Tag Archives: FSX

Putting the Final Polish on Tongass

We are soooooooooo close now! Tongass Fjords X is in beta, and thanks to our eagle-eyed team, we’re squashing bugs and getting things tidied up for a release soon. In the meantime, our “staff photographer”, Nick Churchill, has been lensing around the beta of Sitka. Is there anything this guy can’t make look even better? Here are a few from his most recent shoot.

Tongass Fjords for FSX – Progress

Sometimes when I’m deep in a scenery project, I forget to say hi now and then to my blog readers. Very sorry for that, but at least I have a decent excuse… Tongass Fjords for FSX is nearing completion. Originally, I thought all I would do would be to update a few models to FSX standards and hit “export”, then toss it over the wall to our virtual bush-flying fans. Then Holger Sandmann found some great aerial shots of Sitka, Alaska and I ended up going much deeper into re-working the town than I expected.

Now the same has happened with Petersburg. I got some more shots from a few guys who frequent the Sim-Outhouse forums, and that helped me get a better idea of what the harborfront is like there, so I dove into adding some more models. I’ve attached a few shots to show how things stand now. Soon, my friends! Very soon…

Microsoft Shutters ACES

The word is beginning to leak out across the web tonight, and it’s the worst kind of news for FS fans. Early reports indicate that Microsoft may have pulled the plug – at leat for now – on the ACES studio, the people who brought us Flight Simulator and ESP, and who were edging up on releasing TrainSim 2. If this turns out to be true, some of the best and brightest sim and game developers will soon be looking for greener pastures. Let’s keep our fingers crossed that they quickly find new work and can put their talents to good use elsewhere.

What does this mean for the FS franchise in general? It’s much too early to say. Partly it depends on whether Microsoft reactivates the team in some incarnation at a later date, as we all hope they will. Lacking a dev team at MS means no more versions of FS in the near term, but at least they left us on a high note. FSX is a very capable platform whose full potential we are only beginning to explore. Given the worldwide base of users and fans, I’m sure the old girl has many more years left in her.

For now though, our thoughts go out to those who lost their jobs today. You’re a brilliant lot, all of you, and you deserved a much better fate than this. Keep your chins up and the wind at your backs. I remember my instructor drilling the three rules of an emergency landing into my head: first aviate, then navigate, and once you’ve got that under control, you can communicate. Here’s hoping we hear from you real soon.

Plum Island Reviewed on Screenshot Artist

Nick Churchill just published a review of Plum Island on his site, Screenshot Artist. Many thanks to Chris Palmer for the words, and of course to Nick for the stunning-as-usual screenshots that accompany them.

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Salute, guys!

Ground Polygon Design Tutorial on SimPilotNet

ground-poly-layersHeads up, anyone interested in scenery design: Christian Stock has just published a tutorial I wrote for him on how I designed the runway ground polys for Plum Island. It’s a little wonky, but for anyone who’s ever been interested in how flightsim airports are made, this is a peek behind the curtain. You can see it here.

Aerosoft’s Bush Hawk Released!

There’s a new bush plane in town, and if your idea of a runway is a gravel bar on a river, you’re going to love this one. Thorsten Reichert, the developer behind Aerosoft’s “Flight Tales” mission package, has really outdone himself with this plane. He labored obessively over the details, from the knobs and switches up front to the crates of fish stinking up the back.

The Bush Hawk comes with a wide variety of liveries, split between real-world paint jobs and some fictional additions, and all flowing from the talented brush of Chris Brisland, a well-known FS painter. Fueled by his own perfectionism, Chris created multiple variants of the interior, from factory-fresh to heavily abused, including goodies like an alternative engine-turned dash, and a carbon fiber version as well. This is a plane you’ll want to spend some time walking around before you hop in.

It’s not just a good-looker, either. The Bush Hawk is made to haul, and it does it well. A sedate flyer, this isn’t a mount for a thrill-seeker. With its wide cargo doors, it’s designed to carry a maximum load of passengers or cargo deep into the bush. Thorsten included some ingenious features, some of which you’ll just have to find out about for yourself (hint: don’t forget to turn on the de-icing before you head into cold, wet weather).

If you’re a bush flying fanatic, check out the Bush Hawk’s product page. I think you’ll like what you see.

Download Plum Island Here

One of the changes we’ve made at FSAddon is to sell products via mutiple channels, and in multiple currencies. Before, you used to have to buy in Euros at SimMarket, or not at all. Starting with Plum Island, we also are offering the scenery via the Flight1 wrapper, with pricing in US Dollars.

Download Plum Island (approx. 275Mb) and purchase for $15 (US).

If you’re looking for a new home base, this is one you won’t want to miss!

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?

Plum Island Goes Beta

The time has come for a little testing. After about six weeks of modeling, I assembled a small (but surprisingly elite!) team of testers, who are busily whacking away at the scenery as I type this. It took about five minutes for the first report to come in — a new personal best for me. Turns out I had left in some strange and somewhat idiotic things. I guess that’s what testing is all about!

While the pit crew takes apart the the scenery and reassembles it, here are some more of the details that made it into beta 1:

While I was busy snapping pics at Plum Island, my wife was chatting up the airport manager at the closer picnic table. The farther one had just gotten a new coat of varnish and was a little sticky. I did Steve a favor and varnished the other one, too.

Some visitors have happened by for a little morning flying. Each of these vehicles has a story…

…especially this one, my 1996 Ford Ranger. Yep, it made it all the way from Portland to Plum Island for the shoot.

What’s up this weekend? The bulletin board says there’s an airshow scheduled. Now I’m picturing the Blue Angels trying to take off from that craggy tarmac. Not a pretty thought.

I’ll probably have one or two more posts while the testers do their thing, then it’s off to the market shelves!

Plum Island Details

It’s getting depressing numbering the days I’ve been working on this. Such a small airport, I told myself… shouldn’t take more than a couple of weeks. When will I learn? My appetite for getting the project completed and out into the world is once again eclipsed by my need to shoehorn in a few more details.

I’ve spent the last couple of days adding signage, which is always my favorite part of a project. Somehow the rules, regs, and warnings make it seem so much more real, you know? So anyway, here’s the latest round of pics.

Remember the discussion about the guy who’s essentially squatting on the last 400′ of runway? I added the house down on that end yesterday. Helldiver has taken some pics, at great risk to life and limb, so that I can add the junk cluttering up the end of the runway as well.

And last, but definitely not least, this new series of airports has a name. I’m calling it the “100 Dollar Burger” series, in honor of those intrepid GA fliers who put their credit cards on the line every day to punch holes in the sky. The way avgas prices are climbing, pretty soon it’ll have to change to the “500 dollar burger”. Here’s the result of last night’s logo design session: