Last modified on 27 April 2014, at 18:35

Trainz/Overview of Trainz releases

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Introductory Trainz: A brief outline of Trainz history
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A brief outline of Trainz historyEdit

TRS2004 made historic advances with interactive industries and an generalized extension of the Scenario system of single use TrainzScripts into today's powerful sessions. * This TRS2004 Graphics panorama image on a laptop shows the first less developed yard at Greenwood station in a famous scenario shortly after it begins (called Highland Valley Coal by Chuck Cee Bee Barkman).
The map was slightly modified in TRS2004 as Highland Valley Industries (HVI) and used for an introduction to Interactive Industries Tutorial—a major advance in TRS2004's technologies—and republished in each release up through the release of TS2009. That HVI map, adapted from this one, has a slightly expanded yard noticeably different in the left side of this view.

Trainz was developed over 3–4 years beginning about 1996 in consultation and in collaboration with various model railroading clubs by Australian game developer Auran Pty. Ltd, which had by then established itself as one of the premier gaming companies in Australia under the stewardship of chief programmer Greg Lane, Paul Olsen in development and Graham Edelsten. It's early releases were a pale shadow of what was to come but when released in 2001 the input of interested model railroaders quickly lead to a succession of improvements and extended capabilities.

This became a pattern, accumulate major changes whilst setting up the evolution and making incremental changes and bug fixes through service pack releases, each making a stable code software step. Trainz service packs unlike many commercial packages are free, and so the improvements continued steadily through releases in 2005 and Trainz 2006, which leveraged the stable and hard won game engine and features such as interactive industries being released with a powerful database manager, upload manager and download manager known as Content Manager Plus, the father of today's CM utility which is little changed but for refinements.

In 2005–2007 Auran over extended developing a different computer game (Fury) and Trainz and Auran both survived bankruptcy proceedings but the game now was managed under N3V Games which renewed Trainz development leading to the "World Builder Edition, TS2009 and has continued to grow and evolve beating back several competitors over the ensuing decade years. Auran Development Pty Ltd became Auran Holdings Pty Ltd after the bankruptcy reorganization and still retains the rights to the program. The original chief engineer, and indeed most of the professional staff were lost during the dark months, and even the busy web site went dark for five weeks. N3V quickly hired back staff members willing to return, notably chief programmer Chris Bergmann who had joined the company in 2000. Bergmann can be frequently found inteacting on the Auran web board as 'Windwalkr'. (e.g. Google "{{Col|Site:forums.auran.com Windwalkr|blue")

 

LocalisationEdit

Multilingual language support has been built into Trainz since Trainz 1.3, increased in the best selling TRS2004 and expanded in the hugely popular TRS2006 (TR06) release in 2005. Next followed a handful of regionally focused releases including three in English based on the TR06 technologies which focused enclosed content featuring regional routes of interest, albeit with some changes to unimportant graphics (skins) but some incremental alterations of data definitions portending events to come. These differed from TRS2004 and TRS2006 in the philosophy of bundled included content—instead of a potpourri of widely varying routes and their regional assets, the regionally focused routes were scenery and trackside asset biased by their thematic localizations, and tended to include less assets overall but perhaps more or interest to those also developing virtual railways in that same world region.

Other TRS2006 spinoffs were European regional releases: (TRS2007 (France & French speaking lands) and 2008 (German and Eastern European routes) which expanded the product's language offerings and soon added a rich supply of Europe and Eastern European routes. This same time span saw three English releases known as Trainz Classics (TC1&2 and TC3)—offerings partnered with third party content creators which delivered "professional quality" routes with a bounty of specialty assets and also offered slightly new technologies (V2.7 & V2.8, game engine advancements are usually first included in an English release), when N3v Games assumed control of publication and development.

Year 2008 saw and end to 'game stagnation' with the release of TS2009: World Builders Edition sporting improvements mainly in Surveyor, 2009 the evolved dual-mode TS2010: Engineer's Edition, TS2012: 10th Anniversary Edition (aka TS12 or Trainz Simulator 2012) which is the latest Microsoft Windows installment in the franchise and was released in April of 2011 and it's SP1 upgrades in late 2011. In 2012–2013 N3V games released Trainz MAC under the iOS operating system as well as tablet computer versions.

Two targeted releases are in development for 2014, the later a full 64bit version with highly upgraded graphics known now as TANE or T:ANE, Trainz: A New Era with funding in part supported by a modest amount raised by KickStarter pledges.