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Should 3rd party developers be held to the same standards as the Microsoft Flight Simulator Franchise?

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Hi all, I remember when FSX was first released, and many of us including myself were downright outraged with its performance (including myself) Since that time the ACES team answered that call, and released 2 service packs which addressed many of the FSX performance issues! There was a post I read not far back where the O.P. pretty much stated that he was gonna abandon FSX and go back to FS9 because he got poor FPS with one of his favorite addons. I'm not gonna state as to which 3rd party payware aircraft he was refering to, as I do not wish to single out any one single developer. But my answer to him was "how is that solely FSX's fault" So my question is should 3rd party payware developers be held to the same standards many of us imposed on the ACES team and FSX? Hopefully we can all remain objective in our opinions, and please dont single out any one single 3rd party developer in this thread!Thanks,Chris

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> There was a post I read not far back where the O.P. pretty>much stated that he was gonna abandon FSX and go back to FS9>because he got poor FPS with one of his favorite addons. I'm>not gonna state as to which 3rd party payware aircraft he was>refering to, as I do not wish to single out any one single>developer. But my answer to him was "how is that solely FSX's>fault" >I think the real answer to him should be, "why dont you buy a true FSX 3rd party add on?" I do feel sympathetic that people do not want to part with what they like and what they have used in the past but I also think that it is asking way too much for ACES to make sure that each and every 3rd party add on will function properly. So yes I agree with you that the developers should be held to certain standards. Alot of them now offer demo versions, although I have not seen any demo versions of any aircraft, that you can try out first and see how it will perform. Most will give you your money back if you are unhappy with the purchase. I think one way to help with this matter would be for the add on to expire after a certain amount of time where at that point you would need to cough up the cash if you were happy and wanted to keep using the addon.

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I thought that FSX default aircraft were the reference .While degree of complexity of the vast majority of Payware is far increased the companies i model for go to great lengths to optimize mapping to reduce draw calls and manage to compare well.Much of the methodology is less than a year old and models produced as FSX Compatible though using the FS9 SDK run badly compared to the latest generations of SP2 productions .Without identifying the aircraft in question there is no way to compare what FSX model should even be used as a reasonable baseline,the F18 ? Lear ? Glider ? all are MS product releases and not in the least equal in performance, that is especially true of tubeliners with no reasonable comparison possible between a payware and default model .

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Word travels quickly.I was one of those who had my credit card out and downloading within minutes of a release.I am also one who will be quick to post my opinions both good and bad.Alot more sit and wait before purchasing especially from those whos names are not the greatest.Ive been burned a few times by certain developers but it catches up to them.Slightly OT but 2 weeks ago I spent $150 on 3 new PC releases.Rainbow6 Vegas 2 has a problem "unsolvable" detecting my hardware.There are 150+ pages of compliants on their forums.ZERO SUPPORT.Its always YOUR HARDWARE or inexperince. Gears of War from the mighty Microsoft will not load.Again the forums are bloated "over 100 pages and counting" with complains. I was actually told to reinstall windows from scratch as a fix. Microsofts installer MAKES you join their online service in order for you to save games and make game changes. Vid car settings,mouse settings. INSANE.....So its not JUST 3rd partys slinging out crap but also the big boys.Betreen XP sp2,sp3,Vista,different cards,drivers,dx9,dx10, its a miracle anything runs at all.Ive gotten MOST of my problems with FSX ironed out but I also bought it on day 1. Also spent over $1000 in hardware and $500 and counting in addons.I have cut back my spending especially with the exchange rate.Also just bought a PS3.

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jwenham,Even if an aircraft is a true FSX model, it might present a heavy impact on fps. This seems to be inevitable when models have advanced glass cockpits. Some developers offers configuration utilities that allow setting refresh rates for gauges, which enables you to balance smoothness and fps. I have aircraft that are FS9 models that perform better than FSX models.It would be a good thing if all vendors had to present a relative (percentage) impact on frame rates compared with default Cessna C172. This would give us a hint on how the aircraft will perform.Ulf BCore2Duo X6800 3.3GHz4GB RAM Corsair XMS2-8500C5BFG 8800GTX, Creative SB X-FiFSX Acc/SP2, Vista 32

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>I have cut back my spending especially with the exchange>rate.For the same reason I've increased my spending. ;-)Ulf B

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>Even if an aircraft is a true FSX model, it might present a>heavy impact on fps. This seems to be inevitable when models>have advanced glass cockpits. Some developers offers>configuration utilities that allow setting refresh rates for>gauges, which enables you to balance smoothness and fps. I>have aircraft that are FS9 models that perform better than FSX>models.> I do understand that but I really was'nt only talking about FPS. I was more refering to the other ascpects of the add on such as functionality, compatibility, things like that. Not to say that FPS is not important, it is egually. I love the add ons I own but I hate the break in process involved when you get one. IE, turn this off, turn this on, raise this setting, lower this seting, and then there is my all time favorite, you might want to reload FSX. Imagine if you had to pull the engine of your car everytime you bought new tires.

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>I do understand that but I really was'nt only talking about>FPS. I was more refering to the other ascpects of the add on>such as functionality, compatibility, things like that. Not to>say that FPS is not important, it is egually. I love the add>ons I own but I hate the break in process involved when you>get one. IE, turn this off, turn this on, raise this setting,>lower this seting, and then there is my all time favorite, you>might want to reload FSX. Imagine if you had to pull the>engine of your car everytime you bought new tires.I get the point. I have a couple of saved FSX config settings, which allow me to fast change between IFR suitable settings (low autogen etc) and VFR settings. The aircraft that I have that allow changing of gauge refresh rates etc, save the settings so you don't have to set them again if you exit and restart FSX (or did you mean reinstall FSX when you wrote "reload FSX"?).Ulf B

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What standards and how would they be defined?

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What baffles me is I own both GA and Commercial payware. In some cases my commercial payware performs equal to, or better than my general aircraft? Strange considering all the system modeling that goes along with most commercial models.To be honest I do not know which of my commercial payware are completely FSX compatible or use the FS9 SDK. I do know that the general aircraft I am refering to are true FSX models.It seems so trivial to me that a glass cockpit could cause such a performance hit, but then again thats why I am just a buyer , and not a develeper.

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Yes I have been told and actually had to once Re-Install FSX. After I went through that process I learned that SP2 never installed properly when I orig. installed it. But now that I 100% that my FSX install is golden and I am told to reinstall FSX at that point I will most likely be asking for a refund rather that to go through that again. On the other hand there are some very good developers out there that will go to any measure to help you out. I think there are two reasons for that. 1 they dont want a bad reputation on forums such as this one or two they are actually good people. If it is for the first reason then that makes this forum a very valuable tool for all of us.

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Everything that requires a processing cycle takes away performance. More features=more processing cycles=less fps.Some commercial payware is really quite simple with few gauges, less polygons, and some is quite complicated-same as the default fs aircraft which also have different levels of features. This is why all aircraft will bring different performance levels-sometimes even within the aircraft itself depending on the view selected.True also that some are programmed better and more efficiently than others, and I have found those done specifically for fsx seem always to do better.Since you mention glass panels-the G1000 simulator made by Garmin when it came out a few years ago brought many computers at the time to their knees. This was just a simulator of the system-no flight sim, scenery etc. It only makes sense that if we add a completely modelled system such as this to the flight sim, that this will cause a penalty. Probably why the fs one is dumbed down-not only would it have taken a horrible time penalty in modelling fully from the programmers, but would have brought all computers to their knees.So if I bought a completely modelled g1000 (which I am planning to do) and it brings my computer to its knees-is that because a certain standard is not there-or because I have simply asked for too much?Of course the solution is to get the add on-and understanding the level of complexity of that add in, turn down other areas of the sim to free some cycles up.http://www.mediafire.com/imgbnc.php/1b5baf...b9f427f694g.jpgMy blog:http://geofageofa.spaces.live.com/

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By standards I mean many of us expect FSX to be more framerate friendly. All I am saying is, should'nt 3rd party developers share some of that burden well? I'm not so much refering to the payware that is already out. Whats done is done. My call really goes out to any future developers, and or any projects currently in the works. This is not to say that developers are not already doing so or have already done, as I am sure a great many have.

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I think the forums and the market keeps the third party developers in check, at least for me. I haven't been dissapointed in a third party purchase since a certain 707 was released. Started paying more attention to forum comments after that. Still waiting for the promised 707 update and haven't bought anything from that vendor since. We don't have many options for a core flight simulator though. If it doesn't work efficiently, none of the add-ons will either.

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Well, let's start with: The O.P. getting poor frame rates and your question; "how is that solely FSX's fault".The more complex the aircraft, the more detailed the scenery, the more expressive the weather, the more exacting its toll on FSX irrespective whether it is native FS9 or FSX. Again, you may ask how is that FSX's fault? Let's revisit the dead stinking horse that we long ago beat to death.FSX out of the box is/was a poor performer. FSX SP2, while, a 'better' performer is STILL hard on extreme PC's and eats mediocre PC's for breakfast. Out of the box. No 10 cloud layers, no FMC and ESHI with magenta line integration, no exquisite photorealistic KJFK; Just out of the box. (Analogy_Mode=1) If you wish to build a skyscraper, you first have to ensure that the underlying ground can fully support the weight. The more stable and solid the ground, the higher you can build. Apropos, if you build your 110 story skyscraper on shaky ground then you will not be happy with the results. You will find yourself sitting across the street at Starbucks admiring your new towering masterpiece as it implodes and sinks into the ground. Now the question can easily be regurgitated thus: "how is that the developer's fault? "Surely, if they we are instructed to build our 'buildings' on ground that can barely support its own weight and then must support the enourmous weight of our highly complex addon's, what are we to do?" More so, the concensus of the vocal 3PDs here has been to Aces: "WE TOLD YOU SO!!!"Much like the Leaning Tower of Pisa, fixes and patches afterwards have YET to stop the tower from leaning. The difference with FSX is that many KNEW before hand that the 'tower' would lean, twitch and eventually fall without some immediate help even when it was still being built. Much UNLIKE the Leaning Tower of Pisa, FSX has not subsequently become an universally agree source of admiration. And much UNLIKe the Leaning Tower of Pisa, FSX is not still being stabilized, it has been left to lean as it wants. As we speak, a NEW tower is being built. (Analogy_Mode=0)Furthermore, to which 'standards' do you refer? Aces insists that 3PD adhere to a business and moral code to the community that all non FSX native aircraft be labled as such, to that I say Bravo!!! But (and this but has a big BUTT) why is that moral standard then nonexistant when it refers to the MICROSOFT website showing the fake DX10 shots touting them as the new FSX for DX10? Then again, maybe the Microsoft stated FSX minimum system requirements of 1Ghz CPU, 32MB Ram Video Card,and, 256-512MB of RAM accurately reflects the TRUE requirements of FSX? If that the standard to which you speak then there is NO standard to speak of. Of course, unless you intend to invent a new standard to which to hold 3PDs, but, not do the same for Aces/Microsoft.At the end of the day, the moral leadership MUST come from Aces, it is THEY who have to ensure that their glass houses are boarded up before the stone throwing commences. Just one man's humble opinion.Mike T.

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The world rewards innovative products (nonstandard), and yet so many people view standards as protection against bad quality. Interesting, don't you think?In my business, aerospace manufacturing, and in my flight Sim development experience, I would say that being forced to be creative within boundaries imposed by standards reduces innovation and lowers the "delight" factor of the output.If we explore our thinking beyond the short-term, and consider the consequences inherent in our ideas, we may see less call for standards. After all, standards only lead to excellence, if the standard creator understands what future excellence is possible and ensures the standard allows for that future excellence. It is precisely this truth that led developers to use techniques outside the boundaries of the SDK. Isn't the SDK, a form of standard? So when developers need techniques beyond the SDK to achieve excellence, should they forgo those features, produce standard product that is safe? Of course, some do this, and the standard setters praise that approach. I suspect the marketplace penalizes those products however, because a secondary standard is actually imposed on products. You see this standard imposed in both formal and informal reviews, that is the "delight" factor which is more likely present in innovative (nonstandard) products.As a temporarily retired scenery designer, I refer you to Portland scenery for FS 2004, and Emma Field. Everyone has their own personal favorites, but I suspect we all agree that these products were examples of the delight factor I refer to. These products use nonstandard techniques.Standards only seem like a good idea, when nonstandard products dissatisfy. Non-standard products that satisfy are never recognized to be nonstandard. Once Standard Products are required, nonstandard products that delight will be sorely missed.Bob

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Quote:"Furthermore, to which 'standards' do you refer? Aces insists that 3PD adhere to a business and moral code to the community that all non FSX native aircraft be labled as such, to that I say Bravo!!! But (and this but has a big BUTT) why is that moral standard then nonexistant when it refers to the MICROSOFT website showing the fake DX10 shots touting them as the new FSX for DX10? Then again, maybe the Microsoft stated FSX minimum system requirements of 1Ghz CPU, 32MB Ram Video Card,and, 256-512MB of RAM accurately reflects the TRUE requirements of FSX?"There are several flaws with these two statements in general,the DX10 image and the box requirements, and the overall argument here.DX10 image on Vista GfW page:If 1)I had never talked to the magic screeneis2)I had never talked to SP2-DX10 while it was in-process, or made the post I made about SP2-DX10 before availability3)I had never talked to the effort to try to remove that image (*)and that image continued to exist in isolation, then yes I would call it fair to bring this up.However, simply quoting the existence of that image does not accurately reflect events since:1)I did try to set expectations about SP2-DX10 ahead of time2)I did set the record straight about SP2-DX10 with my post about what it contained3)I have stated that removing that image from the GameForWindows site has proved to be hard (*) and not something I or Aces control.Box requirements:Box requirements are essentially a min-spec. What you need to run at all, not what you need to run well. And that has always been true in the sw industry, this is not news.True FSX has humongous requirements, but when you are potentially renderng 100s of thousands of objects that is where it sits.Again if no one had ever talked to the issue with the box requirements, or if we had not updated them for Acceleration I could see this fixation on them. However, we have talked to them and Acceleration did update them. Going back to old news and acting like there has been no public discourse since is not accurate.Overall argument:Do 2 wrongs make a right? I think that is more key than the issue with the DX10 image or the box requirements.Essentially you are saying because Aces made mistakes, that means any discussion beyond that is moot, right? Have I not been out here talking to our mistakes? Since just past RTM? Lo these 18 months and 1000+ posts?From your post, it seems not, that there has been no attempt to talk to either of these 2 issues or a series of other ones that I have attempted to address. Is that really accurate? I think when issues are framed like this, with no reference to the debate since the original offense, that is really unaccurate and of questionable fairness. Yes, a mistake was made. But also yes, an attempt to address it was made. Not making any reference to it, how is that fair?I brought up the issue of accurately labeling products because I see end-users struggling because of this lack of clarity in the case 4 I cited on my 2nd bloc post. It puzzles me that trying to voice this concern causes other end-users, whose vested interest is in more clear labeling, would argue otherwise. The world seems turned upside down to me when I see that. (*) I forwarded the last thread from the community on the DX10 image on the Vista GfW page, and the GfW team assures me that sometime soon they will remove that image. And they did so every day last week. And it still isn't done. Believe me, it wont be soon enough for me. But I can only wait for them to make this change, I cannot make it myself. And this isnt the first time I have discussed this.

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"Now the question can easily be regurgitated thus: "how is that the developer's fault? "Surely, if they we are instructed to build our 'buildings' on ground that can barely support its own weight and then must support the enourmous weight of our highly complex addon's, what are we to do?" More so, the concensus of the vocal 3PDs here has been to Aces: "WE TOLD YOU SO!!!"No one instructed developers to do anything. Developers themselves chose to develop their products. Surely if, as you suggest, developers knew that thet would be problems for consumers ("WE TOLD YOU SO!!!") then they have no one else to blame but themselves when consumers complain about those problems. Developers need to accept that they have to work within the limitations of FS as it is, not as they would like/wish/hope it to be.In financial terms what is the benefit to Microsoft of add-on developers? How much additional revenue is generated for Microsoft because of the existence of developers - given that first time purchasers are unlikely to be aware of the existence of developers add-ons until after they've bought FS? How many bought FS only because a particular add-on was available? : DISCUSS.

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Bob that was one succinct argument you put forward, and is proved by a number of techniques in service now , the most important of them being 2048 x 2048 textures and subsequent to that the remapping to eliminate multimaterials , none of these methods were employed in

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"So my question is should 3rd party payware developers be held to the same standards many of us imposed on the ACES team and FSX?"The short answer is yes 3PDs are held to the same if not a higher standard than MS in that they are required to deliver satisfactory performance and feature sets within their product lines:-)It is interesting that those standards are or will soon be met by those who care about their content while coordinating newer techniques that do "step outside the envelope"In our case, a number of never before used techniques are included in a number of already released FSX products and it seems that a number of 3PDs are in the process of exploring other techniques as well. It is exciting to see what may be accomplished as we all look at the new platform with a fresh viewpoint:-)One should never assume that because it "ain't quite ready for prime time yet" that it is not "right around the corner":-)

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There is another aspect to this discussion and that is the consumers use of these flightsim products. If consumers neglects to manage their PCs such that the PC Flightsim performance is bound to be below par then all the good will and hard work of all developers may be "Spitting in the wind". So I think that some recognition of the need for consumers to accept reponsiblility for the environment in which the flightsim products are to be operated is valid. This factor may be abused by any developer to apportion the blame for a performance issue straight back at the consumer in a knee jerk fashion. There is also an opposite reaction from consumers that all problems must be the developers. I suspect that the truth, as is usually the case, lies somewhere in the middle. So the mud flies and will continue to do so.Long live the catch cry of the user Knight "It can't be my PC it runs other software great".and Long live the catch cry of Developer Knight "It can't be our software we tested it".

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>"So my question is should 3rd party payware developers be>held to the same standards many of us imposed on the ACES team>and FSX?">>The short answer is yes 3PDs are held to the same if not a>higher standard than MS in that they are required to deliver>satisfactory performance and feature sets within their product>lines:-)>>It is interesting that those standards are or will soon be met>by those who care about their content while coordinating newer>techniques that do "step outside the envelope">>In our case, a number of never before used techniques are>included in a number of already released FSX products and it>seems that a number of 3PDs are in the process of exploring>other techniques as well. It is exciting to see what may be>accomplished as we all look at the new platform with a fresh>viewpoint:-)>>One should never assume that because it "ain't quite ready for>prime time yet" that it is not "right around the corner":-)>>>>Thanks for your reply. Great news! Its good to here that companies such as yours and others are exploring newer techniques in an effort to provide more satisfactory performance and features within the limits of FSX!BTW I'm eagerly (yet patiently) awaiting your next project:-)

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"If consumers neglects to manage their PCs such that the PC Flightsim performance is bound to be below par then all the good will and hard work of all developers may be "Spitting in the wind"."So I think that some recognition of the need for consumers to accept reponsiblility for the environment in which the flightsim products are to be operated is valid." Ha ha, are you actually advocating that users should be held to a standard?:-) Would such a standard include at least a baseline level of competancy as it relates to proper PC setup and use?Would you then advocate that PC Hardware/Driver setup 101, FS9 101, and FSX 101 be completed before users would be allowed to post about the incompetancy of 3PDs and Microsoft?What a novel idea:-) :-) Before anyone bashes...this is a joke folks:-lol :-lol

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The entire PC hardware requirements/standards needs to be overhauled.I am not going to rehash this over but I have access to just about any hardware I want to play with and 2 freinds who would be considered "gurus".Even so, I am so upset and just plained tired of trying to get some games to even run,much less well, I actually bought a PS3 last week.When simply checking one box in a options menu can CRASH your system or whenever tech support are trying to explain registy edits TO BEGGINNERS just to play a game, somethings WRONG.Many many years ago I was complaining about having to upgrade my 20 mhz computer to a 25hhz for $3000 in order to play Microprose f-19 stealth figher.Now here I am with a multicore 2+ghz computer still complaining.Bottom line is I only run FSX on my computer and use the PS3 for my shooters,GTA4 ect.Its sad but like Crysis, some games you need a specific hardware setup along with a specific settings just to run.After tackling FSX and Crysis, I think I could rewire the space shuttle:-bla Ok Im done......Aerosoft wheres my F-16......FSD- Where is my MU-2?Where is FSCargo for FSX?Where are my Xanax?*:-*

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No, I am merely suggesting that whilst users should accept that they may need to clean their own house to get performance gains. Developers should examine problems and ensure that it they are user issues and not just use that as an excuse to blow users away. At a personal experience level I reported an issue with an add on I had purchased and received the response that the add-on had been developed according to FSX standards therefore it was my problem. A couple of months later a fix appeared at the developers site to the problem I had reported. I was lucky in this case because the developer at least looked at the issue and produced a fix, although I discovered it purely by accident.

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