Dovetail Flight School

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Dovetail Flight School

Postby toprob » Fri Jun 24, 2016 4:27 pm

I pre-ordered this, but only just had time to download it this week. I quite liked the idea of Flight School, as a way to bring new simmers into the hobby. And of course it is the preview to the next big thing, when Dovetail release their full simulator built on FSX. Remember that they already have tweaked FSX in the Steam Edition of FSX.
This is less of a review and more of just my initial reaction. I've done a few of the lessons, and then fired up one free-flight, from Taieri To Omarama, simply because I've been 'living' there in P3D while developing Dunedin. I quite enjoyed the flight, I first took a look over Dunedin, then rejoined my flight plan, so I did it the easy way direct via GPS. In some respects, scenery and mesh-wise, it was like going back to an earlier time, maybe 2002...
As a flight simulator, it is obviously 90% FSX, but of course without any addons. So you see FSX-style text on the display, and all the controls are the same. It's been a long time since I saw a default FSX install, so I can't compare, but I'm pretty sure it looks the same. One thing I noticed is the 'atmospherics'. I'm not sure how much of my impression of FSX comes from addons, but Flight School was a bit of a disappointment visually. The horizon is very strange, and the scenery appears dull and lifeless. There's no real visual cue to distance, except for a rather unnatural blue srtip in the distance. I'm not sure if or how weather is depicted, but it seemed pretty clear and still.
But as a big fan of Prepar3d, I'm not really the ideal person to judge FSchool visually.
The flight school aspect is well-done, integrates well with Steam, and gives a very straightforward introduction to flying. It all makes sense, and is certainly not at all confusing. However once again I was kind of under-whelmed. Compared to today's games on Steam, it is definitely showing its age, as a scaled-down FSX. It looks like one of those gamer-built efforts which show up for as free apps on phones... Still, it obviously isn't one of these at 10GB download.
I was hoping for something a bit more gripping, maybe a few samples of what flying is all about, or a bit of drama, or even humour. Think Rod Machado who did the built-in training in earlier sims, but without the wit or charm:)
Anyway, I might pop some screenshots from my flight here if there's any interest.
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Re: Dovetail Flight School

Postby Charl » Fri Jun 24, 2016 5:27 pm

I first started typing: "None whatsoever" but on balance thought that a bit uncharitable.
Might one enquire what made you install and run this?
I could understand idle curiosity :)

I clutch my beloved tuned-to-FS9.5-standard MS Flight Simulator and hope that someone will release the state of the art bells and whistles 64-bit sim that will make me dump it.
Hoping also this will happen before my more-than-10-year-old XP box falls over.

Golf still an option...
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Re: Dovetail Flight School

Postby toprob » Fri Jun 24, 2016 5:49 pm

I guess you are right with 'curiosity'. This is part of the 'family' of sims which flesh out the hobby, albeit from the point of view of newbies rather than those of us who have been at it for years. And an important point -- if it is popular on Steam, (which it appears to be) then it may lead to more Dovetail Simulator users when it comes out, and therefore more customers for developers :D One day I might be mainly selling scenery on Steam!

P.S. I'd love to return to golf, but I'd have to win the lotto first...
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Re: Dovetail Flight School

Postby Ian Warren » Sat Jun 25, 2016 9:08 am

A lot of this flight school stuff can learn straight of, for example using the A2A Cessna and Piper, how to use NDB and VOR and moving into ILS is second nature to many now. Lotto I would be interested in if the chances were as good as the "screen shot competition" .. have to by a ticket first, ... Golf , give that one a miss, don't see the point of wandering a paddock trying to put a little white ball in a hole.
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Re: Dovetail Flight School

Postby cowpatz » Sat Jun 25, 2016 9:43 am

toprob wrote: ......And of course it is the preview to the next big thing, when Dovetail release their full simulator built on FSX........


Why try and rewrite a new sim based on a very old graphics engine? Surely that would limit it as LM are finding out.
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Re: Dovetail Flight School

Postby Ian Warren » Sat Jun 25, 2016 10:05 am

Interesting this popped up this morning and may off help to you Rob
Watch on youtube.com
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Re: Dovetail Flight School

Postby toprob » Sat Jun 25, 2016 11:41 am

cowpatz wrote:
toprob wrote: ......And of course it is the preview to the next big thing, when Dovetail release their full simulator built on FSX........


Why try and rewrite a new sim based on a very old graphics engine? Surely that would limit it as LM are finding out.


Yeah, except that this is all we have. Look at the kerfuffle (wow, the spell-checker didn't complain about that...) about the attempts at completely new sims lately -- the problem I guess comes down to financing a new venture. How much would you need to build a new sim from scratch? $20 million? Actually, Lotto will give you $25m today, so maybe we should all have a crack!

And really you could say 'why would LM build on a sim which includes features going back to 2000?' It kind of works, that's why, and although I don't see it being hugely cheaper, it is obviously cheap enough to make it viable.

In an ideal world, we'd have a new energy source, as well, and although we all see the need for that, it isn't happening, or at least is isn't happening fast enough.

I would love a new sim, today you could have a sim data-driven with up-to-date, almost live data, total immersion, and able to cope with an almost endless number of systems, without giving up to desktop. Maybe one day we'll have this, but for the moment I'm keen to see anything and everything which might give us at least some way to keep this rather archaic hobby alive.

Ian -- that's quite cool, I like that they talk about the sort of problems I invariably have as if they are just normally daily issues, so I can feel a lot better about myself. I will say that my first landing in Flight School (Omarama) was spot-on, which says more about how much it is like FSX, more than my skills.

Which reminds me, I need to deal with the issue with the Dunedin DEM, which causes AI ATRs approaching NZDN to fly into the hills...
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Re: Dovetail Flight School

Postby Ian Warren » Sat Jun 25, 2016 12:25 pm

toprob wrote:Which reminds me, I need to deal with the issue with the Dunedin DEM, which causes AI ATRs approaching NZDN to fly into the hills...

That needs to be fixed ..can't have Dunedinites going for coffee perishing on Saddle Hill and or the surrounds, be bad for your business reputation :)
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Re: Dovetail Flight School

Postby Charl » Sun Jun 26, 2016 10:19 am

toprob wrote:Yeah, except that this is all we have.
Early days, but the word is Aerofly FS 2 looks pretty good in comparison to Flight School.
Where it goes from here...?
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Re: Dovetail Flight School

Postby cowpatz » Sun Jun 26, 2016 10:53 am

Haven't heard much from the Outerra project of late. We need an update from Kelvin.
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Re: Dovetail Flight School

Postby toprob » Sun Jun 26, 2016 11:10 am

Charl wrote:Early days, but the word is Aerofly FS 2 looks pretty good in comparison to Flight School.
Where it goes from here...?

Yes, it's a possibility, I haven't tried it as it doesn't include NZ... yet...

cowpatz wrote:Haven't heard much from the Outerra project of late. We need an update from Kelvin.

I did allude to this with my 'kerfuffle' comment -- they've had problems.
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Re: Dovetail Flight School

Postby toprob » Sun Jun 26, 2016 4:49 pm

I must admit the online videos of Aerofly look nice, with a good representation of distance and speed. Combined with very nice water, and airport ground textures, it is quite 'together' compared to Prepar3d, which is great in parts, but other bits still show their age.

i did go looking for a clue to how long -- if ever -- before we get to see NZ depicted, and the answer seems to be -- when I do it myself...

Ian Warren wrote:That needs to be fixed ..can't have Dunedinites going for coffee perishing on Saddle Hill and or the surrounds, be bad for your business reputation :)


Actually, this is being fixed, they are removing the southern-most hill, so Saddle Hill with become... just Hill.

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(This is Prepar3d, of course, not Flight School!!)
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Re: Dovetail Flight School

Postby Ian Warren » Sun Jun 26, 2016 5:30 pm

One lump instead off two ... it must have been cancer ... or ATR that they are searching four :unsure: or five :P
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Re: Dovetail Flight School

Postby toprob » Sun Jul 03, 2016 3:25 pm

I installed the Diamond DA42 which was promised free to pre-orders. There's been a lot of chatter about poor performance with this, but I can't say I noticed any real loss of FPS -- on the other hand, provided it runs smoothly, I don't tend to worry. FPS is never going to be a major goal for me.
However my first twin engine lesson crashed to desktop before I could even take off. Not a good look, considering that I don't think I've ever crashed P3D, except through my own 'experimentation'.
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Re: Dovetail Flight School

Postby Ian Warren » Sat Jul 16, 2016 6:23 pm

Still need to fully d/load installed the program, $5.00 payware sitting here as backup ... will required a New HD tho to install .
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