tonywob

Now the cat is out of the bag!

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Everyone is going to have an opinion but there are also absolutes that the community is faced with but not told. I switched from FSX to X-plane 10 in 2011 because I was frustrated with fsx weather, atc and AI. Before Active sky next, no weather engine was good enough, they all caused some sort of crash, stutter, pause, massive wind change. ATC was terrible, putting me on a 100 mile final more than 60% of the time. AI, being in a line of 8 aircraft is awesome, except when you get stuck at an airport because the arriving aircraft is stuck half way off the runway because of an aircraft blocking the taxiway and now no one is going anywhere and you have to ride the grass and takeoff without permission. 

I never like P3D because I felt like there weren't enough differences from fsx. Also pmdg decided to charge for their products and that just turned me off completely. The aircraft and environment in x-plane far exceed what I ever had and get in fsx/p3d.

Now onto the new sims, quite frank, seeing the videos of p3d v4 show me nothing of interest. It's 64bit fsx with a few lighting changes... The night lighting is nothing to write home about, just going on video alone, it doesn't look good, the day looks like p3dv3. I will not purchase. FSW has my attention but not holding my breath.

Onto the subject of the flight sim community and 3rd party development. It's no doubt that pmdg, activesky, so forth and so one prefer p3d because it is very identical to fsx. The community as a whole, holding on for dear life for p3d not because it has a vastly better atc or AI than x-plane but rather that Pmdg and active sky and so forth are not part of x-plane. PMDG says that they were experimenting with x-plane by putting out the dc-6 and they were going to move from there. But don't let that fool anyone, if they were really committed to x-plane, their first choice wouldn't have been the dc-6. Evidence? Was the dc-6 their first aircraft of choice for fs9 or fsx?

Active sky is one of the if not the best weather engine to date for any platform but I get better immersion with x-enviro more often than not. Perfect? No; but it's good enough for now.

So where do I stand and what do I think about the flight sim community? Seems pretty grim but truth is whatever you like you like. I'm not going to stop you or call you and idiot for liking p3d or fsw or x-plane. We have sims for everyone. 

Now this is what I'd like to see happen, I would like to see a new flight sim, that sets the bar, one where you don't need active sky, one that doesn't require pmdg to develop top notch aircraft. Where atc and AI are smooth. My final thought is this, x-plane 11 is my sim and I get everything I want minus atc but I didn't get a satisfactory one in fsx and p3d anyway. 

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2 hours ago, mattp52 said:

Yes but I'd qualify that by saying not at the expense of the home brew scenery culture X-Plane has now. For example, X-Plane had some amazing talents pushing the envelope in plane development back in the late noughties who are now all but forgotten (XB-70 Valkyrie anyone). A wave of emigres from the "other" sim came along and the spirit changed, despite the clear legacy owed to those originally pushing the envelope. It would be unfortunate to see the same thing happen with scenery creation. Turn scenery creation into a market and it'll be driven by marketers... just saying...

(That was in response to "Better scenery" in a previous post)

I don't think we have to worry about this, mainly because X-Plane has no built-in DRM for add-on scenery like other sims have. It's the only one of the 64-bit sims that works this way with a completely open, non-DRM'd file system for scenery.

I suspect this is the real reason Orbx backed out of their prematurely announced support of X-Plane. They probably realized there was no easy way to protect their payware, and apparently Austin isn't interested in building in DRM just to protect scenery files.

Personally I don't see this as a disadvantage. The default scenery engine of X-Plane is very good with its high-res terrain mesh, landclass textures, and OSM-based autogen. There is a method for people to create and install their own orthophotos if that's the kind of scenery they prefer. So the base-level scenery is already taken care of, without payware add-ons.

It would be nice to see more variety in trees and building types in other parts of the world besides North America and Europe/UK, but I have a feeling Laminar will gradually build this out over time.

As for individual airports and more detailed cities, I think the freeware scenery in the Gateway and individual downloads will continue to blossom under the current situation, where there isn't much payware competition.And there will still be a few smaller developers who can offer payware at a level where the average hobbyist can't compete, like the Beti-X scenery.

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Considering the power/resources from a company like Lockheed my thought last year was.... ok p3d v3 is basically an improvement to keep moving and supporting the business on the dead horse old 32 bit architecture while they create the NEXT GEN simulator based on a 64 bit architecture that will rise the bar behind the scenes...

 

V4 comes announced, what a massive disappointment to me. Looks horrible on its stock form, looks the same than fsx & p3d except it runs 64 bit and supposed to have better sdk. Bottom line everything is done via the payware model and users have nothing without them.

note: disappointing to me, but a smart move, i was complaining about xplane on other threads by not putting enough resources to make a really strong/open SDK for developers to create masterpieces. Most developers complain about critical limitations for creating weather engines, etc. Laminar is a small company they can not produce the best ATC, the best weather engine, the best aircrafts, the best seasons, the best AI the best everything on the base sim platform.

 

Technically speaking on their stock form, you see a video of both... and xplane 11 looks billon times ahead of p3dv4 and offers a lot more in terms of graphics, lighting, default aircraft, fmc, etc even missing seasons because p3d atc and weather is useless anyway, requires payware for a descent immersion too.

 

BUT this is not a technical discussion, fsx/p3d enjoys a HUGE market share from the Microsoft days, all the customers and developers are there, business is business $$

 

This is just my opinion on this matter, not trying to convince anyone this is the truth.

 

 

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1 hour ago, Paraffin said:

 

I don't think we have to worry about this, mainly because X-Plane has no built-in DRM for add-on scenery like other sims have. It's the only one of the 64-bit sims that works this way with a completely open, non-DRM'd file system for scenery.

I suspect this is the real reason Orbx backed out of their prematurely announced support of X-Plane. They probably realized there was no easy way to protect their payware, and apparently Austin isn't interested in building in DRM just to protect scenery files.

 

it is also my guess that this and the tile limitation is the reason why it was stopped.  Ironically this is also what is so hard to understand about the whole situation. No DRM and the tile limitation are things that are not hidden knowledge in any way or shape or form. You would guess that there was some from of basic research before announcing " the big r&d investment" blablabla.

If it was the one reply from austin (which was more funny than anything) on FB that led to him not developing for it, he is the biggest manchild i know of (ok recently there seems to be another on in the political landscape)

He never intended to develop for x-plane just use it as a way to get more attention or he did zero research before, then actually looked at x-plane and realized 1to1 carbon copies wont cut it. Both are rather pathetic reasons after that gloating post of his.

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When I first saw the topic headline and that Tony was the starter I thought for a beautiful second that I'd missed a reveal elsewhere that Tony had partnered up with a texture artist to offer regional sceneries like Orbx. 

*Sigh*, back to real life, I guess...

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I bought X-Plane11 yesterday and finally had my hands on. I am totally new to this platform, although I have seen tons of videos in the last months e I followed several threads here on AVSIM in the past.
Well, I only wanted to add my two cents here by saying that I was really, really, really impressed by what I have seen and experienced so far.

Sorry for the OT.

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22 hours ago, tonywob said:
  • Ease of development. It is very easy to make addons for the sim, with a big community behind it. I find the SDK for FSX/P3D cumbersome to use, and I like the fact that with X-Plane you can create scenery easily using completely free software (Blender, etc)

IMHO that depends on what kind of addons you want to make. Forgive me for saying this, but if your thing are programmatic addons, then XP is a nightmare - because of its API. I would hazard a guess that it is because of this that there are so few advanced addons for things like ATC, AI or anything that seriously goes outside of the simulator box. And this will stay that way until LR finds it in their hearts to create a modern (=managed code too), extensive, complete and well documented API. This is not a small feat - something like SimConnect is "a dozen engineers work for a year" type of project.

As a dev of advanced addons you choose the platform that has the best development access (time is money) and the largest user base. Currently, the most accessible API is still SimConnect, and by a wide margin at that. It has the largest user base too, so from a business perspective there is not much to think about. If I wanted to get my addons into XP there is not a single line of code that I could re-use. I would have to write them a second time, using a different technology, and I would have to drop quite a few features that the XP API just doesn't support. This means more effort for less result and a smaller user base.

My wish for XP is therefore that LR would set aside visuals for a moment and concentrate on expanding their API - to make the things possible that turn a flight simulator into an aviation simulator.

Best regards

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8 hours ago, Paraffin said:

I suspect this is the real reason Orbx backed out of their prematurely announced support of X-Plane. They probably realized there was no easy way to protect their payware, and apparently Austin isn't interested in building in DRM just to protect scenery files.

I also think this is the real reason, or maybe difficulty in getting their flow technologies working. I guess we'll never know, but I wouldn't rule out ORBX announcing XP12 support in the future :). It seems they are happy at the moment with AeroflyFS, since it seems thay are able to influence how the sim is developed.

24 minutes ago, Lorby_SI said:

IMHO that depends on what kind of addons you want to make. Forgive me for saying this, but if your thing are programmatic addons, then XP is a nightmare - because of its API

Thanks for you input. I've only really worked with the scenery system, so my experience is limited in this regard. Documentation has never been a strong point and I've been prone to rant about it now and then, so I can imagine the API is probably the same. I guess this is why we also have Gizmo and SASL.

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7 minutes ago, tonywob said:

Thanks for you input. I've only really worked with the scenery system, so my experience is limited in this regard. Documentation has never been a strong point and I've been prone to rant about it now and then, so I can imagine the API is probably the same. I guess this is why we also have Gizmo and SASL.

That is my impression too - like it was with FSUIPC?

But if you do payware work, IMHO it is not that good a strategy to rely on yet another third party product. That can leave you out in the cold if things go really sideways (=version updates of the core sim that render the middleware useless). Plus you never know if a bug or performance issue is caused by you doing something wrong or them - or the simulator itself. On top of that, if there is real money involved, there will be some questions about licensing that need to be addressed.

But that is more a question of "development philisophy".

Best regards

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Like Xplane 11 now since got my Skymax and Maxx working now. With scenery Xplane is something not to your liking fix with sketchup or blender. Always learn something about flight phyiscs in Xplane how torque or propeller wash works, and feel of velocity never got that feeling in fsx or new FSW as of yet. 

Just SCS software that maker of ATS and ETS2 and Xplane got together and combine as one I be in dream world. 

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Having invested many $$$ over the years in P3d only to be OOMed to Xplane, lol, I have to appreciate P3d for finally going 64bit to resolve that issue, but also to thank them for introducing me to Xplane!

These are 2 really great products and have their own merits.  They both will live on my harddrive.

Xplane has a longer road to go in terms of 3rd party dev, but it has the advantage of also starting from a clean state....no legacy code to be an obstacle.  Xplane should be bold and push the edge and continue as to what is possible and practical based on current state of art (where's that 3d water yo!?!) :-)

There is room in the market for at least two great platforms especially when they compete!

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I've used FSX/P3D for a long time but this year I demoed XP11 and then bought it. It's amazing. I love the flight dynamics, the more natural lighting/atmosphere, the OSM scenery style and all the addon potential with that like Ortho4XP and particularly your pro sceneries Tony. Even default XP11 scenery (especially with the European buildings) is better than default P3D I almost bought Orbx's England and Germany North but then bought XP11 and use your pro sceneries.

However, my most common flights are VFRing around Canada/Alaska/Norway, and the orthos there are no good, and the default XP11 textures don't do it too great. Some of the freeware (especially NorwayPro) and payware scenery is great. But what Orbx does for me is create that immersion via the regional textures, land details, airport products and so on. I guess that's their product goal to make immersive scenery. Plus there's all the other amazing P3D addons. The addon advantage P3D has is pretty huge, but I have a positive outlook for XP, and it's got some great addons too, but my addon investment continues to be for P3D. For now, my simming is split depending on location - if it's England/Germany and surrounding areas I've ortho-ed then it's XP11; if it's Canada/Alaska/Norway/Australia then it's P3D. XP11's default scenery is pretty good for default, I do also particularly like the default aircraft flight dynamics, but I still wouldn't fly anywhere with just default scenery.

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On 5/26/2017 at 10:07 PM, Asheroo said:

if it's Canada/Alaska/Norway/Australia then it's P3D.

I did think that too at one time; but then I built about 40 gateway airports for my home province (Alberta) & another bunch for the neighboring ones (BC & Saskatchewan), so if I want to fly in my area of Canada, XP is automatically my choice simply due to the much better realistic airport availability. In regards to XP's default textures, I have absolutely no problem with most of BC, nor with huge swathes of Alberta or Saskatchewan. In fact, I far prefer XP when it comes to mountains & foothills; the ability to render sharp textures and mesh at far differences is definitely one of it's strengths.

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OOMs were never truly my main issue w p3d, it was the terrible stuttering and low performance on high end machines. Hours spent tweaking settings and cfg files to no avail, is what made me switch to xp, I had nearly given up on flightsimming after 20 + years. I am very pleased with XP11 , its too good to be true, it does have some quirks but its not frustrating for me, and totally kill my desire to continue like p3d had done. The new p3dv4 doesn't appear to be a huge step up but I will reserve judgement until I try it, but to be honest I don't need p3d ever again because xp11 is everything I require from a sim platform. 

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Great thread Tony!

There will always be a place for XP 11 in my SSD. I love flying the Airfoil Labs 172 at dusk and at night in DD NYC and the tri-state area. It's were I learned to fly IRL and XP 11's night lighting is second to none. I'd like to also see improved weather depiction, ATC for VFR & IFR ops, and seasons. But, even if doesn't happen, I'm happy with my $40+ investment.

As for P3D v4, I never embraced P3D because my FSX fully loaded looked better than P3D. P3D is expensive, they charge for updates, and some aircraft devs are charging for updates. I knew that the 32bit limitation would always be a problem and for those reasons I chose not to support P3D.

Now that P3D is a 64bit sim, I have to give it serious consideration. Most of my payware add-on will work and I will have to buy some airplanes again, and I'll need to upgrade my video card, but I will have better visuals (LOD) and OOM errors should be a thing of the past.

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Hi Tony

Thanks for bringing this topic up. It is indeed exciting times in flight sim community. 

Sorry for being late to topic of this discussion but this more of general X plane topic, I thought the statement I made in specfic topic was suitable for this one as well.

If one major 3rd party capitalize on an opportunity others may follow. I think it would be better opportunity for 3rd party new sales as oppose to free or discounted upgrades. Kind of spread the wreath of add on's and competition.

I seen where some are looking and that is great.  They are gaps that can be filled by 3rd party in xplane that will doubt raise the bar for more quality add ons. 

Bob

 

 

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Will always have X-Plane for the great atmospherics and lighting. Have to say though I've been flying P3Dv4 with FTX England + Scotland and Active Sky P4, and it is a sight to behold (full sliders etc). LM have done a bang-up job there.

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But it's still MSFS FDM, still flatland at airports, still no realistic night lighting, still no good choppers to fly... It's Past... That's what actuallt both P3Dv4 and DTG's FSW are...

For that purpose, rather invest in FSW - a lot cheaper...

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1 hour ago, jcomm said:

But it's still MSFS FDM, still flatland at airports, still no realistic night lighting, still no good choppers to fly... It's Past... That's what actuallt both P3Dv4 and DTG's FSW are...

For that purpose, rather invest in FSW - a lot cheaper...

How are those moon phases in FSW?
:biggrin:

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3 hours ago, GoranM said:

How are those moon phases in FSW?
:biggrin:

I guess they're inherited from MSFS, so they're perpetual,and ok, contrarily to what we still have in XP, even with SMP v4 :-/   But heck, I'm waiting for a miracle from Austin one of these days :-)

XP's Earth is static around 2014... 

Since I have had proper daylight and Moon phases even in ELITE IFR for more than 15 yrs, and I have it in DCS and IL.2 Battle of Stalingrad, which are combat flight simulation games, and have it also perfect in Flight Gear, I really don't know why Austin left it that way until now... 

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1 hour ago, jcomm said:

Since I have had proper daylight and Moon phases even in ELITE IFR for more than 15 yrs, and I have it in DCS and IL.2 Battle of Stalingrad, which are combat flight simulation games, and have it also perfect in Flight Gear, I really don't know why Austin left it that way until now... 

Probably because he doesn't fly at night in real life, so it isn't a personal priority.

Probably the same reason the haze is so thick, because he flies his plane in South Carolina where there is a lot of atmospheric haze from humidity and air pollution (flowing down the Ohio valley), compared to other parts of the country.

Probably the same reason we don't have real thunderstorm modeling, because he flies GA and avoids bad weather.

On the other hand, at least we're getting better turboprop modeling because he now flies a PT-6 engine plane. So there are some positive aspects of the "personal touch" in this sim.  :happy:

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25 minutes ago, Paraffin said:

Probably because he doesn't fly at night in real life, so it isn't a personal priority.

Probably the same reason the haze is so thick, because he flies his plane in South Carolina where there is a lot of atmospheric haze from humidity and air pollution (flowing down the Ohio valley), compared to other parts of the country.

Probably the same reason we don't have real thunderstorm modeling, because he flies GA and avoids bad weather.

On the other hand, at least we're getting better turboprop modeling because he now flies a PT-6 engine plane. So there are some positive aspects of the "personal touch" in this sim.  :happy:

So... we need to turn Austin into a planespotter to get AI traffic then, I guess?

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26 minutes ago, domae001 said:

So... we need to turn Austin into a planespotter to get AI traffic then, I guess?

Yes! At least during part of the year for the sake of AI traffic. Then for weather, we need to turn him into a Tornado Hunter in the Summer months, bashing around the Midwest in a pickup truck. And in the Fall and early Winter, turn him into a bush pilot out here in the PNW, so he'd see the storms out here. 

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On 5/25/2017 at 3:41 AM, tonywob said:

As I'm sure everyone is aware, P3D v4 was announced for release next week, and FSW early-access was released, finally bringing all our sims to 64-Bit. It's a pretty exciting time, we have several new sims out, something that is a far cry to a few years ago when MS Flight was cancelled. I think now is a crucial point, as many people are trying out all of these sims and trying to decide which platform to put their hard-earned cash into. Some of us will just run many sims at once, but others seem very reluctant to support more than one sim.

Whilst P3D is aimed at the professional market, it has the added advantage that many addons will be available for it (ORBX, A2A and PMDG are offering free upgrades from v3). This is a pretty smart move and means there is going to be less incentive for users to try out another platform such as X-Plane 11, FSW or Aerofly FS2. (FSW is, I fear, going to need to change their addons policy to be able to compete with this)

It's not hard to see that the X-Plane community has grown a lot over the past year, but where do people think X-Plane could go now in order to attract more users and grab some of the market, attract new developers and stay relevant?. For me, I'd like to see:

  • For X-Plane to keep a good separation between game and sim. I like the way the UI is simple to use, but doesn't gamify it (Like with FSW which reminds users they'll loose rewards if you don't choose a destination airport).  I like P3D's no-frills interface as well.
  • More study-level aircraft. The recently announced A320 was good news. 
  • VR support. But we know this is coming soon
  • Better weather depiction. I'd like to see more complex weather supported. I think the default clouds in XP11 look really good
  • Better addon scenery. Compared to their P3D counterparts, a lot of payware scenery is lower quality but costs the same price. However, there have been some really nice airports released lately, so I think the bar has been raised here
  • Ability to customise the mesh locally per airport. I think this effects the creativity of many developers which maybe why some addons seem lower quality.

Some things I think X-Plane has spot-on are:

  • The visuals and lighting. X-Plane 11 is just a gorgeous sim, even on default scenery. 
  • Ease of development. It is very easy to make addons for the sim, with a big community behind it. I find the SDK for FSX/P3D cumbersome to use, and I like the fact that with X-Plane you can create scenery easily using completely free software (Blender, etc)
  • Multi-platform. I'm happy it works on Mac OS X and Windows. It also runs on Linux, but many devs don't release Linux addons
  • The freeware community. Just look at the tools and scenery available for the sim, for free. The airport gateway is a huge success, and it's great to see people adding their own airports for inclusion into the base sim.
  • Laminar Research. This one might seem strange, but I like their enthusiasm (especially Austin's). The developer blog is always interesting to read, and it's great that users can interact with the developers and get their feedback heard. LR are pretty open on what they are working on

 

 

At their core, FSX, P3D v4, and FSW are the same flight simulation.   If the DTG developer does the right thing (no restriction on addons)  they should be first option for those looking at P3D or FSW.   Most are not using the license for P3D  properly ... you can buy FSW without any worry about proper use of license.

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46 minutes ago, Tierborn said:

At their core, FSX, P3D v4, and FSW are the same flight simulation.   If the DTG developer does the right thing (no restriction on addons)  they should be first option for those looking at P3D or FSW.   Most are not using the license for P3D  properly ... you can buy FSW without any worry about proper use of license.

Well, that's the problem with FSW though. They are making restrictions on addons. Lots of them:

  • All FSW addons must be sold on Steam as well as any outside outlet. Good exposure there, and high volume might make up for the 60% sales cut for Steam and DTG. However, it's still a barrier to pass before you can sell anything. DTG can reject addons they don't deem appropriate as Steam DLC, which presumably blocks any outside sales.
     
  • All FSW addons must have licenses paid to the manufacturers for use of plane and avionics names, company trademarks and logos. That's a heavy burden for one-man shop developers, not to mention any free user-made addons.
     
  • On top of all that, the Steam DLC store is a lousy way to sell addons. It's a flat list, where DTG controls who is listed first. There is no categorization, and it gets very cumbersome past a few dozen listings. See the DTG train sim's DLC page for an example. How is that going to work with the volume of addons you're used to now with FSX, P3D, or XP? 

None of these restrictions apply to developers of addons for FSX, P3Dv4 or XP11. So if you were a 3rd party developer, where would you be focusing?

In general terms, I do hope FSW is successful. I think competition in a market is healthy. But I have to wonder what DTG is actually aiming for. With these restrictions, it doesn't seem like they want it to be an actual successor to FSX, which is what all the FSX fans have been hoping for.

It looks to me more like DTG is just trying to carve out a small niche on Steam, based mainly on Steam users who aren't already flight sim enthusiasts. Maybe it grows from there, maybe not. Maybe remaining an "FS Lite" with a few piston props is enough to sustain sales. Another possibility is that they're making a long-term gamble on LM either closing shop on P3D, or tightening up the qualifications. That would make FSW the only 64-bit platform for the legacy FSX crowd. And also, of course, betting that Laminar doesn't eventually eat everyone's lunch, as XP continues moving forward.

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