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Thread: TSW feedback to DTG

  1. #1
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    Default TSW feedback to DTG

    This is an extract from their latest info update.....

    ".....we commenced our Train Sim World: CSX Heavy Haul Beta with more than 15,000 owners of TS2017: Pioneers Edition qualifying for access. More than 2,000 of you registered on our dedicated forums with around 500 providing us with your thoughts on how we can improve Train Sim World....."


    What would be of concern to me if I were requesting feedback on a new product is the very low percentage return.
    That 500 is only 25% of those who registered on the forum.
    Last edited by seagoon; 02-11-2017 at 06:55 AM.
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  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by seagoon View Post
    This is an extract from their latest info update.....

    ".....we commenced our Train Sim World: CSX Heavy Haul Beta with more than 15,000 owners of TS2017: Pioneers Edition qualifying for access. More than 2,000 of you registered on our dedicated forums with around 500 providing us with your thoughts on how we can improve Train Sim World....."


    What would be of concern to me if I were requesting feedback on a new product is the very low percentage return.
    That 500 only 25% of those who registered on the forum.
    Given that the history of DTG posts here has been littered with complaints of lack of response or acknowledgment of issues raised in the past I'd guess a fair percentage thought what's the point Lets be clear they're not alone in having such complaints levelled at them ....but if you want to engage with your users it has to be a two way traffic?

    Not a user of any DTG products myself but I've no wish to see them fail. I can therefore see why this post might ring alarm bells to those of you looking forward to their latest offering though.
    Geoff
    Dorset - near The Swanage Railway.
    UK

  3. #3
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    There's probably several factors at play here...

    1. It was a very limited time wise tech demo, hesitate to use "beta" as it seems what came out at least initially was more of a late alpha. By DTG's own admission they already addressed some of the sillier issues like incorrect physics which should have been eliminated before the public unveil.

    2. As we've seen before, many so called "beta testers" aren't really interested in testing, they just want to rack up brownie points for collecting early access - they just play with the toy, get bored and drop it.

    3. As Geoff points out, DTG have a bad reputation for papering over cracks or ignoring real issues raised over the years. Railworks crashing when you try to import high res DEM across lines of latitude was aired recently. They've known about this for years but either won't or can't fix it. Those of us attempting to use the editors have requested changes and improvements to terrain painting or the ability to import fresh textures without faffing around with blueprints - ignored, so long as their little inner cadre of payware route builders are happy, they don't (seem to) care. Ditto useable resources from within routes, the trend is more and more towards complex objects for specific locations which cannot be broken down for re-use elsewhere. And on a mundane note, years ago we were promised re-nameable station signs - still waiting!

    4. I digress... the other factor still remains, offering a US only based product of a relatively obscure route is not going to catch the interest of many outside its fairly restricted likely audience.

    I too wish DTG no ill will but I'm wondering if the delay we may now be seeing could be because their approach to TSW on several levels has back fired a bit. Let's just hope it doesn't affect residual support of TS2017 too much.
    Vern.

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    I also read that piece of info that Bruce has extracted for us from the DTG website, I wasn't surprised at all, I'm sure many folks have already sussed out that DTG are still churning out Payware rubbish, you only have to look on Steam from 31st November 2016 at the BR Class 150/1 DMU Add-On, which so far has garnered 22 complaints out of 28 reviews, what chance do we have that they will get everything right on Train Sim World, not a hope in hell at the moment.
    TS20xx is 10 years old this year, obviously, we have come a mighty long way from Kuju days, but, personally, I feel we still aren't getting a fully committed effort from their Management to DLC releases for the old game, is it because they have focused all their time on TSW, or, is it because they still haven't got out of their lazy malaise and just can't be arsed to do it right for the amount of time and money spent by their amateur development teams, who still have no railway expertise, or, working knowledge, on how to do things properly, after a bloody decade, and now this new equity company, Alcuin Capital Partners, has invested money into this little project, and got a Member of their staff onto the DTG board of Directors, who may just influence Mr. Jackson into dropping TS2017 altogether if TSW takes off financially, as I'm sure they won't want to see their investment money prop up an ailing game version, and now that the TSW release date has been pushed back will us Brits have to wait until at least the Summer months for anything from the UK, and the Germans will probably get some content around Christmas time, so, nearly another year hanging about waiting!!
    And being old school British Rail, I wonder exactly what they will offer us Brits in TSW, no doubt it'll be a mundane A-B modern route with plastic EMU's for the passenger train lovin' boys, because that's what sells according to their Marketing Dept. and anything like Steam or first generation diesel will take a few years to create, I can't wait that long, this TSW should have been started many year's ago, UE4 became available in 2004, before even Kuju came on the scene!!
    I agree with Vern's summation, many British players, well, anyone outside of North America really, who has no interest in their Railroads, per se, didn't obtain the BETA, so, that accumulated only a small fraction of responses and comments that DTG might have hoped for, so, that was mistake number 1, they made a complete cock up on the Physics, mistake number 2, and so many of their new hyped up functions weren't made available and lots of stuff on the HUD was greyed out, so, we couldn't BETA test everything anyway, mistake number 3.
    Sorry, whilst you still have Ringmaster Paul Jackson running this Circus things won't change, I enjoyed my committment of several thousand pounds of DLC over the years and kept a lot of 3rd party private creators going, but, my interest has expanded into other games now that I have found other things to play with on my computer, if DTG go bankrupt, so be it, maybe they might just actually learn that if they can't be bothered then why should us jolly good customers be bothered, life moves on, let's take our money to someone else.

    Cheerz. ex-railwayman.
    Last edited by ex-railwayman; 02-11-2017 at 08:29 AM. Reason: re-edit
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  5. #5
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    ex-railwayman, I feel your frustration . When MSTS2 (take 2 ....not the first attempt) was on the cards, in fact nearly ready for release, there was a lot of NEW development promised. Amongst that was "auto generated scenery" and the much hyped "World of Rails". Thanks to Non Disclosure Clauses anyone who had any idea of what that meant in reality was not allowed to share that knowledge, any screenshots, in fact NADA! Realising that Flight Simulator, which I'd dismissed as a joke with FS98, had come on somewhat and had indeed been using autogen scenery since FS9 and into FSX. ....I bought a bargain bin copy of FS9 and was really impressed at how much it had developed since FS98. When ace studios was axed I grabbed a copy of the all singing all dancing version of FSX. I needn't have panicked on that. However that's when I got completely diverted from Rail Sims for a couple of years. Those years probably coincided with some of the best scenery and other add-ons that FSX and P3D have seen. They came thick and fast and my CC took a hammering. One of the scenery publishers (I won't name them ...many will know to whom I refer ) adopted a very high handed attitude to it's customers, banning many from their forum. This is when I began to ponder the subject of Simulators as a hobby.

    MSTS2 had been blown out of the water , Railworks was grabbing all the headlines with the usual hype that surrounds any new release.

    Real life curtailed my Simming time somewhat and preparing to move home finally "did for" my Flight Simming. I still have the stuff. Hundreds of pounds worth of it.

    Having moved and settled into our new home I treated myself to a new PC (Flight Sim special build) but again real life meant that this saw little use.

    When I did get back into Simming I decided that this constant payware purchasing was not what had given me most pleasure. Getting "under the bonnet" was what had given me most fun. I bought RW, installed it, bought a few DLC bit's and bobs ....was underwhelmed and uninstalled it. Back to MSTS and found that in my absence OR had become a reality rather than a very alpha project.

    Bottom line is that I come back to my original beliefs. 1) Train Simming for a HOBBY is only really possible where ther is a mixture of Payware and Freeware. 2) NO commercial outfit can afford to put the time, effort and love into the sort of projects that are represented by the best of the freeware. Time is money if you're earning a living at something. When the cost of effort in exceeds the likely profit obtainable at a realistic selling price it's the detail that's going to suffer. 3) Hobby input is only going to possible where the tools needed to create it are readily and reasonably available to the hobbyists? 4) Tools within the Simulator will limit what the hobbyists can add to the payware. BUT and 5) That isn't to say that some folk will be quite happy to buy the payware and support the Sims that depend 90-95% on that.

    The only problem with 5 is that many who went down that route feel let down to varying degrees and those who left the older sims and actually invested in the time effort and software to create for the newer Sims are "lost" as creators for the older ones?

    Basically, and I stand to be corrected, there's a finite number of Simulator enthusiasts, a finite number of people and/or organisations actually creating anything for them and history has shown that many "Fixes", "Patches" and developments have only been achieved where the Hobbyist has been able to get under the bonnet?

    "Discuss" as the old exam papers used to say before multiple choice..
    Geoff
    Dorset - near The Swanage Railway.
    UK

  6. #6
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    Well Geoff, you only have to look at World Of Subways and the virtual absence of any discussion on the boards here at the time of release, let alone currently, to see how much interest an inflexible standalone product generates. That is a product which DTG appear keen to emulate with the various "RPG" elements introduced to TSW. One of the reasons N3V TANE has flourished, despite initially dropping the ball, is because at the heart it still embraces the sandbox element that most looking to get under the surface yearn for (and easy to use, too).

    Back to why TSW beta didn't see much take-up, you also have to recall there was a fairly expensive requirement to purchase DLC for TS2017 in order to qualify for the programme. Not everyone wanted to (or could afford) purchase a load of not particularly wanted content. I've still got a load of routes/trainsets I purchased because I wanted to that have been barely touched, to waste money that could be coming off the mortgage as extra payment for fluff I don't want. Said at the time, if they wanted an orderly early access programme then they should have done as Codemasters did with Dirt Rally - prompt purchase buys you in at a good price and the longer you leave it, closer to full RRP it gets. That and ongoing access to the emerging code fixes is what IMHO they should have done, but DTG had to be wacky and different.
    Vern.

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    Quote Originally Posted by lateagain View Post
    I feel your frustration .

    Basically, and I stand to be corrected, there's a finite number of Simulator enthusiasts, a finite number of people and/or organisations actually creating anything for them and history has shown that many "Fixes", "Patches" and developments have only been achieved where the Hobbyist has been able to get under the bonnet?
    "Discuss" as the old exam papers used to say before multiple choice..
    I agree Geoff, having obtained all the Railway/Train Simulators around for the last umpteen years, plus FSX and all the scenery and aircraft, Ship Sim, Truck Sim, Kitchen Sink Sim, I have them all and spent a pretty penny on everyone of them as well. I would say that there is a market for enthusiasts but these companies forget that a) we are customers and b) we like our Payware DLC to be top quality for us to spend our money on. I generally received that with my Flight Simming DLC content, and they have so many freeware hobbyists reskinning aircraft into hundreds of different liveries it makes your head swim.
    I saw on DTG's Facebook page that they've had over 208,000 likes, yet, on the website article they state they only have 15,000 registered owners of TS2017, what happened to the rest of them, in 9 years have they pissed so many folks off with their attitude and churning out half baked goods that all their old customers have seen the light and moved on, how are they going to exist in future if they only have say about 5,000 customers buying TSW CSX Heavy Haul from day one, at a pure guess I'd say the retail price could possibly be around 30, so, that's only 150,000 for them to survive on for 4/5 months until they release some British content and German stuff to fulfill everyone's needs, I can't see how they are going to get by on such a trivial amount of revenue, for the amount of staff salaries and overheads they need to cover, no wonder they've had to get an Equity Company to come in with a loan to tie them over. From a British point of view, there are very few within the community now doing anything for us all, unlike other Simulators, the Steam Marketplace has now been taken down, so, I presume anything that was in the pipeline has now been abandoned, I don't even know if 3rd Party Creators such as Fastline Simulation are still in business, their own website hasn't been updated since last March and you only need to look at the UKTS library, not many repaints, not many routes, not many scenery items, a few scenario packs, but, where is everyone, I know some of the American contributors who were around years ago have left, and some of them have now moved into the Payware business, which is OK to a point, but, we are reliant on the same few people doing something for us freely, when their spare time permits, and some of them haven't done anything for ages, for folks like me who cannot physically create anything my interest in the game then wanders and I move on, taking my wallet with me, so, for the few Payware developers who are left they don't get anything from me in future and there is little financial encouragement for them to continue, it's just a vicious circle, and the more end-users/customers who leave the game the worse it will become, and yet DTG seem to be very happy with their usual hype and saying the future looks rosy, you can't make it up......

    Cheerz. ex-railwayman.
    Last edited by ex-railwayman; 02-12-2017 at 09:34 PM. Reason: re-edit
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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by ex-railwayman View Post
    .......have they pissed so many folks off with their attitude and churning out half baked goods that all their old customers have seen the light and moved on : ex-railwayman.
    That raises two points. Firstly they are still "in development" but could their content survive should they meet the fate of Aces Studio's stuff? Most older Sim content was distributed on disc so 2nd hand copies were available. Reliance on download means folk need to know a) IS it still available.... and b) WHERE is it available from? Stuff seems to disappear from the ghastly "STEAM"?

    Quote Originally Posted by ex-railwayman View Post
    ........how are they going to exist in future if they only have say about 5,000 customers buying TSW CSX Heavy Haul from day one, at a pure guess I'd say the retail price could possibly be around 30, so, that's only 150,000 for them to survive on for 4/5 months until they release some British content and German stuff to fulfill everyone's needs : ex-railwayman.
    As an impartial observer the first thought that entered my head on the announcement of TSW was "ARE THEY NUTS?! That's going into direct competition with Run8 and Run 8 has a few years start and quite a load of stock now? The US bit didn't surprise me at all. I think you only have to look at UKTS to see that they might be complacent about their hold on the UK market. Also if you're developing a new Sim bigger on "physics" than before the US offers an almost exclusively Diesel model to develop. Europe and the UK has a far more diverse number of tractions to be modelled.

    It's hard to see how Train Simulation alone can sustain any software development Company?

    Think back to the demise of the final stab at MSTS2. Some involved, newly redundant, set up their own company, "Cascade Games Foundry" https://www.facebook.com/CascadeGameFoundry/

    Any adult knows that suddenly losing your job means the bills keep coming and income must be sought ASAP to stay afloat. No pun intended ....but after ALL that development work on Train Simulation they needed a title that was unchallenged in the Sim world. They came up with Scuba Diving. The MSTS2 fans "last straw" had literally been clutched and sunk beneath the surface....

    BUT, however disappointing that was for Train Sim Fans, all but the thickest must have understood that to try and start afresh, avoiding clashes with copyrighted stuff they'd been working on, in competition with the then new RS, PLUS developments from a few other existing Rail Sim developers would have been commercial suicide?

    As it's turned out the huge interest in Virtual Reality has made a Scuba Diving Sim an extremely smart place to be? and they're ahead in that field as opposed to trailing in the Train Sim World.

    Flight Simming has a far wider appeal than Train Simming and despite the (IMO) silly sneering by some at "backward compatability" that has has been one of FS's strengths. FSX and it's spin off development as P3D are now only a few years younger than MSTS. Ancient in Sim terms ....BUT that's meant a solid platform for 3rd party development and IMO content sustains Sims?

    Whilst we have choice the community will exist, albeit somewhat fragmented in it's loyalty to a favourite Sim AND as I've said many times you can run as many as you've disc space for. IF the newer Sims become more niche the older Sims will become less known. Great as they were no one's "pushing" MSTS now because as we know it's only with a hobbyists interest that becomes anything like what we enthusiasts run today. OR is great but it's strength of having no commercial pressure to release stuff that may not work is tempered by slow development. Fine for us Old Gits... we had lower expectations than todays 10 minute attention span generation! but you need interest from ALL ages to succeed.

    PS
    Have a read of the CV's of the Cascade Games Foundry team here. Many of you will remember Rick Selby's (Co-Founder of CGF) blogs on the final development of MSTS2 right up till the bitter and sudden end. http://www.cascadegamefoundry.com/our-team/
    Last edited by lateagain; 02-13-2017 at 05:12 AM.
    Geoff
    Dorset - near The Swanage Railway.
    UK

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by ex-railwayman View Post
    I saw on DTG's Facebook page that they've had over 208,000 likes, yet, on the website article they state they only have 15,000 registered owners of TS2017

    Pretty sure you will find that is 15,000 users registered for TSW beta of which 2000 registered for the forum.

    The number of Railworks (sic) owners was 250 k years ago (when I was last involved and I would be very surprised if the figure isn't approaching 500k.

    They will have done their sums

    Sly

  10. #10
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    I wasn't aware Steam Marketplace had been taken down - I presume the Workshop for TS20xx freeware is still going?

    Re flight simulation, weren't DTG also working on some sort of UE4 replacement for FSX? I know there was some sort of cut down pilot school type thing last year, but the main event was supposed to be an all new simulator?

    We can crunch the numbers all day (sadly this is where we miss Otto with his ability to get company records) but expectations of 5000 sales of TSW, which will be predominantly to the US audience doesn't sound too far off course. Even if they pushed 10000 copies, as ex states, that's not a huge amount of revenue given the development costs incurred, Steam fees and UE4 licence royalties to pay. Unless there is some UK and European content looming large behind the US release, well it could get interesting. May well be residual sales of TS20xx stuff will be subsidising TSW for quite some time...
    Vern.

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