Friday Facts #403 - Train stops 2.0

Posted by Klonan on 2024-03-22

When playing with trains, you tend to spend a lot of time building train stops. In my latest playtesting, I noticed a few annoyances and pain points, which we will go in to today, along with some other improvements for 2.0.

Train stop GUI showing on the way

The Train stop GUI got a new lick of paint for the 2.0 update. Generally this was to make it conform to the typical layout of the entity GUIs, but I also took the opportunity to add a feature we were missing a little bit, that is the 'Trains on the way' tab.

Now you can tell which trains are coming to this specific stop.

Train naming and train limit

There is an important order of operations when setting up a new train stop, and if you do it wrong, you can lead yourself to an unpleasant situation:

Oh No! You named the stop before setting the train limit!

Its a mistake that you only make a few times, but even the process of setting the limit and color each time are a bit of a hassle. You could always copy-paste an existing stop, or use a blueprint, however these options are not always that convenient.

While thinking about it, and while doing it over and over again (Build stop -> set limit -> set color -> set name), I came up with a solution that minimizes the risks and at the same time makes it more convenient: "When I set the name of a stop, I want it to copy the limit and color from an existing stop with that name".

Setting the name will copy the limit and color from an existing train stop.

  • What if there are multiple stops? - The safest way is to pick the existing stop with the lowest train limit.
  • What if I set the limit before naming the stop? - The limit is only changed if there is no current limit set.

Train stop name shown when hovered on map

Generally to keep clutter to a minimum, I play with the train stop names not shown on the map. However very often I want to see what a specific stop is. So I made a simple change, when you hover a stop it will show the name regardless of the map view setting.

Train stop shows path of incoming trains

Another small missing thing was a quick indication of where an incoming train was, and how long it would take to arrive. So this was another easy simple feature, when you hover a train stop, it will show the paths of the incoming trains, so you can track their progress.

Copy-pasting Train stops from the map

Train stations are normally big, it is convenient to navigate them from the map, so it was always a pain needing to zoom-in to copy-paste to them. So Tobias made it possible to copy-paste them from the map view.

Rename all Train stops

You've spent 500 hours in-game, copy pasting and naming your stations all consistently. But you made a small typo and named all your orange resource stations 'Cooper drop', and now you're stuck with it...

But we are not so cruel as to make you rename them all one-by-one. Now if you hold 'CONTROL' when confirming the change in the Train stop GUI, it will rename all stops with that name to the new name.

This feature also works for the new Train Groups and Logistic Groups.

Manual locomotive push

With the new elevated rails, we had a new elevated rails problem: What if the train you're riding ran out of fuel while over some water? We don't want the player to get stuck with no way to escape.

We brainstormed many ideas, but the simplest and easiest solution won out: "Players can push locomotives with their feet, flintstone style".

It isn't very powerful or fast, so isn't really usable in normal situations, but for an emergency it gets the job done.

Given that the player can ride wagons, it also naturally means that wagons should be manually-pushable too, which is quite a funny sight to behold.

Remote driving trains

Often times, trains can get themselves into tricky situations, and need some manual intervention to get them unstuck. However if you're off on some other planet having a great time, it would be a massive inconvenience to have to travel home just to fix one deadlock.

So Raiguard added the feature of remote driving trains, which has come in handy so many times already.

It is accessed through the Train GUI or with the normal 'toggle driving' hotkey.

Rail planner works in the map mode.

We were missing this feature quite a lot ever since Rseding added blueprinting from map, so it was a natural addition.

Genhis also just finished up Super-force building support for the Rail planner, so crusading over lakes is easier than ever.

All these small improvements together slowly add up to make the game experience just so much nicer. What do you think? Is there something we have missed?

As always, let us know your thoughts at the usual places.