Until a few days ago, I never would have had a reason to ask this question, but Autodesk recently announced their decision to offer their software as a subscription-only service ($2000 per year, if not more for 3DS Max), something which the majority of users are vehemently against. People all over various CGI and game development websites have already decided to jump ship to other software if possible, while some have even chosen to give up entirely because of this move. To that end, the reaction within the community of sim developers has been equally negative. With this having been said, I'd like to inquire as to whether there are any plans to eventually release a version of the P3D SDK for a non-Autodesk platform (Blender comes to mind). There is currently an experimental tool that allows for exporting to FSX from Blender, however it is not as complete as the one that runs on GMax, and certainly it isn't even close to the level of the exporter for P3D that runs on Max.
Regardless, I for one believe that this is something which may warrant some serious consideration on the part of the P3D dev team, and I very much doubt I am alone in this sentiment. While many, already-established developers may not have to contend with this in the near-term, the new pricing model that Autodesk intends to introduce could make it extremely difficult for new developers to get started. Most, if not all current payware developers are still using versions of Max that are in some cases as old as FSX itself, and rely on the ability to continue using it for years without incurring additional bills to continue their development. For those of us who develop part-time or as a hobby, some of us might be able to afford a one-off payment (even one as expensive as $3500) if it means we can use the software for a long period, but at the same time, many of us simply cannot afford such a high price every year to create products which we may or may not recoup our investment on, assuming they can be sold at all. Because of this, I have to ask, what, if any, alternative SDK options are in the works?
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It's possible we could support other products in the future, but we don't currently have any plans to build a new set of tools around a different product. Building a new set of modeling tools around another product would be a pretty significant undertaking. It would be costly to develop, test, document, and maintain a new set of tools, and we would still have to maintain and update the existing tools to keep our current developers productive and happy. I have not seen the announcement you are referencing, but perpetual licenses for the current version of 3DS Max are still available on the Autodesk website as it stands right now.
Prepar3D Software Architect
Prepar3D Software Architect
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