The International Simutrans Forum

 

Author Topic: A new geography for Simutrans: terrain, climate, towns, factories and stuff  (Read 13674 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline sdog

  • Devotee
  • *
  • Posts: 2039
One thing i always missed in simutrans, is the concentration of resources to certain areas, we have in real life. You'd not expect to find coal mines and iron mines at the same spot, neither coalmines spread all over the map.

Don't know how to easily resolve this, without introducing geological maps or something similarily complicated. (would help the farms though)

"Industrial cities: they can also merge with commercial cities. All non-resources and non-agricultural factories are places near or within an industrial city." -- fabio

Those appeared mostly where power sources and raw material supply coincided. Often on rivers close to coal mines. Most examples of industrial cities i can think of, have them increased a small old city.* Thus the commercial city merge fabio suggests seems rather sensible.

*soviet union might be an exception though & us+ca have no old cities at all.  But both ought not be in our scope, the former is caused by displacing masses of people the latter has city formation in large parts triggered by railways, so it would happen in the timescale of the game. Build a railway line first, the cities will come ...  Interesting, but quite a different game.

Mod note: Topic split from New industry placement type: Near City
See also: New landscape generation
- Igor
« Last Edit: September 01, 2012, 06:56:11 PM by IgorEliezer »

Offline IgorEliezer br

  • Devotee
  • Administrator
  • *
  • Posts: 4088
  • Cake recipes are cool... REALLY!
    • Igor Eliezer Architect and Urban Planner/Arquiteto e Urbanista
  • Languages: PT, EN, AutoLISP, Python
One thing i always missed in simutrans, is the concentration of resources to certain areas, we have in real life. You'd not expect to find coal mines and iron mines at the same spot, neither coalmines spread all over the map.

Don't know how to easily resolve this, without introducing geological maps or something similarily complicated. (would help the farms though)

We somewhat ended up discussing on a new geography for Simutrans. Not that I disapprove of it. :)

In fact, I would like to discuss on how different "layers" could be interpolated and combined to generate a more challenging and interesting game, since the development of a per-region climate and half-height tiles may open new possibilities of map generation in the future. Currently, the distribution of "items" on the map (e.g. factories, citybuildings) is dependent on a per-height climate, proximity of the sea and availability of free-space. The terrain is generated randomly, separately, not depending on climate or some kind of territory.

The "layers" I mentioned above could be: climate, landform, proximity of a terrain feature (e.g. river, lakes, sea, mountain), proximity of buildings/cities and territories. The combination of these "layers" could create regions on the map; each region could define how the map would look like. I still don't have a defined idea of how this could turn out, but my thoughts about it are as follows:

- landforms: the map could have terrain features like mountains, valleys, cliffs, deserts, swamplands, plains or basins. They could occur isolated or depending on a climate. A climate could be more mountainous than other. A mountainous terrain could pose more challenge to the player so he would be forced to be creative with tunnels, bridges and earthworks.

- vegetation: as of now. Each climate defines the kind of the trees and ground-objects.

- rivers: rivers usually starts from mountainous landforms. Depending the climate and landform, they can be rarer or abundant.

- factories: could be dependent on the climate, proximity of rivers and other terrain features. Certain kind of factories would be possible only next to a river (e.g. a powerplant), a mountain or climate (as of now). Also, the placement of factories could be affected by the proximity of a city, kind of city and their buildings.

- cities/town: once I thought of suggesting "city categories": capital, town and villages. Depending on the category, the city could have different kind of special buildings, factory and growth rate.

- territories: could have "rules" and "permission" for the players (what they can and cannot do in a region of the map), and how this could be extended for other uses as criteria for placement of special buildings and factories. It's rather a multiplayer feature than single player, but as I was so used to "creating" territories in my maps (in Simutrans and in other games) that I would like to see some kind of similar feature in single player. For example: a region (state or country) could be more industrialized, and other more rural.
« Last Edit: July 22, 2012, 05:56:19 PM by IgorEliezer »

Offline rsdworker

  • *
  • Posts: 281
The combination of these "layers" could create regions on the map; each region could define how the map would look like. I still don't have a defined idea of how this could turn out, but my thoughts about it are as follows:

i like those ideas - region is very good idea - separate areas for it

Mod Note: You don't need to quote a whole long post needlessly. Just quote the point you're going to comment on.
- Igor
« Last Edit: September 10, 2012, 04:28:05 PM by IgorEliezer »

Offline prissi

  • Developer
  • Administrator
  • *
  • Posts: 9586
  • Languages: De,EN,JP
Apart from territories, I somehow fail to see how it would improve the gaming for a player for most of the stuff. E.g. the city placement of experimental slightly prefers rivers, yet players seldomly use ferry boats anyway. But to achieve this it has to introduce countless variables for that.

Technically, since the current code deal with a radius around random locations, most of the additions would not be too hard to implement.

Offline Roads

  • Devotees (Inactive)
  • *
  • Posts: 645
Do you want Simutrans to have as wide appeal as possible or remain true to the original intent of the game?

If the only goal of the game is to transport people and goods from one location to another with cool looking vehicles and somewhat complex traffic decisions and do this without going broke then I can't see any of these often terrific suggestions in this thread would matter much.  At most they would only matter in terms of how realistic the game looked.

IMHO, Simutrans has already expanded beyond that simple idea if you make use of the public player.  It is the reason I'm still playing after coming back to the game from a few years ago.  I know many people are very much opposed to anything that is outside of the game's original scope.  The thing is, why can't the game remain true to the idea of being a pure transportation game on the surface for those who want that but have a great deal of depth and variety for those who want to dig deeper?

I don't believe these two ideas have to be contradictory.  If a person is playing purely as a transportation entrepreneur, it would not matter to him why a city grew.  If someone like me is playing the game, he can begin the game with no cities and place them because he will have an idea of where the cities will grow and where they will not.  That will be part of his gaming experience - deciding where to place cities.

Offline Ters

  • Coder/patcher
  • Devotee
  • *
  • Posts: 5558
  • Languages: EN, NO
I play for transporting stuff and only use the public player at the uttermost end of need. Yet I still feel that more realistic placement of cities and industries will improve the game for me. Simutrans already tries to make distinct residential, commercial and industrial districts in cities, which seem to be for looks only. Much of what is discussed here, does at least have some impact on transportation.

Offline VS

  • Senior Plumber (Devotee)
  • Devotee
  • *
  • Posts: 4855
  • Vladimír Slávik
    • VS's Simutrans site
  • Languages: CS,EN
Emphasis mine:
At most they would only matter in terms of how realistic the game looked.
Yes, that is why I like this discussion - most of the ideas would not increase complexity for player.

Offline colonyan

  • Devotee
  • *
  • Posts: 526
  • Full and Warm
A year or so ago, I tried to make interest in people to differentiate city growth and their characteristic but didn't get much back then. It is also interesting how initially unintended material is ended up by being so after a while.

That aside, do we have somekind of approval or interest among coders? Would be particulary nice if any one could cared to come and share how they are willing to apply it actually. If only they can and have some thing concrete already, ofcourse.

Offline sdog

  • Devotee
  • *
  • Posts: 2039
Apart from territories, I somehow fail to see how it would improve the gaming for a player for most of the stuff. E.g. the city placement of experimental slightly prefers rivers, yet players seldomly use ferry boats anyway. But to achieve this it has to introduce countless variables for that.

You overlooked a different aspect of it, it also causes villages to form chains along rivers, with large empty space inbetween. This changes the game quite a lot. It is sensible to run rail lines parallel to rivers, to collect pax there. But also bridge relatively large distances without any stops at all. This helps with the distinction between local and express trains, but also changes the network architecture.

Offline kierongreen

  • Dev Team, Coder/patcher
  • Devotee
  • *
  • Posts: 2269
In terms of interest amongst coders - I'm certainly following this thread and I'm sure others are also. However I'm not about to start work on another patch quite yet as the large landscape patch is still outstanding an it's unfair on prissi to add too much too quickly!

Offline Ters

  • Coder/patcher
  • Devotee
  • *
  • Posts: 5558
  • Languages: EN, NO
With ideas pointing in all kinds of directions, it's probably hard to figure out what it is that should be considered.

Offline kierongreen

  • Dev Team, Coder/patcher
  • Devotee
  • *
  • Posts: 2269
This is also true. My main concern is that the performance hit will be too great. As such I'd want to try and ensure that any code could be multithreaded hopefully actually improving performance in the process.

Offline Dwachs

  • DevTeam, Coder/patcher
  • Administrator
  • *
  • Posts: 4607
  • Languages: EN, DE, AT
For a start, one could try to add information about residential/commercial/industrial type to special buildings:

Factories can be industrial (steel mill) or commercial (markets). Same for attractions. Some paksets include special skyscrapers, which could be classified as commercial or residential.

This would help to cluster industrial buildings around factories. Afaict, this would require to change makeobj related files only.

Offline greenling

  • Lounger
  • *
  • Posts: 1728
  • Simutransarchology it my hobby!
  • Languages: DE,EN
EN
Stop!
The new parameters make the play with Simutrans not better.
The set of the factory on the map is influenced by several factors of the players will be happy to be forgotten.
They are:
Commissioning and decommissioning of factories
Climatic zones of the factory
Roughness of the map
Dimension of the map
Height of the map   
Size of the factory
Distances between the cities on the map
Placement of the towns and villages on the map
This grow from manufacturing plants also depends from grow of the towns and villages
free place between the manufacturing plants
The chance of manufacturing plants
DE
Stop!
Die neuen Parameter machen das spielen mit Simutrans nicht besser.
Das setzen der Fabrikanlagen auf der Karte wird von Mehreren Faktoren beeinflusst die gerne von Spielern vergessen werden.
Das sind:
Indienststellung und Stilllegung von Fabrikanlagen
Klimazonen der Fabrikanlagen
Rauheit der Landkarte
Größe der Fabrikanlagen
Höhe der Landkarte
Abmessung der Landkarte
Entfernungen zwischen den Städten auf der Landkarte
Plazierung der Städte und Dörfer auf der Landkarte
Das wachsen von Fabrikanlagen hängt auch von wachsen der Städte und Dörfer ab
freier Platz zwischen den Fabrikanlagen
Die Chance von Fabrikanlagen

Offline Roads

  • Devotees (Inactive)
  • *
  • Posts: 645
kind of off topic:

I have no idea how others play this game but I use ships as much as possible.  With them I don't have to worry about crowding my roads or laying expensive railroad track...highways too for that matter.  Also there is the added advantage of the ships not having to wait until another ship loads.

on topic:
I think there are at least two separate ideas here at the top level.  One is placement of items on the map.  One is city growth after the player begins the game.  If I were attempting to code this, I would begin at the center of the map, plop down a resource at the nearest location where it would naturally be found.  Then I would place a city a min/max distance from the resource and if possible near a river or the sea.  From these two original items I would build out.

However this would doubtless get complicated.  For that reason, the first thing I would do is divide the map into sections, the bigger the map, the more sections.  Then begin with the resource somewhere near the center of the section, then the city.  That way you should only have a few resources and cities per section, it could possibly only be one of each.  If more than one, then each item would need a max distance from the edge of the section.  I think this would work well with concept of regions.

All this said, for me personally I couldn't care less how the map how or where the items are generated on the map for a new game.  I'm going to start with a blank map anyway unless you guys come up with something that blows me away.

I do care immensely about growth after I begin playing.  I think almost any rules other than traffic is somewhat artifical and is unsustainable over time.  Once upon a time cities grew because of ships; those in the desert because of routes camels could travel.  I think sdog pointed out that some cities in the U.S. grew because of the railroad.  My point is that traffic is by far the most important reason that cities grow or fail to grow over time.

Offline greenling

  • Lounger
  • *
  • Posts: 1728
  • Simutransarchology it my hobby!
  • Languages: DE,EN
Roads here are Photo from the Factory out Pak.german!
Factory they are larger that a Tile it are heavyer to Place it!


https://sites.google.com/site/transfersimutrans/simscr23.png?attredirects=0

Here a Photo from the Factorys out Pak128.german!



https://sites.google.com/site/transfersimutrans/simscr02.png?attredirects=0

Here the Factorys out pak Standart!



https://sites.google.com/site/transfersimutrans/simscr04.png?attredirects=0
« Last Edit: July 27, 2012, 06:33:37 PM by greenling »

Offline IgorEliezer br

  • Devotee
  • Administrator
  • *
  • Posts: 4088
  • Cake recipes are cool... REALLY!
    • Igor Eliezer Architect and Urban Planner/Arquiteto e Urbanista
  • Languages: PT, EN, AutoLISP, Python
Apart from territories, I somehow fail to see how it would improve the gaming for a player for most of the stuff.
Because, probably, I failed to get my point across.

My point is, I'd like to give each part of the map its own identity, with its own terrain and its own look and vegetation. For example, the player instead of saying "I'll build a railroad connecting this part of the map to the other part of the map", he could say "I want to connect the coastal plains region near my metropolis to the mountains region where some villages are, but I need to figure out how to cross a valley and a cliff on the way".

During my early days on Simutrans, I used to "terraform" the map a lot, so that each part of the map had tall mountains, inland and coastal cliffs, basins and plains, and I kind of gave them names, I had lots of elements that provided me points of reference and limits for municipalities and regions of the map, this "terraforming" helped me to organize my transport network, to navigate and to get involved with the map, and provided challenge and an interesting landscape...

[Kevin A. Lynch, an urban planner and author of "The Image of the City", explained pretty well how the people "perceive and organize spatial information as they navigate through cities", and how they create "mental maps" and become found of the place where they live and transit. He said the perception of the landscape was (or is) made of 5 elements: paths, edges (or limits), districts (or distinguishable regions), nodes (connection hubs, intersections) and landmarks. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kevin_A._Lynch]

... I was pretty fond of my map ... until the day an unknown bug killed the entire population of 3 or 4 cities. :(

I miss these terrain features in Simutrans probably because I live in a region where there's a 700m-tall cliff, a metropolis built over a plateau, a coastal plain and isles, a fluvial basin and everything near a region called "Sea of hills" in the countryside. (map, detail for road across the cliff)

I sort of play Simutrans not only for "transportation" purposes -- connect a factory with other and I'm done -- but also as a canvas. I try to build a well organized transit system along with good looking cities and interesting landscape. That's my way of playing Simutrans. :)

I tried to use the "Landscape Settings" and set up map roughness and mountain heights, but I ended up having maps that are entirely mountainous or flat. The map becomes too much "uniform" and predictable, in my opinion.

EDIT: oops, typo.
« Last Edit: August 04, 2012, 11:37:00 PM by IgorEliezer »

Offline Roads

  • Devotees (Inactive)
  • *
  • Posts: 645
Igor, maybe I misunderstand but I think I agree completely with what you are saying.

What you have described seems to me to be a combination of challenging play as far as figuring out how to setup structure AND with an RP element.  What could be better?

Offline IgorEliezer br

  • Devotee
  • Administrator
  • *
  • Posts: 4088
  • Cake recipes are cool... REALLY!
    • Igor Eliezer Architect and Urban Planner/Arquiteto e Urbanista
  • Languages: PT, EN, AutoLISP, Python
What you have described seems to me to be a combination of challenging play as far as figuring out how to setup structure AND with an RP element.  What could be better?
RP, you mean RPG? Well, I don't play this kind of game, neither did I mean to add any RPG element into the game. I tried to mean the "world", or the map, could have pretty well distinguishable regions (this is geomorphology), so that the player could have different approaches of how to build a transport network. He can start to play the game in region where it's easy to get started, then he can venture to play on harder regions of the map or major obstacles, such as a cliff or canyon.

I, for example, feel terribly temped to play on a map like this:



The problem here is, whole map look like this and the shoreline is pretty "jagged".

Offline Roads

  • Devotees (Inactive)
  • *
  • Posts: 645
Igor, what is the saying...something like, "to a carpenter, everything looks like a nail?"

Yes I did mean RPG.  Please pardon me for reading into what you said something you did not mean.

Still I agree with what you are saying about the maps.  Every time I begin a new game I cycle through the maps for a long time deciding which one I want.  They all seem to follow the pattern of large areas of high terrain that slopes down to the sea.  There are no mountainous areas.  When I noticed this was looking for snow covered peaks.  Without exception when bodies of land had more than one peak, the peaks were separated by only slightly lower terrain.

And yes, I think having easy areas to make money and then more difficult areas is a good idea.
« Last Edit: August 05, 2012, 11:58:48 AM by Roads »

Offline isidoro

  • Devotee
  • *
  • Posts: 1130
Maybe the easy solution to that is to have a variable roughness depending on the location on the map, with a [min,max] setting...

Offline IgorEliezer br

  • Devotee
  • Administrator
  • *
  • Posts: 4088
  • Cake recipes are cool... REALLY!
    • Igor Eliezer Architect and Urban Planner/Arquiteto e Urbanista
  • Languages: PT, EN, AutoLISP, Python
Maybe the easy solution to that is to have a variable roughness depending on the location on the map
Or depending on the climate.

Offline IgorEliezer br

  • Devotee
  • Administrator
  • *
  • Posts: 4088
  • Cake recipes are cool... REALLY!
    • Igor Eliezer Architect and Urban Planner/Arquiteto e Urbanista
  • Languages: PT, EN, AutoLISP, Python
Re: A new geography for Simutrans: terrain, climate, towns, factories and stuff
« Reply #22 on: December 03, 2012, 06:55:38 AM »
I'll post a Minecraft map as sample.
Since I and Isaac have mentioned some things about Minecraft, I'm going to post some images and explain a bit about the climate system of this game. Probably some people don't know Minecraft:

Minecraft is a 3D game about mining and exploration. And this is an isometric map that I generated from one of my worldsaves: huge picture, 7MB, so you can zoom in, each pixel is a cubic meter (1m³), roughly.

As the world in Simutrans is made of isometric tiles, the world in Minecraft is made of 3D blocks and everything is bound to it as basic unit and grid for item placement. Both games can generate terrains randomly, sort of. In Simutrans the climate system is height-dependent, the height of the tile defines the climate of said tile; while in Minecraft the climate system depends on randomly/procedurally-generated boundaries, the boundary where a block is in defines the climate of said block, and consequently the environment (i.e. terrain features, vegetation, water resources, ore placement, town/village distribution, shorelines, topography, terrain roughness etc).

I took two in-game screenshots. I used a tool that maps the climate boundaries (1st pic) and shows a top-view map of my surroundings (2nd pic), both maps cover a 500x500-meter region.





EDIT:

Another sample of per-region climates.
 
« Last Edit: December 05, 2012, 12:48:27 AM by IgorEliezer »

Offline jamespetts gb

  • Simutrans-Extended project coordinator
  • Devotee
  • *
  • Posts: 18753
  • Cake baker
    • Bridgewater-Brunel
  • Languages: EN
Re: A new geography for Simutrans: terrain, climate, towns, factories and stuff
« Reply #23 on: December 04, 2012, 05:08:34 PM »
This is certainly a worthwhile idea. One might also define different sets of town names, town name syllibles and street names for different regions, too. In Pak128.Britain, for example, it would be good to have an English, Welsh and Scottish set (or perhaps even a Southern English, Northern English, Welsh and Scottish set)...

Offline sdog

  • Devotee
  • *
  • Posts: 2039
Re: A new geography for Simutrans: terrain, climate, towns, factories and stuff
« Reply #24 on: December 04, 2012, 09:10:53 PM »
This would also fix the annoying problem of not having cities with real in an intuitive pattern. Eg London and Glasgow in proximity while Oxford is on the other side of the map etc.