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What Is Simugraph?

Discussion in 'PC' started by thearkerportian, Dec 1, 2019 at 12:27 PM.

  1. thearkerportian

    thearkerportian Well-Known Member

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    It says this on every route DLC for TSW: Powered by Simugraph. As if it was some kind of-sub-engine to UE4. Others say it's a tool.

    So, what exactly is it? Saying the information I could find about it on the web is "basic" would be like saying pressing the palm of your hand down hard on a hot plate will be "inconvenient"...

    Has anyone been more lucky with finding something?
     
  2. PlatChap

    PlatChap Well-Known Member

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    My understanding of it is that it is the calculating tool that powers the simulation of all aspects of the locomotives. The brains, if you will, behind the operation that allows for all the different aspects of the locomotive to function cohesively together. It gives the locomotive it's horse power, braking force, calculates tracttive effort and so on.

    I could be wrong. This is merely my interpretation of it. Matt would be the qualified person to answer this if he happens upon this thread.
     
  3. doc_woods

    doc_woods New Member

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    I think it's largely the tool/scripting system DTG has written for simulating the physics. My impression is that it's a graphical system for building up the simulation, presumably with the aim of allowing non-programmers to build up the physics. Based on the screenshots shown at various points in the past, "LabView" might be a good example of a similar approach to allowing graphical programming - linking the output of one function to the input of another by drawing wires.

    [Note - I'm not claiming LabView has anything to do with Simugraph, just that's it's a probably similar approach to programming that you can look up. My experience of this kind of system is that they look nice, but it's usually easier just to write the code in a normal programming language, but that's my personal prejudice.]

    The reason you can't find too much about it is that it's entirely an internal tool to DTG [According to steam "[some stuff] and “SimuGraph” are trademarks or registered trademarks of DTG."]. It's not used anywhere else, and so very little information exists. Therefore one interpretation is that it's mostly a marketing term. It's pretty obvious that a train simulator is going to have some way of modelling train physics, and really the only reason DTG have given it a "public" name is because the marketing department has decided it sounds sophisticated.
     
  4. thearkerportian

    thearkerportian Well-Known Member

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    Good point. But then, just calling the physics system "the physics system" wouldn't be smart either; always better to give things a label, a name.
     
  5. doc_woods

    doc_woods New Member

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    Yes of course - it absolutely makes sense to give things a name - you pretty much can't do anything in programming without giving things a name (except possibly in this graphical systems where you give them a wire...), so at very least it has to be named to be able to type "load simugraph" or "#include "simugraph.h"" or whatever. But the decision to give it a public-facing name is a marketing decision. Which is obviously fair enough - marketing has its place.

    And to be honest using a graphical system probably makes more sense than I'm giving credit for: it does make it accessible to people who may understand the physics but not have a great deal of experience programming, and things like LabView will be familiar to a lot of people with physics degrees (it's used pretty much everywhere for controlling science-y instruments).

    -------------------------

    But the point I was making in a long and waffly way is "it's just the physics system, it doesn't tell you much because you already knew it had a physics system, and because it's an internal tool there isn't much information and it's kind of just whatever they say it is".
     
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  6. thearkerportian

    thearkerportian Well-Known Member

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    Exactly. What it does tell of course, it is a new physics system. Not the one from old Railworks or something.
     
  7. Rob39

    Rob39 Well-Known Member

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    Simugraph dev diary CSX heavy haul
     
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  8. hyperlord

    hyperlord Active Member

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    I asked myself the same and stumbled upon the video Rob39 posted
     
  9. TrainSim-Matt

    TrainSim-Matt Staff Member

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    Happy to answer any specific questions about Simugraph if you have them.

    We named it that way because it makes it easier to talk about - if you just say "physics system" then it's easy to confuse it with the gravity-physics system (Bullet in our case) which keeps the trains on the tracks, and manages how the vehicles interact with each other through buffers, couplings etc. Simugraph specifically is about power and braking and anything else that comes out from those two core systems - ultimately it's simply a way of creating a pneumatic, electrical, and torque system - what you use it for is largely up to the designer.

    Think of it as a series of components, break down the interior of a locomotive to its component parts, such as diesel engine, traction motor, generator, load controllers, brake discs, brake pads, electrical collectors like pantographs, pneumatic valves such as the triple valve or distributor in braking systems etc etc. Rather than design a "this is the physics blob for a class 47" and have to do that each time you make a new loco it's going to get expensive real fast, so you design all the component parts and make them configurable - and then just "wire them up" differently as each loco needs, adding more components or less components, configuring them as required. It makes for an incredibly flexible system that means you can much more accurately capture specific operating behaviours without extensive effort in coding each one individually (which is, as i've said, entirely impractical).

    If you're familiar with Train Simulator 2020, you can equate Simugraph to the parts of an Engine blueprint which relate to power and brake, except significantly more flexible.

    Taking it one step further, all those guages, dials, lights and sounds are now pulled exactly from the innards of simugraph components themselves making it much easier to get access to the real detail of what's going on within various elements of the system.

    Ed Fisk was able to take the system and with little assistance started using it for a more accurate simulation of the earlier DSD and AWS systems, which used the pneumatics - so rather than scripted, they're literally simulated in simugraph using valves, pipes and the like.

    As I say, happy to answer any specifics, it's a system i'm really pleased with, the team have spent a lot of time on it and created something super powerful and relatively easy to use compared to what it lets you do.

    Matt.
     
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  10. thearkerportian

    thearkerportian Well-Known Member

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    Thanks! I'm not familiar with the inner workings behind TS2020, but I remember punching in values for horsepowers, weights, brakeforces and what have you into .eng and .wag files for MSTS, which was, well flexible and close to the metal, yes, but also a hassle.

    Are the individual switches and levers in the cabs of the locos also wired up to this? And is SimuGraph only for locos/MUs, or for unpowered vehicles as well?

    Greetings!
     
  11. TrainSim-Matt

    TrainSim-Matt Staff Member

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    Simugraph is for everything, wagons have a simugraph which handles their brake systems for example. It is very similar idea to the eng and wag files, but there's essentially a ton more to it - makes it harder perhaps to create a simulation, but possible to be more realistic.

    If you wanted, in the future, you could have an unpowered wagon with a pantograph that did nothing but supply electricity to another vehicle that had the motors, fairly trivial to do in simugraph and would require no coding.

    Switches and levers are are connected into simugraph if appropriate, e.g. the throttle lever will directly be controlling an input in simugraph, same for brake controls etc.

    Matt.
     
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  12. LT586

    LT586 Well-Known Member

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    I sincerely look forward to Third Party excellence with this module. There will be loads of well rounded content once it’s possible to edit
     
  13. hyperlord

    hyperlord Active Member

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    Is something on the track "simugraphed"? And is this something very resource hungry or does it scale well with ... GPU?

    Since I upgraded just my GPU from GTX970 to RTX2060Super it FEELS like there is low to no lag when a AI train spawns further down the route.

    Is Simugraph kicking in just later or not at all for AI and environment?
     
  14. stujoy

    stujoy Member

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    Any chance of fixing the physics blob for the Class 47 on PS4 so it has the correct power and can actually be driven on the services?
     
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  15. Tomas9970

    Tomas9970 Well-Known Member

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    AI trains are physicsless as far as I'm aware. Only the player's train is fully simulated.
     
  16. Anthony Pecoraro

    Anthony Pecoraro Well-Known Member

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    AI has “simplified” physics.
     
  17. PBrogaard

    PBrogaard New Member

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    Well some of the AI's accelaration would seem to be somewhat "physically uncomfortable" for passengers ^^
     
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