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Thread: MPS - A most needed fix

  1. #1

    Default MPS - A most needed fix

    Hello,

    I've been playing Trainz for over the past 10 years and have always found the game very enjoyable even considering some of the more finicky issues. I've recently come back to the game after taking a break for a couple years to find out about the MPS system. This was fantastic news as myself and a small group of friends wanted to get back into playing but quite honestly dreaded having to send map files back and forth to each other and finagle with the iPortal. My expectations were low but we went ahead and purchased Trainz 2019 as well as upgrading to the My Trains membership for a month deciding to all give it a shot.

    So far it has been a blast and we've been working on a map for the past two weeks with much excitement adding terrain, interdependent-industries, trains and schedules and more. The ease of building and interactivity has certainly taken this game to a whole new level.

    However, after running our first few operating sessions which are very much focused on picking up full goods from industries, returning them to a yard for switching and train composition and then heading back out to fulfill industries we noticed something strange. It would feel like right after we deliver a full train of coal to the power company or pick-up a full load of logs from the logging company and then log off for the night, by next session all the industries had changed. Digging into this further it seems that all of the industries do a hard reset to whatever their default stockpiles are set to whenever we start a new session.

    This problem completely breaks our operating session mechanics.

    Some industries we don't operate the session long enough to need a pick up or delivery, others require a long journey to get to only to just make it before the end of the session to log back in the next day and its empty again.

    The fact that the cars "remember" their loads is amazing and we are super grateful for that feature. However, after discovering this resetting it makes me feel like we are spending lots of time on our sessions for basically nothing .. or in other words the sense of progress and accomplishment is lost every time we start a new session. This also has me on the fence about having a longer subscription past the 1 month we currently signed up for.

    This is definitely a make it or break it feature for me and just thought I would share my thoughts if anyone has noticed the same thing.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    United States of America, Alabama, Birmingham
    Posts
    3,461
     

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    First let me say that I totally agree that the industry system needs a reworking if not a total rethink in its design. This has been pretty much true since it was added in TRS2004. I believe the programmers have in the past said that the issue you are seeing is related to the problems with carrying the current state of the industry queue over to the next session since it is a script that is running at the time of saving the session. The state of the train car load status is a property of the car so it can be frozen and restarted but so far the solution for the industries issue has not been found. Perhaps changing the industries from each running their own script to using a master industry script controller subroutine that runs independent of the main loop and increments the values of the queues as properties of the industry much as train cars load properties are changed.

    For example - You would in one interface be able to program all your industry queues and set production and consumption rates. This master controller would keep the running totals for all queues statuses updated and as the status of a queue changes it would poke the new value into the industry as a static value in the exact way that the load status of a train car is changed by one of the various instant load or instant unload scripts available on the DLS. That way the status of the industry queues could be saved in the same way the car load status is saved.

    It might even be possible to retrofit this system to work with old industries but I must confess I don't know the inside out of the scripts that industries use now. Also having a single interface would greatly enhance the interactions between industries as you would eliminate the needs for the industry scripts to talk to each other. Plus you could have the master controller run a new waybill system generation system that reflected reality of real world freight movements.

    For example - In the master controller interface you could have a list of customers for your logging camp and the amount of logs needed to fulfill each shipment. When that amount is reached then a waybill is generated showing a shipment of 50 logs to the ACME lumber mill is ready to go. You would need to find enough empty log cars to handle the shipment and send them to the logging camp on the next available train. Once the cars are delivered and loaded a new waybill for pickup is issued directing the shipment to be delivered to ACME Lumber and the master controller debits the production queue the 50 logs in the shipment and updates the industry's log amount status. The cars are returned to the yard for classification and added to a new train headed towards ACME Lumber.

    Once the logs arrive at ACME Lumber and are unloaded then the master controller adds them to the lumber mill's consumption queue and updates the log amount status in the industry. This would in turn trigger an increase in the production queue of pallets of lumber at whatever rate you desire. Once enough lumber is produced it triggers a new waybill for a shipment of 20 loads to Johnson Furniture and the process repeats the pickup and deliver cycle.

    Of course since the system is now in a central location it would be easy to adjust the timing of the cycle much like the ProtoLARS system offered. The amount of time between drop off of empty cars and the pickup of the loaded cars could be varied on a per shipment basis. For example, the lumber delivered to Johnson Furniture could be left for unloading and a wait of 2 days programmed before a new pickup order is issued to bring the empties back to the yard.

    Special car handling instructions could also be added like the need to ice reefers before delivering them for loading at the produce plant or returning foreign road cars to the interchange to return them to their owner.

    As an added bonus, a switchlist system could be added to the system to compile all the car movements for regularly scheduled trains based upon the current active waybills. Of course, you could disable this if you want to do it by hand.

    The status of the master controller could be saved along with the saved session to return it to the exact state it was in when you saved the session including outstanding waybills.

    William

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    United States of America, Massachusetts, Haverhill
    Posts
    29,263
     

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    I agree too that the industry system needs work, but in this particular case right now, I would report this as a bug. To me this sounds like the save-state for the industry isn't working properly in the MPS environment. When I was involved in the beta, interactive industries were just being introduced and there was still much more work to be done that needed fixing, and this should be one of them.
    John
    Trainz User Since: 12-2003
    Trainz User ID: 124863
    T:ANE Build: 94829
    TRS2019/Trainz-PLUS: 109641

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