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Train Fever
Gwinda Jan 5, 2013 @ 9:14am
How much Transport Tycoon / OpenTTD is there?
I guess that you guys already have it all figured out but I think the Steam community can contribute with what they wants to see more of, compared to the originals.

- For myself, I really like the track signals and would love to see a more complex system.

- The reloading function could be more complex, for example having specialized loco to "sort" the wagons on content for later pickup and distribution.

- Bridges only limited speed in the past, why not also implement a maximum weight as well to add more complexity to the train routing (a full loaded train can't pass the bridge and has to take an alternative route).

This was just some of the thoughts on top of my head.
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bencze Jan 5, 2013 @ 11:48am 
I couldn't bring myself to play OpenTTD but I played TT a long, long time ago in the 90s. While preparing terrain especially in city owned areas was a pain, I also hate the approach in Railroads where you just drop your tracks anywhere in middle of city automatically demolishing half of it without any problem. Something inbetween, a bit more realistic would be nice, too!
Urban Games  [developer] Jan 6, 2013 @ 8:25am 
@Gwinda: Thanks for starting this discussion. Yes, the Steam community can greatly contribute! I'm sure there are a lot of experienced Transport Tycoon / OpenTTD players around. TT was an all time classic!

- A good track signal system is a huge challenge. On the one hand, it must be simple and intuitive to setup. On the other hand, an advanced and more complex configuration must be possible to overcome the typical routing problems which we can observe in TT for instance. Our current implementation is basically the state of TT, but it's sure that we are going to improve this.

- The relative difference between the weight of an empty and a fully loaded passenger train is rather small. Also, the behavior you propose would make routing more complex. Note that one main difference between tracks in our game and in TT is that tracks limit the maximal speed depending on the year of construction and depending on the curvature. This model is very close to reality. Usually the tracks not the vehicles limit the speed.

Also thanks for investing and offering your help. Our main focus now is really the crowd funding campaign, because if we won't make it, there will be no Train Fever. However, we would love if you can act as a beta tester at later point in time.

@bencze

We know what you are speaking of. In Railroads, the terrain has very little influence and can easily be modified. In TT, the terrain is very important and it's difficult to modify. By far, the latter is more realistic.

Our game uses an approach in between, as you suggest. When constructing tracks for instance, the terrain is automatically adapted, but the costs are proportional to the cut/fill volume. Large modifications are extremely expensive. This works great in practice.



Gwinda Jan 7, 2013 @ 2:03pm 
@Urban games regarding wight. Well for passenger trains this might be true, but a heavy load of coal or steel must be a lot more increase in weight. As a software developer I could imagine that the path finder just treats a bridge as a not available track (practically not seeing it) if the train weight is higher than the allowed max weight. This would automatically force it to use another route.

In gameplay terms this would introduce some interesting scenarios. Build a small bridge to let passenger and lighter gods train to pass while the slower and heavy trains would have to take anotehr route. This would free up the tracks and speed up passenger traffic.

But there might be other design complications that I'm not aware of, I'm sure you guys know what you are doing. :) I'm very excited about this project...
mettnik Jan 8, 2013 @ 2:39pm 
I agree with Gwinda here. One thing I do not like about (Open)TTD is the abstraction of the whole shunting process. While (Open)TTD allows rather complex track layouts, there is no need for marshalling yards or vast maintenance facilities. These elements could add realism and the need for strategic layout planning, esp. in urban areas. If you plan to integrate goods trains too, a different train concept could make sense: Do not assign a fixed consist to a train route, but instead order a railway depot to run a train with the available rolling stock. I'm thinking of two concepts here: The way RRT3 allowed you to randomly build new consists at a station (with a "station master" creating the most profitable ones), and a mod for OpenTTD which adds freight/passenger destinations. Why not go ahead and let stations have a variety of goods with specific destinations available for transport, so you must assign the rolling stock to your depot nearby?

Anyway, I really like what you guys have accomplished so far, especially the graphics and the independence from rectangles :) I'm really looking forward to play Train Fever someday. Keep up the good work!
Urban Games  [developer] Jan 9, 2013 @ 11:43am 
@Gwinda: I understand your pathfinder explanation. However, this means that each time a train leaves a station, the path has to be recomputed, because the weight is not constant. This is what I meant when I said routing gets more complex.

@mettnik: The main focus of Train Fever is public transport. But we consider including mail and food, at least. For more details, see: the-scope-of-this-project [gambitious.com]

Thanks for the input regarding shunting. I agree that this is heavily abstracted in (Open)TTD. However, I do not really understand your proposition. Can you please explain your idea in more detail?
Last edited by Urban Games; Jan 9, 2013 @ 11:45am
Gwinda Jan 9, 2013 @ 5:11pm 
I have read your scope of the project and have to edmit that I'm a little more interested in building a railroad system in such a way that signals will make sure that no train collides ( @Mettnink, is that what you refere to as shunting?). As I said before, I'm really into the signal part and to make sure that the cargo gets to its destination. For me it is more of a secondary thing what my trains are loaded with as long there is a challenge to move them around :) But I can also see the challenge to connect people and influence how the cities grow.

Are you planning to let the community create mods? Like OpenTTD, if someone wants more cargo, he could always script his own cargo types. Games that allowes the communito to contribute have a tendency to evolve to something really good.
optimus Jan 12, 2013 @ 8:53pm 
Train games always attract the 'hardcore' train buffs. The more realism you can add the happier us rail nerds will be! Please don't shy away from weight, gradients and track angles having an effect on rail travel. OpenTTD has this now and that's the game that sets the benchmark you have to beat. :)

Without the realism it'll be much like CiM with cargo... And that's a bit light-on in terms of depth.
mettnik Jan 13, 2013 @ 3:17am 
@Gwinda: No, shunting is the process of (re-)assembling trains, e.g. at marshalling yards, or reversing them at terminals - this often requires complex track layouts, engine sheds and turntables (for about the larger part of the history of railways so far). Signalling is another vital part, and only the first Railroad Tycoon and OpenTTD have really brought it to computer games in a satisfying way so far IMHO.

@Urban Games: Basically, I was thinking of the approach described here:
http://wiki.openttd.org/Passenger_and_cargo_distribution.

And about the RRT3 example: RRT3 allowed you to assign a train to a fixed number of stops where you could let a "station master" automatically determine the most profitable carloads to be sent to the next stop, regardless of the cargo type. So the consist is set up accordingly, even if it means that nothing will be on the train if there is no profit to be made.

So, merging these two concepts and the shunting/depot operation could look like this:

- Create a passenger train route (maybe categorized like local, through or express).
- A schedule defines the frequency (like every two hours, every 30 minutes).
- Depot orders include the engine and cars needed.
- Rolling stock is expensive to buy and maintain, so you have only very limited resources.
- The train is assembled and shunted into the first station, starting its journey
- Only passengers with a destination served by this train (including connecting trains) board it
- Passengers have a limited acceptance of delays, and delays result in reduced profit
- After arriving at the terminal, the train is reversed by coupling a locomotive to the rear end
- The train will operate on its route until a defined maintenance assignment or a breakdown

This leads to three design tasks for the player:

- Layout design: Create a network of track that allows for smooth operation of both trains and the shunting process in order to maintain the schedule.
- Schedule design: Create schedules that will generate profit and allow efficient rail travel.
- Have an infrastructure that is able to deal with breakdowns, but doesn't consume all your income.

In short: We all know the cheerful sentiment that arises when a morning commuter train arrives 17 minutes late with three cars instead of the usual seven. Prove that you are able to do better :)












Dekagon Jan 13, 2013 @ 6:43am 
@mettnik: I really like this level of complexity. The system with the schedules would open up new and interesting possibilities.

For example, if you have trains going both directions on two parallel tracks and you have a bottleneck (bridge) with only one track in between, you could use the schedules to let the trains drive over the bridge at different times so they never have to wait. This way you could reduce the rail network to a minimum by using resourceful timing.
I would also like to build some sidings. It always bothered me in other games that trains and cars just disappeared in depots and just turned around magically on one rail.
Urban Games  [developer] Jan 13, 2013 @ 8:01am 
Thanks mettnik for the detailed explanation! Makes perfect sense. I believe as a player I would love to design a track layout in order to optimize shunting. It would also be fun to watch the shunting process in action.

We seriously consider implementing a concept as you have suggested. Main challenges may be that (1) dummy users should also be able to construct and operate a train route and (2) I believe that the implementation of the shunting process is going to be rather difficult.
Flyin Fish Jan 13, 2013 @ 10:34pm 
True, realistic shunting could be a problem due to the complicated path-finding that would be required. I would like to see trains running on a time-table, or even having them run on set conditions (i.e. when a required amount of cargo is met).
Even if realistic shunting is impossible, I would like to still be able to have rolling stock that could be shared among the trains (moved from one consist to another) via the timetables, rather then just having them permanently coupled to a train. This can allow you to run with less rolling stock and less engines.
Please let me know what you think (or if i need to explain myself better).
Gwinda Jan 14, 2013 @ 12:03pm 
Are you implementing the possibilities to use trucks, boats and airplains too? When it comes to busses I got a bit frustrated in OpenTTD when you have several busses running the same route but not able to spread out evenly between the busstops. Well in real life the timetable must be kept, but if there is a problem, even in real life, they try to spread out and catch up. In OpenTTD you could end upp with 3 busses in a row where the 2 last busses always where empty.

Okay, now I know what shunting means in English ;) Yest that was what I ment in my first post.
Flyin Fish Jan 14, 2013 @ 5:30pm 
@Gwinda
The demo video on their website does show the use of buses, it also shows them using the same routing method as the trains (tho it did not go indepth as to what you can do with this system, so I don’t know about timetabling and controlling bus spread). It didn’t show any boats or plains.
Hopefully the developer will get back to us with more details soon.
It doesn’t look like the things mentioned in this thread was planned for the game, but it sounds like they’re considering it.
I’m really hoping for some good moding capabilities in this game, so the community can go nuts like with OpenTTD
Last edited by Flyin Fish; Jan 14, 2013 @ 5:36pm
Urban Games  [developer] Jan 18, 2013 @ 11:58am 
@Flyin Fish: If vehicles are too close together, they automatically wait at stations in order to reach an optimal distribution. This is already implemented and works very well in practice. Timetables are not yet implemented. Regarding the flexible rolling stock, I understand what you mean.. but I don't really see a scenario where this brings an advantage (assuming that the amount of cargo/passengers is more or less constant over time). Can you explain in more detail?

@Gwinda: Available modes of transport are buses, trams and trains. However, there is still a chance that boats or airplaines make it into the inital release. If not, we may develop an expansion pack adding these modes of transport.


Flyin Fish Jan 18, 2013 @ 3:05pm 
@Urban Games
I suppose it is redundent, with the limited number of different cargo you have planed at the moment.
If you had a larger range of freight to move, i was thinking you could have one locomotive move one type of freight and then switch to another (and then back again).
Thanks for the feedback.
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