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John Venema

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

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Great discussion and thanks orbx for the opportunity to have our say. After reading a high percentage of the topic I really don’t know which way to go. What is clear is that Orbx are the best in the business for both inovation and Customer relations. Cudos to you.

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Would it not be possible only to make seasons in LOD15 only at specific areas where it makes sense? That should shrink the size of a TE product with LOD 15 summer only - hybrid winter dramaticly.

 

For example in California it doesnt make sense to provide 5 seasons over the whole state. You will never have snow in the Los Angeles or San Diego area. Most of the trees not even let the leaves fall. So in this case not even Spring and Fall would make sense to me, you can control that over "ORBX Trees".

 

But a few miles inland its another story. At Big Bear for example or the natural parks such as Yosemite you have alot of snow and a full fall and spring season. So that would be the question here if you cannot just stay at LOD15 for California but "winterize" only parts in it would make sense.

 

Of course if you go to places like TE Germany or Norway, it has to be a LOD14 5-season product, otherwise it would be a non starter for me, since both countries have "dramatic" seasons.

Edited by HiFlyer99
messed around with LOD14 and LOD15 lol
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Having Just been pointed to this, I want my cake and eat it,  :) Seasons are very important to me. 

 

If both were avaliable, I would get them both, LOD14 with Seasons and LOD15 Summer.

 

I notice that Torrents and Peer to Peer downloading was mentioned as a possible solution to the download costs, not sure if this would work with a 8:1 ratio between download:upload for most of us.

 

The only addons I have that uses the old P3Dv4 config file is Orbx. Lorbi SI Addon manager is a great way to manage add ons, I am tempted to convert all my Orbx to xml addon format.... but have resisted the temptation as I am not sure of the consequences re FTX Central 3? 

 

A big thank you JV and team, first class customer relations for letting us put our thoughts across, appreciate it. Look forward to see whats coming along in future developments.

 

ATB

Roger

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Been away for a while from this thread....

 

I am confused - I thought there is going to be all seasons slightly lower lod version for TE products.  Is that on the back burner for now?

 

I really can not tell the difference between lod 14 and 15.  

 

All seasons with slightly lower LoD is huge winner for me

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I cant tell the difference from the screen shots either TBH.. except if you look at the lines on one of the fields, they are straight lines and not zig zag lines..

Edited by Ace-9
typo.

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Late to the party but wanted to add my opinion on the matter.

 

Personally, I'd vastly prefer the LOD14 option, as the difference seems negligible. I hate to even say it, as it comes off as condescending and unappreciative of the fantastic work that is being done but I wouldn't buy a P3D product that didn't feature seasons. One of P3D's key selling points, for me, is seasons and the consistency of the world. All the products, at least in your line-up, despite being at vastly different 'quality levels' from Global up to / down to TE level, all share a similar feel and consistency that increase the immersion factor.

 

I'd hate it, if that selling point would slowly be eroded by going forward with summer only textures in future products, meaning you'll fly across a snow-covered or bleak looking terrain, in heavy snow and slush and then suddenly, boom, green fields as far as the eye can see.

 

There was talks about offering two products, one at LOD15 and one at LOD14, which I think is a good approach in terms of costs. Say you bought both, would it be possible to mix them together? So LOD15 when you choose summer in-sim and then LOD14 with all other seasons, or do all the textures have to fit within the same LOD level?

 

 

Edited by Sethos

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This has cropped up again in the AVSIM forum with a link to this thread so let me continue..... I will not buy a product that does not have seasons.  As pointed out, it doesn't add much to SoCal but SoAK makes a major difference in the simulation experience.  The data download costs is something that can be carefully looked at by a qualified communications engineer (and am a communications engineer but perhaps not qualified) to figure out something that will reduce your exposure to risk such as creating incremental or micro updates rather than downloading the entire product and of course you already do include the initial download data charge in cost of product.  You get to charge more for seasons and increase your net based on same or better margins.

 

Again, there are two reason why I won't move to XPlane.  First because I beta tested the DC-6 in XP10 and didn't like it.  Second, no seasons.  For me it is a show stopper.

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Seasons in P3D v4.4+ is:

1.  Terrain changes

2.  Tree/Vegetation changes

3.  Frozen surfaces

4.  Scripted/conditional runway surfaces (visual and physical change to traction/rolling resistance)

5.  Runway closure and/or open based on season

6.  Different environmental objects (people, cars, trains, boats routes, etc.) based on seasons

7.  Doing a long haul flight from one country that is in Summer while landing at another country that is winter (same calendar date) 

 

Having "seasons" is MUCH more than just adding a white adjustment layer to a summer base texture or attempting shader based snow, seasons is core to P3D/ESP product.  To ignore it seems like a lost business  opportunity ... or a gain for competitors.  I understand that some are summer only fliers of which they can simply set P3D date time to summer.  But for those that want more like myself, I see a demand that could be filled.

 

Cheers, Rob.

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I think the best way to implement seasons is by using shader techniques to change the textures based on the time of year.

 

The current method of using different textures for each season and then displaying them based on the extremely coarse and inaccurate month of the year scheme is just not the way forward in my opinion.  Not to mention the quadrupling of storage requirements in order to add textures for every season.

 

Dave

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I would rather have the LOD 14 with seasons. They are a major factor where I fly ( mostly Canada). Perhaps you offer both and charge separately if people would like to have both versions.

Larry

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I'm all-in for seasons.
I chose to buy the whole  Global Range + all OpenLC + all Europe Regions during May sale (yeah, basically a big part of my paycheck...) and only invested in TrueEarth Netherlands because it supports seasons.

 

As I am myself a software engineer, I perfectly understand the tough amount of work required to support seasons in such photoreal sceneries (source data, processing, coding) and also the bandwidth / storage huge needs.

LOD14 + seasons would be fine for me too.

 

I am honestly not willing to put a single dollar in products without seasonal support.

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Hi All,

 

A no season product is a no go for me: less challenge to fly, less accurracy.

A scripted solution to get the best of photo scenery would be the best for me because less resolution (LOD 14 vs 15) is perhaps a kind of pity today.

Just my thoughts^_^

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I live in Scotland where the seasons have a huge effect on the landscape. The True Earth GB scenery is very impressive but I will not buy if there is only one season, if all seasons can be accommodated with a slight drop in detail then that surely is the best option.

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I had assumed Orbx was seasonal on P3D, pretty new to it after switching from FSX. Gutted to discover summer is same as fall .. for a fix, take my money?

 

That said, with FS2020 around the corner I guess development will steer down another path. 

 

Edited by acidbottle

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1 hour ago, John Venema said:

With FS2020 around the corner, it won’t have seasons either :)

 

Probably because the benefit of seasons is mostly seen in certain climate zones.

For many countries in a hot climate zone like for example Vietnam, seasons wouldn´t make that much of a visual difference (due to the lack of snow) as for Great Britain or Germany.

 

By the way I think many people are/would be interested in a very high quality Vietnam scenery.

 

Edited by X4711
added quote

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1 hour ago, X4711 said:

...for example Vietnam, seasons wouldn´t make that much of a visual difference (due to the lack of snow) as for Great Britain or Germany.

 

this days it makes no sense, never seen snow in germany for years now, talk about climate change  ;)

 

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45 minutes ago, Nedo said:

this days it makes no sense, never seen snow in germany for years now, talk about climate change  ;)

 

Speak for yourself. But last winter was one of the snowiest in years.

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If MSFS comes without seasons, the more reason to have seasons in TE.

I want to use my P3D ski airplanes on frozen lakes in Scandinavia and NW America.

Edited by dilo

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The season topic has been aired almost to exhaustion. I don’t wish to add a 5Tb SSD (or larger) to accommodate TE GB, Scandinavia and N America etc.  LOL

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8 minutes ago, bruce e said:

The season topic has been aired almost to exhaustion. I don’t wish to add a 5Tb SSD (or larger) to accommodate TE GB, Scandinavia and N America etc.  LOL

 

I guess then that even TE with summer only is not for you.

I already have a 6TB drive with 512GB V-NAND SSD. LOL.

Edited by dilo

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1 hour ago, dilo said:

 

I guess then that even TE with summer only is not for you.

I already have a 6TB drive with 512GB V-NAND SSD. LOL.

Not so, I have TE GB south & will buy TE Scotland but perhaps that is as far as I will go. I have all of Orbx Norway, Germany ,US,  AUS & NZ etc Thoughts of upgrading to seasonal TE for these regions, when available, make my mind boggle     LOL

Looking forward to Open LC Africa

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Seasons is why I will probably hold of MSFS I am so used to seasons over the years I would miss them, and I have not purchased TE GB as I do mostly IFR, Paris to Heathrow in winter would look odd.

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I love seasoning, so it's LOD14 for me...  Single-season-only TE was a deal-breaker for me, as I enjoy seasonal variety.
Besides, what's TE Colorado without snow?  ;-)

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On 10/26/2019 at 9:39 AM, John Venema said:

With FS2020 around the corner, it won’t have seasons either :)

At the moment - but you might imagine a situation where the application of machine learning to a few images could rapidly colourise and amend the imagery on a per season basis.

 

You might not need too much source imagery per region taken in each season to produce an accurate algorithm to produce accurate per season results....

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1 hour ago, mc.johns137 said:

At the moment - but you might imagine a situation where the application of machine learning to a few images could rapidly colourise and amend the imagery on a per season basis.

 

You might not need too much source imagery per region taken in each season to produce an accurate algorithm to produce accurate per season results....

 

True, I even think a lot can be done with shaders only. But imagery is not the only thing, there are frozen/icy surfaces too that should affect start and landing. 

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On 10/26/2019 at 9:39 AM, John Venema said:

With FS2020 around the corner, it won’t have seasons either :)

Not according to the Flightsim audio interview posted recently by renault in the ms2020 post running in this sub-forum, John.

18 minutes in MS say the engine is capable of seasons, including snow, frozen water and tree colour.

They say it won’t be ready in the first release, but is listed as next after VR in their current priority.

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