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ATCpro update news

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Tom@FlagMountain View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Tom@FlagMountain Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: ATCpro update news
    Posted: 28 Aug 2016 at 12:28pm
The voices that you hear in ATCpro (text-to-speech, or TTS) were licensed from a third party that specializes in TTS.  We have been notified that they are terminating our license agreement effective December 2016.  (They are not being arbitrary.  We understand the reasons.) 
 
Obviously we absolutely must replace the TTS voices in ATCpro.  We contacted several other TTS companies, found one that is friendly, and have just signed a new license agreement for TTS voices.  The entire TTS module in ATCpro must be re-written to be compatible with the new voices and TTS engine.  The new engine is written in C, and we wrote ATCpro in C#, so there are what are known as interop calls and a wrapper that must be written so that ATCpro can talk (no pun intended) to the new TTS engine. 
 
I am now deep into the re-write work, learning more about interop calls that I ever really wanted to know, and resolving associated technical issues.  This is our #1 priority and has my full attention.  We have tried to remain responsive to forum posts, questions, bugs, and issues, but we absolutely must get the new TTS module ready for release, and we have therefore been a bit distracted.
 
We are planning an update release of ATCpro for November.  We are keeping the bug list updated, and this release will address the known bugs as well as providing the new TTS module.  It is a very busy time for us right now, so we trust you will be patient if we don't appear in the forums as often as we have previously.  I still try to get to the forums at least every other day.
 
We will have more information posted as we get closer to the release date.
 
We deeply appreciate your loyalty, support, and patience.
 
Regards
 
Tom Murdock
Flag Mountain Software
Tom Murdock
Flag Mountain Software
ATCpro Project Team
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kenatc View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote kenatc Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 Aug 2016 at 3:16pm
Tom,  No problem.  Yell if you need any thing from us.  Would be glad to aid in any way I can.
Retired ATC from KSTL
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pinback View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pinback Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 Aug 2016 at 6:14pm
Why would they terminate the license?  I know no answer can be given, it's just... odd?  Maybe it isn't.  I don't know anything about anything.  :)



Edited by pinback - 28 Aug 2016 at 6:19pm
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Salad View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Salad Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 Aug 2016 at 6:35pm
Totally agree with kenatc. This is a great program, the more I use it the more I realise how much work and thought that went (is still going) into it.

Graham
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote andrewatc Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29 Aug 2016 at 12:12am
Thanks for the update! Looking forward to the next release. This program is great, as others have said, and no doubt must take a lot of work.

Tom, any chance you can post an updated bug list?

Andrew
SW3, SW4 Captain in CYYC
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote Gimbal Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01 Oct 2016 at 1:51am
Originally posted by pinback pinback wrote:

Why would they terminate the license?  I know no answer can be given, it's just... odd?  Maybe it isn't.  I don't know anything about anything.  :)


Maybe it's an issue between Flag Mountain Software and Aerius Design? Regardless, if there is any legality surrounding the issue I don't think we will ever get an answer. Even if they wanted to tell us.

I absolutely love this simulation but I'm trying to keep a clear head and we all should.

There is a reason why so few companies have devloped ATC simulations throughout the years.


We have a (fantastic) simulation for an unfortunately extremely niche market that's not coming close to hitting target sales and is now running into unexpected licensing troubles with a key feature of the game. 

This is just the market nature of niche sims, unfortunately. In a market dominated and saturated with mainstream casual titles, it's extremely  hard to pull customers into niche sims genres who have no prior interest in what it is simulating. Especially when you're talking about a complexity level such as this. It's awful and it sucks for people like us but that's the way it is. Cry

95% of people buying hardcore specific simulations such as this will be people that already have a fundamental interest and understanding of what is actually being simulated. Unfortunately by just the nature of hardcore sims that group is already small from the start. You're already restricted to sales in such a small group.

It's very hard to get new people interested by spreading the word and making social media posts. It just does not really work this way in the hardcore simulation market. You can target specific areas via media and social interaction related to the niche that you're simulating but at the end of the day someone with only a passing interest in how ATC works and who lacks the fundamentals and basic knowledge of both air traffic control and aviation will not find a hardcore simulation like this very rewarding or engaging.

(I do personally believe FM would benefit very highly from a social media manager but that's a discussion for another time! If you need one, I'm available though, completely serious. :P)

Similarly, I would not expect most people with a passing interest in space flight to find Space Shuttle Mission Simulator 2007 rewarding and engaging as they run through pages and pages of checks while programming OPS into the flight computer, regardless of just how great the simulation actually is.

These are issues inherent to the simulation genre and even more so to the hardcore simulation market. Lets all try and remember that when we get bummed that development is moving slow or unexpected issues are arising.


The developers have done a great job creating this wonderful simulation and I know we are all very grateful for their efforts and hard work.

I'd love to see the simulation upgraded and maintained for years to come, and I really hope it is!

With that said, we as a community need to remember and understand no matter what happens the developers have families to feed and that at some point, continuing development after a major setback such as this or on a product that's failing to meet sales goals and remain profitable (If that's still the case and the post made recently about this is still valid) may not be the best thing to do. It might not be in the best interest of the developers both professionally, personally and financially to continue development.

I don't want to sound so negative. I'm really not trying to. I guess what I'm trying to say is: Lets be thankful to the developers for the time and effort they have put into this sim and for the countless hours of enjoyment we have had so far.

Hope for the best, expect the worst and give all the props you guys can to Flag Mountain and Aerius designs for finally giving us the simulation we've wanted for so many years.

Thanks guys, for an amazing simulation, amazing support here and by email and for continuing to update and improve the sim. Clap 




Edited by Gimbal - 01 Oct 2016 at 2:27am
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote bill3810 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01 Oct 2016 at 9:47am
+1

And as a hard core Military Simulation enthusiast what has kept some of these hard core sims going for as long as they have been especially long after development has stopped is the formation of groups that play the simulation.  In the military simulation world it is Virtual Fighter Wings and Squadrons.   Within these groups are very comprehensive training programs that include some real world active and retired fighter pilots, general aviation and commercial pilots. These groups keep this stuff alive and motivate others to purchase the program and join the groups for the training and multi player experience.

I"m not sure how much of this would translate over to this simulation especially with no Multi Player functionality however if this was something that made it's way into the simulation at a later update, then I feel this would open this up to a whole new level.  Playing across the world one sector working with another, live with coordination, back channel communications etc...

One might be inclined to start a virtual ATC group with this simulation as it's base, provide a training program and regular get togethers with fully staffed sectors all across the USA.

Nothing wrong with a little hope is there?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Tom@FlagMountain Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01 Oct 2016 at 11:02pm
Andrew:
 
We now have the new TTS working in beta.  Will be out of town for the next week, but will then post and work on the bug list.
 
Regards
 
Tom
Tom Murdock
Flag Mountain Software
ATCpro Project Team
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Tom@FlagMountain View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Tom@FlagMountain Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01 Oct 2016 at 11:03pm
Pinback:
 
The company was bought out by a larger company and they wanted to take the TTS product in a new direction, and have exclusive control over it.
 
The news is that we have the new TTS module up and running in our beta test environment.  Stay tuned.
 
Regards
 
Tom
Tom Murdock
Flag Mountain Software
ATCpro Project Team
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote nikita787 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 Oct 2016 at 5:57pm
does it look like you guys are gonna consider making new facilities in the future? if so what's on the horizon?
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