what are other people's views on this feature?

(b) On a complete history of finances: this is equally applicable to Standard; I suspect that it would take a lot of heavy lifting in the code to do this with a reasonable GUI.

(c) On hovering over graph nodes: this is equally applicable to Standard and might be tricky to implement. It's a good idea in principle, though, and would make things easier.

(d) On excluding zero: this is equally applicable to Standard, but is an interesting idea. It would need careful thought about how to do it without overly cluttering the GUI, however.

22. This is actually a bug that I have now fixed for the next release - thank you for the report!

23. This is a difficult issue - motorways ought not have crossroads, but there is no easy way of prohibiting this configuration to my knowledge. Without a lot of work into a somewhat marginal issue, this is probably the best temporary solution for now.

24. This is equally applicable to Standard.


Thank you very much again for your feedback - it is always much appreciated!

Offline TurfIt

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Re: General feedback -- suggestions & bug reports
« Reply #4 on: August 05, 2012, 12:58:12 AM »
Power & powerlines
{S} Power sell value should be based on amount of power sold not on percentage value of power sold. Why I get the same amount of money for selling 24 MW to colliery as for selling 240 MW to some city?
(a) On the revenue from electricity distribution networks: this is an interesting issue that I have not considered before; can any of the Standard developers comment on why it was done like this in the first place before I think about changing it?
I've not looked at Experimental in quite some time, perhaps there's a bug if the same amount of money is being received for both 24 and 240 MW demand.
In standard, the electricity payments are for the energy consumed. There's no demand charge. If one factory has a steady demand 10x that of another, it'll consume 10x the energy, and be charged 10x the money.


{S} If some power plant produces max 1000 MW of power but it has materials for producing only 50% of the time (so it should produce about 500 MW) and the demand is much less (like 200 MW) the power supply is jumping form 0% to 100% so there is no steady power supply even if it could be. I'd like to see this resolved somehow. Like the power plant should have some "persistence" in producing electricity. For example to increase production each "cycle" by 1% if there are materials and decrease by 1% while there are not. If input of materials is constant this will cause production to be around 50% and power supply will be steady.
(e) On reducing production if there is a shortage of raw materials: this is equally applicable to Standard; it would also be very difficult to implement, as electricity networks are fiendishly complicated to simulate.
The fuel consumption of power plants in game is independent of the power produced. i.e. a 1000MW plant consumes it's materials at full rate even if there's no power lines connected to it. I'd inquired if tying fuel use to production was desirable, but didn't receive any positive feedback so...

Offline jamespetts gb

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Re: General feedback -- suggestions & bug reports
« Reply #5 on: August 05, 2012, 01:03:35 AM »
Hmm - that's interesting. The current code for calculating income is:

Code: [Select]
// Income
if(!fab || fab->get_besch()->get_electric_amount() == 65535)
{
// City, or factory demand not specified in pak: use old fixed demands
max_einkommen += last_power_demand * delta_t / PRODUCTION_DELTA_T;
einkommen += power_load  * delta_t / PRODUCTION_DELTA_T;
}
else if(welt->ticks_per_world_month_shift >= 18ll)
{
max_einkommen += (last_power_demand * delta_t / PRODUCTION_DELTA_T) >> (welt->ticks_per_world_month_shift-18);
einkommen += (power_load  * delta_t / PRODUCTION_DELTA_T) >> (welt->ticks_per_world_month_shift-18);
}
else
{
max_einkommen += (last_power_demand * delta_t / PRODUCTION_DELTA_T) << (18-welt->ticks_per_world_month_shift);
einkommen += (power_load  * delta_t / PRODUCTION_DELTA_T) << (18-welt->ticks_per_world_month_shift);
}

// Income rollover
if(max_einkommen>(2000<<11)) {
get_besitzer()->buche(einkommen >> 11, get_pos().get_2d(), COST_POWERLINES);
einkommen = 0;
max_einkommen = 1;
}

Is this wrong?

Offline TurfIt

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Re: General feedback -- suggestions & bug reports
« Reply #6 on: August 05, 2012, 01:15:55 AM »
Seems fines. 99.9% the code from standard... power * time = energy.
Perhaps the fixed (2000<<11) factor has confused the OP. It is rather bizarre.

Offline kierongreen

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Re: General feedback -- suggestions & bug reports
« Reply #7 on: August 05, 2012, 08:28:36 AM »
The fixed factor is so the factory only gets charged every $20 it uses instead of every simloop. Over a month the amount charged will be the same, but it means a lot less cash floating writing being drawn.

Offline NightElfik

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Re: General feedback -- suggestions & bug reports
« Reply #8 on: August 05, 2012, 11:53:10 AM »
Thanks for the interest! :)

15.a (power revenue) As jamespetts and kierongreen corrected me, I was confused, that revenue will show after reaching $20. I was looking only at numbers but not at their frequency. It is true that big city throws $20 much more often that colliery. But this brings me to another suggestion: {S} It whould be nice to have revenue listed in the Downstream substation window in the same way as some vehicle (to be able to check its revenue :).

23. (missing sprite for crossroads of motorway) As jamespetts says, this is not bug but feature. {S} So I suggest to set the crossroads tile to some "Forbidden configuration" tile. Because with this transparent tile, lonely segments are invisible (which can cause some unexpected behavior). This happend to me when I had cross 3x3 and deleted middle "invisible" tile. All others turned invisible (since they become lonely 1x1 "crossroad").

I've also edited those comments (and some explanations) to original post to keep it all in one :)

EDIT: And I forgot to comment those stucking vehicles.
8.c On the aircraft cost bug, this has already been fixed for the next release. As to the replacer issue, I have not encountered that before: can you give more details as to the circumstances in which this can be reproduced?
I can only say that I've set all planes to replace. It happend in included game. It is hard to give you the save because after saving and loading, it was OK.

10. I think that this is not specific to Experimental - but can you upload a saved game in which this problem can be reproduced?
I can't. Same reason, after loading it was OK.

Once I've sent a train (which was standing in the station) to the depot and it stuck at "changing schedule" (standing in the station) till save-load combo. After loading, it went to depot normally.

An another case: I've built Oil well after year they can appear, then I've built oil cairs and started them (everything in pause). After about one minute the Oil well disappeard and cars was stuck completely, cant even send to depot. And again, after saving&loading the game it was resolved.

To summarize those stucking problems, It happend to me about 10 times and save-load combo helped in all of them.
« Last Edit: August 05, 2012, 12:08:16 PM by NightElfik »

Offline jamespetts gb

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Re: General feedback -- suggestions & bug reports
« Reply #9 on: August 06, 2012, 09:40:43 PM »
Thank you for the more detailed description in relation to the loading/saving - that is useful to know (although does make the bug rather hard to track down, unfortunately).

There's one thing that I forgot to mention that might be of some assistance to you in relation to no. 12: if you go to the "settings" dialogue (key "i" in Pak128.Britain-Ex) and look under the general tab, you will see buttons for "pedes_and_car_info", "tree_info" (etc.): these can be used to customise the properties of the inspection tool without editing simuconf.tab. I hope that this helps!

Offline NightElfik

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Re: General feedback -- suggestions & bug reports
« Reply #10 on: August 07, 2012, 01:22:25 PM »
There's one thing that I forgot to mention that might be of some assistance to you in relation to no. 12: if you go to the "settings" dialogue (key "i" in Pak128.Britain-Ex) and look under the general tab, you will see buttons for "pedes_and_car_info", "tree_info" (etc.): these can be used to customise the properties of the inspection tool without editing simuconf.tab. I hope that this helps!
Thank you! This was exactly what I was looking for! {S} There should be definitely way how to open this dialogue with UI (to be possible to find it). I've searched all menus and didn't find it.