x+s+r // [eick] + lows + edwr + ljlj

xsr eick2

Looking at the Runway 26 Kingston file yesterday I kept thinking about all the various incarnations of EICK Cork, Ireland we’ve seen over the years, yet regardless of which variant you have in mind almost all trace their lineage back to Comac Shaw’s original EICK file, and especially his groundbreaking glass curtain-walled main terminal building. The original file’s model has “stood the test of time,” too, with Shaw’s model typically considered better than most payware file/models – for any airport. You don’t have to look hard to see why such claims are made, and when you pull up to one of the Jetways at this airport and peer into the terminal for the first time its one of those “ah-h, I understand now” moments you run across all too rarely in X-plane.

So, to my mind the Kingston file begs an obvious comparison to Cork. They’re similarly sized buildings with massive glass facades and the first thing that pops into my meager mind is “why the hell isn’t a brand-spanking-new payware file beating this almost ten-year-old freeware file to pieces?” It’s a good question, too. One with an easy answer that I’m sure no one wants to listen to anymore.

Anyway, Ciano35’s regularly updated EICK Cork posted a new revision today, and so the next thing that popped to mind was “ain’t karma a bitch.” Here are some images from today’s posting, just to remind the curious what good developers were up to in X-plane almost ten years ago. I do hope more than a few FsX/P3D types take this work to heart the next time they convert a mediocre file for X-plane. You don’t have to visit too many forums to read and re-read complaints that sound an awful lot like “this developer is re-cycling decades-old-files, trying to squeeze a few more bucks out of files that should have been retired years ago.”

This followed by the sound of a door closing…

EICK

Ciano35’s EICK Cork file is located here: https://forums.x-plane.org/index.php?/files/file/39821-eick-cork-airport-ultimate-business-park-xp1011/

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LOWG hdr

fsclips posted a new freeware LOWS Salzburg last week, and then yesterday he posted a new LOWG Graz, and once again there’s an existing freeware file for this airport that isn’t at all bad. Of course, the obvious question is why? Why duplicate an earlier effort when there are so many other airports that need to be developed for the first time (Copenhagen, anyone? And yes, I read jonit’s recent announcement…). So, at the very least when such a file comes along the big question has got to be: “Is this latest effort better than the existing freeware file?” Well, let’s take a look at the two available files…with fsclips new version up first:

LOWG fsc1

And next up, danielman’s file, from 2013:

LOWG DM

First, some obvious points of comparison, and differences. Location of terminals and towers, as well as most of the hangers the line the apron are spotted correctly. fsclips’ file has a very interesting main terminal building – with PBR textures on both the stainless cladding and windows. danielman’s file has a much more accurate model of the central control tower and nicer entry facade. fsclips’ parking lots are better, and his static aircraft have all kinds of ground equipment already docked at the airplane on the ramps. As far as night textures go, fsclips’ file uses that weird forced perspective variant but even so has depth and detail, while danielman’s smeary blue and green window textures are dated and fugly.

On balance, fsclips more fanciful file has updated materials and a more visually appealing commercial apron area, and his ramp details are more up to date, too.  danielman’s version is more accurate generally but is beginning to show its age. Though both are quite good, fsclips’ version takes this match-up, and you’ll find the file here: https://forums.x-plane.org/index.php?/files/file/44366-lowg_graz/

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I look at this continuously revised freeware LJLJ Ljubljana file and think about those two new payware files in Jamaica and just have to shake my head. Again, why isn’t a brand new payware file better in all regards than a years old freeware effort? Well, the lowest common denominator is converted FsX elements, but there the similarity ends – so I’m left to speculate: maybe there are simply two types of developers in the flight-sim universe. Perhaps one is the kind that takes their time and gets the details right the first time, and maybe the other is the type who rushes a file to market with little regard for immersive details?  If so, I just don’t get it – not for a payware developer, anyway. Does the latter type of developer not care about the quality of their finished product, let alone the durability of their reputation? If so, better luck next time.

Oh, well. Here are a few night images from the latest revision to cicmen’s LJLJ file. Yes, it’s one of the better freeware files in X-plane. Oh, tdg has a version, too. I wonder how well the typical FsX version stacked up against this work?

LJLJ

This file is located here: https://forums.x-plane.org/index.php?/files/file/30857-ljlj-ljubljana-slovenia/

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There’ve been some really very interesting GA airports showing up along the English Channel and North Sea recently, so I guess it was only a matter of time until the trend continued north and east towards Germany and the Baltic region. So yes, today a new GA airport in Germany posted – that’s just perfect for working these coastal regions in X-plane. A very nice effort it is, too, with more than a little whimsy thrown into the mix, too. Bring your picnic basket…?

EDWR

The file is located here: https://forums.x-plane.org/index.php?/files/file/44386-edwr-borkum/

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CYVR hdr

One of the most maddening things about looking for freeware files is finding one and trying it out, then going back to the Org a few hours later only to find the file has been pulled. No explanations given, just a hole where something interesting used to be. And yes, that happened again this week, this time with a new CYVR Vancouver file. It posted, I downloaded the file and literally before I could open the file I went back to pull some information from the posting and – it was already gone. In the past the reason for such has typically been a file with pirated elements, other times the file has been pulled for technical reasons. Whatever happened this week, the file in question looked almost as good as tdg’s effort (it looks like a scenery library file – so, who knows?). Maybe we’ll get a new Vancouver one of these days…? Until then, tdg’s version is my go-to file these days.

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Another oddity? A city file that appears to include a bridge, a field house – and little else – other than a pledge to keep working on the file. This time we’re in for a little peek at icy Duluth, Minnesota, which holds the distinction for being one of the coldest cities in the United States.

Duluth

Well, golly, the approach lights to the bridge are correct (red-right-returning). Maybe try building out Duluth International next – which is just visible in the near distance.

File: https://forums.x-plane.org/index.php?/files/file/44371-a_downtown-duluthzip/

Oh well, it’s onwards and upwards…so, ’til next time – A

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