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

Post by TrueBrain »

odisseus wrote: 18 Feb 2021 00:42 (..)

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.
Before the patch, the default settings nearly always gave you the error that forest could not be generated .. so yeah :) We are fully aligned here ;) Defaults should be for the 99%, not the 1%, is my opinion on this :)
Now, as long as you keep your hands of the snowline height, it should be rare that you get an error about an industry not being able to generate.

Redirect Left wrote: 18 Feb 2021 00:02 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, (..)
I want to go a slightly different way, and I still hope I can do this for 1.11, but who knows. In general, the "new map" window has become this weird hybrid of settings for new users and settings for people who want a single specific thing. And it is horrible because of it.

New players for example, shouldn't be touching "max height". It does NOT do what you think it does. Setting it to 250 doesn't make a hilly map. In fact, after 80 or so, nothing changes to any of the maps generated. But setting it to 5 does make very flat maps. This is so incredibly confusing to anyone, I doubt any of the expert players truly understands what that setting does. It is just horrible UX :P

What I am considering,is changing the window completely. Present the bare minimum for new players, something like: 4 buttons for climates, map-size (small, normal, big), and a dropdown of "presets", which are depending on climate. So for example something like: "Default", "Hilly with beaches", "Islands", ..., I dunno .. something users can understand, and give fun maps to play. At the bottom of that list a "Customize" or something. This brings you to a new window.
This new window allows tuning of a lot more things, in a more fine-grained situation. Similar to options now, but more aimed for people who understand a bit more what it is doing. This is really meant for the 1%, people who like to play niche maps, etc.

Of course this new window should also allow easier loading of scenarios and heightmaps, as ugh, that is lovely hidden now too :D

Anyway, just ideas in my head atm .. as what the current UI has become is just a horrible mix, confusing both the new players and not empowering the expert player. Really bad :P

Just my personal opinion; haven't talked it over with other devs yet :) Need to prototype it first :P
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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 bjgttd »

I'm wondering if this change is related to the "Steam" move (being afraid that casual players shoot themselves in the foot and give a bad review)?
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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 »

I think you're in danger of ascribing a level of motivation and Machiavellian skulduggery far beyond the rather more mundane, "terrain generation is a mess and it does all sorts of weird and broken things caused by a decade of well-meaning but non-comprehensive pull requests, we should at least clean it up to the point of producing landscapes that actually look sub-arctic or sub-tropical" path the actual discussion took.
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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 Eddi »

bjgttd wrote: 18 Feb 2021 15:27 I'm wondering if this change is related to the "Steam" move (being afraid that casual players shoot themselves in the foot and give a bad review)?
steam reviews was about 0% of the consideration for this change.
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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 Gwyd »

I can see why this change would be made, but imo the options for flat and very flat should just be greyed out for sub-arctic if this is the change that is intended to be made.

If someone wants a proper flat map you can still go do it, and it's not like other options don't get greyed out sometimes too.

I just think it's a little confusing if changing a setting can make no change at all to the output
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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 »

Gwyd wrote: 18 Feb 2021 22:58 I can see why this change would be made, but imo the options for flat and very flat should just be greyed out for sub-arctic if this is the change that is intended to be made.
I can see why this would be proposed, but not what would be gained :)

Removing the option to have a very flat map or flat map would seem unnecessary :)

arctic_alpinist.png
arctic_alpinist.png (358.35 KiB) Viewed 649 times
arctic_very_flat_2.png
arctic_very_flat_2.png (248.31 KiB) Viewed 649 times

The definition of what 'very flat' actually means seems to be what we're stuck on here, but that's a very boring discussion, so eh, toodle-byes etc :D
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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 »

Gwyd wrote: 18 Feb 2021 22:58 I can see why this change would be made, but imo the options for flat and very flat should just be greyed out for sub-arctic if this is the change that is intended to be made.
andythenorth wrote: 18 Feb 2021 23:21 Removing the option to have a very flat map or flat map would seem unnecessary :)
So now compare the result of the Very Flat, Flat and Hilly settings with the default heights settings - they are the same. And you manipulate facts again.
TrueBrain wrote: 18 Feb 2021 10:53 Before the patch, the default settings nearly always gave you the error that forest could not be generated
After the update also...
(default setting) Edit: An error has crept in, this is not a map with default setting. The default snow height has been changed to 10, here it is 15. This fixes the forest issue for the default settings, but as the screenshot shows, it does not solve for the other settings.
Image
Can't you see what nonsense this change is leading to? You haven't really solved any forests issue but you created some new ones. By the occasion, limiting others' freedom to play. Instead of making it easier to understand these settings, you confuse it all further and go in a direction where understanding these features will be difficult even for the developers of this game. What will you do then? Will you restrict the freedom of creating new maps even more?

Not only is there still a problem with the forests, but the setting chosen by the player has nothing to do with what he sees in the game. Are you able to relate to it, or will you still - as I wrote in the previous post - pretend that the problem is not there?

If you absolutely want to go this way of ignorance, please turn off the flat and very flat options, because they will not be available anyway. You will at least solve one problem you have created that was not there before.

There are many other solutions to the problem of arctic forests - you chose the worst, the most controversial and simply selfish.
On Github, I proposed two alternative solutions.
Image

Image

Here is the topic with a description of the solutions. The issue is closed, of course, because the problem does not exist.

Another solution, the most effective, would be to remove the requirement to generate forests only on the snow .
The game, regardless of the terrain height and snow line settings, would generate forests on hills, i.e. where they had appeared so far.
This solution would require no setting restrictions and no explanations - the bug would be eliminated and the player would remain free to play.
But no! This solution is probably fatal because it will leave the player free to choose.
TrueBrain wrote: 18 Feb 2021 10:53 New players for example, shouldn't be touching "max height". It does NOT do what you think it does. Setting it to 250 doesn't make a hilly map. In fact, after 80 or so, nothing changes to any of the maps generated. But setting it to 5 does make very flat maps. This is so incredibly confusing to anyone, I doubt any of the expert players truly understands what that setting does. It is just horrible UX
Why shouldn't they? Why do you want everything removed and turned off instead of simply fixing it?
Each type of terrain has a certain maximum height, if not directly in the code, you can see it very clearly in practice - just associate the terrain type setting with the available height range: if the player chooses a very flat map, he will have a choice of heights in the range of 1-3, if it is hilly, e.g. 5-22 etc. This problem can be solved! There is no need to hide this feature at all.
Height setting.png
Height setting.png (32.25 KiB) Viewed 636 times
I believe that such a solution would be clear and understandable for everyone.

On the occasion. There is another error that is causes by this change - the height of the snow affects the height of the mountains, which makes it impossible to create a snowy, mountainous land.
Moreover, the combination of both altitude settings means that the terrain height setting will in no way match what you see on the map because the maximum height - regardless of the setting - cannot be more than 10 (?) Higher than the lower snow limit.
So if someone wants to generate high mountains, you have to accept that they will be without snow (only on the peak).
Image
Did you like such mountains? Forget about them!
This is another hidden limitation, hidden under the guise of fixing a bug that this patch does not fix.
By the way, forests growing only on the tops of very high mountains will be another nonsense effect of this change.
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Last edited by LaChupacabra on 20 Feb 2021 21:42, 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 Toffo »

andythenorth wrote: 17 Feb 2021 16:49
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:
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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 »

TrueBrain wrote: 18 Feb 2021 10:53
Redirect Left wrote: 18 Feb 2021 00:02 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, (..)
I want to go a slightly different way, and I still hope I can do this for 1.11, but who knows. In general, the "new map" window has become this weird hybrid of settings for new users and settings for people who want a single specific thing. And it is horrible because of it.

New players for example, shouldn't be touching "max height". It does NOT do what you think it does. Setting it to 250 doesn't make a hilly map. In fact, after 80 or so, nothing changes to any of the maps generated. But setting it to 5 does make very flat maps. This is so incredibly confusing to anyone, I doubt any of the expert players truly understands what that setting does. It is just horrible UX :P

What I am considering,is changing the window completely. Present the bare minimum for new players, something like: 4 buttons for climates, map-size (small, normal, big), and a dropdown of "presets", which are depending on climate. So for example something like: "Default", "Hilly with beaches", "Islands", ..., I dunno .. something users can understand, and give fun maps to play. At the bottom of that list a "Customize" or something. This brings you to a new window.
This new window allows tuning of a lot more things, in a more fine-grained situation. Similar to options now, but more aimed for people who understand a bit more what it is doing. This is really meant for the 1%, people who like to play niche maps, etc.
This would be a definite improvement I think. There are definitely 'mis-labelled' things that don't do what you would expect. This will be especially confusing for any new players through Steams inclusion now too. A simple new map generation window would help for sure, and you could just put an 'advanced' button in the top right corner or whereever, and it switches to the style of options we currently have. Also, a bare minmum of renaming some of the options to better indicate what exactly the setting is doing would be helpful, especially the 'max height' one you mentioned earlier.
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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: 19 Feb 2021 00:32[another wall of text once again]
To make any persuasive points, you need to reduce your points to
- short
- intelligible
- less paranoid speculation about why the change is being made

This is hardly controversial in communication.

Basically, learn how to communicate collaboratively, or your contributions will get ignored. :wink:
Last edited by Chrill on 21 Feb 2021 13:24, 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 »

Redirect Left wrote: 19 Feb 2021 02:47 This would be a definite improvement I think. There are definitely 'mis-labelled' things that don't do what you would expect. This will be especially confusing for any new players through Steams inclusion now too. A simple new map generation window would help for sure, and you could just put an 'advanced' button in the top right corner or whereever, and it switches to the style of options we currently have. Also, a bare minmum of renaming some of the options to better indicate what exactly the setting is doing would be helpful, especially the 'max height' one you mentioned earlier.
I might have gone a bit overboard with this, but: https://gist.github.com/TrueBrain/717ec ... dc5b2e507e
That would be a lot better for 99.9% of the players, I think :) Still rough outlines (well, wireframes) so be gentle :D
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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 »

Gwyd wrote: 18 Feb 2021 22:58 I can see why this change would be made, but imo the options for flat and very flat should just be greyed out for sub-arctic if this is the change that is intended to be made.

If someone wants a proper flat map you can still go do it, and it's not like other options don't get greyed out sometimes too.

I just think it's a little confusing if changing a setting can make no change at all to the output
Just some background information for you, "the fix" that started this "conversation" has nothing to do with limiting what kind of maps can be generated. There was a rather large bug in the terrain generator that made it nearly impossible to make arctic maps how they were meant: high difference in altitude, both sea-level as above the snowline. This meant that most maps you could generate on default settings, were just not in the spirit of the climate, and generated errors about industries not being able to be placed. Even on Mountainous, the industry errors happens frequently, which was rather silly. Only Alpinist worked, ish. This is far from optimal for 90% of the players. For s*** and giggles, start 1.10.3 and try for yourself. You might be surprised by how bad it was .. :D I cannot believe we didn't fix this years ago, honestly :P

A few suggestions were evaluated to address the issue. But in the end, only being able to select the hilliest terrain type for a climate to generate correctly, is of course silly. As it turns out, the terrain generator was just completely borked when it came to both arctic and sub-tropical. Both did not consider some key details, always generating a much flatter map than they ever should for those to be playable by most of our players.

The main problem in this thread is that things are misrepresented a lot, as someone disagrees with the choices made. And that people disagree with our choices, that is fine. That happens a lot; for us the trick is always to filter the focal part of our community, which is not 99% of our player base, from what most people would experience. That is why I already called this thread rather absurd; on one hand we have someone yelling really loud to get attention, on the other hand we have people throwing wood on the fire for no clear reason, and we have people who saw someone else with a pitchfork in hand, and decided to join the fun :) That is not constructive to me, and not helping the game in the slightest. So, we have to reset this thread and be constructive. What was happening, what is going on, is there anything wrong, and does anything need fixing. I don't mind having this conversation, but in the tone this is done by a select few, is just not useful. And to be clear, I am not refer to you Gwyd, I just liked your reply most out of all of these, as you are clearly interested in what is going on, but you base your information on a misrepresentation, if I understand you correctly :)

To come back to your suggestion, I tried disabling those two terrain types for arctic; but remember I already mentioned earlier, as it turns out, I had to disable 4. That become rather silly. Additionally, it also makes the whole interface even worse than it already is. Switching between climates becomes awkward at best. In the end, I took a step back and was like: as a new player, what would I expect. Well, arctic is a hilly climate. So what does "very flat" mean in this context? An elevation of 0? Well, I kinda disagree .. it would be "very flat mountains" .. is it realistic to expect an elevation of 0? I think not :) So in the end I opted to keep the GUI for what it is, till we redesign it some day, making "very flat" slightly less (but still really) flat. Matter of choices , and balancing needs :)
In the mean time I was fully aware it was still possible to make "0 elevation" maps. Just put the snowline height really low, and if you want to, the max height, and tada!

So honestly, I am rather puzzled about all this drama being caused and in the way it is done .. "storm in een glas water", how we say in Dutch. "storm in a teacup", searching tells me is the correct translation :)

Does this make a bit sense to you? Do you still think I made the wrong call? (honest question; feel free to be blunt. I am fully open to constructive conversations :D). While forming your own opinion, please test 1.10.3 and 1.11.0-beta1 to see the difference yourself; it might surprise you :)
LaChupacabra wrote: 19 Feb 2021 00:32 (..)
Can I give you one piece of advise? I gave this to you before, but: calm down. You are very aggressive, which only makes other people react in an aggressive way. Please try to be constructive. But again, this is not the first time I am asking you this :)

Either way, please make sure you are using default settings. You say you do, but your image shows you are not :) In 1.11 the default snowline height changed to 10 (this was part of the same change as changing the terrain generator). This will fix a lot of weirdness going on in the default (!) map generation. When you start to change a lot of values of course, results may vary. But that is just a fact of life :)
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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 »

TrueBrain wrote: 19 Feb 2021 10:14
Redirect Left wrote: 19 Feb 2021 02:47 This would be a definite improvement I think. There are definitely 'mis-labelled' things that don't do what you would expect. This will be especially confusing for any new players through Steams inclusion now too. A simple new map generation window would help for sure, and you could just put an 'advanced' button in the top right corner or whereever, and it switches to the style of options we currently have. Also, a bare minmum of renaming some of the options to better indicate what exactly the setting is doing would be helpful, especially the 'max height' one you mentioned earlier.
I might have gone a bit overboard with this, but: https://gist.github.com/TrueBrain/717ec ... dc5b2e507e
That would be a lot better for 99.9% of the players, I think :) Still rough outlines (well, wireframes) so be gentle :D
I'd agree with that. especially the presets, hopefully won't be too hard to find some settings that are generally the best for a quick generatioin & play through for a 'standard' experience in OTTD.
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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 »

With a disparate community spread over many tools and forums, I think people sometimes forget the open source nature of OpenTTD. Nobody gets paid or given a bonus if Steam reviews are 80% positive, the game you're playing with is there because someone at some point thought something along the lines of, "I'm going to spend some of my free time working on trying to make terrain generation better".

What happens to that motivation to give up spare time when people start yelling at those contributors, demanding that everything be fixed their way, ascribing negative motivations to every change and turning simple bug reports into "fetch the pitchforks"? Is that an environment to make people think, "after a long day of work, I'm going to spend my evening staring at complex and notoriously brittle terrain generation code for this community"?

(And worth reiterating that open source aspect - there's nothing to stop anyone here having a go at fixing the terrain generation issues, or at least adding some useful regression testing to it so it becomes a bit less prone to unexpected bugs from well-meaning changes)
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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 bjgttd »

Sorry to state the obvious, but isn't the (big part of) Russian Subarctic actually flat (under 500 meters according to maps)?
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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 Chrill »

bjgttd wrote: 19 Feb 2021 15:11 Sorry to state the obvious, but isn't the (big part of) Russian Subarctic actually flat (under 500 meters according to maps)?
Refer to the images andythenorth posted of what a "Very flat" map is. I'd say that goes fairly well along with a map of Siberia in terms of topology. Not that anyone builds much in Siberia.
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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 supermop »

bjgttd wrote: 19 Feb 2021 15:11 Sorry to state the obvious, but isn't the (big part of) Russian Subarctic actually flat (under 500 meters according to maps)?
For what it's worth, based on the vehicles and buildings in the original game for Sub Arctic, I think the climate is most meant to represent parts of Canada, with distinct mountainous areas.
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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 bjgttd »

Chrill wrote: 19 Feb 2021 15:50
bjgttd wrote: 19 Feb 2021 15:11 Sorry to state the obvious, but isn't the (big part of) Russian Subarctic actually flat (under 500 meters according to maps)?
Refer to the images andythenorth posted of what a "Very flat" map is. I'd say that goes fairly well along with a map of Siberia in terms of topology. Not that anyone builds much in Siberia.
Most of Siberia isn't subarctic (still cold though), and Russian Subarctic isn't a subset of Siberia. It's my understanding that Arctic is the central part of the North Ocean, and the Subarctic is around the shore.
BTW, there are a lot built in Siberia, including transport infrastructure, it's just spread quite thin over huge territory.
supermop wrote: 19 Feb 2021 16:28 For what it's worth, based on the vehicles and buildings in the original game for Sub Arctic, I think the climate is most meant to represent parts of Canada, with distinct mountainous areas.
I understand, but this project isn't that "America-centric" (or should I say "British Empire centric") as the original game, is 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 supermop »

bjgttd wrote: 19 Feb 2021 18:35 Most of Siberia isn't subarctic (still cold though), and Russian Subarctic isn't a subset of Siberia. It's my understanding that Arctic is the central part of the North Ocean, and the Subarctic is around the shore.
BTW, there are a lot built in Siberia, including transport infrastructure, it's just spread quite thin over huge territory.
Arctic is everything encompassed by the arctic Circle, including bits of Alaska and Canada, as well as Greenland, Scandinavia, and Russia. Subarctic is the region below the arctic circle, including much more of Canada and Alaska, and large portions of Russia and Scandinavia - and with generally more industrial areas and railroads. More loosely, ecologists use the terms to refer to the areas that share those typical climates beyond the exact latitude values (If it looks and feels like the Subarctic, it is the Subarctic...).
bjgttd wrote: 19 Feb 2021 18:35 supermop wrote: ↑Fri Feb 19, 2021 11:28 am
For what it's worth, based on the vehicles and buildings in the original game for Sub Arctic, I think the climate is most meant to represent parts of Canada, with distinct mountainous areas.
I understand, but this project isn't that "America-centric" (or should I say "British Empire centric") as the original game, is it?
Strictly speaking, it is - the base set Temperate trains are still very much British, and the base set Subarctic ones are typically Canadian. All of these areas have their own interesting approaches to transport infrastructure, but at least as a default the game assumes a flavor of gameplay inspired by the Canadian mountain west. It seems reasonable to expect that by default, the terrain generator gives you rolling hills in temperate, and snow capped mountains in subarctic, just as it gives you different towns. Generally the game strives to replicate the spirit of the original by default.

There are flatter cold areas of the world, and mountainous warm areas as well, of course, but I am not sure that's an argument to make the subarctic terrain generation flat any more than it is to change the default vehicle or industries. As others have shown, you can still generate non-mountainous subarctic maps, so it is sill possible to play a game inspired by Russia, Scandinavia, or any other cold place, with or without mountains.

As other's have said, it seems there is a lot of confusion as to how terrain generation works, and how it is intended to work. I think it is unhelpful to mount a vitriolic attack on an effort to fix something broken, and consistently ascribe malicious intent to those making the effort.
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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 Simons Mith »

If it's going to be amended, please do it by greying out the unusable options, not by disregarding a user setting. I'd personally class behaviour like that as a bug. If you set X and a computer silently ignores you and gives you Y, that's a rage-inducing behaviour. Very rude. I've had programs do that to me and it's infuriating.

The question I have is this:
While greying them out in the main map generator window seems totally reasonable, and I'd trust the opinions of those who have already looked into this, what about in the scenario generator?
If I wanted to make a scenario with a really flat arctic map and then custom-place custom industries from a NewGRF, would I still be able to? What reason is there to prevent someone doing that?

Would we have the flat options greyed out in one map generator window, but still available in the scenario generator window? If you're in the scenario generator, aren't you an advanced user, expected to know what you're doing and fully responsible for the results? And you've got map-scale terrain-levelling tools anyway, so how could the game stop someone making a very flat map manually, or importing one? Seems unenforceable to me.

If that's gonna remain possible, then we're losing nothing anyway, and the only price paid is the minor inconsistency of having 'flat' options disabled in one place but available in another. Given that unduly flat maps are a problem for the default generator, I can't think of a more graceful way to address the problem than greying them out in worldgen, but leaving them available in the scenario editor. We could even update the tooltips accordingly.
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