The main work went into building a monorail for the player to use. This took longer than expected mainly due to the fact that the monorail had been modeled in Blender 2.6 and the export scripts had to be ported over first. Since B26 is entirely different than B249 in the Python API this took a lot of time to get working properly again.
The monorail is a City Internal Monorail System found in larger cities. There's also an intercity monorail but that one looks a bit different. The player can use it to get from one part of the city to the other. It's thus a sort of fast-traveling system just that the time runs with it. The original high resolution model can be found here (click on the image):
In this post you find also links to the high resolution versions of each individual rendered image. The in-game version you find below in the video. The total triangle count of the entire train with 3 wagons clocks in at around 200k.
To get this working a couple of features had to be implemented first. The monorail composes of various individual parts which can be assembled in the world editor like the wagon, interior, doors, seats, windows and so forth. So you can assemble your own monorail easily by stringing together as many wagons as you want and adding whatever props to it. For this to work Prop elements obtained two now properties "name" and "attachTo". Instead of an automatic (ID) based attachment system the game uses a pure property based attachment system. So each wagon has a unique "name" property and all props you want to attach to it has to have a matching "attachTo" property. You can use this for all kinds of objects descending from Prop. Once placed the game takes care of linking the entire train properly at run-time for you. This also includes the wagon connectors which deform if the connected wagons angle.
Another nice addition is the Track System. The game provides a bunch of Track Segments you can place in the world editor. They define track points allowing the game to automatically connect them to a fully functional track. Just place the track segments in the world editor touching each other and you get a fully functional track with no additional work. Place the monorail on the track and the game assigns it automatically to it. This kind of automatic assignment will be used more in the game later on to make map crafting faster.
Last but not least the monorail wagons have various dynamic texture panels all around. I placed some example ads on them including some which obviously will not be in the final game. Furthermore they have two monitors which can be used for dynamic stuff if required.
The travel screen will be added later on including monorail stations. So here a little test video showing a simple riding on the monorail without map transition (if ModDB doesn't show HD go here).
A Promotional Image has been created recently for those interested in showing their support. You can download the image from the deviant art post directly to show your support giving them to your friends or including them in your blog.
Some time during this year a new team member tried his hands on office props and such. I didn't mention this earlier since it has not been sure if he sticks. Since I didn't get any response anymore since a couple of month he's most probably MIA, a common problem. Nevertheless I managed to get some work in progress of the props before he vanished. Made a few of them game ready. More to come once the monorail is fully working with map transition as I want it.