A personal perspective on TSSH

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A personal perspective on TSSH

Post  rufuskins on Tue 25 Jun 2013, 6:31 am

TSSH has been in existence for just over 5 months and I would like to restate my gratitude to Justin for giving us the opportunity to have a forum in which we can concentrate on MSTS.

In terms of facts we have 88 members and between us we have left over 4000 messages, although I am not sure of the actual visitor numbers. Of the 88 members there are 35 who have so far not posted, but whom I hope have found some interest/help when viewing the various areas. Of these a few members appear to have joined after presumably perusing the site, but for some reason have then never directly visited again other than as guests - I hope! Personally I don’t have a problem with this as I often visit UKTS in this manner, but I would be interested as to whether this is the case?

I believe that we can offer something that is complimentary to UKTS, but at the same time is sufficiently different to make it a worthwhile experience. One idea was to generate the Route Directory, which it is hoped has helped people decide to start using MSTS and also to start using MSTS again. The Helpful Facts and Links areas are meant to put together in a single location comments, problems and solutions for MSTS.

The question is has it been a success and will it last? In the short term it has been successful, but as to its longevity only time will tell.

Niall’s “June 2013 is MSTS Month” has provided an MSTS stimulus that has possibly exceeded all of our expectations, and it will be interesting to see whether this will last. Perhaps later months could be labelled with alternatives such as Activity Month?

Does anyone else have any ideas as to how we can improve or promote or add ideas, etc. to the TSSH forums? Please let us know?

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Re: A personal perspective on TSSH

Post  dee4141 on Tue 25 Jun 2013, 9:42 am

Alec, I believe the only thing that can create interest are the forum members themselves. More visitors need to post articles and more members need to comment . It's so frustrating for posters to spend time getting together a post and screenshots and then have virtually no response in return - if no-one shows interest then why bother. I thought this forum started well, there seemed to be good discussion on most topics, but gradually it's fallen away in a similar fashion to UKTS - which, apart from the June Month feature, is virtually dead.
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Re: A personal perspective on TSSH

Post  mikehendle on Tue 25 Jun 2013, 10:14 am

Hi 
I usually visit this site at least twice a day,and enjoy it,although I don't always make a posting,but I will always write a comment on screen shot's that are put up by both route and stock creators.

Maybe if some of the routes and stock were uploaded to this site,people could then download them from here,just a thought.

And some tutorials might help as well,as long as they are written in away that computer illiterate people can understand them,at present a lot of tutorials just go over my head,I would love to make some models but just haven't a clue where to start,and reading the present tutorials are beyond me,what we could do with is some thing like the old Airfix instructions diagrams and written in plain English.

I find this site still more friendly than the other 2 forum sites,1 I hardly ever use now as it seems very anti anywhere else in the world other than their own country,and the other one because they are the only one where you can down load routes stock activities and scenery items from

Another factor these days a lot of younger people use the other sim,it is only the older people now who stick with MSTS for various reasons and of course we will be a diminishing over the years.

I hope this hasn't been to controversial

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Re: A personal perspective on TSSH

Post  rufuskins on Tue 25 Jun 2013, 10:19 am

Danny
What you say is right, and was part of the thinking behind my post. I had my own personal wobble with the FG DMU problems, but now that they are resolved and didn't relate to my hardware I am feeling very positive about MSTS and TSSH.
I have a number of ideas but feel that it might be perceived that I am hogging the forums - its disconcerting to see Rufuskins against many of the threads. There is still the human trait of taking certain things for granted.
One question that perhaps needs to be answered is to decide whether the TSSH forums are for information, or as I tend to use them a form of social media between like minded individuals. Of course my What are other simmers doing thread on UKTS was effectively a blog!
I would love it if simmers would describe what they are doing in MSTS, and how they value their experiences with it. It is obvious that we all use it differently; in my case I have devoted many hours - both enjoyable and frustrating - to FG DMU repaints. Whilst you appear to be interested in all things southern both in terms of rolling stock and the excellent South East route. Ian Macmillan is obviously interested and expert in wagons from all eras, and we have all benefitted greatly from it - witness the excellent PO wagons released as part of the June 2013 event. I quote these as examples and there are others who also produce and upload excellent work.
I am more than happy to continue withe RD and trying to put together more HFL parts, but my knowledge is not always spot on to ensure that they are accurate.
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Re: A personal perspective on TSSH

Post  rufuskins on Tue 25 Jun 2013, 10:40 am

Mike
I don't believe you are being controversial in so far as it is of value to understand other people's view on TSSH and MSTS.
Your point about the format and layout of tutorial/HFL parts is valid, as we can all fall into the trap of assuming that others know what we know. I am looking to put together a HFL part that examines lighting and I'll see what I can do about presenting it along the lines you suggest.
I've never looked at the age range of the TSSH members as I don't tend to think of people as old or young, but as fellow simmers.
Justin and I did discuss whether we would want to host a downloading component but decided to wait and see how the forums developed. We will look at this again and see what's involved. Potential cost might be an issue.
I very much hope that further discussion will ensue and that ideas arise from them.
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Re: A personal perspective on TSSH

Post  neanderthal on Tue 25 Jun 2013, 10:59 am

MORNING ALL... TSSH cannot I fear ever be all things to all men ( or women ),I visit this site at least twice a day,just to see what if anything is going on,but I am as Mike puts it completely PC illiterate,I live in dread of having to download anything,even bought Cds don't always appear to download or Install (whichever I am actually meant to be doing,I'm not sure of the difference) first attempt,and I have never until a few weeks ago got any trains from UKTS that worked (my fault not their's).
Not wishing to turn this into an Epic letter let me say that once upon trying to install (?) a 158 I was required to get the "Sound Set",simple I hear you say!not so,after obviously doing something amiss I ended up having to uninstal MSTS completely as it failed to run from that point on.Many is the time I've Chickened out since then,though I have had Thames Trent and S&C 1920 up and running,but never been able to add to them,how I wish the activities came with the Traffic.
 TSSH is a friendly site,you feel part of it,unlike the larger sites,but I think it will have to grow to stay viable. Roger.sunny


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Re: A personal perspective on TSSH

Post  mikehendle on Tue 25 Jun 2013, 11:27 am

Hi All,
I think there are some other points I would like to see is a easy to read instructions for changing eng\wag files,there are some really good models in the down load library,the only problem,is they rely on either cab and sounds from a commercial product,or the cab and sounds have been with drawn from the library,I know a lot of class 37\47's use the cabs from MT's SCE or Great Eastern,not all of us these days can afford commercial routes.

In the library there are some excellent replacement cabs and sounds for these 2 locomotives,but how do you change the eng\wag file so that they will work,the other loco's I haven't a clue how to get them to work,they are the Warships\Westerns and Hymeks how on earth you can them to work is beyond me,the cabs and sounds were with drawn when the Western Diesels cd came out,but that is no longer available.

The hardest part is how do we get new members.

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Re: A personal perspective on TSSH

Post  rufuskins on Tue 25 Jun 2013, 11:57 am

Excellent stuff from you both, and I will look at providing a simple guide to installing stock and any associated sound/cab files. In addition I will try and provide a simple guide to changing sound and cabview lines in  both ENG and WAG files. This could be supplemented with a guide to what the ENG file does - a simplified version of Richter's tutorial that can be found on Steam4me. I would need help myself with respect to steam locomotive ENG files content.
However both will have to wait until after my break, although I'll sketch out something on paper. In addition I will submit it to A N OTHER to minimise the potential for mistakes or possible confusion.
These are the sorts of ideas that we need to help us provide a valuable source of information. It's worth noting that many of these ideas whilst currently MSTS centric will I imagine be applicable to Open Rails - unless someone knows different.
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Re: A personal perspective on TSSH

Post  mikehendle on Tue 25 Jun 2013, 12:14 pm

Hi,
Take a break from al things MSTS you deserve a holiday to recharge the little grey call Poirot would say,have a nice break in Lincolnshire,just a pity the weather isn't a bit better,in Peterborough it's still a bit cloudy.
Have you been to the Lincolnshire Transport museum?not sure if it's open during the week yet
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Re: A personal perspective on TSSH

Post  rufuskins on Tue 25 Jun 2013, 12:29 pm

Mike
Have you been talking to SWMBO; she often talks about non MSTS activity!
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Re: A personal perspective on TSSH

Post  neanderthal on Tue 25 Jun 2013, 1:05 pm

Alec are you trying to say there IS something other than MSTS to talk about?


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Re: A personal perspective on TSSH

Post  j3801 on Tue 25 Jun 2013, 1:54 pm

Hi Guys,
 
I’m happy to read that this is the “truly friendly forum” and that everyone feels welcomed here Very Happy.
That is the goal that I set out to achieve with this forum and it has worked very well.
 
Having a read of the posts, I have to agree about the bulk of the current tutorials being very technical and not “simple and straight to the point” Nerd. A thought that has been bouncing around for a while is creating a “complimentary” set of tutorials aimed at making things easier to understand PullOutHair.
 
Mike, you have raised a very interesting point about “simple picture instructions”. As I have been “teaching” Andy how to model the 201’s we have found that by me recording a video of how something is done as well as giving a brief written description of what to do or what the idea is, Andy has learnt things a lot quicker. Having the video there and being able to slow things down or replaying  a particular section has been a great help for him. So much so that when I get some time together I will start making video tutorials on how to do various things. Being able to see how something is done and mimicking what actually happens is I believe the best way to teach people how to handle TSM and the likes.

The idea of having a “download site” attached to the forum has been around since the forum began. Now I am not saying that this won’t happen, but as there is no threat of the loss of MSTS files from the various file hosting sites this is not a top priority. The main issues with the download section are: the web design for hosting the files (similar to UKTS but also vastly different); and the cost of hosting the site/files; setting up the design of the website (I am not a pro when it comes to websites. I can do the extremely basic stuff, but not what is required for the site). Somewhere down the line there will be a download site opened, I just can’t say where/when/how/who.
 
Roger, have you had a look at my Gresley or Pullman coaches? They do not require any “extra bits” to work and come with easy installers, where if you have MSTS in its original location it will put everything in the right place for you.
 
Justin


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Re: A personal perspective on TSSH

Post  35005CP on Tue 25 Jun 2013, 10:19 pm

Hi all,
As Justin has pointed out in the few months I have been creating and learning the creation of a model in TSM, it has been a real eye opener! when I first dived into it, I thought wow this was going to be tricky! But I kept with it and with Justin helping me out along the way I am getting close to actually releasing my very own 3D model. Yes I keep in touch and ask for his help and advice on doing X, Y, Z.. But this is what it is all about and am really enjoying the experience. Yes, I have time on my hands and I have another project in mind after this DEMU that I am sure I will need to go to the 'Master' about. But it keeps the community of MSTS followers & Lovers and more importantly it keeps MSTS Alive!!
As fellow simmers I too have helped Justin out with advice and issues and it keeps it all ticking along very nicely!
I am sure Justin and myself will have many chats about Video hosting in the future and how to move the forum and the members forward so we can all learn and create some fantastic stuff! Very Happy
Anyway enough of my drivel for now.... Lets keep MSTS alive and kicking!! Laughing (BTW on doing my 201 DEMU) Wink
Andy


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Re: A personal perspective on TSSH

Post  rufuskins on Wed 26 Jun 2013, 6:37 am

Andy

Interaction between fellow simmers is part and parcel of the aims of TSSH, and we will all be the richer for it. In July I'll be starting my TSM project, and I too will need the help of the Master, although we mustn't keep him from his own superb modelling work.

Alec


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Re: A personal perspective on TSSH

Post  dee4141 on Wed 26 Jun 2013, 11:26 am

One question that perhaps needs to be answered is to decide whether the TSSH forums are for information, or as I tend to use them a form of social media between like minded individuals.

I think both apply. Everyone needs information at times and it's good that TSSH is providing a source, and the "social media" aspect also keeps the forum friendly and similar to a chat room.

Speaking personally, and when posting about SouthEast, initially it's to provide information on progress but it's also an invitation to chat and discuss anything relevant to the route or stock. If no-one bothers to comment then I can only assume that the subject is of little or no interest - I think most contributors would feel the same. This is the perception I had on UKTS and so I no longer post updates there. If any forum is to succeed then discussion has to go both ways and more members need to get involved .
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Re: A personal perspective on TSSH

Post  rufuskins on Wed 26 Jun 2013, 12:20 pm

Yes that is the ideal solution and it will be the way I'll try in the future. I started this thread to generate some discussion as to how we can maximise the benefits of TSSH. It has already come up with some practical ideas for provision of basic information, and I hope that others will feel able to contribute. I'd love to see general information about the stock and activities that apply to both your route/era and other routes; e.g. typical passenger services and associated stock as well as freight/parcels servives, etc. This could either be located within the navvies thread or in the real railways thread.
After a period of waning my enthusiasm is definitely waxing, and if only it was lyrical.


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Re: A personal perspective on TSSH

Post  gswindale on Sat 29 Jun 2013, 12:40 pm

Only just seen this topic as I don't tend to browse forums all that much on a PC (I mainly post via Tapatalk as it is more convenient!)

One of the points raised related to the installation of routes/stock and the fact that they can be complicated. A while back over on UKTS I mooted the possibility of creating something similar to the Railworks "freeware" packs whereby stock & possibly some activities for a given route could be collated and put together in 1 single "click to install" product (whether by download or CD to be decided). Now I did make a start on this and can probably dig out my workings; however despite some people showing some enthusiasm for such a project; I'm not sure anyone actually volunteered to assist. Compiling such a package for something like Glasgow-Carlisle is actually quite a mammoth undertaking and really needs a team of people involved - if anybody is interested I can look at putting a site together where data can be hosted?

I think the MSTS Month has rekindled a fair amount of interest in the sim and maybe we could encourage other challenges over forthcoming months - as somebody has suggested there could be an "Activity Creation" month - we could for instance have a "challenge" for an activity to be created for a given route (single click download from the UKTS library would possibly be best to open it to as many people as possible).


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Re: A personal perspective on TSSH

Post  rufuskins on Sat 29 Jun 2013, 6:42 pm

Geoffrey
Thank you for your contribution, and I remember your suggestion but I was reluctant to volunteer to help at the time. However as I was the one who started this I am prepared to help out as I am keen to promote MSTS as best as I can.
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Re: A personal perspective on TSSH

Post  rufuskins on Tue 16 Jul 2013, 7:38 am

Just think that tomorrow it will be 6 months since Justin set up TSSH!

What have I learned in that time can be summed up as follows:-

i. MSTS still has a core following, but the “June 2013 is MSTS Month” has also shown that there are others beyond that core who still use MSTS.
ii. Active involvement in the administration of a forum is more demanding than you think, and of course is a potential minefield as was personally demonstrated over the “Trainsim.com” affair.
iii. I have tried to be a little more circumspect in my desire to promote, or at least maintain, interest and activity in MSTS. There does seem to be a positive interest in more promotions similar to that noted above, and the current “Actober” event looks very promising. Activities are the lifeblood of any route, and the recent dearth has been very noticeable. Other simmers are coming up with alternative suggestions.
iv. In helping to prepare the TSSH Route Directory I have been very impressed with the number of UK routes available to us simmers, and the majority of which are freeware – the current number of entries is 105!
v. I still believe that there is scope for the development of “Helpful Facts and Links”, in order to try and bring all the hints, tips, etc. together in a more central location. I have always felt that whilst the majority of such facts and figures are available on UKTS, that they are difficult to find in the wealth of posts – generally because the enquirer doesn’t quite know what the question is! I have wondered about a new post for this area of TSSH that creates some sort of flow diagram, suggesting a “route” to follow to try and ascertain why something is going wrong. In addition each step would have a link to send the enquirer to the possible solution. This is one of many ideas that are filling my limited brain capacity.
vi. I was thinking of talking about what people want and expect and who does what, but going there would be a bit like Canute and his efforts to turn back the tide!

On a personal MSTS front I have taken several steps backwards in my FG DMU repaint project, due to a number of mistakes that bordered on “silly” – too embarrassed to mention them! It has at least made me sit down and think through lighting. What I thought was complicated was in fact relatively straightforward! I just didn’t do the necessary checks during the work – I was obsessed with meeting a programme that meant ticking boxes overruled generating the finished and acceptable article. (It wouldn’t have been half as bad if my place of work didn’t experience similar problems!) To be honest I suspect that subconsciously I was trying to impress with numbers!!!!!

Anyway I know how to take this forward, and I have at least uploaded four FG DMU sets – unfortunately one of them will require some changes. Now working on Class 116s and 117s for upload by the end of July – I hope.

I am very keen to try and “build” a virtual railway model using TSM but I allow other things to keep putting this off, such as completing the RD with the current crop of available routes and the FG DMUs.

Defined MSTS Promotional Events:-
1. June 2013 MSTS – been and gone and was very successful.
2. Actober (October 2013 MSTS Activities) – interest is positive and I look forward to a flurry of activity uploads.
My idea for other events:-
1. Scenuary (January/February 2014 MSTS Scenic Items) – such a topic covers a vast area.
Other ideas:-
1. Stocktember by Ben Harrison – MSTS Stock uploads.
2.             MSTS Stockpacks by Geoffrey Swindale - different to the proposed stock pack(s) for Actober!


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Re: A personal perspective on TSSH

Post  rufuskins on Sun 26 Oct 2014, 8:22 pm

Yet another big jump from the last post on this subject, but as it is now some 21 months since TSSH came into being it does not seem unreasonable to once again take a look back and perhaps consider what the future holds! (Some of the points from some of my previous posts on this review still seem pertinent.)

i. MSTS still has its core following, and the various promotions indicated that there are others beyond that core that still use MSTS.
ii. Since the first promotion back in June 2013, TSSH has supported another five promotional ideas – namely Actober (2013), 12 Days of MSTS (2013), For the Love of MSTS (2014), MSTS Easter Eggstravaganza (2014) and most recently June and July are MSTS Months (2014). Unfortunately the volume of uploads has tailed off over that period and since.
iii. Following the release of Mid East Plus and the Snowdon Mountain Railway the TSSH Route Directory has reached an impressive 128. I was pleasantly surprised to see that a number of the entries have been visited in excess of 1000 times with the maximum being 4000+ for one of the London Underground routes!
iv. We’ve prepared 31 posts for the Helpful Facts and Links area with two of them receiving more than 1000 hits. Perhaps this suggests that they may have helped someone! I still believe that there is scope for the development of “Helpful Facts and Links”, as a means of bringing all the hints, tips, etc. together in a more central location. I have always felt that, whilst the majority of such facts and figures are available on TSSH and UKTS, they are difficult to find in the wealth of posts – generally because the enquirer doesn’t quite know what the question is.
v. I did post a few articles on what I termed some simple procedures that can be useful to simmers – still not sure whether there is any value in producing more?
vi. We now have 127 members of which 68 have actually posted at least once, although it is hoped that those who haven’t perhaps continue to visit – possibly as guests.
vii. There are still a few UK based routes in development, that I am aware of, of which NWE V3 may be the first to appear.
viii. There is still some stock development going on out there and it will be interesting to see what may appear over the coming months. It certainly appears that on this side of the pond we are effectively dependent upon ourselves to generate new stock as to the best of my knowledge virtually no commercial items are currently in production.

On the personal MSTS front my FG DMU repaint project is effectively complete, with both non-BIN and BIN versions being made available. I may at a later stage put together an assortment of Class 108 sets, and I believe that the single car units have still not been BIN’d. Perhaps at some time in the future I might be able to create an original FG DMU! I am currently concentrating on TSM modelling of LYR wagons, whilst the Bulleid “shorties” are still on the back burner.

Let me misquote a relatively well known quotation from George R. R. Martin on the subject of heroes:-

My own heroes are the route builders, those simmers who have tried to make the world of train simulation a better place than when they found it, whether in small ways or great ones. Many have succeeded, some have had mixed results . . . but it is the effort that's heroic, as I see it. Win or lose, I really do admire those who create a route for the benefit of others.


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Re: A personal perspective on TSSH

Post  steamnut44 on Mon 27 Oct 2014, 12:30 am

Quite an achievement for TSSH and I am glad to be part of it. It's a pity that not more members visit and post on here. Justin and the moderators have done a wonderful job of setting up this forum, dedicated to MSTS, which is still alive and kicking after 12 years and new routes still being made, is quite remarkable, considering it is now running alongside the other simulator.
Considering that at least 85% of everything ever made for MSTS was done by the train-sim community as freeware, which has brought MSTS to what it is today and why it is still being used today, although by just a dedicated number of people.
Like others on here, I have tried the other simulator, but never quite felt at home with it, as I have with MSTS, ok the graphics  might be crisper, but the overall running of it is not as easy to manage, as far as I'm concerned. One of the main down factors of not going with the new simulator, is the cost of keeping up with it. New versions that seem to appear every year, aren't cheap and most of the stock and routes are payware items. Ok, I have spent quite a bit on MSTS, with certain payware routes and community CD/DVD's over the past twelve years, but to keep pace with the latest simulator, and gather the choice available, would cost a fortune, When you are on a pension, it is not possible.
Anyway, MSTS suits me and always will. I love it and as long as I am able to run it, I don't think I will be leaving it! Or will I be splashing out for a the latest version of Windows, when I still have a good XP computer, than can handle MSTS with reasonably good frame rates, even on routes like Dorset Coast, MEP and Woodhead V4. All of which have some pretty large areas with lot's of trackwork.

I suppose I have done my bit to help MSTS over the past 12 years, by producing two versions of the Blackpool Tramway, which includes the Illuminations, the only route ever built, meant for night time running. The other of course was my contribution in the building of the SCP route, together with Don Hinton. Since then, not much has happened, but hopefully, I aim to get involved with making activities for some of the many routes available, before I get too senile to know what I am really doing on a computer after I log on.

It would be nice if more TSSH members, posted on here, instead of just browsing, when only a handful seem to be doing so. Ok, I haven't in the past posted as much as I would have liked, but in the past few years, I have been trying to get my life back into gear after the loss of my wife. Happily, life is getting back to normal again.


Last edited by steamnut44 on Mon 27 Oct 2014, 12:51 am; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : made a hash of spelling errors)


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