Trainz News and SP3 Goodies

In their August newsletter, the folks at Auran let us know that they have issued several new tools and support for the recently released SP3 (story). Some of the highlights are a 'Paint Shed V1.3' update, 'Custom Content Procedures Manual' released, new 'download Station' features added, and more. Check the full article for more details.
1st August 2002 Hang on to your rolling stock! Another big news day has arrived. Here are some of the highlights: - Trainz V1.3 Content Update Pack - Custom Content Procedures Manual released - New Download Station features added - Paint Shed V1.3 update released - Service Pack 3 CDs shipping now As you can see, the world of Trainz is taking some major steps forward. Our primary goal with these changes, and with SP3 in general, is to make the task of creating, sharing, finding, downloading and using custom content as easy as possible. All the tools and support for SP3 content are now available for Download, and we are expecting an explosion of new content to hit the Download Station over the next few days. During these times of change we expect there to be some bumps along the way, so we ask for your support as this transition takes place. So, on with the details... Trainz V1.3 Content Update Pack: This pack can be downloaded from either the Service Packs page (http://www.auran.com/trainz/servicepacks.htm) or the Content Creation page (http://www.auran.com/trainz/contentcreation.htm) and includes: - Content Dispatcher: This is a dual purpose utility designed to make the process of uploading and downloading content far simpler than in the past. For Content Creators, it will package your custom Trainz content for upload to the new Download Station. During this process it makes various checks such as whether you have entered the appropriate fields in the config file. These fields are then used in helping to search for items, so if they aren't completed correctly, people won't be able to find your content. For users, Content Dispatcher lets you unpack your SP3 downloads without worrying about unzipping or finding the right directory. The checks and balances used should ensure that all your new content will install and run without problems. Note that you will need to have Content Dispatcher installed to download new SP3 content. - Content Foundry: This utility helps content creators by making all the default files required to add new content. - Trainz V1.3 Minor Update: This update patches Trainz V1.3 and addresses a number of issues. Content Creation Procedures: To help people understand the new custom content procedure, we have also released a new Content Creation Procedures manual, available here (http://www.auran.com/trainz/contentcreation.htm). If you make objects using Gmax or other modelling packages, it is important that you download and read this document (and apply the principles described). You can discuss any issues and find assistance on the Content Creation forum (http://www.auran.com/trainz/forum/default.htm). If you are a user and just like to download all the wonderful content, then all you need to do is wait for the new content to appear. To get you started with SP3 compatible content, a couple of our Trainz team have made some of their work available on the Download Station (http://www.auran.com/trainz/downloadst.htm), so grab it now. Download Station: The major improvements to the Download Station are now completed. Most of the Download Station work has been behind the scenes making the task of uploading and downloading content easier for users. For users, there is a new Download Cart system that lets you grab many different items at one time, plus a versioning control system that lets you know if an item has been updated. The search function has been improved, and (if the content creators have filled in all the correct information in their content) it should be a lot easier to find exactly what you are looking for. You are looking for a 1960s USA cottage - no problem. You need a Belgium electric locomotive - no problem. You can also set your search preferences so that you can display a summarised list, or full details of each item. Check out the help section here (http://www.auran.com/trainz/downloadst.htm) for more details. Paint Shed: The long and arduous wait for those Paint Shed owners is over. Trainz Paint Shed V1.3 is now available as a free 30 meg download here (http://www.auran.com/trainz/servicepacks.htm). We apologise for the delay in getting this upgrade to you, but we trust the wait will have been worth it. To explain Paint Shed to newcomers, it is a user-friendly program that lets you create your own customised railroad liveries (re-skins, paint jobs, call them what you like). This new version will let you paint all 5 sides (top, left, right, front and back) rather than 3, and also allows for non-mirrored sides. The selection of loco's and rolling stock has expanded from the 14 items that initially came with Paint Shed, and now include templates for each of the original 16 Trainz locomotives. We plan to release more templates, including passenger cars, over the coming months. Of course the content is now installed into the new World directory and there are new config files to make the loco's run correctly under SP3. You can purchase the full version of Paint Shed either on CD or by download at the Trainz Shop (http://www.auran.com/trainz/shop.htm). Service Pack 3 CDs now available: If you have ordered the SP3 CD, your wait is almost over. After a couple of delays due to events beyond our control, we have the shiny new CDs in stock are shipping those orders out over the next couple of days. For those of you who have recently purchased the European version of Trainz, we will be announcing shortly when your SP3 upgrade will be available. To finish the news for today, a note from Auran's CEO, Greg Lane: "I want to this opportunity to thank everyone for their patience during this massive upgrade to Trainz. The new features introduced with Service Pack 3 and now the utilities to support new SP3 content distribution, have taken Trainz to a new level. Many of these features are a direct response to requests by the Trainz Community, and whilst Trainz still isn't perfect, we are heading in the right direction. Please keep the feedback and suggestions coming so that we can make future versions of Trainz even better."