View Full Version : Too picky
05-06-2010, 09:44 PM
Is there a point, to where one is too picky about the scenery and how much or how less, or if it even looks right?
This appears to be my problem when it comes to route building. I get too picky with the scenery, if it doesn't look right, I wash the slate clean and start new. If I over populate it, I feel as if myself or others will have a hard time enjoying the route because of all the details. Specially with MSTS hating the amounts at times.
Now, some know I am working on the Maine Central Mountain Division route, and well, I have become too picky with the scenery. Not only am I not happy with how the scenery looks, I feel like I should start it all over. (minus the track work of course, that stays)
However, I think my solution is to, do some scenery here and there to my not too picky liking, and then send the route to a friend to add scenery.
But, has anyone else had this problem with being far too picky and then having it take WAY to long to release?
05-06-2010, 11:18 PM
Often times we may be our own worst critic, Allen McClellan who created the famous Virginia and Ohio model RR used the good enough theory. When taking on a large scale project its easy to get caught up in all of the details.
By applying this thought process, making things close enough to capture enough of the flavor of the route, only the creator will, in the end, be aware of what details were passed over.
I'd suggest sharing some draft screen shots of your work with those whose opinions you value and with those that are familiar with the route's prototype. Another set of trusted eyes may just offer validation that you are headed in the right direction or may catch that one element that you may be too close to the project to see.
05-06-2010, 11:42 PM
Thanks for that Info Vinnie.. Now if only I could get someone to build the Portland, Maine union station ;)
and of course I will need to do a better version of the MEC head quarters..
05-07-2010, 12:26 AM
You also have to realize you play to two sides of the coin here.
On one side you have a segment of users who are satisfied to run prototypical activities on a route, and don't necessarily care about the scenery detail as much as they do about the train physics, and realism of the activities available for the route.
On the other side, you have a segment that crave realistic scenery, and are happy running trains in a realistic looking virtual world.
I am generalizing, of course, so don't take that scientifically.
I think Vinnie gave you very good advice.
And, for those that like the route as you ultimately release it, they have all the opportunity in the world to upgrade it with their personal flare.
Good luck with your project, and enjoy it.
05-07-2010, 01:15 AM
Yes, we're building a model railroad and yes, with that view and unlimited viewing distance I tend to get waaay too detailed.
I have to constantly tell myself to stop placing objects where they cant be seen from the train. (or a reasonable distance above, say 50 meters AGL.
I have just completed to branches that run through Brooklyn, NY. . .hardly a tree and you cant see the ground for all the pavement and buildings.
I ahd to adopt a rule that backdrops be used at >100-200 meters from the track. It was hard in spots because the lines run elevated. I the cut, much easier.
Bur yes Shawn, I certainly tent to get too detailed adding those little knick knacks that make model railroading such a joy, expecially when you are creating your own knick knacks!
It really a neat thing to 'dress' a route but ask yourself how much can be seen from a moving train.
The problem is the computers only have so much power so you have to build for that. I woulden't worry though because a route is a long term project and by the time I get done I expect to see at least a doubling of processor power. The new solid state hd's are an example of the type of quantum leaps we're gonna see.
Back to details. :p
05-07-2010, 01:41 AM
You make a good point. I try to build my route so that my own system (not that great) will handle it. However, I love details, to match exactly, specially when I visit that certain area in real life. However, I don't wish to go over board on the detail so that I cannot run it and others can only get 1 fps :p
However, at least doing some detail well enough to resemble the area well.
I tend to pay attention to both, detail, and the main running train as well. ;)
One thing's for sure- railfans are an extremely nitpicky bunch. You can have the most detailed route in the world, but if you have a red house next to the depot, you're guaranteed somebody will whine about how it should be blue.
But, don't let that get to you. There is such a thing as "too detailed", especially if it bogs down performance. And not everyone has the latest, hottest PC.
I think you've got the right idea- put in enough detail to make it represent the area you're modeling. Identify what the unique landmarks are to the area and make those the priority for scenery, rather than getting every last tree in the right place. Vinnie's got the right idea-get a few other pairs of eyes looking at your work.
Granted, you're modeling PAR, so the trains will be running slower and everyone will have more time to look at the scenery ; )
Probably most important- remember you're doing this for your enjoyment, and I assume other users won't be paying for your route, so you don't owe them any apologies. Do it to the level that makes you happy.
05-07-2010, 03:39 PM
As long as it's to your liking, and within the limits if the RE, who cares what others think! It's your work, or imagination, not someone elses!
When I make a route I'm not doing it to someone elses expectations, needs, or desires. I make a route based on what I want in it, and how I want the route to look.
My current Route project"Park Hill Junction" is the end result of countless trials and errors I've suffered thru in the any years I'm working in the RE. It might not be purfect in everyones book, but It's me pushing the limits of not only the RE, but my skills as a hobbiest. Right now I'm puching the route world tiles to the breaking point.
Is the route going to be all I want?...No, not even close. lost of things I'd like to have inclueded, but due to the limitations of the RE I have to settle for less. Not being picky, just dealing with reality as the RE presents it.
So in short, do what you want, cram as much into the SIM as is possible, and be willing to compromise when limits are reached.
05-07-2010, 03:53 PM
When I was first part of the MSTS world, I built some stuff and hesitated GREATLY to release it, thinking it wasn't "good enough" and I couldn't do what I wanted to do given the limits to poly counts that were actually once a BIG problem. When I bought the game, I owned a Win98 machine with a 223MMX Pentium I that had a whopping 128megs of RAM. and RAM was running a dollar a MEG back then, but I doubled it just to run MSTS and MSFS better. And it had a 2 gig hard drive and I replaced it with an 8.4 gig hard drive in order to have enough room for NEC 1.0.
Then I decided to just do some cars in 2002 after I bought Abacus TSM on clearance at CompUSA. Of course, back then, they "had way too many polys" and "NO NO NO, you CAN'T model RIBS!
And the infamous "Hey, dude, this game is four years old! No point in releasing any more stuff for it now, it's DEAD!" There'll be a new sim out in NO TIME!
So, my first car that I was worried wasn't "good enough?"
1517 downloads to date.
My "big" tank car that everyone said had too many polys?
2,823 downloads to date.
And, of course, now, I just kick them out whenever I feel like it, and I'm proud of my stuff. Not that I wouldn't mind working with three times as many polys, but hey...
In other words, just do it. If it isn't "good enough" for some, it may be "the greatest ever created" by others. You can't please everyone. Well, unless you're a politician...
BTW, the key to high detail with good FPS is "repetition." More of the same object takes less memory than lots of different objects. In other words, fences, power poles, lineside polls, etc. Rows and rows of "housing blocks" etc...
05-07-2010, 04:18 PM
Well... from what I heard, Pan Am will be running trains up to 25mph on D1. as of right now in D2, 3, and 4, they seem to be doing about 30-40mph.
anyways..not that, any of that matters as my main focus is on the MEC Mountain Division route that is based in the 1950's with the speed of 35mph..
However in the end, thanks for the tips and advice everyone. :)
05-07-2010, 06:36 PM
Speaking to the thread title, Yep, it gets down to 18fps here: :p
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