Train Sim World
TRAIN SIM WORLD 2 ROADMAP 3 MAY 2022
This month’s Roadmap is a bit of a monster, providing updates on (and some screenshots for!) Spirit of Steam, Bakerloo timetable improvements, the DB BR 187, and Creator’s Club logo decals. We also feature updates on some meatier subjects, such as our Save Game, Xbox Audio, Console Betas, and Red-Light Issues.
As ever, we’ll be live from 19:00 UTC tonight (May 3rd) to discuss the contents of this Roadmap, as well as any other hot topics within the community. Join us on Twitch, YouTube, or Facebook.
What’s changed this month?
Whilst we focus on fine-tuning Spirit of Steam and core game improvements, we’ve added a new U.S. route to our Roadmap. Full details will come in future articles, as it is in very early stages of development – the German route announced last month is also in its early stages, so we have not provided additional information at this stage. We’ve also added a new entry to the Preservation Crew’s list – Bakerloo Timetable improvements – which you can find out more about below.
As we mentioned in last month’s Roadmap stream - after Spirit of Steam has been released, we want to take some time to review the high-profile issues we’ve seen reported by the community (some of which are discussed below), and release the remaining Preservation Crew updates - so the Roadmap for the next couple of months is unlikely to move significantly in terms of Dovetail Games releases.
Spirit of Steam
Spirit of Steam is progressing nicely, and we wanted to share some screenshots with you. As well as an exclusive teaser video!
But first, a quick word from Train Sim World 2’s Executive Producer, Matt Peddlesden:
"Work continues on the Steam locomotives, with much of the effort now continuing to refine the steam physics simulation itself along with particles and audio. I'm happy to report the route is now looking fantastic and it's really quite something navigating through Edge Hill yard or crossing the viaduct into Runcorn! The team are still extremely busy with the last stages of development and it's coming together nicely."
Capturing the feel of the bygone era of steam extends beyond the detailed locos and rolling stock. The team has put many hours into recreating some of the most aesthetically pleasing period railway buildings and architecture, as you can see it feels like taking a step back in time.
Much of your time will be spent at the helm of these wonderful locomotives, as such modelling the details and features of the cab had to be flawless. This highly detailed and feature-rich environment is so true to the real thing it's even got the driver's flask, gradually warming over the firebox.
Recreating the route as it was in 1958 introduces steam locomotives in their twilight years. Dirty and weathered Locos are synonymous with this era, so we were keen to make this a focal point when adding the finishing touches to each loco. A polite nod to the sad decline of British steam.
At full steam, this Jubilee thunders past some of the many signals and signal gantries you will encounter along the route. With an interesting mix of colour light and traditional semaphore signals, the signalling team worked tirelessly to recreate this era of gradually adapting signalling methods. Find out more about the routes signalling here!
[Disclaimer: as the images say, these are all work in progress, and development continues]
To refresh your memories, here are some of developer interviews we’ve done so far on the Steam project, as it’s been a long time in the making.
We are hoping, over the coming weeks, to provide you some more details in live streams and articles on the process of adapting Audio and Simugraph for Steam. We'll be discussing Steam Particles and showing you a short clip of Steam in action in tonight’s live stream – so keep your eyes peeled, and make sure you dont miss tonights stream!
Creators Club Logo Decals
We promised you an update on logo decals due to be added to Creators Club in the future. Here is our current list of approved logos, which we’re aiming to release soon. As ever, we’re continuing to work with our Licensed Partners to unlock future opportunities, so there may be more added at a later date. We’ll also be sneaking in a Train Sim World 2 logo as well for you to rep your favourite train simulator on your liveries.
- Avanti West Coast
- GOVIA - Thameslink
- Network West Midlands
- NRM - Flying Scotsman
- NRM - GWR
- RhB - Rhatissche Bahn
- TFL - TFL
- TFL - Underground
- TFL - Overground
- TFL - Southern
- UP - Union Pacific
- UP - Building America
- VTG Rail
- West Midlands RailwayDB BR 187
Now that Horseshoe Curve, and last week’s post-release patch have been released, the Skyhook Games team have been continuing their work improving the BR 187, based on your feedback.
Their initial focus is safety systems – primarily their functionality and audio – with a view to addressing audio, which is proving a more complicated improvement, further down the line.
These improvements need to be tested and put into an update, so as of yet we have no dates, but work is ongoing!
Bakerloo timetable improvements
Preservation Crew updates continue to be worked on, with our next batch of releases set to hit around the time Spirit of Steam releases.
Excitingly though, we’re adding a new entry into the Roadmap: the long-awaited Bakerloo timetable improvements. We previously stated that we needed 4 improvements within our current toolset in order to make this a reality. Whilst at this point only 3 of those have been completed, the team have managed to identify a way to improve the timetable without this final piece of the jigsaw. These improvements are now ready for testing.
We will provide more information at a later date, but you can expect over 600 playable services to be added to a new timetable for the route.
We wanted to take some time to talk about the long-standing issue with the Train Sim World 2 Save Game, where in some instances players are unable to proceed with routes after saving their game. We’ll speak about this in tonight’s live stream, but here is a quick summary of the problem(s), and the challenges we face in improving it. It is important to note that, whilst we don’t have any answers for you at this stage, it is something we are actively investigating.
First up, let’s set the scene. Rather than being a singular issue, "Save Game Doesn't Work" turns out to be a potential multitude of different things. Fundamentally, when you save your game, the goal is that all elements of the game state are saved – such as where all the trains are, where they're going, how fast, what state all the controls are in on the player locomotive, and so forth.
What has been happening instead is that there is an issue with the Save/Restore process for the dispatcher, where trains that restore after you’ve saved mid-service are managing to come up with different priorities, different paths and so forth. This can result in situations no longer working (e.g. the train behind somehow getting a path ahead of the train in front – and you’re now unable to complete said service).
We’ve been investigating for a while the extent of the problem. Initial reviews have found that most of the Train Sim World 2 locos tend to restore without issue. Some will load in with one or two issues that manifest rather more significantly. Fixing this has a range of solutions needed: at the easy end of the spectrum it can be as straightforward as ticking a box to mark something for ‘save data’, but at the other, we will need to redo scripting to make the game cope with resuming part-way through, and these have many knock-on effects for other content which is currently working as intended.
The nature of these more complex, risky fixes (especially involving the Dispatcher) that touch all areas of the game is going to involve core changes to resolve. There are then per-locomotive changes to resolve any Save/Restore issues on a case-by-case basis (such as solving the issues involved with Horseshoe Curve’s Save Game last week, which was a relatively trivial improvement by comparison). Beyond that, there's then going to need to be more investigation in scenarios to ensure that they are persisting all their data correctly, but we haven't fully tested that side of things yet.
That hopefully provides more context as to the extent of the issue. Initial investigation is underway, but this is by no means a simple fix/fixes, and at this stage we cannot commit to large-scale improvements.
As part of our ongoing drive to improve the quality of our releases, we are delighted to report that we now have around 20 Xbox players who are now running a version of the core game that will launch when the Steam release goes out, featuring improvements that touch all routes, and are doing this across a variety of different Xbox devices. We do this to try to mop up any potential issues we may see as these changes interact with other routes.
Getting beta testers introduced has worked well and we're getting great feedback – so here’s a big thank you to everyone who volunteered and is participating. As we settle this down and refine the process, we'll begin looking at how we can start testing future Add-ons as well, but this is a big step forward already. When we’re looking for more volunteers to help, we will let you know.
We have no progress to report yet on PlayStation beta access. We're going to finish the process of getting everything working on Xbox first, and then start looking at PlayStation. We'll let you know when there is news on that front.
PS5 DLC Limit
Work continues with this complex issue. The system we have been building (which has been given the green light by Sony) provides ‘mounted’ Add-ons in the game’s backend, meaning that, in any one game session, players will only access the content they have chosen to play/mount.
By way of a progress update, we’ve built the route and loco selection side of the tool, as well as Livery Editor – with the final pieces of the jigsaw, Scenario Planner and Creators Club, being worked on now. These then need to be tested thoroughly before release – we expect testing to start this month.
We appreciate your patience as we’ve worked with Sony and built this functionality. There were quick fixes that we could have been implemented, but this is a longer-term solution for our PS5 players designed to provide an improvement that doesn’t impact your game experience, rather than kicking the problem down the road, or having to select yourself which content you’d want to activate each time you play.
It’s important to note that this new system will be implemented across all platforms, so we expect this to not be an issue for any future platforms.
Work continues on rebuilding a new Xbox Audio engine – which is the required fix to improving the ‘jackhammer’ sound issue. The good news is that we are hoping to test a first prototype build of this any day now.
The testing will confirm whether this approach resolves the issue, but, to be clear – this doesn’t mean that a resulting fix will be imminent.
Once we have the prototype, and have proved the issue is resolved, we can then start doing performance testing on it – in order to verify if it's going to stress the already tight memory conditions on Xbox, and if so, start to look at what our options are for resolving that.
Finally, we'll by this time have an understanding of what's involved to reflect the changes to the wider catalogue of Train Sim World 2, and then we'll be in a position to estimate a release date – before that time though, we will come back to you all with updates as we test the prototype. It'll be a huge milestone just to confirm that it does indeed fix the issue, and we will then be on to the tedious (but very important) practical issues around making it available.
Dispatcher / Red-Light Issues
We launched an update earlier this month, specifically targeting issues players were experiencing on the Harlem Line. Whilst it fixed some services, it’s become clear that some services are still incompletable, especially those approaching Grand Central Terminal.
We will be continuing to work through these, to release as future patches.
Thank you for all your feedback on further red-light issues – as we know there are similar issues, particularly on Rush Hour routes. We are investigating the options available to us – whether we approach on a route-by-route basis, or if there is a wider core dispatcher issue we can work on to improve this across multiple routes simultaneously.
We’ve opened up a form on forum thread for you to submit any similar issues you’ve experienced, so we can understand the extent of the issue, and better isolate the problem(s). Thanks for your help.
Returning Liveries - Xbox
We have a fix in the works for those Xbox players who lost access to their created liveries and scenarios in Creators Club last month. This is going through testing now, and we anticipate, all being well, it will go live alongside other Core updates when Spirit of Steam launches.
Work continues, and we hope to spend some time after Spirit of Steam releases focusing on improvements to performance, particularly on Rush Hour routes. You’ll note that Rush Hour Passengers on London Commuter has been on the Roadmap for some time, and this is because we want to improve the current performance on the route before putting additional strain on your game.
These are forthcoming add-ons that are being developed by Dovetail Games. Where details are still being finalised for a release we are including the ID code for it when possible. This will give you a good idea of what to expect. To see what these ID codes mean you can refer to this post
- [GAA-R5 01] Spirit of Steam: Liverpool Lime Street - Crewe with LMS Jubilee Class & LMS Stanier Class 8F
- German Route
- [NEW] US Route
These are forthcoming add-ons that are being developed by teams outside Dovetail Games. Where details are still being finalised for a release, we are including the ID code for it when possible. This will give you a good idea of what to expect. To see what these ID codes mean you can refer to this post
- [DBB-L5 01] DB BR 420 Electric Multiple Unit (Hauptstrecke München-Augsburg) - Developed by TSG
Core features are larger projects. These may be significant new pieces of functionality or changes that will affect players on one or several different platforms. Often requiring more time in development this list may move more slowly than others.
- Approved licenced brand decals for the Livery Designer
- PlayStation 5 add-on limit fix
- PlayStation 4 - PlayStation 5 profile transfer
Projects that players will notice but don’t fall into one of the other categories.
- Dovetail Live rewards
- Rush Hour passenger system for London Commuter
- Red Light / Dispatcher improvements across multiple routes (starting with Rush Hour routes and Harlem Line)
Projects that are being tackled by the Preservation Crew. Many of these upgrades will simply be adding the latest game functionality to an older route. The additions or changes in the “upgrade” will include some or all of the following: station departure boards, animated crossings, platform climb-up functionality, improved track rendering, Rush Hour passenger density and appearance, support for RailDriver, contact signaller functionality, minor fixes to scenery, minor fixes to audio, minor fixes to gameplay, minor fixes to menu items, Livery Designer compatibility and Scenario Planner expansion.
This month, we have included a ‘scale’ of the size of the work/features put into the update, but we’ll go into more detail about what will be included in each of these releases in tonight’s stream.
- [Medium] Hauptstrecke Rhein-Ruhr
- [Large] Ruhr-Sieg Nord
- [Large] Great Western Express
- [Medium] Rapid Transit
- [Medium] Northern Trans-Pennine
- [Tiny] Scottish Commuter
- [Tiny] Hauptstrecke Hamburg-Lübeck
- [Medium] Rhein-Ruhr Osten
- [Tiny] West Somerset Railway
- [Small] [NEW] 2022 Bakerloo timetable (600+services)
- [Small] Long Island Rail Road
- [Huge] Peninsula Corridor
- [Huge] Oakville Subdivision
- [Tiny] LGV Mediterrannée
Items that have been removed from the Roadmap. This is either because they have been completed, their status having changed or the project having been suspended.
- [NDD-R7 03] Horseshoe Curve: Altoona - Johnstown & South Fork with ES44AC & GP38-2 - Developed by Skyhook Games - [COMPLETE]
Thanks for keeping with us on all that! Hope you found it an insightful read. Please join us tonight on Twitch or YouTube (Tuesday 3rd May), where we’ll discuss the above (and more!) with Matt, JD, and Adam from 19:00 UTC.
You can discuss the contents of this month’s Roadmap on our forums below.
Train Sim World
TRAIN SIM WORLD 2 ROADMAP 3 MAY 2022