Friday, 6 July 2018

GWR Pannier Tanks Pack: Announcement

We gave you a little teaser a couple of weeks ago and sure enough we had lots of correct guesses, so well done to whoever thought that the images represented exactly what they were...

Panniers, a wren and a thrush.

Out next pack is going to contain the GWR 5400/6400/7400 Pannier Tank Engines and the BR built Hawksworth A38, A39, A40 and A43 autocoaches (2 of which were named "Thrush" and "Wren".

But one of you went even further than that. Someone suggested (requested? pleaded?) for us to include a brand new, up to date model of the 5700 Pannier Tank as well. Which was our intention all along. We will also include the 6700 and 8750 variants of the 57xx class and lots of options to help you create as many of the 852 original engines as possible.

The pannier tanks are such iconic Great Western engines and we are excited to be able to bring them to you with along with the Hawksworth autocoaches that people have been asking us for since we released the GWR Class 14XX Loco Add-On.

Lots of pictures and information of the work in progress to follow in the coming months.

But what of the BR built pannier tanks we hear you cry? The 1500, 1600 and 9400's? Well, let's get the GWR pack finished first and then we'll see how things are ;-)

Thursday, 21 June 2018

Steam Summer Sale 2018

It's that time again.. it's sale time!
We are taking part in the Steam Summer Sale and have some of our best ever discounts on DLC. The Raven Q6 is on sale for the first time saving you 25%. The very popular GWR Large Prairies and the much requested Lined Liveries are 40% off and EVERYTHING else is 50% off.

Click this link to see all of our DLC on Steam or click on an image below to view a particular DLC.

LNER Raven Q6 - 25% off
GWR Large Prairies - 40% off
GWR Large Prairies Lined Liveries (Requires GWR Large Prairies Pack) - 40% off
Stroudley A1/A1X Class 'Terrier' - 50% off

GWR Saint Class & Travelling Post Office - 50% off

BR Saint & Travelling Post Office Livery (Marketplace - requires GWR Saint Pack) - 50% off

USATC S160 - 50% off

GWR 14xx - 50% off

LNER Peppercorn K1 - 50% off

GWR Small Prairies - 50% off

GWR 56xx - 50% off

GT3 Gas Turbine Prototype - 50% off

GWR Steam Railmotor - 50% off

Southern Bulleid Q1 - 50% off

Wednesday, 20 June 2018

What's next?

Lots of people have been asking what's in store from us now that the GWR (1000) County class has been released.

So the short answer is.. here's a clue!

The longer answer will come later but that should be enough to give you some ideas.

Friday, 8 June 2018

GWR County (1000 Class): Features and Contents

With the release of the County fast approaching we thought we would provide a features and contents list so you know exactly what to expect from our latest DLC.

Taken from the manual..

  • Simple, standard and advanced driving modes
  • Xbox controller support SIMPLE AND STANDARD MODES ONLY

  • GWR 1000 County Class Locomotive
    • No. 1000 – 280 psi, double chimney
      • GWR Green (2 logos)
      • BR Mixed Traffic Black (2 logos)
      • BR Lined Green (1 logo)
    • No. 1000 – 250 psi, double chimney
      • BR Lined Green (1 logo)
    • Nos 1001-1029 – 280 psi, single chimney
      • GWR Green (2 logos)
      • BR Mixed Traffic Black (2 logos)
      • BR Lined Green (2 logos)
    • No’s 1001-1029 – 250 psi, double chimney
      • BR Lined Green (1 logo)
    • No. 1009 – 250 psi, sheet steel test chimney
      • BR Mixed Traffic Black (1 logo)
        • With test cabin

  • 4 named service headboards and customisable reporting numbers for all engines
  • New 3D effect numbering and name plates (GWR and BR) [Example]
  • Optional parts and fittings including painted or polished safety valve covers, 3 styles of chimney, lining, power discs and speedometer
  • Custom sound sets inside and out
  • Realistic cab with multiple views, including dual head out and fully modelled firebox and coal
  • Realistic wheel slip physics and effects ADVANCED MODE ONLY
  • Simulated steam chest ADVANCED MODE ONLY
  • Realistic train pipe and reservoir vacuum braking ADVANCED MODE ONLY
  • Cylinder cock management  ADVANCED MODE ONLY
  • Boiler management with priming possible ADVANCED MODE ONLY
  • Realistic injector control ADVANCED MODE ONLY
  • Realistic “by the shovel” stoking with synchronised sound ADVANCED MODE ONLY
  • Dynamic steam and smoke colour and quantity
  • Realistic boiler water gauges effected by gradient, acceleration and speed and with blow down test
  • Opening windows (with rain effects) and roof hatch
  • Dynamic lamp setting
  • Cab light effects including firebox glow and water gauge lamp
  • Second valve regulator effects ADVANCED MODE ONLY
  • Atmospheric AI effects
  • Fully compatible with the TPO coaches included with the GWR Saint add-on

  • Rolling stock
    • GWR P.18 “Monster” Van
      • GWR Brown
      • BR Bauxite
      • BR Blue
      • Dynamic lamps, animated brakes and unloading doors
    • GWR P.14 “Python” Van
      • GWR Brown
      • BR Bauxite
      • Dynamic lamps, animated brakes and unloading doors

The County pack should be released soon and then we will announce our plans for more quality Train Simulator add-ons.

Thursday, 31 May 2018

Train Simulator Free Weekend and Steam Sale

So this is something new.. a free weekend on Steam for Train Simulator!
Probably not hugely relevant to you good folk who buy DLC (unless you have friends who'd like to give it a try) but it does come with a sale attached to it and that is something you can take advantage of. So without further ado here are the Victory Works sale items which include the GWR Large Prairies with their biggest discount to date.

Click this link to see all of our DLC on Steam or click on an image below to view a particular DLC.

GWR Large Prairies - 40% off

GWR Large Prairies Lined Liveries (Requires GWR Large Prairies Pack) - 40% off

GWR Saint Class & Travelling Post Office - 50% off

BR Saint & Travelling Post Office Livery (Requires GWR Saint Pack) - 50% off

USATC S160 - 50% off

GWR 14xx - 50% off

GWR Small Prairies - 50% off

Friday, 25 May 2018

GWR County (1000 Class): Parcels Vans

Apologies for the recent silence but we are still waiting on DTG to finish testing the GWR County pack. However we wanted to show off the included rolling stock in the hope that it won't be too much longer until you can get your hands on the whole package.

So without further ado let's talk parcels.
Back when the post was the main communication system for businesses and people alike the railways had services that would collect and deliver to and from every corner of the country. Parcels and letters were delivered with surprising speed and efficiency, a speed the railways had actually introduced - previously communications could take weeks or even months to travel from one end of the country to the other.
Some services were included as a part of passenger trains, others were exclusively made up of rolling stock designed for carrying parcels, but the key to the rapid transit was that all parcels trains were fully fitted with vacuum brakes so that they could run at the maximum allowed line speeds.

We have thought for a while that Train Simulator was lacking some specific parcels vans and the County has given us the opportunity to include two of these to enrich the already available stock and to create some really fun, high speed runs in the included scenarios.

Firstly we have the GWR P.14 "Python" van.
Built at the start of the 20th century these 4 wheeled vans were 18' long and as high as the loading gauge would allow to provide the maximum space for loading. Two liveries are supplied and they come with parcel loads, dynamic lamps, animated brakes and animated doors at station stops.

The second parcels van is a monster.. literally!
Built in 1913 the P.18 van was named "Monster", being carried on two 9ft bogies its almost 50' body could carry up to 10 tons of parcels and continued being used right through to British Railways ownership. Three liveries are supplied and as with the P.14 they come with parcel loads, dynamic lamps, animated brakes and animated doors at station stops.

That's it for now. We'll post a summary of the features and details as soon as we know when the County pack is going to be released and then we can address the much asked question... "what's next?"

Friday, 4 May 2018

GWR County (1000 Class): On The Footplate

Just a few pictures today of the GWR County footplate. This is the BR Green version, the GWR and BR Black versions being the same but for a different colour scheme.

The speedometer is an optional part (along with the outside equipment) as these were only fitted under BR from 1951/2 onwards.

As always there are 2 headout views as part of the cab so you can drive operate the controls as well as look down the side of the engine.

Seats, front windows and roof vents are all moveable.

A working, animated water scoop is included, controlled by the screw lever on the tender, along with our "by the shovel load" stoking system controlled using the fireman's shovel.

And finally a nice close up of the 3D effect name and number plates, we think you'll agree a big improvement over the default texture replacement system for dynamic numbering/naming.

Friday, 20 April 2018

GWR County (1000 Class): In game!

It's been a few weeks since the last update but we have been very busy working on the GWR Counties (and also eating too much chocolate over Easter!).

Dovetail Games were given a pre-beta set of engines and posted the following article the other day with some very nice pictures in it.

They also included a clever little animated gif cycling through some of the variations but we wanted to clarify which engines are coming with the add-on and what their modifications are.
In short... all of them are included!

There were 30 members of the County class and the pack includes all 30 of them, correctly named and numbered and carrying the 3 sizes of nameplate board, depending on the length of the county name that they carry.
For example, No. 1016 "County of Hants" carried its name on 72" plates whereas No. 1022 "County of Northampton" had its moniker on an 87" plate, with a 78" plate in between for the "medium" length names.

There were essentially three main versions of the 1000 County class - the original version as built under the GWR from 1945 to 1947, the modified version which was updated under British Railways during 1956-59 and then No. 1000 "County of Middlesex" which was distinct to the other members of the class.
The Counties also carried a few different liveries and we have included all of them in this add-on. So, with the help of some images we will try and summarise the life of all of the County class engines and show you what you will be getting in our latest DLC.

We begin in 1945 when the first Counties were built and they carried the standard 1945 GWR livery. At this time the engines ran at a whopping 280psi boiler pressure giving them a tractive effort of 32,580 lbf (almost 1000 lbf more than the Castle class) and they were fitted with a standard single, round GWR chimney.
In 1948 when all of the Big Four railway companies merged to become British Railways many GWR engines had a short stint carrying the new company name but still in the old GWR style font.

However this did not last very long and soon the Counties were painted in the new BR Mixed Traffic Black livery. The logo on the tender changed twice during this time: initially just the words "British Railways" in a simple white font, and then from 1950 this was replaced with the famous "Cycling Lion".
Also under BR during 1951/2 they were fitted with speedometers and these are an optional part for all engines in game.
In 1955/56 the Counties were repainted in lined green which they retained until the end of their lives in the early 1960's and in 1956 the old BR logo was replaced with the equally famous "Ferret with a Dartboard" crest.

Those of you who are keen eyed will notice that the top right engine suddenly seems to have lost 30psi somewhere on its travels!
In late 1954, No. 1009 "County of Carmarthen" was modified for a set of trials to look at the possibility of fitting the County with a 4 row superheater (instead of the previous 3 row version), an improved blastpipe and a double chimney. The engine was specially modified for this purpose being fitted with a temporary double chimney made of sheet steel and also had what can only be described as a "cabin" built on the buffer beam to allow engineers to monitor the modifications during test runs.

And it would really be remiss of us not to include this version in the pack for some unusual scenario fun!

During these changes the working boiler pressure was also reduced to 250psi as there was concern that the County class was producing a hammer blow effect that could damage the rails they ran on. The full set of modifications were applied to all members of the class from 1957 to 1959.

So the above liveries and variants covers 29 of the 30 County class engines. But what of No. 1000 "County of Middlesex"?
1000 was unusual in that it carried a double chimney for its entire life so it has its own set of options in game, including the change to the superheater, blastpipe and pressure reduction.

In total that makes 13 different versions of the County that you can drop into Train Simulator covering their entire existence, and with a new No. 1014 "County of Glamorgan" currently being built at Didcot there is the opportunity for preserved running as well.

In the following weeks we'll take a look at more details of the GWR County class add-on: we have a cab to explore, advanced features to discuss and rolling stock to show.

Monday, 26 March 2018

Poll: Coaching Stock Packs

It's opinion time! Please nobody get upset, there are no right or wrong answers, just individual thoughts.

Somebody asked us today if the GWR County pack would come with GWR Pullman coaches. The fact is that coaches take almost as much work to build as a loco (although variants are quicker once you have a base version) and adding a passenger view increases the job hugely.
Consequently there is no way we could add coaches (of the quality we would want to produce) to an engine pack when we already provide a dozen or more liveries and options, advanced features and custom sound sets.
Please note: There will be some new rolling stock with the Counties, just not coaches.

So, we got to thinking, how would people feel if we produced a coach pack? Good idea, or not a good idea?
The other thought that's quite important is the passenger view - how important is it to people? To my mind they are a pleasant novelty - you load up for the first time, you jump into the passenger view and you think "Hey, that's really cool". And then you never use it ever again!
Because Train Simulator doesn't have a self driving passenger mode isn't it hard to ever sit comfortably for more than 20-30 seconds and enjoy a journey in a passenger view?
A passenger view is a TON of extra time and work (and also loads additional resources into a sim that people often struggle with to get decent performance), and it doesn't feel to me as if it's worth the time.
What would be better.. 1 coach and passenger view, or 5 variations of that coach with no view?

I could be completely wrong on this and I would love other opinions hence why we have the survey below and please feel free to comment as well - here, on forum threads or on Facebook.

Or you might just prefer we stick to locos and you don't want/need any more coaches anyway
Important: We're not suggesting we stop making locos but maybe we throw in a coaching pack or two at some point between locos.

So lets us know your thoughts, and thank you.

Thoughts on coaching stock packs

Yes, build some coaches, no need for a passenger view
Yes, build some coaches but they MUST have a passenger view
No, no, no! Build nothing but locos!
Created with PollMaker

Friday, 23 March 2018

GWR County (1000 Class): More Modelling WIP

Continuing from our last blog post, the County receives a thorough riveting. Seen here with a temporary British Railways lining to help get the correct placement.

And finally the engine is complete - on both sides!

Next task was the tender. These tenders were rather unique, being an 8'6" wide version of the 8' Hawksworth tender and built specifically for the Counties. They held 7 tons of coal and 4000 gallons of water as well as being fitted with a water scoop for additional collection en-route.

The basic outline takes shape and then we add the details.

Due to the location of the tools in a "tunnel" on the left hand side of the tender it's a tricky task to create a coal load that will animate as it's used. Here we have WIP images of a coloured coal load (in about 4 parts) to check that it can seamlessly run down without leaving large gaps or breaking through other parts of the tender.
Also seen are some small piles of coal overspill - a common sight on working engines that were filled via large coaling stations.

So that gives us an engine and a tender...

Next up, the cab!