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Tom Allensworth

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Everything posted by Tom Allensworth

  1. It is indeed a pleasure to announce AVSIM's 18th Birthday today. We have had our share of sad news this last week, but with the bad also comes the good. 18 years! Happy Birthday to AVSIM and all of our community members! Please head out today and celebrate in your traditional fashion!
  2. By Tom Allensworth This comes in two parts; my health and the future of AVSIM to the community and our team of members, forum owners, etc. First, my health… To state it directly; I am dying. I am dying from a carcinoma that started as a tumor in my stomach cavity that enwraps my stomach feeder vessels, kidneys, liver, the major blood vessels of the area and which are so embedded and wrapped around the maze of blood vessels and nerves that there is no cure except that of delay. The carcinoma has spread to most of my major organs. I have been given a pessimistic short 90 days of survival up to a lifetime number of 365 days. Second, and most importantly, the future of AVSIM… The staff and I with others in the community are looking at the alternatives that will keep AVSIM alive and prospering for years to come despite / in spite of my missing good looks and glowing positive daily participation. We will be expanding information on the future of AVSIM in the coming days. Continue Discussion
  3. With this upload, Alex and Goldstar are celebrating their 250th upload... Have a look see PMDG B737: http://library.avsim.net/esearch.php?CatID=fsxacrp&DLID=189088
  4. AVSIM is pleased to publish an interview released today with Tim Gatland, Chief Technology Officer for Dovetail Games (image below). As most know, Dovetail recently released FSX via the Steam DLC system which has seen a great deal of enthusiasm in our community. The interview was conducted by AVSIM's Will Reynolds. We hope you enjoy the result. Let's start with background. Dovetail Games started in 2008, with the Railworks Franchise. Paul Jackson came from EA. What was the original goal or vision back then? We set the company up in 2008, initially to address the audience for train simulation. The founders had rights to develop the technology behind Electronic Arts’ Rail Simulator. Paul was a video game professional and train enthusiast (he had actually commissioned that project while he was at EA) who felt this was a section of the simulation market that was being ignored. When Microsoft and Kuju Entertainment stopped their Train Simulator project, you set out to develop and support add-ons for Rail Simulator. Did you, at that stage, believe in a niche environment for Train Simulation, or foresaw a vacant market with a lot of potential? When we set the company up, we planned on operating in a competitive environment. Microsoft's previous train simulator had a very active community and they were previewing Train Simulator 2 (which was subsequently abandoned). Auran's Trainz had a dedicated following and there were a number of other niche train simulators on the market. So we expected things to be competitive, but we believed there was room for that competition. What is the current status of Train Simulator market today, in your view? We see this market as very healthy. Our three most active audiences, UK, Germany and North America continue to show a huge appetite for Train Simulator add-ons and we are planning to offer expansions set in other parts of the world in the near future. We also see, in our new developments, the opportunity to provide train simulation on platforms other than PC as we migrate to using Epic's Unreal 4 for those new simulators. Our home will always be on PC but our goal has always been to ensure that anyone who enjoys a simulated railway experience is able to do so. How much has the 'core" team from 2008 changed? Also, has the vision changed? I am delighted to say that all of the original development team has stayed with us on our exciting journey. Of course, as the company has grown (from 7 to nearly 100 since we started) roles and specializations have developed, but it is nice to see familiar faces among all the new people. The vision has grown along with the company. We started being very focused on train simulation, but we are now introducing other areas of simulation to our portfolio such as fishing and flight. In 2013 you announced a name change, to Dovetail. Shortly after, you announced Dovetail Games Fishing. Was the strategy to branch out into a leisure market? Or simply retain a broader range of simulation? Our name change was simply intended to reflect the fact that we were developing additional simulation products that were not based around trains. We have always aimed our software at enthusiastic hobbyists, and we are deliberately not in the professional simulation business. The term 'leisure market' could suggest a move into a more casual style of product - this is not our plan. We always have to balance accessibility of the experience against accuracy, but the name change was not intended to indicate a focus on a more casual style of simulation. You adopted the Valve's Steam platform very early. Can you explain why? What did you see in it that has worked as your distribution platform for so many years? Steam was the best technical solution for digital distribution in 2008 and it continues to be the market leader for on-line distribution of PC entertainment software with over 100 million registered users. For many years, high-street games retailers have largely ignored the PC market so customers have migrated to on-line distribution platforms - we do not expect this trend to change. Steam means that our products are available to consumers around the world all of the time. Valve has been a great partner to us, both on a technical and operational level. July 2014 was a very busy month for you. First, your announcement of the licensing agreement with Microsoft to release FSX on Steam. How long has this been on the cards? When did you first think of this agreement and why? We’ve long been interested in moving into the flight arena but an arrangement of this type with an organisation like Microsoft takes a long time to bring to fruition. We wanted to both licence Microsoft's aviation technology to make our own product and also re-release FSX on Steam - there was considerable complexity in this plan and it took over a year to finalize. There is some confusion in the community, what exactly can you now do with Microsoft Flight Simulator....obviously distribute it and add some fixes. Are you planning on releasing further patches to it? Are you able to make changes to the core of the game? We are re-releasing FSX on Steam. This necessitated fixing a few things (such as the fact that GameSpy is no longer available), but other than these bug fixes, we have not implemented any major updates to FSX: Steam Edition. However, we continue to monitor the forums and see if other changes are needed. With the huge amount and variety of add-on content available, we have to balance making those fixes with the possibility that we may break something, so we are trying to keep the changes to the 'safe' areas. We can make (and have made) changes to the core software, but we are not at liberty to make significant functionality improvements that rightly would belong in a sequel. We hear some programmers with experience in FSX are now working with Dovetail Games. Is this correct? Do you intend to have a dedicated development team for FSX? We have a wide range of people who have been working on the project; they are a mixture of our existing development team and dedicated staff with FSX experience. We have assembled the core team who will be designing and creating our new flight simulator. Let's touch a more "bleeding" subject. The dreaded EULA. Whilst FSX had an explicit clause in the EULA forbidding any user from making any changes to the program that would bypass the limitations of the program, several users discovered it was necessary to actually have a more stable platform. Can we expect any changes to the EULA in the future for the average user, be it in the shape of access to the software, use of the software or modification of the software? This is one for Microsoft as we are republishing their product on Steam. We will be trying to ensure that any such modifications are not necessary in any subsequent simulator we make, and will use our experience with trains to try to ensure that we provide interfaces to our products that allow people to make add-ons within the terms of any EULA. Microsoft's FSX gave birth and supported many third party developers (TPD). It is rumoured that as far as licensing goes, the engagement between these TPD and Microsoft was limited; it was very much an open field. What can developers expect from the new Steam version of FSX and any subsequent developments of FSX regarding licensing for add ons? Again, we are simply republishing FSX on Steam and are not changing any of the relationships between Microsoft and third parties. We are partnering with some third parties to deliver their add-ons via Steam. We are very keen to involve third party developers in the flight simulator we are developing. We want to learn from their historic experiences to ensure that we help them achieve their goals rather than stand in the way. Third party developers are the reason that FSX still has an active audience today and our respect for their work could not be higher. Additionally, we’re aiming to make the end-user experience of add-on integration more painless than it’s been historically. Details of this are still being worked out at the moment. You have mentioned further product developments based upon FSX-SE. Can you give us some insight into what those additional products might be and do they include an FSX-11? We are still in the design stage so we can’t disclose too much, but key priorities are to update the simulator in the context of improvements in PC technology and operating system features over the last eight years. We also want to provide a more integrated environment for add-ons, expansions and community interaction. Finally, the Flight Simulation community is extremely wide-ranging. Our own Avsim readership covers young adults to retired hobbyists, aircrew, professionals or just generally passionate people from all over the world. What does Dovetail Games' entry into Flight Simulation, and more precisely, now owning their beloved Flight Simulator actually mean for their future? Well, we don't actually own Flight simulator, we are licensed to release FSX on Steam and to develop products based on that technology. But the question of what Dovetail Games means for the Fight Simulator community is excellent. Built into our DNA are a couple of key things: We are in this for the long term. With Train Simulator, we have continued to develop and enhance the software for over 6 years and have provided automatic free upgrades to the train technology every year. We are not sure we will follow this model for FSX and our follow-on developments, but we are committed to this audience for the long term. We understand the needs of aviation hobbyists. We know that you want a huge variety of high quality aircraft to fly and you want to do this in the most realistic settings. We aim to satisfy this requirement. We respect and understand the value that third parties bring to the flight simulation world. We want to work with these teams to make better content and deliver that content in accessible and wide reaching ways. It is going to be a fun journey. Many thanks for your time and the interview.
  5. Version 1.0


    This is the raw data from the 2014 Demographic Survey used to generate these charts, found here. Click on the link and you can also join the conversation about the survey.
  6. We are pleased to announce the release of the 2014 Demographic Survey results to the community. Here you will find the compiled data from the survey which was ran for most of the year. Over 2,900 of your fellow flight simulation enthusiasts participated in this survey and we think you will find the results interesting. All of the raw data used to compile these charts can be found in the AVSIM PUBLICATIONS area that you can access from the right menu area; HOT SPOTS. You can view the results and join the conversation about the 2014 survey here.
  7. As announced earlier this month, Dovetail has released the Steam Edition of FSX Gold (now known as FSX SE). You can find the Steam Edition here. Dovetail has this to say about this release; "The multi award winning Microsoft Flight Simulator X lands on Steam for the first time. Take off from anywhere in the world, flying some of the world’s most iconic aircraft to any one of 24,000 destinations. Microsoft Flight Simulator X Steam Edition has updated multiplayer and Windows 8.1 support.". This product is reduced in price by 80% and is selling for $4.99. This price is good for just over 47 hours as of this writing. UPDATE: Dovetail has stated that the following FSX bugs have been fixed: * Fix to particle emitter controllers which were not being updated properly. * Fix to flush all levels of detail in terrain cache. * Fix to Texture Composition preventing fail and crash. * Fixed issue where player is able to reserve more slots for friends than maximum players allowed in the game. * Fixed issue where invalid Briefing Room was presented to player when cancelling session creation. * Fixed issue where weather text in the multiplayer briefing room is partially cut off. * Fixed issue where no error message appears when attempting to host a session with the network adapter disabled. * Fixed issue where there is no error message when attempting to host a session with the network cable unplugged. * Fixed issue where host player is frozen after a collision occurs in multiplayer. * Fixed issue where client gets dropped from a multiplayer game after they crash into the host. * Fixed issue where the Host Options in multiplayer/ Free Flight allow a user to have a maximum of 99 player slots. * UIAutomationCore.dll work-a-round is now supplied by default with FSX:SE. This fixes a number of crashes relating to UI interaction on 64-bit versions of Windows. * Fixed issue where the application’s taskbar preview window displays no content on Windows 8 and above. * Prevent default colour mode for Windows 7 and above (enable automatic display composition). * sserife.fon file now automatically supplied and loaded. You can join the very quickly growing community discussion in this forum topic: http://forum.avsim.net/topic/457914-fsx-steam-released-80-off-sale/.
  8. We are proud to announce that Jim Young, our long serving and dedicated Forums Director, has been appointed to the Board of Directors of AVSIM. Jim, retired from the U.S. Government and an avid golfer, spends countless hours every week attempting to enhance and protect our online community. Please join us in congratulating Jim for his appointment and future contributions to AVSIM and it's great community.
  9. Dovetail Games today provided AVSIM with an announcement regarding the imminent release of FSX Steam Edition. In their announcement, Dovetail had this to say; "Dovetail Games, the multi award-winning developer and publisher of the Train Simulator series and Dovetail Games Fishing, today gave flight sim fans a lift with the announcement that Microsoft Flight Simulator X: Steam Edition will launch on 18th December 2014 at a spectacular introductory price. Microsoft Flight Simulator X: Steam Edition delivers an authentically accurate aerial experience for simulation enthusiasts and those with a passion for all things flight. Pilots can climb into the cockpits of over twenty aircraft, from commercial and fighter jets to single-engine private planes and helicopters. More than 80 missions will test players in a variety of ways, including search and rescue challenges, test pilot scenarios, races and more. The game features updated multiplayer functionality, Windows 8.1 support and over 24,000 airports, delivering a beautiful, connected world and vast horizon begging to be explored. First released in 2006, Microsoft Flight Simulator X ’s arrival on Steam marks the first exciting steps in the global licensing deal between Dovetail Games and Microsoft announced earlier this year. In addition to distributing Microsoft Flight Simulator X: Steam Edition, Dovetail Games is also working on its own original titles based on Microsoft’s flight technology, carrying on nearly three decades of tradition established by this award-winning franchise. Dovetail Games and partners will also be launching a range of add-ons for Microsoft Flight Simulator X: Steam Edition on Steam in the New Year." Visit Dovetail Games for further details .
  10. As of today with the results from the 2014 Demographic Survey of 2,661 respondents to the question "How old are you", our membership is made up of:
  11. Kyle Rodgers (aka Scandinavian13) has added a treasure trove of his instructional videos on a number of different topics and aircraft (mostly PMDG). He has a tutorial on the PFXP flight planner and much more. We encourage you to view his tutorials, which all can be found here: http://forum.avsim.net/index.php?app=core&module=search&search_app=videos&do=user_activity&mid=145150
  12. As we announced that they would at the end of last week, Lockheed Martin has indeed release the V 2.4 of Prepar3D. You can find the download in your account on the LMOC site.
  13. LM will release the 2.4 patch to it's flight simulator, Prepar3D this coming Monday, the 29th of September. Thanks to AVSIM member Rob Ainscough, we know that the new release will include the following: Change list: The Prepar3D v2.4 update brings general bug fixes, rendering updates, as well as several requested features and enhancements to the SimDirector mission creation tool. This v2.4 is an incremental update to fix a handful of outstanding issues present in v2.3. The full listing of improvements, fixes, and requested enhancements is listed below. General Platform Updates Fixed a crash when saving/loading scenarios due to corrupt object configuration files Custom camera orientation will now load correctly when multiple views are open Saving the Internal Vehicle Cast setting with setting profiles Fixed issue of blending between unlimited visibility layers Resolved an indefinite hang when selecting the observer role in multiplayer missions Rendering and Performance Updates Corrected issues with batched objects and airport lighting on systems with multiple graphics cards Fixed an issue with BGL objects that were causing a memory leak and crash Fixed an issue with clouds being rendered quadruple the intended size Fixed an issue with particle effect scale being larger than intended Fixed an issue with multiple texture entries in panel configurations not being rendered Fixed issue with vertical geometry spikes Corrected an issue with cursors causing issues when HDR was enabled Added transparent panel support for auxiliary windows Fixed issues with custom camera post process settings not properly loading General fixes to terrain shadow artifacts Fixed issues with material z-bias level behavior not being consistent SimDirector Updates Added a backstage file menu to help configure the scenario, open recent files, change settings, and other useful operations Added hotkeys for common interactions Changed the behavior of actions so that if an action is unreferenced, then it will fire when the scenario begins Improved the object catalog by adding extensive filtering for new users and helpful key shortcuts for power users Improved and simplified the controls to navigate the world and manipulate objects Added the ability to use the Time Preview window and toggle Weather Visibility while editing scenarios Added the ability to preview text-to-speech for the DialogAction Fixed an issue where the application would hang when creating a scenario while the Mission Incomplete message box was open Fixed an issue where undocking windows would freeze SimDirector Fixed an issue where the VI Sessions window was not able to be used after resetting the scenario Fixed an issue where Panel objects would not respect the panel that they were referencing when previewing the mission SDK and SimConnect Updates Added preliminary Oculus Rift Development Kit 2 (DK2) integration sample Added support for 3ds Max 2015 Added SIMCONNECT_CAMERA_SENSOR_MODE to the C# SimConnect headers Corrected an issue with exported attach points being placed with the wrong orientation If you would like to read the details and Rob's suggested methods for installing the update, you can read the complete thread here.
  14. DecryptedZ, under the user name Simapproach, is running another scam. This is a program labeled ILS Autoland. For $14.99 you will be rewarded with a program that claims to add ILS detail to your cfg file so that you can make ILS approaches. Like his previous scams, a refund is not given and uses PayPal to rip you off. AVSIM advises you to stay away!
  15. There is something wrong with the way you are allowing connections to this image. I can't get it to work either.
  16. A user by the name of "DECRYPTEDZ" yesterday posted an announcement regarding a product that would allow FSX to run in 64 bit "environment". The company selling this miracle product, FLIGHTREAL SIMULATIONS, is perpetrating a fraud on all FSX users. They call this product their "32 bit to 64 bit Converter". There is no such thing as a 32 to 64 bit converter. This company is selling this scam for approximately $12. We strongly suggest that you save your money or spend it on something more useful!
  17. AVSIM is pleased to announce that Pilot2ATC has joined the community forum system here. Pilot2ATC issued the following statement; "As our user community continues to grow, we need a place to provide information, support and product announcements. What better place than AVSIM for a product that supports X-Plane, FSX and P3D! Pilot2ATC began as a project to ensure you would never have to hear "You're Off Course" again, or at least not without some helpful information about how to get back on course! The new Pilot2ATC user forum will be a place that we can share ideas for improvements and provide information about how to use the features that are already there. It will hopefully pull together the many great conversations that are already happening on AVSIM and make it easier to start a new one. It will also be a place that we can make announcements and provide tips on how to get the most out of the product. Thanks to AVSIM for hosting us. We look forward to seeing you on the forum!" You can join the Pilot2ATC forum here.
  18. PMDG today released both the long awaited SP-1 for its popular B777-200 and the new B777-300. PMDG has this to say about the -300; "The ultimate simulation of the Boeing's incredibly long, Long Hauler is finally here! Experience an airliner simulation unlike any in the history of simulation with this feature rich and magnificently detailed simulation of the Boeing 777-300ER. Packed with detail, authenticity and a plethora of options to keep you learning and experiencing new avenues of flight simulation flying. Created by experts for the enjoyment of experts, the PMDG 777-300ER Expansion Package will please new flight simulation enthusiasts looking for their first true airliner experience while it simultaneously thrills experienced simmers looking for the kind of depth and authenticity that only PMDG can provide." Details regarding the SP-1 and the -300 can be found on the PMDG website -300 Product page here as well as in the support forum here at AVSIM.
  19. AVSIM is pleased to announce that Mindstar Aviation has opened its official support forum on AVSIM. Mindstar issued the follow press release today; "Mindstar Aviation, developers of professional and home-use avionics as well as other software solutions for FSX, ESP, and Prepar3D, is pleased to announce the opening of our support forums on AVSIM. We look forward to our customers sharing their cockpit configurations, experiences, and questions in a forum located in the heart of the flight simulation community. Visit the Mindstar Aviation website (www.mindstaraviation.com) for more information, or stop by our forum here." Please join us in welcoming Mindstar to the AVSIM Community!
  20. As AVSIM reported a month ago, there has been a license agreement put in place. Now Dovetail has confirmed that and stated; "The award-winning creators of the best-selling Train Simulator franchise have today announced a global licensing deal with Microsoft, granting them the rights to develop and publish all-new flight products based on Microsoft's genre-defining flight technology. The company is currently investigating new concepts in this area and is expecting to bring a release to market in 2015. In addition to this licensing agreement, Dovetail Games is pleased to announce that it has also acquired the rights to distribute the multi-award winning Microsoft Flight Simulator X: Gold Edition via Valve's popular digital retail channel, Steam, entitled Microsoft Flight Simulator X: Steam Edition." You can read the entire press release here. You can participate in the community discussion regarding this announcement here.
  21. Laminar Research informed us today that the X-Plane title will shortly be available via the Steam System Platform. Laminar stated that X-Plane "will be shortly making its debut as a digital download on the popular Steam platform. X-plane 10 was recently green-lighted by Steam and received top-ratings when voted on by Steam users for consideration for inclusion in their product offerings." For more information, please see the full announcement here.
  22. We are pleased to announce that the AVSIM 2014 Demographic Survey is now online and available for you to participate in. You can access the survey here. The demographic survey is an annual event for the AVSIM community and we encourage you to participate. This annual survey is important because it helps us tailor services to the community and provides our freeware and commercial members data to plan future additions to our flight simulators. This year, we have added questions for real world pilots among us and numerous other questions regarding your hardware preferences and configurations. Join your fellow community members and take the survey today!
  23. Tom Allensworth

    FANCON Bellevue Washington, 2007

    This is the FANCON that followed the Microsoft DEVCON at the Bellevue Hilton. The event was extremely well attended, including a large number of Microsoft ACES employees.
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