Hi everyone! Welcome to the final KHOU developer update before release. In this update, I will summarize the project, give some reflections, and what to expect as we near release.
At this point, the scenery is basically complete. We are finishing the last loose ends with texturing and cluttering the scenery. All that's left for us is stress testing and getting the scenery to our distributors.
Collaboration with FSimStudios
If you didn't see the news already, we recently announced that the scenery will be distributed by FSimStudios on their distribution channels. This is because, since the start, FSimStudios has been behind the scenes, helping bring the scenery to life. Releasing under their name enables us to better get the scenery to the marketplace faster, which would have delayed the scenery by several weeks if we had done it under the Texan Simulations brand.
If you haven't yet, I highly recommend you check out FSimStudios and their work. Their scenery for Canada is considered some of the best you can get!
This scenery started many years ago; I was frustrated and confused by how bad KHOU was in the simulator. Jetways were in the middle of parking spots, some runways were closed in real life but still open, and it was overall a mess. So I set out to learn how to make scenery.
In doing so, I also learned how to 3D model and texture, eventually leading to me making a freeware version of KLBB.
After that, I decided I was ready to tackle Hobby. After many failed attempts to model the main terminal, I decided that it wasn't something I could do alone and reached out to fellow developers to see if they were interested in collaborating. A short while later, I was contacted by FSimStudios, and the collaboration was born.
I've learned a lot from making this scenery. Mainly, no matter what release date you have in mind, there will be delays and things you can't control that will put you back.
I'm excited to share the final product with y'all. Hobby is an airport I care deeply about, and I hope I did it justice.
Here is a mostly complete list of everything the scenery will feature:
- Handmade PBR Textured Buildings (over 50 of them)
- Detailed Interiors for all the Concourses of the Terminal (you can also toggle them on and off).
- Custom Numbered Jetways for Each Gate
- Accurate Airfield Lighting
- Complete Removal of Runway 17 to match plans for current construction.
- Custom Taxiway Signs
- Custom Ground Textures, with Discoloration to Match Real Life
- Updated High Res Orthographic Imagery
- Custom Vehicles and GSE around the terminal.
- Updated AFCAD, including Taxiway Names and Parking Spots.
- Static Aircraft around the Airfield
I'm probably missing a few, but you get the idea.
Plans for Release
Unless we find something during Beta testing happens, the scenery is scheduled to release on May 12th and be priced at $18.99.
The release should be relatively straightforward. On day 1, you should be able to purchase the product at FSimStudios.com and then a couple days later at other distributors. We recommend purchasing directly from FSimStudios.com as it directly supports the developers.
Due to stuff out of our control related to the marketplace, it could take a few days after the release date for the scenery to become available on the MSFS marketplace. We'll try our best to get it available asap, but we don't have much control over it.
Additionally, we also have some fun stuff in the works for you. Mainly a partnership with VATSIM which more details will follow soon. We also will be doing something special for all the SVA pilots. So stay tuned.
Acknowledgments and Thanks
Before we release, there are a couple people I would like to thank for their help with the scenery:
First, a huge thank you to FSimStudios and their fantastic team. They made this project a reality; I have learned so much from them and can't thank them enough.
Another huge thanks to Wickedbacon, the excellent developer behind IniBuilds KSAT, for his guidance and wisdom.
Drew and VATSIM ZHU for helping us have an awesome event with the release.
I'd also like to thank everyone following the project and helping me get the word out. We've had quite a few delays, and I appreciate your patience.