Just a thought...

  • In reading post about new aircraft and sceneries, and knowing the last release of either of these from IPACS was a long time ago, the thought occurred to me that what really made FSX expand and become the "go to" flight sim was not Microsoft, but 3rd party add-ons. ORBX has added a lot to the enjoyment and usefulness of AFS2. Perhaps if IPACS could work with 3rd party aircraft and scenery developers to help them provide add-ons for AFS2, then the growth and future of the product, along with the user base, would expand dramatically. Just a thought.

  • Many of us have suggested exactly this though over the past year or more, but it seems to fall on deaf ears, unfortunately. Good to hear from you.


    Regards,

    Ray

  • Many of us have suggested exactly this though over the past year or more, but it seems to fall on deaf ears, unfortunately. Good to hear from you.


    Regards,

    Ray

    You make it sound as if IPACS doesn't want it. I don't think that is the case. I am sure IPACS won't mind if 3rd party developers would create addons for AFS2. In fact, I think they want it! It's the 3rd party developers who, for whatever reason, don't see to be so eager to jump onboard. Luckily two of the bigger names are onboard already (Orbx and Aerosoft). Hopefully others will follow. But IPACS can't force developers to develop for AFS2.

  • This is very true as J van E mentioned. We very much want 3rd party development to occur. We have tools available that allow for real developers to make really good quality scenery and/or aircraft from. We feel that our tools are very powerful and with a little bit of time to learn everything that they have to offer a developer can easily make a very good product. This was our intent when offering the SDK tools.


    No, we can't force developers to make products for Aerofly, all we can do is encourage.

    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

  • No, we can't force developers to make products for Aerofly, all we can do is encourage.

    What actions are you taking, or action plan do you have, for encouraging 3rd party developers, other than making tools available? Are you offering any kind of incentives and/or an outreach program of some kind to contact developers and solicit submissions? Perhaps a contest or awards program? Do you have a video training program for developers about using your tools? Promoting 3rd party products on your website? Financial rewards?


    Pettit Rule #39: "Participation is Proportional to Promotion"

  • I think there is a very large gap, maybe more like a chasm, between wanting something to happen and actually doing something positive to assist in making that something happen. Be that as it may, I also think we as a group are being way too critical of our developers and I don't expect them to be accountable to us for their actions or inactions. The old adage that "actions speak louder than words" is as true today as it has been in the past.


    My conclusion is that if we do indeed see any new 3rd party aircraft in AFS2, ever, I will be surprised. Pleasantly surprised, for sure, but, I have given up any hope of seeing anything in the near future. Maybe Aerosoft will surprise me actually come through with the Junkers Ju52/3m which would be a truly wonderful ice breaker. It will probably take something like that to crack this nut, then who knows . . . .


    Meanwhile, I check in most everyday, and I am disappointed most every day that nothing is mentioned about progress or any hints of progress, but, hey, I continue to fly in the sim and I continue to make more scenery and add more runways for my personal use. My expectations are rather mild. ?(


    My biggest disappointment is not the lack of progress or not seeing the R-22 as I expected or not seeing any of the old time aircraft designers even get a serious start at adding something from their hangar to this new flight sim, it is the negative attitude that seems to surface every single time the discussions heat up here in the forums and someone asks, why not?


    Regards,

    Ray

  • If FS 2 builds a viable user base, we will see 3rd party addons. Right now the user base is tiny. (That's not an opinion, just check the numbers on Steamcharts.com.) There is very little money to be made developing for a tiny user base. When more people start using FS 2, more developers will start working on addons. Right now the economics don't make sense, and people like Orbx are only working on sceneries because someone such as JV really likes what FS 2 might become.

  • Sure seems like a tipping point is on the mind for many of us. My take is with a critical few new updates from IPACS, Orbx dropping big AFS2 titles that outperform other platforms, and a couple of 3rd party or in-house aircraft adds will draw in the users and spur on other creators; who doesn’t want to show off their work on the smoothest Sim out there and realize it in full VR.


    I can’t imagine the work it takes to develop all of what we discuss on these forums. My hope is the business end stays manageable so our friends at IPACS can continue to put their love into enhancing and filling out the next generation sim that Aerofly already is.


    Thanks to the community and devs though, My limited free time is well enjoyed in the Aerofly world. I agree 3rd party involvement is a sign of longevity and market presence so needs to be cultivated. Just wanted to thank the many of you who are elsewhere on forums encouraging and promoting AFS2. :thumbup:

  • If FS 2 builds a viable user base, we will see 3rd party addons. Right now the user base is tiny. (That's not an opinion, just check the numbers on Steamcharts.com.) There is very little money to be made developing for a tiny user base. When more people start using FS 2, more developers will start working on addons. Right now the economics don't make sense, and people like Orbx are only working on sceneries because someone such as JV really likes what FS 2 might become.

    All good points and I totally agree, but, it comes right back to the basic question - which came first, the chicken or the egg? 🤪


    Maybe the Orbx Netherlands will open a few eyes, nothing else seems to be on the horizon.


    Regards,

    Ray

  • It would also help if we, the users and enthusiasts for AFS2, begin to contact the third-party developers ourselves. Many of us have spent a small fortune with Carenado for example. So as their past customers we have the right to contact them and encourage them to port designs over to AFS2. If these companies hear from enough of us one at a time, then they might also get the message.


    Having said that, if the tools are so easy to use, why have already-viable, experienced aircraft designers tried, and then walked away from developing for this platform? IPACS might need to invest some time simplifying the design process, or hand-picking some developers and treating them to a crash course in their inner workings in order to make this happen. But, surely it would be worth it in the long run.


    - Kenneth

  • Exactly Kenneth. I have written most of the FSX reviews of the Carenado products and many of the A2A, at least those that received the Avsim Gold Star.


    Regards,

    Ray

  • It would also help if we, the users and enthusiasts for AFS2, begin to contact the third-party developers ourselves.

    Can I humbly suggest that we consider temerity, I gave a little help to our friends a couple of years ago in the mobile development phase but it was on Tübingen's terms and I was interested in being actually helpful, I knew my place. Our friends are in charge of their software and how it develops. We should try to not go out of our way to be insulting or outrageous. Enthusiasm is great.

  • Yes, it's their business and they should run it as they see fit. Balancing financial and human resources is surely a major challenge. But one would think an action plan for signing up 3rd party developers would be a win-win for both IPACS and users. But such a plan would need to include more than creating a tool kit and waiting for people to knock on your door. Just sayin'...


    p.s. What does temerity mean?

  • But such a plan would need to include more than creating a tool kit and waiting for people to knock on your door. Just sayin'...

    Agreed but how do you know IPACS isn't knocking on doors already...? ;) The fact that not much seems to be happening from our point of view doesn't mean IPACS is just sitting there doing nothing...! ;)


    p.s. What does temerity mean?



    Still don't really know if this word belongs in this topic though... ;) Seems to me the suggestion should not be to consider temerity but to avoid it?

  • I meant consider if we were getting a bit carried away with ourselves. I haven't seen any requests from IPACS for suggestions on how to run their business. I think ideas on how to develop the flight sim program are different from how to manage their company.

  • Can I humbly suggest that we consider temerity, I gave a little help to our friends a couple of years ago in the mobile development phase but it was on Tübingen's terms and I was interested in being actually helpful, I knew my place. Our friends are in charge of their software and how it develops. We should try to not go out of our way to be insulting or outrageous. Enthusiasm is great.

    I see that I have been quoted by the above poster, and would like to assure them that I was NOT trying to go out of my way to be "insulting or outrageous." Indeed, I see nothing in my post that smacks of these qualities. It was factual and accurate, and motivated from a desire to see this product succeed.


    Now, let's address the "I knew my place" comment. The inference is that nobody should question IPACS on what they are doing, that somehow a corporate entity is lord and master of their own ship and fate. That is a woefully inaccurate assumption today's economy.


    1. Some of us know our place - We are customers!


    Being a customer in today's economy holds massive power. The customer makes or breaks a product, not the developer. Any customer has the right to suggest direction in the development of a product they have purchased, especially if they purchased it in early access. And any customer has a right to withdraw their support for a product if it is not meeting expectations. The people on this forum who have voiced opinions on product development are representative of the power-base of loyal customers. They know their place. They can equally assist in the future of this product by their purchasing decisions and positive referrals, or they can kill it stone dead by refusing to spend another penny on it, and not recommending it to others should it fall below their requirements. Yes, they know their place. It's a very important one.



    2. Some of us know our place - We are Flight Simmers!


    Many of these customers also know their place in the genre. They are not simply gamers who will fly this in VR once and go onto a first person shooter. They are hard-core flight simmers with decades invested in this genre. It is from this perspective that their opinions are shared. They have seen what it took to make the big platforms successful, they have seen what the failed projects failed to do, and they care enough about AFS2 to share their educated, well-formulated, experience-based opinions and suggestions with IPACS. Yes, they know their place. They know they are the backbone of the future of this product, if the future development follows an industry-proven direction. This product can be developed to cater to gamers (who will change their allegiance to whatever the next whizz bang product is), or they can cater to the genre that will potentially support them for the long term. The people commenting on development are at the very heart of that latter group. They know their place, and it is a very important one.



    3. Some of us know our place - We are industry-connected!


    Some of us also know our place in the industry. There are people commenting here who have written as staff members for the industry-standard and industry-respected websites and magazines. There are people who owned the first addon companies that supported Microsoft. There are people here who met with Microsoft when addons were just being pioneered, and were told by the MS development team that their work was important to the success of that platform. Yes, they know their place. They know that their experience (or opinion) helped make the flight sim industry what it is today. They know that their knowledge and perspective could make all the difference in the world to the success or failure of AFS2. They know their place in Flight simulation history. And so they comment in order to assist in the development of this new platform. They know their place, and it is a very important one.



    4. Some of us know our place - We are business professionals!


    There are also some people here who have owned and operated companies or businesses across multiple industries. Some of these companies succeeded, and some failed. Their comments are sometimes shared in order to provide the benefit of that experience, or to provide a perspective that can help IPACS should they elect to listen. These business-experienced customers know their place. They know they are not the decision-makers, shareholders, investors or developers at IPACS. They know they do not sit at the boardroom table of IPACS, but in light of their experience they sometimes perceive certain directions taken by IPACS as being potentially detrimental to the future of the platform. And so they speak up, offering advice and guidance. They know their place, and it is one based upon the trials and tribulations of business.



    In conclusion, I agree that IPACS alone has the right to direct their course of action, both in terms of business and product development. They have the right to succeed, and the right to fail. Nobody here is trying to take away their right, they are simply trying to point to factors that have stood the test of time in the success of other companies operating in this genre.


    - Kenneth