New Map: Canadian Pacific

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TMILLER
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Joined: Thu May 24, 2012 1:07 pm

New Map: Canadian Pacific

Post by TMILLER » Sat Sep 29, 2012 6:45 pm

Canadian Pacific 1890-2012.
Attached is a new 21x21 map of Western Canada. The time frame is 1890 to 2012 beginning with the completion of the transcontinental railway in Canada. The map includes new buildings, decorations, goods, and industries including furs, silk, peat moss, mushrooms, tar sands, import goods, and ecotourists. I have re-skinned cars and locomotives to look more like those on the Canadian Pacific and Canadian National Railways. Event notices include photos of Canadian industries and some of the most beautiful natural landscapes on earth. Credits go to many others from whom I have borrowed game components including Jancsika, Karsten, Lowell, Slider38, and especially Bobby Rodea. I have used ports, buildings, cars, and locomotives from Rodea’s Borneo and West Sumatera maps. The regional economy is initially based on exploitation of natural resources including furs, gold, coal, and timber. Late in the game, the railroad must ship tar sands, tar sand oil, peat moss, and ecotourists on site-seeing tours to see polar bears in Hudson Bay, and mountain goats and caribou in the Canadian Rocky Mountains and the Arctic. The game is intended for experienced players and with 3 AIs. I have played the game and met all victory conditions without crashes. I hope someone will give it a try and provide comments and criticism so I can improve the game. The map is being submitted in 3 files. No local music this time, as Canadian music is the same as other western music. Thanks, TMiller.
Attachments
CP21.7z
This is the main file. Unzip it with 7zip and place CP21 folder in empty SMR UserMaps folder.
(5.37 MiB) Downloaded 2145 times

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karsten
Posts: 643
Joined: Sun Dec 17, 2006 8:49 pm

Re: New Map: Canadian Pacific

Post by karsten » Sun Sep 30, 2012 2:03 pm

Very interesting expedition to Western Canada! Played straight through without a single crash. I would rate the difficulty more as beginner to intermediate, and that is great for less experienced players discovering the site maps.

You have done a super job in repainting the rolling stock, providing fresh industries and goods - a lot of time invested, obviously! Spectacular opening splash screen, makes me want to travel on the touristic trains in Canada! 8)

Since this will be a more leisurely map exploration, you could work on the scenery a bit more. I don't think there are so many river-canyons in Canada, are there? And some of the mountains are too pointy (screenshot), the dead volcanoes look more realistic.

Speaking of scenery, one of the good points of RRT III was that one often had to search for a good route through the mountains, constructing some spectacular but costly tunnels and bridges. That makes routing so much more fun than just cutting through mountains as if they consist of butter. To see how to make tunnel costs more realistic, you could check out my Arizona Canyon map. :P Of course, you then need to provide mountain passes for the player to discover.

Lastly, I notice you have started to weave some of the story elements into the conditions - that's the way to go! :D
Attachments
Turbotrain 2.jpg
Polar Bears and stuff.jpg
Rusty Golden State.jpg
Shadows.jpg
Tar Oil amid pointy mountains.jpg
Tourist Gold.jpg
Gold transport.jpg
This one does not trigger.jpg
Canada 1981 routes.jpg

TMILLER
Posts: 63
Joined: Thu May 24, 2012 1:07 pm

Re: New Map: Canadian Pacific

Post by TMILLER » Mon Oct 01, 2012 5:54 pm

Karsten, Thanks for your review of the Canadian Pacific map. I am glad you liked it. I agree with you that the mountains are too pointy. I will work on this some. I will check out your Arizona Canyons map and see how you handled the tunnels costs. I know how to increase tunnel and bridge costs, but some maps overdo this and almost eliminate the ability to add tunnels, so I don't want to set the price too high. British Columbia is totally mountains, so I think I am right to have a lot of mountains in that area, but I will see what changes I can make to improve the way they look. I have been to British Columbia and it is truely beautiful. I wish I could make the mountains sharper and more rocky looking like the Rocky Mtns actually are, but I have not had much luck so far. I will look at some more relief maps of the area and photos of the mountains and see what I can do. There are 3 mountain passes between Alberta and BC. I have included 2 of them, one near Banff and the other near Peace River, but they may not be noticeable enough. High tunnel cost may force a closer look. I noticed from your route map that you did not connect Prince George to your railroad, so I think I may add that to the victory objectives. I may add a required oil shipment too so that event screen will be activated.
Thanks again. I always appreciate your reviews and I think if I can make the changes you suggest it will improve the map. - Best Regards, TMiller
P.S. I noticed today that Bobbys SMR Forum has already posted my Arabia map, probably without the modifications I made to it this week. I did not know about the site until Snoopy55 sent me a message that I could find more locos there. I'll see what I can find.

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karsten
Posts: 643
Joined: Sun Dec 17, 2006 8:49 pm

Re: New Map: Canadian Pacific

Post by karsten » Tue Oct 02, 2012 12:32 pm

I know how to increase tunnel and bridge costs, but some maps overdo this and almost eliminate the ability to add tunnels, so I don't want to set the price too high.
Think of it like this - in real life, mountains and seas are real barriers to rail builders, which makes life interesting. In standard SMR, to help the incompetent AI, they are eye candy only.

But the developers (in their wisdom) made the cost of bridges/tunnels adjustable, and you can even have short, cheap and long, prohibitively expensive tunnels and bridges.

A map in which mountains and lakes are to have real railroader meaning needs realistic building costs, otherwise half the beauty and challenge of a map is lost in a spaghetti-free-for-all finish.

TMILLER
Posts: 63
Joined: Thu May 24, 2012 1:07 pm

Re: New Map: Canadian Pacific

Post by TMILLER » Tue Oct 02, 2012 4:16 pm

Eloquent argument. I am convinced. I will make the tunnels more expensive and rework the mountains and passes. I looked in your AZ Canyon map and found that you had added a Bridges.xml file, but no Tunnels.xml. In the Bridges file you eliminated masonry and stone bridges, adjusted the depths for wood and steel bridges, and raised the price per bridge piece by 4 to 10 times (i.e. x4 metal1, x6 metal2, and x10 metal3). I am familiar with these files because I changed the bridges.xml file in my Gone With the Wind map so most bridges would be wooden. The default SMR Tunnel.xml file has only 2 types: Wood and Masonry with a per piece price of $3000 each. I will start with raising the price x10 to $30,000 per piece, and play around with the map to see if this forces track routing to the mountain passes. Unless I am wrong, and I may be, you did not change the tunnel costs in AZ Canyon, unless it can be done outside the Tunnel.xml file. I will post a revised Canadian Pacific map as soon as I have something that looks and plays better. - TMiller

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karsten
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Re: New Map: Canadian Pacific

Post by karsten » Tue Oct 02, 2012 8:20 pm

Thanks to your comment, I realized that the expensive tunnel file is missing in the 2_0 version of the AZ Canyon map available from the site database, which sort of takes the heart out of that map.

If you look closely in the AZ Canyon (version 2_2) folder in the original map development thread, you will find two RRT_Tunnels files. One switches on expensive tunnels (which you can add to your folder), the other switches to normal tunnels.

These two files are still from the Universum .bat file approach, which we used to switch on and off specific files, so as not to influence other maps.

I will update the AZ Canyon files to restore the intended game play. :D

TMILLER
Posts: 63
Joined: Thu May 24, 2012 1:07 pm

Re: New Map: Canadian Pacific

Post by TMILLER » Sat Oct 06, 2012 4:05 pm

Canadian Pacific Version 2
I have modified the map and the other files based on comments by Karsten. I have modified the mountains of British Columbia to be less pointy and more of a continuous mountain range with several passes that can be used to access cities and industries without requiring tunnels (if carefully built). I have raised the price of tunnels substantially and bridges moderately. I have eliminated masonry and stone bridges, leaving only metal bridges, even for bridges crossing tracks (overlap bridges). Now AIs cannot build long thin yellow stone bridge spans that are so unrealistic and ugly. I have increased the price of bridges by x20 for deck girder, x30 for Pratt, and x40 for cantilever bridge types. I have also increased the depth of cuts and height of fills allowed. The most interesting track laying challenges are on the western third of the map, so I have added some Victory Objectives that require connecting cities and industries on this portion of the map. I have created a new Characters.xml file and raised the performance settings of the AIs to give the player more competition. Unfortunately, in my test runs, AIs tend to bankrupt themselves building long expensive tunnels, depending on starting location, so I have changed some of the starting cities to those in which the AIs perform better. I hope a few people will give it a try and leave comments pro or con.
To run the revised map, download the new file CP21v2, unzip with 7zip and place the CP21v2 folder in a clean SMR UserMaps folder. You will then need to place the 2 folders in the original Canadian Pacific Map Parts 2 and 3 in the CP21v2 folder. The CP21v2 folder contains the new map, new xml files, and the Assets3 folder. The old Parts 2 and 3 contain the unchanged Assets1 and Assets2 folders. Good Luck!
Attachments
CP21v2.7z
(5.37 MiB) Downloaded 497 times

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karsten
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Re: New Map: Canadian Pacific

Post by karsten » Sun Oct 14, 2012 6:29 pm

I have run the new map to completion, no crashes, no problems. Well done!

I like the new mountain routes, which need a bit of analysis. The route along the river is a nice touch. The western mountain challenges (and expensive tunnels) make things more, well, challenging, and I almost missed the first fuel (gasoline) goal. I still wonder though, who (in real life) would build a 300 mile railroad for the sole purpose of supplying a mushroom factory with peat moss. :)

Aspiring map builders can learn a tremendous amount about how to add new content to their map from studying yours. Nice addition, which should be of interest to many players! :D

It could be pretty amazing if you or someone else recreated a smaller section of Canada, such as the railroads around Vancouver or elsewhere in Western CA. http://www.proximityissues.ca/Maps/RAC-2004-BC_sub.pdf
Attachments
Canada Bridging the gap.jpg
Canada Solving the bridge and competitor problem.jpg
Canada gasoline.jpg
Canada Last delivery.jpg
Canada Pass near Prince George.jpg
Canada goals OK .jpg
Canada routes 1991 win.jpg

TMILLER
Posts: 63
Joined: Thu May 24, 2012 1:07 pm

Re: New Map: Canadian Pacific

Post by TMILLER » Tue Oct 23, 2012 1:59 pm

Karsten, Thanks for your review. As usual, your comments have led to a significant improvement in the map. Your suggestion to modify the mountains and raise the price of bridges and tunnels was a very good one. From the point of view of a retired professor, saying others can learn from my map is the best compliment you could give. Your screen shots are interesting too. Some of your routes are the same that I used playing the map, especially on the western side of the map.
I agree that no one is likely to build a 300 mile railroad to deliver peat moss to a mushroom factory. :lol: I just wanted to use products appropriate to Canada and they do export a lot of peat moss to the USA. They also grow mushrooms, but it is not a major industry.
I downloaded the map of British Columbia Railways you posted and I agree that a map covering just the square area of this map could be very nice. Also very mountainous. I have visited some of the coal mining areas around Sparwood BC and the coal terminal at Roberts Bank that I included in the Canadian Pacific map. The coal terminal is very impressive. I will look for a DEM that is the right resolution for this area and maybe do a map. Currently I am working on a map of the Southern Railroad service area in the SE USA for 1918-2000. It is a follow-up of my Gone With The Wind map. I have reskinned all locomotives and cars as Southern, N&W or Norfolk Southern rolling stock. I will post it in a couple weeks. Best Regards, TMiller

laloha
Posts: 33
Joined: Sat Jun 23, 2012 10:10 pm

Re: New Map: Canadian Pacific

Post by laloha » Fri Oct 26, 2012 3:49 pm

Well, the map played perfectly and was enjoyable. Played it twice and improved but my speed is incapable of completing some victories. I have slowed the game play with "iturns" and then regain interest, as it is with most of my attempts. This is just me, absolutely nothing against any of these great maps.

It takes two sometimes and Karsten has a lot to offer which has to be appreciated. Making the alterations with such success shows a talent we all appreciate. From the both of you.

I enjoy in attempting to route the rails to follow contours as much as possible to keep the rise and fall to a minimum. Can be expensive filling all the dips along the route. Makes for some challenging, slow game play, but do most in the Pause mode. Fun to route for interesting scenic routes as was suggested in Karstens, Arizona map to the Grand Canyon Village. Then jump aboard, as best as can to enjoy the ride myself.

Thanks for an enjoyable time,

Larry

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