It’s late, so I’ll make this brief. The latest batch of plugins contained mostly road and rail related features, including rail signals and utility poles (called “electric poles” in the source; but that didn’t sound quite correct to me.) The largest plugin, however, was org.kohsuke.freetrain.soccerStadium that not only implements a huge very nice-looking stadium building, but also a pro league minigame! I can’t comment on how it plays, but you will be competing against heavy-weighters such as Tokyo Verdi, Katori Antlers, and Shohoku Bellmare. =)
Free & open source game of
rail & business simulation
This time I translated a large number of ‘light’ plugins. A bulldozer plugin that allows you to level terrain; a host of plugins that adds various foilage to the world: rivers, creeks, farmland, rice paddies, and forest; plus background music and train bell plugins.
The org.kohsuke.freetrain.land.forest plugin covers the world with cute trees common to the Japanese scenery: cedar, camphor, ginkgo, pine, maple, and beech. Trees change with the seasons, so each kind of tree has four ’skins’ for the four seasons. See this screenshot from the official site for a nice view of some trees in spring.
FreeTrain’s background music consists of a few MIDI tracks with a separate plugin for making use of original A-Train 4 music if you own the original game.
The train bells all have distinct onomatopoetic names in Japanese: piririri, porororo, puu, and pii. However, I could not think of good English translations, so I simply called them Bell 1-4. Listen to the wavs in org.kohsuke.freetrain.music.bell and let me know if you can come up with something better!
I might just make this a periodical corner. Translating the plugins gives me a good idea of what functions and features FreeTrain has. My latest commit translated another three plugins:
The first plugin, with the ambigous name ‘lib’ seems to add support for what is referred to as “dummy cars” as well as various road extras such as rail crossings, signals etc. The second one, ‘lib.halfvoxel’, allows you to create split voxels. I couldn’t figure out exactly what purpose this serves, but as soon someone gets the game running, I guess it will be evident. The third plugin called ‘land.477′ is a more straightforward one, making three kinds of commercial agricultural buildings available: large and medium farmhouses plus plastic greenhouses.
The translator speaking! After five days of intensive work, I have been able to complete the translation of the core game. Now, the truth is that the core of FreeTrain is quite bare-bones, containing little more than basic rail-laying functions (as well as a host of error messages.) The meat of this game is in the extensive range of plugins available. Translating the plugins is probably what will take some time and effort!
Now, I have done two plugins so far, both of them adding financial features to FreeTrain: financial.bank and financial.stockmarket. The bank plugin adds some banking services such as money lending and a savings account, while the stock market plugin allows you to invest in the stock of various (fictional) Japanese companies. What will you choose: a safe bank deposit with low interest rate, or investing your hard-earned money in the stock of growth machines such as Handa Motors, Matsushika Electric, or Itsubishi Heavy Industries. =)
Daniel Markstedt, known as dmarks/hima when contributing to Freeciv, has started the effort. He has posted patches to the freetrain-devel mailing list and subsequently will be adding them to FreeTrain SVN. It begins!
FreeTrain is a game by Kohsuke Kawaguchi, written in C# using Microsoft’s .NET platform. It is inspired by the A-Train series of games which focused on a combination of train and business simulation. Kohsuke wanted to translate it to English but never had the opportunity.
Currently the game is entirely in Japanese and the codebase is not localized at all. So there are two main initial tasks:
- Localize the code
- Translate the game into English
Beyond that there’s porting it to Linux (should be possible with Mono’s recent WinForms support work).
There are two main stumbling blocks from my perspective - I don’t speak Japanese nor do I know how to localize code. However I can learn the latter and am hopeful of finding help for the former.
In the meantime I have set up a Sourceforge project for FreeTrain and imported the code into SVN from the Japanese version of the project. There are mailing lists set up and I have obviously installed Wordpress (with a temporary train theme) which should hopefully make the project more accessible to those interested.
If you are interested please subscribe to a mailing list or two and speak up so we can make this game go!