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For The Quality Vs Quantity Argument..... (a Dlc/bug Fixing Release Methodology Discussion)

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Typhomat, Apr 30, 2018.

  1. Typhomat

    Typhomat Well-Known Member

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    For the quality of DLC versus the release of new DLC, something that I've seen discussed a lot in the past few months, I think this perspective needs to be thrown out there again, even thought it might make me look hypocritical in a sense looking at past posts...

    Looking at player numbers for Flight Sim World, on average about 50 people a month were playing it at a time from what I could dig up. That was pretty constant, if anything actually trending slowly down. Train Sim World has similar trends, but with an average of 150 or so players. When we compare this to FSX and TS20XX, we see about 2000 and 1200 respectively. That's a large margin, but FSX is a robust, well-known platform with a large selection of third-party add-ons, and TS20XX has a large selection of DLC that's accumulated over what might be almost a decade? Also, these numbers were sourced from non-official sources by the way, so there may be some inaccuracies, but it shows general player trends.

    So back to bug fixing versus DLC, fixing bugs won't bring in new players in large swarms, that's the reality, and it's a hard pill to swallow for some. Fixing bugs might bring in a few people who won't purchase until something specific is addressed, but it's not going to attract someone who wasn't interested in the content to begin with. That is why new DLC content is important for the health of TSW, it's a different monster than FSW for instance. If the TSW team releases a new piece of content, and lets say 800 people buy it for $20/person, that's $16,000. Everyone gets their cut, but do that 3 or 4 times a year? That's $48,000 gross. These are all estimates, but fixing bugs will on paper bring in nothing (but makes people like me happy).

    When it comes to being upset about buggy DLC, in the end, they need to make profit margins and are trying to keep the game sustainable. The bug fixes are good, and content production will hopefully improve, but in the end, in order to make money on a niche market, the TSW crew has to produce content. So some food for thought, if we get an SDK, I think we will see a really interesting shift in development and hopefully a really strong influx of content to feed sales, but until then, these things are going to be apart of the process.

    If we look at Euro Truck Sim, at least ten-thousand people play that game daily, and they too have a great product, but the numbers are less here, so as much as we all hope for great, amazing, and cheap DLC that is also bug free, there aren't tens of thousands of people who are going to buy DLC on day one. Food for thought, and hopefully things are looking as good as the team says they are in the land of TSW.
     
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  2. hightower

    hightower Well-Known Member

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    In my humble opinion,the fundamental issue TSW has (bugs aside, which to be fair are slowly but surely getting better), is lack of re-playability. That is entirely down to the routes being much too short, for what is supposed to be the future. They are all much much shorter than their considerably older counterparts on TS20XX and that isn’t right.

    I love GWE but it has what, 6 scenarios & 30 Miles of track? RT is actually worse in that regard and although NEC has some variety in terms of the freight options, again it’s much too short.

    Despite TSW being much better in a number of areas, when you have lots of DLC for TS2018, which covers the trains and routes you want to drive, the go to option for most people at the minute is Train Simulator. I honestly believe that’s why the number of players on TSW aren’t growing at the moment.

    TSW needs more of everything, more and longer routes, more locos and reskins and critically an editor, however rudimentary. Even if it only allows scenario creation with existing assets initially, it will give people a reason to keep going back to TSW.

    MP suggested only a couple of days ago that there are 2 DLCs being worked on at the moment. It is critical for DTGs future that at the very least these are released in a proper, complete and working state, but also that the routes are longer and give more replay ability. Another random 30miles of track will just sustain the negativity, however misplaced it is.
     
    Last edited: Apr 30, 2018
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  3. Corvan

    Corvan Well-Known Member

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    If we want longer, more involved routes then this three month development cycle that DTG seem to be using needs to be extended out a fair bit.

    Considering how long it took for the freight services for NEC to appear after the release of the route I would say that's either indicative of the three month cycle being to short for the work involved or that the development team is to small for the workload they're being given. Possibly both.

    Will the community be happy with longer development cycles though? I think a good proportion would but those that wouldn't are often the ones that shout the loudest, unfortunately.
     
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  4. JackRyan

    JackRyan Member

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    So you are suggesting that bugfix is not worth?
    If you take a look at the reviews on steam, the are overally negative and the games has not a good reputation.
    So why people should be bothered to buy a new simulator wich is also bugged.
    Let me explain: I’m a train enthusiast and I want to try Train sim world. I buy the game and maybe a few pieces of dlc. I see the bugs and I decide never to buy it again. Next time, dlc sales will be low and so on and so on.
    That is to say that bugfix is critical it only because you make a pleasure to those interested but because you show that you care.
    I think that bugfix should go parallel to dlc development if you want to engage more people. Many seem to ignore that there is a huge amount of people still playing msts, so offering just an updated graphic isn’t worth. Much more in terms of content must be offered and the 30 miles long route doesn’t seem to be appealing.

    In conclusion, you mentioned ETS 2. But you have to remember that scs takes good care of the game. First, it’s almost bug free and they usually launch two free update patch every year (they gave for free the new scania r and s, which is the same as dtg giving a train for free) and usually fix things and give new contents, and that’s quite the opposite as what you suggest for tsw.

    In conclusion, what I think is more important is to present tsw as a good, as much as possibile bug free game as to raise interest. Only after you have a bigger base you can push with dlc.

    Just my two cents
     
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  5. hightower

    hightower Well-Known Member

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    Corvan,

    Totally agree. Too much of the criticism is not constructive, out of proportion and totally lacking in understanding. (DTG probably read my posts and think exactly the same thing though!)


    JackRyan,

    I agree, bug fixes are a must but you have to appreciate that fixing bugs doesn’t pay the bills. In an ideal world this thing wouldn’t have been released with the bugs in the first place but it was, and we are where we are with it. They are being fixed, albeit slowly (a bit too slowly if we’re honest).

    People don’t seem to be happy with short dev cycles, buggy content and short routes. I’d be more than happy to pay a bit more for correctly working, longer routes with more scenarios and more replayability.

    I want content where I’m getting weeks and months of use out of it. TSW is more in the hours and days at the minute. There’s only so much enjoyment you can get from banging up and down the same 30mins worth of track over and over again. Obviously the sim is in its infancy (compare early TS20XX releases to the standard of up-to-date content...it’s night & day) but it is meant to be next-gen, i.e. Better than TS20XX. In some areas it is, in too many it isn’t. Time to step-up and show us what it can do!

    As I said, it would appear there are 2 new DLCs in development. I just pray that one of these is a significant expansion for GWE (or NEC, although GWE is my personal preference) and the other is a much longer, new UK based route.

    I can only hope!
     
    Last edited: Apr 30, 2018
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  6. JackRyan

    JackRyan Member

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    Well, in my opinion, bug fixes pays bill indirectly: as I said if a game has a good reputation, it sells more, and TSW has still many copies to sell.

    As for DLC, I reckon that one is a route and it must be UK giving the cycle. The best idea is to extend gwe so you gain extra miles, but that alone won’t help.

    Since the route editor is still in development, the best idea would be to release a scenario editor and workshop integration. That alone could double the engagement.
     
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  7. Anthony Pecoraro

    Anthony Pecoraro Well-Known Member

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    I think the NEC route is long enough for me. It takes about 50 minutes from end to end. Plus you get all the freight areas. I think it’s good.
     
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  8. hightower

    hightower Well-Known Member

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    Significant bugs aside, it is good BUT the TS2015 (2015!!) version of this route went as far as Philadelphia. I expected much more of the TSW version.

    This is meant to be the next generation of simulator, released from the constraints of an old and limited game engine and so it should be bigger and better than what came before it.

    Can you honestly say that that is the case? I struggle to say that it is.
     
    Last edited: Apr 30, 2018
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  9. Anthony Pecoraro

    Anthony Pecoraro Well-Known Member

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    When editing tools are released, cActUsjUiCe and our team will build the ENTIRE Northeast Corridor in TSW!!
     
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  10. hightower

    hightower Well-Known Member

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    Which is awesome! ;-)

    My point is, they shouldn’t have to!
     
  11. cActUsjUiCe

    cActUsjUiCe Well-Known Member

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    That's the plan! It'll take years and is a very ambitious goal...but we are willing to give it a shot.
     
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  12. SamYeager270

    SamYeager270 Well-Known Member

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    Whilst some of the bugs have been fixed there's still quite a few outstanding and of course some of the "bug fixes" have broken other stuff. One thing that's not been mentioned so far in this thread is the missing functionality such as the Passenger Information System (PIS) that various DTG staff such as Jay & Steve have mentioned more than once is supposed to be coming. PIS is supposed to drive the display boards both at the stations and on board the train as well as the train destination boards. I'm sure I've seen mention that PIS might also cover station announcements but I'm not 100% sure about that.

    Now the line that we've been told is that both PIS and the "throttle issue" have been delayed because they are "complex". Whilst I see no reason to doubt that, it does have the effect that the more these are delayed the more dlc will be affected when they try to implement them. Sadly DTG are not known for fixing things with their v1.0 product so it's a certainty that the initial PIS implementation will have issues. DTG have already tried to fix the "throttle issue" but didn't succeed and it caused some issues especialy in HH.

    The lack of a route editor/SDK means that it's not currently possible for third parties to work on new dlc independently of DTG which is contributing to the slow release of dlc and in turn boredom by users. The lack of a scenario editor means users can't create content with existing assets leading to user frustration .

    In essence a lot of the problems with TSW are DTG's fault for releasing the product before it was complete. No doubt this was because development overran and the business needed income to help pay for all the staff working on TSW. Unfortunately these things happen in software development and it's certainly not unique to gaming products or even DTG.

    To my mind the scenario editor is most critical thing for DTG to release. Although it's bound to have some bugs when first released it will hopefully allow users to start creating some content. It would be good if Steam workshop integration is released at the same time but tbh people will find ways to share scenarios without it in the short term.

    DTG need to find a way to devote resources to completing the route editor/SDK, adding the missing functionality and bugfixing whilst still producing dlc. To my mind the most likely way to do this would be to do a small extension to one of the existing dlc and perhaps add another loco. GWE would be my choice for this. The spare, or mostly spare, staff can be used to work on the route editor/SDK etc.

    I've no idea how feasible my idea is but DTG need to free up some resource and assuming there no spare cash for more staff I think the only way they can do this is to minimise the resources required for one of their dlc.
     
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  13. pschlik

    pschlik Well-Known Member

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    My perspective on this is that DTG is trying to do far too much for being a single developer. They clearly want to get more people on board by getting more assorted content out there that will interest more people. The faster that happens, the faster TSW can get a sustained following, but these practices just aren't sustainable. DTG being the only people working on the huge task of kickstarting TSW is making this feel more like a kick than a start. I do think the editor and getting 3rd parties in should really be the main goal, as there's just no way for DTG to do this alone, not without reaching a tipping point where it won't matter that a lot of content is out because all the people that matter will have been told to avoid it.
     
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  14. ironfan

    ironfan New Member

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    The problem is going to be to find third party developers who are willing to give DTG/Steam 60% of the sale. Who's going to be willing to do that, especially with the low overall number of sales?
     
  15. SimonM719

    SimonM719 Member

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    how many have been sold? do we know?
     
  16. Jef-F

    Jef-F Active Member

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    60-70k for base game according to SteamSpy graph. It's not overly reliable though.
     
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  17. Corvan

    Corvan Well-Known Member

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    Who says they have too? Armstrong Powerhouse, Just Trains, Fastline Simulation and Digital Traction all have their own stores and do quite well for themselves. They put a couple of things on Steam but you can still get it from their stores and with AP, you're better off. There may have been an insistence for FSW that third party stuff be sold through Steam but considering Train Simulator, there's a precedent against that for TSW. DTG would be foolish to try and change that.
     
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  18. ironfan

    ironfan New Member

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    Who's to say the FSW model is not their new model for TSW third party add-ons? I agree it would be foolish of them to do that but it was also foolish of them to do it for FSW, but they still did it. Of course we know how well that worked out for them so maybe they will have learned from that experience.
     
  19. Corvan

    Corvan Well-Known Member

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    They did and they've paid a serious price for it. If they haven't learned from that then there's no helping them.
     
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  20. Rudolf

    Rudolf Active Member

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    Over time I collected 25 friends playing TS2018 and 7 playing TSW. The numbers are increasing but slowly. When TSW as first issues, ony two friends played it. This matches an increase of players from 20k to 70-80k So numbers are growing and that's what this game needs.
     
    Last edited: May 7, 2018
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  21. Digital Draftsman

    Digital Draftsman Well-Known Member

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    Bug fixing does increase sales, but it's difficult to quantify just how much. When the Steam Store page has a "Mostly Negative" rating for the product and the reviews all complain of various bugs, it will certainly affect sales. The difficulty is in determining how many potential sales are lost as a result of those reviews. Frequently releasing poor quality products also damages the reputation of the brand, this will affect the initial price one can expect to charge for a product. People will pay more for Coca-Cola than an off brand version of cola, because they perceive Coca-Cola as quality brand; In some cases brand identity is more important than the quality of the actual product.

    Whilst in the short term it may be more profitable to create new content rather than fix existing products, long term the DTG brand will take a hammering and people will gradually lose interest in their products.

    DTG are lucky they have an effective monopoly on Train Simming, because if they didn't the failure of TSX would be considerably expedited.
     
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  22. ProfCreeptonius

    ProfCreeptonius Well-Known Member

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    Hello peepz!
    I wanted to voice my opinion on this matter and also poke DTG to get to bugfixing once again:
    It might be true that minor bug-fixes don't significantly impact sell-rates, however, the current situation of the bugs TSW is in no regard minor. There are many examples:
    - Signalling on RT is... bluntly said... trash. In all seriousness there is no better word to describe it. Almost everything that can go wrong, does.
    - The dashboard display of the Talent 2 is filled to the brim with bugs and sometimes invalid indications.
    - GWE is better in that department, but the missing 6-car 166, the missing flashing yellows and faulty track signage (missing morpeth boards) are quite severe issues.
    - I haven't bought NEC, but from what I hear the signalling and mechanics aren't ideal. Someone, please correct me if I'm wrong.
    etc.
    In TSxx we didn't have this many bugs, or at least not severe ones. Now I hear that the signalling is also faulty on the Cologne airport rail link, so I refrained from buying it.
    I think that the current situation of TSW is only acceptable to players that play the game only for the views, which are indeed amazing. But, more experienced train-drivers and those of us that desire the correct simulation of the trains features will be strongly disappointed. By taking the route of quantity over quality you will permanently deter a large part of the community.
    Furthermore, there are loads of features obviously missing from TSW, but I won't get into that now.
    DTG, please, for your own good, look over the DLC you already have, remove the major, blatant errors, make the routes playable for all of us and then and only then continue making newer DLC. There are countless members of the community willing to help you with the creation and fixing of DLC, why not accept all those offers? I only ever wanted to support the development - I even personally offered you to make all of the sound recordings for RT for free, you rejected. Why?

    I hope ya'll agree with me.

    Cheers,
    ProfCreeptonius
     
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  23. LeadCatcher

    LeadCatcher Well-Known Member

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    I read this entire thread with interest and find some of the concerns listed - interesting to say the least and some arguements misguided about FSW’s distribution model. You also have to consider the source of much of the mis-information on FSW came from the consortium of venders that were also bidding on the FSX license at the time including PMDG and Aerosoft. DTG_Cryss stated several times in multiple interviews and discussions third party vendors were able to sale their products as they saw fit. Yet this myth continued to propagate that Steam or DTG’s store would be the only avenue.

    That aside, as a TS fan with nearly 4000 hours in the game over the last several years, I am mystified when some say there are not as many bugs in TS as there are in TSW - PZB is the usual culprit for complaints for many German routes - Improper physics for the locomotives and incorrect horns etc. But yet that franchise has several 100 to 1000’s of players at any time using the simulation. And there are numerous bugs being incessantly discussed on the forums.

    My take on TSW is the lack of variety on the various routes - and this lack of variety comes from lack of rolling stock and motive power that would be route appropriate. I really enjoy the NEC since I use that system frequently through out the year, but with not having NJ_Transit rolling stock and motive power which runs over the same rails makes the route seem shallow. Love the freight scenarios but shifting between the several yards and not having transits over a great distance, it does get monotonous. Same happens for me in TS2018 doing the same type of runs on the same route - but with the ample DLC and Routes I can shift to another facet of railroading to relieve the repetiveness. Do a slog over Soldier Summit, then skip across the pond for a commuter run on the South London route followed by an ICE as I cuss the PZB (or cuss my skill using PZB :)). Then hit up a Steamer on the West Summerset Railway for a heritage run.

    With the addition of WSR we are starting to get the variety I look for to maintain my interest - Longer routes would be nice, but scenarios much over an hour usually are left undone in my TS2018 collection because of my limited time. Give me variety and I will be happy. Bugs are being addressed - the throttle problem(?) seems to me to be rectified in the WSR diesels - looking forward to those fixes propagating to the older (TSW Wise) diesel/electrics in the previous DLC.

    Looking forward to the day I can run a Black 5 on the WSR, take a NJT train from Penn Station to Newark as i do in real life - an yes run on Amtrak’s Capitol limited over the “Patch” hopefully all the way to Connellsville.
     

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