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Thread: "Player Drivable Path" visited.

  1. #1
    Denny Guest

    Default "Player Drivable Path" visited.

    Hey Sniper, and any others who want to jump into this portion of the activity editor.
    "One of the things that's so aggravating about this blasted game is the unpredictable results you get with everything you do"
    Sniper, you said a mouthful there!
    It also seems that I dont really get a handle on the different parts of the AE until i get in trouble in there.
    With AI paths and player paths i notice that on occasion where the player path intersects the AI's, and also is an area where the player has some actions to perform, the player cannot crossover or use that path. The player path at that point just travels straight off down the line on its on as tho that had been the intended path in the first place!
    But after deleting that portion of the AI path thru that area, it fixes the player path as it were originally intended. HMMMMMM
    the trouble i have with this way of solving the problem is that i "dump" some interesting AI traffic. I'm afraid that i'm going so much in this direction that i'm rerouting or eliminating any AI traffic in the areas of player switching actions. in the case of the NEC that doesnt leave much space for the AI traffic to operate....bad scene link!
    but the "checked" player drivable path may correct that.
    i'll have to go play on my NEC TestTrack activity.
    Any other thoughts on this appreciated!
    denny
    [email protected]
    [Link Expired]

  2. #2
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    Default RE: "Player Drivable Path" visited.

    When testing a newly written activity,....Dont always trust the VCR playback to give you absolute performance of the AI...Especially if your making setout and pickups, etc. The AI traffic may appear to prevent the player from making necessary switching manuvers, but unless all the turnouts involved are automatic (as in AI controlled),then you should actually be able to perform the necessary manuvers in actual play of the activity.....(this is where repetitive play testing becomes a must!)

    The main problem is ...after the first pickup or setout, ..unless you devise a way to "delay" the player train as it travels in the VCR playback, then the only way to time out subsequent AI traffic is to repeatedly play test (which gets horribly redundant!!!)

    Ive been working on ways to work around that problem and have been moderately successful.....hopefully with a few more months of experience, I'll better be able to "predict" what the AE is going to do and then maybe I'll write a tutorial for Activity writers that already have learned the basics of the Activity editor, but want to know more about making AI traffic "behave".

    Longhairedwizard

  3. #3
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    Default RE: "Player Drivable Path" visited.

    There's been a good deal of debate over the "Waiting Point" thing in this forum over the past several months. One use I have found for this is to delay the trains in the VCR. As you know, the player train doesn't pay any attention to switching operations and just breezes through sidings etc. This makes it difficult to choreograph paths and times to create interesting meets.

    However, if one puts an appropriate waiting point (or points) in a siding, the train will recognize it and spin-its-wheels for the specified number of seconds. This gives one an idea of how the timings are.

    The fly-in-the-ointment here is, as you know, the specified length of a WP does not persist after a "Save". So it has to be re-entered -- pain-in-the-neck, but occasionally useful.

  4. #4
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    Default RE: "Player Drivable Path" visited.

    Yeah, I use waiting points in the same manner but I usually just set the time to zero and I may put several waiting points in a row to delay the train!!! The has been successful but save often as adding too many or particularly, "deleting" to many waiting points at a time and your just asking for a "send to microsoft" error. The Player expected performance is very useful for timing things out.

    One useful approach is to lay down the player path and play test the activity once, performing all switching manuvers and writing down the times you arrived or departed certain key areas and comparing the "actual" times you get with the performance of the AE VCR playback. then you can adust the player performance and/or set waiting points as needed to mimic the actual times you recorded during you Playtesting. Then you can go ahead and lay down most if not all of your AI with some degree of confidence that the VCR playback will fairly accurately mimic the actual performance when the activity is next play tested.

    Longhairedwizard

  5. #5
    Denny Guest

    Default RE: "Player Drivable Path" visited.

    [font size="1" color="#FF0000"]LAST EDITED ON Mar-01-02 AT 07:55PM (EST)[/font][p]Mr Wizard!
    ur certainly right about the difference between the "run" in the activity editor not being insync with the "run" in the sim.
    2 things about this.
    1. i run in the sim thru my first action, say a drop off. just normal speed, trying to go at a pace that seems realistic. And i time it.
    then i go into the AE and run the performance setting for my player* service down from say 75 til the player consist in the AE is matching the time that i had in the run. sometimes as low as 25. then i set the AI traffic performance level the same way. the activity i'm doing now has AI amtrak and marc/septa set at 55. and they're matching the real timetable times very close.
    BUT..
    2. i have let the AE run all the way thru and it works. everybody happily cruising along. no big stop signals. but when i run in the sim...i run into red signals that wont change. and lost player paths.
    go figure!.
    * if my real player consist starts with anything more than a loco, it wont get thru the route cause of some short reverse points. so i use a "temp" single loco.

    Denny
    [email protected]
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  6. #6
    Denny Guest

    Default RE: "Player Drivable Path" visited.

    OOPS Wiz!
    i didnt see ur second post before i sent my above msg. sorry about that.
    denny

  7. #7
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    Default RE: "Player Drivable Path" visited.

    The red signals are more than likely not caused by your altering the performance levels but probably from conflicts between the player path and the AI paths...you have to make sure that at no point will a AI train run through the same side of a siding as the player or you will get such a "stalemate".

    Also If you start a AI path less then at least three signals away from the current position of the player train then the AI dispatcher may get confused and a stalemate may result.

    Generally if your, for example, writing an activity for the East metro (this is a good example since its mainly single track with sidings), and you want to have the player train go from one end to the other.......say..Titan City (northern most point) to Big City (southern most point on route), You would set your player path to go North to south and you would use the default path through any sidings.

    Next you could set up Only one AI path (south to north) to use for all the AI traffic. At each siding you would alter the AI path by selecting "other exit" and selecting "start passing path. You would then start each AI train at 5, 10, or even 15 minute intervals along the same path (this will not hurt framerates even though you have several AI trains running at the same time, as only the ones within these player immediate area will affect framerates).

    You can start an AI train well before the player service begins and this will put the AI train closer to you. This is useful if, at the start of an activity, you quickly come upon a siding and want there to be a meet between AI and player trains then starting the AI before the player will most likely keep the AI dispatcher from causing a stalemate!.

    On the other hand if your setting up an AI train to pass the Player train from behind then the AI train would take the same route as the player train EXCEPT at the siding you want to be passed in.

    Note: to get a AI train to pass you from behind (and I mean on a single track with sidings, NOT a double track or larger mainline), then there is a lot more involve then what I just describe in the above paragraph. I'm not going to get longwinded and go into that here, but if enough activity writers are interested, then perhaps I'll share my discoveries on AI trains "Overtaking" the player train at a siding when both train are sharing the same track and running in the same direction.

    PS-A lot of the above mentioned you probably already know, but I hate to make assumptions so forgive me if I sounded like I was preaching.

    Best Reguards...

    Longhairedwizard

    [email protected]

  8. #8
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    Default RE: "Player Drivable Path" visited.

    My turn in the pulpit? I preach open ended activities! Way freights don't use schedules on second class roads, they drive around avoiding and reacting to the High Iron traffic! REBEL against the tyranny of rigid activities, cast off the bonds of setting up meets and having the activity end prematurely when the timing is off by two minutes! REPENT your addiction to the pop up windows telling you what you already know! REJOICE in the freedom of being able to play the same activity over and over again and meeting the AI trains in different places each time! Try the PO&N5 activities, it'll make you buy a faster computer!
    Speaking of that, I'm thinking about making an add-on set of "lite" activities for lower end computers. Anybody played with real short AI trains, like 4 to 6 cars? Does it make a humongeous difference in the framerates? I haven't noticed any particular framerate improvement in the unit trains over the mixed, 2 dash 9x30 mixed seems about the same as 2 dash 9x30graincars on my son's Athlon 800, so it may be the actual car count as opposed to the different shapes.
    Here's a wierd one, I was playing with the original PO&N:
    [Link Expired]
    And I think that East Metro guy came in and stole a set of my wheels!
    [Link Expired]
    Framerates are really good on a mid horsepower system with no AI traffic at all, but the wheels on the cars still turn backwards sometimes, altho that's the first time I ever saw a set missing like that.
    So what did you figure on the player drivable path on a normal route? You didn't mention which route or what type of signals, but compared to the bizarro world of PO&N5 signals, everything else is "normal".

  9. #9
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    Default RE: "Player Drivable Path" visited.

    Thank you Rev'rund Sniper for that...uhh...motivational sermon!!!!... [wiz wipes tear from eye]....LOL

    I think the availability of the open-ended activities is kewl in providing people with options but alot of us are in to prototypical operations where your pretty much assigned a particular run and you have to obey your workorders. This means a you cant really deviate off the set path or section of the route your on, but I still like freedom in how I perform the pickups and dropoffs.

    In my latest PO&N CSX Unit Coaltrain activity, you pretty much run from point A to Point B, stopping to pick up helpers then later dropping them off and continuing on till you have to make a long backing manuever to get your train parked to complete the activity.

    While it does not provide for any Open-endedness or deviation from the workorder, it DOES represent a realistic work assignment, thereby achieving the goal of what a trainsimulator is all about, prototypical Operation. (actually, the occurence of AI traffic is much more frequent than it probably would be in real life).

    PS- what's your E-mail addy sniper?
    I wanted to report to you my conclusions on how regular activities function with your signal system, particularly AI traffic behavior.

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