It is now possible to compile and run FreeTrain on Mac OS X. There are still problems so at the moment it’s only for the brave and to be found in our SVN repository.
Free & open source game of
rail & business simulation
There has been good progress over the last few weeks especially by Dave, and now there are instructions for setting up FreeTrain from SVN so that it ‘runs’ on Linux/Mono/SDL. The caveat is that it still has problems, but the situation is improving almost every day so if you feel brave - or even better if you think you could help out - have a go and see how far you get.
Also there has been some development, for the first time in a long time, in the Japanese version under the moniker ‘FreeTrain Railways’ which we will hopefully be able to pull into our version - or ideally bring the two development worlds together. Work has already begun on internationalizing the game (this project was originally an English-only translation) so soon we should be running in both English and Japanese so there is scope for consolidating development.
We have moved forums to here:
Unfortunately it was not possible to carry over the contents of the old forum due to the host charging for it. However we now have an total control over an ad free forum on Sourceforge. It’s phpBB3 and avatars and attachments work fine. I hope to see the old forum posters rejoining the new forum soon.
We are still looking for somebody to design a new logo and even skin the website / forum. We will probably install a wiki in the next few days as well in order to provide decent online documentation for FreeTrain.
Well after the timely intervention by Atsushi Eno, there’s even better news. The author of Tao.SDL and SdlDotNet, Dave Hudson, has stepped forward to help with getting FreeTrain up to speed on Mono and SDL. I could not think of a more appropriately qualified person and it bodes for an exciting future for FreeTrain.
If there is anybody who wants to help but can’t program, we also sorely need somebody to help with the administrative side of things, especially a webmaster. It looks like we may move away from Free Forums for several reasons, and the favoured path is to install a forum (phpBB or otherwise) here on our Sourceforge website, and possibly a wiki too for documentation. Also our Wordpress installation needs a bit of love. If you think you are up to the task then please either stop by in the forums or contact us on the developers mailing list.
With project members struggling on the port to SDL, I reached out to the Mono community and - credit to the open source process - got a very prompt contribution from Atsushi Eno. He provided a patch to make FreeTrain build against Mono/SDL. Whilst it doesn’t run yet, this will hopefully provide the catalyst for a complete port, which will mean FreeTrain will run on all major platforms as well as run better on modern Windows versions, and make it easier for people to contribute improvements in the future.
If you have any C#/SDL skill, please don’t hesitate to have a look.
FreeTrain father Kohsuke Kawaguchi also had kind words for our effort, “Just wanted to congratulate the team for making this happen. I’m very happy to see that the project has gotten its own life. Looking forward to seeing the future progresses.”
Steve posted an impressive screenshot in the forums showing his SDL port of FreeTrain. It’s obviously a WIP but it’s a giant leap in the right direction. He has had to implement his own widget library from scratch as well as porting all the drawing functions.
The forums suffered a setback when our forum host lost 3 weeks of data. Fortunately it was a relatively inactive period. We are assured it won’t happen again.
Here are some highlights of recent FreeTrain developments:
- Steven is tirelessly continuing his one-man project of porting the whole game to Mono+SDL. It is not a smooth ride, apparently, as the various technologies don’t play well together. Feel free to go give him a helping hand!
- Forum user Digitalicious has written a realism tutorial that gives some tips on how to add details to your city. It also contains the most gorgeous screenshot ever produced by the English-speaking FreeTrain community!
- I myself has translated the Hatsumelo or departure bell plugin uploaded by forum user djmaiku. This plugin contains hundreds of little melodies you can assign to your platforms, all recorded from real-life Japanese stations or trains. For all of you who have spent a longer time in Japan, this will be a nostalgia ride!
The PluginsExtra package has gotten a new release! The most important update is that all structure contributions have been converted to the ‘generic’ format, which means that you can use the much more usable and powerful ‘type tree‘ interface for most of your construction needs! To celebrate this occasion, I wrote a brief tutorial on how to use this function.
A few more train descriptions have also been translated to English, among other minor tweaks and fixes.
Follow the download link in the box here to the right to grab the new package. Unzip and copy the contents to your FreeTrain plugin directory.
You can now download the third FreeTrain SE release. Some plugins have been improved and updated, while several menu options and window labels have been tweaked for better consistency and accuracy. Last but not least, the serious bug that rendered the train trading dialog unusable has been resolved.
It has been reported that our second FreeTrain release has a serious bug that prevents you from buying or selling trains, leaving you with only the tree starting ones. Due to the seriousness of this bug, this release has been removed from the download page. We are working hard on fixing the issue and will make a new release ASAP.
For all of you who downloaded the second release, it is advised that you get the first release instead in the meantime. The difference between the two is minimal feature-wise.