Discussion in 'Dovetail Live Article Discussion' started by DTG Natster, Mar 29, 2021.
Read the article here.
Can’t wait for steam trains
Thanks for this article. I am looking forward to the next one. I would like to address an aspect that somehow annoyed me with TS regarding steam. If you really want to use all valves and controls, you need to be inside the cab, but if you do so, you loose contact with the outside world. Part of the issue arises from having both a fireman and a driver in real world. Doing it alone is hard. Second issue is the lack of feedback. In TS you have the 5 button that gives you some information but in a very unfriendly way and sometimes barely readable.
Another aspect is that you simply have less degrees of freedom in a simulation. You cannot easily turn your head, look up and down, feel the controls with your hands while looking outside the window and also you have to face the not very ergonomic design of steam locos. I am curious how you are going to deal with those issues. TrackIr and a much much better HUD may be very helpful here, but I am looking forward to hear on the views of Matt and Sam.
I'm looking very forward to the Railfan fest! There's some interesting stuff in there
Also, I'm glad that more time is taken to develop steam, quality over quantity. Gonna be exiting to see which steam loco gets to be in TSW2!
I also can’t wait for steam trains! I really enjoy the attention to detail that goes in to this, and I may be in the minority but I am all for a complete expert mode with them. It would be very interesting to even have a hostler type mode where you take them from cold iron to prepared for duty. Even all of the lubrication required to get going, it will be very interesting to see how it comes out!! I’m willing to bet there is probably not anyone that has made a steam simulation of any type to that level of detail that is mentioned in the article. I am a mariner by trade, and though I work in the deck department I know in maritime simulation usually steam systems, boilers, turbines etc. are line drawings and more of an automation simulation than an immersive type experience. I really look forward to this being added to the game. As far as American steam locomotives, please if you’re thinking of them the Norfolk and Western J class 611 would be an excellent locomotive to have in the game. It is legendary amongst American steam enthusiasts, and is still operating today. I’ve had the pleasure to operate the 611 and would love to repeat the experience in game! There is just something awesome about steam trains and I really can not wait for them to arrive in the game!!
Very cool article. It is also interesting to hear that diesel might benefit from this with better smoke - that's definitely an aspect worth improving.
This is sounds like its going to be as it should be....
Steam trains.... Expert difficulty by default.... I'm looking forward to playing with advanced controls and spending 2 hours just trying to get it to move....
thank you for the article on Steam Trains, Natalie, what happened to your streams on Livery Editor ?
Big project! Interesting 'interview'. I am very curious to see how it will develop further. Maybe it's time to introduce the multiplayer coop on this occasion! Fascinating \o/
I‘m not at all interested in playing Steam on TSW, never really got to grips with steamengines in TS2021. I do enjoy these articles though. It‘s really interesting to hear about the challenges of how it‘s all put together. I really hope you‘ll do more. One of the good things about Arosa was the articles that Rivet did in the lead up.
So, will there be a separate "Steam team" at DTG working on what seems to be a huge undertaking?
As someone who doesn't really have much interest in steam trains, and the recent paucity of upcoming routes listed on the roadmap (beyond what's already in production), i'm slightly worried about what Steam development's impact will be on the rest of TSW2.
P.S. I'm not trying to be negative- i'm really happy for the many fans of steam trains, and i'm sure i'll end up buying at least one steam route just to try it. A late steam/early diesel era would add a lot more interest, for me personally.
I am also not a big fan of steam, but at the same time I slowly realize that the most engaging experience may be about steam locomotives. That's good for a gaming product! Provide an interesting experience.
PS And this nostalgia. Hope to get the full route of the Orient Express! From London to Constantinople! \o/ (forested version!)
Looking forward to the Diesel clag! One thing highlighted here is that steam will demand more from systems than the current locos so I am wondering whether it will run on console gen 8 or even the same lower spec pcs. The current optimisation work is supposed to advance us to the point where HMA can run with layers on the older consoles, so presumably there is yet further work required for steam to be functional. I guess there is an unhappy scenario where choices between performance and realism might have to be made for Steam to actually work in TSW.
Looking forward to the next article. Great work, and well worth the wait.
very much looking forward to seeing the next step in adding steam to TSW2, I don’t know much about steam trains but I can tell that they are beautiful, massive beasts and I’d imagine this is a big undertaking. Thank you for the information!
That might be a while, seeing as it's over 2,000 miles. Bit of a tall order for TSW2.
I can confidently say that this difficulty will very much not be the default. This will be for exactly the same reason that PZB and similar is not switched on by default. The article makes it clear that there will be a certain amount of simplification for gameplay reasons.
Really enjoy reading how its being made and love the simugraph stuff, but I'm very excited for the next article "In the next steam article we'll be talking about the world these trains run in, the track, the signalling and how we go about replicating a world that no longer exists."
I imagine I'll mostly be running with auto fireman, but I'm genuinely intrigued to see what the gameplay will be like as a fireman with an auto driver.
They have a core team for a reason, they do the heavy lifting on projects like this, not the route teams, Also if you look through TS Classic's route you'll realize steam routes are a minority, and even then most are transition routes, trust me you won't have anything to worry about.
Although I like steam trains in the real world, steam in TSW is nor something I had previously been interested in due to the complexity of driving them. However, the possibility of a beginners mode would be welcome and encourage me and others of a similar disposition to try it and maybe graduate to a more skilful level later.
The choice of auto fireman is an interesting one. On the one hand, handling both roles would require an enormous amount of skill and concentration, providing excellent gameplay for the serious player. However, would those same players avoid it and use the AI fireman as they wouldn’t do both roles in real life (immersion killing, if you will).
I suppose the sensible option would be to try both and decide which you prefer.
I too have largely avoided steam engines in TS20XX because I couldn't get the hang of driving them, running out of water or stalling on gradients etc. But I actually would like to learn to operate a steam locomotive and TSW2 might be the way forward, with its ability to interact with controls and provide interactive tutorials the way that TS can't. My lack of dexterity would probably prevent me from assuming both engineer and fireman roles simultaneously.
Hopefully the Auto Fireman isn't as dumb as the one that comes with TS20XX....
I like the technical insights/details regarding SimuGraph most in those articles
I'm actually quite happy with the complexity that Train Simulator uses for steam locomotives. Although tutorials aren't very useful, and even with hundreds of hours of experience operating steam locomotives in TS I'm convinced I'm not doing everything correctly and efficiently. However, it's good enough for me to get a steam locomotive going and getting it to stop.
This can be a problem om some mountainous routes like Clear Creek, but personally I've never really experienced this on most of the European steam routes for Train Simulator.
I quite like the idea of being the fireman while the AI drives based on my attempts to keep the steam coming. That could add a huge amount of fun to the proceedings. When I say fun, it could just be chaos.
Fireman Mode absolutely should be included. In fact, it could be worked into the Journey progression, because on most RR a newbie started as a fireman and only after serving that 'apprenticeship' was he promoted to engineer (in fact on the Union Pacific to this day, "Fireman" is the job title for an engineer-in-training).
This is a great idea. I think the tutorials will have to be much more comprehensive than any that have come before for TSW.
This is a more long-term idea, but i wonder if DTG would consider developing a fictional "training center route" to use for tutorial/benchmarking purposes? I'm thinking of something akin to the test track in a racing sim.
They could set up stretches of track for learning each of the different signalling/safety systems, varying gradients,etc. and also a level straight line track with regular distance markers for testing the different locos top speeds, stopping distances, etc.
Wouldn't want them to use too much development resources/time, but it wouldn't need much in the way of scenery and who knows, maybe they already use something similar internally for testing purposes?
Such a facility exists in the USA in real life!
also in Poland - restaurant wagon tests, below
The PRR K4 is one of my favorite steam locomotives, they actually inspired a lot of the famous 4-6-2 locomotives from the UK. Sir Nigel Gresley was inspired by them and his 4-6-2s are essentially his own improved version of the PRR design.
I’ve had the opprotunity to both fire and operate steam locomotives. I’ve run the Western Maryland 734, and Norfolk and Western 611, and I’ve fired the Norfolk and Western 475. I can say from my experience firing, especially hand firing is definitely the more challenging job, You constantly have to anticipate what the engineer is doing. You have a fire pattern where you toss your coal when hand firing, it is a really interesting operation. The stoker fired locomotives would probably be easier in game though as you just have to adjust various steam jets to get the coal to the proper place. An oil burner would really be most easy for the purpose of the game I think.
I had no idea! I also found this blueprint for a steam engine that was never built (due to diesel engines taking their place). Very interesting time period steam engines were in.
I love steam engines! Hopefully once the core tech is there we might get some 3rd party locos from Victory Works
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Velim_railway_test_circuit Also in the Czech Republic - this facility tests nearly everything made for Europe that isn't third rail or over 230 km/h. I have personally seen them test a hydrogen train and it was one of the most epic railfanning experiences I've had.
Very Cool!! I think an Alstom consist very similar to the Alston train in the Wikipedia article is also being tested at the Pueblo test track for use as the new Acela Express in the USA.
Imagine a DLC with both of these test tracks (as none of them is a full-length route) and a timetable, where there's basically all of the content you have represented throughout the 24-cycle.
Staying in a deep off-top: in the game entitled Raceroom, you can test each car before you buy it, on the test track. The question of downloading data for locomotives is not very problematic.
Very interesting indeed. I don’t know how much you know of US excursion locomotives, but one of the J3a class in the upper left was in operation until the late 90’s on excursion services. It was almost restored to operation about ten years ago I believe as well. It is at the C&O museum in West Virginia now I believe.
My little town meh meh
black and white, 1990, shortly after the fall of communism in Poland, years of my youth (90 'was so epic!) <- boomer
holiday cruise train, after regular passenger connections have closed (single track, few services only)
Maybe someone knows what kind of locomotive was driving me around my neighborhood then? I don't know anything about it.
But it was smoking like a crazy dragon! BR o7
photo source link
Not only might they consider it, they've done it. TS 20xx has a "Train Academy"
And the venerable TestTraK! I remember at one point they got rid of it but I think it is available again now.
D'oh, how'd i forget that lol.
The article talks about sound - I have been waiting a long time for the accurate reproduction of the sound of Black 5 journals at slow speed!
A fireman if done properly could help you learn on the job to drive the Engine.
The Orient Express would be awesome but I imagine there would be some excuse not to do it. Be good to have a 'murder' on it, hehehe.
For me I'd like to see the Mallard, the most beautiful and fast steam train. For starters though I would love to see the 'Rocket' on it's first outing (double Track) and there were other Engines there too. It would be awesome to see Liverpool to Manchester (original route) if only to pay homage to where it all began for a passenger service.
Well that was a VERY interesting read. That part of a book or something?
I expect that the first steam trains will be British because it's more accessible to them (and they'd make a fortune from making Mallard or The Flying Scotsman). I expect steam will come first in its own route, but I wouldn't be surprised if it was a loco DLC for an existing route, like West Somerset Railway.
The TestTrak and Academy coming back to TSW would be cool. I imagine the Academy would be used for 'general' tutorials, like those on Sand Patch Grade, including tutorials for shunting, turntables, signalling systems, and of course how to drive a steam train. Then, the individual routes would have tutorials for their trains and more individual things like that.
The TestTrak would just be there for fun.
Callum B. Where did you get that TestTrak? It looks wonderful.
Very interested and looking forward to the introduction of Steam engines into TSW2. Driving Smokebox’s very detailed steam locomotives in TS classic is fantastic and especially rewarding when you work a heavy freight up to speed on Sherman hill, or conquer Cajon Pass.
Also DTG haven't made much on foreign soil, in the case of the US I don't think they've ever made one entirely independently. The Cab Forward was a Collab with G-Trax, and the Challenger & Big Boy were made at least partially by a third party too. In Germany the DR BR 86 was made by them, alongside Edward Fisk, otherwise the few other engines are third party efforts. The UK is the only place they have a lot of experience with in terms of steam, logically it can't be US or Germany out the gate. Also they have a relation with Steam Sounds Supreme, so they might be able to get some help for sounds.
IMO for UK steam I would stick with a preserved line as a route. Say The North York Moors or Great Central, Severn Valley or North Norfolk. While infrastructure wise they cover a certain region they run anything. To make a period steam route you would need multiple types of locomotives.
As for Germany! I would like to see the "Hartz Mountain Railway" Circa Soviet era.
The USA I don't have a view! They have fantastic locos Steam Diesel and electric and I wouldn't know where to start.
It could be a O149
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