Planning ahead to 2017

I did say that I wasn't going to make any announcements or promises for next year, at least until things become a bit clearer, as far as the future of New Zealand scenery goes. But it's no secret that I plan to release a new Real NZ Wellington next up, so I have been trying to figure out what this will entail. Things have changed since I began the update as part of the Subscription, so I have been fine-tuning things a bit to cater for a different customer base and user requirements.

Some of this can't really be settled yet, such as what sim it will be for -- it will definitely be for Prepar3d, but I might explore some other sims, such as X-plane 11. I have no idea if this is feasible for me, as I've always been a firm fan of the MSFS family of sims, and their derivatives. But times change, so I'll change as well.

Just to recap, Real NZ Wellington will be a new release, rather than an upgrade to the previous FSX Wellington, and will be sold as such -- the only exception is that it will be free to those who have previously purchased a subscription. Subscribers already have a photoscenery of the greater Wellington region, and they will be able to download any new Wellington release directly from this site the same way that they download the subscription scenery, all bought and paid-for. But I have been rethinking what the Real NZ Wellington scenery will cover.

The existing Subscription coverage for the Greater Wellington Region.

Since a large percentage of my customers use Orbx scenery, it might make sense to concentrate on the airport and city only, although as the greater area photoscenery is already done, it will be part of the release somehow. It may be that you'll be able to download Real NZ Wellington covering the airport and city, with the option to download the larger photoscenery. Subscribers who use the photoscenery may need to redownload it, though, as I may tweak the imagery a bit. Since releasing the Subscription version I've changed my idea of what the colour/tonal range should be, based on Real NZ Dunedin. The Dunedin aerial imagery was about the best you can get, so it's tricky to match the quality, but I'll try to improve it as much as I can. There haven't been any new Wellington photo coverage released in the last three years, so the base imagery will be the same, it'll just be adjusted a bit richer.

It will probably use SODE airbridges etc, as these worked flawlessly in Real NZ Dunedin, albeit with just the two airbridges -- there are a few more in Wellington. Like Dunedin, there will be a high resolution elevation mesh, but I'm still stuck with the need to flatten the Wellington runway, which kind of defeats the purpose of an extra-nice mesh. That's one of the reason why I want to look at X--plane, which allows non-flat runways....

While I was working on Dunedin, I did rethink what should be included in a 'Real NZ' release, so I'll need to think about this for Wellington. For the previous Real NZ Wellington, I always wanted to include Paraparaumu, and in the end this was released as a freeware 'sampler'. However the new Real NZ Wellington might only include NZWN. I'd love to be able to release both Paraparaumu and Hood Aerodrome/Masterton, but these may be packaged together in a separate Real NZ release, again free for Subscribers, but everyone else will need to buy it separately.

The reason for this is that during 2017 I will need to figure out how to keep the releases coming, in the new scaled-back NZ flightsim scene, or I need to produce scenery outside New Zealand. This means that the those who want New Zealand scenery will need to decide to support me as the only full-time New Zealand scenery developer, or go without any more professional NZ airports etc. The reality is that scenery for the tiny little niche that is New Zealand requires a bigger than normal commitment from the user base -- which means they may pay more than they are used to for a quality addon scenery.

This is all just ideas at the moment, so I'm keen to hear your ideas on what people want for New Zealand going forward. One of the best ways to contribute to the discussion is via the Real NZ/Godzone forum over at NZFF.org, although of course you'll need to be a member. God knows they could do with some new members...

I'll set up a discussion thread there if anyone is keen to comment -- of course you can comment here if you are registered as a subscriber or customer, use Facebook to comment, or send me an email via the 'contact' link in the top menu here.  I will set up a discussion thread at NZFF, but please don't leave me hangin'....

I have been pottering away on a new colour/tonal range for Wellington, here's a few test shots...

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