Train Sim World – Roadmap Update – 6th June 2023
TL;DR (too long; didn’t read) summary
A quick summary for those who don’t want to go through the whole article. There are more details on all these points within the Roadmap.
* The Thameslink Class 700/0 is coming on Tuesday, July 11th! * New US Gameplay and Livery
We’ve added a new US Gameplay and Livery Pack to the Roadmap, developed by Skyhook Games
* HST Livery Designer & GWE patch
HST Livery Designer and Great Western Express patch launched today * Midland Main Line & Linke Rheinstrecke Updates
Updates for Midland Main Line and Linke Rheinstrecke are also launching this week
* Niddertalbahn Patch coming later this July
* Inside Development - Build Processes
We talk about our build process within ‘Inside Development’ this month
Happy Independence Day to all our American players! slurps tea But before you get into your parades, barbecues, and fireworks displays, it’s time for the July Roadmap.
Getting top billing this month is the Thameslink Class 700/0, which we can now reveal will release on Tuesday, July 11th!
We get an update from James, with a first look at it in action. We’re previewing it this Thursday from 18:00 UTC – so put that in your diaries.
Also this month – and a happy coincidence completely planned initiative around releasing a Roadmap on Fourth of July, we have a new American gameplay and livery pack, developed by Skyhook Games added to the Roadmap. More details to come soon.
Bundle in some patch updates – the first of which includes the long-awaited HST Livery Designer functionality, Midland Main Line improvements, and Linke Rheinstrecke BR 103 brakes improvements, - launched earlier today ( https://forums.dovetailgames.com/threads/update-notes-july-4th.71272/) , and an Inside Development focusing on our build process (it’s an interesting one as ever!), and we’ve got a lot to talk about.
It’s a shorter Roadmap this time around (we’re sure you’ll all be delighted to hear), as we continue work on stuff behind the scenes. We’ll of course be streaming later from 18:00 UTC, and you can ask your questions in this thread [http://https://forums.dovetailgames.com/threads/july-roadmap-q-a-thread.71255/]
for us to pick up in our Q&A section!
Beta program applications
We are pleased to confirm we’ve approached 25 of our applicants for the beta forum earlier this week. Please check the email you supplied with your application if you haven’t already!
Thank you to everyone who took the time to apply – we had over 300 applicants, and tried to cover a breadth of platforms, interests, and locations in order to get as wide a spread of feedback as we could.
For those who applied and haven’t yet had a response, we will of course keep your application on record for any future expansions of the beta program.
Thameslink Class 700/0
Last month, we asked James to give us an update on the Class 700, and he went ham on it. This time around, we have a release date for you, pricing information, sounds, and a teaser video sharing what you can expect.
James: "That’s right it’s me, back at it again with Class 700 news, and let’s kick things off with the most important update of the day, everyone’s favourite Desiro City is coming to Train Sim World 3 on July 11th!"
"The Thameslink BR Class 700/0 will be available on all platforms, for £12.99/ €15.99/ $16.99, and we will also have bundle options available to pick up the ultimate Kent High Speed experience!"
"As the countdown begins for more commuter action in the Medway Towns, I also have another little gift up my sleeve for you all, foster your foresight into the inner workings of the Class 700 with the manual! Be prepared for July 11th by familiarising yourself with the cab controls, procedures and included gameplay."
Download the manual!
"To get a glimpse of the 700 in action, we will have a RailfanTV preview stream in 2 days' time, July 6th at 1800 UTC, where Matt, JD and yours truly will showcase the all-new unit. If you just cannot wait that long though, never fear, as we also have a walkaround video which we can share with you today. See the Class 700 in action, including its dual-voltage capabilities"
"With the Class 700 releasing in a week’s time, the unit is essentially feature, physics and sounds complete – the Desiro City’s are certainly interesting to drive, much like the Class 395 the difference between AC and DC acceleration is noticeable, but what is a common factor throughout are the brakes. They, have, oomph; the fastest I’ve personally approached a station so far is close to 50mph, and I still made the stop! So while being daring is not a recommended driving practice, it’s certainly good fun to put the 700 through its paces in various conditions."
"For the sounds, a mix of sources have been vital to our efforts, including files from the detailed Armstrong Powerhouse soundset. The distinctive DC traction motors are my favourite, with an extra twist compared to older UK Desiros, the motor phase sound change happens at 28mph rather than 20, which makes it a handy notifier for your speed approaching the limit through the dense Medway towns!"
"The Class 700 will complete the passenger experience on Southeastern Highspeed, bringing an additional 80+ services and a bumper-pack of 7 scenarios. Being a familiar sight to thousands every day, including many of us here at DTG, it’s been a labour of love – the seats might be a bit stiff, they might just be a way of getting from A to B, but they’re solid, effective, and plain old good fun!"
Thanks, James! We have some additional things worth mentioning, which we’ll discuss more on the preview stream on Thursday.
During the testing window, we’ve identified some difficulties with performance on certain consoles (specifically Xbox Series S) with all the new services being added to Southeastern High Speed.
As a result, we will be providing a full timetable, and a smaller, less memory-demanding timetable, which will mainly remove some static stock and less-visible AI services.
Players will have the smaller timetable by default in Journey Mode, and the option to try the more memory-intensive timetable in the services menu!
And finally, by way of an update, we’ve not been able to put the Thameslink Stop Markers we mentioned in last month’s Roadmap
into the launch release for the Class 700, but they are firmly in our sights for an update further down the line.
The Preview is at 18:00 UTC this Thursday (6th July), so set your alarms and join us! Find the Q&A thread in our forums!.
Work is continuing on the German loco. No further news at this stage.
NEC: New York – Trenton: Updated timetable
We’re continuing work on the improved New York-Trenton timetable. By way of a status update, we’re waiting for a Core Dispatcher improvement in order to complete development on the timetable.
It then needs to be tested and iterated on, so it’s a little while off yet. To check out a description of what we’re aiming towards for improvements, check out May's
Train Sim World 3 core improvements and content patches
A progress summary on the core improvements the teams are working on. After bringing out a large patch at the start of the month, and an improved SEHS timetable a couple of weeks ago, work continues on other areas. If an item isn’t listed, it’s because there aren’t any new updates to share.
As a general note, the core improvement to resolve issues with last week’s update (21st June) has hampered progress on getting some of this content out, and we apologise for the continued wait.
HST Livery Designer Compatibility
This has been released in a patch today! Please read the Patch Notes section for more details!.
Missing Peninsula Corridor and Oakville Corridor Baby Bullet services
Fix is in the queue to be tested.
TSW2 Preservation Crew releases
Nothing further on this one from last month.
Here’s a quick summary of the contents of the patches released in the past month you may have missed.
June 7th – Midland Main Line, Linke Rheinstrecke, Bremen-Oldenburg, Rivet content, and more!**
* Various Midland Main Line improvements
* Linke Rheinstrecke route improvements
* Bremen-Oldenburg various improvements
* Turned down safety valves on Peak Forest’s LMS 4F to match Jubilee and 8F * Various improvements to Rivet Games content
Isle of Wight: Ryde-Shanklin, West Cornwall Local, BR 204, Arosalinie, Luzern-Sursee, 1938 Tube Stock
June 20th – Improving Southeastern High Speed’s timetable**
* Adding and amending many services to SEHS
* Adding new paths for use in Scenario Planner
* Other minor improvements
June 29th – follow-up from June 20th update**
* Fixed an issue whereby players were spawning in random locations on certain services.
Upcoming July Patches:
Note: these are currently our plans, but can change based on content releases.
Released earlier today - full list available here:
Releaded Today, July 4th
Midland Main Line Patch #2
* TPWS should now only activate when matching train direction – notably around Mountsorrel and Nottingham C-Line
* Train should not automatically brake as you pass the entry line turnout on the Down Fast Line
* Driving 1C20 past Mountsorrel with a green signal should not activate TPWS * ‘Can’t Make Your Mind Up’ scenario should now be completable * Poster at Leicester station should now be accessible
* Updated PIS at stations to correctly display operating services * Updated PIS font on Class 158
* Tail Lamps should now be present on the rear of all ROG 37 or freight services (note: Rail Head Treatment Trains have not had this applied.)
Linke Rheinstrecke update #2
* DB BR 103 braking improvements
* Mode indicators should now display 500Hz restrictive mode properly * PZB indicators should now remain active after resuming a Save Game * Improved lighting at Mainz Station to remove black scenery items * Fixed flooded terrain
HST Livery Designer Functionality and GWE tweaks
* HST coaches and power car will be available for use in Livery Designer * Added correct HST numbering and lettering to coaches
* Minor footstep audio tweaks
* Disabled substitution of HST and Class 66 in scenarios. This prevents random errors that cause some scenarios to not be completable.
Planned for later this month:
Niddertalbahn post-release patch
* Improved wheel motion blur
* Sharpening of some scenery
* Added magnetic brake functionality to BR 628
* Audio improvements to BR 628 (PZB, SIFA, low horn, interior horn volume, air brake release)
* Fixed tail-lights not switching on for AI services after changing direction
* PIS should now display a destination after a Save Game reload
* And more!
* Tutorial fixes for Nahverkehr Dresden, Bakerloo Line, and Hamburg-Lübeck
* Remaining ‘spawn on foot’ issues for Southeastern High Speed
Other updates without a current release date (no particular order):
* Glossop Line post-release improvements
* Peninsula Corridor fix for missing Baby Bullet Services
* TSW2 Preservation Crew updates
Third-Party developer (Partner Programme) update
Updates from some of our Partner Programme developers. This month, we have an update from Adam at Skyhook Games after Midland Main Line’s release, and from the team at Just Trains.
Midland Main Line
Following our latest update to address player feedback we have continued to monitor things and prepared more improvements for the route. We have completed updates to the Class 158, High Speed Train, Scenarios, Timetable, Signalling, Safety and Passenger Information Systems. With the help of DTG we hope to have these improvements rolled out to players as soon as possible.
USA Scenario and Livery Pack
Work progresses towards completion for this locomotive line up. We are currently finalising gameplay development and moving into the localisation and testing phase.
Another month, another detailed update! Alex from the Just Trains team gives you an update on what they’re working on. And some more teasing pictures!
Summer has arrived and it’s the perfect time to go on your holidays and this is just the kind of thing that you will be able to do virtually in the upcoming Just Trains Train Sim World route whether it’s wet or dry. Do you want to head towards the coast or visit a city to see the sights? It’s been a bit of a roller coaster ride, but the Just Trains Team are making fantastic progress having completed 38 miles leaving only 10 miles left to detail.
All the large stations are completed, and work continues on the less grand examples, we even have one that is depicted in a state of disrepair. It looks absolutely amazing and is explorable!
The track side scenery looks fantastic, really immersive. Looking at some of the screenshots you need to take a second hard look to confirm its virtual and not real! We have started on placing the Over Head Line Equipment (OHLE).
The other assets that the route requires are all coming along very nicely and really add to the atmosphere although the real-world use of some distinctive sites near the track are unclear. Our rail vehicle is looking hellfire and is currently having its Simugraph (dynamics/animations) and sounds created for it. At this advanced stage, it’s good to see how the land lyes.
We are creating a product that will help recreate the days of British Rail with a focus on the timetable giving you an immersive experience with busy and varied operations that feature passenger, parcels, freight, and shunting.
When driving our route, you will find significant changes to the timetable you drive depending on which season you are driving in, thus providing a wealth of possibilities, alongside this, our use of layers, which will interact with other add-ons that you may own like the BR Class 31 spawning on passenger diagrams for example, will mean you will never be certain on what might turn up, just like the good old days of BR! We are so looking forward to you seeing it!
Inside Development – The Update Process
We’ve had a lot of questions around the process whereby we update our games. Why is something released before something else? How do we put content together? What complexities come with that?
Whilst we’re not going to be able to provide all the answers today, we wanted to give a brief summary in order to be as transparent as we can.
We have lots of pieces of content in our catalogue, and lots of really good feedback from you all (thank you!), which we’d like to get to you as quickly as we can. The realities of game development mean that, in practice, some things will take less time than others – for a variety of reasons.
We have to balance all these pieces of content against each other and prioritise in terms of severity of issue, length of time it's been a problem, and how sweeping the changes might be.
When content changes or patches are submitted for a particular piece of content, we review:
Severity – Is it resolving a gamebreaking experience?
Visibility – How many players will see it?
Viability – Is there an opportunity to fold it into an already-prepared build, or does it need to be treated in isolation?
Some will require what we call ‘content’ improvements, such as scenery improvements, or a non-functional button on a locomotive, that might only touch one piece of content. These are relatively safe, and easier to test the impact of.
‘Core’ improvements, such as Add-ons Manager or Dispatcher changes, will touch every piece of content in the game, and require much more comprehensive testing. Core improvements often also need to be tested in isolation, to remove any other parameters which might impact changes. Some might need a combination of both ‘content’ and ‘core’ improvements (such as Trenton’s timetable changes).
Once we have a queue, it’s time to test the content. We’ll do so with our QA team and team of brilliant Beta testers, and any flags issued will be sent back to Development teams to review. This can take several iterations, over several weeks, with several new builds until we have a build we believe to be robust enough to put live.
We then put this content into a suitable build, preparing for release. This a separate queue to the testing queue. It’s more efficient for us to collate content together in larger patches (for reasons explained below), so in most cases we’ll aim to release lots of content at the same time.
Then, when it’s that patch’s time to shine, we’ll book in times with the seven (!) platforms we release the game on, all of which have different processes, quirks, and pipelines we need to adhere to in order to schedule that time for release. We will, where possible, ensure all platforms are released at the same time (or as close to) for patches. It then makes its way to you to enjoy!
And, that is it, in a nutshell. There are, of course, other complexities we need to consider throughout these processes, and of course, certain content can ‘jump’ the queue if we deem it necessary to do so, for the reasons listed above. We hope that helps to provide a little more insight, and we’ll discuss this in more detail in tonight’s stream.
THE TRAIN SIM WORLD ROADMAP
This month, we’ve added indicators to show how far along development various items on the Roadmap are.
* Next Arrival: Our next release(today). Expect this content to be released before the next Roadmap article.
* In development: Active development is underway; expect this content to be longer than a month away, but less than 3 months away.
* In planning: In planning stages, Initial development has started - expect this to be between 3-9 months away.
* At a red light: Not in active development, but something we’re committed to delivering. No ETA at this point.
DOVETAIL GAMES RELEASES
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. For Train Sim World 3, we’ve amended these product codes. To see what these ID codes mean you can refer to this post
* [3.GKK-L7 01] Thameslink BR Class 700/0
* [3.DKK-L7 01] German locomotive
PARTNER PROGRAMME RELEASES
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 [http://https://forums.dovetailgames.com/threads/cracking-the-code.25968/].
* [3.NDD-E7 02] USA Scenario and Livery Pack (developed by Skyhook Games) * [3.GDF-R5 01] UK Route – (developed by Just Trains)
* [3.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.
* [TSW3] Add-ons Manager (Xbox, PC)
* [TSW3] Derailing improvements (route-by-route)
* [TSW3] Save Game improvements (route-by-route)
* [TSW3] Performance optimisation
SPECIAL PROJECTS TEAM AND PATCHES
Projects that are being tackled by the Special Projects team. 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.
We have included a ‘scale’ of the size of the work/features put into the update.
* [TSW3] Midland Main Line post-release patch #2
* [TSW3] Linke Rheinstrecke post-release patch #2
* [TSW2][TSW3] HST Livery Designer functionality
* [TSW3] Niddertalbahn post-release patch
* [TSW3] Peninsula Corridor + Oakville Subdivision – access to Baby Bullet services
* [TSW3] NEC: New York – Trenton timetable improvements
* [TSW2] [Tiny] Scottish Commuter
* [TSW2] [Small] Hauptstrecke Hamburg-Lübeck, including timetable update * [TSW2] [Medium] Rhein-Ruhr Osten
* [TSW2] [Small] 2022 Bakerloo timetable (600+services)
* [TSW2] [Small] Long Island Rail Road
* [TSW2] [Huge] Peninsula Corridor – NOTE: there are further improvements to come on both games
* [TSW2] [Huge] Oakville Subdivision
* [TSW2] [Tiny] LGV Mediterrannée
* [TSW3][TSW2] DB BR 187 Audio improvements
Projects that players will notice but don’t fall into one of the other categories.
* [TSW2/TSW3] Manual fireman functionality for Steam locomotives
At a red light:
* [TSW2/TSW3] Rush Hour passenger system for London Commuter
REMOVED FROM ROADMAP
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.
* [3.GBB-R7 04] Glossop Line - Manchester - Hadfield & Glossop - released * [TSW3] Linke Rheinstrecke post-release patch - released
* [TSW3] Bremen-Oldenburg patch - released
* [TSW3] Rivet Games content patch - released
* [TSW3] Midland Main Line post-release patch #1 - released
You can discuss the contents of this month’s Roadmap on our forums [https://forums.dovetailgames.com/threads/train-sim-world-roadmap-july-2023.71281]
, as your questions for tonight’s stream
[https://forums.dovetailgames.com/threads/july-roadmap-q-a-thread.71255], and all our socials (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube). We’ll be discussing the Roadmap and answering your questions live on-stream tonight with JD and Matt, so tune into our YouTube [http://https://www.youtube.com/@TrainSimWorld] or Twitch [http://https://www.youtube.com/@TrainSimWorld] account from 18:00 UTC. We’ll see you there!