Tons of comments have been written on FSDreamteam forum about the futur Ground Service X utility. Let's summarize what can be really expected. This will help us to understand differences with Orbx's PeopleFlow and Oliver Pabst's AES. I also wish here to improve and update my article "battle of the tiny people".
What it is ?
- A ground service utility for user aircraft only.
- based on an entire OOP language under FSX (for FSX only), allowing maximum flexibility.
- and supporting any airport (including its AFCAD) and any airplane (or at least 95 % of them).
- Free and included in addon manager for FSDT airports.
- Stand-alone purchasable product for all others airports (under an extensive airports database).
- On FSDT airports, it can be launched as a new option of "YouControl" menu and will replace ParkMe.
- GSX is managed through airport Afcad, aircraft.cfg, simconnect, etc..
- Compatibility assured with AES via Intelliscene.cfg format. (hotkey can be reassigned to avoid any conflict with AES.
- GSX cannot selectively turn out/on AES features from its side. The question of using only AES jetways with GSX on 3rd party airports is still under debate and depends on AES decision.
- Compatibility with AI traffic airplanes ? No, due to high impact on framerate.
- It can be used with 3rd party airplanes (an internal database includes most popular airplanes).
- It can work with 3rd party airports.
Animated objects in general :
- Will be able to work at any parking.
- Different characters for a single function.
- 4000 polygons/character on final version.
- Cars following circuits : depend on scenery 's AFCAD.
- Vehicules interaction with 3rd party aircrafts ; vehicules will react with their sim.cfg file accordingly.
- Multiple instances of the same object possible but framerate limited.
- Optimal acting time of a vehicules sequence : 3, 4 or maybe 5 minutes.
- all kind of vehicules and characters are included : marshallers and baggage and catering loaders, refueling, catering, push-back, de-icing, follow-me cars vehicules.
- Customization of vehicules possible, according to airport specificity is based on ICAO code.
- Vehicules are poping-up to user aircraft gate only at start of a new flight. They drive to the gate (following Afcad paths) in case the user aircraft is taxiing to its arrival gate.
- Multiple liveries possible for ground vehicules.
- Loading/deloading on two cargo doors, simultaneously, is possible.
Framerate loss ? Not on a U5/I7 core processor, even with a complex aircraft like the B-757 QW.
Why not for FS9 ? Only for technical limits : this platform doesn't support vertex-skinned animations, nor simobjects.
GSX will be completed by expansion sets like customized characters/vehicules according to typical geographical areas.
Release date : TBA.
Airdailyx guess : somewhere between fall and Chrismas 2011.
(My thanks to Umberto Colapicchioni, administrator of Virtuali, for the hundred of posts written on FSDT forum).
Versus Orbx PeopleFlow ;
- PeopleFlow philosophy is quite different : to improve Orbx airports realistic atmosphere.
- PeopleFlow can only be implemented on Orbx airports.
- PeopleFlow characters really look like GSX ones by the number of bones and polygons.
- Both companies are working on passengers coming in /out of the stairs.
- PeopleFlow is more about... characters and programming a library of animated characters in Orbx airports or in villages, cities...
- PeolpleFlow characters animations loop seem to be limited to one minute.
Versus AES ;
- GSX is offering an alternative for vehicules management around the user aircraft. GSX vehicules sequence seems to be more linear while AES gives choice on sequence order.
- GSX is offering real animated characters, not "gliding" playmobils.
- GSX has no jetway animation on non FSDT airports. For these airports, AES remains unavoidable.
- GSX is triggered the same way AES does ; with engines turned off.
- AES new version project will - no doubt - improve vehicules management and ultimately reduce the gap with GSX but not on the animated characters functionnalities.