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Flight1 421C Release is Tommorow

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It looks like it could be good, but I'll wait for some reviews first.[TABLE BORDER=0][tr][td]

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[link:timsfsstudio.home.attbi.com]Click here to visit Tim's FS Studio!]

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Wow,That looks like a great add-on! Lucky for me my birthday is coming up soon. :-) I guess quality add-on aircraft are leaving price points in the teens though... the price of progress. While I know this is partly due to the same market forces that makes all prices creep, I can't help but think that the new use of high-end modeling tools may cause higher costs for the designers.Looking forward to this one...Cheers,Jeffry BabbAVSIM Online!

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Jeffry,The new tools are great but the learning curve is very steep. It's not so much the cost of the tools (in this case, GMax - which is free so far ... ). What really is relevant is that consumers quite reasonably demand complexity and sophistication in commercial projects (I do, and I'm a consumer too), and it's really the investment of time more than anything else that is a factor.A sophisticated panel like the Cheyenne ? 500 hours code-writing minimum, plus art, or over two months solid work. You can't just find that time easily without making monumantal scrifices elsewhere. Ditto model design, and to a lesser extent, painting. If you look back just four years, we have seen Aircraft Factory, AF99, then FSDS - and now with FS2002 we have GMax. Every 12 months or so the designers have had to master new tools and that takes quite a while to become proficient and you are proficient - briefly - just before the software is superseded. All previous work is immediately irrelevant. The good news is that it seems GMax will be around for a few years so designers can become productive and not be throwing away a years work mastering a new CAD program every 12 months. CFS3 won't support existing designs using the old .mdl file - only the new format files created with GMax. So, designers seem likely to have some respite from new learning curves, maybe as far as FS2004 or perhaps beyond.It may be that we have to buy GMax's successor, or buy 3DStudio - which is an awfully expensive bit of softwareFSDS is a relatively easy tool to use for basic design, when compared to GMax. Developers asked Louis Sinclair to look at making an FSDS export module to allow FSDS designs to be ported to GMax for advanced animation and all the funky visual stuff that GMax allows but Louis in his wisdom decided not to help designers out. Now, with that door closed on FSDS, most designers are up to their elbows in GMax's learning curve, and I'd imagine FSDS v.2 is likely to become irrelevant even before it's released - 'cos after you've seen Paris, there's no going back to the farm.Anyone wondering if there's any real advantage in using GMax need only has to look at the C421, a few more images of are here (not linked due the forum policy) :www.fsd-international.com/dcforum/DCForumID2/677.htmlA typically advanced design (if the C421 or Cheyenne are considered 'typical') will easily have 1000+ hours invested in them. It's the time involved that is significant, from a developer's point of view ... but the cost of 3DStudio, Paintshop, Photoshop etc etc ultimately are relevant to some extent, as are those costs of running a high volume server.So for the price of a bad pizza or less I'd rather have something that lasts more than a few minutes. I bought the PSS Airbus and it was excellent value, with lots of innovation - for less than Pizza Hut's 2-4-1 offerings here. For the price of two pizzas I got FS_FlightMax and three months later I still enjoy it.There are no economies of scale in FS development, for as any developer will tell you, the market is minuscule ... unlike that of making pizzas ;)

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Excellent work indeed Steve, as usual for the talented 3rd party developers that grace this hobby. Throw in the upcoming FSD Pilatus, and the freeware (wow) Talon and its a virtual candy store!My thanks to all of you. I own all the planes, and will own all the upcoming models. The price of a bad pizza? I've had many of those, but I've never had a bad plane from FSD, PSS, DreamFleet, Flight1, etc. These are indeed exciting times for this hobby.Best,bt

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Steve raises some good points which are quite true. We are in a whole different development era than we were even a year ago. Inovate or die may sound a bit cruel, but it is reality.Customers expect much more. They are smart and they know what they want. The days of 3rd party shovelware are over. I never did subscribe to this concept, but regardless it wont work now.The 421 comes with a custom developed GPS in "Garmin Style" interface. This is not something that superimposes the default MS GPS over top of a display screen, but a newly built and coded GPS that is quite pleasing and easy to use. This alone took a while to develop. Add textomatic, the configuration manager and probably one of the most incredibly detailed aircraft ever designed for FS to date and these things must be paid for and as Steve says, the price of a bad pizza will not only leave you disgusted, but leave you with heartburn as well. :-grr Value will always be percieved by the purchaser and him / her alone.What may be worth it to you, may not be to someonme else. Thats fair enough. But it also has to be worth it to the developer and publisher if they are commited to doing first rate work and not pushing out shovelware.I dont think you will be dissapointed. If so, well make it right.Best regards,Jim RhoadsFlight1

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Hi Braun,You're welcome. The bad pizza ... I had bad Chinese on Tuesday night, and I also had it again on Wednesday morning (unintentionally ) but the second visit was not good value. You are right : the GMax tool is quite something. On the new Porter the nosewheels first extend forward from the pontoons, then hinge downwards, and caster on steering. The side doors slide, the front doors open. The cables extending to the water rudders slide, the rudders both retract and steer too. Could not really do this before.On the C421, when the back door opens the rear seet slides aft. You could not do that with FSDS and AA. Butv it's not perfect : the co-pilot looks a lot like Liz Hurley but has the wrong colour hair !! I prefer brunette. The co-pilot is Roger's daughter-in-law so be careful what you say about her :-lolThe Talon ? It's coming out well, maybe another ten days or so. Owen has done a fine job : Eric and Marcelo have quite a few new skins for it already, we're up to about a dozen now ...http://www.fsd-international.com/temp/talo...an_inverted.jpgI finally seem to have the afterburner function working OK now. Sort of ... but you'll have to turn off G-effect to really enjoy it. 4G is for wimps.Cheers,

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Thanks for your insight, Jim and Steve. Hopefully at least some within the hobby can better understand what a great value they're getting when buying one of your products.For this consumer, $20.00 for a product like the Cheyenne, Commander, Dreamfleet Archer, etc. is a steal. $20.00 to enhance a $70.00 software package far beyond what anyone could hope for is a great investment.And thanks for the Spirit. Simply a wonderful gift of history from you.Regards,

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>And thanks for the Spirit. Simply a wonderful gift of >history from you. >>Regards, Our pleasure. Regards,Jim RhoadsFlight1

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That GPS may have just sold me on it. We'll see tomorrow. ;-)[TABLE BORDER=0][tr][td]

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[link:timsfsstudio.home.attbi.com]Click here to visit Tim's FS Studio!]

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Hello Steve and Jim,Thank you for your thoughtful replies. I hope neither of you think I am begrudging the price of your add-ons. In fact, my suspicions are confirmed that the tools (indirectly or directly) are raising the costs for the top-notch developers. What is unfortunate is that when we had tools like AF (and before) it was easy for the "regular joe" to have a go at this. Now, it almost seems like you have to be a monied, talented and benevolent person to generate quality freeware as the tools and the time these tools take to master are forcing quality to the arena of payware. It is nice now that payware will likely be quality and the "shovelware" alluded to will not be as common. This is normal I suppose when the price of entry is so prohibitive that only those who know they can get a decent return will bother. So, I suspect we can expect to see a higher quality available (things that will be mind-blowing really) with longer development cycles and, of course, a price point to reflect these changes. I do feel the available pool of aircract/panel add-ons may shrink in light of the effort they require. This effort will reflect in the price, and this will cause many of us to be more selective. This selectivity will starve the marginal designers and serve to limit what is placed on the market. I just hope to God that this may signal the end of "shovelware" as I think most of us have had a least one brush with this sort of thing at one time or another over the life of this hobby.I have been buying these new GA add-ons as I think they are fascinating and offer an opportunity to get closer and closer to the real thing. Thank you to Steve and Jim and the rest of the developers that are pushing the envelope and obviously looking after their customers.Cheers,Jeffry BabbAVSIM Online!

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