Train Sim World 3
SEVERE WEATHER WARNING!
Get ready to master the machine and battle the elements on September 6th with Train Sim World 3, available on Steam, PlayStation, Xbox, Xbox Game Pass, and Epic Games Store.
Our third and final instalment of the Train Sim World 3 Dev blog series is all about Weather. An exciting mix of brand-new weather features have been included to enhance your gameplay experience, and add to the immersion and challenge of driving trains in all kinds of weather.
Want to find out more? Of course you do. So put your umbrella up and read on!
Look to the Skies
Dynamic Weather brings Train Sim World 3 to life, introducing you to a more realistic simulation of changing weather patterns as time progresses. In previous Train Sim World games, you would select your choice of weather and that experience would be consistent until you chose a different service to play, whilst this was sufficient for shorter services the immersion of your environment would go down as time passed. This is a thing of the past! Dynamic Weather is a brand new and fully immersive feature that not only adds excitement and variety to every journey, but also impacts the adhesion, light, environment, and characters.
The changing weather patterns merge seamlessly from one to another and are played through on a randomised cycle, so the time and consistency of weather changes will vary, even if you repeat the same service with the same settings. Let's use an example: you leave London St Pancras with beautiful sunshine, not a cloud in the sky. As the journey progresses through Northeast London and Essex, the clouds start thickening and turning grey - and, upon emerging out of the tunnel near Rainham Marshes, flecks of rain spatter your windscreen. This worsens to the point where at Boxley Tunnel the heavens have opened, flashes of lightning illuminate the sky, and the claps of distant thunder are audible over the running sounds of the loco.
Your adhesion has changed throughout your journey due to the increase in water on the track, your pantographs are flashing more regularly, and the drive has become gradually more challenging. Adapt to the changing weather patterns, learn the routes, get to know your locomotive, and drive with more care and attention. Not only is it going to be visually engaging, but it’ll give you an awesome driving experience too!
Adding to the overall immersion of weather effects in Train Sim World 3 are the incredible new Volumetric Skies. Gone are the 2D textures that have been a staple of the Train Sim World skies for years, and in their place is a wonderfully detailed, ever-changing frame for every journey. By scrapping the flat textures and completely redesigning the skies from the ground up, if you will pardon the pun, we have been able to introduce, ever-moving, and changing 3D skies, that truly look like clouds. Rather than the essence of a cloud, what you have on your screen is a physical object which moves and changes with the weather. Because they occupy the skies in a literal sense they also work in tandem with a variety of other key new features, casting proper shadows which move as the clouds move.
The Volumetric Skies feel like they are part of the simulation, and when combined with the constantly changing Dynamic Weather , the skies come to life. With the majority of your screen being the sky, this is a key part of your enjoyment, thanks to the Unreal Engine upgrade we chose to make recently, this complicated process is finally possible. It has been a long time coming, but we hope you’ll agree it's been well worth the wait!
Seeing the light at the end of the tunnel
A brand new lighting system
We have started again and engineered an entirely new lighting system, and if we do say so ourselves, it looks awesome. Looking at how light impacts the trains and their surroundings we realised that the overall lighting system for Train Sim World 3 would need to be reworked. This has meant we have had to rethink how we measured and implemented the lumen values, how light changes throughout the day, and how it changes with the weather. The new light system reacts to what else is going on around it and produces a much more dynamic and realistic effect.
Additionally, we have been able to include eye adaption. This simulates how your eyes adjust and the iris is affected by the sudden changes in light and dark environments. This is most prominent as you exit tunnels. Rather than a swift transition of darkness to light that you would have experienced in previous Train Sim World games, you are now greeted by a more realistic light bloom that fades over time, simulating your eye adapting to their new surroundings. To see this in full effect we suggest getting in an ICE 1 and hurtling between Kassel and Würzburg, there are so many tunnels for you to experience this over and over again.
It's blowing a gale
Wind effect improvements
We didn’t want the adverse weather to just look good, we wanted it to feel different too. Even a slight change in the weather can dramatically change how windy it gets, and everything from a light breeze to a powerful gust will impact your experience. Cross and headwinds now make a difference to the physics and adhesion, creating a challenging driving experience. In the real world, many railway companies incorporate safety procedures into their running practices at times of adverse weather conditions, Train Sim World 3 is no different. To simulate how LZB changes in real life to ensure the train and passengers are safe during high winds, we have upgraded the in-game LZB to replicate the speed restriction applied, which you will notice as it changes going over the many spralling viaducts between Kassel and Würzburg.
Ride The Lightning
Thunder and Lightning
Bringing all of the previously mentioned features together in the most spectacular fashion is the very exciting addition of thunder and lightning. Once the Dynamic Weather has brewed a good storm, the lightning will start. Your skies are dark and gloomy thanks to the volumetric skies, and boom! A flash fills your screen and baths your surroundings in light, illuminating the world for a fraction of a second. Accompanying this is the awesome crash of thunder as the sky is split in two by a huge bolt of lightning. This amazing effect has been repeatedly requested by the community and we are glad we can finally include it for you to enjoy. This is an impressive culmination of light, sound, weather, and sky effects. Lightning strikes are completely random, and of course fast as lightning, so you are going to need to be very patient, or very lucky to snap a great rail fan shot that includes one.
Sound also plays a vital part in this effect, and as the thunder rumbles in you get a real sense of where the epicentre of the storm is. The thunder gets louder the closer you get to it, and quieter the further away you drive. When creating your scenario we suggest you turn the precipitation up to its highest setting and ride the lighting. Nothing gets more epic than driving trains through huge storms!
In real life trains create huge plumes of snow and ice as they speed along during snowy weather, be it slightly around the wheels or giant plumes behind the train. The faster the train the more epic the effect, this is called a kick-up effect. We are pleased to introduce this cool feature into Train Sim World 3. Grab a high-speed train, set the weather to be as snowy as possible, and hurtle along creating a vortex of snow and ice in your wake.
Realistic rain effects
The way rain lands have been significantly upgraded. It sounds like such a simple addition, but now the rain lands on the ground properly. Previously in Train Sim World, the rain would simply disappear when it struck the ground, and whilst it seems like a trivial thing, we weren't happy with how it could impact immersion. Now the rain strikes properly and creates a neat little splash, and when combined with the improved reflections on puddles and wet surfaces thanks to the updated lighting feature, theses atmospheric effects look brilliant. Jump out of your cab and go for a wander around a rainy platform to properly see this in full effect.
It wouldn’t be fair to update the weather to such an extent, and leave our passengers out in the rain to get wet. We are pleased to say our in-game passengers are as prepared for Train Sim World 3’s adverse conditions as you are. When you arrive at your first station after the rain has started or the one you are standing at if you are exploring a station, passengers will begin to put up umbrellas to shelter themselves from the rain, and if it has been raining for some time passengers will already have their umbrellas risen when you arrive at the next station. This final detail shows the level of attention we have reached to fully immerse you in the varying weather patterns you can expect in Train Sim World 3.
Thank you for those who volunteered to be interviewed for this series of videos. We were only able to show a small selection of the interviews as part of the Dev Diaries, but we really appreciate your time. It was lovely to speak to you all about your experiences working on the railways.
Be sure to watch the Railfan TV team tonight on Twitch and YouTube tomorrow (Thursday, September 1st) at 19:00 pm UTC where we'll be previewing the final two routes in Train Sim World 3 - Southeastern High-Speed Extended, and Cajon Pass, and telling you what you need to know ahead of Early Access on Friday. Don't miss it!
We had a detailed look at the awesome audio improvements you can look forward to in Train Sim World 3 in this month's Roadmaps, check the out here and here!
There’s been a lot to read about, and there is a lot more to come in the run-up to Train Sim World 3, find out more about Train Sim World 3 by following @trainsimworld on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, Twitch, and TikTok.
Train Sim World 3 Standard Edition and Deluxe Edition are available to pre-order now on Steam, PlayStation, Xbox (Deluxe Only), and Epic Games Store. When you pre-order on your selected store you will have 4-day Early Access to Train Sim World 3 as well as a bonus decal pack to use within the livery editor to share on Creators Club, the home of player customization in Train Sim World. Regional Editions will also be available to purchase on September the 6th.
To find out more about the different editions of Train Sim World 3 and more, head to our FAQ here!
Written by Chris Payne
The following Train Sim World 2020 Add-Ons: CSX GP40-2, Northeast Corridor New York, and Amtrak SW1000R & Metroliner Cab Car will not be available for Train Sim World 3
Train Sim World 3
SEVERE WEATHER WARNING!