• Interview With Jarrad Marshall Of Orbx

    Jarrad Marshall Interview

    Conducted by Dominic Smith

    Jarrad Marshall

    Jarrad, thank you for taking the time to speak to FlightSim.Com about your work. Your reputation as a prolific and talented scenery designer at Orbx is well known, so we are extremely grateful to you for taking the time out of your busy schedule to talk to us.

    Jarrad, when and how did you start developing for Orbx?

    I've been with ORBX since late 2007, when John Venema invited me to make some contributions to FTX AU Blue, the first ORBX product, modelling the cityscape of Perth. Prior to this, I had done a little bit of airport development with John via his enormously successful Vista Australis (VOZ) project for FS2004. My first fully-fledged project with ORBX was Jandakot Airport (YPJT) for AU Blue, which was released at the end of 2008.

           

    Prior to joining the Orbx team, what experience did you have (if any) in scenery design?

    I've been a scenery developer for (far) too long, having made my first feeble scenery attempts when FS2002 was the new kid on the flight sim block. Myself and a couple of other Perth guys formed a team called Westsim Design Group in 2002, with lofty visions of re-creating our entire home state of Western Australia. We released several freeware and limited payware sceneries for FS2002 and FS2004, most well-known of which was our freeware Jandakot airport, released in 2003. Our last major release in early 2006 - Murray Field for FS2004 - was actually designed to blend seamlessly with the aforementioned VOZ freeware project, and hence the start of my working relationship with John.

           

    As part of the Orbx team, do you get to choose the airports you work on? And if so, how do you go about the selection process?

    I am fortunate to have full autonomy in the selection process at ORBX. Given the huge amount of time and effort that will go into any scenery project, it is imperative that I choose an airport that I will enjoy developing - there is little use to move ahead on a project on financial motives alone as it's likely to result in either an under-par project or developer burn-out.

    So that being said, there are several aspects that need to be considered during the selection process. Of course there are the logistical limitations - is there suitable GIS/orthoimagery available for the area, and is it possible to get airside photographs? But more important is the "interest factor" - will the airport and area be a drawcard for simmers, as well as being an interesting project to develop.

           

    Airport size, location and surrounding terrain are all important, architecture (who wants to look at a generic box terminal?), unique features and unusual elements all contribute too. I prefer to make airports that are genuinely useable by as many types of simmers as possible - the sweet spot for me is a field that handles GA traffic, bizjets/helicopters and airliners.

    What is outside the airport fence is of high importance to me, and just as important as the airport itself. As such, I try to include as many non-airport features as possible, in a large coverage area. The reason for this is two-fold; as a GA/low-and-slow flyer, it's great to explore the surrounding area in detail, and as a by-the-numbers procedural pilot, having full situational awareness for area departure and extended finals (not to mention the circuit area) is vital, so therefore having a highly detailed and accurate extended coverage area is crucial. Having specific areas in the coverage area is useful too - whether that be areas of higher detail (downtown, landmarks, etc.) or even specific landing areas (helipads, hospitals, additional minor airstrips, etc.), this creates further incentive to explore a scenery beyond the airport gate.

           


    15 Comments
    1. mvg3d's Avatar
      mvg3d -
      Hi Jarrad,
      Congratulations for Your awesome works !!!
      Why not Italian sceneries ?

    1. KinoDF's Avatar
      KinoDF -
      Thanks Master!

      I really appreciate very much your splendid work!

      Cheers,

      Voyager
    1. W33's Avatar
      W33 -
      Many thanks Jarrad. Through your passion and skill, you've made so many sceneries come to life.

      Great interview.

      W33
    1. btwallis's Avatar
      btwallis -
      Much thanks to Jarrad, one if the the best scenery developers over at Orbx. I think I have all but one of his airports. Palm Springs is simply outstanding, I love that scenery and of course Redding (where I am heading in a weeks time, followed by passing through Palm Springs).

      The most problematic for me and others unfortunately is Anacortes which for some reason seems to bog down my computer. I haven't gone back to see what I could shut off to make it work smoother on my machine, I should. Another Orbx product was also a bear on frames was Squamish (not Jarrads) which I found I could shut off certain elements manually to help with performance - like lite poles and some custom scenery buildings.

      I love Jarrads work and glad that he is so committed to doing such great work.
    1. kingnorris's Avatar
      kingnorris -
      But don't you dare say anything slightly negative about ORBX at their forums.....
    1. paw101's Avatar
      paw101 -
      Thanks for a very interesting article and all you do for our hobby. Keep up the great work!!
    1. Howellerman's Avatar
      Howellerman -
      I have everything (North American, that is) that Jarrad has produced, and he is THE best scenery developer in the Orbx stable. Like btwallis, I find Anacortes to be a bit punishing, but KRDD, KMRY, and KPSP are miracles of smooth operation, better than default airports!

      Now, Jarrad just needs to get to work on putting KJAC and KWYS into P3D V2. While KJAC partially loads (the airport works), KWYS is a no-op. I know, I know: we are a demanding bunch!!!
    1. AngeloM's Avatar
      AngeloM -
      Not a word, nor a question, about X-Plane projects, what a pity.
    1. omitchell's Avatar
      omitchell -
      Quote Originally Posted by kingnorris View Post
      But don't you dare say anything slightly negative about ORBX at their forums.....
      You got that right, you get banned if you mention anything negative at all. Even pointing out glaring faults is a no no
    1. beana5's Avatar
      beana5 -
      Quote Originally Posted by mvg3d View Post
      Hi Jarrad,
      Congratulations for Your awesome works !!!
      Why not Italian sceneries ?


      Agreed..
    1. Ragtopjohnny's Avatar
      Ragtopjohnny -
      Glad I didn't say it, Thanks King Norris! You beat me to it!
    1. exacto's Avatar
      exacto -
      Jarrad -
      You're right. There are many superbly talented people who bore easily and struggle to be goal oriented.
      So the few, like you, who persevere with day-in day-out determination and deliver superb results, are especially worthy of deep admiration.
      I have had FSX for about three years. Most of the excellent planes I have came from FlightSim. I have now flown ILS approaches & non-precision approaches with each of the 93 planes I have. Now I've gotten interested in better scenery. ORBX seems a very quality product to buy, but even though I've done some research, I can't figure out exactly what the NA package includes.
      It appears from this article that only a few selected enhanced airports are included. Does the NA package
      include country-wide enhanced terrain? Will my home airport of KBNA (Nashville) be improved? Can anybody advise?
    1. Kihew's Avatar
      Kihew -
      Very interesting reading! Many thanks
    1. Kihew's Avatar
      Kihew -
      below
    1. Kihew's Avatar
      Kihew -
      About your question about what is included in orbx's NA you need only to go to fullterrain.com, click on region Terrain Regions or click on this link to go directly to the coverage map, where you can check if Nashville is part of the orbx scenery areas. ORBX is MUCH more than just very detailed airports. They completely change the look of FS scenery. Just check the screenshots.

      https://fullterrain.com/locations/na

      Quote Originally Posted by exacto View Post
      Jarrad -
      You're right. There are many superbly talented people who bore easily and struggle to be goal oriented.
      So the few, like you, who persevere with day-in day-out determination and deliver superb results, are especially worthy of deep admiration.
      I have had FSX for about three years. Most of the excellent planes I have came from FlightSim. I have now flown ILS approaches & non-precision approaches with each of the 93 planes I have. Now I've gotten interested in better scenery. ORBX seems a very quality product to buy, but even though I've done some research, I can't figure out exactly what the NA package includes.
      It appears from this article that only a few selected enhanced airports are included. Does the NA package
      include country-wide enhanced terrain? Will my home airport of KBNA (Nashville) be improved? Can anybody advise?
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