Use the "Forum Search"
It may help you to find anything in the forum ;).

Simutrans-Extended FAQ

Started by jamespetts, February 05, 2012, 10:28:26 PM

Previous topic - Next topic

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.


A number of questions are often posed about Simutrans-Experimental; I thought that it would be helpful to have a thread dedicated to answering them. This is locked/stickied to act as a reference; if anyone would like to suggest something to add to this list, please start a separate topic in this board.


What is Simutrans-
Extended ?

Simutrans-Extended is a development fork of Simutrans. (I assume that readers of this forum know what Simutrans is - if not, see here). It aims to add more economic and operational realism to the game.

Where can Simutrans-Experimental be downloaded?

See here for the latest nightly development builds.

Is this the same thing as Simutrans-Experimental/what happened to Simutrans-Experimental?

Simutrans-Extended was thus renamed from Simutrans-Experimental on the 13th of February 2017 as the previous name was confusing, giving the incorrect impression that this project was a development branch for features intended to be merged into Simutrans-Standard.

Simutrans-Experimental started in early 2009 in order to test some additional features that I wanted to incorporate into Simutrans. However, it soon became clear that the development goals on which I was working were not ones with which the developers of Standard agreed, so a fork was created.

Although some Standard features have been added that are very similar to Extended features (and experience in Extended can sometimes inform the development of Standard features), features from Extended are generally not merged into Standard. It is a permanent fork.

What are the differences between Simutrans-Standard and Simutrans-

This is a topic that has a post all to itself: see here.

However, in general terms, Simutrans-Extended aims for greater realism and detail than Standard, particularly operationally and economically. This can make the game more complicated, which is the principal reason that the developers of Standard have not developed Simutrans in the same way as Experimental. Tastes as to complexity of gameplay vary, and the two versions between them accommodate a range of such tastes.

Simutrans-Extended also tends to require a more powerful computer than Simutrans-Standard. Most reasonably modern desktops and laptops can cope without difficulty, but older computers (especially running larger maps) might have some difficulty in coping, and additionally, Experimental is not really suited to present day handheld or tablet platforms because of its computational load. Standard has in the past been ported successfully to the iPhone.

Can Simutrans-Extended be played online?

Yes. Just click "play online" in the opening dialogue box for a list of servers.
Can Simutrans-Extended by played offline?Yes. Although the AI players do not work properly in Simutrans-Extended, as the AI was designed for the much simpler Simutrans-Standard and upgrading this has not been a priority, it is possible to play Simutrans-Extended offline. Some of the features (such as those relating to competition between players) work best when there are multiple transport companies, but players can play multiple companies in a single player, offline game.

Does Simutrans-Extended require different paksets?

Simutrans-Extended can use paksets from Simutrans-Standard, but these will not take advantage of all of Simutrans-Extended's features, and might not be ideally balanced for Simutrans-Extended. It is recommended that users use Simutrans-Extended specific paksets.

For more information about paksets optimised for Simutrans-Extended, see here.

How do pakset authors use the features specific to

For documentation of the additional features, see here.

Common gameplay issues
Time seems to be passing very slowly
The speed at which time passes is intended to allow a relatively relaxed game-play pace in an online multiplayer game, with a semi-persistent environment starting in the 18th century and ending in the 21st century, which will take about a year of real time with the normal setup of a multi-player game (i.e., one that pauses when no players are connected). The game is intended to allow for players to log in periodically and otherwise leave their networks unattended, so works well with short bursts of activity between longer periods of relative inactivity.

This is likely to be too slow for single player games. However, in a single player game, it is easy to fast forward time using the fast forward button in the toolbar, or the shorcut key combination SHIFT+W. The pace at which time passes can also be changed by using the  , and . keys. Using the fast forward key, players playing a single player game can replicate short bursts of activity followed by moderate periods of inactivity found in the online game.
Convoys can't find a route after they have been loaded. Why is this?
In Simutrans-Extended, weight limits for bridges are based on the loaded weight of the whole convoy. (In versions earlier than 11.0, all weight limits were based on the loaded weight of individual vehicles. Weight limits for ways other than bridges are now based on the axle load, which are not affected by the weight of passengers/goods loaded). However, if the convoy is so long that not all of it will be on the bridge at the same time, then only the weight representing the proportion of the weight of the convoy that will be on the bridge at any one time is counted towards the limit. For example, a two tile long bridge with a weight limit of 100t can take a four tile long train weighing 200t, but a three tile long bridge of the same type could not take that train.

If your convoys cannot find a route after they have been loaded, check that the affected convoys ('buses, trains, etc.) are not over weight (taking into account the convoys' load) for any of the bridges that they must pass to get to the next stop.

Why do the prices shown for ways differ from the cost to build a tile of that way?

In Simutrans-Extended, the cost shown for the construction of ways (such as roads, canals and railways) are the costs per kilometre; but each tile, depending on the pakset, represents a distance other than a kilometre. The default is 250m/tile, which means that a single tile of way will cost 1/4 of the shown "per km" cost.

What does it mean when passengers are shown as "too slow"? Am I doing something wrong?

In Simutrans-Extended, all passengers have a journey time tolerance. This represents how long that the passengers are prepared to travel. Different passengers have different journey time tolerances, generated randomly for each set of passengers, within a fixed range. That number can be anything from a few minutes to many hours for each set of passengers.

Every time that a set of passengers is generated, it calculates whether it can reach its desired destination within its journey time tolerance (by walking, using player transport, or using a private car/carriage - if the passengers have one, using whichever is the fastest). If the fastest method of getting to the intended destination (including the time taken to walk from the origin building to the first stop and from the final stop to the destination building at 4km/hour) still takes longer than the journey time tolerance, the passengers will not travel to that destination. The passengers may travel to an alternative destination if there is an alternative destination within their journey time tolerance. This is calculated at the outset based on the stored journey times that can be seen in the detail window of the stop dialogue boxes. The passengers will not give up part way through the journey if it turns out to exceed the tolerance after all (but see below on refunds).

It is normal to see a number of "too slow" indications in any given stop and does not by itself indicate a problem: not all passengers will ever be able to get to their desired destination within their desired time (think of it this way: there must be some people who would make a trip from London to Edinburgh for lunch' if they could be there and back in 10 minutes. These people would show as "too slow" in one of the graphs). There are some things that can be done to reduce the number of passengers that will not travel because the journey time is too long, however: one can increase the speed of services by using faster vehicles or more direct routes, one can reduce the waiting times by increasing the frequency of services, one can reduce the transfer times by building fewer, smaller stops with good services between them, and one can reduce walking times by placing more stops close to where people want to travel to and from.

Why and when do I have to pay refunds?

In Simutrans-Extended, passengers, mail and some goods will not wait indefinitely at a stop: they have a time limit beyond which they will abandon their journey. If passengers, mail and goods with a non-zero speed bonus have waited at a single stop more than a fixed period of time (this is a value set in, they will leave the station and claim a refund based on the estimated amount that they have paid so far to reach the stop in question. This prevents stops from becoming absurdly overcrowded, as often happens in Simutrans-Standard, where many tens of thousands of passengers may have been waiting several game years for a train. Passengers, mail and goods only claim a refund when they have been waiting at a particular stop more than the (by default, very high) waiting time limit. They do not leave and claim a refund based on their total journey time or waiting time at other stops.

Refunds are necessary to prevent a player being paid for transporting passengers, mail and goods part of the way to the destination without ever completing the journey, which would be an exploit if it were permitted.

What is the consequence of overcrowded stops?

In Simutrans-Extended, the consequences of overcrowding are: (1) the stop will not accept new passengers/mail/goods generated locally (this does not apply to transfer passengers/mail/goods); (2) waiting times will probably be longer because passengers/mail/goods are likely to have to queue to board the next available convoy; and (3) an overcrowded stop has a higher transfer time than a stop that is not overcrowded. The transfer time is the time that it takes passengers/mail/goods to move through the stop and transfer from one convoy to another, and is in addition to the waiting and travelling time. This time can be seen in the stop details window for each stop. Unlike in Simutrans-Standard, there is no setting preventing passengers/mail/goods from routing over overcrowded stations, although the greater waiting time will mean that the journey is slower and make it less likely that a route involving that stop will be taken.

Does putting more comfortable vehicles on a route make passengers more likely to use that route?

No: comfort affects revenue, not routing. The reason for this is technical: to take into account more than one factor in routing would greatly increase the computational intensity of the routing operation, which is already one of the most computationally intensive operations in the game, and would make performance unacceptable on larger maps. Routing of passengers, mail and goods of all types is based only on the quickest route from the ultimate origin to ultimate destination (including the time taken to get from the origin building to the origin stop and the destination stop to the destination building, either on foot for passengers or on hand-carts or conveyor belts for mail and goods).

How do I build large river boats in Pak128.Britain-Ex?

Simutrans-Extended has the concept of way constraints (see here for more details), which are used in Pak128.Britain-Ex for, amongst other things, restricting what types of ship/boat can travel on what types of water. All river boats (that is, water craft that cannot travel on open seas, only rivers) have the waterway permissive way constraint, designated by "MUST USE: Waterway" in the depot window. Shipyards can only be built at the end of a waterway, but the ends of natural waterways are all unnavigable streams (upstream) or the sea (downstream), neither of which are suitable for building river boats.

To build river boats, it is necessary to build a single, terminus tile of canal on flat terrain as a branch off a river or existing canal, and build a shipyard on that tile. To be able to build the greatest range of boats, use the largest canal type available: the "ship canal" in the early years, or the "large ship canal" in later years. However, if the shipyard is intended only to serve a canal of a particular type, then it is more cost efficient to build it on a tile of that type of canal than on a tile of a larger canal.

See here for a video tutorial on waterways which explores these issues in some more detail.

How do I upgrade canals and rivers in Pak128.Britain-Ex?

In most cases, changing from one canal or river type to another is not counted as an unambiguous upgrade by the game because of the way in which the way constraint systems work. To build a way (such as a canal) over another way which is not considered by the game to be unambiguously worse than the new one being built, hold down the CTRL key whilst dragging. This also allows for downgrading ways, for example, to save maintenance costs when a way becomes more lightly used.

Why do the tram tracks have a low speed limit in Pak128.Britain-Ex?

Tram tracks are intended to run on urban roads, and thus have a 50km/h speed limit to match the limit of urban roads. This is a realistic maximum running speed for road sections of tramways.

There are many trams, especially modern trams, that can go faster than this. To use these trams' top speed, use railway line instead of tram track in non-urban sections, just as is done in real life on many tramways, such as the Manchester Metrolink. Trams can run on railway lines provided that the correct type of electrification is used.


Why does the game crash every time that I try to load a pakset?

If this happens with only one particular pakset, then the problem might be that you are using a pakset from a more recent version of Simutrans-Standard than the latest Experimental release supports. This is only an issue if the pakset was not specifically built for Smutrans-Experimental (unless it was built for a release candidate version, which should be clear at the time of download). Look at the full version number of Simutrans-Experimental and make sure that the version of the pakset that you are using is able to work with the current version of Experimental. For example, Pak128 2.2.0 is built for Simutrans-Standard 112.0, but the latest release version of Simutrans-Experimetental at the time of the release of Pak128 2.2.0 is Simutrans 111.2.1 Experimental 10.18. The first part of that version number (before "Experimental") is the Standard version on which that release of Experimental is based, and it is lower than the version for which Pak128 2.2.0 is built (111.2.1 as against 112.0). (For reference, as at the time of writing, Pak128 2.2.0 should work with the release candidate based on 112.0, and a release version of a version of Experimental compatible with the more recent paksets is planned soon).

Why do I get an error in Windows every time that I try to start Simutrans-Extended?

The most common cause of being unable to start Simutrans-Extended in Windows is not having the necessary .dll files. These can be downloaded here and should be put in the same directory as the Simutrans-Extended executable.

Why can my ships/boats not find a route?

There are different possible reasons for this. Ships that have "MUST USE: Waterway" in their information can not travel on open ocean tiles and are confined to waterways such as rivers and canals. Some boats cannot use certain types of rivers/canals: barges, for example, are too big to fit in narrowboat canals. Look for the "MAY USE: ..." text in the vehicle's information window to make sure that the boat in question can use the river/canal type in question.

In other cases, if a ship has to find a very long route over the sea and up a river, the task of trying to find the route can be too much for the simulation (this is a difficult exercise for a computer) and will fail, resulting in "no route" being shown. If this happens, and there are no issues with constraints ("MUST USE"/"MAY USE"), try putting in waypoints part way along the journey to make the task easier for the computer.

Passengers/mail/goods at a station say that they come from "unknown". Is this a bug?

Probably not. It is normal for passengers/mail/goods to be listed as coming from "unknown" when the stop from which they originate has been deleted (even if it is rebuit afterwards).

I have found a bug - what do I do?

Please report bugs in the Simutrans-Extended development subforum. To make it easier for developers to track the bugs, please start a new thread for each distinct bug and describe the bug in the subject. For example, this is helpful:

Game crashes when I try to enlarge the map
I tried to enlarge the map, but the game crashed. A saved game where this can be reproduced is here...

Whereas this is less helpful
When I try to enlarge the map, the game crashed. Also, the text is garbled when my station is overcrowded. And where can I download Pak128.Sweden-Ex?

Also, please make sure to use the latest nightly build before reporting a bug so that you do not report a bug that has already been fixed.
Download Simutrans-Extended.

Want to help with development? See here for things to do for coding, and here for information on how to make graphics/objects.

Follow Simutrans-Extended on Facebook.