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Rongor

We mostly see the same scenery since 30 years

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4 hours ago, Rongor said:

 

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I agree a lot with the sentiment of your post and also want to see development of areas away from the usual suspects of the USA and western Europe.
It all comes down to fundamental economics, however.

Flight simming is an expensive hobby. As per the Navigraph FlightSim Community Survey 2018 Results, 50% of respondents spend $300 or less on FS software titles each year. Bearing in mind that I believe Navigraph users represent the 'hardcore' element of the community, willing to pay subscriptions for realism, I think we can say that overall the average simmer spend is likely to be a lot less than this.

Why does this matter? With a limited spend, simmers go for the places that mean something to them - home city scenery, home airport, one of the international big hitters (e.g. New York). With the concentration of payware-buying simmers located in the US, Canada, Australia and W. Europe, demand for scenery outside of these places is limited. With developers chasing the same small market, we've had and we will get multiple versions of Barcelona and Tenerife South plus duplicates of Seattle, Chicago, Atlanta, Los Angeles, Zurich, etc, etc.
Yet India, a country with mountains, tropical beaches, deserts, rich forests and home to over 1 billion people, has no payware sceneries for Kolkata, Mumbai, Chennai, or Goa.

That being said, there are some positive signs.
I do believe that there is a semi symbiotic link between 3rd party development projects and ORBX's OLC and regions.
We have seen an increase in quality sub-Saharan Africa airport sceneries being developed (GBYD and FACT in 2018, with HKJK and even a new FAOR expected in 2019) after OLC Africa was announced and New Zealand currently has two larger airport sceneries (NZWN and NZAA) in development after the releases of FTX NZ North and South Islands.

When OLC Africa and OLC Asia minor become available, I think we will see some developers take a chance with scenery in these continents as ORBX will have provided something for simmers to see and stimulate demand for something new.

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I totally agree with all the content of the post. Actually, I'm flying in Asia & Africa, where we can find lots and lots of beautiful places. Not to speak of the Mediterranean basin, (Spain, Italy, Greece, or the Balcans where - for example -, an historical city like Sarajevo is missing a decent airport.

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Thank you very much for this - I dare repeat it - well written and thoughtful post. We should say a big "thank you" to Orbx for their economic bravery to produce titles such as Pula and Dubrovnik, Bilbao and Asturias, Horovice and Kiruna, the OpenLC Continents above all and even for Germany North and South. And yet they are so much needed. And we witness that these are being bought.

 

I don't know why people seemingly always want to do the same kind of flights, I have the strong feeling that I am no exception to the rule. :D Most people like the patrons here at the forum like to fly "low and slow" above their home countries and there's nothing wrong with it. Personally, this is a bit too low and slow for me, at least at the moment. I like to fly high and far. That's a personal taste, and I am as immobile in this regard as the others. The difference is just that my kind of flying requires OpenLC products and big airports, much more than it requires regions or let alone TE areas. I do own 9 regions though (that's the majority of regions even), and the quality of these makes me want to try out another flying style from time to time. Yet patrons like Rodger Pettichord and Dolf demonstrate that it is quite a rewarding experience to go low and slow in OpenLC "only" areas. A scenery product itself incites to flying there, and that's why Rongor is so right with what he states.

 

Did you know that half of the world's population lives in the area that got called "Asia Minor" here, and that's in fact all of Asia except the russophone northern parts? I could imagine that some of those Chinese would be very willing to dive into the hobby and spend some of their hard earned Renminbi. All they need to get excited is a little love from the scenery developers and the possibility to go "low and slow" or whatever they prefer above their home turf. Why should they be flying in PNW? India even has an IVAO section, with freeware airports of reasonable quality. I believe the ever growing Indian middle class would love to see India in Orbx quality. Let alone the Himalayas! More landscape is impossible! I would definitely love it. I wonder if @John Venema ever thought about making an airport somewhere in the outback of the "Terra Incognita"?

 

 

4 hours ago, Buffy Foster said:

Definitely will be nice to have the rest of the OpenLC continents at least.

I have the strong sensation that you - possibly inadvertedly yet quite brutally ;) - confirmed the message that Rongor wanted to send us. For me and a lot of other people the OpenLC regions are not only "nice to have" - they are essential if you don't want to do redeye flying only.

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Very thoughtful piece.  I think one problem with Terra Incognito is the lack of visual resources for developers, who need detailed photography of an area or airport to develop a product.  Fairly easy to find in North American, Europe, Australia, but maybe not as easy to find in Terra Incognito.

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Always wondered why Japan is seems to be left out of development plans. Are there no flightsimmers in Japan to make such a release financially viable? It's a stunning and varied part of the world, and I'd buy a full-fat Japan region!

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I'll add my thanks to Rongor for kicking this off. A well considered piece. I'll stick my two penn'orth in here as it chimes with my personal feelings about simming. For me, this is all primarily a world sim, and the flying is just a convenient way to explore this world and get the best view of it. I also happen to love aviation and maintain the schoolboy interest in the aircraft, but I have no personal desire to master a Jumbo, or even a Cub. If I ever manage a decent landing I'm hugely pleased, and I can understand the thrill of all that, but it's not my primary motivator. I want to see the world! But without all the hassle of airports, crowds of other people, and all the rigmarole of real life. I had years of travelling and I will never do any more.

 

Orbx is what has kept me simming. I only got in to this a few years back as previous earlier attempts to get involved did nothing for me - wire frame graphics and every other sim pre Microsoft Flight just didn't provide an enticing environment for me, given that I'm not bothered about the emulation of the actual flight process. I got involved with FSX when Flight got canned, and even then was on the point of giving up when I discovered Orbx. Since then, I've switched to P3D and also added X-Plane and AFS2, and I now have every bit of scenery Orbx has produced (plus loads of other stuff - OCD!).

 

So, I personally don't have that same long history of visiting the same old places in the USA and Europe. In terms of where I "fly", it comes down to a combination of personal interest and what's available in terms of scenery products. Like I said, I have all the Orbx products, and will almost certainly continue to buy everything they produce - the quality is superb (there are a couple of small areas I think may not be up to the overall standard but they are very minor) - and I also have lots of Aerosoft, DD etc airports/cities. I am very happy to fly around a lot of the USA, as that's where I did most of my real world travel and it's great to go back and take a look at the areas I remember, and as a Brit I am absolutely in love with the whole TrueEarth GB experience - I love it in XP and will still buy it in P3D as well as that way I can explore it with my entire hangar (remember the OCD thing!). I happily cruise around now exploring bits of my homeland that I've either never visited at all, or certainly haven't been able to inspect from 500 - 2000 feet (and that gives you a whole new perspective on a place).

 

But, I am totally driven by the urge to explore my "world" in as much detail as possible. If I'm allowed to fantasise here, I would absolutely love to have True Earth India, or True Earth for parts of China or South East Asia. I would love to have high quality scenery for the Middle East (Lebanon, Israel etc on through to the Caspian). I know there are other sources, and I have some photo scenery for the Middle East and it's ok'ish but it an't Orbx!

 

F737NG's post above talks about the economics of this environment, and I'm sure that's how we've arrived where we are today in terms of coverage, but as Captain Lars points out, there's a huge and increasingly prosperous potential audience/customer base in the less well serviced areas that would possible leap all over any company producing top quality scenery for these areas. As for the Navigraph survey figures - they feel a bit low to me. I guess Orbx will know what its own customer base spends on average, but I'd be surprised if it wasn't higher than that, and I suspect a lot of Orbx users will still be buying other scenery products as well.

 

Anyway, I just want to add my support to what I truly hope may be the start of a movement to open up the less-well-travelled parts of the world to some serious Orbx attention. Ok, I accept I probably won't see True Earth Kamchatka in my lifetime, but maybe some OLC-plus, or more unusual Regions (South Africa, Kashmir, parts of China, Thailand etc) could kick off a whole new game.

 

In the meantime, I'm looking forward to Orland and the rest of TE GB, and of course Africa OLC! Oh, and HD Buildings, and . . .

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Can see your point a bit but know it’s not much but there are 7 Orbx freeware Airports in South America and, and there’s one in Africa.:lol:. I too wish that they would bring out more Regions. Derek.

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Hi guys,

Perhaps I can add a different perspective that might help, but I want to be clear that these are just my own views.  In order to produce an airport worthy of the Orbx name, considerations include whether or not there is an Orbx Region on which to base the airport, the availability of high quality ortho-imagery  at a cost that can be absorbed, the availability at a reasonable cost  of the large number of specialized photos needed to produce the scenery, permissions to take or have someone take these photos,  sometimes the availability of other specialized information, and perhaps as important of all of these is a passion for the particular project and continued love of the process itself.  Making airports is more or less an art form and I don’t think it can be done well without that passion.  The lack of high quality orthoimagery at an affordable cost, the first step, can stop an idea for a project before it gets off the ground.

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I agree with the thought that remaking the familiar rather than expanding the base seems like the lesser option. But I am also keenly aware that JV and team must always have the first priority of staying in business. And what sells is what funds everything else. I also am keenly aware that JV and team seem to me to be constantly trying to expand the availability of ORBX scenery in the several platforms now popular with the majority of simmers. We may not have a full-fat Japan, as many of us would enjoy, but those of us who fly P3D and X-Plane do have the ORBX scenery now coded for our systems to generous measure. That cost ORBX Big Bucks! And is probably the better business decision for the overall flight sim community. So, I guess what I'm saying is that I appreciate the approach ORBX is taking, even though I am definitely one of those who would rather see "terra incognita" more fully developed rather than have an upgrade of Puget Sound. I have faith -- JV and his crack team will get me to full-fat Kyoto one of these days. In the meantime, the general OLC regions look pretty good and the more incognita of the terra are not all that bad either.

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I agree with sentiments expressed by @Rongor and spend a lot of time in "other" world regions.  2 years ago I posted pics and said I was flying mainly in Japan as I found it to be the new PNW but of the East. One of the unfortunate things about the sims on offer is the very basic default scenery especially in the areas of the world mentioned by Rongor.  You will find that the default scenery is far more developed for US and EU and then slides into mediocrity the further east you go with the exception of a few landmark places like HK and excluding AUS and NZ to a degree. To compensate for the lack of developers scenery for these areas i have taken to Ortho scenery. The Ortho4XP is also available for P3D and as a temporary measure I have created Ortho files for several world areas. Yes it takes a lot of storage space but a regular HDD is sufficient to run these Orthos with no real lag.

It is the best remedy i can think of until for example we can get a TE Japan.

Here is a pic of an area around Kagoshima on the southern tip of the Japanese Islands. So what I am saying is that until we can get a truly professional version like an Orbx one, of some of the lesser known areas, there is a way to deal with the situation. The use of Ortho is strictly for personal, non commercial use unless licensed and authorised by the provider. Hence the six figure costs that JV talks about regarding TE imagery. There is nothing to stop you as an individual though from using available imagery. The quality varies in as much as you may well get colour mismatch and poor Overlay depiction (autogen and tree placement) but you can always have it without an overlay as in my pic below. This highlights the truly great work by Orbx in their TE offerings which has painstakingly removed any cloud, colour matched and then accurately and manually placed millions of trees and buildings. No  free Ortho to date has such accuracy.

Just offering a type of solution should you wish to have a more realistic scenery in an otherwise poor defaut area of either XP or P3D.

 Click for full screen for best view.

 

HTrqqcP.jpg

 

 

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9 hours ago, Dadtom65 said:

7 Orbx freeware Airports in South America and, and there’s one in Africa

 

5 hours ago, Larry_R said:

In order to produce an airport worthy of the Orbx name

Derek, Larry, just a quick response to say that for me, it's not so much the airports but more the general landscape (built or natural). Airports are fun, and investigating some of the smaller fields on (avatar) foot or via chopper or ultralight is totally enchanting and really does show that these are indeed works of art. But I can spend hours just pootling around in TEGB at the moment without giving much thought at all to the airports/airstrips themselves - I'm too absorbed in the actual landscape. Similarly in California and the PNW regions.

 

57 minutes ago, Rodger Pettichord said:

I agree with the thought that remaking the familiar rather than expanding the base seems like the lesser option. But I am also keenly aware that JV and team must always have the first priority of staying in business. And what sells is what funds everything else. I also am keenly aware that JV and team seem to me to be constantly trying to expand the availability of ORBX scenery in the several platforms now popular with the majority of simmers. We may not have a full-fat Japan, as many of us would enjoy, but those of us who fly P3D and X-Plane do have the ORBX scenery now coded for our systems to generous measure. That cost ORBX Big Bucks! And is probably the better business decision for the overall flight sim community. So, I guess what I'm saying is that I appreciate the approach ORBX is taking, even though I am definitely one of those who would rather see "terra incognita" more fully developed rather than have an upgrade of Puget Sound. I have faith -- JV and his crack team will get me to full-fat Kyoto one of these days. In the meantime, the general OLC regions look pretty good and the more incognita of the terra are not all that bad either.

And Rodger, I agree completely that above all else we need Orbx to prosper and continue. I too have complete faith in them to continue to amaze us - I just think it's a good idea to support the original post. All journeys start with a single step, grasshopper! (or something)

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@andy1252 Totally agree regarding airports. It is what you are flying over that is lacking in detail, not necessarily the place you take off from or land at. Fancy highly detailed airports are true works of art especially some of the smaller Orbx airports like the new EGSG. However, unless the ground features of where the airport is located are realistic or preferably exact, then the detailed airport is incongruous to the basic scenery unless an Orth type TE or at a bare minimum FTX ENG is below and surrounding it.

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While I basically agree, I believe that still 90% of all simmers primarly do want to recreate their real world flights in a certain way or visit places, where they have been in real world. As you say, most of the simmers are based in NA or EU, that's why most of the sceneries cover those regions.

 

Sometimes I also think that at least Asia (in my case) should receive more attention, but then, producing a scenery that no one buys is not that attractive for the devs, no?

 

In my case, the TE product palette shows that pretty nicely: I live in Switzerland and TE Switzerland would be THE scenery I am dreaming of and it would be an instant purchase for me. But the market might be not big enough to be attractive enough for ORBX to go down the route towards a TE Switzerland... So sadly we will see TE products covering regions already covered by ORBX full flat regions for the next years... It is a pity, but I think it is fair enough to accept the decisions of ORBX based on a more economic viewpoint instead of some romantic wishes of few simmers...

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Are we all saying that we would like more Area’s done then to what Orbx is doing at the moment. I believe that’s what we all mean. Plus it would be nice to know what Orbx thinks on this subject. Derek.

Edited by Dadtom65

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Just to say I like all what Orbx have done before, and plus I’m not a developer so I have no idea what’s involved though I did try Gmax was it awhile ago, but is it not possible to create regions now a lot quicker than could be done say a few years ago. Derek.

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I have to agree with Rongor as well. What I love about my simulator is that I can see the world through it. I too have seen "enough" of the NA / EU areas, even though I will continue to fly in those areas regularly, but this is mostly because I want to enjoy the scenery I have paid for. I would happily give out the bucks to expand those horizons.

 

I am enjoying OpenLC South America at the moment and its great to see FlightBeam is going to release Quito airport. It's the first time I've seriously ventured into South America and it is truly exciting to fly onwards and see what's around the next corner. Africa and Asia would undoubtedly provide the same experience. It will be great to see focus shifted into the more adventurous areas that the globe has to offer.  Imagine starting up your 206 and hopping between the lodges in Botswana's Okavango Delta, or following the Zambezi River past the Victoria Falls and Lake Kariba. Namibia would be a lot of fun  too. For the heavier aircraft, South Africa has a lot of routes to try out, both domestic and international.

 

As a real-world pilot, in my previous job I flew a Cessna around South Africa, Zimbabwe, Zambia and DRC. I saw some amazing things and I would love to be able to extend that experience further in the simulator 

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