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akuenzi

'Open' Railroad Tycoon II ??

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I just read some historical notes at their project site. They were gifted the source code.

I also looked up four railroad tycoon imitation projects at SourceForge. They all looked dead.

I also stumbled upon Take2's last 10K filing (like an annual report). It lists Railroad Tycoon as intellectual property of the corporation, so I have finally answered one question (they own it). I still don't know if they have the source materials to patch 1.56 of RT2.

If we're seriously interested in another patch, then we should start a separate thread (this one was about reducing congestion -- and then some bug in the game got us off on this tangent) and we need to get through to Take2 to see what it would take pry 9 year old code out of their hands.

Following Jeff's suggestion, I thought I'd start another thread to see if there is interest in pursuing another patch or in creating an 'Open' version of Railroad Tycoon II like some folks have done for Transport Tycoon. Maybe it's a pipe dream, but a fella can always dream.

Today I exchanged emails with Owen Rudge, who I believe was one of the original programmers that helped with the work on creating Open Transport Tycoon Deluxe, and asked a couple questions about how they did it for Open TTD. With his permission, I'm sharing his email response below:

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OpenTTD was constructed entirely from scratch by Ludvig Strigeus (aka "ludde"), although he did make use of reverse engineering techniques as part of this process. At no point was any source code made available by Chris Sawyer/Atari, and it's unlikely they ever would do so. I believe it took ludde the best part of a year to do this, but I can't say for sure as to when he started (I believe it would have been late 2002/early 2003; he told me about the project and supplied some code in late 2003, and then supplied a 'complete' version to me in March 2004, which he gave me permission to release to the public).

I can't comment on whether it would be a good idea to do such a project for RRT2 or not, but I do imagine it would be a lot of work! You could perhaps make a post in the OpenTTD forums on www.tt-forums.net just to ask if anybody was interested (and say that I suggested you post there), and you may find people who would offer their time, but I can't say for sure.

Good luck if you do decide to attempt it, though! :)

Cheers,

--

Owen Rudge

http://www.owenrudge.net/

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I'll admit again that I don't have the skills to do this kind of thing, or I'd already be attempting it. One of my brothers has some programming experience, and I pumped him for a little information today. He indicated he'd be willing to teach me a few things, and said it was mainly an exercise in 'logic,' but understanding how to do this sort of thing likely takes years. By the time I figured how to put one line of code together, we'd all be pushing up daisies!

Anyway, I thought it was an interesting email, and he does have a suggestion that we could make an inquiry about it on the Transport Tycoon board to see if anybody there would be willing to help with it. I'd be happy to post something on their board if any thought it might help, though I'm probably not the right one to do it, since I don't know anything about programming jargon and such. Do any of you have any thoughts on this?

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Big project indeed. What's the point - correction, objective? A close as possible to the original in case that becomes unobtainable? Or improved in some way? Will everyone agree on what way and to what extent? For what platform(s)?

(I happen to think that a lot of what was done in RRT3 was a move in the right direction, and expect to play more of that when I get round to it.)

On the positive side, is there open software available that could be used for subroutines e.g. for graphics? (zoom in and out? map rotation?)

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Owen Rudge:

OpenTTD was constructed entirely from scratch by Ludvig Strigeus (aka "ludde"), although he did make use of reverse engineering techniques as part of this process. At no point was any source code made available by Chris Sawyer/Atari

Interesting. That statement directly contradicts what's written in the history of Open TT at Source Forge, which is where I read that an unexpected source code gift was given. Maybe I misunderstood what I read.

One of my brothers has some programming experience, and I pumped him for a little information today. He indicated he'd be willing to teach me a few things, and said it was mainly an exercise in 'logic,' but understanding how to do this sort of thing likely takes years.

I have a lot of programming experience, and a lot of gaming experience, so I could probably do about half of the coding and much of the project management. I hope that the computer players would become much more proficient under my tutelage. However, I have two obstacles:

1) I don't know how to generate the graphics (neither the raw art, nor its composition, nor animations)

2) my mortgage is in jeopardy, so I must find a paying gig that will then take all of my time.

I'd be happy to post something on their board if any thought it might help... Do any of you have any thoughts on this?

Go ahead and post. You're looking for at least four kinds of people:

1) "Producer": A system engineer who knows what all pieces need to be built, and knows the full list of tools and skills needed to build them.

2) Artist: Can paint anything from engine and freight-car skins to buildings, hills and trees

3) Animator: Can convert the artist's paintings into computer-graphics objects (e.g. sprites, textures etc) that can be stitched together and move.

4) Someone with yet another skill that I don't have but is sure to be needed as soon as we talk to #1

Once I have a development toolset and a framework within which to start plugging in code, then I do what I do best, which is the game design and modeling (game rules, GUI, and behavior). However, even I might need some hints on how to solve the train routing problem (maybe we could ask Garmin or some online driving-instruction web sites).

However, I still need to pay my mortgage. I wish we could qualify for a government grant from (for instance) the Dept of Education.

There's another faintly possible path: Maybe we could build a RRT2 game on top of the graphics and movement code of Open TT (but we would still need our own art).

Another long-term dream I have (as if your head isn't already exploding), is to pile the game Capitalism II on top of RRT2. Are any of you familiar with it? Like RRT2, Cap2 has tycoons and a stock market. However, Cap2 is all about industry and marketing, with transport abstracted. What if you as tycoon could dive into the intricacies of industry, or the transport net, or a little of both? How about having a stock market that includes several manufacturers, agri-businesses, railroads, media companies and retailers with moguls in each able to buy into the others? In such a game, the railroad that wants a steel plant can build it, but the auto manufacturer that wants steel can build both the steel plant and a railroad.

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What's the objective? improved in some way? Will everyone agree on what way and to what extent?

First: Fix some really irritating bugs.

Second: Add some UI screens/controls/filters/alerts to make a few player actions less tedious

Third: Add some more functions to the scenario editor so map makers can test more conditions and control more things

Fourth: Add some (possibly optional) features that some of us want

For what platform(s)? (I happen to think that a lot of what was done in RRT3 was a move in the right direction, and expect to play more of that when I get round to it.)

Platforms should start with Windows XP, which can also be run using Wine in Linux. If we get an experienced game designer to clue us in, then we may be able to structure the project so that platform-dependent entities are encapsulated and therefore replaceable in case somebody wants to port the project to Mac or Ubuntu etc.

As for RRT3, most of us here still play RRT2 precisely because we dislike some of its features (or miss features that it dropped). When I read the first ad for it a few years ago, I wrote it off so completely that I can't even recall what I didn't like about it, only that I would never play it.

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Interesting. That statement directly contradicts what's written in the history of Open TT at Source Forge, which is where I read that an unexpected source code gift was given. Maybe I misunderstood what I read.

I thought that was interesting too. Maybe the 'unexpected source code gift' came through this person's efforts in 'reverse engineering techniques.' Regardless, a pile load of work was done on it by a lot of people.

Go ahead and post. You're looking for at least four kinds of people:

1) "Producer": A system engineer who knows what all pieces need to be built, and knows the full list of tools and skills needed to build them.

2) Artist: Can paint anything from engine and freight-car skins to buildings, hills and trees

3) Animator: Can convert the artist's paintings into computer-graphics objects (e.g. sprites, textures etc) that can be stitched together and move.

4) Someone with yet another skill that I don't have but is sure to be needed as soon as we talk to #1

Okay. I'm not registered over there, but I'll put a post on their board at some point with links to our board and this thread. I currently have an email in to Mr. Rudge as to where the best place would be to put such as post.

I wish we could qualify for a government grant from (for instance) the Dept of Education.

That's an interesting angle. Do you really think we could? That's one question. And then the other would be whether we'd really want to take such monies if we did qualify for something. In my CPA practice, I've performed financial statement audits of organizations receiving federal grant dollars. The main thing I come away with from those is that if you take federal dollars, you play by their rules, and pull their 'strings.' They have regulations up the wazoo as to how they want you to use their money... a good lot that I would observe are not always grounded in practical reality, but rather bureaucratic-politically-correct-red-tape. Still, it's not a bad idea. If I remember correctly, someone else on here (maybe more than one person?) was an educator and tried to use this game in class. Gwizz, was that you?

There's another faintly possible path: Maybe we could build a RRT2 game on top of the graphics and movement code of Open TT (but we would still need our own art).

That thought crossed my mind as well. There might even be things in the Open TTD game that could be incorporated into RRT2, such as the use of signals and tunnels.

Another long-term dream I have (as if your head isn't already exploding), is to pile the game Capitalism II on top of RRT2. Are any of you familiar with it? Like RRT2, Cap2 has tycoons and a stock market. However, Cap2 is all about industry and marketing, with transport abstracted. What if you as tycoon could dive into the intricacies of industry, or the transport net, or a little of both? How about having a stock market that includes several manufacturers, agri-businesses, railroads, media companies and retailers with moguls in each able to buy into the others? In such a game, the railroad that wants a steel plant can build it, but the auto manufacturer that wants steel can build both the steel plant and a railroad.

I like how you dream, my friend! And I don't think anyone's heads are exploding yet. I'm well famililar with Capitalism II and have a copy in my game shelf. It has been a while since I played it, but it's a great game as well. It just might be a 'good marriage' if someone merged it with RRT2. I imagine we all would have pet interests we'd love to see built into the game. For me, one of my major interests is agriculture. When I was a kid, I'd play the farming game (a board game) for hours and hours, even when nobody was there to play it with me. It was enough to simply do it on my own. I was also daft enough to create a few of my own farming-related board games, much to the chagrin of my mother, who didn't like having her table covered with large pieces of paper while I made up my new game boards. Incorporating Capitalism would be cool, but I'd also (since we're dreaming here :)) love it if some of my favorite ag-related computer games could also be merged with RRT2. But we'll probably be doing well if even a basic RRT2 can be reconstructed and get off the ground.

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I have a lot of programming experience, and a lot of gaming experience, so I could probably do about half of the coding and much of the project management.

Go ahead and post. You're looking for at least four kinds of people:

1) "Producer": A system engineer who knows what all pieces need to be built, and knows the full list of tools and skills needed to build them.

2) Artist: Can paint anything from engine and freight-car skins to buildings, hills and trees

3) Animator: Can convert the artist's paintings into computer-graphics objects (e.g. sprites, textures etc) that can be stitched together and move.

4) Someone with yet another skill that I don't have but is sure to be needed as soon as we talk to #1

Jeff -- I went ahead and made a posting on the Transport Tycoon forum. You all can see it at this link: http://www.tt-forums...hp?f=29&t=57869 I also borrowed your thoughts above and incorporated them into the post, as to what is needed. Maybe it could have been worded better, but I did what I could. I also left a link there to come to the board here, if someone is interested. I guess we'll see if it generates any interest!

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Interesting. That statement directly contradicts what's written in the history of Open TT at Source Forge, which is where I read that an unexpected source code gift was given. Maybe I misunderstood what I read.

(..)

Not meant to hijack this thread, but I am curious enough: can you link where you would have read this? Assuming you meant OpenTTD, and not the OpenTT project ;)

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Interesting. That statement directly contradicts what's written in the history of Open TT at Source Forge, which is where I read that an unexpected source code gift was given. Maybe I misunderstood what I read.

Jeff -- I received another email from Owen Rudge, and he offered the following:

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I just read that forum thread, by the way, and is it possible the "unexpected gift" referred to was Ludde providing me (and Josef Drexler, aka Patchman) with a nearly-complete reconstruction of TTD apparently from scratch? When I first heard of it, it was indeed a complete surprise, and no doubt it seemed so to everybody else when it was then released to the public.

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Maybe this was the 'unexpected source code gift?'

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The post I put on the Open TTD forum has been looked at about 200 times, but nobody has replied. In further searches on their board, I understand there is also interest for an 'Open Locomotion' and an 'Open Rollercoaster Tycoon,' but little is happening with these. It's probably a similar story as to what we face with wishing to have an 'Open Railroad Tycoon II.' When most of us individually lack the key skills needed to recreate the game, it's not going to happen, or becomes very difficult at best. Based on what Owen Rudge shared about Open TTD, it was the efforts of ONE person who recreated the basic shell of the game. Were it not for the efforts of that ONE person, I doubt that Open TTD would even exist. I don't know how to program, but it would seem reasonable that once somebody creates the basic shell of the game, even a marginal programmer could come in and tweak the code to try new things, and I would guess this is what has happened with Open TTD. It's not as hard to build the house when the foundation has been laid. Not to throw any cold water on this, but what we need is that ONE key person who has all or most of the skills needed to lay the foundation, AND a passion for doing so... and those folks are few and far between!

Jeff -- you're likely the closest we have to being that person, or at least the only one that has said something about their skill in this area. But I know exactly what you mean on keep the mortgage properly 'fed.' I've got one myself, and it's a pretty demanding animal. As soon as we find OUR "Ludvig Strigeus," the sooner this will likely happen. :)

Gwizz -- I don't know what you thought in terms of trying to get a grant for this, but another thought I had was seeing if anybody going to college for computer science would take this on as a project/thesis. Then again, a college kid may not have the experience for it, either.

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First: Fix some really irritating bugs.

As for RRT3, most of us here still play RRT2 precisely because we dislike some of its features (or miss features that it dropped).

Jeffry, one person's "really irritating bug" could be another person's favourite feature not-to-be-dropped! Who decides?

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I had a promise of a million dollar educational state grant. RRT2 would have been one of many small internal tools.

My ya-but boss was afraid that the grantee would be looking over our shoulders too much and he refused the grant.

I welcomed their interest and they understood the direction I was going but with the refusal to continue the experiment,

a lump of coal was all I had left to offer Poptop.

Bitter politics are everywhere.

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Jeff -- I received another email from Owen Rudge, and he offered the following:

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I just read that forum thread, by the way, and is it possible the "unexpected gift" referred to was Ludde providing me (and Josef Drexler, aka Patchman) with a nearly-complete reconstruction of TTD apparently from scratch? When I first heard of it, it was indeed a complete surprise, and no doubt it seemed so to everybody else when it was then released to the public.

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Maybe this was the 'unexpected source code gift?'

Indeed -- I have just gone back and reread the history page, and I see now that I was reading it backward. Ludde was the reverse engineer who presented code to Rudge. If we could just get a year of Ludde's time...

BTW, I don't see an Akuenzi in the history. Do you have an aka?

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Jeffry, one person's "really irritating bug" could be another person's favourite feature not-to-be-dropped! Who decides?

What I consider to be a really irritating bug is something like the game crashes if an event deletes track right in front of a moving train. This forces every deletion event to first stop trains, which leads into a whole raft of permissions changes and recovery.

Another bug is where setting a temporary revenue or production change on a territory will indeed affect just the one territory when the event first fires, but the unwinding at expiration will affect ALL territories. Example: Cut grain production 50% in Kansas for a 10 year dustbowl event. Kansas will have grain production cut 50%, and then 10 years later, every territory on the map doubles its grain production. Kansas is back where it belongs, but grain farms are going crazy everywhere else.

Game crashes and crocked event handling can't be anyone's favorite features.

On the other hand, some undocumented game behaviors criticized by some may be enjoyed by others. If we can recruit developers to program "fixes" for them, then we might leave it to either scenario editors or players to choose whether to run under the old or new "rule" (like when choosing to allow disconnected track building).

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a lump of coal was all I had left to offer Poptop.

That's unfortunate. Do you happen to know who, if anyone, might still have a copy of the RRT2 source code and other resources? I can't even get anybody at Take2 to answer my questions. I've gotten read receipts from emails, but no replies.

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Not for sure. But I bet there are some that would have the password to open the code. I was given permission to add to the code; but never allowed to look at the code itself. When the project ended , at that point my activities ended as well.

I later promoted my ideas to other school district leaders 8) but found that education is full of thieves that want to spent my time and take credit for what I did. :blink:

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I finally got an email back from Take2 (after a year and a half of pestering): I am told that Railroad Tycoon has gone back to Sid Meier and Firaxis. I replied to Take2 that its next and future quarterly reports filed with the SEC should stop listing Railroad Tycoon as an intellectual property asset owned by Take2 Interactive.

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Big project indeed. What's the point - correction, objective? A close as possible to the original in case that becomes unobtainable? Or improved in some way? Will everyone agree on what way and to what extent? For what platform(s)?

(I happen to think that a lot of what was done in RRT3 was a move in the right direction, and expect to play more of that when I get round to it.)

On the positive side, is there open software available that could be used for subroutines e.g. for graphics? (zoom in and out? map rotation?)

I think you raise a very good question and I, too, am wondering how much consensus there is as to what changes are needed.

akuenzi, perhaps we should start with you as the OP. What do you have in mind as the objective? My apologies if I've missed it since I just joined recently.

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I think you raise a very good question and I, too, am wondering how much consensus there is as to what changes are needed.

akuenzi, perhaps we should start with you as the OP. What do you have in mind as the objective? My apologies if I've missed it since I just joined recently.

It's more difficult to answer your question than I thought it might be. I guess in simplest terms, my vision would be adding depth to an already great game.

Without turning this into a wish-list post, I hesitate to say too much, though I can dream a little: Maybe it means correcting 'irritating' bugs, as Jeff has suggested; maybe it means making certain things easier (such as the ability to cut/paste events or to maintain them in a library to be easily called up later); maybe it means adding features such as signals and tunnels; maybe it means adding realism by not having trains have only six cars but on the map appear to stretch literally hundreds of miles with those six cars; maybe it means having an option to scale the passage of time with the size of the map; maybe it means adding depth to the event triggering and effect mechanism for maps; maybe it means a whole lot of things that time doesn't allow to write down at the moment. In my scouring of the internet for info on RRT2, I've read pages and pages of 'wish lists,' and many of them sound like very good ideas, but I'll spare you the regurgitation of them here. For many features, I would envision something like Open TTD has done, where you can choose to allow or disallow certain features. We have some of that functionality now, but as someone suggested above, one person's bug is another person's pet feature, so it would be nice to have flexibility to choose between either.

In terms of objective, however, I would quickly circle back to this: The very first objective if this is to be pursued, in my humble opinion, would be to recreate RRT2 in its current form, to have the basic game engine. Nothing more, nothing less. This is foundational. Without this, none of the rest matters. I would even go so far as to say that any vision/dreams/other objectives we have about what the game should be, should be set aside until this is done.

I had someone send me a private message on the Transport Tycoon forum that touched on this. He said that several 'Open' projects have been contemplated (such as Open Locomotion and Open Rollercoaster Tycoon), but none of them got off the ground. He said the problem was that the discussion on them involved the 'wish lists' people had, and that this was actually counterproductive. It was all dreaming, and nobody actually making it happen. The cold hard fact here is that no matter how much dreaming or vision we have, unless that ONE person comes along that is willing to code the basic game engine and has the time/talent/skill/vision to do so, this 'Open' project is likely to go the way of these others. Nothing matters until the foundation is laid, and once it is laid, we can dream all day long as to what pet feature we'd like to put in there, and it will be much easier to do this with the game engine in place.

In reading back the above, my wording seems 'harsh.' I hope nobody takes offense... I'm just trying to be brutally realistic. Honestly, right now my expectation of this ever happening is about nil. I know already I'm not that one person that can make it happen, as I don't know how to program... though I'm hoping that person is out there lurking around. But I do know how to dream just like the rest of you. And in any event, it's just one man's opinion. If someone else is more optimistic, I'd much rather read your post than mine! :)

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It's more difficult to answer your question than I thought it might be. I guess in simplest terms, my vision would be adding depth to an already great game.

Without turning this into a wish-list post, I hesitate to say too much, though I can dream a little: Maybe it means correcting 'irritating' bugs, as Jeff has suggested; maybe it means making certain things easier (such as the ability to cut/paste events or to maintain them in a library to be easily called up later); maybe it means adding features such as signals and tunnels; maybe it means adding realism by not having trains have only six cars but on the map appear to stretch literally hundreds of miles with those six cars; maybe it means having an option to scale the passage of time with the size of the map; maybe it means adding depth to the event triggering and effect mechanism for maps; maybe it means a whole lot of things that time doesn't allow to write down at the moment. In my scouring of the internet for info on RRT2, I've read pages and pages of 'wish lists,' and many of them sound like very good ideas, but I'll spare you the regurgitation of them here. For many features, I would envision something like Open TTD has done, where you can choose to allow or disallow certain features. We have some of that functionality now, but as someone suggested above, one person's bug is another person's pet feature, so it would be nice to have flexibility to choose between either.

In terms of objective, however, I would quickly circle back to this: The very first objective if this is to be pursued, in my humble opinion, would be to recreate RRT2 in its current form, to have the basic game engine. Nothing more, nothing less. This is foundational. Without this, none of the rest matters. I would even go so far as to say that any vision/dreams/other objectives we have about what the game should be, should be set aside until this is done.

I had someone send me a private message on the Transport Tycoon forum that touched on this. He said that several 'Open' projects have been contemplated (such as Open Locomotion and Open Rollercoaster Tycoon), but none of them got off the ground. He said the problem was that the discussion on them involved the 'wish lists' people had, and that this was actually counterproductive. It was all dreaming, and nobody actually making it happen. The cold hard fact here is that no matter how much dreaming or vision we have, unless that ONE person comes along that is willing to code the basic game engine and has the time/talent/skill/vision to do so, this 'Open' project is likely to go the way of these others. Nothing matters until the foundation is laid, and once it is laid, we can dream all day long as to what pet feature we'd like to put in there, and it will be much easier to do this with the game engine in place.

In reading back the above, my wording seems 'harsh.' I hope nobody takes offense... I'm just trying to be brutally realistic. Honestly, right now my expectation of this ever happening is about nil. I know already I'm not that one person that can make it happen, as I don't know how to program... though I'm hoping that person is out there lurking around. But I do know how to dream just like the rest of you. And in any event, it's just one man's opinion. If someone else is more optimistic, I'd much rather read your post than mine! :)

Hmmmm....my take is that it is pointless to have the code without a clear and fairly well-defined vision of what to do with it. My sense is that there is not a whole lot of consensus here about that as my own ideas have very little in common with what has been thus far presented.

Carry on.

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Hmmmm....my take is that it is pointless to have the code without a clear and fairly well-defined vision of what to do with it. My sense is that there is not a whole lot of consensus here about that as my own ideas have very little in common with what has been thus far presented.

Carry on.

Well, what are your ideas? Or what would be your idea of a 'clear and fairly well-defined vision?'

It is a good question, and I'd be curious to know the answer with respect to Open TTD, where this was done wtih success, to know just what it was that motivated Ludvig Strigeus to recreate the game. I wonder if his 'vision' at the time wasn't simply to see if he could actually do it? The rest of what has happened might just be icing on the cake.

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I think we already have a wish list thread. If anyone has wishes to share, then find it and resurrect it.

I agree that we want to recreate the basic functionality. However, there are undocumented and poorly understood behaviors. If I trigger an event on one territory and cut electric fuel cost 50%, will it really only cut that fuel cost on trains operating in that territory? If I cut fuel cost in an event triggered for just one player, what does the game do? Does it hang the discount on that player's internal data where it will never be used, or does the game ignore the player context and cut fuel cost game-wide?

The reason I ask isn't because I want to raise a long list of tedious testing. I raise the point to illustrate how we will end up making some of our own judgement calls because it's simply too difficult to tease out many of the game's unwritten rules. When we get to programming the data model for things like context-specific and temporary effects, the programmer will come up with a method that is reliable and reasonably efficient, and that method may well promulgate a set of behaviors that is different from the current game but difficult to measure.

What we will gain however, is a view into the algorithms so that scenario designers can *know* what the rules are and design accordingly. If you look back at my posts regarding my US History scenario, especially the early testing, you'll see where I was pulling my hair out because the game does inconsistent and unexpected things, sometime contrary to what little is published in the manual.

PS: One thing we must create along the way is good documentation. I suggest that we have two versions of each of at least two documents. The documents would be the players' manual and the editor manual. The versions would be the user version and the developer version.

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I've just rediscovered a bug that I should add to this thread: It's possible to build a station such that one of its three track cells pokes into a river. Later, the game might allow one to build across the river, but it won't actually put a bridge there. The game can then crash.

What's most troubling is that I've just caught an AI company at it. The river station was built some time ago when I wasn't looking. What caught my attention was that my game crashed, then crashed after restarting, then crashed again after rebooting. Each time, there was an end-of-month "computer company is looking to build track" delay that ended in a crash.

At first I didn't know what the cause was. I suspected broken tracks where disasters had erased working track cells, so I went around the map repairing gaps and looking at dead-ends. The game still crashed. Then I found the river-station with its dead-end in the river. After saving, I did a test build of a bridge across the river, and the bridge was invisible. So I reloaded and built a blocking track segment across the river from the offending end. The invisible bridge became an invalid build. The game ran, and the computer company built elsewhere.

I vaguely recall somebody else (Gwizz?) mentioning a "corrupted game". If you still have it, look around at AI tracks' dead ends. See if one pokes into a river.

This is a "code red" (game crashes) bug that must be fixed if/when any patch or reverse-engineering is done.

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Another thing to fix (severity = irritating but non-fatal):

Breakdowns and crashes hog the notices window so that it's not possible to flip back and see earlier notices. This hides earlier breakdowns, AI connection notices, deliveries. I can usually live without seeing every delivery notice, but I like to take note of each new connection built by my opponents. When we redesign, the notices window needs to be able to page backward no matter what, even after a reloading a saved game.

Related features:

"Hindsight being 20/20", the recent notices should have a filter so I can page back over only connections and disasters, even if I had all deliveries being notified.

The last few newspapers should also be accessible even after a reload.

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