Keepin the kettle boiling

A brand new simulator announced from Microsoft based on the Flight Sim X engine. Note: Microsoft closed the ACES Studio on 23rd January 2009 thus terminating this product along with other Simulation products -Flight Sim and ESP.

Moderator: Moderators

User avatar
johndibben
Bletchley Park:home of first programmable computer
Posts: 14007
Joined: Mon Dec 03, 2001 12:00 am
Location: Bletchley

Post by johndibben »

bigvern wrote:After the disappointment - supreme disappointment - of EARS I'm actually trying to remain quite pragmatic about MSTS2. At the moment there's no evidence either way of what WOR will offer. It could be that MS have somehow amassed a wealth of data and have 100 artists beavering away on structure and rolling stock construction to ensure each and every mile of route represents the prototype. Or it could be we get 100,000 miles of blue vector lines on the landscape.

Only time will tell...

However I do happen to agree that some more detailed information from Aces/MS would not go amiss - even if they can't announce specific routes some more details of how it will all work would be very welcome.
I'm sure they're building something and not sitting twiddling their thumbs but what is the question? The MSTS2 website and blogs say very little about the concept of The World of Rails which appears to promise so much but may lead to disappointment.

I'll buy it even if did only have US content :)

There's also confusion about whether MSTS2 simply uses the FS-X game engine or is actually built upon FS-X. The latter raises doubts as TMTS was to be a 2D sim made into a 3D sim but a year after the announcement it still didn't have drivable curves. The idea of adding railways to a flightsim with airports as stations and autogen scenery in between is unlikely to please MSTS and Trainz users looking for a new sim. It would be an entirely new concept. The World of Trains is publicised as an entirely new concept.

I was always pragmatic to the point of scepticism regarding TMTS and RS privately and wouldn't have been surprised if RS hadn't been released. I couldn't be as disappointed as others appear although given the many reservations expressed over two years, I'm amazed at how disappointed people appear to be.

A Pandora's Box has been opened by allowing people to tear into Kuju and EA as they did. MS havn't provided anything like the amount of information at the same point in the sims development. I doubt being told that's a strategy based upon what happened to RS will be accepted not least as it was said Kuju didn't talk to the community. If RS flops then all eyes will turn upon MSTS2 and I suspect the impatience will only increase. If RS succeeds then MSTS2 can continue to be developed quietly and the results would probably be better and not sure whether Bazza keeping the kettle boiling is in fact helping or hindering?

I doubt people like questions answered by speculation from other members which was allowed on the RS forum but a precedent has been set.

MS and ACES will get a better ride due to personalities but newer members are likely to treat the two sims equally in terms of demands and expectations which are incredibly high.

In my opinion they're too high.

There's a lot of hysteria which is serving no one and members want to calm down a bit to allow developers of all sims to get on with their work which may mean we could have a choice of four sims which has to be good for trainsimming :)
Cheers

John
User avatar
CaptainBazza
Has a sign reading.. Its NOT the end of the world!
Posts: 18852
Joined: Tue May 13, 2003 10:21 am
Location: Land of the Long White Cloud.

Re: Keepin the kettle boiling

Post by CaptainBazza »

If RS succeeds then MSTS2 can continue to be developed quietly and the results would probably be better and not sure whether Bazza keeping the kettle boiling is in fact helping or hindering?
Marketing is about informing people and collecting a base of interested users. Obviously it's useful to do this in advance of a product release so you have market base ready and waiting to spend their money. It's a double edged sword, too, (eh, John?) as we've seen with RS, but lack of information is not taken lying down these days. Kuju was positively gushing about Rail Sim compared to the paucity of information prior to the release of MSTS1.

Rest assured, Bazza's kettle is well on the boil. Tea, anyone? :P

Cheers Bazza
CaptScarlet
Very Active Forum Member
Posts: 3673
Joined: Fri Nov 17, 2006 11:29 am
Location: The Netherlands

Re: Keepin the kettle boiling

Post by CaptScarlet »

CaptainBazza wrote: Marketing is about informing people and collecting a base of interested users. Obviously it's useful to do this in advance of a product release so you have market base ready and waiting to spend their money. It's a double edged sword, too, (eh, John?) as we've seen with RS, but lack of information is not taken lying down these days. Kuju was positively gushing about Rail Sim compared to the paucity of information prior to the release of MSTS1.

Rest assured, Bazza's kettle is well on the boil. Tea, anyone? :P

Cheers Bazza
Some game publishers / developers are good at PR and some not , but in my experience whether they are good at it or not generally bears no relation to how good the resulting end product is.

John
User avatar
johndibben
Bletchley Park:home of first programmable computer
Posts: 14007
Joined: Mon Dec 03, 2001 12:00 am
Location: Bletchley

Post by johndibben »

CaptainBazza wrote:Marketing is about informing people and collecting a base of interested users. Obviously it's useful to do this in advance of a product release so you have market base ready and waiting to spend their money. It's a double edged sword, too, (eh, John?) as we've seen with RS, but lack of information is not taken lying down these days. Kuju was positively gushing about Rail Sim compared to the paucity of information prior to the release of MSTS1.

Rest assured, Bazza's kettle is well on the boil. Tea, anyone? :P

Cheers Bazza
You're marketing MSTS2? Does it pay well? :)
Cheers

John
User avatar
johndibben
Bletchley Park:home of first programmable computer
Posts: 14007
Joined: Mon Dec 03, 2001 12:00 am
Location: Bletchley

Post by johndibben »

CaptScarlet wrote:Some game publishers / developers are good at PR and some not , but in my experience whether they are good at it or not generally bears no relation to how good the resulting end product is.
Agreed and you can't play hype either.

Had RS been relatively bug-free then there'd not be the moans about consultation with 'experts'.

A good product is it's best marketing.

Sadly, patches are almost always required due to the publisher's demands. That will never change unless the Law is changed to protect consumers.

No product means maketing a concept and a fan club filled with high expectations based around individual wishes which unless focussed with precise answers which no developer is going to give when it's clear they're very much in the early development stage.
Cheers

John
User avatar
CompanyNotch
Been on the forums for a while
Posts: 148
Joined: Mon Jan 22, 2007 10:56 pm
Location: Redmond, Washington

Re: Keepin the kettle boiling

Post by CompanyNotch »

growler37 wrote: Hi,
the developers have already annouced some USA routes,so why not say if there will be any uk routes in the box also, its not lack of vision, its asking a legitimate question!
The developers are strangely quiet on this subject,a straight answer of yes or no is all im asking.
nothing i have read on this forum has convinced me that MSTS2 will not primarly be, a USA based sim as MSTS1 was,If the developers can show me some screenshots of a quality uk route and stock i will be only to pleased to eat my words.
To be clear, we have announced ONE North American route so far - Horseshoe Curve. We have additional routes to announce, but aren't able to do so just yet. We will formally announce the routes and partnerships once we are able to actually show something and we have the formal agreement in place that allows us to partner with the railroad in question.

As Steve stated in a previous thread, we are showing the North American content simply because that is the stuff that is the furthest along. We are indeed working on some additional EU equipment and are making good progress.

I will also say that Steve's catenary work looks really nice so far, and it includes a lot of the features you guys have been asking for. I think you'll be impressed when you see samples in the coming weeks.

As for World of Rails, we will indeed be using a data-driven approach to rendering the globe. Obviously we can't afford to hand-author the entire planet. We intend to give you tools as well to allow you to build out the WoR to whatever level of accuracy you desire. Many will find the WoR experience to be good enough right out of the box. Others will want to improve the accuracy of areas they are familiar with. Regardless, you'll have something available for your favorite railroad right out of the box on the day we ship. No other product can match that.

I know that many of you have a desire for us to just lay all our plans out on the table. There are a number of reasons we can't do that just yet, including business agreements and product scope and open design questions. The LAST thing I and other members of the team want to do is "promise" something by discussing it here and then have to pull it back because we can't secure an agreement or aren't able to make it work. Rest assured, when you see us talking about something here or elsewhere, it means we have high confidence that this item will be in the final product.

Hope that makes sense.

-Rick

Rick Selby
Lead Game Designer
Microsoft Train Simulator

http://yardlimits.spaces.live.com
User avatar
CaptainBazza
Has a sign reading.. Its NOT the end of the world!
Posts: 18852
Joined: Tue May 13, 2003 10:21 am
Location: Land of the Long White Cloud.

Re: Keepin the kettle boiling

Post by CaptainBazza »

You're marketing MSTS2? Does it pay well?
Thirty thaler pieces of silver and a packet of gum drops.

Cheers Bazza
User avatar
CaptainBazza
Has a sign reading.. Its NOT the end of the world!
Posts: 18852
Joined: Tue May 13, 2003 10:21 am
Location: Land of the Long White Cloud.

Re: Keepin the kettle boiling

Post by CaptainBazza »

I know that many of you have a desire for us to just lay all our plans out on the table. There are a number of reasons we can't do that just yet, including business agreements and product scope and open design questions
.


Well, you can't ration curiosity and plain noseyness, Rick. :lol:

Cheers Bazza 8)
User avatar
johndibben
Bletchley Park:home of first programmable computer
Posts: 14007
Joined: Mon Dec 03, 2001 12:00 am
Location: Bletchley

Post by johndibben »

We've been going round and round Horsehoe Curve since 2002 with three sims now.

I remember chuckling about that 4 years ago and the post is here somewhere :)
CompanyNotch wrote:As for World of Rails, we will indeed be using a data-driven approach to rendering the globe. Obviously we can't afford to hand-author the entire planet. We intend to give you tools as well to allow you to build out the WoR to whatever level of accuracy you desire. Many will find the WoR experience to be good enough right out of the box. Others will want to improve the accuracy of areas they are familiar with. Regardless, you'll have something available for your favorite railroad right out of the box on the day we ship. No other product can match that.
Now there's a bold claim :)

My favourite 'railway' is the GWR. Still 'something' for the GWR doesn't rule out any UK loco' or even a GP-38 :)

It's all in the interpretation of the wording and we're allowed to do so with our imaginations rather than reality. Realise that which is released could be better or worse though as there plenty of scope either way.

It would be totally unreasonable to ask a developer to lay out their plans in detail but The World of Railways is unlike anything we've seen to date. I can visualise a railway version of flight sim with stations rather than airports and autogen scenery in between. Assume that's where the idea of using buildings from FS in MSTS2 came from. That said, MSTS has goodness knows how many routes leaving London and The Houses of Parliament and Buckingham Palace are hardly prominant if they appear at all :)

I can see the US and much of the world in those terms but the UK and Europe are very different. The UK in particular is extrememly diverse and densely populated. I can't imagine this concept applied to the UK although it work would well in other parts of the World allowing long journeys through varied landscapes. As such it could be great fun :)

I'm also unclear about whether the default routes and The World of Rails are the same or whether there are two sims in one?

I know every answer can lead to another question and realise the constraints developers are under but I'm only asking about the basic concept.

I can't see how the UK can be covered in any detail over almost 200 years.

This is a US built sim and the claims for the US appear easier to visualise as it's a big place but when applied to the UK it may be that someone living here will find it harder to do so.
Last edited by johndibben on Wed Nov 07, 2007 5:41 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Cheers

John
User avatar
CaptainBazza
Has a sign reading.. Its NOT the end of the world!
Posts: 18852
Joined: Tue May 13, 2003 10:21 am
Location: Land of the Long White Cloud.

Re: Keepin the kettle boiling

Post by CaptainBazza »

I can't see how the UK can be covered in any detail over almost 200 years.
Correct, it's not the Tardis Sim. There's no time switch in any of the flight sims I've used over the years, except you can model a particular era. I tried modelling the scenery for Croydon airport as it was in the 30's for one of the MSFS before it went Windows. I expect that's what you'll have to do for the train sim.
This is a US built sim and the claims for the US appear easier to visualise as it's a big place but when applied to the UK it may be that someone living here will find it harder to do so.
Not quite sure what you're getting at John, but I would expect the Atlantic Cousins are also be scratching their heads in wonder at the thought of the vast rail network, per WoR, in the USA.

One poster made a joke about driving the Trans Siberian - I think you'd go crazy before you got out of Russia, let alone reach the other end of the line.

Mind you, I think any prospective route builder will be going crazy thinking of the possibilities.......

Cheers Bazza
User avatar
johndibben
Bletchley Park:home of first programmable computer
Posts: 14007
Joined: Mon Dec 03, 2001 12:00 am
Location: Bletchley

Post by johndibben »

CaptainBazza wrote:Correct, it's not the Tardis Sim. There's no time switch in any of the flight sims I've used over the years, except you can model a particular era. I tried modelling the scenery for Croydon airport as it was in the 30's for one of the MSFS before it went Windows. I expect that's what you'll have to do for the train sim.
You can do that in FS easily you're supposed to be up in the air for most of the time and there's not much to ignore if it's out of place. The history of flight maybe 100 hundred years but the vast majority play the present and most add-ons reflect this. Railway history is another matter with possibly half the add-ons for the UK being historic. Bletchley today is almost unrecognisable since many people's heyday in the 60's and the whole country is the same. The landscape has completely changed in many cases. It may not be appreciated with the vast majority of countries like the US being unchanged and they've far less emphasis on history as MSTS showed.
CaptainBazza wrote:Not quite sure what you're getting at John, but I would expect the Atlantic Cousins are also be scratching their heads in wonder at the thought of the vast rail network, per WoR, in the USA.

One poster made a joke about driving the Trans Siberian - I think you'd go crazy before you got out of Russia, let alone reach the other end of the line.

Mind you, I think any prospective route builder will be going crazy thinking of the possibilities........
That's what I'm getting at. If they're puzzled, then we're going to be in the UK.

As for Russia and anywhere else with sprawling railways thousands of miles long, if you're not going to drive the lot why include it?

Who's going to model it?

If they are, to the standards most on here wish to see, wouldn't it be easier simply to have DEM information and let them get on with it? It's the buildings and detail within feet of the track which takes the time to build to recreate a railway. Suspect few have the time or inclination to drive 500 miles, yet alone thousands.

The question isn't even, The World of Railways, how?

It's The World of Railways, why?

It appears a bit gimmicky to me.

it also feels far more gamey than any other sim we've ever had as serious simmers want detailed routes and the chance to build more and unlike a flightsim, anything beyond a mile from the track is a waste of computer resources.
Cheers

John
User avatar
growler37
Very Active Forum Member
Posts: 1384
Joined: Sat Jan 12, 2002 12:00 am
Location: KERNOW(CORNWALL)

Re: Keepin the kettle boiling

Post by growler37 »

RICK WROTE.. As Steve stated in a previous thread, we are showing the North American content simply because that is the stuff that is the furthest along. We are indeed working on some additional EU equipment and are making good progress.

Hi rick, thanks for the reply, but i have to say i am even more confused, you keep saying "EU" thats a lot of railways.
Surely it breaches no copyright or license,to say,"yes there will be at least one UKroute" or "no there will not" you dont have to go into any detail,or are you
trying to keep the brits intrested, with WOR which seems like a sort of do it yourself train sim kit,as previous posts have said,if for instance were given WOR
and i want to model GWR cornwall,and WOR ships with modern day cornwall,it means i will have to start from scratch!because todays track layout bears hardly
any resemblance to when it was the GWR let alone the dozens of demolished stations,goodsyards, and ripped up branch lines etc.
the uk,s railway system has changed completly in the last hundred years,how will WOR handle that.
with kind regards
kevin
CORNWALL THE LAND OF PASTIES AND TREVITHICK! INVENTOR OF THE STEAM LOCO.
BUILDER OF THE WEST SOMERSET RAILWAY ROUTE FOR RS.
PENZANCE TO PLYMOUTH,MODERN,IN PROGRESS.
THE HELSTON BRANCH AND WEST CORNWALL IN THE 1950,S,IN PROGRESS.
ratsarrse
Getting the hang of things now
Posts: 32
Joined: Fri May 24, 2002 12:00 am

Re: Keepin the kettle boiling

Post by ratsarrse »

If I were to speculate on the World of Rails aspect, I'd expect it simply to be something fairly generic derived from mapping data. It's relatively straightforward to use the same basis as flight sim to achieve this, I guess, and all it will mean is that there will be track in roughly the right places all over the world. It will mean that the mainline won't suddenly end at some buffer stops a few miles north of York, for example.

What it cannot be, is an accurate representation of any area beyond having tracks and roads in the right places and terrain at the right height. I won't be able to plonk a train down in Nottingham and see that fine station modelled, and I won't be able to see my house as I head south. I won't arrive at a gleaming remodelled St Pancras either. However, the real bonus is that should someone want to create a detailed Midland Main Line route, they have the groundwork already laid out for them. They may have to tweak the trackwork a little (or a lot, depending on how good the boxed product is!), but the focus can be on 'simply' providing the modelled buildings and scenic items for any given area. WOR potentially gives route builders a decent head start.

We'll get the satisfaction of being able to see our local area (same as in Flight Sim), albeit rendered in a generic fashion, but more importantly, we'll have a solid platform for content developers to build on, and that has to be a good thing.
User avatar
johndibben
Bletchley Park:home of first programmable computer
Posts: 14007
Joined: Mon Dec 03, 2001 12:00 am
Location: Bletchley

Post by johndibben »

ratsarrse wrote:They may have to tweak the trackwork a little (or a lot, depending on how good the boxed product is!), but the focus can be on 'simply' providing the modelled buildings and scenic items for any given area. WOR potentially gives route builders a decent head start.

We'll get the satisfaction of being able to see our local area (same as in Flight Sim), albeit rendered in a generic fashion, but more importantly, we'll have a solid platform for content developers to build on, and that has to be a good thing.
You may be spot on but it is speculation and as it's the main plank of the marketing of MSTS2 then we shouldn't be answering our own questions on such a fundamental point. Speculation is rarly helpful.

As for 'simply', every successful MSTS route add-on has required many individual buildings all to be photographed and modelled along with structures, walls, fences and all the details which allow us to recogise the area. The terrain and line of the route is only a tiny fraction of route building. It's the details which make the route and why they take so long.

I've flown over what I believe is supposed to be Bletchley in FS-X but it could've been anywhere.

I'm amazed at how many people accept this concept with unquestioning belief. There are many here actually building routes who know these basic facts. There must be some idea of what is being proposed beyond the slogan wich would make it clear how valuable this concept is and how much benefit it would actually be in building a route to the same standards as current MSTS commercial and freeware routes.
Cheers

John
User avatar
CaptainBazza
Has a sign reading.. Its NOT the end of the world!
Posts: 18852
Joined: Tue May 13, 2003 10:21 am
Location: Land of the Long White Cloud.

Re: Keepin the kettle boiling

Post by CaptainBazza »

The main asset is that the (basic) spadework is done, so it's up to the route builder to tweak as required. What I am interested in, how will the tweaked terrain mesh be distributed?

Cheers Bazza
Locked

Return to “Microsoft Train Simulator 2”