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New Simutrans Public Server

Started by Roboron, October 20, 2023, 09:51:23 PM

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Roboron

Recently I have been experimenting with hosting Simutrans game servers. Earlier this year I acquired a new ARM home server with plenty of CPU and RAM I'm not using, and I will be using it to host a Simutrans server.

Two weeks ago I set up a server ("Roboron's Public Server", still online) as an experiment. And it went good. So in the following days I will be hosting the final server as "Simutrans Public Server" with the things I learned in the process.

The goal is to have a permanently online server running Simutrans stable and Pak128 stable, so anyone who just installed Simutrans can hop in and experiment online play without worrying about incompatibilities.

Some things I've realized I can improve with respect to the experiment:

1 - Disable the public player since the beginning. Unfortunately It has been misused already 😕
2 - Disable trees in map generation (I've read it will decrease savegame size).
3 - Increasing bits_per_month to 23 from 20 (default), so time will run 8 times slower. Time ran too fast in the experiment, and for a game server you shouldn't need to log in every few hours just to keep up, but every few days instead.
4 - Increase the number of cities and the map size (2048x2048 is big but not big enough for 14 players, I think).
5 - Probably increase cities initial size and grow factor.

Do you have any more suggestions for this server? Maybe some settings that can help newbies not getting bankrupted so easily?

Andarix

Quote from: Roboron on October 20, 2023, 09:51:23 PM...
3 - Increasing bits_per_month to 23 from 20 (default), so time will run 8 times slower. Time ran too fast in the experiment, and for a game server you shouldn't need to log in every few hours just to keep up, but every few days instead.
...

I think pause_server_no_clients is better than making it run even slower

Quote# Pause server when no clients are connected
#pause_server_no_clients = 1

Roboron

I am not convinced about pause_server_no_clients. But just slowing down the time may not convince me either. So I will try with without pause and slower this time, and if that is not enough I will try with pause next reboot.

Matthew

Quote from: Roboron on October 20, 2023, 09:51:23 PMEarlier this year I acquired a new ARM home server with plenty of CPU and RAM

You are running a Simutrans server on ARM? Like a Linux distribution using AARch64? And it plays nicely with clients on x86-64?

If so, that's a feather in the cap of yourself, Prissi, and other contributors. I think it should just be a matter of changing the compiler target, but it still seems magical to me, and most proprietary games don't even both trying.
(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)。

Roboron

Yes, this is an Orange Pi 5 ARM board running armbian (a Debian distribution for ARM).

And yes, it plays nicely with x86-64 clients. I have been playing all the time without problems, so has been the other players.

And yes, it is indeed magical. Just yesterday I was trying to do the same for Terraria (with mods) but had to give up. For Simutrans I only had to compile it on the server and run. The fact that Simutrans is open and multi-platform is what makes the magic happens 🪄.

Andarix

Quote from: Roboron on October 22, 2023, 08:41:00 PMI am not convinced about pause_server_no_clients. But just slowing down the time may not convince me either. So I will try with without pause and slower this time, and if that is not enough I will try with pause next reboot.

If progress is too slow, players will simply not come back. And then their companies are abandoned.

I don't know if I would have the motivation to wait 2-3 hours for a vehicle to complete the one-way journey.

prissi

The vehicle speed is the same, just the revenue is calculated so much more seldomly. In relation to the time, the vehicles cover more distance per month.

Pausing is especially useful if most players come from the same region. When I had hoster pak64 games, after four of five players, the game rarely paused any more.

Andarix

#7
135 minutes of real time for a month in the game

This is going to be a pretty long game.

Or not, since the reactions (depot, construction) are already arriving very late or not at all (I know this behavior from Android Client).

zook2

The BB #5 game started in October 22, and we're in 2016 now, pausing with no players connected. We've had mostly 10-12 players, so the server ran probably a few hours every day. I'd say without pausing the game would have advanced too quickly sometimes; I'd have felt compelled to log in every day or so in order to not miss too much.

Andarix

I'll then say goodbye to the game. I don't like fighting games, which is what it boils down to.

Since you can't delete the password (I don't know what the option is set to that automatically deletes the password), I changed it to 0.

moblet

Thank you for hosting an accessible public server.

When you say that the public player has been misused, what exactly was happening?
Were players building public interchanges to exchange passengers?

With the scale of infrastructure and the economic model in Simutrans it is not possible for many players to duplicate services or infrastructure in the same areas. For a large number of players on a large map it works much much better if players "monopolise" passenger/mail service in most towns and if not more than about three players service any one industry. To do this players must be able to exchange passengers, mail and goods with each other, and this is only possible at public interchanges, since we cannot use other players' private yards/stops.

It can also work better if the electricity network is a single public asset, as duplicated private power lines cause obstruction to players trying to build new routes.

If your vision is for many players to share a large map I suggest re-enabling the public player so that players can do the above.

If your vision is for purely competitive play and you don't wish to enable the public player I suggest reducing both the size of the map and the number of players (no more than 4).

makie

Quote from: moblet on November 11, 2023, 01:12:47 AMTo do this players must be able to exchange passengers, mail and goods with each other, and this is only possible at public interchanges, since we cannot use other players' private yards/stops.
This is possible without access to public player. You can make your station public then all other player can connect to.

Misuse is, if player use public player  for terraforming or destroying of thing of other player, or shift cost for building to public. 

Andarix

From the public player you can switch to any other player, regardless of whether they have set a password or not.

As a result, in network games the public player should always be password protected. Whoever controls the public player can act as he pleases on the map.

Roboron

Quote from: zook2 on November 05, 2023, 05:36:07 PMThe BB #5 game started in October 22, and we're in 2016 now

This game started on October 28th at 1930 and it is now 1942 (roughly a year per day), so you are not forced to play every day, once a week is enough (that's what I do).

Quote from: Andarix on November 07, 2023, 04:59:37 PMSince you can't delete the password (I don't know what the option is set to that automatically deletes the password), I changed it to 0.

It is not set. I saw that option and thought on enabling it, but couldn't decide on how many months were a good idea. I can delete you password with nettool (I think, I have never used this tool).

Quote from: moblet on November 11, 2023, 01:12:47 AMWhen you say that the public player has been misused, what exactly was happening?

It was used to build or delete costly infrastructure mainly, often blocking mine. But as others said, you can make any way or station public without access to the public player. And in any case, I have access to the public player so anyone can request me to do something if it is really needed (or I could give trusted players access).


I closed the initial test server (Roboron's Public Server). If anyone is interested in the save I will be uploading the save games on https://files.michan.es/simutrans/saves/ from now on.

Andarix

I think you should stop the server temporarily until the list server is up and running again.

For one thing, you can't connect. And if you are connected and the list server is not available, the game constantly stops.

I'm not sure whether everything is working correctly when calculating income from aircraft. But I have no comparison because I don't play pak128.

Roboron

Alright. I have stopped the server for now. Thank you for the warning.

Andarix

Thanks for the info that you restarted the server.

Roboron

Oh, sorry. I didn't know it was restarted. A couple of days ago there was a failure on the machine it was running on, and I had to reboot it. That probably triggered a restart of the server, because I only stopped the service, not disabled it.

EDIT: Is the issue with the serverlist solved? It seems so, so I will leave it open. Also, I'm removing the "Rachaverse" company as per request.

Andarix

The question that arises for me is why players start playing an online game and then have their company deleted after 3 weeks. My guess is that it was too boring because it ran too slowly.

The other point is that two or three companies have now gone bankrupt, as the game has continued for about 8 years without reacting to avert bankruptcy.

These are the disadvantages of having a game that runs continuously.

If connections from other companies are lost, passenger numbers collapse because there are no destinations. This is exactly how industrial chains can be interrupted, which then leads to losses for other companies.

What ultimately happens to the map if they delete "Rachaverse", I don't know.

Roboron

I can also leave that company running and just remove the password. Do you think that is a better idea?

Andarix

#20
Quote from: Roboron on December 23, 2023, 08:00:04 PMI can also leave that company running and just remove the password. Do you think that is a better idea?

Look at what the company serves and then decide.

This is what happens when level crossings are removed when removing rail lines. The same applies to road bridges.

These problems also exist if the AI goes bankrupt and is removed.

Andarix

Example of what can happen when companies are removed

simscr07.png

Roboron

Then I have cleared the password, and changed the name to "Free Player". Feel free to take this player.

Roboron

Server down, my router died. Waiting for a replacement.

Roboron

Server back online. Note that I will restart this server shortly after the next release is done - but I will post the save if you want to keep playing :-)