Trainz

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Trainz
Trainz Simulator 12 box art.jpg
Box art for Trainz Simulator 12.
Genres Train simulation
Developers N3V Games (formerly Auran)
Publishers Various
Platforms Microsoft Windows, Macintosh, iPad, Android
Platform of origin Microsoft Windows
First release Trainz
2001
Latest release Trainz Simulator Mac 2
2014
Official website www.trainzportal.com

Trainz is a series of 3D train simulator computer games developed by Australian game developer N3V Games (formerly Auran). First released in 2001, the series has a large online community that creates and shares user-created content. The game has been released in several versions, including localized versions. Trainz Simulator 12 for Windows[1] and Trainz Simulator 2 Mac are the latest installments in the franchise.

Overview[edit]

Screenshot of TRS2004 or Trainz Railroad Simulator 2004 in driver mode, showing third-party British rolling stock in a rail yard scene.

The simulators are extensible, flexible and supported by a large library of over 250,000[2] freeware assets which can be downloaded from the N3V servers, referred to as Download Station (DLS). Trainz growth, and the DLS, are supported by the user community on the official web boards, as well as on various 3rd party web sites. Users have the capabilities of creating new assets for the program that can be shared on the DLS as freeware to other registered users.

The simulator itself encompasses several modules: Surveyor, Driver, and Railyard, and in some versions, Scenarios. Outside the main program there is a Database manager for the installed library of content; content error checker; a user-created content uploader; download manager and content importer/exporter running as a windows program called Content Manager (CM).

Surveyor[edit]

Surveyor is the route editor and session editor. Here, the user can shape the landscape, paint with ground textures, lay tracks, and place buildings. Roads and highways (auto-populated by cars) can also be added.

Driver[edit]

The Driver module, which can be launched independently, or from within Surveyor, takes a route created in Surveyor and allows the user to operate the trains, either in free play, or according to a scenario called a Driver Session which can range in difficulty from beginner to expert.

User interfaces[edit]

Main vehicle control modes[edit]

There are two default methods of manual control: DCC mode, which simulates the simple stop-and-go of a model railway, and Cabin mode (CAB), which simulates real-world physics and working cab controls.

Cab Mode[edit]

In CAB mode the train physics are more sophisticated, such as the modelling of wheel slip on the rails; the weight of the consist slows acceleration and deceleration as it retains momentum, and inertial forces resist changes. As such, hills can become a struggle to climb or a problem to descend safely.

DCC mode[edit]

In contrast to Cab mode, DCC is a simpler physics model. Stopping and starting the movement of trains is far easier under this mode. It emulates the operation of a real-world DCC control knob that one might use on a physical model railroad (which is represented graphically on the screen), and is easy to understand in terms of operation.

AI Drivers[edit]

Concurrent with a human driver, the trains can be given instructions and driven by the computer (excepting the original Trainz Railroad Simulator), or one can aid the human driver when a session assigns an AI helper, who can program this aide on-the-fly in the middle of the simulation.

Railyard[edit]

  • Railyard (known as My Collection in the Ultimate Trainz Collection the bundled re-release of the earliest version of the game) is a virtual engine shed where the user can view locomotives and rolling stock, use some functions of the locomotives (such as turning on the headlights and sounding the horn), and view the trains' descriptions.

Scenarios[edit]

Scenarios are pre-scripted activities in which the user plays through a specific set of challenges, such as transporting passengers to their destinations on schedule, or switching rail cars in a rail yard without damaging the cargo. Scenarios are supported by scripting language called TrainzScript (introduced in Trainz 1.2 with the SP3 upgrade). While expanded and included with TRS2004, the scenario and TrainzScript was supplanted by the creation of internal sessions programming, which can duplicate the TrainzScript in its entirety.

PaintShed[edit]

PaintShed is a simple program for recolouring Trainz locomotives and other rolling stock. PaintShed was included with Ultimate Trainz Collection, Trainz 2004 Deluxe and Trainz Railroad Simulator 2006, and was available as a separate program for adding onto Trainz Railroad Simulator 2004 and Trainz 1.x. The program was removed starting with Trainz Simulator 2009, but locomotives and rolling stock painted in PaintShed can still be used, as many built-in locomotives and cars were made in PaintShed.

Content Manager[edit]

Content Manager or CM is a Windows program that allows management of the in-game data base files.

DRM[edit]

Trainz began incorporating DRM with the introduction of Service Pack 1 to Trainz 12, released on April 10, 2013. The new DRM system requires periodic check-in with N3V's activation servers,[3] but only applies to DLC at present. N3V's DRM system operates independently of and in addition to DRM systems imposed by various third-party sellers of Trainz.

Trainz[edit]

Trainz 1.0 (lower left) to Trainz 2012 and 'My First Trainz' (both at right). Major releases not shown, Trainz UTC (missing), Trainz Classics 3 (TC3) and TS2009 (bought by download, not by boxed set)

Trainz Community Edition[edit]

Trainz Community Edition was released in December 2001. Service packs 1 (April), 2 (June) and 3 (November) were each released in 2002, these progressively updated the Community Edition, Trainz 1.0 to versions 1.1, 1.2, and 1.3 successively. Two retail builds (retail versions releases) existed; the English/USA version is commonly known as Trainz 1.0. (Box, which included Gmax as an accessory is shown at right in lower left corner.)

Trainz Retail Edition[edit]

Trainz Retail Edition was released in June 2002 aimed at the United States and other North American markets. Service pack 3 was released in November 2002, this updated the both the Community and Retail Editions to version 1.3. Thus all USA versions are commonly known as Trainz 1.3.

Ultimate Trainz Collection[edit]

The Ultimate Trainz Collection, or UTC, was released on 26 November 2002 in North American as a 3-CD set including extra rolling stock, and a CDROM with TrainzScriptTM based scenarios and route map content based on Trainz 1.3 tech. This was the first edition to include the formerly separately retailed PaintShed program and support RailDriver,[4] as well as the first incorporating Trainz user developed freeware content as part of the release, some of which became Trainz staple content in TRS2004 et al. through current releases.

Trainz Railroad Simulator 2004[edit]

Trainz Railroad Simulator 2004 (known as Trainz Railway Simulator 2004 in the United Kingdom), or TRS2004, was released in September 2003. Trainz Railroad Simulator 2004 incorporated a load of technical changes and these required many bug fixes that were released as the four service packs released through 2004 and 2005.

Trainz Railroad Simulator 2004 was the first version of Trainz to include interactive industries and loadable rolling stock capabilities, which allowed the player to deliver various resources (such as coal, wood, and steel) and passengers to various industries and stations across the playable area. It has an iconic status in the Trainz community as once the bugs were worked out of it, its feature improvements have been the look-see-and-feel of all the Trainz releases since regardless of how things are reskinned. There were many industries included and much of the bundled rolling stock was updated to include this new dynamic loading and unloading animated capability with a corresponding load-state dynamic driving physics change in the handling of a consist. It also was the first Rail Simulator to include Thomas the Tank Engine and Friends and to emulate 'wooden toy train' snap together modeled content—all of which was later available in Trainz 2006 and up. These 'toylike' animated 3D models eventually lead to My First Trainz with its simple child-friendly simulator game interface.

Trainz Railroad Simulator 2004 Deluxe was a later 4 CDROM follow on with the first two service packs pre-installed. It also included PaintShed, and a bonus content CD.

Trainz Railroad Simulator 2006[edit]

Trainz Railroad Simulator 2006 (known as Trainz Railway Simulator 2006 in the United Kingdom), or TRS2006, was an transitional release, incorporating the stable Auran JET based TRS2004 GUI modules with only some graphics improvements, but introducing the data base manager Content Manager Plus (CMP) as a new core technology. ContentManager.exe (now called just CM) combines data base management, and secure FTP upload and download facilities and special user definable filters all in one integrated system. By defining a good filter, the user could 'selectively not see' the clutter of regional items in the Surveyor asset selection menus saving user time when world building. This important filtering feature was further improved in Trainz 2009, becoming far more powerful and easier to use. TRS2006 was published in September 2005, and the base release with its single service pack formed the core of the regional releases (most are joint ventures with 'Trainz Partners' combining payware content provider's products with the base Trainz software) over the next four years until the introduction of new technologies in TC3 and TRS2009. In Germany, it was published by Bluesky-Interactive, as ProTrain Perfect.  

Trainz Driver[edit]

Trainz Driver (also known as Trainz Driver Edition (TDE) in the USA) is a version of Trainz Railroad Simulator 2006 lacking the Content Manager and Surveyor GUI world building module, having only the Driver and Railyard modules. The package includes three large routes with 21 driver sessions, all set in North America.

Trainz Railroad Simulator 2007[edit]

Trainz Railroad Simulator 2007 (abbreviated as TRS2007) was the second release targeting a regional market distributed by Anuman Interactive for sale in France, Belgium and Switzerland.[5] There were initially two versions: the standard version which consisted of Trainz Railroad Simulator 2006 with Service Pack 1 applied, and the Gold edition, which included French regional add-on items.[6] Halycon Media later distributed Trainz Railroad Simulator 2007 with German region-specific content for the British, Austrian, and Swiss market.[7]

Trainz Classics (TC1—TC3)[edit]

Trainz Classics, also abbreviated as TC (TC1, TC2, TC3), is a series of 3 standalone Trainz Railroad Simulator 2006 joint venture customizations put together by Auran and different professional providers of third party content. Unlike typical Trainz releases which feature a round-the-world sampling of content typical to different regions of the planet, the Trainz Classics versions feature a large railroad layout with plenty of special professionally written sessions exploiting the featured railroad. Trainz Classics 3 renewed evolution of the Trainz base technologies incorporating various changes to the older stable four-year-old data models resulting in the publication of a new .pdf file TC3 Content Creator's Guide.

TC1 focuses on the Metro-North Railroad's Harlem Line in the 2000s (due to EMD FL9 locomotives still being in service), TC2 focuses on a freelanced city called "Modula City", featuring European trams running in the city and to an island (a demo version was included with TRS2004). TC3 focuses on the famed Settle-Carlisle Line from Skipton to Carlisle in the late 1950s/early 1960s.

The content from Trainz Classics 1 and 2 were later released as built-content for TS2009 and TS2010. Trainz Classics 3 was re-released as an expansion pack for TS2009, TS2010, and TS12.

Trainz - The Complete Collection[edit]

Released 13 June 2008. This is a large compilation, containing three DVD's: Ultimate Trainz Collection, TRS2004, TRS2006, Trainz Routes (volumes 1-4), and Trainz PaintShed.

Trainz Simulator 2009[edit]

Trainz Simulator 2009: World Builder Edition, or TS2009, was released for digital download on 27 November 2008, and the first boxed copy orders were shipped in mid December 2008. Despite its name, the World Builder Edition is the full version, and the first to be evolved by the new team of programmers[8] hired after Auran's post-bankruptcy reorganization and the Trainz franchise became the property of N3V Games. The sub-title refers to the many improvements in the world builder software, the Surveyor module. The version also made certain changes to the simulator's data structures to enable better graphics capabilities, the first to use multi-core microprocessor technologies and to take advantage of graphics card advances such as built in graphics processors. It doubled the amount of Video RAM and RAM memory the game could utilize.

The follow on edition, Trainz Simulator 2009: Engineers Edition, was scheduled for release by the end of April 2009,[9] but was cancelled because the many updates to the newer data model created unanticipated problems for the new release that required four service pack releases to stabilize fully. The Engineers Edition was to have focused on driving and operating improvements, incorporating new graphics features such as SpeedTree technology, as well as further new content (most of which was deferred into TS2012). Subsequently, the name and many features (including SpeedTree) were applied to Trainz Simulator 2010: Engineers Edition.

Trainz Simulator 2010: Engineers Edition[edit]

Trainz Simulator 2010: Engineers Edition, or TS2010, was released on 23 November 2009 as a digital download and a retail boxed version solely via the Auran online store. Regular retail releases became available for the various regions throughout 2010. The primary additions to this version are the use of the SpeedTree system, additional graphical improvements for built-in content, and performance improvements for both custom and built-in content.[10] The version also introduced what N3V calls "Native Mode",[10] which utilizes the 64 bit microprocessor computer architecture of newer computers but also retained "compatibility mode" enabling backward compatible route and session development to TS2009 and some TRS2006 versions, if desired, because of more stringent code enforcement that makes older content unusable (in Content Manager, these assets are labelled "faulty", and cannot be used in the game to avoid crashing). "Compatibility mode" was abandoned in TS12, much to the chagrin of many users.

The moniker "Engineers Edition" doesn't mean advances focused solely on the train-driving experience, for the Surveyor module is still included, and there are a variety of new capabilities to entice Trainz route developers, including the introduction of layers and menuing. The version does include the most new routes and sessions[1] in any retail release since the Trainz: Complete Collection (TCC). Specifications were announced 13 November 2009.[1]

The game was released in the United States as Trainz Railroader 2010: Engineers Edition, published by N3V Games.

Trainz Simulator: iPad, Android[edit]

To celebrate the 10th anniversary of Trainz, N3V Games released a Trainz app for the iPad on 4 December 2010. Users can take advantage of the iPad's functions and lay tracks, drive trains and complete tasks with the touch of their fingers. Users have access to Driver and Surveyor and can create routes and drive trains with the help of tutorials. An Android version of the game was released on 22 July 2011 and has the same features as the iPad version. The app is a port of Trainz Simulator 2010.

Trainz Simulator 12[edit]

Trainz Simulator 12, or TS12, was released on 12 April 2011. Among other upgrades, this product offers a variety of new routes, doppler effect support, satellite view, and a multiplayer feature for the first time (multiplayer was publicly tested in TS2010). A Trainz 10th Anniversary Boxset was announced which includes the game and other extras. The game was initially released for pre-order on 18 March 2011 as part of the limited-edition Trainz 10th Anniversary Collector's Edition. A certain amount of content from previous versions was removed from this release, making it the first release since Trainz 1.0 to feature all and only new routes and related assets. Like most Trainz releases, the package contains only content vetted for the new technology, which in TS12 needed to be updated for compatibility with 64 bit computers. However, much of the content (not all of it) from the previous versions was released on the Download station (DLC) in an updated form as of the end of 2012 under an initiative known as the "Download Station Cleanup".

My First Trainz Set[edit]

My First Trainz Set was designed for the younger generation who do not want to worry about realism or management when playing the Trainz game. The game features 4 locations to lay track in that are based on rooms throughout a house, such as a bedroom or kitchen. The user has the ability to place down small toy-like objects in the replacement of buildings and scenery. However, its graphical quality of the trains, track, and objects is still very much like that of the standard Trainz simulator games. Controls are also far more simplified. The game was also ported to Android devices.

Trainz Simulator: Mac[edit]

Trainz Simulator: Mac was a port of Trainz Simulator: 2010 for Macintosh.

Trainz Simulator 2 Mac[edit]

Trainz Simulator 2 Mac was released on 27 March 2014 via the Mac App Store, which amongst other things, introduced an online multiplayer feature'. It is a port of Trainz 12.

Trainz: A New Era[edit]

Trainz: A New Era is the next installment currently in development. In November 2013, a Kickstarter campaign for the game was launched to help fund the game, which reached its target funding level a month later. Contributors were awarded prizes ranging from desktop wallpapers, First Class Tickets for the Download Station, full copies of the game, and various additional content depending on the amount pledged. The game utilizes a new custom designed engine, and will feature more realistic graphics, physics, and various other improvements.[11] The game is planned to be released in December 2014.

Special hardware support[edit]

The desktop cab controller RailDriver was first supported for use in Service Pack 1 for the Ultimate Trainz Collection, and is also supported by all subsequent Trainz releases.[12]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c "Trainz Simulator 2010 official website". 
  2. ^ ContentManager.exe filtered for assets on the Download Station for TS2009-SP4 reported over 3500 routes and 267,000 assets suitable for; this figure does not include content downloadable for TS2010-SP4 and up, nor the vast freeware library at Trainzproroute.org and other such 3rd party user sites.
  3. ^ "Post by Zec Murphy, company representative". 
  4. ^ "The Ultimate Trainz Collection". GameZone. Retrieved 7 March 2010. [dead link]
  5. ^ "List of Trainz Merchandise" (in French). Anuman Interactive. [dead link]
  6. ^ "Trainz Railroad Simulator 2007 Gold Edition" (in French). Anuman Interactive. 2006-11-20. [dead link]
  7. ^ "Trainz TRS 2007 Service Bereich" (in German). Halycon Media GmbH Co.KG. 
  8. ^ screenshot of N3V Staff list on newly established N3V wiki history record (otherwise accessible only to registered Trainz owners)
  9. ^ "Trainz 2009 Feature Page". 
  10. ^ a b "Trainz Simulator 2010: Engineers Edition". Gamer Syndrome. 26 October 2009. Retrieved 30 December 2009. 
  11. ^ https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/426668601/trainz-simulator-a-new-era-create-drive-operate-sh
  12. ^ "Ultimate Trainz Collection (Key Features)". Auran. Retrieved 1 April 2010. 

External links[edit]