Posts Tagged ‘Dovetail Games’

The Flare Path: What are they all playing this weekend?

April showers filling my gutters, May blossom spangling my hedge, June bugs headbutting my window… Mother Nature seems to have muddled her months this year. I’m not one for idle gossip as you well know but Mr Valentine at the sweet shop reckons she’s back on the gin. Apparently she reeked of the stuff when she came in for her sherbet lemons on Monday. Just to be on the safe side I recommend everyone stays in this weekend and plays personal computer games about war and aeroplanes. That’s what me and the six FOFPs* below are planning to do.

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Flight Sim World takes off into early access clouds

Giant flying machinery simulator Flight Sim World [official site] has taken to the early access skies today. Will it soar and glide like a divine condor, or will its engine splutter and crash like a divine condor that has suddenly died of a heart attack? With metaphors like this, who can say. It’s from Dovetail Games, the makers of the Train Simulator series, responsible for the swarms of train-based DLC you often see on the Steam storefront. Our Alice once said that Train simulator is “one of those fascinating games where people who’ve played it for hundreds of hours will tell you it’s awful”. So it is hard to judge how their journey into the air might turn out.
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Flight Sim World building upon MS Flight Simulator soon

Train Simulator developers Dovetail Games have announced Flight Sim World [official site], a new fly ’em up built upon the licensed guts of Microsoft Flight Sim. It will let us pilot simulated aeroplanes. Flight Sim World is due to take to the skies of Steam Early Access for a test flight later this month, but for now you can at least watch this collection of moving pictures and sound while waggling your flightstick to pretend you’re in control: Read the rest of this entry »

Train Sim World pulls choo ’em up into Unreal Engine

The makers of Train Simulator are riding the rails in Unreal Engine 4 for the first time, having finally made the long-promised switch from their own janky engine with the release of Train Sim World: CSX Heavy Haul [official site] last week. It certainly looks prettier than old Train Sim, at least. While Train Sim’s many DLC add-ons cover thousands of miles and scenarios by now (even helping Halloween monsters in a spin-off), Train Sim World is starting with hauling cargo on the USA’s 100 mile-ish Sand Patch Grade. It seems to suffer from technical leaves on the line, mind. Read the rest of this entry »

The Flare Path: Makes For Moscow

Men in balaclavas and frosty greatcoats are jumping up and down to keep warm. Lumps of snow dislodged from bowed pine boughs by rising exhaust fumes fall like icing sugar mortar bombs on idling panzers. A few miles away to the east, framed by twin smoke columns, the fairy domes of St Basil’s Cathedral gewgaw a cloudless, corpse-blue sky. Everyone wants to know ‘What’s the delay? Why aren’t we moving?’. The frozen soldaten can’t see their famished fate-shaper – the Englander hurrying upstairs with a cheese and chutney sandwich, a glass of blackcurrant squash, and a happy “Back to Drive on Moscow!” look on his face.

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Train Simulator 2016 Now Chuggity-Chugging Away

2015 is not the year that Train Simulator makes its promised switch to the Unreal Engine 4. Instead, this year’s revision Train Simulator 2016 [official site] brings a small set of updates and a new selection of content for the base game. Even as Train Simulator updates go, this year’s seems pretty slim. An optimist might say that could indicate developers Dovetail Games are focusing on the new Unreal Engine TS, while a pessimist might say Dovetail are getting stingier. Me, I’d probably just invent two hypothetical people and use them to distract from my handwaving.

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The Flare Path: Dave Does Dovetail

A Crown Copyright image Private Eyed with the help of www.superlame.com

Six Sure Signs That Your Sim Studio is a Spectacular Success:

First Official New Flight Simulator X Add-On Announced

You can keep yer HoloLenses; the best thing Microsoft have done for PC gaming recently is let simulation developer Dovetail Games take over maintenance and further development on Flight Simulator X. The game has been well served by its community and third-party developers, but Dovetail taking an official role has let the game be sold through Steam and prompted the creation of official add-ons, the first of which has now been announced. It’s called “Dangerous Approaches”, and it’s not about sneaking up on Adam while he’s sleeping.

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Train Simulator Spirited Away To Story Of Forest Rail

Choo choo!

While I don’t play Train Simulator 2015, I’ve been keenly awaiting the release of a certain DLC pack so I could post about it. The Story of Forest Rail, you see, is a semi-fictional route winding through beautiful and colourful Japanese countryside, partially inspired by Hayao Miyazaki’s Spirited Away. I am always in favour of such things existing, and am glad to see it in the world, and am happy to be writing these here words about it.

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Flight Simulator X Lands On Steam December 18th

Microsoft might long ago have abandoned Flight Simulator X when they dismantled its developer shortly after release, but for the past eight years the game has been supported dutifully by its community and third-party developers. That’s continuing next week when Dovetail Games – famed for Train Simulator and its oodles of DLC – are bringing an updated version of the game to Steam. The slight revision will feature “enhanced multiplayer functionality”, along with Windows 8.1 support and a future of (albeit paid-for) updates.

This obviously has consequences for other third-party Flight Sim X developers, though Dovetail say they’ll make “every effort to ensure that as many of them as possible work”.

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Premature Evaluation: Dovetail Games Fishing

“Carpe diem,” as the ancient Romans used to say, meaning, “Direct Message the carp”.

Each Monday, Marsh Davies sticks his beak into Steam Early Access and returns with whatever stories and/or pearlescent, writhing grubs he can find. This week, he pops a wriggler onto a hook and tosses it into the gentle waters of Dovetail Games Fishing.

“Welcome to the great indoors,” is Dovetail Games’ pitch for its simulation; all the fun of fishing without the need to cultivate a box of maggots in your fridge and then stand for hours on a mudbank while your core temperature slowly drops.

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Water Witchery: Dovetail Games Fishing On Early Access

How tranquil!

Fishing, as I understand it, is not about catching fish. It’s all a macabre ritual to invoke a pleasant Sunday afternoon by the water, isn’t it? The fisher delicately scratches the hook across their fingernail and nods at the white line left by a sharp point. Fingertips descend into maggots, grubbing for a fresh sacrifice, a juicy virgin. Meat and metal meet as, with the greatest of care, they pierce the flesh between the maggot’s eyes. The weighting of the line, the winding of the reels… the rituals are minute and endless. For hours, they stare intently at mirror waters reflecting the sun’s passage across the sky. Silence, solitude, ritual, and contemplation. Witchcraft.

Train Simulator developers Dovetail Games are now dabbling in that magic, having launched their fishing game into Steam Early Access this week. It’s only £4.99 at first.

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Ghost Train Simulator: The Count Of Monster Disco

Specdracula!

A dracula wants you to nip out in your ghost train to pick up a few supplies for his Halloween party. That’s a thing. That’s real. It’s 2014’s Halloween gag game from Train Simulator folks Dovetail, and far more extravagant than past ‘Trains vs. Zombies’ offerings. Its name alone deserves its own line:

The Count of Monster Disco.

Cor! That’s a name and a half all right. And if you aren’t already starting to do the Monster Mash in your seat (I heard it was a graveyard smash), seeing the dracula dance will… affect you.

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Training Wheels: Train Simulator 2015 Introducing School

Trouble with the thermic syphons, I see.

I sometimes fancy visiting the countryside in the driver’s cab of a virtual train, especially now I’ve seen the new Japanese DLC route inspired by Spirited Away, but know I’ll never put the time into teaching myself to drive one from manuals and tutorial videos.

Almost as if they knew train simulators appear terrifyingly complex from the outside, Dovetail Games have announced they’ll tackle that with Train Simulator 2015. This year’s refresh will bring a train-driving academy teaching how to make choo-choos chug-chug, along with new base routes and trains–including a train from the future.

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The Flare Path: Devoted To Dovetail

Dovetail Games’ vision and mission statements are remarkably similar to The Flare Path’s. Replace “company” with “column”, “hobbies” with “articles”, and “delight and retain customers” with “debag and retrain readers” and they’re pretty much identical. Whether we see eye to eye on flight simulation matters remains to be seen. I was rather hoping that this week’s word slab would serve as a Rosetta Stone to the exciting but enigmatic press release issued by Dovetail on Wednesday. Searching questions were sent Kent-ward, lengthy responses received, yet somehow I still find myself confused by the Chathamites’ aerial intentions. Read the rest of this entry »

Train Sim Devs Getting Into Planes With Microsoft Tech

Trains, Planes & Publishing Deals

Microsoft are shutting down Microsoft Flight in October, they announced only last week It’s a sad, small death for what was once of The Big Names in PC gaming. Well, sort of. This week brings news that as Microsoft Flight prepares to fly off into the sunset, Microsoft’s fly ’em ups will live on in an unexpected way. Train Simulator creators Dovetail Games have licensed the rights to Microsoft’s tech, planning to start making their own flying machines. They’re also re-releasing ye olde Microsoft Flight Sim X on Steam later this year.

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From Train Lines To Fishing Lines: Dovetail Games Fishing

In Britain, we’re particularly good at ignoring the functional reason for an activity or object so that we can enjoy it as a hobby. Stamps come to mind. We’re not alone in this, of course, but I like to think we’re the best at it. Olympic level trivialisers and meanderers. Dovetail Games, lords of the Train Simulator series, are masters of this art. Trains go from point A to point B, but some people just enjoy being on trains for the the sake of it, or even standing on a platform to spot a particular engine and jot down notes.

Now, in their first step off the beaten tracks, Dovetail are exploring another activity separated from its original function. Fishing for pleasure rather than for supper.

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The Flare Path: Ducks The Issue

Simulatia shook like a flak-jostled Ju 88 on Wednesday afternoon when two long-longed-for sequels turned up within hours of each other. A better organised, less sleep-partial sim correspondent would have dashed-off pithy preliminary assessments of OMSI 2 and Wings Over Flanders Fields in time for his Friday column. Me, I’m still too busy pinching myself, rubbing the Fairey dust from my eyes, and deciding how I feel about two earlier arrivals. Read the rest of this entry »