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Lorenzog

DTG: What would you like to see in a new Flight Simulator?

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Rreading comments here and on the Steam forum, many people have said something along the lines of a "new sim" with no back wards compatibility. But I very much doubt this will be brand new. As in File > New Project > line 1. I would hedge a bet that they have the license to remove/replace/update FSX code but on an entertainment license, as opposed to the license P3D has. This would mean it would be FSX to the core. If they started a brand new project it would take YEARS. And it would have to be as good or better then X-Plane from day one, otherwise, what's the point? They would need to hire developers who can write a new flight sim engine plus everything else (ATC, default planes etc) and they won't come cheap. And to complete it has to be as good as X-Plane, which has been developed over a long time, and FSX was developed over what...20 years?

 

In fact, realistically, if it's not easy for 3rd parties to port their add-ons over to DFS, then why not just say feck it, go to X-Plane? I think a lot of people are at the point of considering X-Plane or P3D. Both have pluses and minuses, but the big plus for P3D is a lot of add-ons either work with the migrater tool, or have been ported over relatively quickly. If you're going to say to a whole community of 3rd parties "you will need to re-code your add-ons" they will in turn tell us to re-buy the add-ons (and with good reason) and so we would be in exactly the same position as if we all migrated to X-Plane. So unless Dovetail and pull it out the bag and give us a competitor to X-Plane that would make us want to buy all our add-ons again (and considering they are not yet hiring for flight sim developers on their job page, we're years and years from that being delivered) I will make an educated guess that this is FSX code and add-ons will be compatible or at the very least not a complete re-write to port over. I don't think that's a bad thing per-se, as long as they can correct issues such as the road one above and allow it to run on modern hardware. But otherwise, in a really small market (I'm sure I read that Euro Truck has more players then Flight Sims, but don't quote me) trying to complete with two very well established Sim's is going to be really tough, near impossible to make any real profit.


Chris Smith

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It's not like Prepar3d appeared out of air eh. It is also based on FSX code, regardless of the changes and additions they made.

 

They already said they will use the Microsoft Flight engine, so i don't expect 64bit for sure or other things some people in the community keeps asking for over and over again.

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For me the immersion level is key so I would like to see all the things that detract from the experience resolved. So.... everything Prepar3d has today (with the exception of bathymetry) but with...
smooth transitions when texture LOD changes - same for autogen rendering to completely eliminate scenery popping into view 
improved AI aircraft that use less resources
more realistic road traffic that doesn't simply vanish at the end of a road (alpha fade for example)
dynamic autogen management that reduces scenery LOD in real-time to ensure a minimum 30fps is achieved during flight
cockpit and cloud shadows that are not jagged and wobble around

 

in addition, the ability to achieve what developers are able to in X-Plane in regards to autogen and open source data - http://forum.avsim.net/topic/463253-new-autogen-tech/ - it's incredibly realistic which is exactly what we need. A realistic, believable world is required for immersion. 


Darren Morris

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Was that pun intended...:)

 

If they use the MS Flight engine, I would guess they have significant work to do in building the whole world, if they did that. But then if they didn't, again, P3D or X-Plane so would be a lost cause. MS Flight died for a reason. Although one thing I am unclear on is could 3rd parties create Add-Ons' in MS Flight as easy as they could with FSX?

 

I just can't help but think that if my add-ons work, even with a small amount of work from developers, then I'd get it. Otherwise, I might as well go to more well known platforms of P3D or X-Plane. I can't see the commercial viability otherwise. Maybe I'm just being skepticle

 

 

in addition, the ability to achieve what developers are able to in X-Plane in regards to autogen and open source data - http://forum.avsim.net/topic/463253-new-autogen-tech/ - it's incredibly realistic which is exactly what we need. A realistic, believable world is required for immersion. 

 

That's amazing, I had no idea about that


Chris Smith

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That's amazing, I had no idea about that

 

The problem for me is that the Photo Scenery that makes this work is....... 

 

1) HUGE!

2) Of very variable quality

3) Takes a lifetime to even download, and so is not very friendly to the idea of worldwide coverage.

4) Can be technically challenging to set up/use, especially for beginners accustomed to modern programs being one-click installs

 

On the other hand, Tonys buildings and refinement of OSM are great..

 

I think a marriage of OSM like this, plus the relative small disk size (yet passable believability) of a procedural world might work out very well.


Just Flight Beta Tester
 
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The Flight rendering engine and Production Pipeline were symbiotic , changes made during development were immediately visible in game, creating the world wasn’t an issue , monetizing the sim was and will be again.


 


What makes the successful sims fly is unrestricted access to the SDK and an open market for the results of development for a given platform.


 


To illustrate the point i will use Aces Studios where 150 + – “ Artists “ worked for years to produce a base product, Many thousands have added their efforts , representing millions of man hours to add layers of complexity well beyond the means of the largest software company on the planet .


 


More amazing still is the longevity of the base engine and paradigm driving its progression into the many flavours we have now FSX FSX SE & P3D , all riding the same wave , developers constantly breaking barriers and making the sim do anything imaginable ( long as its below 4 Gigs of Memory anyway )


 


Flight’s Doom was precipitated by its being a closed ecosystem , no company , even the largest can provide the world in 3D in a reasonable timeframe , further the expectations of the experienced consumer of simulation products is such that it takes years to bring a complex product to market , Flight didn’t support complex products, it couldnt run .dll’s and the codebase did not support interfacing between c++ gauges and the sim. only simple prop aircraft were supported.


 


What DTG has demonstrated with its Steam version has been an extremely restrictive process for developers to operate in , i wont go into specifics here but few devs will ever release a new product on Steam.


 


Is there a formula that will work? , Yes its been amply demonstrated that an open environment equates to rapid progress in adoption of the platform and development of advanced systems simulation for the simulation , a closed environment leads to slow development of content and content of lesser quality.


 


What We Need in a new sim ?


 


 


64 Bit


 


The entire world in the base product


 


An open Environment and SDK available for Devs to use


 


 


If DTG did these three things they might own the market for simulation for the next ten years.

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Honestly I would like to see a computer working like a good machine. Like a car, an atm machine, a rocket into space, etc, etc. Something that works well. We all know the sort of shortcomings a computer has. Even the top computers. Not the flight simulator per se but the computer.

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I'm on a DCS kick right now. Last year, I was doing Rise of Flight. One of the things that stands out above all for both of these are the built in camera effects. You, the simulated pilot, feel like you are a living entity sitting in the cockpit of an airplane. For FSX, you need to buy things like Ezdok and Accufeel to achieve this, and perhaps spend a considerable amount of time tuning them to achieve what you think is realistic. In a next generation follow on to FSX, I would definitely like to see some attention paid to these aspects. These are tremendously important to the impression of "being there." And let's not also forget about sound. Developers really should keep in mind that many of the serious simmers have good sound systems, three dimensional immersive audio environments, even including Buttkickers. You haven't simmed to the full extent (or listened to music for that matter) until you have your chair throbbing to the beat of a UH-1, or the drone of a piston engine, or feel the buzzsaw-like cannon of an A-10 going off under your seat. These kinds of things do so much to plunge the simmer into forgetting that they are sitting at a desk, and I think future flight simulation developers should really place an emphasis in these areas.

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The problem for me is that the Photo Scenery that makes this work is....... 
 
1) HUGE!
2) Of very variable quality
3) Takes a lifetime to even download, and so is not very friendly to the idea of worldwide coverage.
4) Can be technically challenging to set up/use, especially for beginners accustomed to modern programs being one-click installs
 
On the other hand, Tonys buildings and refinement of OSM are great..
 
I think a marriage of OSM like this, plus the relative small disk size (yet passable believability) of a procedural world might work out very well.

 

I agree, I've always turned away from anything photo scenery based mainly due to the generally poor quality below certain altitudes. Tony's work doesn't "require" photo scenery, although it is recommended, but I think carefully selected/crafted generic ground textures would still work well as it's really about the placement of houses along the roads that make it look more true to real life. 


Darren Morris

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but I think carefully selected/crafted generic ground textures would still work well as it's really about the placement of houses along the roads that make it look more true to real life. 

 

Agreed. The old techniques of pre made and often mismatched jigsaw-puzzle pieces assembled (however artfully) to create a scenery should be over, when other more modern techniques are possible. The buildings are not the problem.

 

Whatever DTG does should be an obvious advancement over yesterday's tech.

 

screen_1430946254_zpsrbzicnhn.jpg


Just Flight Beta Tester
 
We are all connected..... To each other, biologically...... To the Earth, chemically...... To the rest of the Universe atomically.
 
Devons rig
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I think Dovetail needs to decide what product they want to replace: MS Flight or FSX? The issue of course being that (in theory) the MS Flight product model makes more sense for a business. Its a limited area, they control the DLC, etc. The issue though is that this will never replace FSX.P3D, XP, etc. The simmers who post on forums such as this are looking for a solid base program to build a flight sim world off of. I'm just afraid that there isnt enough money in this for a company to invest in.

 

Features?

  1. Stable. 64 bit. Whatever it takes.
  2. Good physics or the ability to use plugins to make a good flight model by DLC developers
  3. Realistic Scenery
  4. Realistic Night Lighting. The standard is now Xplane, so it should be at least that good.
  5. Weather at least on the level of FSX default.
  6. Full navigation aids.
  7. AI traffic
  8. If possible, ATC. But that is such a difficult task I think it is too much to ask for.

Daniel Miller

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Rreading comments here and on the Steam forum, many people have said something along the lines of a "new sim" with no back wards compatibility. But I very much doubt this will be brand new. As in File > New Project > line 1. I would hedge a bet that they have the license to remove/replace/update FSX code but on an entertainment license, as opposed to the license P3D has. This would mean it would be FSX to the core. If they started a brand new project it would take YEARS. And it would have to be as good or better then X-Plane from day one, otherwise, what's the point? They would need to hire developers who can write a new flight sim engine plus everything else (ATC, default planes etc) and they won't come cheap. And to complete it has to be as good as X-Plane, which has been developed over a long time, and FSX was developed over what...20 years?

 

In fact, realistically, if it's not easy for 3rd parties to port their add-ons over to DFS, then why not just say feck it, go to X-Plane? I think a lot of people are at the point of considering X-Plane or P3D. Both have pluses and minuses, but the big plus for P3D is a lot of add-ons either work with the migrater tool, or have been ported over relatively quickly. If you're going to say to a whole community of 3rd parties "you will need to re-code your add-ons" they will in turn tell us to re-buy the add-ons (and with good reason) and so we would be in exactly the same position as if we all migrated to X-Plane. So unless Dovetail and pull it out the bag and give us a competitor to X-Plane that would make us want to buy all our add-ons again (and considering they are not yet hiring for flight sim developers on their job page, we're years and years from that being delivered) I will make an educated guess that this is FSX code and add-ons will be compatible or at the very least not a complete re-write to port over. I don't think that's a bad thing per-se, as long as they can correct issues such as the road one above and allow it to run on modern hardware. But otherwise, in a really small market (I'm sure I read that Euro Truck has more players then Flight Sims, but don't quote me) trying to complete with two very well established Sim's is going to be really tough, near impossible to make any real profit.

I do agree what your saying is for most part true as there too many unknown about dovetail staff and budget, and people want it all for a price of $60.00 can't see it happening. Steam FSX users have no idea that rebuilding sim engine would take time to do and starting over will mean items will left out at first it be 5 to 10 years before FSX or P3D will find replacement in dovetail. SCS made Scanavidan DLC for Eurotruck Simulator 2 the base of that ETS2 was German And UK Truck sim maps from 2009 and 2011 and feature updates over 5 to 6 years. American Truck will take far longer because the size of North America. I see Dovetail to build product users want they are gonna have to break it down to simpler projects or learn outsource a lot to 3rd parties.

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I think of it like the pyramids. Nobody denies that they are amazing, but if somebody tried to duplicate them today, the techniques and materials used would be completely different. the thousands and thousands of laborers would be replaced by machines, and it would all be done in a comparatively short period of time.

 

I feel a flightsim done today would be somewhat similar in that technologies exist (like osm) that take things that were once laborious, labor intensive and time consuming and offer the possibility of automating significant portions of the process.

 

The short of it is that it could be a mistake, falling into the trap of thinking that the evolution of a new sim necessarily has to look anything like the birth and evolution of the Microsoft flight sims.


Just Flight Beta Tester
 
We are all connected..... To each other, biologically...... To the Earth, chemically...... To the rest of the Universe atomically.
 
Devons rig
Intel Core i7 8700K @ 5.0GHz / 32.0GB G.SKILL TridentZ Series Dual-Channel Ram / ZOTAC GAMING GeForce® RTX 2080 Ti Triple Fan / Sound Blaster Z / Oculus Rift VR Headset / Klipsch® Promedia 2.1 Computer Speakers / ASUS ROG SWIFT PG279Q ‑ 27" IPS LED Monitor ‑ QHD / 2x Samsung SSD 850 EVO 500GB / 1x Samsung SSD 860 EVO 1000GB / 5 other regular hd's with up to 10 terabyte capacity each / Windows 10 Pro 64-bit / Gigabyte Z370 AORUS Gaming 5 Motherboard

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In all it still heavy coding involved with it and it may cost prohibitive for dovetail to take that approach also. Lots of unknowns about the project how much budget they working with or what technology Microsoft allow to use and not to allow we do not know that. They got permission to use Microsoft technology but the devil in the details.

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I feel a flightsim done today would be somewhat similar in that technologies exist (like osm) that take things that were once laborious, labor intensive and time consuming and offer the possibility of automating significant portions of the process.

 

 

Coding is still coding. While advancements have been making in languages, C++, or C, is still just that. You still have a mountain to climb if you want to write a new flight sim from scratch, that can compete with P3D and X-Plane. And then have the up-hill struggle of getting on-board 3rd parties.

 

The speak of DCS earlier was a good one, but the selling point about DCS is it's free. The two planes you get with it are ok out the box, much like default FSX planes, but if you want more, you want more. I don't think there is a demand for scenery and airports like flight sims have, so for that sim, it's more just about the planes and choppers. And they have good add-ons, Black Shark for example, but when dealing with flight sims, you do have a huge issue of scenery, airports and navaids. And people demand realism. Hence why it's a sim, not a game. Is DCS a sim? I don't know, it can border between both, depending on what planes have bought. Some are certainly study-sim worth.

 

Euro Truck is an odd one for me. It's a sim in that it's pretty realistic and has no arcade like features, but it's not massively accurate. The trucks themselves have lights, wipers, horn and that's about it. It doesn't have, for example, cabin temperature like OSMI. But for the most part, it deals pretty well with different countries sinage and how the road's look and feel. Their DLC's are good. Going East and Scandanavia DLC's are great DLC's and I personally don't think their expensive £8 and £13. I think that's pretty cheap. They allow mods as well, so I've had Scandinavia via ProMods for a while, and it's a great mod, free as well. Could they charge for it though, like we have in Flight Sims? Hard to say. There is no market for it.

 

Could Dove Tail produce UK2000 Heathrow? Maybe, would they? I don't know. Seams weird to complete. I will have a guess they wouldn't produce PMDG's 737/777 since it would take them years and could they do better? Not likely. Orbx and FTX global? Active Sky Net? Would you want to try and replicate or do better at all of these and then sell as DLC's? You've got to hire a team, then do better, and make profit. For a small company that covers Train Sim, Fishing Simulator and whatever else they have in the works, I just don't see it.

 

SCS can focus on DLC's for Truck Sim, like new maps, coach sim which is coming and American Truck Sim, also coming (probably a separate game, but based on ETS). It covers one thing, driving trucks. Which apart from the look and some physics regarding speed etc, is much the same. Scenery is different, which is where a lot of their work goes, if not most. But, much the same. A C172 is so different from a 737 you can't really compare other then they both fly. All DoveTail need to do is provide a platform that people want over X-Plane and P3D. They can have partnerships with developers, such as Orbx and give people 90 days or whatever exclusivity rights and make side cash that way, but ultimately, a good cash cow is to make people want their sim that they can then either leave stock or bulk up on DLC's and 3rd party mods.

 

I can't afford to pay for payware for every airport I want to fly for VATSIM events, so I search AVSIM for free one's and buy when I can. To lose that, would just push me away. With Euro Truck Sim I can get a DLC or mod it. I have a choice, that's what makes it versatile. To me, it's what makes FSX versatile, for all it's warts. I would bet on an up to date FSX and some exclusivity rights with 3rd parties for DLC's. I would put money on that. Is that a good thing? Yes I think so. Don't like it, well you've two other platforms to choose from. Sounds good to me


Chris Smith

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