Pulpwood (PULP) I am very dubious about, I am play-testing it and I am not sure it adds anything at all compared to plain WOOD. In theory it brings the opportunity to have dedicated bulk vehicles (woodchip hoppers/trucks) for pulp which would be inappropriate for logs. It also forces the player to serve both the lumber and the paper chains in FIRS Arctic Basic. I am unconvinced by both of those arguments.
First of all, I like the consistent style of your graphics, and this is fine pixel art. Unfortunately, I can´t help with evaluating your set in a more detailed way, since I don´t "play" much, but rather test compatibility with a new version of DBXL (still in development). Thus, my remarks will be more on the technical side, not about how the features of your set will work out in game.
Speaking of cargo labels, I´d like to add some comments.
As of now, we have two classes of cargoes/labels:
- labels exclusively for a specific cargo (e.g. "coffee"[*] -> JAVA)
- labels with a broader context (e.g. "building materials" -> BDMT, s.b.)
[*] Yes.There are different sorts of "coffee": arabica, robusta, liberica, stenophylla, congensis, bonnieri, ..., but even the hardest bean counter would agree that we´d have to draw the line somewhere.
IMO, it´s problematic to mix both approaches, because this has unintended impact on vehicle sets to be compatible with such industry sets. And this isn´t a specific problem in FIRS, but also in other industry/cargo sets.
For example, let´s take a look at the history of the BDMT label. IIRC, at first ECS introduced CMNT, GLAS, and BRCK (cement, glass, bricks; all "building materials"), then FIRS introduced BDMT, a superset to those cargoes, and ECS - in an attempt to follow suit - dropped CMNT (and BRCK) in favour of BDMT (retaining GLAS, for whatever reason).
Now, FIRS again introduces CMNT, but with no universal structure, since in one of its economies ("steeltown") "cement" (CMNT) is used as a real cargo, but in other economies ("in a hot country", "extreme") "cement plants" are producing "building materials" (BDMT), which (from a vehicle set´s POV) would be indeed "cement" (what else would be produced by a cement plant? I.e., a sub-cargo to BDMT; [also in ECS as of 2010]).
Needless to say, that FIRS specifies
"building materials" as "Cement, glass, metal components, wood products, pipes and similar construction materials", but only the first one now with a competing extra label.
There are more such inconsistencies in FIRS (and in ECS), making it hard for a vehicle set author to apply specific cargo graphics, without introducing overhead, e.g. in testing for the current "economy".
IMO, a useful attempt would be to decouple ("private") cargo names / cargo descriptions from their ("global") labels whenever possible. E.g., FIRS didn´t need to introduce a new label METL (instead of TTD´s STEL) in the first place, and then could have been used STEL for every metal, e.g. for "nickel" (NICK in "arctic basic"), and "copper" (COPR in "tropic basic").
O/c, there might be a need for new labels in economies with many similar cargoes, but in economies where there are no colliding cargo labels, introduction of redundant labels complicates things for vehicle set authors needlessly.
Another meaningful approach would be to use "sub-cargoes" where applicable, but I presume, you´re not a fan of it? E.g., "pulpwood" could simply be a sub-cargo for "wood products" WDPR, and "cement" could be a sub-cargo for BDMT (in fact I did it this way for ECS).
In fact, many ECS and FIRS cargo labels stand for a rather generic set of cargoes (BDMT, ENSP, FMSP, MNSP, RFPR, VEHI, etc) in terms of associated cargo graphics, and thus has to be handled "specially" by vehicle sets. E.g., for FMSP I´m providing three different car types (box car, gondola, flat car) for different cargoes associated to FMSP (packaged, bulk, vehicles).
FMSP.png [ 9.35 KiB | Viewed 1870 times ]
OTOH, there are a lot of very specific cargoes (BEAN, BRCK, CASS, EOIL, GLAS, NUTS, PIPE, PULP, QLME, SASH, SLAG, ..,) not to mention a dozen sort of ores, and a number of colliding or questionable cargoes/labels like CERA, GRVL/LIME, STEL/METL/COPR, NITR/PHOS, PLAS, SGBT/SGCN, TOUR, ... but this might well need discussion in a thread of its own.
Problem is that for even more industry sets to come (?), the number of cargoes/labels will easily increase to a level which won´t be handled anymore by those vehicle sets which try to represent cargo loads graphically as best as possible. With the ironic outcome of limiting graphical representation with ever more distinct cargo types available.