As some of you may know, I have developed an aircraft for X-Plane called Chase's MD-80. Well, I should say "am developing." I have decided to use this blog to help me communicate to the community my progress and my experiences. I don't have much free time, so I am not sure how this will go, but I will certainly try it out. Here goes.
Everyday I seem to wake up and get my MD-80 Project on my mind. I think to myself, "Okay, I'll just go finish ____, and then I'll be done for the day; I can just go fly after that." Well, that hasn't really been happening recently. My routine has been more like: get up, drag myself to the shower, throw on some clothes, shuffle up the stairs, turn on my computer, launch blender, edit ONE thing in the 3D cockpit, launch X-Plane to see if it worked, go back to blender and repeat these steps. Each day I seem more inspired to follow this patter as I start to see the light at the end of the tunnel more and more clearly. Of course I then take a look around and see all that's miss from the plane that I still have to research, model, and texture. But that too is rather inspiring. I want to finish it so badly that I am making a real effort to do as much as I can everyday. I think I have made some serious leaps forward from my last release.
That brings me to my next dilemma. I don't know how I should proceed to release this in the future. I mean, in the past I pretty much thought that as I fixed things or added things, I would pack it up and call it a 0.x release. I started off this way too. But as I got into some serious modeling, I reconsidered. I am leaning towards holding off the next release until it is "finished." By that I mean completely modeled and mostly functional. A 1.0 release if you will. It just doesn't seem to make sense to pack up an incomplete aircraft anymore. I am glad I did it originally though. I got lots of positive and helpful feedback from the community that way and also established myself as an MD-80 developer.
Now I am stuck though. I have a 0.2 plane sitting in the downloads section of the X-Plane forums with something like 1600 downloads that is well out of date. The flight dynamics are primitive and certainly not characteristic of an MD-80. The fuselage is see-through. And the 3D cockpit is barely textured and almost completely unusable. It is nothing more than a preview. I could pack up what I have now for a release, but how do I clean it up without robbing these good people? I don't want to drop the 3D cockpit as it is the most improved area, yet still unfinished. Plus it would be one LESS thing than what the previous release had. That's no good. I really am struggling. I want to let them have a plane with the correct flight dynamics and such, but I don't think I am ready for that. Right now it looks like I am going to have to wait.
I really think I am done with releasing things early as a preview. It makes a mess for me from a developmental standpoint. Now I understand the long wait times at PMDG
Until next time,
I'll try the picture posting thing now B)