Timberwolf's UK.... trains?

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Timberwolf
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Timberwolf's UK.... trains?

Post by Timberwolf »

Great Brenfingbridge Springs, 2020.

"Have you seen it? There's smoke... and steam... coming from the abandoned Timberwolfean Voxel Mines."
"The Voxel Mines? Isn't that where we had all that trouble with the road vehicles a few years ago?"
"Yes. Except this looks... bigger. Even down here I can hear clanking and clonking. And I swear once or twice I even heard chuffing."

I've decided to make a train set.

Image

Let's try that again. I've decided to make a train set.

Image

Yes, I've decided to ignore the last 10 years of discussions about Bad Features, pay no attention to the dozen other UK or UK-inspired sets already in existence, and have a go at breaking pretty much every OpenTTD sprite-drawing rule going in pursuit of graphical glitches pushing the limits of what's possible with the old game engine. Even in this unfinished state, it's clear the roster is a mad hodgepodge of things put together with little rhyme or gameplay reason - cobbling together random things I liked, bizarre prototypes, trains I spent too much time commuting on and whatever else I could find in a forgotten corner of Woodham Brothers' scrapyard.

But why another UK set? There have been so many great ones: the classic UKRS and UKRS2, BRTrains for a huge selection of post-1950 rolling stock, and RUKTS for modern outline. UKRS3 for beautiful 2x sprites. (And you could possibly count the fantastic Iron Horse for UK-inspired but with the gameplay rhyme and reason that's lacking in BR's long and twisting history). I've almost certainly missed a whole load. But even so, I find that all the UK games we play in our group are still using UKRS2 with a few addons to nerf the game-dominating EE1 and make livestock wagons a bit faster.

This is because there was nothing that for me ticked all the boxes. Which is the ability to start a game in the mid-1800s and be constantly bombarded with new models of train all the way to the current day. To build all the crazy prototypes and envisage an alternative history in which the Western Region was not resoundingly punished for daring to dabble in the ways of the diesel-hydraulic. To zoom in and watch trains going about their business in 2x extra-zoom loveliness. And finally while we're at it, to use the CETS long vehicle and 24 rotation sprite scheme, which looks fantastic in motion and awful in screenshots ;)

Of course, with trains in 2x they also need tracks to run on, so I'm putting one of those together too. You can see some of the progress in the screenshot, including what I call the "Art Depot". (I'm using Surbiton Station as my excuse for this being remotely prototypical)

If you want it and it doesn't exist, then the best thing to do is create it. I'm about this far in:

Image

Suggestions of what to add, advice on doing crazy things with 12-length vehicles and jeers of "ew, extra zoom" gratefully received. My current plan is to keep spriting until I'm able to put together a beta that has a spread of locomotives, multiple units and wagons from 1900 to about 2015 or so and see how many screenshots of overlong vehicles clipping through bridges or having weird alignment issues mid-corner I can gather. In the meantime, updates will go here.

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Re: Timberwolf's UK.... trains?

Post by Timberwolf »

Oh, and for anyone scratching their head at what I mean by the CETS-style movement scheme (some tuning of alignment may still be required)...

Image

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Re: Timberwolf's UK.... trains?

Post by Gadg8eer »

Timberwolf wrote:...
Oh my god, I love it!

Does the A4 seem a bit short, though? I thought the Coronation was shorter than it...

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Re: Timberwolf's UK.... trains?

Post by Timberwolf »

I have the Coronation as 22.5m (with tender) and the A4 as 21.6m - not sure without checking what the tender/loco split is although pretty sure they both ended up with length 5 in TTD terms.

It could possibly be exaggerated by quantisation, as small differences in real-world length end up bigger if they're at the boundary of TTD sizes where one loco ends up L8 and another L7. Also the casing on the early Coronations is huge, whereas A4s have more length between buffer tip and the bulk of the bodywork.

One lesson I took from my road vehicle set is to pick a scale right at the start, so my tracking table has the correct lengths/widths/heights for everything and then the TTD size calculated from that. Even with the extra length I slightly foreshorten vehicles (especially in diagonal views due to TTD's perspective), but they should be correct relative to each other unless the various web sources have all got their buffer-to-buffer lengths wrong.

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Re: Timberwolf's UK.... trains?

Post by Darthrafael »

The more I look at this list of trains the more I neeeeeed thisssss.

Also, any chances for the https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/British_Rail_GT3 to be included?

In any case, I'll be keeping a very, very close eye on this~
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Re: Timberwolf's UK.... trains?

Post by Timberwolf »

I have about a dozen multiple units left to draw that I want to include in the beta; some further progress this morning with Super and Express Sprinter (and a GT3 that may have snuck in there...):

Image

My approach with the MUs is that they come as fixed sets rather than using passsenger carriages and livery overrides. The intention is to have them follow vaguely prototypical rules so you can couple up a Class 455 to a Class 456 and so on, but you can't go hauling around coal wagons or 20 carriages. There's a little bit of gameplay-over-realism in my list: for example the 4CIG will stand in for the approximately 18 billion types of Southern Region slam-door EMUs which all have similar outputs, appearances (at TTD scale!) and 90mph gearing.

This mostly works even with the long vehicles scale - only the Juniper gets a little unwieldy with its 8-car formation translating into a 6 tile long train for 552 passengers, but I'm hoping it appears late enough in the game for many players to have a need for it. Anticipating similar problems with the APT and Eurostar, although that could end up being a parameter for those who want realistic formations vs. more gameplay-usable ones.

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Re: Timberwolf's UK.... trains?

Post by Darthrafael »

beta.png
beta.png (456.56 KiB) Viewed 1436 times
In all seriousness, though, I'm really, really interested in seeing this. Will the SR 4DD be included in that set of Multiple Units too? I'm curious as to what all will be included in this.

Normally I'm not a huge fan of 2x Zoom, but I think this set might just change my opinion on them. The tracks come seperate, or at least toggleable, I hope? Also, the liveries, I assume you're using group colour magic for your screenshots, or will you have selectable liveries like RUKTS does?
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Re: Timberwolf's UK.... trains?

Post by Timberwolf »

Tracks and Trains are indeed separate sets. I used the original Simon Foster alignments for everything so there shouldn't be compatibility issues providing the sets you're using don't deviate too much from the original setup.

Regarding the colours, it's a 2cc set, with liveries chosen so you can replicate at least one real-world prototype with careful use of colour groups:

Image

(Should I mention I've been drawing some Voyagers?)

SR 4CC looks interesting... I've added it to my list of things to include at some point.

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Re: Timberwolf's UK.... trains?

Post by Darthrafael »

Ahh, alright. I mostly use finescale so I'll be curious to see what this set looks like on finescale. How do they look side-by-side to UKRS3 trains, btw?

I am really looking forward to playing around with this set, can't wait!
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Re: Timberwolf's UK.... trains?

Post by Timberwolf »

Comparing like-for-like with UKRS3 you can see the obvious difference in using a long vehicles scheme:

Image

IMO Pikka's sprites are somewhat nicer (the benefit of being properly hand-drawn in native 32bpp) but I always knew any set I created wasn't going to trouble the top bar for quality, which is why I've made it up on quantity. That said, I'm still happy with the improvements I've made since those early versions of Timberwolf's UK Road Vehicles!

Latest progress is that I've finally finished the last of the multiple units I want to include in the first version:

Image

From here it's a case of drawing a decent roster of cargo wagons and load states - I'll be able to reuse some of the Road Vehicles assets here which should help keep the drawing progress moving along at a reasonable clip. Brake vans will be available but not mandatory - I'm yet to think of a good gameplay mechanic for rewarding players who decide to use them, maybe a small reduction in running costs?

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Re: Timberwolf's UK.... trains?

Post by SwissFan91 »

Love this! :bow:
Total Alpine Replacement Set: Industry, Town, Objects

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Re: Timberwolf's UK.... trains?

Post by andythenorth »

Timberwolf wrote:
06 Jul 2020 23:13
Brake vans will be available but not mandatory - I'm yet to think of a good gameplay mechanic for rewarding players who decide to use them, maybe a small reduction in running costs?
I've considered and rejected many ideas for that in Iron Horse.

I think the gameplay reward is 'see, your train now has a brake van'. :twisted:

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Re: Timberwolf's UK.... trains?

Post by Captain Rand »

andythenorth wrote:
07 Jul 2020 16:24
I think the gameplay reward is 'see, your train now has a brake van'. :twisted:
True. Well, true for me anyways. I always put some sort of brake van or caboose on the end of my freight trains (even the ones that don't need them, like container trains etc). For some reason trains in OTTD don't look right to me without a brake van.

Looking for something unusual? How about the old Southern Railway "Queen Mary" bogie brake van?
https://paulbartlett.zenfolio.com/srbogiebrakevan
I believe one even made it into Network Southeast livery!

EDIT: I just noticed this is my 100th post. Woo hoo. It only took me 8 1/2 years!

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Re: Timberwolf's UK.... trains?

Post by willsym22 »

Hello

Loving the work so far this looks incredible!

Just a few questions, will there be the option to choose between company colours and realistic liveries?
Also will this set work with nu tracks?

Thanks

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Re: Timberwolf's UK.... trains?

Post by Electricfox »

Awww yis.
Do you intend on having running sounds ala the early UKRS sets?

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Re: Timberwolf's UK.... trains?

Post by Timberwolf »

The past couple of days have been improving alignments and compatibility between different-length vehicles. Getting back toward the cargo wagons now, a couple new generations of tank wagon:

Image

I've tested with NuTracks and it works reasonably well - 3rd rail DC and overhead AC trains both end up as "electric" because NuTracks doesn't distinguish them, but you can buy everything. NuTracks uses slightly different alignments to the original Simon Foster tracks (offset down by 1 pixel or so) but not so much it looks bad. One thing that isn't quite working is the pantographs on dual-voltage units, they're staying in DC mode: I suspect this is a case of track type labels, anyone know what NuTracks uses for its electric rails?

Regarding liveries, I've set things up so most can be recreated in some form using the colour groups. There might be a couple of options on wagons (where they'll have multiple liveries for random consist purposes) but a whole-set "realistic" parameter is low on my list currently. Beyond that I think it'll be a case of forking the repo and repainting the voxel models once I have a release worth doing that to ;)

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Re: Timberwolf's UK.... trains?

Post by Timberwolf »

Running sounds would be lovely, but I don't have any good source of sounds that'd be compatible with an MIT or GPLv2 licence. If anyone could point me to a repository of British railway sounds with copyleft licencing I'd be interested!

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Re: Timberwolf's UK.... trains?

Post by Electricfox »

Does Creative Commons work?
https://freesound.org/people/konakaboom/

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Re: Timberwolf's UK.... trains?

Post by Timberwolf »

Cool! I think I'd have to transitively licence my work under similar CC-BY-NC conditions (probably CC-BY-NC-SA) but that doesn't feel like too big a deal, I think it covers the main copyleft I want which is for people to be able to take the models, code and tooling to build their own sets, extensions and adaptations if they wish. May in fact be a better licence than the GPL terms I used for Road Vehicles.

Wagons have been proceeding slowly, partly because I've not had so much free time the past few days but also because the information and history isn't as freely available as it is for locomotives and multiple units. Discovering Paul Bartlett's site (https://paulbartlett.zenfolio.com/) has been a huge help, though, and I'm starting to get together a useful scheme.

My aim for the wagon progression is for wagons to have a relatively consistent capacity:length ratio with gradually increasing speeds up to the '70s, then once freight speeds top out introduce some later wagons which allow loading more cargo into the same length of train. Rough idea for the speed progression of non-express wagons -

Early (1800-1850): 35mph
1850s: 40mph
1900s: 45mph
1930s: 50mph
1950s: 60mph
1970s: 70mph
1990s: 85-90mph (specialised wagons)

Pondering allowing them to run a little faster when empty, which is the real-world case for a few types. That also provides some network design challenges. Downside is it's a little less discoverable for players, although it's more of a "why do these trains go faster?" problem than a "why can't I build anything?" problem.

One last note on wagon speeds: I'm trying to avoid parameter proliferation (the various "realistic" parameters on Road Vehicles have made it a nightmare to do anything that affects cargo capacities or speeds) but this may be a case where I add an option to boost speeds for the impatient.


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