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Old 08-28-20, 08:52 AM   #1
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Default Derail Valley VR (also 2D)

[Edited Post.]

Early 2019 I mentiioned this game in the VR the world thread in General topics, and then it somehow dropped off my radar again, although I was inh attention mode. The game has much evolved since then, and just got another major update, thats why they call it Derail Valley Overhauled now. The game is still Early Access, but so far I cannot tell why. Feels definitely not like something that still needs plenty of development or is uncomplete. But in fact plenty of more stuff is coming, according to the devs. The game is very well received at Steam. 2D was added afterwards, unplanned, becasue oroiginally they only wanmted to do VR alone.

I now stumbled over it again. And I jumped into it.



My first thought was, after five minutes, how much a decisive difference it makes whether a 2D game gets later implemented a VR interface and option to play in VR, or has been developed in every aspect from scratch on for VR use exclusively. You see this with so many good VR titles that were made for VR in the first. They optimise little details and handling things where 2D games with later VR implementation must accept compromises.

This came to my mind, and an immediate reminder of another dedicated VR game I recently got, VTOL VR. There you again handle an interface and a cockpit design optimised for VR use and managing it via VR controllers, not gamepads or whatever. It made a huge difference there, and I experience it again here. Both games have something in common: they give you "real" hands in the game world and cockpit, you handle every switch with your "real" hands for sure. connecting waggons and disengaging them, levers, buttons, map booklet, manuals, keys, paper stuff and job forms - its all "real", you hold it in your ahnd, can trade it between your hands.

What you get with this game is a 16x16 km open world which is nicely crafted, and that has a surprisingly complex grid of railtracks and many different locations, think of it as something like the rail world in Railroad Tycoon, just more complex and the tracks more naturally laid out. You earn money by shuttling loads around and doing jobs. You are a virtual employee, and you run a virtual career, anbd you need to earn virtual money with it. A pizza boy with a locomotive.

Its very much fun and feels amazing to learn the tutorial, to climb onto a first locomotive, and learn to move it around. Good sound! This small first locomotve already feels and sounds like a monster. Yopu relaise this is not a Fiat Abarth you are moving. Its slightly bigger, and probably slightly heavier as well. It massive. You crawl under the waggons and connect the links and cables, tighten the locks. You grab your walkie-talkie to get that track switch changed. Its 256 km2 of world, with industrial posts, factories, towns, mines, rivers, lakes, mountains, and it will be pleasure to discover it all.

Its also a need, because you need to learn the trackplan quite well, so to anticipate during a ride what is coming after the next bend and treeline, else you cannot go smooth and fast, will miss the time tests or will deriaul by trying to be fast where you better shouldn'T. The title of the game does not indicate it is Wreckfest for trains, but you will derail if you do not manage your speed well and know how to master the balance between gas, brakes, sanding, and weight. The jobs have financial rewards for time boni, but these are hard to get, so you want to go fast and smooth if possible. The speed limits on the signs along the tracks are only recommendations, overstepping these speeds will not be punished by disciplinary measure of loosing vritual money - but you do so by your own risk, and the risk ist that you - well, derail.

You will have a lot to do in this. The swithces are all manual, you need to look ahead, and trigger them to be dswitche,d if needed. For that you need to know ehere you are, and you need to constantly check your map. In Steam locomtioves, you will need to care for water and coal as well. You might be on a train, but you will not be given a free ride! You gotta work for your money.

One and half an hour, and I am already in deep love. If you like train games on PC, this ist the king on the hill now. You cannot get closer to driving on a locomotive, than this. Its flight simulator for trains.

Cannot comment on how it is in 2D, I only know the option is there. The video however shows the 2D version. Let me tell you that the handling of things in VR with controllers works VERY well and natural.
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Old 08-28-20, 03:06 PM   #2
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I spent more hours with it this afternoon and evening, and I am very impressed. This game is a challenge. It forces you to drive properly, not to waste money, because everything costs you money: Diesel, sand, maintenance, licenses, everything, nothing you do you can do for free. The running costs cna eat you upo, if you are not careful. So you are best advised to save fuel and sand where you can, and not waste Diesel when you are on a track section where the train will go as fast in idle all by itself.

You need to anticipate things and look ahead. Identifying the correct section in a station and the right cargo waggons you need to hook up to, "mentalising" your leave from your destination and visualising the switches' correct siding (do you say that?) in advance and more important: identifying the to be expected most likely destination track in the destination station, the correct orientation of the locomotive (so that it gets properly cooled), and so forth: in the beginning it really can grow over your head. Its a challenge, and it is very easily to miss something enroute when you study the paperwork and map, say the next switch is to the wrong side and your forget to change it in time: you need to brake, what costs you time, you need to reverse, what costs you time, you brake again, what costs you time, and come back to speed, which also costs you time. On a steam locomotive, you additionaly would need to care for feeding the oven and shipping coal, control the water and pressure, while studiyng the map, having an eye on the momentum and the need for sand, anticipating climbs and descents and how to handle them with brake and gas and sand, speed limits. The speed limits are not enforeced different from having you derailing if you ignore them too clearly. There is an insurrance system that limits the costs to you if you deraila nd need to comeosnate for the mess oyu m ade,l but the fees for that grow the higher your licenses are.

Its not just a very good driving sim that teaches you to properly drive a physically impressingly simulated piece of machinery of some weight, it also is a career and a management and an economy simulator. Really, it reminds a lot of all the good in Railroad Tycoon, but all that old memories being massively refined and boosted in complexity.

More good stuff to come is planned in Early Access keeps them floating. Map editor, more maps, for example.

Very much recommended for everybvody who is into trains. And the video shows that it seems to work reasonably well in 2D, too.

I wish the devs that they get the financial support by the players that they need to move all the way to completion. The price they ask for - 16 Euros - already now is fully justified, if not a steal.


4.5 of 5 from me.




Quite some nice new addings to my collection the recent weeks. VTOL VR, FS20, now Derail Valley, and in between a reawakening of my interest into Shock Force, earlier this year Armoured Division. My day has not enough hours. I would also be interested in Combat: Modern Operations, but I must fold on that, due to time reasons, it seems to be a very complex and time consuming thing again.
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Old 08-29-20, 06:29 AM   #3
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This game can be a brain puzzle when doping shunting jobs. You need to plan ahead, becasue evry detial coiunts, down to the right orientaiton of the locomtiv,e becasue only in forward it gets properly cooled, you can drive in reverse, but that will heat up the engine. And everything you do costs. Getting rolling with wheelslip? Whjeels will wear down faster. Managed to havew not enough swing when goiun g into the climb? You pay by needing to spend for sand, and more Diesel. Energy management. I say again: energy management. Do mnot anticipate your haul correctly,. and find yourself ending up with entering the station from a side where you cannot easily dsort your waggons, or your locomotive being on the wrong end of the train. This all is as relaxed, in a way like ETS2 or ATS, but has an awsome lot of challenge more to it. Easy it is not. Its not Train Simualtor and its not Trainz.


And everythign costs. Everything. Mess up too many things, waste too much money needlessly, and see your career derailing in the reds.



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Old 08-29-20, 06:35 AM   #4
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BTW, the developer's homepage:

http://www.derailvalley.com/




From the press map: current features, and more is planned.


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Old 08-29-20, 06:41 AM   #5
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And amonmgst the buyable items, there is a shutner remote control, which I imagine to be helpful i stations - once you have it.


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Old 08-31-20, 07:31 AM   #6
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Last night I failed terribly and had so much fun with failing that I could not stop laughing.

Did I mention the importance of energy management, momentum? Mass and weight in motion? Slippery wheels and friction?

I currently have only the license for the first and smallest loco, and the game mercilessly taught me why they call it a shunter, not so much a locomotive. Wanted to leave the station I ended up in on my last job with four waggons of scrap metal. Before this latest job, I had only had empty waggons: shunting jobs.

I set up preparation, I set up the loco and oriented it correctly on the turning wheel, and everything was nice so that I would not waste time once the job timer started ticking. I started the job, and slowly pulled the train out of the station. Sloooow gas setting, to avoid wheelslip, and there I went, creeping, but winning in speed slooowly. Half a kilometer out of the station, I slowed down, it became slightly elevated in terrain. I increased the gas, and the wheels started to slip (costs money, they wear down and you gotta fix them sooner or later), so I sanded, but I slowed down still, and the wheelspin had made it even worse, because even when reducing gas, there was no traction anymore, and the slowing down happened even faster. With an I expect somewhat unbelieving expression on my face I came to a standstill, and worse: I started to move backwards! And then it was too late: even while trying to bring the train to a standstill and having both brake systems set, the mass of the now loaded waggons mercilessly pulled me back on that mild elevation, and backwards I rolled, back into the station, almost as far, and I bumped into a stopper when setting a switch wrong.



I disconnected the loco, set it on a turntable and changed its orientation (so that it can move forward not backwards, cools the engine better), then navigated my way around the station and the many switches and tracks, and connected to the train from the other side, wantign topoull it out and get to my destination the other way. Ten minutes later, a níghtmare to drive, I had almost the same thing happening, this time I avoided wheelspin and at least could bring the train to a halt, just in time and shortly before the engine blew off in overheat. I sat still for some time, until the temp had dropped, and then wanted to start rolling again from a standstill. Did not work, no matter how careful I accelerated, the wheels spun and I slowly started to move backwards again . I sanded, and slowly the train came to a stopp and then reversed movement direction and I slowly started to creep forward, in tiny baby steps.

And then i had run out of sand.



You can imagine what happened next. The train gained reverse momentum so that the brakes could not catch it in time, and once again I started rolling backwards and this time much longer than before.

I had tears in my eyes from laughing.

Its a quite reasonable physics simulation, I simply made the mistake to assume that I could use a shunter for also doing loaded waggon delivery, even if it were just four waggons. Yeah, four weaggons of scrap metal. Thats some more weight than four emtpy waggons, I assume. My fault, lack of knowledge. I need the next bigger loco and license.



You see, they hand you a map with several pages when you accept a job. I better start caring more for the small print.


So much fun was had. The game teaches you to manage energy and momentum (and diesel and sand and wear and tear), you can say goodby to money boni for staying below the maximum time intentioanlly, drive it safely and this way not risk to overspeed and derail, but then there are passages, depending on your loco and total train weight, that may pose difficult to overcome if not having build momentum by driving reasonably fast before reaching the next elevation. Or you must invest more Diesel and sand to compensate for lack of momentum when reaching that climb.

A little gem of a sim. The beauty is somewhat hidden under the surface. It seems to play reaosnmably well in 2 D as well, judging form the videos. It was designed for VR from scratch, the 2D interface was added later due to public demand. The game is very well received at Steam.
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Old 08-31-20, 03:28 PM   #7
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Its not real - I drove for half an hour before it dsawned on me that obviously I had left the last station 180° off the corretc direciton and went in exactly the opposite direction.


I had prepared it all so nicely. I had memorized the planned short hop to the destination, "all three coming switches to the left, then to the right their will be a mountainwall and to the left a valley with a river, and there you are". Instead I had mountains left and right, and a lot of times when I wondered, and then a ride into a tunnel and then a sight that did not match the expected one at all... I finally came to a stop at a dead-ended station and found it was on the oppositre side of the map.
I must be completely talent-free when it comes to driving a train.



Note to myself: you need to study those schematic station track maps much more carefully - and maybe hold them top down to match track numbers correctly and so see on the map which track is entry into a station on the one side and which main track is exit from a station on the other side.

At this pace I will not make much money at all, thats for sure.
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Old 10-10-20, 08:19 AM   #8
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I'm still so much in love with this.


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Old 07-02-21, 04:42 AM   #9
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Hi everyone!

It’s been a long time since our last big news. Today we’re announcing our second major update, Derail Valley: Simulator, slated to come by the end of the year!




Back in October we hinted at some of our plans for the update. Today we want to share those plans with you in greater detail. For many months, we’ve been working on lots of big and essential features, with the primary goal of fortifying Derail Valley as a well rounded train simulator product. Without going too much into detail, these are the main changes you can expect in the update:

Revamped Train Simulation:



Simulation of the steam engine and diesel-electrics will be completely remade. With further emphasis on realism and details, as well as fully finished controls and manuals, the locomotives will be complete. There will be very few visual changes, and more in how the locos behave - with actual amperage, traction motors, cylinder cocks and other specifics simulated. We’ll go into more detail when the update is close to release. Driving trains in Derail Valley will remain accessible and fun, in our standard fashion, but will also be much closer to how the real trains work. Big thanks to the select few of our highly trusted and knowledgeable beta testers who have been selflessly helping us get this right!



While working on the sim revamp, we’re also laying the groundwork for adding more locomotive types to the game in the future, such as pure electrics and diesel-mechanicals. For Simulator, we’re creating the new simulation platform in such a way that no coding is required to create a new locomotive. While still complex to use, the new platform will greatly increase the output at which both us developers and eventually the modding community can churn out new locos to the game, of virtually any kind. The train mod support and the new loco types won’t be part of the Simulator update on release day, but they’re actively being worked on as part of the sim revamp as we speak.

Day and Night Cycle and Dynamic Weather:




As an addition to its beautiful natural landscapes, Derail Valley will receive seamless cycling of day and night, as well as dynamic weather conditions. This will include clear, cloudy, foggy and rainy conditions that will all spontaneously morph into one another, as you’d expect. The locomotives will, of course, feature wipers and proper headlights to accompany the addition, and the rain will affect traction quality.



While not set in stone yet, the frequency of the day and night cycle and weather changes will be probably set to a certain rate in Career mode (e.g. 24h in game will equate to 1h real time), and will be completely adjustable in Free Roam mode (more on that further below). Players will be able to interact with beds in order to sleep and pass the time. The concept of time passing be further incorporated into gameplay later on, although this remains to be seen.

Main Menu & Save Manager:


Click here or gif above for higher quality video

Perhaps one of the most critical improvements in Simulator will be the complete GUI architecture revamp. Starting Derail Valley won’t throw you directly into gameplay anymore. Rather, a proper main menu that welcomes you first will finally be in place, where you’ll be able to select a user, load and save your progress, start a new game, and do other usual game actions that have been lacking in Derail Valley for so long. The reason this comes this late is that it is much harder to pull off than it may seem -- the game couldn’t be made restartable without some bigger changes that we’re working on, which is a prerequisite for lots of related features.

The new interface is made flexible in such a way that over time we can easily add new settings, such as the “skip tutorial” button when starting a new career game, and alike. The new GUI is also fully consolidated between PC and VR, which wasn’t the case previously, making it easier to maintain it on both platforms.

Sandbox / Free Roam Mode:


Click here or gif above for higher quality video

Welcomed by many players will be the new Free Roam mode. It will let you play without worrying about fees, licenses or earning money. You’ll be able to pick your own scenario parameters, such as starting location, destination, time of day, weather conditions and train, and just do whatever you want without consequences. Only the base locomotives of each kind will be available on fresh start in Free Roam. You’ll need to unlock the higher classes by buying the license for them in Career first, thus incentivizing the player to play the much more engaging Career mode. Of course, the players who insist on having everything unlocked right from the start will still have the option of asking someone for a save file with everything unlocked.

You’ll be able to design your own consists for use in scenarios, and share both consists and scenarios with other players. In Free Roam the jobs, trains and locomotives will still spawn in the world as they do in Career mode. You’ll be able to complete those jobs, but without any monetary rewards, nor penalties.

Localization:



We’re making Derail Valley multilingual, which should increase the game’s reach in many countries around the world. Currently, we’re aiming for German, Russian, Dutch, Japanese, French and Serbian languages, and we’ll likely also include Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, Chinese, Korean and Polish. If there’s demand for these or more languages, please let us know -- your input means a lot. We’ve been preparing all of the game’s string database, GUI and booklets for localization, and the only things that will remain universal (in latin script) will be the IDs of locos, tracks, locations, jobs and licenses.

In The Meantime:



We expect to have Derail Valley: Simulator ready for release sometime by the end of this year. This is not set in stone, however, as there’s still a bunch of work to be done and things could be pushed further. When we’re ready to fully reveal the update, we’ll do an In-Depth series going in detail about each of the new features, like we did with Overhauled.

Until then, we’re looking to release 2-4 small updates, similar in scope to builds #89-91, which too were worked on during the ongoing development of Simulator. The small updates will be focused mainly on bug fixes and small improvements, but with each also having a prominent new feature.

Price Increase:

With the release of Simulator, we’ll increase the price of Derail Valley from $19.99 to $35.99. This increase has been long planned and announced, and despite staying in Early Access, we feel that at that point Derail Valley will be worth the new price. Of course the increase will not affect those who bought the game prior to the price increase.

Beyond Simulator, we plan to focus on adding a lot of new content to Derail Valley and making the late game gameplay more strategic and goal driven. That too is heavily under development, but we’ll probably discuss it more next year.

That’s all for this news update! Thank you all for your support, patience and understanding that these things take time! Despite not having released many updates lately, we’ve been busy as always working on Simulator, and our goal remains to make Derail Valley the best train simulator in the world. See you soon with the next small game update!

-Your DV Team
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Old 08-20-21, 06:19 PM   #10
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New vegetation. Looks beautiful. With the announced dynamic time df day/night and weather, it can only look the better once the so-called Derail Valley Simulator update brings that by the end of the year or early next year. This VR experience still has me grinning like an idiot when immersing into it.

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Old 12-16-22, 06:39 PM   #11
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After one years of absence from it, I managed to get my G2 finally working in it, or better, it worked suddenly all by itself.

They plan release now most likely in Q2 2023. Featurewise it then should be the complete game, as I understand it. Nice illustrations in images of night, seasons, and weather effects.

I played it a lot the past two days, and truly enjoyed even this now outdated old version in the higher resolution of the G2 and with the new landscape and vegetation graphics. Its awesome, and the physics feel as convincing as ever.

Their Early Access planning however obviously is a total mess, I must say. They may think they had reasons to do it like this and to release it this early as they did, I disagree and call this the second worst Early Access project I have ever paid for, second to Wreckfest only. To me, Early Access releases have a time limit of one year, then they must deliver - or I call it a foul.

However, Wreckfest finally, after years, had turned into somethign extremely good, and I have no doubt its not different with Derail Valley. It already now is a gem of VR gaming, and has meanwhile been given a full 2D accessability, too.

People who are train-buffs and have an interest in trains, want to get a feel what itr really is like driving them and figbtiung with physics and elevations, under no circumstances want to miss this. This is as close to the real thing as it currently gets. There is no rivalling software to this title's topic: driving trains. There are other train agmes, i know. They do not even come close. They are button-pressers. They do not link you to the machine they simulate. Derail Valley does.





















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Old 12-17-22, 11:47 AM   #12
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I thought I bang the drum for this title a bit more, and give you an idea of the elements by which you navigate in your job that the sim tasks you with in its world. Mind you, the game by now provides also full 2D compatability, you do not depend on owning a VR headset. Although without it, you miss a big chunk of the cake. I write from the perspective of a VR user, however, minor details in handling might be different for 2D players, I don't know.

First thing to know is that DV provides you a small microcosmos completely with geographic features as well as an inherent economic eco-system. Like in the very first Railroad Tycoon from 30+ years ago, you must earn money to buy licenses for new kinds of freight, and for new locomotives. You must also have money to pay for technical maintenance, and the consequences of accidents you cause - up to blowing up complete railways stations when you hit into rows of parked oil tank waggons and set the whole town ablaze. The insurrance will kill you, promised. To stay in business, you must stay liquid. To get into business, you have to start small. Very small. A tiny shunter is all you first get.

Throughout the world, there are several towns and settlements scattered around. They all are individual parts of the economic grid. Ressources must be shuttled to producing factories, products must be delivered to sales points - you know the drill.

In the offices, you usually see a map like this



When you are on tour, you always have a mobile pack of documents with you, amongst them is this map again:



I usually store it in good sight inside the locomotive, for my position gets marked on it.

This map translates into this abstract illustration of how the various locations economcially interact with each other, so that you know where you can expect what kind of freight:



Every station has different jobs on offer, that means you can freely decide which one to pick as long as you own the needed licenses for freight and the needed locomotive to pull the according waggons. And some of those railtracks go steeply uphill! You cannot do everything with just any locomotive. And in some you will be tested to the limits of physics (whose rule always apply).

The various jobs, or "missions" if you will, come as forms on a table, describing them. That in cludes kind of freight, number of waggons, needed licenses, time limits, and so forth. The time limits really set up the pressure!



In VR, you can pick them up, check them, and compare them, holding them with in virtual hands. Once you decided which to pick, you use slot machines, so to speak, to process your filing of your choosen job (and again you use them when you are done and want to get paid). You hold the forms and throw them into the according slots, maybe press one or two option buttons.



In return, you get your next travel's logbook, which has detailed information on individuall waggon ID numbers, and where you need to pick up or decouple what waggons, because your job may be coming in several parts, giving you changing waggons during the ride to your final destination of the shift. Could also be that you just shunt waggons inside the railway station.




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Old 12-17-22, 12:04 PM   #13
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With that folder of documents you then go out and seek the waggons in the station. You search the correct tracks, and identify the cars by their individual ID numbers. Then you search for a suitable locomotive, and where it is, and you plan how to navigate the station's railgrid to get it at the correct end of the waggon line, and with correct heading. That all can be tricky!

This may be one amongst many possible starting points:



Its one of the smaller ones, there are stations several times as big, and with way more tracks and waggons blocking them. You have a map pack for them all, helping you to navigate your way around.
The above photo can translate into a schematic overview, with following pages showing even more track details:



In the game, you then would manouver your locomotive, connect it with the waggons (all manually!), close all cable connectiosn and circuits, and there you go!

Different stations have different stores were you can buy individual equipment, cassette recorders and tapes, radios, shovels, and so forth. Also, there are various maintenance points where you can maintain the locomotive, or fuel it up. These are individual, and vary in the mix of services they offer. This one is just a smaller one:


You drive the loco into the correct place, and then handle the levers and buttons accordingly. In the same way unloading and loading gets handled where according logistical machines and loading installations are installed. Sometimes its impressive machinery at work, you can watch it live in 3D !



Railswitches you need to operate yourself, manually, which is part of the fun. Be in motion and mess it up, and you end up on the wrong track and having to solve your little mishap. Switching is done with a neat trick, a radio with laserpointer, you direct the beam at the sign, and click - et voila, you are done. It can and must and should be done while continuing to drive, and yes, it is absolutely possible to do so.



You need to organize your mind a bit to get the job done and in time, without causing mess and accident. The physics of the terrain will mercilessly accelerate or slow down your train, I have found myself getting pulled down a hill again, because I launched at it wrongly and without sufficient pace or not having used sand enough. If things are sliding, you may even be unable to brake down again when being pulled down. So, this is no easy train driving like you are used from other train games. add to it that you may drive older steam locomotives and you need to dose fire, coal and water correctly - all in virtual 3D. It then can really become challenging. No comparision with Train Sim 2 and Train World and what their titles are.

The big update everybody is waiting for, will come around Q2 2023, or so they say. It will refine some game elements, add weather, time of day, and seasons, they already let people play in a winter landscape a year ago. But the principle core elements are unlikely to dramatically change again.
There are already turning tables and round houses, all can be operated manually. I would not be surprised if they unveil some new elements in spring/summer.
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Last edited by Skybird; 12-17-22 at 12:26 PM.
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Old 12-18-22, 08:31 PM   #14
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Oh dear, I just spend a quarter of an hour connecting waggions to my lco and wondeirng why it did not go and instead I had that red Brake Pipe lamp blinking. I needed to go to youtube and get rmeinde dof what I just had forgotten this time: that it is not enough to link the coupling and then the brake pipes (yes, in VR you even have to kneel down and bend your back to reach those parts...), no Sir - you of course also have to open the brake pipes on both ends... I jumped that. Too much calcium in my neural network, I suppose.


Here are six developer'S videos on how the current status of the sim came to be, named "Derail Valley Overhauled". The next status in spring/summer will be "Simulator Module". Misleading terminology, but thats how it is.


















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Old 12-20-22, 02:48 PM   #15
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Happy Derail Day...!!!

A real achievement in doing justice to the game title, I just managed to derail my first train ever since I know this game. What makes this even more a special acchievemnt is that I derailed a train that was not there, since I moved the locomotive alone, without waggons. I thought I had the grip for the independent brake firmly in my right hand, but hadn't, then panicking when I started to speed I pushed forward the lever for the air train brake only to find that since last use it still had not charged sufficient air pressure again, and then the independent brake went in and blcokedf the wheels, the wheels slipped, the loco was sliding and then I arrived at that turn and that speed was too high and so... Bright lights and loud sounds.

Anyway, here is the link to the Derail Valley Wiki https://derailvalley.fandom.com/wiki/Derail_Valley_Wiki
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