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Author Topic: Playing Simutrans on my (pine)phone  (Read 628 times)

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Offline Roboron

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Playing Simutrans on my (pine)phone
« on: September 08, 2020, 03:00:38 AM »
Recently I got a pinephone, and I've been using it to do a lot of weird things: like playing Simutrans!

Spoiler: Yes, it is possible to play Simutrans on this phone, but we some inconveniences. I've recorded a video showing my results trying it.

Audio in spanish, subtitles available in english for non-spanish speakers.


Quick FAQ:

What's the Pinephone? A phone capable of running mainline linux (and thus, any ARM linux distro). Since Simutrans is already available on linux, you can run it with no modifications needed.
How does it perform? I have not tested it that much, but it's a low-end device (only 2GB of RAM and a Quad Core ARM Cortex A53), so you can only expect it to work with small maps. Still, enough for an on-the-go experience.
Why so low quality? Currently, it is not possible to record the screen on the pinephone... Wayland ****.
What's a farrasdisca? Mmm...

Offline prissi

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Re: Playing Simutrans on my (pine)phone
« Reply #1 on: September 08, 2020, 07:43:08 AM »
The zoom gesture should work, at least with SDL2 on standard. Actually, Simutrans ran well on my first smartphone, so the calculation power (als long as you stay below 1024*1024 map) should be fine. The problem, is a SDL2 build is not very easy to intergrate with the current Simutrans directory structure. However, it should not take much longer than an afternoon, at least for Android.

The top menu bar scrolling is indeed needed.

There have been quite some efforts to make the GUI touch compatible, so telling us your limitatyions is very sueful.

Offline Roboron

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Re: Playing Simutrans on my (pine)phone
« Reply #2 on: September 08, 2020, 12:15:35 PM »
The zoom gesture should work, at least with SDL2 on standard.

Is it implemented? I can't seem to trigger it. If it is the usual zoom gesture, map just moves when I try to do it.

However, it should not take much longer than an afternoon, at least for Android.

That's actually less time than I invested setting up and configuring Sway xD

The top menu bar scrolling is indeed needed.

Yes, it is very needed. Or, at least, having buttons even more grouped (i.e.: tapping the main map button will show a subgroup of map buttons(zoom , roate, map, etc...)), but I guess that's pakset dependent, so nothing easy to do.

so telling us your limitatyions is very sueful.

As you can see, I'm using the Simutrans Touch theme (large size). Buttons size is ok, althought it could be a bit larger and that would be even better (I don't know if there is a theme with larger buttons already available). But the buttons at the top of the windows (close, pin, help...) are too close each other, and I always end up tapping the wrong button because of this. Those buttons need padding!

Another problem is the fact that the touchscreen is not precise enough to always reliably build things. Unfortunately there's not undo button available on the top bar to alleviate this, nor in submenus, but there's a shortcut key (CTRL+z) which you can't use on touch interfaces (well, in this setup I actually can, because I can call the on-screen keyboard with a gesture, and the keyboard does have a CTRL modifier, but this is not a normal setup ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ ). This is much needed, but I guess is something (again) dependent on paksets.

At last, Simutrans often display too much information on the same window, which takes too much space, and space is something I'm lacking. I do have some suggestions that can improve this:



Boom, we saved 1/3 of windows space. Notice also that there's a lot of padding, probably forced by the graphs tabs. I can't currently see all the graph parameters on landscape, and I doubt I will be able even with the previous change, I can only go into portrait mode and move the window around to see all of them. Maybe if we could add scrollbars to (large, or any) tabs when necessary, that would greatly improve the experience.

Offline Ranran

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Re: Playing Simutrans on my (pine)phone
« Reply #3 on: September 08, 2020, 12:37:07 PM »
The "View" is great for representing the character of that object, but sometimes it feels annoying in the dialog.
In particular it tends to create dead space due to different pakset sizes. That is, there is a big difference in the occupation ratio of the dialog between 64 and 256.
This often makes it difficult to create a proper dialog layout.
I've always wondered if I could improve it. For example, turning it on and off, making it a size independent of pakset, etc.

Offline prissi

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Re: Playing Simutrans on my (pine)phone
« Reply #4 on: September 08, 2020, 01:56:47 PM »
The width of this dialoge is given but the buttons below the graph. The minimise button should help (One can actually force a minimum width and height by text for those window title buttons.)

Offline Yona-TYT

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Re: Playing Simutrans on my (pine)phone
« Reply #5 on: September 08, 2020, 03:52:05 PM »
What do the "gadget" buttons look like now?.
edit.
Why so low quality? Currently, it is not possible to record the screen on the pinephone... Wayland ****.
It's been a long time since wayland was included in fedora with gnome, have you tried to test if there is support for video captures in fedora?, I seem to have read that if somewhere . heheheh/jejejejej  :P


(I don't know if there is a theme with larger buttons already available)
The biggest button theme is the high contrast one, but big buttons push the windows out of bounds on small screens. :o

Unfortunately there's not undo button available on the top bar to alleviate this, nor in submenus, but there's a shortcut key (CTRL+z) which you can't use on touch interfaces (well, in this setup I actually can, because I can call the on-screen keyboard with a gesture, and the keyboard does have a CTRL modifier, but this is not a normal setup
I have seen how in other interfaces they use a checkbox or an on-screen button that keeps the function activated when using touch devices, maybe something like that is the way to go.
By the way, Simutrans had a full screen mode, or maybe it's just my ideas?.  ???
« Last Edit: September 08, 2020, 04:40:57 PM by Yona-TYT »

Offline prissi

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Re: Playing Simutrans on my (pine)phone
« Reply #6 on: September 09, 2020, 01:24:04 AM »
An undo button can be added easily, since there is a tool for it. This is however a pakset choice.
Also the menu bar could behave like a menu bar, i.e. show the next row if there are too many icons.
So scrolling or a second row, what do zou think?

Offline Ranran

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Re: Playing Simutrans on my (pine)phone
« Reply #7 on: September 09, 2020, 10:43:12 AM »
Scrolling is definitely better on the touch screen.
Easy to understand style with an arrow at the end that indicates the entire bar is scrollable instead of the scrollbar.

Offline Yona-TYT

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Re: Playing Simutrans on my (pine)phone
« Reply #8 on: September 09, 2020, 04:01:48 PM »
Scrolling is definitely better on the touch screen.
Easy to understand style with an arrow at the end that indicates the entire bar is scrollable instead of the scrollbar.
I completely agree, a bar that can be scrolled horizontally using the fingers on a touch screen should be the best solution, although it must be somewhat difficult to implement I am afraid.

Offline prissi

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Re: Playing Simutrans on my (pine)phone
« Reply #9 on: September 09, 2020, 11:21:58 PM »
Scrolling that bar (even without arrows) would be easy, since there is the drag message implemented by Simutrans event handling.

EDIT: done is r9227, please test it. (for touch, I would also define iconsize=48 and toolbar_max_height = 1 in the themes to hve less space clutted by toolbars.
« Last Edit: September 10, 2020, 05:55:43 AM by prissi »

Offline Roboron

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Re: Playing Simutrans on my (pine)phone
« Reply #10 on: September 10, 2020, 03:43:23 PM »
What do the "gadget" buttons look like now?.

Much better. I can now tap them without mistakes.  IMO, this should be the default in any pakset, we don't lack space in that titlebar anyway.

EDIT: done is r9227, please test it

I have not been able to scroll the toolbar. I can now see a [>] symbol at then end of the visible toolbar, but dragging does nothing :/

What if we add a proper button to do this, instead of dragging? Pushing that button will scroll the bar, showing the next row of elements. This is what other games like A-Train or OpenTTD do.

Offline prissi

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Re: Playing Simutrans on my (pine)phone
« Reply #11 on: September 11, 2020, 12:01:59 AM »
A button is much more effort. I had an error in this version, please test r9234 upwards

Offline Roboron

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Re: Playing Simutrans on my (pine)phone
« Reply #12 on: September 11, 2020, 11:59:19 AM »
A button is much more effort. I had an error in this version, please test r9234 upwards

Thank you, now it works.

Unfortunately, not 100% okay. I've spotted a bug: If I scroll to the end of the the toolbar, only half (or less) of the last button will appear (I can still tap it, with some difficulties). I can reproduce this on PC too, if I set the windows width small enough.




Offline prissi

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Re: Playing Simutrans on my (pine)phone
« Reply #13 on: September 11, 2020, 01:49:11 PM »
Yes I know, but it was not so easy to fix.