You may not know the name “Mettar Simulations“, but you likely know the main man behind that name very well.
Matt Davies is well known in our community for his Twitch streams and YouTube channel (formerly going by the screen name Belynz, saving the P3D Tweak Assistant tool (better known as PTA) from being relegated to history by the previous owner and developer, while also giving life to the popular projectFLY flight log-book and dispatch web-app which started the chain of events that lead to the creation of Mettar Simulations.
Matt has spoken freely about the plans for his company on his Twitch streams in the past, giving some details to his followers, but generally not going too far into detail. Thankfully though, he has released a statement via Facebook today giving us an insight as to what happens from here for Mettar.
He starts off by describing the beginnings of the company, how it came to be, and details the team that he has on board. Continuing, he tells of the events that lead to the creation of the company, such as PTA, projectFLY, Simstall, and the start of his highly-anticipated A380 project.
The overview that follows goes further into detail on these projects, such as where they’re at now, and what the plans for the future are.
projectFLY is already released, as most would know, but Matt says that it’s not being forgotten just because it’s the eldest child. He tells us that the team are continuously improving on the website, adding features and data accuracy, fixing bugs, and providing support to the many users already making use of the free tools every day. He describes it as:
An all in one solution to your virtual flying. Using our state of the art desktop application, you can browse global schedules (updated every 30 days), dispatch flights using real dispatching software (yes, the exact same as real airlines use on a daily basis), manage your own fleet and track your flights in real time. It’s the fanciest logbook you’ll ever use. projectFLY is free to use.
Next, Matt tells us of Simstall. “Simstall (Sim-Install) is a brand new way of purchasing, managing & interacting with your add ons” he writes. The idea of Simstall is to provide an all-in-one solution for purchasing, downloading, updating and managing your flight sim-related add-ons and their associated licence details. Part of this involves backing up your simulator at a recovery point, so if you should unexpectedly find yourself re-installing your OS tomorrow, you can restore your sim to a point much the same as the way Windows does with System Restore.
For developers, Matt says that they can expect the lowest commission rates within the flight sim community, along with complete DRM solutions and administrative reporting all as part of their partnership with Simstall.
The expected release date of this eCommerce platform is Q4 2018, and is currently in active development.
Finally, the product that most people have been waiting to hear an update on for some time now, the A380 is said to be in active development with a release date in 2019/2020.
The idea is said to have begun when Matt found himself with access to the real aircraft at the start of 2017, and from there he discussed the idea of developing one with some of his development contacts. They all agreed that the idea to bring a study-level A380 to the community was an excellent one, and so it started.
Many people have bothered Matt for an ETA, or more updates on his stream over the course of the development so far, only to be met with responses such as “it’ll be ready when it’s ready”. He states that “Like with most add on developments, I can’t tell you how long it’ll take us. The reason for this isn’t because I like keeping you in suspense, it’s because we’ve never developed anything with this magnitude” – a fair and legitimate reason, if this journalist ever heard one. It is a massive task, and the faster it’s done, the less likely it is to be of a study-level quality.
Those that are keen for the double-decker long-hauler will be pleased to find that Matt did leave us with somewhat of a feature list;
– It’s an A380
– Initially we’ll model the A380-841/842 with Trent 970-84/970B-84 & Trent 972-84/972B-84 engines respectively
– It will be available for Prepar3D v4+ & X-Plane 11+
– It will utilise all of the fancy technology that is available in each platform. We will have native models for each platform and textures/sounds to match.
– It’s being developed as a standalone product (basically completely external to the platform you decide to use), of which we are then building a “bridge” to connect it to the actual platforms. This means we have full control of every parameter and will not suffer the limitations of platforms. This also means should another platform be released, or we decide to delve into an already existing platform (for example, AeroFly FS2), it’s relatively straightforward to do so.
– Everything will be modelled unless it’s of a security concern. We’ll give you more information about exactly what systems are being modelled and the complexity of them as and when we feel the need to
– It will be exclusive to Simstall
– It will integrate seamlessly with the new projectFLY network, especially from a dispatch and ground services point of view.
– It will simulate failures/wear and tear, etc.
– It will have a “Share Aircraft” facility. This innovative new way of bringing sim pilots together is really cool. Essentially using server based technology, we can allow a user to share their aircraft to an amount of “slots” based upon their preference. They will be able to assign roles to different users also. To cut a long story short, you could have a Captain, First Officer, a bunch of Cabin Crew/Flight Attendants & some passengers all within the same environment. Long hauls just became cool (not that they weren’t already).
Furthermore, Matt says that the team is documenting the whole process on how this product is being created for the purpose of aiding other less-experienced developers in making their products as great as they can be. In doing this, the team are showing the true spirit of a community, and one which does not exist as much as it should in our hobby despite how niche it may be.
To read the full statement, head over to the Mettar Simulations Facebook page.