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


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Never let it be said that Orbx does not listen to its customers. We most certainly do, and with regard to the lack of seasons in TE GB for P3D, let's have a discussion about it openly and in consultat

Maybe I've been using X-Plane too long, but even in FSX (when that was my main sim), I never bothered flying in anything but summer. One of the biggest problems I had with western Europe was that it c

Hi John,   Didn't mean to evoke emotion over buy or no buy based on seasons ... I want to buy, I want season, I want the option, I'll pay the premium for a premium product.  I understand the

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Option 2 is perfect.  If, as someone above suggested, that this means a yearly download fee, that would be fine.  I realize that a-la-carte featuring is impossible, but you can't please everyone all the time. :)

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Yesterday I made a flight out of Southampton, using the current Orbx England and EGHI sceneries. It was a sparkling winter wonderland as far as the eye could see, which rather belied the +10C warmth of the actual weather.

 

With the exception of events such as 'the Beast from the East', such weather conditions are a rarity across most of England, and we generally number yearly snow days as "maybe a handful but it's gone by lunchtime". To my mind, having a hard winter season is less convincing than just having Summer. But I also like the  changes of the other seasons.

 

So far I like the look of the Lod14 samples we've been shown, and I'd probably opt for the five-seasons build (I can always change the date if I don't want to fly over snow!). However I'd be equally happy with one season of Lod15 if that was the decision.

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Thanks for the screen shots JV. I'm not seeing a huge difference resolution wise from P3D TE NL. Is that correct? Thinking about this I do tend to do a lot of low and slow so I might tend toward higher resolutions.

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If going for option 1 makes a release for Aerofly FS 2 more probable (because it may be easier to convert everything) than please go for option 1. B) If it doesn't make any difference, pick any option you like.

 

Personally (if I'd still be flying in P3D and still be buying scenery for it) I'd pick option 1 too: resolution is low enough already as it is and I wouldn't want it any lower.

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6 hours ago, Marhoog said:

John Wrote: 

 

 

Just wondering what the 5th season  will be like ?

Spring, Summer, Autumn, Winter and ?? 

 

As far as I can see this question hasn't been answered yet: the 5th season is hard winter, so with snow. 'Regular winter' is without snow.

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4 minutes ago, Jimmy Chan said:

If download cost is an issue, why do you guys put it on steam/epic/whatever store and let them take care of the bandwidth cost?  

 

-J

 

 

 

So you think Steam offers their service for free to developers...? They don't. Someone has to pay for (a.o.) the bandwidth cost and it sure won't be Steam. It probably would cost Orbx even more to release everything on Steam.

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I opt for option 2 as I like the seasonal variations of flying into mountain resorts in the summer and ski resorts in the winter.  For my home area, California, I'd probably buy both offerings giving me the pleasure of flying low in the summer at a higher resolution.  I think it comes down to how you use your sim; for me I'll buy everything in North America.

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THe more I see these screenshots the more for LOD 14. 

 

Seasons has always been an option from MSFS 5.x back in 1993 through to P3D we have today, and to not have seasons for a small portion of the world in TrueEarth would be a mistake as it would be out of sinc with the rest of the world. The Screenshots look fantastic and Seasons are a requirement as they have always been since 1993

Edited by Matthew Kane
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2 hours ago, John Venema said:

There have been several suggestions for optional or 'a la carte' style seasons installations so you can pick and choose etc. Sorry, but P3D does not work that way. The seasonal variations baked into the photoreal terrain are all compiled into single BGL files which you cannot separate. So if you want five seasons you need to have them all inside the BGL. If you want only summer and winter then that would be a completely different set of BGLs to build.

 

 

Thanks for clarifying.

 

In that case I would vote for a third option: Seasons at LOD15 at a higher price.

 

I might accept LOD14 with a freeware product but not with a Full Orbx Region.

 

I'm sure there would be a lot of people who would be willing to pay the price for premium quality and take care for the storage requirements themselves (the costs for SSDs are decreasing more and more and that will certainly go on).

 

And premium quality is what Orbx always stood for. Don't give that up.

 

Personally I would rather pay a higher price for LOD15 than spend any money on an LOD14 product.

 

 

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JV said that the difference between LOD15 and LOD14 was really only discernible at 500’ and below.  With my 56 year old eyes, I’m not sure i would be able to tell the difference if two screenshots were put in front of me and I didn’t know before hand which is which.  

 

Maybe I could, but I’m not sure....would be interesting to have a poll to see if one could pick which screenshot is LOD14.  

 

Thanks for the update John. The season screenshot examples look great!

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I agree, the difference between LOD 14 and 15 are too minute, it doesn't make it freeware quality as the difference between quality comes down to the content going into the complete package

 

ORBX should follow Moore's Law and release 14 next and 15 down the road when SSD's and Bandwidth come down even more in price, ORBX could launch 15 when 10TB SSD's are under $300 and the bandwidth is a better price on their servers. 

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19 minutes ago, rcoultas62 said:

JV said that the difference between LOD15 and LOD14 was really only discernible at 500’ and below.  With my 56 year old eyes, I’m not sure i would be able to tell the difference if two screenshots were put in front of me and I didn’t know before hand which is which.  

 

Maybe I could, but I’m not sure....would be interesting to have a poll to see if one could pick which screenshot is LOD14.  

 

Thanks for the update John. The season screenshot examples look great!

 

You will realize the difference, I promise you.

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1 hour ago, Jimmy Chan said:

If download cost is an issue, why do you guys put it on steam/epic/whatever store and let them take care of the bandwidth cost?  

 

-J

 

 

Steam takes a share of the $$ so it will cost lots too.

 

I think building BitTorrent into FTX Central could be a good way to save on data costs, though.  :)

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30 minutes ago, Matthew Kane said:

I agree, the difference between LOD 14 and 15 are too minute, it doesn't make it freeware quality as the difference between quality comes down to the content going into the complete package

 

 

I don't think the difference between LOD14 and LOD15 can be properly judged by low resolution screenshots.

Running the sim at 4K is a different story. The difference between LOD14 and LOD15 becomes obvious - and disturbing - as you descend below approximately 3000 ft.

Most Orbx Airports come with a photoreal surrounding at LOD15 minimum, extending up to LOD17. And there is a reason for that.

 

 

Edited by RALF9636
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I want my cake, and to eat it too (lod15 AND seasons)

   ...But...

i'd rather buy nothing, than live without the season--change (brown/grey earth and yellow grass or bust!)

I use an Ultrawide 3440x1440 monitor, and I AM worried about the drop to lod14, however.

 

if it HAS to be lod14 to get seasons, then a reluctant vote for Option 2 for me.

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21 hours ago, BradB said:

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

Option One for me .

 

John

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Although I like the seasons I do find snow a bit of a PITA when every where in EU seems to be covered in white, esp so when VFR trying to find a grass strip.

 

I think the one season version will be fine for me.

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Love the idea that we’ll have the option of buying both LOD15 Summer and/or LOD14 all seasons. I like to fly low and slow so if I had to choose one or the other I’d have to go for the LOD15 Summer, however I’ll be buying both just to see which I prefer from first-hand experience rather than guessing now. So many thanks for initially offering the two alternatives.

One option that you didn’t mention John would be to offer the five seasons as five individual single season LOD15 sceneries so people could choose to purchase just the one, or more should they wish, with hopefully a 40% cross-grade discount between them.

 

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3 hours ago, Jimmy Chan said:

If download cost is an issue, why do you guys put it on steam/epic/whatever store and let them take care of the bandwidth cost? 

Because they take care of a lot of the money too. Don't expect that these shops work for free.

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12 minutes ago, JohnVulcan said:

 

One option that you didn’t mention John would be to offer the five seasons as five individual single season LOD15 sceneries so people could choose to purchase just the one, or more should they wish, with hopefully a 40% cross-grade discount between them.

 

 

That's what I also suggested. John Venema said this is not how P3D works because all seasons are baked into single bgl-files and so it probably won't happen.

I'm not sure if it really isn't possible. We could have several single season scenery entries and could activate / deactivate them at will. We would lose the automatic season change depending on date that way, but I wouldn't care for that, because the automatic scripted season change isn't appropriate anyway in many cases.

 

 

EDIT: Just saw that John Venema has deleted this statement from his post. So maybe this can be reconsidered?

 

 

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11 minutes ago, RALF9636 said:

 

That's what I also suggested. John Venema said this is not how P3D works because all seasons are baked into single bgl-files and so it probably won't happen.

I'm not sure if it really isn't possible. We could have several single season scenery entries and could activate / deactivate them at will. We would lose the automatic season change depending on date taht way, but I wouldn't care for that, because the automatic scripted season change isn't appropriate anyway in many cases.

 

When you compile the scenery the months that that photoreal scenery will be shown for are part of the parameters you have to specify.  Its therefore hardcoded into the compiled bgls, you cant change it on the fly AFAIK.

 

It would be possible to compile any theoretical combination of seasons for any months but that would be quite a bit of hassle abd I cant see OrbX allowing that many product variations.  Best just to compile a lod15 season set as a third option and charge us accordingly :) 

No one goes bankrupt, everyone gets what they want, revenue maximised, win win win :). Add a bandwidth charge of one or two pounds each additional download for the lod15 seasons option if you like as well, those of us that want the best will probably suck that up without issue to get it.

 

Go on JV, I already bought a new 6tb drive for this stuff, a few more quid is peanuts...

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It might be good to consider a third option to have 5 Season LOD15. Bake the download cost into the price of that product and limit downloads to a certain number per year, perhaps 2 downloads from date of purchase. If a customer wants to download above the limit, then a fair fee can be charged via OrbxCentral. This is the option I would like as I want high resolution and seasons and would be willing to pay for this premier product.

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23 hours ago, Holger Sandmann said:

"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). "

OK, that makes sense of it.  LOD15 has four times the pixels for a given area, which means with five seasons and presumably some pixels used in more than one season the overall size of summer LOD15 and all seasons LOD14 will be around the same.

A great compromise solution.  IMHO LOD15 all seasons could be revisited in a few years time when bandwidth costs have hopefully dropped enough to make it viable for Orbx

To put it another way, at present TE is ahead of its time to be used to its full potential.

 

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I can't tell the difference really; so it's blatantly obvious that OPTION 2 is the better path for all involved.  Please go with LOD14.

 

Also worth noting: 125 knots is right around stall speed in most but not all of the planes I fly in flight sim...

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14 hours ago, F737NG said:

 

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.

Note that as JV points out, there's effectively a third option if you have Orbx trees, which gives you a lot of seasonal variation using just the summer textures.  The only major thing you miss out on is snow.  Perhaps an LOD 14 winter texture could be released as a separate product?

 

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