Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Quiet progress...

Well another Albatros update here, and this one will be the last visual preview on the blog most likely, which I'll explain in a minute. I've been jamming fifteen hour days consistently into the plane over the past several weeks and I'm happy to say that all of the gauges are now finished and working perfectly. She's fully IFR capable and great fun to fly in the soup. It actually turned out to be slightly easier than I expected to get a full suite of 3D gauges built, mostly thanks to the rather clever and logical FSX SDK. I still have a fair bit of systems programming work ahead of me but getting the gauges complete and functional (all twenty three of them... per seat) was a major milestone. As with all things on this plane, there's the standard American way to do something, the Russian way, and then there's the Aero Vodochody way, which is almost always clever, elegant, and utterly bizarre at the same time. Just about every instrument on this plane is bespoke to it actually.

Just a note, I hope you're all comfortable with the metric system. The only English/Imperial system gauge is the altimeter. ;)

So why is this the last preview? Well it's because I've gotten just about all of the funky features into the cockpit that I hoped FSX was capable of and I don't feel like tipping my hand to the competition from this point on. I also rather enjoy dropping surprises on people. :)

At the moment I'm working on building the full VC model, which is about 20% complete. Then I just have to texture it (gonna need a few thousand lattes for that part), finish off the systems, get the sound hooked up once it arrives, kill all the inevitable bugs, and write one massive manual for it haha. And yeah it's going to need a massive manual. On the surface there's a great deal left to do but total effort wise I'm well past the halfway mark on this grand adventure, and that's a good feeling.

Anyway here's a shot from the rear seat (minus the gauges) of the very early and nowhere close to finished VC model haha, and one of the seat itself. It'll give you a little hint as to the kind of detail that will be present throughout the cockpit anyway. As I stated at the beginning, performance is my number one goal with this project and happily the VC is where I really get to use everything in my bag of tricks in keeping the framerate up. It's really good fun to build.



I'm still shooting for a wrap up at the end of December, but I don't have high hopes of making that self imposed deadline. It'll more likely be the end of January or early February, but regardless I'll only release it when I'm 100% happy with it. If that takes until June then so be it. Such is a labour of love. :)

-lotus

15 comments:

Sundowner said...

"I've been jamming fifteen hour days consistently into the plane"

What are you doing for living ?!? The top I can menage is 2 hours... every three days ! :D

Lotus / Ramasurinen said...

Haha, well this *is* what I'm doing for a living now, hence the massive effort and time commitment, and the fact that it has to be payware. :) If the L-39 turns out well and sells well then this will be my new career.

Doug said...

Oh wow, that's really nice.

Lotus / Ramasurinen said...

Thanks Doug. And that's *nothing*, I've only just begun. ;)

Mugar17 said...

So if you make a lotta money off of this, then are you going to continue making payware add ons, and eventually form a flight sim company?

Lotus / Ramasurinen said...

You got it Mugar, that's the plan!

Doug said...

A bit of anal video watching.
http://www [dot] youtube [dot] com/watch?v=j7i2wpEJIJc
if you watch the first 21 seconds you'll see the gear go in first, followed by a slight pause, the the gear doors close.
And I just had a feeling that your L-39 hadn't modelled this properly, which in fact it hasn't. Sorry for being so anal! And I don't even know how I saw that....

Vlad said...

Is that how David Bryce got his start? I'm guessing he's your biggest idol besides Neo, hehe.

Lotus / Ramasurinen said...

Grats Doug, you're my first real rivet counter!

The gear door animation has changed since I made the vid, along with a lot of stuff on the external actually, and still more changes are to come.

Once testing starts in a couple months though if you see something that you don't think is right then throw it at me! I'll put on my riot gear haha.

Lotus / Ramasurinen said...

Actually Vlad my biggest idol is the late Bill Hicks, but David's a good guy too haha.

Cody said...

Hahaha I can't wait for this one! Just to cure my desire, I went and got YSFlight and downloaded and L-39. But that won't come close.

Lotus / Ramasurinen said...

Thanks Cody. Haha yeah YSflight, the paper airplane simulator basically. Mine's just a weeee bit more complex. ;)

Tutmeister said...

I'm sure I've told you before, but quality is worth waiting for. I'd pay more and wait longer for aircraft that of an obvious high standard.

Your knowledge, the fact you've flown in one and had hands on, the fact you are so dedicated and the fact you are already well known for putting out only quality material makes this wait all the more juicy! :D

Lotus / Ramasurinen said...

Thanks Tut, that's really kind of you to say. Cheers for the vote of confidence. :) This plane will be stellar if it kills me, and considering that it denied me yet another night of sleep last night, it's well on its way haha.

Anonymous said...

Keep going on! It looks great and it will looks more than great after!!