What's next

Diesel Railcar Simulator ("DRS") is a snapshot of the process to develop a new comprehensive train simulation software. The plans for features of next versions are laid out below.

Version 1.x (2017-18)

DRS is still being developed and will receive a number of free updates as a side effect of the v2 development.

Version 1.1 (Aug-Sep 2017): Optimizations, camera improvements and more detailed graphics options.

Version 1.2 (Sep-Oct 2017): More realistic sounds and better sound system.

Some further planned free updates in no particular order (details to be defined).

Version 2 (2018-19, new simulator, sold separately)

Route editor: a train simulator doesn't keep you entertained for very long unless you can add more content to it. An easy-to-use route editor for creating tracks, signals, scenery and timetables is planned.

Train editor: to complement the route editor. The editor will need to handle physics, audio and 3d-models of vehicles.

Diesel/electric traction: the physics model for most diesel multiple units is already functional in DRS and can easily be extended to diesel-hydraulic locos. Diesel-electric and fully electric locos and multiple units need some more research and work.

Freight trains: various goods wagons, workings and trackwork specific to freight haulage are planned.

Animated vehicle ends: buffers, couplings, hoses, gangways etc.

Different countries: version 2 should not be restricted to UK, but also contain some US and German routes and trains out of the box to appeal to a greater audience. Content from other countries can be created with the editors.

24-hour cycle: natural lighting already works in DRS, but the timetable is such that there is enough sunlight during every service to avoid having to model artificial lighting. The missing lights, such as train marker/head/tail lights, train interior and cab instruments lighting, platform lighting, signal lights and scenery lights, need to be implemented to finish the night cycle in version 2.

Weather effects: cloudiness, rain, wind and fog with their effects on train performance and visibility will be included, along with working windscreen wipers.

Overall audio and graphics improvements. A lot can be done to improve the 3d-models, textures and sounds. There are also several possibilities for optimizing the game code to raise the visual and aural quality without significantly raising the system requirements.

Version 3 (2019-20, new simulator, sold separately)

Steam locomotives: the physics simulation of steam locomotives is probably much more complicated than that of diesel and electric traction, which is why it won't be included in version 2. Also the AI required to operate steam locos will be challenging to implement because of the driver/fireman distinction and the requirement to plan ahead to a much greater degree than in diesel or electric traction.

Shunting and realistic rolling stock circulation: trip working goods trains, marshalling yards, hump yards and an AI capable of shunting on its own. Pre-populated railway network and sidings with stabled trains and wagons without spawning or removing vehicles except at portals.

Train failures: various failures of individual parts of the vehicles.

Passenger simulation: moving passengers that walk along the platforms and aisles to board the train and find a seat.

Automatic four seasons: winter, summer, autumn and spring seasons generated automatically instead of having to manually create separate scenery for each season.

Scenery animation: pedestrians, animals, cars, ships, aircraft etc.

Following versions

Multiplayer: over the internet or on the same computer.

Signalling: detailed simulation of signalmen's duties.

Other staff: simulation of duties of other staff on the railway along with the ability to walk around.

 

Support the development by buying a copy of Diesel Railcar Simulator