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 Post subject: Wired
PostPosted: Fri Jul 10, 2015 11:19 pm 
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Wired newgrf is a special type of invisible track with catenary like telegraph line.
There are two purposes of such newgrf:
1. to control signals
2. to send (e)mail units.

First purpose is useful for designs like priority merge:
Attachment:
merge-wired.png [78.19 KiB]
Downloaded 19 times

which usually are created with use of normal tracks, but telegraph line looks better and cost less both in construction and maintenance terms.
There are also special vehicles, lets call it 'carriers'.
For signal control purposes, there is 'telephone' carrier - it runs fast, have no running costs and reliability decay, but have zero capacity.
It can be used as dummy 'logic train', described here: https://wiki.openttdcoop.org/Logic

For second purpose there are three very fast commercial carriers.
Telex can carry 1 unit of mail, 10BaseT Ethernet can carry 10 units, and 100BaseT can carry 100. Similar to Pipes, cargo aging is fast, to balance high speed.
All commercial carriers are very expensive to install and operate, but Ethernet carriers have high throughput and can help to reduce backlogs of mail.
Telex give very small income if any, but thanks to its speed, it can increase station rating resulting in higher revenue of normal means of transport.
These carriers are disabled by default, because main purpose of this newgrf is to control signals. Running/purchase costs are customisable.

Light signals were drawn like telephone joiner/relay boxes, semaphores are not ready yet (I want to paint them like old optical semaphores).

Road crossings are disabled intentionally - it is not safe to have level crossing with high speed carriers, and a little bit silly to crash truck with data packets.
Bridges are too slow for carriers (I recommend to use any newgrf with fast modern bridges, for example betabridges), the best solution is to use tunnels.

Current version is available here:
http://binaries.openttd.org/bananas/new ... 0.7.tar.gz

I'm not sure, how to handle licence.
'Depots' are repainted Purno drawings from Random Sprites Repository, some part of the code (catenary templates) was taken from xUSSR set thanks to George courtesy, and code of signals templates was based on Metro Track.
How should licence looks like, if some parts have origin from different licences (CC, GPL)?

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Last edited by McZapkie on Thu Oct 29, 2015 8:44 am, edited 2 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Wired
PostPosted: Sat Jul 11, 2015 6:31 am 
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McZapkie wrote:
I'm not sure, how to handle licence.
'Depots' are repainted Purno drawings from Random Sprites Repository, some part of the code (catenary templates) was taken from xUSSR set thanks to George courtesy, and code of signals templates was based on Metro Track.
How should licence looks like, if some parts have origin from different licences (CC, GPL)?


Nice idea about that NewGRF.

As to license: IIRC Purno advertises that all his work can be used under GPL. Isn't Metrotracks GPL-licensed, too? And I'm sure you could ask George to donate his parts under GPL, too. Any CC license other than CC-0 or CC-BY (i.e. CC-NC or worse CC-ND, not sure about CC-SA) are not compatible with GPL and you cannot release the Newgrf without getting permission to re-license for one or the other part(s).

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 Post subject: Re: Wired
PostPosted: Mon Jul 13, 2015 11:09 am 
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I'd suggest renaming "Telephone" as "Block Signaling", since that's what it does. I'd make it available from Year 0 just for simplicity's sake. There's no reason for players to have to wait until 1876 for better ways to control their lines.

I'm very interested in the potential for mail carrier. I don't have a problem with only being able to make a small profit. As it stands, though, property maintenance will easily eat up any profits you might make. You also don't want to be using this if you have a loan, as you will never catch up on the interest owed. Costs for building and maintaining property really need to come down, though.

I'd like to see service start earlier in 1840 with "Telegram" set at 1 mail bag, "Printed Telegraph" in 1875 set at 2 mail bags, "Teleprinter" in 1900 with 4 mail bags, "Telex" in 1930 with 5 bags, "ARPANet" in 1965 with 10 bags, and "Internet" in 1990 with 100 bags. I propose this because it gives a fairly even distribution of speed and technology that parallels history.

Also needs some newly designed stations that fill in the gap normally used for rails, but I'm guessing you created this in NML and thus no stations are yet possible. some of the waypoints look sorta nice with it, though.

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 Post subject: Re: Wired
PostPosted: Mon Jul 13, 2015 12:35 pm 
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I like this set too. ;)
It would be nice to see this simple NewGRF with 2x zoom sprites. The wires are definitely too thick in zoomed modes.

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 Post subject: Re: Wired
PostPosted: Mon Jul 13, 2015 12:47 pm 
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This is really cool!

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 Post subject: Re: Wired
PostPosted: Tue Jul 14, 2015 10:42 am 
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kamnet wrote:
I'd suggest renaming "Telephone" as "Block Signaling"

Good idea, I also changed introduction date of wire line to 1833.
I used opengfx left-side semaphores and repaint them to looks similar to the optical telegraph towers (rather Prussian one than Chapel or Tolkien).
It looks good with catenary visibility switched off:
Attachment:
optical_telegraph.png [529.15 KiB]
Downloaded 8 times

Every carrier have also option for viewport invisibility (it is always visible in depot/vehicle list, in such case invisibility is marked by darker colour).

kamnet wrote:
I'd like to see service start earlier in 1840 with "Telegram" set at 1 mail bag, "Printed Telegraph" in 1875 set at 2 mail bags, "Teleprinter" in 1900 with 4 mail bags, "Telex" in 1930 with 5 bags, "ARPANet" in 1965 with 10 bags, and "Internet" in 1990 with 100 bags. I propose this because it gives a fairly even distribution of speed and technology that parallels history.

I don't want to provide such linear improvement of technology, because I don't want to make this newgrf (at least not at the early stage of the game) a kind of 'money printer' or concurrent to classic trains.
Arpanet was experimental system and was not known worldwide, first internet networks in early 90 were incredibly slow.
To the end of XX century, mail vans were used widely, the main reason of their withdrawal was rather better logistic provided by road vehicles, however sending emails, SMS or digital photos instead of postcards were also important factor, which I want to mimic within this newgrfs.

Thanks to George permission, whole newgrfs is now under GPL 2.0 licence and is available via content online.
Version 3.0 contain bloc signalling 'logic train' and four commercial carriers: telegraph, telex, 10BaseT and 100BaseT Ethernet.
Telex can carry now 2 mail units, Telegraph 1 unit and is twice cheaper than telex.

[/quote]I'm guessing you created this in NML and thus no stations are yet possible. some of the waypoints look sorta nice with it, though.[/quote]
Yes, unfortunately, I cannot provide neither stations or bridges (train wooden bridge with only pillars visible would looks good both for trains and telegraph line), but some ISR stations (for example low goods station) looks well.

TadeuszD wrote:
It would be nice to see this simple NewGRF with 2x zoom sprites. The wires are definitely too thick in zoomed modes.
Good idea, I would also make these wires darker. Pity, that there is no option for partial transparency, like in case of stations.
I miss also company colours - without fences it is impossible to show track owner.

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 Post subject: Re: Wired
PostPosted: Tue Jul 14, 2015 1:34 pm 
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I played with this in 1950 for a year, with only Telex service available. With service in-between two towns averaging between 1000 and 2000 population, one Telex vehicle made a profit of $1900 transporting one bag of mail between each destination. However, this doesn't overcome the infrastructure cost, which once taken into effect made service unprofitable. This also left several hundreds of bags of mail undelivered in each station. You would need more stations and more saturation of the line. You'd have to build signals much more densely and possibly build two lines (with even more infrastructure cost) to try to get effective bi-directional communication going. It's nearly impossible to make a profit without sinking a lot of money up-front and having to run other services to keep you afloat. In its current configuration it's not anywhere close to being a "money printer" so you can definitely tune it to make it "just barely profitable". I don't want it to replace trains either, but even the slowest service should make enough to pay for infrastructure cost within a year.

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 Post subject: Re: Wired
PostPosted: Tue Jul 14, 2015 4:36 pm 
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kamnet wrote:
I played with this in 1950 for a year, with only Telex service available. With service in-between two towns averaging between 1000 and 2000 population, one Telex vehicle made a profit of $1900 transporting one bag of mail between each destination. However, this doesn't overcome the infrastructure cost, which once taken into effect made service unprofitable. This also left several hundreds of bags of mail undelivered in each station.

Correct, telex and telegraph were designed not to be used as a train replacement, rather as a train helper.

Try to build single railway line and run mixed passenger/mail train with full load orders, check income/expenses.
Then build parallel single telegraph line with common stations, and run one telegraph or telex (both are available prior version 0.3).
Thanks to the increased station rating, train would not waste time (and rating at the other end of the line).
Station ratings can be increased also with local transport (if cargodist is enabled), but small towns often have limited places suitable for another mail station.

Other important note: these carriers have fast cargo aging factor, maybe try shorter line.

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 Post subject: Re: Wired
PostPosted: Wed Jul 15, 2015 8:11 am 
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McZapkie wrote:
I miss also company colours - without fences it is impossible to show track owner.

You can paint base of pole with company colours. I mean the concrete element at the bottom of the pole:
https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/ ... 8.08_p.jpg

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 Post subject: Re: Wired
PostPosted: Wed Jul 15, 2015 9:25 am 
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TadeuszD wrote:
You can paint base of pole with company colours. I mean the concrete element at the bottom of the pole

I tried it with insulators - it does not work (company colours are ignored, are always blue).


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 Post subject: Re: Wired
PostPosted: Wed Jul 15, 2015 10:01 am 
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You might try the fence sprites rather than the rail sprites, I believe those have CC.

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 Post subject: Re: Wired
PostPosted: Thu Jul 16, 2015 2:55 am 
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I believe Wired, wasn't designed to make money itself, but to improve the operations of running your trains so they deliver their cargos quicker without being block unnecessary at junctions etc. and therefore increase your income. I find it good for controlling slow trains .. having refuge (passing loops) regular along your lines and in these refuge have a waypoint, station or depot. Send your slow trains via these refuges. With the use of wired, can then make the slow train wait in the refuge to allow faster trains to pass. If no fast trains close by, the slow one will not stop and continue out the other end of the refuge.

Attached is a test track using OpenTTD 1.5.1 the bare basics starting year 1940 and Wired.

There are 2 freight trains and several passenger trains doing a loop. You can see how the freight enter the refuges and wait till passenger trains pass.

The are some towns and industries if want to test it further.

No need to worry about making money. The Mayor of all towns are very generous. They donated 20 million just so can do what tests we like and hope provide a better rail service in the future.

The mail service in Wired I just use that as a little extra income on the side.

Those who like objects in their games to make things look nice will find Wired good for that too. Technically is has 3 functions, Control Trains, send messages, and make things look nice.

UPDATE: New Test Track using Wired 0.4 and useless tracks. Have included branch line joining a double line where branch lines trains are to give way to trains on the main line using both Wired and Useless Tracks.


Attachments:
File comment: Update of Test Track using Wired 0.4 and also Useless Tracks
Test Track with Wired and Useless Tracks.sav [21.23 KiB]
Downloaded 83 times

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Last edited by GarryG on Tue Jul 21, 2015 1:50 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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 Post subject: Re: Wired
PostPosted: Fri Jul 17, 2015 11:42 am 
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Nice, that this newgrf was found to be useful.
I uploaded version 0.4 with some little improvements to light signals visibility, masked track on bridges, and gentle trail of 'track' - totally invisible track was not a good idea, especially for junctions.
I noticed glitch with signal placement if left side signals are used.
Is any variable available for NML to check signal side option?

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 Post subject: Re: Wired
PostPosted: Fri Jul 17, 2015 11:49 am 
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McZapkie wrote:
Is any variable available for NML to check signal side option?

Yes... there are traffic_side and signals_on_traffic_side

http://newgrf-specs.tt-wiki.net/wiki/NML:General

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 Post subject: Re: Wired
PostPosted: Fri Jul 17, 2015 11:55 am 
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Great. I was looking at railtype variables, forgot about global ones.

BTW, is it possible to lock usability of vehicles for AI? I observed some AI trying to use wired it and failed.
ai_engine_rank does not work for openttd.


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 Post subject: Re: Wired
PostPosted: Fri Jul 17, 2015 10:57 pm 
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some bright genious decided to ignore all the hints that NewGRFs give to AIs, assuming that AIs will just be able to figure out from the vehicle stats what a useful vehicle is.

granted, CB18 (for vehicles) is fairly useless in the way it is set up (and nobody ever developed a better way), but the engine rank would be easy to forward, and let the AIs choose whether to use or ignore the information

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 Post subject: Re: Wired
PostPosted: Sat Jul 18, 2015 6:21 pm 
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What about ai_special_flag ?
There can be two flags, only for passengers or only for freight, if combined together would it lock vehicle for AI?


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 Post subject: Re: Wired
PostPosted: Sun Jul 19, 2015 1:30 am 
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i'm assuming those are ignored as well.

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 Post subject: Re: Wired
PostPosted: Tue Jul 21, 2015 1:52 pm 
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Above I updated the test track using Wired 0.4 and useless tracks.

Now includes double line with a branch line. Main line trains to have priority over branch line trains at the junctions.

McZapkie as my logo says "When you on a good thing stick to it"

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 Post subject: Re: Wired
PostPosted: Fri Jul 24, 2015 10:31 am 
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Version 0.6 was uploaded to Bananas.

I added several options:
1. original signals instead of custom ones.
2. enable road level crossings, because disabled crossings obstruct town growth.
3. Another optional railtype is available - trackbed/dirty road.
Can be used like 'useless track' for railroad planning or downgrading, or as an second block signal line parallel to track.
By now it is without any vehicles, but I can consider adding a farm tractors, which can act as slow kind of logic train (in case if you need to include some delays in your network control).
Dirty road sprites were taken from my logging camp project and need to be reworked, because are tiny compared to track (or rather track is scaled up).

Project was opened for translations, first translations are already done, thanks to Voyager1, juanjo and SilverSurferZzZ.

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Projects: Reproducible Map Generation patch, NewGRFs: Manpower industries, PolTrams, Polroad, 600mm narrow gauge, preindustrial houses, wired, ECS industry extension.


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