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Why Are We Left In The Dark?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by The7Train, Dec 1, 2018.

  1. The7Train

    The7Train Member

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    Hello,

    It has been a while now since the last TSW editor article and numerous questions about it have gone un-answered. This isn't the first time either, there is a lot of quiteness from DTG about multiple bug issues with NEC and LIRR's DLC's and we haven't been told that DTG is aware of the problem and that they are fixing it. What's the deal? We are customers and we should be aware on what's going on, this is poor customer service.
     
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2018
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  2. Fabrizio520

    Fabrizio520 Active Member

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    Most likely, DTG is continuing to develop an editor and is slowly trying to correct the existing bugs. The reason for the lack of communication remains a mystery. But it is certainly a well-designed strategy by DTG.
    For any company, a direct line with users is not always a positive thing.;)
     
  3. Anthony Pecoraro

    Anthony Pecoraro Well-Known Member

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    DTG is a small company, things take time.
     
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  4. londonmidland

    londonmidland Well-Known Member

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    Regardless of how big or small a company is, I think communication is one of the most important things. It gives reassurance and shows the company is still active with things we can’t see.
     
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  5. The7Train

    The7Train Member

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    ^This. How do we do they arent going to abandon LIRR like how they did with NEC?
     
  6. Puffing Nora

    Puffing Nora Guest

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  7. Medellinexpat

    Medellinexpat Well-Known Member

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    If you hunt around on the net (through sites like Glassdoor) you'll find photos from Dovetail Group. One of them has a picture of a motivational message they have on the wall. It was posted as part of their photos for 'Our office Christmas Elf Day'. The message

    'Our Vision The Number 1 Simulation Entertainment Group In the World'

    For everyone who who becomes an apologist for them I'll suggest that their vision is likely to stay that - a vision - unless there's some radical change.

    If you're a small company - don't overreach. Launching three new games (FSW, TSW and the new Fishing Game) on around the same time might be described as a classic business error if they're a 'small company'. Equally, I think people misrepresent DTG - at least on the TS1 franchise. More and more of the stuff that market they're the publisher not the developer. If they are a 'small company' it's because a lot of their product is being bought in rather than developed themselves. Leverage that into being #1 isn't going to happen.

    Now whether the problem is the employees is a debatable question although some - Project Managers or Product Managers in particular - should be trying to stop bug ridden DLC getting out. If it's not ready - if it needs another two weeks it's not an easy message to take to Management - but take it to them. As soon as your bug ridden DLC hits the streets the forums will make sure everyone knows that it has problems and it will limit your sales. Experiment - release one DLC with longer development times and potentially a bigger budget. See how that performs in the market against your 'normal' releases. If you have to stick a 'Pro' label on it and charge $10 more if it takes more time and money to produce a quality product. Use some of the additional money to support an after release bug fix and update cycle. You never know comments might be more positive.

    Bottom line, if you intend to be #1 then Quality is going to be a key factor. Or do the Board of DTG believe that bug ridden, never fixed DLCs with poor customer feedback is the path to their vision? Do they really believe that a numbers game in terms of releases is the solution?
     
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  8. AlexNL

    AlexNL Active Member

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    Dovetail Games are a relatively small company and while they do seem to care about their community, communications have always been pretty much a one-way street. Priority is given to developing new content for their games, and once content is out they'll move onto the next piece of content - a concept known as the 'Dovetail flywheel'. It doesn't necessarily mean that issues never get fixed, but they certainly don't get fixed soon.

    Some bugs in Great Western Express were fixed rather quickly, but there are many which still haven't been fixed more than a year after the DLC was released. Something similar goes for Rapid Transit: there are issues with the PZB signalling system (which have been acknowledged by DTG) but DTG have also stated that they do not have the resources to fix the problems.

    If you have bought LIRR and have encountered an issue, by all means - report it through their support site. Things will get logged and might get fixed, eventually. Just don't expect customer care to be DTG's #1 priority, because it isn't.
     
  9. The7Train

    The7Train Member

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    Look, I wouldn't care so much if the editor was out because then I would fix the route myself in under an hour.
     
  10. Puffing Nora

    Puffing Nora Guest

    And this is why I havent bought a dlc since wsr. If communication was good, clear, realistic, and gave a roadmap based on something achievable, then I probably would have.
    Instead i see zero reason to pay for something that is almost certain to be a dead, lifeless, buggy mess which may or may not get fixed eventually..
    Kind of makes you wonder why they even bothered to hire a communications guy. Perhaps they didnt have a strategy for that either..
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 1, 2018
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  11. Anthony Pecoraro

    Anthony Pecoraro Well-Known Member

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    You can’t edit existing routes.
     
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  12. The7Train

    The7Train Member

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    I still could rebuild it.
     
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  13. Medellinexpat

    Medellinexpat Well-Known Member

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    AlexNL as I understand Dovetail's 'Flywheel' it's a concept where a game is created (say TSW) and then content is created for it endlessly. It's hardly a unique concept - you'd only have to think of other simulation games like FSX. There is nothing in that concept, as I'd understand it, that once a DLC is built the sole priority is then to move onto the next one. Simplistically it's a base game, that you then develop as a franchise and continue to build new content to use in the game. There's nothing in that concept that says that bugs in any new DLC can't be fixed quickly or can't be developed competently.

    I'd argue that there's nothing in that concept about 'priority'. The fact that DTG might only focus on churning out new DLC in an attempt to try to maximize revenues and never go back and apply resources to fixing bugs in earlier work is generally known as 'taking the proverbial out of your customer base' concept.
     
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  14. 410nick

    410nick Member

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    You guys might want to take a look at this... Screenshot_20181201-183450_Samsung Internet.jpg Screenshot_20181201-183513_Samsung Internet.jpg Screenshot_20181201-183527_Samsung Internet.jpg Screenshot_20181201-183540_Samsung Internet.jpg
     
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  15. The7Train

    The7Train Member

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  16. Gascan

    Gascan Active Member

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    That review captures the essence of how I imagined DFG exquisitely.
     
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  17. _Crash_

    _Crash_ New Member

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    Wow indeed. All the negative comments DTG get are finally proven to be correct.

    I hope everyone in this community sees the above posts.

    I wish DTG had some real competition, to kick them up the behind.
     
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  18. The7Train

    The7Train Member

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    I've been wanting to work for DTG for some time now to work on American content to more sure it's acceptable and accurate, but after what I just saw...I'm not sure anymore.
     
  19. StratPlayer62

    StratPlayer62 Well-Known Member

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    Yea I agree.

    I'm saying this not as an insult in any way, but to try and help you out. You really are going overboard in your defense of DTG, and you are making yourself look very naive. Being a small company is in NO WAY an excuse to have poor communication. I run my own business, I have zero employees, I'm as small of a company as you can get. I ALWAYS make sure that I communicate with all of my customers before I stop working for the day, no matter how long of a day I have to put in. My business phone is always ringing, and my customers are happy. I turn down work on a regular basis because I don't want to overload myself and not be able to give a customer the attention they deserve, I would rather turn down a job rather than give a customer poor service. DTG needs to learn to do less, but do it better.
     
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  20. cActUsjUiCe

    cActUsjUiCe Well-Known Member

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    Given how recent that employee review of DTG was, I'm wondering who it was and when they left the company. That review adds a lot of weight to the community's argument that DTG needs a lot of improvement. It's sad that the Chief People Officer only had that generic "Thanks for the review. I'd be happy to talk about this with you" response. I expected something a little more detailed.

    It doesn't take much time to regularly engage the community and keep them up to date on what's going on. Matt Peddlesden does it in an unofficial capacity through the Train Sim Community Discord, but that's about it. Funny thing is that it's not even his job to regularly engage the community! He goes above and beyond his job duties because he cares about the project and the community that supports it. I wish the rest of the company had that kind of passion.

    I'm hoping that the release of the editor will turn things about a bit.
     
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  21. hightower

    hightower Well-Known Member

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    There’s no need to downvote Anthony on this one. Sadly he’s absolutely right...as it stands you will not be able to edit DTG produced routes due to the way they’re packaged. They’re supposedly trying to figure out a way to allow it, but they say it’s more to do with UE4 than it is a restriction they’ve imposed.

    I find Anthony’s habit of relentlessly flinging himself under the DTG bus a bit hard to take, but don’t always shoot the messenger, this time he’s right!
     
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  22. hightower

    hightower Well-Known Member

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    ps That review has to be bang on the money, because from a customer’s perspective that is exactly how it comes across. It is bourne out in their products, in fact it’s written all over them.

    Maybe it’s time the ‘community’ approached the venture capitalists who invested in DTG. They want a return on their investment, I wonder if they’re getting it?
     
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2018
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  23. The7Train

    The7Train Member

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    Either release something with good quality or don't release it at all. It's that simple.
     
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  24. StratPlayer62

    StratPlayer62 Well-Known Member

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    Probably the only thing that will turn DTG around is if people stop buying their products, sadly it seems they do not listen to anyone here. If that happens I just hope they have enough cash in reserve to start doing things properly before they go under. I know I have slowed down quite a bit in my purchases, I think I've done 1 in the last year?

    There was a survey in one one of the last sale emails sent out about TSW, I voiced my opinion quite plainly there, I encourage others to do so also.
     
  25. Fabrizio520

    Fabrizio520 Active Member

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    Beyond all the bugs and things that do not go in TSW, I hope the editor will soon arrive soon and that DTG will continue to develop TSW. Personally more I play at TSW and more I find it wonderful.
     
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  26. StratPlayer62

    StratPlayer62 Well-Known Member

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    For the most part I do find TSW good, there are some very obvious problems that we all know about. The 2 main reasons I pretty much don't play it is because of lack of RailDriver support, once you get used to a RailDriver using a keyboard is just aggravating, at least for me. And the lack of things to do, we need more scenarios, hopefully the editor will fix that.
     
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  27. Anthony Pecoraro

    Anthony Pecoraro Well-Known Member

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    This thread is getting out of control.
     
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  28. Gascan

    Gascan Active Member

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    Another member posted a chart showing peak users over the past couple years. It showed various escalations over the release points of previous content. This would presumably line up reasonably well with sales... and in spite of LIRR being a popular route (not without its merits) the spike -albeit noticeable- was not prominent. My wallet stayed in my pocket for that module as it apparently did for many other people. I’m curious how the company interprets that feedback.

    I agree that major changes need to be made to restore confidence in the title... I hope dwindling sales on what should be a fantastically popular route is a sign that the community has had enough.

    A spirited damage control initiative on existing content flanked by a rejuvenated communication strategy are two core areas that require focus. Maybe even before the editor... I suppose that’s up for debate.
     
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  29. Gascan

    Gascan Active Member

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    Well thank goodness you’re here to smother our negativity with your bewildering optimism.
     
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  30. StratPlayer62

    StratPlayer62 Well-Known Member

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    There has been nothing in this thread that is out of control, it has been an informative, logical, and civil discussion. Just because you don't like something doesn't mean it is out of control.
     
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  31. Lawjester

    Lawjester Well-Known Member

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    Thanks to you... if you had just left it alone then you wouldn’t have made it worse but since you had to poke your head in here you’ve pissed off many people including myself that are discussing legit and important points. You have a habit to defend DTG and TSW to the letter if others think the opposite of your views in general. That’s not how the world works and you must learn that. You can start by not butting your head into other people’s bussiness if you disagree and interrupting a very good and productive conversation....
     
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  32. londonmidland

    londonmidland Well-Known Member

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    Maybe Anthony is secretly a DTG bot?

    In all serious I do find it very frustrating when you constantly defend DTG to the absolute max and think constructive criticism is a bad thing. I hope you can see now why you have constant downvotes on your posts. It’s not because people are mean, it’s because you are not allowing them to voice their opinion.

    Yes, not everything is bad, but nothing is ever going to change or improve if you always tell them there’s nothing wrong, when there are clearly of number of improvements and bugs which need fixing.
     
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  33. Gascan

    Gascan Active Member

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    Secretly like a tambourine- though it would certainly explain his buggy content...

    And that is said with tongue firmly in cheek- btw- a little snarky ribbing for our resident DFG cheerleader.
     
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  34. Puffing Nora

    Puffing Nora Guest

    Well we dont know the full story- he may have a family member working there or he may be just very enthusiastic. While Im the first person to pick up rocks and start throwing in glass houses, it doesnt hurt to try not to lose our human compassion completely. Again while Im the first to snap at Anthony, I also acknowledge that I dont understand what compels his defence of dtg, and so i do try not to blast him with both barrels...
     
  35. Anthony Pecoraro

    Anthony Pecoraro Well-Known Member

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    I don’t mean offense to anyone. I just don’t agree with many of these posts. And as Puffing Nora said, we are all people here, let’s respect each other’s feelings and thoughts. :)
     
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  36. Lombra

    Lombra Member

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    They are a small company, so it takes time to produce quality products? Sure, no argument there. That means they will take a bit longer to achieve said quality, right? Wrong, it means they do it at a shorter time at the expense of quality. Actually, I'm impressed by the release frequency, though I've not followed Dovetail or any train simulation before TSW was revealed. But it is clear that it, again, comes at the expense of quality. I think if each route had one or two months more development, that might've done wonders. But I'm assuming someone has researched this thoroughly and found that a month of developing routes is worth more than a month of polishing.

    The thing with communication, imo, is that while I very much appreciate it, it is not a substitute for a quality production. Developers who communicate well, I find do so because they know that they have a good product with good development, and they are proud to share their development and news. No one wants communication if all they're gonna get is bad news or useless information.
     
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  37. giogurto_grande

    giogurto_grande Member

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    I agree with many of you expressing your worries. In my opinion it's now worse than ever.
    It's been a while since Luke left and there's no announcement of a new community manager. Right now the only kinds of DTG's activity here are:
    - announcements of new DLC and occasionally patches, which are just… announcements, i.e. one-way communication. Not even answers to questions being asked in those threads;
    - weekly screenshot contests which serve little value when it comes to getting community's feedback.

    Other than that, these forums are just a big pile of player speculation, suggestions and issues with no response.

    TSW is a niche product, DTG has said that multiple times, AFAIR. But they don't seem to be aware that, with niche products, being closely in touch with the community is key to making the product successful. To me this radio silence is a red flag and a big one, to be honest.
     
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2018
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  38. Jeannot41

    Jeannot41 Active Member

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    Totally agree with you.
     
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  39. Gascan

    Gascan Active Member

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    No argument here either.
     
  40. The7Train

    The7Train Member

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    3 days since this thread started and not one admin has replied....says a lot.
     
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  41. AlexNL

    AlexNL Active Member

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  42. Alex01

    Alex01 Active Member

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    i agree with ya :)
     
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  43. Typhomat

    Typhomat Well-Known Member

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    I'm not going to argue, this thread brings up some very valid points about the past few months of DTG's operations from our viewpoint. The Glassdoor reviews of DTG aren't surprising either, and if DTG's top brass won't seem to have proper communication and working relationships with their own employees, then what do they even think of us beyond people who have wallets that are willing to spend.... Our biggest means of talking to them is not giving them money.

    BUT, if you expect a DTG employee to under a DTG account to comment here, it's not going to end well. They can say anything and it will be nitpicked by some group of individuals here, so why say anything at all? Why put themselves in a place on their own forums only to back themselves into a hole? The reality is they aren't going to touch this thread and will let it run it's course, as no intervention is better than any intervention for this case.

    If you really have an issue with DTG, then don't buy their products. These threads have been a thing for not months but years, expecting anything to change at this rate just by posting messages saying how bad things are unfortunately isn't going to work.

    If you really want to see changes, then don't buy their products and hope that enough people are like-minded and they catch on, and hopefully changes are made.
     
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  44. The7Train

    The7Train Member

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    I mean you don't have to see or reply to this thread, so that's a you problem bud. :)
     
  45. Gascan

    Gascan Active Member

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    I get where you're coming from but organizations have people who have to bear investor scrutiny on a daily basis for exactly this reason. Certainly I'm not saying they should address ALL concerns individually since we're a pretty concerned group and that level of concern could be measured in severity roughly between a pimple on the end of your nose and finding out you got a sex change instead of a vasectomy.

    Most of our concerns stem from 2 major causes- lack of communication and absence of retroactive bug fixes on existing content. Any person with more brain cells than a plant should be able to categorize a group of concerns, multi-quote them into a bundle, acknowledge the issue and bridge to a proof point. ie: Yes we know that the safety systems don't work on "this" line but as you know DTG takes the fidelity of its simulation software safety systems very seriously since safety is a core value to all rail services represented in game. In fact, we recently released an update where we addressed XYZ purple monkey dishwasher and we expect to continue rectifying these problems on older titles. Your continued patience and support is appreciated as we work through this complex process.

    We may not agree on the communication thing- and that's fine... I think well executed and consistent communication within the community is extremely important and I think all people should have access to it since this is their central platform to engage us.

    Sounds like you think they should just make this and all threads like it (they're growing in popularity) a no go zone so we can work ourselves up and draw our own conclusions.

    One thing for certain- at least in terms of their chosen strategy to date- yours is definitely the model they've subscribed to.
     
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  46. Typhomat

    Typhomat Well-Known Member

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    Every company has to deal with how their investors, clients, and customers see them and scrutinize them, but the reality is we aren't DTG's investors, we aren't on shareholder calls and don't have a stake in the company, we are just people who purchase their products. As long as content still sells and they are holding water, it's not going to change. DTG is clearly favoring development over fixing old content since one makes money and the other doesn't. The customer base is not large enough to withstand making large changes without new purchasable content. The income they will make from customers buying content because it's fixed or improved is not as much as developing new content.

    The numbers are clear too, LIRR was not a big seller compared to past content, but LIRR was a really niche product too, and had issues that were clear. LIRR had a small cult following here, but externally was not something many people bought into. I feel the same will be said for the upcomming route. They aren't trying to sell content to every user though, they are selling to groups so we can build our own collections, it's nothing new.... Nothing has really changed at all here... This has been the DTG way for years.

    These concerns have been brought up, both bug fixes and communication, since I really got interested in this stuff 6 years ago. I've seen many of these threads both on Steam, their social media outlets, and here. It's nothing new, it happens every few months. We've been promised things like multiplayer when this game was first announced, and people ask where is it. Issues exist on Sand Patch too, and there are doubts they will be fixed. The reality is DTG doesn't want to make promises because they can't make any guarantees, it's all about money. I've seen countless times where something is promised or mentioned and it doesn't happen here. It's why they hold stuff close. As customers, it's not pleasant as we don't know what is going to be resolved, and we don't know when.

    Personally, I would like to see
    • Improved communication from employees to us beyond Discord channels ran by DTG staff outside DTG
    • Acknowledging bugs that are found and if they will be resolved
    • Execs listening and having a discussion with us about what we want to see
    • Road maps of content and fixes
    • Who the development teams are so we can get an idea of size
    • What we can do to seriously help improve development
    • When content will no longer be supported or improved
    • Many more things...
    We can wish and wish, but this has been the same wishlist for years. What I'm trying to say here is that things haven't changed, and I don't know if they ever will. Trying to scrutinize DTG on their own turf isn't anything new, and hasn't led to any enhancements in the past. There has been hope, but that's it for the most part.

    DTG still tries to improve TSW content, but I'm sure the team is for bug fixing is small, and we are asking a lot in terms of fixes. Unless TSW grows substantially in it's userbase, it's going to be hard to see changes made for older content as the money just will not be there. Beyond that, community managers require a paycheck, and if devs are asked to participate that slows down production time and content quality, which we know they are already pressed for time.

    What DTG could consider though is having well-known members become ambassadors of the company, who can fill the role with better communication means with the devs, but without a paycheck. The issue is setting that up isn't easy, and the trust might not be there. Otherwise though, I don't think this thread is going to change anything, and yes, DTG is clearly sticking to this method of ignoring these threads. They know issues exist, but fixing them is another challenge. If money in is equal to or greater than money out though, why change?
     
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  47. Puffing Nora

    Puffing Nora Guest

    ^ Look no further than the Project Cars 2 forum and how well that is policed by non paid members of the crowd funded community. Its a healthy place with moderators placed around the world who operate through the different time zones. The game studio has devs who regularly place information out into the community, and there is a sense of shared ownership. For less than £50 you buy into not just a product that you can simulate racing with, but a community that is passionate about the genre. Conversations are not about who is right, but about what is right. Devs go into considerable detail about what has been produced, physics models etc, and it is a good demonstration of a forum that is quite well policed by its members, as well as the moderators.
     
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  48. Gascan

    Gascan Active Member

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    World of Warships / Wargaming runs something similar with Supertesters and community contributors... It's a smaller group of ambassadors who interact occasionally with the development coordinators and have more information and more time to invest in keeping the community at bay- for free. I think they get some money from their social media presence but that's it. They also get access to review upcoming content etc and generally just get everyone excited about it.

    This isn't without its share of challenges of course but I'm starting to really appreciate that approach since my interests shifted back to trains just to come here and find out that there isn't a lot to be interested in other than what there isn't to be interested about.
     
  49. Digital Draftsman

    Digital Draftsman Well-Known Member

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    I think at this stage if DTG did up their communication game without improving their business practices they'd just be digging themselves a bigger hole. Until they decide to change the way they do business, I don't think we'll see much in the way of communication.
     
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  50. Gascan

    Gascan Active Member

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    It's funny that you say that- but only because you basically just wrote a part of one of my above posts I fussed over and eventually deleted. Like I said above it's EASY to address concerns when you have tangible proof points and systems in place to back up what you're saying. The part I deleted is that it's actually incredibly difficult to sustain an effective communication strategy when you're promoting steak but selling potatoes.
     
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