Microsoft announces all-new Train Simulator

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Microsoft announces all-new Train Simulator

Postby Mike Roque » Fri Jan 19, 2007 3:44 pm

According to an announcement posted on the official MSTS site:
"Following the successful release of Microsoft Flight Simulator X, the Aces Studio is using the same technology to develop a new version of Microsoft Train Simulator. Unrelated to our previous Train Simulator development efforts, this version will be an all-new product built on the Flight Simulator X platform, the culmination of 25 years of product development and technology."

What's exciting here is that it will be built on the Flight Simulator platform. I had recently thought about why they have two different platforms for what is essentially the same sort of 3D simulation. Perhaps this merge will help keep train simulator's development moving along as fast as Flight Simulator's.
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sweet

Postby U-Haul » Sat Jan 20, 2007 11:22 pm

This is nice news. I remember buying the original Microsoft Train Simulator in June 2001.
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Postby pgengler » Sun Jan 21, 2007 12:48 am

Hmm, I thought I'd posted something in here; either I'm going insane, or it was deleted (probably the former).

I'm glad, and somewhat surprised, to hear this. Train Sim could really benefit from a "modernization", and while people have done a lot on the original TS platform, there comes a point when there just needs to be work done on the inside. I'm surprised because everything I'd seen seemed to indicate that MS was done with Train Sim, because there wasn't enough profit in it to make it worthwhile.
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Postby RearOfSignal » Wed Jan 24, 2007 10:04 am

Wow this is great news. Very much looking forward to the new version.

That shot on the MSTS website looks great, wonder if the actual gameplay will look like that? Even if the graphics stay the same, I would really love to see imporvements made in the realism of the sim and the technical aspects.

They are taking suggestions for the new version on the MSTS site. What are some things you guys would want in the new MSTS?

Me:
  • more commuter routes
  • weather effects gameplay
  • realistic signaling
  • dynamic radio
Hurry up and wait at the signal!
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Postby pgengler » Wed Jan 24, 2007 10:33 am

rcervel wrote:Me:
  • more commuter routes
  • weather effects gameplay
  • realistic signaling
  • dynamic radio


I'd love to have more commuter routes, but if scale model railroading is any indication, freight is preferred over passenger runs by most people, so I wouldn't expect to see too much of that (though an updated NEC, at least as far north as NYC, would be great).

Dynamic (or at least well-scripted) radio ranks very highly on my list; done right, it could used to simulate some of the older methods of operation (e.g., track warrants).

I'd really like to see Flight Sim's handling of AI traffic incorporated into this. For those who don't know, the way that it works in Flight Sim is that there are predefined flight paths & times, but the AI control towers and centers can make alterations (especially at departure and landing) to adjust to the actual situation. This would probably be a little harder with train dispatching (since you're limited to the tracks you have and not a whole open sky) but it would be great to be able to pick any time (not just Morning/Day/Evening/Night), hop in a train and run either as a scheduled train or an extra with AI traffic, without needing a whole activity prepared ahead of time. (Activities are great for yard work and where switching is involved, not as necessary for straight mainline runs).

From the route/activity development end, I'd like to see the new version be much less limiting; there are a lot of routes that could have included a lot more trackage, but ran into tile size limits. There was also the "great white wall" problem when a route crossed certain lines. I would also absolutely love to be have a whole bunch of routes, all connected, so that you could (for example) take a train from the N&NJ and onto the NEC, without burdening one person/group with simulating the entire system in one route.

Multiplayer! It's been around forever in FS, and with the newest version, Microsoft added the ability for players to operate the control tower. It would be great to have multiple people running trains together, where you can actually see and interact with them, and use either AI dispatching or have someone working a desk/tower.
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Postby umtrr-author » Wed Jan 24, 2007 2:46 pm

This blog might be of interest:

http://blogs.msdn.com/tdragger

It's from Mike Gilbert, the Lead Program Manager for the project.

In addition, Rick Selby, who is a model railroader, is the Lead Game Designer:

http://yardlimits.spaces.live.com/

Suggestions there might go a longer way than posted here (nothing against us here, of course).
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Postby CN9634 » Mon Feb 05, 2007 7:57 pm

One word.
Multiplayer
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Postby harryguy082589 » Mon Feb 05, 2007 7:59 pm

Some sort of MMORPG?
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Postby Rockingham Racer » Mon Feb 05, 2007 9:05 pm

harryguy082589 wrote:Some sort of MMORPG?

Okay; what's that?
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Postby harryguy082589 » Mon Feb 05, 2007 10:21 pm

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Postby pgengler » Mon Feb 05, 2007 10:51 pm

Rockingham Racer wrote:
harryguy082589 wrote:Some sort of MMORPG?

Okay; what's that?


The short version is something like this:

Traditionally, multiplayer games have just a few people playing at once (as few as two, some games as many as 16/32). A "massively multiplayer online" (the MMO of MMORPG) game, instead of having just a few people playing different games, has one big world in which everyone plays.

In the context of Train Simulator, I imagine the idea would be to have a virtual rail network, and a person would connect to this whole network and run a train. Along the way they'd pass other trains, controlled by other players, and not necessarily people you know.

As for my thoughts, I think it would certainly be an interesting addition, and it could be fun, but I don't know how feasible it would be to implement such a thing, or how well it would work in practice.
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Postby GP40MC 1116 » Wed Feb 21, 2007 11:12 pm

When is it scheduled to be put out?
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Postby L'mont » Thu Feb 22, 2007 5:17 pm

From the sounds of the website, a year at least.

I'd LOVE to see more commuter routes. If they could incorporate either of the largest commuter railroads in this country it would be great. For me at least, it would be the most fun to have a realistic SIM of commuter ops in NYC area. Some aspects need to be incorporated as well. It was difficult to play the current version because the signaling was very hard to follow as was the feel of the train (especially braking)

I can't wait to hear more!!!
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Postby Mike Roque » Thu Feb 22, 2007 10:53 pm

L'mont wrote:I'd LOVE to see more commuter routes. If they could incorporate either of the largest commuter railroads in this country it would be great. For me at least, it would be the most fun to have a realistic SIM of commuter ops in NYC area.
As I reported on my blog, Auran (the Trainz people) are releasing Trainz Harlem Line Edition, a prototypical representation of New York's Harlem Line.
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Postby amoreho1 » Fri Feb 23, 2007 11:52 am

i hope it has better consist editor and more diesel locomotives
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