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Author Topic: Clearly indicate direction of rail signals  (Read 9743 times)

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theongrey

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Clearly indicate direction of rail signals
« on: August 23, 2009, 07:42:13 PM »
Hello,

No matter how many games of Simutrans I play, I always find myself having trouble figuring out which way signals allow trains to go... maybe I'm just dumb, but usually it involves some trial and error until I see things moving in the correct direction. I think it would help a lot of there was a simple directional overlay that appears near signals when in signal building mode, that indicates the direction of a signal... something like in this screenshot: http://dump.xivesoftware.com/signal_directions.jpg.

Or perhaps something like this is already in the game and I'm just missing it... if that's the case, sorry!  :o

Offline Amelek

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Re: Clearly indicate direction of rail signals
« Reply #1 on: August 23, 2009, 07:51:04 PM »
As far as I know, there is no such tool in current version.

However, I think, such feature could be extended even further - it could display direction of entire track part (between two signals) based on their direction. It would help greatly with creating tram lines in cities

Offline Maragil

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Re: Clearly indicate direction of rail signals
« Reply #2 on: August 23, 2009, 09:28:27 PM »
I may be wrong about this, if anyone could correct me, most welcome :)

Normally, when you place a signal it faces both ways (unless 1 way signal)

Click on it again to get it going 1 way, then again for the other.

Hope this helps :)

theongrey

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Re: Clearly indicate direction of rail signals
« Reply #3 on: August 23, 2009, 09:35:08 PM »
Right, I know that, but I find it hard to tell which direction one-way signals are facing.

Offline mwoodburn81

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Re: Clearly indicate direction of rail signals
« Reply #4 on: August 23, 2009, 10:11:47 PM »
The signal is always to the right side of travel.   If you are laying double tracks, with the trains traveling on the right, the signals should always be on the outside.   If you are British, they go on the inside of the track.

As far as your overlay request goes,  I like the idea and I fully support it,  but I do not have enough of an understanding of the simutrans-source code to implement it.

Offline colonyan

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Re: Clearly indicate direction of rail signals
« Reply #5 on: October 24, 2009, 09:22:47 PM »
Ah I see this is very good point as extention request.
Due to their size, it takes quite amount of attention to keep how
signals are facing, especially when it come the time to renovate
the route and modifying them.

Offline skreyola

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Re: Clearly indicate direction of rail signals
« Reply #6 on: October 24, 2009, 11:51:32 PM »
*support*
This would be great, the idea of having an overlay on the tracks to show which directions are allowable for trains running on them.
I have no trouble most of the time with signals, but when you're laying track in cities, it would be useful to be able to see an overlay instead of having to "turn off" the buildings.
Just an added convenience, but it would be nice. It would be cool if the overlay came on (controlled by an option) when you are using any signal object.

Offline prissi

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Re: Clearly indicate direction of rail signals
« Reply #7 on: October 25, 2009, 07:34:33 PM »
If you click on a way tile, then it will tell you the direction as a number. (N=1)+(E=2)+(S=4)+(W=8) A north south full was would have ribi 5. EW would be 10. Something like 7 is an NES crossing. And so on. SIngle walues liek 1,2,4,8 would correspond to a single direction. But maybe this should be translated to human readable directions in the said dialoge.

Offline skreyola

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Re: Clearly indicate direction of rail signals
« Reply #8 on: October 25, 2009, 10:32:09 PM »
Prissi, that sounds like a good idea. Maybe also have it show an arrow for the current North (am I remembering correctly that there's some way to rotate the map?).

Offline Amelek

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Re: Clearly indicate direction of rail signals
« Reply #9 on: October 25, 2009, 10:39:16 PM »
north is always on top right.

anyway, numbers seem screwed on signals: normal way is 5 (NS), signal tells 4 (S) when masked road is 1 (N). In fact, signals blocks way from N to S and allows from S to N (simple signal on right side of track). Should be 1 (N) everywhere.

Anyway, I suppose the problem lies not in "signaled" field, but rather on fields between them - there is no way to tell which way is blocked by pair of signals. And track is always unmasked. Obviously, part of problem is that trains can go in both way between one way signals. But I suppose, that this is pretty useless case.

Offline Fabio

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Re: Clearly indicate direction of rail signals
« Reply #10 on: October 26, 2009, 08:09:32 AM »
But maybe this should be translated to human readable directions in the said dialoge.

this could help many players


north is always on top right.

we all know this, but it could be not too intuitive for n00bs. maybe a small compass could be displayed in status bar, in menu, or somewhere else.
(menu is the easiest, as it would just be a static icon, since north doesn't change, not even when rotating).

By the way, it would be interesting to display somewhere (status bar?) which is the current rotation of the map.

Offline skreyola

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Re: Clearly indicate direction of rail signals
« Reply #11 on: October 26, 2009, 07:12:31 PM »
(menu is the easiest, as it would just be a static icon, since north doesn't change, not even when rotating).
How can this be? If the map rotates, north should rotate with it. Otherwise, two different towns will have "Townname North Station" on different sides, depending on where north was when the station was placed. You could even end up with "Tonwname North Station" and "Townname South Station" next to each other.
I don't know if this has been discussed elsewhere, but it is my opinion that rotating the map should not affect anything persistent (shouldn't change what's written in the save file, shouldn't change the Ribi values of way tiles, shouldn't change what names are given to a station at a particular direction from a town, etc.), but only change what is shown.

Offline prissi

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Re: Clearly indicate direction of rail signals
« Reply #12 on: October 26, 2009, 08:44:46 PM »
The town roation names are rotated. But the ribis are of course not roatede, as it would upp teh routing. However, this would need just a simple replacement table. Also a (probably even semi-transparent) compass in the top corner could add to the game atmosphere. So if I see a nice one, it will go into get game.

Offline Colin

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Re: Clearly indicate direction of rail signals
« Reply #13 on: October 27, 2009, 06:12:46 AM »
I like the idea of a compass to show the actual direction that the map is orientated to.

As for seeing signals if you lower the brightness you can clearly see them. This is very useful in large towns with Tram Signals.

Anyway once you get used to placing them, it's a piece of cake.

Offline skreyola

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Re: Clearly indicate direction of rail signals
« Reply #14 on: October 28, 2009, 09:05:41 PM »
The town roation names are rotated. But the ribis are of course not roatede, as it would upp teh routing. However, this would need just a simple replacement table. Also a (probably even semi-transparent) compass in the top corner could add to the game atmosphere. So if I see a nice one, it will go into get game.
Something like this, maybe?
(in two sizes)
I have the GIMP layered files for these, if changes need to be made, like using an alpha color instead of transparency. The rose is from http://openclipart.org/media/files/freedo/5172 and is PD. The needle is my own addition. I think I got the plane oriented right, but if not, let me know, and I'll change it to specs.

Offline prissi

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Re: Clearly indicate direction of rail signals
« Reply #15 on: October 28, 2009, 09:19:10 PM »
Very beatiful compass. It might be better without N as it is not N in all languages (espeically chinese and so on ... ) Maybe rather a yellow needle for larger contrast, the blue is very close to the blue background.

Offline Spike

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Re: Clearly indicate direction of rail signals
« Reply #16 on: October 28, 2009, 10:56:46 PM »
In another place we just talked about that the split into language boards and specific forums is bad at times.

http://www.simutrans-forum.de/forum/thread.php?postid=56813#post56813

Edit: Would be nice to have all this better coordinated.
« Last Edit: October 28, 2009, 11:03:21 PM by Hajo »

Offline skreyola

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Re: Clearly indicate direction of rail signals
« Reply #17 on: October 28, 2009, 11:00:50 PM »
Very beatiful compass. It might be better without N as it is not N in all languages (espeically chinese and so on ... ) Maybe rather a yellow needle for larger contrast, the blue is very close to the blue background.
I can make it without the N, although I think the N is emblematic rather than textual.
Blue background? I was thinking it would float over the map in a corner. No problem. I'll do something with it, if desired.

Offline VS

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Re: Clearly indicate direction of rail signals
« Reply #18 on: October 28, 2009, 11:39:41 PM »
You have to think about grass and water at minimum, if you consider position over main view.

Actually best might be some kind of outline within compass sprite that establishes a suitable background all the time. Getting a good contrast against variety of backgrounds is hard. I prefer for this very reason cursors that use both black and white borders (like the one in Simutrans!), so at least one is visible.

Offline skreyola

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Re: Clearly indicate direction of rail signals
« Reply #19 on: October 29, 2009, 04:31:22 PM »
Yes, but given Hajo's comment, should I continue working on this graphic?

Offline Fabio

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Re: Clearly indicate direction of rail signals
« Reply #20 on: October 29, 2009, 04:54:31 PM »
NICE! Could it be pak-customizable? If so the more we have, the better, the pak-maintainers will chose those which "feel" more into the pakset.

Offline VS

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Re: Clearly indicate direction of rail signals
« Reply #21 on: October 29, 2009, 05:00:29 PM »
Yes, but given Hajo's comment, should I continue working on this graphic?
What... oh... that must belong to some other thread.
edit: I see... well... that's up to you. Given that you got encouraging comments, why not? It is always possible to release it as an addon, like skins.
« Last Edit: October 29, 2009, 05:10:55 PM by VS »

Offline skreyola

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Re: Clearly indicate direction of rail signals
« Reply #22 on: October 29, 2009, 10:58:01 PM »
What... oh... that must belong to some other thread.
edit: I see... well... that's up to you. Given that you got encouraging comments, why not? It is always possible to release it as an addon, like skins.
Very well. Here is the latest mock-up.
How is it? Do you think it needs a black outline on the needle part?

Offline skreyola

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Re: Clearly indicate direction of rail signals
« Reply #23 on: October 29, 2009, 11:02:30 PM »
NICE! Could it be pak-customizable? If so the more we have, the better, the pak-maintainers will chose those which "feel" more into the pakset.
That would be good. Even better if it had a change-image-for-language-matching option, but I don't want to add unnecessary things to prissi's plate.

Offline DirrrtyDirk

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Re: Clearly indicate direction of rail signals
« Reply #24 on: October 29, 2009, 11:19:17 PM »
1) Please don't double-post.  8)

2) Is it just me? Is that compass rose "true 3D" and not isometric? Or are my eyes playing a trick on me?

3) Since every single piece of graphic in simutrans is located in the pakfiles, I really don't see a reason why just this one should suddenly not be customizable by the pak-maintainers, (just like everything else)  ;)

Offline skreyola

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Re: Clearly indicate direction of rail signals
« Reply #25 on: October 30, 2009, 12:26:13 AM »
1) Please don't double-post.  8)

2) Is it just me? Is that compass rose "true 3D" and not isometric? Or are my eyes playing a trick on me?

3) Since every single piece of graphic in simutrans is located in the pakfiles, I really don't see a reason why just this one should suddenly not be customizable by the pak-maintainers, (just like everything else)  ;)
1) Sorry
2) I put the needle layer 4px higher than the rose layer to make it appear to float like a needle on a pin, and the rose is mapped to a plane, but beyond that... I'm not sure if you'd call it 3D or not.
3) I kind of thought it would be in the pak file, but I haven't seen anything that lets different images be loaded based on language, unless you use a separate pak file altogether. Is this possible? Or do you need to have a pak file for your language?

Offline IgorEliezer br

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Re: Clearly indicate direction of rail signals
« Reply #26 on: October 30, 2009, 12:34:00 AM »
About the compass, it's nice and beautiful but:

- doesn't fit in Simutrans style. In Freecol it would.

- make it simple. Simple forms, simple colors, less fuzzy... hmmm http://archive.forum.simutrans.com/topic/04721.0/index.html (too poor, obviously)
« Last Edit: October 30, 2009, 12:38:11 AM by IgorTekton »

Offline skreyola

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Re: Clearly indicate direction of rail signals
« Reply #27 on: October 30, 2009, 01:26:22 AM »
Here's one more try... with needle raised and flat.

Offline prissi

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Re: Clearly indicate direction of rail signals
« Reply #28 on: October 30, 2009, 12:39:04 PM »
The previous one I found nicer. Just the color of the needle did not give much contrast there.

Offline skreyola

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Re: Clearly indicate direction of rail signals
« Reply #29 on: October 30, 2009, 10:16:36 PM »
The previous one I found nicer. Just the color of the needle did not give much contrast there.
How about this?

Offline Spike

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Re: Clearly indicate direction of rail signals
« Reply #30 on: October 30, 2009, 10:28:47 PM »
I think it's great

Offline Fabio

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Re: Clearly indicate direction of rail signals
« Reply #31 on: October 30, 2009, 10:36:14 PM »
this one is great! i see it perfect for 96c. i'm not so sure about 128 and 64, though.

Offline skreyola

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Re: Clearly indicate direction of rail signals
« Reply #32 on: October 31, 2009, 12:12:12 AM »
Anybody can use it in any of the paksets, for all I care. The rose was Public Domain, and I am not particular about what I added to this image. I release every compass image I've posted in this thread into the public domain and/or with a CC-0 license.
If anyone wants the GIMP layered file, send me a PM, and I'll pass it along if you're interested in using it to make a modified version (e.g., for adding a language-specific north initial).