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The Learning Curve is Steep

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My sense is Asobo is going through a steep learning curve (perhaps somewhat to their surprise). My understanding is they are very talented computer game developers. But it seems to me a big difference between the typical computer game (and admittedly I don't play computer games) and a flight simulator like MSFS, is the performance of the "players" (aircraft) in MSFS are being measured against their real world counterparts, while the super hero in a typical computer game is not.

This comparison to the real world puts great demands on both the developers and testers. Ideally not only must the programmers be talented, but they really need to be at least somewhat familiar with the real world elements their creations will be measured against. And those charged with testing the code before it is released should have experience with the aircraft and systems being simulated. I would expect if you have never flown a Baron 58 with a G1000, or something similar, it is very hard to identify discrepancies with respect to the real world. I would guess the emphasis in testing the typical super hero computer game is different.

Expectations for MSFS were artificially high due to the impressive videos and PR campaign.  As I've mentioned elsewhere, as a result we saw numerous posts along the lines of " finally a sim I don't have to tweak, finally a load and go sim, finally a sim that doesn't need addons, etc". So now given the reality of the situation, it is not hard to understand the level of disappointed many are expressing.

Given the apparent enthusiasm and dedication of the Asobo team, I expect they will increase their level of aviation experience and improve in the testing area through the use of either in-house or external expertise, and so generally get things figured out. 

But it will take some time. I look forward to the results.

My two cents.

Al

Edited by ark
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Honestly, I myself look at a lot of the current complaining as a type of noise.

Its the same noise we hear with every new sim, all the way back to FSX, at least, and past history would seem to indicate that it will probably never really subside completely. Even a quick look at the P3D forum right this instant shows thread after thread of people with issues, and the X-Plane sub forum is pretty much of the same.

And that's been day after day, month after month...

For years.

For sims that in various incarnations have been with us for decades, under the ministrations of companies dedicated for their entire existences to the enterprise of improving and advancing the state of the art.

Was there ever a realistic possibility that Asobo would not run into similar issues with an audience so demanding in a genre this potentially technical?

I'm actually still stunned at how much that we were told was impossible at an acceptable framerate even with modern hardware, has been done by this little gaming company, in many ways blowing decades of complacency about what we thought could be achieved right out of the water, and at least visually, leaving many of our old stalwarts scrambling to adjust.

But Asobo itself is doing some scrambling as well, especially as its fairly obvious that for some reason (probably the usual) they were compelled to release before they were ready.

As much as I look at these problem filled forums every day and give our various legacy sims the customary slack, I give some of the same to Asobo, especially when its so very clear how hard they are trying, and what we stand to gain if we can help them to succeed.

Just as with our other sims, I'm prepared to wait a bit, because as they say, good things come to those who wait.

 

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To  be honest, I think this has been a bold move, and they entirely delivered. So many technical aspects of the sim are next level, and the art direction, as far as flight simulators go, is excellent. Yes, it's a "bare bones" release in terms of aircraft function and fidelity, however I find these bones pretty meaty with more content than any sim before it, the best weather simulation in the gaming industry, real life traffic (give me liveries), and that list goes on. And it's running great, better than any sim on hardware that was available at release (if you have fast internet). As a platform, I think they absolutely nailed it, pushing flight simulation on a new level for everybody, and that already shows. Look at the freeware, it's been a single month!

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HiFlyer,

Despite the long history of this, I see the "noise" generally, as appeals for help. I can just imagine the frustrations of anybody who pays good money for a programme and subsequently finds that aspects of it do not work properly.  This probably applies more to the experienced simmer than the gamer.  It is very hard to deny that this is history repeating itself perpetually. Also bear in mind, that the generated noise, if not created or heard in the first place, is a good way to NOT fixing the problem/s.

I also think that the Devs are scrambling somewhat, and that is not necessarily due to early release. We can only hope, and I am sure, that they are aware NOW, that they have some problems, that they are working to remedy the problem.  As has been previously mentioned, due to the randomness of this failure, ie some have the problem and others do not, it is entirely possible that the team did not, or do not have the problem.

Well done to all the responders, who are actually making suggestions, whether they work or not, they are at least trying to help their fellow simmers.  Obviously, there is a large proportion of simmers who do not have the ability to nut out these problems, but every suggestion, tried, tested, and proven ineffective, is at least somewhat helpful in eliminating aspects of the problem.

In effect, I am all for the "noise" if, it is done in a constructive way, and I am mindful of the fact, that, it is all too easy to just be negative as a first response to the frustration.

For the affected people, I can only say, "hang in there guys, there ARE people out there trying to help."

Tony

  

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Tony Chilcott.

 

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2 hours ago, ark said:

My sense is Asobo is going through a steep learning curve

I doubt it. Simers are going through a big learning curve, because the old and stale ways of P3D just don't work in this sim. Addon developers are finding out the hard way that they actually have to produce high quality addons if they want to continue to be in business. 

Asobo probably created the greatest revolution in flight sim history since Terminal Reality's Fly!

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54 minutes ago, Ricardo41 said:

Simers are going through a big learning curve, because the old and stale ways of P3D just don't work in this sim

Nonsense. I don't know what old and stale P3D ways you think the average simmer is trying to use. Perhaps you mean expecting the G1000 to work, or expecting the aircraft flight controls to work, or the AP to work as it should, etc. The average simmer is simply trying to operate the aircraft as advertised -- nothing old or stale about that!

Now I agree a very small number of others may be interested in porting in aircraft from P3D, etc, which seems to bother you for some reason, but the large majority of simmers are just trying to get the sim to do what it was advertised to do -- fly planes. Unfortunately, that is where currently many are having problems due to bugs (but they will eventually be fixed).

Please list the old and stale ways you think are inappropriate and that the average simmers are trying to use when it comes to flying/controlling the planes, or navigating, or entering and following a flight plan. Maybe than I will better understand your point of view.

I agree Asobo has made a lot of very impressive advances! That does not negate other issues like releasing updates with almost as many bugs as they were intended to fix. Thus the learning curve.

As I said, I do look forward to the future of this sim.

Al

Edited by ark
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I sometimes have the impression or actually think that Microsoft has chosen Asobo to develop the new Flight Simulator because they had a very good self-made graphics engine. I just think their idea was to just implement FSX to the new Flight Simulator, altough the developers had no experience in flight simulation and real aircrafts. I think this was a wrong move. But Microsoft, having developed so many great technologies, has started to decline when they focused on gaming (XBox) and introduced .Net  that is closely tied to Java 🤮. The end result is what people have with Windows 10. Xbox cannot be uninstalled in Windows and the frequent installation issues of FS in here are closely tied onto the user centric design of Microsoft and .NET -eq garbage.

 

Learning curve is the right word, but the end-result for me is to wait at least 2 or 3 years until the base is right and until there will be some serious GA aircrafts by PMDG. I am actually so much excited about X-Plane 12. So, why I am writing here, I sometimes do observe the development. As new errors are appearing, situation is not the best, or worst.

 

I defenately think the developers of FS are motivated to develop FS until the end, the graphics are very good, but is it really worth it to wait a hypothetical long time for it? For me not, should Microsoft have choosen someome else? Yes. Did Microsoft run a hype with the videos? As the current status of the game is: Yes. Did Microsoft betray some? Actually not, I was stupid to believe that FS will be a good simulation product.

 

The roots of FS should have better been where they are in P3D and XP, I guess.

 

 

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I've seen and heard a lot of enthusiasm in interviews, and Jorg actually worked for Origin Systems back in the day which made a lot of really solid games - some of my favorites. It seems like he has a lot of solid experience and wants to make a good product in partnership with Asobo.  

However there are also some concerning comments.  One interviewer on a podcast asked if they had evaluated the competition and the response was basically "No, X-Plane is really intimidating and I haven't looked at P3D at all." I don't know how you can embark on a project like this for 4 years without evaluating and understanding the competition.....

15 minutes ago, ark said:

Nonsense. I don't know what old and stale P3D ways you think the average simmer is trying to use. Perhaps you mean expecting the G1000 to work, or expecting the aircraft flight controls to work, or the AP to work as it should, etc. The average simmer is simply trying to operate the aircraft as advertised -- nothing old or stale about that!

Agree 100%

 

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IMO, the learning curve applies more to simmers than the programmers.  Concerning the former, for literally three decades we were accustomed to relatively the same menus, layouts, key commands and functionality.  MSFS represents a complete departure from those concepts; thus, it could take hours to complete tasks that would take minutes in the past.  I believe this accounts for some of the 'noise' too.  


Matt King

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I think addon developers are going through a new learning curve, and many are frustrated because this sim doesn’t use the outdated methods of the past. Oh well. 

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15 minutes ago, FlyingInACessna said:

I think addon developers are going through a new learning curve, and many are frustrated because this sim doesn’t use the outdated methods of the past. Oh well. 

I think many developers are frustrated because of the current poor state of the SDK.  Hopefully Asobo is working on the SDK with some sense of urgency because once third party high quality a/c start showing up for MSFS, thinks will calm down quite a bit I think.

Al

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20 minutes ago, kingm56 said:

IMO, the learning curve applies more to simmers than the programmers.  Concerning the former, for literally three decades we were accustomed to relatively the same menus, layouts, key commands and functionality.  MSFS represents a complete departure from those concepts; thus, it could take hours to complete tasks that would take minutes in the past.  I believe this accounts for some of the 'noise' too.  

If there was a basic PDF manual provided with an overview of the features and functions of software it would be very helpful.

For example the control mapping interface is quite complex.  Once you figure it out it's fine, but there are a lot of traps for new users (the fact that you can assign your joystick rudder axis to what are supposed to be button mapping and then get no rudder -> full rudder type behavior by mistake has tripped up quite a few people)


AMD 3950X | 64GB RAM | AMD 5700XT | CH Fighterstick / Pro Throttle / Pro Pedals

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1 minute ago, marsman2020 said:

If there was a basic PDF manual provided with an overview of the features and functions of software it would be very helpful.

For example the control mapping interface is quite complex.  Once you figure it out it's fine, but there are a lot of traps for new users (the fact that you can assign your joystick rudder axis to what are supposed to be button mapping and then get no rudder -> full rudder type behavior by mistake has tripped up quite a few people)

I don't disagree; I love this sim but also went through the frustration of re-learning everything from scratch...


Matt King

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53 minutes ago, marsman2020 said:

However there are also some concerning comments.  One interviewer on a podcast asked if they had evaluated the competition and the response was basically "No, X-Plane is really intimidating and I haven't looked at P3D at all." I don't know how you can embark on a project like this for 4 years without evaluating and understanding the competition.....

This doesn't surprise me. It feels like this is the case, and they should have bought a bunch of the past sims to see what works well and what doesn't work.

That being said, I think there is a learning curve for everyone. I am definitely seeing issues with MSFS, but some of them are due to user error on my part. The UI is very different from what we have seen in the past (FSX, P3D, FS9...), so some of those issues could have been curtailed if they had a better handle on what people have used in the past. Just because it is new, it doesn't mean it is better.

The sim really is beautiful. I just wish they had the SDK ready to go so 3rd party developers can get moving.

Also, expectations are an issue. I expect this to be a replacement for P3D, and while I don't expect it right away, that is my expectation. 1 year from now, I don't expect to be flying any of the default aircraft. I expect to have the relatively seamless connection between weather/charts/nav data/aircraft systems that we have in P3D (and FSX). If they do something that limits our ability to create the world I want (complex airliners, very detailed airports, realistic AI, really good charts, accurate nav data...), I'll consider my money wasted. That's ok. I wasted a lot of money over the years on lackluster addons. This can go right in that pile.

The sim has promise, but for me, that SDK is everything. That's how the sim really comes to life. It is a very pretty shell right now, IMO (which is basically what I expected, a little less buggy perhaps).


P3DV4.5, ASP4, REXSF, REXEF, AIGAIM, ProATCx, GSX, Chaseplane, MSFS Premuim Deluxe Edition  

Windows 10 Pro, I9-9900k @ 5.0; Asus Maximus XI Hero; Asus Strix GTX 1080ti; 32GB G.Skill Ripjaw DDR4 3600; 2X Samsung 1TB 970EVO; NZXT Kraken X63; Seasonic Prime PX-1000, Single 32" 4k Monitor, Saitek Yoke, Saitek TQ's, CH Rudder Pedals, Logitech G13 



 

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