Future add ons question

  • After reading quite a few posts (on other forums) about the P3D 4.5 update and all the consequences it has for add ons I am very happy that AFS2 is the only flight sim I have installed. 8) However... I was wondering how to things will be in the near future when for instance Just Flight releases their planes for AFS2. Does IPACS has any control over how those add ons will be released and offered to us? The great thing about AFS2 was that you only needed Steam to install AFS2 and everything that you bought for it and also updates would always work. Now a lot of us already need to have FTX Central installed for Orbx addons. Will Just Flight have their own way of releasing things...? If so then in a few years time reinstalling and/or updating AFS2 might become just as hard as reinstalling and/or updating P3D. Or XP. Not something I am looking forward too...


    I suppose this simply is the price we have to pay for progress...? Or does IPACS have any ideas on this? Maybe they can force add on developers to always also release their add ons on Steam? Is there ANY way to prevent AFS2 from going the same route as P3D and XP when it comes to add ons?

  • I'm not sure how the scenario suggested by the op would even happen


    Unlike other Sims that are just getting around to this, aerofly already stores third party scenery and airplanes in an external folder which is the documents folder


    As long as you keep a copy of that folder I'm not sure why there should ever be an issue.

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  • I have also all other Sims with many many addons ( i have paid in the last years xxxx euro)

    on my system ... but all others I didnt run last 6 month ... ?! :)

    FS2 is it !

  • As long as you keep a copy of that folder I'm not sure why there should ever be an issue.

    The issues I am thinking off are:


    - updates for addons (whenever an update from the core sim requires it)


    - reinstalling the sim


    All this is more or less a one click workflow now but if every add on developer (I hope more and more will be joining) will releases add ons using their own systems things may become messy pretty soon.


    It is indeed a very good thing already that add ons all reside in a specific folder outside of the sim folder but even if you make a backup of that folder it may require some reinstalling and manual updating. The idea of having to go to all developer websites looking for updates and what not doesn't appeal to me. ;) And btw I can't check it right now but doesn't Orbx install its stuff somewhere else than in the documents folder...?

  • Orbx has an addons folder that I believe is also safe, but again, orbx reinstalls are only a few clicks as well.


    As for product updates, if the product is on Steam then the issue is covered.


    If not on steam or FTX central, it still shouldn't be harder than X-plane for instance, since at least for now, there seem to be no registry entries necessary/needed for scenery/planes, and copying and pasting folders wholesale seems to work fine (which should make reinstallation relatively painless)

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  • We do not require or force any external AddOn developers into selling directly through us, e.g. currently on Steam. We are just recommending it to them or kindly ask them, because we think it makes the overall user experience much better.


    Writing directly into the Aerofly FS program folder is strongly discouraged and we don't like to see it, it can cause all kinds of issues.


    We also think that the delivery of AddOn's through a single platform is the most user friendly way here, but again, we won't force the developers.

  • I recently reloaded my Steam AFS2 including some sceneries from FTX Central. Absolutely no problems but I hear where you guys are coming from. I also have an FSX stand alone version with many many add ons. I did not bother to reload that and just use FSW for my complete world travel.


    It is just so much easier having everything on steam. It is going to be very interesting to see where the upcoming new planes are going to be loaded from.

  • I'd like to chime in here with a different perspective. As some of you know, I once started and ran a flight sim company that was one of the first to offer addons for MSFS. It's a LONG time ago!! The company ran for seven years, and had boxed software published by JustFlight and PC Aviator. One of the things that caused me to leave the industry was always playing catchup to Microsoft. Here's what I mean. One time, my team spent six months developing a CD for FS2000. Shortly after it was released by one of our publishers, Microsoft released the next version of FS early, and our CD was incompatible. I closed the company a year after that.


    This illustrates the need for core developers to maintain open communication with the addon developers supporting them. As the third party ecosystem is now beginning to develop for AFS2, it is vital that such communication flows easily and mindfully. We already saw one addon from ORBX for AFS2 being broken after an AFS2 update last year (a free airport in Switzerland), and this is what must be prevented, for it's the kind of thing that will make third party developers gun-shy from supporting the platform.


    It takes considerable time, commitment, investment, and energy to build a third party addon. Yet, it is these very addons that make or break the future of a core flightsim platform. The relationship between core developers and third party developers must become symbiotic, not incidental. Whether one speaks of programming or delivery, the need for communication even in the planning stage cannot be overstated.


    I encourage IPACS and third party developers to foster and maintain such mutual openness, because it will pay rich dividends to all concerned in the future.


    - Kenneth

  • I really like having payware add on's on Steam being there is no need to keep up with the updates. Although I like product updates, it is very tiresome trying to keep up with installing them on XPL 11, P3D, etc...


    Once there are more 3rd party aircraft, scenery, and weather enhancements available for AFS2 it will be my primary sim.

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