View Full Version : Chris Sawyer's Locomotion

22-11-2004, 20:41:45
Picked this game up over the weekend. And this is what I have to say...

If you liked Transport Tycoon, then this is a must buy. :D

Some nice advances. You can now lay track in any intersection manner you want. I think this is one of the best advances in the game. Very nice. And you can now have "near" depots act like they are one depot (connected, in TT). Those are the most noticeable advances to me.

Other then that, it is exactly what you'd expect from the Transport Tycoon 2. If you like business (transport) empire sims, get this game and have fun. ;)

22-11-2004, 22:36:29
Computer Gaming World panned it heavily, but I often disagree with their reviews.

I have to install Rollar Coaster Tycoon 3, which just arrived.

REALLY looking forward to that, 2 was a blast.

23-11-2004, 09:34:27
I loved Transport Tycoon.

24-11-2004, 07:21:25
Funko, then you'll love Locomotion.

Chris, I've heard Rollers 3 is a bit buggy. I've bought the game, but it is in the new queue waiting for its turn on this machine. I loved the original, and 2 was quite nice. I hope 3 holds up as well as 2 did.

24-11-2004, 22:15:45
I haven't gotten around to installing it yet, they sent it, and the strat guide with it (VERY unusual).

I loved #2, this is supposed to let you ride the rides, I'll let you know how it is, I intend to play it over the holiday weekend.

24-11-2004, 22:27:52
Well, Rollers 3 wasn't done by Chris at all. Whole different team. So I have no idea what to expect out of it. Well, other then the "ride the rides" and "fireworks orchestrated to any MP3 of your choosing".

24-11-2004, 23:54:33
I know they mabe it a 3-d engine.

25-11-2004, 05:30:47
Well, you get playing on it. Let us know if its got that Roller fun. ;)

26-11-2004, 12:35:58
Played through some of the tutorials.

The game is very similar to previous RCTs, with some notable exceptions.

Its now all 3 D, with complete zoom ins and outs, and the game include ride cams, so you can virtually ride any attraction in the park, which is pretty cool.

One caution, you need a high end machine to really get a lot out of this game, if you have one, pick it up. The people look like the Sims, and the terrain and rides are superb looking.

04-12-2004, 09:52:26
Choo choo

Tau Ceti
13-12-2004, 10:08:58
I have been spending an unhealthy amount of time playing this the last couple of days. It is great. :)

13-12-2004, 22:20:32
I know what you mean, Tau... it can eat up your time easily.

I do get irritated with a few of the scenarios, but as it doesn't have any locked scenarios, I just go play a different one and have fun.

Tau Ceti
14-12-2004, 21:24:46
I am playing them in order and am only on the medium difficulty ones yet, but the only one that has annoyed me is the "transport oil in the desert" one - and that was for just being dull.

I love the new flexible construction options, though some of them are a bit ridiculous (building a suspension bridge 80 metres above a city, leaving it unanchored on at least one side, then putting a station on it!) However, I have had trouble designing a track/signal system that can distribute trains properly from a single approaching track to a station with more than three platforms - and preferably without needing 10+ squares of free space in front of the station. Have you done it?

14-12-2004, 22:00:38
I hate that transport oil in the desert. Its given me fits moving enough oil.

Three platforms is easy... but you need to have at least 1 block for switching between the 3 stations to where they need to go, and behind that, you need to have at least a duplex system... you need a set of one way tracks toward the station, and one away, and have them long enough to hold the full length of your trains with a little extra. After that, your duplex can merge back into a single line if you want.

You don't need tons of space for the switching for the station... you can have...

* = light

*------------*--+--*--Main Line

The simple shift left and shift right will let you switch from the center to wherever the train needs to go. You can go with other arrangements (having your main line feed being on one side), but that requires something like

* = light

*------------*-++-*--Main Line

Darn, that looks like crap. Anyways, that's a shift left for getting center platform to Main Line. Its a hard right then hard left to go from top platform to Main Line. Its easier to layout by working from the PLATFORM to the Main Line. Speed isn't an issue, so work in shortest turns to keep you on the grain of tiles and make it easy for you to make sure your lines provide for trains going where they want to (and you need them to) go.

Now, you know how to make your switching/passing spots, right?

* = light
*> = One Way light

If you are going to run multiple trains on a track, you need a duplex block. This lets trains pass each other (going opposite directions).

What takes up room outside a station is like a six platform station and making switch space for that! Keeping your turns to the shortest possible, and running on the grain ASAP is very important to getting as much switching in the smallest possible area. When near a station platform, those hard right and hard left turns are your best friend. Well, that and shift right/left. (Lots of Roller Coaster Tycoon play helped me out in doing this. ;))

The great thing about Locomotion is that any track crossing is now legal... just needs to be done on level ground. And you can do it any level intersection on the stone bridge, as well, but not any other bridge. Something to remember.

Be careful in your tracking. The pathing AI for the trains is stupid. If you put into too many switchback loops (places trains can turn around), it will just drive in a loop, rather then go anywhere. Reminds me of automated transformers in SMAC then. ;)

Tau Ceti
15-12-2004, 06:24:25
Thanks, Darkstar, but...

Three platforms is easy... Indeed. That is why I said more than three platforms. ;) Whenever I try that, all trains seem to want to use only one or two platforms and end up waiting for that one to be free, even though all the others are available. In Transport Tycoon, I would build it like this:

| |When I tried that with a five platform station in Locomotion, all the trains wanted to use platform four, or sometimes platform five - never any of the others. I also tried a double version of the right and left shift with no luck. I guess it is possible that a combination of left/right shift and double hard turns might work - have you tried it?

For the kind of long-range, high-capacity routes where this is necessary, you really need double track all the way, splitting and merging before and after stations, and going through stations rather than turning around there.

Oh, and the steel girder can also have intersections and turns (but not elevation changes). The other bridges are strictly straight and level.

15-12-2004, 23:23:13
Yes, I have. I ran a high capacity station with 8.

Your problem is easy to see.


They mess up the AI's pathing. It's really, really dumb.

Try laying out a six station like this.

(main line)

Use only hard turns (left, in this orientation) into the station from the main line.
Use straight | pieces to connect/pass through.
Works great.

Once you see that work, you'll get the understanding of how to lay out even bigger stations and come in at any angle you want. Or have multiple "main lines" come in.

Remember, a train driver gets bored and backs up whenever the hell he feels like it. So you trap him so he cannot.

There's a weird pathing issue were if their isn't enough TRACK between the stations and the signal light block, the drivers cannot figure out how to go. So they screw up traffic flow. You can fix that by just moving your signal light back from the switching set (a couple of track sections further up the main line feed).

If you do the sixxer right, all trains will try to drive into the closest platform (bottom in this case). But as it fills up, they will continue to slide into the platforms further up. BUT THEY WON'T DO THIS IF THE STATION IS A PASS THROUGH! Then, they all que up to use the same pass through (station platform)!

Note that in Locomotion, drivers "book" up to 3 block sections ahead. This can cause all manner of traffic issues... if you don't keep those bored drivers waiting on their turns TRAPPED. So no pass throughs!

Remember, if you come in at 90 degrees from the station, you'll never need a shift, and can use the hard turns. That ends up being less space wasted. A shift left or right needs six squares, rather then a hard turn needing 4.

I can take some screenies of huge stations and easy tracking, if you need them. And cut them down to postable size (I think).

Steel works with intersections? Great! Thanks!

And yes, I've had all manner of wild switching (left and right shifts, big curves and small curves and hard curves, loop passes to let trains go from platform 1 to platform 8, etc etc et...) I've had my fun seeing what can be done, and managed to get them to work... once I learned the trick about having to have a few extra sections of simple track for the confused drivers.

You really need to keep your pathing simple. And if you are having trouble with a major depot, think about splitting up your feeders into it, so that some of your trains can only go to some platforms, and the rest go to others. For Locomotion, you need to keep the train pathing as simple as possible, because those are the biggest idiot drivers in the game. ;)

15-12-2004, 23:37:25
BTW, you can do it as a simple 3 station, and just using the hard turns, if you want, Tau. Once you've got the basics down, you can just add another platform, and one more hard turn into you main switching block for the station. It's all the same thing past platform #2... with hard turns, anyways. :)

Tau Ceti
16-12-2004, 10:20:25
It would really suck if it worked like that, since needing to use the same track for entering and leaving the station would severely reduce efficiency. However, what you wrote and a couple of things I observed in the last scenario I played made me think that perhaps the AI pathing just handles two-way signals better than one-way. Indeed, this is the case. A multi-track, space efficient pass through station works beautifully as long as all the entry signals are two way, like this:

| |
* ^
v *Problem solved.

As an added bonus, the trains will now wait at the main line signal if all platforms are taken, rather than select one platform and wait there. There is a slight risk that a train will occasionally leave in the wrong direction (if the exit track is blocked for a long time), but it will not get far and the delays will be small.

16-12-2004, 22:07:13
I'll remember that for my own traffic management.

And why do you think a pass through station is more efficent? You don't pay a cost for a train reversing direction, and there's less track laid. It's only at "local" stations, where you have an inline depot that you pick up an sale/exchange. And less land used on track means more land to be used for other things, like city or industry.

In Railroad Tycoon, where you paid for track bit, less track was better. A bit of strategic blocking allowed you to get high track utilization. In RRT2, they took out traffic management, so that it is better to have a track running from point A to point B to minimize stoppages, rather then running into your main trunks and keeping your total rail laid down. Also, in RRT1, double track block sections would be used as dual tracks if your traffic was heavy enough in one direction and no trains were on the second side. But in RRT2+, trains always travel on the same side of the tracks, with them getting in each others ways.

Of course, in Locomotion, you don't pay track maintence, so having extra track doesn't hurt in the bottom line. In fact, anywhere you have track or roads gets in your competition's way, and costs them more to go over or under you. Makes for ugly screens though.

16-12-2004, 22:13:25
been playing the demo and its pretty clear that while the game has improved the actual interface is worse than TT2! The track laying is a pain in the arse! What happened to dragging tracks. All this bit by bit placment really grates especially when you cant see if it works or not till you place it. I think I'll try and make TT2 work on XP rather than buy this!

16-12-2004, 22:46:51
The bit by bit placement comes out of the RCT2 interface. As I'm a big time fan of Rollers, I overlook the pain that is laying train track.

If you don't like it, you can just do roads (busses and trucks), ships, and planes. Tons of money.

And you must mean TT, not TT2. Locomotion *is* TT2. Unless you are talking TT Deluxe or TT Gold? Those are still TT.

Humm... I don't think you can drag track in TT (Its been a while, though). Are getting it confused with Railroad Tycoon 2/3?

17-12-2004, 09:40:56
yep i meant TT/TT deluxe

you can drag track - but only straight ones. Even so that still makes it a hell of a lot faster laying the long intercity lines than the having to click every 100m

Tau Ceti
17-12-2004, 14:54:03
Originally posted by Darkstar
And why do you think a pass through station is more efficent? Because one train can enter the station as soon as another leaves, without waiting for it to clear the track they both have to use. Also, you do not risk having all the trains in the station being given priority to leave before the next train gets to enter, which would lead to goods piling up and your station rating dropping. It just minimises delays, much like having a full double track is more efficient than having occasonal passing points on a single track (assuming some level of traffic in both directions).

17-12-2004, 21:56:23
You can still have the leaving trains block your main line feed. If you blocked as you say, then you need full double tracking to the next station or branch point. Otherwise, you still can block the platform feed.

I haven't found it a big deal at my 8 and 9 platform stations, as I showed you. Trains go in, trains leave. But I'll keep your tips in mind, for those times I might need it. ;)