Train Sim World

Rush Hour – Building Brighton Main Line

We talk to the development team about building London – Brighton in Train Sim World 2: Rush Hour

What do you do at Dovetail Games?

Tom: I am the Lead Vehicle artist on Train Sim World 2 and I have been overseeing the creation of all the rolling stock for Rush Hour.
Cameron: I am an Associate Technical Designer, I am usually responsible for building the tutorials, scenarios and route intros for our content
Jake: I am also an Associate Technical Designer, I do the same as Cameron, we are both usually responsible for the objectives and scenarios, trainings and intros.

What locomotives are you bringing to the Brighton route?

Tom: The BR Class 387 in Gatwick Express Livery and BR Class 377 in Southern Livery.

What is new with the tutorials for Brighton and Rush Hour?

Jake: With these tutorials we have tried to include more in them. There’s a much more in-depth tutorial to help explain more.
We’ve had feedback on previous routes where the safety systems weren’t detailed as much as the community felt was necessary, we want to include more and show the users how to move again after applying something like an emergency stop for example.
We’ve spent a lot of time watching other people play through previous routes, to pick out things we can improve on.
Map data: Google, Maxar Technologies.

What is it like bringing these locomotives into the game?

Tom: We need an awful lot of information to create what we do at the standard we expect.
Because we were not able to go out and get pictures ourselves due to lockdown, we have been working closely with friends we have in the right places, within the wider community as well as the rail industry.
We have had some people dedicate quite a lot of time to getting us photographs and information we needed that we couldn’t have obtained by looking on the internet.
It’s very rewarding when a project comes together, especially when we consider the hill we have had to climb to achieve it.

How do you create the tutorials for each locomotive?

Cameron: Much like Tom, we have to talk to a lot of different people to get the information we need, it’s a collaborative effort.
The gameplay team will sit down together and we will think of everything that needs to be done.
We will come up with a plan, and if you imagine we are playing the game on paper, we will go through and tick off all the steps required to start a loco one by one.
“Sit in the seat, turn the master key on, does it have a master key? Is it called something else? Is it a combined power handle? Etc.”
When we have the steps in place, we begin to consider what needs recording, such as “Welcome to London Victoria - Brighton”.
Jake: After we have all of the information correct, myself and Cameron will go into the game and start to input everything through the blueprint. We will add in the subtitles and get it to a playable state.
At this point we will go to the setup team who have put the train together, and we ask them to double check everything. Depending on the feedback we receive, we will then make some changes by updating the script and implement any suggestions made from the setup team.
Cameron: One thing we focus on is getting the terminology correct, we talk to people on the Beta forum to make sure everything sounds correct and we will ask if anything needs rewording or rephrasing so it is authentic to reality. We want to be clear about what needs to be done but also ensure the terminology is accurate.
Jake: This would be a dauting task if I had to do this myself, thankfully we are able to check in with the network of people that we have, and everyone is able to confirm what we are doing is correct.

What makes the BR Class 387 unique in Rush Hour?

Tom: The Gatwick Express is a brand-new Livery and we’ve never done anything for Gatwick Express before.
This is a much newer member of the ElectroStar family. There’s a lot of visual differences where the design has evolved over time.
The 387 while belonging to the same family as the 377, does have differences. And for members of the community who are fans of the class, they will be able to spot these small details that are included.
Whilst the two are visually similar for the casual observer, for those who know what to look for they will be able to spot those unique features.
This is where the bulk of the work is for us, we need to identify those differences ourselves between the 387 and the 377. We want to make sure that the locos are as accurate as we can make them.

Has the rush hour feel changed how you would approach this route?

Cameron: When we're building a route it's important to us to get the look and feel right. The iconic, but static, structures and stations. That applies here, but there's also this added layer of trying to recreate the movement and feel of Rush Hour. With the new passenger and increased density, we really want to take the time to ensure the community understand what we are putting forward.
We want to show off the new passengers, busier stations and more lively stations.
We have taken the approach that just because we haven’t included it before, it doesn’t mean we have to omit it this time.
Jake: To try and make the day to day driving a smoother experience, we are going to be including more useful information about each locomotive, and detail some of the more unique features you could come across while driving.
We want to leave no stone unturned and have the players feeling more in control.
Train Sim World 2: Rush Hour is coming this Summer. You can find out more about the German route featured in this pack in last week’s developer diary on here.
Train Sim World
4 Jun
Rush Hour – Building Brighton Main Line
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