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MBE007

Do X-Plane users want Payware airports?

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KORD, KJFK and KLAX are all not by Tom Curtis.

Correct!  These are not made by Tom.  My bad!  My observation still stands, for the price these are asking and the quality and performance they provide, they made the most expensive FSX airport scenery looks cheap.  Aside from the quality names like TruScenery, Aerosoft, Beti-X, TropicalSim the rest produce stuffs that are amateurish.  There are free XPX scenery that look and perform much better are these wannabe.  Coming from FSX, I found many on the XPX side don't care too much about airport and reviews on them are few if no at all.  I got burn with these low rate sceneries once, I am not going to do it again.  I wish developers like FSDreamteam and FlyTampa would convert and support their sceneries in XPX, now those I will buy them again for XPX!

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There are many really nice freeware airports for X-Plane, but if a developer brings out an airport/scenery that is better than what is currently available, I am happy to pull out the plastic card. The more payware X-plane users purchase, the more interest will be shown by more developers.  

I have only recently become involved with X-Plane (Nearly 30 years with MS flight simulator iterations), but I definitely think it is the simulator with the most future potential. One thing we can all do is buy the payware (provided it is good) and encourage the freeware makers. 

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Truescenery and Beti-X Quality Airports and Scenery packages are welcome additions and will do very well sales wise in X-Plane IMHO.Count me in! :Big Grin:  

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PMDG don't make scenery.

 

:P

OK - I'll be clearer.  I can't wait to see a good combination of high quality scenery and aircraft in XP!  :P

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I've spent decent amount of money on aircraft.  But I've never spent a penny on airports.

 

Reason for that is simple.  Money spent on a plane lasts a lot longer (in terms of time spent on that plane) than money spent on an airport that I may fly into just once or twice given my flying habits.

 

On top of that, there are quite a few decent freeware sceneries to fly to (e.g. Zurich). 

 

And just to put the final nail in the coffin, it's often the case that some payware airports suffer quite badly in terms of performance.  This is partially due to location (e.g. major airport in big city), and partly due to authors being far too heavy on detail at the expense of performance. The payware aircraft that I spend money on suffer that problem far less acutely.

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I wasn't sure about payware airports for quite a while, mainly being concerned about the potential framerate hit.  

 

But when I saw beti-x's CZST Stewart, I pounced on it. Even though it wasn't in an area that I was particularly interested in.  I was really impressed with the outstanding attention to detail and quality.  I figured I should support the guys that are putting out awesome product.  

 

So yes, I'll definitely buy airports of that quality :smile2:

 

In fact, I'd pay $100 for a package of the main airports in the Baltimore/Washington area.  KBWI Baltimore, DCA Reagan National, IAD Dulles International.  

 

I would also pay for Landmark packages.  

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I've purchased KILM- Wilmington NC and CZST- Stewart and both are outstanding! I have some great freeware airports, but they don't match what those two have accomplished. So yeah I will buy quality Airports.

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I have purchased a great amount of airports for X-Plane, and I love the work by Tom Curtis.  His Glitter Gulch at KLAS (Las Vegas) is very very nice, and I recommend it highly.  I also have obtained some of the freeware airports.  Clearly, something you pay for is going to (generally) be higher-quality than freeware.

 

I would purchase high quality payware airports as they become available for XPlane 10.  I agree that larger 'hub' airports would probably be the best place to start.

 

And of course, make sure the airports 'work' in 64-bits :D

 

Cheers!

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And of course, make sure the airports 'work' in 64-bits :D

Well, the good thing is, that Scenery is usually and mostly OS independent (and thus also 32/64bit independent ... and at least when it comes to memory hunger, 64bit is rather a positive factor than a negative one). I was already asked more than once questions about my HD mesh Scenery v2 (or other sceneries) if they work on Mac too ... well, yes, of course they do. This is always true, as long as your scenery is only data (well, everything that is in DSFs, objects, textures ... its all data).

 

The only exception is - of course - as always: plug-ins ... This is the only "critical" part. But at least they are usually far less heavily used at airports (compared to aircraft), and if they don't work on your platform, they at least don't ruin the whole experience (usually ... of course ... your mileage my wary B) ), as the airport will still look visually as good as it was created. Only some dynamic, plug-in based extras might be missing (of course ... it can still be annoying ... especially if you payed for the "whole package" .... not just the visuals).

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Reason for that is simple. Money spent on a plane lasts a lot longer (in terms of time spent on that plane) than money spent on an airport that I may fly into just once or twice given my flying habits.

 

This is so very true in my case. On FSX I was often buying lots of airports, e.g. The ORBX ones. I'd use them a few times and then never return again. It would just sit there filling up disk space. The only airports I use a lot are my home airport, one or two of the surrounding ones, and some of the major airports in Germany. In fact it's the same with CZST and the TruScenery airports, I bought them, used them a few times and generally don't go back unless I'm testing performance or something. However, I will buy good quality airports for X-Plane, even if I only use them a few times.

 

 

 


And just to put the final nail in the coffin, it's often the case that some payware airports suffer quite badly in terms of performance.

 

It's a difficult one this, because people want the airport to look realistic and be atmospheric and feel like a real airport. It's difficult to get it right, on one hand the developer could add so many details that it becomes a very pretty slideshow, and on the other hand, add too little that it doesn't differ much from the freeware version. I always found the UK2000 airports well done in this regards, and also Drzewiecki Design's Polish airports.

 

Also, as already mentioned, the airport should have proper exclusion zones and the developer shouldn't expect users to be adding these themselves, and should include correct taxiway layouts and numbers. This has been a real big pain for me when developing World2XPlane, and lots of support requests are about trees or other items being on the airport grounds colliding with scenery in payware packages.

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I'd certainly be willing to pay a reasonable price for high quality airports in X-Plane.

I know:

Making comparisons is not the best way, but honestly speaking:

The quality of 3rd party airports and sceneries has really taken a HUGE step forward over the recent yeary in FSX.

Now please:

Let's not start one of these discussions regarding "X-Plane vs. FSX" here, but i dare saying that we can all agree on the fact that sceneries such as those from ORBX, Flightbeam, Fly Tampa, PacSim, FSDT, 29Palms and many others available for FSX/P3D certainly are great examples of what can be considered to "highest quality payware airports"!

So if similiar products were available for X-Plane it would just be amazing!!

 

I know it won't be an easy undertaking and mabye even commercially risky - but isn't this always the case when developing for X-Plane, which, overall at least, still is a niche product in a niche market.

So:

Why not giving it a try?

I'd certainly purchase one or another!

 

 

 


Also, as already mentioned, the airport should have proper exclusion zones and the developer shouldn't expect users to be adding these themselves, and should include correct taxiway layouts and numbers. This has been a real big pain for me when developing World2XPlane, and lots of support requests are about trees or other items being on the airport grounds colliding with scenery in payware packages.

 

+1

Things like proper exclusion zones and taxiway layouts should certainly be self-evident for any dedicated payware airport-packages!

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It's a difficult one this, because people want the airport to look realistic and be atmospheric and feel like a real airport. It's difficult to get it right, on one hand the developer could add so many details that it becomes a very pretty slideshow, and on the other hand, add too little that it doesn't differ much from the freeware version. I always found the UK2000 airports well done in this regards, and also Drzewiecki Design's Polish airports.

 

As a developer I would say that scenery development is like a ... balancing act! The problem is not how to make a high quality airport, but how well you can optimize it. X-Plane now gives to developers all the tools to get both high quality and get descent frame rates. I don't think that I should go very technical, but a good knowledge and implementation of these tools can do the job right. 

 

I think that more and more high quality airports will appear in X-Plane! I can say that because I have some inside info (from my team of course!) about what's coming!

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I'd much prefer regional scenery like Orbx regions than single airports. I'd pay cold, hard cash for those.

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As a developer I would say that scenery development is like a ... balancing act! The problem is not how to make a high quality airport, but how well you can optimize it. X-Plane now gives to developers all the tools to get both high quality and get descent frame rates. I don't think that I should go very technical, but a good knowledge and implementation of these tools can do the job right. 

 

I think that more and more high quality airports will appear in X-Plane! I can say that because I have some inside info (from my team of course!) about what's coming!

 

 

The big drawback of the killer FSX/P3D airports is that they murder frames.  I was able to add all my payware FSX airports to my P3D setup.  I was thrilled.  Then I flew into the Los Angeles basin with KLAX installed, along with Orbx Global and Orbx Vector 1.1.  I had the thrill of experiencing 7 fps.  SEVEN!  That was gosh-awful.  I got so disheartened, I totally removed my entire P3D setup and then reinstalled ONLY P3D basic 2.2.  Of course the frames are super again.  

 

The one thing I wished for about P3D was that they might put "EVERYTHING" into just ONE folder like the brand-X sim does.  That is SO much easier if you discover you thrashed your install, you just restore a backup of that single folder and you're golden, because the entire sim and all the adds live in the brand-X folder.  FSX/P3D are scattered all over your PC, so you're forced to restore your entire disk partition image.  That takes much longer in terms of time, and there are additional dangers (if the image you are restoring from is invalid, you can hose your entire system).

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I'd much prefer regional scenery like Orbx regions than single airports. I'd pay cold, hard cash for those.

 

Fully agreed!

But i'd like to have both:

Detailed regional sceneries and detailed airports as well!

And before i have neither of them, i at least want to have detailed airports as a beginning!

:wink:

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I'd much prefer regional scenery like Orbx regions than single airports. I'd pay cold, hard cash for those.

 

How about hard cold "time"?. A combination of AlpilotX's HD Mesh v2 and scenery generated from OSM in World2XPlane is getting pretty close, and we just lack regional artwork for some regions and textures. Anyone who has a camera and some time can help out and improve their area, and best of all, it will remain free, no cash required.

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I doff my hat to those who give up their spare time to create quality freeware, and those like Tony, Andras and many more who innovate to make XP better for all of us. :)

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Thanks everyone for taking the time to respond to my question. We will take away your comments into our deliberations. In the mean-time any further comments will of course be welcomed  :smile:  :biggrin:

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Definately would pay for quality airports for XPX. (Who wants to take off and land on a dull windswept paddock with one tin shed). Purchased XPX a year ago but only just got round to looking into it in some detail. The land scenery in XPX is not as good as FSX. The texture of the landscape is better but for some reason in XPX,  generic houses appear along all the roads in rural areas round my region, plus also along the entrance road into local airport which makes the landscape look very odd.). I assume this will get fixed in a patch. If that doesnt happen I probably wont stay with XPX.

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 You'll not be able to test the market if you just ask a question to a minority of X-Plane users here on avsim.net. :wink:

 

 

Hi MdMax, perhaps you can really help me here?  How do you advise I get to the majority of X-Plane users to ask my question? 

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How about hard cold "time"?. A combination of AlpilotX's HD Mesh v2 and scenery generated from OSM in World2XPlane is getting pretty close, and we just lack regional artwork for some regions and textures. Anyone who has a camera and some time can help out and improve their area, and best of all, it will remain free, no cash required.

Indeed Tony!

And ...

 

I doff my hat to those who give up their spare time to create quality freeware, and those like Tony, Andras and many more who innovate to make XP better for all of us. :)

 

... of course - not the slightest doubt abot that at all!

But i am also most confident that free- and payware can live together easily side by side and/or interact seemlessly.

 

Furthermore in some areas creating proper freeware regions are hard to be achived due the lack of freely available (and if used and further processed freely distributable) - (source) data.

Or what about some dedicated texture enhancements of photreal areas or generic ground textures for instance as another example?

Sure it can all be done for free, but as time, personnel and resources are most precious, having a financial backing in sight might be some kind of relief and/or encouragement alike - for one individual developer - or a group of developers.

Sure:

As soon as money comes into play things tend to become complicated - but let's try to remain pragmatic and positive here.

So overall i really think that this (pay- and freeware sceneries) could all work out well and actually help a lot to noticeably raise the interest for X-Plane within the entire flightsimming community, hence bringing new users (customers) on board!

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Hi MdMax, perhaps you can really help me here?  How do you advise I get to the majority of X-Plane users to ask my question? 

 

That's a tough one! I presume you've asked over at the .org? There are one or two other popular XP sites. Hit them all. They should at very least, have analytics data that might inform any decision about which field to develop in which country, where are their users based? I also wonder might Aerosoft play nice if you approached them? I imagine they'd be only too happy to help, it makes good business sense. They seem to be the main ones selling into that market and might have some figures for you.

Really you can only approach those who have already sold into the market and ask them straight out how many units they've shifted. If they have any sense they'll be forthcoming knowing that the market has plenty of room to grow and that, at the moment, the more devs who come on board, the better for all it will be.  The devs who do bail in early are essentially creating the market and setting standards.

I would also approach IVAO/Vatsim just in case they have any figures that might indicate the popularity of airfields, a long shot but worth a try.

I don't imagine though that you will get anything definitive that will make the decision for you as such. It will no doubt boil down to taking a punt on it and praying it works out for you. Personally I hope you do obviously and that it does go well for you.

Definately would pay for quality airports for XPX. (Who wants to take off and land on a dull windswept paddock with one tin shed). Purchased XPX a year ago but only just got round to looking into it in some detail. The land scenery in XPX is not as good as FSX. The texture of the landscape is better but for some reason in XPX,  generic houses appear along all the roads in rural areas round my region, plus also along the entrance road into local airport which makes the landscape look very odd.). I assume this will get fixed in a patch. If that doesnt happen I probably wont stay with XPX.

 

In your shoes I would investigate World2XPlane and G2XPL. I have found the combination to be a winner to say the least. It produces high definition photoscenery with buildings and objects placed as in reality, subject to the quality of satellite imagery and OSM data for your particular area of concern. It turned XP into the sim I've always wished for, truly as real as it gets.

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Will guess sale number will not show ixeg in that statistic, or how it will affect x plane vatsim traffic.

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YES yes YES!

 

I've tried out the latest P3D and it has nice looks, but simply doesn't run as smoothly for me.

 

Smooth and consistent frame rates matter the most to me, with the "look" not far behind.

 

Bottom line is....if it's a slideshow, it doesn't really matter how "great" it looks.  (for me anyhow)

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