Moderator: OpenTTD Developers
When I start a game, I build a station at some productive coal mine(s), buy a train and let it load. When it is about to get full, I start building a track towards a power plant so that the train has somewhere to go. I keep building the track just-in-time in front of the train to avoid paying monthly maintenance for track before it is actually needed. I build the station at the power plant and the final connecting track pieces with the last money that I am allowed to borrow. That may not let me build the track as flat and straight as I would like, but it will allow the first few trains pass so that i get money to flatten the terrain and build the straighter final track that I have planned. The income from the first train gives more than enough money to build the second train and a depot right after the power plant's station. I let the train go in there and sell it, so I can buy the third train. I keep selling empty trains at the power plant to buy new trains at the coal mine(s) until money is coming in faster than I need for buying new trains and improving the track. Only then I build a return track just for the convenience of not having to buy and sell trains.
Having a line that generates income without much management, I start building the second line from another very productive coal mine (or mines). Since I now have an income stream and am therefore not constrained by the loan limit, I build the second line longer. The same way as before, I build tracks just-in-time in front of the first train, buy new trains as needed to load the coal and place signals to keep the trains from interfering with each other. The first few trains on the second line will also be sold after their first trip to finance more new trains sooner. When the income stream gets bigger, I build a return track to start reusing trains here as well.
When building the third line, the income stream is big enough that I can afford a return track immediately and do not have to sell trains.
The return tracks are mostly for convenience. I should probably implement some scripts that buy and sell trains automatically so I do not have to bother with return tracks and train reuse. That should make the exponential growth of the company faster. Also, since infrastructure cost grows over-proportional with the amount of infrastructure, eliminating the need for return tracks should double the amount of train lines that a player can afford to have when the equilibrium is reached.
Why bother writing scripts to abuse game mechanics when you may as well just cheat yourself however much money you want?odalman wrote: ↑05 Feb 2020 19:40I should probably implement some scripts that buy and sell trains automatically so I do not have to bother with return tracks and train reuse. That should make the exponential growth of the company faster. Also, since infrastructure cost grows over-proportional with the amount of infrastructure, eliminating the need for return tracks should double the amount of train lines that a player can afford to have when the equilibrium is reached.
I wouldn't call this cheating in the strict sense, because it is allowed by the game mechanics. But this surely is blatant abuse of said mechanics, and some servers go to great lengths to make this trick impossible.
Moreover, if you use this trick, you miss out on the key feature of the TTD-like games: after a proper initial setup, the game plays itself. User interaction is not needed to run the vehicles.
If you don't feel the challenge in building simple rail networks, try building more complicated ones. For example, arrange it so that the trains haul cargo on the return trip as well (yes, this is possible and no cheating is involved). If the default settings are not challenging for you, try mastering the harder servers.
Without knowing, I would try to prevent it by simulating supply and demand. For example, if 100 farmers come to a small town and sell large quantities of apples, prices would go down drastically. Similarly, if a lot of trains are sold at a place, the price would drop very low. Of course, it would have to be an area effect, not just the tile with the depot. Otherwise the player could just build another depot nearby. So a price surface might look something like this (suppose that 5 trains were sold where the big pit is and 2 trains where the small pit is:
(created at https://www.geogebra.org/3d)
Of course the surface should be smoothed over time. Since this thread is about second-hand market for older vehicles, I want to point out that if one player sells a lot of vehicles somewhere, another player could build a depot nearby and buy such vehicles used really cheap.
- price surface example.png
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