I see a lot of potential in this platform, and I’m really enjoying it so far. Besides the lack of socialization options right now, the one thing that seems to be a huge flaw to me is how someone won’t see you in your plane you’ve purchased from the in-game store, unless they have also purchased that plane.
A lot of people like to roleplay and have fun with these sorts of games. Maybe they just want to know how others are viewing their character. At least for me, if I pay a very generous price for a jet, I want others to see me flying it. I buy the plane because it’s cool and interests me and I want others to see that and know that aspect of my personality. What I don’t want is to be seen as some generic plane because they haven’t bought the specific plane yet.
I don’t understand the issue here against implementing this. Here’s a solution I propose:
1.) Implement a ‘display nearby third-party aircraft’ option in the graphics menu. If you don’t want the model permanently cached on the user’s PC (to help prevent against stealing it), you could encrypt it or just clear those models when the user signs off. The user gets to choose between downloading a tiny amount of extra content for a more rich and varied experience, or maintaining a smaller disk space. This gives them that choice. If this has not been implemented to prevent stealing assets, I think some basic encryption would “keep honest people honest” as they say, which is all you can really hope for with software. Anyone willing to deal with circumventing encryption to fly a $20 plane is probably going to get their hands on it either way.
2.) This would also encourage more sales of add-ons from the ingame store. As it stands, there’s not much incentive to actually buy a plane from the store when you can get ones elsewhere for free of equal/higher quality sometimes. If someone can’t be certain (and knows it’s unlikely that) other players will see them represented how they want to be seen as a pilot, in that plane they love and purchased, why even buy it if there’s alternatives?
By allowing us to see models of planes purchased in the ingame store, even if we have not purchased it ourselves yet, not only will we increase customer satisfaction as a whole (more varied experience, buyers more satisfied with how they can represent themselves ingame), we’ll make the marketplace more relevant and meaningful to use, and encourage new creators and purchases.