Have Dtg Got Themselves Into A ‘out Of Control’ Situation?

Discussion in 'PC Discussion' started by londonmidland, Mar 12, 2021.

  1. junior hornet

    junior hornet Well-Known Member

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    The first point regarding release dates over quality of software is almost certainly true but by no means confined to DTG. I spent many years as a software tester (service delivery testing), testing the finished product immediately before release. This was not in a computer games company rather in the development of software releases for huge database systems. My team frequently got the code late due to overrunning development or problems found in system testing requiring further work. However, as far as I remember, a release date was never changed. The policy was to test what we could and release on a wing and a prayer, making fixes post release as necessary (which was nearly always).
     
  2. Callum B.

    Callum B. Well-Known Member

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    I just about dropped my jaw when Adam said his team comprised of... five people I think he said? Somewhere around that mark. It is too much to make such a tiny team of people answer for DTG's entire technical debt. Hence, I have little expectations for them to keep up with main releases. That is not to sleight Adam or the employees on his team, but rather to suggest that they are being set up to fail.

    Cheers
     
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  3. Cameron's Gaming

    Cameron's Gaming Well-Known Member

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    I think it's 4 now as one of them has been poached by the main team.
     
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  4. tallboy7648

    tallboy7648 Well-Known Member

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    Now I watched this video in full and read all the replies in this thread from some who probably didn't even watch the full video. I don't blame them since it's long and I'll give my thoughts on the object orient design he kept talking about.

    Now in my opinion the object orient design does sound like a good idea. Think about it tsw2 is supossed to bring new aspects to the game but for alot of preserved collection routes don't have some of the new features yet. Most don't work with livery designer yet, they don't have the new tsw2 skies, pis on preserved german routes and ska doesn't work as well, level crossings don't work on routes before sehs that would actually have them and now the preserved collection team has been bitten in their behinds having to implement some of these features in older routes which does take alot of time to do on top of fixing bugs for what is effectively a small team. If they had a object orientated design then let's say pis for prserved german routes would already be implemented because since pis for all german routes are pretty much the same it would apply to all the german routes before HMA. This would eliminate the need for adam's team to implement pis to every german route one by one and save dev time. Same goes with the new tsw2 skies. If there was a object oreinted design then in theory the old dlcs would get the new sky boxes at once and there would be no need to add them one by one. Although I do think a potential flaw of this is if dtg introduce new features and were applied automatically, it may not be certain that it could break a older dlc or may not work with a older dlc.

    I feel like the preserved crew which is a small team is being bitten in their behinds because what effectively is going on is any new tsw feature being introduced, adam's team has to go back and place it one by one which takes time. They are playing a endless game of catch-up especially when new dlcs are being released. This is a problem that dtg are clearly facing and is a self inflicted wound dtg put on themselves and the Senior Producer is now answering for. I personally believe that any new feature dtg make for this game should automatically apply to older dlcs as it's very hard and time consuming to go back to every dlc and add a new feature to a 3-4 year old route that was made with pretty old tech at the time. I fear that some dlcs may not have new features introduced and they won't be able to keep up with new releases. 4 people having to do all that work is not easy
     
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  5. tallboy7648

    tallboy7648 Well-Known Member

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    I agree. It's dtg's fault for the amount of work they have to do. They keep putting self inflicted wounds on themselves
     
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  6. Mr JMB

    Mr JMB Well-Known Member

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    The idea that you get promoted from Adam's team to the "main team" is a big no-no for a start. As more and more routes and locos are issued the preservation crew should get more important and larger not the other way around. I would always want to be looking after existing content rather than new content as things are only new once but after that they exist as long as the game does.
     
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  7. caspargray

    caspargray Active Member

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    With the best will in the world this guy might be 'inside the industry', he also openly said that hasn't been involved in DTG for many years. It does seem he is trying to get some views on his channel. The fact that he has a personal grudge that DTG don't send him codes also seems like it plays a part, he has mentioned 4 times in the first 10 minutes DTGs 'legal obligation' to send him codes. It feels like he has a personal vendetta against DTG, which is fuelling his comments regardless of what he thinks.

    Don't get me wrong, I was bitterly disappointed with the lie that was the editor, with the lie of multiplayer on the roadmap, with SEHS. But ultimately there are pressures, and it is what it is. I have complained plenty at DTG, and with the new community team I have confidence that what is said on these forums are being noted. But this guy just seems like this is a 'I need views' video, driven by personal reasons.

    He says he know Matt very well, and is an absolute legend, and also hasn't met him and isn't 'sincere'! He says he has worked in the IT industry, which in my view is very different to the gaming industry.

    Don't get me wrong - some issues raised are important. To me as an outsider the amount of duplication seems like a bit of a waste of time, but it is only fair that the other side is heard (like I am trying to here). All very good ranting about the fact that TSW is built on this copy/paste model, how easy is it to change that? My guess would be a hell of a long time.

    Before you accuse me as a DTG suckup or a DTG hater, I am a bit of both. I still buy certain things fairly religiously, but I don't dive in if it is sub par and I can help myself. So a bit of both I suppose.

    I hope that is reasonably balanced whilst still getting the point across. Just go and watch the first few minutes and see what you think. You might think he has a genuine reason to be this angry - that's fine! But go watch the video for yourself, because it really feels to me like he is trying to create a TSW boycott for personal reasons.

    EDIT: Just watching some more is getting me more frustrated. Apparantly platform boards should be a core feature, apart from the fact that they need to be tied to the platform to show the right trains. So he obviously doesn't know that. There was also a rant about route lengths and route extensions, both of which have been explained by DTG to not be commercially viable at this point in time.

    Your all going to shout at me for being a DTG suckup at this point. I hate the phrase 'Don't like it don't buy it' as much as anyone, but this guy could really be given a dose of that.

    EDIT II: This is just getting more annoying. Having a go that platform boards are only just coming now. Surely this guy should be saying its a step forward that Adams team exist, and that this is now happening?
     
    Last edited: Mar 12, 2021
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  8. tallboy7648

    tallboy7648 Well-Known Member

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    I was suprised they lost a member but I could get the reason. Who wouldn't want a promotion :) But I do believe that members of the preserved crew should not be taken away because any new dlc would fall under the preserved team to preserve the content and fix any issues. Hopefully they will hire more people to work on the preserved team because the team is so small as it is and they are playing catch up effectively
     
  9. tallboy7648

    tallboy7648 Well-Known Member

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    Well he did mention if you watch the whole thing that if they did change their method to a Object Oriented design, the process of doing that would take a very long time with issues along the way but once they finish, they would have cut their work load by 25% when fixing old content. I feel like if people want to get a full perspective, they should watch the whole video
     
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  10. caspargray

    caspargray Active Member

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    Just watched that bit, but where did he get that figure from? I assume you are talking about platform boards. All Adams team are doing are placing the departure board assets and 'connecting' them to the right platform. Nothing will be able to simplify that processes.
     
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  11. DTG Protagonist

    DTG Protagonist Dovetail Special Projects Staff Member

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    It would create as many problems than it solved. Much of the game is driven off core systems, however some is purposefully kept specific to a route. This is how we're enable to ensure that routes will continue to work no matter what new work is done on the core. If that weren't the case we'd have to retest every route with every core update, and that simply isn't practical.

    Interesting video, although for clarity I opened with "Hello chums". It's one I use quite often as it's friendly.

    On a separate note, he probably hasn't had review keys in a while because the guy who handled sending keys left the company. We do not exclude any legitimate review channel on the basis of what their reviews contain. Any channel that covers the game is welcome to request keys. There may be a qualification rule regarding whether keys are sent or not, but that will be based on the size of the channel, not whether they're super-fans or super-critical of the game.
     
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  12. solicitr

    solicitr Well-Known Member

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    That assumes that TSW2020-era German routes had provision for future PIS built in (even if merely calls to a core subroutine). And, of course, the actual PIS board assets still have to be placed in the route, manually.

    OOP doesn't come with a crystal ball. Adding new core functionality is fine, but that doesn't mean that earlier modules which predate the new functionality will support it.

    He also seems not to get one of the essential facts of modular software (I don't know if his own IT background includes such)- almost any core change you make runs the risk of breaking older modules.
     
    Last edited: Mar 12, 2021
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  13. solicitr

    solicitr Well-Known Member

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    "95% of statistics you read on the internet are made up."

    --Abraham Lincoln.
     
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  14. junior hornet

    junior hornet Well-Known Member

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    The other 12% is genuine.
     
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  15. railway12

    railway12 Well-Known Member

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    Well first of all linear coding is technically NOT a bad idea. I prefer linear coding over object oriented coding aswell, every time it is useful. HOWEVER they cannot MAINLY use linear coding... especially for huge sized games... object oriented coding is exactly made for this purpose, to simplify large projects with one point entry and single code that can be used multiple times and also very important for data size reduction. And Dtg is only making it worse by adding different versions of copys nearly everywhere for example locos used on multiple routes etc. which results in *unnecessary lines of code* which is a no go! They are steadily adding complexity and at some point it'll go wrong. As mentioned both coding methods have pros and cons. Overall object oriented coding would have been the better option! But as of now it would not be worth the time changing the system, soo you may proceed... with a larger preserved crew, after all they are maintaining all routes.

    By the way made this post a year ago after noticing your/their coding techniques:
     
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  16. tallboy7648

    tallboy7648 Well-Known Member

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    Maybe dtg should've gone with Object oriented coding from the beginning. TSW is a massive game and since they keep adding to this game and the linear coding seems to be causing more problems and making the preserved team go back to update the routes to the newer standards. They wouldn't be able to change the system now because of the mess it would cause. Seems like a missed opportunity although missed opportunities seem common with this company
     
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  17. tallboy7648

    tallboy7648 Well-Known Member

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    Exactly
     
  18. tallboy7648

    tallboy7648 Well-Known Member

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    I was speaking and Sim Uk was speaking in general
     
  19. Rudolf

    Rudolf Well-Known Member

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    Maybe it would be wise not to comment on coding style. There can be a huge amount of reasons to choose a way of working that may look stupid if you are ignorant about the motivations. One of them can be experience and DTG definitely had to build a lot of experience in using the Unreal engine for train simulation. Another one may be that you need to interact with externally developed solutions that just work different. A third one is just history of your application. Anything you code has impact on all further developments. This is one of the reasons TSW2 has been created.

    Creating software, including game software is a complex business.
     
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  20. tallboy7648

    tallboy7648 Well-Known Member

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    President Abraham Lincoln wasn't alive when the internet came out
     
  21. rabid

    rabid Well-Known Member

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    They should definitely be thinking about augmenting the size of the “Preserved Crew”. They generate income by adding new functionality to older routes and making them less buggy, thereby making them more attractive to future customers. Routes that would otherwise be regarded as abandonware à la TS1. ;)
     
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  22. Jo_Kim

    Jo_Kim Well-Known Member

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    No the internet was already a century old when Lincoln was born...
     
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  23. rabid

    rabid Well-Known Member

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    That’s the whole point Tallboy. :)
     
  24. Callum B.

    Callum B. Well-Known Member

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    Exactly. I think Sim UK and many others in this thread misunderstand what OOP is. In fact, the idea that objects and classes can exist independently from one another is itself an Object-Oriented Programming concept. TSW could not exist without heavy dependence on object-programming practices, the same with almost any game. The notion is misguided, and as a programmer myself I believe the real reasons are not technical in nature, but directorial.

    Cheers
     
    Last edited: Mar 12, 2021
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  25. caspargray

    caspargray Active Member

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    Very true, I have bought LIRR because of its fix list, and am thinking of getting HRR after it has had its turn
     
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  26. tallboy7648

    tallboy7648 Well-Known Member

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    I agree. Those routes could make dtg a profit if they are polished to tsw2 standards. Cutting the amount of people in the preserved team doesn't seem like a good idea
     
  27. railway12

    railway12 Well-Known Member

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    First of all i have stated my opinion, all are welcome to think what they want. But seriously I know what OOP is, should I outline my coding skills Mr. ?
     
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  28. Callum B.

    Callum B. Well-Known Member

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    Pardon? No need to be abrasive. DTG duplicating objects and lines of code doesn't make it linear, just makes it segmented object-oriented code. I outlined my reasoning on the previous page. All that I am saying is that blaming the lack of usage of OOP is misguided because DTG does use OOP. It's just that they choose to isolate many objects and classes like skyboxes or signalling rather than interface them to the core. The reason for doing this was also outlined in my post and confirmed by Sam.

    Cheers
     
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  29. solicitr

    solicitr Well-Known Member

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    You noticed that?
     
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  30. railway12

    railway12 Well-Known Member

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  31. tallboy7648

    tallboy7648 Well-Known Member

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    Of course
     
  32. wxtr7

    wxtr7 Well-Known Member

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    To answer the title question, I'd say no, they haven't dug themselves into an "out of control situation." I'll note I haven't watched the video and don't plan to, so I'm just basing this off of the paraphrased comments here.
    IMO, the application model DTG uses is entirely irrelevant., and I call it an application model b/c OOP has nothing to do with this. That's a design construct within many programming languages (including C++, in most cases - I'd find it very hard to believe DTG & Epic don't utilize OOP in these massive projects). I'd bet bigger game studios even do many of the same practices.
    Ask any programmer (either hobbyist like myself or professional dev), copy and pasting code and using quick hacks to fix issues is common practice. I've seen comments in some of the open source Microsoft stuff that essentially boils down to "//TODO: fix" Is it the best thing? Probably not, but sometimes the short term solution is what's needed in the moment. Losing an entire week to fully fix a problem vs. 30 minutes to write a small hack is sometimes the better option.

    As for the application model of separating each route/loco/DLC from the core game engine, that's actually for the better. As others have pointed out, if everything was linked to the "core game" one small change could break the entire game. It also helps with backwards compatibility when new features are added to the game, ensuring that older stuff still works as expected while newer DLC can take advantage of new features. Yes, it could still work all integrated into one solution, but it greatly increases the difficulty in maintaining that code.
    So I would say changing this wouldn't necessarily increase the efficiency of working with the game code, it would just change the approach, which could be easier or even more difficult.

    IMO, I think the issue with bugs and what not isn't the coding style or practices, but more on upper management pushing unrealistic deadlines forcing rushed content along with (previously) less focus on fixing older content combined with DTG being a relatively small studio. This is somewhat changing now that we have the preserved collection team and DTG seems to be taking feedback more seriously now (e.g., Clinchfield was delayed b/c of some issues found in testing).
     
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  33. TrainSim-Matt

    TrainSim-Matt Executive Producer Staff Member

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    Interesting thread - but it seems to be built on some false assertions... I'll correct one important one:

    Train Sim World is build with Object Orientation in the code, you literally can't develop for UE4 without doing that.

    ... even TS1 was built with OO :)

    I had a big post. I removed it. It doesn't matter. :)

    Matt.
     
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  34. Jo_Kim

    Jo_Kim Well-Known Member

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    I think the problem is that people talk about OO but mean a very different thing. The problem are the twin locos on multiple routes. Even though they are the same locomotive they have separate features and bugs. As I have already mentioned in my original post the problem is that the locos are implemented in the route. You can manage to layer locos on other DLCs so why aren't they treated the same way with their original route?
    To clarify this: I suggest separating all locos into their own DLCs. When you buy a new route you'll get the route and the loco. But since the loco is essentially layered onto the route we'll avoid having multiple versions of the same rolling stock. And for players who want the rolling stock without the associated route, they can buy them for the standard price for a single loco.
     
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  35. TrainSim-Matt

    TrainSim-Matt Executive Producer Staff Member

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    That has absolutely nothing to do with Object Orientation, and nothing to do with coding. :)

    When we started out with TSW we originally wanted all locos to be in their own DLC "depots" on steam and then when you buy a route, you get a bunch of depots to give you the content. That would make re-use of depots across other packages possible.

    We have actually implemented them all in individual UE4 plugins - so the route, the stock, wagons, etc are all in their own plugins in UE4.

    Uploading to the platforms (steam, PS4 and Xbox) however didn't turn out to be a good idea for a number of reasons.

    Firstly - steam supports it, you can do all kinds of funny things. Half the time, it doesnt work properly though and many new-release issues on TS1 where we tried using it a few times have been specifically caused by that. The system is probably better now, but theres a deep seated distrust of it now amongst the team and the amount of stress and angst it's caused on TS1.

    Second - None of the console platforms support that kind of approach at all. One product = One depot. *(I don't know if this is still true on next gen backends).

    Third - The age old problem of how much you need to re-test. Put X loco in 3 packs, when it comes to the 4th pack, it ought to get a fix - if you touch it, you need to re-test all the other packs (which could be weeks of testing) OR you don't do the fix. Worse - the update for the 4th pack relates to a route feature update, and now all those routes need that feature update adding too in order for the new loco version to work on them, and there's no choice anymore, you do everything or nothing. I never want to be in a place where the option you go for is "nothing". I would rather have some routes better than others, than all routes equally poor.

    Four - put all the locos in core! Ideal solution, except, all the modders will just crack access to all the locos and, well, that's a problem. Aside from also the third issue above as well equally applying here.

    It's not the simple issue that it's made out to be. Our solution so far is not perfect, but it is meeting the needs of new products that come out and allowing us to keep adding, fixing and enhancing as we go without gradually becoming encased in the stone of the back catalogue making it unfeasible to make any changes anywhere at all.

    Matt.
     
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  36. FeralKitty

    FeralKitty Well-Known Member

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    I’d think it would also hurt sales overall.

    If customers just bought one German route, and all the locos that could be used on that route, there would be less incentive for DTG to spend so much time and money on other German routes and associated scenarios.

    Routes represent a great value for everything they include with them.
     
  37. Jo_Kim

    Jo_Kim Well-Known Member

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    Well I expect that the price of the route would be 30€ regardless if you own the loco from that route already or not. So the price for value would still be better when you'll buy the route and not just the loco. And since the locos are still coupled to a route you'll only get the scenarios with the route.
    But DTG themselves have said more than once that the intention behind the DLC system is not to buy everything. Now say you really want to drive Dostos on HMA but don't have the money or interest in buying MSB. MSB would cost you 30€, the BR 146 + Dostos only 14€. And since most DLCs come with two locos you would be paying just 2€ less for both locos than for the entire route.
    I think most people buy a route because they are interested in the route itself and not in the layers for other routes. But for those who are only interested in the rolling stock, this will decrease the price and disk space without the content losing its financial value.
     
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  38. paul.pavlinovich

    paul.pavlinovich Well-Known Member

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    Out of interest and deliberately not seeking a side here, I work in the software industry and design systems for a living. It is normal to design for the 80% and work around the 20% for the simple reason that building for the 80% takes 20% of the money and building that last 20% takes 80% of the money. DTG have said on the streams that this game is supporting approximately 100 people across core and legacy teams. Let's assume that each person is paid an average of around £60K per year (which would be comparable with what Aussies are paid) this means this team is chewing through £6,000,000 every year. This means the company to survive MUST turn over at least triple that to cover all their other costs and make a modest profit. This means that they MUST release things as quickly as they can into sales. Of course they care about QA but they will be keeping in mind that it has to be good enough to play but not perfect. This is exactly the same across the entire software industry. No-one aims at perfection unless you're writing the code for a auto pilot or controlling a nuclear power station then perhaps you'll take an extra level of care, not because the company wants to but because they are legislatively required to and the consequences are extreme. The consequence of a Train Simulator crash isn't exactly dire.

    Paul
     
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  39. OsamaBinLiftin

    OsamaBinLiftin Member

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    Yep, law of diminishing returns.
     
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  40. chieflongshin

    chieflongshin Well-Known Member

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    Just been watching the video...

    Couple of stand out points to me;

    1. I wasn’t sure on diesel legends dlc, seeing potentially how much a “new” user would have to buy to use it I think it’s a bit naff. His comment about selling a dlc with it not all there on day 1 is valid.
    2. His comments about selling a dlc without a manual, I’m on the fence with, yes and no.
    3. Turned video off as he was whining and whining.

    We all no there is room for improvement but since I started using all safety systems I’ve really upped my usage of it. I don’t buy everything but I’ve probably paid for someone’s salaries for 2 days.

    Keep improving dtg, I’m happy.
     
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  41. stujoy

    stujoy Well-Known Member

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    I haven’t read this thread yet (I will) but I have just turned that awful video off after 38 minutes at about the point where he seems to think artwork is an instant thing. I don’t know what other people may be saying here about the video but I’ve never seen such one sided nonsense come out of anyone’s mouth in a video about DTG or TSW. I’d say he’s as balanced as one elephant on a seesaw. I wonder why he was kicked off the beta team. He’d happily break the entire back catalogue of DLC if one bug was created by having them all have the exact same code. That would be worse than having to make changes to every DLC individually when something is changed.

    Whatever issues there are at DTG this guy has no inside knowledge of it to be able to rip apart their inner workings with such certainty. I really don’t like idea of going through someone else’s video and pausing after every sentence to rip holes in whatever they have just said. It’s not how you do proper constructive criticism. I’m sure some people will be repeating his opinions as fact in all their posts now. I expect to see the words ‘object’ and ‘linear’ bandied around willy nilly as buzzwords by people who had never heard them before.
     
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  42. chieflongshin

    chieflongshin Well-Known Member

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    Glad I’m not the only one to bail out on his piffle
     
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  43. zawal.belili

    zawal.belili Guest

    Personally I just reported this video to youtub for defamation.
    I think those like me who think not much is true about it should do the same.
    To me this guy does nothing more than personal revenge towards DTG.

    There are some things to review in the way the game works, but telling everyone that DTG codes with their feet and that they don't care about us their customers, I think that's being stupid.
    I don't see where DTG's interest is in LOVE us and doing his job badly.

    Have a good day .
     
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  44. Jamy

    Jamy Well-Known Member

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    whilst the uploaders toan maybe overzealous, he does make some valid points which he as every right to express just as you have the same right express your love for the product.
     
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  45. hyperlord

    hyperlord Well-Known Member

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    As long as the product didn't evolve into a legacy system and Adam is the only one brave enough to touch code most of the team already fears (because noone really understand it and the dependencies anymore) there is still hope.
    Don't start TSW3 and belive in your TSW2, DTG! :)
     
  46. JBViper

    JBViper Well-Known Member

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    Thanks Matt for answering us in detail.

    I had trouble understanding the "fashion" on the Internet today trying to smear a society or a person because one has a diverging opinion, especially in communication on false assertions. This video discredits this Youtube channel, it's unfortunate for its subscribers.

    I remind you that we are in "a game" and no one is playing his life.

    Personally, I buy TSW to relax and I'm very happy. Also, I realize a kid's dream: trains driving. DTG (among others) allows me to do this without having any driver training. If this no longer meets my need, I will move on without becoming a bitter person.
     
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  47. Jamy

    Jamy Well-Known Member

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    unfortunatley the only thing i took from Matts post is how much PC gamers are being held back by console gamers, which I guess DTG would call "progress" to have console gamers involved in train simulation
     
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  48. Tom Fresco

    Tom Fresco Well-Known Member

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    I also watched his last two videos and some points he criticized were just wrong, like that DTG doesnt give the dev tools to third partys, although rivet releases its second Route dlc this month, and skyhook has also some ongoing projects.
    And his argumentation with the GWB Pack is like you'd say you NEED every German routes in order to run a single one because every Route adds something to another.
    For GWB, you only need GWE, wich should be clear. Of course the price for the Diesel Legends is a bit high, but adding every dlc wich provides Layers to the price is just ridicolous
     
  49. CK95

    CK95 Well-Known Member

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    You say that, but consoles are the primary funding for TSW.

    There’s also the other cost, time, which probably has the biggest effect of all.
     
  50. IsambardKingdomBrunel

    IsambardKingdomBrunel Member

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    Binned TSW & TSW2 plus all the DLC i purchased from Steam. Not uninstalled it, but told Steam to remove it all from my account.
    I joined BR in the 1960's as an apprentice at Swindon Apprentice Training School. I know sod all about programming, but i know a hell of a lot more about UK railways than DTG.
    These games are lousy at simulating anything real world. Without editors they are a dead end, with nowhere to go.
    For anyone who want's to immerse themselves in railway simulation.
    This new WR hydraulic dlc, is laughable without a decent period route to run them on.
    This was my working environment BR WR London Division.
    I still use Railworks\TS20xx as it does have editors.
    But as far as anything else DTG produces forget it, i am out.
    Sad really as the fanbois will keep supporting the mediocrity, which lets DTG off the hook.
    My mind was made up in January, watching the video just re-enforces my decision.
     
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