• Interview With Antoni Wroblewski

    Interview With Antoni Wroblewski

    Conducted By Dominic Smith

    Development

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

    I've been a fan of flight simulators since FS2000. I remember seeing the simulator for sale at a discount in a game store, I bought it, and have been hooked on it ever since. After the release of FSX, I moved over to X-Plane after purchasing an Apple laptop. I'm a programmer and my main full-time job is writing software, however I never thought of specifically developing for X-Plane until I started to realise that nobody was going to write or implement the features I wanted. Specifically, I realised the huge potential of using OpenStreetMap data to generate scenery, and after OSM2XP was no longer being developed, I decided to start a new project. I also regularly update maps on OpenStreetMap and it was only natural for me to connect the two together.

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

    I'm the main/only programmer for World2Xplane, which in short, converts OpenStreetMap data into scenery for X-Plane. I started the project from scratch, and reached out to the community to help with mapping, photography, and 3D modelling. Several users joined in and have contributed some regional buildings into our library, and many people continue to help out and improve the project. My main area of interest is creating scenery for the UK (where I was born) and Poland (where I presently live), however others have created buildings for Switzerland, Italy, Germany and the United States.

    What do you consider your best or most popular work?

    Outside of flight simulation, my most popular work was a free map editor for Grand Theft Auto 3, Vice City and San Andreas. World2Xplane has been extremely popular in Europe, and I'm hoping many new users will continue to join in and start mapping their towns in OpenStreetMap. I'm very happy with the project and I'm very pleased how far it has progressed.

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

    The most challenging aspect of a project for me is actually the artwork and 3D modelling. I started out with no experience with 3D modelling, but have created myself a workflow where I can quickly create lots of models of various sizes quickly using Blender. The programming side has proved challenging, especially in regards to testing, since it's impossible for me to test the entire world. Many users have beta tested the application, reported bugs and this has greatly helped me with software development. I've also been in contact with Andras Fabian (author of the HD Mesh), who offered me advice and tips on scenery generation and also Ben Supnik (programmer for X-Plane), who implemented some features I needed into 10.30 regarding roads and power lines.

           

    What have been your favorite projects?

    I only have the one project, but by far my favourite project in X-Plane has been OSM2XP which allowed me to generate my own scenery. World2Xplane is a logical progression of OSM2XP and has lots of features that users wanted and requested, e.g. multipolygon support, regional generation, real 3D models instead of facades, roads and powerful configuration options.

    What software packages and tools do you use to develop?

    The application is written in Java, and I use standard Java tools to create and manage the project, e.g. maven, intellij. For 3D modelling, I work with Blender, however others have also contributed using Sketchup.

    Who would you consider to be your mentors or inspiration in the development world if you have any?

    I have the upmost respect for people who contribute their free time to create applications and scenery for free for the community. Andras Fabian (developer of HD Mesh v2) and Benny (author of OSM2XP) are two of those developers who inspired me to get my hands dirty and join in. Also, Armin, the admin of Simheaven.com has inspired me to continually improve the application and has really helped expose the project to users by offering and hosting huge amounts of scenery for free. I continue to work with Armin, implementing features requested by users and continually improving the scenery generation algorithims.


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