Just a quick recap. We set up a basic line from a factory to a resource depot serving one of the many small hamlets that are part of this map. It’s a twin line – one for freight the other for passengers.
Early on in the game, when cash is short, there are some decisions to make regarding the scale of the capital assets you buy. It would be ideal to be able to afford a large multi platform station and several factories in a central position then spread a network out from that point.
In gameplay however, this is rarely possible to begin with. Not only do the larger factories, depots and stations cost a lot more to build, they also take more to maintain on a monthly basis. Interesting gameplay decisions are how to balance what you can afford now with what you would like to have in the future.
If a player chooses not to use the “reserve land” function (new to this version of A-Train) then the AI may well spoil your future plans for expanding your initial buildings by adding its own infrastructure around them. While you can “build over” AI placed buildings, the cost of doing so is very high, and not something that most players would consider until well into the game when a good cash flow is established
This is the first version of the game that allows the player to reserve land for future expansion, and that has got to be a good thing for those of us who are often confronted with the AI building on land we had earmarked for future expansion yourself.
Jacob has done a great video that show how this works.
On a personal note. You may have noticed that the AI in this version of A-Train is more active than previously. It builds quickly and aggressively. This feature levels that new aggression somewhat. If you want to make the game really hard, don’t use it. If you want to prevent the AI using any materials at all you can reserve the entire influence area of a depot. The more you think about this feature, the more possibilities it opens up.
Your network is going to need stations for your trains and depots and stops for your road vehicles. It’s a pretty simple process in A-Train to lay these, but there are some choices to be made.
For instance, if you build small short stations earlier, you may find that the AI has built all over the nearby land and expanding later, when your infrastructure demands it, is a tricky task.
But these are the choices that make life interesting.
Here’s Jacob’s quick guide to placing your first stations in the game
Reading a PDF file or blog post is all well and good, translating what is written to how a game functions on screen can sometimes present a little bit of a disconnect, so let me introduce Degica’s first video tutorial.
You might have noticed that the general quality is somewhat better than the videos I do, that’s because these are done by our in house multimedia guru Jacob. Hi Jacob.
Over the coming weeks and month’s we’ll be adding more content here explaining the more specific parts of the game.
Why Two Video Series?
Good question, and I have, (what I hope is) a good answer.
Jacob’s tutorial videos will show specific gameplay elements and UI mechanics in details. Allowing any player to grasp the concepts of the game no matter how advanced they are.
From explaining the UI, creating maps, setting scenarios’ looking through the menu options and explaining them, we hope the tutorials answer just about every gameplay question you guys can think of.
The “Let’s Play” series will concentrate on the scope and playability of the game. Looking at the possibilities and hopefully tweaking your imagination. We hope to inspire our users to create maps, scenarios and layouts far better than we can. Just think of the Let’s Play series as a jumping off point for your own creations.
Prime Yourself For A-Train
A-Train Railway Simulator is a complex game, with a lot of what those “in the know” like to call “emergent depth”.
In the game itself you’ll fine one of the most comprehensive online manuals for any simulation game. That’s as it should be.
But what about those of you who ”just want to get started”.
Here’s a manual you can read in about 20 minutes that will open the game right up, leaving you to explore the other options and discover the deeper features for yourself as you need to, safe in the knowledge that the in game manual will have you covered.