Let's Talk About The Tsw2 User Interface Again, Part 1: Starting The Game

Discussion in 'PC Discussion' started by Rudolf, Nov 14, 2021.

  1. Rudolf

    Rudolf Well-Known Member

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    Some time ago TrainSim-Matt commented in a stream bout our opinions regarding the TSW2 User Interface. He said to wait for a while, because we would get used to the changes and appreciate them better. Now Rush Hour is mostly done, I think it is a good time to talk about the UI again. Yes, we get used to it, but that does not make it the best experience we can get. I wiil create some posts and do some suggestions to improve the UI. I want to focus on functional aspects and I will try to avoid comments about how beautiful it is or how ugly it is.

    This first post is about the way you start the game. It may not be the most important functions, but I try to keep the order in which you see things.

    Starting the game involves a number of steps, before you reach the point where you actually can select something to play. This is what I see:

    2021-11-03 (5).png

    First you see a kind of standard load screen. For mysterious reasons you then ned to press enter. I do not see any need for this, so why not remove this requirement? You have time enough to watch this screen. There is some advertising and trademark notice, but it is better to show it one only.
    2021-11-03 (6).png

    As a second step, you see a screen intended to post news. I think it is a relic from a long time ago. The game now has a news page, which should cover all this. We again need to press a button to move on. This screen is pointless and should be removed. I never even attempt to read the text. If there is something very important to say, a popup alert might be a solution.
    2021-11-03 (2).png

    Now we have to watch not one but two trailers. Please tell marketing Mike he can have at the max. There should be an option to turn off showing these trailers and the amount really should be limited to one.

    We are not done yet.

    2021-11-03 (7).png

    If you are unlucky you need to sign in for Dovetail Live. The step is OK, what is not OK is that the game does not remember the credentials properly. This is an old bug and should be fixed.

    Now finally, we see the route screen. Most of what happens before is not functional and not needed to start the game. So it either should be optional or removed here.

    In the next contribution I will comment on the Route Selection screen.
     
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  2. chieflongshin

    chieflongshin Well-Known Member

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    There's a lot of fluff to get in yes. Most of it I think if you've seen once the game should recognise and not present.
    On a side note I disliked the orange from day one and have not used it since the mod to return to blue
     
  3. TheShotte

    TheShotte Well-Known Member

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    What you see:

    What game developers see:

    1. Copyright screen (listing various copyrights)
    2. Safety warning screen (for liability purposes)
    3. Content trailer (to entice players)
    4. Stat tracking login (to monitor players)

    Pretty much all required.
     
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  4. Cameron's Gaming

    Cameron's Gaming Well-Known Member

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    I think the copyright and safety warning could be integrated into the safety warning screen (which is the most necessary of the lot because I don't think DTG want to be sued for encouraging tresspassing on the railway). I don't know how I've done it but I've never had the sign in to DTL screen pop up (maybe the first time I ever launched TSW2 but that's it) - not that I care for it in the slightest.

    There is an option to not show the trailers (which, btw, appear before the copyright and safety screen) - go to Steam\steamapps\common\Train Sim World 2\WindowsNoEditor\TS2Prototype\Content\Movies and delete the contents.

    Like the fade to black when you derail or SPAD, that warning telling you not to replicate the activities in TSW in the real world is one of those things to put at ease concerns of TOCs that their trains might be used in crash compilations or that their brand would be shown in an otherwise negative light. The theory is that this is one of the main reasons some TOCs don't give license to TS1.
     
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2021
  5. Trenomarcus

    Trenomarcus Well-Known Member

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    These start the game steps are fine in the new version. Let's remember that before there was the nonsense mastery screen to be skipped each time. Fortunately, they have been wise enough in this case to remove it. The only thing I would improve is an option to permanently skip the splash movie video. I have seen it enough times ;)

    The only real problem which remains is the dovetail live stuff, which keeps logging out for no reason. The DTL team should deeply review its processes. Do not call privacy/security here, your session logic is just broken.
     
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  6. Sharon E

    Sharon E Well-Known Member

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    After the initial screen you can skip all the rest as soon as they appear. DTL is also a throw away in that you can tell it never to come up again so you will not see it and it won't, then, bug you for a login.
     
  7. raretrack

    raretrack Active Member

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    So how about 1) and 2) only being shown on first use per user? Perhaps with an 'I agree' box to tick if DTG want an audit trail of acceptance to help with their licensing.

    For me, I don't need 3). I've already got the game and most DLC, so I don't need to be enticed. How about a settings option to skip it?

    Like Sharon E, I skip through all these quickly by rote, which must defeat whatever purpose DTG thinks there is in showing all these things!
     
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  8. Cameron's Gaming

    Cameron's Gaming Well-Known Member

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    As far as the tresspass warning is concerned, I think the fact it's there is sufficient - if you don't read it and then go on to do what it tells you NOT to do, that's on you. It's a bit like some gambling adverts which have the "when the fun stops, stop" screen up for about a second, if that in some cases - as long as it's there then it's fine.
     
  9. stujoy

    stujoy Well-Known Member

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    The warnings have to be shown each time as it may not be the same person opening the game each time. I think the safety warning should have bigger more readable text if anything, look at all the space around it.
     
  10. Cameron's Gaming

    Cameron's Gaming Well-Known Member

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    On TSW2020 wasn't it just white text on a black screen? I must admit the first time I launched TSW2 I thought they'd gotten rid of it because I didn't see it.
     
  11. Cameron's Gaming

    Cameron's Gaming Well-Known Member

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    upload_2021-11-14_14-55-28.png
    Yes it was.
     
  12. Crosstie

    Crosstie Well-Known Member

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    Well, since TSW2 is rated " E " for everyone and there's a likelihood of young children playing the game, a warning is probably warranted, although youngsters tend to routinely ignore advice from adults and probably don't read it.

    What I find unpleasant is that initial 30 second "blast " of trains that, if you're not expecting it, threatens to blow you out of your seat.

    Overall the " new " UI is just as clunky as it was from its introduction and hasn't improved with age.
     
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2021
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  13. roysto25

    roysto25 Active Member

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    Might some of that screen action just be way to 'occupy' time while the game is internally setting up? It can seem so much longer when all you have is a rotating wheel on a static screen.
     
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  14. LastTrainToClarksville

    LastTrainToClarksville Well-Known Member

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    Finally, someone with common sense.
     
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  15. Crosstie

    Crosstie Well-Known Member

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    Not really. On my desktop, the game takes a good 30 seconds to boot up before the first screen, plus you can skip almost all of the intro, as most of us do, I suspect.
     
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  16. redrev1917

    redrev1917 Well-Known Member

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    Personally I like the intro screens although I wish they'd alternative the trains included, maybe have 5-6 on a rotation based on individual collections with 1 or 2 cut screens featuring new content etc etc.
     
  17. solicitr

    solicitr Well-Known Member

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    Except every game update puts them right back.
     
  18. TheShotte

    TheShotte Well-Known Member

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    Right-click on Movies directory, open up Properties and check the "Read Only" box, and hit "Apply". Should solve that problem.
     
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  19. Mich

    Mich Well-Known Member

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    4's a non issue in TS Classic, and indeed would also be for TSW if it worked properly. I don't have a Dovetail Live account, and yet I'm not getting pestered all the time to join. Yet someone who has a login gets that annoying prompt to login every time. If DTG really cared about stat tracking they fix that, because as is the annoying prompt encourages people to not have a Live account, certainly the case with me at any rate.

    3's just silly, if it's really to entice players honestly I'd have to ask why not have the intro movie constantly updated to advertise the three most recent DLC's or something? As is it's advertising the game you own, which isn't useful for anyone who sees it, because you need to bloody own the game in order to do so. I mean they're already constantly patching in the opening movie so that the 10 people who delete it get it back. At least changing it up every few weeks would be something kind of worthwhile for players who already own it, and would be completely understandable from a marketing prospective.

    2's not even slightly required, it's the only sim, let alone game that I'm aware of has that safety warning. And it's not like you can't act like a idiot in sims like MSFS or Euro Truck, there's entire YouTubers who basically have their careers from either doing silly things, or capturing other people doing silly things in those sims. And besides, there's no reason they couldn't have that info or the copyright display while loading, that's what most games do after all.
     
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  20. Jonsutt1

    Jonsutt1 Member

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    I find it very quick to simply ESC through each of the startup screens.

    The only thing I don't like about the new UI is the route choice screen showing an endless list of your routes. If you want to get a feel for the quantity of routes you now have, well you can't because the list keeps on repeating them as you scroll through them. I find this somewhat annoying.

    I think it would be better to show each route just once in the list, then when you have scrolled to the end, you would have a better indication of the size of your collection.
     
  21. Factor41

    Factor41 Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, short pause until the first screen appears, then hammer on the skip button until you see the route selection screen. Occasionally getting stopped to log in to Dovetail. Again...

    At least let us have our console save our DTL login details so we don't have to enter all the details again (and make us consider setting a less secure password just to make this godawful process a bit quicker).
     
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  22. Crosstie

    Crosstie Well-Known Member

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    I'm not entirely sure how I did it, but I haven't been asked to log in to DTL in many months. I guess I'm just permanently either logged in or out.
    I never figured out what purpose being logged in served so I just ignore it.
     
  23. solicitr

    solicitr Well-Known Member

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    Only matters if you like taking screenshots
     
  24. Factor41

    Factor41 Well-Known Member

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    You're probably logged out. Just means you can't take simple screen shots, see the driver log and maybe won't get Mastery prizes (although you can complete most of them in a couple of services anyway).
     
  25. chriis

    chriis Member

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    The thing I'm most confused about is why route selection screen uses boxes that are not actually wide enough to display the name of the route without the text having to scroll? I think that looks really naff...!

    I personally preferred the previous list-style layout with the flags and the route image full-screen behind..... Looked much cleaner!
     
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  26. JellyScrub

    JellyScrub Active Member

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    Speaking of the route selection screen; its a bit nit picking, but the photo of the locomotives on the route selection screen are at slightly different angles.
     
  27. Cameron's Gaming

    Cameron's Gaming Well-Known Member

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    And some of the images don't fit in the box.

    What does DTL screenshots have over using F12 or Ctrl+F12 which saves locally?
     
  28. Factor41

    Factor41 Well-Known Member

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    It's a benefit for console users - you can snap away and then grab all the images from DTL rather than having to transfer them from PS to laptop, for example. Only advantage for PC users would maybe be that it strips HUD etc from the image if you play with them showing.
     
  29. Crosstie

    Crosstie Well-Known Member

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    Thanks, but, since I don't give two hoots about prizes and mastery, I guess I'm in good shape.
     
  30. Cameron's Gaming

    Cameron's Gaming Well-Known Member

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    Well Ctrl+F12 does that anyway (DTL shots are Ctrl+F10). Does it have a built-in uploader or am I making that up?
     
  31. Factor41

    Factor41 Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, they auto appear on DT Live - click on My Profile at https://live.dovetailgames.com/live/train-sim-world/
    That's more useful for console users who use the forums on a separate computer though.

    You're not missing much. This is probably the highlight... :)

    18e78109-2803-4451-a129-11d50631.jpeg
     
  32. Cael

    Cael Well-Known Member

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    As far as I know, the first "Press any key" screen is present due to console game requirements - there needs to be an interaction 20 seconds after booting the game up and the "any key" prompt establishes a connection between your controller and the console, in case you have multiple controllers plugged in.

    I wish the loud intro video could be at least silenced, it's quite a shock when using headphones.
     
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  33. Cameron's Gaming

    Cameron's Gaming Well-Known Member

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    What was wrong with the blocks flying around to form the DTG logo?
    upload_2021-11-15_15-5-31.png
    upload_2021-11-15_15-7-23.png
     
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  34. DTG Natster

    DTG Natster Community Manager Staff Member

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    The Alien space ship is by far my favourite mastery unlock.

    Back to the thread topic, I appreciate everyone explaining what you do and don't like when you go to start a game. And you make some valid points. I will pass on your thoughts to the team.
     
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  35. Doomotron

    Doomotron Well-Known Member

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    The start screen is standard across gaming, and very few games don't have it. The only games I've seen without it are Gran Turismo, Transport Fever, and ironically Train Simulator. There are more, but the start screen is a standard thing.
    The second screen includes the safety notice (which DTG have to include, like how every racing game tells you to drive safely). Copyright notices are also shown. Some games have a separate 'copyright credits' section like Gran Turismo 3, but sometimes developers have to include this information when loading the game. Ferrari, for instance, insist on it in GT Sport. The news thing is a new addition, and shows the latest news - not many people actually go to the news page.
    That doesn't really matter, as DTG is required to include this information.
    One is the DTG logo. It used to be much more subtle but the Rush Hour update changed it to the new one, which isn't as good. Then there's the intro movie, which TSW2020 had as well.
    You can disable the login popup.

    Your forum account is a DTL account.
    This isn't true. Gran Turismo Sport has no start screen (in fact, only one GT game ever did), nor does GTA5, and neither does Cities Skylines.

    ------

    In an ideal world, the flow would go like this:
    1. Start game
    2. Show logo, copyright and safety information as the game is loading. The logo can either be a static image or the old 'blocks' video.
    3. Start screen with news feed.
    4. Main menu (which will hopefully be changed as well).
    Back in the original release of TSW on PS4, the DTG logo was actually the splash screen when loading the game, and this worked quite well. There were also no bugs with video playback, because there were no videos. There are lots of things in the UI that need changing - in effect, a new UI entirely is needed. The current one is clunky and badly designed. And albeit somewhat unrelated, precision mode needs to come back to console to make the alternate interior camera views usable.
     
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  36. Cameron's Gaming

    Cameron's Gaming Well-Known Member

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    upload_2021-11-15_18-5-24.png
    Like mentioned above, most racing games have a similar warning.
     
  37. TheShotte

    TheShotte Well-Known Member

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    In all honesty, this whole topic seems like a wild goose chase. When I launch TSW2, as soon as it's done loading and the screen turns black, I click my mouse 5-6 times quick and I'm straight in the main menu, in a second flat, literally bypassing all those screens. If you can't be bothered to skip some videos, that's on you.
     
  38. Mich

    Mich Well-Known Member

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    Correction, I meant that I don't have a Dovetail Live account linked to TSW,. But point still stands, I'm someone who didn't bother with that, and TSW never pestered me over it after the first start up. Yet someone who goes through that effort are rewarded with another little annoyance to their experience. And that's extremely silly considering Euro & American Truck have a very similar system, and don't have this issue.
    People praise DTG for all the little things they get right all the time, there's no reason they shouldn't do it for the little things they get wrong either. After all there's games like Animal Crossing and Metroid Dread which utterly annulate the vast majority of games when it comes to their start menus. In those games you don't need to go into settings to skip the minutes worth of copyright screens or company logos, as they're not a thing in the first place.

    Also even if you do have to have those screen there's no reason why you can't have a way to disable them. MSFS and Euro Truck both do it, they rather annoyingly hide them as a shortcut property instead of just having it as a thing in the options menu, but hey, it's at least still there. MSFS in particular is a godsend with how long the company intros are, and with how long the game takes to load. But it's nice even for something like Euro Truck, sure it only saves a couple of seconds over clicking through everything, but that time can add up, it still feels way snappy to just have it load into file select immediately.
     
  39. TheShotte

    TheShotte Well-Known Member

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    Yes but when it comes to railroads, there are all sorts of legalities that we, as players, simply don't know about. I wouldn't be surprised if those screens were required as part of DTG's contract with said companies.

    An example of such legalities - Amtrak told DTG that they can't make their locos "Too realistic" because they're afraid someone will learn how to operate it in the game and steal a loco from one of their yards. True story.

    So I would not be surprised if they had rules to show a "Do not try this" screen for liability purposes before the main menu. In the US, a burglar can break into a home, get mauled by the owner's dog and then sue the owners (and win) for not prominently displaying a "Dog on Premises" sign, so uhh, yeah.
     
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2021
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  40. Mich

    Mich Well-Known Member

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    That screen's been in TSW since CSX Heavy Haul, and they signing on with TS Classic, furthermore the routes that followed that for a good year and a half were all operators that had signed on with TS Classic. You have to go all the way to Long Island before you reach a company that only signed on for TSW. And I think it's a stretch to think DTG already had some sort of deal with them in early 2017 when their route didn't come out till late 2018.

    Also if not having that warning screen could jeopardize future deals then surely they'd also have it patched into TS Classic. After all at some point they're gonna need to renew with CSX and other companies that required it, and they're almost certainly gonna want it there too. Yet clearly they aren't worried enough about it screwing them out of future deals with old or new companies to do so.

    Now do these completely rule out the possibility? Hell no, you could absolutely still be right that someone at CSX or DB did require it for some weird reason. However you have to look at the evidence that's available, and there's enough circumstantial evidence that I have a extremely hard time believing that.
     
  41. TheShotte

    TheShotte Well-Known Member

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    It doesn't matter if they signed on to TS, because a different title means different licensing and different agreements, so your whole reasoning is void. It's as simple as this - even if one of the companies in game requires it, it will be there. It has nothing to do with future deals. The "evidence" you speak of is not only not circumstantial, but also irrelevant. I will revert back to one of my previous points and say yet again - nothing is ever black and white, if something is, it is for a reason. I'm done with this argument, believe what you want to believe, I already said my peace, but for the sake of transparency, I will repeat it - if you can't be bothered to click the mouse, or hit the A button, a few times every time you launch the game, that's on you. There are more important things to fix/implement instead of redoing the main menu.
     
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  42. Rudolf

    Rudolf Well-Known Member

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    Thank you for all your comments. I think it is a good discussion. I think we leave solutions and final choices to DTG, but a few things I noticed:

    The "trespassing warning" to be honest I thought it is weird news page. It may be integrated in the first initial load screen, if it really must be there. I do not believe it is effective. Saves us a step.
    I think deleting the videos from the game files is not a good and stable solution, so I think this really should be an option.

    The log in screen: yes you can turn it off permanently but if you like mastery and the dovetail live functions this is not an option. It is still a bug.

    Some people started the discussion on the route screen. Read the next part of this series. I will cover it there.

    As said in the OP, this part is not the most important, but it needs to be discussed. I think enough reasons for thought here for DTG. Looking forward to see some changes.
     
  43. Cameron's Gaming

    Cameron's Gaming Well-Known Member

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    Because you can't get up and walk around in TS1, whereas you can in TSW. This is something they've said for a while - in TSW, you're the train driver; in TS1, you're the train.
     
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  44. Factor41

    Factor41 Well-Known Member

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    So you fully admit that there are at least five unnecessary steps before you get in to the game. That's the point here. You might be used to systems getting in your way all the time – that's pretty much how I feel every time I need to use a Windows PC – but it's clunky and inefficient. We shouldn't have to duck and dodge around all this crap just to get to the game.

    From starting the game, it should have a fast and slick brand logo to replace the awful train collage thing, one intro screen with copyright notices and warnings combined, then an intro video which you can view once and disable entirely from the options (not a delete-file bodge that console users can't do). Boom - into the route selection.

    We have a page in the main menu for DTL Mastery and News, which flags any new additions, so there's no need for any of that to appear at the start. New routes are advertised in the loading screens anyway, so we're not going to miss a release (unless we give up playing entirely)...

    The Wreckfest example you've used does it perfectly. The image that appears at the very start contains all of the copyright gubbins while it's loading. Then you're at a Press X to Start message, which drops you straight into the main menu. One click. It feels natural, like you're waiting for it to actually load, not that you're waiting to bypass a load of unnecessary screens to get to where you want to be.
     
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2021
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