Wow…I went up to Boston for a weekend and came back to find a flood of email regarding the new scenery, a few hundred posts on the tech list, and blog comments and forum posts. If you didn’t hear from me, please try a direct email; if that didn’t work, please bear with me…I am on the verge of email bankruptcy.

Most of the posts have been on the subject of bugs and anomolies in the scenery and framerate problems. A little bit on both.

Bugs: bugs in the global scenery fall into the catagory of artwork problems and DSF problems. For example, the most common report I’ve seen is of the big green and brown patches in European urban areas. This is due to a bad text file (a typo – my fault!!) for the terrain artwork. This particular bug should be addressed in X-Plane 830 via an automatic update. Generally where the artwork is bad, we can provide a new artwork file in the update to fix things.

Where the DSF itself is bad there’s not much we can do. Usually bad DSFs result from bad source data. This is a place where custom scenery will have to fill in the gap and provide local detail and customization that we can’t provide with the very broad brush of global scenery.

We also have some algorithm limitations and data limitations. Non-CONUS road data is quite inaccurate, and CONUS road data does not have overpass information; both are a source of strange roadways. If you see a bug, please file a bug report! I can’t keep up with forum posts to find potential problems.

Performance: X-Plane WILL run slower with the new scenery – that’s because there’s more data packed in there. Simply put I do not think we could make it look as good if we cut down the polygon counts to US DSF or ENV levels. I am working on engine improvements in X-Plane, so 830 may provide some relief, but please understand: X-Plane 821 is not slower than 820 – it’s just doing a lot more work to show you each frame!

About Ben Supnik

Ben is a software engineer who works on X-Plane; he spends most of his days drinking coffee and swearing at the computer -- sometimes at the same time.