Train Sim World
G6 – Developer Interview
We sit down with TrainSim-Germany to find out more about the upcoming G6 loco for Rhein-Ruhr Osten...
Coming soon to Train Sim World 2, the DB G6 Diesel Shunter is a unique diesel-hydraulic shunter with unconventional dynamic braking. To find out more about this new addition to the sim we spoke to Maik from TrainSim-Germany.
Tell us about TSG.
My name is Maik and I’m the head behind TrainSim-Germany (TSG). I have been working for about 10 years in the train simulation franchise. Most of you may know me as the technical developer of virtualRailroads ‘Expert-Line’ Add-On for Train Simulator. I left virtualRailroads a few years ago with the target of developing for Train Sim World, which is where I created TSG. It was a long process to learn how the Train Sim World environment worked, what I could do with it. I already had my hands on different Train Sim World add-ons as some of you may know. My goal while developing is always to do it different, more precise and more deeply in some technical details.
Why did you pick the G6 to make?
There are multiple answers for that question. The first reason for bringing the G6 to Train Sim World 2 is that I already made it for Train Simulator years ago, and therefor already gathered the needed information and other sources to make it happen. The second reason, especially for Train Sim World 2, was even that with the complex development it involves, a single tiny locomotive would be a good start of making multi-platform content than maybe a huge multiple unit train. The other reason is that I really do like this little modern shunter, the G6 has its own character with its modular boxy shape, plus it isn’t red like all the other modern boxes in Germany.
What makes this locomotive unique?
It is indeed unique compared to lots of other locomotives around in Germany. It is a new modern modular concept with lots of different configurations available. It is almost like a huge locomotive family. The G6 itself is the smallest version of them and brings lots of modern and economical features with it in the real world. In Train Sim World 2, the unique features are primarily the driving controls or the dual mode cruise control. It has a two gear, four converter fluid transmission drive which is the most unique thing in the G6. Most other locomotives with hydraulic braking use a retarder for it. Not so the G6. It has two converters for each direction and respectively uses the opposite pair of converters to brake, when using the hydro-dynamic brake. That implies an inverted and not expected speed related brakeforce output. In short, it brakes harder the slower you get. That makes it challenging. The cruise control lets you hold a pre-selected speed between 3 and 11 kph in the shunting gear, or in the second mode, acts as a typical cruise control where it maintains the actual driven speed when above 11 kph.
What kind of driving experience can players look forward to?
I tried to replicate the characteristics of this locomotive as close as possible. A lot of work went into the simulation side of it in SimuGraph. I would say, it behaves almost like the real one! Especially using the hydro-dynamic brake which is quite a lot of fun but also needs some practice to master. The high and large double-desk cabin gives a nice immersive feeling and a good overview with its nearly all-window cab. Sound wise I have used mostly original recorded sources from a real G6 and that brings the correct audible experience to the player.
Where did you look to for research before building the G6?
This was a lengthy process that started years ago. Back then, we were fortunate enough to have had access to the locomotive. So, we were able to take audio recordings and lots of reference images. The technical research was done by gathering documents and information about how the G6 works from many different sources. It took some time to get the idea about that fluid transmission. So, I wanted to improve the G6 in Train Sim World 2 over Train Simulator, so I did a lot of research on that specific hydraulic drive.
What was the most challenging part while developing the G6?
That was definitely the fluid transmission in combination with the dual-mode cruise control. Bringing this system to life with SimuGraph took a lot of work. I have driven the loco for more than a thousand kilometers on my test track to make sure the fluid transmission behaves in the right way. You can imagine that this took weeks of patience while working it out and testing it. The process of creating the G6 was tough with a lot of trial and error. Myself and the 3D artist for this project, had lots of ‘fun’ making the exterior model to be ready for the livery designer usage. I have enjoyed learning and working with the Train Sim World 2 tools and I’ve already gained a lot of experience.
What kind of Services and scenarios can players expect to get for Rhein-Ruhr Osten?
The G6 is mainly a workhorse for local light shunting duties in freight and passenger yards but also suitable for light freight services along the main lines and branches. It is also used often within bigger industries with their distinct siding tracks. In Train Sim World 2 the services and scenarios are spread into shunting and mainline work. You will do wagon sorting jobs as well as rescuing trains or delivering wagons to specific stations and sidings. I wanted to make sure that we had a variety of gameplay that included shunting, some main line work and a special service. The same counts for the service mode timetable on the route, it provides a mixture of different duties over the day with a quite special service included.
Any tips for players on driving the G6 for the first time?
Be patient when driving it. Those six levers are no rudders. It needs a good portion of predictive driving style, especially when using the hydro-dynamic brake on heavier trains. The brake needs some practice to master due its unconventional behavior. The pneumatic train brake is also not conventional or precise as you expect. Play the tutorial first. And always wear your hard hat when working outside the G6. Safety first.
Stay up to date with the DB G6 Diesel Shunter and everything Train Sim World 2 by following @TrainSimWorld on Twitter and Facebook.
Train Sim World
G6 – Developer Interview