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Interviews with the top players - a thread


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Posted (edited)

 

Hello!

 

Having my passion for the game reignited after a long break, I began to check the top (according to the leaderboards) players . Some players there really stand out and I started wondering what their gameplay looks like, what advice could they give to others and what they do and don’t like about the game the most.

 

 And then I thought why shouldn’t I just ask them?

 

 So I have reached out to several of them. Some have answered and some have not.

 In this thread, I will post the answers from the aforementioned players to the questions I came up with.

 

Edited by chancellor
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Atheramaja

 

 

Let’s start with the dispatching Titan, ranked number one in the hours spent on dispatching jobs with the whooping 1684 hours as of the day of posting. Atheramaja was kind enough to swiftly answer my call stating that English is not his prime language and “not even my second language”. With this in mind, let's hear what the man himself has to say about the game:


1. How did you find out about SimRail and since when do you play?

find out cuz algorithm youtube. If youtube doesn't recommend a trailer with title “simrail 2021” on my youtube when pandemic occurs i never gonna know this game even exists. Last day before prologue simrail closed that first time i play this game”

 

2. What was the first thing that made you think “yes, this is a game I want to play more”?

After spawning on a station named Opoczno Poludnie (OP). it’s hard to explain but i feel i need to set camp there from restart until another server restart.

 

3. Do you think you would play SimRail as much if it had no multiplayer mode?

No way! that just became the same game named TSW With DLC Poland.

 

4. In a game about trains, there are many idle moments. How do you handle those?

Blasting Music in my ear. Honestly, not just idle moments when there is no traffic but also when busy traffic my playlist EDM POP from Balkans, Finnish, Italian, Iberian penisula, Maghreb & Levant regions blasting my ear with 100% audio nonstop! and yeah that's why sometimes the chat box (left bottom corner+dispatching) I don't reply. my bad.

 

5. Do you listen, watch or read anything else while playing?

same answer as number 4.

 

6. Do you have any rituals before or during the gameplay?

coffee and another coffee after that. If I don't have coffee, the probability I'm gonna make mistakes/Wrong decision/Wrong calculation who is gonna first get green is gonna be high when i’m dispatching.

 

7. Name one thing you like the most in SimRail.

everything about Signaling + Switch can Vmax more than 60kmh!

 

8. Name one thing that annoys you the most in SimRail.

Bad Schedule/Timetable. If the schedule/Timetable good, AI not gonna make a bad decision to set a route and no more unnecessary delays. example: Schedule/Timetable depart Wloszczowa Polnoc with Vmax 160kmh gonna be different when depart Wloszczowa Północ from 0-160kmh.

 

9. What is one thing, no matter how large or strange, you would like to have added to the game?

DLC “up to date” infrastruktur PKP same as In real life. (CMK 250kmh, Warszawa Zachodnia new layout, Dąbrowa górnicza new peron, Zawiercie New peron for line towards Katowice Airport, etc)

DLC Full poland  mainline

DLC Cross border connecting with existing maps Warszawa-Katowice-Bohumin/Warszawa-Kraków-Żilina

 

10. What advice would you give to new players?

General Driver & dispatcher :

first learn how basic railway infrastructure works (Aspect Signal, Signal block, Semaphore, Switch Vmax) in poland soil.

Second, Geography or layout railways Poland in real life work for familiarity with Layout + name station. Internet free, Google earth free & youtube free please educate yourself first.

Third, Don't yapping in a chat box or voice chat requesting a green signal with all due respects when you yapping first. That just makes a proof point that you don't have basic knowledge of railway infrastructure or regulation poland soil.

Fourth, I pray when you're playing simrail. It's gonna be a smooth/nice trip and a  good day for you.

 

Exclusive for Dispatcher :

give a normal procedure to set route green  more easily than SZ (Emergency Signal). if your used SZ (Emergency Signal) means you messed up/doing wrong or rude word your fcked up.

 

11. What advice would you give to veteran players?

yup. Veteran players can make mistakes too, apologize it’s better than feeding your big ego. Apologizing doesn't show your weakness, it just shows how mature and wise you are.

when you become and feel like one veteran player cuz your level drive or hours dispatching doesn't mean you can be harsh on another player. yeaah…. I know sometimes some player action is gonna make blood boil but honestly be civil first  or silent. Silence is gold and in that silence forgive them. or more fire choice is apply from book by mark manson with title “The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fck” last choice it’s the best solution instead make drama on discord or report player. IMHO.

 

12. What could the developers do better in your opinion?

need rework schedule every update and don't follow ecosystem TSW

 

13. Any final thoughts or comments you would like to share?

Need a 16 hour shift or someone experienced and willingly without forced stand by on Psary. Psary is the key train from north to south. (but if already late from north. psary can’t do nothing) Psary messed up gonna make domino effect  delayed all train pax section zawiercie-Katowice and make AI choose bad decision to set route in zawiercie, Lazy Area, DGZ, Będzin, Sosnowiec Glowny & Katowice zawodzie. and worse scenario deadlock Sosnowiec Południowy-Sosnowiec Dandowka

 

 

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Dep

Next up is Dep who is an Italian player ranked 8th in kilometers driven (80967 km) and 7th in experience points (level).
 

1. How did you find out about SimRail and since when do you play?

Let's say I found out about it through my friends playing it, when the game was still in playtest phase.

2. What was the first thing that made you think “yes, this is a game I want to play more”?

Compared to other simulators I've played, the physics and how almost realistic the Polish railroad is.

3. Do you think you would play SimRail as much if it had no multiplayer mode?

No, by now I have gotten used to playing multiplayer together with other players a lot, except in some cases if I want to replay the tutorials.

4. In a game about trains, there are many idle moments. How do you handle those?

Listening music and browsing in the background.

5. Do you listen, watch or read anything else while playing?

Yes, as I said in 4, I listen music while driving.

6. Do you have any rituals before or during the gameplay?

I don't have any rituals before or during the game.

7. Name one thing you like the most in SimRail.

Driving as realistically as possible without the use of the HUD.

8. Name one thing that annoys you the most in SimRail.

When dispatcher players give Sz signal without a motive or invalid reason, some bad timetables.

9. What is one thing, no matter how large or strange, you would like to have added to the game?

Breakdowns in general (signaling, locomotive failures, etc...), all Polish trains, map extensions and especially a singleplayer tutorial for dispatchers.

10. What advice would you give to new players?

For drivers I recommend first playing all singleplayer tutorials (including also ETCS) and also learning polish signal, while for dispatchers nothing, because I am still learning.

11. What advice would you give to veteran players?

I honestly don't have any advice to give.

12. What could the developers do better in your opinion?

Give everyone a chance to preview new features (like ETS2 and ATS), an better AI and don't make too exaggerated updates in graphics.

13. Any final thoughts or comments you would like to share?
To believe fully in the development of SimRail.

 

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Posted (edited)

Aurel [FR]
 

Aurel is a French player and a moderator for the French community. He currently have the highest rank in kilometres driven (163823 km) and the highest amount of experience points with 164 level. 
 

Here is what he has to say about the game:


1. How did you find out about SimRail and since when do you play?
I discovered Simrail via Youtube and I've been playing it since 10/12/2022 (Playtest phase).

2. What was the first thing that made you think “yes, this is a game I want to play more”?
The multiplayer mode

3. Could you tell us how and when you became a moderator for SimRail?
The opportunity came up and I accepted.

4. Do you think you would play SimRail as much if it had no multiplayer mode?
I have very few hours on TSW or TSC compared to Simrail, so no.

5. In a game about trains, there are many idle moments. How do you handle those? 
Coffee Time :P, I check discord, speak with French community…

6. Do you listen, watch or read anything else while playing? 
I sometimes listen to music, often when I'm playing at night

7. Do you have any rituals before or during the gameplay? 
Always become with a coffee 

8. Name one thing you like the most in SimRail.
As well as interacting with the players, the possibility of making long trips is a real pleasure.

9. Name one thing that annoys you the most in SimRail.
Server restarts

10. What is one thing, no matter how large or strange, you would like to have added to the game?
The possibility of arriving at the depot, having a schedule, taking your shift, preparing your train... Just like a real driver.

11. What advice would you give to new players? 
Dispatch: Do not use the radio for non-essential communications. When you turn the light green, we see it 😛

Driver: Same for the radio, stick to the speed limit, use the HUD at the start, just so you know, I didn't remove it until about level 100.

12. What advice would you give to veteran players? 
Don't forget that you were also new at one time. Be patient with new players and help them rather than pressuring them to give you the green light.

13. What could the developers do better in your opinion?
I'm not a developer, so I don't think I'm in the best position to tell them what to do. Simrail is already an incredible simulator, so I can only encourage them to continue.
14. Any final thoughts or comments you would like to share?
I think we've covered everything

 

EDIT: formatting corrections.

Edited by chancellor
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CEMO

We stay in France with the interview with CEMO who is the 3rd in the world in kilometers driven (114615 km) and the 8th in experience points (level). 

 

1. How did you discover SimRail and how long have you been playing?

i discovered simrail on youtube and i play it 3 days after the release of the anticpier access i had the request to play but it accept me 2 days later 

2. What was the first thing that made you think ‘yes, this is a game I want to play more’?

The FR community with the discord that made me want to play more. 

3. Do you think you would play SimRail as much if there was no multiplayer mode?

if there was no multiplayer not at all 

4. In a game about trains, there are a lot of idle moments. How do you manage them?

I play stelwerk (online switching games) at the same time.  

5. Do you listen to, watch or read anything else while you're playing?

spotify and stelwerk at the same time 

6. Do you have any rituals before or during the game?

I look at the game map every time I play to see if there are any stoppages or delays, because I love the sauce. 

7. Name one thing you like most about SimRail.

The multiplayer 

8. Name one thing that annoys you most about SimRail.

people who call you on the radio to say nothing of interest, and invercently when you call a train or a signal box and the person doesn't answer you even in writing. 

9. What is one thing, no matter how big or strange, that you would like to see added to the game?

To be able to keep the same train and go back and forth and ESPECIALLY TO REMOVE SERVER RESETTINGS ESPECIALLY THE 4pm one !!!! 

10. What advice would you give to new players?

don't hesitate to ask for help on the radio, we're here to help too. 

11. What advice would you give to veteran players?

experienced players are there to help new players who are struggling  

12. What do you think the developers could do better?

Enable the rebound on a signal and the possibility of crossing it (of course you won't have to cross it, but it can happen, which is why you'll have to set up the radiostop at the same time).  
and to activate the RADIOSTOP for the drivers and signalmen and to add random incidents which might require all the trains in the sector to be stopped immediately.

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DazT

Next, we take the Channel Tunnel from France to the United Kingdom. Here, we meet with DazT who, count with me, is the 3rd in experience points, the 6th in kilometers driven (92101 km) AND the 4th in time spent on dispatching jobs (1513 hours). Let's hear what a player with such achievements can tell us about the game.

 

1. How did you find out about SimRail and since when do you play?
It was pure luck of looking on Steam on day. That would have been February 2023.

2. What was the first thing that made you think “yes, this is a game I want to play more”?
It was the signalling and how it is implemented. No one else to my knowledge had created a sim where you feel like you’re actually stood at a signalling panel, able to operate it and actually see the trains you’re controlling go past the window! The icing on the cake is not all of those trains are bot controlled, you’re actually signalling real people!

3. Do you think you would play SimRail as much if it had no multiplayer mode?
In all honestly, probably not! I was hesitant at the very start thinking “this’ll never take off”, I remember my first time signalling/driving, I was so nervous! But the multiplayer is certainly the thing that makes it stand out from the competition. I’d often dreamed of having a sim that combined signalling and driving simulator in one, SimRail delivered on that! To this day I’ve never had two days the same on SimRail, and that also makes multiplayer better than single player in my opinion, nothing is scripted, delays are very real!

4. In a game about trains, there are many idle moments. How do you handle those?
It purely depends on what I’m driving, if there’s a long stop somewhere it’s usually a good pit stop to make a cup of tea and grab a quick bite to eat. The idle moments when signalling are a bit easier to deal with as you can usually tell when they’re going to be and how long of a break you’ll get by finding gaps in traffic using the EDR, and depending on where you are it is a good opportunity to make some dinner, catch up on washing and loading the dishwasher!

5. Do you listen, watch or read anything else while playing?
If I’m driving it’s rare I have anything else happening, unless I’m stopped somewhere for a long time and aren’t doing things mentioned in my answer for question 4.

Signalling on the other hand, sometimes nothing, sometimes a bit of music on low. If I’m on late at night then sometimes I’ll put a film on, a lot of it comes down to where you are at the time, as the busier boxes require a bit more attentiveness.

6. Do you have any rituals before or during the gameplay?
I don’t really have any for signalling, more when driving I guess. If I’m driving I always like to start from the last place where I finished off, I try to always finish in Katowice (Doesn’t always happen, I have lodged over night when I’ve got myself wrong ended in Warsaw!)

During game play I then like to work a virtual diagram like a real driver would, so work a train from A to B, then B to C, C to D, etc, it’s rare you’ll see me driving the same direction twice in succession, Having some breaks in between as well, if I drive to Warsaw I’ll never work the next one out of there, I’ll have a break for an hour or two before working one back somewhere. Depending on which train I’ve driven last means sometimes I have to take a fake taxi ride somewhere to start the next train from somewhere else. (Sosnowiec Maczki back to Katowice is a regular!)

7. Name one thing you like the most in SimRail.

Definitely the multiplayer aspect!

8. Name one thing that annoys you the most in SimRail.

Drivers that don’t understand there’s a timetable for a reason and there are other trains not just the one they’re driving!

9. What is one thing, no matter how large or strange, you would like to have added to the game?
Blinds and opening windows for the signal boxes, oh and perhaps a kettle!

10. What advice would you give to new players?

You will mess up, never be afraid of that bit! Even those of use that have been around for a while still mess up! But don’t try to run before you can walk, take your time, learn and hone your skills on the quieter servers first before setting out on the busier servers. For signalling specifically, never be afraid to step back in your learning path back to a quieter box until you’ve got your skills fully tuned, I often do this myself as an experienced player to remind myself what other locations next to me can and can’t do, or just to take a rest! If you’re constantly standing trains at reds or displaying Sz’s without good reason or don’t know what you’re doing you’ll soon get a name for yourself, and not in a good way! The best dispatchers (or signallers!) are the ones as a driver you don’t know are even there. Finally, if in doubt, ask!

11. What advice would you give to veteran players?
Always keep learning, try something new by all means, but always learn from your mistakes.

12. What could the developers do better in your opinion?
Communication is probably the top of the list, we normally don’t hear anything until there is a release/patch due it’d be nice to see what they’re currently working on.

13. Any final thoughts or comments you would like to share?
Don’t eat yellow snow!

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Posted (edited)

 

Ryzyk - Рызык ФСБ

Ryzyk is a Polish player who is ranked 2nd in dispatching jobs with 1563 hours. He agreed to answer my questions only in Polish. Thus, the answers below are my own translation. Underneath the English version, I am providing the original questions and answers in Polish.


 

1. How did you find out about SimRail and since when do you play?
Steam suggestion and internet browsing

2. What was the first thing that made you think “yes, this is a game I want to play more”?
The big promises of the development of the game, great graphics and “tangible” realism

3. Do you think you would play SimRail as much if it had no multiplayer mode?
Definitely not

4. In a game about trains, there are many idle moments. How do you handle those?
When I am dispatching, which I usually do, there are rarely breaks long enough to utilise them for anything other than going to the kitchen

5. Do you listen, watch or read anything else while playing?
Music and movies

6. Do you have any rituals before or during the gameplay?
cola

7. Name one thing you like the most in SimRail.
The interaction with other players

8. Name one thing that annoys you the most in SimRail.
Lots of bugs (unfortunately recurring ones as well), servers not being able to handle the amount of players. All this makes the impression that this is one big makeshift solution.

9. What is one thing, no matter how large or strange, you would like to have added to the game?
It would be sufficient, if the developers added what they have promised at the beginning of the development

10. What advice would you give to new players?
Familiarise yourself thoroughly with the principles of operation of signal boxes and traffic management, as well as how to operate the vehicles.

11. What advice would you give to veteran players?
They take the game too seriously trying to literally apply irl rules in it.

12. What could the developers do better in your opinion?
They could just start to “exist”. Currently, we feel no support from them. There is no information about the progress of the development. Foreign (non Polish - added by chancellor) players receive preferential treatment in terms of punishments and restrictions compared to Poles. This is especially visible for Russian players - one of them got banned only after a few months of reporting his cases of obstructing gameplay for others.

13. Any final thoughts or comments you would like to share?
Game on ☺️


***

 

1. Jak dowiedziałeś się o SimRail i od kiedy grasz?
Sklep steama i ogólnie internet

2. Co było pierwszą rzeczą, po której pomyślałeś "tak, to jest gra w którą chcę grać"?
Wielkie obietnice rozwoju projektu, świetna grafika i „odczuwalny” realizm

3. Czy grałbyś tyle samo w SimRail, gdyby nie było trybu gry dla wielu graczy?
Zdecydowanie nie

4. W grze o pociągach często zdarzają się przerwy. Jak sobie z nimi radzisz?
Na nastawniach gdzie zwykle gram, rzadko kiedy jest przerwa na tyle długa, żeby ją na cokolwiek wykorzystać, poza pójściem do kuchni

5. Czy podczas grania robisz jeszcze coś innego, jak słuchanie muzyki czy oglądanie filmów?
Muzyka i filmy

6. Czy masz jakieś nawyki podczas grania? (jak kawa, herbata, konkretne albumy do słuchania, itp.)
cola

7. Wymień jedną rzecz, którą lubisz najbardziej w SimRail?
Interakcja z graczami

8. Wymień jedną rzecz, która Cię najbardziej irytuje w SimRail?
Mnóstwo błędów, niestety powtarzalnych, serwery nie radzące sobie z ilością graczy. Wszystko to sprawia wrażenie jednej wielkiej prowizorki.

9. Co chciałbyś najbardziej, żeby dodano do gry?
Wystarczy, aby dodano to, co jest obiecane od początku tworzenia tego symulatora

10. Jaką radę dałbyś początkującym graczom?
Szczegółowo zapoznać się z zasadami działania zarówno nastawni i prowadzenia ruchu , jak i radzenia sobie z obsługą taboru.

11. Jaką radę dałbyś weteranom?
Zbyt poważnie traktuje się symulator próbując literalnie „zaszczepić” w nim rozwiązania z reala.

12. Co developerzy mogliby robić lepiej?
Mogliby po prostu „zaistnieć”. W tej chwili nie czuje się w ogóle wsparcia developerów. Brak informacji o postępie prac przy kolejnych etapach tworzenia symulatora. Gracze obcojęzyczni są łagodniej traktowani od graczy polskich – w przypadku stwierdzenia niewłaściwych zachowań w grze. Szczególnie dotyczy to graczy rosyjskich – jeden został zbanowany dopiero po kilku miesiącach zgłaszania przypadków utrudniania przez niego gry innym.

13. Czy masz jakieś komentarz lub przemyślenia na koniec?
Gramy dalej ☺️

 

EDIT: formatting corrections.

Edited by chancellor
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  • 2 weeks later...

 

Sparkles

Sparkles is a prominent player from Sweden. Although not being in top 100 players, her widespread contribution to SimRail unofficial tools is admirable. She is the creator of the drivers for using a steering wheel in SimRail and the first, to the best of my knowledge, person who added features to the official SimRail live map, such as route speed, distance to the nearest signal or even the indication of the recent (though already obsolete) object of desire: the double ET22 train with the second locomotive properly indicated as "cold".

You can find the aforementioned tools at: 
- the map: https://simrail.skogis.net/
- the driver for a steering wheel: https://github.com/SparklesReal/CustomControllerToSimrail

My interview took place before her work on the map, hence no questions about it specifically. For not asking about the driver, I can only blame myself.

Ladies and gentlemen, I give you Sparkels, the "Warszawo walcz!".

***

1. How did you find out about SimRail and since when do you play?

I don't remeber how I found the game but it was probably me being bored of the TSW bugs and seraching for new train games on steam. I saw the trailer and saw multiplayer and almost fell in love with the game. I added the game to my wishlist aswell as calling some friends to tell them about it. I played since the playtest started and I got around 5 friends to try the game with me.
2. What was the first thing that made you think “yes, this is a game I want to play more”?

When playing during the playtest I was amazed about how good the dispatching felt. The driving feel uncooked to me but I got used to it and started loving the game due to it's multiplayer ability aswell as the dispatching mode. But seeing how I could play multiplayer got is what made me feel "I need to play this more" before I would play TSW and screenshare while my friends were also playing but just being able to pass eachother inside the game was a whole new thing.

3. Do you think you would play SimRail as much if it had no multiplayer mode?

No, the multiplayer is what gets me to play, seeing people you know on the server and always getting the friendly chats with the dispatch or other drivers. Being able to joke while still taking the job seriously is the best thing ever. If there was no multiplayer I would probably play TSW instead as it offers more routes.

4. In a game about trains, there are many idle moments. How do you handle those? 

When I work as a dispatcher I use the breaks to read the timetable and plan for the feature but sometimes I take a toilet break or go get some coffee. As a driver I go and activate the bot so if I would be late back or get release early everything is fine. Sometimes I go eat food or take other smaller breaks just to not sit still for too long.

5. Do you listen, watch or read anything else while playing? 

I for the most part listen to music but sometimes as a dispatcher I watch youtube as I can pause it when trains are comming. I also sit in discord calls with friends as it's fun to hear them complain about other dispatcher etc. When I listen to music I mostly listen to metal but sometimes I relax with some historic music. My most listen to artist while playing simrail must be Sabaton. Sabaton has a song about poland being at war during the Second world (Uprising) war were they sing about Warsawa for example and it is a song I listen to when arriving to Warsawa.

6. Do you have any rituals before or during the gameplay? 

Coffee. Coffee is all you need but I mostly play when coming home from school as I am tired and want to relax a bit before coding or doing school work.

7. Name one thing you like the most in SimRail.

The sound of passing over junctions, there is nothing better. I always pause the music or scream at the call to be quite just to enjoy the sound. 

8. Name one thing that annoys you the most in SimRail.

Late pendelinos. When the pendos are on time there is no problem as you stop the other trains as needed with their PT stop but if a pendo is late you are sometimes unsure if you should send the train or hold it for the pendo. This leads to the pendo being slightly more delayed or the other train being stopped for waaaay to long.

9. What is one thing, no matter how large or strange, you would like to have added to the game?

Swedish route DLC - There would be nothing better than driving heavy freight trough the Swedish forest at night seeing some animal on the track and having to emergency break
Random events - Stuff like people on the track, temp limits changing, ETCS balise error. Stuff that makes driving differ everytime
Passanger mode - I pick up services from were I last left of and taking a train to then drive a train would be cool as hell like having friends drive one leg of the service and then you change but you need to take a train to get to the point where you change.

10. What advice would you give to new players? 

Driving, if you somehow stop due to overloading or anything else and you don't know how to get moving, just leave it to the bot.
Dispatching, learn on servers like EU3 but if you have a friend to teach you do it on whatever server you want aslong as you make sure you can handle it and leave it to the bot if you don't know what to do instead of trying for 10 minutes.
Both, always be respectful when using voice and text, don't get mad if you get stopped or if a driver is driving to slow or asking you for a green while you are setting the path. Sometimes drivers are late and a bit stress but just try and handle it as good as possible.

11. What advice would you give to veteran players? 

Apologize for your mistakes and don't try to play a "I have more hours than you card" don't scream at dispatch because they did not disptach the way you would dispatch. Be respectful and don't get too mad at new players, try to help them instead.

12. What could the developers do better in your opinion?

More communication, we get a devlog every now and then but then the updated contains more or less stuff that we did not even know about. Please update the devlogs when stuff happens and try and tell us more about what is happening as there was quite a big miscommunication with the shunting where many people thought it would be in multiplayer when it was not.

13. Any final thoughts or comments you would like to share?

Well, happy that I got interviewd hope that this was fun to read. Don't know why I got asked to be interviewd as I am boring as hell. Enjoy the game, tell your friends and let's make this community as good as the game.

 

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P.Wiśnia

P.Wiśnia is a Polish player and website developer of an unofficial website dedicated to be a SimRail database. As a curiosity, I will tell you that it was his website that I have found that the famous Sean the Sheep is a very high-ranked player. The website of P.Wiśnia was the first I have found that had leaderboards according to experience points and not only kilometers driven and dispatching jobs hours. The high rank of Sean has not the highest number in kilometers driven but his level is in the top 100. Thus, my previous complains (those who knows, knows) about freight trains having no chance with Pendolino drivers in the rankings goes to hell. But I digress...
As with Sparkles, P.Wiśnia is busy developing his website and is not ranked in the top of the tops. However, I have reached out to him curious about the motivation behind the project. You can find the website at: https://simrail.pwisnia.pl/?lang=en

P.Wiśnia kindly wrote in English so the answers below are his original answers without my lousy translation.

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  1. How did you find out about SimRail and since when do you play?
    I learned about simrail from steam, one of my friend added the game to the waiting list before release. First time i play simrail on 2023 vacations. But i buy my private copy of game at the end of 2023.
  1. What was the first thing that made you think “yes, this is a game I want to play more?
    Recovering the real world, the environment and railroad regulations. But once I heard the sounds I really liked it.
  1. Do you think you would play SimRail as much if it had no multiplayer mode?
    I think yes. But i very like be traffic dispatcher, but it is not available in single-player mode.
  1. In a game about trains, there are many idle moments. How do you handle those? 

    In multiplayer mode during the hours I play this problem does not occur. In singleplayer mode you are doing something all the time and during a long pause you can watch e.g. youtube or make some tea.
  2. Do you listen, watch or read anything else while playing?
    It depends, sometimes there's just a lot of traffic and you need to focus. Otherwise I listen music in the background.
  3. Do you have any rituals before or during the gameplay?
    No.
  4. Name one thing you like the most in SimRail.
    Developed multiplayer mode.
  1. Name one thing that annoys you the most in SimRail.
    Quite poor/average level of moderation on the multiplayer servers.
  1. What is one thing, no matter how large or strange, you would like to have added to the game?
    Maneuvering in multiplayer mode and re-enabling radio-stop for dispatchers.
  1. What advice would you give to new players?
    That they should first familiarise themselves with railway regulations and instructions.
  2. What advice would you give to veteran players?
    That they would be understanding to new players and help them.
  3. What could the developers do better in your opinion?
    As far as the game is concerned, they should focus on adding new train sets and signal boxes in Warsaw. Increasing the number of moderators would also be very good.
  1. You have created a website jam-packed with features related to SimRail. As I can see, it is still evolving. What motivated you to start this project?
    Unifying all of the community's ideas into one page and creating new features that no one else was offering yet. The site also offers a database where you can find any information about simrail.
  1. Do you have more features in mind that, time allows, you would like to add in the future?
    Yes, e.g. translate railway instructions into other languages, search engine for community scenarios and a business timetable generator.
  1. Any final thoughts or comments you would like to share?
    Nothing to do but wait for further developments in the game.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



 

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  • 4 weeks later...

 

chromatix

This time, the interview is with one of our community's most technically knowledgeable members, chromatix. Known for his extensive understanding of trains and railways, chromatix has been a consistent source of detailed explanations and real-world insights for many players in the English channel on Discord, including me. His contributions have helped deepen our understanding of train operations, bridging the gap between virtual and real-life railroading.
While at the respectable level north of 120*, chromatix does not top the charts. However, being a walking encyclopaedia fully justifies his position here in my humble opinion.

*the profile is set to private, hence I cannot give you a specific number. Admittedly, I haven’t played the game for a long time now.

***

1. How did you find out about SimRail and since when do you play?
It was mentioned on the TSW forums as one of several alternative train sims that could be worth looking at.  I didn't take all the suggestions, but SimRail and Derail Valley are now in my collection.  Looking at my purchase history, they seem to have been early Christmas (2022) presents to myself.

2. What was the first thing that made you think “yes, this is a game I want to play more”?
I made a point to play all the single-player content to familiarise myself with the game, before jumping into multiplayer.  So I was impressed with the physics, systems, and operational modelling - all of which are done noticeably better by default (ie. in core first-party content) than any train sim I've previously encountered.  These aspects have mostly held up over time, too.  When I also tried multiplayer, I found that the signalling is also implemented realistically, not as a "bodged simulacrum" (as in RailWorks and TSW) or left out altogether (as in Derail Valley).  This makes a huge difference to my experience.

3. Do you think you would play SimRail as much if it had no multiplayer mode?

If it had some other dynamic gameplay loop to replace the variety imposed by multiplayer, quite possibly.  Just the set of single-player missions provided, though, wouldn't provide much replay value - there would have to be a heavy exchange of community-authored scenarios to make up for it.

4. In a game about trains, there are many idle moments. How do you handle those?

Often making coffee, or even dinner, or continuing a line of research I'd picked up on a different computer.

5. Do you listen, watch or read anything else while playing?

Sometimes.  It's worth noting, though, that music can obscure sounds that are helpful for driving.  I'm more likely to have music on if I'm dispatching.

6. Do you have any rituals before or during the gameplay?

Not really.

7. Name one thing you like the most in SimRail.

The large and complex network of lines constituting the main route, which allows for a lot more variety in gameplay than the typical A-B route in RailWorks and TSW, and train services several hours long without silly time-wasting.  I'm looking forward to the further extensions of this network to Lodz and Krakow.  There is also still untapped potential in the many freight terminals and marshalling yards beside the line.

8. Name one thing that annoys you the most in SimRail.

Mouse input is very glitchy.  I have rebound the mouselook button away from the "pull domino button" on my mouse, which avoids some confusion, but using either of these buttons often results in the game freezing up for several seconds.  This is not a consistent effect, but if it happens once in a session, it will keep on happening.  Since looking around the cab is necessary to operate some controls (eg. train heating, overload reset, front pantograph), it's very immersion-breaking at the moment I need those controls.  When dispatching, I often find a camera position where I don't need to look around to operate all the necessary controls.

9. What is one thing, no matter how large or strange, you would like to have added to the game?

Tutorials for dispatching, and explaining some basics of railway operations to players previous unfamiliar with the genre.  I could muddle through it, since I've been playing train sims since the original MSTS (including SimSig!), but I see and hear about a fair number of players who start without the first clue.

10. What advice would you give to new players?

Drivers - pick a loco, and study it thoroughly before trying another.  They are all markedly different, and you will quickly confuse yourself if you play only one tutorial and expect it to teach you everything you need to know about every vehicle - because it doesn't.  The Elf (EN76 and EN96) is a good place to start for passenger trains, and the Dragon (ET25 and E6ACTa) is a good starting point for freight.

Dispatchers - learn to walk before you run.  Look for AND READ the manuals.  Computer panels are the easiest to operate, but operating the panel is not where the skill comes in.  Decisions as to which train to send first, and where, are what you build up by experience.  The very first thing you should ascertain when trying a new station is the interlock type to each neighbouring station.  Do this on EU3 server where you won't disturb anyone.

11. What advice would you give to veteran players? 

Drivers - handling the brakes is an art.  Study it carefully.  Don't use the Fill position continuously.

Dispatchers - the radio is not a gossip channel.  Leave the air clear for operational messages.

12. What could the developers do better in your opinion?

SimRail does a lot of things well that other sims don't even approach, or have actively given up on.  The one thing that falls short is something I refer to as "papercuts" - bugs that are objectively small and may even be easily fixed, but disproportionately annoying when encountered.  These are things like the misconfiguration of brakes on two vehicles of the Pendolino, or the strange behaviour of the dropdown menu of train numbers when composing a message to an AI dispatcher.  Good practice is to dedicate some proportion of dev time, and a regular release schedule, to clearing these "papercuts" out of the game.  Don't let them languish for months between major updates.

I have actually been considering making my own tutorials for dispatching, in video (screen recording) format.  The dropdown menu "papercut" I mentioned is one of the main reasons I have not yet done so.  I want to be able to demonstrate the most proper way to do things, but this misfeature actively discourages me from doing so!

13. Any final thoughts or comments you would like to share?

Despite the above criticism, I'm overall impressed with the approach to development that SimRail exhibits.  The fundamental design is sound, and demonstrates a commitment to provide a realistic operational environment from the outset.  Other sims have a tendency to bodge it to start with, and then perpetually hack in workarounds for the resulting unfortunate initial design decisions.  If this continues - as it should, considering the developers' background in professional training sims - then I have high hopes for the future.

 

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Moooritz

is a moderator for the German community of SimRail who also frequently visits our English channel on Discord. Moooritz is the 6th in the world in level and the 8th in driven distance. He also doesn't slack at dispatching being in top 100 at 70th place. Here what he had to say about the game.

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  1. How did you find out about SimRail and since when do you play?
    A friend told me about the game when it was in Prologue version. I lost it over the years and then it somehow popped up again in Playtests a few days before Christmas 2023. From this point it caught me.
  2. What was the first thing that made you think “yes, this is a game I want to play more”?
    The multiplayer aspect is key in this game. You can choose between train driver and dispatcher and you can interact with others, that's what makes this game enjoying. I also like the details in comparison to other train games.
  3. Could you tell us how and when you became a moderator for SimRail?
    I will not go into detail, at first I was normal player and then I got asked if I want to participate, first in beta and then as moderator. And as you know - I accepted.
  4. Do you think you would play SimRail as much if it had no multiplayer mode?
    No, I don't think so. Sometimes I am also playing other train games, but they are getting boring quick because there is no MP.
  5. In a game about trains, there are many idle moments. How do you handle those? 

    Reading Discord, doing moderation or beta stuff at second screen. There are many things to do.

 

  1. Do you listen, watch or read anything else while playing?

Listen to music or reading Discord.

  1. Do you have any rituals before or during the gameplay?

No. Only playing.

  1. Name one thing you like the most in SimRail.
    Multiplayer.
  1. Name one thing that annoys you the most in SimRail.
    Player telling life stories in the radio. Discord exists.
  1. What is one thing, no matter how large or strange, you would like to have added to the game?
    Vectron.
  1. What advice would you give to new players?

Please use the radio only for essential communication. Driver: Look at the speeds displayed in the HUD. There are many players derailing because disregarding speed limits. Dispatcher: If you are playing on busy servers (DE1, EN1, PL2) please leave the station when you are noticing that (many) trains are waiting at your station. It makes things much easier.

  1. What advice would you give to veteran players?

If you are doing a mistake, please apologize for it and don't try to find an excuse.

  1. What could the developers do better in your opinion?
    There are a few things, but I won't say anything here.
  1. Any final thoughts or comments you would like to share?
    Even if not all things in this game are perfect, there are cool things to come in the future.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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