Tuesday, 30 June 2009

Del Kicks for cash

Dear reader or readers if I am lucky.

I have signed up to the football marathon due to take place on the 12th of july.
The football marathon is a continuous 6-a-side tournament that runs for 12 hours. (8.30am - 8.30pm) non-stop.
There are 32 teams that will be playing 20 minute games on a continuous rotation. We will play an average of 23 games of football during the day and cover approximately 32 miles during the day.

This is in aid of the Tackle africa project (see link below)


If you are interested please sponsor me, if not thanks for looking all the same.




Monday, 29 June 2009

RWs Addons - Q and A

One of these days I really will post my updates to the WVR route. It is still ticking along nicely in the background so nobody panic.

After reading the various forums I just thought I'd post my view on the coming release of the new addons. (RS.com released news of the updated RS addons for RWs to go on sale via steam.)

We enhanced the products to make use of the new shaders, If we had not done that then the new rollingstock would look slightly older than the default stock.

Q - What enhancements have been made to the stock?
A - Glass shader for windows, normal maps if needed and shiny bits on the surface of the wheels that touch the rails and slight adjustments here and there, depending on the traction type.

Q - What extra content is included?
A - Depends on the addon, nothing for the 158, and the IOW is the same apart from material changes to the rolling stock. The Class 66 and 08 will have the a mixture of wagons from the UKwagon pack.(Still to be confirmed)
There may be also a few new scenarios. (Final confirmation will be given once all addons have been through testing)

Q - If I already have them are they worth me buying them again?
A - If I had bought them then I would not buy them again for RWs.

Q - Will my old addons work with new scenarios made with the new stock.
A - Yes, we are not changing paths or names so all should work fine.

Q - What about the 158 Functionality?
A - If we can we will address that issue and put a fix out on our website/Wiki

Q - Can I somehow update my imported rolling stock to make use of the new glass shader in RWs?
A - For those that care I'm sure there will be an unofficial way... The forums are full of clever people.

Q - Why am I not offered a discount for the new addons?
A - The admin overhead to do this makes it impractical. However we will do our best to help everyone with issues regarding addons and those that have contacted us via the shop I hope would agree.


Friday, 26 June 2009

Friday night and the weekends here....


Goes out to my mates JB and Joe.
Ever thought about making trains?

Well I got through the week, even manged to drop the little one off at ballet on time and in the right outfit!

Daddy day care.

So, a laid back evening reading up on the days posts.
very entertaining, though I am touched Adam and I cause such heated debate.
Sorry if my posts don't give you all the answers, it is not meant to, all the info will head into the Wiki where it belongs.

Looking at my VWR route in RWs made me sad. My sky looks old and dull. As my route is a total stand alone it is not touched by any of the RWs content updates.
So I need to go cloud fishing and get them installed in my sky dome.

Managed to find a nice picture of Etherley Signal box, I would post it up but I don't want to reproduce it on the net as it is not mine. You'll just have to trust me it is what it looks like.



Thursday, 25 June 2009

So what next?

Been back a week and it's like I've never been away!
The boss (Mrs S) has been away all week in South Africa leaving me riding shot gun. (the little one driving) It's been a long week and lets just say I have some tidying up to do before Saturday.

As for the team, they are all doing well a few taking a break while a few others are looking into some of the reported issues. (proc error being the biggy)
An update on those will follow soon.

So, no more locos in my out of office time, focus will remain on my little route and love of the Bishop Auckland Station.
An update on that will follow soon.

I also had a chance to catch up with someone who is going to be big in the RWs world.
An update on that will follow soon.

So what next... well maybe something we have had on the drawing board for a number of months, I mean what did happen to that 4F?
An... ok enough I guess, but you get the idea.

While I can not give too much away there is much in development, something for everyone, old/new/small/large and iconic traction, not to mention some other intresting stuff.
But what about routes i hear others cry?
Well there are a couple of those being mapped out too.
And what about improvements i hear more cry?...
Lets just say that those are on going and the joys of steam will be clear for all to see.

I see Adam has been busy too...

Lastly a note to the forums, we have pulled back from getting into debates over x/y/z, but we still dip in from time to time.


Tuesday, 23 June 2009

The other side

Back from holiday and forgot how to work my pc.
been mostly listening to mc pitman, he loves a brew and likes his biscuits too.


WVR now sits in RWs... Images to follow.


Friday, 12 June 2009

Rail Workers

So at last RWs has been released.
A few teething problems, but then stuff happens sometimes.

The guys have done a great job! all knackered and need a rest.
My turn first, leave them to deal with the comments and forums.

I'm off to sit on a beach, swim in the sea, drink some wine and hopefully not see a computer or a train for a week.



Saturday, 6 June 2009

Terrain texturing

Hi, Had a few hours spare so I thought I'd have a play with some terrain painting and scene setting. Apparently you can not get realistic scenes with the current terrain painting tools. Other packages look more realistic and are much better etc.
Yes, RS tools can be improved but they do work well as they are. Below is a scene I put together in a few minutes. It is in a new route with it's own texturing xml, currently there are only 5 grass textures held inside. I dropped a few trees down and I placed a new object 'dappled shade' under the 3 near trees. This is just a quad with a blendAtexdiff material assigned, (It is an aditive material so as the texture is black and alpha channel is a mid grey it multiplies that value on top of the terrain) I find it it helps to ground the trees and make them feel more 3D.

RS provided a basic set of textures, however if you want your routes to stand out from the crowd then I recommend looking at creating your own texture set. Remember to only put textures in you want to use, no need filling up the xml with random textures you will never use.

The next task I will look at is the grasspack texture, this is the material assigned to the procedural flora, and it really does help to blend one terrain texture set into the next.


Thursday, 4 June 2009

How Far?

So anyway, less about RWs, more about the Wear valley.

I've read a fair few comments of peoples thoughts on view distance and how far to model in routes.
To which there really is an easy answer.
Model as far as you like, terrain paint as much or as little as you want.
However, if creating a long route is beyond you then try a smaller route/area with a tight looking environment, not every route has to be 20 - 50 miles long to be enjoyable.

With regards to view distance that is a post for another day.

Below is an image I took earlier in the year, I’m stood on an embankment just off the line towards Binchester, looking across the top of the Bishop's Park, an area I use to walk too many times a week walking the dogs.

(Notice the Pyramid centre image, a grade 2 listed building, no idea why or what it was used for, if anyone knows let me know.)

From here you can see the line to Durham across the viaduct and just above that is a horizontal line which is the track to Witton Park and beyond, as the crow flies that’s 4 km, the current view distance in RS. ( do crows fly in a straight line? most crows I've seen kinda circle)

All of what can be seen in the above image will be modelled and laid in my route. Of course there will be creative liberties taken, but that is the joy of being god over your own creation.

It is a nice feeling flying the camera over the landscape with all the foliage and buildings in place, brings back many memories.

I'm not that bothered about only modelling what can be seen from the track/cab view etc, I want to model the area I love and knew from my youth, It just so happens the railway runs through it.