wolke85

New Zealand scenery for X-Plane in the future

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I think it is worth mentioning an ongoing kickstarter campaign by "Godzone" which is very well known for creating superb high quality scenery for New Zealand. Now so far, all releases were FSX/P3D only, but, this is due to change in the future as Robin Corn, Godzone scenery developer, intends to also release his sceneries for XPlane 11, Aerofly, etc... Now as so very often - and especially in the beginning - changing a business-model may require some financial support, especially within a niche market such as flightsim is. Therefore Robin Corn initiated this kickstarter campaign and gather some fundings. But sure, those who deside to donate some amount, will also get back something in return.

For further information please feel free to check out these links here below:

http://windowlight.co.nz/godzoneWP/godzone-and-kickstarter-fundraising/

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1219982571/new-zealand-scenery-for-flight-simulation

PS.: To avoid potential misunderstandings: I just noticed that this information was also shown here at AVSIM on anotehr subforum. However, i thought it's worth sharing it here at the XPlane forums too. Hope that's okay.

 

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As a Kiwi, best of luck to him. Have long looked over the fence with envy at Robin Corn's work for FSX as it really is very detailed.

I'll be interested to see how he adapts to the X-Plane ecosystem, particularly in regard to DRM and protecting the signifiant investment in custom scenery object development as X-Plane doesn't (yet) provide the same protections for content developers as the FSX world. 

I'm already pretty happy with the ortho and mesh results I can get with Ortho4XP and Alpilotx's work and hope to have more time in future to enhance this with my own NZ scenery development so I'm probably not the target market but if you're looking for an OrbX treatment of NZ from someone who lives and breathes flight sim scenery fidelity in NZ then this is your guy.

I'll be keeping an eye on the project for sure. Would be particularly interested if he releases a custom scenery object overlay which could sit on top of the AlpilotX/Ortho4XP content at a price point below that of the product which incorporates privately sourced ortho imagery and mesh data.

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There is no DRM for scenery in X-Plane. Developers can obviously protect their installers, but once installed, it can be copied, shared, etc.. This I can imagine is quite off-putting to many developers, including ORBX. I'm sure if enough pressure is put on LR they'll eventually cave in and provide some sort of preload API, but even a company like ORBX was unable to convince them. As a consumer I'm happy about this, as a developer, I'm not

Regarding New Zealand, I'm in the same boat regarding making my own scenery, but the orthos are very patchy and require lots of editing and cleaning up. You have to really want New Zealand to spend the time cleaning it up, so for anyone who wants to spend the time doing it, I'm sure it would go down well. Also, I hope Robin brings across his fantastic airports and city sceneries.

Either way, NZ is fantastic in the sim:

 

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8 hours ago, tonywob said:

There is no DRM for scenery in X-Plane. Developers can obviously protect their installers, but once installed, it can be copied, shared, etc.. This I can imagine is quite off-putting to many developers, including ORBX. I'm sure if enough pressure is put on LR they'll eventually cave in and provide some sort of preload API, but even a company like ORBX was unable to convince them. As a consumer I'm happy about this, as a developer, I'm not

It's a double-edged sword, for sure. I can understand how the lack of scenery DRM is a barrier to developers who want a conventional business model. The balancing factor, in my view, is that because we aren't flooded with payware scenery, there is more incentive for amateurs to create it themselves and distribute it for free. X-Plane does give us the tools for that, and they're not that hard to use. One of the first things I did a few years ago when WED got to the point where it was more usable, was create a rough version of my local GA airport. 

There is still a demand for quality that's a few levels above what the average amateur can do, and it would be great to have more highly detailed small airports like CZST and CYBD by Beti-X.

I think the future for this kind of thing may evolve as donation-ware, with people developing scenery mainly because they love to do it. When the result is at a quality level that justifies it, you put up a PayPal donation button. The developer will only get a small fraction of the sales they'd have with a DRM system, but there will be at least a trickle of income to help offset the investment of time in the project.

It seems to me that this is a healthier way for free and semi-payware scenery to co-exist and thrive, compared to what happened with FSX. In that case, the free market was eventually swamped with payware, and people ended up needing to spend vast sums to populate the sim world with believable scenery objects.

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On 09/07/2017 at 6:13 PM, Paraffin said:

.... There is still a demand for quality that's a few levels above what the average amateur can do, and it would be great to have more highly detailed small airports like CZST and CYBD by Beti-X.....

... and let's not overlook the creations of our extraordinarily talented Forum Moderator.

http://forums.x-plane.org/index.php?%2Ffiles%2Ffile%2F37487-enov-ørsta-volda-airport-custom-hd-airport%2F

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Just checking in here to say hi, I hope that this will end up a regular hangout if things go well with X-plane.

Just to expand on some things:

The impetus for this project was to get to a point where those who already used 'Real NZ' or Godzone scenery could take it with them if they shifted to a new platform. The Kickstarter project is aiming for a single license for any scenery released to those who make a pledge, but ultimately it may be that there might be a small charge for extra platform support -- this really depends on how the market shapes up, and this is part of the market testing which the funding will allow for.

I really think that there might be a bit of shuffling between platforms in the short/medium term, so it makes sense if those who want to try something new don't have to repurchase the scenery they already own, albeit with or without a small charge. I mention this charge again just to cover myself, ideally the extra costs of developing for multiple platforms would be met by increased sales, but as always with New Zealand, the market may not be self-sustaining enough.

I'm only just coming to some sort of understanding of the X-plane addon market, and I appreciate any and all discussion here. Yes, as with the MSFS-based platforms, it has always been possible for users to make their own scenery, and I don't want to step on anyone's toes here. I would imagine that those who do make their own ortho scenery may not be my primary market, given that my emphasis has always been on photoscenery, and it is entirely possible that long-term future development for X-plane will be high quality custom airports only. Each sim has its own strengths, and it makes more sense to adapt my approach to each, rather than try and force-fit my ideas.

And lastly, my interest is solely in New Zealand scenery, I don't have plans to expand beyond NZ. This is what makes my goals different from most developers, and it is this difference which makes something like the Kickstarter campaign worth a try...

Any questions or concerns, please just ask, either here or via my site, or even the Kickstarter site. I'm well-aware that the ongoing success of this project is far from certain, but I will do what I can to make it work!

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Thanks for the info Robin

Although a lot of people do make their own orthos, I see two problems which means you should certainly consider making orthos as well:

  1. Lack of time. Many don't want to generate their own and simply prefer a payware solution
  2. Quality. Most sources I've tried for New Zealand need cleaning up, e.g. Cloud removal, colour matching, etc. 

Now, I'm sure you already know, but things are a little more complicated in X-Plane in that you are limited to a 1x1 degree tile for mesh changes. So, just having a smaller region, e.g. Wellington isn't possible without also including a small part of the south island. This has always been a problem for developers wanting to make small regions.

In addition to orthos, what I think we badly need is more high quality airports for the region (Well I'd certainly be on the buyers' list for these).

But it's a niche indeed. A niche country market on a niche simulator :). I guess this is also why ORBX never made any more fields there

 

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Lyndiman has made beautiful ortho scenery for the North and South islands.

I have not seen Ortho done so well all color matched and simply beautiful.

So good i had to send him a small donation as its simply awesome...

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