Monday, March 28, 2011

Now, that is a T-45C simulator...

That is a wide screen!

This is (or should be) an actual screenshot... Javier's carrier looks definitely much better :-)

I've recently spotted on the internet few pics of the "real thing", that is the real T-45C simulator... So here they are. The simulator is static and sports a pretty wide screen (although we "simmers" know that it is not the best of the best out there) which seems very effective. In terms of graphics, well, Javier's carrier looks much better IMHO :-) but again, these simulators are not made to impress with graphic realism (or have fun), their job is to help you learning the instruments and the procedures... Then, given the high standards of many "hardcore simmers" (i.e. "I bet I could land a real Tomcat even if I've never touched a real plane" armchair pilot) , I'd bet that there is someone that may consider this simulator "too arcade" :-) Talking about arcade games...for those who missed them, there are some new Microsoft Flight screens on the official website (here). The pattern seems to be a monthly update (alternating screenshots and videos). I think it looks pretty good. Although many will think it is very similar to FSX, on closer inspection, there are some interesting tweaks that make it look much better (for example a MUCH better shadow algorithm - which include autogen now). On the graphic side, I'd say so far so good. I just hope the performance will be good. Also, I think that, at this point it seems clear that, in spite of the name change, this seems to be a new version of Flight Simulator. It will probably have some more missions (which I like) and a "casual mode" (which to allow your 5 years old son fly a 747, but I'm sure it will be optional). I'd be surprised if the maximum level of realism will be lower than the one of FSX - and I honestly can't wait to see more of this new release. I just hope that there will be an efficient way to convert FSX native add-ons to Flight...

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

T-45C External model complete

My apologies for the lack of updates - I've been very busy in the past few weeks and I had very little time (and will) to work on my FSX projects. Needless to say I've completely missed my target of delivering a Beta version of the new Goshawk before the end of Februrary - and I'm still at least 30 work-hours away from that target.
The good news is that the external model is done - initially I wanted it to be a very light 3d model... but in the end it became a very detailed one (which may disappoint some users with slower machines). On the good side, I am extremely happy with its visual quality - although the outer doors of the main landing gear have a wrong shape.
The virtual cockpit, I mean the student/pilot one, is roughly 50% complete - it still lacks the side consoles as I have not complete their main textures.
The instructor cockpit is still in my to-do list, although I am considering a later release - as I do not have the time and motivation, at present, to complete it in a reasonable time... The main problem is that I work 9-10 hours per day in front of a computer screen, and it is really hard to find the will do sit in front of another computer screen when I am at home!
Also, while I was looking for the right mood to complete the Goshawk cockpit, I did some work on the new Tomcat - the external model is 80% complete and it looks really good too! I'll post some pics as soon as the next build is done.