Stephen

Behind the Screen : September 2016

1 post in this topic

Behind the screen September 2016.jpg

 

Behind the Screen : September 2016

 

Like August, September seemed to go on forever and ever. The releases after the Northern Summer trickled to down to a few as well. Like Hollywood movies the pair of E-Jet's from SSG and X-Crafts had been released within weeks of each other so it was from one E-Jet directly to another (I also did some beta testing before the X-Crafts release), both are very good, but both don't quite hit the very marks high they should have done and each was for basically for only one or a few reasons.

 

In the SSG it was that average FMC and poor menus (location) but otherwise it was a brilliant update, but the these two items were enough to keep them out of that extremely level we expect now with quality (and expensive) payware. I have always been a big fan of X-Crafts E-Jets, but the panel (displays) and mostly that really old red line in the nav/map was another small detail that made the design look and feel older than it really is, and took away the advancement of the brilliant FMS by Steve Wilson. That same Textron FMS is also installed in the now announced coming Hawker 4000 so it will be interesting how the same FMS system is incorporated into a different design. The benefit of another great Biz jet will only help to keep us happy in the last quarter of 2016.

 

As of writing this BtS it is only a few days to the RAF Museum Cosford 8th October 2016 "FlightSim 2016" event. Laminar Research have announced a big announcement for X-Plane at the show and there will be two presentations at 11:00 until 12.30 & 14:30 until 16:00 and noted is that Austin Meyers is first and Ben Supnic in doing the second presentation, and they will be in the and guess where the....  Cold War Room!

 

Ultimately the overall feeling about September was about finishing up and tying up loose ends. X-Plane 10.50 was now final and then at the end of the month WED 1.5 went final as well. Although the X-Plane WED (WorldEDitor) app on the surface looks very much the same, it is now really a full blown editor and airport scenery building program in one, it is powerful but it is still 2d layout does make it hard to create 3d objects and placing them is awkward, but the 2d interface does make it very quick as well, and you will always have the Overlay Editor for that job which I still prefer to use anyway.

 

But WED 1.5 does have a huge amount of new tools to use like the excellent new airport sign builder, and after my comments for X-Plane 10.50 Laminar have tightened up the taxiway requirements to get that area of confusion in to a more working model, you now can not release an airport unless the taxiway routes are correct, and so it should have been earlier.

 

But it is the feeling of closing the door on X-Plane 10.xx. There will be no doubt in the history of the X-Plane simulator that this version was the subliminal version that changed the simulator from being a niche product to one of the best simulators you can buy. There is the question that if Flight Simulator itself had continued its progress and updates of which would have been the better overall sim, most would have still noted FS, but it is X-Plane's underlying creativity and versatility that makes it as good as it really is today.

 

As to value I have already reflected that there are not many products you buy that can deliver not only what was promised on the package (even if it did take four years to get there) but give you outstanding extra value and twice or more as many features that you had originally paid for, with that are the highlights are 64bit processing and the excellent Garmin GNS 430/530 gps system, which means that Laminar Research are willing to change in the moment to insert great ideas and not just tick items off a bucket list, and that deep down is what makes this simulator really great.

 

Yes I have been reflecting the journey from my start in X-Plane from around X-Plane 9.50 to the current 10.50, that is just 7 steps of releases to get to where we are now (final X-Plane9 was 9.70), but there was a lot of smaller updates in between. I was excited about my entrance into X-Plane, but to compared to my current experiences to what I flew then is just overwhelming in the fact that thank god I have a great imagination, because you really needed it to create a believable world around you, and to a point you don't need that now, with Heathrow looking like Heathrow and hopefully the future is full of more great city scenery like Drzewiecki Design's excellent "Moscow City" to fill in the only realistic scenery gaps that the simulator requires. We are finally getting there and closer than ever to that realistic simulation nirvana that seemed so impossible back in X-Plane9, yes there are still many areas to be addressed, but overall the progress throughout X-Plane10 has been outstanding.

 

Aircraft as well have come a very long way since X-Plane9.50. Then there was just one really good virtual cockpit Boeing 757, now we rarely look at any new aircraft unless it has a 3d virtual cockpit and more as standard. In systems and functionality you only have to use the Boeing 767 from FlightFactor to see how close we are to real world simulation, and as I just flew a local B737 simulator (iFly Flying Experience!) it was simply very outdated in it's graphics and only a real world set of physical controls made it better than the the simulator I use every day. In most cases I missed the functionality of X-Plane and the versatility of the simulator and it costs far, far less to purchase and gives more satisfaction on a dollar to dollar basis.

 

As one door closes then another will open. Very soon at RAF Museum Cosford we will see the next step in our simulator evolutionary future. One thing will be evident is that X-Plane11 will nothing like X-Plane10 in it's goals and features, as that job is now completed. X-Plane11 will go in another direction from X-Plane10 and what you will get also is another very different feel as X-Plane 10 was from X-Plane9 and X-Plane8 before that, but that is an exciting future as well...

 

_____________________________________________________________________________________

 

Stephen Dutton
8th October 2016
Copyright©2016: X-PlaneReviews
 
 

Logo Header X-PlaneReviews 200px.jpg

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.