Wednesday, April 6, 2011

What's new with Railroad Empire?

Last Sunday we released a new version of Railroad Empire to the public. The release had been available on the Beta server for a while, but its many ins and outs are new to the non-beta players, so we will recap the features here for everyone's information.

The first feature we'll talk about is Train location. With the new release each of your train's locations are plotted on their routing page when you open the page up to edit a train. The location of the train displays as a black icon along the tracks the train is using. The position will display whenever a train is running or waiting at a station for cargo. If you stop a train it will no longer have a position.

The next feature is Multiple Unit Consists. Once you reach the heavyweight era you will see a message on the routing page that you can research Multiple Unit Consists. Once you have completed that research an Add Engine button will appear under the current engine. You can use the button to buy a new engine or select an engine from storage to add to the train. That train will now have two engines pulling it. This has the effect of adding the pulling power of the two engines together. In addition, if the engines are diesel or electric engines you will receive a $1.00 per engine discount to the maintenance cost. This reflects the fact that you do not need an extra crew to man the extra engine.

Related to the Multiple Unit Consist feature, the replace engine button can also select an engine from storage. An engine is storage is an engine in the train list with no route.

Also on the routing page we added the often asked for run once option. By selecting this check box the train will run from stop 1 through to the last stop and stop running. This option is useful if you want to run an extra service along a route and don't want it to run over and over again.

One more thing you will notice is that many of the buttons and dialogs have changed their looks. We have replaced a number of custom written controls with a standard set of controls from out javascript library that we hope will reduce the number of UI related bugs.

Finally you will notice that we have added paging to the train list. A number of users have very large numbers of trains and that was causing memory issues with our server hardware so we have taken that page and broken it up into multiple pages. We have given players the option of selecting a page size of 20, 50 or 100 and the ability to move between pages easily. In the future we plan on adding the ability to filter your trains by various options such as Station and Waiting for Cargo.

We have a lot of new features planned so watch this space to keep up with the latest Railroad Empire news.

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