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MegaScenery USA: Pacific Northwest

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MegaScenery News Article...

Gearing Up For the Release Of Pacific Northwest
19 December 2004
We're very excited about our next title - Pacific Northwest. Yes it's 3 months overdue but the wait will be more than worth it for users of MegaScenery. The reason for the lateness was not slow development but instead it was due to the development and incorporation of the latest MegaScenery features and improvements.

This new product will give you Four MegaScenery Scenery Technologies in the one product.

MegaCity Technology: Firstly you get our new MegaCity Technology. MegaCity Technology presents you with much more fine detail when flying over major cities. While the source data for cross country areas is 5 meter per pixel satellite photographs, the new MegaCity Technology uses 1 foot per pixel aerial photography as the source image.

Yes, when it's displayed in Flight Simulator 2004 it's sampled back to 5 meters but the much higher resolution source image captures a lot more information and preserves most of that information even when sampled down to 5 meter for display in FS2004. The data that is preserved means that you can even see cars on interstates and detail right down to small trees and shrubs on golf courses. We're very excited about MegaCity Technology and we show it off for the first time in Pacific Northwest.

Night Scenery: There's nothing that heightens the senses when flying as much as the awesome views you get when flying over cities at night. All previous volumes of MegaScenery have had night scenery. A unique feature amongst other photoreal sceneries that are out there. MegaScenery's night scenery technology knows where every light emitting source exists at the street level. So streets, highways, minor roads, developed subdivisions and undeveloped land all give off light accordingly in MegaScenery.

Over the past few volumes the night lighting has gradually evolved to look more and more like the real thing and we believe that in the Pacific Northwest title, we have got it as close as possible to the actual appearance, feel and atmosphere of night flying. And that's not just limited to the city. Every square inch of the 30,000 square miles of the Pacific Northwest title (and also all previous titles) has MegaScenery's unique night scenery. It really does have to be seen to be believed.

Winter Scenery: New York was the first title to include MegaScenery's Winter Scenery technology. We've further improved it so it looks even more realistic and have included it in the Pacific Northwest title.

Regular Day Photorealistic Scenery: This is the primary reason you own and fly MegaScenery. Tens of thousands of square miles of 5 meter photorealistic scenery that recreates the actual world beneath you while you are flying in Flight Simulator 2004. This title was a mammoth project as we delivered our biggest title yet. 175 miles in each direction for a total of 30,000 square miles of MegaScenery.

Back in 1998 we picked what is probably the best area possible in the USA to let people fly on their PC with their jaw on the ground with the first rendition of MegaScenery. Back then it was using 30 meter per pixel data for cross country scenery. This rendition is 36 times the resolution. Even back then such features as Mt Rainier, Mt St Helens, the Cascades and Washington's Olympic Mountains looked incredible.

Just wait till you're seeing these landmarks 36 times more clearly. We believe that this is the MegaScenery title that will also have you flying with your jaw on the ground and if not that - certainly give your spine a tingle or two.

The Usual Fine Tuning
On top of the new technology development Pacific Northwest includes all of the usual fine tuning to make it as visually accurate as possible.

That includes hand creating hundreds and hundreds of miles of coastlines around all water bodies to give these water bodies "water properties" within Flight Simulator. Other photorealistic sceneries do only give you bitmaps when it comes to water bodies in the scenery meaning that you cannot land on them. MegaScenery water does let you land on it with floatplanes.

Repositioning of objects is another critical feature of MegaScenery development and even more so with the use of MegaCity Technology. Without intending to discredit Microsoft almost all default objects are mispositioned in terms of geographical co-ordinates when you're talking at the level of "meters" on the ground. While this is not a problem for default scenery when you're laying down a high resolution bitmap that includes (silhouettes of) the actual objects themselves then the misalignment of the default FS2004 objects becomes clearly visible.

The developers need to go into the scenery file along with all of its difficult to understand coding, locate the object and relocate it perfectly over the bitmap to within feet. With hundreds of misaligned objects this is a huge task on its own merits. We are very confident that MegaScenery Pacific Northwest is very accurate in terms of its building placement - right down to the last foot.

So yes, we are a little later than planned with MegaScenery Pacific Northwest but to all you purists out there we assure you that it WILL have been worth the wait. This is, hands down, the best MegaScenery title yet.

The software itself has gone gold - meaning that it has been signed off - "ready for duplication" and we are just days away from starting the production presses for all of the packaging and value-added content inside the box including the color VFR charts and the instrument approach charts. We expect to commence shipping between 17 and 24 January 2005. If you don't own a MegaScenery title yet, MegaScenery Pacific Northwest IS the one to own!

We are going to be shipping thousands of packages on the day of release in the order they were received. You can preorder now and get right up there in the queue to ensure you won't have to wait a day more than you should to get this scenery title on your PC. When you preorder your order is keyed into our system but your credit card is NOT charged. The day the product arrives into our warehouse, then and only then do we charge your credit card, and then release your order for shipping. You can find out more about the Pacific Northwest title by going to the product information page.