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Mathijs Kok

The Big MS Flight Topic

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I see the bigtger picture, but exactly since I see the picture I see how ingsignificant Flight is there.Live needs much more and bigger projects to be even recogniced compared wi6th Steam. The use of Bing doesn't matter to Bing in any way. It only avoids angry remarks why they would be so stupid not to use Bing. This is simply expected from a good Microsoft program.

You may see Flight's contribution as insignificant, I see it as one piece of the puzzle. Flight alone won't save these projects, but it brings new users that may not be reached otherwise. I don't think I would have ever signed up to Games for Windows Live hadn't it been for Flight. And once they have my credit card details, the next purchase is always one mouse click away.

Not quite as simple. It is more complex.

They have to reduce their staff which means less updates and less DLC that they can present in a certain time frame. This doesn't really help their sales since some people get bored and simply don't see the new DLC.

on the other hand there is the key problem. The remaining stuff has to do more and different things, so some people get more capabilities and experience and are qualified enough to join other, more prestigious and better paid projects. They have to be replaced, so you have to employ a new member. What most people don't realize this doesn't help at once. It takes between three to sic months till you can really use the new one effectively while on the other hand more experienced people must make time to teach the new member.. This means: more delays for DLC. the money that previously was sufficient for one year now has to last for 18 months, which means you have to fire more people, your projects becomes even less well liked...and we begin again.

You don't find good qualified people outside of the project since there is no SDK and no free market where people can develop their own sceneries, planes or missions till they are on a level to become a professional. It is much morew difficult to get outside help too, since the project has shifted. They must be taught about the new limits and features. They probably don't have to relearn as for a change from FSX to X-Plane 10 but there are probably some changes and these changes will grow.

I still don't think they have fired so many staff members that they won't be able to produce enough content to keep people hooked. They may have fired some people who worked on the core platform, but getting rid of almost all the people who are able to create DLC or extend the platform base doesn't sound like a plan to me.

But you and I are only speculating. Time will tell who whose assumptions were right.

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I agree that 33% is a little high. A 10% conversion rate would already be considered as awesome.

I just responded to a poster pointing to the numbers negatively. In truth it reminds me of the American budget debate. When the numbers are on "thier" side (whichever side that is) the budget office is getting it right. When the numbers are against them, the budget office is obviously an unreliable money-sucking bureaucratic nightmare. :blowbubble_s:

Looking at another point; it is estimated that 20 million people purchased flight simulator (most through stores)

The current number of enthusiasts at a place like Avsim is supposedly about 100,000 and supposedly about 40,000 of those are regular purchasers of flight Sim products.

Assuming that is approximately true, the current flight Sim market comprises 0.2 percent of that 20 million, with the revenue going to innumerable small companies.

If flight were to capture even 0.5 percent of a similar sized market (and remember the base program is a free web download) then they still are pulling in twice the revenue of the current market combined, all going to one company.........

The numbers are problematic (pulled from the web) and they can definitely be called into question. (Gigo) But the assumption that "Flight will fail!" yelled from the back of the room with no numbers at all presented is even more questionable.

Cant we just wait and see?

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Looking at another point; it is estimated that 20 million people purchased flight simulator (most through stores)

...

If flight were to capture even 0.5 percent of a similar sized market (and remember the base program is a free web download) then they still are pulling in twice the revenue of the current market combined, all going to one company.........

I would think that Flight could achieve a much higher number of cumulative downloads over a similar period, because I think the target audience to which Flight might appeal is bigger and you can't beat the "free" as a price...

What I don't see at the moment are any big marketing efforts except a few ads on avsim. Maybe this is a field test to see how MS can do with social marketing (I mean the buzz it created in the fs community cannot be neglected but I don't think they're gonna reach many non-simmers this way) or they just wanna fix some things before they market it on a big scale. We'll see...

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And......... another domino falls. It appears that Flight may indeed have an SDK.

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And......... another domino falls. It appears that Flight may indeed have an SDK.

Aeh, you really know what an SDK is? You always need such a thing if you have a bigger projects with many different people and a fluctuation of team members. The big difference is only the quality of the SDK (How complete is it? Can you even understand it without a look at the code?) and if it is allowed for external purposes.

In fact Microsoft even has a department for these things. Originally since they were forced to offer such a thing for Windows but it is now a part of their testing environment. There was never a question if they would have something as a SDK.

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Not the way the debate was previously being parsed.

Such as "There is not even an SDK!! this sucks!!!"

We could certainly have used people stepping in with such distinctions in that discussion! Instead, in the interests of negativity, the statements were allowed to stand as is.

As for the other distinctions about completeness (notes, debuggers, sample code etc) unless you have inside information, neither you nor I know how detailed it is, but I have no doubt in MS ability to clean up and finish any such tools to any degree necessary at any time they decide to. (Especially in light of the previous poor history, I would be determined to do it right this time, if I were them!)

I would also point out that so far in this debate, the naysayers have been wrong much more than right, at this point.

(And even without an official SDK, I would not count out human ingenuity)

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As for the other distinctions about completeness (notes, debuggers, sample code etc) unless you have inside information, neither you nor I know how detailed it is, but I have no doubt in MS ability to clean up and finish any such tools to any degree necessary at any time they decide to.

I don't know about the games department. The demands in the OS department are really borderline to insanity. But that's the problem with so much ancient code. The foundation to an SDKs are simply basic demands in the way how you write a program today. Nobody could wait till the basic game engine runs. The difference between a well founded documentation and a SDK is mainly the legal status. As far as I heard there are no plans to open the SDK "for at least two years (if ever)"!

As long as there is no current SDK plan no one has checked if there are really test programs and so on that you want to publish. That's something that you only check when it is time. In fact in one of my last projects I was able to simply put the biggest and most complete plug-in into the SDK, since it was completely founded on public and opaque librarys.

But I don't really think that they are really determined. They are only a small team so there will be no very strict enforcement of these rules and for the single developers these documentations are mainly a pain in the a.. that eat their time. That's the reason why Microsoft didn't have a good documentation for the OS till a judge forced them.

The market position of Microsoft Flight isn't so strong that it would justify such severe constraints. I would think that they don't really have one big SDK. They use a lot of X-Box SDKs and they will use a modified ACES SDK. In fact I can imagine that there is a slight alteration in the manner: "And read all mails in the archive of this mailing list."

An SDK in only a small package of such resources, but as long as there are no active plans I would guess that their "SDK" is a bit sloppy. Otherwise it would really be a sign that they are winding down and developers start to write back their changes before they switch projects.

As dor your naysayers comment: Sorry, but contrary to you I know that about 70% of all Software projects are a failure. After a few years in the business you are able to interpret signals which mean trouble. Even the beta testers complained that the tests were cut short. In fact you can see these issues in the Jobs. There are many Jobs that you can't do with the current planes. An even bigger problem: The team leaders says one thing and the program shows something completely different. There can be only two reasons:

1. He had or has no real control about his team.

2. He only holds this position for a short time.

.

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I can think of at least three reasons why Flight will never have a publicly available SDK:

1) money

2) consistency

3) stability

Just my 2c...

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As dor your naysayers comment: Sorry, but contrary to you I know that about 70% of all Software projects are a failure. After a few years in the business you are able to interpret signals which mean trouble. Even the beta testers complained that the tests were cut short. In fact you can see these issues in the Jobs. There are many Jobs that you can't do with the current planes. An even bigger problem: The team leaders says one thing and the program shows something completely different. There can be only two reasons:

1. He had or has no real control about his team.

2. He only holds this position for a short time.

Fsx was obviously pushed out the door unfinished as well, and the acceleration pack showed a DX10 preview that not only never worked correctly, it turned out to be a preview of nothing. Nonetheless, every single iteration of the flight simulator franchise has been a "success" and that history works against assuming Flight will be a failure.

By the way, even with scant advertising, Flight almost took the crown (Just beneath grand theft AutoIV) for most unique users on Games for windows, live, last week) Not a guarantee of anything, but not bad either.

If you turned out to be right though, I wonder who would step up to take the blame for killing the longest running computer game franchise, ever.

I can think of at least three reasons why Flight will never have a publicly available SDK:

1) money

2) consistency

3) stability

Just my 2c...

We will have to see in a year or two, but it seems evident that they have some plan in mind for working with third parties should they decide to do so. In the meantime Curious 3rd parties may find their own means to produce at least limited content.

On the consistency and stability front I actually see where they are coming from, at least for now. As it is, too much 3PD stuff collides with each other. On the other hand, I don't see them being silly enough to try for a total monopoly, either.

I keep thinking apple store.

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We will have to see in a year or two, but it seems evident that they have some plan in mind for working with third parties should they decide to do so. In the meantime Curious 3rd parties may find their own means to produce at least limited content.

On the consistency and stability front I actually see where they are coming from, at least for now. As it is, too much 3PD stuff collides with each other. On the other hand, I don't see them being silly enough to try for a total monopoly, either.

I keep thinking apple store.

Hm, my bet is that any kind of 3PD involvement will be through contractual work or some other form of cooperation where MS can influence the development.

I don't think that MS will release a public SDK so <your least favorite addon maker here> can create a half baked addon and upload it to the Flight store without further approval (and I'm not talking about technical checks like Apple makes on their app store).

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I just wonder with the complete rejection of FLIGHT by simmers, and their flooding of the interwebs of that fact... Will MS do a double take, and maybe work on a real sim. It could have a very small team with a 3 or 4 year timeline. Maybe FLIGHT is just a stop gap until the real thing is done.

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I just wonder with the complete rejection of FLIGHT by simmers, and their flooding of the interwebs of that fact...

Be very careful with such bold claims. It is very hard to prove that something is completely rejected, but very easy to falsify.

Will MS do a double take, and maybe work on a real sim. It could have a very small team with a 3 or 4 year timeline. Maybe FLIGHT is just a stop gap until the real thing is done.

I don't think that MS will throw more good money after bad.

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Hm, my bet is that any kind of 3PD involvement will be through contractual work or some other form of cooperation where MS can influence the development.

I don't think that MS will release a public SDK so <your least favorite addon maker here> can create a half baked addon and upload it to the Flight store without further approval (and I'm not talking about technical checks like Apple makes on their app store).

That's what I meant about ingenuity. Activision broke into the Atari market by doing a Hail Mary and coming up with its own tools, and that was perfectly legal. Its been done before and it will be done again.

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...and we all know what happened to that market after it was flooded with crap-ware.

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Hi,

just to add that accidental finding from the Saitek Website

http://www.saitek.com/uk/prod/tpm.html

(i) obviously MS is willing to co-operate with and certify for at least "certain" 3rd party developers

(ii) it's even more amazing as this is probably not the standard gear of game kiddies

Regards, Michael

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Hi,

just to add that accidental finding from the Saitek Website

http://www.saitek.com/uk/prod/tpm.html

(i) obviously MS is willing to co-operate with and certify for at least "certain" 3rd party developers

(ii) it's even more amazing as this is probably not the standard gear of game kiddies

Regards, Michael

That has nothing to do with a sdk. My (older) Saitek hardware (X52, Throttle Quadrants) ist Flight compatible too. You just need to assign a "joystick button" or "joystick axis"

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That has nothing to do with a sdk. My (older) Saitek hardware (X52, Throttle Quadrants) ist Flight compatible too. You just need to assign a "joystick button" or "joystick axis"

Sorry, perhaps I was unclear. My point was not the SDK but that they are wiling to grant 3rd party certifications at all. The other point was, that they certify a tool which is obviously less geared towards game kiddys than to simulator users.

Concerning a publicly available SDK I am in doubt, too.

Regards, Michael

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New update to flight last night, more autogen density, apparently smoother controls too. Not much time to check it out, but the denser scenery was great and starting to push my system. This thing is a sleeper, like a 1,000 ft long snail, crawling slowly but surely. Watch out for it. I am very impressed, happy to wait for it to evolve more. Already it has great IFR features and the online component is a killer feature.

Here's my sick avatar, I did my best to come up with the weirdest look! Would prefer to have my pants up higher...

Mathijs, I love your approach to ageing. I'm only 21!

post-47862-0-80380600-1333424365.jpg

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New update to flight last night, more autogen density, apparently smoother controls too. Not much time to check it out, but the denser scenery was great and starting to push my system. This thing is a sleeper, like a 1,000 ft long snail, crawling slowly but surely. Watch out for it. I am very impressed, happy to wait for it to evolve more. Already it has great IFR features and the online component is a killer feature.

Here's my sick avatar, I did my best to come up with the weirdest look! Would prefer to have my pants up higher...

Mathijs, I love your approach to ageing. I'm only 21!

post-47862-0-80380600-1333424365.jpg

What great IFR features are there?

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Folks, let go!

Flight is a fun sim, not a serious sim. And it will stay that way.

If you want a modern serious sim platform, there are other options for you.

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Sorry for the late reply Mathijs, I only use my mobile phone for net stuff in evenings and mornings, and your forum is not viewable on it.

Flight has IFR capabilities, like VOR navigation and ILS where present at the airport. Once you know how to display the Nav facilities in the map, it all makes sense. There's a challenge where you land the Maule (I think) in thick fog, and I at least have found it too challenging so far (almost there, but there's a nasty crosswind to make things more interesting).

But no FMC. Not that I personally use those things alot.

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Today, Microsoft issued this following statement on the Flight Facebook Page; "With the release of the Alaska Wilderness Expansion DLC on the horizon, we’d like to share some of the changes we’ve made to core elements of Microsoft Flight, as well as some bug fixes.

NEW FEATURES AND FUNCTIONALITY:

New hardware-related functionality:

... -Added support for TrackIR

-Added support for axis-based brake control devices

-Added settings specific to Intel Ivy Bridge graphics hardware

New Hangar Marketplace UI:

-Added details page for Marketplace items

-Improved user experience for downloading multiple pieces of DLC

-Added locked/unlocked livery sorting

Map improvements

-Added globe icon to Main Menu for region selection

-Adjusted map displays for areas with high airport concentration

-Added region-based filtering for Aerocaches

Improved error reporting

-Added features which allow for more robust error reports from end users

New UI Features

-Added “Glance” command; when R key is pressed and held, allows player to look toward the closest Point of Interest Marker

New Environment Features and Improvements

-Added two new weather themes: Heavy Weather and Mixed Weather

-Added new in-cloud effects

-Adjusted coloration of clouds at higher densities to be more realistic

-Adjusted cloud randomization

BUG FIXES:

Reduced load times across the board

Adjusted “Skip to Waypoint” feature: players no longer spawn

inside intervening terrain pieces

Fixed issues with double-byte languages (Korean, Japanese & Chinese)

-Fixed issue causing in-cockpit tooltips to display incorrectly

-Fixed issue preventing planes from appearing in Hangar after selecting a job from the Job Board

Fixed graphics issues

-Fixed issues in fog layer and cirrus cloud rendering

-Adjusted reflections to be more realistic (no more giant plane reflections)

-Fixed vegetation flickering issues

-Fixed banyan tree rendering

-Fixed crash that occurred for some users when changing graphics settings during cut scenes

-Improved in-flight terrain textures for users with Vertical Sync enabled

Addressed multiple Games for Windows – LIVE related issues which can cause Microsoft Flight to crash

Addressed multiple issues causing Windows Vista users to experience a crash after completing a mission or challenge

Fixed multiplayer issues

-Reduced bandwidth consumed during multiplayer sessions

-Fixed error experienced by final users to join multiplayer sessions

-Fixed multiple crashes that occur during multiplayer sessions

-Reduced choppiness in rendering other users’ planes during multiplayer

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