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John Venema

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

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PLEASE don’t take a decision that delays release any further. I have been waiting for this for what seems like an eternity! No seasons and release sooner if any delay will result is my preference please.

 

Edited by ampharoah

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For me it depends which area I fly in. For GB and (if it is ever made) Germany I'd choose the higher resolution summer only product. But if I want to fly in Alaska or Northern Idaho, I'd like to have seasons. On a side note, I only recently started flying in winter and bad weather conditions because the new precipitation effects in P3D V4 are just great compared to what we had before. I did a flight from Glacier Park to Bozeman at dawn with one of the ORBX bad weather  themes and it was just great to taxi along the snow covered runways with the snowflakes whirling around me and then seeing the sunrise above the clouds as I gained altitude and I wouldn't want to lose that. For the Rhine Valley area in Southern Germany where I live with the five days of snow we get each year I'd go for the higher resolution summer only product. 

Edited by fabs79
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Simming for us all , is  a very personal thing, no 2 people enjoy our hobby the same way.

 

Personally I found thrueearth UK to be spot on, it gave a good level of ortho definition along with a good level of detail. Having previously scanned most of Europe at level 17 or better I found that level 17 best met my what I wanted as it is always a trade off between file size and detail.

 

I am not interested in seasons as most depictions of snow etc are pretty poor and detract from the enjoyment so given the trade off of poorer definition and huge file size I would much prefer the one season and decent quality, Especially after having just spent 5 days and many aborted attempts to download UK central , I would imagine trying to download a file of some 360 GB's would end up giving all of us grey hairs, and i havent even thought about the cost to you the developer, 

 

However I think the best way to gauge peoples desires is to send an email to all of your customers and poll them

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This is probably the best case of customer care I've ever seen. If anyone still had any doubt about the degree to which JV and the team are a real quality act it should be gone now. I'm simply speechless......................Doug 

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John Wrote: 

Quote

Compare the size of a 5-seasons TE product like TE Netherlands for P3Dv4

 

 

Just wondering what the 5th season  will be like ?

Spring, Summer, Autumn, Winter and ?? 

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BradB's video of the Mach Loop shows why I believe there's a clamour for seasons.

 

You can see the difference in colour tones over the course of the year. Add in different growing stages across farmland (pre-harvest yellows and golds and bare ground browns in January/February) and you can see why using only shaders over lush early summer greens wouldn't be as convincing.

Edited by F737NG
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My main 3 things I still fly P3d is the high fidelity planes, weather and seasons. So for me I will only will buy scenery in p3d wich has seasons. I bought the Netherlands tough because I live there. I remember in the day the slogan as real as it gets from fsx. No seasons means it is a step further back from reality.

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Personally I'm still very much a fan of landclass based FTX regions, paired with photo coverage of notable POIs, as ORBX has done it for years. Full photo coverage of entire countries is a nice idea, but as long as it is that much of a hit on hardware resources I'm just not convinced it is the way to go. For years ORBX has done the perfect mix with FTX Regions landclass based, plus an airport scenery with extended high-res photo coverage. Best of both worlds in my opinion.

 

 

That being said, IF I buy TE Britain, then I will only do so with seasons, don't mind the reduced LOD quality. Having seasons is paramount in this case. Simply because of airport add-ons having their seasons in use, how awful it would be to fly over summer textures only to find the destination airport in autumns brown or worse, covered in snow with an abrupt transition between the two. 

So if this is the only possible solution, seasons but with LOD14 instead of 15, I'd take it!

 

However IF for some reason the season version will not be done, then perhaps the landclass based regions of Britain could be upgraded instead? They have never been of the highest quality compared to other FTX regions, so a paid V2 version upgrade I would buy in a heartbeat. 

 

 

In any case, having seasons is must have for me, whatever the technology used to achieve this will be.

 

 

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We don't want to see ORBX bankrupt so whatever keeps your business alive and your customers happy!:D

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My take is use the highest resolution, as VFR will likely fly low n slow.

 

BUT..... just have 3 seasons....

 

Summer,

Autumn,

...............and a "semi hard" winter.... snow on peaks throughout, and covering ground from Leeds upwards...... rest just brownish and dirty.... i.e. a normal winter.

 

So South would be just normal winter, Wales has snow on mountains, and from Yorkshire upwards, snow everywhere, except coastal regions.... this is similar to what you did with Norway .... which is awesome !

 

That would come in at 200 GB. (Which I believe is what you are aiming at ?)

 

(P.S. if finances is the issue, why not just let people pay for each season, and let them make the choice. Then you cover your distribution costs by building it in.

This choice would make the entire thing more attractive and you would sell more of the basic (Summer) package, covering your fixed (i.e. 'sunk'costs of producing the entire range), and then the charge for additional seasons would cover the marginal costs, which would essentially be, the distribution costs.)

Edited by Gabe777
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Happy new year John and thank you for this added insight.It is great to hear that trees will adjust to seasons., Also, that will make a season solution my preferred choice and consistently match your entire product base with rrgions despite of a lower texture resolution In any case with or without seasons this will be a magnificent product. 

 

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Would be good to see the same shots for different seasons based on option 2 compared to option 1.

 

I'm fine with you charging more for extra seasons at full res though!

 

However, one thing you can do to help reduce your costs is use a better compression algorithm! Currently you use distribute zip files containing zip files. You can do much better than zip. For example, I just downloaded the FTX Wales zip file, which is 2.235GB. I unzipped it and then recompressed with LMZA2 using a large dictionary size, and the resulting file size is 1.734GB. 

 

Just saved you 25% of "well in to 6 figures" :P

 

You'll probably get different results for photo imagery, but it still could be better. The best you could do would be to get LM to add an additional compression method in BGL files. E.g. something more JPEG like (ideally with GPU acceleration) rather than LZ77/LZ78 - then you'd massively reduce the amount of data needed to be stored on disk too!

 

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I don´t think I would buy it anyway, mainly because I think TE regions have still a lot to improve, but for sure I would ask for different seasons, not only summer in case I decide to buy it.

Cheers, Ed

 

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I'd certainly hold out for a full five-season product. To the extent that I fly seriously at all, the seasonal differences and real-world weather make a big difference to the experience. If distribution is the main barrier, I wonder if might be time to consider shipping the base products on SSD or even SD media.

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Thanks for the detailed information.

 

I can't imagine PNW and PFJ without seasons (and I am dreaming of their TE version - including Tongass Fjords..)

 

Gérard

 

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Thanks for the great summary and discussion, JV.

 

My opinions:

  • I fly predominantly VR, so LOD 14 is just fine for me at this stage.
  • I always fly with the sim set to current date and season, so seasons are important to me.
  • Inclusion may be dependent on region - GB south and Netherlands probably don't need seasons whereas CA/OR/WA and north it would be essential for me.

THANKS!

sg

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I put a separate suggestion over in the support forum, but what if you built BitTorrent into FTX Central to help with the data load?  I wouldn't mind helping seed as long as I could control the share of my connection that it uses.

 

I almost always fly in current weather or at least less than one week ago weather, so I'd like seasons. Plus Autumn is so pretty it would be a shame to not have it.  Winter I see enough of out my window already so I don't care about it as much... :P

 

The pix you guys are sharing look great, so I'm looking forward to getting this when it's ready!  \o/

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I think we need a bit more information regarding what exactly these seasons will contain within them ie. snow and how far south arctic like weather will be depicted, also winter in the UK isn't straight forward, I live in the North of England you'd think that we'd get a fair amount of snow, on the hills, yes they do but lower down near to the coast we hardly get any, there has been plenty of occasions where the North haven't had snow while the south have.

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I would like Option 2 TrueEarth GB South LOD14 Seasons Edition

 

Personally I like seasons, it's a huge deal for me as it creates more immersion, I like it to be as real as possible and it would be boring with just one season.  

 

And JV, I do appreciate you taking the time to listen to your customers and ask for feedback, not too many companies do this.

 

I would pay a yearly subscription fee for downloading if I had to.  And as it stands I seldom have to reinstall everything.

 

No matter what happens I'll be buying because despite there being a plethora of airports out there I like Orbx's style, I like the way Orbx delivers via Central, their support, no one else does this.

 

Thanks.

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One more thing : I think that a lower resolution photo ground is less obvious the higher the autogen density is, and if a large percentage of the area is covered with autogen you can won't even notice the difference that much. The upcoming HD Buildings product is would probably improve the visual quality even more, so I guess you'd hardly notice the lower resolution ground imagery when you are looking at highly detailed autogen most of the time. 

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Does a download of ever increasing size have to happen?

Could we move to the scenery made permanently available from a server instead? Or does this introduce software-as-a-service licensing complexities?

Just a thought.:DeadHorse:

 

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13 minutes ago, Richard McDonald Woods said:

Does a download of ever increasing size have to happen?

Could we move to the scenery made permanently available from a server instead? Or does this introduce software-as-a-service licensing complexities?

Just a thought.:DeadHorse:

 

You'd still be downloading, plus everybody else, too.  And then doing it every time we fly.  Be lots slower to load as we fly, too.  And I don't think P3D is set up to pre-load in advance enough to make slower loading work nice anyway?  And also if our Internet is down, we can't use it...  :'(

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LOD14 for me - I don't want to fly between different countries: one with seasons and one with summer only

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Somehow funny. Usually everybody is begging for the best resolution possible, HD, 4k, etc., etc. and here the majority is opting for LOD14 against LOD15.

Was it possible to see lower level comparison shots between 14 and 15, so that the differece actually can be seen? Thanks.

Edited by wolfko

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1 minute ago, wolfko said:

Somehow funny. Usually everybody is begging for HD, 4k etc., etc. and here the majority is opting for LOD14 against LOD15.

Was it possible to see lower level comparison shots between 14 and 15, so that the differece actually can be seen? Thanks.

look at the first Post from John, there are some comparisions to look at. 

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Just now, FireRx said:

look at the first Post from John, there are some comparisions to look at. 

 

Yes but from a flight level you cannot see the difference between LOD14 and LOD15.

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26 minutes ago, wolfko said:

Somehow funny. Usually everybody is begging for the best resolution possible, HD, 4k, etc., etc. and here the majority is opting for LOD14 against LOD15.

Was it possible to see lower level comparison shots between 14 and 15, so that the differece actually can be seen? Thanks.

Only because the choice JV posted was a binary one.  Add in a choice of lod15 seasons but pay more, or give up unlimited downloads and pay the marginal cost of data transfer each time you need to redownload the ortho bgls... who knows - I think there’s room in the market for more than the 2 options JV put out there but it’s his business and his call at the end of the day what he wants to sell :)

 

Edit: having seen even the example images at size now, I wouldn’t be able to accept 2.4m/pp imagery.  If these are the only choices available I would only be interested in the lod15 product.  But I’d pay double or more for lod15 seasons :p

Edited by kevinfirth
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My question as to whether or not Option 2 would include snow doesn't appear to have been answered, sorry if I missed it. Therefore I would simply respond that if snow is not supported in this change then the full range of potential winter weather won't be possible and I will therefore use TE at other times than deep winter, whereupon I will enable the applicable legacy FTX region that allows for all possibilities. I would favour higher resolution if seasons cannot be fully supported including snow.

Edited by Catalysis

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Been swimming since the subLOGIC days.

It probably was LOD -O, but I felt the magic.

LOD 14 with seasons is good enough for me.

 

Edited by ramonb

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37 minutes ago, ramonb said:

Been swimming since the subLOGIC days.

It probably was LOD -O, but I felt the magic.

LOD 14 with seasons is good enough for me.

 

I've been swimming for over 70 years...................:D

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Good point John.

For me personally I'd see one texture and then trees above it.

I don;t mind at all since I mostly fly in spring and summertime.

But I must say that you fall example doesn't look too bad.

 

Or... someday someone finds a way to do it with shaders.

 

My 2 cents,

Ben.

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