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Phil, do you think FSX will gain in popularity

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Phil,First, I wish to thank you for your participation on these forums and all the hard work you've put into the product. I'm fortunate to have a good computer to run FSX with decent framerates. However, I'm concerned by the lack of community support and addons at the moment for the product. Hopefully, SP1 will fix some of the performace problems that has plagued many, but will FSX go the way of FS2000, or will it slowly replace FS9 as the new standard?Thanks for any comments,John

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Yes! The add-ons will start coming out more often a while after the patch release.

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I certainly hope so because it is DRY out there.________________________________________________________________________________________________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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Certainly the performance issues are the main reason SP1 exists. So yes we hope to make that better.As to why add-ons are not available, I think they are coming. I see new aircraft with interesting features like the new B-17, the TreesX add-on, the UK2000Scenery airports, the new landclass. More is coming. I think the time lag is due to how big a change FSX is. So the add-ons will accumulate. While we may hope what you ask is the outcome of SP1, its really you the community that will make that happen ( or not ).

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Thanks again for your comments! I really hope that this engine will prove to be capable of scaling to other markets such as train sims and combat sims. It would be great for one gigantic world with different simulations coexisting!Later,John

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>I think the time lag is due to how big a change FSX is. So the add-ons will accumulate.You've hit the nail on the head, Phil. There is an incredible amount of changes that have occurred from the previous two versions to what is now in FSX. Namely with regards to model development, we now have double the texture creations to wrestle (with spec and bump maps, each with alpha characteristics that must be worked as well). Converting older projects is taking quite a substantial amount of time. But bear with us 3rd party guys, we are working dilligently!!Best,Owen

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>Certainly the performance issues are the main reason SP1>exists. So yes we hope to make that better.Thanks Again, Phil for all the work and feedback. I have been flying MS Flight Sims since the very first up to FSX and it has been amazing to see the transformation. I for one am very happy with FSX as it is, I have reinstalled, tried tweaks, etc but I just reinstalled fresh and am just flying now with default settings and am enjoying it. Since I never finished all the missions before (got side tracked with tweaks and FPS trials). I have now resolved to leave FSX alone till the SP1 comes out and finish the missions.I challenge anyone to spend only $75.00 for anything and have more fun than with FSX!!!!!!! I have a brother that flies to Barbados and spends lots of money but I can do it in FSX and save a bundle. I know I live a dull life :-(Best Wishes on FSX SP1.....Danny

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Sure, there has been a lot of changes - more than I can understand. Has anyone been able to overcome the round earth issues that many of the payware scenery developers complained about?

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Phil,Can we "confidently add" things like TreesX and various planes, scenery, land class, etc., and not be concerned about whether the SP1 will conflict?That is, does the update require a relatively Virginal FSX, or can we just go about our addon business, and SP1 will be able to be added without incident?Do you know what I mean? Hopefully, I'm being clear on this point because I've seen it discussed on this forum.

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>>You've hit the nail on the head, Phil. There is an incredible amount of changes that have occurred from the previous two versions to what is now in FSX. Namely with regards to model development, we now have double the texture creations to wrestle (with spec and bump maps, each with alpha characteristics that must be worked as well). Converting older projects is taking quite a substantial amount of time. But bear with us 3rd party guys, we are working dilligently!!Best,Owen MS FS MVP<

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>See my blog post on this from 2/20.Thanks. I read it and I can't say that I understood very much but I think I got the picture. One question though - what qualifies as a "long runway"?

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>You've hit the nail on the head, Phil. There is an incredible>amount of changes that have occurred from the previous two>versions to what is now in FSX. Namely with regards to model>development, we now have double the texture creations to>wrestle (with spec and bump maps, each with alpha>characteristics that must be worked as well). Converting>older projects is taking quite a substantial amount of time. >But bear with us 3rd party guys, we are working dilligently!!Not to mention trying to figure out why the same techniques for FSX Materials work perfectly on one model and cause most of the exterior model to be invisible on another! :-bang I hope more folks will come to recognize that the differences between modeling for FS9 and FSX are legion! :-smile12

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>Phil,>Can we "confidently add" things like TreesX and various>planes, scenery, land class, etc., and not be concerned about>whether the SP1 will conflict?>That is, does the update require a relatively Virginal FSX, or>can we just go about our addon business, and SP1 will be able>to be added without incident?>Do you know what I mean? Hopefully, I'm being clear on this>point because I've seen it discussed on this forum.>SP1 installation requires that the default FSX files are where the RTM installer put them, and that the files are in the same state that they were originally in.So, if you've installed add-ons that do not modify the default files, chances are you'll be just fine.If you've applied some of the various tweaks to the default files, you've got to un-tweak (or re-install FSX). This is unfortunate, but the way our current patch technology works requires that the files be in their original state. For those who are concerned about the activation limit, worst case should be you might need to activate by phone.-Doug

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Would it be too much to ask for the installer to have a readme that details the files that are modified by SP1?

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>Would it be too much to ask for the installer to have a>readme that details the files that are modified by SP1?Not sure. I'll pass the request on and see what happens.-Doug

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>If you've applied some of the various tweaks to the default>files, you've got to un-tweak (or re-install FSX). This is>unfortunate, but the way our current patch technology works>requires that the files be in their original state. For those>who are concerned about the activation limit, worst case>should be you might need to activate by phone.>>-DougFirst of all thank you for your hard work and the upcoming SP1 but...Doug that is one of the most unlogical checks you could have build in seriously a lot of other options for protecting your software...I have to say that is customer unfriendly in a tweaking community and due to nature of FS software and add-ons...Andr

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hi phil, FSX seems to me to be likened to the old ATP that we did in the mid 80's.The progamme was good but the harware did'nt exist till a year later with the dx2 chip.Do you think FSX will go the same way As ATP it was the ammount of scenery with the roads and rivers and the airport also the night lighting.The programme was advanced for the time but know one could see the potential of the forward thinking scenery.It was and still is FPS,thats the way people thought a flightsim should be.I think FSX is the way forward, it is the next big step you and the aces team have bravely taken.I UNDERSTAND the problems with multicore threading but with Vista on the horizon at the time of Fsx's conception multicore chips becoming the norm a little forward thinking could have been more appropriate.People like eye candy but they won't use it at the expense of the dreaded FPS.When Fsx was first released there was a buzz of excitement,anticipation but that has turned to dissapointment in a lot of cases.Hardware will catch up,addons will come but the industry are holding there breath to see if FSX will work.Sp1 will have to address a few things before people put there faith in it.I hope it works i personally love it i can see the work from people who like simming in the way it is graphically potrayed.All the beststu

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>Doug that is one of the most unlogical checks you could have>build in seriously a lot of other options for protecting your>software...It's not a software protection issue. It's a patching issue.Patch software has advanced from simply sending out new versions of files to using in-place updating. Patch creation software will look at the original file, then look at the NEW file, and perform a "delta" analysis so that it only includes what is needed to change the old file to the new file. This keeps patch sizes WAY down. If you have somehow changed or replaced the original file on your computer, the patch cannot do its job because the original information it needs to build the new file doesn't exist anymore. By all means this isn't a validation or piracy protection issue - it is purely a technological one. This typically applies to binary files and other program related items. It could also apply to texture files, depending on what ACES is repairing. I doubt that the FSX.CFG file will need to be in it's original state, only because that is meant to have changes in it. But if somehow you've tweaked any DLLs, EXEs, or other core files, I would expect problems. EXAMPLE:Lets say the patch adjusts the cloud textures. It uses the original files from RTM FSX and a delta algorithm to create a new file. Microsoft has the choice of sending out the updated cloud library as a whole (40MB), or the delta-change files (say, 5MB). Which is more efficient? Use this method to adjust lots of files (ground textures), and you can see how this is the most efficient method of distributing a patch. Customer unfriendly would be issuing a 500MB patch that brute-force replaces files when it could have been accomplished in a fraction of that size using delta methods. Either way, any paatch-targeted files you tweaked would get overwritten - eliminating the tweak in the end. It's bad enough there are millions of hardware combinations existing in the world today - imagine the number of varitions that we as AVSIM users have in our tweaked FSX installs. Without a baseline to build a patch from, it would be a near biblical task to sucessfully patch all the needed files while at the same time being knowledgable of all the potential tweaks and accounting for them. -Greg

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I don't agree and that's my professional opinion ;-) You can write a routine to check also the different files and just overwrite that easy hehehe...A new reinstall or revert to your original base install is customer friendly :-lol which maybe included to call for reactivation of the product... (uninstall of all addons too in that case)Nope it can be done far smarter when you choose so ;-) 500 mb download with nowadays bandwidth (downloading Gb is more the case today) isn't that huge anymore lol we will see a bandwidth increase in the near future lol maybe via ASP.At least let the customer choose... to save bandwidth and server load is more the advantage of the selling party.From a customer perspective I find it the most unfriendly manner to distribute the patch ;-) and from a technological point of view not a example of the "K I S" principal...That's why everybody has to revert to the original installation because many things can go wrong...Just replace the core files + patching ones think of a SP installation not DX routine...Andr

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>I don't agree and that's my professional opinion ;-) >You can write a routine to check also the different files and>just overwrite that easy hehehe...Andr

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>Similarly, if any specific "patch update" for an existing file>only involves replacing 50KB of a 5MB original file, it would>make no sense whatever to replace the entire file!Bill thanks for the explanation appreciated I understood the points mentioned by Gregg but I don't agree...In ideal world I would agree but let's compare it to an operating system or servers or mainframe software...There are many parameters involved here and there can go so many things wrong not to speak about error handling not done and to get a general error message...Only a check on original file date and size etc won't do it...Tell your customers to revert there servers back to the original state I don't think so... Beside the registry and program adjustments, try it with a software program with 4000 different user parameters lolI can tell you stories... after the update the adjustments in most case has to be restored or redone what is logical :-) from a technical point of view.Just replace the core files is the most logical step to do (besides a backup lol)As an IT guy I know what can go wrong in software land ;-) I'm not talking about just a simple patch of one software program...Bill my point is that to ask your customers to revert to the original state of the initial installation isn't customer friendly (imagine a lot of add on software installed) with what ever software...If they choose to check on original files etc... then write a routine that will replace the file when not original etc... The same as with a windows 2003 sp. for exampleSo I agree to save bandwidth but to ask customers to revert your installation back to it's initial state isn't friendly at all.This proves we have still a long way to go with software development and programming languages it's still to much an approach from technical point of view...So in my opinion when you choose this method then only warn the customer that his tweaks will be lost and just install the necessary files.. that's in my view customer friendly ;-)Believe me in some case it make sense to replace an entire file ;-) Andr

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>Bill thanks for the explanation appreciated I understood the>points mentioned by Gregg but I don't agree...>In ideal world I would agree but let's compare it to an>operating system or servers or mainframe software...What I found interesting is that the first patch was 8.3mb for FSX_patchsetup.exe, and all it did was replace the 700kb terrain.dll. Maybe the patch overhead does not grow as fast as the payload, at least I hope not!scott s..

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