First, I've been cut off from the net since the airshow -- after Telstraclear promising a connection on the Friday before the show, it was over a week late, quite a nuisance really. So I'm sorry that I've been so quiet about the show, and the Tauranga scenery update. This morning my connection came to life, but it will still be a day or two before it gets up to speed -- I don't quite understanding the reason why I am restricted to dial-up speed at the moment, but the techrep said it is normal, so all I can do is wait. At the moment I'm uploading the new Tauranga, but it'll take all day at this rate, so a bit more patience is required...
Thanks to the forum folk who set up and manned the stall, it was all good fun, and we met plenty of flightsim people, some we knew by user-name, and some potential members... Tim, Gavin and Mike really came through setting things up. Thanks to Ian for helping as well. Oh, and thanks to Paul for keeping NZFF up and running while I've been cut off from the web...
The airshow layout was a bit of a surprise, leaving us a little cut-off from the main foot-traffic flow, but since this was Tauranga's first show to attempt to take on Warbirds Over Wanaka and Marlborough's Classic Fighters they can be forgiven for some lack of organisation. Hopefully next time the traffic-flow will be a bit tighter. The people we did see, though, were very interested in what we were doing, it is amazing to realise how much interest there is out there. The main demographic remains the same -- my age, male, bearded for some reason:)
This was a bit of a personal test for me, getting out and about after months of recuperation. Things went as planned, though, mainly because the planning was so well done. Getting home, however, wasn't so great. I flew Tauranga-Wellington-Christchurch on the Monday morning, but when I was walking to my car I suddenly wondered why the security check didn't pick up my car key... oh, yeah, it was still back in Tauranga. I rang the motel and asked them to send it on, but it took till Friday to get my car out of the airport carpark. Thank goodness I no longer get stressed about anything.
So despite the additional costs ($360 for extra flights when my Auckland friend pulled out of the trip at the last minute, $80 cab home from the airport, $57 parking...) I got home eventually.
The Tauranga FSX update.
This was ready in time for the show, so those who purchased the scenery at the show were the first to get a look at it. I also gave out a few updates to existing owners. However since I haven't had web access, the web update offer has been a bit late coming.
- 15 centimetre resolution airport aerial image;
- Edited city aerial image, to help define roads, but still based on the old colourised LINZ image;
- Redesigned night lighting;
- Redesigned airport buildings and objects;
- Lots of little additions and improvements;
- More realistic industrial area bordering the airport.
What isn't new:
The update uses most of the original model textures, as this is where most of the initial work went.
One thing I noticed when I flew into Tauranga on the morning of the airshow is the number of changes since my last visit. There's an addition to the terminal, a few new hangers, and the industrial buildings have really encroached on the airport boundary. I have no plans for a further update, although I did design the updated scenery with a terminal update in mind...
I was not able to source an updated city aerial image within my design budget, so I've kept the old colourised black and white image, with the roads tweaked to fix their colour, and define them better.
The reason for this update was to give an idea of what future Real NZ airports will look like -- a high resolution aerial image, a better blend with the surrounding area, and a more immersive experience for those who want to explore airports on foot:)
However future airports may not have a surrounding large-scale photo scenery, since we will by then have a much more realistic New Zealand, and airports will blend a lot better.
How can I get the updated Tauranga scenery?
There will be a free update via download for those who own the FSX version of Tauranga. That is, those who have purchased the Real NZ Rotorua/Tauranga scenery, or the FSX Collection. If you prefer a disc, you may purchase a replacement disc for NZ$10.
The download update may take a few days to arrange, as there are some issues to be ironed out. Those who have purchased the scenery recently -- that is, from the existing Store -- should receive an email from the Store reactivating the Rotorua/Tauranga download, so that they can simply log onto their account and redownload to obtain the update. Others should 'order' the update by signing up to the new store and completing an order -- provided the store can provide secure free downloads, this is the best way to arrange things. The 'secure' bit is the issue at the moment, I need to be able to manually authorise update purchases, so I need to figure out how to code this:)
Those who wish to purchase the full scenery can do so now. The Real NZ Rotorua/Tauranga disc and the download version on my site have been updated.
For new users who discovered us at the Show, I'm offering an introductory offer of the Tauranga FSX download on its own, for $18. I'll also offer a stand-alone Rotorua FSX scenery as wel ($18 also)l, so that those who purchase Tauranga on its own can get the CD equivalent for a reasonal price.
This is the cheapest way to try Real NZ scenery at the moment, so if you have been meaning to give it a go, now is the time. Well, not now, but in a couple of days...
However if you want the FS2004 version as well, you will need to purchase the Rotorua/Tauranga combined scenery, either the download or boxed. The download costs $33, but includes both FS2004 and FSX versions of Rotorua and Tauranga.
More news when I get the uploads done and tested.