Austin said the previous render was too DARRRRRRRRRRRK (probably because the only image was behind his eye patch) but this one is better.

(I’ll be over this pirate thing tomORRRRRRow.  Maybe.)

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.

34 comments on “That’s BettARRRRRRR!

    1. Ha ha no that’s not a FPS count. That actual view is running at 30 fps in a debug build, but that view is not even remotely optimized for VR – it’s meant to let Chris “get some work done” with 3-d interaction. It’s PMDY, hence it’s fast.

      The 102 is the internal DRM code, e.g. I’m not running in demo – debug builds show it so we can make sure our digital product keys are working. This is a pro-enabled version of X-plane 11 apparently.

      The work to make VR _fast_ still needs to be done, but we have to crawl before we walk, etc.

  1. Ben, has anyone told you that you have a great writing style?

    Feature request for next year’s April Fools post: ATC that talks like a pirate.

  2. Earth is curve in X-Plane? I mean, real routes will work like they are supposed to or a linear route into a 2d map will be faster?

    1. The Earth _is_ curved – the GPS will give you great-circle routes – all the round world nav stuff should function properly.

    2. WGS84 with earth radius of 6378 km.
      What happens to you, when you try to find yourself the distance between 2 points, and your first try is the pythagorean theorem… miserable failure even at 20 miles!
      And then you search the internet to find the right equation to calculate great circle distances! I don’t know about the “roundness” of the earth, learnt about the…bending of the mind!

      1. Just to be clear: x-plane’s round world is _not_ WGS84, it’s a perfect sphere. We take input data in the WGS84 datum, but then we just dump it on a sphere.

        This hack matters in one case that you might really care about and one that is…meh?
        – If you take an apt.dat layout (where runways are centerline + width) and reproject from the target environment (sphere) to WGS84, you may see cracks between the pavement and runways. This is the main reason we haven’t gone and changed the projection – it would screw with the alignment of every piece of scenery where points are aligned at a fixed metric distance from a lat-lon.
        – There are slight (0.3% or less?) errors in flight distances. We haven’t cared about this because normal flights have wind and weather and such.

    3. You guys are silly, the earth isn´t round, people would fall off if they went too far! What´s next, earth spinning around the sun???

      1. I gotta say – if the Earth were flat, it would a pile of annoying problems in the rendering engine. Even more so if it was flat and entirely paved.

  3. I read Oculus is Windows only, how will Mac x-plane users get to use VR? would PSVR work at all?

    1. On Mac we’re waiting until there’s an official VR platform for OS X somewhere. After all of the time we lost on the “beta” OcRift SDK we’re not going to pursue unsupported work-around solutions. We’re using OpenVR on Windows, and it may become cross-platform some day. We’re not locked into it though; if Apple were to make a “VRKit” or something similarly platform specific we’d use it specifically for the Mac.

      1. Ah ok, I won’t hold my breath on Apples part. You onlw how they are. I’ll stick with VR on PS4 Ace Combat 7 when it comes out.

        * Side note -VR for x-planec is it planned to work for everything? or will add on planes need to support it from its author? ; ie will it be limited and growing over time vs full use out of the box.

        1. Unknown re: third parties – I would expect to get VR “mostly” working on all aircraft. I don’t know how usable 3-d panels will be when (1) the user has VR and (2) the third party has written their own custom manipulators using the plugin SDK.

  4. You know that you can “cross” your eyes and have a “sneak peak” fo what that looks in 3D 😀

  5. Are you also planning support for the Leap Motion Controller to “get hands into VR”? And is this something you are working on for X-Plane 12 or will it be ready and implemented into X-Plane 11 in some time?

    1. VR is coming in v11’s time frame. Unknown on the Leap. We’re going to get the Rift and Vive working first, try them, then decide where else to go with it.

    1. Unknown – not at first. If there’s a use case that OSVR can handle that we don’t already have on the other stacks we use, we may pick it up. It’s going to be the wild west for VR APIs for a while, so we’re not going to jump on anything unless there’s a specific use case that we have to have.

  6. VR pretty much has become a hype going viral. Computer industries imply that everybody wants it in the (near) future by showing amazing special effects. Software companies seem to believe that either they put their stuff on VR or they disappear from this planet.

    Yes, there are really interesting use cases for VR.

    But seriously: How should I read charts during a flight or work the checklists with a VR headset? More than that it would be a nightmare wearing that stuff for up to 16 hours when doing a long haul.

    VR might be cool for arcade games where you put the VR stuff on and play for a while without having to press too many buttons or the need to read charts.

    But X-Plane to me is not a stupid game but a serious simulator. To get closer to reality a head tracker (i.e. Track IR) is a sensible solution. If money is no issue, a full motion (home) cockpit surrounded by beamer screens is the answer. X-Plane is ready to support both since a long time.

    IMHO you shouldn’t waste time for VR development. There are so many items on the user’s demand list that I think should be taken care about first.

    Maybe we now have reached a point of time at which decision making is required: Who is Laminar Research’s peer group? Gamers who may have some fun flying a simplified toy aircraft through valleys and under bridges – or serious simmers that want to experience real aviation or even train their real world flying skills?

    VR will kill complex cockpit and chart handling.

    I know, you’ll try to make both happen. But I do not feel certain about a successful solution serving both worlds to the maximum extent possible. At some point it will be required to accept that certain things cannot be done because of a conflict with “the other side of the coin”. I would cry if X-Plane would self-limit its capabilities one day.

    And no – the flat screen will not be replaced by VR headsets. I feel very certain that in the future, people working in the office will still look on a screen. The whole digital industrie branch tried to make us believe that the PC is dead and will be replaced by tablets and smart phones. But the PC is still alive and sales of tablet computers have started to stagnate. Just another hype cooling down…

    So let’s look back on X-Plane seriously again.

    Just my two cents. I’m ready to take the punches from the VR disciples now! 🙂


    1. Why would we not do both? The performance tuning we do to make VR fluid is almost certainly useful to people not using an HMD. The stereoscopic render tech can be recycled into dual monitor (something new to v11, useful for home cockpits) and internal speed-up in the lighting code.

      I agree that VR isn’t going to eat everything. But we’re going to be in a situation where we can’t ignore VR and we can’t ignore not-VR.

      1. Will VR technology benefit the sim running on 3D screens? Would be nice to use the sim with a 55″ 3D OLED TV with stereoscopic 3D.

        1. I am _not_ holding my breath for “3-d TV” (e.g. stereoscopic flat screens). I actually got the sim running briefly with NVidia’s 120 hz shutter-glasses 3-d, and what I found is that while it was really “oh wow” for about 5 minutes, it was pretty unusable as a product.

          It’s hard to use your 3-d budget sanely in a free-form 3-d engine…you can’t have too much depth of 3-d because of eye strain, and the right 3-d depth for one part of the scene makes other parts not work well.

    2. It’s so funny how different the opinions of two people can be.

      You say:
      “VR will kill complex cockpit and chart handling.”

      I think it will be exactly the opposite. Especially for people who don’t particularly like wasting paper (and contributing to the destruction of the planet) by printing hundreds of charts.

      I am one of those people who doesn’t mindlessly print charts for every flight, and for this purpose I think VR will be very practical, because you can populate those charts around the cockpit as you see fit.

      Check out this vid:


  7. Performance tuning indeed is more than useful – to everybody.

    “But we’re going to be in a situation where we can’t ignore VR and we can’t ignore not-VR.” In German we call this: “Eierlegende Wollmilchsau” – A pig you’ll have eggs, wool, milk and pork meat from:

    You would call it a jack of all trades.

    My fear is that this will lead to a software that basically can do everything – but nothing really great. This is what happened to many “one-fits-all-solutions”.

    But hey, if you can put both under one hood without hampering each other, it’s gonna be fine with me anyway. I just think that this will be very challenging by having severe effects on the user interface, the need of dual cockpit designs for conventional complex handling and a more simplified version for VR use, etc…

    And this challenge my eat up a lot of time and effort slowing down X-Plane’s core development because the VR job will not be done by only creating performance miracles.


  8. Hi Ben

    Please check out on Johannesburg international FAOR there’s no airport building
    Jus a slab of concrete

  9. Am I the only one who don’t see any difference in this screenshot? It still looks pretty bad.

Comments are closed.