The ORBX Southern Alaska scenery for FSX and P3D is now available. The title is a bit of a misnomer as the product includes the southern Yukon and a chunk of northwest British Columbia as well. Click here for details and download link. Enjoy!
Folks, more screenshots for Southern Alaska (SAK) are available, and more will be, on the ORBX Preview forum. Drop by often.
And for more info on the White Pass & Yukon Railroad, drop by Boerries Burkhardt’s excellent fan site.
Here are some shots from the areas I contributed to for this project. These are still beta and not final.
I’ve been making contributions to the new ORBX Southern Alaska project and before too long should be able to post screenshots. My bits have included the Skagway-Carcross corridor, including:
• Skagway cruiseship terminal
• Skagway floatplane base. (7K2)
• Temsco helicopter terminal
• Skagway airport (PAGY)
• White Pass & Yukon train model
• Glacier Station
• Fraser Station
• Bennett Station
• Carcross airport (CFA4)
• Carcross floatplane base (CEB7)
• Carcross town centre including custom buildings and bridges and seasonal objects
• Venus mine site (this one you have to find!)
Got lots of help from Chris Clack, Neil Hill, Alex Goff, Tim Harris and of course Holger Sandmann.
Release date has not been announced, but watch the ORBX site for details.
Many articles today describing the demise of MS Flight development and the Kinect kids game, Project Columbia. Here’s Engadget’s spin. Apparently impacts Vancouver staff, although the Flight team was in Redmond.
Now if that isn’t a gibberish title, what is? But die-hard simmers will understand fully.
Umberto at fsdreamteam (FSDT) has made it clear that their upcoming FSX version of Vancouver International Airport (CYVR) will be fully compatible with Vancouver+ V3 and ORBX FTX PNW. Timeframes are a mystery but I (and many others!) look forward to the release of this long-sought component of Pacific Northwest scenery.
The Vancouver+ support forum has been quite quiet, prompting thoughts that perhaps new sales weren’t that great. But April numbers (no, we don’t divulge them) were better than expected, so that’s gratifying. Obviously people with questions are taking the time to read the stickies and existing posts first. Thanks for your support, and tell your friends!
You can now purchase V3 or, if you purchased V2 there, upgrade at simMarket.
Vancouver+ V3 is ready for purchase (free for V2 users) at the Silvercloud Publishing store. No foolin’! Enjoy!
Only a few weeks after releasing Microsoft Flight, the company announced today that it is developing the next generation of flight software. Here’s an excerpt from marketing VP Bög Uslãmé’s description of the new product.
“Microsoft has shown a keen understanding of the user experience when it comes to flying airplanes and stuff like that on computers. There’s a certain magic which we have learned to capture, interrogate, channel and evaporate. After developing progressively more intricate software for this market through many versions culminating in Microsoft Flight Simulator X, Microsoft Flight showed that we could simplify the paradigm, reduce the functional and geographic scope, convince ourselves we were broadening our appeal, minimize the UI, and still generate a significant return on investment. All while ensuring that the user thinks they are having fun. So now we’ll take this passionate approach one step further with the realization of a focused vision in our new product, Mi Fli. The name says it all: shorter, ambiguous and stimulating. We anticipate that arguments over pronunciation of the name will provoke flame wars at AVSIM, raising consumer awareness with optimal marketing involvement, ie none. And we’re honored that this will be first product of many from Microsoft using the new ‘Mi’ brand identity.
“The new user-centric feature scope and accessible two-key UI will allow us to minimize customer feedback and the need for infrastructure and support, maximizing the long-term viability of the product. This also eliminates the potential for distracting third-party development enhancements.
“Of course we’ll make optimal use of user attention bandwidth, with a five-minute splash screen and subsequent contorted Windows Live Games sort-of-XBox-but-not-really online validation and ad-push process. At every opportunity our valued customers will be presented with a slideshow to encourage purchase of expansion packs they already have, and others they don’t want. If they do attempt a purchase, lucky users will randomly trigger a hidden gem: ‘Can’t retrieve information from LIVE. Please try again later. Error code 8007271D.’ All part of our playful engagement with our valued customers, further augmented by our proactive Google … I mean, Bing-ranking of searches for that code with irrelevant and misleading KB articles on Zune.
“As always, we won’t specify availability date or features until well after the product is released, but we will publish periodic screenshots and low-res stuttery teasers without explanation that will encourage rampant and inaccurate speculation. But, off the record, based on a reduction in the development team to one half-time employee and the one paragraph feature list, it’s likely the product will be released no later than Thursday. Meanwhile, we’ll give customers attempting to harvest meaningful information from our website the opportunity to ingest content-free team member interviews.
“You might expect the usual discussion, ‘Is it a game? Or is it a simulator?’ to be bypassed through our innovative approach of offering the features of neither. But we know our true die-hard Microsoft … I mean, Mi … fans will still endlessly debate this question.
“From a personal marketing point of view, I’ve found it refreshing to work with half of a malleable gender-free ethnic-neutral location-nonspecific engineering team member who can design to specification without the need for dialog, discussion or any kind of human interaction.
“We’re excited about this cutting-edge next-generation user experience enhancement package. I look forward to Mi Fli being open for business. The future is bright. Join us on our journey.”
Proponents of X-Plane immediately decried the new product, stating, “X-Plane has a much more realistic flight model. And it almost has believable scenery.”
Beta testing is now complete, thanks to a great team of testers. There are a few more hoops to jump through before the product is available. Visit FSAddon for official release news.
For FTX PNW compatibility, patching to SP5 or higher will be a prerequisite.
The Vancouver Harbour floatplane base (CYHC/CXH) is embroiled in a dispute that doesn’t show signs of imminent resolution. So we had a couple of decisions to make about how to represent it in the sim:
1. Docks: the current Harbour Air facility has been called temporary by some. Do we remove it and add the new facility at the convention centre? We decided to leave both in for now.
2. AI traffic: where do we direct our Harbour Air and West Coast Air (now part of Harbour Air) AI traffic? To the old facility as it is now, or future-proof by making a guess that eventually everybody would move to the new Vancouver Harbour Flight Centre? We don’t want to engage in the politics, but ended up moving all AI traffic to the new facility. Not as a guess for the future, but because it was difficult for the AI traffic to maneuver around the convention centre, due to the proximity.
We’re in the middle of beta testing for Vancouver+ V3; no dates for release until we’re done. But I will say the test group has done a magnificent job of providing feedback, and the product is richer and more robust for it. For those who have FTX PNW and/or NRM, the blend is seamless and they make an awesome combo with Van+.
The beta team (muzzled by a non-disclosure agreement!) is in place and Holger and I are working on final files for Vancouver+ V3 and plan to put the team to work soon. No dates on release, but I’ll post here when we are ready to hand off to the publisher, FSAddon. They will then advise of availability for purchase or upgrade. A reminder that this release is free to existing Vancouver+ FSX Version 2 owners.
I’m feeling a little perkier these days and Holger and I are working on last bits for Vancouver+ V3. For anyone familiar with the wrangling going on at CYHC, this screenshot may be politically incorrect, but could represent the end result.
Holger delivered his primary components in October, with some bits left to come.
Meantime, I’ve been dealing with health challenges that have delayed integration. I hope to get on top of these soon, and carry on with pulling it all together. Will check back in, in a month or two.
Meantime, all the best of the season to you!