I've been playing different train sims going on 20 years now. The hours I have spent in everything is more than I can count and recall. And over the years of playing I have learned a lot about railroad operations and what I like out of my train sim experience. It's taken me some time going between TSW2, Trainz, and Run8 to really get an understanding of what makes Railworks and TSW unenjoyable for me. And it all boils down to the game play, or lack there of. Let me try to explain, and hopefully layout the changes that I'd like to see come to TSW regarding the game play. As it stands now, TSW use's prescripted scenarios to make sessions. There is some randomness in terms of what locomotives on trains are there. But for the most part scenarios will all ways play out the same. Doing any tasks, switching, or yard work, its all doing it exactly how who ever scripted that scenario planed it. This leaves very little room for any player agency, the ability for the player to decide how to do something. It makes for extremely linear game play. This isn't inherently a bad thing. It helps new players figure out what to do, how to make the set outs they need to make, what tracks to go to. But it makes for boring game play for more advanced players that have a better understanding of how to do different operations. Lets look at a example where the player has plenty of agency and is able come to any number of solutions that get a proper result Model Railroads. Specifically, the Time Saver. We've probably all seen it at some point, but if not let me explain what this layout is. The Time Saver isn't meant to be a realistic model railroad, but more of a switching puzzle. A game to be beat. And there are a lot of ways to solve it. Some are faster than others. Lets look at how it starts out: (Yellow box is your locomotive) And here is how it should look when solved: The cars all start ether all over the layout, or behind the locomotive. And its a race against the clock to get them to the right spots as fast as possible. I find the time saver is a great way of just having some fun and getting a good idea of planing out switch moves. I used to have one that I would just play on for a few hours a day just to have fun. But this is a very good example of giving the player plenty to think about, giving them a real sense of agency. It benefits the player to think ahead and plan out all their moves. And it rewards the player not with points or stickers but in the sense or progression in seeing your times get better and better. The player really gets that sense of accomplishment. There is a clear start point, a clear end goal, but how the player gets that end goal is up to the player. With out anyone holding their hand along the ways. This isn't really something you see in scripted scenarios. Since in a scripted scenario all the thinking has been done ahead of time by someone else. They are very much holding the players hand every step of the way. This means that if you made the time saver in TSW with scenarios for it, they only way to solve that puzzle would be the way set out by who ever wrote that scenario. The player wouldn't have to think about their moves, just follow the instructions on the HUD. Looking at another example where dynamic, not scripted liner sessions, but dynamic game play in a train sim makes for a much more fun experience. Run8. And specifically lets look at one local that I have ran quite a few times in it, UP's Edison local YBK50. For some context, this local run out of UP's Bakersfield yard and heads up the Mojave sub a few miles to Edison CA. Now every time I have ran it, I've spotted all the cars where they need to be and picked up all the cars that are ready to go back to the yard. But each time, I've done it differently. And, since Run8 is multiplayer, I have watched and worked with other players who have ran that local their own way. They spotted everything where it needed to go, but all their switching moves where different that mine. We all got the cars where they needed to go, but we did it in our own way. And that made for a few fun and enjoyable time. We had to think 2-3 moves in advance. We where kept thinking and on our toes. So the scripted scenario system would have to go out the window. In its place a more dynamic system would need to be implemented. Things like markers would still be there for things like industry and stations locations. But timetables for passenger and freight manifest trains. But when doing yard work or delivering cars to industries you have a switch list. This would be a list that would tell you what cars you have to set out and where to set them out. As well as any cars that you need to pick up. But it wouldn't tell you how. That wold be up to you to figure out. And having a switch list would make things a bit more realistic, at least for North American routes. Even more so if we had an option to print them out. (Something I have done in other train sims and it added a whole new level of immersion.) This would make things more fun, more dynamic, and give the player more agency and choice in how they go about running trains. It would also make session more dynamic, more fun, and more rewarding.