Aircraft, Airports & Pathfinders Reimagined

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Aircraft, Airports & Pathfinders Reimagined

Post by Leanden » 21 Mar 2016 11:26

Hi All,

I was having a little discussion with Quast65 and Kamnet about the best way to change the way that Aircraft/Airports are handled in order to make NewGRF Airports more viable.

My idea, (which i am going to attempt to code as a branch, so wish me luck), is to completely reimagine the way that Aircraft are handled so they behave more like Trains in game.

Airports would be broken down into several components:

Gates (Single Tile Stations)
Taxiway (Placeable "Track")
Runway (A special tile series to transition from ground to air)
Hangar (Aircraft Depot)

The Taxiway will be flexible like railway placement, and will use Path Based Signalling by default, with each station being treated as having a Path Signal facing inwards. The aircraft will then reserve a path to their destination, e.g. a Gate, Runway, Hanger or Holding Area (marked with a further "Path Signal".

What are peoples thoughts on this?

I have included a demonstration mockup of how the standard airports would be composed below:
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Re: Aircraft, Airports & Pathfinders Reimagined

Post by Leanden » 21 Mar 2016 11:34

Part 2. Physics, Runway Length and Takeoff.

A further addition to this later is a Physics model similar to that which has been implemented for RV and Trains (optional of course) which will consist of 3 main components.

1) A Take-Off Velocity that the Plane must reach to transition into Flight (Scaling with Plane Speed Factor)
2) An acceleration based on the weight and power of the plane, (including the load and potentially fuel to reach destination)
3) The length of runway required to reach that speed with linear acceleration.

As this will be calculation based rather than simulation based, the aircraft will know before taking off and before landing whether the runway will accomodate that plane.

You should be unable to issue an order to fly to an unsuitable airport and if the runway is shortened midflight the plane will treat the order as if the airport had been destroyed.
Last edited by Leanden on 23 Mar 2016 19:40, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Aircraft, Airports & Pathfinders Reimagined

Post by Quast65 » 21 Mar 2016 14:58

Like I said before in your screenshot-thread, I think this is a great idea and I hope you can get this to work!

Feel free to use my work on the Fake-airport-objects for eyecandy or as inspiration for graphics (its GPL-licensed).

EDIT: dont forget to place a link in your screenshot thread to this discussion, couldnt find it at first ;-)
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Re: Aircraft, Airports & Pathfinders Reimagined

Post by LabUser » 21 Mar 2016 15:24

This would be absolutely brilliant, I love the concept! I won't be any use on the coding front, but I'll wave the pom-poms and be a guinea pig any time :D

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Re: Aircraft, Airports & Pathfinders Reimagined

Post by Leanden » 21 Mar 2016 16:03

Im considering an acceleration model based on power and weight where planes must reach a certain velocity before take-off and therefore larger planes would require longer runways, although whether this would provide too much of a challenge for the player is really a question. And if a plane fails to take off whether the penalty of losing your plane becomes a negative point against gameplay.
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Re: Aircraft, Airports & Pathfinders Reimagined

Post by Leanden » 21 Mar 2016 16:27

Quast65 wrote:Like I said before in your screenshot-thread, I think this is a great idea and I hope you can get this to work!

Feel free to use my work on the Fake-airport-objects for eyecandy or as inspiration for graphics (its GPL-licensed).

EDIT: dont forget to place a link in your screenshot thread to this discussion, couldnt find it at first ;-)
Thanks Quast, as you know i ise your fake airport grf, but i feel there is one tile type missing: Half a T-Junction so you can go straight or left/right. Not sure if im being clear.
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Re: Aircraft, Airports & Pathfinders Reimagined

Post by Quast65 » 21 Mar 2016 16:46

Not really sure what you mean...
The Taxiways have T-junctions, the runways dont.
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Re: Aircraft, Airports & Pathfinders Reimagined

Post by ISA » 21 Mar 2016 18:32

Leanden wrote:Im considering an acceleration model based on power and weight where planes must reach a certain velocity before take-off and therefore larger planes would require longer runways, although whether this would provide too much of a challenge for the player is really a question. And if a plane fails to take off whether the penalty of losing your plane becomes a negative point against gameplay.
What a nice idea in overall...
One tought about one quote:
You don't have to crash plane. I would think that the plane wont leave from the gate or if it does it just cant lift off, runs end of the runway and turns back to gate or depot. Once that occurs You get a message of lost plane or negative income... Something like that I was thinking!

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Re: Aircraft, Airports & Pathfinders Reimagined

Post by leifbk » 21 Mar 2016 19:08

ISA wrote:
Leanden wrote:Im considering an acceleration model based on power and weight where planes must reach a certain velocity before take-off and therefore larger planes would require longer runways, although whether this would provide too much of a challenge for the player is really a question. And if a plane fails to take off whether the penalty of losing your plane becomes a negative point against gameplay.
What a nice idea in overall...
One tought about one quote:
You don't have to crash plane. I would think that the plane wont leave from the gate or if it does it just cant lift off, runs end of the runway and turns back to gate or depot. Once that occurs You get a message of lost plane or negative income... Something like that I was thinking!
I think it would be better to simply issue an error message if the player tries to deploy a heavier airplane than the airport can handle, just like the one you get when you try to send an articulated RV to a non-drivethrough station. In RL, that's what airport authorities are for :)

BTW, I too love the idea. It seems to make so much more sense than the current implementation of airports.

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Re: Aircraft, Airports & Pathfinders Reimagined

Post by Leanden » 21 Mar 2016 20:18

Quast65 wrote:Not really sure what you mean...
The Taxiways have T-junctions, the runways dont.

I meant with the taxiways, so a t-junction is /_\ so a tile which is just /_


Thanks ISA and Lei, an error message would make more sense :D

I think it would be nice to have runway length scale with plane speed factor, so a 1:1 plane speed factor would require a runway 4 times longer than the default 1:4 scale.
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Re: Aircraft, Airports & Pathfinders Reimagined

Post by Pilot » 22 Mar 2016 08:43

Maybe make it so that the Passenger (and fuel) loads play a factor, so a 777 with 40 people on board going 100 tiles could take off from a shorter runway than a 777 with 200 people on board going 500 tiles.

Also, how do you propose the aircraft changing from Aircraft to Rail Vehicles? I imagine it would require some rather inventive code?

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Re: Aircraft, Airports & Pathfinders Reimagined

Post by Leanden » 22 Mar 2016 10:40

Well my understanding of the code is that there is a state machine within the runway tiles that transitions from state machine movement and free flight. I intend to adapt that transition to the new aircraft handling on the ground. Once the plane has taken off the original aircraft handling code wil take over until the plane comes to land.
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Re: Aircraft, Airports & Pathfinders Reimagined

Post by Quast65 » 22 Mar 2016 11:20

I meant with the taxiways, so a t-junction is /_\ so a tile which is just /_
I think I just got what you mean :idea: You are talking about the middleline, right?
So, tiles like this?
FakeAirport021.png
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I was still thinking in Roads, but I have to think in Rails....
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Re: Aircraft, Airports & Pathfinders Reimagined

Post by Leanden » 22 Mar 2016 14:04

Quast65 wrote:
I meant with the taxiways, so a t-junction is /_\ so a tile which is just /_
I think I just got what you mean :idea: You are talking about the middleline, right?
So, tiles like this?
FakeAirport021.png
I was still thinking in Roads, but I have to think in Rails....
Bingo!
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Re: Aircraft, Airports & Pathfinders Reimagined

Post by Quast65 » 22 Mar 2016 14:36

Bingo!
:mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen:

Allright! In that case I would like to brainstorm, discuss and think about how graphics may/should look for the taxiways:

1. Graphics for the taxiways should be treated as a new railtype? So, for example, no nice rounded corners, but diagonals?

2. Also they should be narrower than I have drawn them in my object-set, so that there is room for signs next to them (and the signs can then be used as signals)?
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Re: Aircraft, Airports & Pathfinders Reimagined

Post by Eddi » 23 Mar 2016 16:46

Leanden wrote:Reserved.
you realize that this is completely useless, because only the first post of the thread can be edited after a few days?
You might not exactly be interested in Ferion, but if you are, have fun :)

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Re: Aircraft, Airports & Pathfinders Reimagined

Post by Leanden » 23 Mar 2016 19:29

Eddi wrote:
Leanden wrote:Reserved.
you realize that this is completely useless, because only the first post of the thread can be edited after a few days?
Not completely useless because i plan to use it before the timer runs out, but thanks for your constructive input to my idea.
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Re: Aircraft, Airports & Pathfinders Reimagined

Post by Leanden » 23 Mar 2016 19:33

Quast65 wrote:
Bingo!
:mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen:

Allright! In that case I would like to brainstorm, discuss and think about how graphics may/should look for the taxiways:

1. Graphics for the taxiways should be treated as a new railtype? So, for example, no nice rounded corners, but diagonals?

2. Also they should be narrower than I have drawn them in my object-set, so that there is room for signs next to them (and the signs can then be used as signals)?
I think they can still be rounded and the same width as the size of the aircraft is bigger than trains so they will need wider spacing. As for the signs being signals i think thats a perfect idea obviously adding them to the taxiway tile (only needed in / and \ views).

Also we need only replace Path signals and Path One-Way Signals as there will not be Block Signalling on Taxiways. You have 2-way and 1-way signs in the set iirc.
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Re: Aircraft, Airports & Pathfinders Reimagined

Post by Transportman » 23 Mar 2016 20:54

Looks very interesting. Do you also have a mock-up/idea on how players can build the airports in the new system?
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Re: Aircraft, Airports & Pathfinders Reimagined

Post by Leanden » 24 Mar 2016 07:23

Ill get something drawn up :)

Obviously there will be 2 types of gate, helipad/plane gates, but would it be worth having a third for cargo planes in the default patch?
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