Ideas for a new scenery design tool

scruffyduck

Administrator
Staff member
FSDevConf team
Resource contributor
#61
Thanks for the suggestion.

I have FS Architect and it certainly has a number of good features. From my perspective, however, there are a lot of good freeware tools out there which can do the same things, not necessarily in the same way and of course all tools have their own stronger and weaker points.

As far as the specific question of involving a payware developer I am not sure that would be feasible. The code involved is obviously what makes the money for that developer and it is unlikely that they would want to share it or make it available to freeware designers.

I agree with Lars that getting into team development on a payware product is just not something we want to contemplate. We are happy to leave that to the payware addon houses.

Finally the tool developers who frequent this forum have certainly got more knowledge between them than any one individual could have - certainly me :)
 

arno

Administrator
Staff member
FSDevConf team
Resource contributor
#62
Hi,

I have tried the trial versions of FsArchitect in the past, but personally I am not a big fan of the interface. I don't think it is easy to work with (other people will have different views on this of course :)).

Also I don't want to join up with a payware developer on a tool. I want the tools I design to be available for free to the end user. We should create something that will enourage people to use the latest techniques.
 
#63
I got to say - I agree with the ONE-TOOL-FOR-ALL concept and there is the way to hide dangerous options as well.

As the developers of other apps do, you can embed a sort of "user qualification" at the OPTIONS window, where you can say:
OPT1 - Begginer user (only basic options allowed)
OPT2 - Medium expirienced user (more advanced options included)
OPT3 - Expert user ("only for highly expirienced user" with warning about what can gone wrong).

This model already working in few apps and it seems quite good.

As I mentioned on the other topic, I'm not a coder, I'm just a freeware scenery designer. But, if I were coder, I wouldn't do the same job twice - It creates I bunch of other problems - dual support, dual bug tracing, dual updates and so on.

Best regards,
Dragan Stanojevic
 
#64
Dragan,

As I have mentioned, the problem with this approach is that it is not really possible to specify what is a beginners option if the program can perform several tasks.

If a user wants to use the program to create mesh scenery, then he will see even the simple AFCAD style options as "advanced", while the user wanting to move a couple of gates around would see all the mesh commands as "advanced".

This is why I think the GUI should be task based. I already had a quick discussion with Arno, and basically my recommendation is:

1) If the user opens an Airport (similar to the way it is done in AFCAD) then the tool will be in "AFCAD design mode" which is pretty limited. It can only handle the actual airport data stored inside the Airport branch in the scenery XML file.
2) If the user creates a new "project", then he has the options of adding an airport to it, which would enable the AFCAD style commands for this airport (it should obviously be possible to add several airports). He would also be able to place stock 3D objects, or objects from libraries registered with the program. If he adds a custom 3D object to the model, then he gets access to adding tweaks etc.

With a treebased project structure, this would be fairly easy to implement (it would be harder to avoid actually).
 
#65
Sorry for jumping in this discussion although I'm no programmer (well ... theoretically I have some knowledge, but it won't stand against yours ;) ).
I just wanted to say one thing: Your ideas are really great and this discussion makes my mouth water! :D I wanna have that thing right now! :rolleyes:
 
#67
LEE Swordy

I have just received the following email from Lee Swordy:

"I will not be producing any more releases of AFCAD or TTools for several
reasons, the main one being that I have other commitments now that leave me
with almost no spare time to work on them. Anyone else who wants to
produce similar tools for FSX need not be concerned about competing with me."

Hanstatdg
 

scruffyduck

Administrator
Staff member
FSDevConf team
Resource contributor
#68
I have just received the following email from Lee Swordy:

"I will not be producing any more releases of AFCAD or TTools for several
reasons, the main one being that I have other commitments now that leave me
with almost no spare time to work on them. Anyone else who wants to
produce similar tools for FSX need not be concerned about competing with me."

Hanstatdg

Thank you for letting us know this information
 
#69
That's the way to go in my humble opinion

1) If the user opens an Airport (similar to the way it is done in AFCAD) then the tool will be in "AFCAD design mode" which is pretty limited. It can only handle the actual airport data stored inside the Airport branch in the scenery XML file.
2) If the user creates a new "project", then he has the options of adding an airport to it, which would enable the AFCAD style commands for this airport (it should obviously be possible to add several airports). He would also be able to place stock 3D objects, or objects from libraries registered with the program. If he adds a custom 3D object to the model, then he gets access to adding tweaks etc.
That's the way to go in my humble opinion .

Not sure where FSX KML fits into this , but I suppose the photoscenery should be common to both programs.

I also wonder why the FSX KML forum is not here under >Tools programming>FSX KML ??

Steve
 
Last edited:
#70
That's the way to go in my humble opinion .

Not sure where FSX KML fits into this , but I suppose the photoscenery should be common to both programs.


Steve
I do not see how we should possible integrate FSX KML and SDSX, besides supporting reading KML files as well.

Using Google Earth as a userinterface is a smart and easy "win", but long term expanding it to do everything needed would not be feasable...
 
#71
I was not suggesting that they be combined

I was not suggesting that they be combined but common sense prevails with the developers of both programs.
 
#72
I was not suggesting that they be combined but common sense prevails with the developers of both programs.
Again, I have no idea what you mean. The problem with "common sense" is that everyone has his or her own definition on what it is. Are you talking about being able to load each others projects (unlikely as the scope of the programs will be different)? Some partial imports might be possible, but do not for a second think such functionality is free - it takes time to make, time that is taken away from core functionality.
 
#73
My head herts

Greetings All,
Yes an AFCAD type tool would be great. At the moment like many of you I am using the tools that came with FSX. But right at the moment my head hurts. I wait with eagerness for a better scenery maker tool.
Cheers all
Philip
 
#74
Library .dll?

Any plans to release some of the functionality as a library dll? Methods to read/write shp/kml/xml, translate, and call appropriate compilers could be used by many tools...
 

scruffyduck

Administrator
Staff member
FSDevConf team
Resource contributor
#75
Hi Scott,

Although not necessarily part of SDSX I am working on such a 'scenery engine' at the moment. It is basically one library containing everything to de-compile, create, modify and compile scenery elements. You can see more details on my Blog and I hope to release a pre-alpha demo of current progress this weekend.

At the moment I am working on BGLComp based scenery elements but then I plan to move on to Shp2Vec and other compilers.
 
#76
Jon,

Just checking before I spend the weekend on it: you are working on placement of MDL type scenery etc, not actually creating the MDL file, right?

I'll run a quick experiment this weekend where I'll generate .x files from my objects (the same object model I used for the 3D WPF preview I had - obviously it will not support anything fancy like seasonal textures etc). Maybe my current tool can then generate FSX native scenery for the majority of objects we have in our scenery, only falling back to FS9 format when required.... and it can do the texture convertion etc. That might be good enough for now... until we get the FSX MDL decompiler :)
 

scruffyduck

Administrator
Staff member
FSDevConf team
Resource contributor
#79
That is being worked on as part of the latest version of SBuilder as I understand it and is a lot further advanced than me right now :)
 
#80
new design engine

hi arno,
There is and never will be a scenery design programme like eod.This programme is only out of date because it only creates api.if this was updated to create xml files.for those of us who create our own textures,photo-realistic of airports for freeware it would be a god send!If someone could update eod i for would gladly pay for it,i would save on the coffee anyway.i still use eod for complex buildings its quicker easier and it still works in fsx.so for me an update for eod would be great.
stewart haworth
 
Top