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jcomm

Leave to Xplane what Xplane does best... A personal view....

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I am really enjoying Xplane10 - I am!!!! At last I believe I made my mind about the highly complex and fully featured simulation platform that Xplane is.

 

When I tried the very first versions of xplane it had something that already attracted me (less the price, around $700 by that time...). It was smooth when compared to my fs5, and had weather modelling features such as rain/snow/contaminated runways and some really new to me effects that I could only wish to see implemented in the much cheaper MSFS game...

 

Today's xplane is affordable, and although I have considered it expensive (when compared to fsx Gold bought through GFWL - around $23), I was really not considering the immense/detailled platform that xplane, right from the vanilla install is compared to FSX - starting with the much more airships you get by default.

 

Smoothness is still one of the most remarkable features of xplane, together with what follows in the next paragraph. I've been playing with beta6, and find it great for my system. I also find xplane's UI very well designed and never had any problems with it, although I can accept opposite opinions. Setting my hardware and satrting to "fly" was never a problem for me on any version of xplane.

 

When airborne, the sensation of flight, the environment, the sharpness of scenery around the airplane look great. I couldn't care less about AI traffic, cars on roads or even ATC (more on this later...), so I simply turn them all OFF.

 

I do care about flight physics, systems modelling, Earth physics model, and even features like including proper sunrise/sunset times for the location you're flying at, even Moon phases are important from a night VFR perspective (yes! I do like to see the Moon properly represented, have it in ELITE too, and it's an IFR training software, not a game...).

 

In the past each new update/beta of xplane had a handful of fixes/new features in the flight physics, for fixed and rotary wing aircraft, systems, etc... What I see today is the dedicated xplane dev team spending a HUGE amount of their time with AI traffic, ATC... and I really don't think this time is being spent in the best way.

 

If I were LR/Austin I would continue to open/optimize my platform for external programs to do the job for whoever want's traffic / more sophisticated weather / ATC.

 

http://xsimreviews.c...in-for-x-plane/ is a very good example of what should be left for 3pd to implement. I don't like the idea that my simulation cycles are supporting the (useless for me...) burden of simulating the same sophisticated flight/physics model I want for the aircraft I am "flying" when dealing with other AI aircraft/cars/whatever!!!! Leave that to an external application. Apparently the path is already there.

 

The same applies for ATC. If you don't want to use online ATC networks/services (like me, I never used any...), then please don't ask for Xplane to spend precious simulation cycles doing that. Again, let external programs do that stuff, either online or using ATC robots, and most certainly doing a much better job for the simulation of an ATC environment.

 

Weather/clouds: When I started looking at the way clouds are represented in xplane10 I was somehow disappointed. It always looks like one of those XVIII th Century paintings... And the amount of cloud types/forms? Well, this is something I really would like to see better implemented in future xplane10 releases, but, thinking practically about it, and again using ELITE as a good example (a professional flight simulation program), they serve perfectly just as they are, provided you can have some way of setting coverage, base and top, and icing/turbulence effects!

It's great to look at some AS2012 for FSX cloud images, but, when a weather injector takes a local METAR / TAF, and even additional wind/temperature information and renders the skies around my local airport, I seldom see in the simulator anything really resembling what I see in RL... Sometimes it's acceptable, ok, but if I think of the impact it has on frame rates, then I'd rather have ELITE-like cloud rendering, and I usually ended-up setting "basic clouds" in FSX... At least in Xplane10 I have puffy, not basic, clouds, even if I lack some more diversity...

 

I am sure that if the small LR Xplane team was left room for improvement on flight dynamics, aircraft systems, weather model (not the looks, but rather the variables an their effects), etc... we should all profit from it, and 3pds too if they were given the chance to develop nice Weather injectors, ATC robots, AI traffic injectors/controllers ...

 

Sorry for the long post ;-)

 

Really enjoying Xplane10!

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Each to their own, lots of people like sims for different experiences. I don't think it is reasonable to ask people to not ask LR to provide features they said they would though.

 

I know we can debate and sometimes have debated what people think is important to the sim but it should be left at that level. I don't think it is entirely appropriate to plead users to not ask for features that are not important to you.

 

Otherwise I am in agreement that xpx is looking good and I hope it improves more.

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Jason,

 

it's really just a very personal view... not meant to plead users to give up their wants.... ;-)

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Agreed about AI and ATC, but I really miss airport scenery and landmarks. As a user I do not want to create or import FSX scenery for an airport that I visit once in my life. I like the smooth feeling of flight, but landing at a flat airport breakes the bubble. I think every flightsimmer wants to like XP as it is the future sim, but it has to be complete.

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but I really miss airport scenery and landmarks

 

I agree :-) It would be great to have by default. Regarding city autogen/etc, OSM2XP does miracles !!!!

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X-Plane just needs some (well, quite a bit of) time. It'll become a very very fine simulator in about 1-2 years.

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I know quite a few people who would disagree with you.

The OP looks to be one of them

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X-Plane just needs some (well, quite a bit of) time. It'll become a very very fine simulator in about 1-2 years.

I'm sure that was said in XP9 and XP8 and XP7.... :)

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X-Plane just needs some (well, quite a bit of) time. It'll become a very very fine simulator in about 1-2 years.

 

Yep, in two years time it'll certainly have became an even better simulator, but, honestly, I already find it very very fine :-)

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It lacks quite a lot for someone like me. There are not enough airliners, support for online flying is not good yet, the interface is very difficult to get acquainted to - very hard to setup joystick/keys/etc (pretty much deorganized), it's not intuitive at all (unlike the developer claims)...

 

These are not complaints nor attacks to X-Plane, i like it a lot already, i'm just stating the things i'd like to see developed (it's happening already) throughout the life of X-Plane. This is why i'm saying 1-2 years.

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These are not complaints nor attacks to X-Plane, i like it a lot already, i'm just stating the things i'd like to see developed (it's happening already) throughout the life of X-Plane. This is why i'm saying 1-2 years.

 

I understand. I've been very critic about some aspects of X-plane too, but the truth is it already giving me a lot of fun and apart from it I do find it as a promising and VERY ALIVE platform, which is good to know in the times we're crossing....

 

When we ask/complain about something, we know, and we even have feedback from the team themselves, something unique for this type of product.

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My perspective is broadly similar to jcomm's. I'm flying mostly helos these days. The feel of flight in helo modeling is amazing - in the FSX world, only the Dodosim B206 comes close, and even there, the best XP helos are a bit more fluid. Of course, flying helos keeps me close to the ground, so my demands for scenery are more intense than I would be if I spent more time at altitude. Cars on the roads do make a difference to me. Seasons would be nice... As for the accuracy of scenery, I'm beginning to dabble in OSM2XP, though it's slow going. Like many, I think my ideal world would involve XP flight physics and a scenery world that, if not identical to FSX, at least comes closer to allowing willing suspension of disbelief. But I understand that'll take time, so I'm willing to hang in. Still going back and forth between XP and FSX, but if XP eventually won out, that'd be fine with me. For the moment am grateful for those helos, and for Goran's DC-3 when I want to fly a plank...

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The same applies for ATC. If you don't want to use online ATC networks/services (like me, I never used any...), then please don't ask for Xplane to spend precious simulation cycles doing that. Again, let external programs do that stuff, either online or using ATC robots, and most certainly doing a much better job for the simulation of an ATC environment.

 

There's one problem here! Not so much for the ATC system, as we've seen with FSX, but with the AI system. Traditionally AI systems in sims is something deeply integrated with the main code itself, therefore if the capability is not there to support more than 20 AI aircraft or not to do it randomly vs scheduled. There is little likelihood a third party developer will be able to do so.

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It can be done but it has to completely bypass the system. This requires more work and how well it works with other addons is an issue. In fact, this looks like what a new plugin will be doing.

 

It's like how there's a plugin to allow you to connect to IVAO or VATSIM. When you're connected you can have dialog with other players and see their planes flying around. Obviously, neither XP's nor FSX's ATC code has anything to do with this. One can do something similar with a computer-controlled world of planes without connecting to a network. I believe this is how FSX ATC addons work: they just write their own program which runs in the background and moves objects around -- although I think the FSX ATC code has an API to allow some control within its system.

 

I still think all flight simulators are designed incorrectly for me. They should be more like toolkits with a very nice modular API system. If you've ever dug into the MMO WoW and its addon system, this is what I mean. A flight simulator should have a rendering engine and a physics engine of its choice and the scaffolding for many subsystems with a nice API. This way someone can develop a nice weather depiction system, another a nice real-time weather depicter, another some AI plane and vehicle addon while another a nifty ATC rules system and finally another can do an voice-command addon. With a nice modular API these can all talk to eachother and need no care of each other. Right now most addons are really hacks and it can create a mess and there's a strong limit to what the addons can actually control or tweak.

 

For example, in FSX there are issues with the fuel mixture code for pistons that requires one to lean out the engines at much lower altitudes than in reality. There is no way to fix this by a third-party unless they completely use their own engine simulation. The same goes for many systems in XP. It'd be great to just have a nice system so PistonPete developer makes a great piston subsystem module and you download that and drop it in your Flight Sim folder and you get all those features. Etc etc.

 

Anyway, I can dream. (And ramble, apparently.) :)

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A flight simulator should have a rendering engine and a physics engine of its choice and the scaffolding for many subsystems with a nice API.

 

Ditto!!!!

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Ditto!!!!

 

Now I really would support xplane enhancing their api. If things are still the same as there were a little while ago LR does not offically support an API for xplane and it is done as a side project.

 

If thats the case I could understand why a 3rd party AI program might not jump in to those murky waters.

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X-Plane just needs some (well, quite a bit of) time. It'll become a very very fine simulator in about 1-2 years.

 

agreed ..... if it doesn't lose steam before then. Every version of Xplane had unrealized potential. Perhaps with Microsoft not having a new version, xplane will get the market attention needed to realize its potential.

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I'm impressed so far. There are a couple things I'd really like to see added in XPX. First off, a better default GPS. The one included now sucks and has severely limited functionality. Austin needs to get that in the works ASAP. I fly in the 3D pit view and I'd like to have a more functional GPS to use for flight plans and procedures. The second item I hope for is not really an XPX complaint per se, but I'd like a more thorough library of objects for editing scenery. I downloaded the Openscenery X package and was very disappointed. Everything I looked for was not included. I'm researching now on how to make my own objects and import them into scenery, but I am not an "artist" and I usually prefer to spend time flying instead of tweaking.

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Can you elaborate more on the lack of ability to use XP10 online with Vatsim? Does the interface not work well? Does the scenery not line up? This is the one showstopper for me, as I fly only online with VatSim, and would not cross over if this was a no go.

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Can you elaborate more on the lack of ability to use XP10 online with Vatsim? Does the interface not work well? Does the scenery not line up? This is the one showstopper for me, as I fly only online with VatSim, and would not cross over if this was a no go.

 

I'm the only one that mentioned VATSIM in this thread -- was that question to me? (I may have missed a statement.) I use XPX on VATSIM and it was the easiest plugin to set up -- much easier than FSInn, although it may not have all the features or be very accurate on the models.

 

Just go xsquawkbox .net and download the plugin, drop it in and configure your information in the XPX addon menu and ta-da. The only issue I've had is the USA-West server doesn't connect for me so I use North which works well enough. I do get disconnects now and then.

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For example, in FSX there are issues with the fuel mixture code for pistons that requires one to lean out the engines at much lower altitudes than in reality. There is no way to fix this by a third-party unless they completely use their own engine simulation. The same goes for many systems in XP. It'd be great to just have a nice system so PistonPete developer makes a great piston subsystem module and you download that and drop it in your Flight Sim folder and you get all those features. Etc etc.

 

Nothing to do with X-Plane, but....

 

FSX gets critical at 6000'. You should be thinking of leaning around 3000', just as mountain flying books suggest, because of density altitude. Never the less, by 5000'...........you had better already been leaning, because if you don't, you've lost available power. I fly out of a 4600' msl airport. Leaning is important right after engine start, and especially during the run up before takeoff. Unless, I land at a much lower elevation airport, I'll never be back to full rich, for the entire flight. I also operate X-Plane the same method.

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I think right now, what they are doing is fairly optimized and for many, the sim is fairly smooth. I just have a funny feeling they are afraid to put any AI out there in fear of losing smoothness. The airline models look absolutely gorgeous which in turn, adding too many of them, the FPS will suffer I believe. I think they are being very careful right now with what they want to improve on, due to avoid weighting down what they have tuned at this time. I think if they were to add even mild AI it will hit the FPS hard. I am only saying this because I believe the AI models themselves are heavy, but also the code necessary to have the AI do what good AI does. Judging the amount of time it has taken LR to get to where they are now, adding much more will be very risky. I also believe that the HDR is giving them fits for the same reason. It won't be pretty if they did what they need to do to make it work correctly. My opinion only and I have no facts to back this up. Maybe by the time they implement AI and HDR there will be some new processors out there that may provide what they will need in order to move forward. My opinion only and I have no facts to back this up. I just have a feeling!!

 

Bob

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I think if they were to add even mild AI it will hit the FPS hard. I am only saying this because I believe the AI models themselves are heavy, but also the code necessary to have the AI do what good AI does.

 

I agree in part, I think AI currently has some impact but thats not why I have it turned off. I also dont think the it's necessary to have such heavy code and I really dont believe that it's doing what good AI does.

 

As far as I can see we have the dumbest AI in any game I have played, all it does realistically is fly when its in the air.

 

I would toss the heavy flight model given to AI and replace it with basics like spawning in the right spots, at the right airports. Ability to move once spawned and not sit around blocking all day.

 

I really think the AI is as dumb as bricks.

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I would toss the heavy flight model given to AI and replace it with basics like spawning in the right spots, at the right airports. Ability to move once spawned and not sit around blocking all day.

 

+1!

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