Objective criticisms of Railsim

General discussion about Rail Simulator that doesn't really fit in to any specific category. A good place to start if you're not sure what category it should fit in to as well.

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sp762
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Objective criticisms of Railsim

Post by sp762 »

This thread is a placeholder for objective criticism of the game.

I'll start:

Have you noticed that in real life the wind rarely blows from the same direction at every point in your field of view. You get little eddies and zephyrs.

In RS, all the vegetation moves the same way at the same time....
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Re: Objective criticisms of Railsim

Post by CaptainBazza »

...and you could tell that from the driving seat of the HST passing by at 100 mph?
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sp762
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Re: Objective criticisms of Railsim

Post by sp762 »

Ow naow. I won't drive buzzboxes. But if I did shouldn't the vegetation blow away from the passing train?
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Re: Objective criticisms of Railsim

Post by stewart »

sp762 wrote:In RS, all the vegetation moves the same way at the same time....


Actually, no it doesn't. Look closer.
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Re: Objective criticisms of Railsim

Post by Gizabroon »

I think some folk are expecting far too much from what is a SIMULATION, after all. It is not the real world.

However, looking at the sky. I think there's an almighty upper level super hurricane blowing over. The clouds go far too fast. I'm sure this feature could be slowed down to something similar to what you see in reality.

Not that I'm grumbling, of course...
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Re: Objective criticisms of Railsim

Post by Lad491 »

I dont think there is much point in having this thread, since all the criticisms and praise for the good bits (of which there are some) have been made on other threads and repeating them yet again here just prolongs the issue. I shant be listing again all the things I think are wrong with the Sim as it stands today (hooray i hear you all cheering :)).

The only advantage it might have I guess, is that the RS staff will only have one thread to wade through rather than dozens.
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Re: Objective criticisms of Railsim

Post by zarker99 »

Okay - i wont mention what i think are bugs, just things i think are poor in design.

:( It would be nice to get rid of bird-song heard from the inside and outside the cab (which never seems to get any closer or further away), and replace with some wind-noise. I little more in keeping with a train-sim instead of a zoo-sim.

:) nice chuffing effects on the steam train, but does the sound really diminish so mush as you increase the reverser to maximum?

:( An absence of any noticable doppler effects. This is especially true with the bird-song - unless I'm supposed to have a canary strapped to my head?

:( I think my biggest criticism is the sense of speed. i find i'm limiting myself to slow 'stopping' scenarios, or cabs with a limited view, like the steam train or the deltic - but even the deltic is plagued by in-train sounds that sound 'slow' - at 100mph all you hear is a gentle "click, clack". I'm not sure how the game is modelled, whether anything similar to MSTS1, because in MSTS1 there was a very similar sound that seemed linked to the route itself. I downloaded a route for MSTS1 set in China, and that had a very pleasing "clickety-clack" sound that inreased steadily with the speed of the train. KRS seems to have 4 in-train sounds that cover 0-20mph, 21-40mph, 41-70mph, and 71+mph. I think this is just a little too simplistic for something that is supposed to be a 'serious' train simulator.
Last edited by zarker99 on Thu Nov 08, 2007 11:31 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Objective criticisms of Railsim

Post by SteelixB »

Doppler effects are present, try the fly by view and say that isn't noticeable. :)
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Re: Objective criticisms of Railsim

Post by zarker99 »

SteelixB wrote:Doppler effects are present, try the fly by view and say that isn't noticeable. :)
Sound reasonable :) How do i get to that view?
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Re: Objective criticisms of Railsim

Post by Gizabroon »

Push button 8. It would appear that you have not read the back of the card Keyboard Controls - Views.

Tut tut!
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Re: Objective criticisms of Railsim

Post by zarker99 »

Gizabroon wrote:Push button 8. It would appear that you have not read the back of the card Keyboard Controls - Views.

Tut tut!
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Post by AndiS »

I am not sure anyone can be objective, but it is a good idea to remind people to at least try. Short of objective views, one can always try to have constructive views.
Some constructive things I have not said yet ...

The birds are boring. The reason is that they fly along given paths all the time, non-stop. One place, the route builders spanned two such flight route strings across the track. It looked half as bad but I'm afraid the birds will not pause when the train comes. It's birds, not lemmings! In other places, the builders made some irregular circles and the birds behave like gnats, dancing around each other relentlessly. What is needed is variation. Synthesisers became famous for modulating a boring sine with another boring sine, and having a third sine blend between the modulated sine and another one. Translated to the birds, we need a variation in the amount of birds per second emitted from the bird-spawner. There are times when there is no bird, then a flock of them flies somewhere (not all in the same second, but within less than a minute, all start). Then they land there and stay there for a while, or go on to some remote place.

The current animation would be great for ants, btw., just in case someone wants to model an OO garden layout.

Next thing these birds need is a resize plus colour change so we have sparrows and pigeons, too. They are more widespread around railway stations than ravens. Ducks would be nice for the country side and their flight formation is nearest to what we have now. Sparrows would not look that bad with the gnat-style circular motion, if they take enough breaks on the ground.

In favour of poor people with poor computers, an option to switch off the birds would be great. I for one would rather sacrifice a few FPS for procedural flora than for birds.

The procedural flora grows everywhere, on tracks, out of the middle of the rail head, just as much as in the meadow. However, this will be a feature of the default routes, it must be able to disable it because it is not there in the stations (as far as I have seen).

As many people noted, the passengers are quite funny currently. The clone look can be changed by a quick reskin. Without artistic ambitions, someone could simply recolour cloth and hair. 3 hair colours, 5 jacket colours, 3 trouser colours, gives 45 different passengers from one original alone. You cannot create that many from the suits (male & female), but maybe 10 different suit styles could be possible. Of course, we need the docu to efficiently produce them. At least no one was passionate enough about them to dig through their XML files.

The fact that they run through poles should result from an error in content - the newsletter said you can mark objects through which you cannot walk. I hope there will be a clear instruction how to fence the platform so they do not step on the track, which should also be another content error.

Several people noted that the passengers need luggage, one commented that they look like Stasi spies. For the original modellers, this could be easy, for us it is impossible. Most likely, it gave the artist some additional headache to get the animation plausible (to make the luggage look heavy), so they did without it.

On someone's video, the girls seemed to take a few extra steps to the litter bin before entering the train, so there seems to be some hidden logic in these passengers, which did not come to fruition like many other things.

The passengers clearly must vanish 1 metre nearer to the train. On my low-end PC I have not studied them too much, but they seem to hit the door quite well, so there is no reason to have them disappear in mid-air.

The brake efficiency of the German shunter is a joke. It accelerates quite well and takes much longer to brake. No need to tell me about delays in brake application, but once the brakes are fully applied, deceleration at least as good as acceleration, in the prototype.

The "9 map" is really breath taking. I objectively support the theory that it was lifted from a racing game. Constructively, I suggest disposing of the red and yellow lines and displaying the trains a red (or maybe blue) lines, in the style of the current red ones. The current red and yellow lines are completely meaningless, without reference to signalling and pretty random. They are based on the track pieces, with some additional "logic". Loosing them will objectively improve the situation.

The next thing would be to allow the user to supply arbitrary 2D shapes for each signal aspect. They could be constructed by simple shapes -- filled circle plus filled rectangle -- and the sim would orient and scale them appropriately. Then we could have some compromise between prototypical signal diagrams and the game market on which KRS is sold. Next, the blue blobs for the switches should also be at the disposal of the route editor. The need to have some size to be easily clickable, but they need not be so ugly.

I am really speechless about the poor object organisation in the editor. With all the multi-page posts of several people about the best organisation of railway items in the world, and the notoriously high number of collected MSTS items, it is really unbelievable to have them all sit together in primitive lists. All buildings in one, all signals in another one, etc.

It would be good to switch on and off the visibility of the signals' track links altogether. Now, you must click on a signal to see its links. That way, you can never see the links of a few neighbouring signals together. The correct placement of these links is half of what makes correctly working signalling, and the small amount of signals in the default routes is part of the problems experienced there. But the more signals, the more potential for mistakes in the placement, even more as placing the remote links involves extensive flying by cursor keys while you keep the mouse pressed to push one of the links. Then fly back to fetch the other. Try to fetch it from far and the signal is deselected because you did not hit the link when you clicked. Some "fly with pushed object" mode would be great, akin to the mode in track laying where you jump to the far end of the new track piece.

I am pretty unhappy that the modus of flying is the same as in MSTS. A newer one, alternatively to backward compatibility, would be great. When I select an object, then the cursor keys should rotate me around that object, which should stay on the same spot on the screen. Moving sideways make not sense then. When flying somewhere else, I would like a mode where you maintain altitude and move yourself using the mouse as you would move a cursor on a 2D display. The mouse wheel is currently not used at all (except in the map view).

The toy levers on the switches are a joke, but I like the idea. I hope that we will be able to replace them by better shapes, move them away from the track and rotate them by 90 degrees. Then, the whole thing can be really good. Provided that their placement is consistent, i.e., no locally operated switches in the mainline, except for branch lines, but this touches the often mentioned number one error in the content, no need to repeat it.

I cannot say much about the scenery, having only seen a bit. One thing that left me as speechless as the item list was that red bridge made of two smaller ones, overlapping, without support in the middle. When they talked about QA for addons, I thought it would save us from exactly that. And of untested scenarios, but that has been discussed, too.

In the vicinity of Paddington, someone had the order to "drop stuff here quickly", resulting in containers strewn out in the meadow along the track, with no crane in sight. Even if they pulled them from the wagon with a tractor, they would have placed them more orderly or parallel in some form. Of course, there is no idea why they are there in the first place. I must say for a balance that in many places the scenery item dropping was performed very well.

Sadly, the billboards testify to blatant lies regarding only prototypical advertisement which Kuju announced in a past which we should leave behind us now. Therefore, it would have been a great idea to change the shape of billboard 1 to 10 to flower 1 to 10 or whatever, maybe an invisible triangle. It takes a few minutes and I am surprised that there is no guide how to do it already available (from the community). Had Kuju removed them before release, it would have saved their image one taint. I fully acknowledge the abandonment of IGA, but we still have the announcement how prototypically the billboards would be placed, and everyone sees where they are now.

The overhead wire is a sad case where listening to the community did not work out as planned. I am guilty of joining the choir against bent wire in curves. But had we known what we would get, we would have shut up. In objectivity, I hasten to add that I don't like electric traction anyway. The worse am I hit by the monotonous exhaust from steam engines. I saw some boring Lua snippets concerning engine exhaust or similar, and I can only hope that on 12th we will see documentation how to programme useful exhaust. After all the talk about physic coprocessors for particle rendering, the current state is really sad.

In conclusion, I must say that I do hope for the 12th, not because I am in hype mode, but because we need good tools to take this project further. There is quite some foundation there, in my view, but it is a long way to a realistic train simulation. Therefore, I can only hope for tools & docu, and not too much later a patch, to bring back some of the pre-release enthusiasm so people start improving the default content and building new routes.
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Post by fgrsimon »

AndiS wrote:The worse am I hit by the monotonous exhaust from steam engines. I saw some boring Lua snippets concerning engine exhaust or similar, and I can only hope that on 12th we will see documentation how to programme useful exhaust. After all the talk about physic coprocessors for particle rendering, the current state is really sad.
Me too, however I think it's highly unlikely for the 12th. You will be able to change the smoke; the volume, colour, direction etc and remove or add new smoke emitters, however unless I'm very much mistaken, they will still be static emitters i.e. they won't react to the Simulation of the locomotive. More likely is that this will be fixed in the first Patch, I'm keeping my fingers crossed and it was in the first Bug List that the RSD guys came up with.
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Re: Objective criticisms of Railsim

Post by stewart »

Whats wrong with the point levers? They are just as I remember manual point levers to be from my time as a freight guard with BR. Remember they are point levers and not ground frames (there is a difference) and as such they are also placed at the correct angle. Well thats how they did it in my neck of the woods anyway.
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Post by AndiS »

stewart wrote:Whats wrong with the point levers? They are just as I remember manual point levers to be from my time as a freight guard with BR. Remember they are point levers and not ground frames (there is a difference) and as such they are also placed at the correct angle. Well thats how they did it in my neck of the woods anyway.
Then I stand corrected. I never saw locally operated switches which were not a variant of this:
http://www.slovakiaphotos.com/product_i ... s_id=12048
Maybe that is a ground frame then.
I always thought that the weight was compulsory to keep the blades in place.

When searching for an illustrative picture on the web, I found a picture of a lever looking exactly like the one in KRS, although the lever seems to be a bit further away from the rail. I have no idea how the motion of the lever is translated to the motion of the blades, but that's for me to find out then.

To my defence, I may say that in a German forum people found that lever strange/toylike, too. But then again, if you show a lower quadrant signal here, many people will not believe that such a thing existed in real life. :lol:

Re. exhaust and Lua scripting; if the constant exhaust is on the bug list, I was wrong in my (vague) hopes. I have not looked at this list for weeks -- the only thing I know is that it has not been updated (at least not in their forums), which might make one angry, if one would start to think about it, so I rather avoid that.
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