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bob.bernstein

FS9 Airports in FSX - post SP1 ?

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Has anyone tried any airport sceneries, originally for FS9, in FSX since the SP1 post? Perhaps some may now work acceptably with minimal problems? Any chance of us all trying some of our favourite airports from FS9 and report here any issues / how can resolve (i.e. remove certain bgl files perhaps, or develop/share new xml exclude files).I understand that according to Phil Taylor's blog when SP1 was released there were some changes made to help support legacy add-on scenery (see below). QuoteRound Earth Corrections: Made significant progress to try to better map large, legacy add-on scenery to correct for the new round Earth modeling in FSX. NOTE: There will still be some problems seen with this, but we've done our best to minimize the visual artifacts.Alpha-blend Threshold: Fixed problem related to black "lines" around legacy autogen scenery edges. Runways: Support for FS8-style

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I tried Narita Intl airport (FS9 addon) in FSX pre SP1. It was generally ok..but I had extra wide runways and extra taxiways.After reading your post I went to back to check the airport. It looks pretty good. But ofcourse I now need to try out Fly Tampa and aerosoft Frankfurt.BTW.. the performance hit is severe.http://forums.avsim.net/user_files/173750.jpg

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OK Fly tampa San Diego was a wash. But then thats a very old airport from Fly tampa.I checked out flight scenery KPDX (Portland). Surprisingly that looks pretty good for the most part. Obviously they may need to recompile anbd fix some of the atuogen buidldings texture. They look black. The lights need to be fixed too. They appear black. Again performance wise, its a dog. There is not much room in FSX.Manny

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>Again performance wise, its a dog. There is not much room in>FSX.>MannySo much for this notion of maintaining backwards compatibility in new releases - I wish ACES would either make it work or if they can't, scrap that goal entirely for the sake of better performance. As it is, it seems very little has been accomplished to that end. JMHO.Regards, KendallDell 8400 3.2 GHZ H.T.3GB 533 DDR2X800XT 256MB/Catalyst driver - 7.1's6x AA/16x HQ A/FDiamond Xtreme/Logitech X-530'sDual Monitor: Dell 2405/1905CH Yoke/Pedals - Saitek Throttle

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That is my feeling exactly. If maintaining backwards compatibility means we have to sacrifice performance than I say performance should take precidence.Bryan

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Bryan, you and the previous poster are missing an important concept here. The airport sceneries that have been mentioned in this thread did not strictly follow the fs9 SDK rules. Not that I'm insinuating that those projects were not spectacular, they were. In addition, I will tell you that in my projects I also exceeded the fs9 sdk rules. But from a microsoft viewpoint, backwards compatibility has NEVER been promised for non-sdk compliant 3rd party products. So this thread does NOT demonstrate FSX's ability to produce backward compatibility.This concept is a bit of a thorny issue to users and developers alike, as the sdks probably are not interesting enough for users to read, so users never know what limits are imposed in the sdks. Thus, users can't recognize when the products they bought are truely sdk compliant. Developers are always trying to differentiate themselves, which is pretty hard to do if you stay strictly in the bounds imposed by the sdk. So from a totally fair point of view to microsoft, they have not offered backward compatibility for products that contain code tweaks beyond the sdk which you can expect is present in anything that has high res ground imagry like the products mentioned in this thread. From a totally fair point of view to the developer, it should be understood that when a product claims to be designed for a specific version, it may mean that use in a future version may not work. And from the users perspective, its dissapointing to learn that the fabulous efforts of the developers to produce such astounding products as Portland, have code tweaks that are not necessarily in line with Microsofts future planning, and there isn't a lot anyone can do about that. The fact is that the developer community is amazingly creative, and is capable of conceiving design techniques that Microsoft hadn't anticipated, and may run contrary to their future planning.Best,Bob Bernstein

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A very well stated post Bob, thanks for the insight. Though I am not a programmer, and trying to avoid any semantical arguments as to the feasibility of backward compatibilty, I still stand by my statement based on a simple, generalized fact - how many add-ons have been able to be successfully ported over to FSX? If it is as difficult as you say, based on all the nuances you described, I then wonder why this is still a goal of ACES when they have said themselves that they could do more for performance without these requirements. As it stands it hardly seems worthy of their efforts - and that statement is not trying to lay blame - just a simple recognition of the current realities that the returns just might not merit the investment. Food for thought....yet another time ;-)Regards, KendallDell 8400 3.2 GHZ H.T.3GB 533 DDR2X800XT 256MB/Catalyst driver - 7.1's6x AA/16x HQ A/FDiamond Xtreme/Logitech X-530'sDual Monitor: Dell 2405/1905CH Yoke/Pedals - Saitek Throttle

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looks like i will be using FS9 for another 3 years, silky smooth with my computer AND all sliders to the right, and there is so much stuff available for FS9, im only missing out on little stuff not using FSX,i do like FSX i like the turblance and motion while in flight and the terrain - photoreal in FSX, but i just cannot accept the poor performance im getting in FSX, maybe in 3 years time when the next FS version is out and hardware catches up i will move to FSX.

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Kendall, Your points are well taken and I agree with you about the mission of backward compatibility is no longer as valuable as it may have been in the past.Best,Bob

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I think there is a fundamental disconnect here. We need robust, easy to use SDK compatible tools. MS should have produced a tool like EZ Scenery a long time ago. As you stated, most professional developers are expected to go above and beyond and produce spectacular works of art. In order to do this, they typically have to go beyond the SDK. Therefore, these will almost never fall under the backwards compatibility umbrella. And MS can't be expected to support compatibility for them either. Too much work and communication and coordination would have to happen, trade "secrets" would have to be shared, etc.. Now you could argue that once a product has been released, the need for one upsmanship would negate the value of the "secrets" so they could be shared, but that's a whole huge other concept for discussion.So, I believe the main purpose for backwards compatibility is for those users who create sceneries and aircraft for themselves and others using tools that stay within the bounds of the SDK. The problem is that MS doesn't provide robust easily usable tools for this purpose (like Fly!II did I believe).In the past, for decent tools, we've had to rely on many users to hack away at the database, which, in turn, produced tools that were not SDK compliant. Yes, they've been releasing an SDK for quite a while now, but it's never been completely complete, and in fact has often been incorrect.The point is, I think it is really important that ACES develop and support robust tools for creating addons, ala SketchUp for GoogleEarth. Otherwise, this debate will go on ad nauseum.To start with, a robust tool like AFCAD was for FS9 is essential!Of course, then the argument goes that then they won't be able to create new versions because there will be so much old stuff to support (ala Autocad for years and years). And the argument goes round and round.Thomas[a href=http://www.flyingscool.com] http://www.flyingscool.com/images/Signature.jpg [/a]I like using VC's :-)N15802 KASH '73 Piper Cherokee Challenger 180

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FS provides GMAX -- how many games are providing 3d authoring software on disk? The only thing not provided is reverse engineering or disasembling tools. I don't know how many apps provide these?scott s..

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The sdk tools are really pretty good. I do like a gui like afcad, but its really not that long a wait for great 3rd party artists.No, this thread really can't end up being something that Microsoft can do much about, because the ideas from the 3rd party are creative enough that we can nearly guarentee that microsoft couldn't possibly predict what ideas will be had and provide the tool for all those ideas.I just think Kendall had it right when he suggested the era of backward compatibility may be near its end.Best,Bob

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Sure, if you want to spend 100 hours just to learn how to use the tool effectively, you can start making some simple scenery. And then they gave a few other tools that also take hours and hours to learn how to make work correctly. To use any of these tools, you've got to be pretty dedicated and have a lot of time on your hands. But you seem to have missed my point. I'm looking for AFCAD/EZ Scenery ease of use. Then lots of regular joe users will create and share lots of SDK compliant scenery (since they'll be able to do a lot with an SDK compliant tool) that would make having backwards compatability useful.Currently, I'm saying, backwards compatability probably wasn't worth it. There's just not a whole lot of completely SDK compliant work out there. And given the spottiness of past SDK's, what does compliant mean? And really, you couldn't do a whole lot back then by remaining compliant given bugs in the way it all worked. For instance, what good is it to move an airport, if the old flatten digging a huge whole in the side of a hill has to be left behind?BTW, lots of other programs in the past have provided very easy to use tools to modify the program (as I noted, FlyII comes to mind).I'm not knocking the fact that the ACES team provided tools and has given us hooks and are working diligently to make the program extensible. This is a good thing, and it's getting better all the time. But it is my opinion that there is a long way to go before backwards compatability will make real sense, and backwards compatability was the point of discussion here.As a couple of side notes:1. a bunch of the scenery I have done for FS9 works in FSX, though there are some bugs (autogen poking up where it didn't use to, old landclass now looks ugly.)2. Making it difficult to create addons could be considered a good thing. If you are going to take the time to learn to do it, chances are that you are dedicated and will try to do a credible job. The easier it gets, the more junk will be created.Thomas[a href=http://www.flyingscool.com] http://www.flyingscool.com/images/Signature.jpg [/a]I like using VC's :-)N15802 KASH '73 Piper Cherokee Challenger 180

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Thomas, I completely agree with you that ACES should make an easy to use editor - scenery at least - for the average user.

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Yeah, an aircraft editor for the average user seems silly to me. Some people might like it, but I'd much rather have a scenery editor if I had to choose.Once I get some cash again, I'll probably go for the new version of EZ-Scenery for FSX (I forget the name). I don't know how well it works, though. But I like EZ-Scenery.Thomas[a href=http://www.flyingscool.com] http://www.flyingscool.com/images/Signature.jpg [/a]I like using VC's :-)N15802 KASH '73 Piper Cherokee Challenger 180

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There is a side thread topic that has emerged that is promoting Microsoft to develop easier tools for beginners. I'd suggest if you want that idea to get focus that you put it in a seperate thread.This thread was about backward compability.Easy tools for "average joes" makes no difference to the backward compatibiliy discussion. The implication that you don't have "average joe" scenery now is wrong. Much has been released for fs9, and much likely works ok in fsx. Freeware has always been produced that remained within the sdk limitations. Problem is, its easily forgotten. When developers break the boundaries and create something spectacular, its what people value and what people remember. Its just not what people want to talk about. Look at this thread, and find the freeware sceneries by average joe's being discussed....(oops sorry, trick question, there wasn't any) And freeware by average joe's won't be what people want to talk about even if new tools get produced by microsoft, cuz creative experienced folks will create something no one has every experienced before, that won't be backward compatible, but the future seems far away and who cares, and wow its cool....etc etc etc... How many times have you heard that "so and sos" scenery sets a new "standard" for scenery (when really that standard can only be reached by busting the sdk limits). And the next version will come and somebody will say...how come the really cool scenery doesn't work, and no one will say its ok cuz my average joe sceneries do work.It just doesn't work that way.Best,Bob

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Bob,While I completely agree that freeware sceneries are rarely the talk of the town, I still think you're underestimating the overall value of an easy all-in-one scenery editor for average airports. For example, with a click and drag of the mouse I would like to be able to mitigate add on mesh vs airport elevation conflicts, or remove the blasted thermal at KSEZ (ez landclass doesn't work), or add and arrange scenery objects without having to slew around awkwardly. If there were an easy to use and certainly less time consuming editor then many people would do such things, improving and enhancing a whole slew of regular airports and locations. And since VFR packs are few and far between, we wouldn't have to hop in a jetliner to travel from one nice airport to another. I imagine people would come out with freeware collections of airports - perhaps in their own geographic vicinity - not of the highest order but much better than mass-generated default.So taking things as a whole, there would be a lot of talk.

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I understand your point. I'm not arguing against easy tools, I'm just saying its not the intention of the original poster of this thread.Bob

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There seems to be an assumption that backwards compatibility is hurting performance, but what is the evidence for that?scott s..

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>This thread was about backward compatibility.Mmm, not quite from what I can tell. Although I agree with many of the points in here, I believe the point of this this thread was to determine which scenery works in FSX.

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lol....sounds good. the connection is that fs9 scenery won't work in fsx unless there is backward compatibility.B

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Just a thought from someone who knows nothing about creating scenery. But I was wondering whether it might be feasible for some of the scenery designers out there to easily modify their older FS9 scenery to remove runways and taxiways and utilise the default FSX ones for the time being, but keep the bespoke GMAX buildings etc. relocated to fit the default apron areas, perhaps with a simple exclude for the area in question. At least that way we might see some more realistic airports coming through, even though they do have all the bells and whistles of FSX?Any thoughts from those that know?Cheers,Stuart

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>I hadn't noticed that assumption. Can you point out what>leads you to that conclusion?>>Biroc:So much for this notion of maintaining backwards compatibility in new releases - I wish ACES would either make it work or if they can't, scrap that goal entirely for the sake of better performance. As it is, it seems very little has been accomplished to that end. JMHO.Papa 3 Charlie:That is my feeling exactly. If maintaining backwards compatibility means we have to sacrifice performance than I say performance should take precidence.If I am misconstruing these quotes, I apologize. scott s..

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