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Thread: Mother Nature and Father Time

  1. #1
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    Lightbulb Mother Nature and Father Time

    When constructing Trainz routes/sessions, do you take season, weather, climate, time of day, local culture, and world region into consideration? Do you have multiple versions of routes/sessions for various seasons, weather conditions, festivities and times of day? How do railroads operate differently during thunderstorms as opposed to fair weather?

    For example, during a nighttime thunderstorm, farm combines would not be out in the wheat fields harvesting, cows would be inside the barn and you wouldn't hear roosters crowing. You'd only hear owls hooting at night. You wouldn't see school buses letting children off in their respective neighborhoods late at night. People would not be dressed in shorts in the snow. During the holiday season, storefronts, homes and towns should look Christmas-sy. Motor boats wouldn't be on the lake during the winter. People should dress according to weather. During wet weather, people standing on station platforms should be in raincoats and maybe hold umbrellas. There might not be as many people or cars parked at a train station during the night. Church parking lots should be full of cars and or people standing outside dressed up on Sunday mornings. Some businesses might be closed late at night.

    If Trainz were really sophisticated, routes/sessions might have the ability to auto adjust content (vehicles, people, animals, farm and industrial, clothing, equipment, trees, ground, water, festive scenery, buildings, artificial lighting) and behavior in routes/sessions for:

    1. time of year
    2. season
    3. time of day
    4. day of week
    5. holidays
    6. weather
    7. climate
    8. world region
    9. local culture (religious holidays, festivities, etc.)

    Trainz rain also doesn't leave realistic puddles of water on the ground.
    Last edited by JonMyrlennBailey; October 12th, 2021 at 09:50 AM.
    TANE SP4 Build 105766, upgraded Aug. 2021, TS12 Build 61388, downloaded Feb. 2018, American citizen, Lawton, OK

  2. #2
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    Yeah Jon, a simulation is always a compromise
    many things can already be done if you want
    -different sessions
    -using enough layers
    -using seasonal assets
    -using scripts and driver commands (that can turn layers on/off)


    n3v already secretly works on climate I found, so it might be in the next version
    puddles could maybe be made with kind decal (that noone uses sofar)


    Much is up to the content creators and session builders
    Trainz is a tool box, you can do whatever you want.

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    It's just easier to make special versions of a basic route/session (summertime clear weather daytime) for special situations as Christmas, snow, summer camping/boating, Halloween, daytime, nighttime or thunderstorms. The content is adjusted in each version accordingly. Layers is kinda messy to work with. I would only have the snow plow running off a time table in a winter snow version of a layout. I certainly would not have boats cruising on a lake during snow season. I have yet to see available people figures with raincoats, rubber boots and umbrellas. Make sure your sounds match the scenario too. Owls only hoot at night. Frogs only croak in wet areas and during the rain.
    TANE SP4 Build 105766, upgraded Aug. 2021, TS12 Build 61388, downloaded Feb. 2018, American citizen, Lawton, OK

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    Much, if not most, of what is in your list is already available in Trainz.


    1. time of year - not sure what this means (apart from 2. season).
    2. season - already available by setting the Latitude and Date in the Environment Tools. But it is up to individual creators to build seasonal features into their assets. Speedtrees, for example, allows this. I don't think it would be a good idea for N3V to automate the process in all assets - for example winter snow is never a feature in even the coldest of Australian Outback winters (June to August). But how much seasonal detail would be enough? Here in Australia winter (June to August) does not arrive at the same time in all locations - in the topical north it arrives much later and lasts for a far shorter time than in the temperate south.
    3. time of day - already there in the Time and Rate Rule plus others. As for scenery assets such as harvesters not working at night (they actually do operate 24/7 some places of the world) that is already available in the layers features.
    4. day of week - Monday to Friday is no longer the working week in many businesses. Saturdays and Sundays are just like Mondays to Fridays in many places
    5. holidays - somewhere in the world there is a holiday on every single day of the year.
    6. weather - again built-in with session rules.
    7. climate - far too many variables here and then throw in climate change.
    8. world region - already there in the Region asset
    9. local culture (religious holidays, festivities, etc.) - see 5. holidays.


    Much of what you want would be the responsibility of individual asset creators - people wearing raincoats and carrying umbrellas, etc. Other things would be a nightmare to build into the game engine and even then would be subject to too many exceptions.

    I find layers to be a great feature and not "messy" at all. Layers can also be hidden and revealed by a driver command (<kuid:160293:101080> Layer Control) and a session rule (<kuid2:401543:1170:1> Show/Hide Layer Rule).

    My thoughts.
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    1. Time of year, Christmas as opposed to Easter. Halloween as opposed to Mother's Day. Being an American, I'm only familiar with holidays and festive days/seasons familiar to the American culture. I model my fictitious Trainz routes exclusively on the American West and more specifically the forested landscape typical of the Pacific Northwestern States.

    I would not know how to decorate a Trainz route for Easter, Thanksgiving or Halloween specifically. 4th of July would need marching bands, American flags and fireworks content for the towns on the layout. A snow-covered route with frosted trees certainly looks Christmas-sy to an American.

    I have not figured out yet how to use layers to instantly turn a summertime scene route into a white winter wonderland as if by magic.

    Here's a sudden new thought of mine: Has anybody here crafted a wartime scene on a Trainz route, a military battlefield scenario? World War Two films often depict a lot of railroading activity in Germany.
    There was an article years ago about a English-style fox hunt for a model train layout in some magazine I peeked at or it might have been in Lionel Trains literature. Searching DLS, I have not been able to find men on horses in fancy riding habits, hounds and foxes for an English-style foxes and hounds scene. The fox hunt was depicted on a model RR layout of the hunting party crossing the tracks following the hounds and fox on the other side.
    Last edited by JonMyrlennBailey; October 12th, 2021 at 04:53 PM. Reason: dn weather tyoical of
    TANE SP4 Build 105766, upgraded Aug. 2021, TS12 Build 61388, downloaded Feb. 2018, American citizen, Lawton, OK

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    Quote Originally Posted by JonMyrlennBailey View Post
    1. Time of year, Christmas as opposed to Easter. Halloween as opposed to Mother's Day. Being an American, I'm only familiar with holidays and festive days/seasons familiar to the American culture. I model my Trainz routes exclusively on the American West and more specifically the forested landscape typical of the Pacific Northwestern States.
    That's a very narrow cultural perspective (a "USA-centric") view of the world. Taking just the Christian perspective - Easter is celebrated according to the phase of the moon so it is never at the same time from one year to the next. Broadening the definition, Orthodox Easter is not at the same time as traditional Christian Easter. Now throw other religions into the mix - Islam's holiest month, Ramadan, is celebrated according to the Lunar Calendar (29 days per month) and moves forward about 1 month every year on a roughly 13 year cycle.

    National days? How many nations are there? As I mentioned in point 5, you would need to build in a holiday every day of the year and probably multiple holidays on the same day.

    I just want to run trains and not have to worry about cultural, religious, seasonal and nationalistic factors.

    My opinions.
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  7. #7
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    I will probably have 5 variations of my route:

    1. summer day, clear
    2. foggy non-winter night
    3. thunderstorm night (people at train station stand inside shelters on platform)
    4. snow-covered day
    5. snow-covered night

    My current route is an imaginary 1/10 scale outdoor layout in a fictitious forested region of the Pacific Northwest. Outdoor large-scale model train layouts will experience REAL weather from Mother Nature. The content of such large-scale physical model train layouts, in theory, would be designed for outdoor use and stand up to nasty 1:1 scale weather. A 1/10 scale hemlock tree would be taller than a real-world human basketball player.A 1/10-scale loco might be too long to fit in the box of your standard-bed pickup truck.
    Last edited by JonMyrlennBailey; October 12th, 2021 at 05:49 PM.
    TANE SP4 Build 105766, upgraded Aug. 2021, TS12 Build 61388, downloaded Feb. 2018, American citizen, Lawton, OK

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    Quote Originally Posted by JonMyrlennBailey View Post
    Owls only hoot at night. Frogs only croak in wet areas and during the rain.
    I noticed that owls in Alabama also hoot during the day for those of you working on a route in Alabama.
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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by JimDep View Post
    I noticed that owls in Alabama also hoot during the day for those of you working on a route in Alabama.
    Custom static sound objects are easy to make. Use something like xjc sound horse1,<kuid:386158:1171> by jytte to start with. Swap any WAV file for the sound effect you want.

    I have:

    -cow moos
    -bear growls
    -cougar yowls
    -coyote yips
    -bullfrog
    -other frogs
    -owls
    -dogs
    -vehicle sounds
    -church bell
    -lawn mower
    -fire engine siren at fire station
    -my own voice hollering ALL ABOARD at the train station

    you name it!!
    TANE SP4 Build 105766, upgraded Aug. 2021, TS12 Build 61388, downloaded Feb. 2018, American citizen, Lawton, OK

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    Quote Originally Posted by JonMyrlennBailey View Post
    1. summer day, clear
    2. foggy non-winter night
    3. thunderstorm night (people at train station stand inside shelters on platform)
    4. snow-covered day
    5. snow-covered night
    All the above is achievable in the current Trainz using sessions. If someone can create a Date Rule then it could be possible to assign different layers and assets to different dates, even weekends vs weekdays.
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  11. #11
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    Different dates and TIME of day or night as well.
    TANE SP4 Build 105766, upgraded Aug. 2021, TS12 Build 61388, downloaded Feb. 2018, American citizen, Lawton, OK

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    Quote Originally Posted by JonMyrlennBailey View Post
    and TIME of day or night as well.
    The TimeCheck Rule (<kuid2:122381:10008:3>) already does that.
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    Quote Originally Posted by pware View Post
    The TimeCheck Rule (<kuid2:122381:10008:3>) already does that.
    Thank you.........I didn't know about this. I'll have to try it.
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    Quote Originally Posted by JonMyrlennBailey View Post
    Custom static sound objects are easy to make. Use something like xjc sound horse1,<kuid:386158:1171> by jytte to start with. Swap any WAV file for the sound effect you want.

    I have:

    -cow moos
    -bear growls
    -cougar yowls
    -coyote yips
    -bullfrog
    -other frogs
    -owls
    -dogs
    -vehicle sounds
    -church bell
    -lawn mower
    -fire engine siren at fire station
    -my own voice hollering ALL ABOARD at the train station

    you name it!!

    Great ! Thanks
    T:ANE Standard SP2 to SP3
    TRS 2012 build 61388

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    Darcyjames (post #13 above) reported as spam
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