Microsoft Train Simulator

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Microsoft Train Simulator
MSTrainSimcover.jpg
Cover
Developer(s)Kuju Entertainment
Publisher(s)Microsoft
Director(s)Paul Chamberlain
Designer(s)Phil Marley
Programmer(s)Rhona Robson
Artist(s)Dan Frith
Tony Zottola
Platform(s)Microsoft Windows (95, 98, 2000, ME, XP)
ReleaseMay 2001
Genre(s)Simulation
Mode(s)Single player

Microsoft Train Simulator (abbreviated to MSTS) is a train simulator for Microsoft Windows, released in May 2001 and developed by UK-based Kuju Entertainment.[1]

Gameplay[edit]

The simulation allows players to operate a train on various routes in Europe, Asia, and North America. Players need to stop and start the train, couple wagons, using the computer mouse, keyboard or a hardware addition such as Raildriver to operate the controls. Sound effects are enabled.[2]

Routes[edit]

The original game featured six routes:

Route name Image Featured trains AI Featured trains Featured Loco AI Featured Loco Rolling Stock Terminal
stations
miles km Set
in
Co Notes
Hisatsu Line JR Hisatsu Line.jpg JR Kyushu JR Kyushu KiHa 31 KiHa 140 N/A Yatsushiro to Yoshimatsu
via Hitoyoshi
53 85 2000
2001
Japan N/A
Innsbruck - St. Anton Trisannabruecke 3, 1.jpg Orient Express OBB Gölsdorf 380 Gölsdorf 310 Orient Express Blue Coaches
OBB Brown Carriages
Innsbruck to St. Anton
via Imst-Pizatal
63 101 1930s Austria N/A
Marias Pass BNSF GE Dash-9 C44-9W Kennewick - Wishram WA.jpg BNSF Amtrak
Empire Builder
Dash 9
GP38-2
SD40-2 (1.2)
Genesis
SD40
BNSF Freight Cars
Superliner Phase III
Shelby to Whitefish, including Kalispell branchline N/A N/A 2000
2001
United States N/A
Northeast Corridor Southbound Acela Express crossing the Susquehanna River Bridge.jpg Amtrak
Acela Express
Acela Regional
Amtrak Acela Express
Acela HHP-8
Genesis
Metroliner
Amfleet Phase III
Superliner Phase III
Philadelphia to Washington
via Baltimore
133 214 2000
2001
United States N/A
Settle & Carlisle Line Steam locomotive 60163 Tornado LNER Peppercorn A1 class Ribblehead Viaduct The waverley 3 October 2009 image 1.jpg LNER
British Rail (1.2)
LMS
GWR
Flying Scotsman
BR Class 50 (1.2)
Royal Scot
Pendennis Castle
LNER Corridor
LMS Corridor
GWR Corridor
BR MK1 (1.2)
Settle to Carlisle
via Appleby
N/A N/A 1920s
1930s
1980s (1.2)
United Kingdom N/A
Tokyo - Hakone OER Tama River Bridge Noborito.jpg Odakyu Electric Railway Odakyu Electric Railway Odakyu 7000 series LSE
Odakyu 2000 series
Odakyu 30000 series EXE N/A Shinjuku to Hakone-Yumoto
via Ebina and Odawara
55 88 2000
2001
Japan Shinjuka Odakya Underground Platforms never modelled, Track ends short where dive-down tunnels should be

Included with the game is the Editors & Tools program, which allows the user to build custom routes, create activities for any route, create custom consists, create custom cabviews or edit the default ones.

Locomotives (1.0/1.2)[edit]

The 1.0 base package contains 9 drivable locomotives and multiple units plus 8 AI locomotives/multiple units (AI units cannot be operated by the player without modification).

Train Image Ingame number Type mph km/h Built Co Route Livery(s) 1.0 1.2 Pd Notes
Flying Scotsman Flying Scotsman express, 2547, Doncaster (CJ Allen, Steel Highway, 1928).jpg 4472
Flying Scotsman
Steam 100 160 1923 United Kingdom Settle & Carlisle Line LNER Green Yes Yes Yes N/A
Royal Scot Royal Scot 2109460.jpg 6100
Royal Scot
Steam 90 145 1927 United Kingdom Settle & Carlisle Line LMS Red Yes Yes No Utilized in a major role in one activity (Royal Scot Rescue)
Pendennis Castle 5029 Nunney Castle Didcot old slide.jpg N/A Steam 75 120 1924 United Kingdom Settle & Carlisle Line GWR Green Yes Yes No N/A
BR Class 50 Class 50 diesel-electric locomotive number 50015 Valiant.jpg 50015
Valiant
Diesel 100 160 1967 United Kingdom Settle & Carlisle Line BR Blue
Yellow Ends
No Yes Yes N/A
Gölsdorf 310 310.23 Bhf.Strasshof.jpg 310.23 Steam N/A N/A N/A Austria Innsbruck - St. Anton OBB Black Yes Yes No N/A
Gölsdorf 380 N/A 380.119 Steam 43 60 1911 Austria Innsbruck - St. Anton OBB Black Yes Yes Yes Cabview comes from Gölsdorf 180 steam locomotive
Dash 9 BNSF Dash 9-44CW 5518.jpg 4723 Diesel 70 112 1993 United States Marias Pass BNSF
Heritage II
Yes Yes Yes N/A
Genesis GE Genesis P42DC 97, Sparks, Nevada, 1998.JPG 705 Diesel 100 160 1994 United States Marias Pass
Northeast Corridor
Amtrak
Phase III
Yes Yes No Classified as Electric in the game's consist editor
GP38-2 BNSF 2276 at Seattle SODO (Public Domain).jpg 2081 Diesel 70 112 1972 United States Marias Pass BNSF
Heritage I
Yes Yes Yes N/A
SD40 BNSF 6367 EMD SD40.JPG 7171 Diesel 83 134 1966 United States Marias Pass BNSF
Heritage I
Yes Yes No N/A
SD40-2 BNSF 6367 EMD SD40.JPG 8010 Diesel 70 112 1972 United States Marias Pass BNSF
Heritage I
No Yes Yes N/A
Acela Express Acela old saybrook ct summer2011.jpg 2001 Electric 150 240 1998 United States Northeast Corridor Amtrak
Phase V
Yes Yes Yes N/A
Acela HHP-8 Amtrakhhp8.jpg 651 Electric 135 217 1999 United States Northeast Corridor Amtrak
Phase V
Yes Yes Yes N/A
Metroliner E60 604.jpg 620 Electric 90 145 1972 United States Northeast Corridor Amtrak
Phase III
Yes Yes No Uses Odakyu 2000 series sounds
KiHa 31 Kiha31 hitoyoshi.jpg KiHa 31-12 DMU 60 95 1986 Japan Hisatsu Line JR Kyushu
Sliver & Blue
Yes Yes Yes Red interior (Blue interior in passenger view)
KiHa 31
Isaburo Shinpei
Kiha31 hitoyoshi.jpg KiHa 31-12 DMU 60 95 1986 Japan Hisatsu Line JR Kyushu
Sliver & Blue
Yes Yes Yes Blue interior (Red interior in passenger view)
Has headboards on its front and rear stating that it is the Isaburo Shinpei sightseeing train.
KiHa 140 Hayato-YoshimatsuDieselCar.jpg N/A DMU N/A N/A 1977 Japan Hisatsu Line JR Kyushu
White & Dark Blue
Yes Yes No N/A
Odakyu
7000 series LSE
Odakyu 7000-Hakone 20120219.jpg N/A EMU 70 110 1980 Japan Tokyo - Hakone Odakyu Electric
Railway

Wine Red & White
Yes Yes Yes N/A
Odakyu
2000 series
Model 2000-Second of Odakyu Electric Railway.JPG N/A EMU 60 100 1995 Japan Tokyo - Hakone Odakyu Electric
Railway

Sliver & Blue
Yes Yes Yes N/A
Odakyu
30000 series EXE
OER Romancecar Hakone -EXE-.jpg N/A EMU 75 120 1996 Japan Tokyo - Hakone Odakyu Electric
Railway

Sliver
Yes Yes No Centre gangwayed cab cars never modeled. Uses end car 1 and 10 cabs instead.

Large amounts of post-release DLC was also distributed, providing routes, locomotives, wagons and sessions.

Gameplay issues[edit]

The original version contained many bugs. For example, the "front coupling bug", where the locomotive's front coupler would not work, the "white void bug", where the route scenery disappears, leaving a white void, and the "end-of-the-line bug", where the locomotive, if it crashes through the last buffers on the route, would fall into an empty void. There are also issues with the signalling and AI dispatching. The game is also notoriously unstable, with unusually high tendencies to hang or crash without reason, and display error messages incorrectly and/or at the wrong times. In many instances, out-of-place error messages, usually for missing files, will cause a crash at the wrong time. MSTS 1.2 addressed some of these issues.[3]

Updates[edit]

Version 1.2 added new items such as British and American rolling stock, namely the British Rail Class 50, British Rail Mark 1 Coaches, an EMD SD40-2 and general US freight cars, along with two new activities each for the SD40-2 and Class 50.[when?][citation needed]

Reception[edit]

In the United States, Train Simulator sold 330,000 copies and earned $11.6 million by August 2006. At the time, this led Edge to rank it as the country's 54th-best-selling computer game released since January 2000.[4] It also received a "Silver" sales award from the Entertainment and Leisure Software Publishers Association (ELSPA),[5] indicating sales of at least 100,000 copies in the United Kingdom;[6] and a "Gold" certification from the Verband der Unterhaltungssoftware Deutschland (VUD),[7] for sales of at least 100,000 units across Germany, Austria and Switzerland.[8] The game ultimately sold one million units by 2005,[9] and is, despite its age, still very popular and has a large, active community.[10]

The Academy of Interactive Arts & Sciences nominated Microsoft Train Simulator for its 2001 " Computer Simulation Game of the Year" award,[11] which ultimately went to Microsoft Flight Simulator 2002.[12]

Mods[edit]

The game features mod support as routes, trains, cargoes, scenery, etc. are abundant in the game. The installment of the mods is somewhat tricky since they have to be loaded into set files like Routes for Routes and Trainset for Trains, rollingstock, consists, etc. Over 1000 mods were created for the game and are mostly hosted on community sites such as trainsim.com, uktrainsim.com and elvastower.com, to name a few.[13] Additionally, MSTS BIN, a community mod that aimed to add features and fix old MSTS bugs has since been released.[14]

Microsoft Train Simulator 2[edit]

On May 7, 2003, Microsoft announced that it would be developing a sequel called Microsoft Train Simulator 2[15] and it was first demoed to the public at E3 on May 15.[16] Seemingly its main improvements were the addition of people to the game (e.g. passengers waiting at the stations, people operating the new locomotive roster, etc.), more realistic crashes and other accidents, and turntables. It was being developed by Kuju Entertainment, the original MSTS creators. Despite restructuring efforts at Kuju, the project was however handed over to Microsoft Game Studios on August 18, 2003.[17]

This project was ultimately halted, as the following statement on April 24, 2004 from Microsoft confirmed:

Microsoft Game Studios has halted the Windows-based game "Train Simulator 2.0." The decision to halt "Train Simulator 2.0" was made some time ago and was based on a long, hard and difficult look at our business objectives and product offerings. We remain focused on the simulations category with successful, platform-driving franchises such as "Microsoft Flight Simulator."

— [18]

On January 19, 2007, Microsoft announced the relaunch of the Microsoft Train Simulator project. This time the game was being made in-house by ACES Game Studio (Microsoft Game Studios) known for its long line of Microsoft Flight Simulators, as a part of the "Games for Windows" initiative. The game would have used the Microsoft Flight Simulator X graphics engine and it was planned to be compatible with both Windows Vista and Windows XP. A post on 'The Little Wheel Goes in Back' blog, written by one of the developers, on August 23, 2007 suggested the working title was 'Train Simulator 2'.[19]

On January 23, 2009, Microsoft announced that it was permanently closing ACES Game Studios, the internal development studio responsible for both Microsoft Flight Simulator and Microsoft Train Simulator. As a result, all future development on Train Simulator 2 (which was entering the final stages of development at the time of the closure) was immediately halted, marking the second time that the project was terminated. While Microsoft states that "they are committed to both the Flight Simulator and Train Simulator brands", it is unknown if the Train Simulator 2 project will ever be resurrected and completed sometime in the future. Many former employees of ACES Game Studios went on to join Cascade Game Foundry, a new company that was itself founded by two ACES alumni. Cascade Game Foundry focuses on developing entertainment simulations.[20]

Open Rails[edit]

Open Rails is an open-source freeware project launched, developed, maintained and nurtured by a team of volunteers and licensed under GPL.[21] Its project summary states the following:[22]

Open Rails is a train simulator that supports the world's largest range of digital content.
Accurate behaviour for steam, diesel and electric traction including trains with multiple locos.
Signals which correctly protect the train and permit complex timetabled operations.
Multi-user mode in which any timetabled train can be driven in person or by computer.

Key technical objectives are to be backward compatible with as well as extend all MSTS content.[23] It adds new features such as improved multiplayer and mouse controls along with a newer engine that has better graphics and more realistic physics than MSTS.[24] It is optimised to be able to take advantage of the features of newer CPUs, and can support more detailed models.

Open Rails 1.2 was released in 22 January 2017.[25]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Train Simulator - PC". Retrieved January 10, 2018 – via Amazon.
  2. ^ Marchelletta, Courtney. "Fuill Product Review Microsoft Train Simulator". About.com. Retrieved January 20, 2009.
  3. ^ "Train Simulator Add-on page". Archived from the original on July 13, 2011. Retrieved January 10, 2018.
  4. ^ Edge Staff (August 25, 2006). "The Top 100 PC Games of the 21st Century". Edge. Archived from the original on October 17, 2012.
  5. ^ "ELSPA Sales Awards: Silver". Entertainment and Leisure Software Publishers Association. Archived from the original on February 21, 2009.
  6. ^ Caoili, Eric (November 26, 2008). "ELSPA: Wii Fit, Mario Kart Reach Diamond Status In UK". Gamasutra. Archived from the original on September 18, 2017.
  7. ^ "VUD-SALES-AWARDS Januar 2003". Verband der Unterhaltungssoftware Deutschland. January 2003. Archived from the original on April 22, 2003. Retrieved August 6, 2018.
  8. ^ Horn, Andre (January 14, 2004). "VUD-Gold-Awards 2003". GamePro Germany. Archived from the original on July 18, 2018.
  9. ^ Stuart, Keith (June 24, 2005). "EA takes the train". The Guardian. Archived from the original on October 5, 2015.
  10. ^ Hilliard, Kyle (6 September 2014). "Gears Of War's Rod Fergusson On the Franchise's Past And His Optimism For The Future". Game Informer. GameStop. Retrieved 7 September 2014.
  11. ^ "Academy of Interactive Arts and Sciences Announces Finalists for the 5th Annual Interactive Achievement Awards" (Press release). Los Angeles: Academy of Interactive Arts & Sciences. February 5, 2002. Archived from the original on June 2, 2002.
  12. ^ "Academy of Interactive Arts and Sciences Announces Recipients of Fifth Annual Interactive Achievement Awards" (Press release). Las Vegas: Academy of Interactive Arts & Sciences. March 1, 2002. Archived from the original on March 6, 2002.
  13. ^ http://www.trainsim.com/vbts/showthread.php?292660-MSTS-Add-On-Web-Sites Retrieved 27. March 2017
  14. ^ "MSTS Bin - MS train simulator upgrade". mstsbin.uktrainsim.com. Retrieved January 10, 2018.
  15. ^ "Microsoft Train Simulator Review for PC". GameFAQs. Retrieved January 20, 2009.
  16. ^ "Train Simulator 2 Impressions – PC News at GameSpot". uk.gamespot.com. Archived from the original on January 24, 2013. Retrieved January 20, 2009.
  17. ^ "Microsoft takes over Train Sim 2 – PC News at GameSpot". uk.gamespot.com. Archived from the original on January 23, 2013. Retrieved January 20, 2009.
  18. ^ "Train Simulator 2 canceled – PC News at GameSpot". uk.gamespot.com. Archived from the original on January 30, 2009. Retrieved January 20, 2009.
  19. ^ "The Little Wheel Goes in Back : Guter Tag von Leipzig!". blogs.msdn.com. Retrieved January 20, 2009.
  20. ^ "The Simulation Game – games TM". www.gamestm.co.uk. Retrieved April 2, 2012.
  21. ^ "Discover - Open Rails". Open Rails. Open Rails. Retrieved 13 October 2016.
  22. ^ "The Open Rails Open Source Project". Black Duck : Open HUB. Open Rails. Retrieved 13 October 2016.
  23. ^ "Discover - Our Mission". Open Rails. Open Rails. Retrieved 13 October 2016.
  24. ^ "Learn - FAQ". Open Rails. Open Rails. Retrieved 13 October 2016. Why does my train operate differently in Open Rails?
  25. ^ "Milestones: Open Rails". Launchpad. Open Rails. Retrieved 27 March 2017.

External links[edit]