FS2 Development Progress

  • Hi everyone,


    I'm an avid reader of this forum, soaking up all the gossip, tweaks, previews and, of course, official updates. One thing that consistently amazes me is the frequency of comments from people saying that development progress is slow, or that not enough information is being shared. All I can think is that the people posting these comments have never had any involvement in software development, let alone the complexities of multi-platform game development. I've worked in a software development environment for the last 20 years and I know the time it takes to get things done. I also understand the futility of publishing anything like a road map, as estimating how long it will take to finish a task of unknown complexity is a fool's errand... and will usually lead to disappointment - either initially, if the estimates are generous (realistic!), or later, when delays inevitably arise.


    This is a very active forum, with a lot of direct feedback from those close to, or actually working on the product. That's rare and I can't help feel that the speed of response might actually be spoiling some people and increasing their levels of expectation! In the time I've owned FS2 (since the Early Access days), we've seen new planes, new scenery, new features (front-end and behind-the-scenes), new tools in the SDK, etc. etc. Some of that has, of course, been developed by 3rd parties (Orbx, Aerosoft) but that doesn't mean the IPACS development team weren't involved.


    So, I think we need to give the team a break. I'm sure (or at least I hope) that when people in this forum say things like "progress is slow" and "don't expect any updates soon", that they don't mean to be insulting, but it makes me wince on IPACS' behalf when I read it! Those who understand a fraction of the work that goes in to making this stuff work appreciate that it all takes time and that development and testing effort is usually measured in months, not days or weeks. Look at how long it took the might of Microsoft to attempt a new flight simulator project (Microsoft Flight) and then see how long that lasted!


    We're all looking forward to exciting new toys like ATC, Weather, Helicopters, etc. but we need to be careful not to act like spoiled children at Christmas - ignoring the fantastic toys we already have in the hopes of more to come! We want FS2 to become the world-class, genre-defining product that we've all dreamed of since first taking to the virtual skies on an Apple 2, ZX Spectrum, Atari, Amiga or early PC. That's a huge weight of expectation on this team and everyone needs to be patient. Good things come to those who wait... now, go and play with the toys you already have - they're already really rather remarkable!


    Keep up the good work, IPACS... we're behind you all the way.


    James

  • Hear hear. Incredibly well said. The developers have repeatedly said over and over that they want all the features. Their aim is for every feature to be top notch. It is quite ambitious for such a small team, but what they have achieved thus far is awesome. We should all get behind their ambitious mission to deliver high quality features. Shall we have to wait, we shall wait. For the time being we can enjoy what we have of it.

    - Ashley

    P3D v4 / AFS2 / XP11 | Intel i7-4790K oc'ed @ 4.6GHz | 16GB RAM | 8GB Nvidia GTX1070 | Windows 10 64-bit | Oculus Rift

  • You took the words right out of our mouths. This is indeed very true.

    While we all do our best (especially Torsten and Marc) it still takes a lot of time and dedication. We are all doing one thing or another for the betterment of Aerofly for at least 16 hours a day, every day, and it is very discouraging to put in this kind of effort and get individuals complaining about not pumping out updates fast enough. Personally I wish that there were more hours in the day.

    IPACS Development Team Member

    I'm just a cook, I don't own the restaurant.
    On behalf of Torsten, Marc, and the rest of the IPACS team, we would all like to thank you for your continued support.


    Regards,


    Jeff

  • Hello, everybody.

    I enjoy this simulator, and have respect for the developers.

    I know Sim municipality, come from the Microsoft Flusi scene.

    And also there were many itself the weighted, also about one one

    from free pieces made available his projects as a Freeware for everybody. But then also there it was grumbled still... sometimes....

    I am of those they grumble things also separate itself to speed up to learn to make available this then to others freely. As well as I have always made it.

    If we carry everybody in addition with becomes even better, also the team of Aeroflight will observe this forum with, and also improve your future work here in the course of that and you will take up our ideas and wishes guaranteed.


    Regards

    Uli

    Sorry for the bad Englisch....;);(

  • I agree with a lot that has been said, but as one who formerly owned a flight simulation company, I wish to give a different perspective. It is subjective, which means you do not have to agree with it, but it is an opinion that might have some validity.


    Twenty odd years ago, when my team was developing a new addon for MSFS, we did not tell people about it or preview it, and certainly not release it until it was complete.


    These days, the industry has "early access" and open beta models of development, and, therefore pressure from those involved in those plans to push ahead. This happens regardless of the product or genre.


    Frankly, there may be a case for going back to the old way of doing business. Not saying IPACS should, because the product is out there now, but you cannot have early access development without generating early expectations of perfection, or calls that things are too slow. Sometimes, products are released out of development way too soon. If they cannot compete with the products the market perceives of as being competitors, then perhaps they should not be released yet.


    An opinion only, not a roadmap or criticism of IPACS, but a sincere questioning of current industry marketing practices.


    - Kenneth

  • I think that starting to market FS 2 as no longer being "early access" brings a different level of expectations. If this had been marketed as finished back then I would not have bought it. There is so much missing.


    Having said that, I am glad that I did purchase it. I love the game and play it almost daily. But there is so much more that could be added to the experience.


    Some things, like lack of fuel usage and mixture control, are baffling. Other stuff, like ATC, is obviously very difficult and I expected those to take more time. And some form of realistic looking weather has been overdue since launch. As someone said before, a flight sim without weather is like a boat sim without water. It's 2018, not 1983.


    Again, I love the program and recommend it to all flight simmers.

  • Expectations is the key Oldar. The flight sim genre has grown increasingly complex over the decades. The products I once produced were cutting edge then, but would be laughable now.


    As I see it, IPACS walks one heck of a tightrope between wanting to enter the serious flightsim market, and at the same time being aware that this very market has massive expectations. Maybe it was different when the program was a niche Radio Control simulation, played on tablets. But AFS2 has entered the fray of a very different market segment, and that segment is used to significantly-greater complexity.


    I sincerely hope AFS2 is around for generations, it has the potential, but it also has to battle with a sometimes unforgiving market, a market with large expectations and low patience.


    I fully empathize with Jeff when he wishes for more hours in the day, but we all only have 24 to play with. IPACS is a small team of highly-dedicated professionals that is working itself to capacity. BUT..... If a small team cannot deliver what the market demands on the timescale it expects, no matter how qualified the team may be, no matter how wonderful their product is, then the team must expand through merger, strategic alliance, or increasing the qualified labour force. If a small team does not do this, they will risk burn out, or falling behind the curve of market demand and expectation. This next stage of business development may be every bit as essential to the success of IPACS as is the next stage of product development.


    Sincerely, I wish them all the best in this next stage of development.


    - Kenneth

  • Respect.

    how long lifes MS FSX or much more older Version...was that FS4 ?;)

    This FSX / FS 2004 / FS2009 life ended ...my brain... never ever.


    Let us hope that Lifetime goes also for Aeroflight FS2.

    And now ...what comes in 2 Years with this Sim?


    We show now at future:)

    Regards

    Uli

  • Respect.

    how long lifes MS FSX or much more older Version...was that FS4 ?;)

    This FSX / FS 2004 / FS2009 life ended ...my brain... never ever.

    My first Sim was FS4 around 1991. That was a catch for life. There are guys around starting much earlier.


    Kind regards, Michael

  • (...)The products I once produced were cutting edge then, but would be laughable now.


    Oh yes, there are still some "googlable" traces of aircraft I created for FS5.1 in the mid 90's.

    There was already a kind of editor for FS4.0 but I never got it (I started with FS3.1 after replacing my Commodore C128 with an exciting PC)...


    The advertising for Abacus' FS Design Studio was something like "no limitation but your imagination".

    Actually the compiler systematically crashed if the visual model was heavier than some 40kB.

    Aircraft textures were limited to 256 colors (my very first released aircraft was painted with the 16 colors of Windows Paint, before I could get better tools like Paintbrush).

    At that time one had to use a separate, unofficial Russian tool to animate undercarriage and flaps...


    All my aircraft were then upgraded to the successful FS98 and, to some extent, ported in CFS1 and FS2k.

    As new tools and new techniques became available with FS2k it quickly became useless to try improving my existing models with their flaws from the past. It was time to restart clean from scratch, ... or to quit the time-consuming aircraft design, which I did.


    I've seen somebody converted my DH-100 Vampire up to FSX, I cannot imagine what's the point, since there have been much better designs in the mid-time (My Vampire could however have become an acceptable "lightweight" static or AI model, though).


    Cheers

    Antoine

    Config : i7 6900K - 20MB currently set at 4.00GHz, Cooling Noctua NH-U14S, Motherboard ASUS Rampage V Extreme U3.1, RAM HyperX Savage Black Edition 16GB DDR4 3000 MHz, Graphic Card Gigabyte GeForce GTX 1080 8GB, Power supply Corsair RM Series 850W, Windows 10 64 bit.

    Edited 4 times, last by Trespassers ().

  • I fully agree with the points that have been made in this topic from 'both' sides (if you can actually speak of sides because in the end we are all on the same side here, I believe). However... personally I've come to the conclusion, also after some talk about all this elsewhere, that 1. IPACS knows all the negative points by now, 2. it must be very frustrating to work your ass off all day on this sim and then hear a lot of complaints about progress and things missing, and 3. I don't think it actually helps anyone: nor us, simmers, neither IPACS.


    I myself have been very vocal (and probably quite annoying) in this regard with my constant nagging about the missing weather system and everything else I don't like about AFS2. I decided to stop doing that. (Did I hear Jeff shout HURRAY there...?!? 8o) Now this doesn't mean I will be praising AFS2 into simheaven from now on but constantly posting what's bad about AFS2 is useless and may even hurt development of the sim. I will at LEAST try to be more balanced. Or simply be silent. ;)


    As I said before all my complaining has been done out of love and hope for this sim, I really want it to succeed and become a 'full' sim, but I think just complaining everywhere isn't the way to go forward so I just liked the opening post (EDIT I though I did but apparently I can't like that post...? Well, I agree with it anyway) and I'll do my best to make my future contributions concerning Aerofly FS 2, on this forum and elsewhere, a bit more constructive and positive. ;)


    (EDIT 2 I was able to Like the OP after all. ;) )


    (EDIT 3 I edited my post rather heavily: I removed the quotes and changed a few lines which originally made things look a bit too personal towards some fellow forum members: sorry about that. As I (now) say I do think we all want the best for AFS2. Also sorry for this big edit: this is not something I usually do.)

  • I would be remiss if I didn't at least acknowledge your post here. My reactions weren't meant to frustrate or anger you into disliking how our forums are run. All that I can really say is that everything that you have stated in your posts (though some were written in a negative way) are true and more so the problem is that we know and fully understand.

    It's very frustrating to work day and night on something 7 days a week to end up knowing yourself that it's not fast enough. Even I had to stop a few times to say to myself 'why am I doing this?'. Every one of us here at IPACS has big dreams and expectations of Aerofly and we know that it will get there but we also all want it to be done yesterday and that's just not realistic.

    Every single thing that everyone on here (including you) wants, we do as well, so it's very discouraging to know this but hear complaints about the fact that those things aren't ready yet. It hurts us not helps.

    As for our forums, with everything else aside, this is still a business and for some on the team it's also their only income, so we have to insure that if a potential new customer comes on here and reads that individual needs to see positive and forthcoming posts that encourage that individual to purchase Aerofly. If a new customer comes on here and reads that most of the threads are complaints and negativity then they would think twice about purchasing this product. You have to see it from both ends as we have to walk that dangerous path every single day here.

    To conclude this, please understand that there is likely NOT one single item that everyone wants that we don't want ourselves. Please, please just give us all some time to write them into Aerofly.

    IPACS Development Team Member

    I'm just a cook, I don't own the restaurant.
    On behalf of Torsten, Marc, and the rest of the IPACS team, we would all like to thank you for your continued support.


    Regards,


    Jeff

  • So yesterday we had a lot of wind and heavy rain in my area. I just opened the blinds, cracked the window a bit, adjusted some wind sheer settings in game, and joyfully flew the 172 around the New York DLC in my preferred sim AFS2. Though my poor attempt at weather implementation doesn’t meet IPACS standards and sim vets everywhere may scoff at my methods as lacking the sophistication to adjust cloud layers or simulate pitot icing but heck, I still had a blast and am really appreciative of the many wonderful attributes In the sim as she is.


    Keep up the good work IPACS and community contributors. Remember, the greatest pleasures are often in the steps of the journey not necessarily at the destination; it’s the reason many of us faithfully follow these forums.


    I am excited about upcoming features like VR touch, yet we should fully anticipate some bozo to overlook the milestone and complain because their own hands are not accurately modeled - then again somewhere down the line this ‘complaint’ might actually be something that spurs the next innovation.

  • Don't know much yet about FS2 but in terms of flight sims in general and especially P3D they take forever to update. For example P3D just recently went to 64bit, which is sad. Now we are waiting for DX12 and PBR which at the rate that they take may be obsolete by the time they update it.