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Flight Sim World! And everything that Entails.

DTG Flight Sim World Logo

Dovetail announced Flight Sim World. In a move surprising no one, yet still garnering a lot of attention. I want to talk about the trailer and some observations I had from it. As well as some theories. We will be mentioning the other sims that will be coming out, or have already. For the sake of clarity go watch the trailer here if you haven’t. Alternatively if you don’t want to watch the trailer, Christian Thomsen wrote a brief summary on it here. With that out the way continue reading this if you so wish. Also know that I will be making comparisons to Dovetail’s other game Train Sim World; And possibly comparisons to other games not centered around Flight Simulation. I also emailed some questions to the brand manager for Flight Simulation at Dovetail Games, Aimee Sanjari. Hopefully her answers can put to rest some of the rumors that have started since the release of the Trailer.

My initial reaction upon watching the trailer was HOLY CRAP! That looks really good. I saw no frame rate problems in it, and only minor graphical issues. The trailer itself was also really well put together. Harkening back to months ago when the first marketing material for X Plane 11 starting coming out. Dovetail’s marketing staff just blew that away. Though given the quality of the Train Sim World trailer, this is not surprising. If nothing else Dovetail knows how to make a good trailer. Yes it’s all marketing hype. But that’s what trailers are, they’re supposed to be like that.

Sadly though the first thing I hear is “We are bringing Flight Simulator to early access.” Now I am aware a large portion of the Flight sim community are not gamer’s, and have only recently started seeing things like early access becoming prominent. But in the wide world of gaming, early access and its counterpart green light have been a thing for quite awhile now. Sadly although the core idea was good, there were far too many shady people willing to take advantage of it. The amount of abuse on Valves lackluster quality control, Plus all the asset flip cash grab games; It all caused public opinion on Steam Greenlight to fall over the years. Recently Valve announce they were canning Green Light and replacing it with a system called Steam Direct. Which hoped to improve upon the problems with green light.

Early access did not fare much better. Yes it did give rise to great games. Kerbal Space Program, Clandestine, and Melody’s Escape (a personal Favorite) just to name a few. But for every good game there were tens if not hundreds of bad ones. Games that released in an unfinished, under developed state, never to be completed. So many in fact that nearly 40% of the +15000 games on steam, came out in 2016. The term “asset flip” became a popular term to describe games that use pre-made assets purchased from a game engine store, Repackaged as a finished title to gain a quick buck. Steam’s Early access basically made Jim Sterling’s career.

Knowing all this I’m not very happy to see Flight Sim World put on there. As the odds are simply not in the favor of quality. Yes it has been made to work, And I’m not saying Dovetail won’t be able to deliver simply because it’s on Early Access. But far too many games have released on early Access, and never came out. Famously DayZ released on Early Access over 4 years ago. Not only is it still on there, the original developer has since left the project. Far too many developers (If you can call them that) simply use early access as a way to hide from criticism. Again i’m not saying Dovetail will do this. It may happen that Flight Sim World will be fantastic. I’m simply stating the reality of the situation. And that reality has forced me to instantly distrust anything that comes out on Early Access.

I could not help but wonder as to why Dovetail choose to go with Early Access. Sure we can speculate until the cows come home. Did Dovetail do it as a way to lower our expectations so they can build up a better simulator over time? Or are they inventing excuses in case the release of FSW goes the way TSW went. It occurred to me why not just ask. Dovetail at least has PR people. I sent a tweet to Laminar Research on the day X Plane 11 released in its early access. Still waiting on that reply. So I sent an email over to Aimee Sanjari, the Brand Manager for Flight Simulation at Dovetail Games. That Email contained 12 questions surrounding FSW and Dovetails Store. I’ll have a full transcript available below. But I’ll also be referencing the answers Miss Sanjari gave me throughout the article.

Naturally my first question was focusing on Early Access, As it is a bit of a red flag. As stated above I’m immediately wary of Early Access games. The years of BS has taught me to be this way. Aimee replied to this question, “ The current flight sim space is a fountain of experience and expertise, and Early Access is our way of drawing upon that knowledge to make Flight Sim World the best it can be. We will have a better, stronger simulation platform if we collaborate with the community on the future of this project. We have a lot on our list, and part of releasing in Early Access is providing a level of transparency while we work.”

Fair enough. Releasing in Early Access is not an instant mark of failure. If Dovetail really is sincere about Community Collaboration on FSW; Then it was probably the right move. With the announcement that the price of FSW will be $24.99, I will give Dovetail the benefit of the doubt on this. I know their reputation has not been good. But with the release of Train Sim World it does seem like they Genuinely want to make better products. So I think I can give them a chance.

I know that price may scare people. It does seem low when you consider the price of the other 2 major Flight Simulators is $60. The price of a brand new AAA developed game. But consider this. Dovetail is not a AAA game dev, nor are they making a AAA game. So it would be wrong to charge a AAA Price. Also considering that $30-$50 is the normal price range for games such as FSW (Niche titles with a dedicated fan base) But throw in its in early access, and is going to be DLC heavy; I actually think $24.99 is a fair price. Its cheap enough that most people should be able to get it. And if you buy it on Steam and happen to not like it you can get a refund.

 

In the trailer we got some comments from Sylvain Gibouret, the Senior Software Engineer of Dovetail Games. We saw more of the graphics capability of FSW. They show off what is presumably one of the default planes. A Piper Seneca V. And I’d recognize that model anywhere. That is the Carenado Seneca V, A Plane I actually own in FSX. And its good! It features a Garmin G600, and GNS430 avionics. Along with a GTX330 Transponder. Right away Dovetail is demonstrating a willingness to work with existing addon developers. Carenado at that, who is one of my favorite developers. However I would be negligent in my duties as a journalist if I did not point out that the Seneca V launched with some issues. Notably there were some click spots missing from the Virtual Cockpit on the Audio Panel. This led to the problem of having to bring up the 2D popup in order to switch the active radio. Some of the features of the GTX330 and G600 avionics were missing to. Though nothing major. It was a functioning airplane.

Gibouret goes on to say that “We moved from DirectX 9 to DirectX 11. We moved from a 32bit application, to a 64bit application.” Confirming once and for all, if there were any doubters, that Flight Sim World will be running DX11 in 64 bit. Which means that all 3 big name simulators will be running in 64bit. Its finally happening Flight Sim Community!

“We also tried to rebalance the usage between the CPU and the GPU” says Gibouret. Now the useage of past tense caught my attention here. “Tried to Rebalance.” I’m hoping this was just the way they decided to write the script for the video. Because ”tried” is not good. As yoda said, “Do, or Do not!” One of the biggest problems FSX had over the past decade was its reliance on the CPU for almost everything. Times changed and the GPU became better suited for running games. Now even today it’s a bit of a toss up as to whether a game depends largely on the CPU or GPU. It seems to vary with the specific game, and the engine running it. There’s even some games that seem to use both pretty heavily. So it could just as easily be that even a small amount of rebalancing can make a big difference. Especially if it’s combined with other optimization methods.

Physic based rendering, Emission based lighting, Ambient occlusion. These are some of the terms put forth by the trailer. XP11 amazed the flight sim world with its use of physics based rendering. So much so the Lockheed Martin then followed suite an announcement they will be including something akin to physics based rendering in P3DV4. But something I never seen anyone ask was:”What exactly is Physics based rendering?” To save time I’m going to go with the maximum lazy way of defining the term. I’m going to use Wikipedia.

Physically based rendering or PBR is a model in computer graphics that seeks to render graphics in a way that more accurately models the flow of light in the real world. Many PBR pipelines (though not all) have the accurate simulation of photorealism as their goal, often in real time computing. Put simply the graphics engine knows how light behaves when interacting with a object based on the material that object is made of. It also handles Lighting realistically. For example it has Conservation of Energy. Which is to say you never get more light out of a given scene then what you put in. This Video from Gamer’s Nexus with a couple of Engineers from Crytek can explain it better than I can.

The other two terms put forth are focused on the lighting engine. And to be honest any improvement over the Old and cold way FSX handled lighting would be welcomed. Dovetail then goes on to show a close up of an unknown aircraft. They highlight the small oscillation of the needles in the gauges as the panel vibrates. A nice touch. I’m a sucker for attention to detail. I want to move on from graphics though. Suffice to say it looks fantastic.

Dovetail confirmed what was already known in that they are working with established addon developers. Which if I remember correctly is something the Flight Sim Community has always wanted. In the Trailer we saw a Piper Seneca V, and a Piper Mirage. Both of which look to be from Carenado. We also saw a un-textured 3D render of what appears to be a DA40 Diamond Star. Another airplane Carenado made in collaboration with Alabeo. The trailer says that they (the developers Dovetail have chosen to work with) are providing content for the core Flight Sim World software. And sure enough the information that came out over week since the trailer came out confirmed there are 7 default planes.

This does raise a bit of a concern. Those are all GA aircraft. And Props at that. In fact Jets, Turbo props, Helicopters, and Heavies are all conspicuously absent. Now I hope that does not mean what it appears to mean. Because it appears that only GA Props will be present in the game at launch. Gotta save something for the DLC huh? To be fair I don’t hold it against Dovetail if they go DLC heavy like their previous title Trail Simulator inset year here. That seems to be par for the course with simulators sadly. Hell it may even work out better. Cryss Roxas Leonhart, the Community Manager for Dovetail Games, Confirmed in a post on the Steam Community Hub for FSW that the game will launch into Early Access with 7 airplanes.

So there won’t be any Airlines or Jet aircraft in FSW on Launch day. Which is sad, But not the end of the world. “We started out with GA aircraft in order to set quality benchmarks for 3PPs to meet (or surpass). To include more complex aircraft at this point would have delayed Flight Sim World by a substantial amount of time, which we didn’t want to do.” This was the reason given to me By Aimee. She goes on to say “There will most certainly be airliners within Flight Sim World one way or another, whether that is via add-on’s from 3PPs or including them in the core sim.” So I guess we’ll just have to wait until there is DLC available for Jets.

But something about this worries me. There’s a game out there called ARK Survival evolved. This game was relatively popular and not universally hated. It seemed to be doing well on Steam’s Early Access at first. But the years went on and eventually the game caused a big controversy when it was revealed the game would be getting its first bit of DLC. Yes paid DLC for a game that was still in early access! Needless to say this got on a few people’s nerves, and rightly so.

Now I bring up that to make this point. Simulation games rely on DLC. For whatever reason; Be it profit margins, greed, or the will of the fates. Simulation games rely on DLC to turn a profit. Dovetail is no stranger to DLC either. Their Train Simulator title has the distinction of having the most DLC available out of any game on Steam. So it makes sense their FSW title would follow suite. But I can’t help but get a bad taste in my mouth knowing that this will yet again happen to a early access game. So you know what, I’ll say it. Early Access games should not be allowed to have DLC! Finish the game first, or stop wasting peoples time! I worry that people won’t wait around for DLC to come to FSW to get jets. I firmly believe that people will want a variety of aircraft on Launch day.

Another fear, Though it is somewhat remote; Is that another ARK DLC situation may bring on the rath of Valve. Public opinion of Early Access is not good. One game has already pulled this stunt. And with Steam direct on the horizon, if people make a stink about DLC for Early Access game; It would not surprise me if that wakes up the sleeping giant of Valve Corp. In this day and age if your selling games, Valve is one company you don’t want to anger!

 

The trailer finishes with talking about some tool available to mod makers and addon dev’s. The pro mission tool. They claim it allows you to use the same tools Dovetail is using to create content for the sim. On screen we see what appears to be either a mission creator, or a flight scenario generator of some kind. This is the last thing shown on the trailer. Nice I Loved the missions in FSX. Sadly the Object Placement Tool used to create the missions was far to complicated to use for many people. Hopefully the Prop Mission Tool from Dovetail will rectify that.

Now Aimee confirmed that Workshop support will be coming to FSW. A big concern for people in the community was that Dovetail would be locking down freeware addon’s and force people to the payware DLC. But that doesn’t really make much sense when you think about it. Especially when they have confirmed they will have Workshop support. And even if they didn’t, that would not stop anything. I can think of no shortage of games that have no workshop support, and even no SDK available. People still make mods for them. Go browse the Nexus for awhile and you will see this.

I did ask Aimee what tools can Scenery developers like myself expect. Unfortunately she says they have not gotten around to the Scenery and Aircraft creation part yet. But it is something they are looking into. This is no big deal as most of the tools used to make aircraft and scenery in FSX are not from Microsoft. The only thing Scenery developers like me really need from Dovetail is a BGL compiler. The tools actually used to make scenery are by other people outside the game developers.

There’s been some speculation and rumors going around since the trailer came out. Mostly concerning payware addon’s. One of the more interesting things to come of this was that Dovetail will have some kind of licensing system for 3rd party developers. Now this is nothing new, They have a similar thing for FSX-SE. The licensing program seems to be there to allow 3ed party addon dev’s to sell their addon as Officially licensed FSW products. Allowing them to be sold on the Steam store as DLC, and on Dovetails own store. Presumably Dovetail will take a cut of the profits. That’s the part that’s got everyone worried.

When you sell something on Steam Valve takes a 30% cut of profits. That’s their fee for using their store front. That may be a bit steep but there are a lot of benefits for both consumers and publishers to selling on Steam. There’s nothing that can be done about that 30% cut, so we are really concerned with how much Dovetail will take. I doubt  Dovetail would comment on it directly. But reading between the lines of everything I’ve seen as of late, I’m willing to bet that Dovetails take will vary from developer to developer. Or even product to product.

There are benefits to a system such as this. Not the least of which is being sold on Steam grants a development studio space on one of the largest digital storefronts in the world. Potentially reaching new customers. In addition to this there are numerous benefits to us, the consumers. The real driving force in this hobby. Being sold on Steam means that the DLC will probably be on sale a lot more frequently than it currently is. We also get protections that very few flight sim addon publishers have. Notably a Refund policy.

Only one FS addon publisher even has a refund policy. Most others simply take your money and run. So if you have a problem, or are unsatisfied with your purchase. Tough! You have no recourse, you can’t get your money back. That will change if addons are sold on Steam as even DLC is covered under Steam’s refund policy. Dovetail also have a refund policy of their own for their store. It’s not as generous as Steam’s however. They will allow you to refund both a core game, and DLC as long as you have not seen the key for it. A policy such as this is really only good for accidental purchases. But it’s more than most FS addon publishers have. The reason for the policy is “because we are selling Steam keys, so there is no way for us to revoke access to the product after the refund has been granted. This is a fairly typical policy for companies who sell Steam keys.” That was the reason Aimee gave me. And that’s pretty fair.

From the answers Aimee gave me concerning the Licensing program, It appears that Dovetail will be working with the Addon dev’s who make licensed products. Including Quality control testing, and feedback. There’s probably even more included that we are not hearing about. One of the question I asked Aimee concerning this was if there were any Quality Control Standards in place to assure nobody tried to release a half baked, under developed addon in an attempt to turn a quick buck. Browse any Flight Sim store front and you will find no shortage of them. She replied “We have a great QA team who gets to inspect everything we intend to release on our Steam store to make sure it meets certain quality standards before it gets released. If you ask me, they are the unsung heroes of Dovetail Games!” Fantastic! And I agree, QA tester are the unsung hero’s of many game studios.

Now I’m speculating and speaking my own opinion here. But I think this system is exactly what this hobby needs. The stink that’s been kicked up about it over the past few days has come from people who are not the most trustworthy of sources. And they have a vested interest in the Status quo not changing. The statements made by PMDG on AVSIM spell that out quite clearly. I can’t help but think what’s really happening here is that they have enjoyed a period where they can do what they want with no recourse. But now that this is even slightly threatened. Well not even really threatened so much as what we’ve come to accept as normal, will no longer be so. They’re scared.

If PMDG, or Milviz, or whoever else does not want to make addon’s for FSW that’s fine. They don’t have to, others will take their place. Carenado has shown their willingness to develop for FSW. PMDG and Milviz pulling out is nothing but good for them. Its also good for the addon dev’s we know are already working with Dovetail on FSW. But I would like people to stop acting like we need them. Let me make this clear there is not a company on God’s green earth that cares about you. Not beyond the money in your wallet anyway. So you owe no loyalty to them. The thing I keep seeing people say is we need addon developers to come to FSW so the core community will to. But do we really need the core community?

I mean it. Do we really need the old guard? Does Dovetail really need the old guard? Has no one considered the idea they might be able to draw in a large audience of new blood? People who have never gotten into flight sims. It could happen that FSW is the first flight sim for a lot of people. And new people is something this hobby desperately needs. If getting an influx of new Flight simmers means the Old guard doesn’t get to rule the roost anymore. That’s fine by me. Time marches on.

A Lot of people often marvel at the fact that people are willing to sink hundreds if not thousands of dollars into payware Flight sim addon’s. PMDG is estimated to bring in over 1.3 million dollars of annual revenue. But over the 10 years FSX has been out, you know how much money Microsoft or Aces studios got out of those addon sales? None! Absolutely zero! This was only a matter of time really. You must remember one thing for a licensing program such as this to make sense. Dovetail owns Flight Sim World. That is their game. They make it. They are allowing 3rd party addon devs to make addon’s for it. But if you’re charging money for those addon’s, well hold on. You’re now playing with Dovetail’s ball. Yes I think Dovetail is perfectly in the right to want a cut.

If it means potentially lower prices for flight sim addon’s, And that flight sim addon’s will be subject to refund policies. Then i’m fine with it. And I don’t care if any addon dev doesn’t like it. What’s good for them is not good for the rest of us in that case. And its us, the consumers, that are the real driving force in this hobby. Not the addon dev’s. I know I lost my cool over these last few paragraphs. But it infuriates me. The idea that FSW may do poorly because a few greedy addon developers who think way too highly of themselves would lose a few bucks. So you know what. Adapt or Die! Isn’t that the way of capitalism? Isn’t Capitalism that thing a lot of FS addon dev’s like to praise? The door swings both ways!

 

Flight Sim World
Flight Sim World System requirements

In any respect it does not appear that we will have to wait long to find out what will happen. As a wild Flight Sim World appeared on Steam. With a release date of May 18th 2017! In all fairness judging solely from the trailer it looks like the game is pretty far along in development. Now the trailer is made up of footage from various parts of development. I can tell you from experience that making videos like that takes a long time. That does explain a few things I saw. There were moments where some textures looked blurry, but in other shots they looked nice and crisp. One thing I absolutely loved is that at no point did the frame rate look bad. Now the general rule with marketing material is to remember we are looking at framed images. Marketing teams don’t randomly take screenshots and post them. Everything there is shown for a specific reason. So it could be there are moments when the frame rate will tank. But still the trailer looks good and stable

Since the steam page for FSW is already up we can see the minimum system specs. Now there is no standardization on what system requirements actually mean. They tell us the bare minimum the game needs to run, But not how well the game will perform at what setting with that hardware. And they might not even be real. They could just be the lowest quality Computer that tested the software. So although the minimum specs are out they don’t really say much. Generally speaking however it seems most gamer’s believe that the minimum hardware should get you at least 30fps on medium to high settings. So let’s go with that. The question now is will the minimum hardware requirements get us a passing frame rate, with decent graphics? Answer, We’ll have to wait and see.

The minimum hardware is relatively powerful. Notably requiring a GTX970 or better. Currently that card sells for around $300. It shouldn’t be to hard for people to be able to meet that. 4GB of Ram is no big deal. Nor is the 40GB storage requirement. One thing that did stick out to me was the minimum CPU is an i3 6100 or AMD APU Kaveri A10-7850K. Seems a bit low end to me, But whatever.  Just for fun I decided to see how much a Rig like this would cost. So I went over to PC Part picker and built a machine matching the minimum system requirements of FSW. Using higher end parts, but only including the specified hardware (No case, MOBO, or CPU cooler. Nothing like that). The price was $612.19. Is that high? Possibly. Depends on the person. That is high for me but I’m broke.

Lastly let’s talk VR. I save this for last because there’s really not much to say. It was confirmed by Aimee that Flight Sim World will not have any VR support on release day. The reason she stated for this was that VR is a small subset of the larger community. And adding in VR support right now was not worth the sacrifices they would need to make to get it working. This right here highlights the main problem with VR. It’s such a ‘your experience may very’ kind of thing. And its prohibitively expensive. So it’s no surprise that VR is not supported on launch day. Or maybe it’s just not officially supported. Or more likely we will get some DLC or an update in the future that supports it. Either way I happen to agree with Aimee here. Dovetail has a budget and time constraints they have to worry about. So that means you can’t always get what you want sadly.

Well I think that about covers it. I have more I could/ want to say. But I think i’ve covered everything concerning FSW. Except one thing. What does this mean for the Flight Sim Community? Well there’s currently 2 competitors in this market. Laminar Research with X Plane 11. And Lockheed Martin with Prepar3d. But there’s one notable thing with P3D. We ,the flight sim community, are not its target Market. Lockheed Basically treats P3D as a side project. It itself only comes with a handful of Airplanes. And Considering a lot of Addon devs have started charging a premium price for P3D addon’s. Its expensive. And the EULA/Licensing thing does scare a lot of people away from it.

What i’m trying to say here is that if Flight Sim World fails. Then nothing changes. Everyone keeps playing the current big 3. FSX, XP11 and P3D. If Flight Sim World is successful. It will give a viable option to people who don’t want to go to P3D and don’t like X Plane. It will give X Plane some competition, Hell it will give everyone some competition. If the licensing program is handled correctly, It could bring the price of addon’s down. It will mean that addon’s are covered by a refund policy, Which is good for consumers. Basically if FSW is successful, then good things happen. If it’s not, then nothing changes. So really we as a hobby have nothing to lose, but a lot to gain. I for one hope that Flight Sim World does well.

The Questionnaire

Here is the full, Un-edited copy of the questions I sent to Aimee Sanjari The Brand manager of Flight Simulation at Dovetail Games. Along with her answer to them.

 

My first question has to be, given the reputation that Early Access as gotten over the years; Why did Dovetail decide to make Flight Sim World available on Early Access?

The current flight sim space is a fountain of experience and expertise, and Early Access is our way of drawing upon that knowledge to make Flight Sim World the best it can be. We will have a better, stronger simulation platform if we collaborate with the community on the future of this project. We have a lot on our list, and part of releasing in Early Access is providing a level of transparency while we work.

 

In one of your responses on the AVSIM Q&A, you stated that you’re planning on bringing workshop functionality to the Prop Mission tool, and flight planner. But I must ask what exactly does the mission tool do? Presumably it allows someone to create and edit missions. But as a scenery designer I would like to know what types of tools or improvements to the SDK have been made for Scenery and aircraft editors?

The mission tool is the tool that we (along with 3PPs) will be making missions with. It allows you a greater amount of control over what you make.  We know how important freeware creation is to everyone, so we included it along with the sim.  

We haven’t quite gotten to the scenery/aircraft creation part yet, but it is on our radar.

Additionally if/when workshop support is implemented in FSW. will it feature an additional Mod manager allowing users to toggle individual mods on or off (Alla Truck Simulator or Cities skylines)?

We will have more detail for you on workshop closer to the time it is implemented. We expect it will be ready sometime this summer.

 

Simconnect was a big thing with FSX as it allowed people to write external scripts for FSX. This functionality allowed 3d party developers to bring things to FSX that were not available by default. What improvements, if any, have been made to the simconnect API?

We have indeed been making improvements to the Simconnect API. The list of specifics  is too long to give here, but it’s definitely something which has received significant love and attention given the importance of 3PP add-ons in the flight simulation space.  

 

VR has really started to become a big deal in simulation gameplay. Evidenced by the fact both P3D and XP11 feature VR natively. As well as the 3ed party addon FlyInside becoming exceedingly popular. What VR options will FSW have on release day?

We won’t have VR on release day. We know it is important to a subsection of the community, but not important enough to sacrifice other features which, in our opinion, are crucial in creating a great simulation platform.

 

What sort of improvements have been made to the flight planning functions since FSX or even Flight School? Are things often cited by the community (SIDs, STARs, numerous other functions) implemented now?

We have updated some more nav data, which is a great start. More dramatic improvements to the flight planner are due to take place later this year. We will have more detailed information on that closer to the time.

 

I noticed in the trailer that there was a distinctive lack of aircraft other than single and multi engine props. No Jets, No Turbo Props, and no helicopters. Additionally you stated in the AVSIM Q&A that “The Core Aircraft were done”. Can we take this to mean that there will be no jet aircraft available to fly in the initial launch of  FSW?

When I said the core aircraft were “done”, I meant that we aren’t planning to improve the ones in-game any further after release. We started out with GA aircraft in order to set quality benchmarks for 3PPs to meet (or surpass). To include more complex aircraft at this point would have delayed Flight Sim World by a substantial amount of time, which we didn’t want to do.

There will most certainly be airliners within Flight Sim World one way or another, whether that is via add-on’s from 3PPs or including them in the core sim.  

 

From the AVSIM Q&A it seems that Dovetail is going to have some sort of licensing program available to 3ed party developers. Notably you stated that “In order to market as an official FSW product, you will be able to sell your product on your own store, but you must also make it available on Dovetail channels as well.” I would like some clarification on this please. Will developers of 3ed party addon be able to sell products on their own store even if they do not wish to also sell it via dovetails channels? will they still be able to sell it but not licensed as an official FSW addon?

Just like with FSX: Steam Edition, we will be working with some great 3PP developers to bring their add-ons to Flight Sim World. We’re eager to work with partners, both in helping ensure their content is the best it can be – by giving feedback on how they can get the most out of the changes to the engine and opening it up to a new market. At the same time, this allows people who have bought add-on’s from developers over the past ten years to continue doing just that.  

In terms of discussing detail, developers are welcome to contact us and talk to our Third Party team about the options available to them.

 

Follow up question. One of the biggest problems valve has had with early access and Steam green light was people abusing their lack of quality control to sell scam software on steam. This included but was not limited to asset flips, games without function exe files, and even malware being sold on the steam platform. Knowing this, has Dovetail implemented any quality control standards to the licensing process? If so would you kindly specify?

We have a great QA team who gets to inspect everything we intend to release on our Steam store to make sure it meets certain quality standards before it gets released. If you ask me, they are the unsung heroes of Dovetail Games!

 

Another follow up question. One problem the flight sim community has right now is 3rd party developers being, Speaking frankly here, Dicks to their own paying customers. This has included DRM measures that break whole game installations, revoking usage licenses after purchase for no good reason, and even attempts to silence criticism of their products on various forums and social media websites. Knowing this, if a developer of a 3ed party addon that is an officially licensed FSW product is found to be conducting actions such as those stated above. What protections does dovetail have in place for consumers?

It’s safe to say we wouldn’t release anything on our channels that would break the sim. That wouldn’t be helpful to anybody! We have our own internal teams who work with 3PPs to make sure everything plays nicely together on a technical level.

 

This is my final question, Though you may not be able to answer it. If not i would appreciate it if you could forward me to someone who can, or ask the appropriate person at Dovetail. Dovetail games recently launched their own online store. However prior to this they have always sold their games via steam. Steam has its own refund policy that a lot of people like. Microsoft also recently announced that they will be implementing a similar refund policy on games sold for Windows 10 and Xbox. Digital sales have started to overtake physical media these day, however one advantage physical media stores, such as gamestop, had over online storefronts was a refund policy and trade in services. As someone who plans on buying both FSW and TSW on steam (Largely because of that refund policy) Does the Dovetail store offer any similar service or have a similar refund policy in place.

You can get a refund on the Dovetail Store as long as you haven’t clicked “View Keys” in your account menu. This is because we are selling Steam keys, so there is no way for us to revoke access to the product after the refund has been granted. This is a fairly typical policy for companies who sell Steam keys.

 

Follow up question. Valve states in their refund policy that DLC is also refundable for up to 14 days after purchase provided the DLC has been played for less than 2 hours. Would such a refund policy on the dovetail store also apply to DLC?

The Dovetail Live return policy applies to both core sims and DLC.

Tags : Dovetail GamesFlight Sim World
Timothy Thomas

The author Timothy Thomas

You heard about the legend of Jesse James, Or John Henry just to mention some names. Well there’s a plane flying fella in the south today. A man name Tim from Atlanta GA. Except I’m not from Atlanta. But I do live deep in the swamps of Georgia. The high temps melted my brain, and all I have to keep company are the gators. There’s a lot of them. | View My Specs