New concept art, screenshots and vehicles

Development is going smooth, and we found some time to refresh our website and provide new content.

First and most important, we have extended our concept art page. We have added high resolution game objects, game art and a selection of screenshots. Examples include:

train_br_218_cargo_camera_0 Class 218 diesel locomotive with cargo carriages

horse_transporter Horse cargo transporter around 1870

truck_man_side Man 1975 truck side view

cars A selection of cars

Second, our screenshot page now features high resolution images. Examples are:

screen_2048_00.jpg Class 53 Prussian G 3 locomotive with oil carriages

screen_2048_01.jpg Re 6/6 (620) locomotive

screen_2048_02.jpg Be 4/6 “Mirage” street car

Finally, we have updated the vehicles page. More than 30 vehicles are listed there. Each vehicle is introduced with an image and a short description. One example is:

nohab_2048x1152 NoHAB AA 12 locomotive with EW 2 carriages

As mentioned already in the introduction, development is on track and we are confident to be able to provide more updates soon. We also know that many of you want to get more insight into game-play. We try to take this request into account. However, this is somewhat difficult because some aspects of the game are still not 100% implemented (but will soon), and we do not want to present features which finally might not be included in the game.

Vehicles in action

Vehicles have already been introduced here. This time, we show them in action.

The following video illustrates how they look and feel in-game. We present an old steam train (Norris D 1/3, 1847), carriages and freight transport (1865), a street car (Be 4/6 Mirage, 1966) and a freight train (BR V 100, 1958).

All scenes have been recorded in-game and could be reproduced when playing the game.

Graphics, game-play and sound are not final. Also, many details are still missing. For instance, street car catenary is still missing, there is only one model for people, and animation of people and freight at stations is still very minimal. We will handle these (and more) details prior to release, but they have not been top priority yet.

At this time we would also like to announce our partners for sound effects and music.

Orchestral Media Developments is responsible for sound effects. This is a great cooperation because Orchestral Media Developments is very experienced with tycoon games, since they have also produced the sound effects in “Chris Sawyer’s Locomotion” back in 2004.

DALA Studios composes and produces the soundtrack of the game. DALA Studios will produce a soundtrack with a high artistic value. The style of the music will not be too far away from the very well-received Transport Tycoon soundtrack.

About Orchestral Media Developments: With over 30 combined years in the industry and a portfolio of over 350 completed projects, Orchestral Media Developments are at the forefront of videogame audio, working alongside some of the biggest and best known developers and publishers from around the globe including Sony, Mind Candy, Sega, and Nintendo.

About DALA Studios: Based in Winterthur, Switzerland, the studio was established in 1994. The studio is led by David Langhard, a passionate and very talented (live) musician. David plays heaps of different instruments and is in excellent standing with the Swiss music scene. The studio has already composed more than 400 tracks.

Release in Q3 2014

We are making very good progress with developing the game. All major implementation challenges are solved. We have now started to focus on the user interface and game-play details.

Due to a short delay with reaching the last development milestone, we have decided to release Train Fever in Q3 2014. Originally we have planned to release in Q2. Thanks to the new release date, there is more time to bring the game to perfection. Funding for the additional development is already secured.

There will be a closed beta test in Q2. Details on how to register will be announced on this website a few weeks in advance (early enough so that everybody has a chance). The number of participants will be limited.

In the next weeks and months we continue with development updates on this website.

Thanks again for your input and feedback. We try to consider as much as possible, and some of your ideas have already made it into the game. We look forward to releasing a well worked out Train Fever in Q3!

Simulation basics

Train Fever is about transporting people and freight. In this development update, we show what can be transported, and explain from where to where. In addition, we present how the game world is simulated and explain what a town needs in order to grow and develop.

Let’s start with introducing the six basic transportation items of the game. There are people (which are most important in the game) and goods:

In addition, there are four raw material types:

Raw materials (coal, wood, iron ore and oil) are mined at several locations in the game world. Mines and refineries are typically located outside of towns. The raw materials are required by industry buildings, typically located inside of or close to towns. If industry buildings also get enough people (employees), then goods are produced. Goods are then sent to commercial buildings, which will finally sell them to people.

People not only want to buy goods in commercial buildings, they also want to go to work and have some recreation time (leisure, parks and attractions).

The game world can include up to 25 towns and even more mines and refineries. Most industries do only need a selection of raw materials. For instance, a furniture industry primarily needs wood.

The following illustrations summarize movement of people and freight:

So far we have explained the basic movement of people and freight. Let’s get a more detailed view.

People look for work places, commercial districts and recreation destinations. Freight items are sent by the producer to a destination which requires the respective item. In both cases the destination is chosen randomly within a certain maximal travelling time. The faster a destination is reachable, the more likely the destination is chosen.

Once a destination is chosen, the person or freight item is transported on the fastest way to this destination. Of course, people and freight can change transportation vehicles and can be temporarily stored at stations on the way to the destination. A player can be successful and earn money by constructing efficient transportation lines which fulfill the movement demands of people and freight.

The faster the transportation vehicles and the higher the frequency, the more items will be transported with your lines. Note that if you don’t construct or if your transport infrastructure is not efficient enough, the world will not stop to move! People will walk or use their cars. Mines, refineries and industries will transport their items by their own (manually or by using trucks). Of course, you can speed up growth and development by taking action.

This brings us to the last topic: When will towns grow and industries increase production?

  • Residential districts grow if a lot of industry, commercial buildings and attractions can be reached as fast as possible
  • Commercial districts grow if as many people as possible pass by for shopping and if as many goods items are delivered by industries
  • Industries grow if they get enough required raw materials and employees
  • Leisure locations grow if as many people as possible pass by for recreation
  • Mines and refineries increase raw material production if they find enough industries to deliver their items and if delivery is as fast as possible

We have designed a simple but also quite realistic economy model. Thanks to its simplicity the game will be fun to play. And because of the realistic movement of items and impact on town growth there is a quite high complexity and depth of simulation at the same time. You may have noticed that public and freight transport are connected in this model. For instance, delivering more raw materials to industries will let industries grow and will also make well-accessible residential districts more attractive.

In a future update we will go into more details and we will also present the respective buildings (residential, commercial, industrial, leisure, mines and refineries).

Update: Thanks in advance for your feedback, questions and criticism. As usual, we will answer the most important questions a few days later (this weekend) in a Q&A post.

Update: Please find a Q&A post here.

Vehicles overview and Merry Christmas

First of all, we would like to wish you all a happy holiday season and success in the coming year. Thank you for your interest, support, feedback, comments and questions during the last year. We would like to let you know that your participation is very welcome.

Just in time before Christmas we are ready to give you an overview of the vehicles in Train Fever.

The game features vehicles from more than 150 years of transportation history (1850 – 2000+). Today we show a part (about one third) of the vehicles which will be contained in the initial release. All images below are made with our in-game rendering engine, so they will look quite similar in the final game. Of course, they are still in development.

We start with steam, diesel and electric locomotives in chronological order:

Next we list train cars. They can be arbitrarily combined with locomotives. Note that there are also freight train cars available (however we show only one freight car for goods here):

Streetcars (trams) are a great way to master transport within cities. They are lighter and shorter than trains and – most important – they can handle more curvature. Note that the first streetcar is actually a horse-driven streetcar (unfortunately the horse is still missing on the picture ;) ). Here are a few streetcar examples:

Buses and trucks are the ideal choice for local and medium distance transport. They are much cheaper than trains and might be a good alternative especially on hilly terrain. The first picture shows a carriage, which will be available at the beginning of the game:

These and many more vehicles are still in development (in total the game will feature about 30 trains). Most of the vehicles are from Europe (especially Germany and Switzerland), but we will also add some more vehicles from other countries. In any case, we plan to support modding (adding user-created vehicles), and there is also the possibility to create DLCs after the initial release.