• KerrSpectives - State Of The Sim

    KerrSpectives - State Of The Sim

    With Kenneth J. Kerr

    Well, this is going to be a very different KerrSpective, because there will be no screen shots to show off how wonderful MSFS is. Actually, it's not the article I was planning to write at all. You see, the airport I was going to feature broke a few patches ago. Also, the third-party aircraft I was going to write about has been totally screwed-up by patch 5. Now, before anyone gets upset at what I am going to say, please understand that I now have around 200 hours in the sim, but I cannot confirm that because the in-game logbook stopped recording my hours for a few weeks. None-the-less, my considerable use of the sim has shown my genuine enthusiasm for it. I am a strong advocate for MSFS, and actually love this product. BUT...it is surely time for a "state of the nation" look at this thing, and time to reflect on the "state of the sim."

    As I write this, it's just over eleven weeks since MSFS went live. In that time we've seen five patches released from Asobo, plus a very quickly put together hotfix. And, while I see some people almost waxing lyrical about how wonderful each new patch is ("It's the best patch eh-verr"), I can't help but ask... If Asobo had done it right in the first place, would there have been a need for a patch at all? And it's not as if each patch merely addresses a few minor tweaks here and there, instead it's big issues, with changes taking place in broad sweeps across many aspects of the sim itself.

    This is why I am forced to say this - We are at a watershed moment in the existence of this product.

    Let's start off with this unfortunate fact. No matter what way you cut it, this is a Beta product. Think back... There was a long period of Alpha, but then only a couple of weeks of Beta before it went live. And since then, big re-writes every two weeks. I hate to say it, but every single one of us who paid full retail price for this were suckered into becoming Beta testers who paid for the privilege. This is not a stable and completed product, it is an evolving series of mistakes, test and try, verify and change, and seemingly "make it up as we go along." It's like trying to build a real aeroplane in flight!

    And what's the evidence of this assumption? The sim itself is the evidence. With every new patch, they seem to break some things as fast as they fix others. And then, they end up using valuable time, energy, and resources fixing their own mistakes. Look, I don't want to cast dispersion on Asobo's programing skills, but I think they have bitten off more than they can chew administratively, and are fundamentally going about this in the wrong way. They have become reactionary instead of proactive.

    This is why it is a watershed moment for Asobo. It's like myself as an author. If I keep on re-writing a chapter over and over again, it's all too easy to end up with something that no longer resembles the first version, and worse, it's possible to lose the plot. If Asobo keeps on acting like a dog chasing its tail, going round in circles fixing fixes, then at some point they are going to end up with such a mess that they cannot go back and correct it without doing a major re-write or a total re-set. Again, a watershed. To Asobo I say, stop this nonsense now, before you break it any further and lose the plot.

    But, it is also a watershed for third-party developers. As of patch 5, my Carenado 182 has some issues, my BlackBox Bird Dog is broken in multiple ways, and reports have also shown problems with the Carenado Mooney, Iris Jabiru, and IndiaFoxTecho MB-339. In some cases the doors and windows no longer open. In many aircraft the switches and buttons are totally re-mapped at the custom coding level. More often than not there are livery issues too, even in freeware repaints of default aircraft. In the MS forum, both Iris and BlackBox intimated that they will need to wait for Asobo to fix things before moving ahead, although Iris has since said they've been able to fix some of the issues. And, while it was hoped that the end of October hotfix might have addressed these third-party woes, it didn't. On top of that, we've already seen that bigger developers like PMDG are holding off until the product stabilizes. I suspect A2A and others are doing the same too. Seriously, how can a third-party developer have confidence in supporting this product under these circumstances? And I will never stop saying, it is the third-party industry that represents the make or break for a sim.

    I remember when I owned and operated The VIP Group twenty-something years ago. One of the most annoying challenges was having to re-do and re-design everything with each new version of MSFS. Back then, we at least had a breather for two years, so goodness knows how maddening it is for developers now, with changes coming every two WEEKS. And so, some developers might simply give up, and re-focus on old platforms again, or they might just place an indeterminable hold on product development for this new wonder-sim. How long will that hold last? It depends on how long it takes Asobo to stabilize the platform, and based on their current tail chasing, I'm not willing to even begin to guess on that timescale!

    So, watershed for Asobo, and watershed for third-party developers. But it is also a watershed for users. Just how many people (long term simmers, not the newbies), have already raised their hands in frustration and gone back to X-Plane, Prepar3D, or DCS? It's not as if these folks have avoided giving MSFS a fair try, they are paying customers who expected better. In fact, some of them even deleted their old sims based on their expectations of MSFS alone, and some are regretting that decision now as they slowly re-build the assets of their previous platforms.

    For many people, each new patch represents not an advancement in the new sim, but a game of Russian Roulette. There is no confidence in incremental improvement, rather a sense of foreboding in which the question is at least implied, "Wonder what they'll break this time?", or "I wonder if it will even work now?" or, "Will this be the patch that sends me back to my old sim?" - And sadly, when these simmers express such feelings in the forums, they are denigrated for doing so by people who say "You should have known what you were buying." Really? Which part of the pre-release development videos from Asobo suggested they were going to bring a beta to market?

    It is time for this madness to stop. Yes, I know people might say "This is just how the software industry works"... Well if this is the "new normal" in the industry, it stinks to high heaven and is a step in the wrong direction. Asobo has got to put the brakes on now and re-think what they are doing, and how they are going about things.

    So what is needed? Well, while the decisions are not mine to make, if I owned Asobo I know what I would do now.

    1. I would stop and take a "fearless moral inventory" of myself, admitting that I've messed up somewhere.
    2. I would have the courage to admit this to Microsoft, suggesting that product sales should be temporarily halted while further development takes place to stabilize the sim.
    3. I would re-appoint a core group of the most experienced and reliable Beta testers ASAP.
    4. I would include within that Beta group every third-party developer with products currently on the market or in development for the platform.
    5. I would temporarily close the public forum, so that I could stop reacting to thousands of disparate voices, with different product experiences and opinions.
    6. I would roll back the sim to exactly what was released on August 18th (They do have back-ups surely?).
    7. I would take the experiences of the past 11 weeks, and use those experiences to begin building slowly, incrementally, and progressively upon that August 18th platform.
    8. I would address one area at a time, put it out to the Beta testers, and respond appropriately to feedback on that one area, completing it and signing off on it before moving on.
    9. I would resist all attempts by bean counters and marketing people to re-open sales until I knew I had a stable product.
    10. I would then, with a stable product, re-open sales and re-open the forum. I would release the newly-revised version, but make no further live changes to it.
    11. I would have a separate development version that only Beta testers could access. Development would continue in a way that did not impact the live public release.
    12. I would plan to release a new version one year from the date of the current release, knowing that it was a stable, sound, and reliable new release.

    If Asobo takes steps like this, they can save this product. If they carry on with their current direction, they will fix, break, re-fix, and re-break themselves into a corner. Meanwhile, sensing an opportunity, maybe Lockheed Martin and Google will get together and shock the heck out of the industry. Who knows.

    So where do I personally stand now on my use of MSFS 2020? Yes I love the sim, but it is a love-hate relationship. Two nights ago, I decided to fly at night over my local area of the Canadian prairie. In reality, at night there are massive areas of darkness, punctuated by the lights of small towns and villages in the distance. Well, the sim represented this nicely... until patch 5. Now, the prairie is lit up like a Christmas tree, with even gravel roads garishly illuminated by street lamps every hundred feet or so. I literally shouted out "That's enough of this BS", and as my dog ran away thinking I was mad at him, I switched the program off in total disgust.

    Later, I fired up an earlier sim again, but it's not the same any more. Yes, it is stable and well-developed with add-ons, but the visuals have been ruined for me because of the taste of what MSFS is capable of. Sad thing is this.... I feel disappointed in the old sim now, but also frustrated with the new. It's a limbo world in which there is no sim-happiness. But then, that's a refection of the real world in 2020 for masses of the global population, isn't it?

    See you in the next KerrSpective, even if I have no idea what platform that will be based in!

    Kenneth Kerr
    Previous KerrSpective: A Thinking Man's Guide To Add-ons


    99 Comments
    1. graaant's Avatar
      graaant -
      Quote Originally Posted by max327 View Post
      Please, don't give up on this sim. Asobo and Microsoft have taken flight simulation forward a giant step. For the first time, I can look out the windscreen and see the world as it appears in real life. That's huge. I guess I'm also one of the lucky ones, because I really haven't had many issues. I'm willing to be patient as this sim is developed and improved, and in the mean time, I'm going to go flying.
      Am in full agreement with max327. Before MSFS's release I was cheerfully simming in the same mode with my previous sim as I've been in with every sim since FS98 -- feeling happy with it, thinking that it met all my simming needs, and that I would probably see no reason to cash in and move to the new sim. I've always kept my previous sim installed, so that I could go back to it if I was disappointed, but have always uninstalled it within a few weeks. Pretty much the same with MSFS, altho' this time the leap is such a large one that the old sim seems flat and cardboardy by comparison.

      The frequent patches and updates are a pain and I will be waiting on 3rd party purchases until MSFS stabilizes, but in the meantime am having a great time, happy that it was released when it was and generally thrilled by it.
    1. SpookyDiver's Avatar
      SpookyDiver -
      Quote Originally Posted by doering1 View Post
      I am one of the lucky ones who has not had issues with the sim, but I have only flown the TBM 930 and I have not added any mods. I know the TBM well. The TBM performs as it should with the autopilot, follows flight plans, STARS and SIDS correctly. Manual flight for VFR is also great. Based on the number of issues, I certainly agree that more testing should be implemented before additional patches are released. Point #5 in your comments is definitely correct. I am sure that Asobo Studios did not want to release August 18th. That was Microsoft’s decision. Way to many setups and preferences contributing to reported problems. Examples of flight planning, autopilot and manual control are all part of my latest video flying the TBM 930 into the Courchevel Altiport if interested.
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qzhgSjRzoNE&t=1945s
      I watched your video, it is beautiful and I learned quite a bit from it. I've seen streamers complaining about VnV/VNAV on the TBM 930. I can't get it to work properly either, but I am a newbie so I guess I am doing it wrong, but the streamers are wrong too? Asobo's notes on the latest patch says that there are issues with VnV, that overshoots while climbing. I've seen that happening on my flights. So apparently it is not working properly. What is your opinion about it? Again, I am a newbie and I am in no position to criticize anyone, I am trying to learn and if things are not working as they should, I may be blaming myself for no reason. I am looking forward for more of your videos!
    1. Leo112's Avatar
      Leo112 -
      The part about scaring the dog happened to me as well the first time I saw the latest night lighting (too funny). I was prepared to enjoy a night flight in Central Florida when I discovered the update. I didn't bother finishing the flight.
    1. stehle's Avatar
      stehle -
      Every time a new sim comes up the same discussions arise.

      Remember when the FSX was introduced? The prevailing opinion was that the sim was introduced... guess what? One year to early. Back then the opinion was that Microsoft developed a sim for hardware that wasn't affordable and for an operating system that wasn't common used. Just remember the Vista discussion! At the beginning the FSX was allegedly completely unusable for the community.

      It's just the same pattern whenever a new sim is being introduced. And I have the feeling that this has nothing to do with the new product itself, but more with the persons using the older product.

      The MSFS comes along with a default scenery that is better than most payware products. I spent a whole lot of money in ORBX products – they became worthless. The default planes are by far much better than the default planes of the FSX – with some restrictions they are flyable. Remember: They are default planes. I guess most of you fly with third party planes that a more expensive then the MSFS. So at this point you should question yourself what do you really want? It could be, and that is my guess, most of you just want it the way you are used to it. Fourteen years ago many changed to the FSX and later on to the P3D. Nothing really new happened in all those years. You found yourself comfortable in the sim world you created on your PC. Millions of new simmers are using the new sim – once they started, they will not go back to an older sim.

      So ask yourself: Did you really give it a try with the new sim or are you just comparing it with your comfortable simworld you are used to? Some wrote this sim is at a beta stage... completely unusable. Sorry guys, but I can use that sim just like I used my P3D. Not in the depths combined with a PMDG product – but I'm building my flight plan and flying it. You should be able to fly a heading and a FL... maybe some forgot that in their comfortable world where the FMC does all the work. I did my homework and flew one touch and go after the other to get used to the new simulator. I am still tweaking to get better results.... Simply, I put some effort in it.

      Nels Anderson suggested that Asobo should halt the sale of the product and that it should be developed one more year – to save the product. One thing he forgot: It is estimated that in 2020 more than 2.27 million copies will be sold – that means that there are more simmers on MSFS then all simmers combined on other platforms. Those new simmers will never step back and join your comfortable old world where everything works like you set it up for yourself. They will gather in their own communities, will get in touch with each other to solve the problems that they are having. They are simply not interested what you think about their sim. In their eyes you are the dinosaurs behind a defense line that has grown for 14 years. Asobo is not interested in those 0.5 million dinasaurs on their old sims. Their time is simply over.

      Okay, that was quite a bit provocative – but just think once about it: Maybe you just want it the way you are used to it and are satisfied with what you have.
    1. mlam's Avatar
      mlam -
      Hmmm....

      2. I would have the courage to admit this to Microsoft, suggesting that product sales should be temporarily halted while further development takes place to stabilize the sim.
      That is entirely unrealistic. That is exactly the mindset that will kill this product. That's not how business works. I respect the thought process - as a beta tester, I feel that the product came out far too soon. But with all due respect, this is an emotional response that doesn't account for the real world.

      5. I would temporarily close the public forum, so that I could stop reacting to thousands of disparate voices, with different product experiences and opinions.
      Why would you not want those who own the product to contribute to the discussion? I don't understand this? I've learned a TON from the public forum. If you want to send this product back into closed beta, wouldn't you want everyone commenting on it?

      6. I would roll back the sim to exactly what was released on August 18th (They do have back-ups surely?).
      Why? This makes no sense to me.

      9. I would resist all attempts by bean counters and marketing people to re-open sales until I knew I had a stable product.
      GREAT way to kill the product. GREAT. Again, this makes no sense to me. If this was Flight, or Dovetail's FSW, okay I get it - you'd want it killed. If you think MSFS needs to be killed instead of approved, I guess I could understand this sentiment. Otherwise, why?

      11. I would have a separate development version that only Beta testers could access. Development would continue in a way that did not impact the live public release.
      I agree with this. As a beta tester, I wish we had development versions to work on and provide feedback, but I at least don't. This is something Asobo should be paying attention to.

      12. I would plan to release a new version one year from the date of the current release, knowing that it was a stable, sound, and reliable new release.
      Again, this would simply kill the simulator.

      My point is this: this is NOT 2006. PC games aren't given the luxury of development independent of user input anymore. I understand the thought behind Ken's perspective and everyone's entitled to their own opinion. My opinion is that MSFS is the future of this franchise, given the reality of game development these days. P3D is not the future. Setting aside the licensing shenanigans, I'm very glad I haven't spent the money I'd need to on add-ons to get P3D close to the MSFS standard in scenery and visual fidelity. Does it need work? Sure. All sims always do. Did it come out early? Yes, in my opinion, it did. But that's water under the bridge. You can't turn back time now. Going forward, let's support, help and encourage Asobo and Microsoft to make the fixes that are needed and rally behind this.
    1. loki's Avatar
      loki -
      Quote Originally Posted by stehle View Post
      Nels Anderson suggested that...
      Might want to note that Nels didn't write this article.
    1. danwelle's Avatar
      danwelle -
      I agree 100%. I have given 2020 a pass on a bunch of things because it’s “new” and “just needs time” to work out the kinks. But the more I work with it, the more disappointed I’ve become with what was to be the “rebirth” of a legend and the path it’s on.

      Like everyone else, I was wowed by the scenery in 2020. And it is absolutely beautiful. Not always accurate as was promised, but close, sometimes. And the real time weather. Also beautiful…and not always (ever…) accurate.
      But as I started to climb the learning curve of the new sim interface, It became apparent to me that what MS and Asobo had really created was a new “game” disguised as a flight simulator. Games and simulations are two completely different animals and it looks to me that MS and Asobo banked on drawing in the gamers on the backs of the established simulation community interest. A few dozen great camera screen shots, an eager alpha test group, release, and bingo! The R&D money comes rolling in. A bit cynical maybe, but reality sucks sometimes.

      If I could have woke up one day and my beloved FSX magically became 64bit, I would have jumped for joy. Problems solved… Let the developers loose!
      Instead, what I see are cheesy (and ridiculously slow) Game Boy menus directing you to experiences visible from 200 different camera angles… except from a tower, or a runway, or, gee….I may want to watch that again to evaluate my landing. I have two pages of how to address cameras, and barely half a page on actual aircraft controls. Several hours on Google helped me work with the programming of my cockpit hardware.

      Juvenile ATC communications that make my a## twitch every time I hear one.

      And so much was made on how the new aircraft would react… as a real world pilot, I would have grounded my aircraft if it bounced around as much as the sim displays. (again, back to Google for a work around…)

      No need to go on and on as these things and more are already out there being discussed.
      I’m just frustrated, and a bit sad.

      Oh, and note-to sim…. in the real world, we don’t use push back carts on a running Cessna…
    1. max327's Avatar
      max327 -
      Thank you mlam.....you are right on target. This product is a gamechanger with so much potential. We need to support and encourage the developers to keep MSFS moving forward, not take steps backward.
      The bar has been moved.
    1. Chock's Avatar
      Chock -
      So what is needed? Well, while the decisions are not mine to make...


      And we can only be grateful for this considering your collection of ludicrous and completely impractical suggestions.
    1. guzler's Avatar
      guzler -
      Quote Originally Posted by stehle View Post
      Every time a new sim comes up the same discussions arise.

      Remember when the FSX was introduced? The prevailing opinion was that the sim was introduced... guess what? One year to early. Back then the opinion was that Microsoft developed a sim for hardware that wasn't affordable and for an operating system that wasn't common used. Just remember the Vista discussion! At the beginning the FSX was allegedly completely unusable for the community.

      It's just the same pattern whenever a new sim is being introduced. And I have the feeling that this has nothing to do with the new product itself, but more with the persons using the older product.

      The MSFS comes along with a default scenery that is better than most payware products. I spent a whole lot of money in ORBX products – they became worthless. The default planes are by far much better than the default planes of the FSX – with some restrictions they are flyable. Remember: They are default planes. I guess most of you fly with third party planes that a more expensive then the MSFS. So at this point you should question yourself what do you really want? It could be, and that is my guess, most of you just want it the way you are used to it. Fourteen years ago many changed to the FSX and later on to the P3D. Nothing really new happened in all those years. You found yourself comfortable in the sim world you created on your PC. Millions of new simmers are using the new sim – once they started, they will not go back to an older sim.

      So ask yourself: Did you really give it a try with the new sim or are you just comparing it with your comfortable simworld you are used to? Some wrote this sim is at a beta stage... completely unusable. Sorry guys, but I can use that sim just like I used my P3D. Not in the depths combined with a PMDG product – but I'm building my flight plan and flying it. You should be able to fly a heading and a FL... maybe some forgot that in their comfortable world where the FMC does all the work. I did my homework and flew one touch and go after the other to get used to the new simulator. I am still tweaking to get better results.... Simply, I put some effort in it.

      Nels Anderson suggested that Asobo should halt the sale of the product and that it should be developed one more year – to save the product. One thing he forgot: It is estimated that in 2020 more than 2.27 million copies will be sold – that means that there are more simmers on MSFS then all simmers combined on other platforms. Those new simmers will never step back and join your comfortable old world where everything works like you set it up for yourself. They will gather in their own communities, will get in touch with each other to solve the problems that they are having. They are simply not interested what you think about their sim. In their eyes you are the dinosaurs behind a defense line that has grown for 14 years. Asobo is not interested in those 0.5 million dinasaurs on their old sims. Their time is simply over.

      Okay, that was quite a bit provocative – but just think once about it: Maybe you just want it the way you are used to it and are satisfied with what you have.
      Whilst I respect your opinions, there’s a lot of generalisations there. I’m a casual simmer who generally enjoys low and slow to capture my real flying experiences. I tried FSX many years ago and bought a lot of adding but probably went on it one to two times a week with other aspects of life making the rest of the time up. In the end I gave up because I spent more time trying to optimise it than enjoying it. I never bothered with p3d after reading forums because of the ongoing development and lack of desire to repeat that experience. I dabbled with x plane but again, it needed a lot of 3rd party help to be immersive visually. MSFS came out and I jumped at the chance, but whilst ticking the boxes visually, flying one to two times a week is bring more time doing updates and troubleshooting than flying hours. Many years ago, I installed war thunder and that became my new go to. Constantly being updated yet just works. For the time I get, I get value out of it. I fear the xbox users who are used to this level of stability and with little patience will be far less tolerant than any ‘dinosaur’. Yes, I am comparing to fsx, p3d etc, and I never got comfortable, I gave up and spent any time I had on games I could fire up and run.
    1. daverees's Avatar
      daverees -
      Couldn't agree more, Ken.
      Thanx and roger that!
    1. dbauder's Avatar
      dbauder -
      I appreciate your candor and it was very informative. I mentioned the following a few months ago. When my 8 1/2 year old computer quits, (you want to hold it for ransom, you can keep it!). I'll buy a new computer with specs that those in the know consider as 'optimum' for running MSFS. THEN, I'm going to install FSX and all the addons that I regularly use. I'll then set all the performance sliders full right (well, almost all) and see how happy I am with that. Only THEN will I even consider MSFS.
    1. culturama's Avatar
      culturama -
      And sadly, when these simmers express such feelings in the forums, they are denigrated for doing so by people who say "You should have known what you were buying."

      You hit the nail on the head with this. Sadly I don't even post on the official website because of remarks like this.

      What hurts me more however is all those vids that came out a few weeks before the official release. Some of these vids came from individuals I actually subscribe to, some are real pilots. All they boasted about was how great the sim was... Ok the graphics are great, but nothing else adds up. The flight dynamics are horrible, the live weather....sigh don't even mention live weather, its just a total mess.

      This sim has a lot of potential, but as you said, they need to just stop.....look at the chaos and try to solve this before its too late.

      Ive been commercial pilot since 2003, and i have used flight sim to help me stay current. Sadly MSFS has alot of work to do, and hopefully quickly.
    1. edjoe's Avatar
      edjoe -
      It is so refreshing to read an honest and knowledgeable opinion. Thank you!!!
    1. KennethKerr's Avatar
      KennethKerr -
      Quote Originally Posted by doering1 View Post
      I am one of the lucky ones who has not had issues with the sim, but I have only flown the TBM 930 and I have not added any mods. I know the TBM well. The TBM performs as it should with the autopilot, follows flight plans, STARS and SIDS correctly. Manual flight for VFR is also great. Based on the number of issues, I certainly agree that more testing should be implemented before additional patches are released. Point #5 in your comments is definitely correct. I am sure that Asobo Studios did not want to release August 18th. That was Microsoft’s decision. Way to many setups and preferences contributing to reported problems. Examples of flight planning, autopilot and manual control are all part of my latest video flying the TBM 930 into the Courchevel Altiport if interested.
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qzhgSjRzoNE&t=1945s
      I thank you for your comments. I have indeed visited your channel on YouTube, and subscribed under two different accounts to help boost your ratings! I have not spent any time with the TBM as I tend to fly the Cessna 152, 172, and the BlackBox Bird Dog mostly. Your videos might inspire me to give the TBM a serious try.

      The fact that we fly different aircraft, and likely a different set of flight profiles, does highlight something important. You have not had issues, whereas I have. Flying at altitudes must needs present you with a different view of the simulated world from what I see at 2,000ft. I will thus potentially notice perceived flaws that you miss. Neither of us are wrong, both of us are correct from our perspectives. Which is why I call this series "KerrSpectives".

      Take care, and might see you in the virtual skies over the Niagara escarpment some time.

      - Kenneth
    1. KennethKerr's Avatar
      KennethKerr -
      Quote Originally Posted by max327 View Post
      Please, don't give up on this sim. Asobo and Microsoft have taken flight simulation forward a giant step. For the first time, I can look out the windscreen and see the world as it appears in real life. That's huge. I guess I'm also one of the lucky ones, because I really haven't had many issues. I'm willing to be patient as this sim is developed and improved, and in the mean time, I'm going to go flying.
      Greetings, and thank you for responding to my KerrSpective. I am happy that you have not had issues, or maybe not noticed the ones that are endemic to the sim currently. As I said in reply to a previous comment, we all use the sim in a slightly different way, and sometimes one's style of use will cause perceived flaws to be apparent, where another style of use won't. We each have our own perspective based on personal experience.

      And no... I will not abandon it. Indeed, like you, I have also gone flying and added at least another 5 hours to my flight time since writing the article. What I am doing is learning to drop my expectations of the perfection they promised, and also flying at daytime so the rural lights cannot rile me up!

      I do still love the sim, punctuated with the occasion bouts of hatred!

      Regards
      Kenneth
    1. KennethKerr's Avatar
      KennethKerr -
      Quote Originally Posted by mapattison View Post
      I completely agree. I want to buy this sim, but can't sink my hard earned into it yet. If the present path of patches upon patches continues, I have to wonder if it will still be on the market when I do want to make the move. But mostly, I have to wonder what all the so called alpha testers were doing. Flying over your own house forever doesn't make someone a program tester; just another user. Clearly, Asobo didn't get the results they needed from those alpha testers, and the beta testing was way too short. I used to be involved in business systems development, and if these were the best results, I'd have been sacked and the project abandoned. I hope they can find a way out of this mess as we need something better than FSX or FSX spin-offs now. This is an ambitious project and one that we all want to succeed. BTW, loved your VIP addons for FS98. Your add on planes were what cemented me in as a long term flight simmer.
      Thank you for your response. First of all, you just brought a genuine tear to my eye. It is very nice to have someone still comment on the halcyon days of the VIP experience. Now let me share something with you. My income from VIP allowed my wife and I to adopt an infant from a European orphanage in 1997. Your purchase, and the purchases of thousands of people helped save a life, and bring parenthood to a childless couple. I do not often tell people that, but it is true. Financial riches never came from VIP, but I am wealthy beyond belief to be a Dad because of it. Thank you for your part in that miracle.

      Now, to MSFS. I was not an alpha or brief beta tester before release. However, a few of them have hinted that they felt they were not always listened to, and that some things were reported many times and not fixed in the testing period. This might be accurate, or it might be apocryphal. Either way, it is an interesting tidbit. I also must remember that many of the testers might have come from the gaming world with no experience in the flight sim genre. As such, their feedback might not have related to the needs of the hard core flight simmer.

      So will MSFS be around when you are ready to buy? I think it will. There's too much invested in it now. And despite the fact that I have been vilified in the MSFS forum for daring to speak my KerrSpectives, I do think that some re-appraisal is needed in methodology to make sure it has an easier path to potential perfection down the road.

      Sincerely, you will most likely love the sim, and hate it at times too.

      Regards
      Kenneth
    1. KennethKerr's Avatar
      KennethKerr -
      Quote Originally Posted by SpookyDiver View Post
      Thank you for sharing your dog's picture. I had a miniature Schnauzer that used to get on my lap while I work/or play on my PC, or just laydown next to me when he got old. He passed away a couple of years ago and I missed him very much.
      They really get into your heart, don't they? I still miss my Beagle from the VIP years, and he passed in 1997.

      - Regards
      Kenneth
    1. KennethKerr's Avatar
      KennethKerr -
      Quote Originally Posted by stusue View Post
      I love the new sim. I love that they released it when they did. I love watching the evolution of the process. It's a magnificent sim to experience even if it's imperfect. And it WILL get better. Remember what FSX was liked in the beginning ? Remember the first few editions of X-Plane ? Geese, remember the first few editions of Android OS ? Give them time and support. My biggest fear is that all the nay sayers will discourage the thinking heads at Osobo and Microsoft and they'll pull the plug if they get too much negative publicity ? Let's keep it positive folks ! We live in an amazing age of technology and creature comforts. We get to have a life like simulator on our home computers. This would have been unthinkable 50 years ago. I say Thank you to Asobo and thank you to Microsoft and thank you to all the third party developers who add to the experience. Thanks to all the positive people on this forum. Let's keep going folks.
      Great response. Thank you. I agree 100% that we must keep it positive, but I also think it is useful for people to communicate criticism to Asobo, as long as it is is given with the genuine motive of product advancement instead of denigration. Criticism can be constructive, and that was why I added my 12 points at the end. I wanted to share some ideas, from one businessman to others. Some people think these were arrogant prescriptions, but they were perspectives, and intended to be helpful as mere food for thought.

      Despite my annoyance and disappointment in some areas of the sim, I do still love it. Flying over the "real" world has changed the flight sim experience forever. It is therefore the highest compliment to Asobo to say that perceived flaws are actually accentuated because of how good the good points are! Example... Were it not for the sheer enjoyment of flying over the "real" prairies in daylight, the sheer annoyance of the over-abundant night lights in the latest patch would have been a non issue.

      We do live in an amazing time for our hobby. I would be very sad if this product went the way of Microsoft Flight. But I doubt that the naysayers will have a big enough impact on the need to recover the investment. I want this thing to grow, I want it to reach the potential promised in the pre-release development videos. And, I want it to happen sooner instead of later. Hence my (hopefully) constructive criticism of the current approach.

      In the end, this sim is too good for us to see it fail.

      Regards
      Kenneth
    1. KennethKerr's Avatar
      KennethKerr -
      Quote Originally Posted by guzler View Post
      I’m fully behind Asobo, not least because I’ve already invested over £200 into this sim and out of the box it looks the best. I hope that development favours the simmer and not the Xbox flyer however (unless they can do both without drawing out much needed sim elements). Getting the traffic sorted (they appear, disappear, multiple aircraft on runway, traffic on runway etc), getting stability sorted and enabling sub folders in the community folder would be nice. Whilst visually stunning, I wasn’t aware that I had purchased a beta until installing and reconnecting with forums like this because things were broke and I needed help. If I had known, I would of held off for a while. Even little things like not being able to change weather from a loaded flight from one saved earlier become annoying, I assume this is a bug and not an intended omission. All that said, it has brought me back to simming and suspect I’m not alone.
      Thank you for the response. I am also 100% behind Asobo, although my critics at the MSFS forum would not think it! Everything I said was said with the intention of giving them constructive food for thought.

      Yes, out of the box it does look the best, but it still has to compete with the well-developed earlier platforms, with all their addons, at least in the flight sim market. And, those pre-release development videos gave us the impression that "out of the box" it would be perfect.

      Well, it is not perfect... yet. Will it get there? Yes, in time. But spinning their wheels fixing fixes is not the way to shorten that time period, and that's the fundamental point I was trying to make.

      Like you, I also hope that development will favour the flight simmer as opposed to the casual gamer. If it dumbs down fidelity to fulfill to the simpler needs of the larger audience demographic, there might be some economic rationale behind such a possible move, but it would leave a gap in the simming market for future alliances to fill. Hence my tongue-in-cheek suggestion of what Lockheed Martin and Google could do if they ever sensed a viable opportunity.

      Glad this brought you back to flight simming. Welcome home!

      Regards
      Kenneth
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