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About 80 people read it in the FSX forum and no reaction...http://forums.avsim.net/dcboard.php?az=sho..._id=9954&page=1Like, wouldn't YOU love an object-oriented (moving polygons and not points of polygons !), 3D-viewing, Window-type of GUI, bug-free editor ? mesh, LWM (including sloped) and VTP2 ... Dreaming is free. I would even be ready to pay 39.99 bucks for it !

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Personally I think MS better spend the time elsewhere. It just takes so insane long to make an internal tool ready for release.FS works with the entire planet. This means automated processing and the like, MS might even be running several of the tools with no GUI at all.

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Hi Dominique,In general I agree with Lars. It would be nice if MS would provide a useful tool, but I think they can spend their time better then that. Besides that addon scenery designers usually demand a higher quality from their scenery than the default scenery, so it might also be that the tools MS are using are not as powerful as we like (because our target is different). So I would prefer some good SDKs and then I am sure some people will come up with cool tools.

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Salut Dominque,I had not noticed that it was particularly cumbersome to make scenery. There is a plethora of tools available, many of them really great, and every aspect of scenery design is much easier now than in the past, except for dynamic scenery.Perhaps you could indicate what tools you use and what you find difficult about them. Undoubtedly, your experience is valuable and would help to make them better.Amiti

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he he, I AM aloneAbout the FS team spending time, I mean, they could hire new people, couldn't they :-) or make it between cycles, when FS "N" is out and FS "N+1" is still in two to three years time ?About SDK, I'm old enough to have programmd the Rockwell 6502 in my Apple 2, then tweaked ad nauseam DOS interfaced programs (the black screen, the prompt > line and the only editing with F3 :-hah ). Call me an old geyser but I like now a good windowed GUI, where everything is at the tip of the mouse and where the learning curve is directed where it should be, to substance and not harnessing the idiosyncrasies of a tool. I've no pleasure or intention to understand the intracacies of the polygon relative offsets or compute the 1/128

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I see what you mean, Dominique. Obviously, things could always be better, and that is a good motto for life in general.I use a variety of tools and this mix allows me to do just about everything very easily. - LWMViewer lets me create accurate backgrounds for use in drawing programs, and it is great for checking the results; - Ground2k4 is excellent for coastlines since it automatically creates the Water Mask; - SBuilder handles all elements of terrain in a very comprehensive manner. Lines and polygons can be moved in their entirety, (but in the last version of Ground2k4 also). Sloped polygons are easy to make and all objects can be placed; - LWMViewer 2 - I just love this and do more and more with it. I do all land and water class here since one can load the terrain and see exactly how the land class will look. Also, moving, changing, and replacing all default objects, accurately placing any other object as well as easily creating generic buildings - it is easy to see exactly where to place everything; - GMax, in spite of what so many people seem to think, is very easy to use, powerful and flexible; - all of Arno's tools that do the small but vital things.It all seems so much easier than it was just a few years ago, and I am doing projects that were extremely difficult and tiring back then.Best regards.Luis

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Hi,Not really alone, just a little ahead of the curve :) It'd be great to have something with those capabilities but I honestly wouldn't expect to see it coming from Microsoft. That's not a dig at all; what I mean is that internal tools will always be rough around the edges. If it's good enough to get by, then they can use it to produce their main target. 'Good enough to get by' is usually not good enough for public release though.The third-party designers are still working on their tools (slowly, in my case :-roll ) and one day may even have something resembling what you want, but I suspect you'll always have to use different tools for different jobs.For example, LWMViewer2 has the 3D display you're looking for and can manipulate objects in 3D but has no polygon drawing functions. Why? Because at the time I added the 3D view, there were very few object-placement programs and only Lago's payware one was interactive. There were several polygon-editing programs around though, so why spend time adding a feature that already exists elsewhere when there are things that still force people back to Notepad?One question, too. I'm not sure what you mean by 'elitist' - can you explain a little more? Do you mean that it's only open to the 'old-timers' and not accessible to anyone else, because of the complexity of the toolset?Cheers,Jim

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>Like, wouldn't YOU love an object-oriented (moving polygons>and not points of polygons !), 3D-viewing, Window-type of GUI,>bug-free editor ? mesh, LWM (including sloped) and VTP2 ...>Dreaming is free. I would even be ready to pay 39.99 bucks>for it ! The good news is that such an editor exists. The bad news is that it's for Far Cry and not for FS. The Far Cry editor (it comes on the DVD) is an astounding piece of software, probably more amazing than even the game itself. You can edit just about any aspect of the game: terrain mesh, objects, vegetation, lighting and environment settings such as visibility ranges and animated entities such as AI humans or animals. When you run the editor you're essentially in the game: the graphics display is exactly the same except of course for labels and various helpers etc. In fact the editor is fully integrated into the game: after editing just hit CTRL-G and within a second you literally are in the game (e.g. the AI humans may start shooting at you and you can shoot back!) Hit ESCAPE and you're back in editor mode. While in editor mode many animations still run normally: water/wave effects, swaying vegetation, animals and flying birds. Amusingly, even the AI humans are alive: they won't move around but they will scratch themselves occasionally or bend down to tie up their shoe laces! Click the AI button and the AI humans will come to life, for example jumping into a vehicle and driving off. Terrain mesh editing is incredibly easy. As you move around the world you can adjust the terrain by raising and lowering it in real time using the mesh tools. After creating a new hill you could hit CTRL-G and within seconds you could be climbing your new hill! Selecting and placing objects is also very easy. In fact the interface in many ways is similar to gmax (if you think gmax is hard don't let that put you off - it really is easy, trust me!) You can import textures and then use the paint tool to paint the textures directly onto the terrain. Perfect, for example, for painting in extra roads or pathways. As you can use any suitable texture roads can look far more realistic than in FS. I will soon be releasing a version of AutoAsm for Far Cry. You could use TerraScene and AutoAsmFC to import real roads and coastline data and convert to a bitmap. You then import the bitmap into the Far Cry editor and you very quickly have real-world coastlines and roads in your scenery. Just imagine a similar editor for FS. After adjusting the terrain and adding a few new buildings you could hit CTRL-G, climb into your aircraft and make a test flight around your new scenery. If there's something that's not quite right, hit ESCAPE, do some editing and then jump into your plane again. Because the editor is integrated closely with the game, such an editor would probably have to come from Microsoft or from a company working very closely with it. Will it happen? Maybe in time. Many modern games come with a full editor on the DVD, so why not FS? Far Cry has been out several years and it's very cheap (about

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Thank you guys for some interesting hints@Luis> - LWMViewer lets me create accurate backgrounds Yes LMWviever is nice but I don't see how you create stuff with it, I see it as a viewer> - SBuilder handles all elements of terrain in a very>comprehensive manner. Lines and polygons can be moved in their>entirety, (but in the last version of Ground2k4 also). Sloped>polygons are easy to make and all objects can be placed;SBbuilder is a program I'ven't tried yet as it is indicated in SHoF as requiring W95/98 and as its installation gives me an "erreur d'ex

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For me the problem is getting good source data. with that in hand using the 3rd party tools isn't that bad. Other than dealing with the known FS9 quirks.scott s..

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The problem with SBuilder may be that you have your decimal separator as a comma ',' on your system and it will only work if the separator is a point '.'

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Hi,>>For example, LWMViewer2 has the 3D display you're looking for>>and can manipulate objects in 3D>Will look into it next weekend. I was using the first version. Can I>see in 3d the various bgl (mesh, roads and LC) created with G2k4 ?Yes, it'll load pretty much everything except old SCASM models and you get a realtime 3D environment. Useful as a viewer, as before, plus you can interact with models (GMax and generic). You do need fairly chunky 3D hardware to make the most of it.I've been working on the mesh display for a while, but have been slowed down by some compatibility problems and one or two side-projects. I can't say when the next update will appear, but sooner rather than later. Feel free to let me know what you're after...Cheers,Jim

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Thanks .I changed , to . and now I don't have the message, I've the error 9 message index range out of range or something like that now (it's in French).Never been able to install the program... I see now that it needs Pete Dowson FSUIPC that I don't have anyway.

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I see now that it needs Pete Dowson FSUIPC that I don't have anywayWell just about every scenery design program uses FSUIPC or it's equivilent - usually the free version.

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Dominique, here's a simple example of the Far Cry editor.1. A general view in the editor showing some boringly flat terrain. In the left you can see some vehicles and AI humans. http://www.kline.demon.co.uk/demo1.jpg2. I open the mesh painting tool and with a few brush strokes create a small hill. The yelow and green lines indicate the (adjustable) size of the tool. http://www.kline.demon.co.uk/demo2.jpg3. I position my viewpoint just above the crown of the hill and hit CTRL-G. I am now running the game with my edited scenery (but still in the editor). Some of the AI humans jumped into their vehicles and drove off - you can see them in the distance. Here I am standing on the crown of my brand-new hill! http://www.kline.demon.co.uk/demo3.jpg From painting the new hill to standing on its crown took no more than about thirty seconds. When Crytek designed the CryEngine the editor was an integral part of it. Their designers used the editor to create the actual game maps. They actually supply the source code for all the game maps on the DVD so you can load them into the editor. Very useful for seeing how it's done - and it means you can create your own versions of the retail game maps! I hope this is the future, so that one day all games - including FS - will come with editors like this! Best regards, Chris

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I can see it from ease of use, but it isn't obvious to me how the editor could be adapted to incorporate DEM data rather than hand-edits to create your hill.scott s..

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Scott, that's no problem. The editor can import the terrain data in the form of a grey-scale bitmap. I have also imported real-world US coastline data using TerrasScene. However, I'm not seriously suggesting it would be suitable for large-scale scenery as you would expect in FS. It's more an illustration of how an FS editor could be. A major limitation of Far Cry is that the maps are fairly small, maybe ten kilometers across. That's because, probably like most similar games, all the scenery is loaded in one go. However, the successor to Far Cry, Crysis, should be out about the same time as FSX and it is based on the new CryEngine2. It is a huge advance on Far Cry and hopefully it will come with a new version of the editor. One major advance is that the engine can load new scenery as you proceed, just like FS. This should mean that enormous map areas will be possible, again just like FS. Also Crysis has a strong flight sim element. Unlike Far Cry, it has a number of flyable aircraft. Its true volumetric clouds look fantastic - you can see this in some demo videos. I'm looking forward to using the Crysis editor to create my very own flight simulator! Best regards, Chris

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Yep I use FS Connect with G2k4 or more precisely I've it installed but don't use it much.Anyway, Sbuilder installation brings a cascade of error messages. I'm not alone if I read their forum right.

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This is indeed very impressive ! Thanks for the pics.Such an editor in FS would do marvels to remodel small areas. The point is that there never has been a public demand to MS. If there were one they would come to it.

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<<....never has been a public demand to MS. If there were one they would come to it....>>It would surprise me. MS values the 3rd party existance, there is a synergy in the current system that serves MS very well, and has allowed a variety of private individuals to make amazing programs that are available to all of us.I don't see the Aces team viewing the effort to produce the addon tools as having much Return on Investment.Bob

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>I don't see the Aces team viewing the effort to produce the>addon tools as having much Return on Investment. Sadly, I think you're right. To produce an equivalent editor would require a large investment of time and money that would probably not pay for itself, even if it were part of a Deluxe Edition. I'm sure the FS team have a suite of tools for scenery development but most likely they are not user-friendly and possibly DOS-based. It would require an enormous effort to produce an equivalent real-time 3D editor. Crytek took a different path when developing the CryEngine. They regarded the editor as an integral part of the engine. As a result they were able to use it to create all the retail game maps (they actually provide the source code for all levels on the DVD, so anyone can load them into the editor and see how the maps work). Because of this, the cost of providing the editor with the game was probably minimal. Also, having a powerful and user-friendly editor probably reduces their own game development costs, so for them the editor gives them a win-win situation. Hopefully this will continue with Far Cry's successor, Crysis, which should be out before the end of they year. I assume FSX is mostly an evolution of the existing game engine. But if Microsoft decide to build an entirely new engine the next time around then perhaps they could emulate Crytek and also build a powerful and modern integrated editor for creating the game world (scenery, aircraft and animated/AI objects). It could then be included on the DVD. If so it would be a win-win situation - for the FS team and for us! Best regards, Chris

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Dunno :-) ...I'm no programmer but if some hobbyists around here are already making good stuff, alone and with just partial knwoledge from a SDK coming piece per piece what what would do a small professional team (dont they really call themselves the Aces team ?) with a knowledge of the innards of the game ?Evaluation of profitability is also evaluation of what people are willing to pay :-) Anyway wishful thinking it is, I agree.BTW anybody remember that Richard Harvey made a first try of including an in-game editor in Fly!2 ?

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I'm quite sure people like you and I would be prepared to pay some extra for an integrated 3D editor - but would it be enough to be profitable? However, as I said, if Microsoft decide to build a brand-new engine then it's likely they would produce an advanced editor as part of the process, just like Crytek and many other games manufacturers. In that situation the editor would quickly pay for itself as it would make the team's design work much easier. For example, if the editor is powerful and user-friendly new members of the team could get up to speed a lot faster.Yes, I remember being impressed by Fly2's in-game editor. As I recall, while flying normally you could hit a key to enter edit mode, and then start adding new objects. When done you could return to normal mode and fly around your new scenery. It's a shame both Fly! and Flight Unlimited are no more as it means there's no real competition for FS. If there had been we'd probably see more innovation. But having said that, FSX looks like a big step forward despite the absence of competition. It may not be for the purists, but I think animated humans, animals and road traffic is a great idea! Best regards, Chris

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I've been watching this thread with interest. As some of you may know I am one of those people who write scenery design software. I actually think there is a place for both. I think something like EZ-Scenery has been a great step forward for a lot of people who want to be able to work inside the sim and an in-FS editor would certainly be a big help.I also suspect that even if such a thing existed there would still be a demand for third party tools. The scenery engine and models are a hugely complex area in themselves and you only have to look at the number of excellent special purpose tools out there. Also we all work differently and what is great for one of us is not so great for another - hence the wide variety of tools all of which have a following from one part or another of our wide community.The worst possible thing that I could think of is MS providing and in Sim editor and no longer providing the SDKs! However good their tools were they are bound not to do exactly what we want the way we want to do it. So long as there are people who enjoy developing tools (I don't really fly any more but I love tinkering around inside FS and I know quite a few others like that) I think there is a place for both and MS may well have worked out that to satisfy everyone would be far too much effort and it is a lot easier - and potentially better for the community as a whole if they produce good SDKs and leave it to us :-)

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