Archive for the ‘Development’ Category

Implications of development strategy changes

Thursday, July 24th, 2014 Leave a comment

As mentioned in the last post, Vic+ will not include the Ganges update.  Here’s a summary of implications:

  1. If you downloaded Vic+ PNW V8 as donationware, and did not donate, now is the time to purchase your copy.  I expect everyone who downloads SP1 to have purchased a copy, although I will make it available on the honour system.  It’s the price of two latte’s!
  2. I don’t plan further enhancements to Vic+ in the near future, but they may happen, and certainly bug reports will be considered.
  3. Future enhancements, like Ganges, will be separate projects.

And if you’ve been following this blog, you’ll note the number of times I mention Larry Robinson.  He has been a source of inspiration, wise advise, provided many objects and beautiful textures, including the Belleville Ferry Terminal, and allowed me to link to his Victoria-related maritime vessels, including the MV Coho, Victoria Harbour Ferry, and MV Norwegian Pearl.  And he’s working on other goodies as well.

Larry does stunning work and I’m humbled to have his support.  Thanks, Larry.

Evolving strategy

Wednesday, July 23rd, 2014 4 comments

As I continue to work on Ganges it’s becoming apparent that it’s a project in its own right.  So before long I will publish the Vic+ 8.0.06 patch (now called SP1) with goodies promised, except Ganges.  Ganges will be a separate payware product, perhaps the precursor of a series of payware floatplane bases.

Another view of the Pearl

Wednesday, July 23rd, 2014 1 comment

A hint of things to come in Vic+…

Wednesday, July 9th, 2014 7 comments

Here, not in final form, is the Norwegian Pearl, which Larry Robinson is creating.  This will be used by Vic+ in future versions for cruise ship traffic.

Meanwhile, I’m still working on Ganges.


Ganges product

Friday, July 4th, 2014 Leave a comment

Work in progress, still need some photos of the Mouat’s buildings.  Update: got great photos thanks to Bill and Bernice joining me on a field trip, much work to do, will be separate product, not part of Vic+.

Ganges_in_progress5 Ganges_in_progress6

Future updates to VicPlus PNW V8

Thursday, May 29th, 2014 Leave a comment

A service pack will be available at some point for VicPlus PNW V8 which include, among other goodies yet to determined, the following:

  • fix for floating SCO object on Pelly Island
  • fix for aircraft crash over Ogden Point breakwater
  • a number of changes to the AI, which will reduce avoidance maneuvers that cause some oddities; these will also improve performance
  • improved representations for a number of buildings, including the Promontory and Hotel Grand Pacific2014-5-26_7-22-34-766
  • thanks to Larry, addition of static and AI harbour ferries to the harbour area, as well as addition of the main docking area near  Ship Point2014-5-29_13-35-0-686
  • addition of Maple Mountain antenna2014-5-29_13-53-43-660
  • documentation updates

Some of these will require objects from Larry’s library so it will be necessary to download it again.

Victoria+ FSX/P3D for FTX Pacific Northwest (PNW) users

Thursday, May 1st, 2014 6 comments

This long-awaited version of Victoria+, only for PNW users, is now available.  Download here.  This is payware, only $8.95.



  1. Custom buildings, waterfront and objects for Victoria, BC, Canada Harbour
  2. Custom buildings for the greater Victoria area
  3. Radar domes on Mt. Newton and Mayne Island
  4. Antenna on Mt. Douglas
  5. Corrected locations for many other antennae
  6. Improved landclass over PNW
  7. Airport facilities for:
  • CAP5 Victoria International Floatplane Base
  • CAX6 Ganges Floatplane Base
  • CBF7 Victoria – Camel Point Heliport
  • CBK8 Victoria Jubilee Hospital Heliport
  • CBW7 Victoria General Hospital Heliport
  • CBZ7 Victoria – Shoal Point Coast Guard Heliport
  • CMAP Maple Bay Floatplane Base
  • CMBH Mount Belcher Heliport
  • CYWH Victoria Harbour Floatplane base

AI craft and traffic

  • DHC-2 floatplane and traffic (Harbour Air, Kenmore Air, Pat Bay Air)
  • pilot boat which travels to rendezvous with static freighter, see Larry Robinson’s addons below
  • users of Misty Fjords and Vancouver+ will also get additional cruise ship traffic:  the Island Princess and the Volendam
  • Vancouver+ also has flightplans which will populate the Victoria+ area with lots of traffic
  • For Vancouver+ users (which has the Bell 206L model): Canada Coast Guard helicopter
  • flying from CBZ7 (Shoal Point), BC Ambulance helicopter flying from CMBH (Mount Belcher, Saltspring Island). It is recommended that Helitraffic 2009 be used, and these aircraft added to that program’s database.

Changes from Version 7

  • Deletion of all San Juan and much of the Gulf Island scenery
  • Compatibility with FTX NA Blue PNW
  • Compatibility with Larry Robinson`s MV Coho vessel and dock
  • Improved Victoria Harbour seawall, now with airphoto data
  • New and improved buildings
  • Updated Ogden Point Terminal with new textures
  • Removal of small boat traffic, alternative is to enable FSX default small boat traffic

Companion Products


Essential for complete coverage

  • Latest version of CYYJ from Don Grovestine is highly recommended, and it will add buildings and docks to CAP5:
  • Larry Robinson’s MV Coho ferry and Belleville St. Ferry Terminal (scroll down and select the two links under “Addon Pack for Vic+ V8 and Orbx PNW”) and static freighter are highly recommended, Victoria Harbour is incomplete without it. You’ll also need Larry’s object library.  Read installation instructions completely!! Note: Be sure to set the “Ships and Ferries” traffic to 38% or less the prevent the default object from appearing.





More FTX NA SAK screenshots

Thursday, February 7th, 2013 4 comments

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.

ORBX FTX NA SAK Screenshots

Wednesday, February 6th, 2013 6 comments
Glacier Station

Glacier Station

PAGY Approach

PAGY Approach

PAGY Apron

PAGY Apron

Skagway Bulk Terminal

Skagway Bulk Terminal

Skagway Tank Farm

Skagway Tank Farm

Temsco Terminal - Skagway

Temsco Terminal – Skagway

PAGY Terminal

PAGY Terminal

Venus Mine

Venus Mine

Here are some shots from the areas I contributed to for this project.  These are still beta and not final.

Skagway floatplane terminal

Skagway floatplane terminal

Skagway Container Yard

Skagway Container Yard



Carcross Campground

Carcross Campground

Carcross CBD

Carcross CBD

Carcross Airport

Carcross Airport

Carcross Hanger

Carcross Hanger

Fraser Station

Fraser Station



ORBX Southern Alaska (SAK)

Thursday, January 24th, 2013 6 comments

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.

FSDT CYVR Compatibility with ORBX FTX PNW and V+ V3

Thursday, May 10th, 2012 2 comments

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.

Vancouver+ V3 released!

Sunday, April 1st, 2012 12 comments

Vancouver+ V3 is ready for purchase (free for V2 users) at the Silvercloud Publishing store.  No foolin’!  Enjoy!

Microsoft announces “Next generation flight experience”

Sunday, April 1st, 2012 4 comments

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.”

Vancouver+ V3 beta testing complete

Wednesday, March 28th, 2012 3 comments

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.

What to do about CYHC?

Sunday, March 25th, 2012 Leave a comment

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.

View from the top of the Living Shangri-La, Vancouver

Friday, March 23rd, 2012 Leave a comment

Living Shangri La - A different view

A crack in the cone…

Tuesday, March 20th, 2012 2 comments

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 Cone of Silence Descends…

Tuesday, February 28th, 2012 4 comments

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.

Something afoot at CYHC (Vancouver Harbour)

Tuesday, February 21st, 2012 4 comments

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.

VanPlus V3 - CYHC New Docks

Vancouver+ V3 update

Sunday, December 18th, 2011 2 comments

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!


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