Sunday, June 2, 2013

Some Clarification Regarding Orbx FTX Global

Clarification. All this criticism about Orbx FTX Global has finally pushed me to write something. I think people need to remember what FTX Global is, and what it is not. At the base level, it is an autogen and texture replacement product simply meant to “improve” on the default implementation. It is not custom scenery, textures, autogen, and landclass for every city and location in the world. This is not another FTX region and cannot be held to the same standard. Keep in mind, there is a separate Orbx landclass product in the pipeline that will improve the general look of cities. Further, it will not feed your dog, it will not help you win the lottery, and it will not improve your marriage. We actively encourage criticism, but please, don’t be an ***hole about it. If you want to be heard, be constructive. Inside, I have included John Venema’s original post describing FTX Global for those of you who have forgotten.

I think you will notice that John's description fits exactly what we have seen thus far, nothing more, nothing less. It may not be for everyone, but personally, I think it will be a great baseline to grow an improved overall simulation experience.

John's description of FTX Global from December 2012:
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What does FTX Global include?

*Complete replacement of FSX ground textures
*Custom autogen houses and objects
*3D lights with FTX Day/Night Mode support
*Selection of custom trees
*Replaces default FSX so you can run with FTX Central set to EU, NA etc
*Can be uninstalled so you can revert to default FSX
*Some custom landclass in sample areas initially (can be disabled if desired)
*Perpetual free updates (textures, landclass tweaks, POI objects, upgraded default airports)
*Dedicated staff working on upgrades full-time
*Dual installer for FSX and P3D

What does FTX Global NOT include?

*Geographical and vector data (roads, rivers, coastlines, elevation mesh)
*Full hand-crafted landclass and polygon landclass
*Unique ground textures native to the area you're flying in
*Upgraded airports everywhere
*Traffic on all major roads (only default FSX traffic)
*Extensive custom modelled POIs like power stations, windfarms, stadiums, photoreal areas etc
------------------------------------------------------------------

See John's post describing FTX Global - click here

53 comments:

Anonymous said...

I think the biggest misunderstanding has come from people not understanding how the landclass system works banging on about how Arizona and Greece are too green. Unfortunately without providing a whole custom landclass structure for the globe, you are going to get that and you are going to have to live with it because it's a limitation of the system.

Mark Smith said...

Well said Mark and AirdailyX.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the clarity here, Mark, and I think many will come to appreciate what global is once released. However, the sticking point many of us need orbx to address is how third party products already released is going to be affected, compatibility-wise. So far, from all the shots, it seems global is made very lush green in some places where it is apparently not. In all shots we see a darker shade color texture typical of orbx work quite contrary to default landclass. All third-party addons were made to blend well into the default surroundings and with global, our third-party sceneries will be obviously out of place with the new color pallet. I assume it will be a major task getting third-party developers to re-do sceneries just to blend well with global. I am sure many developers will not be pleased with this at all. Re-creating sceneries for global is not an easy task.

Mason Dominique said...

First law here : no insults again developers.
Without them, we would be all doing something boring elsewhere...
Dom Mason
ADX

Anonymous said...

So this confirms my worst fear. Every add-on airport I own that was designed to blend in with the default FSX world will no longer blend in and look totally out of place, as FTX Global will totally change the colours of the surrounding area around those add-on airports.

Anonymous said...

AirDailyX ask yourselves these questions:

1. Why do Orbx not show any video with FTX Global and a sophisticated add-on aircraft?

2. Why do Orbx not show any video with FTX Global and a popular complex non-Orbx add-on airport?

Simple, the framerate would show the impact and the risk of OOM errors and the add-on airport would show that in fact FTX Global does not blend well at all with third-party scenery add-ons.

Mark Hrycenko said...

Well, I don't think that is necessarily a given, especially since many sceneries already blend poorly. It will obviously be on a case by case basis. Some airports such as Cote D'Azure will blend very nicely as already illustrated by John, others obviously may not.

I think it would be very helpful if Orbx posted some captures illustrating how some major mainstream scenery add-ons fit into FTX Global.

Pirx said...

We will always lose the comparison with the reality, whatever me make.

The best solution is to download real data while we are flying, and nowadays there isn't any sim that does it, perhaps Google or Apple will in future.

For me, ORBX Gobal is good enough, it will improve my P3D, and ORBX will continue upgrading their product to make it better.

About the custom airports from others, I think they have never blended nicely with the default one, even more if they are photoreal... there is so much to improve in our sims...

I would like that ORBX improves the way the ariports areas links to the surrounding areas, they could make a fence, or trees... whatever before a simply straight zone.

Mark Hrycenko said...

So far we have seen Aerosoft Cote D'Azure and a Carenado aircraft. Hopefully we see some more examples but we are starting to see some variation.

Anonymous said...

There is no frame hit or risk of OOM! FTX Global only REPLACES textures which already take up resources in the sim.

Musjo said...

Very well said, AirDailyX!

I was hoping someone would come out and say something. The 'debate' has gotten kinda ridicules in the last few weeks...

Again, well said... Looking forward to the release!

Anonymous said...

That is a given, Mark. It will be a huge problem for third-party developers and owners of their sceneries. Cote D'Azure is just an exceptional example, however how about thousands of freeware, shareware and payware airports I already own since FSX release in 2006. Who is responsible for re-doing these airports to blend in with Global? I'm sure it's not orbx and most developers do not readily update their sceneries even when requested to. It seems all of us will be stuck with two different worlds depending on what color pallet we prefer to fly in. This is not a bash against orbx, but the fact that I will be left hanging with options that I did not create myself.

Anonymous said...

I doubt JV owns or flies complex aircraft around!

Weston Hall said...

The goal release date is tomorrow

Mark Hrycenko said...

Last night I was flying around some very highly regarded sceneries in Europe and still noticed poor blending. The photoreal area surrounding the airport does not perfectly match the default scenery both colour and landclass wise. It may be slightly different with FTX Global, but I don't think it will be any worse.

Anonymous said...

Huh?? most 3rd part airports have photoreal ground. Therefore if FTX Global has more realistic textures shouldn't that blend in better??

Anonymous said...

Does it work with third party airports?
If not, it will FAIL. and its not exactly winning fans with the comparisons

Anonymous said...

"At the base level, it is an autogen and texture replacement product simply meant to “improve” on the default implementation. It is not custom scenery, textures, autogen, and landclass for every city and location in the world."
- Thanx for the explanation! Nothing for me though....

Anonymous said...

You're correct. Why would I change my third-party airport that has real-world photoreal textures just to have global blend in with generic colored landclass. Makes no sense. I think I just made up my mind not to buy global.

Anonymous said...

Tomorrow is June 15? I have a vacation then, time to pack!

Anonymous said...

I don't get all the scrutiny of this?? Ive never seen anyone say they wouldn't buy GEX because the new textures wouldn't blend in with airports. This is basically the same product as GEX except WITH night lights and worldwide coverage for LESS cost.

How this upsets people so much is beyond me.

DAndre Newman said...

Well done Mark. Very good post. If I can also add for those saying it won't work with their existing airports:

Even with GE/UT/UTX it was always up to the developers to make their airports compatible with Ultimate Terrain not the other way around. Why would users expect things to be different here? But I do truly understand the concerns, and I myself truly hope there will be compatibility. As always, we will do all we can to show how the product works and if possible, we will create a list of what airports do and don't work well with FTX once it's released.

Mark Hrycenko said...

In some instances, the vibrant colours of FTX Global may help. For example, the wonderful Sonderborg X by Vidan Design. Although the scenery blends very well as it is, the photoreal area is quite vibrant, especially in the summer. I can see this product blending even better with FTX Global. Just one example.

Todd said...

So 'photoreal' blends better with default textures??

Orbx has previously stated that making their scenery compatible with all the other developers is not something they can feasibly do. And it makes sense if you take a minute to think about it. It would be much easier for each developer to patch their product.

Anonymous said...

I think you missed the biggest point. It is not the cost that is of concern to me. It is the color of the textures used in global. It is darker and lush green in most pictures shown. I have GEX and the color of the texture is in-synch with the third party sceneries I have. I have never complained about GEX because of that very fact. With Global, that would make a stark transition from a much darker environment to the photoreal backgrounds of my third party sceneries. I'm sure you'd be satisfied with Global because of your steadfast loyalty to ORBX, but the transition won't be as immersive as you might like it once you see what I am referring to. That is the most concern to me at this point.

Anonymous said...

The fact that you assume everyone that is looking forward to global or at least willing to give it a chance has steadfast loyalty to ORBX shows your bias.

Anonymous said...

No bias. I think the guy makes his point very clear.

Anonymous said...

So it will cause some issues with airports? Thanks for letting us know the truth. Orbx seem quiet on the subject & thats not a good sign either.

I'm not prepared to wait months for all mt 100s of addon airports to be patched.

DAndre Newman said...

IF is the keyword. If it doesn't blend well. its a project in development so no one knows at this point.

Anonymous said...

You can't be serious with that statement, Todd. Not most, if not all, developers are going to adjust their sceneries just to cater for Orbx global. It is silly to "strong-arm" third party developers into accepting global. Third party developers ain't gonna like this at all and that's a fact, not an opinion.

Anonymous said...

+1

Anonymous said...

I always say that if it seems too good to be true, then it is too good to be true. I don't notice developers such as PMDG pushing their product to the market with all kinds of hype. We all know what to expect from PMDG. Sadly Orbx have produced some real dogs scenery-wise and haven't bothered to release fixes for them either. And now instead of fixing already released scenery they just bombard us with some new product.

Here in Croatia at my local flying club we were all great fans of Orbx, now not so much anymore. They kind of self-destroyed the good name they had made for themselves.

Mark Hrycenko said...

If it works with default, it will work with FTX Global. People are simply concerned about how the different colour tones of FTX Global will effect airport scenery blending.

Anonymous said...

Well... if I was a developer I would definitely make my airport photoreal blending match with FTX Global. More sales. It's a win-win. :D

Anonymous said...

I totally agree with you budd, same here from new brunswick canada !!

Anonymous said...

If you are worried whether your $1000s of dollars or Euros of existing payware scenery and airports will blend with FTX Global... the answer is simple... Just dont buy FTX Global at all... then you problem is solved. If that is going to be the biggest cause of your pain, just eliminate it before it even becomes a problem. There... solved :)

Anonymous said...

As for the question of why needs to patch or update their product to match FTX Global or vice versa... The answer is neither. No developer is obliged to patch their scenery to match FTX Global. They can if they want to, if they think it will help sales of their airport, but I dont think FTX Global will be patching anything for 3rd party airports (perhaps a very select few) for the same reasons, but they will liklely make some ammendments in landclass to suit their own range of airports first and foremost.

Anonymous said...

People keep saying that this is not a "specific" region kind of enhancement, ok so fine. Show me at 20 areas from different places of the globe(mega cities AND countryside) where FTX Global is installed and show me the IMPROVEMENTS (Improvements as in more realistic). Convince me.

What I have seen so far is only, DIFFERENCES, not IMPROVEMENTS, which definitely does not justify the price tag at all.

Frank van der Werff said...

Very well said.
I would however like to add 2 things, which might trigger peoples critism and which in my opinion are not responded well (enough) by OrbX.
1. I do share the concern about impact on VAS. I know Global X will replace the existing textures, but I can not recall reading that the new textures have the same memory size as the default ones. (But I also am not sure what GEX does with VAS).
2. OrbX recently changed their plans for a sort of subscription based system for the phase after the base package into "their will be lots of small addon packages that can be bought separately. Although the subscription wasn't cheap (AUS$ 99), I fear that the new policy will be like AES credits where while it's only small amounts, in the end you have paid a staggering amount of money.

Due to this and also because OrbX does not give much insight in how (which LC product) we can obtain a less greenish world where it doesn't exist in reality, I for one are still very much in doubt if I jump on the Global X train....

Anonymous said...

There are a few (free/pay) LC developers out there that might jump out of the woodwork once they have something decent to 'Landclass',

Just think of a properly landclassed PNG, using Global textures! amazing

I cant wait

Anonymous said...

It's sort of a given that the new textures will be the same size. All of Orbx's current textures are 1024x1024. Same as FSX default. This is the standard size that has been set since FSX was released.

Todd said...

And there you go, the PMDG comparison finally rears its head. It doesn't take long for PMDG to finally enter the discussion as the developer that does no wrong. Some people here just bow at the alter of PMDG, which I think is funny and pathetic.

Todd said...

Flight 1 wasn't exactly candid about GEX and UTX compatibility, not that there was any reason to be candid. There's no way to test every payware and freeware scenery addon ever released with either GEX or FTX Global. Not going to happen.

Anonymous said...

Why is it funny and pathetic? I think it's great that a company has built up such a good reputation over the years.

My grandmother used to say that you cannot demand respect, you have to earn it. PMDG have worked very hard to be who they ate today, they have EARNED my respect!

Anonymous said...

It might cover the entire FSX world, but is it really worth upwards of $100 USD? That's a ripoff!

Mark Hrycenko said...

The perception of value is different for every person.

To me, seems reasonable.

Anonymous said...

My perception is that I already spent my money on their frame rate crippled airports and until they fix those, I will not be spending any more.

Route Clearance said...

I'm a huge fan of Orbx. Hell, I own every single one of their products, I mean every single one. From the terrains to the airports.

That said, I can't see how they can justify the $200+ price-tag. If you pay close attention to the videos and screens, you can easily tell that a great deal of existing textures (FTX EU, NA, Oz) are being reused in Global.

It just seems very disingenuous to charge such a high amount for said product. It's not like they're starting from scratch after all...

Anonymous said...

It's $99 not $200 and it's been in development for 8 months now with 6 weeks to go, has thousands of new textures and updates the whole world in one installer.

I'd pay triple the price for that.

Anonymous said...

Basic Pack = $99.99

Plus Pack = $99.99

Add that up and it actually exceeds 200 with associated taxes, and yes, you'll likely want to have both if you really want the full package. So he was correct.

I agree that they are reusing a lot of existing FTX textures.

Anonymous said...

You have not kept up have you? There's no longer a Plus Pack, that was canned nearly 6 weeks ago. Check the facts before you go posting misinformation. Visit their forums to keep up to date.

Anonymous said...

"we will release small addons as part of the FTX Global product line such as OpenLC, airports, cityscapes, bundles of POI 3D models and many other enhancements that you can purchase a la carte."

When these "bundles" are released, when all is said and done, will come in at around the same price tag once totaled.

All they've done is broken down the plus pack into segments.

Route Clearance said...

Who cares.

Watch this instead - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lkogCJoOLXU

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