Gonna be 100% honest i love surprises, so i have no preference 😂 Want to rework a plane and tell us a day before release, would have me 100x more excited then playing the long waiting game, that has been done this year with the A350 and 777 rework, the A32X Live-cockpit “Surprise” Had me really excited, the excitement for the A359 and 777 has sorta died out because of the long long wait, i’ll still fly the fuel out of them, but to me as of right now where i stand on the wait is that it’s just another plane, just another rework. I understand the process and appreciate that you keep us as costumers in the loop on development but personally i love surprises and hate long waits🙂👍
I voted for the last option
Obviously the sooner we’re informed the sooner our interest will materialize into flying more and submission of helpful feedback in anticipation of said releases.
Each one of them has their own advantages and disadvantages. I personally went with 3 months because I rather not wait possibly over a year for the release. I would rather see the development over a 3 month period and they release pictures from the complete development over those 3 months and more often. With that being said it would be cool if during the development process we see a time lapse of the 3D artists doing their job which I think would be cool releasing the video on the aircraft WIP announcement. Just my 5 cents.
Although I am by no means a communications expert, I love the way Microsoft informs users about its development of the Flight Simulator 2020. I know that we shouldn’t compare Infinite Flight to other simulators (especially one which is being developed by hundreds of employees), but if the other guys are getting it right, I think the team can take some of it onboard.
Firstly, they set specific-ish development goals and when they want to achieve specific goals. I know that since the beginning of time Infinite Flight has been very conservative about release dates. Still, I feel that it is better to give a rough estimate of when a release (not neccesserarly of aircraft) is due. This gets the users off the developers’ back who keep continually asking: “When is the update?”. Furthermore, if for some reason the deadline is not met, I feel that it is much better to update the users saying that the team is not comfortable shipping something that is sub-par and is not working, hence the reason for the delay. I feel that the users will be more understanding, knowing that the quality of each update for Infinite Flight is indeed second to none.
Secondly, all of Microsoft’s development updates are posted as a form of a blog post. I feel that it will be more consistent with providing development updates on one media outlet (the blog). This way when a user asks “Where was this confirmed?” or “What is coming?”, they can always be redirected to one official source which explains precisely what is coming and what is not. Scrolling through Instagram comments and looking at the replies by the team to these comments is not the most efficient way of extracting information.
Furthermore, I feel that it will be beneficial to have “Development Blogs” being written at incremental periods (let’s say, every three weeks). Currently, the blogs usually focus on one particular area of development, such as the C172, A350, new map. I think that posting blogs which explain what the team is working on as a whole, what are the setbacks they have, where there has been progress, and the approximate release date, is a better form of communication. Plus, this will let users know exactly when to expect new updates from Infinite Flight regarding its development (every three weeks in this case).
Besides, it would be nice to see a FAQ after each development blog. These are the types of questions which we see all too often on different social media outlets and here on the forum. Having an official word regarding these questions, in my opinion, can also be very beneficial to support the team’s communication efforts.
So, to finish off, I think that you should inform us when you feel there is actually anything worth informing us about. If you guys just started working on an aircraft (but have nothing to show for it), I don’t think it’s beneficial to release that information.
Please note, that these are mere my thoughts and opinions. I love the way the Infinite Flight team is actively engaging with the community and asking our opinion. Not many companies do that. I am grateful that there is a place where I can dump my feedback and ideas. I know that this will not get a reply from the Infinite Flight team, but as long as they read it and at least consider some of the proposals I am coming up with, I feel like I’ve done my fair share.
P.S. I do realise that a lot of what I said is about development in general (not aircraft specific), but I think that my ideas can be incorporated to release information about aircraft as well.
How about telling us about a new aircraft when it’s in the BETA phase? :)
I really much appreciate the way you’re going. We had many discussions about communication going on with the biggest probably being let’s discuss the voting system in a friendly an respectful manner around a year ago now. Much has changed since, and even though you don’t have to, a detailed roadmap was introduced with the development timeline. I’m sure many among us are very much interested in the newest developments, so information from the first start are probably the best choice here.
Overall big thumbs up from my side here!
I’d say both a year and at the end of building the plane (3 months give or take).
Let’s use a HYPOTHETICAL 757 rework announced in say, January of 2020 with an internal goal of having it released by the end of the year, assuming it takes about one year start to finish to produce a plane to current IF standards.
Jan '20: Announcement of a new aircraft, beginning of development. Low-key announcement, almost more a press release style Blog article explaining some goals of the project, and basic features to expect from it. Most importantly Strong emphasis on the fact it will be approximately a year.
Early Fall '20 (3 months or so from release) First follow up article, showing WIP screenshots. More details on the aircraft, liveries, variants…
This would be timed with the start of the flight testing campaign and would be a rollout of sorts.
From this point on, there would be the classic IF Hype-screenshots for the next few(couple?) months through beta testing.
A week or so from release, we would start getting more concrete information:
Full list of features, liveries and more.Of course, leaving some things a surprise for the actual release.
The key to making this work, especially with a 9 months of no news, would be keeping it a rolling cycle of aircraft being released more or less quarterly. So that 3 month period of “hype” would be almost seamless between the new releases.
This cycle would be similar to the current system, except we wouldn’t be seeing the screenshots of the aircraft being modeled 6+ months before release, which in my opinion has made the wait feel like an eternity for some. Yet it would have the benefit of letting customers know what was coming further down the line.
Also this allows everyone to have a basic timeframe in mind for the release
Please note, this 75 rework and release schedule is completely fictional and was used simply to communicate a concept
I think this is a great Idea, as it will show what the most people want. I think that earlier is better as we have more time to give our input. If the community find something that they don’t like, we can give our input early on. If we would only find out shortly before the release, there wouldn’t be much time to work with our feedback. But at the end of the day, everyone is allowed to give their own opinion.
I am not sure what kind of input the community as a whole can bring to the table in early stages of aircraft development. If there are any issues with the model, the beta testing team will discover it.
Interesting reply, and of course thoughts of long term users are always welcome.
With regards to development blog posts, we have these [see Q4 update for example]. Furthermore, there are substantial periods where in nothing significant has changed as the projects at the time may be all longer term. WIP shots are therefore the way way to shot these advances rather than a long blog post each time.
In addition to the above note about blog posts, a lot of the work of the team goes into things that will enable more features in the future. These are either significantly complex to communicate, not of significant benefit to any party to communicate, or will leak the coming development of the app that we would rather keep under wrap.
Finally, with regards to Microsoft, the reason they can be so clear and transparent with times is due to this reason: $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$
Really tough choice, if we’re up to me I would say maybe 2 weeks before… I don’t do too well anticipation.
I would’ve said 1 year but then I feel the pain of waiting so long, so 3 months is my go-to. I think it’s easier for y’all as well because you don’t have all the simps who keep asking “when is it going to be released”.
I thought I should share my thoughts about this issue, being one of the most critical voices on this.
NB - this is a big ramble, and may contain errors, please forgive me
I think the biggest takeaway is that on the whole, the new system of communications is a MASSIVE step up, and is really appreciated. The blog posts surrounding the development process are interesting and, in my opinion, help bridge the gap between the devs and the community members. Following on from my (now shut down) topic about this Let’s discuss the voting system in a friendly and respectful manner!, I feel that things really have come a long way.
Despite this, I would still say that there is room for improvement. My biggest peeve with this community is that there is no place on here that permits criticism of it. Criticism is important, and though I generally only have positive things to say about IF (though if you had have asked me this last February I would have had a VERY different answer), it is often constructive to be able to voice our issues. One of the biggest complaints that I see on here is that about slipping standards on the Expert server, however, nearly all suggestions about this are shut down. As a company, I feel (and this is a personal opinion), that IF should value its consumer feedback very highly, and should work with us community users to come to a solution that pleases the most people. The community has told IF that they are unhappy about this issue, yet, to us, it seems as if nothing is being done about it. Obviously, this is just one example, there are many instances in which IF acts upon customer feedback.
My other suggestion about this new development system, is for us to be given more information concerning the other features that have many votes. For me, a key example of this is Concorde. IF explained that currently, adding Concorde just was not feasible, a perfectly reasonable response which enlightened us about this, and clearly explained IF’s position on this. On the other hand, features such as the addition of taxiway lights have not been addressed at all. Simply a ‘We currently aren’t working on these, but plan to in the near future, and hope to have them implemented by summer 2020…’ etc would suffice.
Overall, I think that this community is so impressive, having been a member of it for over 4 years now, and the app for probably 5-6, and I can confidently say that I think that the community is in a much better place now than it was 10 months ago, thanks to the implementation of the development timeline, blog posts and things such as the feature votes.
I wonder if there’s something new the devs will be working on and they don’t know when to tell us about it🙈
You should read through the latest blog post topic ;) Lots of room for criticism. I will certainly express disagreement if I don’t agree with the criticism being offered; usually when it’s based on assumptions that aren’t factual.
Expert server requirements are discussed often internally, however, we won’t communicate anything until we have a plan. Apologies if this hasn’t come fast enough. It’s important to us, and it’s not an easy issue to solve.
Well, I haven’t been here for all of the a350, or any plane for that matters, full development. I can not imagine how excited everyone was when it was announced.
The night before. Surprise me
True, it was interesting to get surprised like it was in the (far) past as well!
Still I personally prefer seeing all the interesting steps taken in development, but a surprise is always great and different opinions are important!
This would be absolutely interesting posts in my opinion and could be combined with some interviews like we had about the new map.
Nonetheless the current blog posts are a great new way of communication too.
For my part, your communication technique has advantages and disadvantages.
The advantage of this is that you make sure that your customers are constantly informed of upcoming news, this transparency we appreciate.
But because of this transparency, the consequence is that: you make the customers dream too much, that is to say: the fact of announcing very quickly a new plane or a new update future several months to see year in advance, firstly, it makes you dream and makes customers want to have this new feature very quickly, and secondly you put (I think) a great pressure to finish and publish a new update sometimes with a lot of defects. And receiving images of the progress of the update each time without having a planned release date, does not help.
In my opinion, I think that an ad a few months before (1-2 months) before the publication will be very good for everyone because it will make you less pressure on a release date and it will surprise your customers of my sudden .
It’s comments like this that should convey to you that communications on issues like this are not clear enough, as I, a community user, was not aware of this.
This is a fine answer, it just would have been nice to know this a while ago. Personally, I am not really fussed about ES requirements - the bigger stress for me is the amount of landings required for Grade 5!