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nateanderson

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  1. It depends on how and what you fly. Anytime you see the ground a lot, then FS Genesis makes a huge difference. At FL350 and visibility 20 miles, it doesn't make any difference at all. I like piston singles and FS Genesis is actually the only payware scenery add-on I own. It makes a difference also in the shape of distant hills/mountains, which adds to the familiarity of an area. Mountains actually look like mountains instead of rounded hills.The drawback of high res mesh is that some objects like airports and lakes end up on plateaus or in holes. FSG Version 2 has helped that a lot by cutting a hole in the mesh one km around airports so that the default FSX mesh shows through--which is level with the airport. Of course, it is not accurate, but it looks a lot more normal, and in some cases makes airports in holes to be usable.Ben
  2. FS Genesis mesh is a definite improvement over the default. It is even more noticeable outside of the U.S. Adds sharpness and realism to the terrain.One drawback: Many airports will be on rectangular plateaus or depressions because FSX airports are always flat, unlike the real world and they don't blend in well with the more accurate mesh.Ben
  3. Just downloaded and installed SP2. Everything I tried works fine including menus. I have about a 2 FPS increase. I don't have a lot of FSX addons installed but the following worked well:FS Genesis mesh and landclassFSUIPCFSD International Saratoga IITreeXI did not uninstall these first.My system is: AMD 3800+ single core, nVidia 7600GT 256MB, 2GB RAM, XP Pro.For now I am quite satisfied with SP2. I never bought Acceleration and don't plan to.Hope that helps.Ben
  4. Personally I wonder why anyone says you cannot compare a FS with a FPS in the current hardware environment. These are both first-person action-oriented game genres which are trying to throw millions of textured triangles onto the screen as fast and as accurately as possible to give the player the illusion that he is really present at a certain geographical place and time. There was an ancient time when a FS had to spend most of its processing ticks trying to figure out flight dynamics equations and the graphics were generally a joke. An early FPS, on the other hand, simply did not have the processing power to render a dynamic world and churned out a bunch of pre-rendered rooms and fake 2D backgrounds.These two lines of gaming have very much converged. FSs are now trying to create an authentic and believable world, while FPSs are now waging war in outside environments with dynamic lighting and weather and many 3D objects. They both have the same goal: to make the world look real on a computer screen in all the variations God created it with.The argument that a FS is "rendering the whole world" or that someone wants to see KBOS in Crysis is a bit of a smokescreen. If there are 10,000 computers currently running FSX, I doubt that even 25 of them are actually rendering KBOS at this very moment. I am sure there are many sim pilots who will never even fly into KBOS in a lifetime of using FSX. A FS only needs to render what a pilot can see from his current position--and the LOD can drop rapidly as the distance increases. This rule applies equally for a FPS. Both games are rendering only a fraction of their "world" at any given moment.The truth is that these two genres can learn from each other. Most planes and helicopters in FPSs are completely unrealistic--the "arcade" feel, as we flight simmers call it. They have a lot to learn from FSX about how a plane flies. On the other hand, FPS companies have been developing high fidelity, high frame rate graphics for a long time and already have created several generations of excellent graphics engines. MS would be wise to swallow their pride and use what the companies who are way ahead of them have already developed in cutting edge graphics.
  5. I do think the strength of MS is in developing the platform for FS, which is different from the graphics engine. They need to think through each subsystem that needs to be modeled and separate them out to programmers who are specialists in that subsystem. They have already done this to a certain extent with SimObjects, ATC, Weather, Flight Dynamics, Terrain, Scenery, Sounds, etc. This is what I would call the platform. Each plank in the platform (to use political terminology) needs to be able to be developed separately without causing failure of other planks. MS then develops FS11 to put it all together into an integrated whole.MS's strength is not in the graphics engine and never will be. The people at Crytek have spent at least two years solely focused on creating CryEngine2. They have used top notch graphics programmers who have produced a product that is best of class for now. I just completed Crysis SP on Delta difficulty and there is no point in comparing the terrain graphics with FSX. MS would really do much better to concentrate on the platform itself and license the graphics engine from someone specialized in that field--Crytek being the leading choice right now.The fact is that there are enough significant problems with the current graphics engine (flat runways and unstable pole terrain to name a couple biggies) to warrant a new graphics engine. This will cause problems with scenery addons, requiring a completely new addon and not simply a patch. People expect great graphics, however, and will be willing to shift to the new version if it is graphically excellent. If FS11 ends up simply being a tweaked FSX, I suspect it will be adopted even more slowly than the FS9 to FSX transition (which many have still refused to make).
  6. Looks great, Tim. Can't wait to fly in that Flight Environment!
  7. Alex just posted on the SFP home page. It is clear that he is not aware that the site is not accepting posts. I've tried to email him . . .
  8. I've been a SFP forum poster for a while, but cannot post today. Not sure what the problem is.
  9. Thanks for compiling THE LIST, WOZ. The top 12 items can really be simplified into four:1. ATC. It seems that this should not be too difficult, since some third party vendors have already created realistic ATC. Just takes a commitment to it on the part of MS.2. Graphics engine. These requests are very definitely going to require a new graphics engine. Another coat of paint on the FSX engine just is not going to keep up with all the advances in graphics cards and games. Although there are definitely differences between a FS and a FPS, those distinctions are starting to get blurred. Some FPS games now have dynamic ground shadows, 24-hour lighting, maps of several kilometres radius, moving vegetation, living beings, waves, etc., all rendered at blistering speeds. Personally, I think MS may need to license an appropriate and advanced engine for the scenery and focus their resources on all the other stuff a great flight sim needs such as ATC, AI, flight dynamics and the rest. MS has always been stronger at applications, work flow and data than at graphics. This point is drawing the most complaints in FSX from my reading of the posts.3. Flight dynamics. Definitely time to redo this. Very little has changed in several versions of FS. Obviously, many FS users are not pilots and would prefer more of an arcade feel to the planes. Real pilots and aerodynamic engineers who use FS would definitely like the flight dynamics of a real plane to be as accurately modeled as possible. There has long been a slider for flight realism in FS and putting the slider all the way to "accurate" should be true to life in future versions. Making this accurate for users would also make it accurate for AI.4. Environment. AI, autogen, landclass, mesh. These can be improved without excessive work. Just look at what is going on in FSX and make it better. Lots of good suggestions about this.Thanks to the MS ACES team for their good work. I've only used FS9 about three times since installing FSX. I know the FS series will just keep improving.
  10. There are a few ways to make a flight plan.1. Left click an airport/navaid on the map and then right click and choose one of the choices under "Send to Plan".2. Left click an airport/navaid to select it. Then hold down Ctrl and drag with left mouse button depressed into the flight plan window.3. Use the flight plan wizard to enter a beginning and ending airport. There are some choices for the distance between waypoints and the type of waypoints. Note that Alex has not implemented automatic V and J routes in the wizard yet, but said he is working on the programming for it for the release version.4. Bring up the database with F7, search for the waypoints successively and press "Send to Plan" after each.Order of airports/navaids can be easily changed on the flight plan with normal drag and drop.A great addition to Beta 3 is the ability to hold Alt and left click on a stack of airports/navaids on the map. A popup will open listing each object under the mouse cursor from which one can select the desired object to send to the flight plan.Check it out.
  11. Alex has released Beta 2 of SFP4. He is actively debugging and adding some of the features requested by users. For example, I requested mouse zooming like GE and it is now implemented. SFP could become a viable (and free at this point) alternative to FSNav. Use the SFP Beta for a while and submit your bug and feature reports.Ben
  12. Say Goodbye to Hundreds of NDB Approaches From: AINalerts: July 7, 2005 Starting today, 216 NDB approaches will be decommissioned. Although the FAA has yet to actually switch them off the air, the decommissioned NDB stations will no longer be flight-checked, maintained, approved for use or shown on updated charts, according to AOPA.
  13. Just downloaded the SFP 4 Beta and the database wizard (4.0.0.441) worked fine. The SFP version is 4.0.0.495. I can tell that some heavy duty programming went into this. The database wizard seems quite fast at over 1000 files per second.I like the new icons and interface. A lot of options for how you want it to look. There seem to be some bugs which should be reported quickly so that Mr. Antonini can make the changes.As an FSNav user who's given up on a version for FSX this is definitely a robust program although it will take me a while before it feels familiar.Ben
  14. Thanks for posting this. Very interesting. It even worked with most of the default controls on my X52. And 63fps no less. And SLOPED RUNWAYS!Considering this is an undocumented Easter egg which is the personal toy of some programmer at Google, I'd say we have seen the edge of the future in flight sim scenery.Obviously there are lots of details to work out such as higher res mesh, seasons, surface types and 3d scenery. At this point, I can't imagine Google messing around with a full-fledged flight sim, but would love to see MS or a scenery designer make an agreement with Google.We'll have to wait and see where this leads.Ben
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