Fractional Angle Networking
The Fractional Angle Project is an effort by several NAM Team members to break road and rail networks out of the orthogonal/diagonal grid. The road side of the project is called the FAR (fractional angle roads) and the rail side, not surprisingly, is called the FARR (fractional angle railroads). The concept originated in the early spring of 2008 with a post in Three Rivers Region (3RR) by David (dedgren) proposing the FAR and developing a set of texture-based road curves . Within a short time, dedgren and Tarkus, who had worked together the previous year on a similar project that became the NAM wide curves, had a working set of FAR pieces. In the early summer of 2008, dedgren expanded the concept to dual-rail, and once again he and Tarkus collaborated on creating the initial set of FARR pieces.
The reason these pieces are called "fractional angle" curves is because, even though they are neither orthogonal nor diagonal, they are still constrained by SC4's grid. They are based on a 2x3 straight section of road or rail that crosses these gridsquares at either an 18.4 or 71.6 degree angle, depending on the long orientation of the gridsquares. The transit pieces must be plopped as "puzzle pieces" and cannot be made draggable. They are otherwise, once plopped, fully functional in the game, supporting transit pathing, automata and U-Drive It.
Each set consists of the following puzzle pieces:
- Short (ortho to 18.4 degree) Curve
- Long (ortho to 71.6 degree) Curve
- Straight Section (18.4/71.6 degree 2x3 gridsquares)
- Diagonal to Fractional Angle (18.4/71.6 degree) Transition Curve
There is also a Road/FARR Level Crossing and a Railroad/FAR Level Crossing.
Future plans include FAR intersections and FARR crossovers and switches. The concept will also likely begin appearing in Set 2 of the STR. David (dedgren) is working on these textures and expects to have them completed by the end of 2009. The current FAR and FARR sets were included in the January '09 NAM releases, and some additional pieces were also included in the June '09 release.