Spoiler Warning: Railroad to Nowhere

By Shamus
on Apr 1, 2011
Filed under:
Spoiler Warning

It’s Spoiler Warning as you’ve never seen it before: In glorious 1D!


Link (YouTube)

Truly, one is the loneliest dimension.

This was unplanned. We’d already recorded our April Fool’s Day show. It was in the bag. Then I started telling the crew about Trainz 2010: Engineer’s Edition. Everyone insisted that we record another show for April Fool’s, featuring this game.

I want to be clear that while this game is hilariously bad, it’s not as bad as it looks…

Point: The game is not as slow as you see here. Normally, it runs at a nice 50 frames a second on my machine.

Counterpoint: Okay, that’s the same framerate that I get from Crysis 2, which looks about six graphics generations better.

Point: But still, the game is smoother than you see here. The extreme low framerate was an artifact of recording.

Counterpoint: Other games don’t have this problem.

Point: I made no effort to educate myself on the game. I just jumped in and started pushing buttons. The results would be not all that different if you tried the same thing with a flight simulator.

Counterpoint: Flight simulators involve travel in more than one dimension.

Point: It’s probably not fair to pick on games like this one which have niche appeal.

Counterpoint: It’s not fair to allege that this game has “appeal”, niche or not.

Point: Okay, you got me there.

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A Hundred!2016There are 136 comments here. I really hope you like reading.

From the Archives:

  1. silentStatic says:

    The video is marked private.

    I assume is a video, since otherwise it wouldn’t be a very good April Fools joke.

  2. Shamus says:

    Gah. This theme seemed funny when I hit preview, but now that I’ve plugged it in I can see it’s painfully unreadable.

    Let me find something else. Please bear with us.

  3. Hal says:

    I know the date and all, but seriously, did you have a bowl of “My Little Ponies” for breakfast?

  4. Robyrt says:

    This theme IS funny, until you try to read the text!

  5. Deadfast says:

    Shamus, you owe me a new pair of eyes. I will be contacting you with a mailing address shortly.

  6. X2-Eliah says:

    Hm. I saw the vid first on Rutskarn’s blog, but it was private, so I assumed he was trolling us again..

    So I left a neat little rant against this day as such.
    Erm. Anyway.

    Nice vid, truly horrible game. Nice to hear the puns.. and.. ‘trainer’? I literally groaned at that one.

    That said, I still maintain my opinion on April Fool’s Day.

  7. Vegedus says:

    Is the music from the game too? Quite the piece of elevator music, there.

  8. Blanko2 says:

    PIIIIIIIIIIIIINK
    this video was wonderfully funny :D
    why why why did you buy this game, shamus

  9. PurePareidolia says:

    I’m in awe of this. It’s like some sort of horrible tragedy that I simultaneously can’t bear to look, yet I cannot avert my eyes. If only there was some name for this phenomenon, like if it were described in terms of some massive, ongoing vehicular disaster somewhat resembling a series of high speed, massive dominoes.
    Sadly, such a term probably doesn’t exist.

    Also I think Railworks is the one you were thinking of – the one with all the expensive DLC on sale for $30 all the time. I once calculated how much the entire thing cost. It exceeded $8000US, and they’ve since added more. In fact I think the only place where you can buy more meaningless virtual garbage for such extreme prices is the TF2 store.
    Or the Minecraft store.

    • MadTinkerer says:

      To be fair to Railworks, which I do not own:

      1) Railworks expansions are officially licensed trains and actual replicas of stretches of country. This is one of the major appeals of Railworks: if you live in the area and are a model train enthusiast it will look exactly like what you see in real life. However, they do have to pay license fees for each expansion, hence why they have a bazillion expansions each separately priced.

      2) If you buy each one when they go on sale it works out to be much cheaper.

      3) Allegedly, if you do enjoy the genre, it is a pretty good example of the genre.

      4) Occasionally there’s a mega-sale where you can grab half or more of the expansions for a much cheaper price. Yeah, it still doesn’t quite get down to the $60-ish price range non-train-enthusiasts are used to paying for games, but bear in mind point #1 again, as well as the fact that $60 games are getting shorter and smaller but if you buy a whole bunch of railworks expansions you’re getting a decent chunk of an entire real world countryside.

      So yeah, I do see the appeal, even though it’s a genre I don’t care about.

      • PurePareidolia says:

        Yes, I see how licensing fees might have that effect, On the other hand, I’m just not willing to be fair to Railworks.

        And why the hell are train manufacturers charging so much in licensing fees anyway? Do they really care THAT much?

      • Peter H. Coffin says:

        I am one of the people that enjoys the genre, and yes, it is an EXCELLENT example of the type. Railworks was built by the folks from Kuju Studios who were the guts behind the venerable Microsoft Train Simulator a decade ago. It is Serius Biddniss. Trainz is more of a Lionel version of the thing; there’s a lot of superficial resemblance but it just doesn’t work the same way, there’s rather more emphasis on “just go have fun”, and it’s much more okay if the thing breaks in interesting and amusing ways.

        • Josh R says:

          As a curious third party – I’ve always assumed that Train Simulators were there to become a digital version of a model train village, and as such were comparatively much cheaper than finding the space, the little bits, putting hundreds of hours in to build the things, with the same payoff at the end, and as such could be said to be fairly priced.
          (not considering that making the village is half the fun of the train set, that is, though I assume they have a level editor in railworks)

          Just like when a Warhammer fanatic spends twenty pounds on one model, those inside the profession understand, those on the outside sit there shouting WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU SPENDING YOUR MONEY ON

        • Someone says:

          Ah yes, Microsoft Train Simulator. Is Railworks nearly as good? If it is, I have $8000 to save.

        • Ben Munson says:

          I actually worked at Kuju on one in that Rail Sim series. I never saw the appeal myself, but apparently there is a huge market for train driving games, people like collecting the different things, and usually they are the kind of people with a lot of disposable income.

        • Peter H. Coffin says:

          Hello Past Me,

          From this point, you should probably know that this game, now renamed Train Simulator, is preparing its 2016 free upgrade (after nearly annual free upgrades all the time previously) and currently offers 235 hunks of DLC, in the form of routes, trainsets & locomotives and you own 90 of them. You didn’t buy all of them full price, there were packages that contained 10+ sometimes and some came “free” when they rolled some content into DLC that came bundled and replaced it with other things, but that’s still a lot. It’s managed to hold your attention enough to play a couple of times a month for FIVE YEARS now…

    • Friend of Dragons says:

      “It’s like some sort of horrible tragedy that I simultaneously can’t bear to look, yet I cannot avert my eyes. ”
      Like watching a train wreck, in other words.

    • Veloxyll says:

      I think they’ve made a compilation pack which is only like $1000. During one of their sales the whole lot was only $200! Either way it’s still cheaper than a Warhammer (40k) army. Or an actual trainset.

    • Brylian says:

      The game is quite the trainwreck.

  10. Nyaz says:

    Wait, you have ANOTHER April Fools’ Day show? I want to see that as well now…

    • Alexander The 1st says:

      Indeed.

      Also, how much did this game cost? Please tell me they paid you to play this game. Just…wow. This reminded me of one of those wii shovelware games with no collision detection for even a bridge. I can’t find the video anymore, but essentially, there’s this bridge over this trench, and you truck sticks to the contour of the trench, even when going over the trench.

      And I agree with Rutskarn; if your game is literally on rails, you have NO excuse to have any bugs.

    • krellen says:

      I predict that the other show was them playing Halo, and having nothing but praise for it.

  11. HerrSunk says:

    This new theme is both hilarious and sad. Hilarious because, duh, its off the rails, brah! Sad because you know that the majority of blogs out in the great Overb(l)og looks exactly like this. Shamus has spoiled his readers with originality. Hope he’s happy.

    I can just see completely new readers/train aficionados coming across this site today and going “Oooh a blog about trains – I love trains!” and then finding out the cold, hard truth.

  12. Abnaxis says:

    I really, really, really wish there was some overlap between the people who frequent this site and the audience for this game. I look at it, and it just doesn’t add up–how can people be spending so much money on so little quality? It just has to have some appeal beyond it being a niche product. It has to…

    • Zukhramm says:

      Note that this game is not the one with the massive amount of DLC so people are probably not spending very much money on it. Railworks 2, the expansive one I would assume is of higher quality than this thing.

  13. X2-Eliah says:

    On the other hand, this new train-thing might not be so bad. I mean, Steampunk is all the rage right now, innit?

  14. nawyria says:

    The archives section on the right side, IT HURTS OUR EYES!! You cruel cruel April Fool’s Day!

  15. Robyrt says:

    Fortunately, the guys charging $200 on Steam are Railworks, a competitor who is at least using a modern game engine.

  16. Vect says:

    This is one “You’re Winner” away from being Big Rigs with trains.

  17. Matthias says:

    Did I miss it or was there really no pun about the plot of the game being absolutely linear without any meaningful player choices at all?

  18. Grudgeal says:

    Geez. I knew this group hated railroading, but this is just ridiculous.

  19. ccesarano says:

    What’s the point of changing everything around for April Fool’s Day if you’re going to tell everyone that you’re pranking them?

    • Mumbles says:

      Are you the only person alive who didn’t know about April Fool’s Day until just now? :O

      • ccesarano says:

        Not at all, but I did have to warn some friends that the new Starcraft for Xbox Kinect trailer was, well, an April Fool’s joke.

        I mean, it’s a trailer from Blizzard on April 1st. This is like Christmas for them. In fact, that it is snowing in South Jersey right now must be God’s way of saying this should no longer be April Fools but Blizzard Hoax Day. Or something.

        I just figured part of the gag was to play it straight faced.

        • Audacity says:

          Blizzard is based in Jersey!? All that money and they live and work in Jersey?!

          I thought they’d have built themselves a tropical island fortress or something by now, or at least left NJ.

          No offense to any New Jersey-ians.

          • Irridium says:

            Actually they’re in California. I think. Apparently they have HUGE tracts of land that they built buildings on. If I was a paranoid person on the internet, I’d say it is a compound where you go to get hired, then never return.

        • Mumbles says:

          Well, we are the Spoiler Warning crew.

    • X2-Eliah says:

      It’s the only way to not absolutely embarrass yourself.. If you really hope to prank somebody on the internet on April fool’s day, well, you’re the fool. Being upfront about it at least lets you save your face while slightly amusing the readers.

      That said, April Fool’s Day is still the most foolish and stupidest non-political/war thing that is happening in this society, on the internet or not.

      • Grudgeal says:

        Probably better add ‘non-religious’ to that list for safety’s sake.

      • Daemian Lucifer says:

        You overestimate the intelligence of the internet.Even at 23:59 on 1. april there still are people all around the world being pranked on the internet.And not just being pranked,but leaving hateful comments about the new content of their favourite sites.

    • krellen says:

      The point is that April Fool’s Day is stupid, and telling us upfront means we don’t hold it against you (as much).

      The only day I hate more than April 1st is September 19th.

      • Daemian Lucifer says:

        L0lz d0nt b3 suc 4 grinch n00b!1

        W4t?I n33d n0 stiking h0llyd4i t0 sp34k lik3z pir4t3 l0lz!!!eleventyone!!

      • X2-Eliah says:

        Idk.. I’d say aprilfoolsday is worse than 19th september. I mean, barely anyone really notices 19th, it’s like the pancake day – yeah, sure it’s there, but who gives a fly. Aprilfools, on the other hand, is when everyone and especially their siblings will try to out-stupid each other by doing something very remotely funny in a crude way..

        What I mean is both of those days are terrible, but the popularity of aprilfoolsday makes it insufferable.

  20. Sekundaari says:

    You were going rather easy on this plot of a railroad.

    Actually I’m intrigued. Not of the game itself, you know, but how… did you get this? I don’t think you were like “Oh, a bunch of non-maglev, slow trains with no physics, I can’t see how this could not be cool!” with your money. Much more likely but very disturbingly, did the publisher give this to you and seriously think you’d actually praise it?

    Also, I think a nighttime, Pixel City -like thing of a small town and its busy station could be cool. Especially with maglevs…

  21. Aldowyn says:

    Josh, you are a HYPOCRITE. This entire video has been a “trainwreck”?

    For shame, Josh, for shame!

  22. Daemian Lucifer says:

    Damn,first farm simulator,now this?If I watch one more game like this Ill literally explode from laughter.

    As for the next season of spoiler warning:Can you guys make the episodes more evenly spread throughout the week?If youll keep the 4 episodes per week format,then can you air them on monday,wednesday,friday and sunday?

  23. Eleion says:

    It seared my eyes and was hard to read, but I think the pink had something going for it.

    I’m proud to be among those who witnessed it, at least.

  24. StranaMente says:

    Funny thing is, for a moment, with that title, I was sure they were going to talk about The Arrival dlc for Mass Effect 2. Which would have fit perfectly.
    And what is this pink you’re talking about?

  25. Irridium says:

    Game seems too railroad-y for my tastes.
    Also, site layout makes my eyes want to murder.

    Also again, when I was a wee laddy, I was so in to trains it was sad. Trains and dinosaurs. I studied the hell out of them. If you happen to travel back in time and meet me when I’m 8, I could tell you every species of dinosaur and every make of train. And no, I’m not joking. I studied the hell out of trains and dinosaurs.

    Also for a third time, this reminds me of that one episode of Civil Protection.

    Also a fourth time, this also reminds me of Big Rigs.

  26. Zak McKracken says:

    Ohhhhh booooooy…. *wince*
    this was easily the most easily recognizable april fool’s joke. Yet it was also the most funny thing in a while on this site, I’ve just spent a minute laughing.

    Thank you!

    … I do wonder, though, how this game is actually meant to be played …

  27. Timelady says:

    …You know, I would totally watch an entire season based on this game… *is sort of scaring herself*

    • Bobby Archer says:

      I’m totally with you on this one. In a way, this game’s far better than some of the other ones they’ve done on Spoiler Warning: sure, it’s a horrible mess of a railroad, but at least in this one you can apparently go off the rails (and onto the street).

      • Alexander The 1st says:

        Well it may be just as railroady as Bioshock’s introduction and Mass Effect 2 overall, but at least it doesn’t try and hide them – it puts them in plain sight.

        Then again, Shamus seemed to be inheriting Josh’s capability to find bugs, desperately doing anything to get off the rails.

        This would be a fun season indeed.

  28. somebodys_kid says:

    Was I the only one who not only had difficulty adjusting to this theme, but also could not even navigate the page properly?
    I feel useless….

  29. Hitch says:

    You know, after reading DM of the Rings and the original Twentysided Tale I would have thought you’d be better at this.

    No, who am I kidding, you’re no better at keeping actual locomotives on tracks than you were your players.

  30. Alex says:

    Something I noticed on the header image up there:

    The face on the gray train cart with the coal. It’s connected to another gray cart full of coal. Does the other cart have a face in Thomas the Tank Engine’s anthropomorphic living train universe?

    And what happens when Thomas needs to deliver those two shipments of coal to a nearby town? That cart is going to have to put its face up to Thomas’ uh… “caboose” and-

    OH GOD, HUMAN CENTIPEDE D:

  31. thebigJ_A says:

    “Trainz”, Rutskarn? Don’t you mean “Railworks”?

    I’ve never ever seen Trainz on Steam, but every damn day I see some crap expansion for Railworks 2. Like today for instance.

    Today, you can get the wonderful “Edinburgh-Glasgow Route DLC” for the low sale price of just $31.99!! It’s “a recreation of the 46-mile line from Edinburgh Waverley to Glasgow Queen Street, via Falkirk High”. How exciting!

    Get your low-rent rip-off outta here!

    • Mincecraft says:

      The funny thing is, I could go on that route for real for about £10

      • SomeUnregPunk says:

        $1138.33 USD for all the DLC and the main game.

        I had no idea these games were driving simulators. I thought they were more like an computer version of building model trains but with a massive library of real trains and buildings.

  32. RTBones says:

    Oddly enough, there _is_ a niche for this genre, there are a wide variety of choices out there. Two games that fall within this arena are grand-daddies and spawned numerous titles within their own right. Railroad Tycoon (by Sid Meier, no less), and Transport Tycoon by Chris Sawyer. While not simulators in the style of Railworks, both games were popular in their day. Railroad Tycoon is now available for free, and Transport Tycoon (perhaps more correctly its successor, Transport Tycoon Deluxe), actually has an open source version that fixed many bugs.

    Rail on the genre all you like (and deservedly, the trainwreck you just “played”), but the games will still be atTracktive to some. :)

    • Veloxyll says:

      Both of those are more business/logistics simulators, rather than train driving sims though. Even if trains are the most OP transport method in TTD.

      Edit: also open Transport Tycoon deluxe has a lot of mods about so you can change the vehicles around a lot.

  33. Alexander The 1st says:

    I’m railing against the “Trains with a zee” option. Everyone knows it’s “Trains with a zed”.

  34. Alexander The 1st says:

    Perhaps you guys should’ve changed it from Spoiler Warning to Pun Warning.

  35. Adalore says:

    I have seen the light! Now in the future when there is nothing happens a PUN OFF must start, puns are created on the spot to be unleashed at each other.

    At the end of the video, the score can be totaled when ever this happens.
    The idea struck me like a bolt.

  36. Jennifer Snow says:

    Hah, Rutskarn was in rare form for that video. Hilarious.

  37. Specktre says:

    I really have nothing intelligent to add to the comments other than:

    XD

    and:

    You guys a evil.

  38. Railway Man says:

    Well, I just found the best blog on the internet.

    And I really like that Thomas the Tank Engine banner. Oh God the memories…

  39. Neil Polenske says:

    What is this, I don’t even…

  40. BeamSplashX says:

    I laughed my god-damned ass off.*

    *Ye tayle of how myne buttocks cahme to be damn’ed by the dyvyne is darke and twysted.

  41. orangeban says:

    Holy Moly people! Check Steam! On sail for only £20! Railworks 2 Edinburgh to Glasgow route!

  42. Deadpool says:

    a) I missed you guys. Even in April Fools form, this is fun.

    b) You missed the horrible pun opportunity: “It’s like a flight simulator… on rails…”

  43. Grag says:

    Spoiler Warning presents Trainz2 (Diesel Boogaloo)

    With Shamus Young – finding the edge of reality

    Josh Viel – hates this railroad plot

    Rutskarn – chooing with his valve open

    Mumbles – On a crazy train

    Music by Kevin Macleod- Really useful engine.

  44. Irridium says:

    Question, was Shamus playing this, or Josh? Pretty sure it was Shamus, based on the delayed reactions of others based on what was happening.

    • Shamus says:

      Yeah, I was playing. That’s a Spoiler Warning first!

      • Sekundaari says:

        Hopefully you don’t mind me asking this again, I’m curious: How did you get this game? Do people give games of this quality to be reviewed?

        • Irridium says:

          Who would be mean enough to give Shamus this game though?

          Wait, I bet it was EA.

          • James says:

            Bioware is giving people who bought DA2 Bioware Signature Edition, and i think the Black Emporium DLC a FREE!!!! copy of ME2 for PC, i say again FREE!!!!! copy of ME2 for PC, the game is good, sure shamus and co poked it full of holes but thats their….. um…. job?, anywho its FREE, and in my book thats aswome, i also think complaining about free things isn’t allowed.

  45. C_B says:

    There are competing train simulators, in fact, and the one that Rutskarn is thinking of is Railworks.

    Here’s a (NSFW, language, incipient madness) Let’s ‘Play’ of Railworks, in which the player slowly loses first his attention span, and then his mind. http://www.livestream.com/baronvonhealthfood/video?clipId=pla_4a30bc91-c207-4ea6-8901-d3ca90fcc53c

  46. Fat Tony says:

    Anyone else said that game suffers from servere railroading yet?

  47. Schottlander says:

    How about Vampire Bloodlines for the next season of spoiler warning?
    you know, the one with the terrible decrease in quality arround the half way point?

  48. James says:

    i guess the decision is allready done but a HL2 Lets play would be cool. long as hell and will remind people HL2E3 is late as hell but meh.

  49. Kdansky says:

    I have to say: This was the best spoiler warning ever.

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