Creator Interview – CrankyBot

Creator Interview – CrankyBot

18th August 2020 0 By Gareth Davies

We sat down with acclaimed scenario creator “CrankyBot” to talk about how he goes about making scenarios and other topics. This is the first in a series of articles in which we interview content creators for TS and TSW.


  1. Why did you start scenario creation?

It all came about from Steam Workshop and the ever-growing population of scenarios that started appearing from there by the likes of RockRailScenarios and DPSimulations which started getting me intrigued on doing the same for others on the Workshop. It was a learning curve for sure on how it all works and soon enough started getting into the habit of it more and more starting from singular scenarios to full major packs. The same can then be said for my transition from Workshop to Third Party groups (ATS and VP for the short duration I was there).

  1.  Where did the name “CrankyBot” originate from?

Oddly enough it was my second ever YouTube name (the first is embarrassing enough to not disclose). It’s been around since 2012 and just feels appropriate for a TS Community nickname. It worked for other games for the time I was there but I go under a different name now on Steam.

  1. Do you have a favorite route/rolling stock to use when creating scenarios?

One’s that don’t dump upon spawn… on a real note I suppose testing wise I do enjoy a Class 321. As for routes well… my local isn’t on TS (yet) so I don’t have a favourite for now!

  1. What factors do you take into consideration when choosing a scenario location, era and stock to use?.

Most of my work has been modern-based era scenarios – unless it’s a requested scenario – so long as I have the necessary requirements to reflect reality into TS2020 then I don’t mind what I do. It used to be scenarios that either were new and fresh in demand for scenarios or one’s that haven’t been published for a while just to refresh the route a bit. Nowadays I either do a voted scenario pack, requested scenarios and randomly generated headcode scenarios (i.e using a random number & letter generator then using RTT to see if the headcode service exists and if it’s mostly available on the TS Route List). 

  1. What tools do you primarily use to create the scenarios?

RealTimeTrains for timetables. Flickr for resource purposes. Rail-Record for more detailed specification of Freight Operations. Wikipedia & Number Generator for random unit selection if a specific unit/loco has not been specified for a service. 

  1. If you could give one piece of advice to people wanting to start scenario creation, what would it be? 

Start simple and work your way from there, such as the Isle of Wight or other branches that stem away from the Mainline. It’s easier to test and fail on smaller routes because there’s less to cover and doesn’t take up too much of your time. When you feel confident then take it up a notch and try for bigger mainline routes but do not head straight for major mainline (Intercity/Express stuff). It’s all about taking steps at a time so you can learn to adapt and be comfortable with the system so you know how to handle certain issues along the way.

  1. In terms of going forward with TS202X, what would you change about the scenario editor? Or is it good as is? ( Besides the ongoing crash dumping )

There’s a few issues that should be ironed out but I don’t see it as a foreseeable change considering these issues have been on-going for ages. Some features could be more simplified but nevertheless it’s personal opinion on how people see and use the features.  

  1. What do you think of Pacers? ;).

    As someone who has never stepped foot on a Pacer (so neutral standpoint) they seem rather unique in a way that no one else in the world would think “Yeah let’s do that too!”, those poor buses…