Updated: Apr 10
Well, here we are! Almost the end of 2022. As I sit here with a big coffee, working away on a new location we have (secretly) in development, I can't help but think about what a great year we have had. The entire team has come together really well, and we've (hopefully) grown from a small and relatively unknown UK / Irish developer into something much more. 2022 has been a massive year for us, we've had Dublin (our largest release to date) - as well as preparing for X-Plane 12 and then expanding our reach into new and exciting destinations. I'l save all of the self congratulation for an end of year recap post though! We've got work to do - and we know it! So without further delay - let's kick off and share some of our plans for 2023 with you.
Product Updates & Upgrades: XP12 brings with it a whole host of exciting new features - it also brings a lot of additional work as we upgrade products to be fully compatible. As far as we are aware, pretty much all of our scenery runs fine in XP12 without major issues, however, any products which have not explicitly been released for the sim will be prone to minor errors, as well as lacking some of the new features. This has slowed us down with our regular plan of product updates, because we are trying to tie in existing updates with XP12 upgrades, meaning fewer re-releases and redownloads for you to worry about. The plan is still to make all XP12 upgrades free where possible - for extremely large airports, we may need to incur a small charge much like with the Stansted V2 upgrade. Similarly to that though, we would only be thinking about something in the £2 region - no hefty upgrade fees will be forthcoming.
At the top of our list are the following (All upgrades are targeted for Q1 2023 but may be subject to change): Dublin: New Runway + XP12 Upgrade Stansted: XP12 Upgrade
Southend: General Update + XP12 Upgrade Welshpool: XP12 Upgrade Swansea: XP12 Upgrade Shannon: General Update + XP12 Upgrade
Birmingham: General Update + XP12 Upgrade More will likely follow later in the year, and it's important to note that all new products are both XP11 & XP12 compatible on release.
Store Upgrades: We've been in contact with the company who provide the software for our online store. A commonly requested feature is a user account which will feature a private area to view previous orders etc. They have stated that this feature will become available to us soon, once it is, we will implement it and let you know!
New Releases: We've saved the exciting part until the end! We started out making UK regional airports only, then we added our Irish scenery to the mix - before also expanding into larger international airports and various helipads. After over 2 years of developing in these areas, we feel that our resources will now make it easier to launch global scenery. That's why, this week, we will be releasing Paris Beauvais Airport!
As we look ahead to next year, we have airports planned for the following locations: Spain France Portugal USA As well as this, our UK and Irish development will continue, with some of the team working on our super detailed GA airfields. Ally will also continue his UK Helipads series with the release of "UK Helipads Pack 2"which is schedules for next year.
Freeware: We have Burg Feurestein Airport in development, which we hope to release as freeware for XP11 and XP12 next year.
XP11 Support: As far as we can tell, XP12 is rapidly becoming more and more popular. Despite this, we still plan to fully support XP11 for various reasons.
Most importantly, XP12 may require people to purchase or upgrade their entire setup - we are fully aware that in the current market, this is not a priority for many of us! It would be (in our opinion) wrong to exclude a lot of our customers from new content because system specs won't allow a smooth transition to XP12.
As well as this, XP11 is still a stable and impressive platform. Laminar Research have done an excellent job in ensuring development for XP11 and XP12 isn't toooooo different - although with large airports we do need to make a lot of changes. So with fairly similar processes of development, it makes sense to offer versions which are compatible with both sims. This dual compatibility looks likely to continue for all new releases through 2023 and most likely beyond then too.