Let's take the A-Train: An all-purpose series thread

Yeah, A-Train PC Classic has both 2D graphics and 3D graphics. The gameplay takes place in the 2D isometric view. However, like with the 3DS version, you can also observe the game from a 3D viewport and take in the scenery. If my memory serves me correctly, I vaguely recall the function being introduced during the tutorials.

atpcc3d

I spent a lot of hours playing the original A-Train. I even played its predecessor Railroad Empire that was released in 1988! It’s hard for me to believe that so many years have passed since then.

Back in the early '90s I had a lot of fun with A-Train but for some reason it doesn’t appeal to me as much now as it did then. Maybe I’ve gotten too old, maybe I’ve been spoiled by newer graphics…I just don’t know why…but the A-Train games just don’t have the pazazz for me they once did.

So I am happy to read that so many of you are enjoying A-Train and I hope you can appreciate the James Allen review I have linked to in this post.

Have fun!

Cool!

(A-Train US was A-Train III and Railroad Empire was A-Train 2. It’s like Final Fantasy that way.)

I just discovered the Switch has a “match version with local users” command!

You can apparently transfer game patches from one Switch to another, EVEN IF NEITHER IS CONNECTED TO THE INTERNET.

This makes me happy, from a game preservation perspective. As long as you have HARD CARDS, and a Switch with the latest updates, you can have infinite Switches with all your games and the latest updates. Even if the eShop goes the way of the Wii Shop.

I wonder if this includes purchased DLC. Anyone know? It wouldn’t include 100% digital titles, but it might include DLC…

Edit: There’s no way it would include purchased DLC. Otherwise you could share DLC with all your friends for free. Sigh.

PC Classic - has anyone figured out signals? I just want one train to wait while the second leaves the station. But no matter what I do, that button (base your action on the other train) is greyed out. Manual no help, and no 9 part youtube dissecting the whole thing. Beginning tutorial 2 - maybe I haven’t sat through enough explanation?

Been a few months since I did the introductory tutorials for A-Train PC Classic. Typically though, if something is not available yet it is because the function will be unlocked later on. So, quite possible that function will become unlocked later into the second tutorial scenario since the third and final tutorial delves firmly into the realm of business management aspects like going public on the stockmarket, etc.


Please have your tickets ready for inspection by the conductor and prepare to board today’s train, as our railroading adventure in All Aboard Tourism continues!

If there is one disadvantage to writing these as I play it’s that sometimes forecasting what can realistically be achieved for the next Let’s Play entry can be tough as the scenario goes on. Going to be some deviations from what I was expecting to do at the conclusion of part four. However, what we lose in one way we’re about to gain in another as I deviate into some aspects of the game that we haven’t even mentioned, let alone touched, yet.

Let’s Play All Aboard Tourism - Strategically using other people’s money to enrich ourselves…

Click to reveal...

Returning to Nagashirojo, we briskly resume where we left off in part four of Let’s Play All Aboard Tourism. On the agenda? Expanding our revenue by expanding our railway network southwards towards the map’s southern border and forging a connection with the mid-sized city of Komita. With just 1,197,130,000 Yen to our company’s name and a single track line stretching from Nagashirojo to Komita estimated to cost around the region of 3,000,000 Yen, it is time to head to the bank for a business loan.

2021062817042700-EA696F8B042F07227AE344E38EDDFE9E

The maximum amount of funds we can loan from the bank is determined by our company’s current assets and the bank’s trust in our company. Currently, the largest determinant of our loan limit is our company’s assets as our bank trust rating is just a measly one star. Based on our current assets the bank is willing to lend us up to a maximum of 2,287,700,000 Yen, spread across however many loans we decide to take out.

When negotiating our loan with the bank we can borrow money for a period of up to four years in length before having to pay it back in full, with interest on top of course. The length of the loan will influence the annual interest rate that the bank burdens us with. Interest rates are subject to change at the turn of the new year when the economic forecast for the upcoming year is presented, with a recession often liable to drop the interest rate by around three percent.

Any loan we apply for is subject to a 0.2% handling fee from the bank and therefore we must account for this if we ever apply for a loan whilst low on funds. The game’s UI helpfully details any handling fee, the amount of interest we are expected to pay over the duration of the loan, and the total repayment amount. Of course, we can repay any loans we have owing before the repayment date to lessen the amount of interest we will need to pay. However, bank fees apply for early repayment of any loan and thus a cost-benefit analysis should always be conducted to determine the cheapest course of action.

ABT502a

ABT502b

With a two-year loan of 2,287,700,000 Yen secured from the bank we now have 3,484,830,000 Yen at our disposal. Now that we have the capital required to proceed with our plans to building a railway line from Nagashirojo Station to Komita, let us begin! Due to the costs associated we will begin with just a single track line. Unfortunately, we currently lack the funds to begin construction of stations at the two towns situated along our chosen route. Therefore, these construction projects shall have to wait until we have more capital at our disposal.

2021062817141400-EA696F8B042F07227AE344E38EDDFE9E

Near Tomoto Station a small modification is also made to the double track line to allow for trains heading towards Hasuoka to be routed into the other platform. The reasoning behind this will become clear very soon.

ABT504

Next we purchase an Electric Locomotive with four carriages for the transport construction materials. This acquisition will almost exhaust the rest of our company’s remaining funds and leaves us light on funds. However, sometimes you have to spend money to make money and we expect this bold outlay of capital to quickly begin shoveling money into the company coffers.

ABT505a

It is time for our company to diversify away from solely transporting passengers and to enter the freight market. Opening up the Resources menu we are going to proceed into the Trade Opportunity menu and assess the various purchase and sales orders on offer. We can see from the resource trade chart that Komita is currently placing several orders to buy construction materials, whilst Hasuoka is currently selling construction materials. By examining the list of trade contracts on offer we can see that Komita is currently offering, in many cases, roughly double the local sale price of construction goods.

ABT505b

Therefore, we are going to cheaply purchase the construction materials being produced at Tomoto and then transport them from our storage facilities to Komita using our new goods train. Whilst the exact sale price may vary across the year, depending on the terms of the trade contracts we accept with Komita, we expect the transportation of construction goods to become a strong revenue stream for the company. To begin our new business venture we are going to enter into a contract to transport 240 construction materials to Komita by October 6th, 1992, at a sale price of 2,340,000 Yen per unit.

A word of warning though, failure to meet the obligations of our contract will grant Komita the right to seek damages. Thus, should we fail to transport 240 units of construction material to Komita by the deadline of October 6th, 1992 we will have to payout 69,120,000 Yen in damages for our breach of contract. Our company is very confident we can fulfill the terms of our contract with Komita in the time frame given, so this shouldn’t be a worry for us. If we were concerned about deadlines then we could have started out our new business venture by accepting the top-most contract on offer which ask for 120 construction materials and has no deadline assigned to it.

ABT506

Now the purpose of our small track modification near Tomoto Station begins to become crystal clear. Since our freight train is going to be making two round trips from Komita to Tomoto and back we will be tackling the tricky task of coordinating the timetable of our Komita freight service with the last loop of our Hasuoka-Nagashirojo passenger service. However, since we’ll be basing the freight service out of Komita and only operating it between 8:15pm to 6:00am we’ll only be sharing the railway tracks with passenger services for a short window of time.

Yet it will still be a long enough time frame that we’ll need to be able to have our freight train pull into Platform 1 of Tomoto Station. That way the last two passenger services can freely use Platform 2 without experiencing any hold-ups or delays on their way back to Hasuoka. Thus, ensuring smooth operations for everyone sharing the railway tracks.

ABT507

Pictured above you can see the two material factories responsible for creating the construction goods we are transporting to Komita. These two factories currently produce a total of ten construction materials a day (five each). The rate of production can rise and fall depending on factors such as economic conditions, the profitability of the factories, and whether they have any buildings nearby which boost their production (e.g. an administrative office).

Currently, these two factories are at the upper end of their production capabilities and are supplying our construction material storage yard with a steady supply of construction materials. Consequently, it does not take long for our freight service to Komita to begin filling up our coffers, generating us roughly 100,000,000 Yen within the space of two days.

ABT508

During the early hours of August 25th we complete the terms of our first trade contract with Komita and so we enter into another one. This time the terms of the contract mean that we have 83 days to ship as many construction materials as possible to Komita for a sale price of 2,280,000 Yen per unit. A rather lucrative trade contract if we can maximise the supply of construction materials being fed into Komita. Looking at our funds we can see that our bank balance has been enriched greatly within a short period of time by our diversification into the freight business, rising to a total of 386,150,000 Yen.

2021062817474000-EA696F8B042F07227AE344E38EDDFE9E

Using the large stream of revenue unlocked by our entry into the freight business, we prepare for the next step of our business plan. Consequently, by September 7th we have constructed a train station at Nobusu and are in the process of upgrading the town’s road infrastructure to accommodate a planned bus route between Nobusu and Komita.

ABT510

Since urban development is heavily influenced by passenger activity at stations we are going to turn Nobusu into a transfer hub for Komita tourists traveling to and from Nagashirojo Castle. We’ll bus tourists in from Komita, get them to spend some time in Nobusu, and then transport them by a connecting passenger train service to Nagashirojo Station. Something that wouldn’t happen if we just offered a direct train service from Komita to Nagashirojo.

ABT511

Since we will be parking our passenger train at Nobusu Station over the night we will also want to construct a simple passing loop for our freight service too. Then go into the operations route menu for our freight train to examine the settings of the new railway points to make sure that our freight train does indeed utilise our newly added passing loop at Nobusu Station.

ABT512

During September 11th we receive notice that we have reached the first of our objectives, as achieve our 200,000th annual tourist visit for the financial year. One completion condition successfully dealt with, now we just have to ensure that the region’s population hits 20,000 people within the assigned time frame and we’ll be assured of success. With 231,760,000 Yen currently residing in our company’s coffers we will have to continue advancing time for a while to be able to afford the rolling stock we want for our new passenger service.

2021062817530400-EA696F8B042F07227AE344E38EDDFE9E

Which seems like an appropriate stopping point to conclude part five of Let’s Play All Aboard Tourism. I hope you will join me next time when we complete our plans to turn the town of Nobusu into a thriving tourist transfer hub. We’ll investigate buses and bus routes, establish the tourist route from Komita to Nagashirojo, assist in the urban development of Nobusu with subsidiaries, and discuss how we can become a property developer. Until the next time we met, I hope you have a safe journey aboard the A-Train!

A small question, slightly tied to the current chapter in the Book of Malkael: in the first tutorial of the (dated, the game was still 1.0 back then) Switch demo, I tried to expand and create a connection to the south city, but it doesn’t seem to happen. There is no little exchange arrow.
Screen Shot 1
Should it happen automatically (I’m only trying to transport voyagers)? A limitation of the demo maybe (although it hinted I should expand to other cities)?
There is no route showing up for the new train I try to setup to that city either.
Sorry for the demo question.

Hmm, worked fine for me in the Switch demo when I played it before getting the complete game. The game should automatically prompt you about connecting the railway line to the neighbouring town when you go to confirm your track placement. So, connecting to Komita should be possible in the Switch demo.

When it doesn’t prompt me that usually means it cannot establish a connection point at that exact location for some reason. For example, there is no outside city to connect to on that edge of the map border. Though, creating a map connection does cost a pretty penny, or Yen in this case, so maybe it is a money thing if you have less than 1,000,000,000 Yen currently?

Unsure what the problem could be if you can’t create a connection point in the same general area that I did, since that is where I also created one during my demo playthrough.

I just tried deleting a single segment of the track, it told me it mean losing lots of prospective money (that I didn’t pay to begin with). I then tried to reconnect, but it didn’t change anything, no prompt. I then deleted the line to the station, and reconnected it from there, and behold, I got the prompt to connect to the neighbouring town!
Thank you!

Sounds like the demo may have encountered some kind of bug then if the removal cost was in the millions of Yen range (e.g. 749,750,000 Yen). The huge demolition cost would have been from the game treating the track like it was connected to the outside city.

Oh well, all sort now at least, so ultimately no harm caused.

I still am experiencing button confusion, but the game interface is slowly turning away from being a beast I have to fight against, into a pachyderm I have to be patient with. Progress!

@Malkael question for you.

I am getting an A-train game.

Nominally I’m thinking All Aboard Tourism because
A) Switch, and I play most of my games there these days
B) most modern
C) seems like there is a number of features and updates that make it interesting

However PC classic is on sale on Steam. Which has its own appeal.

If the games are of relatively equivalent quality and depth, then tie goes easily to All Aboard Tourism.

So which one would you recommend?

Also note I do love this genre, and my favorite rail building game so far is RRT 3. I love the economic, building, routes, etc. not so much designating switches and stuff like in Railway Empires. Also I love a good dynamic economic simulation, it is why RRT 3 is a top 10 all time game for me.

Interesting controller releasing in Japan for Switch.

Yeah… not relevant to this game, really, any more than a lightgun would work for an RTS. Still neat though, if you have Densha de Go!! Hashirou Yamanote Sen

Digital Foundry uploaded part one of their massive DF Retro episode on the launch of the original Playstation this weekend. In Japan, A IV Evolution was a launch title for the console and thus DF Retro have a segment on the Playstation version of A-Train 4 in the episode. The A IV Evolution segment begins at the 35:32 mark if the time bookmark doesn’t skip you straight to it.

Well if the price is no object then I would definitely have to give it to All Aboard! Tourism on the Switch, especially as your predominant gaming platform. And as Anonymgeist can attest, it has a certain pick-up-and-play charm to it when using the Switch in handheld mode. Though, obviously, time pressure becomes a bit more pronounced as you move up the difficulty levels and have shorter time frames to accomplish tasks.

Even just the massive quality of life improvement to designating bus and lorry routes is something I would miss returning to PC Classic. Hard to argue with a game which at a minimum retains the same gameplay depth and complexity of the previous release. So far, all the new features appear to serve to only enhance the gameplay experience. Often subtly adding new wrinkles to the strategic considerations and choices on offer.

And thanks to All Aboard! Tourism’s bazillion different ways to go about accomplishing the same thing and optional advanced settings, good strategic planning can minimise the amount of route fiddling required. Leaving you to enjoy the dynamic economic simulation that underlies the entire game, of which there is still much to reveal. I haven’t even touched upon how subsidiaries have different operating/business plans available, which affect operating expenses and sales or resource production.

I grabbed All Board Tourism instead of my plan of getting the PC port of the 3DS version. I blame you, Malkael.

Nah, I can’t blame you: I just tried loading my tutorial demo game into the full game. Not only did it load (I love when games do that), but the full game plays very much smoother than the demo. It’s almost uncomparable. The cursor feels snappy like I wished it always had.
That dated demo is almost doing the game a disservice, at this point.
Time for sleep, but I have been having a good time just browsing around my (am drunken with power, even though I’m driving my company into the ground) town.

Yeah, I really can’t overstate just how amazing a jump the transition from playing the All Aboard! Tourism demo to playing the updated retail game was. The improvements in performance and quality of life improvements that arrived with later patches were pretty noticeable. Not that performance was horrendous or anything in the demo, in handheld mode, but you can’t argue with silky smooth performance and faster loading times.

On a related tangent, looks like Artdink’s latest video is all about construction mode and creating scenarios, with English subtitles available as usual.


Please have your tickets ready for inspection by the conductor and prepare to board today’s train, as our railroading adventure in All Aboard Tourism continues!

Let’s Play All Aboard Tourism - Greasing the wheels of progress…

Click to reveal...

Gradually closing in on our scenario objectives, it is time to grease the wheels of progress as our business adventure in the All Aboard Tourism scenario continues! Today we will be continuing where we left off, which was preparing to acquire a train for our tourist route from Komita, via Nobusu, to Nagashirojo. By the end we’ll have setup a bus route between Komita and Nobusu, turning it into a tourist transfer hub, and built some subsidiaries near Nobusu Station to take advantage of the town’s expected growth.

ABT601

Since Komita is just a mid-sized city compared to the metropolis of Hasuoka we’re going to purchase some new, and better, rolling stock for our Hasuoka-Nagashirojo line. We’ll replace one of our older trains with our new train and then use the older train to provide service on our Nobusu-Nagashirojo line. As demand for our Hasuoka-Nagashirojo services is often outstripping supply the improvements in passenger capacity should be much appreciated.

ABT602

With the Suburban 2 type train that was operating the 6:30am service from Hasuoka to Nagashirojo replaced with our newly purchased Suburban 1 type train. We’ll now place our freshly withdrawn train near Nobusu station, where it can park up for the night before beginning services from Nobusu to Nagashirojo. Set to depart from Nobusu Station at 7:00am, the service will complete a full loop every two hours and depart five times a day.

ABT603

Afterwards, we’ll purchase six buses to begin operating between Komita and Nobusu. This bus service will ensure we now offer a complete tourist route from Komita to Nagashirojo. As previously said, the activity of the tourists in the town of Nobusu as they wait for the connecting train service to Nagashirojo should boost the town’s growth.

Unsurprisingly, comparing and purchasing buses works similarly to trains. Currently, we only have one model of bus available to us but in the future we would be able to compare operating costs, fare per kilometer, and other important statistics when deciding between two or more options.

ABT604

Setting up the operating route of a bus is similar in many ways to the steps we took for our trains. However, one important difference is that road-based vehicles use a waypoint system to guide them. The route a bus will take to reach one waypoint from another is automatically calculated by the vehicle for us. Meaning that we can either let the bus’ automatic navigation do the heavy lifting for us or add in more waypoints if we want to define a more specific path between destinations. It is important to remember that where we place our bus will become a permanent waypoint on its route, which we can use to help define an exact route we want our bus to take.

ABT605

Using the Copy functionality we can minimize the amount of tinkering we need to do with each bus’ operating schedule. After pasting across the settings established for our first bus from here on out we will only need to adjust departure time from Komita and which of Nobusu’s two bus stands each bus will utilise. For this we are going to adopt a simple alternating schedule of odd numbered buses using Stand #1 and even numbered buses using Stand #2. Meanwhile, our first bus will depart from Komita at 6:00am and each subsequent bus will depart 15 minutes later in the morning.

ABT606

After letting things run for 16 in-game days we begin construction of West Nagashiro Station to connect the local populace of the town, within the Nagashiro district, to our transit network. Subsequently, seven days later on October 28th our newest railway station is constructed and opens for business. As our Nobusu to Nagashirojo service will be passing through our new station during it’s journey West Nagashiro Station has been automatically added to our train’s operating route settings, with a stopping time of five minutes assigned by default.

ABT607b
ABT607a

We subsequently step away again for a period of sixteen days to let our company accumulate some more funds. After eight months in operation of the region’s transportation needs now might be a good time to consult our income statement and see how our finances are progressing for this financial year. As we can see from the picture below, we are currently achieving net earnings of 402,530,000 Yen. So, well on our way to hopefully achieving a profit by the end of the financial year once taxes and other expenses have been accounted for.

ABT608

Checking back on our train station and bus stop in Nobusu, we can see that the influx of tourists has elevated the development status up to “Proceeding Gradually” and “Proceeding Well” respectively. Consequently, the Nobusu township is beginning to experience a raft of urban development projects that will boost the population and attractiveness of the township. Never one to turn up an opportunity to generate new sources of revenue, our company will contribute to this wave of development by constructing some subsidiaries near our transit options.

ABT609

We first begin by constructing a Drive-Through eatery nearby our train station and bus stop, which should be a beneficial symbiosis.

ABT610

Afterwards we continue our construction spree by building a couple of small housing complexes next door to our bus stop. Which should also prove to be a beneficial symbiosis in the long run.

ABT611

We then follow that up by constructing a residential apartment block next door to the Nobushu train station. Once again displaying the potential to achieve some good synergy with our nearby transportation stops, by providing potential passengers.

During December 28th we begin the construction of a gas station in Nobushu township and subsequently receive new from our secretary that our company now owns 10 subsidiaries. A number which will only continue to grow over the course of the scenario as we help boost development in the region and push the population to our objective of 20,000 people.

ABT612

Construction of our gas station is completed on the afternoon of January 8th and swiftly opens for business. Which now allows us to examine another gameplay aspect of the modern A-Train games. Similarly to how we can buy and sell land, we can may also buy and sell subsidiaries on the real estate market. Therefore, if we are strategic in where, when and what subsidiaries we construct our company can generate revenue by becoming a property developer.

Rather than constructing subsidiaries for the longer term operating profits we hope they achieve we can instead develop, or redevelop, land and then sell the newly developed land and associated building\business on the open market. There are two options when choosing to sell a subsidiary, the “Find Buyer” and “Quick Sell” options. The “Quick Sell” option speaks for itself and represents wanting to sell a subsidiary instantly for whatever knockdown price someone will buy it for. Alternatively, the “Find Buyer” option often won’t result in an instant sale, however, it will net us the best price and can often lead to selling our fixed assets for a profit.

ABT613

As pictured above, when selling subsidiaries the assessed value of the building and land, and the sales revenue generated are taken into account when deriving the sale price. Of course, any transaction will also incur a handling fee as well. The difference between the book value of the subsidiary to our company and the sale price is the fixed asset profit or loss we will generate selling the subsidiary. This particular strategy can be most beneficial in scenarios with short completion time frames where an instant infusion of Yen is more beneficial to our business plans than a slow, steady influx of revenue.

ABT614

Taking in the sights of the development that has occurred around Nobushu township, we conclude the chronicling of our business adventures for now. I do hope you can join me next time as we make one final push to reach our completion conditions for the scenario. Where we will usher in a new financial year, see how we performed for the current financial year, discuss taxes and tax payments, discuss shareholder confidence, pay out our first ever dividend to our private shareholders, and more.

Until the next time we met aboard the A-Train, I hope you have a safe and enjoyable journey!

Final entry for my Let’s Play of the opening scenario of A-Train: All Aboard! Tourism today since we’re close to hitting all our completion conditions. Taking suggestions if there is anything anyone wants to see in the future. Whether that be from this game or one of the other games in the series, such as A-Train PC Classic or A-Train 9 on the PC. If it is a continuation of A-Train: All Aboard! Tourism could either move on to the next scenario, which has different completion conditions, or do some focused gameplay mechanic deep dives.

One such systems interaction I didn’t yet touch upon was the ability to increase and decrease fares in 10% increments. Consequently, influencing the affordability and consequently ridership of your transportation services. Ultimately, neatly tying into the Public Transportation Utilization Rate parameter that I have broached previously. Which both also interact with the Seasonal Tour marketing plans that you can enact to boost the number of passengers riding your services on weekends and holidays.


Please have your tickets ready for inspection by the conductor and prepare to board today’s train, as our railroading adventure in All Aboard Tourism concludes!

Let’s Play All Aboard Tourism - Steaming towards victory…

Click to reveal...

Nearing the completion conditions of the scenario, the time has come for the finale to Let’s Play All Aboard Tourism. Today’s finale is all about consolidating our funds for tax season, promptly doing it all over again so we can pay out stock dividends to retain shareholder confidence, and aiding the region to reach 20,000 inhabitants via the construction of more residential subsidiaries. So, without further ado, let’s get straight into it!

ABT701

With a comfortable buffer of 1,753,740,000 Yen in our company’s coffers the first thing on our agenda is the redevelopment of Nagashirojo Station. Today we are going to expand the station building so that it can house more facilities. Which should in turn improve the sales and advertising revenue our station can generate per day, thanks to the heavy foot traffic frequenting the area. The total cost of the station redevelopment will encompass the price of the building works plus taxes and dues, totaling 381,500,000 Yen.

Unlike with constructing a new station, a redeveloped station is still able to operate during the (re)construction phase. Therefore, passengers will still be able to both board and depart trains that service the station. Making it a fairly straight forwards decision for our company compared to if the station shutdown during redevelopment works, since it would impact our tourist routes and ridership.

ABT702

Come midnight of April 1st, 1993 and our accounting manager delivers us the company’s finalised income statement for the financial year, which spanned from April 1st, 1992 through to March 31st, 1993. The detailed items view was too lengthy to fit into just one screenshot, so the simple view shall have to suffice this time. Browsing through the income statement we can see that our company managed to post a healthy post-tax income of 1,733,350,000 Yen by the end of the financial year.

Consequently, we can expect a rather large corporate tax bill of at least 1,497,120,000 Yen to be handed to us. The corporate tax rate on our company’s profits varies in A-Train: All Aboard! Tourism depending on the time frame of the scenario, reflecting the historical tax policy of the period. If we are unaware what the corporate tax rate for the period might be then planning for a corporate tax rate of 50% is a good conservative starting point. A little bit of math shows us that this 50% figure is indeed, approximately, the Japanese corporate tax rate for the 1990’s time frame of the scenario.

ABT703a

Our total tax bill for the financial year is a combination of corporate, property and other taxes and must be paid in full by the 31st of May. We can either do this ourselves before the due date or the game will handle it for us, as long as we have sufficient funds, during the end of May.

Since tax commitments such as corporate and property tax are typically assessed at the end of the financial year, there are steps one can take to reduce their company’s tax bill ahead of time. In our case though we can easily cover our tax commitments and have plans earmarked for currently owned land and properties. Thus, we did not attempt to reduce our property tax by selling off some of our fixed assets before the assessment date.

ABT703b

Paying our company’s taxes ahead of time is as simple as accessing the Balance Sheet screen within the Reports screen. Which we can also quickly access using the down button on the d-pad when the game prompts us about our unpaid taxes. With over two billion Yen amassed in our company’s bank account we decide to service our tax commitments ahead of time at the start of May.

ABT704a

After letting time pass for approximately a month to amass some capital our company decides to construct two new residential apartments in the township of Nagashirojo. These will help bolster the population and foster further urban development in the area. The number of newly constructed commercial buildings in the local vicinity should achieve a great synergy, according to our sales advisor at least.

ABT704b

And here our our two new subsidiaries upon the completion of their construction. As you can see the AI has decided to follow suit and construct a large (2x1) residential apartment block next door as well. In A-Train: All Aboard! Tourism subsidiaries, ergo buildings, owned by us are accented with our company’s colour. Which in this case is currently a deep blue for this scenario, since that is what colour we chose way back at the beginning of the game. In contrast, buildings owned by the game’s AI, representing entities such as private developers, are typically accented with a brown colour.

Afterwards, we let the game freely pass time so that we can swell our bank account ahead the important date of July 1st. Annually upon this date we will be expected by our shareholders to pay out a dividend of at least three percent to maintain their confidence in us as CEO. Our ability to pay a dividend depends on a figure known as Retained Earnings, which in very basic layman’s terms could be considered the historical accumulation of our past net profits and\or losses for past financial years. Thus, we must strive to keep our company’s retained earnings figure in the black. Which is most easily achieved by consistently reporting a net profit each financial year.

ABT705

When playing on Normal difficulty or higher Shareholder Confidence is an important parameter to keep track of. Similar to other games like Railroad Tycoon, the shareholders can attempt to replace us as CEO should their confidence hit a crisis point. In A-Train: All Aboard! Tourism this crisis point is typically upon reaching zero stars in shareholder confidence. Which consequently would then signal game over for us.

The Dividends menu provides us with an informative breakdown of all the information we could possible need to know when deciding upon a figure. With the dividend yield arguably being the most important of the bunch to pay attention to when deciding upon what sort of dividend to pay out to shareholders. We can see that our company currently has 24 million shares held privately and thus a figure of 15 Yen per share, hitting that 3% yield threshold, will result in the company paying out a total of 360,000,000 Yen to our shareholders, before any handling fees are also applied.

Subsequently, shareholder confidence has now increased by one whole star. This brings our shareholder confidence rating up to four stars out of five, from a previous rating of three stars. Securing our position as CEO of the company for the foreseeable future.

ABT706a

Closing in on meeting our last completion condition, as the region’s population nears 20,000 people, we decide to build another residential apartment block in Nagashirojo. This time we are going to build this subsidiary next to our station on land that our company already possesses. The construction of this residential apartment block should either push us over the finishing, or go very close to doing so.

ABT706b

Upon the construction of our latest subsidiary being completed during the 8th of August, we receive news from our secretary that we have finally fulfilled our second completion condition. The number of inhabitants in the region as a whole has now crossed over the 20,000 person threshold. Thus, we have now achieved both of our completion conditions and have obtained victory in the All Aboard Tourism scenario!

ABT707a
ABT707b

Subsequently, we have now upgraded the trophy besides the All Aboard Tourism scenario from a bronze trophy to a silver trophy. Proving that we have the business skills required to successfully navigate our way through the increased challenge, depth, and complexity that Normal difficulty (and above) offers.

ABT708

That concludes our finale to Let’s Play All Aboard Tourism. I hope you have enjoyed the journey as we took a fledgling transportation network and gradually expanded it to bring countless tourists to Nagashirojo Castle. Along the way we established a profitable private railway corporation, helped the region to develop in multiple areas, and saw the population explode past 20,000 inhabitants. To commemorate our success lets take one last screenshot, looking northwards from Nagashirojo towards the now sprawling urban centers of Tomoto and Enomori.

ABT709

Until the next time we met aboard the A-Train, I hope you have a safe and wonderful journey. Sayōnara!

That was a thing of beauty @Malkael