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boleyd
August 24th, 2015, 10:05 PM
The answer is yes. I posed two question on one of the popular RW forums.

Is there a problem if you couple to a car with an engine, uncouple and then later attempt to couple again. The real answer is that you cannot do it. Several people simply could not understand what I meant and made remarks. I then posted a scenario of a car being taken to a customer. The engine uncouples and leaves the car to be loaded by a customer. Later the engine returns, couples to the car and takes it to the yard for inclusion in a consist. Again no one had a clue what I meant and more remarks.

Then I asked if you could tell an AI engine to transit a yard where only one through track was available with the remainder occupied by various cars. The real answer is no. The engine will fail to recognize any cars at ANY time and simply plow into them. However, no one understood the question even after adding the scenario and included remarks.

Finally, the forum owner (who once banished me) agreed that those two problems exist and told me they would be fixed in 1 to 2 years. That would make the issues 4 years old if fixed.

I was really confused at first when no one seemed to understand the posed questions, as well as the scenarios. This told me that gamers, who are now the primary Railworks/Dovey customers, may not, in many cases, understand even rudimentary railroad operations nor to they have scenarios that create any complex realities. Obviously these, and much more complex actions, are easily done in TS2012 and T:ANE ( and the older stuff). It starkly exposes the disturbing realities of making a simulator into a game.

Tony, has said this is certainly not his goal. I believe him. It may be a bit more costly to support the more demanding simulator crowd. But, that is a certain source of revenue if quality addons are offered. T:ANE needs people who play for achievement. However, they need to play in full reality, when they acquire some knowledge. Tony needs to convince them that his product makes their goals and objectives much more interesting in the "almost" real world when compared to a poorly maintained "almost" railroad game.:'(

Let's hope we see the release of the initial HotFix soon. We all know the "please do not release to soon" reaction. However, it would be better to drop some "fixes" if they are not sure of there performance than to keep waiting and negatively impacting the market.

iannz
August 24th, 2015, 11:22 PM
When is a game not a game? A simulator is still a game. Sure there are different objects in different categories of games, some are achievement or experience or satisfaction or whatever just to name a few. Trainz or TANE already has achievements if you want to play for those. You get awarded stars for completing sessions, and if you click on Achievements in the menu bar, you see various achievements for what you have completed.

The simulator side in my opinion is played for experience and satisfaction, the route creator and asset creator is somewhat different, if I wanted a game that gave achievements like unlocking special trains or track when you have reached level 147 or handed over $50 to buy it if you were a spoilt brat and didn't want to wait til then, then I would go play some dumb-assed train game on facebook.

No thank you, don't spoil a damn good game, if DTG or whoever want to go down that road let them, but I hope N3V stays true to its cause.

KenGreen
August 25th, 2015, 02:51 AM
One of the best routes I have is Murchison 2 this comes supplied with 29 session in high quality and 29 in lower quality for use on lower spec PCs. These sessions are in some respects a game and a simulator fair enough you don't get any marks but there is a sense of achievement after it. If most routes came with sessions I think this would be a move forward to bridging the gap between a simulator and a game. It also gives an insight into what can be achieved with Trainz and hopefully it would stimulate the imagination of younger Trainz fans.

tads1
August 25th, 2015, 03:39 AM
A very interesting post Dick,I can't believe that nobody understood what you were trying to explain and the problem still exists after all these years,this tells me one thing
operations are not a priority,driving from A to B at full throttle is.The best thing with trainz is the powerfull editor and session rules,almost unlimited scope for activities.

Like most games/sims time has to be allowed for the product to mature,I believe Tony when he stated that we will get there it just takes time,I'm here for the long term
I enjoy what I see and where Tony want's to take this product,sure some people want everything tommorow,it's just not possible.

Tinkering with engine configs e.g braking, pipe flow values does take this closer to a sim,it's harder to judge when you have 20 or so loaded wagons and like a real driver said
applying brakes does take some time to come on,I see other values like boiler efficiency running and idle..... the code is there.

Daz

boleyd
August 25th, 2015, 04:33 AM
A very interesting post Dick,I can't believe that nobody understood what you were trying to explain and the problem still exists after all these years,this tells me one thing
operations are not a priority,driving from A to B at full throttle is.The best thing with trainz is the powerfull editor and session rules,almost unlimited scope for activities.

Like most games/sims time has to be allowed for the product to mature,I believe Tony when he stated that we will get there it just takes time,I'm here for the long term
I enjoy what I see and where Tony want's to take this product,sure some people want everything tommorow,it's just not possible.

Tinkering with engine configs e.g braking, pipe flow values does take this closer to a sim,it's harder to judge when you have 20 or so loaded wagons and like a real driver said
applying brakes does take some time to come on,I see other values like boiler efficiency running and idle..... the code is there.

Daz

Yes, very true and the big difference between a game and a simulator.

If Tony does not strictly follow the Paul Jackson/Dovetail business model we should be ok. I keep raising this point because I made similar comments about RailWorks a few years ago but the evolution continued. The things I learned from my two questions were an unknown segment size of that product's customers may not even care about rail operations. The major activity may be taking various driving challenges driving a variety of trains in simulated conditions. That is quite appropriate and boosts the sale of assets to allow people to create the same trains as a challenge presents, which is the core income producer.

I hope it was understood that the purpose in the message is to illustrate the difference in the customer base and, the big one, the lack of software maintenance for years as gaming becomes the focus. If two significant flaws can be allowed to exist, with no customer pressure, the danger of a pure game should become obvious. Right now N3V simulation, and presentation, show a continuation of the simulator genre with a developing nod to the gaming community.

Arguing the semantics of what is a game versus a simulator is a complete waste of time and can only lead to less than pleasant exchanges.

iannz
August 25th, 2015, 05:52 AM
Arguing the semantics of what is a game versus a simulator is a complete waste of time and can only lead to less than pleasant exchanges.Ah, ok, so you keep pushing that N3V needs to turn it into a "game" yet you're not prepared to discuss what a game is because as far as Im concerned a simulator played on your home computer is still a game clearly it isn't to you although you don't want to say what it is if its not a game and why. Therefore I don't see the point of this thread if you haven't made it to discuss it. Have a good day.

NICKEL
August 25th, 2015, 06:23 AM
A simulator is a game that tries to recreate real world situations and experiences. Tries is the operative word.

phimat
August 25th, 2015, 08:26 AM
A very interesting post Dick,I can't believe that nobody understood what you were trying to explain and the problem still exists after all these years,this tells me one thing
operations are not a priority,driving from A to B at full throttle is.The best thing with trainz is the powerfull editor and session rules,almost unlimited scope for activities.

Like most games/sims time has to be allowed for the product to mature,I believe Tony when he stated that we will get there it just takes time,I'm here for the long term
I enjoy what I see and where Tony want's to take this product,sure some people want everything tommorow,it's just not possible.

Tinkering with engine configs e.g braking, pipe flow values does take this closer to a sim,it's harder to judge when you have 20 or so loaded wagons and like a real driver said
applying brakes does take some time to come on,I see other values like boiler efficiency running and idle..... the code is there.

Daz

Allowing the value of what you write here, why should concentration on routes and schedules be denigrated as somehow inferior? Consider the sessions supplied with TANE. They are pure rat-maze gaming, with their kiddy-board instructions, unreal complications, and achievement points. Is this simulation? The beauty of scheduling a complex route with over twenty consists of all kinds is that it is near impossible in Trainz. It's the challenge of it that holds you.

You should try it.

boleyd
August 25th, 2015, 09:03 AM
I agree that there will be a trend, mostly in sessions, to play games with trains instead of serious railroad emulation. I do not fault N3V for childlike sessions. This is where they get to exploit the gamers lack of knowledge about railroads and allow T:ANE to relate to what they see in there current games. This is where they will make money with no real impact on the core program or the more "professional sessions" created by knowledge rail enthusiasts.

boleyd
August 25th, 2015, 09:09 AM
I have never advocated gaming as a primary direction for T:ANE. It is an alternate/parallel direction that is needed if the product, and our use of the product, is to survive. The challenge we , as simulator types, have to insist on, is including game like features and functions that DO NOT compromise the simulation we all want.

pfx
August 25th, 2015, 09:36 AM
This told me that gamers, who are now the primary Railworks/Dovey customers, may not, in many cases, understand even rudimentary railroad operations nor to they have scenarios that create any complex realities. Obviously these, and much more complex actions, are easily done in TS2012 and T:ANE ( and the older stuff). It starkly exposes the disturbing realities of making a simulator into a game.

I've often seen threads here which attempt to compare various points of Trainz and RW. More often than not, the detractors base their opinions on what they've seen and heard from others or experience of other forums. I've always stayed out of such arguments as I didn't feel I could comment without first hand experience and I'm happy to admit that they put me off dabbling with RW, probably wrongly.

Anyway, I decided I'd take the plunge and explore RW last year while the software was on offer, I now feel I'm in a better position to make a judgement on the relevant merits of each platform. One thing I'm sure of is that different users will have different expectations and nobody is ever going to be right.

I'm not sure how you can make the above assertion based on the fact that 'some' RW users may not understand the complexities of rail operation.

I have been a loyal Trainz user for many years now and have often seen RW and its users derided on this forum, I had never really thought much of it to look at in the footage I saw but I bought it based on the opinion of another member whom I trust on such matters.

I don't know which routes you use on RW but from the descriptions you give, I'm guessing US ones. I've only explored these a little so won't make comment on them beyond what little I saw and operated of them seemed good. I use UK routes 99% of the time and I have to say that they are certainly not at all like gaming.

Like varying platforms in any genre/niche, there are pros and cons to both. When it comes to driving, for me, RW wins by a long mile. The experience is highly immersive which is down to the cab detailing. The cabs make existing ones in Trainz look cartoonish though recent TANE cabs are making very good headway in that respect. It is perhaps this one aspect alone which makes me remain in cab view all the time. Trainz works better for me using the external views as generally, rolling stock looks better externally than it does in the cab.

Almost all the sessions I've tried in RW have been excellent and have offered a varying level of difficulty. Trainz doesn't differ hugely in this respect in that many sessions have pop up windows and tasks that must be accomplished, with TANE now adding in a rating (or it did on the sessions I tried).

While Trainz may not be ideal in the driving department for my own particular taste, where it steamrollers the opposition is in route creation! RW interface is stupidly difficult. This is the converse for Trainz/TANE. Surveyor mode is totally intuitive and it's easy to pick up the skills necessary to produce something respectable. I don't do session creation so I can't comment on that aspect.

I believe it's possible to make either sim feel gamelike but it depends on the routes and sessions your using and your particular area of interest in each sim. In summary for me, RW is good for driving (certainly on UK routes) and TANE is good for route building. The driving aspect of TANE so far has been a bit disappointing but I'm hoping forthcoming fixes will address some of these issues.

That's my tuppence worth and I'm not going to claim I'm right or wrong. As I said, I don't think there is a right answer here.

chris2001trainz2010
August 25th, 2015, 09:47 AM
I agree, PFX. Railworks may be a bit more realistic in the driving sector, but Trainz trumps both Railworks and MSTS in route creation.

torino72
August 25th, 2015, 10:27 AM
Is the AI issue noted by the OP a TANE problem or is he saying it applies to previous trainz versions as well? I can speak for only 2006 and 2010, but I'm not seeing that problem in either of these. Now, if I simply tell a locomotive to "Drive" then it may drive only until it encounters an obstacle. An obstacle might be something other than an opposing train, like a switch not aligned with the track the train is on. However, if I use the "Drive to (trackmark)" command (I call it the "Track Warrant" command, which gives the train permission to occupy tracks between point A & B) then the computer searches for a clear path between point A & B and drives the train as far as it can if a clear route cannot be found. You can help the computer (game) provide more realistic routing by using priority markers. If there are routes available (for example, two ended sidings or industrial track or crossovers) and you find the computer routing your train through those even when the mainline is clear then you can designate those as Priority 3 tracks (only use this if no other route is available) and that keeps trains from changing tracks simply because it can though there is no reason for it to do so. But I have not seen the problem of my trains not being able to find a clear route if one is available. Signaling and trackmarks can cure a lot of the issues and many routes need modifications to make use of these tools.

martinvk
August 25th, 2015, 10:52 AM
Is the AI issue noted by the OP a TANE problem or is he saying it applies to previous trainz versions as well? ... .I think you have it backwards, T:ANE and by extension Trainz can do all of those maneuvers, its RW that has issues with them.

JCitron
August 25th, 2015, 11:02 AM
People not understanding the details of operation, nor caring to do so is a symptom of the times because it is something that they can't learn about in a few seconds like so many news bytes, short instant messages, or texts on their mobile devices. I ran into this with my "smart" nephew who is interested in 3d modeling and animation, but won't take the time to learn about it unless there are videos on it. Reading about the subject is boring according to him. :o

The operational aspects in T:ANE and even TS12 is far superior to the versions before as the session rules, scripting, and driver commands have been improved. Even now there are discussions going on in the Trainz Dev forum about script improvements, and privately in the PC about the upcoming Interlocking Towers, which are also scripted and heavily so to improve driver actions on a route. So T:ANE is still going to be a simulator as we know it. Those cute little green goal points that give us stars are still a scripted item in the sessions, and don't have to be included unless someone wishes to use them. :)

John

robogo
August 25th, 2015, 06:00 PM
It does not really matter if Trainz is a game or a sim, it can be both, it can be all things to all people, but without being pretty it will go nowhere.

People in general will always take beauty over substance, show a man two woman, the one beautiful but shallow, and the other......., well, you get the point.

We can look at probably the greatest sim of all, FSX, it's been discontinued for quite a while, but a dedicated community keeps it alive, and there are still many that spends lots of money on it and many that makes lots of money from of it.

Now FSX is a flight sim, so it is all about flying plains, but look at who is the people that makes the most money out of it, not those that sells plains, but those that sells environments.

The most important thing about flying is to not make contact with the ground, yet virtual pilots will spent maybe $200 on some nice aircraft, to simulate flight, to stay in the air, but they will spend $2000 on the ground, the very place they would like to avoid.

We can look at airports in FSX, now a pilot spends at most 5% of flight time at airports, yet airport enhancement services are very popular, though they are not really functional, but the pilot just wants to sit in his aircraft before flight and look out the window and see all the service vehicles, the luggage handlers, catering, and, and, and, go about their business, yet all these services plays no part in the actual sim, they do not determine any outcome, they have absolutely no influence over the sim mechanics, yet they are there.

A very important thing to notice however is that it is not gamers that spend the most money on FSX environments, but simmers, even though some of them, possibly most of them, people like myself, still just flies for fun, or in other words, it's still just a game for them, wait .........

Back to Trainz, now it would be the easiest thing, to give a gamer a train, and let him drive it from point A to point B, thing is gamers expect a certain kind of realism from their games, or their simulators, I mean, what's the point of a simulator if it can't be realistic, and by realistic I mean looking real. In the end it does not matter how technically advanced, or superior Trainz is as a simulator, if it does not look really good, if it does not look real, most people will start looking elsewhere, because most people choose beauty over substance.

This is where Trainz are seriously lagging behind, the other trains games are just looking sooo much better, their trains are looking sharper, their cabs are looking brighter with that certain kind of realism to them, and their environments just looks so much more real, with real atmosphere and a sense of actually being real. This is the problem with Trainz, and the REAL problem with TANE out of the box, no matter how good a simulator it is and no matter how good a world builder it is, the trains looks like toys from era's ago and the routes looks like something out of Bugs Bunny, it just does not feel real, not even with 5 teraflops of power under it and 40'' of 4k goodness in front of it.

Like I've said before elsewhere, this is a conundrum, the current simulator community can not sustain Trainz any longer, the gaming community will not support Trainz in the presence of prettier others, so there is only one option for Trains to survive, it NEEDS to get real, and if it wants to flourish it needs to look better than all the rest, out of the box.

(Just my uninformed without any experience opinion, I do not own any other trains games, but I've watched a lot of youtube.)

martinvk
August 25th, 2015, 07:22 PM
Not so sure that beauty always wins over brains. It may attract a first look but substance keeps you there. Or maybe that's just me. Of course I would want both, a beautiful looking simulation AND proper functioning one too. Because in the end, if it just behaves like a dumb toy, I'll dump it. Good for pretty screenshots.

Back in the day, I enjoyed a sim called Bahn. About as cartoony as they get but it really did a pretty good simulation of a rail network. Naturally computers were much simpler then so expecting better visuals would have been a stretch.

ZecMurphy
August 25th, 2015, 08:03 PM
As a few have noted, a simulator (in the context of Trainz, etc) is simple a game that is simulating some part of reality.

Even the first version of Trainz was, in it's most basic form, a computer game. However it was a computer game that provided a simulation of operating trains (in a model railway setting; in that case).

As to the sessions included with TANE, these definitely vary a bit. However, some of them use the 'game' elements (As some have called them), such as waypoints and messages, to provide better simulation of driving a train.

I know this was my goal with the sessions included with Healesville. These are designed, as best as I could, to be a simulation of driving a train on the route, in the period depicted. Now, as it's unlikely most users have the experience on the route that I have (at least several hundred hours; probably over a thousand by now), I included a few message popups (kept to a minimum though); there are some definite 'gotchas' with that line, especially arriving at Lilydale on a 'down' train with a red 'distant' signal and a steep grade.

The whole basis of these sessions was to simulate being the loco crew. This means that everything outside of the cab is handled automatically. All junctions, and all couplers. In reality, these were handled by either the guard or the signalman. The waypoints are used in place of the staff and ticket, or hand signals for shunting; so as to simulate this side of operations. I had planned to have a message popup to simulate the staff being handed to the crew; but ran out of time to work something out for this.

AI is operated to simulate what you, the crew, would see during the shifts depicted. This generally means there's actually only a small amount of traffic around, as the lines weren't that busy lol.

So, as above, the 'game' elements can also be used quite effectively to enhance the simulation side of things. OTOH, the opposite can also be true.

Regards

robogo
August 25th, 2015, 09:08 PM
^^ Yeah, that's what we all want, substance and beauty, Trainz is halfway there, can't understand why N3V can't just make it beautiful too, it's not as if there is not any good looking trains and routes out there.

^ Healsville is just about the best thing about TANE.

rgcx
August 26th, 2015, 08:21 PM
<.........>

rjhowie
August 26th, 2015, 10:38 PM
I totally agree with the earlier comment made by christ200trainz2010. It was simple, short at straight to the point.

Some time ago I looked at the other two competitots mentioned here and still think Trainz trumps whatever the attractive look of say RW or limited aspects of MSTS. I might be clever in everyday life butTrainz means you can do an awful lot more in straightforward things like planning what your trains do move from one to another and so on. Things you can do here you cannot do likewise in the competition. The two projects I have been working on here on Trainz would have been a Mount Everest to do elsewhere and the others far too limited apart from driving a train. The only thing that used to really irritate me and was atime back before the trainz Forum went belly up a few years back and that every so often someone would keep brining up RW for example. They always found some excuse for doing so but made me sigh as to why they kept doing it. One doesn't mind an opinion but then it was a semi-regular thing and frustrating!

When I first delved into the train sim world it was via MS because it was well known but on accidentally finding Trainz2004, quickly realised that many non-techs like me could create a project without feeling inadequate. Being parrt of the mainstream this was a brilliant find. The basic theme is to provide rail simulation and that is it and there is an alternative elsewhere so good on NV3 for keeping to the principle.