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Bobsk8

Farewell FSW

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Established players tend to be risk averse and do little that's truly innovative. This is where smaller more nimble and risk-tolerant players such as Deadstick or Flyinside have an opportunity to bring something new to the table. That doesn't mean they will win in the long run: The established leaders tend to stay established (Newton's little-known 4th law), and often the smaller guys get swallowed up as acquisitions and the novel ideas get absorbed into the leading products. It's rare the top player loses their position but a healthy industry has these little players or in the long run it will likely stagnate. If you want competition, then you're going to have redundant efforts happening. That's part of the cost of getting better products.

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Barry Friedman

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1 hour ago, HiFlyer said:

So here we have the underlying argument for the status quo, essentially forever:

 

True.

I think with modern graphics expectations being what they are, it's probably impossible to ever have another world-wide simulator in the near future so we continue to see the status quo pushed. Instead of something new we've gotten attempts at resurrecting a clearly outdated, unattractive engine with FSX.

People point to Flight to say "see...it wasn't world wide!!! it's always got to be world wide to succeed!!!" but the truth is that Flight still had the same ugly landclass system and looked mostly the same as FSX. Just like FSW, it offered few graphical improvements, still looked dated, and basically offered less than what someone could simply get in the existing sims.

Had Flight or FSW come out with an actual modern, beautiful engine, even in a limited geographic area (but not Hawaii, I'm talking a well done US state size area or a country in Europe), it'd of probably succeeded.

So in a way, you and Rob are saying the same thing but with different prescriptions. Developers can't continue to rehash the same outdated stuff. At the same time, I disagree with Rob and do think there's a market out there for a modern, pretty, feature rich simulator if it were done right and it wouldn't take anywhere near $100-200m to produce.

Look at the success DCS is having right now. It's not because everyone just loves military birds. It's because they released a modern engine that is actually mostly feature complete. DCS has likely spent not even $15m on their simulator, much less $100-200m. It's not world wide and you'll always have the purists crying about not being able to fly over their house (which is not actually there in FSX and looks like crap anyway). But there's still a market for a modern looking sim that's not feature stripped.

I own XP11 and I've never loaded the world-wide scenery. Only the North America region. Mostly to save hard drive space, but I don't find that I hate the sim because I can't go to Britain.

Edited by bonchie
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I flew over my house in FS9 in VFR scenery it`s not new, I don't fly around my back yard I like to fly in parts of the world I`ve never been to, it also improves your Geographical knowledge of the world, I know at any major airport in most parts of the world what`s north, east, south, and west of me with out looking on the map.  That`s largely down the years I`ve spent in flight sim.  

If you lived in California you could fly there in Flight unlimited more 20 years ago I`ve still got the CD somewhere and it did it well, the trouble was Flight unlimited was limited to and given area and died a death.  

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16 minutes ago, rjfry said:

Flight unlimited was limited

🤔


Barry Friedman

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37 minutes ago, bonchie said:

Had Flight or FSW come out with an actual modern, beautiful engine, even in a limited geographic area (but not Hawaii, I'm talking a well done US state size area or a country in Europe), it'd of probably succeeded.

So this predicts a bright future for AeroflyFS2. It got rid of the ugly landclass system, sports a "modern, beautiful engine" (at least compared to FSX/ESP or XP) and has a "limited geographic area (but not Hawaii ... but a well done US state)". It now has even more regions, including really well done ones like the NY region.

So we clearly have a winner. I hope you are right - seriously in fact.

Kind regards, Michael


MSFS, P3D Professional 5, AeroflyFS2, XP11; Beta tester of SimStarter, SPAD.neXt, and FS-FlightControl

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4 minutes ago, pmb said:

So this predicts a bright future for AeroflyFS2

It looks appealing but doesn't AFS2 use photoreal, with all the resultant problems (ie huge disk space, lack of seasonal variation, blurry up close, expensive to acquire)? But otherwise yes I think IPACS is doing a good job.


Barry Friedman

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56 minutes ago, bonchie said:

So in a way, you and Rob are saying the same thing. Developers can't continue to rehash the same outdated crap

No we're not.  Code is not outdated it's constantly being updated by LM and LR, it's just setup to operate at a global level and current limitations of hardware which are still very much a limiting factor in what can be simulated in real time.  As a matter of fact, I'm working with some code right now ... originally created by myself and another developer written in 2005 ... I did NOT toss all the code, I just made some adjustments and updates to it and it's work perfectly, job done in a couple of weeks rather than re-writing it from scratch that would take a couple of months and produce the same end result.  Just because code is old does NOT mean it's crap.  ACE's Development team were exceptionally talented developers and the state of pixels and binary permutations hasn't really changed other than the improvement in hardware shifts ordering of rendering and adds techniques that the GPU can handle ... maybe when quantum computing (and computers) becomes mainstream software engineers will have an entirely different construct, but until that happens, the transistor still rules the day, just lots of them opening and closing very fast.

How much of a development budget do you think DTG had when they started this adventure with FSW?  How much money do you think Microsoft spent on developing the many iterations of FS up to FSX SP2 and ESP.  ESP got significant codes changes via LM from 64bit and DX11 to many other features.  Same can be said of Xplane as it evolved over the years.  How much money do you think was invested in XPlane upto and including XP11?  I can make a fairly educated guess on FS/ESO platform based on ACEs studio's development team size that was working on FS -- it was easily over $100 Million for the many years they worked on it (today's development costs which would be higher, inflation, etc.) and that was "incomplete" and ultimately terminated.  So if someone wants to start from scratch and do this all over again but one better, I can easily see $100-200 Million in costs.

Spend the developer resources on evolving and adding features rather than re-write everything from scratch that leaves users with less features as an end product ... adjust the existing code, improve the existing code, use new techniques with the existing code, maybe even replace chunks of the existing code, but starting from scratch is not a good use of development resources.

I can see the lure of "we can do it better" given the add-on markets size, but look at the results of that today ... FSW ended, AF2 not being updated very often (either code or add-ons) ... both brought something good to the table with FSW PBR and AF2 nice Photoreal LODs with good FPS and VR ... so what happens, LM does VR, now XP11 does VR ... lets have 3 different development teams bring VR to their respective platforms ... programming redundancy to make sure a feature box is checked ... this is good how?

How about this scenario, the developers from FSW help get LM to PBR, the iPACS developers help get LM better quality photoreal scenery, allowing the LM core team to focus on fixing their ever shape shifting elevation mesh issues and bring DX12 with SFR DMA support so we can achieve solid 60-120 FPS regardless of what we toss at it.  Same type of scenario could be done for XP.  The growth possibilities of adding additional resource into existing two major platforms far exceeds the "start from scratch" or "I can do it better" philosophy ... far less financial risk also. 

Competition is good, but to have so much potential competition in this relatively small market is not so good for anyone.  And the FS market is small "relative" to A title, took a long time (years) for ACEs to hit 1 Million sales mark, your average gaming A title will hit 8 Million in 1-2 weeks.  But "small market" has lasted a long time, primarily because of the 3rd party development support.

My 2 cents ... ok, maybe 3 cents.    

Cheers, Rob.

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25 minutes ago, fshobby said:

It looks appealing but doesn't AFS2 use photoreal, with all the resultant problems (ie huge disk space, lack of seasonal variation, blurry up close, expensive to acquire)? But otherwise yes I think IPACS is doing a good job.

disk space: yes (unavoidable)

no seasons: yes

blurry: no (hi-res imagery supposed)

expensive: payware regions competitively priced to corresponding regions in other sims, plus there are tools similar to Ortho4XP to make your own region for free (I did mine)

Kind regards, Michael

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MSFS, P3D Professional 5, AeroflyFS2, XP11; Beta tester of SimStarter, SPAD.neXt, and FS-FlightControl

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1 hour ago, Rob Ainscough said:

How about this scenario, the developers from FSW help get LM to PBR, the iPACS developers help get LM better quality photoreal scenery, allowing the LM core team to focus on fixing their ever shape shifting elevation mesh issues and bring DX12 with SFR DMA support so we can achieve solid 60-120 FPS regardless of what we toss at it.  Same type of scenario could be done for XP.  The growth possibilities of adding additional resource into existing two major platforms far exceeds the "start from scratch" or "I can do it better" philosophy ... far less financial risk also. 

That same logic would lead to there being only two major car makers in the world. Better yet, why not just one?

Apple could shut down and get purchased by Microsoft, Google and Facebook would join forces, and no smaller companies would even have to bother being created. In fact, all scenery providers could join Orbx or somebody, and and all airplane producers should merge with Pmdg, (or somebody)

Strangely, I don't find the prospect of such a world very attractive. 😾

Quote

The growth possibilities of adding additional resources into existing two (but why not just one, then?) major platforms far exceeds the "start from scratch" or "I can do it better" philosophy

I would only point out that from my perspective..... startups and the resulting innovation and diversity are the capstones of capitalism. Where would we be if Bill Gates only option was to join with an established firm rather than taking the risk of starting one of his own? Where would X-plane be if the only option was to merge with Microsoft/FSX?

What other genre of simulation advocates for less variety and choice?

I think more than a decade of pretty much nothing but FSX on the menu may have done something bad to us. We may be evolving into something like a Panda, that chooses to eat only one food: bamboo. 😋

(Or in this case, FSX and derivatives)

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Just Flight Beta Tester
 
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6 hours ago, Rob Ainscough said:

I'll disagree with you Tony, I certainly don't like seeing development efforts getting "attacked" but unless that development effort has realistic funding in the $100-200 Million US they will fail.  Hopefully it should be rather obvious by now that coming to this market and providing something less than what already exists in P3D/XP11 is just wasting time and money and resource.  

Quote

Why the desire to try to keep re-inventing the same wheel under the illusion of some different type of market that is already a subset of a larger market?  It's taken decades to get to where this FS platforms are today.

 

Quote

Competition is good, but to have so much potential competition in this relatively small market is not so good for anyone.

The problem I have with such an approach is that it assumes Lockheed Martin will never for any reason cancel their P3D program and Austin Myers will always have the same passion, resources, time and enthusiasm for the next two or three decades he apparently had so far. Not that to hope for the best is illegal or wrong. They say optimism is the key for success. If past is any indication, however, we should at least consider closures as a real possibility. Microsoft decided at some point to pull the plug with FSX. Not because it was a failure (quite the contrary, it was unquestionably the most successful civilian flight simulator in history). Simply because its business model was not profitable anymore (or at least it wasn't for Microsoft's standards). Eventually they chose a different business model with MS Flight, but they discontinued it long before it reached maturity. Next Gen Sim never saw the light. DTG tried to enter the same market, stated repeatedly they had a long-term project, yet after only 11 months from release they decided to pull the plug. AF2 is currently striving to get to the next level, however whether they will succeed or not is still unclear, given the little support they have been receiving so far from the community.

In an ideal scenario, nobody would ever pay for an insurance. Because car accidents, plane crashes, sudden deaths and all kinds of unexpected unpleasant accidents never happen. If we assume that the only two well established flight sim platforms today will be indefinitely supported and developed and will keep on targeting the same market, then we can sleep peacefully. There is enough entertainment on both sides for the next few years. If this should not happen, however, for any reason, then we could maybe regret one day for not giving other potential competitors a fair chance.

Edited by barrel_owl
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4 minutes ago, barrel_owl said:

In an ideal scenario, nobody would ever pay for an insurance. Because car accidents, plane crashes, sudden deaths and all kinds of unexpected unpleasant accidents never happen. If we assume that the only two well established flight sim platforms today will be indefinitely supported and developed and will keep on targeting the same market, then we can sleep peacefully. There is enough entertainment on both sides for the next few years. If this should not happen, however, for any reason, then we could maybe regret one day for not giving other potential competitors a fair chance.

True, true.


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12 hours ago, J van E said:

OMG!!! That's the end of flightsimming then! How in the world can we simulate being a pilot in a pilot less aircraft!!! 😩

Drone Simulator 2025.

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Doesn't P3d4 already include a drone that the user can control, the Fury 1500 UAV? I've never played with it, but I'd bet that someone here has.

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1 hour ago, Rob Ainscough said:

No we're not.  Code is not outdated it's constantly being updated by LM and LR, it's just setup to operate at a global level and current limitations of hardware which are still very much a limiting factor in what can be simulated in real time.  As a matter of fact, I'm working with some code right now ... originally created by myself and another developer written in 2005 ... I did NOT toss all the code, I just made some adjustments and updates to it and it's work perfectly, job done in a couple of weeks rather than re-writing it from scratch that would take a couple of months and produce the same end result.  Just because code is old does NOT mean it's crap.  ACE's Development team were exceptionally talented developers and the state of pixels and binary permutations hasn't really changed other than the improvement in hardware shifts ordering of rendering and adds techniques that the GPU can handle ... maybe when quantum computing (and computers) becomes mainstream software engineers will have an entirely different construct, but until that happens, the transistor still rules the day, just lots of them opening and closing very fast.

The old engine/old code nonsense that occasionally shows up here in threads is not the theory of the Rob Aincoughs and the Jay Bloomfields of the world, but rather people with little or no professional background in either computer programming or simulation modeling. Somehow, people feel that everything in high tech must be developed from scratch. if that was the case, we'd still be in the Stone Age. The vast majority (if not all) major video game titles rely primarily on both middleware and the OS to handle most of the tasks at hand. That frees the developers to spend their creative energies on gameplay logic and modeling. I already pointed out how long its take both LM and LR to get to where they are today. But DCS is going to be ten years old this year. And IPACS has been doing flight simulators for twice as long (1998).  So when is "code" new?

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43 minutes ago, HiFlyer said:

That same logic would lead to there being only two major car makers in the world. Better yet, why not just one?

Your comparing apples to oranges, the market for potential buyers of automobiles is drastically different from market of potential buyers of flight simulators.  Smaller markets have less options to the point where "crowd funding" is sometimes needed which has been used in the FS arena especially around high quality FF controllers and even some scenery development.

This isn't about capitalism even if capitalism did ensure choice, which it doesn't ... capitalism can still exist without choice/competition.  Not really relevant, it's market size and potential buyers which is just natural economics.  But I think you missed a fairly important part of my comment, I wasn't suggesting that development teams "disappear" and go away, I was suggesting those same developers approach the problem differently and join forces with established other FS development teams.

36 minutes ago, barrel_owl said:

The problem I have with such an approach is that it assumes Lockheed Martin will never for any reason cancel their P3D program and Austin Myers will always have the same passion, resources, time and enthusiasm for the next two or three decades he apparently had so far. Not that to hope for the best is illegal or wrong.

I must admit, I never did understand these types of statements, I've heard them before but I don't know how they are relevant?  There are no guarantees of anything in life, be it software or otherwise ... my statement assumes nothing.  One could establish a "what if" scenario to anything, not just software development groups ... it's non sequitur.

I also don't understand the reference to "targeting" ... a new user that doesn't know how to fly can be just as "at home" in P3D or XP11 as any other simulator ... there is no barrier to age groups, interest levels, experience levels.

Cheers, Rob.

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