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maxter

Replacement For Phil Taylor?

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Hi all,Just wondering if Microsoft has appointed a replacement for Phil Taylor and if so, what is the level of his involvement in the community.Phil was excellent, a patient and understanding fellow who appeared as open and honest as his corporate rules and regulations would appear to let him.The Pre FSX period was a bonanza of MS involvement and I wonder what the period leading up to the next version will be like. I don't suppose we will hear anything for quite a while yet, if at all, as there has been no official announcement of a new version to date as far as I am aware.Cheers,

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Well...As to whether or not there is a one-person replacement for Phil (which would be some very hard shoes to fill, I agree), I don't know. All I will say is this...My "sources" tell me there are some very capable people, some with long involvement in these forums, and who have made some significant contributions to the FSX experience already, have been "added" to the "development team(s)" for FS11. My personal integrity, and the trust they have placed in me not to divulge their names, prevents me from saying anything more. If and when Microsoft, and/or the individuals themselves, wish to disclose "who they are", then an announcement will probably be made.In the meantime, I'm not worried about FS11. Based on some of those "who they are", I think the community is going to be in for a big surprise when FS11 comes out.FalconAFEDIT: No...I'm not one of those "who they are". So don't ask! :(

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Well...As to whether or not there is a one-person replacement for Phil (which would be some very hard shoes to fill, I agree), I don't know. All I will say is this...My "sources" tell me there are some very capable people, some with long involvement in these forums, and who have made some significant contributions to the FSX experience already, have been "added" to the "development team(s)" for FS11. My personal integrity, and the trust they have placed in me not to divulge their names, prevents me from saying anything more. If and when Microsoft, and/or the individuals themselves, wish to disclose "who they are", then an announcement will probably be made.In the meantime, I'm not worried about FS11. Based on some of those "who they are", I think the community is going to be in for a big surprise when FS11 comes out.FalconAFEDIT: No...I'm not one of those "who they are". So don't ask! :(
I've been gone from the community for a while, but what happened to Phil? I never directly spoke to him, but he was probably the only developer of FS that I had ever seen out in the public. Makes a guy think, how often do you see George Bush out at the local walmart without Secret Service just shopping like a normal citizen?

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Based on some of those "who they are", I think the community is going to be in for a big surprise when FS11 comes out.FalconAF
Thanks for the comments Falcon. care to share what you think those surprises may be?Cheers,

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I've been gone from the community for a while, but what happened to Phil?
Gone to Intel - This is his new blog.

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Thanks for the comments Falcon. care to share what you think those surprises may be?Cheers,
No. But given the fact that computer technology advances have progressed over the past decade to where it once took 4 years for a computer to "double it's speed", and now that happens in less than one year, and the fact that FS11 probably won't be seen for at least another 1 and 1/2 years, anybody who honestly expects to be able to "max everything out" on ANY computer available when FS11 is released is dreaming. It will be the same as always...if you want to be able to max everything out with FS11, you probably won't be able to do it for at LEAST a year after it is released...if not longer.But boy oh boy...are you gonna have some great CHOICES to make with FS11 in the meantime while you wait for that hardware that WILL be able to "max it out".FalconAF

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I've been gone from the community for a while, but what happened to Phil? I never directly spoke to him, but he was probably the only developer of FS that I had ever seen out in the public.
Beatle (Tim) is around here every once in a Blue Moon. :)Also the MVPs are around some, and they have their finger in the pie a little more than they would like to admit sometimes.There are a few others on other FS sites tooSince FS11 will drop the software rendering architecture, and also drop the 2 versions back philosophy, then I think things are looking better right from the start. Also, FS11 is going to benefit from Train Sim 2 development. Bigtime I think.

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Since FS11 will drop the software rendering architecture...
Since I'm not a technophile, could someone please explain this phrase and guess what it may be replaced by?With thanks,

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Since I'm not a technophile, could someone please explain this phrase and guess what it may be replaced by?
Currently the image you see on screen is generated by the CPU (the computer's processor).He is hoping that the image rendering will be instead shifted to the GPU (the video card's processor).

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Since I'm not a technophile,
I am neither but what is commonly understood by such statement is a belief that somehow FS11 will break from the current legacy code and deliver us a brand new rendering engine with high frame rates. At this point is just a 'belief' - there is no solid information to back such a claim. First, some people believe that legacy code in FSX is responsible for poor performance then they believe that starting from scratch is going to solve all the current pains. We know right now that with FS contrary to other games the biggest bottleneck is in memory/bandwith/CPU speed and what is needed from GPU are not fancy shaders but very high fillrates, so yes FS indeed puts different demands on hardware than other games. I subscribe to a rather different view that the only hope for drastically better frame rates is isolating processes in FS that can run in parallel and then employing the current family of muti-CPU computers to share the load and deliver better performance. FS11 could potentially make better use of such multi-CPU hardware but I think it all ultimately has little to do with 'legacy' or backward compatibility.

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In Phil Taylor's blog, he once wrote that our FS began as a SOFTWARE RENDERING program. Basically, that means the sim was designed before 3D graphic cards, and so to render the image you see on the screen, it was all done in the CPU. A lot of old games had a software rendering option for those who did not have 3D cards...and it was slow potatoes using the soft renderer. That is kind of an abstraction but you get the point...So what does this mean for usWell, it means we have a sim today that has a heavy dependence on the cpu.When Phil blogged about that I was stunned. I should not have been...I should have realized this. I think I knew FS was based on a software renderer at one time, but forgot about it. The situation has improved with each version, but part of the underlying problem with FS performance and the way it uses our hardware resources, stems from the software rendering architecture.

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Mace I had also forgotten that fs was using software rendering which means its using the cpu to do almost everything like the old games back then there weren't that many super graphic cards like we have today. this has been dragging down fs alot! I really hope that fs11 stops using software rendering and starts using the full potential of video cards shaders and direct x.

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but part of the underlying problem with FS performance and the way it uses our hardware resources, stems from the software rendering architecture.
I don't think current FSX has "software rendering architecture", I think that such a view is not only wrong but overly simplistic, nowhere in the blog it states that "software rendering" is somehow holding FS back but what you can read is explanation what makes FS so different from other games and why its architecture is simply different. This got to be the longest living perpetual myth on this forum about FS doing excessive amount of graphic rendering in software.

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Hi all,Just wondering if Microsoft has appointed a replacement for Phil Taylor and if so, what is the level of his involvement in the community.Phil was excellent, a patient and understanding fellow who appeared as open and honest as his corporate rules and regulations would appear to let him.The Pre FSX period was a bonanza of MS involvement and I wonder what the period leading up to the next version will be like. I don't suppose we will hear anything for quite a while yet, if at all, as there has been no official announcement of a new version to date as far as I am aware.Cheers,
I can just see lots of people jumping in line to fill Phil's job after they read the job description-and perhaps a few threads from the past....He will be sorely missed.

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I can just see lots of people jumping in line to fill Phil's job after they read the job description-and perhaps a few threads from the past....
He will be sorely missed.
I very much agree.. was one of the best things to happen to FSX and I hope his work in the background will trickle into the next edition

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Thanks everybody for your extremely informative opinions and replies, they are very much appreciated...Back to the topic, so I guess there still isn't a single front person in the function of a Phil Taylor at the moment. And Geoff, can I assume there was a healthy dose of sarcasm included in the first part of your response... :( Cheers and thanks again all,

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And Geoff, can I assume there was a healthy dose of sarcasm included in the first part of your response... :(
Naw...Geoffa was just having a little bit of fun. As in...---------------------------------------------------------------------JOB OPENING ANNOUNCEMENT: Lead Developer, MS FS11REQUIRMENTS: Thick Skin, Outstanding Patience, Ability to receive unwarranted flaming and sarcasm from product users who have minimal understanding of computer technology and capabilities in relation to software applications that will stress even the most capable computer hardware available.PREVIOUS EXPERIENCE REQUIRED: Numerous years knowledge in software development and computer hardware capabilities, including the integration of both. Total understanding of the relationship between software development as applicable to current available technology, with the foresight to include application specific functions that will become capable on newer and more powerfull hardware that is released during the life-cycle of the application. Demonstrated history of refraining from going mad, crazy, or requiring mental institutionalization from receiving correspondence from disgruntled application users who don't understand the above concepts and expect your application to run "maxed out" on a 2-year old computer at the time of the software application release.ADDITIONAL EXPERIENCE PREFERRED: Ability to design and implement a software application designed for one genre, and include numerous other genres completely unrelated to the original genre. For instance, develop a Flight Simulator that includes the ability to also drive cars, busses, trains, boats, go-karts, and skateboards in it, with included graphics capabilites to see ants on the ground in expicit detail in 1 centimeter photoreal texture quality, with no adverse affects on the performance of the Flight Simulator functions whatsoever.SALARY REQUIREMENTS: Subject to negotiation. But will not be anywhere near enough for the hassles, discontent, and unrealistic expectations of a segment of the application user-base who think they got "cheated" because, in their opinion, their X-Box does it better.Please submit your resume as soon as possible. The opening still exists. We haven't received any applications yet. Really. First come, first served. We'll take you. Send now! PLEASE!--------------------------------------------------------------------FalconAF

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It's my impression that Phil Taylor wasn't officially appointed, but that he chose to take on the role. Given his concerns about the way he was treated by some people on thse forums I don't expect there will be many volunteers. Re-read his own comments about the way he felt!

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I don't think current FSX has "software rendering architecture", I think that such a view is not only wrong but overly simplistic, nowhere in the blog it states that "software rendering" is somehow holding FS back but what you can read is explanation what makes FS so different from other games and why its architecture is simply different. This got to be the longest living perpetual myth on this forum about FS doing excessive amount of graphic rendering in software.
The issue as I understand it isn't that FSX is using a "software renderer" - I played games back when there were software and hardware renderers (Quake and the original Unreal/Unreal Tournament were two that come to mind) and FS is most certainly not a software renderer. I think the real issue here is that FSX is what's known as a "CPU limited" renderer, which simply means that the engine has to use too much CPU to feed the GPU information to process and therefore the CPU becomes the bottleneck on FPS. What we all hope they're doing for FS11 is rewriting the engine to make better utilization of the GPU. Games like Crysis, CoD 4, Fallout 3, etc have way more polys in a given frame than FSX does yet manage to run at framerates three times or more higher. What we're hoping is that FS11 gets a rendering engine that is like that, where upgrading your video card will actually improve performance drastically. With FSX that's not the case, a 2 year old card will run FSX at much the same speed at the same settings as a brand new generation one. It's not like that with most other games, those are said to be "GPU limited" because it's the power of the graphics card that's determining how fast the game will run.I'm a firm proponet of the idea that they should move away from this model of developing FS for hardware that doesn't even exist yet, assuming that people will run lower slider settings until the hardware "catches up". Why not just design for what they know will be available at the time of release? This is what virtually every other game on the planet does - if I go buy a brand new game and I have a current generation PC, I usually expect that I will be able to run it at 60+ FPS without difficulty, with most if not all of its settings maxed. Fallout 3 is a great recent example - I have that game totally cranked and it looks and runs amazing, I don't have to wait 2 or 3 years for the hardware to actually do that to come out.

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I'm a firm proponet of the idea that they should move away from this model of developing FS for hardware that doesn't even exist yet, assuming that people will run lower slider settings until the hardware "catches up". Why not just design for what they know will be available at the time of release? This is what virtually every other game on the planet does - if I go buy a brand new game and I have a current generation PC, I usually expect that I will be able to run it at 60+ FPS without difficulty, with most if not all of its settings maxed. Fallout 3 is a great recent example - I have that game totally cranked and it looks and runs amazing, I don't have to wait 2 or 3 years for the hardware to actually do that to come out.
I'll take the opposite view. I want FS11 to be modeled to have additional capabilities for newer hardware when it comes out. Until then, I'll be happy to make choices of what "sliders", etc, to enable/disable, and at what levels, to achieve the results I want in FS11.This concept reminds me of something I encountered while I was in the Air Force. Around 1996...only 12 years ago...I transferred to Vandenburg AFC, CA, to become the Superintendent, Network Operations for the entire base (and oversee a variety of world-wide DoD networks the base used there). I walked into my new office and met the person I was going to replace. He was a DoD civilian who was retiring. I noticed something interesting displayed on his shelf in the office. It was obviously a computer circuit board, but the likes of one I had never seen before. It was about 18" long by 12" wide, and contained 20 "chips" that looked a whole lot like the CPU chips on my home computer motherboard at the time (1996). I asked him what it was. I was floored by his response. It was a "motherboard" from one of the earliest CRAY computers ever made. It had 20 CPU's on it...and was a component of one of the fastest computers ever made in the entire world in it's time. The cost for it, when it was produced, would have been over $300,000. In 1996, it wasn't worth anything anymore. He had received it as a "going away" gift from another position he held years earlier (a common practice in the military when someone finishes a tour of duty at a location...they get "mementos" presented to them when they leave their current job and move on).I thought to myself, "Wow! I wonder if there would be a way to make that work with Flight Simulator!"From the time that original CRAY motherboard was made, it took almost 2 DECADES...20 years... to double the speed of the CRAY computer. 20 YEARS for it to become "worthless", so to speak. 10 years ago, it took over 4 years to double the capabilities of a home computer. Today, it takes less than 6 - 9 months. The "life cycle" of any Flight Simulator release can easily be 3 years between releases. We are now using Dual Core and Quad Core CPUs, and looking at the distinct possibility of 8, 12, 16, 32, and even 128 core CPUs within the next 5 years. Not to mention Graphics Cards that will contain their own multiple processors on the cards themselves (read Phil's blog for what he is going to be working on in his new job position).I don't want FS11 to be "obsolete" within 6 months of the time I purchase it. If it contains more than I can reasonably expect to enable (sliders, etc) on even the state-of-the-art computer technology when I purchase it, then I will make the "choices" I need in it to allow it to run well on my current computer system. Then if I decide to upgrade my computer 6, 12, 18, or even 36 months later with more capable technology that will allow me to "max FS11 out", then I can. But please don't produce a product that will run "maxed out" on a 2-year old computer right from the start...or even a current state-of-the-art computer. It will become an obsolete flight simulator within 1 year at most.FalconAF

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I don't think current FSX has "software rendering architecture", I think that such a view is not only wrong but overly simplistic, nowhere in the blog it states that "software rendering" is somehow holding FS back but what you can read is explanation what makes FS so different from other games and why its architecture is simply different. This got to be the longest living perpetual myth on this forum about FS doing excessive amount of graphic rendering in software.
You are free to think whatever you want. I was merely repeating what Phil Taylor blogged about. He said a lot of the code in the current sim derived from the 1998-2002 era software renderer. Think whatever you wish about it.

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But please don't produce a product that will run "maxed out" on a 2-year old computer right from the start...or even a current state-of-the-art computer. It will become an obsolete flight simulator within 1 year at most.FalconAF
I'm assuming therefore you don't buy addons? I'd say the vast majority of us still consider fs just a starting point for 3rd party developers, thus the more headroom the better. It'll only get obsolete if you stick with the basics.

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We have no idea what will be served up to us in FS11 and anyone who thinks they can influence the direction MS takes does not understand the decision making process of large companies. The managers do not care what the minute fraction of hard core simmers want, although the people doing the coding might. Management will look for an acceptable balance between features, performance and cost. One that has the potential to maximize ROI. There is no room for enthusiasts at the level that signs off on product releases. Let us not forget how Phil was unable get the DX10

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We have no idea what will be served up to us in FS11 and anyone who thinks they can influence the direction MS takes does not understand the decision making process of large companies. The managers do not care what the minute fraction of hard core simmers want, although the people doing the coding might. Management will look for an acceptable balance between features, performance and cost. One that has the potential to maximize ROI. There is no room for enthusiasts at the level that signs off on product releases. Let us not forget how Phil was unable get the DX10

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Phil Taylor's role was lead program manager of the core engine (which powers ESP, FSX and TS2). I expect someone will have to follow his role as surely there needs to be a lead program manager on this. Brett Schnepf just changed roles, so maybe there is some internal restructuring going on. With the X-mas break coming I expect people take their time to find the right person.FSX isn't using software rendering. Phil Taylor in fact wrote a nice blog post explaining the rendering constraints. Since MS is working on a core engine that's built on FSX I would expect evolutionary changes, not revolutionary ones, just like in the past. When TS2 is released next year, we'll get a first insight into FS11 (they'll use the same engine). In fact Phil has been dropping a few hints (like animated people).Christian

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