Timberwolf's UK.... trains?

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Timberwolf
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Re: Timberwolf's UK.... trains?

Post by Timberwolf »

A little update with a couple of bits. First is a starting point for the Tube roster: the C&SLR's early electric locomotive and its unique carriages (Holmes J36 and clerestories for scale):

Image

I also got annoyed that the vehicles cargo in FIRS games was showing up in only a single company colour, so made it use the second company colour more effectively (plus an additional fixed colour for wagons which fit more than two vehicles when fully loaded)

2010s vehicles:

Image

1980s vehicles:

Image

The latest update is 1.2.3 (the slight skip due to a text description bug I noticed immediately after uploading 1.2.2)
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Re: Timberwolf's UK.... trains?

Post by Electricfox »

Looking good, Timberwolf, looking very good.

Just one more idea, do stop me if I get too much, but have you thought about putting a 153 in between the 121 and the Parry people mover, or is it not worth it given how long the 121s remained in service?
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Re: Timberwolf's UK.... trains?

Post by Arnoud »

Hi, I absolutely love your new sets I really like the variety in both trains and electrical traction systems, something that the other extra zoom sets dont have (yet).

Largely because I like the set so much I want to give some feedback on this aspect.
Tbh as a foreigner before playing with your set I had never even heard of 4th rail.

From what I understand from wikipedia it exists in London alone and was created because victorian era utilities were causing problems with the 3rd rail only system.

Now from your post on the track set I understand that you didnt want to make things too complicated for players and therefore decided to implement the 4th rail as a dual mode track type; 3rd rail & catenary with an extra 4th rail added in the sprites.

In the current implementation this new track type can be used by the same trains as the other normal dual track without the 4th rail in the sprites, yet this normal dual track is both cheaper and does not have a speed restriction.
That means that from a gameplay perspective the player has no real reason to build the new dual with 4th rail tracks(unless I'm missing something big here).

Personally I think the worry about things getting too complicated for players if you implement 4th rail as a railtype separate from 3rd rail and catenary is not really needed; having 3 different electric railtypes is not that much more than the current 2 (3rd rail and catenary).

From what I understand from your post and the rather short wikipedia article the combination 3rd/4th rail with allso catenary doesnt actually exist or is extremely uncommon, and that 4th rail is usually combined with 3rd rail only.
Personally I wouldnt mind if this 3rd/4th rail were implemented as a third separate railtype, to the contrary I think it would add depth and a british flavour to the set.
Allso if I misunderstood some things please do tell me, cause I'm obviously no expert on the subject.
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Re: Timberwolf's UK.... trains?

Post by Timberwolf »

The 4th rail system is quite strange in how it interacts with other rail types (in real life).

It's a standard gauge track so both Tube trains and diesel/steam trains can run on it. This happens a few places to the northwest of London, where the Chiltern line trains use the Tube track.

But now we get to something weirder. The 4th rail system typically has 630V of potential between the two power rails, something like one being at 420V and the other at -210V. But as long as the potential difference sums to 630V, Tube units can work. (In fact, some of the newer stock can work with 750V DC as well).

In southwest London, the Tube shares tracks with third rail trains. It does this by having the outer pickup rail at 630V DC, and then allowing trains to use the running rails as a current return path in addition to the secondary power rail. The third rail units which share track are able to run with the reduced voltage, and as the running rails aren't needed for anything else in this section it all works out fine. (On the Victoria line, the lack of traction current going through the running rails means they can be used for signalling the automatic train operation)

So in places you can run self-powered, third rail and fourth rail trains all on the same track. Now for the 4th rail + catenary. To my knowledge, this exists in only one place in the UK - at the Dalby Test Track. In all other places, catenary lines run side by side with 4th rail ones (and not on the same track). Which brings us to an OpenTTD problem - what happens when diagonal tracks need to share the same tile? You either need an extra space of separation, in a city where you have the least amount of space. Or it needs a way for overhead AC locomotives to share tiles and possibly even track.

However, this doesn't make 4th rail or 4th rail + AC a universal track type.

The regular 4th rail is indeed cheaper than running third rail. It's still slightly more expensive than regular unelectrified rail. But with a 65mph maximum, you would be severely limiting most of the trains on it; third rail is typically used for passenger EMUs with speeds ranging between 75-100mph.

The 4th rail with catenary, meanwhile, is catastrophically expensive and still limited to 70mph. For every tile of this type you could have 2.5 regular 25kV AC tiles, 3.33 third-rail tiles or 5 unelectrified tiles. So it really is restricted to narrow urban corridors, and players will always need a good reason for using it in preference to dedicated tracks. (Depending how much infrastructure you already have, it's up to 60% more expensive to build the combined track than just build AC and 4th rail side by side)
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Re: Timberwolf's UK.... trains?

Post by Arnoud »

that is a very interesting story about the 4th rail.
I just started a new game and it seems that what I was asking for a decicated 4th rail is allready present in your set, I was just using an old version, so my point is kinda mute now.

Considering that your set does allready have a dedicated 4th rail having the dual 4th rail now makes more sense allso.

As for the issue with diagonal different track types not being able to share tracks this can be overcome by playing with JGR patch, I agree it would be a usefull feature to have in trunk.
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Re: Timberwolf's UK.... trains?

Post by Timberwolf »

I've had one of those situations where a minor annoyance turns into a major piece of work.

I was working on adding the 1906 "gate" Tube stock and no matter how much I played about the voxel model, I couldn't get the purchase sprites or 1x zoom view to look good. While I'd like GoRender to be an all-purpose tool you can throw any voxel model at and get good pixel-art results, in reality there's always a certain amount of tweaking to move things on or off certain boundaries to influence whether something becomes a company colour pixel or not.

(The company colour to non-company boundary is the difficult one as a pixel is either company-coloured or not; there's no intermediate "tint this 50%" value. In other cases, GoRender is usually able to pick a good enough intermediate value that it doesn't matter whether the dominant sample is from slightly the wrong place.)

With the Tube trains being much smaller, there's not as much leeway to move voxels around to make the 1x view work before you start distorting the appearance in the 2x view enough to be noticeable. Generally whenever I hit a blocker on the modelling side I go back to the renderer, and this is no exception. I had a lucky brainwave: what if rather than treating all of the samples used to generate the final pixel equally, what if GoRender gave more weight to those closest to the centre of the pixel? One of the things you'll notice using "fast" mode (where only a single sample per pixel is used) is that while the output becomes very grainy and aliased, and small details get lost, there are very few situations where colours run into adjacent pixels. If the render uses weighted samples, it gains this advantage while still also having the smoother anti-aliased output and recovery of sub-pixel detail.

While somewhat improving the 2x views, the real beneficiary is 1x "standard" zoom which previously suffered from severe downsampling of the input object - details like windows would be lost where too many surrounding body colour voxels were included in each pixel's samples. Here's a screenshot showing a bunch of 1x zoom views from the set rendered with these new settings:

Image

IMO still not as good as the top pixel art; there's too much noise and the occasional big blob of contiguous colour that an artist would have broken up. But I'm happy the gap is a lot smaller now than it was back when I released the first chunky, flat-shaded, awkwardly proportioned version of Timberwolf's Road Vehicles.
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Re: Timberwolf's UK.... trains?

Post by Electricfox »

Is that a Nodding Donkey and a Scud I see before me? :shock: :D
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Re: Timberwolf's UK.... trains?

Post by Timberwolf »

Big update of all the train-related packs to take advantage of my recent changes to GoRender, with new versions on BaNaNaS for:
  • Stations (1.1.4)
  • Tracks (1.1.2)
  • Trains (1.2.4)
Trains also gets the last of the Tube units I want to put together in this attention span before I get bored and the quality drops too much. Gate stock, Standard stock and O/P stock join the party to keep things going through the first three decades of the 20th Century, and also provide an additional option for recreating the Isle of Wight railway. Sample of some rather non-prototypical livery selections below:

Image
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Re: Timberwolf's UK.... trains?

Post by PEPSprinterPacer »

:)
Only ever been on a 185 and 144 023!
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Re: Timberwolf's UK.... trains?

Post by agnott »

Not sure if this is the right place for bug reports but in 1.2.4 the LU 1973 stock is showing up with no capacity.
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Re: Timberwolf's UK.... trains?

Post by Timberwolf »

Oops... I checked the tracking table and it is indeed missing a passenger capacity. Will update later.

(On the plus side, the broken unit will have cheaper running costs!)

I'll set it up so the fixed stock gets a new ID and you're unable to build the broken version, so it's possible to upgrade an existing game without getting a warning about vehicle capacity changes.
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Re: Timberwolf's UK.... trains?

Post by agnott »

Thanks :D :D

Is the 'Long' Flirt (745) on your list? 3-Car 755? Because you can't have enough Flirt-ing. :lol:
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Re: Timberwolf's UK.... trains?

Post by Timberwolf »

v1.2.6 now up on BaNaNaS with bug fix for the 1973 stock and some sprite corrections for the Desiro units which had transparent pixels around the lights.
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Re: Timberwolf's UK.... trains?

Post by sevenfm »

I have a question about early horse/steam trains balance in this set. I found that early loco's (maybe until Planet or even later) are less economically effective than horses - they are more expensive to buy, they cost more for maintenance and though they have higher max speed in theory, they cannot reach it even with single wagon attached because of lack of power. Is that intended, or am I missing something? I know they were not widely used in reality but having them inferior to horses leaves them as pure eye candy choice for any economically meaningful game. I would personally prefer them having at least some niche for use, like heavy transport to work in hills or expensive high speed passenger transport etc.

Also, maybe some fun locos like Cycloped could use "Easter Eggs" switch in the newgrf options, to possibly separate them from those which were actually in service?

Other than that, the set looks and plays great together with your tracks set, looks like I finally found a decent replacement for old UKRS2 which is great for me but lacks things like 2x zoom and early trains.
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Re: Timberwolf's UK.... trains?

Post by Timberwolf »

I inverted what I did with road vehicles and used realistic specs for the early locos, with the consequence they are inferior to horses in all but a limited number of use cases. The only one I think genuinely suffers is the Puffing Billy, where even with some stat boosts it is hopelessly outclassed by its contemporary horses.

Playing through an early game, I quite like the way the locomotives are superior only in very narrow use cases and horses with their cheaper plateway rails remain competitive up until the Coppernob and are arguably still useful until the Long Boiler locomotives move the game so far in favour of steam they can't keep up. Maybe a slight easing of running costs would help, as they are a bit marginal compared to giant horse stacks.

One thing you might not notice immediately with horses: they have a short life, and they get very expensive to "maintain" at the end of that life. Sometimes a locomotive is preferable just to avoid having to constantly be on top of replacing worn-out horses.

Parameter-wise... I went through parameter hell with Timberwolf's Road Vehicles, and got to the point I stopped enjoying adding features because there were so many chains of `if (thing_player_1_wants) and (thing_player_2_wants) then (this) unless (build year > 1940) in which case (thing_player_3_wanted)` that became fragile as combinatorial possibilities expand. Road Vehicles ended up with a whole page just of parameters for people to turn on and off types of vehicle and they all interact with each other, so my attitude even for the fun vehicles is that there's a "hide" button in the vehicle menu ;)
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Re: Timberwolf's UK.... trains?

Post by sevenfm »

Thank you, I didn't know horses become much more expensive at the end of their lives, still, you can always set them to auto replace starting by 12 months before the life period ends which should fix the problem (and make first generations of steam locos completely useless except for smoke and puffs eye candy). In my tests, having 3 or 4 2-horse locos beats all early steam locos in all aspects, unfortunately, and horses are still much cheaper to buy and replace even if you do it twice as often.

I agree parameters in UK Road Vehicles became a mess at some point, originally I could use only horses/steam vehicles by enabling them in the options, but now they only appear if you also enable all vans/lorries which I don't want in my game, which means you could just remove all vehicle type parameters completely since they don't work as needed anyway.
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Re: Timberwolf's UK.... trains?

Post by PEPSprinterPacer »

Please help!

What livery is that class 66 using? It's not EWS.
Only ever been on a 185 and 144 023!
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Re: Timberwolf's UK.... trains?

Post by Lex-Pelham »

PEPSprinterPacer wrote: 01 Jan 2021 14:38 Please help!

What livery is that class 66 using? It's not EWS.
Here are the liveries that are currently applied on a British Rail Class 66

Colas Rail (Orange and Black)
DB Schenker Rail (UK) Ltd (Red)
Direct Rail Services (Blue)
Freightliner Group (Green and Yellow)
GB Railfreight (Blue and Yellow)

Please note. Some of them may work in the game, while some may not.

I hope this is helpful.

Good luck
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Re: Timberwolf's UK.... trains?

Post by Timberwolf »

My Class 66 is loosely based on one of the DB Schenker schemes...

Image

But not so much so it wouldn't also do a passable imitation of some of the other options if the colours are suitably changed, e.g. from a distance this could also be one of the GBRF liveries, if you ignore the cabs not being quite yellow enough:

Image

My aim is to make things look interesting in 2cc as a primary goal, with the ability to approximate one or more real-world liveries as secondary.
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Re: Timberwolf's UK.... trains?

Post by Lex-Pelham »

Hey Timberwolf,

Sorry to bother, but could this be fixed in the next update? (pictures included in attachments) I'm not sure if it's a bug or it's part of the NewGRF.

I think you need to replace the tiny platform and staircase in the middle (circled) with a support pillar in order to make a full length footbridge over the running tracks.

Good luck and keep up with the good work
Happy New Year
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