Wednesday, June 22, 2011

The time to finish a route is proportional to the size of the route... plus two kids

I am working with MadMike on how to collaborate on a route. I started thinking about this because routes are not getting smaller (the CC is 180+ miles of just mainline), and as they grow so does the length of time needed to complete them. One example of this is Richard Garber's Ohio Steel route. He had plans for a very large area, but in the interest of time cut it in half. When I started the CC I knew I was looking at at least a year to complete it, but with limited time (two to three hours a night), the need to change gears so I don't burn out, and then the universal variable that two boys introduces, it not clear if a year is long enough. I need to consider asking for help and so I will be looking into methods and for people to collaborate with me on my route. Of course all this work will not be just about my route. If I can pull this off I will help others out with their routes as well.

The difficulty behind collaborating on a route is the (file) size of the route since you need to share the source, and how the to mark out the sections so that two or more people don't land on the same tile and start editing it. I'll write about this in future posts as there are different tile types and thus a couple ways you can work around this.

To solve the file issue I've been trying out a few different cloud file syncing options, and right now it looks like Live Mesh Sync may do the trick... just barely. It uses SkyDrive but under a different context than your personal LiveID account. This differs from DropBox (which I also looked at) in a couple ways. First is the space you get for free: 5gb vs 2gb. Second is that Live Mesh will let you specify the folder you want to sync, whereas DropBox must have your files under its own folder hierarchy. The only down side to the Live Mesh SkyDrive is that the security options are much more limited than the standard SkyDrive. For instance there is no option to have the shared folder as 'read only', so who ever is sharing your files must be careful not to delete anything. I will continue looking for better solutions.

By the way, Richard is working on the second half of Ohio Steel, and you can visit his site at All Aboard Rails to see his progress. I suspect the second will just append files to the first release, and I will likely buy both when its available together.

On other news. I will have an official CC progress post probably by this weekend. The line between Davis and Suisun is just about done... and there is a story behind that and I will have pictures. I've also been breaking up my time with some QA work.

The first to land on my work bench is another interesting repaint coming from Dogmouse of RWA. Once again he will roll out some battle damaged GP9s. This time we will see SP repaints for both the Bloody Nose and Black Widow. They look great and will fit in well with areas that have industries dealing with chemicals. I think you'll like it.

The second is from Buzz also from RWA. Its almost ready to roll out (and from what I can tell) the first SOO F7 repaint. This is surprising to me given the popularity of the road name and the model. I found a few issues, but being this was his first model from Britkits it understandable. The kits were made for tweaking so its easy to get the XML a bit off and wreak havoc on the game. If you are interested in this repaint, I'll post its readiness here, and it should be available from the RWA download area.

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