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Dovetail Games presents the flight simulators of the future

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Leading games publisher to launch two new flight simulation titles in 2016
 
Chatham, Kent – 11th February 2016 Since acquiring the rights to develop and publish new titles utilizing Microsoft’s genre-defining flight simulation technology back in 2014, Dovetail Games has been clear about its intent to make headlines in the flight simulation category. Today, it is pleased to announce that it will launch two brand new flight simulators in 2016.
 
Dovetail Games Flight School is first to arrive, and is set to release in April 2016, with Dovetail Games Flight Simulator scheduled for launch in the latter part of the year.
 
Flight School is a carefully crafted and rewarding experience designed to teach would-be pilots the basics of flying a light aircraft as well as the essential premises of flight simulation. It will offer newcomers to flight simming an engaging and accessible introduction to aviation, whilst also being highly realistic and authentic. Players will learn to fly in iconic training aircraft, undertaking a series of tutorials and training missions, which will provide the perfect introduction to the genre. There will also be a Free Flight mode, for those players who want to head off and explore the entire world.   
 
“Flying an aircraft is a rewarding, awe-inspiring experience unlike any other and we want to give more people the opportunity to enjoy that by breaking down the barriers that make flight simulation feel inaccessible,” said Stephen Hood, Creative Director at Dovetail Games. “By empowering players to handle the controls of the aircraft, we will help them to immerse themselves in the very best and most thrilling aspects of flying in an up-to-date and technically cutting edge environment.”
 
Paul Jackson, CEO at Dovetail Games added, “People have always dreamt of being able to fly and through Flight School we aim to satisfy that dream and give people the opportunity not only to learn to fly, but to really soar as they explore the world. Flight simulation has always been important in the world of gaming but it hasn’t kept up - the core experience hasn’t progressed since the launch of Microsoft’s Flight Simulator X back in 2006 and that means we’ve missed at least one or maybe even two generations of players who would have adored flight simming, but for whom it wasn’t appropriate. Our aim is to get back to that place, to restore the former glory of flight simulation as an enjoyable and engaging pastime. Consumers today expect a much slicker experience across all genres.  They want simulations that are realistic but also accessible.  They want to be led to a place where the focus can be on reaching great levels of accomplishment, rather than struggling to get to grips with the operational aspects.   And that’s precisely what Flight School will deliver.”
 
Dovetail Games Flight School and Dovetail Games Flight Simulator will both be available on PC.
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Looks interesting. I like the fact that it is based on a flight school. this means that it won't be a toy (like MS Flight).

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Mmmm...will keep an eye on this... for it to be any good a lot of other developers need to embrace it...ie aircraft..scenery etc...

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I'm all for it. As long as it's open to third party developers and we are not restricted to purchasing everything via steam.

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The sims themselves will certainly only be Steam releases as Dovetail don't do anything else. Addons, on the other hand, should be available from other sources much like Train sim.

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This started out as an observation and somehow morphed into an essay of sorts.

Hmmm. It's getting to be a crowded field. MS FSX, FSX-SE, P3D (in two flavors, 2.5 and 3.1), the recently promised/promising NGiS, the scam Pro-Flight and now two more wisps of Steam. Even FS9 soldiers on with a minority of die-hard flight simmers. (No, I didn't forget X-XXXXX - I don't consider it worth mentioning.)

Dovetail/Steam is a credible pair of outfits and have done a credible job of breathing new life into FSX even while Lockheed-Martin had about a two-year year head start on them with the MS source code. Being a devoted flight simmer as opposed to a more broad-based "gamer" I had literally never even heard of either Dovetail or Steam before the rumors of the the DG deal with MS hit the streets. Since then they've impressed me favorably and the duo is obviously a force to be reckoned with in the flight sim world. I look forward to whatever either of them rolls out with wings attached.

This new development (Can I call it a trend yet?) of emerging flight simulations can only bode well for the flight simmers of the world. Is there enough room for this many serious flight simulators, or more to the point, enough customers? It's hard to say since it's really uncharted ground. When was the last time flight simmers had this kind of spectrum of choices? Never, in my memory, and I've been in it at some level since Sublogic's version on a Commodore 64. I'm inclined to say no - one or two more will be too many to survive on their sales within our relatively small community.

A serious flight simulator is not a lightweight undertaking and will require healthy sales prospects to be worth the effort and expense. On the topic of sales, you may have noticed that the younger generations are not exactly flocking to flight simulation either. If you're reading this, there's a good chance you're a geezer like me. To me that suggests that the market is not unlimited. No emergent flight simulator is likely to draw in droves of new aficionados - the various publishers will largely have to live on whatever share of the existing market they can attract. Obviously a new, dominantly superior one might draw in some new users but it will never be GTA, CoD or whatever the current gamer rages are.

I expect there will be some shake-out at some point, particularly if all or most of the various promised vaporware packages ever make it to actual publication. It may well be that the king-makers will be the add-on software houses, who will eventually choose which simulations to support with their wares. They will, of course, be influenced by the relative sales performance of the various simulators and by the clamoring of us, the users, for a version of their stuff for whatever sim we happen to have and like. However, the add-on houses will also very much be driven by the availability of the tools for development for the various packages (e.g. SDKs, available hooks, etc.), the ease/difficulty of developing for each of them, and by how much of the potential profit pie they will get to keep, vice sharing it with the basic platform publishers for the privilege of writing add-ons for their simulators.

I don't find it credible that a simulation publisher can ever hope to provide sufficient depth and breadth of custom add-ons for his specific flavor of simulator. Historically the flight sim community has demanded and will probably continue to demand a wide variety of that. No one entity is likely to be able to replicate all the things we love - scenery, aircraft, WX, ATC, editors, utilities and all the rest that have emerged and collectively prospered for the last two decades or so around the parade of the various MS FS engines.

For an emerging flight sim to become highly successful it seems to me to be necessary that they do two things, or maybe three. First, that it be reasonably expandable and customizable. We're not likely to settle for a console game where we all are having exactly the same experience. The ability to tweak and tune and customize our flight simulators will always be important to us.

Secondly, they should avoid the temptation to get greedy about locking up the add-on market by either trying to do it themselves or by insisting on a large piece of the pie by being the sole market for DLC for their sim. That was the MS game plan (I can't bring myself to call it a business plan) for MS Flight and the developers almost unanimously wouldn't play for the pittance offered. As a result, the DLC for MS F-Lite, even though some of it was free, was late and lame, barely making it to the market before the bleeding was stopped by euthanizing the patient.

A third possible component of success for the eventual winner will be going to a true 64-bit application. The first flight sim developer who can truly do that will have a substantial marketing leg up on his competitors. I don't think it will guarantee success - a 64-bit stinker is possible, I suppose - but being 64-bit will certainly get our attention with the mere potential for revolutionary improvement and expansion over what we have now. There was a time when the idea of leaving behind a shelf-full of payware add-ons to go to something new was a gut-wrencher for most of us but I believe that is becoming less so for many. We're half-past ready for the next leap in capability.

I don't have a favorite in the race at this point. I own four of the current stable of sims and use two of them regularly. I will say this, however. The availability of a wide variety of quality add-ons will be a primary discriminator for me in choosing any future flight simulator, even though I may never be able to buy or use most of them - having the option and the choices is important. The survivor(s) of the coming shake-out will be whoever assures by whatever means that their simulator is backed up fairly early by a robust after-market of add-ons.

/brain dump (Sorry for that - I got on a roll.)

John

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If you follow the link there is a boatload of questions.

Flight school will NOT be compatible with any addons.

The new Flight Sim however will and will be 64bit using Dx11.

Could be worth keeping an eye on the questions and answers. DTGMartin always seems to be the mouthpiece for Steam on their community boards and does answer a lot of questions.

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The trouble is, with FSX being around for so long, the addon devs have become experts in extending the legs of the old bird. There are scenery packages, hi fidelity aircraft, AI traffic, and numerous other utilities available out there now that would never have seen the light of day if the usual MS 2 year release cycle had carried on.

 

My question is this:- how long a life will this new sim have before it is replaced by another version? We may end up being back to the old days of 2 yearly upgrades. This could damage the addon market as users will lay off buying too many if they're going to be upgrading to a new sim in 2 years time, which will likely not be compatible with the addons from the older one?

 

Adrian

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I would like to say that it is great news for us simmers the only thing I would like to say.Has dtg informed 3 party developers that the new sim is going to be 64bit.as fsx is 32 bit.it would be nice to have asn and pmdg aerosoft orbx uk200 etc to have there products for the new sim.my only concern would be how much in price if they make 64bit for the new sim by dtg.we can only wait and see

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Interesting video Joe. Thanks. I think this will be one to keep an eye on. I know that FSX is 10 years old now, but I have always thought of it as an operating system of sorts. Much in the way that Windows is an OS and developers create software apps that run on it. FSX is the 'OS' and Flight1, PMDG, RAZBAM, Iris and many others build the third party apps that run on it and that is what has given FSX such a long, vibrant life and kept it relevant. However, it can't keep being relevant forever as technology has moved on. It did however, take the hardware a long time to catch up with it as they built so much power into it. I've been using it for 8 'years now and went from knowing nothing to being able to navigate VOR's, ILS's, programming an FMC and flying the heavy metal. Prior to that I had not used a flight sim since the SubLogic running on an Apple ][ back in the '80's. I will watch from the sidelines for a bit and see which sims stick around and which ones go the way of Broderbund before I invest my money. But invest it I will.

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Exciting stuff. I like their approach to focusing on getting the "It's too hard" crowd into the FS community.

 

I have long wondered if the challenge of FSing drives peope to 'easier' games, or if it is general disinterest in airplanes in general. 

I have also long shook my head in disbelief that people seem to prefer to play First Person Shooter games...because aside from the gore and numbing effect it might have on Violence Tolerance, it isn't a very useful skill set, unless you have body armor, laser night vision gear, and guided missile hand launchers in some sort of realistic availability...ie...Got Bat Cave?....highly unlikely. And even if you DO have a bat cave stocked with those advanced goodies, you will not have acquired the muscle memory in your body to allow you to perform the incredibly unrealistic physical feats required in those games using a Play Station Pad...ie...you will die in a HALO type Scenario in Real Life even if you are the world's best HALO player.

 

Airfields full of actual aircraft do exist, most people fly at some point in their lives, I'd assume that they'd take Some Interest in why their lives are not dashed to pieces on the ground when they fly in aircraft, and the science and techniques used to achieve that feat before hoping into what would otherwise be a Magic Flying Tube operated by Wizards via arcane magic...no F'n way I'd pay money to fly around in, nor trust my life to Anything or anybody if I didn't understand how it and they worked the magic tube. Ideally, I'd like to have some reasonable ability to operate the vehicle myself in an emergency/HALO situation... because, gosh darn it, I like Living, and wish to be able to have control of my life when possible, or at the very least have trust in the technology and techniques that are keeping me alive.

Ie. if the pilot and copilot of your Southwest Airlines 737 both eat the fish, and pass out...when the call comes out "Is there a pilot on board?". If you are a well skilled virtual pilot (even of GA aircraft) on board that flight, you will more than likely have the skills necessary to save hundreds of lives including your own.

 

To that end, the more people learning to fly the merrier.

 

Despite being heavily invested into FSX and Addons for it, I can image the steam going out for that product eventually given it's CPU dependency in a Graphic Card world....so it is heartening to see progress being made for it's replacement.

 

Cheers.

 

 

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The only comparision that I can make at the moment is with their Train Simulator (again built up from the same base code as an earlier Microsoft offering).

 

They generally don't tell 3rd party developers what they are changing in one of their free core game changes (that will hopefully transfer over to the FS). There was the time when they completely changed the default assests, much to the annoyance of many devs. They did re-release the old basic assets (as a charge) but it still allowed others to enter the market. I think it was benefitial for payware, as it made devs actually build as much as possible, often resulting in far more detail than would have otherwise been used.

 

There also appears to be a new bloke in charge of the train sim side, which has benefitted everyone as he does actually listen to customers and has released patches for stock/routes that wasn't working properly (compared to the previous approach "we're working on it" for two/three years). So I think it'll be good news generally

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they are not dev friendly at all!
unless they seriously overhaul their policy; no one i know is interested in joining their gravy train,
they are bad for dev's in any way you look at it; from not sharing SDK to literally killing us with robbing our royalties,
anyone wondered why aren’t there add-on’s for SE; that’s because DTG take over 51% off the top off each title they did nothing to make or earn that 51%,
no one I know is willing to work with them, why?

Either way I think it was a cheap shoot trying to ride LM 64bit wave and in their change of direction overnight,
They were supposed to cater to the home entertainment sector; now they are directly competing with LM after that statement,

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I have also long shook my head in disbelief that people seem to prefer to play First Person Shooter games...because aside from the gore and numbing effect it might have on Violence Tolerance, it isn't a very useful skill set, unless you have body armor, laser night vision gear, and guided missile hand launchers in some sort of realistic availability

 

You think that people play computer games to develop skill sets? Why would they do that? They play them to have fun.

 

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You think that people play computer games to develop skill sets? Why would they do that? They play them to have fun.

 

 

With the sometimes exception of flight simulators, which are great procedures trainers for the RW if nothing else, I'd have to agree.  

 

John

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they are not dev friendly at all!

unless they seriously overhaul their policy; no one i know is interested in joining their gravy train,

they are bad for dev's in any way you look at it; from not sharing SDK to literally killing us with robbing our royalties,

anyone wondered why aren’t there add-on’s for SE; that’s because DTG take over 51% off the top off each title they did nothing to make or earn that 51%,

no one I know is willing to work with them, why?

Either way I think it was a cheap shoot trying to ride LM 64bit wave and in their change of direction overnight,

They were supposed to cater to the home entertainment sector; now they are directly competing with LM after that statement,

 

I wouldn't say they are anti 3rd party devs. Again looking at the train sim, we have:

 

Just Trains

Armstrong Powerhouse (Waggonz)

Aerosoft

Victory Works

Fastline Simulations

 

publishing independantly at reasonable prices. And that little list is just off the top of my head. And with FSX:SE, I've seen lots of recent products advertised as compatable, including new releases. The 51% may be true for going through Steam, as the prices there can seem inflated quite a bit sometimes. Now it could be different in the FS world - I'm just going on experience in the train sim world on ultimately an older generation of programme.

 

As for SDK's, Armstrong Powerhouse (Waggonz) have been doing a great job in pushing the boundries of what is physically possible with the programme, as have Just Trains and a number of others who are willing to go to PMDG-like detail

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Hi Kieran,
you have a bit of mix-up there
1. there is no SE SDK! we still use FSX SDK for SE! with 0 publisher support! (can you be any more cheap or greedy?)
2. publishing independently is not the same as selling through DTG and Steam (each wants 25.5%);

their a horrible company from any developers prospective; i was mainly referring to addons that sale through their channel specifically for their platform,
they clearly don’t encourage that; they leave us dev's to do all the work for them! not that they provide any addon support either!

we publish independently with no backend publisher support from DTG or Steam; we need to cover supporting their product on our expenses,
they publish with complete disregards to basic guidelines, they break registry keys and publish as they see fit in an amateurish way!

all this with no SDK or developer support; they want their platform to take off leaving devs and addons behind,
they will not provide SDk and even if you pay those ridicules fees; still no SDK or Dev support!
just pure greed!

from hard data statistics I have here they are barely 10% of our community population today!
slowly but surely P3D is now taking over the lion share of FSX market
P3Dv3 40%
P3Dv2 7%
FSX 43%
SE 10%

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And I was pointing out that there's an alternative than publishing through Steam. As I said my only experience with them is through the train sim market - possible that it's another team in charge of the FSX:SE programme.

 

Interesting to see though from another viewpoint

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gotcha :)

I’m aware of the option publishing on our own (our only curse of action to date); we can’t reach their customers if they are not previously familiar with our standard Sim channels,
any new comer is browsing their internal designated shop looking for addons; their security lock tricks one to think he can only get addons through their interface,
also note their customer base is not the typical Sim shrubbery we live in; they come from complete other end of the scoop for that matter totally clueless,

you may have noticed a (slight) resentment in my tone toward DTG :)
that’s mainly for knowing all the big details in general; while recently being confronted with the costs of publishing thorough their channels,
which I find completely outrageous and unfair to us developers; who actually doing the hard work of developing and supporting,

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Exciting stuff. I like their approach to focusing on getting the "It's too hard" crowd into the FS community.

 

I have long wondered if the challenge of FSing drives peope to 'easier' games, or if it is general disinterest in airplanes in general. 

I have also long shook my head in disbelief that people seem to prefer to play First Person Shooter games...because aside from the gore and numbing effect it might have on Violence Tolerance, it isn't a very useful skill set, unless you have body armor, laser night vision gear, and guided missile hand launchers in some sort of realistic availability...ie...Got Bat Cave?....highly unlikely. And even if you DO have a bat cave stocked with those advanced goodies, you will not have acquired the muscle memory in your body to allow you to perform the incredibly unrealistic physical feats required in those games using a Play Station Pad...ie...you will die in a HALO type Scenario in Real Life even if you are the world's best HALO player.

 

Airfields full of actual aircraft do exist, most people fly at some point in their lives, I'd assume that they'd take Some Interest in why their lives are not dashed to pieces on the ground when they fly in aircraft, and the science and techniques used to achieve that feat before hoping into what would otherwise be a Magic Flying Tube operated by Wizards via arcane magic...no F'n way I'd pay money to fly around in, nor trust my life to Anything or anybody if I didn't understand how it and they worked the magic tube. Ideally, I'd like to have some reasonable ability to operate the vehicle myself in an emergency/HALO situation... because, gosh darn it, I like Living, and wish to be able to have control of my life when possible, or at the very least have trust in the technology and techniques that are keeping me alive.

Ie. if the pilot and copilot of your Southwest Airlines 737 both eat the fish, and pass out...when the call comes out "Is there a pilot on board?". If you are a well skilled virtual pilot (even of GA aircraft) on board that flight, you will more than likely have the skills necessary to save hundreds of lives including your own.

 

To that end, the more people learning to fly the merrier.

 

Despite being heavily invested into FSX and Addons for it, I can image the steam going out for that product eventually given it's CPU dependency in a Graphic Card world....so it is heartening to see progress being made for it's replacement.

 

Cheers.

 

Hi Captain Coffee,

 

I learned quite a lot from living in my bat cave,  I had no idea how to map keys or to use an interface to improve graphics, People not much younger than I took the time to help me to understand how a Mouse DPI setting could make a  world of difference,  is that the muscle memory you mention because the list goes on.

 

Simple  fact is I wouldn't be here without my time in the bat cave and I am not alone,, 3 disabled people I know of in my town including my nephew touched into flight simulation having started out on some FPS Game, I have no idea how many throughout the city though nationwide that would possibly be in the hundreds.

 

Some time prior to a disabling event in my life I was military  and the battlefield was a  familiar starting place to begin learning the whole techy thing and the bat cave folks were extremely helpful.  Simple way to express my thoughts would be that many people (not just disabled) do learn quite a lot from time in the bat cave, I have had a life long interest in aviation and first ran  a sim on the Sinclair ZX81 with the 16k ram pack, black and white dots that would crash the sim made it unusable.

 

Life went on with only Airshows until I saw FSX Gold on the shelf at the PC store some 4 years ago though it took me some time to get into it, given that when I signed up with another forum and asked a couple of questions all I got was pure arrogance in response, (we all should know that forum well) so I went back to that bat cave crowd and asked them, what they didn't know they took time  to find out and help.

 

So happy that the Folks here are just as helpful and have a working knowledge of Flight sims though I do also understand that you have a general view of the bat cave crowd, it can be a good place to learn and move on for many people of that much I am sure.

 

Just felt I needed to address that and I hope you don't mind too much,

many thanks,

Tony.

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Bat cave?  What is this bat cave?  That's going totally over my head.  I'm pretty sure you're not talking about a Batman game, but not sure what you are referring to.

 

John

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Hi John,

 

Bat cave

 

where you can store a seemingly infinite number of weapons tanks and armour various other FPS gaming goodies

FPS such as Battlefield series or even CoD and yes those Batman games as long as you can shoot someone and produce blood and gore without thinking past actually pointing a weapon I think, at least that's what the general reference indicated.

Been there and done all that and with help from that community. > moved on :)

Regards

Tony.

 

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