• Interview With Mark Taylor Of Flysimware

    Interview With Mark Taylor Of Flysimware

    Development

    When did you start developing for flight simulators and what got you interested in it?

    In 1983 I had my first experience flying Microsoft's Flight Simulator 1.1 and 1.2. At that time I remember thinking how amazing it was that you could fly and simulate an aircraft on a home computer. Looking back, it's staggering to see how much technology has changed and moved on.

    Ever since a young age, I've enjoyed building RC planes, so creating aircraft for Microsoft Flight Simulator is in some ways, an extension of that. My experience in AutoCAD and the fabrication side of things, helps me greatly in trying to build aircraft that I both love and enjoy.

    Tell us about the nature of your designs and what you do?

    Flysimware specializes in making tools, missions, trains, aircraft and helicopters for Flight Simulator 2004, Flight Simulator X, MSTS and Prepar3D. We've strived to give our customers the highest quality since 2008. Flysimware at present focuses on vintage aircraft and helicopters. Many of the vintage aircraft I have created were a real challenge to develop as reference material was pretty scarce and hard to come by.

    Flysimware's aircraft are designed to simulate a 360 degree view as you would experience in a real aircraft environment. All functions are controlled by joystick controllers and all switches and levers are controlled by mouse (as if you were using your hands). This all adds to the realism, as you must move around the cockpit. We also incorporate a four stage prop effect so you can see the difference (visually) between a low RPM and a high RPM effect.

    As the sole owner and developer of Flysimware I develop and control each project from start to finish, which helps greatly in terms of time management. I have a great beta team which aids me enormously in eliminating any bugs or issues that may arise. They also help me with suggestions on how to improve or add to the authenticity of a project.

           

    What do you consider your best or most popular work?

    Usually, my most current work is normally my best work, as each model I create, in my opinion, is better than the last one. From a sales point of view, my most popular aircraft have been our Bell 47, Cessna 195, Beech 18 and our PT-26. Other projects that my customers enjoy are the animated gates for FS2004 and missions for FSX. I highly recommend trying our Alaska Tundra mission...great fun!

    What do you find to be the most challenging aspect of a project?

    When creating an aircraft, I think the biggest challenge for any developer is in finding information relating to that particular aircraft. This, in my opinion, is a greater challenge than any modelling that takes place, since I work with some quite rare vintage aircraft. I find developing realistic textures and texture mapping takes years of practice and is difficult to get 100% correct.

    Another challenge is to learn how to write your own custom xml gauges and functions, so that they work with specific models. Personally, I know of no programs or tutorials that will simply teach you how to design complex xml codes, so this is where friends and forums come in helpful.

    Where do you normally find information to build aircraft?

    Usually I'll try and contact an individual who knows a particular aircraft inside and out. I also use the internet to find blueprints and schematics so as to develop accurate aircraft parts. I find Facebook very useful as well, as it gives me the opportunity to post questions when I need help from customers and other other developers.

           

    What have been your favorite projects?

    I can't really say that I have a favorite, as each project has been special in a particular way, be it creating missions, or designing aircraft for FSX and P3D. If I had to really pick my favorite project, then it would be my 1918 Thomas Morse Scout / Full Package! This is an amazing vintage aircraft with two types of magneto switches, so that you can fly like the original, using the bleep switch or using the simple to fly magneto switch with five ranges of RPM.

    What software packages and tools do you use to develop?

    For my aircraft development, I use two computers. One is used to display reference material, such as pictures, and the other is used primarily for my development work. In terms of tools, there are too many to mention, but the one standout piece of software that I use is Gmax 1.2 at TurboSquid. I use this to animate parts, mapping textures and to model aircraft I design. Gmax is a wonderful tool, but can take a number of years to learn; especially if you wish to create accurate aircraft parts with any degree of speed. I also use a few tools to aid me in creating the flight dynamics. My goal is to create as accurate a flight model as possible, so the aircraft performs as it would in the real world.


    6 Comments
    1. williamsgrante's Avatar
      williamsgrante -
      Mark Taylor was a huge mentor to my on Flight Simulator way back on the Flysim Server. Been a year or so since I've talked to him. Great to see that things are going well for him. I was around right whenever he started Flysimware and remember being there when he developed the Alaska Tundra missions (which I do recommend), and to see him where he is now is amazing! Congratulations on your success Mark!
    1. shalako's Avatar
      shalako -
      Mark is a really talented developer. I've known Mark a few years and have always been impressed with his work. He spends a lot of time on research maybe as much as development and it shows in his work. He dropped in on our club a lot while he was developing the Scout and Ercoupe, so naturally I picked them up as soon as the were available. and I wasn't disappointed . But my favorite is the Bell 47G. I wish Mark all the luck in the world now that he has taken the plunge to go full time.
      Ed Olson WOAVA
    1. WSPanic's Avatar
      WSPanic -
      Nice interview i found by accident!

      Hey Mark did you ever go by the handle "Cable Guy"? I think we know each other by another moniker. Anyway long time no chat and in that time i gave/giving back to the FSX community by creating and maintaining FSXDB.com

      Join my site and give me a hollar...

      Little sample what sites about.
    1. deliveryguy1970's Avatar
      deliveryguy1970 -
      Quote Originally Posted by WSPanic View Post
      Nice interview i found by accident!

      Hey Mark did you ever go by the handle "Cable Guy"?
      No Cable Guy was a member at our flying club!
    1. deliveryguy1970's Avatar
      deliveryguy1970 -
      Quote Originally Posted by williamsgrante View Post
      Mark Taylor was a huge mentor to my on Flight Simulator way back on the Flysim Server. Been a year or so since I've talked to him. Great to see that things are going well for him. I was around right whenever he started Flysimware and remember being there when he developed the Alaska Tundra missions (which I do recommend), and to see him where he is now is amazing! Congratulations on your success Mark!
      Thanks Grant!
    1. deliveryguy1970's Avatar
      deliveryguy1970 -
      Quote Originally Posted by shalako View Post
      Mark is a really talented developer.
      Thanks!
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