Looking at several new payware scenery files recently its become obvious that the better developers are, like Orbx, finally beginning to take the whole idea of foliage seriously, and I suppose the burning question is now “Why?” As in: “Why do I need to spend hours, if not days or weeks, putting a bunch of GD grass and flowers around my airport’s terminal buildings?” Scenery developers are in a quandary, aren’t they? It seems we’ve entered an age where flight simulation is being heavily influenced by video gaming as younger people enter our milieu, and this new audience really, really wants extreme levels of realism in the flight simulator.
Well, needless to say, the visual experience of flying into an airport, as well as taxiing around the same airport, is, well, a visual experience – whether you are in a real airplane or in a simulation – and so, on an elemental level, visual elements are responsible for pulling you into the experience. Hence, I reckon the thinking goes, the more visual detail a file has, the deeper into the experience you’re likely to go. Assuming the detail is realistic, that is.
So, look at the image above. No, c’mon…look really close. And in the next five images below…look at the structure of the weeds and flowers, and even the individual blades of grass. Seriously. Check out the trees, the type and color of the trees. Even the “runway” and the gravel road, let alone the campsite and the fishing pier and all the stuff in the woods along the way.
And, for the time being at least, this is a freeware file and its located not that far from CYBD Bella Coola, BC, Canada…
Okay, so its not a new LFPO Orly. The bottom line is that there are a lot more GA flyers than in any other segment in X-plane, and despite the inherent lunacy involved…there’s still tremendous interest in “bush flying.” Obviously, if your thing is making a Cat III landing at JFK – in a blinding snowstorm – you might think this little file is not for you, and, who knows, maybe that’s a good point of view. But…variety is the spice of life, right?
Say, did you note the campground? The area with the blue shipping container? Know why they used a shipping container? A steel shipping container? No? Never been camping in British Columbia, have you? Ever hear of grizzly bears? And, do you know why campers carry pepper spray? Well, it turns out that when bears eat people they like us kind of seasoned up a little, and pepper spray works real good.
So anyway, head on over to Threshold and read this announcement, then go over to the Propstrike Store and follow the instructions to download this freebie. If you liked the Heron’s Nest file, enjoyed lining up on a perilously narrow, rutted, short and bumpy runway and, after coming to a stop (either on the runway or somewhere off in the weeds…), you found you enjoyed the thrill of completing a real, certified ballbuster landing…well, then, this new Propstrike file might just be the joygasm you’ve been waiting for. You can just see the “runway” in the last image above, too. It’s a peach. Really, it is. Enjoy it all you want. Open this monster at Bella Coola for the most efficacious treatment of your condition, and be grateful this one doesn’t come in a suppository.
Yeehah Jethro, is we having’ fun yet…?
LIPB Bolzano must be the airport every freeware scenery developer wants to cut his teeth on, and another one came out today, this file headed for the scenery gateway. Hopefully, states the author. We’ve reviewed a couple of these files over the years, and there’s another in the Dolomite package I was unable to get to, and a few of these newer files include a city file (this one doesn’t, by the by), yet even so this latest is worth a look as it’s 1) got good performance, and 2) it looks pretty good. The last file we reviewed, with a massive city file included, was tougher on FPS, so if looking for a good file to work with a lighter GPU, this may be your puppy.
So…what’s all the fuss with Bolzano? Well, first…it’s the gateway to the Dolomite Mountain Range:
Next, it’s a medieval town loaded with charm set in the middle of the most majestic mountain range in Europe:
And finally, it’s a center of hi-tech industry too…so there’s a lot going on in town…which might explain why everyone wants to make a new LIPB file for X-plane…
Well, here it is. Kind of. Almost. But…not quite:
And this is exactly what you’ll see if you open this file with Xp 11.21. Only problem? The file is optimized for Xp 11.25, and as there are big changes afoot in 11.25 the look is radically different. Don’t believe it? Well, compare the above with the following:
Yup, the last one is a trick photo. This is also what happens when you don’t read the fine print and open the file up in 11.21 without knowing you screwed up. Or…you could just fly there at night and never know the difference…
Well, you might be able to tell, but I won’t tell… And…there are some off the wall liveries available for aircraft in the area:
Try loading the 738 as an AI aircraft, too, and watch it try to take off. Loads of fun.
Oh, and here’s the real one:
Not bad, eh? See, this is actually a really nice new file. In Xp 11.25, anyway.
You can get this new one, for Xp 11.25+, right here: https://forums.x-plane.org/index.php?/files/file/45741-lipb-bolzano-italian-alps/
Have fun, and we’ll sea you next time – C
And, oh, by the way…Xp is now at 11.25rc…:-] – I think.