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The Heron’s Nest Gets a Remodel

Last year, we released our first scenery – a little island getaway off the coast of Maine for pilots with the brass cojones to land there. It was a big hit, but some ‘simmers who ran third-party terrain mesh had some issues with it. We knocked around with some changes to the mesh that were intended to fix the problem, but it seemed like each time we fixed one problem, two sprung up to take its place. A couple months back, we hit a crossroads – continue trying to patch up all the little problems with time-consuming solutions, or try a completely different approach. In the end, we decided to drop back and punt.

The result is an all-new Heron’s Nest 2.0, which fixes the problems with custom terrain mesh in the most complete way possible; by getting rid of terrain mesh altogether! In version 2, the entire island, including all vegetation, buildings, and objects, were modeled as a single object. That means that we don’t have to muck about with coastline excludes and fixes, un-flattening the default mesh, or worrying about creating new mesh. We just made sure our little patch of sea was flat, laid down the photoreal backdrop, and plopped down the island. (Okay, it was a little more complex than that, but not much.)

The other big change is that this version no longer relies on the Viva module for seasonal texture changes. In its place, we’re calling on the SimObject Display Engine, or SODE. The idea is to convert Nantucket to SODE at some point as well, and use it as our go-to dynamic content module going forward. It’s mature, it’s stable, and its capabilities make it a sure-fire winner. We think this will be a very positive development for our projects.

The Heron’s Nest still has a couple of minor tweaks and beta testing to go through, but it’s pretty close to the testing point as of now. We’ll keep you up to date as it nears completion.

Last year, we released our first scenery - a little island getaway off the coast of Maine for pilots with the brass cojones to land there. It was a big hit, but some 'simmers who ran third-party terrain mesh had some issues with it. We knocked around with some changes to the mesh that were [...]

Filed Under: Uncategorized

Happy 2016!

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If you are reading this, congratulations, you made it through 2015! It’s a new year, and we’ve got some good stuff on track here at iBY. First up will be our Heron’s Nest scenery, your own private island off the coast of Maine. We’re in the final stages of beta testing right now, and expect a release in the next few days. All you’ll need to do to get it is sign up for our mailing list using the box to the right of this post. If you’re already on the list, expect a download link really soon. If you haven’t signed up yet, make that your New Year’s resolution!

We hope you have a good new year, wherever your adventures take you!

If you are reading this, congratulations, you made it through 2015! It's a new year, and we've got some good stuff on track here at iBY. First up will be our Heron's Nest scenery, your own private island off the coast of Maine. We're in the final stages of beta testing right now, and expect [...]

Filed Under: Announcements, FSX, FSX Scenery, Heron's Nest, My FS Products, New England Scenery, Uncategorized

Your Own Private Island – Free!

At the recent FlightSimCon, we announced the upcoming release of iBlueYonder’s first branded scenery package. Fans of our Cushman Meadows/Bear Gulch scenery (done a while back for Orbx) know that from time to time, we like to play around with “what-if” scenarios for private bush airports. Since our geographic focus has shifted to the New England region of the US, we thought why not do a little virtual homesteading on one of the rocky, windswept islands off the coast of Maine?

Introducing The Heron’s Nest, a rough dirt strip gouged into the crest of Outer Heron Island, Maine. It comes complete with a cozy little cottage, a barn hangar for parking your ride, and nature, nature, nature. If the undulating dirt strip gives you the willies, you can also fly in on floats and park in the water hangar in the protected cove near the cottage.

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hn_announcement_5How soon will this be ready for release? We’re aiming for mid-July. The original plan was to release it at the FS Conference, but we ran into a glitch that held up testing. If the FS gods are willing, the beta test will resume in earnest in a few days.

How do you get it? That one’s easy; just sign up for our mailing list using the form on the sidebar to the right of this page. If you’re already on the list, then you’re golden: all members of the iBY mailing list will receive a link to download The Heron’s Nest free of charge. It’s our way of saying thanks for sticking with us through the rocky process of creating an all-new company.

Tell your GA-loving friends, too. Once the scenery has been released, anyone signing up for the list will automatically be sent a download link.

Now, back to the testing center!

At the recent FlightSimCon, we announced the upcoming release of iBlueYonder's first branded scenery package. Fans of our Cushman Meadows/Bear Gulch scenery (done a while back for Orbx) know that from time to time, we like to play around with "what-if" scenarios for private bush airports. Since our geographic focus has shifted to the New [...]

Filed Under: Announcements, Bush Flying, FSX, FSX Scenery, FSX SP2, Hundred Dollar Burger airports, New England Scenery, Prepar3d V2, Uncategorized

Memoriam for a Friend

Friend. It’s almost a throw-away term any more. In our digital culture, nearly anyone we ever encounter, however casually, gets tagged with “friend”. Almost daily, writers and reporters decry the end of “true” friendships, the face-to-face kind rumored to have been sacrificed on the altar of social media and our disposable culture. What’s not mentioned as often are the real and lasting connections that the web allows – even between people who have never actually looked into one another’s eyes.

Jon Patch was a friend of mine in that sense. We never met in so-called real life. We never shared a coffee or took in a movie. Thinking back, I’m not even sure I ever heard his voice. Yet for all that seeming disconnect, I came to have a good sense of who he was. The things I’ll remember about him are his kindness, how unflappable he was, how dedicated to his craft. He sang, he wrote poetry, and he spent countless hours of his time crafting beautiful flight sim renditions of the scenery that surrounded him.

Americans like to joke about how pathologically nice Canadians are, and Jon certainly did his part to perpetuate the stereotype. In a hobby where it sometimes seems blowhards and man-children rule, he was the adult in the room, a steady, calming influence. Even when he got angry, it was hard to tell unless you listened very carefully.

This evening, I got the news of Jon’s passing. I didn’t realize he’d been ill, but wasn’t surprised that he hadn’t mentioned it. That was just the kind of guy he was. What I do know is this: the sim world has lost a true gem, and though we had never been in a room together, I can’t help feeling I’ve lost a good friend. Blue skies, Jon. Thanks for hanging out with us for as long as you did. We’re all the better for it.

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Friend. It's almost a throw-away term any more. In our digital culture, nearly anyone we ever encounter, however casually, gets tagged with "friend". Almost daily, writers and reporters decry the end of "true" friendships, the face-to-face kind rumored to have been sacrificed on the altar of social media and our disposable culture. What's not mentioned [...]

Filed Under: Uncategorized

Nantucket Progress

The modeling of the north side of the field is nearly complete! I’ve been dialing in a group of buildings, including the checkerboard “Nantucket” hangar. Next stop: the main terminal.

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The modeling of the north side of the field is nearly complete! I've been dialing in a group of buildings, including the checkerboard "Nantucket" hangar. Next stop: the main terminal.

Filed Under: 3D Graphics, FSX, Hundred Dollar Burger airports, KACK, Nantucket, New England Scenery, Prepar3d V2, Uncategorized

First Look at Bear Gulch X Buildings

Mea culpa. I meant to post a review of EZDok Camera 1.15 this weekend, but I got caught up in a bunch of work and family stuff and had to let it slip. Part of the busy was working on Emma Field – specifically, the new Bear Gulch buildings that will be included in the package. Lest you think I’ve forgotten about you, here’s this weekend’s work…

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Mea culpa. I meant to post a review of EZDok Camera 1.15 this weekend, but I got caught up in a bunch of work and family stuff and had to let it slip. Part of the busy was working on Emma Field - specifically, the new Bear Gulch buildings that will be included in the [...]

Filed Under: Uncategorized

In case you aren’t on the Flight Sim Store’s email list, here’s a little surprise: Orbx just extended their May Madness sale to include all downloadable products. That means that for this month, you can get NA Blue, Stark’s Twin Oaks, and Darrington Municipal for 30% off the normal list price. Already got these three? Tell your friends! More info at the FSS website.

In case you aren't on the Flight Sim Store's email list, here's a little surprise: Orbx just extended their May Madness sale to include all downloadable products. That means that for this month, you can get NA Blue, Stark's Twin Oaks, and Darrington Municipal for 30% off the normal list price. Already got these three? [...]

Filed Under: Uncategorized

If you read last week’s Part 1 installment, you know that I’m having a look at my favorite behind-the-scenes utilities for flight simulator. These are the workhorses of ‘simming; programs that work their magic in the background and make every flight you take just a little bit better. This week, two more that I consider indispensable: [click to continue…]

If you read last week's Part 1 installment, you know that I'm having a look at my favorite behind-the-scenes utilities for flight simulator. These are the workhorses of 'simming; programs that work their magic in the background and make every flight you take just a little bit better. This week, two more that I consider [...]

Filed Under: Uncategorized

There are so many sexy add-ons for FS – planes, scenery, environment packs, and so forth – that some of the more useful bedrock utilities sometimes get overlooked or taken for granted. I just added a new one to my list of  must-haves this week, and it got me to thinking about which of the behind-the-scenes players I wouldn’t want to fly without. [click to continue…]

There are so many sexy add-ons for FS - planes, scenery, environment packs, and so forth - that some of the more useful bedrock utilities sometimes get overlooked or taken for granted. I just added a new one to my list of  must-haves this week, and it got me to thinking about which of the [...]

Filed Under: Uncategorized

Fanboy Friday Whacked by Poor Documentation

I think I may have to move this feature to Saturday. This is the umpteenth Friday morning when I’ve gotten up, ready to blog, only to be hit in the face by some unforeseen roadblock. The frustration du jour is the documentation for EZDock Camera 1.15 (EZCA). It looks to be a nifty little camera/head latency application – now with full TrackIR support – and I wanted to write about it. I say looks to be, because an hour into reading the manual, I’m still not sure of how to get started. This is either a case of a well-documented but deep and complex program, or a fairly straightforward program with incredibly labyrinthine instructions. Either way, it’s not a “jump in and go” type of situation.

My life is currently configured such that if I don’t have the FF post already in the bag by Friday morning (which is rare) or have something fairly simple to talk about, it takes half the day to put it together. Friday being a work day, taking a half-day to do non-paying work is becoming a bit of a strain.

Short story shorter: I’m going to need to move this feature to a weekend day so I can actually do a little research before writing. Look at it this way; you’re not losing a Friday, you’re gaining a Saturday. Or Sunday. Whichever it is, keep an eye out. I’ll be back with you soon.

I think I may have to move this feature to Saturday. This is the umpteenth Friday morning when I've gotten up, ready to blog, only to be hit in the face by some unforeseen roadblock. The frustration du jour is the documentation for EZDock Camera 1.15 (EZCA). It looks to be a nifty little camera/head [...]

Filed Under: Uncategorized