• Road Trip: FlightSimCon 2016

    FlightSimCon 2016     FlightSimCon 2016

    FSFX Packages

    FSFX Packages is one of those developers trying to enhance your sim world. In their case, they are improving FSX and Prepar3D with realistic weather related effects. They were demonstrating the moisture clouds created on aircraft wing roots as one example. They now have packages for several PMDG aircraft, and also have the PreciptFX package which adds a variety of weather-induced visual effects.

    FlightSimCon 2016

    GoFlight

    Once again GoFlight was on hand showing off their control hardware. GoFlight is one of the oldest companies making high-end controllers for flightsimmers. I can well remember their relatively primitive first generation hardware and they've come a long way since then! Though they don't specifically say so, much of their hardware is a very close match for actual equipment found in real planes, the autopilot shown in their booth being an example. This is really nice stuff for the home cockpit builder.

    FlightSimCon 2016

    IVAO

    IVAO was once again a presence at FlightSimCon, this time in the expanded show floor in the civilian hangar. Unfortunately, that meant not quite as many people discovered their booth though they were right on the way to the all important lunch food trucks!

    IVAO has been providing an online platform for multi-player simming since 1998. It was a pleasure to again meet up with US Division Training Coordinator Tom Gilmore and World Tours Director Robert Nagy.

    X-Plane

    Though X-Plane did not display at the event, Austen Meyer did jet in at the last minute to give one of the talks on the state of X-Plane and what's coming up.

    Though I did not make his talk I did during the day spend quite a bit of time with other X-Plane staff members Ben Supnik, and Chris Serio. The upcoming 10.50 will have some nice improvements and will be available very soon. It will include a new city autogen system based on Open Street Map and using vector data, so streets will follow their actual paths and buildings of correct height will be wrapped around them. At airports static aircraft will be placed into realistic spaces, making airports look more alive. Global winds aloft data will now be brought in from the Internet and used during flight. Also apt.dat will have much additional airport data, giving designers new abilities when WED 1.5 is released.

    Looking further ahead to version 11, already under development, a big change will be a vastly changed user interface, which will make setting up a flight quicker using more visual tools. Hardware setup will also be improved using a visual configuration system. The look will improve with next generation rendering, including things like PBR (physically based rendering) where lighting will follow real world rules such as reflections. Also used will be screen space ambient occlusion, where objects will be realistically shaded. Another area long overlooked will be improved--the sound engine. It will now integrate with the flight model, physics, etc. Sounds will react to pilot use of the plane, location, changes in environment (door open, door closed for example).

    FlightSimCon 2016     FlightSimCon 2016     FlightSimCon 2016

    Evening Social

    After the show floor closed down at 5:00 pm on Saturday, the crowd of simmers needed something to do and fortunately an after event social at the host hotel, sponsored by REX Game Studios, filled the need.

    Several hundred people packed the room, and what a room for aviation enthusiasts, since the hotel is actually part of the airport, with gates right outside the windows and a clear view of runways and taxiways. We all had some great snacks and conversation. Some continued on to the official dinner but I headed home for the evening.


    16 Comments
    1. Bill Alderson's Avatar
      Bill Alderson -
      Nicely done Nels.

      I was there and saw you standing there by the front door but never got the chance to stop and finally meet you since you seemed to be in deep conversation with other people. I was, however, able to finally ask Mathijs Kok, after all these years, how to pronounce his first name, and to meet Ernie Alston. So, all things considered, it was a pretty successful weekend.

      Looking forward to next year....

      Bill Alderson
    1. paulferg's Avatar
      paulferg -
      That was a splendid glimpse at something I had not been aware of. I may well try to attend next year. Will you be publishing details when they are available?

      Paul Ferguson
    1. Nels_Anderson's Avatar
      Nels_Anderson -
      Yes, absolutely. We've been actively promoting this event for three years now and have published announcements as they are released and I've published a similar report for the previous two years as I did for this one.

      I was told to expect first news about next year's event in about a month and it will surely be announced on our front page.
    1. DominicS's Avatar
      DominicS -
      Great article Nels, looks like you had plenty of fun! Nice to see the event looking so healthy too!

      Cheers

      Dom
    1. timest's Avatar
      timest -
      Hi Nels,

      It was great finally meeting you and I enjoyed our conversation. I wish we could have spent more time!

      Cheers,
      Tim Fuchs
      REX Simulations
    1. vegasjon's Avatar
      vegasjon -
      Thanks for the coverage! Will next years' event be held at the same location? How did you see attendance- was there enough demand to support future events?
    1. Nels_Anderson's Avatar
      Nels_Anderson -
      Quote Originally Posted by timest View Post
      Hi Nels,

      It was great finally meeting you and I enjoyed our conversation. I wish we could have spent more time!

      Cheers,
      Tim Fuchs
      REX Simulations
      Likewise Tim, great to meet you. That was one of the biggest frustrations, so many people to meet and not nearly enough time!
    1. Nels_Anderson's Avatar
      Nels_Anderson -
      Quote Originally Posted by vegasjon View Post
      Thanks for the coverage! Will next years' event be held at the same location? How did you see attendance- was there enough demand to support future events?
      Did you read the whole article? It goes on for several pages and I did mention this near the end.

      Briefly, this year attendance was around 520 versus 320 the previous year, so very good growth in attendance. The number of exhibitors increased as well. The event has grown steadily and I expect it certainly supports future events.

      Your question about location is valid, as the venue can only hold so many. I talked with the event organizer about this and it appears the museum is doing some expansion that will help if it goes through. As I mentioned in the article, we are expecting an announcement about next years event in a month or so. Please make sure you read the entire article.
    1. andyjohnston's Avatar
      andyjohnston -
      "In his view the state of the hobby is quite good, though may be moving in new directions that some many be uncomfortable with."

      This I found this statement to be odd as I thought there would be more explanation offered. Could you expand on what people might be uncomfortable with?
    1. belgeode's Avatar
      belgeode -
      LOL, omg you actually got a picture of me in the hat huh?? Nice. It was great to meet up! Cannot wait for next year!!
    1. Nels_Anderson's Avatar
      Nels_Anderson -
      Quote Originally Posted by andyjohnston View Post
      "In his view the state of the hobby is quite good, though may be moving in new directions that some many be uncomfortable with."

      This I found this statement to be odd as I thought there would be more explanation offered. Could you expand on what people might be uncomfortable with?
      Well, reading the forums I see many people using old sims (i.e. FS2004... or even FS98!) who stick with them because change makes them uncomfortable. Future changes will be even more extreme, since we're talking about a complete break from the MSTS path we've been used to for so many years, and moving into sims that will have no compatibility with previous ones.
    1. Aviatorboy88's Avatar
      Aviatorboy88 -
      Will this event ever come to the Silicon Valley? I feel like I'm the only one whom uses FS2004 and/or FSX.
    1. Nels_Anderson's Avatar
      Nels_Anderson -
      Quote Originally Posted by Aviatorboy88 View Post
      Will this event ever come to the Silicon Valley? I feel like I'm the only one whom uses FS2004 and/or FSX.
      I rather doubt you're the only one in your area who flightsims. But meeting up can be hard.

      I don't see this specific event moving very far from its current location. The event planner is based in the Hartford area and its largely sponsored by Boston Virtual ATC which has an obvious connection with New England. This event attracted people from all over the world, many from Europe and some even as far as Japan. I was surprised to see that relatively few attendees were truly local, so many are quite willing to travel to something like this.
    1. mrzippy's Avatar
      mrzippy -
      Quote Originally Posted by Aviatorboy88 View Post
      Will this event ever come to the Silicon Valley? I feel like I'm the only one whom uses FS2004 and/or FSX.
      You haven't been around here long enough! Many SF Bay Area folks on here!
    1. MSgt's Avatar
      MSgt -
      Nels,
      I was there the first day (kicked myself later for not going Sunday) and was hoping to meet you, as I have been on flightsim.com since about 1996, but never ran into you. Hoping to see you (and belgeode!) next year!

      Russ
    1. maxam's Avatar
      maxam -
      Hi Nels,

      Just visiting from the "other" site .... It was really nice to have met you and talk about simming for a while. What a great weekend everyone had! Looking forward to travel there again next year if my schedule permits.

      Robert
      BC, Canada
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