• X-Plane.at Team Interview

           

    Development

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

    About two years ago, I moved from MS FS2004 to X-Plane 10. The reason being, because FS2004 was starting to look a bit dated and I wanted to be able to simulate aircraft to a higher level. After researching what other simulators were available, I came to the conclusion that X-Plane 10 did what I wanted it to. The other reason why I use X-Plane 10, is because it's still very much under development. The only slight downside is that compared to the Flight Simulator franchise there are not as many scenery add-ons available; especially for my home country of Austria. I like to fly helicopters and small aircraft under VFR so that I can see accurate landmarks and buildings and after getting bored with the rather plain default airfields with no buildings or objects, I decided that I would attempt to upgrade them. This was easier than I thought because I had two fantastic tools available to me: OpenSceneryX for the objects and X-Plane's very own WED (World Editor).

    It was not until later that I found X-Plane.at which Gerhard Scholz (oe3gsu) runs. It was here that I found many Austrian airports. They were of all fantastic quality; some being photo-realistic and of course, they were all...free! It was at Gerhard's site that I found many tutorials on how to build and texture objects. Once I had learnt how to do this, everything else kind of fitted into place.

           

    Originally I had been creating LOAS with just standard objects, but after seeing how easy it was to design your own objects, I decided to create my own. Gerhard, at the same time, was looking for some co-authors for his project, so I started with photorealistic, custom object building work. Spitzerberg airfield was my first project.

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

    I try to create objects so as to be as close to reality as possible, without going overboard. It's a compromise between good looking and easy building. It's important to remember the smaller details, because it's those little details which make all the difference. It's always worth taking that little bit of extra time on something, because the scenery looks so much better when finished.

    Others whom I work with create aircraft liveries and build Austrian airfields. Whatever we create though, we always endeavour to make it as real as possible; within of course, the limitations mentioned.

           

    What do you consider your best or most popular work?

    I think we would all agree that our last created work is always the best. We are constantly learning as we go, so we try and incorporate our learning into our work.

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

    The most challenging aspect of our work has to be the planning involved. Like I mentioned above, we always try and make our work as accurate as possible. This includes, what the buildings look like, the layout of the airport and what landmarks are present. A lot of research goes into our work, so I think it's fair to say that this is the most challenging part of what we do.

    What have been your favorite projects?

    I think the one which stands out for all of us is LOWS. A lot of work went into this scenery and the result was most pleasing.

           

    What software packages and tools do you use to develop?

    Most of us use only freeware tools, such as GIMP, PaintNet, SketchUp and Google Earth, but I do know that Photoshop has been used on occasion. We also use plugins for object building and texturing. Finally, we mustn't forget the WED (World Editor) from X-Plane, used to place objects within the simulator.


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