Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Digital Draftsman, Aug 28, 2018.
Yes- its looking very pretty. Nice and peaceful on the WSR again
Been away from the forums for awhile - but last two pages are encouraging - a new member comes in loaded for bear with a complaint and starts making this place sound like the steam forums, then a few of the "old timers" hang in there with the individual and help correct the problems to where the new comer is pleased with the results --- that is what community is all about --
I have my moments over there.. perhaps its karma from you fine folk Fyi Sunscreen is my alter ego..
The problem I tend to have is that I cant always refrain from responding to what I perceive as rudeness, passing the buck, avoiding responsibility or making excuses. The real problem is that Im often wrong in my assessment and often respond in the heat of the moment in a manner that is not acceptable.
I took time out from the forum but lets just say that my mastery of social media remains a work in progress! Getting better but not always, and certainly not when I go online when Im tired after a particularly long shift at work (sometimes 24 hours awake makes for a certain irritability).
Apologies to those who I have insulted without merit I genuinely am saddened if you feel you fall into that category.
Leadcacher- very well said.
Puffing Nora, we all have had our moments so please don’t think I was trying to single out anyone - wish you continued satisfaction with the simulation, it can be frustrating at times, but with a strong community, we can make it atleast tolerable...
Life on GWE this morning... real life providing a sense of perspective..
On DoveTail Live we find the news:
-EMD GP40-2 train(TS),
DTG, you decided to cut TSW? TS and TSW did not have to be developed in parallel?
DTG are you kidding people?
It has been pretty quiet on the TSW front recently. More than usual in fact (if that’s even possible). Especially since TS2019 has been getting a lot of attention since the 64bit release, though I’m not surprised to be honest.
Luke said on Discord that there *should* be TSW news soon.
Maybe they've actually been putting some extra effort into getting the editor finished while working on getting the console DLCs up to speed with PC. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
Ah, the DTG "soon". That normally means anywhere between a month to three months. Hopefully DTG will prove me wrong......
DTG Luke should consider communicating some news here, instead of using Discord.Otherwise what is this forum for?
They are swamped with TS19 stuff at the moment.
Indeed, many people continue compulsively to buy any TS addon. Furthermore, this TS64-bit has given new input to the current TS. Honestly, I do not understand why. This update has broken many Add-ons and the graphics have remained the same, that of a program with over ten years. For me, the TS is simply old and unwatchable.
However everyone has his tastes.
Many people have £££ worth of DLC’s for TS so they do not want to drop it just like that. Furthermore it isn’t about graphics, 64-bit greatly improves stability which means even longer routes and more AI traffic and variety.
For the time being, TSW does not have a patch on TS in regards to available content, reskins etc so you have to let that build up too.
This issue that users have many Add-ons for TS is known(i too). But these users want to continue indefinitely with TS because they spent a lot of money on this? I had a car that I had paid a lot of money 15 years ago. Yet she had grown very old and bruised. In the end I bought a car more modern ...
There are reskins for TSW.
Only available for a very limited amount of content and it also replaces the original paint job which the train previously had. So it’s either this or that, and not both.
Unless their are two default paint schemes.
I agree. I love the way TSW looks but I have just started looking on the workshop at scenarios for the Great Western Mainline I have in TS2018 and within 10 mins I had downloaded 4 good ones that were fun to drive, loads of AI, chasing yellows etc. For sure TSW is the future, but TS2018 at the moment does offer more 'story telling' for want of a better phrase. I don't have many routes or addons so I have to be thorough in checking the route requirements, and a lot of the TS2018 routes are looking very dated, but some of the newer ones look really very good. Obviously nowhere near as good as TSW but that's to be expected.
In fact, the problem is that TSW does not have an editor, so there can be no scenarios to download from Steam or elsewhere.
Most likely as soon as the editor will appear many more users will switch to TSW. And so we return to the usual starting point. No news from DTG, no progress in any direction.
And again: how long does it take to develop an editor? Dtg deals with computer science or chicken breeding?
They are still changing and adapting the tools to work on existing content.
All that remains is to hope ...
I found an interesting solution to a slight effect on the rails that was appearing about 20m in front of the train and which kept on catching my eye and distracting me- it was as though a circle was drawn around my position the edge of which was delineating the point at which additional detail was being drawn for the track.
Turns out setting the "Effects" setting to low reduced the noticeable element of this distraction to zero while not impinging on the visual quality of what Im seeing out of the window to any degree that I could discern.
What an excellent result
I thought I'd share it with you here in case it is something that anyone else has been noticing. Have a good day all.
So, I went for a stroll around Reading station just now and there seem to be more ai than when I last played which is nice, and I noticed they were more dynamic- walking up to then sitting on benches. The whole thing is starting to feel more and more like a living railway, and Im feeling much more hopeful for the future.
I managed to capture this very British scene- all that's missing are the faces glued to the iphones.. although the body language is spot on
I thought I'd give this thread a kick since Railsimulator.Com Limited's latest financials were posted, and from my point of view things don't look very good. For those who don't know, RSC is the company behind DTG. The numbers below are based on public records.
RSC's cash is down by over 60%. There's a reason most people have heard the phrase "cash is king", that's because it's very important for a company to have liquidity, liquidity being cash or assets that can quickly be converted to cash. Their cash sits at £840,000, which to give perspective is less than two months wages/pension contributions for their employees. When you take into account other operating costs, RSC has enough cash to support the company for about 6 weeks. A healthy company would aim to have sufficient liquidity to support the company for 6 months. Lacking the liquidity to support the company for less than 3 months would put a company in the 'danger zone.'
RSC's debt to asset ratio is now over 150% (for every £1 in assets RSC own they have £1.50 in debt.) As RSC lacks liquidity a low debt to asset ratio is important, as a high debt to asset ratio will reduce their ability to obtain loans. If the company incurs an unexpected expense or a lean period of sales, they will be less likely to secure a loan to supplement their cash to keep the company going.
RSC posted a loss of £140,000 which is much smaller than last year, last year being a loss of £1,900,000. That may seem good, but RSC are receiving tax credits (video games tax relief), so if you take those take those tax credits out of the equation, the loss would be 1,400,000 for 2018 vs 2,900,000 for 2017. Still less, but not as good as it would initially seem.This tax relief is critical to RSC, but the way the UK government works it would be easy for it to be scrapped in future budget, the consequences for RSC being rather bad.
When you put together the low liquidity, high asset to debt ratio and the reliance on the video games tax relief to minimise losses, all of a sudden the constant churning out of DLC after DLC with very few bug fixes makes sense. DTG are now in a position when they literally cannot afford to spend a few weeks fixing bugs on the existing DLC, as to do so would cause the company to collapse. It also explains the lack of communication, a common symptom of a company in trouble.
All this makes me pretty reluctant to put money into TSW DLC as without the tools the community is not in the position develop the game. At least with TS2019 the game is a complete game with a full suite of developer tools and support from many third party developers, so even if it DTG ceased game development and acted only as a publisher, TS2019 would still receive new content. TSW has no tools and no third party developers, so if DTG ceased development of TSW it would be a total dead end.
The bottom line is I'm pretty reluctant to throw any more money into TSW, maybe I'll buy the odd DLC if it's something I'm really interested in as a 'standalone game', but I certainly won't be building a collection like my TS2019 one unless something changes to improve my confidence in TSW and DTG.
If any would like to correct me or provide a counterpoint, I'd be glad to hear it.
Your point maybe legit, but where’s the evidence? I will believe this when I see it with my own eyes. Also, just note that DTG has 2 TSW DLC coming quite soon (LIRR this Tuesday and Class 33 TBD) so that’s money right their. Most people I’ve seen have already preordered LIRR in anticipation for its release but their will still be more to buy it after release as well as you’ve seen with the very positive reaction towards its announcement. I’m not dismissing you rpoint, but I’d like to see proof of what you’re saying because this could be bad if it’s true...
RSC's accounts for the last financial year.
The source for them is Companies House, a part of the British Governement, they are publicly available here: https://beta.companieshouse.gov.uk/company/06751125/filing-history
There's two DLCs coming but no bug fixes for previous routes, or future routes for that matter. It's worth keeping in mind that if LIRR has bugs it's unlikely DTG are in a position to put them right, and given DTG's track record of releasing buggy DLC, that's enough to put me off buying it.
TSW isn’t going anywhere.
Well I certainly hope they can turn things around.
The really depressing thing is that they’ve got themselves into this position by releasing buggy unfinished games/DLC, then not fixing it, over a number of years. They’re now in the worst kind of catch 22. Treat your customers like mugs, and release half-arsed products, and you shall reap the consequences. Its not rocket science. The historic British business landscape is littered with failed companies that have done just that. I hope DTG don’t become one of them.
I sincerely hope that they have the good sense to change the way they do business and are around for years to come, but one thing is for certain, keep releasing broken products with missing features and it’s game over. Can this particular leopard change its spots? I’m not convinced.
It must be damn hard being an employee there, knowing that instead of being proud of your product, each release will, by en-large, be accompanied by a deluge of complaints from angry customers who haven’t got what they paid for.
The latest DLC (Ruhr-Sieg) quality is actually a bit higher than the average of TSW DLCs. However, this does not change anything regarding past YEARS of bad community management from DTG and broken software they released.
If I were running that company, I’d be seriously concerned as to why my customers were so desperate for editor tools to be released for my so-called ‘flagship’ product, so the community and third party business could fix the mess that my own company had created and, for whatever reason, were seemingly incapable of fixing. Revenue that should be coming into my business, going elsewhere. If that isn’t the ultimate fed flag for DTG then it damn well should be.
I’d also be thinking long and hard about the working environment and corporate culture that I’d created where the releasing of unfinished and broken software was deemed acceptable, and had become the norm. Again, red flags everywhere.
That’s without even scratching the surface of the confusing long term strategy. The inexplicable decision to expect long time customers to walk away from collections that have had many hundreds, if not thousands of pounds, invested in them in favour a new product where they get the privilege of basically buying it all again. It was a very risky gamble, and for it to work TSW had to be out of this world from day one. In reality TSW over promised and massively under delivered and is, in almost every regard, worse than the ‘old’ game.
Somehow DTG have got themselves into a position where they have a monopoly in a niche marketplace, but have ended up competing with themselves to the detriment of both of their products.
Well if theres any truth to the financial situation outlined above (and given the provision of sources it seems likely), it is very difficult to plot a path out of the situation. Regardless of how we feel the reality wont change. If it does all fold then it wont be because of a lack of feedback from their customers. Aside from the obvious sympathies for people worried about their employment, paying mortgages etc theres really not a lot to say.
Edit- from a quick read of the report its not totally apocalyptic. 2018 was regarded as an investment year, threats are competition (eh- who are the competitors because I cant think of any) and staff retention. Id say 2019 is the must deliver year based on current delivery plans of increased dlc choice and editor tools.
Looks ok in all honesty but Im no accountant..
Digital Draftsman, did you factor in to your assessments that we are in the process of relocating the Chatham HQ to a new, larger office? The final move is happening at the end of next week.
The high asset to debt ratio is mainly because we currently have an additional, empty office building that has been undergoing renovations for a couple of months to get it ready for us to move into.
Now that I've looked at it... those accounts are made up to "March 2018"... A lot has happened since then;
West Somerset Railway
Ruhr Sieg Nord
TSW Console releases
Train Simulator 2019
I think it's safe to say the company is in a somewhat better position than it was in March...
That’s good to hear and I sincerely hope the situation improves going forward, but from a customers perspective, there has to be a change in the ethos of the business if it is to be successful in the longer term. It shouldn’t be on 3rd party business and the community to fix what is broken or under-cooked to begin with.
Whilst I continue to purchase content for TS2019, I’ve stopped buying content for TSW. Until it starts to deliver what was promised, and actually becomes better than is older stable mate, then I’m out.
Just out of interest, what was promised that you feel hasn't been delivered, now that dev tools are on the way?
Have a look at the pre-release material (YouTube is probably easiest) for TSW. That’s for starters. Beyond that, I think it’s fair to assume that having used TS20XX, we could have expected at least the same functionality in the next generation sim. It simply isn’t there. Finally, almost all the TSW DLC is broken in one way or another. It is advertised and sold as finished software and it clearly isn’t.
Elaborating any further is just treading a well worn path all over again.
There were some routes that aren’t that great, such as Rapid Transit and NEC. All of the other ones are good. LIRR is looking to be excellent! They don’t have time at the moment to go back and fix previous problems. They might get fixed eventually.
Had I posted the accounts for 2016 DTG's line would have been the exact same. 'Those are old numbers, since then we've released TSW, a brand new game, we've released the GWE, RT, GP40-2 and NEC DLCs etc etc'.
To have a successful simulation product you need to give customers the confidence to spend money on building a collection. When a new route/train appears for TS2019, I think 'that's great, I can run these trains I already own on it, I can create new scenarios and I can run the new train on my old routes' but with TSW that isn't the case. Futher to this, regarding confidence, Flight Sim World was cancelled; If TSW had similar competitors in the train sim market, like X-Plane 11 and Aerofly FS2 in the FSW market, TSW would probably have been cancelled too. Cancelling FSW, when just days before DTG were still claiming it to be the future of flight sim, is something which really dented my confidence and my trust in DTG's communications.
Finally, if the company is in a good financial position, why are there so few resources available to fix the previous DLC and for better QA on future DLC?
You say they don't have time, but in business time means money. They don't have the money at the moment to go back and fix the DLC, which is the point make in my post above. If a company can't afford to fix their existing products and is forced to churn out more and more DLC to prevent the company collapsing, that is not a healthy company.
They might go back and fix them once much more DLC gets released. Also Steam charges for updates, so many fixes come with DLC releases.
Might is the keyword here. And based on years of evidence, this will not happen.
Because the point would be exactly the same. You're fussing over numbers that are more than half a year out of date as if nothing has changed since. A lot happens in that time.
Reading this, I think some people here think they know all the ins and are trying to bet on a short without knowing all the pieces of the puzzle. DTG is in a really small market to begin with and have been trying to grow, which costs money and is a calculated risk. Given the numbers posted are old, and the predicted time funds would run out has long past, it's pretty clear things that hasn't happened....
There is a lot to running a business, and DTG is at the forefront of train simulation, and making decent, although at times buggy content on a new sim they spent a lot investing into. It's a long term prospect.
To put it in perspective, I'm writing this on a train which the company has posted 20 to 30 million dollar losses every year for the last 10 years and yet it's still running. Funding comes from other portions of the company to fund it line. There is a lot to running a train line, similar to running a train sim business, and we don't know everything. If DTG fails, it would have been noticed internally way before we would know it, and right now I don't see that from the outside.
Perhaps I am fussing, but it's my money that DTG are after and I'm making a decision based on the most recent data available to me. If you've got more recent data that would better inform my decision making, by all means share it. If my perception of DTG is wrong the onus is on them to change it.
I know you’re so behind TSW it’s admirable, but it’s almost to a fault. Perhaps even a bit naiive. I so really do hope you don’t end up disappointed.
On this specific point, you could look back through the DTG back catalogue going as far as TS2012 and almost every single piece of DTG produced content for Train Simulator has numerous bugs or missing features. Some have been fixed, but there are literally hundreds that haven’t.
Train Sim World was a chance to start again, with a new model and a fresh approach. Instead we’ve got EXACTLY the same thing. Broken and bugged DLC, where a token gesture is made to fix some bugs, then it’s abandoned as the focus moves onto the next one. Absolutely nothing has changed.
As someone who wants to see this succeed, it’s a bit depressing frankly. Rapid Transit is basically completely knackered, as the signalling system doesn’t work properly. You can’t play the passenger scenarios on NEC with the full suite of safety features enabled as there is an incorrect speed limit rendering all the scenarios broken. Both of these are still on sale. Not only on sale, but by all accounts have been ported to consoles with the same damn issues! Is that right or fair?
The numbers on their own are not the complete picture. The rest of the report is worth a read where it talks of the investment plan etc, which ties in with Luke's interjection regarding new facilities. The complete picture is far from negative, but it is a slow burner and we are yet to see the results. If I had to quantify it I would suggest we are seeing the laying of the foundations. Its a situation that would be better served with a roadmap, and its the shortage of intel that breeds rumours, but hey it is what it is. Im happy to wait it out- actually happy is the wrong term but Im sure you get my meaning..
Edit- Hightower good points well made. I share your frustration.
It is the fate of railroad games / simulations to be tormented.
Trainz (an incredible mess) does not have the main ingredient: trains.
TS is so dated that it seems useless to invest money again. TSW is at the beginning with its obvious difficulty.
However, it seems to me that TSW is currently the only way.
And then videogames without bugs never existed...
I think TSW has some more time left, but I don't think it will hang around nearly as long as TS. DTG doesn't care about bug fixes and editors at all and I think they're merely just saying "they're coming" to shut everybody up, like giving a pacifier to a crying baby. All they care about is cranking out DLC so people pay more money. Plus, they already don't like all the Workshop content people are making, or 3rd party content. I believe you won't see an editor, because they don't want any 3rd party content available for the game, so they can make all the money off their own content. Kinda like Nintendo does. Yeah, the LIRR route does look more appealing than I thought it would and I'll probably wind up getting it. However if they keep cranking out short and broken routes that people get bored with really quick, the game will eventually die off.
(Btw, I made a bet with a friend on how many downvotes this will get. I'm not gonna say how many each of us bet though.)
Separate names with a comma.