[jhb_airlines] Re: FSX Demo

  • From: "Bones" <bones@xxxxxxx>
  • To: <jhb_airlines@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Sat, 12 Aug 2006 20:53:14 +0100

You make a good point about aircraft design (and much applies to scenery
design too). The truth is that FS2004 was a watershed for design work with
more complex structural design, gauge creation and aerodynamics values all
vastly more intricate than in FS2002. I think I said in one of my
newsletters that FS2004 would be the end of the amateur builders and that
the integration of panels into the GMax model would signify a shift to
professional teams. To some extent this has come true and PMDG, Level D,
Flight 1 and the like have pushed the boundaries out to extraordinary
levels. A few solo artists remain, like Rick Piper, but their numbers are
sadly few these days.

FSX has increased the level of eye candy. Moving vehicles, incredible water
effects and wet surfaces - regretfully none of which I can see in the demo
owing to the weird problem I have - probably Matrox incompatibility. I'm not
sure all are relevant to a flight simulator and I dread to think of the
frame rate hit of lots of ground traffic. I hardly ever get the FS2004 AI up
to 100% because it slows the sim down so much (admittedly I have Ultimate
Traffic installed).

In real life you hardly ever notice ground movement - not because it isn't
moving but because your focus is elsewhere. At high level you don't see the
detail and at low level the movement is registered somewhere in the distant
recesses of the brain but not exactly hitting you between the eyes. Even
motorway traffic merits little attention. As you get lower traffic is more
significant but your attention is elsewhere - busy with approach or
departure checks. Even if a road exists somewhere before the threshold and
traffic is clearly visible your attention is on speed, height and the
touchdown point, not on ground activity. Passengers might be far more aware
of the goings on on the ground but who wants to be a passenger in FSX?

You are right in that panel design is going to be more limited. In FS2004
you could completely redraw the 2D bitmap and create a new panel from
scratch - looking nothing like the original. In VC mode you can replace
gauges with others you prefer but the background panel shape is fixed - it
is part of the MDL file. Whatever shape the designer has created that is all
you have to put new gauges on - and any background bitmap has to be tailored
to that shape. It's not impossible but it certainly will require more
brainpower to rebuild a panel.


-----Original Message-----
From: jhb_airlines-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
[mailto:jhb_airlines-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx] On Behalf Of Gerry Winskill
Sent: 12 August 2006 17:01
To: jhb_airlines@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
Subject: [jhb_airlines] Re: FSX Demo

I was surprised at how restrained were most of the postings to the Avsim
Forum. Mind MS had been quick to damn the Flightsim Forum, because their
postings were more unfavourable.
 One poster triggered off an MS reply, doubting whether the word
"underwhelmement" exists. It doesn't but the Demo could justify its

Yet another trial flight, to a destination where the airfield buildings
are almost as basic as FS9's Default versions and where the only other
items breaking ground level were AG trees and a very few leggo
buildings. A Demo that covered somewhere like New York would have given
them a better chance to show off. Given the tropical setting that
they've chosen, I can't see anything remotely as good as the encouraging
screen shots that MS have been posting, over the past few months.

 Flying the Baron this time, the Instant Replay's Spot View is still a
stuttering performance, so it's definitely FSX and not the non standard

Some Forum posters find the Scalectrix type cars a step forward. I don't
really see the point, unless your into sitting on the ground admiring
the eye candy. From the air, in real life, my impression is that there
is little sense of ground vehicle movement. Perhaps Bones could comment.

 I hadn't noticed but apparently cars travel in only one direction. It's
a great pity that there aren't separate sliders for aircraft AI and
ground AI, so that the latter might be sacrificed, in the interest of

One MS reply to a scenery texture related posting was that the user's
graphics card may be unable to handle DirectX 10........

So far it's not the possible underwhelming nature of the much vaunted
new scenery that will be my biggest disincentive to buy. That's down to
the limitation on the types of gauge it will handle. In turn, unless
you're satisfied to stick with Default aircraft and panels, and few are,
then it's going to be a long wait until suitable third party panels are
designed. One of the most noticeable effects of the change to FS9 has
been the massive reduction in real third party design. A look at the
daily Avsim file lists shows it, now, to consist mainly of aircraft
repaints, AI repaints etc. Very few genuine new airfield sceneries have
been surfacing, if you ignore the large number masquerading as such,
whilst really being just AFCADs, which add extra gate positions for AI.
In short, designers of genuine new aircraft and new panels seem to have
dropped out, even before FSX rises above the horizon. It's one thing for
individuals, like myself, to knock together the odd new .xml gauge, for
personal use only, but quite another to set out to design a panel full.
Go down that track and there will be no time left for flying.

In FS9 it's been possible to modify panels designed by others, to
include one's own "must have" gauges. Much of that work would be flushed
down the tubes in a change to FSX. Unless the Default FSX hangar is full
of mouth watering aircraft, with gauges that reach the standards of the
HGHB series, etc. I don't quite see that happening.

Each time I've run the Demo it's been with the hope that I'd stumble
across something both genuinely new and desirable. It hasn't happened so
far. I definitely liked the idea of detailed airfield charts, available
on screen, in flight. The few I've found haven't quite matched up to
that. So, if FSX is definitely going to be significantly better than
this demo, why have they produced it? Am I missing something here?

Gerry Winskill

FrankTurley@xxxxxxx wrote:

> In a message dated 12/08/2006 15:16:19 GMT Daylight Time,
> bones@xxxxxxx writes:
>     Nice to see that mini panels are now aircraft specific rather than
>     generic. I presume the default minipanels in the GAU folder will
>     cut in if no minipanel section is created in the aircraft's
>     panel.cfg file.
> Bones,
> Same situation as FS2004. There are a set of default mini panels, but
> if you edit the panel.cfg file in any aircraft to include a mini panel
> then FS will use that rather than the default. I have a number of
> these done for the aircraft I fly most often, but at the moment, I use
> a number of .GAU files - I rumaged around for digital gauges which use
> less screen space - which you tell me will be as chocolate teapots in
> FSX. I guess another rumage session in .CAB files is coming, unless I
> can get to grips with your XML tutorial.
> Frank T.

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