Prepar3d vs ACES vs XPlane vs MS Flight

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Sven2157
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Postby Sven2157 » Fri Nov 05, 2010 2:09 pm

Hello,



My name is Jon (Sven2157, SV2157), I host and run Chicago Flights™ for FSX. We as a community, and I may not speak for all of our members, are tired of the "issues" with FSX; mainly the disconnections, logging into gamespy, no further support, etc, etc...



In looking for answers/solutions to these problems, I am offered only 4 alternatives; Prepar3d, the new project that ACES (Cascade Game Foundry) are working on, XPlane and MS Flight. But here is the dilemma, for the WHOLE flight simulator community:



Prepr3d - Right off the bat, the price tag ($499.99 USD)! :o This is outrageous, and not affordable by anyone that I know. I understand that Lockheed Martin is a military contractor, specializing in the aviation/space field, and may not have had the common "PC Pilot" in mind, while developing this new software.



I further understand that Microsoft sold hundreds of ESP licenses (at extremely expensive prices), and then shutdown that program, when they killed the ACES team. So my questions here are: Are there plans of a $40-60 "PC Pilot" version in the works, that will support multiplayer? Will FSX addons work with this? or, Is this strictly for commercial use by corporate, government and military?



ACES (Cascade Game Foundry) - Though these are the original team members from Microsoft, and they have announced the development of their 25+ years experience into an alternative to FSX, as well as other projects, there has not been any updates to that announcement since July 9th, 2010. Is this going to actully happen?



XPlane - This is, in my opinion, a generic game. The world you fly in is non-existent, and the flight dynamics are not even close. In spite of its infantileness, compared to MSFS, it is cleary not abandoned, and continuously being developed. My personal opinoin about the Founder and company was forever scarred, by the postings of ill-timed and unprofessional remarks, upon the news of the release of ACES. Again, my opinion.



...which now leads me to Microsot...



Microsoft's Flight - This is Microsoft's new version of MSFS, and is expected out no time soon. Further, this is the same company that has left us all hanging for the last 4+ years; developers, corporations and "PC Pilots". Will this just be a "dusted off" version of FSX? or are they completely remodeling the entire program? Will this, again, be compatible with the current aircraft and sceneries that we, as a community, have worked hard to develop or purchase?



With the community loosing hope, patience and interest, I hope that one of these teams can revive the community, by releasing what the community wants at an affordable price. I would think that selling 1 million copies at $60 would be better than 50,000 copies at $500... (just guestimating)



I welcome all thoughts and comments...



Jon Bowles (Sven2157, SV2157)

Founder Chicago Flights
Regards,

Sven2157

Legacy Support
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Postby Legacy Support » Fri Nov 05, 2010 2:51 pm

Hi Jon,



Whilst I appreciate your frustration, you are not comparing apples with apples and your outrage is a bit mis-directed at us. Prepar3D is not a game. It is not being sold as a game and is not meant for the entertainment community at game prices. We are very open about that. It uses technology derived from a game platform and we have taken that technology and are making improvements and changes to it to suit the commercial marketspace.



The Prepar3D forum is not the best place to debate this issue, a game site would serve better perhaps, although I have left it up here so that people can hopefully appreciate my thoughts on this hot topic. I realize that it will crop up again and again.



I encourage people that are interested in developing add-ons, missions, flight plans and so on for Prepar3D to join the Prepar3D Developer Network for $9.95 per month. Even as a newcomer to development, this will be a great place to start and learn the environment and contribute to the success of the product - and the community. You get two copies of Prepar3D to do this development with. Most existing FSX and ESP add-ons work with Prepar3D. You may also be interested to know that we are implementing a new internet multi-user system that replaces the existing legacy multiplayer system. I hope that you will try this option and contribute. If we can work together on this, we can make the community a stronger force and not disperse our energies.



Best wishes



John


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Beau Hollis
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Postby Beau Hollis » Mon Nov 08, 2010 9:26 am

For the sake of a fair price comparison, it should be noted that X-Plane's professional licenses currently range from $500-$1000. (as listed on their website).
Beau Hollis
Prepar3D Software Architect

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Sven2157
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Postby Sven2157 » Mon Nov 08, 2010 10:22 am



Quote:

Quote from John Nicol on November 5, 2010, 14:51

Hi Jon,



Whilst I appreciate your frustration, you are not comparing apples with apples and your outrage is a bit mis-directed at us. Prepar3D is not a game. It is not being sold as a game and is not meant for the entertainment community at game prices.

Quote:

I do appologise if you feel that I am "raging" out at Lockheed Martin. This was not my intent. I clearly and calmly stated my understanding of Lockheed Martin.

Quote:

Quote from Sven2157 on November 5, 2010, 14:09

So my questions here are: Are there plans of a $40-60 “PC Pilot” version in the works, that will support multiplayer? Will FSX addons work with this? or, Is this strictly for commercial use by corporate, government and military?


I merely asked if LM intened to make a civilian simulator with the further development of the already in place Microsoft Flight Simulator Engine.



Quote:

Quote from John Nicol on November 5, 2010, 14:51

It uses technology derived from a game platform and we have taken that technology and are making improvements and changes to it to suit the commercial marketspace.


Calling this software a game, is inaccurate as well; games keep score, while FSX simulates realworld aviation. It is a simulator, recognized by the FAA as a training tool, as it is the BEST simulator engine in the world, at the moment. There are numerous forums on the web that will beg to differ with you on this statement.



Quote:

Quote from John Nicol on November 5, 2010, 14:51

I encourage people that are interested in developing add-ons, missions, flight plans and so on for Prepar3D to join the Prepar3D Developer Network for $9.95 per month. Even as a newcomer to development, this will be a great place to start and learn the environment and contribute to the success of the product – and the community. You get two copies of Prepar3D to do this development with.


So your saying that I can save myself $499, by joining the Development Network, because Lockheed Martin will give me 2 copies of Prepar3d? For $9.95 a month?



Quote:

Quote from John Nicol on November 5, 2010, 14:51

Most existing FSX and ESP add-ons work with Prepar3D. You may also be interested to know that we are implementing a new internet multi-user system that replaces the existing legacy multiplayer system.


Quick question. If this if for commercial, government and military use, why the need for a multi-user system? I don't think Delta Airlines wants its employees to be multi-user training while on the clock. I really think that renaming the modules of the software is not producing a "NEW" program to the intended demographic. This, to me, is the same as calling a "Used Car Lot", a "Pre-Owned Car Lot".



Quote:

Quote from bhollis on November 8, 2010, 09:26

For the sake of a fair price comparison, it should be noted that X-Plane’s professional licenses currently range from $500-$1000. (as listed on their website).


I must reiterate here, I was simply asking if there was intent to release an affordable, civilian version of this software. XPlane, has this license available, yes. However, they still have an affordable version of the software. They gave the world both a civilian and professional version. This was my point and qustion to you.



I am very sorry if any of this has confused or upset you. I merely wanted to know how Lockheed Martin felt about a civilian version, how the rest of the community that finds this software felt, and what everyone's thoughts were compared to what is currently available. This was not meant to anger anyone, as I felt it has. Again my appologies.




Regards,

Sven2157

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Postby Legacy Support » Mon Nov 08, 2010 11:41 am



Quote:

Quote from Sven2157 on November 8, 2010, 10:22



I merely asked if LM intened to make a civilian simulator with the further development of the already in place Microsoft Flight Simulator Engine.





This software is intended for commercial use. That includes what I would define as "civilian simulation" (use of the product by non-military and government users - flight schools, trainee and licensed pilots, education, training organizations, petroleum companies, heavy equipment manufacturers and so on...) What I think you are wanting to know is if we are releasing a game version for use by the general public similar to FSX and XPlane? The answer is no, we are supporting the commercial market only with Prepar3D.





Quote:

Calling this software a game, is inaccurate as well; games keep score, while FSX simulates realworld aviation. It is a simulator, recognized by the FAA as a training tool, as it is the BEST simulator engine in the world, at the moment. There are numerous forums on the web that will beg to differ with you on this statement.







Regardless, there is a legal definition of what it is and isn't. It is sold and marketed as a game and I personally love it to death. It has been and will continue to be my favourite past-time and I feel extremely fortunate to be part of this wonderful project with Lockheed! :D I feel your passion, but I was accurate, although I agree that it is a very powerful and wonderful simulation engine as well! Although it might be recognised by the FAA, it legally cannot be used as a training tool (see the EULA). Prepar3D can and is being used in this way.





Quote:

So your saying that I can save myself $499, by joining the Development Network, because Lockheed Martin will give me 2 copies of Prepar3d? For $9.95 a month?




If you are a developer, or intending to develop applications for Prepar3D, you can join the Developer Network for US$9.95 per month and you will receive 2 copies of the software for development and testing purposes. If you intend using the application for commercial, non-development end use, you will pay the $499 per copy. We also provide discounts for recognized academic institutions.



Quote:

Quick question. If this if for commercial, government and military use, why the need for a multi-user system? I don't think Delta Airlines wants its employees to be multi-user training while on the clock. I really think that renaming the modules of the software is not producing a "NEW" program to the intended demographic. This, to me, is the same as calling a "Used Car Lot", a "Pre-Owned Car Lot".




Our military users participate in distributed simulation exercises on a regular basis in different geographic locations. This is a standard way of training. It is an absolute must to have multi-user capability. You can probably do a search for "Distributed Interactive Simulation" or "High Level Architecture" to get a background in this area. We are releasing compatible protocol add-ons for these and providing a robust Prepar3D multi-user environment as well for those users that do not need the additional overhead of these protocols.



Air traffic control organizations that we are working with regularly conduct distributed ATC training as well. I cannot comment on specific airline training as I do not know their training environments (yet), however once again, this application is aimed at more than just airlines and the flight domain. We have already built in under-sea capability and will be working on ground. I can also envisage the requirement for specific communities of interest to come together in specific training scenarios online using the multi-user environment such as Search and Rescue, humanitarian assistance and emergency response groups to name a few. We have not simply renamed functionality, I believe I stated quite clearly that we are currently re-writing the multi-user function to provide robust network and internet multi-user functionality. We are not calling it "multi-player" for the simple fact that it isn't a game and we do not want to confuse our core customers.



I hope that this has clarified your questions. I also hope that you will be part of the Prepar3D story by joining the Developer Network and helping us make it the best possible simulation platform in the world! :D

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Postby Legacy Support » Wed Nov 24, 2010 8:41 am

atorque,



Thank you for your opinion. It is unfortunate that there will always be people that interpret information the way that they wish to. From day 1 we provided the appropriate license and usage information. We can only provide the information that we can in order to allow people to make the decisions that they will. If you have decided to interpret the information in a specific way then so be it. The debate will rage on I am sure. It appears that Prepar3D is not the application for you and that is OK!



Regards,

John


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