My review on TCCP v2.0: the good, the bad, and the ugly


DLC developer for Trainz
So it’s been 2 years since TCCP v2.0 came online replacing TCCP v1.0 and after a while of using it this is my review on the new system. Hopefully N3V will consider some of this feedback. I'm only going to concentrate on the content creation side rather than the beta side as there isn't much worth saying.

The good:
- I really, really, really love having the ability to build and test our own packages. This was one of my wishes with TCCP v1.0 and I was happy to hear this. I can now easily see what the final size of my DLC packs will be without having to guess it all. No longer must wait for N3V to build the package for us.
- I like that we have control over what we consider featured, what we could consider payware. This was something we had no control over, and I don't think N3V did either from when talking about the older system.
- I like that we can upload our own marketing materials and see what they would look like when they go onto the Trainz store. Another feature that we had to wait for N3V to do for us on the older system.

The bad:
- After beta testing, you go into the queue which can be anywhere from 3 month to what feels like years.
- Zec will fail your package if he spots one issue instead of continuing with testing the DLC to report other issues. So instead of reporting issue 1, issue 2, etc and fixing issues 1, issue 2, etc, you must keep resubmitting and waiting 3+ months before you know if your package is good or not.

The ugly:
- I've had it when Zec signed up to beta test my DLCs and progress never proceeded with no message. Industrial Switching was one of those forgotten a year later so a new SC number had to be applied and resubmitted.
- The beta testers... where to even start? I know there some very few that'll beta test but majority of them use it to gain early access to the DLCs rather than beta test. This is where I loved it when N3V handled the packages they had a set of beta testers that beta tested and gave you feedback. Beta testing in this new system is a joke and useless when the beta testers don't submit their feedback nor report issues. I've added bugs to my packages to see if any of them would report them and no one did so I've had to remember to take out the bug before pushing it to N3V. Then when its released that's when purchasers report issues and an update has to be submitted because none of the beta testers reported them. Again, beta testing is a complete joke and a waste of time.

Overall, I'd prefer TCCP v1.0 over TCCP v2.0 as a lot more things got done when N3V reviewed and had their set of beta testers test your DLC package. I’ve got way more feedback and issues fixed within the 2–3-week period than I get done with the current 2-week period with the new system. What I would like to see changed is maybe having someone hired just for the DLC branch or something.
So yeah, that’s my review on the system as a content creator and my two cents worth.

I initially signed up for the program and tested a few routes/sessions. I even mentioned in a few posts that TCCP was going to "make things better." After a short while I found that I was wrong. There is a lack of even the most basic of info for the tester as to what the prospective test item is, what kind of testing is to be done, etc, etc. It just became too frustrating when the same route would show up for testing over and over and over... never to be seen completed and released. I wanted to help improve things but I felt like I was on an island of no information and just wasting time.... Beta testers need to be vetted, kept in the loop, and given much more information. It also became apparent to me that some content creators were using the system to do alpha testing, not beta testing. I am 100% confident that the route creator had not ran thru his/her own session even once. I determined that I was not going to alpha test routes for someone whose goal was to have their route/sessions in the Store.
I only jumped into this with TCCP version 2.0 as a developer, so I can't comment on 1.0

But here are the Good, Bad and Ugly for me,

The Good
I have succesfully used the system to make money. With some perseverance, you can succeed.

The Bad
The content creator has to upload 'Store' images, it would be nice for the beta tester to see those and make comments of them.
There is a function to email past beta users notifications of a new update, still not implemented.
The Content Store does not show enough info, when you get an error, the only way to really see it is to dig into the logs. The Error Popup in the Content Store should show this info for easy debugging.

The Ugly
It seems to feel like a secrect society, very slow response times on issues. When you get an answer, it looks like it came as a result of a board meeting with more than half the answer redacted. I think the creators should get the full answer, it would quite us down and make life easier.
Thanks for the feedback. We'd like to hear from more beta testers about their experience. Obviously having good testers is an important part of the process of ensuring quality products and the current system is, as mentioned, not achieving that goal.
I have helped beta test a couple of routes and the most frustrating thing for me is how long things take to be released once it has been beta tested. I've been looking forward to once particular route to be released but I have been waiting for Months! And it's still not released as it's still going through the 'system'.
I have helped beta test a couple of routes and the most frustrating thing for me is how long things take to be released once it has been beta tested. I've been looking forward to once particular route to be released but I have been waiting for Months! And it's still not released as it's still going through the 'system'.

They have been updating the TCCP site in preperation for official release of TRS22. This has been causing some delays as incorrect packages were being delivered to the testers in some cases. The good news the issues seemed to be resolved now and developement is going forward faster again.

The other issue as pointed out here is there is not much feedback from the testers, which would help speed up development. The feedback we do get really helps a lot and is very much appreciated. When an issue is identified it must be fixed and the project has to be re-submitted and go through another 14 day test period. So it's a whole process, much like watching paint dry.

PS, thanks for testing my route!
So it’s been 2 years since TCCP v2.0 came online ...

The bad:
- After beta testing, you go into the queue which can be anywhere from 3 month to what feels like years...


This one is hitting me hard right now. It's hard to keep developing with this slowdown.
This is why I still prefer TCCP v1.0 over TCCP v2.0 as you still have an awful waiting time to find out if your item is even good to be released. With TCCP v1.0 beta tester's time wasn't wasted if the package needed some fixing as it was first reviewed by an N3V employee.
Failed = no beta testing performed which saved time for other items that needed beta testing
Approved = beta testing will be performed on your item and you'll actually gather feedback.
What N3V needs to do si actually hire someone to handle only the DLC branch, not have Zec do it. Zec has enough things to do such as the helpdesk, the newsletter writer, community manager, etc etc etc etc.

As my starter post sums up, TCCP v2.0 is a joke - an awful joke that hasn't delivered a lot of things.

If N3V actually made a feature that can help with protecting 3rd party payware content, then I would more likely be selling through my website than N3V. Only reason I'm doing it through N3V is because of the payware protection they have.

Under Content Creator Project, Notificatons, it states;

All communication to the Trainz Team for this package will take place via this Notification system.

This method never seems to work. Nobody responds. It would be nice to even say, sorry, maybe weeks. At least I know where to go. Just venting while I watch the paint dry.
It seems now that N3V reviews my items they always change their stupid policies without any notice to the creators:n:
N3V should give creators that uses TCCP at least 7 days heads up notice prior to going into effect so those that don't quality can take their items out and fix it.
N3V should also remove the categories that don't quality anymore.

In my case routes without sessions aren't accepted so now now N3V should remove categories that have no sessions like in the image below.

Using TCCP is starting to become more complex than what TCCP 1.0 was.

Hi Hiawathamr
Unfortunately feedback from customers and sales has shown that routes need to include at least one playable session.

However in this case, as I also outlined to you elsewhere, your route was rejected as the description advertised sessions that weren't included, but instead were separate (and at the current time, unavailable) downloads, and the DLC pack included a 'broken' session (as far as players would see) that also advertised those as yet unavailable sessions. Quite simply, this DLC pack would have been rejected either way.