I thank you for all the hard work you're putting in to FSX, and there's a few things I've emailed to tell_fs before but wanted to pass them on to a member of the FSX team in a forum I know they are reading.
A few of the ideas I've had which wouldn't be too hard to integrate into the game engine/modules but that could improve the product a lot, or at least allow room for development of 3rd party addons as processor speeds increase during the lifcycle of the product...
A) I'd love to see parking codes implemented on facilities data that will work as per the real world. Currently we have Airline= & Aircraft Radius to be able to assign the parking. Most real world airports operate on Airline and Aircraft Type...
My suggestion is:
for the facilities data at a parking spot:
This will allow us to design airports more accurately parking wise.
B) In the aircraft.cfg file it would be great to also have effects designator switches for: wing vorticees, wing vapor, aircraft recognition lights (i.e. as in F-14's or F/A-18's electroluminescent strips).
Currently the light effects switches are limited. I was able to get around this with my F-14 effects upgrade by 'nesting' lights into one effect so that one effect.fx file had all my nav lights in it, and I was able to create over 30 individual lights and effects on the one aircraft, way above what had ever been done before.
I'd love to see more FX designators in the aircraft.cfg file available for things such as wing vapor, vorticees, water spray (on wet runways), heat haze, and even just generic effects toggles that can be called from the XML gauge.
Can we have the ability to have:
switches up to 99? This will allow us to make the sim look way more dynamic and will allow us to fully represent aircraft lighting and effects systems.
Does this make sense? We need more switches for effects in the aircraft.cfg...
C) Animated Autogen Wildlife...
This was an idea that was born in FS2004. I had done some experiments with autogen wildlife. See these links...
Now at the time my experiment was limited because there were only a limited number of world regions... I am excited that FSX looks like it has many more regions and Australia no longer shares a region with a part of the USA etc, as this was the major limitation to coding wildlife autogen into regions...
After having success with placement of static wildlife autogen, I started thinking about further possibilities. This included the use of animated MDL's in conjunction with Dynamic Scenery tracks to make the wildlife appear to be moving through the scenery (e.g. a moving hopping kangaroo). Unfortunately I ran into a stumbling block with no one having really made any tools for dynamic scenery track recording since FS98/2000. It just became too complicated.
At the time I wished for the ability to create wildlife "tracks" similar to the use of taxiways for the animals to move from point a to point b in the scenery etc etc. This would have been coupled with animated MDL's for say a herd of elephants. The aimated MDL's themselves would have had FX attached to the MDL so that puffs of dirt showed on every footstep.
From what I've seen and heard of FSX so far, this looks like it will be entirely possible within the FSX framework. I think I also forwarded this idea to tell_fs previously.
Anyway, that's the nuts and bolts of my idea... Oh except that a few things that could help this eventually become a part of the FS world is the use of bones and also keyframes for the animations. I mean with this you could even place people into the FS world...
www.inspeck.com has some excellent 3D imaging cameras and I have already imported one of their models into the FS world...
Some crazy stuff we did in experiments between lightwave and other 3D software being imported into FS...
Anyway, that is part of the experimental stuff that I did... That led to the animated characters in FS idea.
D) XML Code Variable - Dew Point
In designing the vorticees and wing vapor FX for the F-14 Tomcat, the one thing that wasn't available in the XML code was a tag for Dew Point. This would greatly enhance the ability to create wing vapour and vorticees for aircraft that are landing in high humidity and low temperatures. This effect would kick in when an aircraft is in the right conditions and will make all aircraft look so much more realistic upon landing by being able to toggle the vorticees and wing vapour effects on when the conditions are right...
Thanks for your time in reading through these 4 suggestions. I believe some of these ideas have already been built upon in FSX already from what I have been picking up. The rest of the ideas should not be hard to implement, especially ideas A) and D).
Thank you for your time, and consideration... I am excited about FSX and all the new cool stuff that is already in it...
Flight Sim Studios