Let’s start with the details in my last post
“ESP is a separately versioned, side-by-side application. With an SDK that targets that separately versioned, side-by-side application.
And issues like:
1) Branding ( being brand neutral ),
2) EULA ( licensed for commercial purposes that are expressly forbidden in the FSX consumer EULA ), and
3) IP ( commercial reship rights for all content )
are taken care of for the commercial customer to take the platform, add their solution, and ship it in volume.”
And elaborate a bit more because I see a lot of speculation occuring. Note parts of this post were contained in a thread at AVSim.com.
Most of the content provided in FSX is present in ESP, now with commercial reship rights so there are no IP issues for solution providers. And commercial shops care about being IP-clean. Here IP==Intellectual Property. That is the canvas commercial developers will start with, and part of the attraction of the ESP product is that it provides a world-wide data set.
ESP has a EULA that enables you to ship your solution commercially. We found many organizations were already using FSX in violation of the entertainment-side EULA. One purpose of ESP is to serve as a vehicle to convert these organizations from gray to white.
The UI is only “simply reskinnable” meaning you cannot reconfigure dialogs or add controls or anything like that. So there is some opportunity for branding.
There is only 1 version of ESP per machine allowed; just like there is only 1 version of FSX per machine allowed. And the source code is not provided in the ESP license, this is binary only.
So you cannot develop your own “entirely new games” for at least two reasons:
1)Price as ESP is ~$799 a unit is prohibitive for consumer applications
2)ESP capabilities are the current platform capabilities and what can be accomplished using the ESP SDK and developer cleverness.
So “Scuba Sim” or “Space Sim” are out for now. What you could do is exploit existing platform capabilities to provide solutions to vertical industries.
An example is familiarity training in the military.
You could take recent ( like after a bombing raid ) satellite imagery, use the Vexcel/Virtual Earth techniques to create 3D objects from them, use the SDK to create custom mesh and terrain textures as well, use those assets to generate a custom scenery for a mission area and then use that scenery area and the ESP platform to train your troops for a sweep of the area so they would have a 3D mental image of the area ahead of the sweep with the most recent craters being accurately modeled.
Or do something similar for pilots being tasked to a new airport in a global hotspot and make scenery developed similarly to the above available to pilots so they had more than just charts to familiarize themselves with the new airport. This is real helpful according to them, and they can practice in 24/7 with variable weather conditions using this new scenery and the ESP platform. Add in failures and post-flight analysis and you start having a handy little training tool.
There are lots of scenarios like this that are possible within the existing capabilities of the platform. Repeat – ESP v1.0 is targeting scenarios already enabled by the base platform; modulo work by 3rd parties ala what PMDG and other top-end developers do today to extend the existing systems.
And, as I said, we are keeping it small at first. We are not going to be working with hundreds or thousands of developers, yet, like we do on the entertainment side.
The solution providers, of course, are free to work with whomever they choose to generate content for their solutions. That is where the initial opportunity for current developers is, partnering with ESP solution providers. It is much, much harder to crack the government and military markets than outsiders think. John Venema of OrbX talked about this problem at DevCon/FanCon where he couldn’t get the Australian military to work with him even given how excellent the OrbX scenery is because OrbX is too small and wasn’t on any approved contractor lists. If you haven’t worked in that space before, it is a different beast.
I hope this helps clarify what ESP is and how we envision v1.0 being used. Small steps at first, larger steps later. It is all part of the process of growth.