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It’s time to show off the current status of the mod. Because this is the first status update, I will not only include all current changes but also go back and explain all details and confirmed features for the upcoming release that were not publicly addressed yet.
Following the initial teaser...
...that was filmed offline, there were many changes in how the train actually works, especially to make it multiplayer compatible. Even though it’s nice driving around Chernarus on your own, the journey is a lot more fun if you bring along some friends with you.
Because these questions were asked a lot: Yes the mod will work in both single and multiplayer, and yes the trains are primarily player controlled.
First things first before we get into some details – what will this mod offer?
The features that are already or will be part of the first official release are the following:
- Full single and multiplayer support
- Full support for Chernarus and other custom maps
- Walk on the train and shoot from it while driving
- Cargo transport via inventory and items placed on wagons
- Basic collision handling
- Full lighting setup for driving at night
- Animations and sounds for locomotives and wagons
- Interactions for ladders, wagon doors, decoupling, etc.
- Color variants for locomotives and wagons
- Requirements to fix up the locomotive (Glowplug, Batteries, etc.)
- Conductor clothing and high visibility vest
- Support for community-made models/textures via addon
- Once the train is released there will be a series of updates to introduce more features as:
- Basic base building on wagons
- Upgrading wagons and locomotives for more protection
- Ability to sabotage track switches to ambush trains
- Ability to construct train track barricades to stop/damage/destroy trains
- Advanced physics for train behavior and collision handling
- More locomotive and wagon models and textures
- If you want to see a certain feature that was not already mentioned, let me know!
To give everyone a little insight into the development and why it took so long from the teaser until the mod release:DayZ as a sandbox is a major improvement over previous BI games and thus allows modders to do many things. However, it was obviously never designed to feature something like a train.
Thus I had to come up with entirely new solutions to basic gameplay elements like vehicle movement, player transportation, lighting, animations, etc. Many features were unstable or not multiplayer compatible until the recent 1.03 patch. Also, early versions of the train were very performance heavy because implementations of the train track navigation were too complex.
The game has received a lot of updates since I initially started working on the mod, some of which forced me to refactor the project as a whole because something broke, others added long desired features that unlocked new and better ways to implement the features.
The train is working well at the moment and there are only a few things to address until the mod can go live. The multiplayer synchronization will require some more attention. Currently, there are a few concepts that need further testing in order to ensure a smooth multiplayer experience even under heavy server load.
Now onto some details that I recently worked on...
First off are new wheel animations. These are not only simply rotating the tires but also the wheelbase as a whole in order to align the model to the tracks as good as possible. Especially in sharp curves, the previous animations broke the illusion of actually driving on the tracks by only being roughly aligned.
Here you can see how the movement looked before...
And now after the new animations were added it looks like this...
You can also watch a video demonstration of the animations here...
Besides the two train textures red and blue that are already part of the vanilla DayZ, I added a color variant that is based on a real-world example of the ČD 742.
Here is the original...
And this is the mod version...
There is also a second dark blue texture variant...
After the light source flickering was resolved in the 1.03 patch the train also can also now have a proper lighting setup...
To fully feel like a proper train conductor you of course also need an outfit. There is a train conductor suit available, as well as a high visibility vest in case you need to hop out of the train and inspect the tracks.
I will share some more details on the cargo transport system in the future, but for now, I can already give you an idea for how it will look like.
Also if you want, you can climb up on top of the wagons and locomotives via the ladders...
The ability to stay on top of the train and do whatever you want while driving was also shown off in this recent clip I recorded:
Now to the final piece of information that you are looking for … the release date.
I am sorry but I can not give you an exact date at the moment, BUT that’s only because I need to wait for some fixes in the upcoming patch(es). If everything goes well, 1.04 will resolve the remaining issues; and with that, clear the way for me to upload the mod to the workshop. So it’s safe to say … “Sooner than folks think”