NewGRF: Grassy Knolls and Green Parks

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one billion daleks
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NewGRF: Grassy Knolls and Green Parks

Post by one billion daleks » 12 Jan 2008 03:51

This GRF is mainly intended for single-player games, and for players with a 'city-building' approach to the game, but it can also be used in multiplayer games. At the moment it only works in Temperate, but I am happy to modify it to include other climates if there is a demand. In the option where the "Purchase Land" sign is completely removed, I may in the future add some coloured-coded flowers to represent company ownership ... they'll just be a few pixels scattered about, made to look like daisies or something. And lastly, I might replace the gridline pixels, so that multiple tiles look more like a continuous expanse of grass and flowers ...

What this GRF does ...
This GRF increases the usefulness of the 'Purchase Land' button, by enabling it to function as a simple landscaping tool, as detailed under Benefits below. Eyecandy is also enhanced by removing all the brown tiles from the game. The "Purchase Land" sign can be left on, or switched off completely. If the sign is retained, it will be displayed on a more attractive green tile. But whether you choose to keep the sign switched on, or switched off, any land tile that you apply this button to will still become 'owned' by the player.

Benefits
This GRF enables you to 'open up' your cities so that you can see what's going on, without having to make the buildings transparent. If your view is obstructed by a few skyscrapers, just replace them with a nice green park! I particularly wanted to do this so I could see my motorways and intersections working within cities (see image below).

Similarly, you can add grass to the end of your airport runways, to create a more realistic approach-path for aircraft ... instead of them supposedly dodging skyscrapers as they come in to land!

And if you're fed up with the game building surplus bridges across rivers every couple of tiles, then just delete them and plant a patch of grass ... no more unwanted bridges on that spot! (Note though that on coastline tiles you'll lose the beach).

And those large distracting 'landslides' caused by AI players, when they're mucking about with the landscape, become far less noticeable, as they will now be green instead of brown.

Another thing you can do is control the shape of cityblocks, because you'll own the land ... so you can create more varied city layouts with green tiles.

Other ideas ... you could enhance your parks a little by adding a one-tile canal at the center of a 3x3 park, to repesent a pleasant water feature. Or you could perhaps individualise your cities a bit, by replacing say - all the pyramid-shaped skyscrapers - with a green tile, or a canal-tile.

Another possible use of this GRF is to control town growth. From what I've seen in the game, town growth proceeds one row / column at a time - it doesn't seem able to jump over two rows / columns of 'obstruction'. So if you were to place two parallel lines of this 'owned' grass along say, the western boundary of a city, it should halt any further expansion in that direction. I haven't actually tested this yet, but if it works it'll be useful for stopping buildings from appearing all over my intersections outside of cities!

Note: When you demolish something, or raise some land - you won't see any more brown tiles. These actions will now remain green. When new construction begins though, you'll still see the animations from brown building site through to completed building.

Minor side-effect
A very minor side-effect that I haven't managed to fix, is that the toolbar button for "Purchase Land" gets blanked if the sign is switched off - no image of the sign on the button anymore. As far as I can tell this is controlled by program code, so isn't something that can be addressed by a GRF.

Parameters
1 = no brown tiles, sign on.
None (default) = no brown tiles, sign off.

The attached image file shows an ingame screen with the 'standard' game, grassyknoll-signon, and grassyknoll-signoff.
Attachments
grassyknoll.grf
(14.15 KiB) Downloaded 2571 times
grassyknoll.jpg
(395.09 KiB) Downloaded 2752 times
Last edited by one billion daleks on 14 Jan 2008 02:02, edited 11 times in total.

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Re: NewGRF: Grassy Knolls and Green Parks

Post by Slye_Fox » 12 Jan 2008 06:44

How can you tell what land is yours then?
Image

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Re: NewGRF: Grassy Knolls and Green Parks

Post by one billion daleks » 12 Jan 2008 07:16

[Reply removed ... GRF has since been updated]
Last edited by one billion daleks on 13 Jan 2008 07:12, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: NewGRF: Grassy Knolls and Green Parks

Post by FooBar » 12 Jan 2008 10:31

How about placing that default sign on top of the grass tile. That way you don't have the ugly brown tiles, and can tell easily what tile is company-owned and what not, and it's usable in multiplayer games!

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Re: NewGRF: Grassy Knolls and Green Parks

Post by The Irish » 12 Jan 2008 10:38

How about making some sort of park out of it, with some trees and maybe some paths, so it looks less plain.
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Re: NewGRF: Grassy Knolls and Green Parks

Post by one billion daleks » 12 Jan 2008 10:41

FooBar:
Yes, good point ... I'll post a version with the sign still included. UPDATE: Both versions have now been combined into one file.

I got rid of the sign because I didn't really need it in my single-player games anyway, I preferred to just have a simple grass tile. But yes, a big motivator too - was to eliminate those "ugly brown tiles" from the landscape!

The Irish:
Yes, a park would be nice!
But the tiles I replaced are also used by the AI for creating those landslides you see. And as I mentioned, they're the same brown tiles you see when you demolish an industry, or raise some land. So if I changed them too much, then you'd start seeing parks and stuff popping up in some really odd places! So I figured it was best to keep them simple, and I'd look at adding just some small flowers coloured to correspond to the company that owns the tile - equivalent to daisies / buttercups kinda thing (that way, the landslides etc will remain as just plain grass, but the 'owned' tiles will have flowers on them).
Last edited by one billion daleks on 13 Jan 2008 07:13, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: NewGRF: Grassy Knolls and Green Parks

Post by Ben_K » 12 Jan 2008 11:01

I agree that you should have something on there. If I get a chance in the next couple of days, I'll try and draw a park/plaza sprite or something similar. In the meantime, I would suggest what Foobar said about using the green grass with the standard sign. :)

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Re: NewGRF: Grassy Knolls and Green Parks

Post by one billion daleks » 12 Jan 2008 12:04

[Reply removed ... GRF has now been updated]
Last edited by one billion daleks on 13 Jan 2008 07:14, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: NewGRF: Grassy Knolls and Green Parks

Post by FooBar » 12 Jan 2008 13:23

Looks a lot better, but it's an interesting side-effect you created there!

When you blow up something with either of these GRFs enabled, the ground turns green, not-so-brown, little less brown and again green. In that order.

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Re: NewGRF: Grassy Knolls and Green Parks

Post by one billion daleks » 12 Jan 2008 13:37

Thanks FooBar :)

That side-effect is just heaps of earthworms coming to the surface due to the explosion, having a quick look around going "what the heck was that!!!" - then heading back underground again! ;)

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Re: NewGRF: Grassy Knolls and Green Parks

Post by The Irish » 13 Jan 2008 11:49

one billion daleks wrote: Yes, a park would be nice!
But the tiles I replaced are also used by the AI for creating those landslides you see. And as I mentioned, they're the same brown tiles you see when you demolish an industry, or raise some land. So if I changed them too much, then you'd start seeing parks and stuff popping up in some really odd places! So I figured it was best to keep them simple, and I'd look at adding just some small flowers coloured to correspond to the company that owns the tile - equivalent to daisies / buttercups kinda thing (that way, the landslides etc will remain as just plain grass, but the 'owned' tiles will have flowers on them).
Surely, this being OpenTTD, it must be possible to change this, so that owned land does not use the same sprites as demolished Industries, Houses or landslides?
Or did I misunderstand something?
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Re: NewGRF: Grassy Knolls and Green Parks

Post by one billion daleks » 13 Jan 2008 12:43

Well, I like to use OTTD more as a city-building sim with a very good transport sim thrown in, rather than as a Tycoon game. So to enhance my city-building ambitions I simply wanted to get rid of the brown tiles and those "Purchase Land" signs, nothing more.

This GRF reconfigures things with that sole purpose in mind ... it gets rid of (what are for me) distracting eye-aches, and instead replaces them with a means to gain visual access to my cities, and also modify them in a few new ways as well. So I've achieved my goal.

So regarding your question about making 'owned' land use different sprites - as you can maybe see, this was really outside the scope of my objectives with this GRF.

Still, your idea is a good one, and has in fact been pursued from a somewhat different angle here.

If you browse down the page on that link you'll see some images I put together with Frostregen's patch, intended to illustrate what I think you're suggesting - to enable player-owned land to use different sprites, in fact, to use pretty well any sprite you might want to plant on your company land. :)

But this aspiration seems to have fallen off the backburner for the time being - oh well!

But I'm hopeful of it happening one day - maybe once the transportation side of OTTD has been balanced and stabilised - the means to customise cities will emerge as the next juicy coding challenge. Then you may see the parks and paths you're after! :)

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Re: NewGRF: Grassy Knolls and Green Parks

Post by LordAzamath » 13 Jan 2008 12:45

It needs a patch.. similar thing came up when I wanted to replace transmitter with toll booth for wwottdgd/1 and it replaced airport transmitter too...
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Re: NewGRF: Grassy Knolls and Green Parks

Post by FooBar » 13 Jan 2008 12:49

One piece of advice: Use PNG for your screenshots. That jpg-stuff makes everything look very blurry.

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Re: NewGRF: Grassy Knolls and Green Parks

Post by one billion daleks » 13 Jan 2008 12:56

Yes, the way graphics are handled for 'owned' land is - as far as I can tell - hardcoded in OTTD.

I'm pretty sure that's why the icon vanishes off the "Purchase Land" button when you deactivate the sign using Grassy Knoll!

So yes, as lordazamath suggests, if that's the case then changing the way owned land works would need a patch - the sort of patch Frostregen was (is?) working on.

Foobar: Well, that particular JPG was fuzzy because I scaled it down to keep the size reasonable - so it lost some detail there I'm afraid, sorry 'bout that!

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Re: NewGRF: Grassy Knolls and Green Parks

Post by Ben_K » 13 Jan 2008 14:58

one billion daleks wrote:Foobar: Well, that particular JPG was fuzzy because I scaled it down to keep the size reasonable - so it lost some detail there I'm afraid, sorry 'bout that!
Yes, but it won't if you use PNG, they are smaller and keep a hell of a lot more TTD detail than a JPG. Try it!
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Re: NewGRF: Grassy Knolls and Green Parks

Post by nicfer » 13 Jan 2008 17:04

One question: will you make a version compatible with the opengfx's terrain? Or why not a non-derivative version of the sign for opengfx? That will rock ^^.
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Re: NewGRF: Grassy Knolls and Green Parks

Post by LordAzamath » 13 Jan 2008 17:20

Yeah.. That would be nice :)
BTW. At this scale normal png takes less room that jpg nad gif.. There was a wiki page somewhere why to use png not jpg, but I have lost it..
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Re: NewGRF: Grassy Knolls and Green Parks

Post by FooBar » 13 Jan 2008 17:50

lordazamath wrote:There was a wiki page somewhere why to use png not jpg, but I have lost it..
This one?

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Re: NewGRF: Grassy Knolls and Green Parks

Post by one billion daleks » 14 Jan 2008 01:33

Well, I've never had any software that handled PNG, and I'd used JPG for years so it's just a case of breaking old habits I guess!
But I've now downloaded Image Analyzer as it can handle PNG files, so I'll switch over to that.
And thanks for the link FooBar ... I see there's a PNG compression utility there, so I'll grab that too!

UnderBuilder: How about one of those orange road-cones with a company-coloured stripe or something ...? That would be a bit more realistic than having a sign-on-a-post on every tile. :)

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