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Thread: When is a map not prototypical anymore

  1. #1
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    Default When is a map not prototypical anymore

    I like to study maps made by others to learn how they do it. When it has an obvious fictitious name then only the techniques used to build it could be interesting. However when a real route is modelled, I also look to see how closely the prototypical data is incorporated into the map.
    There are some obvious shortcuts such as: distance compression - avoiding long boring sections; track simplification - reducing massive yards and multi-platform stations to more manageable sizes. Eliminating intermediate stations that don't add much to the game play. Straightening track and having it run north-south or east-west instead of following the real orientations to simplify baseboards.

    My question, at what point should a map stop using the prototype name. How many reductions are needed to turn it into a fantasy route? Would it be enough to declare the the route was inspired by a prototypical route? How could this be quantified?
    Should the concept of false advertising apply? Naturally only the time and the bandwidth used to download a route are the costs. Unless it is payware and then there is also some money involved.
    A specific route is not important for this question, just the general principle.


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    I suppose it might just come down to humility and sincerity. I made a steel mill route inspired by weirton steel, but I do not think I captured the prototype enough to mark it as such. So I gave it a fictional name. Honestly I found it comforting. Trying to go full proto without the skills and support to accomplish is both disheartening and stressful. However, I would never hold anyone to such a standard. If someone pursued a prototype and sincerely tried to capture that prototype, then I think they should get to own it.

    Also healthy to remember unless we pay for it, we are basically just a guest in someone else's virtual basement, so maybe just understand that they are just helping associate their inspiration to their route. Sort of like a kid making clay dinosaurs for the first time. A little unfair to hold them to a professional artists standards.

    Just my opinions

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bob_Ross View Post
    I suppose it might just come down to humility and sincerity. I made a steel mill route inspired by weirton steel, but I do not think I captured the prototype enough to mark it as such. So I gave it a fictional name. Honestly I found it comforting. Trying to go full proto without the skills and support to accomplish is both disheartening and stressful. However, I would never hold anyone to such a standard. If someone pursued a prototype and sincerely tried to capture that prototype, then I think they should get to own it.

    Also healthy to remember unless we pay for it, we are basically just a guest in someone else's virtual basement, so maybe just understand that they are just helping associate their inspiration to their route. Sort of like a kid making clay dinosaurs for the first time. A little unfair to hold them to a professional artists standards.

    Just my opinions
    I agree.

    I ran into this while attempting to model my hometown. I found buildings that are similar to the ones uptown, the station was easy because it doesn't really exist today, but there were other issues. I could never find the right building to fit the spot and I'm not in a position to make my own. In the end it was close, but I was never satisfied. I also ran into an issue with the underlying DEM data since I used USGS data via Trans DEM to create my route, and the issue wasn't a simple one. The problem is the data blurred mill buildings, roads, and railroad grade all into a single blob due to all this being pressed against a hill. All the substantial height differences then had to be manually figured out and adjusted the best that can be done in Trainz Surveyor. This alone was most annoying because again I couldn't get that right either. In the end I scrapped it.

    I do get a bit annoyed when a route is portrayed to be something it isn't. Opening up the route reveals nothing more than a few loops of track while the description is something else. If the person is uploading a route that is only a few loops, then they should say it's a few loops, or perhaps this is only the beginning of a much larger empire.
    John
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    I think 'inspired by' added to a prototypical route name is fine where necessary simplification has been used due to having to use what resources are available rather than what was really there; - and/or where huge shunting yards, large stations and towns have been cut down to a workable size so that it becomes possible to actually construct them without spending months doing it.

    As an example my own personal GER Norfolk layout is definitely an 'Alternative Norfolk' since it crams about twenty miles of an entirely new coastline into Norfolk among other heinous acts of historical, geological and geographical vandalism. So should I ever upload it to the DLS I would describe in exactly that way.

    I do find it a little annoying though when I see a route/layout titled as being a historical location and when I download it I find it isn't anything like it at all. 'Inspired by' added to the title or description would have all the difference.
    Narcolepsy is not napping.



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    "Inspired by" or "based on" are good descriptions.

    In my case my "prototypical" routes follow the actual track plans (down to the last kilometre) with all yards exactly as shown in the actual track diagrams.

    The track diagrams that I can find are usually schematics and do not give all the needed information, so some guesswork, often based on information from maps, aerial photos and other sources, has to be used. There are a few places, always simple passing loop sidings, where no actual data beyond the name and a very approximate location exists so my creation there is 100% guesswork.

    I don't use distance compression as I feel that I could no longer claim the route as "prototypical". Nor do I eliminate intermediate stations or yards and the route compass orientation follows the actual orientation, with every twist and turn - for the same reason. I realise that that level of "realism" is not for everyone, even I can "nod off" on some of the longer stretches, but that is where putting a greater effort into the scenery, especially closer to the track, can help.

    Buildings and other man made structures are a different matter. On one of my routes a creator very kindly modelled a goods shed based on the actual building plans for a shed at one location on that line but everything else is "off the DLS shelf".

    My prototypical routes are lines that no longer exist or have been "cut" and changed beyond all recognition. I find that it helps greatly if you pick a time in the past and a remote location. While both criteria can make research more difficult I find that I could never satisfactorily model a current well known line.

    My thoughts.
    TRS19 Platinum 105100 - TRS19 SP1 (standard) 105096 - TANE SP4 105766

  6. #6

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    Any train sim route is always going to be a compromise, regardless of how "exact" the author might think they have built it!
    TRS 2019 Coach Class (Former Customer)

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    When building my large route I went with a fictitious name and a general "alternative" time period, but still used prototypical DEM and typographical maps. This helped eliminate the task of building a map by hand and still give city and structure locations. With a heavy dose of imagineering my route came into being although it took 8 years.

    I feel this gives the best of both worlds. In one sense to land "looks right" due to the TransDEM map. With artistic license the world can be made to look right. The most important thing is it fun to drive, look, and interact with.

    Dave

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    Hi Martin,all,

    when i started my routes with TRS12, I considered prototypical at least for the DEM, topo, and locations of types of housing,industries etc.
    Since a few years we have excellent reference via google map and 3D view of the locations to mimic the real situation.
    Sometimes I do mix old abandoned tracks intot the scene as the would make the route as such benefit from activities to many corners and not just really abandoned or gone.
    Same for trees i try to keep the correct trees or mix of it but since routes get rather large i restrict myself to the absolute minimum to create the atmosphere rather than to many different trees slowing down fps etc.
    For the housing it is a rather different issue as of course to mimic all house like real is impossible.
    The atmosphere here is the only goal one can reach and than the problem of all done with lod1,2,3 and seasonal,nightmode is for those who think they have spare time.Plenty i have upgraded but its a drop in the ocean.
    At the moment i stopped tuning houses to seasonal,nightmode and LOD1 as this way i would never finish the main goal getting Vancouver to Calgary covering the entire Canadian Rocky Mountains E-W sections released.
    As for now i am 'flooding' Calgary with assets which by times is mind boggling but I am determined to continue as long as enough energy, computer related injuries and health allow me to work on.

    Roy
    The makers of the famous Canadian Rocky Mountains routes
    Master my all new Canadian Rocky Mountains routes on TRS19

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    Very interesting thread thank you for brining it up, I've always researched for ages for projects i wont start as I doubt i could get it close to prototypical so I thought I'll get it as close to real as i can then thought at what point do i personally call it not proto anymore as i have veered to far off course so to speak lol.
    Mick.

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    I don't think anyone expects every tree, bush and blade of grass to be exact nor the every building or structure be duplicated down to the smallest visible detail. For sure it would be amazing to see but rather unrealistic to expect. I think a reasonable facsimile is fine as long as not too many corners have been cut. For me that means that prototypical distances and directions are preserved. Nothing ruins the "looks right" aspect more than having every track running east-west or north-south.
    Unless a very narrow time frame is being modelled, who's to say that new trees didn't grow or old one weren't cut down. And perhaps there was a major urban renewal project just last year.
    Plus we shouldn't lose sight of the fact that whoever made it did it for fun and was generous to share.


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  11. #11

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    Transdem with mapping overlay gives us the best chance, but even then it doesn't always match up precisely! I have often found the river is displayed as running up the side of a hill, which means everything else is probably skewed, too.. My most famous "blooper" was the North Korean "Rangrim" branch line which was going really well until I reached a mountain saddle in the DEM which simply isn't there on the map. Would have needed a 1 in 3 rack railway or 10km base tunnel to overcome the obstacle. Then again, I doubt many people have been to that part of North Korea likely to be using a train sim, to challenge the difference...

    And until Trainz fully supports precise curve radii with easements, points on curved track, slips etc. it will never be practical to 100% authenticate the infrastructure. We do the best with what we've got.
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  12. #12
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    it will never be practical to 100% authenticate the infrastructure. We do the best with what we've got.
    Dermmy ( Andy Turnbal ) Was one of those who could tell a story with a Trainz layout, Had not left Australia far as i know but from those who knew the area from the routes he did release like Clovis, EK,EVWR he did an amazing job which I have yet too see anything even close to the same detail since.
    Mick.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Vern View Post
    My most famous "blooper" was the North Korean "Rangrim" branch line which was going really well until I reached a mountain saddle in the DEM which simply isn't there on the map. Would have needed a 1 in 3 rack railway or 10km base tunnel to overcome the obstacle.
    Most likely nothing of a mechanical rwy exists beyond that point that you have reached
    My apologies to all. I have decided that in these horrible current events, we all need to stick together as a Community

  14. #14

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    If you look on Google Earth the line is definitely there and I believe it was built at least in part by US engineers in the 1950's, when Korea was one nation. Still, it would make a good prototype for a fictional Swiss route - which is where the "Imagineering" comes in!

    Last edited by Vern; March 15th, 2020 at 05:49 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Vern View Post
    If you look on Google Earth the line is definitely there and I believe it was built at least in part by US engineers in the 1950's, when Korea was one nation. Still, it would make a good prototype for a fictional Swiss route - which is where the "Imagineering" comes in!
    That could well be a tree line issue where the DEM older formats takes dense vegetation or trees as the ground level, had a lot of that on my Ffestiniog route, I manually adjusted an awful lot of it where possible.

    The Aberglaslyn Pass on the DEM I used was just a shallow depression, I had to carve that out myself! There are way more accurate sources now than the one I use 12 Years ago when I started the route which took 8 years.

    As for accuracy, does it look believable enough for people to recognise the route?
    Malc


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