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Simutrans Next Gen Project

Started by Yan, January 29, 2024, 12:25:11 PM

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Yan

Hello everyone!!... 

For a long time I have had a strong desire to see our fabulous transport simulation evolve towards current gaming standards, and to provide it with elements giving it even more realism :P :P !!...Its competitor which claimed to replace it, Transport Fever 2, did not seem to me to be up to the challenges, and suffers from shortcomings even compared to the current version of Simutrans :::) :::) !!...Its development team only updates randomly- ball for very marginal developments...It is really more than useful for enthusiasts of this type of simulation always wanting more realism to create the most COMPLETE game POSSIBLE which will also remain free thanks to the mobilization of teams of interns in game creation on a voluntary basis!!...I am aware that there are talented add-on creators here, but who certainly do not have the time to devote themselves as fully as possible to development of a new version...

The SIMUTRANS NEXT GEN project aims to be the synthesis of all the attempts at transport simulations which unfortunately did not have a long life such as Cities In motion or Traffic Giant by integrating their game elements, but also inspiration graphics of city-builders such as Cities Skylines or City State II (which seems closer to the current version of Simutrans but with quite a big evolution). The pace of life of city dwellers will condition the operation of passenger transport (travel to work/off-peak hours during the week, weekends, holidays, etc.) with the real influence of the day/night cycle on travel. The logic of planning urban environments will also evolve in this version by refining tourist attraction areas with museums and monuments from various countries, as well as hotel districts and leisure areas with various facilities (sports stadiums, amusement park attractions, casinos etc...) for internal city dwellers and passing visitors. New types of industrial zones will be added.

I thought carefully about the specifications to submit to the team of game creation interns that I would like to share with you here. Would you be ok?

Flemmbrav

Good luck and have fun with this ambitious project!

Am not sure if this is the right (sub) forum / name for your prject tho.

jamespetts

Quote from: Yan on January 29, 2024, 12:25:11 PMHello everyone!!...

For a long time I have had a strong desire to see our fabulous transport simulation evolve towards current gaming standards, and to provide it with elements giving it even more realism :P :P !!...Its competitor which claimed to replace it, Transport Fever 2, did not seem to me to be up to the challenges, and suffers from shortcomings even compared to the current version of Simutrans :::) :::) !!...Its development team only updates randomly- ball for very marginal developments...It is really more than useful for enthusiasts of this type of simulation always wanting more realism to create the most COMPLETE game POSSIBLE which will also remain free thanks to the mobilization of teams of interns in game creation on a voluntary basis!!...I am aware that there are talented add-on creators here, but who certainly do not have the time to devote themselves as fully as possible to development of a new version...

The SIMUTRANS NEXT GEN project aims to be the synthesis of all the attempts at transport simulations which unfortunately did not have a long life such as Cities In motion or Traffic Giant by integrating their game elements, but also inspiration graphics of city-builders such as Cities Skylines or City State II (which seems closer to the current version of Simutrans but with quite a big evolution). The pace of life of city dwellers will condition the operation of passenger transport (travel to work/off-peak hours during the week, weekends, holidays, etc.) with the real influence of the day/night cycle on travel. The logic of planning urban environments will also evolve in this version by refining tourist attraction areas with museums and monuments from various countries, as well as hotel districts and leisure areas with various facilities (sports stadiums, amusement park attractions, casinos etc...) for internal city dwellers and passing visitors. New types of industrial zones will be added.

I thought carefully about the specifications to submit to the team of game creation interns that I would like to share with you here. Would you be ok?

This is an interesting suggestion. You will, of course, need to make sure that what you create complies fully with the Artistic Licence 1.0 under which the code is licenced, which entails no commercial use.

Had you considered asking your interns to look at the current development projects for Simutrans-Extended?
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.

Isaac Eiland-Hall

Are you saying you have a team of programmers ready to program what you'll be specifying, or that you're planning to write specifications to post here in hopes current Simutrans devs will implement your ideas? I'm a bit confused from your post.

Yona-TYT

Maybe maybe maybe(I'm sorry @hajo :P ), they should coordinate well with the current development to bring possible corrections to the base project, standard simutrans, this way we will all win. :D

Yan

Hi guys!!... 

I thank you for your responses and your responsiveness to this project which tickles my brain!!...I will therefore respond to each of you:

Isaac Eiland Hall 


QuoteAre you saying you have a team of programmers ready to program what you'll be specifying, or that you're planning to write specifications to post here in hopes current Simutrans devs will implement your ideas? I'm a bit confused from your post.

I have no coding skills unfortunately. I plan to approach game developer schools and offer them the opportunity to develop Simutrans as Open Source software as part of their internship. With the specifications that I have patiently concocted, I hope that they will be able to make us a mixed salad of Cities In Motion and Giant Traffic for the simulation system, and City State II for the graphics, which will allow us to penetrate the neighborhoods of Simutrans cities right on the sidewalk :P :P !!...What do you think?!...

jamespetts


QuoteThis is an interesting suggestion. You will, of course, need to make sure that what you create complies fully with the Artistic Licence 1.0 under which the code is licenced, which entails no commercial use.

Had you considered asking your interns to look at the current development projects for Simutrans-Extended?

So I would have liked to coordinate between the team that I would find who would be well disposed to develop the "Next Gen" version of Simutrans, and those who like you I suppose and still others are committed to keeping alive this very nice simulation...I would make it clear to the team that the aim of the game will be to remain free FOR LIFE, and we will use the 1.0 license which you mentioned. I included in my specifications the reflections carried out around Simutrans Extended, so to see how they could be implemented by the development team, adding the options of Cities In Motion and Traffic Giant( there I think it's more focused on passenger transports).

Yona-TYT 

QuoteMaybe maybe maybe(I'm sorry @hajo :P ), they should coordinate well with the current development to bring possible corrections to the base project, standard simutrans, this way we will all win. :D



This is absolutely my goal :D :D !!...

Flemmbrav

QuoteGood luck and have fun with this ambitious project!

Am not sure if this is the right (sub) forum / name for your prject tho.

I was also asking myself the question when throwing my bottle in the water, but obviously since my message has not been moved it seems to be in the right place ;D ;) !!...

In a future message I will explain to you the specifications that I have thought about so that we can all refine them even better before final submission. Of course it will be expected that the completion of the project will take a long time because it is done voluntarily step by step...



wlindley

Even basic decisions like choosing a language will present challenges. Simutrans's codebase is in a rather ancient "dialect" of C++, it seems. I did a few projects in C++ back in the 90s — and the "modern" language called C++ bears little resemblance to what I knew then. As a plain C programmer who started in 1980, it is all quite difficult to know where even to pick up the language as used in the Simutrans code, as it reflects and is somewhat frozen, I believe, in a time when C++ itself was changing dramatically.

Going with a 'new' version of C++ (it seems there's a C++18 and potentially a C++20, all of which is too much for me to try to understand without having a good purpose) will both bring new contributors on-board, while possibly being an impediment to the folks here who have contributed so much for so long. I'd like to hear from the folks who are actively coding both SImutrans and the Extended versions.

Also be aware I have found violent pushback from my questions of writing other programs (in Perl, which is my daily-driver language for the last thirty years) that can read the compiled .pak files. As if writing a program that reads a free-software format could somehow violate free-software principles? Bizarre and off-putting.  I have gone the easier route of reading the source .dat files (see CPAN) but still want to write a tool to decompile existing paks to see what "tricks" they might have done to achieve some of their more interesting effects, or to convert old paks to new formats.

Indeed a tool to convert existing dat and pak files, and saved games, to whatever this new program can read, would be invaluable in not having to worry about "but can you actually play any existing worlds with the new program?"

Also, a workflow for converting source pakfiles, of whatever format is decided, to compiled (currently dat) files must be open, and flexible enough to permit a variety of tools to be used.  Do please stick with all Free Software at every step.  But note that Pak128 Britain has Blender blend files that crash any version of Blender you can download today, and I haven't been able to find any way to convert the old files to work with the new Blender program.  That's a non-starter going forward, as there's no way, it seems, to recreate the .png images from the .blend sources now. Quite a pity.

Ideally any effort would bring together all the active contributors here and bring on many more.  It might not be easy but it is well worthwhile.

Regards from outside Louisville, Kentucky!


Yona-TYT

Quote from: Yan on January 30, 2024, 02:07:32 PMI was also asking myself the question when throwing my bottle in the water, but obviously since my message has not been moved it seems to be in the right place ;D ;) !!...

I can move this to big projects, but I need more incentives. ;)

Isaac Eiland-Hall

Quote from: Yan on January 30, 2024, 02:07:32 PMI plan to approach game developer schools and offer them the opportunity

I hope that goes well. It will be interesting to see if you get anyone interested in the offer. On the one hand, it is real-world software. On the other hand, it uses older versions of programming languages so they might not be interested.

Of course, if they rewrite things from scratch... but there is also the idea that any particular intern or sets of interns may well not complete the project.

I think in the best possible case, this could lead to some interesting developments. And in the worst case, it shouldn't hurt anything, I would hope.

Quote from: Yona-TYT on January 31, 2024, 07:50:54 PMI can move this to big projects, but I need more incentives. ;)

Perhaps let us see this actually make a little progress and then it can easily be moved :)

Yona-TYT

Quote from: Yan on January 30, 2024, 02:07:32 PMI plan to approach game developer schools and offer them the opportunity to develop Simutrans as Open Source software as part of their internship.
My recommendation would be to use the script API (squirrel) to teach simutrasn concepts and how to control things using scripts in a fun way. 
There is great potential in that API to teach and learn, you learn the fundamentals of programming while having fun with simutrans.

Roboron

I suggest to use a better name for the project, since I don't think "Simutrans Next Gen" is really descriptive. Not that the ideas are very next gen, since most of what you propose have already been done on other similar games. But since the core of your changes seems to be the real time simulation, I suggest "Simutrans Real Time" as alternative.

Otherwise, I'm really excited about your project, and I wish you luck with that! Some of the changes you proposed are really interesting (and quite a challenge!).

Yan

Hi guys!!... 

Sorry for this long silence but I have been quite busy these last few days with my work!!...As I announced, I would like to share with you here the specifications that I wish to submit to the future trainee developers of the new version of the game.

The number of points being too numerous, I would distribute them in groups of six: 

I-PROJECT PASSENGER TRANSPORT PART 

●Creation of 3D city maps in the formats of Cities Skylines/Transport Fever 2 or even Citystates II-Also creation of random maps representing urban areas of different sizes, from small towns to megalopolises on the original Simutrans diagram, with the population ceilings delimiting their dimensions (but leaving the possibility of possible mergers into geographical departments as in the original version of the simulation) - Attempts to reproduce real regions of certain European, North and South American, Asian and even African countries;

●Diversification of the city's areas beyond the industrial-commercial-residential triptych with the creation of tourist areas including museums and monuments from various countries around the world, as well as hotel districts and leisure areas (sports stadiums hosting matches , amusement parks, casinos, etc.) likely to welcome numerous visitors both internally and externally to a given city and therefore additional users for urban transport; 

●Be able to establish a zone of office buildings in commercial zones in addition to shops or annularly between shop and residential zones to increase passenger traffic; 

●Resumption of the functionality of Traffic Giant giving the possibility of starting the passenger transport activity on the basis of calls for tenders from local municipalities with competing companies responding to them being managed by the game's AI or by humans in a context of MMOG games-Possibilities of takeovers of urban networks of former transport companies following new concessions from local municipalities-Permanent negotiations with the transport departments of town halls for the installation of transport infrastructures or road modifications ; 

●Be able to create more varied traffic routes on the model of Cities Skylines including bus corridors, and on wide avenues the possibility of installing overhead bridges for metros/monorails and reserved lanes for trams, see for a BHLS network; 

●Resuming the day/night cycle of Cities In Motion 2 accompanied by commuting migrations of residents from residential areas to the economic areas of the city over the 5 days of the week, and from residential areas to the leisure areas and shops the most last 2 days, activities being reduced or zero on weekends in industrial and office zones - Provide for regulation of commuting migration specific to each economic zone with peak/off-peak hours (5 a.m. to 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. for industries, 8 a.m. to 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. to 6 p.m. for offices, from 10 a.m. for shopping and leisure areas with gradual closures of shops from 8 p.m., the intermediate gaps representing off-peak hours) - Refine this cycle with if possible the reproduction of the lengthening of days in summer and shortening in winter influencing user behavior and the modulation of urban transport service slots accordingly - Provide additional options for the definition of local vacation calendars that could reduce activity industrial and office sectors during certain periods of the year and increase it in leisure areas (winter/summer holidays inspired by various countries) and the programming of exceptional events (concerts, sports tournaments, trade shows, etc.) increasing the number of visitors from outside a city.

I would have liked to have your opinion on these first points!!...


Flemmbrav

I'm curious on why your focus is not on finding a capable engine. To me the biggest challenge seems to be to be able to scale the game to a map size similiar to simutrans.

Combuijs

Finding a capable engine is design/implementation, Yan is only specifying features.

Having said that I pity the future trainee developers, because with this specification you need to know lots of games before you start: Simutrans and 5 other games. So at the end of your traineeship you probably only have seen these games and have not even started programming.

The idea that trainee developers can develop such a game is ludicrous to say the least. You need a well thought out design of the program to even start working on it and you need a great lot of time (more than traineeship) to develop this in a sensible way. You can see that Yan has no programming experience and has no idea what he is asking in terms of development capacity.

As a professional developer I would immediately send back these "specifications" for clarification. Don't refer to other games, specify exactly what you want. Define what you mean with "zones" and "areas", second and third point seem to contradict each other (is this a 7th "area"?). Fourth point mentions a tender possibility, but is this the only way you can manage transport lines or are there others? If there are others, how do they interfere with each other? "Be able to create more varied traffic": No, in a specification you should mention them all precisely.

I would rate these "specifications" on a scale from 1 tot 10 as -1. And would happily work on better specified projects or a project of my own, where I can do what I want. I am afraid your trainee developers will think exactly the same...

The problem of these kind of projects is not the lack of specifications, but the lack of qualified developers that are prepared to spend time on it. So I would advise you to start programming yourself...
Bob Marley: No woman, no cry

Programmer: No user, no bugs



jamespetts

I anticipate that it would take a large team of talented programmers working full time perhaps 2-4 years to implement these features into the Simutrans engine, not least because they would have to start from scratch with the graphics.
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.

Leartin


● Creation of 3D city maps in the formats of Cities Skylines/Transport Fever 2 or even Citystates II

3D graphics in Simutrans might be possible, sure. Logic and Graphics should be seperated anyway - a Simutrans Server runs without any graphics, and it should not matter how the data is rendered.
But those other games are not grid based. A grid based game in 3D looks like Anno 1800, I think some SimCity were grid based 3D.
A lot of logic in Simutrans depends on the grid, and vice versa, a lot of logic needed for freeform simply does not exist at all.
Which begs the question: Why use Simutrans as a starting point? If you had the capacity to create a 3D engine and all the logic currently missing for non-grid-games, you also had the capacity to create a new game from scratch.

● Also creation of random maps representing urban areas of different sizes, from small towns to megalopolises on the original Simutrans diagram, with the population ceilings delimiting their dimensions (but leaving the possibility of possible mergers into geographical departments as in the original version of the simulation)

With this sentence, you disregard non-urban areas, and reduce scope to urban transport, like Cities in Motion. Which, as far as design decisions go, could be a good thing - urban transport and regional transport don't actually mix well in a game. If your map is a single city, there is no need for regional transport. If your map is a region large enough to depict a complete regional train line, your cities are quite restricted in size, so much so that urban transport becomes a joke.
Simutrans barely gets away with it because scale is so abstract, the same map size can be used to depict one city, using vehicles for urban transport, or a region, using the same vehicles for regional transport.
Just start Simutrans, and look what we accept as a small town - a single road, a townhall, and maybe 5 buildings. Go to Cities Skylines and try to place 6 buildings to make it look like a town, rather than some faraway settlement near nowhere.

Granted, it's not impossible to get around this. The same game could consist of multiple city maps, where you do urban transport, and a connecting "overworld" in which the regional transport is managed - like a mix of Anno and SimCity. This also helps with map sizes... but still, has nothing to do with Simutrans.

● Attempts to reproduce real regions of certain European, North and South American, Asian and even African countries

Simutrans does that with climates, but it's mostly a matter of assets. If you want to go in details, there are quite some differences in the road layout - straight grids in America, Europe gets smaller blocks of irregular shape, tons of cul-de-sacs in the middle east...
But for Simutrans as-is, implementing that would be as simple as having climate depending cityrules. You don't need that, since the game is grid based and the scale is out of whack, so you get rectangular blocks either way. For a gridless 3D game, you'd first have to define how cities grow themselves in the first place, before you can deal with having alternatives. Look at some websites how much good assets cost, even if they are generic enough to fit many needs - so perhaps you don't need different regions after all ;)

●Diversification of the city's areas beyond the industrial-commercial-residential triptych with the creation of tourist areas including museums and monuments from various countries around the world, as well as hotel districts and leisure areas (sports stadiums hosting matches , amusement parks, casinos, etc.) likely to welcome numerous visitors both internally and externally to a given city and therefore additional users for urban transport;

Simutrans can do that. Pak192.Comic has park areas - using the cluster mechanic, you can subdivide ind, com and res further. You could use clusters for hotels, leisure buildings etc. and get districts of those. If anything, you'd want city attractions and city factories to count as ind/com/res and clusters for the placing of surrounding citybuildings - a rather small change compared to your proposals.

●Be able to establish a zone of office buildings in commercial zones in addition to shops or annularly between shop and residential zones to increase passenger traffic;

Simutrans is a transportation game, not a citybuilder. YOU don't establish zones, they should spawn on their own.
But if we consider using Simutrans as basis for a citybuilder, all you have to do is creating level-0-citybuildings of the type and cluster you want and allow the player to place those. Once the city grows, it will follow it's regular rules, so a new commercial of cluster office will likely spawn where a commercial of cluster office already is.
Changing the rules of the citybuilder to only ever automatically place buildings where a lower-level building of the same type and cluster already is would be a rather minor change compared to your proposals.

●Resumption of the functionality of Traffic Giant giving the possibility of starting the passenger transport activity on the basis of calls for tenders from local municipalities with competing companies responding to them being managed by the game's AI

I don't know how Traffic Giant works, and your attempt to use fancy words doesn't help conveying what you want.
But in Simutrans, pax already want to go somewhere specific, and several companies can compete. Pax will only use the connection that's best for them.
There is no mechanic for locking other companies out of an area. This is something Simutrans could add.


● or by humans in a context of MMOG games
 
In regards to multiplayer, Simutrans is a Sandbox like Minecraft. Open Multiplayer is a bitch. Play with friends and you make your own rules. Play with strangers, and everything needs to be heavily restricted, to the point where you can't actually play unless someone else allows you to.
But "MMOG games"? MASSIVE multiplayer online game games? I mean, sure, if you have several cities as completely seperate entities, and only few players can enter an instance of a city... but it's a lot of headache again - especially for something which probably wouldn't have a massive player amount anyway.

● Possibilities of takeovers of urban networks of former transport companies following new concessions from local municipalities

Sure. Why not.

● Permanent negotiations with the transport departments of town halls for the installation of transport infrastructures or road modifications

Mayor angry? Plant some trees!

●Be able to create more varied traffic routes on the model of Cities Skylines including bus corridors, and on wide avenues the possibility of installing overhead bridges for metros/monorails and reserved lanes for trams, see for a BHLS network;

Simutrans got you covered.

●Resuming the day/night cycle of Cities In Motion 2 accompanied by commuting migrations of residents from residential areas to the economic areas of the city over the 5 days of the week, and [...]

Why not speak about the requirements first?
For any of this to work, you need to have time that passes slow enough that several trips may be completed within a day, and you need timetables.
Simutrans lives from playing through the years, with new vehicles becoming available over time. Which is completely seperated from travel times and can be adjusted.
This does not work well together.
Furthermore, it's fiddly detail work, compared to Simutrans' approach of "build way, add vehicle". If that is required, it completely alters what the game is about. If it isn't required, why would anyone bother, and by extension, why would it even exist?



All in all: I don't think you want to improve Simutrans. You want a citybuilder with a focus on transit, which is a very different concept. And as such, it would be a mistake to start with Simutrans as a basis.

What you describe are "cool things in other games". What you don't describe is the core of the game. What role does the player take? It would be a bit silly to play a transport tycoon which has to beg for a city to allow them to build a network, but at the same time is able to plan the cities layout. Such contradicting ideas could not happen if you had a good idea of what you even want to create, rather than a wishlist of things you like in other games of a vaguely similar genre.

Isaac Eiland-Hall

Well, I am not too surprised by where this project is going.

I didn't want to express too many doubts to start, because you never know. But based on the latest update, yes, I think this is unfortunately a time for harsh words and a huge reality check.

To create a game with all the features mentioned would require much more detail and decision making about those features first. But even if that was generally set enough to enable programmers to start building a project to work that way, it would make little sense to repurpose Simutrans. You need a new game engine, for a start.

You can be inspired by Simutrans and other games, but this is ultimately a completely new project. And not trivial, at that.

Such a project would take a team of professional programmers some years to finish, much less interns or trainees, who will not have the experience to use best practices and be able to optimize performance.

Novices make novice mistakes. That's fine, and should be expected.

But even as it stands now, it takes new contributors a long time to work through the code base to understand enough about Simutrans to make meaningful bug fixes. To make drastic changes to functionality would require even more time.

This is a very very common problem. People start a hobby, or they like to cook, and so try to start a business off that. That can work, but running a business is a hugely different effort from a hobby or cooking for your family. It's a matter of scale and regulation, for a start. If I want to sell my food, I need to worry about certifications, food safety, packaging, advertising, distribution........ so so many very things. It's entirel different.

With this project, the progress made by every group of interns would be minimal, while the next required time to get up to speed, so even if the project was considered possible, in reality, it would take a very long time to accomplish. And the quality of the code would be very poor.

prissi

There is this Checz game, Mashinky, which used 3D graphics on a tiled map with many Simutrans and OpenTTD features. I think this the best that had 3D graphics combined with simutrans-style tiled map. Also developed since 2009!

Yan

Hi guys!!... 

Thank you for your critical responses!!...Once again I would like to point out that I have no programming knowledge at all...I was hoping that we could summarize the other transport simulations, take up their characteristics and game systems, and add them to Simutrans, from what I see from the severe analyzes made of the specifications it would seem that this is a much more insurmountable challenge than I had ever imagined :o :o !!!...

And yet to see the Mashinky site, our friend Jan Zeleny, creator of this simulation, manages to mix the characteristics of Transport Tycoon with the new graphics of our time!!...Can't we refine it by small touches to lengthen the time of day and include for urban transport frequencies according to travel during the week/weekend/holidays, definitions of fare zones, ticket prices with subscription formulas depending on the types of customers ( workers, students, retirees...) ??? ??? ?!...I am convinced that it must not be so impossible to do, since the creators of Paradox Inteactiv have indeed done it in Cities In Motion!!... And it was in the 2000s, with card characteristics not seeming very far from those of Simutrans...

Isaac Eiland-Hall

Think of it like modifying a car, only moreso.

I buy a car, and it uses the brake lights for turn signals in the US. I'd prefer having amber turn signals. In this analogy, nobody makes replacement car parts, everything must be manufactured by hand.

So while it would have been relatively trivial for the original manufacturer to provide amber turn signals, for me, I have to design the light fixture, the circuitry, the wiring, make it fit in the car....

It's not a perfect analogy, but the idea is that while any individual small programming task might not take long, to make extensive changes requires learning how to build a car, then learning how that car was built to an engineering level. Then lots and lots of time working on it.

Now, in this case, if you finish the task, you do end up with more than just one car, since once software is finished, unlimited copies can be made.

But it is still a behemoth task. Consider that Simutrans has more than 25 years of work on it - sure, by volunteers, but these are all people who had to take the time to learn the program before they could make changes. I cannot imagine how many hours of work brought us to this point.

And while some who have contributed to the project have surely been beginners, many are not.

Now, it may be beneficial for a school interested in real-world software for interns to spend time learning Simutrans, who might then work on some small feature or bug fixing. But the scope of the project is basically like trying to get high schoolers to build a consumer-grade car from scratch. It will take them time to learn about the car, and by the time they can know enough to contribute to the project, it'll be time for the next group to cycle through and work on it. And meanwhile, they are not experts, so while they may have some great ideas, a lot of it will be poorly done. No insult intended to interns, just a simple fact of inexperience.

A project like this would be delightul. I have thought many times that if I won the lottery, I'd consider hiring a team of programmers to basically do something like this - starting over from scratch, getting input from the community especially the programmers on what they wish had been done differently...

But basically, unfortunately, as it stands now, this is basically the same as how people have approached me over the years with ideas for a website that will make lots of money. It's not ideas that are needed, it's the thousands of hours building it, and then the marketing of it and the luck of getting people that makes the difference. Almost all such projects fail terribly. And they are so so very much more complicated than they sound like they should be.

So I hate being negative about this, but that's why I and others are.

Ideas are by far the easy part. Getting someone to build those ideas is very very difficult. :)

Leartin

Quote from: Yan on February 19, 2024, 01:59:04 PMI am convinced that it must not be so impossible to do, since the creators of Paradox Inteactiv have indeed done it in Cities In Motion!!... And it was in the 2000s, with card characteristics not seeming very far from those of Simutrans...

You claim you have no programming knowledge, but you do have access to the internet. You can learn everything you need to make your perfect game. Programming does not cost anything either, so long as you don't rely on third party services.
So every time you think "It must be possible to do X" just immediately add yourself - "It must be possible for me to do X". Yes, it is! You can do it! Programming isn't even that hard, really, and everybody startet somewhere.

Once you learn how to program and can be productive yourself, it's also much easier to find like-minded people to do a project together as well, and you have a much better idea of how much work something really is.

So what you need to think about is: Are you willing to put time and energy in? If you do, I'm sure there are several people here who will gladly help you with pointers where to go and what to learn (If you are at 0 knowledge, I'd suggest Scratch-Tutorials by Griffpatch on YouTube - doesn't get much easier than Scratch) But if you are not willing to invest in your vision, why would anyone else?




Just some pointers, since it bugs me:
Yes, Jan Zeleny made a nice game. He worked on it for 8 years in his free time. Which proofs it's possible. But don't you think a guy like Jan who spent years on programming without pay would have enough interest in the genre to play the other games? Come across what they do, get inspired, and if he thinks they are great mechanics implement them?
Well, only he knows why he didn't implement some specific mechanic, but probably
A) because it did not fit with his vision
B) because it was too much work for too little gain
C) because there was more important stuff to do

It's not like game designers always know best, but as a rule, I'd like to think they rather know what they are doing and, more importantly, what they are not doing.

It is probably easier to take Mashinky and add Simutrans-Gameplay, rather than take Simutrans and add Mashinky graphics, so there is that. Except: Mashinky is not open source, so it does not really matter, does it?



Cities in Motion is not a game of the 2000s, it came out 2011. And it's not made by Paradox, who is only the publisher, but Colossal Order, same guys who later made Cities Skylines. Colossal Order has 30 employees, but only made 4 games since their foundation in 2009. If 30 people need 2 years to complete a game...


Yan

Hi guys, Since we have started a frank analytical dialogue, I still ask myself a few questions related to your answers which are still missing the point on your real knowledge of an urban transport system... Obviously many of you don't seem to use them often, and therefore are unaware that to create a realistic system for simulating urban transport alongside a Freight system, it is IMPERATIVE that it be modeled on the rhythms of life of city dwellers...On the other hand, it is perfectly possible to create a suburban transport system simply on the scale of 8 cities spread over a region, please with cities of less than 1000 inhabitants!!...The Paris region in reality is the perfect model, and in Cities Skylines the spirit has been taken up with a regional system of 9 cities we can subdivise by territorial planning, drained by ALL IMAGINABLE MODES OF TRANSPORT, from bus to airship... The icing on the cake, with the influence of the climate on their functioning (via mods I grant you, but all the same much better turned than those of Simutrans)...Personally and frankly I have always found the transport system of passengers of Simutrans somewhat stupid, without pricing, without zoning, without coherent frequencies, walking according to the pifometer... Hats off to the said programmers here present, who believe that ultimately everything is fine and nothing should change, but in this case where is the usefulness of a simulation pretending to reproduce a real life context, with obsolete elements given current possibilities?!...Over time I have the clear feeling that many transport enthusiasts have started to get used to it disinterest...It's nice to find yourself stuck in a community of tinkerers producing more bugs than real improvements, but I find it very unfortunate!!...

To conclude, any simulation worthy of the name of whatever nature, apart from games for babies with at their 50th  still suck their thumbs like Pacman or Mario Bross, must come as close as possible to reality, otherwise it is bogus, useless, without interest...

Leartin

I take it you mean to say that we will see a project of yours soon, since you obviously know best. Can't be just an angry rant without substance, right?

Yan

Leartin, 

Let's be honest among ourselves, when I see the exchanges in the Simutrans forums I only see complaints about bugs which suggest that the Simutrans tinkerers only make things riddled with bugs at each comma, letter, and line of codes...And then, if thanks to these contributors the games had undergone an evolution as spectacular as Transport Fever for decades that you have been going around in circles, it would have been known at least!!...I very much fear that in game creation studios, we would have taken you a day at most and you will have made up your total balance at the end of it... So I think you have to have it a little modest...
Furthermore, I have absolutely not been able to follow your ramblings on the passenger transport networks which you ABSOLUTELY do not master!!...You even seem not to have understood that in Simutrans itself, the regionalization of transport is FUNDAMENTAL to their profitability...Wouldn't you by chance play with the bankruptcy-free mode to occupy your time without simulating a real business?!!...

Flemmbrav

Can we not attack members here, Yan?

I kind of understand it being frustrating to see the harsh reality on the scale of investment a new game needs, but that really should not result in ugly texts like these.

Besides, to be honest, I'm expecting a game of the kind you proposed to take even longer to develop, than the cities: series does, even when done by Colossal Order. But you don't have them and their experience in prior games backing you, you start from scratch. This adds either a lot of tech dept to your project, or lots of extra investments in plus to the ones generated by the already higher aimed features.

Please be aware that people displaying you this are not attacking you personally, and you attacking them for that is not ok.

Yan

Flemmbrav, 

I don't want to offend anyone here in particular...But I had the clear impression that for example in Combujis' intervention you wanted to fool me as if I didn't know transport simulations...So with the same frankness that you reframed for me, I did my reframe...We cannot honestly say that today Simutrans soars very high in the transport simulation genre...It has the potential that I find stupidly wasted by people with blinders...

 Honestly, who in a game creation company would even take as intern individuals who only produce buggy codes, only tinker?!...Isn't that objectively the case here where certainly there is no profitability constraints?!... So no point in scolding me about programming even if I have no knowledge of it, I would have had to deal with experts I would have understood but that but to my knowledge, this is not the case...I wanted to politely ask you for your opinions, there's no point getting on your white horse...

I was asked to go and find out about the programming on the Internet, well precisely when we want to do a minimally sensible simulation of urban and inter-urban transport, we take as much information as possible on their functioning, even if it means going to the field frequent them, to have the bases to reproduce them in codes...Otherwise we mechanically produce debilities...We cannot even discuss coding at this stage...And in fact as I described more top the current Simutrans passenger transport system is rubbish...It was certainly perfect for the time in which it was designed, but that doesn't progress move backwards...I don't think I'm offending anyone with this truth.. .

When we want to make a serious game, we either do it PERFECTLY REALISTIC or do nothing, we denigrate ourselves :::) :::) ...A serious game lives up to its name ;) !!...




Leartin

Quote from: Yan on February 20, 2024, 02:13:13 PMWouldn't you by chance play with the bankruptcy-free mode to occupy your time without simulating a real business?

What a burn. No, I'm worse, I'm an enabler - I create graphics of such useless things as citybuildings, such that others who want to enjoy a nice-looking game in freemode can do so :D


Quote from: Yan on February 20, 2024, 02:13:13 PMI have absolutely not been able to follow you
Yes. I understand that. I thought it's an obvious point which does not require prior experience, but I guess I was wrong.

I'm talking about scope in regards to scale. Clearly, you can't have an infinite map, so you have a limit of how large your map can be. If we consider a tile-based map (just because it's simpler to explain - the map type does not matter), you know there is a limited number of tiles a map can have.
Now, the amount of tiles does not equal real-life scale, since we have not decided how many meters a tile has yet, but for realism, we need to eventually.
And now you have a choice: If you scale your tiles in such a way that there is 3 meters per tile, you can depict a city with all it's narrow alleys. However, at 3 meters a tile, even a thousand-tile-wide-map is only 3 kilometers long. That's about enough to depict a single city.
If you want to depict regional traffic: Regional trains easily go a hundred kilometers. And that's if you only depict one regional train line. But that means the same thousand-tile-map has tiles that are a hundred meters each.


So which should it be? Do you want to focus on a realistic regional line, even though all cities need to be scaled down unrealistically? Do you want to focus on a realistic city, even though at best, you get a three-stops-cutout of regional transport? Or do you want the user to play with long-distance-travel, meaning you cities are just dots on the map?

The Simutrans approach is pretty much to ignore the issue by claiming "representative character". Therefore, when you see a city in Simutrans consisting of 5 houses, you know it's not meant to actually be 5 houses, but rather a "small town". And at the same time, when two cities are ten tiles apart, you know they are not actually meant to be ten road-thicknesses apart. This works due to suspension of disbelief, and it's not realistic at all. So, the more realism you want, the less of these kinds of things you get away with.



A citybuilder can do all the nitty-gritty-city-detail stuff because it does not need to care about regional traffic. It just cares about the part of it that tangents the city. On the other hand, a transport simulation (that does more than one city) has no need to know about alleys, since they don't contribute anything, they are dead weight.
Any Game Designer will know that this requires a choice. You either cut something, or neither is as good as it could be without interference from the other. (Eg. Simutrans cut both to a degree, and got the issue that stations are sometimes as long as the trip the train takes in return...)

Now, this is just scope of scale. It's simple, anyone can see the issue, even without knowing anything. Please, please don't tell me your great idea on how to circumvent this issue, since I don't care for your choice - the point is that it IS an issue that needs to be tackled, and you did not understand that even after I told you. How could you tackle any issues if you don't see them?

makie

This discussion is a waste of time and leads to nothing.

None of us has the manpower to do this project.

Ranran

QuotePersonally and frankly I have always found the transport system of passengers of Simutrans somewhat stupid, without pricing, without zoning, without coherent frequencies, walking according to the pifometer...
It seems like you want to take advantage of many traffic simulation games and still use simutrans as a base, but have you ever looked at simutrans extended, which is right next to simutrans (standard)?
It's gameplay is very different from simutrans and more realistic. However, it is still in the process of progress and is incomplete.
Generating ideas is easy. It requires a lot of effort to implement. Adding features also introduces bugs. It's two steps forward, one step back, and repeat.

It would be foolish to ignore bugs and move on...

Isaac Eiland-Hall

Yan, it seems that you misunderstand the nature of Simutrans, and do not understand software development in general.

First of all, this is an all-volunteer project. Many many people over many years have devoted many hours and effort into creating it. It is not a commercial software venture. There is no goal for popularity. People who find it and enjoy it are welcome to enjoy it and contribute.

Also, all software has bugs. Simutrans is under active development and continues to fix bugs. Other software that gets abandoned does not see such fixes.

But most importantly: You will not attack this community. Your recent attacks are not welcome here. If this is how you feel, you are free to stop posting and go pay someone to create the software you want.

I will not address your points further. But you are completely off base, and I suggest you change your attitude immediately or I will take steps to prevent your disruption to our community.

Consider this a serious warning.

I am locking this thread. New discussion can take place elsewhere. I suggest your attitude stays in this thread.

Isaac Eiland-Hall

I am posting one last follow-up on this topic, but leaving it locked.

Yan has sent a PM to me apologizing for their behaviour in this thread.

I will reply to them to encourage them to continue to participate in the community, just remembering that we're all volunteers and Simutrans is what it is, for better or worse. It is not a commercial project, and so has different goals and measures of success.