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The New Faster, Leaner Next Generation Flight Simulator SIM-Posium is Now Available for Your Input

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 London now.

screen_1433688252_zpsloqh94ah.jpg

 

 

London as it may have looked back in King Richard's era? :Just Kidding:

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London as it may have looked back in King Richard's era? Just%20Kidding.gif

 

Essentially, yes. (nods)

 

I remember Austin, during X-plane 10's early days, describing his concept of a pristine world before man came, then slowly adding to it until the modern world was eventually rebuilt. The concept seemed valid, if it could be pulled off, and Outerra shares that concept in even greater detail. The world of Outerra now, is that pristine world, even as the developers now work on the tools that will create the "civilization layer" on top of it.

 

Should the New Faster, Leaner Next Generation Flight Simulator SIM-Posium put its money onto  this dark horse - assuming it has any?

I think, like all the engines being evaluated, it has its pluses and minuses to be looked at. One of the major pluses (for me) has always been that even if the nextgen initiative fell flat on its face and faded into forum history as some seem to expect, Outerra will still be right there, plugging along into the future, eventually to begin their own kickstarter when they feel they are ready.

 

We can try to help, influence, and even speed up that process, or we can continue to talk (and talk and talk) occasionally as we have for years, (and dream) with not a single tangible piece of working software to show for it.

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Is Outerra mature enough, or will it reach the maturity level to be feature-rich enough to use like a game engine for a sim soon?

(since the product is still in Alpha, I think that was a valid concern by me)

 

Depending on the definition of "soon". There are many areas being worked on, and the limiting factor is the amount of workforce we have at our disposal. Note that at the moment we do not have any extra team members working solely on a simulator product; the whole next-gen simulator talk circles around the funding necessary for the development of one. Whether it's crowd funding or something more conventional, it all means there would be a dedicated dev team for the simulator, working closely with the engine team.

 

Since the procedural generator is part of the engine, are we locked to one game engine?

Could your procedural generator actually be run out-of-process and tied into another engine in real-time, or would that be too much overhead between your generator and another engine?

Even though technically the generator is separate, in practice it cannot be easily taken out and plugged into a different 3D engine. You see, the whole rest of the engine is optimized for a specialized world renderer: resource management, physics, low level GPU access, coordinate system, practically everything. General engines must approach it in generic way, to allow creation of a wide range of games running on a wide range of hardware. This adds too much overhead to attempt to make a full world rendering engine on them.

 

Now the procedural generation method you've created is quite incredible, but to do REAL high-detailed smaller areas, what would we use if we wanted to change things up beyond the flexibility of your own texturing engine's parameter based procedural generation?

 

Initially we focused on the base procedural world, driven by real world datasets, but its main purpose is to generate the world as it may have been looking like without civilization.

 

What mgh showed for London is the base layer, far from finished at that, but it's just the natural layer. Procedural generator is rendering the biotopes according to local climate data, available elevation, natural color and vegetation data etc.

 

On top of it goes the civilization layer that contains the effects of civilization. For example, here's the road network in London as imported from the OSM (I believe this is the first time we are showing some preliminary results from it):

 

jbsVaeyV2nGZo0.jpg

 

jmkhqRpZqJJAz.jpg

 

Note this is WIP, terrain was not leveled and roads do not connect seamlessly yet, road coloring is is there just to show OSM road types etc. But these tests show us the feasibility of the vector overlay system: we imported the whole world, creating 29,583,113 km of roads and the whole system works really well.

Buildings can be placed manually or imported from vector sources or procedurally generated to achieve geo-typical look. All of it is in development.

 

There's still tons of work needed for a full combined simulator that we want to make, but we won't attempt to launch a crowd-funding campaign without having all the necessary components in some beta form there.

 

If you really just created the whole world with the procedural generation, what would the role of add-on developers be then, or maybe the point is to not have add-ons for the graphics, simply in other areas. I'm not sure if this last idea would work, as we simmers are a bit nutty and we love writing our own add-ons (some of us anyhow), hah.

Above shows what third party developers can provide: scenery editing is mostly about vector data layers that mod the underlying procedural world scenery, defining roads, but also fields, parks etc. Vector form means it can be refined procedurally down to the ground level, looking good also for vehicle and trains simulators, unlike raster imagery.

 

So for the scenery there's plenty of addons that third party developers may provide. This also applies to all kinds of addons - simulator cores, weather control etc. A closed simulator platform would make no sense.

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Wow! If nothing else, this thread pried a look at the OSM test results out into the open. Thank you very much for letting us see it Cameni, I was thinking we would have to wait months.  :lol:

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What mgh showed for London is the base layer, far from finished at that, but it's just the natural layer. Procedural generator is rendering the biotopes according to local climate data, available elevation, natural color and vegetation data etc.

 

But there's still no realism - how, are, and when  will the buildings be added?

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Cameni,

I've been watching Outerra for several years now, not at the level of HiFlyer, but still... 

I have a question for you... 

 

If we as a community got behind Outerra, would you allow us to help move the Outerra Flight Simulation along? Yes I know there are many members of the Outerra fan base who are actively participating with the inclusion of flight models, buildings, etc. but would you allow us to work even closer to your development team to coordinate and perhaps even implement the feature sets that we as a community would like to see?

 

There are many successful development teams such as PDMG, Carenado, Albeo, Orbx, REX, etc. etc. who were directly formed because of FSX... my meaning is that we do have some very talented people who can contribute.

 

Would you be willing to allow us... to help drive things along towards a community driven flight simulator and perhaps get involved on a much more formal basis.

 

Stephen B.

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how, are, and when  will the buildings be added?

 

Thats probably like asking PMDG (or most companies) for the completion estimate of their next product. The answer is usually quite predictable, and for obvious reasons, unless there is some mandated deadline.

 

I betcha though, that if the OSM implementation gets far enough, Tonywob would love a crack at it. In fact, now would be perhaps the perfect time for someone with his experience to have some influence, from the standpoint of this community's desires.

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But there's still no realism - how, are, and when  will the buildings be added?

 

The engine can be used for many things, even for King Richard's era simulation. If you mean to ask when somebody (us or a simulator developer) will populate the world with contemporary buildings with appropriate density for a modern era simulator - well, when we or someone will be making the simulator with the required settings. You've already seen that it's possible to manually populate urban areas, it's also possible to autogenerate them. But we aren't making a simulator (for that particular setting) yet, as it clearly requires securing the necessary funding first. All what is shown is just a byproduct of what we are doing for our current licensees and to gradually make the engine more complete.

 

But if we are going for Kickstarter, this will be surely one of things that will be shown in some WIP state (for a selected location), to show that the engine can handle cities. I understand without it it would be quite hard for many people to trust the project.

 

If we as a community got behind Outerra, would you allow us to help move the Outerra Flight Simulation along? Yes I know there are many members of the Outerra fan base who are actively participating with the inclusion of flight models, buildings, etc. but would you allow us to work even closer to your development team to coordinate and perhaps even implement the feature sets that we as a community would like to see?

 

There are many successful development teams such as PDMG, Carenado, Albeo, Orbx, REX, etc. etc. who were directly formed because of FSX... my meaning is that we do have some very talented people who can contribute.

 

Would you be willing to allow us... to help drive things along towards a community driven flight simulator and perhaps get involved on a much more formal basis.

 

I think it's obvious by now that if any new simulator platform should get a chance to survive and thrive, it must be an open one, creating a healthy ecosystem with third party developers who will trust the platform and be able to extend it considerably via addons.

 

I'm not entirely sure what you mean by "we as a community" though - users who would have supported the development of a next gen simulator via crowd funding, or the developers?

 

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he engine can be used for many things, even for King Richard's era simulation. If you mean to ask when somebody (us or a simulator developer) will populate the world with contemporary buildings with appropriate density for a modern era simulator...

 

Obviously it can be used for many things. But, it's taken over a year to get to WIP, with terrain was not leveled and roads do not connect seamlessly.

 

As you state that what you're showing is just a byproduct of what you're are doing for our current licensees  but there no actual plans to make it into a flight simulator..

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I'm not entirely sure what you mean by "we as a community" though - users who would have supported the development of a next gen simulator via crowd funding, or the developers?

 

Both!

 

Maybe I should expand my thinking process a little bit.

 

The community, over the years, have made numerous request for features that they feel would enhance the world of flight simulation, (some of those suggestions can be found in this thread)... can we as a community, have a more involved influence in the development of any flight simulator that may be considered by the Outerra developers and is there any thoughts to having qualified members join your team in order to take your engine in the direction of a bonafide flight simulator more quickly? 

 

If not... what would we need to do in order to have access to the engine on a code level, much the same way as TitanIM? I'm sure there are licenses, but is there an eval kit or anything that we could have access to in order to assess the engines potential?

 

Stephen B.

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Obviously it can be used for many things. But, it's taken over a year to get to WIP, with terrain was not leveled and roads do not connect seamlessly.

 

Never happy. Obviously it's not the only thing being worked on.

 

As you state that what you're showing is just a byproduct of what you're are doing for our current licensees  but there no actual plans to make it into a flight simulator..

 

I didn't state there are no actual plans.

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Both!

 

You now speak for developers as well as the "community"?

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It's hard when looking at the state of Outerra not to get behind it in some way. I personally would support a crowdfunding initiative if one existed, to try and further the aim of turning it into a fully fledged flight simulator, it would just be impossible for me not to. It merits a lot of consideration. If a group formed with the express aim of properly producing and properly publicizing such a funding strategy, I'd be stuck in there doing the best I could to further the aim.

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I didn't state there are no actual plans.

 

Good - then are are some actual plans!

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You now speak for developers as well as the "community"?

 

What is your purpose for asking such a question...

of course I don't speak for developers as well as the "community", but as a member of this community I certainly have the right to ask if any proposed engine developer would allow us to participate on any level, whether it be as developers or as a community.

 

Sometimes you're questions are asked just to raise flak... how come?

 

Stephen B.

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