Train Sim World

TRAIN SIM WORLD 2 ROADMAP 7 JUNE 2022

It’s certainly been an exciting couple of weeks around here, with the release of our first ever Steam route for Train Sim World 2. We’ve learnt a lot over the long development of the route, and we’re glad that you’re enjoying your first experiences. We’ve certainly enjoyed your feedback and excitement!
We’re moving into a period of improvements – with our Content teams supporting Preservation Crew updates, post-release patches, and improvement of route experience, whilst our Engineering teams deal with the more knotty issues of core improvements to the game (PS5 Add-ons limit, Xbox ‘Jackhammer’ issue, out-of-memory crashes), so you might not see a lot of new stuff added to the Roadmap in the next couple of months whilst we work on these. There is some background work going on with the unnamed routes, but we want the focus to be on getting these bits out of the door safely first.
Having said that, we have got a couple of new things to add this month...
What’s changed this month?
This month, we can see a new third-party entry to the Roadmap, with a new UK loco from Rivet Games making its first appearance. We’ll have more details on it in separate articles in the future, but it’s important to note straight out of the gate that it is not a Steam locomotive. We also don’t have any more information for you on the German and US routes (they are also not Steam routes), as they remain in early stages whilst we work on some of the projects we talk about below.
We added a new Bakerloo timetable to the Roadmap in May, and Hauptstrecke Hamburg-Lübeck will be getting the same treatment. Read on to find out more below in an update from Joe.
Spirit of Steam: Liverpool Lime Street – Crewe has been released, and we’ve added in the ‘manual fireman’ option into the Core fixes section. Post-release improvements are detailed in the Spirit of Steam section below. The Preservation Crew updates for Hauptstrecke Rhein-Ruhr, Ruhr Sieg-Nord, and Rapid Transit have all been released, and can be found on this (rather large) update notes article here.
Spirit of Steam – what’s next?
Thank you to everyone who has been enjoying and sending us feedback for the Spirit of Steam update. If you haven’t already, please provide us with a review, as it helps prospective players understand more about the content before they purchase, and gives us useful feedback to take on. We’re really proud of the end result, and hopefully this is just the start of our Steam adventures!
At present, we don’t have new Steam content on the Roadmap – we'll be spending the upcoming weeks refining the experience on Liverpool Lime Street – Crewe, and building out the manual fireman functionality. We’ve seen a lot of requests for new layers and substitutions – we recommend using the full functionality of Off the Rails mode (i.e. taking the 8F or Jubilee and playing them on any route you like!), and the amazing work some players are doing with scenarios and liveries on Creators Club, to build out that Steam experience.
You can expect the first set of post-release improvements later this week, including track joint sounds, Scenario Planner functionality for 8Fs with Mk 1 coaches, and changing Auto-Fireman to the default option for console players. If you are currently struggling with anything Spirit of Steam related, please head to our Megathread, where there are loads of great resources and information, with workarounds for some common issues.
Longer-term, we’ll be investigating the manual fireman operation with a view to adding it further down the line, as well as the loco physics (particularly when braking at low speeds), and other improvements based on your feedback. Stay tuned!

Preservation Crew update

Last week, we saw the much-anticipated Preservation Crew releases for Hauptstrecke Rhein-Ruhr, Ruhr-Sieg Nord, and Rapid Transit, in a veritable German sandwich of deliciousness. Great Western Express will follow soon, with more Preserved updates to come in the near future (please see the list in the Roadmap at the bottom of the article for a projected order).
We will review feedback from last week’s release, and have some improvements planned for this week.
We added a new describer into our Roadmap, which detailed the ‘size’ of the updates for each of the projects being worked on, ranging from [Tiny], to [Huge] – giving an indication of the amount of work put into each to bring new features in and fix issues. We will aim to provide more indication within the Roadmap articles and streams as to the expected improvements we’re testing.
We checked in on the status of Great Western Express, a ‘Large’ update which is next on our list, and Northern Trans-Pennine, a ‘Medium’ update which follows after, to see what features you can expect. This will hopefully provide more context to the sizings for future Roadmaps, too.
GREAT WESTERN EXPRESS [LARGE UPDATE]
Here are the current improvement focuses we’re testing for different areas of the route.
Note: if an improvement does not pass our testing process, we will omit it from the published changelog list upon release, and, depending on the scale of the fix, include it in a future update.
  • Improved audio experience of locos
  • Improved route environment (track rendering, sky visuals, shipping containers, static stock, platform departure boards and off-route destinations)
  • Improved loco experience (Class 166 DMU acceleration physics and adding functional displays, interior lighting, strictness of stopping accuracy, Rail Driver functionality)
  • Rush Hour passengers
  • Route diversity (two new cement services, Greenford Branch services between Paddington and West Ealing for 8th-Generation platforms)
  • Route improvements based on player feedback (resolving ‘wrong side’ station loading issues, adding platform climb-up for all stations, other tweaks and fixes)
New cement services on the route
The new PIS system at stations
PIS in the passenger carriages
PIS at Paddington
NORTHERN TRANS-PENNINE [MEDIUM UPDATE]
Here are the current improvement focuses we’re testing for different areas of the route.
Note: if an improvement does not pass our testing process, we will omit it from the published changelog list upon release, and, depending on the scale of the fix, include it in a future update.
Note: the new liveries shown in the screenshots for the Class 47 will be available from Creators Club shortly after release (they are not provided with the update).
  • Improved route environment (sky visuals, track rendering, adding platform departure boards)
  • Improved route functionality (Adding platform climb-up for all stations, adding animated level crossings)
  • Rush Hour passengers
  • Improved customisation (adding Livery Designer Support to the Class 47/4)
Animated level crossings
Livery Designer Support for the Class 47/4
We will continue to release these updates over the coming months.

Dev Deep Dive: New timetables

One of May’s Roadmaps exciting additions was the news that a new Bakerloo timetable would be coming, containing 600+ new services. This month, Hauptstrecke Hamburg – Lübeck has been added, and will get similar treatment. We grabbed our timetables maestro, Joe, to explain more (and share us some WIP shots of the timetables in action!).
Timetables are what trains run to every day, typically covering all passenger services from early morning until late at night. While it might seem to passengers that routes such as the Bakerloo Line are just constant trains with no rhythm or patterns, there is in fact a carefully structured method to how they operate throughout the day. A timetable considers journey, station stop and turnaround times, train availability and mileage, staffing/shift patterns.
We normally try to update the existing timetable. With that, it's important to investigate what state it's in before making changes, to see what would need to be done. But with Bakerloo, I decided it was best to start fresh using a newer working timetable (2021). I started working on timetables after the original was created, so I made sure to learn about the problems experienced during the original development and learn how to overcome them.
The new Bakerloo Line timetable has over 600 services, offering the realistic Underground experience, trains run every few minutes between Elephant & Castle and Queens Park, with 8tph continuing to Stonebridge Park then 4tph on towards Harrow & Wealdstone. Seeing trains constantly arrive and depart at Elephant & Castle is one of my favourite things, as is how much more challenging it is; it's not uncommon to be running tight to schedule in the peak period, and come across red signals in the tunnels, which require lots of vigilance to not overrun and stay on time. I also added a railtour using the 1938 Stock in its preserved 4-car formation, which gets to do some unique things. There may or may not be some surprises that await for those that own other UK Add-ons!
Bakerloo’s approach was the complete opposite to Hamburg-Lübeck’s, which is the route I started making timetables on. A lot of its development time was spent on learning the tools and as a result, it’s a little quiet around the Hamburg Hbf area and I wasn’t happy with it. So, I decided to carry on adding to the route in my own time, and fix some little gripes with the original services, it now looks unrecognisable in comparison! Hamburg Hbf has been filled with AI, and there's even a few more playable services to enjoy.

Team spotlight: Lukas

A new feature to this month’s Roadmap, we’ll be introducing you to a member of the team and find out a little bit about them. This month, we have Lukas, our new Senior Technical Producer, who joined last month.
1) Tell us a little bit about yourself.
I´m a half-serious train fan from Germany, born and raised in Frankfurt and partly Berchtesgaden. I have always wanted to edit the games I played and that led to me starting to learn 3D and Programming at a young age. Thank you very much to my roommate from boarding school in Berchtesgaden for mentoring me! The weirdest thing is that I actually do not enjoy travelling the world, which is maybe why I started to instead explore it in simulators. This led me to MSTS, Train Simulator, and Trainz. Over time the only one that really stuck was Train Simulator which quickly got me into the professional scene, given that 3D Artists where in high demand. And now I am here!
2) What is your favourite loco (in TSW2 or otherwise)?
Being biased by my local trains, I think it is still the BR420. Trains still had style back then! I really liked the TS version, and I am looking forward to the TSW version.
3) What work have you previously done on TSW2 that players would recognise?
My first major project for TSW was Track, Signalling and part of the scenery for Dresden – Riesa. I have introduced Track IR with the help of the Engineering Team and constantly try to improve the game by adding new tools, like the possibility to use laser-scanned terrain as a base for our routes. But in TS Classic you can also find my work in routes like S-Bahn Frankfurt.
4) What will your role entail within Dovetail?
My main goal is to further improve the quality of German content, making sure routes “feel” more German. So that now all departments have a German contact point that can answer their questions. But I will also continue to lay track and signal all the future German content, keeping the technical standard as high as possible. Oh… and try to get a Frankfurt route made!
5) What's the thing you're proudest of working on in TSW2?
I am very proud of the progress I made with our new terrain technology, but what fills me joy is working on my own little side project, which I do hope to release at some point.
Lukas will be joining us on the stream tonight to say hello, so pop along to welcome him to the team!

Xbox ‘Jackhammer Audio’ update

We have begun testing with a new approach to solving the Xbox Audio issue – it is so far yielding positive results. It changes how the audio is encoded for the Xbox releases and then how the game loads and manages it, which is an improvement on having to rebuild the entire audio engine of the game.
It’s too early to say categorically this is ‘the’ fix, so we’ll keep you updated on progress as we go.

PS5 Add-ons limit/Add-ons Manager

We are now in a position that we have the first builds of what we’re calling the ‘Add-ons Manager’, which will pre-load routes and locos to your game based on the content you choose to play (and nothing else). These will then be tested and sent to our beta communities to try out. If all goes well, it means we can then bring it into the live game.
A positive by-product of this is that by reducing the amount of content ‘mounted’ to your game each session, we predict there to be less memory usage, in turn reducing the chances of you getting an ‘Out of Memory’ crash. It’s still a hypothesis at this point, but we’re optimstic it will help in some way – and as this is a solution that covers all platforms, everyone will see a benefit.
This stage of testing represents a good milestone in the development process. We’ll continue to update as work proceeds, but it’s great to see it get to this point.

Community improvements

A short update on other areas of improvement we’re currently investigating.
Save Game
This is still in the ‘investigation’ phase. We have a member of the team dedicated to reproducing and attempting to diagnose issues reported by players with save game functionality. Similarly to the PS5 DLC limit issue, we are trying to do this as en masse, rather than a route-by-route basis.
Once we know the source of the issue, it would be built into development plans for future Add-ons, and then we’d have to identify the scope of work required to improve issues with older content.
If we aren’t able to identify the source of the issue, we will likely review issues on a case-by-case basis (which will take significantly longer).
Crashes on Rush Hour routes (and others)
The current solution for the PS5 Add-ons limit we hope to significantly reduce memory use within Train Sim World 2 (as you will have fewer Add-ons loaded each time you play), meaning a reduction of Out of Memory crashes. We will test with our beta communities first, and monitor after release its impact.
Red Light Issues
These continue to be reviewed on a case-by-case basis (the most recent patch was able to fix a couple of Harlem issues reported by players).
We’re investigating potential updates to the core dispatcher as a longer-term solution to these issues.
Achievements (Xbox)
We are aware of a couple of achievements currently not unlocking on Xbox (DB BR 187, ‘A Long First Trip’, and DB BR 143 ‘Dresden Commuter’), as well as two on the new Spirit of Steam route. These are actively being looked into.
For other Achievements, it is worth bearing in mind that miles driven during training modules, or whilst speeding, is not counted towards an achievement being unlocked.

Roadmap 

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
  • German Route 
  • 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
  • [NEW] UK loco – developed by Rivet Games
  • [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 
  • [NEW] Spirit of Steam manual fireman functionality
  • 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.  
  • [Large] Great Western Express
  • [Medium] Northern Trans-Pennine
  • [Tiny] West Somerset Railway
  • [Tiny] Scottish Commuter
  • [Small] Hauptstrecke Hamburg-Lübeck [NEW: including timetable update]
  • [Medium] Rhein-Ruhr Osten
  • [Small] 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. 
  • [GAA-R5 01] Spirit of Steam: Liverpool Lime Street - Crewe with LMS Jubilee Class & LMS Stanier Class 8F – released
  • Preservation Crew update – [Medium] Rapid Transit - released
  • Preservation Crew update – [Medium] Hauptstrecke Rhein-Ruhr - released
  • Preservation Crew update – [Large] Ruhr-Sieg Nord - released
Thanks for keeping with us on all that! Hope you found it an insightful read. Please join us tonight on Twitch or YouTube (Tuesday 7th June), where we’ll discuss the above (and more!) with Matt, JD, Adam, (and Lukas!) from 19:00 UTC. 
You can discuss the contents of this month’s Roadmap on our forums below.
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Train Sim World
7 Jun
TRAIN SIM WORLD 2 ROADMAP 7 JUNE 2022