Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by lucas_5_5, Oct 22, 2019.
...are we going to be able to use it
MSB Route port area. (Aschaffenburg Port)
I hope very soon. But this is also for RSN, a route released around 14 months ago. In February MSB released. Next two DB electric loco's really fast after each other. All of this attention but still no German Diesel. Seriously, they need to set priorities what to make. They can make the ports and yards as detailed as they want but without a diesel it is useless.
I think its a priority stuff. With MSB, i feel i bought an incomplete route. (tho i knew it, and had lot of fun with what it is) I mean, it would be good from DTG to tell us, something like "expect a loco dlc for this routes in the next 3 months... or 6, or whatever"... or just more comunication with the comunity about things that have already been sold...
Do not dream about something changing with DTG "policies"...
It should be before the next British route, because they are in the German phase
They said during the last stream that the Port is included to keep options open for future content. They've nothing to report on a diesel shunter as having the necessary access to an example of one isn't easy.
So i've heard this mentioned a few times. Does anyone have more details on this? Why is it so hard to get access? Is it a matter of a different company operating the shunters vs the electrics we already have in the game? My knowledge of German railroading is limited, so i'm genuinely curious.
Getting access to the real thing is difficult for a number of reasons. Principally there are three.
1. Needs a train
In order for recording and photography to take place, you're usually going to need the train in a depot where it can be wired up for recording and explored inside and out by someone with a camera. Once it's wired up for recording you then need ideally to get that train out on the mainline to do running recording of engine, motor and running sounds. The challenge here is that an operator is less likely to want to have someone messing with a train shortly before it's due to go out in service. Some times the best you can do is access to it in a yard, often without moving it.
On the real railways, you also can't just take an "extra" train randomly in to service, so it's not like you can take an out of service train, mic it up and run up and down the line in traffic to get your recordings.
In some cases there may only be a small number of instances of a train that an operator has - so actually getting access to one not being used for any given day can be extremely tricky, and when you line up limited loco availability with limited staff availability it starts getting difficult.
Of course then there's also liability to consider - what if we mic up the train and the bit we attached the mic to "falls off" and the train has to be taken out of service for longer than was originally planned potentially - regardless of fault, all these kinds of things need to be taken into consideration particularly by the operator as part of their risk assessment.
2. Needs staff
You're not going to ever get permission to wander a depot on your own which means the team need at least one member of staff escorting them at all times - so that's usually a full day out for someone that has probably got a busy schedule already. It may involve additional work for more than one person if there are movements taking place as well. When our team visited Amtrak they had one guy from Amtrak with them the entire time, for a week, which is a huge commitment from Amtrak. The same was true when the team visited Caltrain.
Last, but by no means least, safety is first and foremost on the minds of railway operators. The first rule of safety before you consider how much of a risk something is, is to consider if the risk is even necessary - and having untrained and inexperienced (by railway staff standards) personnel on a railway line is usually going to be considered an unnecessary risk. Some of our guys have gone through Personal Track Safety training which has enabled them a bit more access on some instances for example. Different railways have different rules and regulations for these kinds of things and "avoid unnecessary risks" is often going to be the go-to for someone who is faced with signing off on responsibility for unknown non-railway personnel being permitted on the railway to move around a busy yard with potentially lethal machines moving around - and I would never begrudge anyone making that decision in the best way they see fit, of course.
Preserved railways are usually much better for this, we've had a number of sessions at different preserved railways where we've effectively leased out the line for a day, paid for a driver and the loco plus some stock and been able to get in a perfect situation and all the recordings you can wish for... which is one of the reasons that BR-era stock is prevalent for the UK in Train Sim World at the moment.
The bottom line is that railway operators are busy, they have a railway to run, and every decision they make has to be considered carefully alongside their primary goals of delivering service, safety and so forth.
Our teams work very hard with the railway operators to get access as much as possible and it cannot be underestimated how much work is involved in getting all these sessions arranged and organised (on both sides) - I think the Amtrak visit was a few months between first discussions and the trip happening for example.
This probably paints a fairly bleak picture - but actually what I want to get across is that the team are working really hard to do everything they can to get access - and have achieved many significant successes - but there are many practical considerations that we need to work with to get there.
Hope that helps answer the question.
In regards to the sounds Matt. Can they be taken from train footage, for train horns for example Or do you need far far more specific examples?
Quality material need time and interest from both sides (DTG - Railway Operator)!
If operator is willing enoght they allow them access to do what they need and prepare conditions to collect photo and audio materials.
Game like this can't source from photo of train that pass you by.
Thanks Matt, an informative and useful post on multiple levels and a very welcome engagement
You really can't take audio from YouTube videos - even putting the simple element of getting permission from the uploader aside.
Assuming the quality of the recording is good enough (without wind sounds and chattering and so forth) - if the horn is of a train going by you have doppler, which can sometimes be processed to remove it but always ends up being far inferior to just having a nice clean recording.
Engine audio again is just not suitable via YouTube, there are too many intermixed sounds that you would need to separate.
The key to remember with audio processing is that the more you process away from the source sample, the lower the quality of what you end up - if you start filtering, trying to isolate one sound or another, or eliminating aspects of sound you are always going to end up with a greatly reduced quality over just getting a clean sample - and that's assuming you end up with something usable at the end anyway.
When we record from trains we will have microphones strapped right on the bogie next to the wheels for running sounds, we'll have them up by the fans in the roof, next to exhaust vents, in the engine room, in the cab. They need to be protected from wind noise and so forth to reduce the need to filter this out later and this then allows us to have all the individual components of the sounds of a loco that the game engine can then mix and match in real time.
Armstrong Powerhouse, a third party developer for TS19 add-ons, once put together a small "behind the scenes" video about sound recording, of what that looks like in practice:
Seems fairly similar to what Matt described. Quite a bit of work as you can see.
Really appreciate the detailed reply. Thank you for that level of engagement with the community, and for the hard work and obvious passion for the game from everyone at DTG. Looking forward to what's to come in the months and years ahead!!
Thank you for responding Matt, appreciate that. For sure this comunity (imo) want quality products, for a more and more accurate simulation. As a costumer, I second this game and trust in that hard work you are talking about. I like to get involved with the comunity, to gain knowledge about all this stuff, so again, i appreciate the response.
Lucas, from Argentina.
Thanks Matt, that’s very interesting, giving us an insight into what goes on behind the scenes.
At what point do you visit a rail company in the route creation process? Also, when did you visit the guys at CalTrain? I’m just trying to get an idea of how long it took to create Peninsular Corridor from when it was first suggested at DTG HQ.
Interesting and detailed information Matt. Thanks.
How times have changed. I remember wandering around many depots when I was a lad. I always sort out and asked the foreman/manager in charge first but it was usually a case of "Yeah of coarse, off you go. Just be careful". Ah Toton, full of class 44s, happy memories.
As a matter of interest regarding the initial question about German diesels, do they have preserved examples that you could get easier access to? Then again, not knowing German locos, I suppose they might not be as modern as is required for the current routes.
Thanks Matt for this information. There is one but. You have a very active community. Essentially DTG keeps this community at a big distance. You know we have complained a lot about this. I am quite sure a number of community members have access to railroad facilities or the marketing department of a railway company. Using this network may be very helpful.
I think this holds in many more aspects. More openness on known bugs may be very beneficial. I am very sure you can get a lot of help in a public beta for updates etcetera. A very good example is Microsoft. For their Visual Studio product they implemented a bur reporting and voting system, they accept suggestions and new ideas in a very structured way. It definitely will take some time to organize it. But I believe it is feasible and will be beneficial in the end.
It's interesting that the Training session for the DB BR 185.5 includes a coupling maneuver, hinting, perhaps, that this engine is also used in shunting operations. I'd like to see the Db BR 261 become available for TSW as well, accompanied by shunting activities (as well as freight hauls in general).
No. The BR185 is definitely not a shunter. It still needs to pick up its train at some point however, which includes coupling of course.
Quite an interesting read there Matt....just shows how much work is done behind the scenes when working on new routes. It's a pity these posts are hidden inside this thread, it would make a great article at some point I feel. It would certainly alleviate alot of those "Where is xxxx route / Where is xxxx loco?" posts you see across the 2 forums on an all too frequent basis. It's not as easy as just whacking them in the game willy nilly...I guess these are the same challenges any developer has when working with licenced content
Although I agree that his post would make great content for an article, it doesn't matter how much you explain things to some people. Some people will always beg for DTG to make content for them.
Very true....which is why I used the word alleviate rather than resolve I'm sure there are a ton of things DTG would love to see in the game as well but the task of doing so is immense due to the reasons Matt laid out amongst others.
Given what TrainSim-Matt has said, I still hold onto the hope that the visit to Virgin Trains Crew depot means we’ll eventually see it on TSW and not just a random “visit”.
Excuse my ignorance but is the main reason you'd need a train because all the current German trains in TSW require overhead electrification? That's apart from the fact you'd probably want something that is used there in real life, which I haven't looked up to see what would be appropriate.
I would be highly surprised if that visit wasn't in aid of research required for future DLC
@MrT - the "needs a train" requirement is a general requirement, if you're going to record and photograph a train - regardless of which one and for which route - then you need that train, the real thing, accessible and usable for probably at least half a day or a full day out of service. It's perhaps an obvious thing to say, because of course you need one - but that in itself presents a big challenge because trains are either in service or in for maintenance where they aren't operational, so you need to find operational trains out of service - or the operator needs to book one out of service for the session all of which is a big undertaking for them.
Hey Matt, first off, thanks for your detailed replies. I kind of assumed that when you create a train in TSW you would be recycling sounds and images from other like trains that you've already stored information about but I'm guessing from your reply that's not how you guys do it, which is cool as it would bring a higher level of authenticity.
So, out of curiosity, when you created the Class 47 for the West Somerset line you would have got the pics and sounds and then modelled what you needed to. The Northern Trans-Pennine route also has a Class 47. Would you then have used the modelling and sounds from the West Somerset Class 47 and modified the livery and interiors to suit? or did you start it all from scratch based on the actual vehicle for that route?
Bit of a thread tangent coming up- apologies to the OP but I didnt want to start another whinge thread.. its kind of related Now don't get me wrong with the following- I love TSW, it just could be better Anyway.. see below.
Im finding it an interesting juxtaposition that so much care is given when it comes to creating the sound for the units (which one would think would be a good thing) but now as I find myself walking the NTP route from the Leeds end in order to remove those immersion busting logs that sit right up alongside the track, the background ambient noise is just a dull roar with birdsong, and passing trains cannot be heard until they are 100m away with no doppler effect. Right in the middle of the countryside and it sounds like Im 50m away from a motorway.. and in the tunnels there is no noise at all! No dripping water, no footsteps.. nothing! In fact a train went past while I was in there and there was no noise until.. yup it was about 100m away and sadly, the experience of its passing me while in the tunnel was perhaps the most underwhelming illumination of the issues that I describe. I cant emphasise enough how poor the quality of the sound is when viewed from the perspective of being alongside the railway. Now I live in the heart of rural England, and there is a railway half a mile from my house that has a footpath that goes across it on one of those "Stop, Look Listen" crossings. I often enjoy a peaceful 10 mins there in the summer enjoying the quiet and waiting for a train which I can hear approaching from a significant distance, so I speak from a fortunate position of having the reality close by.. Perhaps a broader approach to sounds might be in order? After all if the reality of sounds is not being simulated, perhaps stepping away from throwing resources at it in order to recreate reality with something that 'simulates' reality but is not actually taken from reality might be a better way, or which is emulated, re-engineered or enhanced, especially if the effort that is being taken is not creating the results that are desired.. the ambient background sounds really are very poor, and the distant sounds of the units equally so. The doppler absence is poor too. The effort being taken to get accurate unit sounds is strange in that context.. after all how hard is it to stand beside a railway in the countryside to capture the ambient noise, and to engineer doppler effect on those magnificent sounds upon which so much effort has been taken to acquire? It would hardly be wasted effort when part of the functionality and appeal of TSW is the ability to get out of the trains and walk around, part of that experience being auditory.
Just my thoughts, others might disagree.
On the plus side as I walk the route Im very very impressed with the authenticity and look that has been created. I feel visually like Im walking a real railway, especially with Reshade enhancements in colour and sharpening. Very impressive work.
We actually did two research trips, but that was mostly because the first research trip wasn't as good as we'd hoped and so we tried for another opportunity.
The WSR 47 itself was out of action for the entire time (I'm not 100% sure if it's back even now, though it may be) so the obvious option there was unavailable. At a late stage we were able to secure an opportunity to record a 47 in a depot but without the ability to record it under load. The end result wasn't bad but we did feel that for a loco that would get as much use as the 47 we should continue trying to get reference for it. Ultimately we were able to secure access to one via another preserved railway where we got much better recordings and I think people seem happy with the result on the Leeds 47.
Sunscreen - ambience is something that the audio team are always working to try and improve. If you look at routes since Leeds you should see that things are getting richer all the time. The challenge with ambient sounds - particularly since in TSW you don't have the overriding sound of the train all the time (you can just walk around and listen to the twittering birds if you want, as you say) - is that repetition becomes much more obvious. The old method in TS2020 of having a larger loop which plays just doesn't work so well in TSW for that reason (aside from also being a large file that causes hitches when it's loaded). TSW uses a much more dynamic approach of recreating it but as with all things, it's something the team are constantly enhancing with each route we do. The audio team try to find whatever unique sounds they can for a route and we can even make them timed such as church bells or sirens.
Doppler presents other issues in terms of when sounds are loaded and playing - with UE4's inherent 32 channel limit (TS2020 has 256 for comparison) if train sounds are playable a longer distance away then the number of channels required goes up substantially and things will start clipping, OR we need to cut back the detail of the sound recreation up-close, so that there's capacity for distant sounds to be played in spare channels. Again, this is something team are constantly trying to improve, finding ways to be more efficient with the channels and therefore allow more variety of sounds for longer distances.
Thanks for the very quick and detailed reply Matt! I very much appreciate the candour of your answer. I'm not as familiar with the more recent releases as my interest window is narrow (UK, 80s third rail or rural..) and in all honesty the complexity of the German routes frightens me a little..I try to immerse myself in the sim as its so relaxing (minimal HUD etc) and in that config UK warning systems I can handle So its great to hear that the more recent routes are getting better in terms of their overall effect! Its also useful to understand the limitations of what is currently possible from an expectation management point of view. The numbers regarding UE and the TS2020 system appear staggering to a layman like me.
At the risk of sounding melodramatic, as the face of DTG, the interaction and grace that you've shown in your quick responses draws a certain sense of customer loyalty from someone like me so the next route that tickles my fancy will be pounced on for a good look
Has anyone given a big thumbs up for the DTG crew finally getting more active in communication with the playerbase yet? Yes? Well I'll give one anyway. THUMBS UP!
It's things like this which people most likely don't appreciate or even think about. Interesting that a newer dev system has 8 times less channels than a much older one
While it has less channels, it can do a lot more processing on each one - so it's swings and roundabouts really.
But, by creating the game and keeping it as close to IRL, you knew what you were getting into as a company? These challenges and hurdles...
As well, all this DB content thats been made with access to all these electrics and railways - a shunter wasnt around to be accessed as well?
Im not wanting to come across as harsh but i too would like a DB deisel shunter/switcher and i just think its very low on the totem pole - or was an after thought
It was very difficult for them to get access to one. I believe they have now.
If it came down to hearing accurate train sounds from further distances, I’d prioritise that over some ambient sounds. Although I realise, thats just my own personal preference.
Indeed. We have always known it would be hard, but we have decided to go down the approach of being as authentic as possible anyway.
Just because something is hard doesn't mean you shouldn't do it, but neither does the simple recognition of it being hard mean that you can make these challenges melt away. Sometimes it doesn't matter how much in advance you try and beat these things either, if the opportunity to do a reference trip doesn't come up - it just doesn't come up.
Neither is true, we've been dead keen on getting a shunter in the game since Ruhr - and we added the docks to Aschaffenburg specifically because we still want to get a german shunter (or two, or three) in the game. However, we came to the conclusion that we would be able to barely meet the same level of quality as TS1 had (and with false sounds too), let alone what people now expect from a TSW locomotive, with the limited reference we had.
Not having one in the game is due to not being able to do it to the desired quality level, not because there's a lack of desire. You'll just have to take my word on that, there's not much I can say to prove it
Matt, that is possibly the most informative and illuminating post that I've seen on this forum to date! Im really pleased to read it and fully appreciate in a much better way the mindset of your group and what you are trying to achieve. I wish you well, not least because I'm enjoying more than I have done in a long time engaging with your creations, and I'm sure everyone else wishes you all well too. To hear you speak about a desire for quality, the challenges that you have overcome and continue to face, the reasons for certain things happening or why certain things are yet to happen, its all great information to be able to learn about as someone who feels a certain interest in the product. It also increases my personal sense of engagement with it, and appreciation for it as well. Thanks for taking the time to share your insights and thoughts.
I'm one of the first to speak up if I feel something could be better. Well the level of engagement Ive seen from you in this thread and the candour with which you have engaged is excellent. I hope that you and your team can finish the rest of the day knowing that this particular customer is appreciative.
2nd that. There might be things that bug us from time to time, and dlcs that we pine for. However I dont think anyone can question the intent or enthusiasm Matt or his team have for TS/TSW.
Matt thanks for your extensive explanations. Wow, a more or less spontaneous dev diary. Just glue the pieces together, and we have a real dev diary. Is that a good idea?
As much as it pains to hear about the shunter, i appreciate the response and the fortitude looking ahead TrainSim-Matt
Glad you guys view it going in 100% rather than 72.64%
im glad i made this thread , also glad to hear DTG doesnt rush a product because of the final quality. I hope that nobody has thought that my "when?" question was of an anxious costumer. Thank you Matt!
Have seen a couple of misunderstandings from my post elsewhere...
I am not saying there will never be a German Diesel Shunter in the game, to be clear. I'm explaining why there isn't one now.
Okay *wink wink*
Would it be an option to, instead of essentially chartering a train for the recordings, to mic it up over night before it goes on the line, record the sound during a revenue run and retrieve the audio equipment at some layover or when it returns to storage? Something like that?
the 47 on the real WSR is out of action still, but they are running the hymeks so make some hymeks for WSR or a class 115 dmu which also runs on WSR.
We have done something similar in the past although i definitely wouldn't want to leave it overnight - the equipment is quite expensive and only secured so that it doesn't fall off - certainly not secured in a way that might prevent it being light-fingered.
Our recording trips with Amtrak included rigging a train and then sitting with it as it ran from WA to MA (sweating buckets and crossing fingers it didnt fall off) and then collecting it off the train in Boston. When we recorded the Class 68 for TS1 we did that one afternoon in the yard, and then the second day the team turned up very early, rigged up the loco and then ran with it on the mainline to capture running audio.
We work with the operators to find a solution that works best with them, and the team have explored all sorts of of options with various operators - rarely are any two recording trips alike
You need to go back down to GWR and ask nicely if you can record the Class 57 for the Night Riviera sleeper service dlc
How about trains that have been retired and only exist in museums as static or even worse have been scrapped?
How is the workmethod to create these trains?
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