Thursday, December 25, 2008

Seasons Greetings and some wallpapers

I'd just like to wish all my readers and those who've downloaded the Biff a very merry Christmas and a happy and prosperous 2009. Take care and enjoy the holidays. May you have many enjoyable hours with your favourite simulations and games.

I've just uploaded some pics of the ADF Airshow at Amberley 2008. They are all wallpaper size. Please feel free to download them for your own use, but remember to otherwise respect
copyright on them.

(Clicking on the image will take you to ImageShack. Click on the ImageShack image to view the full size image.)

The Sopwith Snipe for FSX should also be finished within the next couple of weeks, barring unforseen events.

Best wishes

Robert Bruce.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Home From Hospital

Just a quick post to say that I am now home from hospital. I still have a period of recovery ahead during which I can't place any weight on the wound for more than a few minutes. That means I can't sit upright for any length of time. I can stand and walk ok. I still don't have the verdict on the success of the surgery or likely prognosis. Updates will be posted on my cancer blog.

Many thanks to those who offered their best wishes.



Saturday, November 15, 2008

Some Downtime..... Myxoid Liposarcoma.

Unfortunately my battle with cancer, in the form of myxoid liposarcoma, continues and I have surgery next week. So I will be away from blogging until I recover and likewise various FS forums.

I have just been beginning to enjoy being comfortable again after recovering from radio therapy and its side and after effects. There was a chance I was going to be treated with Trabectedin/Yondelis a new drug currently being trialed in various countries and approved in the EU. Alas in Australia Yondelis is only available on compassionate grounds i.e. if the the cancer has metastized or inoperable. It has metastized in me, but the doctors have decided to treat the most recent lesion as a primary sarcoma.

The current sarcoma is in my buttock. Hopefully I won't lose too much muscle. However I imagine I won't be able to sit comfortably for a while and it probably won't be advisable to sit for long periods even after even when I can. Thus activities such as 3D modeling will have to take a back seat yet again. Likewise simming and playing games :(

Soft tissue sarcomas are very rare forms of cancer comprising less than 1% of all cancers. Liposarcomas comprise less than 20% of sarcomas... so it is quite rare. Blues & jazz musician Jeff Healey sadly died of liposarcoma earlier this year.

Being rare there is not as much known or research carried out on sarcomas as other forms of cancer.

For more information on sarcoma check out Sarcoma Alliance.



Monday, October 13, 2008

Blog resuming

I hadn't quite realised it has been so long since I last posted on this blog. I have been posting more regularly on my other blog 'The Biff Diaries'. Cancer in the form of Mixoid Liposarcoma and it's treatment, has been a bit of an ordeal in recent months. Still that's no reason for not posting in this blog and I hope to resume more frequent posting as of now.

I am still in the virtual aircraft creation business, at least hobby wise anyway, with the finishing touches being made to my virtual Sopwith Snipe for FSX. It will be a freeware release. I have also roadmapped a tentative path of future aircraft. I'll probably stick to WW1 era for at least the next four aircraft.

Sopwith Snipe WIP cockpit in FSX

I hope to post some pics here, and on Flickr, of the recent ADF airshow at Amberley. I only went along for one due as I am stil recovering from radio therapy.

Glad to be back.



Monday, April 21, 2008

Return to Aircraft Creation

I've had a much longer break than expected from aircraft creation due to the after effects of radiotherapy and cancer recovery. I am tentatively back on track and have resumed work on a Fokker D.VIII which has approximately 20 hours work on it presently. (For Flight Simulator X)

I've also been spending some time experimenting and working on CFS3 terrain creation. Yes I realise that CFS3 is an old flight simulation, 2002 vintage, however it's the only half decent open architecture combat flight simulator and the most recent example of a combat flight simulator from Microsoft around. CSF3 does show its age.... though it can be tarted up to look nice. The pictures in the linked post show CFS3 sceneries featuring JohnnoUK's trees and terrain textures combined with my SRTM terrain mesh. I hope to post more on this and other scenery experiments in the future.



Sunday, February 24, 2008

Microsoft ESP at GDC

At the recent 2008 Serious Games Summit at the Game Developer Conference (GDC), Shawn Firminger , studio manager of Aces studios, delivered a talk outlining the development journey of Microsoft ESP.

An account of Shawn's talk has been posted at Gamasutra and is well worth reading.

In the talk Firminger emphasizes ESP's Microsoft Flight Simulator heritage. Flight Simulator is Microsoft's longest in development product, being in continuous development for 25 years. Firminger describes these years as ESPs beta period.

The first attempt at creating a training platform derived from Flight Simulator, was in 2004. At that time, Firminger mentions that Aces failed to convince Microsoft sales executives to support the development of such a product. (Note: CFS4 was cancelled in 2004/05 also.... though I have a feeling that CFS will be reborn at some future date.) However the success of Flight Simulator X together with its developer accessible API and SDK and also with train simulator sharing the same core technology, Aces second attempt to create a training platform met with success in 2007.

Shawn also emphasized that it is important to have the support of your sales department if a project such as this is to have success. He also emphasized that ESP is a serious games platform rather than a serious game, which are a different 'beasts'.

The GDS ESP presentation is also featured in a post at

The Ausgamers' article further mentions Microsoft's long term commitment to ESP with a roadmap planned many years into the future. Plans for version 2 and 3 of ESP are still in process, however that article mentions that the next version will see more focus on ground elements with marine elements further down the track.

For further information check out the Microsoft ESP home page.