Messing around in boats: Part the Next.

Making those hoverzellepins has got me thinking about my set design for Pineapple Boats (tentative codename: BALLAST).

I described in my earlier post the set design which has been hanging around since February; different generational graphics on single IDs, narrowly refittable cargo classes, BAD FEATURES galore. So tonight, I came up with a new design:

ballastplan16 ships – a nice round number – featuring ships from steam to modern, and a sailing ship for those wonderful people who like to start their games super early.

A few key points of this set design to consider:

  • High-capacities, and a large range of capacities, to suit different industry sets and different playstyles.
  • Nice round numbers make it easy to judge ships at a glance. I’ve found rounding off the capacities in Av9.8 has made it much more pleasant to play with. In the table I’ve also included the equivalent capacity in 10CC train cars – I think this is a useful way to visualise ship sizes.
  • Extensive refitting options, and gameplay in those options. Have a look at the Steam Trader and Steam Freighter. Same introduction date, same capacity, same speed. So why is the Trader more expensive? Because it can refit to more cargo types, making it more flexible. Refit-in-stations makes carrying multiple cargos with one ship much more feasible. Good job OpenTTD devs. ๐Ÿ˜€
  • On the other hand, this set has no differentiation between “ocean” and “canal” ships or speeds. I’m not sure this difference makes much sense to players. I know it doesn’t make much sense to me, in a TTD context.

16 ships. Two are done already. ๐Ÿ˜€ A couple more things I have to think about: firstly, these ship sprites are huge. Limiting the number of sprite sets is very important, to keep the NewGRF file size down; this means limiting livery differences and visible cargos. It also means no animated ship wakes or washes – the ships will just have to glide over the water for now, until wake effects can be produced using the smoke/steam effect system.

Nevertheless, hopefully it will be a fun set to play with, and will a worthwhile addition to the 32bpp/EZ catalogue. As always, keep watching this space.

The Hoverzellepins are coming…

Image13Andy actually wants a full-cabin passenger hovercraft for FISH, but I started with the deck well container carrier. Just because it’s cool. :)

This vehicle will be rendered in 32bpp EZ for Pineapple Ships, as well as being rendered in unanti-aliased, normal zoom, TTD pallette for FISH. It’s a good job I kept all my palette-swapping scripts I used to use for Av8!

Edit: for those interested, here is the cabin version (in mauve company colour):hovzep_cab

And finally, the raw 8bpp/nz sprites for FISH. Andy will presumably tidy up the pixels on these a bit (or get some other poor sap to do it ๐Ÿ˜‰ ) before they’re incorporated into that NewGRF.hovzep8p