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Thread: New Microsoft Flight Simulator technology for a new train sim?

  1. #21
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    snip... In this environment, OpenRails has been pretty much a miracle in how its folks have enhanced train simulation, but the shrinking number of routes, stock, etc. being developed for MSTS/OR--especially for the American market--is pretty troubling. All one has to do to see it is look at this site. Days, sometimes whole weeks, go by with not a single new release of North American content. ...snip
    Well OR ain't the only game in town (And America ain't the only place where railways garner a hobby following). MS more likely to be looking at the (not always deserved) success DTG are having with their Railworks derived TS and of course TSW which is bringing train sims to the consoles. Then N3V are doing pretty well with Trainz, even if you don't agree with their (ATM optional) subscription model for TRS19. It's also probably fair to say if MS did dip their toes back into the train sim scene, it would be a much tighter closed product than their original with much less scope for third party amateur content and more emphasis as a platform for selling paid DLC (as I'm sure this new flight sim will be).
    Vern.

  2. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by NorthernWarrior View Post
    ..... a platform for selling paid DLC (as I'm sure this new flight sim will be).
    Oh, I'd bet my left testicle on that, Vern!

    If FS2020 is all that it is cracked up to be, I have allowed for the purchase of an XBox next year.

    I was an avid follower of FSim from its very first iteration way back in the Dark Ages of computing and bought every edition up to and including FSX (non-Steam). I also created many "flights" for the sim, uploaded to both AvSim and Flightsim.com.

    Interest palled over the last few years but I would be quite happy to get back into it if its promise holds true.
    IBM XT i386; 512Kb RAM; 5.25" FDD; 1.4Mb FDD; 5Mb HDD; VGA 256-colour graphics card; AdLib soundcard; DR DOS 6.0; Windows 3.0

  3. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by lateagain View Post
    I always felt that "World of Rails" (or whatever their overly ambitious virtual world development was called) was a step too far for it's time. I say that because little or nothing was ever shown of how it would work? I can only assume that the attempt to join their separate 3D world development to the Simulator development was actually "a bridge too far"? A great idea but with enough development challenges to delay a working release? You only have to look at Google Earth/Maps to see how slowly even PC's that would have been unimaginably high spec back then render 3D imagery?
    Geoff, a long time ago, I saw a blog post by one of the ACES studio MSTS2 developers that was posted just weeks before Microsoft pulled the plug. I wish I could find it again, but so far I haven't seen an archive page of it. Anyway, they were getting ready to show a demo at one of the big conventions and they had a couple of screenshots showing work they were doing on the PRR Horseshoe Curve. They explained how the route was hand-detailed for everything visible from the tracks, but once you got off the route into the "World of Rails" it would rely on the FSX-style autogen system to populate the world with low-detail scenery. So the world was "drivable" but scenery would be generic and not necessarily accurate other than approximating the density and types of buildings present likeFSX autogen.

    That was pretty much the extent of the explanation they gave, but at least it indicated some of how they intended to leverage FSX. You'd have to infer that the "World of Rails" would also have to have some kind of generic signalling system as opposed to a route with an accurately modeled one. And from having flown in FSX, I was kind of skeptical at the time that autogen would work well in a train sim, since FSX's autogen was painfully low on detail. 3rd-party improvements to autogen in FSX plus bigger hard drives and better CPUs have since showed that maybe it could have been overhauled to work with the close viewing distances in a train sim. It might have even led to improvements in FSX's world, but of course it's all speculation now.

    And as to the questions elsewhere if train sims are even relevant any longer, there is indeed a much bigger world beyond the US where rail transportation is still very well-known and appreciated, for sure. Inside the US, interest varies and it's probably directly attributable to whether or not someone lives near rail operations or not. I grew up in a town where Amtrak passenger trains stopped regularly on their way to and from Chicago on the old Michigan Central/New York Central line. The next city just south of me (South Bend, Indiana) had the old PRR and NYC (by then Penn Central, later Conrail) main lines and yards, plus the GTW's lines and the South Shore freight and interurban line heading out to Chicago too. Trains were part of the landscape for me, so my interest in them goes back a long way. The same could be said for anybody growing up where there are major rail operations; it's just that in the US, those places are spread out and somewhat isolated as urban and suburban development strives to distance itself from "noisy/dirty/undesirable" transportation infrastructure of any kind. So too many young folks get deprived of getting exposed to those amazing machines except on TV.

    (Memories: I was there at the Niles, MI station when Amtrak was testing the brand-new Bombardier LRC trainset in scheduled service with a locomotive and cars in full VIA paint. And yes, the Alco-derived power smoked it up just a bit! )


    MSTS-Roundhouse

    With Open Rails and ZDSimulator
    Info

  4. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by seagoon View Post
    Oh, I'd bet my left testicle on that, Vern!
    That's not much of a bet Bruce. I thought you only had a right one, like Herr Hitler.

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

  5. #25
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    Hi Eric.

    I had looked at MSFS way back with FS98. Decided it was not great and uninstalled it. I was, thanks to some bizarre "misfortunes" put in a financial position to gain a UK PPL, which had always been a dream since I was a kid. Trains however could only remain something that could be simulated. About the time of the 2nd MSTS2 development I read all the blogs and started looking at the FS forums here and on AVSIM. I realsied that FSX was light years ahead of FS98 and that autogen scenery had become a norm. It was a no brainer to get a cheap copy of FS9 and then FSX.

    Hooked ....of course I also invested most of my money in FSX in scenery and environmental add-ons. GA/Bush flying appealed most to me and that's where scenery counted most. Wannabe Airline jockeys all wanted super detailed airports with loads of AI and ground traffic etc. but that was obviously easier than convincingly creating scenery for thousands of square miles? Of course the latest videos seem to push that to what would have been "wildest dreams" levels back then.

    I think you've hit the nail squarely on the head though. Railways need not ONLY convincing scenery but also have the issues of trackage and signalling? Add to that the historic perspective, something that's changed all over the world as far as railways are concerned as traffic, signalling and traction types have advanced, and the whole "world" scenery becomes incredibly complex?

    As to the socio/economic/geographic considerations of railroads in the US, it's obvious that the county's sheer size means a certain % will have little knowledge or use of Railroads BUT the other side of that coin is that the denser the population the greater likelihood of sighting or use of the Railroads?

    The rest of the World has developed the passenger train just about everywhere so we're all familiar with that. The trouble is that the interest in the great years of US passenger travel have become a much smaller "niche" interest perhaps?

    BTW my fond memory.... For my 60th my wife bought me a day firing and driving on The Watercress Line, a preserved Steam railway here in the UK. It cost as much as 5 hours flying but it was worth every penny!!!
    Geoff
    Dorset - near The Swanage Railway.
    UK

  6. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by haverfordwest View Post
    That's not much of a bet Bruce.........(followed by insult after insult!)
    LOL!!
    Get back to your leeks, you Welsh buffoon!
    IBM XT i386; 512Kb RAM; 5.25" FDD; 1.4Mb FDD; 5Mb HDD; VGA 256-colour graphics card; AdLib soundcard; DR DOS 6.0; Windows 3.0

  7. #27
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    Hahahahahahaha, don't forget the lava bread, welsh cakes and bara brith, Bruce. LOL

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

  8. #28
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    To sum it all up, you guys believe that such a thing is technically possible, but the perceived lack of interest will never make it happen?
    Borislav
    https://www.trainsim.com/vbts/signaturepics/sigpic100353_2.gif

  9. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by =FI=Ghost View Post
    To sum it all up, you guys believe that such a thing is technically possible, but the perceived lack of interest will never make it happen?
    I definitely think it could happen, just not in the way that the die hard devotees of MSTS1 and it's unofficial spin-off might like to see (i.e. it will be more like Train Sim World, World Of Subways or a similar controlled environment).
    Vern.

  10. #30
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    Unless it contains lashings of UK content. They won't get any money out of me, if it ever happens.

    I have my trucks to keep me warm in the coming winter months.

    As for the flightsim, no dogfights, no bombing, no sale.

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

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