I've compiled a list of things in the DD which either need clarification, expansion from a programming perspective or other features which are possible.
The danger is we come up with a game which is realistic and sensible but not playable because its too boring, or far too complicated without any sense of cohesion.
NOTE: The author of this list does not necessarily believe in all of these ideas, but believes that they are (realistically) possible and might be attractive to a particular audience.
1.2 Basic Agreements
Time in seconds
Should there be two categories
a. Time in seconds - for reference to "real" times
b. Time in days - for reference to "game" times
The Game is configured via a set of spreadsheets.
This section should be updated to reflect the decision made at the meeting of 15/6/06, namely that we will now be using Lua to define the game configurations.
A settings file will probably look something like this
then, the file used in this example is an actual configure file for TRoS.
1.4 Folder Structure
I don't really understand what this is supposed to be.
If some directories only will contain one file, perhaps it can just be included in its parent directory.
This means which sub folders the main TE folder will use, it could contain the following folder structure (note: this is only for people that don't have the DD, the mockup in the DD is different):
bin // Contains executable files
trains // Contains information about trains, new train sets will also be added to this directory
road vehicles // Same as "trains" but then for RVs
// Other directories here
src // Only available when you download from CVS?
This should be defined good as TE has to know where it needs to look for game files.
[Example: My home city of Perth, Australia has 1.5 million people in 5,386 km^2 (73kmx73km if it were square). ]
I think we need to play with the idea of scale to reflect game scaling and model scaling. For example we know in real life there are trains with almost hundred carriages, and in TT this would almost reach the next town.
I dont think we should go with a perfect scaled model, we need to keep the "gameness" about it.
The whole, "well lets just have bigger maps" is good in theory, but in practise we should have competition for resources/industries, and we need to remember the bigger the map, the more the memory it eats up and we need to make sure our servers can handle x frames per second updates.
Map size isn't only defined by it's X and Y size, but also by the amount of industries/towns.
The scale of TE will be very easy to edit as we can resize the 3D models, this would enable us to have a TTD scale, a real life scale or something in between, the player would be able to pick the scale he/she prefers.
1.6 Sets, groups, random choice
Form lists based on the same cargo. Hence when you look at the list of all Coal hoppers you wont then need to refit. It will already be done when purchasing.
We could have a LoMo like system, a wagon accepts multiple goods and you can define what it picks up when you give the orders. It won't cost the player money to do this.
65536x65536x1 short = 4.3 GIG!
Please think realistically people, this is 256 times the length of one TT map, SQUARED!
If we implement this then we are not programming properly.
Besides, it would take aaaaaages to create a random map.
Having something that is 4GB is a bit useless, no one wants to have such big maps. This size would only be viable when we have a multi server system, every server could store a 8196x8196 (or bigger) part of the map and you will only be connected to one server at the time.2.3 WaterWe probable want the user to choose a minimum water height, some player might want to play without water but want to have a very mountainious map, other might want to play with only a few isles although the seas can be very deep so building bridges is very expensive
What does it mean that ships can travel in rivers if maximum slope is 0,1%? (What about locks?)
Also some large ships should not be allowed to go into "shallow" rivers.
Rivers can be sloped a little as water flows down. If the gradient is >0.1% then you would have to use locks.
2.5 Terrain Types
Are we going to go as far as to say that river-front land in cities are worth much much more than in the middle of a desert say?
Terraforming should be more expensive in an artic climate then in a temperate climate. Artic should have big hills and mountains and players should terraform a way through them.
4.1 to 4.4
<no_offence>This whole sections needs to be *properly* thought out.</no_offence>
Not just from the set creators point of view (static data) but the programmers point of view (static and dynamic data).
I suggest using TTD + Patch as a basis and then adding onto that (the Wiki of set-creating is a good place to start).
I agree with this, although some things are thought out quite good (like 4.4).
4.5 Cargo Class - Raw materials
In RT2 they have "catalyst" materials such as fertilizer which, when added to a farm (a primary industry) produces more grain, should we go for something like this?
It could add A LOT to gameplay, I think that it is a good idea4.10 WarehousesIf this is going to be implemted then we might want to have a maximum amount of cargo that a normal platform can store, this would force players to use warehouses.
4.11 Route Planning
We need a forum on this and a decision on the best way forward. The three options are a good basis for moving forward with discussion.
I agree, there are some nice ideas in the DD but maybe we can think of better ways.
Should industries represent a higher order economic model? Should we go for, higher production -> more jobs -> more town growth in a direct sense (ie factory has profits of 1.1 million) or abstract sense
(ie factory outputted 500 cars -> high level of growth).
Local "invisible" transport competitors. Cut our profits, ensure industry might not go bankrupt which otherwise might lead to massive job losses.
This factors into economic booms on a national (invisible) level but has local effects too.
This could perhaps be in the "fluctuating" economy type-model.
Massive seaports in big cities could be of major importance for economy, ie exporting iron ore to China and getting back cheap steel
We could have inter-server exchange: a player (player A) wants to sell cargo to another player (Player B) on another server (they don't know that they both want it). The server of player A (server A) sends a message to the masterserver that someone sells cargo to another player. The masterserver sends this message to all connected servers and players could see this message, to avoid irritation players should request it first, this could just be checking an option in one of the many GUI windows. If the masterserver finds a buying player (player B) then the player can discuss a price and start selling cargo to each other.
Note: this is just a quick thought, it needs to be worked out correctly.
5.8 Local Authorities
Local - but what about State and Federal? Can over-rule Local decisions with lobbying, or good cause.
Example State govt wants goods connection from A to B but A doesn't like you but has no choice. (revenge )
This also removes the moral debate of bribes (if any exists?!?) while keeping a back-door open away from building billions of trees.
I don't think a state or federal authority would be needed, having authorities overrule each other isn't a good idea IMHO.
6.4 Tracks - Switches
Disasters: Sabotage -> Derailment?
6.5 Tracks - Curves
Disasters: Speed limits, stupid drivers -> Derailment?
Disasters are a good idea
6.6 Tracks - Signals
Different eras have different signals, thus we cant expect the early 1900's to have sophisticated control mechanisms for high traffic lines. I'm not just talking about sempohores but the ability to communicate with the next switch house, or traffic signal. (We don't need specific definition but perhaps an abstract model such as signal lag)
You mean that you will later get something like long distance pre-signals, a train could change it's path 2 junctions ahead if it's route is blocked/going to be blocked by another train?
6.8 Stations - General
Stations can have signals in them, thus one double length platform can support two trains.
Stations can have designated platforms, which can be separated by signals.
Trains can have lines (names, numbers, letters, colours) these can be assigned platforms at stations.
This also goes for the discussion relating to vehicular scheduling.
Station numbers/names/letters/colours could be usefull if you use different platform lenghts, you could set a train to prefer only one of just a few platforms and it will try to go to one of those platforms first end try another platform that isn't in the list when one of the prefered platforms isn't available.
Need a mathematical formula for interpolation.
What does 2% chance of a breakdown mean?
2% per year, per day, per frame?
New model max reliability should have mathematical formula too.
The max reliability will be set by the author of the vehicle, TE will only edit it if the vehicle is getting old.
11.2 Life Span
The reliability can be linked to how many of that kind you have. For example, if you have many of one type of train then you will have many engineers who know how to service that model properly hence it will be more reliable than an old train which no one knows what to do with.
Naturally you cant flog a dead horse...
Maybe we could use a max age, this will influence the amount of (max) reliability the vehicle drops every month/year.
Grade crossing can be separated into City and Country. City has boom gates or whatnot, country may
only have signage (depending on state rules and regulations + costs).
RV's with full loads in a crash are more damaging. eg oil truck crash with train transporting
explosives -> big boom!
Planes that are about to crash could try to avoid cities, rail and road and tries to crash in unused land or farmland. If it crashes in farmland the production of the farm should also go down.
12.1 Stock Market
Depending on the financial accuracy of the game the stock market could consist of industrial/commercial companies you supply to (is this conflict of interest or insider trading).
Again this is a higher order modelling, something which people may or may not be interested in.
I think that people should be able to buy shares in other transport companies and in industries (those that don't produce raw materials), the value of someone's shares is determined on the amount of improvements on transporting cargo of a company, or on the amount of cargo that a industry receives/produces.
We need to ensure diagonal to diagonal fast train services are avoided (i.e. transporting top value goods the furthest distance). ie Industry favours cheaper services.
Diagonal wil be relative as TE will be a 3D game and the camera allows A LOT of movement.
12.8 Ratings - city
Loyalty bonuses, such as first company to connect city A to B.
Relations could randomly change from time to time when a city gets a new friendly/hostile major.
With some games you can spend most of your time doing boring things like updating old stuff.
- Do nothing
Gradually lose profits
- Do minimal
Keep profit levels constant, but dip with competition etc.
- Continue expanding
Profit goes up but it gets harder
- Replan, renetwork, "smart" play