Moderator: OpenTTD Developers
There is a tool in the game with which you don't have to count by yourself (Height from sea level/height difference; See attached picture).
One problem I see with color-coding height levels is, when you have a maximum height of 255 on a map, you need 255 different colors and it will be very difficult to differentiate between very similar colors.
- measure tool.jpg (116.8 KiB) Viewed 331 times
This could be mitigated by not having the colors go from e. g. green to red in a linear fashion, but rather having them cycle. E. g.
height 0 -> green
height 1 -> yellow
height 2 -> red
height 3 -> purple
height 4 -> blue
height 5 -> turquoise
height 6 -> green
... and cycle from there.
The "use case" of this feature seems to be mostly concerned about being able to distinguish altitude levels which are very close together, and this way there would be significantly more visual clarity than right now. But it would most likely make the game look like unicorn puke.
Another idea could be to a) show a little popup next to the mouse cursor which shows the current altitude, and / or b) show a little bit of text showing the altitude of any piece of track on the screen (which is a feature in RCT 1/2 iirc).
Do you really need to distinguish close height levels in the first place? Unless your trains are extremely heavy, a difference of one or two levels has barely any effect on the train speed.
As for the original poster's request, the game already has all the tools needed.
- Minimap can show height contours
- Unnamed, Feb 7th, 1950-fs8.png (23.28 KiB) Viewed 277 times
- Land area information shows absolute height
- Unnamed, Jan 17th, 1950-fs8.png (37.8 KiB) Viewed 277 times
- Drag the Autorail tool to see the height difference between two tiles
- Unnamed, Jan 26th, 1950-fs8.png (36.38 KiB) Viewed 277 times
It's rare but especially when playing with early game starts it can make a difference - and sometimes I completely overlook a slope and then have to replan my route because I accidentally tried to build a diagonal track over it.
Sure and I was about to point to that, but none of them are exactly what OP wants. The height contours on the minimap are not precise to +/- one altitude step, the "Land Area Information" thing is not exactly the most user-friendly feature ever, and the tooltip while dragging rail works when building straight lines but it's not that great when trying to plan out a route that flanks a mountain because especially in that case you usually need some curves.As for the original poster's request, the game already has all the tools needed.
None of that is a huge concern to me personally but I do feel like OP's request has its merits.
I'm not an expert on NewGRF or the AI interface but I don't think this is something that can be done via modding.
I don't know, usually maps, unless they are flat, are so diverse that sticking to one height doesn't make sense. Everyone likes to play in their own way but I belive that this is a very limiting style of play, and I don't see much sense creating anything helpful in this regard.
I may be wrong, but I have such assumptions that all this need is due to the fact that you are just playing with the original model of train and vehicle accelerations, where the vehicles slow down very much on each driveway. If so, the easiest solution is to change this setting and choose a much nicer, realistic model.
It would be possible to create a new, abstract (more or less) landscape, where each level would have a different color - just like in the case of snow (5 different colors of levels). Unicorn World.grf? or Hypsometric landscape.grf. I think a map of the game could look really interesting where the valleys are green, the upper parts turn into yellow shades, and the mountains red with white peaks. It would probably require adding a function for newgrf.
Btw. These levels colors are also repetitive on the map now, and sometimes it's quite confusing. It very often happens that the lower level is marked with a lighter color. Perhaps it would be a good idea to use the full 32-bit color palette for maps? (It would also require adding contours for each height due to the slight differences in shades)
I was assuming this feature should be a map overlay, like the "Cargo Flow Legend", rather than something that is always switched on. Otherwise, like I said, the game would look like unicorn vomit.
Hmm ... It is possible to only use shading for landscape sprites? I don't think I need something like that, but it just occurred to me and I wanted to see it.
As an option (client?), All levels other than the current cursor position would be shaded when building.
It would probably look better if the adjacent slopes were left without shadow.
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