Chatting with Train Valley World producer, Alexey Davydov

by MaddOx
0 comment

Welcome to another exciting Q&A session on FULLSYNC, where we delve into the minds behind the games we love. Today, we’re thrilled to have Alexey Davydov, head of Flazm Interactive Studio and producer of the eagerly anticipated Train Valley World, join us.

This session aims to uncover the inspirations, challenges, and innovative gameplay mechanics that promise to redefine the tycoon genre. So, buckle up as we embark on a journey through the development tracks of Train Valley World, a game that’s about to take the gaming world by storm.

But first, here’s a quick gameplay trailer to get your inner steam engine running:

Could you introduce yourself and tell us about your role in the development of Train Valley World?

Hi! My name is Alexey Davydov, and I am the head of Flazm Interactive Studio and producer of Train Valley World.

What inspired the creation of Train Valley World, and how have classics like Sid Meier’s Railroads! and Railroad Tycoon 2 influenced its development?

Railroad Tycoon 2 is a very vivid memory from my childhood. Starting from the loader with tactile sounds on the buttons to the intro with black-and-white footage and a distinctive soundtrack. It was a game with quite a high entry threshold for a school kid. There was a lot of fiddling before the first locomotive slowly left the depot. 

I played Railroads! much later and I was absolutely fascinated by the flexibility and abundance of options for the player. Something was mesmerising about laying tracks through mountains or moving the mouse to build massive bridges. There were also magnificent steam locomotives and multiplayer, of course. Many people remember that Christmas map in Railroads, with an intense blitz game in 40 minutes!

We lack this in modern railroad games, and this experience was one of the main references.

Can you describe some of the new gameplay mechanics in Train Valley World that set it apart from previous games in the series?

Train Valley World is our first full-fledged tycoon. For the first time, we offer the player more automation (customisation of schedules, loading, and unloading). The maps are bigger, and the objectives are larger. Many production facilities can now be built as you choose. Most of the map is unavailable at the start and must be opened by buying licenses in the cities. The gameplay itself has shifted from micromanagement to strategy. And, of course, the ability to play with friends in multiplayer mode.

Train Valley World - Train driving through grass field

Train Valley World is set during the 1900s Industrial Revolution. How does this historical setting influence the game’s design and challenges?

This is an era of great ambition and accomplishment. Engineers and designers were real magicians for their contemporaries, opening the sky and oceans for people, conquering huge distances, and setting speed records. I like this inspiring setting between the universes of Ann Reid and Jules Verne. We tried to combine realistic models of locomotives and landmarks of real cities with some retro sci-fi elements. There are unusual cargo, soaring zeppelins, and even monsters emerging from the depths of the ocean.

The game includes maps inspired by cities like London, Las Vegas, and Cairo. What was the process behind selecting these locations, and how do they impact gameplay?

We carefully selected colourful locations and significant events for the levels. For example, the opening of Tutankhamun’s tomb or the electrification of America. The gold rush and the first international Olympic Games. Arctic exploration and building the first skyscraper. 

These events require solving many unique logistical challenges and telling interesting stories with rewarding results.

Could you give examples of some creative challenges players might face in the game, like assisting Captain Nemo or dealing with the Loch Ness Monster?

The submarine is docked on an island and needs copper pipes, steel sheets, and glass for repair, and the player will have to organise the corresponding infrastructures. The level with the submarine is available in the demo. The final level is the Loch Ness Monster so we can’t say too much just yet, it’s worth noting that the monster is so enormous that it affects the water level in the lake.

Train Valley World track view from above

Train Valley World introduces an online multiplayer mode. What can players expect from this, and how does it enhance the gaming experience?

We want to strike a balance between competitive and cooperative gameplay. We want the player to enjoy playing co-op mode with friends to achieve a primary goal together. Still, at the same time, we wanted to keep the competitive element and statistics of each player’s contribution. We want to get away from the hours-long play sessions of classic railroad games and instead give players an intense gaming experience in 30-60 minutes.

The game also features a robust level editor mode. How do you envision players using this tool, and what kind of community creations are you most excited to see?

We had a very positive experience with the UGC levels for Train Valley 2. That’s why we immediately put the level editor in the game. Based on our experience, we can’t even imagine what amazing things our community can come up with. And that’s the beauty of it!

How do logistics and strategy play a role in Train Valley World, and what skills will players need to succeed?

We tried to keep the threshold of entry as low as possible. We always keep in mind not only experienced fans of the genre but also those who want to get into it. The key elements of the gameplay are monetary resources that need to be controlled and invested in time to expand the railroad network to new territories. It will be important to update your fleet of locomotives, expand the list of routes, and hire new workers with unique characteristics on different routes.

Train Valley World hot air balloon above the city

How do you plan to engage with the community post-launch, and will there be ongoing support or updates for the game?

We’ve been supporting Train Valley 2 for seven years after its release, and it’s paying off. The key to success is close interaction with the community, constant dialog, and attention to the needs of our players. We run weekly contests for players and level creators, sending physical collector cards to the winners! We are planning something similar for Train Valley World fans.

Are there any future plans or expansions you can share with us about Train Valley World?

For now, our primary goal is the release. After the launch, we will think about additions and expansions. We prefer to be guided by the needs of our players.

If you could add any historical or fictional train to Train Valley World, which would it be and why?

We love references and often leave easter eggs to famous trains, locomotives, or structures in the levels. We encourage you to look for them on our maps after release!

Our journey with Alexey Davydov through the creation of Train Valley World has been nothing short of a thrilling ride. From its humble inspirations drawn from classics like Sid Meier‘s Railroads! and Railroad Tycoon 2, to the introduction of groundbreaking gameplay mechanics and engaging multiplayer modes, Train Valley World is gearing up to be a monumental title in the tycoon genre.

As we eagerly await its release, it’s clear that the team at Flazm Interactive Studio is on the right track, promising a game that’s not only a nod to the past but a bold step into the future. If you fancy checking out the game for yourself, you can find it on Steam by clicking here.

Stay tuned to FULLSYNC for more updates and insights from the gaming world. Catch more of our interviews by clicking here.

You may also like

Leave a Comment