How does the developer community feel about ESP??

#1
Hi all,

Just trying to gauge the community thought on ESP. I recently got access to ESP. Now first thing I went to check was of course the SDK.
I found that it is a mirror of the FSX SDK. There is nothing in there that I have found yet that would prevent the use of the FSX addons from the developer community.

Now when MS can raise the price of this product from $79 to $799....kinda makes one wonder about how the FS payware community is benefitting from this as well.

Say for example.... Grumman

( who has been using ESP as has been documented by this link
http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/features/2007/nov07/11-27esp.mspx
)

well they are in a hurry... or maybe not...

...so instead of paying a 3D developer.... which would cost a lot of money... go see TurboSquid..

lets go to say.... Brand X's site... buy their work... only costs us $25-60 US

as you can see much cheaper! :eek:

Not only that... but say they buy one plane... then install in on multiple machines across the corporation??

I am interested in your thought's on the matter.
 

arno

Administrator
Staff member
FSDevConf team
Resource contributor
#2
Hi,

Interesting questions. I am not sure how most payware people do their licensing, but I can imagine they have a "entertainment use only" part in there just like MS has for FSX. Then it would not be allowed to you it for commercial use. So just like ESP has an increased price, they could ask more for the "professional" versions of their product.

And compared to having to make the entire models from scratch it will still be cheap for the customer :).
 
#4
Well, its good news for me. I started using FSX as a geospatial visualisation tool (i.e. to visualise proposed housing developments, bridges etc etc) but of course the 'Entertainment only' part of the license restricted me in using it 'for the company' (they get titchy about these kindof things)

So ESP has allowed me the possibility of using the capabilities of FSX in a commercial environment without the potential problems that the FSX license agreement posed.

The company/client would of course pay the license fee so its no skin of my nose, but in saying that I think $799 is a bargain...especially since you can do 90% of your development for the purchase price of FSX deluxe and get to know (and demonstrate) the capabilites of ESP without splashing out $800 first.
 
#5
Well, first off, I obviously love ESP (could be because I'm on that team now :-> ).

Second, I actually worked with Grumman on the Proof of Concept that was mentioned in the press release you linked to, and they were looking to integrate ESP with some existing in-house products they had, along with some Virtual Earth stuff thrown in :->

As to the third party questions you bring up, if the product doesn't have a "For Entertainment Purposes Only" clause, then an ESP user could conceivably buy said third party product for use in their overall solution, but they couldn't just buy one copy and install on all their machines, that would definitely be against the third party products License, but they could buy N copies, one for each machine, which would be that many more sales for the third party dev.

If the third party product does have a "entertainment only" clause, then the ESP user would need to contact the third party company directly to acquire the product under a different license (possibly a site license so they could install it on as many machines as they want, or a per machine license). Again, this would be a win for the third party dev.

The way we actually expect these sorts of things to happen, is that a "Solution Provider" will decide to develop a specific solution using ESP. This could be a PPL training course for use by flying schools. In this case, they would take the base ESP platform, add missions (ie the courseware), probably some custom scenery for the schools home airport (which they could develop in house, purchase an existing product as mentioned above, or they could contract with a third party dev to make an airport specifically for their package), some additional aircraft (same options as for the scenery above), and maybe some external SimConnect based modules for things like scoring/grading, instructor station, etc. Once the Solution Provider has pulled all these items together, then they would sell the complete package to flying schools. Again, there's lots of opportunity for the third party community in the above, and whenever I talk to any of our customers I always talk up the existing third party market as a possible source of additional content they may want to look into for extending the platform.

Another possiblity is what Timmo talks about, which is companies using the platform as a visualization engine to showcase some in-house product (could be demographic data, could be a model of a to be built real estate development, could be traffic management software, a new aircraft under developement, etc).
 
#6
Whatever is done with ESP and its licensing, I don't want the licensing to "push out" the non-commercial 3rd party designer such as myself. I don't think that's the intent.

I don't think it is going to cost me $799 just to get the SDK so that I can mod a few airports and terrain areas. At least I hope not.
 

arno

Administrator
Staff member
FSDevConf team
Resource contributor
#7
Hi,

Whatever is done with ESP and its licensing, I don't want the licensing to "push out" the non-commercial 3rd party designer such as myself. I don't think that's the intent.

I don't think it is going to cost me $799 just to get the SDK so that I can mod a few airports and terrain areas. At least I hope not.
I don't think most non-commercial, freeware developers want to work on ESP. Their main focus will remain FSX.
 
#8
Well I love the prospect of ESP because I am convincing my bosses to give me a pile of PV money to turn in house FS based tools (i.e. visualisation tools used for development testing of UAV software, targeting pods, etc, that are not currently able to be sold as commercial products) into products. I'll then be getting paid to develop my own FS development skills which might one day enable me to make money independently.

The thing that surprises me though is that if what's written here is correct, I expected the ESP engine to reject bgls compiled with the FS SDK to stop businesses (which generally has fewer morals on IPR and licensing than your average 14 year old pirate) from buying all their scenery addons down the high street, and forcing them to licence it properly.

I imagine it's going to open up a whole area of potential revenue for good quality modelers who currently almost do it just for the love of it. What it will suffer from though is the proprietary bgl format without OpenFlight compatibility.

The trouble is that there's loads of great freeware and cheap payware designing tools that are going to be apprpriated by industry users without earning a penny. (Come on, who hasn't downloaded a neat freeware tool or utility to use at work without even checking whether it needs paying for for commercial use?)

Si
 
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#9
I just thought of a question:

The ESP info on the MS website says that 3DsMax is required. If the SDK is the same as FSX's, does that mean that:

a) the gmax plugins are provided?
b) IF !(a) THEN :) can commercial developers scrimp a few (thousand) dollars and do all their modelling using the FSX gmax tools before importing the results into ESP?

Si
 

arno

Administrator
Staff member
FSDevConf team
Resource contributor
#10
The ESP info on the MS website says that 3DsMax is required. If the SDK is the same as FSX's, does that mean that:

a) the gmax plugins are provided?
b) IF !(a) THEN :) can commercial developers scrimp a few (thousand) dollars and do all their modelling using the FSX gmax tools before importing the results into ESP?
Interesting question. But since GMax is going away (we already know that), I don't think many businesses would like to invest in it. 3DS Max seems a much more stable choice. And for professional use the price is also less of a problem :).
 
#11
Hi,
I don't think most non-commercial, freeware developers want to work on ESP. Their main focus will remain FSX.
Well wait a minute. Won't FS11 *be* a subset of ESP?

So then, if you're working with the FS11 SDK, you're essentially working on the ESP platform?

As long as I don't have to pay $799 to use the FS11 equivalents to bglcomp, shp2vec, and gmax I will be ok. :)
 
#12
Interesting question. But since GMax is going away (we already know that),
I heard that gmax was not going away, and that ACES focus was going to be on keeping the free option (gmax) available, rather than going for the pay (3DSmax) option.

That came from Phil Taylor a few months ago, and perhaps I was misunderstanding what he was saying. Anyway if 3DSMax is REASONABLY priced I am not averse to the idea, but would rather see a free use tool available, of course.
 
#14
Well, first off, I obviously love ESP (could be because I'm on that team now :-> ).

Second, I actually worked with Grumman on the Proof of Concept that was mentioned in the press release you linked to, and they were looking to integrate ESP with some existing in-house products they had, along with some Virtual Earth stuff thrown in :->
I've loved the sound of ESP ever since I heard about it. In fact I had emailed ACES repeatedly over the years encouraging them to pursue that avenue.

I started using FS4.0 as a tool to model movie script sets when I was just starting off in the film business after high school.

I'm currently working on several projects that include R&D for Synthetic Visualization Systems, FSDII Cat B Simulators and am aiming at also being able to develop extremely high resolution terrain and photoscenery for Commercial Level Simulators and the Military...

I am extremely excited about ESP and would love to get on board with the project. I have a major contract I'm about to sign with a GIS data provider that can help provide marketing opportunities for ESP...

Am hoping someday an invite to a beta team may be forthcoming???
 
#15
I am extremely excited about ESP and would love to get on board with the project. I have a major contract I'm about to sign with a GIS data provider that can help provide marketing opportunities for ESP...

Am hoping someday an invite to a beta team may be forthcoming???
We don't have a formal beta process at this time, just a few enterprise customers who get early drops. But, ESP V1 is now available to MSDN subscribers to work with. You'd still have to buy licenses when ready to roll a solution based on ESP out to your customers (either internal or external), but you can now get the bits to do some prelim developement with.
 
#18
Hey Vincent,

ESP isn't available anymore, but the IP was sold to Lockheed Martin who are now shipping a software product named Prepar3d. Prepar3d is available for $499 per seat license, and there's a $10/month developer subscription available. See http://www.prepar3d.com for more info.
 
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