as the mod is progressing quickly towards the public beta release there is a lot to cover in this months status report. We will have a look at the updated lighting, the new level crossings and the overhaul of the rail network mechanics. Additionally, there is some multiplayer cargo and human transportation footage at the end for you to enjoy.
Let’s start it off with the update to the lighting. The previous iteration was okay but it felt like it was missing some details. So the visuals are now updated to be brighter and more realistic by taking the texture into account. Additionally, the lights are now synchronized in a multiplayer environment.
The improved lighting system was also used for the newly added level crossings. As featured in the initial mod teaser, the level crossings that are scattered around the map are now fully interactable. Players can open and close them at any time. Automatic closing, when a train is nearby, is on the todo list for a future version.
You can see a video of it in action here:
Besides the level crossings, the rail network got another addition – manual turnout controls!
By interacting with the turnout control you can decide the direction the train goes. Previous development versions featured direction control from inside the driver cabin, however, this concept was too overpowered for the normal survival gameplay as the driver was never forced to get out of his cabin. Now you need some friends who can prepare the track for you or you to take the risk and step foot outside ... Pay attention though, because other players might have sabotaged the control and you need time to fix it up again, giving them the opportunity to have some friendly conversation with you.
While it is not easy to spot it at first sight, a well-trained eye with the help some range optics can help you to spot a little pin that is present when the control has been sabotaged.
You can see a full demonstration of the mechanics here:
To sabotage and repair the turnout controls you need to use a wrench of some kind. So train conductors should always carry one!Feedback regarding material and item requirements and the time the interactions take will be gathered during the beta phase to make sure this mechanic is balanced.Having a central control station that is also able to switch directions for all turnout controls on the map might also be something that, depending on feedback, could be added in a future version.
As mentioned in the last status report the train is able to transport passengers and cargo. But instead of only images, you can now have a look at this feature in this demonstration: