FreeTrain is a game by Kohsuke Kawaguchi, written in C# using Microsoft's .NET platform. It is inspired by the A-Train series of games which focuses on a combination of train and business simulation.
FreeTrain is the quintessential sandbox game. First of all, you start in a literal sandbox: a flat barren piece of land greets you when starting a new game. After that, it's completely up to you to create your world, including natural features such as mountains or lakes.
As the name of game implies, FreeTrain is all about trains. It could in some aspects be likened to those model railways you uncle keeps in the attic. Other modes of transport can and have been implemented through plugins. Nevertheless, trains remain at the core of the game.
While the business aspect of FreeTrain is well developed, it is unlike other superficially similar games completely non-competitive. You are the lone master of your world with no rivals to worry about. And even if you manage to go bankrupt, it doesn't mean the end of the game.
Another aspect of FreeTrain is that it is a Japanese game. The graphics of the game depicts a Japanese scenery with paddy fields, Japanese cedar, and even Osaka Castle. The currency is the yen and you'll be dealing with fictional Japanese companies such as Itsubishi or Toyoto.
FreeTrain was originally created by aforementioned Kohsuke Kawaguchi as Japanese-language game. Thanks to dedicated fans game was ported to English and is still being enhanced. You can view what's-done/to-do list here.
Download contains core game, plugins and tools. It does not contain original Japanese game.
One of the cool features of the game is the possibility to make a map out of whatever picture you have on your computer and wan to adapt to a train-simulator map. That means that the game enterprits the photo and makes it into a map. The second screenshot is an attempt at a map based on our logo here at CWF. None of us had some decent screenshots so if you have a big map set up, please take a screenshot of it and send it to us. :)
Railwaymodeler : I just rediscovered this. Got my hands on a Dell Inspiron 1721 laptop to replace my Toshiba Tecra M2. Got one 320 GB hard drive in this laptop, and there is a second internal SATA connector for a second hard drive (This laptop can have 2 internal hard drives plus the DVD drive!).
Now to see if I have any time for the game now.
Sadly, though, it does look as no new development has been done on FreeTrain for quite some time.
Chroelle : Could you make a screenie of it? I think if anyone in here could make a railroad that others would love to see in action it would be you.
Railwaymodeler : Yes, Chroelle, I do like it. A lot. It is styled like A-Train, and adds tons of new features that A-Train didn't have.
Actually, while I was up North this weekend, I was working on a FreeTrain map a bit.
Chroelle : This game has some very good tools for creating your own world to run trains in. Hower I will agree with DV that it seems a little unfinished. I really liked the fact that it gave me a Simutrans feel, with alot more freedom. Maybe a bit too much, but for somebody looking for this particular type of game this would rock their world... (Raillo?)
While the business aspect of FreeTrain is well developed, it is unlike other superficially similar games completely non-competitive. You are the lone master of your world with no rivals to worry about. And even if you manage to go bankrupt, it doesn’t mean the end of the game.
It seems there should be some currency involved...
Yes there is a day/night cycle. I was messing with this on the commuter train last week. Didn't seem finished, but I may not have all the data packs or something like that. Didn't seem to be any currency used, it was just in 'free build' type mode. Not that I'm complaining, of course!
eMTe : And there's season cycle too, as you can tell from third picture. ^^
Chroelle : If there indeed is a day/night cycle as it looks, then this is definently coming to a computer near me very soon. That feature would be Soooo coool.
Railwaymodeler : I heard about this on TT-forums.net, but didn't know it was this far along!
Charlie is a clone oppressed under the Empire of Conformity, who finally snaps and decides to try and live a life of his own. He sets off to meet his destiny, whatever it may be, and rather quickly he is entangled in a web of rebellion, space travel and dunes. Along the way Charlie's fate can change quickly as it is very possible to die in this game, and not always from doing deadly things. Most of the times you die you didn't see it coming at all.... (read more)