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What skills required to help develop simutrans?

Started by davidh, September 07, 2009, 02:52:58 PM

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Hi Guys

I've been a simutrans player for some years, started back on version 86.x I think. I've been a software engineer for a lot longer and I was wondering about contributing some code. Most of my career has been working with databases and I've not done any raw code hacking for a good while so I was wondering what skills are you looking for in contributors? I tried to checkout the source to take a look at it; but I needed a username / pw to get at it.




Several references about the issue:

Btw, to contribute with code, you at least need to know some programming, specially C++.

Mod edit: Fixed broken link. "Source Code article" is now in a new wiki.

Escala Real...a blog about Simutrans in Spanish...



The "Source Code article at the wiki" link seems to be broken.
What are the skill requirements to contribute?
Just be good to each other.


The skill requirements depend on what kind of feature that you want to contribute - for adding more basic features to the code, a basic understanding of C++ (and a willingness to learn) will suffice. For more advanced features, a more in-depth understanding of programming is helpful.

For working on paksets (graphics, data) no programming knowledge as such is required, but depending on the pakset workflow, some graphical knowledge and ability to balance/research is needed.
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.


It would help if the documentation were better. One of the things I like about Simutrans and some other games is their programmability. Programming is  my thing. Graphically, unfortunately, I am completely untalented. I would like to change some things, but they are poorly documented. The most recent annoyance is that has only a limited influence on map creation.

Isaac Eiland-Hall

It would help if more volunteers would help document Simutrans. More volunteers for that purpose are always welcome.


Of course! But those who did something should also document what they did. It certainly has its charm for someone to dive as an explorer in the depths of the code. I would prefer it to have a map.

Isaac Eiland-Hall

Quote from: Y5mpF3 on March 20, 2019, 06:01:58 AMBut those who did something should also document what they did.

Wrong. And this is the attitude that needs to change. Volunteers volunteer their time. Any changes that go into the code may get approved or denied; anything else a volunteer does may or may not get used.

It would be *nice* if there was documentation, but it is not a requirement for any volunteer to do, unless that prevents someone from approving their code, for example.

You should have no *expectations* of documentation, or anything else. If someone volunteers to create documentation, fantastic.

That being said, somehow people have managed to read the code and understand it and contribute, although I think it is well known that it takes a while to start understanding the code for any number of reasons. And what is critical to take away from all this is not that any of this is bad, it is to be appreciated that we have Simutrans - a deep, complex transportation simulator unlike anything else paid or free. (OTTD is similar in some ways, but Simutrans is unique in its gameplay).

That's just how things are. So either you accept the reality, or you do not. If you can accept that reality, then great! Welcome!


Simutrans was originally made by one person, and eventually a small group of people, because he wanted to play Simutrans. Sharing Simutrans with others, first in binary form, and later also the source code, was an afterthought. This most likely would not have happened if he had to document everything first. It is a fundamental problem with volunteer work: Make too many demands, and there will be no volunteers. Most Simutrans developers have trouble finding time for the few things being done as it is. Sure, it is a vicious circle where lack of developers ultimately leads to lack of recruitment, but free time doesn't magically appear when needed.


As I has written: Of course!! That's all correct except for "...not that any of this is bad." If it was different, I would not like to take a close look at the matter. I has told what I would prefer. Lack of transparency is a problem with Simutrans too. James Petts alone pampers us.