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rsrandazzo

Extended Beta Team/AirSimmer, etc: Summary

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Captains-We have a long standing tradition in the PMDG forum that we do not discourage the discussion of non PMDG products. We DO, however, restrict anyone from coming here and openly trashing another developer or product.The earlier thread on Extended Beta Teams, and specifically, whether or not PMDG would ever employ such a testing method- has gone a bit off track- and was removed. Throughout the day today- we have removed a number of threads offering (often heated) opinions regarding AirSimmer's decision to offer a pay-to-beta product to customers.As much as we like to tease Ryan about his spare time (he's in a band... i mean- seriously!) it isn't appropriate for him to sit here hitting reload in order to delete posts by folks wishing to take their emotions toward another developer and insert them into the PMDG forum.So- lets please refrain from the negativity and the bashing, please. We aren't interested.So- to get back to answering the original posters question: "Would PMDG ever employ such a beta testing technique?"No- we won't. We won't because we have a beta testing method that works for PMDG- and we see no reason to modify the process. Based on our experience, we gain tremendous benefit by having type rated flight crew, experienced maintenance technicians, avionics gurus and a smattering of "regular simmers" in a small group that allows everyone to get comfortable with one another- and promotes rapid and detailed communication between the developers and the testers. It's taken us a decade to get the mix right- so we won't be messing with it any time soon.For us- the signal to noise ratio is key.In my post in the previous thread- I offered my personal concerns, as a long-time member of the community, that we are seeing greater and greater stratification of pricing in order for customers to obtain a working product. In order to be forthright- I'll mention here again that this is a direction that the development community has been headed that we don't think is necessarily beneficial to the community. We set our pricing, and other developers set their own- and at the end of the day my opinion as a community member is only as valuable as yours... Except that I have a say in how PMDG handles pricing process- so we are going to continue holding the line on providing you with a complete product who's purchase price gives you the best value for your purchase price.Additionally- at PMDG we do not want to sell you a product that is incomplete or in some sub-stage of development. This runs counter to our business model- as we do not feel that we should make revenue from a development phase until the product is ready for you to use "out of the box" (or out of the pipeline? whats the proper phrase here for digitally delivered products?)At PMDG we are comfortable setting the high-bar in pricing for our products because we think you are getting very good simulation value for your money. This means that we have taken the testing process to its limits in order to give you a product that works as the airplane works. That being said- I think you will see some abatement in price growth from us. Currently the price level we are targeting for the NG2.0 is in line with our existing lead-line products- and will likely be only SLIGHTLY more expensive than the total 2004 combined price of the 737-600/700 and 800/900 packages. Given that you'll get the entire airplane fleet, plus a raft of new functionality and goodies with this product- that is a pretty good value for the community.So- gents- it is acceptable to talk about any topic you wish here- but we would ask that you please not come here to vent your frustration on other developers- as it will force us to eliminate the post.

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Captains-In my post in the previous thread- I offered my personal concerns, as a long-time member of the community, that we are seeing greater and greater stratification of pricing in order for customers to obtain a working product. In order to be forthright- I'll mention here again that this is a direction that the development community has been headed that we don't think is necessarily beneficial to the community. We set our pricing, and other developers set their own- and at the end of the day my opinion as a community member is only as valuable as yours... Except that I have a say in how PMDG handles pricing process- so we are going to continue holding the line on providing you with a complete product who's purchase price gives you the best value for your purchase price.Additionally- at PMDG we do not want to sell you a product that is incomplete or in some sub-stage of development. This runs counter to our business model- as we do not feel that we should make revenue from a development phase until the product is ready for you to use "out of the box" (or out of the pipeline? whats the proper phrase here for digitally delivered products?)At PMDG we are comfortable setting the high-bar in pricing for our products because we think you are getting very good simulation value for your money. This means that we have taken the testing process to its limits in order to give you a product that works as the airplane works. That being said- I think you will see some abatement in price growth from us. Currently the price level we are targeting for the NG2.0 is in line with our existing lead-line products- and will likely be only SLIGHTLY more expensive than the total 2004 combined price of the 737-600/700 and 800/900 packages. Given that you'll get the entire airplane fleet, plus a raft of new functionality and goodies with this product- that is a pretty good value for the community.So- gents- it is acceptable to talk about any topic you wish here- but we would ask that you please not come here to vent your frustration on other developers- as it will force us to eliminate the post.
RobertI must have missed the ranting about beta testing, but the latter part of your post regarding price caught my eye. You see, I spent a portion of my evening last night reading the MD-11 FCOM, FMS Manual, and Systems Manual, and of course poking around the MD-11 on the sim. I know, I know, RTFM. I've nosed around the manuals before, but figured I'd attempt a stem to stern approach this time. Anyway, I thought to myself, "the manuals alone are worth the price your company charges for the entire package." I happen to work for a certain large airframe manufacturer, and I know what the equivalent manuals cost if you buy them from our company. Heck, the PMDG manuals alone are a bargain!And then, there's all of the coding and testing and so forth that must go on to make something like the MD-11X work in FSX (or FS9). When I think of all of the hours and hours that go into a project like this, I'm amazed that it can be offered for so little money. I could never, in my wildest dream, build something like that. I realize others have different views on this kind of thing, and what is a "small amount of money", is not necessarily so small to another. But when it comes to "value", I would have trouble understanding how someone might think the packages sold are not worth the money charged. Heck, I want PMDG to stay in business and flourish.So thank you for what you and your team do. So many posts are regarding problems and issues, and rightfully so. We write in to try to solve things. Some posts, are just to point out the things we enjoy...like this one. Kudos to PMDG. The attention to detail and overall quality...and value, are evident, and are very much appreciated.Oh, and would you folks hurry up with that 737NG 2.0! CheersNoel WBrisbane

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Hey, my band is good, not a laughing matter! ;)

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Hey, my band is good, not a laughing matter! ;)
yeah, but you guys are no Rise Against......Probably not even as good as Alkaline Trio......Who sucks major **** :( Just pulling your hair HahahaDamned signature;Ryan

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lol Rise Against irks me for some reason, don't like the singer.

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lol Rise Against irks me for some reason, don't like the singer.
haha fair, I find Rise Against to be an either Love or hate band, My Main thing with them is their depth in lyrics, Ranging from Political Crap to losing someone, to just sitting on a porch.Saw them here in Denver at the Fillmore november last year;Rise Interview"We're Man enough to Ride a Scooter" :(

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Ryan-(no- not that ryan, the other ryan!)Ryan's band is actually pretty darn good. I'm not a music/entertainment expert by any stretch- but Ryan has been sharing their music with me for a couple of years- and I can see these guys making it if they can just get the right combination of good breaks...The band is named Sketching In Stereo, for those intersted in seeking them out in the usual places...

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Easier than searching hehe - http://www.myspace.com/sketchinginstereo
You guys sound Good Ryan, I'm Rooting for you - the stuff you guys have is Definitely Worthy of an Opening act for some of the bigger players in the "Circus".That song Flailing After Dark - I liked it, Kinda reminded me of Blue October for some reason o_O*girlfriends dragged me to that show..... THREE times* :( Curious, Want kind of Guitars do you play?Looked at the pics, kinda blury but maybe an Ibanez?I can tell that Amp head from a Mile away, Great choice on the Mesa Boogie ;] the only Amps I like better are Soldano.....But christ the price tag is Rediculous.

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As PMDGs aircrafts are so complex, im willing to bet there is some secret switch somewhere in the MD-11 cockpit that when pressed blares out a Sketching In Stereo track..... :(

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Curious, Want kind of Guitars do you play?Looked at the pics, kinda blury but maybe an Ibanez?I can tell that Amp head from a Mile away, Great choice on the Mesa Boogie ;] the only Amps I like better are Soldano.....But christ the price tag is Rediculous.
I currently play two Ernie Ball/Music Man JP6 guitars, a Bahama Blueburst BFR model is the primary standard tuning one and I use a Carbon Blue Pearl standard model for the Drop D songs.I actually don't play Mesa amps anymore, I've had a Diezel VH4 half stack for about a year and a half, that's an old picture from when I still had the Road King II... You want to talk about ridiculous price tags, check out Diezel lol.

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Well, if we are going this road, I might as well add my own homemade music!www.myspace.com/jeroenvanengelenhoven:(
Hey jeroen hows it going fellow dutchy? hehehehe think your a guy i can talk with to me to play guitar heheBtw i was aware of the music of ryan just great :)Johan Ketting

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Ryan,Who new? WOW!! I'm impressed,your song "No Direction"really good!!
Thanks, that song's pretty unique because our singer/rhythm guitarist Rob is playing an electric ukulele on it...

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I currently play two Ernie Ball/Music Man JP6 guitars, a Bahama Blueburst BFR model is the primary standard tuning one and I use a Carbon Blue Pearl standard model for the Drop D songs.I actually don't play Mesa amps anymore, I've had a Diezel VH4 half stack for about a year and a half, that's an old picture from when I still had the Road King II... You want to talk about ridiculous price tags, check out Diezel lol.
Interesting, I've been playing about Five years, My collection is a Gibson Sg '61 Re-issue and a Gibs Les Paul Vintage Mahogany *torn down LesPaul no fancy paint with Good quality pickups and great resonance, and No maple top*Amp wise I push my tunes out of a Mesa Studio Caliber DC-2. Good amp suits my style.I just had a look a look at that VH4.........5 channels?? x] seems Slightly Excessive, But I suppose once you get into Professional Music it may help from having to use Two different Amplifiers to satisfy the sounds you need in your show. Must be fun hooking all that up to the Effects Loop and the EQ, the single Amp solution would come in handy.How do the earny balls Feel? neck profile and weight wise. I've never Played one, but I like the bigger Neck I get with my Gibsons. after Playing Gibson the past 2 years it's awkward To pick up my buddys PRS =x.

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Interesting, I've been playing about Five years, My collection is a Gibson Sg '61 Re-issue and a Gibs Les Paul Vintage Mahogany *torn down LesPaul no fancy paint with Good quality pickups and great resonance, and No maple top*Amp wise I push my tunes out of a Mesa Studio Caliber DC-2. Good amp suits my style.I just had a look a look at that VH4.........5 channels?? x] seems Slightly Excessive, But I suppose once you get into Professional Music it may help from having to use Two different Amplifiers to satisfy the sounds you need in your show. Must be fun hooking all that up to the Effects Loop and the EQ, the single Amp solution would come in handy.How do the earny balls Feel? neck profile and weight wise. I've never Played one, but I like the bigger Neck I get with my Gibsons. after Playing Gibson the past 2 years it's awkward To pick up my buddys PRS =x.
This is the greatest off-topic thread hijack in the history of this forum btw haha.The VH4 actually has 4 channels - Ch 1 is a pristine Fender type clean, Ch 2 is a Marshall JCM800 type clean to semi-distorted rhythm (think AC/DC), Ch 3 is the main high-gain rhythm channel (this is "the" Diezel sound you hear from bands like Tool, Muse etc) and Ch 4 is a fully saturated lead channel sorta like a 5150 or Soldano. The Mesa I had prior also had 4 channels, but on that it was basically two channels with each duplicated. Ch 1 and 2 are the same clean channel and Ch 3 and 4 are the same distorted channel. The VH4 really has 4 independent and completely different sounds. My setup actually isn't all that complicated, I run a Line 6 PodXT Live floorboard into the effects loop (I only use it for a small amout of delay on the leads and cleans) and then a MIDI cable to switch the channels on the amp. I can set the whole thing up in like 2 minutes, it's 3 cables. I'm gonna get something better than the Pod eventually (like the Fractal Axe-FX and an Axess FX-1 pedalboard, but I need to come up with another 3 grand or so to do that...)On the guitars, I love thin wide necks (hate Gibsons lol), so you probably wouldn't like the one I play. Gibsons and the wide-fat PRS necks feel like baseball bats to me haha. The EBMM Axis though is more like that, try that sometime if you get a chance.

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This is the greatest off-topic thread hijack in the history of this forum btw haha.The VH4 actually has 4 channels - Ch 1 is a pristine Fender type clean, Ch 2 is a Marshall JCM800 type clean to semi-distorted rhythm (think AC/DC), Ch 3 is the main high-gain rhythm channel (this is "the" Diezel sound you hear from bands like Tool, Muse etc) and Ch 4 is a fully saturated lead channel sorta like a 5150 or Soldano. The Mesa I had prior also had 4 channels, but on that it was basically two channels with each duplicated. Ch 1 and 2 are the same clean channel and Ch 3 and 4 are the same distorted channel. The VH4 really has 4 independent and completely different sounds. My setup actually isn't all that complicated, I run a Line 6 PodXT Live floorboard into the effects loop (I only use it for a small amout of delay on the leads and cleans) and then a MIDI cable to switch the channels on the amp. I can set the whole thing up in like 2 minutes, it's 3 cables. I'm gonna get something better than the Pod eventually (like the Fractal Axe-FX and an Axess FX-1 pedalboard, but I need to come up with another 3 grand or so to do that...)On the guitars, I love thin wide necks (hate Gibsons lol), so you probably wouldn't like the one I play. Gibsons and the wide-fat PRS necks feel like baseball bats to me haha. The EBMM Axis though is more like that, try that sometime if you get a chance.
Sounds like a Very well Versatile Amp, I'll have to see if I can plug into one sometime your Setup sounds Nice and simple. I can only imagine what it might look like if you sign with a Label and start working with a well known Producer x] you're probably going to use 3-5 different amps and a few different guitars on 10 songs hahaha.Yeah, Gibsons grew on me. at first * i can admit* I was just being a dork and bought a gibson for the name and because it sounded Nice. after playing that Gibson *the SG-61* for 2 years it's just hard to pick up anything else and be efficient with it, Gibsons have a pretty unique Profile but I've gotten so Aquanted with it that it feels entirely Natural. Plus I dont mind the money for them they're great instruments and all Hand assembled here in the states. *The guys rolling the necks on the sanders have been doing that job for like 10-20 years....Seriously*. I feel safe when I pick one up and they all have good Intonation *even if not factory quick adjustment gets it correct* In regaurds to best off-Topic, yeah i'd say.3 Priorities in lifeAirplanes Music and Women,as well as the obligation to keep those Priorities going *a Job*that's about all the entertainment I could ever need x] and even if Airplanes and Music got old *god forbid* I always have a girlfriend who's happy to ###### and make things interesting once a month right? hahahah. The only Thing about Gibson is its difficult to get a Good Clean sound with the traditional Offerings.My Vintage Mahogany *bored out body for better resonance* the Guitar has Burstbucker Pro's they're pretty hot Leady pickups, they sound great with distortion but getting a good Clean from them is... not so easy. They can make clean sound Okay but not great.My SG-61 Entirely Solid Mahogany Comes with 57' Classics, they're not as Hot and Much better for a Clean sound, but the SG Style body doesn't offer the same Resonance and Tone as a Les Paul. So I have a Good Modern Rock, and a Good Classic Rock, but not a good Clean.Next guitar on the list - Gibson Traditional Plus, Thing's got 57' classics on a Les Paul, Does Clean Like Clean's Done.....Now I just need 2200 dollars :(I'll have a look for it and give the Axis a shot if I can, What's the general price range on these guitars?

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offer a pay-to-beta product to customers.
I can confirm it's part that made me giggle and slightly dribble my lemonade on my work of procrastination...homework I mean!. It's probably just me but the more I read it, the concept becomes more humorous. Almost as if it's meant to be an oxymoron but not quite if you know what I mean. :( Aside from the humor, well after I uhumm... I can definitely see where you and the rest of the PMDG are coming from and I really do like your business stance and values. Moreover I like Level-Ds too!. I'm glad I've been to "both worlds" now. All I can say is, this weekend has been an eyeopener and has so far lead into an eyesore and abit of a headache. At one point I thought "no seriously now what's going on? Is this a bad dream? Where am I, where's my pint?"Metorphorically speaking; felt abit like an adult trying his best to supervise a toddler birthday party and several little goo goo gagaa clumsy ones stumble into you at balls height OOOFFF!. Only then to have a headache from all that racket. Let me reflect back for a second before I finish up:
Good post and I respect what you're saying.However you have to put it into real perspective when you think of many in the audience. If you don't want "that kind of attention" don't say anything in the first place. It's a skool-boy error really. Think back to the good old playground daysKid 1: "Oh I got a secret!Kid 2: "Cool, what it is it? Tell meee"Kid 1: "Not telling, Nurrr nurrr bleeeeh!"Kid 2:" Awww come on nooo fair tell meee!"Kid 1: "Go away, not telling!"..and to be honest that example contrasts quite well on many of today's slightly more mature topics. But the outcome remains the same.I'm still enjoying the 747 let alone the MD-11! However I still feel about 5% "Kid 2" and have no shame in admitting that. :( Good luck with the release anyway, I'll be there at the finish line with my credit card.
Keiron-You mind telling us which of those kids has the lunch money? We'd like to "talk" to him. : :(
I can now say I've gone from 5% kid 2 in any FS development to saving my lunch money and not eating untill hometime! B) Nice to see you all getting musical btw. Excellent :D

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Sorry for going off topic :( but all in all, the more I think of it the more I agree with the PMDG stance. I was sort of tempted by the Airsimmer ET Beta thing but at the end of the day I prefer to simply pay for a fully functional product. I've other reservations but I'll leave it at that.To get back on topic - the band sounds tight, polished and professional - certainly ready for prime time - all the very best :(

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