The post by josephlaban asking for someone to make some new steam locos, [see Wanted: ATSF Steam] created a concern in my mind, not about asking for new creations, but about the importance of not losing the quality Steamers we already have, because those earlier and great creators are no longer about or into Trainz
There are many good steam loco’s out there but how many are likely to gradually become unavailable because their creators are no longer about or have the time, inclination or skill to keep them up to date to each new update of Trainz.
Will the new younger members of this community have the time and skill to create new loco? Personally I have my doubts given the society they live in today where everything is expected to be available or done by someone else.
I mainly run steam locos and those of us who do must take our hats off to those creators who have spent long tedious hours creating steam locos. [They should be rewarded in the Trainz hall of fame if there was one]
While the creators art work results in the quality of the appearance and detail, the second and often overlooked criteria but just as important, are the loco’s physics and E spec. This is what makes our realist looking loco’s ‘chuff’ synchronise with the wheel revolutions, the smoke ‘puff’ at low speeds, the in cab controls and brakes work properly, boiler pressures and safeties controlled and sound like the real thing. I have purchased many locos of excellent visual quality and appearance, but the espec is ‘not good’ and the loco doesn’t sound or run realistically.
An artist who can painstakingly create something like a beautifully detailed and realist Challenger or Berkshire is not necessarily the engineer, who can calculate and set up the e spec & physics to make it run and sound authentic. It is a different skill.
And that brings me to the point of my post.
As its time consuming and demanding to create a new loco, I’m very concerned that some of the older quality locos, may be lost to Trainz because the physics and espec are not or cannot be updated to the newer game by the original creator. Some of it is textures etc. and some of it the physics. We are lucky that Ben Neal allowed Phil Skene and Bill69 to keep his e-spec s up to date and Pendolino who let Bill 69 update the 2006 Challengers to TANE for his private use.
One of the locos that may be lost however is the UP 9000 series by Shane Penman, known as The Cowboy This is a great steam loco, quality art work, and there are many posts on this forum that reference it. I understand it was built originally to 2004 or 2006 standard and has been upgraded to 2009 or 2010, but not to Ts12 or to TANE although some people have modified their copies to work in TANE but it is no longer available on any website
There was a post somewhere on this forum a couple of years ago by The Cowboy himself, [Shane Penman] in response to an enquiry, who said he wasn't able to upgrade it to the new standards and if I recall correctly, he said he had no objection to anyone else doing it as long as they still credited him with the creation of the loco itself. [Not hard. Just keep his kuid number and put an edit in the config file of who updated it.]
I can’t find it again and unfortunately didn't retain it, and when I searched for it again recently found there were 614 threads with reference to the UP 9000. So didn’t pursue it. Phil Skene may have a copy of the post as he runs this loco in some of his U tube vids. Phil?
However unless someone can find this post again and then legally update the loco we will lose it. As Shane was from the US possibly one of the US Trainzers knows him and can contact him to get it sorted so they can be legally available again. From memory his posts seemed amicable and he didn't seem like one of the types who wanted to hinder progress.
The Following is from one of Shane’s posts where he thanked people after one of the earlier upgrades:
This project and upgrade is indebted to my beta testers, Eric Whitmore, Tony Weber, Terry Bryson and Gary Hoorn. Eric's expertise and knowledge have been invaluable to making the models more authentic. The beta testers need a big round of thanks for finding all the little mistakes that I overlooked. Finally hats off to PhilC and his scripting that has helped to make the locomotives much more realistic. To thank PhilC, please visit his website and purchase some of his fine locomotives.
If any of these guys are still involved with Trainz then perhaps you can PM me Shane’s contact details, particularly his phone number or email so that I may call him.
My suggestion to Shane will be that if he will agree, then one of the e spec and update gurus could perhaps bring the loco up to TANE standard and make them available again, through N3V.
As they were payware, I think they should remain so, even if they are updated by a third party, and can be sold through N3V who take a percentage for their handling etc. with a majority going to the original creator, or his family/descendants’.
If ‘retired’ creators and N3V don’t agree to set up some system like this where N3V or similar can act as the sales coordinator and intermediator then some of these classics will be lost and for no good reason other than an inability to work together.
The important thing here is that we need these older creators to give the OK to newer experts update their creations, to bring them up to date and made available to the modern player without concerns about copyright issues. A protocol for credit and recognition for all parties would be easy to establish. We need to get over this so that we don’t lose quality work.
I will be away from home this next week but look forward to someone able to PM me with Shane’s phone number to try to help keep these magnificent locos available in the Trainz roundhouse.
A you tube Video of a model UP 9000