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Impressions from a long time MSFS(Aces) developer

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" FSX was widy open whereas FS20 is massively closed "  , Its anything but closed , if one wants to anything can be loaded into sim and tweaking the systems of all aircraft is also possible , why I say its too open is that the operational code is accessible , a daisy chain of interdependent xml files are easy to break , I read that there are plenty of " Zebo Style Mods " , that's something that can break every animation in all aircraft, Trust my words there , I managed to kill every single planes animations with a space in the wrong place , was in panic mode for an hour while I traced the error , cant count the number of CTD's I managed to create during product development .

Best CJ

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1 hour ago, Wobbie said:

I agree, some hot air, MSFS has not been designed as a training device., as P3D has been.

MSFS has been designed to fit the games catalogue game pass, almost half the default controls are for Camera controls and drone camera ideal for a game controller, but no replay and other slandered controls of FSX.   

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7 minutes ago, G-RFRY said:

MSFS has been designed to fit the games catalogue game pass, almost half the default controls are for Camera controls and drone camera ideal for a game controller,

Yep true, so much so that I had to order an xbox game controller to continue using it. Even in development mode, it's pretty hard to navigate around the map without one

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I think some people need to reinstall FSX vanilla and see how things were.  Either through time or through add-ons have developed a very distorted look at the past.

The hardware requirements I find are reasonable.  It runs like a pig if you push it hard enough but again FSX was no different.  It is a beleaguered point and I am sure we have (if not will have) highly detailed breakdowns of settings people will do and optimize for the most frames just like they have done in every FS release I have been around for (For me my first big release was FS2000 and talk about a slog)

Documentation I feel should have been ready at launch but all we really need is Keyboard Chart.  Looking through the old FSX manuals I have still the rest of it was nearly useless but the keyboard chart is always handy (Interestingly they made a point of explaining how to use your XBox controller for FSX soooooo)

The menu point has me confused somewhat as when I click the big free fly button I can set the plane the  airport and the weather and while much prettier then FSX I never had to go back to the main screen for loading?  I click the plane it takes me to a screen with my hangar (Just like FSX) and I select a plane.  I click conditions it brings up air traffic, weather etc for me to select about as nuanced as FSX was anyways but I have no admit into custom weather configurations. But each time I click back it doesn't go all the way to the main menu it takes me back to the planner screen and with no loading.  If they mean in flight changes I learned last night I can change conditions on the fly and it doesn't even reload.  But again I am not sure what their point is.  I don't find the main menus at all terribly problematic or dumbed down.  The only annoying thing I have personally is the in flight menu system I am not sure I care for I much prefer the window pop up bar with everything there.  Also as a reminder in FSX when you started changing too many things in flight it reloaded everything as well...and FSX was not known for its speedy game loading.

Again FSX wasn't known for its panel depth.  I found the MSFS line in general to be more focused on getting just enough of the basics of flight down and not much more depth.  I mean X-Plane I think is still far and away better at this even in default crafts.  But MSFS20 is where I kinda feel things should be.  Easy enough for the basics and it actually has some depth for most people to enjoy delving deeper (We have an FMC on airliners that is more then decoration) of course its not study sim level.  And I would much prefer it if the built in Garmin systems were modeled in detail like X-Plane so developers can drag and drop it into their craft and have a consistent experience across the board.  Maybe we will get there.

As for training tool....this is disingenuous at best.  This is as marketed as much as a training tool as any of the MSFS have ever been.  X-Plane sure they have always mentioned that since I started looking after FSX's swan dive.  And I will go back to X-Plane for those add-ons I have and enjoy thoroughly.  But MSFS20 is much preferred over anything I have done to my FSX install at this point.  And I don't recall FSX having a whole slew of add-ons out of the gate at launch either I remember waiting months for patches that never came or re-releases etc.  And like FSX and FS2004 and FS2002 and FS2000 and etc adds-ons will come and make the experience exactly what that user wants out of their sim.

But to sum up the article saying it is a step backwards I think is silly.  It is a step forward in everyway over FSX which is ok (FSX was great at its time that's why we all used it)

 

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4 hours ago, tonywob said:

I have both of his books which I bought back in the day, and they made for good reads and also to follow along. I agree on some points, but I don't see how this was any different when FSX came out which lacked even more than MFS. I remember from his book that it has some VFR flights that were incredibly difficult to do on FSX

Exactly. Many things he's complaining about they didn't really do much better (even counting in the different times). They also were catering to casuals mainly with visuals. Their big advantage at that time was more that XP was nowhere competitive in terms of visuals (airports) or quality addons.

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2 hours ago, Slides said:

Considering where the aviation industry is headed for the foreseeable future, pretty soon the only thing RW pilots will be flying is in the sim. They'll need to adapt to the new reality.

I discussed this with a client the other day. I suspect that we will see a rebound in the industry as air travel once again resumes in 18 months. IMHO I see the tourism industry as needing to recover in order to make this happen. Once this happens the reality of a shortage of pilots will once again become evident.

You just don't make Airline Transport Pilots overnight, despite the many misconceptions in media about that. It takes an intense 12 to 18 months to complete flight training at a cost of nearly $90,000 USD at your typical become an airline pilot school. Since the U.S. the FAA credits Aviation degrees toward a R-ATP you might as well get your Bachelor and reduce the hour requirement. That puts the initial training at four years at most aviation universities. Now you pop out the other end as a Commercial Pilot without a multi-engine rating. Most hour building programs are CFIs scraping together hours while eating Ramen noodles.  To earn the 750 hours as a CFI you are looking at nearly 6 to 8 more years of slugging it while trying to rub two nickels together to take add-on a multi-engine rating. So great now you have the hours, well not so fast as there is yet another hurdle called the ATP-CTP. This $5,000 course must be complete prior to taking your ATP written. 

Simulators, well most schools do have a BATD and that will count a massive 10 hours off your certificates. Maybe you go to a big school that has an AATD, well that gives you  double of 20 hours. That is not a lot of bang for the buck. But hey, you can retain your instrument currency indefinitely in a BATD so that is a plus. But, the Biannual Flight Review has to be flown in an airplane so no relief there unless you take a full up recurrent course at an approved Part 142 center where it can be done in a FTD or FFS. That is about a $15,000 USD course for most light jets and turboprops. 

Making a pilot with a video game? Not going to happen for the foreseeable future. I suspect the FAA would certify Skynet to fly airplanes before it credits a video game for flight training again. The days of the PCATD are long over. 

Now all of that being said, there is the creditable and loggable versus what I call the CBT (Computer Based Training.) There are lots of programs written to train pilots or help them maintain proficiency. Garmin has long given out their training emulators for free or at a very low cost. The last time I checked you can buy a G1000 emulator for $25 USD. You can also supplement your BATD or AATD time with proficiency in unqualified 'sims.' Thus for the low cost you can fly as many approach, holds, and intercepts as your heart desires. In fact I took an online course with WINGS credit that basically talked about using home simulators. I was interested what the FAASTEAM considered endorsable use of these low end devices. So yes MSFS may provide a CBT level of non-loggable training. But, it needs to be fixed. The number of bugs is just mind numbing at this point. 

 

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Ken

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FSX didn't utilise dual core processors until the first service pack. It was crippled from day one and ran primarily on a single core ever since.

There was a phenomenal amount of third party work spanning years bringing it to an unrivalled level of functionality, but that single core legacy design stunted it.

MFS balances itself across 12 cores on my setup beautifully. Asobo did the job right.

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2 hours ago, ErichB said:

No-one ever used default FSX  aircraft or navdata as a 'real-world' training aid until the emergence of third party data.  No real world or virtual pilot ever had 'long lived enjoyment and challenges navigating and flying instrument approaches' in default FSX .   Apples and Oranges.    This comment isn't valid, although I agree some of his other commentaries have some merit.

Agreed, but at least the FSX database showed airspaces in the Garmin, that's my point.

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I laugh when the xbox controller is brought up as a knock or claim the new sim's main focus is the console version. I think both platforms were considered in the GUI. This image is from my FSX quick reference , surprise! an xbox controller.  Like the new sim and it has a lot of potential and  also recognize it has shortcomings. I hope ASOBO is listening to get it up to snuff. I would like a deeper menu system, (yes ala FSX) among other things raised in the threads myself. 

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Posted (edited)

Hmmmm. The sour grapes are strong in this one...

To be brutally honest, that entire blog post could be replaced with him shaking his fist and saying: 'These d@mn new-fangled youngsters! It wasn't like that in my day!' whilst he looks off into the distance through a pair of rose-tinted spectacles. His opinion is for the most part, an absolute load of cobblers, which conveniently glosses over loads of problems with preceding iterations of flight sims, many of which it would seem he was partly responsible for.

'FS2020 requires a state-of-the-art computer to run satisfactorily'. Really?

This couldn't be further from the truth if it tried. Sure you might need a pretty fancy computer to run it at the highest resolution with every option turned up to 11, but you can run the thing okay if you drop some of these settings down a little on a computer which is literally years older than being 'state of the art'. Moreover, you can actually run it at full throttle if you have contemporary hardware, whereas with the preceding two or three iterations of FS - which he worked on let's not forget - it was never possible to do that with contemporary hardware, nor even on hardware available a few years after release.

'The developers and Microsoft (so far) have provided no documentation–not even a summary of basic keyboard and joystick controls' Again, really?

There is a sophisticated built-in search function, with filters, which takes about a second to figure out. This will enable you to find and adjust any control function you like. This may not be printed documentation, but it is clearly documented and easy to find. Beyond this, there is a keyboard map available to anyone who wants one, if you buy the boxed version, so again I'm afraid the guy is just plain wrong on this point too.

'you must navigate full-screen “menus,” and, so far at least, I can find no way to change just one or two initial conditions...waiting through a long reloading sequence' Yeah, right.

This one is just complete b******t. The globe-based flight planner is an elegant and sophisticated evolution of what has gone in previous versions of flight sims and in fact its globe-based GUI is very akin to modern flight real-world planning apps. It's simple and very intuitive, yet quite powerful in terms of functions. In flight on the fly you can change time of day and weather conditions instantly, with no wait for a load at all.

'The cockpits, provide only basic control of radios and navigation systems. For example, the G1000 in some panels is really just an electronic depiction of a primary flight display and a moving map. You can’t build a flight plan, load instrument procedures, or otherwise use it like its real-world counterpart.' Seriously?

The guy expects a default aeroplane, in a sim which costs as little as ONE QUID to get hold of, to have a fully functional simulation of a G1000 when he knows that for all other flight simulators out there out of the box, need a 50 quid TPD add-on to gain this function? What else does he want the developers to do for free? Come round to his house and decorate it for him?

'FS2020 is a big step backward as a training aid for real-world pilots'. Hmmm, you think so?

Try telling that to all the people who can now practice accurate VFR training exercises on a flight sim which runs at decent frame rates whilst actually looking like the real world, without having to spend any money at all on any add-ons, or do any additional tweaking or installation.

Does the new sim have issues which need sorting out? Yes it does, but none of the above have anything to do with that.

 

 

Edited by Chock
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Alan Bradbury

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7 minutes ago, Chock said:

Try telling that to all the people who can now practice accurate VFR training exercises on a flight sim which runs at a decent frame rates whilst actually looking like the real world, without having to spend any money at all on any add-ons, or do any additional tweaking or installation.

brilliantly put. This sim is a goldmine for VFR excercises. And hopefully in a not-so-distant future complex airliners/props will strike gold as well.

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Posted (edited)
Quote

The developers and Microsoft (so far) have provided no documentation

This is to me the point where he could be right the most.

While I personally had no major issues to find out what I was looking for, I also realized that I was missing a lot of things/features/options until not randomly reading about them here or looking youtubers.

And to my knowledge they never mentioned proper documentation to be in their "back log"...

Edited by Marco Manieri
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Marco Manieri

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All I'm going to say is that every parent thinks their baby is the cutest ever.

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Chris

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1 hour ago, KenG said:

You just don't make Airline Transport Pilots overnight, despite the many misconceptions in media about that. It takes an intense 12 to 18 months to complete flight training at a cost of nearly $90,000 USD at your typical become an airline pilot school......

Ah, the refreshing voice of experience! Excellent post.

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Chris

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1 hour ago, KenG said:

Making a pilot with a video game? Not going to happen for the foreseeable future. I suspect the FAA would certify Skynet to fly airplanes before it credits a video game for flight training again. The days of the PCATD are long over.

Completely agree.  I always cringe when people even suggest that it could.      But I do think it has merits when it comes to an overall understanding of aerodynamic principles and concepts - even beyond PPL training.  I think the remark you quoted was flippant.

Always enjoy reading your posts.

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