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Add-On Development and Simulation Software Workshop

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I consider myself an avid Flight Simmer not unlike many throughout the world who have enjoyed the progress and development of this hobby. Over the years I have enoyed using Microsoft's Flight Simulator, watching new developments in visual effects, and seeing the variety of add-ons; many of which, from freeware to payware, I have enjoyed and to this day remain in my collection -- PMDG's 737 being the latest and struggling to get it's product firmly in the air. I once thought Microsoft ought to be paying these guys to develop the aircraft while they build the core sim. It has been a good experience from the beginning and I feel has allowed me to go onto earning Private Wings where I can take the enjoyment of flight beyond the realm of simulation.While on the topic of commercial add-ons, I am beginning to see a trend that disturbs me. There is the wonderful product that is presented for all to behold and many are downright so good they belong on the FS2004 CD. However, beyond that, appears a valley full of competition that diverges greatly. I supose rather than collaborating on efforts, commercial vendors repeat the same mistakes and ill-will of their counterparts while many exceed their competition in poor service, poor support, lack of availability, program errors: bugs and whatever other critters you want to throw in to the mix, online packaging, etc. This movement toward poor commercial add-on development is exceeding the developers of multi-million line software code and is downright absurd especially when considering the cost of purchase which can be as much as one half if not greater then that of the parent software in which the add-on runs.If I take the recent developments of Software Simulation Workshop, the frustration level, aggravation, and trial by fire makes the experience go even beyond that. I have already committed myself, with greenbacks galore, to possessing their first add-on aircraft, the Airbus A-310-300, and am now glad I thought not to pre-order which, in my opinion, is akin to giving a thief your money to invest although I have gone down that road before with another developer of add-on software. Add to that once the A-310 is released and the money is placed into the coffer, I am not able to download the file, able but it is corrupt, and then the file size changes and I can't download it anymore unless, of course, one contemplates the definition of a successful download as the ability to save to one's computer a file with a name -- said file need not have any contents and 0 MB files are included.Beyond that to only mention that the add-ons vendor's server is crashing due to massive hits while the forum and all its helpful contents are deleted by the Vendor to rescue the server is mere icing on the cake. May I remind you all this for a mere $37 dollars and a head full of expletives -- not literally but nearly so.This, I feel, is about the lowest an add-on developer can go to not have their infrastructure in place, their product ready to go when they say it is ready, and my money for nothing in return. I do hope this editorial is considered because after Captin Sim's 707 is released, I have no interest (and I assume others may be close to feeling this) in commercial add-ons anymore and this may be a consumer trend that helps correct these problems.Now of course we consumers have our part to play in this conflagration from pressureing add-on developers to provide release dates, to harassing developers to release their product, to complaining about price, to posting ill will in their forums, etc., etc. you know who you are....HERE HERE. I suppose frustration and lack of suport go hand in hand with bad feelings as an unexpected bill to an empty wallet.However I am certain this situation need not exist if there is some measure of expectation on the part of the developer and eventual customer. Some add-on developers have already redefined the genre by not releasing publish dates, providing minimal information needed for the discriminating consumer, and established a viable reltaionship with its' customer base. I can only hope ther development continues and that other developers learn from positive examples that do exist out there.Thank you for reading my opinion -- The opinion expressed in this editorial is not Avsim's and therefore Avsim takes no responsibility for losses.

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