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Thread: Years Of Fun To Figure This Out (Run8 Editorial)

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2001
    Location
    St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada.
    Posts
    3,182

    Default Years Of Fun To Figure This Out (Run8 Editorial)

    First off I've had a great number of years with Run8. It is still the best train simulator out there in my opinion. May not have the best graphics or any editors etc. but it really is the best in my mind. Now I'll try and keep this brief but you know me. But towards the end I have a suggestion for V3 that might help, or perhaps just get ignored.

    When Run8 first hit the ground running back before AI I had high hopes for MP and operations and knew at the time it was for me. Many people were down on it because of the way the frogs looked (they improved that) along with lack of editors, eye candy, and I think even single player with AI trains if I recall back in early V1.

    What I thought Run8 would become was a world like VATSIM for Flight Simulator where everyone would be part of a big prototypical world running trains day and night worldwide in one area (due to time zones plenty of coverage). Early on I knew it wasn't going to quite be that because individual servers would have their own flavour and interests would change quite a bit. Though there is variation in flight operations railroads have changed quite a bit over time in many aspects and there are more variables at play when dealing with operations.

    So I had a server since before Day 1 of release and operated it for a handful of years under the V1 banner. We had a small but loyal following, traffic moved and it was cool for me. I know I spent several nights a week dispatching, running, etc. Once we started 24/7 things still moved and indeed traffic moved which made the jobs change, but I knew it was missing something in those quiet times when nobody else was on the server despite the day to day movements of cars etc.

    I remember some of those who said operations alone would just be like a job eventually. Once you do it enough times it would become tiresome. I kept that in mind but carried on anyways.

    Meanwhile Run8 continued to expand as it should to make more money as it should. The business model to me was always DLC but with this came another dividing factor. I think there is a law of diminishing returns that applies as well. You may bring in more people to the product but ultimately things will thin out.

    Then V2 came and the promise of AI was here. Suddenly small servers came to life and to this day many servers continue to thrive even in small groups, but challenges lie ahead and are starting to be felt right now. Even for me single player though the tools were finally in place to allow smaller regions of spawning recently, reality hit very quickly for me when I tried to relaunch Run8 for the first time in months.

    Some people run Run8 their way and enjoy it and to them that is great. For me single player despite AI trains going through are just more eye candy. They aren't really functional except to add traffic if you run a point a to b train. No matter what cars I add to my collection your going over the same tracks. I came back thinking I could run Run8 say 3 hours a week for starters. Then I did the math and realised it would take me 2 months to get through 24 hours if I go that way. The smaller limited area helps in being able to do it all, but what I'm doing is much more limited and repetitive over the course of 24 hours and that is where again it felt like a job and not a hobby.

    This is just an idea perhaps for V3 or something to think about because I love my time in Run8, and I do enjoy train simulators. In order to help single players manage bigger areas I believe AI dispatching would be a good 1st step. What would be an even more revolutionary step is AI scripting so that some of these other trains actually switch. Now I know the first idea alone is complicated, and having AI switch i don't think has been done in a train simulator. But we see very interactive and intelligent AI in other programs so I do think it's possible. If this were to happen being short staffed on a smaller server with a big expanding world of California would not be an issue. It would also allow single players to operate more often even when nobody is around (which sounds strange but is what I seek). i don'want to run everyone's job I just want to run my job and have it change if that makes sense?

    Anyways sorry for the long post, it's just how I would love to see things go down the road. I'm sure I'm a minority in this opinion, but I wanted to put it out there none the less.

    Best of luck for Run8 in the future as this is still the best!

    Thanks

    Sean

  2. #2

    Default

    Hi Sean,

    Just wanted to let you know that you're not in the minority with regards to AI dispatching. Quite a number of folks have put it on their "wish lists" to have it available to manage AI trains in order to have traffic for "eye candy" or "whatever" without having to spend all of their time acting as the dispatcher.

    Meanwhile, of possible interest since you've spent time on the "A-Line", Jason has posted that trackwork and signaling on "The Fitz" (Fitzgerald Sub) is complete, and that he and Jim are busy doing scenery. Jason has also announced that the next project after The Fitz will be to extend the A-Line the rest of the way to Tampa.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    CYMRU AM BYTH
    Posts
    1,479

    Default

    Add AI controlled traffic and i will re-install Run8.

    I compared the graphics to Trainz TRS19 the other day, side by side.

    And they are not bad at all over all, apart from the cardboard cut out vegetation.

    For me not having to mess about with pathing the moving scenery, would be a big plus point.
    The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Swindon, England
    Posts
    4,527

    Default

    Agree with that Mike, even if just inputting the routing details/priority and have the AI sort it out.
    Vern.

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