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Lago FSSE opportunity lost

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I think we should all just accept Lago's Scenery Enhance for what it is. A Scenery enhancer not a scenery designer. Lago has been ask to open it up time and time again and its not going to happen. Perhaps because its just to complicated to rewrite code.Lago's been ask to provide more enhancers. And they have althought not at the rate or quanity that anyone would have liked. Its obvious that the process must be tedious or we would have seen more service packs.So buy it or dont but it My opinion is the the Concept that lago had with Scenery Enhancer was brilliant (it could have revolutionized how we all used FS2K2) however the execution was poor. If when Lago came up with this concept and had decided to try to make it open ended, decided to make the enhancements available to all even if they had not purchased the Enhancer, and abovet all figured out how to protect their investment things would have been much different and sales would have soared. But that did not happen. Write it off to opportunity lostDennis Waggoner

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I have to agree with you 100%. Its not a bad product, it just does not live up to what it could have been. Hopefully in time another company will make a similar product and fill in what LAGO has failed to do. What I mean by that is it would be nice to see larger librarys of quality objects frequently updated. It would also be nice for users to be able update libraries themselves with their own objects and textures (thus be able to downbload from one another when posted). I realize this is not feasible with the current way FSSE is designed, but perhaps such functionality could be added. Perhaps designing such a product would be expensive, but it certainly seems like the market is out there. What is most frustrating is that it just seems like LAGO almost abandoned this product (or at least put it on the back burner so to speak) while many of us had impressions it would be of priority for some time. As I said before, it IS a good product, it just still leaves somthing to be desired.Brewmaster

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I think the main reason Lago hasn't released more packs is cost.Remember they have to make a living, and if they don't release something new regularly that income is going to dry up pretty darn fast.I agree that an open application would have been better, but that would have presented its own problems.They chose this way, and we'll have to live with it.It's not an opportunity lost really, just not fully optimised. Even with the limited set of resources available it is a great tool.

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A poor choice however, people would have loved to have been able to place their own objects into scenery.Lago solved the WYSIWYG design problem in FS, then locked it up so you could only use their objects and could not export the scenery to others.FS Architect is the closest to seeing your scenery design in 3D.Not since IBM decided not to manufacture copiers has a blunder so big been done.

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I too recognize the benefits and failings of the product. But I would like to add something regarding the service packs and cost.I do see how it can be considered that the service pack releases are "deadweight" on the developers time and payroll, but I would counter that with while the enhancements don't directly generate revenue, the *better* the addons are and the more complete they make their library, the company stands a greater chance of selling more base units.I personally didn't buy the product until the last service pack came out, because I wanted a few more objects than what was included in the original set.Of course, having an open system would have caused me to purchase it IMMEDIATELY upon release. The "slew-and-drop" method of creating scenery is ABSOLUTELY WONDERFUL - it's just too bad there are a few (glaring) negatives with it, which have been hashed and rehashed out here to no end.Just thoughts,-Greg

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I have been seriously contemplating buying this product and decided to wait for this recent service pak, but after hearing the many comments these last couple days I don't think I will now.If I had of bought this addon there's no way I would be happy always waiting for objects to be released. I want the product to be complete from the start.Glad I waited.SteveCYYZ

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Doncha love it! "Enhancing" scenery seems different than "designing" scenery when Lago says it! Of course, in both cases the user want the old scenery to look different, in both cases the user does something, in both cases the user decides how much different it should look, in both cases macros are constructed to acheive this different result!LOLAhh, the spin doctors...call it "enhancement" and we can make it a closed system, call it "design" and we'd have different rules to abide by.Its kind of like moving the responsibility of the hassles people feel about fsse away from Lago, its not their fault, its the fault of those bad guys that defined these "enhancement" tools to be different from these "design" tools. Its slight of hand. Rename the product, then if someone wants me to be as good as my competitor, I just say we're not really competitors, cuz I make enhancers, while he's in the business of making designers. LOLIn my job, some years ago, I realized a current product needed to be changed. When I proposed a "redesign", I was turned down...didn't have the money. Later I called it a "design improvement" and I got funding instantly.....SAME WORK! HEE HAWBest,Bob Bernstein

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I too would prefer FSSE to be an open tool, as compared to its present format. But it is not mine to decide, so in the end I have to decide if I will still use it the way it is, or not.But unlike you, I can see very clearly what is a Scenery Enhancer and what is a Scenery Designer.I would never even dream of using FSSE to design a new airport from scratch, but I would love to use FSSE to enhance (i.e. improve, add to) an existing airport, be it a default design or an addon.Stamatis

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Agree - Lago used poor business judgement as a closed product. They should have sold it as a tool with some "starter" items. Someone, who has no marketing skills, made a poor move. It is not too late. If there is anyone with influence in the company they could open it and charge around a $40.00 price. This gives them cashflow and eliminates what they view as a burden - new service packs. The core tool is indeed VERY desireable. Unfortunatly, a very stubborn person, who has little business culture, has kept it locked. Dick

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[Enhance] 1. Increase 2. Make better or more attractiveThat's obviously something else then 'Creating' or 'Designing'.But let's not get into semantics. We have been with this dicussion now at least 5 times here and everytime it ends up the same. A lot of people ask why we 'closed' the product and our sales go up because a lot of people try the product and see that the closed format is not a real problem for most users:-) I will try one more time to explain why we designed the product as it is. I also advise you to read the excellent review on the product on Avsim that discusses the issue in a clear way.. The product is directly aimed at people without any experience in scenery design, beginners. It is not made for people who want to create scenery because there are superb tools for them.. We wanted to keep control over the objects and the textures to ensure the resulting scenery is super fast and totally stable. For this reason we combine textures for several objects in a logical way. Some of the objects in the new Service Pack are designed by users btw and we have always been very helpfull in helping people to create objects we can include in the next build. All the repaints of aircraft in the new Service Pack have been made by customers, not by LAGO.. A very important part of the product is the database we have online that hold close to 750(!) FSSE files that can be downloaded by FSSE users and enhance over 600 airport world wide. As we wanted to avoid copyright problems and above all limit the size of the files we had to use a standard base of objects. A FSSE scenery that enhances a medium airport with 50 aircraft and 300 objects on the tarmac is only 20Kb in size.Of course we considered making it a more open tool and perhaps we will someday. But that would be a different product. Very different in many ways and it would have to created packages of standard scenery that include all objects and textures. The main problem doing that is that creating tools like this, is that it is VERY difficult to make it commercially possible. Doing it INSIDE FS2002 as we want everything to run increases the programming efforts tremendously. In the current market a product like that would only be possible in freeware. let's put it differently, I personally would LOVE a product like that and if it would be possible I would have started the development long ago.In the end FSSE is a very succesfull product that can be tried without real restrictions (only limited in number of objects placed) by anybody without paying. It outsold anything we have done so far (although it gets a run for its money from Emma Field:-), got only the best possible reviews, has awards etc. The 'complaints (if I am allowed to call them that) like we read, here are basically nothing more than a complaint we have NOT done a FS Scenery Designer. Which indeed we have not.So, give me a break, we have not done something wrong because we have decided not to release a product some people here (and myself) would like to have. If there is anybody out there that believes he can make a FSSE like tool that is inexpensive enough in production to be commercially possible for LAGO, I would really, really love to have a talk. Mathijs KokLAGO Concepts & Developments

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Mathijs,Don't worry about it; you guys have done some great things for the community. I think people are really passionate about the FSSE thing because they see so much potential for it! It's an unbelievable addon, and I'm sure you guys will give and "open" FSSE a hard look to see what you can do about it. If it won't work, it won't work, but it could also be the addon that puts Lago at the top of the FS addon market for a long time :)Anyways, I bet you guys are feeling a little discouraged by the reaction to the new object pack, but just remember that we care about it because we love it. If there wasn't any interest, you wouldn't hear anything back from us. I'm sure others will agree.Keep up the good work,Greghttp://www3.sympatico.ca/gregory.moffatt/ERJ.jpg

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"Agree - Lago used poor business judgement as a closed product. They should have sold it as a tool with some "starter" items. Someone, who has no marketing skills, made a poor move. It is not too late. If there is anyone with influence in the company they could open it and charge around a $40.00 price. This gives them cashflow and eliminates what they view as a burden - new service packs. The core tool is indeed VERY desireable. Unfortunatly, a very stubborn person, who has little business culture, has kept it locked."I can't believe this statement Dick. FSSE is what it is. Lago has gone out of its way IMHO, to explain why it is what it is. Buy it or don't. How do you know they used "poor business judgement"? What insight into the market do you have that they don't? Unless you are in the business and can establish your credentials, I find this pretty self-serving. I know Mathijs, and just spent a great weekend with him and some of his team. Unless you can put forward your bonfides in the subject or the insight you have that is implied in your message, then it needs to be totally dismissed by the mainstream reader.

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I'm not a scenery "designer"...I bought FSSE...disappointed for sure...in the models available.Not disappointed in the ease of use...plus the 700+ library of enhanced airports, although I probably will only use a handful of these.I would love to see just a plethora mre of models...of all types....what is available now is pretty limiting IMO...yes, they help make a more believable scene....but very repetitious...same stuff everywhere....I've read the reasoning from Lago in not having an open system, and quite honestly can't agree with it....even folks with simplicity in mind would not have a problem with using models in this that are from other designers...I just can't see what is the big deal in doing this....

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Amen, Tom!I always chuckle at the people who seem to know what is good for a company, and yet have no idea of what goes on in the boardrooms.Lago has made a decision based on facts that are available to them, period. It is their decision alone, unless they specifically ask for outside input. They must be doing something right, I have yet to see a product that they published, that will not do what they claim it to do. I, for one, will buy anything that they put out sight unseen, because they have proven themselves to me and I trust them and their judgement.Mathijs, and the rest of Lago team, keep up the great work.I also had the great pleasure of meeting Mathijs, but it was, at the last Microwings Conference in Seattle.http://members.cox.net/pstepanoff/images/OK_c2.gifPete S

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Why not release an object creator/editor for FSSE ? This would seem to give the base product the best of both worlds.

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I'm sure it's been mentioned before somewhere, but I just thought of it and perhaps it would be useful for "FSSE v2.0" or something...Perhaps next time around, in addition to the Lago-created objects, there can be some sort of creation and SUBMISSION system. Users can create objects and submit them to Lago, or a team of Lago-selected users (such as the beta testers?) for judgement on size, performance, and quality. There would be a series of strict rules for content such as making things not specific for a certain airport, appropriatness, and perhaps performance hit/texture size. This team would judge them and then pass the good ones along to Lago for inclusion in the next set of updates. Where, of course, Lago has the final say. There are issues of judgement that go into play with it, but it would allow for end-user assistance in creating objects and help to ease the burden on Lago for creating huge volumes of objects.Of course, this also presumes that the objects created for FSSE are done so in GMax or other standard, available tools. Food for thought for the next version, at least. FSSE is probably the easiest to use MSFS scenery tool. It really is deserving of praise for what it can do within MSFS compared to its peers. I just think everyone who is curious about scenery editing above and beyond a passing interest is looking to expand on the ideas and implementations used in FSSE!

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Hi Greg,While thats an interesting idea and one that should at least be considered by Lago, I think that only covers one half of the same issue.If end-users submit designs for FSSE as a commercial application, it only makes it right to also include a free runtime for end-users as well. Make the designing.. oops.. "enhancing" aspect of the tool a separate application that is charged for (since Lago is indeed a commercial interest), but if they accept end-user creations for the tool, the runtime must be free as well. This is only fair, from my side of the fence as a designer - um... I mean.. "enhancer". (Actually, I kind of like that term better. Maybe we owe a debt of gratitude to Lago for refining our name better. Enhancer. Yes! :-) - thats a friendly smile for you Mathijs!).I have no doubts thats why Lago created the closed system to begin with. As a commercial enterprise, they do have a responsibility to their bottom line, and we should at least respect that (as mainly businessmen/women here, I'd think). Doesn't mean I personally have to agree with it of course - specially when I see it as having the capability of splintering the established and more than healthy traditions of a thriving community. But then again, I'm a Liberal activist by nature. Yes, really! :-lolTake care,Elrondhttp://members.rogers.com/eelvish/Boycott-RIAA.gif]"A musician without the RIAA, is like a fish without a bicycle."[/font://http://members.rogers.com/eelvish/B...cle."[/b][/font

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Nothing stops you today from adding a static plane, or a fuel box or a fence to a default airport using fssc, or airport, or asd, or architect. Each come with canned macros making themselves available to beginners.If you choose to add only some simple things to an airport using "design" tools , don't those programs magically transform themselves into "enhancement" tools?The key and desireable feature of fsse is the wsyiwyg nature, which is independant of the quantity or purpose intended in the addition of code to fs.Thus my point...semantics that simply muddle the discussion.

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Quite a judgemental response in itself. If we all required specific credentials to be critical only doctors would criticize doctors or barbers would critize haircuts. A very odd position. As to my opinion - I feel that an open tool is more valuable to the simulator community. If so, then they are the market and will respond in kind. The output of this exceptional item is restricted to only those that purchase the product. Lago, I sense, is having difficulty with creating new products and expanding older ones. It "seems" that creating new products comes first since many appear to be licensed creations. The marketing and support of so many again "seems" to occupy their time.Finally, the product is a commercial item and has had difficulty meeting "perceived dates". Refer to the Lago website. In my total ignorance of marketing flight simulator products I continue to believe that an open treatment of this excellent product benefits both parties - Lago and sim fans.By the way I managed a 3 milliom a year operation where I did both product managment and marketing. I have had two consulting engagements since retirement doing product development and marketing. Just think that "credentials" makes a silly and restrictive argument.Regards,DickKLBEPS: This continues to be my favorite site!Dick

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Dick, I am glad that this continues to be your favorite site, cause if anytime I crossed swords with a reader and they were to leave, we'd be a lonely place here. Thanks for staying, despite me... :)Having said that... "I managed a 3 milliom a year operation where I did both product managment and marketing"... I see your hand and raise it by six or eight (actually more, but that's not really germain). I too manage a substantial revenue generating area for my "real life" job, and am too a Marketing Manager of some 30+ years standing. I would never ever question the marketing judgement of a company in whose field I was not intimately knowledgable of. Being a marketing manager of say, vegetable wholesale operations, doesn't necessarily qualify me to be a marketing manager or product manager in software and certainly not within the narrow niche of flight simulation. I wouldn't know vegetable wholesale from marketing mega-yachts, but you get my drift, I am sure.Your argument of an open tool, had you taken that tack, would have been far more credible (and understandable) rather than the one you did; disparaging, and frankly condescending. It was that tone that got my dander up, so to speak.I think all of us would love to have "open source" everything. The LINUX approach times a gazillion. Ain't to be. I know if our stuff was open source (my real life job that is), I would be out of a job. And I think that is the ultimate point. Open source is great; as long as you keep your day time job to feed yourself. God forbid your employer goes open source... :)

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Not to step on either of your toes here, but I think when people in these threads have been discussing open, the issue wasn't one of "open source", but "open architecture". ie: opening up the proprietary data files so end user submissions could be added.I don't think anyone in his right mind would argue for Lago doing a 180 and open sourcing their commercial software and giving it away for free. (but, I did see that exact suggestion here.. LOL). I think most still fully expect to pay for software from Lago when they design or enhance scenery.Again, not to step on either of you or Dick's toes and I could have been misreading the whole thing the past couple days.Take care,Elrondhttp://members.rogers.com/eelvish/Boycott-RIAA.gif]"A musician without the RIAA, is like a fish without a bicycle."[/font://http://members.rogers.com/eelvish/B...cle."[/b][/font

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Hi Bob,"Thus my point...semantics that simply muddle the discussion." Reading your reply above I agree that you are definitely confused (or should I say muddled? :-) ). I am sorry about that.Nevertheless, whatever FSSE is to you, I still like it, but I would prefer it an open tool.Stamatis

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Yes...I want everything free...enough of this money making garbage...open source the world....In the case of FSSE---If modelers were willing to make objects, give them to Lago to be included in future pack releases, why not???As hobbyists, most folks that have the ability to make 3D objects probably would be very willing to submit them to Lago for inclusion...any reason that could not be done? No toe stepping or money lost...all Lago has to to do is include the objects in the release.I think most users of FSSE would even pay for packs if they were reasonably priced and included a vast array of objects....such as a "Bush Pack"---complete with numerous docks, cabins, etc etc...some northwoods animals, couple of igloos...you know what I mean :)A big tree pack, factory pack, vehicle pack...those 2 cars I have now are quite pitiful IMO....How about United Airline Pack, Northwest Pack, etc etc...all models of an airlines....The possibilities are endless but for just a little code change, or in this case, probably nothing more than a spec to be sure the models are useable in FSSE.

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Well, as it stands now, end users already submit their completed scenery files to Lago for distribution. Submitting objects wouldn't be all that different, in my humble opinion. :-) Even though I too wish there was a free "viewer" tool to let people see FSSE scenery, I guess I'll equate it to the Dreamfleet aircraft... Using the Text-o-Matic tool, ANYone can paint and design an airplane. But you must purchase the airplane in order to use it. There are scads of free liveries available for their planes, all done by people who own the original package. True, you don't necessairily buy the DF737 simply to paint it, but many users didn't buy FSSE to actively design in it - they may just want to view other people's efforts. But in both cases the edits, creations, and modifications are done "for the users, by the users" of a particular item. Think back to FS4... the A&SD package (if memory serves me correctly) only allowed you to view the created/edited scenery if you owned the scenery editor. (I was in jr. high then, so it's a little way back) FSSE users all know the limitations on distribution for their works. Most of us bought it with that knowledge. But what better way to secure a loyal user base than involving them more in the creation process! I dunno - I'm just trying to come up with ideas that allow Lago to remain in control of their library, as well as give use outside users a good shot at a huuuuge library of optimized, high quality objects. I like this thread better than the other one on the topic. :)-Greg

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An odd twist, a statement that tends toward personal attack. I don't think I've ever jumped on you Stamatis. I'm certainly far from being controversial, and I believe my point is a good one if we wish to flush out the real meaning of a company and get rid of some smokescreen.And if you disagree, fine....but what's up with the highly critical post?Trolling for flame?Well, rather than flame you, I'll just say that you've offended me and taken what had been an interesting thread and bullied away one of the dialogs....I'll keep you in mind and avoid conversation with you in the future.Bob Bernstein

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