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Chris Sawyer's Locomotion Demo

A demo for Chris Sawyer's Locomotion is now available, providing a chance to take the upcoming transportation-themed strategy game for a test-drive. There are two editions of the demo, a full version that weighs in at about 124 MB, available on FilePlanet (registration required) and mirrored on 3D Gamers, Computer Games Online, and Gamer's Hell; and an Atkins-friendly version, which is nearly 100 MB smaller thanks to the omission of the demo's music, available on FilePlanet (registration required), mirrored on 3D Gamers.

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30. Graphics and Interface Sep 7, 2004, 12:17 cromozone
 
Graphics don't make a game good. Take for example Theme Park, and Theme Park World. Theme Park, which although has incredibly dated graphics, plays very well, and could provide hours of fun, while Theme Park World, which looked comparatively good, played very badly (in my oppinion) and pushed the overall game experience down below that of the original Theme Park.

Think about what would happen to Locomotion if you applied a projected 3D view to things. Does anyone remember Transport Tycoon on the original Playstation? It had a projected 3D view. It was terrible. Unplayable even. Thank goodness you could switch back to the normal isometric view that any Transport Tycoon fan knows and loves. With a true 3D view, Locomotion would gain detail for things in the foreground, but lose detail everywhere else, so you'd end up scrolling around the world so much more just to see what was going on. Building things would be nigh on impossible. With the isometric view, and especially the new rotatable variant, construction is peasy. You can see everything you need to see in just one screen. Plus, there is so much detail in the isometric view it's crazy. All you have to do is look. Route indicators in the signals. Changing points in railway junctions, brake lights on vehicles; things like that make a difference. The added touches.

 
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29. Re: No subject Sep 6, 2004, 03:20 Osp
 
>>And, while I don't have a problem with bad graphics, interfaces that are slow, clunky, and tedious to use will rapidly turn me off to what may be an otherwise enjoyable game.

I certainly hope you're not referring to Locomotion because it (like TT and RCT) has a terrific interface, IMO. Chris Sawyer pioneered the "window" style interface that I think every city-building game should employ. When I first played Transport Tycoon, the concept and the gameplay were great, but what really made me sit back and go "wow" was the interface.

In Locomotion, you can click on any vehicle and up pops a tabbed window that can be resized and moved around the screen, and which contains a real-time view of its location, as well as every possible thing about it that you can tweak.

Having a terrific interface goes a long way in my book to making up for outdated graphics. When I go back and play the old games that I used to love, I find it much, much harder to get over the interface than the graphics. For example, I tried to play Dune 2 again recently and simply could not get over how archaic (compared to modern RTSes) the interface was... but I digress.

Locomotion has gameplay and interface going for it, even if not graphics. I'll take those 2 out of 3, anydays, especially since, nowadays, most games have the two latter (interface and graphics) and not the former.

 
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28. Re: No subject Sep 5, 2004, 19:49 Ventry
 
"we're hardcore gamers"

Ah yes! The "hardcore gamer" must have a bigger "E-penis" than everyone else. With each "next gen" game that comes through they will happily spend $500+ so they can stick out there chests and say "I can run this game faster than you" I'd rather not have to pay $500+ for each "next gen" game that comes out. Give me substance over GFX anytime that way the game only costs me the price of said game.

 
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27. Re: No subject Sep 5, 2004, 16:32 Beamer
 
I assumed the typical "Top 10" games of any given month would prove who the average gamer is.


More often than not it's full of budget titles and games these boards despise. The Sims, The Matrix, and Myst have all dominated it, but most people here claim they'd rather die than go near them.

We're not average gamers, we're hardcore gamers.

 
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26. Re: No subject Sep 5, 2004, 05:13 Exitium
 
Stop whining about the graphics. The gameplay more than makes up for it.

 
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25. Re: No subject Sep 5, 2004, 05:06 Evil Timmy
 
While graphics aren't the most important part of a game, they're not something to be completely ignored, either. Better quality graphics and interface means being able to do what you want without having to go through a bunch of menus or zoom way in to see what something is, or wait for a tooltip to pop up. And, while I don't have a problem with bad graphics, interfaces that are slow, clunky, and tedious to use will rapidly turn me off to what may be an otherwise enjoyable game.

Remember also that most sales come from people walking into a retailer and looking at the box. Two games that seem similar from the promotional blurb will quickly be compared based on the little boxshots, and if one game looks (relatively) like ass even in a small space like that, it's going to look worse on-screen. And, while 3d is not a cure-all, decent 3d allows you to be more flexible with visual status, the entire interface, and how information is presented in the game view, a lot more so than having to draw static or animated 2d sprites.
This comment was edited on Sep 5, 05:07.
 
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24. No subject Sep 5, 2004, 03:50 Xero
 
Ok nobody really got what I said right. I was saying how console gamers look at us PC gamers. All the console games that come out look decent or real nice, and then they look at our games and unless it's the cutting edge, they look like 10yr old crap. They believe they are on the greatest hardware yet they don't realize how much more advance the PC hardware really is and the great games out there that we have.

"This my finest sword. If in your journey you should encounter God, God will be cut." -Hattori Hanzo ~Kill Bill
 
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23. Re: Good Sep 5, 2004, 03:21 Ray Singh
 
I actually think people who end their posts with "kthxbai" hurt the overall PC industry more than commercial games with cutting edge graphics of 10 years ago do.


I was correcting his attempt at certain verbiage, but thanks fruitcake for your comments.

 
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22. Re: oy Sep 5, 2004, 00:13 Proudfoot
 
It's time limited probably due to having only a few art items in use. You wouldn't be able to upgrade to new engines/buses/trucks for example, so rather than change code to not show them, limit the time so there's now way you can get to 1950 and get the streamlined steam engines...

 
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21. Re: Music Sep 4, 2004, 23:09 John
 
playing is limited to 15 minutes only

15 mins of gameplay in 24mb with 100mb of music?? Something is wrong with that.

 
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20. Re: oy Sep 4, 2004, 22:52 Proudfoot
 
Also, keep in mind that the game isn't just "Designed by" Chris Sawyer, he IS the game designer. He out-sources only a handful of things to others, but he does the design, coding, production, art, etc.

He's not just a stiff standing around going 'damn i'm good' like some Texas guys do...

 
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19. Re: Good Sep 4, 2004, 22:33 Bunko
 
Unlike most Walmart games, though, Chris Sawyer's ooze with thought, ingenuity and quality.
Ergo, not a Walmart game. ;p


We bury our sins here, Dave. We wash them clean.
 
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18. Re: Good Sep 4, 2004, 21:37 Moonbender
 
As we often have to mention here - the average gamer isn't concerned with the next big thing in graphics. The average gamer doesn't even know what brand 3D card he has.

I don't see that mentioned very often. (And you didn't care to back it up with any evidence.) Sure, the average computer user doesn't care. But the average gamer? In the end I suppose it comes down to a definition of the word "gamer".

In fact, they'll appeal to almost anyone that values gameplay over graphics, which should be everyone, but people here still like glamour over substance.

Whatever. I don't seperate the two as some people seem to. Graphics are a vital part of the overall game experience. As is the user interface. The game lacks in both areas. It's really a whole different world in both regards compared to The Sims.

Of course this is all totally irrelevant to whether it'll sell extremely well. I doubt it will, but not because of the terrible graphics or the UI, I just don't think it'll appeal to the same masses that buy The Sims and Deer Hunter.

 
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17. Re: Good Sep 4, 2004, 21:02 Beamer
 
Roller Coaster Tycoon 2 looked like ass and sold millions.


The Sims hasn't looked good in years and its expansions still sell millions.

Deer Hunter never looked good and sold millions.



These games are Walmart games - made to appeal to a diverse audience with diverse systems. Unlike most Walmart games, though, Chris Sawyer's ooze with thought, ingenuity and quality.

As we often have to mention here - the average gamer isn't concerned with the next big thing in graphics. The average gamer doesn't even know what brand 3D card he has.

Chris Sawyer's games will appeal to them. In fact, they'll appeal to almost anyone that values gameplay over graphics, which should be everyone, but people here still like glamour over substance.




I still play my DOS games more than most recent games. X-COM and Civilization own.

 
-------------
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http://www.deathwishinc.com
http://www.hydrahead.com
http://www.painkillerrecords.com
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16. Good Sep 4, 2004, 20:50 Osp
 
I'm a big fan of Transport Tycoon and haven't played it much since the 90s. Because of that, I don't really mind the graphics or the nearly identical gameplay. I haven't found any other game in the last 10 years that is quite like Transport Tycoon, so I'd be happy just to be playing the original again.

I like what I see of Locomotion so far. I'm particularly excited about the routing system that allows you to specify exactly where your buses and trucks will go and stop. This makes mundane buses and trucks a lot more controlled and fun to plan out. Clear effect areas when placing things like bus stations and details like people lining up at bus stops are also nice.

Even though the demo is limited to 15 minutes, I'm reassured enough to still buy it on Tuesday, as I was planning.

 
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15. *sigh* Sep 4, 2004, 19:59 Sonar
 
I've been a huge fan of Transport Tycoon.. I still play it even to this day..

however I was very unimpressed with Locomotion. I thought since its been 10 years that the game would look a little different, or it might be easier to build roads or routes. Alas, this is not so. I think it was WAY easier to build roads in Transport Tycoon, and I think the graphics are better on TTycoon also. This is a step backwards. Plus, 15 minutes isn't nearly enough time to do anything.

I was hoping for some sort of update, but I find that there isn't one here.

 
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14. No subject Sep 4, 2004, 19:49 Bunko
 
Everybody's doing a brand new dance now!
Come on baby, DO THE LOCOMOTION (DEMO)!



We bury our sins here, Dave. We wash them clean.
 
Who knows but that, on the lower frequencies, I speak for you?
http://citizenb.com/ - Now at v1.1
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13. Re: No subject Sep 4, 2004, 19:15 Moonbender
 
I actually think people who end their posts with "kthxbai" hurt the overall PC industry more than commercial games with cutting edge graphics of 10 years ago do.

 
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12. Re: No subject Sep 4, 2004, 19:05 Ray Singh
 
Ok, if I understood you correctly you are saying that games that don't have cutting edge graphics hurt the overall industry of PC gaming??

Perhaps you should resort to another orifice to speak out of next time, or at least switch that on/off switch for your noggin to On (ie the other direction)

kthxbai

 
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11. No subject Sep 4, 2004, 18:32 Xero
 
Ok, I obviously know there has to be something good about this if he's releasing it on an 8 year old engine. So he has great gameplay, ok then, though I don't think it's going to convince people that don't play a demo and see it in the stores with those screen shots that it's really good with the games out today. The gameplay may be great though it might be games like these that give console gamers the idea that PC games rather have crappy graphics over good gameplay. While thats true in most cases it also hurts the overall industry of the PC gaming. Maybe I'm taking this too far and talking outta my ass, I'll stop now,k,thanks, bye.

"This my finest sword. If in your journey you should encounter God, God will be cut." -Hattori Hanzo ~Kill Bill
 
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Currently playing: Skyrim
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