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Author Topic: [Network suggestion] Running powers  (Read 2716 times)

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Offline jamespetts gb

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[Network suggestion] Running powers
« on: December 16, 2010, 01:27:57 AM »
To facilitate co-operation between private players in online mode without involving the public player, might I suggest a relatively simple feature be implemented, the best name for which I have yet devised is "running powers"? Each company would be able to grant and revoke to each other company running powers. The effect of being granted running powers would be that the grantee of the power would be able to run its vehicles over the private ways and into the private stops/stations of the grantor of the power, as well as join its ways with that of the grantor. In coding terms, the most complicated element would probably dealing with convoys on other players' private ways at the time of revocation, which would have to find their way to their owner's way or a public way without getting stuck (but not then be allowed back onto the revoked grantor's ways).

This would enable players to co-operate to run services together without needing to involve the public service player, and would also enable players to reflect what was often the real situation of multiple railway companies (for example) sharing lines in some areas.

Offline jonasbb

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Re: [Network suggestion] Running powers
« Reply #1 on: December 16, 2010, 09:24:08 AM »
I think this is a great feature.

But you have to controll this:

Player 1 and Player 2 cooperate.
Player 2 and Player 3 cooperate.

But Player 1 and Player 3 do not cooperate.

Vehicles of Player 1 shouldn't drive on ways of Player 3.
Even if there is a way over the ways of Player 2.

I hope you understand what I want to say.

Offline skreyola

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Re: [Network suggestion] Running powers
« Reply #2 on: December 16, 2010, 05:48:39 PM »
And maybe the granting player can choose (in the granting dialog) whether to charge the other company for the use of their track, so they could choose free or charge, and the charge setting would pass some of the trip's proceeds to the granting company.

Offline prissi

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Re: [Network suggestion] Running powers
« Reply #3 on: December 16, 2010, 09:40:35 PM »
Looks more like a "exclude the following companys from running on this way sign"

Offline skreyola

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Re: [Network suggestion] Running powers
« Reply #4 on: December 21, 2010, 01:04:31 AM »
Well, it wouldn't exclude anyone from running on your tracks, just who goes free and who pays for the privilege... and it would affect all your rails, not just ones with a sign on them.

Offline Banksie_82

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Re: [Network suggestion] Running powers
« Reply #5 on: January 14, 2011, 03:34:03 AM »

The following is my musings on this topic. It’s quite long and not likely to be implemented anytime soon, I just wanted to put my thoughts out there.

In my country there has been a lot of talk recently, due to the privatisation of a state owned rail company, of the concept of “vertically integrated” and “vertically separated” rail networks. Basically, there are companies that own (maintain, control, upgrade) the tracks and companies that own (maintain, use) the rolling stock, this is vertically separated. Then there are companies that do both, vertically integrated.

Even in a vertically integrated system, companies also sell access to their tracks to other companies wishing to use them. They will also use their rolling stock on other company’s tracks under whatever agreements they have in place. Basically, it can become quite complicated.

I love ST, and depending on my mood I play it different ways, focusing on different strategies and taking more joy from various dimensions at different times. One thing I really like however is the construction of ways, intersections, stations and all other things associated with it. I like minimising construction and maintenance cost while maintaining adequate capacity. I like upgrading capacity when it’s needed and figuring out the most cost effective way of doing it. I like the problem solving involved with network planning and designing the most efficient interchanges. For the paks I play, (128 and 128.Britain) the cost of ways isn’t high enough to get too pedantic about it, but because that’s the way I enjoy playing, I take quite a bit of care anyway. But balancing is a different topic.

Sometimes I would like to only build the infrastructure. The actual building of convoys, setting up lines, transporting goods and passengers and checking if factories have enough/too much goods is really just a means to designing the network of ways, stations and ports.

I think I would have quite a bit of fun designing track and road networks, even stations and ports, that I could then lease to other players to make a profit, to then build more infrastructure where I could make even more profit.

I’m sure there would people out there that would be quite happy setting up complex passenger networks (ST-Ex in particular), or fine tuning the economy with their delivery of goods to factories, without worrying too much about the infrastructure required. Although I’m sure in practice, these people will still need to build their own branch lines, maybe sidings and other stuff.

What I’m getting at is, in a network game I would like the choice to be vertically integrated or separated.

The benefits of this are numerous. For example, if a player builds an expensive mountain pass, or has tracks through the middle of a large city, they can sell access to other players to help pay for it. If there is already another player’s airport close to a city you want to access, you can. If a player already has rail tracks for a good portion of the route you want to take, why bother building a parallel set? See an opportunity to invest in the construction of a tunnel, even if your convoys don’t need it but others would benefit, build it and sell access.

Needless to say, the logistics would be difficult.

How would you price it? Perhaps a predefined formula within ST +/- a percentage set by the owner to account for demand/convince/congestion. It could be per km/flat fee per section, per convoy/weight/axels/ wagons/goods on board. It could also be time spent on the tracks based on any of the above, or it could be a cost per month for access. Maybe you could have different prices for different companies, even zero in some cases. There are many combinations to think of.

How to allow access? Open access to everyone willing to pay, only certain players to certain sections of your infrastructure? A combination of the two?

How to negotiate access? Surly via a chat function is too cumbersome not to mention language problems between players. GUI would need to be thought out.

For the last two points, maybe the owner can define a section (how?), set a price and who the access is open to. The lessee can click on any way/port/station and the section for hire gets highlighted with the cost shown. They accept the terms and their convoys are then free to route over this section.

Maybe, as the owner of the way, you could set a minimum standard of speed or power/weight ratio in order to maintain the quality of service for all the convoys.

Connecting your infrastructure to other player’s infrastructure… They would have to give permission (?), how would you agree on location and other details? I don’t really have a suggestion for this one.

In reality, these issues are dealt with by whole departments within companies/government agencies. The questions is, how do we implement it into a game, keep it enjoyable and not take too much of the players time.

I don’t even want to think about the changes required to the code. I’m sure it would be immense, which is why I don’t expect it to be implemented anytime soon, if at all for that matter. But it would be nice. Maybe it could be a project a long way down the track for Experimental.

Does anyone else have any thoughts on the matter? Maybe I’m unusual in what I find enjoyable in the game and everyone else likes it just how it is.

Offline Spike

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Re: [Network suggestion] Running powers
« Reply #6 on: January 14, 2011, 01:35:26 PM »
I think that with the new network code, more - not yet imagined - ways of cooperation between players will show up, and the program at some point will see changes to make those more feasible. Actually I can imagine that some players like the infrastructure building more, and others like the management of fleets more, and therefore will want support for a cooperative play (income ?) with such of duties.

Offline jamespetts gb

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Re: [Network suggestion] Running powers
« Reply #7 on: January 14, 2011, 02:03:13 PM »
Actually, only relatively small changes to the code would be needed to implement a simplified version of what Banksie suggests; if basic running powers as originally suggested, plus the ability to transfer arbitrary sums of money either one-off or regularly between players is implemented, then players can negotiate between themselves as to the price of running powers, and, if running powers on one line only (for example) are granted, this need not necessarily be enforced by the software: any player who acts outside the agreement can either have their entire running powers revoked or be made to pay compensation by to the player affected by the public player.

With these basic tools, vertical non-integration would indeed be possible.

Offline prissi

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Re: [Network suggestion] Running powers
« Reply #8 on: January 14, 2011, 02:21:03 PM »
There are several way of incorporating this. Thus discussion is certainly welcome.

Some few additions will be needed like excluding certain player signs for a finer grained way structure. And also an ability to control the connection i.e. allow connection of networks with player X but not Y as global setting (and for different way types). Thus there is some additional code involved to make the useful.

In principle I still think a part of the running cost should go towards the foreign infrasturcture, so way building companies could exist without actually running services. Maybe 5-10% of vehicle maintenance cost - but even this could be set by the network company.

Offline skreyola

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Re: [Network suggestion] Running powers
« Reply #9 on: January 15, 2011, 03:08:10 AM »
How about this for connections?
A special tile (one for each waytype) that any player can set down (and if zero companies have an existing connection to the tile, any player can delete) that is treated the same way as public roads, i.e., any company's vehicles can use it.
A convoi can only pass out of this connection onto another company's ways if that company has granted access. Access can be granted or denied through a dialog that comes up when the connection tile is examined. Access (or fee vs. free use) can be set between two connection tiles (for a shared stretch) or between a connection tile and a station.
The benefit of this tile (other than an entry to the permissions dialog) is that nobody has the ability to modify another company's ways themselves, so you have fewer crossover points for the program to worry about, and less chance of someone accidentally or purposefully gumming up a finely tuned network.
Thoughts?
However this comes out, I'm looking forward to seeing it.