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Cruachan

Be careful what you wish for: a cautionary note

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24 minutes ago, domkle said:

Has it to be transparent ? Up to the involved parties to decide, these are not public procurement contracts but private contracts. There is no obligation, even moral, to be transparent and I am not sure that the 3PD invited by MS want their less happy colleagues to be aware of that. 

Fair.  Agree

Edited by ErichB

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Wow these comments are completely off the wall ... I say one thing and some of you go off on a completely unrelated comments about transparency and 3PD-centric whatever that means?

Again, this issue is "timing" ... why announce in June, provide nothing to anyone as of Nov 18th and for a product that is targeted to be released "holidays 2020"?  The answer is?

Cheers, Rob.

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9 minutes ago, Rob_Ainscough said:

Wow these comments are completely off the wall ... I say one thing and some of you go off on a completely unrelated comments about transparency and 3PD-centric whatever that means?

Again, this issue is "timing" ... why announce in June, provide nothing to anyone as of Nov 18th and for a product that is targeted to be released "holidays 2020"?  The answer is?

Cheers, Rob.

You are going to confuse people with "facts".....🤔

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Bob Cardone         MSFS 2020     PMDG DC6  JF Arrow, Carenado Seminole , Mooney

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10 minutes ago, Rob_Ainscough said:

 

Again, this issue is "timing" ... why announce in June, provide nothing to anyone as of Nov 18th and for a product that is targeted to be released "holidays 2020"?  The answer is?

Cheers, Rob.

Video games from big studios are often announced well before release. Where are you getting “holidays 2020” from? 

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-Alex 

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2 minutes ago, Chapstick said:

Where are you getting “holidays 2020” from?

It was in one of MS early videos around E3 time ... given it's current SDK status I would say "holidays 2020" is very optimistic unless it's going to be released without an SDK.

Article from June from other developers in the industry (REX, Aerosoft, MSE) ... it's not just "two developers" who are not happy about how this was prematurely announced: 

https://www.cnbc.com/2019/06/23/microsoft-flight-simulator-2020-announcement-surprised-fanatics.html

Cheers, Rob.

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30 minutes ago, Rob_Ainscough said:

Again, this issue is "timing" ... why announce in June, provide nothing to anyone as of Nov 18th and for a product that is targeted to be released "holidays 2020"?  The answer is?

Could it be that major studios normally announce major projects a long way in advance? (By the way, this is not a new thing!)

Or, alternatively, you (and a couple others) seem to be suggesting that Microsoft is doing this to somehow kill third-party developers? Why would that be in their interest, given that third-party development has been central to the MSFS model for decades?

Or is the argument that MSFS is trying to compete with peer sims like P3D and XP? (Not seeing what would be nefarious or underhanded about that, but ok?)

Maybe you could save us all some trouble and spell out what you’re driving at?

(I have a huge amount of respect for everything you’ve done for our hobby, by the way — I’m just trying to understand what you’re saying here.)

James

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8 minutes ago, honanhal said:

Or, alternatively, you (and a couple others) seem to be suggesting that Microsoft is doing this to somehow kill third-party developers?

It's not just a couple, see my response/link above and there are many more I've talked to that have seen sales drop to almost nothing and blindsided by this announcement in June.   

Flight Simulation isn't the same as a GTA V or CoD or other AA titles (most of which don't have or never had an complex SDK like we've seen for Flight Simulation) ... are you saying Microsoft aren't aware?  I don't know how to make my question any more simple, why announce a product 18 months ahead of it's target release date when they are well aware of what impact this will have to developers?  And further more, no SDK yet so developers don't even have a chance to get "on board".  This makes sense to you? 

Anyway, I've said what I needed to say and it's really "too late" at this point in time ... I'm a software engineer, I want the "red pill" not the marketing "blue pill" ... the body expressions of Asobo engineers during this interview (on Froggle's channel so I can't link it) says it all ... because I've been there and done that.

But to be VERY clear, this isn't a negative on MS Flight Simulator product ... what I'm seeing is visually fantastic, no question.  It's the timing and delivery ... or lack there of that's the issue.

Cheers, Rob.

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For what it's worth, I care about Flight Simulation industry from user to developer perspectives ... hence my many years of posts and Beta testing and developing.

I'm the guy that got banned by the late Tom Allensworth here on AVSIM for hounding Phil Taylor (Microsoft lead PM at the time) for a 64bit FSX.  I was NOT terribly polite to Phil or Tom about the need for 64bit, I didn't pull the party line and just say "everything is great".  I could see just how important it was to have a 64bit FSX back in 2006, memory limits were going to be a huge problem and 75% of the community had 64bit capable PCs.  

I was forgiven by Tom and Phil.  But as we all know, we spent the next 10 years being limited by a 32bit process and endless ways of how to try to stay under the 32bit limit (several million OOM threads later) ... it restricted what developers could do, limited graphics quality, and really limited everything about what we could do with what was an extremely powerful SDK.

I'm not here to be "nice" to Microsoft, I'm here to get them to provide the best possible flight simulator ... and that means supporting both developers and non-developers.  This is what will make the next 10 years a success.

Cheers, Rob.

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All the  software houses which have given us all these wonderful products over the years are quiet and we can imagine busy.  Do we hear them complain about SDK and the like ? We don't.  Do we hear only  developers or would be developers left along the road ? 

Edited by domkle

Dominique

Simming since 1981 -  4770k@3.7 GHz with 16 GB of RAM and a 1080 with 8 GB VRAM running a 27" @ 2560*1440 - Warthog HOTAS - MFG pedals - MFS Standard version with Steam

 

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1 minute ago, domkle said:

All the  software houses which have given us all these wonderful products over the years are quiet and we can imagine busy.

I guess you didn't bother to read the link I posted above ... "All" huh?  Believe it or not we developers do communicate with each other ... some express themselves publicly some don't, some express themselves at trade-shows, some don't.  But because you haven't seen/heard or even looked to see what other developers are saying then believe what you want to believe ... it appears that's going to happen regardless of facts.

Cheers, Rob.

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This link is from June,  I was polite enough not to underline that (and I also  kind enough not to say what I think of CNBC). And, indeed, everybody was taken by surprise, not in the best sense of the word.  I found it unfortunate. I took some flak in June, on the other forum,  when I said a couple of times that MS was doing a bad manner to other developpers. Still think so but it is irrelevant now.

If the software houses of this sector have decided not to say a word more publicly they have their reasons. Again easy to understand. If you want to play the insider who knows better than most,  why not but some of us will also tell it how they see it :  the hard fact is that none of these houses have complained about the SDK or anything. Your facts are, until proven otherwise, rumors.


Dominique

Simming since 1981 -  4770k@3.7 GHz with 16 GB of RAM and a 1080 with 8 GB VRAM running a 27" @ 2560*1440 - Warthog HOTAS - MFG pedals - MFS Standard version with Steam

 

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I do understand the developers point of view and that they have a hard time because of the early announcement.

But what about the users point of view?

Imagine MS would release MSFS at short notice. Users probably would say: Why didn't they announce it earlier? I spent a fortune on addons to enhance P3D in the recent months and now I won't use them ever again. An earlier announcement would have saved me a lot of money.

You can't please everybody. I am fine with the early announcement. Everybody can make informed decisions now.

And I still buy addons for P3D, maybe less than I would if there was no MSFS in sight, but if I think it gives me enough value for a year or so, I still buy it.

 

Edited by RALF9636
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Hi,

If I might be permitted to play devil’s advocate while opening this discussion to other possibilities.

Consider this:

A lot appears to be hinging on the non-appearance of an MSFS2020 SDK. Is it possible, or even likely, that we might, in fact, never see such an SDK? What?! I hear you scream, that would be unthinkable! Really? Hasn’t it happened before? 

My understanding is that an NDA does not prohibit the disclosure of participation in a project, but does prohibit the revealing of content and details of any ongoing work. However, this restriction does not usually prevent Developers involved in gaming projects from disclosing their participation in the SDK nor Beta testing of the product.

Could this turn out to be the same deal as was agreed with Dovetail? I cannot claim any accuracy as to what follows but, again, my understanding is that it was said at the time that there would be an SDK but, in the end, it failed to materialise. We know that MS pulled their licence. Why? There is speculation that their intention was to use some of the new Dovetail code in MSFS2020 thereby forcing third party developers to achieve non-official access via the existing ‘old’ FSX SDK which, to a significant degree, may still remain relevant. 

Same as it was with Dovetail: We were tied into their DLC system while 3rd party developers produced and sold products based on the old SDK system. If true, then this would mean that no new features will appear or, if they do, then it won’t be documented or made available to the public. What will be possible will be dependent on what Developers have managed to save from the old SDK as I am told that this was removed from the MS site some time ago.

Then, there is the PMDG conundrum. What could be the explanation for their early close participation in this spectacular ground breaking project? Well, one theory is that they too don’t have early access to an MSFS2020-specific SDK because it is assumed that an SDK does not yet exist. Instead, what might have happened is that they have been commissioned by MS to build an aircraft for MSFS2020. As such, it’s possible they have been granted privileged access to the code base or they delivered their model to MS/ASOBO for integration into the sim. As such, their aircraft would then become a part of the new simulator’s default fleet of aircraft. Consequently it would not be available for sale as a separate product. This would be amazing for us but, if true, then it does beg the question as to how PMDG were persuaded to go down this road. At this moment in time all this, of course, is pure conjecture and guesswork on my part. Still, one can dream!

Mike

Edited by Cruachan
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NDAs include whatever rules they make for the safety of the project. So quite often, NDAs start out with a rule of non disclosure of participation in a project and even the existence of the NDA itself..

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Steve Waite: Engineer at codelegend.com

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There is a simple reason why developers are not talking.

They have been muzzled by Microsoft by being asked to sign an NDA which was the precursor to any level of ‘engagement’ or access to an SDK. Except there has been little to no engagement, nor an SDK. In fact they don’t even have a dedicated third party development manager on the MS team. Even Dovetail had TWO of those guys actively working with developers!

There is no need for conspiracy theories because those are the facts. And now, nearly six months after E3, developers are getting annoyed with MS and are beginning to talk between each other. It’s a small community and now it has become clear that MS are pretty disorganised internally and don’t really have a third party focus at all but instead are just giving lip service via glib media interviews and lots of promises being made in emails and conference calls, none of which are trusted by the developer community now.

Meantime developer income has effectively been destroyed and this problem gets worse with every new set of sexy videos that MS releases, all the while ignoring the developer community and failing even to deliver the promised tech alpha 1 to anyone. Expect to see more announcements from developers in the next weeks as they desperately try to avoid turning off the lights for good.

In a nutshell, all the goodwill that the third party developer community has built over the last 15 years has been destroyed by MS since E3, and there will be very few pieces to pick up by early next year. Alarmist? Nope, this is the reality of the situation and it won’t be long before developers say ‘nda be dammed, we’re speaking out!’

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