FScene, 15 years young!

Ruud Faber is one of the actual few developers who have been on the FS scene for many years, 15 on his case.

We should be the ones to send him a present, but he decides to offer 50% OFF on FScene’s TotalPack (FS2004/FSX) until the end of January 2011.

FScene is widely acknowledged by flightsim enthusiasts as a captivating and subtle makeover for the default scenery of Flight Simulator. Once it’s installed you’ll wonder how you ever flew without it! The latest version now incorporates replacement textures for Flight Simulator X and 2004. The software covers a huge swathe of the planet’s surface and will transform your simulated flying in all four visual seasons. Spring, Summer, Autumn, Winter (and a beautiful snowy ‘hard Winter’ season).
Because FScene4X simply replaces the default textures with a different set, it is fully compatible with all available add-ons for a.o. Mesh, Landclass, Photo-real scenery, Airports, Autogen, Environment, Traffic etc.

Struggle and Inspiration
15 years Work and Pleasure with the Flight Simulator – by Ruud Faber of FScene
# 1982 – Flight Simulator 1.0 1983 – Flight Simulator 2.0
# 1988 – Flight Simulator 3.0 1989 – Flight Simulator 4.0
# 1993 – Flight Simulator 5.0 1995 – Flight Simulator 5.1
My interest in Microsoft’s Flight Simulator started in the early 90’s. Just for having some fun!

  • Aug. 1996: MSFS 6th Generation FSW95 (FS 6.0) the first Windows version.

A great new Flight Simulator version indeed, but i didn’t like the terrain textures when flying over my native country
Released nothing, just busy flying this new wonder and painting some (300) sample bitmaps for the Netherlands. They never left my PC.

  • Aug 1997: MSFS FS98 (FS 6.1): higher resolution (1280×1024, 16 bit color).

Microsoft used a higher resolution, so had to start it all over again from scratch. Went on painting, got the taste of it and released some free trials.
Somewhere in 1998 I released my first real flightsim “invention” .
To build a city, I used at least 4 different styles of bmp’s, partly overlapping each other!

Andrew Herd of later wrote in one of his reviews: “Long ago, in a far off time when FS was still a cutting edge simulation, a guy called Ruud Faber released a freeware set of Dutch polder textures. The Internet as we know it was young and Flight Simulator was graced with a single set of ground textures which served to cover everywhere from Barbados to Byelorus, the result being ever so slightly monotonous. The package (R_TEXTS.ZIP) was downloaded no less than 287 times, which wasn’t bad going in the days when getting connected to the Internet meant a long distance call for most of us.”

  • Sep 1999: MSFS 7th Generation: FS2000 (FS 7.0) 3D-elevation terrain, better generic textures.

My invention was not followed by the Microsoft developers, can you believe that! I had to follow their MSFS “engine”. Had to start all over again. My experiences as a watercolorist came in handy now, secret: “the shadow makes the picture” and the idea of the artificial “3D ground texture” was born! Released the free Fscene2.0 version during2000/2001. Over 2000 hand made texture files. I never counted the hours it took to make them.

Andrew wrote: “FScene.02 was typical of how former freeware developers’ horizons tended to expand once they had the cash to justify concentrating on development, rather than taking time away from the family for no justifiable reason. The downside of the task Ruud faced was that it was an order of magnitude bigger than it once had been, thanks to the much more sophisticated management of ground textures in the new version of Flight Simulator, but undaunted, he set to work and painted a completely new set.”

  • Oct 2001: MSFS 8th Generation: FS 2002 (FS 8.0) Improved 3D-elevation (mesh-scenery), AutoGen buildings, trees.

The Microsoft people changed so much in this version So, i again made a new set and released it as FScene2002 during 2002/2003. This time Payware and exactly that proved to be a breakthrough. More new users than ever before!

Ian Scott, AVSIM staff reviewer at the time wrote: ” ….”Okay I thought, I’ll buy one season for Europe. Let’s see what it looks like. And the rest (as my old grandpa never said but he could have if he wanted to!) is history! Since I bought Ruud’s texture sets, my enjoyment of FS2002 has been immeasurably enhanced. I enjoy looking at the scenery in ways that no previous experience of flight simming has ever given me. ”

  • July 2003: MSFS 9th Generation: FS 2004 (FS 9.0) – “A Century of Flight”. Improved weather, mesh and autogen.

Released 24 completely revised Season Packs during 2004/2005: FScene2004. Still the base of the present version. This set was perfected during 2005/2006 by several free patches, plus the adjustment of all autogen files. What’s more: FScene became popular, I earned some real money!

Andrew Herd: “Last time I reviewed FScene, I couldn’t help wondering why Microsoft didn’t just go out and hire Ruud to do the FS2004 textures for them. Now I have the luxury of going back and taking a second look at them, I find I still think that way, so I guess these textures from the flying Dutchman deserve their Armchair Aviator Award. Unlike so many addons, Ruud’s textures have made a permanent home on my hard disk.”

  • October 2006: MSFS 10th Generation: FSX (FS 10.0) – New PC to run it, but great show!

Indeed! And again a new problem for yours truly. Because of the many changes in flightsimulator X , FScene2004 caused ugly “gaps” in the terrain. Moreover the difference in color between FSX and FScene was showing very prominently.
That’s why I rearranged and added hundreds of textures and at the same time left the many advantages of FSX intact, thus combining the best of two worlds.

FScene4X was born then and it’s still alive and kicking. Thanks to you all and the kind reviewers from all over the world.
Ruud Faber –

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