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A coop session

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Development A rather lengthy blog this month, so lets start with a set of points on what we have been working on since last time:
Loading improvements. Loading the small map like Hawaii loaded in a suitable time that clients would not disconnect in multiplayer games. For our super large test map, Grand Canyon, this was not the case! To combat this I've added in threaded loading, which allows the network players to not disconnect when loading takes a long time.
Screenshot support - All images in this blog are now taken using this new feature!
Initial unit test support. Our first unit test *attempts* to go through and check all maps load and takes a screenshot once loaded to verify against. It's not full functional yet.
New camera code + polished input handling have been implemented in an attempting to get rid of some camera "sticky keys" we ported from Windows. The problem turns out to actually be a Godot bug caused by low frame rates. Our changes have helped it seems…

All aboard the Hype Train!!

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Welcome back to this months blog! Now that E3 is over and done for, we can have a break from the hype train! There have been many little bugs vanquished this month. The programming has focused on fixes covering the following areas:
RSS is working againThread pool causing the game lock up on quitPerformance - level of detail for terrain and shaders Backend scripts - an on going sagamod.io integration for mods Mapping on the frontier On the mapping front, we decided we should take the plunge and work on a new giant sized map. Our decision for this was to push the engine and tools to the limit of what we want to be able to do in the game. And from there we can easily scale down the map, test the tool pipeline, and test for areas that need performance improvement.

What did we find?! Well, we found a few issues. First our new terrain pipline is working very smooth and is much quicker. Next we found performance lacking, so have started implementing a LOD (Level of Detail) system for the te…

Chuffing along

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What have we been up to recently? Things have been moving slow but this is expected as we must eat, and so do what funds that food - work! Unfortunately or fortunately (depending how you look at it) we have been busy working. This means Trains & Things has moved slower than we would like, as T&T is not our bread and butter. But lets get into it and tell you what we have been up too over the last few months!


Pain Points The programming department has been working on resolving pain points. Pain points are those things that take away from the fun smooth flowing feel of the game.

The biggest point of pain was having to manually take out a loan if you could not afford the purchase presented to you. This meant having to halt what you were doing, opening the company tab (or worse, leaving it open!) and taking out a loan from the bank, then you could complete your purchase.

This now works by changing the button to 'Loan & Purchase' and will automatically take out a l…

Back On Track

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In our last blog we said:
We have decided to halt development until Godot 3.1 is released, as there are two critical issues we require that [we] are expecting: LOD, and Multiplayer Timeout settings. We expected Godot 3.1 to include fixes for both of these issues, however they have been pushed back to Godot 4.0 which probably won't be out this year.

Now that we have had a break I want to get Trains & Things into some sort of ship-able product. It is 80% done so why not put in some effort and get it out there?

Finally, in talking with the team, we have decided to get back on the tracks and work around the missing Godot features, and we have put together a little list of the things we want to do before we consider shipping:

1) Performance improvements
2) Polish up a set of maps
3) Deal with some pain points
4) PR/Marketing/Social

It sounds so simple! In fact the biggest problem we are facing is a lack of time - which a successful Kickstarter would have provided. Instead all w…

Post Kickstarter

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Well, the Kickstarter is finally over and the results have been abysmal.
We only had a hand full of backers, so thank you to those people.

The Stats Lets look at some stats:

In the last month, we have had about 1,400 people come to our Kickstarter page with only 12 people following through - a conversion rate of 0.857%.

Reddit indicates that 43,800 people viewed our adverts, with 507 clicks - a conversion rate of 1.158%.
Youtube indicates that 29,000 people viewed our adverts with only 29 clicks - a conversion rate of 0.1%.
Twitter failed to even launch the advertising campaign and our attempts to reach out to them fell on deaf ears.
Also our attempts to reach out to the gaming press also mostly fell on deaf ears with the exception of gaming on linux

From my research a conversion rate of about 1-2% is normal.

What now? We have taken the last month to reflect and pester the press and twitter (with no luck). We lack the funding to be able to complete Trains & Things to the leve…

Kickstarter & Demo Now Live!

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Kickstarter & Demo Now Live
Trains & Things Kickstarter is now live! Go visit our Kickstarter page and support us. 



There you will find a link to a demo!!! YAY!

The demo includes two maps, a tutorial level and Hawaii, which you will have seen in many screenshots. It is also limited to 30 minutes of play time which should be enough to give you a good taste of the game.

Finally, I've put together video running you through the tutorial level in case you happen to get stuck.


Kickstarter Prep

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Mac OSX Build Good news! We have a Mac build of Trains & Things functional! But, we have no Mac to test our build on! So I've sent a demo build to a mate who has confirmed that it is working!

Secondly, you may have heard the news of Apple depreciating OpenGL and OpenCL.

Apples walled garden got a little bit scarier! I don't know what this means for Mac support for us in the long term, it really boils down to what the Godot team decide. Either way, I suspect that we will try to ship a Mac build but that it will remain officially unsupported - ie. if it doesn't work, we wont invest much time in it, but if it works for you, great!


Track Building Over TimeSince time began (early 2017 for Trains & Things) tracks have always built instantly. You plan the path they are to take, press the buy button and *BAM* instant track.
Yet it has always been planned that tracks would build over time. I've been putting it off, others on the team have kept nagging me to do it. The r…