Tube Sim Documentation

1. Tube Sim

1.1 - Introduction to Tube Sim.

Tube Sim is a game for Windows totally played in audio. You’re a driver on the London underground. You can undertake missions where a series of routes are pre-set for you or you can do scheduled runs where you pick the line, route and time.

You’re judged on your safety and customer service score over the last 10 routes you drive. You can also pick up badges and compare your score with other drivers on the online score board.

1.2 – Installation

Tube sim comes in a version with an installer or as a portable file which can be run on a memory stick or which can be used on systems where you are not able to install software.

To install the game Run the downloaded installer as an administrator or with an account with permission to install software.

Once installed Tube Sim can be run under an account with normal privileges.

1.3 - Running the Game

If you’re running the game from an installed version Tube Sim can be found in the all programs list under the N a Soft folder.

If you are running from a portable version then just run the file you downloaded. Once you run the game for the first time a file, ts.dat will be created in the same place as the executable is running from. Both the executable and this data file need to be kept together to maintain your score and achievements.

If you’re a screen reader user, you can leave your screen reader running if you wish before running the game.

2. – Playing Tube Sim

Tube Sim is all about driving a train underground London. Much of the information regarding routes and distance between stations was extracted from information provided by Transport for London, the organisation responsible for running the real London underground service.

The missions are designed to get harder and more complex as you move through them, this is to help you build confidence as you learn to drive a train.

2.1 Learning to Drive

The first mission is the driver school. This is a guided set of lessons which teach you how to drive the train.

There as a lot to remember and potentially a lot of things going on so it’s highly encouraged for you to go through driving school at least once.

To get to the driving school run the game and from the main menu select missions and then driving school.

2.2 – Key Command Guide

This section of the guide details all the commands available.

2.2.1 – Driving

  • Tab Key – Hold the dead man’s switch. The train cannot move if the dead man’s switch is not held
  • F12 – Dead Man Lock. Not found on a real train, this key toggles the dead man switch. This has been provided for players who struggle to press multiple keys at one time.
  • Space – Breaks.
  • Up Arrow - increase speed, this does not need to be held.
  • Down Arrow- Decrease speed. This does not need to be held.
  • Left Shift - Open/close the left hand doors. The doors can only be opened if the train is at a station.
  • Right Shift - open/close the right hand doors.
  • B key - turn on the air compressor for the hydraulic systems such as the doors and breaks.
  • M key - turn the mode switch. Modes are off, shunt and in service.
  • Equals - sound the horn.
  • Control - stop all speech and clear buffered announcements.
  • Escape – pause the game and access the menu to review recent messages.
  • Left and right arrow keys – change perspective, available views are the drivers cab, passenger carriage and external. Please note, many alarms and information reports are only audible from the drivers cab.

2.2.2 – Getting Information

  • S key - report train state.
  • A key – Report number of passengers on board, maximum number of passengers is 1232.
  • Z key – when at a station reports the number of passengers waiting to board the train.
  • T key – reports the current passenger carriage temperature, an ideal temperature is 20 to 22 degrees, and an alarm will sound in the drivers cab if the temperature drops below 10 degrees or goes higher than 27.
  • F1 – Report current speed.
  • F2 – Report current speed limit.
  • F3 – Report distance to next station or stop.
  • F4 – report current air pressure. The train will not start if the air pressure is less than 50%. An alarm will sound if the air pressure drops below 25%. The doors, breaks and ventilation system all use the hydraulic air pressure.
  • F5 – Tell the current game time. This is reported in hours, minutes and seconds.
  • F6 – Tell the time that we’re due to leave the next station. 30 seconds either side of the departure time is OK. This is reported in hours and minutes.
  • F10 – Report current customer service and safety score for the current route.
  • F11 – If a red signal is ahead the estimated time for it to change in seconds and how many metres to the red signal.

2.2.3 – Trip Computer

Your train is equipped with a trip computer. This uses a basic screen/menu system.

  • C key – Change screen. Available screens are train system status, timetable view and Public Address Announcements. The Public Address system is not available when in a depo.
  • , key – move up the on screen menu.
  • . Key – move down the on screen menu.
  • Return key – activate the selected menu item. When in the train system status screen return can often be used to toggle train systems. When in the public address screen return can be used to activate the selected announcement. Not all menu options can be activated. All items that can be activated have an equivalent key which can be used.

2.2.4 – Communicating

  • F7 – Radios the control room asking for relief. This is how you can end the current route early.
  • F8 – Radios the control room asking permission to depart.
  • F9 – Acknowledges a message from the control room.
1 through 9 on the top number row or number pad operate the Public Address system. The following messages are available. These can also be activated from the public address screen on the trip computer.
  1. 1 – Automatic public Address, APA, System, announces the next stop if traveling and the current stop if stopped at a station.
  2. 2 – “This train is about to depart”
  3. 3 – “Please stand clear of the doors”
  4. 4 – “This train terminates here.”
  5. 5 – “Transport for London apologises for the delay”
  6. 6 – “No smoking”
  7. 7 – “CCTV is in use.”
  8. 8 – “The next station is closed”
  9. 9 – “Waiting on a signal.”

2.2.5 - Enabling and Disabling Train Systems

Please note, all options below can also be accessed via the trip computer from the train systems screen.
  • R Key – toggle the rear lights.
  • H Key – toggle the head lights
  • D Key – Toggle the destination light. This light aluminates the destination sign at the front of the train.
  • V Key – toggle the ventilation throughout the train, needed as your train is underground where the natural ventilation is poor. To reduce the requirements on the air pressure system when you are not underground you can turn the ventilation system off.
  • L Key – toggles the passenger lights. These are the lights in the train coaches.
  • P Key – Toggles the heating in the passenger compartments. When underground the outside temperature drops and the heating system is required, if over ground continued use of the heating system will cause the temperature to rise in the carriage.

2.3 – Scoring

Each driver is judged on how safe they are and how good they are for customer service. An option in the main menu can be used to see your current score. F10 during a run will show you the current scores for that run.

At the end of a run a driver report gets generated and copied to your computers clip board. This driver report details the run and can be useful for improving your scores as you can see what improved your score and what decreased it.

Once you get told a driver report has been generated open a text editor like notepad and paste the text in using control V.

2.3.1 – Safety Score

Each time you start a run your safety score starts at 100. Each safety infraction causes your score to drop.

The following are considered safety infractions.

  1. 1. Opening the wrong set of doors.
  2. 2. Opening the doors at a closed station
  3. 3. Activating the emergency breaks by releasing the dead man switch for longer than 5 seconds when the train is moving.
  4. 4. Letting the air pressure drop below 25.
  5. 5. Departing from a depo or platform without clearance from the control room.
  6. 6. Driving without the rear light switch on.
  7. 7. Driving without the head lights on.
  8. 8. Going past a red signal.
  9. 9. Going faster than the speed limit

2.3.2 – Customer Service Score

At the start of a run your customer service score starts at 50. Making the correct announcements and running on time improve your customer service score. Over using the breaks, forgetting to turn on the lights or departing station late will reduce your score.

The complete list of actions is listed below:

Positive actions

  1. 1. Making the correct PA announcements.
  2. 2. Leaving a station on time.

Negative actions

  1. 1. Not making PA announcements.
  2. 2. Over using PA announcements.
  3. 3. Letting the carriage temperature drop below 10 or go higher than 27 degrees.
  4. 4. Leaving station early or late.
  5. 5. Not stopping at a station
  6. 6. Not switching on the destination light.
  7. 7. Not having the ventilation on when underground.
  8. 8. Driving without the passenger carriage lights.
  9. 9. Over using the breaks.

2.3.3 – Online Score Board

An option in the main menu allows you to register with the online score board. You are identified by your name and location. It is suggested that you do not put your email address or contact information in any of the fields as these are available to anyone viewing the score board.

The score board can be reached by visiting http://www.ndadamson.com/tubesim/scoreboard.php

This score board is provided as just a bit of fun. If it is abused it will be removed.

2.4 – Badges

As you play you can achieve badges, For example visiting the 2 Heathrow terminal stations will earn you the airport badge. Options on the main menu allow you to see which badges you’ve achieved and which ones you still have to get.

2.5 - PA system announcements

A big part of improving your customer service score is making the correct public address announcements. With that in mind the following is provided as a guide.

When you arrive at a station and open the doors you should engage the automatic public address system, key 1. This announces the current station and line.

Before you close the doors you should warn your passengers, key 3. Failing to do this is a safety violation.

When you are approaching a station and you are within 300 metres of the platform you should use the automatic public address system, key 1. This will announce the next station.

If you reach the end of the line and are at the final station before parking at a depo you should inform your passengers, key 4.

If a station is closed you should announce this using key 8.

If you’re running early and cannot pull up at a platform due to the service ahead still at the platform you should key 9 to inform your passengers that you’re waiting on a red signal.

Remember, over using your announcements will annoy your passengers and will reduce your customer service score.

2.6 – Reacting to messages from the control room

There are 3 main events that can happen where the control room needs to contact you

2.6.1 – Closed Station

The control room may radio you to inform you the next station is closed. In this event you will still be able to hear the platform as you approach it and your platform detection system will still notify you, however you should not stop and open the doors at this platform, this will cause a safety infraction. Rather you should just drive through the platform. Remember to inform your customers using announcement 8.

2.6.2 – Engineering works

The control room will give you around 200 metres warning when you approach engineering works. You must slow down to 10 KMPH as you go through the works which last around 140 metres.

2.6.3 – passenger alarm

If a passenger pulls the emergency cord in the carriage the control room will assess the situation and if needed radio you. They will clear the way ahead for you and will increase the speed limit. Until you get to the next station. Please note, due to bends and older track it may be needed to reduce the speed limit before you reach the station.

Once you pull up at the station and open your doors station staff will deal with the situation, other than getting to the station as quickly as possible the driver does not get involved with passengers.

2.7 – depos

Depos are areas where trains are stored when they are not in service. Some of the missions will have you start or stop at a depo. The following rules apply in depos.

  1. 1. The speed limit is 12 KMPH.
  2. 2. Due to points and other trains moving around the depo you must strictly obey the signals, there is a signal every 50 M, some of which may be red.
  3. 3. When your run ends at a depo there are a set of buffers at the end of the track. You should aim to stop less than 15 metres away from the buffers. Once stopped you should turn of the train systems and then open a set of doors to end the run.

3 – sound packs.

It is possible to change some of the sounds in tube sim. Held in the Tube Sim installation folder is a folder called SoundPacks. There is a readme file in this folder which describes the rules over how to setup a sound pack. Sound packs are completely optional.

4 – Getting Support

If this documentation does not answer your question then check out www.ndadamson.com.

If you still have questions you can tweet @n_a_soft or use the contact me form on the website.

Please note, I’m a loan developer and I develop and support games in my spare time so allow 3 to 4 days for me to get back to you. You are likely to get a quicker response if you tweet me.

If submitting a contact form please provide a valid email address in the box provided as this is how I will get back to you.

5 – Credits

Quite a few people have helped me with Tube sim.

A big thank you to:

  • Those who provided voices for me. Shaun, Sal, PJ, Tyson and Gemma.
  • Transport for London who provide much of the data regarding routes and lines for free to developers.
  • The fantastic community over at freesounds.org who provide such a valuable resource and library of sounds.
  • Damien for sorting out and hosting the bug tracking system we used during the beta test phase as well as doing some sound work for me.
  • A huge thank you to my wonderful beta team, I never under estimate how important beta testing is and the team did a great job for me. They are: Shaun, Sean, Scott,Tj, Lori, William, Madalin, Maureen, Piter, Ryan, Patryk, Matteo, Daniel, Michael, Burak, Shane, Connor, Damien, Moritz, Bogdan, Josh, Claire, Jeff, Joshua, Marcel, Aaron, Hannes, Jordan, Omid, and Derry. Thank you all so much.