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Author Topic: FLexible UnderPasses (FLUPs)  (Read 197254 times)

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Offline z

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Re: FLexible UnderPasses (FLUPs)
« Reply #60 on: January 09, 2009, 02:21:14 AM »
z, doing that would require a lot with a transit swootch as you would be converting cars into subway traffic, so you'd either still get busses turning into cars at the end of the subway, or not be able to have buses down the subway.

Well, that certainly puts a damper on things. &Thk/(

I gather that the Big Dig has the same problem.

I don't think anybody wants buses turning into cars.  So blocking buses would seem to be the alternative.  There are certainly plenty of tunnels and underpasses in the real world that are cars only, so there is a precedent.  And the lack of bus access would mean more to some people than to others.  Where bus access is needed, the current FLUPS model could be used.  I think the bus issue limits the applicability of this idea, but still leaves it useful in many places.  As for the transit switch, wouldn't it be essentially the same kind of transit switch that's used in the Big Dig?

Offline Swamper77

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Re: FLexible UnderPasses (FLUPs)
« Reply #61 on: January 09, 2009, 02:32:19 AM »
Z,

Yes, the Big Dig switches cars to subway and then back again at the other end, which requires two transit-enabled Lots. However, transit switches are limited to Lots only. Puzzle pieces can't do transit switches as they are merely extensions of their parent network (ie road, rail, etc.).

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Offline z

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Re: FLexible UnderPasses (FLUPs)
« Reply #62 on: January 09, 2009, 04:42:36 AM »
Boy, you guys sure make this challenging. &Thk/(
OK! &idea  I think I've got it.  I think it's possible to do everything I wanted to do originally.

We know we can have TE lots right next to puzzle pieces, even for underground networks.  Ebina's underground rail is one example of this; the coming version allows transits between underground rail and subway.  So here's what I propose:
                                                         S
                                                         S
                                                         S
RLSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSLRRRRLSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSLRR
 SSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS  S  SSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS
                                                         S
                                                         S
                                                         S

All of this takes place underground.  Coming in from the left, you have a FLUPS underground road (the 'R').  Directly to its right, you have a TE lot (the 'L').  The properties of this TE lot are that cars and buses can enter from the south (which is left in this picture), cars can exit from the north only, and buses can exit from the east and west only.  When cars and buses exit, they're turned into subways.  In the reverse direction, subways can enter from the north, east, or west.  If they enter from the north, they're turned into cars; otherwise, they're turned into buses.  They exit through the south.

In the middle, I show what happens when a real subway line is encountered.  The subways are turned back into cars and buses, cross the subway line via a FLUPS underground road, and then get converted into subways again.  At the right end of the picture, subways get converted back to cars and buses.

So, what do you think?

Offline darraghf

Re: FLexible UnderPasses (FLUPs)
« Reply #63 on: January 09, 2009, 01:18:50 PM »
Hey, Will it be possible to do this with highways, avenues or rail??(Well i know rail has been done)

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Offline JoeST

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Re: FLexible UnderPasses (FLUPs)
« Reply #64 on: January 09, 2009, 01:21:24 PM »
Nice ideas Z, so Puzzlepiece - TElot brushing has been fixed? awesome

Joe
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Offline z

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Re: FLexible UnderPasses (FLUPs)
« Reply #65 on: January 10, 2009, 05:21:24 AM »
Nice ideas Z, so Puzzlepiece - TElot brushing has been fixed? awesome

Please understand, this is just a proposal, and nothing has been actually built.  But unlike my previous two proposals, this one hasn't been shot down yet. ::)  And the more I think it through, the more I think it should work.  Swamper was right - puzzle pieces can't do what I want to do.  But a TE lot can, at least from everything I've seen, and it should fit in quite nicely.

Hey, Will it be possible to do this with highways, avenues or rail??(Well i know rail has been done)

I'm not sure if you're asking about FLUPS in general or my specific proposal on the previous page.  Assuming it's the latter, I'll answer this, as the answers are probably of interest to others as well.

The proposal I outlined can be used for tunnels for any form of transportation, although each form would need its own customized TE lot.  Rails would work much like road traffic, so you could preserve the division of passenger trains and freight trains.  Avenues would work like roads, and use the same type of TE lots, except you would need two TE lots for every one used in a road configuration.  However, you could get away with three subway lines instead of four for the main tunnels by merging the two middle tunnels, which both contain cars.

For highways, if all you want is a point-to-point tunnel that doesn't cross any subway lines, all you have to do is to modify the transit switch in the Big Dig end piece to work exactly as the one for roads.  This would immediately allow buses to use Big Dig tunnels.  If you wanted to cross subway lines, you would have to add the road TE lot, as shown in the picture above.  And if you wanted to use the intermediate entrances and exits, their transit switches would also have to be modified in the same way as the one for the main entrance, and you would need to use the road TE lot to allow the crossing of subway lines that would be necessary to allow both cars and buses to use these intermediate access points.  But if you do all this, you end up with a Big Dig tunnel that can go anywhere, cross arbitrary subway lines without interference, and allow both cars and buses to travel without restriction.


Offline Jonathan

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Re: FLexible UnderPasses (FLUPs)
« Reply #66 on: January 10, 2009, 05:28:22 AM »
z, sorry I didn't mean to shoot your idea, just say that it wouldn't work with a puzzle piece, good idea with a lot!
I tried it but I couldn't get it to work, but that is possibly because I'm on Vista and I've noticed that SC4Tool doesn't always save what I've done. Also It probably because I don't know much about Transit Switches.
So in theory it should work, and is likely to however the game doesn't always like theory:)

Jonathan

Offline z

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Re: FLexible UnderPasses (FLUPs)
« Reply #67 on: January 10, 2009, 05:38:47 AM »
Don't worry, Jonathan, your input has been greatly appreciated here, as well as many other areas.  I was just wrong about the puzzle piece (I should have known better), and I'm grateful that you pointed this out.  It's really wonderful to have such great expertise around here, and it's far better to find out errors in the planning stage than when something's halfway built. :thumbsup:

Offline buddybud

Re: FLexible UnderPasses (FLUPs)
« Reply #68 on: January 10, 2009, 06:09:49 AM »
Hey z....

  Many things done on this site and others were at one time thought to be impossible. When someone says it can't be done, always substitute that with "we know of no way to do that". Perseverance pays off sometimes and asking questions helps all of us think of things from new angles. Quite often new ideas are developed exactly from that. Never apologize for asking questions my friend. Though sometimes things lead to naught quite often other good and useful knowledge is gained.

Just thought id add that. :thumbsup:

Bud

Offline b22rian

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Re: FLexible UnderPasses (FLUPs)
« Reply #69 on: January 10, 2009, 06:24:49 AM »
Z...

I second strongly what buddybud is saying.. You have an awful lot of ability my friend...
What you have already added to this great game in such a short time, quite amazes me   &apls..
Nothing you could come up with can surprise me any more..
and so far this sounds like it could well work out..

thanks, Brian

Offline McDuell

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Re: FLexible UnderPasses (FLUPs)
« Reply #70 on: January 10, 2009, 10:10:27 AM »
z,

I actually had this idea with splitting up the traffic into two lines of subway some time ago. Being just a 'normal' user though with no knowledge of the inner workings of the transit system, I tried to do the TE-ing with the SC4 Tool from simrolle and Andreas Roth. However, it didn't turn out exactly the way I wanted it. Here is what I've done.

The lot I used as base was Morifari's Hillside GLR-Subway Transition lot. I then modified the values as follows (road traffic coming from west):


While the lot works perfectly when I connect only the 'car' subway or the 'bus' subway line, it behaves very strangely when connecting both lines together.

This is my test city:


Connecting only the roads does work as intended:                Connecting only the bus is also ok:


Connecting both options behaves strangely.
With this layout ...                                                          ... I get this result:


If I cut one end of the bus way, the results get even stranger.
Cutting at the end ...                                                       ... and at the beginning:


I'm just showing morning traffic, because the morning and the evening traffic is in itself consistent. In the evening the working force will leave the industies by car, convert to subway and reconvert to buses to finally walk home from the station.

As I'm no expert though, this is where my wisdom ends and there may well be something very obvious that I overlooked. Anyway, I ended up not using this transition lot myself. Another reason is that there is still road access needed to reach the jobs; if I cut the street connection, even if it's not used by anyone, I will end up with no job zots.

Please excuse my kind of 'picture-spamming' in this post, but for me this makes it way easier than explaining things in pure words. I just hope that my experiences might be somewhat helpful  :)

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Offline Jonathan

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Re: FLexible UnderPasses (FLUPs)
« Reply #71 on: January 10, 2009, 10:49:36 AM »
z,
I tried your idea using infomation from McDuell posts and it worked with the FLUPs (I didn't bother with buses in the switch points) However it only works if there is a local ob to the residential area,

Ie it can't be:
R = Residentail, F = FLUPs, S = subway, I = industrial, C = Commercial, H=hospital (or someother job)

RRRR               IIII
RRRRFFFSSSFFFIIIC
RRRR               IIIC

it must be:

RRRR               IIII
RHRRFFFSSSFFFIIIC
RRRR               IIIC

But I don't think this is too much of a problem? as most residential areas will have some job connected by roads.

Jonathan

Offline Chrisim

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Re: FLexible UnderPasses (FLUPs)
« Reply #72 on: January 10, 2009, 03:55:46 PM »
Amazing how much was going on here this week. Sorry, that I could not reply earlier, but this week was busy.

There are a number of misunderstandings about the FLUPs, but since only the NAM members and testers have presently access to FLUPs, and the information here is still sparse, that's normal. So let me give more background information.

For functional underpasses you need two ramps and an underground connection below a crossing surface network. The following solutions exist:
a) Maxis tunnels
Tunnels are great for straight orthogonal connections. They are easier to build in mountains, but even on flat land you can build tunnels with Smoncrie's hole digging lots. Tunnels work also under bridges, but they donít look very good when used to make underpasses.

b) Underpass Lots (e.g., by Marrast, Aithon, Jeronij)

They look good, they are easy to use, you can use UDI, and underground traffic is not converted to subway.
However, there are disadvantages. For each combination of ramp and surface network tile, you need a different lot. Each lot is connected to an icon, and your icon list gets long. Well, you may use MMLs or DAMNs, these help.
Another problem: when you have car traffic crossing above car traffic, traffic will jump between the two. Example: when you use a Marrast underpass below ground highway, and you will query for traffic, you will observe that car traffic magically jumps from the underground to the surface section or vice versa. In real life, it would be great if my car could simply jump from a bridge onto the motorway instead of having to use a slip road.

c) Ramp Lots connected by subway (e.g., Buddybud, BigDig, ...)
They look good, are easy to use (just drag a subway), are flexible, traffic is not jumping between surface and subsurface, but you cannot use UDI. Underground traffic is converted to subway that travels with much faster velocity. Therefore it is not realistic for the traffic simulation. Everybody who uses these lots is cheating himself - in reality he has build two parking lots with subway train access (and all cars are for hire because you cannot take a car with you on a subway train). If you use this system, do it right: there are parking lots and subway train lines available in SC4.
Well, that's my opinion, but I can accept that other SC4 mayors use subways as workaround for underpasses.

d) Underpasses through terra-forming
You can build underpasses through terraforming. And they look good,

are fully functional, flexible, and work in not perfectly flat area (the picture shows slight height variations, otherwise the rail track would be flat). And when you try out and get some practise they are not too difficult to build.
Look in dsrwhat316's tutorial and also for smoncrie's reply How to Build a Sloped Underpass

e) Flexible Underpasses (NAM puzzle pieces)
FLUPs does not contain lots (as the whole NAM does not contain lots). Technically the puzzle pieces are very similar to NAM overpasses, i.e., the elevated road puzzle pieces. Two ramps are connected with puzzle pieces. A puzzle piece has an underground road connection (straight or curved) with paths at 10 meters depth and a surface tile, e.g., transparent, park, ped mall, rail, road, oneway, street, highway, tram-avenue or avenue. All pieces can be reached via one icon (they are in one rotation ring). The Marrast ramp model looks good, the modular system allows flexible underpasses, you can use UDI, traffic is not jumping between surface and subsurface, no subway is involved and cars and busses use the underpass with normal speed. Puzzle pieces are less convenient than draggable subway, but puzzle pieces allow subsea connections, are slope tolerant, and allow for three networks on a tile (although this is not used yet in the first version).
When using FLUPs only (and that's the idea), you have no game crashes to desktop due to a puzzle pieces hovered above a transit enabled lot.

Each of these underpass or tunnel systems has advantages and disadvantages, and everybody will use the systems that he prefers.

Here are some FLUPs example pictures from a test city. The residential and commercial zones are on the right side, the industrial zone on the left of the highway, canal and rail:

The tiny manhole covers mark the underpass. It is used by cars and busses (I did not allow for pedestrians in FLUPs underpasses, too dangerous  ;) )

Here you see the routes displayed. There is no other connection to the industrial area.
You can have straight, curved and diagonal underpass sections (for some surfaces like the highway, there are only straight underpass sections).
You can also see that buildings may have underground access to the underpasses (see the green arrow left of the highway).

Here is an example from a town center of one of my older cities. Click on the thumbs to open the images.
The left thumb shows how the area looked before. Then I changed it such that only local traffic remains on the surface. And the right image shows the traffic in the new underpass:

(click to enlarge)

Some trivia: the tiny manhole covers in the FLUPs are ancient. They were created by the Romans:

Unfortunately, SC4 does not show these details.
« Last Edit: January 11, 2009, 06:12:11 AM by Chrisim »

Offline Chrisim

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Re: FLexible UnderPasses (FLUPs)
« Reply #73 on: January 10, 2009, 03:56:41 PM »
Buddybud, thank you for giving permission to use your models. I had a go at the "level" model and transfered it into a puzzle piece. You remember that your lot has no surface texture, and therefore, it often shows an annoying texture bug. Puzzle pieces require surface textures, so your "level" model simply disappears below the red/green/blue/black texture indicating no texture:

I believe that the same problem will occur for your "under"-model, but I'll try again.
The difference to the Marrast model is that he did adapt the LOD in gmax such that the S3D model is above the surface. Gmax projects the underground model onto the LOD, so the texture of the model contains a distorted image. The visual impression of depth is optical illusion. Since the LOD is above the surface, everything is displayed correctly without a texture bug for Lots and also properly for puzzle pieces. Unfortunately your models and Blahdy's Big Dig models have no adapted LODs and cannot be used for NAM puzzle pieces.

Nevertheless, we may still connect Buddybud's models as lot (not puzzle piece) with FLUPs underpasses:

(click to enlarge - here is a link to a 3 MB large GIF animation showing an UDI: Link)

Just make sure that the height difference is about 10 meters. No subway is involved.
However, mixing lots with puzzle pieces remains dangerous. I had several crashs to desktop when trying out. Do not hoover a puzzle piece over a transit enabled lot!


Why not combine FLUPS with subways, such as they're used in the Big Dig?  All it would take would be one puzzle piece for the underground road to subway transition.
As Warrior explained, you would need a lot for transitions.
And as I tried to explain, using subways to connect underpasses is just a workaround. You are loosing buses, the subway speed is much to fast, you must avoid crossing normal subway lines.
My answer is, use parking lots with subways, or use tunnels or flexible underpasses without the cheating workaround of subways ;)

From your list of suggestions: diagonal underpasses will be available with FLUPs in the next NAM version. Underground crossings or tunnels that cross without intersecting were not included (although technically they are simple to create; maybe in a second version if there is demand), because I believe that underpass junctions are not the normality in most cities. (Yes, I do know towns with underground junctions, e.g. in Paris). Still, most roads are build above the surface.

You can use FLUPs together with TE-Lots, but this is not the intention. You don't need them for normal underpasses. If you do, you have a high risk of crash to desktop.


@McDuell
You have a hill in the middle. What's the purpose of your test? Simply drag a road tunnel. Underpasses are for flat areas.
(sorry, I simply don't understand)


It's a very good idea, but can do the same thing with tunnels in mountains?
FLUPs are underpasses mainly for flat area. You can use them also on hilly terrain, but then you would probably prefer tunnels.
Will can we change the tunnels'type ?
We may add different ramps, if somebody would generate suited models (with an adapted LOD above the surface).
« Last Edit: January 10, 2009, 04:17:52 PM by Chrisim »

Offline Kitsune

Re: FLexible UnderPasses (FLUPs)
« Reply #74 on: January 11, 2009, 12:54:30 AM »
Actually the NAM FLUPs will include a set of six "individual custom puzzle pieces" that are transparent by default.
It allows reducing the problem that you can't build anything on top of FLUPs pieces.

When you add "FLUPs custom files" (extra downloads independent from the NAM) you can fill long stretchs with buildings/props or create other underpasses like this one below SimGoober's canal:

This canal can't be very deep  ::)
You can see the car automata only during UDI.
Technically, these files are separate from the NAM, and consist of either T21 Exemplars or texture replacements.
I will prepare a short description how to prepare FLUPs custom files when the NAM will be published.

Wouldnt it be possible in a future version to create a starter piece that creates the illusion that the ramp is still going further down instead of flattening out at the bottom?
~ NAM Team Member

Offline buddybud

Re: FLexible UnderPasses (FLUPs)
« Reply #75 on: January 11, 2009, 01:06:39 AM »
Quote
Nevertheless, we may still connect Buddybud's models as lot (not puzzle piece) with FLUPs underpasses:

Well thats somewhat promising i guess...nice animation by the way. I wish i had time to pursue this. May be down the road, so to speak

Offline z

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Re: FLexible UnderPasses (FLUPs)
« Reply #76 on: January 11, 2009, 05:17:39 AM »
First of all, Chrisim, I want to say that I think you've done a fantastic job here with FLUPS; you've certainly done a lot of things here that never occurred to a lot of people, including me, and have turned out to be extremely useful.  I'm sure that many of the applications of the current FLUPS have not been recognized yet.  My goal here was simply to add more capabilities, without disturbing the current FLUPS at all.  It's also important for me to do it responsibly, so that it is on par with the high quality of your current work.

As Warrior explained, you would need a lot for transitions.
And as I tried to explain, using subways to connect underpasses is just a workaround. You are loosing buses, the subway speed is much to fast, you must avoid crossing normal subway lines.
My answer is, use parking lots with subways, or use tunnels or flexible underpasses without the cheating workaround of subways ;)

Yes, a TE lot would be absolutely necessary.  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.  If this prohibition remains rigidly enforced, then my proposal could always be implemented as an add-on available from the LEX.  But there are real advantages to having it officially tied in with FLUPS, even by reference, as I'll mention shortly.

As for losing buses, the TE lot is specifically designed so that doesn't happen; the post above with my diagram illustrastes this.  I understand the problem McDuell had implementing this, which is definitely due to a TE lot bug.  But as leader of the RTMT team, I've had a bit of experience dealing with TE lot bugs, and I'm rather sure I know how to get around this one.  So the end result will be that the number of buses going in will be exactly equal to the number of buses coming out.

As for the fast subway speed, I thought about this when I first designed this approach; I simply haven't mentioned my solution before now.  First of all, for relatively short underpasses, the subway appproach would be inappropriate; the TE lots involved would make it much bulkier and clumsier than straight FLUPS.  The subway approach is really designed for tunnels, whether they be underground or under water.  There's a very simple way to make the overall tunnel speeds reasonable, instead of having the Sims zip along at subway speeds.  The key is simply adjusting the Transit Switch Entry Cost in the TE lots properly.  For example, they could be adjusted so that for a subway tunnel twelve squares long, the time it would take a Sim to traverse such a tunnel would be identical to a FLUPS road.  If the tunnel were a little shorter, it would take slightly longer, but you wouldn't have tunnels much shorter than that, because then you're generally back in underpass territory, where straight FLUPS is superior.  For subway tunnels on land, you may have other subway lines that need to be crossed, requiring a TE lot switch to FLUPS and back.  These switches would keep the average speed right around the road level.  And from my experience testing traffic simulators extensively, I can tell you that small differences in speed are inconsequential.

But what's the purpose of switching back and forth when you could just lay straight FLUPS tiles?  Simply that this allows you to build arbitrarily over most of your tunnel; I think the lack of this ability is the biggest drawback of FLUPS.

Going back to the speed issue, what if you have a subway tunnel going under a river that goes for dozens of squares?  The Transit Switch Entry Cost is fixed, so the result would be that the speed in the tunnel would be faster than roads, though still far slower than subways.  But is this really unrealistic?  Do real tunnels that extend for some distance have the same speed limits as city roads?  Generally not, and the longer the tunnel without obstructions, the more likely it is to have a higher speed limit.  So in this way, this solution may even be more realistic than FLUPS.

So those are my answers to your objections.  I'm just trying to add some improvements to what's already a great project.  Please let me know what you think of this.  I think you can tell from this thread that there are other people interested in my proposal, and I've gotten further PMs along those lines as well.  But if you're not interested, then as you said, "Well, that's my opinion, but I can accept that other SC4 mayors use subways as workaround for underpasses."  So in that case I would ask other people to PM me, and we can do this on the side, as a FLUPS add-on.

Once again, I mean in no way to detract from your great accomplishments here (not to mention T-RAM too!); I'd just like to help make them a little greater.
« Last Edit: January 11, 2009, 05:19:35 AM by z »

Offline McDuell

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Re: FLexible UnderPasses (FLUPs)
« Reply #77 on: January 11, 2009, 06:23:17 AM »
@McDuell
You have a hill in the middle. What's the purpose of your test? Simply drag a road tunnel. Underpasses are for flat areas.
(sorry, I simply don't understand)

Chrisim,

The purpose was just to show my issues about splitting up the network into two branches with TE lots as z proposed. I fully acknowledge that this is a quick and dirty setup to show the behavior of the traffic when using such a lot. As my existing lot is a hillside tunnel entrance, I built a small hill, but I was just too lazy to also build a curve in the underground. Of course the setup is kind of senseless in this special case, but to just show how the lot acts one doesn't need a plausible surrounding IMHO ;).

Hope this clears things up a bit  :)
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Offline Chrisim

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Re: FLexible UnderPasses (FLUPs)
« Reply #78 on: January 11, 2009, 09:21:33 AM »
First, I would like to emphasize that I forgot to mention another technique how to build underpasses. I edited my previous posting, it is:
d) Underpasses through terra-forming
You can also build underpasses through terraforming. And they look good,

are fully functional, flexible, and ...
more in the original posting here.

Z, I opened a new topic to discuss your issue of NAM and transit enabled lots. Please see here.

I'm sure that many of the applications of the current FLUPS have not been recognized yet.  My goal here was simply to add more capabilities, without disturbing the current FLUPS at all.
And I do appreciate it. Yes, of course, new creations will also be used for other purposes than those originally intended. And I can also create additional FLUPs pieces if required. However, if you don't mind, please open another topic to discuss it. We will need this topic for FLUPs description and support soon.

Offline girlfromverona

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Re: FLexible UnderPasses (FLUPs)
« Reply #79 on: January 11, 2009, 04:42:42 PM »
You can also see that buildings may have underground access to the underpasses

That would come in handy for making a building appear to have underground parking. Perhaps you could make a piece that has parking signs (kinda like this: http://www.simtropolis.com/stex/index.cfm?id=17876).  :thumbsup: