Started by moblet, January 05, 2011, 01:24:14 AM
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QuoteThe catch here is that when the prices are that finely balanced, a minor error or oversight on the player's part, or bug in the sim, can easily bankrupt the player, creating a fickle game that only the most obsessive players would tolerate.
Quote1. Labour costs [..] Vehicle operating costs in general in the Britain pakset don't seem to include labour, which can easily be 50% of operating costs for a vehicle. ...
Quote from: sdog on January 05, 2011, 03:54:12 AMIs this now or roughly constant over time? Wages 100 years ago were low, but quite a lot of people were required to run one loco. I'd like to bring up an old suggestion of mine, which was considered not useful at that time. Include in experimental labour costs.
Quotepeople already get confused by the two different measures of time in the game (years/months for technological progress versus hours/minutes for journey times and loading).
Quote from: inkelyad on January 05, 2011, 12:04:00 PMWe can drop eye-candy and print internal 'minutes' instead date/hour/minutes clock.
QuoteThe upshot of increasing maintenance costs is that everything has a lifespan, so why not cut to the chase and impose a lifespan on every vehicle and way? You buy a loco that has a lifespan of, say, 1,000,000 km, and once that's up, you have to replace it or lose it. Same with road, rail, and runways, with lifespan measured in tonnes. For the player to be able to manage it the sim would have to be able to provide the following:1. A list of all vehicles and infrastructure, ideally also colour-coded on the map, that are approaching expiry2. A budget forecast of replacement expenditure3. An option to have the sim automatically replace everything of each type or to prompt the player for a decision. Vehicles could be replaced in transit to avoid micro-managing them in and out of depots.This would be highly realistic and do a great job of keeping rampant profits in check on a large network. Different modes have different lifespans (e.g. road vehicles less than rail ones). Maintenance costs could also increase with age but not be critical for replacement, that way the player's intuitive thinking that "this thing's getting old, it'll be costing more to run and soon I'll have to replace it anyway" is correct.
Quote3. Safety and environmental regulations increasing costs at the workshops. I'm sure a lot less people, and perhaps whales , were harmed constructing the newer ones.
Quote from: sdog on January 06, 2011, 12:44:59 AMReplacing a vehicle type on a developed map can easily take two hours for rail vehicles. To resolve blockages, send them back on their route and so on. Also replacing main lines interrupts service greatly. And can bring down revenues by one half for 1 to 3 consecutive months, when it happens at lines at the core. This has no comparison to normal real life operations, where this is done more smoothly.
Quote from: sdog on January 06, 2011, 12:44:59 AMAn alternative would be charging the replacement cost to the player account, without doing a 'physical' replacement. This however could happen en-masse and drive a player into bankrupcy.
QuoteI'm a bit surprised that there isn't an option, when clicking on a vehicle, to instantly replace it without interrupting its work - is there a reason why not?
Quote from: sdog on January 06, 2011, 04:11:44 AMThey are also equally valid.
Quote from: moblet on January 06, 2011, 12:15:44 AMI'll see if I can clarify what I mean about the player's risk of failure. The character of Simutrans, like SimCity, is such that survival is difficult at the beginning, but if one gets established then money just keeps flowing in without any great challenge. This is encapsulated in this post. I believe that as a result of this dynamic, the value of these games is limited. How to address this? Some considerations:1. If it's not addressed, then in multi-player games whoever gets established first can pull in enough money to suppress the competition, which also limits gameplay.2. One way of stating the problem is that the price factor needs to be above a certain value for the player to have any chance of getting a start, but that value is too high to challenge a player with an established network. This is because...3. Most of the real-world dynamics that increase profits for established networks are present in the game, but most of the dynamics that would reduce profits are absent. When an operation first starts up, its capital utilisation is usually quite poor, but as traffic builds utilisation improves, fixed costs are spread, and profit and return on capital increase. In the sim, one builds infrastructure and buys vehicles, and these things just keep going forever, whereas in the real world both of these things would wear out, and wear out in proportion to their usage. Road and rail needs to be relaid after an amount of traffic, busier lines have smaller maintenance windows requiring more intensive and out-of-hours (i.e. expensive) maintenance operations, busier lines need to maintain higher standards of individual unit reliability to maintain network reliability, there's the congestion operating cost issue I mentioned above, and so on. In the sim, infrastructure maintenance is a fixed cost over time, so if, say, I send 100t or 1,000,000t over a track in a year, I pay the same track maintenance cost.
QuoteI fully agree about the micro-management issue but the obsolescence ramp-up seems to me to cause much the same amount of micro-management as a simple age-based one would anyway - the player still has to weed out the individual vehicles that are costing too much to run. The only difference in the current sim is that the filter is already able to identify obsolete vehicles, and doesn't have the ability to, say, rank vehicles by their proportional maintenance cost. But I have thought of a different approach that might be simpler...The upshot of increasing maintenance costs is that everything has a lifespan, so why not cut to the chase and impose a lifespan on every vehicle and way? You buy a loco that has a lifespan of, say, 1,000,000 km, and once that's up, you have to replace it or lose it. Same with road, rail, and runways, with lifespan measured in tonnes. For the player to be able to manage it the sim would have to be able to provide the following:1. A list of all vehicles and infrastructure, ideally also colour-coded on the map, that are approaching expiry2. A budget forecast of replacement expenditure3. An option to have the sim automatically replace everything of each type or to prompt the player for a decision. Vehicles could be replaced in transit to avoid micro-managing them in and out of depots.This would be highly realistic and do a great job of keeping rampant profits in check on a large network. Different modes have different lifespans (e.g. road vehicles less than rail ones). Maintenance costs could also increase with age but not be critical for replacement, that way the player's intuitive thinking that "this thing's getting old, it'll be costing more to run and soon I'll have to replace it anyway" is correct.
QuoteOn balancing costs between vehicles of the same mode, I've had the idea of setting up costs such that every vehicle's life-cycle cost pans out vaguely similarly under a standard, "average" set of conditions, but that the different technical specifications mean that certain vehicles will have relative advantages/disadvantages under different conditions (e.g. long high-speed hauls, hilly routes, congested routes), with different ratios of capital vs operating costs to offer the player options financially. I've built a little spreadsheet for comparing vehicles, attached. One advantage of this approach is that we only need a few numbers for a few locos and we could legitimately make up sensible numbers for the rest. Not sure yet how to incorporate technological advancement - which should cause a step-change in life-cycle cost - without unbalancing the game between earlier and later eras.
QuoteI think there are several factors at play in making the 1980's carriage relatively more expensive that the 1920's one. The newer one will certainly be more efficient and require less maintenance due to things like wheel bearings, which cost money, but I suspect a few other things might be more significant:1. Who let the contracts? Was the 1920's a private sector contract, and the 1980's a govt one? There was probably a lot more competition in the carriage-building business 90 years ago, too. I remember a transport engineer telling me 15 years ago that public transport vehicles cost 2-3 times as much as they should because of all the bells and whistles that find their way into govt contracts.2. Higher construction and fitout standards. Modern rail carriages have to be comfortable to compete with private cars, and need to meet impact strength standards. I doubt the 1920's versions had climate control.3. Safety and environmental regulations increasing costs at the workshops. I'm sure a lot less people, and perhaps whales , were harmed constructing the newer ones.
QuoteOn fixed vs variable, time vs distance costs, what is the fixed monthly cost intended to capture? In the real world it would cover ownership costs such as financing, insurance, and spare parts inventory, but would not cover most maintenance cost, which is a function of usage. Nor would it cover operator costs, since these aren't incurred when the vehicle is idle. The only incentive it provides in the game is to discourage players from holding on to vehicles they don't need, but the introduction of interest rates provides this incentive anyway, so I'd question the value of having a fixed monthly cost at all.
QuoteAs for the cost per hour of operation, I've built a spreadsheet, attached, to demonstrate its significance, You could also use the spreadsheet to compile the total operating cost, may help to answer the question of how to model labour costs. I've made the numbers up, but try any numbers you like, the relationship between congestion and cost-per-km is exponential, and if a working vehicle is stationary its cost-per-km goes to infinity. In the meantime one could input an assumed average speed for a vehicle and come up with a cost-per-km that includes labour.
QuoteOn revenue vs capital vs operating costs, in real terms revenue per tonne-km has fallen historically as transport has improved and costs have fallen. Is there a Simutrans development philosophy on handling this over time, or is that still being figured out?
Quotethe idea of alternative destinations and having a higher proportion of passengers using local transport was intended to have that effect
QuoteThis would, of course, be in addition to the per month maintenance costs, as there are some tasks that need doing no matter how much or little that a way is used. One interesting consequence of this is in relation to canals, which, presumably, would have a zero per tonne maintenance cost, as canals do not wear out, as such, although they do need regular de-silting and weed-killing along the towpaths, etc.. This would, I suppose, add to canals' existing dynamic as being very expensive to build but very cheap to maintain compared to other types of way. How much of a difference would this particular item have to the overall dynamic of the exponential increase in profitability that you describe above, do you think?
QuoteAnother question is what one does about airport runways; presumably, they are also more expensive to maintain the higher the tonnage of aircraft that use them in any given period?
QuoteOne neat way of doing that in Simutrans would be to use the existing feature of headquarters
QuoteThe problem with the approach of requiring that vehicles be replaced at a certain point in their lifecycle is somewhat arbitrary, as, in reality, transport operators would have the choice to keep them going at higher cost or invest the capital (if they can afford it) in new equipment. What you describe as the simple approach gives rise to arbitrary outcomes.
QuoteThere is also this to consider: suppose that a vehicle costs 10c/km to maintain. After 100,000 km, it requires an overhaul costing 100,000c. That could be simulated by, as you suggest, making the player pay 100,000c all of a sudden after 100,000km of use. But is not requiring an overhaul after a fixed amount of time not equivalent to the vehicle having a higher maintenance cost; in other words, can one not simply amortise the cost of all major overhauls during the vehicle's natural lifecycle into its per kilometre maintenance cost, so that, in the above example, the maintenance cost is 11c/km rather than 10c/km?
QuoteThe purpose of the current obsolescence increase is to reflect the increase of cost after a vehicle's normal lifecycle has expired
QuoteIs there a particular reason for having all vehicles having the same lifecycle cost? I don't think that this was how things panned out in reality, was it; some vehicles had a far higher life-cycle cost than others. I'd rather simulate that reality if possible, and I don't see any particular reason why it's not possible.
QuoteI am reliably informed by somebody who works in transport that there are many things on vehicles (rubber seals are apparently one example) that need maintaining just as much if a vehicle is sitting idle as if it is being used.
QuoteWould there be merit in adding a credit interest rate to the player's bank account balance, too?
QuoteHow much effect do you think that the per hour cost would have in a Simutrans environment? That one would be harder to implement than some of the other suggestions mentioned above, and so would require some careful thought.
QuoteI also notice that you include debt servicing cost, which, in Simutrans, of course, should not be bundled up with the vehicle costs, as a player may well not be in debt at all (indeed, usually is not).
Quote from: moblet on January 06, 2011, 11:55:27 PMI think this is in essence realistic and a nice feature, but wouldn't try to use it as major weapon against a larger network. The definition of "local" to a passenger is usually based on travel time as per the isochrones in one of AEO's links, rather than drawing a circle around one's current location - can't recall whether your "localisation" model is based on distance or travel time.
QuoteA canal, like any other way, only needs to be maintained in usable condition if it is being used. It can silt up all it wants otherwise. If canals had a high fixed maintenance cost regardless of use then they all would have been filled in when the railways came. With most ways there are tasks that need doing even if it's not in use, but their cost is negligible compared with maintaining them in use. For the sim, any cost that is shifted from fixed to variable will help balance the challenges of early and mature gameplay, and importantly provides a simple mechanism to balance them. So if implementing only one way maintenance cost calculation, make it variable. The only role of a fixed cost for way maintenance in the sim is to discourage over-building, and to encourage the player to bulldoze anything they think they no longer need. So the question for implementing fixed maintenance cost is: do we want to force the player to bulldoze every canal/road/rail tile they no longer need? If that's not important, don't bother including a fixed cost.
QuoteEDIT: sorry, slightly misinterpreted what you wrote. The only way I can see of capturing that cost otherwise is if there's a way of determining which tiles are part of existing lines, and charging fixed maintenance costs to those tiles only.
QuoteCute, but sounds really messy and arbitrary, and complicates gameplay, especially for newbies, who have enough to get their heads around as it is. Would be simpler to charge an admin cost on all vehicles/infrastructure, but of course this would be a linear cost in relation to network size.
QuoteGranted, but this is much more realistic than no lifespan, and I as a player would find it more acceptable than having to micro-manage replacement decisions. It's also very simple to understand. I'm not talking about replacing them at a certain point of their life-cycle, but at the end of it - their kilometres are up. This is not the same as manufacturing obsolescence, will get to that in a minute.Good example, and one that strikes at the heart of the early vs mature game issue. Paying for the overhaul after 100,000km, as would happen in the real world, gives the player the opportunity to raise the money to pay for it. to make the vehicle pay for itself. Asking the player to put money aside from Day 1 for an overhaul that's years in the future cripples early gameplay. If the player fails to make the vehicle pay for its overhaul in 100,000km of use, that's the player's fault. We'll get better gameplay if maintenance in year 1 costs, say, 3c/km, and creeps up year on year, after the player's been able to make some money out of the equipment first.Obsolescence and unit lifecycle are totally different concepts. Think of them completely separately. Obsolescence means the manufacturer no longer makes it (although spare parts usually remain in production for some time), Lifecycle means the period over which something is economic to own and operate. Something that's obsolete may still be fit-for-purpose and economic to use - most of the vehicles you see on land and sea are obsolete. If you have an IT background you may be used to thinking of obsolete as being equivalent to "inadequate and uneconomic", but with transport infrastructure and equipment things don't (can't) change that quickly. Obsolescence usually only impacts on lifecycle when parts become expensive and/or difficult to obtain, which is typically many years or decades after the unit became "obsolete". To say "I can operate a vehicle for peanuts for decades longer than a real one would last, until the manufacturer stops making new ones, then I can't afford to run it" is a long way from reality, and misses an opportunity to challenge mature gameplay with the simple but intuitive concept that "the more I use it, the faster it wears out".
QuoteIt's certainly possible, but I don't believe it's desirable. This is a fundamental philosophical issue for historical sims - do you model things as they actually panned out, or as people at the time thought they would pan out? We might know now that loco x built in 1926 was a lemon, it ended up costing its owners three times as much to maintain as its competitor loco y. But did the sucker buying loco x in 1926 know that? Would anyone have bought loco x in hindsight? Would it even have been made? Half the joy of playing historical sims is to make decisions as if one was there at the time, with the information known at the time. If loco x is given parameters that make it uneconomic, because in the real world it turned out to be uneconomic, then one of the game rules becomes "never buy loco x, you'll go broke". Is that desirable?In practice there was/remains uncertainty in every equipment purchase, uncertainty that's not modelled in Simutrans - you buy something and it performs exactly as the manufacturer said it would.The goal, as I understand it, is to offer a range of vehicles with performance that's sufficiently differential to make some items more suitable for some purposes than others, but not so differential that some of those vehicles are practically useless (for economic or technical reasons). It also strangles gameplay a bit if there's only ever one choice for any given application; for one we won't get to see the full variety of trains that have been made for the sim. You are trying to obtain and use all historical numbers, but if they don't produce the right gameplay you'll have to change them anyway. I can see that Simutrans is an outlet for your love of rail history but I suggest drawing a boundary between total historical accuracy and gameplay here There's also a catch here with the current obsolescence model - we might know now that loco y was manufactured from 1919 to 1936, but did anyone buying the loco in 1924 know what the obsolescence date would be? In practice it didn't matter, since, as explained above, the working life of the loco had little to do with the cessation of manufacture of new ones, but the way the sim is set up the obsolescence date is critical, and historically would not have been known in advance. The same applies to technological advance - we might know now that technology z arrived in 1906 and greatly reduced operating costs of new locos, so in 1903 we might need new locos but hold off on purchasing because we know what's coming up. Would a real-world operator in 1903 have had the same knowledge?
QuoteTrue. Now ask them how much those things cost compared to the costs associated with usage (if they work on the shop floor they probably won't know any more than how many hours it sits in the shop, usually only the accountants and managers know the costs). When it's in use it's probably getting a major engine service and a brake system overhaul on the same frequency as the rubber seal replacement. It's not the number of things, it's the cost of them. As I said last post, the dynamic and incentives of the fixed ownership costs are already captured by attaching a cost to money, so maintaining an additional parameter is just extra work.I vote yes. Makes the player think more about the time value of money and stengthens dynamics like the one above.
QuoteI'll answer that with a question. You've seen what congestion can do to $/km - how much effect would it have if operating costs were increased by 25%? Or 50%? Or 100%? This is what will happen to any player who fails to manage congestion adequately. The beauty of it is that it has about zero impact early game, when there's near zero congestion, but kicks in when lines get busier. It's a dynamic that increases in impact with, and in direct opposition to, capital utilisation, so it's a great balancer in a mature game. It's also a really simple mathematical concept (can be explained as being a bit like a taxi meter, which most of us are familiar with) that has powerful and non-linear effects.I had assumed this would be really easy to compute, as I thought Experimental was already tracking journey times to calculate the revenue for each trip. At the end of each journey (all journeys: loaded, empty, or depot) the journey time is multiplied by the hourly cost of every unit in the convoy, and billed to operating costs. Is it not this simple? Waiting time would ideally be included but it's not critical.
QuoteI included it because there are costs associated with money - interest, and opportunity cost - that have a bearing on a player's decision-making. It is not to be included in the cost of the unit, but rather to calculate its life-cycle cost so as to balance the costs between units. If two vehicles cost the same total number of dollars over their lives, but one has higher purchase price in exchange for lower operating costs, then their true life-cycle costs are not the same when the time value of money is taken into account. Real-world purchasing decisions are driven by NPV analyses that consider not just the number of dollars, but when those dollars need to be spent, because deferring expenditure either reduces interest costs or frees up cash to take other profit-making opportunities (the latter being a big issue in the early game, hence one always goes with low purchase prices to maximise the amount of equipment one can buy). If I buy the loco with the higher purchase price, that price needs to reflect the fact that I've forgone interest or opportunity in the present. In practice this means that to be economic, the more expensive loco needs to be cheaper than it would be if the expenditure was calculated without respect for timing. If we build relative pricing without considering this then the lower purchase price, higher operating cost locos will have an unintended cost advantage.You can explore this dynamic with the comparison spreadsheet:1. Set the interest rate to zero.2. Configure vehicles 1 & 2 with identical parameters, except vehicle 2 has lower operating costs. Adjust the purchase price of vehicle 2 so the lifecycle costs come out equal. Copy vehicle 2's parameters to vehicle 3 for reference.3. Now introduce an interest rate. Both lifecycle costs increase, but vehicle 2's has increased by more. Vehicle 2's purchase price needs to be reduced for the lifecycle costs to come out equal.So what I'm proposing is that this dynamic is factored into calculating the purchase prices for the pakset. In the spreadsheet purchase price is an input, but what I'm saying is that it is meant to be an output. This spreadsheet was built for demonstration purposes; to price the pakset I would specify the lifecycle unit cost as an input, being roughly the same for all units. Then either purchase or operating cost would be an input, and the other would be the output.Of course, this is of limited use if vehicles don't have a realistic lifecycle, as they currently don't. In Standard it's infinite, while in Ex it's arbitrary, being the number of years until manufacturing obsolescence rather than the amount of work done until it wears out. The whole idea of balancing purchase and operating costs is dependent on things having a finite operating life, so if this isn't built into the sim in a realistic manner, those parameters won't produce realistic outcomes so there's no need to worry about them too much.
QuoteSounds to me like the speedbonus can capture technological progress pretty well, so that should be enough. As far as I can see it also means that it's not necessary to make later, higher performing units more expensive than earlier ones.
QuoteI suppose that one way of doing it would simply be to create a concept of an overhaul (which does not require a trip to the depot in the game), a fixed lump sum cost that must be paid by the player every x kilometers that is deduced automatically from that month's maintenance, and where players are given some sort of indication when looking at the convoy that some of the vehicles are coming up for their overhauls.
Quote from: inkelyad on January 07, 2011, 02:24:34 AM"Any overhaul/vehicle replacement is done transparent to player. Depreciation/replacement cost is part of running cost. And that is reason simutrans vehicles is running forever."
QuoteI think that we really do need to disincentive players from putting unused ways all over the place: placing a way in Simutrans means that other players cannot place a way there themselves, nor can cities build on the land, so the land is a valuable resource. More importantly, however, there is no reason why Simutrans should not simulate the reality that maintaining a way in a state that does not require significant capital investment before it is able to be used again costs money.There is a difference between costing something to maintain to a usable standard at all (as opposed to letting the way fall into disuse entirely) and the cost varying proportionate to usage, and only the former can apply to canals: it would not be realistic for a player to have to pay twice as much to maintain a canal that has twice as much traffic!The easiest way of doing this is simply to record the tonnage as it passes over each way tile and add it up every month, then charge an amount at the end of the month based on the tonnage multiplied by the per tonne cost.
QuoteIf one is incorporating such costs into vehicles, one can just use the existing maintenance costs and take into account administrative overhead. Is being linear a good or a bad thing here? I am presuming a bad thing, as we need something to balance exponential profit growth. In a game, "cute" ideas can work sometimes, and, conceptually, it's not too complex or hard to understand.
QuoteThe real question is this, therefore: compared to the present model is the additional incentive created by increasing maintenance costs later to replace vehicles one by one (which, on a large map, would be a gargantuan task) worth in profit-balancing terms what it costs in incentive to micromanage?
Quote...and where players are given some sort of indication when looking at the convoy that some of the vehicles are coming up for their overhauls
QuoteOn the one hand, you suggest that we make all vehicle lifetime costs more or less the same, and on the other, suggest that it would not make any sense in a game like this to have "lemons".
Quotethe best vehicle available for a particular task on a particular date might have a significantly higher lifetime cost than other vehicles
QuoteOften, only sub-optimal (but still serviceable) vehicles were the only things around for a particular task for a long time, and there is no reason that this should not be simulated; likewise, players with very limited capital might be forced into buying cheaper but otherwise universally sub-optimal vehicles that they certainly would not buy if they could afford the better option; similarly, players in a highly competitive situation might want to buy slightly faster but otherwise sub-optimal vehicles (or ways) in order to get market share in circumstances where they would not otherwise use those vehicles
QuoteThe fixed costs are significant.
QuoteThe tricky bit is the interface relating to time, as there are currently two different time scales (one that measures years and months for the purposes of technological change, etc., and also things that happen monthly, and one that measures journey times, waiting times, vehicle movement and speed), and the latter would have to be represented to the player in an accessible way which is not done at present. That might be worthwhile in itself, but it would be quite tricky to do properly.
QuoteThat's interesting; presumably, though, we do make them more expensive if they were, in real terms, actually more expensive? The speed bonus is, after all, only intended to deal with revenue, not cost.
Quote from: moblet link=topic=6521.msg63511#msg63511If running costs are high enough to cover indefinite replacements then they are artificially high and cripple early gameplay relative to mature gameplay, an imbalance we are trying to address.
Quote And, for example, under this assumption, when I retire a vehicle, I should be able to recoup whatever money had been saved for its next replacement.
QuoteThe easiest way of doing this is simply to record the tonnage as it passes over each way tile and add it up every month, then charge an amount at the end of the month based on the tonnage multiplied by the per tonne cost.
Quote from: inkelyad on January 07, 2011, 04:48:58 AMThen running cost must be S-Shaped (like this)
Quote from: inkelyad on January 07, 2011, 04:48:58 AMRetired vehicle is sold,right? And at the same cost as you buy it. So you will get money back.
QuoteOr simply linear, just so long as it increases with age. Linear would be easier for the player to visualise when managing their fleets.
Quote from: sdog on January 07, 2011, 08:09:54 AMI quite don't understand why you consider fixed monthly costs for a vehicle useless, but want a time based cost for vehicles.
QuoteThis has a bit of arbitrariness, since it will suddenly come up and cause immense costs. In real life i could just postpone this replacement for a month or a year if the company is in a tight situation. With the automated cost it could just hit the player out of the blue. And it can be quite expensive early on, when for example at one point all of the convoys bought in the first year incur this cost at almost the same time. If it is based on the odometer they will only have minor differences depending on the km between stops and congestion.
QuoteAre you sure this replacement problem does really apply to rugged industrial transport, like trains etc?
QuoteIt's not completely clear, i understand you right that you want to save the value for each convoy, not for each way tile? When you wrote tonnage did you mean the maximum tonnage of the way?
QuoteWe need functions to base those costs differently for different ways.
QuoteLinear would again be a burden at the early game.
Quote from: moblet on January 07, 2011, 08:12:00 AMBut it would be very messy to expect the player to manage the maintenance cost of dozens or hundreds of units over time and make replacement decisions, so introducing a lifespan (in km) for each vehicle would serve as a proxy for that.
Quote Resale value is a bit less than purchase cost, but near enough. The resale value should decline as the vehicle wears. At the end of its life it has only scrap value.
Quote from: sdog on January 07, 2011, 08:09:54 AMps.: james, moblet, inkelyad, would it be sensible to bifurcate this up into different threads, since we have some diverging sets of problems here?
Quote from: moblet on January 05, 2011, 01:24:14 AMIn the real world one of the basic corporate measures - and one that's relevant to Simutrans - is return on investment (ROI), but this is not even reported to a Simutrains player. The only way this can be simulated otherwise to finely balance all the prices so that the player goes broke if their ROI is uncompetitive, which is how I would describe what you're trying to do here.
Quote from: neroden on January 07, 2011, 10:12:47 PMI still think we aren't actually ready to balance the pricing yet, however. Balancing of vehicle power/weight/speed is still not finished, and balancing of industry production vs. appropriate number of vehicles to handle the supply is just clicking into place now. I don't think goods prices are balanced against each other either, and that would be the next step. In the balancing models I've come up with, getting reasonable values for depot, station, track, and road maintenance comes next, and those are still way off.... anyone got a source for prices for such things?
Quotewe want to weight the game to ease early and burden mature gameplay, we might find we're better off assuming something different.
Quote from: nerodenI still think we aren't actually ready to balance the pricing yet, however. Balancing of vehicle power/weight/speed is still not finished, and balancing of industry production vs. appropriate number of vehicles to handle the supply is just clicking into place now. I don't think goods prices are balanced against each other either, and that would be the next step. In the balancing models I've come up with, getting reasonable values for depot, station, track, and road maintenance comes next, and those are still way off.... anyone got a source for prices for such things?
Quote from: MobletLinear with respect to revenue is neutral I think, linear with respect to operating/maintenance costs hurts when loads are light (e.g. early game), linear with respect to capital hurts early on with low capital utilisation. The headquarters concept could be used as a non-linear tool against mature play, e.g. you don't need an HQ in the early game and carry no overhead (your office can be at the back of a depot as it would be in a real-world small operation) but to cross certain thresholds you need to build/upgrade your HQ, and it incurs admin overhead in proportion to other costs. Couldn't legitimately have a big non-linear influence, though, so I wouldn't consider it a priority for balancing early vs mature gameplay.
Quote from: MobletAll good, and that can be accommodated. What I'm proposing is a process for arriving at all of this in a controlled, deliberate fashion that's as simple as possible. You've been grappling with the whole problem of relative costing, which is a big ugly beast, so big and ugly that I wouldn't try to slay it in a single blow. For this task I think it will be far easier to work relative to a benchmark than to try to work up every unit's numbers from scratch, not least because the unit's relative performance in the game will be a function of its costs relative to other units. I'd start simply and add complexity thus:1. Set a benchmark (average?) lifecycle cost for each type of vehicle. Beast has been sighted.2. Tune each vehicle's purchase and operating costs to match the benchmark (what the spreadsheet is a step towards). Beast has been tied up.3. Some vehicles exhibit average performance and are happy being average, they're now done. Vehicles with particular characteristics can now have their parameters tweaked either side of the benchmark according to historical accuracy and/or gameplay considerations. Beast is slain.
QuoteProfit is the outcome that matters, and since that equals revenue minus cost, it doesn't matter whether it's cost or revenue that gets manipulated. The erosion of revenue at the same level of performance means the player has to run to stand still, which is realistic. If they were more expensive in real terms then yes, they should be made more expensive, especially if they're on offer contemporaneously with older units.
Quote from: SDogIt's not completely clear, i understand you right that you want to save the value for each convoy, not for each way tile? When you wrote tonnage did you mean the maximum tonnage of the way?We need functions to base those costs differently for different ways. For roads the damage done is not a linear relationship with the weight. I just have the typical numbers from the news that one 40t lorry causes as much damage as 1000 (other source 10000) cars. A brief googleing didn't get me any substantial information.One possible way would be to use linear costs but have max weight based limit below which it will not incur extra costs. This would require a conditional check for every tile, and ifs are slow.I have no real idea of wear of rails. Inclines have increase wear through sanding. Wear on rails comes mostly from milling [grinding?] them. Old goods trains and extremely old passenger trains without disc brakes modulate the surface that require this milling. Usually the ballast has to be replaced the most offen, and this shouldn't depend on track utilisation. What's with points? Trains also remove the corrosion products from the tracks, will this increase corrosion compared to a dormant track? (i doubt it, for steel, would be different for aluminum)Does high track utilization influence track maintenance costs significantly, when trains stay below the weight limit?Perhaps it would be sensible to introduce this system only for lorries above a certain weight limit
Quote from: Neroden...if we had a proper borrowing model, we could track ROI pretty carefully, without requiring the player to go broke if he makes uncompetitive choices. The initial 'free' capital provides a cushion against poor ROI, while any future 'borrowed' money requires a higher ROI to pay back the interest costs. I routinely check the monthly profit of my vehicles and divide by the initial capital costs I spent on them-plus-track....
Quote from: The Hood on January 08, 2011, 05:55:14 PMI like the ideas regarding overhauling - in fact I was going to suggest something similar. I would also suggest that subsequent overhauls become ever more expensive otherwise you could still feasibly have steam puffing away in the year 2000.
QuoteMy idea about liveries was entirely unconnected though - it would be mere eye-candy. Think about the current British network - lots of vehicles get a repaint (or at least a new vinyl wrap) every 5 years or so because of changing franchises and corporate identities! I was thinking of a drop down menu to choose (free of charge) which colours to have your vehicle in, and would be especially nice for those who want to recreate historically accurate scenarios (model railway style). Also I don't think an overhall necessarily dictates a change in appearance anyway (where as a change of livery does).
QuoteDo you have any suggestions about what sort of borrowing model would be best here? I don't really want to introduce anything as complicated as the stock market, but there might be something to be said for fixed term loans.
Quote from: sdog on January 08, 2011, 06:36:40 PMAdd an option to your Vehicle replacer to replace all vehicles that are past their service life -- and importantly do all vehicle replacing instantly, without the tedious way to the depots! (i hardly ever use it because of this)
Quote from: jamespetts on January 08, 2011, 06:06:10 PMAhh, I had wanted the liveries to reflect something about the in-game world, rather than to be completely arbitrary, and date of build or last overhaul is a useful thing to reflect. Besides, this would require no new GUI and thus be easier to program.