Finally there's the time and some things worthwhile of an update. Sorry that things have been quiet but we've been through a period of development where it's been all boring stuff and not very news worthy or photogenic. However, there is some pretty interesting stuff if you want to read on.
Ages of the Train
As you read this the scenarios are having their last checks before the final installer is built and they are readied for release in early November. The development of the scenarios has not been easy and has seen a number rebuilt and in some cases scrapped as we hit limitations in RailWorks and with the route in the endeavour to make the scenarios as true to life as possible.
Much more excitingly we can reveal that Malcolm Mackay has kindly made some of his freeware models available to increase the variety of rolling stock to be seen in the scenarios, bringing us a step closer to recreating the ECML of the 1970s and 1980s. The models will be included in the main installer to make things a little easier for folks who may not have them installed already and will appear in a stand alone installer in the file library in the next couple of days.
Speaking of the file library there will also be demonstration scenario made available in the next few days to give you a feel for the style of the scenarios in the main pack.
North Staffs Minerals
The route track work is now complete with the exception of a couple of colliery lines and industrial locations where details of the actual layout are lacking so some modellers license may be required to complete those areas. Scenery is now going in and a large selection of new custom assets are being made to help reduce reliance on 'default' assets. Some images of fencing assets can be found in recent Fastline Simulation Blog posts.
We like to hear from folks and especially when they have words of encouragement or useful criticism to make. We would ask though that folks please don't pester for release dates. Things are released when they are ready and the developer in question is happy. For many this is just a hobby income so increasing pressure is something we really don't want to do. Alongside this we know that customers get upset when something doesn't hit an arbitrary date.
HBA/HEA air braked hoppers. The model creation stage of these is complete and they have passed an initial shape test from our test team. The shapes themselves are currently being unwrapped and prepared for baking which should be completed by the end of this week.
The Night Capitals. Shape creation for the passenger coaches is continuing and now that braking layouts for different brake types and bogies have finally been nailed down these should start to move forward again.
Car Flats: Like the stock above these had stalled waiting a little more information on the brake rigging but with one shape now complete the others should follow fairly rapidly behind.
We're still trying to recruit some extra asset builders to the team. This is the one area that is a serious concern at the moment with rolling stock modelling having to stop to create route assets.
So often we get contacts that seem interested and they continually come to nothing. To ease the construction of routes we really need additional modellers to create all that extra scenery.
At the same time we would love to add additional rolling stock modellers and route builders (but only if they create their own assets!).
These are commercial projects so there is hard cash involved (possibly the best rates in Train Simulator Land) in return for your efforts. If you have experience of modelling or route building for Railworks or another simulator and fancy making some cash from your talents do please get in touch.