It’s been a long time since I’ve put serious hours in to the NSW Railset. And even longer since I’ve spread the news with the world. Customarily I’ve ducked my head in every now and then to validate its existence to the world. Maybe this was even to validate my own online existence – in amongst everything going on at the moment I rarely blog anymore.
But this sort of passive approach to development was doomed to fail. While I’m sure I’ll more then enjoy playing around with the completed set, it needs to be about the community as well – so I’ve made the decision to become a little more active in the community again. If I can get a little coding done each week, brilliant. If all I can manage some weeks is to post a new screenshot or two then that will suffice as well. The community needs to know that the set is still alive.
So where is the set sitting right now?
HNNNNNNGH! Working with offsets – an illustrated example.
I’d suggest in its current position the set is almost in a position to provide a barebones, playable set. Post-1900 there is a fairly complete list of engines with fairly accurate statistics as well. MUs are incomplete at present, but its simply a matter of time until these are slotted in to the existing framework for them.
Wagons are by far the most pressing issue. There never quite seems to be enough spreading over the date range of rolling stock. This time around, unlike previous iterations of development, I’ve made a bigger step out of the games toward getting a working cargo scheme going. My focus at the moment in fact is getting as many wagons and the like added in to the set as possible. Which is going fairly well, regardless of the work getting a little dry from time to time.
Then there’s my old favourite – working with offsets. Probably the same as any other coder, can’t stand them. Templating makes them a little easier to work with, but it seems as though no vehicles of the same dimensions perfectly fit each other in terms of their offsets. Maybe that’s artist error, maybe that’s my error. It’s still more than a little frustrating, either way.
Where to from here?
Onwards we will press. My goal is to have every single locomotive, MU and wagon coded in to the game, ready to go, even if graphics aren’t ready for it yet (set climate to 0). This makes it incredibly and less of a slog when graphics do come in, and allow them to be fairly seamlessly inserted in where they below.
Within the next month or so I’d like to have the set within a fairly releasable format (goal at this stage is Q2 for the first major release, which I’m hoping will be 0.2.0).
Testers you say?
Within the next couple of weeks test GRFs will start going out. At the start it may be technical testing only (making sure alignments are right, building a train 50 times in a row to make sure it doesn’t explode). But hopefully from then we should fairly quickly progress to playtesting and balance testing as we work toward the goal of a release within the next four months. If you’re interested at testing, please do not hesitate to drop me a line.
To sum it all up…
I’m excited. Cautious, but excited.