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TheFlightSimGuy

My Thoughts on DTG's Flight School and Our Community

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Hey all,

I just wanted to take a moment to provide some "down to earth" (whatever that means) thoughts on DTG Flight School. I am a statistics guy, so as I have read, commented on, agreed, and disagreed with many of the users here, I wanted to write a quick note on my thoughts about this thing coming and the thing coming after it. 

 

First, let me start by saying that I am not trying to convince anyone to buy or not to buy this game or the full flight sim after it. But after seeing many opinions on the demographic of our community and what it will take to attract new users, I wanted to provide some points of statistical sanity. So I will be writing this to provide my opinion on 3 main conversations I have been seeing:

  1. Who is the target demographic of Flight School and what do they want
  2. Why there is animosity and reluctance among some in this community
  3. DTG's competence to even develop a flight sim

So lets start here, who is the target market for Flight School and what do they care about? Well, needless to say this may bring up the "kids playing arcade games" debate, but its kind of part of the story. Flight simming, for many folks is a leisurely dream of the defiance of gravity, powerful machines, and nostalgia of the skilled and elite pilot that we see in movies. There are tons of folks who want exactly that, not to do everything by the book, but just to get off the ground and do barrel rolls. This of course acts as the gateway to watching youtube videos, reading articles, and ultimately wanting to build acumen around the process of flying. I believe at this point is where the connection between casual enjoyment and simulation is created.

 

With that said, with all talk alot here on Avsim about what we want, "we" want. But its important to note that we also need to recognize that "we" are not the initial target audience, but rather the end product of what we should hope the target audience eventually becomes.

Now this community is about 200,000 strong (I have no idea how many are active on a weekly basis) which is sizable in what seems like a very niche market, but lets take a step back and look at something else that is quite new yet quite old at the same time. FSX Steam (source: https://steamdb.info/app/314160/graphs/)

  • FSX Steam has sold 600,000 copies (which as a reminder is 3x the size of this community) 
  • FSX Steam Edition is the most successful Flight Simulator ever on Steam. More sales in a few months than X-Plane and DCS had in a few years. 
  • FSX Steam, as of me writing this, has 3,000 active online users playing right now. DCS World has 241 and X-Plane has 223
  • FSX Steam has 5,000 reviews with a 79% positive rating. DCS has 2,422 reviews with a 81% rating and X-Plane has 689 reviews with a 67% rating

So with that out of the way, lets think about those numbers and what they mean to the assumption (which is a practical one) that new players and players on Steam care mostly about modern engines and graphics as we seem to.

 

The first thing I would think to consider is that FSX Steam is the oldest and most outdated engine of the three. Also, it is not the cheapest with DCS being free. It also is the latest to come to market which has given it less time to sell and grow its user-ship. Lastly, there is a title named AeroflyFS which is the most gorgeous visual flight sim on the market, but has terrible reviews and sales numbers. 

 

Now I know many folks will say (well most of those sales are from existing simmers, not new ones) but I would say to you, that most of the existing simming crowd has moved to the P3D world and even when you look at the community screen shots on steam, they are riddled with default planes. 

 

What does this tell us? That those who care about learning or beginning flight simulation, care more about an accessible and complete experience than a visually appealing one. Otherwise DCS and Aerofly would blow FSX Steam out of the water.

 

I think its important not to group Call of Duty players in with aspiring Flight Simmers as they are two very different groups of folks (although they may coexist at times). Even Stephen Hood made a point of saying that he is not coming to the market to attract arcade users, but help kindle the flight simulation flame for those who wish to have it. 

 

Now remember that we tend to spend a good amount of money on our addons, and I would venture to say that many of us have been simming for quite some time. With that said, it is likely that we have amassed a sizable collection of addons, some paid and some free, that we view as an investment of sorts towards our entertainment. Clearly, this will be made obsolete with DTG's FS and that is a real threat to some of us that would like to enjoy some backwards compatibility. I know I personally wont spend too much time in the new sim until some of my favorite addons make their way over. But that is not the same for new simmers, those with an exploratory interest in the genre, or just looking for entry level entertainment. 

 

Now DTG's has been a successful shop in the past, with their train sim title (love it or hate it), which was the first break out performer in the train simulator space and spawned a tremendous amount of new users to the genre. But they were also sucessful with FSX Steam. They were the first to bring a transformative approach to VAS management (which was later followed by P3D, which in my opinion was even better), they fixed the majority of bugs that plagued the old platform, and have been extremely receptive, and frankly tolerant, on these forums even though we will likely make up the minority of their sales. Sure, the preview we have seen of Flight School have been a little less than "Outerra meets P3D SuperSim 2016" but it also shows promise to be the start of what the majority of folks here asked for when approached about it. The majority of replies were "64 bit FSX with an SDK for addon developers and not Flight".

 

"OUR" sim is still some ways off, and although DTG Flight School is a "preview" of sorts to the eventual sim, it is not a sim intended to impress us; the veteran, addon consuming, tweaking, virtual experts of aviation. We have to recognize that there has not been a well accepted sim on the market in nearly 10 years prior to FSX's re-release. And at our current trend, the passionate bunch of us are literally "aging out" of the market. We desperately need growth on the front end, to attract new simmers, and allow them a path forward to stay here.

 

Agree or disagree, feel free to correct me where you feel I am wrong, but no matter what, realize that it appears that our demands will not be those of new users. Although they may eventually demand what we do in the full sim at the end of the year.  

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Josh

 

That is the most intelligent analysis of our sim world I have ever read with some fantastic statistics.

 

Keep up the good work  

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In all your calculations you forget one essential part: those 200'000 FSX Steam users will not see any reason to switch to DTG Flight School or the DTG Full Flightsim if there is nothing really spectacular offered. And so far, there is not. You are right about the fact that a proper looking, nicely done DTG Flight School will attract more people to the hobby of flightsim, but again, those novel customers won't buy the full flight sim later in the same year, why should they? Then, as there will be no addons comparable to the ones we have now for DTG Flight School, all those novel flightsim user will also not provide any benefit to the addon 3rd party developers, because they simply not become customers of those addons.

 

 

 


Flight for many folks is a leisurely dream of the defiance of gravity, powerful machines, and nostalgia of the skilled and elite pilot that we see in movies. There are tons of folks who want exactly that, not to do everything by the book, but just to get off the ground and do barrel rolls. This of course acts as the gateway to watching youtube videos, reading articles, and ultimately wanting to build acumen around the process of flying. I believe at this point is where the connection between casual enjoyment and simulation is created.

 

I agree. But exactly THIS is not offered by DTG Flightschool. People will not be attracted to flightsimming if there is a Piper Cub with some textboxes telling them to do this and that. How hard you can fail with such an approach, MS Flight has already shown. I honestly do not understand, why DTG is going down the same road again, offering world wide coverage will not be the gamechanger. For me, DTG somehow desperately tries to put things into Flightschool which should attract the established simming community although they say that's not their aim.

 

 


What does this tell us? That those who care about learning or beginning flight simulation, care more about an accessible and complete experience than a visually appealing one. Otherwise DCS and Aerofly would blow FSX Steam out of the water.

 

This is somehow contradictory to your above statements. Yes, visual appearance is still one of the most attracting arguments of a novel sim that aims to gather new customers. If potential new customers would really only care about "accessible and complete experience" instead of visual appearance, they would rather buy directly FSX:SE or, later in the year, the DTG Flightsim. If your statement would be correct, there would be NO reason to buy Flightschool, no? Furthermore, your DCS and AeroflyFS comparison fails due to the fact that those simulators have their corresponding reviews on Steam (as you said yourself) and other platforms. New customers read those reviews and then it is pretty fast obvious, that DCS is only for the hardcore simmers due to its complexity and AeroflyFS is so badly rated, no one will buy it anyway.

 

 

 

But they were also sucessful with FSX Steam. They were the first to bring a transformative approach to VAS management (which was later followed by P3D, which in my opinion was even better), they fixed the majority of bugs that plagued the old platform, and have been extremely receptive, and frankly tolerant, on these forums even though we will likely make up the minority of their sales. Sure, the preview we have seen of Flight School have been a little less than "Outerra meets P3D SuperSim 2016) but it also shows promise to be the start of what the majority of folks here asked for when approached about it. The majority of replies were "64 bit FSX with an SDK for addon developers and not Flight".

 

This further underscores what I was asking above: why should people not yet into flightsimming buy DTG Flightschool? Yes, DTG did a hell of a job regarding those sale numbers for FSX:SE, but those new customers are now basically lost and they might buy the DTG Flightsim later in the year, but certainly not Flightschool. New customers will run into the discussion you mentioned above, it will be crucial how they react on a rather limited, visually completely non-exiting yet nicely done Flightschool Simulator with attributes mainly attracting people being already integrated into the flightsimming community. Novel users also do not care a second about 32bit vs. 64bit, as they have no clue about all those limitations we talk about almost on a daily basis.

 

No, personally I think that DTG is simply running into the same dead-end road as MS did with MS Flight. And yes, I think that the visual appearance is nowadays WAY more important that DTG or other people think. Personally, I think that Flightschool might have the expected success if they also integrate "fun" planes, for example a jet trainer (or even a full military jet) and some other planes, that would actually also attract those people you mentioned above ("There are tons of folks who want exactly that, not to do everything by the book, but just to get off the ground and do barrel rolls."). But as long as Flightschool is basically only offering stuff that only those people will be attracted which anyway have already bought the one or the other flightsim...

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1. Who is the target demographic of Flight School and what do they want
2. Why there is animosity and reluctance among some in this community
3. DTG's competence to even develop a flight sim

 

A great post.

My humble opinion, based on what Martin from DTG has said, is..

1. Target market is obviously newbies, & not existing simmers.

2. I'm going to be shot down for saying this, but there are quite a few oracle's, experts & eliteists that think that they can demand, threaten not to buy, & think that the developers somehow owe then something for their comments.

3. Can DTG deliver? Of course they can, as we will shortly see, for he reasons suggested above.

 

 

 


"OUR" sim is still some ways off, and although DTG Flight School is a "preview" of sorts to the eventual sim, it is not a sim intended to impress us, the veteran, addon consuming, tweaking, virtual experts of aviation. We have to recognize that there has not been a well accepted sim on the market in nearly 10 years prior to FSX's re-release. And at our current trend, the passionate bunch of us are literally "aging out" of the market. We desperately need growth on the front end, to attract new simmers, and allow them a path forward to stay here

 

So very true.I also think that FSX:SE was a benchmark test to see how flight games will be accepted.

Yes, we are a bunch of old grumpy farts! (I say that in the nicest of ways) Pete Dawson is in his 70's!

We need a fresh new look, new faces, & obviously new developers that will come from those newbies that maybe will be hooked by Flight School, & not be scared off by some of us old timers that keep on moaning about the colour of the sunset, shadows, roads & such like. No word about flight models as yet.

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I agree. But exactly THIS is not offered by DTG Flightschool. People will not be attracted to flightsimming if there is a Piper Cub with some textboxes telling them to do this and that. How hard you can fail with such an approach, MS Flight has already shown. I honestly do not understand, why DTG is going down the same road again, offering world wide coverage will not be the gamechanger. For me, DTG somehow desperately tries to put things into Flightschool which should attract the established simming community although they say that's not their aim.

 

It's a little bit different this time, as more is being offered for a reasonably low price, which shows it's meant as a lead in product, to get newbies interested. One of the main reasons I like  flight sim, is the illusion I'm flying to places anywhere in the world I never been before, and at this stage never will be. With Flight School after the lessons are completed the user can then go into free flight and fly out of any place in the world, and if there is relative detailed scenery as I believe there is at some locations, as demonstrated by the promo shots over the Pyramids. There will be plenty of places they can explore. Where as flight limited you to the Hawaiian Islands, and Alaska, if you bought the DLC and that was it. The hope is that this will entice new people to upgrade to DFS when released. This could work, but there is a problem. FSXSE, all of the functionality and more of flight school, already exists in FSXSE in the learning center and also it's mission systems. So the only real advantages Flight School has over FSXSE is that it's 64bit, and better Orbx based scenery. While 64bit architecture will be important to the full featured sim DFS is suppose to be, it's not at all necessary for the more limited Flight School, so people may just choose FSXSE from the get go. If that happens, it will be harder to get them to switch over to DFS, a least in the near term as functionality would be similar, and if addons were added, would most likely surpass that of DFS, at least until 3rd party addons or DLC was available for it.

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It is quite interesting that we are all presuming as to what is wanted from Flightschool.

We, us old timers, experts, whatever we call ourselves, are maybe transfering our expectations to DTG's target market, incorrectly so, I think.

 

We actually do not know what is wanted by them. I'm sure they do not care if it is 32bit or 64bit or if Orbyx is involved at all.

Maybe all they want is just the flying experience, & a play park for them to fly in. A teaser for something better.

DTG is actually quite clever in giving the planes that can be flown, & also a 'closed' environment. A learning teaser for something more complicated.

 

I can just imagine, and am expecting a lot of critisism by us experts when Flightschool is released, based on our expectations, which are actually irrelevant as we are NOT the target market. I hope that the newbies will not be scared off too much.

 

It seems that we are getting the tutorials from FSX, with a bit of lipstick & makeup thrown in.

 

As Martin says, Flightschool is NOT for us. Lets watch, welcome & encourage the newbies & see what we get later! 

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Yes, visual appearance is still one of the most attracting arguments of a novel sim that aims to gather new customers. If potential new customers would really only care about "accessible and complete experience" instead of visual appearance, they would rather buy directly FSX:SE or, later in the year, the DTG Flightsim. If your statement would be correct, there would be NO reason to buy Flightschool, no?

 

I think you've lost the point.

Martin said that you are wrong when you think that new inexperienced customers buy FSX:SE. Why?

 

Not according to the research we did. Actually all the information we gathered suggested the opposite. The more complex something was to use the more it put people off trying it. They gave up and dismissed it as being too hard without even giving it a go. That is a real shame and something we are looking to address. 
 
Sure it could backfire on us but we are aware of the risks and believe this is the right approach to take. Only time will tell.
 
 - Martin  

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It is quite interesting that we are all presuming as to what is wanted from Flightschool.

 

Actually, we can, as we witnessed some flightsims appearing and disappearing now. Take MS Flight and compare it to what DTG Flightschool offers. MS Flight was a complete failure, so DTG has a nice benchmark of what not to do. I am sure, this was considered pretty well.

 

 

 

We actually do not know what is wanted by them. I'm sure they do not care if it is 32bit or 64bit or if Orbyx is involved at all.

Maybe all they want is just the flying experience, & a play park for them to fly in. A teaser for something better.

DTG is actually quite clever in giving the planes that can be flown, & also a 'closed' environment. A learning teaser for something more complicated.

 

I am with you on this, as I said. But for me, DTG Flightschool is exactly not offering this. People do not want a "learning teaser", if they would, they would have already bought FSX:SE... oh, surprise, they did. So WHO should actually by Flightschool now? Because of WHAT? I am constantly repeating those questions and all we hear is the same old story...

 

 

 

I can just imagine, and am expecting a lot of critisism by us experts when Flightschool is released, based on our expectations, which are actually irrelevant as we are NOT the target market. I hope that the newbies will not be scared off too much.

 

Again, as I said: the newbies are not stupid. As soon as DTG Flightschool hits the market, people interested in flightsimming will start to look on the product page and they will also start to compare. Now, I have to repeat myself, what is DTG Flightschool offering that FSX:SE does not already offer? You guys always insist on the fact that the newbies are the market and not us oldschool flightsimming guys, yet always if I ask this question, the only answers offered are those from the viewpoint of an already established simmer...

 

- a newbie does not care about 32bit or 64bit. So, this crucial point to us established simmers is absolutely nothing of value to any new customer. Even if it is written in the advertisment text on Steam, it will be simply ignored by the newbies.

 

- a newbie DOES care about visual appearance. Now again, the experienced simmer compares DTG Flightschool to FSX:SE without addons and fullblown P3D with addons and realizes, well, the DTG Flightschool does not offer anything new. But here, the newbie compares with what is on the market besides DTG Flightschool and he will see that this visual appearance is utter crap compared to DCS and other things. On a quick look, the visual appearance is even worse compared to the train sim of the same publisher. A newbie will not be capable of understanding the difference between rendering a train track and the whole world. He will simply see a not up to date visual appearance and then he will decide, if the other criteria will overwhelm the old fashioned look.

 

- a newbie does not really care about an instructor using absolutely correct technical terms and procedures. He however looks on how the instructor is presenting all this and well, textboxes and an voice might not convince him. He rather looks for fun. And does DTG Flightschool offer him this? A newbie will have to decide whether he goes for the more hardcore sims directly or not, so the plane selection in DTG Flightschool is simply plain wrong in my eyes. Which nowadays newbie is attracted by a Piper Cub? Or a P28? Again, only the established simmer is praising DTG for the choice of those initial planes...

 

- a newbie does care about addons, if the initial experience was satisfying. However, he will most probably see no reason, why he should replace his fun simulator half a year later with a full blown flightsimulator basically offering nothing more.

 

Those points illustrate, why I fear that DTG Flightschool is a dead-end road.

 

 

 

As Martin says, Flightschool is NOT for us. Lets watch, welcome & encourage the newbies & see what we get later!

 

And again, why then most of the so-called improvements of DTG Flightschool compared to what already is on the market is basically only interesting for exactly those people already into flightsimming? Again, a newbie will not care about 64bit, he will not care about correct or incorrect flightinstructor phraseology, he will not care about physically correct simulation of the Piper Cub engine and he will certainly not care about proper ATC. He wants to hop into a plane of choice (as mentioned by others above) and start flying around, ideally in his hometown or wherever he wants (pro argument for worldwide coverage, I agree). But, he will for SURE care about visual appearance. But unless us, he will not think "well, compared to FSX:SE without any addons, those ORBX Global coverage looks phenomenal", rather he will think: "well, that looks like 2010". He will not think, like us, "hell, nice cloud shadows and cockpit shadows", but he will think "holy cow, those clouds look like 2000 and why the ###### I see myself from outside but not when I am in the plane?". And he will think "my hometown does not even look close to the reality", he certainly will not think, like us, "well, bad landclass still, but better looking than the native FSX:SE".

 

So, I stay with it. Most arguments that really speak in favour of DTG Flightschool are sadly, although DTG insists on something else", only arguments which are valuable for those people already knowing FSX:SE and how it looks like, how it could be improved etc. For the naive first-timer, all those achievements DTG did using the ESP engine are without any value, he can simply not honour them, as he has no comparison. The only comparison he has, are other products, such as DCS etc., and compared to them, DTG Flightschool simply loses in any visual aspect. And no, before the newbie actually OWNs the product, he can not judge all those things not related to the visual appearance...

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Potential buyers of FlightSchool will certainly watch opinions of owners and/or experts (real ones and imagined ones). A few will come here, but many more will look up the steam forums being already full of opinions. If Flightschool will get bad reviews in forums - mostly written by experts - no one will buy it.

 

Add the fact that FSX:SE got quite good scores at Steam.

 

I actually didn't invent this argument, but I think it has something.

 

Kind regards, Michael

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Actually, one quick correction to my OP. I stated that FSX has outsold DCS, and that appears to be incorrect after looking at total DCS sales over the years. One interesting caveat to this is an interesting stat:

  • DCS has 21,000 customers who played in the last 2 weeks with an average play time of 4.7 hours
  • FSX Steam has 68,000 customers who played in the last 2 weeks with an average play time of 33 hours

So it still appears that the complexity of DCS may have turned some users off. It certainly wasnt the amazing graphics or the high fidelity aircraft that turned them away. But rather, only those who are willing to adapt to the unforgiving nature of the sim and adapt to its remarkable realism, seem to stay. The rest buy it, never to return again. 

 

Looks like DTG's research was indeed correct. 

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Why didn't DTG just continue to develop FSX-SE? They could have made Flight School as an add-on for it instead.

As said earlier, most serious simmers have moved over to P3D already, and contrary to what DTG have said, they do need to look at the competition and surpass it it every way,

otherwise I can't see how third party developers and users will shift focus over to their "new" platform.

64bit is the future, but not if the bulk of the code is still >10 years old.

 

No, this will fail... hard :sad:

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So it still appears that the complexity of DCS may have turned some users off. It certainly wasnt the amazing graphics or the high fidelity aircraft that turned them away. But rather, only those who are willing to adapt to the unforgiving nature of the sim and adapt to its remarkable realism, seem to stay. The rest buy it, never to return again.

 

Well, I still do not understand why you compare those two sims to each other, as they are basically different in any aspect you can think of. DCS is military, FSX is not. DCS offers PMDG-like aircraft, FSX not (out of the box). DCS is very limited regarding geographic coverage, FSX is not. DCS is visually better, yes. But it is so obvious that besides the better visual appearance everything else is completely different, they do actually not compete for the same group of potential customers. And you contradict yourself again: yes, it was the amazing graphics that certain newbies attracted them to buy the DCS sim and then, because it was to complex, they never touched it again. And yes, Martin is right to address exactly this "to complex to ever touch it again" issue, but sadly without the "amazing graphics". So, DTG basically fully relies on those users not instantly disgusted by the old fashioned look of DTG Flightschool, and this is indeed a risky approach...

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When I was a 'newbie', I found it fun to pretend to be and therefore emulate the real world pilot. I did not know exactly what real world pilots did - say at Meigs, in a Cessna, intending to fly to somewhere else -- but I knew I wanted to do whatever it was that they did.

 

The earliest sims had incredibly rudimentary graphics and I had to use my imagination a lot to fill in the cracks. Maybe that's part of the problem. Graphics are now too good overall and so less imagination is required.

 

But when I was a newbie, I was attracted to a flight simulator because I wanted to fly. and it seems to me that that is what is getting lost here. The people who want to fly aren't really looking to do a few barrel rolls over their house. The people who want that are not actually into flying. they are into barrel rolls and maybe DTG should create a 'stunt plane 2016' - It could be awesome fun really. but I think a person with a bent towars flying is going to want to be challenged and going to want to actually know what real pilots do in real situations so they can do those things in the sim. So they can simulate being a pilot.

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Well, the flight planning video is quite outstanding.

I have high hopes for Flightschool after watching that.

I'm positve that dispite what people say, DTG has done their due diligence & know a lot more than our guesses as to what the market & their target market wants . :hi:

:p0503:

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In aaaaaalll this talk and ramble you forget the most important thing:

 

1) It's a flight sim

2) It's only $15

3) There is absolutely no reason why I wouldn't spend that to try it out and or have fun..... Just like I spend more on that to maybe go see a movie, so I think this i being blow waaaay over proportion needlesly. 

 

But hey, whatever makes you happy...

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4

 


In aaaaaalll this talk and ramble you forget the most important thing:



1) It's a flight sim

2) It's only $15

3) There is absolutely no reason why I wouldn't spend that to try it out and or have fun..... Just like I spend more on that to maybe go see a movie, so I think this i being blow waaaay over proportion needlesly.



But hey, whatever makes you happy...

You forgot...

4. It's only a game! (as Martin said)

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Why didn't DTG just continue to develop FSX-SE? They could have made Flight School as an add-on for it instead.

As said earlier, most serious simmers have moved over to P3D already, and contrary to what DTG have said, they do need to look at the competition and surpass it it every way,

otherwise I can't see how third party developers and users will shift focus over to their "new" platform.

64bit is the future, but not if the bulk of the code is still >10 years old.

 

No, this will fail... hard :sad:

 

Most of what you said is simply inaccurate.  First, as the OP pointed-out, the success of DTG is NOT predicated on hard core simmers desire to purchase their software.  It will be based on their ability to attract new consumers to the market.  Next, your assertion that most hard core simmers have moved onto P3D is nothing more than an annotate.  Every available metric (including the AVSIM/Flightsim.com surveys) shows FSX outpaces P3D by 4 to 1.  BA and DVA, two very large VAs show FSX use at 73%, P3D less then 20%.  Finally, this quote was really odd:"but not if the bulk of the code is still >10 years old."  You realize the bulk of P3D code is based on ESP, which is also >10 years old.  

 

As for 3rd party developers, DTG has unique advantage over P3D and that's the Steam distribution platform, which literally has millions of potential customers.  That potential market share alone will attract developers beyond Orbx...   

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MS Flight was a complete failure

 

MS Flight was really only a failure because of their marketing scheme.

You can't just go out and give out parts of the world at relatively high prices, then go out giving aircraft without cockpits for relatively high prices as well.

 

Really if all we wanted to do was get into a plane and fly, MS Flight would suit our needs because it gives the best all round experience.

All you need to do is add in DTG Flight School's lessons located at airports in Hawaii or Alaska and you're set to go. You also have a wider range of aircraft than DTG Flight School.

 

I'm taking a wild guess, but if MS Flight had provided the whole world at the same detail as Hawaii and Alaska before its "death" (You can fly in the whole world now because of a great community), DTG might've bought it instead.

 

In terms of today's Flight School, I'm not going to say anything because it's unfair to judge a book by its cover, given alpha footage gameplay or not. All I'm saying is that they've done a wonderful job for first time flight simulator programmers, albeit with a little help.

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Most of what you said is simply inaccurate.  First, as the OP pointed-out, the success of DTG is NOT predicated on hard core simmers desire to purchase their software.  It will be based on their ability to attract new consumers to the market.  Next, your assertion that most hard core simmers have moved onto P3D is nothing more than an annotate.  Every available metric (including the AVSIM/Flightsim.com surveys) shows FSX outpaces P3D by 4 to 1.  BA and DVA, two very large VAs show FSX use at 73%, P3D less then 20%.  Finally, this quote was really odd:"but not if the bulk of the code is still >10 years old."  You realize the bulk of P3D code is based on ESP, which is also >10 years old.  

 

As for 3rd party developers, DTG has unique advantage over P3D and that's the Steam distribution platform, which literally has millions of potential customers.  That potential market share alone will attract developers beyond Orbx...   

While your metrics are not being called into question from me, I will ask why it is that FSX outpaces P3D.  The simple answer: money.  Many people believe that spending less on FSX to achieve the same results as P3D is the answer.  Also, licensing (but we won't get into that).  Another answer is convenience.  I am sure a great percentage of FSX users are also Steam users so it makes sense that people will take the path of least resistance, not to mention if their sim get screwed up due to an add-on or otherwise, it is much quicker reinstalling through Steam than through dvd.  We also cannot forget about legacy content, which ties in with my first answer of money.

 

In closing, you forgot that with DTG Flight School, there won't be any add-on content. :)

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Good points Josh

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While your metrics are not being called into question from me, I will ask why it is that FSX outpaces P3D.  The simple answer: money.  Many people believe that spending less on FSX to achieve the same results as P3D is the answer.  Also, licensing (but we won't get into that).  Another answer is convenience.  I am sure a great percentage of FSX users are also Steam users so it makes sense that people will take the path of least resistance, not to mention if their sim get screwed up due to an add-on or otherwise, it is much quicker reinstalling through Steam than through dvd.  We also cannot forget about legacy content, which ties in with my first answer of money.

 

In closing, you forgot that with DTG Flight School, there won't be any add-on content. :)

I don't disagree with any of your points!  BTW, I don't believe many of the hardcore simmers will immediately switch to DTG; instead, as you suggested, we'll wait until the content exceeds whats  available on our current platforms (e.g. P3D/FSX).  However, that's precisely the point the OP is making; we're inconsequential to the success of DTG new flight simulator.  Initially, they're not trying to attract us; instead, they're trying to draw new consumers into the market.  I think they've been pretty honest with their intentions.  Ironically, its the new entry into the segment that will probably decide what platform us old timers migrate to.  If DTG new flight sim is as, or more successful, the nFSX SE, third party add-on developers will probably devote the vast majority of their resources to this market.  And we (hard core simmers) go where they go....

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My impression is that Flight failed because it was too dumbed down. It's a flight simulator with all of the interesting aviation stuff stripped out. People who want to get into flight simming at least want to see that there's some potential to learn something about aviation.

 

There are a couple of reasons why having the entire earth modeled is important. One is that people like to fly where they live. Oddly, Microsoft knew this fact very well, but all Flight had was Alaska and Hawaii. That means that the vast majority of people can't fly where they want to. The other reason is that it's hard to do any interesting flight planning if you only have a small area to work with.

 

Flight also closed the door on 3PD's. We don't yet know yet what DTG's FS will offer in the way of SDK and support for commercial devs or hobbyists, but they do know that all those people have other places they can go so they will need to make it an attractive addon platform.

 

The problem with FSX and other flight sims is that many people buy the product, but then get overwhelmed and intimidated with all the concepts, jargon and acronyms, so they give up. Sales figure don't reflect that. The point of Flight School is to help people get up to speed and then want more. They can go on to buy FSX:SE if they want to have a End-of-life platform, or they can move to DTFS if they want a platform that is actually being maintained and updated. The point is that instead of making Flight School dumbed down, DTG is trying to make it easier for people to learn what they need to know to be happy and successful flight simmers.

 

Lots of people here have been simming so long they don't even remember how hard it is to get on board and up to speed. They look at Flight School and say "What's in it for me? Nothing, FAIL!!". I think that's missing the big picture.

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Just saw this new preview, I for one find alot of promise in these new platforms if this is a sign of things to come

 

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4

You forgot...

4. It's only a game! (as Martin said)

Uh.. No.. The only relevant point is:

 

3) There is absolutely no reason why I wouldn't spend that to try it out and or have fun..... Just like I spend more on that to maybe go see a movie, so I think this i being blow waaaay over proportion needlesly.

 

No matter what some bitter needlessly-bashing-a-product-guy says...

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"OUR" sim is still some ways off

 

Join me on the Flight Sim Picket Line...

 

What do we want - THE BEST EVER FLIGHT SIMULATOR

How long will it be last - AS LONG AS WE WANT

When do we want it - NOW

What hardware will we need - NONE AT ALL

 

Cheers Brian :>)

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