Thursday, 5 June 2014

East Coast Mainline: North East - Announcement 1 of 2

East Coast Main Line: North East – Announcement 1 of 2

As of Monday 9th June, I will no longer be updating any version of East Coast Main Line: North East on the Steam Workshop. There are several factors that have influenced this decision:

Although the original concept behind the use of the Steam Workshop for routes was good, it hasn't quite worked out as I had hoped it would and there are many flaws which don't quite work for me. The whole process is supposed to provide an easy way of updating the route, which the subscriber should then receive automatically, but it doesn't often work this way. In fact, the subscription of my workshop routes easily provides the most support requests to DPSimulation, often numbering several per day. As the userbase of the route increases, these requests are only going to increase.

Steam Workshop routes cannot have scenarios uploaded unless the route is finalised. If the route is finalised, the route cannot be updated, meaning I am stuck between a rock and hard place. I also receive quite a lot of requests for the route to be finalised in order to allow scenarios, and it's become quite a tedious process having to explain myself each time. I have looked at ways to get around this, by locking development a version of the route, finalising it and then creating a new version, but you would then end up with several different versions of the route and it all becomes confusing and fragmented.

The Steam Workshop does not support custom assets in any way. It is a hard enough job to try and replicate a real world route but as time goes on, it becomes harder and harder, especially with a limited asset pool available. This is especially relevant when it comes to stations, there may be incorrect fencing, seating, clutter and not to mention the lack of signage at new stations.

My plan now is to focus on making the current Steam Workshop version as 'final' as possible before next Monday. This will include porting over the Heaton Depot extension and adding track to Tyne Yard, Thornaby Yard and the yard at York. This will mean that the Steam Workshop version of the route will have the boundaries set in stone, and will no longer be extended. These boundaries will be York to Newcastle including the yards, Darlington to Saltburn including Thornaby Yard and Heaton Depot, north of Newcastle. This is still a vast expansion on the original Newcastle to York route and hopefully scenarios will start to materialise on the Steam Workshop once made final.

The plan immediately following this finalisation will be to prepare for the removal of the 'Early Access' version from the Steam Workshop, as this is being discontinued completely. This choice will be made more clear in the second part of this announcement.

No comments:

Post a Comment