Friday, 15 February 2019

North East England - Work Continues

Although the next version of the route is still a long way off work is progressing in various forms with the next route extension, the first scenario pack and the first era-specific quick drive all in various stages development.

I'm not going to commit at this early stage to state exactly what will be included in the next version but there will be a whole new range of scenario opportunities as the network expands in different directions. One thing I can confirm is that Middlesbrough will be added due to being missed from the first version along with part of the Bishop Auckland branch as far as Heighington to allow new scenarios to be created in and out of the Hitachi factory at Merchant Park.

With that in mind here is North Road, Darlington with the station sign kit for 2016/17 in place. Although Weardale & Teesdale is already a requirement and does include a full station model for North Road, unfortunately it cannot be used in the modern era.

Tuesday, 5 February 2019

North East England - V1b + Scenario Creation Kit

Firstly a big thanks to Tom at Train Sim TV who gave a demonstration of this system last night and to those who watched, hopefully it gave a visible insight into the point of what I am trying to achieve with this.

The new kit is now part of a new version of the route that has now been released. A full version is required due to some of the existing station models being replaced to remove signs in order to facilitate this system. It also means everyone downloading receives all of the new assets and should therefore see station signs when playing scenarios that have the system added. Detailed documentation for the use of this kit within scenarios provided within the download. The scenarios that were included with the route also now have the new system in place.

Those familiar with scenario creation will also be familiar with what is termed as 'scenario specific scenery', it's basically the things that you add to a specific scenario that are not physically added to the route itself, things such as workmen or speed restriction boards etc. That is essentially what this is, but the station signs have been added for you already and no scenery placement is needed, it's merely a case of the scenario creator copy/pasting a folder from their chosen era into their scenario folder which when distributed as normal means a person downloading your scenario will see all the relevant stations signs throughout the route.

Five eras are provided and are as follows, 1996-2003, 2004-2010, 2010-2015, 2016-2017,
2018-2019. So if you are creating a scenario based in 2013 you would add the folder representing 2010-2015. Sign changes to the real route often happened more frequently than the five periods represented, but it isn't feasible to add a kit for every single year and this trade off still means the signs are fairly correct for your chosen year.
You can download the newest version of the route which contains the Scenario Creation Kit by clicking here.

I already covered Darlington in the previous blog post so here are a few more shots of stations shown in different eras.

Stockton shown in 2013 and 2017

Thirsk shown in 2014 and 2016

Teesside Airport shown in 1998 and 2017

Saturday, 2 February 2019

North East England - Scenario Creation Kit

Firstly can I just say a thanks to all those who have downloaded the route and given very kind comments around various forums, it makes it all worth the effort and is greatly appreciated.

The next goal in development on the North East England is the creation and release of a scenario creation kit for users.  You may have seen it briefly outlined in the manual and it's the reason why there is a lack of station signs in the route, those that remained will be removed.

The scenario creation kit will be a download of assets that contain a range of era-specific scenario folders that creators can add to their own scenarios. It doesn't involve any asset placement for the user themselves, they simply match the era of the scenario to the relevant era-specific scenario folder that I have provided and they copy/paste the folder into their new scenario folder. This then gets distributed as normal with the scenario and anyone who downloads and drives the scenario will have correct station signage for the era represented.

Another advantage of this system also means that when I release the more advanced era-specific quick drive for the route, signs will automatically match whatever era you choose to drive.

As a quick example of what I mean, look at the two screenshots below. In the first screenshot the scenario folder contains the 2016-17 scenery folder and Virgin are proudly displaying banners for the now delayed 'Azuma' trains on the East Coast. Fast forward to a scenario folder containing the 2018-19 scenery folder and they have been removed.

More information and a release date for this new system will be announced on the blog in due course.


Friday, 1 February 2019

North East England - V1 Release

I'm very happy to announce that V1 of North East England is now available.

Version 1 of this all new route features a high quality representation of the East Coast Main Line between Darlington and York, the section of the Durham Coast Line between Northallerton and Hartlepool and the section of the Darlington to Saltburn line between Darlington and Eaglescliffe with numerous custom assets in order to capture an authentic look and feel of the area.

A range of standard scenarios are included with this first release along with a basic implementation of quick drive. These are a temporary measure and as time goes on we will introduce a range of dedicated scenario packs for the route along with a much more advanced system of era-specific quick drive to cover multiple eras. Please refer to the PDF document entitled 'NEE Scenarios' that is provided as part of the download for more information.

Please also refer to the detailed manual (readme) for any issues that I have noted and are aware of for this first release. You can download the manual from the link provided on the download page, it is also included as part of the route package. 

To download the route, visit the North East England page by clicking here

Images courtesy of Nick Farrant