Monday, September 30, 2013

ADX FirstLook: Richer Grenada!

P3D. The development community is certainly keeping me very busy. After all, there aren't any other sites out there that are providing articles like this so quickly after release and I know many of you have come to depend on it. So, I got the next flight out of Taxi2Gate's Mexico City direct to Maurice Bishop International Airport on the island of Grenada. So the question remains: is it good? We'll it's not bad. There were some areas that I felt were done quite well and others needing serious improvement. Thus I will say this, the developer has serious potential and as long as he makes a concerted effort to better his skill with each release, Richer Simulations will quickly become a household name. So let's check out Richer Grenada in this latest edition of ADX FirstLook!

Already getting off to a good start, the scenery provides the user with an options program enabling you to determine just how you would like the scenery to appear in your simulation. I elected to turn all the options to full blast leaving no issue with frames.

Not only is the complete island of Grenada covered in custom autogen and textures, the nearby island of Ronde is also included leaving no gap between FlyTampa's Grenadines and RS Grenada.

Hmm... floating house there...

Product Features:
  • 344 square km of photoreal coverage
  • 1.2m/px to 15cm/px photoreal terrain resolution
  • custom 10m mesh
  • 28000+ custom autogen trees, buildings and vehicles
  • night illumination
  • street lights
  • 3D grass
  • specular textures
  • high resolution runway textures
  • highly detaileded airport and static vehicles
  • accurate AFCAD
  • wet and dry season textures
  • surrounding reef textures
    configuration manager
Ultimately, Richer Simulations Grenada is a good product. Now with that said, there are some real pro's and cons to this scenery. I'll start with the cons.

The airport.

Sorry to say, but the quality of the airport textures scream freeware to me. This is obviously the center-point of the scenery but it's also the worst part of it. Given how small the terminal is, I honestly would have liked to see more effort in this area. I don't mean to suggest that there was not great effort here, but the quality could be much better. I would like to see a future update improving the terminal as this developer improves his skill.

The next is the ramp textures and surrounding terrain coloring. The ramp textures are not bad. But the color of the concrete and depth seems just a bit off to me. You can judge for yourself based on the above shots. Same with the surrounding photo terrain. The color just seems off somehow. If I could compare it to anything, I would compare the texturing to SimWings Ibiza. But I know how difficult and expensive ground images can be. So I wont be too harsh. With that said, the areas I was impressed with were all the custom hand placed autogen trees and buildings covering the entire island. All roads are also included and compatible with the default auto traffic.

What I also appreciated, is the fact that the entire island is covered. Something Taxi2Gate, LatinVFR, and Tropical Sim have failed to do in their respective Caribbean airport products. The night lighting was most impressive complete with actual light poles corresponding to their elevated lights. All streets and towns covering the entire island are also lit at night. The ground image covering the island and terrain elevations are also very well done.

So as I said before, this developer has much potential and as their very first product, it's very clear we have a talented team on our hands here. Just much to improve on object texturing. I sort of liken Richer Simulations to MSK Productions. Not the best in the very beginning, but getting more advanced with each release. I'll be looking forward to Richer Simulations next project with great interest.

I want to state that at the price point of $22.73 without VAT is very reasonable considering the entire island is covered in good detail. If you compare Grenada to the price points of all the other payware airports in the region, i'll think it's a good middle ground. But for the Europeans, the VAT will get you.

Besides, finally we have a decent rendition of Grenada covered!

You can purchase Richer Simulations Grenada here:

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Unknown said...

You might want to add that most of the island area near the airport is just not green enough. I was looking at some videos:

There is a tropical lushness that is completely missing from this scenery. The grass is poorly done and the designer needs to improve his skills and update this if possible.

The control panel app is very well done, although it does seem to produce some errors at times.

I found the building textures to be okay, I've seen a lot worse from other developers. As the central focus of add-ons like this is the airport and the surrounding area, more should be done to portray the approach and runway lighting in a more realistic manner.

Any developer that offers an airport add-on for over EUR 20 and includes simple default runway lighting is being way too lazy in my opinion. To me this seems to be a trend in general, there is not enough focus on developing airports with realistic and true-to-reality approach and runway lighting.

Unknown said...

Considering that this is roughly the same price as LHSimulations Budapest airport scenery, I really would expect a much higher quality.

I encourage the designers of this scenery to buy a copy of LHS's Budapest to see how an airport can be done in FSX, as it is a masterpiece in comparison. While I wouldn't expect the same quality on this first scenery from Richer Simulations, I do hope they patch some things.

Sid said...

Absolutely spot on review DAndre! I really enjoyed it, found it so fair and informative, can relate to every word you wrote and know where your coming from throughout...The screenies were so appropriate I could follow the whole review and make exactly the same conclusins comfortably and with complete trust in your opinion. Thank you! My thoughts and conclusions are left exactly where yours are on this one: This team is well worthy of my support and will receive it in the only little way I can show it...Its on my list...They have worked hard and well...The support will also continue to remain as long as they can improve the shortcomings flagged up once their skill-set has been learned, achieved and incorporated (updated Grenada later) and displayed in future projects. Worthy of supporting immediately at this stage and I will be getting this Grenada scenery (allowing the little leeway for the VAT hit on this occasion as its their first project) :-) I totally relate with every word of your review (every word). Just fantastically done! Thank you so much! Will buy as soon as able though fairly high up on the ever-growing and soon to be infamous list of 2013...the year of perpetual "what should I buy firsts" for me personally. Its a puzzle to me how everyone's keeping up with the rate of quality productions just flying out week after week this year...Just don't know which way to look next :-) Lol!
Cheers again,

Unknown said...

Hi Matthias,
We appreciate your feedback and have taken it into considerations. We will attempt to improve on what you have pointed out in a future update.
However, can you please elaborate on what you mean by "simple default runway lighting"?
Custom-made models, effects and bgl lights were used everywhere except for the PAPI-lights, which already fit the Airport specifications.
Are you experiencing a different result on your machine?
Please feel free to reply here or contact me by clicking on my account name.

Zev Richards,
Founder of Richer Simulations.

Unknown said...

Hi D'Andre,

We wanted to thank you for the honest review and let you know that we really appreciate both the criticisms and the praise. We will take it all into account for any future updates and releases as we aim to improve.

On another note, I was wondering, what is the TEXTURE_MAX_LOAD setting in your cfg? Perhaps setting it to 2048 or higher after any display setting changes may help in the terminal texture resolution.
An attempt to improve the textures will come in a future update.

Thanks again for the review.

Richer Simulations.

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