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KRS thoughts after a few days


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#1 august1929

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Posted 22 October 2007 - 07:17 AM

Well, I have been using KRS on and off for nearly a week now and I am starting to get used to it (sort of).

There are some irritations that are going to need the input of KUJU or simmers to sort out (like an interface for changing weather, paths etc in explore mode - Please! - if there was one thing from MSTS that was worth keeping, that was it). Some of them there are good workarounds for, or there are already tweaks out there. Mike Simpson, of Route Riter fame, has produced a KRS Bin tool that will open the .xml files so they can be edited - all warnings apply wacko.gif . This handy utility can be picked up here;

http://members.optus.../downloads.html

I have used this to adjust the distance back for #2 camview to a more sensible 60 metres - not too far to show the "edges" of the sim world, but far enough to appreciate it properly now.

Also, there have been moans about #4 camview and the fact that it is anchored again, and can't be moved sideways - well, there is a workaround for this that is far better than the MSTS #4 camview hack. For those that have KRS, hit #4 camview, then instantly hit #8 - that puts you in the same location, but now with 360 degree movement plus up, down, back and forward - total mobility - just hi another camview to get out of it once the train has gone by biggrin.gif.

If you hack the #2 camview, hack #8 as well to extend the distance this can go from the train - it is set at 1,000 metres, I have pushed mine up to 2,000 metres.

Anyway, enough of this hacking. Some shots follow - not the best I have taken, I am struggling with the lighting in KRS, very, very different to MSTS and Trainz, both of which I can work with quite easily - what you see is definitely not what I get when I look at my screenies - a lot of adjustment required.

The shots are definitely not intended as a critique of the route building or the sim - they are taken more to show what the initial possibilities are - and what some of our ace route builders are surely going to be able to exceed in a very short time (still pretty good though smile.gif ).

Taken on the York/Newcastle route, in the default dark grey threatening to rain weather envelope all explore modes seem to be stuck with. Oh for some California sun.....well, december/January maybe tongue.gif

Watch the framerates in the pictures (2.6 Gig processor, ATI Radeon 2600 256mb Graphics card and 2 Gig of Ram - not high by modern standards - heaviest hit around other enbgines/built up areas - all sliders maxed - 4x AA, 8x Aniso)

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Reasonably detailed 3D modelling is the norm, with decent framerates

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#2 august1929

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Posted 22 October 2007 - 07:20 AM

The following are mainly showing the possibilites for "reality" next to the track - proper ROW and land taken in to the side - decent vistas (probably about a visual one and a half to two miles)

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Good textures are standard, and the sim copes very well with them

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Bridges with abutments!

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#3 august1929

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Posted 22 October 2007 - 07:24 AM

And plenty of greenery possible biggrin.gif

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Different track textures of course

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As I say above, this is not intended to be about this particular route, or how it has been constructed (i.e. to prototype or not) - all about the possibilities - and they are great...

Rod



#4 sstyrnol

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Posted 22 October 2007 - 11:21 AM

As has been said elsewhere, it looks like it has plenty of potential, if KUJU'nk get their act together to iron out all the initial bugs...

Great screens btw! What about that coupler? It looks like one you could use to couple also US/Russian rolling stock if required?!

#5 august1929

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Posted 22 October 2007 - 11:42 AM

Hi Sebastian - wasn't sure about the coupler, but it is a while since I saw UK coaching stock in detail and I can't remember that far back to how they joined the end of rakes of coaches with the motive power.

Thanks on the screens

Rod

#6 dcarleton

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Posted 22 October 2007 - 12:23 PM

Here is a question of special interest to American operation:

Is it possible to blow a short blast on the horn without having to blow a long blast first?
For example, three shorts toot-toot-toot before moving in reverse, etc.?

David Carleton



#7 Genma Saotome

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Posted 22 October 2007 - 12:31 PM

I like the weeds along the ROW quite a bit but in the long view shots there is something, I'm not sure what it is, that strikes me as terribly wrong. The shot where the train is poping out from underneath the highway overpass, in the upper left corner the field looks really wrong to my eye. Same reaction to the birds eye shot looking down the length of the train... the grass in the distance, wrong somehow. But I don't know what exactly it is that makes me think that... perhaps it doesn't look far enough away... as if it was the product of a graphic artist doing an advertisment using uniform color... maybe that's it.

I dunno... anybody else feel the run off into the distance is off somehow?

#8 old_codger

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Posted 22 October 2007 - 05:43 PM

I see it's possible to have different ballast textures in a route. Is it also possible to have concrete and wood ties in the same route?

#9 Hack

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Posted 22 October 2007 - 05:59 PM

QUOTE(Genma Saotome @ Oct 22 2007, 12:12 PM) View Post
I like the weeds along the ROW quite a bit but in the long view shots there is something, I'm not sure what it is, that strikes me as terribly wrong.

Lack of distant scenery (ie: Distant Mountains)?

Cheers!
Marc

#10 jp4712

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Posted 23 October 2007 - 12:31 AM

QUOTE(old_codger @ Oct 22 2007, 4:24 PM) View Post

I see it's possible to have different ballast textures in a route. Is it also possible to have concrete and wood ties in the same route?
Yes.
QUOTE(Hack @ Oct 22 2007, 4:40 PM) View Post

Lack of distant scenery (ie: Distant Mountains)?
Well, in fairness that route in real life is very flat for most of its distance.

Not one of the screenshots I've seen does justice to the sim - that's certainly no criticism of anyone, mine are as bad, it's just that it really does look hugely better in the sim - maybe it's the movement of the procedural vegetation, or the fact that you can only take screenies in windowed mode.

Let's be clear, it's pretty buggy - signalling and scenarios (activities) are terrible, actually they're abysmal. But the graphics are really very good, definitely a lot better than you get the impression of here, and the physics seem okay for the most part. If the bugs and missing functionality (eg the ability to script scenarios effectively) get fixed in the promised patch it definitely has a lot of potential.

Paul



#11 august1929

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Posted 23 October 2007 - 12:36 AM

The only route with any real backdrop in the pack is the German one - that seems to pick up the terrain (without features) in the distance. The routes in the sim, though, appear to be similar to Trainz in construction, but not on such narrow, model railroad like, baseboards. Don't appear to have the large tile width of most MSTS routes, but that may not have been seen as necessary in the 3 UK routes, that all run through relatively flat lands (would have the pennines in the distance on the York route - but relatively flat).

What is important is what can be done with the sim, not what has been done by the developers so far cool.gif

Marc, do you have any heads up on the US route being developed - are there distant mountains in that?

Rod

#12 Hack

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Posted 23 October 2007 - 12:58 AM

QUOTE(jp4712 @ Oct 23 2007, 12:12 AM) View Post
Well, in fairness that route in real life is very flat for most of its distance.

I'm aware of that. My intent was to place emphasis on distant "scenery," rather than to imply "mountains" were missing from the UK routes (Distant Mountains being used as a common reference to distant scenery in MSTS, but need not have mountains at all).

QUOTE
Marc, do you have any heads up on the US route being developed - are there distant mountains in that?

I don't have an inside scoop, I'm afraid. I'm pretty much in the dark as most everyone else is on the US version. I suspect the screen shots Adam posted (over a month ago) are likely to be the only clue.

Cheers!
Marc

#13 jp4712

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Posted 23 October 2007 - 09:06 AM

QUOTE(Hack @ Oct 22 2007, 11:39 PM) View Post

I'm aware of that. My intent was to place emphasis on distant "scenery," rather than to imply "mountains" were missing from the UK routes (Distant Mountains being used as a common reference to distant scenery in MSTS, but need not have mountains at all).
My apologies, I did not intend to offend.

Paul


#14 jp4712

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Posted 23 October 2007 - 09:13 AM

QUOTE(dcarleton @ Oct 22 2007, 11:04 AM) View Post

Here is a question of special interest to American operation:

Is it possible to blow a short blast on the horn without having to blow a long blast first?
For example, three shorts toot-toot-toot before moving in reverse, etc.?

David Carleton
Good question. The answer seems to be 'yes, but only if you are using a decent sound card and only if whatever-the-equivalent-to-the-sms-file-is supports it'.

The 7F 2-8-0 does very satisfactory little toots and loooooong whistles on my 8800GTS dual-core Vista 32-bit home PC with X-Fi sound, but on the laptop with integrated graphics and sound it seems to default to a more MSTS1 kind of experience.

Hope that helps

Paul

#15 Genma Saotome

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Posted 24 October 2007 - 09:56 AM

QUOTE(Hack @ Oct 22 2007, 5:40 PM) View Post

Lack of distant scenery (ie: Distant Mountains)?


No, I think it's something about the color being fairly uniform all the way out to the horizon. One part of the image (horizon line) says far, far, away while another part of the image says not very far at all (the ground color). The conflict conveys as fake.

I think that's what it is for me. But it could just as well be the lighting. Take that last image, the one looking downthe length of the train. It's bright out there... blue sky, bright green grass. Yet the train shadow is barely noticible. So maybe what I'm seeing the bothers me is the lighting. Or both. I dunno.

#16 august1929

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Posted 24 October 2007 - 11:23 AM

I've not seen the sim yet in bright sunlight - each scenario or activity I have started, or the explore mode, have all been in overcast or downright threatening conditions - conditions that would lend to a certain strange lighting - I would love to see some genuine bright sunlight out there (or in there smile.gif ). The shadows are there, but quite weak and watery. All that said, the MSTS environment isn't always that good either...

This shot below has some very heavy cluds over the hills in the distance (actually looked a lot darker in the sim, but the foreground trees etc. are fairly light - however, a very watery/misty low sun was off to the right of the shot, so this wasn't that innacurate - the type of lighting you do get on a day threatening some bad weather, with the sun just coming under the clouds - i.e. dark above but surprisingly light below.

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This shot was earlier, and again was a bit darker in the sim - the even spread of colour in the foliage is, I would say, no worse than we have been used to, and could be altered with the use of different and more mixed foliage. BTW I have seen, I am pretty certain, shadows on trees/treeblocks (not just on the ground below). The real problem with all of this is that none of the shots I have taken (and, I suspect, seen) have been exactly as they look in the sim - unlike MSTS.

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The worst that can be said is that the lighting is different to what we are used to - all of it is virtual, and KRS just seems to be leaning more towards the games side of lighting (in a way, a bit like Trainz). Presumably MSTSX (2?) will be more like Flight Sim, which is generally pretty good. However, KRS is here, and MSTSX is a ways off yet.

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BTW - the crossing gates don't open - now that is serious and I sincerely hope they get that one sorted.

However, one of the pleasures in this sim is going about 1,000 metres down the track , and waiting next to some gently moving foliage ready for some Rail Fanning when the train comes by -very convincing with the excellent sounds package.

Rod