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Thread: My thoughts so far on WOS

  1. #1
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    Default My thoughts so far on WOS

    TML Studios and WOW seem on the face of it to have give Railsimmers one of the key things they have been crying out for over the last few years.. A Simulator that takes advantage of current GPU, CPU processing power. However under the bonnet its a bit of a different story.


    The view from the cab looking out into the smooth tunnels makes for a stunning immersive feel

    When your in the tunnels the use of light rendering technology and a modern 3d graphics engine make for a superb immersive feeling.. Its silky smooth with superb frame rates even at full settings and high resolutions. However it soon becomes apparant that this silky smoothness is being marred by one of the worst physics engines ever to be placed inside a simulator. The train has absolutely no real weight in this artificial world, and simply moves around like a toy. This soon becomes tiresome and starts to spoil the enjoyment of the product..


    Full use of Bumpmapping and Specular techniques are used a pity its not carried onto the bodywork of the Train

    Staying with the train for a moment , there also does not seem to be a as much work put into the work rendering this object as there does with the tunnel environment. In fact the train is rather dull and flat looking, with odd and very rough textures in places and a rather curious method has been used to create the glass which is so subtle it gives the appearance most of the time of no glasswork at all. As you spend most of your time in the CAb its quite a good representation of the PATH though each cab is the same , the slight differences in reality are not observed, this makes you feel slightly shortchanged.


    There are in reality some sharp turns in the PATH, however not so tight that walls actually hit your train and pass through the body

    Above ground things start to fall apart. It soon becomes apparant here that the graphics engine was not designed for this, the draw distance needs attention and the use of a pixellated horizon is rather horrible. Most Objects seem very crude and low in resolution. The world is also absolutely dead. Cars stand abandoned on the freeway like a scene from "I am Legend" , which is rather fitting because then we come to the passengers who all appear to have been infected by a curious disease which makes them look like creatures from a 1980s computer game.


    Dont worry.. I hear Will Smith has found the Zombie cure

    Its hard to say if we have a product here that shows its possible too have refined graphics in a Rail Sim game but its been rushed and we only got the tunnel part finished by release date. Or we got a 3rd party graphics engine (its actually this one http://www.terathon.com/c4engine/index.php ) thats great at drawing tunnels and somone tacked a train on to it. I will reserve judgement until I see what comes next, however its hard to accept this how it is with all its flaws, especially when its a closed product that the user can do nothing with or add to.

    So whats good

    Quite an accurate representation of the Real Stations
    The Fluidity of the movement
    No Stuttering
    Fantastic underground graphics
    Lovely light work

    The bad

    Diabolical Physics...(fixable one would think and something that would make a huge difference)
    Graphics Engine struggles with the outside world (though it copes better at night)
    The bizzare AI with there horrible textures(its just eye candy)
    The terrible graphics in places (AI which only have one side which is then mirrored in reverse, the low res signage)
    The lack of detail work put into the trains itself, they all sound the same (which is nothing like the real thing)
    Poor finishing in silly areas (ahem, announcements of this quality should not be in a full price product) and the positioning and errors in some of the Speed Warnings should have been spotted in Beta Testing.

    Is the signalling actually working by watching the AI or is it also just Eye candy tied to the schedule (Im not sure but its another lost oppurtunity if thats all its doing).. In fact is AI in existence at all, should we just call it decorative traffic, whatever it is theres not enough of it especially at Terminals and on the NJ Transit Corridor..


    and finally the concept itself.. In the end if the user can't make activities and the AI isnt really being despatched but is simply timed eye candy, you quickly run out of things to do...
    Last edited by ightenhill; 10-23-2008 at 12:11 PM.

  2. #2
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    Excellent review! I agree wholeheartedly. The above ground graphics do look like the world has died and you are the only one left. No movement at all. I have had the sim for two weeks and was impressed at first but now I am bored out of my mind with it.

    Their other products for MSTS were perfect.

  3. #3

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    It's a first for them, guys and like all other firsts has it's problems and shortcomings.

    Some of us are providing plenty of feedback and their forum admins seems to be monitoring feedback better than I have seen in other train simulator forums, which has resulted in one update already with another one in the making.

    I am sure that they will do all they can to make this the best rail simulator / game ever. After all, the success of their further versions of subways and other routes will depend on it !

    O t t o

  4. #4
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    Even with the problems, I think it is by far the best Sim there is. I also think the daytime graphics are terrific. With more subway routes from different cities in the world, and a few problems fixed, it should really be fantastic!

    Larry

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by ightenhill View Post
    So whats good

    Quite an accurate representation of the Real Stations
    The Fluidity of the movement
    No Stuttering
    Fantastic underground graphics
    Lovely light work

    The bad

    Diabolical Physics...(fixable one would think and something that would make a huge difference)
    Graphics Engine struggles with the outside world (though it copes better at night)
    The bizzare AI with there horrible textures(its just eye candy)
    The terrible graphics in places (AI which only have one side which is then mirrored in reverse, the low res signage)
    The lack of detail work put into the trains itself, they all sound the same (which is nothing like the real thing)
    Poor finishing in silly areas (ahem, announcements of this quality should not be in a full price product) and the positioning and errors in some of the Speed Warnings should have been spotted in Beta Testing.

    Is the signalling actually working by watching the AI or is it also just Eye candy tied to the schedule (Im not sure but its another lost oppurtunity if thats all its doing).. In fact is AI in existence at all, should we just call it decorative traffic, whatever it is theres not enough of it especially at Terminals and on the NJ Transit Corridor..


    and finally the concept itself.. In the end if the user can't make activities and the AI isnt really being despatched but is simply timed eye candy, you quickly run out of things to do...

    Ightenhill,

    You are spot on with your review, pretty much exactly what my experience has been with WOS also. Let’s hope a patch or two helps the situation, although I’m a little skeptical about the capability of this engine as far as rendering “above ground” is concerned.

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by ightenhill View Post
    Diabolical Physics...(fixable one would think and something that would make a huge difference)
    Graphics Engine struggles with the outside world (though it copes better at night)
    The bizzare AI with there horrible textures(its just eye candy)
    The terrible graphics in places (AI which only have one side which is then mirrored in reverse, the low res signage)
    The lack of detail work put into the trains itself, they all sound the same (which is nothing like the real thing)
    Poor finishing in silly areas (ahem, announcements of this quality should not be in a full price product) and the positioning and errors in some of the Speed Warnings should have been spotted in Beta Testing.

    Is the signalling actually working by watching the AI or is it also just Eye candy tied to the schedule (Im not sure but its another lost oppurtunity if thats all its doing).. In fact is AI in existence at all, should we just call it decorative traffic, whatever it is theres not enough of it especially at Terminals and on the NJ Transit Corridor..


    and finally the concept itself.. In the end if the user can't make activities and the AI isnt really being despatched but is simply timed eye candy, you quickly run out of things to do...
    The physics changed in the last patch and you can compare with a real train ride here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RFzCnqKv1KM&NR=1 They do get things wrong (sound, horns) but it doesn't seem like a bad effort. The outside world isn't good, but with my settings maxed it isn't bad either. The signaling really is just a timed signaling that suggests a train ahead ( I think if you really wan't to act the part of a dispatcher you would spend more time setting the trains up than running the sim. That would be a lot of trains to set-up.) Since it is a subway sim there really isn't much switching that can be done nor much that can be done activity wise. That being said what I do miss is more variation in modeling of congestion/delays and/or work orders or accidents. There is supposed to be some variation in shift work but I haven't found much yet.

    Its not a bad sim, the tunnels are fantastic and within its limitations I think it is enjoyable.

  7. #7
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    With regard to calls for "Activity Editor" what is the point as the whole timetable for the day is in there, just pick which route and at what point you want to start.

    There's no route editor as (presumably) TML are hard coding the graphics onto the route data, it's not meant to be a plonk and place sandbox like MSTS, TRS or RS.

    A useful feature for future versions would be the ability to switch routes or "train jump" for a bit of variety but this would presumably either require AI to follow the timetable and you get off one train and "hijack" another (GTA SA style) or have a function within the end of run dialogue.

    The new physics while admittedly still not perfect are much better than originally shipped and I'm sure they're working further on this aspect for the next release.

    Probably the only complaint I have about WOS Vol.1 per se, is that the route is quite short, an issue that I'm hoping their Berlin Subway and yet to be announced London route will address.

  8. #8
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    Waste of money, i won't be getting anymore.

  9. #9
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    Support is appalling as well.. I found that by criticising the product and pointing out errors or asking for confirmation on one or two things on the TML forum my account was closed and all my posts were removed. Nice..

    As for Patch 1.2 Just confirms they really are no physics to this game.. We now have a train that can coast for ever, and has had its max speed on each notch tweaked.

    Uninstalled.. As looking on the C4 engine forums its quite easy to learn that you can't really do anything with this engine that would ever resemble a simulator. (A word they still use all over the advertising)

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by OwainGlyndwr View Post
    Waste of money, i won't be getting anymore.
    Quote Originally Posted by ightenhill View Post
    Support is appalling as well.. I found that by criticising the product and pointing out errors or asking for confirmation on one or two things on the TML forum my account was closed and all my posts were removed. Nice..

    As for Patch 1.2 Just confirms they really are no physics to this game.. We now have a train that can coast for ever, and has had its max speed on each notch tweaked.

    Uninstalled.. As looking on the C4 engine forums its quite easy to learn that you can't really do anything with this engine that would ever resemble a simulator. (A word they still use all over the advertising)


    Again, as usual, lack of any real data or knowledge of the actual prototype ruins any chances for decent consumer, rail related “simulator”.

    Let’s see, how many strike outs have we’ve seen since 2001? Who’s next?

    With the fact that TML did a good job in the past of hiding MSTS’s pitiful graphics engine short comings with their add-ons on, I had high hopes for this one. Looks like history keeps repeating itself over and over again as far consumer train/rail sims go.

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