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The future of Flight Sims
Dave Wave
United Kingdom

20th Dec 2015
13:13:54
Next year, FSX will be 10 years old. It’s replacement was meant to be Microsoft flight, this was launched 3 years ago and while it certainly looked the part, limiting it to a few small planes and Hawaii meant it was doomed to failure and Microsoft exited flight sims soon after.
I don’t know where we are in the future but here are my thoughts for what it’s worth.

FSX
Can’t buy new anymore so will die out eventually.

FSX Steam Edition
Microsoft sold the rights to Dovetail for fsx for entertainment purposes. They have made some changes to the game but to be honest, I think they will just milk the game to sell add-ons via steam. I believe they purchased the train simulator game from someone else and made a lot from doing the same, stick it in Steam for a cheap price then milk the add-ons. Suspect they may announce new versions that may include updates for major airports and a few planes but not much more.

Prepare3D
Lockheed Martin bought the commercial rights to the game as used by professional simulators. They have done some major work on the game to move work from the cpu to gpu and added cloud shadows. There is also talk of a 64 bit engine in the works. However, the price is a lot more than the Steam edition and they lost me when they released their last version 3.0 and demanded more money. It was in reality version 2.6.

X-Plane
Has some good bits, haven’t used the full version but it does have up to date airport data and maps. Oh, and sloped runways are amazing!!! On downside, AI planes are none existent and most of the planes fly just weird.

10 years ago FSX was great, now it’s dated and although we have some newer options to pick from, we are miles away from what is now possible.

Would like to hear what everybody else thinks.

Dave
Tim Walters
United Kingdom

26th Dec 2015
09:54:26
Hi Dave - a belated Merry Christmas sir.

Totally agree with your analysis of P3D. No way am I paying for, what was, a 'minor upgrade'.

My opinion of DoveTail is that they primarily wanted to be 'known' in the flight sim market so as to push out the new DTG 64bit DFS (Dovetail Flight Sim) due for release sometime in 2016 (I've been told). They do not discourage people from using or purchasing addons (or freeware) from elsewhere and it CAN become a 'cash cow' IF end users decide to use Steam to purchase their addons. That being said, P3D has become a 'cash cow' if they are to charge for insignificant updates. Do note that DTG have such content available but it is NOT THEIRS - it's AeroSoft, PMDG etc.

Never used X-Plane so can't comment.

My worry about DFS 2016 is that it may not be a complete package and addons may be necessary (as if it WERE MS-Flight).

I can see your motivation slipping here David, and to be honest I'm not surprised. There were 26 'pro sessions' prior to FSXEU closing in Jan 2015 and now there are only 10. I would like to thank you for providing the 'bridge' between FSX and FSX:Steam and keeping the FSX community alive as you have done - and as DoveTail are now doing.

I trust you will have a Happy New Year sir.

Tim Walters
MaldAir.com Group of Companies
Dave Wave
United Kingdom

27th Dec 2015
11:30:03
Read the reviews of train simulator on metacritic Tim. Does not give me a lot of confidence in Dovetail.

I actually just bought x-plane, it has an amazing amount of detailed scenery but is so lacking in some areas that I can't recommend it yet.

Fsx is dying and users don't know whether to upgrade to Steam (cheap) or P3D (Expensive but does have some real benefits)

Reality is nothing is much better than fsx at the moment so some people have upgraded and some have stuck with fsx, probably waiting to see what happens.

I have no idea what the future holds but it don't look good at the moment.
Tim Walters
United Kingdom

27th Dec 2015
17:30:03
I ran a survey a few months back and of the 271 responses, 65% of them were 16 or under.

I'm suspecting the pilots using Steam Ed. are less likely to want to or be able to pay for P3D.

This is, perhaps a good thing as the serious guys go to P3D and the kids stick with FSX (myself included!!!). One is a game, one is a simulator...?

Only time will tell. I am cautiously optimistic.
Dave Wave
United Kingdom

28th Dec 2015
14:36:11
I think you're correct Tim, suspect a lot of older simmers don't even have or want to use Steam. Anyway, steam is a great way to get new people on board who might upgrade to P3D later.

As an aside I have just asked for a refund from steam for X-plane, while the scenery was more detailed than fsx and the graphics engine is much improved (Flying with no stutters) everything else sucked.

Curley Campbell
United States
30th Dec 2015
21:36:08
Here is my stance on things... and I HAVE all of them.

1 - I would close my FSX Carrier Ops 24/7 session...if I did not have FSOPEN.

2 - Payed $80 for X-Plane, when it 1st came out. Is is not even close to the capabilities of FSX.

3 - FSX Steam. Wasn't worth the effort to install and is really pretty much the same. I see a lot of folks switching back to the boxed version.

4 - P3D. Originially still not quite worth the effort.... again it is still FSX. They bought the rights for the graphics portion of FSX... NOT the whole engine. New ver 3 quite a graphics improvement as it supports DX11... But... will have to buy AGAIN. Also non compliant with some existing payware aircraft.

I will stick with FSX boxed.... It will always WORK and I do not have to invest any more $$$ or ask my clients to do the same... to upgrade to any of the above.... it just simply isn't worth the effort. Remember... as long as people own FSX... there will always be sessions via Direct Connect... so, I disagree.... FSX is NOT dead... and there is tons of freeware and payware supporting FSX.

FYI: As my session is strictly dedicated to military aircraft only.. it may seem small. However, I average about 25 different pilots a day in the session.. as I support a world wide community.

SEE #1
Tim Walters
United Kingdom

31st Dec 2015
11:42:00
Hi Curley, thanks for the input. Just a few questions:

What exactly prevents you from moving you session over to Steam? I ask as FSX:Steam is currently on sale for $5.00 or thereabouts. Not exactly the $$$ you suggested. The publishers of paywares have caught up and the freewares mostly still work. VAS (stability) is improved greatly to such an extent that I have schedules on our website with flights of well over 18 hours. I would never have risked that with the boxed edition. Looking at the session lists, you have nobody connected to your pro server whereas I currently have 42 on Steam.

So what exactly is keeping you on the Boxed version - do you use the ATC facilities and functions provided by Dave or just keep your community alive with the FSOpen session listing?

If FSOpen did not exist, what would prevent you moving to Steam Edition and promoting yourself on Steam? Come to think of it, what's preventing you doing that now?

I do agree that FSX is not dead - but I question which version is now likely to bring in the most clients and build a thriving community in the longer term?

Happy New Year to the Australians - the rest of us will have to wait.

Cheers

Tim Walters
MaldAir.com Group of Companies
Tim Walters
United Kingdom

31st Dec 2015
11:57:59
Correction - make that New Zealand...
Curley Campbell
United States
31st Dec 2015
17:27:41
Thanks for your post Tim. It is not about the $5 for Steam.. it is more about the issues installing Steam, the change in directory structure, and the compatibility with our military aircraft. After extensive testing on our end... in the long run.. it is simply not worth changing. The bottom line.. If is it isn't broke... if you know what I mean.

We serve a small percentage (3%) of the overall community. It's never been about how many players we have at any time... it is about the quality. A lot of our aircraft are payware and my server (even at 400Mb down/300Mb up) requires a lot of bandwidth because of the complex aircraft. We can do things that was never intended for FSX. Handling over 10 pilots at a time can be a handful. We do not allow any civilian aircraft... which could handle 100 or so... it is simply not what we offer.

As such, I will not ask our current pilots to incur extra costs to fly in our session. There really is NOT that much difference (possible exception, eventually P3D) so I see us continuing what has been successful for us in the last 7 years.

I can guarantee you ... pretty much anyone flying military has been in our group at one time or another.
I have removed the restriction of "Carrier Ops Only" and now offer our session for any military aircraft... to fly anywhere in the world. That has brought us a lot on new pilots.

As far as "If FSOpen did not exist".... I would NOT host any session at all. This software eliminates my flying 15hrs a day... just to manage the session. Been there done that !! Dave's software is an excellent package(s) for the FSX community, as you well know, especially for those that host special multiplayer sessions. For us,We use it PRIMARILY to "manage the session" (as I requested from Dave at the get go) .. but we also use some of the other features that have been added. I have never used any of this to gain new members... It is mostly by word of mouth. The serious military folks have always found us. "If you host a good session... folks will come" has always been a part of our mission statement.

I am very hard core with sticking with what works. We do not fly "canned" missions and, of course, we are multiplayer ONLY. At some point I'm sure some other developers will make new sims.... I just do not see them reaching the flexibility that FSX has offered in the past 10 years. Really it's not FSX... it the is High quality of users overcoming the initial limitations to make it what it is today.
Dave Wave
United Kingdom

1st Jan 2016
23:48:47
FSopen will be here for you Curley.

Steam have refunded my money for x-plane, No questions asked as I got frustrated with it after only 1 hour!

Back to my original post.

This is a screenshot from flight sim 95.



In the ten years since flight sim 95 was released we had
Flight Sim 98 (FS6)
Flight Sim 2000 (FS7)
Flight Sim 2002 (FS8)
Flight Sim 2004 (FS9)
FSX (FS10)


In the following 10 years we now have
fsx steam (FS10.1)
and P3Dv3 (FS10.3)

This is why flight sim is declining at the moment.



Tim Walters
United Kingdom

2nd Jan 2016
08:57:28
Which, I guess, is why DoveTail have jumped on board as they see a gap/shortfall in the market.

We shall wait and see - I'm both optimistic AND pessimistic about their new flight sim.

FYI, Steam offer refunds, no questions asked, if the 'game' is played for less than 2 hours.
Damian Spencer
United Kingdom

20th Jan 2016
22:28:21
EZY601 cleared to Land !!

I miss you Dave !

Hope your all well

All the best

Damian
Dave Wave
United Kingdom

21st Jan 2016
07:55:32
Hello mate, long time!

Tam Spiers
United Kingdom
6th Mar 2016
13:50:35
https://flyawaysimulation.com/news/4768/
Tim Walters
United Kingdom

9th Mar 2016
12:36:40
The following extract is either a deal breaker or deal maker for me:

WILL MODIFICATIONS WORK?

One thing that we don’t know yet, however, is if add-ons for Microsoft Flight Simulator X will work in here. It all depends on how the simulator is built – again, information is rather limited at the time of writing – and if it uses the same kind of textures and the same form of reading files as FSX. Given that it will be built upon the foundations of FSX, though, we are hopeful that these features will be included.
Tim Walters
United Kingdom

11th Mar 2016
15:41:21
The following may prove interesting to some:

https://www.reddit.com/r/flightsim/comments/49uuvr/i_am_steve_hood_creative_director_for_dtg_flight/
Tim Walters
United Kingdom

12th Mar 2016
23:10:38
Finally had a reply to my post above - it seems FSUIPC will NOT be supported on the new DTG Flight Sim. That kind of eliminates the majority of VAs and many who like to customize their Saitek equipment.

It seems like FSX will be alive for some time to come, whatever version that might be.



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