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Scenery Germany 3 Review - official comment

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Hello,As team leader of the Team Scenery Germany 3, I know that there is not much we can do about negative reviews like the one recently posted on Avsim. A review is a point of view from a person and as such valid. However, when the review paints a very different picture than the readers of the same website have painted and the review does not reflect how an actual customer would experience the product, it might be time to publicly comment. There is a large group of users of the product who already commented and their reactions triggered this

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First of all, I am not in anyway connected with Aerosoft, but as a simmer who has a ton of add-ons, I must come to Aerosoft's defence. I have all their "Real Germany" sceneries, and their "German Airports" sceneries, and "Frankfurt", and I am completely satisfied. I will admit, that I stayed away from the "German Sceneries" series, because to me, after reading their details, I understood these sceneries to be mostly eye candy, extra landmarks and small fields and so on. Since I prefer flying out of larger airports, with large detailed cities (I just wish developers would do some more accurate detailed city sceneries) this series , I felt, would not be of much use to me. But before you guys complain about misplaced things in these sceneries, Aerosoft was right up front about it. You should have read the descriptions, they told you that these sceneries were not accurate, but renditions to approximate the real thing. As for VFR Holland blurries, I suspect it is the same problem that I see with the "Real Germany" series. These are aerial photo sceneries and very accurate, but in my opinion, for you to see them properly, you must realize these are "PHOTOS". They work as any camera works...the "in focus..out of focus" principal. They were obviously taken at high altitude , so it should stand to reason that you should get to a decent altitude to fully enjoy them.The "Real Germany" sceneries are blurry (out of focus) close to the ground, but once I get to altitude. they are fabulous. I think the same principal will apply with Holland, I am willing to spend a couple bucks to check it out. There are other factors too, such as your video settings, your card, and the amount of extra add-ons you have, as there could be conflicts with other add-ons, you just have to look in your add-on lists and see if there are duplications, two different companies providing sceneries for the same area that you might have installed. You must in that case decide which one you prefer, because if you run both, you will have conflicts, example, I ran two different Moscow sceneries, and then I noticed I had 2 Ostankino television towers standing side by side, that was a give-away that I had scenery conflicts. Another cause of blurries , is having a huge file library and a slow machine such as I have (time to upgrade). If I really want to see a scenery at it's intended clarity, and to check just how slow my system is handling it, I sometimes, pause a flight over a scenery and just wait and watch. Over a few minutes I can actually see the scenery "popping" into view and get clearer. Anyway, on a final note, just remember, the MAJORITY of these developers charge you a very nominal fee for their products, which I'm sure took an enormous amount of work, and I believe they do it more because they, like you, are in love with things to do with flight and flying, and not so much for the money, but they do need to get paid for their time and their work. So they deserve to be given the proper credit and our thanks for what they do for us. Too many times, these guys get criticized and are not given the thanks and credit they really deserve. It has been my experience that if they provide you with faulty product, they will do their best to fix it, because they are also members of our "flight addicts" community, and also, they must be extremely proud of their creations. To me, these guys are artists. Enough said.Sobaka :-jumpy "I bow to you developers! Keep it coming !!"

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I have forwarded your comment as well as the 2nd comment under this heading to the author of the review.I have asked him to reply to your comments as it is only fair that you get an answer.While the reviewer is free to give his honest and unbiased opinion of the product, I expect the review to be along the same lines that other reviewers have written, rarely do out reviewers give a completely skewed opinion compared to others (but it does happen)

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Sascha:I appreciate your vested interest in the review and respect your comments from your point of view. Please allow me to clarify your response:Nowhere in my review did I say "I expected a different kind of product". I also am familiar with what the scenery is and what it isn't. If it is a VFR scenery then accuracy of the scenery is paramount. VFR flying is NOT just about finding man made landmarks. A large part of VFR flying is finding and following natural landmarks which are often times easier to find and follow no VFR maps. Most VFR sectionals do not include churches, water fountains and power plants. Therefore unless one is familiar with the area or has a tourist guide, an accurately rendered tavern in of absolutely no use! Secondly, accurate highway and major road systems are important to VFR flying. In your scenery, you did NOT render the entire area with accurate highway's and roads. And while you did include "more accurate" roads in some areas, that is NOT the status quo in the entire scenery area.You said: "This scenery was created by manually defined landclasses which allows flying in low and high altitudes. This technique has many advantages against photorealistic sceneries and landscape looks little different to reality". Accurate landclasses of course is better than not having them at all, but the ability to navigate by looking at an "approximization" of a town vs. looking at an accurate representation of a town and the ability to pick out what one would find on a road map are two vastly different things. Landclass scenery tends to place random autogen houses and objects within the landclass. How can one then say it is totally accurate when in the same breath realize that there is a great deal of randomness? Finally you said:"But the most painful element in the review is by far the actual errors that are supposed to be in the review. "misaligned taxiways" and "Elevation and startup position errors" etc. These are actually caused by a setting in FS and we could have solved that in seconds if he would have contacted the support. However, as far as we know, this was not done. A customer would have done so and the customer

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Sobaka:"You should have read the descriptions, they told you that these sceneries were not accurate, but renditions to approximate the real thing". Sobaka, VFR scenery that is approximate is not very useful for VFR no is it? If I gave you "approximate" directions to my home that would not be sufficient for you to find it. Aerosoft believes that VFR scenery should be call that just because it includes lots on nice objects throughout the scenery area HOWEVER, I don't believe that a church in downtown Stuttgart or statues along the Rhein will do me any good with a VFR sectional.I have nothing against Aerosoft and I personally own many of their products however, Scenery Germany 3 brought NOTHING NEW to the table. In your post you mention may other sceneries and add-ons, so please focus on Scenery Germany 3. As you admit you DO NOT OWN IT, so I find it interesting that you come to Aerosoft's defense?I leave you with a final thought:"Anyway, on a final note, just remember, the MAJORITY of these developers charge you a very nominal fee for their products, which I'm sure took an enormous amount of work, and I believe they do it more because they, like you, are in love with things to do with flight and flying, and not so much for the money, but they do need to get paid for their time and their work..."Make no mistake Sobaka, Aerosoft is a business. They are not charging "nominal fees" and are not giving away anthing because they "like you". A nominal fee is $5. $40 is NOT EVEN CLOSE to a nominal fee! Of course they should be paid for their time and work, but don't confuse charity with business. Aerosoft is NOT a charity, and are not a not-for-profit organization, they are in business selling commerical products. As such, my review need not be kind and / or supportive...simply factual. I left my review by saying that Scenery Germany 3 brought nothing new to the table... I stand by that.

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Thanks Mike,I get your point now about VFR, I was only pointing out the Aerosoft does make some nice sceneries such as the "real Germany" if someone is into "Photo" sceneries. I did not touch the Germany sceneries 1,2 or 3, because of their comment up front about non-accurate locations. I agree though, if something is described as accurate, ..I expect accurate. In fact, I've trucked all over the place in North America, and have sunk a pile of money into add-on sceneries because I couldn't stand Bill Gate's generic sceneries, I was pulling my hair out when I flew over my hometown and saw missing roads, and roads misplaced and the town laid-out not even close to the real thing, and so on. You would think with all the town maps available over the net such as map-quest among others, that someone could at least get the towns right.

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Sobaka:We are in agreement then. I think that Aerosoft has some wonderful sceneries and I have quite a few of their airports and sceneries on my HD. But, think of it this way, imagine an airport release that states that it is not accurate. Or an aircraft release that says its not accurate. No matter how nice, how high a rating can be given?And, while there is leeway in scenery design due to autogen and custom objects and the ability to make accurate scenery exists, from a review standpoint there will be a disadvantage and it can only be rated so high (if the reviewer is honest...and the developer is honest with themselves regarding the release).Now, that said, take EDDF for instance....well, all I can say is that my review should be up shortly!

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>Nowhere in my review did I say "I expected a different kind of>product". I also am familiar with what the scenery is and>what it isn't. If it is a VFR scenery then accuracy of the>scenery is paramount. VFR flying is NOT just about finding>man made landmarks. A large part of VFR flying is finding and>following natural landmarks which are often times easier to>find and follow no VFR maps. Most VFR sectionals do not>include churches, water fountains and power plants. Therefore>unless one is familiar with the area or has a tourist guide,>an accurately rendered tavern in of absolutely no use! >>Secondly, accurate highway and major road systems are>important to VFR flying. In your scenery, you did NOT render>the entire area with accurate highway's and roads. And while>you did include "more accurate" roads in some areas, that is>NOT the status quo in the entire scenery area.I did a doublecheck on my SG3 scenery even using LWMviewer. The entire scenery has accurate VTP roads. These roads appear to be traced from topographical maps (like the ones used for VFR flying). The entire area also has accurate rivers and water systems and railroads. This scenery is augmented by scenery objects of the major bridges, tv towers and other points that are often used as recognitionpoints. To my knowledge most VFR flying is done following rivers, roads or highways. Al of that is there in SG3 so I find your comments very misleading.>at all, but the ability to navigate by looking at an>"approximization" of a town vs. looking at an accurate>representation of a town and the ability to pick out what one>would find on a road map are two vastly different things. >Landclass scenery tends to place random autogen houses and>objects within the landclass. How can one then say it is>totally accurate when in the same breath realize that there is>a great deal of randomness? You seem to be focused on the benefits that a photo scenery brings. I would expect a reviewer to be more openminded about a product. As a customer I personaly prefer the 'cleaner' VTP roads & rivers with accurate landclass and height mesh approach. It works in all seasons. It is smaller in size. It works beter on lighter machines.>When I review I review based ONLY on what is given by you the>developer. If you are aware of bugs, issues or work arounds>then they should be incuded in a patch or clearly stated in>the readme files. I am NOT using a fresh FS2004 and neither>am I willing to review based on a FRESH FS2004 (if I am>understanding you properly). If I have to install anything on>a clean version of FS2004 to alleviate errors then there is>something wrong that the product WILL be penalized for. As it>stands I found MANY errors and they were factually and>accurately reported.I'm shocked about this approach. The problem is your TERRAIN_MAX_VERTEX_LEVEL in your FS9.CFG it was not set to the standard 19. The manual I have (boxed cd version) mentions that a standard FS9.CFG is needed.I would expect a reviewer to either use a standard clean fs9.1 test enviroment (which is very easy to setup and maintain BTW). Or to check problems with an add-on with the developer as some problems are to be expected with the may add-ons that are available nowadays. Your refusal to do either makes that your reviewed experience doesn't reflect what regular customers see and experience with this add-on a very strange situation.I'm glad that AVSIM has abolished the star rating system as it is to subjective for my tastes. I hope that future reviews wil be more factual and that they are tested to an even higher standard in different setups (clean 9.1, 9.1 with other add-ons in the area, compatability with AI texture add-ons, etc). I think the Scenery Germany review uncovers fundamental weakneses in the current review system.Harry

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