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Begginer Problems with Simutrans-Extended?

Started by Eusebio Ptolomeu, November 26, 2021, 01:28:25 PM

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Eusebio Ptolomeu

Sorry if I made any spelling mistakes, english isn't my native language.

Is there a begginer tutorial for Simutrans-Extended anywhere? I tried to play with it myself (using the Britain-128 pack), but things barely work after the first month or so: industries won't load the cargo on the convoys, no passengers ever use my passenger lines, etc. I think I'm doing something wrong, but I can't find what it is; also, there are certain tools which I don't understand how they work.
The "departure map", for example. I know you have to select a city hall to see the map in action, but what exactly does the map tell? According to this link ( https://translator.simutrans.com/data/htmlex/en/map.html ), it shows the destination of passengers and mail of a given urban area. So we have the destinations, but shouldn't we know who wants to get to them? Let's consider this example: suppose I build a passenger stop near a industry, with the idea of bringing workers and visitors to it. Where should I build the other stop? Where exactly do the workers of said industry live? Or can I put in any neighborhood and it should work? As I said before, whenever I try to create a passenger network, nobody ever uses it, and this brings the entire supply chain to a halt. I tried lowering the fares, starting in another year, different types of vehicles (in case the problem had something to do with comfort, for example) but nothing works, and the biggest problem is that I don't know why it's not working. Does anybody have any idea about what could it be?

prissi

Generally simutrans is about networks. Any single connection at the beginning will give little demand. Since any new stations added to a network with n stations will enable n new connections, then number of connections (and hence fullfilled travel request of potential passengers), will increase with network size. So you need to build networks with good service quickly. Starting in the biggest city may help with that.

Since the scripting is not really compatible with extended, there may be no ingame tutorials soon. There is an interactive script for standard though. Did you ever tried a standard game? That may give you an idiea of the network effect. With the travel time tolerance and more, the challenge is higher is extended (and that is intended), but in principle the network building is the same.

Eusebio Ptolomeu

I know that the network simulation in Extended is more complicated, this is the reason I think I might be doing somethinw wrong for the passenger lines not to work. Maybe the placement of the stops is wrong; I admit I'm only placing them in very general areas around the city, but they're still unused. I place them near industries, near points of interest, near the places highlighted by the Destinantions map, and nothing seems to work.

Ranran

"Evaluation" on the station information dialog will show you the reasons why passengers do not use your station or network.

Eusebio Ptolomeu

I checked the evaluation tab in each stop. A lot of them says that there is "no passenger service", even though there are passenger lines in those stops (maybe the passengers aren't find the destinations they're looking for in those stops?). In a select few, they recognize the passenger lines, but in all of those stations, all of the passengers are classified as "No Route" (passenger who could no find a route to their destinations). Any idea what could be causing this? I have the feeling that those passengers are looking for a specific destination, but I don't know which one they're talking about. The destination map, if I understood correctly, only shows the general destination-buildings in a given city, whithout specifying who exaclty wants to get to those buildings.

Ranran

QuoteA lot of them says that there is "no passenger service", even though there are passenger lines in those stops
That's odd. I recommend that you do not set the minimum load on the passenger line at the beginning. A stop that has never been reached by convoy may not be able to recognize the existence of the route.
If it is still not recognized, it means that the station or convoy does not support passengers.

Secondly, the frequency has a great impact on the quality of the network. This is because people will walk instead of using your network if they can get there faster by walking than waiting at the station for hours. In this case, it will be evaluated as "too slow".

If there is no route to the destination, it will repeat several times to find another destination, so it is not necessary to connect to a specific destination. (If multiple attempts fail, it is evaluated as "no route".) But if you have a good transportation network throughout the map, more people will use your network instead of giving up on travel.

Eusebio Ptolomeu

Maybe if I attach the game file, it could help? The map is pretty big though, 5000x5000.

PJMack

Your map is probably a bit too big for a beginner, and likely too big for all but the most powerful computers to handle.  (Even if your computer is powerful enough now, it may struggle once road and transport networks are in place).  I would recommend a new game with a more moderately sized map (say between 256x512 and 512x2048) with a high population, attraction, and industry density.  You may want to take the settings for map generation of the Bridgewater-Brunel game (https://forum.simutrans.com/index.php/topic,20944.0.html) and scale everything down.  It may take a few tries to get a good map.

For beginning a passenger transport network in early years, I would recommend starting by centering one around a college, as that has a high class visitor demand.  Also if there is a group of nearby cities, you could try connecting the centers with the upper class buildings.  You could also set simutrans-extended to freeplay mode (there is a flag to set whilst starting from the terminal) until you are experienced enough to make a profit.

As far as attaching game files to this forum, there is a 64KB limit, so you would likely need to use a third party file hosting service if it comes to that.

Matthew

Welcome to Simutrans-Extended!

The advice that Ranran and PJMack has given is 100% right.

If you can find somewhere to upload a map, that would certainly be helpful.
(Signature being tested) If you enjoy playing Simutrans, then you might also enjoy watching Japan Railway Journal
Available in English and simplified Chinese
如果您喜欢玩Simutrans的话,那么说不定就想看《日本铁路之旅》(英语也有简体中文字幕)。

Eusebio Ptolomeu

#9
Thanks for the help, everybody! I was afraid the map might be a little too big indeed; I will try playin on a smaller map, and see if this behaviour persists.

Edit: I gave it a try in a smaller map (1024x1024) but the problem persists. One very noticeable thing is that in the stop evaluation dialogue, most of the stops only come with a "no passenger service" description; these stops do have passenger convoys using them, and I put the prices of the fare all the way down. Any idea what could be causing this problem? I did try placing some stops near points of interest, like colleges.

Matthew

Quote from: Eusebio Ptolomeu on November 26, 2021, 09:55:25 PM
Thanks for the help, everybody! I was afraid the map might be a little too big indeed; I will try playin on a smaller map, and see if this behaviour persists.

Edit: I gave it a try in a smaller map (1024x1024) but the problem persists. One very noticeable thing is that in the stop evaluation dialogue, most of the stops only come with a "no passenger service" description; these stops do have passenger convoys using them, and I put the prices of the fare all the way down. Any idea what could be causing this problem? I did try placing some stops near points of interest, like colleges.

Do you have frequent service? So convoys stop perhaps every 15-30 minutes?

Also, you will need to wait a little time for the Path Explorer (the game's timetable system) to update, although this should be very quick in a new game.
(Signature being tested) If you enjoy playing Simutrans, then you might also enjoy watching Japan Railway Journal
Available in English and simplified Chinese
如果您喜欢玩Simutrans的话,那么说不定就想看《日本铁路之旅》(英语也有简体中文字幕)。

Ranran

#11
I'm afraid but the quickest way to get the most accurate and reliable answer is to upload a save file.
I don't know if I have an accurate picture of your situation, so I can't guarantee that I can give you an accurate answer.
Many beginners often have some kind of misunderstanding. Perhaps it doesn't communicate well to us.

Quote from: PJMack on November 26, 2021, 06:41:55 PMAs far as attaching game files to this forum, there is a 64KB limit, so you would likely need to use a third party file hosting service if it comes to that.
Files up to 11MB in size can be uploaded here.
http://files.simutrans-germany.com/


Eusebio Ptolomeu

One thing that I should have pointed out is that I changed some of the settings on simuconf.tab: namely, bits per month (I've increased it to 22), base meters per tile (I've increased it to 7500), meters per tile (I've increased it back to 250m per tile) and I've let the speed limit inside the cities to be the speed limit of the actual type of road built. Once I switched back to the default settings, I can already see some usage of the passengers lines, but I still think that I'm not doing it properly. I'll check the link Andarix sent. One thing that I would like to know is if is there a way to see which destinations the passengers in a given stop want to get to, so that I can know what areas should I cover with my line, in order to attend the wishes of the majority of passengers.

On a side note, is it okay to change those settings I've talked about? I've noticed that increasing the number of bits per month interacts with the appearence of city cars somehow; this happens with Simutrans Standar as well.

PJMack

Quote from: Eusebio Ptolomeu on November 27, 2021, 11:38:48 AMbits per month (I've increased it to 22), base meters per tile (I've increased it to 7500), meters per tile (I've increased it back to 250m per tile)
Changing these settings even by a little has a major effect on game balance, and can make it unplayable. 

Quote from: Eusebio Ptolomeu on November 27, 2021, 11:38:48 AMI've let the speed limit inside the cities to be the speed limit of the actual type of road built
This is probably safe and will have no effect before the 20th century.  It is hard to predict what will happen in later years, but I have an inkling that it may make the game more challenging due to a change in private car traffic patterns.

Quote from: Eusebio Ptolomeu on November 27, 2021, 11:38:48 AMOne thing that I would like to know is if is there a way to see which destinations the passengers in a given stop want to get to, so that I can know what areas should I cover with my line, in order to attend the wishes of the majority of passengers
This is commonly requested however, the passengers have several alternate destinations, making such information overwhelming.  Also the destinations are chosen randomly, so past destination information could not easily be used determine future destinations.  What could be used (outside of the destination maps for cities) is the building information windows which give detailed information of the population, commuter and visitor demand of each building.  All buildings of the same type have the same such numbers, making it easy find clusters that ought to be connected (e.g. Residential to Commercial).   Also, the details window of the station has a tab for the totals for the area about a station. 

Eusebio Ptolomeu

Quote from: PJMack on November 27, 2021, 10:51:26 PM
Changing these settings even by a little has a major effect on game balance, and can make it unplayable. 

Is it feasable to keep the meters per tile as being 250m? I think this was the default value before; the reason I would like to keep it is so that the maps represent a area large enough to justify the use of planes in the future (with the 5000x5000 representing an square with a side of 1250km, I think this could encompass the entirety of Great Britain). But if I were to change this, should I change other values like those related to time (minimum waiting time, comfort-related settings, etc.) in order to keep the game playable?

PJMack

Quote from: Eusebio Ptolomeu on November 28, 2021, 10:00:05 AMIs it feasable to keep the meters per tile as being 250m?
This is probably pushing it as walking distance is hard-coded to about 2km, half an hour at 4kmh walking speed.  The reason you were getting no passengers with the 7500m/tile is that one tile was too far to walk.

Quote from: Eusebio Ptolomeu on November 28, 2021, 10:00:05 AMmaps represent a area large enough to justify the use of planes in the future
Although I have not used planes much, if you insist upon a large map then I would recommend having a rectangular map with island clusters or small continents on either end.  Try to keep land surface area down as much as possible and try to keep the landmasses relatively small to avoid large road networks that could hamper performance.

Eusebio Ptolomeu

QuoteAlthough I have not used planes much, if you insist upon a large map then I would recommend having a rectangular map with island clusters or small continents on either end.  Try to keep land surface area down as much as possible and try to keep the landmasses relatively small to avoid large road networks that could hamper performance.

Yes, it looks like the way to go. I'll try that if I find the normal square map too performance-intensive. One thing that seems to help at the start is to uncheck the "random_pedestrians" and the "stop_pedestrians" settings, in the Settings->Economy tab during world creation; this way, no pedestrian graphics shows up. Is this a purely graphical feature, or does it affect the gameplay somehow?

Eusebio Ptolomeu

So, I've decided to test with parameters again. I reduced my map to 2000x2000. I increased the meter per tile to 250m again; I think that, in order to compensate for this, I should change other parameters, to keep the overall balance of the game. I reduced the catchment area of the stations from 16 to 8, and I've also halved the "max_small_city_size" and "max_city_size" (those 2 seems to affect the size of cities more than the "Median Town Population" setting, which I left as 1600).
I managed to get passengers to use my lines, somewhat; the use is quite erratic, but it's enough to keep a profit. However, I've noticed that none of my convoys are able to keep under the confort time limit; in general, running these convoys in the largest cities, they take around 2:00:00 hours to complete. I am, however, playing from 1750, using only horses for intra-city lines and river barges for passenger lines between cities. Do you think these changes are necessary?

jamespetts

Welcome to Simutrans-Extended. I hope that you are finding it interesting. A few general notes.

1. The size of the map, per se, has little effect on performance. What affects performance is transport network intensity. This correlates strongly with the number of towns. Also, if you have a large number of towns (>200 or so) connected to the same road network, the game will take a long time to refresh the road connexion data (but this will not make the game less responsive or slower at anything else, as this part is multi-threaded). So, if you want a large enough map for air travel, specify a large, rectangular map with circa 200-300 towns using the town clusters feature to allow for local transport near the beginning of the game.

2. I strongly recommend using the default meters per tile (including base meters per tile) and bits per month settings. Note that these can only be changed at the beginning of a game. This is because the pakset is calibrated to use these settings. If you want the game to run more quickly or slowly without affecting the balance in any way, you can use the [.] or [,] keys to increase or decrease the speed (single player mode only). Generally, the balance settings in simuconf.tab are advanced settings: think of changing these more as modding the game than selecting options.

3. The comfort time limit will not prevent passengers from travelling, but will affect how much that they are willing to pay. However, this may change in the future if comfort based routing should be introduced.

4. You do not need to know exactly where passengers are trying to go in order to plan a good transport service. As in reality, where passengers ideally want to go and where passengers actually end up going are often not the same thing. Suppose, for example, you live in Glasgow, but your favourite fish and chip shop is in Birmingham. You would not actually travel hundreds of miles and spend many hours travelling to get to your favourite fish and chip shop in Birmingham if you wanted some fish and chips, so you would just go to the local fish and chip shop. Passengers in Simutrans-Extended operate in largely the same way. In the early days (before steam trains), few passengers will travel as journey times are very high when only horses provide motive power, and each passenger has a different journey time limit. To get good passenger transportation in the early years, set up stage coach routes between major towns. You will then catch a large number of potential passengers who may want to travel a large distance, and then you will get a sensible number travelling in your stage coaches.

5. For goods, make sure that you complete the chain and that enough passengers can get to the destination to buy the finished product.

6. Note that the overall round trip time for the convoy is not the same as the journey time for passengers: the journey time between individual stops is shown in the stop details window.

In any event, happy playing and (a belated) Merry Christmas! You could always try logging into the Bridgewater-Brunel server and playing online: because there are many mature networks already in the game, you may more easily be able to find small niches to serve or parts of freight routes to operate where other players have already got infrastructure to allow the remainder of the service to be operated without you having to build the entire network.
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Sirius

Quote from: PJMack on November 28, 2021, 07:20:33 PMAlthough I have not used planes much, if you insist upon a large map then I would recommend having a rectangular map with island clusters or small continents on either end.  Try to keep land surface area down as much as possible and try to keep the landmasses relatively small to avoid large road networks that could hamper performance.

I don't think you need such a setup.
Even on maps as small as Stephenson-Siemens, you can setup efficent and highly profitable turboprop networks.
It's all about good connections from the airports to the surrounding area as well as good connections between the airports.