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Death of freeware has been announced prematurely

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Every few weeks, someone announces the death of freeware (or even payware). Then something like the Savoia Marchetti S.73, by Stefano Meneghini, shows up in the file library and I have to have shake my head: not dead yet. I've been writing the Freeware Frenzy column in Computer Pilot magazine for over a year now, and I'm repeatedly impressed by the quality of freeware offerings and the generosity of people who make it available. I realize that things are getting harder for developers, that standards are ridiculously high, that the transition to FSX has been rocky for everyone, and that some good people have gotten out of freeware because it wasn't fun anymore (i.e., because of ungrateful downloaders who complained when they should have been saying, "Thank you").Well, thank you. This is a great hobby with great people in it. It's also a great international hobby. The Marchetti that I'm flying this morning was modeled in Italy, but I've also enjoyed flying models that were made in Germany, Poland, and Czechoslavakia. And there's lots of great scenery for pretty much the whole Mediterranean, not to mention the at-least-payware-quality scenery that Holger Sandmann and his team have been releasing for my native North America. As one Wordsworth said about the early months of the French Revolution: "Bliss was it in that dawn to be alive..."

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David,I'm looking all over the FSX aircraft section for this plan and cannot find it. Any hints?Thanks!JesseP.S. or is it the fs2004 plane that works in fsx?

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>P.S. or is it the fs2004 plane that works in fsx?Look for filename s73_v20.zip. It's an FS2004 plane that works in FSX. The one issue I've noticed is with the middle prop as seen from the virtual cockpit: with Acceleration/SP2 installed, it flashes, and the bottom part of the disc is chopped off by part of the model. Not complaining, though: no one ever promised that this model would work with FSX, much less Acceleration.

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I'll agree with you when I see 1 addon airport with custom runway/taxiway texture!I don't believe there is even 1 airport out there after 1 full year of FSX.Maybe freeware aircrafts are still alive and well.. and aircrafts for FSX is not an issue...we have so many of them already. But for sceneries...especially Airports. I can categorically state its dead as a door knob! :)MannyPS. This is not an un gratefulness towards free ware artists. I luv em. Thanks to them... I have so many awesome addons for FS9...especially for Europe. You should see the amazing addon sceneries for Greece, Italy, Norway and Finland and few others thats out there...all FS9 addons.

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>I'll agree with you when I see 1 addon airport with custom>runway/taxiway texture!>>I don't believe there is even 1 airport out there after 1 full>year of FSX.>>Maybe freeware aircrafts are still alive and well.. and>aircrafts for FSX is not an issue...we have so many of them>already. But for sceneries...especially Airports. I can>categorically state its dead as a door knob! >>:)>>Manny>MannyAs you probably already know, custom ground texture poly is not in the FSX SDK. To use them, a designer must go beyond the bounds of the SDK (modifying the .mdl file), which many do not want to do to maintain guaranteed compatibility with the sim. That seems to especially be the case now, as ACES has (as they should, imo) made the strictures of the SDK very rigid as to what works and what does not. (see SP2) :DAlso there is the matter of time; to get custom ground textures proportionally and positionally correct takes tremendous effort.Furthermore there have been reports that they do not display correctly in FSX anyway, with various display anomalies, so it's enough to steer designers away from it I suppose.On the bright side, the xml aprons and taxiways are not as horrid as you say :). And you say it often. :) I have never really responded to any of your posts about it but I thought I would expound on it this time around because of the opportunity we have as FS11 takes shape.The good news is that we can, and have, lobbied Microsoft/ACES to allow this WONDERFUL feature in the FS11 .mdl format. I agree with you, custom ground texture polys at airports are indeed wonderful to behold.I am going to bring it up every chance I get in the design community so that we can make sure we have it in FS11 in some way, shape or form. Who knows, airport ground texture polys may not even be created using a 3D modelling tool in FS11! It might be part of the terrain system, or something else. It will be an amazing time, the next 2 years...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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>Maybe freeware aircrafts are still alive and well.. and>aircrafts for FSX is not an issue...we have so many of them>already. But for sceneries...especially Airports. I can>categorically state it's dead as a door knob! Manny, have you tried Victoria+ yet? See vicenh7a.zip and vicenh7b.zip here in the file library. Lively stuff there!

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>>Not complaining, though: no one ever promised that this model>would work with FSX, much less Acceleration.Well, that to me is the point. for whatever reason folks are not designing with the FSX SDK. At first it was attributed to growing pains, but still a year later very little going on. I hear the sentiment for all-new FS11 "if you built it, they will come". I hope that's true. But I would like to hear more about why developers aren't yet targeting FSX for freeware. scott s..

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"for whatever reason folks are not designing with the FSX SDK."this is so true. while i have spent very little time myself in the fsx sdk, after reading some of the SP2-related posts here recently it has become apparent that many developers are staying away from the sdk. i must then ask: is the sdk itself really dreadful to learn/ use/ work with? it sure seems that way to me if the volume of currently available fsx sdk-designed aircraft is any indication.if that is the case, i pray to the almight flight simming gods that whomever is in charge of the fs11 sdk learns from this experience and puts together something that is (a) rich in detail and features, yet (:( simple to learn and intuitive to use. i know this is asking alot, but the franchise would be in a much better place right now if this logic were applied to the current sdk.an actual aircraft or scenery developer could speak to this point more accurately than I could.

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Hi guys,there are a couple of issues at work here, at least for scenery developers:* despite ACES' attempt to maintain some backward compatibility, 90% of FS9 code doesn't work or not as we want it to* even worse, some of the feautures possible with FS9 (conditional display, ground polys, etc.) have no FSX equivalent; that's a big damper on motivation, at least for those who want to produce highly realistic and accurate projects* many of us relied on third-party tools (G2K4, SBuilder, Slartibartfast, etc.) that created proprietary code, which can only partially re-used in the FSX versions of the tools, if those exist at all* doing something new tends to be more fun than re-doing the old stuff. Yet, new projects usually take a lot more time to complete* each version of FS allows to display more detail and adds new features. This not only makes projects more time consuming it also means you need to be pretty good at what you're doing to complete clean high-quality projectsIn short, it really means starting anew, with tools, data, and knowledge (new tools and features). That's not for everyone, especially those with limited time and resources. For example, all the water polys I created for my FS9 landscape files don't work anymore because the FS9 tools break the polys along grid raster lines. By doing so they create narrow non-water grids. In FS9 the ground resolution was too coarse to make those land "bridges" visible but in FSX they show up. Thus, I had to find new data, pre-process them in the appropriate GIS tools, and then compile them to FSX format. Similar stories with most other landscape elements.Yet I don't think that freeware is dead. Working on your own projects, on your own time, and with enthusiastic and talented team members, is great fun and rewarding. There's always new people that join the crowd and us "veterans" will keep plodding along as well. Jon, Don and I just published Victoria+ and I/we have at least a half dozen other freeware projects in the pipeline, not to mention our commercial projects.Patience, grasshoppers ;-) Besides, FSX will be with us for at least two more years...Cheers, Holger

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As an aircraft developer I can tell you that things changed a lot! There were good changes and bad. Bottom line is that to develop a plane that is totally compliant to the FSX SDK involves a lot of work, a lot of study, and a lot of time. Pete took me a year to do, and that was starting from what I had for FS9! I'm getting close to finishing my next plane, the Thorp T-18 built by my Dad. Based on my experience the amount of time & effort required to create a quality product is going to take it's toll on the freeware developers out there.The Thorp started life as a plane for FS9, and during the early stages was promised to be released as freeware. I intend to uphold that promise, but the amount of effort needed to make a quality fully FSX featured plane nowadays means that in the future I may not be giving it away.Here's what I'm working on... http://forums.avsim.net/dcboard.php?az=sho...d=267478&page=2

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...and to expand on what Holger was getting at:* As time passes, the "bar gets raised". I can say that on the things I've designed, I have spent several weeks creating it, but then MONTHS tweaking it, improving textures, etc. because the standard of quality is so high today.Perhaps Holger can identify with this: About 10 months ago, I designed scenery of the Nicaraguan coast, San Juan River, an so forth. I loaded my scenery up last week, and I was apalled at how angular some of my islands were--compared to what I design today, 10 months later.The bar, even for freeware, keeps getting raised. Not a bad thing. It just takes more time to get the little things right. That's my observation.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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>>Maybe freeware aircrafts are still alive and well.. and>>aircrafts for FSX is not an issue...we have so many of them>>already. But for sceneries...especially Airports. I can>>categorically state it's dead as a door knob! >>Manny, have you tried Victoria+ yet? See vicenh7a.zip and>vicenh7b.zip here in the file library. Lively stuff there!dswo,Thanks for that tip. I didn't know about it.Manny

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>>>Maybe freeware aircrafts are still alive and well.. and>>>aircrafts for FSX is not an issue...we have so many of them>>>already. But for sceneries...especially Airports. I can>>>categorically state it's dead as a door knob! >>>>Manny, have you tried Victoria+ yet? See vicenh7a.zip and>>vicenh7b.zip here in the file library. Lively stuff there!>>dswo,>>Thanks for that tip. I didn't know about it.>>MannyYep great stuff :-)http://i5.photobucket.com/albums/y156/awf1/sign.jpg

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