• Which the release of FS2020 we see an explosition of activity on the forun and of course we are very happy to see this. But having all questions about FS2020 in one forum becomes a bit messy. So therefore we would like to ask you all to use the following guidelines when posting your questions:

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Are we wasing our time?

OK, so here is an "inside" take on it, without breaking my NDA.

All I can say is this. I saw things that certain folk on the ACES team were working on that would WORK WITH FSX and greatly help the community of developers.

I truly hope that those "things" will make it out on the fsinsider or this site, even though the team is sadly gone.

I am going to try to pull some strings in March, that is.... if I can find someones strings to pull :(



Interesting idea...

While FSX / FSX1 / ESP2 were in development, there was always the reluctant to release any information, in case it got changed later on.

Now it looks as if it will NOT be changing at all.

Is all this work really just going to be just Archived off, and left in a safe to rot ( outdate & become totally obsolete).

If nothing more than a PR exercise ( and boy, Microsoft do need some good PR at this point), why not release some of this information to the FS Community now.

Give the community something to work with, What is there to loose. ?

To gain ... The community moves forward with new ideas and advances, and then, if at some later date, Microsoft picks up MSFS again, look at all those ideas and developments that are out there for them to "INNOVATE" with, and incorporate into a new MSFS -- all without having to pay their own developemnt team, for coming up with the ideas.

A win-win situation.

Obviously, releasing the FSX source code to the Public Domain would be an interesting situation. I suspect the major reason for NOT doing so, is the reluctance to expose the "Quality" of the underlying source code to the public, rather than its actual IP content.

( I know I would not want to release the source to a lot of the personal stuff I have written, for this reason .. The EXE looks to run "OK", but what is behind it could be embarassing, to say the least. :rolleyes:

The Archiving off of FSX, reminds me of the final scene of "INDIANNA JONES" -- having taken so much trouble to find the ARC, it gets burried in a Warehouse, to be forgotten, and hidden from anyone else seeing or using it.



Staff member
FSDevConf team
Resource contributor
Obviously, releasing the FSX source code to the Public Domain would be an interesting situation. I suspect the major reason for NOT doing so, is the reluctance to expose the "Quality" of the underlying source code to the public, rather than its actual IP content.

We could speculate for ever on that but it is also a fair surmise that some of the code is covered under agreements with third party organizations and thus proprietary for other reasons. In any case I for one would not want to be wading through it no matter how good the documentation ;) I can think of may better things to do with my time that would be less painful - having my teeth removed with rusty pliers and no anesthetic for example :D


FSDevConf team
I'm VERY interested in this system. I just dropped a note to the FSDreamTeam support email about it. If there's another address I should use, let me know, Umberto.


We already doing that, and it's way better and way powerful, flexible and elegant than any conditional animation might ever been in FS9.

Look for the ParkMe features and YouControl features in our two latest sceneries: JFK and Geneva: the docking systems are entirely interactive and don't use any FS2002/2004 code: it's ALL pure FSX code driven by Simconnect. Same for the user-controlled animations for the YouControl features, it's all FSX SDK methods, nothing of the old BGLC+ASM code has been used.

We do *exactly* like you are suggesting: an external application loaded with EXE.XML is driving the animations via Simconnect, and the interactivity is programmed by the developer using the best scripting language around: Stackless Python, which is a version of Python specifically optimized for multi-tasking operation.

Having Python inside, allows the developer to use a real object oriented language, which is mature, supported, reliable, open and with plenty of learning aids around.

Python acts as an high-level layer on top of Simconnect (and of course some things that are needed to allow communication between the C++ code and .MDLs that even Simconnect can't do) so the developer doesn't have to worry about the dirty details, but just concentrate on writing Python code to drive the scenery objects, because we obviously extended Python to give it access to FSX specific features, on top of having the whole Python commands available, with some extra feature added for good measure, like the wxPython library, which allows to construct GUIs in Python, to be used from FSX.

Another fine example of how we use our Python engine in FSX, it's the recently released XPOI product, which just got a very fine review on AVSIM:


This is done 100% in Python, and it took about a month, start to finish, to be done. I started it a while ago in C++, but as soon as we got the Python engine ready, we rewrote it in Python, and it was both easier and faster to do, with much more features than the first C++ prototype. Python of course gives us easy access (by means of its established and tested libraries) to the web, to the file system, etc.

And of course, we get full access to Simconnect features, with helper functions we added and extended into Python, to create common things like generic multi-page screen menus, controlled user-input in the green text line (it doesn't just show text: it can be used for input as well).

And, we get access to things that even Simconnect can't do, or does badly, like direct access to all the GPS features to read navaids and read/write flightplans on the flight, direct access to all gauges variables bypassing Simconnect, direct access to internal variables or features which are not available in Simconnect or via the gauge interface (like display settings, full AI control including removing any AI, etc...)

It's all available under a single and streamlined "glue", which is Python. You don't need to worry about the dirty details, or if something is done via Simconnect, via Gauges or via direct in-memory access: you just call an easy to understand Python function, and it will just work...

In the next release, we are going to add access to the AFCAD structure of the airport in realtime so, it would be possible to query the Python engine to get informations like the number/name/position/data of all the taxiways paths, parkings, etc. so addons might be able to interact with the actual airport structure (we need it to create ground AI traffic)

And yes, the engine IS available for licensing to 3rd parties...

Umberto Colapicchioni - VIRTUALI
It certainly wouldn't be possible for FS to become an open-source product, even if the bigwigs at MS decided to release the code, since so much of the data that ships with it is proprietary and sold under licence from the likes of Jeppeson.

Plus, when things like this have happened in the past, like when one of the devs at Microprose illegally published the code for Falcon 4 when they were shut down, it was a mixed blessing. Whilst the new IPR owners went around shutting down any and all people trying to use the code to fix things (and boy did it need fixing), the patches and mods that resulted were so much of a barely compatible mixed bag that only the most dedicated, hard core user could be bothered to make sense of them all and persist with the game. However, when the IPR was re-sold, a lot of those folks that had been beavering away in the shadows became the ones who knew the ins and outs of it and came together to form a team and re-release a unified, finally fixed, stable product.

I don't think that "open sourcing" the code is our best outcome. I do think that if some third party games developer could be convinced to take on the challenge, and if MS can be brought to see the value of letting their IP go, we could see a way forward for the sim.

In the mean time, as I said earlier, let's enjoy the hiatus on further core development to develop add ons that will turn this arguably flawed masterpiece (FSX) into a really good sim. That way, more will be attracted to an old product, which if FS2002 / FS2004 are anything to go by, will still be selling for many years, albeit under the cover of a budget brand (and at a budget price). If the add ons and introduced functionality are good enough to interest a sizable market of new buyers of the remnanted stock, then perhaps the MS bigwigs will sit up and take notice.
All I can say is this. I saw things that certain folk on the ACES team were working on that would WORK WITH FSX and greatly help the community of developers.

I truly hope that those "things" will make it out on the fsinsider or this site, even though the team is sadly gone.

Yes, tools like MScenes. ... Things like that. :D
Everything comes and everything goes......am sure there is a lot of time left for FSX and am sure others will come along....everyone is acting as if MS was the sole and only possible maker of a Sim.....ridiculous.:eek:
Maybe now others will get on their horses and ride hard and a new sim might be in the Horizon...Difficulty always creates Opportunity.

Anyways I sent a photocopy of my fingers to MS
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I've not seen this posted anywhere, but I apologise if it has. There's a statement on FSInsider about the genocide at Aces:

By now, many of you have heard that Microsoft has closed Aces Studio, the publisher of Microsoft Flight Simulator. This was not a reflection of the quality of the products Aces has developed, the sales performance of the games, or the quality of the team at Aces. This difficult decision was made to align Microsoft’s resources with our strategic priorities. Microsoft Flight Simulator X will remain available at retail stores and web retailers, the Flight Sim community will continue to learn from and encourage one another, and we remain committed to the Flight Simulator franchise for the long term.

Microsoft Game Studios is investing significant resources in many exciting and new areas of gaming and entertainment, including Windows games. We believe these future investments will push innovation, community, and collaboration to unprecedented levels and will provide more synergy with our ongoing investments in Games for Windows - LIVE as well as other Windows entertainment technologies. We have nothing specific to announce at this time, but stay tuned for more information.

We are humbled and proud of the passion and support that the Flight Simulator franchise has developed over its more than twenty-five year history. This includes you, the large community of flight simmers, as well as the vibrant third-party ecosystem that has developed around the game. We will continue to produce, sell, and support the latest version of Flight Simulator as we plan for future versions of the franchise. Thank you for your understanding of our decision and for your continued support!

>Thank you for your understanding of our decision

Yeah, right...

It's a pity they didn't fix the bugs in BglComp first. In particular, the altidude and type of a helipad don't work :(
Hi Folks

It's a pity they didn't fix the bugs in BglComp first.
In particular, the altidude and type of a helipad don't work :(
George -
All working here.

Please find attached a zip, (FSX_MS_Library_Helipads_Test-Placement.zip),
of a all FSX helipad-types as a testfile-placement.

I'd originally created this during RTM beta,
and recompiled it tonight to confirm it's working.

It comprises all FSX helipad types, (hardened and non-hardened ),
placed in two rows, (hardened is the western row),
located adjacent to the Lennox platform, (lat="53.6325" lon="-3.1745").

Are you possibly using any modifed library
which might possibly be missing the FSX objects ?
e.g. Horizon's default.xml (not checked, only an example).

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I'm not talking about placement of scenery objects, I am talking about placing helipad information within an <Airport record with each helipad at a different height. However, I may have corrupted the xml. I will make some further tests.

Yes, I did make a mistake. The helipads are (I think) being created at the correct heights, but the "type" is not being honoured.

Further tests to be conducted.
No, all heliipads are created at the airport height (alt= is ignored) and even with type="NONE", an "H" is always displayed:

Fortunately, the AI Helicopter system uses only lat/long so I can set the airport height to zero so the helipads do not display and the helicopters land on the ground.
Waisting our time

I worked the very first Microsoft Sim on a 386 (maybe a 286) ... we thought it was cool ... orange on black! Fly a WWI bipe on a mission.

FSX is pretty good,and there is a big community. MS has thought we are wasting our time lots of times. I just get a new OS and learn it ... then they have a newer one.

I think we can all run with FSX for a few years and be happy.

Or ... maybe someone will take up the cross and we will see something outstanding.

I just feel for all the folks who thought they worked for a great company that would always look after them.

Sent the email

Told him the truth ... my son is entering a career in aviation largely because of his exposure to MS flight simulation.

When a company becomes a giant they lose good decision making skills.

One thought keeps bouncing around in my old brain about the ACES shutting down. I don't know about most of you but I think MSFS is too inexpensive.
If you look at the demographics of MSFS most of us seem to be middle aged males. Most likely better off financially than the kids buying all the popular
"shoot 'em up kill everything in sight" games.

I must have been one of the first people in the Vancouver, Canada area to get a copy of FSX. It was discounted those first few days at $34.99.
I think FS2004 was $29.99. I pay more for some FSX aircraft or scenery!

When I look at the add on aircraft, scenery and utilities I have bought for FS2004 and FSX the actual COST of FSX was a joke.

I don't know about the rest of you but I would have gladly paid $99 for FSX if it kept it alive and kept updates/tweaks coming
to the end users and the developers.

I wonder

Yes We paid very little for FSX as well. I think there is a lot of R&D going into FS and a long time before release dates.
The uppers at MS like to turn a dollar faster me thinks.

During 2007 MS made $51.12 billion in total revenue with a operating income of US $18.52 billion and a total net income of $14.06 billion.

Where does FSX sit in those figures?

Interesting thread, what with all the technical stuff and the "why did Micro$oft do this?" bits, but surely the answer to the OP question is "did I enjoy making this <whatever>?" and "did someone else enjoy using it?". If the answer to either of those is yes, then we weren't wasting our time, if the answer to both is yes - we did even better!

That's a freeware (charitable) perspective. I guess that with making payware full-time there is also the equation of "for the time I put in, to the money I made, what was my hourly rate?" and if it falls below some threshold only the developer can set, it could indeed have been a waste of time. That discussion then moves on into philosophy, which is for a different forum! :)

So long as there's a receptive user base, the chances of wasting time are actually pretty low. I could also go on to argue that with the newly-extended lives of FS9 and FSX the chances of a waste of time are even lower, because a new version of FS isn't about to wipe out all the things we created! This might be a classic instance where turning a "problem" into an "opportunity" actually works.

For some reason I'm feeling quite positive today - make the most of it! :D

That's my :twocents: in this credit-crunchy time.
I'll add my own 2 cents here as well :->, I'm currently working on a replacement managed simconnect client and there are some other folks from the old ACES that are looking to possibly bundle up some additional/enhanced tools for release (see Nick's blog post) - and we certainly don't think we are wasting our time :->