The main feature of this update was the new Santa Fe EMC E1 Train which I think turned out really great. I am especially happy with the observation car that just looks awesome during rain.
Another great addition in this version is the Double Stack Car which was requested by many Train Sim fans. The actual Box cars are separate from their base so in the future I am going to add different colours and maybe even allow them to be unloaded from the train.
In addition to the new Train & Cars I also added 20 new items to place in Custom Environments & implemented the ability to move previously placed items. I think the Custom Environment feature is coming along very nicely. There are a couple of things I would still like to add in the near future, such as deleting items & modifying train tracks by dragging their spline control points. However I have not yet figured out how to implement these 2 features yet so stay tuned for more news.
Finally I have been spending allot of time over the last few months trying to chase down some Train Sim performance issues on older devices. This was very apparent on any devices that have less then 1GB of RAM Memory. Although most devices sold over the last few years meet that requirement, I know there were many people that played Train Sim on older tablets & phones that were experiencing crashes. I have probably spent 60 hours trying to figure out how to lower the memory usage while not reducing the overall quality of the game. I am happy to report that I finally figured it out.
The issue was actually caused by break sparks. I am not going to go into technical issues but basically each of the spark effects on each of the wheels was kept in memory even if they were not shown/used. The actual fix was quite simple and involved creating the sparks only for the currently shown train and deleting them immediately after the train was changed. The result is that Train Sim now uses 40% less memory then before. This means it will now work on much wider range of devices then before.
In the future I can’t guarantee that Train Sim will run on that (5 year old) 2011 Samsung Galaxy Nexus or iPad Mini Generation 1. But as of today it does, so download future updates with caution 🙂
I hope you enjoyed this new update as much as I enjoyed making it. I have allot planned for future Train Sim releases, so keep checking back here as well as my Twitter & Facebook pages for daily updates on what I am working on.