Figured I’d post this seperately to keep the XPack news in its own post :->
Band stuff has been going pretty well. Dirty Jack has had a few gigs now and they went fairly well. I decided my 88-key MIDI controllers were just too large and heavy (well the one with hammer action keys anyway) to lug around and setup on stage, so got myself a pair of M-Audio Axiom 61 MIDI controllers to use. These are very nice controllers if anyone is in the market for a USB MIDI controller (actually, I like just about everything in the M-Audio product line :->), they even have after-touch (first keyboards I’ve had with that, one of these days I may even figure out how to use it well :->). They also have 9 sliders, 8 rotary controllers, 8 drum pad like controllers (which I use for stuff like a VibraSlap, CowBell, helicopter sound effect, etc). They are light enough, but still feel well made.
Dirty Jack has one more gig currently booked on March 17th (St Patrick’s Day) at the Box Seats in Massaponox (which is just a few miles south of my house), and we are currently working on setting up a few more gigs, so if you are in the Northern Virginia area, check out the calendar on our website for future dates and drop by for a listen.
I’ve also joined a second band (really more of a 4 piece combo) called Flaming Red Horizon. I’m playing Bass Guitar in this band. This band is doing more blues type music, along with some originals written by a couple of the members. We’ve had a couple of half gigs (we split the bill with another recently formed band at one gig and also played in a battle of the bands contest) and I think we did fairly well, considering we only had 3 or 4 practices before hitting the stage. Here’s a couple links to some video Dave’s wife shot at one of the gigs:
I’m the one wearing the black bass guitar :->
Tim "Beatle" Gregson
As you’ve no doubt already seen by now, we’ve finally announced the product I’ve been working on but couldn’t talk about – the Flight Sim X:Adrenaline expansion pack. XPack (easier to type than Adrenaline :-> ) will include single player and multiplayer air racing including a P-51 Mustang racing aircraft, some new non-racing related missions (no public details on those yet), some new aircraft (no public details except the P-51 mentioned above yet). And to assuage the fears of the add-on developers out there, we aren’t out to put you out of business, but are designing the XPack to include new features that you guys and gals can write your add-ons against (like creating your own air racing courses, creating race specific aircraft add-ons, and a few other bits and pieces that we haven’t been cleared to talk about publicly yet).
The one point in some of the talk (both our official announcements and general talk among the users) that I take a little exception to is that this is something "new" in the Flight Sim franchise (ie releasing an add-on). Granted it has been awhile since we’ve done one (OK, back before MS bought us when we were still BAO), but we have released a number of pay for add-ons over the years, including SGA (Sound, Graphics, and Aircraft) for FS4 (I remember this one because it was the first thing I worked on after joining BAO), we bundled Laeming Wheeler’s aircraft editing program with some additional goodies (can’t remember if that was FS4 or FS5), we released several scenery area add-ons via Microsoft as the publisher, via Mallard publishing, and eventually via our own BAO Publishing (these I remember because I ported them all for release in Japan :->) – all of these scenery areas were included with FS95. So, this is the first pay for add-on we’ve released since joining Microsoft 11 years ago, but it’s certainly not the first one I’ve worked on :->
We also announced a tentative release month for Service Pack 1 (April ish), and announced that the DX10 update has been pushed back some and targeted for release around the same time as the XPack (Fall 07). Both of these updates (SP1 and DX10) will be free downloads when released, only XPack will be a pay for boxed release (I assume it will be in a box anyway :-> )
Well, that’s enough good news for now
Tim "Beatle" Gregson