martin_ktpa

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  1. >How close is this work to the FS9 airport style tarmacs and>taxiways?It doesn't matter how close it is because it replaces all. The closest analogy is if we got a texture replacement for 747 wings which applies to all default and addon 747s. PMDG & co would love to have their wings replaced by other devs I'm sure.Its a joke along the lines of who will ever need then 640KB.
  2. martin_ktpa

    SP2 or SP1 Question

    Thanks again Phil. In previous conversations we (and perhaps other devs) often got the idea that you were completely satisfied with the current "airport SDK". That this will be revisited for FS11 is all I needed to hear.
  3. martin_ktpa

    SP2 or SP1 Question

    > And that is something we will be looking at for FS11.Thats the part I love, thank you Phil. Vacation is better then permanent retirement :)
  4. martin_ktpa

    SP2 or SP1 Question

    I see what you mean now Phil, thanks for clearing it up :)
  5. martin_ktpa

    SP2 or SP1 Question

    >"What do you think would happen to the next Windows if they>announced it only runs executables programmed in DotNet4 .">>That is a way overhyped version of what I am suggesting; which>is more along the lines of "quit loading those MS-DOS 16-bit>executables that are causing compat issues".Probably just a matter of semantics :)Isn't the goal of not loading legacy content already achieved when FSXI ships with no backwards-compat beyond the FSXI and perhaps FSX SDKs? I'm not sure I understand why an active or passive certification process needs to be added on top of non-existing backwards-compat.
  6. martin_ktpa

    SP2 or SP1 Question

    I see your point fsxmissionguy.The question to me is can or should 3PD & their Addons ever rely purely on a SDK as tight as the FSX one (& FS9, FS8).Lets forget about the current state of affairs regarding Addons in FSX for a second, think FS historically. From what I have come to know complex Addons have never been possible without doing a certain amount of digging outside the SDK box. I believe this includes nuggets such as FSUIC, complex Aircraft, Ultimate Terrain, AES & many others. In essence lots of highly popular content may only exist today because smart 3PD went beyond the SDK. "Outside the SDK" does not always mean legacy code & old junk. I agree that right now with FSX Addons it seems to be that way, but I definitely see this as a temporary problem.Before decisions regarding Certification are made, it would be wise to analyze all factors responsible for the current situation. What do you think would happen to the next Windows if they announced it only runs executables programmed in DotNet4 .
  7. martin_ktpa

    SP2 or SP1 Question

    Lets think long and hard about Certification of any kind, consult with the oldest ACES' team members, long-time 3PD etc.I can see how this idea fits perfectly into the the current situation, but by the time such a system is implemented & in the long-run, it may be completely unnecessary, even counter-productive.IMO the only reason we have this situation now is because FSX was made with the good intention to be more backwards-compat then it turned out to be. Result = undocumented partial-backwards-compat confusing 3PD and users alike.If the plan is to cut pre FSX-SDK compatibility out of FSXI by design, the problem solves itself, no certification needed.Martin
  8. martin_ktpa

    Add on Airports not compatible with SP2

    >Then there are people like me that have never really even>noticed the runway textures-till you mentioned it. :-)>(Personally I view airports as places I want to get away from>as soon as possible).Unfortunately for us Airport devs, a common but not often expressed viewpoint. The Airport market has been a small one, minuscule compared to Addons of global appeal.To me this just confirms the need for better SDK-tools, ground-polygons & sloped runway even more. If the market was already small in times of fully customized airports, how small is it going to become when we can only customize half the airport, perhaps not even achieving results much beyond EZ-Scenery content?We want to add value to the Sim but we need a box full of pencils to paint the picture. A Sim that doesn't need 3DP airports, I doubt that is what ACES has in mind. And if so, whats next? Ship some more planes in FSXI and the AC devs can join us in retirement?
  9. martin_ktpa

    Add on Airports not compatible with SP2

    >It will be interesting to see how that works out. Certainly at>a minimum that means much more work when FS11 rolls out.Build it and they will come. Better yet, ship it with an example that is so convincing of the new Sim/SDKs power & features that no 3DP dev will dream of holding on to legacy methods.Resurrecting compatibility to 5 y/o compilers is not the answer and I can tell you that a little XML extension such as......won't be enough either resulting in this discussion all over again. Like I suggested in my email, a lot of whats needed seems to be there already. The solution to fully customized airport terrain with sloped runways maybe right in front of your eyes, unfortunately it is only half-baked at this stage.So "walk away" isn't fully case, we are still here and very interested pushing the hobby forward :) My biggest worry is that other devs (who are capable of much more) by just adopting default assets overtime will become a silent mass and noone at ACES will remember that something needs to be done about this.
  10. martin_ktpa

    Add on Airports not compatible with SP2

    >The code behind the airport is critical. Even though designers>have used what they questionably call "high-end" techniques to>produce pretty airportsI would never dare to call any old method "high end", what I call "high end" is the result developers can be achieve with it. With a custom ground polygon you have infinite pixel/meter resolution. Within FSX you can't get go beyond Resample's max limit, which is not crisp enough to draw details like airport markings. We can compensate with XML airport markings, but we are limited to generic visuals. I am not keeping any developers from using this, I just point out that I am apparently not the only one who has not been willing to create airports this way. I am also not a bitter old man going after Phil. My goal is simply to keep the issue alive and ask ACES to implement a newer, modern "airport ground texturing" method in the next FS and make this method so good that developers will want to use it.>Quite frankly - they only produce eye-candy - not airports.As I stated earlier, I and many other developers are guilty having missing proper XML approach coding. In retrospect, back in FS2004 I think the fact that Lee's AFCAD was such a great GUI-tool, "prevented" many devs from ever looking behind the surface and see its shortcomings. No excuse, just pointing out what IMO was the reason why it happened the way it did.
  11. martin_ktpa

    Add on Airports not compatible with SP2

    >Hasn't there always been this sort of thing going on? As>long as I remember, there have been the canned runways,>taxiways, aprons, just like the generic buildings. So an>interested user can very quickly create a new or mod airport>using these. But, the more serious user or developer has been>interested in really going beyond this in the airport>environment, so there have been these parallel methods that>aren't directly supported in the sdks, but worked, such as>using variety of ground polys.Thats basically it :) Some of the "more sophisticated methods" are gone without replacement and part of the "highend" crowd refuses to lower themselves to the simpler default methods. Sounds arrogant perhaps, I just don't see myself taking the time to create airport terrain that any user can easily create himself by modding the "Afcad" and have the Photoscenery pulled automatically via Tileproxy. Let alone justifying such content as "highend" payware.Now keep in mind that in FSX RTM this legacy airport method did not work, with SP1 it got fixed to the point devs started using it again with some confidence ... and now in SP2 the same thing partially broke again (legacy runway code used for papi-lighting causing legacy AI models to become invisible unless aircraft-shadow is turned off, complex explanation and way too much use of the word legacy i know).
  12. martin_ktpa

    Add on Airports not compatible with SP2

    >First off, let me say I appreciate the dialog.Same here. I will make sure to head over to the beta forums and give my contribution.>I guess I just plain dont understand the "walk away">mentality. Okay, to understand that I think we have to forget about the payware/support aspect for a moment and think purely in terms of hobby, which at the core is what drives most 3DP devs, certainly the freeware community.In that aspect - within airport addons - I think the runway is a essential core aspect. If a developer makes this for his own sake, he won't have long lasting fun with the FSX runway limitations. After getting bored with the presets, he will either look into creating other types of Addons or, if he is a hardcore airport fanatic, he will remember the old dusty SDKs that allowed him to customize his runway. Again, read this without thinking business and support/compatibility, think purely visual satisfaction when creating a Addon for yourself in your basement. Sorry if this seems fixated on a single runway issue, there are other aspects but they are smaller in significance.>However I do not feel airports done with the FSX-SDK techniques> only are horrible; Certainly not horrible, thats way too harsh. I can only say that for myself an airport composed of imagery processed via resample & overlayed with pre-textured XML runways & aprons is not satisfactory to the point where I would not bother to create a lot of them. I think this can be applied to any other environment, if you give "infinite" artistic freedom it will blossom for a long time, if you limit via presets it will get boring quickly.>Where I get lost, though, is to then say "I am not going to>make FSX scenery at all" or "I am only going to make FSX>scenery with the feature set I deem important and ignore the>rules" and then come back and blame Aces repeatedly. As I stated earlier I am not a developer who is actively trying to pass non-compliant content as FSX-Addons. SP2 has shown that this can backfire. I do however take the liberty to criticize, hopefully in a educated manner. That said, if you go download & analyze the products listed in this thread, you will see that many of them don't even use x2mdl for 3D structures, which to me shows that those devs have chosen to not even adapt the parts of the FSX-SDK that do work fine. Only a handful of airport developers (myself included) have bothered to create "pure" FSX content that takes the new SDK features into account (specular mapping etc). Perhaps the wish to remain FS9 compatible is keeping devs from it, or perhaps certain things need customizing so badly that the risks of using a legacy method becomes acceptable. I do not know for sure.> Are there areas where you can squeeze something>unexpected out of FSX, like some of these features in the>past? How deeply has that avenue been explored?I only care for airports - and mostly their runways :) - so I can't really answer that question. I can however see & agree that Resample/Photoscenery, Mesh, large data-based scenery have all been greatly enhanced in the FSX SDK which is why I never say that all of FSX or its' SDK is bad or lacking.>Things always change, expecting the same thing in perpetuity>is just not realistic. Even if we add these specific features>next go round, somewhere else something else is going to>change.I fully agree. I didn't, nor would I expect legacy content to be compatible with a new FS. When I say that a new SDK should have all the features from the previous one, I do not mean it in terms of compatibility but in terms of "ability to achieve the same or preferably better effect". I have no problem at all trashing my old baggage and starting over with a new SDK/toolset, this new toolset must however be more powerful in every single aspect.
  13. martin_ktpa

    Add on Airports not compatible with SP2

    Good intentions were there, ACES communicated with 3rd parties more then ever before during FSX development. Perhaps too many people talking at the same time wasn't such a good idea, I surely don't know the answers.
  14. martin_ktpa

    Add on Airports not compatible with SP2

    >Having an add-on that works is always better than an add-on>that doesn't work.>>Picking an authoring style that almost guarantees issues for>your customers, as opposed to an authoring style that>admittedly might have a lesser feature set but fewer issues ->how is that a hard choice to make?What you say is correct in essence, the question then becomes why aren't there hundrets of FSX airport addons, seeing that placing & rearranging preset assets is not a very difficult task."Highend" airports and many other FS Addons are built by Modelers & Texture-Artists, if their ability to apply custom assets is limited, they run away or look elsewhere - in this case they look at the older SDKs. I find this very unfortunate, because the FSX SDK only lacks in certain aspects, in other aspects it is very good.What you can observe is that a significant number of devs are not even adopting the SDK for its good parts, having decided to stick with the older SDKs completely. What I'm getting at is that a new SDK will have better chances of succeeding adoption-wise, if it includes all possibilities of the old SDK and goes beyond it. The earlier mentioned "rotate-to-user" for example, not to be found in the new SDK, yet a feature developers obviously wish to use. Seasonal changes in XtoMDL, ground polygons, visibility checks, there are numerous features not covered in the new SDK which cannot be simply discarded as unnecessary legacy features.I fully understand that the SDK is the way it is regarding airports because ACES did not need anything extra to create the 20.000+ default airports. This is why I suggest that in future you have a in-house artist work on a "highend" airport (without generic assets) so way ahead of RTM time, he will have told you about everything he needs in terms of tools/SDK.PS: I am speaking as a end-user and market-observer here. The only content I personally created for FSX so far, TNCM, was created with the FSX SDK, only the pavement/runway had to rely on a legacy SDK. And not even this 95% purebred FSX addon I dare to advertise, instead I label it "preliminary" (very much like ACES' DX10 "preview") and distribute it only behind closed doors as a curiosity item.
  15. martin_ktpa

    Add on Airports not compatible with SP2

    >Your statement appears to have a logical contradiction.Apparently a contradiction. However if we look at Orlando we find that it consists of a number of default items, such as default runways, pavement surfaces, markings, jetways, service vehicles and so forth. I am not passing judgment on the developers, they made a honorable effort to create something purely FSX-SDK based.>is that not an existence proof that "older SDK>techniques" are not necessary? It depends on what the developer aims to achieve. "Highend" airport developers generally appreciate being able to customize every item (just like Aircraft developers wouldn't appreciate default gauges in their planes). With the FSX SDK that is not possible for airports. Most prominent example: We cannot customize a runway, its' surface, markings, skidmarks and lighting beyond a dozen preset values in XML. If the goal is to fix a default runway from concrete to asphalt, yes it can be done, but if we can call that "highend" content is questionable to me. Generally speaking: If the Addons must rely on large quantity of default FSX assets, where does that leave the value of the Addon?I understand that FSX is a closed case which is fine. All I wish is that the next FS be made far more flexible with regard to customization/addon development.