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Roadmap Update - 18th May 2021

Discussion in 'Dovetail Live Article Discussion' started by DTG Natster, May 18, 2021.

  1. Rudolf

    Rudolf Well-Known Member

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    I am not pleased at all with the quality of manuals and guides. It seems normal not to provide written guides anymore.. A lot of features and ways of working are not covered in the guides, while they could add a lot to the fun of gameplay. Instead, there is a vague promise to create button pushing video tutorials, which are not very informative, except for absolute beginners.
    Whay add all these functions to the game, when nobody knows what they are supposed to do or how to use it? It is a waste of money and energy.
     
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  2. FeralKitty

    FeralKitty Well-Known Member

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    It's a good intention, but there were specific cases mentioned in the stream where DTG probably made the right choices:
    • One example was the PIS. It wasn't possible to do it correctly, because it wasn't merely a case of needing the right graphics, but also needing the right code which hadn't been implemented yet. So we got signs which don't match the actual ones, but that's somewhat better than still having no signs at all.
    • Another example were the sounds. When the sound needed to completely be redone, Adam's team wasn't the best group to fix that issue.
    In general, to "do it correctly" requires far more time than Adam schedules for the fixes. (This is the ninety-ninety rule, where the remaining ten percent takes as long as the first ninety-percent of the work.) It's probably better that we get some fixes for routes being worked on this month, rather than diminishing returns making a route taking 2 or 3 months (which would delay fixes for other routes).

    Personally, I'd rather have several routes mostly fixed, than one route fixed and have to wait longer for the fixes that affect my gameplay. Others may have a different opinion, but the reality is that DTG can't please all of us all the time.

    I think we have to trust that the compromises DTG will make will be ones people can live with for now.
     
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  3. FeralKitty

    FeralKitty Well-Known Member

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    I agree. Just the other day, I didn't understand what the changeover control did in the BR 363. I hunted for a manual, but there was no mention of it.
    Realism?

    Part of the fun for me is being able to set the controls. I may not understand all the reasons, but I hope that will come in time as I get more familiar with the different systems of a given loco.
     
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  4. Cramnor

    Cramnor Well-Known Member

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    I agree. My point was more with regards to new routes being released, so that Adam and his team don't even come into this situation :) I am also fine with the PIS, and that layers often don't use the correct rolling stock, no big deal. But that the stock coming with the route is wrong is a bad decision, and my hope is that in the future universe we imagine, DTG would not release HHL without any Dostos, but rather make the correct ones as an example. And maybe communicate more clearly that yes, there was someone doing the artwork, but it could not be implemented before it is released, and not hope nobody would notice :)
     
  5. DTG Protagonist

    DTG Protagonist Dovetail Special Projects Staff Member

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    That's not always possible. We only ever make a compromise choice when there isn't time to deliver correctly. In future we'll be taking into consideration that sometimes a compromised option may be worse than not having it at all.
     
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  6. Cramnor

    Cramnor Well-Known Member

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    That will probably not go down well either, but it is hard to please everyone, I can see that. I personally would prefer "kind of right" over "not at all", but of course "correct" over "kind of right" should be the goal - I don't envy you/DTG for needing to take those decisions, DTG can only lose in those situations unfortunately.:| No immersion vs immersion breaker, "wrong" either way I'm afraid :D
     
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  7. DB628

    DB628 Well-Known Member

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    Why you not make from the beginning the High Entry Dostos or fixed the wrong Headlights from the BR 112?
    The Rollmaterial on Hamburg Lübeck is the Worst and all have awful sounds.
     
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  8. ARuscoe

    ARuscoe Well-Known Member

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    Or, even better, when you don't have time to produce something accurate make that statement ahead of time and then the community will do what it does (moan loudly) but at least we know BEFORE it actually comes on screen

    Obviously we would hope that the future of train simulation would be accurate but I do understand DTG timescales (similar to Microsoft minutes, but it say how much time you SHOULD have spent on something even when we know it's coming out in five seconds)
     
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  9. ARuscoe

    ARuscoe Well-Known Member

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    In both cases, because DTG haven't allocated the time to do those things.
    They spent their time on the dostos making the inside look right and they have said that the light on thee outside is too complex a change to make (insert the word easily at the end)
     
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  10. DB628

    DB628 Well-Known Member

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    The Dostos are 100% recycled from Main Spessart Bahn or Ruhr Sieg Nord without any changes.
    The 112 and 182 are also recycled with less changes.

    There was no QA because nobody said to the 3D Artist, the Headlights have the wrong size and the wrong place
    Even the inside says still 120 km/h Höchstgeschwindigkeit from the 143.
     
    Last edited: May 19, 2021
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  11. matjamca

    matjamca Well-Known Member

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    I’m not sure I left the stream last night with any more confidence than I did beforehand. There was still a lot of talk, which I guess is all there can be on a stream.

    It’s the actions we see going forward that will prove or disprove anything has been learned from the community uproar of late.

    It’s clear something went very wrong, but only DTG can ultimately find out what went wrong and put in place measures to try to avoid a repeat.

    Not everything was bad. A lot of effort was put into RT and LIRR so I’m happy to give DTG on the ongoing benefit of the doubt. It’s up to them now.
     
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  12. breblimator

    breblimator Well-Known Member

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    yep
     
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  13. stujoy

    stujoy Well-Known Member

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    There’s something wrong with the headlights on the BR112? You should have said something.
     
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  14. DB628

    DB628 Well-Known Member

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    Yes its have the wrong size and the wrong places. ABC5E393-3E20-4E51-A512-FAA16EFDD267.png
     
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  15. breblimator

    breblimator Well-Known Member

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    You are not right! In the picture above the lights are OK :)
     
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  16. stujoy

    stujoy Well-Known Member

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    I know. I was being sarcastic because you post about it so often. We know they are wrong, DTG know they are wrong, and there’s no need to go on about it any more. It is unlikely to be fixed as there are more serious issues to be looked at and slightly wrong headlights, although annoying, are not a major problem.
     
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  17. Luke8899

    Luke8899 Well-Known Member

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    Those were decisions though, not mistakes. You can challenge those decisions sure, as can anyone challenge you for buying the DLC anyway despite these things clearly being a huge issue for you.
     
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  18. tallboy7648

    tallboy7648 Well-Known Member

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    To be honest, I don't care about these challenges
     
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  19. tallboy7648

    tallboy7648 Well-Known Member

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    Personally as a frequent user of the Hempstead branch in real life to visit family from the city, I rather it have been done correctly in the first place. The "improved" pis is a real immersion killer to the point where I personally wouldn't also mind having no pis. They were the ones who said the pis had already been pushed back and it's not as if the community is telling them to release this update in this date. The community isn't telling them to make X amount of routes throughout the year. They are the ones making time constraints for themselves and clearly with the way the 101 released with no cab car, the low floor dostos for HHL and PIS for LIRR, they are causing complaints that are valid.

    Now I know as a company that they have to make certain decisions because of money. But perhaps they need to reconsider their scheduling on when certain content is released. Because following time constraints to rush X product out seems to deliver a worse quality product in the end. SEHS and HHL are prime examples
     
    Last edited: May 19, 2021
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  20. tallboy7648

    tallboy7648 Well-Known Member

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    People have been saying that weeks before the routes release
     
    Last edited: May 19, 2021
  21. flyingpaul

    flyingpaul Member

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    And that is the problem with HHL. Why was there no time to change the Dostos if all of the other locos and wagons were recycled? Now you will say, that there had to be many changes to the locos and that they weren't just recycled. Problem is, the changes, which would have changed the locos, e.g. the headlights, are wrong and kept to a minimum, to maximize the recycling process.
    So what are the loco artist doing at this moment?
     
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  22. mariussoare_84

    mariussoare_84 Well-Known Member

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    I have really mixed feelings after the last stream:

    - When I asked why no day one patch if the issue was known in the morning of the launch (the S6 issue), the response was they can't do a day one patch as day one is the release day (I felt a "duh" somewhere between those lines). It seems as if they don't have a sense of urgency and take their sweet time with everything. The irony is that after weeks and sometimes months of invoking thorough QA in streams, the results are still disappointing.

    - They leave the impression that is the player's fault for most of the things that are disliked in their latest releases because DTG can't please everyone and no matter how much they try there will be people complaining. They make it sound as if player's subjectivity is too much for them to cope with as we are so moody and dislike so many things that they create with so much passion. Horrible, horrible human beings these players...

    To me, it seems that they are either aiming to exist in an ideal world (pleasing everyone), or they don't have any standards at all. I am inclined to believe it's the latter and here is why.

    They are testing the waters to see how low can they go quality-wise and fantasy-wise on routes and locomotives while maintaining client satisfaction decent. The focus is on ROI (return of investment) by recycling material where even where it's not applicable. They seem to follow vaguely defined processes and flows as their response time even to serious issues is long.

    A company or individual with quality as the main goal will react spot on to an incident. Why? Because of the commitment, respect, and obligation it/he has towards the clients.

    Lastly, I took some time to do an analysis on Steam HHL reviews yesterday. While not game-changing, there are reviews from users with 0 hours played yet all DLCs received positive feedback - https://steamcommunity.com/profiles/76561199078943538/reviews/

    I would love to be able to buy DLCs with cash so I can go to Matt with counterfeit bills to tell him they are just like the real ones in my eyes and that he should accept them. I bet I wouldn't lose his faith and that he will believe me.
     
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  23. theorganist

    theorganist Well-Known Member

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    If they generally play with steam offline wouldn't that result in zero hours played?
     
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  24. tallboy7648

    tallboy7648 Well-Known Member

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    I find it odd that there are positive reviews but they have zero hours of gameplay. Seems fishy to me
     
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  25. tallboy7648

    tallboy7648 Well-Known Member

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    Even if you play in offline mode, steam still says the amount of hours you have played content while in offline mode. Sometimes I'll play World Of Subways 4 in offline mode and it still adds up all the minutes/hours I played the game during the day
     
    Last edited: May 19, 2021
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  26. matjamca

    matjamca Well-Known Member

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    I was disappointed that Adam wasn’t aware of the ongoing M7/M3 sound issues in that some of the traction motors are silent (broken). This was raised by several people, including myself after the update so it should have been known about. Having said that, the forums were deluged with feedback, so it might have been missed.
     
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  27. LeadCatcher

    LeadCatcher Well-Known Member

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    What have I learned from this entire thread ——— You can’t please everyone!!
     
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  28. Yoinkermcskoinker

    Yoinkermcskoinker Well-Known Member

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    Aww you poor soul, it must be so painful having to see headlights in a simulator that are 0.222 centimetres further away from where they are in real life
     
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  29. Luke8899

    Luke8899 Well-Known Member

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    If you're at the point where you genuinely think DTG are lowering quality to see what they can get away with, that they are manipulating Steam reviews to boost the reputation of their products, why are you even here? Remaining engaged with a company and product when you are accusing them of these things is just odd. If you believe these things, then move on, find a product made by a company you don't think is robbing you blind!
     
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  30. Turbojugend

    Turbojugend Active Member

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    I didn't check out the stream, but from the reading the follow-up comments here it seems as though timing and bandwidth is an issue for DTG, which is understandable for a game company in a deadline-driven environment. There simply isn't enough time to make sure all of the DLC they're patching and releasing is authentic to the real-life routes and locos they're producing. Accurate assets can be difficult to obtain, there has to be a point where close enough is close enough. Bugs may persist even after patches, DTG is certainly not alone in that category.

    Which brings me to a not-so-small suggestion I made months ago: Deliver less content, improve what's already here. There's already an overwhelming amount of DLC for this game, new routes and locos are constantly being added and there's a major update due this summer. Would anyone here really be furious if we only got one new route every three months or so, especially if it resulted in a focus on the improvement of existing content? I understand that the constant stream of DLC probably is a massive revenue generator for DTG and they're not making much from us hardcores playing the same routes over and over, but if this comes at the price of lowering overall customer satisfaction and experience, maybe that's not a very good trade-off.

    I know, I know; easier said than done. We're talking an entire climate shift when it comes to game design philosophy and content delivery, company restructuring, etc. This is just one fan's perception, take it for what you will.
     
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  31. mariussoare_84

    mariussoare_84 Well-Known Member

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    I am focused on honesty, respect, and common sense, both in my personal life as well as in my profession. I chose to do compliance for a living in order to be able to help people that can not or do not want to have the knowledge to protect themselves.

    I like trains since I was a child, like many people here, but without going too far in technical matters. I still have the CD with the original Train Simulator made by Microsft. :) I have enjoyed DTG's Train Simulator for many years and then I decided to take the step towards TSW despite its limited content at the time.

    As time went by, I only played TSW, and slowly found the quality issues, the not so evolved overall game compared to TS made me look into it more info here to form an opinion of what is going on.

    Right now, as many of us, I feel that what was very dear to me is dying and I feel sad about it. I have acquired, played, and enjoyed their train products for many years and it's hard to let it go without a final call.

    Like many here, I want to express my discontent because I care. I hope I have not offended anyone, I tried to either present things that I found about the game together with my personal opinion. Call me old-fashioned, but instead of replacing my TV, I would rather repair it.

    This is my call to them to not send long-time fans away.
     
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  32. ARuscoe

    ARuscoe Well-Known Member

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    I only buy UK routes, they're all I'm interested in. If they only produced one route every three months then that would mean I would buy one route a year... As in it would be unlikely I would ever come back to the software, so yes, some people would be annoyed (if not furious) if DTG decided not to make anything interesting (to them) for months on end
     
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  33. Yoinkermcskoinker

    Yoinkermcskoinker Well-Known Member

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    Brilliant comment.
     
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  34. GuitarMan

    GuitarMan Well-Known Member

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    At risk of being slated - from my point of view - aside from the derailing thing, the rest of the update i have been fairly content with. I didnt expect to get any more updates to my TSW2020 stuff once TSW2 launched and to have things like PIS (even if its the wrong sort) I find an improvement that I appreciate.

    Yes there are some frustrations (LIRR Signalling, the S6 services) which absolutely on the whole should not have been put out in the state they were, but please don't let that stop the advancement of the routes that came with RT and LIRR. (and please do fix those issues!)
     
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  35. theorganist

    theorganist Well-Known Member

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    Okay for some reason I thought it didn't. Although I rarely play offline myself.
     
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  36. tallboy7648

    tallboy7648 Well-Known Member

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    Understandable :)
     
  37. Luke8899

    Luke8899 Well-Known Member

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    Actually very little of what was said was related to time or bandwidth. I mean sure, I imagine with unlimited time or resources things would be better, but given the relatively limited scope of these updates, the time and team Adam had was more than enough. None of the problems with the updates were related to time limits or bandwidth, in fact Adam mentioned they were delayed months by testing and still came out with issues, so time alone doesn't solve things. The issues with RT and LIRR were more about the kind of testing they did, because they were just QA-ing the changes made, even though with hindsight, those updates were significant enough to have warranted the full ground-up QA testing treatment. They've apparently learned their lesson from their first big route update so maybe now the same won't happen again, doesn't have to be done slower, just differently.

    As for HLL, the main issue with PZB seems to be that they didn't have as many expert testers on hand as usual (and this is my filling in the blanks but your average QA tester does not get paid enough to give a hoot about the complexities of PZB, so it doesn't matter how many there are, you need the experts), and they decided to release it anyway even though it was known before release, because people like me will buy, play and enjoy it without PZB in the meantime. The decisions not to model the dostos seems to be the only one vaguely related to bandwidth, but even then, that decision seems more like "why put resources into creating a near-identical version of what we have for virtually the same purpose" rather than "we couldn't possibly find the time or resources to do it if we really wanted to" (I am fine with this btw, I couldn't care less about the doors)

    As I said, certainly more time wouldn't hurt, but it's not obvious to me it is a pre-requisite of improvements. Changing processes, making absolute sure the people who know how things work have eyes on it, and setting expectations better, all seem to be as if not more important.
     
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  38. Nielsen

    Nielsen Well-Known Member

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    While there’s still room for PIS improvements on LIRR, the preview screenshots of upcoming changes are certainly welcome.
    • All display letters will be capitalized
    • Actual off-map destinations will be listed (Ronkonkoma and Port Washington)
    • NY Penn renamed Penn Station
    • Calling at has been changed to Stopping at
    • Coaches have been changed to Cars
    It’s definitely something, but again, still some room for improvement in terms of layout.
     
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  39. dcnine#5410

    dcnine#5410 Well-Known Member

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    Sorry if I’m just living under a rock, but where can I find these screenshots? Did they show them off in the stream?
     
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  40. Nielsen

    Nielsen Well-Known Member

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    33:20 minutes into yesterday’s YouTube stream.
     
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  41. dcnine#5410

    dcnine#5410 Well-Known Member

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    Thanks!
     
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  42. JustWentSouth

    JustWentSouth Well-Known Member

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    As far as I know, I always play online and login whenever it asks me to. Despite that, I have 0.0 hours on record for four of my five reviews, most recently with Clinchfield. Many hours of gameplay are “not on record.” I don’t know how this is happening, but I suspect I am not alone!
     
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  43. synthetic.angel

    synthetic.angel Well-Known Member

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    The lack of PZB specific expertise in a wider testing group wouldn't stop DTG asking someone with some understanding of PZB to just give the candidate shipping build a quick once over, for, say, two hours.... to:

    - do a quick walkaround the rolling stock to make sure it is all there (lights/pantograph/wheels/etc.);
    - do a quick check that every rolling stock button/function works in the cab;
    - do just one run, in one direction, testing that the safety systems work while the rolling stock is running.

    It seems to me that such a simple check would be better done before the shipping build is signed off, and not done live in the launch stream by the Communitying people, and left online as the advertisement for DTG's approach to quality.
     
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  44. synthetic.angel

    synthetic.angel Well-Known Member

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    I find it very very tempting to agree with everything that you have written.... but I don't believe/think that a punishing schedule of deadlines (or a "need" to push out content.... which might, by the way, be required by DTG's private equity investors.........)... is the problem.....

    .... this is is because the actual person-hours of work to bring the content back to an acceptable standard has to be done anyway... It could be done before the product is released (ideal), or it could be done in the two weeks after the initial launch (WCML for TS2012)..... or cleaned up a year later by the Preservation Team. The person-hours still appear on the balance sheet as person-hour costs, whenever the work is done. (Unless the route is Oakville, in which case the DLC is left half-completed and back-broken, dying as it sinks into the melting perma-frost).

    It's literally a case of when the final QA work and sign-off for release gets done. At the moment, the sign-off for release gets done before the right people have had a chance to check that the basic content works, and DTG seem to choose to complete this check in the launch stream on TrainFan TV, live on the internet. This will no doubt negatively impact on sales of the DLC at the full launch price, as many will now wait, given the product demonstration which we were all provided.

    If effective QA was done at the right time, then DTG would make more money from their DLCs at full price, which leads on to the well-known truism which is that:

    QA at the Right Time = More Money
     
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  45. SHINO BAZ

    SHINO BAZ Well-Known Member

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    After seeing this stream i'm wondering if dtg relizes that if they don't get there act together fast there might not be a dtg for much longer,after the other now closed thread full of disappointment in hhl and other issues involving a flawed update that broke as much as fixed anything.The excuses meter is about to bottom out,It very clear that if dtg releases just a few more bad dlc or flawed updates by this point there maybe no coming back.Now rush hour there big 2021 deal with alot riding on it's success and could be a make or break release for dtg at this point if it's anything other then d@m near flawless there may be no turning back for dtg reputation with it's player base.(fingers crossed)
     
    Last edited: May 19, 2021
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  46. qdoggyy

    qdoggyy New Member

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    Adam said in yesterday's stream that players are saying that LIRR express trains btwn Penn- Jamaica is incorrect . No , they are now correct . Express trains are supposed to be on middle tracks . They got it right now . NO NEED TO CHANGE THEM ADAM
     
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  47. FeralKitty

    FeralKitty Well-Known Member

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    I thought Adam was responding to trains straddling two tracks, where the front third's platform is on the right, the back third's platform is on the left, and the middle cars have no access to either platform.

    No real-life experience with Penn Station, but that seemed odd.
     
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  48. MrbKlegend89

    MrbKlegend89 Active Member

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    I also wanted to point out how come they didn't make a non stop timetable service to Hicksville like they did the 7:35am from Hicksville. Its a non stop service to Penn...but yes not only they got the express tracks right but they also fixed the part at Harold Interlocking where u operate straight instead that time u switch to one track for few secs just to come back on the same track....glad those are fixed but the timetables are still dead instead of "busy"
     
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  49. Luke8899

    Luke8899 Well-Known Member

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    This is a bit of an ironic suggestion given your signature no? ;-p

    Good QA does not rely on one person having a quick check prior to sign off. It's very simplistic to present that kind of thing as a solution, QA is a process, and one about far more than just pointing at something wrong as saying "bad thing, no like".

    With regards to PZB, what you consider some understanding, is to most people a significant amount of understanding, don't sell yourself short, understanding PZB isn't easy or straightforward, and you need to know quite a lot before being able to say it is or isn't working, you need to know the expected behavior thoroughly, because that is almost certainly going to be the key to explaining why it is wrong, and you have to be confident in these assertions in case someone challenges you. You have to know how to drive the route to encounter different PZB scenarios, and probably run more than one service to encounter different ones, you need to check it's not the loco at fault if you encounter an issue, so run it with a different one, and then again verify it's unique to the particular route. Then you need to verify with someone else, because even people with a significant amount of knowledge can get it wrong. But more importantly than having found it, you need to be able to explain it in a way someone can understand the issue, "it's broken" means nothing in development terms, what is the behavior vs. what is the expected behavior? All of this is not gonna take one person two hours if they find something wrong. Of course, we like to think Matt sits around all day with nothing to do but wait for a QA tester to tell him the PZB is wrong, but it's unlikely that is his job, so there are possibly lots of people whose jobs involve building parts of systems or routes, and QA managers, only some of whom will know exactly how PZB works and so can instantly respond to a suggestion it isn't working and make an immediate call on whether to sign off or not.

    Expertise is gonna be important and numerous people with a significant amount of knowledge of how PZB are gonna be needed to be sure everything is implemented as it should be. So how come all these community people know so much about PZB and the paid staff don't? Because for us it is something we enjoy, we like to do it, we voluntarily learn it, we enjoy learning more about it every time we play, we come to an online forum to discuss it ffs, and our enjoyment comes from understanding how it works, is about it. And despite all that, we still don't enjoy it enough to take a significant paycut to get paid to check it for a living, or maybe some here do!

    To clarify, the kind of checks you make just before signing off a build are usually very lightweight, because by that point everything should be tracked and logged, if not, the problem is with the process, and giving someone a couple of hours to find major flaws is not a reliable way to solve things.

    What I understand from the stream is that without the experts available throughout the process, things will get missed, which of course means either find more experts or create scripted tests that allow testers with little knowledge to reliably test how PZB works, and imo writing such a guide per relevant route would probably take as long to build as the route, I mean look how long it takes them to make train manuals ;-).

    But it's a moot point really, even if they had found the issue with PZB before the stream, they would almost certainly have released the route all the same anyway.
     
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  50. synthetic.angel

    synthetic.angel Well-Known Member

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    I agree with absolutely everything that you have written here, in context.

    The critical over-arching problem that I see is organisational. It's not about individual testers, whatever their remit or expertise. It's about creating a system that provides assurance of quality overall (however that is met).

    TSW 2 could (theoretically) be scripted and produced (perfectly) without anyone ever testing a single scenario or service module in end-user gameplay, if the authoring process was known to be bullet-proof. But..... it is known that the high-level processes used are not bullet-proof - so the gameplay needs to be properly and effectively tested from a player's perspective - and on each platform, including Playstation.

    Someone should take responsibility for the major product releases, and the system that goes into creating them and checking them. The products should be specified, and checked against specification. The non-existence of manuals is, I very strongly suspect, linked to a lack of documented product specification (and then a lack of baseline for mere mortal testers to test against). I think it is more than reasonable for someone - anyone suitably skilled - to spend a few hours (or even days) checking the final shipping candidate, before it is released (if previous iterations have required a significant delta of further development).

    So...... the time needs to be managed, and tasks need to be done in a suitable order -> the TSW projects simply need to be managed.

    The good news is that DTG appears to recognise the present weaknesses, and are actively looking for an Executive Producer for Train Sim World. Hopefully this person will be able to prioritise resource-matching to the project pipeline, defend the artists/coders/devs when they ask for more time (when they need it), and still provide confidence to the Board that higher quality initial releases save more time and make more money than sloppy ones.

    More QA = More Money

    The point I am making in my post is that, ultimately, there will be an end-user test. And I find it shocking to see that first effective test take place in public, time after time, in the RailFanTV launch streams. Seriously - I really fail to understand how this happens, time after time, with broken core content and broken core features.

    Remember WCML in TS2012....? Apparently DTG had used WCML as an opportunity to learn some lessons about how they release products, because WCML had, to their surprise, not met the standard that they wanted. What lessons were learned...? How were those lessons used to prevent HHL having defective PZB... or the new RT S6 content from being unplayable....?

    Answers on a postcard.... or maybe even just the back of a postage stamp..... ;-O
     
    Last edited: May 19, 2021
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