Confessions of a Flight Sim Mod Man
Posted by Dave , 08 Sep 2010 · 2,719 views
I started simming back in 1984 with F-15E Strike Eagle, I have been hooked ever since. I have lost track of the amount of money I have spent on this hobby. Then in 1998 I moved from simming to modding. I started out repainting planes for Combat Flight Simulator 1, then I did lots of work for CFS 2, I even had some skins used for an add on to CFS2 released by Alphasim. Then I was doing work for MSFS, and released many skins over at Avsim. That seems like ages ago. It was ages ago. Then in 2002 I stumbled on to the Thirdwire series and have never looked back. In fact this series of sims has probably cost me more money on research material than all my buying of previous sims, altogether. (*everyone - In fact this series of sims has probably cost me more money on research material than all my buying of previous sims. ) Ok, ok I’ll get to the point.
Since I have become a full time modder, I have found myself not actually flying much anymore. I fire the sims up just to check out decal job or an ini setting in a campaign, or to run a plane through its paces. Which is very time consuming, but when did I lose the ability to just fly? I do not have that answer actually. It’s all I think about anymore when it comes time to sit in front of the computer with every intention of jumping into a few missions. So let me get this straight, I love flying sims, it’s all I have ever wanted to do. Yet I am not doing it. Did I lose my way? Did I have a change of heart? No, I think it’s the fact that I can express my artistic side. Oh god I just said “express myself”. *Sigh…. Seriously, the reason I love modding is that it gives me control of how I want a sim to be. Whether it’s a particular unit, flying a particular plane, or a certain campaign during a certain era I have some say in that. Since I have some say in that, then that is where having the correct skins, and weapons, etc come into play. So hand me the debit card sweetheart, daddy needs some military aircraft books. Modding is just fun and the most fun is applying the research you done before you make a campaign or skin a plane. I have spent hours going over aircraft specs, researching unit history, or reading about how a campaign was fought. Then you take all that knowledge and you put it to good use. With some time, you see on the computer screen what you read about. It’s an amazing process. It’s something I never tire of. I cannot seem to ever amass enough knowledge to call it good.
The second part of what makes modding fun, I like to share what I have done. I have no reason to keep it to myself. There are some out there who don’t have such talents; they have a love for simming though, so share the wealth. Having said that though, it’s nice getting a thank you but the fact a person takes the time to download a mod you have worked says enough. In fact, if I didn’t have someone to share the mods with, then why bother modding. So it goes hand in hand if you ask me.
So what have we learned? I have learned that modding is every bit as fun as simming. It can be frustrating at times and the learning curve is steep, however it’s a blast. I don’t regret a minute of it. If you have a talent for this kind of thing, I say jump in and try it. You won’t be sorry.
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