Update from the Open Rails Team:
Since the last update, the Open Rails Team has been enthusiastically improving and updating the software. As first revealed in the Open Rails YouTube clip at http://www.youtube.c...h?v=omjEf_s6rVg showcasing the nighttime and daytime skies in Open Rails, work continues on refining the skies and associated textures as well as adding other environmental features in the program.
Open Rails currently offers several weather conditions. This includes stunning sunsets and sunrises at the appropriate times based on the actual geographic location of the route. During the day, there is bright sunlight and a few scattered clouds for the time being. At night, the sky comes alive with stars, including a faint Milky Way, and other constellations based on an authentic star map. As in real life, the placement of these celestial objects depends on the hemisphere where the route is located. The software converts the activity start tile name to latitude and longitude coordinates, which it then uses to calculate the sun and moon positions.
Better bring your umbrella because weather conditions can now be either sunny or overcast with fog, rain, or snow! Activities will display clear conditions, rain, or snow falling, along with the appropriate overcast conditions, including realistic fog, depending on the criteria specified in the original activity. This development is just the start. Open Rails will eventually feature Dynamic Weather conditions in which the weather changes during the course of playing an activity. Do not forget your boots and shovel because snow textures in routes are now visible. The track crew has been busy replacing the gaps in the rails, as the program is now able to read and display dynamic track! Is that a forest you see? Yes, forests now show up in routes! Another feature implemented is specular lighting, which adds a nice touch to content in the program.
The documentation team is keeping track - no pun intended - of all of these aforementioned changes and providing detail about these features in the software guide. Moreover, the team is researching the design for the official OR Wiki and working on a new and exciting Open Rails website. The objective of the Open Rails Wiki and website is to provide other ways to keep the train simulator community informed and will be very immersive, and user friendly just like the software itself!
In addition to this work, members of the team continue to research about real world physic operations of trains. The team has been experimenting with devising formulas for the physics operations of trains based on actual scientific data. Work also continues with creating realistic AI traffic operations. This research will provide the foundation for creating authentic physics operations and AI in Open Rails.
Thank you for your interest, and please stay tuned for more announcements.
The Open Rails Team