Menu

LEX File Exchange
EA Support Files
SC4 Wikipedia
Network Addon Mod
Dependencies
Chat
Welcome to SimCity 4 Devotion. Please login or sign up.

October 03, 2022, 01:01:44 AM

Login with username, password and session length

Downloads

Why are there no Lots in the NAM?

Started by Chrisim, January 11, 2009, 06:27:00 AM

Previous topic - Next topic

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Chrisim

Why are there no transit enabled lots in the NAM? Why does the NAM team insists of not including lots in the NAM?
About a year ago before joining the NAM Team, I had the same questions that people continue asking. The same as Z who asking in the FLUPs topic today:
Quote from: z on January 11, 2009, 03:17:39 AM
As for the NAM prohibition against lots, I think a number of people are beginning to question whether it has outlived its usefulness.  I personally will be taking this up with the NAM team some time after the coming NAM release.

My very first modding project was to extend the Marrast underpass lots for streets, oneway road, ... - you find the download here on the LEX. These are transit enabled lots.
Next, I worked on tram stations which are also transit enabled lots.
Then, I started working on the NAM because I needed more tram-avenue puzzle pieces.
So I understand both, NAM and transit enabled lots. So I give you my answer:

In the original SC4 game, you have draggable traffic networks (roads, rail tracks, ...). Easy to use and flexible. The achievement of the NAM team was to understand how this system works and to add custom content to it.
How the system works is described in the topic NAM Inner Workings.
Section 2 tells: NAM deals with Networks and Networks only. Not Lots. There is a distinct difference between the two, internally. Networks are handled differently by the game compared to Lots, Lots like those used for a building for example. As such, there is a completely different process involved in the handling & creation of Network Related items compared to Lots.

Networks are controlled by one controller file (NetworkAddonMod_Controller.dat) that contains the network rules (RUL files). If you add new network related stuff, you do have to change the controller file. It's the heart of the traffic network.
It is also the reason why there is only one NAM team. We are forced to work together, whether we like it or not (I like it  :) ). Therefore, we publish the NAM together as team. We have some special projects like SAM, HSRP, RHW, ..., but in the end, they depend on references from the controller file, and therefore, are part of the NAM.

When developing Lots, for buildings or transit enabled lots, there is no force to work together. Everybody can publish his stuff himself under his name.

And therefore, you don't find lots in the NAM. Only stuff depending on the controller shall be included in the NAM. The NAM is defined exactly as collection of all traffic network related stuff that depends on the controller, and nothing in addition.

Z, your above statement simply tells that you do not understand the NAM yet. If you want to learn, read the NAM Inner Workings, use the Reader, export the RUL files and read them with an ASCII editor. Take the Reader and look at the other files in the NAM. And ask questions, we do help each other.

RippleJet

Chrisim, there is a relation between the network capacities and the station capacities,
and especially for TE stations, like the in-game toll booth and monorail station.

For proper working all station capacities should be increased in the same proportion as the network capacities have been increased.

As an example, simulators A and B Easy increase the road capacity from 1000 to 5600.
However, the in-game toll booth, with a capacity of 600, becomes a useless bottle neck if used on these roads.

The Census Repository Facility operates as a toll booth in the game.
In order not to cause adverse effects I had to create 6 versions of it, with different capacities for different simulators.

I still agree with Z, that if NAM changes the network capacities, it should change the capacities for the in-game stations as well.
NAM should have the best experience in knowing what the station capacities should be for the increased network capacities.

Otherwise, NAM, or someone working with NAM, should provide update packages for the ingame stations.
I have myself considered doing this, but as long as every new release of NAM includes yet a new set of simulators with new sets of network capacities, I would prefer to see the responsibility for this remaining with NAM.

I'm posting the experiment I made with the Census Repository Facility here.
It has been posted in a private board before, and Z has seen it.






Quote from: RippleJet on October 25, 2008, 10:38:16 AM


Since I've been modding my Census Repository Facility this week, I decided to take a look at this.
The reason being, the CRF is set up to work as a Toll Booth across a road:



I didn't want to set the Transit Switch Traffic Capacity before knowing what happens... ::)
The Transit Switch Point is identical to that of Maxis' toll booths:


  • 0x81,0x50,0x00,0x00
  • 0x82,0x50,0x01,0x01
  • 0x81,0x50,0x01,0x01
  • 0x82,0x50,0x00,0x00
  • 0x81,0x50,0x04,0x04
  • 0x82,0x50,0x04,0x04
  • 0x81,0x50,0x02,0x02
  • 0x82,0x50,0x02,0x02

In other words, no switching, only through traffic for peds, cars, buses and trucks in the North-South direction.
The Transit Switch Entry Cost is set to 0.02 and the Transit Switch Fare to 0.25 (compared to 0.1 for Maxis' toll booths).

Now, the in-game toll booths have the following Transit Switch Traffic Capacity, compared below to the corresponding Network Traffic Capacity:


Toll Booth
   Switch
   Network
placed on:
   Capacity
   Capacity
Road
600
1000
Avenue
1500
2500
Highway
2400
4000

I have halved the traffic switch capacities for the toll booths on avenues and highways, as they are doubled due to the two sides.
In other words, the toll booth capacity set by Maxis is 60% of the network capacity.
What does this mean in the game?

...but beware... I love pictures... :D






I set up the following situation, using the same city I used before when testing the Entry Cost
(which you probably can guess from the name of the city)... $%Grinno$%



All residents live to the left and all jobs are to the right.
There is one single road connecting those two districts.

I'm still running the May 2007 version of NAM with NetworkAddonMod_Traffic_Plugin_Standard.dat.
Thus, the road capacity is still 1000 and Congestion vs Speed is 0,1, 1,1, 2,0.65, 3,0.3

I let the city run till the first unemployment signs appeared (in the lower left-hand corner).
At this stage the road had a usage of 2,954.

As a side note, the message "Local Road Reaches Limit - A Chaos of Cars" is set to appear when a road's traffic congestions exceeds 320.
It did however appear already when the usage was slightly over 2,000 (whatever that means)...

I saved the city at exactly this moment, using it for every test shown further down.
After this I let the city run for another 3 months to get a point I could compare to the other runs:



Another side note...
you can clearly see how the two intersections on either side of the roundabout radiate congestion.
The roundabout itself is bright green though...






First, I plopped my Census Repository Facility with a traffic capacity equal to that of Maxis' toll booths, ie. 600.
It is plopped just to the left of that query, between the residential and commercial districts.

After letting it run for 3 months, the results were not very encouraging.
Quite a lot of unemployment, and the road usage was down at 2,400 (four times the station capacity):








Thus, I decided to double the traffic capacity of the Census Repository Facility, to 1,200.
Plopped it in the same city as above, and had really no influence from it at all:



However, as you know, one disadvantage with having too high a capacity is
that the congestion starts showing green and yellow instead of red at lower usages.
To show this, I plopped three more of them, further to the left:



You might also have spotted the little yellow square a bit to the right of the CRF.
That is one, from the previous testing, remaining bus blocker by 1dera3, having a capacity of 2,000.






Now, what if we gave the CRF an even lower capacity?
Well,the result was not very surprising. The road usage maxed out at 1,200 (four times the station capacity):



Note, that this is also what you would experience if you plopped the in-game toll booth when running NAM with a road capacity of 2,000.
And Simulators A and B have road capacities between 2,500 and 5,600 depending on difficulty level... ::)

I once more want to stress that NAM should include all in-game stations, properly modded, with each separate traffic plugin... :P






Now, I wanted to see which transit capacity gives the same result as the road alone...
Thus, first a test with a capacity of 800:



...and the same after plopping three more CRF's to the left:



Doesn't look too bad, does it?
The usage seems to have dropped a little though.






Then a test with a capacity of 900:



and after plopping three more of them:



Seems like the capacity is a little bit too high now, as the road shows slightly more congested than the CRF's.






Now, to run a definite test, I returned to the original city without CRF's and let it run for more than a year.
During this year, the road's usage stayed between 3,353 and 3,439 cars plus 30-35 pedestrians:



After this I plopped the CRF with a capacity of 800 and let another year pass.
During this year the capacity dropped slightly and stayed between 3,127 and 3,180 cars plus 30-35 pedestrians:



It definitely seems like the maximum usage through a station that doesn't allow any switching is 4 times the capacity.
And the maximum capacity of the road seems to be around 3,400.

Thus, to make a road toll booth that doesn't influence the congestion, would require a capacity of:
    3400/3200 × 800/1000 = 850

In other words... 85% (or maybe it should be 5/6) of the network capacity.
Maxis reduced this to 60% in its toll booths, obviously on purpose to reduce the capacity.






Now, the annoying thing with all these different network speeds is that to be complete,
I would need to make no less than 6 versions of the CRF. &sly

One each for the following road speeds, with the toll booth capacity to the right:


Simulators C-E - Standard   
1,000
850
Simulators C-E - x 2
2,000
1,700
Simulators A-B - Hard
2,500
2,125
Simulators A-B - Medium
3,750
3,187
Simulators C-E - x 5
5,000
4,250
Simulators A-B - Easy
5,600
   4,760

Andreas

Quote from: RippleJetI once more want to stress that NAM should include all in-game stations, properly modded, with each separate traffic plugin...

Well, the main problem is not the Maxis stations, but the hundreds of custom stations that are out there. When the NAM Team released a patch for most of the GLR stations that made them usable with the draggable GLR, a lot of people simply dumped all patch files into their plugins folder, which caused numerous issues. There is no way that anyone can make patches for all available custom stations, and even for the more popular ones, it would be quite a task.

If the NAM would include patches for the Maxis stations, the updated values of those would conflict with unmodded custom stations. I guess the only effective way to solve this problem is developing a tool that scans the plugins folder, picks all stations and adjusts the values according to the numbers of your current Traffic Plugin. Even I, who has the modding knowledge that is required to do this manually, wouldn't really want to go through my entire plugins folder and adjust every single station manually...
Andreas

RippleJet

#3
Quote from: Andreas on January 11, 2009, 08:09:56 AM
Well, the main problem is not the Maxis stations, but the hundreds of custom stations that are out there.

The first time I recommended NAM to modd the in-game stations,
was because most in-game stations do not have an Entry Cost.
I am including the complete post regarding this further down here.

With mott's research, the "X Tool" was set to include an entry cost for each station.
All stations made with the "X Tool" since November 2007 do now have an Entry Cost.

Since nobody has updated the in-game stations, the Sims will now (as you can see from the post below),
whenever possible, use only Maxis stations (or older custom stations).

NAM has performed a lot of research on the Entry Cost and the Network Capacities.
However, if NAM does not provide means of updating the in-game stations to match these results,
NAM should at least point out in the readme what implications you'd get by e.g. increasing the network capacities.

The users should at least be told that in-game TE stations are not NAMpatible, unless you use the standard Simulator C, D or E.
And maybe NAM could post some recommendations about what the station capacities should be, depending on the Simulator used.
Thus at least those users who know how to do it, can modify their own custom stations and in-game stations properly.

For the "X Tool" I would also appreciate if NAM could provide some recommendations on how custom stations by default should be modded in the future:


  • What Entry Cost should custom stations get?
    Should the research by mott and CLR1SC4D be considered, or should it be reset to zero again?
  • Which Simulator's network capacities should the Traffic Capacity of custom stations be based upon?
    Simulator C/D/E (standard) or Simulator A/B (easy)?






Quote from: RippleJet on September 11, 2008, 06:52:58 AM

After mott posted his excellent tutorial TE Lots, Transit Switches, and You, I posted this reply and request:

Quote from: RippleJet on October 25, 2007, 04:40:40 PM
I will implement the transit switch entry cost in the formulas for the "X Tool" for the creation of custom stations in the future!
And I suggest that the next NAM changes that property for all in-game stations accordingly! ;)


Stations modded with PIM-X have since had an Entry Cost of 0.30.
After CLR1SC4D's excellent investigation and testing above, I suppose it should be lowered to 0.27 though.

However, making custom stations with an Entry Cost is futile as long as Maxis' own stations still have an Entry Cost of 0.00.
The picture below shows Sims walking some 17 tiles to a Maxis bus stop instead of taking any of SimGoober's closer ones.



PS. Thanks Barby for the picture! :thumbsup:

In this picture there are four SimGoober 1×2 bus stops
(edit: those 1x2 grass patches that are squeezed in between the residential zones),
all being closer to the Sim's house than the 1×1 Maxis stop in the lower left hand corner.

The Sims actually walked past one of SimGoober's bus stops on the way to the Maxis bus stop.
All these stops by SimGoober do of course have an Entry Cost of 0.3.

I know NAM doesn't contain any lots... at least the latest update did not change the Entry Cost of any of them.
Should I in that case make a separate mod that changes the Entry Costs for the in-game stations and stops?

Andreas

#4
We had a discussion about the Transit Switch Entry Cost property at SimForum just a while ago, and Chrisim posted some interesting calculations that were based in various postings from here etc. After much talking, we were concluding that the same what I said above also applies here: Unfortuantely, there are so many stations released "into the wild" already that it's virtually impossible to come up with a proper value. The large majority of the custom lots simply use the default "0" that is suggested by the Plugin Manager, and Maxis used this value as well for the in-game stations. This means that any station that is "properly" modded has a disadvantage, compared to the stations with a TSEC of 0. So the question remains: How can we achieve that the existing lots get a proper modding, so you can use them together with the "NAM Team approved" works?

The background of this story: People were complaining that the SFBT S-Bahn stations "don't work", whereas other stations (with TSEC = 0) seemed to work fine. I modded the SFBT stations with a TSEC of 0.3, as suggested by you (and some others), and for me, I get proper usage, some of them even went over capacity. But this was with a slightly modified "Better Pathfinding" plugin, so the others probably used a more radical one, or didn't set up their transit network as effective. I don't really have a good solution for all this, at least as long as there are various Traffic Plugins out there, and a large variety of "properly" and "improperly" modded stations...
Andreas

RippleJet

#5
Quote from: Andreas on January 11, 2009, 10:52:07 AM
So the question remains: How can we achieve that the existing lots get a proper modding, so you can use them together with the "NAM Team approved" works?


Regarding the Entry Cost:


The original recommended by mott was based on the pedestrian speed:

  • Pedestrian: 1/3.5 = 0.3

The modified recommended by CLR1SC4D was slightly reduced:

  • Pedestrian: 0.96/3.5 = 0.27


Recent recommendations have been more aimed at blocking the slowest vehicles from shortcutting, thus basing the entry cost on the bus speed on streets.
This again would be dependent on the Simulator that the lot is designed to be used with:

Simulator A:

  • Bus on Street: 1/35 = 0.028

Simulator B:

  • Bus on Street: 1/5 = 0.200

Simulator C/D/E:

  • Bus on Street: 1/31 = 0.032

I suppose the values above could be multiplied by 0.96 as well, to be in accordance with CLR1SC4D's experiments.


Another NAM member, Cogeo, has tested the Entry Cost with his RTMT, and concluded that 0.02 should be good enough to block all vehicles from shortcutting.
This corresponds pretty well with the speed of cars and buses on roads, regardless of Simulator (but might lead to some shortcutting if plopped next to a street):

Simulator A:

  • Car on Road: 1/60 = 0.017
  • Bus on Road: 1/55 = 0.018

Simulator B:

  • Car on Road: 1/50 = 0.020
  • Bus on Road: 1/50 = 0.020

Simulator C/D/E:

  • Car on Road: 1/31 = 0.032
  • Bus on Road: 1/46 = 0.022


Personally I am more inclined at using a default value of 0.02 as an Entry Cost for all stations created by the "X Tool".
My own testing also shows that an Entry Cost that would block all pedestrians from shortcutting isn't really feasible.
0.02 was the value I decided to use with the Census Repository Facility as well (which is to be plopped on top of a road).

Could such a value get the endorsement from NAM? ::)
If so, I'll probably make a mod that would update all ingame stations to have an entry cost of 0.02.

And I'll change the formulas for the "X Tool" so that 0.02 would be the default Entry Cost...
...and start demanding everyone who's uploaded an "X Tool"-modded station to update their lots... &mmm

Chrisim

#6
Quote from: Andreas on January 11, 2009, 10:52:07 AM
We had a discussion about the Transit Switch Entry Cost property at SimForum just a while ago, and Chrisim posted some interesting calculations that were based in various postings from here etc. After much talking, we were concluding that the same what I said above also applies here: Unfortuantely, there are so many stations released "into the wild" already that it's virtually impossible to come up with a proper value. The large majority of the custom lots simply use the default "0" that is suggested by the Plugin Manager, and Maxis used this value as well for the in-game stations. This means that any station that is "properly" modded has a disadvantage, compared to the stations with a TSEC of 0.
No, Andreas, you did not understand me correctly.
My theory is as follows. Let's assume rail as example.
First, railways stations plopped next to rail track should always have a zero entry cost.
It is more complex for stations plopped ontop of rail tracks. These "ontop" stations should have a positive entry cost.
Let's assume we wish to mod a new rail station. Which value shall we use?
My conclusion at Simforum was: A station plopped on rail track should have the same Transit Switch Entry Cost value as the time, a train needs to drive along a rail track of same length. For a four tiles long stations and a standard speed of 110, it is 4/110=0.036
I believe this equals Cogeo's formula.
If you put a larger number, rail traffic is penalized versus car traffic and less passengers will use rail, especially when many "ontop" rail stations are used and their spacing is dense. If the value is much too high, it may block rail traffic through the station.
A station with zero entry cost is a minor cheat because Sims will jump with infinite velocity through the station, but the impact on the overall traffic is small.

Mott had a different motivation for his formula. He wanted to prevent Sims (Pedestrians) to jump with infinite velocity through the station. The price he pays is that also rail traffic running trhough is station is penalized or even blocked. His motivation was good, but there is a serious side effect.
So, I do suggest using Entry cost = Length devided by speed,  similar as Cogeo.

Quote from: RippleJet on January 11, 2009, 01:46:31 PM
Could such a value get the endorsement from NAM? ::)
If so, I'll probably make a mod that would update all ingame stations to have an entry cost of 0.02.
You should not put a 0.02 value to ingame station that are plopped next to track, because you would penalize rail traffic versus car traffic.

RippleJet

Quote from: Chrisim on January 11, 2009, 02:23:54 PM
No, Andreas, you did not understand me correctly.

Maybe you were talking German... :D


Quote from: Chrisim on January 11, 2009, 02:23:54 PM
First, railways stations plopped next to rail track should always have a zero entry cost.

Wouldn't this lead to e.g. all passengers getting off the train at the front end of the station, jumping across the station at no cost, and getting on the train at the rear end of the station? And wouldn't this shortcutting lead to all through traffic thus getting added to the station's usage?


Quote from: Chrisim on January 11, 2009, 02:23:54 PM
It is more complex for stations plopped ontop of rail tracks. These "ontop" stations should have a positive entry cost.
An "ontop" station with a much too high entry cost would not be used and any traffic through such a station is blocked. Never use much too high values!
A station with zero entry cost is a minor cheat, but the issue is minor. In case of doubt, you can ignore such stations.
Let's assume we wish to mod a new rail station. Which value shall we use?
My conclusion at Simforum was: A station plopped on rail track should have the same Transit Switch Entry Cost value as the time, a train needs to drive along a rail track of same length. For a four tiles long stations and a standard speed of 110, it is 4/110=0.036
I believe this equals Cogeo's formula.
If you put a larger number, rail traffic is penalized versus car traffic and less passengers will use rail, especially when many "ontop" rail stations are used and their spacing is dense.

That is how we all thought the Entry Cost should have been multiplied for larger stations.
However, I think Christopher (CLR1SC4D) proved that the game itself handles that multiplying in his post:

Quote from: CLR1SC4D on May 03, 2008, 09:05:32 PM
Experiment 2:  What entry cost would prevent Sims from short cutting through a station of varying size at a corner of a road?  In this scenario the road touched the station along two adjacent sides.  Stations were varied in size as listed below.
(1X1, 1X2, 1X3, 1X4, 1X5, 2X2, 2X3, 3X3, 10X10)
Surprisingly all stations had the same value that prevented most Sims from using the station as a shortcut 1.3435/Transit Speed.

Experiment 3:  What entry cost would maintain the commute time of Sims traveling across a transit station?  A city was setup with residential on one side and commercial & industrial on the other separated by 9 tiles in one of the following configurations; pedestrian mall tiles, pedestrian mall tiles alternating with a 1X1 transit station (5 pedestrian mall tiles & 4 transit stations), pedestrian mall tiles alternating with a 1X3 transit station (3 pedestrian mall tiles & 2 1X3 transit stations), and pedestrian mall tiles on either side of a 1X7 transit station.
The transit switch entry cost that maintained a constant commute for the 1X1, 1X3 and 1X7 station was found to be the same as found in experiment 2, 1.3435/(Transit Speed).

Experiment 4:  What entry cost balance the number of Sims traveling across two equal distance paths?  A city was setup with residential on one side and commercial & industrial on the other separated by 9 tiles with one path of 9 pedestrian mall tiles and the other in one of the following configurations;  pedestrian mall tiles alternating with a 1X1 transit station (5 pedestrian mall tiles & 4 transit stations), pedestrian mall tiles alternating with a 1X3 transit station (3 pedestrian mall tiles & 2 1X3 transit stations), and pedestrian mall tiles on either side of a 1X7 transit station.
The transit switch entry cost that kept all the Sims on the pedestrian mall tiles was 1.3445/(Transit Speed).  At 1.323/(Transit Speed) half of the Sims used each route.  With 1.303/(Transit Speed) all the Sims traveled the route through the transit stations.


Another interesting point is that 1.3435 is 95% of the diagonal across a 1X1 tile.  I do not know if this means anything or not.

Is it possible that the transit switch entry cost is applied for each tile across a station?

z

Wow!  I turn away for a few hours, and this huge thread pops out of nowhere!   :o

I don't have time for detailed comments right now (I'd like to add some later), but there's one simple question I'd like to answer.

Quote from: Chrisim on January 11, 2009, 02:23:54 PM
First, railways stations plopped next to rail track should always have a zero entry cost.

Quote from: RippleJet on January 11, 2009, 02:44:12 PM
Wouldn't this lead to e.g. all passengers getting off the train at the front end of the station, jumping across the station at no cost, and getting on the train at the rear end of the station? And wouldn't this shortcutting lead to all through traffic thus getting added to the station's usage?

This shortcutting is exactly what happens; I have observed it with RalphaelNinja's 4-square long Boulevard Station placed lengthwise next to a rail line.  The default station has a TSEC of zero (which I fixed in my game after I saw this).  Sure enough, every single passenger (thousands in this case) was getting off the train at the beginning of the station and reboarding at the end.  The rail line usage plunged to zero in between.  I don't recall what happens to the station's usage, but I can see no reason why all these transfers would not be added to it.

Tarkus

I'll add a few thoughts myself, namely to Tage's proposal about including "fixes" for various stations to match the changed capacities for the various Simulators.  

Doing so, in theory, would not require including a Lot per se, but rather, an exemplar that affects a Lot--thus, I don't think it would necessarily go astray of the "No Lots in the NAM" rule.  However, it would be pretty much impossible to account for all publicly-available stations/TE Lots.  Thus, if any sort of solution like this were to be implemented, it would have to apply strictly to the Maxis lots, leaving the third-party station/lot fixes to those Lots' developers, or modders who wish to assist those developers.

I also should make clear that I believe that the NAM Core and the other integrated RUL-bound Optional Plugins (RHW, HSRP, T-RAM, etc.) should remain Lot-free.

-Alex (Tarkus)

Andreas

@Chrisim and RippleJet: Neither of you understood me correctly. ;) As Alex (Tarkus) pointed out, I wasn't questioning the actual value of the Transit Switch Entry Cost property, but I was asking how we can get those stations updated that have been released over the past few years, and which have been downloaded by thousands of SC4 players from all over the world. I can easily update all stations at SimCityKurier, for instance, but the players would have to download them again, and update their plugins folders accordingly.

I wasn't the one who suggested to continue using a TSEC of 0 as the "lowest common denominator", but after all, this might be the only way to continue our work without an enormous effort, since any station with a TSEC higher than 0 wouldn't be used as much as the other stations, if you place them both together in a city (usage meaning the total usage, including shortcutting sims, which are counted as well). Nearly all railway stations I know are transit enabled lots, and as an example, Ill Tonkso released at least 30 different ones over the time. We would have to fix at least 200 different downloads, which is a huge task, and then spread the word into the community...
Andreas

JoeST

so, in effect, what you are suggesting is a "multiplier" exemplar to be stored in the specific simulator file?

btw, this topic is awesome :)

Joe
Copperminds and Cuddleswarms

k808j

Couldn't the Cleanitol be modified to remove the transit entry cost and a patch developed to replace the transit entry with the appropriate one?

L i s t e n  T o  O u r  F a m o u s  T h e m e
http://www.supload.com/listen?s=PVfnXk">We Are Borg

RippleJet

Quote from: Andreas on January 12, 2009, 01:50:38 AM
I was asking how we can get those stations updated that have been released over the past few years, and which have been downloaded by thousands of SC4 players from all over the world. I can easily update all stations at SimCityKurier, for instance, but the players would have to download them again, and update their plugins folders accordingly.

I don't think anybody would suggest fixing ALL existing stations around the world...
as little as we've ever thought of making all existing RCI buildings CAMpatible with proper stats and so on.

However, I think we should aim at making all stations on LEX using the same Entry Cost (in the same way as all RCI buildings on LEX have proper stats).
And that I think would be possible. That task would be comparable to, if not even easier than, Zelgadis' effort to make existing stations functional on a Mac.

Besides, if the Entry Cost that we'd agree upon would be 0.02, we wouldn't get the same problem as with SimGoober's bus stops above, that had an Entry Cost of 0.30. An Entry Cost of 0.02 doesn't give such a big disadvantage that no Sims would ever use such a station, even if there were others nearby with an Entry Cost of 0.

The main purpose with giving each station a small Entry Cost would of course be to avoid having traffic shortcutting through the station, instead of going along a network next to the station. Doing nothing would defy the research that NAM has done. Certainly, you and I can mod our stations accordingly, but why not give at least those downloading stations from LEX the option of knowing that they are modded in accordance with the best knowledge?


Quote from: k808j on January 12, 2009, 07:47:26 AM
Couldn't the Cleanitol be modified to remove the transit entry cost and a patch developed to replace the transit entry with the appropriate one?

No, but it can be used to remove an older station's Sc4Lot file that a new download would replace.

Yermam

Could a possible solution to custom stations and their modding be some sort of certification by the NAM team that they are modded correctly? 

sithlrd98

I know that this thread seems to mainly be about stations...but how would you go about making a lot act like a puzzle piece? Some of the posters here have an idea of what I'm still trying to do , still I would love to get more info into all of this.

Jayson

ScottFTL

This is a really interesting and productive discussion.

I'm not exactly sure where this information came from, but the Prima guide does list TSEC values for transit stations.  Freight Rail is the only station listed with a TSEC of 0.  All other transit stations are listed with a TSEC of 0.05 with parking garages and toll booths set to 0.2.  Maxis never implemented these values with the exception of the toll booth, but perhaps this information provides some guidelines for reasonable values.

It seems reasonable to say that a TSEC of 0.2 or higher is meant to discourage usage since it was used for the toll booth.  I have read some reports of usage problems with the SFBT S-Bahn Stations and the revised SG Bus Stops, and both had the TSEC set to 0.3.  So I think the maximum value lies somewhere between 0.2 and 0.3 for sure.  These values are in line with Mott's and CLR1SC4D's formulas based on pedestrian speed.

The minimum values would depend on the network and traffic types.  I won't discuss the older NAM traffic simulators that modified that network speed properties because I think there is agreement that this had a negative effect on the traffic simulator.  When you use the 1/Speed formula with Simulators A and B in the latest NAM, here is what you get:

Bus/Truck on Street0.0286
Car on Street0.0250
Bus/Truck on Road0.0182
Car on Road0.0167
Bus/Truck on Avenue0.0182
Car on Avenue0.0167
Bus/Truck on One Way0.0182
Car on One Way0.0167
Bus/Truck on Highway0.0111
Car on Highway0.0100
Passenger Rail0.0091
Freight Rail or Subway0.0067
Monorail0.0050
If I understand correctly, these are the values that prevent the traffic type from having a free trip across a transit-enabled lot.  It does seem like 0.02 is in line with these numbers, although I think there are additional considerations for certain types of transit-enabled lots such as Road Top Mass Transit.

This is my long-winded way of agreeing with RippleJet.  I do not think we can eliminate all pedestrian shortcutting, but we can significantly reduce it.  His figure of 0.02 definitely works, although I wonder if anyone would like to test with all stations set to 0.05.  It is possible that Maxis found the magic number but failed to implement it.  However, I do think Cogeo found 0.02 to be the sweet spot in his testing.

I think it is important that there is some agreement on the best way to mod transit stations.  There is a lot of extremely technical information out there, and it can be hard for the average SC4 devotee to figure out what is best.  I'd like to see some guidelines or standard on modding transit stations to work best with the traffic simulator.

I also agree that the Maxis stations need to have the TSEC set in order to work well with properly modded stations.  It would be most convenient as part of the NAM, but it would be easy enough to create a patch and link to this as a dependency in the NAM readme.  I already have such a patch created, so I would be happy to share this if there is consensus on the proper TSEC values.

As for the existing stations on this site and others, there will definitely be problems dealing with that issue no matter what.  There's just no way around it.  I believe the content on the LEX can and will be updated, but there are many older stations on the STEX and elsewhere that we cannot expect to be updated.  Many of the creators have left the SC4 community. 

Based on this, I think something like the GLR patches would be the best way forward.  I know that many of these stations have incorrect properties courtesy of the PIM and do not work well on Macs, so this would be an opportunity to fix these issues and correct the TSEC values.  I think Andreas is correct that we cannot update them all, but we could still have a good collection of properly modded lots.

I would be willing to do this work, if there is interest.

Jonathan

I don't know much about lots and their exemplars, but what is a parent Cohort for? Is it something that can be used to override properties in an exemplar at a later date, if so couldn't every lot uploaded (at least to the LEX)be require to have this field so that a patch can be created for all stations in one go, without getting the icon problem?

Jonathan

Andreas

Parent cohorts are basically a template for exemplar files, so they won't work in the way you suggested, but actually the other way round. ;) I also think they only work for growables; Maxis did this to provide default pollution values and such for a wide variety of similar buildings (all those small houses, the rowhouses etc.). But even if they would work for ploppables as well, lot builders would have to modify their work in order to incorporate those default values into the lots.
Andreas

jplumbley

Quote from: ScottFTL on January 12, 2009, 12:15:17 PM

It seems reasonable to say that a TSEC of 0.2 or higher is meant to discourage usage since it was used for the toll booth.  I have read some reports of usage problems with the SFBT S-Bahn Stations and the revised SG Bus Stops, and both had the TSEC set to 0.3.  So I think the maximum value lies somewhere between 0.2 and 0.3 for sure.  These values are in line with Mott's and CLR1SC4D's formulas based on pedestrian speed.

The minimum values would depend on the network and traffic types.  I won't discuss the older NAM traffic simulators that modified that network speed properties because I think there is agreement that this had a negative effect on the traffic simulator.  When you use the 1/Speed formula with Simulators A and B in the latest NAM, here is what you get:

Bus/Truck on Street0.0286
Car on Street0.0250
Bus/Truck on Road0.0182
Car on Road0.0167
Bus/Truck on Avenue0.0182
Car on Avenue0.0167
Bus/Truck on One Way0.0182
Car on One Way0.0167
Bus/Truck on Highway0.0111
Car on Highway0.0100
Passenger Rail0.0091
Freight Rail or Subway0.0067
Monorail0.0050
If I understand correctly, these are the values that prevent the traffic type from having a free trip across a transit-enabled lot.  It does seem like 0.02 is in line with these numbers, although I think there are additional considerations for certain types of transit-enabled lots such as Road Top Mass Transit.

This is my long-winded way of agreeing with RippleJet.  I do not think we can eliminate all pedestrian shortcutting, but we can significantly reduce it.  His figure of 0.02 definitely works, although I wonder if anyone would like to test with all stations set to 0.05.  It is possible that Maxis found the magic number but failed to implement it.  However, I do think Cogeo found 0.02 to be the sweet spot in his testing.

Scott you are entirely correct with your post.

What is required is a balance that is safe and does what is required.  If it was my personal game (if it was installed still), I would be using a value of 0.029.  The value is based off of the speed of a Bus on the slowest network (the Street).  This value will make it so that the Sims on the Bus do not have an advantage of using the station as a skipping stone as they pass, except in rare circumstances (such as a bus on a corner where the diagonal through the single tile bus station is shorter actually travelling around the corner.  This in real-life would most likely represent a transit switch anyways where the person is switching from the N-S bound bus to the E-W bound bus or something similar.

Mathematically, Cogeo's value of 0.02 works on every other network except Streets as you have shown Scott.  Streets are not generally used often in long trips and tend to be start/end points of a given trip (generally speaking), therefore since Cogeo's value works on every other network he will have reduced the issue in most general cases by probably 80-90%.  The shortcutting will still occur on Streets though.  And if the goal is to eliminate shortcutting from anything other than Pedestrians, then it should be 0.029 rather than 0.02.  (Im not trying to pick a fight here, just state the obvious)

If your goal is to prevent all shortcutting of any nature, which would include Pedestrian traffic, then you would be forced to base your Entry Cost off the speed of Pedestrians, which for the MAXIS Default Simulator would be a speed of 3.5 or an Entry Cost of 0.29.  Now, I do not believe this to be the most beneficial way of preventing shortcutting, since Pedestrian shortcutting is not very prevalent at all, it is very difficult to track and actually in turn promotes walking.    Not to mention that it costs other traffic types much more than they should be, such as Rail Stations.

In any case, I would endorse the 0.029 value since it covers all networks and would be suitable for ALL TE Lots including Rail, Subway, etc.  This value would not need to change between Simulators because if you want to Standardize, you should base it on the slowest Bus Speed on Streets amoungst all Simulators, since they really should not deviate to much from each other.

------------------------------------

Before we get into retro-fitting old Stations with new values.  I ran into a CTD issue with TE Lots approximately 9 months ago in March 08.  It was a while ago and its a little fuzzy so I dont know what exactly remember what the issue was.... I believe, if I remember correctly... That it was when changing the Transit Switches of a lot that was already plopped in-game.  This may not have an effect on the re-release of old lots, but it will have an effect if any of the old lots require updated Transit Switches.  I cannot go back and test this, because as stated above I do not have SC4 installed currently and well, I dont plan on installing it right now.  So, I would suggest whoever takes on this endevor that you test out the Transit Switches, Transit Switch Capacity and the Entry Cost properties before publically re-releasing any existing lots.

I do remember that the CTD was caused when you changed the exemplar of a lot that was plopped in-game before the changes were made.  By, reverting the exemplar back and re-entering the game the CTD was gone and you could bulldoze the lot and then make your changes.  As I said above, I believe it was the Transit Switches, but cant remember exactly.
"You learn something new everyday."

http://img517.imageshack.us/img517/169/nhpjplumbleykv3.gif
Bringing the new horizons closer to reality.

Berethor ♦ beskhu3epnm ♦ blade2k5 ♦ dmscopio jplumbley ♦ moganite ♦ M4346 ♦ Dedgren ♦ Ennedi Shadow Assassin ♦  Tarkus ♦ wouanagaine
Street Addon Mod - SAM