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usually i spend about an hour after work to create flight plans for the fshost i run. i usually run low or no viz ILS aprroach.it's not the flight plans that take the time, but finding low viz real weather around the world is time consuming even though i use severel different weather services for information. what would be cool ? if there was a forced weather application that the host could use to create a low viz or storm enviroment for all players connecting.maybe , just maybe fsuipc would be incorporated somehow. i haven't a clue how to do it. but maybe we can find someone who knows. hhmmm  russell knows ;D

I second that notion. If it can be done, forcing a cingle weather pattern (and time of day) on the whole gang makes sense. What would happen if I have 50mph winds from the north and player B has 50 from the south.... could make for some interesting pattern work...

I wonder if you could also put the instructor stuff into FSHost - imagine taking out engins and wheels and such on a group of student pilots.... ;D

BTW - Thanks for everything Russ.

Russell Gilbert:
This is a great feature, and one that I've thought about many times myself.

As I see it, there are two ways to do the weather.  One is to get real world weather from an external source, similar to the way the FS weather programs do it.  The other is to create a new screen in FSHost where the admin can manually setup the weather for all players (or individual players, or particular geographic regions, if we want to really get crazy here).

With real world weather, FSHost needs to do basically the same thing all of the other weather programs do.  Pull down the info from a web (or ftp) site,  manipulate the data somehow (this is where I get lost), and then send messages to the game.  And when the weather programs send messages to the game, they use FSUIPC, and talk directly to FS, which is running on the same machine.  In FSHost, it's not able to use FSUIPC because it's obviously not on the same machine as each player's FS, so it has to send the weather info in game messages, across the internet.

Now, I talked breifly with one of the guys that wrote one of these weather programs, and we discussed the idea of trying to get our two programs to work together.  Unfortunately we haven't really gotten far enough to know if that will even work, but I think it's still a possibility somewhere down the road.

The other option is for the FSHost admin to setup the weather manually, just like you can do inside your own FS, but with a new screen inside FSHost.  In this case, FSHost would send weather messages across the internet to each player's FS, and they would set themselves to use that weather.  I can tell you that I've had some success with this actually, and have been able to send a weather message to another machine and that machine did change its weather immediately (a nice thick fog :-) )

Both options (real wx or manual) require quite a bit of work.  But the manual option probably only requires work from me, which is always easier than trying to coordinate between two people and two programs.

So I put it to you guys...  what would you think about having a way to manually setup the weather, and then have FSHost send that to all players?  My idea is that it would send it to all current players in the game, as well as any new ones that joined later (similar to how the date/time feature works).  We could also have an option to re-send the weather to players every X minutes, to keep people from cheating and clearing their weather.  (Unfortunately there's not a way for FSHost to know what kind of weather a player has -- that requires FSUIPC, talking directly to FS on the same machine)  I would probably start by just having a way to set global weather, so everyone in the game would see the same weather regardless of where they were.

And I can also tell you that sending failure messages to players is exactly the same as sending weather messages.  So it's also possible for FSHost to have an interface where the admin could send an engine failure message to a particular player, or whatever you can do in Flight Instructor (but maybe without the fancy graphs).

The only catch is that with 2004 about to come out, I'm slightly hesitant to add major features without knowing if they'll work with 2004 also.  My understanding is that 2004 will have more advanced weather, but I don't know if that means it'll just draw prettier clouds, of if they're going to change all the weather messages as well.  Maybe someone that has the beta can tell us if they've made significant changes to the weather interface.

So let's hear it guys, whad'ya think?  :-)


russell, i think you have a good wait and see idea. since century of flight(fs2004) is coming out at the end of next month, it would be a shame for you to put a bunch of hours in fshost for wx only to not have it work in the next flight sim. i think we can wait  ;D

Weather and failures would be fantastic.  I host a FSHost session 24 hours a day for a virtual airline, www.pierglass.com, if anyone is interested.  

FSHost is a godsend.  Such a cool program.  I'm looking forward to even fancier versions!




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