Additional Rail Types

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Additional Rail Types

Post by Zephyris » 01 Aug 2007 20:12

Additional Rail Types

Its often been suggested to add more railtypes to OpenTTD, so I mulled it over and have come up with this full semi-technical proposal. In short I suggest the addition of narrow gauge, electric third rail standard gauge and vacuum tube maglev, and possibly atmospheric/pneumatic standard gauge and tracked hovercraft/hovertrain. Track type of vehicles would be defined by newGRF, using action0 property 19, and compatibility with TTDpatch would be well maintained. Track graphics would be modified using a similar framework to the overhead electric catenary, so all bridge and road replacement newGRFs would be supported without requiring any additional graphics.


Action0 Property 19
Currently this byte value defines track type via the traction type of the vehicle, the following values are used:

Code: Select all

Values	Traction type  Track type      Visual effect  Power supply type
00..07	Steam          Standard gauge  Steam          None
08..27	Diesel         Standard gauge  Diesel smoke   None
28..31	Electric       Standard gauge  Sparks         Overhead electric catenary
32..37	Monorail       Monorail        None           None
38..41	Maglev         Maglev          None           None
The interpretation of this could be altered (in OpenTTD) to:

Code: Select all

Values	Track type      Visual effect  Power supply type
00..05	Standard gauge  Steam          None
06      Standard gauge  None           Pneumatic
07      Narrow gauge    Steam          None
08..26  Standard gauge  Diesel smoke   None
27      Narrow gauge    Diesel smoke   None
28..30  Standard gauge  Sparks         Overhead electric catenary
31      Standard gauge  Sparks         Electric third rail
32..36  Monorail        None           None
37      Hoverrail       None           None
38..40  Maglev          None           None
41      Maglev          None           Vacuum tube
Interpretation of property 19 in TTDpatch would remain the same as originally so the following errors would occur:
standard gauge atmospheric/pneumatic would act as standard gauge steam (same era)
Narrow gauge steam would act as standard gauge steam (both steam)
Narrow gauge deisel would act as standard gauge deisel (both deisel)
Standard gauge electric third rail would act as standard gauge overhead electric caternary (both electric)
Hoverrail would act as monorail (both single rail tracks)
Vacuum maglev would act as maglev (both maglev)

Interpretation of old newGRFs (which do not take into account these new rail types) may be affected, although most newGRF coders tend to use the lower limit of each range, which is not changed in this scheme, and any incompatible newGRFs could be easily updated. No change is required to the newGRF specifications (this simply redefines the interpretation of specific values) or TTDpatch (TTDpatch would correctly read, and relitavely correctly display, the newGRF).


Rail Graphics
New rail graphics would, where possible, use a similar display scheme as the overhead electric catenary. Re-ordering of the sprite z-stack would be required for use of this method on the electric third rail, narrow gauge, pneumatic narrow gauge and hoverrail tracks. Vacuum maglev would require no such modification. The quality of this method on total track replacement (narrow gauge and hoverrail) would be moderate at best (see attachment) and may require further improvement to reach release quality.

Use of this method would make the new railtypes fully compatible with any road, bridge or tunnel newGRF set as the modified rail graphics would be overlaied onto the new infrastructure graphics.

Attached are three demonstration GRFs (NOT newGRFs) for narrow gauge (elrailswNrw.grf), electric third rail (elrailsw3rd.grf) and vacuum tube maglev (elrailswVac.grf). To use first make a backup copy of the existing elrailsw.grf in /data. Next rename one of the attached files to elrailsw.grf and run OpenTTD as normal. An error message will inform you that elrailsw.grf may be missing or corrupt - ignore this and proceed as normal. OpenTTD will now display the modified electric railway catenary graphics.

Narrow gauge and electric third rail demonstrate the current sprite z-stack problem (trains travel under the graphics). The vacuum tube works correctly (minus slope and tunnel entrance sprites which I have not drawn) but on standard gauge rail instead of maglev. The attached image illustrates the appearance of these new track types.


Coding
I am under the impression that when electric rail was added the code was revamped to allow easy addition of new railtypes. Unfortunately I am no coder!
Attachments
CatRailTypes.png
Screenshot of catenary replacement GRFs in action, along with standard rail types.
CatRailTypes.png (164.8 KiB) Viewed 13184 times
Last edited by Zephyris on 01 Aug 2007 20:14, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Additional Rail Types

Post by Zephyris » 01 Aug 2007 20:12

Catenary replacement GRFs to demonstrate different track types.
Attachments
elrailsw3rd.grf
Electric third rail
(14.98 KiB) Downloaded 300 times
elrailswNrw.grf
Narrow gauge
(15.63 KiB) Downloaded 236 times
elrailswVac.grf
Vacuum tube (slope and tunnel entrance sprites not drawn yet)
(13.77 KiB) Downloaded 289 times

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Re: Additional Rail Types

Post by t0mcioo » 01 Nov 2007 14:47

i'm seeing that vaccum have normal track type than maglev (on graphics) - is that small mistake or not ?
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Re: Additional Rail Types

Post by Zephyris » 01 Nov 2007 15:33

Its a "mistake", these are real grf files, not just mockups, and work by replacing the electric caternary - which is only on electric railway. You could change the code to make it appear over maglev...

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Re: Additional Rail Types

Post by SwissFan91 » 11 Mar 2010 18:03

I am probably being really stupid, but I hope Narrow Gauge with Catenary isn't being overlooked?
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Re: Additional Rail Types

Post by Zephyris » 11 Mar 2010 18:33

jake.grimshaw wrote:I am probably being really stupid, but I hope Narrow Gauge with Catenary isn't being overlooked?
You missed by 3 years, this is a very old thread... The graphics may be useful though...

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Re: Additional Rail Types

Post by SwissFan91 » 11 Mar 2010 18:37

Oh GOD. I did think it was an old thread, maybe I should check the dates next time. I'll repost in the new thread.
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Re: Additional Rail Types

Post by cmoiromain » 13 Mar 2010 14:01

Funny I never saw this thread before... The vacuum sure is a fun idea!
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Re: Additional Rail Types

Post by Clemo56 » 26 Apr 2016 10:34

Eugh i would have loved to have seen this in game :(

This forum is so dead, i am now down to coming on here every fortnight or so and i very very rarely see anything new. Its such a shame i used to be on here every day.

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Re: Additional Rail Types

Post by Emperor Jake » 26 Apr 2016 11:59

Clemo56 wrote:Eugh i would have loved to have seen this in game :(

This forum is so dead, i am now down to coming on here every fortnight or so and i very very rarely see anything new. Its such a shame i used to be on here every day.
In case you didn't know, railtypes have been a thing in OTTD for a while now and there's even a vactrain set which was actually originally inspired by this very thread. (see my signature)

Third rail and narrow gauge are available in other NewGRFs, try searching around a bit more.
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Re: Additional Rail Types

Post by Translink » 29 Apr 2016 22:36

Oh wow! This is a ver old threaad! This seriously ahould be considered to be included in the basegame.

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Re: Additional Rail Types

Post by kamnet » 29 Apr 2016 22:43

Translink wrote:Oh wow! This is a ver old threaad! This seriously ahould be considered to be included in the basegame.
OpenTTD currently supports up to 16 track types via NewGRFs. There's no reason to add more tracks to the base game when it's likely a player won't ever use them all. NuTracks, Metro Track Set, Japan Set Tracks and many other track sets take advantage of this feature. You can even add multiple track sets as long as it doesn't exceed the limit.

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Re: Additional Rail Types

Post by Translink » 01 May 2016 10:43

kamnet wrote:
Translink wrote:Oh wow! This is a ver old threaad! This seriously ahould be considered to be included in the basegame.
OpenTTD currently supports up to 16 track types via NewGRFs. There's no reason to add more tracks to the base game when it's likely a player won't ever use them all. NuTracks, Metro Track Set, Japan Set Tracks and many other track sets take advantage of this feature. You can even add multiple track sets as long as it doesn't exceed the limit.
Yes, but thing is, NewGRFs tend to be a hassle, especially for beginner players and they might not understand how they work, not to mention the fact that NewGRFs can contradict each other.

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Re: Additional Rail Types

Post by Leanden » 01 May 2016 18:59

Translink wrote:
kamnet wrote:
Translink wrote:Oh wow! This is a ver old threaad! This seriously ahould be considered to be included in the basegame.
OpenTTD currently supports up to 16 track types via NewGRFs. There's no reason to add more tracks to the base game when it's likely a player won't ever use them all. NuTracks, Metro Track Set, Japan Set Tracks and many other track sets take advantage of this feature. You can even add multiple track sets as long as it doesn't exceed the limit.
Yes, but thing is, NewGRFs tend to be a hassle, especially for beginner players and they might not understand how they work, not to mention the fact that NewGRFs can contradict each other.
To be honest, if you have issues running NewGRFs from the ingane content downloader, then railtypes is the last of your issues.
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Re: Additional Rail Types

Post by kamnet » 01 May 2016 23:55

Translink wrote:
kamnet wrote:
Translink wrote:Oh wow! This is a ver old threaad! This seriously ahould be considered to be included in the basegame.
OpenTTD currently supports up to 16 track types via NewGRFs. There's no reason to add more tracks to the base game when it's likely a player won't ever use them all. NuTracks, Metro Track Set, Japan Set Tracks and many other track sets take advantage of this feature. You can even add multiple track sets as long as it doesn't exceed the limit.
Yes, but thing is, NewGRFs tend to be a hassle, especially for beginner players and they might not understand how they work, not to mention the fact that NewGRFs can contradict each other.
And, to be honest, new users shouldn't be using NewGRFs at all until they've mastered the basics of the game. All a NewGRF is going to do is cause them complications and a mistaken belief that a NewGRF fixes something wrong or missing in the game when that's not the case at all. Adding even more tracks isn't going to help new players at all, but hinder them.

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Re: Additional Rail Types

Post by Transportman » 02 May 2016 07:52

Indeed, and even when inclusion of additional rail types in the base game would be considered (which will not be the case, as the About page is quite clear: "It attempts to mimic the original game as closely as possible while extending it with new features."), which rail types should then be included?
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Re: Additional Rail Types

Post by Translink » 02 May 2016 14:45

kamnet wrote:
Translink wrote:
kamnet wrote:
OpenTTD currently supports up to 16 track types via NewGRFs. There's no reason to add more tracks to the base game when it's likely a player won't ever use them all. NuTracks, Metro Track Set, Japan Set Tracks and many other track sets take advantage of this feature. You can even add multiple track sets as long as it doesn't exceed the limit.
Yes, but thing is, NewGRFs tend to be a hassle, especially for beginner players and they might not understand how they work, not to mention the fact that NewGRFs can contradict each other.
And, to be honest, new users shouldn't be using NewGRFs at all until they've mastered the basics of the game. All a NewGRF is going to do is cause them complications and a mistaken belief that a NewGRF fixes something wrong or missing in the game when that's not the case at all. Adding even more tracks isn't going to help new players at all, but hinder them.
So what? I thought the whole purpose of developing this game is to expand the player's abilities. No one is forcing you to use the new track types. So many great and doable ideas have been smothered by the "there's a NewGRF for it bulls***"! Seriously! how long do you want this game to be unchanged for? The only new, noticeable feature in this year's update has been changing the land generation to create more curved landforms. How do you expect more and more people to be attracted to the game if you extinguish nearly every flame of improvement under the same excuse?

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Re: Additional Rail Types

Post by FLHerne » 02 May 2016 15:53

"There's a NewGRF for that" means "someone improved OpenTTD so that NewGRFs can do that." :roll:

NewGRFs are the preferred way of adding features to OTTD. If you added every feature that can possibly be done by a NewGRF to the game, it would be completely impossible to learn or play.

Other new features in this release:
- Custom sounds for new vehicles (via NewGRF).
- Custom fences for track types (relevant, via NewGRF).
- Up to 240 industry types (via NewGRF).

...see the pattern?

NewGRFs can conflict because the features they add conflict. In OpenTTD now, you can have stockpile-based industries, or supply-based industries, or manually-controlled ones. You can have 16 slightly-different types of realistic track, or vacuum-tubes and articulated ship-train-aarghs (NUTS is weird).

If they were hardcoded straight into the game, you'd be stuck with one set, instead you can have any track type someone can imagine.

Inexperienced users might be confused by GRFs, they'd definitely be confused by 100+ industry types with complicated mechanics. :shock:


(Exception: I do think there should be a set of default trams. The baseset buses are rather limiting).
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Re: Additional Rail Types

Post by Pyoro » 02 May 2016 16:20

I still don't get what the "hassle" is about NewGRFs. Or about "beginner's troubles". There's basically nothing you can do wrong if you use Bananas. What could possible be improved by adding multiple rail types to the base games? To be really meaningful you'd need a vehicle set anyways, and unless you also want to include that... ^^;

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Re: Additional Rail Types

Post by kamnet » 02 May 2016 17:14

Translink wrote:So what? I thought the whole purpose of developing this game is to expand the player's abilities.
And the developers did just that, via NewGRFs.
Translink wrote:No one is forcing you to use the new track types.
No, they're not, but think about this:

1. It's more stuff for a beginner to try to learn to manage.
2. It doesn't actually improve OpenTTD game play, it's just more stuff to do.
3. It starts infringing on the most important aspects, which is that the game has to be fun to play.
Translink wrote:So many great and doable ideas have been smothered by the "there's a NewGRF for it bulls***"! Seriously! how long do you want this game to be unchanged for? The only new, noticeable feature in this year's update has been changing the land generation to create more curved landforms. How do you expect more and more people to be attracted to the game if you extinguish nearly every flame of improvement under the same excuse?
Please lay out a list of all the many great and doable ideas that have been smothered because of the NewGRF system. Heck, even throw in the just okay, lame, and absolutely horrible ideas that were still doable but smothered because it was requested that they be developed via NewGRF instead of included in the game.

Improvements to the game should be actual improvements to the core game itself, and not just things which can easily be done via NewGRF. There's no need to throw in things that people won't use and don't actually need just because we can do so.

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