Posts by Toprob

    I'm always amazed when people say 'I've just been working on a little something' and then present a tool which does much of what we've been wishing for! And it looks great, giving a really good idea of my city as I build it.

    Just a bit of feedback, after all, you did ask...

    I'm mainly interested in adding individual fill-in trees to cultivations I've created using data, in Scenproc. I've used MS's Annotator for years, and was involved in the initial beta, so I know that if you don't ask, you don't get!

    It would be good if the tool selection was retained, so I could select the tree tool, and just keep clicking to plant trees rather than select the tool each time. And to further reduce the number of clicks, a single click to plant a tree, so I could plant 100 trees with 100 clicks, rather than 300 at the moment.

    Really appreciate your work!

    I've given this a lot of thought, and change my mind a few times about how it would work best. It helps that I nearly always include photoscenery in my 'MSFS' projects, and have access to quality imagery mostly, but FS2 is tricky -- sure, I could include a large chunk of photoscenery in my first major airport (NZCH), but then there's the issue of somewhere to fly -- the rest of the country is a blurry blank canvas!

    So I was looking at a way to complete the whole country in photoscenery (sorry, can't get used to 'ortho') first, then there'd be a better market for airports. IPACS have been keen to help with this, but in reality it's a big job, too big for one guy who relies on day-to-day scenery sales to live. So it's back to plan A, a big chunk of photoscenery surrounding the airport (6,000sq km in the case of NZCH) and hope that it is enough to make it a saleable product.

    I am very much aware that a LOT of my customers have no interest in anything technical, and even if it was delivered as a simple one-click solution to make their own orthoscenery, they would not do it. Sure, there's a lot of technically-inclined folk here, but my experience of the flightsim market is very different.

    Whatever happens, it will take some time -- at the moment I'm fully committed to the first multisim release, Christchurch International Airport, which will be released for Prepar3d later this year, FSX will follow soon after, then X-plane next year. Aerofly will be last simply because it needs a 'base' scenery first, otherwise there is nowhere local to fly to...


    Initially I had help with the base scenery, but now I'm on my own. The goal now has to be to release something which actually sells, hence a large local airport for Prepar3d.


    I'm very aware that time is getting on, but that was always going to be the case -- I'm just one guy, and although I work full-time at scenery development, most worthwhile projects are going to take a while. The NZ base scenery was always separate from the kickstarter project, in that it was initially discussed with IPACS following the start of the kickstarter. If it does ever eventuate, I would still like to see it included as a kickstarter pledge 'reward' for the higher tiers.


    If anyone has a good set of skills in Aerofly FS2 scenery development, then I'd be keen to collaborate -- the initial arrangement with another developer was a 50/50 split, after IPACS/Steam's cut, for the base scenery.


    The alternative is just to stick with the original project, and release NZCH for FS2, along with the photoscenery area which will be part of the Prepar3d/FSX version. X-plane would then be the odd man out, with the airport only. Once an airport scenery is available for all the sims, I can see what actually sells, which will determine the next step.

    Although the Kickstarter program ended months ago, I'd like to get onboard and support your work to get this asap. How can I do that?

    Cheers, Redtail. The Kickstarter site does have very clear rules regarding soliciting support outside their domain, which I'm happy to comply with. So it's just a matter of waiting for me to actually produce something at the moment. I am 'still on track', which is surprising to me...

    However I'm not against trying new ways to support my development habit, so if I need to rethink things you guys will be the first to know:)

    I have a New Year update almost ready to publish on the Kickstarter site, just need to find a quiet moment to illustrate it.


    But I'll do a quick precis here. The initial multi-sim project -- the Alps/Lakes -- was put aside in favour of a major airport-based project. This was a necessary decision when I really looked at how a chunk of photoscenery would work in Aerofly FS2. As NZ only has default (think placeholder) coverage, you wouldn't really have anywhere to fly outside the photoscenery area, and the edges would be disconcerting at best.


    So what NZ really needs is a proper full coverage, and that's what I am hoping to achieve. So IPACS and I will hopefully be able to get this done, and it may fulfill the Kickstarter goal for Aerofly FS2. So Aerofly will get more than initially planned, it will just take longer.


    X-plane is another sim which needed some reworking of the initial plan, and an airport-only scenery makes a lot more sense there. So the initial Kickstarter release will be for Prepar3d (one international airport plus large photoscenery region) followed by the airport only for X-plane, and this airport for Aerofly once there's a NZ base to place it on.

    Thanks for the plug, HiFlyer! And thanks to those who supported the Kickstarter campaign.


    Just to add some information,, what this project will eventually develop into is not yet decided, as it's still early days with FS2 development. So the videos can be viewed as experiments only at the moment. If you wish to keep track of progress here, the best way might be to follow my Facebook page -- Godzone Virtual Flight.


    I'm happy to say that progress and support from IPACS has been very positive, so FS2 is still the best-bet for an ongoing development of New Zealand scenery. (The fundraising did include exploration of other simulators, in addition to my previous sims of choice, FSX/Prepar3d.)


    I've always been a big fan of Arno's Scenproc, and this has played a big part in my previous FSX/Prepar3d releases. Having Arno supporting FS2 is a leap forward, as most have realised here. I can see a time when he will revolutionise FS2 development the same way he had done for MSFS-based sims.

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    One major strength of Scenproc is that it can take data from a lot of different sources, and convert it to something useful to the simulator. The downside is that it requires an understanding of the data, and the steps necessary to convert it. I must admit I've struggled over Scenproc scripts for a long time, as I use it for FSX/P3D autogen.

    I have a lot of scripts from FSX/P3D projects, and here I've just adapted one based on the manual.

    Looking at the script I used yesterday, there were a couple of errors which I've since fixed, and I am constantly caught out by my lack of coding skills:)

    Currently my Scenproc script produces 600,000 trees and 40,000 buildings, in 124 seconds...

    It may be possible for someone to create a tool which automates the process for specific data sources, but Scenproc will always have a steep learning curve for most of us.

    Arno has added Aerofly FS2 cultivation support to ScenProc, so those of us why rely on this great tool for 'autogen' can now use it here! This is just my experimentation for the moment, but it certainly makes a difference:


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    Thanks for the support, guys.

    Excellent. Thanks for the location coverage map. When completed do you expect any of the airports to handle a Learjet 45?

    Well, you might have to wait for Queenstown, where the rich and famous end up, normally plenty of Learjets there, but initially there's always Wanaka, the home of the Warbirds Over Wanaka airshow every two years...

    Oops, almost passed this by, sorry about that Ray, it's been a busy time...


    The area I'm working on -- for FSX/Prepar3d, plus the newer sims -- is roughly what is shown here, this is from the Godzone Subscription for FSX/Prepar3d. The current coverage now goes a little further north (to cover the area used to film the Narnia movie, I'm a sucker for NZ-based movies), and includes Lake Tekapo, which was not part of the Subscription, as there is an older FSX version of Tekapo available.


    Within this area are a few airports, but I have not yet decided how many will be completed for this project -- A couple of months ago I visited the area and photographed five airports, I am currently working on Wanaka, Tekapo, Mount Cook and Pukaki airports. The area also includes Queenstown, but as Orbx have done this for FSX/Prepar3d, it isn't on my list. Maybe if things work great for FS 2, Orbx might release their NZQN one day...


    Ignore the arrows and the bottom purple bit...


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    I've now updated the Kickstarter page with a video showing the proposed first project in Aerofly FS 2. Here's the video, on YouTube, please take a look at the Kickstarter page for further details, the link is in the first post.

    This is just a small test area, I am aiming for about 25,000 sq kms of scenery in this area, plus a couple of airports to fly from.

    Thanks for the support here! I've now reached the target to ensure that this project will go ahead (what that means is explained further on the Kickstarter project page), but keep those pledges coming. Aerofly FS2 is the black sheep of the sim family at the moment, but one with a huge amount of potential. I'm not sure at all whether I'll be able to continue with NZ development for FS2 beyond the initial project, so if you are thinking about making a pledge based on the likelihood of some FS2 'Real NZ' releases, then stick to the single project pledge -- NZ$25:)

    However, it would be good to have a lot of Aerofly users pledging $25, the success of the project will be based on the user interest, so this is the way to show that you are interested, for the cost of a lunch. Well, a good lunch, at least.

    Like a lot of those here, I'm hanging out for some nice tools, and I have a lot to learn about making great scenery in FS2.

    That's more than enough self-promotion, the link to the Kickstarter is in the original post...