After a long period in which the team was out of the spotlight. In fact, a lot say they let down their customers. We decided to try and find out what happened to the team and what is it that they are bringing to the community.
Hello there and thank you for taking a few minutes of your time to answer our questions. Nemeth Designs has been a lot quiet for some time. Why have you folks gone under the radar?
Thank you for your questions, Sergio. Well, the reason for this was that we did not know which direction we should have taken at that point forward regarding our simulator developments. We had an impression that the steam kind of started to go out from under FSX, the platform for which we were mainly developing. There weren’t too much of innovation around it, no real updates for really long time. So, we had to decide whether try to switch to another sim platform or just focus to our other, non-flight simulator related venues for a while.
P3D was not so much different back then than FSX and it was not quite as popular as it is now either. X-Plane started to show some really nice improvements but developing for that is quite different than for Microsoft ESP which means it requires spending some time to learn it and switch over. But once we had to invest time in learning a new development process we could just try something completely different to get out of the box for a while – and at the end this is what we did. Some experimental example of that process was the Hangar we uploaded to our site as free download. And learning about entirely different development methods on different fields is very useful no matter what our future endeavors will be. Besides all of this, we had to move away from our helicopters – and even flight simulation for that matter - for a while to be able to look at them with the kind of excitement again as we did when we started this whole FS thing quite a while ago. We needed some break.
A lot of customers have been complaining about issues that plagued your products. Some of them are waiting for quite some time for some responses. Those folks were your biggest fans and they feel like they were let down. Are you regrouping and will now go on and solve those issues?
I know what you mean here. If I think back now how we were operating I can see that we probably always focused too much on the “next project” once a helicopter was released. When we released something and there were no critical issues with it we considered it as done thing and probably did not pay enough attention to the later feedbacks. Of course, there are differences what people think as “critical” and we might have to re-evaluate our perception about this too. We are going to review some of our older products and determine which deserves attention again while we are updating them to work under P3D v4.
Also, I think the other very important thing we must do is to try to look for the challenge and the excitement in the FS development again and not just trying to be successful financially as a developer because if we can achieve this then a particular project will always be better taken care of. This means we have to – and we will – do what we enjoy creating instead of trying to make something that is most requested and could be more successful commercially.
Why returning now? Was there anything in particular that happened that allowed you to do so?
We finished two other mayor projects in gaming development during the summer in which we participated as contractors. So, we had the decision to either continue to work as such or go back to our already half-finished helicopters and finish them. I subscribed to P3D to check how things changed in it in the past 1.5-2 years and I really liked what I saw. Other 3rd party developers also started to support it extensively too, so it seems to me that now that is the thing (apart from X-Plane) when it comes to open 3rd party addon development in the flight simulation world. We made the decision to finish our helicopters and see how it goes and what their perception will be.
What have you missed the most during the time you were away?
The excitement when a project is in it’s final stages of completion. It’s really nice to see when something you have been working on for months starts to get together and works as whole. Especially when we get positive feedback about it.
What has changed with the team? What’s new?
Well, from three-member team configuration we went back to the original two-men setup and I think it will stay like this for a while. I mean, we always have a lot of help from various people when we are developing something, but the main work is done by two of us and the decision making is on two of us.
We also have new web site, a new YouTube channel and a new Facebook account. I plan to use these regularly for customer relations. But like I said, there are only two of us who do all the developments, customer support, public relations, etc. So, I cannot promise everything will be always instantaneous. I’m glad that the site received an upgrade because it allows more control over the management of orders, I can freely reactivate downloads and update files easily and the lack of these two things were mayor problems with the old site.
All of the sudden you are back, and you are already showing 2 products in quite an advanced stage. I’m guessing you have been working in the background for quite some time. For how long have you been working on the B407 and the Mi-24?
Both the Bell 407 and the Mil Mi-24A were already in quite advanced stage already. The Bell 407 was abandoned for quite some time for different reasons. The original work stated on it several years ago, but we had to let it rest for a while then we started to work on it again around July 2017. It might looks almost finished but in fact it is far from it. First of all, it still needs a lot of testing and even the final features are not completely clarified yet. We are in the process of determining whether we could implement something that would be quite exciting, but I don’t want to tell more about it at the moment because it not sure yet and I don’t want people to be disappointed later.
The development on the Mil Mi-24A for FSX/P3D is started around the same time and it is based on our Mil Mi-24V for FSX and in real life system-wise there are not too many significant differences between them, well at least not that can be simulated noticeably for an average user. So, that is almost finished I would say but it also needs a little bit more testing, but its release is imminent.
What can we expect from those products?
From the Mil Mi-24A people who knows our Mil Mi-24V can tell approximately what can be expected but of course the things that could be improved for P3D are there. It looks much better in P3D v4 than in FSX and can be handled better a bit too but FSX version will be a nice helicopter to fly around as well.
The Bell 407 is not feature ready yet, so I cannot tell what will be included exactly. When we started to make it, our initial goal was to create something that is not too complicated to operate and fun to fly but also have some nice additions that can make its use more diverse and versatile, we want to make something that can be flown for different kinds of tasks but none of those being too specific that would make it over-complicated. Something that you can use either just for a short joy ride or make a long and complex mission with it without fiddling around with switches for too long.
Are there more helicopters coming in the future?
Yes, there is one that is sure. The Mil Mi-35M but that is still in concept basically. But the foundation for that is also the Mil Mi-24V so we don’t have to start from scratch with that as well. With this one, we want to experiment with the possibilities of implementing weapon system too but this is really in a far fetch concept yet.
Platform-wise, don’t you think there might be more interesting platforms for helicopters? X-Plane, for example, which has been growing quite steadily and offers a much more realistic and interesting base for you to develop better products?
Yes, are certainly considering X-Plane because it evolved to something truly amazing. The development process is quite different however, so it will take some time to get familiarized with it and evaluate how we could pursue that platform.
What is it that you are expecting from this return, the new products and the community?
I expect our production to improve continuously in every aspect of it including the way we present them to the community. The only thing I expect… well, not expect, rather hope from the community is that they won’t have unrealistic expectations.
I know this is a long shot, but do you have any foreseen dates for the release of the B407 or the Mi-24?
As I mentioned, the release of the Mil Mi-24A is quite close. It just needs some clean up and shortly after that it will be ready to land in the hangars of those who are interested. Not just the helicopter itself but our site has to be ready for it too. We had some hitch-ups with the new site when it launched, and I want to be sure those won’t repeat when the Mi-24A goes live. I can deal with the few orders we have now one by one but once we release something new the distribution has to be okay. First it will be available only in our store, for the narrower audience that visits our site then it will be sent out for our long-time partners too.
Now, the planned release of the Bell 407 is the Q1 of 2018. This is an estimate of course and there will might be some delays. It’s really hard to tell because we are investigating possibilities for new feature and I have no idea yet whether is that possible or not and how long it would take to implement them.
What now? What’s next for the Nemeth Designs team? What are your next steps?
Well of course, it depends heavily on how successfully we manage to get back into the loop and on success I mean the quality of the output has to be satisfactory. Financial success is also a factor but this time it is not the focus because we learned in the last two years or so that financially we could be as successful (maybe even more so) by doing something different.
Folks, thank you so much for taking the time to answer to our questions. Any last words to our readers (and your fans)?
No problem at all. You raised some very important questions and I’m glad I had the opportunity to give some answers. I hope your readers will find this useful.