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rbunker65
March 20th, 2018, 07:36 PM
I have been trying to work with this game for a while now, trying to understand the heirarchy of the saving between route, session, etc... Not one person has really been able to explain to me how it is I am supposed to address the issues that are causing me just flat out frustration.

With respect to the community and all who would care to try to help me understand this, I am going to try to keep this concise and clear, step by step.

1. There is a "Route" level. Top level. I have strived to work on that level, to create my (oversized- but that is not important) world. I do very little with "sessions" at this point. I have recently started working with sessions due to the fact that I cannot seem to get driver commands for AI to "stick" in the top level "Route". Is that normal??? You cannot assign driver commands to AI in top level routes?

2. When I go into route level commands, for drivers, it shows several that are "checked" for use. If I check some on my own, and save, they are NOT there when I come back? Can one not set ROUTE level commands for drivers? It would seem one should be able to set those commands as being "standard" since many of them are already????

3. When I go into Session level "Edit Route" - I can do things like lay track, install consists, and give commands, but when I go back to the "Route" level, the changes to the land and buildings are gone... I think I understand this, but I want to be sure this is what I should expect.

Please can someone with great expertise in explaining how this is supposed to go up and down and up and down the ladder of "construction" help me know how to make this system of saving track layouts work so I stop losing time???

I want to save a "top level" route that has the driver commands available automatically that I want in sessions. I.E., "reverse tram". I do not know why the hell some driver commands are standard and available and I cannot seem to get commands I want in my standard "ROUTES" to carry down to the sessions automatically..

I am so exasperated....

This is hard to explain via text... anyone that can help, thanks so much in advance.

If you'd be willing to talk me through this damn **** on the phone, I'd sure appreciate it....

Let me know and we can set it up...

I just want what I was expecting out of this game.... and I am not getting it....

PC_Ace
March 20th, 2018, 08:03 PM
rbunker65 - You are clearly laboring under some misperceptions about how Routes and Sessions are supposed to work.
Since you asked for a clear and blunt response, here it is:

1. Routes are for your Fixed assets - It is where you build your world environment, set the terrain, landscapes, lay track, roads, plant trees and lay out fields and towns. It is also where you add your permanent trackside objects, such as signals and interactive industries.

2. Sessions are for your Variable assets - In sessions, you add your consists and drivers and provide them with their schedules and tasks. You also set your environmental variables in sessions too, and can have multiple sessions exhibiting different weather conditions, seasons, lighting conditions, etc. Sessions are where you set the parameters for loading and unloading commodities and passengers at stations and industries and set the load-out for cars and emissions from portals.

So - one route can have many sessions. Sessions are where you drive and observe trains moving about. Under normal circumstances, you shouldn't ever add locomotives and consists to the track in Route Edit mode.
And in Session Edit mode, you really shouldn't be adding track, signals, buildings, trees and other landscape items.

Hope this is clear and succinct.
It will start a useful conversation here, in any event.
And Skype is always a possibility around the globe...

rbunker65
March 20th, 2018, 08:22 PM
That was excellent. I think that clarified a lot.

I definitely would like to hear any other perspectives on this though. It seems there are some possibilities for "overlap" of 'saving'.

But, I want to clarify- based on what you said, I should NEVER expect to be able to "save" driver commands as "standard", in "Route" save, and have them transfer down, as 'active', into a session?

clam1952
March 20th, 2018, 08:24 PM
If you must add commands to the Route layer so they are available for every session, you need to merge session layer with route layer before saving the route. Editing in Route will create a session layer usually called default which is where the commands you have added while editing the route have probably ended up, thus the need to merge to session to route.

Bill69
March 20th, 2018, 08:24 PM
I agree with PC_Ace for sessions you want to run, but I do sometimes add a loco or a consist in the route layer to test a section of track or a turntable.

How ever after testing I delete the loco or consist and save the route making sure I select "do not save session".

Cheers,
Bill69

rbunker65
March 20th, 2018, 08:36 PM
Wow- this makes my head spin initially, but this might be EXACTLY what I am looking for.

Here's why.

I have an airport. I want it to ALWAYS do what I programmed it to do.

I have some trams. I want the trams to ALWAYS do what I programmed them to do.

I will NEVER want something different from them.. I never want to change the trams or aircraft of tugboats or pontoon planes or cruise ships or cargo ships.... ONCE I have them SET

Is what you've stated the process to make this work?????

pware
March 20th, 2018, 08:40 PM
I agree it is a source of confusion for many. One way of dealing with this is to regard Trainz games as being essentially split into two segments - the Route and Sessions (and a single route can have multiple sessions). The reasons for the split are largely historical.

My method of working is


when I create a new route and save for the first time I save both the route and session with distinctive and descriptive names.
from that point on when starting Surveyor I always select the route, click view sessions and then select and load the session. My often stated mantra in these forums is "Always Load the Session, NOT the Route"
I open the Layers tool and select the layer I am going to work in and ensure that all the other layers are locked.
track, line side objects (signals, switches, signs, etc), most scenery assets I place in the route-layer
consists (rolling stock) I place in the session-layer (unlocking and locking layers as necessary)
I often create additional session-layers to place special items - such as scenery items and track marks and triggers that would only appear or be needed in a particular session.
some route scenery items that overlay other scenery items can be very difficult to move without moving the lower or larger item first so I add another locked route-layer just for these difficult to move items.


The screenshots below shows a typical arrangement for some of my creations. I created a single Route with 8 separate Sessions (there were more I added later). I selected the Route in the main Surveyor screen and then clicked View Sessions to be shown the screen below.

https://s6.postimg.org/g8mek7o3l/TGR_Sessions.jpg

Each Session, except for the Quick Drive option at the top, is a separate asset in CM with its own config.txt file, thumbnail.jpg and various other data files. I selected one of the Sessions and clicked Edit Session to load the parent Route and its dependent Session into Surveyor.

I then selected the Layers Tool to be presented with the following list.

https://s6.postimg.org/j1fm48og1/TGR_Layers.jpg

The top four layers are the "route layers" and belong to the Route and their contents (assets) will appear in every Session that I create using this Route. If I alter the contents of one of the Route layers, such as add a tree to the route-layer, then that tree will appear in all the Sessions.

The lower 4 layers are the "session layers" and belong to the Session that I have loaded into Surveyor for editing. If I add a rolling stock wagon to the Consists layer then that wagon will only appear in that Session and none of the others. If add some people standing on a platform to the "188 Scenery" layer then likewise they will only appear in this Session.

On rare occasions, I will load and edit the Route without the Session (it can be quicker for a quick fix for some route only scenery). On these occasions when I save the work I always make sure that I select "Do not save the Session".

That, in a nutshell, is the basics.

rbunker65
March 20th, 2018, 09:22 PM
Thank you so much for working with me on this... I think this and other efforts will help me make happen what I am hoping for...
Kinda makes my head spin first time through, so I am going to have to come back through read this again. But thank you for your response, it helps.

rbunker65
March 20th, 2018, 09:27 PM
Think we could talk on the phone about this? Opening always the session and never the route seems to be where I get lost on how I can save, always, the "next" changes that I add when I am "testing" things like one find in driver mode...

Still feel a little confused...

ugh

PC_Ace
March 20th, 2018, 09:37 PM
Yes - the airport is in my parlance, merely an interactive industry, and should remain at the route level. Tunnels, locks, bridges, factories, turntables, junctions, track-marks, speed signs, etc., are essentially all fixed assets.
In Sessions, you can interact with them, but they remain static, route-based assets, albeit frequently with some animations making them look lively. (Planes take off and land, but do not interfere with your session-based consists servicing the nearby aviation fuel loader, diesel bunker and General Goods shed).

In a Session, I will choose which rules, triggers and driver commands should apply for that particular session. It is also where I set the default direction of the points in junctions; weather and seasonal conditions, time of day, etc.

If you are not driving the trams (or ferries, etc.,) then they should in this case go into the Route layer and operate independently of the session as a 'background' scene-setting operation.
Again, the Route is where you create the default physical background scenery, terrain and general environment; setting the stage for your sessions to take place.

Thus, after a marathon effort perfecting the Route and laying out the scenic location for your railroad simulation, you will then end up editing it far less than any of the subsequent sessions you create for that route.

Accordingly, I now spend most of my time editing, saving and naming Sessions - rather than Routes - because that's where the ACTION is. :)

pware
March 20th, 2018, 10:03 PM
Think we could talk on the phone about this?

All the respondents to this thread are overseas from your location so even a short call would be expensive - ignoring the different time and date zones.


Opening always the session and never the route seems to be where I get lost on how I can save, always, the "next" changes that I add when I am "testing" things like one find in driver mode...

The trick is to always remember that when you load the Session into Surveyor for editing you are also loading the Route as well. When you save always make sure that the check box to "Save the Route and overwrite the Session" is ticked. When you are editing it is easy to forget if the items you have altered were in the Session or in the Route? So always save both. The exception of course, if you have only loaded the Route for editing and that is where many users get confused.


Still feel a little confused...

Route and Session saving issues would be near the top of the list of commonly posted problems in these forums so you are not alone.[/QUOTE]

pware
March 20th, 2018, 10:12 PM
If you are not driving the trams (or ferries, etc.,) then they should in this case go into the Route layer and operate independently of the session as a 'background' scene-setting operation.

I would be the last to disagree with PC_Ace, but his answer illustrates one of the great advantages of Trainz - there are so many different ways of doing the same thing and different creators have different work flows and philosophies.

Putting consists in the route-layer is a technique used by many creators and works perfectly well if you are only ever going to create a single Session based on your Route. I usually create multiple Sessions so I place the consists into the session-layer so each Session can have different consists


Accordingly, I now spend most of my time editing, saving and naming Sessions - rather than Routes - because that's where the ACTION is. :)

I can agree with that. Without any figures to back me up, I believe that the time I spend on programming (adding rules, commands), testing and debugging the Sessions is greater than the time I spend creating a Route.

JCitron
March 20th, 2018, 10:12 PM
You can always try Zoom.

https://www.zoom.us

This works pretty well and you can share screens, chat, etc., without the overhead that comes with Skype. I use it for my music lessons with my teacher located in Belgium.

KenGreen
March 21st, 2018, 05:38 AM
A common method is to create a basic session which contains all of the common activities and then use that basic session to add variations for further sessions.

Ken

KotangaGirl
March 21st, 2018, 06:59 AM
This is exactly the reason why I never got on with TS2012 and hardly ever use it. For me and my simple little brain TS2009 is just plain easier to work with.

pware
March 21st, 2018, 07:28 AM
This is exactly the reason why I never got on with TS2012 and hardly ever use it. For me and my simple little brain TS2009 is just plain easier to work with.

True, but TS2009 (and TS2010) were far too limited in what they could do. TS12 was far better and TANE is better still. Always look forward, never back.

belthize
March 21st, 2018, 07:59 AM
Always look forward, never back.

Ok, I tried this advice just now while spotting some boxcars, end result 2 derailed cars and a destroyed buffer so ....

On a more serious note, thanks for this thread. Being new to Trainz I find the surveyor pretty daunting. There are a lot of posts, videos, documents out there to help but sometimes it's nice knowing there are others with the same issues. It makes it easier to dive in and start mucking about.

JCitron
March 21st, 2018, 11:00 AM
Ok, I tried this advice just now while spotting some boxcars, end result 2 derailed cars and a destroyed buffer so ....

On a more serious note, thanks for this thread. Being new to Trainz I find the surveyor pretty daunting. There are a lot of posts, videos, documents out there to help but sometimes it's nice knowing there are others with the same issues. It makes it easier to dive in and start mucking about.

All in tiny steps.

What you might want to do is download a route or two and open them up in Surveyor to see how the routes are made. Don't be confused by the track marks, direction markers, signals, spline points and all the flashing stuff. Using the right mouse-button, and keyboard, skoot along and look at various details and stuff. If you feel gutsy enough, click on the track, and add in a loop or spur. Eventually you'll get enough ideas how stuff is made that you can try something yourself.

Start small, perhaps 4 baseboards, and plan on using this route as a testbed to get an idea for the tools, signals, etc. If you feel this route is good enough, incorporate it into a larger project by expanding on it. I did that with my very first route, which I started in December 2003. Yes that long ago now! That core has since expanded and has been improved upon. I ended up ripping up a lot of baseboards later on and rebuilding sections because the construction was poor, but the original 4 baseboards are still there at one end. I still need to rebuild some hills there and improve the tracks more, but it's fully functional even today.

With Surveyor and even session building, keep things simple. It's not necessary to throw in every whiz-bang interactive industry, the new interlocking towers, or run special signal and switching scripts. Save that stuff for later when you really need it. When I first started with TRS2004 SP0, there were no interactive industries. We used track marks with drive to track mark/wait... xxxx setups, which even today is very valid. Later on my stations were replaced with "real" stations when they became available.

Driving... Start simple. Set up a train or two and use that periodically to check your route building progress. It's also a way to enjoy your hard work in Surveyor and to see what stuff can be fixed such as floating roads, crooked track, etc.

The aim is KISS. Yes the old acronym fits perfectly. Build in edit routes. Create a driving session (not to be confused with the session layer). Setup your trains, drivers, and configure your industries. Drive the route. Find a bug. Go back and edit route, or if there's a stuck driver due to a driver command, edit the session (not the layer).

Speaking of layers. Keep away from them initially and later on give them a try when you want to get fancy. Again it's all KISS.

ecco
March 21st, 2018, 12:56 PM
Wow- this makes my head spin initially, but this might be EXACTLY what I am looking for.

Here's why.

I have an airport. I want it to ALWAYS do what I programmed it to do.

I have some trams. I want the trams to ALWAYS do what I programmed them to do.

I will NEVER want something different from them.. I never want to change the trams or aircraft of tugboats or pontoon planes or cruise ships or cargo ships.... ONCE I have them SET

Is what you've stated the process to make this work?????

It is important to understand the difference between:
Routes
Sessions
Layers

Layers are shown in the Layer Tab (looks like a stack of papers).

Everything you put on a baseboard, except textures, goes into a Route LAYER or a Session LAYER. Place a house. Select the properties tab (the ?). That brings up a box with everything Trainz knows about the object. In the upper right-hand of the screen it will show what LAYER the item is in. You can change this.

Everything in the Route LAYER is available to all Sessions.
Anything in a Session LAYER is available to only one specific Session.

From the Main Menu, if you Edit a Route, the Surveyor screen comes up and the default ACTIVE LAYER is Route.
From the Main Menu, if you Select a Route, view Sessions, click Edit Session, the Surveyor screen comes up and the default ACTIVE LAYER is Session.

You can change this by selecting the Layers tab.





Now, back to your dilemma...

Any movement you can or want to control, trains, planes, trams, boats have their movement instructions stored IN A Session.

If you want two different versions of Sessions with different trains running through your map AND you want the trams and planes doing the same thing in both Sessions, you must give driver instructions to the trains AND the trams and planes in EACH Session.