Frequently asked questions

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Subscription scenery

The Media Delivery Service is no longer offered on the Godzone Store, as it was almost never required. (2 orders in six months!)

However I am happy to put purchased scenery on a supplied USB drive, provided you include return postage. Please contact me for further details.


I do plan to add points of interest over time, and if there is a specific point of interested you are, ahem, interested in, then please let me know. One 'advantage' (or disadvantage, depending on how you look at it) of the Subscription system is that it can include minor additions and updates over the period of the subscription. Although each release should work as a stand-alone scenery, it may not be 'finished' in the same way that a Real NZ scenery is finished at time of release.

Generally the first step of any Subscription scenery area is to release the photo scenery and autogen, and then fill in the other details -- airfields, points of interest etc -- as they are completed.

So initially you will have plenty of photoscenery to explore, and at the end of the subsciption period it will be fleshed out to some degree.

 


The plan is to release each of the four Subscription areas as full 'Real New Zealand' scenery packages, available separately, but free to all Subscribers. So although you can't purchase individual issues at the moment, you may eventually be able to purchase each complete photoscenery area.


You'll hopefully have plenty of nice New Zealand scenery, yours to keep as long as you want. You will still have access to the downloads, if you need to re-download anything, provided you haven't cancelled your subscription.


If you choose one of the West Coast airstrips included in the Subscription scenery, you are normally choosing either a Vector Land Class location, or an Orbx NZSI location, depending on which you use.

If you don't use either, you may not be able to choose these airfields from within the simulator's list of airports.

Many of these airstrips don't have matching runway facilities in the simulator, so you won't start at the runway start position. This is a decision I made after considering all the options -- there are a couple of reasons why I've done things this way.

1. A runway added as a normal FS runway facility requires a flatten, but not all airfields benefit from a flatten. Sometimes you just want it to follow the terrain. One day all FS airports will do this, but in the meantime if I can have the airstrips follow the terrain, I will.

2. If I do add a runway, not only does it need a flatten, but it normally needs two different flattens at difference elevations, depending on whether you use Vector Land Class/default, or Orbx NZ. The installer will then need to switch the correct flatten files, both in the Godzone scenery folder, and in the Scenery\World\Scenery folder. This can get complicated, and cause issues down the track if you reinstall, uninstall or change the base scenery you use in the simulator.

Note that Neils Beach does in fact include a runway,  and therefore some of the files installed will differ depending on which base scenery you have installed.

 


This is the second most asked question, just behind 'what are the framerates like?'

One of the goals of the Godzone Photoscenery Subscription is to produce scenery which works well with the currently available landclass/topo bases:

  • Default FSX/Prepar3D;
  • Vector Land Class;
  • Orbx NZSI/NZNI;
  • Orbx Global.

'Works well' is quite vague, as is 'compatible with', so I'll explain this is a bit more detail.

Most of my scenery projects involve at least some aerial photo base, and the Subscription takes this to the extreme -- depending on what gets included by the time the subscription finishes, the main feature is going to be photo scenery; it's right there in the name:)

Ideally, I'd love to have a simulator which had nothing but photoscenery, but that isn't going to happen any time soon, for a few reasons -- the photo coverage of New Zealand is patchy at best, takes up a lot of disc space, and is restricted to the available seasonal coverage -- basically summer-only.

Plus not everyone likes photo scenery as much as I do. But that's what I do, if it wasn't for photo scenery, I probably wouldn't have ever become interested in the simulator.

The photo scenery available here is based on images sourced from the Land Information New Zealand Data Service. These images are almost always taken in summer, as this gives the clearest weather for this type of photography. The LINZ imagery is compiled from a huge number of images taken at different times, sometimes years apart. It is colour-corrected to a limited degree within regions, but not always between regions.

Just a bit more detail about colour-correction. I am asked quite often why I don't just change the photo scenery to match the landclass scenery perfectly. Some people see the difference between photo scenery and landclass as a problem with the photo scenery. I don't see it this way. The photos are actual photos of the real New Zealand, whereas the landclass textures are at best based on a single location within New Zealand (in the case of Orbx -- for the default textures there is normally a single landclass texture for use world-wide.)

While this is the real New Zealand being depicted in the aerial photos, the actually quality, detail and resolution may vary a lot compared to landclass textures, though, as with landclass textures, you can pick and choose the best representation of any landclass, from all the available aerial photos, and even make your own if nothing is available.

Some people find the variable nature of photo scenery a real problem, others prefer the realism of seeing the actual location as it was photographed, even if that photography only represents a single point in time, and was grabbed from a great height between cloud cover.

Anyway, back to the question. There are some limitations with combining photoscenery with any landclass scenery, including Orbx. Orbx is particularly tricky, because the actual colours and tones of their landclass textures, while pretty, don't really represent what we have here in New Zealand.

So you will notice the point at which the landclass switches to photoscenery, to a lesser or greater extend, depending on where you are and when you are flying.

However the photoscenery is generally 'blended', so that you won't see a sharp division. Note that some parts of the Subscription scenery are not blended, as these don't represent the final edge of the scenery -- however the final scenery will have the edges blended.

Here's some screenshots showing the blend at a couple of points in the Subscription scenery. The first is the current north edge of the Wellington photoscenery, (this is in fact blended even though the scenery will extend further north), and the second is the Alps, showing Mt Cook.

As you can see, you don't really notice the point at which the photoscenery gives way to the landclass scenery; however you will notice a change in colouring/tones in some cases.

The most noticeable change in tones occurs with the Orbx scenery,as Orbx use very dark, very saturated colours. I'm not entirely sure why Orbx use dark textures, but I would guess that this is to give a better illusion of light/dark balance when flying -- however these days there are some addons which better handle this, such as ENBseries in FSX, and the included High Dynamic Range lighting in Prepar3D.

Vector Land Class uses default textures in general (apart from some forest and bush textures), but these textures are carefully chosen to match the tonal range of New Zealand better -- so the blend to Vector Land Class is generally going to be better than Orbx.

(You can click on these pics to see a larger version.)

LCcompare2b LCcompare2a LCcompare1b LCcompare1a

 

There are other aspects of compatibility, which I'll mention briefly as I have gone on a bit about the landclass blend...

  • The Subscription scenery does not include any custom Orbx library objects or autogen, as these are not available for use in third party scenery;
  • However it does include some Vector Land Class library objects and autogen textures, as these are freely available for use in New Zealand scenery;
  • Where there is a difference in airport/airfield elevations between Orbx and other base scenery, I will include a fix for any airports/airfields I customise;
  • Generally Orbx objects around airports and other areas will be excluded from the Subscription scenery, but sometimes I will leave them unexcluded -- so you may see some Orbx objects in Subscription scenery, although I haven't placed it there, I've just left it there.
  • You generally won't see a lot of Orbx people-flow folk around Subscription scenery;
  • You also won't see a lot of the very nice custom-made trees which are part of Orbx -- which is a shame, as Orbx make very nice trees, but should the Subscription be successful, I would like to release my own custom NZ tree autogen at some stage.

 


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19 Comments

  1. Rob ,
    How can i change the download location (as in , where the file is placed)
    My “c” drive is almost full , however i have heaps of room on 2 externals.
    When i start the download i don’t get an option to put it someplace else.

  2. I just downloaded Dunedin. When I launched the installer only the first option (Flight Simulator X) was available, the others are greyed out. I have Flight Simulator Steam Edition and can’t select that one. Advice?

    • This is normal if you only have FSX-steam edition — this is something the FSX Steam installer does, if it finds a previous FSX installation, it will create a special ‘se’ version, otherwise it emulates a normal boxed FSX installation, to makes things more compatible with addons. So if you only have the Steam edition, just select ‘fsx’.

      • A bit of an involved process, but all went well. Will install Nelson next. Cheers. (BTW, only tried it straight screen, but mostly flying with FlyInside and Oculus Rift – keen to see how it looks tonight). Thanks for putting the hospital landing pad in there.

  3. Bernd Koehling

    Hi Bob,
    I have all your scenery installed and enjoy it a lot. Problem is, if I want to fly in other areas of the world, I’d like to untick it in the scenery folder in order to reduce initial load times. Unfortunately this is not possible, as it always reloads itself. Even if I try to remove it completely, this is also not possible, it always reinstalls itself. I never had this issue with any other scenery. I run P3D 3.4, the Godzone folder has installed itself into the main P3D folder.

    Any help would be appreciated
    Bernd

  4. Mr Corn,
    I purchased the Dunedin software via your website today
    Order number 2984
    I use Internet download manager and when I try to download the purchase all I am getting is 1 Megabyte download speed off of your server. When I download off of Simmarket I can get upwards of 12 MB speeds most of the times.
    It also does not show the file size and I think you mentioned it is in the GB range,so it would take a day to download
    Any ideas?
    Thanks
    Rick Brown
    Tampa, FL

  5. Started the download and left for 4 hours
    Came back to a completed download

    Just going to test now
    Rick

    • Hi Rick
      Sorry about that, it can be an issue with serving downloads from the other side of the world, as they are hosted in Sydney, Australia, by Amazon AWS and Cloudfront. Plus, of course, when you are trying to download it, it’s normally the middle of the night here, so support can be a bit slow:)
      AWS and Cloudfront are great for getting downloads to go long distances, but most of their strength is the ability to cache files worldwide, speeding up subsequent downloads. However if nobody has downloaded a file in your area for some time, (and US sales are not common) then there is little benefit. Normally a download manager would help a lot, but in your case it sounds like it didn’t. I’m glad you got the file in the end, and I hope that this is just an isolated problem, but really I’m not sure why it happens now and then.
      Thanks for your patience.

  6. Not a problem and thanks for the answer
    I like the scenery,top notch Robin….
    You are right up there with the big guns as to quality..
    I will be getting the other two you offer as well
    I really like flying in your country, so much to see but so little from the scenery companies,ORBX dropped the ball as well
    WIll be cheering you on from the sidelines

    BTW- I BETA test for REX,Just Flight and Milviz I also helped Bill Womack with the second version of Herons nest -the freeware from him .So if you need any BETA help let me know and I will be glad to sign an NDA as well plus I just retired so got a lot of time on my hands

    Rick Brown
    Tampa,FL

  7. Greetings, I have a question about the Autogen Description Merger Tool. I am using P3DV4.1 . When ever I use the FTX Central 3 it overwrites the files at NZDN. I understand that and when I start the simulator I get the box for the merger tool saying I should restart the sim to get the correct effect. I do and the box does not appear until the FTX Central is run again. My question is, do I need to restart the sim each time that info box shows up ? I only use the FTX central when I need to access an FTX feature. I really cannot tell which is your trees or not at NZDN, but I am assuming they are yours as the scenery is activated.
    By the way I am really glad you made the NZDN scenery as it was/is one of the go to places for our group of flyers her from the USA.
    Thank You,

    • I know that for those who use FTX Central a lot, this can be a nuisance. Basically, every time you run FTX Central, it will overwrite any custom autogen descriptions with the FTX-only version — whether or not you actually change anything else within FTX Central. That’s actually the main reason for the merger tool, to still allow custom autogen descriptions even if they are regularly overwritten by a third party tool like FTX Central.
      So yes, every time you see the warning box, and you are planning to fly in any area which uses custom autogen descriptions, you should restart the simulator. Of course if you wish to fly somewhere with default/FTX autogen only, then it won’t make any difference to what you see, so you wouldn’t need to restart in that case. The merged descriptions would take affect the next time you start the sim, provided you haven’t run FTX Central again.
      There might be a couple of ways to get around this, but it is really outside my area of expertise. For example, there are tools which set the simulator up before running it, and this may include the ability to run the merger tool before running the simulator. Or it may be possible to adapt the FTX Central shortcut to point to a batch file which runs the merger tool after exiting FTX Central. I should really do some research…
      When I was working on Dunedin, I was communicating with the FTX Central developer, and he did mention that one solution would be to have FTX Central automatically run the merger tool on exit, but this was never put into the release version. This would have been an ideal solution!
      Glad you are enjoying the scenery!

  8. Hi Robin,
    Firstly just want to say i love the work you have done so far!

    Im new to fsx and i am looking for some guidance as i dont believe i have things set up correctly regarding graphics. I have read and tried a few things but since i only care about NZ landscape then i thought id ask here.

    I have Real NZ Nelson installed and orbx NZ north island on a i7 7700k at 4.2 and gtx1080 8gb and 16gb ram. Win 10.

    Im running 4k res and scenery sliders all maxed and ticked. Fps is smooth and at 60.

    Performance is great however i feel the graphics dont look as nice as your screenshots.

    What would you suggest i do? Rex? Dx10 fixer?

    Look forward to hearing from you.

    Cheers
    Roy

  9. I have recently become a subscriber and downloaded your excellent scenery. Your NZWN airport has jetways that clash with those of GSX2
    and seem to be immovable. Can you help? Regards Keith Booth.

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