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Topics - stiletto2

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31



I am pleased to announce the availability of the "Hollis Harbor - Gateway to Prince of Wales Island" scenery enhancement.   Look under "H" in the RTMM scenery section for Hollis Harbor.  To quote one of the beta testers, "... this is one of the most immersive sceneries out there".   

The Hollis Harbor scenery enhancement package is about 8 MB in size with the scenery enhancements spread out over 200 square miles, centering on Hollis, Alaska, in 4 different seasons.   It features a 16 page User Guide, a number of maps and charts and provides optional Floatplane and Boat AI files without having to load any additional scenery packages.

The Eagle Air brothers have moved their headquarters from Ketchikan Harbor to Hollis, Alaska.  Eagle Air is now transporting customers (and some cargo), who arrive in Hollis by ferry from the mainland, as well as locals to different places on Prince of Wales Island.  The most common destinations are the seaplane bases at Craig, Hydaburg, Port Alexander and Coffman Cove.  Of course, Eagle Air does make trips to Ketchikan also.  Business is so good that Eagle Air now has its own "Eagle Air Network Map" (included in the scenery package) and is contracting with locals to do extra floatplane trips each day. All of the nearby towns shown on the Eagle Air Network Map are "photoreal" areas created by the Tongass Fjords FSX scenery.  A floatplane trip from Hollis to these little towns makes for a great scenic flight.  (Note: These trips can also be flown for vNAC credit at Chris Losh's Virtual Northern Air Charters (vNAC) website at this link: http://vnac.org/vnacmain/index.php/.  Eagle Air Charters (EAC) is now available on the vNAC website and Hollis SPB is now a hub that makes a great central location for floatplane fliers.

This enhancement requires FSX with Acceleration, ORBX PFJ, Tongass Fjords FSX and the RTMM Object Libraries.  It will work with or without ORBX PAKT installed.  Hollis Harbor is the first RTMM scenery to offer Full Seasonal Immersion (FSI) using the updated RTMM Season Switcher v3.3 which is now available just by clicking on Scenery at the main RTMM site.   

So, what does FSI provide?  When the season changes, via the RTMM Season Switcher (v3.3), so does a lot more than just foliage, including just about anything that would normally change in real life.  The numbers, types and locations of boats, floatplanes, cars, people, boxes, dead tree branches, crates, pallets etc. all change with each season. This is the first scenery enhancement that builds a temporary dirt airfield in the summer and then washes it away again in the very rainy fall.  Seagull sounds are heard in the Ferry Dock area most of the year but are noticeably absent in the winter.

The seasonal changes are consistent with the Hollis weather: cool winter (moderate snow, low activity), damp spring (snow melt off and some rain, a lot more activity), fairly dry cool summer (not much rain, most activity), very, very wet and cool fall (40+ inches of rain, more activity than winter but less than spring).

Note:  Ice will also appear in the water in the colder months, even changing to slushy ice as the weather gets warmer. 

Hollis Harbor features a detailed storyline that inspires little seasonal adventures where the user can visit various locations in the Hollis, Alaska area.  Hollis Harbor is a floatplane fliers paradise featuring one of the neatest little floatplane harbors in the RTMM flying area as well as boating on the Karta "River Run", a road trip up to an abandoned mine and some interesting places to try and land a floatplane.  AI is very active in this scenery with seasonally scheduled (a time schedule is available in the User Guide) AI ferry, fishing boat and floatplane departures.

The repeatability and fun factor for this scenery is very high and yet the scenery maintains a very good realism factor.   The best way to find out just how immersive FSI can be is to download the Hollis Harbor package and try it out.

I would like to thank the Hollis Harbor Team, including Rob Abernathy, Dieter Linde, Doug Linn, Guy "Spud" Maricich & Dexter Thomas for all of their help in getting this scenery package out the door.
 
I have posted a number of pictures below to give you a sense of this unique scenery experience.  (The pictures may blur a bit when you zoom since I used low resolution to allow for faster loading on this site)

Rod Jackson
Lead Developer - Hollis Harbor



One of the detailed maps included with Hollis Harbor



Hollis Harbor in the winter



The Eagle Air hub location in the Spring



An Eagle Air AI Floatplane before it departs in the winter



Hollis Island in the Summer as a couple of AI floatplanes taxi out to depart



The Hollis Ferry Dock is pretty busy in the Summer



The Hollis Ferry Dock and fishing dock look pretty quiet in the Fall



The Harris River & Falls at lower water level in the Summer



The Harris River & Falls at higher water level in the rainy Fall



A temporary dirt airfield is leveled a bit and cleared for the summer



The temporary dirt airfield washing away in the rainy Fall



Brads Bait & BBQ in summer near where the Karta River empties into Twelvemile Arm



On the way out to the Lucky Nell Mine but drifting snow in the winter can be a problem



Looks like the timber rafting station is in its full Spring swing



Ferry in the dock at PAKT SP1



Ferry leaving dock in Ketchikan PFJ (no PAKT SP1 installed)



Wolf Creek Falls in the summer



Wolf Creek Boathouse in the dry summer at low tide



The emergency medivac Helipad is right behind the Volunteer Fire Department



Hollis, Alaska in the Spring from the fire tower



One of the cabins on the Karta River in the Summer



The Hollis Fed Ex drop off/pick up



An Eagle Air AI floatplane returns late on a Fall afternoon



32
Hi all,

Well, the brothers from Eagle Air at Ketchikan Harbor have moved their office and floatplane base to quieter digs at Hollis, Alaska which is on Prince of Wales Island.  They are planning on selling their Ketchikan location to Carlin Air and still plan to make stops at the Carlin Air facility. As a result of this move........

RTMM is pleased to announce:



You may ask, why does it say "Gateway to Prince of Wales Island".  Well, currently, the most economical way to get you and (if you want) your car to Prince of Wales Island from Ketchikan is the Inter-Island Ferry Authority which runs a daily ferry from Ketchikan to Hollis, Alaska. 

As opposed to Ketchikan Harbor, this scenery package will enhance hundreds of square miles with objects from the RTMM Object Libraries as well as creeks, small waterfalls, roads etc.  Even though, Hollis, Alaksa is a very small community, this scenery enhancement will provide a fictionally higher level of activity to increase the "fun" factor while still being true to the Hollis, Alaska environment.

As opposed to most other RTMM sceneries, besides requiring ORBX PFJ, this scenery will absolutely require the wonderful payware known as Tongass Fjords X by Holger Sandmann and Bill Womack.   Three reasons for this:

1.  Hollis, Alaska is located in the far west part of the ORBX PFJ area and in the far east part of the Tongass Fjords X scenery area.  It is in both scenery areas.

2. Hollis Harbor will use many objects from Tongass Fjords X.

3. When you are flying in and out of Hollis, you are going to want to be flying to Klawock, Craig and even Hydaburg....all cities inside the Tongass Fjords X scenery area.

Yes, this scenery definitely expands RTMM activity into Tongass Fjords X and I am looking forward to many future bush scenery enhancements from the RTMM staff that lie inside the beautiful Tongass Fjords X scenery area.

Hollis Harbor will prominently feature something that RTMM has been focused on from the beginnig......a number of  locations that the user will want to visit because of the story lines that will draw them there.

What could be better than that.........well, wonder if your visit to a location would display some different imagery depending on the season when you visit and I don't just mean terrain/foliage.   Hollis Harbor will be introducing something I am calling, Full Seasonal Immersion  (FSI).   

The Hollis Harbor scenery will use RTMM Season Switcher v3.3 which will soon be released.  This new version of the switcher will not only switch object files, but it will switch almost any seasonal file a develper cares to create including seasonal files in scenery\world\scenery, which means the new version of the  switcher will be able to switch seasonal AI Traffic files.

So that you, the user will be able to enjoy this new feature immediately, Dexter Thomas has been working closely with me and I am proud to announce that the initial release of Hollis Harbor will also include full AI Floatplane traffic in the harbor programmed by Dex......just as you see it in the announcment picture above.  In addition, both Dex and Rob Abernathy have worked on faithfully depicting regular departures of the Ferry from the Hollis Ferry Dock.

So, let's delve into just what FSI means to you.    Bottom line: when the season changes via the RTMM Season Switcher, so does a lot more than just foliage and terrain.  What else can change besides foliage and terrain, you ask, well….just about anything that would normally change in real life….this is why I refer to this type of scenery as Full Seasonal Immersion.

Each season change initiated by the user using the RTMM Season Switcher v3.3 and also made by the user in the FSX Time & Season selection will cause a seasonally appropriate change.  Some examples of things that change by season using the Hollis Harbor scenery enhancement are:   

      -  Tree foliage including some bushes
      -  Number, types, and locations of

               o    docked boats, floatplanes
               o    parked cars
               o    people
               o    boxes, crates, fallen tree branches and other miscellaneous objects
               o    scenes that would not be fixed in place over time (e.g. campers, loggers, temporary 
                     landing strips etc.)

      -   AI floatplane traffic volume according to the season
      -   AI leisure boat traffic volume according to the season
      -   FSX Road Traffic volume according to the season
      -   Water volume in at least one river with appropriate shoreline changes according to the season
      -   The Hollis Ferry and Fishing Boat departure times according to the season
      -   Ice in the water (including broken ice) and snow on land (some change are monthly during Jan
          through May)

The seasonal changes will be consistent with the Hollis weather:   cool winter (moderate snow, low activity), damp spring (snow melt off and some rain, a lot more activity), fairly dry cool summer (not much rain, most activity),  very, very wet and cool fall (40+ inches of rain, more activity than winter but less than spring).

One of the destinations just outside of Hollis will be the Karta River & Lake area which will feature a relatively smooth river run....at the beginning of the river run (which you can boat to from the Hollis Island dock) is, of course, a Brad's BBQ (they do get everywhere).  The following animated GIF will sequence through the four seasons at Brad's BBQ to give you and idea of how FSI looks. 




So, a lot to look forward to....beta testing starts early next week....don't know how long that will take since this is a bit more complex than the average RTMM scenery addon.

Rod


33
Addon Scenery and Enhancements / Ketchikan Harbor is now available!
« on: February 05, 2012, 09:31:52 AM »
Ketchikan Harbor is a scenery enhancement that provides a significant amount of extra detail in the Ketchikan Harbor area as well as Eagle Air, a fictitious floatplane tour and charter service, that specializes in flying to RTMM scenery locations. 

The Ketchikan Harbor scenery adds a small commercial dock/float plane area (boardwalk/pilings etc.) just southeast of the 5KE water runways and just off the bow of the cargo/freighter ship docked to the northwest of all of the cruise ships.  This is where Eagle Air can be found.  In addition, scenery objects have been added around the freighter cargo dock and additional buildings and trees have been added surrounding the general harbor area and, also in downtown Ketchikan.  The intent of the building additions in downtown Ketchikan was to diminish the glass and steel look and add more color both in the daytime and at night which is how Ketchikan downtown actually looks.
 
For those of you who can fly with good frame rates in PAKT with SP1, this scenery addon should work well.  In order to minimize the hit to frame rates, I limited the number of addon larger buildings along the edge of the coast to just the immediate area around Eagle Air.  Dieter Linde, one of the beta testers, has reported no significant loss of frame rates on his rig. But of course, each individual rig will vary on a case by case basis.  There are two .bgls provided and one of them can be dropped to help improve frame rates, if necessary, while still providing the immediate Eagle Air surroundings.  You would however, lose the freight dock enhancements, the downtown Ketchikan enhancements and scattered scenery objects. 

Eagle Air is a great place for your floatplane to depart from on its daily schedule of tours/charters and then return in the late afternoon.  Download the Ketchikan Harbor today and try it. 

IMPORTANT:  Ketchikan Harbor scenery enhancement requires that the FSX Mesh Resolution be set to exactly 5m....the ORBX standard.  Any more or less will blow up the  scenery boardwalk which is sitting on the bumpy shoreline and very sensitive to mesh resolution.

This scenery enhancement  requires FSX Acceleration and the ORBX PAKT with SP1 scenery product as well as two publicly available object libraries listed in the readme.  This scenery addon does not change or move any ORBX files and no ORBX objects were used in its creation.

See screenshots below:

Ketchikan Harbor



Eagle Air & Boardwalk Area:



Tongass Ave. behind Eagle Air



Eagle Air & Boardwalk Area at dusk:



Ketchikan Downtown



Ketchikan Downtown at night:



As you can see, the added detail is fully lighted and looks beautiful at night together with ORBX's PAKT SP1 product.  A nighttime flight up the PAKT Harbor coast is a must with this enhancement.

I would like to thank Dieter Linde, Robert Abernathy and Brad Allen for their feedback, suggestions and beta testing during the development of the Ketchikan Harbor scenery enhancement.

Ketchikan Harbor is now available in the Scenery section of the RTMM libraries.

Enjoy!

Rod "Stiletto2" Jackson

34
Addon Scenery and Enhancements / Coming Soon......Ketchikan Harbor
« on: January 31, 2012, 11:39:16 PM »
Hi all,

For those of you who were hoping for some extra detail and a a little denser set of buildings and trees up the harbor coast from downtown Ketchikan than ORBX's superb PAKT (SP1) provides, Ketchikan Harbor can help fill that need.

If you were looking for some place to go after landing your floatplane at 5KE, Eagle Air tour and charter service might be the place to dock.   

Ketchikan Harbor adds over 300 objects to the Ketchikan Harbor area...just enough to improve the look but not so much that frame rates are crushed. 

Ketchikan Harbor should be submitted to RTMM for finalization very, very soon.

Stay tuned....

Rod 

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