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[Dev] Transportation – Roads, Vehicles & Traffic Jams

Last week we talked about WYSIWYG – What you see is what you get. We learned many different things. This most important thing however was that you see where every good is in the world. This of course means you will need to transport those goods to different locations.

In early stages, carriers will transport the goods from one location to another, but they can only carry one good at the time.

In the beginning, it is important to make sure that your economy is efficient. This means, that you place buildings, which belong together in close proximity. This will make it easier for your carriers to transport the goods from one place to another. As you only have a limited amount of carriers and you want to be sure they use their time efficiently, as this enables you to train carriers you don’t need to become soldiers or craftsmen.

Below you see an early production chain. We found copper, placed a couple of copper mines around the deposit, the toolmaker and the guildhouse, to train new craftsman right next to it.

This keeps the distance for the carrier very short. They only need to pick up the copper from the mine and transport it a few meters to the toolmaker. The toolmaker will use the copper to produce tools. Which will be picked up the finished product and bring it to the guild house where we can train new craftsmen.

As you can see in the screenshots, the carriers find their way to all the production buildings without placing any roads. By simply watching them, you will know where they are going and you will find out their favorite route. If you now want to build roads, we offer three different types in our game.

As we have not found any advanced materials yet, we can only build a broad path. Roads have the advantage that our settlers will move faster. The better the road, the faster our settlers will carry their goods. Vehicles have the same speed as carriers, but they are able to carry multiple goods, which has two advantages: The first one is obvious, as you need less Settlers to transport your goods. The second advantage is an increased throughput, which means the amount of goods that can pass a location within a certain time is higher. This might be important if there is a bottleneck in your transportation route like a tight mountain pass, which limits the amount of goods you can get from one side to the other.

There will be three different kind of carts: Pull carts, donkey carts and ox carts. The donkey carts require gravel roads but they will carry up to five goods at the same time and ox carts will require paved roads but can carry up to even eight goods. In order to construct those vehicles you will need a wainwright’s and a wheelmaker.
Remember: The more carriers and vehicles you have on the road the higher the likelihood that you will have a traffic jam.
Traffic jams happen if you need to move many goods from one location to another. If there is a bottleneck on the way, people might have difficulties moving along.

This mountain path makes it difficult for our settlers to transport their goods or even to get to their destination. We could build some woodcutters to chop down the trees and build an alternatively road or we could try to upgrade the road to use ox-carts, or we could try to produce more of those missing goods on the other side of the mountain pass to avoid the need for that many transports. There are always ways to make your economy more efficient.

In order to better organize your settlement you have the option to build different resting points. Resting points will help you to manage your economy more efficiently. Rather than having all your little helpers everywhere separated on the island, make sure that your main spots – the busiest places – have enough help when you need it.

Resting points for your carriers will be a place where they meet and wait for a task in that area. Same goes for the donkey cart meeting point. They will have a place to idle and wait for the next goods to be transported. And this can happen anytime. E.g. Simply recruit multiple military units and goods will need to get moved fast.

Iron ore & coal needs to be transported to the iron smelter. The finished iron needs to be moved to the weapon smith to produce weapons and those weapons need to find their way to the casern to recruit new units.

If you have a resting point close by, your carriers have a short way to pick up those goods. Otherwise, they might come from far away and cause a delay or even add up to a traffic jam, which might already seal your fate.

There is one more interesting topic about logistics. The location of buildings also matters since some buildings have 2 input and 1 output good or the other way round. E.g. a smelter gets coal + ore to produce iron. Depending on the location, the player can influence how long those goods need to be carried and use it to reduce traffic at bottlenecks, e.g. if you produce the iron on the side where you mine the coal and ore, only the final iron (half the transports ) needs to go through the bottleneck location.

To sum it up in The Settlers you can build three different types of roads, use vehicles or set up resting points for your carriers. All three options will make your economy more efficient. Even though it seems like a small thing, once you combine everything, it will make a huge difference.

Let us know what you think in the comments. Do you prefer building roads? Do you like planning things before hand? Maybe even pause the game, look around and then start placing buildings? Or do you prefer the freedom and a more “chaotic” playstyle? Let us know. We want to hear from you.

8 Comments

  1. Bacchus

    These options look great!

    Will we be able to build bridges and/or tunnels? It would be great for late game. Make ‘m expensive (especially the tunnels) and long to build, and let the economy boost they’ll deliver make up for the cost of building them.

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  2. Diddle783

    cant wait to see this in the game, i hope we will have to breed donkey’s

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  3. Hojny7

    It looks very realistic, but a few questions arise,
    Do donkeys and steers need to be bred and then assigned to work?
    – Will any of these carts be produced in the workshop?
    – Will the car be worn out and the animal tormented?
    – Will the resources in the mine run out, just like the trees to be planted?
    – Will it be possible to transport the goods in a complex form (start at point a, end at point c, but at point b, there are 2 other goods and one of them remains at point b)?
    – Will the roads have to be renovated?
    – what type of road the settlers will be able to trample on their own (and can this road be improved?)

  4. Gorgutz

    Will roads also increase troop movement?

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  5. BlueBlip

    I was worried about the percentage of carriers in the population.
    Good to know that you have more efficient means to move goods around.
    Also using the donkey or the ox carts increases cart loading times so that would need careful balancing to feel relevant.
    But overall it seems like a great feature.