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jeffryfisher last won the day on November 4

jeffryfisher had the most liked content!

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About jeffryfisher

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    Game Developer
  • Birthday January 1

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    Vancouver WA
  • Interests
    History, Business, Computer Programming

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  1. jeffryfisher

    Modding the trains

    If you have the disk version of the game patched to version 1.56 (or my mod of that version), then you can use my spreadsheet (EXE Data.ods) to guide you. ODS is a LibreOffice (freeware) format. If you have the Steam version of RRT2, then you have much more work to do to find the data tables deep within the EXE (they're toward the end). However, some text (like engine names) are searchable. Also: The data tables are made of fixed-length records, so just scrolling through in a hex editor you'll see regular patterns of numbers among the zeros to suggest where tables are. It goes without saying that you should make backup copies of files before editing them.
  2. jeffryfisher

    Any small, resource-focused scenarios?

    It's not a small map (actually, it's an entire campaign within one map), but my US History has resource-based events of various kinds. For instance, if you deliver significantly more iron than steel, then a "steel surplus" discounts rail-building cost. Likewise logs-lumber. Sometime in the modern era, the logs-lumber trade ceases to matter, and gravel-cement takes its place. When power-plants start offering waste, then delivering that to dumps proves you've supplied the p-plants, thus lowering electricity fuel costs. There's also an arms-delivery race between northern and southern RRs during the Civil War with a kickback personal cash award to the owner of the winning RR. And more (about 500 events) Speaking of North versus South, the map begins with four possible starts (Canada, North US, South US or Mexico) separated by historical differences in track gauge. Over time, gauge unification and westward expansion allow rights purchases. New states' admissions and free-trade deals eventually grant all access for free, but that takes longer. Buying access early means building best routes. It's possible to connect the Northeast to Cal in the 1850s if you're aggressive. Did I mention there are multiple (diminishing) transcontinental prizes? And by the way, your company must earn a transcontinental prize in order to get silver or better medal on this map -- Just making money won't cut it. And to get gold, you must reach first do silver by a time limit and then carry on another 100+ years to satisfy a personal cash goal in the year 2000. Like I said, not a small map, but the 500+ events make it more than a run-passengers-and-win exercise.
  3. jeffryfisher

    Help weaning off micromanaging

    Also beware of "efficiency" dilemmas: You might think you are perfecting your routes by micro-managing pickups, but if you spam your mainlines with new trains, you could lose more to traffic jams than you gained in your stations. Finally, I enjoy seeing a map evolve over many decades as cities grow and tech advances. If I micro-manage, then that takes too long. If I create too many trains, then the engine-replacement years are too painful. So I give up some business opportunities in order to make the game more entertaining. I know, it's an act of will for anyone with OCD, but I make it happen because I know the payoff.
  4. jeffryfisher

    Improving Goodwill

    I'm unfamiliar with the map. What land rights will you need to buy? You only need goodwill in those regions. I've never been able to understand how wait times affect it (I can get high ratings in regions where I leave all kinds of cargo rotting). What does matter most however is bulldozing. If building a bypass means cutting down trees, then you might do better to postpone it until you've purchased your region rights. Avoid all bulldozing for a few years to see where your goodwill goes.
  5. jeffryfisher

    No maintenance on dead track?

    I find that hard to believe. Perhaps you saw zero engine maintenance?
  6. jeffryfisher

    Stock Split 15:1

    I don't think I've ever gotten a split better than 5-to-1, but that's because I don't do the stock manipulation stuff that other players use. When I split 3- or 4-to-1, it's because my RR actually grew. BTW, My modded text file has new messages for shareholder reactions to financial results. At the extremes... well you should try it out sometime.
  7. jeffryfisher

    Help weaning off micromanaging

    I've only played v1.56 (and self-modded derivatives thereof), so all my notes come from that version. The game definitely has a bug in the map editor where deleting an event causes neighboring events to get their trigger and/or effects crossed up. NEVER do that. I have a note-to-self from maybe ten years ago warning myself to never delete trains, only replace engines. It comes from so long ago that I can't remember what caused me to write that. Maybe it was just that deletions would renumber all higher-numbered trains so that my to-do notes on a game would become confusing (things like "fix T283's route after next delivery" would no longer make sense after it became T279). On my US History map, I typically run 400+ trains from 1880 to present and beyond, so train renumbering alone is enough reason not to delete any. Replacing an engine on a train waiting in a station (or while reversing over a switch) will result in overlapping engine / tender / cars. The train may then become a runaway, speeding along its route without stopping at stations or exchanging cargo. The only escape is to either replace the engine en route (costs $) or give the train only one station with an empty consist (and even then, a folded steam-engine + tender might not be straightened out). The home-grown 1.57 patch fixes some broken internal data. For example, I think it fills in some missing demand recovery parameters for factory inputs that would become zero-demand after first delivery and then never recover. We know how to use hexadecimal editors to fiddle with bytes in many of the data tables within the RT2 EXE file. However, we can't change program logic, so logic errors remain beyond our grasp. If I knew more about decompilation and DLLs, maybe I could write some replacement functions (as someone did for a couple bugs in SimCity 4), but that's a little bit beyond my tool kit.
  8. jeffryfisher

    Help weaning off micromanaging

    That, and once filtered and sorted, I wish I had a way to select a bunch of trains and replace all their engines in one fell swoop. There are some GUI-automation programs (e.g. auto-hotkey) out there that can tie a hotkey to one or more mouse clicks. We had a thread about them a couple years ago. I almost got an engine-replacement script to work, but it had no intelligence. It would just grind through a fixed number of trains replacing engines. Given the RT2 bug that hoses any train whose engine is replaced while in a station, I gave it up. YMMV.
  9. jeffryfisher

    Cargo haul distance table

    "Ideal" can vary depending on other factors like train speed, economic level, demand etc. Also, there's more than one ideal, depending on how many trains you have to fill. Your profit margin may be higher if you don't haul pax coast-to-coast, but you'll keep your trains full (and adding some value) for longer if you haul as far as possible. Someone around here did some testing a few years ago. I think the results are buried in one of the old threads. You'll have to do some searching for terms like rot factor and distance. However, for just a general idea of which are "long" and which are "short", you should have some files that came with the game. Look in the appendices.
  10. jeffryfisher

    How does grade affect acceleration?

    Grades only slow trains going up.
  11. jeffryfisher

    Help weaning off micromanaging

    Wow, lots there. First: Look through our old threads. Second: Never delete an engine. The game has bugs in it that sometimes don't handle deletions well. In my games, I micro-manage only until I have all double-track. Then I change over to twice-per-year scanning for problems (like empty trains waiting for cargo). My routes are all set-and-forget (until I see a problem). During recessions I set a few to only half-full, but I also put up with a lot of idle trains. The game has another "feature" that brings the houses within a city into sync with one another, so they tend to produce lots of passengers and mail one month, and then go dry for months (sometimes years). If you see this happen (especially several decades / economic cycles into a map), then you just have to leave trains waiting for the next flood. I tend to under-serve most routes a little bit so that my trains stay full and making money during average economic times. Except during the initial phase of a game, I resist the urge to buy all of the trains that a boom can fill. I like my pax and mail to roll fast, so I keep them short. Before the 4-6-2 Pacific, my express trains are only 2 cars. After that, they are 3. Only during boom times with later, more powerful engines do I make some longer (and after the boom, I shorten them back to 3). When cargo is left at a depot, it continues to age down to its minimum value. I no longer depot pax or mail. For industrial loads in the complex economy, I mostly have each train work a production sequence (e.g. Sugar -> Food -> [import] -> etc). At the bottom end though, I'll have some heavy, slow trains just pile on something like coal and/or ore to create a ready supply of steel for other, faster trains to transform into goods and autos as needed. I do set some routes to accumulate cargo through multiple stops (e.g. three wood sources on the way to a mill). These are usually rural, so (on most maps) there's little or no chance for an industry to pop up and intercept my cargo. However, I have been known to do this with villages that supply pax/mail without demanding them (e.g. climb the steep grade out of San Francisco with only a single carload and then add a car to be filled in Reno / Elko / Winnemucca). When those villages grow into towns, such routes are suddenly buggered.
  12. jeffryfisher

    Are diesel locomotives useless?

    Each hex-editor program is different, so you'll need to teach yourself 😮 I haven't been inside the RRT2 exe for several years now, so I have no plans to go back in. I am pursuing other projects now.
  13. jeffryfisher

    Are diesel locomotives useless?

    The game probably makes track electrification too cheap (for both the upgrade and for maintenance), hence the easy rush from steam to electric. In reality, electric is probably only economically viable in dense urban clusters like in Western Europe, central Japan and America's NE corridor. The game also makes the GG-1 too powerful, taking the best stats from the end of its run, inflating those, and offering them starting in 1935. The 1935 version wasn't nearly as powerful or reliable. Something like that also happened with the F9 diesel. I have no idea why it got the power and speed the game gave it (my mod pegs it back to what I've read about it). However, the GG-1 is not available on all maps. In fact, electrics need not be available on all maps. Something to try tactically: Haul your passengers with diesels, and haul freight with electrics. Then be careful about which tracks and stations receive electricity. This could segregate your fast versus slow trains (keep the slow freight off of your express lines).
  14. jeffryfisher

    Historical RT2 Mod

    Oh yes, the managers. You might enjoy reading the thread where we discussed them. Siemens was what hooked me: He helps with electrics, but his salary was so low that he appeared only early when he couldn't do much. By raising his salary to the top-tier, he appears later when he can be very valuable. Going forward, I think your patches to the GoG executable will be very valuable since GoG is still selling the game (and the CD is becoming obsolete).
  15. jeffryfisher

    Unofficial Patch 1.57ddh

    Very cool! If you could also change the introduction dates on military factories, loads and cars, then they could appear in time to be used in the Civil War. Then players could use your patch in place of mine (doing without my other meddling). If you look at my spreadsheets, the red values are things I changed.