Trains as linkers between seperated logistic networks

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Trains as linkers between seperated logistic networks

Post by ray4ever »

At the current point in time remote bases are usually only mining bases that are sending all resources back to your "main" factory. To extend such a mining base you, as the player, have to bring all the required resources manually to this base.
I think, that in a perfect system your logistic system should be able to help you with this by bringing predefined amounts of stuff to your remote bases. As such i propose that railways act as a sort of linking connection between two separated logistic networks and that the trains or "intelligent train wagons" act as some sort of modified "logistic bots".

Image a situation where you have 2 bases A and B. Each base has already a Roboport with logistic bots and a Railway station with a connecting Railway line between the bases. When A is the main factory and B your remote base the resources produced in A would be put in Provider chests (like it is currently). In base B you would have to put a requester chest and set it up appropriately. When resources need to be transported from A to B, the logistic Bots in A would put the resources into the "intelligent train wagon". When the train arrives in B, the logistic bots of B would than proceed to unload the train wagon and put the resources into the Requester chest.

I think that this future would add quite a bit of depth and gameplay possibilities to the game as you, the player, wouldn't have to return to your main base in regular intervals just to fetch some missing laser turrets or walls, but instead could rely on the logistic system to bring everything to you (or at least to your forward bases) futher increasing the use of construction robots and blueprints. Further more this would allow the player to build many separate bases for different purposes and would reward the player for expanding the map and killing biters.

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Re: Trains as linkers between seperated logistic networks

Post by ssilk »

Well. The direction is right. The how to is the question. Your solution with a wagon is nice.

I think it won't work, due to some things:
- the logistic bots should not be able to load a wagon directly. They would do that - as now - whenever a wagon stands, also at signals. Ok, this can be changed, but
- I would prefer, that the wagons can be loaded only in stations by the inserters or some other special equipment only. The reason is, that it is important to have a clear border between moving items and stored items.

I would say there are some more things, which must be thought about.

1. What is needed? I would say, this information is currently the amount of requests in the requester chests.
Is it really that, what's needed? We can't know what is existing there: Is there perhaps a big production of the needed stuff and it is much faster, to built it there, than to request it.
Perhaps this is also only the delivery-station for somewhere else?
So we must distinct between what's needed in a logistic network and what is needed from outside.

2. What can be delivered? This is the same problem as above: If it is available inside a logistic network it doesn't mean, that it can be used anywhere else.
Same conclusion: we cannot mix logistic network and needed stuff anywhere else.

3. Should Is a logistic network be needed for the delivery? See above: I think this is needed, otherwise we have really problems.

4. Should I tell, which items should be taken from where? Of course? Really? Or would it be not better to have that automatically?

So when I see that stuff above I think suddenly to a "Market". And on the market we have "Buyer-" and "Seller-Stations". I will explain it:

- A market is a place, where buyers and sellers met. In our case a virtual case or a "network", like the circuit network, but it needs no wires.
- A station is a train-stop and all the mechanics for putting in and out the wagons, plus some logistic around, either logistic bots or some belts.
- So a seller station is a station, which provides items into the market and a buyer station is the other way around.

So in essences it works like so:
Buyer1: I need 100 iron plates!
Seller1: I have 10.
Seller2: I have 40.
Buyer: Seller1, Selller2: Bought!

The question is now: How do the items come from seller1&2 to buyer1? It's clear: How they do it in reality: They fill a container with the needed stuff and put it on a train. The train is programmed by the market-system: Drive to seller1 and wait for load. Then drive to seller2 and wait for load. Then drive to buyer1 and wait for unload. Then wait for new instructions. This is the simpler part. :) Much more complicated is how does a market-station know about what it can sell and what it needs to buy?

Let's assume we have "markets", a building! The market covers an area - like the roboports do. And it must work a bit like the ports, because the bots needs chargers. And indeed they have it's own kind of own "logistic network". Now I can say "This market needs stuff, if this and that is too low" or "This market can sell stuff, if this and that is too much".
But that's not enough, we must also define, what should happen, if the items are sold, or bought.
For selling: We take an empty container and fill it up with the sold stuff. And for buying we need to reserve place for the container, that's needed, when delivered, because we need the place to unpack all.
When the train arrives: Put the container on a empty wagon and unload it when it is at the target.


Now in detail how it can work:
Buyer: Need 100 iron plates!
Seller: I've 100. I reserve them.
Seller does nothing else, then to subtract those 100 items from all calculations.

Buyer reserves the needed space
The market has a storage-place, where 5-10 containers have place. If all are needed (either by reserved places or by waiting for filling or waiting for train to fetch) , it needs to wait for a free space. In the hole time it cannot take part on the market, it cannot sell/buy another thing.
Buyer: to seller: Ok! I reserved the space.

Seller: ok, I request them into the container.
Buyer: ok, I will do something else.

Seller now looks, if it has an empty container in it's storage. Because there is no difference to the buyer market, there is also a storage-place, where the containers are filles/unfilled.
If there is no empty container, it requests over the market-system a stack of empty containers. Then puts an empty container in its storage.
If the storage is full, and there are only empty containers, it cleans the storage-place.
If the output-stack with the empty containers is also full, it requests a sell of empty containers first.
If all the prerequisites are done, it tells the logistic bots in his area to put the sold items into the container.

In the whole time it cannot take part at the market. Now, during the logistic bots fill the container, the seller can return to the market.

Logistic bots: The container for buyer is filled, Sir!
Seller to buyer: Ok, container is filled and ready for transport.
Buyer: Requesting train now.
Seller: I do something else now.

Buyer searches in a list of free trains, which are connected to the market system (train needs something special for that). If not he waits in a queue and can't do anything else.
When the train is free the buyer tells the train to drive to a train-stop in reach of the seller-market, connect the seller and wait for filling. After that it should drive to a train-stop in reach of the buyer, connect him and wait for unloading.

Train drives to a train-stop, which can be reached by market of seller and the route is optimized for the whole transport.
Train to seller: I'm there! I should take the container for buyer.
Seller: Loading now!
A very big inserter arm puts the container on an empty wagon of the train.
Seller: Loading finished.
Train: Ok, leaving.
Train drives to buyer train-stop.
Train to buyer: Ok, I'm here. Container from seller!
Buyer: Unloading now.
Very big inserter-arm takes the container into the market on the free storage-place.
Buyer to train and seller: Finished. Tank you.
Train: Like driving.
Seller: Was my pleasure!
Buyer tell the bots that they should unload the container. it puts the empty container on the reserved space and tells the

Per sure forgotten something and for the first try a bit complicated, but like so I mean it could work very well. What I also have not thought about, is, if there are fixed routes of trains, because they are a special case in my eyes.

The players job is then only to bring the needed stuff into provider/storage-chests in the seller-market area and to bring the brought stuff out of that area.

Edit: because my drawing for this suggestion isn't that bad: see pic down. This one was wrong rotated because Apple is stupid.
Last edited by ssilk on Tue Feb 25, 2014 11:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Trains as linkers between seperated logistic networks

Post by Sedado77 »

ssilk wrote:Well. The direction is right. The how to is the question. Your solution with a wagon is nice. [...]
But, i have an idea... Do like the market in Banished. Make it be like a "Storage Station (SS from now)" next to the train station, where you put stuff either requesting from the network it's placed at or feeding it manually. Then and have several "Request Stations (RS from now)", also next to the stations, with a "Traffic Wagon (TW...)" for that stuff.
Make it work exactly like the roboports, as a "new Train Network" independent, but interconected, with the robot networks.
Maybe have the SS come with an inserter so it feeds the train, or with logistic robots you can park there.
So, the robot network provides the "train network" with the stuff you previously requested in the "RS", then the train would load the items that are requested in the TW and unload them in the RS, from wich the roboport assigned to the area woud take the stuff...
The only problem i see is how to connectthe stations as different networks, maybe you want a Trai Network for the East, another for the West and another different for the south... How to connect them would be the only problem... maybe a NEW (BLUE) wire or a "3rd railed track" wich is smart, or something like that :)

MAYBE you could even do that BLUEPRINTS inside a Train Network may automatically request the items needed in the blueprint to the RS, so if you build a station+roboport, you can have automated building without having to take care of bringing the stuff (I ALLWAYS FORGET TO BRING SOMETHING!!! from cables to belts to machines to inserters... i ALWAYS forget something :( )

I like sslik's idea, but i think the way i'm puting it is easier to implemet for the devs, being that the mechanics are the same as Robot networks, so it is not a compleatly new thing to develop :)


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Re: Trains as linkers between seperated logistic networks

Post by ssilk »

Yeah, nothing to be added, than the idea to request the blueprint is brilliant, but was one of the base ideas for this. But there is nothing super clever about it: Everyone, which tries to find a way, how the contents of a blueprint will be brought to any point will end in a idea like that.

And to the afford: I'm sure they will find some ways to make it easier. :)

Options for example:
- The containers are an option. ( And they have nothing to do with the containers last summer, inside gag, search for container and ssilk)
- or the logistic bots do fill/empty the wagon, but because it must be filled in a storage chest in the maket area before...
- we have special chests for the market, and special inserters to fill the right items in the right wagon

Chances: can work equally for ships or cars, too. And of course the continental market with other players. Can be included in routes, instead searching for a free train it searches for a train coming to both stations. Much more clever algorithms can be added to order, before the needed amount is gone. And hundreds things more.

Notes: the seller needs to plan the transport, not the buyer!!
When something is on the way, the buyer needs to subtract the delivered items from his needs.

And because I now saw, that the pic is in wrong orientation (ipad displays it right) I upload it a second time and delete the above (was viewed 17 times till now):
image.jpg (673.51 KiB) Viewed 2516 times
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