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paul webster

SIM720 Release Augusta Regional Airport (KAGS)

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Augusta_product_2.jpg

SIM720 announced today the release of their latest product Augutsa Airport (KAGS)

 

This interesting airport in Georgia has a long history dating back to WWII where it was a flight training school, now it’s a regional hub for commercial flights. Used by US Airways and Delta. It also sees a surge in traffic for the Masters Golf tournament.

 

Features

  • High-res ground polygon.
  • Photo-real layout and textures (30cm resolution).
  • Hand placed hi-res buildings within airport boundaries.
  • Animated People.
  • Extensive library of airport clutter.
  • Accurate taxiway lanes.
  • Custom made static aircraft.
  • Custom night-lighting.
  • Compatible with Default, MegaSceneryEarth and Orbx Global.
  • DX10 compatible.
  • Installs into FSX, P3Dv1 and P3Dv2.

More here

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There appears to be a massive difference between the first launch of caernarfon and inverness and the last 2 releases, whats gone wrong?

take the cars in the car park of each as an example , the latest effort is pretty poor

lets hope the next project gets back to the old quality

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The lights in the parking area look odd, the light shines down but doesn't show on the ground.

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There appears to be a massive difference between the first launch of caernarfon and inverness and the last 2 releases, whats gone wrong?

take the cars in the car park of each as an example , the latest effort is pretty poor

lets hope the next project gets back to the old quality

 

What do you deem a massive difference? What don't you like about the cars?

A bit more detailed feedback would be nice then i can look at addressing it.

 

Paul

 

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The lights in the parking area look odd, the light shines down but doesn't show on the ground.

 

This is the same at all our airports, its like this because you can't have a lightmap on the groundpoly and keep DX10 compatibility, we opted for DX10 compatibility as thats what customers have told us they want.

You can disable all the street lights in our control panel.

 

Paul

 

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Brit,

 

Are you judging this airport on a quick glance at a handful of screenshots? The difference between this airport (and indeed KSBA Santa Barbara) when compared to the previous ones is that these two are larger, and have a lot more car parking space. When car parks are relatively small and surrounded by buildings and other objects in close proximity, they (IMO) tend to blend in better, which might be one of the reasons for your comments.

 

As a beta tester for SIM720, I was honest enough to admit that I did not think that I had contributed enough useful feedback to the team prior to the first release of KSBA Santa Barbara, and that I would do better next time. Consequently, the beta team have been actively involved with the development of KAGS Augusta Regional from a (relatively) early stage, and this has allowed us to make constructive comments early enough for certain things to be addressed. That being the case, I think that the overall quality of the runways, taxiways, aprons and their respective markings is superior to that of KSBA Santa Barbara. There was some criticism of the 3D buildings at KSBA Santa Barbara (completely unjustified in my opinion), but I still think that the SIM720 team have done a fantastic job with the buildings at this airport. The two green roofed terminal buildings are works of art, and look beautiful. They also have modelled interiors, and there is a nicely animated US flag flapping in the breeze!

 

As Paul has already stated (and can be seen in the screenshots on the SIM720 website), the lighting at KAGS Augusta Regional is exactly the same as that in previous releases, so there is no reduction in quality in that department.

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I dont want to start a bun fight guys, if you look at the cars  and the way they are made in the early airports they resemble the real thing , these latest are nothing like the real thing , the runways on the early sceneries look very good  these latest ones look like they have been made with some happy shopper software, I admit I am only looking at the release photos so maybe the real scenery is better, but that is all I have to go with at the moment and any potential client will look at the pics and make his judgement likewise

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The runways and taxiways at KAGS Augusta Regional look very good, Brit. I can perhaps understand your concerns with respect to the cars and car park markings, but the quality of the runways and taxiways are way beyond anything possible with "happy shopper" software (which I assume means "bargain bin"). These are the most important aspects of an airport for me, and I made it a priority in my beta testing duties to make sure that the team were notified of any improvements that needed to be made in this department. I think that they have done a good job with the textures, markings and subtle details.

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Have to say Nige as another beta tester who looked at the runways and taxiways, I'm with Chris they are pretty damned good IMHO. There's always room for improvement in any product but I think the 'happy shopper' comment is well undeserved and best withdrawn, unless you have some evidence showing a specific problem or area that is unrealistic? Cheers K

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as i said no bunfight but I cant be arsed to upload the two pics that show what i mean, needless to say I wont be buying.

i made a personal observation and everyone gets on their high horses it was meant as constructive criticism  which no longer seems to be appreciated in the uk these days

let the market place take its course and lest see if joe public gives it a thumbs up or down.

 

 

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Aww come on Nige constructive criticism is always awesomely accepted. Maybe Chris and I missed something? If you think something's not right put it front and centre so we can take it on board. I'm man enough to admit if I missed something and the team would appreciate any pointers I'm sure for improvements.

Sorry if my previous post came over a bit combative, you know I love you really :) cheers K

Please post the pics :)

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I'll throw a spanner in here: having looked at some screenshots (and YouTube vids) of Oban/Caernarfon and Augusta (promo screenshots only), I must say that the Augusta runways/taxiways seem a bit too clean for realism. Checked with Google Earth and the real runways at Augusta show much more wear than in the sim. So, maybe Nigel has a point? Problem is, he's not as polite as mois!

 

Cheers - Dai. :cool:

 

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Dai, all opinions are valid, especially so when they aren't the same as mine :) I'll take another look at GE! But Chris and I have been critical of some early wear attempts..maybe the team overcompensated in the other direction :P. Cheers K

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To me it's a pretty nice looking airport and well done by the crew over there, I mean, look at that baggage area and main terminal building. I also think that repetitive cars in the park area are away of keeping the package size down, although having the brightest ones stand out more doesn't help with realism. Nothing wrong with Nigel pointing it out as I noticed right off the bat too. One of the reasons we are here to help each other out on making buying decisions, right? 

 

I also agree with Dai about it looking too clean in general as it is not a brand new airport. I was actually just spending some time looking up images of the airport before I responded here and it does look different.

 

A little personal beef I had looking over the release photos is that they are to moody, it's hard to see what things really look like. Take the only runway shot in all of them, all foggy making it hard to see what's going on with those yellow patches in the grass, along the sides of the runway. I don't mind a night screenshot to see what the lighting looks like but the early dawn and late dusk shots don't show me anything of substance. I will say the signage/markings are excellent.

 

I am not a beta tester nor do I own any of their products, I don't walk around airports so personally hate paying extra for detail that isn't often seen. As long as it looks good from the parking stand and the taxiways(nice realistic grasses and tarmac) it's good enough for me. Does it have grass like ORBX scenery or is it a photoscenery in the infield, I couldn't tell.

 

If I really wanted a good representation of Augusta Regional for some reason, I would take a very long look at this product, it is very good from what I could see, I would probably balk at the price, preferring around a $20-25 dollar price for this style airport, or buy it if it came up on sale, because in all reality, I would not use it enough to justify it.

 

Hey, just my opinion and I doubt it would make someone not buy it so no harm no foul. We are all adults here and just making small talk. :)

 

     

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I guess when it comes to expressing opinions, most can do it with polite courtesy, offering valid constructive comment (not just criticism) with aplomb. Others just come across as pompous pillocks.

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I meant no disrespect, Brit. It's just that the quality of the runways and taxiways at this airport is very good. As I have previously mentioned, you have a point with the cars and car parks, and (for the record) the grass has been mentioned elsewhere as needing attention. Kevin and I will make sure to discuss this with the SIM720 guys.

 

I think it's best if I do not respond to Andrew's comment above.

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Updated 13:30z 28/06/2014

 

I don't like the runways and taxiways either, the default has skid marks and wear, likewise the aprons are clean, are you telling me aircraft don't leak oil! Also, there are no water reflections on the runways or taxiways when wet, one of my favourite features!

 

I have just installed the product and here are some comments from me-
 

The cars are not brilliant close up, someone has made off with the front end of this one...
foLuV.jpg

From a mid distance they are ok, acceptable in my book, considering the cost of the product.
OMt8S.jpg

 

Building textures are very good, albeit a little flat looking?
mXC6Z.jpg

 

What I like is the view all the way through the halls to the aircraft with people milling around inside.
axbw0.jpg

 

..Although inside, it is a bit like the ministry of silly walks!
sxGyM.jpg

Bless you! that's the first time I have seen that.
N14ZU.jpg

Very clean apron, no oil etc.
Mw2gk.jpg

Another sneezer, there must be something going around
Lr408.jpg

SIM720. Overview very nice, the runways look OK and pretty spot on compared to Google. 
WoLj.jpg

 

Real world
ScreenShot1.jpg~original

Dusk, the floodlights on the apron do light the ground, an interesting effect.
Wy9eK.jpg

No ground light in the car park, it looks odd.
3L6zd.jpg

P3dV2 - The shadows from the trees work but the cars, lamp post and flag pole do not cast shadows.
EgU9.jpg

The runway in P3D, quite bland with no wear and tear other than on the markings.qALy.jpg

When it rains there is no lying water (P3D)
BieA2.jpg

..Unlike the default textures (FTX). (P3D)
SyiEY.jpg

Back to FSX -  no water
lfcjC.jpg

 

FSX default (FTX running as well) - there is water

wA16.jpg

SIM720
x0pvy.jpg

Default FSX, not brilliant either but it has skid marks etc.
gGWAl.jpg

These shots are unedited and have no flowery weather effects so draw your own conclusion. Overall it is a nice rendition, the runways, taxiways and apron are of a very high quality albeit pristine looking.

If having to make it DX10 compatible means I have to have runway textures that don't depict water then I rather it wasn't. You get the same results in P3D.

The rest of the design is well above average and good value at £19.19 inc VAT.

 

Overall a 8.5/10 from me in its present state and I am sure it would benefit from some more TLC from the crew at '720.

 

Cheers,

 

Joe

 

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I meant no disrespect, Brit. It's just that the quality of the runways and taxiways at this airport is very good. As I have previously mentioned, you have a point with the cars and car parks, and (for the record) the grass has been mentioned elsewhere as needing attention. Kevin and I will make sure to discuss this with the SIM720 guys.

 

I think it's best if I do not respond to Andrew's comment above.

 

no disrespect taken Chris, I was only making what I felt were valid criticisms based on their publicity photos, little realising that there were beta testers on site who understandably feel that their efforts are being criticised by a know it all, know nothing.

  Kevin , you know I like to cross swords with you as well as agreeing with you from time to time.

It all goes to show how passionate we all are about our hobby

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Thanks for the mini review, Joe - possibly the fastest review on record?!? Oh yes, does it get the Bronze Award (Shuddit!! - Ed).

Funny about night lighting textures on the ground - or is that DX10/P3D?

Shadows by scenery objects? Another inconsistant FSX/P3D feature...

By the way, the discussion above just shows what a friendly, yet robust lot we are, eh? Result.

Cheers - Dai. :cool:

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Brit,

 

No problem, mate. You have every right to state your opinion, and your comments will be taken seriously by the SIM720 team. I guess I am just one of those guys who likes clean runways and taxiways! As Kevin has already mentioned, we both criticised early attempts to depict runway "wear and tear", so maybe the SIM720 guys thought that the majority preferred their runways like that?

 

Joe,

 

I am curious about your "runways should be asphalt" comment. Since the runways and taxiways are a GP layer, the shade of grey that they exhibit does not automatically dictate whether they are asphalt or concrete. The SIM720 guys initially gave the main runway a much darker grey texture, but if you look at the Google Earth image, you will see that most of the main runway is actually very light grey (with a darker background). I pointed this out to the team, and they corrected it (keeping the darker section where the two runways and associated taxiways intersect). They also added the fancy "jagged" pattern at the edge of the taxiway exits (which can also be seen in the Google Earth image).

 

I understand the issue with the cars, and I will be discussing this with the team in due course. The "anomaly" with one particular car that you noticed (in your screenshot above) appears to be identical to several similar issues that we identified during beta testing, so presumably this one "slipped through the net". I am sure that the team can correct this.

 

I also agree with your comment about the lights. Whilst the SIM720 guys have presumably received a lot of feedback from DX10 users regarding compatibility, I do think that realistic ground lighting in the car parks and on the aprons would make a massive difference to the "ambience" at night. I use DX9 mode in FSX, so I am slightly biased in that department!

 

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Hi Chris,

 
I have been looking at Google Earth and after carrying out some more research I owe you and 720 an apology, I should have taken more notice which runway I was using. Apparently 17/35 is concrete/grooved, in good condition and 8/26  asphalt, in excellent condition. I will edit my previous post to reflect this. However, I still maintain that the rubber and oil needs to be added where appropriate and that the GP should really be able to depict laying waters.
 
Thanks for acknowledgement about the cars and the lights, I use DX9 too, it is admirable to respond to user requests, but other than simmers with Steves DX10 fixer I cannot see the wisdom of forcing it to be compatible with DX10 as FSX is not natively compatible, it only really has a preview mode. Surely there must only be a small percentage of FSX users running DX10. (Leave it there...Ed!)
 
All the best.
Joe

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I completely agree with you regarding DX10 mode, Joe. To be honest, I have no idea what the ratio of DX9-DX10 users is since Steve released his DX10 Fixer software, but I would have thought that there would still be a lot more using DX9 mode. I guess it just depends whether the "glitches" that DX10 users have to suffer if the lights are designed with DX9 users in mind are bad enough to stop them purchasing the product outright. Nevertheless, I will be discussing this with the SIM720 team.

 

By the way, you appear to have a point with respect to runway 08/26. The runway itself is darker than the background apron, so I will add that to my post release notes.

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Has anyone noticed that Steves DX10 fixer is not even sold anymore? :huh: Maybe adding a control panel to switch between certain users? 

 

Thanks for posting the screenies Joe, got a much better look at it. I am glad they are aware of the grass needing help because it does. No reason for it to be messy and uncut like ORBX airports, I am sure maintenance does cut the grass sometimes. :D  Maybe a little fluff here and there or along the edges would be nice. 

 

I find myself liking and not liking the airport at the same time. :huh:

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I thought about the idea of a DX10 switch too Brett, but would it mean a download / disc space twice the size?

 

I would rather DX10 was taken out of the equation completely but I bow to SIM720's considerable technical and (maybe) commercial experience. Some decisions are taken with good intentions but have a chance of biting you in the bum!

 

The grass can be turned off in the control panel, I leave it on as it looks ok from certain angles but does lack the fineness of the industry leader.

 

My feeling is this is still a great product and well worth having.

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