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]

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 had nothing new, but the packaging and bundling of pre-installed latest service pack versions  

The 3 Trainz Classics[edit]

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. Individually, the TC's asset count was very low by 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.

 

New in These Releases[edit]

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]

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]

 

TRS2008 or Trainz Pro-Perfect[edit]

 

Notes, references and footnotes[edit]

  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]

  • TRS2004 - Technical Manual.pdf

 

Footnotes[edit]

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