Browse Category

Developer Month

Developer Month: Orbx Developer Misha Cajic

Welcome to the FSElite Developer Month. Our theme this year is about delivering for the community and part of that is delivering great content to you all. As part of our commitment to you all, we’re pleased to announced Developer Month – a month themed solely around celebrating our great development community. Over the course of March, you’ll be treated to some behind the scene looks at some of our favourite developers, stories from the FSElite team, exclusive interviews and more.

Orbx developer Misha Cajic has been working hard now on creating Santa Barbara for flight sim. Although announced last year, things have moved on slower than he liked. That comes down to changes in his life and his work-life balance. All of this information he detailed below.

Tell us a little about yourselves and how you got started?

I was originally an avid young simmer just like many others, and a huge fan of Orbx and was always totally mesmerised by scenery design. So back in 2011 when the opportunity arose for some beginner scenery designers to do some freeware Aussie scenery with OZx, I jumped onboard in the hope of learning a few things about the craft. I never imagined I would end up joining them, but that’s how it kind of just happened.

What interests do you have outside of Flight Simulation?

Recreational flying of course – I just got my sports license mid last year – as well as travelling, coding (just started to learn this and having a ball), and a casual interest in many other things, especially physics and the universe.

Tell us what your typical day is usually like.

Currently my life is dominated by university, so my typical day is filled with that. Otherwise on the weekends or weeknights I’ll hang out with mates, go flying, or just relax at home and do a bit of casual work when I’m feeling the creative buzz 🙂

Favourite snack and why?

Guacamole on toast, it’s just so smooth and tasty. I eat a plantation of avocados every week.

Santa Barbara looks to be your biggest airport yet. What challenges have you faced with creating this scenery?

Absolutely the main challenge has been simply managing my time. As usual, I completely underestimated the amount of time the project would take, considering I’ve been travelling for the past half year and didn’t really have my mind on the project. If the project was smaller I would’ve had the motivation to finish it much sooner, but I’m hoping to get it out as soon as I can. It’s really shaping up to be a spectacular scenery.

With a limited number of airlines operating into the airport, how do you sell this product to the flight sim community?
This airport actually has the most airlines flying into it out of any of the sceneries I’ve created, so I’ll be selling it in much the same way as I did the rest of my projects. The main crowd it’s aimed to is definitely the GA crowd, as it’s always been with me, but the guys that like to fly the smaller CRJs and Boeings/Airbuses are more than welcome to join in and fly either existing routes or make up their own 🙂
What drew your attention to creating Santa Barbara?
It has a spectacular location and architecture, particularly the main terminal area. I was also looking to get out a scenery that people could use as a base for their flying in SCA. Plus I love palm trees.
Are there any interesting features in Santa Barbara you can share with us and the community?
I’m hoping to include animated jetways at the terminal, something that has been requested a lot by the community. I’ve also modelled the interior of the terminal in great detail. Aside from the airport area, I’ve included all the Channel islands national park islands off the coast, where there are a few pretty cool little bush strips 🙂

When scenery development gets tough, how do you continue to motivate yourselves? The main thing would be just looking at the results of previous projects – I know that if I continue to apply myself I can have those same beautiful, scenic results that so many will enjoy.

Who’s your biggest inspiration in the Flight Sim community?

29Palms and FlightBeam always blow me away with their products, and I love to just crack them open and study how they did their magic. Within Orbx, I’d say Jarrad Marshall – His product pics always have my jaw on the floor.

If there was one thing you wanted to see developer for Flight Sim, what would it be?

A detailed Aeroprakt A22 Foxbat LSA – This is the plane I fly in real life, and it’s such a versatile yet simple aircraft, with insane STOL capabilities.

Favourite add-on (that’s not your own!)?

Even after 4 years, I still gotta say Skiathos from 29palms continues to hold this position. Everything about that scenery is sensational.

How do you balance your work life and home life?

With great difficulty, especially now with university. I can’t say I ever really planned out the way I worked or had a balance, it was always either a lot of work and nothing else, or a lot of home life and no work. I would like to find a balance now, however.

Any hints on what’s to come after your next project?

I genuinely haven’t a clue – there are a couple of things I’m finishing off still with Orbx, but after that I might move back to some smaller projects – they’re just far easier to manage, which is what I need now.

Where do you see Flight Simulation in 10 years time?

With all the new VR and AI technology being developed, flight simulation could well and truly be a fully immersive virtual reality experience within 10 years. Especially with all the new development on sims, you only have to look at how much other games have progressed in the last 10 years to see that that kind of progress is inevitable. I will be more likely that not specialising in AI and VR technologies in later years of my Computer Science degree, so I might have a lot more to say about it then 🙂

Anything else you want to add?

Just want to add a quick thank you to anyone who has ever bought any of my products or even just downloaded my freeware scenery and spread the word over the last few years. Scenery design genuinely changed my life, and every single aspect of my life was affected by it to some extent. I have no idea where I’d be now or what I’d be doing without it, and even though I’ve had to slow down, I hope that I can bring more products for you all to enjoy over the coming years!

Developer Month: FSLabs A320X – Bringing Work Into Simulation

Welcome to the FSElite Developer Month. Our theme this year is about delivering for the community and part of that is delivering great content to you all. As part of our commitment to you all, we’re pleased to announced Developer Month – a month themed solely around celebrating our great development community. Over the course of March, you’ll be treated to some behind the scene looks at some of our favourite developers, stories from the FSElite team, exclusive interviews and more.

I personally work for one of the biggest airlines in the world. That particular airline uses the Airbus family exclusively for their entire operation, which makes things super easy to learn and remember. Of course, this means that when it comes to flight simulation, I’m always looking to see what add-ons recreate that feeling of being at “work” all the time and I have a good feeling when something is or isn’t accurate.

You can imagine then, my appreciation for FSLabs who have worked tirelessly over the past few years to bring the community the most realistic and in-depth Airbus aircraft to date for flight simulation. There’s no question that the level of detail in the systems surpasses anything else in the market to-date and the immersion from the sound and modelling is exceptional. I spoke a little about sounds from the A320X during my first impressions article, and even now, I still agree with what I wrote. I don’t believe any other aircraft brings me closer to ‘work’ than what FSLab’s A320X does.

Why would I want to simulate work? I enjoy my job and my passion is and always will be with aviation. And if I’m honest, flying an aircraft isn’t simulating ‘work’ per se, it’s simulating where I work. This is important to me and for my simming style because instead of saying something is immersive because that’s what I believe to be ‘immersive’, but instead with this aircraft, I know if it’s immersive. I think this is why I’m so drawn in by this product. I am so used to working with these aircraft that I know every chime, every crunch and every screech. This is why sound is so important to me and the guys at FSLabs have taken the time to pay close attention to it.

This is why I have chosen FSLabs to be another one of my developers for Developer Month. Not just because they have nailed the immersion factor for this incredible aircraft, but also because they have worked so damn hard on the aircraft over the past 6 years and haven’t given up. There has been plenty of criticism surrounding their lengthy development process and the time between FSX and P3D versions. During the development things changed, were improved and their communication to the community got better and better. The team are actively addressing issues via their forums and other support channels, whilst also keeping us informed of what to expect next.

No development group are perfect and aren’t without their faults. Sometimes it may take a little longer to get back to you, but I know they work hard on ensuring that the product works as intended eventually.

I imagine developing the most technically impressive Airbus aircraft for our simulator has been no easy feat. They have admitted that “development” started over several times, using new techniques and procedures to make the product we have today. Undoubtedly there are still a few issues and areas in which can be improved, but for me, this is a solid, stable and fluid aircraft – one that will be used for years to come. The team are committed to not resting on their laurels and continuously improving their product to an even higher standard. Another reason why they’ve one of my top-picks. People also seem to forget that they also created FSLabs Spotlights during this time as well as provide a few updates to their Concorde series, which just highlights their thoughtfulness towards the community.

Sorry this is short and sweet this time. If you’re not sold on my love for the A320X yet, maybe check out my first impressions article? If that doesn’t help, just hold on a week or so and I’ll have another ‘impressions’ post followed by a review in the coming weeks. Please make sure you give FSLabs the love they deserve for working so hard for the community over the past 6 years!

 

Developer Month: TOGA Projects Interview

Welcome to the FSElite Developer Month. Our theme this year is about delivering for the community and part of that is delivering great content to you all. As part of our commitment to you all, we’re pleased to announced Developer Month – a month themed solely around celebrating our great development community. Over the course of March, you’ll be treated to some behind the scene looks at some of our favourite developers, stories from the FSElite team, exclusive interviews and more.

TOGA Projects stopped by FSElite and talked a little about their most recent product ENVTEX. Alongside how the team started, there’s also some great content in terms of their personal lives! Don’t forget, you can read our ENVTEX review here.

Tell us a little about yourselves and how you got started?

It is a long story but I will try to summarize a bit: I started flight simulation about 10 years ago with FSX, I didn’t have a great computer at that time and I went back to FS2004 that I have enjoyed for more than 8 years, 2 years ago I started to move again on FSX for beta testing purposes for a well-known aircraft developer and last year I definitely moved to P3Dv3. I still have all of them installed though.

During the 8 FS9 years, I created a lot of textures for my own use and even created a freeware package called “Full Environment 9” to compensate the lack of new add-ons of the old but gold FS9, and the idea of a complete environment rework for several simulators slowly came to my mind.

During that time, flight simulation got me into a real passion for aviation and I became a real pilot. I got my ATPL and CPL in 2014 in a small ATO but unfortunately didn’t find a job quickly and I had to move forward in my personal life. Not meaning I have abandoned the idea to get into a 737’s left seat!

As Steve Glinel, a friend, and I were creating repaints, I decided to create “TOGA projects” in summer 2015 to share our creations. After that William Musculus joined us to provide more repaints and I decided Envtex in the beginning of 2016, for personal reasons Steve and William couldn’t be involved in the development of this project so we searched for a good developer and Florian came to help us creating the user interface.

Currently we consider more TOGA projects as a community hub than only a development team, as we have several “teams” focused on different things. We are 2 in the development team, Florian and I, 3 of us are creating repaints and freeware contents and our Beta team now counts 6 members that I would like to thank again: Brandon, David, Enzo, Louis, Steve and William. We also received the help of Jannie Roelofse and William Bithrey.

Keep Reading

Developer Month: Airports of Norway

Welcome to the FSElite Developer Month. Our theme this year is about delivering for the community and part of that is delivering great content to you all. As part of our commitment to you all, we’re pleased to announced Developer Month – a month themed solely around celebrating our great development community. Over the course of March, you’ll be treated to some behind the scene looks at some of our favourite developers, stories from the FSElite team, exclusive interviews and more.

Anyone that knows me knows that I make no secret about my absolute love for FTX Norway. This region is incredibly beautiful and in my opinion one of the best addons from Orbx. I just love how it’s done. The ground textures are beautiful. The lakes and mountains around it look amazing. The weather in Norway is generally amazing. Wether it’s a bright sunny day or a cold snowy one, Norway looks amazing.

Keep Reading

Developer Month: Soarfly Concepts Interview

Welcome to the FSElite Developer Month. Our theme this year is about delivering for the community and part of that is delivering great content to you all. As part of our commitment to you all, we’re pleased to announced Developer Month – a month themed solely around celebrating our great development community. Over the course of March, you’ll be treated to some behind the scene looks at some of our favourite developers, stories from the FSElite team, exclusive interviews and more.

Soarfly Concepts are a relatively unknown developer who has worked on various projects in the past. Developer Month isn’t just about those developers who are regarded as ‘popular’, but also to highlight the hardwork of the smaller ones who are very much part of the community.

Read our interview from Mark Piccolo from the developer who gives you some great insight into both a freeware and payware model!

Tell us a little about yourselves and how you got started?

Well Soarfly Concepts started out just me, creating my own little additions to airports, I added a few things to Avsim Library and eventually I added a team member and over time started taking scenery requests.

Me and Dan have been using Flight Simulator since the early 90s. The very first scenery released by Soarfly Concepts was a fictional airport, the Thames Estuary Concept. We don’t sell payware for a source of income it’s simply there as a method of support so we can buy things like higher def ground images and design tools. Not a lot of people know this but we also offer a free service to other devs like making installers, models and beta testing.

What made you decide you wanted to develop for Flight Simulator and why?

I have always been a massive aviation enthusiast and the idea of making my own airports in flight sim was just too good to pass up. I discovered ADE by Scruffy Duck and learnt how to make 3d models.

Keep Reading

Developer Month: FlightFactor – The Best X-Plane Airliners?

The month of March is special for the team at FSElite, we are dedicating this month to the developers! A way of saying thanks for all the continuous development of products that really make flight simulation a truly unique and captivating experience. This article covers one of the most popular developers for X-Plane, a sim not heavily focused on here, but that’s about to change.

 

The Team

To the P3D/FSX community, FlightFactor might be a little shy of the limelight, but in X-Plane, they are the best in Airline simulation.

FlightFactor Aero is a team of experienced designers from across the world. It all began in 2011 when Roman, or “Ramzzess” as he is better known by in the community, and Phillip teamed up to create FlightFactor. Roman is best known for the stunning 3D modelling presented in the FlightFactor aircraft, utilizing the SASL engine to create stunning visuals and effects that bring the aircraft to life. Phillip on the other hand is better known for meticulously crafting the plugins and avionics and ultimately detailing the systems to address the hardcore sim enthusiasts.

Together, the team has over 15 years of experience creating models for X-Plane and will remain to continue creating high quality planes for X-Plane.

 

Keep Reading

Developer Month: My Love for FSFX Packages Chase Plane

Welcome to the FSElite Developer Month. Our theme this year is about delivering for the community and part of that is delivering great content to you all. As part of our commitment to you all, we’re pleased to announced Developer Month – a month themed solely around celebrating our great development community. Over the course of March, you’ll be treated to some behind the scene looks at some of our favourite developers, stories from the FSElite team, exclusive interviews and more.

When I first got into flight simulation I had always thought there wasn’t enough emphasis on camera control. In the beginning we just needed a camera system that would allow us to position ourselves in the virtual cockpit so we could look around. But with the dawn of YouTube that need became a lot more. YouTube suddenly gave a lot of us a new reason to use the camera system. Whether it’s a how to video, or making a short film of our flight sim journey. While the predecessor was a good start, it had not been updated or changed in years. I knew there was so much more potential to be explored. Four months ago I was pleased to learn about FSFX Packages Chase Plane. It is truly a flight sim film makers dream.

Of course, you can read our interview with FSFX Packages themselves thanks to Developer Month!

Developer Month: HiFi Simulation Technologies Changed Simming for Me

Welcome to the FSElite Developer Month. Our theme this year is about delivering for the community and part of that is delivering great content to you all. As part of our commitment to you all, we’re pleased to announced Developer Month – a month themed solely around celebrating our great development community. Over the course of March, you’ll be treated to some behind the scene looks at some of our favourite developers, stories from the FSElite team, exclusive interviews and more.

This month at FSElite we were asked to come up with a developer that has changed our flight sim experience. When we were asked to chose our favorite, I didn’t have to think hard to come up with mine. HiFi Simulation wasn’t the first addon developer that I purchased from, however it was and still is the first one that comes to mind when someone asks, “what addon should I buy to get the most immersion out of my sim?”

Keep Reading

Developer Month: Matt Davies of projectFLY Interview

Welcome to the FSElite Developer Month. Our theme this year is about delivering for the community and part of that is delivering great content to you all. As part of our commitment to you all, we’re pleased to announced Developer Month – a month themed solely around celebrating our great development community. Over the course of March, you’ll be treated to some behind the scene looks at some of our favourite developers, stories from the FSElite team, exclusive interviews and more.

projectFLY has really taken off lately thanks to its great web design and easy to use interface. For those who don’t know what it is, it’s a great tool to track and log your flights from any sim on any platform. The brains behind it all, Matt Davies, has joined FSElite to share his story on development struggles and what he plans to do in the future!

Further to projectFLY, Matt also works on his Youtube channel. He is currently producing a great show called SimCast. FSElite are pleased to announce that we are working with Matt to provide the best news available for SimCast. Make sure you watch it!

Tell us a little about yourself and how you got started?
So, I’m Matt. I live in a small village just north of Manchester, I make YouTube videos, I live stream on Twitch and I’ve just recently released projectFLY. I started simming at about the age of 12 – it was actually my Dad that got me into it. He had a friend who had (at the time) the most legit PC setup ever – 3 screens, joystick & pedals – it was amazing. I used to visit his house and he’d let me fly. It was incredible. From that point it was an addiction and it only got worse (or better, depends which way you look at it)!

Keep Reading

Developer Month: Airline2Sim Interview

Welcome to the FSElite Developer Month. Our theme this year is about delivering for the community and part of that is delivering great content to you all. As part of our commitment to you all, we’re pleased to announced Developer Month – a month themed solely around celebrating our great development community. Over the course of March, you’ll be treated to some behind the scene looks at some of our favourite developers, stories from the FSElite team, exclusive interviews and more.

As we continue our Developer Month, we’re joined by Ben from Airline2Sim. As he’s wrapping up on his PMDG 777 Cadet Program, Ben talks us though the development process and what he does in his spare time. Want to know how Ben finds his pilots to take you on the journey? Then read below.

Before I leave you with Ben, make sure you read our review on Airline2Sim’s PMDG 777 Cadet Program.

Tell us a little about yourselves and how you got started?
My regular job is radio broadcasting and a few years back I found myself ‘between’ jobs. Worried about how long this ‘holiday’ was going to last, I looked at what else I could do. Whilst spending some time playing around with the simulator one day, I was struggling to fly the Majestic Q400. The eureka moment of creating tutorials was born, but I knew if we were going to do it properly we’d need a real life Q400 pilot. We found Josh who was flying at the time for a large Q400 operator in the U.K. and the rest is history!

Keep Reading