More information on Cascade Game Foundry
Co-founder and managing director Kathie Flood spent about 15 years with Microsoft in various roles, mostly concentrated on Aces and sports titles like Project Gotham Racing 3 and 4; she's joined by co-founder and creative director Rick Selby, who spent half his 10 Microsoft years with Aces, primarily working on Train Simulator, product design and business development.
The team is comprised currently of 15 individuals: "We're a bunch of people very passionate about working on sims that can take us to the next generation," says Flood. "We loved doing that inside Microsoft, and we decided we wanted to keep doing it. It turns out there are a lot of opportunities to do things different, better... as much as we loved doing it inside Microsoft, we're having quite a lot of fun."
Resetting The Genre
Selby sees an opportunity to "step back and do a reset of what sims could be about." The genre has traditionally focused on the same elements; vehicles, for example. "We thought there's a lot more you could really do with this," says Selby.
The hardcore simulation audience is "a very loyal, viable entity for us to pursue," he says. "But I think there are some things we can build into the sim titles to give them more of a broad appeal."
For example, Flight Simulator pleased its hardcore fanbase with its detailed renditions of the nuances and details of flying. "That's all still valid," says Selby. "But what's missing is... if you start thinking about what you could do around those single-player experiences that do simulate some aspect of a life or a location, suddenly you start to see a lot more opportunities."
Flood says that traditional sims have been somewhat "intimidating" to those outside of the genre's fans, and Selby says that simplicity is definitely now a design goal for the team.
"We want stuff to be simple enough that my mom can use it," he says -- and yet it's important to offer the opportunity for a player to grow into the high level of detail traditional sim fans have always desired. "We still want to give the ability to grow into that level of caring, but not eclipse any gameplay opportunities that may exist downstream from there... those complexities can't be a barrier to [other players] enjoying the experience."
Reaching Broader Audiences
Flood envisions "sliders on reality," simulation experiences where players can customize the granularity of realism to a level that's comfortable and interesting to them. "You could turn off or tone down certain elements so that somebody who is less knowledgeable can still enjoy the fantasy of the experience."
And the idea of allowing players to control the complexity of their experience -- having further details open to them as they acclimate into the simulation -- necessarily lends itself to learning experiences, something Selby is excited about.
Another area of focus for the Cascade team is offering high-quality toolsets alongside their projects. Flood notes that traditional simulation fans have enjoyed modifying and working with toolsets to customize their experiences even when those tools aren't very good.
"Certainly, the tools that we will need to build the games ourselves... can be a much more accessible toolset, and extend the audience of people who can participate."
Closing The Gap
The challenge ahead of the Cascade team, then, is making experiences that are compelling and yet approachable -- and therefore bridge a gap Flood sees in the addressable audience.
"There's such a big gap in the game market right now between, say, the big blockbuster first-person shooters and the casual online games. We feel like sims, if done correctly, the design would be multigenerational," she explains, pointing to the broad audience that enjoys television programming on Discovery Channel and National Geographic.
"We want to tap into some of that same magic... a lot of the topics we're thinking of here have a lot of that broad appeal," she says.
Bringing The Past To The Present
To accomplish their goals, the team hopes to combine the best elements of their experience within a large corporation like Microsoft with the agility and creativity of an independent studio.
"There's something very motivating and freeing at the same time you suddenly realize you own your destiny, and you have the ability to make the decisions you need to make," says Selby. "Sometimes that's harder to do inside of a large organization."
"I spent my entire adult life at Microsoft," reflects Flood. "We loved our jobs there, so this has been very fun -- it almost feels like graduating from school."
Flood and Selby aren't ready to discuss what that next project is, but say to expect some announcements soon. In the meanwhile, they feel strongly about their team vision and that Cascade is bringing with it the important lessons from Microsoft combined with new ideas about what the simulation genre can be and who it can reach.
Carenado PA32R 301 Saratoga SP For FSX
- The usual features you would expect from any Carenado aircraft, but this one sports original Collins radios, Audio/Marker and ADF and also the original Altimatic IIIC (Century III) autopilot installed.
Full list of features here: http://www.carenado.com/ecommerce/buscador.php3?id_producto=78
MyTrafficX Pro5.2B Update Released
MyTraffic X Version 5.2b Professional is a giant step forward compared to previous versions and a huge leap towards fully using FSX multitude of new possibilities. All included airports and schedules are in the FSX-format. The majority of the included aircraft types is already in the new, highly optimized FSX Service Pack 2 format, pairing top optical quality with ultimate performance.
It is available as a lower cost incremental upgrade for owners of MyTrafficX, or as a full retail version.
The update is intended for previous customers of the 5.1B, 5.2 or 5.2A boxed versions.
MyTrafficX Lite Released
MyTraffic X is known to be leading AI traffic solution for FSX. What started in 2002 with about 100 repaints of the stock Microsoft AI aircraft and a few licensed models, grew to a giant product with 177 models, 4900 paints, 1600 simulated civil airlines, 2000 modified airports and bunches of tools for all user needs in MyTraffic X 5.2b Professional - with all the options and complexity of such a powerfull tool.
Not all users need this, many users just want it to be simple. Replace the stock airliner traffic on the aiports of their region from the fantasy airlines Microsoft installs to realistic airlines - to watch United and Frontier at Denver, Iberia in Madrid and Lufthansa in Frankfurt. Nothing to worry about, no tools but the traffic density slider that Microsoft supplies, simple install, little framerate hit.
MyTraffic X Lite is the answer to these needs. It contains a selection of 68 airliner or commuter models, 680 paints of 263 airlines. This selction has been chosen to show approximately 90% of all airliners that fly over Europe and North America, and approximately 80% of all commuters in these areas. In addition, some stock GA planes are used to populate the skies.
Since the vast majority of the users fly in these regions, the rest of the world only sees long range traffic from these countries, but no regional traffic - that is the main secret how thousands of paints could be ommitted.
Due to these limitations, it was possible to largely simplify the installation MyTraffic X Lite. Just install it and it will work, and you even can uninstall it without any thoughts once you want to go professional and update to MyTraffic Professional. Users who purchased MyTraffic Lite will get a huge rebate for MyTraffic X professional.
MyTrafficLite includes 68 aircraft models, where as MTX Pro includes 176.
Four News Items from Aerosoft
Aerosoft Opens USA Office in Dedham, MA
Aerosoft has now opened a subsidiary in the US! Effective immediately, the office will process all American orders, which means faster and lower-cost shipping for our customers. It will also drive new sales efforts and open up new retail channels for our products. This is not only a gain for our loyal direct customers, but also a step to ensure a good and even more intensive relationship with our US and Canadian dealers and stores. Wolfgang Burchhardt will be heading the office. His background is in the gaming industry, having previously being head of development at the famous model train company Märklin. He will carry our FlightSim, TrainSim and other PC simulation product variety.
US Shipping from $6.99.
Ibiza X released (for FSX and FS2004)
This package features the complete islands of Ibiza and Formentera with photorealistic ground textures in a sensational resolution of 0.5m/pixel (FSX).
The scenery features exact coastlines, mesh and a completely new designed airport (LEIB). This add-on also includes AESLite, bringing dynamic apron traffic as well as traffic to the surroundings of the airport. In addition it also features marine traffic such as dynamic ship traffic and ferry services between Ibiza and Formentera. Static Yachts and boats can be found in the bays and beaches of Formentera.
A detailed AFCAD for AI traffic makes it a lively and highly realistic airport to fly to. This scenery is of course compatible with AES 2.04 in both FS2004 and FSX!
Lelystad X (FSX only)
Lelystad Airport is located at -12 feet in the heart of one of the main polders of The Netherlands. It is where most Dutch civilian flying schools are located and its a brilliant airport for training. This scenery has been done with great attention to detail according to the most up to date ideas on making scenery for FSX. It is very good looking but it is also extremely framerate friendly.
The Aviodrome, the aviation theme park and biggest aviation museum in the Netherlands is housed on the airport and has a large collection of aircraft, many of which are in flying condition. These are on display outside and you will be able to use the stands of the museum to park your aircraft. If you fly our Catalina for example you can exactly recreate an everyday event at Lelystad! It's the perfect airport to train your traffic circuits!
Luxembourg Airports (FSX only)
This package includes the detailed airports of Luxembourg and the complete country with all relevant landmarks and sightseeing objects. It has detailed mesh and aerial imagery covering the terrain. All buildings on and around the airport of ELLX are photorealistic.
Through the support of the Cargolux simulation department, all ground marks and relevant signs were adopted to reflect reality. The status resembles the date of the inauguration of Terminal A, as of August 2008.
FlightSimDaily (FlightSimX.co.uk) Merges News Into The Flight Simulator Network
I’ve been running the blog here at Flight Sim Daily (previously FlightSimX) for around 4 years now. During that time, I’ve added some 3,000 posts and our readership has continued to grow.
In recent times, however, I’ve found I wanted something a little more involved than simply posting news, which is why I created the Flight Simulator Network. The Network has seen tremendous growth over the past few months and it’s very rewarding to be a part of that site. The interaction that takes place between users on the site is fantastic, whereas the number of comments here on the blog has always been pretty low. It’s become a little like working in a vacuum here on Flight Sim Daily. A lot of work goes into it from me, but very little comes back.
Article: Why I Get 50FPS and you don't
From Mathijs Kok on the Aerosoft Forums:
In the last few weeks there has been one question that I heard most of all as I was attending the Aerosoft stand at three flightsim events. "What is the hardware this is running on?" I understand the question as I always leave the framerate indication on screen and almost never show anything below 40 fps in FSX. I was asked a few times if I could discuss this a bit more...
A REALLY great read!
X-Plane 9.41 released
A few fixes and enhancements, update using the X-Plane updater. Full list of fixes:
- Keyboard preferences labeled in the menus.
- Multiplayer dataref fixed.
- Orthophoto scenery night lighting comes on all at once, to avoid a checkerboard effect.
- Mouse jumps to the current yoke deflection in mouse-flight mode. This will avoid sudden control deflections when flying with the mouse.
- CUSTOM_LIGHT bugs fixed in OBJ files.
- The current livery is now available in a dataref. Improved memory use with OBJs. Rosetta can be overridden via command-line. Default livery can now be picked again after a custom livery is selected. Cmd line --no_autovary option can be used to turn off dithering of urban textures. Multiplayer should not cause any problems with the FMS.
- A number of changes to make the IOS with 20 students work a bit smoother... being used at a school in Georgia to teach 20 students at once! A lot of fun, and good training.
- Should not crash on quit while text-to-speech is playing, as it could before.
- Electrical system should work fine even for planes created on the ancient old PPC macs from many years ago.
- Marker-mute command now only mutes the marker audio, and does not dim the lights as well.
- Airfoil-Maker defaults to a 10-degree linear region for the lift line, which is a much better default.
- EFIS-App should have all navaids now... more accurate for those avidynes... EFIS-App to be published soon. A few changes in the Eclipse jet avionics for FAA-certification in EFIS-App as well.
- Support for "generic" lights on airplanes (sample plane coming soon)
- More accurate amp calculation for panel lighting
- AP self test datarefs added
- Electrical System for 930 planes loads with correct generator setup
- Lighting fixed on glass artificial horizon
- "Null texture, how?" Bug fixed on NVidia/Windows Hardware.
HD Environment 2010 for FS9
HD Environment 2010 greatly enhances the overall visual appearance of Microsoft Flight Simulator 2004 by replacing the default environmental, autogen, airport and runway textures with ultra-sharp, ultra-realistic HD quality textures that drastically improve visual realism with no adverse frame-rate effects whatsoever. HD Environment 2010 uses high definition textures and virtually lossless image compression to deliver an unprecedented balance of quality and performance that is sure to please any flight simmer!
More Info: http://www.hdenvironment2010.com/
Holiday Discounts and Specials for FS addons
- 10% Off All Eaglesoft Products until December 31st: http://www.eaglesoftdg.com/coupons.htm
- 30% Off Most Carenado Products until December 19th: http://www.carenado.com/ecommerce/buscador.php3?categoria=19
Captain Sim 767-300, 200, and 767F Review
767-300 Basic Features:
- Unparalleled visual quality and realism
- Designed according to FSX standards
- DirectX 9/10 compatible
- Extensive Systems Programming
- Flight Management System (FMS)
- 2 high resolution full-screen 2D Panels
- 40+ additional 2D Panels
- New! Integrated CS Weather Radar (€9.99 value)
- Five highly detailed and accurate Boeing 767-300ER Models (including GE, PW and RR variants)
- High resolution textures of 14 Liveries
- Hundreds of Custom Animations
- Animation Control Panel
- Stewardess model (various airline uniforms)
- Wing Flex
- Wing Vortices
- Custom Self-shade
- Custom Views
- Highly detailed VC including:
- Flight Deck
- Complete Passenger Cabin
- Galley and lavatories
- Custom Self-shade
- Hundreds of custom 3D Animations
- High resolution Textures
- Custom Views
- Custom Lighting
- Realistic Flight Model
- ACE - Aircraft Configuration Editor
- Authentic Sound Set
- Exclusive visual Effects
- Crew voice messages
- Extensive Manuals in 5 parts (hundreds of pages in total)
Price for 767-300 Base: 40 Euro ~$60 US
767-200 Addon Pack Basic Pack Price: 10 Euro ~$15 US
767F Basic Pack
- Includes interactive Cargo Loader
Price: 10 Euro ~$15 US
Captain Sim also offers the KC-767 refueling aircraft, and E-767 Airborne Warning and Control System aircraft. Each available separately for 10 Euro.
Handy iPhone Application from Rick
Hey guys, I just got an iphone and was shopping for aviation apps, and came across an interesting and handy app for the IFR pilot. It is called fltplan.com. and it tis free.
If you have an iphone or a capable internet phone you can access approach plates and sids/stars. Only works for USA airports!.
when you select an airport, all the available approach plates can be brought up on the phone's screen, and depending on the phone, can be zoomed in with great detail. It is like having you own mini EFB (electronic flight bag) for the entire US. All plates are current and updated on a regular basis.
Thanks for your time and keep up the great work!