Your comments really surprise me, Robin.
I thought that this was why I'd posted here in the first place - to encourage others within (and outside) the community to look at X-Plane, or to help develop or even share their work or projects to create a more realistic environment.
It certainly is great to get the positive feedback regarding what is being achieved by our community, but it shouldn't come down to comparing which simulator is better, or even speaking on others' behalf by saying that they may not have the time to try or support X-Plane.
You're a developer who has a great deal of expertise - and experience - in supporting MSFS and FSX. And therefore, you are one of the people you mentioned who indeed could make a difference.
In previous posts in this topic and in many private messages, I have asked for your personal assistance and guidance to help create a viable, realistic landscape within X-Plane. The conversion from FSX/P3D to X-Plane is a relatively easy task, so very little if any coding is required. Even AFCADs can be ported across without major editing. Instead, I have found myself starting this project from scratch by making and texturing my own Auckland objects (such as the Harbour Bridge complete with flowing traffic, the city skyline and NZAA) - a very time-consuming and laborious task- even though you'd freely distributed older versions of your SuperCity package to the MSFS and FSX community.
What you're implying is a catch-22: if there's no product, there's no interest. Or, in other words - "why should I invest my time creating scenery when nobody has attempted to do so before? I really do understand that you'd prefer some form of renumeration for your work. But, with anything marketable, what's needed is a HOOK. And to create a taste of what can be offered is one of the best forms of advertising out there. If you've got an old- and free - scenery package that's readily downloadable by the community, why not convert it across to X-Plane and test the response?
X-Plane does have a bustling commercial aspect as well, and consumers do purchase quality packages aimed at enhancing their flying experience. I, for one, have spent plenty of money purchasing products such as Aerosoft's incredibly detailed Heathrow for X-Plane, photorealistic terrain for the entire United Kingdom, realistic world airline traffic movements, cloud enhancement plugins and meticulously created aircraft. So, it's evident that there is a market for quality add-ons.
There are many within the community, however (Tony and myself included) who are keen to develop add-ons to others for free, as long as they're happy to use them. I'm not asking for money for the efforts I put in - I'd just like people to share in the work that I've put together. And that's a very satisfying experience to me. I've got a successful job, so the financial aspect hasn't been something I've contemplated pursuing.
Ian, I agree. X-Plane is a complicated beast. Laminar Research had done a great job of putting together a simulator that recreates effects such as prop-wash on wing surfaces, wing-over stalls (taking propellor torque into consideration), and the specific aerodynamics associated with ab airfoil (or - if it won't fly in real life, it won't fly in the sim). But it's a clunky interface, it had a very basic ATC aspect, and XP10's "plausible environment" that was available out-of-the-box was far from it. I was always attracted to realism, but their object placement engine wasn't immersive enough.
But these are issues that have been or are currently being addressed. Gone are the days of living with low resolution mesh and pretend cities. We've now got perfect renditions of airports, complete with support vehicles, animated ground crew, pushbacks and moving gates. And the skies are filled with global air traffic, flying over high resolution photorealistic scenery and through realistic METAR-downloadable weather.in a 4K environment (if your computer's fast enough...) What more could we hope for?
And that's just with X-Plane 10.50. A very fair video comparison between this version of X-P and P3D is shown here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B6jEAcJ37ko
The next generation, X-Plane 11, removes the cumbersome interface, and will replace it with a more intuitive system of navigating through every setting. It also has a completely rewritten graphics engine that addresses metallic objects, lights, fog and reflections (as seen in the above posted video link). There will be a free demo available for XP11 very soon, so you can decide for yourself.
The bottom line is that X-Plane is still being developed, and it's not going anywhere. And it has a very, very large following.
Ultimately, this is a New Zealand Flight Sim Forum - and my wish was to make this community aware of the work we've achieved to enhance their simulation experience on X-Plane. We've already got HD Mesh covering the entire NZ landscape, and Tony is doing an incredible job perfecting the high resolution photo scenery and OSM objects for the whole country. And many individuals have submitted bespoke airports and objects to create a more realistic countryside.
So, I would again like to put out an invitation to ask others here, if anyone is willing to help. We all would really appreciate your assistance!