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DTG Martin

Ask Dovetail Games about DTG Flight School & Flight Simulator

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Hi everyone.

 

My name is Martin and I am the Community Manager for all flight simulation projects here at Dovetail Games. It is great to see so many of you talking about the recently announced DTG Flight School and Flight Simulator.

 

With so many threads popping up about these two titles here in forum it is simply not possible for me to respond to everyone and keep track of everything.

 

To this end I have created this thread where you can talk to me and ask questions about the upcoming sims.

 

Please keep in mind that both titles are still in development so I do not currently have answers for everything you might want to know, however I will do my best to answer as many questions as I can. 

 

- Martin 

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Will there be an open, publicly released SDK?

 

Will there be updates to the textures and buildings used by the land class and airports?

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Will the handling of autogen be improved (no more popping up)?

 

Will there be shadows for everything (including clouds)?

 

Will 64 bit also mean we can expect a larger LOD?

 

P.S. Great idea to start this topic, Martin! It's VERY nice to see developers get into contact with the simmer this way! (Something some others failed to do...)

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I'd like to start by saying thank you to reaching out to us simmers on the AVSIM board. Thank you.

 

1) As a person who likes complex sims: Have you tested backward compatibility with 3rd party aircraft?

2) Will you follow the same model as FSX/P3D by having addon developers provide airports/weather/landclass, etc... OR will DTG make its own addons?

3) I'm very excited by the change to 64 bits. Can you tell us what 64 bits mean for the end user? There is a lot of speculation and I'd like to hear from DTG on this.

 

Again, thank you for reaching out and good luck!

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Thanks for keeping us in the loop!

 

Will ATC be along the lines of default FSX/P3D or can we expect better IFR capabilities (SIDs, STARs, improved vectoring, emergencies)?

 

 

 

PK

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I agree, really nice initiative Martin!

 

The first questions I would like to ask are

 

- can we expect to see aircraft models equally advanced as the models from PMDG for example or will your title mostly target the more casual simmer or even gamer

 

- will you be working with the online networks such as Vatsim and IVAO to make sure people will be able to fly online in order to simulate real world OPS as close as possible where both live/human controlled ATC and traffic play a major role

 

- will you cover the whole world or only parts of it

 

- are you already in contact with some skilled addon developers with a well-known and equally good reputation within the community or will everything be developed in-house

 

- is there a rough ETA and of course not talking about dates but more months or maybe even years

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Great initiative Martin.  Thanks

 

Too many threads and not enough of me it seem! 

 

- Martin 

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Hi Martin

 

Thank you and welcome to the Avsim forum. As you can imagine, we're all very excited by the news of the new flight simulators.

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Thanks for reaching out to us, Martin!

 

- Will third party devs be able to sell their addons through their own/independent stores? Or will they all have to go through steam?

- will flight simulator include ATC and AI aircraft? If yes, are there plans to improve from FSX' default ATC?

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Will 'external' flight model's be possible?

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Too many threads and not enough of me it seem!

You have no idea what you've just let yourself in for. :smile: But we are glad you did anyway

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Perhaps over-specific at this point but it includes the kinds of things that are on my mind...

 

Flight School
-------------
 
Will there be interactive lessions along the lines of Rod Machado's lessions in FSX?
 
Will the reading and use of VFR, IFR and approach charts be covered?
 
Will navigation be taught in detail e.g. including DR, pilotage, NDB navigation?
 
Will IFR flight and instrument appraoches be included?
 
Will there be simulated emergencies and failures for the student to deal with?
 
What range of aircraft will be included?
 
Will there be a logical progression from simple single engine aircraft to muliti-engine turboprops and jets?
 
Will there be assessments and milestones along the lines of checkrides, cross country flights?
 
Will proper engine managaement be taught (with consequences)?
 
 
Flight Simulator
----------------
 
Will the following features be present...
 
Thermals and ridge lift?
 
Windhear and microbursts?
 
Realistic turboprop modelling?
 
Realistic engine management?
 
Failures?
 
Better ATC?
 
Modelling of sea states (not full bathymetry but enough to matter to float planes)?
 
Flame-outs in thunderstorms?
 
Sloped runways?
 
Runway contamination effects?
 
Improved crash detection?
 
Which aircraft are planned to be included?
 
Will there be planet-wide scenery coverage?
 
 
Thanks

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Will there be an open, publicly released SDK?

 

Will there be updates to the textures and buildings used by the land class and airports?

 

We have been asked this a lot recently.

 

First off, DTG Flight School is standalone experience and there are currently no plans to offer an SDK for this or expand upon it with third party development at this time.

 

In regards to Flight Simulator the response you might have seen give elsewhere is as follows:

 

"We recognise the passion that exists in the flight simulation community around enabling players to create user generated content. We will have more information to share on this as we get closer to the launch of Dovetail Games Flight Simulator." 

 

Building a new flight simulator on this scale is massive undertaking within itself. Building the infrastructure around a new flight sim, like the currently one for FSX: SE, is an even bigger task. It will all take time and we are exploring the options open to us like Steam Workshop for example. The bottom line here is we are very aware of the demand for an open SDK. We are certainly making steps towards that demand but we cannot promise that all the pieces will be in place day one! As the quote says - We will have more information to share on this as we get closer to the launch of Dovetail Games Flight Simulator.    

 

As for textures and buildings, this is area we are working hard on. We know that these are important to simmers. We all want to fly in a world which looks great and reflects aviation today. I can’t go into detail at this stage but we do have something very exciting in the works. As soon as we are in a position to talk about it we will be shouting about it from the rooftops. 

 

- Martin 

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Hello Martin!

 

I appreciate all of the information that DTG has shared about the upcoming Flight School and Simulator products. Based on the marked performance improvements that DTG was able to implement in FSX-SE, using the original FSX code base, I have great confidence that the new full product will be excellent.

 

I know that you have touched on the possibility of bringing at least some updated airport data to the new Simulator. I was curious if you will be looking at improving the existing system for implementing ground-based Navaids - i.e. VORs, NDBs, etc.?

 

As you know, in FSX, navaids are hard-coded into hundreds of individual BGL files. This system has existed in MS flight sim products from the very earliest days of FS-5 (and before). It makes updating navaids to keep them in sync with changes in real-world facilities very difficult - although developers like Hérve Sors have created automated tools in recent years which have made updates much easier for end-users.

 

However, the underlying system of having navaid and facility data "baked in" multiple BGL files in multiple folders seems a less than optimal approach.

 

Other sims - notably XP, maintain worldwide navaid and airport facility data (VOR, DME, NDB, Marker Beacons, ILS etc) in a single database, which is easily updatable by vendors like Navigraph. Are there any plans to adopt a similar system in the upcoming full simulator? It would seem to be a golden opportunity to implement a new and more logical way to handle facility data - while the new sim is still in the initial planning/development stages.

 

Jim Barrett

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We are certainly making steps towards that demand but we cannot promise that all the pieces will be in place day one! As the quote says - We will have more information to share on this as we get closer to the launch of Dovetail Games Flight Simulator.    

 

 

This is great news and I'm (as I'm sure others are) glad that it's being considered

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Sounds good!  It will be nice having new terrain and building textures. Thanks Martin.

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I'd like to start by saying thank you to reaching out to us simmers on the AVSIM board. Thank you.

 

1) As a person who likes complex sims: Have you tested backward compatibility with 3rd party aircraft?

2) Will you follow the same model as FSX/P3D by having addon developers provide airports/weather/landclass, etc... OR will DTG make its own addons?

3) I'm very excited by the change to 64 bits. Can you tell us what 64 bits mean for the end user? There is a lot of speculation and I'd like to hear from DTG on this.

 

Again, thank you for reaching out and good luck!

 

It is my pleasure. Right then, from the top. 

 

1. Flight school is a standalone experience and is not compatible with add-ons or content released for other simulators. 

 

With Flight Simulator the code base is quite different from FSX due to conversion to 64-bit so add-ons from FSX will not just work “out of the box”. This means that at present Flight Simulator will not be backwards compatible. Naturally we will provide developers with all the tools, documentation and support they need to create great new content for this new platform and will be working closely with them during that process.
 
2. Flight School is not planned to have any add-ons at the moment. As for Flight Simulator, we have made our intentions clear with respect to welcoming and working with developers, both big and small, on FSX: SE. We fully intend to continue those relationships and looking forward will be welcoming both existing and new developers to the Dovetail Games Flight Simulator platform. So the plan is have a mixture of internal and third party add-ons. 
 
3. The advantage of this updated technology is that we have been able to introduce a range of globally applied techniques such as dynamic range rendering (HDR), atmospheric light scattering and physically based rendering (PBR). This means that aircraft and the environment will have the potential to look better than they have ever done before. The update to 64-bit should also mean that the sim runs smoother and more efficiently on modern PCs.  
 
- Martin 
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Hi Martin,

 

The AI and ATC systems in FSX are a bit of a mess.  Although they were designed with a solid foundation, they were basically left incomplete.  Do you have any specifics you can share on any improvements DTG intends to make regarding these two areas?

 

Thanks,

MD

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Thanks for keeping us in the loop!

 

Will ATC be along the lines of default FSX/P3D or can we expect better IFR capabilities (SIDs, STARs, improved vectoring, emergencies)?

 

 

 

PK

 

The ATC in Flight School will function similarly to that in FSX: SE. The focus of that title is really the process of learning to fly and as such it has been designed to teach players the basics of flight simulation in a compelling and accessible way rather than offering the wider scope of aviation simulation. That scope will come in DTG Flight Simulator and ATC is certainly something we are looking at in the long term. 
 
- Martin 

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The advantage of this updated technology is that we have been able to introduce a range of globally applied techniques such as dynamic range rendering (HDR), atmospheric light scattering and physically based rendering (PBR).

 

For anyone like me who doesn't know what PBR is :Tounge: , here is an article explaining it http://www.marmoset.co/toolbag/learn/pbr-theory

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Will the handling of autogen be improved (no more popping up)?

 

Will there be shadows for everything (including clouds)?

 

Will 64 bit also mean we can expect a larger LOD?

 

P.S. Great idea to start this topic, Martin! It's VERY nice to see developers get into contact with the simmer this way! (Something some others failed to do...)

 

We are certainly aiming to reduce pop up and increase draw distance where we can, although at the moment we working on overhauling the graphics engine with features like dynamic range rendering (HDR), atmospheric light scattering and physically based rendering (PBR). 

 

We have added a brand new lighting system to the sim. Off the top of my head I am not sure if that includes shadows for clouds, the development of this system is still very much under way. 

 

In theory 64-bit does mean there can be a higher level of detail but there are other factors to consider. Having every single tree in the world mapped out exactly would be amazing but the sim would probably crawl along at 5 FPS. We therefore need to look at the big experience. and balance things out. 

 

- Martin 

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Will developers be required to sell via Steam or will simmers be free to purchase from existing distribution websites like flightsimstore, simmarket etc?

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I agree, really nice initiative Martin!

 

The first questions I would like to ask are

 

- can we expect to see aircraft models equally advanced as the models from PMDG for example or will your title mostly target the more casual simmer or even gamer

 

- will you be working with the online networks such as Vatsim and IVAO to make sure people will be able to fly online in order to simulate real world OPS as close as possible where both live/human controlled ATC and traffic play a major role

 

- will you cover the whole world or only parts of it

 

- are you already in contact with some skilled addon developers with a well-known and equally good reputation within the community or will everything be developed in-house

 

- is there a rough ETA and of course not talking about dates but more months or maybe even years

 

Lets see...

 

Flight School is very much aimed at anyone who has ever wanted to give flight simming a try. Flight Simulator meanwhile is being designed with existing simmers in mind.   We are not aiming to compete with any other developers but rather do our own thing. That said we are certainly focusing on the small details that our upgraded graphic engine allows for like dynamic range rendering. 

 

Flight School will not feature multiplayer. Flight School is all about your journey as a pilot. From your humble beginnings as a rookie through to an accomplished pilot. This is a very personal experience and we didn’t feel that multiplayer fitted into that concept. 

 

There are currently plans to include multiplayer in Flight Simulator but we are not discussing the details of that just yet as it is very early in development. 

 

Both Flight School and Flight Simulator will feature the whole world. 

 

We are very much working with well known developers just like we have been doing with FSX: SE. 

 

Flight School is due for release around April, Flight Simulator is due for release towards the end of the year. 

 

I hope that covers it. 

 

- Martin 

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