Posts Tagged ‘Train Simulator’

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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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: The Man Who Listens To Trains

In the light industrial districts that have sprung up around FSX, X-Plane, and DCS World, genuine craftsmen aren’t all that hard to find. The machine tools that whirr and thump and whine in the workshops of add-on makers like A2A Simulations and PMDG are operated by passionate perfectionists – driven micrometer wielders whose scrap bins brim with components that look, on first, second and third inspection, absolutely flawless. Elsewhere in Simulatia, it’s a different story. Just about the only sim that can boast a third-party add-on as lovingly fashioned as this Texan or this Fishbed, is Train Simulator. I enthused about that add-on – a delightful Class 205 DEMU – a few weeks ago, and in today’s Flare Path I talk to the outfit behind it, Armstrong Powerhouse.

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The Flare Path: Tankless Tasks

With the 100th anniversary of warfare’s first armour action less than a week away, I was rather hoping I’d be able to fill today’s gaping word trench with a fat fascine of WW1 tank game news. Graviteam are working on a landship sim! Rev Sudasana is to release a Whippety version of Armoured Commander! Noble Empire are going to let us assemble A7Vs! As it’s now Friday morning and my OPs have yet to sight a single rhomboid on the horizon, it looks like Plan B will have to be put into operation instead. A few inches below yonder html parapet lurks news of Dovetail’s TS replacement, plus talk of the latest Sengoku Jidai add-on and a WW2 MP tactics game with hints of Close Combat, Men of War, and Jagged Alliance. Read the rest of this entry »

The Flare Path: Thumping Great Thumper Fan

Newly released German coach sim Fernbus Simulator has spent the week hiding my car keys, flicking rubber bands in my direction, and thumbing through my favourite books with jammy fingers. Exasperated by its anti-social antics I’ve put it aside until TML improve controller configuration facilities and patch away the most infuriating bugs and performance issues. Instead of a Fernbus impressions piece radiating frustration, today in FP you’re going to get a Train Simulator 2016 article radiating admiration. Today I’d like to talk about why Armstrong Powerhouse’s new Class 205 ‘Thumper’ has just elbowed out a very miffed Su-25 Frogfoot from my All-Time Favourite Sim Steeds top ten. Read the rest of this entry »

The Flare Path: Topical Titbits

In the alphabetical news round-up waiting like a pre-pounce puma beyond the break ‘A’ is more likely to be for ‘airship’ or ‘angry house’ than ‘apple’. Stripy ungulates probably won’t feature in the entry for ‘Z’ but simulated Bf 110s or Mitsubishi A5Ms might. If you’ve an eye for a shapely engine nacelle or a finely chiselled turret – if you’ve an interest in the bloodier bits of history – I guarantee your curiosity will be piqued by something in the 26-compartment specimen drawer below. Read the rest of this entry »

The Flare Path: Africa 2016

The dimmed lighting, the rearranged seating, the bowls of hydrogenated corn snacks… by the time you’ve put two and two together it’s already much too late. Your persuasive host – Tedious Tim from next-door – is directing you towards a chair and fussing with his laptop. After the interminable ‘SE Asia 2014’ and ‘South America 2015’ you vowed never to attend one of his holiday photo slideshows again yet here you are, jammed between Bella the Bull Terrier and Old Mr Richardson from across the road, contemplating 2? 3? 4hrs? of ‘Africa 2016’. Read the rest of this entry »

The Flare Path: Topical Titbits

Q’s tail is a trip hazard. V and J often fall over in high winds. B lacks dignity*. Rain tends to collect in M and U… Many letters of the alphabet have inherent flaws but here at The Flare Path we treat all 26 with equal respect when we’re compiling one of our breathtakingly superficial alphabetical sim and wargaming news round-ups.

* It’s easily transformed into a cartoon bum.

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The Flare Path: Loos Cannon

(provided for reader convenience)

Tim,

There’s no kind way of putting this: this week’s Flare Path was a disgrace. You’ve done some pretty unprofessional things in the past but slyly writing-off an ambitious work-in-progress flight sim because you’ve seen similar projects fail, and recommending a wargame that you’ve played for a mere two hours, sets new standards of irresponsibility. Where was the detailed TS2016 coverage and the piece on the imminent DCS: Nevada? I turned up expecting topical analysis of genre stalwarts and found instead multiple paragraphs on an obscure half-finished Dora sim! And the less said about that awful title pun, the better. You are aware, are you not, that Loos is a good hundred miles from the Ardennes, played no part in the Battle of the Bulge, and was never visited by a WW2 railway gun? Your Meuse seems to have deserted you on this occasion.

Deeply disappointed,

(your name here) Read the rest of this entry »

The Flare Path: Back On Track

There are good reasons why the likes of Canal King, Despatch Rider 1944, and Schwerer Gustav Simulator seldom get mentioned in The Flare Path.* The glaring absence of X-Plane, rFactor and iRacing coverage is harder to explain and justify.This week, in a feeble attempt to make amends for years of negligence, I mark rFactor’s 10th birthday by grilling Image Space Incorporated’s Tim Wheatley over a very low flame.

*Flare Path Games still lacks a coder, a budget, and a work ethic.

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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 »

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: Under Pressure

Knickers. I’ve just drawn Reader #3232 in the RPS Secret Santa draw. This year I’m buying for a chap who scribbles scores on his two-year-old son’s art, described Papers, Please as “adequate”, and last smiled in 1998*. Perhaps something in his reader file will trigger a gift idea.

Hmm. It appears he “tolerates wasps” and has a “grudging respect for the work of 19th Century sewer engineer Joseph Bazalgette”. That’s something, I suppose. Hang on – what’s this? “During a visit to the Somerset Shoe Museum in 2010, #3232 was overheard discussing Boyle’s Law and representations of Romanians in contemporary videogames”. Now that is interesting. Read the rest of this entry »

The Flare Path: Talks To The Bogeymen

Flare Path would like to apologise for the late running of Friday’s column. The 50-hour delay was caused by signalling problems, leaves on the line, partisan sabotage, and a Lambton Worm-linked tunnel collapse. Anyone seriously inconvenienced should write to The Flare Path Customer Services Dept. c/o Captain Harry ‘Dapper’ Danvers, The Green Lion, Badger Cull Lane, Little Coddling, Wiltshire, requesting a compensation form request form request form. Read the rest of this entry »

The Flare Path: One Of Life’s Stragglers

FP has never been afraid of asking difficult questions. What’s the capital of Belize? At what temperature does fluid helium I transition to superfluid helium II? How long is a piece of string? If a question needs asking, rest assured we’ll ask it. We’ve spent most of this week doggedly doorstepping wargame developers in an attempt to find out why, in 30-odd years of endeavour none of them have had the wit or wisdom to produce an FTL-style B-17 or Lancaster game. Read the rest of this entry »