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misgav

Nothing new under the sun

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I've been reading posts everywhere about the future of flight simulation' and who will take the lead in developing the next sim.

Seems like Laminar Research is the only player left in town.

But if you look at the real world of aviation, it's not like there's a new product every week\month\ year.

New planes take maybe 5-10 years to develop. Same with avionic systems.

I think that there's not a whole lot more to develop in flight simulation. You can't change the laws of physics that govern flying.

If you look at the addon product market' it's mostly scenery. Soon every major\minor airport will be covered by developers. What's left? VFR scenery maybe, once the storage problem us solved. Most addons adress the way the sim looks on your monitor. Clouds, reflection,' shadowing, etc- these have nothing to do with the science of flying.

 

There are aspects of aviation that, at least from the flight sim pov, aren't going to change that much: A VOR , an ILS, The GPS map, the comm/ nav radios, the autopilot, flap' spoilers, ailerons, rudders. These aspects are the basics- they won't change much- there's no need to change them in flight simulation. Autogen scenery? come on folks, if you're serious about the flying, then who cares about the road traffic and highway signs in X Plane? When you're above 3000 feet all you can see is haze.

 

That's why i'm happy with FS2004 and its huge market of addons.

I don't need a new sim every few years, because flying itself hasn't changed much. The only major breakthrough I see coming is 3D monitors. But that's still eyecandy.

 

So the fact that MS has given up doesn't really bother me. As long af FS2004 and FSX can run on my pc, I'm happy.

 

Eytan Ornstein

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Hi, Eytan!

 

A great post of yours, really. :good: I share similar thoughts. But I would like to add some remarks.

 

What new can there be in our flightsims? Well, depends in which platforms. Talking about the MFS series, it is officially as dead as a dodo.

However both FS9 and FSX are still (and will long be) provided with new addons from various developers. As long as there are customers - active FS9-ers / FSX-ers, I am not worried.

 

I guess there is never enough scenery. You may think all airports have been covered, but our planet is vast. We are yet too se HQ versions of CYYZ, EKCH, EPWA, FACT, FAJS, HECA, LBSF, LIMC, LTBA, NTAA, NZAA, OIIE, OMAA, OTBD, UAAA, UGTB, ULLI, UUEE, WMKK, VABB, VCBI, YMML, YSSY, ZBAA, ZSPD and many others.

 

Aircraft - many have been made. But if you count only the quality ones, there is still much to bee seen. Especially in the Airbus market (from A318 up to A380).

Tools - never too many! Great new flightplanners, moving maps, fuel loaders, failure trainers, airport enhancements (like AES or GSX), crew simulations (like FS2Crew), etc.

 

Next there is a question of compatibility. If folks decide to leave the MFS platforms and move to a future one, the question is how compatible with the existing addons it is going to be - if not at all, the list of things to produce, sell and buy will start again. And people will buy, because this is a great (and addictive) hobby, as we all know very well.

 

It is i-m-p-o-s-s-i-b-l-e to make a home simulator which will be 100% satisfying in its default version. It will always only be a platform. The only exception from that I could see, would be making specific aircraft simlators with some more basic scenery. Close to the real high cost sims which are dedicated to particular models and recreate them as thoroughly as possible. But then the question comes: how many simmers (and their wallets) are willing to support hardcore sims? Probably still most will like all-in-one sims like the MFS series, where everybody can choose what, where and how they like to fly.

 

Plus there are more and more folks who decide to spend some extra money of hardware controllers, do and will build more or less complicated home cockpits.

So this market is growing and, as a result, prices are more and more competitive. I myself have a very simple self-made cockpit, but think of having something more serious in future.

If you can have two or three cars at home, or a yacht, wht not having a full (motion platform) 737 or A320 sim at home? The only better thing then is to fly the real thing...

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it is officially as dead as a dodo

 

Not quite! :lol:

 

As long as folks like Navigraph are keeping us up-to-date and REAL world weather is available to download I guess serious simmers will be happy for evermore ... well until our aircraft become more than vintage.

 

By way of example I believe I have spent more on scenery, major aircraft and utilities in 2012 than in any previous year, yet I am a retired pensioner. I am in the next month or two, like many others, upgrading my motherboard and CPU, not to run FS9 any better ... rather to keep abreast of other software enhancements.

 

It will have to be a major breakthrough (virtual 3D ... at last) that will see this little simmer wanting to leave the joys of FS9 simming.

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Not quite!

 

See my phrase '...officially dead...'! :wink:

I mean they are not supported and developed by their creator (Microsoft) anymore.

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The hobby will slowly die with no new FS versions. Flew into EHAM tonight with some heavy stratus overcast and low vis and was struck by how bad it all looked due to the messed up rendering order in FSX causing other cloud layers to show through the haze and the haze transition layers themselves being visible through the clouds. Terrible, just terrible. Ruined the immersion totally. Eventually people will get fed up and at that point addons won't be enough. Unless P3D or Xplane step up to the plate in a major way this hobby is finished and like as not Avsim won't even be here in 10 years.

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The hobby will slowly die with no new FS versions. Flew into EHAM tonight with some heavy stratus overcast and low vis and was struck by how bad it all looked due to the messed up rendering order in FSX causing other cloud layers to show through the haze and the haze transition layers themselves being visible through the clouds. Terrible, just terrible. Ruined the immersion totally. Eventually people will get fed up and at that point addons won't be enough. Unless P3D or Xplane step up to the plate in a major way this hobby is finished and like as not Avsim won't even be here in 10 years.

 

 

And on that happy note!

 

 

Altogether now.....

 

Always look on the bright side of life.

Whistling

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And on that happy note!

 

 

Altogether now.....

 

Always look on the bright side of life.

Whistling

 

Sorry to sound overly pessimistic but it's just so frustrating when a perfectly good flight is ruined by some of these stupid problems. It honestly makes FSX feel like beta-level software at best and I find something like this always messes things up during any given flight. I don't think I've had one single flight in FSX so far where I've finished off thinking "wow, that was awesome".

 

So I guess I'm just a frustrated user.

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Sorry to sound overly pessimistic but it's just so frustrating when a perfectly good flight is ruined by some of these stupid problems. It honestly makes FSX feel like beta-level software at best and I find something like this always messes things up during any given flight. I don't think I've had one single flight in FSX so far where I've finished off thinking "wow, that was awesome".

 

So I guess I'm just a frustrated user.

 

Fair do's Sir.

I was just joking.

Andy

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Fair do's Sir.

I was just joking.

Andy

 

Fair enough, keep it up lol. In these dark times we simmers need to take advantage of whatever opportunities for humour exist =D.

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It honestly makes FSX feel like beta-level software at best

I agree. Come back to FS9 ... you do realise you are posting in the FS2004 Forum! :lol: :P

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I agree. Come back to FS9 ... you do realise you are posting in the FS2004 Forum! :lol: :P

 

LOL only just, sorry about that. I did think about going back to FS9 and it is sometimes tempting but all my addons aren't backwards compatible =(. Besides I checked out the clouds in FS9 and found I was still getting the cloud bleed problem I am complaining about above.

 

It's funny but when FS2004 first came out years ago I don't remember ever having that rendering order/cloud bleed issue on the Geforce FX5600 card I had at the time (makes you realise how long ago that was). Maybe something in the architecture or software of GPU's changed to make this problem occur. No one seems to have studied it in any real detail before...

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Hi.

 

I've been reading posts everywhere about the future of flight simulation' and who will take the lead in developing the next sim.

Soon every major\minor airport will be covered by developers.

 

Approximately 24 000 stock aerodromes, and who knows how many MS missed. That's a long period of future development! Seriously though I don't think the market would support such a wealth of new scenery. How many of us would fork out for a fully and accurately recreated gravel strip on the edge of the Kalahari?

 

 

What's left?

 

Personally, I'd like to see aeroplanes with accurate rudders. I've managed to find only two for FS9, and they were created by a developer who no longer has any interest in FS9... To judge by the thousands of inaccurate models, both free- and payware, it seems few of us have a sufficient desire for such developments to make any effort on the part of a developer worthwhile.

 

Undoubtedly the direction taken will be towards more impressive eye-candy, but what, specifically, will sell well enough to make development viable?

 

MS could have made a killing with the sadly deceased Flight had they been given time to improve what were perceived by the sim community as serious faults resulting from an attempt to reach a wider market. I did not try it but all the screenies I saw suggested that despite any other shortcomings, it was lovely to look at.

 

To judge by the bulk of posts from the few forums I visit, the preferred aircraft is a big jet so I don't suppose photoscenery or great terrain over large areas of the Earth are the best sellers, and the best cockpits are already very impressive in terms of both appearance and complexity.

 

Skyscapes and weather? Kannwar, I have the same problem with low cumulus showing through high stratus while using High Def Environment 2 in FS9, and must suffer a sharp edge to haze when I set Tablefog=0 to bring the visibility closer to reality. Developers take note?

 

ATC? The default in FS9 is pretty ropey, though it has plenty of adherents. I use one of two well-known payware replacements and rarely fly without it despite most of my flying being low and slow. Even so, as with all such things it does sometimes lack adequate accuracy for full immersion. Dare I complain that a new expanded version would be nice?

 

As Eytan and Appliance suggested, 3-d would be a big seller, if only we had the hardware at a decent price... and a home cockpit to go with it.

 

So where does that leave us? Despite the feeling we all have of being involved in a large community, flight sims generally make a rather niche market and we all want so many (possibly minor) improvements that very little real innovation is likely to be economically viable. Depressing? I don't think so. We are conditioned to demand regular and frequent improvements to hardware and software but it's only conditioning, not a requirement... "Are you seriously still using that antiquated junk??? That's got to be six whole months old by now!"

 

I still have a PC with Win 98 on it on which I play occasionally with such golden oldies as the original Tomb Raider. Despite having been through half a dozen different games half a dozen times each, they're still enjoyable. I see the existing flight sims improving little by little for a long number of years yet, with many of the improvements being freeware distributed by sites such as this one.

 

Best regards,

D

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One is immortal ... only if one is remembered.

 

Long live FS2004 (FS9) and those who follow ...

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I'm still with fs9. With all its add ons and tweaks and now that it can run on fast machines means that in my opinion it's overall better than fsx et al.

It's also allowed me to make improvements to panels etc. to the extent that actual cockpit workload can be reproduced.

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Still happy with FS9 (and all the addons I've purchased for it) here. I also own a copy of FSX, but don't even have it installed. Never even considered MS Flight, once I found out it was a game rather than a serious attempt at a simulation. At this point, the only thing that would tempt me away from FS9 would be if X-Plane ever manages to duplicate certain MSFS features it doesn't currently have or doesn't have in a form I consider acceptable. Among these would be a workable, even if quirky, built-in ATC, actual buildings (including terminals and gates, even if generic) at airports. Were those conditions met, I'd consider switching if for no other reason than because then I could run a good Linux distro as my OS of choice, since X-Plane is Linux-compatible.

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Still happy with FS9 (and all the addons I've purchased for it) here. I also own a copy of FSX, but don't even have it installed. Never even considered MS Flight, once I found out it was a game rather than a serious attempt at a simulation.

 

This is where most simmers are at, and I am now in fs9 comfort zone even though every aspect of it has become static, I do hope it's temporary. I'd say, since PMDG MD 11 came out, everything has been repetitive .Would it be fair to expect more in repetition, there is plenty of space for Airbus, few GA's and loads of remote airports. meanwhile, the upcoming Rome Total War II should fill the gaps :P

 

 

Cheers

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When given the choice between the 32-bit and 64-bit version of Windows 7, I automatically chose the 32-bit version, to be able to run all/most of my crates of old, (and some new!) software and hardware, without too many problems.

Much of my software and hardware is designed for 32-bit only!

Most of my favourite programs are now veteran/vintage, and many of them run via 32-bit Emulators....often emulating 16-bit and 8-bits!... B) ...!

 

Paul....FS 2004+FS Navigator..(and FSX on extremely rare occasions).... :Bug: ...!

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An interesting dilemma. "I think that there's not a whole lot more to develop in flight simulation."

 

While I can think of a couple of things: ATC, weather, it's very likely that even if someone could miraculously offer an ATC add-on, this crew wouldn't accept it unless it works with FS9. It sounds like unless a new flight simulator is created, or MS sells a new version of MS FS that runs as fast as FS9 on existing PCs and uses all FS9 add-ons, there's no future for flight simulators.

 

I enjoy FS9 and have since day 1. The same for FSX, and for all the other versions going back to the C64 days. Each version challenged the hardware of the day. Each version had improvements over its predecessors.

 

I think what has kept the PC flight simulator progressing is buying and adapting. This doesn't mean that I always had to stop using an older version as soon as a new one came out, but by buying and adapting I believe I am one of the many that has kept the hobby alive. The add-on makers create their stuff to sell. In my opinion, buying and adapting keeps them creating.

 

Respectfully,

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It sounds like unless a new flight simulator is created, or MS sells a new version of MS FS that runs as fast as FS9 on existing PCs and uses all FS9 add-ons, there's no future for flight simulators.

 

 

that would be a massive upgrade and I'll be one among the first to buy!!

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The future may lie in developing code that runs outside of the flight sim engine. Developers such as A2A are already using it. As A2A have done for aircraft fidelity another developer may do for weather.

I believe that if this can work for FS then it will be a game changer.

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Interesting thread. Oculus Rift sounds decidedly cool - a 3d headset for FS2004!! Come on developers get your dev teams out of the pub.

 

A gaming platform is only as good as its community (and this is an excellent and entertaining one for sure), As long as consumers stay interested, the game lives on regardless of the survival of the original producer.

 

FS2004 was a great platform 9 years ago, and today it's even better, because the original platform is buried under layers of subsequent community/commercial products, that 's why it's lasted so long.The mistake MIcrosoft made was to try to control the action rather than continue to support it. Simmers are like musicians (indeed they are often musicians, as in my case), I have used Cubase and other DAWS in the past, now I use Reaper. It cost $60 but I've since spent a lot more on my studio and plug ins. FS2004 cost me £30 in 2005, I daren't mention how much I have spent on case my wife or kids read this.

 

In both cases the platform was a base for development, they did not try to control the community. This is different from say Logic and ProTools or Prepar3d, where the community is a business or commercial one, and customers dictate product direction. If you run a studio then you better use Logic and ProTools whatever your opinion. If you want an accessible platform for training and simulation Prepar3d may be on track to become a standard ( I also work in Aerospace!).

 

Whatever it is, you ignore your user community at your peril, as sadly Microsoft found out recently with Flight.

 

Most of us just aspire to be free souls who simply wish to be taken above the clouds and arrive somewhere else using our own skill, ingenuity and some immensely good immersive simulations and scenery. Whilst software companies cater for people like us, we foolish weak people with credit cards and paypal accounts will carry on spending.

 

Long live our new toys!

 

 

 

Ray

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The fact that MS has abandoned fs is irrelevant. The addon developers made fs2004 an exciting and comprehensive sim.

 

SAX702- you are suggesting the lack of good atc and weather engines.

What about Radar Contact or ProFlight Emulator- both excellent programs. And if these aren't good enough, go fly with VATSIM!

Weather? Both REX ans ActiveSky are incredibly faithful to weather simulation. My wife's boss is an ex airline pilot. I nvited him over to look at fs2004. He said that the clouds generated by REXares better than the real thing. He used to fly Airbus. I showed him the Wilco\feelthere Airbus series and he said it's like flying the real thing.

 

Eytan

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go fly with VATSIM!

 

I would advice the same. Flying on Vatsim is like starting another advanced ultra-realistic simming passion. captain.gif

On the other hand it must be said VATSIM itself is not an addon, and the folks above, I guess, meant a decent ATC addon.

 

My wife's boss is an ex airline pilot (...) I showed him the Wilco\feelthere Airbus series and he said it's like flying the real thing

 

Eytan, are you sure he is not an ex... flight attendant (with respect to all FA's)? Big%20Grin.gif

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The one thing I desperately miss in FS 2004, is the ability to use FS 2004 Default ATC, whilst I am on-line in FS Host Multiplayer, during the day, waiting for other Multiplayers to show up during my flights.

It can be done with FSX...but not with FS 2004....I could never figure out why not!

 

Paul...FS 2004 + FS Navigator...Big%20Grin.gif ...!

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New and Improved. For me and the way I fly (round engines) I truely wish that Microsoft could have mated either of the flight sims with their own Bing Maps. I'd love to fly low and slow with the detail of Bing. OR Google. Being able to fly around a particular parcel of property and see if from a low angle, to be able to land on a county road and view the surroundings - yep, I'd pay for that. And the pitty is that it's already modeled! My old computer will scroll Bing fast enough to emulate a DC-3 low flight. Since an "Aircraft" is little more than a working cockpit overlaying a digital world it seems to me that it would work. A little more work could bring some of the outrageous real world weather into the bing map. Model a tornado, severe storm with random wind gusts, super cells and varying rain squalls. Tie that to the day's news so we can actually fly over the active part of the massive fires out west - or see the huge water of a flood. The comment was made early in this thread that above 3000 feet up the world is hazy. Yep it is. But there are more than a few of us flying tundra tired Super Cubs and Grumman Gooses (geese?) who don't get much higher than that. And with something to look at, perhaps barnstorming could become a new area of interest. Just dreaming, ya know?

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