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. 😀
  • 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. 😀 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.

6 thoughts on “Messing around in boats: Part the Next.

  1. Hey there. Just wanted to drop a note saying thank you for both the interesting blog posts as well as the lovely 32bpp GRFs. All the best to you. :)

  2. I see the codename for the set resembles your surname. Good Move to remember.
    Can’t really wait to see those barquetine coming.
    Why no cruise ships? (of course, if only there was a “tourist” cargo type… but they sure would be eyecandy…)

    (by the way, is there a way to paypal thank you for all those years of good grfs and balanced gameplay?)

    • Hey Andrea,

      Well, a cruise ship isn’t really transport, not on TTD scale. :) Both the Islander and particularly the Super Cat ferries are quite large ships.

      I do have a paypal donation link! It’s way back in this post. I wonder if it still works? :)

      • It Works!
        (tip: I searched in the “About Me” section for paypal)

        Of course cruiseships were a joke, but thinking of ships in general I think that they are the most customized means of transportation (“each ship has a soul”).
        I think it would be great to buy the standard hull (as the ones you propose, the fewer the better) and have the possibility to refit not only cargo type but also engine (choose between 2..).
        So, to keep it simple, mounting steam powered paddlewheels on a barquetine would make me loose cargo hold space but gain speed…(btw wind powered ships should have a “random” speed according to weather conditions…)
        Or change from fossil fuel to natural gas powered diesel engines on a modern container (freighter) would make me loose cargo space (gas tanks are truly space demanding) but reduce running costs (to 1/3)…

        I know this is almost out of target for BALLAST (and maybe for OTTD too), but the idea crossed my mind and I wanted to share.
        Hope you don’t mind and maybe find something that triggers something in your art-works.

        All the best,
        Andrea

  3. How can i download your up to date plane list…Ihave tried to go on Bananas but can n ot seem to find it…Help

    • Hi Mike,

      Hi Mike,

      I’m not sure what you mean by “up to date plane list”? The latest plane NewGRF I created is called av9.8 , and should be on bananas.

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