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About starflight

  • Birthday 07/18/1978

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  1. starflight

    World Traffic Addon Review

    Gave the BGL file format spec a quick read-over, it looks similar in principle to XP10's airport definition file. What's lacking in XP10 is the number of airports (out-of-box or add-on) with this routing logic baked in, and add-ons that can take advantage of it even when it's there. An unfortunate chicken and egg problem.
  2. starflight

    World Traffic Addon Review

    I don't know what taxi route logic is used by FSX (is it actually FSX, or the various AI add-ons that provide taxi routing?). For X-Plane the problem is that until v10, World Editor only let you define gates and runways at an airport. You could lay down visible taxiways and aprons but there was no routing logic, so the ATC would send planes over whatever man-made surface was available. Most buildings aren't solid objects in the sim (rationale was to eliminate overhead of constant collision detection calculations), so the routing logic didn't even notice them. With XP10, World Editor can now lay down reasonably complex taxi routes which can be used by the default ATC, but at the moment World Traffic doesn't read them. I think it's being considered for a future release.
  3. starflight

    World Traffic Addon Review

    I'm the author of the CYYZ Toronto Pearson World Traffic package. Airport-to-airport traffic can now be auto-generated within the plug-in itself, alleviating a significant hurdle in the adding AI air traffic. The biggest hurdle that remains, other than making WT-compatible aircraft (which others are doing), is making convincing ground traffic for larger airports. Right now every taxi path to get from a gate to runway (or vice versa) needs its own route defined, and different aircraft sizes may need different coordinates to define their turns. The effort easily grows exponentially. Also, until recently we really only had the 747 to play with for commercial airports. It's picked up in the last month with the addition of over half a dozen more common aircraft like the 737, 767, A320, etc, so we finally have more incentive to build new or update existing WT airport packages. X-Plane is unlikely to ever see the userbase that FSX or even FS2002 had, so even though some of us try to do our part, you won't see this AI add-on enjoying anywhere near the same level of community and developer support. It's my hope that expectations are adjusted accordingly (this goes for other add-ons, too).
  4. For the first time when dark, I was driving on the highway that goes by the end of one of my airport's runways late last night. I was struck by how bright they were relative to the street lights. In addition to the PAPI and runway lighting, I could clearly see even the blue taxiway edge lighting all the way to the far end of the runway. Conditions were rainy and very windy though, so maybe the tower had cranked the intensity up as Janov mentioned could be done. I am not a real-world pilot so have never seen an approach from the cockpit with my own eyes, but I think one's preference for light intensity really depends on your sim setup. On my 22" screen at 1080p at 80° FOV, the default XP10 airport lighting is impossible to make out from the cockpit. I can't even see the PAPI lights, which are literally a single pixel each (with no halo/hazing) until you're almost on top of them, making visual approach at night almost impossible. If I zoom in I get a more realistic depiction of what a pilot might see, but then I can't see any of my instruments. Maybe the custom halo-ing and other lighting effects provided by HDR Enviroment X II and Enhanced Runway Lights overcompensate, but for me they at least make visual approaches possible, unlike the out-of-box experience.
  5. Chicken and egg situation, as most things in XP still are. A single developer is working on X-Plane World Traffic. It can't yet be expected to come near the level of MSFS AI payware. If you're holding back from buying it that's of course your choice. It's not yet where I'd like it to be either. But I bought it the first day to at least encourage the developer, who I'm sure has already spend hundreds of hours making it, and because no one else is even trying.
  6. I uninstalled all custom scenery except OpenSceneryX, and it turns out what I saw for downtown San Francisco is XP10's default for that part of the city (financial district). Quick request... Can someone please check the financial district area of downtown and report if it looks similar to the pictures below? The roads even appear in the local map, just not on the terrain, not even at extreme road settings, and a quick Google didn't turn up anything... thanks
  7. Downloaded the North America OSM+autogen package. One problem with its coverage in my home city is that roads that are there in default XP no longer show up. In some cases it looks like the roads disappear into the ground rather than just end. Some buildings seem lower than they should be, too. I'm wondering if there's a slight difference in elevation data between the XP mesh and the OSM database that's throwing things off. Check out downtown San Francisco, same thing--almost no roads anywhere between buildings.
  8. More from the developer: "The next post as you mentioned does indeed list it as a 737-800. Anyone else can build any other variant. I've only paid for that one. And don't be afraid to ask. I'm not going to be a tyrant about this as I want lots of different planes with all the various types available." So our concerns about variants should be put to rest, potential aircraft modellers should just check with the developer first.
  9. I asked the developer on the org and the response was: The post has a picture of a 737 and an A320. The 737 has winglets, so looking at the diagrams on Wikipedia, it's a 700, 800 or 900 model. The very next comment after the images were posted said it was a 737-800, and based on the spacing between wings and tail I'd agree with that. (Edited to change 747 to 737)
  10. That's an interesting point I hadn't thought of. Have you written the developer with this concern? Maybe the 3rd-party 737s will ship with all or most of the variants already (would certainly explain why it's taking so long for even the first add-on plane package to materialize). Or, this is something that just hadn't crossed his mind before. I was surprised at a couple of things he hadn't thought about, but once discussed he added to his to-do list. The developer focused a fair bit on the military side of things, so it's possible (if unlikely) that it slipped his mind that that visual differences in civilian plane variants can be much more pronounced.
  11. W9nwrwi: the car, I think was to demonstrate arbitrary ground traffic... And also fun (if totally unrealistic real-world) to try catching up to the car before it turns off the runway. IIRC the default 747 couldn't when on its default weight and fuel.
  12. 1. up/down arrows, enter to select, backspace to go up the heirarchy (and backspace once more at the root to dismiss the menu entirely) 2. Developer says random flights are planned for future major update. My opinion on that is, don't expect it for a couple months at least. If it comes sooner, then it'll be a pleasant surprise. Also: set your X-Plane clock to 16:54 zulu. At 16:55 (IIRC, I'm not at my XPlane machine now) the two F-14s on the tarmac will begin starting engines. Lock view on them as they go on a quick tour around Mt. Rainier.
  13. Only that it's "coming soon" from a different developer. Air only, apparently, my impression is that the tool won't edit ground routes for arrival and departures.
  14. I sent my $25 the moment I knew it had been released. "Shut up and take my money!" as Fry would say Once the next major version (probably months away) adds random air traffic, it will be the AI-controlled planes that X-Plane should have had from the start (i.e. not limited to 20, low impact on CPU and framerate). It even has its own air traffic control system. I can't speak to how well it works, but hopefully there'll be some way to tie it in to XP so you can interact with it the same way you do now with the built-in ATC. Maybe XP doesn't have a programming interface for that yet, if it doesn't they ought to add one.
  15. FYI, it's now officially available for purchase: Mac and Windows only for now.