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Would Separate Release Dates For Pc And Console Reduce Bugs?

Discussion in 'PC Discussion' started by ShaneS89, May 15, 2021.

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  1. Yes

    17 vote(s)
    18.1%
  2. No

    60 vote(s)
    63.8%
  3. Not Sure

    17 vote(s)
    18.1%
  1. ShaneS89

    ShaneS89 Active Member

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    First off let me say that this is not me having a go at the consoles, or blaming the consoles or anything like that. This is just me thinking out loud on how updates are handled on consoles as apposed to steam.

    With how bug ridden the latest release's (HHL, RT & LIRR updates, GWB) have been, its fair to say that changes need to be made with quality control, bugs happen everyone knows that, but HHL is a mess and most of the bugs reported should have been spotted long before it got to release.

    Putting the QC issue to one side for a moment, would a later console release, say 2 to 3 weeks give DTG time to implement fixes for most bugs (that are the same on all platforms for the most part) that are found before the build goes off to Microsoft / Sony for approval? Its been said on numerous occasions that unless the game crashes a patch wont be released on its own, it will always wait until there's enough in to make the patch worthwhile, meaning bug fixes can be held up for months.

    Steam doesn't have the same approval process for updates that the consoles do, it also has opt in Beta update's so only those people who opt in will have to update the game. This means they could theoretically do little updates every day if they wanted and not have to get approval every time, then once things are working it goes off to Sony and Microsoft for approval. Would this be better in the long run? I know this wouldn't go down very well with the console users (at all) but alot of games are like this (ACC and Sims 4 among others) and would the delay result in a better product when it does arrive?

    I know this will never happen, PR wise its better for DTG to have parity between all platforms, but this crossed my mind earlier and I'm curious what other people think.
     
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  2. Dinosbacsi

    Dinosbacsi Well-Known Member

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    I doubt it would change anything, as there are very few platform specific bugs.
     
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  3. dcnine#5410

    dcnine#5410 Well-Known Member

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    I thought that was OP's point? Because the bugs would be similar across all platforms, troubleshoot on a platform where fixing bugs through updates is far easier, then release to all platforms with a functioning product.
     
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  4. Luke8899

    Luke8899 Well-Known Member

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    I don't see how this would be better for PC users though... As a console user I'd be happy for PC users to be the guinea pigs for updates that potentially break the game, so we never have to experience them on console. I'm mostly just curious why a PC user would want the full force of untested software updates unleashed on their game? What benefit would you get from this?
     
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  5. Disintegration7

    Disintegration7 Well-Known Member

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    As an Xbox player who already pays a premium on new releases compared to PC and Playstation, I would not be in favor of delayed console DLC releases, but it's not a deal-breaker.

    However, I would be in favor of a beta branch for new core-game updates, or new, non-DLC specific features like steam trains, etc. Something like how SCS does for ETS2/ATS would be nice. Could be PC-only, though there are at least a couple of games on Xbox that have experimental servers (PUBG, and..maybe Overwatch?). Dunno, just a thought.

    It seems clear that DTG can't or won't slow down their DLC release cycle (for financial reasons i'd assume, but let's be honest there'd be complaints about a slower release pace as well), so I'm open to creative ideas to improve quality control.
     
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  6. DruidsNectar

    DruidsNectar Member

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    I think you need to understand a couple of factors here:

    1. code base - PC and Xbox are almost likely to be the same, the OS largely runs the same OS kernal, I can't say for sure on the PS, but I suspect the overall platform and conversion code is so good, it's a moot point
    2. one of the reasons console releases take so long is because the console manufactures insist on code being signed off as acceptable for release on the console platform.

    While point 2 might add time delays in, it's pretty much a good thing for users of that platform as they are subjected to less crap (and there can be a lot of it, just look up CyberPunk 2077 and Playstation). Also, if the consoles are using almost like for like code, then any failings on those platforms are potentially going to exist on the PC platform, so it's good that a third party is vetting for crap code. MS and Sony do not want crap games making their consoles looking bad, and will do anything to prevent that, and that means restricting crap games (CyberPunk 2077).

    All in all, you're probably better off with a a dual release on consoles because someone wants to protect their IP an won't allow sloppy coding.
     
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  7. Dinosbacsi

    Dinosbacsi Well-Known Member

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    But a normal developer fixes these obvious bugs during development, BEFORE release. So the fact that it's more difficult to release/update on consoles is irrelevant.
     
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  8. CK95

    CK95 Well-Known Member

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    Having consoles and PC on different update schedules won’t escape the fact that DTG simply don’t appear to drive a train on their route before releasing it.
     
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  9. ARuscoe

    ARuscoe Well-Known Member

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    Even better, have streams that show off the route and show people what faults there are BEFORE the project is finalised and uploaded. Given they stream one week before release and people find bugs, and the only other stream is AFTER release there is no time for us (as in the people who look at EVERYTHING rather than "that'll do") to critique and for fixes to be implemented

    So what needs to happen for these things to be "better" is that it gets built, it gets tested, THEN they run it past the microscope that is the community and then they fix those issues

    Unfortunately, due to the DTG Flywheel (google it), it's not gonna happen
     
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  10. solicitr

    solicitr Well-Known Member

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    Google found nothing
     
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  11. synthetic.angel

    synthetic.angel Well-Known Member

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    It is an interesting idea, but I do not think it would improve the bug situation. I think it would make it much much worse, as the state of the product becomes bifurcated or trifurcated (if that is an actual word....?).

    The right answer is simply to make the product, and then test the product on all platforms, and then only when you have proven that it works to publish a release date, and then publish a working version. If there is a significant lead time to prepare the publication on the Sony/Microsoft/Steam marketplaces (after you have confirmed that you have a working product), then this will be dead time in terms of software development for each individual product - but this is absolutely okay. It is okay to wait. Maybe they could use the time to write proper manuals/documentation, that reflects the final build (as opposed to the aspirational specification that we got with, say, OSD....)...?

    But, as a slight teaser, how about I make a counter suggestion... (bearing in mind that I run TSW on both PC and PS4)......? It is, of course, much easier (and faster) to triangle development for a fixed specification like PS4, and get a fully working, fully optimised, and fully tested version on PS4. How about releasing a console version first, and then PC owners (less than a third of the market...?) can wait a few weeks/months for any issues that might be on the PC version to be tested, and for the product to be released on PC much later?

    Console first, PC version later. Does that sound okay to you? What is your initial reaction, to such a proposal?
     
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  12. ARuscoe

    ARuscoe Well-Known Member

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    I'd need to know more about how updates can be pushed out on console and whether there's any detriment in going through two or three updates in two weeks. If there is, then bad move
     
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  13. synthetic.angel

    synthetic.angel Well-Known Member

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    Yep, you could be right, assuming that two or three updates in two weeks is considered a reasonably sensible way to proceed with updates/fixes.... which I personally do not think is the case.

    My core argument is to get it right first time (at least with preventing major issues getting into the wild). Minor issues can then (more reasonably) be bundled into much less frequent patches, and tested together for knock-ons and consequentials (which is a far less time consuming and far more quality assuring way to proceed).

    That said - there are some PS4 titles that get updated quite frequently (but I do not know if this is due to bug fixes or feature additions). But some Steam titles seem to get updated every time I switch on my PC... and to be honest - I do not regard this as a good thing. Actually, I find it to be a real Facebooking Pain in The Amazon, as the presenter on the Hamburg/Lubeck launch stream found out earlier this week.

    Developers should be incentivised to just make a working product, not go through an endless process of applying tiny plasters (Band Aids...) to a self-infllcted battle-wound that is bleeding out.
     
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  14. CowBoyWolf

    CowBoyWolf Well-Known Member

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    Let me say it was like this back in the days PC gets dlc first then console at a later date
     
  15. Cramnor

    Cramnor Well-Known Member

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    Hearing what was said on streams, that even more expensive DLCs wouldn't increase quality, I doubt something like this would work. It is a nice idea though :)
     
  16. solicitr

    solicitr Well-Known Member

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    Ultimately it boils down to one thing: DTG are not allocating enough time per route to get them done properly.
     
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  17. Michael Newbury

    Michael Newbury Well-Known Member

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    I do not think having separate release dates is going to change anything, and it would be unfair to make Console or PC users to wait. What it boils down to is the Q&A team catching everything and reporting it back. So that things do not keep being repeated over and over again.
     
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  18. Inkar

    Inkar Well-Known Member

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    Separate releases for PC and consoles only make sense if PC goes first. Why? Because to release on consoles you need to pass the first party QA and that adds 1-2 weeks delay. And that is pretty much unproductive delay, because the first party QA is not gonna catch PZB or loco problems. First party QA just makes sure the game starts and it is not breaking anything badly in the console or causing problems to other games.
     
    Last edited: May 15, 2021
  19. TinTin_57

    TinTin_57 Well-Known Member

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    This won’t happen again. Was like this at the start then it was all brought in line.

    Also, not wanting to have a go at PC players , but though they make the most noise, there’s not enough of them playing TSW so all the bugs would still be found when console players get their hands on the routes
     
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  20. Mich

    Mich Well-Known Member

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    Separate releases would maybe help, but not a whole ton, and ultimately they'd be just be delaying the inevitable, as they'd have to bring it console at some point. Also when we're talking separate release dates how far apart are we talking? Cause if it's only off by a couple of days or weeks you'll see no improvement, a couple of months maybe, but considering how big of a market consoles are for TSW that just ain't gonna happen. And as pointed out the bulk of issues are on all versions, so ultimately those issues probably wouldn't be affect one way or the other. In order to truly improve the situation, they need to greatly cut back on the amount of content they make.

    Just look at how much they make, in the past year they've remade one route, made two new routes for TSW2 itself, plus five standalone routes, and four standalone locos. That is a ludicrous amount of content compared to many other games, especially when factoring in that this largely all internally made. SCS for perspective with ATS only had seven packs released total, two are tuning packs, three are trucks, and only two are maps. With that in mind I think cutting back to something like three maps a year, and maybe a addon loco or two is far more reasonable. You'd effectively have a bit over double the time to work on projects, which would greatly improve the quality. Sure it would be mean that expansion into new areas would slow to a snail's pace, but at least it would mean that the areas covered would be much higher quality.

    Will they do it? Not now, there's been calls since the TS Classic days to increase product quality, and they've been largely ignored. Until the day that there's a change of attitude in DTG's management or a complete shake up of the train sim market as a whole they are gonna remain stuck in their old ways. Hopefully the former happens first, because the way they are as is I have a feeling if the latter happens DTG will have a hard time surviving.
     
    Last edited: May 15, 2021
  21. junior hornet

    junior hornet Well-Known Member

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    Back in the day though, software was released on disc and not everyone had Internet (yes I’m old enough to remember). They had to properly test it and make sure there were as few bugs as possible before release as it would be extremely costly to release updates. Nowadays, fixes can be downloaded easily so us poor paying punters are treated as unpaid testers. This is true of most, if not all, developers, not just DTG.
     
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  22. Disintegration7

    Disintegration7 Well-Known Member

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    You're right that DLC comes out too quickly and it's to the detriment of quality, but I think we all forget just how much of a niche product this is. Even within the small (as a percentage of all gaming) sim community, train-sims are a tiny fraction.

    The DLC treadmill has been a part of train-simming since...forever, right? People want new content, the question is how to fund it.

    Charge more per DLC? 3 routes/yr @$60, instead of 6/yr @ $30, for example. Seems simple, but how many customers are lost that just flat-out refuse to pay that much for one route? How much complaining about the lack of new routes?

    I sure don't want some awful F2P model. "Pay 100 TrainDollarz to drive another hour??". That would kill the hobby quicker than anything.

    A monthly subscription? Might work, but there are VERY few games that have managed to make it work in the long-term, especially in recent years.

    There's no easy solution that I can see. If there was, we wouldn't be going on 20 years of this same old argument.

    Maybe Microsoft will get back into train-sims and fund the billion-dollar ultra-sim of our dreams...
     
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  23. CK95

    CK95 Well-Known Member

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    I mean they have the auto gen tool, in theory that saves them a lot of time when it comes to route building, however it seems they’ve taken the time they’ve saved to produce more and work even less when it comes to quality.

    I fear that the more DTG find to do things more quickly, the worse the quality will become, as DTG will see more available time as time to sell more content, rather than improve it.

    Adam has a job secured for life, because he’ll never be able to keep up with fixing and updating past DLC.
     
  24. cwf.green

    cwf.green Well-Known Member

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    I think what ShaneS89 is trying to say (I hope I'm not being presumptuous in reiterating your points) is that on consoles there is a cost/penalty in releasing patches too often or too early while on Steam there is no such limitation (or at least a lesser limitation).

    Releasing the DLC on PC a week or two weeks before the console release would mean that DTG could respond to feedback and release several hotfixes in time for the console release and thus avoid having to release an early patch for the console (which they can't do or would like to prevent).

    The effect of this would be that for PC users we would get earlier patches (rather than having to wait several months) and for console users it would mean that the day one version of the DLC would be less buggy.

    Obviously this is not a substitute to DTG fixing their QA/development process, and it would also necessitate that DTG actually work on fixing these issues in the 2 week window, otherwise releasing the console DLC later would be useless.

    I for one think this idea has it's merits but I think the biggest thing DTG needs to do is to look into what is going so very wrong in their development that they release DLCs with obvious bugs like the 500 hz magnets missing. I could understand if one or two magnets were of the wrong variant (a developer perhaps clicked the wrong asset) but to do it on all (or nearly all, I can't check) 500 hz magnets implies that the person responsible for adding the PZB assets doesn't know the difference which is totally unacceptable.
     
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  25. Mich

    Mich Well-Known Member

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    IL-2 doesn't even have the player base that TSW on PC has, yet their products are much less buggy at launch, and they receive updates post-launch. SCS when they started Euro Truck were not a big company, and truck simming was extremely niche, so they weren't expect massive sales. Yet they were able to put in the time to polish up Euro Truck, and they got reward handsomely for it to boot.

    Hell, everyone talks about how much bigger the flight sim community is, but I don't believe X-Plane was ever especially popular, 11's a lot more popular but outside of even that is not miles ahead of what TSW's numbers are based on what DTG have said in the past, sans a period in the first half of 2020. And I doubt they're getting the same revenue that TSW is either when factoring in addons. Sure X-Plane has a sizeable amount of content, but it's largely made third parties who take a solid chunk of the profits, and usually have their own storefront competing storefronts, and Laminar doesn't get a cut from that at all. Ultimately the main thing they concentrate on is maintaining the core product, they don't spend much time (if at all) making addon content. However the vast majority of content on TSW is made by DTG, with involvement from other places like Skyhook and Armstrong sure, but they are the developer for most of this content, and thus are gonna take a far larger share of the profits.

    I'll admit that I'm not a expert, but at least to me I observe a lot of things that suggest DTG has all the market they need to make higher quality products. They just don't because make half baked products that damage your reputation are bigger money earners short term than quality products.
     
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  26. trainsimcz

    trainsimcz Well-Known Member

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    I think the biggest problem is that peoples want more and more DLCs and DTG is the only one who can deliver that... i dont see any other very active 3rd party developer. Yeah we have Rivet = 2 DLCs per year ... wow, we have Skyhook - still waiting for 1st DLC and then we have TSG - there we are still waiting for 1st DLC too. So what are you expecting from DTG if they are releasing like 1 route per month (sometimes every 2 months). They should just release those tools to let community make content so they can more focus on bugs and fixing their mess or even create much better content which they dont have to rush. But i dont see that coming.
     
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  27. Mich

    Mich Well-Known Member

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    The annoying thing is that even with third parties DTG probably wouldn't change that much. TS Classic has tons of third parties making the rounds after all, yet despite that DTG still prioritize quaintly over quality.
     
  28. Mr JMB

    Mr JMB Well-Known Member

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    The difference is that with TS you can view the DTG products as a good base, and then the community and 3rd parties will step in and build on it and get better visuals, audio and behaviours. You often see discussions about items that cannot be changed but there is more that can be changed than can't. TSW is the opposite, the mods are growing, and getting more advanced, but they are still tinkering around the edges really.
     
  29. ARuscoe

    ARuscoe Well-Known Member

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    How do you see this working on consoles...? It doesn't even work on PC given the current dozen or so websites you need to be members of to have the content and assets to run most third part routes.
    And don't forget, many third party assets are as bug ridden as DTG assets, but because they're not DTG people seem to care less
     
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  30. trainsimcz

    trainsimcz Well-Known Member

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    Of course consoles will not have that editor (it was announced like that with TSW 2020 that consoles will not have editor and then they change that strategy and completely cancel that editor) but DTG can release community stuff for consoles too, It will work the same like its working now... you will be able to release content only thru DTG so they can easily cook it for consoles too and sell it thru the steam, i dont see any problems there.
    There is only couple of options what can happened:
    1) DTG will open that partner program for more users which are interested to create content for TSW (i dont see that coming as that partner program team takes forever to even reply on one email)
    2) community will get tired of that system and move on to the different simulator
    3) community will get tired of that and release their own PC editor - more content for PC users for free while with partner program DTG can earn some money, 0 content for consoles from community - and in that point console users will be crying why PC users got more stuff which will not happened if they open that partner program to let other users to join and create stuff which other platforms can enjoy too.
    4) users will just stop care about the bugs and poor quality looking content and they will keep buying every DLC which will DTG release
     
  31. ARuscoe

    ARuscoe Well-Known Member

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    If DTG publish it then they're responsible in part for the workings of it. Can't see that being of benefit to them outside of the 2nd and 3rd party agreements they have now
    Sam has spoken about this on stream a couple of times, and they have recent been advertising for a 3rd party dev support person so hopefully this WILL happen, but we don't know how quickly

    I just don't want the free for all 3rd party system they have in TSx, especially where the quality there is not much better than what DTG put out, but there isn't a forum or people banging the drum on those 3rd parties in the same way
     

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