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Guest christian

resignation

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I've done some thinking over the last days and want to announce my (at least partial) resignation from MSFS scenery design.The reason is that I came to realise just how much time I have spent to make FS2K2 work my way, and how many countless hours are pontentially just wasted down the drain due to the lack of support from Microsoft. At first I was hoping that things may change for the better, but the recent SDK releases and the fact that the scenery and terrain SDK are still not released has risen my frustration level by quite a bit. It basically comes down to this: We designers spent just hours (which aren't necessary very fun) trying to figure out how something might or might not work. Then more than half a year later, we get an SDK from Microsoft, which basically explains what we found out already and leaves our remaining questions unanswered. By the time we have figured most of the stuff we need out, we have some months left to create some stunning scenery, which will be obsolete be the pending release of a new version. And the circle begins again. I just asked myself the question if this is really worth it, or if my talent may not be better invested somewhere else.I came to the conclusion that my efforts should really go into flightgear, which is open source. It may not be as feature rich as FS2K2, but if more talent would help along, I think this flight simulator has some real potential. Additionally, it's probably much more fun to do some graphics OpenGL programming, rather then reading cryptic hex code and trying to beat some sense into it.This decision is not impulsive, but I have thought about this a while. Maybe some other talents in this group should also ask themselves if it's really worthwhile producing 3rd party developments for a product that basically lives from 3rd party add-ons, while having not very much support from Microsoft. While some people may think that the stock FS2k2 is great, I wonder if they would say the same if they delete ALL the add-ons we created. I think the new gmax SDK tops it off again. For a much better tutorial you can check out a NZ site called OnTarget (I don't have the link here, but I think Robin posts in this forum here). You should maybe also have a look at www.flightgear.org and imagine where this sim could go if all the creative people here would work on this project rather than on MSFS. The scenery of flightgear is at a sad state at the moment, but I'm sure this will change over the next months.I will not completely resign my work here, but my main efforts will now be focussed on flightgear, so you probably will not see much of me here anymore. I enjoyed my time in this forum, and you still may see me around occasionally.I'm off on staff retreat for 2 days now...Cheers, Christian

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Hi Christian,Bad news I would say, but I can fully understand your point here. I am not that happy with the design support from MS either. I must even say that I have been thinking about seeking another challenge too, but I have not taken/can not take a descision yet.Thanks for all your research in the new features,ArnoMember NL2000 Teamhttp://home.wanadoo.nl/arno.gerretsen

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Christian, I'm very sorry to hear that, but I do understand. You can only go on bashing your head against a brick wall for so long. When I think of the hundreds or thousands of hours spent by developers like yourself, and the help (or rather, the lack of) offered by Microsoft, then I feel just a little bit angry. Louis Sinclair also springs to mind. After being dragged through the courts for predatory business practices you would have thought they would learn a lesson - but no. The sad thing is that offering invaluable help to the developers would have cost them so little, in terms of time and dollars. Anyway, the best of luck and keep in touch occasionally, if only to report on progress on flightgear. Meanwhile, I can see those fabled coastlines slipping further and further into the distance! Best regards, Chris

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Hey Christian,this is sad indeed.I perfectly agree with you though, as you mostly express my thoughts.There have been many times that I feel simply waisting my time with FS; rediscovering the wheel every time.I have flight gear and I like it.I also bought X-plane and I like it also. I will not advertise it here and I will not go into the comparison game; but I will give you the main reason why I prefer it:I have built a hardware control box with all AP settings, Coms and Nav that I see on an LCD screen and change it with a rotary encoder. It was initially for fs and recently I adopted it for X-plane. It was realy easy cause this sim is just made with all interfacing posibilities just built in. Then I discovered a bug setting the ALT and Vertical speed.I include the e-mail to the author of x-plane and his reply... it says it all :-- >Hi Austin.-- >There is a possible bug in the setting of altitude and vertical-- >speed for the autopilot form the network (index item 79).-- >The accepted values are under 1000 for both; anything higher gets-- >ignored.-- >Please when possible for you, can you check it and correct either-- >our ways or the ?bug? :-)-- >-- >Thanks for everything-- >-- >George Ioannu-- yup!-- bug!-- got it!-- now fixed for next release!-- -- austinI want to see the day we see this from MS.Anyway, visit us from time to time...All the bestGeorge

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Hi Christian.Thank you for your help and the difficult work you undertook in trying to help me understand the TMF coding of FS2002. I hope the knowledge base you accomplished in this area does not go to waste. I fully understand your frustration, and wish you the best in any area into which you go... either in your hobbies or in life. It has been a pleasure learning from you. Please don't be a stranger to the forums.Dick

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Count me there as well!Everything on hold for now.If you go to x-plane.org you can see a transcript of Austin's recent IRC chat on the x-plane forum. He explains what's due in upcoming releases. What isn't and why.It's a different approach and a welcome one! :-)If you've never seen or tried WorldMaker, then you should.That's the correct use of computers and programming.You can move roads, change elevations change textures and so on with just a couple of mouse clicks.I don't fault Microsoft because I understand that's their culture.When you think about it though the trouble we go to, to change bytes on a scenery file is actually quite ludicrous. Instead of using pointers to change information, we compile and re-compile and re-compile these sequential flat files! If WorldMaker would only work on FS Scenery! :-lolStay in touch Christian, we value your contributions.

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Christian,As you know, in FS2002 I fly mostly in NZ, and if it weren't for you and all the work you've done, buddy, the whole flying experience in that country would be very differnet, a lot less realistic and fun.Whatever you do, I want you to know that you have a large number of people who are thankful and deeply indebted to you.You made a very good point. Microsoft is definetely not using the right strategy as you clearly pointed out, but I guess we are all more than wary and know they will not change their policy because of user comments, be them top notch developers like yourself or not.Can I suggest you take more than two days. Perhaps a week off, let it settle a bit and reconsider.All the best,Wagner-----------------------------------------------------------------Wagner B. BeskowSATPAC8Chief Executive NZFIR (NZZC)http://www.kiwifly.org-----------------------------------------------------------------

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Christian,You probably don't know me from a bar of soap, but let me say I really appreaciate the work you have done on the NZ Scenery. It has raised the realism setting considerably, particularly when flying VFR.I agree with Wagner - take some time off, refresh and take a breath.YoursRussell Jourdain (NZL007/ZK-RHJ)

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Christian HiAs Russell and Wagner have said. What would it be like flying here in New Zealand without your addon's and fixes.Especially with the 150 and 40 meter meshThe new Land ClassThe correction to many lake levelsPlus all the assistance you have given us all.Be like me and take a breather, as you have been working continuallyon this MS#### incorrect data for quite some time now withNO assistance from THEMCheersNorman

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Very sad to hear the news Christian, your NZ 150 mesh and landclass scenery is nothing less than amazing.. All us NZers (and honoury NZers like Wagner) wouldn't have the scenery we fly through today if it hadn't been for your extensive efforts to figure out what Microsoft never told you...It was because of you and your your Mesh etc that first got me interested in attempting to do an airport and even tho I'm not very good, I wouldn't even have attempted it in the first place if I hadn't had the thought of your mesh in my mind, realising what you must have had to do to figure it out I figured that I should be able to try something as simple as an airport :-)I really hope that the powers that be at Microsoft open their eyes and take notice of whats going on here and do something about it...Losing you from the Flightsim scene is indeed a very sad day for us all that appreciate the years of work you have put into your meshes and other things, and even tho you have made your decision I would like to add my voice to the others and hope that you'll take some time off and maybe re-consider (hoping in the meantime that Microsoft will release the SDK's etc that you really want :-))Regards - John Haines (zk-jwh)

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Christian...This is a very sad development. I too am fustrated with the total lack of Microsoft support. It seems that the SDKs while informative are too little, too late to really affect the quality of addons to the simulator. I will continue work on airport, lake and coastline polygon generation for now. Your work in this area is exceptional. Most of the difficult tasks are done because of your work. I figure that if and when I create an interface for folks to use, Microsoft will then release a new terrain SDK! I have also been thinking about X-Plane, Fly and Flightgear. Here are simulators that really are designed with outside development in mind. While they are not as real as it gets (is MSFS?), with the apporpriate addons, they could very well be. And so I wonder why I am creating scenery data using macro-assemblers and tweaking raw binary data to make things come out right!In any case, these are questions I need to answer myself. It looks like you have answered your questions and I wish you the best of luck and good fortune in your future endeavors.Leland Steffensen

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ChristianI've put my comments on my site rather than voice them here. But I do wish to add my thanks for your work.By the way, I've had requests for your landclass file -- your site seems to be gone at the moment. Do you have an alternative site? Maybe I could put it on my site for the timebeing?-Robin

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Thanks for all your replies :)I decided to go with FlightGear rather than FLY! or X-Plane, because it's completely open-source, and whenever I want to change something, I can! Also, I can do some low level openGL work, like working on the scenery engine, which overlaps with my work at Melbourne Uni. I had a look over the weekend at Level of Detail in Elevation Mesh rendering and the work looks way more interesting than low level hex-hacking.To all the kiwis here, I wrote a summary for the kiwifly.org news section a few days ago, so I hope it'll appear there soon.Cheers, Christian

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