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Kyle Cormier

An open letter to Matteo, Orbx developers and customers

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1 hour ago, Kyle Cormier said:

I was just reading the post Matteo released with his beta shots of KSAN.  He received both praise and criticisms on the work which i know is normal for people who are passionate about Orbx products.  But please let me share my thoughts to Orbx customers on the development of a project.  Years ago I wrote to JV and asked if I could join Orbx as basically an intern developer and he agreed.  There were a few of us actually.  Ken Hall and I spent dozens of hours on Skype, JV sent me materials that would help me in the designs, Tim Harris and Wolter offered much of their experience in many many e-mails back and forth.  My first project was to be a simple freeware project, (so i thought) 2 little grass strips in the PNW region.

I know I wanted my project to reflect the real world as much as it possibly could (and this was several years ago, we were just getting animals that moved).  I wanted every tree, every house and farm animal, every building and street light, and more to be perfect, and perfection takes a lot of time.  Not only did the placement have to be dead on but I wanted the buildings to look exact, and of course stock buildings would not cut it, so i had to learn GMax, and photo textures.  There were multiple programs used to make sure satellite photographs and the developed airport matched exactly, that color corrections for seasonal changes were dead on, so that basically everything was seamless. Trying to match seasonal coloring for an airport to the surrounding terrain is tough, and not having any Photoshop experience, I had to learn that too.   I worked on that project for months, I must have made thousands of changes to the project.  Lighting might not look right, colors for the project area didn't match exactly to the surrounding Orbx scenery, The hangers didn't look just like the real ones, the sign on the roadway announcing low flying aircraft, was perfect enough for me, and my wanting of perfection also added to many other changes.  One of the biggest problems i always looked at was that the source material used that have roads or parking lots in them always show cars, i always hated that and i wanted to Photoshop the roads and parking lots to show just the library objects.  stationary cars on a road where simulated cars are driving look bad, same with parking lots, but to Photoshop those out would take forever.    I knew that even though this was going to be a freeware project, if it was good, someday i might be able to what Alex Goff was doing, creating his first payware airport.  I finally finished and got it to the beta test phase.  Some beta tested had problems with it working correctly in their FSX setup, some mentioned changes that could be made, some found errors with other places that needed corrections.  Some really liked the work that was done.  None of the beta tested ever gave me a negative attitude, everyone wanted me to succeed.

I found that trying to work 'a real job' and do scenery design to the level of any other Orbx product was not feasible, and i had to step away from the project.  I was disappointed that I had to make that decision but it was best for all parties.  I will always remember the kindness that everyone associated with Orbx extended to me.  But this brings me back to Matteo.  I know how difficult it was to build 2 little grass strip airports, he is building a mid size terminal with the city surrounding it, and his beta shots look real nice.  No one's beta shots are ever perfect and the harshest critic of any project is the developer of it.  In beta, there are always going to be rough edges that will later be refined, but for his first project, he is doing a remarkable job.

I know some customer's critiques that seem harsh are really from a place where they are so excited about a project, their comments are meant to help the developer with a detail they may have some knowledge about, such as the location of an object or the color of something.  But please know that all of the developers do their best to bring you the most accurate, best looking airports you can find.  No product will ever be perfect, especially in the beta phase.  But if you ever want to put yourself in the shoes of a developer, build an airport, take some pictures of it, and post them in the freeware section.  I bet the comments you get will be a mixed bag of positive and negative too.  Matteo, like all of the other developers at Orbx are rock stars in my eyes, rock stars might sing out of tune once in a while but they always get better.  Someday, when i retire from that 'real world job', I hope to send JV another e-mail asking for a chance at an intern position again.

P.S.  I still have all of those old files, if any Orbx developer wants to finish it, I would gladly forward it to you.

Hi Kyle, very interesting story :) Yes beta doesn't mean the scenery is finished, i have corrected to much things now. I always listening constructive criticism.

I can say the final results will be the best as possible! 

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Hi Folks,

Yes - very well stated - while I am certainly not an ORBX developer - I've always appreciated constructive/critical feedback on my own projects more than the obligatory "oh - that looks great" comments...

Regards,
Scott


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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An excellent statement there Kyle. The insider's view is what is missing from many people's minds when criticizing. Thank you for adding this perspective. I strongly think this should be made into a sticky at the top of the forum on preview shots... :)

 

A

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Great statement Kyle, and hopefully those naysayers out there will take a softer stance when being so critical of a product that is still in development.

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What a great read Kyle!  Over time I've gained a huge appreciation for what goes into a scenery project.  Not from a developers viewpoint, but as a beta tester.  It's been an honor to watch Matteo's project take shape.  I can only wish to have such a varied skill set.  I also think that most, if not all, posts regarding preview beta shots are meant with the best of intentions to point out mostly small things that in the eye of the poster will only make the scenery better.  All the Devs strive for accuracy and realism and I think it shows.

 Thanks too for all the other comments on this thread.  Orbx and its followers and indeed in a class of their own.

 

Cheers

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Hi Kyle,

 

That has to be one of the most heartfelt supportive statements I have seen in a long time concerning the abilities of a developer in this industry.

 

We sometimes forget the time, expense, long hours, late nights, long days, doubts, worries, loss of family time, and concern that the final product may not be well received. The onus is on the developer to deliver, without which the business man cannot sell the product.  I have deep respect for those developers struggling to give us, the consumer, the best they can personally achieve.

 

Constructive criticism is to be valued and, if offered respectfully, is beneficial to a developer. We sometimes tend to easily find fault and yet fail to provide equal support.

 

I wonder if we, as consumers, have become spoilt in our expectations. We must surely remember that although this is our hobby it is, above all else, their passion which gives us the means to enjoy our pastime.

 

Thank you Kyle for a heartfelt post and thank you to all the developers for giving all of us our dreams.

 

Roger

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Thank you for your post Kyle. 

As far as I am concerned the Orbx developers really are incredibly talented people. Without them I would have given up on simming years ago. 

I am sure that you will achieve your dream of joining them when the time is right for you. :)

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Thank you for your post, Kyle. It was a good reminder of the effort and dedication it takes to develop such scenery.  This quality of commitment is so evident in ORBX scenery and it is what I appreciate and what results in so much enjoyment.  I am very much looking forward to the release of KSAN!

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Well said and GREAT STORY.

For me the beta shot look sublime... I so don't care about it being so "life like" real.

 

I think to be honest that sometime developer show to much detail making the scenery to heavy.

That is why some people where a bit scared about this new mid size airport, it need to be enjoyable and FPS friendly.

Don't forget that a lot of folks will want this one because they want to use their Airbus/737 payware!

 

The beta tester should have average computer :wink:

 

Lately ORBX have pushed the bar high, they give us a lot for our money.

 

Of course I will buy this great looking scenery and I don't even need to see more screenshot.

Good luck Matteo (and you can keep your avatar picture, he he he)

 

Ben

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Many thanks Kyle for the interesting insight into some of what is involved being an ORBX Developer.

 

I have never been a rivet counter, I just have nothing for admiration for those who can do even the simplest of repaints up to these wonderful ORBX (dare I say and others) aeroplanes, airports and sceneries that we have the chance to use.

 

Always glad to show my support and appreciation with a simple "great shots or the like." I must start writing something akin to the Gettysburg Address for those who require it.

 

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