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Chuck_Jodry-VJPL

Microsoft ESP - Flight Simulator's engine licensable for serious applications?

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Hi,according to this press release Microsoft will soon offer a product that looks much like the FSX graphics and simulation engine and will allow you to write your own simulation application on top.They call it "ESP", but avoid clear references to it being (based on) a specific game. And one cannot really conclude that any of this is based on FSX although the feature set is much aligned. Any word from Phil on this project? Was any of this announced at the convention?http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/press/2...ESPDebutPR.mspxThe dev kit will be $99 so it certainly is worth checking out even for hobbyists. Starting in January, we'll finally be able to re-write some of the stuff we don't like about FSX. ;)

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already blogged at http://blogs.msdn.com/ptaylor/archive/2007...-announced.aspxThis is based on the FSX engine, now licensable for commercial purposes. I thought it was pretty clear from the PR that this was true, withh quotes like: "Capitalizing on years of investment in the Microsoft Flight Simulator franchise" and similar stuff from Shawn Firminger, who is known and called out in the PR as the head of Aces Studio. Sorry if that was in doubt, it wasnt meant to be.Same for the SDK, this is based on the existing FSX SDK.ESP Client licenses are estimated at $799, but they are offered thru the Volume Sales channel. Last time I checked, min purchase was 5 licenses. Maybe some reseller will buy blocks and offer individual units. The ESP SDK is expressly for the ESP client. What is exposed from the ESP engine is what is exposed in the ESP SDK, just like in FSX so I am puzzled by your belief this SDK would enable anything different, or why you would think that it would work on the consumer product.

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This is similar to what you set out, but your post blurs the boundaries between consumer and commercial, they are distinct.By that, I mean ESP is a separately versioned, side-by-side application. With an SDK that targets that separately versioned, side-by-side application.And issues like:1)branding ( being brand neutral ), 2)EULA ( licensed for commercial purposes that are expressly forbidden in the FSX consumer EULA ), and 3)IP ( commercial reship rights for all content ) taken care of for the commercial customer to take the platform, add their solution, and ship it in volume.Yes, this does offer new opportunity to the 3rd party community, but there are issues there similar to what we face. IP clean issues, EULA and licensing issues, volume sales and support issues, quality issues. Not insurmountable by any means but to be successful in this new space they do need to be accounted for.I've updated my blog with a post similar to this.

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As the PR states, ESP 1.0 is focused on flight scenarios.We are not done with Trains yet; so its premature for ESP to be using those features.

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I was trying to figure out how to create and test a GPS enabled, location based mobile app without having to drive around all the time to test the package.Would this be the kind of tool that would be appropriate to do this with? I would use the Simulation world and one's movement in it to generate GPS coordinates to send to my program.

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If this is do-able in the FSX SDK today, it is do-able in the ESP SDK and vice versa.I dont know the SDK well enough to state a yes/no here; some else will have to do that.

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Ok, the current engine is up for sale (or 3rd party licensing for that matter). Logical consequence (or assumption): A new engine is in the works.In any case, I am elated about the announcement. Thank you!Pat

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Oh, ok, I got carried away. ESP is used to expand upon Flight scenarios only, got ya! Thanks for clarifying all the info Phil!

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I don't know why anyone is giddy about this. Sure it's neat and it might be what we've been wanting for a long time but it's not "for us". Sure it'd be great if the only limitations were a developers time/money/ability but the reality is, to me, that ESP has nothing to do with the FS we know and love. As far as I can tell, and correct me if I'm wrong, we don't gain any benefit from this.

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Well, it'll be interesting to see. If in fact it will be based on FSX, it certainly has a long way to go before being accepted by the FAA for use in application for training use. There's much to be perfected. :)

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Well, some of us aren't Little Miss Downer all the time, so we can say "Woo good job core team!"

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