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Very flexible economy/industry system

Posted: 21 Mar 2004 20:10
by PJayTycy
Hey all,

if you look at the ideas/wishlists/annoyances for no matter which transportation game, there is one thing always brought up: the economy/industry model. Some like this, some like that, ...

I have looked at the different approaches from the games I know and have played (TTD, RT2, RT3) and from what I heard about (3DTT, simutrans). I found out they can be split into 3 categories with only some different settings.

In order to reach as much people as possible, I suggest to implement all 3 systems, and let the user decide which system to use and to modify the settings. We could then include some presets too (RRT-style, RT2-style, ...).

Now, for the interesting part: what are those 3 categories and their settings?

  1. Contract based
    • players have to transport a fixed amount of cargo from a fixed point to a fixed destination, for a fixed price. If you succeed, you get the money, if you don't succeed, you get some sort of penalty or the contract may even be broken completely (details yet to be worked out).
    • players can offer better contracts to industries to take over contracts from other players or invisible traffic.
    • the industries choose the contract with the best price/speed/quality/goodwill/realistic/... combination.
  2. Destination based
    • Each unit of cargo has a fixed destination, it will try to find the best (=cheapest/fastest/...) route by its own. It will hop transportation methods and use different companies on 1 run.
    • Each train has a fixed fare-price for each type of cargo. (This doesn't need to be set for each train, you could say to a general manager : "take the running costs*2" or some other formulas so all fares are automaticly set for the micro-management-hating players.
    • You just transport the cargo's to where they want, you don't own them, they are still the boss.
    This is the model which is often used for passengers or mail.
  3. Price based
    • Your company buys the cargo from the market
    • You can do with the cargo whatever you want, it's completely yours
    • You sell it again to the market where you arive.
Ofcourse, you could have all three mixed up on one map, or play with only 1 of these on the complete map.

In all these cases, some kind of "market price" should be maintained in all cells on the map: It is where the industries base their contracts offer on in the first method. The price difference also gives the max. (total) fare price a cargo might pay in the second method. In the third case, the price difference IS the amount of money the transportation company gets.
Now, how there prices are affected by supply/demand is a second part where you can have different options:

  • How does supply / demand / oversupply / shortage / ... influence the prices?
  • Is there some kind of "invisible" traffic to compete with? This could be the default-contracts for the industries, at a high price and slow speed, just to make sure the economy doesn't "drop dead" when the players are not transporting some kind of goods.
A third thing in this setup is ofcourse how industries are handled.

  • Is conversion (eg: iron->steel) instant or does it take time?
  • Is there a maximum conversion rate ?
  • To who (eg: which company) and/or how (eg: contract/price based/destination based) will I offer my produced cargo? This can be based on best conract offered / company with the best goodwill / first come first serverd / ...
  • When/where are new industries created?
  • When are existing industries removed?

Now, if all these things are implemented in the game, and these settings are stored in the scenario's/maps, we can create a whole lot of different playing styles and a very very big replay-abillity.

As an example, I will show what these settings could be for the TTD, RRT2 and RRT3 system. If you know of a system you would like, which you think is not possible with these settings, please post it here and I'll try to squeeze it in anyway. :P
  • TTD
    • traffic-payement : price based
    • market-price : prices are pretty much fixed, I don't think they are influenced by oversupply / shortage very much. There is also completely no invisble traffic.
    • production-system : There is a max / year, this changes with how good the industry is served and the general economical situation. Transformation is not instant. I don't know if cargo is divided over the stations based on goodwill or if it's completely first-come-first-served
  • RT2
    • traffic-payement : price based
    • market-price : prices are influenced by oversupply / shortage and hauling distance this last one is completely pointless and unrealistic, because you can have profitable runs by hauling grain from 1000km away even if there is a farm only 5km away, so I didn't include it in my settings. There is also completely no invisble traffic.
    • production-system : There is no max production, and transformation is instant. You arrive with some loads of iron, unload, and you can immediately load up the produced steel. The cargo is always sold to the first train who arrives in a station covering the industry
  • RT3
    • traffic-payement : a mix between price based and destination based (you receive the price difference as if it were a price-based economy, but you can't decide 100% where to haul your cargo to).
    • market-price : prices are influenced by oversupply / shortage very very much. There is invisble traffic, with the speed of movement based on cargo-type and terrain-type.
    • production-system : There is a max production, but you can upgrade the industries to increase this maxium. Transformation is not instant. The cargo is always sold to the first train who arrives in a station with a destination that offers a higher price

If I would contribute to this game, I would like it the most to work on the possibillities of these different models...

Posted: 21 Mar 2004 20:26
by GoneWacko

I prefer the TTD model.
You get to decide where to transport stuff to, and how.
Contacts or destinations would be spoilers for me.

Posted: 21 Mar 2004 21:54
by Saskia
About the economic situation: it would be better, when there's a flaw, that not only some industries have a lower production ("Forest XYZ decreased it's production by 50%" and "Farm ABC ..."), but many industries of a single type should be affected ("This year's harvest on farms will be lower than last year because of the hot summer").

Posted: 21 Mar 2004 22:54
by PJayTycy
GoneWacko wrote:Hmmm..

I prefer the TTD model.
You get to decide where to transport stuff to, and how.
Contacts or destinations would be spoilers for me.
That's exactly why I would like to include the 3 systems, then everybody can play whatever he/she likes best.

I think I would always play with "destination-based" for passengers (eg: you can't transport somebody to the mountains when he wanted to go to the sea), and price-based or contract-based for other cargos.

The point is, my preferences don't matter, I'm just trying to define a structure so everybody can play with his/her favourite model. The design-doc also defined some different cargo-payement-types.

Is there anybody who is against this choice because it's overkill and everybody should play the same game? Or is there somebody who thinks his/her favourite model can't be simulated this way?

Posted: 21 Mar 2004 23:17
by ChrisCF
TBH, I'm not a big fan of the system where your passengers will just get on the train and be done with it. They typically want to go somewhere. :)

I'm up for destination- and contract- based transport. Destinations for passengers, and contracts for freight (much like in the real world).

Posted: 22 Mar 2004 01:18
by epistax
I don't care so much about passengers but I'd certainly want contracts for industries!

Posted: 22 Mar 2004 09:08
by broodje
Right, I think this could be fun. I only wonder how this will be in the game. I mean a pasenger train going to station Y can pik up pasenger with all a diferend destination? and can that cargo go on another train halfway? If thats true I sugest looking at trafic giant. That game (from jowood) has this moddel and it is fun to make a network where your trams/busses cover all destinations. I think the system shouldnt be as deep as in trafic giant, eg don't let people go to a building, but just to a city. I think we should watch the games stays playable in this mode (simutrans isn't) So you don't end up having a churg in the middle of nowhere where only 3 people go to. So you would need some more pasenngers per month (otherwise it will never pay enough money) the amound of transportation changes a pasenger/cargo can take (for example it is your choice how many times cargo changes transportation, but pasengers doenst like changing trains). 2nd to that will a large map with lots of citys won't be extreamly slow? if every pasenger knows where it wants to go, it will probably use a lot of recourses?
For the contract based game, there should be some firm rules about that eg do not generate contracts for nearest factory only, but also for some a bit further away. and this invisable trafic, what will it ad in gameplay? if you can't see it why should it be there?
and last the fixed price, wel that would be what I like (unless system one works a lot like the traffic giant system, and not like simutrans/ttt) It would leave everything what made ttd so great, completley free for all :P

On a side note, I think there should be thought about how many products should be there. I mean for me there are enough products in ttd. Remember more products makes things more complicated but it doesnt mean it will be more fun. (look at IG2, lots of products, but absolutly no gameplay)

Posted: 22 Mar 2004 09:48
by Hyronymus
The need for a large amount of cities can also be addressed by making sure that cities produce enough passengers to succesfully run (multiple) passenger trains. I honestly think that transporting industrial goods needs to be the main goal. Look ast TTD and the RRT series and use your imagination to think about how Transport Giant will be.
Something not mentioned here but definetly necessairy is a soild economical model. The game needs a proper inflation and growth rate. But also stock exchange should be an option as well as participating in the profits of the industries you serve.

Posted: 22 Mar 2004 12:30
by Hyronymus
Stock exchange should be implemented for those that like it. Or maybe someone can supply it as a MOD :lol: . Sofar many ideas about transporting passengers, maybe nice to start a seperate topic about how to transport them?

Posted: 22 Mar 2004 13:19
by epistax
As with the first topic in this.. uhh.. topic, do we want to adopt the same model where prices start high then fall over time for all freight?

Also, how about a curve on all prices of vehicles (very costly when it first comes out, falls to a low point, then increases as the vehicle becomes scarce). This same curve could be fitted to maintenance.

Stock market with the other transportation companies could be done as in TT-- I'd just really want smaller increments than 25% ownership. Let's say, 100 shares.
Do we want an inflation system in there? Perhaps real % to pay on loans?

Posted: 22 Mar 2004 14:02
by ChrisCF
[NOTE: Part of this thread has been forked. As you were ...]

Posted: 14 Nov 2006 14:11
by Hyronymus
The first post holds an answer to a question asked by M4rek yesterday: how do you earn money (in a more elaborate way)? The current Design Document mentions nothing about being payed for transporting. All it mentions is that transport companies can set transportation fares.

Posted: 14 Nov 2006 18:18
by m4rek
i suggest things being contract based for goods and penalties if contract is unfilled. i can elaborate more if you wish later, but currently i do not feel the need to do so.

for passengers each passenger pays a fare based on comfort/quality/luxury of transport and the distance travelled. each passanger has a destination rather than just a bus to anywhere...

if you wish you can check a box that says "recieve route suggestions" where you recieve suggestions for routes that passangers want to go but there is no service. your choice how to act on them.

Posted: 15 Nov 2006 07:12
by XeryusTC
I would say that you get a given price for non-perisable cargo (coal, iron ore etc), although the price might vary from industry to industry based on the distance that the closest primary industry is (the one that delivers the non-perisable cargo the industry needs)

Then there are perisable goods (cattle, grain, milk), their price is based on the speed you deliver the cargo. So faster = more money.

The passangers (which can also be seen as perisable goods), they should also pay based on speed, but if service is really bad so they'll be at stations more often than in the train then there could be a price penalty.

Locked until the DD discussion arrives at this issue.