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Trainz 2009 has gone Gold!
Posted: 27th November 2008

The Gold Master disk has been created, tested and shipped off to the replicators. The build has also been uploaded to the digital download servers and so all systems are go.

Congratulations to the Trainz team for their efforts in making this the best ever release of Trainz. Whilst much of the focus is on the big new features, what will set TS2009 apart from other versions is the huge number of ‘little things” that will make your Trainz experience more enjoyable. We know we haven’t reached 100% perfection, but we also know that we're improving on this new TS2009 platform every day. Next week we begin external testing for Service Pack 1 which addresses most of the last remaining bugs and also adds some fairly significant improvements such as dual core optimizations. We will then move our efforts onto Trainz Engineers Edition where we will be adding even more Driver-specific features and improvements.

Thank-you also to the many beta testers who participated in Beta 1 and Beta 2. You provided us with some great bug reports and feature requests and some very interesting feedback. Whilst we weren't able to solve every problem you identified in time for release, we are preparing a list of known issues of things that have been or will be fixed for Service Pack 1. This list will be posted on the TrainzDev website shortly.

The most important news relates to getting your hands on the new release. Emails are being sent to everyone who ordered the digital download. This includes your new Serial Number and instructions for downloading. We strongly recommend that you install a Download Manager to help you download the 2.5GB file. Not only does this help you resume the download if your conncetion fails, but it can also increase your download speed dramatically. In tests we have downloaded the full build in under 6 minutes! We are using a new distributed server system that, in theory, will provide practically unlimited bandwidth. (Of course our first true test of that system is about to happen).

For those who ordered the DVD version, we expect to have all the stock in the hands of the distributors in the US, UK, Europe and Australia in around 3 weeks time. We will announce online when the stock has arrived at the distributors and you will be individually notified via your Planet Auran account when your order has been shipped. Because every DVD has a unique serial number if you wish to also download the digital version you will need to place a separate order.

By the time most of you are reading this notice, the first users of TS2009 will be giving their feedback. Having been involved in this community myself since its inception in 2000, I feel well qualified to give some tips for getting started with TS2009.

Tony’s Top Ten Trainz Tips for getting started:
  • Use a Download Manager (e.g. www.GetRight.com) to speed up downloading the full 2.6GB version.
  • Install TS2009 to a new directory (i.e. keep your previous installations plus you existing content separate from the new version).
  • Copy and paste your serial number to avoid entry errors and register your serial number with Planet Auran so it is kept in a nice safe place if you ever have to reinstall. (Tip: In Planet Auran, go to Order History and click on your Serial Number. This will open a new window. Click Submit to register.
  • Learn by reading and experimenting. TS2009 has many new features and does some things differently than previous versions. Read as much as you can about the new features and how to use them including:
    • the Manual (click on Manual on the Launcher). Either print the manual or uncheck the Fullscreen option in Options>Display Settings to have the Manual open in a separate window.
    • the Content Search tutorial HERE
    • the Trainz Online news pages (in-game if you are online)
    • the Importing Content Guide ( in the new TS2009 forums and also in the Trainz Online news)
    • the new TS2009 forums (and don’t forget to use the Search function to find what you are looking for)
  • Try some of the built-in routes before trying to import your own content. (A number of them are not yet localized so please choose one in your language).
  • Learn to be patient. Trainz and Content Manager are unlikely to hang (unless your virus checker decides to grab control). For example, Content Manager can take hours to import 1,000s of items from your old versions of Trainz. It prepares each item so that it will load quicker, consume less memory and therefore perform better in-game.
  • The first time you open Content Manager, wait 5-10 minutes before searching for Download Station items whilst the index is being built. (You can carry out other tasks whilst this is happening).
  • Remember that black and white TV shows are still seen in black and white on a colour TV. In other words, older Trainz content will look just like it did years ago when it was created. It will take time for higher resolution content to emerge. (Check out the SD40-2 and Auran Track TS2009 for a taste of things to come)
  • Report any bugs or problems at the new TS2009 User Forum and read the “Sticky” threads for lists of known issues and fixes.
  • Continue to support Auran to help ensure your Trainz experience continues to get better and better.
My last tip is probably the most important of all. It even gets a whole new paragraph of further explanation :) When giving your feedback on TS2009, please remember that Trainz is continually evolving. We listen to your feedback, invest in creating new versions and as a result you benefit from the new features. We have built a great community over the years and this time around we’re trying to make sure we do things better than we have in the past. We have created TrainDev.com to help the content creation community and we’ve had well over 1,000 people involved in Beta testing. We know we cannot please 100% of the people all of the time, and we know that we have a thousand things still on the list of what we’d like to do next – like making sure it doesn’t rain in tunnels and that there are no shadows in the rain :)

Put a little sunshine into your Trainz experience today and enjoy the ride into the future.

Tony







Auran
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