ISSUE 13 — OCTOBER 2012 - RailWorks Magazine

railworksmagazine.co.uk

ISSUE 13 — OCTOBER 2012 - RailWorks Magazine

ISSUE 13 OCTOBER 2012

The RailWorks Magazine


A Northern Rail Class 142 ‘Pacer’ stands at Bishop Auckland with a local service. This long awaited

addition to the RW fleet has been created by Waggonz, and published by Armstrong Powerhouse for a

price of £11.99.

Editor Adam Stratton

info@railworksmagazine.co.uk

Graphical Design Daniel Wigg

Main Contributor Sean Harris

Special thanks to Waggonz for

giving up their time to allow

us to interview them.

All pictures from external sites credited

where appropriate.

First things first...

So, we have received the latest

instalment of Train Simulator, and

yes, that is ‘Train Simulator’ and not

RailWorks’ – sadly, this name, as

RailSimulator.com have confirmed,

has now become completely

defunct in favour of the more

somewhat generic and ambiguous

name. Even so, there are no plans

for a ‘Train Simulator Magazine

name change or anything similar –

the name ‘RailWorks’ will be here

for life!

Unfortunately though, there is a

bombshell to drop. I must

announce that after this issue, we

have made the decision to release

the magazine every other month, at

least for the time being. The work

required to produce an issue for a

small group of people is becoming

increasingly much, and other

commitments have found their way

in. As I say, we hope this will only

be temporary, but the next issue,

14, will be released in November,

and every two months thereafter.

Also, we hope your enjoy this new

look to the Magazine. We’ve

started from scratch; overhauled

the design and turned things

portrait for a more magazine-like

feel. If you don’t enjoy it, we would

like to hear your feedback.

Adam

Editor

The RailWorks Magazine 2


CONTENTS

Contents

5

9

Page 4

What’s new?

Page 5

TS2013: an in-depth look

Page 9

Interview with Waggonz’ Dave and

Chris Dewhurst on the Class 142

4

The RailWorks Magazine 3


NEWS

Digital Traction goes electric

And announces upgrade plans

As well as preparing for the release of the Standard

2MT for TS2013, Digital Traction has just shown ‘clay’

renders of their new Class 87. One of the most

powerful locomotives in Britain, it is the first piece of

electric traction we have seen from the developer, and

will provide another means of traction to the West

Coast Main Line.

Additionally, DT have just added to the

vintage coaches catalogue in releasing

their LNER ‘Teak’ Coaches. The luxury

wooden-bodied passenger stock is

priced at £5.99.

Just Trains’ new ‘City’ gains interest

A new screenshot posted on Just

Trains’ Facebook depicting a picture of

the iconic and much-loved GWR ‘City’

Class. The class, best known for ‘City of

Truro’ arguably believed to have been

the first loco to reach 100mph, and a

preserved ex-mainline stalwart, adds

to the sudden rush of steam traction

being prepared. Just Trains plan to

model both the rebuilt and un-rebuilt

versions depending on whether

reference material is available for the

latter.

It is all systems go for some of the older products

from DT, as updates for the 2P, Standard 4, and Unrebuilt

Light Pacific are underway. Amongst the plans

are new textures, new cab for the ‘2P’, and proper

steam effects for the Light Pacific.

Digital Traction Facebook

Another Class 40?

A new developer for TS2013

under the name RailRight – is in

the process of building a Class

40 for the game, which, if

released, will be the third ‘40’ for

the sim; the others being from

Digital Traction and Iron Horse

House.

RailRight say that they plan to

model a vast number of variants,

with weathered textures as well

as clean, and progress has been

made on the split headcode,

centre headcode and headcode

disc front ends.

RailRight Facebook

The RailWorks Magazine 4


NEWS

An in depth look:

Train Simulator 2013

September 20 th was the day

things changed again. Out

with the old (though, days

shy of being a year old, not

very!) and in with the new;

Train Simulator 2013 has

arrived.

As we explained in the last

issue, the overhaul of Train

Simulator 2012 suggested a

bias on the ‘game’ and ‘ease

of use’ aspect; at least, that

was what RailSimulator.com

made it out to be when

listing the new elements on

their ‘Engine Driver’ blog.

However, the truth is

different – there are many

more unsung enhancements

that didn’t get a mention on

‘Engine Driver’, and this

article aims to give an insight

One new feature is the ‘Collection Menu’ which gives a

visual list of all the add-ons you have purchased

through Steam.

on the main

ones, as well

as detailing

the principle

features that

have been

glorified ever

since

announced.

A good thing

to start with

is what you

are greeted with as you start

the new simulator (what

doesn’t greet you is the

launcher window; present

since the original RailWorks,

this has been removed and

all settings are changeable in

the game itself) – a freshly

revamped front-end

interface which, instead of

listing toplevel

options,

shows you

your

catalogue of

DLC you’ve

bought with

corresponding

picture, and

suggestions

The new style main menu is a stark contrast to its predecessor.

you ‘might like’ from the

Steam Store. You can click on

the thumbnail of one of your

DLC and use it straight from

there; it brings up a list of

the scenarios that utilise it.

Clicking the ‘Main Menu’

button there’s the more

familiar view of options,

though they are different, as

shown above.

The RailWorks Magazine 5


NEWS

Let’s take a brief look at

the new Quick Drive

function; as it says on

the tin, this is a feature

available currently for

DLC routes only, but

allows you to set up a

free roam scenario with

preferred weather, time

of day, etc, quickly

without the chore of

loading the scenario

editor. As a bonus, it

adds AI trains along the

route (although, it does

depend on the route)

that are triggered to

start when you near

them on your train. The

AI is authentic to the

route you have chosen,

and additionally if you

own DLC that might

also be found on the

route, you might see it;

for example, I was

surprised to see a

Southern Class 171

travelling down one of

the suburban lines of

South London from my

‘377’. My only wish

though would be to see

a bit more AI on some

routes when

appropriate; it’s needed

more for London-

Brighton, as I

mentioned, and the like.

Relay Play is the next

new feature to cover.

This was never

advertised as

‘Multiplayer’ so the fact

that a vast number of

players (and us

admittedly, having used

the term “multiplayer”

loosely in RWM12) have

referred to it this way

seems to be a

misconception. Sure

enough, it is not

multiplayer, or at least,

not in the sense that

many would assume; as

was explained in the last

issue, you are able to

complete scenarios in

The interface shown after completing a session in Relay Play.

stages with friends. But

you cannot see your

friend live, completing

their stage of the

scenario. You start the

scenario on your own,

and when finished, can

‘send’ the second leg to

one of the users on your

Steam Friends list. They

can then complete the

second leg and view

how well you did on

yours, and on

completion, their data is

sent back for you to

view. This is really the

only means of

communication in Relay

Play.

The RailWorks Magazine 6


NEWS

Steam Workshop was

known about for a long

time before the revelation

of TS2013. Used for other

games on Steam, this is

where you can upload your

scenarios (and only

scenarios – hopefully only

for the time being) to

Steam, a community most

likely bigger than any

download site. Instead of a

download button – rather

confusingly – there is a

‘Subscribe’ button, which

downloads that scenario

straight to your game, and

re-downloads it when the

creator releases an updated

version. In a fashion

becoming increasingly

familiar to the internet, you

are also able to rate, and

comment on the content.

So, what are the unsung

features of the upgrade?

Only mentioned in a James

Woodcock Podcast was the

sound improvement, the

inclusion of EFX means that

you will be able to hear

reverb in tunnels, going

under bridges, and in

stations with overall roofs

(the atmosphere at

Paddington is brilliant!).

While this enhancement

was still present in earlier

versions, it was only if you

had a costly EAX sound

card.

While the likes of Quick

Drive and Steam Workshop

may not appeal to some

users, definitely one that

will please everyone is the

huge improvement to

performance. Many users

will be able to enjoy

smoother framerates on

lower-end machines,

something I am certainly

very grateful for. On routes

such as notoriously

demanding London-

Brighton, being blessed

with 30-40fps on low TSX

settings (which still looks

good) is a godsend for me.

Oh, and camera movements

are a lot ‘smoother’ too;

although subtle, it really

makes the game look more

modern.

Route builders will also

discover a few new things in

the editor too. In the upper

tab is a ‘torch’ button, which

does as the real thing does

– essentially allows you to

see in the dark. It creates a

light wherever you move

the camera, and also turns

on any light emitters you

might have placed on the

route, ensuring you obtain

perfect results when

aligning your emitters

without having to exit the

editor.

Also, at last, TS2013 brings

the gradient smoothing

tool. Simply by using the

select tool to highlight a

portion of track that

includes a gradient change,

and clicking the button on

the upper tab, you now

have a realistically smooth

gradient transition. Usage

of the select tool means

that in theory, you are able

to adjust the curvature of

the transition.

A new asset is the “Tunnel

Occlusion Volume”, which,

when placed inside a tunnel,

makes everything dark as it

should be - and that

includes the train!

The RailWorks Magazine 7


NEWS

Sean Harris, who purchased an

Xbox controller to trial the new

compatibility, tells us what it’s all

about:

“The ability to use an Xbox 360

controller for Train Simulator

2013 is an unexpected

phenomenon. Previously in Train

Simulator 2012 there was no

option in-game to use a

controller internally however as

soon as you plug your controller

(providing the operating system

recognises it) every option on

the main menu has a coloured A,

B, X or Y icon on for you to know

what to press.

“You can navigate all of the

menus with ease; even with little

or no experience of using Xbox

360 controllers (like me). Ingame

you can move and pan

about smoothly; there aren’t only

two speeds you can go any more

with the controller! Inside the

cab you can pan about the cab

quite a lot with ease too.

“This can also be beneficial in the

long-term too. Sitting further

away from the computer is now

possible (as most Xbox 360

controllers come with a 1.8m

cable) and this can potentially

prevent eye or back problems.

“However the drawback with this

is that you cannot zoom into

things like the HUD’s so seeing

(for example) your speed is tricky

if you are 1.8m away.

“Like with most other things it

does need a bit

of getting used

to, to completely

control the

simulator

however it is

possible and

beneficial with

this experience.

However I have

found

disadvantage too;

for ‘advanced’ trains (such as the

Waggonz 142, Just Trains

Voyager/67/153 etc.) you need

the mouse or keyboard to

control things like the master

switch, DSD etc. which means

unless you have a wireless

keyboard and/or mouse you still

need to use these peripherals.

“And here is probably the best

bit. You don’t need to buy a

brand new, official Xbox 360

controller most unofficial

controllers will do the job just as

well too! Even though I would

recommend an Xbox-style

controller because of their

ergonomics, almost any USBwired

PC compatible controller

will work. I personally bought a

Madcatz Xbox 360 controller

from Play.com for £16!”

So, there’s a rundown of some of

the outstanding new elements of

the game. The supplied versions

of TS2013 have changed so there

is now a somewhat confusing

The new ‘torch’ function lights up everything within its radius.

new structure to the sim. The

default routes are now the Isle of

Wight, Sherman Hill, London –

Brighton and Northeast Corridor,

with Munich-Augsberg to follow.

The old predecessors are now

available as separate DLC, along

with the old ex-default assets,

which are sorted into the

“European” and “North

American” asset packs. The

downside to this is that if you

were building a route that used

the previously default assets, new

users will have to pay £3.99 for

the assets.

The RailWorks Magazine 8


FEATURE

A look at the Class 142 by

Waggonz

Waggonz, a duo of TS2012

developers fairly new on the

scene, have just released

their first item of driveable

rolling stock for the

simulator: the Class 142

‘Pacer’. We interview Dave

and Chris Dewhurst to see

what the add-on

incorporates.

What is Waggonz and

how did it start?

We are two brothers, Chris

and Dave, who have been

playing Train simulators

since the original release of

Microsoft Train Simulator

(unless you want to count

Transport Tycoon). Our first

model was going to be a

Class 91 in 2007/8 and we

were going to call

ourselves “RailWorks” if you

can believe it! The thread

about the 91 still exists on

UKTS but unfortunately the

pictures, and more

importantly the model,

don’t. We spent the next

few years working full time

together in a DIY store but

when in 2011

we were both

made

redundant, we

decided to

give

developing

add-ons for

TS2012 a

serious go.

We like doing

things that

Interviewed by Sean Harris

haven’t been done

before such as our

first release, a

European wagon

called the SGGRSS,

an articulated (the

first articulated

wagon in RailWorks

we believe),

intermodal carrier.

After our second release;

the HIA coal hopper, we

played around with the idea

of dynamic dirt and graffiti

so rakes of wagons got

progressively dirtier and

randomly graffitied. After

that we decided to do a

drivable unit, and here we

are now.

Can you tell us a bit about

the real-life Class 142?

First built in 1985, the Class

142 was a development of

the preceding class 141, a

cheap DMU for rural branch

lines. The body is based on

a Leyland National bus and

earlier models retain many

“bus like” features. Mounted

on two axles per body, this

caused problems navigating

The RailWorks Magazine 9


FEATURE

tighter curves, producing a

less than smooth ride,

especially on jointed rails;

this earned them the

nickname “Nodding

Donkeys”.

They are now more usually

seen on busy commuter

routes, mainly in the north

of the country and South

Wales and until last year

areas of Devon. Despite

their faults there are groups

dedicated to the

preservation of Class 142

when they are ultimately

retired in 2019.

What inspired you to

create this virtual version

of the unit for TS2012?

We looked at the routes,

both payware and freeware,

that were available at the

time and tried to

find a unit that

would work on most

of them. The ‘Pacer’

had already been

created by RailVision

and was a popular

download, but was

looking slightly

dated against the

then current releases by

Oovee and Just Trains so we

decided it was a good unit

to produce.

How long did it take for

the whole creation, from

start to finish?

We started in October 2011

but took a couple of

months out over Christmas

and New Year as we didn’t

seem to be making any

progress and weren’t sure

whether we would continue.

When we came back to it,

we took a fresh look at it,

decided what parts of the

model we should keep and

which parts needed

remaking. Since then, we’ve

been at it solidly up to the

release.

Is there anything about

the model that, in

hindsight, you would

change on the first

finished model?

Not change, no. But if we

were going to do it again I

would probably have

approached the whole

project from a more

structured point of view.

There were some days and

even weeks when we

wanted to get something

done and halfway through

got distracted and gone

onto something else, which

then hindered other things

later on.

The RailWorks Magazine 10


FEATURE

What was the toughest

and easiest part of

creating the model?

Being a current DMU the

easiest part was actually

building the model as there

is a plethora of reference

material available. We had a

basic shape within a day or

two and just went from

there. We were also highly

fortunate to be approached

by a 142 driver who helped

us get the acceleration and

braking right almost

immediately. Also we were

fortunate to have had a

product published by

Armstrong Powerhouse as

when he heard we were

making a ‘Pacer’ he offered

to implement the sounds

for us which took a lot of

work of our shoulders.

The hardest part was

getting some of the new

features working. With the

introduction of Train

Simulator 2012, a lot of new

effects were available, such

as lights and rain effects,

but it was largely

undocumented on how to

recreate them. Getting the

rain on the glass to work

with the wipers in particular

took us about a week of

trawling the internet and

dissecting other trains to

figure it out. Another hurdle

is the scripting which was

necessary to have some of

the features we wanted,

Dave luckily has a bit of

experience with

programming in other

languages but occasionally

got stumped on nuances

particular to the code that

RailWorks uses that he’s

never seen before, luckily

there were usually people

on UKTS available to help

out and steer him in the

right

direction.

What new

features can

be found

with the

Waggonz

Class 142?

With the

release of

models such

as the ‘150’ and ‘156’ by

Oovee and the “Advanced”

range from Just Trains we

realised that a basic model,

although easier, would not

be the most desired option.

With this in mind we have

had some interesting ideas

on how to make the ‘142’

more immersive, such as

being able to change the

dot matrix destination

display from a working

keyboard in the cab,

working saloon lights and

passengers that instead of

being a static group,

change each, and every

time you open the doors, as

well as being able to

simulate Empty Coaching

The RailWorks Magazine 11


FEATURE

Stock scenarios. By changing

the destination to “Not In

Service” or “Depot” all the

passengers get off and stay

off.

Could you tell us what is

next in the pipeline for

Waggonz?

We have started on a Class 90

but it is still very early in

development. Keeping with

our “first for RailWorks

theme we have some

interesting ideas such as a

dynamic engine model, so

each unit behave slightly

differently as it would in real

life (engines overheat, brakes

get worn etc). Once the Class

142 is released we will put our

full attention to that.

Afterwards we are tossing

around a few ideas, about

either a Merseyrail Route,

with included 507/8 (which

could easily be converted into

a Class 313 for other routes),

or another Engine. Chris

wants to do another multiple

unit but we’ll see.

The Class 142 ‘Pacer’ is now

available at Armstrong Powerhouse

at the price of £11.99.

The RailWorks Magazine 12

More magazines by this user
Similar magazines