Train Simulator Classic - The Future

Discussion in 'Dovetail Live Article Discussion' started by DTG Jamie, Dec 21, 2022.

  1. triznya.andras

    triznya.andras Well-Known Member

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    Those kinds of things are easy with modern software development.
    You isolate the dispatcher, and then add alternatives. It can be referenced in the scenario xml, if it isn't there, it assumes the default, with new scenarios using some new one.
    I would welcome new shaders even at the expense of losing the old ones. Blazin's shots show that a lot of old stuff only looks funny because there are hardly any reflections. His Hagen-Siegen shots are lovely. It's getting hard to resist! :D
     
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  2. Kim Olesen

    Kim Olesen Well-Known Member

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    Last edited: Feb 17, 2023
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  3. torfmeister

    torfmeister Guest

    Kim, I see you're one of the very few people that create QuickDrives. So probably this issue has not surfaced yet to most of us including DTG - have you created a support ticket?
     
  4. Kim Olesen

    Kim Olesen Well-Known Member

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    Yes, and regularly posted about it here, tagged DTG staff in posts etc etc MANY times.

    I think the cause is the scenario tracks.bin never transitioned to 64 bit. So when it get’s close to 4 gigs in size the spawnpoints just crap out.

    DTG has never responded even once, and i am not the only user to have reported this problem over the years.
     
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  5. DmitriSkif

    DmitriSkif Active Member

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    Some wishes from me in a short form:

    Graphics and performance:
    - disable x86 build totally
    - reworked GUI (with modern web services)
    - higher drawing distance, adjustable and improved shadowing with smooth MIPs like in RWEnhancer (they already made it just tweaking the shader!)
    - new shaders in addition to existing setup

    Track and trackside:
    - Static pre-built sections of track with loft connectors - to make crossings, factory areas, spawn points, well-detailed junctions etc. Even MSTS had this feature.
    - Make junction levers a global asset, not defined in the track rule. Junctions can be just switched by clicking their geometry and a separate game object can be used to play animations. I already made that objects using signal blueprint and scripting.
    - Ability to fine-tune loft nodes with decimal values, not only while dragging with a mouse pointer
    - Improved Mid-geometry support allowing to place pool of randomly and sequentially selected objects with a constant step.
    - New loft shaders with the support of normal and gloss maps. Must have to make shiny rail heads!
    - Updated procedural junction generator, with a support of asymmetrical rails, different details for blades and rail support (not needed in case of pre-built track sections)

    Editor:
    - Goddamn EXIT button in Editor mode without saving
    - Search bar to find asset by its name not only first letter
    - PICK/Get button to find an asset by clicking it in scene
    - Picklist and object filtering at all
    - Object brush mode

    World/game objects:
    - HIGHER GROUND TEXTURE RESOLUTION. :o
    - Updated more detailed ground grid with tesselation feature
    - Fixed procedural flora with ability to be lit by light emitter
    - Wind animation (optional) for TrainFlora shader
    - Weathering (wet textures while rain/snow) ?
    - Updated car system
    - walking trajectories ("rails") and areas for NPCs
    - Make texture sets and sky/Weather settings global, allowing to use them at any route.

    Scripting/blueprints:
    - Fixed mechanical compressor and variable productivity for it (linked to RPM). This had not been fixed since 2007.
    - Ability to control compressor's efficiency using a script.
    - Adjustable air loss for Main reservoir and Brake Pipe to make them totally discharged. Your code handles this case well if compressor has zero effect, so it will not crash the Core.
    - Cab Occlusion blueprint with ability to control its values via script
    - Occlusion mesh for Cab Occlusion making possible seamless transition between internal and external sounds while camera goes outside the occlusion mesh volume.
    - Ability to set up list of allowed values via Editor for scripted objects (using Options tab not for Running numbers only)
    - Loco should send messages along the track, receivable by any track-linked scripted asset.
    - Loco should receive messages from the track from any other source
    - GlobalMessage around the game world not along the track only?

    Vehicles
    - Walking camera with collision capabilities (all meshes has collision support in their blueprints)
    - Ability to operate with external nodes of a vehicle using Controls with ControlUserInterface defined: Couplings and air hoses are the minimal required features. Taillights, brake shoes, air drain valves and so on can be other following asset designer's choice.
    - Improved Wheelslip animation routine
    - Rigid buffers, air hoses and chain links. PLEASE.
    - Separate banking animations for bogeys and body nodes
    - Smooth rotation of bogies while passing the curves. Now it's discrete and is very noticeable for locos that have open frames.
    - Use cab occlusion volume to control particles please. It rains inside the cockpits larger than 3 m in diameter! ;) This geometry can be also used to control external/internal sound transitions and Cab Occlusion blueprint.



    I don't belive it even been read by Dev team or game designers (if they're present for TSC at all). Just wanna share my thoughts. :|
     
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2023
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  6. Can't we have a new simulator, based around tsw but for pc only? I really like ts but it's looking really dated! Looks good in 4k but requires a quantum computer to achieve high frame rates.
     
  7. Reef

    Reef Well-Known Member

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    No, Definitely not, Me too, No it isn't, Yes it does, No it doesn't.
     
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  8. What pc do you use? If I play a high quality route and throw in some ap stuff it cripples my pc.
     
  9. Reef

    Reef Well-Known Member

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    A fair to middling PC by todays standards but still more than adequate and by no means a "Quantum Computer".

    Operating System
    Windows 11 Pro 64-bit
    CPU
    Intel Core i7 9700 @ 3.00GHz 37 °C
    Coffee Lake 14nm Technology
    RAM
    32.0GB Dual-Channel Unknown @ 1465MHz (15-17-17-35)
    Motherboard
    Micro-Star International Co. Ltd. MPG Z390 GAMING PLUS (MS-7B51) (U3E1) 36 °C
    Graphics
    DELL P2217H (1080x1920@60Hz)
    Z35 (3620x1527@60Hz)
    3071MB NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 Ti (ASUStek Computer Inc) 51 °C
    Storage
    931GB SanDisk SSD PLUS 1000GB (SATA (SSD)) 33 °C
    931GB WL1000GSA3272E (SATA ) 35 °C
    1863GB Western Digital WD Blue SN570 2TB (Unknown (SSD))
    465GB Western Digital WDC WDS500G2B0C-00PXH0 (Unknown (SSD))
    7452GB Seagate Backup+ Hub BK SCSI Disk Device (USB (SATA) ) 44 °C
    Optical Drives
    No optical disk drives detected
    Audio
    Realtek High Definition Audio
     
  10. Oh. 1080 ti is still a very good card in today's standards. What fps do you average?
     
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  11. Reef

    Reef Well-Known Member

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    Oh indeed the Asus ROG Strix 11GB 1080Ti card is very capable, the only thing it can't do that 20 30 and 40 series cards can is raytracing which is useless for an over a decade old game and overrated at best on new titles anyway.
    But yeah I get a very stable 30fps (capped) pretty much constantly running TS with DSR (upscaled to 4K) all settings maxed with RWE & Re-Shade shaders.
     
  12. DmitriSkif

    DmitriSkif Active Member

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    Let's keep in mind constantly we will not get any "the whole new TS based" game as it must be fully compatible with old TSC content. Same ideology stops Trainz progress for years.
     
  13. 30fps isn't bad but it's not good either. I can average 60fps capped on quiet routes but if I run something like the south London network, with all the ap stuff that makes it really busy, it drops to 15fps.
     
  14. Reef

    Reef Well-Known Member

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    This is TSC not CS:GO you need to realise that high frames (by that I mean higher than 30) do not necessarily equal better performance in simulators. My FPS is 30 because I've capped it at that otherwise with this age of a game you're going to get spikes and fluctuations which isn't so good.

    You're happy with your 60 and your 15 and I'm happy with my 30 throughout. ;)
     
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  15. DmitriSkif

    DmitriSkif Active Member

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    You're totally wrong man, as one of the most fantastic tricks DTG have done in Train simulator was to make all continuous physics processes DEPENDANT from FPS. Bug exists in MSTS too, so it's very mature. To prevent so, engines like Unity3D have special Update methods with a constant ticking rate.

    As an example, brake application rate in FullService mode depends from FPS, so to prevent it I was used to write my own scripted brakes, working at differential methods. This is a crucial factor in simulation process - time needed to apply brake force (or to keep brake handle at desired notch too) by default differs for fast and slow PC. Control update speed (set in blueprint as a constant value) is also different according to PC performance. It causes variable "sensitivity" of levers and buttons both for keyboard and mouse.

    So stable FPS is a significant factor.
     
    Last edited: Feb 21, 2023
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  16. Reef

    Reef Well-Known Member

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    You just argued yourself into agreeing with my point, I have a STABLE 30 FPS, I'd already stated that.
    You do not need 60+ FPS to have stability, you will not notice any difference visually (this has been proven time and time again by far smarter people than I) and if as you say braking characteristics are affected by FPS being stable or not then surely my solid and stable 30 FPS can only give me consistent braking functionality (which as far as I know it does).
    I'm not knowledgeable enough (or anal enough) to know or care whether it's 100% real world accurate either, and if this turns into an "ahh but in the real world that loco and 100 wagon consist would have stopped 10ft and 35 seconds earlier than it does in the sim" then just leave me out, I don't care.
    And as for noticing the difference on different PC's, well I only have one so that's not a concern for me either. I'm not trying to be argumentative it just looks to me that you're arguing the same as what I said I was getting and yet you're saying I'm wrong, a little confused if I'm honest bud.
     
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  17. DmitriSkif

    DmitriSkif Active Member

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    I've worked in train simulation business since 2008, and man - I see the significant difference between gameplay at 30 and 60 fps. Especially while debugging fast and intensive processes like air flow and electrical circuits. My own installation has RTX 2070 SUPER and I have stable 60 fps in all major cases at 2k resolution.
     
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  18. Jon from Rhode Island

    Jon from Rhode Island Well-Known Member

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    Excellent list. I hope DTG responds in detail.
     
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  19. DmitriSkif

    DmitriSkif Active Member

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    Me too as even a few of this features can greatly improve modding capabilities in TSC and make its content much more complex and interactive.
    Here're only some features capable with improved game core:

    - Global hi-res ground textures with support of normal map cause seamless transitions between ballast prism and terrain, also ground areas become much more detailed.Also you'll get an ability to paint ground around the tracks with a texture of the same quality as ballast uses.

    - Pre-designed fixed track sections cause well-detailed track junctions and crossings with a proper shape of blades, diamonds, rail joints e.g.. Procedural ones are still capable for rare non-standard cases where simplicity is acceptable, and for existing routes too - like MSTS do.

    - Updated track section blueprint mean automatic placement of rail joints, fully-detailed sleepers and ballast prism parts to make track look not worse than in TSW. It already do, but with significant limits caused by legacy technology capable for 2008 but not for 2023.

    - Messages sent from train to track objects were already mentioned in Signal scripting reference, but haven't been done yet. Although they make possible "train radio" activities, allowing singals receive commands from player's train like request to open shunting signal or open depot's gates.

    - Occlusion volumes make easier sound setup, allowing player walk around the loco both inside and outside the cabine or machine compartment

    - Walking camera allows player's interaction with external train's nodes like air hoses, manual couplers, tail lights, rail shoes etc. All these details can become playable, making train preparing routines more interactive.
     
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2023
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  20. kilt46

    kilt46 Active Member

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    One simple ask - ability to splice together various DLCs to give a bigger simulation route
     
  21. DmitriSkif

    DmitriSkif Active Member

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    TSC is NOT a Trainz. Every route has its own template, astronomy, world origin and prototypical heigth above the sea level. It's impossible to merge them correctly if they don't use the same route template.

    Also, many routes are done with distant terrain baked. This feature will be broken too for both merged routes.
     
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2023
  22. Doomotron

    Doomotron Well-Known Member

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    You can already do this but only in certain circumstances. As DmitriSkif it's impossible to do on a general level.
     
  23. TrainSim-Steve

    TrainSim-Steve Senior Producer Staff Member

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    Thanks DmitriSkif, I read everything you guys post in this thread - so yes, we are taking the feedback on board ;)

    One comment:

    "New loft shaders with the support of normal and gloss maps. Must have to make shiny rail heads!" - specular (reflective) is already supported on lofts and was implemented just prior to the Woodhead (original) route release. It was the first route to incorporate reflective railheads. Not sure whether specular maps are supported on lofts, I'll need to dig into it to know for sure.

    Otherwise, some good points in there that will go on the list for further analysis and investigation.

    Best, Steve
     
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  24. DmitriSkif

    DmitriSkif Active Member

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    Thanks for your responce, Steve, I really appreciate it as I've seen my work had sense! :cool:

    Yes, track loft already has parametric gloss, but it works correctly with rectangular simplified rail shapes only. It doesn't work with detailed H-shaped rails well, as track shader doesn't support gloss map to mask the glossy area. Also, rails don't support world map as Glass shaders do - but this option may greatly improve rail visuals, as rail heads will be drawn with fake reflections of sky !

    Advanced track loft shader may be updated such way, I think:
    1st slot - diffuse RGB + A for transparency (already done)
    2nd slot - RGB normal map + A for Gloss
    3rd slot - world map generated by game engine.

    Please feel free to PM me for any questions/ideas. I also has a detailed explanation how to update procedural junctions and track lofts at all. I also can send you some my assets for test purposes and make tests myself too.
     
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  25. TrainSim-Steve

    TrainSim-Steve Senior Producer Staff Member

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    Very interesting idea on the rail lofts - will definitely look into it and will certainly take you up on your offer when we're ready to look at track related stuff.

    Thanks again for the ideas everyone, please do keep them coming. There have been some very interesting thoughts coming out including bugs on things we didn't know about! So, already there has been some very useful suggestions that have already made the short list.

    Best, Steve
     
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  26. DTG Jamie

    DTG Jamie Staff Member

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  27. triznya.andras

    triznya.andras Well-Known Member

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    Nice article.

    Without being specific - I think the main element where you need to gain some flexibility is involving some trusted members from the community to provide you with fixes. It can be small things such as torfmeister's coupler & similar mini-fixes, but it could mean stuff like the scalewall fix of All Aboard, or virtually anything else, such as including sound pack merges or headlight flares for legacy packs. I understand old agreements, but most of this content is a decade or more old, with hardly any revenue stream. Taking these off the shelves isn't going to help those who own the content and now can't play it.

    Regarding the Consist Editor, if you update it, you could use a similar approach to the Editor. Pick the Asset Pack (two levels, e.g. S9BL / 158) and then pick the items from there. Can have an All option, but have to pick it. Just like the Build menu is super fast, this could have potential as well. Given how slow the Scenario (Drive) menu tends to be compared to my tool scanning my 11000 screenshots, I'm entirely confident the problem is the UI tool that you'll replace anyway. (Handling Observable Collections tends to be a little funny, depending on implementation.)
     
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  28. Jon from Rhode Island

    Jon from Rhode Island Well-Known Member

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    @DTG Jamie - I understand why you're prioritizing the core fixes to start, but any updates on the user interface or the UX more generally? Will we get a built-in asset manager?
     
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  29. triznya.andras

    triznya.andras Well-Known Member

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    Jon from Rhode Island
    If I understand correctly they have to replace the engine behind the UI but first they moved to a current building stack and as such were facing a bunch of other blocks. QA would call the current effort a reproduction / regression (test) with some controlled updates.
    They noted "big collection" a few times so I assume they are aware of its consequences. For me the career scenario list takes about 15-30 seconds to load. (For one iteration it was much faster, but reverted.) While the consist editor is more of a nice-to-have, external tools being available and offering more features than TS ever will (think about generating valid US freight consists - proper horsepower for a given ruling grade, different engines but not randomly, randomized wagons fitting a theme), the scenario list is a must-have.

    DTG Jamie
    I think it would be best to lock this thread and refer people to the next (and back!):
    https://forums.dovetailgames.com/th...tor-classic-developer-update-15th-march.68043
    Or re-merge.
    Like I noted your link above but didn't realise it comes with its own discussion thread.
     
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  30. martschuffing

    martschuffing Well-Known Member

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    My two-pence worth is... Are or will you look at the audio system particularly removing the core sounds regarding track joint sounds on bridges and tunnels crossings etc which is not prototypical also can you fix the point at where the sound triggers for points from the blades to the actual joint as in TSWxx? This would enable route builders to implement proper audio for those listed above as you can find in routes like Im Koblitzer Bergland. For some, audio is just as important as graphics for improving immersion.
     
    Last edited: Apr 1, 2023
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  31. OldVern

    OldVern Well-Known Member

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    Further to Workshop being discussed above. With the decline of many third party hosting sites - UKTS going soon, Trainsim now an ad infested mess - some sort of solution to including user created assets is needed for routes destined for the Workshop. Whether a N3V Download Station type operation could somehow be adopted with the editor also updated to have a decent content manager.

    On a simpler level, what happened to having some sort of renameable station signage, a selection of different sizes, colours and styles? This would at least allow us to name our stations, a complaint I already received about the first of my routes I took off UKTS and updated for the W/S.
     
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  32. Doomotron

    Doomotron Well-Known Member

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    You can just make individual sign assets. Modern signs are incredibly easy to make in Blender. I know how editable signs would work in Train Simulator, but I believe it would either have to be done as some sort of track infrastructure asset to have editable inputs (not a good solution) or have DTG manually add the feature.
     
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  33. OldVern

    OldVern Well-Known Member

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    Oh I know, the point is you cannot upload these with the route if you want to put it on the Workshop. It will only accept core or Steam sold DLC providers and assets. When I updated my Sulitjelma route and put it on the Workshop, I had to remove and/or substitute every third party asset the Workshop rejected including my station signs. Many moons ago when Matt P was involved with Railworks, there was an undertaking they would look at having some sort of renameable sign pack as built in content, but nothing ever came of it. By contrast, Trainz has 100’s if not 1000’s of renameable station signs either built in or on the DLS, covering just about every eventuality.
     
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  34. DmitriSkif

    DmitriSkif Active Member

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    Train simulator in general has many significant limitations with ingame-adjustable assets like renameable signs, vehicle and scenery unique settings and so on. For example, Trainz allows fully-customizable track signals and vehicles - You can switch external nodes, set up lights or even traction characteristics for scripted locos using a fully-potential HTML-based UI window.

    At another side, the only one way to add some customisation to TRC's rail vehicles - is to "code" them into RWNumber despite of making some scripted parameters adjustable in scenario Editor.
     
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  35. martschuffing

    martschuffing Well-Known Member

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    Will this core update trigger a verification?
     
  36. triznya.andras

    triznya.andras Well-Known Member

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    On its own shouldn't.
    Unless something magical happened on my end, it didn't, since it ran quite fast (instead of about an hour). Didn't see anyone else reporting it, and with a significant 3rd party community, we would have.
    Also, nothing changed in the last day except for the game files between the two build numbers / dates.
     
  37. martschuffing

    martschuffing Well-Known Member

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    Keeps freezing now after selecting the standard tab and cycling the routes, have to do an alt esc delete and restart!!!.

    Sigh.
     
  38. DmitriSkif

    DmitriSkif Active Member

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    Last edited: Aug 16, 2023
  39. OldVern

    OldVern Well-Known Member

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    The caveat of course this probably only going to be available to those who take the monthly subscription service, not regular purchasers. And N3V at present have had their in house forum offline for nearly a week for "maintenance " which does not exactly inspire confidence...
     
  40. DmitriSkif

    DmitriSkif Active Member

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    HD Terrain will be available for all Trainz players both VIP and not in a year or two, as all early access features do.
     
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  41. Johnno124

    Johnno124 Active Member

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    why do people insist on comparing a modern game engine to a nearly 15 year old engine. Sure Trainz can do High quality terrain, To implement that into TSC would be borderline impossible without a complete rewrite of the terrain core. Im still waiting for Trainz to stop feeling like a model train set before i decide to use it as a simulator.
     
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  42. Kim Olesen

    Kim Olesen Well-Known Member

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    I must admit that HD terrain is of no importance to me. I would much rather have google sattelite images enabled for distant terrain so that mountains is not just empty green/brown lumps. But have features even if the perspective of it being a superimposed phote is a bit lacking. Those featureless hills are just bad for the immersion. And a scaling option for loading assets. If we will see fps gains for multicore TSC i would want to spent that gain on assets not plopping up near to the player train, but further away. It’s not the lack of stones in the trackbed looking more real that kills the immersion. It’s trees etc, popping up right before you that kills it.

    I recently saw a video of the approach to Innsbruck airport in MSFS. The mountains looked SO real. Amazing distant terrain. Just watch the first 30 seconds and then weep over how bad landscape is in TSC.

    So in short. Improvements to stuff that is NOT right in front of the player train, is what i would want.

     
    Last edited: Aug 17, 2023
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  43. DmitriSkif

    DmitriSkif Active Member

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    Both engines are not modern. Even with obsolete engine, TSC has much more game core features to be named mean "simulator". I also like Trainz's today's aimed at full overhaul, but it still remains primitive and badly optimised toy.
     
  44. BRD

    BRD Well-Known Member

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    Would it be possible to add some sort of launch parameter or have access to some sort of in-game console to debug certain technical things? One thing I struggle a lot with content creation is the blueprint configuration of the model collisions. AFAIK there's no ( easy ) way of checking those in-game.
     
  45. TrainSim-Steve

    TrainSim-Steve Senior Producer Staff Member

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    Collision volumes cannot be viewed in-game and can only be viewed, edited and changed in the Blueprint Editor. Use the Preview feature in the Blueprint Editor (green play button) - then, in the top-left-hand panel of the Preview window, select the option to show the collision boxes (last icon on the top row). When you select the collision volume, the box will change to wireframe with arrows alongside to enable you to adjust the size of the volume. Your changes are automatically saved to the engine blueprint:

    upload_2023-8-22_8-44-4.png
    upload_2023-8-22_8-47-16.png

    Best, Steve
     
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  46. BRD

    BRD Well-Known Member

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    Very nice, thanks for that TrainSim-Steve !

    I tried it with one of my passenger cars and despite having a collision set on the blueprint, somehow it doesn't toggle the collisions on the BPE preview window.

    Any ideas what could cause that?
     
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2023
  47. hellishfire

    hellishfire New Member

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    I tried that too. And nothing worked clicking on last icon doesn't seem to do anything.
     
  48. TrainSim-Steve

    TrainSim-Steve Senior Producer Staff Member

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    Sometimes, what will happen is that the volume may be under the ground level, or might be hidden inside the vehicle. It can be quite finnicky and one feature I think might be worth adding is the ability to toggle the model on/off to make it easier to see/edit these things.

    One other feature that could be worth considering is the ability to automatically create a collision volume based on the outer extents of the master model. Would save the hassle of having to create them entirely.

    Best, Steve
     
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  49. DmitriSkif

    DmitriSkif Active Member

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    Please don't as it will cause troubles to set up custom bogies like for monorail or similar trains. They will hit the track/ground, tilt and derail. Only manual adjustments.
     
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  50. Doomotron

    Doomotron Well-Known Member

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    Don't models already have collision volumes, just they aren't used by the game? Or I guess that could be incorrect secondary information.
    They could make it an option.
     

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