Trainz/Trainz Classics collections

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Fundamentals for Trainz Trainees

Trainz Version: Trainz Classics collections

including: TCC, TC1&2, TC3, TRS2007 and TRS2008
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The Three Trainz Classics, were all published and distributed in 2007 and 2008 following along shortly after 'Trainz: The Complete Collection '(TCC), the omnibus collection bundling Trainz Routes, TRS2004 and TRS2006 and would be followed by two Europe only releases:[note 1]
TRS2007 and TRS2008, were an inexpensive Driver-gameplay-focused series of Windows only variant versions based in the TRS2006 Trainz Simulator product line technology, but with a very different regionally focused mix of content, and so followed a quite different (marketing oriented) philosophy in their design.

That philosophical element was an attempt to make the maximum cashflow as fast as possible for the least amount of work, for this was the era when Auran Games Pty Ltd was seeking bankruptcy protection from having over extended betting the house on the MMORPG game Fury[1], alleged in news accounts to be the most expensive game developed in Australia, and the era when Tony Hilliam and his software publishing concern N3VRF41L Games (Now N3V Games) bought in and took over design and management of the Trainz franchise with leased rights from the new Auran Holdings Pty Ltd.


It is to be noted that these were all released when Auran, a long lived game developer at times, with a staff numbered into the thirties working on Trainz alone — as well as many game development projects responsible for the generation of computer based games for nearly a decade before Trainz came out of their offices, had gone into hard times, and was in bankruptcy. The Trainz franchise and their JET 2 was one of the few positive revenue producing ventures as they sought protection from creditors and reorganization.

N3V CEO Tony Hilliam and his 'Never Fail Games', eventually renamed 'N3V Games' had separately been credited respectively first in the Trainz UTC[note 2] and then on the CDROM package credits of Trainz Routes and TCC. With the sparse contents of Trainz Classics, and Trainz Classics 2 (rapidly combined by the North American publisher Paradox as Trainz Classics 1&2 because it was so sparse of content) and Trainz Classics 3.

According to Version Manager, James Moody, Trainz Classics 3 was already nearing completion when the company abruptly had to downsize from over 100 employees to less than 20, leaving him credited as Lead Software Engineer for TC3[2]. The series is a partial product with respect to the count and varieties of included assets but added larger 'professional payware' as new routes, all with multiple driver sessions bundled with the core TRS2006 modules, which had been given a facelift[note 3] (new skin) and meant primarily to give users a regionally focus taste of the Trainz experience.

The products contain Content Manager and ability to download additional content, and the Surveyor run time GUI and the Railyard and Driver modules so were full up Trainz software releases that included focused regional content, rather than a mix of regions and a lot of general assets.

 

Trainz: The Complete Collection[edit | edit source]

Trainz: The Complete Collection or just TCC in Trainzspeak was a three DVD omnibus release and the first Trainz franchise release published by N3VRF41L Software (Now N3V Games) and distributed in North America by Paradox Interactive in early 2007 combining:

  1. DVD1: Trainz UTC - and it's accessories such as Gmax and Asset Creation Studio and miscellaneous How-To documentation
  2. DVD1: Trainz Railroad Simulator 2004 (TRS2004 SP1-SP4 pre-installed and including Paintshed)
  3. DVD2: Trainz Railroad Simulator 2006 (TRS2006-SP1 pre-installed)
  4. DVD3: Trainz Routes collection - omnibus JA file patching accessory adding content and 21-25 route maps.


TCC's real principal mission was to buy time — to raise funds against debt for the legal struggles of the original Auran, which under bankruptcy receivership protection, was eventually dissolved, with remaining assets retained by today's Auran Holding's LTD., still the rights owner of Trainz. N3V games was in its infancy as N3VRFAIL games and was a joint venture at the time between some of Auran's owners and rail and Trainz Fan Tony Hilliam, who in the bankruptcy was given marketing and operations (i.e. business) control of the struggling Auran, which'd lost its shirt betting huge amounts of capital on a stinker MMORP game that flopped. Hilliam runs N3V today and was a pre-Beta days collaborator during the clubs consultation run up before Trainz 0.9 Beta CDROM was released.

TCC had nothing new in features, but with Trainz Routes included, the packages model railroads were fairly well done, not widely known, and then bundled with the latest (pre-installed! Be excited! This means the trouble updating with the notoriously finicky SP1 is not your worry!) service pack versions so was well received by die hard TR04 fans who'd held out without Content Manager Plus. Trainz 1 had ended its run with four service packs, allowing for the last to create Trainz UTC. TRS2004 had three tediously bug-prone service packs and numerous other upgrades before the fourth Service Pack made it "the best version ever" in the eyes of many, and some were still producing quality content on its JET 2 game engine well into the hey-days of TS2010! TRS2006-SP0 was notorious for crashing during a lengthy upgrade with its single service pack, but famously infamous for cranking away for 6-9 hours accomplishing absolutely nothing, never completing the processing. But taking that into consideration, between the relatively bug free run time software, ease of installation of multiple versions and their content, and the new content in Trainz Routes, Trainz TCC was a pretty decent value, and its sales supported the re-organizing company and saved it and Trainz for the future.  

The 3 Trainz Classics[edit | edit source]

The Trainz Classics releases were an attempt to partner with high-value-added content creators to publish large, regionally focused, and interesting routes. It appears also to have been an early attempt to switch product focus over to payware generated cashflow, an effort that evolved into the Trainz Partners program and the DRM protected DLC now offered on the Auran Web store Simulator Central (now the Trainz Portal or Trainz Online Store). Indeed, the newest Trainz releases, Trainz: A New Era and Trainz Railroad Simulator 2019 (TRS19) (TRS19) each seque in the direction of high quality payware offerings, and less free built-in content than earlier Trainz—excepting only the five regionally targeted TC's. N3V has apparently finally closed in on its early goal and philosophy.

Each of the TC's had more stock sessions (kind profile) than was typical for either TR04 or TR06, each of which had quite a bit of content published with only maps, sans session profiles, but contained a large diverse built-in library of building-block assets so users could immediately begin building a good world. Individually, with the specific regional themed focus many international world-wide assets were not included in the TC's data cabinets (JA files) the TC's asset count was very low by earlier UTC—TRS2006 standards (their underlying technology) with but a little change here and there, and reskinned a garish red color schema that people either loved or hated.

While N3V gave every video screen and menu a once over facelift, Trainz Classics 1 and Trainz Classics 2 had so little bundled content each, that the distributor with publishing rights in North America, Merscom, quickly combined the two releases and dropped the price to move volume.

  • Versions were available for purchase as late as March 2015.

 

Trainz Classics 1&2[edit | edit source]

TC1&2 shared the same basic improvements as the United Kingdom focused TC3 and was published with TBV 2.7 and only offered a few North American themed maps but each had more sessions than was typical for either TR04 or TR06, each of which had quite a bit of content published with only maps, sans session profiles.  

Trainz Classics 3[edit | edit source]

TC3 shared the same basic improvements as the United States focused TC1&2 and was published with TBV 2.7 and only offered a few United Kingdom themed maps but like TC1&2 offered quite a bit of gameplay instead of a large general surveyor ready library of pre-installed content.

New in These Releases[edit | edit source]

A (combined) list of the major new features you will find N3V Games programmers placed in the Trainz Classics and the Europe only regional releases often called TRS2007 and TRS2008:

• A new set of skins reconfigures the launcher and every run-time screen.

• New locomotive modeling improves realistic simulated operation, resulting in changed enginespec data modeling. (Some older locos will need an upgrade)

• Drivers given improved abilities to carry out tasks

• Improved graphics cards support

 

Data Model Changes[edit | edit source]

Some obsoleted data model changes in the Trainz Classics
  • Consistent with the other JET2 game engine releases, Trainz Classics DOES NOT recognize AlphHint= tags in texture.txt files as will TS2009 and later N3V Games developed Trainz releases. Consequently, when running the PEVtool Images2TGA in order to take any assets backward (retro'd) into any version preceeding TS09[note 4], any generated AlphaHint in texture.txt files can be commented out using a programmer's'hack-hack' line-beginning comment method (prefix of '//' at beginning of line[note 5]).

These faults and warnings were generated bringing a well established TB v2.6 Loco into the Classics:  

Tags obsoleted in the container 'steam' in Trainz Classics.
  'boiler-to-piston-flow'
  'firebox-to-boiler-heat-flow'
  'firebox-to-boiler-heat-flow-idle'
  'firebox-volume'
  'main-reservoir-volume'
  'piston-to-atmosphere-flow'
  'westinghouse-volume'
These tag-value pairs generate Errors in the indicated container
Error: The tag 'epbrakes' is not permitted within container type 'steam-engine'
Error: The tag 'max-fire-coal-mass' is not permitted within container type 'steam'

TRS2007[edit | edit source]

 

TRS2008 or Trainz Pro-Perfect[edit | edit source]

 

Notes, references and footnotes[edit | edit source]

  1. all aimed at widening and deepening the Trainz niche in the World Wide market.
  2. Leading those of us familiar with N3V's claims, names and disappointments to suspect he coined the name for The Ultimate Trainz Collection (REALLY REALLY PREMATURELY, as it turned out!), The Classic Collection, And likely the TRAINZ: A NEW ERA titles... all more bombast than the implied promise! So, Tony, if you read this, TAKE IT DOWN A NOTCH! No one respects a self-promoter!
  3. and are arguably the ugliest Trainz series release style-wise
  4. Trainz—TC3
  5. Why this is fine and acceptable working texture.txt files and all ability to comment things inside the larger config.txt files is one of the mysteries of working with half-professional programmers like Windwalkr (Chris Bergman) of N3V. Sigh.

 

References[edit | edit source]

  • TRS2004 - Technical Manual.pdf


 

Footnotes[edit | edit source]

  1. See Wikipedia's N3V Games combination article with Auran's history.
  2. Early 2015 email to Fabartus.