Spirit Of Steam Release Open Letter

Discussion in 'PC Discussion' started by JellyScrub, Nov 4, 2021.

  1. JellyScrub

    JellyScrub Active Member

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    An open letter to DTG.

    Please release the Spirit of Steam when it's actually ready. On one hand, I don't want to have to wait until August next year for the yearly releases if the trains are ready before then. On the other hand, I don't want the first steam trains to be broken, laggy and buggy on release. If it takes longer to be ready, then so be it. Don't release what is essentially a beta. It would be nice to have it positively received, rather than leaving a sour taste in everyone's mouth.
     
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  2. fabristunt

    fabristunt Well-Known Member

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    Pretty sure it will be rushed, just like rush hour was.
     
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  3. fanta1682002

    fanta1682002 Well-Known Member

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    no like steam train
     
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  4. AirbourneAlex

    AirbourneAlex Well-Known Member

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    I would imagine the balance of future DLCs being steam related will heavily depend on whether or not this first release will be popular. Also once they have implemented the mechanics to simulate steam, future DLCs using it might be easier and quicker to produce.
     
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  5. chieflongshin

    chieflongshin Well-Known Member

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    I do wonder what there will be to learn it whether t will be the same keystrokes for this train too
     
  6. nwp1

    nwp1 Well-Known Member

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    I don’t think it will be rushed and will be the big summer release next August, hopefully with a UK Heritage line like SVR.
     
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  7. Coastway trainspotter

    Coastway trainspotter Well-Known Member

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    I agree , it’s most likely that spirit of steam will be next summers release
     
  8. dhekelian

    dhekelian Well-Known Member

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    imo if the core issues of the game are not addressed and fixed then when steam is released I see it as a mess.
     
  9. rabid

    rabid Well-Known Member

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    Which core issues in particular are you referring to that would affect steam locomotive operation and performance?
     
  10. dhekelian

    dhekelian Well-Known Member

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    The 4.26 update, Rush Hour updates. XBox sound issue, PS memory issue just off the top of my head, I'm sure there are more especially if DTG use existing routes
     
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  11. lcyrrjp

    lcyrrjp Active Member

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    Please, no. The glory of steam is on the mainline, doing what it was designed to do, as a system of transportation. If all we’re going to be able to do is amble around at 25mph on a preserved railway, then don’t even bother. Simulating a preserved railway is recreating a recreation. Why not recreate the real thing?
     
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  12. Coastway trainspotter

    Coastway trainspotter Well-Known Member

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    It would be to difficult to recreate the recreation , so I think dtg should just create the recreation . Then it will feel recreated
     
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  13. rabid

    rabid Well-Known Member

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    Alternatively the Jacobite specials on the West Highland Line Extension would enable running at proper speeds but in a modern context. They just better darn well throw in a class 156 for regular services, when you don’t fancy juggling with steam locomotive controls. ;)
     
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  14. AirbourneAlex

    AirbourneAlex Well-Known Member

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    I've suggested before the North Warwickshire lines, which could include the regular 'Shakespeare Express' steam rail tours from Birmingham Moor Street to Stratford-upon-Avon, and Tyseley depot which maintains a large number of steam locomotives for preservation and main line running. A good route that would still include the traditional modern commuter services most people enjoy too.
     
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  15. rabid

    rabid Well-Known Member

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    As a first effort I wouldn't mind trundling a pannier up and down the WSR. The boredom of 25 mph would be somewhat offset by learning to manage the controls. Mind I seriously hope they let you play as driver, fireman, or both for the masochists. Fireman would be quite cool; as you could grab a beer and watch the scenery go by when you're not shovelling etc. The one time I did a fireman day on the NYMR back in the 80s, we got to fry bacon and eggs on the shovel and partook of a refreshing drink.
     
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  16. Driconian

    Driconian Member

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    I Imagine the first relase will certianlly feel like a beta while they try and work out what players actually want. Hopefully they don't go down the Great Western Legends route for steam. An actual route ideally mainline would at least start the ball rolling correctly.
     
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  17. Mich

    Mich Well-Known Member

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    It's pretty clear from all the talking DTG did about TSW routes that they really don't do much forward thinking with them, especially not early ones like WSR. That's most apparent being Rapid Transit having tons of track that wasn't functional beyond looks. Honestly without a massive overhaul I don't see any old routes receiving steam, simply because they'd need revamps to add coal and water facilities. And that's beyond the scope for such loco packs and preserved crew projects so far.

    Also DTG have said routes turn higher profits than other addons, and after what will probably be close to a year of full development on steam they're gonna want the highest turn around possible for their first steam related projects for sure.
     
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  18. dhekelian

    dhekelian Well-Known Member

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    You raise some points there. DTG with Diesel Legends said it was set in the 1970's but was on the 2015 route because they couldn't be bothered to set the route in the right Era and the 101 had the incorrect livery. Are DTG actually going to do the proper routes for Steam set in the right era? Will these routes include the water towers and coal facilities? I really hope they do it justice but I have a feeling they just plonk steam engines on modern routes.
     
  19. AirbourneAlex

    AirbourneAlex Well-Known Member

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    Diesel legends was created because their gameplay team had some spare time so decided to make a new type of DLC (aimed at being a gameplay pack with a new timetable rather than a dedicated loco DLC) and didn't have the resources on hand to build a route or a new train type to accompany it. It was an experiment to see how popular it was, and clearly produced a mixed reaction.

    I'm sure DTG will create an appropriate route to go with steam, after all creating something big and new is a better way to market a new feature than having a measly loco DLC for an old route. If British then some diesel classes we already have could be thrown in too (with era-specific modifications).
     
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  20. dhekelian

    dhekelian Well-Known Member

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    Yes they gave that excuse 'their team had some spare time' clearly you buy that but what is the excuse for the 101 in the wrong livery then? Oh, I actually bought the pack myself but only because there were mods that actually set the route in the right era and had the 101 in the correct livery, sadly these are not available now so I do not touch it but DTG have their lolly so wouldn't care now.

    I actually agree with you that steam is an opportunity to bring something new into the mix if done properly. For me it would be a new route set in the right era. Going by all the DLC's so far and the fixes, non-fixes, Are you confident this will happen? Are you confident that DTG will do a new route from scratch set in the right era? TBF I don't think I Am.
     
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  21. AirbourneAlex

    AirbourneAlex Well-Known Member

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    Actually the unit class itself is incorrect, it should be a Class 117 in BR Blue. The 101 was a (bad) compromise.
    Quite honestly yes. Making a good impression from the outset would be in their best interests. For instance, there's people who play TS primarily for steam, so having a proper route with proper locos to accompany it would be a big draw. It wouldn't be so appealing if we got an industrial shunter on a short line no one has heard of.

    Also think back to the first UK route, we got the most complex segment of the Great Western Main Line with three new locos, a well known and popular route to draw people in. Obviously like I said before if it doesn't work out then we'll likely see fewer steam locos/routes going forward.
     
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  22. dhekelian

    dhekelian Well-Known Member

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    You think the little bit of the GWE is the most complicated bit of the route? You know it is just about flat and straight? You don't think the GWE going to Cardiff with the Severn tunnel was complicated? And I agree if DTG do not do it justice it won't sell well. I hope for your sake DTG can deliver on it.
     
  23. AirbourneAlex

    AirbourneAlex Well-Known Member

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    In terms of number of services, track layout and signalling then perhaps yes. The South Wales Main Line would be regarded as complex too. Doing a full route from Paddington to Cardiff (if that is what you mean) isn't really practical. My point was that DTG didn't choose something comparatively small like a heritage line (sorry WSR) as their first UK route.
     
  24. dhekelian

    dhekelian Well-Known Member

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    I get what you are saying and the GWE was the reason I got TSW2 in the first place and is the reason why I don't buy any DLC now cause I'm still waiting for the update.

    I can see signalling being a touch more complicated especially with Paddington but services? Remember you have Didcot, Swindon, Bristol and Cardiff just to name a few of the bigger stations and are hubs and have their fair share of services. Doing a Paddington to Cardiff route imo would easily be the best route in the game, remember it was DTG that said in a stream a while ago that long routes are not an issue it just needs to be interesting.

    The scope of doing branch lines would be huge, Didcot for instance. The era they choose for the GWE is just baffling. They chose a period while electrification was being built so they are stuck in that era. They should have set it with it finished or better still before it was done. As of now I'd like to see a Cardiff - Didcot route, something new to see and bring in Wales to the game. Never happen I know but I can dream.
     
  25. AirbourneAlex

    AirbourneAlex Well-Known Member

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    If all in the same route, then that would be correct. But for each section likely appropriate to the size of a TSW DLC, then Paddington to Reading is the busiest by number of movements/services per day.

    Route size is limited by development time, not so much physical length but the time expected to make them.

    Remember DTG typically churns out a UK route every 5-6 months, if a route would take longer to develop then it isn't as feasible to build, especially if people expect it to sell for the usual £25. Longer routes equals less (and potentially more expensive) routes.
     
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  26. solicitr

    solicitr Well-Known Member

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    That's unfair, and really quite inaccurate. "Couldn't be bothered?" NO; DTG had a block of time during which the timetable/gameplay staff had nothing to do, so the idea was to find them something to do which would NOT require participation by the fully-occupied route and rolling stock builders. Ergo, have them create a timetable using existing rolling stock on an existing route.

    Had DTG elected to do a 1970s GWE revamp, it would have come out as a route, at route pricing. And presumably the trackage would have been restored to 1970s layout (something modders can't do)

    -----------------------------

    What both Matt and Paul have said about steam is that they want the full experience, a complete steam-era ecosystem. And, as said above, a steam railway has to have watering and coaling facilities. So I fully expect a vintage route set in the 1960s or earlier. Probably with layers in WSR, because heritage, and possibly railtours elsewhere.
     
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2021
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  27. solicitr

    solicitr Well-Known Member

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    While that's true, length alone doesn't have a linear relationship to development cost. The density of stations, the quantity of trackage, the number of bespoke scenery assets are all factors. Clinchfield could afford to be as long as it is because, although they did develop new rock textures and bridge assets, nonetheless those were duplicable and most of the scenery is trees. Ergo 73 miles and one and two halves new locos fit into the budget. Doing the Trans-Siberian Railroad would have a much lower cost-per-mile than the Berlin S-Bahn.
     
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  28. dhekelian

    dhekelian Well-Known Member

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    So what excuse can you offer with the 101 then? Especially when it is in the wrong era and the wrong livery? People say DTG is a sim, so what are they trying to sim here? It certainly isn't accuracy is it. Many people felt let down by this DLC, DTG even admitted it did not sell well.

    They didn't need to revamp the route just edit it, after all they had all this spare time no? It seems strange that DTG said the route could not be edited then within a week or two a mod was done to get rid of all the electrification just like that and have the 101 in the correct livery even though as has been said should of been a 117.

    Take a guess here, if the route had come out as a proper 1970's route, track and everything and for a route price do you think it would have sold more or less than what we got? Give you a clue, the answer would have been yes of course it would.

    If DTG just wanted to release a couple of trains, yeah great but surely they can make them fit in the era they are supposed to be in or is TSW2 just an arcade game now? If that's the case what is the chance we can get 'Thomas the tank Engine'? It was DTG that gave the pack a '1970's' label. IMO the least they could of done was honour the description.

    What do you mean 'some modders can't do? Did you see the mods that came out for this pack and GWE? It was stunning. Trains had correct liveries, all Electrification gone. Signs on stations were from the right era even posters. I even think there was a mod for Paddington station as well. Then one for the ballast and one for sleepers as well. Seems the modders knew what to do with their spare time no?
     
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2021
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  29. solicitr

    solicitr Well-Known Member

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    What part of "existing rolling stock" don't you understand? The loco builders were otherwise occupied and were not going to be diverted to the DLGW projecvt.

    Yes, lovely work, all, done for free by talented people whose time isn't on the clock and doesn't have to be paid for. But as to the specific comment: modders cannot lay or remove track. The track patterns of the GWML and its surrounding yards were very different in the 70s; they would have to be redone if this is, in your terms, to be "a sim" concerned with "accuracy."

    You are pissed at DLGW because it never was what it is not. What it is not is a vintage route. If DTG were ever to produce such, you would have to pay a route price for it, not barely more than the price of a loco.

    Or do you expect DTG staff to work for nothing?

    But guess what? No such route was planned or scheduled. The route bulders and loco biuilders and Simugraph boffins were busy with other projects. DTG's challenge was to find something for their timetable makers, alone and without bothering other staff, to do.
     
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2021
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  30. Rudolf

    Rudolf Well-Known Member

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    Your criticism is unfair. I think DTG made very clear what they created and why they did it as they did. It is not an "excuse" as you state, but a fact and as they said an experiment. There is is no need to like everything DTG does and if you don't like something, just don't buy it but do not try to deny other players the right to enjoy these DLC. If not enough people buy, it will not be created for a next time. That simple it works

    I decided not to buy it for a number of reasons, but I like what they tried to do. Backdating the route would require to create a whole new route. DTG felt this was a no-go at that moment, so they came up with something new and innovative, a second backdated timetable and a strong focus on providing an alternative gameplay. This is just OK, even if it is nothing for you.
     
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  31. Winzarten

    Winzarten Well-Known Member

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    So... DCS isn't a sim, becasue I'm fighting in fictitious conflicts, in areas where the participating airplanes were never deployed...Got it....

    Because DTG now doesn't have the underlying functionality required to make changes to routes based on what timetable you have loaded. Nor would it be accepted well if all they did were cosmetic changes, like posters and removal of some assets. While keeping modern buildings and led signals in place.
    They would need to re-do the whole route, with the era specific layout and stations. This isn't a small revamp... this is a huge undertaking.

    DTG were very open with what and why they are doing. It is not like they promised 70s GWE, and then deliverid only a timetable...
     
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  32. redrev1917

    redrev1917 Well-Known Member

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    My Inital route expectations

    UK - Riveria Line in the 1950's
    Germany - Harz Railway set in modern era
    US - New York Central Station to somewhere in the 1930's

    3 very different lines set in very different eras to allow DTG to judge whats popular and what isnt, what sells and what flops.
     
  33. dhekelian

    dhekelian Well-Known Member

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    What part of 'correct livery' don't you understand? They could easily have change the livery on the 101, they had all this spare time no?
    Modders did not need to remove any track they edited it. They changed the ballast and sleepers for a start. You say they didn't have the clock on them but then the team that produced the Diesels Legend pack didn't either did they? 'spare time'?

    Of course DTG shouldn't work for nowt, such an inane statement. But if they sell something labelled 1970's Diesel Legends on the GWE then is it so unreasonable to expect 1970's Diesel Legends on the GWE? Perhaps if they had been honest and sold the pack as a railtour of Diesels then it might have sold a bit better than it did?

    You say I'm pissed off, I'm not actually, I was just disappointed for DTG as it was a poor seller but there are many people who are pissed off about it.

    Yeah right, you liked it so much you didn't buy it. How supportive of you. May I remind you that I did buy it and new perfectly well what I was buying. The main thing I didn't like was how it was marketed and I'm not alone in that. DTG have already said it has poor sales.

    Why did I buy it? Cause the mods totally transformed it for me. 101 in correct livery (even though it should of been a 117) Ballast, sleepers, signs, posters removal of Electrification (which DTG said could not be done) plus others. As I'm into the GWE and with the mods I was happy to buy it although now some of those mods no longer work so I no longer touch it.
     
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2021
  34. solicitr

    solicitr Well-Known Member

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    NO, they could not! These were the gameplay/timetable team, not artists. The rolling stock artists were busy, and the whole idea behind the project was NOT to use them.

    Which is not remotely the same as reconstructing the very track layout (removing post-70s trackage, and laying since-removed track) and building defunct switchyards from scratch, which is what would be required for an accurate recreation of the GWML in the 70s. Not to mention completely eradicating the current Reading station and building the old one, as well as several others along the line, and completely overhauling the internal arrangements at Paddington.
     
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2021
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  35. Doomotron

    Doomotron Well-Known Member

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    Slight flaw in that logic. If the objective was to not use any new stock and keep the rolling stock artist working on other projects, who made the updated Class 52 in BR Blue? I don't agree with dhekelian, but if they had the time to make a new livery for the 52, surely it wouldn't have been out of the question for the correct 101 livery to be made...
     
  36. dhekelian

    dhekelian Well-Known Member

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    That's where you and me differ. I believe they were well capable of giving the 101 a new livery. You seemed to have missed my point when I mentioned the modders. Even though DTG said themselves quite blatantly that it could not be done, taking out the electrification was done without the whole route being re-done and only after a week or so the route came out, so why couldn't DTG do it. I suppose you'll comeback with the 'they couldn't do it' comment. They were/are quite capable of editing.

    Perhaps modders should be given the tools to do even more if you say DTG are not up to it? The Reading station was unfortunate but people lived with that but you must of missed the mods for Paddington station. Again, if modders can do it within a week or so I'm sure Adam's team were well capable of editing (not re-writing) the pack. 'Can't' and 'won't' have different meanings or as I said before if they had titled it as a rail tour and not a 1970's GWE Diesel Legends pack (when one of the trains wasn't in that era on the GWE) then they might have sold a few more, don't you think?
     
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2021
  37. solicitr

    solicitr Well-Known Member

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    Right. Because Adam's team (who have nothing to do with new releases, BTW) were just sitting around playing cards or something, and didn't have any other jobs to do.

    How much background do you have in business project management? Allocation of personnel resources isn't a "let's wing it" affair, and cannot remotely be compared to the activities of self-scheduled hobbyists working on their own time and at their own convenience. Moreover, all of those modders are (self-defined) artists, whereas all of DTG's actual staff artists were assigned to be doing other things, not redressing the GWE route.

    EVERYTHING comes down to budgeting (something which doesn't concern hobbyists). A project is costed out and N pounds are available to be spent on labor, which translates into X employees working for Y hours. The DLGW project was budgeted based on whatever Y uncommitted hours the X members of the timetabling team had. Not the Preservation crew. Not the new-content route artists. Not the new-content loco artists. Just a specific group of people whose only expertise is in timetables and scenario design.

    Think of it as Friday-night leftovers stew: use up whatever bits and bobs you have on hand.

    Would it have sold more as a complete vintage route? NO. Because no such route was ever going to be made.
     
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2021
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  38. DTG Protagonist

    DTG Protagonist Creative Director Staff Member

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    Keep it calm please folks, it's a good discussion, don't turn it into a fight over different interpretations of a pack that we ourselves didn't represent in the right way. We learned a lot from Diesel Legends and there's a reasonable chance we'll do something similar in the future. It was an experiment in gameplay expansion by offering multiple timetables, but was believed to be more than that which meant we talked about it in the wrong way. To correct one thing - it sold "okay" it wasn't a bust. The messaging of what it is and isn't is what we learned most importantly.

    Also, for the record - Spirit of Steam has nothing in common with Diesel Legends. The former is a new route add-on set era-appropriate for the stock running on it. The latter was an anachronistic alternate-gameplay expansion.
     
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  39. OldVern

    OldVern Well-Known Member

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    Now talk of a historic route is getting the juices flowing a bit here. Hints and clues very welcome… :cool:
     
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  40. Cramnor

    Cramnor Well-Known Member

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    You are interpreting things that aren't there ;) There is nothing said about historic routes, it only says era-appropriate, which could be a modern route as well :) Like the Harzbahn in Germany for example, they run steam trains in regular service today even, so era-appropriate could also be a route set in 2021.
     
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  41. OldVern

    OldVern Well-Known Member

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    Ah, you burst my bubble. You swine! :D.
    Harzbahn would be nice though. If course it could be a complete curve ball and they do that Japanese route from Hokkaido that was in SL de Ikou.
     
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  42. Rudolf

    Rudolf Well-Known Member

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    Never said I liked it, the point is I disagree with you on the expectations we should have for this DLC. I think DTG made completely clear what they created and why they did it. I see no point in trying to tell them they should have made other decisions.

    I do not feel the need to support DTG by buying this particular DLC. I guess I own about 60-70% of all DLC and I simply do not have enough time to play, so sometimes I skip something and wait for a good discount. This one is on my wishlist, mainly with a lot of thanks of the mods created for this DLC. So I keep looking forward to a good sale.
     
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  43. jamesthepershing

    jamesthepershing Active Member

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    It's going to be a steam era Route.
     
  44. solicitr

    solicitr Well-Known Member

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    While true, comments by Matt and one relayed from Paul indicate that DTG are not going the heritage railway route to introduce steam, it will be a vintage route when steam still ran the mainline.
     
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  45. dhekelian

    dhekelian Well-Known Member

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    This has nowt to do with NEW releases but editing, there is a big difference. You still haven't explained why they could edit the 52 in it's livery but couldn't edit the 101 in the correct one?

    Didn't Adam's team work on this? I forget now but I thought he did. If they did they had time to spare at the time no? So they might have played cards who knows?

    But then they weren't artists were they? Perhaps it was magic?
     
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2021
  46. solicitr

    solicitr Well-Known Member

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    Adam's Preserved Crew had nothing to do with DLGW.

    The story of the 52 I don't know, and can only speculate, but it's speculation based on Matt's and Sam's statements that DLGW was made by the timetabling team and nobody else. Ergo, a BR Blue 52 had been created previously for some other project which had been shelved, and was just sitting around (rather like the static steam engine hidden in the WSR code). It's also possible that the standalone 52 was originally going to be blue but DTG changed their minds.

    In other words, it is not evidence that artists were diverted from the main team to work on DLGW. And the case is closed by your own assertion: the 101 was left in blue-grey, whereas had one or more livery artists been assigned to the project repainting it in all blue would not have been as hard as some jobs. So there were no artists. QED.
     
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  47. stujoy

    stujoy Well-Known Member

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    Time to do it, and the fact that it wasn’t important. The people were busy doing more important things than changing the grey bits on the wrong DMU for the route into blue bits on the wrong DMU for the route. That’s all the explanation you need and have had that explanation about six times already. The Class 52 reskin was important because that was all maroon coloured originally and needed to be blue for the BR blue era pack. The 101 was already BR blue. The time that could have been put in to change the grey bits blue on the wrong DMU for the route was used to do other more important things. For the people who would care about that extra blue bit the fact that the 101 was the wrong DMU would be more of an issue.
     
  48. Doomotron

    Doomotron Well-Known Member

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    The mods are permanent changes though. If you load GWE with the mods installed it'll have the mod changes no matter what scenario or service you're playing. If they were going to do what you wanted, they'd either have to come up with a system that changes the loading of assets and textures based on the scenario or service being loaded, or duplicate the entire route and use up storage, which in the case of the PS5 is already significantly limited. And then, what about Reading and the other numerous changes to the route that couldn't be done by modding (at least not yet)? If DTG officially released the content of those mods, they'd be called lazy for not bothering with these changes. A complete non-starter, that gets worse the more things are asked for. If DTG wanted to fulfill your demands and go the extra length to not appear as lazy, they'd need to...
    1. Develop an all-new game mechanic that swaps scenery assets and textures.
    2. Remodel large chunks of the route, and relay a lot of track.
    3. Model the 117 and any other suitable rolling stock as well (Mark 1s?).
    And at that point, they'd need a far bigger team, and the extent of the changes to the route are enough to warrant an entirely new route in general. It's basically the same task as converting the Riviera Line route in Train Simulator to the Fifties version. The changes made for GWE by modders is as far as it can go, as otherwise DTG would need to complete the job on a far higher and more difficult scale than the modders needed to.
     
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  49. dhekelian

    dhekelian Well-Known Member

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    Because it wasn't obviously important to you does not mean it was not important to others. Sam already acknowledged how this pack had problems the way it was marketed.

    How do you know the time was spent doing more important things? Were you there? If they had the time to re-livery livery a complete 52 they had time to do the 'grey bits' as you put it.

    Again I am not the only one who had problems with this route and again at the time it was said at the time there were concerns that the 101 should have been a 117 but if the 101 had been in BR Blue (not BR Blue/grey) it would have been overlooked. And again I only bought it cause I got mods to make the changes I wanted otherwise I wouldn't have touched it.

    And again this pack was marketed as a 1970's Diesel Legends pack, can you spot the flaw in that? Go on, have a go.
     
  50. dhekelian

    dhekelian Well-Known Member

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    If DTG had released the pack in the state of after the mods had been applied I'm sure it would have sold better even with Reading station. I don't see why they would have to relay the track, the modders didn't.

    But there was a far easier solution, instead of advertising it as a 1970's Diesel Legends pack they should of said it was a Rail tour imo, not sure if that would help sales but it would of been a better description no?

    I and many others were disappointed in this pack as it could of been special. Just because a you think otherwise does not make us any more or less disappointed. What has irked me is that now some of the meatier mods do not work with the pack due to the 4.26 upgrade so I wasted my money, I don't like doing that.
     
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2021
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