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Ray Proudfoot

Do you think airport sceneries are too expensive?

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I was looking at the UK2000 airports and I noticed that the exchangerate would mean that I was paying about $27.00 for one airport.I just now noticed that Cloud9 are also charging around $26.00 for oneairport.I paid $35.00 for flightscenery Portland and it includes 3 airports,terrain mesh, photoreal textures, accurately placed autogen and verywell designed and placed buildings. not to mention cars,trucks and people.I'd be much more likely to buy these addon airports if they were a littleless expensive.Do you feel the same as me? Would you be more likely to buy addon airportsif they were less expensive?

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I won't buy airports with default fsx taxiway, lighting, and runways. Until they get flightscenery portland type addons for fsx then I won't be buying anything. That scenery is the measuring stick for all addons for me.________________________________________________________________________________________________Intel D975XBX2 'Bad Axe 2' | Intel Core 2 Duo E6600 @ 3.20Ghz | 2 GB Super Talent DDR2 800 | Big Typhoon VX | eVGA 8800GTS @ 565/900 | Seagate 2x320GB SATA RAID-0 | OCZ GameXStream 700W | Creative X-Fi | Silverstone TJ-09BW | Matrox Triplehead Setup

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I'm not buying anything for FSX until ACES deliver an OOB experience that provides then overheads to be able to enjoy them. Besides, who knows what the SP1 will break that would need patching? I think I'll be waiting until after the DX10 patch before I look seriously at FSX as a platform. By then the hardware path should also be more visible - and hopefully affordable - and the aftermarket should have embraced DX10 in all its picturesqye and frame enhancing glory. (That last bit might have been sarcastic).:)Allcott

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UK2000 put out an amazing Gatwick for FS9...in the same quality as Fly Tampa's Seattle and or Aerosofts Frankfurt Main. Even their Heathrow was very large and detaild and eye candy good but that takes a performance hit unlike their Gatwick.The other airport sceneries of theirs are downgraded ones IMO... a little lite and too fast. And no I would not get them at $27 a pop. But I would pay that for their Gatwick.I think, they seem to be going in the direction of Cloud 9 too.And yes... no default runway textures for me. Not a chance. I'd rather have a high resolution photoscenery for the airport with the photo texture runway and default airport buildings over a custom buildings and default runway textures any day.Thats what I have for Hawaii FSX. I have Gottfrieds Hi rez texture for the airport and default buildings and some FS9 freeware buildings and it looks good.Mannyhttp://forums.avsim.net/user_files/167726.jpgI prefer this over any $27 addons with default runway/taxiway textures

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I read that uk2000 is coming out with a whole airport pack for england soon; i imagine the price will be appropriate (remember though the pound's ability to inflate). Cloud9's excellent xclass is very reasonable. I do, however, agree that most add ons are very overpriced, considering the cost of the sim itself. It's one thing to charge a lot on an advanced aircraft, say a pmdg or eaglesoft (although they could do better on their fs9 to fsx discounts), where the model, dynamics, and gauges demand the utmost care. But some gmaxed buildings and a photo texture, that's ridiculous. Also crazy that fs9 products have remained the same price even though they are marketwise outdated. Portland is amazing, particularly since the fsx update will be free.

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These addons seems to have little, if any artistic value. They, in many cases, fail to do anything other that take a gmax shape and then apply a common texture. Eventually all airports seem similar. I have seen an airport addon that actually had some artistic effort. It had textured shading to show the algae staining of the buildings near the ground level. The jetways were not factory perfect and the tarmac had a real look not just a series of repeated textures. Unfortunately, I cannot remember the name....Until the artistic effort within seceney addons is on par with the technical effort included in some aircraft, I see little value in them unless they are free.Many of us will have to pay a high price to fully use some of the functions of FSX. That $70 Microsoft program ends up costing several hundreds of dollars when all of its features are successfully turned on. Dropping another $30 for a bland grey/gray airport is not tempting to me.Regards,Dick Boley

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From my recent real life flight training, I have come to realize that unless FSX can support curved runways, then I don't care what the buildings look like. The single biggest thing I remember from flying to about a dozen different airports now is the approach/runway. I couldn't tell you want side of the airport the FBO is let alone what the buildings look like at most of these places- but I will never forget the dip at the end of runway 24 in Madison, or the bump in the middle at Danielson, or how curved Chester is. I have yet to find a runway that is even as remotely smooth as MSFS. Those too me are the true characteristics of any airport- without the runways you just have any old bunch of buildings.No way would I pay that much.

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>Until the artistic effort within seceney addons is on par with>the technical effort included in some aircraft, I see little>value in them unless they are free.>There is no doubt, that airport scenery such as FlightScenery's Portland (FS9), is right up there at the top of the technical heap!It's just another side of simming, where flying in the airport enviroment is a lot of fun. The scenery and textures are crisp, clear, even from very low altitudes, and extremely well done. There are five or more airports in the Portland area, that are included with the scenery. Traffic is also moving, and coming in over the fence, with moving vehicles undeneath, really adds to the illusion. I didn't own this type of scenery in the past. FSX seems to have made me more picky for high resolution textures, and FS9 payware airport's, such as this, certainly have it!Portland (FS9): http://forums.avsim.net/user_files/167753.jpghttp://forums.avsim.net/user_files/167754.jpghttp://forums.avsim.net/user_files/167755.jpg

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Vauchez spent over 100 hours just on the grass at Portland, to those that think making an airport is just " some gmax buildings and textures" then I suggest you try it. It's a ton of work, even more work to make it fps friendly, for the amount of time somebody like Vauchez or FlyTampa puts into an airport I say they are underpriced.

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I agree, I also think FS is underpriced. The team puts in thousands and thousands of hours to bring us a whole world, try doing that.Jeff

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>Vauchez spent over 100 hours just on the grass at Portland,>to those that think making an airport is just " some gmax>buildings and textures" then I suggest you try it. It's a ton>of work, even more work to make it fps friendly, for the>amount of time somebody like Vauchez or FlyTampa puts into an>airport I say they are underpriced. I've got a "grass" pic too! :7 http://forums.avsim.net/user_files/167756.jpg

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>These addons seems to have little, if any artistic value.>They, in many cases, fail to do anything other that take a>gmax shape and then apply a common texture.That is the funniest thing I have read to date.... You have no idea how much work it takes to make those

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>I was looking at the UK2000 airports and I noticed that the>exchange>rate would mean that I was paying about $27.00 for one>airport.>I just now noticed that Cloud9 are also charging around $26.00>for one>airport.A reason for these prices, when buying products from companies based in Europe, can also be a consequence of the weak dollar. If we were in Oct. 2000, those 26$ would be $16, because the Euro was 0.82$ back then, today it's 1.32$.A company based in Europe, even if it publishes prices in dollars, has to set up a price based on the Euro (or the UK Pound), that allows them to conduct business based on their costs that are, of course, all based in EUR or GBP, because this is how they pay all their bills, wages, and all hardware and software costs.

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>Vauchez spent over 100 hours just on the grass at Portland,>to those that think making an airport is just " some gmax>buildings and textures" then I suggest you try it. It's a ton>of work, even more work to make it fps friendly, for the>amount of time somebody like Vauchez or FlyTampa puts into an>airport I say they are underpriced. No scenery designer here. I admire those that take such endeavors and thank them for all their hardwork but I would have to say that I consider airport scenery around $20 to $30 being at the right price.I have bought scenery around $25 and when I approach it to land my FPS gets killed which ruins the pleasure.I used to smoke, and spend about $20 a week on that nasty habit. Quitting has put me in the position of being able to spend about $80-$100 per month on add-ons if I feel like doing it.Never felt so good about being a quitter ;-) Thank you to the scenery designers.

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>I have bought scenery around $25 and when I approach it to>land my FPS gets killed which ruins the pleasure.>With my upper mid grade CPU, the Portland Scenery runs so well, that I haven't even made frame rate comparisons; which means, it must be a nearly no hit on fps. :7 However, frame rates will start to sink depending on aircraft, but that's how it's always been. L.AdamsonAthlon 64 3800+/2Gig/Geforce 7600GS 256MB/ 1600*1200*32 res.

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Yes, designing airport add ons does take a lot more work than most of us would care to endure. Still, that does not justify $30 when the entire sim itself costs $60. Granted Microsoft has the resources to make such things marketable, but spending a few months at most creating a basic enhanced airport is nowhere near the project level undertaken by each ACES professional over two years. Furthermore, replicating an aircraft involves an air file, model and textures for both exterior and interior, plus gauges which are often very complex. Therefore, a great aircraft is worth $30, and many, e.g. the Carenados, are not even that much. With that said, a number of fsx "compatibility updates" in this category are overpriced. As AFCAD work is simple, the creation of a single airport and some vehicles is only really tantamount to the second part of that of an aircraft i.e. the modeling and textures. This is due partly to the fact that the scrutiny placed on an add on aircraft as well is generally much higher - i.e. perfectionism seeking - than that on an airport. Understandably so since a pilot's experience lies first in the plane. It's one thing to approach freeware with extreme graciousness; products that ask you to pay for them, on the other hand, deserve merely conditional praise. In this case, common sense tells us that people will be greedy if they can get away with it. Notwithstanding, they would probably sell more if they lowered their prices, and the notion of inflation does not change the practical means of customers.

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The possibility of hundreds of buildings, that replicate the originals. Completely redone runways, taxiways, parking lots, animated human figures, moving vehicles, enhanced ground textures, etc. & etc.Do you actually own one of these "high end" airport addons? And please, don't make an add on pricing comparison that generates revenue in the thousands, versus MSFS that generates revenue in the hundreds of millions. Talanted artist's, designers, and programmers need to be "paid" either way.L.Adamson

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>Yes, designing airport add ons does take a lot more work than>most of us would care to endure. Still, that does not justify>$30 when the entire sim itself costs $60. Granted Microsoft>has the resources to make such things marketable, but spending>a few months at most creating a basic enhanced airport is>nowhere near the project level undertaken by each ACES>professional over two years. >>Furthermore, replicating an aircraft involves an air file,>model and textures for both exterior and interior, plus gauges>which are often very complex. Therefore, a great aircraft is>worth $30, and many, e.g. the Carenados, are not even that>much. With that said, a number of fsx "compatibility updates">in this category are overpriced. >>As AFCAD work is simple, the creation of a single airport and>some vehicles is only really tantamount to the second part of>that of an aircraft i.e. the modeling and textures. This is>due partly to the fact that the scrutiny placed on an add on>aircraft as well is generally much higher - i.e. perfectionism>seeking - than that on an airport. Understandably so since a>pilot's experience lies first in the plane. >>It's one thing to approach freeware with extreme graciousness;>products that ask you to pay for them, on the other hand,>deserve merely conditional praise. In this case, common sense>tells us that people will be greedy if they can get away with>it. Notwithstanding, they would probably sell more if they>lowered their prices, and the notion of inflation does not>change the practical means of customers. There is nothing default at Portland, and it took more than "a few months" to make. Products like Portland and Flytampa's stuff are not "afcad work", they have complete custom ground, runway, and taxiway textures. The SDK's have to be "hacked" to even acomplish this feat, things like jetways need several LODS to make it fps friendly. It's to bad you are to cheap to buy any of thses great products that devs put hundreds and hundreds of hours into making. The sim is nothing more than "an OS for flight sim" and the default airports and scenery sucks, plain and simple, but it your case ignorance is bliss.

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There is nothing in fsx that even comes close to the quality of FS Portland. It and the dodo are the only reasons fs9 is still on my drive. Ultimate traffic, Flight Environment and Portland eclipse anything and everything that fsx has to offer in realism. Until fsx starts getting some support for decent 3rd party addons I will be using fs9 and portland for my training area. I am even planning a trip to portland this summer for a week to sightsee based solely on some of the beauty that i have seen in this addon. I plan to take a sightseeing flight from pearson to mt st. helens just like i do in the sim.________________________________________________________________________________________________Intel D975XBX2 'Bad Axe 2' | Intel Core 2 Duo E6600 @ 3.20Ghz | 2 GB Super Talent DDR2 800 | Big Typhoon VX | eVGA 8800GTS @ 565/900 | Seagate 2x320GB SATA RAID-0 | OCZ GameXStream 700W | Creative X-Fi | Silverstone TJ-09BW | Matrox Triplehead Setup

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I knew I would catch heat for this. Please read the following carefully. First of all, Flytampa's airports are much higher quality than those of UK2000 and cost only $20 a piece so they are not really relevant to the main argument anyway.Artie and L you misunderstood me. By afcad I meant that which tells the traffic and atc the layout of the airport, not the visual depiction of the airport itself. That's what an afcad bgl file is. The larger scenery bgl files control everything else. L: I said "GRANTED MICROSOFT HAS THE RESOURCES...". And in spite of this fact which I actually acknowledged, I'm talking about what the average person can afford to reasonably spend. As for moving gates, etc, that is all scripted model work, a lot of it to be sure, but found similarly in complex aircraft. Artie: Portland is an example of a complete package and is obviously not what i was talking about! I did say "SINGLE" airport. By the way, I have spent hundreds on fs2004 and fsx products. Don't call me ignorant. You didn't pay attention to much of what I said. Flytampa (which i know well) is one of the absolute highest quality sets of airport add ons, but I still am fairly certain an equal quality aircraft with advanced systems - for example the eaglesoft sr20 and 22 with the avidyne, or dreamfleet bonanza when you count the reality xp guages - requires more work nonetheless. Despite the SDK work arounds. REGARDLESS, Flytampa's airports are only $20.

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>I knew I would catch heat for this. Please read the following>carefully. Artie and L you misunderstood me. By afcad I meant>that which tells the traffic and atc the layout of the>airport, not the visual depiction of the airport itself.>That's what an afcad bgl file is. The larger scenery bgl files>control everything else. L: I said "GRANTED MICROSOFT HAS THE>RESOURCES...". And in spite of this fact which I actually>acknowledged, I'm talking about what the average person can>afford to reasonably spend. As for moving gates, etc, that is>all scripted model work, a lot of it to be sure, but found>similarly in complex aircraft. Artie: Portland is an example>of a complete package and is obviously not what i was talking>about! I did say "SINGLE" airport. By the way, I have spent>hundreds on fs2004 and fsx products. Don't call me ignorant.>You didn't pay attention to much of what I said. Flytampa>(which i know well) is one of the absolute highest quality>sets of airport add ons, but I still am fairly certain an>equal quality aircraft with advanced systems - for example the>eaglesoft sr20 and 22 with the avidyne, or dreamfleet bonanza>when you count the reality xp guages - requires more work>nonetheless. Despite the SDK work arounds. REGARDLESS,>Flytampa's airports are much higher quality than those of>UK2000 and cost only $20 a piece so they are not really>relevant to the main argument anyway. The problem with European made stuff is the dollar has been tanking for so long that the pound is almost 2 to 1.Understood, and I was not talking about moving gates, I was talking about LODS. I think FlyTampa charges to little for there stuff, and no argument about planes being a tough task to build. I just got the impression that you didn't understand how much work goes into an airport.

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>There is nothing in fsx that even comes close to the quality>of FS Portland. It and the dodo are the only reasons fs9 is>still on my drive. Ultimate traffic, Flight Environment and>Portland eclipse anything and everything that fsx has to offer>in realism. Until fsx starts getting some support for decent>3rd party addons I will be using fs9 and portland for my>training area. I am even planning a trip to portland this>summer for a week to sightsee based solely on some of the>beauty that i have seen in this addon. I plan to take a>sightseeing flight from pearson to mt st. helens just like i>do in the sim.>If you can, make your trip in August when the weather should be good, summer in the Pacific Northwest doesn't start until July 5th, you don't want it to look like today. http://www.fs.fed.us/gpnf/volcanocams/msh/

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I know I was terse and a bit unclear. For that I am sorry. I should have used the eaglesoft and dreamfleet examples to begin with as well. What it comes down to, I think, (and this has already been said by the originator of this thread) is that more people would buy these products if they were cheaper. Several aircraft included. Aerosoft, for one, seem to understand this.

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>I know I was terse and a bit unclear. For that I am sorry. I>should have used the eaglesoft and dreamfleet examples to>begin with as well. What it comes down to, I think, (and this>has already been said by the originator of this thread) is>that more people would buy these products if they were>cheaper. Several aircraft included. Aerosoft, for one, seem to>understand this. So do you think something like the Level D 767 is overpriced ?

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