+6 votes
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in Suggestion by (120 points)
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Good evening Coffee Stain,

First off, damn Satisfactory is an amazing game!

I'm a software developer in the US, but before this career, I spent ten years working on railroads here, including four years working for Norfolk Southern RR.

I thought I would give my two cents on a possible solution for the railroads, and collision issues.

On the main railroads here, we use automatic block signals and interlocking's for train control.  I think this system would be a very stable and lightweight system for collisions in Satisfactory. Ill give a brief overview, and some in game examples that may or may not help.

Interlocking's are absolute signals, you can not pass them with a stop (red) signal, while automatic signals in between the interlocking's, you can proceed at a reduced speed even on a red signal.  Also automatic blocks become unidirectional once a train has ownership of it, all the way to the next interlocking. Once that train clears, it can flip back to bidirectional. In the railroad, unidirectional is known as 251 track, and bidirectional is 261 track.  251 track will never flip directions. Automatic blocks can be split up for longer distance sections between interlockings, or not exist if the distance is too short between interlocks.

image

The red areas are interlocking's, including the station.  The entire station in this would be considered 1 interlocking.  Only one train at a time can exist inside an interlocking, or in an automatic block.  The idea i had to do this is with blocks/interlocking's and a ownership/queue for each section.

image

image

The basic premise is, each block will have a current owner, direction, and queue. Also diamonds, for the sake of appearance would need to be interlocking's as well.  Long sections between interlocking's could also be separated into multiple automatic blocks, so that trains traveling in the same direction, can follow each other along.  One other thing that might help with this, if you have multiple interlocking areas that would overlap each other, combine them into 1 interlocking, like the example below.

image

Any one train owning interlocking three, would block any other movement through the interlocking. Where as a train owning interlocking four going to interlocking one, would not block a train in interlocking's two, three or five.

I wanted to keep this short for now, but if you would like any more information on this, please feel free to contact me, and I will help out however I can.

by (1.7k points)
I am somewhat afraid of what may happen if developers decide to add collision avoidance as I see many cases where things may get very hard to solve.

First is what is the complete list of interlocking types needed for the problem. A setup that comes on my mind is three parallel rails that are not connected but are close enough that a train on the middle rail would hit trains on the sides. So when a train is planned for the middle rail, it forces direction on the side rails, but when the middle rail is empty then the side ones are free in either direction.

Second is if the game can decide on dividing the track into such interlockings and blocks automatically. I believe in real world it's done by people using their experience since tracks are not appearing or disappearing at any great rate but that's not the case for the game.

Third is of course routing. A player may design a track with more trains than stations and these would then need to wait on blocks for their turn in a station. I can imagine it may easily happen that at certain stage, the game fails to find a route for a train and explaining to the player why may be quite hard thing to do. Even worse, the track may start in a configuration where all trains can make their routes and the system eventually drives it into a state where they can't find a route to their destination anymore just because the whole thing went out of initial synchronization.

So yeah, I'd love trains to have collision avoidance but I'm afraid of what might come from it.
by (120 points)
As to interlocking's, it would be switches, diamonds (tracks crossing on the same plane) and stations in my mind.

With the parallel lines, that would come down to poor layout on the players part, and like collision boxes on machines and such, would force the player to better design his layout.

With routing and congestion, again, just like a factory, if you over saturate the conveyor lines, you have to go and add additional capacity, the same would be true for the rail lines.  The player would have to build additional capacity and tracks to handle congested areas.
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