This weekend has been very rainy in my home town of Calgary (Canada) so I was able to focus more on deploying the new version of Train Sim to the other platforms.
So far I managed to convert and test the new version Train Sim for iOS and uploaded it to the Apple App Store (should be live on your favourite iPhone or iPad within a in a day or so)
While I was testing the iOS version I found a few bugs so I also released a beta version for Android with a few of these bug fixes: (link: http://bit.ly/2YcVK77)
The new beta version of Train Sim has the following fixes:
– Fixed an issue where Steam Train Wheels would some times not turn – Rail Crossings now have flashing lights (again) – Weed whacked some grass that grew over the Train Tracks in the Desert Level – Fixed some tenders were jittery
All of the above fixes are already present in the new iOS version.
Completely redesigned rail system that allows me to produce fully
3 dimensional tracks as well as full 3D Electrical Wires. So far only the rails are rendered in full 3D,
the sleepers or (crossties) are still just a 2D texture, mostly for performance
reasons on mobile. However as mobile
devices get faster, I will easily be able to extend this to full 3D sleepers
(crossties) at very little effort.
In fact, I can now place any 3D object along or on the rail continuously
or in spots. This opens many new
possibilities in the future to allow Train Sim to grow well into the next decade.
Why did it take so long?
This was a complete redesign of a key system in Train Sim
that affects every level. The rail
system is so core to the game that updating it required rewriting other key
systems such as track switching, track connections, train controller, wagon
controller etc. Don’t even get me
started on testing, every train wagon, track connection and level had to be tested. And then when a bug is found, it had to be
fixed and re-tested again.
Once the 3D model is complete my next focus will be to add
the Pacific Surliner to Tran Sim as fast as possible.
What have I been up to lately? Testing, Testing and More Testing. This is my test level for Train Sim, That I use to test rail connections and how rolling stock behaves in various scenarios. You may find watching this 5 minute video a bit boring, but imagine doing this 20-30 times. Each time I perform a test if I find a bug, I have to stop, fix the bug, restart again. Over and over again.
The good new is I think I have finally figured out my last bug so I can start rolling out this update very soon!
Work continues on the next update to Train Sim with the main focus on improved 3D Rails & Electrical Wires.
This turned out to be more difficult than I originally thought, due to the fact that I had to update a major system in Train Sim that creates the tracks and wires on a predefined path. This means that all the tracks in Train Sim had to be remade & then re-tested.
Also because the the height of the 3D tracks have changed, I had to re-test all the Trains & Cars to ensure their positioning on the tracks is correct.
After a month of work and quite a few 12AM nights, I think all the tracks & trains are now positioned correctly. However I still have to check the positioning of all the cars & perform a full test cycle of the game.
Last week I started working on a new 3D Rail System for Train Sim. The current rails are actually a 2 dimensional texture that mimics the look of 3D. This was originally done to improve performance on mobile devices. While it looks OK on a tiny phone screen, it does not translate as well to larger high resolution tablets or PCs. Hence it has been on my list of fixes for a while now.
Unfortunately this will be allot of work as I will actually need to re-make all the rail paths in Train Sim across all of the levels. However I think I figured out most of the technical & performance unknowns and can now move to implementing this feature across all levels in Train Sim. At about days per level it should take a few weeks to finish.
So why invest so much time on new rails? I think as new mobile devices get more powerful it makes sense to update some of the core features in Train Sim to ensure it does not look dated compared to newer games. Although this is a large investment in time, I think it will be well worth it at the end