Train Fever now available for pre-order

We are very happy to announce that Train Fever is now available for pre-order!

You can choose between the electronic version and the German retail version (Steam activation required). As a pre-order bonus, you’ll get a copy of the game’s soundtrack (featuring 70+ minutes of music by Admiral James T.) and a digital game poster.

Electronic version (Humble Bundle)

German retail version

Train Fever
Note: registration required
to get the bonus materials

Electronic version (Steam)

Just in time with the pre-order start, there is also new game trailer:

We would like to say thanks in advance for each order. You allow us to do further developments in the transport simulation genre!

Beta registration closed

Last week we have asked for beta test registration. Feedback was amazing, we have received 1’167 emails in these days! Thanks very much for each application. It’s a great motivation for us.

In a next step, we will randomly select participants. In total, 200 testers will be selected. About 80 applications are from crowdfunding supporters. We have decided to include them all, because they actually made this game a reality. That means we will randomly select about 120 testers in addition. As a consequence, unfortunately the probability to be chosen for everyone except crowdfunding supporters is rather low.

Each applicant gets an email no later than July 10. We also send emails to people not among the lucky ones. Participants then get further instructions by email.

For those of you not selected there is another (last) chance to get it: Starting soon, there will be a competition on our Facebook page. Ten more beta test places will be awarded there.

Finally, let us answer still open questions:

How strict is the NDA? What’s the full name and address for?

The full address was intended for the NDA, i.e. for an agreement it’s essential to know which parties agree ;) however we decided to make the NDA less strict than originally planned. Actually we forgo the strict NDA but instead do an agreement per email.

Could you please state how many hours this will take approximately per day?

That is up to you. Of course, the more hours you spend the better for us.

Will the Linux beta run through Steam, too?

Yes. However, Linux testing has not yet been scheduled.

Can you apply more than once?

That was possible, but that didn’t increase your probability to get chosen ;) everybody has the same chance.

Train Fever goes beta

After long and intensive development, we are very happy to announce that we are ready to run a closed beta test between July 14 and July 24.

In order to minimize administration efforts, the number of participants is limited. People interested in testing can apply for the beta test between today and July 6. In order to do so, please send an email to beta@train-fever.com and include your full name and address.

After July 6, we will randomly select a limited number of participants. Therefore we unfortunately need to reject all applications after July 6.

Since Gambitious crowdfunding supporters will be preferred (applications will be handled in a separate pool), please also mention in the email if you have participated in our crowdfunding campaign.

Selected testers then need to sign a Non-Disclosure-Agreement (NDA). As soon as this is done, participants get a Steam key which is valid only for the mentioned time period and only for the beta version.

The testing version will be Windows only. Mac OS X and Linux versions will be tested at a later point in time. Please note that the user interface, graphics and performance will not be final. Therefore, a certain amount of goodwill might be required to take part. If you expect the smoothness of a final game we strongly advise to not apply.

Minimal system requirements are:

  • Graphics card: Nvidia GeForce 8800 or ATI Radeon HD 5670 with at least 512 MB VRAM
  • CPU: Intel Core 2 Duo, 2 GB RAM
  • System: Windows XP, Vista, 7 or 8
  • Mouse: Mouse with wheel

We would like to say thanks in advance for each application. This testing process is crucial for the final game and it’s great to see that the community is offering support here!

Game world and track construction

Update June 9, 2014: Please find answers to questions asked here.

The following video gives an overview about the game world and demonstrates railroad track construction. As always, please note that graphics and the user interface are not final.

The first part of the video shows a typical (large) random map. Such a map is generated each time the player starts a new game. Maps can be up to 256 square kilometers large and have a horizontal resolution of 1 meter. Towns, industries, hills, rivers, lakes, forest etc. spread across the map.

The second part of the video is about track construction, probably the most important task of the player. The video demonstrates the simple yet powerful construction interface. Bridges, tunnels, level crossings, switches, parallel tracks etc. can all be built by simply dragging and releasing the mouse. Finally, the video shows two Swiss Re 450 train compositions running on the tracks just built.

Signals are not shown in the video but will be demonstrated soon. Train Fever will support path signals which you may know from the OpenTTD project.

More information on railroad tracks can be found in this previous update.

Finally, an update for those of you interested in the (closed) beta test: It’s currently scheduled for end of June and more information on this will be announced on this website.

Facebook page and development insights

Starting today, Train Fever is also present on Facebook. Don’t miss to push the Like button! ;)

This is especially good news for those of you who like to read our updates in German (the second most important language within our fan community), since the Facebook page will be in German and English.

All information posted on Facebook will also be available on this website. This website remains the central place of information.

Update: On that occasion, we would also like to point out to Train Fever community websites. They do a great job and we would like say thanks for their commitment. Two important community websites already online are:

This said, let us continue with a new update. We give some development insights and explain how a typical steam locomotive, the Class 75.4 Baden VI C, is modelled, textured and animated.

class_75_4_0 Class 75.4 Baden VI C steam locomotive

First, we create a 3d model of the locomotive by using classical 3d modeling software (we use Autodesk Softimage). Based on front, side and top view plans, a triangle mesh is created. For locomotives, the triangle mesh consists of about 10’000 to 20’000 triangles.

In a second step, we create two additional models, the so-called level of detail models. These models consist of significantly less triangles. Our game engine renders these simplified models when the camera is located far away. This way, it is possible to render hundreds of trains at the same time.

class_75_4_0 Three level of detail models

Next, the 3d models is unwrapped, that means each triangle is placed in an optimal way on a 2d-plane. Then we can paint the model by creating (2d-) texture images. These textures are based on photographs (if available) and are created in Adobe Photoshop.

However, we not only paint the model. Instead, there are multiple texture images which define material properties like diffuse color, reflection, surface normals and specular coefficients. All these maps together allow for realistic lighting and rendering.

class_75_4_0 Texture images and final look

Next, we speak about animation. Especially for steam locomotives, the arrangement of axles, bogies and rods can be very complex, sometimes it’s even difficult to understand how it works! Explaining this in detail goes beyond the scope of this update. Therefore we just give a short summary here.

In order to animate the rods, the model is first separated in multiple parts and then multiple key frames are created. The key frames are then interpolated dependent on speed.

A separate (and even more difficult) challenge is the placement of the locomotive on the tracks. If there is curvature, axles, bogies and the locomotive body must be correctly transformed. Also, axles must be rotated dependent on speed.

In order to achieve this, a model hierarchy is created. On the first level there are axles, on the second level there are bogies (usually), and on the third level there is the locomotive body (usually). In order to compute the final model transformations, we first place the axles onto the current track. Then we compute the transformation of the bogies and so on.

class_75_4_0 Axles, bogies and rods.

Finally let us show the result. The first image is a rendering (done with our rendering engine) and the second image shows the locomotive in-game.

class_75_4_0 Class 75.4 Baden VI C with old compartment carriages

class_75_4_0 Class 75.4 Baden VI C with old freight wagons