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Hope Microsoft is Listening (add-on developers too)

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I have no problem with the purchase of add-ons. Most of them offer trial versions which allows the user to determine if he/she likes it enough to buy it. They also come with very detailed manuals as well for the most part. So what is it that MS should be listening too...Well maybe instead of providing new releases every two years how about creating a very soild core program that leaves a lot of open doors. Basically with fs2002 we have everything we need it just needs to be improved. We have AI, ATC, WX, and a very real simulated world to fly in they just all need to be improved. Thats what ActiveskyRE, projectAI, FSgenesis, Ttools, AFCAD, and a few others are doing. For the most part they are just improving whats already there. Making 2002 seem new every time you add one of these. So since now theres not too much to add but just improve how about MS look at making fs as something to add too. Improve wx, atc, and ai routes for the next version but more importantly design the code so that it can be improved greatly without having to draw from scratch. Then MS could offer all developers a co-share. Basically all payware add-ons could be submitted to MS and if they like it they could pay the developer a developers fee then MS would buy it and release it to stores giving the developer royalities. Everyone wins. As a simmer you no longer have to keep starting from scratch every two years instead you just keep adding to the sim like how we do now. The developer gets paid up front and gets additional money for items sold. If the developer doesn't want to go that route then he/she can do it like how we do it now as payware from the authors websites. MS now gets to see income all year long since a new add-on could be released at any time. They to could and should release add-ons and every four years or so release a new version. They could make crazy income just by selling city and airport upgrades. As well as new a/c. I know a lot addon developers aren't about the money. Don't think that I am thinking of greed or anything. It would be just easier to go and buy a $14 upgrade than a $70 which requires hours or days to get up to code like how you had the old one which also means more hard drive space etc...Food for thought.Kilstorm

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Kilstorm,Lets consider some of the add-ons that have been released in just the past 2 weeks. PSS's Dash8 $22 RealFlight - Brazil $20 ActiveSky Re $15 Radar Contact 3 $44 Flight-1 DC9 $25 ------------------------ Total $126 The only way I would think these authors would be willing to make such a deal with MS is if they could make approx the same income through MS royalties as they could do on their own.Obviously with MS as the distributer the price of each add-on goes down as the author doesn't have to worry about distribution costs, advertising/promotion, piracy protection, etc, etc. All that would be taken on by MS. So maybe the above total is cut about 20%, but MS must also get a few bucks out of these upgrades, else why would they bother ? So the total cost basically would be the same if not higher.And this is for just two weeks worth of payware add-ons.I just don't see many people paying this kind of money for FS upgrades. It seems the way it is done now is the best way, each user decides for themselves which add-on is worthy of purchase, and they purchase the add-ons indvidually.I could see your points about 'starting from scratch every two years' but I really don't see it as a major effort, and if it is your still only doing it once every 2 years. Its a natural evolution IMO. When you get a new version of FS you are not going to carry over every add-on you had installed in the previous version anyway.Regards.Ernie.

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Every thing you stated was true. The only thing I see that you might of misunderstood would be the fact that add-ons would not be upgrades and are not necessary. Just like they are now. So three authors submit 3 different planes that MS likes they bundle them together and release those with other planes. You don't see another plane add-on for about four weeks. But planes and scenery aren't the main reason for why I wrote this. It was for the fact that if the main program allowed for exspansion then instead of running activesky in the background it would be offered as a weather upgrade. If the buyer chooses to buy it or not is up to the consumer. If MS makes leaps in hte atc and now offers holding patterns, step ups, dp's and stars, etc..then they would release an ATC upgrade. Your still using the same main program but with upgrades in certain areas and add-ons that get bundled. Its very close to what we are doing now with minor differences. If the author chooses to release the add-on without MS then the author would do it like how it is done present day. However, if MS gets involved then it would for the general public and not just for hardcore simmers. I feel that MS would pay a reasonable amount for the time to develop the program and with royalities added the author might make way more than they are doing as payware. The big difference would be not having to have so many programs run in the background and not having to start clean every 2 years. I mean MS does this with there OS. You dont have to zero out your computer to upgrade windows. After so many versions you kinda want to start clean but you could of gone from 95 to 98 to 98se to me via upgrades then when xp came out its kinda time to start fresh. Mean while you can add to windows like xp plus or office then office pro with out having to rebuy windows.Kilstorm

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Who says you need to upgrade every 2 years under the existing system anyway, its not as if the old sims go away.I kept with FS98 until this year - there were still add-on packs in the shops that ran with it, and they were very cheap - there are still people who make freeware downloads for FS98, the same will happen when FS2004 comes out. If you like the add-ons you have, keep with FS2002 for a while - after all, its not as though FS2002 gets any worse - it is still as realistic as before. Skip a version, wait for FS2006 (?) by that time I'm sure there will still be people reeling out quality freeware for FS2002. 777

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I agree with Tripleseven above with sticking with what you have if your not ready to move forward. But let's not forget the facts here. The original post had some good points but we all know how MS does business and being fare is not how you become the richest company in the world. Microsoft is actually anti-third party. It has been said time and again MS is releasing less and less info in the form of SDK's with each version of Flight Simulator. So don't think they are going to partner up with anyone outside of the MS loop. There would have to be a huge financial interest that out weighs their commitment to their current partners that would make them concider your argument. Dell versus PSS and/or Flight1 I would think are in a whole different league in terms of importance to MicroSoft.FS like Windows has to be upgraded and revamped just like Windows for no more reason than just greed itself. One hand washes the other. How would Dell keep selling computers if the software 10 years down the road used the same hardware as today, maybe refined a bit to operate more efficiently for us. Sorry to say this but things don't work that way in corporate America (or the world for that matter). You have to keep the masses moving and spending like sheep in a field (or cattle depending on how your feeling today). Dell would be out of business because there would be no need to upgrade computers every year. I guess no one noticed that Dell and MSN are partners. Who owns MSN??? Who controls Dell??? On the flip side, I for one am all for revamping FS2008 as long as MS doesn't push out our third party developers (that's when we'll have to stick with the older stuff). It would suck to still be using a revamped version of FS98 though. Remember we all thought FS98 was awesome a few years ago until FS2000 then FS2K2 came out (If you don't remember read the old reviews). FS2002 is by far not as good as it get's and if you think so your selling this whole thing short. We still have a long long long way to go until we're even close to real flight. Wait until virtual reality whatever is developed in the future or better yet who knows, all I know is FS will take advantage of it especially if some fire is put under their butts by competition like XPlane or companies like the one who developed FLY. Microsoft still needs to get their virtual cockpits up to par with Fly's before I'll even consider a slight slow down in development...

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> Microsoft still needs to get their virtual >cockpits up to par with Fly's before I'll even consider a >slight slow down in development... >It always makes me wonder why MS cockpits never seem to quite catch the "clarity" of a few FLY cockpit/panels, but MS always seemed to "ace" FLY with it's crisp and shiny aircraft exteriors..Just an observation :)

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Microsoft is actually anti-third party. It has been said time and again MS is releasing less and less info in the form of SDK's with each version of Flight Simulator
I'd check your notes on this statement:M$ has released more SDKs for FS2002 then for any other version.FS2000/FS98:Instrument Panel System SDK The Aircraft Container SDK The Adventure Programming Language SDK The Scenery SDK The Multiplayer SDK http://www.microsoft.com/games/fs2000/down...ive.asp#fs98sdkFs2002ATC Voicepack SDK Aircraft Container SDK Traffic Database Builder Utility FSEdit SDK Special Effects SDK Panels and Gauges SDK Autogen SDK MakeMDL SDK MDL Format SDK GMAX Scenery Tutorial CAB File SDK Netpipes SDK Multiplayer/Flight Insructor SDK ABL SDK Flight Simulator 2002 Scenery SDKs http://zone.msn.com/flightsim/FS02DevDeskSDK00.asp

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Yep.The main reason we have most of these add-ons is because of the SDK.Could MS do better by providing more info ? Sure, but the claim they are anti-3rd party doesn't really hold up.Ernie.

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Indeed the fact that every version of flightsim for ages (except CFS3) has used the same aircraft formats, allowing add-on pack makers to continue in the same style as before instead of having to start over, suggests that they are not anti-third party.Indeed I believe what makes the FSx series so popular is its 3rd party add-ons. I've never seen a game that it is so easy for people to enhance. 777

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