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Mace

North America in decline

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This is not some kind of apocalyptic or social and political comment. I am just surprised at how few North American high quality airports there are for FSX by now. I have KORD by FSDreamteam and I know KJFK is coming along with KDFW. There are many existing airports for Europe like, EDDF, EGLL, LEMD, EBBR, LHBP with LFPG, Stockholm and a package that includes a ton of mexican airports coming soon (and this is just Aerosoft). FlyTampa has the amazing Kai Tak in development for the east. Where are all the US airports? Has the market shifted to Europe with people less interested in flying to or in the US? I am a Canadian and i am desperate for a CYVR. FSAddon was doing one, I think, but I think that project got dropped. Cloud9 said a year ago that it would develop an update for KLAX but I have checked in periodically on their forums and seen no evidence of this. Sorry for all the ramblings but I mainly fly between the US and Europe with heavies. I love KORD by FSDreamteam and I will be all over KJFK and KDFW when they are released but the US airports by "quality" developers is sorely lacking unlike the options for FS9.

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Hi,Regarding CYVR I'd recommend Nigel Grant's add on, available here on avsim library. Nigel has released two versions: One for default FSX and one to fit in with the Vancouver+ scenery.What Stockholm scenery are you using? Is this ESSA (Arlanda) or ESSB (Bromma)?Ulf B

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This begs a question indeed: last Avsim Conference there was maybe 250 people (guestimate) and half of the people I've seen at fancon were also at devcon. Seems like without devcon, the audience would have been less.Now, I read many reports of European events where they attract 1000, 2000, or even 4000 people over a weekend.Makes you wonder indeed!

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Looking at my stats, I would say the majority of flight sim add-on purchasers are European, not American. About 75 plus percent of my users are not American.Why this is the case? A deflating US economy? Perhaps. A thought I had is that because real aviation is so utterly expensive in Europe and the UK that people who are interested in aviation there have only flightsim as their outlet due to financial considerations.Whereas in the US getting a pilots license is still fairly cheap so one can do it "for real" (although the days of cheap flying are quickly coming to an end in the era of soaring energy prices.)My two cents.Bryan

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You are correct Mike!Infact, I have built up my Europe scenery and they are going full swing for FSX. US scenery scenery (pun intended) is bad.Manny

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Don't forget also Cloud 9 KMCO, Imaginesim's KMCI, KLGA, KCVG, KCLT, and KATL is planned. But I think the main reason is FSX itself. Detailed default coverage in FSX is well covered in the US. Yes the 3rd party developers can make it better, but not to the extent it could with FS2004 scenery. So there isn't as big of a market for them. Look at KATL for example, add on Jim Viles KATL approach afcad, and there is little visual difference between it and Imaginesim's. Europe is well covered also, except it seems there are more details left off, such as the overhead bridge at Gatwick! Which the UK2000 scenery faithfully restores.

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as far as interest in aviation europe has USA beat. one example are 'plane spotters.' you find few of these folks in the USA. there is also a lack of observation platforms and viewing locations at USA airports - these are almost 'standard' in europe. just visit airliners.net of flightlevel350.com to see the locations of the majority of the photos & videos.you can also find aviation hobby stores in europe FULL OF FS titles ... you cannot find FS titles or addons at most computer game stores in the US; not even at the museum of flight in seattle!with the above in mind there are these issues with FS development - (a short list in my opinion; no ranking to list; subject to additions; may change at any time)* poor FSX SDK and three FSX versions* lack of overhead in current CPUs to run high-fidelity addons w/in FSX - see discussion of PMDGs 747X for example* lack of new talent wanting to work on FS addons* increasing consumer hostility towards all developers (free and pay-ware) for perceived: lack of service, high cost, incorrect modeling, lack of modeling, etc.* piracy of software--

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as far as interest in aviation europe has USA beat. one example are 'plane spotters.' you find few of these folks in the USA. there is also a lack of observation platforms and viewing locations at USA airports - these are almost 'standard' in europe. just visit airliners.net of flightlevel350.com to see the locations of the majority of the photos & videos.That's mainly a by product of 9/11. Today in the US if you start taking pictures of aircraft at airports or trains (Railfanning) You attract scrutiny from the Police, because they think you may be a potential terrorist. There have been instances where people have been detained for doing so. It has seemed to lightened up a little since the early days after 9/11 but every once in a while, you hear similar stories of it happening to others, or at least checked out by the cops.

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I often 'spot' at KFLL and they have two car parks officially designated for aircraft spotting. They even blast the ATC through a PA system for everyone to hear. I guess this is probably a rarity though. I have spotted in the UK at London Luton and Heathrow. Both places used to have 'spotters' areas and now both places do not. Sure you can stand in a car park or off-site somewhere, but you will attract attention. I know that at least in Luton, while there isn't any official spotter place, the police encouraged spotters to register with them so spotters could work alongside the police in reporting potential terrorist activity. I thought that was a great idea.Rich.

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While I have never purchased Imaginesims products, when I have looked at the screenshots of their products It seems less than stellar. Reminds me of the old Simflyers sceneries. I am talking about Cloud9/FSdreamteam FlyTampa, GAP and Simwings quality. I also thought about the deflating US economy as a reason. I Guess I always saw Flight Simulator as a mainly North American pursuit. I guess I was wrong. Makes sense when companies like PMDG are changing to the Euro.

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Don't forget about Australia! FTX AU Blue and Gold are fantastic. And today I installed the freeware addition to FTX AU containing 137 airports. Amazing!Ulf B

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I agree. I recently bought TNCM from FlyTampa, but only because I wanted SABA. The default FSX was plenty good for me at TNCM.I can count my airport scenery for FSX one one hand, and only two are payware. MAAM-Sim KRDG, Bella Coola, Aerosoft Lukla and TNCM. I almost always fly multiplayer, and Lukla or TNCM sessions are always popular. KRDG is about 40 NM from my house, I like landing there and pulling up to the Pepsi machine before heading to the fridge.I mainly bought Lukla because the default was so messed up, I find it easier to land at Aerosoft's version. Between there and SABA I am having plenty of fun in my Twotter.Best Regards, Donald T. :-waveFLYing? It's cool. Trillions of birds and insects can't be wrong.

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I have thought for some time (some via my limited but telling VATSIM experience), that "hobby" sports and sims, of which MSFS is one, have always appealed more to European markets. The reasons are complex, however and I think blend in with the availability of ways to take up leisure time. I know where I live near KSLE and KPDX in the beautiful Pacific Northwest, this region plays down stadium and arena sports in comparison to the rest of the U.S. because of the huge and vast array of outdoor activities. The US West is wide open in that manner and in general the vast land masses of N.America speak more to doing things outdoors. In Europe, with vastly more dense populations and very small land masses, things must be more portable in all arenas of living. Computer and console games flourish in such environs. Maybe I'm wrong but that's how I see it. I'm envious of my flightsim Euro counterparts and maybe that's why I've greatly drifted away from computer games including flight sim over the years.Randy Jura, KPDX

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There is another reason..Here is in the US, its a lot cheaper to fly for real..unlike in Europe!:)MannyPS: With the way gas price is going up... That could change!

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Slightly off topic - but I believe still relevant to this posting.Is it my imagination or does this forum seem to be a lot quieter than it has been?? Possibly less interest.?I have been reading the AVSIM forums for several years now - mostly FS9, but now that I have FSx, I only read this one. It seems to me that in the past I could hardly keep up with all the posts and could always get a question answered. Nowadays, there dont seem to be the same number of posters as before and often have problems getting someone to answer a question.Might be just me thoughBarry

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I have used Nigel Grant's CYVR for FS9 in the past and I found it to be heavy on the framerates. I also use FSaddon's Vancouver+ which also slows things down. The two in concert just slow it down too much. As for Stockholm the scenery it is scheduled to be released by Aerosoft later this sumer. There is also Innsbruck and lisbon and a few others. http://aerosoft2.de/trader/pdf/Release%20list%20engl.pdf

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My opinion,I consider myself a somewhat avid simmer. I am tired of chasing FS products, meaning I am tired of building new machines, upgrading and so on. It used to be fun, now it's more of a pain in the rear end more than anything. Of course Jim is right, come fall into winter I might think again with being stuck inside all the time, but I am not sure this year. Flight simmming for me is to the point of "What can be better?" And if it is better am I going to spend the money to get the most out of it. I am just not sure anymore.

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I hear you Dave, after all that it has took to get FSX running smooth and looking good, I am not sure I will update when FS11 comes out. I will be like the die hard FS9 guys sticking with what I got because I have so many addons. I had all the same addons with FS9 but received a lot of discounts for the FSX upgrades, which really helped. With FEX, GEX, UTX, WOAI, FSGenesis, ActiveSky and amazing sceneries and planes like PMDG and Level-D my FSX setup is truly incredible. With the advancements in technology who knows what the next flight sim will look like but who knows how much it will cost to make it run. In addition it may not be backward compatible with sceneries and aircraft and I need the payware quality aircraft, so this may be a big reason that a lot more simmers stay with FS9 or FSX this time.

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On the 3rd Party development front... the expectations for high-fidelity (across flight simming and 3D games/simuations in general) have driven the development costs up. It takes a heap of: time, skill, and patience to create a top-notch flight-sim add-on. For a crowd like ours (simmers), when the bar is raised, we expect all products to hit that mark. Disappointment, will raise ire - whether it is legitimately founded or not.As has been pointed out in this thread, using the SDK (and beyond) is quite challenging and testing your work is VERY time-consuming and difficult in MSFS. When you encounter incompatibilities and bugs, it is frustrating for developer and consumer alike as the number of variables is as wide as the variety of systems which run MSFS and add-ons.I also think about the weakening dollar and how pricing in euros squeezes the U.S. simmer. So we have functions of purchasing power and perhaps time. Statistics show that Americans work more hours than their European counterparts and Americans are continuing to do so in the face of declining purchasing power.As to hobby culture, I have no doubt that Europe is stronger. There are hobby shops in the U.S. but they are dying off. What software shops that are left in the U.S. but they largely cater to the dreaded console market. Remember 10 to 20 years ago when sim titles were more abundant and military study sims were in their hey-day. Now its all outlandish and cartoonish rubbish for the console - flash and pizzaz with little substance.Lastly, as has been pointed out, scenery coverage in N.A. is already pretty good and many of the default airports are looking good.I don't totally accept some of the anecdotal evidence here indicating that there are more European simmers than North American - but perhaps parity is being achieved were the increase in European participation is changing the balance. Personally, I like to see other areas of the world get some add-on attention. We really need more from Asia but other than perhaps Japan, software piracy is extremely common and paying for add-ons is perhaps not the norm. I know there are good add-on developers in Japan but I don't see their work as commercialized as that of North American and European developers.

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Well for starters, my grass does not cut itself.And two, there just is not not anything "for me" to do and I am actually getting bored.I am a active addon buyer but after the initial and breif excitement, you get back into the same old same old.I bought Xpassengers and had FSpassengers but "capt would you like some coffee" and "fasten your setbelts" is gettiing old.I like missions but once you have flown it......What I want is something like FScargo thats random. Maybe a rescue mission generator that simply picks out a point within a certain radious of where you are, you go there and return.Random is key as the scripted stuff just does not do it for me.So basically I have a hanger full of planes and helis collecting dust.FSX for me has turned into a benchmark program and watching the fps display is the main center of interest.

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>I am just surprised at how few North American high>quality airports there are for FSX by now. I have KORD by>FSDreamteam and I know KJFK is coming along with KDFW. Although not of payware quality, and if you're expecting FlyTampa do not expect that--I have in fact updated KDFW...see FSX Scenery here in the File Library...in case you grow tired of the default TerminalD-lacking DFW.I was unaware that any payware vendor was doing KDFW.>are many existing airports for Europe like, EDDF, EGLL, LEMD,>EBBR, LHBP with LFPG, In addition to what others have said, I think Europeans have more time for diversions like FS, than Americans do.I've lived in both Europe and the US and that is my take on it. RhettFS box: E8500 (@ 3.80 ghz), AC Freezer 7 Pro, ASUS P5E3 Premium, BFG 8800GTX 756 (nVidia 169 WHQL), 4gb DDR3 1600 Patriot Cas7 7-7-7-20 (2T), PC Power 750, WD 150gb 10000rpm Raptor, Seagate 500gb, Silverstone TJ09 case, Vista Ultimate 64ASX Client: AMD 3700+ (@ 2.6 ghz), 7800GT

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Jeff,Why is the console market a "dreaded" market in your opinion. Now, I am by no means an expert between console's and PC's. But I own a PS3 and a 360 and I am amazed and what they can do.To me ( again to me ) developers have one machine to gear products too and not multiple PC machines with who knows what kind of owner / owners behind it. The only problem might me the add-on market, but both Sony and Microsoft have marketplaces for add-ons already, so that might not be a problem, I don't know.I know it's a bit off topic. But I am curious so sorry mod's I am going off topic.

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That market has drained some talent and investment away from my preferred platform... the PC. Perhaps I am just oldschool and rooted in the model of the 1980s and 1990s, but I still feel the PC is a superior gaming platform for things like simulations.It is a personal preference and mean no offense to those who enjoy the console. That said, I will be very despondent the day that MSFS comes out on the console. I was miffed when they were demo-ing FSX with the 360 controller.Just personal preference and I am surely out of step with the "market" in any case.

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