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About jeffryfisher

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    Game Developer
  • Birthday January 1

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    Vancouver WA
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    History, Business, Computer Programming

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  1. There are (or were) some discussions years ago. You might try digging into the archives here to find them. From what I recall, the image produces a naked height map that then needs decoration, rivers, borders, econ areas (with industry settings) etc etc. I know more about the etceteras than the PCX conversion.
  2. Sounds like advanced AI. The kind of predictive, opponent-adaptive awareness you suggest is uncommon even among us humans. For each Napoleon there are thousands McClellans.
  3. No, I don't think the AI is sophisticated enough to analyze human behavior and exploit habits. Instead, I think the baron randomly needed to start a company but then failed to find a short-line to build. When a new AI company fails to find a route at start-up, it will randomly pick one of the names from the language file. The fact that the baron had little stock suggests that he had little to invest, which may have left his company undercapitalized and hence unable to build a route. Congratulations on helping him out of his rut. As for Conrail, it's one of the names in the lang file (at least in my modded version). It can come up at random. What was more amazing was when a baron in one of my games started up Transcontinental RR and eventually connected to Galt's Gulch. I just about fell on the floor when I saw that announcement!
  4. A nondestructive bug like this is euphemistically called an "undocumented feature".
  5. All of you know that if you deliver one of two demanded inputs to a factory building, the building will accumulate it hoping for the day when the missing ingredient will appear, enabling the building to produce its output. What I first suspected years ago and have recently confirmed is that if a building's recipes change over the years, then it is possible for an accumulated input to magically change its identity. I'm not yet quite sure what the "rule" is, but it's something like this: In my modified EXE, I can combine wood and steel in a 19th C weapons plant to make weapons. After a certain date, there's a new recipe using rubber + aluminum (representing plastic + aluminum to make planes). If I pile on unrequited wood during the 19th century, then WWII sees a stockpile of aluminum awaiting rubber deliveries. Somehow the wood delivered over the previous century has been transmuted into aluminum! Has anyone else witnessed this phenomenon? I'm tempted to analyze the specific rule for how an input to one recipe will turn into the modern input to a new recipe. With foreknowledge, a forward-looking rail baron could cash in (as long as the factory doesn't vanish!)
  6. The 1929 crash in my US History map often provides such takeover opportunities. Unfortunately, by 1929, you can be about 100 years into the game, so most of the AI companies are debt-laden husks sporting crap rail that you wouldn't even want to pay maintenance on. To compound the disaster, a well educated player will know that stock prices will continue to suffer for about 25 years. In the rare case that an AI company somehow reaches the 1930's in the black, I won't touch it until after the depression within a depression "strikes" in 1937-38.
  7. Oh wow, I forgot about this theory. I have since made more discoveries (but neglected to update this). When my esteemed AI rail barons are way out on margin and stock prices decline suddenly, they will receive margin calls. They're then forced to sell, which drives down prices more, which cascades to more robber barons and more selling etc. This turned out to be the real reason that my already-devastating 70% downdraft was magnified to 98%. Because each company has different levels of AI player investment, each company was affected to a different degree (mine least of all because I held most of the shares and had no debt). Thus we have a general safety tip for map designers: There may be knock-on effects of your event's effect. In the case of the US History map, I think I dialed back my event's effect so an "average" end result after magnification is somewhat like the historical crash. YMMV! PS: Right after such a crash, if not all of the AI dominoes have fallen, then that might be a golden opportunity to run a "bear raid" by shorting a few shares aimed to topple the next tycoon over the edge.
  8. The primary purpose of cheat codes is to test the game and its maps. I used them from time to time when modding the EXE, fiddling with the file of text snippets, proving undocumented rules for editor's events and settings, and developing my US History map. In other words, if you're not actually playing then it's not cheating to short-cut to a condition that you need to test (and that's why virtually all games have those codes -- because the game maker needed them, and one never knows when the last patch or the last add-on scenario will need them too).
  9. Hmmm... The lesser of evils. Better to lose the hardware (and freight) once each 24 years than to lose the hardware every year. The sweep would also unclog the rails, especially on mountainsides.
  10. I've just stumbled upon a variation on a crash-bug I discovered and wrote about years ago. I've known for a while that if you pause the game while an engine is in a station, about to put on a bunch of cars, then deleting the track it rode in on will see those new cars placed on dirt. As soon as time rolls, the cars won't, and the game crashes. My variation is to pause the game, replace a bunch of engines, and then adjust the path of some track. When a train's engine is replaced, the train becomes a ghost with the cars in limbo. The game will allow a player to delete the track right under some of those cars, as long as they're far enough from the engine. If there's no track there when time restarts, kaboom. This "feature" does however present a small opportunity for emergency track repairs such as fixing a warp where some building has sprung up next to a track in hilly terrain. If there's a train in the way but its engine isn't, then you can ghost the train by replacing the engine. You should then be able to delete the warped track, smooth the grade, and build new track under the cars in limbo.
  11. The web site has been moved a few times over the years, breaking tons of old links in threads like this one from 2009 (just try to follow any link from one old message to another old thread). The files are probably still out there somewhere, but the link code is no longer valid. Still, we're lucky to have any archives at all. Thanks for the upload.
  12. Which map are you talking about? Did you post in the wrong thread?
  13. Just downloaded the zip, but the file has zero bytes. Is the OP from 2009 mangled? Is the original zip file still in the system somewhere?
  14. I think The Terminal is about RT2 & 3. There is a whole project out on the web for Transport Tycoon. As for which came first, the original Railroad Tycoon was first released by Microprose in 1990. They didn't publish TT until 1994.
  15. Either do something dramatic, such as electrifying all track and (if possible) disallowing plain track builds, or else sever all of Amtrak's connections to outside rails. I'd lean toward the latter. You might also cave in and replace Amtrak's GG1's with non-historical diesels. Now we know why the AI never buys electric engines. It was never taught how to choose electric-only routes. Note that a human can get into a bind using AI stations: You may electrify part of an AI company's track (you pay, but the AI company owns the result as a gift). However, there's a bug in the game that prevents you from electrifying another company's bridges. You still pay, but bridges will not be electrified... no matter how many times you pay to do so, the power just doesn't stick on foreign bridges. So, if an AI company manages to own a bottle-neck bridge that you want to cross after you've gone electric, then you must either buy the company, or pay the price for an electric detour, or remember to buy non-electric engines for that destination.