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Tsw: Trans-pennine And Editor Post-stream Discussion

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Juxen, Dec 13, 2018.

  1. Juxen

    Juxen Active Member

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    I've been enjoying the stream that Matt's been doing, especially with the editor. Scenario creation looks incredibly simplified, which is a huge improvement, yet adds a good layer of complexity to the system. The tools look to be greatly refined over TS 1.

    What are your thoughts on the stream?
     
    Last edited: Dec 14, 2018
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  2. Gascan

    Gascan Active Member

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    I'm watching it and it does look good for creating new missions / scenarios / services (?) but I'm still curious about how it can be used for adding content to the "world" outside of the tracks to provide a more immersive experience on existing services / scenarios.

    Keeping in mind I've never used this editor so I'm talking as a total plebe.
     
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  3. Juxen

    Juxen Active Member

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    I've been getting used to UE4 (not the TSW editor), and it's been pretty easy getting newly created models into UE4. Getting them materialized and looking right, however, is a different story. I figure that any extant blueprints on created assets (i.e. opening/closing doors on houses, light switches, and vehicles) will migrate over to TSW with no changes. Matt also mentioned that making a turntable is easily possible, and possibly easy. As for rolling stock creation, we'll have to wait and see. The actual 3D modelling is the same as in most programming, but the addition of that rolling stock looks to be a little more difficult. Still, if I don't have to use that text editor from TS 1, I'll consider it a success.
     
  4. Juxen

    Juxen Active Member

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    One question I'd like to ask DTG (if you're listening), is what are the units of measure in the TSW editor? I've seen several numbers (minimum curve radius, length, etc.) I'm assuming it's the metric system (meters, kg, liters, etc.), but I'd love to get clarification.
     
  5. Gascan

    Gascan Active Member

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    I'm thinking more in terms of people wandering around in the world up and down the street... vehicles on the road, lining up at crossings... Moving already placed vehicles that are currently parked on sidewalks... just generally cleaning up the world and creating a working template for new scenario / service content.
     
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  6. Juxen

    Juxen Active Member

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    Gotcha. Well, the good news is, there's thousands of UE4 developers out there, so there might be something regarding spawning of objects.

    For instance:



    Edit: Actually, the logic should be "Spawn Random Object from Set [Pedestrians/Vehicles]" --> "Move Object along Path" --> "Despawn Object". UE4's flexible enough to do this.
     
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2018
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  7. Juxen

    Juxen Active Member

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    Matt has stated that free-roaming is not possible, as the AI signal/route dispatcher is tied very firmly to the service. I'd imagine that if you had a non-signaled route (i.e. Train Orders), and no AI traffic, and manual junctions, you could easily create a free roam of sorts, where you grab a loco, couple to a consist, and then run it to another point on the line. I wonder if you could fix an OR into the scenario creator: Grab loco A OR loco B, then couple to consist C OR consist D.
     
  8. Gascan

    Gascan Active Member

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    Okay my other question from the scenario standpoint would be to have a variety of locos available to couple to a set consist... the idea being to use just enough locos to get the load to its destination using as little fuel as possible and within a certain time constraint once coupled. I'm not logged into twitch so I can't ask- but from what you know about the editor do you think fuel at the beginning and fuel at the end is a factor that can be applied?

    Maybe it'll need a script to verify?
     
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2018
  9. Juxen

    Juxen Active Member

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    I'm unsure as to how robust the Scenario editor is, until I've played with it. What I've been finding with UE4, though, is that if there's a variable, it can be called out. It may take some special scripting, especially with you only running one train in a scenario. I'd imagine it would recognize and store the fuel number at the start, then compare it at the end, then compare that number to a predetermined number (i.e. 200 gallons over Sand Patch). I'm not too good at scripting, so this would be the method, but I'm not sure if the Scenario editor can run that specific set of instructions. The scenario editor does let you set your fuel level before starting a scenario, though.
     
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  10. Gascan

    Gascan Active Member

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    Yes I'm very curious how this is going to play out.
     
  11. Juxen

    Juxen Active Member

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    Something that occurred to me with a person's question ("Can you show how to give instructions to player?"): the UE4 engine should be robust enough that as your train hits a location/point, you can send the player an audio file that sounds like a voice over the radio. Kind of like how Sand Patch had that intro voice thing, but without the text boxes. You could even pull random quotes, for replayability.
     
  12. Juxen

    Juxen Active Member

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    So after watching this, I think I'm getting a small grasp of the workflow for creating a route in TSW: creating a route doesn't seem to be a mere overlay over an existing map, like I'd thought earlier; there is a specific "New Route" file selection in the TSW creator. However, assets (and possibly whole scenes) can be imported into the new route. I'd been hoping that you could create the terrain and most of the world of a new route before the TSW tools came out, but this doesn't seem possible/feasible.

    So things you should be able to do before the Editor is released:
    • Creation of 3D models
    • Creation of materials
    • Importing of models and materials into UE4
    • Preliminary blueprints for assets tied to models
    • Lighting and fine-tuning of assets
    Things it looks like you can't do before the tools are released:
    • Create a new route
    • Create the basic scripting for locomotives and rolling stock
     
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  13. Gascan

    Gascan Active Member

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    It would be neat to have a "guided tour" where someone injected "on the left you will see the town of Gilbert... established in 1890 with a population of 449. Garret is famous for having the largest number of prostitutes per capita in PA..." or something to that effect.

    It would have to be in a tour guide voice of course-
     
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2018
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  14. Juxen

    Juxen Active Member

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  15. Gascan

    Gascan Active Member

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    Looking forward to seeing if Digital Draftsman was able to catch the stream- not to mention the guys from that development group. I hope everyone weighs in on this thread so the devs etc have an easy 1 stop shop to sift through looking for feedback.
     
  16. Rudolf

    Rudolf Active Member

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    I really like the scenario editor. When playing scenarios for the various routes you can already see what you can do. It is nice to see how easy it is to create scenarios and build complex flows. For TrainSimulator it always has been a big struggle to find out what you can do, circumventing route issues. In many cases I ended with a completely diferent flow from what I intended to create. This is not always bad, it may lead to very intersting scenarios. For TSW complex scenarios definitely require a lot of planning, otherwise you may get stuck. This makes creating scenarios a quite different experience.

    What I wonder is how much debugging support we really will experience. It is nice you can see when a path is blocked, but I saw Matt struggling with some wronly placed consists and to me it looked like did not say more than "Error".
     
  17. Digital Draftsman

    Digital Draftsman Well-Known Member

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    It's as advertised, the UE4 editor with some adaptions for TSW. It all looks good to me, though it's difficult to know with actually using it and seeing what pitfalls or limitations there may be.

    Something that is nice with the scenario editor is the ability to see everything at once, in TS2019 you have to switch between services to see their timetable. It's also done through a 2D representation, so you don't have to fly around the map placing consists like in TS2019, all that flying wastes time. Another thing which is nice is that there's no issue with AI and player services interacting, so you could have an AI drop wagons off, a player service pick them up and drop them off, and then another AI pick them up; This couldn't be done in TS2019.

    As far scripting goes, everything that is possible in TS2019 can be done in TSW. The main issue will be with the Steam Workshop, will we be able to distribute sound files and scenic assets through the workshop? As things stand with TS2019 it's not possible to distribute sound files and scenic assets through the workshop, which it makes it that bit more difficult to distribute scenarios and thus discourages scenarios that make full use of the features available. Hopefully the Workshop will support fully featured scenarios this time around.

    It would have been nice to see a bit more in terms of the route editor, but perhaps they can do another stream covering that in a bit more detail.
     
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  18. Gascan

    Gascan Active Member

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    Hopefully every Thursday at the same time could be their designated "Stream Day" and they could lay out a schedule so they know what they have to cover a couple weeks in advance. I'm looking forward to digging into this-


    DD are you pretty good on the scripting side? I worked in Lua before but mostly as a spectator- I could change values and generally knew how to modify stuff a little bit to convince it to do what I wanted... What language will this editor use? Any idea?
     
  19. Digital Draftsman

    Digital Draftsman Well-Known Member

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    UE4 uses C++. I'm alright with Lua but I've also done a bit of C++ in anticipation of TSW. Hopefully I'm proficient enough to get some of my TS2019 rollingstock into TSW as well create some interesting scenarios, I'm not a scripting ace though. A year or so ago I made a little collection of UE4 scenic assets for a shortline railroad, so hopefully I can get on with some route building too.

    With coding, so long as you understand the basics of the language you can get away with copy/paste and value changes to do most things.
     
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  20. Gascan

    Gascan Active Member

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    So... knowing what you know so far do you think it will be tangible to run a script that will check the level of fuel in your power setup- whatever the combination is- and then run that same check when you uncouple it and be able to record that quantity... think kind of like a "top score" thing?

    I'm trying to figure out if I should keep thinking about this idea and how to implement it or if it just won't be practical. I might have asked you about this before- if so I apologize for the redundancy.
     
  21. LastTrainToClarksville

    LastTrainToClarksville Well-Known Member

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    I apologize for this off-topic question, but where is the Trans-Pennine manual hidden? One of the tutorials suggests reading it, but without admitting where it can be found.
     
  22. Digital Draftsman

    Digital Draftsman Well-Known Member

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    Yes, this is even possible in TS2019, at least with some locomotives. In TS2019 I've written scenarios with some of the advance locomotives where there are traction motor failures and the player has to identify which motors are defective and then isolate them. I've also written scenarios where all the instructions are given over the radio by the dispatcher rather than text boxes, as well as defect dectors which radio you with the details of your consist when you pass them. There's a way to do almost anything with scripting, I've always found the limiting factor tends to be my coding ability rather than any limitation with the program.


    https://store.steampowered.com/manual/577353
     
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  23. raildan

    raildan Well-Known Member

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    The editor looks good, I can't wait to try it out. Service/scenario editing seems great, very intuitive! I hope we'll be able to replace service modes- I mean, I know we can't add new ones, but if we can overwrite the existing service mode, that would be great. I've got quite a few ideas on how to enhance service mode on routes where AI traffic isn't exactly stellar- can't wait to get my hands on it.

    I also have route and loco ideas- but of course those are a bit more complicated l. I may start simple, perhaps modifying services, then repainting locks, then making routes with DTG assets, then making custom routes with custom assets? No idea how far up I would end up, just sounds like a logical-ish vague plan to me
     
  24. Gascan

    Gascan Active Member

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    Sounds pretty ambitious. I’m happy if I can get my computer to turn on.
     
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  25. AlexNL

    AlexNL Active Member

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    I absolutely loved the devstream by Matt. He's a great presenter, knows his stuff and is very keen to show off the hard work everyone's done. I would love to see more of these streams in the future.

    While the stream looked a bit technical at first, Matt quickly made everything very understandable to the audience. I'm looking forward to getting my hands on the tools.
     
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  26. Rudolf

    Rudolf Active Member

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    For TS I spent about half a year to do reverse engineering on scripting and find out what you can do with it. I hope we will get at least better documentation. For TS scripting is not very well supported, I am still woring on tools to improve this. Especially the complete lack of support for testing makes it hard to use. I hope for TSW this will be better, otherwise I will se what I can do for the community. For the moment I would be happy to learn how to create awesome scenarios without any scripting. I think you can do a lot of new fancy stuff without any scripting.
     
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  27. Rudolf

    Rudolf Active Member

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    I agree. Just as we now can replace liveries, I think in principle using this technique we can replace a complete servicemode. Would be a great intermediate solution. I think with some externa tool we can manage all downloaded stuff and keep it outside or inside the game.
     
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  28. ex_railwayman

    ex_railwayman Active Member

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    Well, that's going to upset a lot of people, if we can't do freeroaming, and it's not just running actual train services, either, it's being able to gain access into any route placing freight wagons and coaching stock manually in yards and depots at random to our own personal preferences, if we can't do that simple task, then, I'm sure many folks will abandon this idea and go back to TS19, where there are no restrictions on what we can do whatsoever.
     
  29. Lombra

    Lombra Member

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    I don't get the thing with free mode. What is the issue with it? Can you not create a new scenario without any timetables? If so, what prevents you from doing whatever you want? Does the game forcibly stop if you run a red light or something?

    Another thing I've been thinking about. In the games for which I've gotten more or less involved in its modding community, the issue of game updates breaking mods is a real thing. Is it the same thing here, or is it somehow different due to the nature of Unreal Engine modding?
     
  30. Juxen

    Juxen Active Member

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    That's what I hate about the walk-around mode in TSW. It's fun to get locos, build a train, and get ready to depart a yard, only to find that the train you built isn't registered on the dispatcher list, so you'll always have a red. And if you pass it, TSW shuts you down.
     
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  31. Gascan

    Gascan Active Member

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    Yeah this is a major buzzkill of the entire mode. I spent an hour harvesting power at the turntable to take a screenshot for last week's contest and then there was nothing I could do with them after. Okay... quit to main menu then.

    With that said, the limitation on free roam seems to be the signalling system since the dispatcher will have no clue what to do with you among all the other traffic... but if you used a script to disable it you'd have no issue (assuming you could do that). Then again you'd run into issues with any AI traffic- so you'd need to leave them static unless you knew your timings really well and what routes you had AI assets moving-

    All this being said I've never dabbled in the TS1 editor and disabling signaling or at least disabling the kick on passing red may not even be an option.
     
  32. raildan

    raildan Well-Known Member

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    Lol, yes it is ambitious. I never said the plan was realistic, exactly.
     
  33. Juxen

    Juxen Active Member

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    That's why I mentioned running trains on Yard Limits or Train Orders. If you had a small shortline (like RWA in TS 1), you could run the entire system because there isn't a signal on the route.
     
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  34. Lombra

    Lombra Member

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    I can understand it won't really work together with AI traffic, but it would be cool if you could just go on an empty route and maybe get to dynamically create a timetable, or otherwise request routes.
     
  35. LastTrainToClarksville

    LastTrainToClarksville Well-Known Member

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    Thanks!!!
     
  36. Lombra

    Lombra Member

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    I don't really understand on how low a level the Unreal Editor works. Assuming one had access to the source of Rapid Transit, could one fix its infamous signaling in the editor? And also, could steam engines be created? Or does that requires changes to the core of the game?
     
  37. ARuscoe

    ARuscoe Well-Known Member

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    DTG have already said that once the route has been baked that you cannot then edit that component again so you would need the unbaked version to make those changes. I'm sure once the editor is out someone will manage to recreate it

    IF the steam system can be made in simugraph then I don't see why not. There is likely a reason why DTG have stuck to diesels and electrics, we can only guess at what that is
     
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  38. raildan

    raildan Well-Known Member

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    I think they've already said it's development time. There is no real reason for the unreal engine to not be able to handle steam, but DTG is always limited by schedules. There's no reason for it to be impossible, it just takes a while.
     
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  39. Juxen

    Juxen Active Member

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    Personally, I think most of the reason is because there are so many equations and unknowns for a steam locomotive. I truly believe UE4 can handle much of the work for a steam engine, but a potential developer would have to have accurate numbers, like the dimensions of the firebox, the thicknesses of the steel components, the heat transfer rate from burning coal to water, etc. It's probably not an issue of if UE4 can handle it, it's a question of how much work you want to put into it.

    I've been working on a steam calculator spreadsheet in my spare time, using some things learned from my heat transfer classes years ago. Just to figure out how fast a quantity of water gets heated depends on a million little things, like the type of fuel (Bituminous, anthracite, Bunker C, etc.), the density of that, the ash content of each, and the airflow to the fire.
     
  40. raildan

    raildan Well-Known Member

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    Exactly, it isn't technical limitations, it's the work. Even if there's a lot of work involved, I'm sure somebody will do it.

    (Imagine a Smokebox steam engine in TSW... just the thought of that makes me drool.)
     
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  41. Juxen

    Juxen Active Member

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    Or they already have: https://www.ideals.illinois.edu/bitstream/handle/2142/52409/fireboxdesignits00clar.pdf?sequence=2

    It's amazing, the amount of work that some people have already done in this field, back when railroads represented some of the cutting edge of science.

    And yeah, I'm totally psyched for someone like Mike Rennie to make an engine for TSW. Or Victory Works.
     
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  42. ex_railwayman

    ex_railwayman Active Member

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    DTG have stopped the end users from doing there own thing, they have built all this track and put yards and sidings in on many routes, but, don't allow us to manually change many junction points, so, without getting unrestricted access to anywhere on the whole map it gets very repetitive and boring after a while doing the same services over and over again, and as we have had no editor in the game we have been unable to do anything ourselves for the last 18 months.
     
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2018
  43. raildan

    raildan Well-Known Member

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    ...except we're getting an editor soon and it has been in development alongside TSW for quite a while. The 18 month wait is due to plenty of very real reasons. When the editor comes, free roam stuff should be possible.
     
  44. SamYeager270

    SamYeager270 Well-Known Member

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    Matt was asked about free roam during the stream and his reply went along the lines of "you can set the points however you like whilst creating the scenario but the dispatcher controls them when playing the scenario so you don't have the same freedom as free roam". Essentially the user needs to plan the route in advance rather deciding on the fly whilst playing.
     
  45. Gascan

    Gascan Active Member

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    Makes me wonder if instead of having other AI services running in parallel you can't just spawn in random consists to "drive by" you while you're on a route and spawn them out elswhere so you don't need to deconflict the signalling. The big issue with the free roam is that you'll conflict with the other services and dispatch can't handle that... which I totally understand. But there must be a way to opportunistically "set the table" in predetermined areas where a player is going to be versus having to have the AI play out its own services throughout the entire map space.
     
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  46. raildan

    raildan Well-Known Member

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    I heard that part too, I just assumed this was only about switches that the scenario writer chose to leave locked in place during the scenario, and not apply to switches set otherwise. I may not have heard that last part, though. The dispatcher sounds fairly customizable, though, which may still allow free roam scenarios if you really mess with it. Maybe. (This part was just explained in more depth by Gascan after I started writing this)

    If not, however, that explains why DTG did not include free roam scenarios. If all automatic points are immovable, than in order to make a proper free roam scenario, DTG would have to remake the route with only manual switches,just for one scenario. That amount of work to do that just for, and let's be honest here, a less popular and less important type of scenario is a bit excessive.

    Sure, they could have implemented automatic switches a bit differently to include a flag to make them manual, bu they didn't think of that, and it was simpler just to do this especially since free roam scenarios aren't that popular. Community scenarios and service mode kind of make up for it.
     
  47. Gascan

    Gascan Active Member

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    Free roam is really a bit of a misnomer when it comes to rail traffic... when I think of it I just want to be able to build the consist I want out of assets I place (or have placed through scripting randomly) and take it down the line to a point. Is that a scenario? Or a service? I get a bit lost in the semantics but I also know the distinction in terms of development can be important... or is it? I'm so confused.

    This guy gets it:
    (Sintbert)
    As of now we have a very good version in NEC-NY where you have to take apart a train and sort it in multiple trains. That is scripted in a way that you have to do it exactly in the order it says you to do it. There is no freedom to take a few cars more at once and put them in to the tracks, then take the next bunch.
    There is a reason this is done that way. That reason is the AI requires such exact scripting to be able to complete that service itself. And in Service mode this is a strict requirement since every train you don't drive, is driven by the AI. This includes every shunting and yard move.
    A completely other thing is a scenario. There is your service that will never be driven by AI and for that reason can be much more open in how it is scripted. There such a yard move can be completed by a instruction that only requires you to put the cars in the track, the order or the way to that result can be on the players discretion. You only have to meet the final requirement for the scenario to continue.
     
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2018
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  48. ex_railwayman

    ex_railwayman Active Member

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    I think a few people are getting slightly confused about this freeroam issue, it has nothing to do with scenarios, or, AI, it is the ability to move around any route on our own, to freely roam wherever we want to, driving any train that we make up ourselves in the editor, even just running a light engine to a depot, or, switching wagons in a goods yard to make up a train and then running it down the line, etc, dropping wagons off at various points, manually changing junction levers as we go to allow us to drive end to end across any of the tracks utilising all the yards, sidings, loops and main lines and everything else that the developer has built in to the layout, it's the most flexible way of driving trains around. Too be restricted in how we play the game, especially, if all of these junction levers have been built as immovable is not we really wanted, that does not represent the simulation of operating a railway, by any stretch of the imagination. We might as well leave it to the Konsole Kiddies in this case if that is how DTG have planned the game for the last 5 years, and us PC users can go back to TS19. I've looked on all the routes I have currently and there are vast areas on every one of them where there isn't any type of lever to change the junctions at all, they obviously haven't been made, so, to not being able to drive any type of train, down to the Werdohl-Elverlingsen Power Station on the Ruhr Sieg route, for example, even though all the tracks are in situ, but, you can't get in, or, out, with a train, it appears a complete waste of time and effort, why bother, you wouldn't do that on a model railway, would you?
     
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2019
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  49. raildan

    raildan Well-Known Member

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    Right... but, with the editor, you will be able to do that... so I don't see the problem?
     
  50. SamYeager270

    SamYeager270 Well-Known Member

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    At the end of his stream Matt asked whether it was too technical or perhaps too fast. He also made the point that the stream was not supposed to be a tutorial.

    Personally I didn't find the stream as a whole overly technical although perhaps that's because I've worked in the IT field in the past. Certainly at times Matt was a bit fast but considering it was a two hour stream covering a number of subjects whilst probably only scratching the surface I didn't feel it was that fast. I have to say the time just flew by for me. My abiding impression is that there's just an enormous amount of stuff still to cover such as
    • Scripting and which language(s) can (must?) be used.
    • Advanced blueprint utilisation?
    • Route building.
    • Simugraph programming.
    • Importing and using external resources to help build routes and place scenery.
    • Creating and placing signalling.
    • How to customise and debug signalling systems such as the various flavours of German, UK & US signalling together with the use magnets, balises, track circuits etc.
    • Tips and guidelines on use of any inbuilt performance tools.
    • How to create & update items for the Steam workshop.
    I'm sure the above could provide material for multiple streams, not to mention the stuff that I've overlooked. ;) It might be worth Matt including an appropriate specialist alongside him when covering subjects where he is less knowledgable.

    I do have a couple of queries that it would be nice if someone from DTG clarified at some point:
    1. Whilst I'm sure that it's not possible for third parties to extend existing routes how feasible would it be for somebody to create a new route starting at Reading for instance by referencing the existiing scenery assets, excluding the existing track & signalling, and lay new track, signalling and scenery to extend westwards?
    2. Does TSW make use of the equivalent of TS19 train portals to generate and remove consists?
     

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