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John Venema

To Season or Not to Season - that is the Community Question

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I myself don't care about the seasons.

 

If people want the slightly lower quality for the pleasure of having them its fine, but I kinda wonder if this whole thing is causing a controversy where perhaps all that's really needed is a bit of patience.

 

I wonder if Orbx will invest a lot in this only to find that the tech for a practical shader solution and the willingness of customers to wait a bit for that to arrive was all that was ever needed.....

 

Tempest in a teapot?

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very well explained, JV

 

TE Nethelands HD with seasons works well for me...

 

+1 for TE GB Seasons LOD 14 version (with LOD 15 Summer only crossgrade option)...

 

i understand the critical data delivery/server $charges - makes business sense to factor that into the equation...

 

& the TE data size roadmap is very helpful for planning current & future sim/s deployment - to be helped with the upgraded Orbx Central...

 

best regards,

craig

Edited by craigeaglefire
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Looks like JV came up with an excellent compromise on four seasons vs. one season.  Some of us have slow internet connections and spend hours downloading the True Earth scenery.  If you can do four seasons at LOD 14 and folks find the detail adequate, Orbx might consider releasing a LOD 14 single season for for those of us with limited internet bandwidth and hard disk space.

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57 minutes ago, John Venema said:
  • TrueEarth GB South LOD15 Summer Edition
  • TrueEarth GB South LOD14 Seasons Edition

 

Yes, this is the ultimate compromise and win win scenario plus I love free lifetime downloads (This is a must for me). 

 

This option works the best....LOD 14 is still mind blowing amazing if one wants all seasons, and who want extreme LOD15 can buy the Summer edition.

 

You literally made 2 products by changing the LOD - amazing!!!! and pretty much satisfy all types of customers

 

JV - just brilliant move by the way.  

 

Best part is LOD 14 All Seasons is almost equivalent in same size of LOD15 Summer Edition.  This way we get lifetime free downloads also - keeps cost in check - yep in my book this is settled ;)  

Edited by Airwolf
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Hi patful,

 

Quote

LOD_radius 14 and 15? Wow! I'm set at 6.5 right now, so I have no vote. Will have to wait to buy a better rig way down the line.

 

John's numbers refer to the highest compiled resolution included with the file set: LOD14 means 2.4m per pixel and LOD15 1.2m per pixel (LOD15 is also the resolution of all landclass ground textures). This has nothing to do with the "Level of Detail Radius" (LOD_RADIUS) slider setting in the display menu.

 

Cheers, Holger

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Living in a area that see’s quite a bit of snow , I could care less about flying around with snow on the ground . The only seasons I use are Spring and Fall . So far I have managed by HD space and have room for more TE products , but size of product is important to me going forward .

 

 

Cheers

 

John

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8 minutes ago, Holger Sandmann said:

Hi patful,

 

 

John's numbers refer to the highest compiled resolution included with the file set: LOD14 means 2.4m per pixel and LOD15 1.2m per pixel (LOD15 is also the resolution of all landclass ground textures). This has nothing to do with the "Level of Detail Radius" (LOD_RADIUS) slider setting in the display menu.

 

Cheers, Holger

 

Ah, thank you for clearing that up, Holger! I was feeling like I was being left behind on a TRS-80 for a minute there.

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I WILL be buying this on day one, and any others that follow for P3D. This TE tech will finally allow me to virtually tour England until I finally get over there. Having seasons in the UK isn't a big deal to me, changing trees is certainly adequate. So I think I would opt for the higher quality ground textures. But having a choice is certainly great. When it comes to the PNW, we get definite seasons, and lots of snow in the winter, so choosing LOD14 might be best. Thank you guys for coming up with this plan.

 

The bottom line is we certainly don't want Orbx to go bankrupt. ;) If you guys can offer 2 choices and be economically viable, then that's a win-win for everyone. If not, I think this tech is important enough to enjoy without seasons.

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I can not tell the difference between LOD 14 vs Lod 15....and now that there is choice to buy 2 versions while keep costs the same (I am counting on free downloads) - this is a win win.  

 

I may just buy 2 b/c for VR I want clearest LOD I can do....but see my post above.  We have a winner Lod 14 package with all seasons and Lod 15 package for Summer fans.  Everyone wins including Orbx ::P

Edited by Airwolf

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It is excellent to hear Orbx is considering both of those options instead of just pursuing one over the other. :) I would be keen for the LOD14 Seasons edition for P3D, as that's the sim I use for flying tubeliners and the more powerful dual props. Seasonal textures add an extra layer of immersion for me when flying with real weather year-round. With the incoming version of xEnviro and it's snow feature, I'm happy with the one season and higher resolution for X-Plane for GA flying. I'm not sure if I could fly GA with LOD14, but I'll give it a test with P3D.

Edited by Asheroo
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Even though I built a new PC just over a year ago, it has trouble running the TE Netherlands. Also, I like having all four seasons, because I enjoying flying historical flights. Having said that, will the LOD14 run more smoothly than LOD15? I would probably buy the all seasons version simply for that reason alone. BTW, I'm operating P3Dv4.4, for ref. Or would it simply be more of a settings issue, in terms of how smooth it is?

 

Thanks, Ken

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I love the higher resolution. But prefer LOD14 with seasons, I like to fly in the different seasons.

 

If performance is better in LOD14, the LOD14 is the way forward for me.

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TE stands for realism right? Then how not having seasons? I don't like to fly in areas that don't match the real time conditions. If I fly winter I want to see snow, if I fly Fall I want to see colorful trees all over, that is realism. I like that at any time of the year I pick up a place for flying and that it matches real weather conditions. It would be great that the sim could launch with rain or even snowing if it is happening in that location in real life. I remember FSX had that option, to download climate data and set the sim. I miss that option.

I wouldn't like to see different tree types on a constant green rug.

 

What would be the cost for the LOD14 season version and and the cost of download, please?

 

Thank you

 

Carlos

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11 minutes ago, carlosqr said:

TE stands for realism right? Then how not having seasons? I don't like to fly in areas that don't match the real time conditions. If I fly winter I want to see snow, if I fly Fall I want to see colorful trees all over, that is realism. I like that at any time of the year I pick up a place for flying and that it matches real weather conditions. It would be great that the sim could launch with rain or even snowing if it is happening in that location in real life. I remember FSX had that option, to download climate data and set the sim. I miss that option.

I wouldn't like to see different tree types on a constant green rug.

 

What would be the cost for the LOD14 season version and and the cost of download, please?

 

Thank you

 

Carlos

 

LOD 14 package with seasons is pretty much the same size as lod 15 summer season.  I assume from what I can INFER from JV that the cost would be free unless they start doing LOD 15 with seasons (that will make the additional cost along with space).

 

That is what I can tell by reading the posts....if I made a mistake, then I apologize up front.

 

 

Edited by Airwolf

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Thanks JV, appreciate you giving this some consideration.

 

If its just about data transfer costs, could we have a seasonal LOD15 download, maybe priced differently and with a free download limit for the ortho part of the scenery? (which would be overwhelmingly the biggest part of the scenery).

 

For example I am still using the exact same folder installation for my current Horizon GenX photoscenery that I once installed for FSX back in the day.  Its never needed updating at all.  So I expect I'd only ever need to redownload the autogen/POI parts of TE-UK as and when they were updated by OrbX with newer content.

 

Id rather compromise on the free lifetime download guarantee and pay a little more if I need to download the whole package again rather than accept lower scenery resolution.

 

A product option that facilitated this would be perfect for me, if possible please?!.  As long as the install logic is clever enough to allow it, I can pretty much guaranteee I'll use less data bandwidth with a seasonal LOD15 product only than people will having both single seasonal LOD15 AND seasonal LOD14. :)

Edited by kevinfirth
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Of the 2 options I would say Option 2 (LOD 14). Seasons would be of benefit but not sure if that includes ground imagery of winter tiles with snow, or brown grass in the spring etc. 

Edited by Matthew Kane

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Brilliant JV!  I went from not purchasing. TE (because lack of seasons to potentially buying TWO copies. Lol). Kudos to you and your company. It’s evident you’ve put a lot of thought into this. Giving customers choices without bankrupting the company will hopefully be a win/win for everyone.  

 

I would definitely purchase the LOD14 option if available.  Thank you, for the compromise.  

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I would also like to know if option 2 includes snow... and if it does it might be an option to maybe just change the tree textures for every other season and for winter include snow textures for the imagery and trees ? this might be a way to keep the size down.

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First, thanks a lot for listening to your customers' wishes and trying to satisfy all of us. Highly appreciated!

 

Personally I wouldn't want to get a reduced quality in resolution just to have seasons. But it is always good to have choices.

 

Here are some thoughts, I hope you might want to consider:

 

1. Most certainly both data storage and bandwidth costs will be declining more and more, so you might be able to offer a higher resolution for seasons in the future. So your LOD14 approach might be a good momentarily compromise for those who are eager to have seasons.

 

2. For me, the main problem when talking about seasons and realism is, that the seasons are statically scripted by dates and are independent from the weather. We can have dynamic real time or historic weather in the sim, but we don't have the appropriate dynamic seasonal ground textures. I don't see any gain in realism with a snowy photoreal ground texture in January when at the same time the weather engine sets rain and 10 degrees Celsius.

And I think this will even be more of a problem with photoreal ground than it is with landclass. With landclass the snow coverage can vary throughout the winter. With photoreal that is not possible, is it? It is either snow or no snow all winter. So how are you going to handle this? Are you for example going to put southern England under snow from December to February?

And while this problem is most obvious in winter, the same problem exists in summer. The lush green meadows of early summer are turning brown/yellow after a few hot and dry weeks. How can this be depicted for the sim?

 

As long as the seasonal ground textures are static and inappropriate for the weather I don't care too much for seasons at all because sometimes they even reduce the realism.

 

3. So how about even more flexibility for the user?

You could offer each season separately, and both in a light version at LOD14 at a reduced price and a full version at LOD15. So everyone could choose what he thinks he needs.

For example the difference between spring and summer might be so subtle that one wouldn't want to pay extra for spring and rather use summer textures for spring also. Whereas fall with its colours and winter with its snow make more of a difference.

Also one could be satisfied with LOD14 in winter when the snow coverage doesn't leave much details anyway, whereas LOD15 is used for the rest of the year.

Or you choose to only use summer and winter for Southern California, where there isn't such a significant change over the year, but all seasons for Washington.

 

4. The user should be able to choose which texture set he wants to use. There could be an option to assign texture sets to dates, but even more important there could be an option to choose the texture set for every flight, independent from the date. So the user could choose the texture set which seems to be most appropriate for the current weather. For example use fall textures in January when there is no snow in the real world.

As it is now the only way to avoid snowy ground textures is to set a different date, but I don't like that mostly because that also changes the time of sunrise / sunset. This problem would be solved if the texture set could be chosen freely.

Not sure if this is possible, in particular because the autogen still has to suit the ground textures at least to some extent of course.

Maybe it is also possible to choose the tree colours to be used. This would also solve the problem where trees are changing colours much too early in fall (beginning of September in the sim instead of mid of October in reality).

 

 

Edited by RALF9636
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This is excellent news!

 

I thoroughly appreciate the listening to customers' feedback and giving us this choice.

 

It has turned me from being unlikely to purchase TE GB to definitely buying both versions (LOD15 summer and LOD14 seasons).

Everyone wins in this case, the single season users get the highest image fidelity, those who want seasons get a very respectable compromise and some of us fortunate ones get the option of both.

 

While the colour of the ground in the UK is affected mostly by the weather (sustained period of rain, 'drought conditions', frost, occasional snowfall), there is a difference in colours to be represented by defined seasons.

 

Anyway, it's only right that those who want the 'additional feature' of seasons pick up the extra cost and I have no trouble in paying more for the increased demand on ORBX's resources for such an unrivalled range of photo scenery.

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John Venema's candor regards business practicality and community engagement is commendable and refreshing. I've previously had photo-real terrain products from other vendors in the past and I can see the appeal although the seasonal variation issue was a drawback.

 

I've been reluctant to venture into ORBX's True Earth product line so far mainly as I fly Australia and US mostly but I will closely consider the up coming PNW TE when it arrives.

 

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On the topic not breaking the companies download costs - Given I'm mid-PC refresh - and have now downloaded 240G in the past week from Orbx, P3d, Xplane, and DCS, one question that I've just got to ask (which could be a complete 101), is Torrenting downloads in the same way DCS does an option to reduce download feeds?

 

With the DCS torrents in action I'm constantly seeing the link fully utililised which is happiness when building a new PC :) 

 

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Amazing news John, really appreciate you effort. I would be definatly in if it is possible to get TE seasons even at LOD14. 

So, credit card is waiting :-)

 

carsten

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I'm quite happy with no seasons, just go with the most 'typical' representation of a location I guess.  At the end of the day, I trust that ORBX can and will make the most logical decision around this.

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Gave my thoughts here: 

 Looking at your option JV maybe LOD 15 and shaders/trees for seasons in GB and similar temperate areas with deciduous trees, and LOD 14 where seasons would require different textures i.e. NA and Eastern Europe because of snow. I guess the questions should also be put to customers - how mush would you spend on storage to get what you want - I'd imagine this to be the limiting factor for most. Thanks for presenting the options to us, much appreciated.

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Personally, no seasons is fine with me. I mostly just want to fly around looking at places, and you can see them better in summer anyway. A suggestion - could ORBX use FTXCentral to gather data from all the user base if this is considered a potential real issue? Something along the lines of "are you considering buying TEGB for P3D?" and if the response is "yes" then "would a lack of seasons affect your decision to buy TEGB P3D?" This way you could get a more accurate picture of the feeling about this, rather than basing it on the possibly more vociferous campaigning that can occur via the forum - and that's not a dig at anyone, but it's always the case that people who feel more strongly about something are more likely to want to make their views heard.

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John,

 

Fantastic that OrbX listens to the community. The option of 2 different products for those that want it is a great plan. I myself would prefer the seasons option.

 

Keep up the great work!

 

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Snow to me in the UK is really irrelevant, I do like the current P3D settings with ORBX where you can definateley tell the difference between spring / summer / autumn, yellow fields, greener grass, change of tree color..

LOD14 looks good to me and I am guessing it is only really noticeable and lower altitudes.

Glad we are having this discussion though, it makes sense to sound out your customer base.....

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Hi John

 

I would be happy with either option but would prefer seasons. I was holding back from getting TE GB hoping you could implement seasons.

 

Thanks for all the great products you deliver.

 

Best wishes

 

Ray

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Thank you for listening John.  LOD 14 with seasons would be my preferred choice.   I must admit I was disappointed to have such beautiful scenery and then not have the changing seasons.  

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