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Improving the accuracy of food industries, particularly in early years

Started by ras52, April 26, 2017, 12:41:13 AM

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Slaughterhouses and butchers' shops.

In Pak128.Britain, sheep and cattle farms produce livestock, which gets taken to slaughterhouses to produce meat, which is then sold in markets, butchers and supermarkets.  Slaughterhouses in the pakset are very large, big enough to take the livestock of a dozen farms and supply a score or more of meat sellers of one sort or another.  This is accurate now, but only came about in Britain as a result of a so-called slaughterhouse reforms: first the licensing of slaughterhouses in 1847 and then the introduction of public slaughterhouses in 1875.  Before then slaughterhouses were small affairs, and many butcher did it on their premises.   Inventories of butchers' property in the 18th century and open decades of the 19th century often mention refer to slaughterhouses, presumably an outbuilding of their home.   

To make Pak128.Britain realistic, it would make sense if the 1750 slaughterhouse had a much smaller capacity, say 50 rather than 240, and that instead of being retired in 1840 it perhaps lasts until 1875.  It might also make sense if the first butchers' shop (currently 1820-1840) were extended to 1820-1875 and took both meat and livestock as inputs, reflecting the fact that some butchers slaughtered on site.  As it produces no output, there's no requirement to supply it with both inputs.  Markets, subsequent versions of the butchers' shop and supermarkets would only take meat.


Pak128.Britain have butchers and fishmongers shops which are appear from 1820.  Before that date meat and fish are sold in markets.  Historically this is accurate.  It's really only in the 19th century that dedicated shops started appear selling specific types of food.  The greengrocer's shop in Pak128.Britain appears from 1750, though the .dat file has a line which is commented out that would introduce it only in 1820 with a comment saying "introduce later when markets are added".  As markets are now present and consume fruit and vegetables, as well as meat and fish, is there any reason not to have the greengrocer being introduced in 1820 again instead of 1750?  As with butchers and fishmongers, it's more accurate.  Or a different date could be used if it were felt there were good gameplay reasons no to want all the new shops appearing together in 1820.

Bakeries and dairies.

Historically, much of the produce of bakeries and dairies would be taken to the market and sold there.  I think it would improve the game if this were replicated, so I'd like to suggest two new types of goods.  Bakeries would now produce bread, a type of piece goods, while dairies would produce cheese, a type of cooled goods.  Both would have reasonably high speed bonuses, say 10% for cheese and 15% for bread.  Bread and cheese would be consumed by markets from the beginning of the game (i.e. from 1750), and much later by supermarkets.  There's a comment in dairy.dat suggesting this was envisaged for supermarket-era dairies.

Two new shops, a bakers' shop and a cheesemongers, could be introduced in about 1820.  They could be identical to the various other shops but with, say, a brown and white awning for the bakers' and yellow and white for the cheesemongers.  The bakers' shop could be made to accept both bread and flour (much as I propose the earliest butcher should take livestock and meat), reflecting the fact that not all bakers bake on site.  In some cases that would result in a four industry chain: grain farm to grain mill to bakery to bakers' shop; in other cases, the grain mill would directly supply the bakers' shop with flour; and sometimes both would happen, which is again realistic as some bread products may be made off site while others are made on site.

I wouldn't suggest that cheesemongers should accept milk as well as cheese.

I think this would make for more interesting gameplay in the supply of markets (and later supermarkets) which would accept a greater variety of piece and cooled goods.  As they're in city locations, it will often make sense to ensure there are not separate meat, fish, vegetable, fruit, bread and cheese deliveries, but instead just one for piece goods and one for cooled goods.  That's true today, but the extra types of goods will reinforce that behaviour.

Pubs and distilleries.

Pubs exist for the period of the game, and accept both beer (from a brewery) and cider (from an orchard).  An interesting twist might be to add spirits as a new type of piece goods.   Like beer, it would be produced from grain, but in a distillery which might well use a variant of the brewery graphic.  Pub's input capacities for beer and cider vary between 80 and 200, but for spirits it could be vastly lower, say 2 or 3, but spirits could be made much more valuable to transport.  That would give an incentive to transport them, but also result in a more varied transport because of the small quantities required.  Spirits would have a very low speed bonus, maybe 2% or 3%.  (I think the speed bonus for beer and cider needs reviewing: currently it's 3% the same as hardware.  As beer goes off rather faster than, say, a hammer, that seems wrong.  I think something around 8% would be more appropriate.)

Addendum: for the avoidance of doubt, I'm happy to produce patches (and possibly even graphics) needed to implement these changes.  I don't think Simutrans has changed too much in the four years since I was a more regular contributor.  But I'd like to know whether these changes are moving the pakset in the direction others want it to go in.
Richard Smith


How about a fruit distillery? I don't know how common they are in UK, but apples can be distilled to calvados. :-)

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Quote from: Vladki on April 26, 2017, 09:13:19 PM
How about a fruit distillery? I don't know how common they are in UK, but apples can be distilled to calvados. :-)

They're pretty much non-existent in Britain.  Gin and whisky are the two main spirits produced in Britain.  Whisky is made by distilling grain, specifically malted barley in the better quality whiskies.  There's a little more variety in the production of gin; most often it too is distilled from grain, though it can be made from potatoes, sugar beet, or other vegetables.  Its distinctive taste comes from juniper berries and other botanicals like coriander or lemon peel included in trace quantities (and so needn't be represented in the pakset).

I did wonder whether to suggest both whisky and gin distilleries and have pubs take small quantities of both, but on balance I decided it added little.  One spirit consumed in small quantities adds an interesting variation to the transport logistics; two separate ones probably doesn't add anything more to the game.
Richard Smith


Thank you very much for your feedback: this is most helpful. Firstly, I should note that the Standard version of this pakset is currently not being maintained as the last of the maintainers retired a little while ago. However, I still maintain the Extended (formerly Experimental) version of the pakset, and your feedback is most helpful in that context.

I note that, in the Extended version, the greengrocer is indeed introduced in 1818 rather than 1750; I suspect that the retention of the year 1750 in the Standard version is an oversight.

The historical information and understanding set out is very helpful, I think, and your ideas seem very sensible: I should gladly incorporate them into Pak128.Britain-Ex. I am most grateful for your interest in producing the .dat files and graphics for these additions. For reference, you may wish to note that the work-flow for producing graphics for the pakset has changed somewhat since you last worked on Simutrans: details can be found here.

For adding types of goods to Pak128.Britain-Ex (for Extended), you will need to look carefully at the existing pricing systems and set sensible values based on the historical data reproduced in goods.dat for cheese, bread, etc., taking into account the different pricings at different distances. I imagine that spirits would have quite a high value for transport, but quite low quantities, as you suggest.

One small note: I suspect that there may well already be a shop with a yellow and white awning (a grocer, I think, although I have not had time to check) in the pakset, so you might want to consider a different colour scheme for the cheesemonger; alternatively, you might just have the grocer selling cheese in the later years.

Thank you very much for your helpful thoughts and willingness to implement them.
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