Leandro and Carlos, despite heavy agenda, have accepted our interview request. It's nice to have some news from Tropical Sim. As matter of fact, we did not know very much about them.
1) Airdailyx : There is a first question i usually ask to every designer. How did you launch Tropical Sim at the beginning ? What was your initial project ?
Leandro : Carlos and myself was hired by a developing group in the first semester of 2002, but some contractual obligations was not met on their part, so we had to pull the plug, which is when we decided that we would continue our work and create our own group, Flightsim Brasil at the time. The initial project was for some south Brazilian airports, but the first release ended up being Manaus airport, in the Amazon on October 2002. Our previously initiated project ended up in a series called "Fly to Brazil".
copyright Airdailyx June 2011
2) Like some designers, Tropical Sim always launchs a new scenery for FS9 and FSX both. Do you think that you will eventually need to limit your work to FSX only in the future ? When ?
Leandro : To be perfectly honest, when FSX was released I imagined it would be like the FS2002 > FS2004 transition where we continued to make products for both simulators for nearly one year, then went FS2004 only. We can all safely say that didn't happen, can't we? There are some drawbacks in releasing both versions, we have to leave out some FSX only stuff such as bump maps, specular maps, etc... We do still use some specular maps for reflections on some occasions, but, yes, FS2004 developing does hold us back a little in terms of innovation. The fact that many many people still use FS2004 (hey, FSX for me is for work only, my flying is actually done on FS2004 to this day) nearly five years after FSX release in 2006 says it all. I'm not going into the "the sim I use is better than yours" that goes on in forums, each sim user defending his preference. So, we are currently neutral on that fight, and will continue to release for both until it's no longer marketable. FS2004 will possibly be phased out, but we won't decide when, our customers will.
3) Azores packages, this is a heavy projet. Are you satisfied with the sales of the first pack ?
Are you planning to add some nice surprises in the second pack (custom autogen, landclass ?...)
Leandro: The Azorean airports release thus far has been very well accepted by the community, but let me take this opportunity to give credit where credit is due: Marco Gonçalves assembled a team from simmers to airline pilots in an effort to get us the pictures needed, as this is not your typical location where you can find anything about it on the internet, they are 9 islands in the middle of the ocean far away from any continent. The first pack isn't actually release yet, we made available Santa Maria and Pico airport singles, and the first pack will be complete with the conclusion of Corvo airport, and the landclass work on the islands outside the phototerrain, so yep, there will be more new items on both released airports to make flying to the Azores as real as it gets. copyright Airdailyx June 2011
4) If am not wrong, Tropical Sim is basically a two developers team. Do you thing sometimes that your business model should evolve and maybe you should work with more people or try a merger with another team ?
Leandro : For scenery creation, it is indeed just the two of us, and we do always think and talk about outsourcing some stuff to get more airports done, but it is tough. The most important thing in a business relationship is trust, and that is built over time. If there is any talented graphical artist for texturing or modeler for 3D buildings, we would of course talk it over, it's not like we would just reply back saying "No thanks." we could talk, maybe exchange some ideas, tips and stuff like that and this could eventually lead to a business relationship, but it's not something we are actively pursuing right now, but we are open to talks, let's say.
5) One last question. Besides Azores packs, where might be your next scenery, out of Europe, South America ? Caribbean ? Central America ?
Leandro : We have skeletons of two South American airports in Montevideo and Asuncion, so outside of Europe, one of these two will get the heads up probably as soon as we finish the 2nd Azorean pack. These two airports have been neglected in FS world for years now even freeware there is not much you can find. As for the Caribbean, we will probably update the ABC islands (Aruba, Bonaire and Curaçao) and bring it to our current standards as these airports were one of the first FSX sceneries we released. Other previously released airports will also have a makeover, places like Panama City and Cancun should have new editions in the near future.
A special thanks to Tropical Sim for this really extensive interview.
copyright Airdailyx June 2011