[poll] What Would You Like Dtg To Prioritise For The Next 6 Months?

Discussion in 'PC Discussion' started by HeyYoPaulie!, Nov 14, 2021.

?
  1. Creating new content

  2. Fixing & optimising existing content

Results are only viewable after voting.
  1. HeyYoPaulie!

    HeyYoPaulie! Well-Known Member

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    This is a hypothetical "what if?" question.

    Curious to hear your thoughts.

    Thank you.
     
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2021
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  2. Dinosbacsi

    Dinosbacsi Well-Known Member

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    Sorry to say this, but kind of a pointless poll, as they will be trying to do both at the same time anyway, just like they are doing now.
     
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  3. TheShotte

    TheShotte Well-Known Member

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    Very pointless poll, but it's a clear insight into how most people perceive game development. Different people work on different parts of the game. The game could continually be developed as well as fixed and optimized at the same time.
     
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  4. Cameron's Gaming

    Cameron's Gaming Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, and I think we already know what people want given the amount of threads built on the misconception that everyone does everything. If they do prioritise fixes and stop making content for the next 6 months, I'm sure the vehicle/environment artists and probably also the gameplay team would love spending those 6 months doing nothing.

    I'm assuming they wouldn't be paid because DTG would be blocking off its main source of revenue, and so wouldn't be able to afford it.
     
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  5. Trenomarcus

    Trenomarcus Well-Known Member

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    Pointless, I agree in this case. They just cannot stop making DLCs to fix bugs, for business reasons.
     
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  6. Tigert1966

    Tigert1966 Well-Known Member

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    Unless you give the option of both then this is pointless. They have to create content to make money. It’s likely different teams doing each anyway. So didn’t vote.

    Yes I want fixes, but I also want new stuff equally as much.
     
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  7. rabid

    rabid Well-Known Member

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    They can and will do both. Perhaps your poll should simply say: in the next 6 months what should DTG prioritise fo fix?
     
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  8. WonterRail

    WonterRail Well-Known Member

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    Now while I do agree that this poll is pretty pointless, I also think it completely misses point about what the real problem is here. Sure, it is rather disappointing that the game is in the state that it is and I sure hope that over time, we can address the issues that hamper both the game and routes that come along with it, both I think the real issue here isn't the fact that DTG should stop making routes and focus all of their attention on fixing existing stuff, it's the fact that the real issue here is quite simple...

    …we have had way too many routes this year.

    To show you this problem in a bit more depth, I'm going to go back through the years since TSW first launched back in 2017 and run down every route/loco add-on that has come out in the years since to show how the number of add-ons coming out has increased over time.

    2017: The year that TSW first launched in April of that year and when Sand Patch Grade (then called CSX Heavy Haul) was the only thing that came with the game. That year we 3 routes and 1 additional loco add-on, they were the original Sand Patch Grade I've just mentioned along with Great Western Express that came out in September & Rapid Transit that came out in December of that year. We also had in November the GP40-2 for the original Sand Patch Grade that was TSW's first ever loco add-on. So not much came out in 2017, but consider it was TSW's first year, it's kinda understandable.

    2018: Moving in the following year, we had slightly more stuff than last year, with 5 routes coming out in total, but still only 1 loco add-on in the form of the Class 33 for West Somerset Railway, which also came out in the same year. So about 2 more routes than last year but most importantly, the releases for each of them were spread out, coming out about 2-3 months apart from each other with last two routes of that year (Long Island Rail Road & Northern Trans-Pennine) coming out a month apart from each in November-December time, and while the 33 was the only loco add-on that came out that year, it was all about to change in the following year.

    2019: Now this didn't see much change in terms of the amount of routes that came out, as we still got 5 routes in total, coming out again 2-3 months apart from each other, with one being released around the same time as the TSW 2020 update. But this was a great year for loco add-ons with 6 in total, with 3 coming out in the space for 4 weeks. But still, even if more came out this year, I still don't think it was quite overbearing just yet and would take another two years before we got to that point.

    2020: A significant year for TSW for two reasons. Firstly, this was the year were we saw our first Third-Part products, both more importantly, it was goodbye TSW 2020 and hello TSW2. For this year, and the following year, I will the count the Third-Party stuff and separate and focus on the stuff DTG made themselves. So when looking at DTG solely, they had already made 2 routes and 4 loco add-ons for TSW 2020 that year before moving on to TSW2 and when that came out, they created two routes that came with the game (Köln-Aachen & the Bakerloo Line) and released a further pair and routes and loco add-ons in the remaining months to end off the year. This gives up a total of 6 routes and 6 loco add-ons that DTG made that year across the two games, plus a pair a Third-Party add-ons for Rivet Games (One route and One Loco Add-on). So we are starting to stretch it now, but even still, routes were still coming out about 2 months apart and we even had a 5 month gap between the last route being released for TSW 2020 and TSW2 ultimately coming out, with a few loco add-ons for TSW 2020 coming out in between. It wouldn't be until next year where things would go slightly too far.

    2021: When looking at this year so far, with one month to go, not counting the third-party stuff, DTG have already made and release 7 new routes for TSW2 this year, seven! Now some could argue that rush hour inflated this number, but even by the time we got around to that, DTG had already release 4 routes this year, including 3 from them in the space of the 3 month window between April and June. For comparison, normally by that time, we usually have about 1 or 2 routes, which leads me into the ultimate problem. Since the release of Southeastern High Speed back in February, we have seen TSW2 routes come out on a monthly basis. It helps that 3 of those routes were third-party add-ons (two of Rivet, one from Skyhook), but even still, that's alarming that we have been getting routes that frequently and it's show in the quality of many of them. DTG doesn't even release this many routes for TS Classic this frequently (which might be down to the fact that TSW2 has a larger support base than TS Classic, if you take in account that multiple platforms this game supports).

    Now this maybe wouldn't of been such a problem if these routes were quite small i.e. Cathcart Circle size, but some of these routes are like long 50-60 mile routes with many of them being very asset heavy and with massively complicated timetables and trying to make those kind of routes in the timeframes DTG are given always bound to incredibly bumpy and looking back at Rush Hour, that just felt like a step way to far for DTG to think they could make 3, very long, very busy and very complicated routes and have them all be released by the normal August release window. As it turned out, this didn't happen and they had to change it so each route was spread out over a period of 7 weeks. But even still, releasing three routes that period is just insane to me.

    But what's the saddest thing about this year is not just the fact that we have had too many routes in the timeframe that we have had, but also, we have seen many loco add-ons come out this year. In total, DTG have release 4 loco add-ons this year, with a further 2 loco add-ons being release on the same day from third-party developers (and we are probably getting another one soon with the Vossloh G6 from TSG). Which is said because all being said, these are the things that can really add a new experience to an existing route and I also think that there would be people who would much rather see loco add-ons more frequently than route releases.

    Now I don't personally work for DTG myself, but even when I see this, I can see this can be demanding on the multiple teams working on these routes, it's puts a huge strain on the QA team having to test so many add-ons at the same time alongside any fixes their working on and even as some who buys these routes for creating pdf timetables for them, you do get burnt out after a while with so many routes coming out in such quick succession to put that people will just start picking and choosing what they buy. Now this is kinda the way TS Classic works, but even as I said earlier, DTG wasn't releasing this many routes for that game as most of the stuff that comes out on steam nowadays is just Third-Party stuff with the DTG product every once in a while.

    But to go back to the original question that this thread seemly asks, I will try to answer it with this.

    I personally believe that DTG could easily improve the quality and outcome of many of their routes that come out in TSW2... if they just cut back on the amount of stuff that they produce.

    So for example, instead of releasing on a monthly basis, why not release routes every 2-3 months like the early days of TSW? With much greater focus on releasing loco add-ons in that in-between also maybe releasing the occasional third-party add-on, and for the big yearly update, maybe just do what TS Classic does every year and just swap the route cycle around while making one new route for the deluxe edition of the game, like how the release of TSW 2020 was back in 2019. That way, DTG can focus more time in trying to perfect new route releases and can also put more time into trying to fix their existing stuff.

    The point is here, yes there are so many issues with this game and how these routes come out, but the reality is, the solution to the problem is not a complicate as some people try to make out. We don't need to go to lengths like hiring better QA testers, or stop prioritising release dates, or releasing add-on when they are 'ready' or whatever hot-takey suggestion that people put up on this forum. Like what I just mentioned about spreading out route releases could easily be decided in a meeting at DTG tomorrow, that's how simple it could really be to solve many of the problems facing the company right now, and it could lead to a better work culture within DTG as it would feel like so much of factory that's just pumping routes out for the sake of it and better quality routes at release where, even if they still have the odd issues now then, don't have as many on day one as many this year ended up with, which leaves to them being better in the long run as they wouldn't have to release so many big patches to fix to overbearing issues so we can see these routes get updates and loco add-ons that people would really love to see on them. That would be nice, wouldn't it?...

    …although it would be nice if you also fix many of the existing stuff as well, please!
     
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  9. rabid

    rabid Well-Known Member

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    DTG keep telling us they’re constantly growing the team; this proliferation of content is the result. A large team has to be paid for and sometimes the quality slips. Saying that, it sometimes slipped even when the team was smaller!
     
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  10. redrev1917

    redrev1917 Well-Known Member

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    Why does it have to be an either/or option?

    Compared to many software developers DTG do update and fix constantly whilst producing new content as well, hell theyve even got the preservation team completely set away from the main team.

    Personally I think they have balance fairly right.
     
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  11. dhekelian

    dhekelian Well-Known Member

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    IMO DTG need to spend a certain amount of time just on fixes, departments that can help out should others put on other projects. The way it is at the moment is that new DLC is released then it has to be fixed straight away. Yes we all live with buggy software but with DTG's DLC it is often caused by previous updates. Lighting is a prime example.

    I believe if they fixed the core issues then this would enable them to release more DLC to suit everyone. I'm not suggesting that TSW2 is broken and imo it could be a great game. DTG have said in the past that one thing TSW2 lacks is content but do we really want extra content based on what the core game is like now? Take Rush hour or even the core update as examples.
     
  12. Crosstie

    Crosstie Well-Known Member

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    Hmm. You seem to know so much about what's going on internally at DTG, maybe you should call that meeting yourself and spell out the " many problems " to the management. In the meantime, perhaps you could give us mere mortals a hint as to what these " many problems " are. :)
     
  13. WonterRail

    WonterRail Well-Known Member

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    I said this in the piece, I do not work for DTG myself and I do not have any information about what actually happens within the company, but what I can seem to work out is that DTG has been over the past couple of months just pumping out route after route after route after route, whether that would be from themselves or from a third-party. Now I know that the company has multiple teams working in these routes, but with the amount that they have been making over the past couple of months, you can imagine this putting a massive strain on the teams making these routes, especially when they are up against tight deadlines, and probably working late into the night to get these routes in a state that's ready for release, and something that may have gotten worse with the advent of Rush Hour. So my suggestion about cutting the amount of routes they made and spreading them out would help give them more time to perfect each route, but also put less pressure on the teams making these routes.

    But even still, I would love to work for DTG because I would really like to know just what this company is actually like. It could be a great company to work for, or it could be a complete and utter mess of company, but unless somebody who actually work of them actually comes forward of give an inside scoop of what this company is actually like...

    …we just don't know.
     
  14. chacal#2181

    chacal#2181 Active Member

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    Well, yes they do updates. Nice. But while I can understand that updating old routes should take some time and is not N°1 priority, bug fixing should be over the top. So yes they say that they work heavly on gamebreaking bugs. Still some recent addons are unplayable (Cathart cirlcle tutorial or some scenarios - breaking the journey mode for ex.) and are not resolved despite time taht pass.
    Maybe the balance is not so good..

    StillI undertand the need of quality content producing regularly for a game that needs to find a base that will stay for long (few 3rd parties in, no real editor...most of work is in DTG hands)
     
  15. HeyYoPaulie!

    HeyYoPaulie! Well-Known Member

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    The "point" of the poll is to get a sense of where people would like DTG to prioritise, based on a hypothetical "what if?" question.

    Updated the OP to clarify.

    Thank you for your feedback :)
     
  16. solicitr

    solicitr Well-Known Member

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    In what sense of "prioritize?" Reassign personnel to different departments? Hire more people in one area? Sack people in one area?
     
  17. 7orenz

    7orenz Well-Known Member

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    Both are the priority
     
  18. Crosstie

    Crosstie Well-Known Member

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    I'm sorry, but someone has to call you on this. Your whole proposition that DTG should cut its output is based on what you imagine is going on in the office ( ignoring the fact that most employees are still working remotely ). The massive stress and strain, the long, relentless working hours in a sweatshop, the midnight oil. You don't actually know that any of this is real, right? You said yourself that you'd like to " know what this company is really like ". Maybe send in your resume?

    Please, obtain some real facts to support your thesis or simply drop it in the nearest circular file. :)
     
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2021
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  19. OldVern

    OldVern Well-Known Member

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    If they prioritise one thing for the core, then it should be fixing and enhancing the save game feature.

    However without understanding DTG TSW hierarchy I think it's probably fair to say the people who work (probably still from home, too) on routes and traction are not the ones who build the core sim, so you couldn't just pull them off a project to do coding instead. And if it turned out DTG were working on a route or loco/DMU I really wanted, or for that matter the World Of Steam, but then decided they were going to pull people off that to fix things and there would be a six month delay then I would rather have the content.

    That's not to say they shouldn't be fixing stuff and tightening up on QA (so a repeat of the WCL debacle could be avoided).
     
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  20. WonterRail

    WonterRail Well-Known Member

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    Okay, maybe I will drop my claim about cutting routes would improve working conditions and I'm probably shouldn't have engaged in this conversation to begin with, but my point about it improving the quality the routes still stands.

    But even still, I did state in that reply that unless someone who worked for DTG comes forward, we don't know anything about what's happening in the company and end of the day, I'm just speculating and I have as much knowledge about the company as you do, which is none. But even still, I'm at least trying to put some sense into this rather than going down the some hot-takey path that 'DTG doesn't care about it's products' or 'DTG is just some company that scams people for money' that so many people claim on this forum which equally, especially for the later case, there is no evidence for that whatsoever.

    Also NO, I may love to work for the company, but right now, I'm quite happy with what I've got right now with making pdf timetables for these routes and I have other things to keep me busy in life.
     
  21. dhekelian

    dhekelian Well-Known Member

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    I don't want DTG to cut and DLC they have planned in fact I would like more but the fact that the core game has problems and the main update, Rush Hour, imo they need to put that right first and the older routes. Do that they I'm sure going forward they will have less bugs and more stable game.

    And judging by the holidays their staff have I don't think deadlines are much of an issue.
     
  22. TheShotte

    TheShotte Well-Known Member

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    The reason there are more routes coming out is because not all players buy all routes, so they want something for everyone. The reason why the quantity increased is simple, and would've been apparent if you followed the game's development - in tandem with the game, DTG keeps developing and evolving their tools used for route development, to make things easier and quicker to develop. This means that although route development has also gotten easier, artists constantly have to learn (or re-learn) with the tools at their disposal. Now, whilst all that is happening, there are also people working on the core game/engine/Simugraph. As someone that has a keen interest in the inner-workings of DTG, even I know that things are never as plain as they seem. When it comes to any sort of development, nothing is simple, or black and white. I do agree that for a period in time, the quality of the released content was a bit lackluster, but I feel like that was caused in part by the pandemic, and also by the fact that TSW2 simply didn't have an Executive Producer, a role which is vital for a game's development in a studio with such a hierarchy. The guys in the trenches need a line of communication with the higher-ups.
     
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2021
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  23. HeyYoPaulie!

    HeyYoPaulie! Well-Known Member

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    Interesting feedback.

    In the hypothetical "what if?" situation presented above, more than 2 out of every 3 people who voted would prefer DTG to prioritise fixing and optimising existing content over creating new content.

    The question is hypothetical and does not represent the "real world" of game development, however, it does offer an insight into where the community would like DTG to shape their priorities.

    Thank you for voting guys.
     
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2021
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