Camsdad13

AVSIM State of the Union

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I’ve been here on AVSIM since the beginning under different user names. I’ve been using one flight sim or another going back to the early 1980’s on a monochrome monitor. 

 

The AVSIM forums appear to not have nearly the participation as we once had here. The AVSIM library doesn’t seem to have the quantity of new files we once had. The AVSIM news isn’t as current or updated as it use to be. AVSIM did not participate in the FS EXPO when AVSIM use to participate in many FS trade shows and use to hold AVSIM Fancon. 

Is everything OK  here at AVSIM? Is it a dying hobby? Is it that Social Media groups have taken away from forum participation? I don’t see hardly any of the people that use to regularly post here anymore. How has AVSIM traffic been the last 5 years? How about new members? I’m asking only because I’ve been here almost 24 years now and it’s starting to look like a ghost town. 

 

 

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21 minutes ago, Camsdad13 said:

Is everything OK  here at AVSIM? 

Everything is fine at Avsim, no need for concern, we’re not going anywhere.

 

22 minutes ago, Camsdad13 said:

Is it a dying hobby? 

I sincerly doubt it since MS is working on their next version as can be seen in the new MSFS forum. Lockheed keeps coming with new versions and point updates to P3D and XP is still in development. In addition to that more and more 3rd party developers are entering the market creating addons.

 

24 minutes ago, Camsdad13 said:

 Is it that Social Media groups have taken away from forum participation?

I don’t think it has taken away from forum participation because I see users her also using Facebook, Twitter, other forums and still posting at Avsim. Many users don’t confine themselves to only one outlet.

 

24 minutes ago, Camsdad13 said:

I don’t see hardly any of the people that use to regularly post here anymore.

People die, change hobbies and sometimes just read the forums and don’t post at all. We’ve seen many users who have been members for 5 years or longer just now make their first post in the MSFS forum. It’s not unusual to see older members get burnt out on simming and not visit the forum any longer. Sometime so long they can’t remember their log in info and create a new account.

 

25 minutes ago, Camsdad13 said:

How has AVSIM traffic been the last 5 years? 

Steadily increasing as new versions of P3D and XP come to market. A lot of traffic that used to be in the FS9 and FSX has moved to the P3D, XP or other forums.

 

26 minutes ago, Camsdad13 said:

 How about new members?

New membership is also increasing on a daily basis since we have to approve new accounts. There’s not a day that goes by without a lot of new members joining. Granted a lot of people only read the forums and never actually post.

 

27 minutes ago, Camsdad13 said:

I’m asking only because I’ve been here almost 24 years now and it’s starting to look like a ghost town. 

I’m not sure why it appears like that but the Hangar Chat, P3D, XP, and screen shot forums have a lot of new postings and discussions every day.

Keep in mind, back when FS9 and FSX launched it was a mad house because of a new sim coming out, people asking lots of questions, then through time, those forums become almost like support forums for people to use. Since a lot of people have moved to P3D or XP from FSX/FSP, is those forums have become more quiet since people aren’t needed as much help. Plus, since there’s been years of help topics posted, people can use the search to find answers to the questions they need without ever starting a new topic.

So, to sum it up, simming doesn’t appear to be a dying hobby, traffic and new users joining increases every month and year.

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18 minutes ago, cmpbellsjc said:

It’s not unusual to see older members get burnt out on simming 

Absolutely, After 10 years I no longer find simming as rewarding

I'm hoping the transition into VR and MS platform will change that

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If it is not inspiring you take a break and come back to it. I started Flight Sim around 1983 and had some breaks from time to time. My longest break was 5 years when I left in 2006 and got back into around 2011, when I stopped FS2004 was working amazing and when I got back into it FSX was really coming of age.

One thing for certain is after some time away this will all be here for you when you are ready to come back to it.

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As far as the library goes, we have ample uploads processed each day.

That being said, there are perceived less downloads due to the changes in the business. There used to be a bevy of freeware developers that have given way to payware developers. Therefore more paints, less original content. It’s just the way things have gone and how much things have changed. And like you, I’ve been swimming since the 80’s (1982 to be exact). 

This is an exciting time, and with the inevitable XP12, P3D V5 and the unknown MSFS coming out, you will see traffic explode from seasoned simmers to a whole new crop. Life is good.

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1 hour ago, Camsdad13 said:

Is it a dying hobby?

Definitely not, the trade shows get larger and larger every year ... not sure if that's because maintaining real world aircraft license is getting more costly and hence many turn to simulators, or the ever increasing "bar" that gets set by add-on content providers.

As with others, I've left and come back a few times for various reasons.  The complexity of these simulator platforms has certainly increased ... both individual products and getting all the products to work in harmony with each other can be a challenge ... but AVSIM is a great resource for addressing those challenges.

I do agree that I would like to see AVSIM be more pro-active in terms of FSExpo and other Flight Sim trade shows (like they were in the past) ... most of the people I've met in person at these trade shows has been thru AVSIM threads/discussions ... some very interesting people.

Flight Simulation is forever going to face hardware limitations and progress can be slow at times, but we have XP12, MFS, P3D V5 all lining up for what will most likely make for an incredibly interesting 2020 and then an MFS XBOX release most likely in 2021 which will draw in more users/members.  I think the next couple of years are going to see significant growth in base users and add-on developers.

What I would like to propose AVSIM provide a means forum/notification of "group" meet and greets where people from the same state and/or similar areas can meet up for a meal/drinks/coffee ... get out from behind the keyboard and encourage "old school" communication and not be a prisoner of exaggerated fear.😉  Meeting at airports is a good start, be it large or small ... hang out in lounge with a view or even have a parking lot BBQ (I know PDX) is a great place for parking lot BBQs and you can view either side of the runways clearly.

Cheers, Rob.

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36 minutes ago, Rob_Ainscough said:

Meeting at airports is a good start, be it large or small ... hang out in lounge with a view or even have a parking lot BBQ (I know PDX) is a great place for parking lot BBQs and you can view either side of the runways clearly.

 

Very good point

I loved hanging out at BANKSTOWN airport aero club when I was training. Back then it was the biggest GA airport in the southern hemisphere with 3 parallel runway's.. Always good action to see including biz jets

Always a good crowd there and pilots were big drinkers back then with some great story telling.You can never replace that with a forum

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Anyone else feel a bit sad after seeing Tom Allensworth and Bob Sidwick in that video? :sad:

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Most of my postings on here was on the PMDG support forums, mostly responding to questions. Since they moved their support forums, you don't really see me posting all that often. Not to say I never post elsewhere, but not often, either, because of lack of time.

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Hi Folks,

As for the lib - yeah - freeware has given way to payware - think back to FS9 - we didn't have nearly the volume and quality of content - therefore - necessity was the mother of invention... I made scenery back then but I don't see much point now... While I'm GA/BizJet centric - how many high quality GA airports did we have in FS9 - there were so very few (Georender and Flightzone is all I can think of) - we were all Bravo all the time... Only a couple payware developers ever tackled "other than Bravos" in FS9 - now - thanks mostly to ORBX - we have literally hundreds to choose from - even their Freeware pack is good enough for me (contains literally hundreds of airports all by itself) and makes an airport worth visiting...

As for PMDG - I for one don't miss the never ending stream of "real first name and last name required to post here" posts...

Regards,
Scott

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Hopefully its a perception of a calm before the MSFS 2020 STORM. I mean, I hope there is an MSFS STORM that revitalizes things to much higher levels

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Camsdad13,

I think your perception may indeed stem from a huge number of people who, like you have been here for eons, read every topic, and made, like you, very few submissions over the years. This is not implying that you are not a valuable member.  I sincerely believe that we probably have a significant number of people wondering, just like you, why things are perceived to have slowed down.

At my age, I have to admit to slowing down myself somewhat, and that includes my flying. This is mainly because, finances get a little more brittle, and "Bucket Lists" loom largely on the horizon.

Like you, I am not alone, but, I can not genuinely see the death of either, Flight Simulation nor of the AVSIM forum, which in itself is just one of many diverse forums catering to Flight simming. I see AVSIM as an ever-expanding umbrella covering all facets of our entire hobby. 

I also have to admit that at times, I have also perceived, what I thought was a drop-off of interest in AVSIM. I eventually reached the conclusion, that, rather than a drop off in AVSIM, it could well have been that a lot of topics were of no particular interest to ME and that was a personal trend and could never really be seen as a general trend.

I have to say, that long after, I lose all ability to get passengers on and off the ground and to their destination on flight sims, I will continue to follow AVSIM as flight is, and always has been, a major interest of mine. I really just envy the youngsters who are going to enjoy flight simming in a way that I cannot foresee. Yer lucky bestids lol

Regards and lots of enthusiasm
Tony

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I think that there's been a fair amount of fragmentation w/r/t where folks focus their interest...the forum population used to be almost exclusively MSFS users split amongst a couple recent release versions; now we have the community spread out over FS9, FSX, FSX:SE, Prepar3D v3 and v4, XPlane 10 and 11, and Aerofly FS2--and the new Microsoft sim-yet-to-be, as well as other related interests like VR and computer hardware.  So a similar number of active users pigeon-holed across more groups may make it seem more sparse.

Certainly the hobby has evolved...the increasing complexity and capability of our simulator software and the development software used to create content has enabled all sorts of stunning advances in the state of the art, but it has also crowded out the freeware end of things.  The time and expertise (and expense of software tools like 3DS Max) required to model and texture a full VC cockpit and aircraft model or a high-def airport has reached the point where a singe hobbyist working with freeware tools is pretty hard-pressed to produce anything that's even remotely at-par with what an organized group of talented creators working at it for a living can do.  And that move to commercial products, which have been been supported (mostly) with their own organic commercial support forums, has further diverted and fragmented some of the technical discussions that we have here.

As for people, there's always been an ebb and flow of new people coming in and others moving on to other things or (sadly) passing on...we still have a healthy flow of new folks coming in every day.

Certainly the nature of the hobby and the community is changing...but not fading away.  Heck, it still beats chasing a little white ball around a ginormous grass field for $100+ a round!!

 

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Bob,

Even you would have to admit that it is as good a way to eyeball some scenery (Trees, Lakes, Bunkers etc) as it is flying. I have heard some people actually stay on the fairways which to my mind has to be incredibly boring. Flight simming can be a lot cheaper too than a game of golf every weekend. LOL

Regards

Tony

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Some years ago, Avsim had, from time to time, a statistical survey of its  community which was interesting. I suppose it is a lot of work though...

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There is less business on AVSIM (last month we had 1.5 million hits on the site).  When a new product or simulator is released, the number of hits go well over 2 million hits (from Google Analytics).  When there are no new releases though, like an update to P3D there are definitely less hits.  The announcement of the new Flight Simulator brought on a lot of hits.  We have great developer's too who decided to host their support forums here on AVSIM.  We still have an unofficial user-to-user support forum for PMDG products that has members still asking questions.  I think there is a lot of action going on with the AVSIM Front Page, the AVSIM Library, and the Forums.  Okay, not as much as when FSX was first released with no addons.  Addons were quickly developed and that brought more and more attention to the site.  Those were the days! 

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I read Avsim everyday. It is the best sim website.

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22 hours ago, Rob_Ainscough said:

 

What I would like to propose AVSIM provide a means forum/notification of "group" meet and greets where people from the same state and/or similar areas can meet up for a meal/drinks/coffee

AVSIM has a means set up already for individual/group meetings.  The Hangar Chat could be used for initial contact such as anyone interested in the London area who would like to meet up please send me a PM. AVSIM is serious about maintaining privacy of our members so public posts about the details would be discouraged.

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People & their interests do change, as do the sim sites.

I've been simming for many years, & to be very honest, I got tired of the usual point to point flying. So I had a good look as to what  sim sites are available, & what I can get out of them.  I found some pretty unique sites out there, during my internet travels. for example, the late Garry J Smith's Ford Tri-Motor Project, a Russian site with vintage Russian aircraft & scenery. 

Simming is very much different things for different folk, as we all know A survey, I forget which, tells us that simmers of age 55+ tend to stick to what sim they have, & which they've spent money on, & are quite happy with what they have. The young ones to to change/update their sims a lot more often. AS we know, here on Avsim, the focus is very much on new add-ons in the library for  FSX & higher. The forums as well, especially now with 1000's of postings about next years new Microsoft's Flight Simulator. Not much interest or add-ons for FS2004 at all.

Sites like Sim-Outhouse, Simviation & Flightsimulation.com  have become the 'Go to'  sites now for the older sims, with new planes being released on a very regular basis. Are these sites any beter than Avsim? Of course not, they are all part of the simming family, however, fragmentation has & is taking place within our hobby, with each site being supported by their own followers, as well as freeware developers.

So, yes, our hobby IS changing, with different offerings foreach of us...

Remember, simming is all about Fun, Facts, & Fiction.

 

 

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LOL......I voted in that poll just now, and then realised that it was posted in 2010!!

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And the last one during the year of 2014.  I am only showing the results in case Christopher Low tries to vote again. 😀

 

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The state of the union of AVSIM is good, and ongoing, as the primary gathering place for those who care and are attached in one way or another to the flight simulation community. I am not privy to any numeral statistics or inside information on traffic flows, but from what I can see are a lot of my friends and acquaintances (and those I hope one day will be so) still checking in and dropping a line or two from time to time giving expert advice.

Yes, there are huge ongoing changes, and all too frequent members that have flown elsewhere beyond our sight, but the heart of flight simulation is still beating, and the need to talk about it here on AVSIM is undiminished. May it ever be so. Leadership comes and goes at all levels as younger and newer mixes with those of us who have a bit more time on the clock. It's always been that way from the beginning, and may it ever be so. 

 

I think Flight Simulation is the best hobby in the world, and AVSIM is still, far and away, the best place to connect with others who agree with me!  :cool:

Keep up the good work! 

Kindest regards,

Spirit Flyer :smile:

Stephen

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Thank you. I appreciate all the different opinions. Maybe is avation in general. Everything in real world is either A320 or 737 more and more. No more tri jets. A380’s being retired and manufacturing ending. 747’s dwindling except in the freighter market. Everything going to twins.

I enjoy this hobby very much. I read AVSIM almost daily. It felt like with the switch to game consoles and tablets the last 10-15 years has put a big dent into PC gaming. It seems that desktop computers keep shrinking in available hardware and manufacturers. Laptops don’t offer the flexibility to change out hardware and to configure how you want. It is probably just me since I built my desktops since the 1990’s. I don’t play any other games except MSFS. 

It appears that payware developers aren’t releasing as much. I’m thinking because P3D versions seem to require significant product updates. Most of us don’t want to pay for the same thing multiple times with updates. I was wanting the Level D 757. I wish more developers would continue selling legacy products or do what RFP and Radar Contact teams did and provide them as freeware. If they are concerned on providing support, provide as is and the community could help each other with support issues.

Freeware developers, possibly the same thing as payware. Too much work to put in for updates in P3D. Many have mentioned in replies that we get burnt out from time to time and leave the hobby. I miss the days here with the Project Freeware Group forum. Those days we had versions of MSFS coming out every couple of years. 

Hardware availability doesn’t seem like the same. It’s probably our Amazon society nowadays. Nobody wants to stock inventory. Manufacturers are the distributors warehouse. Go Flight is an example. You could buy Go Flight pretty much at any FS distributor. You could buy it direct. You could buy it on Amazon. GO Flight was sold and supposed to be restructuring and manufacturing soon. The old owners had very limited inventory and had been out of stock for over a year. The Saitek/ Logitech acquisition took inventory off the market for over a year.  The Honeycomb products look promising. 

Some of us suggested meet and greets. That would be great. AVSIM being one of the leaders in the hobby could look into an AVSIM sanctioned even sponsored by hardware and software developers again. Bring Microsoft back in with the new version in the works. Laminar with X Plane and Lockheed Martin.  Form a committee on what we could all do to improve and create enthusiasm for our hobby. It would be great to get back to those days like when FS9 was released. Create sparks in freeware and payware developers. 

 

 

 

 

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4 hours ago, Camsdad13 said:

....No more tri jets...

{cough}..MD-11 {cough}. OK she's a freighter these days, but she's not dead yet! :happy:

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