An open letter to my fellow Trainz users.

Warning: tl;dr zone

Many things factor into the dynamics of any group be it online or in the real world. You have age and maturity, which are not always the same thing. The age spread for Trainz is vast, from pre teens to those well into their golden years. It's natural for those of different generations to have different values, ideals and to communicate differently. A lot of younger people , through no fault of their own, can be impatient, impetuous, unwise to "how things work in the world" and socially awkward. On the plus side they can bring energy, enthusiasm, and fresh ideas. Us older types can be stubborn, set in our ways, inflexible, long winded and dismissive. However,we have experience, patience (usually), a sense of history and can lend guidance in certain areas. Those in between can bring coffee and donuts.

Add all that to the multi cultural makeup of the Trainz community, where language and colloquial differences can impact the conversation and you have a fairly complicated environment for communication. You will also have a certain amount of people who are just wired to be asshats, fanbois, contrarians and general troublemakers. That being said, there are certain and guiding principles to any civil discourse and they could be more evident here at times. We all have a common interest here, for some it is just a pleasant pastime, a diversion, for some it is a consuming passion, and for some it is actually an income source. it should be bringing us together, not pulling us apart.

It's OK to have a different opinion, to disagree, to even argue over things we are passionate about. But it can still be done with respect for each other, in a civil manner. Read your post, twice, before hitting send. Ask yourself if that is what you would say to that person if you were speaking face to face? Is it understandable? There is no need for text speak here. Read someone else's post, twice, before you respond. Are they saying what you think they are saying? Probably half of forum fights can be chalked up to reading comprehension and poor writing.

I do agree that a lack of moderation is an issue, truthfully I couldn't name a moderator besides Ryan, but moderating a forum is a time consuming job, especially if it is done on a voluntary basis. Self policing is a better route to go, we wouldn't want this place to be a party line lockdown venue.

End of sermon, we now return you to your regularly scheduled poo flinging event.
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First of all my pedigree.
I have been using Trainz and making content, and have been active on this forum for 13+ years since its release in November 2001. Claiming this as a degree of seniority I feel I can make what I consider are some valid comments.

The general tone of the forum has changed from being a friendly place with helpful people to somewhere where rudeness, bad manners and intolerance are common. It reminds me of a bunch of old women discussing the neigbours, each one trying to outdo the others with a bit of 'catty' juicy gossip.

Hello, I don't have quite as much seniority as you having joined here around late 2002 or maybe early 2003 but I think I can make some valid comments on the subject too.

I would kindof expect that over the years with some people leaving and others joining that things should change some. None of the original staff are here anymore and things run a lot differently than they used to. It may be true what you have said above, but I do not feel that it is a widespread pandemic at the forum.

This has become very evident with the advent of T:ANE, negative comments are made without consideration of whether they are accurate or necessary. So many posts about T:ANE ignore the fact that we are seeing development stages and not the finished product. Typical of this are posts like 'It looks like TS12 with shadows', thoughtless, because of course it does, every screenshot has to use existing content and nothing has yet been made expressly for T:ANE. So why post? No-one seems to consider that one of the strengths (and difficulties in coding the new engine) of T:ANE is that it can/will use existing content, think of the forum reaction if Tony had said 'Yes, you will get it by Christmas 2014, but it will need all new content'

This is where I would respectfully disagree with you. People are upset that none of the promises have been met. I would expect them to be somewhat angry. Out of the number of people who supported this project you cant expect every one of them to view TANE with rose colored glasses. I for one used to be very supportive and even defensive of TANE and the development thereof but at this stage I simply lost interest. The 'development stages' as you put it have been completely unorthodox from any other software I have ever known. Most reach alpha stage with more core work done and more of the planned features actually implemented than TANE has up to this point in RC stage. Their process even involves development of initial planned features after release. They expect a patch immediately on release day according to the other thread. As an educated programmer I would never say that a software should not need patches or should be perfect on the first run, but to actually plan to fall short and patch it later just gives us more of the same N3V. In this New Era we were led to believe that was over - it isn't. That alone is reason enough to be slightly miffed about it. It used to be an acceptable excuse - it is in development, next time around we will see the progress toward the feature promises and target graphical improvements, but it isn't anymore. Make a list of every new feature that TANE was supposed to offer and on that list mark each item that has been complete, you will see what is getting everyone in an uproar over it. It really has zero to do with the content, although I can't say I applaud N3V for using some of the oldest and outdated content they can find in the 'betas'. But N3V has consistently through this long overplayed 'development stage' refused to talk with their content creators to update or even make new content for the sim. They didn't only say it was backward compatible and that it wouldn't need all new content - they guaranteed it would not have new content by never disclosing any new methods of content development even to their supposed partners - and still haven't to this day. Procedural track? Yes that requires new content - guess how much they have released on developing it? Nothing - because it isn't even finished. Lit objects or lights that can shine on the ground/terrain/other stuff? we were told that would require new content but would be available - guess how much of that is done? You get the picture. They have taken little interest in showing off any graphical improvements because there are hardly any. Shadow map shaders are not a major milestone or development and have not been since we were making our first post this forum. I can't imagine they don't expect the 'TS12 with shadows hacked on' comments. If it were truly meeting their promised target they would be falling over themselves to show it off. I know I would. But hey they are 'still in development' months after deadline so they might eventually meet what the consumers were promised in 12 months.

So yes people are unhappy. When I see TANE at this point I feel sad - I have a sick feeling in the pit of my stomach - I feel betrayed. Not to be taken that I am upset they are still in development, but that they want to pass it off as something it isn't. I know I am not alone in this. There are a few people who will be perfectly happy with TANE and that is fine. I can't say I understand their point of view but it is okay. N3V absolutely can not deny that they seriously fouled up. No amount of playing it off or acting as if everything is going to plan will fix that. Sure I might take some heat for expressing this, but there are no comments made that are not accurate or necessary here.

So in turn give those people who are expressing unhappiness with TANE a little bit of compassion. They feel slighted and may leave negative comments from time to time.
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Well I guess I should to put in my 2 cents worth. First and foremost, I agree totally with how this thread started and the feelings expressed. I have noticed a number of things over the years which erk me, but I chose to say nothing for a couple of reasons. 1. I would not want to give a particular comment the dignity of a response. 2. I am great believer in asking myself the question "What purpose would my comment serve?". If I could not come up with a tangible answer, then I don't waste my time.

There does seem to be a prevalent belief with many users that they have a right to whatever they desire. I am appalled at the demands made from asset creators. I have personally had strong criticism with my Routes. To all you critics, I would suggest that you ask how many hours it takes to create and test an asset. Given that it is all done for free by a Trainz user, what right do you think you have to demand and/or complain. As always, if you think that you can do better, please go ahead and do so. You will no doubt make many Trainzers happy!

As for T-ANE? C'mon people ............ it is still in the development stage. Like a number of you, I was rather disappointed with the sheer number of things that still needed to be fixed however, my solution was to accept the fact that much more work clearly needs to be done. I could chose to play around with it and get frustrated, or I could chose to leave it alone until a patch is available, or some other form of upgrade can be applied. I have choices.......... and so does everybody else!

As for Moderators? I would suspect totally impractical given the activity level of the Forum however, as with the T-ANE comment, I can chose to ignore the totally ignorant and/or inappropriate comments. Given that the writer often just wants the pleasure of an audience, I chose not to oblige.

Finally, I have played Trainz since TRS2004; have created Routes since TRS2004, and have thoroughly enjoyed myself throughout the journey to date. I really cannot be bothered tarnishing my Trainz pleasure with getting all worked up over stuff that I have no control over. Here endeth the lesson!

Regards. Colin.
The general tone of the forum has changed from being a friendly place with helpful people to somewhere where rudeness, bad manners and intolerance are common. It reminds me of a bunch of old women discussing the neigbours, each one trying to outdo the others with a bit of 'catty' juicy gossip.


Good Morning Peter -

Classic quote, sir ....

And super congratulations climbing that age number -- Please let us know of that milestone .... 90!!!

And totally agree with your entire post above, sir! I don't post that much, but when I do. for some reason, I always get someone with a negative comment or comments -- People, I think forget, that there's one way to get from point A to Z ... When I try to help, or suggest, or express my thought, someone always comment, thinking that there way and/or method is better, when in reality any solution to help / fix an issue is wonderful -- Anyhow, I am not going to bother anymore! -- It's why I keep myself on Marsz ... small community, and primarily post on a few 3rd party sites (all Trainz-related, of course)!

Sir, have a great day!!! :wave:

Good post, NS37, a good example of how to show your displeasure and concerns in a clear and concise manner.

I came back to Trainz last year after a bit of a break, again, and saw first learned about TANE. I was excited by it and I made a pledge on Kickstarter. I , like everyone else was disappointed at each delay announcement, but TS12 is keeping me occupied so I can wait. I've been playing around with CE 1.1, and like some of what I see, overall it runs a bit better on my machine than TS12 does, and graphically it does look better. I play it longer I am beginning to see, at least to me that it looks better compared to TS12, but in a sense that it is a more "polished" TS 12 as opposed to something "new" graphics wise. There are also some things I see that are disappointingly unchanged. One example, although minor in the scheme of things are the people and driver figures. I was hoping they would be improved, look more "lifelike" but it apparently hasn't happened. Other things have already been touched on here so I won't rehash them.

I'm not a computer whiz, graphics guru or content creator. I can't speak for a lot of the under the hood issues. I don't even do much in the way of route building. I just like to run trains, have everything look nice and sit back and watch. I'm still hopeful that TANE will be "better" than TS12, not just "spiffed up". Truthfully, I know I'm in the minority, but I would have no problem with TANE being backwards incompatible with only new content going forward and keeping TS12 alongside it and switching back and forth.

I'm sure I will still enjoy TANE, I even "upgraded" my order from my regular boxed Kickstarter reward to the Collector's Edition. For it's faults, both past and future, Trainz is a marvelous product, but I can totally understand those who may be disappointed, disheartened or simply disgusted.
It all boils down to respect; respect of others here instead of bashing we should listen and provide feedback. This is something that has been amiss since well before TS12 SP1 HF4. There has been a great change in the dynamics here over the past few years. Perhaps this is due to the change in the forum population as newer generations come in with a different attitude.

As a former moderator I was probably more visible, being retired and hanging around all day. To tell you the truth it got to a point where I hated looking at my email client and my N3V/Moderator folder. I'd open up the my email and see 20-30 complaints a day, maybe more during my time on the forums. There were days when there were more, and I'd respond to many of the reporters personally to let them know the issue was resolved. Eventually it got to a point where my stomach was churning over from the stress. Couple this with the unmentionable incident around Christmas regarding stuff mentioned in a wrong folder, and that was that. My doctor noticed my stress level and mentioned I needed to cut things out. This came on the top of the list.

But again, let's get back to respect. This seems to be missing not just here but on other forums I frequent as well. There is always that joker who has to stir the pot. We could be nicely discussing something and he has to come in and poke someone in the ribs. In real life he's probably a tiny worm of a schlemiel that gets picked on daily, but with the cover of a username he becomes a lion and lashes out at anyone he can. There is also those that feel that we have the right to serve them, after all they are the god's gift to the hobby. Sure they've made great stuff, but there's always someone whos going to be better. We should all keep that in mind whether we're creating a route or anything for that matter.

If someone says something that irritates, take a break and think before typing. It's easier to fling out words, which in many cases are hurtful than it is to think before typing. We too have to keep in mind that what may seem innocuous to us maybe very disrespectful to someone else due to cultural differences.

Instead of passing off and ignoring users, we should try to see what they have to say. In some cases though and I admit this, they can become outright annoying, however, attempt to help first. I see a lot of pushing away now which was never here before.

These are some things we should all try to be better at. :)

As far as TANE goes, I've been supporting the developers and testing but not with the great enthusiasm I had when I started. I'm a bit disenchanted too considering the grandeur what was presented to us. Then again, we have to remember that this usually comes from someone who has no clue what it's like on this inside deep in the trenches, and feeds us stuff that's given to him. There's a lot more to this than we see or can say about here I'm sure. The so-called RC1 is in far better shape than the previous builds, but it definitely needs work; a lot of work to tell you the truth to make it worthy of release. Sure some of the things are a mere tidying up of route scripts and content, but the other changes have only been incremental from what was in CE 1.x. In order to convince me this is ready for production, there needs to be a giant leap forward.

Anyhow, this is my view as a longtime member here. I too have been here since December 2003 when it all started with a $29.99 copy of TRS2004 I got at CompUSA just after Christmas that year. I've been enjoying the product since then for the most part, and hopefully I can continue in the future.

I've also noticed the general mood of the forums changing since TS12 SP1 was released. Some of it appears to be from new users who may need some form of 'training' on forum etiquette so they don't cause too many problems (something I'm willing to help sort out if needed). I know some of it has been caused by the DRM issue, but it's one of those things where users need to clearly and concisely state what the issues are - same with T:ANE.

As far as I'm concerned though, the important aspect with T:ANE at the moment is for users who encounter bugs to report them via Centercode, or if they don't have access to that site, to let another user who does have access know about the issue. Incidentally though, I've noticed quite a few bugs on there that are not clear and concise, which makes things worse for both the user concerned as well as N3V, hence the need for step-by-step reproduction instructions along with a crash dump (for crashes), a screenshot (if applicable) or a CDP file including the affected content (if it's your own content and it's applicable). I don't want anyone on here to be offended by this, but it's the best way of getting bugs dealt with.

In terms of T:ANE, I've noticed a few things myself. For example, with crashing issues, in the RC1 build I've now noticed the problems are stemming from faulty or missing dependencies. I haven't got round to working out exactly which ones yet, but it seems that a lot of older track assets are affected, including some by those who are still active on the forums, and seems to stem from anything from simple typos right up to not including a mesh table or asset-filename line for pre-TC assets.

Narrowgauge is over 80 and I think he is wiser than most of us and has been there and seen that .
I am 63 now and in all those years I have never met a person who gained significantly by being nasty, reporting others, being negative, spiteful or full of malice , standing on others to get to the top or getting attention ...etc....etc.....
Such people are everywhere and always end up being very sad and lonely if they don't change when people give them good advice.
For me personally it is easy to ignore such people because I am not that involved , perhaps not so easy for trainzers who give stacks of their life for the game and for fellow trainzers , we sure don't need nasty people to chase away the hardworking guys who are making the forum and the game fun.
I think he hit the nail on the head. It is disappointing, when a release is delayed, but what can you change? It was changed for the better, and nobody rants on and on about TS12! What's wrong with TS12? Yes, it's not T:ANE, but it's not so bad that you need to demand a refund because of an unfinished product. i am rather excited for T:ANE, but I don't rant on about it. Look on the bright side, and you'll realize that if you haven't gotten so fed up with TS12 in 4 years, what's wrong with 2 more months? I didn't expect Spring Creek Central to work well in T:ANE CE, but I didn't demand a refund, saying that T:ANE is worse than TS12. I get rather fed up with users who get angry about an unfinished game. That's one of the reasons why I am so active on the Crosstie Studios forums (not that Trainz is bad). Everyone realizes that the shots are from the development stage. With T:ANE, I think N3V made a mistake by making a premature announcement, saying it would be ready in December 2014. Then, people got upset at the PRE-BETA release, saying it looked just like TS12 with fancy lighting. Once the BETA release came out, and N3V released screenshots, people said the same thing. then it was CE, and the release date was pushed back. Once it was pushed back again, lots of users got furious. I think N3V should take the next two months time to make T:ANE a great product, without showing any screenshots. They should only show screenshots a week or two before release. I, personally think it needs A LOT of work. But, I'm sure N3V is working on it, right now, so they can have a good release version. I don't care about CE. I don't even have the V1.1 installed. I want a retail version from N3V by May 15, or whenever it comes out. Trainz isn't the only thing in the world. Calm down...
You might want to read the TS12 area of the forums - because yes we do
I think he hit the nail on the head. It is disappointing, when a release is delayed, but what can you change? It was changed for the better, and nobody rants on and on about TS12! What's wrong with TS12? .
There another thing that just crossed my mind here as the fourms are bad the Trainz Chats has turned into a battle feald A friend of mine was telling me some punk was tharting hem I wont go inte details because I didn't see what was said But the Chat has gotten worse then the fourms I'm seeing alot or swareing and rudeness. These Driver+# ppl are ruining it. I also see users on there as well who are just as gilty. Something to keep in mind.
Way, way back in the dawn of Trainz history, the forum was fascinating. You could learn a great deal from the posters, who knew their stuff. I just lurked, and maybe it should have stayed that way.

The release of TRS2006 caused a rift. It got bad, with the 'holdouts' and the 'fanboys' slugging it out. Sadly the polarisation seemed to squeeze out valued judgement where both the plus and minus points were evaluated to gain a balanced view. Personally, I spend too much time on the forum and not enough in Trainz. Time to try and re-balance (soon as the latest build of MacTANE comes out of course).
It seems that the world today has become so consumed in technology and the advancements of it that we don't realize what these machines are capable of, both for the good they can do for us or the bad they can turn us into. That being said, those still in their youth see their parents, or respectively, most every adult walking around with a cell phone or laptop out in public, and how consumed they are in social media or some other sort of communication, (which when it all boils down is really not important in most cases). Children seem to think in a way that "whatever they do, must be good, so maybe I should do it". Therefore, many of the "pests" that ponder at us constantly could simply be kids that are trying to "act grown up", when in fact it's not at all what they seem to think.

Either this or another case would be the fact that there are a certain number of folks out there who believe it is their duty to tick everybody off with every little cotton pickin detail that they can get their dablame fingers.

My point rests assured.
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The release of TRS2006 caused a rift. It got bad, with the 'holdouts' and the 'fanboys' slugging it out.

Slugfests they were too, added to by the release of Kuju around that time. Then came the Great Forum Crash.
Thank you all for your comments, I agree with them all, including those that disagree with me.

Age does not confer wisdom!

At 86, I am just as stupid as I have always been but I have learned tolerance for other people and their problems.

I have been on the receiving end of others impatience. Nearly all my life has been spent designing and building plastics machiery, tooling for product and finally about 15 years writing database software. I have been 'under the gun'of advertising and production deadlines set by others and sometimes my own promise.

Things take time, wishful thinking does not make things work, and pounding a desk produces nothing but empty noise.

We are N3V customers, they set the timetable and we are disappointed, understandably so and they will be fully aware of that. It is how we express that disappointment is important, we don't need to keep criticising them at every opportunity. This creates an undercurrent of hostility, a 'them versus us' atmosphere that permeates the forum.

In a very real way, we are all part of the same team, we all want the same end result as soon as possible and complaining will not make it come any sooner.

Thanks for reading, and your tolerance of an old man and his incoherent musings.

Don't forget about the "Fury" Incident. If it wasn't for it, Auran might still be here, and maybe the forums (and Itrainz) be a better place!

I'm 66 now and I can only pray that when I'm 86 my faculties will be as good as yours and that I'm still enjoying Trainz in some form or another.

It's very relaxing to sit back, sip scotch and run trains. I'm still married though, so the tranquility never last too long, but I wouldn't have it any other way. So she tells me. :confused:

Been doing train sims from the time they first appeared. Belive it or not a little switching program on the C64. Boy does that date me. I have always had a hard tme understanding why people take everything so seriously. It is a game for peat sake. If you do not like it do not buy it, If you have bought it and do not like it do not use it, yell at the company, of course it will not do you any good most of the time Please do not pick on other people, it just makes a hostile world worse. People who can create are far and few between, be kind and helpful to them,and do not discourage them. This is not a life and death situation. If you want that become a firefighter or medic you will get all the life and death you want, I and others know. This is a Hobby. There is no certainty creating any software, just as there is no certainty in life Finished with my rant!