The Trainz Simulator is a franchise of successor products, in which each one's content is upgradable to the next improved version; starting with the line's first upgrade, the 2003 A.D. release of the classic and best selling TRS2004. Trainz 2004 was radically different in important ways, yet enabled importing content (maps, world things like buildings) from version 1.1-1.3 (sometimes named TRS2000 or Trainz 2000). As a consequence, Trainz is the oldest, most successful and flexible (series of ever improving) computer simulators for running a realistically modeled 3D virtual reality world and interacting with the Train locomotives and interactive railway industries which are the focus of the series. There have been several simulators with better graphics engines, but none with the staying power and huge library of user created content free to all registered users. Each new release has included some new railways and revalidated world assets, such as industries, buildings, fauna or landscape assets such as new trees. Trainz corporate website enables access to over 100,000 such possible extensions (assets) to one's virtual worlds, for free!
In the simulators run time environments (called 'Driver') the simulator is in 'play mode' and so might be confused with a mere computer game. However in a full Trainz install (Some game like driving only versions have been published) you can become the creator and alter and adjust the game like content and the world content to add or subtract from the experience. For example, for a first foray into world building (Uses the module called Surveyor), a new user might choose to extend and expand on one of the bundled Driver (game play) sessions to change the end conditions and scoring such that a long freight haul to a schedule scenario is morphed into one which also requires one to break down the train's consist (various connected cars) and deliver them to certain local industries outside the railyard which was the original session destination.
This is possible as Trainz won't allow the new user to over write the stock content of ten-to-twelve railroads that are the part of each release in the series, and each of those will have one to six game playing scenarios, or 'Driver sessions' in Trainz-speak, that are also protected—so Trainz automatically clones such content giving the new user a private, single user, modified version which is equally playable. Similarly, when instead the new user attempts to change the Trainz Route (virtual world, or layout in Model Railroading), the system will then clone the original to make a private copy and the Session, so one can explore the benefits of such a world change immediately. Driver is the module which runs the virtual world and lets you travel through a 3D manifestation, a scenario or problem is known as a Session, most being designed to play until finished in one sitting, a session of playing railroad engineer.
Trainz is thus extensible immediately and each release bundles a little bit of Railroad Enthusiast Created and debugged content in the release. It differs from the competing products in it's facility to create or alter a layout at will, and for-pay expansions are just as, if not more so available for Trainz, whereas such competing products require for-pay purchases to add in. Content expansion has then one important difference and that is most content is end user created, and mostly free. The majority of this is Freeware and hosted on a central server, there are close to 100,000 different items available including layouts, scenery items, locos and rolling stock.
The intent of this book is to guide you in various aspects of the simulator.
The basic requirements are a computer with a separate graphics card but because much of the content is end user created and some is more computer friendly than others no matter how fast your computer is a content creator who doesn't think in terms of performance can bring it to its knees.
If you are creating content then please bear in mind that many users see features on other users work such as LoD, working couplings (more applicable to UK items), shadows, visible loads, visible bulk loads, changeable loco / wagon numbers and specular lighting and will expect to see them on yours.
Enjoy.Last modified on 8 May 2013, at 08:26