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Thread: New Microsoft Flight Simulator technology for a new train sim?

  1. #11
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    I've been looking at the various reports from the MSFS event, and from what the developers have said, it seems they're aware of how deeply invested some FSX simmers are with addon aircraft, and that they'd like to offer some sort of backward compatibility for FSX aircraft, at least. They did say that the new sim is at based on FSX's architecture (not code) as a jumping-off point, so this makes sense.

    But...

    I really wonder how this will work out in reality. P3d v4 already has left older addon aircraft behind when it switched to 64-bit because of how the gauge files work. Technically, the aircraft still work in the engine, but the newer style gauge files and scripting for 32-bit FSX/P3d have to be re-worked. If the new MSFS is going to deliver on this idea, then they'll have to add in some layer to handle the differences between old formats and the new sim. I suppose with all new code, they may have more options open. But I wonder about the performance. Not many will want to re-buy a study-level aircraft yet again, but... I wonder if this is a rather ambitious goal.


    MSTS-Roundhouse

    With Open Rails and ZDSimulator
    Info

  2. #12

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    Regarding the comments about any of the neat stuff being trotted out in the new "MSFS" ever making it into a revised MSTS: my short answer is that it will most likely never happen. The reason isn't technological, it's demographic. We are now into a third generation of people in America who are largely divorced and ignorant of most anything about railroads, while nearly everyone has at least some familiarity--if only as a passenger in most cases--with airplanes. So, a flight simulator demographically has a fairly large potential market, while any train simulator has a pretty small demographic (and a shrinking one, at that) that is interested in it.

    In this environment, OpenRails has been pretty much a miracle in how its folks have enhanced train simulation, but the shrinking number of routes, stock, etc. being developed for MSTS/OR--especially for the American market--is pretty troubling. All one has to do to see it is look at this site. Days, sometimes whole weeks, go by with not a single new release of North American content. The problem is a sort of "chicken or egg" thing. OR has possibly over-emphasized backward compatibility with MSTS because of the lack of new content being developed, but, as a result, a lot of the OR graphics, etc. have not been able to advance enough to maintain interest in the sim as a whole. Lack of interest by simmers translates into less interest in any new content that is developed, which dampens any enthusiasm for people to create it. A downward spiral. With Flight Simulator, I suspect Microsoft is making what looks like a quantum leap to re-energize its existing users and attract new users. That would also likely jump start demand for content. Admittedly, I think that is a gamble, but so is sticking to older platforms and backward-compatible content. Sort of like that old saying, "If you only do what you've always done, you'll only get what you've always gotten."

  3. #13

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    Is MS planning on bringing this to their XBOX? Then it’s a game and not a simulation, just like TSW.

    Or PC only, with the powerful, both financially and hardware, affluent adult men audience?

    Indeed, trains and model railroads seem to be a thing of the past.

  4. #14

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    While reading EricF's blog today I discovered that the TSInsider site is very well preserved as well, for anyone that likes a trip down memory lane: https://web.archive.org/web/20090122...m/default.aspx
    There are a couple of snapshots soon after 22/01/09 (Aces' closure) probably generated on-demand. Apparently the site remained online until April 2011!

    + recommended reading on the new flight sim: https://www.flightsim.com/vbfs/showt...about-new-MSFS

  5. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Edwin View Post
    Is MS planning on bringing this to their XBOX? Then it’s a game and not a simulation, just like TSW.

    Or PC only, with the powerful, both financially and hardware, affluent adult men audience?

    Indeed, trains and model railroads seem to be a thing of the past.
    Go back to the first post and view the videos. Another info source: https://arstechnica.com/gaming/2019/...-actual-plane/

    tl;dr: the initial release target is PCs. XBOX won't be far behind, though, because only the top and bottom ends of the market use PCs for gaming (or simulation).

  6. #16
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    Here is the XBox You Tube demo video......https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_c...&v=ReDDgFfWlS4

    Looks like I'll have to save up for a couple of Titan X cards, for my ageing PC, will put them on my Christmas list........lol

    Oh, and of course, it's ONLY for WINDOWS 10, so, will need to get that installed by next February also.

    Cheerz. Steve.
    Last edited by ex-railwayman; 10-04-2019 at 01:37 PM. Reason: re-edit
    i5 4690 3.5 GHz Quad Core CPU, Gigabyte Z97-HD3, 16GB RAM, nVidia GTX1060 6GB, WIN 7 PRO 64-bit.

  7. #17

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    <sarcasm>

    Any revised MS train sim will be a non-starter for me unless I can still use my rather large collection of free Danny Beck engines and all those repaints"

    </sarcasm>


    I've noticed most of the hopeful positives on a new MS FS being a bridged to some new MS TS are the ones still largely dependent upon Train.exe in this era of multiple sim platform choice. For whatever reasons, these are the people who stayed behind and found themselves hacking files to take advantage of modern video drivers or 16:9 screen sizes or quashing LODs to ease the heavy route pain on Train.exe. For those folks, it probably is a do-anew-or-die-with-Win10 moment, so they naturally gravitate to the hopeful spin.


    On another thread about improving Danny Beck's older material, I read

    Quote Originally Posted by trainman_47 View Post
    Great idea! The problem is, most that could do this kind of work have long since left the hobby and the ones that are left don't care to share there work.
    I think most of the people still here and who still have the skills to do a real fine job repainting are the ones who buy just about every payware release anyway, so they have better revised models in their portfolio already to use as a starting point for any embellishing projects. Positive responses from the 100% purchasers caucus were conspicuously missing from that other thread, only the occasional buyers, pensioners on fixed income, or too young for the credit card types seemed the voice the most support for such upgrade prospects involving Danny's older material. For a situation where new releases are spread out longer and longer already, these improving older material projects only peels away more potential buyers of new material and dilutes the sales motive and stretches the timetable between new releases even more. I think the 100% purchasers caucus knows that already and that's why they scale down participation in sharing. They want to see more new releases and don't have a problem paying, and don't want to contribute to actions that slow the timetable down.

  8. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by wwhall View Post
    Regarding the comments about any of the neat stuff being trotted out in the new "MSFS" ever making it into a revised MSTS: my short answer is that it will most likely never happen. The reason isn't technological, it's demographic. We are now into a third generation of people in America who are largely divorced and ignorant of most anything about railroads, while nearly everyone has at least some familiarity--if only as a passenger in most cases--with airplanes. So, a flight simulator demographically has a fairly large potential market, while any train simulator has a pretty small demographic (and a shrinking one, at that) that is interested in it.
    Well as you leave little information in your Profile, i.e. Name, Location, Interests etc. it's rather hard to see why you reach such conclusions

    You seem to have missed that Simulators are a World Wide hobby? Surely you're not one of the Americans that sees the World ending at your State border, or the US National Border?! Even then the populace of the large Urban conurbations and the coastal regions of the USA will be aware of Railways? Those in the North East even have your only high speed rail! That's quite apart from the fact that I have a library just stacked with books on North American railroading, many of which hark back to the beginnings or your railroads. I suggest your observations aren't really THAT representative?

    Moving beyond the USA there's a whole world where we ARE aware of trains, use trains and have railways that are developing and modernising all the time. That's before you consider the historical interest in Railways too.

    FS have always been the bigger draw but you only have to see the uptake on DTG's stuff, Run 8 etc. to see that there are areas that none of these newer Train Sims excel at.

    By their very nature Railways will always require more convincing scenery than Flight Sims. Issues like signalling and track laying are also far more complex.

    The "shrinking" in interest may be your experience but the fact that DTG is still producing stuff must mean that there is a market?
    Geoff
    Dorset - near The Swanage Railway.
    UK

  9. #19
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    Geoff, Wade is pretty spot on with regards to interest on this side of the pond. Relevance may be a better word than interest. It has always been a niche community. The number of train sim enthusiasts is surely a grain of sand on the beach within the entire gaming/simming world.
    If it were a broad based interest, certainly there would be continual progressive generations of train simming platforms, or new base engine platforms with modern innovations and technologies built into the core being created with the same pace the major successes in the gaming world evolve, yes?
    Neil

    Here at home, in the railroad mayhem capital of the world.

  10. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by qballbandit View Post
    Geoff, Wade is pretty spot on with regards to interest on this side of the pond. Relevance may be a better word than interest. It has always been a niche community. The number of train sim enthusiasts is surely a grain of sand on the beach within the entire gaming/simming world.
    If it were a broad based interest, certainly there would be continual progressive generations of train simming platforms, or new base engine platforms with modern innovations and technologies built into the core being created with the same pace the major successes in the gaming world evolve, yes?
    Hi Neil, well in the rather narrow World of computer gaming, much of which is now on "game boxes" of one brand or another rather than PC's (?), you may have a strong case.

    However Simulators have always attracted a "niche community" compared to other genres. From the perspective of the outside World it's obvious that there are thousands of Americans who have little or no experience of railways, just as many have never seen the sea! Obviously for most European's that is unimaginable and we live in a region covered in railways.

    As I mentioned the amount of interest in Railroads must be there because it supports a large amount of books, magazines, DVD's and web sites. All hobbies have "joiners and leavers" but all have a hardcore of enthusiasts that keep them alive? It's pretty clear nowadays that the original MSTS and (largely) compatible OR is where the hardcore hobbyist are and the newer (no longer THAT new?) payware platforms support a wider audience? Would a future attempt at finally producing an MSTS2 attract no interest?

    The big thing that M$ realised early on, with both MSFS and MSTS, was that support for 3rd party add-ons and (perhaps more importantly from the hobbyist perspective) freeware was an asset rather than a threat to the platform. Reading recent posts here it would seem that this is the one thing DTG has got wrong? A customer base complaining about lack of fixes (from them) and 3rd party publishers blocked or jerked around sounds like "how not to do it" to me? They certainly aren't getting my money.

    I always felt that "World of Rails" (or whatever their overly ambitious virtual world development was called) was a step too far for it's time. I say that because little or nothing was ever shown of how it would work? I can only assume that the attempt to join their separate 3D world development to the Simulator development was actually "a bridge too far"? A great idea but with enough development challenges to delay a working release? You only have to look at Google Earth/Maps to see how slowly even PC's that would have been unimaginably high spec back then render 3D imagery?

    As I understand it all parties to development of MSTS2 were legally bound by "non-disclosure" clauses. Whilst that was understandable back in it's development phase it's always struck me that there MUST have been a few MAJOR flaws in their proposed release? Those of us who were around back then had already watched a first attempt "pulled" and the blogs were all promising imminent release when the Bean Counters shocked the entire simming community by closing down aces studio. All these years later it would be interesting to hear more of the detail of the development and aims. If it was "good to go" the decision to scrap it a second time after years of development work and costs seems pretty drastic ....or maybe panicky?

    Perhaps the most interesting thing about this latest M$ flight Sim is that they obviously have put together a team of designers, either "in-house" or contracted, to work on a Sim again? The development team of MSTS2 didn't disappear. They moved on to other things. Interestingly one/some (?) of them set up Cascade Games Foundry and their Scuba simulator seems to be doing pretty well?

    Time will tell. If a new MSFS is a runaway success the seed may just be sown to revisit Train Simming too? Personally I've never been one to get over excited (unlike the commentator in the videos above ) about "NEW STUFF" because the test of time proves what's good and what's indifferent?
    Geoff
    Dorset - near The Swanage Railway.
    UK

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