Route Merging

Discussion in 'PC Discussion' started by dangerousdave, Oct 20, 2021.

  1. dangerousdave

    dangerousdave Member

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    With the release of London to Brighton I was surprised that the route is separate from east coastway! I was expecting to be able to hop on a train to Brighton from Victoria then change at Brighton for a train to Eastbourne. Is there some sort of limitation with unreal engine that prevents this?
     
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  2. Tank621

    Tank621 Well-Known Member

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    There is no engine limitation it's just more complicated than sticking the two maps together and pressing 'go'. As I understand it, it will effectively need a rebuilt, combined, timetable. An unchanged timetable will have all cross-map border services as two separate ones which have to co-exist and is further complicated by the fact that there is a significant overlap between the two maps. Plus of course, there might not actually be enough trains available to actually be able to operate the whole combined timetable.

    It is most certainly possible but it is not remotely quick and simple to do.
     
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  3. pdxmark77

    pdxmark77 Active Member

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    Merging the maps is easy and can be done (modders have been able to do it). The tricky part is getting the timetables to work across the 2 maps plus not everyone owns ECW as well.. and getting it to work when someone doesn't own ECW is another thing.

    Hopefully someday they will be able to overcome this, but it doesn't look like it's a priority and we may never see proper route merging.
     
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  4. ARuscoe

    ARuscoe Well-Known Member

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    I don't think the issue is either the maps nor the timetable, but the "progress" that people have made
    If the maps are made with the proper coordinates and the tile for Brighton is the same in both routes then joining the maps at that point wouldn't be difficult

    Having timetables that work between the two depend on how they've done timetables in game, but it should be the case that adding in the ECW timetable to BML Brighton is either a simple reference or import (preferably reference so that any changes to ECW enact straight away)

    The problem comes when you look at completion. If someone had ECW and completed a run at Lewes that IRL would go up to Victoria, and then later when they buy the BML and CAN complete that longer service what happens to the old service completion award? Some people hate losing their awards or progress, and this has been commented on a few times as a sticking point.
     
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  5. dangerousdave

    dangerousdave Member

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    I see. So in theory if they had of expanded the East coastway route to London it would have worked but by creating a new route entirely makes it not viable to do. I'm guessing when Chatham mainline comes out this will a separate route to Faversham high speed. Which is annoying. If the 4 routes were as one you could have fun for hours but switching routes all the time isn't very realistic.

    Thanks.
     
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  6. dangerousdave

    dangerousdave Member

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    I would happily lose progress and buy additional dlc if I could hop on a train at Faversham, get of at Victoria then go to Brighton and then on to Eastbourne. I've tried the merged routes on ts and although some are a bit unstable it makes things more interesting. I've even purchase additional dlc to use the merged routes. Dlc I wouldn't have bought otherwise.
     
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  7. ARuscoe

    ARuscoe Well-Known Member

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    What;s viable comes down to dev time and how much might break when they make those changes.
    It's more than possible to extend routes in several ways both with and without messing up what people have already done, all depends on the systems they use now and how much work they want to do to add on into the future.

    As an example, the thameslink runs in BML are already there. They spent the time making those timetables just in case they want to add them in in the future. If ever they did a south london route (which would include TL to London Bridge or further) they would only need to refer to or copy those existing timetable runs. Test and run it and you've saved yourself a shedload of dev time

    Only problem is that you then have all your routes on that network set on a particular date (or timetable) but I doubt too many people will worry about that

    DTG have stated several times they're not going to do extensions though, so this is all pipe dreams
     
  8. ARuscoe

    ARuscoe Well-Known Member

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    That's a slightly different thing for me.
    Would basically involve either a portal system or those blue shafts of light on the platform linked to other DLC. OK you might have to go "off world" a bit (ie IRL you'd cross from P1 to P3 etc whereas in game you might have to go back to the tunnel or a specific place) but still...
     
  9. dangerousdave

    dangerousdave Member

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    Well I'm hoping they will give us access to the editor at some point. If devs don't want to invest the time I'm sure users will.
     
  10. ARuscoe

    ARuscoe Well-Known Member

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    Be careful what you wish for...
    3rd parties are not obliged to maintain their content, so it could be that UE4.28 comes out and DTG move to it, and suddenly every 3rd party mod fails
     
  11. Tank621

    Tank621 Well-Known Member

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    I feel like the only solution there would be to treat the merged route as a separate route on its own.

    Very true, however, route mergers are a different beast from route extensions.


    The major hurdle I can see is the question of making route mergers cost-effective, after all, it is a lot of work which, I suspect, many people would want at no extra cost, after all, you aren't getting any new content.

    The main question I have with regards to mergers is how taxing a merged route will be to run, you will be running massive timetables and potentially all of the layers associated with them, it may be the case that the memory refinements will be a necessary precursor before mergers become feasible across all platforms.
     
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  12. mattwild55

    mattwild55 Well-Known Member

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    The timetable issue could be resolved by creating a 'world timetable' that runs for all routes, present and future. Obviously only services that cross into playable areas need to be included at first, but this could then be expanded as time goes on.

    If I were to start one today, I'd begin in the UK with the London to Brighton timetable as a 'base' layer and then adapt ECW and GWE timetables to suit (remember that the Gatwick / Redhill GWR services on Brighton turn into the AI terminating 166 services at Reading in GWE at the other end of the North Downs line).

    The caveat with such a 'live' timetable is that sometimes loco allocations would change based on the available DLC and should be stated upfront - eg. if we get a Class 700 DLC, then the Rainham services on SEHS would likely replaced with Class 700s and so anyone who didn't have that DLC might lose them (or it could be setup in such a way that the 465 does those services instead etc. - this would need some further development of the substitution system as I understand it but it shouldn't be beyond the wit of man).

    I suspect the bigger issue might be memory allocation and figuring out how to dynamically load and unload trains (although this would presumably also solve some of the current memory limit performance issues); as I understand it at the moment every potential train and scenery item is loaded in when the route is loaded. PC could probably handle it (although with a sufficiently large merged world even high end PCs would struggle) but consoles are struggling even as we are at the moment without having more to think about.

    Hope that makes some degree of sense, someone with more development experience will probably correct me on this.
     
  13. ARuscoe

    ARuscoe Well-Known Member

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    Depends on how you manufacture them...
    Merging two routes (as done in TS1) is a problem because the station coords are all over the place. I've seen comments that Cardiff is in three or four different locations for example.
    So transforming the coords, making sure it's all to scale etc becomes a thing in it's own right

    With all content in TSW being by one publisher (and all the routes which can be joined all done by DTG that I know of) hopefully they've started with a coord specified and so on, making moving from one map tile to an adjacent map tile easy enough whether it's to the North or the East

    This is why I would expect them to work as extensions of each other. If you have ECW and not BML you don't get the content North of Brighton, even if the data is there to allow the timetables to work
    If you have BML but not ECW then you can't go East of Brighton (though again relevant timetables populate the main station)
    If you have both then you can use both
    All could be controlled at load by the same process they could implement to solve the "mounting all DLC whether they're being used or not" issues
     
  14. ARuscoe

    ARuscoe Well-Known Member

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    Simple scenario substitution could be used on this, with a primary train set (in the case stated a 700) but with alternatives from the original DLC stated as secondaries / tertiaries etc (so a 465 subbing for the 700 in the case stated). When loading the scenario the dynamic DLC would check to see if 700 is available, and if so all relevant services become 700s.
    If there is an actual substitution possibility (like different freight locos) then they would all be listed in secondary so the game then chooses which applies on scenario load (which I believe is what happens now anyway)
     
  15. facundo.dim

    facundo.dim Member

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    Forget it, that won't happen. There are "stuff" that can't be open to the public, Unreal Engine isn't DTG's property and Epic won't allow the free sharing of his tools.
     
  16. Tank621

    Tank621 Well-Known Member

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    I suppose there's also the complication of who would be responsible for route mergers.

    It seems like too significant a project for the preservation crew to do without holding back other aspects of their work but it also seems like too rare a task for it to warrant its own dedicated team, we currently only have two potential merged candidates with a third on the way at some point, what happens once they have done their job?

    Even if it is a big enough task to warrant a separate team, does DTG really want another team of people working on complex long-term projects which likely won't generate any extra cash flow?
     
  17. ARuscoe

    ARuscoe Well-Known Member

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    For me it would be a core engineering job. Make things work how they're supposed to work with the DLC ownership being irrelevant, then make it DLC aware, then roll it out as a core mechanic.
    The only things that would then need to be different would be making sure the map coords are all the same (ie Brighton is in the same place in both DLC) and that portals are available at the boundaries for if the relevant DLC aren't owned so the DLC specific work would become minimal
     
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  18. dangerousdave

    dangerousdave Member

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    Holding back on the editor is down to dtg. Unreal Engine is available to download on epic games to edit other titles and I think you can use it for modeling for tsw. I would imagine that dtg think releasing the editor to the public would allow us to build our own routes and lower their income which isn't the case. I've purchased routes on ts just for the assets.
     
  19. ARuscoe

    ARuscoe Well-Known Member

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    They've said quite a few times this isn't the case at all and that it comes down to a few things including licensing issues with partners
     
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  20. chieflongshin

    chieflongshin Well-Known Member

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    I think we just need to be mindful they’re two different beasts. I think those of us that have frequented forums and streams for a few years understand TS was a licensing free for all and TSW is trying to do things the right way as much as they can. I’m a believer the more we support the product the more we will get and hopefully variety comes with that. For all we know a partner may crop up that builds their business round Australian routes or loco building exclusively.

    I’d love to see the game take some synergy to TS and have a modular approach to routes but appreciate its complex.

    Let’s say for example a time table for the whole of ECML from Kings Cross to Waverley was built and separated into three packs. I might only want to buy up to Peterborough then from Newcastle to Edinburgh but the timetables need to work. If I then in some form of Lego fashion bought Peterborough to Newcastle the time table still needs to work and they need to recognise I own which parts and join as needed. If they slotted into each other and seamlessly loaded (cue gen 8 limitations) we’d have something really special.

    Now ECML is built they then wanted to extend the gap over to Cathcart they all need to link and recognise a working timetable throughout. Will it ever happen, god knows. Would it be amazing to build your virtual train set as you choose, god yes.
     
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2021
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  21. trainsimcz

    trainsimcz Well-Known Member

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    Lets make it clear about those licensing stuff... Unreal Editor is completely free and there is no license for that to share it. There is no licensing problems too... what is their compiled editor version using is some payware plugins... of course they are disabled until you insert your license there so still no problem to release editor. So what you will need to use the editor on 100% ?
    - at least SpeedTree license ($20 per month - $240 for a year)
    - World Machine - terrain generator ($299) - there is even free version but it can generate only 1 tile, and you know route can have 300 tiles

    And now that merging part:
    [​IMG]
    http://www.trainsim.cz/obr5/merged/bmlecw.jpg

    Timetable:
    [​IMG]
    http://www.trainsim.cz/obr5/merged/ecwmergedtt.jpg

    Now for the main problems... some ECW and BML services spawn on the same tracks (solution is to trace those services, if they are the same then keep BML ones, all BML services using ECW part of the route needs to be disabled as there is no portal anymore, all ECW services using BML part needs to be disabled (removed too) because there is no portal too.

    But thats not the biggest problem of course, that can be resolved very fast... the biggest problem is signals and dispatcher. In the main umap file there is a class which include all signals and rails on the route, before you ask ... yeah i merged that part too but im still missing something... i can cheat, disable SPAD stuff and the rest of the ECW route is working fine with all signals (main part is BML so that one is working normally).. so once i find out which information is the signal missing then it will be completely merged and full working.

    Before you start celebrating ... problem is that i cant share merged route because it will mean to share huge part of the copyrighted route. So until i find some solution for that, there will be no release.
     
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  22. chieflongshin

    chieflongshin Well-Known Member

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    I am genuinely amazed, nice work. I'm surprised they've not reached out to work with you to find a solution. I hope they do :cool:
     
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  23. ARuscoe

    ARuscoe Well-Known Member

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    Sorry, I think you've got the wrong end of the stick here. Train company licenses... Most likely someone out there has said they can have a license for TSW so long as other people can't edit or make things that would show that company in a bad light
    Everyone can get hold of the Epic editor from Epic, and only have to start paying if they actually sell a certain amount of things made with it
     

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