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My thoughts 9 years 5 months ago #1526

I've written the CB script (@ www.tt-forums.net/viewtopic.php?f=65&t=62868). That thing requires a nightly version currently, 1.3 might support it though.

Anywho, I've got some ideas with regards to the CB on these servers. First of all, the biggest problem is that it is too easy. What I mean is that getting optimal full-speed growth is trivial. Your company will easily grow faster in terms of cargo transported/month than your town's requirements will grow, especially in the early game, where towns take 100 days or up to plant a single house.

There are many ways to fix the issue. Here are but a few core ideas:

1: Make the optimal Rate-of-Return lower on players' assets. This can be achieved by increasing the prices of track, engines, wagons, etc. NewGRF provides support for this. A lightweight way of dealing with it involves using the BaseCosts newGRF.

2: Increase the growth speed of towns. Try very fast growth speed. Towns can't physically grow faster than one house every 2-3 days though.

3: Increase cargo requirements.

4: Instead of having the challenge be 'build speed' (which is pointless since it's trivial to max your town's growth speed), have the challenge be 'network capacity'. By greatly increasing the goal value, the cargo requirements will put a strain on networks that aren't well-designed. The game's length will be drastically increased though.

Beyond the main issue, there's some smaller things that are weird.

1: Disabling of control-click building is annoying. For example, if you want to transport stuff literally one tile, building a road-vehicle 'switch' is about ten times as much work. A road vehicle switch is a row of two alternating RV stations with unidirectional roads pointed towards them. RV's are trapped within that switch. They stop at each of the two stations every tile they travel and can then dropoff ~150 cargo per RV per month.

Not to mention that there's many legitimate configurations of stations and waypoints that cannot be built.

(1a: Although, you could try it with docks since ships can quantum-stockpile...)

1b: If you do enable control-click building, issues with station spread may become apparent. However, station spread is limited by max. station size setting. You can't really do evil game-breaking things as long as you load under the station sign.

2: Default RV prices are too expensive compared to trains. A two-tile train has equal capacity to 4 road vehicles, more speed, and less cost (with the right loco). Plus rails are cheaper than roads. RVs are dreadfully slow. I suggest EGRVTS or Basecost modding RV prices by 1/2 via NewGRF.

3: Default Lumber Mill cuts trees. This means manually planting trees. This is a chore, not gameplay. How about using either LL's lumber mill GRF (which disables cutting trees and increases cost by 20%), or using OpenGFX+ Industries GRF?
OpenGFX+ Industries allows you to choose the type of industries for each industry chain. You can e.g. have coal in desert. Or have forests of tropical trees instead of lumber mills. This fixes it nicely.

4: The game has no money sink. That is: there's no way to spend your money apart from building trains/tracks. This means if the goal is raised or the game's effective skill cap is raised, building fast is the main thing. This can be good or bad, depending. For now, I don't think this is a serious problem at all, it could be just what makes this unique.

5: Cities grow by transporting passengers to them. Depending on future development, making the game harder in some way, this may create a "Tragedy of the Commons" (see wiki article: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tragedy_of_the_commons
A company that uses a city's passengers for its own town gains more than one which grows a city. In fact, the latter can aid the former to its own detriment. As there is currently plenty of city on the map (and players are stupid and don't unload and leave empty in their own towns), there is no huge cause for concern. Later on though, you might want to change the growth req to transporting passengers from cities instead.

6: Very small towns may be ungrowable. They may not accept mail or passengers. There does not seem to be a clause for this.
  • Aphid
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Re: My thoughts 9 years 5 months ago #1527

Hi Aphid,

Thank you very much for your thoughts :-) it's obvious that you thought this through ALOT more than we did when we were developing this (in comparison to your gamescript: VERY simple) gamescript.

The things we were thinking of when we were developing this was: trying to make it workable without the use of ANY Newgrf, so that noobs, as they seem to be called, which don't know how to download a newgrf, could still play this.
Its allready a proven fact in the openttd multiplayer world that if you have newgrf's on your server that you get alot less players on your server than a server which doesn't have newgrf's. Now, i'm not saying that we can't make a server with newgrf's, but then i prefer to have 2 servers, 1 with the script we have running now and call it someting like: CityBuilder Easy and 1 with your script with newgrf's where we dig much deeper in the CityBuilder logic for the more advanced users :-)

I would LOVE to work together with you to create a kickass CityBuilder server with all the things you mention above and see how it rolls in the multiplayer world :-)

With the admin interface program we have running inthe background the possibilities of gamescript get expanded ALOT, maybe it's a nice idea to take a look at this together to when you "finished" your script?

Anyways, again, thanks for your thoughts, I will start with making a server with the latest nightly version to get things rolling and I hope you are able to participate in setting everythiing up together.

Speak to you on IRC :-)

Thanks

Frank
Server Admin

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Last edit: by Frank.

Re: My thoughts 9 years 5 months ago #1528

You didn't even follow the BTPro rules when I saw you play a CityBuilder game last time. Station spreading all over the place, completely oblivious to the rules in place.

And making it substantially harder could be fun and all, but it will lead to games never ending if there's no one competent in the server. This is already an issue as it stands as many games that don't have some of the decent regulars (Gelidis etc.) will simply run well into the 20-30+ year range because average players cannot push past the ~4k mark.

I'm by far a fan of games that are fairly quick (current 6k version is doable in 6-8 years). I personally don't want to be required to devote 2-3h+ to finish a single game of OpenTTD.

The current rule with only 1 industry per city makes lumber mills pretty much a complete non-issue as it takes too much effort to maintain separate lumber spots.

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