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#1 laming

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Posted 23 January 2007 - 03:52 PM

Hello MSTS Friends:

With the announcement of MSTS 2, and the attendant talk and attention it is receiving, there is a marked trend that has been noticed here at VSC and its afiliates, and, I suspect, with other commercial MSTS vendors. The trend indicates to me (either rightly or wrongly) there has been a significant loss of interest in the current sim platform we have, as well as interest in the commercial products available for it, or are being developed.

Basically, since the MSTS 2 announcement, all VSC sales have come to a screeching halt. Email correspondance with Gaetan Belanger of BLW (an affiliate) indicates essentially the same malady has affected his sales as well.

Fortunately, I have a primary vocation. VSC income is a needed supplement, but not a neccesity. However, some of my fellow developers DEPEND on MSTS sales to pay their bills and put food on the table. (In which category Gaetan resides.)

At VSC, there are several things in the pipeline that are headed your way, some you know about, some you don't.

As for the products you know about: Regardless of market conditions, it is still my intention to try to finish up and release (as soon as practical) the Ozark Northern route, as well as the Steam Sound Pack. However, any effort expended may be for naught in regards to commercial endeavor. I understand and accept that.

As for products you don't know about...

Well, I am not at liberty to reveal all, but I can tell you about one, which I will now do:

Gaetan and I are collaborating on a huge Mega Pack project that was to be headed your way. Not only is the pack itself quite an endeavor, but plans for commercial use of the pack were quite extensive. Though the upcoming pack is of intense personal interest to me, sales of such packs are vital to BLW's existance. Simply put: If sales are no longer there, then some developers will be forced to find other non-MSTS means of family support.

Below you will find a few pictures of the project that Gaetan and I have recently undertaken. Currently the F series (F7's in particular) are being developed. There was also to be Alco's (FA1/FB1, RS2, RS1, S2), EMD GP7's, Baldwin VO1000's, as well as a comprehensive SLSF rolling stock pack w/cabooses to be developed. This was to be the largest, most comprehensive equipment pack line to ever be tackled by any content creator, period. Essentially, purchasers of the complete line of packs would have ALL the freight equipment (engines and rolling stock) needed to support operations in the 1965-1970 time frame of the target railroad. In addition, there were other plans for the equipment's use. However, none of this is practical if the commercial MSTS market has died on account of the bulk of the community having given themselves over to counting eggs before they're hatched. (i.e. speculation on MSTS 2, KRS, etc, in conjunction with suspended MSTS interest/support.) MSTS 2 is at least 1 1/2 years away. More likely 2. KRS is at least 1 year away, maybe more. However, MSTS you have now.

Therefore, I am turning to you, my friends, customers, and the potential buying public that frequent here, and ask you straight up: Are you still interested in supporting commercial MSTS content?

How you respond, or how you don't respond, could very well determine the fate of future product to be developed.

Now... here's a glimpse of what had been going behind the scenes...

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#2 laming

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Posted 23 January 2007 - 03:53 PM

More from the F's in this series of packs...

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#3 laming

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Posted 23 January 2007 - 03:54 PM

Still more...

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#4 laming

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Posted 23 January 2007 - 03:55 PM

Another...

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#5 laming

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Posted 23 January 2007 - 03:57 PM

Last picture for now. Keep in mind this is only the F7 black and yellow paint scheme series. Representations of all F's and schemes was planned. (As would be the case for all Frisco engines modeled.)

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#6 Ed Sand

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Posted 23 January 2007 - 04:20 PM

Those are some beautiful works of art there. If I were even the slightest fan of the Frisco I'd pick those up.

As for me, there are several things which have kept me from buying any new MSTS add-ons, but the main one is the season. Christmas is over, and I've got several new toys to keep me busy for the next few months. I have been thinking of picking up the EL pack and/or the B&O pack, however, and probably will at some point in the future.

I would also hope that nobody believes we're going to see any MSTS X any time before 2008, if not 2009. Add to that the high probability that routes will not be backwards compatable, and I think most people will be running, and buying add-ons for, MSTS for many years to come.

Finally, everyone's all distracted reading and speculating about MSTS X. Once they tire of no news there in a week or two then the crowds will come back to seeing what IS new on the add on front.

#7 ruggus

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Posted 23 January 2007 - 04:23 PM

I for one am still very interested in MSTS as it stands now. I do not have Flight Sim X because of the hardware requirements but still enjoy Century of Flight.

I'm sure I will buy MSTS 2 when it comes out but I suspect it will take a while for other routes and equipment to be developed for it. I will still run the existing MSTS even after that. I enjoy StL&NA and A&O a lot and the work of everyone that makes them possible. I will be interested in a Megapack and the ON too, very much so.

I am really enjoying the CM equipment, though I have not operated all the engines yet.

So, count me in for what you guys have coming down the pike!

Thank you,

Mark Nerren

#8 ckawahara

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Posted 23 January 2007 - 04:44 PM

I'm still buying. Count me in until something better comes along!

#9 lirrmike

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Posted 23 January 2007 - 05:01 PM

I am also still buying things that interest me. Plus when I have my copy of this new Train Sim in my hand, then I'll believe it's true.


Mike

#10 The Espee

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Posted 23 January 2007 - 05:02 PM

Andre, Gaetan and the 3dtrains staff as well: You have my vote.

As a customer of the aforementioned's fine work, I will continue to support the current MSTS platform with future purchases

And as previously stated, it could be a while between the release of the new software and useful 3rd party additions, so who knows how long it'll really be before the new sim(s) become viable replacements to MSTS 1.x. And what if, after all this panting and anticipation, it's similar to Trainz? I have TRS 2004 and 06 and I still think MSTS is far superior so until we see and actually test drive the future, it's all just marketing.





#11 dajones

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Posted 23 January 2007 - 05:03 PM

I will probably continue to buy MSTS add-ons as long as I can run MSTS. I will definitely buy the ON and the steam sound pack. I don't know much about the Frisco, so I might not buy that pack.

Doug

#12 ozace50

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Posted 23 January 2007 - 05:06 PM

I'll still be running MSTS 1 for a long time, as I can't afford to buy a new computer - which I suspect that MSTS X will require to get the best out of it. So I'll still be buying addons, especially yours because of the quality.

#13 ChiliLine

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Posted 23 January 2007 - 05:07 PM

Andre:

I suspect that while there may be some drop in sales, most of us will continue along the same lines as before until we reach such a point that there is more certainty. It may take a bit to come back to some steadiness, but I suspect that we'll fall back into our old habits once the newness of the annoucement wears off. When (and if) we approach an actual release date, people will stop buying new items unless it's clear that there will be good compatibility. But with respect to MSTS we're not creatures of need as much as creatures of desire, and it's tough to keep that desire unfilled for so long. tongue.gif

That's especially true when the workmanship is at such an excellent level. Those F units are outstanding!

#14 bennycdn

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Posted 23 January 2007 - 05:22 PM

I'm not a Frisco fan,though you can still count on my support with a forthcoming purchase.

#15 nbeveridge

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Posted 23 January 2007 - 06:51 PM

QUOTE(laming @ Jan 23 2007, 4:38 PM) View Post

Last picture for now. Keep in mind this is only the F7 black and yellow paint scheme series. Representations of all F's and schemes was planned. (As would be the case for all Frisco engines modeled.)


I have been hoping for a Frisco anything for a long time. I have a number of older Frisco models, including some by A. Ming, but state of the art locos and rolling stock such as you have shown here will definitely be on my shopping list. I don't have all of GB's packs, but I do have most, and they are quickly replacing many of the older freeware items which simply don't measure up. Besides, I prefer older equipment, which is why I also have many of the 3dTrains sets.

As for MSTS X, as someone else has said, when it is in my hands, then maybe, just maybe, I'll consider reducing my involvement in the current version. I said reducing, not ending. Frankly, I am surprised at how much hot air is blowing about regarding MSTS X. Fellows, we have a bird in the hand -- let's release the air, notch it up, and get on with it! There are loads to pick up!

#16 milepost56

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Posted 23 January 2007 - 07:22 PM

The operas not over til the fat lady sings wink.gif

A chance to run some grungy F's and Geeps with a few Alco's and Baldwins tossed in is to much for me to resist, count me in smile.gif smile.gif

When you turn the page, so shall we Andre and thanks for the carrot wink.gif ohmy.gif smile.gif

#17 akajim

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Posted 23 January 2007 - 07:25 PM

In the past two months, I believe I have purchased more than I did for the previous 11 months. For 2006 I received "Goodies from SLI/Diesels West/3DTrains/BLW/VScale/NBRM/GNR and probably more. Upgraded my rig a bit more and purchased a new LCD monitor. What with George's Bin and all the great freeware stuff available; I'm quite happy with MSTS and will stay with same if the predicted new sim is a start from scratch project.

cool.gif Ron K of Rockford


#18 akajim

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Posted 23 January 2007 - 07:31 PM

As a footnote, I (and probably a few others) would like to see some CNW, Rock Island and Milwaukee Road packs; to name a few. Am I right Kevin & Sean???
cool.gif Ron K of Rockford

P.S Hey Kev, where'd ya get the neat CNW Heritage shot; as if I didn't know!


#19 NSsignalmaintainer

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Posted 23 January 2007 - 07:48 PM

Andre and Gaetan:

I can understand your concern over pushing ahead with add-on routes and packs that MSTS 2 may not support. I, for one, am ignoring all the hype and hoopla over MSTS 2. It's not been that long ago that MSTS abandoned their plans of another MSTS 2 and frankly, I have not forgotten that. I will believe MSTS 2 is being released when I'm shoving a CD into my PC to load it!

Until then, I will continue to buy and support add-on packs and routes that are of interest to me. Gaetan's Frisco F-units are awesome (as is everything he makes) but the problem is I don't have a route to run them on. I tend to buy add-on packs that I can use in a route and/or that I can justify having on a route. I had the Fort Smith Sub route on my old computer and never reloaded it on my new computer because I wasn't very pleased with the way the track was laid out; especially some of the curves. If there was a really nice Frisco route out there, I would snatch up the Frisco mega pack in a heartbeat. This doesn't mean I won't buy the Frisco mega pack, but I will not be making any commitments to purchase until I see what it all contains and how much it costs.

Speaking of costs, how much will the mega pack(s) cost? Maybe that hasn't been decided yet, but I'm afraid if they're too pricey, people are going to be more relunctant to purchase them unless they really LIKE and WANT the content. Others who are not big into the Frisco might be hesitant to shell out $25-30 for a pack that doesn't really interest them. Up to this point, the products from both VSC and BLW have been very reasonably priced and of high quality. This is a winning combination and because of this, I have purchased many products from both. So, in a nutshell, be careful with the mega packs and how much they cost. I'm not a tightwad, but I'm also not a complusive buyer, either. I carefully consider each purchase I make no matter what it is. Fortunately, everyone is not like me, but there are many who are.

I can imagine the biggest challenge you guys face is producing something that will appeal to a large audience. How many people will buy the new Frisco mega pack? Lord only knows, but if it has a lot of neat stuff and it is reasonably priced, I will probably buy it and so will a lot of other folks. If Gaetan was offering a Monon mega pack and it cost $30, I would probably buy it without giving it a second thought because I like the Monon freeware route and it's a fallen flag that runs through my hometown. (How's that for a HINT, Gaetan?)

Like many have already stated, I will continue to $upport you guys until something better comes along; when and IF that ever happens! Until then, I say keep going with your awesome routes and packs. You guys may not get rich, but I believe there are still a lot of people who will buy them regardless of the announcement of MSTS 2 or whatever Kuju is working on. I believe both are a long ways off if they ever get released at all. In the meantime, there's a bunch of us that still enjoy the challenge and beauty of the A&O Sub or running Gaetan's add-on B&O engines and cabeese down Sandpatch grade to Cumberland... biggrin.gif

#20 SeanK97

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Posted 23 January 2007 - 07:57 PM

Did someone mention CNW and Milwaukee Road???? Oh yeah can't forget Rock Island in that group of hopefuls. biggrin.gif