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Engine Upgrade And Preserved Collection

Discussion in 'PC Discussion' started by dreampage, Jun 16, 2021.

  1. tallboy7648

    tallboy7648 Well-Known Member

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    So you are saying that things that are clearly broken making the content unplayable such as freight exchange should not be fixed?

    Of course not every game is bug free but this is a game that has clear as day issues. Wouldn't it make sense to fix the bugs that are clearly obiovous
     
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  2. Inkar

    Inkar Well-Known Member

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    There are also quite a number of lines that start with "Deprecated". Those are dangerous as a general rule.
    Anyway, maybe it is not a problem this time. Maybe this time the upgrade is easy. But lets stop for a moment and look what happens with a stupid "Deprecated" line taken from the UE 4.26 change notes:

    Deprecated: Deprecated OnStart and OnStop synth component virtuals as they are redundant to OnBeginGenerate and OnEndGenerate.

    Something as ridiculous as this means that if they used OnStart or OnStop they need to change the names to OnBeginGenerate / OnEndGenerate. Well, with the current development model you will need to open at least 19 projects (one for each DLC) and change each occurrence of those words, maybe changing some parameters too.

    This is now, with the current number of DLC. If that change had happened in 2022 the number of projects could be maybe 29, and so on ... All of this just for a stupid simple change. Just think what will happen when the change is not simple, but a difficult one.
     
    Last edited: Jun 20, 2021
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  3. jörgen Näslund

    jörgen Näslund Well-Known Member

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    Strange just a few years ago people shouted that dovetail did not upgrade to unreal latest version, each time unreal came up with a new version. Now it is just the opposite. It's lucky that dovetail does not listen to the forums and run its own thing
     
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  4. tallboy7648

    tallboy7648 Well-Known Member

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    Well those people who were calling for engine updates probably were not expecting older dlc's in even a much worse state or even broken then before the update. Updates are supposed to bring improvements and upgrades, not downgrades from before and more issues. It doesn't take a monkey to realize why some are concerned
     
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  5. Inkar

    Inkar Well-Known Member

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    I speak for myself here, but I do not want them to stop upgrading the engine. I want them to know that they will need to upgrade the engine several times, and to start thinking on a software architecture that makes their life easy (or at least not hell) when they do upgrade.
     
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  6. synthetic.angel

    synthetic.angel Well-Known Member

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    I have been saying, for a couple of years, that we need a public "Bugs and Issues" tracker. I don't think DTG will ever commit to this sort of thing, although the initial "Road Map" included some issues that were "being worked on".... but now we are getting a more strategic/marketing style RoadMap, which is actually more appropriate for a RoadMap (IMHO).

    So.... I now think that "Summer 2021" would be a great time for the community to launch (and manage) a "Bugs and Issues" tracker, following the implementation of UE 4.26.

    Watch This Space.
     
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  7. tallboy7648

    tallboy7648 Well-Known Member

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    I wonder why dtg won't commit to a bugs and issues tracker unless that is too much work for them but if they have a team that can do it then I don't see why they can't
     
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  8. Inkar

    Inkar Well-Known Member

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    There are some Bug Trackers that have a nice feature. It lets every user see what bugs other users have reported and upvote them, or mark them as "I have this issue too". Users can also add info to other users bug reports. Those features are great IMHO.

    This kind of system reduces the number of reports that DTG staff needs to read, and the number of bug reports we have to write. I know I have not reported all the bugs I found just because I haven't got time for all of them, but I could probably have marked many as "I have this issue too".
     
    Last edited: Jun 20, 2021
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  9. synthetic.angel

    synthetic.angel Well-Known Member

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    No, you speak for me as well on this point. I was thinking almost exactly the same thing, but I think you have articulated it better than I would have done.

    I was going to suggest that maybe what DTG need to do (if they have not already done it) is to create an environment for all of their DLCs to allow them to easily follow the UE pipeline, and to run that "harmonisation" project first, before they attempt to do a push with all of their legacy DLCs in one go, coinciding with the release of three completely new routes....
     
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  10. synthetic.angel

    synthetic.angel Well-Known Member

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    There is no good reason not to do it. It's all about perspective. Do you want:

    - your customers to know, as a group with solid collective knowledge, exactly what state the software is in, and gain confidence that issues are being addressed (or clarity on issues that won't be addressed); or,
    - your customers to think that the problem they have found is somehow their own fault, so the developer doesn't have to fix anything, even if the user has a dismal experience....?

    Very rarely, some of the worst developers opt for the latter, and are content for their customers to have a dismal experience.

    It always impresses me when I browse developer websites to report a bug, and I find that they actually have a web-page dedicated to the bug describing what other players have experienced and asking you to add your experience.... or simply recognising the bug as a known bug that is being addressed. You can then forget about it, and carry on with your game, knowing that you have a fairly good chance of being able to do the bugged bit when it is fixed.
     
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  11. schorni

    schorni Well-Known Member

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    I also like the system that "The Bus" uses. An integrated tool to report errors. One keystroke, the game stops, takes a screenshot and all the data about where you are on the map and you can write something about it. It is then sent to the Developer and you continue playing. And the game also runs on the UE.
     
    Last edited: Jun 20, 2021
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  12. paul.pavlinovich

    paul.pavlinovich Well-Known Member

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    No, I'm saying they should be prioritised alongside everything else. In all software development the desired changes are measured against the budget. When the budget runs out development stops.

    Paul
     
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  13. paul.pavlinovich

    paul.pavlinovich Well-Known Member

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    You're making the assumption Dovetail call Unreal engine directly. Common practice is to write a wrapper layer for an engine or library and call your own wrapper. Then you only need to make a change like this in one place and rebuild everything. If they did not do this, then its actually really easy to go to the root of the GIT repository for the projects and make a global change. Most source editors are quite capable of checking out all the files into a branch, making the global change and checking them all back in again.

    Paul
     
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  14. dreampage

    dreampage Well-Known Member

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    The problem is not that the developers upgrade the game to a newer engine version. It is, in itself, a great thing because the game could potentially look and run better while supporting new features (like steam locomotives).

    The problem is that TSW 2 is apparently built in a way that this method is not sustainable, and could lead to an endless line of issues. I explained in the OP why.
     
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  15. Inkar

    Inkar Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, using wrappers is the common practice that it looks like they are not using. If they did they would not need to update each DLC one by one because a change in the core would fix all DLCs most of the time. If you listen to the streams you will notice many problems are caused because "x was done this way in this DLC and done in this other way in another DLC" or "we added this experimental feature here, but then we changed it in the next DLC, and then again a couple DLC later" and so on. In the long run you end up re-inventing the wheel several times, and making the software difficult to maintain because the preservation crew needs to know how things are done in each individual DLC, and the number of DLC is growing every month. I'm not saying they should never try changes, but they should aim to keep some standard in the way things are done.

    I know you can use any editor to search and replace strings (and I also know if you are not careful with unsupervised replacements you might replace what you do not want to replace, we have all been there). The example I made was just that, an easy example to illustrate that with their current system easy changes are not that easy to make, and difficult changes are probably close to impossible (within their budget).
     
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  16. Yoinkermcskoinker

    Yoinkermcskoinker Well-Known Member

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    How does DTG not understand that they don’t need to focus pretty much their entire team making new routes? I highly recommend what they should do after rush hour is move a lot more of their devs over to the preserved collection team, because if they improved a lot of the routes then there would be more inscentive to buy the old stuff
     
    Last edited: Jun 21, 2021
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  17. hyperlord

    hyperlord Well-Known Member

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    I noticed this and this is like a guide for "How to create a legacy system" - one of my biggest fear regarding the whole project. I see TSW2 as a platform but it looks like few features are actually "core". Of course I have absolutely no insight or idea, just talking a psychosis developing for me here ;-)

    Edit: Who is interested, a great article about my lagacy system talking all the time: https://software.rajivprab.com/2019...software-how-change-aversion-feeds-on-itself/
     
    Last edited: Jun 21, 2021
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  18. ARuscoe

    ARuscoe Well-Known Member

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    I take it you've never run a business...
    Companies make the most money when new things come out or when people have incentive to buy new things
    Spending time repairing old things will bring in a dribble rather than a flood and you can't feed 100 devs on a dribble
     
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  19. Inkar

    Inkar Well-Known Member

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    I understand your point here because I'm sure there is DLC that I didn't buy just because of bugs or annoying details that could be fixed, but as ARuscoe said from a business point of view releasing new content will bring better benefits (as long as DTG's reputation stays above certain limits).
     
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  20. theorganist

    theorganist Well-Known Member

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    Have you heard of cashflow?!
     
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  21. ARuscoe

    ARuscoe Well-Known Member

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    Some people will buy it anyway, especially if they're less bothered by absolute simulation or specific issues such as night lighting or how loud the wipers are...
     
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  22. tallboy7648

    tallboy7648 Well-Known Member

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    What you said makes me wonder what is the ultimate goal dtg want to achieve in tsw2. They say tsw is "The Future Of Train Simulation" but what does that even look like. Has anyone here who may see my statement ever thought of that? If so what do you think it looks like? TS2021 with its long list of dlc's in my opinion is the king of train simulation in my opinion in terms of what can be done in that game.

    I know there's alot that can be added to tsw2. Things like new passengers, conductor mode, different types of signaling, dynamic weather, (Speaking Of Dynamic weather, I wonder if this update will finally introduce dynamic weather into the timetable mode but that's probably a topic for the rush hour roadmap stream) and those are just some features for routes but I wonder when does it all end? Not in terms of the number of dlc's but in terms of features. If things like dynamic weather, advancements and improvements in autogen to get longer routes, different singaling systems and styles of routes, new passengers, conductor along with some new features are finally achieved, how many more features could be added I wonder. At that point it would probably be just updating the game to the latest version of unreal.

    So I wonder how will tsw2 be "The Future Of Train Simulation?" What is the goal with all these engine upgrades. It's good that they are doing it to give a better experience but what is dtg trying to achieve overall with this game?
     
  23. junior hornet

    junior hornet Well-Known Member

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    [smug mode] Doesn’t affect me [/smug mode]
     
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  24. ARuscoe

    ARuscoe Well-Known Member

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    To make money... why does their have to be some sort of ulterior motive or altruism in this?
     
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  25. tallboy7648

    tallboy7648 Well-Known Member

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    Of course to make money but there is probably another reason
     
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  26. davidh0501

    davidh0501 Well-Known Member

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    What's sad is that many here seem to assume that Dtg are incapable of considering the upgrade with any degree of depth.
    As a commercial concern they have to work within time and money constraints, and their decisions and compromises may not be the same as ours.
    Better to wait and criticise after the event than start now.

    Personally I will be buying it as gameplay is my main concern.
    Too much perfection and it becomes a full time job and I expect payment for that.
     
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  27. ARuscoe

    ARuscoe Well-Known Member

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    From what I've seen of Matt and Sam (and of course Adam in his way) is that they want to make a good train simulator game
    I haven't heard of them wanting to shoot for the moon or to make the best AAA experience etc, they're just train fans who want to make a good game

    Whether that aligns with the director's fiscal plan is another thing
     
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  28. tallboy7648

    tallboy7648 Well-Known Member

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    What do you think the "future of train simulation" looks like in your opinion?
     
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  29. solicitr

    solicitr Well-Known Member

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    Silly DTG, thinking that as a business they need revenue! Don't they know their job is to make free updates?
     
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  30. ARuscoe

    ARuscoe Well-Known Member

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    I don't, it's not my job LOL

    The problem is that people have been spoiled by companies pouring millions into various technologies that have allowed games to be cinematic and very realistic, but only to a point
    The simulation world is littered with failures (even Microsoft failed with Flight Sim) and yet none of them are as complex as what DTG are trying to do
    That we can sit on a fake train and watch the world go by at 125mph or more, and then at the click of a button be doing zero mph and zoom in on a 1:1 scale without pause or much of a flicker is a feat
    That we can drive for hours on various routes and yes have bugs, but ones that make you tut and write posts rather than throwing your PC out of the window. At least the passengers have faces (unlike some assassins a few years back)

    There are many things we could write about, wish for and even lust after, but for a small to medium software house where they're constantly learning, updating and adapting I don't think DTG do too bad a job. Yes we could have a few bigger toys, better dispatcher, better timetables etc, but overall I've enjoyed my 250 hours in the game, and I enjoyed my 3124 hours in TSC too, and that had even WORSE flaws
     
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  31. Yoinkermcskoinker

    Yoinkermcskoinker Well-Known Member

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    DTG get plenty of revenue from some of their ridiculously overpriced dlcs, also why should it be that some dlcs get livery designer pis etc and others don’t? Surely it wouldn’t hurt to just put a little more people into the preservation “team”
     
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  32. Doomotron

    Doomotron Well-Known Member

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    Sales drop off massively after a DLC has been released. There's a very good reason why they don't make much money off Great Western Express or the original Portsmouth Direct Line for TS...
    Instead of wasting our time, why don't you tell us what the future of train simulation is?
     
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  33. tallboy7648

    tallboy7648 Well-Known Member

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    If you think it's a waste of time, why did you respond? It seems you wasted your own time. Also I was just curious what others had to say
     
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  34. Doomotron

    Doomotron Well-Known Member

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    Because it seems that every other post in this thread is you shoving the ageing "Train Sim World is not worth my time, Train Simulator is a far better experience" narrative down our throats.
     
  35. tallboy7648

    tallboy7648 Well-Known Member

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    Since when did I say TSW is not worth my time? If tsw is not worth my time I would not be here and would not be playing tsw. I do play tsw by the way. I am playing it now actually.

    I take it that you can't read then. Might want to go back to English Class
     
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  36. ARuscoe

    ARuscoe Well-Known Member

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    Because each DLC has a lot of information that is standalone within that DLC including skybox, any PIS functionality, level crossings etc. Train DLC has it's own functionality as well including onboard PIS and so on

    You say why not have more preserved team members, but they're only part of the chain. You've got testers, release dates etc etc to think of as well. If it was as simple as Adam's team do bug fixes and they get released we'd be further ahead in many ways
     
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  37. Jeannot41

    Jeannot41 Well-Known Member

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    I would prefer DTG to release less buggy DLC, even if it means shifting the release dates.
    And that would avoid discussions between fan boys and those who give their opinions.
     
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  38. schorni

    schorni Well-Known Member

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    It's just not going to happen. Regular Cash income is more important than full consumer happiness.
    The only way to break this is if no one buys it anymore, but that won't happen either. And so this publishing policy will go on and on.
    It's just not going to happen. Regular income is more important than full consumer satisfaction.
     
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  39. theorganist

    theorganist Well-Known Member

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    Regular income is important to keep a company solvent, keep people employed and allow it to develop new products....and to fix problems with existing products.

    I hope that anyone here who has made the comment that DTG should stop making new DLC and just concentrate on fixing bugs, doesn't own their own business for the sake of any unfortunate employees they may have!
     
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  40. tallboy7648

    tallboy7648 Well-Known Member

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    Perhaps with the backlash of the release of the rt and lirr updates along with HHL, DTG have learned a very valuable lesson. They have to prioritize profit which is a no brainer but if they keep doing the same mistakes again and again, that could lead to less sales and even some abandoning the product which is something dtg definitely don't want. Sam did say that they want to release consistent quality dlc so we will just have to see if that's the case moving foward
     
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  41. Doomotron

    Doomotron Well-Known Member

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    Really? I find that quite unlikely. Train simulation is complicated, but there are surely more complicated things in simulation games...
     
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  42. schorni

    schorni Well-Known Member

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    High quality is important so that someone buys the product at all and so that the workers can be paid. If you deliver mediocre quality over and over again and if troubleshooting is very slow, customers will leave and no one will buy the products anymore.

    Consistency is one thing, but the level of quality is another. You can also offer consistently bad products...
     
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  43. ARuscoe

    ARuscoe Well-Known Member

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    Driving simulators tend to be very short tracks or ovals, the cars are mainly modelled on the outside, not like you can walk through one and the handling is fairly simple to work out with the noises also easy enough (ie many less interacting components than a train)

    Plane simulators? You model the airports, and the rest is texture mapped from various levels of imagery, but often not very detailed at ground level bar specific "points of interest"

    I don't know any other type of game where someone who lives locally can literally walk up to their house from the simulation and see if their house is the right colour.
     
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  44. dreampage

    dreampage Well-Known Member

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    This is the very problem with Train Sim World 2 you just described. It's built in a way that everything is separate from the rest of the content, so any time an engine update happens every single piece of DLC has to be rebuilt. The same problem persists with locomotives: if the same locomotive exists in two separate DLCs, they have to be individually built almost from scratch, which is a ridiculous process and puts an extreme amount of redundant work on the team. Routes differ in functionality, they don't even use the same skybox tech for god's sake, not to mention so many other features. It just makes no sense building a game like this.

    Look at Microsoft Flight Simulator and the amount of DLCs it has, from planes to airports to scenery, a lot of which are made by independent third-parties, not even the core developers. Now imagine that every time a world update happens, everyone would have to rebuild their content for the new tech. Obviously this is not the case - and this is not the case in any game for that matter. This method of building TSW might have seemed logical or more manageable at the beginning, but the more content is around the less possible it will be to regularly rebuild and re-release everything. DTG simply chased themselves into this trap where they have to frequently release new content, but that content is usually unpolished, while the whole platform is not future-proof as everything is its own thing and nothing is compatible with each other. Sooner or later the developers will have to leave this Frankenstein design behind, start a new simulator from scratch (maybe when UE5 comes around?) and we will as well have to leave all the content behind, starting everything from square one, hopefully with better foundations that time. I don't see how much future TSW 2 has with this setup.
     
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  45. Wolfovizer

    Wolfovizer Well-Known Member

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    And your facts are where? No locomotive is in more than one add-on, they are always different versions of a similar locomotive, not the exact same thing.
     
  46. ARuscoe

    ARuscoe Well-Known Member

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    Absolutely, but there are a few huge differences between a flight sim and a train sim.
    There are also very big differences between countries, time frames etc so I think it would be quite difficult to have centralised systems for a lot of things when you're dealing with multi nation, multi timeframe simulations
     
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  47. Rudolf

    Rudolf Well-Known Member

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    I fully agree with the concerns expressed in this thread. If you need to to update ALL DLC every time you upgrade the engine, this is not a viable upgrade model for TSW as a game. It should be possible to run DLC cooked for 4.23 of a 4.26 engine. This would be a normal policy making sure to be backward compatible. As te number of routes is growing quite fast now, the amount of work and the total amount of stuff to download again will grow exponentially. This is a very bad perspective, even if the changes are small.
    It will provoke behaviour like this: upgrading is a horrible lot of work, so let's postpone it till later. That will will make the upgrade more complex and therefore risky, so more testing is needed, which will make it more attractive to postpone the upgrade and so on. What you want, is follow Unreal very close, so updates are small and not very risky. You also want backward compatibility so you do not need to update all content.

    In the same session Adam spoke of making updates smaller, and therefore easier to test and less risky. It seems not so easy, in part because few games have such a huge amount of DLC as TSW has. This really is a huge issue that should be solved ASAP.
     
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  48. Mich

    Mich Well-Known Member

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    Games don't tend to get complete engine upgrades very often, if at all, and for good reason. Even games like Euro Truck are still built off the same core from when they started, with a few things like the lighting and sound engine having been replaced, but only one at a time and with the old engine still existing in other aspects. Maybe DTG can get by with 4.23 to 4.26 for example, but if they keep doing these small steps up every year or two I tend to think that things are gonna start piling up. What was only a few minor bugs introduced in 4.26 will eventually stack up and become a situation just as bad, if not worse than the TSW1 to 2 transition if it keeps up.
     
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  49. roysto25

    roysto25 Member

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    The statement about 'a few minor bugs stacking up' is erroneous. The big problem faced by developers whose company tries to save effort by skipping intermediate updates of core engines is that changes introduced at one point may interact with other changes introduced at other intermediate points and it becomes a nightmare trying to unravel the interacting bugs which surface in your application - the effort involved becomes much larger than the cumulative effort required for tracking through 'minor updates'. The balancing act is trying to decide which engine updates are critical - you could argue they all are, especially those that introduce new capabilities.
     
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  50. Doomotron

    Doomotron Well-Known Member

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    If that was applicable to the real world, DTG would have gone bankrupt 6 years ago...
     

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