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Payware work in FS10?

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I have been buying quite a bit of payware this year. Has Microsoft publicly stated that payware from FS9 will work with the next version? And is it common for third-party developers to make patches for their previous edition products so they will be compatible? I hope the answer to both is yes.


Curt Branch

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At this point, we have no idea what fs10 will even look like. We have no clue how much things will change with the game code. It comes down to how much change is involved for 3rd party companies. If FS10 is much different from the previous versions, compatibility might not be practical. It might just be easier to build new addons from scratch. We'll just have to wait and see. My *guess* is that we're going to see some big changes in fs10, and that our old addons might not easily work. But that is just my *guess*. Remember, we can always still run fs9 and fs10 together and switch back and forth. A lot of PIC767 fans did this when fs2004 came out (before LDS). All you really need is a lot of hard disc space :)


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Absolutely no way to know if addons are going to work with FS10 until it goes into beta (which many developers are in on) or MS says something either way. I personal wouldn't mind breaking compatibility as long as it means a major improvement in the core simulator engine.


Ryan Maziarz
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I don't plan on updating at this point. Yeah I know, that is what I said before FS9. However, with FS9 I have invested in too much fantastic payware and freeware to start all over again. Plus I hate seeing the tourture people go through pestering the payware businesses if they are going to release a patch so they can use their payware in FS10, etc. At this point, my FS9 has many more years of life. I just wonder what will happen when I am 60 years old and need support for my payware I bought in 2005. Will they still be around? :DKevin

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Guest

LOL, that's what they all say. And then those exact same people are the first to announce they've preordered the next version.Often they're also the same people who then come in complaining some addon doesn't work and that the addon maker is criminally slow in not having released a completely new version for free within 10 minutes of the release of the new FS version.

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Designers of Freeware/Payware scenery have been given fair warning for over 2 years by MSN on future releases of FS and how to design current scenery.In some cases this continues to fall on deaf ears and we the Enduser pay for backward compatibility that may not go forward.One version backward is normally more compatible then two versions backward but that can be very misleading.Example would be in a area of Airport Scenery which most of us have bought. Yes in most cases it does load and display properly in FS9 (from a scenery standpoint) using one version backward compatibily for design purposes. That is if the designer understands how FS9 reads elevation from different sources of layered priorities in the FS9 default scenery.cfg file.Elevation is two fold in FS9 only. Startup hard floor elevation at ground level is one set of priority values that differ from airborne traffic seeking the hard floor elevation at the same addon airport scenery. We all have seen wheels sunk in the ground or floating above the ground.Now factor in a new addon Freeware/Payware airport scenery that the Designer renamed exsisting runways such as KIAH, KMCO, KMIA, EHAM, KDEN, EFHK, LEBL, etc). Once again the new airport scenery looks good but when added to the total FS9 world does not work properly in conjunction with the overall makeup of FS9.Some of these scenery's get great reviews by people that don't understand how FS9 works including Beta Testers. What looks good does not always work good in the world of Flight Simulator.If you ask questions to the design group on their forums (and I have been told) it is not related to their scenery but it is MSN's fault.MSN says a new scenery format for FS9 has been created and is required. This helps in tying all other aspects of FS9 together so every part of the simulator works the way MSN meant for it to. Just because it is one or two levels backward compatible may look good but does not mean it works properly. MSN says and I quote"A new, XML-based, scenery format has been created and is required for creating new scenery. Scenery should no longer be created with BGL opcodes or the BGLC compiler from previous versions of Flight Simulator. The older BGL opcodes are supported for backward compatibility, however, we cannot guarantee their support in future releases. Not all of the current features and functionality are backward-compatible from earlier versions of Flight Simulator."end of quote

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Unfortunately we don't know some of the critical details.My guess, and wishful thinking is:Aircraft models and flight dynamics - The models in gMax and FSDS2 should be fine there may be some minor tweaks required to lights, effect triggers and animations. FS almost completed a major model revision with FS9. Flight dynamics will almost certainly need to be updated if there are any changes to the flight engine - but that is perhaps the easiest thing to change.Panels and gauges - Most should be fine - especially the later ones and the XML based work. Some of the older gauges and aircraft which require things like Fssound.dll may be finally completely unworkable - hopefully these relics will be gone.Scenery - a big question question mark. FS9 is about halfway through the move away from SCASM to XML based scenery. A lot of scenery developers / designers still use the older techniques and technology. They are rock solid and behave in very well known patterns. There is also a very extensive use of some sets of base textures originally developed for FS5. If those become incompatible....Many scenery designers have not even yet learned the changes in FS2004 which require the scenery to be integrated into the approach system and ATC triggers. They should anticipate having to know much more about the ATC system, real world approaches and AI traffic if they want to maintain their sales in FS10.Scenery will be the hardest element to update and take the most time - people / customers have to be patient. Many of the continuing problems in FS2004 today with a lot of payware scenery can be traced back to the tweaks and changes made after FS9 was released but BEFORE Microsoft released the SDK's.That was an almost 6 month time period - inordinately long for the software developers not to attempt something - not to do any development work - not to make any sals.Quite frankly, many designers made wrong or poor choices. MS did not give them any guidelines or information on structure and almost everyone's reverse engineering had discrepancies.This is more the customer fault than the developer fault. The pressure after FS2004 was released to fix it today and the thieves are not supporting their customerswas worse than the witch hunts of mideval times. Some of the posts can very close to being criminal threats of bodily harm.Utilities - this is the area where the greatest danger of incompatability exists. Many of these programs work at the system level of the program and can be the hardest to figure out / update.The good news is that MS has apparently decided that FSUIPC is critical to the addon market. To publicly acknowledge an addon is great - maybe the developers will be ahead of the power curve this time.I'd expect navigation utilities like FSNav and the FMS systems on high-complexity aircraft - will need extensive reworks if MS changes the approach system to use many of the inactive values currently in the system - crossing altitudes, speed control, etc.I'd also anticipate the end of some very popular freeware utilities. Some developers have already said they will not be putting in the work to update their great utilities - they do have lives after all. And some have not been heard from in a couple years.Basic rule of purchasing addons - near the END of a product life-cycle the newest addons are very good and have most of the possible issues resolved.Products converted/ updated from the previous version to the current version are unlikely to move to the next version well.Products developed near the release of a version may not take advantage of the features of the version and may have a lot of "historical" programming / design.Not to say that you should only buy new releases - just be aware of the risks.No I'm not going to recommend or name products. 1. I don't want to be sued for harming someone's business, and 2. I really don't know enough of the code of many of the products.As has been pointed out already - all this is really still wild guess work.My greatest hope is that MS will release the SDK's to most of the major developers BEFORE releasing FS10 for sale to the public.It would be great for all the new versions to be available on day one.Expensive, but great !!!

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>Scenery - a big question question mark. FS9 is about>halfway through the move away from SCASM to XML based scenery.>A lot of scenery developers / designers still use the older>techniques and technology. They are rock solid and behave in>very well known patterns. There is also a very extensive use>of some sets of base textures originally developed for FS5. If>those become incompatible....>As jvile01 pointed out Miscrosoft stated that "A new, XML-based, scenery format has been created and is required for creating new scenery."How can any developer not using XML for new scenery claim that it's compatible with FS9 - never mind any future version?


Gerry Howard

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My feeling is that most scenery will still work, even those which were compiled using the old opcodes. When we got FS9, there were a few changes required (AFCADs, VTP layers), but generally, most scenery from FS2002 still worked. I currently compile all my scenery using the XML method as described in the current SDK, but I know that much of the FS9 scenery in the library was not created this way. Even some payware scenery is still being created using the older methods. Of course, it is better to start using the XML language, with the hope that FS10 will remain backwards compatible to at least FS9.I think the real trouble is going to be with some of those fancy payware aircraft addons. Some of the programmers who design gauges and FMCs must be working outside the box where the SDK tells them to work. I imagine that they have had to be somewhat creative since the FS9 engine only takes them so far. We saw this when we got FS9, and many of those quality addons had to be updated. This probably doesn't affect most freeware though.Still, this is all conjecture at this point. Not only will we not know until FS10 comes out, but we will probably have to wait awhile after that to get the SDKs.- Martin

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Guest AlvinS

I will buy the new version regardless of compatibility issues. I will also keep FS 2004 running to fly my Payware aircraft if they are not compatible with the new version. This way I will have the best of both worlds.

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>>I hope the answer to both is yes. >>There are few guarantees in this life *:-*>Only one, and there's some suggestions that even that one may have its exceptions :)

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