For over 15 years, Trainz has been capturing the hearts and imaginations of train fans from around the world. The following “Roadmap” (or should that be “Trackplan”?) is designed to give our wonderful community an idea of just some of the many things we are working on and planning.
With the recent release of Trainz A New Era – Service Pack 1, we have delivered our full set of original “Kickstarter” goals and created a brand new platform for Trainz to build upon for years to come.
There is now a clear choice for users between the older “32-bit” versions (including the original Trainz released in 2001 right through to Trainz 12) and the “New Era” of 64-bit/DX11 Trainz based upon the new TANE game engine.
From the information being gathered in our recent TANE SP1 survey, the feedback conclusively shows us that the majority of users who have tried out the “New Era” have now chosen it as their all-time favorite. As more and more people upgrade their hardware over the coming years, we are sure to see the 64-bit future of Trainz growing even stronger.
Running in parallel to our PC and Mac versions, Trainz has also built an incredibly strong following in the mobile space. With more than a dozen Trainz-related apps on iOS, more than 2 million users have enjoyed Trainz in some form over the past 5 years.
Together these multiple platforms provide us with the revenue that enables us to continue developing new features and new product lines to continue growing our Trainz Community. Following are a few of those upcoming products that ensure there will be something for everyone.
Product Release Snapshot
Trainz A New Era – “Hotfix” Updates
We are close to releasing the next “Hotfix” update for TANE (A hotfix is the name we give to smaller sets of fixes rather than a full “Service Pack” update). This HF will initially be released as a Beta version to our registered Beta Testers, and then as a public release soon after. We expect to continue regular updates of TANE throughout 2016. Full details of what has changed in this next update will be published with the beta release, but it includes fixes for multiplayer, interlocking towers, content rendering and more.
Trainz Driver 2016
We are proud to introduce a brand new version of Trainz which provides access to all the driving and operations aspects of “Trainz: A New Era – Service Pack 1 Edition”. The TD2016 version does not include the Surveyor, Test Track, Content Manager or Download Station components and comes at an appropriately lower price point.
Our aim is to provide a simplified “entry level” experience without the complexity of the world building and content management tools so that you can just “get straight in start exploring”. Users have access to the same routes and sessions as in the full “TANE” version and DLC items purchased for TANE will work in TD2016 and vice versa. Buyers of TD2016 from our Simulator Central store will also receive a discount code to upgrade to the full TANE version.
We will be offering a special “pre-release” version to all our Kickstarter supporters. Your Steam key or download link will be emailed next week to the address we have on file.
Trainz Model Railroad Edition
When Trainz first began, the concept (we thought) was simple: provide software to allow people to create their own train world to whatever size and level of detail they desire. Some people build full scale prototypical worlds while others focus on a more compressed view much like a “model railroad” world.
Our brand new “TMR” Edition focuses on these smaller, more densely packed and highly detailed environments and we’re sure this edition will provide exposure to an aspect of Trainz that isn’t seen elsewhere in the train sim world.
Applications for beta testing “TMR” will open later this month to participate in the beta testing for this great new innovation to our product range.
Trainz Downloadable Content (DLC)
One of the key features of Trainz has always been the ability to create, download and share routes, sessions and other content. However, as the time commitment and skill levels required to create quality content increases, we think it is only fair that the the skill and effort of content creators can be financially rewarded.
With our new Trainz Content Creators Program, we are working closely with a number of creators who are producing some of the highest quality routes and engines for release throughout this year and beyond. There will also be plenty of beta testing opportunities in the months ahead as we strive to deliver the best ever range of content for the “New Era” of Trainz
Trainz Download Station (DLS)
Of course the “DLS” has been a differentiating point for Trainz since it first opened some 15 years ago. With over 350,000 items on the DLS and more and more of them being updated to the latest standards, there is a lifetime of free content to download and explore.
Next week we will be updating the “Content Repair List” to validate content against the latest Trainz content creation standards. This is a necessary step that ensures that content works correctly and as efficiently as possible. Once we have the final “need to repair” list of content (which currently sits at less than 1% of the 350,000 assets on the DLS!) we will be driving the “Content Cleanup” program to reach an error free DLS listing.
Train Driver Journey 8 – Toronto Rail Line
The next edition of “Trainz Driver Journeys” is also nearly ready for release. TDJ 8 – Toronto Rail Line is the largest railyard ever on mobile! The detail in the route is incredible, and with all new engines and sessions this is going to be a must for any fan of Trainz who has been following our mobile releases over the years.
Beta testing invites will be sent out next week and then all users can grab Train Driver Journey 8 for just $1 on your iPhone, iPad or iPod toward the end of February.
Trainz “NEXT” (working title)
Last but far from least, development is already underway on the next MAJOR release of Trainz. We’ve been planning Trainz “NEXT” (internal name, real name TBA) for a while and we’ve kept our plans under wraps as we’re sure this will be a real game changer in the train sim market.
While this is our internal title, it does give you a small clue as to the direction we will be heading. Join in the speculation on just what the massive new key feature for Trainz “NEXT” might be by heading over to our forums.