A hunger for driving the machines is maybe as old as the real railway. While in the past this will was satisfied by railways models, today it can be pleased at the monitors of our PCs. There are a lot of railway simulators, some of them are great at fotorealistic graphics, the others just present the movement of trains schematically. Some are written as (especially economic) games, others try to catch all the aspects of railway's traffic. But there are still features, which has none of present simulators:
- The possibility of choosing an operating system. Practically all the simulators are developed for MS Windows, but people today often prefer different operating system. It is the question of legal possession too.
- The possibility of playing with more players via the network, what is a common option in a lot of present games. And in a railway simulator everybody want to operate their own trains, while the others can cooperate fe. as a station dispatcher.
- The possibility of improving the simulator. Indeed most of the programs make possible to create own objects (railway-tracks, trains, buildings), the base of programing engine is however closed, not only in comercial products, but in freewares as well. Each of present simulation software has a few very important features missing. Competitive product may has them, but it is missing any others. It concern not only the freewares, which are the result of work of individuals, but also the commercial products, which are developed in (sometimes big) teams. At the same time there are a lot of people in the world, who would like to help with simulator development, if it would be open. But such a project does not exist.
Therefore we started this project and we would like to invite all the people wanting to help.
The basic features of this project we set like this:
- Independance on a platform and the type of network.
- Open source GNU licence, what allowes a cooperational developement with all the possibilities of internet.
- Architecture of client - server. With the separation of server part the software gains some posibilities, like an easy implementation of the network. The distribution of particular tasks between server and clients allowes desired scalability in the matter of high performance. It approve itself especially in multiplayer game between a higher number of players. The communication between server and clients will be based on the standard and proofed methods of TCP/IP protocol.
- File structures in a XML format.
- Source code in a C language.
- Multithread architecture with the shared data structures, what allowes an easy extension (upgrade).
- An OpenGL (or higher) graphics, with an isometric view and possibility to rotate and zoom the scene. The bigger the scene is (more closely), the more details are displayed. Also the view from the cabin of a locomotive is planned.
- The railway's traffic as real as possible, including the transport controls (semaphores, switches).