Jun 27, 2018

Developer Blog

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This topic is used to communicate with the developers about anything unrelated to other topics listed in the Black Mill forum.

Jun 28, 2018

We haven't made much progress on any of our sceneries in the last two weeks. There was an issue with our software which prevented us from making any headway, and we were also getting everything ready for our trip to Flightsimcon 2018 and back.

 

We've since solved our software issue, so now we'll be getting back to work on 2AR5. Our goal is to have it finished by the end of July. However, anything can happen between now and then, so no promises can be made.

 

As for Flightsimcon 2018, it was a great experience. The hotel was very nice, and there was plenty of room in the event center to accomodate everyone. There were many cockpit builds there, including two F-16 builds that were pretty amazing. I got to run a scenario in one of them that was running the Falcon simulator.

 

Duke "Ace" Cunningham had a booth there, and I managed to get a picture with him. A friend of mine bought one of his books and had it autographed.

 

There were two generic cockpit builds running P3Dv4. They had a scenario set up to take off and fly (Dino's) F-35 through green squares and land back and the start point.

 

Volair Sim was also there with one of their cockpit builds showing off their avionics panel. They were running the X-Plane.

 

I was fortunate to meet with Bill Womack from Orbx, and we talked about scenery design for an hour. He's a nice guy, and I appreciate him sharing stories with me about his experiences.

 

I spoke to many people there about flight simulation, their history and goals, asked them questions on their likes and dislikes, and talked to them about US Central Airlines and Black Mill. I also gave out every business card I had.

 

Overall, we had a good time in Dallas, and I'm looking forward to going again next year. I'll be speaking with the manager, Nicole, about setting up our own booth. There's a lot of planning to do, so if any of you are interested in getting involved, please give me a shout.

Jul 25, 2018Edited: Jul 27, 2018

We're getting very close to releasing 2AR5 Ashmore Field. I still need to finish the seasonal scenery textures and trees, night textures, run some tests in P3D and FSX, then wrap everything up to send to SimMarket.

 

Note that it is recommended that users of our scenery use Orbx since we color match the textures to Orbx Global. If Orbx Global is not used, the likely result will be that the textures of the airport won't match the rest of the surrounding scenery.

 

Once this scenery is done, I'll be stepping away from the computer for the month of August. I'm required to serve on active military duty every year. However, I should be back the end of August, and I'll be getting back to work on Cherokee Strip. I also want to make some progress on a few other airports, and I'll be sure to keep everyone informed.

 

I've kept informed on our website's traffic. We're doing very well, seeing steady growth of people visiting and checking out what our group has to offer. I hope to see more people join our forum and our group.

Jul 27, 2018

With the anticipated release of 2AR5 Ashmore Field around the corner, I would like to point out there are still some production changes and improvements to be made on it, and other scenery, in the future.

From now on, the elevation correction, all season textures, and vegetation will be completed first. Afterwards, work will continue on the 3D models as normal. This will minimize any corrections that will need to be made later on.

Work on immersion, such as grass, sounds, and effects, are important, and I plan on adding these to every airport that is released. It will take some time to get things like dynamic lighting effects added, so please be patient.

Airports will be updated as satellite imagery is updated, and new building assets may be added. Depending on the amount of changes and time it takes to make these changes, the update may be free or will cost a small fee.

It is planned to have addons become available for our scenery. For example, an increased amount of photoreal area in the surrounding area of an airport or something else that increases realism. Depending on the amount of time it takes to create and scale of the project, the addon may be free or cost a small fee, and will require the base airport scenery.

The overall goal is to provide quality scenery at a low cost. We appreciate everyone that visits our website and look forward to the release of our scenery.

Sep 5, 2018

Apologies for the late comment about the release of 2AR5.

 

2AR5 Ashmore Field (P3Dv4 ONLY) was released on Simmarket.com here. The price is now €8.00 ($9.36).

 

I will be working on creating the all-season photoreal scenery for all of the airports we currently have in production. This may take me the rest of this fall to complete. However, I will be posting the summer color matched photoreal scenery of each airport in our freeware list.

 

Now would be a great time for users to make their requests for airports they would like to see recreated for FSX and P3D.

Sep 20, 2018

The release of 2AR5 Ashmore Field was well received. I do plan on revisiting this scenery again and adding new features. But for now, I need to focus on making progress on the many other airports in the pipeline.

 

I will be continuing work on 1AR5 Cherokee Strip this weekend. Once it's complete, the plan is to offer 1AR5 and 2AR5 individually and as a package deal.

Nov 15, 2018

 

Some of you may have been wondering why it's been quiet since the release of 2AR5 Ashmore Field. As you may not have known, I've had some issues with finding, hiring, and keeping developers employed. This has resulted in development being delayed and the quality of our products not being exactly as intended.

 

However, I have good news. I've just hired three new developers, and they've spent some time learning the skills required to make quality 3D models, textures, and animations compatible with P3Dv4.

 

Our first plan of action is to increase the level of detail in our first payware scenery, 2AR5. We'll be putting it on Simmarket as 2AR5 Ashmore Field V2 when it's finished. Previous owners will receive the update for free.

 

Our animation developer is currently working on some really nice wind socks and other assets that will make our scenery look more alive. This will require SODE, so he is spending some time going through documentation and testing to figure it all out.

Our model developer is currently working on new models for 2AR5. These new models will have rendered and baked textures, so they will look more realistic in the simulator.

Our texture artist is currently working on cleaning up the 2AR5 photoreal textures. She has removed the dirt areas, and the baseball field now has grass and a diamond. There will be some other improvements made as well.

In the meantime, I've made some changes to the work flow. I've been helping our developers by providing them a bit of training and the resources they will need to problem solve any issues they come across. I've also created new elevations for 2AR5 that look more realistic than the previous version.

The next projects in the pipeline, in order, will be EFHN Hanko Airfield, 1AR5 Cherokee Strip, and KVBT Bentonville Municipal.

Our primary focus will be in developing scenery for Prepar3d v4, so we will not be releasing any products compatible with Microsoft Flight Simulator X. Sorry.

I will be posting screenshots of our progress soon.

Oct 27

It's been an entire year since I've mentioned anything about scenery design. I do apologize for the long delay. I had a lot of family issues that kept me from putting the time and attention into scenery design. With most of these issues resolved, I may be able to start working on scenery projects again. I will need to re-familiarize myself with my workflow and software before I can get started, but I am looking forward to having something in the works soon.

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