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Guest Grey_Wolf

Gmax Developers - Improving VCs!

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I've noticed that VCs are finally starting to get where they need to be. In the beginning, we started with the MS default models and early GMAX experiments - distorted, blurry, messy looking virtual cockpits. Most VCs were eyesores. There was a huge difference in visual quality when going from the 2D panel to the VC. I used to use Hexworks to hack out nearly every VC I came across. I really hated when the rest of the package was great and the VC ruined it for me. I'll take 2D bitmaps instead of a blurry, distorted VC. Yuck. Even with the quality turned all the way up, early VCs were terrible.Finally, I'm starting to see VCs that are "almost" as good as the 2D panel. The Captain Sim 727, DreamFleet Cardinal, B-25 Briefing Time (especially). The frames performance is still good, yet somehow these guys have cracked the VC genome. Somehow, these developers are using polygons and textures perfectly to fool the eye! Awesome! Pillars and ceilings have textures, seats look real, the floor is textured. All accomplished with no noticable performance hit. Talented coding on display!And I'm very happy about it. Combined with the head latency in "Active Camera", the immersion is very real.So, a thanks to everyone who is putting out great VCs. And a request to those who aren't, don't put it in unless your VC is almost indistinguishable from the 2D panel. Freeware or payware a VC is useless unless it maintains the "immersion" factor. If it doesn't look good, stick to 2D bitmaps. Nothing is more jarring than going from a crisp, clear 2D panel to a distorted, blurry, ugly VC when looking 45 degrees left. That is my biggest issue - developers who are not creating alternate view bitmaps and using the "VC" for the alternate views out of the aircraft. If the VC sucks, this can ruin a package. This requires HexWorks to hack it out of the mdl. Then I have to hunt down alternate view bitmaps and put them into the panel. What a pain. I had to do this with the Flight 1 DC-9 using old Paul Golding MD-80 photos.I hope to not hurt feelings here but these guys are capable of much better, especially since it's payware...PAYWARE'S SUBPAR VCs:1. Lago Twotter2. RFP 747-200 - extremely subpar, even the update is still subpar, IMHO (then again 2D panel is low visual quality too)3. A320 PIC - Worst FS2002 product of 2003 so far, inexcusably terrible, (rest of package is terrible also)4. PSS Dash 8 - Ok at best, not nearly as good as 2D panel5. PSS A320 - Pretty subpar, but forgivable because it came out a while back. I don't fly this because I dislike the VC.6. Flight 1 DC-9 - Ok, but big quality drop-off from 2D panel7. Lago Tornado - could've been a lot betterGuys, look at the gold standard set by the B-25 Briefing Time. Now that is a fantastic VC. Looks totally real. Huge immersion factor. 95% as real looking as the 2D panel. Awesome. That is your benchmark. The new Lago F-16 looks like it will have a great VC. Likewise, the Captain Sim F-104. (LOMAC looks incredible, too but that is a different game.)Please stop putting bad VCs into products just so you can brag that your product has a VC. A great VC is all that is acceptable, anything below that ruins an aircraft package.My humble opinion. What does everyone else think?Dave

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>My humble opinion. What does everyone else think? >If a VC has un-usually thick door/corner pillars or oversized canopy frames---------- then I just don't use them. They block the outside view as well as being un-sightly. It's already been demonstrated that frames with rounded curves instead of connect the dot structures are possible & don't kill frame rates. Items such as seat textures make a difference too. A pleasing example of seat textures is the Robin DR400 (freeware). Well done frame work can be seen in the RealAir SF260 --- which is a natural to fly in VC mode, and the Flight1 Cessna 421. I'm also in agreement with Dreamfleet's mode of transferring photo/computer enhanced panels to the VC image. Another item that I consider critical is the placement of instruments on the panel. Some seem to be just stuck on haphazzardly, as if they are a sticker stuck on with "cross-eyes". No attempt to square them with the frame.Of course I don't have the right to complain too much............ because you don't see me producing simulated aircraft, and probably never will. I just "buy" them.. :)L.Adamson

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I don't think we have a right to "complain". That is rude. But we are entitled to be critical since this is payware I'm talking about. And just because the average person can't do better doesn't forgive bad products. By analogy, have we not all complained about bad movies? Or pro athletes' performances?A developer should be compared to his/her peers, not laymen. Payware standards are set by your competition, so you should live up to them if you want to be a quality payware designer.All I'm saying is that there are very high quality developers (Captain Sim, DreamFleet, FSD) who set new benchmarks and other payware developers who don't even remotely live up to those standards. If you can't do a great VC, leave it out. Or at least don't use it for the "alternate" views because you couldn't get quality digital photos of a plane's interior.DaveMan, the forums are SLLLLLLOOOOOOWWWW today :-)

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I agree the DVC has come a long way. I remember the first DVC's in FS2000, a few with working gauges. I'm happy though to see a designer put the effort in to creating one, even if its basic. But other things have come along as well, I'm seeing more little things like wheel chocks and tiedowns when the plane is shut off. its all just fantastic.My one complaint about the DVC is the yoke. On some planes this problem is worse than others. but you can also see its realistic though annoying. The yoke can obsctruct you view of some gauges, shifting you position around can sometimes fix this. Other times it wont. I'd like to see a yoke thats attached to an unused animation, (tail hook, concorde nose, or spoilers come to mind) so I can retract the yoke in to the panel, of shift it in some direction so the gauges can be visible.In a real airplane I'm sure I could easily move my head so I can see, but finding that same "sweet spot" can be a royal pain sometimes.I'd like to also thank all the aircraft designers out there. Some of you may have skills above what others have but always I see your selves improving on what You did last. Please continue the work you do, and please continue to keep improving what we have available for Flight sim.Having FunGrey_Wolf

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>I don't think we have a right to "complain". That is rude. >But we are entitled to be critical since this is payware I'm >talking about. I didn't think you were complaining............... I agree!! :)As to the forums, I thought they have been working better today than some other weekends, or even yesterday! We shall see; if this reply copies within a few seconds versus two minutes!! :)edit ------ it was closer to two minutes! :)L.Adamson

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