Mathijs Kok

A New Simulator (May edition)

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Following up on a topic on another part of these forums... Aerosoft is currently seriously investigating the development of a new simulator, directly aimed at replacing FSX.

This project is in very early stages, far from even started. We are now talking to each other and developers we trust to come up with a project definition. With this definition we'll look at the market potential and finances, we are talking a multimillion Euro project here after all. Now the investments do not scare us but the building of a platform we can all agree on bothers us tremendously. If we get that wrong we lost even before we start.

You all know that Aerosoft (and me especially) believes in working with customers. We see a 1.00 release as something customers can comment on and that we can build on to create a product tuned to the customers. We like to do the same with this project. Now clearly this will get a lot of comments and replies and a topic like this will soon get unreadable. That why this topic will be managed a bit different. We will delete a lot of posts when we feel they do not seriously participate to the topic. If you write "Great idea, when do you think it will be ready" I will delete the post when I see it. When you are repeating important stuff others said, it will stay online a while so others can see it. But then it will be deleted. I believe you all understand the basic idea, we need a condensed discussion, not an endless repeat of the same stuff.

The simulator we got in mind should be modern and versatile. So multi core, DX10 etc. That's all basic stuff. More important is that developers should be able to take their 3d models they made for FSX (so 3dMax models) and convert them to the new format. This will make advanced scenery development easy and without having to start from a blank world. Aircraft models will be the same, but aircraft systems will be a lot more complex. We sure need a complete set of simVars and simEvents like FSX has, but we just can't copy what MS done. Not bad because most devs know that that system is rather flawed in many ways.

There are many ideas that are going round in company emails right now. Just this morning somebody wrote that the new sim should be able to speak FSUIPC to external applications. There is no reason why it should not and this will hundreds of external applications immediatly compatible. That was one line in one email and it made the whole project more likely to happen.

Now it's your turn. It's serious. Tell us what FSX does wrong, tell us what FSX is missing. In any reply here refer back to FSX (okay FS2004 if you like) so we can understand easy what you are talking about. Try to write short posts, do not make lists of loads of items, but write down the most important two items and add more in weeks to come. Above all, be concise and don't be offended if your post is deleted. If there is ANYTHING I can use, rest assured it is somewhere on my system when your post is deleted.

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Let me start with two things I feel are seriously missing in FSX.

Vectored thrust. Currently there is no way that we can do Harriers or aircraft that can change the thrust vectors.

Moisture model. FSX weather does not know how moist the air is and yet it is an important aspect. It affect icing, available power, visibility etc. Ideally we would like to CALCULATE and not SET visibility.

See this post as an example how to send us your ideas. When we need more info we'll sure ask you!

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This is an extraordinary, courageous and ambitious project.

I wish you the very best for it! :)

DSC00849.png

The community will be right at your side!

With kind regards,

Gerhard

PS: If I make up something more constructive, I'll edit it in.

edit1: What comes directly in mind: Where's the line between compatibility and similarity? M$ will surely be offended as your Sim will get in direct competition with the MS-"Live"-Sim-strategy. So they may probably use every chance they get to accuse you of plagiarism... there should be an appropriate amount of awareness on such legal issues.

edit2 (directly linked to edit1): Will there be ACES-developers in the team or - more generally speaking - are you planning to make cooperations with other (FS-)developing companies?

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Hi, mathijs. I'm glad Aerosoft wants to work on this. I know it'll bea great product since your work is pure quality and you listen to the customers.

My suggestions:

*I really want to see damage models. At least very simple damage models or maybe the engine to be able to add weathered marks or make parts of the planes lost. Kinda like x-plane 9 but much better visually.

*As a matter of fact, it will be necessary to add basic (if possible real) weapon management and deployment. This will make this sim the total sim for both commercial and military planes.

Thank you.

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that people should be able to convert their FS files, to the simulator

"people" means "the developers", who own the 3DS-sources... would be a good compromise. Otherwise, there would be (Case A) no chance of selling an upgrade (for some bucks) or (Case B) a lot of "recyclable plastic" for the trash bin. (quote: Waleed)

Hehe... my first market analysis! laugh.gif

* Proposal changes in the scenery library without restarting the sim (FS2004-annoyance)

edit: Alright Slater! blush.gif

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REAL 3D clouds. As far as I know, both FSX and FS9 still use flat textures.

And ATC can be improved very much. Also it would be nice to add some kind of airac-support that every month we can buy/download the latest changes/additions to airspace borders and airways and so on. Very important for serious airline-flying.

Last but not least: More flexible runway usage. Due to limitations it's almost impossible to create a good AFCAD for airports like Amsterdam Schiphol or something like that.

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-Realistic weather is welcomed. All great add- ons are missing "realistic" wxr.

-Account for slopes and elevations at airports: "Acropolis effect" http://www.fsdreamteam.com/forum/index.php?topic=1697.0 .

-One Sim base, with updates (at a price) to utilise new technology as opposed to a new one every few years if that is possible.

-Please let other developers in on this, as they may have excellent input.

Good luck, and looking forward to it.

P.S. I think this will take longer than a few months. ;)

P.S. 2 In the future please post something this important in the morning, I need some sleep. :P

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Hi, mathijs. I'm glad Aerosoft wants to work on this. I know it'll bea great product since your work is pure quality and you listen to the customers.

My suggestions:

*I really want to see damage models. At least very simple damage models or maybe the engine to be able to add weathered marks or make parts of the planes lost. Kinda like x-plane 9 but much better visually.

*As a matter of fact, it will be necessary to add basic (if possible real) weapon management and deployment. This will make this sim the total sim for both commercial and military planes.

Thank you.

I'm 100% in your thoughts mate! -That's what I've been looking for too, I'd say, if you combine those two kinds of simulators, there's not enough space to get into the details.. -maybe Aerosoft could develope that afterwards, and really get into military purpose etc.

-I'm looking for dmg models, such as engines overheat, tires blow, landing gear collapses if too much pressure, flaps will be tared off, if expended over the absolute highest speed allowed, emergencies can happen (for example on rare occasions, that passengers become ill under flight, a engine stalls, landing gear is stuck & stuff like that), & emergency crew will assist. Besides that I'd add things like, you must fill out a flightplan with the informations as in a real one (if you've decided to choose the toughest/most realistic modes "Expert") before boarding passengers/cargo, that you must board the passengers, and that you can hear & see them comming in on the plane -aswell as ground crew, and terminal crew & last but not least - CAREER MODE!.

Just basically adding all those things MSFS missed, and making it more realistic & professional, aswell as keeping 3 modes, like "easy, medium & expert".

I mean, there will occasionally be times you just want to go beserk with a fighterjet/stuntplane & make loops and all that, and thereby the mode "easy". I know from my fellow flightsimmers, and virtual airline members, that they seek far more realism & feeling, of MSFS. -that'll be that you actually feel that you are doing the things, and thereby living out the everyday aspects, of a pilots day.

Well, that's just what I had on my mind right now -got alot of ideas left though ;)

Matias

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One of the major problems with Flight Simulator I'd like to see fixed is online play. This is a topic discussed many times among the people I fly with.

GameSpy- Still the preferred choice but connection issues and not seeing the other players TRUE aircraft unless you own it. Custom liveries can only be seen if you have the same livery. I would love it if FS could incorporate "livery downloading" such as IL2's online play. You can see any custom livery from anyone because the game downloads it from them and stores it in a casche on your computer.

IAVO - great concept but when I'm in range of another player, I see what the systems puts in place of their aircraft, which looks like a horrible looking AI plane from FS9, and the other player's aircraft is usually jumping all over the place. Not smooth like on GameSpy.

There are a few other softwares out there but I didn't like the overall package.

Bottom line is it would be great to incorporate all the best qualities from all the software out there! Happy dreaming!

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Let me start with two things I feel are seriously missing in FSX.

Vectored thrust. Currently there is no way that we can do Harriers or aircraft that can change the thrust vectors.

Moisture model. FSX weather does not know how moist the air is and yet it is an important aspect. It affect icing, available power, visibility etc. Ideally we would like to CALCULATE and not SET visibility.

See this post as an example how to send us your ideas. When we need more info we'll sure ask you!

Dear Mathijs,

Wonderful, wondeful news! :D I am glad to hear this and I do hope this long term project will be a historical moment in the history of PC simming. A few of my wishes if I may:

ATC: Regional accents, position reports still used in lots of areas around the world, if possible atc procedures of different countries(I can help you with India) to name just a few

Control sensitivity: Right now only a "master" sensitivity setting is available which affects all the aircraft in your library. For eg, If I set sensitivities for my MD-11 the way I like it, it may affect the sensitivities for the 737 in a way that I may not want. It would be great if we could set up control sensitivity for each individual a/c.

Scenery: Sloped runways, better landclass, better merging of the airport to the surroundings, etc. Too many to name....will keep them for later ;)

There are so many other categories, but as requested, will stagger them over the coming days.

Once again, I wish you and Aerosoft all the very best in this endeavour.

Dinshaw Parakh.

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- To avoid misplacements of Addon A with Addon B (and both with default), I suggest to use a widely accepted standard of georeference. To name it: GoogleEarth-coordinates. I know, that GE also has misplacements up to 100m compared to reality here and there. But it's available for free to everybody and this way, everybody (free- and payware) would know, where to put their scenery-objects or ground textures and global compatibility would be guaranteed.

- globe diameter, mass (gravitational acceleration) and density of the atmosphere as scaleable parameters. This way, the sim can easily be used to simulate other planet's or moon's conditions. Sky colour, visibility, temperature, winds... they're all in the weather model and should pose no extra problems. (No joking, this is meant as a serious idea! ;))

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Sloped runways, better landclass, better merging of the airport to the surroundings, etc. Too many to name....will keep them for later ;)

Sloped runways are very hard to implement because the runway is mapped to the ground and if you don't use the right mesh resolution you will end up with very steep sloped runways kinda what happens on XP9. One solution perhaps is to build a huge ground polygon underneath the airports.

ATC accents is a very cool idea. Take 10 people from different english accents and there will be variety and a sense of being in a new land

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-Please let other developers in on this, as they may have excellent input.

I think you will find that most well known developers will have some input at some stage. Just in the last 2 hours I got 23 emails from developers we are talking to. However it is hard for customers to see what publishers (like we partly are) have also development departments. Most just 'buy' products like we also do for many products. At this moment we are only interested to talk to people on the development side, not on the sales side. That's a next step. Right now we are talking to people who know how to predict weather, people who know why aircraft fly and not to people who might sell addons for this sim that might not even be done.

At this moment this is our project, Aerosoft, the company I work for, pays me to type this message. Aerosoft got the money to do this. We got strong ideas, we got hundreds of hours of discussions on this topic, we have been to three professional simulation shows to talk to people (we are rather sure that we need a game engine that is a bit beyond 'game' engines). We invested thousands of Euro's already in this and we are burning serious money each day even contemplating it. That all got to be paid in some way. And the only one paying will be you, customers. So we are working this project very cautiously, very efficient. Using customers as advisers is very cheap!

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Mathijs, great idea, this thread. But before I state my facts I wonder if there will also be a "german thread" of your question or just this english one ?

English only for now. If we do German we would also have to do French, Spanish and god knows how many other languages. The people we are working with and are reading these messages come from all over the globe. Feel free to start a German topic (I for sure can read it), but don't be upset if it is always way behind.

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Dear Mathijs,

Wonderful, wondeful news! :D I am glad to hear this and I do hope this long term project will be a historical moment in the history of PC simming. A few of my wishes if I may:

ATC: Regional accents, position reports still used in lots of areas around the world, if possible atc procedures of different countries(I can help you with India) to name just a few

Control sensitivity: Right now only a "master" sensitivity setting is available which affects all the aircraft in your library. For eg, If I set sensitivities for my MD-11 the way I like it, it may affect the sensitivities for the 737 in a way that I may not want. It would be great if we could set up control sensitivity for each individual a/c.

Scenery: Sloped runways, better landclass, better merging of the airport to the surroundings, etc. Too many to name....will keep them for later ;)

There are so many other categories, but as requested, will stagger them over the coming days.

Once again, I wish you and Aerosoft all the very best in this endeavour.

Dinshaw Parakh.

I love your ideas about saving settings per aircraft, got to be in the aircraft.cfg.

Sloped runways are already in the specs. No reason not to do them as long as the developer is able to provide a mesh. You would be amazed about the amount of runways a pilot can not see the end of when he starts his take-off.

ATC is tricky, I know MS wanted to do a lot between FS2004 and FSX but when they found out the complexity they more or less dropped it. At the same time we got seriously good human ATC online most of the time.

Thanks for your post, it will stay online for a while, lol

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Hey! So you are really serious about this! THat's great!

When we're talking about weather:

What I really think is important is an implementation of vertical air movements. THose include ridge lift, thermals, waves, turbulence.

They are important for VFR an IFR traffic!

FSX had these things, but they were randomly placed or dependent of hand-placement. An implementation like in "Condor" would be really nice!

Weather is the perhaps most important thing in aviation, so it should also play a big role in a simulation!

And another idea:

The shared cockpit function in FSX was great, - well sort of ;)

If you could make that work, you could make a sort of ranking thing, so you start on a server as co-pilot, and work you're way up. Of course, deactivatable, if not wished on a specific server. But that's just a function, you could add.

But that shared-cockpit function was really great! Please try to keep it!

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A good simulator, you say?

1. Realistic landscape

a. really changing landscape (instead of flying all Europe seeing the same textures)

b. realistic different towns and cities

c. 3D-looking forests (especially at lower altitudes)

d. regional autogen flora (based on realistic biodiversity)

e. regional autogen architecture (no more of the same building types everywhere!)

f. not repeating ground textures (a good algorythm creating fictional but realistc looking texture diversity)

g. no sharp-line boundaries between landclass tiles

h. convincing texture sets (deserts looning like deserts, snow like snow, etc)

i. no ground blurries finally, please!

j. realistic timezones

2. Realistic weather

a. real weather influence (runway friction, icing, humidity, OAT, etc)

b. realistic haze and fog (with gradual visibilty, light effects, etc)

c. diversed clouds (just like ground textures mentioned earlier)

d. windshield wipers visually removing rain and snow

3. Realistic ATC

a. considering SIDs and STARs

b. considering local transition altitude / transition level

b. managing AI very well (no go-arounds, frozen queues, etc)

4. Realistic navigation and flight planning

a. updatable navdata (maybe paid and done by Navigraph?)

b. a realistic flightplanner (something like FSNav/FSBuild)

c. a moving map with selectable details

d. standard FMC (might be a bit simplified) integrated with the ND, instead of GPS

5. Realisting airport services

a. standard pushback and followme

b. basic animated ground staff (marshaller, wing walker, etc)

c. GPU and refuelling really working

6. Realistic traffic

a. AI visible from a long distance (with gradually dissolving 3D contrails)

b. basic ground service for AI (jetways and pushback)

c. basic fictional naval, road and train traffic (seen at low altitudes)

7. Easy scenery adding

A (relatively) simple application letting simmers make and add scenery objects like buildings, local ladclass, mesh, etc.

This way we all could build up the simworld adding our own areas for the use of all simmers.

Now it requires an ocean of applications, conversions and knowledge. Enough to discourage 99% of us.

Of course there will still be a lot of room for professional addons to sell.

If you ask me.

Best regards,

Rafal

P.S. I'll add more if something jumps nto my head.

Sorry for possible matches with someone else's ideas

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An interface, that allows external programs to send realtime-data of real airplane- (and ship-? / and car-?) data to the sim to get as-real-as-possible AI-traffic.

For the problem of possible interaction with the simmer: Some time ago, I listened to a scientific feature about a Formula-1-racing game, that connects via GPS to realtime-races. (So we're talking about the necessity of high-end precision both in time and space.) They developed an algorithm, that springs to life everytime, a collision between player and the AI-model of a real racer would occur. This algorithm generates a fictional (non-happening) passing maneuver. After that, it merges the two virtual cars and switches back from the calculated to the "real" car.

Here's the link to the radio-feature (german):

http://ondemand-mp3.dradio.de/file/dradio/...40_0d29344d.mp3

- as text (german)

http://www.dradio.de/dlf/sendungen/forschak/941544/

- as text (english, Google-translation)

http://translate.google.com/translate?js=n...history_state0=

Greetings! :)

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Leave out ATC: it is so much regional-dependant, you just cannot get that right. Instead provide a framework where online-networks like VATSIM can easily plug in.

Make it debuggable for the normal user: give option to write out a lot of logfiles. We see so many CTD's and non-functioning add-ons that this is a real necessity for a serious software.

Keep it open: I know you are aerosoft and you want to make money by add-ons. Anyway I want to remind you that some of the greatest momentum in game industry is driven by volunteers. Provide at least a decent API, better still release the source-code of modules like weather, user-input, sound...

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AFCAD, You should add a way for the user to completely edit the AFCAD without the system overriding the user edits. Example: KLAX in FS9 automatically has AI aircraft land on rwy 6 and 7 when in real life, they approach 24 and 25. Only when you change the weather to raining, do the AI land and depart the correct runways which is opposite in real life when it is raining in L.A.

Also, I think it should include a combat like sim (on the same platform) for those who like the WW2 birds and the military jets. To be able to fire missiles and get a explosion effect on whatever target you fire at. And AI military modules for other aircraft to chase and fire at you as part of a mission pack.

AI traffic module. If you ever play Race Driver Grid you will see, the AI cars act the way they should act in real life. AI traffic should be the same. One thing I hate is seeing is two aircraft move in opposite directions down the same twy just to face each other until one disappears. That does not happen in real life. The AI aircraft should be able to contact ATC and request different twy routes. The aircraft should also talk with each other inflight when avoiding chop etc.

That's it for now.

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edit1: What comes directly in mind: Where's the line between compatibility and similarity? M$ will surely be offended as your Sim will get in direct competition with the MS-"Live"-Sim-strategy. So they may probably use every chance they get to accuse you of plagiarism... there should be an appropriate amount of awareness on such legal issues.

edit2 (directly linked to edit1): Will there be ACES-developers in the team or - more generally speaking - are you planning to make cooperations with other (FS-)developing companies?

1) Right now we are not even thinking about what MS will do. But when we did think about it we always concluded that a simulator that is web based and more or less closed to external developments is a nogo for most of our customers. We'll see, we actually got the commercial rights of the sim that FSX is based on so we got something to say, lol.

2) We are currently not in any contact with any of the ACES devs other than what we always did, many of them are online friends, this has not been discussed with any of them however. But yes we have been talking to 3rd party developers for a few weeks now and this has been expanded in the last few days. We sure like to hear there ideas.

But in the end it all comes down to money, if we start this project in any other stage than just me talking to people and typing documents, there is a lot of money involved. We can't do it on our own (we really do not see this as a Aerosoft sim with Aerosoft add-ons, that would be a dead-end) but at the same time we are a commercial development and publishing company. This however is a topic handled by my CEO and it is the reason we all love him to death. We do the easy bits, he gets to handle the tough #####.

In the end, all major developers and publishers know my email and they all know Aerosoft understands the importance of a platform others can build on. Seriously, we would be happy not to make a penny on this project as long as it gives us an extension of the business we got with FS2004 and FSX. We are doing very well in the professional market, but the FS addon market is one we love and we like to keep. It's been good to us for over a decade. We got customers that trust us. The majority of our customers own 3 of our products, many own 10 or more. Aerosoft would be silly not to try to offer them a new platform for low costs so we can continue the same thing that made Aerosoft to what it is now.

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Today I'm on my main pc (device?), I fly with the resources of that machine. Tomorrow I'm on a different PC, but my presence online is detected by 'that' installation (licence permits numerous installs) and I can continue from where I left off because variables are saved against ME, not the local install. Graphics / controls may be lower but it works! Later I return to my home, my adventure continues ....... Occasionally I go to a FlightSim Show and sit in a 'must have' cockpit. I login to 'MY' sim and immediately recognise 'MY' world but with visuals and controls 'to die for' .... I get my credit card out .... ;)

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Only one word from me "imersion" how many times have we landed an aircraft in FSX without so much as a bump or rattle, how many times have we landed an aircraft realtime and it shakes, rattles and rolls. It's all about imersion the feel of reality... Yes there needs to be an alternative and if it anywhere near matched your work we have already seen then I will be the first in the que to spend my money..

Fingers crossed

John

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Leave out ATC: it is so much regional-dependant, you just cannot get that right. Instead provide a framework where online-networks like VATSIM can easily plug in.

Comments from others on that please? Keep in mind that we need to get NEW users in the sim as well and they will expect some ATC in the base sim.

On the other hand I seriously LOVE the idea idea of making this a sim that depends a lot on online things. For example I would like it a lot if the sim would offer me a few options in scenery (freeware or commercial) when I insert a flight plan. So when I plot EHAM to EDDF a server would tell me I could download a nice EDDF for free while I an enroute. Technically this is not too complex, we can insert scenery while the sim runs right now.

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Only one word from me "imersion" how many times have we landed an aircraft in FSX without so much as a bump or rattle, how many times have we landed an aircraft realtime and it shakes, rattles and rolls. It's all about imersion the feel of reality... Yes there needs to be an alternative and if it anywhere near matched your work we have already seen then I will be the first in the que to spend my money..

Fingers crossed

John

Yeah... nice comment, but its a bit like saying all games are 2d. What would help to make it more immersive? 7,1 sound? Force feedback sticks (useless in my opinion)? 3d vision?

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