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View Full Version : Is it okay to be unrealistic in Trainz?



littleshunter060
May 25th, 2016, 01:01 PM
Hello everyone, I didn't really know where to post this, so I hope it's okay here.

I've decided that i'm going to get serious about route-building in Trainz- A New Era, and after looking at some model railroad layout ideas, I've decided that I'm going to make a route based on the United States in the 1970s. I'd like to incorporate elements of real-life railroads, from all across the country, especially the South, with elements of the West Coast and the Northeast, but It's not going to be based on any route in real life. It's mostly going to be a bit of fun, and the closest parallel I can draw to the kind of route I'm building is the old Highland Valley Industries route, or its modern equivalent, Kickstarter County, but it will also have passenger operations as well as freight.

I know that many users here like to play on real routes, and even build real ones themselves. I'm just wondering if building a somewhat unrealistic route would gather any attention compared to the masses of very realistic, high-quality routes that most other users build. of course, I will try to make the route as realistic-looking as it can possibly be, but I am not aiming for a picture-perfect representation of a real railroad.

Let me know what you think, I'd be happy to hear any thoughts or questions you might have.

martinvk
May 25th, 2016, 01:16 PM
Fantasy routes are also fun. always interesting to see what could have been but was never built because of cost. If it looks realistic, it will be appreciated. Beyond that, Trainz is an anything goes platform too. Even if it could never be built within the laws of physics, it can still be fun.

davesnow
May 25th, 2016, 01:19 PM
Whatever floats your boat. The idea with route building is to have FUN. So I say you just do whatever you like and if others don't like it phooey on them.

boc61
May 25th, 2016, 01:32 PM
It's your world, build and run whatever you like. Personally I love fictional and what if stuff, I chuckle reading the rivet counters argue over the most minuscule stuff, but hey, to each his own. Trainz is meant to be enjoyed however you choose.

littleshunter060
May 25th, 2016, 02:46 PM
Thank you all for your thoughts about this. I really like the way Trainz' surveyor mode works, and it makes it really easy to make good-looking routes and areas. That's why it's also easy to build things the way you want, but some people want a really realistic train simulator, and I didn't want to get slammed for making something that isn't prototypical or based on a real location. I'm going to go ahead with building my route anyways, because I think there are people who have already played Kickstarter County and Highland Valley, but want more of that kind of gameplay.

I know not everyone here is a realism junky, so the route I'm building is for those people who just want some good, simple fun with trains. Thank you again for your support.

Vinnie264
May 25th, 2016, 03:12 PM
Dude, Trainz is a do whatever you friggin want. Felixg (the guy who is really a god at trainz) made an amazing - i mean amazing - HO route. Completely fictional from what I understand, but its also proto in its own way. Heck, I even made this.....

http://hostthenpost.org/uploads/249eeb7da4c1547f4db6140196e468da.jpg

ARhian7
May 25th, 2016, 03:52 PM
A person is only limited by their imagination when building in trainz. :)

KenGreen
May 25th, 2016, 04:20 PM
One of the finest routes in Trainz is Murchison 2 and that is fictional.

Ken

pware
May 25th, 2016, 05:39 PM
... and lets not forget all the assets created by Ish6 (and others) that allow you to build a fictional layout on Mars - search the DLS for "marsz".

littleshunter060
May 25th, 2016, 06:05 PM
... and lets not forget all the assets created by Ish6 (and others) that allow you to build a fictional layout on Mars - search the DLS for "marsz".

I remember those assets. Really crazy, but fun to play with.

Dinorius_Redundicus
May 25th, 2016, 07:34 PM
..if others don't like it, phooey on them.

:D I haven't heard the word "phooey" in decades. I'm getting nostalgic. We should bring it back into popular use.

jordon412
May 25th, 2016, 07:59 PM
:D I haven't heard the word "phooey" in decades. I'm getting nostalgic. We should bring it back into popular use.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9uF5XLe4mNc

mjolnir
May 26th, 2016, 12:12 AM
... <snippage> ...
I'm just wondering if building a somewhat unrealistic route would gather any attention compared to the masses of very realistic, high-quality routes that most other users build. of course, I will try to make the route as realistic-looking as it can possibly be, but I am not aiming for a picture-perfect representation of a real railroad.

First, it's going to depend upon what kind of attention you want, and from whom. The one whose attention you most need to get is your own, and perhaps those who might he drawn to offer to collaborate. Among the rest of the community, there will be some number who might be interested in an exact representation of a real railroad route, there will be some other number who are interested in letting the imagination run wild, and who choose to build "out of this world" routes and content.

With respect to imaginary routes, I am attracted to (and I suspect a number of other members of the community are, too) plausibility, by which I mean that if the route (or other content) you are building existed in the real world, that it would look and feel just about the way you modeled it. If it fails the plausibility test, I'm not likely to be interested, except as a passing curiosity.

ns

philskene
May 26th, 2016, 02:01 AM
"I'm just wondering if building a somewhat unrealistic route would gather any attention ... I will try to make the route as realistic-looking as it can possibly be, but I am not aiming for a picture-perfect representation of a real railroad."

You would certainly get my attention 'cause they are exactly the sorts of routes and layouts I've been uploading to the Download Station for a decade or more. Like this still to be released layout that could never exist in real life -- but still follows prototypical practices (full screen / 1080p):


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VbQx2HcQrFs

Three suggestions:
Use only built-in or Download Station content. Quite a few of us don't like to search to the farthest corners of the Universe for missing dependencies.
Make it as interesting and as varied as possible.
Try to keep frame rates reasonably good by using the same asset many times rather than a large number of assets only once.

Good luck and I'll be looking forward to the end result.

Phil

Saieditor
May 26th, 2016, 02:03 AM
... and lets not forget all the assets created by Ish6 (and others) that allow you to build a fictional layout on Mars - search the DLS for "marsz".


Don't forget the Moon base: route, stations and rolling stock.

;)

rastis
May 26th, 2016, 02:26 AM
No of course not. The possibilities of Trainz are endless, limited only to the creativity of your imagination. :) You are free to choose whether you want your route to be realistic or just for fun.

As George Bernard Shaw said “Imagination is the beginning of creation. You imagine what you desire, you will what you imagine, and at last, you create what you will.”

littleshunter060
May 26th, 2016, 06:44 AM
"I'm just wondering if building a somewhat unrealistic route would gather any attention ... I will try to make the route as realistic-looking as it can possibly be, but I am not aiming for a picture-perfect representation of a real railroad."

You would certainly get my attention 'cause they are exactly the sorts of routes and layouts I've been uploading to the Download Station for a decade or more. Like this still to be released layout that could never exist in real life -- but still follows prototypical practices (full screen / 1080p):


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VbQx2HcQrFs

Three suggestions:
Use only built-in or Download Station content. Quite a few of us don't like to search to the farthest corners of the Universe for missing dependencies.
Make it as interesting and as varied as possible.
Try to keep frame rates reasonably good by using the same asset many times rather than a large number of assets only once.

Good luck and I'll be looking forward to the end result.

Phil

Thanks Phil, I'll be sure to take your advice. Right now I'm using only Built-in and some DLS assets, and I plan to keep it that way so there aren't too many dependencies one has to download. I'm planning to use just a couple different types of trees and buildings, but in different ways, so there won't be as much lag while still looking good. I've always got performance in mind when I'm building my route, so if something doesn't work for me, I'll make sure it gets fixed so that it works for other users as well. I've already taken a look at the route-building tips on the TRS wiki, and I also keep them in mind while I'm building. I guess it's really a case of what the user playing wants. If they want a realistic route, then they can, but if they want something more fantasy, then they can have that too, and I guess that's the beauty of Trainz.

ish6
May 26th, 2016, 07:25 AM
Hello to the OP --

I've created Marsz, with hundred of items for that kind if fantasy game play, and that's what makes trainz an awesome platform --- You can have boats, airplanes, cars, and spaceship, etc .... even dinosaurs, and create your own Jurassic Park!:wave:

Regards
Ish

Thai1On
May 26th, 2016, 07:45 AM
If you are planning on doing a fictional route one thing that can greatly help is the pen. I'm presently working with another known route builder on a collaboration route that will incorporate at least two and possibly more fictional lines seen here on the forum. This is being done by making a backstory or alternate history to how and why this lines exist. Writing this story will help guide you on how to build your route. Also give your route a personality. For example is it a shortline or a big class 1 operation? It is a well funded line or just barely hanging on? Where is home base and where is it going? What is its plan for the future?


For example we are using real world places in the US and TransDEM maps for the typography, but changing history to explain how and why these fictional railroads are converging on this city. With this it will seem plausible and have the feel of what if the world was like this?

Dave

littleshunter060
May 26th, 2016, 11:47 AM
If you are planning on doing a fictional route one thing that can greatly help is the pen. I'm presently working with another known route builder on a collaboration route that will incorporate at least two and possibly more fictional lines seen here on the forum. This is being done by making a backstory or alternate history to how and why this lines exist. Writing this story will help guide you on how to build your route. Also give your route a personality. For example is it a shortline or a big class 1 operation? It is a well funded line or just barely hanging on? Where is home base and where is it going? What is its plan for the future?


For example we are using real world places in the US and TransDEM maps for the typography, but changing history to explain how and why these fictional railroads are converging on this city. With this it will seem plausible and have the feel of what if the world was like this?

Dave

I agree. My basic story for the route is that in the 1970s, the American National Railroad Corporation, an alliance between many different railroad companies, was formed as a conglomeration of most passenger and some freight lines across the United States. American National found themselves with hundreds of freight and passenger locomotives, and repainted most of them into its famous red, white and blue colors. The route, of course, aims to simulate the early days of American National, both its passenger and its freight operations, in the summer of 1973.

http://orig10.deviantart.net/c890/f/2016/147/2/6/american_national_by_fictionalautumn-da3z09a.jpg

Inspired by Amtrak and the Bangor and Aroostook railroad, American National adopted this simple paint scheme for most of its fleet, especially passenger trains, though some freight trains had this livery too. Its only other livery was a simple all-black livery with white "American National" text.

That's all I've got for now, really, but there's a lot more work to do yet.

ray_whiley
May 26th, 2016, 02:19 PM
Do whatever you want, as I do - it's your Trainz and as others have said, the world of Trainz has many different aspects. If you create something and enjoy doing it, fine - that's all that matters. There is no need to create for others - but if you want to share with others, that's fine too.

Ray

oknotsen
May 26th, 2016, 03:55 PM
http://orig10.deviantart.net/c890/f/2016/147/2/6/american_national_by_fictionalautumn-da3z09a.jpgWhy did you print "American National" on the flag of the Netherlands?
;)

Anyway,
I think a lot of us will appreciate a route that realistic even though it is unreal. A lot of us also like model railroads, which can be far from real. Heck, there are even a lot of people who like trains with a face on the front.

Do what you like; it is a hobby, remember? Things are supposed to be fun and relaxing.... Or at least most of the time.

maruffijd
May 26th, 2016, 07:01 PM
Thanks Phil, I'll be sure to take your advice. Right now I'm using only Built-in and some DLS assets, and I plan to keep it that way so there aren't too many dependencies one has to download. I'm planning to use just a couple different types of trees and buildings, but in different ways, so there won't be as much lag while still looking good. I've always got performance in mind when I'm building my route, so if something doesn't work for me, I'll make sure it gets fixed so that it works for other users as well. I've already taken a look at the route-building tips on the TRS wiki, and I also keep them in mind while I'm building. I guess it's really a case of what the user playing wants. If they want a realistic route, then they can, but if they want something more fantasy, then they can have that too, and I guess that's the beauty of Trainz.
Don't forget the tutorial vids for advice and tips.

"I'm just wondering if building a somewhat unrealistic route would gather any attention ... I will try to make the route as realistic-looking as it can possibly be, but I am not aiming for a picture-perfect representation of a real railroad."

You would certainly get my attention 'cause they are exactly the sorts of routes and layouts I've been uploading to the Download Station for a decade or more. Like this still to be released layout that could never exist in real life -- but still follows prototypical practices (full screen / 1080p):



Three suggestions:
Use only built-in or Download Station content. Quite a few of us don't like to search to the farthest corners of the Universe for missing dependencies.
Make it as interesting and as varied as possible.
Try to keep frame rates reasonably good by using the same asset many times rather than a large number of assets only once.

Good luck and I'll be looking forward to the end result.

PhilLike the vid. Route looks excellent, good camera control, and really like the way the horn go "ska-weeeee." (I put at least one of these on a route just to hear it's horn) yes I know about changing horns, I'd rather keep the locos as is to not muddy a creators hard word.

Saieditor
May 27th, 2016, 05:36 AM
I agree. My basic story for the route is that in the 1970s, the American National Railroad Corporation, an alliance between many different railroad companies, was formed as a conglomeration of most passenger and some freight lines across the United States. American National found themselves with hundreds of freight and passenger locomotives, and repainted most of them into its famous red, white and blue colors. The route, of course, aims to simulate the early days of American National, both its passenger and its freight operations, in the summer of 1973.

http://orig10.deviantart.net/c890/f/2016/147/2/6/american_national_by_fictionalautumn-da3z09a.jpg

Inspired by Amtrak and the Bangor and Aroostook railroad, American National adopted this simple paint scheme for most of its fleet, especially passenger trains, though some freight trains had this livery too. Its only other livery was a simple all-black livery with white "American National" text.

That's all I've got for now, really, but there's a lot more work to do yet.

Reminds me of Ted Benson's photos of the California Zephyr in the canyon with Amtrak E8's on the front.

PendennisCastle
May 27th, 2016, 06:16 AM
Build anything you want in Trainz, there is no rules about building in-game, i built my own fictional route which is set in the north of england, it's not that accurate but still nice to drive on.

Here is a shot of the massive viaduct just before the abandoned station of Solway with a 3F Jinty passing over with a 3 Coach Push and Pull train.

http://image.prntscr.com/image/4065617c3c7843e2976928a283857685.png

littleshunter060
May 27th, 2016, 10:47 AM
Why did you print "American National" on the flag of the Netherlands?
;)

Anyway,
I think a lot of us will appreciate a route that realistic even though it is unreal. A lot of us also like model railroads, which can be far from real. Heck, there are even a lot of people who like trains with a face on the front.

Do what you like; it is a hobby, remember? Things are supposed to be fun and relaxing.... Or at least most of the time.

:hehe: I just made it as a visualization of what the colors for the rolling stock would look like. I knew it was going to look like one country's flag or another, since so many countries have red, white and blue flags. I also agree with you that Trainz, as a hobby, should be fun and relaxing. I don't think it's much fun if you're stressing over the smallest and most prototypical details, unless you're a rivet counter, that is.

littleshunter060
May 27th, 2016, 10:52 AM
Build anything you want in Trainz, there is no rules about building in-game, i built my own fictional route which is set in the north of england, it's not that accurate but still nice to drive on.

Here is a shot of the massive viaduct just before the abandoned station of Solway with a 3F Jinty passing over with a 3 Coach Push and Pull train.

http://image.prntscr.com/image/4065617c3c7843e2976928a283857685.png

I like how it's coming along so far, It reminds me of a scene from Thomas the Tank Engine. The viaduct actually looks pretty good, I've seen lots of really tall brick viaducts in the UK (well, pictures of it anyways.)

JCitron
May 27th, 2016, 12:30 PM
As the others have said here, you can do whatever you want with Trainz. It's your program and the only things that will stop you are running out of imagination and the limitations of your computer!

Over a decade ago, I got my first version of Trainz after trying the demo a year or so before. In December 2013 TRS2004 went on sale at CompUSA and I couldn't wait to install it. It was at that time, that my poor little N-scale layout became a spider village and cluttered because Trainz fulfilled my railroad hobby. After playing with the built-in routes, I downloaded some from various people to see how they were created. Surveyor proved to be the biggest and best part of Trainz for me, and my route building efforts were aimed at recreating my model railroad in Trainz, but on a real scale. Nearly 14 years later, the same route exists, though parts have been swapped out and others deleted as I have improved my route building skills. Even today, even with the rebuilding, the route has that look about it with some areas are absolutely stunning while others still look like my first creations. It's probably time to retire this route and archive it away, but that deep nostalgic soft spot in my heart digs the route up from time to time to give it a rework and a drive.

What has kept this route going for so long you wonder?

In part it was sticking to a theme. The vision was to recreate a New England railroad which took over the current operations of our freight lines from Pan Am Railways, then known as Guilford Transportation Industries. Included in the route, however, are branches which are totally fictional with one in particular being on land that does not exist on our coastline. Using quite a bit of Imagineering, I was able to work in a peninsula off the northern Massachusetts coast, between the Merrimack River and Gloucester. On this peninsula were two main cities, and a handful of villages and old industrial towns. Sticking to this theme has kept the route together, though there are parts now which are out of the scope and need to be trimmed back again, however, for the most part, the route is still based on the same theme. By sticking to this theme, I was able to pick and choose which assets I would use carefully in order to fit the region and period, the 1980s-1990s to be exact, and to ensure the towns look like they belong in New England and not the Midwest. This "purpose" also gave the Raison D'Ítre for the very existence of the route. This in the end has meant that there are things that can't be included such as coal mines and steel ore docks, or automobile factories in large numbers. This does however mean that large mill cities will exist with their canals and long, now empty, mills and lots of factory worker's homes and cottages abound along their pre-planned and well laid out streets. It meant that there will be more farms and woodlands than big towns, though there will be areas of suburbs creeping in and taking over. Seaports too, not the big modern ones in large numbers, but instead smaller seaports with fishing and lobster boats, fancy yachts, light houses, and big mansions on the coastline.

Keeping the theme has meant that finding the assets needed a bit more difficult, but has also helped to keep the choices clear and concise. With nearly 400K assets available to download today, finding exactly what you want or finding too much of a good thing can be both a blessing and a curse. This doesn't mean I still don't have a lot of stuff installed. That happens with over a decade of Trainz use.

Anyway enjoy the program as a hobby as it will both entertain you as well as frustrate you. When you feel frustrated or burned out, step away and you'll be ready to jump in and enjoy the travails again of this great program.

John