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?”
I’m what most would call a late comer to the flight sim community. I started about four years ago with FSX being my first sim platform. When I started I was using a joystick and stock aircraft. My first purchase was the PMDG 737, which hooked me. I wanted to learn as much as I could about this aircraft and how to properly fly it. At that time I started doing research, browsing forums and watching lots and lots of YouTube videos. I starting seeing what my sim could actually look like with scenery, weather and more aircraft. I then purchased a yolk and throttle quadrant, rudder peddles and radio stack. I was hooked, however the scenery was still lacking. I didn’t feel like I was flying a sim, it felt more like a good flight game.
My quest began to find an addon that put me in the sim, that made me feel like I was in a world that was not unlike our own. I wanted to feel like I was the pilot flying high above the US or Europe, flying through the clouds, experiencing storms, and difficult crosswind landings. My mission began, I found an amazing weather texture program, that drew those clouds for me, and brought in the stormy winds and rain. Now I need real weather. I wanted to look out the window at home and see lightning and storm clouds and then fire up the sim and have the same real world weather happening in real time, as I flew from Boston to Dublin.
HiFi hooked me in. I started watching videos and reading forum posts about a real weather engine that could do this. I started with HiFi’s Active Sky Next, and was blow away. I would start up the sim and instantly be immersed in a world so similar to reality. I had to do a double take and make sure I wasn’t watching a 1080p movie. This was what I had been looking for. Over the past few years I have upgraded to soft clouds and most recently to ASN16. HiFi has yet to let me down with each upgrade I have purchased. The detail of the clouds keeps improving, with the layered effects and the cloud density, it all comes together in a smooth, transition free, weather package. This has made a huge difference in the amount of enjoyment I get from time spent within the sim. Even on those long haul flights, I still have something to keep my eyes and mind entertained. I can look out the windows as I break through the cloud layer at 6000ft, or feel the turbulence as attempt a landing in Germany during a storm with 20kt crosswinds. When flying in mountain areas there is low level fog layers and amazing shadowing of the clouds on the mountains.
I challenge other developers to make an addon that could possibly make me feel so engaged in the flight sim world like ASN16 can. This is one of the only addons that I have that I can truly say was worth every penny. I may be only four years into flight simming, but I am well versed and do my homework, I feel that this was one of the best decisions that I could have made when it came to purchasing an addon that would take hold of me and honestly evoke emotion into the sim. This is why I chose HiFi for Dev month and trust me when I say that it was an easy decision, and one I would make again and again.
If you’re still not sure, read our review here.