List of updates planned for Diesel Railcar Simulator (updated 21 Mar 2021). Please read the up-to-date plan from Steam (no Steam account required). This is a copy of the Steam post for those who can't access the Steam community domain. Feel free to post comments here!
Next up: user interface update part 4
- Input/Controls improvements
The next two major updates
Each update will take approximately 4-8 months to complete.
- Better terrain textures
- Fields and dense forests
- Grass and bushes
- More realistic roads
- Better fences
- More house/building models
- More realistic and detailed track models
- Uneven track 3d-models to match rails to wheel movement
- Improved and more flexible bridge models
- Better station platforms, buildings and props
- Water (streams, river, lakes, seashore)
- Career mode
- Steam leaderboards
- Steam achievements
- Improved scoring
- Chaining services to make multiple runs with the same train in one session
- Conventional tutorials
Later updates (wishlist)
There will be 3-4 large updates with each one adding features from one or more of the following categories, but there's no guarantee that all these features will be included in the final product:
- Signal lights
- Train headlights
- Cab and interior lights
- Scenery lighting
Prerequisite: Night lighting
- More realistic signal placement
- More signal models
- Custom signal systems
- Workshop support for custom signal systems
- Diesel-electric traction
- Proper run ending procedure: stopping engines, applying handbrake, removing key etc.
- Train failures
Prerequisite: physics update
- Weather effects
- Automatically generated four seasons
Real-world route support
- Digital elevation map support for route editor
- OpenStreetMap support for route editor
- Other necessary changes to route editor
Prerequisites: physics update, real-world route support
- Routes and trains from other countries like USA and Germany
- RailDriver controller support
- Virtual Reality support
- TrackIR support
- Reducing train spawning and destroying to make them as persistent on the rail network as possible
- Loading and unloading freight wagons
- Request stops (on-demand passenger stops)
- Improved exterior/interior models and textures
- Animated vehicle ends: buffers, couplings, hoses, gangways etc.
- Dynamic destination boards, route indicators, unit numbers etc.
- Moving passengers, people inside the trains
- Pedestrians, animals, cars etc.
- Animated crossing gates
In last update (coming out of Early Access)
- GeForce Now support (or some other cloud gaming service)
- Selecting which gauges to display on HUD and other GUI improvements
- Turntables and traverses
When evaluating the importance of a new feature and its priority, the following criteria should be considered:
- How many people will notice it? Everyone -> high priority / Few -> low priority
- Does it make the simulator more interesting or exciting? Yes -> high priority / No -> low priority
- Does it make the game more accessible? Yes -> high priority / No -> low priority
- Is it easy and quick to implement? Yes -> high priority / No -> low priority
- Is it easy to use in marketing? Yes -> high priority / No -> low priority
The resulting priority is a combination of these (and other) factors, but not defined in any rigorous way. The same criteria can also be used for prioritising bug fixes (where applicable).
Features that will not be included
The main reason for omitting some features is to keep the scope of the project suitable for a single developer. If development takes too long, the sim might already be outdated by the time it's completed.
Why not? The sim has not been designed with multiplayer in mind. It would be possible to run a timetable with other players, but it probably just wouldn't be that fun. There are other train sims that do this type of multiplayer well.
Walking outside the train.
Why not? The sim has not been designed with "first person shooter" mechanics in mind. One of the design principles of DRS is that the AI must work by pressing virtual keys, just like the human player does. Making the AI drivers walk outside is difficult and lots of work to implement.
Detailed simulation of signalman's or guard's duties.
Why not? DRS is primarily designed to be a driving simulator. Detailed simulation of other duties would also require the ability to walk outside.
Detailed steam and electric locomotive physics.
Why not? Simulating fire, steam and electrical components to the same standard as the current diesel transmission is challenging and loads of work. The name of the sim is also ill-suited and it's too late to change it. This doesn't mean that steam or electric trains cannot be done. It just means that the physics for them will have to be simplified.
Native Linux support.
Why not? Accounts from other indie developers suggest that the market is small and fragmented, and generally not worth the effort. The state of graphics drivers is also questionable, which can lead to frequent crashes on a relatively high number of systems. You may be able to get the game running on Linux by using Steam Proton or Wine. Cloud gaming like GeForce Now may also become an option in the future.
Native Mac support.
Why not? Mostly for the same reasons as Linux. You may be able to get the game running on Mac by using Wine or other similar software. Cloud gaming like GeForce Now may also become an option in the future.
Brightness/gamma/contrast or other colour settings.
Why not? You can use third party programs like Reshade instead.