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Phantom88

Austin Meyer interview

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Interesting interview, although there isn't too much new information about X-Plane in there, it's more about his planes and how he got started writing software. And boy, does he talk fast :-)

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Interesting to hear the coordination and "sub-contracting" that LR does to maintain and advance the sim. It's also instructive to understand why X-Plane is a collection of separate works, each controlled by specialists working out of their homes. Well worth the hour to listen.


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Interesting to hear the coordination and "sub-contracting" that LR does to maintain and advance the sim. It's also instructive to understand why X-Plane is a collection of separate works, each controlled by specialists working out of their homes. Well worth the hour to listen.

Simply avoiding the usual costs of being an actual employer (healthcare, unemployment, etc) it sounds like to me.

 

Hopefully the guys who've been around 10 years have a little cut of the big action that's paying for Austin to "have a rough time deciding which airplane would best keep him safe in the flight levels".

 

Was nice to hear him admit that the X plane world of scenery has in fact been pretty empty for many years. That said it was a little hollow to hear him boast of thousands of airplanes at the org site. We all know how many of those are actually worth any time.

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Was nice to hear him admit that the X plane world of scenery has in fact been pretty empty for many years. That said it was a little hollow to hear him boast of thousands of airplanes at the org site. We all know how many of those are actually worth any time.

 

Yes, he mentioned full 3D accurate airports. I wouldn't go that far in many cases. A lot of airports are good and better than flat deserts, but they certainly aren't accurate (which doesn't really matter if it's not your home airport). I'd love to see better development tools for X-Plane, i.e. Updated blender scripts with better support for animation, improve WED so it works with newer formats, etc.. I think by improving the tools, SDK and documentation that we'll see even better addons/freeware in the future. That being said, we are in a much better place in X-Plane that we were a year ago.

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Yes, he mentioned full 3D accurate airports. I wouldn't go that far in many cases. A lot of airports are good and better than flat deserts, but they certainly aren't accurate (which doesn't really matter if it's not your home airport). I'd love to see better development tools for X-Plane, i.e. Updated blender scripts with better support for animation, improve WED so it works with newer formats, etc.. I think by improving the tools, SDK and documentation that we'll see even better addons/freeware in the future. That being said, we are in a much better place in X-Plane that we were a year ago.

Totally agree about WED. I've tried getting into it but it's just so hideous and feels about 12 years old.

 

For that matter, the prefs screens in XPX itself could really use a basic visual overhaul so the entire interface wouldn't feel like using a NASA computer from the 80's.

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Totally agree about WED. I've tried getting into it but it's just so hideous and feels about 12 years old.

 

For that matter, the prefs screens in XPX itself could really use a basic visual overhaul so the entire interface wouldn't feel like using a NASA computer from the 80's.

That's where Ben Supnik, the other devs and the iOS version of X-Plane comes in. I can't find the website right now, but Philipp Münzel suggested that a new user interface for WED, X-Plane 11 were in the works after developing for iOS. It was in German, though.

 

I agree - X-Plane feels like Mac OS 9 (which is what its UI is actually based on). But it works.

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I enjoyed the interview.  What impressed me is the fact that LR keeps the "startup" mentality of building on the original idea and not spinning off into areas for the sake of big profits.  We don't know what deals Austin makes with his sub-contractors, but he must be doing something right to keep so many of them around for so long - either because they are adequately compensated or because they share Austin's love of the "game" of creating a great sim.  Microsoft's FSX died on the drawing board because it wasn't profitable.  Austin doesn't seem to care that much about making a fortune, and his enthusiasm for continuing to create great products (like X-Avion) is infectious.

 

Regarding interfaces - I can't tell you how I hate to find a familiar situation altered.  Whether I go into a store to find a specific item and find everything changed around (like magazine racks or grocery stores), or I go to a familiar web site and find some programmer "improving" it to justify his/her pay by moving links around or into sub-pages, it is frustrating.  If it ain't broke, don't fix it.  Most of us are quite comfortable with the location and function of the current XP UI.  It is functional, unobtrusive and out of the way when you don't want it.  I hope they don't "fix" it for the sake of esthetics or pseudo-functionality.


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I hope they don't "fix" it for the sake of esthetics or pseudo-functionality.

Agreed, I find it functional and perfectly useable. It should not be changed to spoon-feed people used to FSX (I came from there and didn't find it too traumatic).

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The GUI could definitely be refreshed though. It does look like a 1980's NASA interface haha.


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I would rather like to see Austin and his band of developers spend time on more features instead of spending precious time changing the GUI which in my opinion works and looks fine.


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Austin doesn't seem to care that much about making a fortune, and his enthusiasm for continuing to create great products (like X-Avion) is infectious.

 

I give Austin credit for donations to the animal shelter.  I once wrote that I purchased an X-Plane version to support his fuel bill for one of his planes.  But, in my mind, he does care about money. He's owned some very expensive "toys", which include cars, factory built high

performance airplanes, as well as a very expensive experimental/kitplane  class turbine.

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I would rather like to see Austin and his band of developers spend time on more features instead of spending precious time changing the GUI which in my opinion works and looks fine.

 

Austin had enough "precious time" to build an airplane - I'm sure he could throw a touch of cash at a GUI guy.

 

You guys must not be on 4k or anything else forward looking - The interface doesn't scale at ALL.  It's very hard to use and tiny and could just use some basic cleaning up.

 

The scaling thing is huge as there are a variety of pref situations where just being able to use the entire screen would be a huge boon!

 

...By the way to the poster above - I'm not an "FSX guy", nor do i need "spoon feeding".

I just have eyeballs and the GUI on XPX looks like crap for 2015.

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I had the pleasure of meeting Austin a couple of times last year.

He is definitely fast thinking and fast talking. A brilliant man.

 

I conveyed to him my thoughts on the future of XP and what it needed to be the "go to" sim of the future.

For one it had to be more airliner orientated vs general aviation, the moving map needed to be larger in distance etc.

He was very impressed by the MD80 project I showed him at rotatesim.com.

He explained to me that XP was originally designed to be a training tool for himself and general aviation pilots hence a lot of the features we see in XP.

 

From what I gather though, the future is very bright for GA and Heavy Iron pilots.

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