Farming Simulator 17– GBS Tutorials–Plowing with Courseplay

Farming Simulator 17 – GBS Tutorials – Plowing with Courseplay

In this video, I provide instruction on how to plow with Courseplay.

Please note:  At the time of this recording, Courseplay for FS17 is in beta (work in progress).  As clearly stated in this video, neither the Courseplay development team or myself (GrizzlyBearSims) will be responsible for any possible damage caused to your FS17 game by using a beta mod.  While Courseplay is extremely stable, the use of ANY MOD can cause damage to your game saves.  Use Courseplay at your own risk!

Courseplay for FS17 available here https://courseplay.github.io/courseplay/

I hope you enjoy watching my videos.  If you do, please hit that “Like” button!  Also, if you are new to the channel, please SUBSCRIBE.  It really does help!

Please visit my blog site http://grizzlybearsims.com  You’ll find my complete mod list and various articles and reviews on many of the simulation based games I enjoy playing.

Farming Simulator 17 – GBS Tutorials – Setting up an Equipment Transfer Course

Farming Simulator 17 – GBS Tutorials – Setting up an Equipment Transfer Course

After having my arm twisted by my dear friend Eustace Pharmer, I’m going to do a full “how to” series on Courseplay for FS17.  Each video will contain just the information you need to configure Courseplay for the given task.  Over the next few weeks I’ll create these “no-nonsense” tutorial videos which I hope will help you in your virtual farming operations.

In this video, I provide instruction on how to setup an equipment transfer course to move equipment from point A to point B.  In the video, I discuss moving newly purchased equipment from the store to the main farm. But you can also easily setup transfer course from the main farm to a field and back.

Please note:  At the time of this recording, Courseplay for FS17 is in beta (work in progress).  As clearly stated in this video, neither the Courseplay development team or myself (GrizzlyBearSims) will be responsible for any possible damage caused to your FS17 game by using a beta mod.  While Courseplay is extremely stable, the use of ANY MOD can cause damage to your game saves.  Use Courseplay at your own risk!

Courseplay for FS17 available here https://courseplay.github.io/courseplay/

I hope you enjoy watching my videos.  If you do, please hit that “Like” button!  Also, if you are new to the channel, please SUBSCRIBE.  It really does help!

Please visit my blog site http://grizzlybearsims.com  You’ll find my complete mod list and various articles and reviews on many of the simulation based games I enjoy playing.

New FS17 Courseplay Tutorial Series

Hello Friends,

My apologies in neglecting keeping fresh content flowing through the pages of my simulation gaming blog site.  I’ve been having fun launching my YouTube Channel and producing video content showcasing my virtual farming adventures.  If you haven’t had the chance, please visit the GrizzlyBearSims YouTube Channel, Subscribe and dive in.

While I realize many YouTube channels may already feature FS17 Courseplay tutorials, some of these channels are victims of their own success.  What I mean by that is their channels are so BIG, these guys just don’t have time to respond to questions from their viewers.

Part of my day-to-day job in the real world is to write training documentation.  The thing I learned a long time ago is to “Get In, Get Out and Don’t Make Too Big of a Mess”.  I believe I’ve tried to convey this approach in some of my tutorials I’ve recorded for my YouTube Channel over the past 14 months or so.

Starting this week, I plan to release a series of tutorial videos on Courseplay for Farming Simulator 17 in my “no-nonsense” style of presentation.  Each video will contain just the information you’ll need to replicate the same action on your virtual farm.

To kick things off, I’ve recorded this brief introduction to Courseplay for FS17 including how to download, how to install and initial setup.  Thank you for watching!

 

More Courseplay

While the Courseplay mod is perhaps the one mod I almost could not live without, it is not without its share of issues which lead to frustrations “Down on Jerry’s Farm”.  Several weeks ago I provided a somewhat detailed review of the Courseplay Mod and pointed out some of the issues which we all must deal with if you desire to use this wonderful mod.  Yes, I do use the words wonderful, extraordinary etc. to describe this mod at the best of times.

As you know by reading some of my recent blog postings, I’m currently playing on the Ringwoods Farm map.  I truly love this map and even with all the trees, fences and gates….Courseplay does a pretty darn good job managing the tasks I assign to it.  Or should I say, the Courseplay hired workers do a pretty good job managing the tasks assigned to them.  With almost every field owned and planted on this map, there is no way I could keep up with the demand without Courseplay.

In the earlier posting I touched on the issues we all experience when using Courseplay.  I don’t fault Courseplay (or the brilliant development team behind the CP mod) from running a tractor/tipper into a tree from time to time.  After all, Courseplay only knows the interior dimensions of the fields.  It does not know the proximity of fences and gates to the field.   Likewise, Courseplay is not something one can simply setup, start and leave unattended with 100% results each and every time.  At least not with all functions/tasks.   But before I proceed further, allow me to provide some information on how I’m using the Courseplay mod, what works really well and what challenges I face.

What I use Courseplay for?

For the most part, I’m only using a small percentage of the overall Courseplay functionality.   While I realize CP can (and will) do much, much more…I simply just haven’t incorporated everything into my farming practices at this time as it has never been my intention to fully automate my farm.

While the role I play “Down on Jerry’s Farm” is the owner and boss of the farming enterprise, I’m still very much willing and enjoy rolling up my sleeves and getting my hands dirty.  So at the present time I’m using Courseplay to handle the process of moving the silage down at the BGA and also moving silage in a small bunker near my dairy cows.  Courseplay also handles the transport of grains and fruits from my main storage silos to market.  Courseplay also handles field work tasks like cultivating, sowing and harvesting.

What Courseplay does well?

The movement of silage down at the BGA is without a doubt the best work Courseplay does “Down on Jerry’s Farm”.  Considering the ROI (Return on Investment) benefit of selling silage down at the BGA, CP (and the fine workers) do this task very, very well.  Even paying the hourly wage (which I do), it is money very well spent and provides nice profit.  Review this blog article I wrote a few weeks ago about “Getting Rich Quick”.   If you want to generate some cold, hard cash and do it quickly then remember this equation of Corn –> Chaff –> Silage = $$$$ down at the BGA.

In addition to the movement of silage, CP handles the movement of all my grains and fruits from storage silos to market without any issue (most of the time).  Oh, a few times I left a tractor parked in the middle of the main farm yard which blocked the path of my truck/trailer rig…but that is a self inflicted problem and not the fault of Courseplay.

Finally, I would give CP solid marks on how it handles the cultivating and sowing tasks I assign it.   While I did mention that Courseplay was not really designed to be setup, activated and forgotten about.  The tasks which I’ve just described, CP will perform them until YOU stop it or until the work is completed.  Unless of course you forget you’ve parked a tractor in the path.

Courseplay Struggles

Again, I’m fully aware that Courseplay is not designed to be setup, activated and forgotten about to operate a process without any guidance or supervision.  This is where our role of farm owner/boss comes into play.  Like I described earlier, I am the owner of my farm.  The Courseplay function is really just driving the employees I’ve hired to assist with the tasks on the farm.  As owner and boss, it is my responsibility to make sure these workers are doing what they should be doing.  However…

Courseplay will simply struggle with regards to the occasional collision between tractor/tipper and a tree, fence or gate.  As I’ve already stated, Courseplay only knows the interior dimensions of each field.  CP does not know how close a tree, fence or gate is to the field so therefore the occasional collision will happen.  The best solution to assist in avoiding these collisions is to setup the combine to harvest at least two headland cuts.   Depending on the header size, this should provide ample room for your tractor/tipper setup to maneuver without coming into contact with an obstacle.  Another suggestion is to slow down the tractor/tipper setup.  With the overall drive physics being what they are in FS2015, slowing the tractor/tipper down to a field speed of 15-18 mph will help tremendously.

But wait….there are more struggles and unfortunately I can’t really understand why they occur.

Collisions between combine and tractor

I simply just can’t understand why this occurs.  From my limited understanding of how CP handles the harvest function, I believe CP fully knows where the combine is (and with precision) on the field.  Likewise, I believe CP knows where the tractor/tipper is (how else do they interact with each other) so why the occasional collision?  As I somewhat described the combine and tractor/tipper relationship in my earlier blog posting by referring to the combine as the master or boss, there really should never be any collision between the two of them.  The combine knows where it is within the course of the field and the two should be able to steer clear of any collision between them.

Spinning round and round and round (tractor and tipper)

I often notice the tractor/tipper just doing donuts in the middle of my fields.  Round and round they go, without any purpose or plan until I stop them.  In each and every example this occurs (and this occurs fairly regularly) the combine is less than 50 feet away and is stopped.  The very best I can figure out is the tractor/tipper continues to circle in an attempt to lock onto the GPS coordinate which would allow it to pull alongside the combine.  While I understand this, why doesn’t CP intervene at some point and send the tractor/tipper on a slightly different course then redirect it back in again?  Of course, keeping in mind the location of the stationary combine to avoid any collision.

Distance and Line of Sight Issue

I’ve perhaps saved the best for last.  The very best I can understand the possible issue is a distance and/or line of sight issue between combine and tractor/tipper.  I mostly see this issue on the larger fields.  The tractor/tipper and combine have been working together just fine.  At some point the combine instructs the tractor/tipper to wait (it’s not full yet) and the combine continues to do its thing.  Then as the combine and tractor/tipper are almost at opposite ends of the field, the combine issues the “drive now” command to the tractor, but the tractor just sits and sits and sits and sits.  Eventually the combine is full and it stops.  But without intervention from me, the two will never come together again.

Again, the best I can understand is perhaps there is a issue with the distance or line of sight and the two (combine and tractor) lose their connection to each other.  I really wouldn’t think either distance or line of sight would be a limitation for Courseplay.

Could it all be user inflicted (User Error)?

ABSOLUTELY!!!!  However, before I take all the blame on these problems let me just say that I’ve seen many YouTube videos created by many virtual farmers who know a lot more about Courseplay than I do and they all seem to have one or more of these problems from time to time.  Also, again I’m not looking for Courseplay to do all my farming work while I sleep or do other things away from the PC.  I’m merely wish, hope, desire for Courseplay to be able to function in the areas I just mentioned without glitching.

Am I alone?  Are my expectations set just too high?  Is Courseplay useless as is?

Again, no I don’t think I’m alone.  I follow a few virtual farmers on YouTube who frequently create content from their farming adventures and in many of these videos I’ve seen their activities (when using Courseplay) wig out just as I’ve described.

Regarding expectations?  I don’t think I (or anyone else) would think our expectations are set too high for these things to work correctly.  I’ve stated several times in this article that I don’t blame CP when my tractor crashes into a fence on the edge of my field.  I fully understand that this is outside of the control of Courseplay.  However, the other situations (combine and tractor collisions in middle of field, spinning round and round and the distance/line of sight scenarios) I believe are in the control of Courseplay and I sincerely hope these issues can be fixed.

Finally, is Courseplay useless as it currently stands?  ABSOLUTELY NOT!!!  I repeat….Courseplay is a wonderful mod and I really couldn’t or wouldn’t enjoy Farming Simulator 2015 as much as I do without it.

In closing, this blog article is not my way of “having a go” at the authors/developers of Courseplay.  Likewise, it is not my attempt to discredit their hard work and dedication to the hobby.  I’m simply pointing out some of the issues I’ve experienced mainly in the hope of helping anyone else who may encounter the same problems understand that they are not alone.  I understand the authors/developers of Courseplay are taking a short break.  Hobbies must always come after real world commitments and I certainly don’t fault them for needing to slow things down.  I certainly hope they continue to develop and enhance Courseplay.  I for one would really love to see the issues I’ve discussed today get resolved.  I also would love to see something like “Follow Me” added to Courseplay.  While I know a separate mod exists, I would like to see that functionality built into Courseplay.  If for no other reason then in aiding in moving a combine and a tractor/tipper (or two) from one location to another.

Thank you for reading and sharing my blog postings.  Please share the blog URL with your friends on Twitter and Facebook.  Also, don’t forget to follow me on Twitter.

Until next time…

Happy Farming!!!

JT

Getting Rich Quick on Ringwoods Farm

I know the title sounds like the late night infomercial you stumble on when you can’t sleep.  In my last blog article, I mentioned I had amassed a fairly large amount of cash farming on theRingwoods Farm map.  By the way, at the time of this writing the Ringwoods Farm map is the brand spankin new (and final) update v1.8.  I only learned of this brand new update today and haven’t even played it yet.  So as I write this blog article, I’ll also be following my own advice for “Getting Rich Quick on Ringwoods Farm”.

Anyway, Ringwoods Farm is a really cool map for Farming Simulator 2015.  It is based on the default Westbridge Hills map but made much, much, much, much better by Stevie (AKA FIREZ34).  This latest update (and the final version) has been made even better.  As with most maps, you are generally presented with a small selection of equipment (a tractor (or two or three), tipper, plow, harvester, cultivator, sowing machine along with at least one already owned piece of land and many times this piece of land is ready to harvest.  In addition, you have about $6,000 cash in the bank, a $100,000 loan with the ability to borrow another $100,000.  This gives you $106,000 to start your farming empire.  Of course there are money mods and other cheats which can be done to the game to start you off at just about any level of $$$ you desire.  But if you want to experience the game as it was intended, then hopefully my tips will help you.

When you begin a new game on Ringwoods Farm you’ll have $6,000 in cash, you’ll have the already existing $100,000 bank loan (with the option of borrowing another $100,000) and you’ll own fields 16 and 3.  In addition, you’ll also own a whopping almost 1 million in equipment.  So you have many options to proceed.

Option 1 – Status Quo

You take it as you have it.  You start planting, fertilizing, harvesting and selling crops from fields 3 and 16.  Rinse and repeat as necessary.  You’ll need to take an additional loan to cover the initial seed, fertilizer and operating costs.  But after the first harvest you should be able to start paying back the bank loan and just continue planting and harvesting from fields 3 and 16 until such time you can save up enough for a third field, then a fourth and so on.  You also have the grass field (not owned) on field 20 along with a mower attachment and the small Euroboss forge wagon.  You also own both a tedder and windrower, so you can start storing grass, hay and make silage to either sell or use for dairy cows, sheep etc.  If you are into logging and forestry…you have some really nice equipment to get you started.

Option 2 – Max the Loan Baby!!!

Taking out the extra $100K loan will give you $106,000.  This is certainly enough to get started and will provide you a little more operating overhead than option 1.  You might even consider upgrading a few of the pieces of equipment you already own.  I would suggest selling the offset Novacat mower and pickup the Kuhn FC 3525 F to mount on the front of the tractor.  This is a really nice “in-game” mower and works well when you add the Kuhn FC 10030 to the back of your tractor.  You then have a working/mowing width of over 9 feet.  In no time you will have access to more cash to be able to pickup new fields and take advantage of more crops.

Option 3 – Go For Broke –or- It Takes Money to Make Money

The beauty of Ringwoods is two-fold.  First, there is SOOOOOOO much to do.  This map features a little bit of everything.  Unfortunately, this is also somewhat of a drawback in a sense.  For me, I’m really not into the logging and forestry.  I probably would enjoy it more if the game physics were better when handling the wood.  Likewise I would probably enjoy it more if I added a joystick to my setup to control the crane operations.  Using the mouse just frustrates me and watching the logs bounce around frustrates me even more.  Anyway….the second advantage of Ringwoods is the almost $1 million dollars in equipment you have available to you.  It’s all in the “free and clear” and can easily be liquidated to build up the level of on-hand cash.

One of the fastest and most reliable ways of earning $$$ is producing and selling silage at the Bio Gas Plant or BGA.  In normal mode, a bunker full of silage (600,000 liters) will earn you approx. $480,000.  Of course, the old saying “It Takes Money to Make Money” will prove true in this option.  Short of winning the lotto, you’ll need to sell some of the existing equipment and invest in new equipment which will help you maximize your earning potential.  Here’s TEN easy to follow steps that will soon have you farming all the way to the bank.

Step One – let’s have a yard sale.  By selling the Ponsse ScorpianKing, Ponsse Buffalo, Lenz wood chipper, Stepa Log transporter and Damcon tree planter (essentially getting out of the forestry business) you’ll generate $353,000.  But we are not done yet.  Sell the New Holland TC5.90 Harvester and Header (you’ll want a bigger harvester anyway) will get you another $91,000.  Next, sell the Piqup and either the New Holland T8.435 Smarttrax or one of the three Case Magnum 380’s.  This will bring you to a total cash on hand of $622,500 ($629,500 if you sell the T8.435).  Actually, sell both of them for a grand total of $778,500.

Step Two – Go ahead and max out the loan or what I call “spend my children’s inheritance”.  This will give you a grand total of $884,500.  All that money burning a hole in your pocket?  Don’t worry…it won’t be there long.

Step Three – Head to the tractor store and buy the following items Krone BigX 100,000 capacity combine (this is a mod available here) for $415,000.  Pickup the “in-game” EasyCollect 1053 10.5m header for $45,000.  While you have the Telehandler in your fleet, do yourself a favor and buy the “in-game” Liebherr Wheel Loader and the universal bucket for $168,400.  Now relax for a minute when you realize you’ve just spent $628,400.  But don’t panic.  You should still have approx. $256,000 from your liquidation efforts.

Step Four – Now go seed field #16 with corn.   You won’t need to pickup a special corn seeder, as the seeders provided on the Ringwoods map will do it all.  Don’t forget to fertilize!

Step Five – Wait for the corn to grow, then harvest it for chaff using the Krone BigX you purchased earlier.  To simplify the process, setup Courseplay and use two tractors and the two 45,000 liter tippers you already own.  Dump all the chaff into the BGA bunker.  Start with the bunker on the north end.  Once filled, compact it and cover it to allow it to ferment into silage.  Of course, you also own field 3.  I would sow this field in either wheat or barley.  Keep in mind that you sold your smaller combine in step one.  So you’ll need to complete the sell of your first full bunker of silage before you’ll have enough to buy a new combine.

Step Six – Hopefully you’ve already re-sown field #16 with corn.  If not, what are you waiting for?  Now once the silage is ready, again use Courseplay and setup a route to empty the silage in the first bunker.  This will be a slow process as the BGA can only handle up to 20,000 liters of silage at a time.  However, you can set your timescale to 5x and the wheel loader will not overload the process.  Once the full bunker is emptied, you should have $700,000 + in cash.  Now would be a good time to re-invest this in a larger combine.  With $700K you will be able to easily afford the New Holland CR10.90 at $430,000 along with the 41’ Varifeed Header at $65,000.

Step Seven – Keeping in mind that for every filled bunker of silage at the BGA will earn you approx. $480,000, if you fill all four bunkers and sell the silage back to the BGA, this will earn you a cool 1.9 million dollars.

Step Eight – As you continue producing and selling silage (and other crops) start taking the extra cash you are accumulating and purchase new fields.  Eventually you may want to re-locate your corn/chaff to field 14 to shorten the trip to the BGA.

Step Nine – If you are interested in logging and forestry work, then start purchasing back the equipment you sold earlier.  As you begin to get more fields sowed and take advantage of all the features this map offer you’ll find yourself busy.  Keep producing silage as much or as little as you need to have access to quick cash.

Step Ten – Have Fun!  Continue producing as much silage as needed to reach the financial goals you have for your farm.  Payback the loans and reap the benefits of the financial freedom a little bit of corn and hard work has provided.  Crack open a cold beverage, sit back and relax.  You’ve earned this break…

I hope you have enjoyed this tip and likewise I also hope it helps you in some way.  Please bookmark my blog site and/or subscribe to my RSS feed so you’ll always receive new content as soon as it is published.

Until next time…

Happy Farming!!!

Jerry

Courseplay

Things have been busy down on the farm.  In an earlier post, I mentioned having some small challenges I was dealing.  These challenges were with regards to the overall stability of the Farming Simulator 2015 application.  I couldn’t understand why the crashes were occuring.  The PC I run FS 2015 on is fully capable and it was just rebuilt a few weeks ago.  To be very honest, I’m not really sure what the root cause was.  I just know that I did manage to resolve it and the sim has been 100% stable for some 20+ hours of game play.  In short, I reinstalled Farming Simulator 2015 and removed all installed Mods.  I also began game play on a brand new map (or new map to me).  I’m currently farming on Ringwoods 1.7.1 and am very happy with both the layout of the map and the stability and performance of the game play.  Ringwoods is essentially the default Westbridge Hills map, but much improved and redesigned.  There is so much to do on this map that from time to time I feel overwhelmed.  As the name implies, there is a lot of logging opportunities on this map.  Perhaps one day I’ll give logging an honest try, but for now I’m just not that impressed with how it all works.  Perhaps this is a subject for another blog post.  Now on to the topic of the day…

I learned about the Courseplay mod some time ago.  I had watched a few YouTube videos and read much commentary about the mod in various forums setup to support the community.  While I didn’t immediately dismiss the mod, I wasn’t really sure I would use it.  After all, I enjoy performing many of the tasks required in Farming Simulator 2015 myself, but I also realize that running a large farm (or certainly hoping it becomes large) can’t be done with just one person.  So I installed the Courseplay (CP) mod and began experimenting.

One of the first tasks I setup was having Courseplay handle the movement of Silage down at the BGA.  A very helpful YouTube video got me started in setting up the default wheel loader to handle almost two full silos of silage I just created.  Being able to use Courseplay to automate this task will allow me to do other things on the farm, while the hired help assists in earning a lot of money in the sell of the silage at the BGA.  The task of setting up Courseplay to empty the silo is a little more advanced than some of the other CP tasks, once you get it setup not much will go wrong.  Meaning there isn’t as many challenges to over come with traffic and collisions you may experience with other tasks.    Just with this first CP setup, my competent worker generated almost two million dollars by moving/selling silage.  Cha-ching…brand new equipment.  I like…I like!

The next task I setup for Courseplay was hauling grain from my farms silo to the various sale points on the map.  Setting up CP to handle this task was super simple and it works really well.  All you need to do is drive from your storage silo to the sell point allowing CP to record the course.  Then you save it and activate it to allow your hired worker to help generate even more revenue for your small farm.

To be honest, I figured this would be the extent of my CP setup (at least for now).  But I then watch a few YT videos on using CP to automate the emptying of the combine and transporting that material back to the farms silo.  Again, to be honest…this was not an easy process.  It’s not difficult to do, just a bit of a pain (you know where) with dealing with traffic, collisions with trees and all the bloody fences on the Ringwoods map.  Now what I’ve found through a lot of trial and error (mostly error) is CP appears to work a little better (especially with all the fences in Ringwoods) when you setup the combine course starting in the Northeast corner, heading South with two headlands in a counter clock wise rotation.   Again, for me this seems to limit the number of collisions my hired help seem to make when running into fence posts, trees and most importantly…each other.

While it’s not perfect, I also know that Courseplay itself is also not perfect.  Of course, I’m not a developer and it’s easy for us to play “armchair quarterback” in these situations.  But what I find a bit mindboggling is CP does a pretty darn good job controlling the combine.  But CP tends to struggle in controlling the other vehicles working in conjunction with the combine on any given field.   Now I’ll also admit that I’m not sure how Courseplay works.  But I would assume in combine mode, the combine would be (or should be) the master vehicle and it would (or should) control all the other vehicles.  It calls for the other tractor/trailer vehicles to approach for offload AND as it is master, it knows where it is in relation to the map and also knows where the other vehicles are.  When an approaching tractor/trailer comes too close to the combine, then CP should make sure the tractor/trailer navigates clear of the combine.    Unfortunately, this is not always the case.  Many times the tractor hauling the tipper gets too close to the combine and both get stuck in traffic.  Again, the combine obviously knows where it is on the map and the combine knows where it is going to go next.  All other CP controlled vehicles should yield to the combine.

With regards to the fences and trees…..well I don’t think I can fault Courseplay.  CP knows the field dimensions and setting up the combine to perform two headland cuts does provide plenty of buffer zone for both the combine (especially with the 41’ header) to perform its maneuvers and for the most part allows the supporting vehicles (tractor pulling tipper) to maneuver.  I’ve found when I create the route the tractor/tipper follows from the field to silo, that if I make the start/stop points as close to the field as possible, it leaves plenty of room for the tractor/tipper to maneuver without a collision to a fence or tree.  At least in theory….

In closing, perhaps some of the issues Courseplay has with tractor/tipper collisions with the combine is due to the poor drive physics in FS2015.  Fortunately within CP you can adjust speeds.  Based on info I’ve seen in various YT videos I’ve set my field speed to be 20 mph and may even bump it down to 18 or even 15 to see if that helps.  I’ll let you know.

If you are looking to automate more of the tasks on your farm, then the Courseplay mod will certainly help.  The current stable version of Courseplay is 4.01 and is available from theCourseplay website.  If Courseplay helps you (and it will), then please consider making a donation/contribution to the developers of this wonderful mod.  You can donate via their website.

That is all for today.  I need to tend to the cows, sheep and chickens now.  Plus the wheat on field 17 won’t harvest itself.  At least not without me getting the process started with Courseplay.

Until next time…

Happy Farming!!!

Jerry