Today, FSElite will be seating with Josh Purcell from the NZA Simulations team. The New Zealand and Australia Simulations team was formed specifically for the Microsoft Flight Simulator add-on community. The team is taking cautionary steps and is looking at progressing along with the iterations of the MSFS SDK. As such, only small airfields and some landscape sceneries have been released so far. However, the quality of the releases sparked the attention of FSElite, and you can grab a glimpse of this in the trailer of the freshly released Rotorua Scenery Pack Trailer below.
Hello Josh, can you introduce the NZA Simulations Team to our FSElite Readers ?
NZA Simulations currently has six active developers. There are five scenery developers and one livery developer. We are spread across the globe and sort of ran into each other accidentally. Mainly New Zealand and Australian based however one of the team is German and based in Portugal.
We are very lucky as we have a couple of pilots on the team. On top of this we have people who are very experienced in the latest PBR texturing and modelling processes who have taught the others on the team, professional sound designers and video and graphics artists. It all makes a perfect melting pot for doing scenery for Microsoft Flight Simulator.
What is the team thriving on ? Can you share with us your development process ?
The team is currently putting out freeware to build our name a little. As a team we are working on things most nights and we spend about 6-8 hours a night with some of the developers working throughout the night as they are in different parts of the world or work night shift in their day jobs. That works really well for us because we all help each other out with a number of the airports on the go. Example if someone is 3D modelling a terminal then one of us may be recreating signs and wall boards and other textures in advance while another modeller may have some free time off their own project and start working on general items that are needed for that airport.
We are actually ‘all new’ to scenery building with in the simulator and modding industry, this allows us not to bring any old habits that previous development processes which don’t translate very well into the new simulator however on the flip side of that coin is we are right in the middle of a very steep learning curve, but we all enjoy the challenge.
Our plans are pushing the SDK and what is achievable. We are very focused on trying new things with every release, our thought process is not to look into the simulator for what is possible but what the tooling we use can produce and put into the simulator to put on show. For us it seems to be working so far.
So far you have released several small airfields and landscapes. Any bigger projects ?
We have a plan for some of the bigger projects to be payware. For example we are 2/3rd the way through Hobart International Airport (YMHB) currently, which has a lot of custom buildings and a large layout. Currently, the main projects are :
- Rotorua NZRO – New Zealand
- Nelson NZNS – New Zealand
- Hobart YMBH – Australia
- Tauranga NZTG -New Zealand
We have a ton of other Australian airports on the backlog as well however we haven’t started the committed processing for those yet. We do have plans to go abroad outside of New Zealand and Australia but this will be at a later stage.
Thank you Josh !
There are a few sceneries to explore already. The latest release is Rotorua (NZRO) which you can find here. Other sceneries are :
Many thanks to Blair for the heads up.