• FSDT Announces GSX Level 2 Expansion

    GSX Ground Services

    GSX Ground Services is a revolutionary product that simulates several operations on ground, like marshalling, catering, boarding/deboarding of passengers and baggage, stairs, refueling vehicles, pushback with realistic behavior, folllow me cars, docking system and more, all featuring many native animations and belivable human characters.

    GSX Level 2 Expansion

    An "expansion"? Yes, it means we are not releasing a entirely new version of GSX, causing grief to anybody that bought it recently, and having to deal with several upgrade offers that won't surely satisfy everyone so, instead, we are releasing it as an expansion, which means:

    • The core GSX product will continue as it is, constantly updated for free in all its main features, so you won't have to pay for a new version, just to get rid of bugs of the old one...
    • You are not being asked to pay for something you might not be interested right now.
    • It's easier for us supporting it, because the code to maintain is only one, with just a different behavior depending if you bought the expansion or not so, this will give you the guaranteed of continued support for the whole GSX program.

    We believe the expansion approach is one that will allow us to sustain the continuing development of the product for the following years, without leaving anybody out. We'll surely improve all the core features in GSX, like Pusback, which is the likely candidate for the next rewamp (last year we remade the Refueling), and we'll still add new services to the core product, like water/lavatory vehicles, and such core updates will continue to be free.

    GSX Level 2 focuses on two main features:

    SODE Jetways, Everywhere

    GSX has been one of the most popular products out there, because it was always thought as a "global" add-on that would work everywhere, not tied to a specific airport or airplane add-on. The expansion will follow on that concept, with jetways, which will be improved in the following way:

    Upon installing it, ALL those outdated, ugly (by current standards) and bugged default jetways, will disappear, to be replaced by SODE jetways, way more reliable, and so much better looking, with the same level of quality you might have seen in our KORD V2 preview. This is not very different that having the default Pushback truck disabled during the GSX installation: the old default jetway model will be replaced with one with compatible dimensions, just way better looking, and using SODE instead.

    So, without doing anything on your part, all default jetways in all default airport will immediately work/look much better. The following screen shot is an example of the default EDDM scenery, with standard jetways automatically replaced by GSX.

    What about 3rd party airports?

    Yes, we can replace them too but, it won't be made automatically, you'll have to go through the GSX parking customization page, and indicate the parking(s) you want the jetway replaced so, it will automatically create a very small .BGL EXCLUDE file, which will remove JUST the jetways from any 3rd party airport that used the default (CTRL+J) animation system, but its own custom models.

    We DO NOT touch any of the original scenery files, and if you just remove the GSX-created Exclusion .BGL, that scenery will go back to the way it was. We'll have a single shared folder in the \Fsdreamteam\Addon Manager\Exclude, which will contain all these automatically created Exclude files, with a name that will clearly relate to the associated scenery.

    Customization

    The jetway customization features are extensive, see the following screen shot, which shows the new jetway editing page:

    Here, we customized the parking to replace the "default replacement" ( a better looking version of the default jetway model ), with an actual Thyssen-Krupp Apron Drive Chrystal 3-tunnels 38/19, which is the real world designation for that specific jetway model. GSX Level 2 will come with 80+ real world jetways, modeled after their real life counterparts, from several manufacturers like Thyssen-Krupp or JBT. We'll surely plan to expand this library a lot during the life of the product, with the goal of having every commercially available jetway in.

    Jetway Accessories

    Jetways can have several accessories, which can be turned on/off: the air conditioner unit, the power unit, the ground markings, and a logo.

    You might want to remove, for example, ground markings and the Air/Power units on the 2nd jetway in a dual-jetway parking spot. Or, you can select a logo from a list of commonly seen advertizers (HSBC, Swift, etc.) or use your own graphics.

    The power unit will actually power the airplane. Similar to the popular option in FSUIPC which prevents battery discharge when parked, we'll keep the airplane powered when a jetway with a power unit is connected.

    This will work with every airplane that use a standard electrical system but, same as the fuel system, if the airplane is flagged having a custom electrical system, we won't touch it. However, we'll publish some variables that airplane developers can read, so they will know if GSX has connected a jetway with a power unit, and decide to do whatever they need to do in their code, to supply the airplane with external power. Same for the Air conditioner unit, 3rd party developers can read a variable too and do whatever they want to do, knowing there's external Air available.

    Jetway Numbers (Prepar3D 4 Only)

    Jetways by default will have their number automatically set to the actual number of the parking (taken from the AFCAD), and users can customize the Font size, style, background and foreground color. This feature will not be available in FSX, since it uses the Render to Texture feature of the P3D4 PDK. This use DirectX11 to draw the numbers and, since it's a static texture that never changes, it's rendered only once, so the fps impact is exactly zero.

    Animated Passengers, Everywhere

    The second main feature of the GSX Level 2 expansion, are visible animated passengers, boarding the airplane either using our new jetways (of course, they must have glass windows to be visible), and with boarding stairs, which is where they really shine.

    We modeled a much better looking passenger bus, and you'll be able to see them coming out of it, and enter the airplane when boarding. There are many different characters, each one independently animated with its personal walking style and attitude so, the posh girl will walk very differently from the old lady or the little child, or the business man.

    We also have characters for pilots and the crew. When boarding, a Van will come first, with the captain and the first officer coming out first, followed by the fight attendants, which will place themselves at every exit, greeting the passengers as they board.

    Then a passenger bus will came, boarding exactly the number of passengers calculated by GSX, which is only simulated in the current version.

    Release Date And Price

    If everything goes right with Beta testing, which will probably start in the last week of June (because me and the other main GSX developer will be on vacation in the US until June 24th), we are aiming for a September release.

    Source

    Purchase GSX at the FS Pilot Shop


    5 Comments
    1. MrUnSavory's Avatar
      MrUnSavory -
      For 30 bucks they can keep it. it is like paying full price for GSX all over again. I don't need moving people. Flightsim is about simulating flight, not people.
    1. transcontinental's Avatar
      transcontinental -
      Hi,

      I got tired of the coautl nonsense and stopped buying altogether.
    1. Metthos's Avatar
      Metthos -
      This is great news.
      A lot of work behind and well worth spending some money on this.
      Flightsim is about having fun and this is fun.
    1. ronkurz77's Avatar
      ronkurz77 -
      Sounds very promising - can't wait!
      Will not mind spending the money for it as I can imagine, that a lot of work is behind it. GSX does add more realism and anything that can add immersion depth is always welcome - as real as it gets.
    1. Brikkie's Avatar
      Brikkie -
      This is just what I am talking about, YOU GO GSX, you are now thinking out the Box. I am loving you idea, This is where the rest of the sim community need to go. I saw the video and now I simply cant wait for the add-on Thank you, you have always put out great products and this is proof, keep up the good work. five stars already.
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