Content Creator Story - Evan Gohlke - Daylightrain

By admin-n3v, November 18 2022

Hi everyone, my name is Evan. I am a content creator for Trainz and a member of the Trainz Forge group. I’ve been involved in the Trainz community for about a decade now, and I’m proud to share my story and experience with everyone.

Why did you first get into Trainz creation?
I first got into Trainz content creation as a way to make things we didn’t have in game that I expressly wanted. Some of my earliest creations were attempts at well known locomotives, like the Pennsylvania Railroad S2 or the Southern Pacific GS-6, that we didn’t have a model of in Trainz.

When did you know Trainz creation was for you? 
When me, as a kid who was only 12-13 years old was able to make a functional locomotive in game! My earliest setup was an outdated modeling program, my dad’s old work laptop, and rudimentary image editing using Microsoft Paint. The ease of making basic content for Trainz makes it so easy to get into that even at a young age I was able to start my content creation journey.

What is your favourite Trainz creation that you have been involved in?
My favorite Trainz asset I’ve made so far is probably my Harriman MC-1 mallets. These were the first articulated steam locomotives on the Southern Pacific and Union Pacific, and led to the creation of the famous cab forward types on the SP. What makes them so special to me is the amount of research I had to conduct on my own. I bought books, magazines, articles, and pictures for reference materials to make them as accurate as possible. Because the locomotives in real life were only moderately successful, they weren’t well documented by their host railroads and only very basic and general information is available online about them. With my MC-1 project I created what is basically a historical 3D portfolio for the class that you can operate, and in addition perhaps the most comprehensive overview of the class available online with an associated video I did, available to watch on the Trainz Forge Youtube channel.  

What is your favourite part of creating a route?
Details! The best part of making a route for me is all the little details and fun easter eggs you can spread throughout the route. I love being able to create dynamic scenes across the route. When building I think to myself, maybe I can put a family of deer drinking from this river? Or have an eagle soaring overhead around this field? Or maybe I can have this building on fire and the fire brigade is on scene trying to extinguish the blaze? Doing little things like this can help break up the monotony of running a route with repetitive scenery by changing what you might expect with each turn.

Has there been any other influential Trainz creators that you have looked up to or learnt from that might have helped you become the creator you are today?
Absolutely, some of the most influential creators to me are my fellow team members in Trainz Forge. It’s really like having a second family. I was privileged enough to be able to meet some of the guys in our group in person for the first-time last summer during the Great Western Steam Up in Nevada. It was a surreal and exciting moment to finally be able to meet with friends I’ve known for years online. We all look up to each other for advice or help, whether that be researching, modeling questions, texture help, or anything else that might come up. Dan (Trainboi1) is probably the biggest help in this regard, he writes scripts, shares mesh libraries and parts, and is just a fantastic person to have around whenever you have questions and need answers. Zec (S301) has also been incredibly helpful with understanding new features of the game or solving a variety of content errors that might pop up during the content creation process. I greatly urge anyone who wants quality content to check out their work as well.

What is one feature you would like to see come to Trainz to help with your Trainz creation?
One feature I’d like to see implemented to help with content creation is the ability to test script features, sounds, and animations within the content preview window. This would be much faster rather than having to load up the game and enter a driver session to test these features. 

Is there anything you would change within Trainz to help with your content creation?
I would like to see some form of integration of the wiki into content manager. Maybe if an error pops up in CM, a link could be provided to an associated wiki article on that error, or a built-in wiki browser to the content manager to assist with tracking down and solving bugs.                    

Are you working on anything for release in the future that you can share with us?
Yes indeed! One of my next releases will be the Union Pacific class S-6 0-6-0. These little switchers operated all over the UP’s system throughout the steam era, and a number of examples can be found in preservation today. The mesh is done, and I am moving on to texturing and animations. This project wouldn’t have been possible without the help of my friends in the Trainz community, who went out and got me reference photos of UP 4466 at the California State Railroad Museum, and UP 4455 at the Colorado Railroad Museum. I am very excited to share this model with you, as its probably my most detailed and accurate model to date.

For anyone looking to get into Trainz creation, what tips would you give to them to help them on their way?
Make connections in this community and don’t be afraid to ask questions! Be receptive of feedback and understand that you can’t please everyone. Don’t give up doing what you love and always keep working hard to improve your content creation skills!