A genre of game that I rather like, but don’t often get to explore new entries in is the train simulator genre. There’s something calming about many of them, which has driven me to play anything from Dovetail’s popular title Train Simulator to the more obscure ZDSimulator. Today, I discovered a newly-released train simulator called Diesel Railcar Simulator.
Diesel Railcar Simulator lets you drive a “manually-shifted BR diesel railcar” in Britain in the late 1960s. It currently includes railcar Classes 112, 122, 126, and 127, the last of which is does not have a gearbox. All are modeled realistically, including transmission simulations that model “individual parts,” detailed vacuum brake equipment simulation, and a true feeling of movement created by well-modeled suspension. The driver’s head even moves independently of the train’s driving cab.
Content includes more than 250 train services, which are said to last anywhere from 15 to 60 minutes. At the end of each service, the game will score you based on “your driving style and timekeeping.” Additionally, the game offers a highly customizable set of helpers for beginners, including “an optional key assistant [that] shows which keys to press, when, and why.”
The version that released today is only the beginning of what’s planned for Diesel Railcar Simulator. According to the development roadmap, “Version 2” is set to release next year or the year after with a route editor, train editor, “diesel-electric and fully electric [locomotives],” freight trains, United States and German routes, a day-night cycle, weather effects, and various improvements to audio and graphics. “Version 3” is set to follow in 2019 or 2020 with steam locomotives, passengers, seasons, and several other features. Further planned additions include local and networked multiplayer, signalling, and the ability to walk around the railways independently of your train.
Diesel Railcar Simulator is now available on itch.io for $14.99. Development of later versions seems to be dependent upon how well this initial version sells, but that is not explicitly stated.