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Thread: Ideas List / Development List

  1. #11
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    I have 5 children and 6 grandchildren with another one on the way, you nut job Bruce.

    I brought my children up on my own from the mid 1990's. After their english mother buggered off with a so called mate of mine.

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

  2. #12
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    Some people buy on a minimum requirement, where others need to have all the things they want. If the minimum was there that is when the interest is there. So I suppose most purchase some place in between. But I do no people that will buy as soon as a new version comes out (sound familiar) and others who won't buy it unless it has everything on their list (also sounds familiar). I'm willing to weight it, and wait it out.

    As for doing 10 things at once, that is exactly what I call a job not a hobby. I've been testing out my server again for the first time in a year with some old but new concepts. I don't want to have to switch every day just so stuff is ready (so I'm using intermediate yards on Sanford Sub as an escape valve). After 16 hours they turn themselves load or empty and are ready for the next outbound train. If I decide I'm in the mood to switch then I go ahead and take one out and place at the proper industries. With the exception of some of the SBD Sub yards which is too difficult to dispatch at realistic levels, Sanford Sub on the A-Line fits the bill. It only has 1 supply train a day, the rest randomly spawn at the IM & end spawn points. So it's not perfect as I still have to dispatch it and run, but at least it's fairly manageable and has a variety of things to do. At this point though I'll get bored of it if others aren't involve. Not fun in knowing for every job you've run you had a hand in everything before it on a 24 hour schedule. Takes away the whole feeling of being real.

    Thanks

    Sean

  3. #13
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    Thanks guys for your comments. We might be a small group on these forums, but collectively there has been some good discussions and ideas which helped to make this list possible. Great work everyone.

    Originally Posted by seagoon

    As far as I'm concerned as soon as v3 is offered for sale, irrespective of what it contains, I'll be in the queue with Mastercard in hand.
    Yes same here Bruce, ready to buy upon release and give full support for V3 and lets not forget that even if we don't get all the features initially, I think we can be fully confident that the developers will continue to upgrade the simulator through patches just like they have done for V2.

    Originally Posted by SurvivorSean

    would add to the list unless I missed it, having a schedule system similar to TD3 or screenshots posted prior to V2 arrival. You set-up the symbols, the call times, and variance percentage. The schedule with variance to make it interesting then spawns them in.
    Sean my apologies for overlooking the "variance percentage" = running time of scheduled trains. I think we both have the same idea of what an AI Scheduled / Configurable Timetable should include namely -

    Train symbols

    Call times based on monthly/weekly/24 hours etc.

    Variance Percentage to running time on scheduled trains

    I have since you posted your comments, downloaded the TD3 manual and have been reading it to get a better understanding of this program. There are some features in this program that I think should be considered being added to the list under Improved Dispatcher Screens and Features.

    Alert System: Different types of alert messages can be turned on or off. Selection of sounds for each alert condition.

    Block Permit Request: We have the Hyrail MOW vehicle in Run8, upgrade it to AI Vehicle and give it some work to do as part of a track gang.

    Random Switch and Signal Failure: User can define a range of randomness for switch and signal failures.

    Train Platform Schedule: a good way to remind dispatcher of passenger schedule stops and clearing the right of way for these trains to maintain schedule.

    You also had the idea of spawn points ask for permission before entering and I like this idea because it kind of gives the illusion that all though we can't see the train we know its on the track coming from another district. The permission option did get me thinking that once permission was granted, then adding another option of having trains running at track speed when they do enter the world at the spawn point, along with them being stationary at the signal like they currently do. The added option of trains appearing in the world at track speed would give dispatchers some extra planning to do. This option would probably be use full on remote spawn points like Seligman east.

    Cheers

    James

  4. #14
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    No apologies needed, this is a very great list. You also have a much more balanced and diplomatic tone of your delivery of this great list. I'm hoping the developers take notice. Love the addition of more TD3 stuff as platform schedules are also very important as well. A train can always arrive early but not leave early. Perhaps the inclusion of some platforms they don't stop at similar to the platform schedule in TD3. This could include crew change points as this changes as well for the freights. Some freights "may" run on the law (but all of this is getting into features well above what I hope V3 will offer as a base).

    I do like the idea of a train coming on at track speed. It would also still be nice that the way we assign industries, we could assign spawn points. Right now another thing about spawn points is if it's too small and the train is bigger it gets cut off. I would much rather it focus on an entry node and simply come in (very similar to watching from a client when you don't have every route). The trains start appearing 1 car at a time at the start of the line regardless of speed. One final idea would be that AI dispatchers also get nailed by hotboxes and react accordingly.

    As for the ability of the team, in the past I would say yeah they've surprised me more times than disappointed. I've seen things crop up such as exploding trains that used to frustrate me and I'd be vocal about it. Then along came a fix and all was good. Things such as the addition of the hump, I mean there were so many updates the game in V1 was drastically different from the start to it's last update.

    V2 though there have been updates, they haven't come as often or as big. I also find despite the odd appearance by John and others here, as well as trying to be more open to all forums, their visibility had diminished greatly. I don't know how active they are on any forums, and not everyone wants to use Facebook (like me). Not everyone wants to frequent every forum (like me).

    So my confidence has dwindled in what they say is the only thing that Run8 can deliver in many of their infrequent website updates. There is no other train sim at the moment that has earned my money, but plenty of indy developers as low as 1 and 2 man teams who have. The primary reasons are good product, and good interaction with the community.

    Yes I know Run8 does listen to their audience, I've seen ideas I've had implemented along with many others. I wouldn't expect them to reply to every request by every person. But simply posting what they have been up to without giving away their trade secrets would be nice. Even if things aren't going as well as they have planned. That doesn't diminish their value, in fact it makes them more human and increases their value to where I care. When health issues for example were mentioned, I did care. It's not weak to admit your human and have lives of your own including many who might be working more daytime job hours etc. I even said these guys after V2 needed to take a well deserved break because at that point they were over-delivering.

    The release of V2 however has been the peak for me. No matter how much in my heart I know this is the best train sim, I also know it's not achieving it's full potential. There is a huge opening in the market for something to take it's place. Just not enough talent to take advantage of that which includes me personally. I wish I could do 10% of what these guys have achieved.

    Anyways back on topic sorry, my point this list is VERY well written and much less emotional compared to my passionate feelings.

    Thanks

    Sean

  5. #15
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    Expanded AI is what I will find the most interesting in the future. The random signal and switch failures sounds like a good idea. But let's be real here.... it's relatively uncommon to rare for these to fail from my years of railfanning experience. Especially not on a daily basis. User adjustable is a good idea, but I personally wouldn't set a failure rate that is that much more than how often it happens in real life... which is hardly ever. Otherwise it would feel too contrived, unrealistic and might interrupt the flow of traffic too much to still be fun.

    As for route expansions? I fully understand how some might want more routes outside of California. I live here, so I'm a little bit biased. But beyond the fact that most of these routes are in my home state, I really like the fact that it's a whole region of seamless interconnected subdivisions with hundreds of miles of track. My hope and dream for it would be the entire state's mainline network eventually released. They already have a substantial start. Might as well finish it. To be the first train sim to model an entire state would be awesome. But my guess is they won't do that due to time and resources.

    I would love to see UP's Coast Line route from LA to San Jose. It hits the ocean coastline just past Oxnard and stays there all the way to Pismo Beach.... where it turns inland towards San Luis Obispo, over the 2.2% Cuesta Grade and into the Salinas River valley. A great route for those that love single track and siding action. Both the Surfliner and Coast Starlight travel on it, so it's great for freight and passenger train scheduling meets.

    I think at the very least they should do the Cima Sub and Yuma sub to complete all the routes that exit from the southern half of the state. Also UP's Fresno Sub to compliment the Bakersfield sub and complete that region.

    If they were ever to do Donner Pass or Feather River Pass, they would be in for new challenges. There is a lot of steep and tree filed mountains along those routes. It would require a lot of time to place enough assets to make it feel realistic enough. Not to mention having to worry about frame rate issues with so many objects on the route. A balance would likely need to found. Maybe adjustable based on your specs.
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  6. #16
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    But let's be real here.... it's relatively uncommon to rare for these to fail from my years of railfanning experience. Especially not on a daily basis.
    As a (retired) operations controller on the UK railway, my experience is the opposite. Infrastructure tended to fail on a regular basis, often the same piece of kit as the quick fix by the S&T or PW mobile team did not locate or repair the underlying fault. A track circuit (or these days axle counter) failure on the Down Main at Ealing Broadway just before the start of the evening peak meant taking an axe to the train service in order to avoid queuing trains and give the lads on the ground a chance to get in and fix it. Our UK railway also doesn't do well under extremes of heat and cold which quite significantly add to the risk of something going wrong.

    Modern trains also have a habit of suffering catastrophic failure. In the good old days when everything had compatible couplers, you just grabbed the nearest loco and dragged the failed train out the way. These days, the fault is often electrical which means the loco or unit is not only dead as a dodo, but if you try and attach assistance which actually has compatible coupling gear, the fault just transmits through the control circuits. Even conventional freight trains are not so easy to assist. I sat on Thames Valley desk on nights no end of times to have a freight sit down between Didcot and Swindon, or across the junction at Reading West, to be told by the freight company the assisting loco was coming from Southampton or Birmingham - 80 to 100 miles away. At that point we did have authority to recess another company's freight and requisition the engine off that, but still needed to be done with the co-operation of all concerned, if the driver had enough hours left, was prepared to do it etc.
    Vern.

  7. #17

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    The signals and infrastructure are pretty robust. More common failures are with crew availability/hours of service, PTC issues of all kinds preventing or slowing movement, and tresspassers. That said, there's a prototype for everything.

    I like the idea of updated track arrangements on Cajon, but that also begs the question of if Tehachapi should be updated with the longer sidings and double-tracking. I'd like to see the arrangements updated at both Barstow and West Colton, maybe getting them to prototype size and adding things like the ethanol tracks at WC.

  8. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by GS kid View Post
    ....But let's be real here.... it's relatively uncommon to rare for these to fail from my years of railfanning experience. Especially not on a daily basis..... I personally wouldn't set a failure rate that is that much more than how often it happens in real life... which is hardly ever.
    From how our systems operate down here, I would agree.
    Signal failures are extremely rare and about the only time that there are glitches with points (switches) it's to do with even rarer power failures.
    There are more stoppages caused by idiots at level crossings than there are those caused by equipment failures.
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  9. #19
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    I know Yuma used to be on the bucket list that was on Run8's website of coming soon. Not so sure about Cima, but Alaska was on that list for a very long time (which I personally was looking forward to for a change).

    Here in Canada very similar to the U.S.in some places you would have switch issues especially with heaters not working, or working properly. I can't say it happened often but I do recall railfanning on a weekend which is only a 7th of days of the week or a 28th of the time to observe in a 24/7/7 situation. False alarm hot box detectors and the odd train going into emergency because the air hose snagged on a grade crossing were uncommon but they did happen.

    One thing that needs to be addressed and I've harped on this before is the random number generator. For one the detectors seem to go off in patterns and too much in my opinion. But the RNG uses a system clock. I don't think the RNG has been reseeded or is sequentially called. So if the RNG is sequentially called by a loop of code, eventually the RNG will hit on a certain pattern of time. This is because with out reseeding an RNG simply uses the mil-seconds of your computer's CPU clock. This is exactly the same issue why if you have 100 symbols in you list why you can see the same symbol come up 3 times in a row. It's why you may see a pattern in engine numbers as well. It's the only explanation I have (as a programmer without knowing the actual code in game) how Run8 manages to defy the actual odds on a fairly repetitive basis. Basically if you run the sim long enough like I have done for years in the past, you'll see patterns emerge pretty quickly.

    These kind of patterns makes hot box detectors even way too annoying than the prototype (even false alarms). So I'm all for new prototypical delays, but the RNG needs to be fixed. I had the same issue in RTS coding, and was able to fix it, so I speak from learned experience on this one.

    Thanks

    Sean

  10. #20
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    We also need a route that's just a bit of, well, fun. I was doing some random searching for potential projects to build in one of the sims and I came across the Gum Stump And Snowshoe in Pennsylvania. Hitherto I had always thought that was just a curious zigzag model plan in a Kalmbach book, but was actually a real prototype - including the zigzags. Something like that, with lots of offshoots and spurs you could serve would make a refreshing change. Or if not that, something like the Carlton Coast logging lines in Oregon which was also a network of branches (no pun intended!) and spurs.
    Vern.

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