Boston Sprinter Testing Fail

Discussion in 'PlayStation Discussion' started by Mat_Jam_Ca, Aug 22, 2021.

  1. Mat_Jam_Ca

    Mat_Jam_Ca Well-Known Member

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    We ask this a lot, but was Boston Sprinter tested? Was it tested with safety systems turned on?

    The amount of bugs and glitches is incredible. I’ve started to gather them all here in one thread. If you have any more, please add them.

    1. ATC/ACSES taking you down to 30-45mph more often than not for no obvious reason.
    2. Trains becoming jammed. Or lots of trains queuing blocking paths.
    3. Depot services can’t be completed due to the markers being in the wrong place.
    4. Scenario timings being considerably off e.g. expecting you to go from Boston South to Boston South via the Balloon Loop in an impossible 6-minutes. None can be completed on time, especially with safety systems switched on.
    5. ATC/ACSES dropping to 0mph and forcing an immediate emergency brake application. Happens randomly all over the place, but especially on the Balloon Loop and between the Southampton Yard depot and Boston South station.
    6. Unable to dismiss ATC/ACSES alarm in the F40PH-3C with Circle on PS5 and equivalent on Xbox. This also effects the cab car requiring you to operate the in cab buttons instead.
    7. Camera Shift + D-Pad down when taking a picture causes the reverser to move out of position (affects all routes). Use of the Camera Shift button should disable the reverser.
    8. Operation Shift + D-Pad Left/Right can cause the doors to open. D-Pad up causes the reverser to move out of position (affects all routes). Use of the Operation Shift should disable the doors and reverser.
    9. On the Foundation scenario, there are red signals into Providence and Canton which have to be bypassed by contacting the signaller. No obvious reason for these signals to be red.
    10. Barely any audio in the cab car.
    11. The wiper sound in the cab car is very tedious sounding.
    12. Problems with the trapdoor not operating correctly for high/low platforms on the MBTA consist.
    13. Cars, notably those at Stoughton station sunk into the floor.
    14. Some crossing gates not working or opening too soon.
    15. F40PH-3C bell very quiet.
    16. When F40PH-3C is to become the trailing unit, the instructions advise us to put the headlights to ‘Dim’ when the headlights should be turned off and front marker lights turned on.
    17. ATC/ACSES dropping to a lower speed but no audible warning given in the F40PH-3C or cab car. You just see the speed ring on the HUD turn red.
    18. F40PH-3C has the manually lapped braking hiss from the F40PH-2CAT on Peninsula Corridor.
    19. Suppression braking in the wrong position in the F40PH-3C? Don’t know if this is an error, but it goes Full Service, then Suppression in game, which seems strange.

    As ever, most of these issues have been identified whilst only playing the route for a few hours. It is rather insane for so many issues to go through ‘testing’ unnoticed.
     
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2021
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  2. CK95

    CK95 Well-Known Member

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    Yeah I think their QA goes as far as does the route load and then that’s it.

    In any event either ACSES and ATC weren’t used during testing (if testing took place at all) or those testing the route didn’t take any notice of weather ACSES/ATC was working correctly.
     
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  3. andyt741

    andyt741 Guest

    their QA and testing goes as far the canteen and "the special looks alright", they clearly have a very poor record for testing, a quick look through forums and past personal experience with dtg games is undeniably way below acceptable on any level.
     
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  4. Jezame

    Jezame Member

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    Great summary matjamca, I have experienced all the same issues, especially the ATC/ACSES ones you have listed as well.
     
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  5. MrbKlegend89

    MrbKlegend89 Active Member

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    There's also a bug in 17:34 service regarding Amtrak to Providence...for some reason I forget which section that it accidently runs on the Boston South Station bound track, I think its passed at least Canton Junction...but on the map it shows its on the right track but in driver mode or so its on the wrong track..I wish I documented it for proof, but thats another bug
     
  6. xblackwolf90

    xblackwolf90 Well-Known Member

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    A pretty good summary there.

    I've found it impossible to stick to the timetable, particularly on Amtrak services, if the safety systems are on. You're dropped to 30 and end up several minutes late.

    The F40 braking hiss when at 'initial application' doesn't affect the operation but is a tad annoying when attempting to gently slow to a stop from a mile or so before the station.

    The inability to acknowledge ACSES from the controller in the F40 is a rather major oversight. I get the impression that safety systems do not form part of DTGs testing, or at least, testing of them is very limited. SHS was a great example; you couldn't complete the Tricky Tunnels scenario with them on. The 500Hz magnet issue with Hamburg Lubeck furthered this suspicion, and this is yet another example.

    I'm enjoying the route, but there are lots of niggles that need working on. Hopefully a patch will be out in the next couple of weeks to address these.
     
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  7. KoeleKoen

    KoeleKoen Well-Known Member

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    Just curious about the way they do the qa, is it that superficial that they miss things the playerbase can find in under 30 minutes or are they aware of the issues and they either don't have the time to fix them for release or just don't care.
     
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  8. tallboy7648

    tallboy7648 Well-Known Member

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    Probably a bit of both
     
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  9. tallboy7648

    tallboy7648 Well-Known Member

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    That's one big list. I didn't buy the season ticket when it came out and still haven't. It seems I made the right choice
     
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  10. ildario77

    ildario77 Well-Known Member

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    What about your protest? I'm glad I didn't buy this route. DTG: you know what you get. We all should stop buying these products. Maybe they will really understand how incompetent they are.
     
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2021
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  11. DANtheWALLY

    DANtheWALLY Member

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    Yeah I've seen alot of these issues throughout the route with the scenario issues to be the most annoying. But the best for me was a set of crossing gates were down while I was waiting in a station and they opened as I headed towards them. So safety just had it. But I have think I've seen nearly all these issues around the route. Real shame.
     
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  12. Patrick Kolinski

    Patrick Kolinski Active Member

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    Thats what i talked about!! You totally right bro! how the hell they didnt tested it??? We want an answer!
     
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  13. Mat_Jam_Ca

    Mat_Jam_Ca Well-Known Member

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    Another ‘oddity’

    In the Journey Chapter 3 service ‘Amtrak Lake Shore Limited (Boston - Depot), you are asked to stable the train via the night via the balloon loop.

    There are two ACS-64 locomotives connected to this train.

    Oddly, you are sat in the ACS-64 cab nearest to (and facing) the coaches. This position is of no use at any point during the exercise. If this was real life, you’d need assistance reversing and moving forward.
     
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  14. Mat_Jam_Ca

    Mat_Jam_Ca Well-Known Member

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    Just done Journey Chapter 3 ‘Amtrak Northeast Regional #173 (Boston - Providence.

    Really enjoyable run until the approach into Providence. Dropped again to 30mph for a reasonably significant amount of time again and ACSES dropped to 0mph as I was entering the platform. Arrived about five minutes late with a gold medal. No obvious explanation for the drop to 30mph.
     
  15. Mac Mac

    Mac Mac New Member

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    Right now I’m with 906 Stoughton-Boston, stuck at readville behind 7 consists, you may say…what’s wrong with it? The 7 consists above mentioned are IN THE SAME SECTION BLOCK.
    I’m wondering if DTG have tested it in the whole functionality. Also if you get out of the stoughton branch and you get to canton jct few seconds late, dispatcher is going to let you wait for the providence bound train and make you lose 15 mins.
    Unfortunately not what I expected from rush hour in a potentially amazing but unplayable route.
     
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  16. Cramnor

    Cramnor Well-Known Member

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    One major problem with QA seems to be that the people doing it have no understanding of how trains and safety systems work (apart from a lot of other things, but lets focus on these for now), they are presumably just checking if the code works, which it probably most of the time does. But the major PZB problems on Hamburg-Lubeck, the LZB implementation on RT, BR112 and BR146, and now the ACSES/ATC on Boston Sprinter, all of these things are not working prototypical (I mean, not even close to), and these are MAJOR bugs that take 1 minute to be reproduced. While the PZB got eventually fixed, when that will happen for the rest, we don't know :(
    And I am not so sure if this is a QA problem (i.e. finding the problem) or an engineering problem (i.e. fixing the problem). If it is the first, DTG should take much more advantage of the community (it is free even, why not take advantage of that, I don't understand it), if it is the latter there seems to be a significant lack of proper staffing or poor management decisions.
     
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  17. Luke8899

    Luke8899 Well-Known Member

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    Testing is not a particularly glamorous or long-term job, it's a way into the industry and most testers want to move on fairly quickly having got their foot in the door, so having a permanent high-skilled testing crew is hard enough, but having one that is also super knowledgeable about the specific tech and expected behaviors of specific simulated aspects is even harder if not impossible in practice. In DTG's case, their paid testers will likely be working across fishing games too, so it's even less likely to have a group of people with insider knowledge on both Fishing and Railways.

    But DTG do have a solution to the above problem as they have said numerous times, they have a beta testing forum utilizing drivers and engineers and other industry-related people, and it sounds very much like the voluntary idea you suggest. The problem with voluntary things though is that you cannot oblige someone to be at your disposal for testing if it's just a favor which voluntary testing basically is. Even offering incentives like free games or DLC won't necessarily do anything if someone is also managing a job as a driver or engineer and so may not be able to help when you need them to. In the case of Hamburg-Lubeck it was mentioned on a stream that they simply didn't have those knowledgeable contributors available to spot the errors at the time the route was going to launch.

    As for those who are ultimately just amateurs who like trains, the problem with just recruiting those to do testing for free is who decides which amateurs are knowledgeable enough to start giving feedback which could drastically affect development and add to costs/time? If someone is a driver/signaller/engineer there's no question they are knowledgeable enough, but for amateurs someone needs to deduce how knowledgeable they are which becomes a whole time-consuming process in and of itself, because you do not want to hold up production because someone gives bad advice on a signaling system implementation that then needs to be unworked.

    If there is a solution I assume like most it relies on longer production schedules, and as easy as it is to say delay a game the reality is more complicated and games have to be released eventually they cannot be in testing indefinitely for the sake of resolving every issue.
     
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  18. Willowrpe

    Willowrpe Active Member

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    I worked in QA once a long time ago, in my experience the QA do know of the issues but people at the top of the company want the product out, I worked on a racing game and the devs never even looked at our bug reports for ages and we had to start again! I suspect as long as it does not crash it will likely be let through although recent events have proven that wrong!

    DTG need to spend more on QA to get products working properly
     
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  19. AGoodJudge2

    AGoodJudge2 Active Member

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    Rush hour = We'll release this in a rush and test it for an hour if you're lucky.
     
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  20. Luke8899

    Luke8899 Well-Known Member

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    It's easy to bash the higher-ups at DTG as the blocker to solutions, but it has never seemed to me that this is a company where the managers are buying mega-yachts and brand new Ferraris, so the idea of an unyielding executive board insisting on deadlines for the sake of their extravagant bonuses seems unlikely to be honest.

    Delaying the game or spending more money on QA are decisions that have financial consequences, and someone has to decide if those consequences are bearable for the business. It is not always as simple as not caring, but a calculation that a delay will make a game unprofitable, similarly spending more money up front will require more money be returned later on, but how? More buyers? A higher price? Someone has to make the call over whether a risk is worth it and it's not always easy.

    What I will say is that as a consumer you buy a product as-is, and you need to satisfy yourself it is worth the money you spend on it before buying it, too many will complain about DTG and TSW and yet ultimately the root cause of their issues is their inability to simply not buy something they are not convinced will satisfy them. For me the game easily matches its price warts 'n' all. Even without 70% of my DLC available for the moment, it remains my most played game, no other train sim comes close to what this offers in terms of immersion and re-playability, it can be a sim without being too serious, but it can also force you to learn things about how signaling systems work, and increase your understanding of real life railway operations. It's easily up there alongside MSFS in terms of providing an accessible simulation, albeit at a higher cost once all the routes are factored in.

    Whilst I'm giving a dose of positive feedback, I'll state here that I think that praise is a much better way to encourage people to make a better game, because it backs-up the idea they are capable of creating something that good, and tells them exactly why you play it in the first place. Even at the best of times, 90-95% of threads on the console and PC forums are negative, they serve no real purpose other than for what are often the same dozen or so people to rehash the same issues the game has had since launch (and in the case of the PC forum, the same issues Train Simulator has had since the dawn of time), nobody reading most of what is posted here comes away with any real clue why people play this game, and to me that misses a great opportunity to incentivize the game teams to deliver better because they have already achieved so much to be proud of.
     
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