MSTS: The Hobby
Posted 22 December 2006 - 12:42 PM
I actually enjoy switching this little micro-route. I have some software that generates switch lists etc - and scheduled traffic is represented by AI trains that exit and enter from 'staging' areas according to the actual L&PS timetable. With all the sidings and industries so close together, the action is a little faster - less running from place to place and more switching. The minimal nature of the route makes for excellent frame rates and gives me headroom to drill down to even finer detail on the construction. And to answer Rich's question, the white void isn't distracting. I stay low to the ground or in the locomotive and don't really notice it at all. The micro-route is not actually separate from the L&PS route - its just that the rest of the tiles are disabled in software. I have a small program that 'turns-on' the entire route when I want. But in the four or so months I have been working on this, I haven't had the urge to run the rest of the route.
Its narrow focus taken to the extreme - a different strategy for enjoying the hobby.
Posted 23 December 2006 - 08:28 AM
In the past I've complimented Andre for his choice of relatively short routes that make it possible to learn the route and operate a train completely in a reasonable amount of time -- my attention span isn't good for an actvity that could take 8 or 9 hours to complete. As model railroaders, we had to deal with compressing the prototype into the space we had available. Some folks chafe at the thought that an end to end run might take only a few minutes and set out to build double-decker or triple-decker layouts. I think running on a long TrainSim route a few times might enlighten them of the true virtues of relative compression. The same holds true with the "compression" on Andre's routes. Most of us don't have the hours to devote to imitating what professionals spend long work days doing. A short route gives us the chance to deal with switching, grades, etc. within a time frame that we can handle.
I remain an active modeler and busy at work on my layout, the South Ozark Lines. Long ago I realized that what I really enjoy is the process of planning and building rather than the final product. In virtual modeling, my interests have likewise been active, focusing on learning the physics of steam locomotives, braking and coupling systems, sound,etc. have purposively avoided attempting to build a route. What I am doing now takes enough time that I seldom just sit down and run a train anymore. But I am still quite satisfied.
If we move to a smaller residence when we retire, I will give up the model layout and focus on building structures for folks, TrainSim projects, and volunteer work at sites like the C&TS, EBT, etc.
Posted 23 December 2006 - 02:17 PM
I have followed the micro-route contex for years, using it to test different aspects of a proposed layout before building it. Usually build a 2 foot x 8 foot piece or section and used it after making changes while the rest of the layout was under construction. Lately I have been looking at some of the work of Ian Rice and thinking about incorporating it into a Trainz route to use as my model railroad. Something like this:
It can't beat MSTS as far as I am concerned for real railroading and operation but I like his work and Trainz is good for model railroading.
Posted 24 December 2006 - 07:58 AM
Posted 24 December 2006 - 11:39 AM