Trainz/Introductory Trainz

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Introductory Trainz — page by page instruction
Trainz | Introductory Trainz | Trainz AM&C | Creation | Appendixes |  References • Containers • Kinds • Tags • Index
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Text contributors:  — (Fabartus),  and  — (Jcitron)

Introduction to Trainz[edit]

Trainz is first and foremost a hobby and a passion with a large international participation and many sub-communities. You don't have to be a 'Railfan' to enjoy Driving Trainz but to get the most out of the software requires the drive to want to make something, because Trainz has it's warts, it's confusions, and it's faults and flaws. It can present a seemingly endless mountain of learning curves to surmount, and this book is all about helping you up those slopes in the least time intensive, least frustrating way possible.

Trainz is however an ongoing, evolving, ever changing dynamic system of modeling in a 3D real time interactive graphical 'Virtual World' and was one of the first 'game classed' software packages which did a good job of simulation in such a milieu. It is far easier to simulate for example a flight simulator, for by and large, the graphical world demands are far off and indistinct. One of the key and unique features of Trainz is we humans can go anywhere in the virtual world, virtually at any moment, and just look around (letting that Train look after itself) or change things (the junction points of a ladder in a railyard) and experience the world with an intimacy which wasn't generally possible in most games which tightly controled player placement and views. This is very much still the case even in specialize game virtual environments such as are generated in the play-stations and Nintendos and Xbox game consoles. Just try to run far from the path in Left for Dead -- the game environment scope is designed to channel you. In Trainz a route designer defines the whole world, but you are free to trespass everywhere in it from being underwater (can be weird or annoying) to flying high above (in satellite mode or as a hawk might) and can take on superpowers of sorts and walk through walls--the later case proving no matter how good the illusion, the world is indeed virtual; something made of mathematical constructs called polygon meshes with cladding over virtual surfaces called textures — which together with the game engine are rendered to us as objects we see with our 'camera position' color and depth in three dimensions (unless we trespass inside, breaking the illusion).

In the Trainz graphical worlds one can design and create boats, planes, automotive or truck vehicles and drive them as well as our beloved Trainz with far more cars than could fit on a 'Basement Railroad Empire' physical model railroad--and in Trainz the dynamic operation of that mass of cars (a consist in railroad parlance) changes the dynamic operating behavior of the train. If you load a string of coal cars the train becomes different to drive. If you try to accelerate a loaded train too fast, the wheels will slip and you could well go backwards. This makes Trainz endlessly different, for there is always a new possibility to explore if you are adventurous enough to tinker and customize to suit yourself.

And that customization is another strength of Trainz. The software is extensible and expansive enough you can mess around with trial and error and may do things no one else thought possible before. Admittedly after sixteen years development (Trainz software began taking shape in 1998, was first released in beta test in mid-2000 A.D.) the major 'new things' are being done by users with a software bent, for they invariably involve interactive scripting efforts to interact with the virtual world generated in Trainz.

 

Trainz Warts[edit]

Errors, Faults, Faulty assets, Bad Content, Faulty content are all synonyms in Trainz-speak for the same situation:

An asset has become or was distributed with malformed components.

  • Many times the errors are simple errors of assumptions as a content creator did variations on a theme, in effect Reskinning at least parts of her creative output without a full up test, or cutting, pasting, and quickly editing an element, alas incorrectly. This happened a lot in pre-T06 assets which is why that version instituted the initial error checking into the before-commitment and before-uploading process (as well as pre-cdp generation)—which has made the bleeding stop, but left the errant cdp file on the DLS unchanged.
  • Many times these got fixed, but for legal (copy rights) reasons, and lack of a past ability to replace a faulty DLS asset, or for lack of understanding how, the fixed version has an entirely different KUID. The originators data base knows these first versions are obsoleted by a replacement by the inclusion of a obsolete-table container entry; anyone with both items has no problems thereafter, but the database and we Trainzers has no easy CM tool to tell us the new KUID is available. (We learn how to check to compensate for a system sometimes abused or historically less capable.)
  • Another kind of error or fault occurs when the asset needs an tweak to conform to a newer level of asset technology.
  • The flaw in Trainz content is most often frequently something which can be 'fixed' by small 'tweaks'—hand edited changes into the files in the assets defining folder(s) opened in the operating system. When they aren't persuadable by this small effort, the Trainz forums become a gold mine and recourse.
  • The worst case, the asset is missing key data (a mesh or texture) that is unobtainable. When all else fails, return the item for a refund. All $0.00 spent.
  • PEV, Andi06, Ianwoodmore, and Pcas1986 are expecting a 95% asset repair rate on older-to-oldest content with the next release of Asset-x and TARDIS (Their claims, their test benchmarks and statistical evaluation — all as of mid-April 2014) which means less than 2% of DLS content will fail their upgrade process, and that remaining older content with faults needing hand editing will be no more than 1–2% of the DLS population overall, and dropping. (There is a slowly proceeding N3V DLS cleanup project which will eventually eliminate those.)

 

Be familiar with[edit]

It is assumed the reader has read through and gained a working understanding of the materials presented on the following pages before proceeding with the below:

  1. A
  2. B
  3. C

Goals of this Module[edit]

This module will give the reader a working knowledge of the following Trainz knowledge topics:

  1. A
  2. B
  3. C

Topic 1[edit]

Topic 2[edit]

Topic 3[edit]

Topic 4[edit]