Wednesday, October 25, 2006

It's here! First impressions

I finally got it! Last night I installed FSX and spent about 3 hours poking around in this new world. I did so with some trepidation because of all of the problems I have heard about on the forums. I ended the evening with a pretty positive feeling.

Now, the first image here is not very impressive. This is with "default" settings. FSX looks at your computer specs and determines a default tailored to your own configuration. I guess it doesn't have a lot of confidence in my system! Anyway, this setting had framerates locked at 15. It hit that target easily, but really, who could stand to look at this barren world and fuzzy airplane?

Fortunately, after nudging the sliders up bit by bit I came up with what you see in the second shot. This looks pretty nice, but there's a performance hit. Frame rates are typically in the low teens (I'm running with framerate set to unlimited for now). The biggest problem is sudden-onset blurries. The textures look a bit drab, but I am using the current date and time so this is pretty accurate.

Here's a suprisingly nice city scene, shot from the Cub flying over Providence. A very sucessful marriage of autogen and ground textures.

The next couple of shots show the heartache of blurries. Feast your eyes on the gorgeous VC of the Grumman Goose! This was shot during actual flight, with flyable frame rates. A few minutes later, the system aparently felt a little overwhelmed, and everything went blurry, as you can see in the second VC shot.

Cars. I love those little cars! They do give quite a performance hit, tho. In my limited experience they tend to increase the blurries quite a bit. Still, they are fun to watch, and I was suprised to see they actually use ramps at major highway intersections. So you get to see them curving around clover-leaf intersections. My last shot shows another delightful suprise: when I changed the weather theme to rainy, the cars put their headlights on!

So, I'm feeling like there's a lot of potential here for some great simming. There's also a lot more work to do in tweaking the settings to find the sweet spot. Stay tuned for more.

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