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Author Topic: Flytampa, Flightbeam, FSDT and 29Palms future products to be P3D4 only  (Read 10184 times)
virtuali
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« on: July 04, 2017, 09:03:13 AM »

Dear Flight Simmers,

For the past 11 years, FSX has been our simulator platform of choice. It served us well, and we saw amazing things being done with it by 3rd party developers, offering us very complex airplane simulations, very detailed sceneries, and clever utilities that extended the simulator’s capabilities far beyond what we thought to be possible years ago.

Lately we, developers, start feeling more and more restrained by the underlying platform limitations. While 4GB of maximum ram would seem adequate in 2006, when FSX was originally released, and no PC could handle the detail that consumed that amount of memory, in 2017 we have hardware far more capable, but we just cannot use it because of the software limitations.

The most aggravating problem is the 32bit memory limit, which no hardware can fix, since it’s a core software problem. This not only is the cause of OOMs, but it also forces developers to design a product taking into account this limitation. Some optimizations that might be good for fps, like LOD levels, have a side effect of taking more RAM, so we are often forced to choose between the lesser of two evils, either having a good frame rate and smoothness (risking OOMs), or losing fps and smoothness, trying to save up to the last byte of memory, to prevent crashes.

FSX was born with issues that, after the latest patch in 2007, nobody could have addressed, because the traditional cycle of a new sim every 2-3 years has been interrupted, so we had to live with it, and found ways to overcome it. We found very creative ways to bypass several underlying limitations of the sim, a common example of which is the complexity of creating convincing ground textures, by layering lots of different materials over the FSX round earth model, and other ‘hacks’ which wasted lots of our time in developing and offering support for, and that would have been surely better spent perfecting the art, instead of finding solutions to problems that shouldn’t exist. Airplane developers have been also very limited in their options, and many of them had to reverse-engineer the sim, to hack into it at the deepest level, for example to simply get a more realistic lighting of the cockpit.

But we got used to it, and made good products, which are loved by users.

Recently, the discontinuity between what the FSX engine can do, and what other game engines are capable of, has become a real burden, and it’s hampering our chances for future advancements.

In the past years, we have seen the rise of Prepar3D, which was initially based on the FSX graphic engine, but it has now evolved on its own path, while still maintaining a surprisingly high rate of backward compatibility with FSX.

Prepar3D has a lot more to offer to developers, and therefore to its users, than just backward compatibility. The native SDK is being constantly improved, and it has grown so much, that we are more and more frustrated by the FSX limitations.

But until today, Prepar3D was still a 32 bit application, which means it might have not been possible to look at the native SDK, because many of the things it has to offer, would likely not be possible due to memory limitations. Today, the release of Prepar3D 4 changes everything. Not only we might not be constrained by an SDK made in 2006, but the better features that Prepar3D always offered to us, become now really feasible, for the first time.

Take some of the examples below:

- No "hard" Memory limitations which might cause OOM errors.

- Dynamic Lighting

- Improved human Animations

- Creation of more advanced SimObjects

- Conditional display of objects/textures

- More realistic and reliable ground models

- Improved compatibility between different add-ons (and autogen), due to the new installation method.
Today, if you compare FSX with Prepar3D V4, you have the new sim which offers a solution to a problem (memory) that can only get worse as add-ons get more complex and the hardware more powerful to support them and you also get a generally smoother flying experience and better fps too. And if you buy more hardware, you will get your money’s worth of it, because buying a faster video card or adding more memory will actually be reflected on your sim’s performance.

We believe the platform that will stay for us as the main sim for the next years, is Prepar3D, so we decided to make public a decision that we have been considering for several months already, since the first time we got to see the new sim:

In the next months, we’ll all stop developing new products for FSX.

Some of our products that are already very close to release, such as Flightbeam KMSP or Fsdreameam KSDF, will still be offered for FSX too, and we’ll of course continue to support all our existing releases with bug fixes, but the new products we’ll work from now on, will be designed for Prepar3D 4 and future versions.

We all agree this is the best decision for the future of the community moving forward, and we can only hope that our stance would result in other developers considering the same move. But we also need you, the users, to make this work.


undersigned,

Umberto Colapicchioni - Fsdreamteam
Alessandro Cucinotta - Fsdreamteam
Amir Salehi - Flightbeam
Lars Pinkenburg - 29Palms
George Grimshaw - FlyTampa
Martin Brunken - FlyTampa
Emilios Gemenetzidis - FlyTampa
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stevefocus
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« Reply #1 on: July 04, 2017, 10:52:52 AM »

This is great news.
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ubersu
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« Reply #2 on: July 04, 2017, 11:12:58 AM »

Sorry, in view of P3D's EULA and costs, you have lost me as a customer.

DJ
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Hnla
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« Reply #3 on: July 04, 2017, 03:06:41 PM »

Very good news, and great decision. Like what happened with the abandonment of FS9, there will always be people that will whine and be stuck in the past. Don't listen to them.

If you stay stuck in the past than your company will be in the past. Keep looking forward!
« Last Edit: July 04, 2017, 03:09:34 PM by Hnla » Logged
Richard McDonald Woods
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« Reply #4 on: July 04, 2017, 03:08:31 PM »

Gentlemen,
What heart-warming news!

Letting go of FSX must have been a very reluctant decision. But I am sure that you are absolutely correct in so deciding.

I know that 64-bit platforms give all software developers the elbow room that is so required to ensure our flying hobby continues to develop into the foreseeable future.

Many thanks for making this brave decision. You will have me as a dedicated customer in the years to come.

And many thanks for coming out with such a direct statement to us all.
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NMahinK
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« Reply #5 on: July 04, 2017, 05:18:16 PM »

Sorry, in view of P3D's EULA and costs, you have lost me as a customer.

DJ

Have fun living in the past. I for one support all developers moving forward, from experience P3Dv4 is the simulator we should of had since October 2006 (The month FSX was released). Those that say "You lost me as a customer," understand the permanent move to P3Dv4 will gain FAR more customers and a brand new customer base.
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RobertO1035
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« Reply #6 on: July 04, 2017, 05:44:58 PM »

Somebody please explain the purpose of P3D4??  I looked on the website and it specifically states that this sim is NOT for "Personal Consumer Entertainment."  There are only "student' options.

Well, even though I am a private pilot, I am not a student.  I flight sim for "personal entertainment."  So, am I not allowed to buy or use P3D4? 

Why are FS developers talking about migrating away from FSX, when such a small group of consumers are "allowed" to use this sim?   
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virtuali
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« Reply #7 on: July 04, 2017, 06:18:03 PM »

About the P3D EULA, this is not the place to discuss what License applies to you. However, if you think there isn't a license that seems to apply to you, I would suggest to have a look at the Developer Subscription option:

http://www.prepar3d.com/developer-network-program/
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OVI
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« Reply #8 on: July 05, 2017, 02:06:34 AM »

Umberto,
RobertO1035 is not raising the question of the lisence here. He is putting the fact on the table that great sim developers want to support the sim without the license for 99% of consumers. It's not a question! This is the fact.
Besides this fact there is another issue here. It is called "forcing the end consumers to buy the certain sim".

Alex
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jonmurchison
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« Reply #9 on: July 05, 2017, 02:35:14 AM »

Umberto,
RobertO1035 is not raising the question of the lisence here. He is putting the fact on the table that great sim developers want to support the sim without the license for 99% of consumers. It's not a question! This is the fact.
Besides this fact there is another issue here. It is called "forcing the end consumers to buy the certain sim".

Alex

So a developer who exclusively developers for X-Plane, and their are a number of them, are forcing me to buy X-Plane? Are you going on their formus and making your concerns about being forced to buy X-Plane known? I certainly hope so if you have a genuine issue around what you are saying.

The 'fact' is I have something called freedom of choice, as do developers. These guys have made a business decision. You and others who want to cling to these antiquated licensing arguments being rolled out since P3D was released can make a consumer decision. That's how it works. To say you are being forced into something is utter nonsense.
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Shom
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« Reply #10 on: July 05, 2017, 05:49:42 AM »

Umberto, what platform(s) will be supported in KPIT & the new KORD?
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VitaminA330
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« Reply #11 on: July 05, 2017, 11:10:59 AM »

Absolutely makes sense. First I wasn't too happy that I wouldn't be able to use so many older addons (reliably) in P3D4. So I hesitated to purchase it. But when I finally did, I've never touched P3D3 again, let alone FSX. Finally time for a new start now!
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OVI
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« Reply #12 on: July 05, 2017, 12:42:50 PM »


X-Plane exclusive developers has nothing to do here. FSDreamTeam is not producing for one sim.
Developers never have choice and thanks to economics laws will never have it. Only end consumer who pays them and support their business determines the demand. As end consumer I am not satisfied with such decision and see it as just loss of the customers from their side and not as the "step into future".
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nfinger
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« Reply #13 on: July 05, 2017, 03:14:50 PM »

Good to see a company looking to the future and not stuck in the past. P3Dv4 is so advanced using x64 finally to free up the shackles developers had to content with. As for the licensing of P3D I consider myself a student that never stops learning new things, even though I am the holder of a CPL with PIFR and twin ratings.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
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Norbert Finger
HC-Noble Air Australia
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« Reply #14 on: July 05, 2017, 03:44:05 PM »

Let's see how it all turns out when the dust settles in Round 2 years when there will be a clearer picture

By then at the very least everything being supported will be ready to roll with the proper installers and not endless work arounds
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