assorted testing pictures

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It’s been about a year, maybe over, since I first announced the CK Holliday simulator, which now has become the Santa Fe & Disneyland Railroad simulator! I’d like to thank you guys for sticking around, especially if you came from my CK Holliday computer build blog over five years ago! 😀

Building something of this scale and detail takes a long time. And it’s taking a little bit longer now that I’m finding myself playing with the simulator more than working on it! Sorry! 😛 But that means the sim is definitely running well!

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(I love testing when the sun is setting. It’s great when I find the sweet spot on the throttle and the reverser hooked up just right: she coasts herself down the tracks, holding steady pace; the fire is holding well and the pressure is rock solid–just gotta remember to add water once in a while! The engine vibrates a little from the road, her brass glows in the low sun. Watch the sky turn deep purple, and listen to the soundtrack of the clickety clack, her soft huffing from the stack, the wind whooshing by the window, and the soft roar of the fire!)

They say that the hardest part of releasing a game is that you have to stop playing with it and actually release it…

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I’m working on polishing up some aspects, and then I’ll release a LONG, narrated video preview. This time, I promise I’ll actually run the engine!

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Meanwhile, enjoy these images right from the sim. They’re not in any particular order, and I don’t have much comments on these this time. As always, these are development images and features are incomplete.

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fire away!

Most people that know steam engines tend to describe them as a “living thing”. That’s because a steam engine is a very dynamic machine, and its crew has to know the engine intimately to keep her firing and running just right!

I recorded one of my “firing” tests, and thought it was a good opportunity to point out how the engine can “talk” to you… but only if you listen carefully! For instant, how can you tell if the atomizer pressure is just slightly too much? Or if the fuel in the firebox isn’t burning completely? Or if there’s too much draft?

You might miss all the signs if you don’t know what to look for. But once you know the engine, she’ll speak to you as clear as a bell!

There are many more signs, but I’ll save those to show later. For now, you can watch the short preview/demo of tending the fire below. I annotated the video to point out the engine’s signs. Here was a simple test of building a small fire (just enough to hold the pressure steady) to a larger fire to raise the boiler pressure.