Tell_FS – Why I Shouldn’t Blog on Sunday Morning

From the Archive – 11/13/05

Every day, we get a number of suggestions sent to our email address. And, when I say “suggestions”, I mean letters from the widows of Nigerian finance ministers, offers for discounted Viagra, complaints about our copy protection, and . . . suggestions. Contrary to popular mythology, we read them all. The majority of the suggestions are great: well-reasoned and carefully thought out ideas from unusually dedicated and passionate customers, the kind of customers any smart business dreams of. Sometimes, though, we get ideas that are unrealistic, complaints that lack any real useful information, and suggestions that are actually offensive.

Yesterday, we got one that is all of that and more. Against my better judgment, I’ll preserve the sender’s anonymity, and refer to them only as “MD”. If you’re sitting comfortably, I’ll parse their entire message, bit by bit:

You should make it so that the scenery changes depending upon what year is entered. Like if its 1940 you’d have the buildings of NYC look all old n stuff.

We’ve actually dabbled in this area in past versions – we used to model the existence and absence of the Berlin wall based on date, for one example, and the eruption of Mt. Kilauea in Hawaii for another. The problem, of course, is that we already build everywhere, it gets almost infinitely more complicated when you ask us to build everywhen. Thankfully, if MD really wants to see NYC looking “all old n stuff”, all they need to do is get a hold of my friend Bill Lyons’ superlative Golden Wings add-on one of my all time favorites. Bill, if you’re reading this, you’d better hurry up and recreate every other moment in time. I’d like it by Christmas, if you please. 

Or if the years set to 1400 you’d just see like trees and mountains etc.

Because everybody knows there was nothing in the year 1400 but “like trees and mountains”. I have ancestors who fought prominently in the Battle of Agincourt in 1415, and, going back further, at the Battle of Hastings in 1066. They must have been pretty stupid, fighting actual wars when there was nothing at stake but like trees and mountains.

At the very least ya should make it easier for scenery designers to create time-reactive scenery.

Since I’m far from a scenery expert, I don’t really have a sense for how hard this is now, but I’m happy to agree with MD anyway and say yes, it would be great if we made it easier.


-Make altitudes over 30,000.’ more realistic re: temp, air density, etc

Okay . . . I’m willing to bet that MD has no idea what, if anything, is wrong with the way we model these things at higher altitudes, but somebody told them it wasn’t realistic. But, for the record, if I had my way, we’d remove our 100,000 foot cap, and model the atmosphere right on out to where there isn’t any anymore, which brings me to . . .

-Make it so ya can go into outer space or even the moon

We’d love to, in fact, we already did once, but it didn’t sell all that well. Regardless, we’d love to do this again, but remember when I said that building everywhen on top of everywhere is almost infinitely more complicated? Well, multiply everywhere by everything, and that “almost” just disappears.

-More dynamic scenery like the car lights there used to be in FS2000

My friend and esteemed colleague Jason has written about these in particular, but, in general, I agree. The real world is a living environment, and, in an earlier post, I offered my formula for designing Flight Sim: (Reality – Last Version) = Goals for the Next One, or More Reality > Less.

-Cars ya can drive to the airport in

We get this one all the time, and it seems silly at first, but it intrigues me. In my perfect world (where I own all the airplanes and it rains Hot Tamales) multiple titles and platforms could exist in the same world. Why should we literally reinvent the wheel(s), when our neighbors upstairs have already built titles like Forza and Project Gotham?

-Cooler explosions like when the plane crashes wt fire and people running around screaming and woman going like, "Oh my god! MY BABY, MY BABYS ON FIRE!!!". OR HEY, how bout showing like Hiroshima getting nuked if you set the date to the exact moment in 1945 when it happened.

Seriously the time travel thing would be way cool!!

MD, we were doing okay up to this point, but you are a loathsome and sad little idiot. If by some chance you happen to read this, and you can prove who you are, I have a proposition: send me your address and I will personally, out of my own pocket, refund the full purchase price of Flight Simulator 2004, just so I don’t have to think of you as a customer anymore.

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