Trainz vs Rail Simulator?

The biggest question is how can a non-railroader who has never ran a train over the road, make a comparison on a railroad sim? I have only ran 2 real railroad simulators and those were while I was in engineer school. I don't think anyone here could even begin to afford one of those.

With my experience as a railroader, Trainz is a lot more of a Sim than MSTS is and from what I have read, KRS is more like MSTS than TRS. I can recreate a train that I have ran at work and get the same feeling in the sim that I had with the real train. I could never come close to that feeling with MSTS.

The best thing about TRS is that you can run it the way you want to. You can run it as a sim or you can run it as a game and anywhere in between. With Surveyor you can build and create all you want, if that's what you like. If you're into creating content and enjoy it, then you can do that. TRS has the ability of please a lot of different people who enjoy doing a number of different things.
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Your right, this is an old topic of discussion. I purchased RS and learned very quickly that all it has is very nice graphics. Outside of that you can't do jack with this game!
Your right, this is an old topic of discussion. I purchased RS and learned very quickly that all it has is very nice graphics. Outside of that you can't do jack with this game!

Shame, really. Software companies now rely on eye-popping graphics and forget about game play. Stands to reason that they program these things to run on their own equipment which is well over the budget of the average wage owner.
Your right, this is an old topic of discussion. I purchased RS and learned very quickly that all it has is very nice graphics. Outside of that you can't do jack with this game!
I got mine yesterday. I agree it seems to have great graphics and a good Frame rate. But that's about the only good thing I can say about it.
When using what they call Trackside View (Tracking View in Trainz), when ever it changes cameras, the terrain in the foreground is out of focus for about a second or so, and then comes into focus.
I got my copy last week, and I like it well enough. The graphics, sounds, physics of the trains themselves, its got potential. I personally think that all this "which one is better" nonsense is like comparing apples to oranges. The Route editor has a pretty steep learning curve, but I could from the get go place track at least, the more I work on it (as when I first got Trainz) the better I get, so probably by the end of next month or sooner, I'll have some decent looking routes in play.

There are somethings I do miss though. The free mouse controlled camera for instance in the Trainz Surveyor is a big one. The fixed camera takes a bit to master, but again, I'll get used to it. I've had about two crashes to the desktop since I've gotten it, you have to expect this in games these days. I remember when Trainz would randomly give me that "Fatal Error" popup and crash. Granted, Trainz has KRS beat with the amount of 3rd party content already available, but I've been reading up on other forums and there's some things in the works for KRS (at least the UK version, the US version's dev tools still have a few weeks before they are released, as well as a game patch!)

Now if (or when) a game company could create a game with the realism, graphics, etc of KRS, with the intuitive and easy to learn system of Trainz...Then, I think everybody will flock to it. Oh well...we can dream right?
I had downloaded the demo for RS. I tried it, comparing it to my experience with Trainz (I have Railwayz). I ended up uninstalling RS. It just wasn't that fun to me.
It has got potential no doubt.. the graphics and sounds are much better than trainz.

However the editor is just a joke, talk about over complicated.. I found after 5mins of playing with the editor the only thing I could make was a flat box.. no obvious icons prompting the user "this does that", the placement process of objects is terribe, no tooltips? It took me another few minutes to work out how the hell to close the editor. I'd love to hear from the people behind the editor of Rail Simulator, as I think they have alot to answer for. It is like you need to have some kind of special knowledge/training to even attempt to use the editor, why was it made like that? What good will it do for RS? They can post videos online on how to do things, but they need to take a leaf from the trainz book (meaning the UI of the trainz surveyor). Things that should be easy to do shouldn't need reading guides or watching videos, it should be obvious!

Trainz does need a graphics engine lift, as much as we love it, it is lagging behind quite alot in the standards that have now become the norm for graphics. Graphics aren't everything, but they should move with the times if a game that is still being sold. Though, Trainz does offer alot more in content, fun, and ease of creation than RS.. at the moment, anyway.

EA games are sitting on something big but i'm not sure they know it or are whiling to put time + money and changes into it. RS has amazing potential and if the editor becomes more user friendly I think more people would start to support it, along with lots of content springing up all over the place. I can't see it happening though..
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It has got potential no doubt.. the graphics and sounds are much much better than trainz. However the editor is just a joke, talk about over complicated.. I found after 5mins of playing the only thing I could make was a flat box.

Trainz needs a graphics engine lift IMO, but ah it still offers alot more in contect and creation than RS.

Judging from all the unfavorable remarks and reviews this sim has received, one can be certain that it is rife with problems, and will take many upgrades and patches to bring it out of it's Beta doldrums.
The other big issue with RS, apart from the sub MSTS standard route editor, is the need to mess about with blueprints for just about everything connected with building a route. There's no real GUI for this though a third party utility has been created to assist with some of the more vital blueprints.

You can only set markers through using Google Earth (again you need to go through the blueprint procedure) but this is far more time consuming than setting up your DEM and scanned maps in Transdem as can be done in Trainz. Also not much use in the considerable areas where Google Earth only offers low res data.

I tried and failed to get anywhere in the RS route editor. Some of the features - like the offset tool - do have potential but the whole thing is outweighed by the other cumbersome tools and the fact the rest of the sim is full of bugs.
IKB - the time consuming bit is plotting the markers in Google Earth. Transdem (in TRS) will overlay the map on the sections so you can immediately follow the course of roads, rivers etc.

And as I said there are still some large gap in coverage - try the Flam branch in Norway, for example. There is good, high res, data around Bergen and out towards Voss but once you hit the central mountains only low res data unfortunately.
Looking at the route building and screenshots sections in RS forums, almost all project images depict a flat landscape with the coordinates of the Gulf of Guinea.

So, either the more ambitious route builders don't bother with RS or processing geo data is not as easy as they suggest it is.

There is a thread in the UKTS forum where route builders experimented with transferring map images to decals and apply those to the terrain. (Decals are a terrain texture feature in RS.) Confusingly, there are reports about misalignment and distortion between markers for the same coordinates as the decal and actual decal appearance. Of course, this could be a user mistake when applying necessary image transformations. However, it might also indicate that the internal map projection in RS has some limitations. It claims to be UTM.

(There are a few other questions about the RS incarnation of the UTM projection, e.g. how RS would handle a route extending into an adjacent UTM zone, but I would expect answers similar to the questions on signalling.)

According to sources, RS sold about 1500 copies in Germany, compared to 10000 copies of TRS2007 (name of the current German edition of TRS2006 + SP1 + selected German content). If you carefully search all the German forums with an RS corner or the one dedicated to RS, you may find up to half a dozen active users posting in favour of RS. As Vern has put it, very much a niche market, at least for the German language variant.

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You can change the start point in RS but this has to be done at the blueprint stage, i.e. set the latitude and longitude. You can import DEM data from within the editor as you go along but as I say without the accurately calibrated map overlay (which Transdem provides) it is a bit hit and miss. I actually got as far as importing DEM and laying track on a short route but came unstuck with a horrible bug laying roads and fences, whereby they corrupt after a few sections and start pointing up in the air (which is supposedly due to be fixed in the first patch). However, issue of blueprints aside, I never felt comfortable in the editor - I know we have had years to get used to how TRS (and MSTS) does things but it doesn't seem designed as user friendly (IMHO).

Those sales figures are not very encouraging - I guess the real proof will be how well it fares in the US market. Train simmers are a fairly resourceful group but how many of us really want to start from scratch fixing another buggy sim? I feel for the guys at RSDL (who have been handed a bit of a poison chalice by Kuju/Zoe Mode) and I think they have an uphill struggle to establish RS alongside TRS and MSTS. I suspect the German train sim market is eagerly awaiting the release of Zusi 3, as I am!There's a fair bit of discussion on UKTS but it does seem to be the same few names talking it up and while there are promises of new rolling stock all that's been produced so far is a handful of reskins for the default rolling stock and a couple of short semi-fictional unfinished routes.

So I will say here and now that I firmly nail my colours to the mast of TRS2006 (and TC3 when it's released) as still the best all round train sim at the present time! (With Zusi 2 and BVE a close tie for second place).
OT: As Vern mentions Zusi 3, here is the latest WIP screenshot (Rehberg Tunnel, Altenbeken, Westphalia):



Turnouts and slips follow a similar concept to Andi06's kits here in Trainz but can be bent and skewed.
Indeed, Zusi is (in my opinion) a very good program, its physics and signaling system I find to be much more accurate than Trainz, and I especially like that the whole program (game doesn't even begin to describe it) is so well done for what is effectively a one man job (the build team consists of Carsten Hoelscher, a few guys who have made some addon programs (look up), and the [insert indecently large number] users giving him suggestions on what to put in there).

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...learning stages...

8) I'm sure, and in fact already, astute US-American Content Creators, are chomping at the bit to start 3rd party content creation.

But the bulk of the content, will come from other parts of the world, as we are week at CIT.