Industry/Town Locations

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Hamish McTycoon
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Industry/Town Locations

Post by Hamish McTycoon » 12 Feb 2019 14:13

Hello everyone. I've been playing OpenTTD on and off for more years than I can count, but rarely post on these forums, so would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who has been continuously developing new graphics and tweaks, it really is amazing.

I've been playing with the FIRS industry set recently (really enjoying the added complexity of supply chains), and it's got me thinking about the location of towns vs. industry. It mildly annoys me that there is no relation between where settlements are and where industries are. So, for example, why are there coal mines miles and miles away from any labour force? Given that the history of urbanisation is so closely tied to the history of industrialisation (with the railways playing such a prominent role in both), I sometimes wish the game was capable of mimicking this link a bit more.

This is a realism problem, not a gameplay one. Whether it would make the game more or less fun to have industries and towns closer to each other I don't know, but I often play OpenTTD with the aim of just creating the most pleasingly complex network I can (rather than to make money), and it often frustrates me that no matter how beautiful the new station graphics are etc., the world map still looks and feels somewhat irrational.

Forgive me if this has been a topic of conversation before, but basically I'm wondering if anyone has ever tried experimenting with the random placement of industries vs. towns? And whether anyone else would like to see this option explored? Sometimes I just put the magic bulldozer and unlimited money cheats on so I can reorganise the world in ways that make more sense. It's art, not cheating, I promise! :P

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planetmaker
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Re: Industry/Town Locations

Post by planetmaker » 12 Feb 2019 15:02

It's a difficult problem to solve. Indeed there is a solution to that - in principle. Every industry NewGRF has means to apply any location conditions on industries as it might see fit. And even the default industries have location restrictions to some extend (e.g. on banks, on forests lumberjacks, oilrigs...) However there are practical problems when making them too strict: the game might not find suitable places for the industry and a newly generated map might end up somewhat broken in the sense that not all industries could be places so that you end up with a broken economy. You can try such scenario easily in arctic, making it ultra flat - forests require placement above snow line.

On the other hand: FIRS is one set which actually takes already quite extensive control over where industries can be placed, which industries can be placed near eachother and which require distance from eachother, which can be in towns and which must not. Maybe you can grab the source and play around with it a bit yourself and see whether you can make it better. Or do the same with OpenGFX+Industries - its code might be a bit simpler to start with.
Thus *I think* the problem hier is more a problem of the general scale of the maps - as you somewhat already say yourself. You usually don't need or want totally empty places on the map (and if it's only for the reason that HUGE maps tend to be slow even when they're not densely populated).

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Re: Industry/Town Locations

Post by kamnet » 12 Feb 2019 17:48

From a realism point, while you have small towns often near or right at a coal mine, you typically don't have mines near major metropolitan areas because of the various hazards.

From a game play standpoint, however, you get paid based on the distance that cargo travels. So whether that's moving from a city to a coal mine, or moving coal from a mine to a power plant, you make the most money by making your cargo travel more.

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planetmaker
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Re: Industry/Town Locations

Post by planetmaker » 12 Feb 2019 18:23

kamnet wrote:From a realism point, while you have small towns often near or right at a coal mine, you typically don't have mines near major metropolitan areas because of the various hazards.

From a game play standpoint, however, you get paid based on the distance that cargo travels. So whether that's moving from a city to a coal mine, or moving coal from a mine to a power plant, you make the most money by making your cargo travel more.
Realism is relative. Germany 's largest mining region is the most densely populated one - the Ruhr metropolitan region north of cologne. The last underground mine closed last year though.

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