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Community Manager, Reporting For Duty

Discussion in 'Announcements' started by DTG Protagonist, Jun 5, 2020.

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  1. DTG Protagonist

    DTG Protagonist Community Manager Staff Member

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    Hi all, I am your new community manager.

    We're still working to hire a permanent replacement for Dmitri, but we don't want you to feel like you're not being heard while the search continues. I'm here to make sure that your feedback and concerns are delivered to the development team and company as a whole.

    It's possible that you know me already by other names as I'm regularly on the Railfan TV schedule - Sam, or Colonel Failure depending on your preference. The reason for this additional nom-de-plume is that I wear several different hats. My aim when streaming is to show that expertise and seriousmindedness are not a pre-requisite to being able to enjoy rail simulation, so I play as I do when on my own time - finding fun above all else.

    I'm here to make sure you are heard and that you are properly represented with the people who are responsible for your game.

    This doesn't mean that every request will be acted upon. It does mean that every request, no matter how nuanced, will be heard by those that make the decisions. Sometimes there will be feedback, often there won't be, but you are being heard and your concerns are taken seriously.

    My aim is to ensure that conversations here are civilised, and that anyone who has something to say can do without fear of being flamed. Disagree by all means but please respect the individual on the other end of the screen.

    Good.

    I'm getting up to speed on conversations that are underway, and will be doing some spring cleaning as I go. I'll be here every day - I'll also appear in other places where the game is being discussed, so don't act surprised when I turn up. One step at a time...


    -Protagonist
     
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  2. matthewbguilford

    matthewbguilford Well-Known Member

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    Hi Sam, reading your post you obviously have a good idea of what this community is looking for. I appreciate the kind words and I think everyone appreciates what you plan on doing! Can’t wait to see what we can do together! Welcome and good luck!
     
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  3. StratPlayer62

    StratPlayer62 Well-Known Member

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    Welcome. I have to say from your initial posts if you actually do what you say I hope you are made the permanent community manager and not just a temporary one.
     
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  4. longo239

    longo239 Well-Known Member

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    Welcome Sam, from listening to your comments on yesterday's stream, it sounds like you already have your finger on the pulse.
     
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  5. Rudolf

    Rudolf Well-Known Member

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    Welcome Sam,

    I do not like watching others just play the game, so I mainly like to see the devstreams to get some additional information and to decide on buying add-ons. So I did not see much of your streaming.

    If you read these forums, you will see that we are critical on the lack of communication fro DTG. It may be a nice task for you to change that a bit. I suggest you to do two things:

    1.Make a public open issue list. This saves us the trouble to file tickets over and over to report bugs. Instead, it would be nice if we can vote for bugs that really should be solved.
    2. Inform us about the status of the content editor, even if it is bad news. We got an awesome demo from Matt a long time ago,and we know there are delays. But just known what you are stuck at and what prevents progress would be polite to to the customers. We even may forgive you for lack of progress ...

    Rerads,

    Rudolf,

    Fan from the start ...
     
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  6. DTG Protagonist

    DTG Protagonist Community Manager Staff Member

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    Rudolf, thanks for the response and you've hit the nail on the head.

    What we're aiming for as a company is to give greater visibility over what we're working on. There will always be some cards that are kept closer to our collective chest, but that doesn't mean we can't talk about projects or fixes or day to day work that may not have a fixed delivery date. The challenge comes in training the community (which sounds odd, but bear with me) to manage their expectations, especially when it comes to exciting-sounding new features or important updates.

    Here's the nitty-gritty on the content editor as of today: it's a work in progress. It is significantly more complex than the TS20 editor because it first requires Unreal Engine which comes with a rather sizable amount of licensing bureaucracy that isn't easy to navigate. It also requires a higher level of understanding from users to be able to make headway which is not in itself a deal-breaker, but our goal is to make the TSW editor more user friendly than what has come before rather than less. Oh, and the final requirement is that console players must also be able to use it. It's important to us that those playing on PlayStation or Xbox aren't treated as second class citizens.

    Those are the problems. They're not insignificant, but neither are they insurmountable. Right now I have no timeline to offer, not even vaguely, and my own recommendation is to put it out of your head until such a time as it's talked about in concrete terms as a thing that's happening. Not easy, of course. As a highly desirable, if not essential, feature it is conspicuous in its absence.
     
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  7. 4-COR

    4-COR Member

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    So this means that the editor isn't coming pretty much. Great.
     
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  8. Anthony Pecoraro

    Anthony Pecoraro Well-Known Member

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    Umm. It is. Did you actually read it?
     
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  9. Mikey_9835

    Mikey_9835 Well-Known Member

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    Wait the editor is coming to console? Thats a plot twist.
     
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  10. 4-COR

    4-COR Member

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    Good luck getting current consoles to handle the editor. Not to mention that Matt said over a year and a half ago on stream "You can agree with me that there is an editor and it is coming soon".
     
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  11. londonmidland

    londonmidland Well-Known Member

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    Guys, please respect what DTG Protagonist has said.

    He has given an honest and detailed answer. Something which we haven’t had in a very long time. He could’ve just given the old “We have no news on that” reply. Which has been used far too many times.

    As mentioned, the best thing you can do is try and forget about the editor and stop asking for updates nearly every day. As hard as that sounds, you and everyone else will feel so much better as it is no longer constantly on your mind. Even I have accepted that it isn’t coming anytime soon and I’ve forgotten about it.

    Try and focus your requests on something else you want to see in the game.
     
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  12. antony.henley

    antony.henley Active Member

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    Thank you Sam, Colonel Failure or The Protagonist (or just plain ol Sir) Its great that you come here with plenty of zest and vigor. I hope that changes can be sought and made in the way with how DTG and the community interact.
    . Interesting news that you mention about the Consoles and the editor. Would that mean that the console users would get a Trimmed down editor, so possibly scenario creation and no route building so to say. I would be more than happy with that, and I know other uses would want the whole editor and then some, (that's where your statement below comes in) But yes I understand the complexities.


    Yes I wholeheartedly agree with your statement there although I am possibly guilty in having to high expectations in things.

    Cheers

    Hentis
     
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  13. Plastic Pal

    Plastic Pal Well-Known Member

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    This is possibly the most informative, open, constructive, useful, fair and detailed post that I have ever seen on these Forums, from someone representing DTG..... and given that it is in relation to The Editor, this is genuinely quite remarkable. This builds on the work that others are putting in (like TrainSim-Steve) to really start re-engaging with the community.

    This is a most welcome breath of fresh air.

    I think that we can finally say that DTG have now fully recognised the communication issue, and are now actively, and already quite successfully starting to address it. The future could well be bright.

    All we need now is to know whether the Class 47 on console will be fixed and patched before the Class 20 is released..... ;-)

    And whether the PS4/XBox content will transfer to the next gen PS5/XBox Series X..... ;-)

    And a few other bits and bobs.... ;-)

    All in good (reasonable) time....
     
    Last edited: Jun 6, 2020
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  14. Plastic Pal

    Plastic Pal Well-Known Member

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    Consoles (even current generation consoles) are perfectly capable of handling Editors - there are already quite a few examples where a content editor exists, and where the content can be shared.... such as GT Sport (for liveries) and Trackmania Turbo (for tracks/worlds). Doing it quickly and cheaply, and/or using someone else's world creation tools as the foundation, however.... is potentially tricky.
     
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  15. Plastic Pal

    Plastic Pal Well-Known Member

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    This is possibly one of the most important suggestions and burning issues that needs to be actioned, one way or another, and it can be done in one of three ways:

    1. DTG make active progress on tracking down and dealing with bugs and faults, so we don't need an issues list at all
    2. DTG publish an issues list with details regarding timescales for resolution (based on the planned resource mapped to it)
    3. The Community constructs its own Issues List to keep track of what hasn't been fixed, and asks for resource to fix them

    The list above is in order of preference.

    A first step would be for DTG to review the "closed tickets" made in the last twelve months to check to see what has been reported, and whether appropriate second line resolution has been sought, or whether the person submitting the ticket has just had their issue deflected - resulting in a loss of critical information that should have been given to the devs.
     
  16. matthewbguilford

    matthewbguilford Well-Known Member

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    As a console player, when I first heard of the editor a year ago I had no hope at all we would ever get such a thing as I’m assuming it’s a very hard task on its own for PC. . The fact that DTG doesn’t want to leave the editor out of the console version is such great news.
    This is such an exciting time for TSW!
     
    Last edited: Jun 6, 2020
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  17. bart2day

    bart2day Well-Known Member

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    This is excellent news. Really glad to hear that you are trying to treat console players the same as everyone else and we won't get left behind.
     
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  18. LastTrainToClarksville

    LastTrainToClarksville Well-Known Member

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    I'm from Missouri, so although I'd really like to believe that this "new community manager" is legit the moniker "Colonel Failure" raises my suspicion level. Still, even if nor legit this is better than the usual attitude around here.
     
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  19. Tomas9970

    Tomas9970 Well-Known Member

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    You mean "editors"? This one is a completely different beast compared to any of the in-game ones. This one is a full game engine that is supposed to be able to do anything.

    As for the trimmed down editor, I don't think it's a good idea because people would just keep asking for features from the full one that someone somewhere have used.
     
  20. kalteVollmilch

    kalteVollmilch Well-Known Member

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    It's nice to see some communication, esp. regarding the editor. Wether what's beed said is good or bad news, I will not decide this right now.

    What I wish with regards to better communication:
    A public bug tracker.
    As far as I see, everybody will profit from this:

    The community:
    As there is a list with known bugs, you can see if your bug has already been reported, and also see possible answers, others recommendations on what to do or simply get to know that the bug you encountered is already registered.
    It also makes reporting bugs easier, because the opening of a ticket, with a replay a week later stating "Yes, we acknowledge your bug" (or however that is phrased) does not feel "satisfying" at all. You don't really get the feeling that anything will be done. With a public tracker, where you can possibly vote for a bug and add your own eyperiences (how to reproduce, screencaptures, etc..), this process will feel a lot more like a user has an actual effect on fixing of said bugs.

    The Devs:
    There will be more bug reports (at least that's what I imagine), simply because there's a dedicated place to report bugs, and it feels "right" to report them. However, there will probably no longer be dozens of tickets, all with the same bug report, making prioritizing bugs easier as well as faster. If the tracker has a voting function (the community can vote, which bug should get fixed first), this will probably increase community involvement further, because it feels like one is being heard and has an actual influence on the future of the game.

    I think I remember that I once heard a public tracker will not be made because this will also be used to track bugs of unannounced content, hence everybody will be able to know what the unannounced content is. I don't accept that argument. I'm sure there are mechanisms which can regulate the visibility of the bug reports, be it a role-model or some flags.
     
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  21. Rob39

    Rob39 Well-Known Member

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    Thanks Colonel. Its good to know.
     
  22. byeo

    byeo Well-Known Member

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    As a console player, this is music to my ears, thank you so much for this thread Sam. Keep up the great work.
     
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  23. 37114

    37114 Active Member

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    Welcome and good to hear some information about the editor. The silence has been deafening.
     
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  24. Plastic Pal

    Plastic Pal Well-Known Member

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    Yep - I mean in-game "editors" and not external "game engines". Something to edit liveries and scenarios as a minimum. Maybe route/map creation. Possibly allowing import of modelled assets made in 3ds Max, Poser, etc.

    If people want a game engine to create a game, they can go straight to Epic's website, and Epic will give you Unreal Engine for free, and you only have to start paying them royalties after you have turned over $1,000,000.

    If DTG actually pull off the prospect of giving out a modified Unreal Engine, and Epic are happy with that, and DTG are willing to provide technical support for it... then that would be interesting, of course. But it would bring a huge amount of extra problems down the line.

    I would personally prefer an in-game editor which is kept within the game's ecosystem.... so that content can be shared on Steam, and across Playstation and XBox networks. Such content could then be validated by the editor as compliant, before it is distributed.
     
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  25. theorganist

    theorganist Well-Known Member

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    Good to hear some confirmation that the editor is still in development and the plan to open it up to consoles too. I think most of us, whilst we may get frustrated of the length of time the editor is taking, if we have news and confirmation at times that it hasn't been forgotten, most of us are willing to be patient. Obviously you will always get some who want it now and cannot reason with themselves as to why it may not be so easy than they want to think it is.

    Lets hope this is the beginning of more open dialogue from DTG it would make this forum a more pleasant place.
     
    Last edited: Jun 6, 2020
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  26. matthewbguilford

    matthewbguilford Well-Known Member

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    This may seem like a lot but after spending more then a year with this game and this community I think a lot of the community wants more then anything is transparency. Knowing what bugs or projects they are working on will go a long way for TSW. I will say whenever a new route is announced the one complaint that is always echoed is the route length, I think a big chunk of the community would really like to see some longer routes with a good variety of tasks to complete. I believe everyone would be happy if they started doing route extensions, as well as routes set in unique countries. I think we all would like to see the graphics updated such as lighting and scenery. I personally would love to see a free roam type option for more routes. Some of the funnest times I’ve had with TSW is when I broke the rules and added on an extra 30 freight cars onto my locomotive. Being able to go on a route and have the option of what locomotive and what passenger/freight and how many cars you would like to deliver would add a lot to this game.
     
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  27. bart2day

    bart2day Well-Known Member

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    I do get your point but I think part of the reason why they don't do this is that if they say we are focusing on x, y and z, then inevitably people will say: 'But why aren't you working on q, r and s? It's more important to fix q than x' etc. By keeping everyone in the dark it stops that.
     
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  28. Plastic Pal

    Plastic Pal Well-Known Member

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    I disagree with this approach entirely. It is far better to say something like "We recognise that X, Y and Z are all broken, but we have decided that they are not important and we are not going to fix them" than just be completely silent. Then you know where you stand. This is far better for managing expectations than being strung along. You might not like the decision, but you know what the decision is.

    At times I have thought "Why don't they just say that they are not producing an Editor for TSW, and that the idea has been shelved... and that it was a terrible mistake of improbably optimistic aspiration to suggest that one would ever be made......?"

    Turns out now that they are not shelving it, and that it really is a WIP.... So my next question would be "When do you plan on rolling out the Editor?" And if that can't be answered, then that would inidicate that there is no plan as of yet.... to roll out an Editor. I would expect an answer that is accurate to three months either way - so something like "We plan to deliver the Editor in Q3 2022." That would indicate that someone has assessed the likely amount of work/negotiation required to deliver the Editor, and understood what available resource would be applied to it, and over what timescales. If that assessment later proves to be inaccurate, then it would be absolutely fine to revise the expected date of delivery..... based on a revised assessment of the resource allocated to the work (if any). That would also be a good opportunity to assess the effectiveness and capacity to make plans.

    As an aside: "Cab sway" is an example in TSW where they got it right by not committing to the feature, and then rolling it out as a pleasant surprise (to those that wanted it).
     
    Last edited: Jun 6, 2020
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  29. Rudolf

    Rudolf Well-Known Member

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    Sam,

    Thank you for your response. It may be a good starting point. I realize from the devstreams that creating content will be much more complex for TSW than it has ever been for TS. I see how much effort it requires to get all sounds of an engine at an acceptable level, and still get the complaints about poor sound. This might be e reason in itself to release the editor as soon as possible.

    I have seen Matts demo for creating scenarios and that looks quite doable on the otter hand. So I would be happy if I could just create a few scenarios for myself.
    I would like to say one thing more. Do not aim to get a full editor that solves all wishes, because that is impossible, but aim to get feedback and focus on organizing the feedback. You don't want thousands of service tickets, but you should aim to get help from the community if finding out what is important. Why not let the community sort it out? An issue list may help a lot and it may show what we can expect. Now people are expecting a lot and feel they get noting. But personally I think TSW is a great game and it already has a lot of features that are simply not possible in TS2020. I think timetables, first person mode and layers are the most remarkable of them.
     
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  30. Doomotron

    Doomotron Well-Known Member

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    Having a console editor is certainly a good thing, although I'm scared that it'll be trimmed down to work on consoles. I doubt that a PS4/X1 version would work well, but it might not be much of a hassle - theoretically - to port the Unreal Editor directly onto the new consoles since they are pretty much ultra-powerful PCs. It might even be a good idea, since the PS5/XSX will probably cost half as much as an equivalent PC. Anyway, if DTG put in enough effort for once, they might get an editor that is just as good on all three platforms.

    It's worth remembering that because the controllers for consoles don't have that many forms of input doesn't mean that it can't work as well as the PC version. You could plug in a mouse and keyboard, or DTG could take advantage of the touchpad, back buttons (which I believe will be on PS5's DualSense), the DualShock 4's light bar (I don't know if the PS5's light bar will work with the camera like the DualShock 4's did but I'll assume it does) and Sixaxis.
     
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  31. Challenger3985

    Challenger3985 Well-Known Member

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    Ever heard of Mouse and Keyboard support, a few games dose it for keyboard players on consoles. And hearing that the editor is gonna be not only user-friendly (as it is part of the engine after all, just modded for the game) but implementing it to consoles, this is a good opportunity for route building and scenario making for console players. But how's that gonna all work, I'll wait to see what's the public build of the editor is gonna have when DTG announces it. Until then, this is a piece of good news to the editor for a while now.

    Also, nice to see a Temporary CM restoring order in the forums now. Welcome
     
    Last edited: Jun 6, 2020
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  32. SamYeager270

    SamYeager270 Well-Known Member

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    So we have the existing UE4 editor,of which DTG is running a customised version, which when I look the software requirements has a minimum requirement of Windows 7 and DirectX runtime (June 2010) and a recommended hardware requirement of Windows 10 and DirectX 11 or 12 compatible graphics card. The Prequisites installer also adds various Visual C++ and Visual Studio 2019 redistributables.

    I really wonder what "able to use it" really means. I believe Xbox is a customised and optimised version of Windows so I can sort of see how it might be possible on that platform but I'm struggling to see how it's feasible on a PS4 platform. Are DTG maybe thinking of an in-sim for scenarios with route development still requiring the customised UE4 editor? Or do they just mean consoles can install and use scenarios created by the customised UE4 editor?

    I don't think DTG mean the last option so it appears as if it's either some way of hosting a customised editor designed to run on Windows on both Xbox & the PS4 or it's an in-sim editor to create scenarios. Hmmm. Now it does appear that UE4 includes a number of sub-editors so perhaps DTG are talking about migrating a subset of these sub-editors e.g. the Level, Blueprint, Behavior Tree, Matinee, Sound Cue and Media Player sub-editors to Xbox and PS4? I suppose that might be more feasible than migrating the whole UE4 editor. I still believe that route development will require the full customised UE4 editor but realistically only a tiny proportion of TSW users will be interested in creating brand new routes.

    Another issue of course is that DTG are on version 16.3 although they've mentioned that they've backported some features of later versions. Version 25 appears to be the latest and last version of UE4. EPIC have announced UE5 and I get the impression that all further development by EPIC will take place on UE5 although maybe I'm being too pessimistic.
     
    Last edited: Jun 7, 2020
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  33. NAYDOG

    NAYDOG Guest

    These devs cant even program signals - what makes anyone think they can get a editor working on the older generation of consoles?
     
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  34. Plastic Pal

    Plastic Pal Well-Known Member

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    Yep - and on TSW they'd probably have to collaborate in teams of 30 people working full-time for three months, in order to match anything output by DTG. So - we'd be talking about a very very very small minority of people wanting to develop full brand new routes for TSW.

    That said - there are mini works of genius in TS1... like Doncaster Works... ;-)
     
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  35. Doomotron

    Doomotron Well-Known Member

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    I have a feeling DTG have given up on the UE4 editor and are creating an in-house one that can be used on consoles, but we'll only know if/when it releases.
     
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  36. trinancrat

    trinancrat Member

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    I must say, I am pleasantly surprised by this new level of communication! I hope this is indicative of more things to come.

    But...

    Exactly. What does DTG mean by "editor"? I get the impression they're only shooting for one that can create scenarios with existing assets, which could be plausibly (if rather difficultly) developed for the consoles.

    If so, forget about importing your own 3D models, as no console will ever run 3DS Max, Blender, or Photoshop, etc. That means no custom rolling stock besides what DTG already sell you. And route building doesn't just mean laying tracks, you know; you also need to import custom models for stations, landmarks, bridges, and so forth. I don't see how that can happen if parity between platforms is a hard requirement.

    This is not what the PC crowd signed up for in a "next-generation train simulator."
     
    Last edited: Jun 7, 2020
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  37. hyperlord

    hyperlord Active Member

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    Hi Sam, great to have you here :)

    I see TSW for me as a long time investment (both my money and my time), yeah like the first MMORPGs and have plenty of patience ...
     
  38. Scorpion71

    Scorpion71 Well-Known Member

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    Not going to list my bug list (most have already been covered and there is already a thread dedicated to reporting these).

    What I'd like to know is the reason for lack of 'named' loco's - is this because of licensing issues? Even on old BR loco's?
     
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  39. ixofxiii

    ixofxiii Member

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    This is awesome!!!
    Now I know that an editor is basically the most popular requested feature here. Personally, I can do with out it for now to ensure it's done right. But I'm more into the operations and realism of the trains. During a recent twitch stream, I commended Matt on the little things I've enjoyed with the M3 railcars (I live in NYC), specifically with how the passenger lights and HVAC turn off when there's a train-car length gap in the third rail. Now that's realism! But, with that being said, there's also little things that could be added to increase the experience that missing, like there's no track speed displayed on the trains console like the real thing and having the ability to remove the HUD on console without the need for a keyboard. It's little features like these that can make the experience as real as possible for some of us. Especially if one had worked on the actual trains (I never worked for LIRR but I was a conductor on the subway) or are very familiar with them. To know that now atleast our suggestions will be passed along is welcoming! Thank you!!!!
     
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  40. arapajoe3

    arapajoe3 Member

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    hopefully finally hear something to the community, after these years ... (please start fixing the thousands of bugs in routes, locos, etc) at least after all these years since the game came out that would be fine and would make sense ...
     
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2020
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  41. Sumit

    Sumit New Member

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    When you still do not promise for an editor for TSW2, then why should users outside UK USA and Germany even bother to purchase the game?
    This is a scam.
     
  42. arapajoe3

    arapajoe3 Member

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    I have seen that on August 6 they will update to TSW2, with editor and other things, does anyone know how it will be and what it will bring?
     
  43. NV Bassoonist

    NV Bassoonist New Member

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    As a dedicated PC sim enthusiast/modder with thousands sunk into programmes like 3ds Max, Photoshop and systems that can run them it feels more like you're holding us back to accommodate them.

    This is like the musical equivalent of writing a sonata for flute and piano, but instead of writing for professional flute accompanied by a Steinway concert grand, writing it so it can be played on a recorder and keyboard obtained at Walmart.
     
  44. Plastic Pal

    Plastic Pal Well-Known Member

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    From the TSW 2 Q&A:


    Can other people create routes and locos?
    We are already working with a small group of talented developers who are making routes and locos for Train Sim World. In the world of multi-platform development it is much harder to do this… We are happy to hear from you via our Third Party Publishing team (partners@dovetailgames.com) if you are experienced at developing in Unreal Engine on PC and console platforms.
     
  45. trinancrat

    trinancrat Member

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    That line of communication is for a full studio like Rivet Games, not a scrappy modding team. Dovetail are not going to grant access to their internal editing tools to every Tom and Harry who ask for them.

    Quite a shame, as that still-active Northeast Corridor development group will probably never be able to commence their work.
     
  46. Sumit

    Sumit New Member

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    shame
     
  47. mrchuck

    mrchuck Well-Known Member

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    I think the North East corridor development group will continue work on the project.
     
  48. LastTrainToClarksville

    LastTrainToClarksville Well-Known Member

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    How do you like cat "hearding" so far?
     
  49. Plastic Pal

    Plastic Pal Well-Known Member

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    Actually - I am not sure about this. Organisations like the Stirling Office will already have connections with the Chatham Office, as will others - so, they won't need to see the TSW 2 announcement details to get in touch, or stay in touch.

    I genuinely think that the email address given is open to anyone that is capable of building assets like locos or region-specific buildings, etc, and NV Bassoonist might well be someone that might make enquiries as "a dedicated PC sim enthusiast/modder with thousands sunk into programmes like 3ds Max, Photoshop".

    NB: I suspect that number of people would be small.... but frankly, if absolutely nobody answers the offer to discuss, than that would be a very good indicator that hardly anyone actually seriously wants a full-blown modified UE game-designing engine for building routes.
     
  50. trinancrat

    trinancrat Member

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    Peddlesden's standard line is that releasing a full editor would also require releasing the game's source code. If we take him at his word, fuhgeddaboudit. Not gonna happen without a binding NDA.

    But by all means, someone go ahead and ask. I am open to being proven wrong. :)
     
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