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Old Aug 29, 2009, 06:33 AM
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Free sim R/C Desk Pilot up for download.

Hi everybody,
After many months of hard work I'm ready to let others try my flight-sim. It is just a first beta-version and nowhere near finished (software never is). But, if you're feeling adventurous, you can download it for free at rcdeskpilot.com
Features:
  • 3 airplanes with moving control surfaces
  • 3D scenery
  • wind and thermal simulation
System requirements:
  • Windows XP/Vista
  • DirectX 9.0c
  • .NET framework
The hardware requirements aren't known yet, but maybe you can help with that . I estimate that you need a fairly recent computer to run it smoothly. For now only controllers that emulate a joystick are supported, but let me know if other interfaces are useful.

Please report problems, suggestions and other experiences with the sim so I can improve it.

Thanks!
Davy

Update: Currently the latest version is 0.1.3. A list of user-created add-on aircraft can be found here. Install the add-on aircraft by unpacking aircraft archives into the 'Documents\RC Desk Pilot\Aircraft' folder and restarting the sim.
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Last edited by GeneralFailure; Nov 19, 2010 at 06:53 AM. Reason: title change
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Old Aug 29, 2009, 10:13 AM
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Davy,

Looks good, and so I've downloaded the application to give it a whirl:

The program installed but failed to run - Vista reported that the application had stopped. Tried again and got the same response.

I've attached a report in the event log which might mean more to you then it does to me. My PC is a dual core Pentium 2.00 Ghz, 6GB DDR Ram running Vista with SP1, with a dot net version of 3.5 sp1

UPDATE:

Some more info on the error:

Description:
Stopped working

Problem signature:
Problem Event Name: APPCRASH
Application Name: RCDeskPilot.exe
Application Version: 0.1.0.0
Application Timestamp: 4a98f0aa
Fault Module Name: KERNEL32.dll
Fault Module Version: 6.0.6001.18215
Fault Module Timestamp: 49953395
Exception Code: e0434f4d
Exception Offset: 000442eb
OS Version: 6.0.6001.2.1.0.256.6
Locale ID: 2057
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Old Aug 29, 2009, 11:55 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Malc C
The program installed but failed to run - Vista reported that the application had stopped. Tried again and got the same response.
Hi Malc C,
Thank you very much for testing and the detailed error report. For what it's worth: exception e0434f4d is a generic COM exception. It could mean you don't have DirectX 9.0c installed. Have you tried running as administrator or running in XP compatibility mode (although it shouldn't be necessary of course)?

In the mean time I'm setting up a virtual pc to try to reproduce the error.
Would you be willing to try a debug version if I sent you one?

Thanks again, much appreciated!
Davy
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Old Aug 29, 2009, 12:50 PM
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Hi Davy,

I'm running ver 10 of DirectX according to the report I've just run

Code:
------------------
System Information
------------------
Time of this report: 8/29/2009, 18:41:31
       Machine name: MALCOLM-PC
   Operating System: Windows Vista™ Business (6.0, Build 6001) Service Pack 1 (6001.vistasp1_gdr.090302-1506)
           Language: English (Regional Setting: English)
System Manufacturer: BIOSTAR Group
       System Model: GF7050V-M7
               BIOS: Phoenix - AwardBIOS v6.00PG
          Processor: Intel(R) Pentium(R) Dual  CPU  E2180  @ 2.00GHz (2 CPUs), ~2.0GHz
             Memory: 3182MB RAM
          Page File: 908MB used, 5683MB available
        Windows Dir: C:\Windows
    DirectX Version: DirectX 10
DX Setup Parameters: Not found
     DxDiag Version: 6.00.6001.18000 32bit Unicode

------------
DxDiag Notes
------------
      Display Tab 1: No problems found.
        Sound Tab 1: No problems found.
        Sound Tab 2: No problems found.
          Input Tab: No problems found.
Running as Administrator, or in XP compatibility mode still resulted in the same issue of the application not running, and I've also tried the obvious of downloading and re-installing but that didn't work either

If you want to drop me a PM with a link to the debug version I'm willing to try and help resolve this issue. It would also be nice if others could also download the non debug version and post their results, especially those with Vista
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Old Aug 29, 2009, 12:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Malc C
Hi Davy,

I'm running ver 10 of DirectX according to the report I've just run
Hi Malcom,
thanks for testing again. I found a machine with the same error. The problem there was that DirectX 9.0c was not installed. Beware that DirectX 10 isn't backwards compatible, so you still need to install DirectX 9.0. I installs next to DirectX 10.
It can be downloaded here

Hope this helps!
Davy
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Old Aug 29, 2009, 01:46 PM
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Well that fixes it...

As a constructive comment, I would suggest that you look at making it compliant with ver 10 as well, seeing that this is the version that is shipped with Vista by default, or look at somehow embedding it within the installation in some way. For me I would find it frustrating or very slightly annoying that I have to download several other components to make it work out of the box...

Now it works I'm off to see how it performs... shame there are no helies to play with
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Old Aug 29, 2009, 01:51 PM
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Dx 10

I agree ...you really should look into making it DX10 compatible...DX9 will not install in Windows 7, hence I can't get it to work at all...I will try using virtual xp mode.

Ken
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Old Aug 29, 2009, 02:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Malc C
Well that fixes it...

As a constructive comment, I would suggest that you look at making it compliant with ver 10 as well, seeing that this is the version that is shipped with Vista by default, or look at somehow embedding it within the installation in some way. For me I would find it frustrating or very slightly annoying that I have to download several other components to make it work out of the box...
Okay, thanks for the comment. I'll definitely try to include it in the installer. The same for the .NET framework.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Helos36
I agree ...you really should look into making it DX10 compatible...DX9 will not install in Windows 7, hence I can't get it to work at all...I will try using virtual xp mode.
Are you sure you can't install DirectX 9 on Windows 7 with the link posted above? Because that would ruin about 90% of the games. I'll try to test the sim on Windows 7 as soon as possible.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Malc C
Now it works I'm off to see how it performs... shame there are no helies to play with
There already there in my head
I'm really curious what you think of the sim itself...
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Old Aug 29, 2009, 02:30 PM
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Davy,

Hope this mini review provides some feedback which you to develop this a bit further. Please note my comments are constructive and I'm not trying to pull the thing apart.

Review:

Once the Direct X issue was resolved the application launched and once passed the initial splash screen the interface is nice and fresh. The options on the screen to set the sim up are easy to understand and I had no problem mapping the channels to the model control surface. However it would of been nice to see an option in this screen to calibrate the throws of the sticks so that when the stick was in the minimum position it bottomed out on the slider. I didn't bother calibrating the interface in control panel as it has been fine with other sims.

Graphics wise the sim is on par with the old Realflight G2 or FMS for the landscape. The models look good and the movable flaps etc are a nice touch. Movement was very fluid and smooth, and the models flew very well. The physics IMO are way better than FMS, but not quite up to the same level as some of the top end sims I've used. One thing I've noticed that worked well was the way the model reacted in a stall condition. The extra model for me didn't have the same performance as I would expected and is no where near as agile as the same model in AFPD for example. In fact it behaved very much like the the Cessna which was a little disappointing.

Collision detection needs a lot of work. On one landing I fell short and was rapidly approaching a tree, the plane touched down, but went straight through the trunk.

Sound was excellent, the engine note and sound was good, and unlike some other sims that debuted in the same way, were not stuttering or simply a wav file that was repeated over and over again with a noticeable pitch change.

Suggestions, well more models including some helicopters, and possibly the ability to use photo realistic backgrounds would be a nice touch (having said that the clouds are fantastic) Tweeking the physics slightly, for different models, and including the calibration screen would certainly give some other simulators a run for their money It certainly kicks FMS into touch IMO and will be the sim I would recommend for people to try if they are just starting and need to get stick orientation.

Oh and one other thing... change the "back to game" on the menu to "back to simulation" or something similar... as IMO its not a game

UPDATE:

Been playing the sim a bit more now and like it a lot.... The trees look a lot like the ones in my old Tiger Woods PGA game... and like I said a lot more detail than FMS.

Ground handling on the models also needs to be improved. I can't steer the Cessna and it tends to want to go straight down the runway rather than turn circles - it want to slide too much.

Gravity Sucks - please remove the message and simply reset the model

On the collision detection, I also managed to taxi through the bench as well.
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Old Aug 29, 2009, 02:42 PM
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Thank you very much Malcom for that review! The sim is certainly needs a lot work but I wanted to get feedback early on so I keep working in the right direction. I will try to put newer versions online regularly.
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Old Aug 29, 2009, 02:56 PM
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Davy,

I think for a beta release it's very good... Please keep up the good work and I'm sure that whilst I know it will be a lot of hard work it will be worth it in the end. This is IMO a very viable product.
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Old Aug 29, 2009, 03:05 PM
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One further thing.. I've just notices the wind is blowing the trees.... wow ! nice touch

I can't quite get what you've done here... the grass, trees, benches and hills all look very "computer generate" but the sky is photo real... and looks fantastic with the smoke trails. But the combination works.... It's very playable, quite addictive, and has me wanting more. I can't wait for more models and if possible more backgrounds.

Hope my comments help, and for what it's worth I've had fun in beta testing your product
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Old Aug 29, 2009, 04:13 PM
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Hey "Davy"!

Just downloaded your sim. I must say, for a beta version, it is very well put together. I agree with Malcom, the Extra could use a little "oomph", because it flies like the Cessna. I can't complain, though! Well done.
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Old Aug 29, 2009, 04:54 PM
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Davy,

Found one other small issue, that might need looking at. I noticed that the map is quite small, and when in a vertical climb it was easy to punch through the sky and go into orbit..



This must of screwed up the program as I was then able to coast down and land underneath the hills. It either needs the ceiling of the cloud base increased or the models made to "collide" with the sky, but not crash.

One other thing.. it would be nice if the user had the option to show the frame rate, hight and other such info that can be found on other sims.

Other than that.. I've not put my tx down all evening
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Old Aug 29, 2009, 05:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Malc C
... it was easy to punch through the sky and go into orbit..
I'll definitely look into it. Nice screenshot btw
Quote:
Originally Posted by Malc C
One other thing.. it would be nice if the user had the option to show the frame rate, hight and other such info that can be found on other sims.
Try the 'i' key
Quote:
Originally Posted by Malc C
Other than that.. I've not put my tx down all evening
That's the best compliment you could have given me!
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