Trainz arrives on platform Kickstarter (and on Mac and PC in 2014/15). Get ready for the journey of a lifetime!
SUCCESSFULLY FUNDED Dec 18, 2013!
If you missed the Kickstarter closing time, you can still participate in the exciting journey to create Trainz: A New Era through our website using Credit Card or Paypal. Click on the Make a Pledge button below then choose your reward level.
To find the latest total of Kickstarter + Trainz: A new Era website pledges, click on the the button below:
What is Trainz: A New Era?
Trainz: A New Era is far more than a train driving simulation. It offers something for every train fan - from the tools to create your own rail line, commands to operate multiple trains, and a choice of simple or realistic cab controls to hop inside the cab and become a driver in charge a 3,000 tonne freight train or a high speed passenger service.
Trainz: A New Era - more realism, more features, more tools, more content, and of course, the amazing graphics that you have been asking for.
With the support of our fans from all around the world, here are our plans that will deliver the best ever version of Trainz - Trainz Simulator: A New Era.
We've been busy working behind the scenes designing and creating an all new custom-built game engine, code-named "E2". This new engine will deliver a major upgrade in graphics capabilities and performance.
E2 features the latest technology including HDR (High Dynamic Range) rendering, whole-world real-time per-pixel lighting, native multi-threading support, 64-bit processing support and unlimited seamless streaming. With customized "graphics shaders" a huge new range of special effects will be possible such as reflective surfaces, heat haze effects, depth-of-field effects and atmospheric fog.
By offloading major systems to separate CPU cores and maximising performance, E2 will support additional physical effects. For example smoke will be affected by local wind conditions or hitting an overpass, and weather (rain, snow, even autumn leaves) that will collide against solid objects.
VIDEO: Comparison of Trainz today and "tomorrow"
So what does that all mean in layman's terms? It means E2 will support:
- larger, more detailed routes/environments;
- lighting which automatically casts shadows from all solid objects including terrain;
- fully detailed and animated pedestrians, passengers, wildlife, cars, trucks and trains;
- realistic environmental effects such as locally modelled environmental conditions including cloud formation, volumetric fogging, localised rain and snow effects, wind-blown trees and grass;
- smoke billowing out of a tunnel or rain splashing in a puddle;
- heat shimmer from hot diesel engines;
- substantially improved in-editor performance.
In one sentence, E2 will provide a huge boost in power and performance to make routes more realistic and perform better than ever before.
VIDEO: Find out more about our new E2 Simulation Engine from our Lead Programmer:
If you haven't seen what Trainz is all about, watch the following video which shows the "current generation" of Trainz using the previous game engine.
VIDEO: Trainz Simulator 12 - Released April 2011
In railroad terms, a manifest is a list of cars in a mixed freight train. In terms of our four-track plan, the manifest is the list of features that we will be including in our 'Initial Goal' release. In other words, the feature set that we will deliver in December 2014 as a result of this Kickstarter project.
We have chosen a set of features that will provide a fantastic user experience, while keeping the scope of the project manageable (i.e. delivery within a year).
DRIVING PHYSICS ENHANCEMENTS
From your feedback over the years, the most significant feature for many people is the accuracy of the simulation. This is why enhancements to the driving experience are at the very top of our T2 feature list.
For the technically-minded, our physics model uses a variety of configurable inputs such as engine power, train weight and rolling resistance, then takes into account factors like track gradient, curve resistance and track adhesion for each car in the train. We then calculate the forces at work 30 times a second and as a result, the train accelerates or decelerates and moves along the track accordingly.
T2 introduces brand new Real-time Physics Editing tools enabling users to enter known specifications then accurately monitor all the forces at work. Things like tractive effort, drawbar pull or brake pipe pressure can be monitored at a specific point along the train and input values adjusted “on-the-fly”. By analysing and tuning performance without leaving the simulation, real-world train characteristics can be matched perfectly. (It's a bit like running a virtual dynamometer car).
If physics aren't your thing, don't worry. You can leave the fine-tuning of your favourite loco performance to the experts and you will still have the choice of 'Realistic Mode' or 'Easy Mode' driving options.
Initial Goal Features
Of course Trainz is not all about driving and physics. As part of our Initial Goal Features, we will also be updating a large number of our existing systems as well as adding new tools and functionality. Continual improvement has been and always will be a big part of our development process.
In addition to the new engine, new physics and a general system upgrade, we have sufficient time in our schedule to add two more major systems. By pledging at the Engineer Reward Level or higher you will earn a vote to help determine which two of the following four features will be included in our initial release. The remaining two features will then be moved to the top of our Stretch Goal list.
Update Dec 18th: $190,000 target reached! The 3rd feature will be included at release. If we reach $215,000 prior to Pre-Beta release, all four of these features will be included at release.
Latecomers: You can still pledge in 2014 through our online store.
Please note, we will also be releasing a feature-limited "Driver Edition" available through the Track Crew and Guard Reward Levels. This version is the same as the Full Version, excluding the Surveyor module. Surveyor includes all the world and session creation tools and physics editing tools. It will be possible to unlock the Surveyor Module via an in-game purchase option should you wish to upgrade in the future.
READ UPDATE #10: Discover how to become part of Trainz history!
Trainz is a project which can be continually extended by adding new systems and updating existing features. As one new system is completed, another system becomes the next "must-have" feature. With the success of this Kickstarter project, we will be able to add the additional resources to ensure those systems are implemented sooner rather than later.
If our Initial Goal funding target is reached, we will then be ready for the even more exciting Stretch Goal phase. Every additional $50,000 raised will add new features into the schedule. By expanding the team and/or outsourcing we will be able to make the product even bigger and better and achieve all this sooner.
Update Dec 2nd: Reaching $215,000 will result in the 3rd and 4th "Initial Goal" features being included at release. The next $50,000 milestone will result in the first from the following list of 25 features being added.
We have prepared the following list based upon your feedback and categorized the list into Stretch Goals of similar size and scope. The priority order of the Stretch Goal Feature Sets will then be determined in conjunction with the Trainz Pioneer Council and pledges from Senior Engineer Reward Level and above.
Remember, the higher your pledge level, the better chance we have of reaching our Stretch Goal targets, and the sooner your favourite feature can be implemented.
In addition to the "New Era" product, most reward tiers offer a selection of existing products to keep you occupied while you await delivery.
With most of the reward options, you also receive the Get-Trainz-Now Selection. This provides you a choice from the following list of existing Trainz products and will be awarded in January 2014. Your selection will be made via the completion survey sent to you when the Kickstarter project is successful.
Train fans love to travel the world and with Trainz they can do it all without leaving home!
Third party content creators from every corner of the globe have been collaborating to provide fantastic routes, sessions and content for Trainz for many years. Thanks to tireless efforts by a number of teams, we are aiming to have up to 16 new routes available by release date. The list of content that will be included in the initial release will be determined as the routes are finalized.
At the Trainz Crew Reward Level you become part of the beta testing community including access to each of these routes. At the Engineer Level, you receive pre-beta access enabling you to assist these teams with early stage testing, research, photographs, session design and more.
More detailed information on the routes, sessions and rolling stock to be included will be confirmed once the 3rd party content creators begin to finalize their content sets.
Having a great plan, a great product and a great team are all important, but there's one element that is required for the success of this Kickstarter project. This is where you become the vital part of the operation to drive us to our initial fundraising Goal.
Kickstarter is “all or nothing” funding. To make this project a reality, the equation is simple; we need approximately 3,300 people to pledge $50 or 5,500 people to pledge $30, or any other combination that hits the Initial Goal target.
If we don't reach our target, no money changes hands and no rewards are issued. (i.e. your credit card is only charged if the project is successful).
You now have the power to help us build the best ever version of Trainz.
There's a variety of rewards on offer - game versions, digital artworks, collector's items and of course various levels of voting, pre-beta and beta testing access, or even deeper involvement in the design phase.
It is time to review the rewards, choose your pledge level and make this project happen.
Just as importantly, we need you to spread the word about Trainz on Kickstarter. More people means more pledges means more features - it's a win-win.
Click on the Share link, talk about the project with friends and family, spread the word on your favourite forums and convince others how much they will enjoy the Trainz experience. With your help we will be sure to reach our target.
Scroll through the reward options below, then find and click on your chosen reward level in the right hand column to pledge your support.
UPDATE: REWARDS STILL AVAILABLE
Although Kickstarter has ended, you can still choose most rewards through our online Store - just click on the 'Make a Pledge' button below then choose your reward.
Remember, the higher the tier you choose, the more likely we are to reach our goal, and the more involvement you can have in helping steer the path of Trainz into the future.
Join history. Become part of Kickstarter County!
In Update #10 we have announced an exciting new way to become part of history. Take your place among the immortals who will forever be remembered as the supporters that made Trainz: A New Era possible!
There is a selection of add-ons to suit any aspiring Trainz enthusiast. Some examples are shown below, and more information can be found in the FAQ section:
Risks and challenges
Trainz began development in 2000 and was first released in 2001. It is one of the longest continuously running game franchises and supports the world's biggest online train simulator community. We are a very experienced development team and understand project development processes, timelines and risks.
We have brought more than 15 different versions of Trainz to market on 5 different platforms. Trainz was one of the pioneering games for online sales, online communities, 3rd party content development, downloadable content, and even simulation apps for mobile, with Trainz Sim for iPad being released in 2010.
We have delayed launching our Kickstarter project until we could be reasonably confident of completing the project within a year. The core architecture of our engine is now substantially complete and this reduces the risk of delay. However, as with all software projects, there is still a risk as we implement new systems that unforeseen issues arise or that it takes longer to fix serious bugs than anticipated. We are also reliant on 3rd party content creators to provide a proportion of the content.
We pledge to keep our backers up to date on any issues we face and maintain an open and honest communication channel throughout the life of the project.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (35 days)