Discussion about general direction of IF development

Hello fellow aviators! This is an open discussion about future direction of development.

I know there have been many conversations on this rather general topic, but i have a proposal that i thought about for some time now and i would like to share it with you.

Over the years infinite flight has seen some major upgrades that in my opinion and i’m sure many of yours too, has really put IF in place of a major competitor in the field of airplane simulators. As the community has grown tremendously, with that has also grown a lot of pressure on the development team. New and new requests for things to be added everyday. Everybody wants something different, new planes, new scenery or liveries.

I have much respect for our developers and what they’ve done for all of us all, buidling this game to what it is today.
And what i want to discuss here basically, is shared effort.

Community involvement in the development of IF

Fairly recently with the introduction of 3D airports a system was created which i’m a huge fan of. The airport editor team which everyone can join and help work on creating new airports.
It has been a hugely succesful addition to IF that brought us vast amounts of new content every update since then. More importantly though, it enabled our beloved development team to focus on bigger things.
And i belive this is something that can be explored much further.

I looked for some inspiration in other simutators. For example in Microsoft flight sim and X-plane, the community is a big part of content creation with their work being added on the the market, in MFS it’s mainly fanmade aircraft models, however they are in many cases very high quality.

Now of course IF is mobile simulator which limits the possibilites. Computing power of phones not only ranges wildly but is much less capable than that of a PC and that is why optimization is crucial.
Also, IF Pro members would most probably not be willing to pay extra for textures, because the quality of those textures running on a phone would not be comparable to those on PC.
Still i think you get the idea.

Currently with our 3D airports team there is a set platform of textures to choose from. And that i belive that platform can be expanded.
Granted, that expansion will not be light work, but the reward would overweigh the work many times in my opinion.

Some of the textures i propose for modeling structure expansion:

  • Aircraft interior
    Seating, Luggage compartments, seat overhead panels (light, vents, speaker -
    the A220 was done very well in this regard), cabin lights, Crew areas between
    aisles and perhaps we could even have aplicable airline interior themes,
    these could be dowloaded in jpg. form and pasted on texture surfaces

  • Aircraft exterior
    Liveries, Windows, Engine sounds
    (Once again could be uploaded from the internet)

  • Scenery textures
    more airport details like light poles,
    different signage (runways, taxiways and other), perimeter walls or embankments
    in the case of aiports bulit around water areas, more diverse ground markings
    (maybe airport specific ones like iconic Los angeles area green)
    A bolder idea could be some real world buildings in the vicinity of airports

And of course i invite you to share more ideas!

The aircraft textures would not be aircraft specific obviously, that would be the same as just reworking the airplane from scratch for the devs.
There would be just a basic selection of textures that could be applied to existing airplane fuselages, same as with the airports. The interior textures would look out of place on older models which have no interior cabin curently, however even that’s a solvable issue. A basic sizable texture model of an interior fuselage wall with window holes. Potentially it could have the prefab holes for windows in different shapes and only that could be more airplane specific. The wall would have to be placed first before any other details inside the cabin.

The whole process is maintained the same as with the airport team, all currated and strictly reviewed.
Sounds a little complicated, i know, but think of the work it would shed of the main development stream.
It would basically be like a makeshift plane rework but up to standards.
Won’t be the same quality as dev made, but still better than nothing and much faster and easier to do. That would help immensly!

Important to state that i don´t claim at all to be any kind of IT or 3D texture designer expert. I do not have extended knowledge of what would be feasible.
Obviously i am aware that more complicated modeling has to be left devs (where modeling software would is required).
And such work would of course need to be done to expand the existing selection in the first place.
I did not forget how huge of an update the 3D airports was. But this is just an idea for the future and as i’ve said i belive it would be worth it.

I myself am very passionate in simulating real world flights,
i’m not alone of course we have many virtual airlines in IF.
I love to find real world flight numbers and recreate actual flights based on availible information from flight trackers.
We’ve all been there, sometimes you find a perfect route, bad luck strikes and the livery on that plane hasn’t been added yet, or you want to fly the plane that’s used for the particular flight and it´s from older versions of IF, not up to par to newer plane models.
We have to be patient when it comes to that. We know that our devs are working super hard for us to deliver as much they can.

And this is why im putting forward this proposal of managing that immense work.
An expansion of the resource platform we already have would push the boundries of content development and that i think is something definitely worth considering.

Let me know your thoughts!