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Thread: Any Glimpse Of The Future?

  1. #1

    Default Any Glimpse Of The Future?

    News about TRS2019 upgrades notwithstanding, there seems to be very little forthcoming from N3V about the ongoing future of Trainz, particularly a roadmap towards the next full re-release.

    It is disappointing to see we seem no further forward to getting items like integrated timetable operation or route setting without player intervention in the core game (EIT's are not the solution either, particularly as they seem very prone to becoming faulty for no apparent reason).

    So far as route building is concerned, well I've been playing a lot of the new MS Flight Simulator lately which essentially constructs the world on the fly from Bing Maps including photogrammetry in many areas. Frankly going back into Surveyor, with or without Transdem, then having to build a section of the world literally a piece at a time is becoming extremely tedious and time consuming. We need a big step forward in this regard.

    Any news would be welcome,
    TRS 2019 Coach Class (Former Customer)

  2. #2

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    I think it’s unrealistic to shoot for FS style particularly because the detail lacks up close. In Trainz we’re on the ground and would be able to see this “blandness”. Also Trainz already has a passable route builder - where it really falls short is the driving physics simulation/features and sound according to a lot of TS users. N3V mentioned an upcoming TNI physics integration option, which hopefully will allow Trainz to do a 180 in that regard.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Vern View Post
    News about TRS2019 upgrades notwithstanding, there seems to be very little forthcoming from N3V about the ongoing future of Trainz, particularly a roadmap towards the next full re-release.
    I do recall the last time that N3V (or Auran as it was known then) produced a detailed road map for the future of Trainz. Their vision would have taken Trainz more into the territory of a Railroad Tycoon game with working maintenance facilities, profit and loss ledgers, etc. Auran's venture into a role playing game, "Fury", put an end to that and to Auran.

    I would suspect that a "roadmap towards the next full re-release" could be problematical. From the few snippets of information that have been revealed by N3V posters in these forums, they do have plans for additional features and capabilities that they are keeping under wraps. There is always the risk that announcing a "possible future feature" can quickly backfire due to technical and/or resource issues - with the inevitable negativity from some about yet another "failure to deliver".

    T:ANE was, in many ways, a significant advance in Trainz (although that fact has now faded from our memories) but it required a significant funding boost via KickStarter, to get released. A similar crowd sourced project for any future projects was ruled out by N3V after that experience.

    Personally, I think that what they are doing with Train Plus, adding a few new features that are beta tested before being released in a Plus update and later migrating to the non-subscription version(s), is the safer and wiser way.

    My opinions.
    TRS19 Platinum Edition SP2 (beta) 109037 - TRS19 SP1 (standard) 105096

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    And a proper working AI would be nice. When the AI travels in the wrong direct for a 'runaround' and passes the next station is crazy, as is driving on the wrong track and through yards instead of staying on the main line, is something that has always needed fixing, so more effort on that part is needed. Hopefully they won't just focus on graphics, although I'm not hopeful that we may see this by end of next year? Fingers crossed.

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by EverTrainz View Post
    I think it’s unrealistic to shoot for FS style particularly because the detail lacks up close. In Trainz we’re on the ground and would be able to see this “blandness”. Also Trainz already has a passable route builder - where it really falls short is the driving physics simulation/features and sound according to a lot of TS users. N3V mentioned an upcoming TNI physics integration option, which hopefully will allow Trainz to do a 180 in that regard.
    I have to disagree a little on that, although Asobo/MS applied a bit of a nerf to the graphics with one of the patches, the ground detail and how the autogen draws it is actually very clever and for the most part very good. It's actually a pleasure to do low altitude or bush flying. There are still some handcrafted areas but my point is when you effectively have a programme that can realise the world from mapping data, it makes how we do things not only in Trainz but the other route builder equipped sims look rather dated. Obviously N3V don't have the resources Asobo/MS have (and it has to be said the new sim has its fair share of bugs) but time maybe for a fresh approach to how we do things.
    TRS 2019 Coach Class (Former Customer)

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by Vern View Post
    ... time maybe for a fresh approach to how we do things.
    Agree with your points. We have to acknowledge trains simply don't garner the same fascination as planes these days, when both are presented to your average "gamer" flying poses a more challenging task and would therefore be more popular to casual audiences. If anything close to fresh comes about in the train sim genre in the upcoming decade, I would assume that it will be from MS themselves, perhaps a long-overdue MSTS reboot. Taking MS out of the equation however, Trainz franchise seems to have the most 'future-proofed' robustness if the ability to control physics and sound is placed in content creators' hands. I don't think a timetabling system would be out of the scope of Trainz Native Interface either. The thing is that TS users seem to slowly be acknowledging that they are clinging to and dropping $1000+ on addons for a game engine that is pushing 15 years.

    And the techniques used in MSFS would certainly work well for any area except the immediate surroundings to the track, now that I think about it.

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    I was under the impression that Trainz Plus is the beta version of the next retail release and that at some point the current code will be compiled and the graphic screens updated to whatever the new name is and it will be released as a retail product. This is exactly what happened with TRS19 Platinum. While there might be experimental versions that have not been released that are tested in house I don't think there will be a significant amount of new features beyond what the current version of Trainz Plus includes just before the release. That is the whole point of the subscription model for Trainz Plus.

    William

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    The thing is that TS users seem to slowly be acknowledging that they are clinging to and dropping $1000+ on addons for a game engine that is pushing 15 years.
    You got that one wrong.......new engine is approx 5 yrs old and it still hasn't used all it's power yet.

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    Quote Originally Posted by wreeder View Post
    I was under the impression that Trainz Plus is the beta version of the next retail release and that at some point the current code will be compiled and the graphic screens updated to whatever the new name is and it will be released as a retail product. This is exactly what happened with TRS19 Platinum. While there might be experimental versions that have not been released that are tested in house I don't think there will be a significant amount of new features beyond what the current version of Trainz Plus includes just before the release. That is the whole point of the subscription model for Trainz Plus.
    Not quite. Trainz Plus is the subscription retail release of TRS19 while TRS19 SP1 (as it currently is) and TRS19 Platinum Edition SP1 (ditto) are the non-subscription retail releases of TRS19. The Plus release will, according to the info from N3V, will have new features added on a regular basis and these features will eventually appear in the non-subscription releases. This has already happened with the UDS which initially appeared in Plus and is now available in TRS19 Platinum. Likewise additional camera modes have now migrated into TRS19 Platinum.
    TRS19 Platinum Edition SP2 (beta) 109037 - TRS19 SP1 (standard) 105096

  10. #10
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    Personally I'm not interested in mapping real world railways into Trainz. My own preference is for what are often termed fantasy routes, in which the world building allows a concentration of railway stuff of all kinds into routes that can offer a lot more interest than driving something for miles after mile up a very long line through a lot of rather featureless terrain.


    I don't disparage the real world routes but the fantasy alternatives I prefer personally don't need Trandem, eye-in-the-sky maps or anything additional to Trainz individual assets and the imagination of the route builder.


    ******


    Two alternative (to real world mapping facilities) and truly core improvements to Trainz would be:


    1) Much better control of quality, configuration, naming and all of the other management facilities associated with databases of complex and highly variable items. It's often very difficult to winnow the huge number of Trainz assets for exact items because they are often not well described in their metadata. Having to also wade through a lot of poorly-made assets makes the task of finding something exact even more difficult. (I know that the definition of "poorly-made" can be contentious but.....).


    2) In-built facilities to support multiple author collaborations in route and session building would be a catalyst to the much easier and faster production of high quality routes. I vaguely recall an N3V intention expressed some years ago to provide such facilities so that multiple authors could work simultaneously on one route (each doing an area or type of development) with an easy and periodic amalgamation facility of their efforts via group reviews and agreements - in a similar way to how word processors allow multiple authors to contribute to a single document in parallel rather than sequentially.


    In my view, the great strength of Trainz has always been the user community provision of often extremely high quality assets "for free", out of a desire to make good stuff rather than just to make money or fame. I'd like to see that mode increase via more collaboration, with a greater pace of evolution towards ever higher quality rather than things becoming moribund because of the exclusive-ownership drag-anchor on such evolution.


    Some route builders, for example, allow their route-asset to be reused without hindrance. This often enables someone else to improve the route or at least add detail and extensions. In the best cases, a collaboration arises and this can produce something more than just the sum of two individuals producing separate iterations of a route.


    I offer "Dearnby & District" as an example - 90% Neville Hill authored but catalysed and tweaked a bit by Lataxe and a couple of other contributors of specific this & thats, as well as including a section based on a very old route by another author, Dark Dan. It would be very good to hear of and see more such collaborative efforts. If N3V could also provide database management facilities to make such collaboration easier ......


    Lataxe

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lataxe View Post
    2) In-built facilities to support multiple author collaborations in route and session building would be a catalyst to the much easier and faster production of high quality routes. I vaguely recall an N3V intention expressed some years ago to provide such facilities so that multiple authors could work simultaneously on one route (each doing an area or type of development) with an easy and periodic amalgamation facility of their efforts via group reviews and agreements - in a similar way to how word processors allow multiple authors to contribute to a single document in parallel rather than sequentially.
    Not noticed the references to Multiplayer Surveyor over the last year or so? which is working in Plus Beta. http://online.ts2009.com/mediaWiki/i...layer_Surveyor

    Not my thing I prefer to create my own stuff however it was requested and N3V have obliged and it apparently works.
    Malc


  12. #12
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    2) In-built facilities to support multiple author collaborations in route and session building would be a catalyst to the much easier and faster production of high quality routes. I vaguely recall an N3V intention expressed some years ago to provide such facilities so that multiple authors could work simultaneously on one route (each doing an area or type of development) with an easy and periodic amalgamation facility of their efforts via group reviews and agreements - in a similar way to how word processors allow multiple authors to contribute to a single document in parallel rather than sequentially.
    I was involved in the beta testing of this. While not my thing either, I can see the potential for collaborative work. Some of the users did some amazing work very quickly even with the limited amount of assets used during the testing phase.

    MPS allows driving while building, meaning another user can drive while you're off putting down the landscape. Baseboards can be added on the fly and Surveyor looks like surveyor just the same. The assets too and the routes themselves are all server-side and we're only a client connecting in. Even though I'm connected via a wireless connection, the routes and assets load up quickly.

    Even if not interested in the long term, or for future projects, I highly recommend checking it out anyway. It's been fun.
    John
    Trainz User Since: 12-2003
    Trainz User ID: 124863
    T:ANE Build: 94829
    TRS2019/Trainz-PLUS: 106618

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    Quote Originally Posted by clam1952 View Post
    Not noticed the references to Multiplayer Surveyor over the last year or so? which is working in Plus Beta. http://online.ts2009.com/mediaWiki/i...layer_Surveyor

    Not my thing I prefer to create my own stuff however it was requested and N3V have obliged and it apparently works.
    No, I hadn't noticed but it looks ..... interesting. Personally, though, I find dealing with the supposedly stable versions of Trainz problematic enough without getting enmeshed in beta versions. Too much else to do and play with to be driven mad by beta bugs! :-)

    The description in the Wiki doesn't sound, though, the sort of facility that going to produce a high quality route. It seems to be ad hoc, on the fly and without any kind of agreement or quality control process. But perhaps it's more extensive than it sounds?

    Lataxe

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lataxe View Post
    No, I hadn't noticed but it looks ..... interesting. Personally, though, I find dealing with the supposedly stable versions of Trainz problematic enough without getting enmeshed in beta versions. Too much else to do and play with to be driven mad by beta bugs! :-)

    The description in the Wiki doesn't sound, though, the sort of facility that going to produce a high quality route. It seems to be ad hoc, on the fly and without any kind of agreement or quality control process. But perhaps it's more extensive than it sounds?

    Lataxe

    I suspect it will depend on who collaborates on the route. You can as I understand it control who does what and who can participate. Whether that will work well or not remains an unknown at this point.
    Malc


  15. #15

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    Much like PBR material/FBX, I don’t think MPS will catch on until the dust settles perhaps a year from its release. But the ability to collaborate can prove extremely powerful once its full potential is realized, with large projects becoming much easier to split up.

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