PlantFactory for creating trees in Trainz

Partly the underlying cause is the sad decline in the quality of game content, so much violence, horror, and dark themes are less and less interesting to players,
Quality, as in suitable subject matter/content, you can certainly make an argument for a decline. Quality, in terms of making use of the advanced technology in modern computers, is a different story.

I don't take much notice of what is available in the market for gamers but the few ads I see (often when updating my drivers) certainly show a lot of "Lord of the Rings" type dark themes and/or violent crime genres. I have nothing against dark themes in fiction, movies or video games because I suspect that the real world can often be even darker. The fact that there is a strong demand for these products says a great deal - but you don't know if that demand is driven by the consumers, by clever/intensive marketing or both.

I don't believe that "overly photo realistic" is a bad argument. If it was then movies, TV show and the nightly news are guilty and what exactly is "overly"? Presenting reality, as it is, is not the problem it is often peoples false perceptions of what is reality that can be the problem. I would certainly like to see more "photo realism" (overly or not) in Trainz and I believe that it will eventually come with (expensive) hardware upgrades.

The PlantFactory offers developers a great opportunity to add to and improve the visual quality of Trainz. An opportunity that I hope is taken up.
N3V Gmaes just recently made 2 tutorials on how to create trees using PlantFactory
What I thought was unusual is that N3V engaged with users in a special channel in Trainz Discord on this topic and sought their opinion. This was their opening statement:

"This forum is dedicated to discussions on the development of trees and plants. Currently, Trainz employs Speedtree v6 for crafting its vegetation. However, with Unity's acquisition of IDV, access to the Speedtree modeler has been restricted exclusively to the internal staff of N3V Games, leaving our creators without this essential tool. Given Trainz's emphasis on content generation, we're formulating a strategy to enable all creators to design their own trees, plants, and foliage. We're eager to engage with the creator community on this matter. We invite you to share your thoughts and communicate directly with our team regarding the future of Trainz vegetation."

The discussion started in mid March and ended with an invite to join a beta group trying out PlantFactory with the latest beta version of Trainz.
It's too bad N3V couldn't have come up with a program to create object assets, similar to when they initially brought out Gmax. All the current free programs used to make assets have a pretty steep learning curve. I'm willing to bet there are a lot of Trainz fans out there that would welcome a new and better asset creation studio.
A bit off topic but this is a subject that has interested me for years. Not being a GMax users, I never used TACS although I did have a copy. Probably still do somewhere.

I think creating such a tool would be rather difficult given the wide range of tools available to modellers. Best I can think of is a standard process for new creators until they can understand enough to develop their own.

Probably worth a separate thread though rather than distracting from this one.
I think there is more to it with e-on Software. Bentley is a big engineering software company and I think they bought up e-on Software for their technology and most likely, I'll be surprised if this isn't the case, the game-developer and consumer products will never see light again. There was something about their website that led me to this conclusion based on their very, very expensive construction and design software they sell.
I don't disagree. Bentley will certainly make use of e-on's technology in their programs. But they have been letting e-on operate as a semi independent division for three years and funding new development of the products. Prior to 2014, e-on Software operated a website called which was their storefront for their software and DLC as well as DLC from other creators. It was also the system by which the digital rights were managed to control piracy of their software and DLC. It was very similar to the way the Trainz Store operates. In 2014, it was hacked and everything was stolen including the knowledge of how the DRM system worked. It almost destroyed e-on. Two years passed before they were able to produce a new version of Vue that was secure and could be installed. Like N3V, they are a small company with limited resources but have a very loyal base of users. They struggled but were making progress slowly. In some ways, the sale to Bentley was a great opportunity as it meant a new influx of money for development. But it was clear that technology sharing was part of the deal. Over the years, I've gotten to know some of the people at e-on and they were happy with the deal. I guess we just have to see where the future lies. The good news for Trainz is using their plants doesn't require a library and the software to create the plants is now free rather than requiring a expensive and restrictive license.
Last edited:
Let's just say that i'm not enjoying Database Simulator19 and Database Simulator 22 that i paid twice $129.49 for . :cautious:
Then I would suggest that you go back to the version of Trainz that existed before the "Database Simulator", as you call it, was introduced. Probably Trainz 2004 (???) or maybe earlier but my memory of that long ago is poor.

You will quickly discover, as many did judging from the complaints that were increasing with each new version, that the more assets you had installed the longer Trainz took to start. This was because each asset was installed as a separate folder on your data drive which made them very easy to access using just Windows Explorer, a simple text editor and MS Paint. It also made accidental corruption very easy. You could add, delete and rename the folders and their contents as much as you liked. The result was that each time Trainz started it had to do an integrity check on each asset to make sure that there was no corruption or invalid alterations. Your AV software would also have a great time scanning each folder as it was accessed by Trainz.

The "Database Simulator" versions resolved these issues by locking all the assets away in a database where they are out of reach of the users. Users can still access them using Content Manager (and its earlier incarnation whose name is lost in the mists of time) but you now have to intentionally "open" an asset in the database to edit it. You can still use a simple text editor or a graphics program to edit, add and delete as much as you like so your freedoms have not been removed. But after each edit you have to close ("submit") the asset so that it is immediately checked for errors.

Anyone who has worked with DB systems would recognise these procedures as standard, including DB repair operations.

Personally, I would not use a version of Trainz that came without a "Database Simulator" to manage all the assets - built-in, modified, installed from DLS, payware, packaged or "third party" - that I have installed. Content Manager gives me options that I never had before. Filtering, searching, cloning, enabling/disabling, etc are now a breeze because of Content Manager and the asset database.

My thoughts.
Last edited:
I plan to shortly I have been play testing a new game called BellWRight that has plants and trees that not only regrow but grow successifly ie trees start as sapplinga and gradually get taller. And if you over harvest from an area it does not grow back so there is a use factor. Remarkable stuff, not sure who made their veg but will find out when i make my final analysis and report to the Devs. Was very nice of this Plantmaker being given a perpetual free license that shows an unusual spirit of generosity in modern development,. Well done.