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10 minutes ago, MattNischan said:

I know I'm replying to myself here, but I really, really want to punch this point home.

The market for each individual plane, at the high levels where the Milviz, PMDG, FSLabs, A2A compete at, is relatively fixed. It's much larger than before, given the reach of MSFS, but it's still fixed. Whomever brings a high quality <insert popular plane here> to market first is going to by far have the greatest sales advantage by a long shot. So, if I'm in a commercial FS developer's position development time, ease of maintenance, ability to iterate, ability to bring desired features to market first, that is far and away a much bigger concern than a couple folks who crack the DRM or the small handful of enterprising individuals who happen to figure out how to spy on the code. There are now millions of simmers, and I guarantee than less than fractions of single-digit percentages of them are going to bother to try and steal IP.

It's going to be a much different calculus going forward, one that I think will only bring positives to the community and to the hobby. I know I keep saying this, but the future on this platform is indeed crazy bright.

-Matt

I agree with all that actually. 

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The market for high priced addons is shrinking faster than a pair of tighty whities in the hot dryer cycle. 

CJ4 is now close to study level: free

A320 approaching payware status: free.

Let me see here: I can get close to study level free, or I can pay $150 for a few more buttons, with a generous helping of developer arrogance. Mmmmm. Tough choice!

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4 minutes ago, Ricardo41 said:

The market for high priced addons is shrinking faster than a pair of tighty whities in the hot dryer cycle. 

CJ4 is now close to study level: free

A320 approaching payware status: free.

Let me see here: I can get close to study level free, or I can pay $150 for a few more buttons, with a generous helping of developer arrogance. Mmmmm. Tough choice!

Your "study level" probably isnt the same standard as others. The planes you cited are amazing achieviement, its borderline wizardry what these teams are doing, but it is still far from a true study level (without a proper failure systems and logics, its never gonna be study level anyways). The high price hardcore market is not shrinking. People that wanted that in other sims still want it on this one, but its true that it is a market that will not grow. Compared to the huge user base, it is still gonna remain a niche. (i think, i dont actually fly those) 

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12 minutes ago, MattNischan said:

The market for each individual plane, at the high levels where the Milviz, PMDG, FSLabs, A2A compete at, is relatively fixed. It's much larger than before, given the reach of MSFS, but it's still fixed. Whomever brings a high quality <insert popular plane here> to market first is going to by far have the greatest sales advantage by a long shot. So, if I'm in a commercial FS developer's position development time, ease of maintenance, ability to iterate, ability to bring desired features to market first, that is far and away a much bigger concern than a couple folks who crack the DRM or the small handful of enterprising individuals who happen to figure out how to spy on the code. There are now millions of simmers, and I guarantee than less than fractions of single-digit percentages of them are going to bother to try and steal IP.

I remember working for a smaller record label in early 2000s when piracy was the boogey man that was going to ruin everything.  The labels who steered into the skid, avoided DRM and made their music the most accessible, were the most successful.  No one ever went out of business because of piracy.  No one.  Wasting money on the opportunist who sold you DRM options out of fear and limiting consumer options was what destroyed profits more than anything.

PMDG and FSLabs have operated small monopolies for the past 7-10 years.  They have convinced the enthusiasts that a study level plane is the work of gods, and mere mortals don't stand a chance.  When they say the SDK isn't ready, we accept, no questions asked.  It's refreshing that WT and FBW are coming out and saying, no, that's not exactly true.  I hope all developers find away and we see new exciting developers challenge the status quo.  That seems be happening on some level.

Also, it's funny that the initial belief was MSFS will quickly kill off Orbx.  Yet, they seem to be stronger than ever. 

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41 minutes ago, MattNischan said:

And so, the current giants of this hobby (a deserved title, I may add, they truly have made this hobby great) may find themselves at a competitive disadvantage that they weren't prepared for, and I'd hate to see that. The older business model of competing on what state secrets a company can keep about how they twist the sim into a sufficient enough pretzel is not going to last forever, unfortunately. Both sides of the SDK are going to slowly become extremely well documented, and so the current battlefield of a lack of information is really going to give way to a time where everyone knows all the techniques, and the only thing to compete on will be time to market, accuracy, and quality.

Well said.  I'm struck by the poignant phrase Captain Jack Sparrow makes in regards to what a man can do, and what a man can't do.  Applies here in my opinion, as this boils down to what a dev can do, or what a dev can't do.  All the chatter going back and forth about the SDK and coding methodology is ultimately a moot point as far as the consumer is concerned. 

We've clearly seen what Devs CAN do...witness to your groups accomplishments among others. 😉 

If you're a dev, and if you can do it, and be 1st on the market with a product that is high fidelity and a quality item, you will prosper greatly!   

If I were a legacy dev with this opportunity to dominate the market, I'd not dwell on what I can't do because of the number of reasons being bandied around, and focus all my resources on what I can do, even if it involves abandoning old code that may never work in the new sim, no matter how much you use your clout to try and bend the app to your will. If you can't be 1st because of that (re-coding to the new method), if you have a quality product, and a good rep, then you'll still do good if you're not 1st. 🙂

 

 

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Steve Dra

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1 hour ago, TravelRunner404 said:

Also, it's funny that the initial belief was MSFS will quickly kill off Orbx.  Yet, they seem to be stronger than ever. 

Well, to be fair, Orbx changed a lot since MSFS was announced. Back then they were putting a lot of money on their True Earth series. 
 

They are thriving because they were humble to change their course. If you take a closer look they are now investing basically on airports and working as publisher for a lot of add-ons.

Edited by ca_metal
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2 hours ago, TravelRunner404 said:

Why in the world did the guy say at 21:32 that MSFS is 'single threaded' and '32-bit'.  Neither of those two statements seem true.  Then he ranted that it 'flies like it's on rails'.  What?

Yeah that was the issue, the amount of misinformation in that video at some point was astonishing, the single thread claim (although I am sure they meant WASM but they didn't say that which left others who have no idea about WASM to be surprised), the on rails thing or the jaw dropping 32-bit claim. I felt the video was just meant to be ranting and the unprofessional way of representing the facts as if we are stupid. And now they are in this thread for a damage control.

Look as others mentioned, I know MSFS has made many of the established 3PD developers to be in the state of shock with the amount of learning of new things that sim brings with. Even Robert from PMDG admits in the CRJ thread that they are still trying to learn how to do things in MSFS as it is completely new for them.

Just imagine, someone has been coding C++ using simconnect and draw the gauges using GDI+ for 15 years. Suddenly you throw at them Javascript/HTML/CSS and perhaps they have never touched javascript or very minimal work back to creepy days of javascript. Of course they would freak out, hell I would as well freak out. I think that is why Asobo proposed WASM to support legacy add-ons in order to help them with the transition. But I am pretty sure, in two or three years time, Asobo may drop the WASM support and focus entirely on maintaining the Javascript engine which makes sense to reduce the complexity.

Anyway, it is what it is. It is normal with our software industry, new things will show up everyday and you have to keep yourself in state of learning and adopting.

 

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2 hours ago, MattNischan said:

One month ago our VNAV was just an idea. Two days ago we didn't have a TOD map marker or any of the TOD PFD indications, flashing, and messages. I completely changed the map drawing system in 45 minutes. The new course needle animation was 25 minutes. Smoothly translate an element from one position to the next? OK, one line of CSS.

Hi,

Stunning work you've done so far! And by you words all these mods/additions you did sound as rather simple tasks. But trust me, developing a  professional Proline21 system is WAY more complex than that. You still have TONS of work pending, if you really want to reach that level. And I'm not saying you can't do that with current MSFS tools, I'm pretty sure you could if you wish. But again, it will take much more than the time you've invested until today.

Now, when you have all that code working and based on a fast/reliable/powerful platform as C++ is, having to start from scratch with new tools is not something that will make you feel comfortable, so to speak. Then, and following your example,  why to invest a month rebuilding VNAV if you have it already working? And I could continue with the rest of aircraft systems. 

As a matter of fact, MSFS has taken the original FSX structure for almost all sections of an aircraft project. You still have panel.cfg, and lookup tables for the FDE (though outside an .air file), Simconnect, etc. Even gauges header file maintains much of FSX functionality. Then, if FSX (and P3D 32/64) brought full support for C++ dlls, lack of it in MSFS is a clear drawback, IMO. I may understand the reasons Asobo has to do what he did in terms of supporting XBOX platform, but truth is, most of biggest developers' aircraft rely on systems coded in C++ modules, and so it is very reasonable for they to complain as they are doing. Should they turn around and face the change? Probably, and even more, surely at one point. But the right to express their disconformity still applies.

 

Tomas

 

 

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2 hours ago, leprechaunlive said:

Your "study level" probably isnt the same standard as others. The planes you cited are amazing achieviement, its borderline wizardry what these teams are doing, but it is still far from a true study level (without a proper failure systems and logics, its never gonna be study level anyways). The high price hardcore market is not shrinking. People that wanted that in other sims still want it on this one, but its true that it is a market that will not grow. Compared to the huge user base, it is still gonna remain a niche. (i think, i dont actually fly those) 

What makes you think that failure modeling isn't on the road map of these or other developers?

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13 minutes ago, taguilo said:

Stunning work you've done so far! And by you words all these mods/additions you did sound as rather simple tasks. But trust me, developing a  professional Proline21 system is WAY more complex than that. You still have TONS of work pending, if you really want to reach that level. And I'm not saying you can't do that with current MSFS tools, I'm pretty sure you could if you wish. But again, it will take much more than the time you've invested until today.

Statements like throwing arrows at the work of the groups who are working to make MSFS actually an enjoyable experience, make me want to never buy any paid add-ons for MSFS.

It's almost like the big 3DP developers would have rather just limped along with a few 10,000s of P3D users, vs having access to 1.2 million potential customers.  You mean P3D was never intended for entertainment, and Microsoft decided to re-enter the market with something new?  The shock!  The horror! It's all terrible, I can't re-sell the same warmed-over stuff that I've been selling to everyone for 10 years now!  All of the DRM libraries that allow x number of activations are broken with the new WASM, how am I supposed to protect my IP!  Wah, wah, wah.  Cry me a river people.

Edited by marsman2020
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AMD 3950X | 64GB RAM | AMD 5700XT | CH Fighterstick / Pro Throttle / Pro Pedals

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20 minutes ago, Ricardo41 said:

What makes you think that failure modeling isn't on the road map of these or other developers?

On the road map, exactly. And what makes you think study level aircraft are gonna be 150$?

 

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33 minutes ago, taguilo said:

Now, when you have all that code working and based on a fast/reliable/powerful platform as C++ is, having to start from scratch with new tools is not something that will make you feel comfortable, so to speak. Then, and following your example,  why to invest a month rebuilding VNAV if you have it already working? And I could continue with the rest of aircraft systems. 

Well that is why they have WASM support, isn't? To reduce the investment, at least at the beginning. But unfortunately the reality is that nothing will come for free. You could take the path of migrating the legacy modules into WASM and with small mix of javascript to serve the gauges. At least you can save yourself with the cash flow, once you have the cash flow and your customers happy on MSFS with your hybrid approach. Once you have the cash flow, you can start investing of moving everything into native Javascript MSFS friendly.

 


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9 minutes ago, taguilo said:

Stunning work you've done so far! And by you words all these mods/additions you did sound as rather simple tasks.

Please don't confuse dev velocity with simplicity. The new flight plan system and supporting code alone is around 4K lines of code, before you get to AP state management, VNAV, RNAV, etc. The FMC is almost a totally new unit from the ground up, etc. My only point was that with the new tools some hard stuff becomes much more easy, so that you get to focus on the things that truly are hard: faithfully replicating the logic of the real units. I'm not claiming we have every feature implemented that exists on a real ProLine 21, but I don't want to engender the misinformation that what we've done are just little tweaks to enable previously hidden or mostly complete functionality. This last release involved basically no existing code at all.

Our intent is to get to the level you describe, and I think we're a good part of the way there now. Lots more work left, to be sure.

20 minutes ago, taguilo said:

Now, when you have all that code working and based on a fast/reliable/powerful platform as C++ is, having to start from scratch with new tools is not something that will make you feel comfortable, so to speak.

As I mentioned in previous posts in this thread, I totally understand being reticent when you're sitting on a pile of vetted code. It's definitely a difficult decision to make. But at some point, when the platform isn't new it's going to be hard to keep up with the teams using the new stack. I would also argue that JS has the enormous benefit of not being able to take down your process if you throw an error that would otherwise crash the thread in C++, which is an absolutely massive bonus for stability. And avoiding manual memory management (and still keeping in mind good coding standards) keeps a whole class of errors away from your code.

Is it reasonable for them to be upset? In a sense, absolutely. There's a big investment there. But new platforms always require technology changes, and that's just the price of progress if you're in a technology company.

-Matt

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Matt Nischan
Architect | Lead Developer

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Fair enough if payware developers are unhappy about having to change programming languages, but unless they’re content to stay out of the seemingly massive MSFS market then they’ll need to get on with it.

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Dave

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1 hour ago, ca_metal said:

Well, to be fair, Orbx changed a lot since MSFS was announced. Back then they were putting a lot of money on their True Earth series. 
 

They are thriving because they were humble to change their course. If you take a closer look they are now investing basically on airports and working as publisher for a lot of add-ons.

Yeah, I agree. I can't speak for everyone but, whatever worry or opinions that sided with them struggling to find a place in the MSFS landscape seem to be wrong as of today. This is great. I love seeing dynamic companies in the hobby. They are also positioning themselves as an alternative marketplace for products. I came in thinking, I am only purchasing from the built-in marketplace, but that's quickly pivoted to Orbx, or the in-game marketplace. I think it's brilliant and much needed. Now, if Simmmarket would fix their 2007 website, we would have three modern options!

As for the plane add-on market, it seems like Aerosoft is the only one taking a leap of faith, and they will be the test animal for the rest of the Titans. I don't see how everyone missed the fact that you can release a high-level product, make a ton of money off it and bring it up to your traditional standards over the next 18 months. There is no single flight simmer, new or old, who wouldn't accept the storyline that it's Asobo's fault this isn't the pinnacle of study level achievement day one. You could even argue the influx of new simmers will love a complex plane that they can grow with over the next year or two. If PMDG dropped a 737 that's six months ahead of where FBW is today and put an asterisk on the sale that they are limited by Asobo and kept chipping away over 18 months, I think they would have been just fine. Especially since PMDG knew a year ago, the default aircraft were kind of bad.

Edited by TravelRunner404

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