cowpatz wrote:I would have thought that updating scenery to reflect what is there is an opportunity to increase revenue Rob.
What I was meaning was 'maintaining an existing airport scenery', but I can't really see any way it would pay for itself, short of nickle-and-diming folk for every little update... One project which could have used something like this was my subscription, which was an annual fee -- originally $100 -- for a year's worth of scenery. I could have marketed it differently, but really it never really took off. The idea was to figure out how much my customer base would need to spend to keep me full-speed developing, and really it was $100 at least. Doing the usual scenery development doesn't really come close to giving a proper income (and I'm not talking big income here, just a liveable amount.) It has taken me just over a year to develop Christchurch, but I can't charge that $100 for that -- it's less than half that, so I need to be a lot quicker, and release 2.5 airports a year! Or 5 'lite' airports.
Yes, freeware scenery development is really a thing of the past, there are a lot of reasons -- mostly related to the current 'customer base' -- but here in NZ it was more that tools and techniques change, and those who can only do this as as hobby don't really have the time -- or inclination -- to learn new tools/skills. Expectations are higher now, and a 'normal' scenery can be a lot more complex
Your plan sounds ideal, all you have to do now is to put it into action. I've always been keen to try a 'lite', cheap airport, I just have to find the time. In the past, these were always freeware -- Hokitika, Ashburton, Timaru etc. The problem is the time it takes to build an airport, for me in particular. I have absolutely no interest in doing a generic custom airport, I need to visit the place and only model what is there. This means that very little is 'recycled' from project to project, and it just.... takes.... so.... much.... time! One day I'd like to try spending less time on each, and one of the ways which can bring this about would be a developer-friendly 'base' scenery for the country. Sort of like Orbx, but really they see their scenery (in particular I'm talking about NZNI and NZSI) as a 'stand alone' product, with a certain amount of work done on each airport, so that you could just fly anywhere and see a non-default airport. Then there are their own payware airport releases to match.
There is really no room in their model for third-party airports. Sure, they can't stop developers, but they certainly don't see it adding any value for them.
The true Earth thing which they are likely to do for NZ might be a good base for this, but again they are not going to encourage anyone to do their own thing. Still, we already have one new developer promised for AFS2 --