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The status of Fly!

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There has been alot of activity here lately, and some questions asking about the current status of Fly!. I felt it only fair to give everyone a status on what has happened since the beginning of the year.For those keeping score at home, official funding on Fly! II ran out in April 2001. During the summer and fall of 2001, we attempted to pitch Fly! III to a large group of publishers. There was absolutely NO interest. We've seen light interest in combat flight sims, and some interest in "fantasy" flight sims (ala Crimson Skies), but absolutely no interest in GA sims. This became even more obvious after 9/11 -- no one wanted to be associated with a PC simulator where you could fly commercial airliners (we were even contacted by Time magazine, who did a net search and found a review of Fly! 2K where the author stated how much fun he had hitting buildings). This certainly did not bode well for us.By the end of the year, the team was in a very bad state. We had already had to lay off a few key people to lower our payroll overhead (since we were eating out of our savings each month keeping the team together). By early 2002 it was obvious that there was little hope that Fly! III was going to be a reality, at least not in the next couple of years. Every publisher that did approach us were only interested in having us develop original console titles, not using our expertise in flight sims.By spring, about the one-year mark since funding disappeared, we had to make a choice: either lay off the entire Fly! team or find another funded project to pick up. About two months ago, the team locked in to a funded project. While we are disappointed we could not find a Fly! publisher, we believe we gave it our best shot. I can't share info on this new project, but if I ever had a life calling this would be it. Fly! has been my life and soul, and I never thought I'd find a project that would affect me so deeply, but my new project could be the highlight of my life.What does this mean? While we are still willing and interested to work with a publisher on a future version of Fly! (or develop the code base into another form of flight sim), if anything were to get signed sometime this year we would build a new team to do the development. I am producing our new project, so I would not be available as producer/designer (which may be a blessing, depending on your point of view).I am currently working on a few issues for a future patch, as well as working on getting the Mac version patched to the latest 230 build. This is being done as it has been over the past 9 months -- at night, on weekends, in between work and family commitments, and when I feel well enough to work (I've had some health hiccups lately due to previous cancer treatment and will probably have another surgery in the next 2-3 weeks, but my cancer has NOT returned). Therefore, I can't commit to any dates because I have no idea when I will be done.I am still trying to get portions of the Fly! code base available to the community so others can continue to customize or modify the core systems at will. This has been a problematic issue, because during Fly! II development we merged our code base back with the company code base, and some of our code requires proprietary code that I cannot release or share with the public. I'm trying to find solutions to this. If and when this happens, I will be sure to let everyone know.Until then, I don't have much good news to report. Fly! effectively is a dead franchise until and unless a publisher decides to pick it up. I still hold out some hope, simply because anyone wanting to compete against MSFS simply can't do it effectively starting from scratch any more. It took us over 6 years and millions of dollars to develop our Fly! technology, and anyone wanting to get into this market would otherwise have to devote alot of time and money just to cover the basics. Maybe someone will want to take our foundation and begin a new chapter in flight sims. I certainly feel that there has to be at least two strong titles in the GA genre to keep innovation thriving.Rich

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"Fly! effectively is a dead franchise until and unless a publisher decides to pick it up. "Richard,Thanks for being honest, thats all I wanted to know.Kind RegardsAndy

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Hey Rich,First, I hope everything goes well with your surgery and that you're on the mend quickly.Like many other folks, I used Fly from the very first release and put a lot of work into beta testing FlyII, so I'm saddened to hear that FlyIII doesn't appear to be in the cards. I think FlyII is an amazing piece of work and you deserve a lot of the credit.Take care,John

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G'day Rich,As usual a straight forward and honest post. I also hope that you get over your little health hiccup without any troubles.Thanks for all your work with TRI in providing us with an absolutely terrific flight sim for our enjoyment.I wish you all the best with your new project.Cheers,Roger @YSSY

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Hi Rich,Thanks for the update :-)Out of curiosity, what kind of stuff would you be releasing in the way of code? Specifically I was thinking of stuff like the code for the engine simulations, as myself and NormC tried to have a go at making our own engine model a while ago.Thanks once again for the update, and good luck with the surgery Rich.Best wishes,Matthew.

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Hi Rich,I've been a FLY'er since FLY I came out of the market and now I'm using FLY2 though I tried the other sim for me nothing beats FLY!. Thank you for being upfront and honest to us about FLY's fate. You have done an extraordinary job to make us enjoy the sim. Although your health is your priority, you still find time to tinker with FLY to correct the flaws so that reality based simmers like me would greatly enjoy flying the sim and just want to say THANK YOU for all your efforts.We'll pray for your good health.I think everybody in this forum would agree with me FLY will keep on FLY'ing!chris salviejorpll

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Hi Rich,Thanks so much for being so honest. In fact you say what we all expected already. However, when you say Fly! effectively is a dead franchise, I do not agree. Of course it is true from a commercial vendor's point of view, but Fly! is only dead when development really stops. We all know that a lot of development took place by inspired freeware developers (including yourself now). When I look at what incredible things we already got (e.g. TerraScene, TerraModels, ROTW's fabulous aircraft, C4TO, all the great scenery, etc.) and what is in the pipeline I know that Fly! II certainly is not dead yet.I am not a fan of military flight sims, but I remember what happened when Falcon 4 was declared dead. The hardcore fans continued, there were even competitions with real-world F-16 pilots and development continued. I certainly would not say that this flight sim is dead now.After all that has been said lately I am still considering Fly! II to be alive and kicking. For me there really is no equivalent alternative yet. So to everybody still believing in Fly!'s qualities I would say not to give up yet.Rich, again I would like to thank you for everything you did and will do for Fly! It is a wonderful simulator. I am happy to hear that you have found another great challenge in your work. Most of all I am happy to hear that you recovered so well from your cancer. I hope you will take care of yourself, so take it easy a bit. Your family deserves this.Best wishes,Henri

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Rich, as Im new to all this, I had no idea what you were going through. Our thoughts and hopes are with you now and in the future. So, no funding for Fly! Hey its not dead though. Here at Avsim its growing and growing day by day. 9/11 was a shock to the world and to the airline industry and those connected. The blame tends to go further than the EVIL that did this and the other horrific deeds, and the press love to add to this. It was sad that a comment from this person was picked up on, it doesnt help.Maybe your new project will keep your fire going for now, and the future???? Who knows whats in store!!!May your next operation go well...Im off to ask Mr Travolta for some cash for the next Fly....... ;)All the best my friend SteveENGR

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Rich,Sad, but understood. I guess that for as long as we have fun in using Fly and are able to modify and enhance it the way we want it we will continue to enjoy and use it as is. You have given us a product which is open enough and well documented to keep us busy with creating whatever we want.I appreciate it very much that you have taken the time to clarify things and help speculations out of the way. It is now up to the developers community to make a difference.Good luck with your health and I hope to see you around on this forum to give us advise where needed.Mannie

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Richard,God Bless you and your family for your dedication to the FLY! world.Any chance you could give us the slightest hint on your new project? Is it a flight sim of some kind?JimmyBob

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Good luck with your surgery, Rich. A good post (not such good news), but honestly presented.Bruce.

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>but my new project could be the highlight of my >life. Rich,Any hints ? Is it any kind of simulation (not necessarily 'flight') ? And is it for a console or a PC ?Best of luck,Michael J.

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Hi Rich,thanks for keeping us posted. Sorry to hear that no one wants to publish FlyIII at the moment. I can just about imagine the lovely fantasy flight sim with elves, soft colors and magic bs :-outtaIt certainly would be interesting to see a portion of the Fly! code! I for one am keeping my fingers crossed.Good luck with your new project.--Norm

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Rich,THANK YOU for the honest update, even though it is not good news. I've been around since Fly! was originally released. This is a sad day, but not unexpected. Let's hope Fly! never truly dies.Best of luck to you and your family.Bob Lyddy

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It is not a flight sim. The most I can tell you is it is a game for kids with cancer, and probably is the most amazing opportunity I will have to share my knowledge and skill with kids unfortunate enough to be dealing with cancer. It is truly something I can put all my heart into, just as I did with Fly!. I'm really compelled, because this is going to be a cutting edge game title, not just a cheapo boring edutainment title. That's about all I can share at this time.Rich

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