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#41 laming

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Posted 08 July 2005 - 10:23 PM

"Ah yes, what a wonderful scene you got going there. I like the attempt at making the engine facility look drenched in oil..."

The oily ground is only temporary transfers. I would eventually paint the terrtex and add oil stains as I did on the A&O. Looks far better than a transfer. Look at the engine service facilities on your install of the A&O and you'll see what I mean.

For grins and giggles, I placed all the grain elevators in the central Enid industrial area and snapped an RE pic. Note there's a HUGE one in the background. I count six. Figure total car output from these six elevators to be around 80-100 (or more) per day during grain season.

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#42 sevenbrewer

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Posted 09 July 2005 - 11:21 PM

I would love to see a Chicago terminal area route similar to the freeware version of the New Jersey area. There is lots of switching and you would have to take a lot of liberty with the level of details so the darn thing doesn't become a slide show. Just the same, even some of the commuter routes would be fun if there is plenty of ai traffic as in real life. If you are so inclined Andre, I can get you very good details of the commuter ops.

There are also a few nice city switching subdivisions that would be nice to do. One I was thinking about was the Skokie and Weber subdivisions on the C&NW circa 1930. These subs merged at river junction which was a mile north of Mayfair Junction at which a 3 track main of the Harvard Sub on C&NW crosses the double track main of the Milwaukee road route to Milwaukee. One of the interesting aspects was that the Skokie and Weber subs both had 2 track mains. Trains would run down from Skokie to river jct. and then BACK UP on the Weber sub to Evanston (where it met with the C&NW Old Line sub that goes to Milwaukee). The the train would run forward back toward Mayfair where it would then go down the Harvard sub into Chicago. There were 3 trains per day each way doing this. (open air coaches) The Skokie sub had some industry, but not much. The Weber sub however had quite a bit of industrial sidings to switch. among the larger customers on the line was a Material Service operation that prompted C&NW to build a small yard at Mayfair jct. to handle all the movements of sand, gravel and cement for this customer alone. Another big one was in Evanston where the North Shore railroad went over it on a tall trestle. The customer was a coal gasification plant. I think the Weber yard was probably built to handle all the traffic for this customer along with the metropolitan sanitary district (sludge trains) and maybe even an interchange with the north shore as it was near the car shops that the CTA uses now for the Skokie Swift. Off hand, other customers included at some point in time, an asphalt plant, coal dealers, oill dealers, chemical companies, transformer manufacturerer, Feltpro (automotive gaskets), Klein tools may have had a siding, at least one plastics fabricator that had 3 sidings, a scrap iron dealer and probably more that I just don't know about.

Oh yes, these lines were both signaled lines....had to be for all this activity!

#43 Shaa

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Posted 15 July 2005 - 03:16 PM

I'm way late on this but here goes. As to the type of route (proto, semi-proto, fictional) it doesn't matter much to me since I wouldn't be able to tell if you did something wrong anyways blush.gif That being said I do prefer switching routes. The more the merrier.....those Enid shots in another thread have me drooling. I figure the long run routes are being covered fairly well by others when I have that urge (Cascades and such) I'd say that based on your time available you might want to do like Rich does and build small sections into a larger whole if that would even be possible if you get the new job (or am I late on that one also? I hate working this many hours I lose track of everything laugh.gif ) As far as what era? I'm a big fan of the E and F units with a little steam mixed in....which is your fault by the way after I picked up your first route. tongue.gif


Jim

#44 laming

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Posted 15 July 2005 - 04:17 PM

This has been a fun thread. Here's a few quotes & comments:

> I would love to see a Chicago terminal area route similar to the freeware version of
> the New Jersey area.

I'll probably have to leave that theme for some other route builder to tackle.

> There is lots of switching and you would have to take a lot of liberty with the level of
> details so the darn thing doesn't become a slide show.

And THAT is one of the the "gotcha's" about modeling a sizeable area with lots of track and industries. During my experimentation with that Enid module above, I'm discovering that FPS is always an issue. Grain elevators (with their poly/texture-heavy mulitiple cylindrical shapes) consumes more CPU resource than I expected. One would HAVE to regain the resources elsewhere, likely by holding down object count with multi-object items as well as foregoing lots of small detail tidbits.

Another "gotcha" that I've just learned is that MSTS doesn't seem to handle tall objects as effeciently as it does those of lesser height. Regardless of my maximum 2000 meter LOD settings on my elevator structures (set thusly so they will be visible at maximum distance) there is a noticeable "pop" when they are drawn in the sim. It seems very tall objects will not "come in" until less than 2000 meters. (Which is SUPPOSED to be the maximum drawing distance.) There's always surprises when working with this (or other) software!

> That being said I do prefer switching routes. The more the merrier..... those Enid shots
> in another thread have me drooling.

As it develops in RE, I'm realizing the Enid scene is far more complex than I first estimated. Still to come would be all the urban-type structures, more track (the Frisco yard) and such. Me fears a slide-show could be in the making. dry.gif

> with a little steam mixed in....which is your fault by the way after I picked up your first route tongue.gif

HA! I gotcha! biggrin.gif

Speaking with candor: A decent turn of the 19th century shortline has a LOT to commend it for this sim.

To wit:

* Towns were smaller, yet afforded many opportunities for smaller rail customers.

* Trains were shorter. (Engines couldn't pull as much, limiting train length.)

* Trains were more plentiful, even on shortlines. (Good AI potential.)

* Rails were being extended to EVERYWHERE, increasing opportunity for finding an interesting prototype to model and/or pattern a plausible proto-lanced route after.

All of the above factors mean a route creator can emphasize maximum movement (i.e. "play value) per CPU investment.

Often has been the temptation to model such a line again... only further back in time than the StLNA. (1890's seems about right.)

IMHO, most simmers want exactly what this sim struggles with most as it tries to present the route/equipment graphically and operationally:

* Long trains of high-poly rollingstock w/multiple high-poly diesels.

* Big textures on all the equipment.

* Major industries.

* Dense scenery.

* Much AI traffic, each consisting of long trains of high-poly rollingstock w/multiple high-poly diesels.

* Lots of loose consists.

* Lots of auto/vehicle traffic on the roadways with large varieties of autos/trucks.


Every item in the above list adds drastically to the taxation of the sim and the computer system running it.

Somewhat a paradox, me thinks. blink.gif

Ah well... the challenges of creating content!

Okie doakie... who's next?

Andre

#45 EdavilleFan

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Posted 15 July 2005 - 04:57 PM

Hi Andre,

I, for one, would love to see another steam shortline. There aren't too many steam routes available for us end users.

Extending the StL&NA would also be great as we could utilize all the excellent equiptment from Jon Davis!

Thanks for the two great routes so far and whatever you decide, I'll be ready with the plastic card.

Bob

#46 laming

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Posted 15 July 2005 - 08:07 PM

Hi Bob! You commented:

> I, for one, would love to see another steam shortline. There aren't too many steam
> routes available for us end users.

Properly done steam in MSTS is a hoot. (i.e. "properly done" = nice models and nice physics.) Fortunately, I have two of the best working with me in those realms! (Jon Davis and Bill Hobbs!)

> Extending the StL&NA would also be great as we could utilize all the excellent
> equiptment from Jon Davis!

Well, stranger things have happened. IMHO, I think I've already captured some of the best scenery and interest points of the prototype StLNA. The topography turns more gentle (though the 1.75% grades continue), and it's a LOOOOOOONG ways to the next REAL interest point: Harrison, Arkansas.

> Thanks for the two great routes so far and whatever you decide, I'll be ready with the plastic card.

Well, as stated, I'm mainly just having fun with RE right now: Exploring options, experimenting, and ever learning still.

I fully intend to just work on what interests me, as opposed to trying to guess what the market "wants". (As you can see from this thread, that's nigh impossible!) If a project gets finished: It will be released. If it does and sales are very flat... oh well, at least I enjoyed creating it!

Using the criteria I mentioned in the previous thread, what I think would make a great MSTS route would include:

* Terrain that has scenic impact and creates operational drama.

* Good operational concept.

* Short enough to actually have a hope of finishing it, yet long enough that it takes a fair amount of time to run end to end. (Somewhere between 30-50 minutes of mainline run.)

* Has less track (as opposed to a sprawling prototype), but arranged to offer interesting switching scenarios.

* Very rich in atmosphere so that nothing on the market looks like it.

I've got one I've dusted off tonight I'm looking at that could offer all of the above. biggrin.gif

We shall see!

Andre

#47 raiderjp

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Posted 15 July 2005 - 08:32 PM

Could you make a route starting at L.A. going to San Brenardino? It could connect the Cajon Pass and Surfliner routes together.

Edited by raiderjp, 15 July 2005 - 08:33 PM.


#48 laming

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Posted 15 July 2005 - 09:32 PM

> Could you make a route starting at L.A. going to San Brenardino?

I could. But my lack of enthusiasm for such a project would mean it wouldn't stand a dog's chance of ever getting finished. Besides, I live in the Ark-Okla area... no way for me to relate to, and therefore capture, the flavor of the area. Being accurate to a prototype would be even more difficult. Besides, IMHO, west coast railroading is pretty much done to death in MSTS.

Any future projects I may release might not appeal to the masses, but at least I will have had fun in creating it.

Andre

#49 raiderjp

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Posted 15 July 2005 - 09:35 PM

How can I connect routes?

#50 mmartin51

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Posted 16 July 2005 - 02:53 AM

It's a great big VIRTUAL world out there...............use your imagination. That works best.

#51 boundy

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Posted 16 July 2005 - 10:47 AM

Andre;
Do what you do best. I too have my plastic in hand for what ever the master creates.

#52 laming

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Posted 23 July 2005 - 08:04 AM

Speaking of a route that is reasonably compact, dramatic, "different", et al, here's a pic of the above mentioned project that I blew the dust off of so I could take a look...

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#53 TomW

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Posted 23 July 2005 - 11:08 AM

Andre:
Could it be the "CM"??
Please . . . please . . . please? rolleyes.gif
(as I nervously grasp for my credit card)
Maybe for Xmas? biggrin.gif

#54 august1929

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Posted 23 July 2005 - 11:17 AM

Andre, is that what I think it is? - if so, looks good with the bridge in place (engines suspended over a void always look kind of funny laugh.gif ).

Are you still thinking of 2 eras?

Rodster.

#55 laming

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Posted 23 July 2005 - 12:35 PM

Tommy Boy pled:

> Could it be the "CM"??
> Please . . . please . . . please?

Alas, 'tis not the CM. The CM is a wonderful prototype. But, as a prototype, one is faced with the following obstacles to semi-seriously replicate it as a commerical endeavor:

1. There wasn't a great deal of operational high points once out on the main line. What little was out there, it was a fur piece between 'em.

2. Trying to build convincing replicas of signature structures takes horrendous amounts of time.

3. Texture challenges.

4. Distance to target area to view the locale and remains of the prototype. If at all possible, I feel this is necessary in order to get a good "feel" of the area and how the railroad fits into the enviorn.

The last thing a commercial developer wants is to release a prototype that had to have significant compromises incorporated, only to be blasted in public at forums with less restraint than found here!

Rodster:

It is sort of the same. The combined mileage of the evaluation route sent you some time ago ended up being more mileage than either of my previous releases. This would result in a development time for a single man operation to be eternal in nature. blink.gif

What I'm looking at is to break the idea into two parts. Finish part 1 and release, then part 2 and release. Part 1 is the freelanced idea that is based on prototype practices. Part 2 would be a proto-lanced version of a railroad that actually existed. The two different lines would be treated as connecting roads, complete with their own identity.

Haven't gotten far enough along to even consider a dual era. What I'm looking at currently is 1890s.

Though the Ozarks are not the Rockies, there is a charm and appeal to them that is unique. There really is something behind the term "Hillbilly", and the colorful history of the area made for some interesting railroading. The Ozarks I am looking at replicating does not have the "finery" of Eureka Springs, or Berryville, for example. Instead, it is waaaay more rough and tumble with considerable "character" as well as "characters".

The topography is vastly more rugged than that traversed by the StLNA/A&O. There would be geniune need for helpers on all but the lightest of trains. This opens the door for more activity diversity, IMHO. Working the Extra Board and pulling helper duty every now and then would add some "spice" to the scenario.

In addition, there will be connections at both ends, with interchange at one location in between. Now we're talking the ability to capitalize on bridge traffic, an item that I couldn't plausible incorporate into the StLNA or A&O.

HOWEVER... this is all in the "experimentation" and "pondering" stage... who knows what will happen?

The FWIW Department:

Thought I'd post a pic that helps to illustrate the "look" of railroading as well as including a vignette of the characters found in the Ozarks "back then". The pic below is lifted from the Frisco at Winslow, AR back at the turn of the 19th century. Those light ten wheelers are part of the helper fleet that operated out of Chester, AR shoving freights up the 2.5% grade of Boston Mountain. The grades on the routes I'm looking at contain 4%.

Have fun!

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  • Attached File  slsf.jpg   63.12KB   0 downloads


#56 laming

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Posted 23 July 2005 - 01:33 PM

TomW:

It may not be the CM... but it's kinda' rugged. Below is a pic taken near the summit at Fly Gap (actual place). The valley floor to the left is out of sight, but is still several hundred feet below what is visible.

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#57 EdavilleFan

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Posted 23 July 2005 - 02:11 PM

Hi Andre,

This latest Route idea that you have dusted off has caught my attention and sounds great!

Please keep this "train" of thought! biggrin.gif

Bob

#58 august1929

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Posted 23 July 2005 - 04:02 PM

Looking good Andre - the approach to Fly Gap was impressive, with a great sense of distance (and depth) - for sure, arriving at Fly Gap itself was worth the long haul.

It will be a treat if you are able to take this forward..

Rodster

#59 TomW

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Posted 24 July 2005 - 05:46 AM

Andre:

Hey, I took a guess . . . blush.gif

BTW, it looks great to me, plus
(1) it's a STEAM route, and (2) it's from the golden age of railroading. Just my "thing"

The concept of developing and releasing a piece at a time would certainly reduce
the pressure to complete the whole route, and maybe make it less of a chore.
Work at your own pace, you've got a lot on your plate right now.

If you decide to proceed, I'm ready to buy!

#60 wmghobbs

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Posted 24 July 2005 - 06:59 AM

Andre,
Looks good to me too.
Bill Hobbs