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1001 Traintowns Long - 1.0 Release, with new levels and a few minor graphical tweaks!

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Hey everyone, and welcome to another first-time mod - this time for 3D Ultra Lionel's Train Town Deluxe, in a climate apocalypse-themed level pack! Read on to check out the six levels included in this legally distinct mod and the general development journey!

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1001 Traintowns Long - A Legally Distinct Love Letter

Though I just about wasn't born yet when Train Town released in 1999, I still caught it as a very, very little kid, at an age where this was one of the first games I actually remember playing. Playing it on and off in my infant years, I eventually lost touch with it and didn't think about the game until recently, when watching a certain climate-disaster series on Netflix reminded me there was this one train game I played decades ago.

So, as I do when cracking open the games of my childhood, I started with exploring how much modding could be done here, encouraged by Kalimando, a friend who also enjoyed the game as a kid. Initially, the answer was "not much" - but thanks to the godsend that is 90s game design, Train Town's level editor meant a mod was going to happen. Exploring further, I found a script by Shiny Quagsire which was able to extract the game's archives, but I wasn't able to do much once Iridium77 helped me get the script working so, unfortunately, that was a no go (but thanks to the pair of them for helping out anyway). In the end, the sum-up was six themed levels, a modified exe icon, and the one animated graphic whose encoding wasn't so archaic I had tools that could open it. It's not quite as impressive as some of my other first-time modding ventures, but there's some fun to be had here if this channels your nostalgia like it channelled mine.

1001 Traintowns Long - 1.0 Release


-New alarm clock cursor - one of the few things I could change was an animated icon used for when in loading screen. It's nothing crazy, but with these generally unmoddable games, anything that can be changed is a win!

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-New EXE icon - again, something small, and thanks to Resource Hacker, something technically possible with any game - but my philosophy with these mods is about changing whatever possible to push in the direction of a new experience in every possible way. That means firing on all cylinders - and thus, getting the exe personalised!

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-Six new levels - thanks to the marvel of 90s game design, where every game touted a level editor as a selling point and way to increase player engagement, Train Town's comparatively meagre modding ability is bolstered by the theoretically infinite ability to produce new levels, scenarios, and complications! Six new levels feature in 1001 Traintowns Long:

-Level 1 - Time's Up - Get the track fixed before the Great Winter comes and time runs out. Humanity's last chance is on you!

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-Level 2 - Low Vis - The track ahead is treacherous and the weather too foggy to see. You've been sent ahead to find it out.

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-Level 3 - Fuel Run - The Train is low on fuel, both oil and food. Find both and make your way to the pickup point.

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-Level 4 - 1001 - A calculation is needed to plan the reorganisation of the train's cars. Check out the simulation and solve the problem.

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-Level 5 - Passenger Drop - A few years into the journey, we made some tough calls. Drop off those who drew short straws and make it back to the mainline.

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-Bonus level - Eternal Journey - Experience a simulation of the train's journey on a smaller microcosm.

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With that ends another mini modding odyssey. Given how easy it is to formulate new levels for this game, I'm not closing the door on making more levels and releasing them if this, like Bionicle Heroes, blows up in popularity to more of an extent than expected. As with all of these mods, if even one person finds it entertaining, it was worth it - and that one person was me, so here's where I leave things off for now. Thanks for reading and if this was another nostalgia trip for you, let me know!

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