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About cogeo

  • Birthday 01/01/1

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  1. (cont) The good thing with the SW-NE track is that this kind of track is "stable" (or "unmovable", if you prefer). You cannot "deform" or "bend" it (any of its vertices), no matter what kind of track you lay next to it. This means that the last track tile can be used as the new anchor point, to continue flattening of the route, repeating the above procedure (steps 2.-7.). Notes: - The cost of "moving grounds" depends on the manager and the economic status. It's called "Mountainous Track Building", and it's not the same as "Track Building", which includes only the laying of the tracks and not the terraforming (smoothing) required. The cost of "moving grounds" is included in the track cost, and you pay maintenance for it (6% of the track value year, or 0.5% monthly). Therefore, for long scenarios it might be preferable to bulldoze the parts of the track that contain much "moving of grounds" and rebuild them, preferably with a manager offering reduced Track Building, like Charles Mayer (-40% Track Bulding). The new track not only will be built with a considerable discount, it won't comprise that expensive component (Mountainous Track Building) either. Namely it will be much cheaper and therefore will be paying proportionately lower maintenance. Bulldozing that "expensive" track results in a sharp worsening of goodwill, reduces track value (and consequently the company's Book Value), reduces profits (or causes losses) by the same amount as the cost of the track bulldozed (in the same year - it's booked as "Track Maintenance" too!), but lower track value results in lower maintenance costs later. - In the example in the last image, our track was extended by one tile, using the double-track tool. If the tutorial was to be continued, the next step would be a single-track tile, then double-track again etc. Placing single- and double- track alternately results in the cheapest possible track, cheaper than dragging a double track segment all the way. But if you are using a manager like Robert Gerwig to "move the grounds" (prepare the trackbed), it might be worth to hire someone like Charles Mayer for building the final track, so in this case don't build double track (it will be bulldozed anyway), instead build single track, then bulldoze it and build the final (double) one with the new manager. However the track built with alternating single- and double-track pieces, isn't "expensive" either, as it contains no terraforming or trees, so keeping or bulldozing it is a marginal decision. The above procedure might look too complicated or slow to some, but once you learn it you will find that it's quite easy actually.
  2. Hi All, I will be posting two track laying tutorials in this thread (Diagonally, in the SW<->NE and NW<->SE direction - involves flattening the trackbed as well). As basic as this may sound (virtually all RT2 players know how to lay track one way or another), there are quite a few details involved which affect both the quality of the track laid and the economic results it delivers. The player is assumed to know the so called "stitchning" technique (how to build a flat trackbed) in an orthogonal direction (E<->W, N<->S). Part A: Laying Diagonal Track in the SW<->NE Direction 0. Before laying your (diagonal) track it is suggested that you check if and where the track can actually be laid. Save your game, select the straight track tool, and try laying a section of track along the desired path. You may find that it would require bulldozing a building or industry, or crossing a river but the bridge cannot be built (because of the river's direction - bridges may only cross rivers vertically) and you have to change the track's route, but this results in curves and therefore speed reduction. In such cases you should rather consider alternative routes, eg shifting the track one or tiles often solves these problems. If you have made (or modified) the map yourself you would have reserved the map cells (remember, you need as many as three tiles across, see the pic below) but often (usually?) you play with maps designed by someone else. It is recommended that you open the map in the editor and check what the author intended to do. 1. The first thing you need is an "anchor" or "reference" point. The diagonal track we will lay will be at the same elevation as this reference point. This, of course, is a section of track. The tile you want to use as a reference point must be flat (0% grade) and lying on the desired (diagonal) route; if not, use the "stitching" method (for straight orthogonal track - should I write a tutorial for this too?) until it meets the diagonal route. 2. Now select the single piece track tool (in the NW-SE direction, ie perpenticular to your diagonal route). Hover the piece (don't lay it yet) in front of the anchor track piece (on the track route). As you can see in the pic, you can place it at two positions. Costs, as well as the deformation it causes to the adjacent cells) are different. Choose the cheapest or the one that affects adjacent tiles the least. These are not necessary the same, often the one that causes less deformation costs more, because the other end of the track piece is laid on a tile with trees (up to 8K), but usually the more the deformation the higher the cost. I usually select the position that causes the less deformation, because it tends to be propagated along the track direction, unfortunately. Once you have decided where to place it, click at the desired position to lay it. Look what has happened now: the vertex opposite to the reference point has been moved to the same elevation. That is we took the first small step. One might think that we could lay a small piece of track between the anchor point and the leveled piece, but this is not yet the case, because the other two vertices of the tile have not been leveled. We will see how to do this in the next steps. 3. Now select the bulldozer tool (1x1 of course) and bulldoze the piece you last laid. Place the cursor (bulldozer) on the tile that lies on the route (not the other end of the track piece) and click. Why? The answer is again trees. The bulldozer tool removes both the track piece and the trees, and (normally) you want to: a) bulldoze the trees on the track route (because laying tracks on trees costs more, and more expensive track has higher maintenance - 6% of the track value per year), and b) keep the trees everywhere else (for landscaping). 4. Without clicking, hover the bulldozer tool over the two tiles around the track route and check the bulldoze costs (at the bottom of the screen). This way you can detect whether any of the two tiles contains trees, and how many (the track pieces laid may be hiding them). Remember the tile that has no (or has the fewest) trees. 5. Select the single piece track tool again, and lay the track piece on the above two tiles. This will level the rest of the tile (the other two vertices). We now have a fully flat tile. 6. Select the bulldozer tool again and bulldoze the new track piece. Of course, bulldoze the tile that has no (or has the fewest) trees. This will result in the best possible aesthetic result. Sometimes though, in the case where both tiles have trees, bulldozing the tile that contains more trees, may actually deliver better results because the trees are close to the track, and the track would hide them. If (in step 4.) you found that both tiles have trees, you can "test-lay" (hover without actually laying) a piece of track (along the route, ie SW-NE) to see if it hides the trees or not (of course, this is an extreme measure, for perfectionists ). If the track piece you have used as the reference point is not part of your permanent (and presumably "cheap") track, bulldoze it now too. 7. So now we have two consecutive flat tiles on the diagonal route (the anchor point and the tile we lelveled). Select the single piece track tool again (in the SW-NE direction this time) and lay a single piece of track there. The piece must be "cheap", as the two tiles contain no trees and it causes no deformation or smoothing when you lay it (if it does, exit without saving and start over - there must be something wrong). At this point we have laid the first tile of our diagonal track. (Cont) - Due to limitations to the number of images in a post P.S.: Someone please help to hide those thumbnails at the bottom
  3. Is it possible to host images on site? (and how) I could use imageshack, but it may delete images sometimes. I also see that when I click on the image I posted it magnifies the thumb (and opens the pic in a new window). How do I fix this?
  4. Don't know the formula, but it seems to be strongly related to the revenues (or maybe operational profits ie non-interest ones - I have some cash-only AIs with considerable profits, but almost zero overhead) of the last (two ?) previous years. Check your revenues, profits and overhead year-by-year to see what I mean.
  5. The levelling methods showcased here not only cost a lot, destroy landscape etc, they actually level too much land! How about a method that levels only the tiles you need to lay the track? Here is a pic: The grade is 0% along the entire lenght of the track, the tiles around it not affected (more acurately, very little affected) and the industries and trees in their place. The "cost" (in track cells, because I play only scenarios with the "Limited Track Building" restriction turned on), including the laying of the actual track, is 3 units per track cell for the SW-NE direction, and 2.5 units per track cell for the NW-SE direction (3 if you lay the track using the drag method, instead of one piece at a time). The only prob is I need to write a small tutorial for this. About goodwill, it relates to the "public image" of the company, and it only affects access rigths prices. Nothing to do with the accounting goodwill. So no reason to worry about it, unless you are about to purchase rights. Goodwill can be improved by certain managers, but mostly by serving your stations well: high turnover in as many stations as possible, timely deliveries, no pax or freight cargos left to rot/disappear.
  6. Well, I see several bug-fixng "requests", as well as some "nice-to-have" features, as if a new version or update had been announced. The fact is that no update (patch) is expected, neither we have the source code. Also some appear to be "considering" an RT2-like open-source (but actually greenfield) version of the game. Seriously, there are two options: - Make a completely new "open-source" game. This is indeed a HUGE amount of work, much more than you may even imagine. Many things look nice and simple, but what it takes to implement all these, may be hard even to describe. Making a new game (even as primitive as RT2) is not a trivial job. First of all, it requires excellent programmers in a professional capacity (definitely not people with "some programming experience"). Just consider how complicated only the modelling of a railroad game can prove: budget and financial items, laying rails, routes (pathfinding), engines, stations, cargos, players etc. Not to mention having to work with several not-so-well-known APIs (3D rendering and animation). Second is the "artistic" work needed (stations, rolling stock, trees etc), which alone is huge. You need a professional 3D modeller here. Finally it needs a lot of testing. Don't be so sure that you will find easily people willing to do this, or that it is going to be "fun" at all. It's not like playing the game, testers should find bugs, make recommendations, make test-cases, and be prepared to ditch what they are "building" at any time. If you can make-up a team with all the above members (didn't add a project manager or coordinator, legal advisor etc), you might be able to make a worthy product - and I would really consider if it has to be "Open-Source", or proprietary). Now what would be the market acceptance of such a game, this is another story, as there are other issues involved (marketing, promotion, sales, distribution, support etc) in addition to just making it. - Arranging a serious deal with the current owner looks the most reasonable approach (and you can benefit from the brand name too), but as some mentioned they don't even reply. Maybe they are still selling RT3 (and are afraid that a revamped RT2 might cut into its market share), or they are getting an awful lot of requests like this (about more or less the same thing) which they have decided to not even reply, or they may want to keep open the option of releasing RT4 some time in the future, and are thus not interested in "after-market" face-lifts of a 14 yr old product. If you are in the position to deliver a product that will be looking "new" (even in part using the old engine), which they (or you) could SELL, then they might be interested.
  7. The event fired multiple times maybe?
  8. This will never work, I'm afraid. AI companies can do the most stupid things, like dumping cargos to stations not demanding them, or all of the sudden, get deeply into debt, and build the most stupid track you can (or cannot) imagine! Ahh, and get some Pacifics, to haul all this coal and timber!
  9. Such cases should preferably be anticipated by the map maker. For 1-tile wide "straits" you can lay a short section of river (along) - I mean on top of the water. Then you can build normal bridges there. In this specific case, it might be possible to build two parallel ocean bridges, and use it without having to employ waypoints. Send me the game as is to take a look, and show you how (if this requires a modded version of the .EXE, send it too) - my e-mail is public. P.S.: No I see what you meant by that "blocky" look. Is this nice? No textures, no trees, no shadows, just nothing! It's simply barren!. It's not practical even for laying track. If the terrain was not so much mixed, the "blocks" wouldn't be visible either! The gridlines are far more clear, I think. Not only they clearly show the tiles, they help you easily identify grades too! And remember, they can easily be turned on and off (Ctrl+G). Why suffer so poor graphics? This can't be justified even by resources usage. The graphics requirements of RT2 are so low, that even very old computers would have no problem meeting them, even in the highest possible detail. I use custom settings here, higher than the "Very High" preset; all settings are set to either "Level 5" or "Always". I have no problems with these, and my computer is not new!
  10. This, although historically accurate, won't be very appealing to most players, I'm afraid, incl me! I often use large stations (built on the mainline or on special short spurs) as "collectors" of farms, raw materials etc. And as I'm so obsessed with building "perfect" ( :P) tracks, it usually costs me a lot less to build one large station or two, instead of smaller stations and longer and more spurs.
  11. Another AI-related bug: if a station in a city had been built and bulldozed (or the company liquidated), AI companies will built track to the city, but not a station!
  12. This happens when two diagonal sections of track intersect, but only if the intersection point is not in the middle of a cell, but instead on the corner (of the four adjacent cells). Check the "Grid" option (Ctrl+G) to see this more clearly.
  13. Well, if you want to cross a competitor's tracks, you will pay some small fees anyways (a percentage of your revenues - costs are all yours), for using the foreign track. And as I'm quite obsessed with building level and straight track, I prefer to avoid it as far as I can (AI's often build auful, stupidly-laid tracks). And don't worry, the competitor may "own" your improvement, but will never utilise it, as it will neither electrify track, nor buy electric engines. AIs often do dumb things, like poorly-built trackage, or even dumping pax and freight to destinations that do no demand them. Industries "serviced" by AI companies will almost always be in the red (if it happens to be profitable will only be by accident). There's a stupid bug too, AIs replace engines at 25 yrs of age, but these engines are then replaced EVERY year, by the end of Janurary. That's why thay appear to pay so much for "Engine Maintenance". So AIs older than 25 yrs are doomed to fail sometime. They will not be in position to upgrade some of their old engines anymore, and when they get some revenue, it will be used for replacing their 1-yr old engines first! The others will be getting older and older, incurring high maintenance costs. It may even be quite safe to sell stocks of such companies short! So that's why I avoid any give and take with AIs, not only their assets are usually worthless (you will most probably want to bulldoze tracks, re-arrange stations, retire engines etc etc), in the case of "shared" stations and industries they can cause you big losses, by dumping cargos here and there. If you are a little patient, most probably they will go themselves. Btw, have you decoded the engines section? Just want to fix so things. This game is incredibly American-biased! The Mallard can't be less reliable than the original Pacifics, built 30 years earlier. Neither the Thaly's have a reliabilty rating of "Poor", while the GG1s, built in the 30's be "Outstanding"; and it was an engine type known to have problems even wiht cold weather! The modern European high-speed electrics are even prohibitively expensive to operate too.
  14. I can't make the game feature this "blocky look". Changing the graphics to 8 bit, simply reduces the colour fidelity, as the graphics card can only display 256 colours. Can you post a pic showing this blocky look? They may actually be "artifacts", rather than an intentional effect. But still, why tolerate those inferior (imo) graphics, only to avoid the gridlines? They are very easily turned on and off (I only turn them on for track-building) and I think they provide a good means for track inspection. For example, take a close look at the Leipzig pic in my previous post; the lines along the grade are of course inclined, but absolutely straight too. Any imperfections on the track would be easy to detect. Is this possible, with the low-quality graphics you mention?
  15. There's no option for "smooth" graphics. My settings are 16-bit colours, and "High Memory Usage" (?). RT2 is a very old program, and its graphics requirements are easy to be met, even by a very basic graphics card, like the onboard chip of an old computer. As for the gridlines, I don't normally have them on, as they are tiresome to the eye. I turn them on only for track building; they provide a sort of a "guide", which makes it easier to see grades, imperfections etc. To toggle gridlines view press the [G] button.
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