Collective Creation!

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Bill EWS

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I came across a proposed new route "Greenfields" on another Forum but not being a member can't comment there and don't want to belong to another Forum at this time as I am involved with three as it is and each create their own momentum of having to spend time on replying to numerous subjects. therefore I hope that you don't mind me stating my thoughts from viewing the "Greenfields" video to comment here!

Firstly, there is nothing particularly wrong with Greenfields, so this is not a criticism. What I became aware of was that here we have yet another 'Fictional' route, using much the same objects as in most of the past and latest new routes. Bridges, backdrop etc. I thought that Greenfields should just be called 'Maybank 2' and be done with it.

What I am trying to get to is that there is so much great BVE talent in the fraternity, why can't a number of you get together and plan and build a 'real' route, be it a branch or mainline and produce something really fantastic, on the lines of the up and coming Watford-Rugby Route! Yes, I know it wouldn't be completed overnight and take months if not a year and more to produce. But wouldn't it be nice if there was another 'real' route that you can drive trains realistically to places that were recognisable and known. The West Midland Route is another excellent example, the work put into this route is fantastic, only marred by it being a fictional route, albeit, I can certainly recognise real places that I have worked over. So there seems no reason why this effort can't be put into a 'real' route.
What I am suggesting is not just only the route but new objects, be it better track and layout, platforms, signalboxes, people, backgrounds etc etc that are not seen in other routes. By a collective effort, could this be possible, or am I simply being a little bit unrealistic and excpecting too much! Competition does work, as we are finding out, but could a collective effort do even better!

Cheers.

BillEWS.
 
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RailUK Forums

The Snap

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The route will be available on my website Bill - www.bveroutes-trains.co.uk/greenfield.html

The author of the route is EmergencyBrake on RailUK, if you wanted to contact him.

I have a copy of the route, and have to say it is very, very good. Many of the objects are reused from other routes, but many of these have been re-textured, so look entirely different. ;)

Cheers,
 
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Yup- thats my route. Its nearly finished. I have changed quite a lot of textures since I released that video, including Anthony's background. This route dates back to the days when I first started to code (in fact, this is my first route), at that time, I was'nt too great at building my own objects, therefore I just borrowed. I am beginning to use more and more of my own objects with conjuction of objects made by other people.

Heres some screenshots of the latest development





 

Bill EWS

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Hi Richard, and EmergencyBrake,
Thanks for your replies and latest information on the new route. I will look forward to the publication and giving it a run. Nice too, hearing that some effort has been put into producing objects that will look a little diffrent than the usual shared objects. That large bridge looks great but becomes a little off putting finding in it yet again in a new route. This goes too for other regular objects. I think Eezypeezy's Tyne Valley route is going to prove my point as he is doing all he can to produce a route that will really be 'individual'. I know that others use some of his objects and ideas but his overall objects are of his own making and will always be a 'first'.

My comments were in no way meant to criticise either the route or the author, but simply that there are now a number of fictional routes for BVE4 and with the amount of time and effort put into producing these I just wondered if perhaps this talent could be pooled and put into producing something really special. Having a team that would work on certain parts of the route would speed up the tasks and eventual publication date etc. It's just an idea but perhaps it could be possible.

Cheers.

BillEWS.
 

call2

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There's nothing VERY difficult about building a 'real' route Bill. You just have to have a lot more time to go and photograph, measure up and get the 'feel' for the real thing before making it. I think that's probably the main reason behind not going for 'real'.

It's a strange fact though Bill that 'real' BVE routes will often be limited in their scope of operation. If you are going to build a route it will take a serious amount of time to complete. A branch line can often be put together in a few months, but its scope is often a little limited. If you want to just go along a single line track with perhaps only a 153/156/158 then it's ok. But users will become very bored with it's limitations in a short time.

You could always build something more grand, but BVE is a little limited in some areas and putting down even a medium size station will result in terrible frame rates. Not only that, it will take a huge amount of time to build, even with several people working on it. I agree that it's great to drive Redditch to New Street, and it goes without saying that it's a fabulous piece of work that we all admire so much. But in general you'll only get 323s along the Redditch line. There is very limited scope to be able to go from Barnt Green to New Street either.

In addition to being a developer on part of the Network West Midlands series of routes, I'm working on Gloucester to Swindon. Most of the track is finished and scenery is quite advanced. I like driving it; and because I live by the side of the line it's not too difficult to cycle out to a place and photograph whatever I need. But I still like the freedom of putting things into a route that I like, and I get as much pleasure out of building it as the real architects and builders did when real routes were made. I also used to be a railway modeller, and BVE is just another form of expression. I like it, so I make it.

The difference to the developer, other than the extended time of building a 'real' route, is that there is a different challenge. You have to model every bit of the route very accurately. If you don't somebody will be down on you before you can say knife. In modelling circles those people are called "rivet counters". I KNOW that somebody will eventually make some comment about, "the curve radii on Sapperton Bank isn't correct on your Gloucester to Swindon route". And they will have no conception as to why I've decided to alter it slightly due to limitations of BVE. I'm sure that Anthony Bowden has had loads of Emails about certain scenery not being strictly correct. That situation is almost eliminated with a fictional route. So long as the signalling is as correct as it can be and the track layout is about right there's not much anyone can say.

To the user there's not much difference between real or fictional. So long as it's an enjoyable and entertaining drive for them then they are happy. To the developer, happiness comes from building something that you like. I personally can't see why I would want to spend months/years, even as part of a group, putting something together unless I REALLY enjoyed doing it.

There's also a problem with a group working together. It's like asking a group of artists to paint a picture on the same canvas. Everyone of them has a way of doing things, and their work has a sort of 'signature' to it. You only have to look at the different BVE route authors work to notice that there are striking differences in style. I've been extremely lucky to be part of a group that work together well. To work on different parts of a route, and join them together without any noticeable differences as you drive across the join, takes some effort. Many developers have tried, and failed to work together. I think that in general it's something that isn't easily attainable.

I know what you're saying. I'm sure that I will make Gloucester to Swindon as authentic as I can and run the correct traction on it too. But I don't feel that I nor the majority of users will prefer one over the other. I look forward to driving this new fictional route "Greenfields". But I like them all.
 

HSTfan!!!

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"Once completed, you will be able to drive a class 323 from Greenfield to Newport."

I didn't know we had catenary in Newport lol. looks like it should be a good run!
 

Dennis

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Adding to Call2's comments the other problem I have encountered is just how much a real line can change during development of the BVE version.

On the 'real' part of the Devizes line between Trowbridge and Holt, since I have been building it, 2 whole new housing estates and a retail part have sprung up next to the line. Add to that NR culling many of the trees, changes to signage and a myriad of other details, by the time this route is finished it will be of historic interest!
 

Bill EWS

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Hi Everyone,
Many thanks for the great replies. I understand some of the problems that have been aired and also finding the right people to work together can also be difficult, but it still feels like a good idea. I don't thnk I am the only one who thinks that there are possibly too many 'Fictional' routes compared to real ones.

The problem of lineside changes etc can easily be overcome by simply stating the period in which the route is set. Even train modelers have that problem. However, I am looking forward to the Greenfield route, and especially the Devises route as that is one that has intrigued me for a long time. I mentioned elsewhre that I remember the remains of the junctions at both ends of the old mainline still in situe when I first worked over the Berks & Hants and the Trowbridge lines.

I appreciate your comments.

Cheers.

BillEWS.
 

nutter

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Bill EWS. We should count our selfs lucky that we have route developers at all. I have recently started coding thanks to the tutorials and it is very difficult to get your head around. And that fact they do it for free is just amazing.

And thats when all the objects are already found for you. A fictional route is better than no route at all
 

Tom B

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Dennis said:
On the 'real' part of the Devizes line between Trowbridge and Holt, since I have been building it, 2 whole new housing estates and a retail part have sprung up next to the line. Add to that NR culling many of the trees, changes to signage and a myriad of other details, by the time this route is finished it will be of historic interest!

Oh yes. When I released Picc v5 I was flamed on another forum because I'd included a speed restriction which had been there for years but was removed the just before the release...

As for objects - I tend to put generic ones in as "placeholders", then build different ones where nescesarry. There are a lot of times where you *have* to have a unique object for a particularly distinctive bit, but on the other hand if there's an adequete object there why try to reinvent the wheel? Though of course all routes should be subtly different, and I try to acheive this as well.
 

NORTH STAR

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The ever changing nature of the 'real' railway is one of the biggest challenges with a non-fictional route. In the last few weeks, NR have relayed a stretch of line just south of Southcote Junction. I've yet to go down there but I have a sneaking suspicion that it's going to be continuous welded rail now...

I suppose you could always put it a note to "date" your route?
 

Dennis

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NORTH STAR said:
I suppose you could always put it a note to "date" your route?

And I can guarantee someone won't read it and you'll end up experiencing what Cockfosters has described.

Personally, I'm happy to accept this 'problem' as an opportunity - the Devizes line is being built at the moment as it was ~2000 without all the new developments. An updated version can then be released later incorporating these together with improvements over the original route and perhaps extending it a bit. Mind you, at the current rate of progress, HST2's will be seen at Westbury in 'version 2'!
 

eezypeazy

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Just back from holiday, came across this thread, thought I'd add to the debate....

Excluding London Uderground, by my reckoning there are only 19 UK non-fictional routes presently available - and I've contributed two of them!

Yes, it would be great to see more real main line and branch line UK railways being modelled. I've discussed in the blogs section that I reckon that, taking everything into account, a developer working on his or her own is unlikely to be able to build more than a mile a week of real railways for BVE. So, an individual working alone is unlikely to build (say), the ECML in much under eight years - but eight people could complete it in one!

Not that many users would want to drive it in its entirety in one go, as a poll held recently revealed that most people want their BVE sessions to be about an hour's worth at a time.

I think that what we need is more people building more real-life routes, either alone or collaboratively. To this end, Dennis's coding tutorials have to be applauded, as it will build into a good set of reference materials. And Ewe's summer routebuilding competition is a good idea, too (although we may find in the future that authors delay the release of new routes to fit the competition deadlines! - and who wants to be sat at a computer on a beautiful summer evening? Surely coding is a winter hobby, with research visits being done in the summer?).

So, where's this ramble leading me? I've thought long and hard about how we might encourage more people into route developing, but haven't yet come up with The Big Idea that doesn't cost very much. For example, I toyed with suggesting running a BVE Weekend based at an IT department of a college, but that would be quite costly to do. Might a group of us who already have websites do some sort of email campaign to model railway clubs, to bring in more modellers (after all, isn't BVE just a whopping great big model railway in an electronic box?).

One other area that we should target is retired people, who are increasingly computer-literate and have bucket loads of the one resource that younger people don't - free time! I know of one BVE enthusiast who is 75 years of age, and contemplating learning Japanese so that he can better understand those routes!

So there we are - random thoughts from eezypeazy. Route building isn't that difficult - it just takes time and patience (like every other form of railway modelling!). If you don't fancy hand coding, build your route in Route Builder, and edit the route file to add the BVE 4 features afterwards. If you can spare a few hours a week, you can start building your own, real-life route. And the real pleasure comes from contributing to a growing internet-based library of routes.

eezypeazy
 

LondonBVE

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Oh yeah Summer BVE Route Challenge, thinking of pushing the release date to 21 September 2006. Will be back with result.
 

LondonBVE

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Ok my brain keep telling me this: "Do not participate in this contest, maybe next year." . So I follow and so your will be getting BVE Aldwych Branch for BVE 4 soon. Do not pester me, Routes are done, permission sent but so far nobody has reply me whether can I borrow the objects.
 

Tom B

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LondonBVE said:
Ok my brain keep telling me this: "Do not participate in this contest, maybe next year." . So I follow and so your will be getting BVE Aldwych Branch for BVE 4 soon. Do not pester me, Routes are done, permission sent but so far nobody has reply me whether can I borrow the objects.

Talk about pots and kettles...
 
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