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Logitech: Behind The Scenes With Dovetail

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Anthony Pecoraro, Feb 10, 2020.

  1. TrainSim-Matt

    TrainSim-Matt Staff Member

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    The scene of the Pannier is taken at the Kent and East Sussex Railway, where one of our audio engineers is a volunteer fireman :) Nothing more, nothing less :)
     
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  2. deki32

    deki32 Active Member

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    Interactive fire extinguishers confirmed then ;). Cheers
     
  3. keksman

    keksman Well-Known Member

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    Matt wearing a shirt with Train Simulator 2013 on it.. even he knows that Ts13 and Ts20 are the same thing
     
  4. synthetic.angel

    synthetic.angel Well-Known Member

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    Yep - that's what reeled me in. Class 09 on TSW WSR. Fabulous marketing pictures of the bodyside detail. Strong emotional connection - I drove a real one as an eight year-old..., and if you go inside the TSW Class 09 cab and crouch, the desk height and controllers are at the perfect perspective for me to be very happily triggered..... Those few seconds alone were possibly worth the original purchases required (about £60 in total............) ;-)

    I was nearly tempted into TS2015(ish?) when a CD-ROM appeared with the South London Network on it, marketed as a "standalone" product, but it turned out to require the full Steam connection. But it is now back on my list as I will now have to get a Steam account for other more journalistically productive reasons.

    So, um, ....I missed this sort of hype. However, as I have said in a post above, in no uncertain terms, this is an understandable reaction from anyone that has had their time wasted. I actually quite like the idea of TSW turning into something like Train Driver (with a full-blooded simulation at its core)... as I mention a bit later below in response to your other points....

    Actually, to be fair, with respect to TSW (and most software titles), I am not convinced that many general users would care about being able to mod, let alone hack into the main software databases... I reckon that this is quite a niche area, within a niche area....

    However, if you happen to be someone (one of relatively few people) that has moved from being a hobbyist editor-player in TS202x, to being a part-time third-party hobbyist asset designer and developer that has in the past been able to make anywhere between £100 and £50,000 selling digital copies of the output of a hobby, but can't do that profitably any more because the market is saturated with others doing the same thing, and then.... a completely new similar looking simulation title comes along that is a blank slate with respect to content...., then yes, I can see that such people would be very eager to get hold of an Editor, and rush to transfer their existing designs to the new platform, and sell them, before the market re-saturates.

    If I have misunderstood this aspect in any way, please let me know....

    So - this is the thing that has changed - the significant bit - the push to console. And I think that your description is (almost) spot on, you said:

    "as a consumer, I intend to value TSW for what it is: a niche, somewhat mediocre game that features real-world trains."

    So, personally speaking, as a consumer that has been wowed by the content making it to PS4, I'd like the title to move out of the "mediocre" category, by having the software, including the UI and related content, brought up to the standard of something "fairly decent", and to at least the minimum of what you would expect on PS4 or XBox.

    My concern is that DTG will, with TSW, continue to just make a few routes, put in a minimal amount of broken open-ended starter content (rolling stock and scenarios), and provide a horrifically unfriendly shell of a UI that is really just a launcher for third-party content, and consider that as job done. This is bearable, as an approach for TS202x on PC (with its extensive third party community), but it is totally unacceptable for PS4.

    And the really frustrating bit is that is so easy to make the leap to developing the title story into something more immersive, educational, and playable, by more people, including people that do not happen to be highly experienced and knowledgeable enthusiasts*. All it needs is for the features that already exist in TSW to be fleshed-out, within the content. It starts with basic QA of the tutorials and introductory scenarios, which are very poorly done. But it could move on to having scenarios (for each railway system covered) that teach the player not just how to pull a lever, but how to use the safety systems (and why), how to learn routes (like a real driver) by spotting and counting signal gantries, how to plan your movement within a path and react to other traffic in front and behind, problem solving in exchange yards... etc. Essentially, a "difficulty" system that teaches you to stop depending on the driver aids that are included in TSW.

    To put this into context, console players are not even told where to find the manual - the PC manual. Those manuals tend to be slightly reworked Railworks manuals, and are, frankly, very poor quality.

    So for me, I'd like current resources to focus on the above for TSW, for the benefit of hundreds of thousands (and maybe millions) of console players, rather than on yet another Editor, for the benefit of a tiny handful of third-party developers. And I'd rather the immediate priority be placed on fixing the existing content on TSW (for the average console player), than produce a player-Editor for tweaking scenarios (that is not to say that this latter feature would not be a desirable feature..... eventually).

    Yes - the new Flight Simulator looks like it is going to be fantastic. I haven't touched one of those for twenty years, but I think the 2020 version is going to be quite special... to the point where I am already factoring in the cost of buying all-new hardware to explore it.

    Now imagine if Microsoft brought out a Train Simulator... I mean, have they done anything like that before...? ;-O

    QA is the big issue. For now - existing content. For the future: maintaining the content. And content, on TSW, that is suited to a PlayStation title, and the hundreds of millions of PlayStation players. If DTG paid attention to this, then TSW on PlayStation would become much much less niche...

    Regarding marketing... I have no view at all on how DTG advertise, per se. I have noticed, in the past, that their entries on PlayStation Store have been sub-optimal..., but not horrifically so.

    But the thing that triple annoys me about DTG's general approach to marketing is the absolutely ridiculous use of hyperbole, when the product itself comes nowhere near to their description, and is usually horrendously bugged, especially at launch. It raises expectations and almost always ends up as being a slap in the face, and that is, in my view, the reason why the reactions are often so hostile.

    I actually sometimes use negative hyperbole, just to implicitly counter this, or indeed, to flag up the disparity between claim and reality in an..... extremely explicitly and highly defined wonderful detail that you can taste in your mouth, like nothing that you have experienced before in your life, or in the lives of all the quadrillions of people that lived on planet Earth before you were even born. Etc. ;-)

    *Last Point: And back to the video topic.....
    The video showed a sign in the DTG office that said something like "Made by enthusiasts for enthusiasts".... I found this to be quite inspiring. I know that the people at DTG are passionate, and that they know their stuff with respect to trains. It is wonderful to see anyone be passionate about anything, but I personally get a great deal of pleasure from seeing people that are passionate about trains. And, I think that DTG has completely fulfilled the mission statement, with respect to TS202x.

    TSW, on PlayStation, is a platform that can create new enthusiasts. Of every age. Of every level of affluence. From every country. Through brand new linked social networks. It's an extremely powerful platform, but DTG have just treated it as a bolt-on, an after-thought... and that is a very big mistake.

    There is a massive opportunity cost to bear if TSW simply replaces TS202x, using the TS202x open-ended model. But it would still meet the "By enthusiasts for enthusiasts" mantra, and if the existing demographic is really all that counts, then fair enough.
     
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2020
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  5. Digital Draftsman

    Digital Draftsman Well-Known Member

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    Having spoken to many people at DTG, whilst many are enthusiasts, there are several who most certainly are not. I think diversity driven hiring has definitely occured at DTG as a couple of people I spoke to had very little knowlege or interest in trains, which is fair enough as they may just love coding or 3D modelling etc rather than trains specifically, however it became quite apparent that they had little experience or interest in the jobs they were doing. I actually found it quite soul destroying talking to people who are in a job which I'm passionate about and would love to do, yet they spoke about it so apathetically, as though it was nothing more than a means to end.
     
  6. LT586

    LT586 Well-Known Member

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    At 0:40 I see the dude's laptop says Junglist - now if any of you all know what that means lol my guy is a serious Jungle head (i.e. Goldie from Metalheadz) Just thought I'd throw it in there. Who else here is into their Drum and Bass etc?
     
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  7. LT586

    LT586 Well-Known Member

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    This I found when I worked in the bus industry.
     
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  8. synthetic.angel

    synthetic.angel Well-Known Member

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    Goldie is bearable, but if you want the definitive state of the art for D&B, then it is LTJ Bukem all the way. Logical Progression has never been surpassed.
     
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  9. theorganist

    theorganist Well-Known Member

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    He does seem more readily interested in believing "rumours" than believing statements on this forum from actual employees of DTG!

    I really wonder if it will get tiring repeating the same again and again, I really can't see what it is achieving!
     
  10. synthetic.angel

    synthetic.angel Well-Known Member

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    I have snipped your quote above to seven words because I don't want to duplicate the rest of your post.

    I am not shy when it comes to being critical about DTG, because I believe that I am being, or at least trying to be, at least vaguely constructive, and hopefully sometimes helpful. I am providing feedback, and at times my feedback can be vitriolic. And, um... lengthy.... LOL. ;-)

    Anyway, suffice to say, I really didn't like your last post. I wonder if you told these DTG workers that you would pass on these (supposed) views to the general public, on DTG's own Forum..., and whether they gave you permission to do that. I honestly wonder if they are even real... So, you don't work for DTG, and you'd love to, or you'd love to work in that area. Well, that doesn't appear to be open to you at the moment, so.... why not get over it.....?!!!? Because you are not going to change anything, except my respect for you.

    I am sorry to have to write to you in these terms, because I really do value a great deal of a lot of what you have to say., and I appreciate that you have a great a deal of knowledge to share. I have seen you helping countless... I mean... very very many people.

    But I'd have to defend DTG on this one.... and express my disappointment in your post.

    And that's coming from me.... ;-O
     
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  11. trinancrat

    trinancrat New Member

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    Not as niche as you might think, which, to be fair, is probably the impression you've gotten from the other perspectives in this thread - that anyone who wants the Editor is a professional modeller trying to make and sell their own content on the platform. Again, on games like X-Plane, the expectation is that you'll be able to load and play with third-party scenery packages and planes. On Railworks (TS20xx), there's a feature wherein you can download custom scenarios created by other players using the Steam Workshop, rather like sharing Mario Maker levels. It has its faults - probably of our own doing, since we scenario authors often fail to fill out all of the metadata, or post scenarios that require a ridiculous amount of DLC - but in relation to the replay value of the game, it's indispensable.

    I'm what you might call an "Editor-lite" player: I'm not a digital artist who's going to take on the herculean task of building a whole new train or route, but I would 100% use it to create, share, and play custom scenarios to keep my gameplay fresh.

    Yes! I can't recommend TSW to any of my mainstream gamer friends for precisely this reason. Even if you have the slightest interest in trains, it's just too difficult to get into if you've never played a train simulation title before. There are so many little ways Dovetail could gamify TSW and soften the learning curve: Tell us what the signal aspects mean as we pass them, tell us how smoothly we're operating the train, give us a proper timetable HUD, give us time acceleration during long station stops; why they went for a system as obtuse as Mastery instead of tackling these low-hanging fruits is beyond me.

    We've talked about this as if it were an either-or, but I actually do think there's a scenario where TSW becomes an accessible, mass-market simulator with the ability to sideload custom content on the PC platform, rather like the Microsoft Flight Simulator series - or what Flight Sim World was trying to be. It works like this: Build a really polished base game with accessible mechanics and curated content, while designing the game to be eventually extendible with content from external sources.

    Frankly, if DTG were delivering new gamification features to the core product, I could almost understand the postponement of the Editor - so we actually agree on quite a bit here. (Arguably, had they concentrated on the editor tools from day 1, they might have been in a position to "outsource" some of their content creation by now, thereby allowing them to focus on delivering new features - but that's just a hypothetical.) But regrettably, they seem content with the mediocre core product as it stands and are devoting the majority of their resources to releasing new DLC, making neither of their "markets" happy.
     
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  12. Digital Draftsman

    Digital Draftsman Well-Known Member

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    I didn't actually pass on anyone's views apart from my own, I merely gave you my perception of the people I spoke to. I also acknowledged that there many enthusiasts at DTG. I just find it a shame when you have people like Matt Peddlesden and Ben Laws who are very talented and extremely passionate about train simming and then there are others, who to me, seemed to care little for what they're doing.
     
  13. Finally a user who understood the meaning of the discussion.
    Many people are waiting for the editor for exactly what you described in your post.
     
  14. synthetic.angel

    synthetic.angel Well-Known Member

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    As I said at the outset of this thread, I can be persuaded, and your post is exactly the sort of really very good sense that I can get on board with. It's summed up in your one sentence that I have extracted and quoted above - which I agree with 100% - it is almost precisely my position. I would add that it is unreasonable to not finish the base game first.

    But I am also pretty much in 100% agreement with everything else that you wrote (although I have always been aware that there are two or three uses (personal/community/commercial) for an Editor, and that these issues can get very unhelpfully conflated). Thank you for putting it all so eloquently.

    Now - is DTG listening to this feedback, which was my first take-away from the video........? And if they are not listening, or if we are really not that important, then I really do hope that they have a better plan.




    ------------------------
    As an aside:
    the latest OSD DLC is marketed as having the following key feature:

    "Accessible Training Modules to get you started quickly"

    I really really hope that they have done something different here. And in the very least, that they have tested these modules....
    ------------------------
     
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  15. synthetic.angel

    synthetic.angel Well-Known Member

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    I just thought I'd say thank you again for creating this thread.

    You've managed to start a thread about DTG, which was heavily influenced by a discussion on The Editor, and it didn't end up in thermo-nuclear war.

    Well done! ;-)
     
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2020
  16. Mr T

    Mr T Well-Known Member

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    Ok, I didn't know that. Perhaps DTG were thinking about doing it for WSR but found steam was too much of a challenge at that particular time. Still, as Tonto62 says the Pannier might be the first steam train to make it into TSW someday. Particularly, if they already have the photos and perhaps the sound recordings for it.

    EDIT: Oops, just saw this post so guess I was wrong. Thanks Matt.
     
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2020
  17. Digital Draftsman

    Digital Draftsman Well-Known Member

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    The main issue I can see is motion blur. Look at the wheels on the Class 09 at 50mph, now imagine how the complex valve gear and large driving wheels on a Steam locomotive at 90mph would look.

    20200212210246_1.jpg
     
  18. Mr T

    Mr T Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, and I'm sure there's a whole raft of other technical reasons as well as to why we haven't seen steam in TSW yet. Still, it will be real nice when we finally do, whenever that may be.
     
  19. LT586

    LT586 Well-Known Member

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    I know this, Calibre too, there’s lots of music in and around what Bukem & Fabio were championing, big up sir
     
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  20. synthetic.angel

    synthetic.angel Well-Known Member

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    I don't know Calibre - I might have to look through my collection to see if he pops up anywhere, but I suspect he's too late on for me....

    I'd say 1990s era Photek is worth a listen (also collaborated with Goldie on a few Bits'n'Bobs), actually the Photek label itself is pretty good for source. But Bukem is the master for D&B&B - or DnB with added Brains - he's got all the breaks....! If you like a mix with a bit of humour, then nothing beats a bit of Coldcut (Journeys by DJ and Let Us Play!....)..... Coldcut sold the Bass.....! Steinski....! LOL.... ;-)
     
  21. LT586

    LT586 Well-Known Member

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    We’re real off topic so sorry mods and others who wonder what the heck we’re talking about - I know Photek and all of the early pioneers, met a few when I was on the circuit partying. That whole era was great
     
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  22. synthetic.angel

    synthetic.angel Well-Known Member

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    Well, maybe Photek could do an update to the Train Sim World theme tune - you know, write the theme tune, sing the theme tune... LOL...He did a couple of tracks for WipeOut 2097, so it's possible, if he wants to associate himself with the forefront of train simulation, right at the crux of the innovative cutting edge...nay, bleeding edge in the development of next generation in-home entertainment for railway fanatics.

    At the moment, when TSW starts (with the choir priests screaming wah wah wah), I have to remind myself that I am not in the middle of Omen II: The First Time Was Only A Warning, and that the big church in WSR won't be set on fire by a demon kid called Damien and his evil gnashing Dobermanns.... or maybe the dog bit was Boys From Brazil...... Anyway... I've heard that there are evil gnashing Dobermanns barking all along the back gardens on the ECR route DLC, which has put me off buying it so far, because I am actually a bit of a cat person.....

    There you are - back on topic, seamlessly.... LOL ;-)
     
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