Trainz: A New Era

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Trainz: A New Era

Unread postby artimrj » Sat Apr 18, 2015 11:09 am

After seeing a few screenshots and videos of this latest rendition I decided to buy it. From what I saw it looked pretty good. I picked up the deluxe version on Steam for $60. This thing is still in a beta of sorts and final edition will be in May some time.

It took me 3 days to set it up and figure out just how to get started in it. I should say 3 evenings of about 3 hours each. When I first opened it, it was like when I opened Photoshop for the first time, a big blank. Then went to the settings, well they are in 2 different places. The launcher program has setting and there are more in game. When you change stuff you have to exit out of one or the other. Or completely restart. But you have no idea which to do.

I run Railworks at the max of all my settings along with every other game I have including FSX and they all work fine and smooth. T:ANE laughed at me. In game I had an invisible engine and all the cars and scenery were a blur! And I mean a blur. After reading some tips from N3V, they say," We do not expect anyone can use the maxed out settings at this time..." so I assume they are preparing for the future of technology to catch up with them, like giving us space to breath or something.

So I dropped everything to minimum and actually it looks, well, OK. I have not had time to do any major tweaking of the settings, but I got to run it some. I did 9 of the 10 tutorials they have included. And that was OK too.

T:ANE is not a simulator as we think of TS2015 a simulator. It IS the model railroad thing. But I like model railroads, so I think it is pretty cool in that aspect. TS2015 is far superior at being a simulator than Trainz. The graphics in TS2015 are realistic, in TANE they are not so much cartoonish, but they are computer graphics, not lifelike. When controlling a train with DCC controls it is exactly like my HO DCC. Turn the dial and the train goes, turn it back and it stops, no need for brakes.

There is also a real mode of control, where you do have to apply the brakes and all the other things required to run a simulator. It tries to be a simulator in that aspect. The tutorial for real mode is pretty good at explaining things, but the interface it so clunky it is not easy to deal with, for a newbie to it anyway. You can use the mouse on the controls or you can use a small HUD unit to control it with sliders. One bad thing, for me, about being in the cab is there is no heads out option. Your are either sitting looking forward out the window or in chase view.

I got a 6 month download ticket with my purchase so I started to attempt to download a few things. What an ordeal this has been. I had to register on 3 different sites. I can't even remember their names. At first none of them worked for me, telling me I needed to purchase a ticket to dl. Then I found the item that lets you dl from with in the game, sorta. And this worked. I have 2 routes and a bunch of engines downloaded, but I have no idea where they are or how to get them in the game. I downloaded another route from a 3rd party and to install your have to do a bunch of editing of files to make it work. I have not got to that yet. It ain't a copy and paste or run an RWP through the Manager thing that's for sure.

Scenarios or activities are called sessions. I clicked on the create session button and a little window popped up with a bunch of things I have no idea what they mean. This may be how I get the trains into the game, but I have not gotten that far yet either.

There is a lot to learn in TANE. So this is going to take while just to learn how to play it. But the bottom line is, it is a model railroad simulator, right down to the cork board under the tracks, seriously, that's what it looks like. However, having a model railroad on my computer is going to be fun for me. On my HO setup, I like to have as many trains running as I can. I like to watch them run and stop them when needed to avoid collisions and use my imagination that the layout is bigger than it really is by going around 2 or 3 times to fake distance.

WHen I want to simulate operating a train, I will use TS2015 cause even with all its quirks, to me it is the one.
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Re: Trainz: A New Era

Unread postby dejoh » Sat Apr 18, 2015 11:23 am

I've been following the news on Trainz over at "The Other Forum" , and usually get the best laugh of the day on some of the fanboys comments. One day they hate it, the next day its the best sim in town. I still believe, what ever you enjoy spending your time with is all that matters. The fact that many Trainz users paid big bucks to Kick-Starter for their ultimate train sim, only to come up with a model railroad simulator that many are completely disappointed with is unreal.
I hope they eventually get the sim their looking for. RailWorks just keeps getting better. *!lol!*
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Re: Trainz: A New Era

Unread postby artimrj » Sat Apr 18, 2015 11:48 am

In TANE when you use the dynamic brakes it is different from RW. I do not have a clue how a real train works, but TANE has you shutting down the throttle, turn on the dynamic brakes and then use the throttle to run it. The more throttle the more the brakes work. Is that the way a real engine uses dynamics? Powered by the throttle? I assumed it was like a jake brake on a truck?
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Re: Trainz: A New Era

Unread postby Bcbuhler » Sat Apr 18, 2015 12:51 pm

It will depend on the locomotive for how the controls work. Here's an example in TS the DTM SD45 has a selector to chose between the throttle and dynamic brakes, the ES44AC has a separate handle for the dynamics and the SD70MAC has a combined power handle that has both functions in one but no selector.

But real dynamic brakes work by reversing the polarity of the traction motors so they generate electricity and the resistance to that slows the train. The electricity generated goes through a series of resisters which translates electricity to heat which the dynamic brake fans cool the resistors.

Hopefully one of these paragraphs answer your question.
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Re: Trainz: A New Era

Unread postby artimrj » Sat Apr 18, 2015 12:58 pm

Bcbuhler wrote:But real dynamic brakes work by reversing the polarity of the traction motors so they generate electricity and the resistance to that slows the train. The electricity generated goes through a series of resisters which translates electricity to heat which the dynamic brake fans cool the resistors.

Hopefully one of these paragraphs answer your question.


So then the throttle would control how much reverse polarity is created then, meaning the trainz version is correct?
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Re: Trainz: A New Era

Unread postby Ericmopar » Sat Apr 18, 2015 3:17 pm

artimrj wrote:
Bcbuhler wrote:But real dynamic brakes work by reversing the polarity of the traction motors so they generate electricity and the resistance to that slows the train. The electricity generated goes through a series of resisters which translates electricity to heat which the dynamic brake fans cool the resistors.

Hopefully one of these paragraphs answer your question.


So then the throttle would control how much reverse polarity is created then, meaning the trainz version is correct?


The short answer is yes Bob.
In TS2015 they updated the DTM engines, so engines like the SD45, DDA40X etc now need you to press "I" or "K" to select between dynamics and throttle, which I thought was bug a few months ago, but turned out to be more prototypical. IE on the DTM engines the throttle now works the prime mover and dynamic brakes like on the prototypes. (EMD that is)
On GE engines they usually have a separate throttle and dynamic brake set up.
Thankfully my brake fixes still seem to work with those mods from DTG.
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Re: Trainz: A New Era

Unread postby BNSFdude » Sat Apr 18, 2015 10:45 pm

The older EMDs run a selector lever (Even Dash 2s have this on some instances. BNSF 2365, which is a Dash 2, is one of those engines) to go between power and braking. The newer Dash 2s and up have a separate handle above the Throttle for Dynamic Brakes like the new AAR stands do.
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Re: Trainz: A New Era

Unread postby artimrj » Sat Apr 18, 2015 11:48 pm

My main question was does the throttle control the dynamic brakes. In RW you shut down the power and turn on the dynamic regardless of the control handle situation, then after 6 or 8 seconds it starts to groan and slow you down. In Trainz, you shut down the throttle, turn on the dynamic, then add throttle to control the braking. If it is too much brake, you back the throttle off. You can actually control it quite well in TANE. I was curious as to if it works that way on a real engine.
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Re: Trainz: A New Era

Unread postby Chacal » Sun Apr 19, 2015 12:30 am

yes, on some engines it did.
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Re: Trainz: A New Era

Unread postby Captainbob » Sun Apr 19, 2015 7:08 am

The locomotives in Run 8 which are supposed to be pretty realistic because the input from quite a few current and retired engineers were used to design the cab controls, use a notched throttle and a DB or dynamic braking lever. When you switch to the DB, you are instructed with a notice on the controller stand to switch the throttle to Idle with Dynamic braking off , then wait 10 seconds to prevent damage. This gives the relays time to switch into the DB mode. Then move DB braking handle to "setup" , pause, then set DB to the amount of braking required. So there are two handles, one throttle, and one DB. The DB are only used above about 5-7 mph, at which point they are ineffective if the speed is less. Proper way to descend is to apply minimum service to the train brake, say about 8 pounds, then activate the DB and use the DB to control the exact speed you want, since the dB is able to respond to the needed changes in braking much more quickly than using the Train brake.
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Re: Trainz: A New Era

Unread postby OldProf » Sun Apr 19, 2015 10:20 am

I, too, have found the "Trainz: New Era" teasers tempting, Bob. Your review has helped me decide by revealing that they got the middle word wrong in the title, which should be, "Trainz: Old Era" or, better yet, "Trainz: Same Old Era." All of the "features" you describe pretty much match those that drove me away from Trainz years ago. I loved model trains as a boy, especially because it brought my father and I even closer together, but in addition to running trains (ours were Lionel O-Gauge), I enjoyed crawling around under the layout to wire a new switch or hook up the livestock loader. Those are experiences that cannot, in my opinion, be built into a simulator, and I haven't even mentioned the impossibility of simulating mom ordering us to wash up and change our clothes before dinner or the delightfully pungent odors of light machine oil, ozone, and those little white pills that made steam engines blow smoke.

As the man says, "Nostalgia isn't what it used to be."
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Re: Trainz: A New Era

Unread postby artimrj » Sun Apr 19, 2015 10:59 am

I got a little further in this last night before falling asleep. A list of consists is created and you choose from that list what you want to play with in game. To get something you downloaded into the game, you have to create or edit a session. You select your engines and place them on the screen then start adding your rolling stock. Once all is placed then you save it and it appears on the list. It also then becomes available to use anywhere. A simple consist editor would have been the option here, but they made it really obscure. I guess when I get used to it, it will be OK, but it was pretty confusing for my 142 IQ.

I discovered when you save a game, it is actually creating a new session. When you come back to play, the save is listed with all the other sessions. You can edit the saved sessions too!

I also got the graphics settings to a usable state. I can max out all of the in game details, like scenery density and view distances and all the other little things they have in there. But the setting on the launcher I can not set up high at all. Shadows have to be low and water has to be low or it turns to a crawl. It has an anti alias setting of 2 4 or 8. I have my nVidia 760 maxed out as well, I have not tried turning it down, but I don't think it will matter. So he in game AA is probably doing nothing.

Several times last night the DCC control box disappeared. That was fun! There is still one more update to come, which should be the final release candidate, so more things should get fixed. Between versions 1.1 and 1.2 was like 3 months, (I read), and they had 3 pages of fixes and updates. They are fixing things that the users have complained about or just pointed out. How long they continue to do that still remains to be seen. But at this point I am impressed at their attitude and work ethics.

The one thing I never did like was how they try to control all your downloads with their download station. You have to pay to have access to it. Or try to find freeware sites which I have not even bothered to look for yet. To me this is a money grab. I do not know how much you have to pay yet, but I don't like it.
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Re: Trainz: A New Era

Unread postby Captainbob » Sun Apr 19, 2015 11:00 am

OldProf wrote:I, too, have found the "Trainz: New Era" teasers tempting, Bob. Your review has helped me decide by revealing that they got the middle word wrong in the title, which should be, "Trainz: Old Era" or, better yet, "Trainz: Same Old Era." All of the "features" you describe pretty much match those that drove me away from Trainz years ago. I loved model trains as a boy, especially because it brought my father and I even closer together, but in addition to running trains (ours were Lionel O-Gauge), I enjoyed crawling around under the layout to wire a new switch or hook up the livestock loader. Those are experiences that cannot, in my opinion, be built into a simulator, and I haven't even mentioned the impossibility of simulating mom ordering us to wash up and change our clothes before dinner or the delightfully pungent odors of light machine oil, ozone, and those little white pills that made steam engines blow smoke.

As the man says, "Nostalgia isn't what it used to be."


I grew up in the 50's with a small set of Lionel 027 gauge trains. My friends had larger sets in their basement, with 027 and 0 gauge. I also used to watch a weekly show on TV that had HO layouts every week. I always loved trains, but quickly grew tired of the same small model layout, which after a short time I found very boring, and soon, I dropped it all together. In the past few years, after over a half century of time, I find railroad sims are like a gigantic, unlimited train set, that makes you feel like you are actually driving a train in a real world instead of pretending you are with a tiny, limited piece of track on a wooden table and a few pieces of rolling stock. To me it's like the difference between one of those plastic model airplanes that you glue together and then just place on a table or hold it in your hand and pretend it is flying, to a radio controlled aircraft with a nitro engine that you are actually flying.
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Re: Trainz: A New Era

Unread postby artimrj » Sun Apr 19, 2015 11:03 am

I never get tired of pretending. I do it all the time with every simulator I fire up. I like to call it "imagination" instead of pretending though ;) The other thing is, I am a builder. It is in my genes. I am also a destroyer, I can do both, something to do with my temporal lobes I believe.
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Re: Trainz: A New Era

Unread postby NYWhiskey » Sun Apr 19, 2015 11:12 am

Half the fun of building models as a kid was blowing them up. !*don-know!*
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