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Offline colonyan

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Way usage and maintenance
« on: October 07, 2009, 10:19:43 PM »
   Those tracks... the cost of maintenance maybe proportional to usage level?
 
   I guess in real world, more it is used, more steel wear out, so it is being replaced
   more often. EDIT: grammer

   Say we could keep the initial maintenance cost for no or low usage level, it could
   go up as it is frequently used.

   This will be helpful reducing incredible amount of profit in later stage of games.
   There are already a map setting showing its usage level, doesn't seems so hard to
   implemented.

   I don't feel this being so urgent so placed as discussion.
 
   Ofcourse this could be applied to any kind of way.

   Edit2:
   Ah think of it, the total weight should be counted too. Any ithoughts?
« Last Edit: October 08, 2009, 03:05:19 AM by colonyan »

Offline dannyman

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Re: Way usage and maintenance
« Reply #1 on: October 08, 2009, 04:10:20 AM »
Well, probably there's a high set fee for having the track there (basic maintenance) and then additional cost in proportion to traffic.  Weight would mean a lot for roads with trucks.  For rail I think high-speed passenger service bears a lot more maintenance than freight.  (Passenger traffic wants a far smoother ride.)

This might be something the Experimental branch is interested in.  I know they're looking at weight and also comfort ratings for passenger traffic.  It'd be neat if you could lower your maintenance costs at the expense of comfort. :D

As-is: the lower-grade track can only bear a fraction of the traffic, because at lower speed only so many convoys can pass in a given time period.  I think the present implementation is "good enough" . . . I also like the present strategic emphasis on building ways that can serve multiple routes.

-d

Offline vilvoh

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Re: Way usage and maintenance
« Reply #2 on: October 08, 2009, 07:08:44 AM »
I support it. As far as I know, each way section has a usage counter, that shows how many vehicles have used that section in the last month. So we may use that to calculate the new maintenance cost.

i.e: section's monthly cost = base cost + (0.01 * usage level)

After all, it seems reasonable. As colonyan says, the more you use something, the more increases its maintenance. It could be a new challange for the player to balanced the game when you have a lot of money due to a big transport network. It would force the player to be more efficient, giving more importance to the construction and management of routes and ways

Offline Spike

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Re: Way usage and maintenance
« Reply #3 on: October 08, 2009, 09:43:50 AM »
   Those tracks... the cost of maintenance maybe proportional to usage level?
 
   I guess in real world, more it is used, more steel wear out, so it is being replaced
   more often.

In Simutrans, a driving vehicle causes "running costs". These can be considered to include the wear and maintenance of the roads and tracks. While it might look more logical for players to have the costs split off and put into the ground data, it actually does not matter for the monthly money balance.

IMO, it'd be just a complication in data structures and code for no real win in terms of gameplay.

Offline The Hood

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Re: Way usage and maintenance
« Reply #4 on: October 08, 2009, 09:48:08 AM »
I'd tend to agree with dannyman and Hajo, although it is more realistic to have a traffic-related maintenance component.  For example higher speed rail tracks - these should only be profitable in simutrans if you run many convoys over them per month, while cheaper slower track could be profitable on a one-train branch line.  If you introduce a per-train maintenance, then this incentive is removed (i.e. making gameplay less realistic overall).

Also, you can think of the current implementation of a vehicle's per-tile operating cost as including a contribution to the maintenance of the way on which it runs.  Certainly this is the case in the UK railways at present, where the operators pay the infrastructure company per train-mile they run (the fee also depends on which type of train too, so heavy, fast trains which damage tracks more are charged more per mile they run).  So yes, you can consider the way maintenance cost per train as part of the train's operating costs rather than the track's maintenance cost...

Offline VS

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Re: Way usage and maintenance
« Reply #5 on: October 08, 2009, 10:06:39 AM »
In accordance with KISS current model is enough - it works and can be explained how it includes all the costs.

IMO from gameplay perspective, adding variable way maintenance will make things even less transparent to player. Personally I like being able to take a calculator and determine as much as possible in advance. That is one way of doing that, though. Some might feel that it is better, some might prefer more... say, holistic and passive approach where player has to simply cope with what comes. (High maintenance? Well, too bad, counting all the tiles would take too long to bother...)

Take this as just one opinion from a wide spectrum.
« Last Edit: October 08, 2009, 04:22:08 PM by VS »

Offline colonyan

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Re: Way usage and maintenance
« Reply #6 on: October 08, 2009, 02:56:13 PM »
Tidy data structure and code and simplicity is important.

But in current way which money is earned in game, as much as a way supports its traffic
on a ginve time period, is enourmous. This goes same for station which handles all traffic
instantly with same fixed price.

Operational cost kills good portion of gross sales because it is somehow proportional to sales.
But fixed maintenance are different. They are cost which is designed for early stage of game only
so it does not go too difficult.

Later, when traffic increases considerably, those fixed maintenance figures are things of past.
They are soo small that it is insignificant that player can build several 5M cities everywhere.

Also raising running cost poses several limitation on play element inspite that this sounds simple.
When running cost is high, player will eventually use them on very high traffic area or make them
wait at inexpensive low cost plathome. So they will eventually pump up stable(and high) profit.
There is a limit in running cost(a parameter)can do.

And there comes the place for added maintenance cost. (new parameter)
Another cost factor more related to the traffic volume will serve to reduce profit too large.

There is also this perspective.
I take this game also as a management game. I certainly loose some degree in play element when
profit is too high. And I heard some player make fly concord at the edge of map :)

Offline prissi

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Re: Way usage and maintenance
« Reply #7 on: October 08, 2009, 03:07:55 PM »
But running costs of vehicles are essentially way maintenance costs and consumptions. THere is no way to sperate them, since a heavy truck (which carriers more) also imposes more infrastructure costs. All you want can be done by increasing the running costs of vehicles, the more I run the more expensive maintenance will be.

Offline colonyan

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Re: Way usage and maintenance
« Reply #8 on: October 08, 2009, 03:36:28 PM »
I see "vehicle" running cost as fuel and consumed machine and parts fee.
Cost for replacing track will charged elesewhere only depending on factor like
speed, weight and frequency.

Running cost can do only one thing. How player use that vehicle. How much longer they
gonna make them wait at station. No matter how high they are(ofcourse under certain degree)
it is possible to make large profit. Except when margin is really low even at 100% load and
straight line connection.

In that sense, thats too resticting on how game to be played.
To control too large profit altheway keeping some playing ground in terms of profit margin,
variable maintenance fee should do it.
Edit: This is about flexibility.
« Last Edit: October 08, 2009, 03:40:49 PM by colonyan »

Offline The Hood

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Re: Way usage and maintenance
« Reply #9 on: October 08, 2009, 03:44:12 PM »
(1) Maintenance costs for vehicles depend on vehicle distance travelled. 

(2) Mainenance costs for ways are a fixed charge per month.

(3) Your original suggestion is an additional charge for ways depending on vehicle distance travelled.

(3) is the same idea as (1) when you think about it, both depend on vehicle distance travelled.  So your proposal (as I understand it) won't restrict profit margins any more than just putting up vehicle maintenance costs.  They both do the same thing.  So your suggestion is of no gameplay benefit, just where the costs are accounted in the finance window.

Offline dannyman

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Re: Way usage and maintenance
« Reply #10 on: October 08, 2009, 03:51:59 PM »
Also, you can think of the current implementation of a vehicle's per-tile operating cost as including a contribution to the maintenance of the way on which it runs.  Certainly this is the case in the UK railways at present, where the operators pay the infrastructure company per train-mile they run (the fee also depends on which type of train too, so heavy, fast trains which damage tracks more are charged more per mile they run).  So yes, you can consider the way maintenance cost per train as part of the train's operating costs rather than the track's maintenance cost...

Perhaps the per-mile cost of rolling stock could be different based on load.  (This doesn't seem worthwhile to me, but I figure point it out for the sake of beating this horse to death.)

Offline colonyan

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Re: Way usage and maintenance
« Reply #11 on: October 08, 2009, 03:58:45 PM »
(3) Your original suggestion is an additional charge for ways depending on vehicle distance travelled.

Not per vehicle/train. It is per weight.
Sorry,I was not clear.
More weight(passenger/mail/good) vehicle/train carries, more track fee.
Running fee doesn't change depending on how much it carry right now.

EDIT2: If running cost can be changed depending on its load, thats a option too.
EDIT: Ah... maybe only actual load weight to be counted. Not counting engine and stock. Its another option here...

EDIT3: I was not clear. not if.
« Last Edit: October 08, 2009, 04:56:46 PM by colonyan »

Offline VS

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Re: Way usage and maintenance
« Reply #12 on: October 08, 2009, 04:36:28 PM »
Okay, with maintenance based on weight of transported material, my comment is no longer entirely true.

Offline Banksie_82

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Re: Way usage and maintenance
« Reply #13 on: October 08, 2009, 09:55:18 PM »
Although I don’t think I agree with this suggestion, I believe there is a benefit many of you are overlooking.

Currently, if you think of the running costs for a vehicle to include the track maintenance, then there is no benefit in running it on lower quality track, that maintenance will always be the same. The additional maintenance per convoy/weight over a way can be set differently depending on the quality of way. So in game play, to save some running costs of your vehicles, put them on low quality track, at the expense of lower speed.

I’m not sure if this would be a benefit or a detriment to the game with everything considered, I’m just putting it out there.

Offline colonyan

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Re: Way usage and maintenance
« Reply #14 on: October 08, 2009, 10:23:13 PM »
Its interesting to hear other's thought. Thanks for taking your time.

I just want to summerize my point.

-Increased way maintenance fee depending on total weight passes through it
   More weight(profit), more maintenance.
 
   Example taking pak64 track
   55km track, 4c/month increase as 8,12,20,,, for each X weight addition
   120km track 20c/month increase as 40,60,80,,,, for each X weight addition

Offline DirrrtyDirk

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Re: Way usage and maintenance
« Reply #15 on: October 08, 2009, 10:28:41 PM »
Currently, if you think of the running costs for a vehicle to include the track maintenance, then there is no benefit in running it on lower quality track, that maintenance will always be the same.

No, the vehicle running costs only include the variable maintenance costs (=based on how often it is used). The fixed costs actually make a difference between slow and fast... and in a way even the vehicle running costs do so: a track that allows triple speed allows the vehicle to move triple distance per time - so it costs more per month on high speed tracks than on slow tracks.

Apart from the weight issue (which is indeed something new), all the machanics are already more or less in place - they'e just combined and/or have different names. Just try to think a little out of the box, and away from the names these costs currently have and you'll see that they already include pretty much everything (apart from the weight issue that came up later in the discussion).

On a general note: I think that this too much detail spent on something not all that interesting or important - at least to me. So I, personally, see no need for this.

Offline colonyan

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Re: Way usage and maintenance
« Reply #16 on: October 08, 2009, 11:11:36 PM »
I see.
If only frequence of use would be counted, higher running cost would do the same.(almost sure?)
Even if we counted the weight(even the actual load), it would open a can of worm to
balance everything. I guess this is how I could conclude this.
If we had infinite time and human resource, we could do the variable way maintenance for way depeding
the weight,,,,

EDIT: oh yeah, we even have fixed vehicle maintenance cost ... :-X

Offline VS

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Re: Way usage and maintenance
« Reply #17 on: October 09, 2009, 05:56:13 AM »
If we had infinite resources, we could create all possible programs and let everyone be satisfied. Unfortunately we can make only one program from the set of "all", at a limited speed. That introduces concepts like politics and bureaucracy. Conclusion, this universe is clearly insufficient to the needs of Simutrans.

...sorry, I had to :P

edit: in case you can't tell, it's a joke
« Last Edit: October 09, 2009, 06:01:02 AM by VS »

Offline neroden

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Re: Way usage and maintenance
« Reply #18 on: October 23, 2009, 07:09:01 AM »
   Those tracks... the cost of maintenance maybe proportional to usage level?
 
   I guess in real world, more it is used, more steel wear out, so it is being replaced
   more often. EDIT: grammer
This would be annoying to add, probably, but I don't think it's actually necessary.

Reason: every time a vehicle goes over a tile it pays maintenance costs.  This can be chosen to include the "per vehicle" part of the roadway/railway maintenance.  Vehicles should generally correspond to appropriate sorts of track, so this can be done with little error.

Problem: currently you can run a TGV on sand track and get the full bonus.  However, this is fixed in simutrans-experimental.

Now, I suppose the added extra tweakability of road maintenance per pound travelling would be kind of cool, but I'm worried about game balance, because people don't seem to have been able to balance the *existing* set of adjustments very well.  I made a spreadsheet which handles most of the important ones for simutrans-experimental and it's already *very* complicated (32 columns and multiple sheets).  I don't think adding extra knobs to tweak is generally a good idea; I think we should the numbers on the *existing* knobs.