P-12C Pilot

The Flight Simulator experience and other tangential thoughts

Who Let the Cat Out of the Bag?

Who Let the Cat Out of the Bag?

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Is that a meow I hear or a roar? Definitely a roar and the cat's got claws, sharp teeth and over 4,000 horsepower. They don't call it the fastest motor sport on earth for nothing!

Other than the absence of hot air balloon racing, there is racing for every taste in the FSX Adrenaline pack. So now that the cat is out of the bag, I can talk a little about what we have been working on. It's no secret that I'm an air racing fan and make a pilgramage to Reno every year that I can. It's just too cool seeing Mustangs, Sea Furies, and other hotrod aircraft fly at 500 mph 50 ft off the deck (not to mention all the other classes of racing aircraft). Of course we aren't only supporting Reno style racing, but we are expanding on Red Bull racing, sailplane racing, and cross country racing. All with several of your best friends or complete strangers.

So how did we end up deciding to do air racing? Well, real-life interest in air racing has been active and popular since shortly after the first aircraft took to the air in the early 1900's. People will race anything and aircraft are an obvious choice. Some of the greatest advancements have been from the technology advances developed as part of air racing and the competition to be the fastest. In the 1930's several custom racers were faster than their military counterparts and were built at a fraction of the cost. Although air racing events are limited today,hundreds of thousands of aviation fans go to Reno every year, and at some Red Bull events there are 2 million fans watching on the sidelines and even more on television. These are all good reasons, but the real reason is because we feel we need to get some competitive action into FSX. We really want to do combat again, but we didn't feel we could do that justice (i.e. do it right) in the timeline we have for this expansion pack. Racing is a great way to get competition into the product while building on the platform that can eventually bring combat back (and much of what we are doing will help support combat later). We've been building and testing race courses and even though I'm biased, it's a blast (even when Brandon kicks my butt almost every race). The man's a racing machine!

Obviously FSX Adrenaline does have multi-player racing, and that is a big part of the package, but it's only a large third of the deal. For those of you that don't think you want to race (maybe the same people that didn't think they would like missions...) we have more missions to offer with new experiences and things to do. Of course along with those missions, you get new scenery enhancements, new functionality, and new aircraft. Plus the mission system get's some upgrades along the way too.

The aircraft are not all racing aircraft as the P-51 is really the only "pure" racer we are adding, but what I am excited about is that the new aircraft are really bringing some significant new functionality to the sim. This new functionality will likely be something that third party developers will want to build on in the future, so don't be surprised when a new aircraft is offered and uses something from FSX Adrenaline. Until the new aircraft line-up is announced (we're still working on some logistics getting these done) I can't go into the details about what these new systems are. Besides, you know how averse we are to making promises when we know the feature list can always be pruned to hit a date.

And then there is the new scenery. For our racing venues, we are developing scenery that is much more advanced and beautiful than we have ever attempted before. I can hear the moaning now about how more detail will just bring FSX to it's knees even futher, but we have been testing these new techniques and they seem relatively frame friendly while looking absolutely great. And with the great new SP1 perf gains, I think we will be just fine. With the new aerial imagery, new objects and such, it really brings the areas alive.

For how much development time we have been alotted, we are doing a ton of work and it really shows. So for the same cost of a typical third party add-on you get a lot of stuff. Even if you don't care about any of the new content, the new systems and general enhancements should be worth the cost.

To say I'm excited about this chapter in FS history is an understatement of giant proportions!

We don't have screenshot worthy material yet as we need to get our aerial imagery past the placeholder stage and get our new aircraft completed, but I hope to have something to show in a while.

I've still got a few mission scripts to write, so maybe I better get back to work...

Comments
  • yes that`s really good news Paul ...

    thank`s for sharing  , and bring us some shots .., video us quickly you can :)) we are hungry :))) !!!

    brds

  • Thanks Paul...

    I am excited too..  Can't wait. :)

    Manny

  • I think I just wet my pants.

    WOW!

  • I want to thank you a lot, Paul, for your explanations about the next SP1 for FSX.

    That´s good news about FPS. I have a Pentium IV, 3.6 GHZ, an ATI X800Pro 256 MG and I have to slow down all of the sliders in FSX for gettin a 14-18 FPS when in any main airports.

    Any way, FSX is a wonderful sim just like it´s now designed.

    Thanks again for maintaining us so well informed. In this way I can inform too to all our forum members in

    www.avionmagazine.com/foro

    Best regards from Madrid, Spain.

  • Aviles, did I meet you when I was in Spain?

  • Sure, Paul.

    I´m a member of Simuvuelo Club in Spain and I met you and Oscar when in the Official presentacion of FSX in Madrid last July.

    I am the one who asked you if you were a true pilot and asked you too if the ATC system was updated in FSX.

    Regards

    Pedro Aviles

  • Cool, well nice to hear from you again. The trip to Spain the other one to Holland were whirlwind trips. It's a little hard to keep track of all the great people I've met.

    Take care

  • I know, I know, Paul. I´m a journalist. I met a lot of people in my life and can´t remember all the faces!!.

    Well, anyway, I´m just journalist and a flighsimmer from FS3, yes: fs3. I have flown in fs3, fs4, fs5. fs5.1, fsw95, fs98, fs2000, fs2002, fsacof (fs2004), and right now in my beloved FsX!!.

    I was a scenery designer too and may be I continue with that. Just go to www.flighsim.com and search for the "Spain Global Scenery for FS98", It has 18602

    downloads. It was uploaded to flighsim.com in 1998, almost 10 years ago!!

    Now I can´t wait for the SP1!!

    take care too,

    Pedro Aviles

  • Hi Paul !

    Is it true about Hal`s Bryan travel to Poland?

    and if it`s correct, can you give me some more details about his visit?

    brds

    p.s I know about Hal blog , but I noticed strange behaviours lately on this site , so I decided ask you .

    brds

    Marcin

  • Hello Paul...

    can I ask you to replay on my question stated above?

    brds

  • Hi,

    I really appreciate ACES communication style. I'd love, if we have similar in our company (btw. We sell big, big ERP software ;-)

    This are exciting news. Especially a little note made me wake up:

    "Plus the mission system get's some upgrades along the way too."

    I'd really love to build a missions, but I have to admit that I always struggle with the tool.

    I hope you will introduce a career mode for with the missions, to have a long lasting motivation.

    You must know, beside FSX, I'm a fan of FSPassengers ;-)

    Regards,

    Heiko

  • Marcin, I don't know anything about Hal going to Poland. Don't be afraid to comment on his blog and ask him directly... He's a very nice guy.

  • Heiko=Mango?

    If so, I've enjoyed your posts on FS2004 and especially the awesome screenshots from your MP sessions.

    If you are Mango, send me an e-mail.

  • Awesome news Phil,

    Can't wait to do one of those air race's! Altough I am a serious IFR flyer the missions are such a great adition to do something else then going from A to B. Flying a P51 and race with your friends is a great example of that. This is going on the ''must have'' list.

    Greets,

    p.s we spoke after your presentaion in the Netherlands(I am that curious kid :P )

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