Trainz Community Express Archives
As promised, this week's community express will largely be my report from the NMRA show that we attended in Ft Lauderdale, Florida. It was a fantastic experience seeing the overwhelming response to Trainz from both model rail enthusiasts and visiting general members of the public. Meeting the community guys who helped out with the demonstrations and promotion was also a highlight:
Amethyst put in a huge effort and the success of the show is very much due to their demonstration skills and enthusiasm - thanks guys! I should also mention our young friend Mark who also helped out at last year's NMRA show. Well, he was one of the first to turn up at the booth while Tony and I were setting up on Thursday and arrived each day to help out with the demonstrations. Hope to run into you again next year Mark :)
Ft Lauderdale was hot and sweaty, the walk each morning from the hotel to the convention centre an ordeal of heat and glare, and I certainly was not keen on leaving the air-conditioning of the centre until temperatures had fallen in the evening. However, after the heat-factor had dropped Tony and I had some enjoyable times visiting a few of the local restaurants and sampling a few Ales (we tended to stick to the Coronas actually). Also had a fun Pizza night on Saturday with the guys, kicking back with a few beers and watching Austin Powers. There were some very funny moments that I just cannot go into LOL!
The high points of the show for me included seeing the amazement on the faces of model train folk when the team powered up Surveyor and put it to work. A member of the crowd would often ask, can you put in a hill or a bridge or some trees, etc .... a few clicks later (and a that's all there is to it) and you would hear the wows and soon after the decision made to take a copy. Another highpoint was looking up while I was eating lunch to see Badtrash surrounded by 6 or 7 people all eager to purchase a copy at the same time. Another was the final day of the exhibition when Gumbytrain turned up with a new steam locomotive that he had downloaded from Download Station. When we got that baby up and running the appreciative sounds and drools from the crowd was something else. There was a lot of drool mop work that afternoon.
Thanks Bobo88 and team, that P10 is just awesome! Check out this forum thread for more details on this glorious SP3 ready engine.
The feedback from chatting with folks who stopped by the booth reinforced yet again that Trainz is a very strong product that meets what model rail enthusiasts are looking for. We also made a lot of contacts that will no doubt assist us enormously with growing the awareness of Trainz. It was amazing how many people had just not heard about Trainz at all; there is a lot of work for us to do there. I was also again convinced that one of the strongest ways of spreading interest in Trainz is by members of the Trainz community who share our enthusiasm for the potential it holds actually showing other Train enthusiasts just what it can do. As a test run for the Trainz on the Road program the show was a major success. The model train folk attending and displaying at the show were very welcoming. Many of them stopped by our booth for a chat and commented on the strong future Trainz has as part of the model rail hobby.
I just have to mention yet again the Lego Layout on display at the show. It was something else and a personal favourite of mine. Of course, a range of very extensive model layouts were on display to check-out; a spectacular N scale put together by a club that bitstorm has been affiliated with was a stand-out.
Overall, It was a fun and tiring few days in which Trainz yet again did it's thing of prompting drool responses. Thanks again Badtrash, Bitstorm, Mutey, Amethyst, Gumbytrain and Mark, without your enthusiastic support and energy it just would not have been as successful or fun :)
Here's a few pics from the show.
The big news this week is of course the release of the new Content Dispatcher, the SP3 PaintShed upgrade is also now available and the the unveiling of an updated Download Station that now incorporates new features to simplify the integration of third-party content into Trainz. The Service Pack 3 CDs have finally arrived and are on their way. The new version PaintShed CDs will also follow closely behind for those who are waiting for their orders. Thanks for your patience guys.
Next week, Community Express will return with the regular website in the spotlight, screenshotz and waffle thread of the week etc. I am also considering including a regular Trainz Creationz profile, this would involve a brief interview with a creator of outstanding Trainz third-party content (a locomotive, a layout, a series of skins, texture packs, buildings, etc.). So, if you would like to participate in this and raise the profile of your creations just drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Until next week .....