Clicking on the SimSig shortcut should bring up a screen similar to that above. However, certain sims when run for the first time require a registration code to activate them. This is because SimSig was originally a commercial program. The necessary codes are also available on the download page as current SimSig simulations are now free. Once entered, the codes are not required again; when simulations are rebuilt, the registration requirement is removed.
As can be seen in the screen above, there are a number of options. You can Start a new game, Load an earlier saved game, enter 'Network Play' mode or Exit.
Clicking the 'Start a new game' button runs a single player game. Here, you are in control of the whole signalling system in the simulation. You must route all the trains, which are running to a given timetable, to their correct locations and as on-time as possible.
SimSig could run everything perfectly with no failures or delays. However, in the real world signallers aren't that lucky! So, to add realism, SimSig randomly simulates failures and delays. The more delays and failures, the more difficult it becomes to run trains on time.
To start the game you must select a scenario. Each sim has a set of default scenarios that specify
The scenarios you have available varies between the different products, but there will usually be a “beginner” or “basic” scenario with generally only a few problems, occurring one at a time that only last a short time; a “Standard” scenario gives you a typical level of failures and delays, some occurring at the same time lasting a medium length of time; whilst more difficult scenarios give a large number of failures, many of them concurrent that last quite a long time, possibly in conjunction with one of the special problems like track closures. There is also sometimes a “Random” option where SimSig will pick one of the scenarios at random for you!
We recommend you start with the easier scenarios first. Select the scenario you want and then click 'Next'.
You now need to select a timetable for the trains to run to. There is usually at least one timetable supplied with each simulation, simulating a realistic typical day. You can download new ones from the Downloads section and even write your own (though this is not recommend for inexperienced users). Beware though, some of them can be very taxing!! Having selected the timetable, you can also select the start time. To begin with, you'd do best not to alter this as the timetables usually start in the dead of night, when nothing much is happening and that is exactly what you want when you are feeling your way into a new simulation. Having selected a timetable and a start time, click 'Next' to go to the Simulation Options page.
The simulation options page selects specific options that will apply for the whole game. These options vary from one sim to the next, but some of the more common ones are
Once you've set the options, press OK to start the simulation.
You can save a game at any time by following MNU/File/Save as, or pressing Ctrl+S. See Saving a simulation.
You can continue a previously saved game by selecting the Load option. Select a saved game and click OK to continue. Clicking Cancel returns you to the sim's main menu.
SimSig has the option to allow multiple players to participate in the one game. This is done by each player controlling part of a simulation. Certain simulations can also be “chained” (linked together) to create even larger games. In order to play a network game, your PC must be connected to a local area network or the Internet. It is not recommended to play multi-player games until you have mastered the sim's basic controls. See the Multi-player Games page for more details.
Once you have a game set up, you can move on to Playing the Simulation.