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Old 07-09-2019, 08:09 PM   #1
angrycat9000
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Track Planning Software

Hi,

I'm working on a project of building a track planning app. I'd be interested in finding out what is important to others in a track planning app. What problems have you run into using existing apps?

For fun, here is the plan for the last layout that I built several years ago.
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Old 07-10-2019, 07:29 AM   #2
sid
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while im very new to software for these. im liking scarm quite a bit. it was confusing for me mostly because im not good with software stuff. I have not done any thing elaborate with it yet , but have seen some pretty nice stuff that it can do. ive tried some buildings, land scape ect . but as i said im not very good with it. hahahahahahahahhahaha
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Old 07-10-2019, 11:26 AM   #3
tankist
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I'd say the market for track planning software is quite full today. I use anyrail, it provides about 95% of what I need (the missing 5% is a long boring conversation). Scarm mentioned above also has years of refinement behind it and I hear many users like it.

From your question It doesn't sound like you identified a point of weak upess in current offerings that you want to adress with your product. I think you should have a pretty good idea of what you want to add to the table before embarking.

PS
I would also say that at this point to surpass existing offerings the project needs to be of magnitude of a well funded team. I do not see a lone individual capable of pulling of a product of next gen level complexity. But I wish you best of luck
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Old 07-10-2019, 03:40 PM   #4
ncrc5315
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The capabilities of 3rd Planit, without the learning curve.
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Old 07-10-2019, 05:08 PM   #5
CTValleyRR
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Unfortunately, I have to hop on the "meh" wagon with the others.

If this is just a hobby project that you want to do for fun, or to see if you can, by all means go for it.

However, as has been pointed out by others, there are already a lot of products out there, and while there are some minor quibbles with most if not all of them, I really don't see a glaring shortcoming that is going to give you an opening to break into the market.

Also, you say "app". I assume by this you mean for a smartphone or tablet. And that's an issue, because to really be able to plan a layout of any complexity, you need the fine control of a mouse and keyboard combination, and the larger real estate of bigger monitors. Memory and processing power will also get to be issues if you try to incorporate the 3D rendering capabilities of the established software.

If you really want suggestions, I'd say make it just like Anyrail -- shallow learning curve, powerful, easy to use. But then, if you make it just like Anyrail, why should I switch?

Now, one thing we have had someone wish for is software that will automatically generate a coherent, random layout from a given list of pieces. Personally, I don't see the point of that, unless you really don't care what your layout looks like. I like mine with some purpose or cohesive plan behind the track layout.
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Old 07-11-2019, 05:11 PM   #6
Dennis461
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How about completely free and unlimited track parts.
Adjustable turntable length.

Pick two points on a plan, software put in best curve (Instead of trying to get the flex track to align.)
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Old 07-11-2019, 08:25 PM   #7
angrycat9000
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Thanks for the feedback

@tankist, @CTValleyRR, I was exploring the tablet space. All the existing products I came across were targeted at a desktop. While, there are obvious advantages to the desktop platform, I am curious to explore what would work on a tablet. This phase is me playing around for fun.

@ncrc5315, if you had to pick the top one or two capabilities from 3rd Planit that were missing from other packages, what would they be?
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Old 07-11-2019, 10:08 PM   #8
tankist
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Tablets are amazing devices that are useful for many purposes. CAD however is not one of them.
I can't imagine a tablet based software with all the features required to plan anything more complex then a rudimentary layout.
But again if it's for fun and self learning then why not. Good luck!
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Old 07-12-2019, 01:39 AM   #9
fcwilt
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Quote:
Originally Posted by angrycat9000 View Post
Thanks for the feedback

if you had to pick the top one or two capabilities from 3rd Planit that were missing from other packages, what would they be?
3rd PlanIt is the most capable program out there with many, many features.

You cannot simply pick one or two capabilities.

It does have a learning curve thus the tutorials are essential to get up to speed.

I agree that tablets are not the correct platform for plans beyond the simplest.

Regardless, good luck and have fun.
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Old 07-12-2019, 05:56 PM   #10
CTValleyRR
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Quote:
Originally Posted by angrycat9000 View Post
Thanks for the feedback

@tankist, @CTValleyRR, I was exploring the tablet space. All the existing products I came across were targeted at a desktop. While, there are obvious advantages to the desktop platform, I am curious to explore what would work on a tablet. This phase is me playing around for fun.
I agree with Tankist, on all counts. As I noted in my original post, the control scheme and screen real estate available on tablet computers pretty much means that you can rule out any interest from users who are serious about getting their design down to the fine level of detail that most would desire in a useable layout plan.

Something on the level of a virtual, if unbuildable, track plan on which you can run a virtual train might be kind of fun.

And as I said before, if this is a "I want to see if I can " project, then by all means, go for it. I think you'll have a blast trying!
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