ADX FirstLook: Taxi2Gate Pointe-à-Pitre!
FSX/P3D. Okay show of hands: who saw this one coming? Talk about impressed. Why? Mexico City, Orlando, Istanbul, and now Le Raizet all released in roughly six months. 3 of these being Mega Airports. many developers need nearly a year or more just to complete one Mega Airport. Really makes you think how these T2G guys and gals are pulling this off.
Back in November of 2013 right after the release of Orlando, Taxi2Gate ran a couple polls one on ADX asking readers to vote for the next T2G airport. Overwhelmingly, voters selected Istanbul (an airport simmers have been whining to get for the last seven years). A few days later, ADX announced LTBA as the winner and we all began to sit back and settle in for the long wait. But low and behold, just 2 months later, ADX had published several exclusives showing LTBA to be in a highly advanced stage of development. A couple weeks after that and it was released. Something that is still shocking the community a couple months after release. As for the vote, the airport is still on Simmarket's top ten weekly best seller list clearly showing the community is putting down the cash to back the vote they selected. So who would have guessed the team would release another airport just a couple months later? So like I said, who saw this coming?
[Note: For format purposes, some images are cropped. Click each image for full size resolution preview.]
Now Taxi2Gate is no stranger to Caribbean airports. To date, the team has released several airports in the region including: Jardines del Rey, Cayo Largo, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent, Isla Mujeres, La Habana, Santiago de Cuba, and Varadero. Did I leave any out? Needless to say, with all the projects going on in the T2G network, it's always nice to see them continue to keep the islands in mind.
Today's destination Le Raizet located in the city of Pointe-à-Pitre on the island of Grande-Terre in Guadeloupe, is without a doubt one of T2G's best Caribbean destinations to date. There are still quite a few airports out there among all the islands and I am glad they choose this one. Why? Well for starters, I am a fan of aesthetic architecture and the passenger terminal is likely the best looking of all the islands.
I am very excited to make my way there today and am pleased you choose to come along. Now as I am already still here in the Caribbean wrapping up my experience of LatinVFR's San Juan, it will be a very short hop. I decided to borrow a plane. Think Mr. Trump will mind? Let's go!
Now something I did with my personal setup is something I am not entirely sure I would recommend others to do. Basically, I merged my Taxi2Gate TFFR with FranceVFR's Guadeloupe scenery. Now back in FS9, the Guadeloupe and Martinique sceneries were among my favorites in the Caribbean islands. But rather than make proper FSX versions of the scenery, they simply made FSX installers of the FS9 scenery. The results are not what you'd expect from a FranceVFR scenery. The ground textures are extremely blurry and never seem to quite fully load. Of course from a distance or at high altitude, the ground textures look okay.
The only reason I choose to keep the Guadeloupe scenery present is because from the VC it looks a bit more accurate over default given the fact that it's photo scenery. It did take a while to determine what files to kick from the FVFR scenery as well for all this to work. Honestly, it's not much worth the trouble.
Once on the ground, I found that the team did a great job modeling the surroundings and creating the atmosphere for the airport. More to the point, one thing I noticed about Taxi2Gate is the fact that they actually create object libraries for each airport project. Now that is really interesting.
Many developers typically tend to create one large library of objects for use in all their projects and expand on the library as they go along. To a certain extent, Taxi2Gate does this as well but it's barely noticeable when they do it.
For example, a moment ago I listed several airports developed by Taxi2Gate in the Caribbean. If you have any of them including the 2 Caribbean airports released last year, you will notice all the trees and vegetation are completely different. They could easily have simply used the same semitropical vegetation they have used before saving a lot of time. Obviously, they want each airport to appear unique. I really respect that.
Even though T2G is getting airports out very quickly, they are showing no signs of rushing in the process.
Besides, the vegetation I noticed during my taxi, I also noticed the ground textures and markings are very sharp complete with oil stained and tire marks. A whole new type of grass was used here as well. One more note about the vegetation, I did feel the trees and shrubs were a bit dark in appearance as you see in the below shot.
Moving to the terminal entrance I found a good representation of the area. But perhaps it's time to model better looking cars eh?
Now in the above set, you may notice there is construction taking place in an area to the west of the terminal where I have parked my aircraft. There is little information on what is exactly going on over here but from I can best surmise, it is the development of a new regional terminal. The design below gives you an idea of what may be in this area in the future. For now though, I did like that the developers rendered the area in it's current real world state.
A real world photo thrown in to show the level of accuracy.
Totally digging the depth in the texture work on the concrete pillar there.
The jetbridges are a very nice touch in terms on modeling and visual appearance and should be. After all, the jetbridge is the only part of a scenery product that actually comes in contact with the aircraft. So it should look good. What I also like about these jetbridges is the width of them. I am sure many ADX readers travel often and for some reason, almost all jetways around the world are the same damn size in width. It would be nice to have them a bit wider considering the fact that airlines love to cram as many people in them as possible. Loved the glass work as well.
Interrior modeling? Indeed! Nice ramp clutter also. Completely different from the objects used in LTBA. As I said, they create new objects for every new project.
If you have a free moment, be sure to craw benith the terminal. The baggage room is nicely lit and modeled.
I really like the architecture here. Note the ground texture work and markings.
The cargo section included as well as the Air Caraibes corporate offices. This is where Airbus parked the visiting A380.
Heading over to the GA and tower area. No lack of efforts over here.
A growing trend among developers these days is the efforts going into developing the areas surrounding the airport. Plenty of off airport coverage here. It also actually blends in fairly well with the FranceVFR photo scenery.
Along comes the dusk...
I was quite impressed with the night lighting.
Note the glass walkway. Nice touch with the texturing and lighting.
Now least any of you think there is no place to fly in the Caribbean, here is a list of all payware developments in the area including the freeware Barbados. This is just a few of the airports by the way. So if you are looking to avoid the long hauls and keep your flight short in say a Q400, there are plenty of places to explore down here. If you prefer a 777 or NGX, plenty of destinations down here to handle those aircraft as well. Overall, I am super impressed with the work delivered by Taxi2Gate. I comed every part of this scenery and cant really find anything negative to say about it.
As for performance, all is very smooth and extremely low on VAS usage. Even the lowest of system specs will have a good time here.
If nothing else, this project goes to further the impact this development company has on the flight simulation community. I personally and highly recommend TFFR, and if you are one of those folks that simply has not had the time or interest in the Caribbean, start out with TFFR, I promise, you will discover all you have been missing in this region of the world.
Get Taxi2Gate Pointe-à-Pitre here:
The islands await you!