I guess that MS has managed to start on the wrong foot their relationship with the developer community, ORBX is not alone in their disappointment with FLIGHT!
Posted 05 January 2012 - 03:43 AM
We've had Flight alpha code running in-house for well over a year; about 25 of our team installed a few builds. We've been talking to MS for over two years about Flight.
I have to apologise to this whole forum because I sent Alain Needle a PM about a year ago since he was pestering me so much. And I let him know a little too much info. Oops, you guys have suffered for that lapse, sorry.
Long story short, we spent a lot of time working with MS on white papers and looked at the code, gave them copies of all our products, told them how to do it right. They even used screenshots of our 1S2 Darrington in their mission dialog boxes, so they must have installed our scenery into Flight at some point, LOL!
About March 2010 everything went quiet despite promises of new builds. Later in 2010 we were told to go away, no SDK will be shipped.
Thanks MS, for all the fish.
I've been a good NDA citizen and kept my lip zipped as best I can, although I saw there were some leaks last year from other disgruntled devs.
Bottom line for us is that a closed environment with an in-game app store does not appeal to us since we cannot generate income from such a proprietary arrangement. I doubt that a belated SDK will arrive quickly enough for us to hold any interest now. The studio IMHO should not have stopped talking to third party developers but a decision at VP level must have been made to internalize the project.
As for Orbx FSX will remain our core platform for at least 5-10 years and we will run Prepar3D as a parallel platform. We're porting all our stuff to P3D over the coming months. P3D V2.0 looks crazy cool, although I am under NDA with LM. We will release about 30+ products for FSX/P3D this year alone, including about 5-6 new regions including some in Europe. We're doubling our regions team and investing in FSX/P3D R&D as quickly as we can. We see no reason why anyone would walk away from 5 years of FSX addons investment to a new simulator. The future from our perspective is very bright.
MS don't know what they have in the FSX engine source code, or they would not have licensed it to LM. It is by far the most capable and impressive 3D far-horizon engine ever coded - bar none. Nothing, even in 2012 comes close to the number of pixels and terrain the FSX engine can push at a locked 60Hz. Problem is, the code needs a little loving and MS won't fund that. So good thing we have a dev team at LM who are doing just that. Can't wait for that engine to be running close to the metal and off the CPU and onto the GPU. Yes, that's coming and it will rock.
As for making our own engine? Been there, done that, talked to a bunch of suppliers. Again, nothing comes close to the FSX core code, it's that good. There is a reason why code from 26 years ago was retained. It would cost us about $30 million to start from scratch, maybe more. Better to just make content for an engine that is working and being developed forward.
and an interesting article about FLIGHT!