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About toprob

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  1. This brings up some interesting stuff regarding ongoing scenery releases for NZ. I'm pleased to have Orbx's mesh, mainly because I'm a local, and it didn't cost much, but I'm not sure about the long-term viability of something like this, especially for other developers. With my Prepar3d/FSX stuff the installer did the work of making any changes necessary to get my scenery working with Orbx NZ, at least until the next sim change, but with MSFS I'd like to keep away from that, especially if I get to sell via the Marketplace -- how would that work, even? Ok, I could just release two different versions, for those with/without Orbx mesh, but I'm not too sure whether the Marketplace could deal with a 'pay for one version, own both' solution. So an official 'default' update for New Zealand would be a far better solution. At the moment, the projects I'm working on are not affected too much with the added mesh, but a quick check of some planned projects shows that this will become an issue. Or not, depending on a few things, like actually getting accepted into the Marketplace:)
  2. Those are simply the release notes for the latest update. (Did you actually update?) The tip about the Community folder gets people confused, when really all they are saying is if you are having issues after the update, try emptying your Community folder and see if it helps, then you'd add back your addon one at a time to see which is causing the issue. What it doesn't mean is that everyone should empty their community folder before any update, which is the most common advice given on forums.
  3. I've been inclined to say that MSFS is new and exciting, so let's just wait until things settle down a bit before we start writing off simulators. However.... As a developer, I've very much aware that my sales of Prepar3d scenery halved when MSFS was announced, and have all but ceased since the release. I've recently updated a couple of scenery products to Prepar3d v5, which were made available to existing owners, and the few new sales I've had probably won't cover the cost of bandwidth from the existing customer redownloads. So I'd need to see a very strong indication that Prepar3d is actually alive before I put another hour into development.
  4. And as I meant to point out earlier, those who are playing for 'free' are not going to buy addons. A few, I hope, would become as obsessed as the rest of us, but this is kind of the normal flightsim user/hobbyist ratio -- millions may play, but only a few end up hanging out on Avsim and mortgaging their mother-in-law...
  5. I wonder what you are basing that on? I must admit I'm not a great businessman, but in my experience if I halve my price, I gain about 40% more sales -- so I end up with less. As I said, I'd love to have more customers through the new sim, and that may happen. If I do manage to double my customer base, then I look to see if I could tweak the price, but in 15 years I've always found the same sort of results.
  6. I think a lot of people are making assumptions about development, which are not really based on reality. I do think that a handful of developers are financially successful, but their success is based on a lot of things, greed not being one of them. I can't really speak for all developers, but I can speak for one -- me. I am old enough to have gone through two careers which simply ceased to be, because of technology. Well, the industries are still there, but are no longer employing the numbers that they needed before tech reshaped them. Since I had always had an interest in making flightsim scenery, it was an easy decision when I was made redundant for the second time, and unlikely to just walk into another job. But I never got into this because it was easy money, and I do think that a lot of developers are in my position. Many developers actually have their own niche -- for example, I only produce New Zealand scenery. I've acutely aware of my potential customer base, and believe me, a million Xbox gamepass users are not going to make much of a difference. About half my customers are in New Zealand, and it may be that some local 'kiddies' will get into simming, that's certainly the hope, and some may just have more money that sense, and buy everything they see just because they can. But any real benefit is going to come from more people discovering flightsim as a hobby. And at best that'll be a growing percentage, I'd be very pleased if I could double my customer base in two years. Sure, I could change my business/product and aim at those million users, but that's not what keeps me going. This has always been an obsession, and I really believe that most developers would say the same. By the way, my sales pretty much ceased when MSFS was announced a year ago, so I need to recoup that at some point. Dropping my prices to $5 and hoping that millions will come knocking on my door would be daft.
  7. You can get a bluetooth controller, if your PC has bluetooth support, otherwise you'd need a dongle for wireless. However I bought a (wired) Logitech gamepad for less than half the price, and it was instantly recognised and set up as an Xbox controller, works like a charm.
  8. I'll vouch for that, I have FSX, P3Dv3, P3Dv4, P3Dv5, X-plane, Aerofly FS2 and the MFS beta all living together happily on a single drive.
  9. Back before Microsoft shut down flightsim development, they did show screenshots and videos of passengers in the planned ESP world which would form the basis of both the next flight and train simulators. I can't find any sign of this now, but I'm pretty sure I didn't imagine it...
  10. I'm pretty sure there was never a payware NZAA for FS2004. Best option might be 'Auckland 2005', which should show up in a search, just add 'FS2004'. There was a payware photoscenery al long time ago, now freeware in the Avsim library.
  11. Ends 3 April 2020, on Simmarket only. https://secure.simmarket.com/specials.php?sgid=966
  12. I do see things a little differently, as a small developer. I came to this as a simmer, and I suspect that most developers did. Sure, for most, it is a business, and we live - or die - by business principles, but it isn't a great way to make money. I could make a steadier income flipping burgers, although I wouldn't. I do this because the local community benefits, and for a long time I've been part of the local community. Luckily a lot of my customers see that, and are happy to support me when times are tough. At the moment I'm in a similar position to Flightbeam, although without the great catalogue and reputation. There are not a lot of developers doing local scenery, so it has turned into a relationship which is less like a business/customer and more like different roles in the same community. As a single developer, it is inevitable that I go broke very soon, but that won't stop me, and it won't be the first time. I'll do this until I can't any more, and I'm resigned to being poor but happy. I like what I do. I would be surprised if most developers weren't in the same position, give or take a few thousand dollars. I do think that it's too early to make a decision on how to charge for addons for the new sim. But it won't take long once the SDK is released. In the meantime, give some thought to supporting your local developer!
  13. That is a consideration for me, that's for sure. It may be that I'd look at re-releasing current airports only, but then sticking to smaller stuff, with a price $10-$20. It would be a bonus if there were more customers, but not really necessary based on my fairly subjective count of the current base who might switch. And I can't really see MS doing high-detail regional airports here in New Zealand, so it may only mean a slight change in the way I work. My releases are few and far between, which is due to other issues really, but cheaper, quicker releases would be worth pursuing. And I've always made a big thing of photo scenery around any airport release, sometimes huge areas, but having these part of a default sim would make things quicker and easier for me.
  14. I took up full-time(ish) development late in life, after yet another industry I chose became obsolete, and it was getting tricky for a 50+ to find something new. My particular market is tiny (New Zealand), and sometimes I need to be creative to survive. Since the initial announcement of MSFS I have definitely noticed a slowdown in my online store, but as a simmer, I'm thrilled that finally we are getting something that seems to be shaping up as a modern and complete sim. Sure, the timing couldn't be worse for me, with 18 months until I can collect my pension, but my goal is now to be able to develop for this new sim, simply because it is my obsession. I suspect that other developers have similar obsessions, and that there are more in my position (I won't get rich) than would let on. I feel sorry for those who chose development to get rich, but I've always believed that this started as a hobby for most, so they are less likely to abandon it when things get tough. But I can't help feeling that I could just retire when this is released, and spend my time exploring the world via MSFS...
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