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Author Topic: New Additions to RTMT  (Read 87580 times)

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Offline Diggis

Re: New Additions to RTMT
« Reply #40 on: September 15, 2008, 06:41:05 AM »
London has road markings, usually a red box for the bus to park in, with a yellow bus stop written inside.

Offline FrankU

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Re: New Additions to RTMT
« Reply #41 on: September 15, 2008, 07:40:47 AM »
Well, anyway, as long as there is an option to leave road markings out I am completely happy. Also I could perfectly play my game and have all the fun there is if I only had busstops with road markings.... I am not too interested in realistic detailling. I am more interested in nice looking and functional stops.


Offline 0rion79

Re: New Additions to RTMT
« Reply #43 on: September 20, 2008, 01:58:55 AM »
Guys, you are great.
Just to know, when do you plan to release version 4.0?

Offline z

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Re: New Additions to RTMT
« Reply #44 on: September 20, 2008, 02:25:47 AM »
We at the RTMT Place are following the long-standing SC4 tradition of not having any schedules.  This is pretty much a necessity, as it's hard to predict how much time each developer will have to work on the project.  Nevertheless, we're actively working on V4, and it shouldn't take too long to complete.  However, after development is finished, which is still a ways away, we have to have a testing period.  So the next release will be a while from now - hopefully not too long.

Sorry to be so vague...   :-\
« Last Edit: September 20, 2008, 02:38:10 AM by z »

Offline 0rion79

Re: New Additions to RTMT
« Reply #45 on: September 20, 2008, 03:38:51 AM »
No, it's ok! I'm just damn curious to know what's boiling into the pot!
Please, can you spoil any news about the characteristics of v 4.0 and the differences with 3.5? :)

PLEASEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!  $%Grinno$%

Offline cogeo

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Re: New Additions to RTMT
« Reply #46 on: September 20, 2008, 03:41:05 AM »
Orion, this is exactly what this thread is about.  :)

The first post contains a list of proposed additions. You can also go to the The Eternal RTMT New Features Poll and cast your vote.
« Last Edit: September 20, 2008, 03:45:59 AM by cogeo »

Offline 0rion79

Re: New Additions to RTMT
« Reply #47 on: September 20, 2008, 03:44:24 AM »
Yes, but it is still a bit confusing for me, even because many of you write using abreviations, giving as granted that everybody does understand.  I'm back to SC4 after a 1 year pause so it is not THAT intuitive: in short, I was asking for a synthesis of major changes. Anyway, can help with testing if you want.

Offline z

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Re: New Additions to RTMT
« Reply #48 on: September 20, 2008, 03:59:28 AM »
No, it's ok! I'm just damn curious to know what's boiling into the pot!
Please, can you spoil any news about the characteristics of v 4.0 and the differences with 3.5? :)

PLEASEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!  $%Grinno$%

Right now, all we can say for sure is what's at the top of the first post in this thread.  That's always the place to look for the most current information.  We're still looking into some things; if we decide to include them, we'll update that post.  But overall, you'll find 4.0 fairly similar to 3.5; many of the changes are under the hood.  And 4.1 will include RTMT for Underground Rail.  RTMT for SAM streets appears to have a lot of people interested in it, so it looks like it will be one of the earlier extensions that we will do.

And thanks for the offer for testing; I'll add you to the list.

Offline 0rion79

Re: New Additions to RTMT
« Reply #49 on: September 20, 2008, 04:34:38 AM »
Great, this is what I was looking for.
So, if I can express an advice, I really hope that the DAMN matter will pass beta testing and will be used instead than the MML.
If you can sort icons together, I think you chould do something like this:
        Shifting with TAB >>>
Menu:       road, avenue, OW, street (in this order because I think they are more often used in this way)
Bus           road, avenue, OW, street
Bus & Sub  road, avenue, OW, street
Sub           road, avenue, OW, street
...
Then a question: I've seen in page 1 that image with different U-train and subway stops. What's the difference about them? I think that it would be better to make just a kind of MT station for all underground/subway systems instead than 1 for subway only and 1 for u-rail only. Then it is just the player that chooses what kind of line is passing under the streeets, even because there are no conceptual differences for the commuters: he is just looking for the stairs on avenues or streets to take the kind of mass transit line that will bring him to job.
What do you think?

Offline z

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Re: New Additions to RTMT
« Reply #50 on: September 20, 2008, 04:49:40 AM »
DAMN has finished beta testing, and has been formally released.  We fully intend to use it starting in one of the earlier releases.  However, we also intend to keep the menus, as they are sometimes easier to use, and some people prefer them.  MML's will also remain, but they will continue to be optional.  (You can bypass them in the installation.)

TAB rings are very attractive, but it has been established that they work only with puzzle pieces, not with lots.

As for the Underground Rail stations, much design work has gone into them, and the consensus is that we like them the way they are.

I would recommend reading through this whole thread, as some of your questions have been answered previously here.

Offline cogeo

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Re: New Additions to RTMT
« Reply #51 on: September 20, 2008, 05:08:44 AM »
Orion, the stations you see in the 1st page are for NAM's underground rail puzzle pieces, and these aren't actually roads, they are dual road/u-rail networks. They aren't sybways either. There is a "connector" puzzle piece that causes the underground track to emerge to ground level, and connect to the "heavy" rail neteork. That is the rail traffic for these is shown in orange (rail) colour, not yellow.

Having a U-Rail (-only) stations means that only passenger trains can stop there, not subways, even if there is subway tunnel under the station lot. Similarly, subway-only stations can only serve subway lines. That is, both are needed.
« Last Edit: September 20, 2008, 05:17:28 AM by cogeo »

Offline 0rion79

Re: New Additions to RTMT
« Reply #52 on: September 20, 2008, 07:02:30 AM »
oh!! Ive been tricked by the image and by the fact that I never use them. Feel a nbit stupid now :)
I've been too exited at the idea to join this project: I should have definitely take more time to read previous threads!

Offline 0rion79

Re: New Additions to RTMT
« Reply #53 on: October 18, 2008, 01:58:59 PM »
Hello, since this is the post for new features request, I would like very much to have a different kind of menu icons for RTMT stops.

From Darkmatter version, the number of icons has increased a lot and even the visual complexity of road-top stops has increased. Even if the 3.5 version icons are really beautiful, they look too similar ech other, for me, and I have some problems recognizing 1-way stops from avenues or from 2-lanes roads.

In those days, I have made some new icons for personal use, because they help me to play faster. I made some for roundabout fillers, SBI, road signs... and, of course, RTMT too. I know that they look very home-made but they show what I would like to have... Since the menu icon space is so small, maybe it would be the case to paint new icons rather than taking snapshots from game. Maybe they would be more representative...



Also, I REALLY would like to be able to place subway stations using zone view: especially now that I'm using CAM, it becomes nearly impossible to center a road after that skyscreapers have already developed and became so high... somebody has told me that, since all subway stops in the game are made like that, then even RTMT should work in the similar way too. But I don't agree and, if possible, I would like it to be left as option in the setup executable file.

Thanks for attention :)

Offline cogeo

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Re: New Additions to RTMT
« Reply #54 on: October 18, 2008, 03:29:31 PM »
This is a reply to this post (posted in the RTMT features Poll thread).

I split that post out of the RTMT features Poll thread and merged it into here (the post above this one), so that it'll be easier to follow the discussion.
/Tage


Orion, you're right that the RTMT buttons have a become a bit confusing, and they are going to be even more confusing as new stations are added. And yes, taking game shots (for the icons) is no longer a good solution, just because of the many, and often similar-looking station lots. In cases like GLR+Bus+Subway for GLR-in-Avenue puzzle pieces, it's really impossible to fit all station props in that little space. Also stations like ebina's subway-only, rail-only and subway+rail for underground rail/road puzzle pieces, look so very much the same, and it's almost impossible to the player to distinguish between them.

You have posted a set of buttons (thanks!), but... aren't these game shots as well? They are still hard to distinguish, eg between the 1st and 2nd button or the 4th and 5th.

I have discussed it with Steve, and we have some ideas.

Steve has suggested a solution that's been used successfully by many developers in this situation, which is to overlay a short letter code on top of each icon.  For example, a street bus stop would simply be S-B, and a road bus and subway stop two tiles long would be R-SB2.

Though this would definitely be an improvement, I don't really like this idea very much, being too cryptic and too much "encoded". Of course, encoding will be consistent, but this still requires "thinking" (for deciphering the code), which many players won't really like (it's a game, after all), so these will still mouse over; others will mouse over anyway, just to make sure! That is it still requires some "effort" on the player side, to "decipher" the code. Players must learn (and remember) the convention (network type left of the dash, transit types on the right) and the code letters. I think they will still read the description, just to make sure.

So my suggestion here is:
- Keep using a "distinctive" rather than a "standard" button style (the one with the little white border around the button), as this makes easy to tell which the RTMT icons are, at a glance. So players can easily tell whether they are inside or outside the "RTMT button area", and thus they don't need to examine each button carefully to determine "where RTMT ends"; the only additional "burden" here is just a few mouse rolls, which is a "mechanical" movement, not requiring any special attention. I wouldn't insist on keeping the current style though, maybe the bevel could be narrowed, so as to increase the "useful" area.
- Use the networks' textures as the buttons' background, but displayed vertically and occupying a bigger area, so that it's easy to tell the network type.
- Use some small icon (not letter) overlays for the transit types involved. I would propose using simple bitonal (well, maybe with an opacity mask, for controlling opacity and/or antiliasing) symbol-like overlays, rather than the colour icons. The colour could be pale white, superimposed on the network texture (which is quite darker). As an alternative there could be used well-known transit logos of real cities, eg London's roundel (red-blue for underground, all-red for buses, orange-blue for overground) or the German ones (the U,S,etc logos).

I think this would be easier to the players. But it's just my preference. It would be interesting to know the opinion of other members, and why not, their ideas too!
« Last Edit: October 18, 2008, 03:50:24 PM by RippleJet »

Offline Andreas

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Re: New Additions to RTMT
« Reply #55 on: October 18, 2008, 04:16:15 PM »
Using symbols is probably better than using plain letters indeed. "R-SB2" is rather cryptic, and a screenshot of the actual lot, with those symbols used as an overlay could do the trick. I don't know about other countries, but the German "H" ("Haltestelle"; [bus] stop), "U" ("U-Bahn"; subway) or "S" ("S-Bahn", commuter train) signs are pretty distinctive and recognizable even if they are very small. If it's not too much work, you could even do different sets of icons for the US, UK and German players.
« Last Edit: October 18, 2008, 04:18:27 PM by Andreas »
Andreas

Offline z

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Re: New Additions to RTMT
« Reply #56 on: October 18, 2008, 05:05:52 PM »
Once I saw how DAMN worked, it seemed to me that that was the solution, as there's a short and very legible desription after each button.  When I sent the menu package to Diggis, I just asked him to use the descriptions that already showed up on mouse-over.  (This also allows us to keep all the currently supported languages without doing any new translating.)  So in DAMN, being able to see what the pictures are is much less necessary; in fact, one could argue that it's not necessary at all.  As the poll that I've run has shown a lot of enthusiasm for DAMN, I don't think it makes a lot sense to invest a lot of energy in redesigning the buttons one way or another right now.  For people who want to work on RTMT, we have lots of other things available for you...   ;D

Also, I REALLY would like to be able to place subway stations using zone view: especially now that I'm using CAM, it becomes nearly impossible to center a road after that skyscreapers have already developed and became so high... somebody has told me that, since all subway stops in the game are made like that, then even RTMT should work in the similar way too. But I don't agree and, if possible, I would like it to be left as option in the setup executable file.

As cogeo explained, the way DarkMatter got this to work was by using the Building:Bus and Building:BusStop Occupant Groups, essentially making the station look like a bus stop.  He also said, "This is not necessarily 'better' though," and explained why; I agree completely with his conclusions.  Furthermore, it's not really hard to place subway stations using the Zones view; I use CAM and I do it all the time.  See FAQ #5 for details.

Offline zakuten

Re: New Additions to RTMT
« Reply #57 on: October 18, 2008, 08:41:44 PM »
So, will the newer versions be DAMN only, then? Is that the plan?
Visit my MD Respublikii Anaksii , or the reboot CJ "Kara`i Shores" since the region wiped, at http://www.simtropolis.com/cityjournals/?p=toc&id=919 !
All comments are welcome! (Hopefully someday I can re-splice 'em together, but we'll see)

Offline z

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Re: New Additions to RTMT
« Reply #58 on: October 18, 2008, 11:03:47 PM »
No, there will be an option during installation to install the current button arrangement (with optional MML) in addition to DAMN.

Offline 0rion79

Re: New Additions to RTMT
« Reply #59 on: October 19, 2008, 02:10:18 AM »
Yes, I agree very much about using simbols, but I want to point out something about my icons set.
First, they are not proposed to be used in 4.0 release, they are only a sample and I use them because I feel better with them.
Second, if you look to actual RTMT icons, there is not much difference between road,OWR and avenues. The icons that I propose, instead, have a "constant" that helps to recognize them: OWR has the arrow on the N/E icon corner, avenues have the green line in the middle, streets are gray and standard roads... well, are the ones without arrow or green line :D Also, it is possible to recognize in one eye shoot subway from bus, because subway has white writings and bus has yellow ones.
But maybe it is less clean now that icons are grouped into one single image.

More, I have moved them to get the order "bus, sub, bus+sub" so, as long as I have that order, it is very easy for me NOT getting confused.
But probably this works only because I have removed all GLR and 2x stops, since I hate when my buildings cannot develope because they have road access denied and 2x stops increase this risk. So, this means less icons and so less confusion.

I was even thinking of a kind of icon that is dark on the left side, and then shades to in-game snapshot of the RTMT stops. IN this way, there would be the space on the left for some reference letters or logos and on the right a pre-view of the stop kind, but maybe it is too small...

@Z, sorry but I don't agree at all. I know it is a subjective matter, but I have already tried with that procedure and I just don't feel confident with it. I don't like it. There is no reason for which the player has to adapt to the game instead than adapting the game to the player.

I also understand that it is not possible to make a RTMT version with too many alternatives, or the result would be a huge pack with too many options that would result confusing! Instead, you could add a step-by-step readme to customize RTMT only for those requestes that represent a strong minority of cases. Eg: add a different set of icons or, in my case, explain how to turn subways into bus stops for the game.

I think it would be quite easy with the iLive reader, but I want to know first what are the backdraws, to know why Darkmatter has told that "This is not necessarily 'better' though,"

Thank you!