Happy 2016!

So, another new year is upon us! What are the haps, you may be wondering?

The Kickstarter in August, obviously, didn’t reach its goal. Big thanks to everyone who supported it – it was a valuable experience, and plenty of food for thought.

Perhaps, after 21 years of playing and 10 years of NewGRF creating, (Open)TTD has had its day? The potential of the Pineapple models is somewhat wasted when rendered down to (even 32bpp EZ) sprites, and the features we’ve all talked about for so many years now are never going to happen. Chris Sawyer made a great transport game all those years ago – no-one, including himself with Locomotion, has ever managed to create a rival. Maybe it’s time I had a go?

So, watch this space for what will, for now, be known as Project 2512… in between university, and work, and everything else that life throws at me this year. :)

zBase comparisons

In response to the kickstarter news, DarkenMoon97 on Reddit asked about the comparison between Pineapple and zBase, the existing 32bpp base set for OpenTTD. zBase is great – I’ve used it for years – but Richard (understandably!) didn’t have the time to put as much detail into it as he could have – his priority was creating a “complete, functional and useable base set” as a proof-of-concept for 32bpp graphics.

Here are a few comparisons of zBase and Pineapple sprites (the Pineapple sprites are, I should stress, works-in-progress):
zbase1
zbase2
zbase3

Another difference between this project and zBase is that in addition to the Pineapple base set, I’m also creating a suite of NewGRFs in the same style, and template images and models to help other creators move to high-resolution NewGRFing. Pineapple is an attempt to shift the standards for OpenTTD, not just to create another base set. :)

The Pineapple Graphics Kickstarter is now live!

 

I’m looking forward to hearing everyone’s feedback, especially about the backer rewards. :)

kickstarterI’m committed to getting this base set complete for everyone to use with 1.6.0 in April next year. The Kickstarter funding will let me do that. I’m also looking forward to working with beta testers and making Pineapple a truly collaborative effort.

Pineapple Trains v1.3

1.3 is now available on Bananas, the OpenTTD in-game content service.

This update is mostly about EMUs; additions and adjustments.

New vehicles:
muupdate– The Corvine Interurban has been added as a very early electric locomotive with passenger capacity.
– The Unity Thunder has been introduced in 2008 with similar stats to the old VFT.

Vehicle adjustments:
– The Manley Express had an incorrect top speed due to a typo, so it’s been bumped up by 8km/h.
– The VFT is now faster and more powerful (and more expensive).
– The VFT, Turbo, and Thunder now have the “tilt” flag set (this was supposed to be set before but wasn’t); these trains should reach top speed more easily now.
– The Millenium X2001 has had a capacity increase, but now has a malus to cargo payment decay so it won’t pay as well on long-distance routes. This will make it more useful
for its intended use – short-distance people-mover (eg between a city and an airport).

Other changes:
– A parameter to disable the variable running costs has been added.
– The default setting for the passenger car model parameter has been changed to “single vehicle with random special vehicles”.

Because of these parameter changes, this release is marked as incompatible with earlier versions – you’ll have to start a new game.

First attempts at recolour mapping… successful?

colour_maskingThe base set vehicles will need to use recolour masks, rather than having different sprites for each livery. This quick-and-dirty test worked surprisingly well! I think I might just need to increase the self-illumination of the mask a bit to avoid getting dark blue pixels in the corners.

The Kickstarter is going live on the 6th of July, so I’ll be posting a lot of new content over the next couple of weeks! Stay tuned. :)

Manufacturer profile – Stanley

One advantage of creating fictional vehicles as models, rather than sprites, is that you don’t have to decide on a prototype to base your drawing on; you can just build a steam engine, and let form follow function. That’s what I did with my first steam locomotive for Pineapple Trains, the Stanley Major.

Major
1912
750hp, 112km/h
major Continue reading

Pineapple Road Vehicles!

Over the last few weeks I have begun creation of the first Pineapple Road Vehicles! The ‘codename’ for this NewGRF is “HOVS 75” – the original HOVS was a british-style bus set I made 10 years ago (!) for TTDPatch, and the “75” refers to approximately how many times I’ve attempted to create an updated version over the years…
3rd_gen_rvsThe NewGRF will feature five generations of vehicles, from around 1900 (1880 for the first tram) to the early 21st century. The vehicles shown above are all from the 3rd generation of vehicles, introduced in the 1950s. (If you’re wondering what that odd creature on the third flat truck is, it’s a YETI dude from V453000’s industry NewGRF).

This is how the vehicle scheme works:

Continue reading

Manufacturer profile – AMF

When I was young, I loved looking through my father’s books of train pictures. These books were from the 1960s and 1970s, so they were mostly nostalgic and/or gritty essays on the demise of steam. But amongst all the steam there were a few trains which really captured my imagination – big, colourful diesel trains completely different from the preserved steam I knew from the UK or the boring stainless-steel EMUs of 1990s Queensland.
Laupt up932 E8 atsf39c - Flickr - drewj1946
Exotic though they may have seemed to my younger self, colourful GM EMD cab units really are the quintessential diesel locomotive, so it’s only natural that when looking to create a fictitious but relatable train set, this was the place to start. Continue reading

… among the gum trees?

house1A first, very simple house model. :) It’s quite a challenge to keep things simple without making them blocky-looking. This simple model will be the beginning of a long line of modifications which will see the materials change, the roofline get more complex, and the building expand into later and more modern housing styles.

houseviewsSome test renders (click the image to see full-size), including one on a tile to show the scale. Please excuse the truly dreadful pine trees and highly generic shipping container used for clutter – they will be replaced by something better, probably. The appropriate level of clutter vs cleanness is also something I’ll have to work out as I go.

One down(ish), many, many to go. :)