RD Studios’ Peter Suranyi is a developer taking good care of his products. Although his masterpiece KHAF Half Moon Bay (currently on sale for just $14.00) already surpassed most available GA airfields on the market in terms of quality at time of release (see my original review here), he still doesn’t stop adding more and more features. Currently we are at version 1.4. This latest update, which was made available for free to all existing customers, adds the one thing that was missing before, and that is 3D people. See Peter’s announcement:
“I have included little surprise for everyone in update 1.4: people! So far, Half Moon Bay had none, and that is about to change! From now on, you have people around the airfield, so looking out of the aircraft window, you’ll get to see more than just buildings and vegetation! Back in August when I’ve released v1.0, this was unfeasible, but notion of including people (in some way or another) was always on my list.
So, people: You’ll find most of our ‘little heroes’ around the Cafe area, but some of them are scattered around the airport, too (where you can realistically expect people to appear, of course). Although the models are not the most highly detailed in the world, they don’t look bad either, and looking outside your aircraft window you’ll be hard spotted to see their non-perfect quality. And they even disappear when the night falls, just to reappear the next morning when the Cafe opens! Overall, they greatly enhance the atmosphere, and I think you’ll appreciate that! So, enjoy!”
See for yourself how the scenery benefits from this welcome addition:
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As you can see, these guys are pretty faceless! The 3D folks definitely add to the liveliness of the scenery, but they are not unnecessarily over-detailed. In other words, these guys are frame rate friendly and I didn’t experience any performance loss whatsoever after installing the version 1.4 update. That said, in normal operations I didn’t really notice this lack of facial detail at all. After all, X-Plane is a sim and when I am on the ground I gotta take care of checklists or I’m taxiing around or do stuff. I am sure you’ll get my point.
Another cool feature is that the 3D folks are only visible during daylight. When the sun goes down, all these guys and gals magically disappear. Rest assured though, they will come back where you’d expect them to be once the sun rises again the next morning. See for yourself, though (also note the dynamic window blinds and the Open/Closed sign):
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Peter obviously tries to raise the bar he set even more. In any case, update 1.4 cements his position as #1 developer. This latest update truly lifts KHAF Half Moon Bay into the ranks of the best X-Plane scenery ever made. However, it remains to be seen if his next project KRAL Riverside Municipial will raise the bar even more. Let’s just hope so!