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haldir

FSX. game or simulation? a personal view

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As FSX has been in the public domain for nearly a year now I feel we can look back at what we have received and offer constructive criticism to its creators, no doubt I will get flamed by some but I have a thick skin.First observation I have to make is that it is released under the M.S.Games banner now this may not seem important but it may give some insight as to how M.S. see or perceive the world wide client base of flight simmers especially in the light of the up and coming acceleration expansion pack. Now there is no doubt that there is a proportion of those who bought any fsim product use it like a game but judging by the huge quantity of educated people around the world who program products or create add on

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Nigel that is a very good analysis and you make lots of valueable points, and I personally have been sharply critical of FSX over many issues to do with that sim, that said I would not criticize ACES over the lack of support for Multicore processors for the reason that it takes a considerable amount of time to put a software application together and it is quite possible that when ACES were setting the structure of FSX, they percieved hardware developments in the sameway as Intel ie single core processors would be well on their way to something like 10 Gigahertz by now and that multicores were something of an ir-relevant distraction to the mainstream consumer processor market given a supposed capability on the part of Intel to keep pushing clock speed higher and higher. As for the lack of add-ons for FSX from the freeware community, I presume that FSX requires a not inconsiderable quanity of learning and practice for people who currently write materiel for FS2004 to produce similar materiel for FSX and given the relatively high quality of FS2004, it is quite understandable that many people would wish to keep on producing materiel for FS2004 rather than switching to FSX. Best and Warm RegardsAdrian Wainer

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>So why did they hand over one of their>largest retail products to a new team with only games>experience?There are so many erroneous assumptions in your "critique" that it's difficult to know where to begin. So, I'll simply start with the first error and leave it at that.The Flightsim franchise has always been under the umbrella of the MS Games division. There was no "team change." For the most part the same folks who worked on previous versions of FS are responsible for FSX.You've raised a number of questions (e.g. DX10 support, multi-core support, et cetera) that've been addressed ad naseaum over the past eight+ months, both here at AVSIM and in the various developer's blogs. It is clear that you either haven't actually taken the time to read and understand what has been written, or you're simply choosing to disbelieve what has been written.Please understand that I do not disagree with at least some of what you've written, but the exposition is so filled with fatal flaws of reasoning and erroneous factual data that it becomes far less effective and compelling as it might have been.

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Good post with some none abravise opinion although I'll disagree with a few points.I could be incorrect but a few if not many of the Aces team worked on FS9 as well as FSX so it's not a completely new team although a few new members joined.As far a releasing a product with so many problems, well, most versions of FS have problems when released. At least this time they are fixing them. FS9 was certainly not a walk in the park for me when it was first released, so matter of perception plays a big role on this one. I tweaked FS9 to death to get decent fps and elimiate the stinking microstutters for 3 bloody years and have tweaked FSX far less.Dual Core has been covered and DX10 delays were caused by Vista delays and the team couldn't finalize a gameplan for DX10 code until it was final I would assume. I think the SP1 and performance optimizations far outweighed the DX10 update anyway. That's all guesswork on my part of course.As far as Fly Tampa and 3rd party add-ons, my opinion is that FSX is a higher resolution canvas and IS FS9 on steroids, thus the performance hit, and if MS wanted to create Fly Tampa quality scenery for every major city we'd not see a new version for 10 years. Aces use generic data to create scenery so they can release a product every few years.Imagine how long it would take and the costs and manpower to develop detailed scenery for every major city around the world not to mention smaller cities. I would think that would drive the cost up not to mention adding an LD 767 quality aircraft. That's a 50 dollar add-on, almost the cost of FS itself, and imagine the customer support for joe schmoe who can't even start the engines on the bloody thing. They have to balance complexity with usability for the average person, but continue to advance the complexity under the hood to allow the 3rd party folks to develop the amazingly complex add-ons.Compare default to default in my opinion. The resolution in FSX is just something I can't give up, add 3rd party scenery at 1m to 7cm res as opposed to 5m (I think) in FS9, that's a big plus in my opinion. If it looks good in FS9 imagine what it will look like in FSX.FS9 and PMDG and all the other add-ons still require a fairly new computer, you're not landing at JFK with 40 fps unless you have a fairly new PC despite the hype. I was running at 12 fps in JFK with fs9 on high settings on an AMD 3000 with an 6600 ultra.I do agree on weather, hopefully they'll re-evaluate and overhaul that for then next incarnation.I do believe Aces understand the difference between game and simulator, but FS can be both. Racing isn't a game to those who actually do it, same can be said of football and soccer. To them it's a lifestyle, just like aviation be it real or sim.FSX is a diamond in the rough, a year or so to percolate and it will be the FS9 on steroids. Don't get me wrong, I loved FS9 but I'm enjoying FSX even more. Birds, boats, cars, jetways, racing, missions, it all adds to the enjoyment. The fs adventure continues......Ian.

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Nigel re your comment about:QuoteTake queen Juliana (TNCM) for example the standard fsx version is not as good as that produced by private individuals 4 years agoUnQuoteI think you misunderstand what serious Flighsimmers want from a MS Flightsim in respect of scenery items, what serious flightsimmers want from a MS Flightsim is a framework that allows the best quality add-ons, so such people myself included would happily do without any detailed airports being provided with FSX out of the box, since the freeware and payware folks will allways produce better and more numerous freeware scenery than MS could hope to provide even if they ie MS added lots of people to their development team. Really the like of detailed airports being included in the boxed product are for people who would not even think of adding payware and freeware scenery. Like I said before, I have made lots of criticisms of FSX but it is fascinating and brillant to see traffic traveling along British motorways after I installed an England photographic scenery to FSX.Best and Warm RegardsAdrian Wainer

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A game or a simulation...Hmmm, I think it's whatever you want it to be. So there is no either or...Bryan

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Nigel I agree with some of your points, but I think what Bill Leaming said it best:"Please understand that I do not disagree with at least some of what you've written, but the exposition is so filled with fatal flaws of reasoning and erroneous factual data that it becomes far less effective and compelling as it might have been."RhettAMD 3700+ (@2585 mhz), eVGA 7800GT 256 (Guru3D 93.71), ASUS A8N-E, PC Power 510 SLI, 2gb Corsair XMS 3-3-3-8 (1T), WD 150 gig 10000rpm Raptor, WD 250gig 7200rpm SATA2, Seagate 120gb 5400 rpm external HD, CoolerMaster Praetorian

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Hi Nigel, you mentioned "a modified FS2004" being a better product than FSX, so I feel compelled to point out that, that is not a realistic comparison or expectation. What we could do is ompare a "stock" FS2004 to a stock FSX or we could wait four more years from now which would equal (roughly) the time FS2004 has been out and then compare a "heavily modified FS2004" to a heavily modified FSX, and by that time I think we'll probably see some amazing things developed for FSX. Other than that thanks for sharing your thoughts, and though these little "my fs is better than your fs" threads pop up every now and then I won't accuse you of being one of "those guys" since you at least took the time to explain yourself instead of the usual "FSX sucks, and if you like FSX you suck."Jeff

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It exists. It costs about $50.00 to get the best version.Lots of free stuff.Who Cares?FSX? FS9? FS5-8?I remember FS1. Stuff's too cool!Get over your "angst". What we have is what we have. FSX is tre' cool, warts and all. Do YOU fly a plane? If so...why ain't YOU flyin?I used to fly. A lot...now I fly FS-xxx (FS9 & FSX at least) (might be some "x-plane" in there too. IL2 also!)bt

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Hi Nigel,I think you raise a number of fair points and share the general fustration felt at FSX, by us, the users. I have to say it is always good to see new versions of FS come out. In my opinion, it is clear that each version surpasses the previous one and overall progress is always made. No question we are light years from FS2002 and a great deal from FS2004. I actually think FSX has advanced significantly in the visual aspect. Now, I am sad to see that the actual simulation aspect has not been dealt with properly. Personally I would gladly live without things like moving wildlife (unless birds actually represented the threat they are in real life), being able to go out of the atmosphere or ships crossing the oceans, not to mention "missions".But given the fact that our computers have limitations I would much prefer to see proper flight dynamics in place... I want to be able to side slip, do hammer heads, spin and practice stalls properly, I want smooth aircraft and realistic cockpits! I much prefer 3 planes modelled to the upmost level of realism than 40 which feel like arcade models.I really get angry when I see a bloody zebra crossing my path but I cant forward slip when high on short final!!!! We are buying a FLIGHT simulator are we not??I also think FSX was released prematurely as it is a nightmere, or should I say imposible to run smoothly and efficiently. Deluxe or not deluxe, dual core or not dual core, DX10 or not DX10, expansion packs or no expansion packs.... what a mess. and mean while top notch computers barly handle it.I for one tested my sytem on that MS page where you see how a given game will run and it scored top grades... right at the edge of the scale of "not so good to brilliant" (on the brilliant side that is) so sure it will run smoothly it implied... install FSX and bang! medium to high display settings and 15FPS... way to go FSX.Im going to flight school and buying a mac.

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whew lots of lines....spaces are your friend!lol :)Anyway, I am a real pilot, and feel it is both a game and a simulationThere are a lot of game aspects, especially with FSX - like missions, etcThere are a lot of sim aspects, like flying an instrument approach into XYZ airportSo there ya go...it's both!

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It's actually a "gamulation", just like first person shooters are. When you think about it, a FPS is a simulation of being a . . . shooter, for you in the first person. I think the real issue is this (at least from the hardcore simmer): what we REALLY want, is for Bill Gates or whomever to take a PERSONAL INTEREST in making the most accurate, most efficiently coded, fully scalable front end software, REGARDLESS of the cost or profitability involved. After all, Bill has 40 or 50 billion now, so just a little chump change for him could turn the product into what you and I really want: an expensive piece of software (were MS to dedicate the kind of effort we'd like to see) at bargain basement pricing. I must say tho, for me, I'd pay $500 for a piece of software that was what I just described--in a few words, flawless, ultra-efficient, cutting edge everything, etc. Multicored to the hilt. Using all available physical memory. Yada Yada. I guess the peeps with control of the $$ at MS have the kind of personal desire to do what I describe--tho u n me know, they could. Now if we could convince them that this was a noble cause in itself, perhaps then, who knows. Don't hold your breath!There is no FS but FS, and Bill is his funder! Solly!Noel

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What you REALLY need is a dose of realism.No one is ever ever going to develop "the most accurate, most efficiently coded, fully scalable front end software, REGARDLESS of the cost or profitability involved."Bill Gates can find far more worthy causes for his charity than FS enthusiasts who can afford to pay $500 dollars for a plaything.

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"Slashed2 wrote:FS9 and PMDG and all the other add-ons still require a fairly new computer, you're not landing at JFK with 40 fps unless you have a fairly new PC despite the hype. I was running at 12 fps in JFK with fs9 on high settings on an AMD 3000 with an 6600 ultra."Exactly. I only got FS2004 to run "properly" (meaning without limitations) half way through 2007 when I got a new rig with an E6700 CPU and a 640MB 8800GTX video card. I have FS9 locked at 30FPS and I still take hits every once in a while. So if we are to compare FS9 and FSX performance, then we should wait another year or two and run FSX with the tech-of-the-day and then see what happens. Also, it's not completely fair to compare FS9 + patch + $800 in add-ons (in my case) + years of smoothing out to FSX stock and say "Oh my! But FS9 runs so much better."If we're going to compare then lets compare - take a 100% stock screen of FS9 and one of FSX and look at the difference. FSX is light years ahead. FS9 and FSX are the bases we build upon (for right or wrong) and in a year or two it's entirely possible that FSX + patches + hundreds of dollars in add-ons will eclipse FS9 to such a degree that FS9 will be rearded as FS2002 is regarded now, an old friend that sits on the shelf.But for now I'm flying both and enjoying both very much. @-@

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There are probably many who are in agreement with your critique. You are neither right or wrong. It is perception. It is your perception. You have every right to have that perception. To argue perception is to argue ideology. Who in Microsoft makes decisions on the target markets and the percentages of participation in those markets? The program will drift toward that perceived market. If you are not in that target zone frustration will occur. Since the customer base does not know the marketing facts and the revenue/profit we can only guess at the direction of the program. You made some guesses and, of course, saw that there were few who agreed. However, the question is NOT, were you wrong. It is that you, as a customer, had a perception. A perception that can only be changed, not be argument, but by Microsoft addressing your perceived grievances. That may happen in whole, or in part, depending upon the Microsoft marketing department's belief of where you, and others, fit into THEIR perception, of the commercial world. Regards,Dick BoleyA PC, an LCD, speakers, CH yoke

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same happened to me except I was up a ladder and saw a spider. It was amazing and I said to the kids "it's not a spider, it's an ant"They just went errh?Confused, watch next weeks soap!

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Life itself is a game within a universal simulation.Can't figure that out?........................neither can I;-)

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FSX is a game that can simulate certain aspects of operating an aircraft. Much like a sex doll can simulate certain aspects of... well... sex. But in both cases it takes a grain of salt to make it believable, and even the most most realistic version would never be 100%.Really, It depends on the person- I have real life experience (in both cases thankfully :) so my mind can sort of fill in the blanks were I to simulate either... activity.For someone who has never flown a real plane, the only answer can really be that it's not that realistic by itself, and even for an accomplished pilot only certain things can be simulated accurately.And you don't have to be a pilot to know the difference between a blow-up doll and the real deal :)

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That may be physically true but marketing is not a reality process. It is an attempt to meet the needs of a mysterious target market. If a significant portion of that market has a bad PERCEPTION then the product needs adjustment. Or, a decision is made to ignore that segment as too costly to satisfy. Now the segment may have a wrong (total/partial) perception. That could be corrected through advertising, which includes the conventional media, and forums such as AVSIM where a portion of the market congregates. The problem may be that Microsoft has designed their product for a market segment that is actually not very large but is expected to mature (buy new stuff) which will improve their perceptions. Many customers of FSX are in a pre-purchase status deciding when, or if, to buy more "stuff". Some are quite patient and very respectful of the Microsoft team while others are frustrated and openly critical. It is up to Microsoft to to decide if they are going to address this waiting group or decide that this segment must improve their hardware to see the full potential of FSX. Tweaks are ok but that only enhances frustration since tweaking simply re-subdivides an already low resource pot. The balloon squeezing exercise is fun - to a point.So, in my less than humble opinion, Microsoft has made a decision after SP1 to stand behind the need for their customers to buy more equipment to capitalize on the enhanced features of FSX. There is little value in discussions about the "perceived" shortcomings of FSX. That is the past. While the perception of FSX may influence a small number of future purchasing decisions most will simply wait for SP2 and if that does not make their inadequate PC run FSX better they will get out the credit card.Regards,Dick BoleyA barely adequate e4400 Core2Duo clocked to 2.5ghz

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Oh, do you think? Or maybe it's because I point out the UNREALISM of many peoples' hopes, do you think?

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Read this yesterday, and didn't agree with most of it either. The author is completely off base when it comes to the Microsoft "team" involved, since I too, know a lot of the real characters; as well claiming no improvement on scenery.Since I'm a scenery fanatic, it's been FSX's very noticeable improvement in displaying high resolution graphics that's had my attention from day one. And this includes everything from mountains and cities to bump mapping on aircraft.Except for several 3rd party FS9 aircraft; and well done airport scenery areas such as FlightScenery Portland, FlyTampa, and Glacier Bay; I use FSX as my regular "flight simulator", and FS9 more for fun. FSX does indeed provide me with the most realistic topography (mountain) database for my real life flying areas of the mountain west. Especially when combined with FSGenesis. The improved resolution of FSX's photo type scenery tiles makes the old FS9 mountain scenery looking rather crude in comparison.So here I am, with a brand new sectional and VFR Terminal Area Chart, ready to give FSX another go, as a SIMULATION. Afterall, I haven't flown a real plane since Saturday, and might get a bit rusty... :-hah L.Adamson

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Here here! That is inspirational L.A. I have something to look forward to when I can upgrade my rig.

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I agree, It's Microsofts job to create a good solid base platform. a platform that makes it easy for other developers to create scenery - scenery that must be able to run and look beautiful. Have they done this? Well I sort of agree that they didn't - in the performance perspective part of things. When FSX first came out I was a little shocked about how bad the performance was. Now after almost a year it's been out, the team is still at full work with this product - which i think is pretty cool. After SP1 came out I am now able to see the light, performance has drastically improved for me. It's like they released a World Wide beta version of FS in October, and now they are taking peoples criticism and suggestions and doing what must be done, fixing it up. If Microsoft was not still working on the product then i would be mad, but they are not, so i am happy. As for the expansion pack, they are simply making it because the scenery people don't have anything to do while the other developers are preparing the DX10/ SP2 patch. I would make a suggestion to Microsoft/ ACES though, be sure you are spending a greater amount of time on the Base Product and not the Scenery Design. Though by making the scenery they see what they have to do to make the scenery development easier for others. Anyways, i think ACES is on the right track :-)

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