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Tunnels (Because making railroad over Alps is no fun).

Ability to buy a factory owned by AI company.

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Tunnels are a part of RRT3.   You start where you want the tunnel  to start and end.   Then use the mouse to make it and list the grade in the tunnel.

I once built two tunnels with one sweep of the mouse.  The track came through one tunnel and into and out of the second tunnel.

 

I've longed for the ability to bid on another railroad's track, building etc.  Even locomotives.

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The one big surprise in either RT2 or RT3 is the cost of "buildings". Not all the time with some scenarios, but usually $200 in 1830, and $200 in 1960. It would probably take some programming to adhere to a "reality" cost.

As a youngster in the 40s, a dozen eggs were $.25. Today on sale could be $1.89. The same with most articles.

Working on an airline for 30 years, the industry still hauled volumes of mail, but at a very much lessor revenue. It wasn't only the airlines which took away the mail from the railroads, but also with now major highways, the USPS had their own semi-trucks.

Times change constantly. Today mail is hauled by all convienencies of transportation, but have lost much to other industries, as well as that of computers. And the USPS is sufferring financially due to the lack of volume, but much of their revenue, which is still great, to that of benefits to retirees and union workers. The ballon has busted.

Although RT3 has some great changes in its programming, I still enjoy the RT2 Edition. There are still the challenges worth merit.

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Unlike the Federal Reserve, RR Tycoon does not inflate its currency. A dollar saved in 1830 will still have the same purchasing power in 2001. An "interesting" economic mechanism to cause players to tear out their hair would be the gradual, inexorable erosion of their savings due to inflation. Like interest payments, the game could impose inflation quarterly. An event in the editor could increase or decrease the rate, or set it to a trigger.

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What if inflation would help erode your debt slowly?

 

Maybe, if you did that with your US history scenario, interest wouldn't provide you with such a comfort barrier against taxes? I was thinking about this while playing, but I realize it would change the scenario fundamentally. It would also make it a lot harder to meet the cash goals. All that money saved in the early years would be worth almost nothing now!  :O

 

What about increasing the number of bonds available? If you can afford it why not? Maybe keep the original 20 for the first ten years and then ten more every 10 years, to keep from being able to expand super fast. I almost always hit maximum bonds in every game unless the rates are unearthly high or there is not enough revenue to support them. Even buying industries can be a cost effective strategy if you use bonds to purchase them.

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I just appended the following to the "nice to have" post on page 1:

 

 

*** Interface:

 

* Change to a truly multi-window interface in which "clutter" can be minimized/hidden when one wants a full-screen view of something like the main map (or route-planning map).

 

* Enable zoom-in for the route-planning map so that waypoints can be precisely placed in a single cell on a within a huge map (and without station stars getting in the way).

 

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Great collection of bugs and game loopholes, and I can add something.

1. The track mileage miscount. Diagonal tracks was treated as 10 miles per segment, the same with straight tracks. Although this won't affect the track building cost or track maintenance, but it will affects fuel cost calculation. Since fuel cost is calculated by the track mileage an engine rolls, when engines run on diagonal tracks, they will save about 28% fuel due to this miscount. The true mileage should be 14.1 miles per segment for diagonal tracks, it should be a critical bug, because it will also affect load miles and everything based on load miles calculated in efficiency.

 

2. Station loading and unloading fee fixed or canceled. When a train arrives, a $2K per load station fee will be paid to both starting station and destination station's company, however, if the starting and destination station is the same one, although there is no revenue from shipping cargoes, the station fee will still be paid. Even more, the trains don't even need to leave the station to get station fee, just load and unload, it's the same. This allows a player to earn a tremendous amount of station fee with some tedious work. This makes "money goals" gold requirement very cheatable.

This feature is supposed to be the payment for the usage of a company's assets. But in real games, this becomes a stable revenue between economy swings. $4K per load may not seem very much, but assuming an average of $40K per load revenue, $4K still accounts for 10% of the pie. Because it won't be changed by economy fluctuation, this feature becomes a revenue smooth like industry profits, defeating its original purpose.

I think a better way to implement station fee is to divide the cargo value into like 10% starting station, 60% track, 20% loco, 10% destination station. This will also solve the problem of over focus on track ownership in a run. Also, station fee can move with economy.

 

3.The station frontage track cannot be put on river. This is mentioned in your collections, but it allows you to build a "bridge" by putting another station on the other side of the river connecting the previous station's frontage track. This makes full-speed stone bridge, in some level, available before 1840. Also, this makes "X" shape single track "bridge" across the river a kind of available, which I always desire. So if this is fixed, I want that bridge can be built across river in different angles, maybe more expensive, but I want it there. 

 

4. I want more information of my company's history financial records. The total is not enough, reports can only trace back 10 years, that's too little. I also want the stock price history expandable, so I can trace back my performance far ago. Also the stock price should not only be liner scale but also log scale. Dow Jones can move more in a day than the entire drop of 1929 depression. In RT2, the same thing could happen, in late years, your early years' stock price may look like a horizontal line. And I want the market capital of my company shown somewhere, I can see others' by attempting merge, but I have to multiply shares outstanding and stock price to get mine.

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Hey all,

 

I just discovered this Forum and am excited to see there's still people interested in Railroad Tycoon II.  I've been playing regularly for years in total isolation because its multiplayer seemed too troublesome, so last year I created a Facebook page called "Railroad Tycoon II: Multiplayer Page" in the hopes of finally playing the game against real people and not the fumbling AI.  But due to time constraints (I'm a conductor) and too many "fans" who barely speak English, that page has lost momentum.  But I continue loving the game and look forward to possibly sharing some homemade maps.  Last year I finally tried out RT3 and found many good ideas that I wish were in RT2, but generally I found RT3 to be a flop.  Despite being 3D, the graphics are horrible.  The economics seem too complex as far as other unseen transport methods taking place between industries, and it's too easy to just set the capacity of a train and let the computer do the rest.  That's no fun.  The only thing I really, REALLY liked in RT3 was being able to build track at any angle.  That's awesome.  But I don't see how that could ever be put into RT2.

 

Anyway...

 

You can classify these as you want, but here's some changes I would make to Railroad Tycoon II that haven't been mentioned previously...

 

Curves - One of the dumbest things in this game is that trains slow down on curves.  Anyone who knows anything about railroading knows that trains don't need to slow down on curves.  Too often for me, this is a primary source of congestion and it's unnecessary.  Grades should be the only thing to make a train slow down.

 

Company Logos - The other dumbest thing about RT2 is the logos.  They're horrible.  HORRIBLE.  Absolutely terrible.  Dreadful.  DISGUSTING.  Who designed those things?  Many of these logos look like RT2 asked some crappy mid-90's graphic design firm that made logos for software companies for some logos they could use in this game, and they were given all the logos they had rejected.  That's how bad they look, with absolutely NO insight to railroads or railroad history whatsoever.  There's literally maybe two or three logos I'll use in RT2.  Why can't we have logos that at least resemble famous railroad logos?  There's one logo that closely resembles the Boston & Maine "Minuteman" logo, and another that vaguely resembles the Chicago & Northwestern logo, but that's about it.  And what's worse, RT3 didn't even fix this.  That right there is partly why RT3 was so disappointing.  C'mon, no one at PopTop thought of this??  Jeez...

 

Track Maintenance - I think another element that can be placed into game strategy is track maintenance.  In the expenses section of the book, possibly with a slidebar, we should be able to determine how much we're spending on track maintenance.  There could be an average amount where nothing changes from where the game is today.  But adding more money to track maintenance could mean higher speeds with fewer crashes.  Likewise, if times get hard, we could defer maintenance with the risk of increased crashes and patchy areas of slower speeds.

 

Divisions - Because I may only want to defer maintenance on lightly used branch lines and increase speeds where track is congested, I should be able to compartmentalize my system with divisions.

 

Labor - Currently in RT2, Overhead is the only thing that might represent this.  Labor is always a major operating expense for a railroad, and it's the only expense truly in its control.  That's why railroads are always trying to screw over workers and their unions to save money and please the stockholders.  With a slidebar, we should be able to control how much we're spending on labor - or better yet, be able to negotiate with a union if we push the workers to that point!  The more we pay for labor, the safer the trains become and with better Goodwill.  The more we cut labor costs, more accidents happen and our Goodwill gets worse.  This would add a new level of strategy to the game as the player must become more efficient in how we set up trains to move freight.  And, of course, Wall Street will fight back against unions to maximize profit...

 

Dedicated Passenger Lineups - If I recall RT3 correctly (because it wasn't nearly as fun), one nice thing about it was that cities and towns produced passenger and mail loads for other specific destinations.  That's more logical, but it doesn't make things any easier to coordinate.  Passengers should be able to change trains at will, leaving me to only make the connections with trains and let the passenger do the rest.  In other words, I create a passenger train (mail service would be included) and only set the number of cars and the stops.  The passengers, who have specific destinations, do the rest. 

 

For example, I set up a train with two mail cars and four passenger cars.  The train departs Chicago and stops in South Bend, Toledo, and finishes in Cleveland before going back to Chicago via those same cities in between.  This would accomodate passenger loads from Chicago to South Bend and Toledo as well as those to Cleveland, and loads from South Bend would also be made to Toledo and Cleveland, and so on.  And if Chicago has passenger loads for Buffalo or Pittsburgh (and there's no direct train), they can also take the train to Cleveland and catch the next train to those cities.  Wouldn't that be a great place for a hotel!  And with good AI, passengers could interchange with other railroads as well.

 

This would simplify passenger operations, allowing us to focus on managing freight.  It's also significantly more realistic.

 

Longer Trains - I think we've all wished for this.  If I could just fit one or two more loads onto a train, I could do so much more!  Which brings me to cabooses...

 

Cabooses and Security - As we know, cabooses in RT2 provide increased security and reduced breakdown rates.  But in reality, this is not the case.  Cabooses (before they died out) offered an office for the conductor and all his waybills and paperwork as well as a place for brakeman to hop on after finishing work in a town.  I can't think of any time in railroad history where cabooses were used on passenger trains, except maybe on mixed passenger-freight trains on lightly used branch lines to desolate places before those died out.  Because RT2 train robbers only raid passenger trains (I generally run passenger/mail trains separate from freight), there should be an option to add armed security to a passenger train rather than a caboose.  Let's face it:  Cabooses on passenger trains just look weird.  Cabooses on freight trains could add better safety and reduced switching times (station turnaround) at stops in the trains route between two initial terminals.  That's really their purpose.

 

Railcar Changes - Some of the railcars in the game are a bit ridiculous.  First off, a load of Alcohol is 50 tons??  That's disproportionately heavier than anything else in the game, and totally random.  A boxcar full of kegs and bottles won't be any heavier than a load of IRON ORE.  And on a more visual level, I wish some of the cars looked different.  I've never liked the way Goods looks.  That's one of the most basic items (vague as it is) to be found in a boxcar, not a giant crate strapped to a flat car.  And when has anyone here seen a high-walled gondola with new tires poured into it like coal?  The Tires car needs to be a boxcar as well.  I've never seen a cement car that looks like the one in the game.  I think the Rubber car is certainly questionable...

 

Visual Changes in Industry - There's a few things that could change.  The Power Plant should look like an old brick power plant with smokestacks and such, not a fenced-in transformer.  I guess the lights weren't on upstairs when PopTop thought of that one.  Also, I'd say switch the Textile Mill and the Tire Plant.  Every tire plant I've seen looks like the Textile Mill, and every textile mill I've seen looks like the Tire Plant.  And as I'll mention below, the Grain Silo shouldn't really be a grain silo, but just a farm with a house and barn.  That structure is found in towns.  The Weapons Factory and Munitions Plant are excessively large.  I wouldn't mind if the Steel Mill was slightly smaller, but it'd be better if it wasn't silver.  Anyone who's actually looked at a blast furnace knows it's dark charcoalish-blackish-rust red, not silver.

 

Building Towns - I think we'd all like to be able to place a settlement where we'd like one, just like the railroads did in the old days.  This will come up a little further down...

 

Agriculture - One of the few things RT3 did right was being able to build tracks through a farm field without having to destroy it.  I wish this was the case in RT2.  And speaking of agriculture...

 

Grain Elevators - There probably isn't any structure more synonymous with railroading than the grain elevator.  From small woodframed structures to towering rows of concrete silos, the grain elevator was the sole reason of existence for countless small towns all across the US and Canada.  I've always been bugged by the "grain silo" in RT2 because that structure isn't really seen on farms...which is what that industry is.  I wish the grain farm looked different, like how they do in RT3.  And furthermore, there should be different types of farms in this fashion of crop:  Corn, beans, wheat, barley and whatever else.  They have different uses.

 

Another thing that bothers me is having a bunch of grain silos (or cattle yards, produce orchards, etc.) close to each other and building a large station in the middle of nowhere to get them all.

 

Here's what I'd like to see:  Just like stations, I'd like to be able to build a separate grain elevator that can come in three different sizes that can connect to any type of farm within its range, totally separate from the station whose sphere it must be in to work.  Again, let's face it:  A large station looks kinda weird in a town with only one or two houses.  So if there was a small town (perhaps one that I've strategically placed myself) surrounded by corn and wheat farms, I could build a small station that only reaches the town, but then build a large elevator with its own wider highlighted range to touch farms   As long as the elevator is within the range of the small station, it brings a huge volume of grains to that station for pickup.  This is much more realistic.

 

Similarly, different sizes of stockyards could be built to serve ranches.  A ranch really should be another type of agriculture, because how often do you find a large network of dense fencing designed to categorize and load cattle...in the middle of nowhere?  Yet that's what we see in RT2.  Just like the grain silo, it's visually inaccurate.

 

Other Station Structures - First off, I like the idea in RT3 of building station structures actually on the map rather than in a picture of the station.  But this aside, I've never understood how we can build things like Refrigerated Storage, Liquid Storage, Warehouses and Grain Silos and its only purpose is reduced loading time.  Shouldn't storing freight mean a particular load stays available for pickup at the station for a much longer period of time?

 

And furthermore, why does the warehouse only work for Goods, Cotton and Wool?  The warehouse should work for all kinds of stuff!  What about Alcohol, Lumber, Paper, Steel, Food and Tires?

 

And here's another idea:  How about if enough of these structures are built (and used), it adds to the size of the town?  I mean, mechanical shops (the Roundhouse) alone can support an entire large town or small city.  Hell, look at places like Altoona, PA (Pennsylvania Railroad), Oelwein, IA (Chicago Great Western), Parsons, KS (M-K-T), or Bellevue, OH (Nickel Plate Road).  Shops can often be the largest employer in town.  Add a heavily used warehouse or railyard and maybe the town can earn one or two more houses?

 

Waybilling -  Another thing that drives me nuts is when I'm sending particular loads to a station with an industry that demands it, and later another industry that also demands it pops up and screws up all my train routing and planning.  It's so frustrating when I'm sending Steel to a city with an Auto Plant and a Tool and Die Factory pops up, or when I'm sending Grain to a Bakery and a Distillery pops up.  Or just as likely, I'll set up a train to carry grain to a town with a bakery with a stop en route to pick up milk, but then realize that the Dairy Farm will take all that grain and there's no cost effective alternative.

 

Waybilling would fix this.  Nothing would have to change in the way we line up trains as far as selling all cargoes, holding cargos on the train or holding at a station for pickup by another train.  We should just be able to click on a car that's been placed in the lineup and determine A) which station it's going to (if there's a stop en route that will snatch it) and B) to what industry it's being delivered (if there's multiple industries there that could take it).

 

Railyards - Railyards are railroading's hidden half, an essential function if a railroad is to operate efficiently, yet it's not present in RT2.  We should be able to strategically locate a yard at a station with heavy use and congestion to relieve that and reduce turnaround time.  We could waybill cars for the yard when a station has one rather than building a small station outside town with nothing in its radius and dropping loads there.  Again, this is more realistic.  A yard would add a little bit to labor costs, but would also help increase the population of that town or city if heavily used.

 

New Industries - When I recently tried RT3 for the first time, I found that a few of these ideas actually were put into the game.  But not many.  And in RT3, they look like crap.

 

Flour Mill:  I think it's stupid that grain straight from the farm goes to a bakery.  That's not how it works.  Flour milling is a major industry anywhere.  Hell, the major American city of Minneapolis wouldn't exist without it; Minneapolis is to flour milling as Detroit is to cars or Pittsburgh is to steel (at one point in history, Minneapolis was milling so much flour that people in Turkey were buying flour milled in Minneapolis for cheaper than flour milled in Turkey).

 

- Grain (wheat) goes to Flour Mill, Flour goes to Bakery.

 

Feed Mill:  Out in rural America (and Canada, I guess), livestock feed is big business, certainly for railroads.  To raise production at Cattle Yards, Sheep Farms and Dairy Farms, they should demand Feed, not just Grain straight from the farm.  It would still be a low value commodity, but this would certainly be more accurate and make for more complex and interesting route and shipment planning - or perhaps simpler, given that the scenario I gave above about Waybills would not happen if Dairy Farms, Sheep Farms, etc., couldn't take in grain.

 

- Grain (corn) goes to Feed Mill, Feed goes to Ranch, Sheep Farm, Hog Farm and Dairy Farm.

 

Ranch:  Like I said earlier, a ranch really should be another type of agriculture, because how often do you find a large network of dense fencing designed to categorize and load cattle...in the middle of nowhere?  Yet that's what we see in RT2.  Just like the grain silo, it's visually inaccurate.

 

- Cattle goes to the Meatpacking Plant, Meat goes to Cities and Towns.

 

Hog Farm:  Cattle is big business, no doubt, but hogs are just as big, possibly bigger.  Have you ever felt weird playing RT2 sending cattle to a Meatpacking Plant in Chicago, known as "Hog Butcher of the World"?  Historically, cattle slaughtering as an industry has tended to be located more on the Great Plains and into Texas, with major cattle slaughterhouses in places like Fort Worth, San Antonio, Denver, Omaha and Kansas City.  Hogs, on the other hand, have been the dominant slaughter closer into the Midwest, with major meatpacking in Chicago, South St. Paul, Dubuque, Iowa, East St. Louis, Austin, Minnesota, Cincinnati, etc., as well as in the South, particularly in North Carolina and Virginia.  While cattle comes from a ranch, hogs are typically raised in dense pens, so in the RT2 that I wish existed, the Hog Farm would be a small barn similar to the Dairy Farm.

 

- Hogs go to the Meatpacking Plant, Meat goes to Cities and Towns.

 

Quarry:  This would be the Gravel Pit, but with more than just gravel.  The Quarry would produce Sand, Stone and Clay.  This may seem mundane at first, but take a moment and look around at all the old buildings made of stone back in the 1800's and early 1900's.  They're everywhere, and all that stone was hauled by rail.  Given its weight, it had to be!  What else was there?  Clay would be sent to a Brickworks, which would send bricks to towns and cities.  Stone would be demanded by cities, and sand is used for glass.

 

Clay goes to Brickworks, Brick goes to Cities and Towns.

- Stone goes to Cities.

Sand goes to GlassworksGlass goes to Cannery, Distillery and Brewery.

- Gravel goes to Cement Plant, Cement goes to Cities.

 

Brickworks:  The Brickworks would make Clay into Bricks.  Like Lumber, they'd be an essential building material demanded by cities and towns, though probably lower in value.

 

- Brick goes to Cities and Towns.

 

Glassworks:  A Glassworks would take in Sand and turn them into Glass, which would really be bottles and jars demanded by the Brewery, Distillery and Cannery.  Sure, it's called a cannery, but we all know the stuff produced there can often come in a jar as well.  Also, I suspect some would say Glass could be part of the production chain for automobiles, but how complicated do we really want to make that?

 

- Sand goes to Glassworks, Glass goes to Cannery.  Glass + Produce = Food²

- Sand goes to Glassworks, Glass goes to Distillery.  Glass + Produce = Alcohol²

- Sand goes to Glassworks, Glass goes to Distillery.  Glass + Grain (corn or wheat) = Alcohol²

- Sand goes to Glassworks, Glass goes to Brewery.  Glass + Grain (wheat or barley) = Beer²

 

Note:  I always thought taking Coffee to a Cannery and getting Food from it was kinda silly...

 

Brewery:  I was delighted to find a Brewery in RT3.  Really, it's a whole different industry then liquor and wine, and has many geographical differences from those as well.  On a European map, Distilleries would be more common in Eastern and Southern Europe, Scotland and Ireland, and France.  Breweries would be more common in Germany, Central Europe, the Low Countries and the British Isles.  The same goes for North America, where Breweries have often been defining industries for cities, employing many people and competing with other cities through its hometown brands.  Milwaukee (Miller, Schlitz, Blatz, Pabst), St. Paul (Hamm's, Schmidt) and St. Louis (Budweiser, Falstaff) in particular have been defined by beer, but plenty of other Midwestern cities have or had prominent breweries such as Detroit (Stroh's), Chicago (Old Style), Omaha (Storz), Minneapolis (Grain Belt), LaCrosse (Heileman's), etc.

 

- Grain (wheat or barley) + Glass = Beer²

 

Auto Parts Plant:  I think this is a good one.  As we know, in the US automobiles have historically been made in a handful of American and Canadian cities, such as Detroit, Flint, Toledo, Cleveland, Chicago, St. Paul, South Bend, etc.  But countless large towns and small cities across the Great Lakes states have been built on manufacturing the auto parts used on the assembly lines of auto plants.  Whether it's Borg-Warner building transmissions in Muncie, Indiana, Timken building roller bearings and chains in Canton, Ohio, Federal-Mogul building piston rings in Wabasha, Minnesota, or MACI building compressors in Jackson, Michigan, virtually all of these companies, though many are now gone, shipped their product to the assembly plants by RAIL.  Auto parts have always been a major source of revenue for railroads, and that should be represented in a game like this.

 

- Steel goes to Auto Parts Plant, Auto Parts to Auto Plant.  Steel + Auto Parts + Tires = Autos³

 

Farm Machinery Plant:  This is another major industry heavily reliant on railroads and a major industry and employer to many cities across North America, such as John Deere in Waterloo, Iowa and Moline, Illinois, Case Tractor in Racine, Wisconsin, M-M in Minneapolis, International Harvester in Chicago, Oliver in South Bend, Cockshutt Plow in Brantford, Ontario, and Hart-Parr in Charles City, Iowa.  These factories would be similar to the Auto Plant, but would produce tractors and, like fertilizer, would increase productivity when supplied to farms.

 

- Steel + Tires go to Farm Machinery Plant, Tractors² to Grain Silo, Cotton Farm, Sugar Farm, etc.

 

Heavy Machinery Plant:  Again, this is similar to the Auto Plant and Farm Machinery Plant.  Heavy Machinery is its own industry that has been reliant on railroads and has been a major industry and employer to many cities of different sizes.  We needn't look further than Caterpillar of Peoria, Illinois, but other examples would be American Hoist & Derrick (AmHoist) in St. Paul, Bucyrus-Erie in Milwaukee and Bucyrus, Ohio, Barber-Greene in Minneapolis, Bobcat in Fargo, North Dakota, and Marion Steam Shovel in Marion, Ohio.  In the Railroad Tycoon 2 that I wish existed, this industry wouldn't require anything except steel, but would be very handy in the game.  When supplied with heavy machinery, Logging Camps and Mines of all kinds would increase productivity.  They would also be demanded by cities, but not towns.

 

- Steel to Heavy Machinery Plant, Heavy Machinery to Cities, Logging Camp, Iron Mine, Coal Mine, Quarry, Bauxite Mine, etc.

 

Shipyards:  Obviously, Shipyards are a major heavy industry that would be taking in a LOT of steel.  But what does it produce that can be hauled somewhere else by rail?  Well...nothing.  It produces ships.  But if the Shipyard can receive a certain number of loads of steel in a year, how about all ports that supply a type of load annually (without trading in something else for it) increases that annual number by one?  Furthermore, this would be a major wartime industry in scenarios having to do with war.  And Shipyards wouldn't be exclusive to places like Philadelphia or San Diego.  The Great Lakes used to have major shipyards in places like Lorain, Ohio, and Duluth, Minnesota.  Like Ports, Shipyards would be built on both land and water.

 

- Steel goes to Shipyards.

 

Scrapyard:  I figure this industry pops up on the map right around the start of World War II.  It wouldn't demand anything, just produce maybe one or two loads of scrap a year.  Scrap metal has become a major revenue source for railroads.  Where I work, every train we run has at least ten gondolas loaded with scrap metal going down to Gary to be recycled into steel.  In the game, this would be a low-value commodity, but useful if there's no iron and coal nearby.  One load of scrap would produce one load of steel.

 

- Scrap goes to Steel Mill.

 

Furniture Factory:  I've always thought this wasn't too difficult to conceive, and I was glad it showed up in RT3.  I mean, of all the uses for wood, the only thing was just lumber to towns and cities?  It's such a basic material, so much more could be done with it.  And furniture is a major industry as well.  Grand Rapids, Michigan was built on it.  I guess I'm not sure if this would be demanded by towns, but certainly by cities.

 

- Lumber goes to Furniture Factory, Furniture goes to Cities.

 

...

 

Anyway, that's what I've got for now.  This is how I envision a great Railroad Tycoon 2.  I'm probably forgetting a few new industries, but I'll post more ideas if I think of them.

 

Anyone else starting to wish for a Railroad Tycoon 4?

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So many points to talk about...

 

I don't mind the large station in the middle of nowhere serving scattered rural freight sources. I see those large stations as hubs of unseen rail nets that collect freight into a central location from a larger region. If there's a problem with large station radius, it's that it can span some *very* expensive bridging situations

 

Waybilling: May be if a specific station could be told to NOT serve a particular building within its radius. Then if you ever did want to serve that building, you'd need to add a separate spur & mini-station. Such station customization would spare us the tedium of load-by-load targeting, a user interface that I am having difficulty envisioning.

 

Railyards: I've thought about such. I wondered if it would be reasonable for a station with a yard to eliminate all congestion in its frontage track. At least the through traffic should be unaffected by turn-around traffic (and vice versa).

 

Scrap: We could have cities convert finished goods into (fractional) raw materials. When you deliver three autos to a city, the city could produce one load of scrap (or iron). Hauled to a recycler, the load of scrap could become a load of steel. Similarly, two or three loads of paper could turn into one load of pulp.

 

Many of your new industry ideas are interesting, but they might add complexity to the game without adding truly new game dynamics. For instance, it might be better to simply rename the cattle ranch, in effect admitting that "cattle" in the game is an abstract meat-animal industry standing in for all beef, pork & poultry. Similarly, aluminum is really a stand-in for all non-ferrous metals (including copper, which has a *completely* different history from aluminum!).

 

As for furniture, we could simply add wood as a solo input to one of the factories making abstract finished "goods". Granted, furniture is different from a TV, but from the RR point of view, it's all going to the same place (town and city retail). In my modded EXE, I have already added rubber (representing plastic) as a solo input to tool & die to produce goods after WWII.

 

In general, your economic and historical analysis all makes sense, but I would only want to add a feature to the game if it adds entertainment value without sacrificing too much playability. To be attractive, a new industry should have a somewhat different shape from others. A completely parallel meat industry might be historically accurate, but would it add anything to play value?

 

Beer: Grain + glass is one way to retail beer, but grain + steel (kegs) and grain + aluminum (cans) also work. Since the game largely ignores packaging (otherwise *many* industries would consume paper to make cardboard boxes), so I guess I can live with grain simply turning into alcohol. Or maybe we need to demand a whole lot more paper after a certain date...

 

And what about rails themselves? Before the auto industry, nothing consumed more steel than rail building. That's why my US History map gives a discount on rail building if you supply the steel industry (and levies penalties if it starves). Imagine if you had to deliver steel loads to a rail head before you'd be allowed to construct new rail in the vicinity. And steel bridges... How many loads of steel to bridge the Mississippi river?

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Well, I should clarify.  I'm not a terribly tech-savvy guy, let alone a software developer.  So I don't know what can or cannot be done.  But even if some of this stuff can't be done, it's a "wish list."  Should someone ever come around to make a Railroad Tycoon 4 and does some research on what players like, don't like, and wish they had, I want my ideas on the record.  Railroad Tycoon 2 is so versatile as it is, there are so many possibilities if only the right people were designing it.  The Railroad Tycoon that I envision, which includes many of the other wishes on this thread, is one that would be much more entertaining, accurate and challenging.

 

 "I don't mind the large station in the middle of nowhere serving scattered rural freight sources. I see those large stations as hubs of unseen rail nets that collect freight into a central location from a larger region. If there's a problem with large station radius, it's that it can span some *very* expensive bridging situations"

 

There's nothing stopping anyone from collecting resources with a large station.  But there should be more realistic options.  Options are good.  Besides, there is an aesthetic level to some of this game.  With the right landscape and the right newspaper headlines, and I suppose a certain imagination, the place and times of the map and scenario can seem quite real in this game when one builds and operates like a real railroad.  Grain elevators like this would be great!

 

"Waybilling: May be if a specific station could be told to NOT serve a particular building within its radius. Then if you ever did want to serve that building, you'd need to add a separate spur & mini-station. Such station customization would spare us the tedium of load-by-load targeting, a user interface that I am having difficulty envisioning."

 

I think that's a bit more complicated.  There may not be room in a town or city for a separate spur or mini-station.  What I envision for waybills lies within creating a normal train lineup.  Creating a train lineup wouldn't change at all except when there's competing industries for a delivery, in which case the player would have to know there's a conflict.  Otherwise, the game would randomly deliver to either industry without consulting you - just as it is now.  But if the game recognizes a delivery with two competing receivers when creating a lineup, it will give the player the option IF he clicks on that car to choose.

 

In other words, when creating a train lineup, the game must recognize (through the order of stations and the flag symbols) to what industry each load is going - with no required action from the player.  It's automatic.  But if there's a destination with two industries that can take a particular load, the game will set the load to be delivered randomly to either of those two (just as it is now), AND give the player the option to click on that load and choose which industry at that station it's going to.

 

Example:  I buy a train and choose the station lineup:  South Bend, Toledo and Cleveland.  Just those three.  There's a Grain Silo and a Sheep Farm in South Bend, a Dairy Farm in Toledo, and a Bakery, Distillery and Textile Mill in Cleveland.  I set the train to depart South Bend with two loads of grain and two loads of wool.  Toledo has been changed from a green-yellow flag to just yellow, meaning any load not demanded by Toledo will stay on the train.  At Toledo, I set the train to pick up a load of milk and continue to Cleveland.  The wool is automatically set for Cleveland, and I don't have to do anything more - just like it is now.  But the grain is demanded by the Dairy Farm in Toledo and will be sent there until I click on those two cars, at which point a small window pops up giving me a choice for those two loads, Toledo or Cleveland.  I pick Cleveland, and am then given the choice between the Bakery or the Distillery.  I can pick either one, and send that finished product - food or booze - back to South Bend.  Alternatively, I can pick the first load of grain for the Bakery, and the second for the Distillery, and send one of each back to South Bend.  

 

That may sound like a lengthy process, but it would take literally one second to do.  This is waybilling, and it gives the player much more control and adds much more strategy, creativity, and realism to the experience.

 

"Many of your new industry ideas are interesting, but they might add complexity to the game without adding truly new game dynamics."

 

It doesn't matter.  Any map and scenario created can have industries disabled.  New game dynamics can be added, sure, but that's a separate issue from being bored with the limited number of current industries, some of which aren't very accurate and whose supply chains have become stale.  I'd bet most would welcome a new batch of industries, whether they're mine or not.  But if it's worth doing, it's worth doing right, and I think mine are pretty good.

 

"...To be attractive, a new industry should have a somewhat different shape from others. A completely parallel meat industry might be historically accurate, but would it add anything to play value?"

 

I agree completely, and that's a big area where RT3 went wrong.  They're 3D, sure, but look very blurry, bland, undetailed and vague.  I'm always having to right-click on buildings to remember what they are, and that gets old.  I love the graphic details for every building in RT2 and how distinctive each industry is from each other.  It appears many of the industries in RT2 were taken straight from the Walthers model railroad catalog.  If that's the case, there's plenty of other buildings they make that are distinctive.  How we put those into a modified RT2 is beyond me, but maybe someday we'll have RT4?  ...I can dream, can't I?

 

"In general, your economic and historical analysis all makes sense, but I would only want to add a feature to the game if it adds entertainment value without sacrificing too much playability."

 

Again, these are all things that could be disabled.  Novice and intermediate players can like what they want, but experienced tycoons like us may want a REAL challenge!

 

"Beer: Grain + glass is one way to retail beer, but grain + steel (kegs) and grain + aluminum (cans) also work. Since the game largely ignores packaging..."

 

Considering how few industries there are, and that one of them does indeed require a packaging material, I wouldn't say the game largely ignores it.  I like the idea of having to supply factories that are heavily reliant on a packaging material.  It's more realistic and adds more levels of shipping strategy.  Again, playability is all about options.  Certain industries can always be disabled from a map or scenario.  Of all the consumable products in the game, meat doesn't require a particular form of packaging.  Neither do baked goods or dairy foods.  So if the game is going to have a packaging material, no consumable product is more tied to one than alcohol.  And the volume in which glass is used (or steel, aluminum, whatever) in the beverage industry is particularly large.  The railroad for whom I work serves a brewery and it delivers several boxcars full of new glass bottles daily.  And it's a small brewery.  Besides, I envision a Quarry that produces more than gravel.  So why not?

 

Those are my thoughts for now!

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Well, I'll admit that I like the purpose of waybilling enough to assume that a good interface could be designed for it. It would be nice if the mere presence of a certain industry's cargo cars in the consist at a station were enough to favor that industry

 

Like you, I do crave more of an economic web. You should see what I've done with my modded EXE (find the Modding thread). Example: Starting rather early, rubber + cotton makes 2 goods at a text plant (rubberized clothing was a big deal for a while). After about 1940, oil can be converted into synthetic rubber at a chem plant. From about 1945, rubber (now representing all plastic and polymers) can be turned directly into goods at a tool & die. Post-WWII demand for crude oil is stretched (so to speak).

 

I also enabled the military industries in my US History map so there would be more options. Come to think of it, I think I once posted that it would be fun to somehow merge Railroad Tycoon with a game called Capitalism II (the best industrial supply-chain management game I've ever found).

 

My one word of caution is that each new industry should also add some kind of wrinkle. I wouldn't push for a new industry that's merely a clone of an existing one in disguise. That way we get the most variety bang for our complexity buck.

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Minneapolitan, glad to hear your input about this classic railroad game. I realize this is a wish-list, so any thing on here should be just that. I love most of your ideas.

 

Personally, I think that RRT II industry is a bit weak on most maps, especially the high end goods like autos, weapons, ammo, uranium, and even paper. I find that they are not economically sensible to develop to the fullest extent. Often the key inputs are too far away or not available in sufficient quantities to make sense when not part of the scenario's goals. I wish there was a way to make sure that no industry is missing out of a chain.

 

I noticed you talked about Railroad Tycoon 4. Have you heard of or tried Sid Meier's Railroads? It was released in 2006, and is regarded by some to be "Railroad Tycoon 4".  Firaxis developed it, and tried to make it appeal to a wider audience. In so doing they simplified it and omitted a great deal of features from the earlier games. However, it has some features which are obviously due to input from individuals such as yourself. For example, Hog Farms, a timber to goods, steel to machinery, and grapes to wine production chains, and seafood industries. It also has a different depot for each production industry you connect to (cattle ramp for cattle, grain hopper for grain, oil tower for oil, crane for lumber, etc.). It also makes use of auctions when buying industries and patents. Routing is a bit interesting though. You use signals, but the computer controls them and it gets confused if you put too many in. Also good is the ability to lay as many parallel tracks as you want, and have the station cover three side by side. Also the ability to directly influence grades with the + and - keys is great. If interested you can find some custom maps available at smrsimple.com

 

I am of the opinion that the game developers listen to us, but they are firstly loyal to money. I can see a quite a few wished for features from RRT II in RRT 3 as well. Have you looked at hawkdawg.com ? There is a good RRT 3 community over there. They have made an unofficial patch (1.06) that adds a lot to the game, including many new industries, this includes a gravel pit that produces sand and gravel! The sand can be combined with potash to make glass. They also have a Trainmaster version which is supposed to allow drop shipping again as well as be even more advanced. (I couldn't try it as I lost my game CD, so can't report on it.) A few of the custom maps over there are really well made and great to play.

 

RRT 3 has a furniture factory, recycling plant and brewery available. PopTop worked really hard on the industry model. I like it a lot and believe it is far better than RRT II. But the reason I prefer RRT II is the industry changes in RRT 3 took over the game from an economic standpoint. To do well in RRT 3 you have to dominate industries, rails are almost an after thought. RRT 3 has a lot of improvements over RRT II, such as tunnels, overpasses, passenger traffic that is sensible and a lots more I can't think of. But to me RRT II is more about trains and running them, so that's what I mainly play. Hope to hear more from you.

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Today, I wish for smaller bulldozers. One cell is good, but why the sudden jump to nine? Four cells would be nice, very useful for removing leveling track. If I use the nine cell bulldozer I end up making deserts everywhere.

 

Was this mentioned already? When you retire a train, your train list should stay in the same place not jump back to train #1. I work around this now by locating the next train number in the list, going there on the main map, and then after retiring double-click on the train that is still on my map, to get the list back in the right spot. But, sometimes I forget and then I have to do some scrolling.

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I never retire trains. I think there's a data-corruption bug in the game. Actually, there are several related to deletions (including some nasty cross-linking that occurs after deleting an event in the map editor), suggesting that the programming doesn't clean up associated data very well.

 

Therefore, I try to never delete anything from any list. The only exception that I make on rare occasions is to delete a station. Station deletion seems to work okay (crosses fingers).

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Jeff, in my experience, retiring trains is fine. I retire a LOT of engines, but I never run into any trouble after retiring. 

I also bulldoze stations very often, it's fine too, no bad consequence. But bulldoze stations may cause a significant delay of 1-2 seconds when I play large companies. Maybe it's because the program needs to check all the routes and delete the stops.

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Didn't somebody here recently mangle a rather large game by retiring a train? I recall some track being left in a state where the game thought there was a train on it (preventing deletion).

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Jeff, I think in the case of Maglev, his bug is not caused by retiring trains, it's caused by replacing them at the wrong time and then retire them without fixing it. But, replacing bug doesn't prevent us from doing replacement, so it won't bother me to retire trains. As long as we keep our track clean and neat, I don't think this will happen again.

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So what you're suggesting is that the corruption after train retirement was merely an extension of the engine-replacement (jammed train) bug?

 

Okay, I can see that as a possibility. However, I still don't plan to ever retire a train. Why would I? My companies are always expanding, so the worst case I ever face is merging another company's worthless trains into my company, so I replace their engines, give them new routes, and dead-head them some short distance to their first pick-up. I'd still rather not mess with a fragile program's dodgy linked-list data structure.

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Couldn't help chiming in to say that I retire a few trains here and there. Most of them are blanks, for example, their supply industry just disappeared, the whole industry chain goes dry because of a new required input, or I am changing routes entirely and if I redirected I would cause massive bottlenecks all over the place that would last for years. My general strategy with these lately is to get them to wait until full at their destination loading with 6 cars of troops or something that is not produced there. (I am running 4 car trains). Then when I see this shadow of a long train I double-click and boom that engine just went to the scrap yard.

 

Routing trains takes a lot of time, on the map KVR 2.0 your company starts with 30 or so trains with no routes. I would much rather buy my own, since duplicating routes saves so much time for me.

 

Jeff, I really admire your patience. Maybe it comes from being a programmer instead of just a player.

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Maglev, I want to shake hands for our similar reason to retire trains. In a long game, to keep our train list organized is a key to make massive company under management. If an industry change their demand, instead of giving them other things to do, I will retire all the relative engines. Not only it wastes fuel to change from one route track to another, it will also create unexpected traffic jam as you stated. Traffic jams are bad, very bad, it's worse than grade and turning. So I rather buy new engines to assign them to a new place instantly.

And for a period of time, I will clean up the whole train list to reroute the whole company. Because a) it will clean the random trains here and there in the list because of the new trains purchased after crashes in the last decades. b) For a long time, cities may develop unevenly, this will change my passenger routes map. c) In the new list, I can upgrade my 2-car trains into 3-car trains or 4-car trains. d) I can put an extra station for every city, and passenger trains will stop once here, once another. This can greatly increase passenger revenue. e) Most importantly, re-route all the trains can refresh your plan maybe months ago. Sometimes I just can't remember what on earth some train is doing on that route, what was I thinking?

 

Edit

BTW, didn't our conversation go a little off the topic? 

OK, I have one, I want to be able to move a train in the train list, or add a search feature to the train list.

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I agree with the reasons you gave. Especially in the 1800s when trains are cheap retiring is a cost-effective strategy. Yes, we sure went off topic.

 

I wish stations could be arranged in their list however we want. Maybe if they were grouped alphabetically by territory or sub-territory might be enough. At present, I never look through my station list as it becomes so random. Would also be good to see station size without going into the detailed view, all we need is a little thumbnail.

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