it already does. FSX relied entirely on 3PD’s because it was abandoned by MS after the acceleration pack addon was released. Maybe that made 3PD involvement more identifiable, because that was all there was.
In MSFS, there is a concerted effort to involve the 3PD community out of respect for what they were - and continue - to be able to do within (and outside of) the flight sim structure (SDK) however - MS /Asobo is not just dropping off a product at our doorstep and walking away. There is massive ongoing development happening across the entire scope of this flight sim - this can lead to some frustration both here in the forums from customers, as well as from the 3PD’s who have to constantly adjust their released products (or not) to keep them working and taking proper advantage of those sim updates.
Eventually it is possible that MS will ‘move on’ from this iteration of flight sim but that seems pretty far off, given the more or less modular and upgradeable design of MSFS2020. We’ll see - but for now the only difference between FSX and MSFS is that we have the privilege of having BOTH 3PD and MS addons flowing into our experience. Pretty good deal for us
Yes, it has. If you look at already released and upcoming aircraft and compare it you notice how much is still coming.
The comparison with FSX however is a bit complicated for some reason:
In FSX you were able to use FS9 (aka FS2004) aircraft with minor changes. In MSFS you cannot do so. By now flyable aircraft have to be created from scratch.
The model format changed completely - MDL aircraft were fairly basic compared to MSFS and used not many materials. On MSFS you have to deal with PBR and more different material types so development takes longer
Systems changed completely, displays are now draw in HTML. Old devs need to get used to this (like PMDG)
On the other hand we got more advanced tools than back in the days so creating an aircraft model at least is a bit faster but on system end it’s more work likely
Sorry but… did you probably mean “P3D” (Prepar3D)? Something seems to be off here. Not FSX relied on P3D, it’s the other way around. From my knowledge, P3D was created by Lockheed Martin after obtaining the ESP/FSX source code.
The relationship between P3D/FSX community and MSFS is also more complicated than you think - most of the large freeware community devs from this eara refuse to create freeware for MSFS because of the GLTF format on models. They think other people may steal their 3D models to sell them cause this format cannot be locked.
Especially “TDU/TDS/Project Opensky” devs announced they won’t do anything for MSFS and continue making models for P3D.
So better look out for new groups like FBW or Ouroboros and don’t count on the FSX/P3D community
In the olden days, people were limited by knowledge of using 3D programs to make the models and cockpits were a little more complicated than aircraft. To develop an aircraft for FSx (FS2002/FS2004/FSX) was many hours modelling the aricraft and cockpit, and a few hours writing the files for FSX systems. With so much less sim physics involved, the workload pretty much seemed like it was split 75/25 (3D modelling/Cockpit and systems)
For MSFS 2020 people are limited by knowledge of programming languages for the cockpit and systems. Far less people are knowledgeable in these matters, and the older generation of modellers from FSX cannot easily learn those new skills. Now it looks like the skills are split 30/25/25/20 (3D model/cockpit/systems/textures)
Another issue has been moving away from the old sites. Flightsim.to is the current de facto source for freeware (flightsim.com is the FSx de facto source), and some payware, whereas the old world sites were probably three or four top ones - indeed some are now completely lost to history (and their aircraft models). For me, it currently looks like the real issue seems to be once people think money can be made, they try to make money. In the Old World people got by on love or a small amount of contributions - some of the first MSFS 2020 groups have broken up over money issues, others because people learned the skills needed, then went out on their own or formed new groups to try and use the marketplace to fund themselves. I would say that the evidence is in the amount of marketplace addons that are so very low priced now, and some that were sold when we knew they would be superceded by the World Updates.
Aircraft models are being used and put up for MSFS 2020, some are indeed converted FSX models (especially if they were more recent). It will take another few years before the necessary skills and collaborations between old and young groups produce more freeware models. Many of the old world guys were either pre-family or 50+ when FSX was released, so a lot of those are now possibly very old and uninterested in converting over, or too busy with family.
There is hope though - for example, Dave Garwood released his first MSFS 2020 aircraft, the Dragon Rapide, a while back; which I would guess he used to learn the process. He recently released the Hawker Hunter, a truly beautiful model and a good example of the sort of quality we expect from the old crew in the FSx freeware community :¬)
Wow - someone is asking me for an opinion! The last time this happened was a long LONG time ago
Well the answer is maybe.
It´s not a clear “yes” because only the most sophisticated and professional developers are capable of developing third-party planes for this new flight sim.
Because of the pure visual quality, and because X-Plane and P3D see FS2020 as such a “serious thread” now that they completely became their elitist group of their own and shut down multiplatform-development to prevent people running away from X-Plane.
The idea of having aircraft developed for “FSX, P3D and X-Plane 8!” like it was in the older days is therefore literally wiped out.
So we have to be really really thankful that Fenix and PMDG showed up
About communities I cannot say much because I have not participated in FSX forums. But when a lot of interesting airliners appear for FS2020, the community will surely grow overly large.
100% many of the original FSX developers are all working hard to get their products to MSFS. You have PMDG with their 737 line and pretty soon with the 777 and 747 line to follow, Quality Wings who have gone silent but I believe they are still working on the 787 for the sim, FSLabs on their A320 series, you got newcomers like Fenix in the scene, inibuilds and a lot of scenery developers such as FSDreamteam, Orbx, FeelThere, and so on. It already has the support of the FSX days and will continue to grow as the sim matures and gets better.
Now if only we as a community could get Asobo to open up the weather system and provide developers with a proper API so we can get products such as Active Sky and REX in the sim that can improve the weather system by a tenfold rather than having Asobo do it and them closing off the Weather system does more harm than good in my honest opinion.
So what experience do Active Sky and REX have of streaming weather yet alone live weather to millions? quite simply it’s all or nothing, you can’t just pick and mix unless it’s offline presets. For sure it’s proving a slow road but since SU5 Asobo have been making steady improvement particularly to live weather despite the odd setback and you don’t need a $2000 pc to use it.
I think this platform is in good hands and hopefully we’ll see ongoing development in MSFS for many years to come. It sure looks like we will, judging by what we have seen so far.
Time will tell but to me - this feels like a Golden Age of flight simulation. Can’t wait to see what the next few years will bring.
Between DCS, IL2, MSFS, and Xplane, life is pretty good for us.
I think you’ll find there was a healthy number of 3rd Party Devs for FS2004 and FSX regardless of the Microsoft support. Heck, 3rd party support when back to FS2000. I’ve been developing since 2001 for FS2002 onwards.
Yesternight I read in the Fenix Discord chat that again no weather radar will be coming with the next update because there will be only some “bitmap generator” delivered in the next big SU update.
Well well well… there is probably only one solution left huge crowd with pitchforks must gather in front of the Asobo building yelling “Viva la revolucion! We want weather radar…”
We have been living without it anyways and the way how clouds have no effect on an aircraft as they fly through them right now in the sim, it really is not necessary. Although it is an integral part of flying in many aircraft utilizing weather radar to avoid storms, you can kind of see why many want it already. It adds to aspect of being able to recreate realistic flights.
With the number of other things Asobo has to handle such as performance issues and getting the sim ready for helicopters and gliders, it is going to take a while for Asobo to improve the weather aspect greatly. That is why I have always said they should give the simmers a choice of either using 3rd party weather add ons or they can ride it out and wait for Asobo to improve it. If we had 3rd party devs working on that side, there would have been products already that would have improved the weather portion at a better rate than what Asobo are on right now. Do not get me wrong, the default weather is great but not accurate at all and inconsistent.