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Thread: Quillable whistles on steam

  1. #1
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    Default Quillable whistles on steam

    I don't get why this feature is not in the game. I have quillable whistles on my MTH and Lionel engines, and those processors have very little processing power compared to a PC. The interface is easy. Have a pullable handle in the interface instead of the whistle icon (see the app example in the video). I think the problem is too many of the devs grew up in the diesel era and haven't really paid attention to this detail from the steam era.
    Go to 6 minutes in the video

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by swdw View Post
    I don't get why this feature is not in the game. I have quillable whistles on my MTH and Lionel engines, and those processors have very little processing power compared to a PC. The interface is easy. Have a pullable handle in the interface instead of the whistle icon (see the app example in the video). I think the problem is too many of the devs grew up in the diesel era and haven't really paid attention to this detail from the steam era.
    Not necessarily. Quilling horn and whistle sounds are possible through sound files and other means. Just because someone is born then or now doesn't mean they don't appreciate steam! I treat all locomotive types equally and their fanbases with respect, and I was born in a post-steam USA! Unless you want to anger diesel and electric fans I suggest you word your thread a bit differently.. Remember, you're comparing an app - real life scenario against a game - game scenario. Not everyone needs or wants quilling whistles or horns and nobody really complains about the lack of it, they usually just create their own version. 3-part horns and whistles make this possible. I recommend asking nicely and putting this in the suggestion boxcar thread.

    Quilling whistles is hard anyways, especially like the one on the video. With the current solution, games can't detect how hard you click the icon or press the keyboard, neither can your mouse. The only way to quill a whistle is to put it directly in the sound file. N3V most likely cannot find a way to quill whistles in a way that satisfies everyone. At least thank them that 3-part sounds exist!

    My opinion on the matter.
    Last edited by DARTrider; October 23rd, 2021 at 10:31 AM.

  3. #3
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    This has been brought up before in the Suggestion Boxcar. I believe the outcome, now don't quote me on it because it's been quite a while since I read the thread, that this isn't possible directly within the game-engine, but can probably be achieved through sound files as mentioned above. The scripting to do this, isn't easy from what I remember, which may be the problem.

    That being said, N3V makes very little if any content themselves and relies on the goodwill of the userbase to create content both free and for sale. This isn't a new thing and has been their way of doing things since the early days. In 2006/2007 after Auran closed, N3V took over and went full force on this more than ever. They are a very small team that's not only developing new products, but also maintaining what we are using already.

    Many of the content-creators make content for themselves and share that with the rest of us. What we have on the Download Station (DLS), and also for sale, is what the content creators want share with us. In many cases, a very fine locomotive may not have the correct horn, but then again at least we have the locomotive model whether it's a full model created from scratch, or a reskin. Keep in mind that a steam locomotive is very difficult to build and requires many, many hours of free time to create. Feel lucky you have what you've got.
    John
    Trainz User Since: 12-2003
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    TRS22 Beta tester

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by JCitron View Post
    This has been brought up before in the Suggestion Boxcar. I believe the outcome, now don't quote me on it because it's been quite a while since I read the thread, that this isn't possible directly within the game-engine, but can probably be achieved through sound files as mentioned above. The scripting to do this, isn't easy from what I remember, which may be the problem.
    Hmm, I thought they wer PROGRAMMERS and their job would be to modify the engine to allow this. They modify everything else.

    Oh well, no different thanIl2 blaming all their joystick issues on MS, when many other flight sims don't have the problem. I remember when developers liked having ideas for new features instead of making excuses, even if it was a challenge to implement. Seems like its becoming an industry wide disease as there are many other examples.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by swdw View Post
    Hmm, I thought they wer PROGRAMMERS and their job would be to modify the engine to allow this. They modify everything else.
    Geez, no need to get mad! They might be programmers, but they are a small team of 3 or 5 people (I think?) working on a huge game, and modifying engines isn't their ONLY job, Mister. Quilling whistles is probably not a huge priority, as they are working on stuff like Surveyor 2.0 which has needed an update since forever now, and Multiplayer Surveyor, which is just an all-around great addition. If you're gonna get mad about it no one is going to listen to you. You're better of trying it yourself rather than ranting and getting nowhere. As John said, be grateful for what you have.

    You're gonna get yourself banned if you keep this up!
    Last edited by DARTrider; October 23rd, 2021 at 03:45 PM.

  6. #6
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    Hi Swdw
    Personally, I'd love to see quilling of whistles available, however both major options that are available for programmers to implement this in games are not very good IMO. You're talking about an analogue effect, being replicated with digital files.

    The first method available is pitch shifting. This is where you take a looped sound file, and pitch shift it (essentially like playing it faster or slower), to give a higher or lower pitch sound. The problem here is that it only works for quilling a whistle with minimal change, as it only makes it sound deeper or higher pitch. So for a 5 chime whistle that tends to 'climb' through notes, it won't sound right. It also fails to take into account where in the whistle's range the sound was recorded; although tags could take account for this with suitable tags. This is the method used by some of the DCC manufacturers that I've experience, and is the easiest for creators to implement (it would theoretically work with existing 2-part and 3-part horns, but won't be perfect on everything).

    The second method is to allow the hornsound creator to provide multiple looped files, and a 'step' file between them. This is generally the option that has the better chance of sounding better (to a degree at least), but it is much much more difficult to create the hornsound for as you will need to be able to record the whistle in a specific way, and it would greatly limit how many 'levels' of quill you have (you'll notice in the video you linked, the 'quill' is about 3 or 4 levels of quill, with an obvious step between them). The better the recording set, the more levels you could theoretically have, but you will need to record a lot of sound files (you would generally need a file for the step up between each quill, plus a loop for each quill, and then a file for each step down). This would absolutely require you to have access to a locomotive with the whistle fitted, and a relatively quiet environment to record it in, and be allowed to blow the whistle at the required levels.

    Potentially you could combine these, but generally pitch shifting of the looped files would make having the step files difficult (as you cannot guarantee that the pitch shifted loop will match the step files), so generally this results in just jumping between pitch shifted loops (see steam enginesounds in Trainz for this method).

    Personally, I'm a bit of a fan of the ESU methods of whistle creating for DCC, having played with it a bit, and maybe one day we might be able to achieve something like this in Trainz (in theory, it could possibly be scripted, but I haven't actually tried it yet), through a procedural sound system. On a whistle set that I created for one of my HO models, I have it randomly select between 2 whistle sounds when you 'long blow' the whistle (ie hold the button for more than about 1 second), when you let go of the button one of the whistles then has two 'end' options (one has a bit of a quill on the end, one just has a plain end). It was also setup that if you tap the whistle, it randomly selects one of five short 'pop' blasts on the whistle. The short pop whistle is definitely something I'm thinking of how I might script that in Trainz (I have ideas, just not had time to actually put it together ), and at some point it might be fun to try making the random long whistle system work but that might not work as neatly as a standard 3-part horn in Trainz. But of course, this doesn't really provide for a true quilled whistle, it's just fixed whistle quills.

    But in the end, any functional 'quillable whistle' (be it fixed quill sounds like TCS's WowSound decoders, or variable using the two methods I mentioned) would still require the content creators to provide suitable whistle sounds, and to support those with their locomotives and cab views. So even if a method were implemented, only content designed to support that feature would generally include it.

    That isn't to say we won't potentially look into options in future, but it is a fairly major feature to introduce that would require content creator support to get use from.

    Regards
    Zec Murphy

    Customer Support Rep
    N3V Games (Auran)

    *Please do not use Private Messages for support. Support can only be provided via the helpdesk, or via the forums.

  7. #7
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    I have been working on this. Im still working out the kinks..

    https://youtu.be/7uCd8skijUw

  8. #8
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    I've been messing with a game called "Railroads Online" lately and whilst the route building tools are beyond terrible (like tearing your hair out and wanting to kill yourself kind of bad) they do have an excellent implementaion of quillable steam whistles which are sooo much fun to play with.

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