Falcon V - Murky at Best? Part 3

by Robert Mitchell

Article Type: Feature
Article Date: January 17, 2002

Product Info

Product Name: Falcon 5
Category: Jet Simulation
Developer: Force 12 Studios
Publisher: G2 Interactive
Release Date: TBA
Req'd. Spec: TBA
Articles / Links / Files: Click Here

Back To Part 2


When I began this article I wanted to go to the source to make sense of all the confusing rumors. My goal, therefore, was to interview members of the Realism Patch Group (RPG), the eTeam, and the authors of the Greater Good and F4UT agreement with G2Interactive. The natural thing to do, I thought, was to go to the authors of the Greater Good and the F4UT agreement first. This I did.

The Spokesmen

The first person I contacted was Kurt Giesselman, the F4UT spokesman, and (as far as I know) the author of the Greater Good policy. Kurt declined to be interviewed, however, stating that:

…the flame wars are not really adding any value to the community at this point and therefore my most stringent goal is not to fuel the fires in any way.

From Giesselman's standpoint, a desire not to fuel the fires makes sense, but I wasn't asking him to pour gasoline on any fires. What I was asking for was his side of the story in order to extinguish the flame wars. Shouldn't the official F4UT spokesman be just that and speak about the problem, and on the record? Of course he should, so I asked again. (No, I can’t take “no” for an answer…just ask my wife.) He again refused saying:

I can not see any particular gain for the community to beginning a dialog about what 'might be' when we can talk about 'what is' in a few more days. No one in SuperPAK will do an interview before the v1.0 release.

Huh? When the community has questions, getting clear answers is always a gain. But no sense in banging my head against a brick wall. Okay, I decided to leave him alone. In order to aid you, the reader, to make sense of all this, I have included the full text of Giesselman's email responses as well as those of my other interviewees. I do this for a couple of reasons: to avoid any accusations of twisting someone's words, and to let the interviewees' words speak for themselves. Each person interviewed was aware that their responses were for the record.

Onward and upward, next on the list of sources was Glenn Kletzky, founder of iBeta and liaison between G2i and the community. I contacted Glenn Kletzky through the iBeta site and requested an interview with him. He consented and I sent off a list of questions that I had prepared for the people that I wanted to hear from, he replied the next day. Take a moment now, gentle reader, to click the link below and read Mr. Kletzky's response:

To say I was surprised by his response would be an understatement. Why, I thought, was his reaction so hostile? It seemed out of place for the questions, which I did not think to be an “attack”, but an opportunity for Ketzky to go on record with his thoughts about the UT and the agreement with G2 Interactive. To this day, I’m still puzzled by his reaction. That's two down.

Community Members

Next I got in touch with Chuck “Talon” Gray and requested that he answer the same list of questions that I’d sent to Glenn. Chuck replied back to me that he would answer my questions and to send them to him. He made it clear to me, though, that any answers he sent to me were his personal opinions and not necessarily those of the RPG.

In response to my question about whether he was currently or was going to be involved with the development of Falcon V he said, "No and No. Originally we (RPG) were going to be."

I found it interesting that he told me that he was not involved with Falcon V’s development but that originally the RPG was going to be. I wondered what had changed that.

I then emailed Leonardo “Apollo11” Rogic, asking that he answer my FalconV/SuperPAK questions. Before I could get my list of questions off to him however, he replied to me with the answers. Obviously someone had already told him that I was asking questions and showed him the list of them. I found his replies to be quite extensive and enlightening. Of particular note, however, was this comment:

The SuperPAK idea come in public after the RPG experts resigned and didn't want to be involved with Eric's FalconV project. I later learned that Eric Marlow wasn't honest at all and that he told all parties involved (like RPG and eF) different stories.

Rather than let such an accusation go un-countered, I contacted Eric Marlow and told him what Rogic said about him not being honest and would he like to respond. In keeping with his colleagues, Giesselman and Kletzky, Marlow declined to make any comment for the record.

If you took the time to read those two emails, you too might find it interesting, as I did, that another RPG member said that the RPG people weren’t involved with Falcon V but that they had been and had all resigned. Even more interesting was Rogic's contention that they had all resigned because of Eric Marlow.

As just one of many people who donated countless hours of personal time and skill to keep F4 alive, Rogic obviously felt betrayed as is evident in this reply.

G2 made good business move by buying dead sim (F4) that was only kept alive by free work of F4 enthusiasts. This is OK if you think like businessman - but if you think about it morally it's completely dishonest. The idea of someone making money of someone else's free work is repulsive for me.

I next went to Jeff “Rhino” Babineau and asked if he would like to read and respond to my questionnaire. He responded and again we find another prominent F4 code contributor disgruntled and disheartened.

I don't see myself in any future involvement with FalconV. The FalconV Design team that consisted of 5 RPG members, myself included, have all resigned.

Hmmm… Interesting, I thought, that people that have proven as dedicated to the Falcon 4.0 community and enhancing Falcon 4.0 as these guys are would walk away from the opportunity to assist in the creation of Falcon V.

Rob “Scoob” Muscoby also agreed to answer my questions. Rob was quite frank expressing his thoughts on the Greater Good policy and the F4UT agreement.

It is wrong, in so many ways, to take the free work of others, bundle it up in some bogus claims of ‘unification’ and ‘greater good’, and then use it as a basis of a for-profit endeavor. I am disgusted with G2i for this stance. They have lost the moral high ground. Had they negotiated with the various stakeholders, and compensated each team fairly, the future would be a whole lot different than it currently is.

To be sure, I ended up interviewing more people that are unhappy about F4 / F5, than I did folks who see a bright future for F4 and F5, but not from lack of trying. I contacted a couple of members of the F4UT and asked to interview them but they both declined the interview offer on this particular issue (saying they’d rather be interviewed about their work on SuperPAK) and referred me to Kurt Gisselman instead, who, as was previously noted, refused to comment.

There are obviously strong feelings surrounding both the SuperPAK project being developed by the F4UT, and the development of Falcon V. Whether there is an absolute "right" or "wrong" in the issues that the parties we spoke with brought up is questionable. There are few, if any, cases of a true black-and-white subject in this world. What to make of everything we've looked at today is for you, dear reader, to determine for yourself.



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