Creating Variety And Challenge

Discussion in 'PC Discussion' started by lcyrrjp, Aug 4, 2021.

  1. lcyrrjp

    lcyrrjp Active Member

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    In real life the interest in train driving comes from the variety, and the challenge. If every journey is the same, with no delays and greens all the way, it’s dull. But those little delays which occur on most journeys create the interest, and the challenge of making up the lost time.

    On most days, those delays come from three things:

    1) Temporary and Emergency Speed Restrictions (TSRs and ESRs)
    2) Variations in station dwell times
    3) Signal checks

    TSW2 does so many of the difficult things mostly well (such as graphics, sound and physics) yet it’s awful at creating the necessary variety to keep the game interesting, by implementing 3 things which sound easy by comparison.

    1. ESRs/TSRs - doesn’t do it at all.
    2. Variation in dwell times - doesn’t do it at all.
    3. Signal checks - it kind of does this, but there are very few of them, and there is no random element. Every time you drive the same train, you get the same signal checks.

    The ESRs/TSRs and variations in dwell time sound pretty easy compared to some of the stuff which is done successfully in the game. Signal checks just need some variation in the running of other trains. Again, putting the odd random delay on another train doesn’t sound that hard.

    I play TSW2 rather than TrainSimulator primarily because it has Timetable Mode, which is by far the most realistic way of playing. With the above features added to Timetable Mode, it would be far more interesting, and the game would have much more re-playability, which in turn would retain people’s interest in the game and improve demand for new routes and traction, therefore increase profits.

    Has anyone seen any indication that any of the above might ever be added, or have any views on them as suggestions? Thanks.
     
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  2. mattchester#9176

    mattchester#9176 Member

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    I think the main issue seems to be that, unless I'm mistaken, the timetable is static. I watched a video where Matt was explaining that they are wary of making any changes to it in case it leaves the player with an unplayable route / scenario.

    I agree this would be a great way of adding adding diversity and re-playabilty.

    Things I'd like to see are things like points failures or track faults, bridge strikes or similar leading to speed restrictions or being turned back and platform closures. They need to be realistic in nature (although perhaps occur more often than you might come across in real life).

    I guess it would come down to can the timetable be reworked to be dynamic and the dispatcher cope with dynamically changing tbe timings for services (or cancelling them if needed) without breaking the game and the possibility needing to be tested.

    Personally I think these changes would have a huge positive effect on gameplay, assuming it's feasible to implement. I understand however that those who just want a Sim and don't like the gaming aspects of TSW wouldn't like this so perhaps they could turn this feature off or at least reduce the amount of random events.
     
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  3. solicitr

    solicitr Well-Known Member

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    Matt has talked about wanting to implement things like random station dwell time and AI trains randomly running late, but has said that at least for the present the dispatcher isn't robust enough to handle a timetable that doesn't go like clockwork; get any trains off schedule (besides the player train) and the whole thing quickly becomes an impossible snarl.

    As for signal checks, look at the thread Awesome TSW Service Mode Runs - all about services (designed or through player misbehavior) which become yellow and red light feasts.
     
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  4. lcyrrjp

    lcyrrjp Active Member

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    Yes, the 'Awesome Service Modes' thread is excellent, and I've played all of the suggested runs on the routes I play (and suggested a few myself). However, it does take something away from it that you're playing the schedule in question specifically because it contains a delay - and in most cases you know where and when the delay's going to occur. Also, if you play the suggested schedule more than once, the delay is always in the same place. A random element would mean you genuinely wouldn't know what was going to happen, which would be a big step forward.
     
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  5. solicitr

    solicitr Well-Known Member

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    I agree, but I don't think it would be an easy or quick development.
     
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  6. lcyrrjp

    lcyrrjp Active Member

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    I can understand that the dispatcher couldn’t manage major variations like train failures, with trains running majorly outside of their paths. However, it seems to be able to deal with small variations (just a few minutes out of path) such as those which would be caused by the sort of factors I mentioned. After all, newer players often run late due to inexperience - indeed, on the stream Matt often runs late, due to (understandably) focussing on features of the game rather than keeping to time - and the dispatcher doesn’t seem to have a problem as a result.

    It’s only a minute or two of delay needed here and there to create the interest and variety needed.
     

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