I think it's time to pull the trigger!!

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1 month 1 week ago #17179 by skywagon
Quote Originally Posted by Jim Hall View Post
Most new and veteran flight simmers do not want to learn the intricacies of software and hardware. Their lack of knowledge frustrates them. Every hour of exploring the maze of set-up is resented. They want to fly; to learn navigation; to explore; and for overall to experience pleasure. FS2020 was to be the golden grail and now after only a short time, disappointment has set in. It turns out that it’s the same Christmas tree with shinier ornaments. If I were in charge (how many times have you heard that?) I would specify the EXACT controls/systems hardware necessary to run my flight sim—require that customers buy them (if you can’t afford them, well, …) such that installation and flying away would simply be to connect your new controllers and stuff--that is specified--and push “GO “and fly away. As for add-ons, the program makers would demand they be plug-and-go and if you don’t know how to do that take up another trade. Lastly, I would want to attract new flyers and to woo away those using other flight sims. Many of these have PTSD and are afraid of changing ANYTHING (if it ain’t broke…). So I would have a great operator’s manual and support team in place, at least for the first year with the assumption that the customer is technically incompetent. In other words, make the experience of purchasing, set-up, and running the software easy. I don’t see that happening for many years to come. Lastly (I know) to all you techies, electronics technicians, and software writers who boast here, “I had no problems and love FS2020”, we’re impressed and happy for you.
There is a lot of truth in what you say. Every so often someone considering buying MSFS writes to this forum (and others) asking for advice: should they buy it? The stock advice that I offer, which is hardly original, is that MSFS requires four things for success: some basic familiarity with PCs; a decent system (not high-end but reasonably fast); a willingness to spend time learning; and a lot of patience and perseverance, because MSFS is a work in progress and needs to be understood as such. For those who don't possess all four, MSFS is not recommended; at least for now, they should stick with an older flight sim, and indeed some do. Hopefully, in time MSFS will be refined to the point that the last requirement can be relaxed. But that may take a while. In the interim, I am personally willing to deal with the glitches (especially involving new updates) because the rewards in this sim are far beyond anything I ever expected to see.

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1 month 1 week ago #17180 by skywagon
There is a lot of truth in what you say. Every so often someone considering buying MSFS writes to this forum (and others) asking for advice: should they buy it? The stock advice that I offer, which is hardly original, is that MSFS requires four things for success: some basic familiarity with PCs; a decent system (not high-end but reasonably fast); a willingness to spend time learning; and a lot of patience and perseverance, because MSFS is a work in progress and needs to be understood as such. For those who don't possess all four, MSFS is not recommended; at least for now, they should stick with an older flight sim, and indeed some do. Hopefully, in time MSFS will be refined to the point that the last requirement can be relaxed. But that may take a while. In the interim, I am personally willing to deal with the glitches (especially involving new updates) because the rewards in this sim are far beyond anything I ever expected to see.

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1 month 1 week ago #17181 by jer029
Good article Jim.  I agree with most of it except I don't envision the perfect simulator described by Jim Hall because it would be too limited.  I think FSX is the best example of what I'm talking about.  The strength of FSX, and the reason it remained popular well past its expiration date, is directly linked to the 3rd party developers and their addons that either added to or improved the original function of the simulator.

This goes back to the old saying I hear in my software development classes, "If you design a program so that any fool can use it, only a fool will".  A bit snarky, but it holds true - especially for complex software applications such as flight simulators.  This was exasperated by simulators such as X-Plane that moved away from keyboard shortcuts and the "look and feel" familiar to FSX and its earlier versions, making migration from one sim to the other more frustrating.

Unfortunately, in order to have 3rd Party addon options to a base simulator package there will always be inherent problems, especially when the base system is still changing as MSFS is.  Those changes made to improve the base often break the addons, leading to frustration for developer and user alike.

Another issue that will continue even with a stable base simulator is 3rd party addons that don't play well in the same sandbox along with other addons.  These problems don't appear until the offending addons come together on the right system.  This can be very frustrating again for users and developers as fingers are pointed in all directions.  Examples of this are already apparent with the MSFS. With so many changes happening simultaneously it's hard to diagnose where the problem is and who should be fixing it.

Our own recent example of this occurred with the compatibility of the FlyByWire's A320 Project and our ACARS (and any other addon relying on FSUIPC).  In this case there was an update to the aircraft model that caused the payload data to no longer transmit to the ACARS program.  Since this involved a change to an addon that affected other addons, it was clear (for a change) that it didn't involve the base simulator.  Still, the discussion continues as to what should be done.  Should FBW change their model to accommodate the other addons, should FSUIPC adjust their addon to meet the needs of their users like our ACARS program, or should the end users like us code around the issue and try to pick up the missing data.  It's likely that the changes will have to be made at the lower end (by SPA and other end users), as the bigger players are less inclined to be pressured unless there are enough complaints to justify the time to make the changes.

This is just one of myriad examples of the complexities of such a large software project involving many contributors.  But before pilots jump to the conclusion that Mr. Hall's utopian simulator is the way to go, I would ask you to consider how that would have worked for FSX if it had remained a closed proprietary package that didn't allow the Software Development tools and information, especially after it was no longer supported by Microsoft.

Let those FSX pilots who have never included a 3rd party addon to their FSX simulator cast the first stone.

John Rogers
Webmaster

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1 month 1 week ago - 1 month 1 week ago #17182 by SmittyBRS
Well it's probably time to rethink my original post and it's Subject line. I've read all of the replies in the thread and agree with most of the thoughts and feeling of those kind enough to help me decide if simply "pulling the trigger" is enough. After watching many You Tube offerings and reading more than a few Forums here and other places, I've come to the conclusion that I've got enough machine to run the MS software but don't have the patience to endure another FSX type growing pain experience. That's why I got out of the testing stuff. It was fun for a while but many times it turned a hobby into a part time job. Wondering if the next upgrade, hot fix or service patch is going to screw everything up is not an attractive option for me.   Suppose I should add .....but NOT shoot a hole in my foot to the title.

For the time being I'll stick with P3Dv4.5 and enjoy my scenery, airplanes and real WX engines. I really don't care if I can look out of the window of my PA28 or windshield of the DC3 at low altitude and see my house. From FL380 I can hardly make out my little town through the haze of the South Eastern skies when I fire up the Lear35A or 737BBJ. D/L'd the Demo for X-Plane a few weeks ago and have really enjoyed learning the setup and menus. If the X-Plane12 offering is as nice as it looks and sounds like, I'll probably go that direction and use some of that space on my new SSD drives.

Smitty


 

LOW & SLOW is the WAY to GO
Last edit: 1 month 1 week ago by SmittyBRS. Reason: Thunder fingers did it again!

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