Color of height level

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Palalet
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Color of height level

Post by Palalet »

Yesterday we discussed a "nice to have feature". I'd like to have some kind of "switch" somewhere to show me same height levels on the map with one color. And another level with different color. So you can tell quickly, what is the height in one area of the map and in another, without counting the ups and downs :)
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LaRoso
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Re: Color of height level

Post by LaRoso »

Palalet wrote: 22 Nov 2021 15:14 without counting the ups and downs :)
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.
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measure tool.jpg
measure tool.jpg (116.8 KiB) Viewed 324 times
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Taschi
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Re: Color of height level

Post by Taschi »

LaRoso wrote: 22 Nov 2021 16:53 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.
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).
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McZapkie
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Re: Color of height level

Post by McZapkie »

Colors other than dim green should not be used if height is enabled in industry minimap mode. It would be completely unclear.
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Re: Color of height level

Post by Eddi »

once upon a time there was a tile highlighting patch (like the catchment area overlay when placing a station), that could overlay the main viewport with various data points.
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odisseus
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Re: Color of height level

Post by odisseus »

Taschi wrote: 22 Nov 2021 19:19 The "use case" of this feature seems to be mostly concerned about being able to distinguish altitude levels which are very close together
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.
Attachments
Minimap can show height contours
Minimap can show height contours
Unnamed, Feb 7th, 1950-fs8.png (23.28 KiB) Viewed 270 times
Land area information shows absolute height
Land area information shows absolute height
Unnamed, Jan 17th, 1950-fs8.png (37.8 KiB) Viewed 270 times
Drag the Autorail tool to see the height difference between two tiles
Drag the Autorail tool to see the height difference between two tiles
Unnamed, Jan 26th, 1950-fs8.png (36.38 KiB) Viewed 270 times
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Taschi
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Re: Color of height level

Post by Taschi »

odisseus wrote: 22 Nov 2021 21:23 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.
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.
As for the original poster's request, the game already has all the tools needed.
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.

None of that is a huge concern to me personally but I do feel like OP's request has its merits.
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Palalet
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Re: Color of height level

Post by Palalet »

Exactly, thanks for understanding :) It's just an idea, maybe for some mod, not game feature, but would be nice so I do not have to use (?) and check every single tile ... I try to avoid slopes as much as possible, simply select one height and have all tiles with the same height colored (or just a border or something), with various colors, that would be cool (for me at least :D).
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Taschi
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Re: Color of height level

Post by Taschi »

Palalet wrote: 23 Nov 2021 09:42 It's just an idea, maybe for some mod, not game feature
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.
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jfs
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Re: Color of height level

Post by jfs »

It's definitely not something that can be implemented as a mod, in the sense of a NewGRF, AI, Game Script, or admin port thing. But it would be an entirely client-side thing, so it could technically be implemented in an alternate client that would be compatible with the main version, similar to what CityMania does.
LaChupacabra
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Re: Color of height level

Post by LaChupacabra »

Palalet wrote: 23 Nov 2021 09:42 I try to avoid slopes as much as possible, simply select one height and have all tiles with the same height colored (or just a border or something), with various colors, that would be cool (for me at least :D).
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.
Taschi wrote: 23 Nov 2021 12:29
Palalet wrote: 23 Nov 2021 09:42 It's just an idea, maybe for some mod, not game feature
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.
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? :D 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)
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Confusing height markings 2.png
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Taschi
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Re: Color of height level

Post by Taschi »

LaChupacabra wrote: 23 Nov 2021 15:10 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).
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.
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jfs
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Re: Color of height level

Post by jfs »

I think the most realistic "height level helper" would be some kind of grade outlines. For example, outlining all terrain on the same level as the one you're pointing at, to see where on the other side of a hill or valley you hit the same level.
LaChupacabra
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Re: Color of height level

Post by LaChupacabra »

jfs wrote: 23 Nov 2021 17:57 I think the most realistic "height level helper" would be some kind of grade outlines. For example, outlining all terrain on the same level as the one you're pointing at, to see where on the other side of a hill or valley you hit the same level.
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. :D

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Landscape shading.png
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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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