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

  1. #1
    Join Date
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    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

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

  5. #5
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    Sorry Vern missed this. Yes buddy that would go a long way to making Run8 more user friendly, for me anyway.

    Mike.
    The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt

  6. #6
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    I also agree. Note that AI trains in TS2019/RailWorks can be given complex instructions and will AI dispatch, AI route around other AI and the Player train, dynamically reroute, etc.

    I would like to add one thing here. Run8 is the only MP sim I have encountered where you have to type messages to communicate. Yes I know... there is Discord/TeamSpeak. Allow me to continue. This is cultural not strictly a part of the simulator. Imagine flying in a complex crowded airspace without Pilot Edge or VATSIM which are voice comm. Imagine working teams in shooting sims without voice comms. The Fortnight teams would be slaughtered without voice comms.

    So I ran in Run8 last year for a few months, enjoyed the realism, learned a lot including team help from Clint on SW which is realistic with worksheets lists, assignments, it’s really good. I even got good at starting a heavy train on a 2% grade without breaking a coupler using DPU and fencing.

    BUT ... “no one is on Discord” .. all comms is via the klunky tab-type-tab thing with purple text. God help you if you forget that ending tab... I crashed a train doing yard work outside the loco standing right in front of Clint while trying to slow it down... damn it what’s happening?? ... and I was already freaked out because I am not a touch typist and was overloaded typing every word of what I had to say to Clint and the DS. Oops forgot that tab and my frantic keystrokes were the next message!

    Eventually I lost interest. I would say to the server ops and users ... get a $30 headset, Discord is free, its like a VHF radio with channels and everything. Someone could add a bot to generate realistic chatter or pipe in the real thing from one of the online scanner sites. I’d return and buy more DLC if we all talked to each other instead of trying to communicate in real time via text messaging!! And its all or nothing. The DS cant operate on text messaging and voice, plus we’d be cut off from some comms and the SA would suck. It should be 100% voice.

    Just my opinion.

  7. #7
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    I am not interested in voice comms in games sorry. I have various mental health problems, which make me feel uneasy. Both face to face and online when dealing with more than one or two people at a time.

    I never fly on mutliplayer servers with IL-2 Sturmovik Great Battles, for the same reason. Everyone expects participants to be on Teamspeak. Typing i can deal with, so that is what i use.
    The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt

  8. #8
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    Not even interested in Multiplayer full stop, here! Needs to develop into a fully realised SP game.
    Vern.

  9. #9
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    @haverfordwest I get it. Maybe some servers can be text based and others voice.

  10. #10
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    Originally Posted by haverfordwest

    Add AI controlled traffic and i will re-install Run8.
    Originally Posted by NorthernWarrior

    Agree with that Mike, even if just inputting the routing details/priority and have the AI sort it out.
    It would be nice if RUN8 V3 came with the options of improved random spawning and a AI configurable timetable.

    I would like to to see a new Tab in the main menu similar to the current Extra Board menu tab that allows you to build a train any where in a new world and then setup the AI with an improved random spawning system and combined with Sean Murrells idea of placing trains in the world with the option of AI locomotives or player locomotives with automatically running engines or not. This would allow you to have as many scenarios as you like via the Train Tab Menu, but being an improvement over other Sims like Trainz with it's scripted scenarios.

    With the current Extra Board Menu Tab I would still like to build a new world starting anywhere you chose like it currently does, but only have a new AI configurable timetable based on a week schedule or if possible a longer period such as a one to twelve month schedule, since some trains like coal trains in California don't run regular schedules.

    If the timetable had some programming implemented that allowed for some variation of when of when a train actually appeared and not always exactly on time that would add extra realism to the sessions. And again the worlds you build in the Extra Board Menu would also come with the new option of placing locomotives with automatically running engines or not. Once you had set up your world via the current Extra Board Menu Tab and saved it, you would then enter it through the current World Menu Tab.

    Cheers

    James

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