Long term development plans

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    Train Fever is the most promising transport simulation I have seen so far, but it needs to develop. In order to develop the right way, it is important to focus on the unique user base it can be able to get.

    I think the most important user segment for TF is the railroad and transport enthusiasts. TF can be an excellent virtual model railroad, and can develop into a good logistics simulator. To satisfy this kind of user, realism and attention to detail is important. Those who want a fast-paced fantasy game are better served with other offerings. The X-box crowd is not the market for TF.

    To get the attention of the railroad and transport fans, it will be useful to publish a roadmap and some long term goals. That will help attract modders who will want assurances that their affort will be relevant several years from now, and it will help build a thriving user community.

    Some of the points I believe will have to be adressed to move in that direction, are:

    – Significant change in pace. Train enthusiasts want to have some time to look at their setup. Make several settings, but probably one game year per real hour will be a good default. A “real time” setting for testing new things and checking out new lines is a must. Keep the current fast forward-buttons.

    – Realism option for building roads and tracks. You survey, plan and then the construction starts. Construction takes time, workers, transportation and materials.

    – Transport companies are important employers. They need offices, road crews, drivers and train crews.

    – Transport companies need supplies, both for maintenance and to fuel their operations. Fodder for horses, cokes for steam trams and road vehicles, firewood, coal, oil and electricity for trains.

    – Rolling stock does not arrive the day you order it, it must be manufactured and transported to your site.

    – Equipment does not need much maintenance when it is idle. Roads and track needs maintenance depending on usage.

    – Passengers do not want to travel by a particular line, they want to travel with what gets the to their destination quickest.

    – Major freight users do not sit around hoping for transport and adjust their production to it, they offer contracts for a minimum amount per year.

    – Passenger stations can handle package goods – passenger trains often had  a few boxcars to carry goods for those who need less than a whole wagon load. This kind of goods are transported at a higher tariff.

    – Railfans will be nitpicking the models. While the first engine in TF is a good representation of the one on museum display, it was not like that in 1850. Originally it was a wood burner with a different chimney.  Making a note about such details would be useful, modders can then make the appropriate variant models with correct availability dates.


    Priority 1. – moddable industry chain and various city buildings (furniture shop, electronic shop, etc.), more resources and products, more and more industry types.

    Priority 2. – improved route handling

    Traian Trante

    Priority 3 – realistic placement of resources. Iron goes into mountains, not near lakes. Oil cannot be found in the mountains. Forestry in teh middle of the farms ? Not. Or at least it should be a low yield resource, something that can only produce max 25 if it’s placed in the wrong geographics setting.



    I do not think the need is moddable industry as much as a total rethink of industry.

    Industries and resource extractors are two entirely different things. Mineral resources, arable land and forests are where they are, so they have to be exploited there or not at all. And – importantly – resources are not usually found all over the place, they occur in specific areas.

    Processing industries should be located in a reasonable place – they are not built and financed by idiots. Farms are the most fundamental, and must be on suitable land. Grains come from rich soil in the lowlands, pastures for dairy and meat production is found in the hills – at least early on.

    Mines have to be where the minerals are, but should not be opened unless there is a way to process and market the product. Oil should not be found before 1860, and then only sparingly.

    Early lumbermills should be next to rivers, later they can be steam powered. Many industries need a lot of water in any case. Industries need labour, so they will not be located far away from people unless they get people to move close to them. Generally, all industries belong with the “blue buildings” in towns and villages –  but they have the potential to grow to huge sizes dominating their city.

    The concept of industries making one product from one or two inputs is copied from earlier and more primitive games. It is a “game” concept rather than a “simulation” concept. Most raw materials should be used by many industries, and most industries need many input resources.

    To make iron, you need at least charcoal (or, after early 1800s coke), limestone, ore and air. The huge amount of air would early on be supplied by bellows driven by a watermill, then a steam engine, and later by a gas engine.

    Coal is also used by most other early industries, either for heat or to run steam engines. To get gas lights, towns built gas works which used coal. Most towns need coal up to the 1950’s.

    It is also necessary to distinguish between perishable and non-perishable cargos. The 20-minute rule works only for people making their daily trips. Neither people on days off nor industrial goods have that kind of constraint.


    Have you seen the price of Iron Ore lately?




    How about driverless trains?


    underground stations with only the entrance above ground, some kind of metro system, upgrade stations so they will be able to handle people more faster, let newer age trains handle trains more faster, make it possible to put the station on the track after you laid it, make it possible to put stations in bends


    If you want to try a game where you have to hire employees and deal with short term orders, you can try Freight Tycoon Inc. It’s fun for a bit, but quickly gets repetitive. I don’t think it fits in a game like this – if you end up with a massive company it’ll take ages to micromanage.


    Micromanagement should be automated away, in TF that does especially apply to equipment replacement. Setting up a policy should be enough, actually selling old and buying new is too much.

    Being able to macromanage is, however, important. You want to make the long-term rules for how your transport system shall work, and only change those rules when you see that there is a need for a policy change.

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