Delays are a train driver’s worst nightmare, and while it’s true upcoming VR train simulator Derail Valley has seen a modest setback after its planned January 18th launch, the game is now full steam ahead as it makes its Early Access debut on the Oculus Store and Steam this week.

Created by indie studio Altfuture, Derail Valley is slated to release on HTC Vive, Oculus Rift, and Windows VR headsets on January 25th. The game will also include rudimentary controls for playing on standard monitors, including support for keyboard and mouse.

The delay, the studio say in a Steam news post, was due to “last minute changes that made it impossible to test essential features (savegame, non-VR controls, railways, tutorial, license unlocking). Some critical problems became apparent literally 30 minutes ago, hence the late news of the postponement.”

The game, which lets you drive trains with your own two hands using VR motion controllers, is set in an open world full of places to deliver your cargo. Derail Valley is also touted for its ability to let you earn money and spend it on at least one extra locomotive to begin with, an old-timey steam train.

“Already in its first version it will offer countless hours of gameplay,” the studio says on the game’s Steam page. “Derail Valley is in a fully playable beta state, offering hundreds of hours of play time. Some optimizations, polish and features remain to be done.”

Altfuture says Derail Valley is the result of two years of development, making the 25th a big day for the five-person team.

Image courtesy Altfuture

The game is said to take place in a 256 km² (~99 sq mi) open world. For the sake of comparison, that’s about the size of the island of Malta (not including Gozo).

According to the studio, your locomotive can take damage, requiring constant maintenance. And yes, apparently you can also derail thanks to what the studio is calling ‘derailment physics’.

Image courtesy Altfuture

A free demo is available on Steam, although Altfuture warns that it’s from mid-2017, so it’s “no longer representative of the full game.”

It should give you a nice taste of what’s to come when the game drops on Friday, although if you’ve heard of this game already chances are you’ve played the demo to your wit’s end waiting for what promises to be a realistic (and immersive) train simulator.

Update (January 22nd, 2019): Altfuture tells us there will be two trains available at launch, a modern locomotive and a steam locomotive that can be unlocked. It was previously stated that there would be a variety of train types to choose from, so we’ve corrected this in the body of the article.

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  • Rosko

    I liked the demo so looking forward to this.

    • jj

      rusko IN DA MIX!

  • Skippy76

    I just don’t get the appeal.. Specially spending $200 for a train simulator controller?

    • Hivemind9000

      $200? Where did you get that price? I was thinking I’d get it for my Dad as he used to drive locomotives, but $200?!? Hmmm…

      • gothicvillas

        It’s a straight forward game using 2 vr controllers, no special controllers required. Demo was fantastic, try it out.

      • Chris

        Some people are getting Amazon Ads right above for train simulator driving controls that are $200. Not the game. I think the game will be $20 or $30. Not sure why this bonehead didn’t realize those were targeted ads and not part of the article.

    • 3872Orcs

      What do you mean? There’s no way this game will cost $200. No games cost that much. Probably more like $20.

      • Raphael

        He was referring to train simulator controls… but his statement isn’t relevant as Derail doesn’t support train controller.

      • Skippy76

        Not the game.. The controller for the game. “Joysticks/button panel

    • Raphael

      Some people just don’t get the appeal of flight or racing sims either. People like trains… People like the scenery and the nostalgia of vintage trains. Why is $200 expensive? I paid 500 pounds for Warthog setup. People pay 2000+ for racing wheel and pedals. Just because you can’t see something doesn’t mean it’s not there… You know… like gamma radiation.

      Train driving is quite well paid in the UK.

      • Andrew McEvoy

        Train driving sounds interesting alright and as a fellow UK resident I know how well.paid these train drivers are…and the holiday allocation (something like 45+ days a year isnt it?) and havimg a strong union to cover your back when you fk up…major spanner in the works is the regular drug tests..that derails my dream spectacularly ;)

        • Raphael

          Could try the old trick of having a bottle strapped to your leg with someone else’s pee. I guess they frisk you though.

          I’d love to be driving choo choos.

    • Andrew McEvoy

      I had no idea you could get train sim controls. Wow.

  • Raphael

    I will be buying so long as Derail is more simulation than arcade. I didn’t like the initial direction the game launched in or the game title. It has ambitions to be a more serious train sim and that is great because the established train sim developers REFUSE to add VR. Trainz sim developer has some members of the team who’d like to bring VR but they won’t because it’s not considered an immediate cash-cow. Train Simulator will never get VR even after shifting to the Unreal engine. I really hope this one expands to a level where it competes with existing pancake sims only focused on selling endless DLC.

    • Arcticu Kitsu

      Not really train sim, but responding to the – ” Trainz sim developer has some members of the team who’d like to bring VR but they won’t because it’s not considered an immediate cash-cow.” portion with Tower Unite.

      Developers at Tower Unite noted how low the adoption rate would be, thus they’re holding back on VR, something I find both understandable, if stupid. If you don’t add a feature then of course you’ll see a low adoption rate. If you add it in you’ll gradually see more and more people jumping on board, even advertising your game via screenshots, and the like. Just having it there is enough to gain interest. I’m even seeing SCS Software being lazy about it by only retweeting articles praising the pet project VR they have, not actually implementing it in full……. I poked SCS Software on Twitter, on their blog, and in one of these VR articles on another site.

      Yeah, developers keep making excuses which only hurts them. If they honestly care they wouldn’t make those sort of excuses, or say why they can’t.

      • Raphael

        There is an official announcement that VR is coming to Trainz. In their latest newsletter.

        • Arcticu Kitsu

          Oh, awesome. Well, I guess I should tune myself in. Just going to side-note that Tower Unite is planning to have VR, just holding back. That’s what I wanted to say above.

          Alright, thanks. :)

  • Get Schwifty!

    This is the kind of thing where VR absolutely shines…. simulators, currently out of favor for gaming, have huge potential and can even have business applications. This might be the app to make me dust off my gear again.

  • Arcticu Kitsu

    Awesome! Kept seeing this hidden away unable to try it out. I guess I can now finally do so when the time is right. The guy below (Get Schwifty!) is correct in how simulations absolutely shines in VR, same with Horror games. Basically anything, including Vice City in VR shines brightly. Rolling Line is already awesome having loved that. I bought Trainer VR…. Adding this would be awesome

    ———

    Sidenote:

    If anybody here has any ties to Bandai-Namco and the Gundam team can you PLEASE nudge them to make a ‘Gundam VR’ game? Simulators shine in VR, and we want Gundam in VR. Problem is Gundam community isn’t united so they don’t know what they want, but they would play Gundam in VR. We’re lacking mecha PVE games for the VR market and it doesn’t help ‘Steel and Soul’ keeps being delayed time and again. We need a proper mecha simulator game.

    What about Battletech & Mechwarrior in VR would be awesome. We honestly need mecha simualtor games in the PVE side of things…….

  • Gayle Wilson

    Ok