Here's A Wild Idea!

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Here's A Wild Idea!

  • [?] Now I don't know if this possible, if it will work, or even if it's a good idea, but it is wild. I've been toying with the idea for sometime now, and tell me what you think.

    For MSTS ( or any other simulator, MSTS is just the one I have ) create a new route and activites modeled after the movie The Train. You know, the Burt Lancaster movie, directed by John Frankenheimer?

    Here's the way I would do it: The route would totally be in black and white and shades of gray, because the movie was in B&W and it sets the tone for that era. We get a bunch of French locomotives railcars modeled after what is in the movie and what was around in WWII. If you've seen the DVD version the activities could be set up just like some of the chapters are: "Departure" (of the art train), "Switch Tower Sabatoge" (that tank like steam engine was AWESOME!), "The Air Raid," "The Spitfire" (when they were being chased by that Allied airplane, remember?), "Night Ride," "The De-Railing," "When Trains Collide," "Cranes/Tains/Col. VW.," etc, you get my drift?

    Make all the train runs in the movies into activities. Would that be cool or what?

    I kinda sorta got the idea a while back when someone posted something about this online WWII sim game where they were thinking about incorporating a trainsim for their online game manned by real people, not just computer controlled trains. I got to thinking and how neat it would be to recreate the movie the train for MSTS in black and white.

    I don't know, I just thought I'd throw that idea out there. Would anyone else buy such an addon? Could it be done? Should it done? How would one go about putting it together? And what do you think about using other movies for routes and activities? Probably some old west scenarios?

    Even if everyone hates the idea I can still dream. Let me know what you all think. [8D]

    yad sdrawkcab s'ti

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  • that would be cool if you could simulate the great train robberies in those old westerns cowboy! ye-haw
    stay safe

    Deshler Ohio-crossroads of the B&O Matt eats your fries.YUM! Clinton st viaduct undefeated against too tall trucks!!!(voted to be called the "Clinton St. can opener").


  • That sound really coll, but what about getting the right things to happen? For example, during the yard bombing, how would you make the planes? And what about the people? You can't get talking people. I would love to have your idea on my game, but all of the action parts would be impossible to place in the game.
  • it all starts with dreaming
    but many don't take it to the next level
    and die with their dreams
  • Forgive the long responce. The wheels were turning and I just kept typing and typing and got all these ideas. What follows is kind of a "how I would do it" or a technical responce. I'm just now learning how to use the editor in MSTS. It's gonna take a lot of trial and error.

    Well, I wasn't thinking of talking people or even people at all (unless they were static).

    The only problem with my idea is it's probably more suited for a video game than a computer game. Video games have more animation than MSTS. I read on their official site a while back that when they tried to put people in MSTS the game would crash, but they did say it was possible. The difficulty they said was getting the people animated on the platforms to "find" the passenger car doors, walk to them, get in, and sit down.

    Maybe all this animation stuff for MSTS will have to wait years before it's common place. However, making the stuff is not that hard. Go to and click on "download free train simulator addons, and get the Gmax software. You got to Gmax's website and download this software that let's you design, create, and build just about any cgi graphic. You can even animate it. And Microsoft has a bonus loco to go with it. I just got a few days ago and have only had time to do the 1st two tutorials.

    I would like to make the scenery interactive instead of just message boxes popping up. For instance, on the Sand Patch route ( the hotbox detector is not audible it's just a message box that pops up when you hit that mile post.

    Making explosions and planes fly overhead would be cool, don't know how to do it yet. I would guess the first place to start would be to create an activity and set it up on of the exisiting routes in MSTS. All the action will have to come in message boxes. This way I can work out the logistics of the activity. Take for instance the P-38 chasing down the lone engine. The briefing might say something like: "Deliver your engine from station A to station B. Be careful! This is a daylight run and it is extremely dangerous! Allied aircraft is instructed to shoot up any trains they see. They don't know if you are Nazi or Frech civilians." And so you would take your engine out. Then you'd get a message you're under attack, so therefore you'd increase your speed. You'd get another message telling you there's a tunnel up ahead and if you can make it in there you'd be safe. Some factors to work in would be if you don't reach the tunnel at a certain time or if you go too slow the computer derails the train in substitution of getting shot up. But then you have to make it into the tunnel and stop in the tunnel. If you over shoot the tunnel the P-38 shoots you up if you don't get back inside in let's say 1 minute. Just use your imagination.

    Another activity would be taking the art train to Germany which gets divirted around to end up right back where it started. In creating a route I could use the GMAX software to add damaged and buring trains and buildings along the trackside. Of course these would be there even in the explore route. Then there's all those derailments. The first was running the engine too fast through the switch. Then the art train comes along, uncouples the engine, and runs full steam into the derailment after they guys jump off. Then the train crashes followed by another engine behind that.

    In the meantime I'd have build a route from scratch. Since I want to base it off the movie I'd get my DVD out and examine all the scenes. I don't want to make a perfect copy of the route, I would improvise between stations. Take all the station names they pass through and each one is a town. My origional idea was to make it all in black and white, like the movie. This would prove to be challenging. Buildings and objects are no problem making black and white, but making things like track, trees, landscape, the sky, the sun black and white might be difficult. I wouldn't be able to use the existing objects from MSTS. If I could get them into GMAX I could change the colors but since they are no files compatible for GMAX editing it looks like I'll have to create everything from scratch, using the origionals as guides.

    Or mabye I'm complicating things. Maybe it'd be easier to turn your monitor to black and white. But then again, the night scenes might be hard to see. In order for the night scenes to work the objects would have to emmit their own light. It other words, sort of glow. You all who have train sim know how hard it is to do night runs. You can't see nothin'. Just the signal lights and street lights and on Maple Leaf Tracks routes the lights from the buildings. You'd have to run MSTS at night in a dark room too see the night stuff. Otherwise you're runnin' blind. I propose to light up objects for this new route. When you have fires burning it lights everything up. You've got to think of this from a directors point of view. How to light up a night scene. Some have said you've got to justify you light source, in other words, explain where it comes from. Others have said just light up the scene to where it looks good, don't worry about it's source.

    All in all I'd like to see a route modeled after this movie with activites matching. It doesn't have to be perfect or have all the extra animation, but it would be nice. I suppose I could get an animated airplane, maybe some fire, possibly some explosions. So far the only animation MSTS offers are the water pumps, the diesel pumps, track switchs, train wheels, the connecting rods on steam engines, some crossing gates, vehicle traffic, the semaphores on the two Europe routes, the clouds, sun, and moon, and I guess you can say the lights are animated. They gradually change intensity as you turn them on and off. The Full Bucket Line route v.3 has animated wind turbines.

    Getting bombs to go off may be more complicated. It would have to rely on some trigger. It's like the fuel outlets: they're triggered only when the engine is in position and then you press 'T' to activate. But the bombs would have to be triggered with out a keyboard function. More like the block signals, once the train passes the signal it goes red. Maybe if the train passes a certain point then it would trigger the plane or the bombs. Or maybe it would be triggered by the clock. And then it would have to be decided if these events would only occur in the specific activity or would it be allowed in explore route as well?

    Like I said, maybe this is something more for a video game than a simulator. I don't think moving and talking people would be necessary, it's just the route, locomotives, equipment, and activities I'm after. Even if I can't get animated explosions or airplanes it's no big deal (besides, they never showed the planes on the yard scene). I don't think it's impossible to do all that I said. The journey of a thousand megabytes begins with one keystroke. I was inspired when I read the story at about the guys who created Maple Leaf Tracks. Literally months after MSTS came out they started scratch building their own routes and locomotives and look at how far they've come now in the last 3 years. Who knows, if I don't get around to building this thing maybe someone else who has the time, resources, and know-how will be inspired by this idea and will. That's the good thing about the internet is communicating ideas like this with people that you'd never ever come across naturally.

    But it's like the old saying: "if you want something done" or "if you want something done right, you've got to do it yourself." [:D]

    I'll let you all know if I "do something." [;)]

    yad sdrawkcab s'ti

  • I would like the Train robberie Idea