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Funky, so how bad is the news?


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I just read the reply by PTaylor to your question, and right away I got a sick feeling in my stomach. Would we still be able to enjoy slope soaring if you can get your method(s) to work? Is it too early to know what kind of hit on FPS it will have?

I guess it's probably still too early to say either way. Anyway, hope you don't give up on the idea just yet. I wish I had programming experience under my belt, I'd sure love to help if I can. But the last computer I did programming on, was on an Apple2C back in high school. I don't remember if I did any programming on the TANDY computer after that.

sf4JC

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Pretty bad, indeed.

I will -slowly- start considering workarounds now. Slowly, because there might be a still a faint chance left, in that writing "Ambient wind Y" is not exactly a rewriting of a the whole weather engine, as Phil said. And there is some reason to start, because according to the response it will last until FS11 at least before some progress can be expected in the commercial product. Maybe I should start with an easy one, say realistic thermal dsitribution.

Actually, I'm not very eager to insist in that topic in the blog. I have really a sort of admirance to Mr. Taylor's patience with a certain number of people there.

Cheers,

Peter

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I don't think there is any guarantee that we will ever see a FS11. According to Phil, they almost did not write FS10. It is my understanding that MSFS sales drops with each new edition of the sim. I don't know how the sales of FS10 is going. I think a lot of people bought it. However, I know of people who did not buy it. The reviews of it (2) that I have read in Computer Pilot Magazine have not been favorable. I think a lot of people are not happy with it. However, it is my understanding that Service Pack 1 solved many of the problems. I don't know what The "Acceleration Expansion Pack" will really bring except three new airplanes, some new missions, some new race scenery( Red Bull, and Reno), and better multi online capabilities. If a 3.6 gHz computer is a necessity to run the expersion pack, I believe many people will not buy it for a while. Third party addons (scenery, and aircraft) are very slow to appear compared to previous versions of the sim. To my knowledge we have lost all third party freeware soaring developers except Peter. I sure hope we don't loose him too but I would not blame him if he also left us. Microsoft just did not leave us with very much to work with.

I think FS9 ( with CCS, Cumulus and all the other addons by Max Roodveldt, Wolfgang Piper, and Peter Franke's ASW-28) was the apex of MSFS virtual soaring. I don't believe it will ever be that good again.

If you want to explore lift potential (especially ridge lift) in a particular area of FSX, I believe the way to do it is to first fly it in FS9, then try to emulate the situation in FSX by hand placing thermals along the windward side of ridges. Is there really any other way to do it in FSX?

Don

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Yes Peter, PTaylor sure gets a bad rap if you read some of the posts. I sure wouldn't want his job for too long.

Please Peter, take your time trying to figure things out, I STILL HAVE HOPE!! Thanks for sticking with it, cause it's most likely A LOT harder on you as a programmer than it is on us that just want it.

sf4JC

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Well, in fact FSX has some good points, yet there are some significant "regressions". In fact, from the comments of the dev team, it seems that the probability of yet another release is bigger than two years ago, where the rumors were, that MS has stopped the development altogether.

My personal experience is, that after SP1 performance got quite reasonable on my old Athlon 2400+, and yes, I got me a GS7600GT for getting flex-wings. Visuals are much better then before (except from a few flaws with the appearance of a some patches of landscape). We have a full development kit with a native iterface. Actually we could be quite happy, if there weren't these tiny little obstacles here and there, as the read-only vertical wind variable. Still you may know, that even in FS9 this was practically a hack, which was not officially supported by the development tools.

I'm still pretty nosy, what is actually in the SP2. I don't believe me running into the shop for getting XPack. I can do multi in any way I want with FSINN1.3, which works quite decent, despite the statements that weather doesn't work and being still beta.

Yes Don, you can do ridge soaring. The only thing you need is to make your own ridge scenery in the goold old way, but now preferably with an XML-scenery file. It is not very difficult, to translate google-kml files (which in fact are an XML-dialect) into XML-for-FSX. I did this already by a search-and-replace function in the Visual Studio Editor for my home-airport. Still it is a lot of handcrafting to determine the ridge areas and directions.

regards,

Peter

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Don is giving FSX a bad rap for soaring, IMHO. Simply using the visual drag-and-drop object placement tool you can place ridge lift with the new concept being you distribute that as a *mission* rather than scenery. It would be possible to write code to scan the landscape and automatically place 'ridgeboxes' so a mission could be automatically created for any area, but it's unlikely anyone will get around to producing that tool. A limitation of the ridgebox in FSX means you would design lift for *one* wind direction only but in my real-world experience ridges are usually flown with one particular wind anyway (i.e. north-westerly when you fly the Appalacians (sp?)). If thermiek had produced an intermediate text file of the thermal placements, that could have been translated to FSX mission XML using a translator rather than new C code, but that's not possible as-is I think.

So it does come down to hand-placement, but there is a great in-game visual tool for that...

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I know Don seems to be down on FSX because of the lack of slope soaring capabilities, but I think he's looking to make FSX better too. As far as hand placing ridge lift, from what I had seen, it seems to be easy to do with the tools provided us with the Deluxe Edition and the SDK. But for myself, I may have problems doing this because how precise does a person need to be, and how precise do I want to be. I may be spinning my wheels at doing this because I want things to be as perfect as possible, and without having a "constant" or "law" on how to make ridge lift scenery, anybody can do it at whatever scale of acuracy they want, it's going to be disheartening in the long haul. At least if there would be a program like CCS2004, I would be more apt to download someone elses work. There are bound to be flawed scenery that would have otherwise been halted or diverted. I don't know much about placing the lift so I'm really not one to even say what I just said maybe.

sf4JC

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