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File formats sound archaic & klunky

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Guest tpower

Hello, I've been following the discussions of what's coming and must say that while I appreciate the idea of legacy compatibilty, the file formats in FSX already sound klunky. Given the paints: great to have different sideviews for port/starboard, but when you have 5, 6, 7, or more BMPs for exterior and panel, and interior you are already taxing the card because it reads ALL of these, no matter your POV on screen. I mean IL-2 got around this some years ago with a universal template (one high density BMP, maybe 1.5 MB, compared to an FS paint of what 5-6-7 MB?), which covers the entire aircraft in and out. And their externals are great.Also regarding animations like birds, marshallers, moving vehicles. These have been available were developed by add-on makers using the old BGL file structure. They also draw heavy on card & processor resources. While I would love to see these features extended to the sim universally, rather than at specific airports or areas: I must ask, has the dev. team simply incorporated other people's inventions, using the old FS9 file format? If so, then I really worry, because as IL-2 (already dated) has shown, you can have animations, moving traffic, and even people, and detailed paint & damage models with far more streamlined (i.e. hard-drive space) and efficient (processor/videocard resources) file systems. Some of the other East European sims (like XPand Rally, or PT boats: Knights of the Seas have demonstrated this too). I'm sure FSX will be enjoyable, but are we talking about carburetors and an air scoop when everyone else has fuel injection and turbos?Someone talk me out of my concerns, please,Tosh

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I'm not exactly sure what you are getting at, but I'll take a stab at it. I agree with what you say about having to support legacy software. I can apreciate that the ability to load .bgl files from several different versions must come at some cost in terms of performance. But, we also can't "cut the cord", since many people are slow to move to the newer tools. I'm sure that at least half of the FS2004 scenery was made using the FS2002 SDK. I think this was the mistake that CFS3 made when it broke away from the standard FS objects and required it's own SDK.So, it seems that we have to keep compatibility with at least a couple older versions. Also, there's the ease-of-use factor. Aircraft and scenery for FS are fairly easy to create compared to some other sims - just look at the library here to see what the result is. I wonder if those other sims will let you make scenery as easily as FS2004 (I think it is almost as easy to make aircraft for those other sims though). I can't say that I'm a big fan of birds, marshallers, etc., but people do ask for them.I guess we'll have to wait until FSX actually comes out before we can address your concerns, but my guess is that any performance decrease will likely come as a result of further enhancements to the game engine, rather than the "klunky" file format of scenery and aircraft.- Martin

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Guest tpower

Martin,you have distilled the argument; I didn't even see it. So: maintain the old (admittedly archaic) file formats to accomodate legacy, rather than "cut the cord" and start anew. Sure, this has advantages, but will inevitably tax anyone's system, so I think the argument is more "preserve legacy but spend some $$ on an upgrade, video card, RAM and Windows Vista." The alternative is start fresh with a new and and efficient file format which could be run on a current computer system, but without the luxury of the available third party software. Personally, I'd take the latter, because modders aren't the slowest ones on the block to respond, and I have no doubt there would be goodies within months. The former option which may require me to get a new card, RAM and Windows Vista seems to meet everyone else's needs and budget but my own.Sounds to me like MS is getting lazy, and the hardware industry is prying my wallet open. Why should I have to buy hardware to run software which could in fact be made to run on my hardware if the software makers weren't ostensibly making klunky software to allegedly accomodate legacy freeware? Picking both pockets, it seems to me.Cheers,Tosh

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Tosh, everyone has an opinion on this subject and it's impossible for MS to please everyone. From what I can tell, most of the major programming features last about 3 versions, then they get replaced with something completely new. I don't see anything wrong with this approach. If they were to completely rewrite FS every version, we'd be waiting 5 years between versions, which isn't fast enough to keep up with the technology. Plus, they'd have to charge $199 for it.So my suggestion for you would be to only buy a new version of FS every other version.Matt

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Guest

if you want to be content with low detail textures you can use a single small bmp for them now...But if you want high detail and keep at least decent performance you need several larger bmps (a single HUGE bmp would also work but cause performance problems).You can't compare Il-2 and other very limited sims with MSFS. Il-2 modelled a very small part of the world in low resolution with limited detail.The moving vehicles and people in it were also all scripted to each infividual mission, not generic at all.MSFS covers the entire world in high resolution with more detail. To include things like moving vehicles that are generic and move properly and in correct densities through day and night (I'm sure there would be immediate complaints if the cars in Seattle were to never gridlock, or the cars in Smallvilly, Indiana were to be in a 24/7 traffic jam) would be a far larger undertaking than scripting a few cars moving along a road for someone in a ground attack aircraft to shoot at.

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>software. Personally, I'd take the latter, because modders>aren't the slowest ones on the block to respond, and I have no>doubt there would be goodies within months. The former optionI think that much of the community would abandon FS design, especially the scenery aspects. This is what happened between CFS2 and CFS3. There are exactly 2 scenery files for CFS3, and no, I don't think that it was backwards compatible at all. Since most of us were reluctant to learn a new tool (GMax) if we didn't have to, the community as a whole sort of dropped it altogether.It's true that when FS2002 came out, we got Afcad and Ground2K not too much later so we were able to create the new scenery properly, but the average designer still relied a lot on older tools (FSDS2) since Gmax was still very new to us. Even today, many people don't use GMax to create scenery.Finally, I don't think there's anything inherently wrong with the current file structure. I don't feel that it is ineffecient, except for the fact that the scenery engine as a whole must maintain that backwards-capability that we talked about. Many of the scenery features that we use require a certain amount of flexibility in the BGL, but I think this allows us to be more creative.- Martin

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I am extremely wary of those who offer opinions based on unfounded and inaccurate suppositions. I tend to respect and respond better to those who have actually been "in the trenches" and have invested the blood, sweat and tears necessary to produce and release content for Flight Simulator... :)Otherwise, it comes across as mere bloviation...

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Guest tdragger

Well, being in the trenches I *was* going to say something about the fact that no real information about FSX file formats has been released and that unless you've seen the source code you have no idea what the engine does with them anyway, but your post did the same job, Bill. Thanks. ;)

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Guest Dan G Martin

You know I can think of no other file formats in the industry that have had such a long and useful life in other words those "klunky" file formats and still have those "klunky" file form the basis of something as complex as FS kinda say's a lot about people like Mr Bruce Artwick and the team at Microsoft who have managed to get so much "mileage" out of the above file formats. Like others have said IL-2 is NOT Flight Sim and the above file types have indeed served us well and from what I understand will continue do do so. As for how FS uses things like file textures I think the code does a super job with 'em as others have said perhaps if you have devolved something for this sim you might not be so fast of the mark. Dan Martin Team Flight Ontario

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Guest Bell206freak

Does anyone in here know what BGL in BGL file format means?It stands for Bruce Artwick Graphics Language, and has been one of the founding file formats of Flight Simulator since at least Flight Simulator 5.It would be a shame, IMHO, to do away with such a long-standing file format that has been one of the centerpieces of a Flight Simulator installation.

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Guest

what I read here (and in many other threads) is people screaming for change pretty much for the sake of change...They care less about what the new thing will be as long as it's different from what we have now simply because in their minds "different is better".There's also a tendency to want to have "features" included in the product simply because they're in another product and THEREFORE it must be a good thing to have them (and because they are in another product they must also be "easy to put in").

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I'm betting that FSX will run just fine on the machine I have now. I have no plans to buy a new video card, or add more RAM, or upgrade to Vista just for FSX. It may sound to you like MS is getting lazy, but it sounds to me like you're just one of the new kids on the block who hasn't quite gotten the feel of the neighborhood yet.Doug

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Guest Ozark Dogfighter

It is a nice thing to hang on to traditions, especially in FS, but if a better (and I mean much better, all around) format is invented, we shouldn't shun it for the sake of tradition. My 2 cents.-Jeremy Burchhttp://home.earthlink.net/~dawgfighter/sit...es/swvasig1.gifSWVA4806 http://www.virtualswa.com/home.phpThe Ozark Dogfighter http://forums.avsim.net/images/wedge.gifHappy Flying!BOAC: Heathrow Centre, British Airways Speedbird Flight 723HC: British Airways Speedbird Flight 723, Heathrow Centre, go aheadBOAC: Heathrow Centre, British Airways Speedbird Flight 723 has a message for youHC: British Airways Speedbird Flight 723, Heathrow Centre is ready to copy messageBOAC: Heathrow Centre, British Airways Speedbird Flight 723, message is as follows: Mayday, Mayday, Mayday ....

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Guest

true. But of course the extension is no longer quite related to the file content :)There are now several formats that all use the bgl extension yet can have quite different data in them (AFD, traffic, height data, landclass, etc. etc.).

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Guest tpower

>I am extremely wary of those who offer opinions based on>unfounded and inaccurate suppositions. I tend to respect and>respond better to those who have actually been "in the>trenches" and have invested the blood, sweat and tears>necessary to produce and release content for Flight>Simulator... :)>>Otherwise, it comes across as mere bloviation...I am not aware of the term "bloviation." It sounds like a neologism. Either way regarding your grammar, which is poor, I am no fool and have produced software for GPL & IL2. I am sorry if I have offended anyone in the FS community. Perhaps I phrased my concerns crudely, and I apologise again for that. I merely thought the .BGL format was outdated, and overgrown. In fact the latest sims are coded so slim, the .BGL looks coarse. (No need to apologise to Bruce Artwick for nicking his work; nothing to boast about sonny). So, I will apologise to all, and take my leave (as someone said in a threataning manner: "you don't know the neighborhood") :well no I don't; so I'll get lost and leave you all. Cheers and best wishes. Enjoy your own company,Tosh

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Guest

the bgl format is old but flexible.It is in fact no longer a single format but a family of formats, with probably different versions for several of them.

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Guest tdragger

BGL has changed with every version. About the only this that has remained the same is the file extension but I wouldn't judge what's in the file based on that! ;)

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>I am not aware of the term "bloviation." It sounds like a>neologism. Either way regarding your grammar, which is poor, I>am no fool and have produced software for GPL & IL2.http://dictionary.reference.com/wordofthed...2001/06/22.htmlbloviate BLOH-vee-ayt, intransitive verb:To speak or write at length in a pompous or boastful manner. Bloviate is from blow + a mock-Latinate suffix -viate. Compare blowhard, "a boaster or braggart." Bloviation is the noun form; a bloviator is one who bloviates.--------------------------------------------------------------------------------As for your comment regarding my grammar, that is simply more bloviation, as there are no errors whatever in my prose.On the other hand, your clause "...and have produced software for GPL & IL2" relates to my grammar in what way?

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>http://dictionary.reference.com/wordofthed...2001/06/22.html>>bloviate BLOH-vee-ayt, intransitive verb:>To speak or write at length in a pompous or boastful manner. >>Bloviate is from blow + a mock-Latinate suffix -viate. Compare>blowhard, "a boaster or braggart." Bloviation is the noun>form; a bloviator is one who bloviates.I laughed so hard I almost soiled myself.Nice one, as usual Fr. Bill.- Martin

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>what I read here (and in many other threads) is people>screaming for change pretty much for the sake of change...>They care less about what the new thing will be as long as>it's different from what we have now simply because in their>minds "different is better".>>There's also a tendency to want to have "features" included in>the product simply because they're in another product and>THEREFORE it must be a good thing to have them (and because>they are in another product they must also be "easy to put>in").Please, you make little sense, first off change can be and usually is a good thing. You talk like a person that is content with his FS, which is fine, but many of those wanting change do so because they are not happy with their FS, myself included. First time I flew pacific fighters I was blown away at the graphics and visuals. I flew for hours over islands just to see the waves lap at the shore which looked VERY realistic, much more so than MSFS. Most people when they are exposed to something better than what they are used to have a hard time going backwards.Why would anyone in their right mind, NOT want better features in their fav sim if they have seen these features in another sim (regardless if it's feasible or not)? If they were not better features in their mind, they wouldn't be vocal about wanting them now would they?Thanks to Mike and the team for dispelling rumors and setting us straight on FS and why some things might work and why others might not, it's appreciated.Regards, MichaelKDFWhttp://www.calvirair.com/mcpics/mcdcvabanner.jpgCalVirAir International

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Guest IFC2

Hi All,something that I would like implemented in the new FSX, and it's something that I have not seen mentioned yet, and that is, Better Sound for the whole Sim.for instance, a majority of us are all on fancy 5.1 or 7.1 sound set ups, and yet FS handles these sounds in a very primitive way, and is something more like a double mono sound, pumped out equally through every speaker rather then true sounds etc,then there is the AI, don't they all just sound pretty much the same, and no real spooling up or down, and the fly by sound is weird too.I think that these things would help us in our "as real as it gets" immersions feeling.just my thoughts on FSX,

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>Hi All,>something that I would like implemented in the new FSX, and>it's something that I have not seen mentioned yet, and that>is, Better Sound for the whole Sim.This was covered here over a month ago... :)

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Guest

got 2 nice speakers here, linked with an old amplifier.Good enough for me.

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