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Orbx and the next generation of flight simulators

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After hearing rumors that Prepar3d V3 is in the works and now that Dovetail is planning a new simulator, I find myself wondering how all the hard work Orbx has done will fit into the next generation.


 


I'm certainly hoping that any major new release will include things like higher resolution textures, more realistic textures, improved vector accuracy, higher quality mesh, more visually accurate autogen, etc.. to keep it "as real as it gets". Basically, other than airports, all the features Orbx has brought to us in FSX and P3d already to upgrade our simulators will probably, hopefully, be present by default in a next generation sim.


 


Will all the work Orbx has done be left behind, or are you guys planning to be involved, perhaps licensing out your data to Lockheed and Dovetail or through royalties something like that? I'd hate to see so much of your incredible, meticulous and hard work slowly lose value, and I'd also hate to think that by purchasing another sim I'm paying for someone else to reinvent the wheel you guys have been doing a fantastic job with.


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I wish they would port some stuff to X Plane. The helicopters especially in FSX/P3D are painfully unrealistic. Even my highly acclaimed A2A planes don't feel like the real things. X Plane has great helicopters, but looks like crap. :(


 


Of course, maybe the new DTG sim will be great, I can only hope.


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For once you have tasted flight you will walk the earth with your eyes turned skywards, for there you have been and there you will long to return (Leonardo da Vinci), No PC flight simulator can replicate that no matter how sophisticated.

Noel

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So you suggest to cancel Flight SImulation, ORBX, and all that, and start collecting stamps or photography? I recall JohnY tried this once. And failed.


 


Kind regards, Michael


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Not at all.  It's a game I love to play.  But it doesn't replicate flying.  There's a visual input but no 'feel'.


 


I love to play Hearts on my computer.  I played the game a lot when I was in both the Marine Corps and the Air Force.  But playing on the computer is not the same as playing against real opponents.  No banter.  No jibing each other on bad plays.  No moaning when you get the queen of spades.  No telling your opponent it was just dumb luck that he shot the moon.


 


In both flight simulation and computer Hearts there is no real feedback.  And there never will be.  But that doesn't mean you can't enjoy them.  Just don't tell yourself it's real as in 'total immersion'.


 


Stamp collecting and photography?  Yep.  Did them both.  But I wouldn't pretend taking a screenshot of the Golden Gate Bridge from the cockpit of my Lionheart Kodiak would be as satisfying and taking the same picture from the cockpit of the Luscombe I learned to fly in.  Nor would downloading a copy of the 'inverted Jenny' and pasting it into my virtual stamp album opn my mnitor would be as satisfying as doing it for real.


 


Every month I change my avatar to a picture of a bird I actually composed and took myself.  Much more satisfying than cutting and pasting a similar picture of bird taken from an on-line bird identification website.


 


What's on your computer monitor is not real no matter how much you wish it was.


 


Noel


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I doubt I'll ever get past FSX.

 

Noel

After flying for 22 years in the USAF, much of it with a hangover, my observation is that ORBX looks far better than the real world.

Plus you don't have to use up 50% of your oxygen supply in order to find a taxiway.

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Hi Noel

For once you have tasted flight you will walk the earth with your eyes turned skywards, for there you have been and there you will long to return (Leonardo da Vinci), No PC flight simulator can replicate that no matter how sophisticated.

Noel

I wholeheartedly agree with your comments, it sends a chill up your spine.

Here is my favourite poem about flight during the 2nd world war. It is things like this that keep me hooked on anything to do with flight.

 

 

                                                                                                                    High Flight

 

Oh! I have slipped the surly bonds of Earth

And danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings;

Sunward I’ve climbed, and joined the tumbling mirth

of sun-split clouds, – and done a hundred things

You have not dreamed of – wheeled and soared and swung

High in the sunlit silence. Hov’ring there,

I’ve chased the shouting wind along, and flung

My eager craft through footless halls of air . . .

 

Up, up the long, delirious, burning blue

I’ve topped the wind-swept heights with easy grace

Where never lark nor even eagle flew –

And, while with silent lifting mind I’ve trod

The high untrespassed sanctity of space,

Put out my hand, and touched the face of God.

This poem was written by Pilot Officer John Gillespie Magee, Jr.,of No. 53 Operational Training Unit, Royal Canadian Air Force.

 

Kind Regards

 

Ian

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Ian, I love that poem. Many years ago my wife gave me a bronzed bust of an old airmail pilot and it has a brass plaque with that poem on the base.

If you ever get the US Air Force Museum in Dayton Ohio they have the handwritten original framed on a wall. There is button next to it you can press and hear John's mother recite it. Very moving.

Noel

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Hi Noel

I wholeheartedly agree with your comments, it sends a chill up your spine.

Here is my favourite poem about flight during the 2nd world war. It is things like this that keep me hooked on anything to do with flight.

 

 

                                                                                                                    High Flight

 

Oh! I have slipped the surly bonds of Earth

And danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings;

Sunward I’ve climbed, and joined the tumbling mirth

of sun-split clouds, – and done a hundred things

You have not dreamed of – wheeled and soared and swung

High in the sunlit silence. Hov’ring there,

I’ve chased the shouting wind along, and flung

My eager craft through footless halls of air . . .

 

Up, up the long, delirious, burning blue

I’ve topped the wind-swept heights with easy grace

Where never lark nor even eagle flew –

And, while with silent lifting mind I’ve trod

The high untrespassed sanctity of space,

Put out my hand, and touched the face of God.

This poem was written by Pilot Officer John Gillespie Magee, Jr.,of No. 53 Operational Training Unit, Royal Canadian Air Force.

 

Kind Regards

 

Ian

Beautiful, Ian.  Thank you!

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For once you have tasted flight you will walk the earth with your eyes turned skywards, for there you have been and there you will long to return (Leonardo da Vinci), No PC flight simulator can replicate that no matter how sophisticated.

Noel

 

It give you a taste for those who will never fly. By choice or the lack of money.

 

Ben

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A small taste, but never a meal.

I'm not knocking flight simulation, just pointing out it really isn't as real as it gets.

For instance, in simulator (except for a full motion simulator) you will never feel the satisfaction of a good landing or

embarrassment of a botched landing, especially if another pilot is sitting beside you.

Noel

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Hi Noel

I wholeheartedly agree with your comments, it sends a chill up your spine.

Here is my favourite poem about flight during the 2nd world war. It is things like this that keep me hooked on anything to do with flight.

High Flight

Oh! I have slipped the surly bonds of Earth

And danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings;

Sunward I’ve climbed, and joined the tumbling mirth

of sun-split clouds, – and done a hundred things

You have not dreamed of – wheeled and soared and swung

High in the sunlit silence. Hov’ring there,

I’ve chased the shouting wind along, and flung

My eager craft through footless halls of air . . .

Up, up the long, delirious, burning blue

I’ve topped the wind-swept heights with easy grace

Where never lark nor even eagle flew –

And, while with silent lifting mind I’ve trod

The high untrespassed sanctity of space,

Put out my hand, and touched the face of God.

This poem was written by Pilot Officer John Gillespie Magee, Jr.,

of No. 53 Operational Training Unit, Royal Canadian Air Force.

Kind Regards

Ian

My Grandfather barnstormed in the 20's with my Grandmother as a wing walker... Flew with Stearman and Beach, was a designer at Travelair and had his own plane manufacturing company for a while ( The Pheasant Aircraft Co. ) this was the poem we read at his funeral ...

My favorite poem as well

Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

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Hi Noel

Ian, I love that poem. Many years ago my wife gave me a bronzed bust of an old airmail pilot and it has a brass plaque with that poem on the base.

If you ever get the US Air Force Museum in Dayton Ohio they have the handwritten original framed on a wall. There is button next to it you can press and hear John's mother recite it. Very moving.

Noel

Thanks for information.

 

Kind regards

 

Ian

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just pointing out it really isn't as real as it gets.

 

I always read that as 'as real as it gets with current hardware and technology'. The first time MS used that line it clearly wasn't 'as real as reality'. Things have progressed a lot but the experience obviously is still limited. But even in a future full motion simulator with full 3D it won't be as real as reality: it will always be a simulation with limitations. I mean, the idea alone a crash won't kill you prevents a real experience. I doubt we will ever have full motion simulators in which you can get realistically hurt... and I don't think anyone would want that.

 

Anyway, I like the current state of flight sims but there still is a LOT to be improved. On a scale of 0 to 100 I would rate the current sate of flightsimming (when it comes to development and possibilities) at something like 20. Maybe even 10. We've only just begun. Although we have come a long way when you look back at the sims from the eighties and nineties I think we are still far, far away from a realistic simulation (when it comes to the experience!). Some people say they are happy with how things are right now and for instance don't need a new sim: I wonder how they would rate their sim on that scale...? I also think that even though i absolutely love P3D it won't bring us THE sim ever: for that the code on which it is based is too old. We need something completely new and something that probably something that doesn't even exist right now.

 

But... until then I will be enjoying FTX Norway in my Comanche 250! And everything else that is still to come. ;)

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I'm pretty easy to please JvanE.  And I am perfectly satisfied with FSX.  It is relatively trouble free and I read a lot more problems here with P3D than with FSX.  And the old axiom 'if it ain't broke, don't fix it' seems to apply here; at least for me. 


 


There will always be those who want the latest and greatest be it flight simulators, automobiles, operating systems (Win 10 for instance), washing machines, smart phones, television sets (I don't have HD); and want to be the first on the block to have it.  They are important because they help industry find and work out the bugs in every new system and product that comes along; especially with automobiles counting all the recalls they have all the time.  But I've been there and done that and it's now a part of my past life.


 


When I was a teenager my father told me that happiness is being satisfied with what you have, not constantly chasing what you want.  It took me 60 years to discover he was right.


 


Noel


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"happiness is being satisfied with what you have"


I agree with this sentiment..my setup is nothing flash, but I love and enjoy my simming just the same.


 


Just to get back to the original post.. I wonder how a small company like Dovetail can attempt to improve of the Sim when a company with the finances and facilities of Mcdonnell Douglas Have thrown their skills and technical might into the production of and resulting release of Prepar3d? Teecee.


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The link in post above I wasn't aware of so thanks for that alcliff


So with Dovetail,the guys in the link above and then I stumbled across this news.   http://www.flightsimulated.com/navy-ship-simulator/.


Maybe some hope that we can finally break free of the drudgery of FSX and P3D respectively.


All credit to Orbx at least for the massive improvements they have made to both these ailing sims,It will be nice if any of these do actually materialise,one lives in hope.Decent as they have been they are both creaking at the edges and I feel if a decent successor comes along they will be consigned to the recycle bin,and not a day too soon for me.


Gary 


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Obviously, everyone wants a "better" flight sim on their desktop/laptop, as the case may be.  Some are more eager to see the change than others, and the motives for wanting to see improvements in the flight sim world are varied and numerous.  But the fact remains, as Noel and others have pointed out, no amount of improvements to a computer flight sim will accurately and realistically reproduce the real world flying experience.  That being said, to some folks it doesn't matter, it's just a game; to others, they just want a better simulation.  And so on and so forth.  FSX/P3D, worn out or not, is a source of amusement and fun, but will never be the real thing.  And neither will any future flight sim, 64bit, or whatever.  And that's ok by me.  I don't confuse a simulation with reality, at least, not the last time I looked.  If and when a new flight sim comes out, it will be judged to many different standards, and will be accepted or rejected on that basis.  But what is certain is that if the new flight sim causes a complete work-over of Orbx and other developers' products, it will take some time before everyone comes around to accepting it.  A lot of people have invested a lot of money already in this hobby and just to suddenly switch horses in the hopes that the new toy will more accurately mimic reality?  Maybe, maybe not.  Nothing wrong with change, don't get me wrong, but change doesn't necessarily get you what you want.


 


Stew


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Oh I completely agree Stew,I too can take the sims for what they are,basically a nice relaxing pc game,a break from the chaos of shooters etc.And I love the experience,having always had a thing for planes and airports etc to me the sims offer just a nice peaceful break from work life etc and with Orbx and others some nice eyecandy to boot.


That said I am also a big time lover of PC gaming always have been probably always will.So to me "new" excites me.It is simply a wish to see a major leap forward in a genre I love that I hope something good comes of any potential new sim.I would like one to work out of the box so to speak,no tweaking,modern graphics and no constant OOM's.


But as you say we have all invested a small fortune in this so far,but IF something truly good comes out,something we all would hope for,well isn't there that tiny bit of us all that will throw caution to the wind a buy into the new kid?


As they say,shrouds don't have pockets,and as long as I can sneak it by the missus If its good I am going for it.Conjecture I know,time will tell.


Cheers.


Gary


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Excellent points Stew!

I just went to The Flightsim Store and tallied up my orders.

On March 12th, 2013, I entered the world of Orbx with PNW and PFJ. In the intervening two and a half years I have spent $3,011.91 at the Flightsim Store (and I enjoy the senior discount), most of it for Orbx scenery. I have it all to date. That doesn't count the money spent at Flight 1 and SimMarket for things like traffic programs, weather programs, instant scenery, airplanes, Pilot's Mesh, and Aerosoft Scenery.

Over the summer I purchased parts for a new computer. A piece or two every month as I could afford it. A processor. A video card. RAM. A motherboard. A 1TB SSD. A total of almost 1200.00. Earlier this month I brought it all to my friend at the computer shop and told him to build me a computer. He furnished the case, a 750W power supply, a DVD drive, and Windows 7 Pro 64. And put it all together and got it working for me. He charged almost 600.00.

I have invested more than 5K in this hobby over the past two and a half years. And my budget still allows for the rest of the Orbx scenery as it becomes available.

Now I'm not wealthy. But I'm not hurting either. And I am willing to spend the money on a hobby that gives me a lot of enjoyment.

But I am not going to chuck it all because someone says something new and better is coming this way when what I already have works so well for me. Perhaps I have lower expectations than many of you.

I have a beautiful 24x36 inch print of an Ansel Adams black and white photograph hanging on the living room wall. I've had it for a long time. I'm not about to dump it because someone knocks on the door and says, "I have a better fake and it will only cost a bit more than what you paid for the one you already have."

Noel

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I just went to The Flightsim Store and tallied up my orders.

 

<snip>

Noel

I'm not sure I want to do that!  I'm retired as well, but hardly wealthy.  But I will say that earlier this year I bit the bullet and bought all sorts of stuff to build my new flight sim computer (my go-to rig just didn't like flight sims)--at the tune of about something over $1200.  Used the power supply and video card from my previous rig to save some dough, and it all works just fine, thanks.  Not top of the line by any means, but it lets me fly my favorite airplanes with my favorite scenery as a backdrop.  Of course, your mileage may vary, guys.  Just don't get caught up in all this "realism" stuff.  The most real it got in FSX was landing in a driving rainstorm up in Oregon (shoulda checked the weather report, doh!), and barely landing the bird in a pretty stiff crosswind.  My palms were sweating on the way to the ramp.  That's as real as I want it.

 

Stew

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I'm certainly hoping that any major new release will include things like higher resolution textures, more realistic textures, improved vector accuracy, higher quality mesh, more visually accurate autogen, etc.. to keep it "as real as it gets". Basically, other than airports, all the features Orbx has brought to us in FSX and P3d already to upgrade our simulators will probably, hopefully, be present by default in a next generation sim.

 .

 

Who couldn't agree with you :) ? I've seen, over the years, the simworld getting better and  better, more real with each version and there's no reason why it shouldn't continue that way. Look at what they did even recently from FS9 to FSX and now Prepar3D !The last step, with P3D, being the scenery shadowing ! The artists, GIS people and coders of this hobby are doing the most of what they have.

 

But there also are  two limitation factors to improve sim sceneries and landscapes :

 

- the availability of data. And that has two dimensions:  availability pure and simple (and declassification by the military...)  but also price. I'm sure that the OrbX developpers could do more and better even today with some high quality data but the price would then be exorbitant for the customers.

 

- the power of computers. Even now our sim would look much better if you could maximize your sliders and have a smooth ride :)

 

After the FSX pause (a welcome pause IMO), the FS world has started to move again with Dovetail  and Lockheed Martin and the OrbX, A2A etc. will keep  pace. We haven't seen nothin' yet !

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Dovetail and Lockheed Martin are still saddled with an old simulation system, however.  "You can't squeeze blood out of a turnip" or "... make a silk purse out of a sow's ear."


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"Total Immersion' and 'As Real as it Gets" has no meaning in our flight simulators; but you could approach that if you crashed your A2A Comanche on landing and it wiped out your A2A installation and you would have to buy a new one. And then it would only come a bit closer.

Those two terms are a bit annoying when applied to computer games.

Noel

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   "You can't squeeze blood out of a turnip" or "... make a silk purse out of a sow's ear."

 

Cute  :) ! Worn out the FS engine ? Common wisdom has been contradicted in the recent years with things deemed as impossible, being done.

 

LM did a pretty good job, bringing to P3D what the simmer community has been shouting for, for years, shadows. We were demanding shadow casting clouds and got universal shadowing, everything casting shadows on everything !  The old engine has now a slick new look.

 

A2A and Majestic have by-passed a big chunk of the FS simulation engine to code new piston or turbine engines, truer to what they should be. With the helpp of NASA for Majestic.  A2A has also brought convincing wear and tear.

 

So don't throw away the turnip, you can make some good soups still. I'm sure that the ingenuity of the developper community will bring us new surprises. 

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