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A New Simulator (June edition)

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I want to add my support for the idea of adding people to the sim, or at least the ability to include them in add-ons in a much more comprehensive way. FSX is a pretty dead world. I'd like real passengers in the planes.

Additionally, ever since I discovered how I could explore the world in FSX, I've wanted to be able to get out of the plane after landing and start exploring on the ground. Or how about being able to parachute out of a plane as one of the passengers? And then go actually climb Mt. Everest, and then go back and fly out of Lukla. Or being able to go meet the people in some foreign country.

My idea is to create the platform so that other sim developers can interface with the new flight sim so one can take one's character smoothly from one type of environment to the next. Kind of a Flight Sim meets the Sims (or Second Life) meets Chessmaster meets World in Conflict meets EVE Online. My main interest is flight sim, but it would be great to be able to interact with the world in a more realistic manner. And combine this with the VATSIM ability to enter specific "Worlds" and the sky would be the limit with what people might do with it. For some people super realistic flight is the most important thing, and for others being able to explore the world is the important thing.

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I posted before, but after reading all of the other posts in this and the thread for the previous month, I have a few additional thoughts.

1. The sim should regularly be updated with new runways and terminals for airports. It can get annoying when FS doesn't have the right configuration, and you are left with a choice of bad freeware or expensive payware to fix the problem (or, other times, nothing at all).

2. On the topic of damage modeling: I would avoid it. Perhaps you could instead just give better support for the simulation of irregular events (failures) without showing them externally. I believe this would be the best option because: a) Modeling the damage on the visual model would be far too difficult and not worth the penalty involved, and; B) I know that some might think that I'm "one of those people" who are trying to restrict their rights (I'm not) but I don't think that it would be good for the new simulator. The media along with other fanatics would run around screaming "PLANE CRASH SIMULATOR! = BAD" and making Aerosoft look bad, scaring away potential new users. Also, the ERSB would be bound to give the game a different rating for such a simulation. I really think that keeping the sim real while ignoring the visual effects of the failure or damage is the best course of action.

3. As far as people everywhere goes: I feel that a compromise may be possible. Perhaps people in the terminals could be done in a way that doesn't require them to be modeled (part of the texture). Also, it would be nice to see people on the ground at the airport for maintenance, ground crew, etc. But everywhere else is superfluous, especially since you can't see them even when flying GA aircraft in real life unless you're pretty darn low. The lack of people in cities does not detract at all from the realism.

4. We all know that sattelite imagery may be impossible to do. This definitely presents a problem for VFR fliers. Perhaps a VFR module could be included that streams imagery to just the area that the plane is in at the time, kind of like Tileproxy or similar utilities except more optomized. When the plane leaves the area, the imagery could be deleted. Some areas could be saved for future flight (such as the area around one's home airfield). This could be awesome for VFR flight specifically.

5. The topic of a flight model is an interesting one. Perhaps a hybrid system could be used, that incorporates lookup tables and uses blade element theory taking the tables into consideration for a more precise flight model at any given time.

6. It would be nice if charts could be downloaded in-sim. Perhaps you could partner with Jeppesen or another provider, and offer them on a chart-by-chart basis or through a subscription. In planes with glass cockpits that support it, the charts could be displayed on the screen as they would be in real life. Otherwise, they could be displayed on an interactive, moveable clipboard.

7. Obviously there will be some that start off with lower-end systems. Perhaps you could have an option to turn down settings related to the visual environment that don't matter as much (reflective windows, blowing trees, etc.) in favor of the aircraft systems and realism. What I'm trying to say is that in MSFS, when you start turning down settings, you can start losing realism in the panel and other areas where it counts. Doing this would allow these people to get a foothold before purchasing a new system that can run the sim to its full potential (or upgrading their old one to the same effect).

8. I don't belong to a virtual airline, and I don't know what percentage of simmers do. However, you might consider adding features useful to VAs into the simulator, such as pilot ratings and built-in support for checkrides. These could be useful for the everyday simmer, to boot.

9. With different modes, you could keep performance despite some added features. Flying GA, you don't need the ground handling crew for the airport. Flying commercial, you don't need the ground detail when flying at 35,000 feet, but you want it to look good while you're up there. Also, you should be able to have different add-ons depending on the mode. That way, if a GA pilot decided to hop into a tubeliner, their detailed VFR scenery doesn't have to be there to drag down their framerates.

10. I believe that somebody already touched on this, but it would be nice if it was realistic when you fly through clouds, instead of them just fading away.

11. Support for multiple eras. I'm sure that developers such as A2A could benefit immensely from this.

12. It would be nice if the simulator could have online features for those who can use them while being perfectly useable offline.

13. It would be nice to have at least a rudimentary copilot by default, letting others expand, but making it easier that flying alone all the time when normally two crew members might be required.

14. On the topic of a "app-store" market like I proposed before, Aerosoft could institute a rating system for all products, first- and third-party, that identifies the target audience (i.e. "Pro"). This could make it easier for consumers to decide which add-ons to buy. Users could also rate products, and of course Aerosoft products would maintain top-spots. Also, you could have a "featured product" section that developers could place their products in for a fee.

15. As far as online play goes, I think there should be a system for reporting pilots for misconduct. At the very least, there should be some way of maintaining order outside of forcing a server administrator to sit watch 24/7.

16. Finally, I think that settings should be very open. Those who don't want to have to configure the sim much shouldn't have to, but those who want to edit their setting should be able to easily and to the fullest extent possible without giving away any Aerosoft trade secrets.

In conclusion, I would simply like to remind everyone that simply because ACES has been disbanded doesn't mean that Microsoft won't develop a simulator in the future. Microsoft is one giant to compete with, and I believe that if Aerosoft develops a simulator, it has to be prepared for the possible return of MS to the market with their advertising machine.

Sorry for the long post, I just wanted to get everything out there. Again, I wish Aerosoft the best of luck should you decide to go through with this.

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I thought i heard somewhere at the beggining that this might be a specialist simulator focusing on one aspect of aviation such as just airline's and airliners. Is this still the case or has it been changed to be a complete sim or did i just here it wrong in the first place LOL.

That was at the first thread with a sample of some new work, where it was stated that the work was for a new specialist simulator (I'm not sure if it was for a contract or what). The May thread (and this thread subsequently) were created for the discussion of a new complete simulator to replace FSX.

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First, let me thank you for the great idea of taking the opinions of your future customers about what you will build.

I think you should concentrate on the more essential aspect of the simulator first, because FS lacks many things in that field.

For me it’s all down to the following :

- enhance the physics (flight dynamics, ground effect, etc …)

- enhance the environment as a whole (weather and its influence (volumetric clouds, braking distance, icing, windshear, etc...) , scenery affecting flying : sloped runways for example…)

- keep it open for 3rd party devs (but I trust you on that :) )

- maybe build it as different modules talking to each other, that will make the sim much easier to update and improve upon for 3rd party devs

- make your sim use as much multicore power it can use, because if you release this baby we will have at least 6-cores CPUs by then (see “Gulftown” project by Intel for 2010+) *

I will now take the example of one of my first sims, which is Flight Unlimited 3. Even though there was FS2000 which was far more “open” (entire world vs Seattle area, lots of possible planes vs only 10, etc…) I kept playing back FU 3 because it was much more realistic in terms of environment. It had so much “life” in it. The voices seemed real, the AI seemed consistant… I had a feeling of being there. One of the biggest drawbacks in FS is that everything is so “generic”. ATC has a boring voice, AI has no intelligence, weather seems dull (even though REX came here to try to save us all ;) )...

Moreover, in FU 3 the weather feeled real too (I’m not just speaking about graphics here). When you had a thunderstorm, you really felt the rain, the turbulence shaking your plane, with the risk of losing engine power all this would make you weather-aware, and you would keep monitoring the weather radar just to avoid a storm. You would really fear some weather situations.

I for one never really “feared” the weather in FS, be it dense fog, or heavy thunderstorms, because its effect on the plane is very limited to say the least. How can it be threatening when you’re in descent in your favourite airliner, supposed to have overcast layers covering the airport with low visibility, but that you can still sight the airport from above because of the famous holes in the overcast layer FS always renders ?

Ask yourselves some questions :

Do you remember the last time you had to divert due to the weather in FS ?

Do you ever feared about overrunning a runway because you’re landing your jet near max landing weight on a just long enough and wet runway ?

Have you ever felt battling with speed on rollout after landing in this situation ?

For me all this negates the different challenges of flying.

In my opinion, these "everyday situations" are much more important to fix than doing birdstrikes or damage models (even though that would be cool, but we need to consider that Aerosoft doesn't have infinite time and money so they have to put priorities...).

I also agree with previous posts about the modularity concept. It would be great if you could build separate modules talking to each others, all forming the main sim. Maybe with a kind of FSUIPC interface. Airliner XP was building a 320 sim just like that, with an external module that allowed them to implement the Airbus logic without undergoing FS limitations directly. That would be something to consider for airliner addons particularly.

Regards,

Deniz

* N.b. : for FSX the problem wasn’t that ACES built it with future hardware in mind (that was the case very often with FS anyway…), but more that they built it based on wrong assumptions about computer evolution. They believed we'd all have 6 Ghz single core CPUs by now…

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Damage modeling is one of the most complex bits possible. Not only do you have to make the visual model far more complex by adding the damaged bits, you also have to make code and detailed collision detection, but you also got to adapt the flight model when a flight control is damaged. And all this code and modeling is not used most of the time and will drag framerates down. As an example in some of the race games the damage modeling FAR exceeds the undamaged model. The F-16 would grow from the 24 Mb it is now to 100 Mb rather easy. That's a whopping lot of code you'll have to pay for and most of it you would most likely never see.

I don't fully understand the demand for advanced damage modeling. You don't fly a damages aircraft, you land it at the nearest airport and don't touch it until it is repaired.

Sorry, that i have to quote you directly but i can't resist.

Mistakes are the best way to learn something. In Youtube videos you can see a lot people are flying Airliner like they would fly a F-16.

With MSFS the most people who do something wrong, will never realize their fault - i'm guilty here too.

Getting into trouble if you exceed your flaps speed is one of the positive things in X-Plane and since i tried X-Plane, i'm taking care.

In MSFS you can extend your flaps and gear at any speed without any consequence.

And if you drive against a small bush you have a fatal crash...

At least for me that's very annoying. And landing a damaged airplane is a good challenge - you feel good if you managed it. An intense immersion feeling is something which FSX completely lacks. Ok, it's not only damage, it's also correct and smoth shadows and all the environmental effects and a realistic and natural look of everything.

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I know that comments have been made saying to either leave out damage modeling or that it would be very hard to do. It is my opinion though that some extended level of damage modeling needs to be included. However, I think very simply and am not asking for every shredded piece of a catastrophic turbine failure to be modeled. Basically, what I think MSFS is really missing the ability to intepret levels of a crash. If you land with the gear up, clearly you "crashed", but it would be nice if maybe you skidded down the runway and then couldn't move. Or if you clip your wing on the ground landing at Kai Tak, you still end up on the ground. The default "crash" of MSFS that just pauses and resets the situation is annoying in some of these cases. And I know some aircraft have some how been modeled to allow gear up landing and such, but it would be nice to see it a little more pervasive in the sim.

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hi,

dont know if somebody already has suggested this.

What about a new seperate control option/axis for the tiller, which is findable in many planes?

could be usefull for new hardware :rolleyes: (or for example the wheel around the E button on the x52 throttle)

greetings

michael

sry for my english

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Very exciting to consider Aerosoft taking up the torch to keep Flt Sim alive.

As an avid real world aviator and flight simmer this was refreshing to come across the post of a potential "Phoenix" rising for this market. I actively use FSX, FS2004 and periodically Xplane. The use is very helpful in keeping mental procedures and ops when not able to fly due to reality issues such as weather, work or other factors.

In my wish list wish I will respect the forum moderators request and only highlight because I am not a developer so technical jargon will leave to the experts.

* Easy of thrid party aircraft application to the software without tweak this or that.

I will say that the Aerosoft aircraft I have purchased are "Dynamic" as well as Carenado. They download easily and install with little to no fuss.

* Photo Realistis Scenery..perhaps with a Google World adaptation.

* Photo Realistic Weather, I have recently purchased Real Enviroment Extreme for FSX and this has made the simm experience even more enjoyable, the only one thing missing is the control surface feedback through the yoke..but thats what putting fuel in the tanks and getting airborne is all about.

* Realism in ATC with variation options. I particularly like the ATC in Xplane however after an hour so it becomes tiresome, but having real world Ground to Air

is very cool. If the new application provided for two-way communication if at all possible (techie stuff I am sure) this would be outstanding. In fact with these types of improvements that I have read and what I would like, this platform could easily be used in ground school or perhaps have some validation in re-currency training for flight schools or flying clubs.

I like others are looking for the full Virtual world experience, easily swithcing between modes, but certainly more interactive in Virtual Cockpit. Flt Sim has come so far since it first inception as have all computer simulation games. Wish you continued success and hope to read on more positive replys for this business model.

My two cents Canadian for now.

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Yeah, that is important, Lots of controller options (like separate reverser axis) and button options.

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I for one never really “feared” the weather in FS, be it dense fog, or heavy thunderstorms, because its effect on the plane is very limited to say the least. How can it be threatening when you’re in descent in your favourite airliner, supposed to have overcast layers covering the airport with low visibility, but that you can still sight the airport from above because of the famous holes in the overcast layer FS always renders ?

Ask yourselves some questions :

Do you remember the last time you had to divert due to the weather in FS ?

Do you ever feared about overrunning a runway because you’re landing your jet near max landing weight on a just long enough and wet runway ?

Have you ever felt battling with speed on rollout after landing in this situation ?

For me all this negates the different challenges of flying.

I agree with Deniz, nasty weather can have a big impact on the two most critical phases of flight, takeoff and landing. It's been so long since I've seen a good solid stratus layer in FS.

In addition I'd like to see ATC that actually provides separation between aircraft. It would be nice if it could provide "services" to AI aircraft as well, but at the very least keep me from smacking into other planes while I'm on an approach in IMC.

I imagine the day ATC gives altitude restrictions not randomly but to keep traffic clear of each other. Other commands would tell you or AI aircraft to speed up, slow down, hold at, etc. as required to avoid conflicts.

It would also be nice if IFR flight operations could change based on weather. VFR conditions get visual approaches with traffic closer in. MVFR gets combination visual, contact (only if we request it), or instrument approaches based on the weather at the time. IFR conditions gets instrument approaches only, with the full separation, holds and delays that comes with it. LIFR could even force you to your alternate based on your equipment.

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It has been mentioned already in the thread, but a "Lago FS Enhancer" type of utility. I loved it and also like it worked in Fly! where you could press a certain key and a scenery editor was immediately loaded, you made your changes (adding a house, a fence, an aircraft or whaterever), exited the editor and you could see the change immediately. There was also an add-on for Fly! where you could load a diagram of the airport as a background in a editor and then you placed out buildings in the editor so that they matched the (accurate) positions of the buildings.

/Krister

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Mathijs:

Lots of people have commented about upgrading the ATC system. I work in ATC, if you need info about ATC / UK or EU procedures etc. PM me and I'd be happy to help with development.

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Sure would. But that raises another question: where do you put the mark in terms of computing power? Which kinda feeds into the OS question as well. One of the reasons FSX flopped is that they didn't know or couldn't know (?) where the hardware was/is going. Multi-cores, how many, what speed, bigger GPUs, other stuff? You don't want to aim to low, 'cause you need power (c3 is probably not power-cheap) but you don't want to aim too high either 'cause people are gonna get angry. So where? I'd say somewhat above the average (which I have no clue where it's at.) That's a base-rate/selection ratio problem.

People, see this real web application of C3 Technologies:

http://www.hitta.se/3d/3d_map.aspx

If it can runs in your browser sure it can runs in your flight simulator.

I didn't know this technology before reading this topic. I am really delighted by this example.

This would be a huge value added to a flight simulator, even if it was not in the base program itself but in add-ons.

Imagine the areas around airports rendered like in this example! Sweet.

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Both C3 technology and Outerra look incredibly impressive. The outerra video blew me away. no pop-up, and all that detail. How on earth do they do that. And all that running entirely off the GPU?? That is pretty impressive stuff. It amazes me when these are very small companies or just one guy producing this kind of material!!! I am still impressed by the fact that X-plane is entirely made by a team of 6!

Thanks for posting, it was very interesting indeed.

Rhydian

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My wishlist (I didn't read all the other pages, so sorry in advance and don't bother to reply :P):

* Good FPS

* Real-time weather engine

* The most important thing to me: a multi-platform Sim (Linux, Windows, OSX). X-Plane does it. -> Develop it in OpenGL! Even if the first version is only for windows, this keeps the door open for future development. As a platform, it seems important not to rely on a proprietary solution in the long term.

Btw, maybe a stupid question, but why don't you team up with X-Plane to develop it? The base seems solid.

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Hi, first post and a couple of things I would like to see:

DRM is a key thing, both your software and all the add ons. Make the software's DRM simple to use and reliable without needing a CD to start it. My kids destroy CD's soo fast and I lose them. Extend the DRM to allow freeware and shareware guys to link in, so add ons can be linked easily to a specific owner / user. Preferably something web based where a central account unlocks the master software and any add ons so you can recover easily from a failed hard drive or system rebuild.

ATC, add distress and diversion support so you can dial up the emergency guys and declare an emergency. Would help us lost pilots who like to fly offline Although I agree that allowing online ATC is a good plan I wont use it as I fly too infrequently and only VFR. This would also link nicely into a more powerful failure models, if it fails you want to divert to the nearest airport and get priority landing (could even get the fire trucks out to escort you in)

Ejector seat support for the miltary guys would be fun.

Ok so i sometimes like to get in the air, have it all go wrong, and try to get down in one piece as you can see...

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Suggestions:

1 - A new and revamped online voice communications capability. Open ended, not something used just by the big boys (like VATSIM) but better than Teamspeak (Teamspeak being the best out there for now)! A new communications protocol would allow developers to produce and users to take better advantage of improvised "techniques" to conduct Live ATC activities online (other than those offered by VATSIM or IVAO).

2 - A new and enhanced data protocol (variables) to allow for better ATC tools (such as tower radar scopes (available with a program like ATC Radar Screen), sector radar scopes, precision approach radars (such as available with a program like vPAR), and top down view taxi operations at airports that have enhancements for taxiways and parking views). Most adhoc ATC sessions are done today using FS Navigator (used by the controllers) linked to FSHost along with each sim pilot (aircraft). Maybe Aersoft could provide the kind of servers required for running high speed private ATC sessions such as required by virtual airlines or private clubs? Also the data protocols could help developers create new clients that would not deter from the speed of the sim itself by maybe making a single "separate" module that would control all online protocols such as ATC, voice communications, and data for radars and airport operations (similar to FSUIPC but more focused on the online aspects instead of aircraft controls). This separate module would keep each simulator from having to run a half million different clients on a single computer making use of computer resources more efficient. The objective though is the "data" variables used so as to allow better development of separate programs that can take advantage of your new sim.

3 - ATC! Beef up the "protocols" for ATC operations just like the ones already mentioned above. Whether it is a Live ATC program or one to generate a great AI experience similar to VOXATC, make it open ended, to allow new creativity, the trick is to put in better protocols (variables to be used) for developers to take advantage of. Don't limit the variables to any one type of use or external program such as VATSIM or IVAO (even though it wouldn't hurt to examine these). Include a fresh new enhanced set of variables for open ended development by anyone, allowing creative thought to take ATC adventures to new heights. NOTE: There are better "methods" available to create an ATC environment (if the right tools are in place) other than the standard real-world structure that allow more managable and enjoyable ATC activities within an online environment. I'd be willing to discuss this more one-on-one. I have written a manual that discusses several issues based on 4 years experience about this (Simulated ATC) found on most of the major sim sites. Even though individual developers have tried to bring us a better ATC experience there has never been a worthy expansion of Flight Simulator to provide the proper tools and Microsoft may have deemed it to complex but in my humble opinion I don't believe this!

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Give a man a fish, and feed him for a day. But teach a man to fish, and feed him forever.

What is most important to me is a good, solid platform to build from. Don't give us every airport or city in the world with great detail, but give us the sandbox tool to create our own or edit what is there. Don't give us ATC voices in 500 different accents, but give us the ability to record and compile our own. Don't give us every airline and aircraft type in the world and their schedules, but provide us with a flight scheduling program for AI and the ability to import aircraft models and liveries.

FSX is not a bad product, it is perhaps stacked with inherent issues that have been passed down through each generation of the product. I think a better graphics engine, dynamic weather system and better content control than FSX would be enough for me to pull my credit card out.

Graphically, if the sim looked like other games such as GRID, I would be ecstatic. Volumetric smoke, spray off wet runways, dynamic shadows, realistic motion blur, real life haze effect and ground that doesn't look like a tin of lime-green paint got spilled on it would be fantastic. The FSX model makes everything look too crisp and bright, which does not represent the real world.

I don't think we need satellite maps of the world, but just smart terrain mapping. Most of the world's roads, parks, golf courses, cities, railroads, etc. would be electronically mapped, so starting by placing these (in a regional specific design) over a good level of mesh detail should be enough to get us going. Likewise, airports should be mapped over the terrain mesh and not placed on a flattened block, which would allow for the natural slopes and undulations in some airports.

Content control is a big one for me. Although I am grateful to what AVSIM and Flightsim.com have added, real control can only be achieved with a built-in content manager. This way the developer can concentrate on designing the file structure and overall simulation to run the best it can, not so that the file structure is simplified for the general layperson to modify. In this, the content manager would control compiling new addons into the software in the most efficient manner, and keep out any overly "buggy" or inefficiently created addons.

An integrated online content manager would allow freeware, user-created content, shareware, payware and developer updates to be listed and managed. This would also distinguish between must-have updates and recommended addons. All addons would be user rated, so if there are 2 x freeware and 1 x payware addons for an airport, we could view user ratings before choosing to download and automatically update our simulator. It could also be used for time-based payware demo's, where we get to try-before-we-buy new addons (it could retain them inactive on your HDD and reactivate when paid for rather than re-downloading).

I am a realist who thinks that FSX was not too far off the mark for current day, so don't want to see time and programming resource wasted on creating animated passengers that board the aicraft, or hearing a dog bark as you fly over a certain neighborhood. I do however worry that legacy programing and techniques crippled FSX from having an evolutionary graphics and environment engine to take it to the next level, which in turn provides the perfect opportunity for a new franchise to correct it.

Good luck, and you have my support and blessings.

B727-200.

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Definatley more realistic crashes... with fires, aircraft breaking then emergency vehicles coming and when you open the door, the cool emergency slides inflate with people going down them.

AND more realistic ground handling. I heard amazing pre reviews of FSX saying there would be stairs, catering trucks, etc... they needed to actually put that in the game, as well as buses, realistic fuel trucks (come on, when was the last time you saw a truck that size filling a 747?) and finally different ATC accents! eg Scottish in scotland, english in england... not just american...

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another idea for the tower controller,

The squack codes attually do something to the radar labels

and ATC can control some fire trucks incase of a crash landing, (they attually have a effect of putting out the fire)

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Oceans and seas that actually respond to weather changes with rough or calm seas.

This could add interesting Coast Guard missions (which I hope it will have missions) and would also open more interest for developers to make payware complex ship simulations.

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Hi

I don't know if you've seen the Simul Weather SDK and tried their demo, but it's a pretty impressive weather rendering system. Could be interesting for a new flight simulator maybe?

http://www.simul.co.uk/weather

Thanks, thats really cool! His Youtube videos are also nice, especially the lightning videos:

Really natural, like it should be.

EDIT:

this raises the bar:

:D

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