10.20 release candidate is out now; see the release notes for a list of changes.  There are two sets of bugs that we didn’t get to:

  • Some users on Windows are having sound problems; I will write more about this shortly in another post; we’ll fix this as soon as we can.
  • I have a set of bug reports relating to the airplane exterior lighting; I hope to get those fixed in a 10.21 build (as well as whatever one bug gets reported the day after 10.20 goes final).

Plugin authors: if your plugin has a problem with 10.20, you should have reported it weeks ago.  The 2.1.2 SDK is done, 10.20 is a release candidate, so the 64-bit SDK is ready for you and has been for a while now.

We will continue to slip additional airplane improvements and autogen into updates as we get them from our art team.

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.

38 comments on “10.20: We Have a Release Candidate

  1. Two BIG thumbs up! Great work, guys! Now I’ll sit back quietly and await any exciting info regarding a future osm refresh 😛

  2. Hi Ben,
    I’ve installed X-plane 10 demo, then reinstalled Windows and now installer refuses to upgrade already installed X-plane (it says, I should change the folder). Since I am one of those “happy” owners of Intel HD, I cannot upgrade from running X-plane.
    How can I upgrade without redownloading all the files?

    1. Maybe try this hack:
      – Start installing a new second copy of the demo.
      – After a few files, FORCE QUIT the installer (don’t use the “quit” button).
      – Restart the installer. Does it give you the “update an existing copy” option?
      – If it does, then you can use “find it” to select your REAL copy and update that, then nuke the second copy that is half done.

      1. Funny, when I’ve ran installer again (for the 3rd time) to try your suggestion, it gave me update option immediately.
        Thank you for quick response.

    2. I found that sometimes you have to do the same thing to the installer as to X-Plane: clear the preferences! In most cases I was able to fix a confused installer by deleting the X-Plane Installer.prf file. On Windows, it sits in c:\Users\Benutzername\AppData\Local\, on Mac/windows you find it in ~/.x-plane/

      1. Like everyone else I am greatly impressed by, and grateful for the improvements you are making. However I am curious about the default B747-400. Since changing to 64 bit it has been non-operational in that the artificial horizon is “INOP” as are the NAV Radio buttons.
        Now on 10.20RC1 it is still the same.
        I would not bother you with this had you not said it was fixed for 10.11,
        Best Wishes, Carey

        1. Please:
          FILE A BUG!

          I am sorry for the CAPS but we’ve already said this many times. Please go file a bug now – the bug reporter link is on the right.

          1. Sorry, Ben,
            I didn’t think it was a bug. The blog had already mentioned that the 747 plug-in did not work in 64 bit, and I understood you to say that it had been fixed in 10.11,

  3. After install, the sim crashed immediately at startup but after restarting, X-Plane 10.20 RC ran perfectly. Night lighting seemed subtly different, houses look very nice. Great job guys!

    2011 iMac i7 3.4 GHz 16 GB ram

  4. First of all, great work and thank you very much for the hard work.

    I have a question about the CPU load ingame.
    In the 32bit I get permanently 0.999, but the 64bit CPU load ist often at 0.7xx, sometimes at 0.6xx and rarely at 0.9xx. The frame different can be very huge. ( 0.6xx vs 0.999).
    Is it normal or something you have to fix later?

  5. Tested Xsaitekpanels on all three supported platforms 32/64 and all is well and can’t wait for 10.20 to go final. I also tested some of the other plugins I helped port over and they also seem to work fine. Thanks to the X-Plane team.


  6. in my case, after several tests I have come to the conclusion that xplane looks much better without HDRI mode, during the day there was no difference on both modes, the big difference was at night (betas before..), now after some frustrated settings I decide to disable hdri , and voila… now xplane looks beautiful at night whithout HDRI… more powerfull ligts with glare/blum effects, betteer light colours, better and better fps with highest AA!!!,

  7. Hi Ben!

    Little bit off topic but I read some time ago (maybe a year) you would eventually plan to make trees look more “3D-ish”… Could volumetric billboards be a solution to do that?

    I’ve also asked you (few month ago this time…) about an autogen for airports, is this still in the “don’t know yet/not decided/not sure” state or do we have hope 🙂 ?

    Anyway, great work for 10.20!

    1. Re: volumetric billboards, I think this approach is not as good as instanced meshes. Volumetric textures become extremely expensive for the relative quality, to the point where an instanced mesh might be better.

      Each billboard tree is 8k per compressed texture slot; a volumetric tree of the same res would take 1 MB. The current tree sheets have roughly 64 full-sized trees; each is 512k for the whole thing; a volumetric tree sheet would take 64 MB of VRAM per sheet!

      A mesh vertex is 32 bytes, so for the cost of a 1 MB tree we could have the same res in 2-d plus about 10,000 triangles. Since the billboard (and thus the volume slice) covers only about 16k texels, 10k triangles is almost certainly more detail than we need.

      Re: airport autogen, I don’t know, we need to get WED done and get the submission process working first.

      1. I think a compromise on the trees, Ben would be to have three or four billboards instead of just two, making a ‘*’ instead of a ‘+’ in vertical cross-section. Sure, you still use more memory, but the use of this memory is one direction X-Plane is moving forward. How long have you been using simple one or two billboard trees? I’d rather have trees than roads. 🙂

      2. Have you investigated how Outerra programs thier trees ? They are just billboards but if you try and pan around the tree to see the flat billboard side the tree rotates, really kewl !

        1. We’ve tried spinning and non-spinning trees and we decided on non-spinning. It saves a little bit of memory (which means we get more) and the spinning can be seen as you fly over them, which can look silly.

          What we should probably do is rotate the trees so that one of the billboards is along the fall line – this would improve ridge lines without needing animation.

          1. Not sure what you mean by fall line ? It does look silly as fly over them and they are still spinning but I still think it looks better then looking at the cardboard side of the trees. Maybe you can program them not to spin as you fly over them. Anyhow, we need some tropical looking vegitation for the islands ! The pine trees just don’t look right.


  8. Nice release. I’ve been using 64-bit sasl for a while now courtesy of dden but I just noticed that override datarefs set to 1 no longer carry over to the next aircraft loaded. I wonder where and how the fix happened…

    1. I don’t know – you’ll need to investigate the SASL side of things before filing a bug. The expected behavior at the base plugin system is that overrides stay set until a plugin cleans them up, so plugins must be diligent. It is possible that SASL does a reset for you, I don’t know.

  9. Hey Ben,

    I see a difference between the cpu-loads of 32 and 64 bit, which is maybe causing my significant performance gain I have with 64 bit. An other poster described this above as well. On the other hand, my graphics card is almost sleeping while there are “only” 30-35 fps. What does that mean exactly? Machine too good? (i950, gtx570, 16GB)???

    1. I have a similar experience (but also in 32-bit and before 10.20):

      GPU usage 35%-40%
      CPU usage 75% (as displayed when data-output, fps is selected)

      FPS: 20-30 FPS

      Computer: I7 3570K @ 4,5Ghz
      GPU: AMD 7950 clockspeed processor @950MHz clockspeed memory @ 1575 Hz

    2. Motherboard busses and controller chipsets come into play when you’ve got a monster CPU, a monster GPU and scads of memory. We’re now getting into territory where new technological features will be important to understand. I’m still grasping at this myself, but data exchange between components sounds like your bottleneck. Ben probably knows a lot more about this than I, but I already know I need to plan for a new system to massively take advantage of X-Plane’s new features. There’s probably a rendering setting you can turn down to wake up the graphics card…..Ben?

  10. I have just updated from .11 to .20r1 and I find that there is a major difference in the new briteness and contrast levels of all of my textures. This is especially true of the results for .LIT textures at night which are such that they hardly show at all in many cases. Dark textures in the daytime are especially almost black and have lost the contrast they once beautifully displayed in 10.11. Is this a deliberate revamp of the presets of the simulator? It will be very inconvenient to have to redo textures to accommodate this change .. especially if it can happen again later.
    I am hoping this can be adjusted to return to the settings of 10.11. I like lots of the other changes you have made… the ground textures seem to have changed some but are satisfactory… and the new buildings are a good improvement.
    Best Regards
    Bob Marsh

    1. The above mentioned change in texture lightness is an illusion. The effect is noticed when XPlane is brought up on the screen from a start up. In this case the time is usually set to 12 noon and, because there is lighting from directly above, almost all the vertical textures are in the shade and appear at their darker level. Reversion to mid morning or afternoon lighting will produce the brightness expected. My observations were made in a hurry without taking this into consideration.

      Also, another factor in Windows 7 tends to confuse this analysis. The Windows 7 Photo Viewer display of .png and .dds files, both in their full window display and in the snapshot display mode of Windows Explorer, show a considerable darkening of the .dds over the .png version of files generated by using X-Grinder to do the .png to .dds conversion. This problem is one that is a product of the Photo Viewer display program only. When used in X-Plane the .png and the .dds version of the same files produce identically bright object textures, even though they show substantial differences in their Windows Photo Viewer display.

      I suspect this is a result of the improvement of the .dds format, now offered in X-Grinder to improve the resolution and size of its files, and not currently handled by the Windows 7 Viewer.
      Bob Marsh

  11. Hi Ben,
    a bug was filed via J.O. / customer support about this a couple of weeks ago – but since nothing changed I dare to bother you here:

    Ever since V10 and across different GPUs, drivers and all rendering settings I experience a shaking/jittering of the scenery (and seems to cause some scenery elements to flicker and some scenery aliasing too.). I’ve seen this in many XP10 videos too. While flying you won’t recognize it, but on the apron or sitting on the runway it’s obvious (at least in my eyes). Nothing that I couldn’t live with but annoying and odd. Mostly because I’m curious: Do you have any idea what this is about?


    1. You may need to fly with 2 or more flight models per frame for your plane.
      Go to Operations and Warnings under Settings and up the number of flight models per frame, and the shaking will very likely stop.

  12. Hi, Ben nad Xplane Team!
    Keep up the great work you are doing. Love Xplane 10 so far and I´m looking forward to some new updates 😉 .
    The thing I really miss is some realistic ATC and framerate-friedly AI planes. AI planes don´t have to have complex flight models attached to them, in my opinion.
    It would increase the realism to some extend if KLAX wasn´t deserted 😉 .
    Best regards,

    1. Oliver, over on the org you can get some AI planes from XPFW that Morten modified by stripping out all but the essentials for the AI system. As a result, they are greatly reduced in both file size and FPS hit.

  13. Just one question

    Have you forgotten to remove any feature with the latest update that does not allow any files to be replaced without getting the annoying update needed.. Tried to replace runway textures today after updating to 10.20 rc1, but when I start i get a question that I need to update again.. I love this auto update feature, but not liking it much if it keeps getting in the way of development..

    Kind sound like a bugreport, but I know how you feel about those and where to put em, so sorry for asking, but did not managed to choose either way to go..

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