Why can't we have a roadmap?

  • After reading the thread "Aerofly FS 2 needs faster action now" it started me thinking how I have blindly accepted the oft repeated

    "We're already working on big new features behind the scenes but it's too soon to announce them. Big and important features but also new and Aerofly FS unique features are currently being worked on."


    Why can't you announce what you are working on? Every time a new feature appears, that's how we find out about it... it just appears. Even if you gave us a roadmap of future features and there was time slippage or some of the features got dropped you know we'd forgive you, so why the secrecy? It's just a game after all! Why can't the people who pay your wages know what you're doing and what plans you have?


    At least it would stop the steady stream of posts about "can we have this feature, can we have that feature , when's this feature coming.

  • They don't want us to know whats happening because its exactly that.....TOP SECRET....which is probably why people up sticks and go to another simulator


    Eagle Dynamics (DCS) publish a developer letter every friday


    We all know things slip, get delayed or even dropped it would just be nice to know anything about IPACS future plans... Like, when can I have the helicopter converter...I've been waiting since the 6th October


    Ok moderators you can delete or close the thread as usual

  • We have stated a response to this many times before. It's not that we don't want to brag about what we are working on, the fact is that we change our plans a lot internally if we research and test a feature and it fails or doesn't work out how we would like it to. It would be unprofessional of us to publish a roadmap of features that everyone wants then later tell you that we had to change plans.

    As you all know because we also state this a lot, we are a very small team so it places a lot of pressure on us to stick to a roadmap that may not work out in the end.


    I can however promise you this, we have plans to release some very nice (and needed) features down the road a bit, and we will absolutely provide you with updates on progress once we are far enough in development to show you. We really want to show you what we are working on, just have some trust in us.

    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

  • Hi


    Sad feeling for me too


    Despite many community members try to improve what AFS2 can offer (photo sceneries, airports,etc.) we still struggle with simple tools with limitations feeling there is not much editor's help (despite the community 's work made obviously the success of other sims)


    Making a photo scenery for AFS2 with a good computer , the same resolution and the same imagery provider takes me 10 times more time (and efforts) than doing the same for X-Plane 11 and I have to close my eyes not to see the unchanged bad rendering water in AFS2


    At least knowing you are working on the water rendering would have been a sufficient good new (if planed for less than one year...)


    In these conditions it is very difficult to accept to be uninformed about future developments (personally ending wondering if they are really planed)


    After making a lot of sceneries, airports and cultivation for AFS2 I personnaly went back to X-Plane 11 (waiting for 11.5 vulkan version about which we are regularly informed by Laminar ), and of course I will try Microsoft 's FS2020


    I am ending today with my last scenery for AFS2, actually uploading it on flight-sim.org : will probably be the last one as I am tired struggling to get a good rendering after having done the same fore the same area easily for X-Plane (And FSX/P3D in the past)


    Anyway will probably buy and try France VFR's future scenery at least to see "what could have been done"...


    Sorry to be so direct but had to say I think AFS2 cannot exist without interaction with the community


    Regards


    Toorop

  • Once we reach 80% on a feature we will have enough information to let everyone know about that feature. What we are working on just isn't far enough into development to mention it yet.

    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

  • The more time we spend asking for features, roadmaps and the like, the more time the developers spend answering questions on this forum rather than working on the product.

    Handy cultivation tools

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  • Now the newer generation is starting to feel the way we old timers have felt for some time. A big part of their development model is the turnover of people who get fed up being replaced by newer people who think change is coming. I have watched this cycle through a few times. People go from vigorously defending the delays, to getting impatient, to finally going elsewhere. The truth is, businesses respond to their customers and respect their opinions, or they die.

    The more time we spend asking for features, roadmaps and the like, the more time the developers spend answering questions on this forum rather than working on the product.

    Yep, that's what they want you to feel. I used to say the same thing to people that complained, over three years ago. I suggested getting someone to volunteer to work the forum, but god forbid they surrender any part of total internal control.


    And here we are. None of the big features are implemented, it is still forbidden to even "speculate" about the future, comparisons with other sims are shut down instantly, and they continue to devote as much time to the mobile version and the RC sim despite constantly repeating that they are fully taxed and only have a staff of six.


    Every company that offers third party software soon abandons FS2 because we are literally only a few score hardcore users that will buy the products. The community is doing heroic work to save the sim, but look at the total downloads of even the most exciting user made sceneries - under 100. I am genuinely curious where they get the funds to continue. And still they insist that they are doing everything right. It's a shame, because three years ago they had a revolutionary engine on their hands. Now big brother is striding back into the market.

  • Like we mentioned before, publishing a road map is something we don't do, not because we don't want to say what we are working on, but a road map is putting a lot of pressure on us for various reasons. Software development in certain areas is very hard to estimate time wise, e.g. if we say we work on ATC, weather or traffic, our users want to know 'when' to expect this feature and what it will include. But we are in this business now for over 20 years and we have seen that it is very difficult to properly estimate the time it takes to finish a certain feature. Thats why we decided not to publish anything. unless we are sure when we can guarantee a release date.


    It's also very difficult to communicate to our users how complex it is to implement certain features. E.g. when we talk about weather, we have to consider the graphical part, the simulation part and in case of future Multiplayer support, reproducibility. This is extremely complex stuff. When we work on a feature, we also want to ensure it's compatible for the various platforms we support. As it stands now, Aerofly FS supports Windows, MacOS, Linux, iOS and Android and our code base and resource files are 99.5% the same on all platforms. We do not prefer one platform over the other, anything we work on will always be available for all platforms eventually.


    Again, our philosophy is to create a realistic, good performing and yet easy to use flight simulator. There is no question other products are better in certain areas as we are, but we also now that many users out there like the way we do it. It's what we want to focus on with our future development.


    And before this is getting to speculative: We are financially very well positioned and do not need any investors, loans or other help.


    And yes, creating this post has costed us roughly 15 minutes of time, so we would like to get back to work again and invest this time into some extra code lines instead.

  • You work on Weekends? If so, respect!

  • It would be unprofessional of us to publish a roadmap of features that everyone wants then later tell you that we had to change plans.

    As a software developer with 30 years experience I would counter that it 'is' totally professional to publish a roadmap. Using Agile development as an example various features are selected. Some of those features are core features and some are a stretch or on a 'would be nice' list. Some team members will be occupied with a 'spike' which to non programmers is a research project which 'may or may not' succeed, Usually all of these things will be communicated to the client and as a stake holder their input will be considered on prioritising future features. As a small team I understand that things could be way less formal but there must be some sort of direction and vision driving development. All we're asking for is a little more transparency. We understand that producing something like AFS2 is hard and because you've already produced such an amazing product we're totally cool with falls and stumbles along the way. We'd just like to feel that we're on the journey together

  • I and others just want one (any) turbine helicopter, why is that so hard?


    You already have the best helicopter dynamic with the r22 so get a turbine and do it again, it will be a winner.

    We hear your voices and incorporate your feedback into our to-do lists. But it's too soon to publically announce whether or not we will add another helicopter in the near future. It certainly is one of our goals at some point.


    Steve has developed his Lynx 7 as a user made turbine helicopter and he is just waiting for us to send him the correct aircraft exporter. Once we're through updating all the platforms to make sure everyone is on the same page again we can continue with this.


    And yes, most of us love our work so much that we work on weekends too.


    We have cool new ideas that we are eager to show to you people once we know they are almost finished. But if we gave up those ideas now our competitors will be happy to try and beat us to the release date. And we also monitor what the competition is doing and if they announce something we are flexible to change our plans without disappointing the fan base that a new feature that was announced prematurely won't come in the near future.


    A detailed road-map is nice to get excited about but it also adds lots of speculations which lead to some false expectations. When we announce the feature once it's ready we already know what it can do and also waiting period is much shorter.