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Three Rivers Region

Started by dedgren, December 20, 2006, 07:57:49 PM

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dedgren

Like this, my friend?



I'm still testing, but the breakthrough as to the technical glitch appears to be durable across several pieces that were unusable prior to now.

More tomorrow.


David

1073564
D. Edgren

Please call me David...

Three Rivers Region- A collaborative development of the SC4 community
The 3RR Quick Finder [linkie]


I aten't dead.  —  R.I.P. Granny Weatherwax

Skype: davidredgren

M4346

Now that's cutting it close! :P

This is exciting stuff, and I'm very happy for the pioneering work doing and progress you're making with rail. I really love alternative modes of transport, as someone who doesn't drive (cars, that is. I do drive some people crazy. All in a day's work! :P).

I love rail the most (and use the Gautrain highspeed rail and bus network for the daily 100km commute to work and back) and this is also true in SC4. Which probably explains why I don't often fiddle with fancy freeways and interchanges in the game!  :D

So this breakthrough is great stuff indeed, and I'm very glad that you're keeping the light of rail transportation shining bright!  ;D

I look forward to seeing more!
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rooker1

#10902
Great to have you back David and working on the rail.  I have come to really love rail lines in my cities and the realism you have added over the last years.  This year should be a great year for us all!

Robin

EDIT:  Robin, I certainly hope so.  Life can get pretty challenging sometimes, but the friendships here can really mean a lot.  It's great to see you here on 3RR! -de
Call me Robin, please.

noahclem

#10903
Great to see exciting stuff around here again! I'll be very closely following the RAM stuff around here, as well as anything else that shows up  :thumbsup:

The railway scale issue is fascinating, although I almost wish it hadn't been brought up as I hadn't noticed the width scale issue before and now it is very likely to bother me  :'(  Personally, I'd like to see the issue considered further. Those properly scaled tracked looked great imho. Perhaps the best width would be slightly wider than than the correctly scaled ones. I suppose the smaller the change is the less the importance of the change but my two cents is that a pixel or two wider than the narrow ones could be about perfect. Of course re-scaling the entire rail network would be a massive project and would cause lot texture compatibility issues but I think it may be the best thing to do.

Hope you had a great New Years and happy Hobbiting  :thumbsup:

EDIT:  You can count on some other stuff showing up, my friend.  The last year hasn't been entirely wasted. The Happiest of New Years back to you. -de

catty

#10904
Quote from: dedgren on December 31, 2012, 11:11:04 PM
Back from Heather and my son Tristen taking gimpy old me to The Hobbit.  Saw it in 2-D and loved it (there's some sort of connection to my take on SC4 there, I'm pretty sure).  Everything that I've read that criticizes- the length of the dinner at Bag End, the overstated "character" makeup worn by the various dwarves, the inclusion of new material involving Radagast, Galadriel and Saruman- all those things worked just fine for me.  The high comedy point of the film came with the first scene showing the Great Goblin when Heather and I turned to each other and said at the same time "Ballchinian."  Bottom line- it'll be a long year ahead waiting for part two.

A little less than two hours 'til next year here.  Happy New Year, everyone.  I'm going to do my best to start 3RR off in 2013 with a bang.


David

1073207

It something I've been looking forward to all year, back in 2006 my work leased the offices of a disused car assembly factory (its next door to our work) to put us and a couple of the other departments, the owner of the building was grateful to get us as no-one wanted to rent a factory that covered several acres of land, that was till a couple of years ago when Peter Jackson started renting part of it to store the props from his various movies ... we have got used to seeing all sorts of things being moved about the yards and being amazed at some of the props like the battering ram from the Battle of Helm's Deep in the Two Towers ... our office building carries on over the yard road and joins up with the factory on the other side, they had to let the tyres down on the trucks that was carrying it to get it into the yards even then it was scraping the underside of the offices as it went thru.

He's then turned part of the factory into studio lots and started using it for filming as well so we have got used to seeing dwarfs, etc wondering around the place, it certainly makes for a much more interesting work place.

Cathy

EDIT:  I love it!  I think PJ will have some real treats in store for us in parts two and three of The Hobbit.  Heather, Tristen and I just watched the three extended edition edition LOTR movies over the past few weekends.  No movie can perfectly capture a beloved book, but Jackson has by and large really honored old JRR's legacy.  Heh!  Grond (the battering ram) might come in handy if you ever get locked out of the office. -de
I meant," said Ipslore bitterly, "what is there in this world that truly makes living worthwhile?" DEATH thought about it. "CATS," he said eventually, "CATS ARE NICE.

Swordmaster

Quote from: noahclem on January 02, 2013, 11:14:01 AMI suppose the smaller the change is the less the importance of the change but my two cents is that a pixel or two wider than the narrow ones could be about perfect. Of course re-scaling the entire rail network would be a massive project and would cause lot texture compatibility issues but I think it may be the best thing to do.

I would personally be in favor of a widening of the space between tracks, but leaving the gauge (space between rails) as it is. Of course, that means every single path has to be remade, but if there's substantial support for that, I'd be happy to work on it.

David, I'm happy to see you've apparently got over the TTR problems. How do you experience the automata behavior? Would love to hear your opinion on the above.


Cheers
Willy

Tarkus

#10906
Quote from: Swordmaster on January 02, 2013, 12:20:49 PM
Of course, that means every single path has to be remade, but if there's substantial support for that, I'd be happy to work on it.

As someone who has made a lot of path files the trickiest thing--or more accurately, the biggest bottleneck--in pathing is any sort of intersection/crossing where turning motions are involved.  Piecing the level crossings and any over/underpasses together would be a piece of cake and can be handled easily by batch processing methods.  I processed about 16,000 RHW over/underpass path files last week through such means.

With a Rail network, the bottleneck would be any sort of switches, and to some extent, curved pieces, especially with the radii involved for Rail.  The 9x9 DTR 90-degree wide-radius curve I worked on with David was probably the most difficult puzzle piece I've ever made, because of its sheer size.  But there's not that many of those sorts of pieces--overall, it's considerably less work than pathing a whole NWM network, where most of what you're pathing are intersections with turning paths and stop points.

Also, as far as the TTR pathing breakthrough, you really have Vince (Blue Lightning) to thank for it.  He had the initial hypothesis quite some time ago, which I simply tested thoroughly and proved.  It has to do with the Path ID values in the path files.

-Alex

dedgren

Well, I spent the day redoing a few of the TTR puzzle pieces to test out the solution to the track-jumping problem Alex alluded to.  It turned out that the fix that he and I had discussed didn't work for every piece, but I had a Plan B that had shown some promise, and a combination of the two seems to lay the issue to rest.  Once again a collaborative effort carries the day!

It'll take me about a week to retrofit adjusted pathing onto the pieces I had already completed.  Willy (Swordmaster), our discussion of "perfecting" rail textures will resume in a bit.  I like the greater distance between the tracks as well and, with the vastly enhanced capabilities of the graphics tools I now use, am not daunted by redoing a couple of hundred texture squares.  Noah's proposed additional improvements are really no more ambitious, as anything that changes the geometry of SC4 trackage requires more or less the whole package in any event.  So it will be a conversation that anyone with an interest is free to join.  If you (as in all of you out there) create a rail texture you like, feel free to upload it here onto 3RR for all to see.

So, less than two weeks until SC4's 10th anniversary.  There may (hint, hint) be a thing or two we do here in connection with that- we'll see.


David

1074071
D. Edgren

Please call me David...

Three Rivers Region- A collaborative development of the SC4 community
The 3RR Quick Finder [linkie]


I aten't dead.  —  R.I.P. Granny Weatherwax

Skype: davidredgren

metarvo

#10908
He's back!  Let's get back in gear here!

:)

Nice work on the TTR front, David (and Alex and Vince as well).  No one seems to have caught this yet, but would that happen to be TTFARR or perhaps a TTR wide curve?  As far as the scaling goes, SC4 scaling in general is one of those things that might keep me up at night if I let it.  With that being said, I've learned to live with the Maxis scale's many shortcomings.



I'm afraid that this is the territory we're going into though if we start playing with the scale.  If the rails are out of scale, what about the roads (and streets, OWR, RHW, TLA, etc.)?  Of course, if the rails are made narrower, then the trains might not fit on the tracks anymore.  Note that the automata in the game has also been considered out of scale.  So, a whole multitude of new issues pop up.

Greater distance between the tracks, with track gauge remaining the same, causes substantially fewer hiccups.  It's true that new textures still need made, along with new paths for train traffic, but it sounds like an interesting idea.
Find my power line BAT thread here.
Check out the Noro Cooperative.  What are you waiting for?  It even has electricity.
Want more? Try here.  For even more electrical goodies, look here.
Here are some rural power lines.

ecoba

It's great to have you back, David! Nice to see 3RR back up and running after a down time. TTR also looks very interesting; it's good to see work coming along on it!  :)


A very happy new year to you!
Ethan

mightygoose

The old fashioned scale issue again, I agree with metavaro that is a can of worms indeed. My idealistic fantasy was that we could up-scale everything by a linear factor of 2. Each tile would then represent 8x8m and it increases the game detail and allows for more realism with networks. But hey that is proper pie in the sky thinking.

The TTR look excellent and I cannot believe it has been 10 years of SC4. So many memories.

Regards

John.
NAM + CAM + RAM + SAM, that's how I roll....

ldvger

I just gotta chime in on this discussion of scale, being as how I am an architect in RL and have worked with scaled objects for over 35 years...and now with CAd we can create scaled objects at a level of accuracy impossible to achieve when drawing manually.

The issue of scale has always bothered me with SC4, as anyone knows who has read any of my attempts at MD's know.  It is often the distortions of scale of both land forms and objects in game that frustrate me to the point of abandoning it for years on end.

But mightygoose puts forward a very interesting proposition with his idea to up-scale the basic unit of the game, the individual grid cells.  I mean, what a great idea!  The entire community has been developing content for the game these past tens years based on the Maxis defined scale of the grid cell being 16mx16m.  But it could just as easily be just about anything you want it to be.  It could be 1"x1" or 3'x3' or 1 mile x1 mile.  In essence, the 16mx16m scale is semi-random, something the devs came up with as being a size that would allow a reasonable level of detail.

But after 10 years, many of us OCD types are finding this just isn't good enough.  As David points out, the Maxis defined scale means that a single pixel comes out to represent about 2.5", meaning that is the accuracy threshold for any object created for the game.  Anything smaller is either completely ignored or must needs be grossly distorted in scale to be visible, like power lines.  What is to stop us from redefining that base scale and instead saying a single pixel represents 1"?  That would make each grid cell 256"x256" or 21'-4" square.  That would certainly allow 3rd party developers both a higher level of detail and accuracy!  And it wouldn't really mean having to start all over from scratch, as a simple formula could be derived to determine a ratio between Maxis scale and the new scale, say 1:1.25 (pulling numbers out of a hat), allowing existing content to be quickly and fairly easily up-scaled for use in our newly re-scaled games.  It'd take time, of course, and being as how I'm not a content dev, I have no idea if it's even remotely feasible, but hey...theortically I believe it's very possible.

Which also leads me to wonder...has anyone ever explored the means for "fixing" the scale ratio between horizontal and vertical elements?  I seem to recall reading someplace that the verticals are skewed in relationship to the horizontals.

Lora/LD

Tarkus

#10912
Quote from: ldvger on January 06, 2013, 08:10:33 PM
And it wouldn't really mean having to start all over from scratch, as a simple formula could be derived to determine a ratio between Maxis scale and the new scale, say 1:1.25 (pulling numbers out of a hat), allowing existing content to be quickly and fairly easily up-scaled for use in our newly re-scaled games.  It'd take time, of course, and being as how I'm not a content dev, I have no idea if it's even remotely feasible, but hey...theortically I believe it's very possible.

There's already an extremely easy-to-use and powerful tool out there that can accomplish this.  I'd check out cogeo's SC4 Model Tweaker, which is up on the LEX.

Quote from: ldvger on January 06, 2013, 08:10:33 PM
Which also leads me to wonder...has anyone ever explored the means for "fixing" the scale ratio between horizontal and vertical elements?  I seem to recall reading someplace that the verticals are skewed in relationship to the horizontals.

It has to do with the fact that the game's graphical engine uses trimetric orthographic projection.  To my knowledge, you'd have to completely replace the graphical engine to accomplish this, which is much easier said than done.  And most other 2D projection setups introduce similar distortions.  If you wanted to see how things look "fixed" within the trimetric orthographic projection system, the scale factor that most creators use on the vertical axis is 1.3. 

-Alex

FrankU

Well, There is at least one big disadvantage if we define the tiles as smaller than the 16x16 meters: the city sizes. We cannot enlage these, so if we define a tile as say 1x1 meter, the largest cities will be 512x512 meters. Hardly a large city, right?  &mmm

memo

Well then, how about scaling by a factor of 64? A (16m)² tile would have the size of a small city. You can then switch to region view and your GLR could look like this.



Within each city you could play Sims instead of SimCity. :P

Nevertheless, the idea of scaling by a factor of 2 is very interesting. Avenues would certainly be the new roads.

mike3775

Quote from: memo on January 07, 2013, 04:45:41 AM
Well then, how about scaling by a factor of 64? A (16m)² tile would have the size of a small city. You can then switch to region view and your GLR could look like this.



Within each city you could play Sims instead of SimCity. :P

Nevertheless, the idea of scaling by a factor of 2 is very interesting. Avenues would certainly be the new roads.

Well at least we would know what transportation systems are in place in various cities that way  :)

metarvo

I hate to be a downer on everything all the sudden, but scaling by 2 presents its own problems, too.  It throws the popular 6x6 block out of scale, making 12x12 the new standard.  After looking at satellite map views and overlaying matching grids over them, it seems that the 6x6 block resembles most RL city blocks in neighborhoods that follow the grid to the letter, or at least the ones I've seen.  Recall that SimCity 3000 actually considered one tile to be 64 m2, while the Super NES port of SimCity Classic treated one tile as 100 m2!  This issue has been around for ages.

With that being said, there are good points to this kind of scaling adjustment.  There are times when three doublewide trailers can fit into a RL 2x2 area, but only two 1x2 lots can fit here.  The result is that one of the trailers must be left out in a RL recreation of the area, unless a new lot with two trailers is used in place of a lot with only one doublewide.  If the tiles were treated as 8 m2, the three trailers could be placed with one tile to spare.  As mentioned earlier, roads and the like would actually resemble RL more closely.
Find my power line BAT thread here.
Check out the Noro Cooperative.  What are you waiting for?  It even has electricity.
Want more? Try here.  For even more electrical goodies, look here.
Here are some rural power lines.

Tarkus

Quote from: memo on January 07, 2013, 04:45:41 AM
Well then, how about scaling by a factor of 64? A (16m)² tile would have the size of a small city. You can then switch to region view and your GLR could look like this.

:D  I just about fell out of my chair upon seeing that.

Quote from: metarvo on January 07, 2013, 06:39:46 AM
I hate to be a downer on everything all the sudden, but scaling by 2 presents its own problems, too.  It throws the popular 6x6 block out of scale, making 12x12 the new standard.

At the new scale, that 12x12 would be the same as 6x6.  From a traffic simulation standpoint, to achieve the same effect of traveling around a 6x6 block, you could, in theory, simply double the network speeds.

Quote from: memo on January 07, 2013, 04:45:41 AM
Nevertheless, the idea of scaling by a factor of 2 is very interesting. Avenues would certainly be the new roads.

Quote from: metarvo on January 07, 2013, 06:39:46 AM
As mentioned earlier, roads and the like would actually resemble RL more closely.

In theory, as 1 tile would become roughly equivalent to 1 (or in some cases, 2) lanes, a lot of creative things could be done with RUL2 overrides to allow precise configuration of roads.

The one other downside to consider, however--simply upsizing buildings will mean that the graphical quality at closer zooms will most likely take a hit.

-Alex

Swordmaster

Taking on scale as a relative is slightly more conducive to progress than saying it's an absolute, which would require re-modding every aspect of the game. So I did a scale test based on that today. David, you'll like this.



Let's assume the RHW, the most extensive modding project to date, is the basis of our scale. When scaling the RHW texture to the satellite image, the same scale applied to the rails illustrates where the problems are. Gauge isn't off scale by a lot, at most a few pixels. Such a correction wouldn't require any automata/prop modding. Distance between track centers is the real culprit, apparently.

It seems DTR with its ballast should occupy a full 16m tile, like the RHW-4. Noah suggested making TTR an overhanging network like the RHW-6S. QTR would then require a two-tile network.

Another conclusion here is that based on the RHW in this particular image, tiles in SC4 are slightly closer to 15m than 16m. It's necessary to mention this image is from the I-95 south of Richmond, Virginia. Your mileage may vary.


Cheers
Willy

dedgren

#10919
Had a pretty rough last week recovery-wise, so I haven't been around as I had planned.  That appears to be behind me at this point, so let me leave you with this for today, and we'll get going during the coming week.

Adobe has released CS (Creative Suite) 2 and other image editing related software that was the cutting edge in 2005 as freeware here [linkie].  You can also get Acrobat Professional 8.0 there.  If you don't have the big bucks to spend for Adobe's current image editing software (CS6, I believe) and want to be able to use the incredibly powerful software tools that the company has created, you can't go wrong here.

Don't forget about tomorrow.  Later.


David

1077246
D. Edgren

Please call me David...

Three Rivers Region- A collaborative development of the SC4 community
The 3RR Quick Finder [linkie]


I aten't dead.  —  R.I.P. Granny Weatherwax

Skype: davidredgren