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Offline paco_m

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harbour system
« on: February 19, 2011, 10:23:27 AM »
As you may know the current system for ship stops differs a lot from all other modes of transport Simutrans knows.
With a single tile stop you can serve a unlimited number of ships (of all sizes) at the same time - this behaviour causes a lot of issues, just to bring some of them up:

- many players consider the usage of ships as "cheating"
- pakset maintainers tend to calculate ships so hard that in some cases you loose money even with ships that are 100% full
- you never know how many ships are actually waiting in a habour because they are always stapled upon each other
- there is no motivation to build larger harbours
- the visual appearance is really unsatisfactory

My suggestion:
we could use for ships exactly the same system that is already used for airplanes;
the vehicles already behave quite similar because their main journey is upon a more or less open terrain (air or ocean) without strict route limits (street or tracks), just inside the "stations" (port or airport) they have to follow strict routes and dock to their pier or terminal.

So if we just copy all the airport elements to the water this would mean
harbour entrance (or exit) = runway = red markers in image
waterways within the harbour = taxiway = yellow lines
stop at the pier = aircraft stop = green markers

See image 1 and 2 for examples how this could look like ingame
picture 1: harbour with one entrance and exit

picture 2: harbour with entrance (left) and exit (right) using the oneway arrows we already know from the airports


How could this be shown visually in the game?
Well, I guess you all know this buoys (picture 3) that are used to signalize waterways - this could be used as it is to mark the different ways with different coloured buoys (example: picture 4 - I know blender artists can do this much better ;) )

Offline Zeno

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Re: harbour system
« Reply #1 on: February 19, 2011, 10:36:31 AM »
I completely agree with you in all aspects, paco_m. It would be absolutely superb if this could be implemented. Me like!!

Offline Combuijs

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Re: harbour system
« Reply #2 on: February 19, 2011, 10:38:34 AM »
Yes, nice idea. But some paks make their ships (artificially) bigger than one tile. How to handle that?

Offline paco_m

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Re: harbour system
« Reply #3 on: February 19, 2011, 10:46:41 AM »
Yes, nice idea. But some paks make their ships (artificially) bigger than one tile. How to handle that?
Most paks make also their airplanes bigger than one tile, if you place the aircraft stops close together their wings are overlapping - if you don't like that and want it more realistic you have to keep one tile free between the stops; you can do the same for harbours, actually picture 1^ shows such an oversized ship ;)

Another solution would be allowing to make the stops larger than 1 tile considering the ships length definition as it is already done for river/channel ship stops. Personally I would prefer this if it is not too much work, however it is not a must have as it works without that also...

Offline The Hood

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Re: harbour system
« Reply #4 on: February 19, 2011, 11:32:10 AM »
Nice idea.  On a related note, which may be similar to implement, it would be great if you could build a designated "water runway" etc to allow the landing of boat-planes.  Maybe they could use the same system?

Offline An_dz

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Re: harbour system
« Reply #5 on: February 19, 2011, 03:51:27 PM »
Boat-planes will be awesome.

And the buyos will look cool, I've just downloaded some for SC4. :D
There's the ability to make animated objects on Simutrans, but still under development. I don't know.
But it'll look great if the buyos are animated.

Offline Ashley

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Re: harbour system
« Reply #6 on: February 19, 2011, 05:52:26 PM »
This is a really good suggestion.

Offline skreyola

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Re: harbour system
« Reply #7 on: February 19, 2011, 09:07:58 PM »
I think copying the taxiways would be bad for gameplay, though it might make coding this easier.
I like the idea of entrance, stop, and exit, but I think you shouldn't have to build the stops manually. They should be automatically calculated as any water tile "connected" to the harbor entrance that is adjacent to a dock structure (calculated from the structure, not the entrance, to save CPU cycles), and the entrances should behave like truck choose signs.
:support:
Love the idea of waterplanes and water landing areas. Would love to see that in the game.
:support:

Offline VS

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Re: harbour system
« Reply #8 on: February 19, 2011, 10:00:15 PM »
The idea as a whole is really interesting...

Offline paco_m

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Re: harbour system
« Reply #9 on: February 19, 2011, 10:20:41 PM »
I think copying the taxiways would be bad for gameplay, though it might make coding this easier.
I like the idea of entrance, stop, and exit, but I think you shouldn't have to build the stops manually.
In this points I disagree, first you don't need taxiways for airports - it just makes them more realistic, however many players just connect the aircraft stop directly to the runway - you would be able to do the same with this harbour concept ;)

As for the automatic stop building, this would conflict (optically) with oversized ships as they are common in pak128 and for a couple of pak64 addons (don't know the other paks) - using an automatic stop creator would cause large overlaps and a really awful appearance of the harbour when using oversized ships.
Apart of this purely aesthetic issue I can place railway stations where I want without getting automatically layed tracks and platforms, I can place airport buildings without getting automatically built aircraft stops around it so why should it work different when I place a dock?

Of course I have nothing against automatic stuff when it is offered as an option like automatic signal placing or station placing like you can do it in OpenTTD (defining a railway station of 10x5squares and making one click for the whole structure). Personally I like micromanagement and don't use any of these autmoatic things ;)

Offline isidoro

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Re: harbour system
« Reply #10 on: February 19, 2011, 11:22:00 PM »
And what would happen when there are no free stops?

Offline paco_m

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Re: harbour system
« Reply #11 on: February 19, 2011, 11:31:59 PM »
And what would happen when there are no free stops?


Keeping the behaviour of airplanes without any change the first ship would pass the harbour entrance and wait at the connection entrance/waterway until a stop becomes free. The next arriving ship would wait in front of the entrance tiles until the first ship that is still waiting there proceeds. All other arriving ships would do the same as the second however it won't be necessary to let them make circles like airplane, choosing a free adyacent ocean tile if available for waiting would be nice otherwise they would just staple in front of the entrance beginning with the 2nd waiting ship.

Offline skreyola

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Re: harbour system
« Reply #12 on: February 19, 2011, 11:40:37 PM »
@paco_m: Regarding taxiways, I think it should be just like between a road choose sign and the truck bays. On water, the way is already there. Regarding autostops, valid point. I think the solution is to require manual placement but make the stops cost 0 or 1, nothing or next to nothing, to place, because the player has already paid for the infrastructure, and the stop placement on water is more of a virtual thing (like IRL, you'd radio the captain or assign the local pilot a particular zone number, which would already be painted on the dock).
@isidoro: Same thing that happens to trucks, the ships should queue near the in-bouy.

I think it would be awesome if the in-bouys could be linked to a particular station, so that players could make the in-bouy the "stop" destination... or just have the in-bouys linked to the station (as an extension building?) so that the wayfinder will route through them instead of straight to the station. I guess, if this idea is done at all, it'll have to require each dock have an in-bouy.

Offline sdog

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Re: harbour system
« Reply #13 on: February 19, 2011, 11:59:55 PM »
brilliant!

Offline wlindley us

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Re: harbour system
« Reply #14 on: February 20, 2011, 12:35:40 PM »
There are two issues here:
  • Unlike other vehicles, ships can pass "through" each other
  • Unlike other vehicles, multiple ships can be loading at a single station (dock) tile

Perhaps the simplest addition would be to add the Buoys first.  Each buoy would be associated with one or more dock tiles. A ship that is routed to a buoy, would arrive at the buoy and then, like a platform choose signal, wait until it can proceed to a free associated dock tile.  This would require no changes to existing save games, and would not prevent routing directly to dock tiles as you can presently do.  This also does not require the implementation of Harbour waterways (yet).

The above solves the problem of having too many ships docked at once, but, as with ships sailing "through" each other, many ships could be waiting "atop" each other at a buoy when no dock tiles are free.  The solution to that problem could be deferred until such time as the general ship tile reservation is addressed.

Is that a reasonable first step?

Offline paco_m

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Re: harbour system
« Reply #15 on: February 20, 2011, 12:44:02 PM »
There are two issues here:
  • Unlike other vehicles, ships can pass "through" each other
  • Unlike other vehicles, multiple ships can be loading at a single station (dock) tile

Airplanes can also pass "through" each other when they are in the air but not when they are on the runways and taxiways.
So copying the airport system would of course mean that ships within the harbour structure can not pass through each other and would behave like airplanes on the ground; outside the harbour they still could pass like they are doing now and like flying planes are doing.

Of course there could be developed other solutions too but why inventing the wheel again when there is already a working system that would solve all the current issues? Also I think that it would be easier for the players when the behaviour is as close as possible to other means of transport instead of doing something completely different.

This would require no changes to existing save games
That is a point, however most existing shipstops won't work correctly after placing such a buoy without further changes as the lines would just be blocked because of lacking dock infrastructure.
To keep current saves working the new system could be activated as a simuconf.tab option, if this option is not defined (like in old saves) the current(old) harbour logic would be used.

Offline Erik

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Re: harbour system
« Reply #16 on: February 20, 2011, 02:01:54 PM »
Great idea to build a harbour system for leading ships to a dock. :D

O a small point with this one.

One side has indeed to be red but the other site has to be green.

Offline greenling

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Re: harbour system
« Reply #17 on: February 20, 2011, 02:21:34 PM »
paco_m
by the Railway and the Roadvehicles gives a Lengthcode!
it´s possible too use the lengthcode by ships?

greenling

Offline paco_m

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Re: harbour system
« Reply #18 on: February 20, 2011, 08:00:11 PM »
As I already mentioned here^^ the possibility of making longer stops (than 1 tile) could be added, shipstops in rivers/channels already consider the length definitions from the dat file.

Offline isidoro

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Re: harbour system
« Reply #19 on: February 20, 2011, 11:45:39 PM »
[...]
Of course there could be developed other solutions too but why inventing the wheel again when there is already a working system that would solve all the current issues?
[...]

I think I read somewhere that airplanes themselves are based on other type of transportation in Simutrans, but I can't recall where.  I only found in the old forum when they were released: http://archive.forum.simutrans.com/topic/00828.0/index.html

Offline Dwachs

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Re: harbour system
« Reply #20 on: February 21, 2011, 10:26:03 AM »
I like the pictures in the starting post. The change in the harbour system would be dramatic (I mean, nowadays you do not have to build harbour buildings at all: just schedule your ships to stop at a tile that is in the range of the target station.)

Offline paco_m

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Re: harbour system
« Reply #21 on: February 22, 2011, 12:03:37 AM »
The change in the harbour system would be dramatic
Thats why I think that the best way of doing it would be a simuconf.tab option keeping the current way as default. Then every pakset could switch when they are ready for it and want it (graphically it is not a hudge work but requires at least some addition).

Offline Colin

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Re: harbour system
« Reply #22 on: February 22, 2011, 08:49:28 AM »
This is quite brilliant. It looks great too.

Offline Václav

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Re: harbour system
« Reply #23 on: February 22, 2011, 11:07:30 AM »
I am not sure if it fits here what I would like to ask - but it could because it is very close. I have idea for water-ways:  one-way signals. Because it is a really disastrous if two ships sailing toward each other meets in one canal.

Offline arnoud

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Re: harbour system
« Reply #24 on: February 22, 2011, 11:40:38 AM »
I am not sure if it fits here what I would like to ask - but it could because it is very close. I have idea for water-ways:  one-way signals. Because it is a really disastrous if two ships sailing toward each other meets in one canal.

Why? Canals are normal wide enough to pas 2 boats.

Offline Colin

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Re: harbour system
« Reply #25 on: February 22, 2011, 03:34:18 PM »
They just go through one another anyway.

Offline paco_m

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Re: harbour system
« Reply #26 on: February 22, 2011, 03:42:47 PM »
They just go through one another anyway.
Most paks have smaller ships for channels with offset so they are going up on the right side and down on the left (or otherwise) as street vehicles. Of course they still can go through each other also when they are travelling in the same direction or when you use large ships created for the ocean in your rivers and channels.
However this is only indirect related to the harbours and that should be the topic here ;)

Offline Václav

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Re: harbour system
« Reply #27 on: February 22, 2011, 04:05:24 PM »
Most paks have smaller ships for channels with offset so they are going up on the right side and down on the left (or otherwise) as street vehicles.
But not pak128 - inside pak128 all ships take the same space in their width - there they are aligned to the center of tile - and then it really looks strange when two ships sailing toward each other meet like if they should crash each other. This is reason why I asked for one-way signals.

Offline Zeno

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Re: harbour system
« Reply #28 on: February 22, 2011, 04:33:39 PM »
In case this would eventually become true, the one way signals could be applied to port entrance and exit lanes, just like airport in taxiways. I can't see this being applied anywhere else (like the planes, ships travel "through" the ocean, and are not stucked to a rail/road/whatever where you can put signals).

Offline Sybill

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Re: harbour system
« Reply #29 on: February 22, 2011, 05:08:20 PM »
Channels, rivers and harbours normally have two way traffic, not one way. There should be a solution to implement this in simutrans. Here are some links, sorry they are in german, but look at the pictures and pdf-files.
http://www.revierinfo.at/seezeichen/index.html
http://www.wsv.de/wsa-toe/schifffahrt/Schifffahrtszeichen/index.html

The main problem is rivers and channels are normally wider than roads, but in simutrans they are both one tile wide. Ships are normally wider than trucks, so they need a whole tile. Maybe waterways should be two tiles wide or ships smaller.

Offline Václav

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Re: harbour system
« Reply #30 on: February 22, 2011, 05:57:48 PM »
- you never know how many ships are actually waiting in a habour because they are always stapled upon each other
- there is no motivation to build larger harbours
1. Yes - it is very incomfortable - often you see only two of them - but no more
2. I would like to build very large seaports (harbours?) regardless of no need to build it - but I have not such buildings to they would look as real as it could.

Offline VS

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Re: harbour system
« Reply #31 on: February 22, 2011, 10:59:38 PM »
On a related tangent, harbour parts are problematic, because they have to bridge two height levels in a weird way. Their top shouldn't be too high from sea surface, but on the other hand you expect them to be continuation of ground level. This is not possible in Simu, since our height step is big. Even if you go the pak64 route where there is a "base" lowered into terrain, tracks end up looking weird because they are higher than everything else. And then you need special ends, too.

If this could be somehow helped... It's nowhere near a blocker, but graphically rather important :)

Offline skreyola

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Re: harbour system
« Reply #32 on: February 23, 2011, 01:40:28 AM »
I think harbor waterways (taxiways) should be free, since, in most cases, you're not adding any real-world cost by designating certain areas as part of your harbor (and I think dredging operations are outside the scope of the simutrans model, as evidenced by the free ride we've had heretofore with ships).

Offline vlldy

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Re: harbour system
« Reply #33 on: March 16, 2011, 12:39:59 PM »
I think this is very nice idea.
I hope ,someone is making good work for simutrans because I want it :D

Offline Djohaal

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Re: harbour system
« Reply #34 on: April 11, 2011, 12:49:27 AM »
Probably the best idea around the requests forum at the moment. I second this.  ;D