Saturday, April 21, 2007

Fighting scenery tweak-itis

I've been messing around with scenery design a lot in the last few days. I'm still using the Object Placement Tool included in the SDK. It works ok, tho it has its quirks. For example, I have trouble moving an object when I re-open a scenery file. Another quirk is that if you re-scale an object after you re-open it, it apparently keeps it's original crash zone size. I found this out the hard way by crashing into a tree, even though it didn't look like I was anywhere near it.

The images in this post show my progress in making my home town, Marlboro, MA, more like the real thing. The photos are from Microsoft's You can see nothing is precisely placed, but I'm starting to get closer. My challenge now is to resist the urge to keep going back again and again to tweak. It starts to become obsessive after a while, and the worst thing is that it cuts into my all-to-rare flying time.

A couple of comments on my work. I like the airport now, I only wish I could have the road abut the end of the runway as it does in real life. Adding roads to the scenery is magic beyond my ken, and I don't want to invest the time in figuring it out. I did add a fence at the end of the runway. In reality there is a chain link fence with a stop sign on it (hah hah!). Landing a little long can get really expensive. I also added the house beyond the runway as an additional hazard. The static planes and cars really bring the place to life. The airport buildings are only approximate in type and position, as you can see. I also added some nearby landmarks, such as the greenhouses and the enclosed tennis courts. I only wish I could suppress that horrible big autogen building above the Cub's left wing.

The second series of pictures shows Marlboro's historic Main Street. Unfortunately autogen houses and trees clutter it up a bit. Still, it has enough of a semblance of the real place that it makes it a lot fun to fly around the place. I notice now I scaled up the size of the building in the lower left corner a little too much. I think I go and resize it a little. Last tweak, honest!

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