Pilot Journey v1.20 - Economy game

  • One small addition would be to pick a random time along with weather conditions as opposed to UTC all the time.


    Of course I could just put in any time I like, but the whole point is the choice being made for me lol.

    Yea, I agree, I felt the same. I put it on the list.

    This looks pretty interesting. TBH I have no idea how hard it is to do it in java. But I'll give it a try for sure when I make a new upgrade, this would be a cool QoL addition. I hope there is no coypright or other problem to alter original FS2 files. So far I found it nice to not interfere at all. But preparing the weather manually gets boring rather quick.


    Regarding the autosave, I made it only after flights and not all the time to have a better safety net of old files incase the current game gets somehow corrupted. But autosaving after writing in the journal is probably not a problem, because it doesn't happen automatically all the time. I added it to my list.


    You're right, Wangen-Lachen airport is not in FS2. Ooops, my bad.

    I initially took all the Switzerland airports from the list in this thread, thats also when the whole project started:

    Switzerland DLC - Airport ID - Sorted by City Name


    I found out a lot later that it isn't 100% the same airports as the Switzerland DLC and corrected a few, but I guess I have overlooked Wangen-Lachen, probably because by then it already sounded really familiar after all the testing. I'll take it out of the game in the next update, so this doesn't happen to other people. An easy workaround would be to just take a bus to another airport until then.

    I wasn't really aware about the existence of fscloudport when I started. Maybe there should be a way for people to freely add their own airports at some point. The mission generator should be robust enough to handle it. The scorekeeping would need some overhaul though.


    I can't explain why your location suddenly changed to KSEZ though. It must be a coincidence that of all airports it happened with the one that is not in FS2. Nevertheless a location change like this shouldn't happen at all, except when the airport database changes. It might be a bug though. Are you sure you have loaded the right savegame?


    BTW the online web or multiplayer port is not gonna happen, I'm afraid. I have no clue about that stuff and rather little motivation to learn it from scratch. I have had enough with java for now, I guess :). The other problem is that it is extremely easy to cheat scores. In terms of validity, a forum thread where people just post their score would probably archieve the same thing. To make a actual meaningful ranking of it it would require lots of work and probably a completely different approach. And i must admit I even like it a little bit that it is offline and single player. It somewhat feels like playing in the 80s. When computer games were for lonely nerds and maybe their friends who came over, and nobody else knew about it. :)

  • Hi. Great response thanks. Updating main.mcf is no big deal. It gets modified every time FS2 is launched. Sometimes IAPCS tell us things tbat can be modified in it to tweak stuff, like audio volume. The main thing i'd suggest is to auto generate a backup, give a warning or have people tick once if they are happy to write to it due to the possibility of corrupting something. I'm fairly sure the worst case corruption scenario though is that you then need to delete main.mcf and FS2 will auto gen a new one and you then have to redo some settings like graphics quality config.


    Regarding autosave, how about you treat auto save like the other slots 1,2,3 ? Call it slot 0 allow it to be loaded and saved manually but also it autosaves everything on closedown. Another thought is to put all those autosave files in a subfolder. My desktop is getting busy.


    One thing that's going great with PJ for me is that i've started preparing simple flight plans in TXT files to go with each journey and storing these with the PJ files. I convert the TXT to PDF then use a lightweight PDF viewer to open them in a window and pin them into VR using the new Oculus Rift home features. I just store basics like

    - VOR frequencies and headings

    - flight level

    - runway to land on

    - expected journey time


    Regarding the sudden switch to KSEZ that's no mystery/bug. Wangen was the airport offered on my very first launch of PJ. I close the app and reopen. No flight taken so no autosaves and it randomly picks a new one to start from.

  • perestain

    Changed the title of the thread from “Pilot Journey v1.0 released” to “Pilot Journey v1.01”.
  • Updated to v1.01, downloadlink on first page.


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    Regarding autosave, how about you treat auto save like the other slots 1,2,3 ? Call it slot 0 allow it to be loaded and saved manually but also it autosaves everything on closedown. Another thought is to put all those autosave files in a subfolder. My desktop is getting busy.

    I think I like having more and potentially older autosaves just in case. The autosaves have a number that corresponds to the ingame-day, so it shouldn't be more than 7 at any given time. It's probably best to keep everything in a folder and make a shortcut for the desktop.



    Your flight plan solution sounds really cool, I'll try that out myself. I didn't even know oculus home had such a feature. I was using a small notebook and a pen so far...


    Which pdf viewer do you use?

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    Video with Pilot Journey, hope you don't mind perestain.

  • Video with Pilot Journey, hope you don't mind perestain.

    Not at all, it's cool to see people having fun with the game. Nice video, I especially sympathised with the landing, because thats how I tend to land oftentimes, even with usb peripherals :)


    I've just finished a few updates, the main improvement is that you don't need to tweak all the sliders for the weather anymore. If you launch FS2 after starting the mission, the plane, time and weather should be set up alright (thanks to a tip from Spit40). You only have to check your starting location and navigation. The newest version also has buttons that link to the LiveATC website (only works for larger airports, but I love it) and to navigational help websites.


    Updates are on the first page.

  • perestain

    Changed the title of the thread from “Pilot Journey v1.01” to “Pilot Journey v1.02”.
  • I was using SumatraPDF but actually ive now stopped converting. I just pin the notepad/txt window inside the cockpit and place it on the copilots seat. I set a large font size so its nice and visible. I may use sumatra though soon to pull in a screenshot of a skyvector page or approach plate.


    Can't wait to test the new condition setting features. I do have another suggestion too. I don't like flights of more than around 30 minutes. Perhaps you could have a setting option of maximum flight time/distance to feed into your random mission generator. Sometimes i load it up and there's no flight i'm interested in - just a couple the right duration and they're in a direction I've just come from or a quick joyride that makes no money. So i close the app and reopen. Recently i did that over 10 times to get something suitable.

  • I do have another suggestion too. I don't like flights of more than around 30 minutes. Perhaps you could have a setting option of maximum flight time/distance to feed into your random mission generator. Sometimes i load it up and there's no flight i'm interested in - just a couple the right duration and they're in a direction I've just come from or a quick joyride that makes no money. So i close the app and reopen. Recently i did that over 10 times to get something suitable.


    Closing and reopening to refresh the mission board is basically the same thing as waiting, except you circumvent the 1 week game progress atm. I think I might find a middleground here and make the wait button only progress one day, but make loading a save progress a day too. So you don't get an advantage from closing and reopening.


    The mission generation is highly dependant on the size of the airport. Smaller airports spawn more short missions.


    When a mission is to be generated, the generator looks at all destinations in the game and puts them into several brackets, depending on the distance.

    He then decides by chance from what distance bracket a destination is chosen. Here are the chances, in relation to the current airport size:

    // Airport size 0: 80% local, 20% short

    // Airport size 1: 60% local, 36% short, 4% mid

    // Airport size 2: 35% local, 55% short, 10% mid

    // Airport size 3: 10% local, 30% short, 40% mid, 20% long

    // Airport size 4: 20% short, 20% mid, 25% long, 30% overseas, 5% far overseas


    local: 0-50 nm

    short: 50-275 nm

    mid: 275-1000 nm

    long: 1000-2500 nm

    overseas: 2500-3500 nm

    far overseas: 3500-7800 nm

    out of bounds: >8000 nm


    If you look for flights that are half an hour long, your best bet is probably hanging around on airports size 1 and 2.


    Another option to save time is to skip some of the autopilot cruise, and just fly the take-off and the landing. The mission timer is rather forgiving and not proportional, i.e. for a longer mission it will not make you wait as long before you can confirm the landing.


    the formula is atm: missiontimer = 4.3 * (expected time to fly the mission) ^ 0.75 (in seconds)


    For example,

    the missiontimer lets you wait for 30 minutes if it expects the flight to actually take around 52 minutes.

    and it lets you wait a 60 minutes if it expects the flight to take 2 hours and 12 minutes.


    The expected time calculation is not very precise though, it just uses the distance and divides it by a fixed cruise speed for that plane, which may not even be 100% correct and does not account for any circumstances whatsoever.



    Anyways, rather than forcing the mission generator to produce flights which take a certain amount of time, I'd like to adjust the above formulas and chances, so that it's more playable. That way the mission generation is more robust when more airports are added later.


    Maybe I'll just add an option to cap the missiontimer at 45 minutes or an hour or something. That way you could fly all the missions and skip a part of the cruise which is not that exciting sometimes. I simulated a full 900nm flight from Miami to NY in a baron once and I admit it got pretty boring during cruise :)

  • Thanks for the clarification. Yes a 1 day loss for open/close (if you haven't flown a mission).. or perhaps remember the missions available and don't generate new ones is better. Also 1 day loss for clicking wait. I hadn't read what wait meant, perhaps 'skip a day' is better.


    I think an efficient programming way to regenerate the same missions instead of new ones missions is to store the active random number seed in your autosave and use that to seed the number generator, then only generate a new seed after each mission. As long as you start with the same seed all the random missions and planes will be identical each time you generate them.


    One more suggestion: i was going to switch airports but it was too hard to search through the pull down list. How about an input box to the left for an icao code which jumps the pull down to the right place (it could do a lookup on each keyup to save the need for an extra button). At some point i think it may be possible to autoset fs2 to a new airport by looking up the parking places stored in the tmc files for each airport. That gives you a lat long. Actually a search for airport tmc files is a way of auto loading all available airports so people could add airports from fscloudport and they could be auto added.

  • This app is awesome!

    Apologies if my enthusiasm is getting the better of me, but I just had the (sim) flight of my life. When I started simming (with FS2 2 years ago) my goal was a visceral sense of realism to the point I might feel an increase of heart rate and even a little anxiety that I had to keep my wits about me because it would feel so real. FS2 in VR with smooth slick visuals gets you a long way there. My DOF Reality motion platform added some more. Also I've been learning to fly by VOR and pilotage to add another layer of in-the-moment presence. A final piece of the jigsaw I needed was to have in-VR notes with bearings and frequencies for en route navigation. Oculus Home's upgrade adds that.


    Despite all these things it has never come together and truly delivered on the vision. Perhaps I got too focussed on the functionality that was lacking? Until now that is. PJ creates this great variety of conditions and just sets them up. I wouldn't bother changing things so much otherwise and the short flight I just had from Lake Havasu to Bullhead Int'l was quite an experience and everything I'd hoped for. With poor visibility I had to keep an eye on the VOR radials into and out of Needles but PJ had set me up with so much turbulence that the Robin felt like a bucking bronco and made that rather difficult. My motion platform has never had such a workout and I didn't know it could be so much fun. No DME either and no clock so I had to keep an eye on things so as not to overshoot my destination. Anyway I did keep things on track and did find the destination airport. Its funny - this region has been in the sim since day 1 and I've always been waiting for the next upgrade that would deliver the features I felt were needed. Now I'm just enjoying what there is.


    Thanks again perestain - all my investment in this sim paid off big time this evening!

  • Can I specify that I only wish to fly the Learjet 45?


    Regards,

    Ray

    Lets see...

    if you play a regular game, you would need to improve your pilot license to level 3 (jets). To get there it takes $61,000 for the licenses and at least 30 missions after which you could afford the licenses comfortably. Unless maybe you wanted to make more cash and got caught smuggling drugs or something. But even after all that you could only rent a learjet if one is available. To fly one everytime you would have to buy one, the cheaper used ones are around $800,000 which takes a significant time to save up to. And while you could probably fly it almost every time, it won't necessarily be the most profitable choice to do so. So flying learjet all the time is more a scenario for when money is not an issue anymore (just like in real life I guess lol). That said, I had one testing game, where there was a phase during which I made a good profit flying several missions with the learjet. But usually once you are allowed to fly jets, heavy charter missions over the pond net the best profits. During my tests I wasn't simming though so I didn't have to care too much about how long the flights would take.


    But if you really just want to fly learjet missions and don't care too much about the game progression you could just enable cheats, switch to outlaw mode, (which would allow you to fly anything without license), give yourself a million dollar and buy a learjet on day one.

    And then just play as if it was a normal game. The only difference would be that your scores will not officially count towards the highscore. And your stats panel will display that you cheated. Thats it. And if that's actually bothering you, you could modify your savegame with an xml editor to turn it into a normal game again.


    Spit40

    Wow, that sounds like a really cool experience!


    I agree that some randomness goes a long way to making things feel realistic, interesting and even meaningful with a little imagination. The computer is a clearly defined system where everything that happens follows pre-designed algorithms and can be perfectly controlled. (Perceived) reality absolutely doesn't work that way, no matter what you do there might always be something catching you off-guard. If you want a computer simulation to feel realistic, you need to trick yourself and leave room for unexpected situations to happen to you, which is just more likely when you randomize a lot of variables.


    The chances for bad conditions in PJ are not equal btw. There is a bias for higher visibility and lower wind and turbulence, to make really bad conditions more rare. Visibility is internally a value between 0 and 100 and it is calculated by 20*sqrt(x), where x is a random decimal number between 0 and 25.


    So for example the chance to have a visibility lower than 20 (out of 100) is less than 4% in PJ.

  • Thanks for all the detail. Maybe I will be looking for something in the middle. I have zero interest in competition or high score but, I do like a little spice added to my flying. I will load it up and see how it goes. Thanks.


    Regards,

    Ray

  • Thanks for all the detail. Maybe I will be looking for something in the middle. I have zero interest in competition or high score but, I do like a little spice added to my flying. I will load it up and see how it goes. Thanks.


    Regards,

    Ray

    Yea to be honest the highscore is more a playful gimmick and a hommage to oldschool games from the past. It's not like you could actually brag with a score that is generated and stored in plain text xml fomat.

  • Do we know what sort of altitudes the cloud level sliders equate to? I'm trying to learn how to choose a correct altitude for flights and one factor for VFR is staying out of clouds. If PJ could show the heights it is setting in feet then I could use that in my flight plan.


    Another thought: It will be great when FS2 models fuel burn as you could also pass that into the sim via main.mcf and there would be more severe consequences of flying inefficiently or getting lost ! Where are we on fuel Jet-Pack (IPACS) ?

    • Official Post

    The cloud height and density slider im the main.mcf have decimal values between 0 and 1. No idea what the numbers translate to. The height could simply be checked by trying it out in FS2 though.

    Fractions from min to max value, not actually sure what the min and max values are in terms of actual altitude though :D

  • Yea I'll figure that out eventually, it would be cool to display height values in ft. in PJ

    i'll make a note of where i see them too. We can take a stab at it empirically.


    As for fuel burn i see that vary according to throttle/mixture but suspect the total doesn't reduce.. i don't see fuel mentioned in main.mcf.

  • i'll make a note of where i see them too. We can take a stab at it empirically.


    As for fuel burn i see that vary according to throttle/mixture but suspect the total doesn't reduce.. i don't see fuel mentioned in main.mcf.

    I would expect height in ft. to be just a linear function of the value. I'd suggest just checking min and max height, and then maybe one or two to other values in between just to confirm. Should only take a few minutes, but I cannot do it atm because I have other work to do.


    Edit: And yea theres no fuelburn or weight. Would be cool to have it as it would make it more of a gamble to fly a mission with very little fuel and connect PJ even more to the sim. I'd have to add a "I have run out of fuel and performed an emergency landing"-button haha. The problem though is that the fuelburn calculation in PJ is dead simple and doesn't even account for weight. It probably would need an overhaul to be adjusted to a fuelburn simulation in FS2. And for that we'd need to first figure out how exactly the fuelburn in FS2 works. Otherwise the PJ calculation might drastically differ, so that in theory it could happen that you could never reach your destination in FS even when PJ estimated that it is within range for example. Unless someone from the developers would share some information this would include some heavy testing to get it right for all the planes.

  • Agreed. Its nice to have some new feature ideas for the future. The option to switch plane via PJ is probably doable now but would take some fiddling to get just right. Placing an aircraft in a parking position at a different airport is another for the future too.