Alps/Southern Lakes update preview

Right now, the flightsim world is poised for some long-awaited steps forward in the available simulators. At the end of this week, Flight Simulator World (FSW) will be available in 'early access', and there are some rumours that the next Prepar3d may be imminent. We've recently seen the updated X-plane 11, and there's also the early-access Aerofly FS2, which is impressing a lot of people. So this could be the beginning of a new, exciting time, and the end of FSX, which has had a great run over the last decade.

I have said that I will look at developing New Zealand scenery for any of the new sims, but there are a few obstacles to overcome first, not least of which is the fact that we only really have one 'finished' sim in the currently active bunch. There is a lot to consider, though. I have started experimenting with X-plane scenery, but at the moment I have nothing to report -- I don't actually own X-plane yet, so I can't actually see any of my experimental scenery!  It's also unclear whether I will be able to run FSW on my system, so I'm not holding my breath.

In the meantime, I'm still working away on New Zealand scenery, for FSX and Prepar3d. Prepar3d v3 remains my all-time favourite sim, and if none of the others work out for me, then I'd be happy to remain with Prepar3d -- I mean, just look at these screenshots, just overlook the fact that they don't show any aircraft... Any new sim would need to be at least this good-looking to get me to change -- and we still have Prepar3d v4 to look forward to.

These shots show the Subscription Alps/Southern Lakes area, currently being updated with some new aerial images, plus some 'Real NZ' custom-built airports within the area. This will be released at some point as a stand-alone 'Real NZ' package, though free to subscribers. I never planned to update the aerial imagery, simply because it is a big scenery (3GB-ish), but there are a couple of reasons why I'll do the update. First, because I just can't say no to nice new aerial images, but also because the new imagery overcomes some of the previous issues related to colour matching, and tonal/colour mismatches from tile to tile.

Please don't ask about a release date, and take note that I'm still working on Wellington, and the Coromandel, but the Alps/Lakes may be finished first. Or not. Note that although the Subscription period is long-over, there will still be further releases like this, so I have re-introduced the subscription 'product' to the Store, all very low-key, but you can still buy a subscription if you wish. And you never know, maybe we'll see an X-plane scenery for this area in the not-too-distant future.

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