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Guest Panther13

A little indo on Weather ?

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Guest Peter Sidoli

We seem to talk about little things like cloud shadows, birds etc. Unless I am wrong and have missed something there has been little said on weather and How FSX will be different to FS9.In previous versions of FS, weather and the sky was the sacrificial lamb for more and more ground detail and to a certain extent even in FS9 Weather and its visual quality were dumbed down to help with framerates.Why has little been said about weather? Is this because there is little change from FS9 or because there has been a complete rewrite on how weather is dealt with.I very much hope in FSX weather will be a major feature of the product and is given the importance the sky visuals and dynamics deserve.I hope in FSX we will have proper overcasts, Taking off in bad weather in FS9 you climb through the clouds only to find you are flying in a good VFR day when you should have a cloud deck as far as the eye can see.Thunderstorms should be impressive features not only visually but dynamically. They should have their own vertical air currents and airdisturbance as well as severe icing, rain and hail.Half of the challenge of landing an aircraft real world in windy weather is the the fact that the aircraft is riding air currents both verically and horizontally. Not only that but the pilot is faced with changing air direction and strength as he descends.The pilot is forever feeling these changes and adjusting the aircraft.Much has been made of ground effect and the aircraft dynamics as well as changing sensitivity in aircraft controls at slower speeds.How will FSX deal with all this?If there was no weather real world. no winds, no clouds and 100 mile visibility then flying would be a piece of cake.It is the weather and the threat from that weather which challenges the pilot and aircraft.Will FSX model Jetstreams and the boundary air of clear air turbulence. Will FSX model icing in a realistic way? Will FSX model winds which follow terrain? Will the whole experience be dynamic and alive with clouds forming below your aircraft, visibility decreasing in front of your eyes, visible moisture turning to ice on the screen.I would love to see a new interface for weather taking its information from real world pressure systems with highs and lows and real world fronts and their respective clouds.With winds acting in the correct sense to those fronts, highs and lows.The whole thing being alive, beautiful, dynamic and threatening which is what you have real world.Thought I would post this to see whether we can have some indication on where the weather is going in FSX and the changes to FS9 and to make a change from the usual bird themes :-)Peter

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Guest weigi

well. hopefully you also invent new processors...do you have a clue, why they need big buildings for computers that simulate the things you asked for?this is not ment offensively - i also would like to have it and i can understand you.but it's the same with the people allways demanding better physics. i wonder what makes the difference between already computed (and TESTED!!), static descriptions of aircraft behaviour or doing it all in realtime. the result may be the same - or, as we have limited computing power, even worse.and last: from where do you take the information how they are dealing with the .air files in their code? - did you see it?? we don't even have a clue what is written there...sorry.

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Guest GA_simmer

I'd love to see icing effects, thunderstorms that have the proper effect on your plane if you accidentally meander into one. It seems there are surface effects now - wet runways etc. It would be nice to see the visibility system remodelled to remove the sudden shifts and the sudden colour change at the 10 mile threshold. Also it would be nice to address weather stations that don't report all the information, or don't report 24 hours a day so you don't end up with +15C temps at one station when all the others around it are reporting -5C, basically fill in the blanks like Activesky does.Asside from those the weather system is pretty good as it is, I don't think the visuals need to be changed too much, our PC's are having a hard time running what we already have.

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Guest Peter Sidoli

>well. hopefully you also invent new processors...do you have a clue, why they need big buildings for computers that simulate the things you asked for?this is not ment offensively - i also would like to have it and i can understand you.

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Guest weigi

ok. you are right.the amount of computing-power needed depends on the accuracy the winds (for example) are modeled. maybe i understood that wrong.i totally agree with some of the other things you mentioned, especially with the transition-thing, that has been demanded by others too.bye.

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Guest Dan G Martin

Hi there Peter I beleve that much of what we want in reguards to more dynamic weather will be do-able since like you have said FU3 did it around what? 6 years ago. Form what I've read directX 10 will finally give the people who write code for any given gamming engine the ability to use dual cards to their full ability. So what does that mean you say well one of the big things will be the ability to have one card do most(if not all of) the math behind all of the dynamics that go into doing the weather and such and then passing that info to the second card to render each frame. As newer video cards become more and more like co-processers instead of "simple" video accelerators they become more and more programable so they will be able to do more and more of what of the code of something like flight sim largly consists of,large amounts of often complex parallel but repetitive mathmatics infact once a "game" like FS is loaded it spends most of it's time in sometimes as little as 10% or less of the entire code that makes up the game. So I beleve we will all be in for a bumby ride (at least when it comes to the weather)in the future!. Dan Martin.

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Guest christian

Hi PeterCompletely agree with you. I think it isn't really discussed because all we go by at the moment are the released screenshots and as you said nothing has been said about the weather so far. vertical winds, coastal winds, mountain winds - I'd love to see a weather system that adresses these accurately. On top of that it would be great to have more realistic water to make the seaplane operatinons more realistic also.Anyway, I stumpled across CCS from Eric Carden a few weeks ago. This program is designed for gliding, but what it does is introduce a crude model of vertical air currents on both sides of a mountain ranges. I highly recommend it.Given that a weather engine is so complex to program, my main wish to MS would be not to give us a fully functional weather engine (that would be nice, but I suspect unrealistic), but give us an interface into the code so we can mess with the weather ourselves (like FSUIPC, just a native weather API instead).Cheers,Christian

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Good thread Peter--and until we hear otherwise, I am going to ASSUME that all of these issues (smooth visibility shifts, working wx station interpolation, etc.) are going to be built into FSX.At least I will sleep better happily thinking these thoughts until I hear otherwise!!

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Great post Peter. I just want to tack on to your list.1) Smooth weather transition from station to station. No more reliance on 3rd party software.2) Fix the transparent overcast or fog when flying above it.3) Model icing effects4) Model windshear5) Improve the turbulence model6) Model contaminated runways with different braking action.7) Make thunderstorms hazardous to aviators. In FS9, I fly right through them with no consequence. Include aircraft damage from hail, severe turbulence, possible engine flameout due to heavy water ingestion or a lightning strike. 8) Model color weather radar.9) Significant improvement to thunderstorm visuals. Realistic Cloud to cloud lightning as well as cloud to ground. The bigger the storm, the higher frequency of lightning strikes. Lets see those well defined anvil thunder heads.10) Add a larger variety of precipitation effects that

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Guest Traffic

I agree with you Peter. But there has to be a balance between software performance and what we all want/wish for.While I'd love to see all that you've mentioned being implemented, and with today's hardware nothing's impossible, but I'd hate to see FSX run with stutters and having to do endless tweaks to be able to get decent frame rates. I'm hoping those days are behind us now but I'm being optimistic here.Personally I would love to see weather-induced traffic delays introduced whereby we have to hold for runway snow removal and such. I work in a control tower and we had one of those days today where it was frustrating for everyone (pilots, vehicle operators, dispatchers, airport managers...etc) but its part of life and I would love to see something along these lines put in to the next version. Granted this involves the atc engine of flightsim but it is very much weather dependent.

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Guest Peter Sidoli

>But there has to be a balance between software performance and what we all want/wish for.

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Guest pixelpoke_from_MSFT

"There is a remarkable silence from our friends at MS concerning weather..."Actually, there is remarkable silence from your friends at MS regarding most if not all feature sets not specifically mentioned in the current press materials, or seen in the released screenshots.:)A few points.MSFT people who comment on FS forums do so at their own discretion-- and on our own time. We also try and hit many different sites so as to not play favorites. In part because of the restrictions on what we can say, and the time involved in posting, we generally don't do more than short replies.But since I know you'll keep postingon the subject, I thought I ought to try and offer some sort of response. ;) (and I know you'll continue to keep hammering away in any case...;))I think it appropriate to set some expectations to think about future FS releases and feature sets. The FS team is smaller than I think most people are aware. Bigger than the FU team, but still small. We deliver a lot. If something doesn't happen in a given version, it's most likely beacuse there weren't enough hours in the day.The team has to balance multiple sets of wants in each version. Some of those wants include areas that need to be worked on (bugs, outdated and/or broken code), feature areas that should be worked on (weather, atc, ai, terrain, flight models, systems, audio, etc), areas the market demands be worked on (you CANNOT get by looking the same from year to year), and areas the team's long term vision for the franchise demands (you must add some new features to keep growing).Since the team is made up of pilots (of all stripes), and simmers, and artists and writers, and coders, and so on, we all have areas we're dying to work on. The team's vision for the franchise, and the community's vision of the franchise have remarkable similarity. Which means we're all working to the same goal. We just can't do it all in one version. And yes, that means *important* areas of the product can see little change from one version to the next. In fact, I fully expect that a good deal of passionate FS users will be frustrated and upset at the next release. We won't have done "enough" in their area. But you know what? We continue to improve all areas of the product. There will be a great deal of people who will be overjoyed with this next release. That number will far exceed the number of unhappy users (well, it better, or we'd be in trouble...), and quite a lot of people are going to be tickled that we "finally" addressed an area near and dear to their heart.Now here's the thing. I bet you think that I'm talking about weather, right? As you probably have guessed, I can't tell you. I can't say if weather's in "maintenance" mode, or is slated for major work again, as in FS 2004. We've done both sorts of behaviors on other feature areas in the past.What I can say is that we listen to our users, and strive to make them happy with every brand new release. Where possible we design systems that can be extended by the talented 3rd party community ( for example, do you think it a coincidence that there are some great weather related add-ons? I happen to know that the system was designed from the beginning to be extended... :))So what I'd say to you Peter (and the other folk on this thread), is that I hope that as more of the product is revealed that you will find a lot to be happy about. If there's stuff that you don't find to your liking, I would hope that you continue to let us know, and that you'll trust that we'll get there someday.Cheers,Jason

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Guest Peter Sidoli

JasonThank you for the reply! I am sure there will be plenty I am happy about especially seeing the screens.Yes I am persistant ;-) being a great believer in the fact that if you dont ask ?I think if you are a pilot and a "creative" one at that you tend to notice things real world which become unnaceptable in the sim.Obviously the ultimate would be an exact replica of reality of flight and the living invironment which we know will never happen.We all want different things and different things are important depending on where we are coming from.As an example someone who may spend all their time on the ground or in an aircraft at very low level may regard cloud shadows in a particular way.Others who get a higher impression realise that cloud shadows are just one aspect of light and the way that light is inhibited from reaching the ground by visible moisture particles or dust and that can vary hugely in its effect.(Ever thought of incorporating multiple rainbows which chase alongside the aircraft :-)"Strive for perfection! while you will never achieve it you may just get something better than you had". That is a saying which is very relevant and I know you guys as creatives must also have your own wishes which may or may not be incorporated.At the end of the day its the market that dictates and sadly we are not a good reflection of that market ;-)But we can only hope? :-)Peter

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Peter said..."At the end of the day its the market that dictates and sadly we are not a good reflection of that market ;-)"On the other hand Peter, while we may not reflect the majority of the market, we do appear to reflect the collective desires of the developers, which HAS to be a good thing! From what Jason wrote it seems we (as a community) may be a closer reflection of the MSFS team than of the vast majority of FS users. That's very encouraging in that the MSFS team is leaning forward towards features the FS enthusiast would appreciate (and wants badly!) while at the same time keeping the entry level user engaged. The best of both worlds! DougDell XPS Gen3 (3.6GHz/800FSB) | 2GB DDR SDRAM | 74GB SATA, 10k RPM (C: ) | 120GB SATA (D: ) | 256MB ATI Radeon X800 XT (Catalyst 5.13) | Audigy 2 ZS Sound | MS Force Feedback 2 | WindowsXP Pro (SP2) | DirectX 9.0c

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Guest Peter Sidoli

On the other hand Peter, while we may not reflect the majority of the market, we do appear to reflect the collective desires of the developers, which HAS to be a good thing! From what Jason wrote it seems we (as a community) may be a closer reflection of the MSFS team than of the vast majority of FS users.

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>>As you probably have guessed, I can't tell you. I can't say if>weather's in "maintenance" mode, or is slated for major work>again, as in FS 2004. Wow, you can't even say if a feature (weather) is being worked on or not. Wow, that seems to be a *tight* NDA. And I can assure you that 99.9% of FS customers would hope that weather got a higher priority than certain other things...given that weather is so important for the "immersion" factor. Cheers,RhettP.S. I wish the FS team had 4x the people it has, and a whole floor instead of one corner of one floor of one building!

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I agree Peter. Who cares about cloud shadows?? I would rather have a smooth vibrant weather engine ANY DAY of the week over cloud shadows.Get the weather right FIRST, and then, maybe add cloud shadows if time is left over...

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Guest pixelpoke_from_MSFT

"We are in for a real treat with FSX. With the demise of the>other sims like Pro Pilo, FU3, and Fly! it is always a concern>that there will be an FS to meet the technological>advancements in the PC world and I am sure FSX will be a new>platform for years ahead.>>I too am glad the sim is in such safe hands :-)>>Peter"I'm holding you to that...:)Cheers,J

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Guest cschmokel

>I keep on about FU3. Those who remember it will also remember>gliding along the mountain ridges watching the VSI swing>skyhigh and hearing the wings creak. >Getting into sinking air the pure frustration of holding an>airspeed and watching the VSI as you sank uncontrollably.>>They had an adventure with a beechjet on an icy night takeoff.>You had to put on engine ice so well was icing modelled. The>turbulence from a nearby thunderstorm could throw you onto the>ground just after takeoff.>Climbing in the pitch dark the radar painted the storm out on>your left and as you moved around it you could feel the jet>shudder in the storm induced chop.>>Turn towards the red areas on the radar and the turbulence>became more violent the VSI going wild and off the scale.>>Rain and hail would hammer down like a sizzling steak thrown>into a hot frying pan.>>That experience at night was very real and actually raised a>feeling of apprehension and lonelyness that you get real world>at night in such conditions.>I remember that FU3 scenario. I couldn't believe how everything came together just right. The landing lights penetrating sheets of rain and cloud, ground lights peeking through sporadically, the hail plinking the airframe, and the severe turbulence that was enough to make you sick just sitting there. The FU3 weather engine was definitely ahead of its time ..

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Guest Peter Sidoli

>I remember that FU3 scenario. I couldn't believe how everything came together just right. The landing lights penetrating sheets of rain and cloud, ground lights peeking through sporadically, the hail plinking the airframe, and the severe turbulence that was enough to make you sick just sitting there. The FU3 weather engine was definitely ahead of its time ..

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Guest tdragger

<>Naturally real pilots and experienced simmers know this but how do you make it relevant to the average user? What are the weather scenarios that an average player would appreciate?

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Guest Peter Sidoli

>Naturally real pilots and experienced simmers know this but how do you make it relevant to the average user? What are the weather scenarios that an average player would appreciate?

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Guest pixelpoke_from_MSFT

"Jason I want some time to answer this :-) Tomorrow early I fly toParis (thick fog forecast) from the UK. I will give a response tomorrow evening uk so that I can givemy answer justice as I dont want to rush it :-)BestPeter"That's fine of course, but tdragger is Mike Gilbert... :)

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Guest thscholz

>>That's fine of course, but tdragger is Mike Gilbert... :):-lol Looks like some people are getting confused with "PixelPoke", "Taildragger", "Engauged", "Mad Englishman"...CheersThomas

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