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Why scenery developers focus on MSFS instead of P3D?

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8 minutes ago, HiFlyer said:

This happens when one doesn't like the outcome when there's tension between what one wants to be true, and what actually is true.

No, it happens when people come here and try and trash-talk Prepar3d. It's a Prepar3d forum. If anyone really feels the need to post how amazing MSFS supposedly is, there's a perfectly good forum for that.

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Rob

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Current sims: P3D v5, MSFS, X-plane 11, Aerofly FS2 and DCS. 

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4 minutes ago, OzWhitey said:

No, it happens when people come here and try and trash-talk Prepar3d. It's a Prepar3d forum. If anyone really feels the need to post how amazing MSFS supposedly is, there's a perfectly good forum for that.

You would have a point if that was what was happening,

What I see is the OP asking a question, and people answering that question.

Of course, I could be wrong. Could you link to some of the "trash talk" I seem to have missed in this thread?

I myself found Virtualis information very interesting.

Edited by HiFlyer
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24 minutes ago, virtuali said:

Case in point, we just released the mobile GPU vehicle for GSX now ( and FS Labs is working to integrate it with their Airbus ), but we haven't considered it a wasted effort, since there's nothing in it that would prevent to work in any simulator.

So I understand that form now on everything you develop will be MSFS oriented or else it will be a wasted effort, is it correct? At least GSX allows that but I guess updates/enhancement for other P3D airports are not to be expected.

 

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43 minutes ago, Fludo said:

Umberto I think your comparison is not fair as the price for KORD V2 when released was 40€ on Simmarket (I think it was 41€), the price for the released version in MSFS is half that

That's price on Simmarket, which includes VAT that in some countries can be quite high, and a possibly a not very favorable exchange rate. The highest we ever sold KORD for P3D on our site, was 34$ so yes, the MSFS version IS cheaper, but it also lacks many features:

- No docking systems

- No double jetways

- No active info panels

- No working monitors showing AI departures/arrivals

- No DirectX rendering, so no jetway numbers, no custom jetway logos.

So, the lower price reflect the fact the scenery is less featured. If we released *that* version for P3D, at a lower price, we would have been shamed for becoming like insert the new of your favorite low-cost airport developer here

And, the lower price is because we must also align to the prices of other large airports on the MS Marketplace, since most developers assumed the MS Marketplace would bring lots of new users because the increased exposure to add-ons to a whole new generation of possible customers, and this demanded lower prices, even at a cost of losing some high-end features ( we know DirectX rendering will likely never be allowed on MSFS, for example ). 

There's no "LM Marketplace" to speak of so, not many chances for us to lower prices there, surely not for a brand new product.

Edited by virtuali
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34 minutes ago, virtuali said:

No, they dropped because users stopped buying products ( especially airport sceneries, GSX sales for us has always been good ) for P3D the DAY Microsoft announced the new sim.

Remember, there are also confounding factors.

I've bought a lot of FSDT products in the past. I won't buy any more as long as it's necessary to run the addon manager in the sim. It bloats P3Dv5, and I - like many others - think it leads to crashes in v5, notwithstanding that you don't think that is a thing.

No other airport dev makes me run a program with my sim - not Orbx, not Flightbeam, not Justsim etc etc. If they all did, my sim install would be a mess with 20 different addon managers running in the background.

Get rid of the FSDT addon manager, and I promise I'll buy your next P3D airport!

Aerosoft was also mentioned by someone else as further "proof" that the P3D addon market is dead. That company has been lukewarm at best on their support of P3D for a long time now. Of my 80+ total purchases in the past year, 0 were FSDT and 1 was Aerosoft (the CRJ upgrade, which wasn't really worth the low price I paid for it).

I'd be a lot more interested in the sales figures from those who are still supporting P3Dv5, boots and all - PMDG, Leonardo, FSL, MK Studios, Orbx etc etc, I'm sure sales have dropped a bit, but I think you'll find some addon manufacturers are doing better than others.

  

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Rob

Sim rig: Intel Core i9 9900K @ 5GHz, Asus ROG Maximus XI Code, MSI 2080 Ti, GSkill DDR4 32 GB, NZXT Kraken. 

Current sims: P3D v5, MSFS, X-plane 11, Aerofly FS2 and DCS. 

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"There are three simple rules for making a smooth landing. Unfortunately, no one knows what they are."

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1 hour ago, Fludo said:

At least GSX allows that but I guess updates/enhancement for other P3D airports are not to be expected.

We were already considering stopping doing airport development to focus on GSX, even before MSFS came out.

Sad hard fact is, utilities that you can use everywhere and enhance the sim, will sell an order of magnitude better than airports that, as attractive they might be, they won't interest everybody. Just look at the overall best sellers of all time on Simmarket: they are almost all utilities that can be used everywhere ( ActiveSky, FSUIPC, Rex, GSX, Fsbuild, MyTraffic, these are all in the TOP 10 ) and enhance some part of the core simulator.

My accountant would probably suggest that, and every economy manual would suggest that, but it didn't feel right to put all our eggs in our basket and be a one trick pony and we also don't want to suffer from a "burnout" of doing only a single product, for the rest of our lives until we'll retire ( well, one developer did that, since FSUIPC passed from father to son...), so we wanted to give airports another chance, but if it wasn't for MSFS, I'm not sure if doing big airports was still worth, at least not if you need to run a company with them, rather than being a side job.

Edited by virtuali
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54 minutes ago, OzWhitey said:

Remember, there are also confounding factors.

I've bought a lot of FSDT products in the past. I won't buy any more as long as it's necessary to run the addon manager in the sim. It bloats P3Dv5, and I - like many others - think it leads to crashes in v5, notwithstanding that you don't think that is a thing.

This is really sad to hear because, in order to prevent users to wrongly accusing the Addon Manager to "cause crashes to P3D V5", we removed all the possibly dangerous features from the V5 version of the Addon Manager, mainly DirectX rendering.

That's the only thing that is really complex, and potentially dangerous and that thing is just NOT THERE in the V5 version of the Addon Manager, to make it sure, we even made a *separate* .DLL ( bglmanx65.dll ), which is not even linked with the DirectX SDK, and it's a purely native P3D V5 addon, and the reason why we are not working on porting to DX12, is PRECISELY because users like you won't mistakenly assume we are possibly crashing the sim.

And BTW, have you ever hear a SINGLE report of a "bglmanx65.dll" crash ? Just one. Not that you ever hear crashes of "bglman64.dll", that is the 4.5 version of the Addon Manager. You surely heard many reports of bglmanx.dll crashes, that's the FSX version. But the FSX version was completely different: it HAD to do in-memory hacks to do things that in P3D we can access in a fully safe and documented way.

In-memory hacks ( which everybody uses, at least everybody that has a module that works only with a specific version of the sim, and needs updates when a new hotfix comes out ) can be dangerous, especially if two modules try to write in the same location at the same time. But we don't have ANY of that in the V4 or V5 version of the Addon Manager. They are both only using 100% fully documented practices, and zero hacks.

So no, while I might even accept the Addon Manager CAN possibly crash P3D 4.5 ( it doesn't, but it could. but if it did, then why everybody says 4.5 was stable, considering how many used GSX. Do YOU use GSX ? ) , I simply cannot accept any insinuation the Addon Manager can possibly crash P3D V5, because we consciously dropped one of our exclusive features ( DX rendering ) precisely to STOP people thinking that, because the sim is already less stable that 4.5, without any of our help...

And if you are instead referring to VCRUNTIME140.DLL error caused when opening the ATC menu many times, which many identify as the "GSX menu", the problem doesn't obviously have ANYTHING to do with the Addon Manager because:

- the error can happen with each and every add-on that opens a standard Simconnect menu. SODE, GSX, ActiveSky and so many others, they all use that menu.

- the error happens even with no add-on installed, even by opening the default ATC menu

- the real reason of the crash is a problem with Scaleform, which is the middleware engine made by Adobe which P3D uses to create menus. Scaleform derived by Flash, it was then sold to Autodesk and because of Flash demise, is no longer maintained, so at any time a new Windows update, or a new VC++ runtime used by P3D can cause problems to is. LM is obviously aware of this, and I think they are looking for a replacement, so hopefully people will stop assuming that "opening the GSX menu crashed the sim, it *must* be the Addon Manager, or Couatl".

 

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No other airport dev makes me run a program with my sim - not Orbx, not Flightbeam, not Justsim etc etc.

Because no other airport has:

- DirectX rendering in the airport, which allows number on jetway, jetway logos, working active panels, working trafficboard. Some of these things are plain impossible without a software module, some are just slower.

- A flexible custom collision system that allows a very precise LOD to optimized things like DL, which doesn't kill fps in *our* airports like it does in others.

- A custom ground vehicle animation system that allows us to control the type, number and path of ground vehicles, without the limitation of the default AFCAD system.

- A flexible animation system that allow us to have lots of people walking around in terminals, without bloating your sim with extra things that slows down startup, because we used the GSX passenger system to create many walking characters or airport workers everywhere, integrating with the above custom collision system to optimize their loading and not load them when not needed

- A custom animation system that use the native PDK interface in P3D to play animations in a very efficient way, instead of "bloating" the 3d models with big and slow XML code that has to be interpreted every frame ( that what other airports use, since they don't have a fast c++ module )

 

 

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If they all did, my sim install would be a mess with 20 different addon managers running in the background.

When you install an airplane, if it's not the simplest of the simpletons, you install lots of modules that gets loaded in the sim. How can be sure NONE of them is flawless, considering *all* of them, as .DLL modules, have the same chance to crash the sim, so your only choice is to trust the developer ?

Why you are not concerned every complex airliner comes with its own software module that loads with the sim even when you are NOT using that airplane ? I'm sure they will all tell you "my module doesn't do anything when the airplane is not loaded", and that's PRECISELY how the Addon Manager works. If you are not over an FSDT scenery, or you are not using GSX, the Addon Manager is fundamentally inert, and is only checking, very lazily ( once every 4 seconds ) your position, to check if you are eventually close to an airport.

Do you even know there are modules ( I won't make any names, because they are very popular ) that check *hundreds* of data variables at EACH FRAME ? Do you have the slightest idea how much strain the put on the simulator ? How much traffic they create over Simconnect, up to a point that GSX vehicle start to stutter, because the sim has no time left to talk to us ? And yet people think GSX was the *cause* of the stuttering, when it was in fact the victim ?

Edited by virtuali
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Wading through the replies from Umberto and having read what Mathijs posted earlier in the week, we have two big name dev's no longer working on P3D scenery. As much as I may not like it, the writing is on the wall for airport scenery development for P3D. 

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Eric 

 

 

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23 minutes ago, virtuali said:

This is really sad to hear because, in order to prevent users to wrongly accusing the Addon Manager to "cause crashes to P3D V5", we removed all the possibly dangerous features from the V5 version of the Addon Manager, mainly DirectX rendering.

I accept that there are some complexities here, but I only have a few complex addon aircraft installed (3 right now), but I need a lot or airports to fly them to. So I don't mind too much if PMDG or Leonardo have something running in the background, but I do mind if an airport does.

At the end of the day, it's not so much about proving whether addon manager causes crashes or not, it's more a question of whether the fact that it's necessary hurts sales. I've read quite a few comments around the web that are negative towards the FSDT addon manager. If I was you, I'd survey your customers and see if removing that dependency would increase sales. I think there was more engagement from end-users with Flightbeam once they moved away from addon manager. Just something to consider as another possible factor impacting P3D sales. The larger issue is probably the the target market is fairly saturated now - I've already bought most of the FSDT catalogue in the past. You're not coming out with a lot of new products, so the sales for P3D will suffer over time. Orbx likely has better sales as they release enough products that market saturation never really occurs. 


Rob

Sim rig: Intel Core i9 9900K @ 5GHz, Asus ROG Maximus XI Code, MSI 2080 Ti, GSkill DDR4 32 GB, NZXT Kraken. 

Current sims: P3D v5, MSFS, X-plane 11, Aerofly FS2 and DCS. 

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"There are three simple rules for making a smooth landing. Unfortunately, no one knows what they are."

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OK, let's get back to the topic, which is not the Virtuali Addon Manager.

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20 minutes ago, B777ER said:

Wading through the replies from Umberto and having read what Mathijs posted earlier in the week, we have two big name dev's no longer working on P3D scenery. As much as I may not like it, the writing is on the wall for airport scenery development for P3D. 

As I said, don't extrapolate too much from such a limited data set. Aerosoft never bonded with P3D, and failed to develop compelling products for it. The released overpriced, slightly modified versions of their old airports for the new sim and called them "professional" versions. With this approach, they likely didn't sell many copies. If you don't release a compelling product at a decent price, you're not going to succeed and I've heard very little buzz around this forum regarding new Aerosoft airports for a good few years now.

Aerosoft seemed to be trying to pivot towards X-plane. Now they're moving towards MSFS. We'll see how that works out - maybe they'll sell a little, maybe they'll sell a lot.

Finally, it's fairly obvious that Aerosoft have a massive conflict of interest here as they're the distributor for MSFS CDs, so it's not surprising that they're talking up the new sim.

Are Orbx, JustSim, MK Studios, FSDG etc stopping P3D development? Not as far as I've heard. Maybe some will, but there's literally dozens of devs out there and MSFS has enough limitations that P3D is a long, long way from dead.


Rob

Sim rig: Intel Core i9 9900K @ 5GHz, Asus ROG Maximus XI Code, MSI 2080 Ti, GSkill DDR4 32 GB, NZXT Kraken. 

Current sims: P3D v5, MSFS, X-plane 11, Aerofly FS2 and DCS. 

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"There are three simple rules for making a smooth landing. Unfortunately, no one knows what they are."

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2 hours ago, Fludo said:

Umberto I think your comparison is not fair

I think it's not 100 % fair because there are a number of alternatives for P3D: Your own, old version, a different payware version by another developer, and probably more than one freeware version.

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Best regards, Dimitrios

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21 minutes ago, OzWhitey said:

At the end of the day, it's not so much about proving whether addon manager causes crashes or not, it's more a question of whether the fact that it's necessary hurts sales. I've read quite a few comments around the web that are negative towards the FSDT addon manager

You would have had a point, if GSX sales slowed down like airports sales did.

Well, they didn't ( to a point, there aren't so many users left to sell GSX to ) and, in fact, when P3D V5 just came out, we noticed a SURGE in GSX sales. GSX is of course entirely dependent from the Addon Manger and more importantly Couatl, and you can "read on the web" far worse wrong things about Couatl than the Addon Manager.

So no, your theory the *airport* sales were slowed down by the usage of the Addon Manager, doesn't hold any merit. And by what kind of coincidence users decided to hate the Addon Manager JUST after MSFS was announced ? We used the Addon Manager since the FS9 era, why sales started to go down only in mid 2019 ? I'll be be extra precise: sales took a first hit in June 2019, after the E3, and took another and more significant hit after MSFS went into public Alpha.

And, you really think we developers don't talk to each other ? Do you really think I would openly say our sales slowed down, if I didn't knew, first hand, that other developers sales has slowed down even more and, guess what, it all started after E3 2019 ? 

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31 minutes ago, B777ER said:

Wading through the replies from Umberto and having read what Mathijs posted earlier in the week, we have two big name dev's no longer working on P3D scenery. As much as I may not like it, the writing is on the wall for airport scenery development for P3D. 

Well I don't think it has to be black or white, FSDT focus has been on GSX for the past years with two exceptions so that isn't really a surprise.

On the other hand, Aerosoft has released a new airport this past week for P3D and I was following various preview topics for P3D airports (EBBR and new version of LSZH for example) so I wouldn't say they aren't going to release more products for P3D.

Umberto said that the conversion is "fairly fast" from one sim to the other so I don't see why they couldn't coexist, maybe launch for MSFS first if that's where the crowds are now and then port to P3D.

I don't see the urge to kill the platform that has given as so many years of great flight simming.

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4 minutes ago, d.tsakiris said:

I think it's not 100 % fair because there are a number of alternatives for P3D: Your own, old version, a different payware version by another developer, and probably more than one freeware version.

One of our best selling sceneries was JFK V2 which had competition from our old version and a different payware version by another developer. Another best selling airport was Zurich, which also had TWO different payware alternatives. So no, that's not the case and, again, explain why this happened only in mid 2019. No, the sky wasn't falling, the COVID didn't happen yet. Only one thing happened, and was the MSFS announcement.

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