Yes - it's all the news from 2007!

16 December 2007

A little rant about Vista...(this item taken from a post I made on the UKTS forum).

Recently invested in a new laptop which, unfortunately, only came with the option to have Vista as the O/S.

Once you get used to the interface that side is okay but the user friendliness in terms of actually running anything is pants.

After a massive struggle I managed to get TRS2004 installed but TRS2006 was a losing battle, even doing all the "Run as Administrator" things. However once in Surveyor I found it ran slower than my old laptop which had quarter the speed (800Mhz AMD compared to 1.7 Dual Core on the new machine) and about a 5th of the GFX processing power. I've now ceased development on Trainz routes for other reasons but Vista is not its friend.

So let's see how MSTS fares. Installs okay even though stretched mode on the widescreen looks a bit odd (laptops have no option to view as a 4:3 in the middle of the screen). However loading up the Editors the first ominous sign was a message warning the programme is not compatible with Home Premium and it was switching to Vista Basic display mode. After installing X-Tracks (as I was thinking about starting the Flam branch so needed some sharp radius tunnels), the RE started running very slowly and on exit would hang requiring Ctrl-Alt-Del to close the programme down. Swopped the t-section back to eliminate X-Tracks (I can't believe the guy doesn't provide an uninstaller) and working smoothly or so I thought, until again went to exit and a grey "fog" appeared over the RE screen, the mouse pointer froze and I had to do a hard reboot to get out of it.

MSTS now uninstalled - Vista isn't even compatible with MS' own bloomin' programmes.

I already know BVE doesn't work with Vista so let's try Zusi. That actually seems to work okay, though having to click permission and continue for each of 40 updates when transferring the .zad file from unzipped to the programme folder got real tedious, real quick. Unfortunately the Zusi route editor requires a Phd in Advanced Maths/Physics so looks as if it will be play only for the forseeable future.

Rail Simulator works but is hindered by the lack of a proper resolution to match the widescreen display.

All in all it seems Vista is not a train-sim friendly O/S, at least until MSTS2 comes along. I've now bought Championship Manager 2008 and playing that on the laptop instead, so bye-bye to route building for the forseeable future.

13 December 2007

Some good news just in, the demo version of "18 Wheels of Steel - American Long Haul" is now available from the dedicate Long Haul Site. Even better, if you like the game you can pay to unlock the full game on line for a very reasonable £12.99 (though I assume there will be a boxed edition at some stage).

28 October 2007

The road transport section of this site is still pending but in the meantime I've just gathered information about a new product in development from SCS Software, who brought us the superb "18 Wheels of Steel" series and "Bus Driver". It's a new trucking game but this time set in Europe rather than North America and will be known as Euro Truck Simulator. Further details can be found at the SCS Software Euro Trucker Site and there's some discussion already on the Truck Pol Forum.

A quick round up of some other road transport stuff that may be of interest:
First off two bus simulators, the first is Bus Driver published by our old frieThnds SCS Software (see link above) only originally available via e-commerce/download but has now made it to a boxed version. Check out Amazon UK or title received a mixed reception on release largely because you can only drive in external view, gameplay is limited to pre-supplied scenarios (no career mode as per 18 WOS) though there's probably more to do out the box than Rail Simulator offers. The other big title in production is Bus Simulator 2008 (from the same developer who produced Ship Simulator). At present the official site at developer Astragon is only in Dutch language but this Bus Simulator fan site has some information in English.

Further to my news about SCS new truck driving sim, they're also working on a sequel to 18 Wheels of Steel, with a working title of American Long Haul. There's a preliminary web page set up, though not much information at present.

22 October 2007

I have made a slight revision to my Rail Simulator review - added a score for general Route/Train presentation and amended the overall score.

21 October 2007

Finally managed to complete writing up the Rail Simulator Review which I've just uploaded.

Other News:
You can find some more MSTS2 preview imagery on Rick Selby's blog, here.

The Trainz Classics UK website has received another couple of weekly updates since I last reported, seems to be making good progress.

After a last minute issues with some terrain textures I finally managed to get my Fort William to Mallaig route for Trainz on the Auran Download Station. You will need to be a registered Planet Auran member to obtain the route and a First Class Ticket for the DLS is recommended due to the file size and third party assets you may need to download.

14 October 2007

The EA Rail Sim was released last Friday as planned, have had a little play but not enough to draw up a review. It's apparent from what I've seen so far and opinions being posted on the forums that the product does have more than it's fair share of flaws, problems and bugs. I'm not going to offer any comment or criticism at this stage other than I've already made on the forums other than to add that the situation is a little disappointing. We had all been looking forward to the first all new commercial train sim released in several years and these initial problems have taken the edge off the excitement. My thoughts at this stage are to see what the developer has to say in response to the initial feedback and whether and how quickly it is possible for the most serious items to be addressed in a patch.

8 October 2007

I have just submitted my Fort William to Mallaig route to the Auran DLS for approval. The readme file for this route can now be found on the Download page.

6 October 2007

Kuju or rather their subsidiary Rail Simulator Developments have just completed a major overhaul of their Rail Simulator site. This includes a variety of new screenshots (including some taken at night) and a new forum, though although you can register it is not yet publically available for posting.

The Trainz Classics UK site has received its weekly update, this time more information on the 8F steam locomotive.

Work to extend this site is coming along gradually, latest pages to be added are the Loksim review and Trainz Classics 3 preview. Still much more to come!

21 September 2007

Kuju Entertainment have posted a video clip on their site demonstrating the capability of the route editor in the forthcoming EA Rail Simulator. Very impressive it looks too! Visit the Rail Simulator Home Page to download.

18 September 2007

The release date for the EA Rail Simulator has now been put back to 12th October 2007.

13 September 2007

A very warm welcome to anyone who has just found this site. Everything is still pretty much basic at present and much work remains to be done. Please keep checking back as new sections are added and of course the "main event" coming up pretty soon now is the release of the new Electronic Arts Train Simulator (developed by Kuju Entertainment). This is still set for release on 5th October and will be the first new product to receive an in depth review on the site.

It's good to be back!

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