As we wind down, a lot of the developers have been trying to catch their breath, so some of them have been flying missions that they never had time to try earlier.
It has been really fun for me to watch and hear the reactions as they play, and even more fun to hear team members (not just the devs) recount their experience later on. When we first introduced the concept of missions for FSX a little over a year ago, the whole thing was met with great concern and consternation. FS was good as a sandbox, why do we need to do all this mission stuff? Why make it so much like a game? I even heard such statements as "you're going to ruin flight sim and it's demise will all be on your shoulders..."
I'm not saying this as an "I told you so" (even though that's exactly what it sounds like) but to point out just how sweet it is to see the team truly enjoying the missions and talking about their flights in the hallways ("there I was, too high and too fast..."). And even more importantly seeing team members that couldn't land a plane, deal with an in-flight emergency, complete a challenging approach, or fly a helicopter actually surpase experienced pilots and flight sim users in a matter of weeks by flying the tutorials and the missions.
Well, here we are and I am so happy it has worked out good. I get to keep my job (whew...) and rock the boat a little more with some new innovations.
Yuppers, the missions are GOOD ! Like some of your devs I now too am finding a little more time (spelled t.i.m.e.) to play around with FSX. I like some of the missions for what they add to 'excitement', but I like it even more for what it can do to the future of FS (and this is from a guy who has been pretty aprehensive making FS into a game ;-) ).
I think the mission system is coming out well, and leaves other uses of the sim fully intact. AND it can be used for 'gaming' or as an educational tool ! (and I like the latter !).
Well done Paul ! :-)
I really like to the Innsbruck (Austria) VOR/DME approach mission.
I hope we get more difficult IFR approaches in missions in the future (freeware or payware).
Looking forward to this