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Employment observations.

Started by Dutchman on Rails, April 22, 2020, 09:49:37 AM

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Dutchman on Rails

Hi All,
The features of Simutrans-Ex once again had their siren song, so I downloaded a fresh install last Saturday (build 14.9 #0a95ad3) and took a glance how things are going.
Seems an old problem is still happening, jobs remain unfulfilled. Just in I have some reserves of looking into things, so I did and found a few things that contribute:
- The employment_capacity in the .dat file is doubled on the map. So for example, the St. Marks Church has an employment_capacity of 8, this doubles to 16, the Parish Hall 01: 20->40, Abbey2: 25->50 etc.
- In the .dat files, some settings are rather high. A Parish Hall having 20 employees is fair enough. But your typical tavern doesn't have 24 employees.
- One other thing noticable is that the number of jobs filled is rather low compared to the total population. As people are making trips, walking if need be, that doesn't seem to be it. Taking two towns as an example, one has 110 population and in the order of 690 walks per year. This results in 0-4 jobs filled.  Another town has 1500 inhabitants, 7000 walks yearly, resulting in 6-47 jobs filled. The ratio is pretty much the same, between 25-35:1 rating of population:jobs or around 150-175:1 ratio of walks:jobs, both using the higher number of jobs filled.
All the logic seems to be working, but the thresholds seem to be holding the system back.
One workaround for players to get the industries to work for now is to set the employment capacity to very low in the .dat files and compile your own paksets. It's far from ideal, but workarounds never are.
For the long term, I think the amount of time a job stays filled (currently I think about 25% of a month) could be increased. Also, possibly the destinations of commuting could be sharpened. 20% of the 7000 walks a year are commuting trips, that's 1750 commuting trips per year or 146 walking trips per month. A little low for the daily commute of 1500 people. But it should be able to fill most of the 56 available jobs in a stable manner even with the current settings if all of the commuting trips arrive at the 2 objects in town that have employment capacity.
I hope these observations help.


Thank you for your observations and my apologies for the delay in replying. A few notes in response.

(1) The doubling of employment capacity is intentional as this scales with meters per tile.

(2) The smaller one tile buildings are intended to represent several buildings of the same type to get the overall correct density of employment per simulated square meter. Thus one must consider not how many employees that there would be in a tavern, but how many employees would be employed by however many taverns would fit in a 125x125 meter square.

(3) As to the relationship between population and jobs, are you referring to the graph in the city information window? The word "jobs" is potentially misleading, and I wonder whether I should change it to "worker demand", as this is normalised to a game month, which is a fraction of a real life day (6:20h), and which will therefore always give a lower number than the population, as people do not go to work more than once a day.

(4) In relation to the number of jobs filled in actual town buildings, my own tests show that creating a map with default settings in 1750 will tend to result in all town based buildings having all jobs fulfilled by passenger walking, as one would expect in 1750. If you are getting different results, may I ask what your settings are?
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Dutchman on Rails

The graph seems alright. When I manually count the attractions, industries and the town hall, the total is an exact match of the jobs graph.
It's difficult to remember the precise settings, as I moved on to other antics. But the main difference may be limited population. The 1100 town was actually the largest one. At default map generation settings, towns sprawl in the order of 5-10 thousand, easily. So we're talking small villages here, say like Felsham, Suffolk ( Note also that with 110 people, there's in the order of 3 houses around the town hall and tavern. I believe the towns were 30 towns @50 inhabitants and 10 industries, but I'm not sure.

Either way, for now I got a game going with a workaround. It's not pretty, but the whole thing is going somewhere. Maybe one day I'll try again with default settings and start experimenting from there. I'm experimenting now with placing the industries myself in a kind of fashion that resembles the kind of logistics you would expect to see, some industrial and market towns with more shops (some packed together in high streets), while hamlets have virtually nothing. I'm also experimenting with some improvised portals. You may want to check from time to time to see how it's going at,19834.0.html. You'd probably disapprove of a lot of my antics and editing, but it makes a fun game for me and hopefully some nice pictures.