have been following this add-on for a few years, not extremely closely but with interest nonetheless. Yesterday the launch happened. Checked the trailer: "Your airport will never be the same again" states the developer. Of course, my pants are blown away by the raging excitement of the new replacement to GSX. Head to the store, cough up the cash, wait until evening to get home and get rid of GSX.
Get home, uninstall GSX and install UGCX. Read all the documents for the starting part, all good. Fire up P3D, put in my home airport which i customized using GSX with SODE jetways and customer vehicle positioning. I was expecting the jetways to disappear, they were put there by GSX after all, but I was fine with the default ones. Load into the Airport - well, now what? what is the shortcut for the UGCX control panel? Calm the documentation, nothing, could not find any shortcut. Fine, used the Add-ons options from the sim. Open the control panel, read the options there - a lot of Marshaling and push/tow options, configs...where are the other services? Go back and read the documentation. After 20 minutes I realize that there is no other service in the add-on. Quit the sim, re-install GSX; kind of bummed up. Meh, I guess it was my fault for not documenting myself about the add-on's actual content.
The functions it already had are outstanding - talking to the ground crew (buttons, I did not use voice), configuring the type of Tug will appear for any given aircraft type ( so you no longer get super-heavy tugs for 737s), wing walkers, great, honestly.
Fine, let's use GSX to do the pre-flight and UGCX to push. Getting to gate departure - "Pin inserted, release brakes". "Brakes released" - Red message from GSX to put on the brakes immediately. Ignore it as there obviously is no integration between the 2 tools (not that i was expecting that, it was fine) but after 20ft GSX despawns all the vehicles. Great, so much for my immersion here. Push is fine, nothing really different from GSX. Take off, go to destination (EHAM - FlyTampa).
After landing i decide to test the Follow-me service and ask for a follow-me car. The FM car gets to me, stops in front of me, no queue to start moving. Anyway, i guess i would move and it would. And so it was, until i got to a speed above 15-18 knots. Then the care in front of me starts violently drifting left to right and speeding up as it does. At a certain point i could no longer see the FM car as it was either too far or had despawned. All of this was happening at night so i tend to say i lost it from view.
Get to the gate, deboard, and initiate the Tow to parking. The marshallers appear and engine wash-off effect appear in front of one of them. Strange, i look at the Aivalsoft EFB - it is seeing 3 planes in close proximity to my plane. I guess this was a compromise to get the objects to appear. Fine, that is not a big issue (even though it does not really make my immersion warm and fuzzy). Tow starts. I choose the speed of 15 Knots to clear the busy airport terminal area quickly. After about 2 minutes the tug starts drifting just as the FM car was, with the plane doing the same as it, as it was in tow. Reduce speed to 12 knots - still drifting but not as hard. Down to 9 knots - it stops drifting. Finally get the plane to parking and the "plane" marshallers with their engine wash-offs appear to direct the final parking tow.
Plane is parked, I sit and contemplate what i have seen for my 35 Euros -
A relatively better pushback process (not the push itself but the available options)
A gimmicky tow process that did not really work well
A follow-me car which did not work well at all
Now, my initial reaction was to submit a refund ticket, but of course i voided my refund right the moment i downloaded the add-on, so i feel like i am pretty much stuck with it now, like it or not.
This add-on has massive potential and i know that FS2crew team can and will pull it off, but i feel that the marketing has been misleading for the launch and flashing a Road Map to push out a somewhat finished product is not the best excuse to get money, especially in the wake of Battlefront 2 and Anthem's disasters.
I would recommend to all that want to purchase it to first thoroughly document yourself if it really is what you want and then spend you money. And if it is, go nuts, buy it, you will enjoy it as it will meet your expectations.
As for the Developer, i still have trust i will get my money's worth out of this tool as i know you have a habit of making great add-ons, but now it is very far from it and i honestly expected more after 3-4 years...And that is the key here - you over-promised and under-delivered in my honest view. I might be wrong and I am subjective here, but this is what i feel. I hope you get what i am saying and do not become defensive about it. This is constructive criticism.