Train Sim World

Train Sim World Player Survey

Why do we ask for your opinions?

Once every 6 months or so we send out a survey to our players asking for their feedback on the game. The questions we ask vary from survey to survey but the fundamental goal remains the same: to build a better understanding of who our players are, what they like about the game as it is and where they would like to see it evolve.
These surveys form the backbone of many conversations where decisions are taken involving the future of the game. This can range from giving us a clear indication of which routes are most desirable to which core feature creates the greatest potential level of interest.
On a day-to-day basis we get a wide range of feedback from players who take an active part in the community, whether that's through comments on the Railfan TV streams, from Facebook fan groups, on the community Discord channels and via the Dovetail Games forums. Your comments here give us immediate insight into your take on the game and where we've delivered the kinds of experiences you enjoy. Frequently, however we'll find some differences of opinion come up when we run a survey, as the surveys hit a far larger number of players, many of whom are not part of the various Train Sim World social groups.
This does not reduce or change the importance of social-based feedback, far from it. Surveys give us a snapshot, a report card on where we are whereas social commenting helps us to course correct in a timelier fashion. Taking the two areas of feedback in partnership is extremely helpful.
An example of where this has happened is in the development of US-based routes. From surveys in the past few years, we have identified that for many players passenger routes are more interesting, than freight. In some countries the balance is 80-90% in favour of passengers. Not so for players in the United States who find freight and passenger services equally desirable. This presents us the challenge of how to release enough of each kind of experience for US players to keep both sides happy - something we had not quite got right but hopefully we get closer to with the release of the Boston-Providence route.
We also regularly ask about the desirability of features we could develop in the future. The desire for steam power was last year's top-rated request so we have pulled together a team and a plan to deliver it.
This prioritisation section influences the evolution of the game significantly, but it's not only what players list as their top choices that makes the cut - the lowest ranked choice also presents us with valuable information. The introduction of VR is an interesting proposition. Those who are interested in its being included in the game will very often rank it as their number 1 in the list. For almost everyone else it appears right at the bottom. This is logical - those who own VR hardware most certainly want to see it as an option, while those who do not own VR could not care less. As time goes on, we see overall demand increase as more players pick up the necessary gear to play in VR, but it is still an historically low performer.
A constant high performer is multiplayer, but it too polarises opinion. Multiplayer presents a major design challenge that may only be solved by the players themselves: how do you ensure that people who want to play seriously and those who want to lark around are able to do so without impacting each other's enjoyment of the game? The serious-minded players will often rank multiplayer as unimportant, citing the expectation of fooling around as disruptive to their enjoyment. Many players however are very keen to see an online or local multiplayer experience introduced to the game, to the extent that it remains one of the most requested features.
We take all of this into account.
That is a snapshot of the information we gather and hopefully it helps you to understand why the surveys we conduct are so important to the game. Without your input we work on what we instinctively believe will entertain players. With your input we can make the right choices more often.
The latest Train Sim World survey has just launched, and you can take it here:
Train Sim World
Train Sim World Player Survey