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Author Topic: Commute engine tweaking for NWM  (Read 39399 times)

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Offline Shadow Assassin

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Re: Commute engine tweaking for NWM
« Reply #40 on: October 19, 2007, 09:13:23 AM »
Quote
Thanks for the report, sorry about the crash.  I haven't had crash problems with the mod, and pathfinding plugins usually don't cause CTDs.  With this game you never really know though.  I guess I'll treat it like a UFO sighting for now.  Saw something, not sure what it was... if other people crash the first time they run it also, it might be the graph mods I put in there.

It had nothing to do with the pathfinding mod. The game ran for about two hours - I'd think it would've crashed earlier if it was the pathfinding mod. Probably was a little accident involving a TE lot and puzzle piece.

And on the bright side, it seems to have reduced abandonment and improved demand a little bit. Traffic's much more balanced, too, with multiple routes being used more or less equally.

Oh, and game performance when it comes to pathfinding has improved quite significantly from what I was using before (one of the NAM pathfinding mods). It gets updated considerably quicker. Occasional no-car zot, but they go away extremely quickly once routes are calculated. This will work well on a pre-existing region, but it may require a re-thinking of the way you do things.
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Offline jplumbley

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Re: Commute engine tweaking for NWM
« Reply #41 on: October 19, 2007, 09:28:09 AM »
This will work well on a pre-existing region, but it may require a re-thinking of the way you do things.

The only way this will really overly effect your city in a negative manner is if your traffic system is setup extremely BAD.  If you use alot of busses, then your shouldnt be overly effected, but this will spread the sims out a bit.  If you have too few options for sims to get to work, then there may be issues finding a way to work and you might gain abandonment, but this is due to the fact you were a poor planner and not due to the fact that the mod doesnt work.


As for your question earlier SA about reworking the Mass Transit systems.  I myself will be looking at a balancing act with these, I dont know how Mott feels about them.  But I will be at very minimum making a personal mod of these networks, I dont like the default 2000 Capacity of the Rail and Subway networks and will definately be re-calculating them.  The TE Lots for the Stations will also be adjusted in my own game because they require a new Transit Switch Speed.  We shall see what I find when I dig through that later.
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Offline cammo2003

Re: Commute engine tweaking for NWM
« Reply #42 on: October 19, 2007, 10:27:56 AM »
The only way this will really overly effect your city in a negative manner is if your traffic system is setup extremely BAD.  If you use alot of busses, then your shouldnt be overly effected, but this will spread the sims out a bit.  If you have too few options for sims to get to work, then there may be issues finding a way to work and you might gain abandonment, but this is due to the fact you were a poor planner and not due to the fact that the mod doesnt work.


As for your question earlier SA about reworking the Mass Transit systems.  I myself will be looking at a balancing act with these, I dont know how Mott feels about them.  But I will be at very minimum making a personal mod of these networks, I dont like the default 2000 Capacity of the Rail and Subway networks and will definately be re-calculating them.  The TE Lots for the Stations will also be adjusted in my own game because they require a new Transit Switch Speed.  We shall see what I find when I dig through that later.

I've always felt that a capacity of 2,000 was too low... Especially given a single 8-car train here in Sydney carries that much.

Offline mott

Re: Commute engine tweaking for NWM
« Reply #43 on: October 19, 2007, 03:55:37 PM »
How do I feel about Mass Transit modding?  I'm for it!  What do we want to change? 

I like to make my Sims wait for the train to arrive (Entry Cost), I took away the "income per tile" setting for the rail networks and charged the Sims a fare at the station instead.  Rail capacity is 9600, minimum, in my own games.   

The a02 version I posted on the previous page has all the rail networks to 4800 capacity, and the monorail 9600.  I didn't raise it past that, in case it would be too radical for existing cities and then people wouldn't play-test it.  Because we're being so strict about enforcing congestion delays, it might actually help keep things in balance.  At least the rails are a "safety valve" in case of a population explosion.

Once we've proven to ourselves that the "Max Commute Time" is set high enough to allow all the Sims to reach their jobs on reasonably uncongested roads, and we have good network speeds chosen, we can give the lotmakers their Entry Cost to Real Time conversion charts, with suggested values for achieving desired effects. 

I'm very close to being able to report on the full implications of Transit Switches and TE lots (this info is needed for the Park-and-Ride mod - funny I was researching this when the argument about it broke out).  There are a few special conditions under which a TE lot is OK to use.  The Maxis Elevated, El-Sub transition, and Monorail stations meet the conditions.  Most road-top lots don't.  But some of them do and others could.  I'm documenting this too, to go with the charts.

Offline jplumbley

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Re: Commute engine tweaking for NWM
« Reply #44 on: October 19, 2007, 04:45:19 PM »
Alright, well for the Mass Transit...  Things that need to be modded would be as you said the Station Lots and the Network Capacities.  The following quote is from a Post I made in the BSC Private Site during the CAM Testing, I have done capacity calculations on the networks.  Im glad I found this.  (From May 07)

Hey... I had a talk last night with Alex (Tarkus), about this mod and its effects it will have at higher stages on the capacities of the transit networks.  We both see that it will more than likely have a great impact on you transit network.

Right now, if you notice, when you get to stage 8 and you have a downtown area that it already starts going red or yellow, unless you only use bus traffic.  The thing is there seems to be a trend amoung the larger buildings at stage 8, the majority of their occupants tend to use the same type of transit network, be it, subway, rail, drive or walk.  On average 2500 occupants of a 4000 occupant building will use this same type of travel method.  Unfortunately, vanilla levels are set so that even one of these buildings can overload any network.  Specifically things like a 2000 capacity subway or rail system.

What Alex and I have talked about is re-working these levels in a mix between reality based and SC4 measurements.  We have changed the capacities to hold a higher capacity and the speeds have been raised to reflect a better scale between the useage of the networks (hopefully).

For cars we use a very basic formula... nothing like Tage's logarithmic formulas for CAM.

We stated that, the average length of a car is about 3-4m in length and that the average distance between the cars when travelling is 3-4 car lengths.  This equals an average of somewhere in the range of 13m per car to pass.  If we take the speed the car is travelling, we can get the average capacity of the road per lane per hour.  So if the travel speed is 60 kms/h we get a total capacity of 4615 cars per lane per hour.  Each tile has 2-lanes meaning that the tile average would be 9230 cars per hour.

I hope you followed that.

Here are the stats that we have come up with for a proposal for initial testing:

Street Capacity:6152

Road/OWR/Avenue Capacity:9230

ANT/Highway Capacity:15384

Rail/Subway/EL Rail/Monorail Capacity:16800

So, now I bet your going to ask why we have decided to put Roads/OWR/Avenues with the same stats.  Well, it an easy answer.  The work that Alex, Memo and I have talked about for widening networks (functional turning lanes, wider OWRs, wider avenues, etc.) will benefit by the number of RUL texture overrides that will be created equal to each other.  This allows Alex to place a road next to a OWR and have an RUL that will change it into TLA-5 and place two roads next to each other for the median-less avenue Memo created.  Having the networks with the same stats will mean that there are more possibilities of combinations.

Well, I come to the end of my rant.  I hope this was enlightening and useful.

I am going to update the Pathfinding Simulator (I made) again and give it another upload here later.  This time I will include the RHW stuff and Im gonna steal some of your new additions from your file Mott.


EDIT:  Attached now is the new updated one of my new Pathfinding Simulator.
« Last Edit: October 19, 2007, 05:21:57 PM by jplumbley »
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Offline mott

Re: Commute engine tweaking for NWM
« Reply #45 on: October 19, 2007, 06:31:32 PM »
@jplumbley:  I completely followed the CAM-related post above.  It's not a problem.  Since we're going to mod all the stations anyway, we can pick any baselines we like.  The only thing I would change, would be to "round off" the capacities to even multiples of 100.   Usage queries report to the player in actual trips and not percentage-of-use, so it's just not intuitive to have 100% use be 6152 or something like that.  Make it an even 6000 so the player doesn't get confused.  Besides that... um, OK.  Let's put a CAM-compatible one on the stack. 

I figured out how to change the way the game calculates commute length as far as the sims themselves are concerned (like where the breakpoints for "short" "medium" and "long" commute are when you query a zone).  These things can be changed at a very low level, so it propagates through the desirability calculations and advisor messages, really everything.  So there is no need to mess with network speeds and maximum trip lengths to affect those things.  It's really better if we don't.   If we want any Sim who can find a job in his own city to have a "medium" commute, and a "short" one if he's close enough to walk... no problem.  That's not in the pathfinding engine though; it's based on separate calculations.  And we control the vertical, we control the horizontal....

Oh, don't forget to copy the graph exemplars too.  The real-time thing doesn't work without it, and the congestion one is required because the Maxis defaults are too grainy to provide the kind of data the player needs, with the congestion-enforcement we're using. 

Offline Shadow Assassin

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Re: Commute engine tweaking for NWM
« Reply #46 on: October 19, 2007, 08:10:59 PM »
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If you use alot of busses, then your shouldnt be overly effected, but this will spread the sims out a bit.  If you have too few options for sims to get to work, then there may be issues finding a way to work and you might gain abandonment, but this is due to the fact you were a poor planner and not due to the fact that the mod doesnt work.

Well, more people use cars than buses. Initially when I put the mod in, there was a downward spike across all transport types (ped, bus, car, rail), but soon after it went back to normal. There was no abandonment, though. If anything, there was a reduction in abandonment.
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Offline mott

Re: Commute engine tweaking for NWM
« Reply #47 on: October 19, 2007, 09:17:06 PM »
Thanks for the play-testing reports, SA!   :thumbsup:

Offline jplumbley

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Re: Commute engine tweaking for NWM
« Reply #48 on: October 19, 2007, 09:29:15 PM »
Well, more people use cars than buses. Initially when I put the mod in, there was a downward spike across all transport types (ped, bus, car, rail), but soon after it went back to normal. There was no abandonment, though. If anything, there was a reduction in abandonment.

That spike in reduction of transportation might have been many of the dilapidated buildings "rejuvenating" and the all the "new" sims would require to find new jobs and new paths, which would explain a momentary lapse of reduced capacity if it was a city-wide occurance.

What was congestion like before the my new mod, and what was it like afterwards?  Waht was your city population?  And what mod were you using before, Id like to know what the capacities of your roads were before.  I think these ones are a bit high to be honest and will make it too easy to balance your transit system.  If we were to reduce it 25 to 50% it may work better and provide a bit more challange, but not until you reach a city size of probably around 250k.  This is probably the optimal place to make the transit system to become challenging is after population of 250k.  Large city tiles definately hit 1 million quite often, so this may be a good place to start...
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Offline mott

Re: Commute engine tweaking for NWM
« Reply #49 on: October 19, 2007, 11:03:23 PM »
When the simulator re-checks a commute and notices that a faster route is available, it tells all the commuters nearby to check their routes again also.  Since every commuter sees an improvement, this "word-of-mouth" quickly spreads, every Sim's trip is wiped off the map, and the pathfinder starts over re-calculating all of them.  If the volume graph updates itself while this is happening, you see this drop in volume, followed by a correction back to normal volumes once all the trips have been re-checked. 

Offline Shadow Assassin

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Re: Commute engine tweaking for NWM
« Reply #50 on: October 20, 2007, 12:23:45 AM »
I'll admit that I did it in a large city tile with 20,000 sims. But the city was extremely spread out. I'll try it in a large city with 500 or 600k population and see what happens.

I was using the 10x speed, 10x capacity, 5x commute time mod with the better pathfinding. I'm happy with the results so far, but it's early days yet.
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Offline mott

Alpha 03 is here!
« Reply #51 on: October 22, 2007, 06:26:05 PM »
Hi all;

Since the play-testers are having so much successs with the last pathfinding file, I've formalized the changes and rolled them into a nice pretty new alpha 03, yay!

Here's what you get:
* "Demand stalling" and "false abandonment" problems are *much* improved.
* Buses and trucks stay off your streets as much as possible
* "Commute Penalties" for transit types are gone.  As long as Sims can get to work, the player is not penalized.  [No-car and no-transit cities are possible now.  It's a simulator, not a dictator.]
* Commute Time Graph appears in Real-Time minutes, that make sense with the game's scale.
* Speed-Capacity balancing for NWM, RHW, "Big Dig" and HSRP network support is included.
* Grand Rail Station bug fixed - no other patches needed to correct it.

There's also optional pieces:
* First alpha of "Park and Ride" mod (sims cannot drive directly to work; must park and walk.  All mods must be mis-named, as a rule, so "park and ride" then.)
* Corrected radii of *all* civic buildings to match game scale and original design intent (rewards too).  Opera House capacity bug fixed.  Water treatment covers whole city.
* Slope/Tunnel mod that matches the NAM "puzzle piece" slopes.  Also fixes "$100 bulldoze" problem w/puzzle pieces.  Strange place for THAT fix to be, eh? 
* New, proper-Entry-Cost-adjusted Maxis transit station patches.  Yes, ALL of them.  Sims won't walk through them any more, unless they're getting on/off transit.
* Automata plugin so cars aren't appearing and disappearing all the time.  At "turtle" speed vehicles move at true scale speeds.

There are terse, but sufficient, READMEs also.  Lots of minor little adjustments. You guys are smart, you'll figure it out.  Have fun, and as always, report back!  I can't guess at everything people are going to try.
« Last Edit: October 22, 2007, 06:27:40 PM by mott »

Offline Shadow Assassin

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Re: Commute engine tweaking for NWM
« Reply #52 on: October 22, 2007, 10:12:38 PM »
Quote
Slope/Tunnel mod that matches the NAM "puzzle piece" slopes.  Also fixes "$100 bulldoze" problem w/puzzle pieces.  Strange place for THAT fix to be, eh?

I'm not sure what this means... what's the slope grade on this?
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Offline mott

Re: Commute engine tweaking for NWM
« Reply #53 on: October 23, 2007, 12:52:47 AM »
I'm not sure what this means... what's the slope grade on this?

The same exemplars that the slope mods change, also contain the networks' "build cost" and "bulldoze cost."   So to fix the problem with Puzzle Pieces costing $100 each to bulldoze, I had to make a slope mod because those $100 bulldoze costs add up when you're playing a real game on "hard."  Then the matter of what to set them to came up...  As long as I was letting people play with Park-and-Ride I figured I might as well throw it in the .zip as an "option."   

IIRC, I ended up going with 6 for rail and monorail, 9 for highways and el/sub, 12 for road and 18 for streets.    Still pretty steep, not quite as ugly as the defaults.  Plays nice with "sunken highways" though.

Offline wouanagaine

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Re: Commute engine tweaking for NWM
« Reply #54 on: October 24, 2007, 04:28:12 PM »
Hi mott

I gave some tries to your mod ( everything installed ) and I'm reporting some strange things:

fresh region, RHW CAM NAM SAM installed,
first city created:


noone use cars, which I found a bit drastic

I have a RHW lines, but noone seems to get thru it ( using it or using a street/RHW instersection), I had to change the RHW to road for making the intersection so that sims get to the industrial jobs

Feel free to ask if you need more infos

Take care!
« Last Edit: October 24, 2007, 04:31:41 PM by wouanagaine »
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Offline mott

Re: Commute engine tweaking for NWM
« Reply #55 on: October 24, 2007, 04:57:51 PM »
@Wouanagaine:

That sure looks like the ParkAndRide plugin... There's a folder in the package called ParkAndRide, containing an alternate pathfinding file.  If installed, it will override the other path plugin, with the one that forces Sims to use parking lots.  Easy way to tell, just plop a parking garage on that map and watch them all drive to it. :)

Looks like I need to re-package - people aren't nearly as good at reading my mind as I had assumed.  My fault.

Like the ANT, the RHW does not allow pedestrians.  Should this be changed?

Offline wouanagaine

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Re: Commute engine tweaking for NWM
« Reply #56 on: October 24, 2007, 05:02:01 PM »
I should have read your explanations better

Indeed, I think an installer with options and such like the NAM will do it well for final release

As RHW, keep it that way, I'll try with parking, it should solve the problem

great job  &apls
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Offline Andreas

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Re: Commute engine tweaking for NWM
« Reply #57 on: October 24, 2007, 05:21:50 PM »
Looks like I need to re-package - people aren't nearly as good at reading my mind as I had assumed.  My fault.

Trust me, I know that feeling... :D  Even my installers were some kind of mystery to a few fellow BSC members. ;)
Andreas

Offline mott

Re: Commute engine tweaking for NWM
« Reply #58 on: October 24, 2007, 05:22:17 PM »
I should have read your explanations better

And I should have followed modern packaging protocols.   ::)

Thank you so much for the A* pointers.  I'm a math major, not a programmer.   You and Mr. Patel saved me a lot of time.

The reason the heuristic is so small, is that Maxis uses an unusual step-cost range:  [0.005, 0.25]
The "step cost" for a car to move one tile on a road is ~0.03.  Therefore, a good heuristic would be somewhere near there.
(Just to finish that conversation).

Offline mott

Re: Commute engine tweaking for NWM
« Reply #59 on: October 24, 2007, 05:28:52 PM »
Trust me, I know that feeling... :D  Even my installers were some kind of mystery to a few fellow BSC members. ;)

LOL

You guys are very smart, but still...  hiding an override in a sub-folder is just *mean*.   ;)