newgrf stations suggestion

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Expresso
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newgrf stations suggestion

Post by Expresso » 04 Nov 2019 15:56

As my search returned 841 results, I thought I'd make a new thread, so the next person searching over here will get 842 results :lol:

I remember seeing a suggestion a while ago which pointed out that there's currently no incentive to decorate stations. Why not give this incentive.

A station tile could do various things:
  • Increase the time duration a cargo can be kept at a station, before it gets removed.
  • Make the station more attractive to industries to provide cargo to, simply because this facility is there.
  • Increase the amount of cargo (of one or more types) that can be kept at the station. A setting could determine whether there are limits to what a station can store. The setting could set a hard limit per station, make the limit dependent on the amount of station tiles or a combination thereof.
  • Provide revenue because specific cargoes are kept there (think a shopping centre on top of a station) newgrfs could determine what a tile provides per x amount of cargo per period (day, month, year), maybe even modifiable per tile.
  • Increase loading speed of certain cargoes, when a vehicle requesting the cargo is of the correct type and (possibly) sits in the correct platform.
  • Decrease the amount of a specific cargo a station can hold (think of passengers at a cargo station).
  • Make the station outright reject certain cargoes (think of a valuables station).
Each of these would be a bitmask, so a station tile can work with various cargoes.

A station tile could provide any combination of these effects, making the player constructing the station really think about how they select and place the station tiles.

On top of that, can station newgrfs be made to be able to optionally provide a long description per tile, so they could explain what each station tile does?

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Re: newgrf stations suggestion

Post by jfs » 04 Nov 2019 23:32

Station tiles that affect cargo ratings could be interesting, but I think they'd have to be balanced with upkeep costs so you can't just get a forever boost for a small one-time investment.

Changing the storage capacity of a station is more problematic, mainly because the capacity is already very large for everything, so you'd have to lower the base capacity for it to make sense. If you lower the base capacity, it will have dominoing effects on existing games.

Load/unload speeds sounds like an interesting idea, I'd like to see that.

I don't like the idea of station tiles affecting cargo acceptance. I think it'd be better to just give the player a window where they can set up which cargos they want to serve at the station.
As an alternative, I thought about maybe having per-cargo catchment areas, but it would be really hard to make a good UI for it. E.g. a post office causing mail radius to go up from 4 to 8 tiles.

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Re: newgrf stations suggestion

Post by Expresso » 04 Nov 2019 23:51

jfs wrote:
04 Nov 2019 23:32
...

Changing the storage capacity of a station is more problematic, mainly because the capacity is already very large for everything, so you'd have to lower the base capacity for it to make sense. If you lower the base capacity, it will have dominoing effects on existing games.
Well, how about a setting which defaults to disabled for old saved games? And the base capacity could be dependent on station size.
...
I don't like the idea of station tiles affecting cargo acceptance. I think it'd be better to just give the player a window where they can set up which cargos they want to serve at the station.
It could be a setting which could be dis- or enabled; Also, this would force players to think about what station tiles they select for their station. Perhaps this could even be a feature the determines the acceptance/delivery per platform (I don't think passengers would be eager to wait on a industrial platform and oil wouldn't be a very good idea to store on a coal platform).
As an alternative, I thought about maybe having per-cargo catchment areas, but it would be really hard to make a good UI for it. E.g. a post office causing mail radius to go up from 4 to 8 tiles.
Why not give each cargo type the station accepts a distinct colour, then add each colour to the relevant catchment area rectangles in "rings" (outer, middle, inner, innermost) or make the marking of a tile a dotted square of the relevant colours?

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Re: newgrf stations suggestion

Post by Eddi » 05 Nov 2019 10:53

Expresso wrote:
04 Nov 2019 15:56
  • Increase the time duration a cargo can be kept at a station, before it gets removed.
With the current game mechanics, cargo doesn't get removed, if you keep the rating above 50%.

Anyway, the biggest problems with such a change to station mechanics are:
  1. the default station can't possibly support all the advanced features, so the game should be fully playable and somewhat balanced without them
  2. all the existing station sets, which would have to be adapted, many of which are decades old and completely unmaintained, otherwise you'd get lots of confused players who think a tile that looks like <X> should have effect <Y>, but doesn't
You might not exactly be interested in Ferion, but if you are, have fun :)

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Re: newgrf stations suggestion

Post by Expresso » 05 Nov 2019 13:50

Eddi wrote:
05 Nov 2019 10:53
Expresso wrote:
04 Nov 2019 15:56
  • Increase the time duration a cargo can be kept at a station, before it gets removed.
With the current game mechanics, cargo doesn't get removed, if you keep the rating above 50%.

Anyway, the biggest problems with such a change to station mechanics are:
  1. the default station can't possibly support all the advanced features, so the game should be fully playable and somewhat balanced without them
  2. all the existing station sets, which would have to be adapted, many of which are decades old and completely unmaintained, otherwise you'd get lots of confused players who think a tile that looks like <X> should have effect <Y>, but doesn't
That's why it's a good idea to have some default behaviour and only activate this when a player actually turns it on and grfs are provided which actually support this. The newgrf could then provide an extended description of each new tile, explaining what it does.

A more restrictive setting could be reserved for the case where the player has such a grf installed and turned the setting on, so the grf with all the behavioural influence actually is of some use to the player.

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