toprob

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About toprob

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  1. I do think that dealing with customers is a skill which needs to be learned, and honed. I had a mid-life change of career to retail, and it took me a long time to learn how to treat the customer, and how to deal with issues. When I went full-time scenery development, I had a printed list on my wall with a number of rules which I promised myself I'd keep. Most of these were based directly on what I learned from my old retail boss... It took me half a lifetime to get comfortable with dealing with customer service, and it was pure luck that I even understood the need from the start of my business. So I'm not surprised that a lot of developers have poor customer relation skills, and I certainly wouldn't judge their products on this -- although I tend not to be burned twice:) Not many developers have the luxury of a professional service department. I still stick to the 'rules', answer every query in a reasonable time, offer a solution, a refund is not a solution... sometimes I want to say 'RTFM', but more likely 'have a read of section ## of the manual'.
  2. I think this is an Orbx issue, normally fixed via FTX Central -- settings -- 'force a re-migration of your unified lclookup'
  3. toprob

    3D grass problem

    My initial reaction was that this was Speedtree, but then I assumed that the grass was custom-built for the airfield. Does it help if you turn off 3D dynamic trees?
  4. toprob

    Scenery Cloud Shadow

    Sounds like your Prepar3d shadow settings, try setting everything to cast/receive.
  5. toprob

    My morning ritual and AirDailyX

    Watched D'Andre's REX interview yesterday, he really pushed the REX guy to talk about stuff which probably wasn't on his 'press release.' And all in the same keen fan way which makes him so likeable. FSElite is certainly a good news site these days, as is Digital Flight Wire, once you get past the weird landing screen -- they do give nice big images on their main newspage, which is great for my aging eyes!
  6. You can limit SODE's effect to specific sims via the XML file. I don't know if DD allow you to edit the SODE xml files for their airports, but if so you can add this to each simobject entry: <TargetSim ID="P3Dv4"/>
  7. toprob

    Texture resolution size - question

    Texture size and resolution are two different things. A texture can be any size (although normally a power of 2 in our sim, a common size being 1024x1024) and the resolution represents the size of a single pixel. So 30cm means that a single pixel covers 30x30 cm of the ground. As each 30x30cm is represented by one pixel, it can only be a single colour/tone. So if you took your PFD outside and laid it on the ground just as a satellite flew overhead and took a picture at 30cm resolution, you couldn't expect to see it, as it's total size is less than a single pixel. At 7cm (our highest setting, I think) an area of 15cm square could be represented by 4 pixels at most, so don't expect to be able to read it... Your 3x3 metre garden shed roof would be represented by 10x10=100 pixels. A texture at 30 cm, if it was 1024x1024 pixels, would cover an area of 307.2 x 307.2 metres.
  8. As a scenery developer, I certainly know why I do this. Although it is my sole income, and has been for some time, I'd make more money in a fast-food kitchen. But like a lot of developers, I'm kind of hooked on building a world in the sim. Plus, I figure that someone has to do it. It really comes down to job satisfaction, which is inversely proportional to the financial return -- started out in insurance, great money, no fun, then moved into graphic design, average income, good clean fun, then took the plunge into full-time FS development -- constantly broke, but enjoy waking up every day. Except bill-paying day... I couldn't do this without some regular contract work, although this normally doesn't result in something I can put in my store, so I try and spend as much time on my own projects as possible. Funding projects to completion is a major challenge, and I do rely a lot on support from my past customers, who seem to be happy with my releases, however infrequent:) The ideal of people flocking to FS development for the money is amusing.
  9. When I uploaded the Wellington video, it was originally linked through my own site, where I was able to explain what the video showed, and that it is a simple experiment rather than any work-in-progress or in any way represents a finished product. That's why I prefer a single link to my original post, rather than bypassing it and going directly to the embedded video. Still, I know that AVSIM's rules make this difficult, so I appreciate the plug. Yes, the houses stick out, but this isn't really an issue with the rendering engine -- Wellington city is very green, with a lot of native vegetation, and normally I'd place vegetation around the houses, which makes them a better visual fit to the ground. Here only the larger areas of vegetation are 'cultivated'. Plus the building textures need a lot of work... Also, I had dropped my display settings a lot for this, simply because I wanted to avoid any discussion of performance issues -- the cultivation process is in the early stages, and optimisation is needed. (This is the first time I've seen blurry ground textures in FS2, but this is solely the result of my settings.) I am interested in the way in which cultivation compares to MSFS autogen, but it's too early to judge at the moment. For example, the huge display distance may be tweaked in the future, I would accept something better than Prepar3d's limited display radius for autogen, but less than 'as far as the eye can see.' I do think that FS2 has some ways to go, but in the meantime it does offer some real promise, especially as the baby-boomer killer app for VR. If anything was going to convince me to invest in VR, it would be this. Being able to control shaders similar to Prepar3d/PTA would be a huge leap forward, and that applies to X-plane as well. My goal is to give each sim the benefit of the doubt while they are still in development, and make sure that the limiting factor is not the lack of developer support. As a MSFS-based developer, the main thing for me is the support of Arno at FSDeveloper.com, with his FS2 support in his great development tools. So what excites me is not necessarily what excited the community:)
  10. I'm not too sure that this is the way that Orbx developers work -- they may be a bit more autonomous. Spending a month or two on updates might have to fit in with some full schedules. As I've discovered, the small changes to v4 mean that there's a lot that needs to be tweaked, including the installation methods. Orbx is probably the most complex system, with the least 'preparedness' for the new techniques, given that they've mainly relied on just bulk-overwriting default files in the past. Some developers who just made the necessary changes to their installers might find that down the track things get a little complicated.
  11. Yes, I'd certainly consider something which became the defacto standard, but I guess there will always be the bigger -- and more organised -- developers who have invested a lot in their current system. I have a list of goals for my new installers, but there are still things which could go either way -- for example, do I put everything into one add-on.xml file, or keep different scenery releases separate? Much tidier if they are all together, with a single activation, but then someone will want to switch off just one area, so maybe they need to be different... the trouble is, you can't second-guess everything the punters are going to want to do. So even if there was a tool which standardised installation, someone is going to want to do something different. Come to think of it, the 96% I mentioned are a lot less trouble that the 4% who fiddle with things:)
  12. I'd really like to be any one of those, preferably all, but in reality I'm a fairly easy-going bloke trying to make a go of it in a very limited market. It may be that most developers are like me -- one-man-band, with a lot of experience with making scenery/whatever, but trying to make sense of changes in the way that stuff is installed, and trying to keep up with my customers who want updated installers quick-smart. Most would prefer to adapt their existing methods, which may or may not vary from the currently recommended ways, otherwise it means going back to the drawing board, which keeps us from ongoing development, and delays updates. Recently, the difference between profitability and my normal opposite state is the amount of updates I've had to do. I'm only just coming to terms with what does and doesn't work, and luckily I didn't rush into updates with P3Dv4-- most of the techniques I would have use have since proved... difficult to manage. There's also the need for customer education, from reading threads like this it is very apparent that most don't really understand the how's and why's of the recent changes, and merely repeat what others have posted, with absolutely no way of knowing if the post they quote is actually true. 'Fake news' is rife here. Which brings me to... Really, about 96% of my customers have no interest in anything but a simple installer. They don't want to spend time organising their addons, mainly because they don't have any interest in the 'computery' stuff. A lot here do, but believe me, you are the exception. If something goes wrong, they just ask for help, and provided they haven't shifted too much around, I can normally fix any issue. And they don't read manuals. If I give a choice of install location, most will choose the default, even if I cover the need to plan this in detail via the manual... So, do I keep it simple for them, or lay on options for the minority? Still haven't figured that out yet.
  13. toprob

    New scenery demo video - NZ.

    My system is designed for making scenery, not so much for flying it:) An i5/GTX770, so I'm at the low end of what even works with Aerofly. At some point I'll upgrade to something aimed at the new sims, and then I'll need to redo all my videos! Just a reminder that the Kickstarter campaign finishes in 35 hours, so time to take a final look, and support if you can.
  14. toprob

    NZ Scenery Campaign

    I've now updated the Kickstarter page with an Aerofly FS2 video showing the Southern Alps -- well worth a look, and please make a pledge, we're down to the last few days!
  15. Just checking in here to say hi, I hope that this will end up a regular hangout if things go well with X-plane. Just to expand on some things: The impetus for this project was to get to a point where those who already used 'Real NZ' or Godzone scenery could take it with them if they shifted to a new platform. The Kickstarter project is aiming for a single license for any scenery released to those who make a pledge, but ultimately it may be that there might be a small charge for extra platform support -- this really depends on how the market shapes up, and this is part of the market testing which the funding will allow for. I really think that there might be a bit of shuffling between platforms in the short/medium term, so it makes sense if those who want to try something new don't have to repurchase the scenery they already own, albeit with or without a small charge. I mention this charge again just to cover myself, ideally the extra costs of developing for multiple platforms would be met by increased sales, but as always with New Zealand, the market may not be self-sustaining enough. I'm only just coming to some sort of understanding of the X-plane addon market, and I appreciate any and all discussion here. Yes, as with the MSFS-based platforms, it has always been possible for users to make their own scenery, and I don't want to step on anyone's toes here. I would imagine that those who do make their own ortho scenery may not be my primary market, given that my emphasis has always been on photoscenery, and it is entirely possible that long-term future development for X-plane will be high quality custom airports only. Each sim has its own strengths, and it makes more sense to adapt my approach to each, rather than try and force-fit my ideas. And lastly, my interest is solely in New Zealand scenery, I don't have plans to expand beyond NZ. This is what makes my goals different from most developers, and it is this difference which makes something like the Kickstarter campaign worth a try... Any questions or concerns, please just ask, either here or via my site, or even the Kickstarter site. I'm well-aware that the ongoing success of this project is far from certain, but I will do what I can to make it work!