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Getting Tsw Back On Track

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Digital Draftsman, Jun 3, 2018.

  1. Digital Draftsman

    Digital Draftsman Well-Known Member

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    Here's what I feel is immediate action DTG needs to take if they're going to make TSW a success.

    Scenario Editor
    Whatever the coding and art resource requirement is, the Scenario Editor and Steam Workshop needs to be number one priority. This will allow the community to start creating, sharing and enjoying new content. Being able to create and share gives users a reason to interact with one another, as well as extending the life of existing content.

    Bug Fixing
    Any relevant resources not required for the development of the Scenario Editor should be formed into a dedicated 'Bug Team'. They will work through the list of bugs, correcting them, starting with the easiest to correct and working towards the more difficult ones.

    Wagon DLC
    Aside from the Scenario Editor GUI, a few widgets and bug fixes, the art team will be at a loose end. Occupy the art team with simple DLC content such as wagons/coaches for GWE/WSR/Sandpatch. Once the Scenario Editor is released, the additional wagons will give the community more possibilities for scenario creation. The DLC will also provide a small amount of financial resources to carry the project through this lean period.

    Communication
    Start a weekly blog. Have each department provide the Community Manager with some content to be featured each week. Make sure that communication is two way. If renders are posted of a wagon in development and the community highlights an error, correct it and then in the next blog acknowledge that the community highlighted the error and show them the correction that's made. The same goes for bug fixing, if JoeTrainBuff points out a bug, correct it and then say '"JoeTrainBuff" pointed out this bug, this is why it was happening and this is how we have corrected it.' Keep the community excited, interested and value their input.

    Timescale
    The Scenario Editor needs to be completed within 2-3 months. I'm sure that's a big ask, but it's what needs to be done. The blog could be implemented quickly, within a month, and if done correctly will go a long way to repairing community relations. I feel that TSW is at the Last Chance Saloon and these actions need to be taken now for it to become the future of Train Simming.

    Going Forward
    Once the Scenario Editor is complete, all resources should be brought into creating 3rd Party Developer Tools. Engage with some of the larger influential 3rd Party Developers and bring them in to test and give input on the tools. Ask them to begin developing route or locomotive DLC, offering them a higher percentage share of the profits to reward their assistance during this tricky period. Once the tools have been released they will quickly be followed by the 3rd Party DLC developed predominantly during the tool testing period. Once this is done DTG can then focus on new DLC and look towards implementing Multiplayer.
     
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  2. ProfCreeptonius

    ProfCreeptonius Well-Known Member

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    Oh, yeah, and PZB

    Hello community!

    There are a few difficulties with the requests you've laid out, Digital Draftsman. First, let me just make clear that I'm not disputing your thoughts, I just want to inform, okay? Good.

    Scenario Editor. <Censored>

    Bug Fixing. You know... we could... ahem... get some good.... well... PZB ;) Seriously though, there are major bugs which indeed to need fixing. The publishing of 'TSW' (or TS2 however you wanna call it) on PC might, however, include these fixes, cause it would sure be a bold move indeed to rename the game and call it a day.

    Wagon DLC. Would certainly be nice, but I personally think bugfixing and more Loco DLC in particular for RT are more important and urgent.

    Communication. Don't we have that with Dovetail Live? And I think a blog really isn't a good mean of communication. We have a big discord community run by MarkusLiberty, and we'd love to get more devs on-board. That would massively help DTG communication, and isn't too hard to do. We are all TSxx/TSW fans and are more then happy to help the development of train simulation. All you need to get an account is an email. That's it. So join us! https://discord.gg/8Ehpgzp

    Timescale I've already mentioned this, but I think your requested time-frames are a tiny bit short for certain things. The scenario editor will be hard to get as quickly as 2 months. A legitimate estimate might be the Wagon and/or Loco DLC add-on for some existing routes, like for instance RT. Bugs, however, should get fixed a.s.a.p. Adding to the urgency is that DTG actually has extremely well-made and detailed bug reports sent in. Don't take this as me being greedy, but the community really is, from an objective point of view, starting to get severely annoyed by the major bugs. This could grow over into a colossal loss for you guys.

    DTG did make a mistake, and I think they and we all should accept it. But it's okay, everybody makes mistakes and the community will forgive. At least I hope so.

    This was just my opinion on the matter, don't take this as a 'feature request' or 'critique' or 'aggression' in any way.

    Cheers,
    ProfCreeptonius
     
    Last edited: Jun 4, 2018
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  3. Anthony Pecoraro

    Anthony Pecoraro Well-Known Member

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    I am glad that you aren’t one of these whiny cry babies Digital Draftsman. You wrote this very professionally and used constructive criticism. I do agree with ProfCreeptonius that your dates are a bit to short and that a blog isn’t the best way, but as a whole good article.
     
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  4. Medellinexpat

    Medellinexpat Well-Known Member

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    @digitaldraftsman I think that DTG have suggested that this is going to be one game on PC and multiple console platforms. What I wonder - I don’t know the answer so effectively I am asking a question - do consoles support the functionality of a scenario editor? I’m no expert on consoles but I’d always seen then as a sort of ‘closed loop’ system - rather like the TSW content to date.

    Equally DTG may have made firm commitments to a scenario editor that I’m unaware of - and by firm I mean a specific statement - rather than a user community expectation that all of the features in TS were going to be replicated into TSW.

    I’m sure my response will garner the ‘you just don’t get it do you’ replies but as I say this is a question. Would a console support an editor (and/or the creation of content) or is that a PC thing?

    Because if they don’t I can’t see DTG building an editor just for the PC version even if that isn’t popular request from the PC side.

    If consoles can use an editor in the same way as a PC obviously there’s no issue.

    Again, this isn’t defending DTG just asking whether an editor is or isn’t likely given the statement of a common game across multiple platforms. The question may go a little deeper, some consoles may be more capable than others for this kind of feature, but for the present perhaps the general question makes more sense.

    One other question, and it’s probably going to be guesswork, what percentage of current TS users use the editor? I understand that the experienced users do, but I wonder what it looks like in numbers and percentage of games sold. Equally those who use the scenario editor to create content and those who use it to consume may be very different numbers as well.
     
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  5. NorthRail1

    NorthRail1 Well-Known Member

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    Here are my thoughts on this:

    • Editing Tools - As ProfCreeptonius has pointed out, there are difficulties in getting the editors in to Train Sim World so these are probably a while off yet. I don't have a problem with this but what DTG need to do is provide regular updates on progress. Something like a bit of information on what the editing tools will be like, a few images maybe, or a rough timescale, something like 3-4 months. DTG shouldn't rush these because they need to get them right and that will take time.
    • Bug Fixing - DTG has already got a bug fixing team but their progress seems to be quite slow. Major problems still exist such as PZB for Rapid Transit and problems from GWE and CSX still persist. Whilst it will be difficult for DTG to speed up the process of fixing bugs, every effort should be made to do this.
    • DLC - So far DTG has been mainly creating route dlc which in my opinion is not the right plan. Every route dlc churns out new bugs making the bug list longer. Instead DTG should allow the Bug fixing team to catch up on the bugs before releasing new dlc. I don't however think that wagon/coach dlc are the best path either. Adding some new freight wagons for GWE or Mark II coaches for WSR won't improve the game that much. DTG should add new locomotive dlc, especially for Rapid Transit which has only one locomotive at the moment, the DB BR 1442. Rapid Transit should probably get the DB 182 and 143 as well as Double Deck coaches and the ICE T to add some variety to the route. GWE should get the Class 387 and 800 to make the route more up to date with locomotives and NEC should get the Acela and some New Jersey Transit locos.
    • Free DLC additions - DTG should also add some free additions to the current DLC. Firstly, new liveries. The Classes 43 and 166 in GWE should get First Great Western Liveries and the WSR locomotives should get BR Blue liveries. The Class 47 could also be used in GWE for railtours potentially. Rapid Transit also needs a major rework of the service mode timetable as outlined in this post: https://forums.dovetailgames.com/threads/more-rapid-transit-services.3471/ . Out of all the routes, I probably have the least hours on Rapid Transit for two reasons; there is no variety/the route feels dead and the only services are Dessau to Markkleeberg or Connewitz, which is a long journey. Shorter services on routes such as S1, S4, S5 etc. need to be added.
    • Communication - Personally I would oppose the idea of a blog as I think the Dovetail Live system is good enough. However, communication should be improved; more regular updates on the progress of bug fixes, the editors, progress on adding steam locomotives and upcoming dlc should be provided with potentially a roadmap of what DTG wants to achieve within a timescale.
    DTG made a mistake but it is time to move on from that and DTG should focus on improving things in the future.

    Hopefully this didn't seem to be too critical of DTG, just wanted to suggest some things which I think would improve TSW and DTG's relations with the community.
     
    Last edited: Jun 3, 2018
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  6. Digital Draftsman

    Digital Draftsman Well-Known Member

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    Hi ProfCreeptonius, I really appreciate the response.

    If the hold up for the Scenario Editor is the permission to redistribute elements of the UE4 editor, why haven't DTG shown us the editor in its current state? They could do a demonstration video showing the features, how it works etc. Also as UE4 is almost open source, surely the only barrier to distribution would be determining the royalty payments to Epic Games? Why would that negotiation not have taken place months ago, especially given 3rd Party Content constitutes an important part of the business model?

    The reason I suggest wagon DLC is that it isn't very intensive in terms of scripting, research and sound recording like a locomotive DLC would be, this leaves those coding to work on the Scenario Editor, whilst the 3D Artists can model up some wagons.

    The current communication through DT Live feels more like an advertisement bombardment. I know when I see a post it'll too often be 'New DLC coming soon, so get your wallet ready!' It's quite a one way style of communication with very little reference to specific requests by the community. Taking time to explain where in the community a particular issue or idea was raised and how it has been addressed makes the community feel as though they are being listened to and their input has value.

    I admit I derived the timescales more from what I feel is necessary to prevent TSW from falling by the wayside, rather than practicalities. Whilst I'm not very good at coding myself, I know enough about it to understand what can/can't be archived and a rough timescale. DTG clearly has a way to create scenarios, so a lot of the code is already there, it just needs to be adapted to be a little more flexible and user friendly. I would have thought a team of three fairly experienced programmers working full-time along with someone from the art department to work on the GUI should be able to achieve a working editor in the timescale outlined.
     
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  7. Lombra

    Lombra Member

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    User created content on consoles is technically possible but very difficult for various reasons. There's a reason extremely few console games has any sort of modding support. I think it's fairly safe to assume that Train Sim World is not going to be one of them.
     
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  8. Anthony Pecoraro

    Anthony Pecoraro Well-Known Member

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    DTG has fixed many bugs already. Yes, there are still more, but we must not forget that they have fixed quite a few already.
     
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  9. Digital Draftsman

    Digital Draftsman Well-Known Member

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    The closest comparison I can think of would be Bethesda's Creation Club, but that's a select few user created addons which have been curated to ensure their quality and compatibility. I don't think Xbox Live has an equivalent to the Steam Workshop, without which makes it difficult to share user generated content.
     
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  10. Challenger3985

    Challenger3985 Active Member

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    Not only that but Bethesda have Mods, that are free, from their site to work on the consoles. The only problem that will be addressed, however, is the limited space that is placed as reserved. And many 3rd Party content, published by DTG themselves, will mostly be as a DLC payware anyways.
     
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  11. HopesAnchor131

    HopesAnchor131 Active Member

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    Microsoft are much more lenient than Sony when it comes to mods and creation content. Fallout 4 and Skyrim mods on Xbox were on par with the PC while Sony won't allow assets from outside of the games.
     
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  12. 85Leaf

    85Leaf Member

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    Perhaps DTG could put a stamp of approval on community made mods then stick them in their Marketplace or on the PS Store for 'free' or a small fee? That way the community assets could become semi-official (call it what you will) and be a viable option for the PS simmers? Of course that opens up DTG to a potential deluge of CommCon (community content) and they'd have to work out a feasible check system. Just a thought :)
     
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  13. pschlik

    pschlik Well-Known Member

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    Yeah I think DTG really needs to take a different path than they are on now. It is hard to fully explain this in a way that's going to properly cover everything...but I guess in general, I want TSW content to be higher quality and get more time indev, and I want to see more focus on the core game, especially for the little quality of life things people come up with.
    But at the same time, there's usually some excuse DTG'll have about all this stuff, indicating that they think they are in the right with this mess...There are much better ways to make a simulator. I think even N3V is a decent example of what I'd expect. But DTG will likely consider themselves incompatible with anything other than making content.

    Maybe third parties will provide what I want from TSW content? But then who will take care of the base features?
     
    Last edited: Jun 3, 2018
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  14. 85Leaf

    85Leaf Member

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    iirc TS20XX seemed to rely on 3rd party development to fix bits...there were train brake issues on some (or all) of the North American diesel electric traction and the team that did the Rocky Mountain/Canadian Pacific route did a lot to fix those issues when DTG released it...I *think* those fixes were applied to route specific releases rather than the actual traction but I could have misread as I was, at the time, pretty keen on more realistic train lengths and the challenge of the mountain grades with fixed brake systems.

    I'm assuming though (and someone correct me if I'm wrong) that there are different dev teams for TSW and TS20XX so the TSW people may try and correct most of the bugs/wrong items (like non-functioning gauges) rather than letting 3rd party devs fix problems on a case-by-case route specific program. That way the base game is fixed too.

    I'm hoping that some 3rd party developers, like Aerosoft, Thompson, AP, et al., will get a crack at producing some lovely routes, traction and stock (and sounds). *fingers crossed*
     
  15. davejc64

    davejc64 Active Member

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    Editing and creation tools are a must, letting third party route and stock developers needs to happen, would really like to see what JT could do with TSW regards routes and stock.
     
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  16. Maik Goltz

    Maik Goltz Active Member

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    I await the day the editor comes out and all the moaning folks start whining again because it is way to complicated for them. As a 3th party you will dig into it at least (when you want to make money) but the freeware folks, that is even whining about the complexity of the TS1 editor and asset tools, will not get anything done within the 50 times heavier UE4 editor. Maybe DTG will devliver a basic manual for the simplest things, but to get out a route or a vehicle into TSW you all need to enter the very steep learning curve of UE4.

    Don't know if there will be a seperated and simplified ingame scenario editor come available. If not, even sceanrio creating will sort out 99% of you folks. I promise that!
     
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  17. Medellinexpat

    Medellinexpat Well-Known Member

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    My guess that any separated and simplified editor - as it likely won’t be console available (and therefore not part of a ‘unified’ game) would be way down the DTG project deliverable list. Like so far down in the list it’s with the ‘nice to do if we ever get the time’ items.

    Agree with vR Maik that providing the editor in raw form, and then potentially not linking shared content back into the game easily might not really resolve anything.

    Even third party access might not be high on DTGs priority list. Wasn’t one of the complaints of the FSW community that DTG weren’t accommodating third party development?

    Now these are just ‘thoughts’ and no doubt unpopular with many here. I would love to read more positive interpretations beyond the ‘DTG need to change’ type of response.
     
  18. Coppo

    Coppo Active Member

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    If there is a problem in delivering the editor in a short timescale then how about DTG adding some extra scenarios to each of the routes so far?
    As we know the seasons available don't change the timetables in the game (whereas in real life winter and summer timetables tend to differ). The addition of additional and/ or seasonal scenarios might keep people amused for a while.
    Not only that, but why is the rolling stock restriocted by route? both the US routes are CSX territory, so why isn't the rolling stock for both routes (ignoring the electric engine) available to both routes?
    Also, they clearly missed a trick by ignoring the suggestion from people of having the WSR Class 47 running a rail fan special on the GWR route.

    add some extra scenarios DTG, to keep people engaged..
     
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  19. MarkL

    MarkL New Member

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    I have seen people talk about the UE4 editor a lot. I don't know UE4 so i'm asking this:
    why does DTG need to redistribute the UE4 editor or anyway make people mess with it?
    Can't they develop an in-game world editor just like they did for TS1?
     
  20. NorthRail1

    NorthRail1 Well-Known Member

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    The AC4400CW couldn't be added to NEC: New York as there are no services suitable for such a powerful locomotive. However, I see no reason why the SD40-2 shouldn't be added to the NEC. This should especially done since players on Xbox and PS4 can't get CSX Heavy Haul and thus not the SD40-2 or AC4400CW. In my opinion, DTG should try and make a route suitable for the AC4400CW soon to allow that locomotive to be added to other platforms.
     
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  21. 85Leaf

    85Leaf Member

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    Hi Mark, as far as I'm aware DTG licensed the UE4 game engine for TSW, whereas what is now known as Trainsimulator 20XX had it's own proprietary game engine with which Kuju/RSC/DTG could do as they pleased.
     
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  22. pschlik

    pschlik Well-Known Member

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    Actually, there is the one AI service that brings in the train from the Hudson line, then the player service to park its locomotives, and a train on the Hudson line is pretty guaranteed to have something heavy duty-though I think CSX largely uses modified SD70MACs on that line as the third rail is incompatible with the normal snowplow design. Ideally, for owners of Sand Patch, that chain of services would use an AC4400CW or equivalent.
     
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  23. Anthony Pecoraro

    Anthony Pecoraro Well-Known Member

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    Which service?
     
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  24. Challenger3985

    Challenger3985 Active Member

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    The F-05 inbound to Oak Point. However, since that's the only train to go in as a 6 Motor engine, the rest of the line would still be 4 Motored as it is just basically a small line going from one yard to another. That's why the GP40 will be part of not only HH but NEC as well.
     
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  25. MarkL

    MarkL New Member

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    @85Leaf, this is true. However, from a licencing point of view, I don't see why EPIC would prohibit DTG to develop an in-game World editor in TSW, for content that will be used inside TSW again anyway. Maybe I'm missing something
     
  26. Maik Goltz

    Maik Goltz Active Member

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    Why developing an ingame editor when there is a editor already. Makes no sense. And even when DTG would decide to do it, it will never happen. For such a thing you need alot of coders and time and therefor alot of money. The UE4 Editor is good. Thats why no game based on UE4 that is moddable usses an ingame editor. The licence thing must be a different problem. Maybe why they changed alot of the engine source and editor source code, and therefor need to be delivered with the editor what is not allowed. But to have a TS in UE4 you just need to do these things. So thats a tricky thing to handle. I guess DTG will find a way. But it will be the UE4 editor at least. So just start to learn UE4 and you will have a good base knowlegde to work in TSW :)
     
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  27. MarkL

    MarkL New Member

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    An ingame editor would provide specialized tools for people who want to build a rail network. Just like the TS editor. I haven't taken a look at the UE4 editor but it is obviously software with way broader capabilities and a steep learning curve because of all the game creators it has to serve.
     
  28. pschlik

    pschlik Well-Known Member

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    Well the main challenge is how you integrate new content into the game. Yes, anyone can get the UE4 editor, but if it was as simple as just using the existing tools then we would have many mods already. But since there is no way to put something that is made into TSW, nothing happens, so DTG's got to make the game support modding in the first place, even if the editor has nothing to do with that. It even sounds like modding doesn't play too nice with even DTG doing it, as it's been said that putting the 47 on GWE is not as simple as it sounds..

    Also, from what I remember, DTG has indeed heavily modified the map editor itself so it doesn't use so much RAM. Something about the way the world is loaded or something. That's probably what Epic would be concerned about. And there are most likely other random tweaks to consider too.
     
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  29. LastTrainToClarksville

    LastTrainToClarksville Well-Known Member

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    The editor issue has become quite confusing in terms of what kind of editor is being predicted, demanded, praised, or panned. I've read posts here that deal with scenario creation or editing, rolling stock creation or editing, and route creation or editing; but in some cases, the same post deals with two or even all three of these editors, frequently without distinguishing one from another.
    In TS20xx, switching between the route and scenario creators and editors is possible but perilous. As I understand it, the scenery/rolling stock creator/editor is completely separate from the route and scenario editors. Some who post about editors seem to want a similar system in TSW, while others seem to want just one type of editor.
    Having a scenario creator/editor would satisfy me, for example.
    In any case, I wish that everyone would be more specific about which type or types of editor they are proposing or discussing. It would also be helpful when commenting on someone else's post to use the reply function.
    Thanks for reading.
     
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  30. LastTrainToClarksville

    LastTrainToClarksville Well-Known Member

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    Please elaborate about the UE4 editor (where is it available, what can it do, how difficult is it to use, etc.).
     
  31. cActUsjUiCe

    cActUsjUiCe Well-Known Member

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    https://www.unrealengine.com/en-US/what-is-unreal-engine-4

    Just sign up and download it. Unreal Engine 4's editor interface is the "editor" that he talked about.
     
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  32. animalkosmik

    animalkosmik Well-Known Member

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    http://forums.uktrainsim.com/viewtopic.php?p=1806500
    My standing recommendation to any would-be content creators is to get the free UE4 download and start learning how it works.

    Things you CAN do:
    - Import shapes, set them up with materials and make them look awesome in the world - static and animated scenery you can build right now because that's just UE4. Locos - well, build them and import them as skeletal meshes, get them looking awesome with the right materials etc but that's as far as you can go, you'll still have a lot to do when you get tools but at least it will get the art side ready to go.
    - Learn UE4's blueprint system, even if you normally wouldn't do scripting or anything, all our artists now have at least a basic grip on this because you can use a bit of blueprint to create good solutions for your art as well as understanding how you might make more intelligent art - e.g. an asset that can adjust itself automatically or offer up more options to the person using it in a route. One example is one of our artists made a road sign - and with a bunch of options added to the editor UI it can be set to various signs, various pole styles and so forth, without having to add tons of assets to clutter up the library.

    Things you CANT do:
    - While UE4 has a terrain system, it has no lat/long world coordinate system, we have done a tremendous amount of work representing the Earth in UE4 with a real coordinate system as well as changing how the streaming works, and coping with the low detail that UE4 has for height data - so I would perhaps learn the tools that are there including terrain painting etc, but understand that we've made a lot of changes to terrain so that it works for train sim routes (which are really quite unlike anything Unreal has tried to do before!).
    - Don't try to make train controls interactive - we have a completely proprietary system for it that we've added in to speed up the process that is more tuned to what we need in the game. Of course if you want to have a lamp post with a light switch as scenery in the world, or doors that swing open - no reason you shouldn't practice figuring out how that works as that's a simple bit of blueprint - just be aware that trains have their own interactive system.

    I think the single biggest best use of your time as a 3D content creator is to do whatever you can to learn the material system and how PBR materials work, how to get the best out of them on your content etc. Making something work versus making something awesome are different beasts entirely
    [​IMG]

    In terms of tools...

    We still use 3DS Max so official guidance will still be for that, because that's what we know. However Unreal fully supports Blender, which is free. So if you haven't made the move to Blender yet I really would strongly advise doing so, unless your tool also fully supports the FBX format. All the material stuff is done in UE4 - so as long as you can make a suitably detailed mesh, texture it, set up the hierarchy and set up animations the way that UE4 needs them then your tools should work fine. That's mostly stuff you can practice and "kick the tyres" on now though.

    We also use Quixel, or you can use Substance, to do the materials - those are commercial tools, you can live without them, but my word they make life easier. I think there are hobbyist priced versions of Substance on Steam, not sure about Quixel, I think there is too.

    We use photoshop for textures - but any suitable art system like the free Paint.NET or GIMP packages ought to do perfectly well.

    That's it really for 3D content tools I think.

    Matt.
     
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  33. Lombra

    Lombra Member

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    At this point I'm not really sure that it's possible to get back on track. The whole thing seems to be so poorly aligned with what people are asking for. I can certainly appreciate the excellent graphics and fundamental hands on gameplay, but they don't really seem to be willing to go the extra mile polishing things up after release.

    I'm assuming they want to somewhat catch up with Train Simulator in terms of content, why they're releasing DLCs so rapidly, but at what cost? It's already been revealed that they have strict deadlines to meet, not allowing them to make longer routes. I just watched one of the behind the scenes videos on the TSW steam page, wherein Matt talks about needing to simulate hundreds of cars over 70 mile routes, and citing that as the reason for going with Unreal Engine. Heavy Haul wasn't too far off, but it's really quite worrying that routes tends to become shorter and shorter.

    Furthermore, have we really heard anything about creation tools or multiplayer? Other than "we would like to do it at some point", which really just sounds like they're not planning on looking into it any time soon. The possibiliy of Raildriver support (or any generic joystick, in my case) was said "not to have been ruled" out. That's really not the answer I wanted to hear. To me that seems like an obvious thing in a product labelled "simulator", yet the most they can say is they're not refusing to do it. Things like this is what makes me want to agree with the anti console crowd.

    What I would like to see is some sort of roadmap. I don't expect them to work on every little (or big) thing we ask for, but at least let us know some things you ARE working on that isn't just more routes. (since that's a given) And don't bother to include things that are just pipe dreams.

    I think the work on revamping the throttle controls is a step in the right direction. Really going back (with emphasis on back, not just limited to new routes) and fixing broken things. More of that, and not just pumping out new content. Without that polish TSW will remain just a mediocre product and not really work in the long term. People often mention SCS as a role model for development, and I definitely agree. ETS2 didn't get 96% positive rating on Steam for nothing. The UI is a bit outdated is my main complaint about that game, I think. They release patches with a few months interval, adding major or medium size features and fixing a bunch of bugs every time, while also releasing map expansions roughly once a year. Unfortunately I'm getting more of an Electronic Arts vibe from DTG...
     
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  34. Digital Draftsman

    Digital Draftsman Well-Known Member

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    Based on the post animalkosmik quoted above, I spent about 200 hundred hours last year putting together scenic assets for use in UE4, the ultimate intention being to create a US Shortline route in TSW. It's now 18months on from that post and we've heard absolutely nothing in terms of 3rd Party Content and Development. I actually feel a bit stupid as I put a lot of time into UE4 on what I thought was a logical assumption that the tools would be a top priority for DTG. Fortunately I can at least edit the assets to use in TS2018, so it wasn't a total waste of time.

    I'm someone who has been Train Simming since the release of MSTS and I've developed content for MSTS as well as Railworks and TS2018. I also have experience of project management within the railway industry, so I have a fairly good grasp of what's needed to bring a project to fruition. I'm at the stage where if DTG announced that they were discontinuing the development of TSW in a similar manner to FSW, I wouldn't be surprised in the slightest.

    I look at simulators like 'Diesel Railcar Simulator' and I see that it has 'Very Positive' reviews on Steam. It's not finished, there's content missing and bugs present, so why is it 'Very Positive' when TSW has 'Mixed' reviews on Steam? Because the developer has released the game in Early Access, which is what DTG should have done with TSW Heavy Haul. The developer, Lapioware, are passionate and communicate with the users, listen to their feedback and are developing important features, like a route editor! Diesel Railcar Simulator was released in Early Access in March this year, and I know more about the Developer Tools for it than I do with TSW! How can a small developer like Lapioware get it so right, when a company with DTG's means and experience can get it so wrong?! Something in DTG's management has really gone awry.
     
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  35. Trenomarcus

    Trenomarcus Member

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    Guess why... ;)

    As a train simulation customer and enthusiast since MSTS (2001), I saw DTG ruining the franchise year after year, since 2009 (9 years now).

    It's not a matter of being positive or constructive: there is currently NO POINT in doing so, in my opinion. DTG is not appearing to be changing it's marketing/development direction and the recent events proved that (see the "big announcement" thing).

    I'm really sorry to say this again, but I see no bright future for TSW at the moment. I REALLY want to be wrong about this.
     
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  36. John Murphy

    John Murphy Well-Known Member

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    I agree. DTG is definitely not going to change. We might get a few more similar "big announcements" before people finally get fed up and this game bites the dust like FSW. Hate it as you may, I'm personally going to stick to Trainz for route building, maybe TS.
     
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  37. Digital Draftsman

    Digital Draftsman Well-Known Member

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    I hope you're wrong too, but unfortunately the evidence indicates the contrary. The graph below compares TSW's player numbers with ETS2's (data source: Steam Charts). It's quite a good comparison as both are transport simulators and both had popular predecessors with active modding communities. Although player numbers are only one metric of success, it's interesting nevertheless.

    You can see that with every DLC for ETS2 there's a subsequent spike of players greater than that of the previous DLC releases. With TSW it's the opposite, with each DLC yielding a smaller spike of players. It's also worth noting that the spikes for ETS2 take longer to rise and fall, indicative of higher player interest and greater purchases subsequent to the release date. With TSW the spikes rise and fall very quickly, indicating short term interest and not as many purchases subsequent to the release date (one cause is people seeing the 'first adopters' reviews and choosing not to purchase).

    player_numbers.jpg
     
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  38. 85Leaf

    85Leaf Member

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    Thats a pretty interesting snapshot. Appears somewhat similar in the first six months of existence, but from then on the number of players of ETS2 just burgeons seeing 5000+ players, while TSW does pop up briefly to 1600 users with GWE release and now back into the realm of Hmmm.

    "From this day to the ending of the world,
    But we in it shall be rememberèd—
    We few, we happy few, we band of brothers;
    For he to-day that sheds his blood with me
    Shall be my brother; be he ne'er so vile,
    This day shall gentle his condition;
    And gentlemen in England now a-bed
    Shall think themselves accurs'd they were not here,
    And hold their manhoods cheap whiles any speaks
    That fought with us upon Saint Crispin's day."
    -Henry V

    Sorry, got a little carried away there :)
     
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  39. Daniel Bloch

    Daniel Bloch Well-Known Member

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    Without an editor that player charts won't much change, you buy the DLC, play the tutorials & the scenarios and do some service mode rides and you are back to boring. There is not much to do for the long term, we need the scenario editor and workshop for increase of the player numbers.
     
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  40. Medellinexpat

    Medellinexpat Well-Known Member

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    I’m not sure that it’s the provision of an editor that gets this moving. Yes, that would attract across some of the more hardcore simmers but what this game needs to be viable is a whole lot more casual users. The average number of players and that flat line over time suggests that the game has no pick up at all. One that’s getting existing TS users moving over but it’s also a sign that more general games players don’t see that as interesting or value. You might also infer that each new DLC release is selling less well. The game needs more enticing releases. I guess I wasn’t alone in thinking that WSR was underwhelming compared with the earlier GWE.

    With those usage numbers there’s something more fundamentally wrong than the lack of an editor. It’s more likely one or more of these

    - the basic concept isn’t attractive enough
    - it isn’t good value alongside other options. While TS already has built up a user base who will buy add on DLC it isn’t as saleable for a new game and to a new audience. It’s not a mainstream approach.
    - it isn’t being marketed properly. While the videos look slick, and may be appealing to train enthuasists, they aren’t convincing a wider (and probably younger) audience. And although I know Matt P. Is popular among the community he might not be the best figurehead for the game. Rightly or wrongly other games tend to have younger people (often with spikey hair) as the front man or woman. We have to face the fact that selling a game that has as one of its mainstays the coupling and uncoupling of wagons may lack a certain wow factor and needs to be ‘sold’
    - DTG need to know, if they don’t already, whether the issue with the usage is a) not attracting enough users or b) once users buy it they aren’t playing it because there’s not enough content. The latter is going to be a difficult one for them to fix as adding content is going to be expensive for them.
    - for existing TS users moving over yes the editor might be an issue. But it also might be other features like Quick Drive that TSW doesn’t support. On TS for example I can choose to run a whole choice of consists into Paddington on the GWR; Steam, diesel hydraulics, HST, commuter trains etc at what time I want and in the weather I choose. TSW doesn’t give me that choice.

    This all looks a little dire for DTG. If it was me I’d consider

    - giving the base game away free

    - repackaging the base game with a lot more content (as with TS) at a low cost to try to get new users


    Sticking with the current game plan given the underlying usage numbers wouldn’t seem to be very promising. They need to do something drastic or move on. Games with this level of investment don’t survive with less than 200 average users one year after initial release.
     
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  41. chelmo

    chelmo New Member

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    Casual users are interested in getting more for their money ie more routes. Simple as. There is next to nothing in the current base package of TSW to attract them.
     
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  42. Anthony Pecoraro

    Anthony Pecoraro Well-Known Member

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    DTG is listening to their customers. They just need time to add in the features and fix bugs. They want to get a lot of DLC out in the mean time to receive money to use toward bug fixes and to add features. ProfCreeptonius will agree with me.
     
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  43. Daniel Bloch

    Daniel Bloch Well-Known Member

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    Casual players also like to download and play workshop scenarios, maybe they dont want to build some but sure to play then. And that's what is keeping people interested in the old TS, the many things to play from the workshop.
     
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  44. chelmo

    chelmo New Member

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    For Train Simulator read FSX. For TSW read Flight Sim World. Another sim where they were "listening to their customers" but needed time to "add in the features".

    It all sounds remarkably familiar.
     
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  45. Kestrel33

    Kestrel33 Member

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    There are so many things I love about this game. But, with the recent announcements, I've simply come to the point that TSW has lost all of its potential for me.
     
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  46. Medellinexpat

    Medellinexpat Well-Known Member

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    chelmo unfortunately it’s difficult not to agree with you.

    They bought legacy products and then tried to build 64 bit replacements. The business planning and execution of the development seems to have gone awry. Perhaps there was too much emphasis on the graphical end (ticket barriers at Paddington) rather than what was needed for a commercially viable simulator.

    Perhaps they underestimated what was involved from a development point of view or commercially what pricing points and content needed to be to be viable. Strange as it may sound it could be the people in the project teams were too fixated on the simulator they always wanted to build. There’s a business case out there, if I remember it correctly, when Stanley Gibbins were run by stamp enthusiasts who went on a stamp buying binge that ended badly financially. Perfection is of course laudable but it’s one of the reasons projects often fail. You run out of time or money way before you reach the point of ‘take off’. FSW failed because it was so short of basic features. TSW could now fail because on one hand it’s missing features that the existing hardcore TS community want (what they want is a 64 bit version of TS) and because for casual users it’s too little content for the cost and to be honest a little ‘nerdy’.

    If TSW doesn’t survive I’m sure that the cry will be that it failed for lack of an editor. It will be one of the reasons but it won’t be the underlying reason. If nothing else my guess is that content cost too much to produce to the quality they want using the engine they have.

    Presumably times must be pretty fraught at DTG at the moment. FSW failed and the TSW numbers look awful. That might be a reason to suggest a little toning back of the rhetoric in the forums. I would imagine being a Dev there at the moment is no fun at all.

    If DTG were to can TSW (or basically mothball it as it is) and suggest that they were going back to fix issues in TS would the community support them?
     
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  47. Anthony Pecoraro

    Anthony Pecoraro Well-Known Member

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    Why doesn’t anyone realize that an editor is on the way????!!!!!!
     
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  48. londonmidland

    londonmidland Well-Known Member

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    So when will it be released? Next week, next month, next year? Anyone could say it is on the way but not provide a timescale of when. A lot of use that is.

    The game has been out for over a year now but it is still completely locked out of.
     
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  49. ARuscoe

    ARuscoe Well-Known Member

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    What most people want is a game that never crashes no matter what the cause, even if on spurious hardware or an OS that needs updating. A 64 bit version might address certain loading or memory errors but won't update their OS or drivers or solve issues with third party addons causing crashes.

    This is something I agree with, but you don't state what the underlying reason(s) may be
     
  50. 85Leaf

    85Leaf Member

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    Interesting question :)

    I'd like to think that many of us who are also TS20XX users would still support DTG if that happens. My concern about retroactive 'fixes' at this stage is how much of 20XX would simply break. The plethora of DLC would have to be fixed (timetables, stopping points, AI movements just to name a handful of potential wrecks in each route). What of disruptions to the thousands of scenarios on the Workshop? They would likely be affected to varying degrees-- would I go back and repair the ones I put up years ago? Maybe depending on the workload. I'm beginning to think that the daunting task of retroactive fixing is too much and the reason we see few actual fixes each year in the 'update' and the reliance on 3rd Party to fix problems in their 3rd Party routes (see CMP as ex).

    20XX is, as I see it, the prime reason many of us would like to see the needed fixes to the TSW base game sooner than never; DTG can't let TSW become a mess. Given MP's statements that the diesel-electric fixes will be applied as soon as possible to the other modules I don't think they plan on letting TSW go the same way 20XX has gone.

    This is just me mulling this over. I'll support DTG until I see it as hopeless and I hope that TSW will gain some more players to insure it's survival. :)
     
    Last edited: Jun 5, 2018
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