Trainz in Brief
TRAINZ is a series, a family of 'virtual reality' Model Railroad Simulators—each full version something of a step up in complexity and capabilities from the previous release and each more complicated and involved than the average computer game since the simulators are user extensible and game software cannot be used to create new worlds and rules about how things work in the new world. Trainz strength is that it can and does—it has an active user base working to expand the product abilities and user options as well as the game companies programmers.
Trainz 1.0 and the Microsoft Train Simulator (MSTS) were released within months of one another in 2001—one released by a small company headed by Trains enthusiasts (and veteran model railroaders), the other by a large corporation with deep pockets—but the well funded one never had a second release, the other grew and progressed into a family of released retail versions and having over a million registered users serving a true world wide market.
The game system is extensible and has a large active user base creating new content and capabilities in true co-operative international effort. Unlike a typical dwelling, want-a-be model railroaders don't need modeling skills, a whole basement and ages of time to satisfy the itch to do model railroading, or drive realistically modeled locomotives—the game play feature which many casual users first focus upon. The new user starts with a dozen or so debugged ready-to-run railroads and can quickly learn to drive and operate a wide variety of realistically modeled locomotives from inside these bundled virtual worlds, many lovingly modeled on actual railroads. If these get uninteresting, there are now over 2,500 other routes the new user can download as freeware to chase away boredom. For those with creative bent, even the new user can soon begin to learn how to make their own customized routes by modifying those already available and following well written .pdf file manuals, now augmented by a TrainzOnline website with additional how-to. There are even versions that run on tablets computers running the iOS operating system from Apple, and on tablets with Tegra graphics support running on the Android system. Many Trainz releases can be bought online and downloaded, or by CDROM/DVD in most game software retailers.
Since 2001, the game has been updated and released in several versions—almost annually with major releases about every second year. These run under various operating systems such as MAC OS X, and various Microsoft Windows versions, each release featuring new extended content and evolved features bundled (as a starting point) with each retail version release.
Trainz was developed over 3–4 years by Australian game developer Auran Pty. Ltd, and when released the input of interested model railroaders quickly lead to a succession of improvements and extended capabilities. This became a pattern, accumulate major changes whilst setting up the evolution and making incremental changes and bug fixes through service pack releases, each making a stable code software step. Trainz service packs unlike many commercial packages are free, and so the improvements continued steadily through releases in 2005. In 2006–2007 Auran over extended developing a different computer game and Trainz survived now re-managed under N3V Games which renewed Trainz development leading to the "World Builder Edition, TS2009 and has continued to grow and evolve beating back several competitors over the ensuing decade plus.
Multilingual language support has been built into Trainz since Trainz 1.3, increased in the best selling TRS2004 and expanded in the hugely popular TRS2006 (TR06) release in 2005. Next followed a handful of releases including three in English based on the TR06 technologies which focused enclosed content featuring regional routes of interest, albeit with some changes to unimportant graphics (skins) but some incremental alterations of data definitions portending events to come: (TRS2007 and 2008 expanded the product's language offerings and added Europe and Eastern European routes; Three English releases known as Trainz Classics (TC1&2 and TC3) were English offferings partnered with third party content creators and also offered slightly new technologies (V-2.7 & V-2.8, game engine advancements are usually first included in an English release), TS12 (Trainz Simulator 2012) is the latest Microsoft Windows installment in the franchise and was released in April of 2011. Since its release, the game has attracted a large fan base due to its compatibility with third party user-created content (Train Cars, Buildings, Locomotives, Track types, trees, bridges, etc.) for which access and support in a huge database called the 'Download Station' is provided for by the developers.
About this Book
Amongst the renovations in the works:
- Many pages in the main category will be getting moved into separate sub-categories by 'page focus', so for example articles and tutorials about creating content will be in Category:Content pages in Trainz; General reference pages (e.g. the list in the next two sections) may end up in Category:Trainz-computing ref pages but may just stay in the main pages category Trainz.
- An asset upgrade (error fixing tutorials how-to) is pending soon.
- A set of skills building tutorials for beginners and intermediate Trainzers has been planned and put together since mid-April, and will soon take place as well.
- General reference information pages may be placed into a separate category, but one sure thing is all the pages of this book will soon get a series of navigation sidebar links (i.e.: see some Wikipedia reference articles) allowing navigation to source references in the Auran/N3V Games TrainzOnline reference Wiki and across applicable topics here.
- In short, a face lift and ease of use series of changes is going to make this a much better reference for new and jaded experienced Trainzers alike!
Casual browsers and new Trainzer wannabe's should read the next two section for there is information there that the tutorials will assume. They'll also remind you to read it, so bite the bullet! You can address most questions to the general Trainz forums, or contact one of the authors listed if it is about the pages in this Wikibook. FrankB
A Brief Description Of Trainz
- Hardware Requirements
- Installation Under Microsoft Windows
- Using wide screen monitors
- Installing Service Packs
Some Essential Do's And Don'ts
Tips And Tricks
- Tips And Tricks- Tips and Tricks for the new Trainz Users
- TS2010EE - Trainz 2010: Engineer's Edition
- TRS2012WBE - Trainz 2012: World Builder Edition
The Driver aspect of Trainz permits operating virtual trains on modeled railroads. It is the simulation of routes and can be both interactive and automated. All editions of Trainz are supplied with at least one route and driver session for immediate use.
- Basics - Train operation and the basic model railroad control.
- Driving Steam Engines - Operating steam locomotives from the cab.
- Driving Diesel Engines - Operating Diesel locomotives from the cab.
- Industries and Products - Lars, ProtoLars and Multiple Industries New.
- Driver Mode Keyboard Shortcuts - Useful hotkeys to enhance your Trainz driver experience.
The Surveyor aspect of Trainz provides tools for creating the world and the rails for virtual railroads. While in surveyor, the size of the layout, the weather, the landscape and all your assets can be experimented with until your route is ready to drive.
- Fundamentals - Basic elements of world building.
- Advanced - Gradients, radius, junctions and track marks.
- Notional Railways - Creating a believeable fictional railroad.
- Prototype Railways - Modeling real world railroads.
- Surveyor Mode Keyboard Shortcuts - Useful hotkeys to enhance your Trainz surveyor experience.
Managing your assets becomes essential when your 3rd party and DLS content begins to build up. With more than 100,000 items available from the DLS, and built-in content shipped with every edition, the amount of faulty/missing dependencies or items requiring updates or attention quickly becomes a mammoth task to deal with.
- Hierarchy Of Assets
- DLS and FCT - Download Station and First Class Tickets.
- Locating locos A catalog of practically every loco created for Trainz
- KUIDs and how they work.
- Trainz Objectz
- The Trainz Asset Repair Library (TARL)
- CMP - Content Manager Plus (TRS2006+).
- Downloading From Third Party Trainz Fansites
- Where to find none DLS assets
- Finding Missing Dependencies
- Fixing Broken Assets
- Changing An Asset's Dependencies - For Example; Replacing a Locomotive's Hornsound.
- Backing Up Downloaded And Self-Created Assets - Creating Archives and Zip Files of Content.
- Copying Assets Between Versions And Copies Of Trainz - For Example; TRS2006 to TC.
- Converting steam locos to run in TC3 - Converting steam locos to run in TC3.
- Removing Unwanted Assets - Deleting or Disabling Assets.
- Changing the default cars on roads
- Changing the default passengers in coaches or at stations
Many users of Trainz that take up route building as a pass-time eventually choose to become content creators, even if it is to only customize a class or three of traincars and reskin them to their target railroad world.
This can be seen by the popularity of the DLS and the large number of contributors that bootstrap themselves into a usable level of content manipulation, or creation using 3D modeling software now available as freeware such as Blender. There is a steep learning curve associated with content creation and often many ways to produce the same result. Creating content can be incredibly rewarding but the road to a completed model consisting of many component pieces may be long and frustrating. The harder the fight, the sweeter the victory.
It may surprise many new Trainzer that there is a significant number of veteran Trainzer who rarely drive or operate Surveyor beyond testing a new asset—their is a lot of joy and satisfaction in creative activities and their is always high demand for someone to make this or that spedial asset for the large route building groups of Trainzers who also Drive very little.
- Before you start Performance and other issues
- When to use lod
- Software Used for Content Creation
- Content Creators Guide
- API and Scripting Guide
- Setting Up Software For Content Creation
- Sources for textures
- Basic Reskinning for beginners
- Tutorials for Content Creation
- Tutorial for Blender
- Tutorial for adding night mode with Blender
- Tutorial for Normal mapping (TRS2009)
- Tutorial for incorporating normalmaps using Blender (TRS2009)
- Creating Normal Maps with Blender
- Transparent Windows using Blender
- Polished metal using Blender
- Recommended Tutorials for GMAX
- Adding a background image to GMAX
- Tutorial for Modifying the reskin mesh in GMAX
- Tutorial for Creating a Three Plank Wagon From the Reskin Mesh in GMAX
- Tutorial for Reskinnng a Locomotive using Paint.Net
- Config.txt Files
- Overview of Attachment Points
- Adding a Second Mesh
- Shape File Viewers
- Using Content Creator Plus (CCP)
- Uploading Assets
- Importing Across Platforms
- Creating Coaches
- Hints and Tips for 3D Modelling Software
- Useful bogeys
- ACS Coupling information
The implementation of scripting in Trainz has added increased flexibility and interactive possibilites with assets, particularly with animated objects. Scripting in trains adopts the TrainzScript language and requires a basic understanding of programming to follow.
- Version And Build Numbers
- Main Menu Options
- File Types (File Extensions)
- Performance Hints
- External Links (Trainz resources: fansites, groups, organizations and links to tutorials on Trainz How-to articles; Also listed are Trainz Enthusiasts and museum pages, which Trainzers developing a prototype (historic model) railroad utilize.)
Completion status must be 0%, 25%, 50%, 75%, or 100%!