OTTD 1.11.0 - Removing the possibility of playing on flat maps in an arctic climate - a good idea?

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Is it a good idea to prevent you from playing on flat random maps in an arctic climate?

(+2) Definitely good
7
23%
(+1) Rather good
5
16%
(0) I don't care
6
19%
(-1) Rather bad
5
16%
(-2) Definitely bad
8
26%
 
Total votes: 31

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OTTD 1.11.0 - Removing the possibility of playing on flat maps in an arctic climate - a good idea?

Post by LaChupacabra »

A bad "virus" that restricts freedom and that threatens you with inconsistency in settings has gone into quarantine and most likely will not come back. For this reason. :)
[+] Spoiler
This is not a suggestion. As you know or not, from version 1.11.0 it will be impossible to play on flat and very flat maps in the Arctic climate. :)
Setting the terrain type to "very flat" or "flat" will generate "hilly". It will no longer be possible to generate flat terrain.

This is what the new flat and very flat maps will look like.
Image
The first three terrain type settings give the same result.
Image
Changing the altitude setting makes the result visible in the game inconsistent with the terrain type setting.
The patch does not solve the forest problem which was supposed to solve.
Image

A good idea?
Please answer in the survey

More about...

What is the purpose of this change and why am I writing about it?
The original goal was to adjust the terrain so that forests could appear that in the default industry set could only appear on snow. However, this modification only works for the default terrain altitude settings. If a player changes these settings, they will still get the bug of wrong terrain. In short, this change did not eliminate any error.
The actual goal was to adapt the terrain to the personal preferences of the authors of this patch, who say the game on flat ground is silly (discussing the problem on github). Very flat and flat terrain names were considered to be renamed to better suit what they would look like. To fix the problem that still occurs when a player changes the height of the snow line or terrain, the solution would be to hide these settings from the player. The reported problems related to this change, the authors considered non-existent and closed the topic.

Will you be able to play on a flat arctic map?
Yes, but you will have to use a ready-made height map. To play on a random map, you will first need to generate a map in the scenario editor and then select that map in the Play Heightmap window.

What are the problems associated with this change?
1. Inconsistency of terrain settings with the effect visible in the game.
-No matter if you choose very flat, flat or hilly terrain - these settings give the same result
-Changing the height of the terrain in many cases doesn't change anything, the actual determinant of the height of the terrain is the setting of the height of the snow line.
-If you select alpine terrain and set the snow level low, you will get a flat map.
-If you select a very flat terrain and set a high snow level, you will have a very mountainous snow-free map.
2. Possibility to play on flat, snow-free terrain only by using a ready-made height map.
You need to use heightmaps to get this effect.
3. Possibility of obtaining high, snow-covered mountains only by using a ready-made height map.
You won't get such mountains in the random map generator, which was possible before the change.
4. This change does not address the problem of forests or farms that require a suitable substrate.
By simply changing the default altitude settings, the problem persists.

Is there an alternative solution to the forest problem?
Yes, there is at least few other possible solution that does not cause the listed problems.

One of the solutions consists of two components.
1. Exclusion of the snow substrate requirement for forests
- If there are appropriate conditions (height of terrain and snow settings), forests would appear only in snow-covered areas
- If there is little or no snow-covered areas, forests could appear anywhere
- Additionally, it is possible to limit the height of forests so that they do not appear only on the tops of high mountains, which is irrational.
2. Relating the terrain type to the range of available height.
Currently, each type of terrain has unlimited height settings, making it difficult to understand how this setting works. However, the height range of the map for each type of terrain can be defined. Very flat maps are never higher than 4, flat maps are limited to 18, hilly to 36, mountainous to about 60, alpine to about 80. Smaller maps have smaller limits. I am writing this based on tests, not code knowledge. The results are repeatable. Thanks to this, you can assign a setting range for each terrain and map size (shorter edge), which will give very expected results.

An interesting solution was presented by TrueBrain (here), where the new game window would contain presets with various defined settings (High Mountains, Islands, etc.), as well as a drop-down list of full settings.
The question is why does he want to introduce such a poor interim solution???
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Re: OTTD 1.11.0 - Removing the possibility of playing on flat maps in an arctic climate - a good idea?

Post by Redirect Left »

I can understand why they've removed the possibility. But what needs doing if this is happening, is that when arctic is selected, those options are greyed out, instead of letting you select them and then just not getting what you asked for. If that isn't happening, I'd vote definitely bad. (I haven't until I know if that is the plan or not)
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Re: OTTD 1.11.0 - Removing the possibility of playing on flat maps in an arctic climate - a good idea?

Post by Erato »

If very flat doesn't work perfectly in arctic then the problem is the players that complain, not "very flat" in arctic. I don't see why forests not generating properly and then giving you an error message is grounds for such a measure. Especially when lumber mills don't even spawn in subtropic.

I don't see who benefits from this?
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Re: OTTD 1.11.0 - Removing the possibility of playing on flat maps in an arctic climate - a good idea?

Post by Captain Rand »

One of the best things about OTTD is that the player is not forced to play in a particular way.
I think this is a bad idea.
Please leave the choice to the player.

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Re: OTTD 1.11.0 - Removing the possibility of playing on flat maps in an arctic climate - a good idea?

Post by Pyoro »

Not a change I'd personally ever notice but as presented here certainly a dubious one. Is it just about the forests? That seems like an overreaction to me. Players probably will never understand that some industries need certain conditions to spawn if they never encounter an ingame thing where they get told about it ^^;
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Re: OTTD 1.11.0 - Removing the possibility of playing on flat maps in an arctic climate - a good idea?

Post by andythenorth »

If you're going to start dramas and try and rile up the forums, can you at least do it accurately? :D

The map images posted in no way reflect what comes out of the settings :twisted:

Full map screenshot, very flat, arctic:
Unnamed, 01-01-1920.png
(1.44 MiB) Not downloaded yet
Minimap of same, showing height levels:
arctic_very_flat.png
arctic_very_flat.png (115.45 KiB) Viewed 1266 times

Also some of you should know better TBH, looks like brainless clicktivism here, none of the "I agree" posters show any evidence of having tested this change.

Also this is kind of funny:

Same players who are like "zomg devs have fixed a thing this is awful, demand revert IMMEDIATELY"

Are also the same players who are like "horrible mean OpenTTD devs NEVER change anything, I always tell playerbase to use patchpacks anyway, OpenTTD is dead".

FML, such silliness about a stupid train game.

No wonder we struggle to recruit and retain devs. :roll:
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Re: OTTD 1.11.0 - Removing the possibility of playing on flat maps in an arctic climate - a good idea?

Post by jfs »

If you stop and think about the change in a bigger context than just the change itself, you will find there is a very good reason for it.
The reason is that the arctic climate needs both snow-topped mountains and also lowlands to be playable at all. Some of the raw material industries only build in snow-covered areas. That's one of the primary challenges of it, that it forces players to build routes up and down mountains.

Now someone will argue that they're playing arctic climate with a NewGRF industry set that doesn't have those restrictions, and can have a complete functional industry chain without any snow-topped mountains at all. But they why are you playing arctic climate at all? Just for the slightly different visuals?

It's called a climate setting because it affects more than just the graphics. It affects the gameplay rules, and the gameplay rules demand something from the generated landscape.
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Re: OTTD 1.11.0 - Removing the possibility of playing on flat maps in an arctic climate - a good idea?

Post by Toffo »

andythenorth wrote: 17 Feb 2021 08:06 Also some of you should know better TBH, looks like brainless clicktivism here, none of the "I agree" posters show any evidence of having tested this change.

...

FML, such silliness about a stupid train game.

No wonder we struggle to recruit and retain devs. :roll:
Wake up to yourself and get off your high horse. Comments like yours simply fan the flames. As a senior member of the community, you should know better.
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Re: OTTD 1.11.0 - Removing the possibility of playing on flat maps in an arctic climate - a good idea?

Post by Timberwolf »

All change is a bad idea and we should go back to these being the only options available to you when you start an Arctic game:

Image

Personally, I feel this is https://xkcd.com/1172/ as expressed in map settings. It breaks a workflow for the small number of people who want to play on a flat arctic map for Reasons, in favour of a larger number of new players who try what feels to them to be reasonable settings and then get this weird "unable to place industry type: Forest" message. If you really want a flat map then heightmaps still exist, which I think is a fair trade-off for a niche use case.

I kinda side with Andy's viewpoint on this (although not quite as frustrated yet), there does seem to be a little bit of a habit for a few people to appoint themselves the Voice Of The Players and loudly proclaim how game development MUST proceed, which seems to be a bizarre combination of "add all of these features which require overhauling large sections of the game code" with "but never touch or change any of the things I like". The reality is the very active and vocal set of forum, Discord and Reddit users is a tiny proportion of the people who play OpenTTD globally, and certainly from the bug report savegames I receive for my sets I would conclude there are a lot more playstyles and tastes in configuration out there than you would think from the few people monopolising the bug tracker. (I explicitly disclaim this as anecdotal and do not want to be a contrary The Voice Of The Players, but I get a fair few bug reports that have a root cause of either, "your default parameters don't make sense for someone who hasn't been playing the game 15 years" or "I didn't expect that to not work since the game let me do it")
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Re: OTTD 1.11.0 - Removing the possibility of playing on flat maps in an arctic climate - a good idea?

Post by Pyoro »

andythenorth wrote: 17 Feb 2021 08:06No wonder we struggle to recruit and retain devs. :roll:
Agreed. No wonder at all.
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Re: OTTD 1.11.0 - Removing the possibility of playing on flat maps in an arctic climate - a good idea?

Post by 2TallTyler »

andythenorth wrote: 17 Feb 2021 08:06 If you're going to start dramas and try and rile up the forums, can you at least do it accurately? :D

The map images posted in no way reflect what comes out of the settings :twisted:
Specifically, the setting "Roughness of terrain: Rough" is what's causing the rough terrain in the original post. Lowering this produces smoother terrain, and "Variety distribution" can be used to change if you have large flat areas with isolated hills, or large flat mesas of 1-2 height.

I think there is a general lack of understanding among players about how the world generation settings work. I've done a fair bit of experimentation to find the settings I like, and still don't truly understand the relationship between "Terrain type" and "Maximum map height," for example. The manual doesn't appear to have a page about world generation settings. This is neither here nor there, but my point is that it is still possible to get a map without hills, either by generating a smooth map or using a heightmap (perhaps generated in Temperate and then saved as a heightmap) to get something which is truly flat.
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Re: OTTD 1.11.0 - Removing the possibility of playing on flat maps in an arctic climate - a good idea?

Post by andythenorth »

Toffo wrote: 17 Feb 2021 09:16Wake up to yourself and get off your high horse. Comments like yours simply fan the flames. As a senior member of the community, you should know better.
Mate, I wake up to myself every day, and sometimes even at 4am, and sometimes I have a little afternoon nap, then I have to wake up to myself again.

I tell ya, it can be a burden. :D

But thanks for the lecture and you stirring the pot too, I guess we should all know a little better right? These horses get kind of tall to fall off :twisted:
Last edited by andythenorth on 17 Feb 2021 18:04, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: OTTD 1.11.0 - Removing the possibility of playing on flat maps in an arctic climate - a good idea?

Post by TrueBrain »

To just ignore the absurdity of this thread, I will just read this as: "I would like to have a really flat arctic map, is this still possible with 1.11?", and answer in a constructive manner.

The answer to that question is: yes, sure you can do this.

Image

Results:
Image

(mind the snowline height).
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Re: OTTD 1.11.0 - Removing the possibility of playing on flat maps in an arctic climate - a good idea?

Post by LaChupacabra »

andythenorth wrote: 17 Feb 2021 08:06 If you're going to start dramas and try and rile up the forums, can you at least do it accurately? :D
TrueBrain wrote: 17 Feb 2021 17:23 To just ignore the absurdity of this thread...
So, this is your method...
Image
Image
Image

A few questions:
1. On purpose or accidentally, you both skipped the warning about the inability to generate farms with this snow setting?
2. How will you want to eliminate the farm problem? Will you introduce another restriction on the freedom of generating maps?
3. If you are accusing me of a lack of accuracy, why don't you place a screenshot of the terrain yourself and instead a map screen that shows almost nothing?
4. Are these maps very flat in your opinion? Do you think they will meet the expectations of a player who wants a very flat map?
5. Did you consider such players when deciding on this method of solving the problem, or do you still think that their playing style is silly and not worth attention?
6. The player chooses the "very flat" setting and on the map he can see only mountains - what is the logic in this?
7. Based on the comments from experienced players above, do you think new players will understand how and why this setting works like that?
8. Can you imagine usage for arctic (without snow) flat maps?
9. How do you want to get new programmers, when at the same time you are not interested in any other style of play than the one you prefer, and the actual problems are considered non-existent or resolved and you only do it because you prefer other solutions?
10. Do you see the fact that this change is in opposition to the overall goals of the project?
2TallTyler wrote: 17 Feb 2021 15:05 Specifically, the setting "Roughness of terrain: Rough" is what's causing the rough terrain in the original post. Lowering this produces smoother terrain, and "Variety distribution" can be used to change if you have large flat areas with isolated hills, or large flat mesas of 1-2 height.
The setting of variety distribution has the greatest influence. It allows for larger flat areas. But no matter what setting you choose, you won't get flat maps like before - they won't be available in the generator.
Yes, you will still be able to obtain them in the editor, but this method is not only nonsensical and engaging (you must go through the procedure of obtaining the map), It also spoils the surprise effect. :(
Note that this solution doesn't really solve anything - the problem is still there, both for forests and farms. There are many other solutions that would be effective here, but the point is that solving this problem is not the actual goal here.
jfs wrote: 17 Feb 2021 08:52 If you stop and think about the change in a bigger context than just the change itself, you will find there is a very good reason for it.
The reason is that the arctic climate needs both snow-topped mountains and also lowlands to be playable at all. Some of the raw material industries only build in snow-covered areas. That's one of the primary challenges of it, that it forces players to build routes up and down mountains.
Exactly... it forces. You have perfectly put the real purpose of this change. :)
Timberwolf wrote: 17 Feb 2021 13:17 I would conclude there are a lot more playstyles and tastes in configuration out there than you would think
Yes, and the point is, this change does not fix anything, but restricts that freedom to play. The real purpose of this change is not to eliminate the bug (by changing the basic settings the bug will still appear), but to limit the player and show him how to play.
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Re: OTTD 1.11.0 - Removing the possibility of playing on flat maps in an arctic climate - a good idea?

Post by Erato »

1. Not relevant
2. Set it to 3 or 4 instead of 2, it's not hard
3. Not relevant to accuracy
4. If you want flatter maps, open the scenario editor and use that map. Like how is this even a comment? Bruh.
5. So your problem was that you had it set to rough. I tried this PR out myself, it's fine.
6. See point 5.
7. You misrepresented the situation by showing a map generated with the rough terrain type. I missed this when I posted. Probably none of the experienced players cared to check for themselves, and if they did they'd see that it's really not a big deal. It's pretty flat 10/10.
8. Ugly grass
9. As I understand it the only reason Subarctic even generated the way it did was because the terrain generation broke several versions ago.
The vast majority of players do not want a perfectly flat subarctic map when they choose "very flat", the very flat maps in the PR are still pretty flat.
They failed to recruit like, you and maybe one other person. Ah well.
10. By fixing an ancient bug, they'd arguably get closer to the goals.

Scenario editor: If you hate using the scenario editor that much then you mustn't hate the pr as much as you claim you do.

It restricts very little. See my previous point.
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Re: OTTD 1.11.0 - Removing the possibility of playing on flat maps in an arctic climate - a good idea?

Post by andythenorth »

LaChupacabra wrote: 17 Feb 2021 22:17 2. How will you want to eliminate the farm problem? Will you introduce another restriction on the freedom of generating maps?
I have no idea, this is a good point. We may have more to do. :wink:
3. If you are accusing me of a lack of accuracy, why don't you place a screenshot of the terrain yourself and instead a map screen that shows almost nothing?
Yeah, can ya click the actual...link...to the actual screenshot I included. Cheers greatly, thumbsup etc.

As a service I'll post it again download/file.php?id=216332

You might have missed it, because you are busy compiling another very long, very long, super helpful, very long, wall of text with detailed numbered points.

Could you maybe...write a shorter letter next time? https://quoteinvestigator.com/2012/04/2 ... er-letter/ Cheers :)
5. Did you consider such players when deciding on this method of solving the problem, or do you still think that their playing style is silly and not worth attention?
Yes. Conclusion is that trying to support playing on very flat random maps in Arctic is stupid, because it destroys the concept of snowline, which breaks base industries and multiple industry grfs. Zero interest in supporting that.

Design choices have to be made. Mistakes will also be made, but there will be progress. Some people won't like the choices. That's how it goes. :bow:
Last edited by andythenorth on 18 Feb 2021 07:35, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: OTTD 1.11.0 - Removing the possibility of playing on flat maps in an arctic climate - a good idea?

Post by Redirect Left »

I think this thread in general suggestions the map generation part of OpenTTD needs to clarify a few things to begin with for peoples sanity, and also perform a quick sanity check on your map settings & choice of climate. Whilst it isn't possible for it to forwarn you of the exact output, due to the output... not existing when you're simply selecting things. I think it'd be a great help if it can be preloaded with 'recommended bare minimum' settings for a given environment, and throw up an extra "warning: the settings you have chosen for map generation may return an unfavourable map for this climate, continue?", especially when the climate can heavily affect the generation of industries needed for a full (default) chain, for example no farms, or if its likely that a map won't actually become 'tall' enough to generate snow for the specified height in relevant climates. Although it may need to be made so the warning is suppressed if you're using GRFs that change industries, assuming that GRFs can specify its own rules for placement.

Especially given it's now Steam, so may now attract entirely new people with no working knowledge of how Transport Tycoon in general works, and will stop some major confusion for new people experimenting with new climates and stuff.
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Re: OTTD 1.11.0 - Removing the possibility of playing on flat maps in an arctic climate - a good idea?

Post by odisseus »

I'm afraid it's not possible to account for every possible terrain that can be generated. Make the snowline too high, and the generator will be unable to place any forests. Make it too low, and no farms will be placed. It can get still more complicated with industry add-ons that introduce additional placement rules (e. g. distance to a town and distance to water). This kind of problem will keep happening, and I'm afraid no amount of generator tweaking can fix that.

However, the frequency of such unplayable landscapes appearing is a thing that can definitely be tweaked. I rarely play in the Arctic climate, and I have no idea how often this actually happens, but the player has the right to expect that the landscape will be playable in all but the most extreme cases. It is unreasonable to expect that every user will understand the settings of the generator and the industry placement rules.

To sum up, I think that these changes are justified if and only if the forest issue did happen frequently with the generator settings in their typical range.
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Re: OTTD 1.11.0 - Removing the possibility of playing on flat maps in an arctic climate - a good idea?

Post by Timberwolf »

Just think, that long screed full of bullet points could instead have been a simple, "thanks, I'm now able to build flat maps but sometimes farms can't generate if I use these settings".

It'd probably be useful to see some mature savegames with vehicle routes and industries in place from people who are using these flat arctic maps, to get an idea what they're actually doing with them and maybe allow tailoring the landscape generation to that use case. (Personally, given the history here I'm a little bit sceptical of whether this is all just creating an issue for creating issues' sake, much like the "graph backgrounds are too light, they need to be darker" one was immediately followed up by "graph backgrounds are too dark, they need to be lighter" within days of the first change hitting master... but I'd have no issue being proved wrong that this is more than a hypothetical case)
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Re: OTTD 1.11.0 - Removing the possibility of playing on flat maps in an arctic climate - a good idea?

Post by jfs »

The sub-arctic and sub-tropical climates have always been "opinionated" choices. Choosing them prescribes a specific style of gameplay, and the terrain generation is part of that prescription. It's a bug that Terragen has allowed generating maps that don't suit the intended playstyle.

If you disagree with that prescription then don't play those climates, or use the scenario editor to set up a map with appropriate NewGRFs and pre-placed towns and industries that let you play a different game than the one the climates were designed for.
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