Tuesday, 30 November 2010

Can you guess what it is yet?

While the testers put the bogie tank and its scenario through their paces a productive evening has been had laying down the basis of our little present we'll be releasing for RailWorks sometime round about Christmas as a freebie taster of what's to come.

Tuesday, 16 November 2010

Give a dog a bone

Just found this render lurking in a dark corner of the hard drive. Had forgotten it had ever been started!

What do you think folks, should we continue .... ?

Friday, 12 November 2010

Got Your Number

A rake of sparkly clean TEB coded tanks are seen awaiting loading with the numbering new activated
Just a quick screen shot before turning in of the tanks in game.

Most of the time today has been spent getting the dynamic numbers in place and blending properly. All that's left to do now is some final texture tweaks and refinements, like swapping out the strange coloured couplings now we know they're in the right place and work and making some dirty versions, some tweaks to the physics and completing the scenarios to accompany the wagons.

On a personal note I love those big red numbers, always thought them a bit rebellious as a kid when you saw tanks with numbers boldly applied on the ends and sides not constrained by a tops panel!

Thursday, 11 November 2010

Socially Networked

Ok I admit it, my brain hurts!

I was looking for an extra bit of code to add into the website this morning to add some nifty share buttons for Facebook and the like. The first item I found proudly announced it provided over 300 links to social network and sharing sites which suddenly raised the question of how far do you go with all this social networking, book marking and on-line presence?

The website is the easy one, it holds details of all we do and does all the formal stuff, along with the shop where this enterprise is supposed to make money. It does it's job and gives a portal to all the social network stuff, but a concious decision has been made to keep it a clean portfolio without all the social network content creeping in.

Ok, Facebook seemed a good idea, hey I've got a Facebook account and in general it's a nice little diversion, a good way to keep in contact with a few people and sometimes a handy way to tell my wife I'll have a cup of tea if she's making one! To be honest though, I couldn't care less about how hungover someone is because they had too many sherbets last night. In terms of what we do, it's an easy way to drop a quick update to people who 'Like' us about what's going on and how some of the other sites have been updated. It's pretty low maintenance as most of the contact arrives by way of feeds from other places.

Now the blog I like, it's the informal outlet that hopefully keeps the website clean and to the point. The blog is 'look what happened to day' and 'doesn't this model look nice' along with a bit of a ramble from time to time. The blog happily feeds into Facebook to let people know something has been posted and goes out to those who've signed up to the news feed, other than that it looks after itself.

Twitter is still an experiment but is a bit addictive too. It's another outlet, a quick fire, short message of what's happening right now, pretty banal at times but an easy way to say we're still alive. The added bonus is that it will feed through to Facebook as a status update too saving a little bit of time!

While looking for the website code I stumbled upon Google Buzz and started wondering should we be levering this as well in a similar vein to Facebook or just leave well alone? At the moment it needs to research time I think and come back to this as and when. There will be some form of sharing buttons appearing on the website though.

To be honest though all this stuff is about you the customer, what do you want to see in terms of interaction? There's not a lot of point in doing it if the people on the outside don't really care ....

Tuesday, 9 November 2010

Right Away!

Finally after much tinkering and changing of traffic patterns the signal that was looking like it wanted to sink the scenario to accompany the 102t tanks is showing clear.

With a successful run all the way to Tyne Yard all that remains is to add some cameo and static traffic and test, test and test again. With just a few little tweaks and finishing touches to make to the actual tanks things are finally looking good.

Friday, 5 November 2010

Getting Closer

It's been a long week with a lot of new learning at times, not to mention the flanges that looked like Catherine Wheels at one point today!

Tuesday, 2 November 2010

And we're back ...

Sorry about the quiet time folks. The pressures of a change of day job to pay the bills over the summer brought on longer hours and made what family time that was available even more valuable.

Never fear though, it's back to the other job now and there's finally modelling time available again and a full on push to get the 102t Class A bogie tank finished and out there. It's been a productive couple of days so far with some texture tweaking, remapping, baking and exporting going on to give a basis for the final textures.
What's much more exciting is that the path for the scenario to accompany the wagons has been set up and seems to work fine and has given a good excuse to run a rake of wagons from York to Tyne Yard to see how they behave. The picture above shows 6S69 0841 Masborough to Grangemouth passing Darlington (in what will eventually be December 1980), and is one of a number of screen shots grabbed during the test and available to view on our Facebook Page.

With a following wind and good luck the pack will hopefully be out by the end of the month so long as work doesn't mean to many stays away!

In other news we've started tweeting as things happen, feel free to follow the rambling @fastlinesim