Tsw - Simulation Or Not?

Discussion in 'PC Discussion' started by joerg.lange, Dec 30, 2021.

  1. joerg.lange

    joerg.lange Well-Known Member

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    In the "End of year Q&A" Matt said many people don't think TSW is a proper simulation. He would be interested in a discussion about this, which I would like to open.

    Very briefly about my background (and why I'm so interested in this topic): So I'm that hardcore simulation guy. I've built an Airbus A320 home cockpit, where almost every switch works, based on X-Plane and the FF A320 - so I think I have a pretty accurate idea of "simulating" stuff.

    Unfortunately, I can only speak for german trains. If you want a benchmark for german train simulation, you can't get around Zusi, together with ZusiDisplay. In the comparison to TSW, it is particularly noticeable that with Zusi
    1. the German signalling system is implemented in epic depth and complexity - TSW is very "simplified" and "generalised" in this aspect
    2. the train safety systems with their versions and variants and special features are implemented even more accurately (to get a feeling: there are Indusi I54, I60, I60M, I60R, PZB60 (ÖBB), PZB90 1.5 / 2.0 as well as door security systems, LZB etc...)
    3. (partly because of ZusiDisplay), the displays in the locomotives (and the underlying technical systems!) are very realistically implemented. This starts with the start-up of the locomotive and the accurate input of the train data and it ends with special displays such as EBuLa (basically an electronic route plan).
    4. german track construction (catenaries, switches etc) are implemented extremely accurately

    Other simulation aspects are e.g. radio communication with the dispatcher, simulation of system failures on the train or simulated technical problems on the track, more control over weather conditions and again... many specialities on individual locomotives. As an example here the DB BR143 with its special driving programmes ("bedingter Auslauf", "nur bremsen", "nur fahren" etc.). These are typical features of the BR143 that are largely missing in TSW.

    But now comes the crux of the matter. If you want to implement a locomotive so realistically, it would be just as much of an effort as, for example, a highly realistic aircraft add-on for MSFS / X-Plane, etc. Let's just see how long PMDG needs to develop an aircraft addon and how expensive(!) the final product is! That is completely impossible for DTG alone. This can only be done by third-party developers, who would need years of experience(!!) on this platform (and years of development). In addition, such highly realistic trains / locomotives would be absolute niche products - I'm not sure if something like that would sell well enough.

    Which brings me to the last point... do we need such an extensive "simulation"?

    I think TSW is going a different way here and that's fine. It's not about simulating locomotives/trains down to the very last nut and bolt and computer chip, it's about getting the feel of what it's like to drive a particular train on a particular track. TSW gives a very good impression of what a PZB / LZB feels like, how different signalling systems basically work and what makes up the railway in different countries. In my opinion, TSW manages the balancing act between simulation and entertainment almost optimal, and you learn something about the countries, the railway traffic there and about technical specialities. For me, it is a wonderful, educational and entertaining game with simulation aspects. I love it as it is.
    In some ways TSW even can be much more than a mere simulation: it looks nice, creates immersion and allows other activities than train driving.

    For the German routes, I really only miss EBuLa and maybe a little more functionality in the MFDs. More simulation depth is not really necessary in my view, but more bug fixing(!!!) and a more stable and mature platform overall.

    Things like a simplified communication with the dispatcher would be a nice-to-have.

    The best thing would certainly be to develop a kind of open interface (SDK), to which other developers could "dock" with things like ZusiDisplay or passenger announcement systems. TSW is unfortunately still too restricted at the moment.
     
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2021
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  2. CK95

    CK95 Well-Known Member

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    Honestly I think DTG need to shy away from getting into this conversation, right now TSW is definitely a casual simulator, similar to Bus Simulator & On The Road (albeit more fleshed out).

    In the past when we’ve asked for things such as GSM-R, Ebula, TMS etc, basically onboard systems that massively increase the simulation aspect, we’ve been met with reasoning such as “doesn’t add much to the gameplay”.

    Other decisions such as making PIS automatic, no implementation of TrainFX, ultra sterile train interiors and so forth are huge contributors to pulling your immersion.

    The electrostar has now had 4 implementations, and the multiple screens don’t even have static images, let alone interactivity or dynamic screens, the only real progress we’ve seen made is the class 313 having a minimally functional GSM-R system.

    I’m not getting into the big picture as I could type 100 paragraphs on everything wrong with TSW’s approach to simulation, but at the bare minimum we should have trains that are fully equipped, because that’s really at the core of what most of us are here for, so it’s really disappointing, for example, to get into the ACS-64 and not even be able to access cruise control.

    It’s a huge shame that after 5 years, we still get trains that are full of blank screens & inoperable basic onboard systems, and that to me, is the biggest immersion breaker.
     
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  3. solicitr

    solicitr Well-Known Member

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    And in some cases less functionality than older ones: for example, all the way back in 2017 with CSX-HH we got functioning train length counters and EOTD displays- Sherman Hill at the end of 2021 has neither.
     
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  4. anarchy99

    anarchy99 Active Member

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    I would like to see this also
     
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  5. mariussoare_84

    mariussoare_84 Well-Known Member

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    I find it hypocritical for someone in Matt position to make this statement considering how many corners they cut in the making of a route. From not even bothering to introduce the right rolling stock to having half or less functional buttons and switches in the locomotive.
    The game doesn't even know about the temperature variable and the influence it has on engine cooling or performance or on adhesion.
     
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  6. solicitr

    solicitr Well-Known Member

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    After all, we'd all be happy to pay $200 for a route, right?
     
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  7. joerg.lange

    joerg.lange Well-Known Member

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    Yes, I have to admit that too... Leaving out systems like "cruise control" or length counters (for whatever reason) - that also leaves a bitter taste.

    The basic systems of a locomotive should be implemented. I can live with that, but it gives a feeling of sloppiness and this impression like: "we rather wanted to finish and sell the stuff..."

    As I wrote .... it needs a little more polishing here and there.
     
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  8. tallboy7648

    tallboy7648 Well-Known Member

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    Why would implemeting a route with basic controls like cruse control cost $200
     
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  9. tallboy7648

    tallboy7648 Well-Known Member

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    TSW is definitely a casual simulator. A sim-cade would probably be the appropriate term. Some functions like the ability to change destinations on some trains or having cruise control on the acs64 being inaccessible hurts immersion. My definition of a sim would be that the train operates as close to realistic as possible and that all of the systems or most systems on a train can be used and adding the correct trains on a route. We seen too many cases DTG adding the incorrect trains onto german routes.

    With the amount of corners dtg cut when making routes, it's no wonder why some may feel this isn't a simulator
     
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  10. CK95

    CK95 Well-Known Member

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    Yeah this is definitely the other irritation I have with this topic, but then the level of consistency is all over the place with alot of stuff in TSW.

    It’s actually more irritating because everytime we hear about a new feature in a DLC, Sam usually asks if that can be implemented in future DLC, Matt usually says yes, and then more often than not the feature isn’t there. Even PIS is all over the place.

    Look at the 313 GSM-R, it’s pretty simple, there’s a switch and then a screen which has a button, and Matt simply said that it’s a case of making the button do something, so why is it that after 5 years, all but one train has that feature? Did it really take all that time to program that?

    In fact another thing that comes to mind is the ‘B’ key, every DLC is a case of ‘is it a buzzer, a bell, a whistle? No it’s nothing this time’.

    If I’m honest, a lot of trains feel like there’s a very limited checklist for where a model needs to be, and then the devs working on it are allowed to do as little or as much after that point.

    I do have to agree with another user, in that Matt is being hypocritical with this subject, because one minute something is too complicated to do, the next it’s ‘doesn’t add anything to the gameplay’ and then it’s ‘simple’, but theres also this wild card where it’s been done before but just hasn’t again.

    Honestly it drives me crazy.
     
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  11. lukereynolds1

    lukereynolds1 Well-Known Member

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    When I first started playing, I would have definitely have classed it as a simulator. The learning curve was steep, and I was continuously referring to video tutorials, Facebook support, manuals etc. Yet, for me the learning and researching part was incredibly enjoyable, and the more I learnt, the more I enjoyed the simulation... up until a point.

    As you learn more, the more you understand, and the more you realise how much functionality is missing, while wanting an experience in greater depth. As a player, you reach a level where there is not much more to challenge you. Therefore, I believe it becomes more of a casual simulator, where you acknowledge the many missing aspects (and many, many bugs!) but still play for the enjoyment of trains, locos, railways etc.

    In the q and a session, much discussion was given to how to support new players into the game. Of course, this is hugely important. For me, it is also equally important to ensure experienced players receive appropriate challenge and fresh functionality to push the sim forwards. Small details, such as gsmr, which on the surface appear not to add much to the sim, actually do. The overall simulation experience is the sum of all its parts...even the very small parts.
     
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  12. trainsimplayer

    trainsimplayer Well-Known Member

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    It's a simulator, with aspects of a game.

    It's designed to be challenging, but also simple for new players. That's why safety systems are (usually) optional, as you can choose if you want the realism, or the calm drive.

    TSW simulates the feel of the train well, and gives you the experience of driving the trains - even if it's not 100% functional - and that's really what matters. To me, at least.

    I consider myself more of a "Railfan" than "enthusiast", though. I (I think, at least :)) know my stuff about railways (particularly Scotland and England & Wales) and the rolling stock. But things like GSM-R don't really matter to me - it's the experience.

    But that's just my opinion.
     
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  13. OldVern

    OldVern Well-Known Member

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    Simulation is a very subjective thing, though. Take Run 8 which is widely hailed as the pinnacle of US railroading. Well it may have the best physics, so far as the casual player might know, but there is no railway in the world where the driver has to pull up a signalling panel/despatcher board - while the train is in motion I might add - to set the route not only for his own train but all other trains on the route too.

    I personally am not fussed to have every circuit breaker fully functional, in fact Run 8 has a couple of shortcuts to set up the cab rather than having to mess about with Lead/Rail etc. etc. What I do appreciate is as close to life as possible replication of the physics, sight and sound of what I'm driving. Accurate reproduction of the signalling systems is also important, with an option to switch off when required.

    In that respect TSW is getting there, hopefully moving beyond the driving uphill in Notch 2 with a 6000 ton train syndrome that plagued TS. To me the ability to have the timetable for a complete days operations available (current save game issues notwithstanding) is a huge bonus over any of the other sims.
     
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  14. Inkar

    Inkar Well-Known Member

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    For sure "cruise control" should be in the list of things a route / loco DLC can't ship without if the real loco has it.
     
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  15. Maik Goltz

    Maik Goltz Well-Known Member

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    Cruise control is not even a pure aspect of simulation, it is just logic and could be implemented in each loco that needs it. BUT it is quite time consuming to do it, dependent on the loco/train itself. There is no copy/paste to do it. You have to do it basically from scratch for every train again if it should work correctly. And as we know, time is a rare thing often.

    On the "simulation" aspect. I think most people do understand a different thing about simulation. For me, simulation is physics in the first place when it comes to vehicles (cars, trains, plains, ships, space ships, breads^^ .... doesn't really matter at all). And believe me when i say TSW does a hell lot of simulation stuff quite accurately (i might know it, cuz i work with that stuff a lot i guess...). What others think of "simulation" is gameplay-gimmick to me. Working radios, doing the guard work, working blinds, doors, whatever ... you name it. That is all just gimmick. And it is often quite hard to implement yet.

    What the Goltz want to say with it.... calling TSW an arcade is wrong, because arcades are often those games that use simplified physics simulation to gain the ability to play it for everyone and not only enthusiasts. Often done on car based games. TSW and even TS is really not an arcade in that respect. What you all miss are the other gimmick stuff that are not really related to a simulation.
     
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2021
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  16. Clumsy Pacer

    Clumsy Pacer Well-Known Member

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    Exactly.

    If it were purely a game that isn't trying to be a simulator, it wouldn't have something like Simugraph behind it. It wouldn't even have safety systems (maybe a very basic one like AWS at a push); why would they bother implementing a full, highly realistic, timetable like the one in London-Brighton? Would it even have real world routes in it?
    I've played an actual arcade-style train simulator on my phone, it was clearly a game with the word "simulator" in the title (I can't remember the name though, all I remember were 2D graphics that I think were in the shape of a train). It was absolute horse manure, I felt more like I was in control of an electric train set, not an actual train - it had a single handle, move it one way the train goes faster, move it the other the train goes slower.

    TS1 has GSM-R (and other cab radios) on AP stock, all it does is light up and go beep - at least in TSW you can actually use it for something (in this case contact dispatcher), all it needs is to allow you to input the headcode and signal number, and already GSM-R has better implementation than TS1 in my eyes. I imagine things like Ebula are simply waiting for their time.

    The fact you're all constantly banging on about manuals pretty much says that this is a sim - if it were an arcade-style game, why would you need a manual? Maybe a quick cheat sheets with the controls on but that's it.
     
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  17. joerg.lange

    joerg.lange Well-Known Member

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    I agree with you about the gimmick-stuff. Otherwise simulation is not just physics. Physics is only one part. If we talk about simulations for training purposes, its all about the exact implementation of the technical systems (including their dependencies), the controls and, above all, the true to original reaction of the controls. Physics not only as "driving physics" but also the physically correct behaviour of gases and liquids used within the technical systems (you meant this too, I guess? not only the driving physics).

    And then it also depends on what is to be simulated or trained. Are we talking about procedural trainers? Or system trainers (that human-machine-interface-stuff)... Thats were all this fancy MFDs / displays / gauges come into play...

    I agree, "Simulation" means something different to everyone. Usually it is understood to be a mixture of sufficiently good physics (often limited to the motion of the object) and acceptable system depth. The TSW does the former well - I agree. For the latter, there often seems to be a lack of time for implementation (I know, it's a lot of work. I have implemented many systems for my simulator myself). I suspect that a high system depth therefore makes no economic sense for TSW.
     
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  18. roysto25

    roysto25 Active Member

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    I agree with Maik. Such things as working radios are mostly bling. What should always be present are those physical things which are necessary for correct train operation - such as EOT, train length counters, cruise control, safety systems, interlocks etc - combined with accurate physics and accurate as possible sounds. Things such as Ebula would be nice, but, given most users systems, effectively would have to be set up as pop-outs to be readable in the cab. So to make a dramatic difference all (!) that is necessary is to stop releasing crippled cabs and do better on the QA (and fix release) side. Unfortunately, all this is driven by keeping the revenue stream going, balancing 3 platform needs and hitting financial targets.
     
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  19. mariussoare_84

    mariussoare_84 Well-Known Member

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    I too don't care much about most of the elements mentioned there as the game is about driving the train and providing a real feel of an Engineer's experience, but the weather is an essential part of a proper simulation. It also adds a lot to the wow factor of a game so having proper weather is like getting two rabbits with one stone (points for style and functionality).

    I respect your work a lot. I think saying the weather is a gimmick just because it's hard to get right it's like saying I don't like the latest iPhone/Samsung because I can't afford it.

    Weather influences physics and if you are focused on this to like the game then you can't ignore its role. It's why all pilots, engineers, athletes etc train in harsh weather too and not only when it's sunny.

    The game has simulation elements but it is quite focused on keeping happy the console players. That limits a lot of the resources available to properly simulate weather and lighting just to name two.
     
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  20. chieflongshin

    chieflongshin Well-Known Member

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    Spot on with this. I loved educating myself how to learn pzb, how to drive with no hud. I’m limited now what to learn. That’s the lure for me. I really wish the mfds had more scope to tinker.

    The German brake switches on the wagons, a lovely touch covered by maybe 3mins of dialect on a preview stream. The regen brakes on the 465, again similar. I want to learn in the sim the impact of these things, these could form demonstrated tutorials allowing us to see what happens in mode o, u, switches flicked etc.

    It’s new additions under utilised.
     
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2021
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  21. davidh0501

    davidh0501 Well-Known Member

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    It’s never a case of either or.
    If tsw2 ever became a hardcore simulator it’s user base would collapse and the price of the software beyond most peoples budgets.
    When you build an a320 home cockpit you are less than one percent of flight sim players and your expectations will probably never be satisfied.
    Plus it’s totally unconvincing when I want to fly my cessna…
    I wonder how many have created a locomotive cab. I know there have been a couple started.

    As it is, I think the current game/simulation strikes a good balance.
    Sometimes I want to follow the manual and other times just grip it and rip it.
    Probably more representative of the user base.
     
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  22. JBViper

    JBViper Well-Known Member

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    TSW is improving from the beginning. For the record, 2 years ago, in TSW 2020, wheel spin was non-existent... And on this point, some casual players are complaining today!
    Personally, I like cold starts, it's very immersive thanks to TSW so I do the tasks at the start of the depots for example, I turn everything off and go. But some other players are not interested, and just want to drive.
    Developers are obliged to put a cursor to please the greatest number and I imagine that sometimes the choice is difficult for them.
     
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  23. Maik Goltz

    Maik Goltz Well-Known Member

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    Sorry, there is a typo in my post. I didn't wanted to say "weather" but "whatever". And yes, you are right. The weather is a part of the physics simulation too but a really hard to do one at all. I'm not sure how deep it is implemented yet. But there is some influence for sure. Someone mentioned that the temperature does not matter, but that is wrong, the temps do matter at some points when it is used correctly. There is a cooling component for the diesel engines and that takes the temps in account as i know. But that is something too deep in the systems no one would care about it at least.
     
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  24. FD1003

    FD1003 Well-Known Member

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    There is no official boundary between what here people call a "simulator" and a "game", the only simulator is the one used to train real drivers, pilots, etc... what we can be talking about is a realistic game, intended for entertaiment.

    How accurate, and what's important to make a game realistic enough to draw the line between "simulator" and "game" is IMO a bit pointless, and extremely subjective. For example, I can argue that TSW is the most realistic train simulator because the good graphics make it so that driving a route from A to B looks the most real, and ZuSi is arcade because it looks nothing like real life, and, while it would go against the "general consensus" you can't prove that I'm wrong.

    So, is TSW realistic enough to be considered a "Simulator Game", defined as:" a simulation game attempts to copy various activities from real life in the form of a game for various purposes such as training, analysis, prediction, or simply entertainment."? In my opinion yes it does, the activity of driving a train seems to be (I'm not a real life train driver) pretty accurate if you follow real procedures and rules, TSW is definitely not an arcade game IMO.

    So, what is important to me to consider this game realistic enough, this is my list from most to least important

    • Physics
    • Systems, and ability to follow real life procedures
    • Graphics and Sound
    And while I think that overall TSW manages to be realistic enough, there are glaring omissions, which depend from DLC to DLC and some core stuff missing.

    --Physics, Class 150, BR204 and the old Traxx for example are definitely not good enough, you can't drive the TSW Class 150 and claim you are having a realistic experience.

    --Systems, and ability to follow real life procedures, this is the area where TSW is the most lacklustre compared to other "simulators" such as ZuSi, Run8 or even high end add-ons for TS. The SD70ACe is a prime example, lacking almost all functionalities in the MFD, the ACS-64 doesn't have cruise control, no train has any in-depth train management system (except the Class 66 and maybe the BR187), we can't change the destination using a code, the state we often find the train is not realistic given the context (i.e. the TGV stopped at Avignon is almost cold and dark), and some essential functionalities such as DPU controls (which are needed IRL to not overload the couplings) are missing, and can be replaced by operating controls from outside the cab window (not very realistic). Other glaring omissions are the missing brake dials which should be in the right-hand screens in both BR406 and BR403 (if one of those units had these indications INOP they wouldn't be able to be in service), and the lack of essential documentation, such as EBuLa or Buchfahrplan. Other issues such as lack of TPWS in british route, lack of the blinking yellows to indicate a diversion or temporary speed limit, make the thing feel less "real". And let's not mention any american safety system...

    --Graphics and Sounds are good, apart from the usual suspects, such as the BR187 and BR112.

    Are the above problems enough for me to consider this game "arcade"? No. Might it be different for other people, sure.
     
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2021
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  25. graham.haddon

    graham.haddon Member

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    With regards to wheel slip. It doesnt work properly in some of the locos. Older British locos like the Class 37 have wheel slip protection which is not modelled correctly in the simulation. I am sure Simugraph is capable of it but it has not been implemented yet. If you watch this AP video from about 7.22 you will see what I mean:
    But Physics is by far and away the most important thing followed closely behind by accurate signalling. Physics is getting really good in most of the locos. Particualy ones developed by TSG, and the most recent offerings. I am very much looking forward to the new tilting train.

    German routes have signalling very well modelled but UK signalling is requiring some work. Approach release control to diverging routes off main lines with speed reductions is a big one. East Coastway and Brighton Main line is a good example. Occasionally in BML you will be diverged off down a different platform with a speed reduction and you aren't told by the signals until the last moment. Correct me if I am wrong but I think on East Coastway the approach to the Seaford branch should have some kind of approach control. I think the limit drops from 70 to 40. I know drivers should know where they are going but I think it should be better implemented. Forgive me but there is a papragraph from a Wikipedia article that describes what I am talking about better than I am doing:

    Approach control

    At certain locations such as the final signal on approach to a terminus station or at a diverging route requiring a large speed reduction, approach release may be used. The driver will be "checked down" with a normal signalling sequence (green, double yellow, yellow for a four-aspect area) and the red signal clears when it is proven that the approaching train must have slowed to an appropriate speed for the conditions ahead. Typically for low speed junctions (e.g. 25 mph (40 km/h) crossover on a 90 mph (140 km/h) line), the train will be brought down to nearly standing at the signal before it clears. Approach control is achieved by maintaining the signal at danger until the approach track circuit has been occupied for a specified period of time. After the track circuit has been occupied for the specified period of time, the signal is allowed to "step-up" to the highest available aspect and display the junction indicator where applicable. The length of time required varies on the design of the installation.

    Where a junction indicator is used an additional safety precaution ensures that failure of the indicator does not cause an irregular or mutilated display to appear. This can be observed in practice – at Bescot Stadium northbound the signal, when cleared for the divergence for Walsall-bound trains, shows the junction-indicator with a red aspect for 2–3 seconds before the main aspect clears – this is whilst the interlocking proves sufficient elements of the junction-indicator are lit before clearing the main aspect. With route relay interlocking the proving circuitry for the junction indicator is housed locally. With a solid state or computerised signalling this proof has to pass to the main interlocking, hence the additional delay in proving that the junction indicator is lit prior to clearing the main signal.

    It is implemented properly on Northern Transpennine out of Manchester but it may have something to do with the fact that all trains are diverged off to the right at 20mph down from 40mph I think it is.

    Thanks.
     
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  26. Tank621

    Tank621 Well-Known Member

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    Well, for the sake of throwing my opinion into the ring, yes.

    The game sets out to imitate a real life process and therefore is a simulation. How, successfully it manages that is up to you.

    As a veteran of sim racing forums and volunteer moderator for the official forums and discord server for one franchise, the sim vs arcade debate is one I am very familiar with. In that time I've learned that everyone's definition of a simulator is different and different aspects matter more to different people. The dividing point between simulator and simcade is next to impossible to define due to the variety of perspectives.

    In all, whilst an interesting discussion the definition makes little difference to game itself.

    That being said, I think there are many people who get really hung up on whether or not a game is a sim. I've seen many people use simcade as a derogatory term, an easy way to brandish something they don't like as inherently inferior because it isn't a 'real' sim. It's a strange thing to see people acting so elitest because their favourite game is a real 'hardcore' simulator unlike another franchise or take offense that their favourite game could be called anything less than a simulator.

    In terms of TSW I have next to no experience of trains beyond that of a passenger and an enthusiast so I have next to no informed idea of what is accurate or not. But as the game attempts to replicate a real life process and is marketed as a simulator I am perfectly happy to refer to it as such. In my mind the real difference between simulator and an arcade game is nothing more than intention.

    Edit: apologies for any spelling or grammatical errors
     
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2021
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  27. dhekelian

    dhekelian Well-Known Member

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    This^^. I watched a youtube video where a youtuber went to a proper testing facility in England where he was to use an industry simulator. The vid is only a couple of years old so it is up to date. Graphics wise TSW2 is great compared to the real sim, the look of the trains and the rest holds up fine even better but actually driving?

    In this video he was coming in to Paddington but the difference here was the amount of time he spent talking to the signaller. I don't see 'Guards' or the 'signaller' as a gimmick I see them as a vital part of driving a train safely if that is DTG's goal. For example the missing guard on the recent 38 stock was huge opportunity missed imo and if it had it I believe it would've sold a lot more.

    So like Tallboy7648 says, it is more 'Sim-Cade' than anything else albeit not for the same reasons. For me if they introduced guards/signallers then that would start to tip the balance.
     
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  28. mariussoare_84

    mariussoare_84 Well-Known Member

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    Do you know why this is a thing now? Because more and more people don't know what definitions of words and dictionaries are. Ask a pupil and most likely they've never seen one nor know what it serves for. This is one of the consequences of evolving the way we did.

    Thus, a simulation according to the dictionary is something very complex, true to life, and by that, this game is not a simulation.
    This is why in a trial, the law establishes the guilt and the sentence and not what I or you think of the situation.
     
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  29. OldVern

    OldVern Well-Known Member

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    One simulation element which is lacking and not just in TSW is randomness. Whether it’s a signal failure, being stopped and cautioned for sheep on the line, weave from fast to slow line or vice versa. Your train could be a unit or loco in poor condition or develop a loss of power en route. These are all things that can and do happen frequently in the real world, it’s not always a straight shot from A to B. When I play SimSig that will throw all manner of problems at you, if you select a higher difficulty level.

    Professional simulators are designed to throw a curved ball at users, whether flight or train sim to see how the candidate copes with the unexpected. I’m not saying every journey on TSW should be a voyage into mayhem, but it would add to the realism.
     
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  30. stujoy

    stujoy Well-Known Member

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    I’m with Matt on this. I don’t get why people don’t think it’s a simulator and get a bit annoyed when anyone calls it an arcade game as an alternative. Of course it is a simulator, it’s clearly simulating the major aspects of driving several types of trains in many real world railway lines. It simulates them quite accurately and with a lot of detail. Is it like the simulators that they use to train airline pilots to fly real trains? No, of course not, don’t be silly. It’s a smaller scale consumer product, but is still a simulator. It’s just it is used for a different purpose, entertainment. The low prices of the content reflects that.

    Despite it clearly being a simulator it is also a video game. It has extra helpers for ordinary untrained people to be able to pretend they are train drivers and a scoring system to add tracking and feedback and to make it fun. There are other things that add to the video game experience that are bolted on to the simulator aspect of it for those who wish to partake in them. They are separate from the main simulator focus or the game and do not interfere with it if that is the player’s wish.
     
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  31. chieflongshin

    chieflongshin Well-Known Member

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    I’ve suggested about random failures and issues but it’s deemed as unenjoyable not being able to complete a route. I get that but as you said there could be random radio chatter, things to watch online. 30-40 random occurrences that maybe drop in to 1 out of every 20 times you play for example would add variety. I’m sure there are things like stuck gates, animals on line that you actually see as you get close (and not just bleating static assets) would all add to the game
     
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  32. FD1003

    FD1003 Well-Known Member

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    No game intended for general use and entertainment is... not even iRacing or Zusi
     
  33. mariussoare_84

    mariussoare_84 Well-Known Member

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    And that is how things should be for security reasons!
    Microsoft needs a bit of a spanking to adhere to a much lower level of simulation in order to discourage potential terrorists to use its software as it sadly happened several times with deadly consequences.
     
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  34. BR125

    BR125 Well-Known Member

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    it is a game to appeal to as broad a audience as possible, it lacks any sort of real learning curve for a reason - I wouldnt even put simulation in the equation.
     
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  35. Crosstie

    Crosstie Well-Known Member

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    I think MP has opened a can of worms here, not to say Pandora's Box. Many of us were expecting a true simulator back when TSW was launched. Heavy Haul seemed to reinforce the idea. But since then we have suffered from too much gimmickry in the form of treasure hunting, train painting etc. And the game has not progressed much technically and feature wise, in my view. In addition, the embarrassing lack of QA has robbed us of important features in some routes, such as cruise control and DP controls. The latest consoles and many pc's are capable of much more than is being asked of them, but DTG seem unable to create a stable and reliable game, especially for consoles. I'm not talking bugs here, those are inevitable, I'm talking stability.

    I personally choose to approach TSW as a simulator because that's the way I want to play, but then I inevitably discover its limitations, particularly the lighting issue, which prevents me from playing many routes after dark and the permanent beta of Raildriver, which is most frustrating.

    We know that DTG is capable of producing excellent simulation, there are flashes of it in Dresden, Boston and LC, for example. But they cannot sustain it consistently. That's why every new route or loco announcement is followed by all the pre-release trepidation that we are all too familiar with. And it's why Heavy Haul/ Sand Patch is still the closest to a simulator that we have to play with in my view and I frequently go back to it.
     
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2021
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  36. Jpantera

    Jpantera Well-Known Member

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    Zusi the only commercial driving one that does this to my knowledge. The TOC simulators all have random events for driver training purposes as a true simulation should.
     
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  37. geloxo

    geloxo Well-Known Member

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    In plain words, while the sales policy is to stay in the 20€ range per DLC this won´t change too much. Either they open the market to more developers with a different approach or the status quo won´t change in terms of complexity and quality. I have an example from MSFS: recently PMDG released their DC-6 and the sales broke all expectations by far. This is a super realistic airplane (tier 1 in simulation) and was sold at 60€, while the average price as per Microsoft policy is around 20€ per plane. PMDG acknowledged that they sold more DC-6s than many of their other products for previous platforms.

    Is not what you understand about how market should be but how you adapt to the market what makes the difference. I´m sure many simmers will be attracted by a more complex and refined simulator if this is placed on the table. Remember this is not a casual hobby but a hobby of enthusiasts that in many cases love trains since their childhood. People that don´t want to spend more money can just skip some of the DLCs.

    Currently game has a good base and potential to improve but some things need some rework. People is tired of bugs, cutting corners and rushed things. On the other hand for a proper simulation you need to feel that you can do many things and have freedom to use the playground to its best. Now this is quite limited as you have to stick to the services or design your own with a tedious tool that forces you to give up to create anything complex. Sounds, graphical appearance and driving realism is also really important (the three of them). It´s 2021 and many things can be done even with the Unreal Engine itself. The engine has improved but it still looks from ages ago compared to the current quality standards from the games market.

    As of today I have almost all DLCs so I like the game but I would like to have a better game as well as I dedicate quite a lot time to play it. Now reality is that Flight Simulator has set new horizons in terms of many things like quality and complexity (full of bugs like hell as well) and this can´t be ignored. People won´t expect less in the next years.

    Cheers
     
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2021
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  38. Tank621

    Tank621 Well-Known Member

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    The historian in me is compelled to disagree (I'll overlook the sweeping statement that school pupils don't know what a dictionary is), discussion on definitions is as important a part of historiography as the discussion on the sibject itself. Even the word history itself is discussed at great length (for example E.H. Carr's What is History?).

    It is easy to point at a dictionary and say 'this is the definition' but that overlooks the fact that there is no single definitive dictionary, there are several and not all have the same definition for a word. Even within the same publisher there are often discrepancies. That's not even considering regional and national variances.

    More importantly dictionaries are not perfect, they are written by people and is therefore an interpretation. Besides, dictionaries are not a prescription of how language must be used but a representation of how it is being used. Quite simply, the dictionary does not dictate how language is used, the use of language dictates how the dictionary is written.
     
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2021
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  39. dhekelian

    dhekelian Well-Known Member

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    Crosstie brings up an excellent point, the lighting or lack of it. After a certain time you cannot drive any trains with any accuracy as it is too dark. The stations themselves are so dimly lit. Them sort of things happen in 'arcade' games no?
     
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  40. Tank621

    Tank621 Well-Known Member

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    You and I have very different interpretations of 'simulator' if you think that a flawed lighting system constitutes a failure to be a sim.
     
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  41. Disintegration7

    Disintegration7 Well-Known Member

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    So is the DLC price dictated by DTG for 3rd-party devs? E.g. could JustTrains or Rivet or whoever charge $60 for a really exceptional product if they chose to, or is it strictly forbidden?

    I would definitely be willing to pay more for 3rd-party DLC if the quality was commensurate.

    I realize it isn't commercially viable for DTG's first-party stuff.
     
  42. flyingpaul

    flyingpaul Member

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    For me, that's actually a very, propably the most, important point. It would increase the attention we have to give to the game immensely. At the moment we know that almost every service, especially passenger services, but sadly also freight services, will be green light the whole way. With random events, this would change.
    And I can't understand the fear from DTG of implementing this feature, together with random weather (and besides multiplayer) it's the most wanted feature, according to their last survey.
    (To come back to the ETS 2 example, the random events implemented by SCS increased the fun significantly for me).
     
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  43. Disintegration7

    Disintegration7 Well-Known Member

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    Counterpoint: The ATS/ETS truck sims got a major lighting upgrade in 2021, which is fantastic, IMO, and TSW should make lighting upgrades a priority, but i don't think anyone would argue that they faithfully simulate the physics of driving big rigs. "The maps aren't even to scale", a purist might complain....

    My main point is you can argue the definition all day long but everyone's priorities are different, and even within the same product there are features that come and go over time (e.g. new night-time lighting on Dresden-Riesa but seemingly never to be seen again).
     
  44. Clumsy Pacer

    Clumsy Pacer Well-Known Member

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    Even with the word 'almost', that's not true, there are loads of services with yellow and red lights on various routes.

    Probably because it's completely untestable. The second a random event throws up a bug or glitch or prevents a service being completable, there'll be many threads here questioning the competence of the QA team.
     
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  45. Disintegration7

    Disintegration7 Well-Known Member

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    Totally agree about there being plenty of reds/yellows out there- obviously it varies by route, but still. Anything that causes a trophy/achievement to possibly not work will cause thousands of heads to simultaneously explode, so i understand the fear a bit lol.

    I don't care about that stuff but a LOT of the fanbase DO care, so...
     
  46. OldVern

    OldVern Well-Known Member

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    A few points arising...
    1 The DC6 for MSFS was probably lapped up because it's one of the few airliner payware add ons that have made it to the platform, even though it's well over a year old now. The sim has suffered from a massive amount of providers making scenery or airport enhancements but very little in the way of passenger carrying aircraft (no 727, DC10, L1011 etc etc). None of the great (and not so great) from FS9 or FSX has made an appearance, not even Just Flight have come through with anything. And at £60 as opposed to the expected £120 for their 737, no doubt a few jumped in and bought on reflex. Me? Sorry still too rich for my tastes. Anyhow this is not the place to discuss MSFS and the dearth of add ons so back to TSW as a simulation...

    2. Random events - well yes these have been discussed and the possible effect on the timetable made apparent (though BML to some extent manages that without any help). However I maintain it is a feature that must come to increase the simulation aspect and the game code needs to be written to dynamically adjust the effect of disruption - run AI trains fast or turn short; offer the player the same options.

    3. The AP system and some of its silliness - like rewarding you for using the throttle and brake despite being the umpteenth time on the traction - is a distraction and may well be what has led some of those looking in to conclude it's an arcade game. Likewise the poster placing or repairing lineside fencing. That is not a train driver's job and should be quietly dropped at some stage.
     
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  47. mariussoare_84

    mariussoare_84 Well-Known Member

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    Making a rule of what is in fact an exception is far from ideal and dangerous alike. Simulation is not one of those words that have grey areas as other words might thus in multiple dictionaries it has the same meaning.
    It means a model of a real-life activity replicated for training, science etc No question marks here.

    I agree with you, life isn't and shouldn't be seen as black or white, but if we put it all under a question mark where do we draw the line? Sometimes we just have to keep it simple and stop trying to give our variant to everything.
     
  48. trainsimplayer

    trainsimplayer Well-Known Member

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    I disagree, yes, it's not a train driver's job, but if I'm spawned in on foot - why not? Or if I'm a few minutes early to a station, I can go a wander and have a look for collectables. It doesn't impact the train driving/simulation whatsoever, unless you get out the cab for a collectable and then end up running late, but then that's on the player.

    It's just a little thing to do it you want to - if you don't want to, don't bother. I don't see why DTG shouldn't keep them.
     
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  49. grob-e

    grob-e Well-Known Member

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    It depends to what purpose a simulator is being made. If you want a professional simulator for training purposes, well, that will cost lots of money, as TOCs pay a couple thousand $ or € for it. THat's an amount of money I guess no one here on the forums can afford to spend.

    Otherwise even Bombardier, Siemens or Alstom use some kind of simulation software while developing new trains, so who would call this software not being a simulation, but a game, because of a missing guard mode, questionable lighting, missing random events...

    Some months ago, there was someone posting a quite long post of a scientific survey about the braking of german rolling stock in this software. If TSW wouldn't be a simulator, and would have returned some random, fuzzy logic results in this survey, this post wouldn't have been possible. Just because the most part of the simulation isn't really visible for the users, doesn't mean there isn't any simulation going on. You can do quite some interesting experiments with TSW, even if it's just something like "How many GP-38 are needed to get 6000 tons of coal up the Spessart-Rampe". And especially because you can do this experiments, and TSW returns a quite near to reality value, it is definitely a simulator, instead of not being a simulator, because there have never been GP-38s on the Spessart-Rampe.
     
  50. Tank621

    Tank621 Well-Known Member

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    You say that but it is not strictly true, here are three dictionaries, each with more than one definition of 'simulation', there are similarities yes, but they are not exact, and some of these definitions can be applied here, but others cannot. Linguistics is an inherently grey area, and as much as that can be unsatisfying, we should never forget that humans are imperfect beings and so language, a human construct, is likewise imperfect.

    Collins Dictionary:
    Dictionary.com:
    • Imitation or enactment, as of something anticipated or in testing.
    • Feigning an assumption or imitation of a particular appearance or form.
    • The representation of the behavior or characteristics of one system through the use of another system, especially a computer program designed for the purpose.
    Oxford Languages (by Oxford University):
    • Imitation of a situation or process.
    • The action of pretending; deception.
    • The production of a computer model of something, especially for the purpose of study.
    Edit: some link remnants remain from the ol' copy paste job
     
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2021
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