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RRTX, what would it need to be profitable now?

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I'm very curious about what a RRT game would have to be now in order to be profitable at launch. The lists for RRT4 I've seen may be right but also may simply be a wishlist for a successful game say 10 years ago or older. Train Fever seems to be too mixed up on focus to gain much traction at this point and that's what got me thinking. If a studio was to make the game now, what would the Must Have list be? Focus on history or game simulation? Open source? Editor?

 

Realizing that saying everything is a non-starter. Not everyone wants timetables etc. Doing it costs and the ROI for a studio is the concern of everyone. I know this is a small group, but I've seen a lot of the same names over the years and know there is some RRT sim experts here, so I'd like to try a serious discussion if possible. Wear some thick skin.

 

  • Editor, this is very expensive but it sure seemed to help RRT2/3. Probably wouldn't be talking about it still if it wasn't there... or would it? Was it just map making, or did the ability to create custom challenges really sell the game?
  • Tunnels. Wow, where to start? A must have... yet RRT2 didn't. Clearly emotions would say it should have had them. Game was still successful. A new RRTx would need them in order to not seem trite or backwards probably.
  • History. When you play do you feel that the history makes it right? In other words, does it help so much with suspending disbelief that you are so connected that without it the game would somehow fail?
  • Looks & Feel. Railroads! Had a toy feel in my opinion. Which was okay, but because the sim was so myopic along with the condensed scale of the worlds, it just made it feel uninteresting to me... besides the hideous bug-fest at launch.

Did you hardcore RRT2/3 fans like games like CitiesXL, Train Master, MS Train Simulator etc.? For me it's the efficiency simulation. The challenge of connecting the dots effectively and cost efficiency that made me like RR2/3... more 2 than 3, but that's a finer hair to split. Is this group into Open TTD? I don't see it mentioned much, but I liked it quite a bit but found the other forms of transport split my attention and in the end just ended with lots of planes. :/

 

Please, I'd really like to have this conversation and need some help defining RRTx. 

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To be frank, I think the demographic that these games target seems to have shrunk due to age and the arrival of more immersive, story-type games that are much more interesting for younger minds. Railroads! was an attempt to cater to this younger, short-attention span audience at the risk of the older one. So these people stayed with the older versions. I fear that the desires of the people that like the older versions with their more realistic feel and more complex game mechanics are in opposition to those qualities that would make it successful with the mainstream public. This leaves me doubtful if such a project will ever come about, but for sure we can hope and encourage those who want to try. I don't know anything about costs etc. and what would make it profitable, but I can say what would make me buy it.

 

What would I buy? A game that has lots of strategic play value and large worlds to build in and conquer, hopefully with nicer graphics and a smart AI. I like lots of events where the player can choose different choices to influence his game. I like a focus on efficiency as well.

(I would be open to some new ways to strategize loco service and maintenance, with fuel costs coming in as well. Could be cheaper fuel deals, with cheap fuel needing more maintenance etc. Maybe some new elements like track that takes time to be laid/choices on cost, some form of contract system where competing railroads have to bid for cargo when they serve the same areas. ... There are many more good ideas in the various wishlists.)

 

Editor is a must-have. Custom challenges are what I like most, but new maps are nice too. Events can be used to simulate so many non-included game features and give heaps more choices. Gives the opportunity to keep the game alive and especially RT3 has benefited from it with custom maps/challenges becoming far better than the originals that came with the game.

 

Tunnels are in my opinion too easy to be built in these games. They should be more expensive and only available in certain places. Bridges to some degree should be more restricted. Should take a longer time to construct.

 

History is good to ground the story especially of the campaigns. This gives the opportunity to play with different types of engines as they have been available in history. I doubt you would get away from it, but I do like the simulation/game strategy more.

 

Why would a studio make something open source? The ability to mod some things of the game like new engines/buildings/cargo types etc. would be good, but the actual game engine is probably better to leave as a complete unit. If it is made right there should be no one wanting to fix the niggling issues we have in RRTII/3. Some years ago I tried Trainz as well as Locomotion, but none of the train sims you mentioned. Trainz was pretending to drive a train which is fun and the graphics are good, but from what I played I didn't see that the story aspect/tasks-to-do was very involving or even worked correctly. Locomotion suffers from the other forms of transportation as you mentioned. While I did enjoy it for awhile, it didn't hold my interest the way Tycoon does.

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Thanks MF.

So you don't think there is a way to merge some old school "detail" with a more user friendly approach in a new Tycoon game? I'm not picking... wait I am. I'm not nay saying your opinion; however I'm trying to get your feeling on this. Or are you saying that you don't think the 2 styles can mix period so it's unlikely to be successful?

 

My thought is that, after so many years T2 is still selling this game for a profit. That's the main reason that they wouldn't ever release the source code without some other activity that could net them MORE money in the long or short term. The fact that it IS still selling, means there is some market for it and not just us old nostalgic types. So I'm wondering what that might be. I'm thinking that the Old School gamers could come up with a list of features that would entertain them and still be something that the mass audience (still a niche of it) might want. There are WAY more gamers in the WORLD now than in 1998. These people can't all be vapid... lots but not all.

 

Running list:

  • Good Tycoon Strategy Game (more info needed)
  • Scenario Editor
  • Current Graphics (but not next gen)
  • ?

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According to numbers on wiki (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chronology_of_business_simulation_video_games) business simulation games as a genre have faded in the last 10 years. I have a question as to what type of compromise you are thinking about to make a tycoon game more "user friendly"? What would you do differently to what was done in Railroads! which didn't impress many of us seasoned tycooners that still play the older versions?

 

Thinking about this, RTII and RT3 are excellent games. Games like Locomotion with smaller maps, many more buildings, and extra types of transport don't have the feel that I like of a fairly pure, equal focus on trains and business (arguably RT3 is too reliant on industry) in an environment convincingly large enough to feel like a "world" environment. In fact the RT games are so good that I feel that my ideas of a better game may end up being more of a refinement than a new game. Of course a new game engine would make it a new game, but I would be really happy if a company bought the rights to the code and then built on/refined the RT3 game engine which is apparently capable of a lot more than is used.

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According to numbers on wiki (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chronology_of_business_simulation_video_games) business simulation games as a genre have faded in the last 10 years. I have a question as to what type of compromise you are thinking about to make a tycoon game more "user friendly"? What would you do differently to what was done in Railroads! which didn't impress many of us seasoned tycooners that still play the older versions?

 

Thinking about this, RTII and RT3 are excellent games. Games like Locomotion with smaller maps, many more buildings, and extra types of transport don't have the feel that I like of a fairly pure, equal focus on trains and business (arguably RT3 is too reliant on industry) in an environment convincingly large enough to feel like a "world" environment. In fact the RT games are so good that I feel that my ideas of a better game may end up being more of a refinement than a new game. Of course a new game engine would make it a new game, but I would be really happy if a company bought the rights to the code and then built on/refined the RT3 game engine which is apparently capable of a lot more than is used.

My view is similar, though I'd stop short of calling RT3 an excellent game.

 

RRTII remains incomparable and amazing, considering it's release year. I would build the new game using this framework....

 

  • Refine the RT3 game engine, as you suggest
  • Retain RT3's consist manager and throw out the rest
  • Add RRTII, fixing it's infamous bugs in the process
  • Remove the breakdowns and crashes

Whether it could be a commercial success today is another question....and I have my doubts. Kids today have an altogether different mindset.

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There is always a risk that your audience may not be... your audience. Right now, RT2 and 3 just are not pretty enough to catch the audience of today. However, I think that's not a crazy high bar to reach. In the end I think that the topic still has legs, particularly as an international product. Railroads are certainly not the high interest topic in the US, but enough people still are interested considering the market for model railroads is still going and the fact that T2 still is able to sell both products. With Railroads! Sid thought he knew a better way of making the game, it was a good example of "what not to do". My understanding is that it's poor performance sealed the fate of all future Railroad Tycoon games and SM has shunned the IP. Either way, it still feels like a market niche that isn't being scratched again. Just like the time from RT1 till RT2. I know similar concerns existed then too. Anyway, to me it's an inherent problem estimating what an audience wants and part of the reason I'm checking in here. What did/does the hard core player want in a new RT game?

 

So, the wish list for RT4 are mostly an RT2 with fixes and not necessarily the incremental improvements like time tables etc. History items stay the same like managers and scenarios. Was the little bit of industry purchasing in RT2 worth keeping? Have an editor for the players. Make the obvious changes like tunnels and improved consist manager. More RT2 play dynamics than RT3.

 

Not sure about the industry stuff. Like multiplayer, I never got a sense of the like or dislike of the feature. If it was ignored, I think that some of the net worth challenges would be harder to meet because of the narrow differences in income that can be earned without diverting resources and time to acquiring them. Should buying industries stay or go?

 

I never noticed many people playing RT2 or 3 as a multiplayer game. The games always seemed way more personal. Is that your experiences?

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It was a bold move in RT3 to try to represent cargo that is being transported by other methods (boats, horse carts, trucks) with partial loads on the dynamic price map. The beauty of this system is that you can have large separations between towns in a proper 3D environment where the travel between towns seems more realistic. Railroads! realized the limitation of sticking with a RTII-like model: if you need to build a station that covers each resource (farm, logging camp, mine, etc.), it's not realistic to fill an open-style true 3D landscape with resources. I always did enjoy the open-style of RT3, but there are some problems with the cargo model that need to be fixed. For a start, the ability to re-ship cargoes you have already collected a delivery fee on. I have a few ideas of what could be done if not making major changes. A station that covers a city could incorporate a freight yard manager which would be a new screen allowing the player to control what is done with any cargo that arrives at that station. Should a cargo be sold to the industries and houses there, or should it be stock-piled for later re-hauling? Any stockpiled cargoes would not greatly affect the price in that city and once a cargo is sold it cannot be re-hauled. The freight manager would be linked to the city instead of one particular station, multiple stations would all have the same cargo and availability. Stock-piled cargoes could be hauled without profit by using a special flag in a train's routing window. A different type of catchment station would be used away from cities. It would stock-pile migrating cargoes, but not have any demand for the consumer cargoes.

 

Passengers with a distinct destination in mind from RT3 should be a feature, and they should also look to see the next stop on the train and stay on that train instead of only thinking about one hop. In my experience, the stock market in RT3 is more robust to exploitation and harder to predict and control on margin. The way that industries instantly convert in RTII whenever resources are delivered, makes simply adding auto consist (I think this is what was meant by consist manager?) seem like it wouldn't make that much difference except to follow some of the changes in express output and maybe some changes from economic state. Without dynamic pricing, auto consist likely can't do much except help to spread supply if the industries were changed to convert over time. But, how did you envision it?

 

I am fairly sure that an open-style true 3D environment could be made nice aesthetically and scale-wise. That said, I also like the semi-3D world's of RTII and Railroads!, and if that is what more people preferred, maybe a game engine similar to that used in Railroads! should be the base. The gameplay matters most in the end for me.

 

Industry is a part of the game. I am pretty sure that industry should be buy-able. The debate is probably over whether or not it should be build-able. Personally, I didn't mind the build to a limit in the cities from Railroads!, if I recall correctly it was missing the ability to delete any though. There is probably a better way to limit them while still giving the player an amount of creative control on the way the economy develops. Would have to think about it.

 

My personal feel is that timetables are not suited to a large map that covers maybe a whole country. They might be good in a smaller environment, but I think it will add an element of distraction. You're right that multiplayer isn't popular with these games. I think the main obstacle is the length of a standard game, which Railroads! tried to address, and look how gameplay turned out!

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It was a bold move in RT3 to try to represent cargo that is being transported by other methods (boats, horse carts, trucks) with partial loads on the dynamic price map. The beauty of this system is that you can have large separations between towns in a proper 3D environment where the travel between towns seems more realistic. Railroads! realized the limitation of sticking with a RTII-like model: if you need to build a station that covers each resource (farm, logging camp, mine, etc.), it's not realistic to fill an open-style true 3D landscape with resources. I always did enjoy the open-style of RT3, but there are some problems with the cargo model that need to be fixed. For a start, the ability to re-ship cargoes you have already collected a delivery fee on. I have a few ideas of what could be done if not making major changes. A station that covers a city could incorporate a freight yard manager which would be a new screen allowing the player to control what is done with any cargo that arrives at that station. Should a cargo be sold to the industries and houses there, or should it be stock-piled for later re-hauling? Any stockpiled cargoes would not greatly affect the price in that city and once a cargo is sold it cannot be re-hauled. The freight manager would be linked to the city instead of one particular station, multiple stations would all have the same cargo and availability. Stock-piled cargoes could be hauled without profit by using a special flag in a train's routing window. A different type of catchment station would be used away from cities. It would stock-pile migrating cargoes, but not have any demand for the consumer cargoes.

 

Passengers with a distinct destination in mind from RT3 should be a feature, and they should also look to see the next stop on the train and stay on that train instead of only thinking about one hop. In my experience, the stock market in RT3 is more robust to exploitation and harder to predict and control on margin. The way that industries instantly convert in RTII whenever resources are delivered, makes simply adding auto consist (I think this is what was meant by consist manager?) seem like it wouldn't make that much difference except to follow some of the changes in express output and maybe some changes from economic state. Without dynamic pricing, auto consist likely can't do much except help to spread supply if the industries were changed to convert over time. But, how did you envision it?

 

I am fairly sure that an open-style true 3D environment could be made nice aesthetically and scale-wise. That said, I also like the semi-3D world's of RTII and Railroads!, and if that is what more people preferred, maybe a game engine similar to that used in Railroads! should be the base. The gameplay matters most in the end for me.

 

Industry is a part of the game. I am pretty sure that industry should be buy-able. The debate is probably over whether or not it should be build-able. Personally, I didn't mind the build to a limit in the cities from Railroads!, if I recall correctly it was missing the ability to delete any though. There is probably a better way to limit them while still giving the player an amount of creative control on the way the economy develops. Would have to think about it.

 

My personal feel is that timetables are not suited to a large map that covers maybe a whole country. They might be good in a smaller environment, but I think it will add an element of distraction. You're right that multiplayer isn't popular with these games. I think the main obstacle is the length of a standard game, which Railroads! tried to address, and look how gameplay turned out!

Hmmm.....this post takes me back 11+ years to the months following RT3's release. Back then, I got into a few heated arguments with RT3 defenders but learned of the futility pretty quickly. I'm not going to turn this thread into a re-hash of RRTII vs. RT3, so will not comment further after this. 

 

One man's "bold move" is another man's wrecking ball. RT3's economy ruined the game....and rendered it a pointless connect-the-dots and watch your trains run exercise.

 

Any new Railroad Tycoon version should be built on a platform of understanding that RT3 was, by far, the best example of what not to do in a new game. It's "live" look and feel is wonderful, but its beauty is skin-deep.

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I made a bunch of RRT3 maps but didn't care much for playing them. 

 

Now the old RRT2 is fun to play at least for me.  

I like micro-managing.   I've never played multi-player with any game. 

 

In Sid's railroads,   There is a lot that I like In Sid's Railroads.  I like the graphics, How laying the track and tunnels are done . 

With care you can  create cuts and fills.  But the basic control of game play is missing. 

  It is so hard to manage and track trains and cargo. 

 

Like in RRT3,  the creative in-charge gang got in the way of making a good game for both RRT3 and for SId's Railroads. 

The Time given was too short with deadlines that caused a lot of the details under development to be dumped or not even started.

 

I think Sid's Railroads would be easier to code and to fine tune.   

 

And important part would be to allow input and player customization.  (Open code and compartmentalizing  for specific parts of the game)

A player should be allowed to turn on or off parts of the game that didn't interest the player.  Maybe have indexed buttons.   

For example'  have a button for the stock market, that I would click Yes on, while others would click No.

 

Maybe a list of what was done well and is worth keeping; and for what ever the reason, what was poorly done, deserves a look see.

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CrownVic95, I tend to go from playing one to playing the other. RTII is best for my favorite style of play where every decision you make matters on well-crafted maps. Unfortunately, there aren't that many maps that are difficult enough to challenge my skills in this way. I do tend to get bored with RTII when I get on large maps where game-play when going for large CBV or PNW goals tends to be generic late-game as it often becomes a matter of hauling as many passengers as far as possible on as straight a route as possible. On the other hand, RT3 continues to be fun later in a game with better mass-management tools. I completely understand if you don't like the RT3 economy, it is a finicky-thing to manage properly. The way of counting loads hauled in RT3 is definitely broken too. I went into those details because I don't have an idea of how the consist manager (or open-style 3D world) is going to work without the RT3 economy or causing other problems with a simpler economy, so posted my ideas on that system. But perhaps there is a way as I am not the most creative thinker. For a potential new game I am happy to drop the RT3 style economy even if the 3D world must go with it. Like Gwizz said, developing something using a game engine and graphics more similar to Railroads! would be the best option. People talk about extra details in development that weren't carried out. Anyone care to enlighten us as to what those were or tell us where we could find them? Gwizz?

 

I haven't revisited the Railroads! custom maps lately, so maybe they ended up making some progress. I know they can add new cargoes and change pricing pretty easily. Those would be good features in a new game.

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I was given an early version of RRT3 and before I finished testing the map, the game went gold.

They were out of time and shoved the game out the door.  I signed a non-discloser statement. 

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I made a bunch of RRT3 maps but didn't care much for playing them. 

 

Now the old RRT2 is fun to play at least for me.  

I like micro-managing.   I've never played multi-player with any game. 

 

In Sid's railroads,   There is a lot that I like In Sid's Railroads.  I like the graphics, How laying the track and tunnels are done . 

With care you can  create cuts and fills.  But the basic control of game play is missing. 

  It is so hard to manage and track trains and cargo. 

 

Like in RRT3,  the creative in-charge gang got in the way of making a good game for both RRT3 and for SId's Railroads. 

The Time given was too short with deadlines that caused a lot of the details under development to be dumped or not even started.

 

I think Sid's Railroads would be easier to code and to fine tune.   

 

And important part would be to allow input and player customization.  (Open code and compartmentalizing  for specific parts of the game)

A player should be allowed to turn on or off parts of the game that didn't interest the player.  Maybe have indexed buttons.   

For example'  have a button for the stock market, that I would click Yes on, while others would click No.

 

Maybe a list of what was done well and is worth keeping; and for what ever the reason, what was poorly done, deserves a look see.

Railroads! is definitely a better game than RT3 and there is a lot I like about it, too.

 

It has some weaknesses, though, like not being able to chose your start location. And I don't like the mechanics of its track laying and configuration. Later in a game, especially with a couple of AI competitors, the track web becomes ridiculous and very limiting as to what you can do. 

 

One of its big pluses over RRTII is the consistency of supply of passengers and mail. After a couple of initial runs, you can set a train's consist and forget it for a while and it will be a near perfect match to supply....until there is city growth that increases it. RRTII has always frustrated me in that respect as there is no rhyme nor reason for the way passengers and mail show up at stations. You can go two years with no mail whatsoever and then suddenly a two or three year supply shows up all at once. That is why it would benefit so from RT3's consist manager.

 

Cargo sitting at stations but not picked up is revenue lost, so given RRTII's passenger and mail supply inconsistency, I feel no choice but to pause the game, taking a fresh look at cars needed at every single stop. Very tedious in a mature game with dozens of trains, but the alternative is to leave a lot of $$ sitting on the table.

 

But RRTII is near perfect in most respects and closer than any other RRT version to date.

 

One other thing worth mentioning in talk of a new game. Where on earth did the silly notion of medals come from? :unsure: Sid's original Railroad Tycoon did the rating/reward system best. A continuous climb up the ladder, based on accomplishment. I don't need or want medals OR artificial deadlines.

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Railroads! is definitely a better game than RT3 and there is a lot I like about it, too.

 

It has some weaknesses, though, like not being able to chose your start location. And I don't like the mechanics of its track laying and configuration. Later in a game, especially with a couple of AI competitors, the track web becomes ridiculous and very limiting as to what you can do. 

 

One of its big pluses over RRTII is the consistency of supply of passengers and mail. After a couple of initial runs, you can set a train's consist and forget it for a while and it will be a near perfect match to supply....until there is city growth that increases it. RRTII has always frustrated me in that respect as there is no rhyme nor reason for the way passengers and mail show up at stations. You can go two years with no mail whatsoever and then suddenly a two or three year supply shows up all at once. That is why it would benefit so from RT3's consist manager.

 

Cargo sitting at stations but not picked up is revenue lost, so given RRTII's passenger and mail supply inconsistency, I feel no choice but to pause the game, taking a fresh look at cars needed at every single stop. Very tedious in a mature game with dozens of trains, but the alternative is to leave a lot of $$ sitting on the table.

 

But RRTII is near perfect in most respects and closer than any other RRT version to date.

 

One other thing worth mentioning in talk of a new game. Where on earth did the silly notion of medals come from? :unsure: Sid's original Railroad Tycoon did the rating/reward system best. A continuous climb up the ladder, based on accomplishment. I don't need or want medals OR artificial deadlines.

 

 

Does Sid Railroads have a cheat code for adding dollars to the company or player?

I know I can change the start up money by searching for the $200,000 and changing the 200,000 to a bigger start up $ amount.

But I'm looking for a cheat like in RRT2 &3  that can be used during the game and used more than once during the game. 

 

In reading your notes:

I've found with a little practice I can build track with good switches, even double slip switches and bridges with long ramps.

The AI track is a different problem, a solution waiting to be solved.  I have yet to master crossings at grade level.

The AI web trackage is also a money problem.  It takes too many dollars to build a smooth transition at switches etc.

The AI can go over budget to build track where I can't:  The reason for the cheat.

You are correct.  There are a number of glitches that need fixing. 

 

Micro management has real meaning in Sid's Railroads.  Maybe short games are best.

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Does Sid Railroads have a cheat code for adding dollars to the company or player?

I know I can change the start up money by searching for the $200,000 and changing the 200,000 to a bigger start up $ amount.

But I'm looking for a cheat like in RRT2 &3  that can be used during the game and used more than once during the game. 

 

In reading your notes:

I've found with a little practice I can build track with good switches, even double slip switches and bridges with long ramps.

The AI track is a different problem, a solution waiting to be solved.  I have yet to master crossings at grade level.

The AI web trackage is also a money problem.  It takes too many dollars to build a smooth transition at switches etc.

The AI can go over budget to build track where I can't:  The reason for the cheat.

You are correct.  There are a number of glitches that need fixing. 

 

Micro management has real meaning in Sid's Railroads.  Maybe short games are best.

Just started a new Sid's Railroads! game - first one in a while. Having loads of fun trying to keep up with AI Jay Gould, as he's running wild on the NW map.

 

You've lost me on the way to change the start up dollars - I saw no way to do that other than through selecting the difficulty level. I've never used any cheat codes for any game, so I have no idea on that.

 

Railroads! and RRTII are both lots of fun at the start of a new game, but they both fade as they mature. But I think Railroads! has the edge at first because of the "hands on" look and feel of cutting your own lumber (or whatever your industry is) and loading your own trains. I also like its auctions.

 

My afternoon reflection is that whether or not we ever see a more perfect RRT game, we still have it pretty good with these two. Lots of enjoyment ahead. :)

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Definitely need some improvement in the economy over RT2 and really, RT3 was rather broke too. I was thinking it would be best to abstract the supply points (industries) away from a simulation of them and "gamify" it more. As pointed out, there was no reason that cities produced passengers so erratically and more time could be spent tweaking the decay rates and reasons to make it more fun instead (more challenging or less challenging). I like the direction of the consists in RT3, it needed another go at the UI, but it was generally useful.

 

SMR jumped the rails for me with its scale issues. RT2 had troubles here and there but SMR just crushed my sense of disbelief, though I like the look they created. Having the ass end of a consist in one city and the engine in another was frustrating.

 

I never cared for the medals system, but it's just a way of establishing a challenge and presenting a story. Steinmeyer liked medals because he liked the clarity they provided, I felt that Sid had it right with his early games by having titles. I'd prefer to see something like PopTop did for Tropico with more details on the stats though.

 

Track laying, that's a kettle of fish or something. There have been a few coaster games that did track building interestingly. I'd think a more "drive your track" method would be nice. While lots of people seem to like 3D being completely free-form, I like the idea of having fixed lengths that the player can choose to build in and make it part of the economy of construction. I always enjoyed winding a track through the hills and streams trying to find the best route. So a REAL undo option is a must.

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Interesting Sid Railroad being played plus how to build a cheat.  I thing I got the cheat demo. Hard to understand.

 

The cheat demo didn't make it.  geeee :dry:

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Viconius, from what you have written, you seem to have a good grasp on the good and bad features of these games. Not all will like it, but abstracting the industries will probably be better in the long-term for game-play and maybe allow a larger-scale 3D world to work. The Trainmaster mod of RT3 has agricultural communities instead of farms and these represent many farms of different types and thus merit a proper connection. For game-play though you could simply call it a town. Maybe each town in the game could have a region and it could support mining, logging, agriculture, oil drilling, etc.. Once you were providing a market for a particular cargo, your station in the town would automatically access that cargo as it is produced, not in lumps. The larger cities would enable industrial conversion activity, possibly they would make some cargo from the resources in their region without your effort, but shipping in resources will enable far greater production. The scenario creator should have full of liberty over which resources are allowed in which cities and which are able to industrialize. He would also be in control of a feature that could be turned off where player investment will be used to further develop resources he wants to encourage (this could also be randomized). He could also control the production of the various regions with overall and specific adjustments. This idea will allow dynamic pricing which would be a little slower to adjust, as long as cargo cannot be "stock-piled" in any fashion to exploit price drops. Custom consists would be good with this idea.

 

The ability to make cuts and adjust the overall grade at a cost was a wished for feature from RT3. The routing system in Railroads! lets it down. I rarely dare to let more than one train use the same track except small station access points. Because of this I tend to double-track lines between large cities. A single line can be crossed over perpendicularly by a short junction that should theoretically work, but doing this on double will mess up both your other train's routes. The only other option is the silly bridges that the player in the video uses that are a joke really even in a model railway. I agree that there should be strategy involved with how you build track. Avoid obstacles cleverly, a cost incentive to hug terrain with any embankments and cuts made, different costs depending on the type of ground, etc.. I think free-form should be an option at the creator's discretion, if he wants he can specify specific areas that are allowed for track-building.

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I have been playing the Railroads NW map. Twice I lost my company using casual game play.  This time I'm playing to win. 

First I went after the highest priced cargo.  I spent a lot money on double track and used the delete-track for the first time.

Nice to get some money back for the deleted track.  More than I expected back each time I removed a mistake.

I'm at 27 years on the map.   Made no more sharp curves.   Still trying get use to the delay in manufactured goods. 

I Hauled 6 ore cars to the smelter and get one or two in return and get 4 or 5 more, one at a time as time goes by.

I finely over loaded the gold smelter with ore so that the cars with gold waited on me to come for a full load.

I found that in making a crossing I duck the track under the edge of a signal tower or some times under the end of a bridge.

I stay away from using bridges.  They cost too much.  Have not figured out how to tunnel under a river.

 

I'm still wondering if distance hauled has an $ advantage. Seems like distance of hauls has limited effect.  Not sure yet.

On the two previous games I built only single track and let the trains wait on each other.  Diffidently a $ disadvantage.

I've never been able to take control of the stock of an AI Railroad.  I should be able to do so this time. 

I am aiming my track toward the AI that I want to take over and plan to run the two RRs as one without taking the win? ????

 

This time I was able to keep the AI out of my cities.  I was able to out spend the AI to stay ahead of him.

 

What I really miss is the RRT2 chart of the progress of my trains and being able to zoom in on the map.

 

I seems to me that Sid did take a look at the RRT2 wish lists.  

 

Maybe I dumped playing Sid's Railroads too soon when it first came out.

 

The more I work with Sid's Railroads the more I seem to like it. 

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I have been playing the Railroads NW map. Twice I lost my company using casual game play.  This time I'm playing to win. 

First I went after the highest priced cargo.  I spent a lot money on double track and used the delete-track for the first time.

Nice to get some money back for the deleted track.  More than I expected back each time I removed a mistake.

I'm at 27 years on the map.   Made no more sharp curves.   Still trying get use to the delay in manufactured goods. 

I Hauled 6 ore cars to the smelter and get one or two in return and get 4 or 5 more, one at a time as time goes by.

I finely over loaded the gold smelter with ore so that the cars with gold waited on me to come for a full load.

I found that in making a crossing I duck the track under the edge of a signal tower or some times under the end of a bridge.

I stay away from using bridges.  They cost too much.  Have not figured out how to tunnel under a river.

 

I'm still wondering if distance hauled has an $ advantage. Seems like distance of hauls has limited effect.  Not sure yet.

On the two previous games I built only single track and let the trains wait on each other.  Diffidently a $ disadvantage.

I've never been able to take control of the stock of an AI Railroad.  I should be able to do so this time. 

I am aiming my track toward the AI that I want to take over and plan to run the two RRs as one without taking the win? ????

 

This time I was able to keep the AI out of my cities.  I was able to out spend the AI to stay ahead of him.

 

What I really miss is the RRT2 chart of the progress of my trains and being able to zoom in on the map.

 

I seems to me that Sid did take a look at the RRT2 wish lists.  

 

Maybe I dumped playing Sid's Railroads too soon when it first came out.

 

The more I work with Sid's Railroads the more I seem to like it. 

After I posted about Railroads! earlier in this thread, I fairly quickly lost patience with the track laying and the next to impossibility of complexity in its construction. Or at least next to impossibility without ridiculous contortions of engineering.

 

So I returned to RRTII. I always return to RRTII.

 

But there are some things I like a lot about Railroads!, so your latest post inspired me to try it again. Short burst of inspiration, then same result. Back to RRTII.

 

Same thing happens when I (rarely) take another look at RT3. But there's a lot less to like in RT3, so I always put that one back in mothballs more quickly. I don't even leave it installed, as I know I won't touch it again for at least a year. But as time goes on, it becomes more like two years....or three. A thoroughly forgettable game.

 

RRTII is still king of the hill by a wide margin in my book, despite the tedium of managing mail/passenger train consist as the game matures. I've tried every way I can think to find an alternative to looking at and, in most cases, revising a train's express consist at every single stop, and have concluded there simply is no alternative that doesn't leave trains idle for two years or leave half the cargo (and revenue) at the stations. Both are unacceptable.

 

So I've told myself to quit fighting it and accept the way the game must be played to maximize efficiency and revenue. I keep telling myself that, but it remains the reason why I enjoy starting new games a lot more than managing mature ones. I start a lot of new games. :D

 

However, putting it all in perspective, one and only one medium-sized headache in a game with as much complexity and detail as RRTII has? None other even comes close.

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You know, it's funny how the mind works sometimes. Sometimes the simplest solutions are dismissed without further ado due to preconceived notions.

 

No sooner did I post the above when it occurred to me that there is one option for dealing with the wildly inconsistent RRTII mail/passenger supply that I had dismissed and never tested. And that is the option of running a full consist of 6 cars at every stop with a green light to go regardless of supply. I had just assumed without further question that those 6 cars would bog down the train and cripple its speed, filled or unfilled - with very little revenue to start with in the latter case. I just assumed the train would always run at or very near the 6 car speed.

 

So I just started a new game to see if that's true. Seems it's not! My initial runs show little, if any, speed penalty for pulling 6 cars with only one filled. Still making great profits with a significant micromanagement burden lifted!

 

To good to be true? I'll report back after further study. Right now I have a new lease on the game and I loved it before!!

 

 

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I'm still on my third Sid's Railroads game.  I merged the AI RR and have been fixing the AI track work and trains.

I was surprised the AI only had 4 trains.  I had 6 and I added 2 more.   I didn't like the bridge with about a 60% grade and a station on the grade.

I couldn't save the station.  I came around the hill on to a normal bridge and split the city into two parts. Added a new station.  Changed the routes of three trains away from the 60% grade and deleted the old station and the three old station tracks.  After the merge I had almost a million dollars.

Used most of it on the station fix and got back about halve for scraping rail and the old station and also for closing the long tunnel.  I enjoy building track without tunnels.  I avoid small bridges and have only 4 large bridges.  Couldn't buy a RR ferry.  That would be an interesting addition for the game.  I have connected all but one Gold mine industry.  Have time to do this before the 1900, the halve way point.  If I remember correctly 7 million is the last win goal.  Should be a cake walk.  But then this is the easiest map to play.

 

I now earn about a million dollars every two months, but I do a lot of micro management.  Since I  haven't figured out just how drop shipping works.

The trains keep changing the cargo that is being hauled or cargo is left at the stations.  I guess I need to read the intro information again.

 

 

The only problem so far is the game keeps crashing when I build a long section of track in the middle near the middle of the game.

I think I'll pick up more memory for the computer.  

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I'm still on my third Sid's Railroads game.  I merged the AI RR and have been fixing the AI track work and trains.

I was surprised the AI only had 4 trains.  I had 6 and I added 2 more.   I didn't like the bridge with about a 60% grade and a station on the grade.

I couldn't save the station.  I came around the hill on to a normal bridge and split the city into two parts. Added a new station.  Changed the routes of three trains away from the 60% grade and deleted the old station and the three old station tracks.  After the merge I had almost a million dollars.

Used most of it on the station fix and got back about halve for scraping rail and the old station and also for closing the long tunnel.  I enjoy building track without tunnels.  I avoid small bridges and have only 4 large bridges.  Couldn't buy a RR ferry.  That would be an interesting addition for the game.  I have connected all but one Gold mine industry.  Have time to do this before the 1900, the halve way point.  If I remember correctly 7 million is the last win goal.  Should be a cake walk.  But then this is the easiest map to play.

 

I now earn about a million dollars every two months, but I do a lot of micro management.  Since I  haven't figured out just how drop shipping works.

The trains keep changing the cargo that is being hauled or cargo is left at the stations.  I guess I need to read the intro information again.

 

 

The only problem so far is the game keeps crashing when I build a long section of track in the middle near the middle of the game.

I think I'll pick up more memory for the computer.  

You hear lots of reports of crashing with Railroads!, but interestingly I've never had a problem with the game outside of one huge map - New England, I think, that's much bigger than most other maps. And I run with 512MB of ram.

 

Which map are you running now?

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I think it is the NW map.  It has LA city on it.   I would think that would make it the SW map.  :blink:

 

I gave up on reaching 7 million on my third map.  The game was crashing to desktop almost monthly.

 

I started my fourth map with all the AI RRs.  I don't think I had enough cities to be served.  

Still not sure if distance adds an extra cash return.  But, with the RRs climbing all over each other, it was more like a roller coaster ride that went out of control.  The Railroads first  took up each corner then headed for the bash in the middle.  Distance was no longer a factor.  One AI climbed over my rails and connected to most of my industrys, ones that I had already connected to.

 

I tried to free up the computer memory and ended up causing earlier crashes.

 

THe boss wants to go out to eat.  So guess it is time to rest the locomotives.

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My forth try this time using all 3 AI RRs.    The AIs must have a special price on track.  I built as far as I could with out bridges or tunnels. The AIs built almost twice  as far with many bridges but no tunnels.  3 years into the game and I was still in the hole.

 

I started to catch up.  At about 17 years I was about even.  At about 30 years I went over 6 million.  The closest AI had all most 3 milion and the other two just over one million.  I had stated an eight car gold train.  It had major problems.

 

I had started a stock take over of the richest AI.   the 8 car train that was full of gold, wouldn't go to the correct station.  It came to one of my Y tracks that was under an AI bridge and it jumped off of the track and flew back to another lead to my Y track going back to the station it just came from.  Tried to reroute the train, change cities, even shortened the route and finally got it on track and out from under that bridge.

 

It finally reached the correct station and the gold disappeared putting me 1/2 million in the hole.  How who took the 6 million in gold bars from me.  Maybe it fell out ehrn it was under the bridge. 

 

Went back to a saved game and looked for that 6 million.  I never could get my RR in the the black again got fired in 1899.  Still owned 80% of the stock of the best AI.  No one owned any of my stock. Not even me. 

I called the police ; but they must have been paid off and sent me packing.  

 

Watched  a Game on E-bay.  Every locomotive had its own track to run on.  It is a way to win but no fun.

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