E3Expo 2005 Friday’s Report Day 3 Page 11

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Paul Stary, President and CEO of Virtual Power Entertainment. Paul is a fully addicted racer and gear-head who has seen the power, opportunity and sheer fun available in hard-core racing sims. His exotic, high-end Virtual GT simulator (see E3 Day 1 here) is a superbly crafted product for the affluent to enjoy. Certainly an impressive product design, but what really impressed us about Paul (besides his passion for racing) was his intelligence and concept vision for expanding the ranks of the sim racing community. Paul has some highly innovative and unique ideas for leveraging his super-expensive VGT cockpits and the titles that make them so fun to drive, putting them in the hands of everyday consumers like me with big-dollar corporations picking up the tab, all in the name of advertising and customer relations. The more Chunx listened to Paul talk, the more he felt inferior to and in awe of his intellect and ability to see a future for not only his product, but to increase the size of our community in general. It was a pleasure meeting him, and if you ever have the chance to try a sim cockpit produced by Virtual Power Entertainment, thank Paul for what he’s doing for all of us.

Ammar Adra, President of GoGamer.com. Ammar’s booth hosted not only Natural Point’s TrackIR3 team, but also the luxurious and exotic Virtual GT racing simulator cockpit display. As a result, guod and Chunx started to look like GoGamer groupies as we played with TIR and waited for opportunities at some ‘seat time’ with the VGT. When E3 security wanted to find the SimHQ team to escort them from the building, they knew to check the GoGamer booth first. Thanks Ammar, for your pro-sim advocacy and support of these unique and important products.

Mike Sexton, Systems Administrator for CH Products, another SimHQ fan, was gracious enough to let WKLINK, 20mm and I fumble our ways around the skies and get in a few 1v1 BFM engagements via Pacific Fighters and the CH Fighterstick / Throttle and Pro Pedals. This was the first time Chunx had ever used CH gear, and he was fairly impressed with the build quality and durability of the units. Having been a user of Suncom, Thrustmaster (Cougar) and Logitech products, Chunx thought the light touch of the CH gear took some getting used to, but overall the HOTAS options and feel of the gear was quite good. Thanks again, Mike.

David Kinney, owner of Eagle Aerospace, hosts an ACM combat simulator system in the hangar bay of the USS Midway museum in San Diego. If you’re ever there, be sure to say hi to David, and tell him you heard about him here at SimHQ. If you feel up to it, you could spice up your San Diego vacation with a little online dogfighting in a sim cockpit while taking in the sights and sounds of this historic old aircraft carrier. We’re sure your wives will be thrilled that you did….

Scott Gentile from Shockwave Productions, is also doing good things for the sim world. Immensely talented, Scott worked through a pretty and convoluted tough process to get hold of the code for Rowan’s wonderful Battle of Britain game from 2000, determined to fix the bugs and bring the graphics up to modern standards, all so his fellow simulation fans could enjoy this game once more. Faced with the choice of either meeting a tight development timeline or dropping the project altogether, Scott went took on the challenge and the results are spectacular. From what WKLINK and Chunx saw of BoB II, the game looked and flew very nicely. We’re glad to have dedicated folks like Scott working to keep the flight sim market filled with a variety of enjoyable titles.

Rick Ladomade of XSI (Fighter Ops). Rick is another regular member on SimHQ’s forums, and took the time to not only show us where he was at and heading with his new project, but better still took the time to have a frank and enlightening discussion on the state of the simulation industry and it’s future in the marketplace. The four of us really appreciate these sorts of opportunities to synch up thoughts and perceptions of our hobby with folks who make their living at it. We wish that we could host and online chat Q&A some time for SimHQ folks, so that everyone could share their insights. This was one of the best parts of coming to E3, even beyond learning about new titles and playing with the toys.

Anatoly Subbotin from 1C. Special thanks to him for getting us in to see Whirlybirds and WW2 RTS. Whirlybirds seems to have a lot of potential and it looks good only after five months. Right now 1C seems to be the only company with more than 10 employees that is serious about developing a simulation from the ground up. We shall see if this trend continues but it does help to have a dedicated flight simulation fanatic at the helm of such a company.

Tim Court from Raildriver. WKLINK noted, “When Tim found out I was interested in the new Railroad simulation he is developing he almost talked my ear off. This guy used more train acronyms than I use when talking about auto crap. The guy really is into trains and he has some impressive people around him working to make a very decent train simulation”.

And finally to Tim Stevens — in a sea of console zombies, it was great to meet a fellow writer that is also a hard-core sim racer. Congratulations on the exciting contest victory, and hopefully Chunx will be better prepared to give you a run for your money at next year’s contest!

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