Is Transport Fever a good game?

Transport_Fever_open.png

Is the game Transport Fever any good?  Is it for you? Let’s find out.

The year is 2000 and you watch as your stage-coach from 1875 comes rolling into town just past the electric tram. Your fully loaded stage of 4 passengers stops at the airport as the 747 Airline to Dallas is just taking off. Why? Because you can in Transport Fever!

Is this game perfect? Nothing rarely is but if you enjoy Cities Skylines or SimCity you just might really like Transport Fever even more.

The not-so-good (probably)

Before I mention all that’s good about Transport Fever, let’s get some of the basics, technically speaking, out-of-the-way that could be considered negatives with this game.

Tycoon Game?

Users have mentioned that Transport Fever is not a true transport tycoon game because there is no competition with other networks.  You are alone in this game as you build your networks and try not to go broke in the process (unless you are using the no cost mod of course).

Learning Curve

There is a learning curve in Transport Fever but it’s mostly due to a somewhat poor designed menu system that appears to be a bit out dated IMO.  The fonts in the menus are also smaller than they need to be which can make general navigating a daunting task until you get used to what the options do and where they are located.  You will also encounter some redundancy in menu options which can be quite confusing at first. For example, opening up the new line option can be done by clicking on multiple locations.  (Note: Fonts can be scaled larger in the settings menu (upper right) but doing this enlarges the bottom task bar and other menus to something too large for my liking!)

Laying Train Tracks

Generally track laying in Transport Fever is fun but sometimes you will find the track (and roads) do not want to go where you want them to due to uneven and height variations in terrain.  Using the in-game terrain height overlay option can help.  (It is located in the bottom right menu.)  Helpful note: A flat terrain works best for track laying but mountains and hills are fun and challenging maps to play.  

If your computer CPU and GPU are not very powerful, like mine, your frame-rate will suffer on larger maps and in later years when more transportation networks are working at the same time.    (My system: AMD Phenom II 945 x4, 8gb ram, GTX 750ti 4gb)

YouTube Gameplay of Transport Fever can help when you are just starting out or anytime

I highly recommend watching YouTube videos of basic gameplay and read about the game in the steam community for Transport Fever. (On YouTube I suggest Skye Storme or Colonel Failure as great places to start.)

 

The Good

 

A little bit like a Virtual Model Railroad

Create Virtual Transport Networks to watch the trains (boats, and planes)

Transport Fever features virtually unlimited track manipulation for creating a simple model rail system. Don’t want to mess with the mechanics of transporting all the goods?  In Transport Fever you don’t have to.  Want to transport only food? You can.  If you just want to transport people from various cities and watch your towns grow, you can do that too.  And with the no cost mod enabled you can create rail lines, ship lines and air transport lines galore.  While Transport Fever can be a great sandboxy type game for laying rail, it is not a very realistic virtual model railroad because you do not have as much control over your trains as you would in a real model rail layout.  Also, Important to note you cannot drive the train but you can ride along with it.   Note that in later years, a better computer system will be desired to fully enjoy your extensive transportation network. 

Graphics and Optimization

Transport Fever looks and plays better than Cities Skylines and I have an old machine (AMD Phenom II 945 x4, 8gb ram, GTX 750ti 4gb) until you get into the later years especially on the larger map sizes.

Sound

There are lots of sounds in this game. Some are wonderful and some can get downright annoying and repetitive (I’m thinking of the default airport, birds and train stations). But guess what? If you enjoy tweaking game files, (back up originals first) you can remove or even change certain sounds in the sounds folder. (HINT: There is a silence.wav sound which I found came in handy if you simply desire, silence. )

No Cost Mod and No End Year Mod

The Cost option comes included with the game and it makes Transport Fever the ultimate model railish transport sandbox. Enjoy laying train tracks, roads, airports? Lay them at your heart’s content and why not put in multiple tunnels underground or a giant bridge across the lake, because you can.
The game also includes a NO END YEAR mod so you can use that Stage Coach in 2047 and beyond.

Mods

This game uses community mods and they make an already great game expandable. The creators of these models and mods are truly talented artists!

I will list many of mods I use here that I believe are essential to have a great sandbox experience in Transport Fever.   (Note: As I live the USA, I enjoy mostly American looking models)

One of my favorite collections featuring Santa Fe and BNSF

A big thank you to the creators of these great models, skins and mods!

 

Conclusion

Learning curve, room for improvement? yes and yes but I highly recommend this game for the beautiful trams, stage coaches, trains, the sounds, the planes, the trucks, the endless train tracks and the fantastic working mods and models found on the Steam Workshop…….

Need Help?

As always feel free to ask if you need some basic help with Transport Fever and I will try to point you in the right direction.

 


Transport Fever on Steam

Transport Fever Workshop on Steam

Transport Fever Industrial FlowChart

How Transportation Works in Transport Fever

Transport Fever Wiki

Transport Fever Official Website

Map Creation Tool for Transport Fever

Fantastic video on how to Create your own terrain map for TpF using Minecraft WorldPainter

World Painter

Hope

Audacity

Fullyfreefilms.com


Image source

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Transport Fever: The virtual model railroad (sort of)

Transport_Fever_open.png

Is the game Transport Fever any good?  Is it for you? Let’s find out.

The year is 2000 and you watch as your stage-coach from 1875 comes rolling into town just past the electric tram. Your fully loaded stage of 4 passengers stops at the airport as the 747 Airline to Dallas is just taking off. Why? Because you can in Transport Fever!

Is this game perfect? Nothing rarely is but if you enjoy Cities Skylines or SimCity you just might really like Transport Fever even more.

The not-so-good (probably)

Before I mention all that’s good about Transport Fever, let’s get some of the basics, technically speaking, out-of-the-way that could be considered negatives with this game.

Tycoon Game?

Users have mentioned that Transport Fever is not a true transport tycoon game because there is no competition with other networks.  You are alone in this game as you build your networks and try not to go broke in the process (unless you are using the no cost mod of course).

Learning Curve

There is a learning curve in Transport Fever but it’s mostly due to a somewhat poor designed menu system that appears to be a bit out dated IMO.  The fonts in the menus are also smaller than they need to be which can make general navigating a daunting task until you get used to what the options do and where they are located.  You will also encounter some redundancy in menu options which can be quite confusing at first. For example, opening up the new line option can be done by clicking on multiple locations.  (Note: Fonts can be scaled larger in the settings menu (upper right) but doing this enlarges the bottom task bar and other menus to something too large for my liking!)

Laying Train Tracks

Generally track laying in Transport Fever is fun but sometimes you will find the track (and roads) do not want to go where you want them to due to uneven and height variations in terrain.  Using the in-game terrain height overlay option can help.  (It is located in the bottom right menu.)  Helpful note: A flat terrain works best for track laying but mountains and hills are fun and challenging maps to play.  

If your computer CPU and GPU are not very powerful, like mine, your frame-rate will suffer on larger maps and in later years when more transportation networks are working at the same time.    (My system: AMD Phenom II 945 x4, 8gb ram, GTX 750ti 4gb)

YouTube Gameplay of Transport Fever can help when you are just starting out or anytime

I highly recommend watching YouTube videos of basic gameplay and read about the game in the steam community for Transport Fever. (On YouTube I suggest Skye Storme or Colonel Failure as great places to start.)

 

The Good

 

A little bit like a Virtual Model Railroad

Create Virtual Transport Networks to watch the trains (boats, and planes)

Transport Fever features virtually unlimited track manipulation for creating a simple model rail system. Don’t want to mess with the mechanics of transporting all the goods?  In Transport Fever you don’t have to.  Want to transport only food? You can.  If you just want to transport people from various cities and watch your towns grow, you can do that too.  And with the no cost mod enabled you can create rail lines, ship lines and air transport lines galore.  While Transport Fever can be a great sandboxy type game for laying rail, it is not a very realistic virtual model railroad because you do not have as much control over your trains as you would in a real model rail layout.  Also, Important to note you cannot drive the train but you can ride along with it.   Note that in later years, a better computer system will be desired to fully enjoy your extensive transportation network. 

Graphics and Optimization

Transport Fever looks and plays better than Cities Skylines and I have an old machine (AMD Phenom II 945 x4, 8gb ram, GTX 750ti 4gb) until you get into the later years especially on the larger map sizes.

Sound

There are lots of sounds in this game. Some are wonderful and some can get downright annoying and repetitive (I’m thinking of the default airport, birds and train stations). But guess what? If you enjoy tweaking game files, (back up originals first) you can remove or even change certain sounds in the sounds folder. (HINT: There is a silence.wav sound which I found came in handy if you simply desire, silence. )

No Cost Mod and No End Year Mod

The Cost option comes included with the game and it makes Transport Fever the ultimate model railish transport sandbox. Enjoy laying train tracks, roads, airports? Lay them at your heart’s content and why not put in multiple tunnels underground or a giant bridge across the lake, because you can.
The game also includes a NO END YEAR mod so you can use that Stage Coach in 2047 and beyond.

Mods

This game uses community mods and they make an already great game expandable. The creators of these models and mods are truly talented artists!

I will list many of mods I use here that I believe are essential to have a great sandbox experience in Transport Fever.   (Note: As I live the USA, I enjoy mostly American looking models)

One of my favorite collections featuring Santa Fe and BNSF

A big thank you to the creators of these great models, skins and mods!

 

Conclusion

Learning curve, room for improvement? yes and yes but I highly recommend this game for the beautiful trams, stage coaches, trains, the sounds, the planes, the trucks, the endless train tracks and the fantastic working mods and models found on the Steam Workshop…….

Need Help?

As always feel free to ask if you need some basic help with Transport Fever and I will try to point you in the right direction.

 


Transport Fever on Steam

Transport Fever Workshop on Steam

Transport Fever Industrial FlowChart

How Transportation Works in Transport Fever

Transport Fever Wiki

Transport Fever Official Website

Map Creation Tool for Transport Fever

Fantastic video on how to Create your own terrain map for TpF using Minecraft WorldPainter

World Painter

Hope

Audacity

Fullyfreefilms.com


Image source

Modding and Making Cities Skylines Better

 

 

CS_buildings

Last time we took a look at Cities Skylines in 2018.  Today I want to discuss a few mod’s (modifications) I enjoy which serve to make Cities Skylines better and also we will look at some essential upgrades I think Cities Skylines needs “out of the box”.

Let’s first look at making Cities Skylines better with mods.  I use a few basic mods but am limited by what my computer can handle.  This is also true when downloading assets (buildings, vehicles, trees, etc) that have been created by the modding community found in the Steam workshop.  The more assets one downloads for the game the slower your game will run.  (my system specs are located at the bottom of this post for your reference)

Mods to enhance your game

 

Loading Screen Mod  One way to help speed up the loading times for Cities Skylines is by using a great mod called Loading Screen Mod by thale5.  Thank you thale5 for this great addition to Cities Skylines.

Find It! –  If you are going to be using assets in Cities Skylines, The Find It! mod by SamsamTS is an essential addition to help you quickly locate assets while in-game.  Very useful. Thank you SamsamTS for this great addition.

Move It!Move It! a mod also by SamsamTS allows for the quick-moving and copying of assets while in-game.

Fine Road Tool and Fine Road Anarchy – Two great mods that work together for allowing the manipulation of roads!  Thank you SamsamTS for these essential mods.

Ambient Sounds Tuner 2.0 by BloodyPenguin – Want to turn off or control individual volumes of sounds in-game? This mod will help you do that.  Thank you BloodyPenguin for this fantastic addition to Cities Skylines

Kra’s Realistic Ambience Sound Pack by KraIstGerecht –  And better sound pack to remove and change some annoying default sounds from Cities Skylines. (Ambient Sounds Tuner by BloodyPenguin list above is needed to use this pack)  Thank you KraIstGerecht for this great addition to Cities Skylines. 

Chirpy Exterminator by simssi – Essential mod if you want to remove the Chirpy from Cities Skylines.  Thank you simssi for this great mod. 

Slow Speed by Scott – Don’t like unrealistic speed of the vehicles AND people in Cities Skylines?  Other mods may allow control over the speed of vehicles but this mod slows the speed of the people too!  Thank you Scott for this essential mod.

Emergency Light Changer by boformer – Necessary mod if you want control over the color of lights on emergency vehicles from blue only to red and blue (American style).  Thank you boformer for this essential addition to Cities Skylines.

American Road Signs 2.2.0 by Judazzz–  Want the American green looking signs in your game? This mod does just that.  Thank you Judazzz for this amazing mod.

Daylight Classic by BloodyPenguin – Essential mod for removing the default yellow color from default Cities Skylines and giving the game a more realistic sunlight look.  Thank BloodyPenguin for this great mod.

Automatic Bulldoze v2 by mexahuk – Makes bulldoze management easier and automatic in Cites Skylines.  Thank you mexahuk for this great mod.

Road Options a.k.a Crosswalks Remover / Road Colors Changer ++ by TPB – Essential mod if you want to be able to quickly have control over your road colors and more.  Thank you TPB for this great mod.

Advanced Vehicle Options (AVO) by SamsamTS – Essential mod to allow some control over your vehicles  in Cities Skylines.  Thank you SamsamTS for this great mod.

Improved Public Transport 2 by BloodyPenguin – Great mod for allowing more and easier control over your transit system.  Thank you BloodyPenguin for this great mod.

Traffic Manager: President Edition by LinuxFan – Necessary mod if you want control over intersections, roads and more.  Thank you LinuxFan for this fantastic addition to Cities Skylines.

Building Themes (Green Cities) by BloodyPenguin, boformer, SamsamTS – Great mod for controlling your district styles in Cities Skylines.  Thank you BloodyPenguin, boformer, and SamsamTS for this great mod.

These mods are some of the best mods that simply help Cities Skylines be more accessible to the average user without adding the need for dependencies (except the sound packs)  into your game.  These mods play nicely with each other too (no conflicts as far as I know) and are easy to install/uninstall through the Steam workshop.

If you are interested, here’s a complete list of mods and assets I have subscribed to in Cities Skylines

CS_town

 

A Better Vanilla/default Cities Skylines

It is my opinion Cities Skylines could be an even better game by doing a few simple things.

Seasons.  The game needs Seasons by default or at least a Winter/Summer change (snow/no snow).

District Names Overlay On/Off Toggle.  The District Styles feature is lacking already in Cities Skylines but it really needs a simple ON/OFF name toggle to allow hiding/unhiding of districts name overlays that appear directly on your city while in-game.

Better default Anti-aliasing and Optimization.  This game seems to have memory problems and doesn’t graphically look that clean by default.  The edges on buildings, roads and well just about everything are jagged even on high settings without a mod.  In my experience any mod (such as Dynamic Resolution to counter the anti-aliasing problem only slows down older computers and seems to make my game look worse).

An American Overhaul. This is more of wish than anything but without mods, Cities Skylines doesn’t look American as SimCity accomplished quite well.  Semi Trucks with 3 trailer wheels? Railroads with catenary lines everywhere? Of course the emergency vehicles sirens are not American either and the overall look of buildings and houses don’t look anything like the kind we see in the United States.

Better Road Building Tools.  At least one that allows for sharp junctions and more control over where they can be placed.  Mod’s fix this but why not the vanilla game?

Conclusion

While Cities Skylines has weaknesses, it is still a great city builder and simulator especially with mods.

Do you play Cities Skylines? What do you enjoy about Cities Skylines? Let me know in the comments!


My System specs

Heres a quick look at my computer system. Yes I told you it was old but surprising Cities Skylines still runs okay (without many assets).   Microsoft Windows 10 Pro   System Type: 64 bit AMD Phenom(tm) II X4 945 Processor x4  NVIDIA GeForce GTX 750 Ti 4gb ram)


Cities Skylines

Cities Skylines Disasters expansion on Steam

Paradox Interactive

Cities Skylines on Steam

Find me on Steam

Hope

Audacity

Fullyfreefilms.com


Image source from my in-game screenshots

It’s 2018: Revisiting Cities Skylines

cs_snow

Today we revisit Cities Skylines, the city builder simulator/game (for computer and now consoles).  Remember? It’s that game that tried to replace SimCity 2013 and for many of us, was successful for the most part.  I have reviewed Cities Skylines in the past but there have been quite a few expansion packs and mods released since then so I figured it’s a great time to get a fresh look at the game and what I think about it in 2018.

Criticisms and Recommendation

While I do not hesitate to recommend this game especially for you who enjoy computer city builders like SimCity, I haven’t shied away from noting some frustrations with the game as well.  And at that time, the primary feature I have needed to force myself to overlook is the non-American influence and look of the in-game building models, vehicles, signage, road and track styles (Cantenary lines), etc no option to change them without mods.   Of course, since this game was made in Europe I can kind of understand the European influence but this isn’t always the case with games no matter who makes them.  (Police 10-13 for example is being made in Australia and as far as I can tell, appears to be quite American.)

Expansion Packs

Now it’s 2018 and Cities Skylines remains the only city builder for computer that has withstood the test of time and in my opinion has only gotten better.  There are expansion packs and DLC which enhance the game.  I will only be commenting on the expansion packs I have installed.

There is After Dark, which brings a few night related policies and styles to the game.  Snowfall, which brought snow-covered maps to the game, including trams for any map but did not bring us seasons, more on that later.  Match Day adds a Futball/Football stadium, which in America we refer to as Soccer.  There is the Mass Transit expansion which notably adds some more transportation options, such as Blimps, Large Airport, Taxi, Monorails, Cable Cars suspended from a cable (not to be confused with San Francisco cable cars) and ferries.  The final expansion pack I have installed as of this post is Natural Disasters.  The Natural Disasters Expansion features as you might assume naturally occurring ways to destroy your city (then rebuild it), such as flaming Meteor, Earthquake, Tsunami, Forest Fire, Building Collapse, Sinkhole, Lightning strike and Tornado.  In addition to some disaster related buildings and options, this expansion also adds helicopter air support including police patrol, fire, search and rescue and medical choppers to the game. Green Cities is the most recent expansion pack to be released which I can’t comment on since I don’t have that one, yet.

cs_one

What Do I Really Think of the Expansion Packs?

SnowFall

In my opinion, all of the expansion packs offer something important to enhance the overall game-play of Cities Skylines.  For example, in the Snowfall expansion pack the included trams are a necessity if you want to build a proper city.  SimCity 2013 included trams by default so SimCity fans will love having trams from the Snowfall expansion. Mods will let your download custom trams (such as this awesome cable car from San Francisco by stockjr97) which enhanced the city experience.  I recommend picking the Snowfall expansion pack up on a sale (either Steam or the Paradox website).  Also as the title suggests, snow is included but not as a season.  (boo hoo)

Neglecting seasons or at least Winter/Summer city building on the SAME map is a mistake because even the Sims 3 has snow and summer on the same map.  Right now, with Snowfall, (without mods in the game) a Winter map must be chosen in order to see snow and to enjoy some included winter parks such as an ice rink, ice sculpture park snowman park, sky lodge, curling, snowboarding, Christmas tree and more.  Water line heating has also been introduced with this expansion but I have not experienced it as a necessity on a non Winter map.

Mass Transit

Mass Transit expansion is a must for the added transportation options it brings to the game even if you don’t want to use them all at the same in your cities (but we try, right?).  Why wasn’t trams included with this pack?  I’ll try to understand, it’s about marketing.

Natural Disasters

In my opinion, the Natural Disasters expansion is fantastic simply for the helicopters which get added to the game!  Random disasters can be turned off in the options menu and just as in SimCity, any disaster can be summoned at will whenever—if you so choose. (Although I have noticed a curious increase in tree fires in my city since I have installed this pack).   However if you do unleash a disaster or two, remember you might want to save your city first.   (by the way Paradox, we want Alien UFO’s and a large monster to eat the buildings)

After Dark

In the After Dark expansion, I am not totally sure all that it does but it will include a prison, prisoner transport van,  nice hotel, casino, and some policies as they relate to tourism and leisure especially after dark.  Oh I get it, After Dark!   (by the way, the day/night cycle was already included in the game for free in an update.)

Conclusion

So is Cities Skylines better in 2018?  The short answer is an obvious yes but mostly because of expansion packs and mods.  The modding community has been busily creating more great content and in my opinion necessary content to the game.  I may need to do a post about that soon.

Do you play Cities Skylines? What do you enjoy about Cities Skylines? Let me know in the comments!

 


Cities Skylines

Cities Skylines Disasters expansion on Steam

Paradox Interactive

Cities Skylines on Steam

Find me on Steam

Hope

Audacity

Fullyfreefilms.com


Image source from my in-game screenshots

How to destroy a city without losing it in Cities Skylines – Natural Disasters

disasterone_CS

If you have the Natural Disasters expansion pack for Cities Skylines it’s pretty simple to wreak havoc on your city with say, a tornado, an earthquake or a meteor strike (or two or three) without actually losing the hard work you put into building your town.  That is, assuming you save it first.

cs_city

Manually Save Your City First (Disable Auto Saving and Random Disasters)

Besides simply saving your city, there are a couple of things you must do to preserve your city or town if you want to for example, watch that Tsumani flood your town.  But before you watch any natural disaster level your city, if you don’t want to permanently lose your city you will need to also disable AUTO SAVING of your game and disable random disasters.  Disabling these two options are very important if you don’t want any surprises later.

cs_options

Disable Auto Saving and Random Disasters

In the options menu (on the main menu) or within the gameplay menu while in-game you must uncheck all the entries for automatically saving your game (such as to save a game automatically every 10 minutes or more).  Why do this?  Doing this insures you will have full control over your city before and after a disaster strikes.   You don’t want the game to overwrite your city with an auto saved destroyed copy of your city by mistake!  You will also need the make sure the Random Disasters option is unchecked too.

cs_ingameoptions_marked

When you are sure the appropriate options are disabled (not checked), you can build your city and prepare your city for its impending doom.  (If you have a created a city already that want to see a disaster strike, load that saved city and just remember to make sure all the options I have mentioned above are disabled before you unleash any disasters!)

If you haven’t already, you can add some of the buildings to your city which are included with the Disasters expansion such as an evacuation bunker, early warning system, helicopter depots and radio antenna if you so choose.  It’s up to you what you do before you destroy your city just make sure it’s manually saved if you want to access it later.

 

Pick a disaster and watch the aftermath

When you are satisfied with your saved city, you are ready to pick a disaster.

The destruction caused by the disaster can be pretty devastating on your city but no worries because if you did everything correctly you will always have an untouched saved copy waiting to be destroyed again, and again if you so choose!

Obvious but important note:  Do not save your city after a disaster (without renaming the destroyed city first)  if you want have access to your original untouched city in the future.


Disclaimer:
My tips are intended for entertainment purposes and not officially endorsed by the maker of Cities Skylines. If you don’t want to lose your city, please save it. I will not be responsible for lost cities.

Like Cities Skylines? Read my review here

Like Simcity? Read about my updated SimCity (2013) (aka SimCity 5) experience here.

 


Cities Skylines

Cities Skylines Disasters expansion on Steam

Cities Skylines on Steam

Find me on Steam

Hope

Audacity

Fullyfreefilms.com


Image source from my in-game screenshots

X-Plane 11 – Should You Buy It?

Cessna_172SP_hum2
Cessna 172SP X-plane 11 over Arcata, CA

This post is a quick review of my experience using X-Plane 11.  I hope to help you answer the ultimate question of Should I buy it? while I add some personal comments along the way.

X-plane 11 is an advanced flight simulator by Laminar Research which utilizes modern 64-bit architecture found in today’s computers along with the latest GPU’s and CPU’s.    I will list the pros and cons I found in using the X-Plane 11 Demo and ultimately purchasing the complete X-plane 11 simulator on Steam.

This review represents my experience after running X-plane 11 on an older computer.

My Computer Specs: CPU- AMD Phenom II 945 Quad Core, MEMORY- 8 gb ram, GPU- GTX  750ti OC 4gb memory, HARD DRIVES- Two 500 gb, One 250 gb

Cessna_172_Hum

Pros/What I do like

User Interface (UI): 

Pleasing to the eyes.  The UI in X-plane 11 has been given a complete and welcome overhaul from past versions of the sim. Old and new users will find the settings easier to navigate and understand. Whether configuring a joystick, flight yoke or tweaking the sim’s graphics, the simple sliders, added search function and visuals make configuring X-plane 11 to your liking fun and intelligent.  I personally enjoy the new layout and views for displaying aircraft, airports, weather and the visual representations of various flight yokes and joysticks simply wonderful.

Lighting: 

Impressive. The lighting in X-plane 11 is simply amazing and in my opinion, more realistic than ever.  I have been using X-plane 10 global the past few years and after first running the X-Plane 11 Demo, I immediately noticed a vast daylight improvement over the previous version of the sim.  The sun is more dynamic and bright, with better rendered shadows–as one would expect on a bright sunny day.  At night, HDR lighting adds more realistic vibrant lights on cars, buildings, aircraft and runways.  (Note: need a good graphics card with at least 4 gb ram I recommend for HDR and to utilize maximum effects within the sim)

Sound:

Good. Aside from the ATC audio, general environment and aircraft sounds are quite realistic and pleasing.  Audio for default X-plane 11 aircraft is generally acceptable.  I have found aircraft audio mostly depends on the aircraft you fly and their original quality, whether payware or free.  (As expected, payware aircraft tend to be more realistic both visually and sound-wise)

Clouds: 

Clouds appear to be softer and whiter in X-plane 11 but my FPS did take at least a 10 point frame rate drop when flying in heavier fog/cloud layers.  Clear skies it is.

Frame-rates (FPS):  

I have been pleasantly surprised by the improvement in frame-rates in X-plane 11 over X-plane 10.  (Settings for my machine are 4x anti-aliasing, HDR High,  Shadows on,  Scenery Options Medium -Low,  Reflections off. ) My system is quite old but even with my older processor and the GTX 750 ti 4gb I was able to hover around 30fps when flying in my hometown  (KEKA, KACV)*.   At these settings within the Demo Area I was able to get around 22-23 fps, clear day and even better FPS at night. )

Graphics/Autogen: 

Overall the default textures for terrain, buildings, road-networks, airports etc. are fantastic in X-plane 11.  Days (and nights) are more realistic  than ever in X-plane 11 with the new haze (particle system?)  that has been added to the atmosphere.   As mentioned before, HDR lighting makes street lights, runways, and aircraft lighting look real.  Yes I enjoy lights. With a decent graphics card (the more memory the better)  visual settings and lights will look great in your sim.  The trains/traffic have even been updated in X-plane 11 too!

Addons, Plugins and Tweaking

If you like tweaking,  modding and using addons you will love X-plane 11 because adding custom content is a breeze in X-plane 11.   (The FlyWithLua plugin is a great example)

 

An important note about default X-plane Airports for new users:  Some default airports in X-plane 11 will not include buildings but updated airports which do include buildings, hangers and terminals are being added to X-plane via updates.  Find out about the airport gateway hereBuild/improve your own airports with World Editor (WED)


Cons/What I don’t like

 

User Interface (UI): 

While I completely enjoy and welcome the new easier to navigate and appealing layout of the UI, I still find myself wishing I could control certain settings.  This of course is my coming from using X-plane 10 which allowed control over those settings in the UI.  For example I would like to be able to disable birds, deer and boats. I see no options to disable those.  And if fire and balloons still exist within the game (haven’t seen them yet in X-plane 11) a disable option would be welcome for those too.  I would also like to be able to control the number of cars on the road, and the number of roads, separate from the number of buildings.  For me adjusting them is from a cosmetic and a realistic stand-point.  (My town for example has many roads, but very few cars or buildings.)

Sounds: 

ATC in X-plane 11 make work more realistically than in it did in previous versions of X-plane but I wouldn’t know because I haven’t tried it yet.  I find the synthesized voice that is used completely unbearable to listen to.   Some default aircraft such as the helicopter produces some wonky rotor sounds which sound more mechanical than realistic.  Screeching tires sounds are better but still exist in the default Cessna 172 which I don’t like.

Steering/ Controls: 

It might be just me, but I find the steering/rudder controls of the default Cessna 172 and helicopter erratic and somewhat difficult to control on take-off.  New users especially users coming from FSX may have some difficulty at first.

Clouds

While generally clouds and fog in X-plane 11 are good we know they could be improved visually in terms of their shape, definition and overall appearance.  Thunderheads and storm clouds should appear like tall menacing thunderheads (cumulus cloud) rather than layers of stratus.  Contrails in X-plane 11 need fixing (more on this in the graphics section below).

Graphics:

Of course the visuals can always be improved and I know the X-plane developers are working hard on so many awesome aspects and improvements for X-plane 11, including realistic clouds and autogen.  However, aside from unrealistic ATC audio, two areas that really distract my flying is the terrible rendition of airline contrails when viewed at a distance and the deer/birds that pop up when you least expect them.  Right now default X-plane 11 is showing black/grey contrails which are hardly realistic.  The first time I saw it I thought the plane was on fire.  I will be looking forward to new longer and actual white aircraft contrails (as seen in FSX) which would improve the visuals greatly in X-plane 11.  Being able to disable unrealistic looking deer and birds on the runway would be fantastic too.  Thank you Laminar Research.

 


Should You Buy X-plane 11?

If you love flight sims such as FSX or Prepar3d, than yes of course you should buy X-plane 11.  X-plane 11 runs better and the atmospheric visuals are impressive.  In addition, the improved UI  and the realistic lighting is enough to give this simulator an emphatic positive recommendation from me.  However, I also recommend first trying out the Demo for X-plane 11 before you spend the money on the full version (either on Steam or via X-plane.com).   With the demo version you will be able to see how well (or poorly) the sim runs on your particular machine while you experience the new user interface, flight controls, included aircraft, weather and lighting systems this great flight simulator provides.   And let’s not forget about the plugins and script addons which help this sim too.

Final note:  X-plane 11 is always being updated and improved.  Users can opt in or out of beta’s releases of the simulator if that is something that interests you.

 

*KEKA/KACV –  as of this posting these default airports did not feature airport buildings/hangers but I did add custom created content in my game.

 


Disclaimer:  The opinions and information expressed in this review are my own and are based on my own experience.  These views or opinions are not intended to reflect the views or opinions of Laminar Research nor any of the developers of X-plane 11 in any way.

 


X-plane 11 Official website

X-plane 11 community

X-plane 11 on Steam

Movies everyone should watch before they die

Get Hope

Find me on Steam

My X-Plane 11 Review on Steam


Images are my in-game screenshots from default X-plane 11.05

 

 

 

 

Quick Review: X-Plane 11 (Should You Buy It?)

Cessna_172SP_hum2
Cessna 172SP X-plane 11 over Arcata, CA

This post is a quick review of my experience using X-Plane 11.

X-plane 11 is an advanced flight simulator by Laminar Research which utilizes modern 64-bit architecture found in today’s computers along with the latest GPU’s and CPU’s.    I will list the pros and cons I found in using the X-Plane 11 Demo and ultimately purchasing the complete X-plane 11 simulator on Steam.

This quick review represents my experience after running X-plane 11 on an older computer.

My Computer Specs: CPU- AMD Phenom II 945 Quad Core, MEMORY- 8 gb ram, GPU- GTX  750ti OC 4gb memory, HARD DRIVES- Two 500 gb, One 250 gb

Cessna_172_Hum

Pros/What I do like

User Interface (UI): 

Pleasing to the eyes.  The UI in X-plane 11 has been given a complete and welcome overhaul from past versions of the sim. Old and new users will find the settings easier to navigate and understand. Whether configuring a joystick, flight yoke or tweaking the sim’s graphics, the simple sliders, added search function and visuals make configuring X-plane 11 to your liking fun and intelligent.  I personally enjoy the new layout and views for displaying aircraft, airports, weather and the visual representations of various flight yokes and joysticks simply wonderful.

Lighting: 

Impressive. The lighting in X-plane 11 is amazing and in my opinion, more realistic than ever.  I have been using X-plane 10 global the past few years and after first running the X-Plane 11 Demo, I immediately noticed a vast daylight improvement over the previous version of the sim.  The sun is more dynamic and bright, with better rendered shadows as one would expect on a bright sunny day.  At night, HDR lighting adds more realistic vibrant lights on cars, buildings, aircraft and runways.  (Need a good graphics card for this at least 4 gb of ram)

Sound:

Good. Aside from ATC audio, general environment and aircraft sounds are quite realistic and pleasing.  Audio for default X-plane 11 aircraft is generally acceptable.  I have found aircraft audio mostly depends on the aircraft you fly and the original quality whether payware or free.  (As expected payware aircraft tend to be more realistic both visually and audio-wise)

Clouds: 

Clouds appear to be softer and whiter in X-plane 11 but my FPS did take at least a 10 point frame rate drop when flying in heavier fog/cloud layers.  Clear skies it is.

Frame-rates (FPS):  

I have been pleasantly surprised by the improvement in frame-rates in X-plane 11 over X-plane 10.  (Settings for my machine are 4x anti-aliasing, HDR High,  Shadows on,  Scenery Options Medium -Low,  Reflections off. ) My system is quite old but even with my older processor and the GTX 750 ti 4gb I was able to hover around 30fps when flying in my hometown  (KEKA, KACV)*.   At these settings within the Demo Area I was able to get around 22-23 fps, clear day and even better FPS at night. )

Graphics/Autogen: 

Overall the default textures for terrain, buildings, road-networks, airports etc. are fantastic in X-plane 11.  Days (and nights) are more realistic  than ever in X-plane 11 with the new haze (particle system?)  that has been added to the atmosphere.   As mentioned before, HDR lighting makes street lights, runways, and aircraft lighting look real.  Yes I enjoy lights. With a decent graphics card (the more memory the better)  visual settings and lights will look great in your sim.  The trains/traffic have even been updated in X-plane 11 too!

Addons and Tweaking

If you like tweaking,  modding and using addons you will love X-plane 11 because adding custom content is a breeze in X-plane11.

Note for new users:  Some default airports in X-plane 11 will not include buildings but updated airports which include buildings, hangers and terminals are being added to X-plane via updates.  Find out about the airport gateway hereBuild/improve airports with World Editor (WED)


Cons/What I don’t like

 

User Interface (UI): 

While completely enjoy and welcome to new easier to navigate and appealing layout of the UI, I still find myself wishing I could control certain settings.  For example I would like to be able to disable birds, deer and boats. I see no options to disable those.  And if fire and balloons still exist within the game (haven’t seen them yet in X-plane 11) a disable option for those too.  I would also like to be able to control the number of cars on the road separate from the number of buildings.  For me this for cosmetic and a realistic stand-point.  (My town has many roads, but very few cars.)

Sounds: 

ATC in X-plane 11 make work more realistically than in it did in previous versions of X-plane but I wouldn’t know because I haven’t tried it yet.  I find the synthesized voice that is used completely unbearable to listen to.   Some default aircraft such as the helicopter produces some wonky rotor sounds which sound more mechanical than realistic.  Screeching tires sounds are better but still exist in the default Cessna 172 which I don’t like.

Steering/ Controls: 

It might be just me, but I find the steering/rudder controls of the default Cessna 172 and helicopter erratic and difficult to control on take-off.  New users may have some difficulty at first.

Clouds

While generally clouds and fog in X-plane 11 are good we know they could be improved visually in terms of their shape, definition and overall appearance.  Thunderheads and storm clouds should appear like tall menacing thunderheads (cumulus cloud) rather than layers of stratus.   Contrails in X-plane 11 need fixing (see my comments in graphics section below).

Graphics:

Of course the visuals can always be improved and I know the X-plane developers are working hard on so many awesome aspects and improvements for X-plane 11, including realistic clouds and autogen.  However, aside from unrealistic ATC audio, two areas that really distract my flying is the terrible rendition of airline contrails when viewed at a distance and the deer/birds.  Right now X-plane 11 is showing black/grey contrails which are hardly realistic.  The first time I saw it I thought the plane was on fire.  I will be looking forward to new longer and actual white aircraft contrails (as seen in FSX) which would improve the visuals greatly in X-plane 11.  Being able to disable unrealistic looking deer and birds on the runway would be fantastic.  Thank you Laminar Research.

 


Final Verdict/Should You Buy X-plane 11?

If you love flight sims such as FSX, than yes of course you should buy X-plane 11.  X-plane 11 runs better and the atmospheric visuals are impressive.  In addition, the improved UI  and the realistic lighting is enough to give this simulator an emphatic positive recommendation from me.  However, I also recommend first trying out the Demo for X-plane 11 before you spend the money on the full version (either on Steam or via X-plane.com).   With the demo version you will be able to see how well (or poorly) the sim runs on your particular machine while you experience the new user interface, flight controls, included aircraft and weather and lighting systems this great flight simulator provides.

Final note:  X-plane 11 is always being updated and improved.  Users can opt in or out of beta’s releases of the simulator if that is something that interests you.

 

*KEKA/KACV –  as of this posting these default airports did not feature airport buildings/hangers but I did add custom created content in my game.

 


Disclaimer:  The opinions and information expressed in this review are my own and are based on my own experience only.  These views or opinions are not intended to represent Laminar Research nor any of the developers of X-plane 11 in any way.

 


X-plane 11 Official website

X-plane 11 community

X-plane 11 on Steam

Movies everyone should watch before they die

Get Hope

Find me on Steam


Images are my in-game screenshots from default X-plane 11.05

 

 

 

 

One Good Thing About Hurricane Irma

Irma_track


No, this isn’t a joke. Granted, there isn’t much good about a Hurricane when it hits the mainland but believe it or not I have found at least one good thing about Hurricane Irma.  The good news is this: the news media which includes but is not limited to CNN, MSNBC, NPR, Google, Yahoo and Microsoft won’t be leading their news cycles with fabricated fake news reports about Donald Trump, Russia or a rigged election.  Instead, as we saw with Hurricane Harvey, we will now be hearing and reading news about Hurricane Irma as it makes its way on to the mainland in Florida and up the west-coast.

Unfortunately, the media has sunk so low and has become so bankrupt in its quest for complete honesty and truthfulness in their reporting it has to take a Hurricane to interrupt the daily onslaught of misinformation and lies that spew from their left-wing media outlet centers. Nevertheless, a break in such reporting has occurred and it’s a welcome pause for truth lovers everywhere.

 

 


Hurricane Irma Latest

Scared about what the future holds? Get true hope

Movies that explain true hope

How do Christians view gays? Watch Audacity

What does Hitler have in common with Abortion? Watch 180

 


 

image source

Repost: One Good Thing About Hurricane Harvey

hurricaneh


No, this isn’t a joke. Generally there isn’t much good about a Hurricane hitting the mainland but believe it or not I have found at least one good thing about Hurricane Harvey.  The good news is this: the news media which includes but is not limited to CNN, MSNBC, NPR, Google, Yahoo and Microsoft won’t be leading their news cycles with fabricated fake news reports about Donald Trump, Russia or a rigged election.  Instead, for at least a couple of days we will be hearing and reading news about Hurricane Harvey as it makes its way on to the mainland.

Unfortunately, the media has sunk so low and has become so bankrupt in its quest for complete honesty and truthfulness in their reporting it has to take a Hurricane to interrupt the daily onslaught of misinformation and lies that spew from their left-wing media outlet centers. Nevertheless, a break in such reporting may have occurred and it’s a welcome pause for truth lovers everywhere.

Next up, Hurricane Irma…..

 

 


Hurricane Harvey in the news

Scared about what the future holds? Get true hope

Movies that explain true hope

How do Christians view gays? Watch Audacity

What does Hitler have in common with Abortion? Watch 180

 


 

image source

One Good Thing About Hurricane Harvey

hurricaneh


No, this isn’t a joke. Generally there isn’t much good about a Hurricane hitting the mainland but believe it or not I have found at least one good thing about Hurricane Harvey.  The good news is this: the news media which includes but is not limited to CNN, MSNBC, NPR, Google, Yahoo and Microsoft won’t be leading their news cycles with fabricated fake news reports about Donald Trump, Russia or a rigged election.  Instead, for at least a couple of days we will be hearing and reading news about Hurricane Harvey as it makes its way on to the mainland.

Unfortunately, the media has sunk so low and has become so bankrupt in its quest for complete honesty and truthfulness in their reporting it has to take a Hurricane to interrupt the daily onslaught of misinformation and lies that spew from their left-wing media outlet centers. Nevertheless, a break in such reporting may have occurred and it’s a welcome pause for truth lovers everywhere.

 

 


Hurricane Harvey in the news

Scared about what the future holds? Get true hope

Movies that explain true hope

How do Christians view gays? Watch Audacity

What does Hitler have in common with Abortion? Watch 180

 


 

image source