Graphics sets confusing

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Graphics sets confusing

Post by paprik123 »

Hi Guys,

I am very confused about art packages. I downloaded all of them...but I cant see them before I start any new game, which isnt such a problem, but most of those packages are separate to specific parts.. trains, cities, trucks etc... and I dont know what set goes with other sets etc. So I am looking for suggestion for some hires cool looking set, I would like to try... now there is so many, and most of them are not full packages.
I started a new game and I had different looking houses and trains and land... weird.. and very ugly UI look. Thanks for any help!
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Re: Graphics sets confusing

Post by kamnet »

First, you may want to read up on just what NewGRFs are, how to activate and use them: http://wiki.openttd.org/NewGRF

Second, you will want to read the documentation that comes with them. Most currently updated NewGRFs available from the in-game content downloading system (BaNaNaS) will come with a "readme" file with information. You will also want to read the Graphics Release forum, where new files are announced and published. Sometimes the Graphics Development forum will also have additional information. To help organize this information, you may be able to access direct links to specific NewGRFs from either GRFCrawler or the OpenTTD NewGRF wiki.

NewGRFs aren't just mods or packs that you download and run. They are similar to patches which can greatly modify how OpenTTD operates. Some of them require nothing other than activating the file, while others require you to set specific parameters in order to achieve your desired result. Some of them are designed to work together or in complement each other to form a complete set that modifies much of the game (for example, Dutch Set or Canadian Set), but most of them are individual sets that address a specific feature or shortfall in the unmodified game. Most of the times, these files do not interfere with each other, but that typically is not guaranteed. Reading and understanding the NewGRFs you download is extremely important.
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Re: Graphics sets confusing

Post by FLHerne »

paprik123 wrote:...and very ugly UI look.
There aren't many grfs that alter the UI appearance that I know of:
- NewCC: Alters company colours, but changes the colours in the UI as a side-effect
- BigGUI: Makes the buttons in the UI larger, for small/high-res screens or touchscreens.

There's also zBase, which replaces all the default sprites, including the menus, with 32-bit ones (mostly rendered from 3D models) - but that's a baseset and not a NewGrf.
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Re: Graphics sets confusing

Post by FLHerne »

I had time to write a longer and more general reply 8) .

NewGRFs aren't necessarily just 'art packages'; they can do a lot beyond just visual stuff, and many don't even contain any art at all.
Depending on the grf, they can do all sorts of things:
  • Add vehicle types. (probably the most common).
    These often have more features than the default vehicles, for example:
    • Support for non-default cargo types
    • Speed limits for wagons, not just locomotives
    • Support for 'autorefitting' (refitting in stations).
    • Different graphics depending on date, or the type of wagons being pulled, etc.
    • Maximum ranges for aircraft.
    • Trams (the default vehicles don't include any).
    Most vehicle sets can be used together, but not that they might not be 'balanced' - the running costs and maximum speeds might make vehicles from one set always preferable. Many such sets disable the default vehicles.
    There's a slight variant:
    • Modify the existing vehicles directly, changing the stats or introduction dates.
    There aren't many of these, and they can be problematic when used with other grfs affecting the default vehicles.
  • Modify infrastructure.
    • Add new types of town buildings.
      Mostly just for aesthetics, but it's possible for such sets to control the rate of town growth.
      These can be used together, but sets trying to do 'clever stuff', e.g. TaI, won't be able to do that when used with others.
    • Add station types.
      These are mostly just artistic. Some display the amount and type of cargo waiting, which can be useful.
      All can be used together, I think.
    • Add new types of railway.
      This includes types of track with speed limits, or third-rail electrified tracks, or narrow gauge.
      Most such grfs remove the default game's Monorail and Maglev tracks.
      These can be used together to some extent, but there's a quite restrictive limit on the number of different track types that can be defined. If you use a combination of sets that between them define >16 types of track, it won't work properly.
    • Change the appearance of roads.
      No gameplay effect; some sets might display different road graphics depending on date.
      These can't be used together. Also, they don't alter the road surface on bridges.
      A variation on this are tramtrack grfs, these change the appearance of tramways.*
    • Change the bridge types.
      These replace the default bridge types, and can have slightly more types of bridges than normal.
      They can't be used together. Also, the road surface on the bridges doesn't change to match roadsets; some bridge grfs have alternate versions to match various roadsets.
    • Replace airport and dock graphics; allow rotatable airports.
      For dock graphics, last one in the list wins. I don't know what happens with airports.
  • Modify industries and cargotypes
    GRFs can modify the properties of the default industries and cargos, or define additional or replacement ones.
    These often have different mechanics to the default ones, for example FIRS has a 'supply' mechanic, and ECS and TaI both have a 'stockpiling' system. Never use multiple industry grfs together unless they're specifically designed to work as a group.
  • Modify the landscape.
    • Change the appearance of landscape tiles.What it says on the tin, really. For obvious reasons, one such grf at a time.
    • Add NewObjects.
      Purely for looking at, they add buildable tiles under the Landscaping toolbar. Harbour walls, trees, wind turbines, flocks of seagulls...
      These can all be used together.
  • Modify basecosts.
    Change the price of terraforming, building, bribes...
    The effects of these are cumulative, IIRC
*Of course, you can't build tramways at all without a grf that defines some trams.

There are one-off (so far) grfs that do other stuff. Someone remind me if I forgot any significant categories, please.

Remember that a single grf can do any combination of these things - for example, several sets that add rail stations also replace dock and shipyard graphics, some townsets replace road and bridge graphics, there's one trainset (NARS) that actually defines a cargotype and has been known to conflict with ECS industries. Most are reasonably self-contained, though.
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Re: Graphics sets confusing

Post by paprik123 »

Guys... I have to laugh, this is so much info that makes me even more confused :x I better watch some video tutorials where somebody shows me what packages he choosed and how it looks in the game. Reading lots of documents doesnt really help, it might be good for developers and not for users, who just wants to put new art package in. In the beginning it looked like simple select and apply, but now its like... insane :))

Maybe I should ask different way... guys, what art packages do you use? I will put them into the newgrf settings, apply and see if its cool :)) thanks
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Re: Graphics sets confusing

Post by planetmaker »

If you need examples, have a look e.g. at the #openttdcoop PublicServer savegame archive or here in this forum in the savegame and screenshot board.
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Re: Graphics sets confusing

Post by oberhümer »

Yet another case for downloadable NewGRF presets? Seriously now, everyone I've recently shown OpenTTD has been just as confused about what to download and how to combine everything, not counting other "download what?" threads and the people that don't even bother.
--- Licenses: GNU LGPL, version 2 or newer, code and graphics. CC-By-SA, graphics, alternatively. If you're using any, I'd like to hear about it --- Call them "track types" ---
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Re: Graphics sets confusing

Post by FLHerne »

paprik123 wrote:Guys... I have to laugh, this is so much info that makes me even more confused :x
Whoops, sorry :?
paprik123 wrote:I better watch some video tutorials where somebody shows me what packages he choosed and how it looks in the game
Dunno about videos, but the Screenshots subforum has pictures of people's games*, and most threads have a list of the grfs used**.

*Absolutely not a blatant plug for my own thread... :wink:
**If not, it's possible to use OSIE to extract a list of used grfs directly from the screenshot. But only on Linux. [corrected by oberhumer]

My own list looks like so:
NewGrfs.png
NewGrfs.png (13.54 KiB) Viewed 6110 times
Notes:
- Total Town Replacement Set is configured not to use its own roads and bridges, as that would conflict with the UK Roadset and Total Bridge Replacement respectively.
- Total Bridge Replacement is a custom version using Quast65's sprites to match UK Roads.
- CHIPS-style NewObjects exists only on this computer at present.

The combined effect is for a reasonably playable UK-style game from 1830 to the present.

EDIT:Corrected in accordance with oberhumer's entirely accurate correction below.
Last edited by FLHerne on 15 Mar 2013 00:56, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Graphics sets confusing

Post by oberhümer »

FLHerne wrote:use OSIE to extract a list of used grfs directly from the screenshot. But only on Linux.
Er, not? It just duplicates exiftool anyway.
--- Licenses: GNU LGPL, version 2 or newer, code and graphics. CC-By-SA, graphics, alternatively. If you're using any, I'd like to hear about it --- Call them "track types" ---
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Re: Graphics sets confusing

Post by Supercheese »

Having nice categorical separators in one's grf list can be helpful (see link in signature). It makes the grf list look like as attached. (Note that I use a modified version of OTTD that lets you load more grfs at once, 'vanilla' OTTD won't let you load quite this many).
Attachments
Pi day grf list.png
(24.52 KiB) Downloaded 5 times
Eyecandy Road Vehicles | Fake Subways | Supercheese's NewObjects

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Re: Graphics sets confusing

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paprik123 wrote:Guys... I have to laugh, this is so much info that makes me even more confused :x I better watch some video tutorials where somebody shows me what packages he choosed and how it looks in the game. Reading lots of documents doesnt really help, it might be good for developers and not for users, who just wants to put new art package in. In the beginning it looked like simple select and apply, but now its like... insane :))

Maybe I should ask different way... guys, what art packages do you use? I will put them into the newgrf settings, apply and see if its cool :)) thanks
I spent three years, off-and-on, playing vanilla TTD/TTDPatch/OpenTTD before I even considered starting to download NewGRFs. It is FAR more important to understand the game play and limitations, IMO, than NewGRFs. Like FLHerne said, though, NewGRFs aren't just art packages, they can fundamentally alter the game's mechanics. Reading the documents WILL help you tremendously. If you read a document, and in the end don't understand what this NewGRF does, then it's probably not a good idea to jump right in and use it.

These days I typically play as a "sandbox" or "eyecandy" player, I do it more for the looks and building a virtual model railroad than I do to try to make a profit and beat the game or the AIs. The reason I do so is because I've spent the last few years carefully examining hundreds of NewGRFs and understanding their benefits and limitations. Of course, experimentation plays a lot into that, sometimes its not enough just to read the documentation. Through doing both, for example, I developed a preference for using the FIRS economy/industry instead of the stock industries or ECS Vectors economy/industry set. However, when I do choose to play with ECS Vectors, I'll also choose to add in the PikkaBird UKRS industries, since they're compatible with ECS Vectors. My choice in which economy set I run also greatly influences which train and vehicle sets I run. When I start my game also influences the vehicles as well as any building sets, NewObjects and roads I use.

Still, it is all quite confusing sometimes, even if you are experienced. It's part of the reason why I've recently started helping to expand the "List of NewGRFs" wiki page.
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Re: Graphics sets confusing

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What bothers me on this process is, that there is no full packages as one file. To upload and be known what files goes with is very confusing and jumble. Wouldnt be better if there was a full packages only? or separate slots at least? example: UK art package 1 by Steve Bloom, and this package would include all art needed for the whole game.
Searching trains, trucks, buildings, signs etc... its a long process and most of them doesnt have any previews. Or at least, preview screen when I click on it would help.

Thanks for the hall of fame link, it helped little bit. I like this art packages for TTD, can you help me to find them?

http://shinnok.com/rants/wp-content/upl ... penttd.png
http://www.lgdb.org/sites/default/files ... esized.jpg

http://imageshack.us/f/190/openttdbadbrettmodtown.jpg

http://24.media.tumblr.com/00be6c45021e ... 1_1280.jpg

Btw: another question - is there somebody making TTD for Ipad? I know that it could be a UI nightmare, but you know. Just asking.

Thx guys!
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Re: Graphics sets confusing

Post by Eddi »

paprik123 wrote:Btw: another question - is there somebody making TTD for Ipad? I know that it could be a UI nightmare, but you know. Just asking.
there were attempts to do that, but Apple does not allow GPL-software in their store, so everything kinda died.
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Re: Graphics sets confusing

Post by FLHerne »

paprik123 wrote:I like this art packages for TTD, can you help me to find them?
The skyscrapers in the first one look like a mixture of TTRS and (I think) Japan Set buildings. The bus on the bridge looks like Long Vehicles, the roads are also TTRS, I don't recognise the bridges.

The giant station in the second one is using various items from NewStations and the trains are DBSet, but I don't recognise the buildings.

Third one is an unfinished project by BadBrett, I don't believe he's released anything yet. Undoubtedly some of the coolest-looking atr for OTTD, though.

I think the industries in the last one are FIRS, the docks look a bit like ISR and that hydrofoil is definitely FISH, but I have no idea what the rest is. :oops:


Has anyone linked SwissFan's unofficial List of NewGrfs yet? It's the most complete one I've seen, and has nice links.
paprik123 wrote:Wouldnt be better if there was a full packages only? or separate slots at least? example: UK art package 1 by Steve Bloom, and this package would include all art needed for the whole game.
But then you'd need someone to find all grfs relevant to a particular theme (and keep track of new ones), decide which ones were 'good enough', get permission to collate and redistribute them (not easy, there are still plenty of grfs whose creators won't even put them on BaNaNaS, let alone have them repackaged), then update that set every time any of the included grfs got updated. It's just not really practical.
There are a couple of exceptions - the Dutch and Japan Sets have succeeded in keeping a unified identity as groups of related grfs, as has OpenGFX+, but those are still distributed as individual grfs.
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Re: Graphics sets confusing

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So, if somebody would like to make TTD for Ipad, he has to start from scratch...make everything by himself. I think that doesnt have to be a problem. Hell would be so much tapping :))

Ok, I will check the names you have noticed if the art is in the list and hopefully... its gonna work somehow :)
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Re: Graphics sets confusing

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paprik123 wrote:Wouldnt be better if there was a full packages only? or separate slots at least? example: UK art package 1 by Steve Bloom, and this package would include all art needed for the whole game.
Besides the update and redistribution nightmare, it also assumes a certain style of playing (for example a 'Simulate UK' game).
If you like the Japanese buildings, German trains, and swedisch rail set you are in big trouble in that case.

Also, where would you keep the generic NewGRFs?

By having everything separately, everybody can mix newgrfs in the way he/she likes best.
The biggest downside of this solution is that you have to play much OpenTTD to find out what you like, but I am not sure that is a bad thing ;)


Another option would be to list 'useful' combinations in a wiki page (eg with a short description of what the combination aims to achieve).
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Re: Graphics sets confusing

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Thats the problem for me.. but it may be good thing for some other people... but let say, If I wanna get UK style, me personally wont use any other countries just, UK. Thats why I mentioned the packages (UK, US, Japan etc) There can be option for mixing another styles, but I think... doesnt make sense.
Every person starts own game with own settings on own computer... and if they play multiplayer, the settings you have on your own computer should appear in there. Example: Peter has UK style, Bob has Japan style... If we are talking about items in store. The background stay as the host created.

Let say: now I am looking for western style, I would go to "full package" slot, and choose Western pack 1 (example).
I also noticed that most of the people who are creating new art... focus only on one or two subjects.
They bassicaly never creates whole package, and UI is the weakest as usually. Because making house is the easiest, vehicles are little bit harder and UI is hardest to make.
Wouldnt be better If 5 artists make a group and created one whole package together? Some small packages has been done already, they could combine them...if they talk to each other and set some bundle.

Some artists gave up, because they got bored or it takes so much time....why dont help them and make it faster and better. I could see lots of artists here.
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Re: Graphics sets confusing

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paprik123 wrote:What bothers me on this process is, that there is no full packages as one file. To upload and be known what files goes with is very confusing and jumble. Wouldnt be better if there was a full packages only?
Recent versions of OpenTTD allow NewGRF developers to link files together as dependencies. If one of such linked files are selected, the others are automatically selected as well. As was pointed out, though, in many cases players prefer the option of downloading certain parts individually. That said, though, I'm sure an aspiring NewGRF developer could create a "dummy" NewGRF file that links together several sets much as you suggested. Hm. That might be something I try myself.
paprik123 wrote:Thats the problem for me.. but it may be good thing for some other people... but let say, If I wanna get UK style, me personally wont use any other countries just, UK. Thats why I mentioned the packages (UK, US, Japan etc) There can be option for mixing another styles, but I think... doesnt make sense.
Every person starts own game with own settings on own computer... and if they play multiplayer, the settings you have on your own computer should appear in there. Example: Peter has UK style, Bob has Japan style... If we are talking about items in store. The background stay as the host created.
In multiplayer, everybody must be playign the EXACT same files and same versions of those files, in order for everything to be properly synchronized. This is an example that demonstrates that NewGRFs aren't just pretty pictures, but files that fundamentally alter and affect how the game is played.
paprik123 wrote: I also noticed that most of the people who are creating new art... focus only on one or two subjects. They bassicaly never creates whole package, and UI is the weakest as usually. Wouldnt be better If 5 artists make a group and created one whole package together? Some small packages has been done already, they could combine them...if they talk to each other and set some bundle. Some artists gave up, because they got bored or it takes so much time....why dont help them and make it faster and better. I could see lots of artists here.
There's a good adage that would apply here, "Sometimes, too many cooks ruin the stew." Many people only work on one or two subjects because that's all they care about. They also don't want to get entangled in a project and feel like somebody else is bossing them around. Too many projects here have started with a group of people with a common goal and have died because they end up not getting along or simply cannot work in a group setting.

There are still some projects which are moving forward smoothly. Most notable as of late would be the Dutch Set, 2CC Trains of the World, World Airliners Set and NuTracks. Granted Dutch Set is the only one that is focusing on more than just one subject, but all of them are good team collaborations.

paprik123 wrote:So, if somebody would like to make TTD for Ipad, he has to start from scratch...make everything by himself.
Effectively, OpenTTD would have to be re-written from scratch with EVERY person involved agreeing to have their code distributed under a closed-source license that satisfies Apple for them to manipulate as they see fee. There would most likely be very few people interested in doing this. This is not a problem for the Android app market, and specifically the Google Play store. Pelaya has released an Android version of OpenTTD, although much work needs to be done to optimize the UI for usage on the tablet or small smartphone display.
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Re: Graphics sets confusing

Post by paprik123 »

Kamnet: Thanks for these great answers!
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Re: Graphics sets confusing

Post by keoz »

paprik123 wrote:What bothers me on this process is, that there is no full packages as one file.
[...]
There can be option for mixing another styles, but I think... doesnt make sense.
It doesn't make sense for you, but it makes sense for a lot of people (at least, it makes sense for me). Having separate GRFs for different aspects of a game is, I think, a great thing, not a problem. I would really not like having to use a big "mod" with all being changed at one shot, without having the possibility of tuning precisely the different graphical aspects. Anyway, a lot of GRF's can't be categorized as being part of a "style".

Anyway, the mistake you do is probably trying to build a complete GRF's set at one shot. As did Kamnet, I discovered NewGRFs only progressively. That's what I advice you to do. Browse the different NewGRFs sites/resources, try some, discover them, then search for new ones. Eventually, only add ONE NewGRF for each new game you start. You will see that it is nice to discover them one by one.
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