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.
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.