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Behind the Screen : October 2022


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Behind the Screen : October 2022


Back in the June 2022 issue of BtheS I noted the story of INI-Builds. Basically as developers INI-Builds are quite new to the X-Plane Simulator universe. They came in with a flourish about three years ago expounding a lot of noise on how they were going to change Simulation, usual stuff.  In this case they did make an impact with their excellent A300-600R (F). It was extremely expensive, but actually lived up to all the hype.


It was at the time the most popular aircraft in the X-Plane simulator, so kudos to them. The point here is that price point. Above US$80 in price, then any product moves into an investment category. At that price you expect, or even demand service being at least as long of a simulator version life of flying for your hard earned money, this is a silent deal between the developer and the purchaser.


Yes developers come and go, that is also a given in Simulation. But again rarely not in this upper category as we still expect extended service for their expensive products. The worse thing about this whole situation is not just the investment financially in the product, but for most with their hearts as well, most users became very attached to the A300, and two other INI-Builds aircraft in the A300 Beluga and the A310-300.


But the A300 was the significant aircraft here.


Then came the announcement back in June that basically INI-Build's were going to close up their X-Plane shop, and move everything "Lock , Stock and complete Barrel", in a foundation deal with the Microsoft's Flight Simulator (MSFS).


As noted in the June article this was more than a developer just swapping Simulation platforms. One was the point that all X-Plane development was being discontinued, worse and only a few months out from release was that the A300 was not going to be upgraded to X-Plane 12, for some who had just invested (abet many at a heavily discounted price), basically in a few months your expensive purchase was worthless. That was a slap in face for the many devoted users of INI-Builds products.


As again I noted back then that INI-Build's in all their wisdom, did they really expect that users were so platform dedicated that they don't use MSFS and other Simulation platforms. In that if they are going forward to totally not be then trustworthy of not only their money, but their commitment to INI-Builds and their products in the future, being slapped in the face this hard is not going to wash and no matter how much they jingle on about how great MSFS is going to be, this is a PR exercise that would be surely not going to win them any faith back. X-Plane has it's devotes as well, and a lot of it is the old guard.


Over the next few months INI-Build's were steadfast, no X-Plane 12 development was ever going to be forthcoming.


Funny how things turn out doesn't it. Because on the 29th October 2022 INI-Builds announced that, yes the A300v2 will NOW be updated to X-Plane 12.


"confirm that the A300V2 compatibility will be coming to XP12 for free. What does this mean? If you own the XP11 version, you get the XP12 compatible version for free.",


Or finally they have seen common sense, and I am sure there will be a lot of relieved users out there. The point is why did it get to all this, and it really shows on how delicate the relationship between a developer and a user is. But ultimately it comes down to the aircraft being an investment here more than just a purchase...  developers need to aware of that aspect when pricing their products in these higher categories.


The timing here didn't help, INI-Builds aircraft were only first released over halfway through the X-Plane 11 run, the "Knock down" sale only accelerated that aspect of how short a time you had with the aircraft. You would say, "well it flies in X-Plane 11", seriously, I haven't used XP11 in weeks, and even then it took me twenty minutes to reconfigure it to make it all work again, once moved on, I rarely do I go back to the old.


I admit as I did then that X-PlaneReviews never had a decent relationship with INI-Builds and their curt replies, so I was never encouraged to promote them or their products on this site. This article is not about that aspect, but users getting a fair deal for their money, as many, users did really love their products, those same users are also valuable customers no matter which platform you use, and at least last Saturdays announcement will help in the matter, but it is still a warning of how you deal with these situations that counts as well, as you will never know if you may need to count on their loyalty again in the future.




I think in October I reached a critical point in my life as a Simulation user. The balance between flying aircraft, was tippled over more into the time and effort required to just keep X-Plane updated and tuned.


Spending days just reconfiguring, updating, downloading, emptying, shifting, fixing, refining everything and not just the internal software, but X-Plane external software, aircraft, scenery, plugins, Beta updates, OS updates (both Microsoft, and don't get me started on Apple).


Flying! seriously I don't have any time at all to ACTUALLY fly aircraft anymore...   it's not funny either.


I was worried about this a few years ago, but now it is a reality, I'm now a sub-servant to the machines, and not the other way around, they tell me what to do now all day and it is me not telling them what I want to do. Then don't add in the external data attacks on your personal personality data for to be sold to highest bidder in Russia (Optus data breach), actually it was a local hacker that did the damage this time. But the damage was massive in having to replace all my important personal documentation, running around after computers.


I am seriously getting withdrawal symptoms approaching September now every year which I was already calling "Sept Update month", but it's now September AND October, the total relief when the calendar clicked over and into November was palpable.


But you also have to take stock. After a review I looked at a view of an airport, not noting the actual aircraft behind me, and the visual aspect that built up the scene in front of me was actually confronting. When you stop and really look at the visual diorama, you can see how really complex it all really is. There are millions of objects and shaders creating all of this, looking hard at recreating the real world around us on computers, it is a serious miracle it does work as well as it all does as this machine has to do billions of computations alone to recreate the complex scenes.


Do we expect too much from our simulations? We complain about any small little fault, but fail to see the incredible big picture we are seeing consistently. We always want more and more, but I think finally with X-Plane 12 and when it is finally sorted and refined is going to be something special. Not withstanding the MSFS and it's over the top expectations, I think that X-Plane 12 is truly revolutionary in the way we do or will do our simulation flying, it's not perfect and even I admit that, but the realism before you is quite exceptional if you look at it closely.


Which brings us to the thread lately of someone trying, and trying is the word here to use a 900 Series Graphic Card with X-Plane 12 and complaining it won't work completely, it (shaking my head) won't work mate... just look at what it has to compute, but they will still try and still complain that it is not good enough effort from Laminar Research.  


See you all next month


Stephen Dutton

1st November 2022

Copyright©2022 X-Plane Reviews


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I am not sure that Inibuilds have suddenly seen the light.

To quote Inibuilds  ‘To manage expectations there is no ETA for this (we are targeting some point in 2023), and will ensure items such as the new FM are addressed accordingly. At this time, it is only the intention to update the A300V2. 


Some point in 2023 is not much of a commitment and at the same time the A310 and Beluga are being walked away from. No ETA doesn’t sound much of a plan.


It is charitable to suggest they are now listening to their customers. What is more likely is that they have seen that XP12 has some level of success and that XP11, at least in terms of new sales, is not going to bring many new purchases going forward. So a lick of XP12 paint and stick it in the store for future sales. Updating it to be compatible with XP12 sometime in 2023 is not the same as other developers like Flight Factor and Toliss are doing, updating for XP12 compatibility and then having a development path going forward. 

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