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  1. So we went live this morning on Kickstart. http://kck.st/1AXOhrv Please check it out if you haven't yet. Even if you don't want to back the project, would be awesome if you visited. Thanks!
  2. Will do. I'd like to encourage everyone here to do a like on the Facebook page if you can, Likes are like votes of confidence to marketing and executive types.
  3. Hey guys! So, the time has come. I'm laying it out here at FED and Hawk & Badger. I'll probably pimp my warez on some of the Steam forums but not right now. My name is Franz Felsl, I worked at PopTop during most of it's existence; as well as other places too. While the other places are important, I'm going back to my roots, or at least trying too. Strategy games. A hated and unaccepted word by most large publishers. Some of you guys have talked with me before while at PopTop and others since. I've been milling the idea to do a spiritual successor to RRT series for a long time and now's the time for my friends and I to give it the old college try. I say SPIRITUAL SUCCESSOR because I'm not cloning RT and I have no rights to the title. I only claim the right to want to play a good railroad game. If I can't play one, I have to try and build one. I've heard others here say that before too so I know I'm not alone. Our team has started a new company called Combine Games and the game Rails & Riches. Here's some other links: Facebook Twitter Also I'm adding a link to our Kickstarter Page as a Preview Rails&Riches It's only a PREVIEW, some more art is coming to replace a few things. However the information is there and it will give you a pretty good idea of what we'll be doing. We're hoping to get it up live next Wednesday 27th. Yeah, we need a lot of money but we're trying to be real honest and upfront about it and what we plan on doing. We're not new at this and what it costs is what it costs. We'll see how the chips fall. If you want to put money in at the Kickstarter, great! That's not the main reason I'm here however. I'm here to ask your help in spreading the news however best you can. The railroad gamer community is pretty connected even if it's not a huge online presence and we'd love to have you let your contacts know we're around. Feel free to shoot me some questions, Like us at FB and let publishers know you're here.
  4. Did I miss this on the site? I was wondering if any of you played Train Fever and what you though of it.
  5. Gwizz, did you use any specific scale when you made maps for RT2? did you have a preference?
  6. Thanks Gwizz, I'll take a look. These kind of funds have been around but usually had a very specific need the business must meet. Still, can't hurt to take a look.
  7. Does anyone know what the scale of the world is in Railroads!?
  8. Hi guys, Again, thanks for all the feedback. I'm in the process of lining up some artwork, hopefully a commitment to more than just the initial phase. It's with a great team I've worked with in the past and are an industry respected team and wicked good artists. I hope to know more by next week. We're going to use the Unity 5 engine. Our team has quite a bit of experience with Unity and Steam. If I can get the money we'll be adding a friend who is a brilliant coder, probably the best guy I've ever seen in 30 years. He worked for lots of places on lots of lost causes. The only project that he worked on with significant success was Cave Dog on the Total Annihilation series. That said, he made a world generation system in about 3 weeks in Unity that was absolutely amazing and I want him to recreate that for us. Our CTO wants to see if there is anyway for us to legitimately use open source for something that won't simultaneously destroy us financially. As he said, we can do that when we have something to financially destroy. :) This week has gone by with some ups and downs. It looks like we might have a fight with a partner that wants to start something else and he may start swinging at us. It'll just make it harder, but won't stop us because it's mostly an emotional fight, something that only seems to happen with "friends". Still, it's draining. This whole thing is like getting married to multiple partners demanding everything at the same time. We started the paperwork to create an LLC and the state of Washington says it'll be about 10 business days because they are running behind. I guess that's good for business. A few weeks after that we'll try and do a KickStarter project. It feels like a hail Mary pass... but a bit better. Sadly, I think we have to ask for too much money and that could crush this process. Not that others haven't asked and even received, but if something can go wrong, it probably will and that's as good as any reason. However, I think we'll burn that bridge when we get there. On the upside, the ugly track laying system... while still very ugly... already has tunnels, terrain leveling, ballast, track grade and bridging working. My squeals of joy know no bounds! It's not a game, but for those of us with a vision... it's like rays of light from heaven. I may be slow to post, but I'll be sure to visit here often and sure to try and involve you guys for input. My years of stalking the boards have not been in vain... so to speak. As always, good night Terminal, I'll likely kill you in the morning.
  9. My first take on this is to provide the player with the ability to train a manager in areas that the player feels are important, like locomotive improvements, track engineering, sales, business management etc. The player can create a manager that they keep for use in a campaign... probably for scenarios too with some restrictions. But the idea is that they use a resource earned from completing scenarios to pay for the training of a manager. They can also be more specifically tailored for their own personal style... or to try a different style. Make them critical path choices so hiring and firing isn't an issue in a game. My only fear with this kind of thing is complication. We can't make this game harder than RT2. Tiny choices are not choices in the end. Big and motivational is what I'm trying to focus on. Like I'm trying to come to grips with if the player IS the chairman and is sort of RPing the position. It may be too "fiddly" but I enjoyed PopTop's use of making you RP the dictator in Tropico and the game was still a strategy game, but it added to the immersion. So i guess that's really where I'm headed, dropping managers and chairman as they were in RT2 and making them a personal chemistry set for encountering scenarios. Make sense?
  10. Thanks for all the feedback folks, nice to hear. The thing I'm thinking of is making the stock market into something more abstract, but I'm not ready to throw it out there yet. However, I think the game needs some of the tycoon manipulation to keep the feel in line. I know it was often ignored which means that the focus of the player even back in 98 was more casual. The upside to RT2 was that the game played fine without HAVING to use the stock market. In the end, getting thrown out of your company is never fun but the threat of that situation is fun, adds a sense of urgency and drama. We're definitely focusing on trains and railroad building, that is core to the fun. That game must focus on resources and asset management. We're going to bake stock market for a bit and see if there's anything we can add or remove.
  11. I'm in the US. I agree that it's possible to be wrong on the topic, although I think as I mentioned before it's likely that the topic is just not presented in a way that modern consumers expect because it's been so long since it's been done. My best example would be Cities: Skyline. Paradox never expected the kind of results they got because they saw even big games like SimCity Online tank hard. The difference was SCO was a BAD GAME on top of a bad monetization system. Cities: Skyline is the opposite and people have come to it in wonderful numbers, I'd be happy with their first month alone. It's still a geek game, but it's a complete game with graphics and presentation that customers today want. Back in the 90's we got a lot of games because only the geeks did game dev... they did what they knew. Over time the new people and the "hip" people started to steer towards trends and not just games. Trend following in this industry is horrendous. If you tell someone that you could make a game for $1m and earn $8m over 2 years, they'd say no. For the most part it's all run by big money sources and the numbers need to be 10x these. The mobile market switched that around for a brief time but the big money condensed small teams and now they are huge and FARM games. Literally and figuratively. So, I don't expect this to be a GIANT money maker, but I expect that it'll allow us to keep going and scratch the un-scratched niche of core PC game players that are actually larger in number than they were before 2000 world wide. I've "learned" to understand todays customers. In the end they are just like us, but have different types of tolerances and expectations. Since most people are very consumer oriented, they have specific ideals of what is "good" and "bad". All of which makes sense otherwise advertisement agencies would be out of business if things never changed. In fact, I'd go so far as to say I think there will be an uptick in old geek gamers over the next 15 years or so since so many baby boomers around the world will be retiring and finding other entertainment activities. The "techie" retirees are only now just hitting the markets and as their bad backs fill doctor's offices in record numbers, they'll be looking for more to do indoors too. Thanks for the encouragement though, it's appreciated.
  12. Persistence beyond a scenario in RT1-3 doesn't exist. Would that have helped? I'm inclined to say no. I say that because the timeline within a scenario is usually a human lifetime. So the only thing that I was thinking would be essentially a player profile that collects achievements. However, if this doesn't provide any tangible persistent asset that the player can use, is this just then a glorified statistics board? Would that be good enough? Along side of that, did people like the Chairmen they could hire in RT2/3 or was it just a stat buff that came and went and could have been anything? More specifically, I'm wondering if scenarios always let the player "Build-a-Chairman" at the start of each scenario. A more elaborate version of the starting options in RT2/3 scenarios. This would then potentially eliminate Chairmen being hired/fired within the game.
  13. Oops, did this out of order. That and some proof of concept work is what we're hammering on now. We've approached "money" people already but getting them to act is like pulling a 5-mile consist up the Rockies with a 3-truck Shay... it has a chance but we can't count on it. Right now our plan looks like we could get done in about 12 months. It's a pretty solid estimate but we have some dependencies that could push it out. We plan on being pretty transparent about the process since unlike business types, we don't have anything to hide in particular. As a kickstarter project, we're hoping to appeal to those that want this project and can see we're not being flighty. That's pretty much it, besides the full details that will be coming out soon. I've learned that these things can disintegrate fast, but so far so good. If we get the response I'm hoping for we'll have something to talk about over the next 15 years. :D
  14. I've been making games full-time since '93, but did it part-time starting in '85. I'm currently working with 3 other people that are interested in this project with whom I've worked in the past. We lost our jobs a little while ago and when I suggested this project, they said yes so we started working. We've got an unattractive track laying prototype working with bridges and tunnels and some temporary world tech. It all looks very promising and we're hoping to be able to spin up the company based on this project. Anyway, we are working to get a kickstarter project going and hope to start it by 5/15. IF it works, we've got other people lined up to get working ASAP. We've all been beat up over the years by the industry, or at least by the decision makers and we thought we'd do something about it if possible. Our biggest issue has been the cost of doing business here in the US, investors want guarantees for the kind of money we need. I've always found that notion to be counter to the taking of risk, but that's the rules for this "game". I'm not talking about absorbent salaries for a bunch of kids having Nerf gun fights and a juice box bar. We're kinda boring old geeks and we've seen the flash and sizzle companies and been burned. We'll try for something different and more grounded in reality. I have a special fondness for games based on simulating real-world concepts and so does our core team. I'm hoping that we can provide games that are generally ignored by console and mobile game companies. Although we like many of those as well, we feel this market is underserved. Hopefully, I'll be able to talk with you guys more with no veils in the near future. I've been stalking the boards like the Terminal and Hawk & Badger for years. I always ended up having to stop because it was so frustrating to not see things happen.
  15. Okay, here is a more free form question: This is assuming core code to support user and developer content was in as well as the core game. If project scope needed to get more condensed (content costs) would a core game with assets for say just Steam Locomotives and US architecture of say 1880-1930 be an okay subset to START?Just so you guys understand, I'm actually trying to get something going but not trying to MOD an existing title. I'm also not going to try and get this coded by some people with spare time. If it works... IF... I actually plan on making something real from scratch. I'm hoping to know something by mid next month. So I REALLY appreciate your input.
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