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Roman Berezin is one part with Phillipp Munzel that make up Flightfactor, the Designer house that has developed for X-Plane the Boeing 777 Worldliner series and the soon to be released Boeing 757 series. Roman joins us today to give X-Plane Reviews some insights into Flightfactor and his life in X-Plane. Hi Roman... XPR: First off I will note that congratulations are in order as you have just become a doctorate (Dr) of Mathematics. What is your story behind that and how that affects your future and ambitions? Yes, a long and tedious period is over. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed being in the university but 10 years are quite enough. For a few years I was teaching but decided I don’t want to continue with a post doc or teaching. So, I am now a Doctor of Mathematics, specializing in probability, I published two papers but will not be making that my career. XPR: It would have needed a lot of focus to do the doctorate and decide to build the Boeing projects in the B777, B757 and all at the same time? Yes, the last year was quite hectic with finishing the PhD and doing the 777 but it the end it all worked out. XPR: Was the B777 considered the number one project from the start or was it put to the front of the pack for other reasons than the big gap in the marketplace for the aircraft? Actually Nicolas has been bugging me to do the 777 for a long time, ever since the SSJ v5. But I wasn’t sure I could pull it off, finally when I decided to do it I met Philipp, we just clicked and that made the perfect team for the 777 and many future projects, we hope. XPR: The B777 has without doubt been one of the big releases for X-Plane in the last twelve months, how do you see the release now almost twelve months on and how it has evolved? Well, trying to be as modest as I can, I think we did a very good job on the model and now its almost perfect. There are a couple more things which I would like to add to the model, but I think it is generally very good now in terms of modeling, the flight model and the systems. Of course, the model will continue to evolve – we will try to keep it at the very best edge of Xp add-on technology. XPR: I found the just released 184.108.40.206 version of the Boeing 777 and what I would now call the aircraft now "mature", certainly the aircraft will still be developed but has it reached that mature stage from your point of view? Yes, as I said, I think that the plane is mature now and can certainly rival the best of them, not only for XP too. XPR: Although most developers have solid business plans, yours was a very interesting one in asking payment for liveries and other versions in the Cargo and -300 variants, I actually like the foundation of the idea as it gave payment to other people who contributed to the project and allows them and the team to share in the business... Do you see this sort business model being adopted more in the future? I think that out model is very good for several reasons. As for the different version of the models, its quite common in other sims and even in XP to have a small and an extended version. For the 757 we will actually have 6 planes available, 757-200/300/F and all with both RR and PW engine types. Of course we won’t ask the customer to pay for each but we will probably in the end have 2 or even 3 variants for the plane. As for the liveries its very simple really. For another models the producers are able to make 5-10 liveries. Here we wanted to give the customer the ability to get up to 100 liveries. Of course, for this we had to get 3rd party help. The price for the liveries is really symbolic of 1$ per livery. For the 757 we already have more than 100 liveries ready which will be sold for 1$ as with the 777. Also, the 757 livery packs are made for both 200 and 300 models. Our goal now is to bring the models as close to reality as possible. For that we get helped by several real life pilots, engineers and have a license from Boeing. XPR: The B757 is due soon as the next release, You then put off the release so you can work more on the different engine variants and so how is that going? Well, the original release date was in June, but we have decided to postpone because we could get the engines to work exactly like in reality. The 57s engines are EPR controlled, which, as far as I know, has never been truly realized in XP before. So we set ourselves to really simulate the internal workings of the engine and thus the delay. XPR: You have added a few special effects to this aircraft, haven't you? Yes, some effects which have already been tested on the 777 and the SSJ have now been significantly improved. Real reflections which employ several techniques at the same time, a sophisticated 3D sounds system is there as well as different lighting effects using the improved v10 lighting. Also, the rain simulation has been improved. The newest addition of course is the particle system. As you may already know, the 757 will have more than 250 custom failures, and now many of them are accompanied by special effects, like wheel well fires, APU overheat with smoke, brake overheat, and others. We also use the new particle system for moister effects in the engine nacelles and wing trails. XPR: How much more complex can we go in aircraft systems, and is it a moving point in the fact that is it worth spending a lot of programming time to simulate a minor function for the return? or is it best to enhance the programming we have now? Well, this is really a question of what we want to have in the end. I guess if the general goal is to have a training sim of the level which can be used by real pilots, then we have to keep on and improve the systems to the point of real simulators. On the other hand, many users prefer a simpler sim, here we can improve on the quality of 3D, graphics and effects. So there is quite a long way to go in either way. XPR: The main central feature in all of Flightfactor's aircraft is Philipp's FMS systems, It is a work of art, how did you both get together and produce this. Generally Philipp’s FMS system combined with the ever improving visual effects make up the unique quality of our products. As for me and Philipp, we “met” when I was working on the 777 and decided to cooperate on that project. As it turned out, we are very good together in terms of timing and common mind. Thus, we have quite a lot of plans for XP and hope that Flightfactors becomes the major player in XP add-on market. XPR: Can Philipp ski as good as you? Actually both me and Philipp ski quite well. The fact that I fell down on the last day of our skiing trip is accidental. The best skier of all is of course Nicolas, who fell down and hurt himself quite badly on the first day of the trip. XPR: Is putting the right team together as important as other goals in projects like these? Apparently so. Now when we have more than one project at the same time, finding the right people is important. Our core team is me and Philipp, but we have almost 10 people helping us on and off, with the flight model dynamics, liveries, graphics etc. XPR: Ultimately though the heavy workload to deliver a great product still falls down to you? In the end, it’s the team effort that gets the job done. Flightfactor doesn’t have CEOs or CTOs, we are all working together for a common goal, I merely act as a coordinator to help bring the projects together. XPR: What was the attraction to X-Plane as a simulator? Actually, as most, I started as a user flying on line in IVAO Ukrainian division and started getting interested in making models in 2009 after watching the first Dan Klaue’s tutorials. I think I never used any other sim, maybe MSFS in 1995. XPR: How do you feel of the current situation of the X-Plane10 simulator?... and for its future? I think that the sim is progressing nicely, finally v10 has become fully usable and its benefits over XP9 are pronounced. Of course I have some wishes for the path XP should take, but I will not mention this, as the designers will probably not listen to me anyway. XPR: How important do you think is the X-Plane community in part of developing your products and feedback? Oh very much. I always prefer to ask the community what they want before starting a new project as well as monitoring feedback to see what we have done wrong and what should be improved. This is the big benefit of a small community, the ability to actually talk to users. As you know, my skype is available online and people are welcome to share their thoughts directly. XPR: How do you feel in comparison of X-Plane Add-Ons are now in relative to say PMDG and other large development houses in the FSX/P3D market and is that a market to plan for in the future? (would you market in the FSX platform) I don’t want to compare ourselves to anyone, let users do that. I don’t think we will develop for FSX, but the thought of doing things for airlines is appealing. XPR: 64Bit was a big change to the X-Plane platform, and it affected Add-On developers like yourself more than in any other area, how did it overall affect your plans and releases? We did spend many hours cursing XP while the move to 64bit was made, but generally the schedule of XP releases was available and people like Ben Supnik were very helpful, so our planes didn’t change much. XPR: From a developers point of view is there anything that you would like from X-Plane that you feel would be either a step forward or greatly enhance your products? Oh yes, and Laminar is aware of my wishes J XPR: You use the .OrgStore to distribute and promote your products, why do you use the .orgstore and what are the benefits to developers in doing so? We did and indeed still use some other stores for product distribution, but generally I like the communal feel of the X-Plane .org and it is the biggest place for XP out there. Of course Nicolas is much fun skiing with. Next year we try skydiving, see what he does there. (laughs) XPR: Thank You Roman, and good luck with the latest release. Developer Website: Flightfactor/Facebook Interview 26th July 2013