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Subject: Sid Meier's Railroads rss

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Graham Smallwood
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I couldn't figure out which train game to put this under, since that is really the question. Is this game closer to an 18xx game than Railroad Tycoon? Since it is the computer sequel to RT, I was curious after reading about the role that buying shares plays. Are train gamers excited about this title at all, or is it a misguided attempt at a crossover between media?

Oh, and I'm not a plant from the company. I would hope plants would be more subtle in starting discussions.

 
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!
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You mean Sid Meier's Railroads!, right?

Yeah, it sounds pretty great. It even has auctions. Auctions!
 
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Steve
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The real problem for me is this: Is there going to be enough added to buy this game again? Sid Meier's Pirates, while a good game, was virtually identical to the original pirates. I don't need another version of RRT2 or RRT3. Those games aren't as old and creaky in terms of graphics and presentation as Pirates! was so a new version that is just a graphics update and interface streamline are unnecessary for me.

I'll be interested to read reviews.
 
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Harold Jansen
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In the manual for the originial Sid Meier's Railroad Tycoon, Meier actually talks at one point about playing 1830 and it being the inspiration for the game. He liked the balance of running railroads and stock shenanigans, as well as competing with other tycoons. He added the movement of goods , though, and the dynamic economy, which is picked up more in the board game version of Railroad Tycoon. I'm not sure what the new version will change, though. I'm looking forward to it as the original Railroad Tycoon and RRT2 are some of my favorite PC games ever.
 
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Jorge Montero
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I wonder why they aren't using the Tycoon name anymore. The St Louis studio that made Railroad Tycoon II and III had been merged with Firaxis, so they should have the rights to the name again. I don't think they kept much of their programming staff though: I can't find any of the people I knew from PopTop in the Firaxis bios.
 
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Dwsparks
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There was an interview with Sid Meier, and he indicated that they wanted the emphasis to be on the trains.

I have to agree that the term "Tycoon" has pretty much been over-used, diluted, and abused.

I'm gonna wait for a demo, myself. I've got other things occupying my interests at the moment...
 
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James Hemsley
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I second that, Gary.
 
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John Crowe
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dwsparks wrote:
I have to agree that the term "Tycoon" has pretty much been over-used, diluted, and abused.

Amen!

I second that comment. I'm just waiting for Tycoon Tycoon to come out and end this insanity.

Or better yet, kill two birds with one stone:


SIM TYCOON!

 
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Walt
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I don't think it's a crossover at all. The Railroad Tycoon PC games have a long and successful history since the first in 1990. They greatly predate AoS or RRT. RRT1 was inspired by 1830 (1986) according to the manual. Only the 18xx and Empire Builder series predate RRT1.

The RRT computer games have a number of features not found in many of the manual games: robber baron stock capabilities (buy opponents' stock, manipulate the stock market), a detailed economic model (being able to own businesses; feeding specific goods into specific businesses, often generating additional goods to move elsewhere), multiple trains, detailed consist (train cargo) control, and a variable amount of train traffic control from quite micromanaging in RRT1 to usually only setting priority or wait-until-the-train-is-full in RRT3.

I highly recommend RRT3 to those who play computer games and haven't played it. It's a bargain at $20 now, and has a large official
expansion (Coast to Coast) free online--about 40 official scenarios, including the campaign. Also, user-created scenarios are available at the unofficial site: http://www.railroadtycoon.info/index.php

It's a beautiful game, with the limitation that being a few years old, it doesn't have as many polygons as one might wish (that is, the trains are made of fewer pieces than one might wish). It has a huge number of trains, with somewhat animated works, steam, whistles and horns, distinctive cars.... The worst thing I can say is that the vertical exaggeration (so you can see slopes easily) and a minor bug leads to ridiculously tall ballast under rails. The game is very stable (with patch--I don't know without). It has over an hour of nice music if you like folk music and bluegrass.

One criticism I have (which I hope is solved by Railroads!) is that while you can make custom maps by just selecting a box on a world map, that only gives you height information: cities, climate, and raw materials have to be added manually, a long process to paint on the map. OTOH, changing a scenario to more or fewer players is a snap.

(Edited after I looked at the RRT1 designer notes.)
 
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Philip Johnson
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Has anyone picked this up yet? I'm itching to try it out, but there don't seem to be any reviews around yet.
 
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John Weber
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Tall Walt,

I have to say I totally disagree with you about RRT 3 -- it was a huge step backward from both RRT 2 and even the first RRT, in my opinion. I was greatly disappointed to see what was an excellent "gamer's game" turned into an arcade-like mish-mosh where hand-eye coordination overruled any strategic decisions, plus I found the souped-up graphics made it really hard to see where you were going, what you were building, etc. I'm hoping the new Sid Meier creation that is the subject of this thread goes back to the roots of the original game, which was great fun to play.
 
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Ferroequine
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John,

I agree with you. Much as the same way that Master of Orion III killed the series, I feel the same way about RRT3. Although the expanded graphics are nice, it feels a bit to "fiddly" for me to really enjoy.
 
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Alexander B.
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IcemanCU wrote:
Has anyone picked this up yet? I'm itching to try it out, but there don't seem to be any reviews around yet.


I'll be buying it as soon as it hits the shelves (today or tomorrow), if I remember, I'll post a quite impressions.

Can't wait, and I hope it is at least 1/2 as good as I hope it will be
 
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The Steak Fairy
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Well it appears that I may be the first to post my exciting impressions of this eagerly-awaited title. Huzzah. After the standard 15 minute installation process utilizing Installshield and a single prompt to decide if I agree to the neverending user agreement, I was greeted with the following upon launching the game:

"Your computer does not meet the minimum requirements to play this game."

What giant leaps have been made since the glory days of Railroad Tycoon!
 
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Walt
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John and Walt(?),

While I'll concede RRT3 has perhaps more style than entirely useful, but how can one claim it's an arcade game when you can build while paused? And fiddly? Do you recall that RRT1 required you to set out "blocks" like a pre-electronic control model railroad? And IIRC, even RRT2 had you worrying about exact consists (rail car contents) while in RRT3 you can 99% just put it on automatic. (Exceptions include the French nuclear scenario and the Australian wool scenarios.)

Since you two apparently have the game, I urge you to give it another try. It does have some unfortunate defaults, seemingly not to make it too easy--but perhaps that does make it fiddly, a bit. One thing is to tune the graphics options to your display size, perhaps making trees disappear when laying track. If possible, it is usually better to place a station before laying the track to the station--terrain or buildings can get in the way; and even if you have the grid option on, sometimes you don't (or can't) lay track quite where you need the station.

I will definitely criticize RRT3 for not having undo for dropping stations--stations and track should be laid together. OTOH, it's the first version of RRT to have an undo aside from going back to a save fail.

I'll also criticize that 99%--maybe 100%--of the time, any train should be set to 8 cars, best paying cargo. This has just gotten so automatic, I don't notice it any more. I will also criticize that even with manual controls full on, you can't haul cargo at a loss, sometimes useful.

That said RRT3 has a brilliant economic model, one feature of which is that you can site stations along natural trade paths (rivers and coasts, generally) and pick up cargo without going all the way to the source. Very realistic. I am dismayed at reports I've heard of Railroads that the economic mocel allows only three industries per city. I wonder if farms have been removed.

I also prefer the realistic look of RRT3 to the model RR look of Railroads, though the additional polygons are very welcome, of course.

I see the analogy with MOO as Railroads perhaps being the break in the series that flops. I hope not, indeed. But, I'm wait-and-see with Railroads from what I've heard of the economic system.

What I wanted to see was RRT4 as RRT3 with more polygons; rail and station undo; custom maps with climate, resources, and cities already placed; and cleaner interface graphics, which are admittedly a bit odd.
 
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Alexander B.
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-Read a few moderately negative reviews about this.

-Bought it today anyway.

-Did find some bugs (nothing show-stopping).

-Had no problem running fast at highest resolution (good system though)

-Looks pretty good, but doesn't seem as deep as earlier titles.

-Will have to play more to be sure, but I'm certainly not having a jaw-dropping experience so far. Seem too easy, but then I'm playing the first few scenarios: I'm sure it will get much harder. The hard part so far has been laying the track right and handling the signals so trains don't sit around: I personally like a more economic focus, and I can already see this is more about trains (not that there is anything wrong with that )
 
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Alexander B.
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I beat it in the multiplayer game on Tycoon level (hardest) after only 6 games

The game is somewhat interesting and fun, but the total amount of content seems low, the AIs are not very good, and it does crash fairly regularly (although it autosaves about every 1 minute so that isn't too bad).

No bad, but far from great.

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Walt
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diamondspider wrote:
I beat it in the multiplayer game on Tycoon level (hardest) after only 6 games

Ouch. Maybe I'll wait until it's in the bargain bin. Thanks for the review!
 
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