Feature Suggestions
If you have suggestions for new features, post them to the forum, where developers and other players will voice their opinions on your idea. Only post them under Requested features if you have first started a forum thread, and definitely don't create a separate page unless it's under your user page.


Alternate approach to map storage


The problem with the current map structure is that it is static. There are n tiles and each one has x bits of storage space with very strict rules about what can be put there.

Possible solution

Ok, so we want to be able to put lots of stuff on every tile, and do that fast. "Fast" means that the tiles array should be left somewhat static so we won't have to shift megabytes of terrain around just to put a signal. We will have to add objects somewhere else and make tiles just point there. So we end up with the following:

This solution is very generic and very flexible, but

Your "solution" suck!!1

Yes, I know. Remember that was just a draft draft. In particular, it will require lots and lots of storage space. So it should be


The obvious cause for mentioned memory problems is that every tile stores every little piece of stuff separately. For example, if we have the simplest case of a straight rail line then every tile will store its segment separately -- which means not just the pointer to possible another object but at least the track direction information. It would be nice to store that rail line all at once and have tiles it crosses just reference that same object. No problem. Let's store the following in the rail line object:

Hmm, is something wrong here? Of course! Remember that we had tile objects reference each other. Now that is not possible because we have one object spanning many tiles. So we will have to change the structure into following:

Hey, and how do I add something into this spaghetti?

There are two most obvious problems about this layout.

The first one is how to add entries into the second array when we are building something. This task looks very similar to finding empty clusters in a filesystem.

The second one is about joining objects when, say, we are continuing a rail line. It can just get quite tedious to code.

But what is an object, after all?

Just about anything. Some examples: