Rail Simulator 2 - Railworks

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Darandio

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Today, an announcement was widely expected from the team at RSDL. Most people thought it was going to be related to a new update to improve the problems in the existing game, not many saw this coming. As you may expect, it has been met with mixed reaction from the simulation community.

Rail Simulator 2: Railworks – The evolution of Rail Simulator

I appreciate that some of you have been waiting (patiently) for the promised announcements concerning Rail Simulator. This brief note outlines the key points of our strategy - we’ll be elaborating this in the coming weeks.

Over the past few months, we have been planning the future direction of Rail Simulator and as part of that process, we have analysed your feedback and assessed our position in the competitive marketplace. Based on this analysis, I am pleased to announce that we will be releasing Rail Simulator 2: RailWorks (working title!) in June 2009.

RailWorks will represent a new approach to simulation. Instead of providing a product, we are attempting to provide you with a platform on which you can build and operate virtual railways. We will continue to support and develop this platform over the coming months and years, adding new features to make the simulated environment ever more compelling. We will also be focusing on a number of facilities to allow you to share and even trade elements of your virtual world with other users.

Unlike Rail Simulator, RailWorks will include all the tools that were previously downloaded separately. In addition, for those of you who are online, we also plan to make use of Valve’s ‘Steam’ technology to simplify the process of supporting and upgrading the product. Don’t worry, we’ve worked hard to ensure compatibility with content created with Rail Simulator and will continue to make backward compatibility a key priority.

There will be one world-wide version of RailWorks that will include improved versions of all the routes currently in the European and North American version of Rail Simulator. In addition, we will have new routes and new locomotives along with new scenarios and significant graphical advancements. I don’t want to say too much about the new routes now, other than that one is North American, one European and one UK based. These are in the later stages of development and all are looking very impressive. I’m confident that you are going to enjoy them all.

With the launch of the RailWorks platform, we continue to demonstrate our long-term commitment to the rail simulation community. We have listened to your feedback and created RailWorks to better meet your needs.

So, to summarise: I appreciate that we’ve been quiet (thanks for your patience!), we’ve spent the last couple of months restructuring the business, realigning our product releases to meet the changed competitive environment and establishing new ways of distributing the product. Rail Simulator 2: RailWorks will provide a single platform for all of our customers with an exciting set of new content and features.

Everyone at RSDL remains committed to this hobby and going forward we want to work with as many of you as possible to make an even better product. In the coming weeks we’ll tell you more about:

* The new routes
* The new locomotives
* The new distribution channels
* The reorganized company (but don’t worry, Derek and the boys will still need biscuits, so keep the supplies coming!)
* The improvements we’ve made
* The New features for sharing content

Tim Gatland
 
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Techniquest

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Wow, I hadn't heard owt about an announcement but everyone here in Trowbridge are quite surprised, especially with the relatively short wait for it.

Having only done one full run on RS yesterday with the Paddington to Oxford route, I'm now rather keen on doing it again (assuming it's not a sunny day, it's a job for tomorrow!) and rather interested about RS2, especially since MSTS2 is officially caped.

Especially interested in this UK route, with hopes here being one of the following:

WCML
GWML beyond Reading/Didcot
Wales somewhere (North Wales Coast would be excellent)

I for one will be interested in the further developments on this, I hope you'll keep us informed when you discover the announcements when they come along Darren.
 

westcoaster

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I might get this version of it , if its not to demanding on the comp, question for richard ( mml route for rs builder) is there going to be cross copatibillity between the two versions if you know at all. How the route coming along.
 

richa2002

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Hello

And yes, there will be cross compatibility so my route will work in RS2. In terms of how the route is getting on, all track/signals/speed limits/main structures such as bridges/tunnels and platforms are done. RS2 should hopefully motivate me to get it into a half-releaseable state!
 

5872

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Hello

And yes, there will be cross compatibility so my route will work in RS2. In terms of how the route is getting on, all track/signals/speed limits/main structures such as bridges/tunnels and platforms are done. RS2 should hopefully motivate me to get it into a half-releaseable state!
Excellent, with RS2 news I shall wait lol
 

Darandio

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Another announcement today in the form of a Q&A session by Tim Gatland. The following is quoted from www.railsimulator.com where there are also some screenshots.

Following from the announcement of Rail Simulator 2: RailWorks last week, Tim Gatland answers some of the questions you have raised in the following interview and includes some of the first screenshots!

What are the key reasons for releasing Rail Simulator 2:RailWorks?
The key reasons for releasing RailWorks now include:

* Providing a single common platform for users across the globe
* To better control the distribution of the product
* To provide a more powerful system for upgrades, maintenance and additional features in the future.

Which routes and trains will be offered in RailWorks?
The existing five routes: Bath–Templecombe, Oxford –Paddington, York-Newcastle, Hagen-Siegen and Barstow-San Bernardino. The Hagen-Siegen route has been significantly revised and you’ll find noticeable improvements in the other routes.

New routes are based in Europe, UK and North America. We’ve taken a different approach with these routes and really focused on creating environments that provide fun operations to demonstrate what is possible within Rail Simulator. We think you’re really going to like them.

Rolling stock will include:

* ES44AC
* SD40-2
* Black 5 4-6-0
* SDJR 7F 2-8-0
* IC125 High Speed Train
* Class 166 DMU
* Class 47
* Class 55 Deltic
* DB BR101
* DB BR294
* NEW Class 37
* NEW European locomotive
* NEW North American locomotive

There will also be a host of new scenarios for all included routes.

Will add-ons for Rail Simulator be compatible with Rail Simulator 2: RailWorks?
Given how many assets RSDL have built for Rail Simulator, we’d be crazy not to have compatibility at the top of our agenda. So, while it is always hard to guarantee that there will be no compatibility issues, we have worked very hard to reduce any potential problems.

I can’t find Rail Simulator in the shops, will I be able to get RailWorks?
We understand these frustrations and this has been one of our major motivators in changing the distribution strategy for RailWorks. We have already announced our intention to distribute digitally via Steam and we will soon be announcing our physical media distribution partners.

Will EA still be the publisher?
We are in the final stages of selecting publishing partners. It is possible that they may distribute in some specific territories, but unlikely that they will distribute worldwide in the way that they did for the existing version of Rail Simulator.

I can’t afford 3D Studio Max. Will this be fixed in RailWorks?
We recognize that the tools we use at RSDL, such as 3D Studio Max, are very expensive and complex for non-professional users.

We are working closely with other parties to improve support for integration with other tool sets which are more accessible and also less expensive; more in depth information on this will be available soon. We have also commissioned additional work to improve the interaction with 3DSM and this will deliver better visual effects in RailWorks

However, the increased graphical realism available in Rail Simulator does mean that greater expertise is required to create content, so we continue to look for ways of making this process easier through tutorials and documentation.

Will I have to spend £30.00 buying a new copy of RailWorks?
Although we are still finalizing the pricing structure for RailWorks, we will offer existing users of Rail Simulator the opportunity to upgrade for a very modest price.

Will RSDL continue to provide patches and upgrades to Rail Simulator after RailWorks has been released?
We are confident that the committed users of Rail Simulator will migrate to RailWorks and therefore avoid the need for further patches to the old product. We do not want to divide our effort between supporting RailWorks and Rail Simulator.

I don’t want to use Steam. Is this mandatory with RailWorks?
Steam is becoming widely used and accepted by a huge number of PC users. However, if you do not want to use Steam, it will be possible to use the product without this facility. It will be harder for us to make corrections available and so you will probably lag in receiving fixes and upgrades, but we will provide an alternate way of doing this if demand necessitates.

What are RSDL doing after RailWorks?
We see the release of RailWorks as providing a springboard for further development of the Rail Simulator product range. Obviously we want more and better content for regions not yet covered, also we want to take advantage of some of the technical features now available in PCs and networks to provide new gameplay and collaboration features. We have a whole host of new ideas for the product – RailWorks gives us the environment to achieve these goals in an incremental way.
 

MCR247

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Sorry but I'm lost whats 'Steam'. It isnt refering to the type of train is it? :|:???:
 

Darandio

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I still haven't heard anything about what "discount" will be available for existing users but Amazon & Play.com are already offering it from 26th June for £29.99.
 

EvanRoger

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I bought Rail Simulator about a month ago having previously been a Trainz user since version 1. I like the graphics and train driving simulation, but creating a route looks to be far more daunting than in Trainz. I now have the option to upgrade to Railworks, but what do I get for my money? I am not interested in USA or German routes, and the only additional UK route appears to be a fictional marshalling yard. So is there any point in spending more money for a marginal upgrade, especially if new routes will be backwardly compatible? Any opinions would be welcome.
 

Darandio

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Well, I have just obtained my copy and although there are a few reported bugs kicking about, they should be solveable pretty quickly. As for what you get for your £17.49 (discounted price), the Class 37 would probably have cost nearly that anyway, graphically it seems like an improvement with excellent new weather and sky textures and also a few extra new things like the 3 fictional routes, new US loco etc.

You mentioned backwards compatibility. Routes created in Rail Simulator can be ported over to Railworks easily but it is different the other way around simply because RW uses a new package file that RS won't recognise.

 

EvanRoger

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Thanks Darandio. I think I’ll wait and see. In Trainz many users stayed with the 2004 version, others (like me) with the 2006 version, and downloads are still being made available for these versions. So I suppose it depends on how much stuff creators continue to produce for RS. If I get RW, does it overwrite RS or does RS have to be uninstalled? If the latter, do you have to back-up any later downloads to import back into RW?
 

Darandio

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RPM Elite - Most trains can be ported directly over from RS to RW without problems. Publishers are working to put together patches at this very moment to address any problems which may come up.

Evan Roger - RS and RW work together side by side, nothing overwrites anything.
 

Bittern

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RPM Elite - Most trains can be ported directly over from RS to RW without problems. Publishers are working to put together patches at this very moment to address any problems which may come up.
The FGW HST better be one or I'll plot nasty things!
 

Bayum

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Hi, Darandio - looking at your section of erm, the Modernised York to Newcastle blog, it says there is a Valenta pack available - where would I find this, as I can't get onto the page, as it says it doesn't exist?
 

Darandio

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Hi Bayum, the Valenta pack is available from www.armstrongpowerhouse.com.

However, it depends what you want it for. If you want it for Rail Simulator, it is fine, that is what the pack was designed for. If you want it for Railworks, not so easy, some people have transferred it over successfully but the general consensus is that when we receive the next update from the "Steam" platform, it will overwrite the packs meaning you would have to re-install them again. Everyone is just waiting for clarification on this.
 
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