Plum Island: so close, you can taste the salt air.

We’re oh so close to release now! The first (dare I dream, last?) version with the manual and the complete installer went to the beta team only hours ago. I don’t mind saying I think the final result came out just fine. Huge thanks to Nick for all the great screenshots lately, and to the intrepid team of beta testers for finding the bugaboos and helping me tame them.

I even got a call from a reporter at the Newburyport, Mass. newspaper today. He heard about the scenery and wanted to write a story about it. How cool is that?

Anyway, the next thing you hear from me will hopefully be the release announcement. Until then, I leave you with a pair of comparison shots of the airport, before and after the “Hundred Dollar Burger” series came to town. Can you guess which is default and which is ours?

9 responses to “Plum Island: so close, you can taste the salt air.

  1. The comparisons between the before and after Plum Island are dramatic.
    I was wondering if Victor Tine got ahold of you. They are going to run a special on what you have done. He left here pretty excited.

  2. Excellent stringent development run of Plum Island , Bill.

    What started as an idea turned out into a lovely scenery quite quickly. Congrats!

    I especially find the aspect of you documenting about the scenery progress very interesting and appealing, it just feels like an illustrated guide in how to make an airport, as you clearly highlight the various steps included.

    May I humbly make a suggestion:

    Why not consider a project which puts you in the role of a teacher. Pick up the idea of offering a comprehensive video tutorial, similar to the Angle Of Attack Training Videos for the Level D and PMDG aircraft. “FS Design Academy: Scenery Design with Bill Womack. Learn how to create an airport from the planning phase to the beta phase.”

    You could create a product which introduces the various concepts involved with scenery design and record the steps involved using video tutorials and compile it on a DVD available for purchasing. I guess this would be a unique product.

    Since you’re a respected designer I’m sure such a product would be a great offering for people being interested in scenery design but who get intimidated by having to study many forums / articles before gaining a basic level and understanding of what needs to be considered before a project may commence, which tools are essential, photographic requirements etc.

    To my knowledge no such comprehensive illustrated guidance which takes people at the hand through the jungle of scenery design exists and having followed this blog from beginning to end of Plum Island I’m convinced that you’d be a master in teaching. Just an idea 🙂

  3. @Helldiver: Yes, I spoke with Victor yesterday. Sounds like he’s working on an article, which is a nice treat.

    @Sebastian: I’ve done a few video tutorials as well, and I like the idea of teaching this sort of thing. The problem with doing a DVD like you mentioned is several-fold; first of all, it’s a lot of work. Already, I’m feeling the financial pinch as a scenery designer because so few people actually buy these products, even though they take a lot of effort to create. Now imagine scenery designers as a small subset of the people who buy finished scenery, and you see the problem.

    If I sold a couple hundred training DVDs, it’d be a smash success. But say I charge $25 for the product — and get (maybe) $18 of that in profit. That’s wildly optimistic, but let’s go with that number. Then the total cash in from the endeavor would be on the order of $3600, most likely spread over a year’s time or more. If I spent as much time on that DVD as I did on Plum Island, I’d be making about $12/hour. I can earn $65/hour doing web design and writing, which is what I do when I’m not building scenery. That math is a problem.

    Then there’s the issue of the constant changing of FS technology. If I released such a product today, it would be outdated as soon as the next version of FS was released, which is by all accounts about two years from now.

    And then the thorniest issue, which is that much of what I know I learned through the generous help of other designers who asked for nothing in return. They might get a little peeved if I turned around and sold their freely-given ideas for a profit.

    So there’s the challenge, and why you don’t see this sort of training being offered; it takes a lot of time to create, there’s a limited audience for it, a short shelf-life, and aspects of it are a bit ethically questionable. I’m not ruling it out, but that’s a lot of hurdles for one product to clear.

  4. Pingback: Plum Island veröffentlicht | FSNews

  5. A bug in the Plum Island Scenery.

    I aways crash into something flying over the fence
    even at 200 feet.

  6. We’ve had one other user report that crash, although to date we haven’t sorted it out. For now, the temporary solution is to either fly with crash detection off, or upgrade to FSX SP2. The user who had this issue upgraded, and in SP2 the problem disappeared.

  7. Victor is not making just an article. He’s making a book on Plum Island Airport. One chapter will be on your rendiion of Plum Island Airport in FSX. It part of a series of books on Newburyport.

  8. To that end, I’m trying to collect some screenshots of 2B2.. I’ve got a couple done by Nils but can use more,
    The comparisons are great but I need a larger size if possible.

  9. Sounds like fun! He’ll need to ask me a whole lot more questions than he has to fill up a chapter, though. 😉

    Nick has by far the largest collection of great 2B2 screenshots over at his site:

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