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Tsw Editor Information/speculation/conjecture

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by cActUsjUiCe, Sep 27, 2018.

  1. cActUsjUiCe

    cActUsjUiCe Well-Known Member

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    ***THIS IS ALL BASED ON THE STUDIO UPDATE AND PHOTOS POSTED AT THE FOLLOWING LINK: https://live.dovetailgames.com/live...cles/article/train-sim-world-studio-update***

    I doubt there are any others as excited for the eventual release of the Route Editor than myself. Today's Studio Update has been VERY revealing as to the internal workings, features, and limitations of the route editor for Train Sim World.

    In this post I'd like to thoroughly dissect and speculate on one of the three photos released in the Studio Update. That photo is posted below.

    Image01.jpg
    At first glance, it's Unreal Engine 4. But it's not. Not the stock Unreal Engine 4 anyway.

    MODES
    Look at the eight icons on the top-left below the word "Modes". There are five modes by default in Unreal Engine 4 (those are the first five). The three to the right are custom. What are they?

    1) Track. This is speculation based on it having the icon of track. It is the mode currently selected.
    2) I have no idea what the second icon represents. There are many colors which leads me to believe that this is a texture painter of sorts. Again, this is custom and not included with Unreal Engine 4 by default.
    3) I have no idea what this final icon represents. The icon leads me to believe that it's a mode to "overlay" something...perhaps Google Maps overlay?

    TRACK MODE
    You can speculate on the last two modes. I'll focus on Track for now.

    It's clear based on the naming of the parameters in this mode that DTG designed track the same way as in TS1. That's via the "ribbon" system. My interpretation of the ribbon system is a combination of track sections into one, continuous track. This "ribbon" of track can be manipulated in several ways.

    Look at the properties on the left. These seem to be a collection of constants and booleans that allow the developer to customize how the tracks appear while laying them. For example, you can choose to highlight sections of track that are perfectly level, highlight where tracks have gaps, and even show which track rule is applied to each section. There's many ways to customize how the tracks appears while developing.

    Now look to the FAR left. See that series of icons? These seem to be your main track tools for laying and manipulating track. I'm going to speculate as to the function of some of these.

    1) The top icon that looks like a silver arrow will be where you click and drag individual track sections. To move them throughout the game world.

    2) The small track icon will be what you use to physically lay track in your landscape.

    3) This tool looks like a protractor. I'm assuming this will allow you to adjust the grade of track that has been laid.

    4) This has to be the crossover tool! This'll allow you to create areas where trains can switch between tracks.

    5) The scissor icon could have multiple meanings. It could be the CUT portion of a "cut and paste". It could also be a way to slice a track section into multiple pieces.

    6-12) I have no idea what these icons could represent. Let's proceed to the final three.

    13) Track with two arrows pointing in either direction. Looks like the offset tool from TS1. For those who don't know, the offset tool allows you to place linear objects at the exact curvature and length of another linear object already in the world. This is how platforms exactly conform to how the track is laid.

    14) This icon represents a signal. I am assuming this allows you to place a signal and connect it to a piece of track that has already been laid.

    15) I have no idea what this last icon could possibly represent. At first glance it appears to be passengers walking on a platform with a squiggly yellow line representing a walking path below it?

    TOP RIBBON
    The top ribbon (Save Current, Source Control, Marketplace, etc.) is mostly all default in UE4. The only plugin that shows itself is Simplygon. All we can really discern from the top ribbon is that DTG is using Source Control to back up and distribute the game files throughout the workplace (see the green icon below Source Control). Source Control connects to a dedicated server running an application such as Perforce. This server stores and organizes changes submitted by developers. If a game-breaking change is made or lots of files are deleted, the Source Control server is able to roll back to any previously submitted changes. With a proper Source Control solution, loss of data or the inability to recover from bad submissions is averted.

    HINT TO DEVELOPERS: Use Source Control from the beginning of your project!!!

    MAIN VIEWPORT
    The main viewport is directly below the top ribbon. It shows the three-dimensional world!

    There are many changes to the top of the viewport that are specific to TSW. I'll point out the ones that stand out.

    1) Compass Rose. The camera's current direction is shown. The direction the camera is facing in the photo is Northwest.

    2) Latitude and Longitude Coordinates (with play button). The current latitude and longitude coordinates are shown. The play button leads me to assume that a custom latitude and longitude can be entered and accessed by pressing the play button. This is how it behaves in TS1.

    3) Google Maps. The fifth icon from the right. Google Maps overlay exists, folks! You'll be able to see the real world overlaid on the landscape if you wish.

    There are other custom icons but I have no idea what they do yet.

    UE4 VERSION, MEMORY USAGE, AND FRAMERATE
    As I write this post, Unreal Engine 4 is at version 4.20. This screenshot shows that the version DTG is using is 4.16. That's a rather old revision but not obsolete by any standard. It takes a LOT of time for a project of this scale to work properly on a new version of UE4. Given time, DTG will migrate the game to more recent versions. 4.16 is a great version, but UE4 has made many improvements since. Just read the release notes.

    Memory usage is another situation entirely. This particular portion of the map (and all the other open tabs) is consuming 7.8GB of physical memory. I'm sorry to say, but those of you with systems that have less than 16GB will NOT work optimally with the editor. You must upgrade your systems accordingly!

    Framerate is a concern, too. Notice how the framerate of this particular scene is 26FPS. That's quite skippy. You MUST understand that the editor has a LOT going on. Construction scripts, uncooked content, and unbaked lighting are all things to consider when developing in UE4. There's a lot going on in the background that most people don't know about!

    YOU WILL NOT BE ABLE TO RUN THE EDITOR SMOOTHLY ON A SUB-PAR COMPUTER!


    SIGNAL PROPERTIES
    The developer currently has a signal asset selected. The properties for said asset are on the far right. Let's go through them, shall we?

    1) SIGNAL ID: Each signal has a unique identifier. Specify it here. The yellow arrow on the right means that "BA3" isn't the default value for this variable.

    2) SIGNAL TYPE: Each signal has a specific area to which they apply. This is a mainline signal. I don't know how many options there are, but I am assuming that a Yard signal is an appropriate choice as well.

    3) DEFAULT SIGNAL ASPECT: This is one that I have been begging for. Not all signals start out as stop signals. Some of them always show a different aspect until a train interacts with them. I am very happy that this feature made it in!

    4) ROUTE TABLE. The route table presumably shows all routes that the signal controls. See the entry next to "Routes"? See how it says "2 array elements"? That means the selected signal controls access to two different routing possibilities. The first index is likely continuing straight. The second index is switching tracks. You'll be able to control how each signal controls the routing of a train. Pretty cool, right?

    That's pretty much it for the signals. Let's look at the CONTENT BROWSER.

    CONTENT BROWSER
    The content browser is a default part of UE4. All assets, blueprints, materials, textures, etc. that you import will appear in the content browser. The content browser allows you to organize assets into specific folders and add them into your world.

    The folder selected in the photo is of the "Blueprints" subfolder of "Clutter". Clutter is just a series of miscellaneous scenery objects that fill up the world space to make it more detailed and immersive. I won't go into detail on Blueprints here. To add a specific clutter object into the world, you'd first navigate to the Blueprints folder, then click and drag the desired Blueprint into the viewport. If configured correctly, the object will appear in the world and can then be manipulated.

    CONCLUSION
    That's all I have for now! This truly proves that a photo is worth a thousand words!


    Please let me know if you have anything additional to add, any critiques on my speculation, and any speculation of your own! Please keep the speculation healthy and the conversation constructive!
     
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  2. MarkusLiberty

    MarkusLiberty Active Member

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    Awesome informative post Cactus!
     
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  3. LastTrainToClarksville

    LastTrainToClarksville Well-Known Member

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    As an ardent scenario maker, my first question (not mentioned by Cactus) was, "How about scenarios?" Here's Matt's comment:
    "What will people be able to create?

    The Editor will be the same as what we use to make our own routes, locos and gameplay for PC, Xbox and PlayStation. So, you should be able to make your own locomotives, wagons, coaches, routes and scenarios, all the same content that we can make."
     
  4. SamYeager270

    SamYeager270 Well-Known Member

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    Congratulations on an informative dissection of that UE4 screenshot cActUsjUiCe . :) I find it interesting that you mentioned "limitations of the route editor" but then didn't mention any limitations unless that was meant to cover the memory requirement you identified?
     
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  5. cActUsjUiCe

    cActUsjUiCe Well-Known Member

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    Well the article discussed limitations, not the photo. Things like PC only and console users not getting to play custom content.
     
  6. MLG_TrumpCare

    MLG_TrumpCare Active Member

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    Well that's going to be a nice step up, less crashes, more flexibility, but a steeper learning curve.

    And seeing as how Matt is the only guy to put out a route for Bus Simulator 18 (Which also uses Unreal as the editor) it'll be interesting how his experience with that will shape their own editor.

    I remember in one of your earlier posts CactusJuice, that you mentioned that you were working your NEC project with multiple people and it was a pain, I assume you're looking forward to having a git repo for everything? And by the looks of it, UE4 supports github, atlassin, and other git hosts
     
    Last edited: Sep 29, 2018
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  7. cActUsjUiCe

    cActUsjUiCe Well-Known Member

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    Yeah having a source control server will help collaboration a LOT
     
  8. PlatChap

    PlatChap Well-Known Member

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    A well constructed and informative post Cactus, thank you. I don't know anything about these editors and only barely played around with the editor in TSXX. I certainly walked away with a better understanding of things. I let the people who know what they're doing mess around with this stuff and I reap the benefits of it!

    I'm looking forward to seeing what people are going to create with these tools. I can't help but be excited by all the possibilities!
     
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  9. Coppo

    Coppo Active Member

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    Not sure if this should go here or in the Baseless Speculation Thread..
    Before they launch the editor are they going to move the "Walls" around the routes to enable people to include current "off-limits" tracks in their scenarios? If so, they'll need to address the track bugs and incomplete scenery in those areas first..
     
  10. pschlik

    pschlik Well-Known Member

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    Walls don't have any effect on trains. So there most likely won't be any motivation to change those. As a result, we will have a bunch of new exploits to get out of bounds that will be along the lines of "Download scenario XYZ. Play normally until this point. Hop off your train. Now you are out of bounds."

    Now, DTG has fixed some out of bounds exploits. So while they might not fix those walls just because people are making scenarios, they are more likely to fix them if actually escaping becomes a problem.
     
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  11. Coppo

    Coppo Active Member

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    That's going to make things quite restrictive (I'm thinking mainly of RT where there is a large yard and turntable that is currently out of bounds).
    It would be nice to add some items to the yards either as interactive stock or have some small shunting movements, to give the environment a bit more life...
    However, until it is released we won't know for sure..
     
  12. pschlik

    pschlik Well-Known Member

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    How is that going to make things restrictive? It will give more ways to cheat out of bounds. I don’t consider that restrictive.
     
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  13. Digital Draftsman

    Digital Draftsman Well-Known Member

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    With the UE4 editor it will be possible to delete or move invisible walls; If they are impeding scenario development and DTG doesn't move them in an update then the community will stick a version of the route on the workshop without them.
     
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  14. Anthony Pecoraro

    Anthony Pecoraro Well-Known Member

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    Great ideas.
     
  15. MLG_TrumpCare

    MLG_TrumpCare Active Member

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    I just hope setting up ACSES with the route editor isn't a huge pain
     
  16. Anthony Pecoraro

    Anthony Pecoraro Well-Known Member

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    We’ll just have to wait and see.
     
  17. Fabrizio520

    Fabrizio520 Guest

    We also hope that now that they have delivered the 64-Bit TS (a now useless program) DTG takes seriously the development of the TSW, because the waiting times are becoming biblical.
     
  18. Anthony Pecoraro

    Anthony Pecoraro Well-Known Member

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    Think about this though, the longer the wait can mean very good content. ;)
     
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  19. Ian1991

    Ian1991 Active Member

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    Well to me it seems they have some sort of investment fund wise.....as they have done the 64bit for ts2018, already announced an editor on the way and also THREE dlc for TSW in development which was unheard of 6months ago, it was one DLC at a time and maybe a 2week crossover period between each development so we are all just awaiting to see if any of the three are going to be appealing enough for anyone
     
  20. Digital Draftsman

    Digital Draftsman Well-Known Member

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    I would imagine that there are always several DLCs in development at any one time. If the 3D Artists have finished the assets for one route, then they'll move onto the assets for the next route whilst the route builders may still be on the first route and those doing the scripting may be working on locomotive DLC. When you have an expensive team you don't want anyone sitting idle, so I would imagine that 3 or more projects was standard from the start.

    The 64-bit upgrade for TS2019 wouldn't have been a whole lot of work, it's not technically difficult, but it is a bit laborious. The development of TS20xx is self-sustaining so the 64-bit upgrade wouldn't have needed any investment from outside, it would be a case of allocating the revenue from a single DLC to cover the costs.

    A big hurdle to get over for the scenario creation side of things in TSW is the lack of an 'AI Dispatcher.' In TS20xx you can set several trains to go point A to B and the dispatcher will route them around each other, so long as the route is correctly signalled by the route builder. In TSW it seems like every train movement is rigidly scripted, e.g. Train 1 must go A to B via C, and Train 2 must go A to B via D, but if the player is running late or early, then it's very easy to break the scenario, perhaps Train 2 is blocking access to C because it arrived early, Train 1 is on time, but blocking D and thus the whole thing binds up. In TS20xx the 'AI Dispatcher' will route Train 1 via D and Train 2 via C, mitigating the conflict. The lack of an 'AI Dispatcher' is why we're stuck with this very rigid 'Service Mode.'

    Until we see a route DLC for TSW where there's an AI Dispatcher present, I don't think we'll be getting any user friendly scenerio tools. TSW is lacking a lot of features when you compare it to Rail Simulator on release, and TSW has been out for 18 months. I don't know how big the programming team is at DTG, but progress is very slow on that front.
     
  21. pschlik

    pschlik Well-Known Member

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    With the new article, I noticed that some prior things we were not totally clear on are now far more obvious, like more of what is going on in track mode.

    So that second tool in the track mode is indeed the lay track tool...but it's "lay curves" specifically. Maybe this is capable of doing more than just railroad track? Most of the options seem intent on railroads though.
    track_1.PNG
    The viewing pane does make this look pretty familiar to TS2019 editing, even showing those same extra curves (easements? maybe...but I think that might actually show you a preview of the minimum radius curve allowed), but with some more information in the window. And the preview outline is red, as opposed to yellow. But with display options, it looks like this can be changed to whatever color you want. Neat!

    Then there are all these parameters. The Ribbon Loft Descriptor looks like the chosen graphical style of track, and the Track Rule probably has the actual code behind the track, but then there's a bunch more stuff below that. How that stuff works is probably not unlike customizing a signal, but with different numbers that reflect rails more than signals...
    track_1.PNG
    I think it'll be nice to be able to edit this all on the fly, while also being able to type in precise numbers. Even subtle things like making the snapping of the cursor more or less sensitive are going to be much nicer than TS2019. Of course, the important stuff is the gradient, curve shape (I figure this will be useful for easements of various types), radius, and superelevation too...

    And as it turns out, one of those mystery icons is for superelevation. Still no clarity on what else is what though.
    super-el_1.PNG
    It's interesting that track laying makes multiple references to superelevation, some of which appear again in the superelevation tool, but there is still a separate superelevation tool...Perhaps the track laying tool is talking about automatic superelevation, while this gives you fine control? If you ask me, it looks like you can click and drag on that triangular thing to rotate it, giving you perfect control over the superelevation anywhere (which is super duper nice to have.)

    I guess we'll get more on what each of those buttons does later on. Most other things going on in those two pictures have already been covered by cactus, so we are just wondering what each of those buttons holds behind it. Speaking of what cactus covered, I thought to check out FPS here.
    super-el_1.PNG
    So it looks like Matt's (or someone else, but probably Matt) little demo route here is not as heavy duty as WSR is, but is still running with nearly half the number of objects despite being really empty. And it's using 3 GB of RAM. So there is still a lot going on, even when your route is empty.

    Going beyond the track editing, the scenery editing is super duper standard UE4. Nothing really new there. Except I think we might be looking at a situation where the editor is allowing the use of cooked GWE assets (even though this route obviously is not GWE)-which usually wouldn't be allowed, but DTG is getting around that somehow. OR this is DTG's editor with all the source content...either way, this isn't much new, and should look familiar from TS2019's relatively similar methods.
    [​IMG]
    Fun fact: I looked up the latitude and longitude here and found that location to be right on top of Chatham Station. Silly little (Matt-made?) easter egg there, as DTG is only about 1 1/2 miles from that location.

    And then the elephant in the room, the open street map overlay. I am not totally sure what to make of this, open street map itself is usually more easy to read than this, but apparently, this is somewhere on the WSR map?
    osm_1.png
    It's interesting that the 8th mode button is hidden, and none of the other 7 appear to be selected. So cactus' theory that this 8th button was the overly has a decent chance of being correct. And as usual, a different mode means different tools-including the currently selected "Guides" tool. While I wonder how that works (can we build things in such a way that they automatically follow guide lines on the map?) there is still the question of what all the other tools in the mode are...if it is the overlay mode. (Though, as I've marked in the picture, the overlay is disabled? This is not self-explanatory, sadly.)

    Anyway, that's just my ponderings for now. This will probably seem completely counterproductive once we actually have the cools, but it is curious to think about what we can do in the future. 90-degree superelevation, anyone? TSW may be a great rollercoaster simulator...
     
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  22. cActUsjUiCe

    cActUsjUiCe Well-Known Member

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    Awesome analysis Phil! Thanks for taking the time to write it up. I am actually going to do the same thing.

    The first big thing are the overlay features. Google Maps, KML, and Open Street Map. This opens the doors to a LOT of possibilities...my absolute favorite being the KML import feature. I'll explain why later on.
    osm_1.jpg

    This photo shows a few different things.

    1) The Open Street Map data is imported into the game and seen in the Content Browser.

    2) Using the custom-made "Guides" tool, DTG can assign the previously imported map data to the "OSMSource" variable. This is essentially telling the editor to display the imported OSM data.

    3) Directly below that you can do the same with a KML file. This feature is going to be freaking awesome. So for the past couple years, I've been preparing for my group's Northeast Corridor development project by plotting all the technical features of the route in a Google Earth KML file. I never expected that the file could be imported and overlaid in the editor. Now that it can, things will be much easier for us! Here are a couple screenshots of what I created in Google Maps for my project.

    East River Tunnels under Long Island City
    GoogleMaps1.JPG

    New London, Connecticut
    GoogleMaps2.JPG

    Anyway, back to the photo analysis.

    4) These are just options for how the Guide you selected is displayed in the viewport. Nothing terribly difficult to understand with those.

    5) This is where you will enable Google Maps Overlay. You need a valid API key in order to connect to the Static Maps API. Make sure you obtain a valid one so you can use Google Maps Overlay! From there, you have several options to choose from in order to customize the overlay to your liking. These settings aren't unlike the settings in TS2019, but there are a few differences.

    6) Oh and one more thing. See the little icon I put a yellow square around? That's most likely where you import terrain. I'm really excited to see the options for that one too.

    Stay tuned for the analysis of the other photos in this week's Studio Article!
     
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  23. cActUsjUiCe

    cActUsjUiCe Well-Known Member

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    Now I'm going to discuss the track photo. This one has a LOT of information in it.

    track_1.jpg

    1) As you lay track, you'll dynamically see its properties. Radius of Curvature, Height above ground level, Gradient (how it slopes up and down), and how long the track segment is. There are a couple interesting things here. First, all the units are in Metric. I'm hoping there is a feature to change all the measurements to Imperial. Second, the gradient is expressed in ratio format (1:0), not in percentage. Again, I'm hoping there's some flexibility here with how these numbers are represented.

    2) The "Track Properties" section allows you to pick the style of track as well as the Track Rule. The track rule is a predefined set of properties for that particular type of track. This photo is using the properties for Paddington to Reading. The individual track properties are below (Design section) and can be customized to your liking.

    3) The "Tool Settings" section allows you to customize how the track laying tool works. You can change how the track snaps to the terrain as you lay it, how it interacts with other pieces of previously laid track, have the camera automatically follow as you lay track, and even have it automatically superelevate curves.

    4) The "Design" section is the most important thing here. You can define very specific parameters for the track you're laying. These settings can all be saved into your own custom track rule. Let's examine some of these settings.
    • Design Speed: The maximum speed that the track is designed to handle. This will likely be the default speed on the track.
    • Cant Deficiency: This gets a lot more into the mathematics of track geometry. In United States terms, this is known as "Unbalanced Superelevation". It's used in a formula to calculate the maximum allowed speed on curves. Different trains have different values of Unbalanced Superelevation applied to them. For example, I believe the Acela Express with tilting capability is 7 inches. That goes into a formula to calculate the maximum speed for the Acela around curves (when tilting is enabled).
    • Minimum Curve Radius: The sharpest a curve can be.
    • Maximum Superelevation: The highest level of superelevation supported. In the United States, this is currently 6 inches.
    • Curve Type: There are varying curve types. I'm not used to the term "circular arc", but in most cases you'll be laying "spiral curves". You can research what those are if you want.
    • Maximum Ribbon Length: The maximum length of an individual track piece. In TS2019 this was 500 meters if I remember correctly.
    • Parallel Track Count: Lay multiple parallel tracks simultaneously.
    • Track Spacing: When laying parallel track, define the spacing between track centers.
    • Gradient: Specify a constant gradient for the track being laid.
    5) Once you have defined the parameters for your track rule, you can save it to a file for use later on!

    Stay tuned for more photo analysis!
     
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  24. GT46PAC

    GT46PAC Active Member

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  25. GT46PAC

    GT46PAC Active Member

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    Will there be points at superelevation in TSW?
    Points & Crossings I mean.
     
  26. PlatChap

    PlatChap Well-Known Member

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    I'm enjoying the photo analysis on this stuff. I have no idea what I'm looking at so to those that are mostly familiar with this stuff and are providing some insight into this, thank you. I can't wait to see what people do with this software and I can't wait to play it!
     
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  27. Anthony Pecoraro

    Anthony Pecoraro Well-Known Member

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    Many more features than in TS! This looks great!
     
  28. Digital Draftsman

    Digital Draftsman Well-Known Member

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    I'm starting to think the editor will be delayed yet again.

    DTG said they were targeting this year for the open beta of the editor and that they'd get more specific with dates as things progressed. It's been over two months since they said that and we haven't heard anything about the date. DTG will be winding down for a couple of weeks over the Christmas period, so if they don't release the editor in the next couple of weeks we won't be seeing them in 2018. If the editor was going to be ready for beta in a couple of weeks I would have expected DTG to have announced a date for it by now.

    Let's not forget that originally DTG said we'd have the editor in 2017 if all went to plan, so they've already missed that target by a year.
     
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  29. Anthony Pecoraro

    Anthony Pecoraro Well-Known Member

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    Either this year or definitely next year! :)
     
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  30. Fabrizio520

    Fabrizio520 Guest

    In the meantime, as a good omen, I have already downloaded Epic Launcher.:);)
     
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  31. londonmidland

    londonmidland Well-Known Member

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    I really do hope the editor comes out before the end of the year. It would be a nice Christmas present for us all.

    If it does not however, I’d like to see more updates on the progress of it, instead of being left in the dark leaving ourselves to guess when it will be released.
     
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  32. Anthony Pecoraro

    Anthony Pecoraro Well-Known Member

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    They gave us more information today.
     
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  33. Trenomarcus

    Trenomarcus Active Member

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    • Upvote Upvote x 2
  34. cActUsjUiCe

    cActUsjUiCe Well-Known Member

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    • Upvote Upvote x 1
  35. Michael Newbury

    Michael Newbury Well-Known Member

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    This is great news for all of us that have been waiting.
     
  36. mrchuck

    mrchuck Active Member

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    Awesome
     

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