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FSW and its future

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I think DTG has done a good job sofar, but it has a long way to go. What DTG in my mind needs to do is draw attention to the gamers, there simply needs to be a career mode with tons of achievements and things you can complete with fellow gamers in multiplayer, if this this is not implemented its dead, and we all know it.

DTG cant implement what the hardcore simmers want if they dont have the average gamer that thinks this a fun and immersive game, in my mind this is the way to go, just giving people the whole world and think and think its fun to fly from a to b is a big mistake.

 

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I believe that DTG is well aware of this, and are indeed moving in that direction.

What then remains to be seen, is whether this new sim has much to offer to us "non-gamers" who are currently using FSX, and wondering where to go next..

Ideally, there would be a "career mode" and a "free flight mode"  :cool:

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See my thread i started on Steam. I think the mission editor may keep things interesting. Seems people don't know about it...Thread is "Mission Tool"....

 

 

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DTG would be better off getting the sim working properly, fix the bugs, improve performance, finish the weather engine, ATC, turn the flight planner into something decent, deliver the SDK, get third party devs onboard, rewrite the terrain engine, add support for turboprops, jets, helicopters, etc...

Career mode is best left to third parties. There's REX SimAir, FSCaptain and probably other products that could satisfy this need. Not all pilots are interested in career mode, so having DTG distracted from delivering a sound flight sim platform would make a lot of people unhappy.

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The Mission Editor is pretty dadgum cool!  The wizard makes it simple to get your feet wet.

 

Edit:

Maybe the 3PP can tap into the Mission Editor also.

Edited by SmokeDiddy

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52 minutes ago, fshobby said:

DTG would be better off getting the sim working properly, fix the bugs, improve performance, finish the weather engine, ATC, turn the flight planner into something decent, deliver the SDK, get third party devs onboard, rewrite the terrain engine, add support for turboprops, jets, helicopters, etc...

Career mode is best left to third parties. There's REX SimAir, FSCaptain and probably other products that could satisfy this need. Not all pilots are interested in career mode, so having DTG distracted from delivering a sound flight sim platform would make a lot of people unhappy.

Frankly, I think what you set out in your first paragraph is exactly the path they're taking. The first two updates are bug fixes, DTG is concerned about performance (the fps gain survey), that trueSKY folder is clearly a functionality in waiting.  In the meantime users with FSX savvy are leap-frogging ahead by getting things like ORBX scenery and various mesh solutions integrated into FSW. And it's becoming clear from a number of forums that guys like me, aviation enthusiasts who just want to be entertained and for whom "game" is not a dirty word (and I'm a middle-aged old feller, not some kid jacked up on Red Bull and GTAV), for us, FSW may have found the sweet spot in the market.

 

Tim

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1 hour ago, hypercide said:

And it's becoming clear from a number of forums that guys like me, aviation enthusiasts who just want to be entertained and for whom "game" is not a dirty word (and I'm a middle-aged old feller, not some kid jacked up on Red Bull and GTAV), for us, FSW may have found the sweet spot in the market

We're on the same page, I'm into simming for fun but also think it's important for the platform to have enough depth that it continues to offer years of interesting and stimulating content, as FSX has done. I think DTG has the right priorities and hope they don't take their eye off the ball.

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The more they can build inside of the sim, even if opening doors for 3pds to fine tune / enhance, the better IMO.

They mentioned the Weather Engine has to be part of the core sim, and that they're working on it. ATC is already distinct ( IMO towards the better ) from default MSFS ATC...

I'll wait and see how it goes, but so far it is overall very positive to me, even if - honestly - I am investing a lot more in AEFS2 and looking forward for the future products announced for that platform...

But strangely, because I rarely keep up more than one sim of the same type, I put FSW and XP11 ex-aequo in 2nd place right now in my sim classification board :-)

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The future of P3D V4 will be the brightest one. FSW is tied to developers who are willing to enslave themselves on Steam sales channel, I pretty much think it won't be a lot of them.

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11 minutes ago, Piotr007 said:

FSW is tied to developers who are willing to enslave themselves on Steam sales channel, I pretty much think it won't be a lot of them.

Reaching out to a much larger customer base is a bad idea?

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51 minutes ago, Piotr007 said:

The future of P3D V4 will be the brightest one.

P3D is not for entertainment purposes. That ought to be enough for honest flight simmers.

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10 minutes ago, A32xx said:

P3D is not for entertainment purposes. That ought to be enough for honest flight simmers.

Correct....

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1 hour ago, Piotr007 said:

FSW is tied to developers who are willing to enslave themselves on Steam sales channel, I pretty much think it won't be a lot of them.

The facts and historical sales of DTG simply don't support that contention. Be aware of what 'enslaving yourself to Steam' actually means in real terms; yes, they take a cut of your RRP, but it's not a cut for nothing, not by a long chalk; for that money you get your product exposed to 125 million registered Steam users worldwide, get your stuff hosted by them, and critically, you don't actually have to spend a single cent on advertising or promotion if you don't want to, nor would you have to worry about targetting any advertising you did indulge in at all, since in addition to getting coverage on Steam's main pages, the products are directly tied to the host simulation's product page and its splash screen and will probably also be available as transactions directly from the main FSW GUI page too if the present GUI is anything to go by.

Now, I'm not for one second suggesting that this means 125 million people will necessarily buy your FSW or FSX add on simply because it is on Steam, because that number includes everything from First Person Shooter fans, to little girls playing Hello Kitty Island and My Little Pony games, but it does nevertheless mean a seriously large amount of exposure to simulation fans for no effort on your part, and there are a lot of simulation users on Steam. That is what you are paying for when Steam and DTG take their cut, so when you view it like that (i.e. as it really is), that's a pretty damn good deal. You won't see Lockheed Martin doing that kind of promotional work for P3D add-on developers, they are too busy making Hellfire missiles, F-35s and such (first airborne gun firing test for the F-35 took place this week apparently, and I bet they are more concerned with that than whether the cloud reflections look nice on your FSL A320 in V4 of P3D or whether the landing gear comes down properly on your Real Air Duke lol).

To understand what that means for a business in bang for bucks, the average advertising budget spend for a company, is typically about 12 percent of its turnover (i.e. not its profit, but transactions in total including CC fees etc), but this is an average, it is unlikely any FS add-on developer has the kind of budget necessary to expose their product to 125 million people worldwide, since that would aso include things such as translations into approximately 194 different languages etc. Then you've got the cost of hosting on servers too of course, not negligible, but this pales into insignificance in comparison to advertising costs of that kind.

It's clear, historically, that many developers have realised what a good deal that is. After all, you might sell through your own site and gain 100 percent of the RRP of those sales as turnover (and let's not forget that DTG/Steam are not preventing developers who go with them from doing this), but remember that 100 percent of the RRP a small number of sales is significantly less than 60-70 percent of RRP of the kind of massive sales one might potentially garner from the exposure through Steam. This is not rocket science and you can be sure that every accounts and marketing department worth its salt at any developer (or any ad agency they might hire) will be well aware of that, we know this is true because you only have to look at the developers who are on board with FSX-SE, also those who clearly won't object to doing so WHEN fsw is released. Whilst this is to some extent speculative on my part, it is nevertheless informed speculation based on the logical assumption that many have been happy to do so when selling for FSX-SE through Steam (also note that this too has not prevented them from also selling from their own sites as well, so it is a fallacy to claim that one is enslaved solely to Steam as evidenced by that). This would include (to name a few), REX, Hi Fi Simulations (so, that's the two main ESP weather engine and cloud set developers for a kick off), Turbulent Design, Carenado, Alabeo, Orbx, A2A, Just Flight, Virtavia,Toposim, Zinertek, First Class Simulations (and associated sub companies) and so on. Every single one of those companies has done the maths and come to the conclusion that the cut Steam and DTG take is an acceptable transaction given the sales they can expect. And you can understand why too...

DTG have historically been excellent at driving DLC sales for its other titles, notably numerous iterations of train simulations, For example, just shy of a million users known to have purchased train sim 2015 via Steam, and several DLC add ons for it, so they are no slouches at knowing how to create a sales market for a platform and to get third party developers on board for that marketing strategy.

None of this of course means that P3D will not be successful, nor that those who develop for it won't make money, but any business which would deny potentially being exposed to a customer base which is literally the same size as the entire population of Japan (i.e., Steam), really needs a better market analyst as a matter of urgency lol.

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Well said, Chock.

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36 minutes ago, Chock said:

None of this of course means that P3D will not be successful, nor that those who develop for it won't make money, but any business which would deny potentially being exposed to a customer base which is literally the same size as the entire population of Japan (i.e., Steam), really needs a better market analyst as a matter of urgency lol.

... or a Defense contract, which is what LM are aiming for, not a small group of flight simmers pretending to be trainee pilots lol.

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Nah, they are quite shrewd to be honest. P3D might be ultimately aimed at serious military stuff like teaching F-35 divers how to land on a carrier or whatever, but LM are smart enough to have realised that making it available to us mere mortals means they've got a load of people out there paying 60/200 quid who are effectively doing a product test for them and ironing out any bugs 24/7. It's really quite clever when you think about it like that.

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My thoughts exactly. Beta-testing and market research which is not only for free, they pay you!

Back on topic, I've just started doing the FSW training course and I'm thoroughly enjoying it, to my own surprise. I would also like to see it extended to whatever default commercial aircraft are in the pipeline, and can see no reason why a built-in FSPassengers/FS Captain/Freight Hauler style series of missions or even a career mode shouldn't be included. I'm still doing an FSPassengers career which I started in FS2004 on 10 December 2006!

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DTG has the sales channel to reach potentially millions of users-- irrespective of their flight sim "seriousness" status.  Let's take their pricing model for example. Not all first time users will go to P3d4 and spend hundreds of dollars as well as trying to figure out what addons to add and how to configure it for a one hour pleasure flight. This is left of the real serious simmers.

What FSW offers is a(potentially) complete experience package and an entry price that makes people want to try.

As to add on developers, the math is simple. If Steam provides a chance to reach one hundred thousand customers that will pay $1 for their product, it's still much more than they will ever sell on their own.

All of this is, of course, speculation, since it requires a fairly good and attractive starter sim.

But let's not assume that only Ford and GM  know how to build cars for the world. Other(new and less experienced) car companies came in and showed them a trick or two regarding innovation and market share.

One more thing. Lockeed Martin is a defense contractor. If, for some reason, management decides that their  "academic" market creates some confusion or embarrassment regarding their true( military) user base, they will not hesitate to get out-- with no explanation. The "recreational" market is not their primary market. They are using us for their R&D needs-- not for their profits. The best example is microsoft. They did not hesitate to leave the sim market. On the other hand, Xplane will always be in with us because we are their primary market.

Also, to start as a developer for p3d still requires a sizeable upfront financial commitment that not all new, first time developers can afford. Some of the most innovative and revolutionary products come from one man initiatives.

I'd like to remain open minded until there's evidence that some companies and products are not worth pursuing. In DTG, we need to give them more time and support.

 

tony

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IMHO any attempt at a career mode needs to be along the lines of FS Passengers, not "XP" and achievement orientated which is how they implemented it in TS20xx (Railworks). An ongoing record of your flying professionalism rather than arcade style medals. Obviously give players a scale of how realistic they want this - dead is dead means you don't walk away from a crash or ground collision which would be fatal, or you can choose to be revived.

Mission editor, well I haven't looked at this but maybe what's needed is a mission randomizer or generator. The problem with the mission (or activity) editor in the train sims is that if you're the author, you know exactly what's going to happen. And the sim ensures it happens at the same location or lapsed interval every time. So there's not much fun playing your own activity and if you run someone else's after the first run through will pan out pretty much the same.

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Agreed - I've no idea what those steam credits are for even after looking it up in the Help pages. I'd like an FSPassengers-type career mode as well as Missions. If the FSW missions and lessons are written in ABL (Adventure Basic Language as used in FSX, FS2004 and earlier) this could be done I'm sure.

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1 hour ago, Chock said:

Nah, they are quite shrewd to be honest. P3D might be ultimately aimed at serious military stuff like teaching F-35 divers how to land on a carrier or whatever, but LM are smart enough to have realised that making it available to us mere mortals means they've got a load of people out there paying 60/200 quid who are effectively doing a product test for them and ironing out any bugs 24/7. It's really quite clever when you think about it like that.

I just seriously hope their F-35 pilot's don't learn based on P3D.... with the good old MSFS core FDM...

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I do hope they learn using MSFS core flight dynamics.... The F-35 is a thing so ugly and overpriced it needs to be removed from the skies immediately.. :biggrin:

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I'm pretty sure they do use P3D for the cockpit demonstrator version of the F-35 sim seen in this video below (it looks a lot like it to me), and then something a bit more fancy for the full on 360 view 6 DOF full-on simulator training. Of course training for cockpit familiarity could be as basic as a picture of the cockpit layout on a wall; not all training needs to be done in a multi million quid full motion simulator. and you can see from the picture below the video link that the RN's F-35B sim is not massively sophisticated compared to some simulators, in fact it looks a lot like the cockpit demonstrator seen in the video:

F-35B%20sim_zpsl80laq0g.jpg

 

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3 hours ago, A32xx said:

... or a Defense contract, which is what LM are aiming for, not a small group of flight simmers pretending to be trainee pilots lol.

As I see the situation here in Western Europe, a defense contract wouldn't be a bad idea. 

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Maybe they already have one, but if they told us about it, they'd have to kill us. :laugh:

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