Various track speeds is a feature that has been in Rail Route from the very beginning. You can unlock the speed upgrade through Research and there are currently four options available – 40, 70, 120 and 200 km/h. Tracks can be upgraded through ‘Buy / Track upgrade’ option. But that approach brought us some difficulties we needed to address.
The first problem is the building workflow. You build the basic track (40 km/h) and then you need to upgrade it to higher speed. It can work in the early game but later became a burden. So we decided the newly built track had the highest researched speed. But that led to another obstacle: while upgrading a track costed money, destroying and building the track had zero net cost. So we removed the upgrading cost. But that was a temporal solution.
Another problem is the user experience. Some smaller tracks are really hard to upgrade. You can see it on the following screenshot
Track Speeds Building
The first important thing is that we allow to build tracks with all researched speeds. So tracks have different colors in the build overlay. That brings more complexity but also more diversity to the player. To take advantage of this change we also make the slowest track much cheaper.
That enables the player to expand faster and also removes the paywall to reach nearby stations at the beginning of the free game mode. On the other hand the fastest track is much more expensive introducing a “money sink” for the end game as well.
No major change is without the side effect: it is not possible to join tracks or to continue building a track with different speed without a switch (3+ tracks connected)… Maybe we could introduce an auto-upgrade of the connecting track to higher speed if applicable – what do you think?
There’s a new track upgrade tool that enables upgrading / downgrading track speed easily in the Build mode. Adjusted track colliders in this mode enable you to select even the shortest track easily. Left click for upgrade, right click for downgrade. Our principle of 100% reclaimable resources applies for it as well.
More to come
All this changes will be available in the next public alpha preview of our dispatcher simulator game! Join our community and don’t miss the next update! You can expect reworked contract and research system in the near future.