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As Real As It Get - The Next Step (an open letter to MSFS Dev Team)

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topic: a proposal of several points of consideration for inclusion into the next design document for the next version of the Microsoft Flight Simulator application. background: since the first Flight Simulator (that i was aware of) appeared on the Commodore64, i've been hooked... and i have wound up synchronizing my computer upgrades in conjunction with releases of new version of the Flight Sim, primarily to be able to fly the sim, all the while telling myself i needed it for work. i am also a private pilot and past USAF aircrew. preliminaries: "As Real As It Gets" - that sounds good, but... here's what i see as being missing... there are no preflight activities, there are no destinations to 'visit', there are no passengers or crew for multi-station aircraft, there are no peripheral related activities to get involved in... why... because, as hard as it may be for some of us to accept, the truth is that there are no pilots in the Flight Simulator... we experience the game as an aircraft, not as a pilot... not as a passenger... not as an air traffic controller... sure we get the impression of clicking switches and controling the yoke and throttle... but there is nothing that separate us from the plane we choose to fly... plain and simple, we are the planes we choose to fly...and we have to be a plane... and we have to fly. the proposal in general the time has come for The Flight Simulator to evolve, not only to keep up with the current technology, but to make the trademarked mantra "As Real As It Gets" really mean something... what i propose is a quantum shift in the approach that the developers, and the users of The Flight Simulator take in the way they see the application... what i propose is a persona oriented Flight Simulator, in which the player/pilot enters the game as person... either a pilot, a crewmember, a passenger, an atc or tower controller, and fbo supervisor/staff... and not as a plane... and the entire experience is based on and emmanates out from this perspective. instead of clicking on a menu and teleporting to an airport already inside of a plane, you would now enter the simulation as a person.. with predefined persona (containing attributes, appearance, voice, experience level, etc) ... at an airport or outside the fbo... you would walk into the fbo, where you could interact with other pilots (real, if online or ai if single player), chat, get briefings, and check out a plane (you can only board and fly the planes you check out or own)... proceed out onto the ramp... do your preflight, get aboard, maybe even asking an online persona at the fbo to join you... and fly... and that's just one possible scenario... some players might want to enter the game outisde of the atc facility where they would 'work'... and if online, they could actually direct other player/pilots in their sector... some might just wanna go to the airport and be a passenger... either aboard an ai flight or an online real pilot flight... the main point of this being that now we are Flight Simming as people... all involved in activities centered around flying... after all, everyone who loves flying, might not necessarily want to be a pilot... this opens up a whole untapped vista for experience as well as for developerment... the modeling of atc centers, modeling aircraft where a flight engineer's panel actually is part of the performance of the model... modeling destinations, scnerey where you could go inside buildinsg...drive along roads etc... a holistic flight experience... sound cool... ... or have i already lost everyone. conclusion i think that this is the future for simulations like The Flight Simulator... and it can be implemented to be as scalable as the consumer wishes... just fly, or experience the whole magilla... the persona aspect can all be carried a long way... an MS persona could be defined as an open specifiaction for an entity that 'lives' on your machine and on the net, which represents you, and which can be used in any game that wishes to adopt the spec... but getting back to The Flight Simulator, this can be the basis for a lot of activity which, in my opinion, would definitely enhance the FSim experience... and bring us one giant step closer to "As Real As It Gets" thank you for you attention... and your patience i would appreciate it if someone out there who has an in would drop this on the desk of the movers and shakers over at MS... maybe someone somewhere over there might find it not too far fetch, or at the very least, a humorus waste of 2 minutes... i also would like to hear other opinions on this... doable, not doable, desirable or not, what was missing, etc... thanks again --Mike

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Mike,Read your post and although I can understand some of what your saying? (What's 'FBO'?) You are not speaking for the majority who are quite, and more than happy with the game as it is, and what it's evolving into.I think that what your asking for is a new game, perhaps made my microsoft that would cater for your requirements?Now whether they have time to do something like this is another 'ball-game'.I disagree with your assuming we are a 'Plane' as most of us are transported via a wonderful fantasy while we are using the game into believing we are doing it for real!Because for some it is as 'real as it's going to get!'I am more than happy with FS9 as I was one of the 'knockers' that commented while using FS2002 that all FS9 was any good for was a few clouds and improved ATC. I have since eaten my words without indigestion.Long live the MSN flight sim dept. I say. (....and with no spelling mistakes)All the best,Dave.'Three greens and soft landings'

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Donny AKA ShalomarFly 2 ROCKS!!!Why not a scrollable/pannable/fully clickable 2D cockpit? That way EVERY guage, switch and knob would be readable in its proper place and you could instantly snap back to a "home" view with primary flight instruments & windshield view visible? 3D cockpits are great for VFR pattern work but (opinion) make judging flare more difficult, the GREAT 2D cockpit is one reason I FLY 2. Falcon 4 has BOTH a pannable/scrollable/clickable 2D and 3D cockpit and with sliders set near max on my 533 MGH 32 meg video it never stutters...Thou shalt mantain thy airspeed, lest the ground rise up and smite thee...:-wave

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Mike, I, too, am a PPilot, SEL, and former USAF Avionics tech. I was a Boeing brat from birth and aircraft/flying is as much a part of me as my bald head. In MSFS the individuality starts with the Logbook. You are the logbook's owner. From there it extends to virtually every aspect of the sim. Which plane you choose to fly, from where to where. Do you start with engines running at the business end of the runway or with a dark, cold cabin on an apron. Lear, C182, or the heavies that are heavy into the ATC thing. Local, regional, transoceanic. It all funnels back to "Logbook of: Glenn F. Flowers" My logbook has entries from 1989, FS4, to present and totals almost 1350 hrs. My REAL world logbook is about to be surpassed in totals by my virtual logbook. I see your point in the preflight, FBO, fellow crew ideas and that would be very welcome to me. But, with what MSFS is presently and considering the lack of any competition, it is, "As Real As It Gets", and it's pretty d***ed real AFAIC. Ideas such as yours are always a reason for hope and speculation. If you've thought of it, maybe MS will also. We can though know for certain that it can and will get only better. Knock on wood.Glenn"When a man learns how much he doesn't know compared to how much there is to learn, he starts getting smarter."

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Well this topic has a good point of view and in no way it puts down the simulator. If you ask me those implementations are good if MS would apply them.I will apply my 2 cents to this topic. Simulations as real as it get, starts from the user itself. I have 2 simulators X-Plane and FS2002, I fly on Vatsim, Flightproject, IVAO not yet but soon will join there. One thing I do is try to simulate all of the options mention above.I first start with the airport infomation or METAR for pilots :) then once I have all Airport information available like active runways dep procedures ect, I work on my flight plan route and fuel and other options for making my flight as safe and fast as possible.Then I switch to the outside view and check all moving parts of the aircraft there has been times my Flight Yoke has not been plug in curtesy of my 2 year old. So my preflight check starts with the controls in the simulator.Then I contact clearance and the rest is up 2 my emagination, I guess this will be as real as it get for me. I try to simulate as much as possible to make my simulation expirience as fun as it can get not just as real but as fun also.And while we are at it why don't we add real aviation disasters ect, :) you crash you die! those are real also, but lets not forget that this has to be fun.And one last thing MS would think about is user statistic some people are not real pilots or don't even know anything about commercial flights emagine a brand new MSFS user trying to figure out a SID STAR for his flight plan. Or trying to figure out how much fuel he needs for TOC to destination ect. It is as real as it gets but would a new user be able to handle so much? Maybe as a addon for FS all those options yes but as the game I don't think it will make such a big impact in the commercial aspect of it.Just my 2 cents corect me if im wrong and I don't speak well english is my 2nd language excuse my spelling.

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