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Thread: MSTS Improvements

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Gilbert, AZ.
    Posts
    245

    Default MSTS Improvements

    Hello, everybody.

    I have been hearing quite a bit about the limitations of MSTS recently, and I thought maybe somebody should start doing something about it. We all know the various faults that MSTS has: signall errors, coupler problems, animation and display limitations, etc.
    Well, after seeing the amount of talent we have in this forum, I started wondering if we might just be able to take on these problems ourselves. I know that many people have tried various fixes on the surface of the program, like .eng and other configuration files, But what if we could form a group to modify the inner parts of the sim. What if we could get a group of knowledgable people who understand the lines of code inside this program and make something like a "V1.3" update. Wouldn't it be great if we could actually fix the signaling problem, or do something a simple as adding a few variables to allow extra auxiliary animations. What about if we could find the variable controlling Diesel throttle settings and matching it up to the sounds of helper units in a consist, finaly fixing that annoying sound glitch. What about matching the color of the smoke from a helper steam engine to that of the lead loco, instead of it being bleached white. I think we can do these tasks, especially with all the manpower we have here. It's not impossible, other games have been modified by online communities, even editing the core codes of the game itself. I know Train Artisan was working with Microsoft on MSTS 2, and now they are working on their own simulator, but they started out as a modeling group just like NALW and 3D trains are. So I ask this community, are we going to just whine about the limitations of MSTS, or are we going to do something about them. I ask that anyone interested in assisting this new project please reply to this post, or you can Email me at [[email protected]]. I would really like to get a group together that could revolutionize MSTS, and I hope would do to!
    With my regards,
    Matthew Imbrogno
    Keeping Baldwins alive through the 21st century.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 1999
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    .
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    622

    Default RE: MSTS Improvements

    On the surface it sounds like a good idea, although would be a massive undertaking. Unfortuneately to do this would require disassembly of code, since we don't have the source, and even if it could technically be done, would violate international copyright law unless MS and possibly also KUJO gave permission to do so. Which is very doubtful!! I don't think you want to be sitting in the defendants chair with MS the Plaintiff in a copyright case!! You'd lose big time!!!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Seattle, Washington.
    Posts
    107

    Default RE: MSTS Improvements

    Isn't this what raildriver is doing with Train Master? I don't mean the copy right stuff, but making a compatible program that is up to date and much better.

  4. #4

    Default RE: MSTS Improvements

    Hi John !

    PIEngineering bought TRAINMASTER and now owning it and all it's rights can do with it as they like, hopefully to all our benefit ! ;-)

    I don't think the Train Sim community could raise enough money to buy the KUJU MSTS code from Microsoft, achieving what ? It still has an outdated Graphics engine designed for DirectX-7 and most of it's code would have to completely re-written, a waste of time, effort and money ! That's why Microsoft pulled out !

    O t t o

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Gilbert, AZ.
    Posts
    245

    Default RE: MSTS Improvements

    Actually, What I'm talking about is something more like an aftermarket addition to the game, not so much different as the locomotives that we share here. Now what ever we do create would obviously overide the original installation, but it would be our own creation, and that is not copyrighted. It's like having a replacement skin for a payware pruduct, you can share the .ace files, but you can't includ the .s, .sd, or any other files you didn't make. We would not be offering the whole game, just our own addendum to it. I also agree that this could be a major project, but it doesn't necessareley have to be. I know of a program that could dissasemble the code of this program. It was developed by a group of people interested in reverse engineering of data and programing. I will be contacting them for their assistance in this project, as well. I know that it is possible, and legal, to do this project.
    I will add more later, but know I've got to go back to work!
    Matthew Imbrogno
    Keeping Baldwins alive through the 21st century.

  6. #6

    Default RE: MSTS Improvements

    Hi Matthew !

    You can not change the way a program has been designed to function by bolting on bits and pieces here and there without delving into the guts of the compiled program code itself and changing associated .dll files and their function calls.

    It can be done with "Reverse Engineering" of the code, providing you know all it's functions, but this would infringe EULAs and Copyright Law.

    There are some clever guys who can make minor changes like the one who supplies a version of the FS-2004 program which does not insist on a FS-2004 program CD having to be in the CD drive, but that's about all Microsoft will let you get away with ! ;-)

    O t t o

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Gilbert, AZ.
    Posts
    245

    Default RE: MSTS Improvements

    Hello, all.
    Well, it seems there may be not much of a backing for a project such as this. Apperently, I overestimated the will of the preople in this forum for undertaking such a large project. Actually, I guess I mis-directed the effort, maybe I should talk to somebody like Train Artisan, and see if they might be interested. Anyway, I guess you could forget about the earlier post.
    I got a few Baldwins to attend to, anyway.
    Matthew Imbrogno
    Keeping Baldwins alive through the 21st century.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Location
    Worcester, United Kingdom.
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    2,135

    Default RE: MSTS Improvements

    Hi Matt,
    It wasn't so much you overestimated the will of the forum members, but more the stupendous difficulty in facing the practical problems faced with such an undertaking; besides, you haven't let the Mike Simpsons, Paul Guasdens, Snipers, and many others the chance to tell you: "Been there, done it, got the Tee shirt!"

    However, some of us admire your pluck and would like to see more of you in forums.

    Mike :D
    Sinclair97

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 1999
    Location
    Eltham, Australia.
    Posts
    6,513

    Default RE: MSTS Improvements

    Hi Matthew,

    Your idea is a good one, but you lack a lot of knowledge, and you are 4 years too late.

    I wasn't aware that we are winging about the shortcomings of MSTS?

    You should aquaint yourself with what people are doing for MSTS 1, before you suggest that 'we all follow you to fix the problems'

    There are also 2 business's writing new simulators and 1 of them may be ready to sample this year.

    Cheers
    Derek

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Location
    Guyton, GA, USA.
    Posts
    1,662

    Default RE: MSTS Improvements

    Matthew,

    As Derek says, you should acqaint yourself with what has already been done to improve the MSTS "experience". If you compare the "out of the box" with what we have now, you will find great improvements. What you have seen in these forums about "limitations" are places where the limits have been pushed as far as possible. Many times these limits have either been "worked around", or as good a compromise as possible has been acheived. You are correct that changes need to be made in the core programming, but as has been stated before, the "reverse engineering" necessary to do so is prohibited by the EULA. I would love to overcome so many of the limitations imposed by the graphics engine. But there is hope. PI Engineering's TMTS team is trying to build a new simulator that will overcome these limitations and bugs, while allowing the "importation" or "transformation" of MSTS content. There is a forum here devoted to their efforts. Search here for physics topics. Go to 3DTrains.com and check out the physics forum there. Look at the newer screen shots here and at 3DTrains to see how realistic routes can be now.

    With all that said, all of us should never lose the desire that you show for our hobby to keep getting better.
    Joe Morris, OVSRails Vice President
    OVSRails Engineer #2
    OVSRails
    OVSRails Forums

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