Hey Aerofly FS 2 team,
First of all, congratulations! It's so awesome to see a superb next-generation flight simulator taking form. For context, I used to be the Flight Simulation editor for Computer Gaming World magazine, which was the top-selling PC gaming magazine in the USA in the 1990s. Back in those days, there was enough activity in the sim market that I could write about a new sim every month! So you can imagine how excited I was to come across this sim after such a drought of simulation advancement!
I haven't seen a sim with so much potential in over a decade! Great job so far. I have some feedback below. I know some of this is already in the in the works, and some of it's going to take time, but just wanted to share my thoughts as someone who's been writing about flight simulators since the 1980s, and has seen how the market has changed over the years. I fully know that prioritizing customer feedback has to be balanced with the realities of marketing and bringing in new customers -- and how companies listening too much to the most vocal users in the past helped push sims into a tiny niche. But hopefully you'll find something useful in the brain dump below!
Also, one quick thing to add: I'd seriously consider branding the mobile and PC versions slightly differently, as I know some users dismissed the PC version as being just a mobile game ported over. The mobile game is super-impressive given the platform, but the PC version obviously IS more advanced, so maybe brand the PC version Aerofly FS 2 Professional or something? (Though I bought the mobile version and all the add-ons and it's really impressive on my iPad Pro 12.9!)
• Fuel gauge never changes when flying F/A-18 in afterburner.
• Clouds rotate when you change angle of attack or look up/down
• Some shimmering polygons on tops of mountains in Switzerland in VR. (GTX 1080, Win 10 Anniversary, Oculus Rift.)
Some cool features that would be pretty easy to add:
• Ability to turn off the engine (so you can practice dead-stick landings)
• An external camera that's not as rock-solid as the current one, but is just subtly shaky or delayed so it feels like someone is in another plane filming you. Those make external views feel so much more realistic. The "6" view is close, but too "solid," like the camera is on rails. Check out the F2 view in IL-2: Battle of Stalingrad for a nice external camera view that isn't overdone, but feels realistic.
• Ability to set fuel load
• Local time. UTC calculations are annoying when you get as far away as the USA
Key Features I'd like to see eventually:
• AI Air traffic, particularly around airports!
• Air Traffic Control
• Night lighting on the photoscenery textures
• APIs for third-party planes, scenery, and maybe stuff like weather/air traffic. That's going to be the key for pulling the FSX/P3D crowd over.
• Storms and really bad weather. Morning fog over rivers.
Other nice-to-have features:
• G-force effects in high-performance planes
• Settable and random system failures
• Emergency scenarios
Wishlist for paid add-ons:
• Pacific Northwest US/British Columbia scenery
• Hawaii scenery
• Alaska Scenery
• Space Shuttle landing (your Edwards AFB looks so good, a Shuttle gliding in would be awesome)
• Carrier ops (this could be a paid add-on)
Things I noticed that I love, so this isn't just a list of wants, but also a thanks for a great job!
• The planes look spectacular. Sounds are great too!
• Turbulence! I've never flown in a small plane and had it feel like it's on rails like in MSFS. Love how Aerofly FS 2 planes actually bump around a bit.
• The VR. Wow. It's amazing. My favorite thing for my Oculus Rift. It's so good.
• You guys did an amazing job on the scenery. Hopefully we'll get moving traffic (at least lights at night) and stuff later, but what an amazing start!
• On my first PC it picked up almost all the settings automatically for my Logitech G940. It was nice to only have to program a few things!
• Frame rate is much better than other sims on both my monitor and Oculus, despite all the detail here
• Excellent sense of speed
• The Grand Canyon. Wow.
• Hit airbrakes in the Corsair and the front wheels extend -- nice attention to detail!
Anyway, super-excited to see what you guys have coming down the road!
And thanks for making my Oculus Rift purchase worthwhile!