Not enough "large" haulers?

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DaddyHoggy
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Not enough "large" haulers?

Post by DaddyHoggy »

On my daily commute between Newbury and Swindon I travel on the A34, M4 and A420 (apologies at this point to non-UK ooliters for my geographical references) I noticed something that I'm trying to put into perspective into the trade routes (and witchpoint to station space lanes) of Oolite.

On Friday morning I saw 67 different distinct 38-ton lorries, 19 of which were from outside the UK.

Logistics, removal lorries, cold-chain trucks, general haulage, each them shifting stuff along the same route as me so I thought this:

The traders in Oolite are the equivalent of "White van men" - independent traders, single ship company outfits, even somebody flying an Anaconda is just the equivalent of a large wheel base Transit compared to the Cobby3 pilot whose flying the equivalent of an Astravan.

Other than the Oo-hauler (the oolite equivalent of a Scania/DAF/Volvo/Iveco 38-ton truck), we don't seem to have many equivalent ships (if any). Even Thargoids excellent looking addition to the fleet - the Conger is quite a small cargo carrier.

Yet the ooniverse is now fully populated with an emerging back story (through YAH) of loads of these bulk carrier companies - Oo-Hauler, Tescoo, Sainsboory's, FedOox, Oops, Planet Express, (so we also should have the equivalent of the big major Haulage companies - Oodie Stoobart perhaps?)

So what I was sort of postulating in a very round about way is this: Should Oolite have lots more Company owned/branded/sponsored Oo-hauler styled ships?

If the answer is positive here - I may move this across to Expansion and start asking for thoughts on AI of how all these company branded ships should behave...
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Post by Thargoid »

Firstly thanks for the compliment :oops:

But generally I agree, this was part of the thinking behind the Conger. The only concern is that as each cargo pod only holds 1 ton, you'd end up with a huge cloud of them from a bulk carrier, which would be difficult for the player to cope with (not that this isn't in itself a feature), but also that slower systems may have difficulties with it.

I'm currently working on a little OXP for a range of different cargo pods (in operation, not just texture skin design), and one I was considering was a larger capacity pod. If I can get that to work then things might get a little easier.

But overall an equivalent for the ocean-going cargo ship is certainly a mega-ship to consider. And as for AI, have a look at the Conger/Hawksbill's AI in Aquatics OXP. It's a modified Route1traderAI that doesn't attempt to dock at stations (called Route1BigShips). Something along those lines with possible expansion for intra-system encounters might be a good baseline?

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Post by DaddyHoggy »

@Thargoid - the compliment was well deserved.

Thanks for the tip on the AI - I'm going to download your OXP now.

I hadn't even considered the really big haulers - such as the mega-container ships - the Oo-hauler carries several hundred tonnes which is a significant step up from the baseline of most of the original ships.

Thinking about your sensible thoughts about low end PC systems coping with lots and lots of cargo pods from large ships - would it be sensible to make an oxp that was effectively three versions of the same oxp? i.e. low_end_nameofoxp.oxp spawns 1-5 cargo pods per cargo carrier subentity, mid_range_nameofoxp.oxp spawns 1-20 cargo pods per cargo carrier subentity and high_end_nameofoxp.oxp spawns 10-50 cargo pods per cargo sub entity.
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Post by Captain Hesperus »

DaddyHoggy wrote:@Thargoid - the compliment was well deserved.

Thanks for the tip on the AI - I'm going to download your OXP now.

I hadn't even considered the really big haulers - such as the mega-container ships - the Oo-hauler carries several hundred tonnes which is a significant step up from the baseline of most of the original ships.

Thinking about your sensible thoughts about low end PC systems coping with lots and lots of cargo pods from large ships - would it be sensible to make an oxp that was effectively three versions of the same oxp? i.e. low_end_nameofoxp.oxp spawns 1-5 cargo pods per cargo carrier subentity, mid_range_nameofoxp.oxp spawns 1-20 cargo pods per cargo carrier subentity and high_end_nameofoxp.oxp spawns 10-50 cargo pods per cargo sub entity.
I asked whether it was possible to have random skins for Anacondas in the Dream Team thread, like the nameplates on Behemoths. If this could be implemented then there is a way to re-skin Oo-haulers.

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Post by JohnnyBoy »

Doesn't the size of the docking 'orifice' on a Coriolis station impose a limit on the size of trading ships that can realistically survive in the Ooniverse?

(If I've got this hideously wrong, please pelt me only with fruit and vegetables that are very soft... no tins of beans! :( )
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Post by drew »

Ooddie Stobart
Thanks - tea all over my keyboard again! :lol:

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Post by Commander McLane »

JohnnyBoy wrote:Doesn't the size of the docking 'orifice' on a Coriolis station impose a limit on the size of trading ships that can realistically survive in the Ooniverse?
Yes and no. It does, of course, limit the maximum size of a trader that could actually dock with the station.

But on the other hand there have already been reflections here on the boards about something like trading hubs next to the main stations. Something where really big ships could not so much "dock", but "anchor", like big ships anchoring outside a small port, and the cargo transfer from that "wharf" to the main station would be done by smaller shuttles.

Pratical problems with this approach are mainly to get the scripting for all these structures right (docking and undocking at the wharf; shuttles moving correctly; last but not least integration into the main station's trading chart (the unloading or loading of a big hauler should have an impact on commodity quantities and prices on the main station), which unfortunately is not scriptable at this point) and the necessary addition of many objects to the system.

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Post by Disembodied »

Griff made a very attractive bulk hauler, the model for which is in his "busy ports" OXP along with the trading post.

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Post by Griff »

The busy ports oxp ( http://aegidian.org/bb/viewtopic.php?t=2825) might be worth re-visiting, it got into problems with the little cargo bots all jamming up infront of the station docking bay - something to do with their AI i think, they were all too polite to barge past each other when racing for the bay. I remember eric made a study into Oolites dockingAI.plist ages ago, i'll have to pick his brain when he gets some free time.

Ahrumans decal shader example would be cool on the 'train' ship too (i always wanted to make it look more like a carnival train, with random posters etc pasted on the sides and some carriages having space giraffes poking their heads out of the roof etc).

I remember someone else had made some neat 'forklift truck' cargo ferrying ships too, what happened to those?

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Post by DaddyHoggy »

That's what I like to see - a general musing of mine starting a useful debate and pulling together some cohesive thoughts... :)
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...

Post by Lestradae »

@Griff:

Is the busyports.oxp available somewhere? :shock:

Even if its just a stump ...

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Post by ClymAngus »

You could of course build your big ships with a really long nose so they could technically dock without touching the sides of the station (foooer).

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Post by Lestradae »

ClymAngus wrote:You could of course build your big ships with a really long nose so they could technically dock without touching the sides of the station (foooer).
I did already think of something like that (could be sold - a bit cheesy, I know - as "docking clamps" or somesuch) BUT what with undocking? Someone said that witnessing one of RS`s Juggernauts undocking from a Coriolis station was like "seeing a spaniel giving birth to a great dane" :lol:

Perhaps an "undocking rear nose" could also be included to avoid this, but it would look awful. Two long clamps (?) on both sides and the big ships would seem to spontanously appear/disappear at undocking/docking ...

I would love a solution for the big ships docking conundrum that fits with original Oolite, but until now, nothing really workable :(

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Re: ...

Post by Disembodied »

Lestradae wrote:@Griff:

Is the busyports.oxp available somewhere? :shock:

Even if its just a stump ...
Griff posted a link to the OXP a while back... you can find it here.

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Post by Thargoid »

Why would a large hauler be docking with the station anyway? My impression was that the stations were supposed to be " gateway waypoints" rather than huge orbiting megacities? Surely a super freighter would either just planet-land or would park in orbit and then employ shuttlecraft, like Griff's OXP? Docking a large hauler at a station is the equivalent of trying to dock and unload a Hercules cargo plane at a passenger gate at the airport of your choice.

Again it seems a question of scales in the game. In part I think it goes right back to the scale of cargo pods vs ships. For example if you look at most ships and their cargo capacity, the combined volume of the cargo pods is larger than the volume of the whole ship, let alone it's cargo bay. And this irregularity just goes up a scale when you replace cargo pods by ships and ships by stations. Of course for game practicality it has to be this way (so cargo pods are big enough to actually see and maneuver for).

Personally I'd say the ships too big for the station should just park up outside and stop, with the option of tenders/smaller craft for those up to the coding challenge.

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