X-Plane 11.30 Beta 4 is out, both for Laminar Customers and for Steam!  The fix list for beta 4 is pretty short because we intentionally cut back on what we added to it. Beta 4 had one job, and that job was to not be as broken as beta 1, beta 2, or beta 3.

X-Plane 11.30 Beta 4 does not have the performance improvements we have been working on for the last week and a half; Sidney and I found a bunch of things that are slowing 11.30 down, but we didn’t want to risk yet another broken beta. This stuff should be ready for beta 5 in a few days.

The public beta for 11.30 has been unusual in that it took us quite a few betas to get a stable non-crashing, usable beta, and during the waiting period we heard a lot of complaints from Steam users about being left out, and a lot of questions about when the beta would make it to Steam.

Here’s the problem: we don’t know the date when a beta will make it to Steam. Here’s the rough algorithm:

10 BETA = BETA + 1
20 RELEASE BETA
30 WAIT ABOUT 24 HOURS
40 IF BETA CRASHES GOTO 10
50 RELEASE STEAM BETA

So in the case of X-Plane 11.30, we had to go back and recut betas due to a crash in the joystick code (beta 1), a crash when the radios were on (beta 2) and airplanes falling through airports into the abyss (beta 3).

One thing to note: if there’s a beta and it’s a few days old and it’s not on Steam, it’s because the beta has a known bug that makes it so unusable that you wouldn’t want to set your Steam install to use it. I see no reason to have a beta that crashes when you start it.

(Since we collect automatic crash reports from users, we have frequency information about how often crashes are happening, and we can identify crashes that are significantly more frequent than what we’d expect in a stable beta.)

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.

45 comments on “X-Plane 11.30 Beta 4 and Steam

    1. For a _real_ replay (forward, backward, slow motion) with particles, you would have to save each particle in replay data. Would be _of course_ a perfect example of total overkill, in memory and performance.

      To have none of those really beautiful particles in replay, would be a pity, on the other hand. (Especially for recording videos with maxed effects and constant frame rate in replay.)

      Two solutions come in my mind:

      1. Make it optional to save all particle data in replay, for special use cases, like video capture. (Might lead to a bunch of users complaining about performance, when activating it and not knowing what they do.)

      2. Have the particle effects work in replay as usual, but only when replay is forward and in normal timing.

      Don’t know, if any of that is possible (there might be a lot I did not consider), but just my ideas…

      1. You don’t need to save all points over time, for true forward/backwards replays you need to be able to predict the particles by accounting for time in the algorithm – most random systems are ‘seeded’ so despite appearing random, they are ready to be predictable.

        Or as more likely with X-plane, the recording will store the emitter events+parameters – rewind wont work, but forward play should – I think that’s what the previous smoke system did (it played smoke forwards whether time was running forwards or backwards).
        That would be good enough solution for 99% of the use-cases!

        Sadly the road traffic has never been part of the replays – but the particles really do need to be in the replays (how else will Thomas Rasmussen make promo videos?!!!)

  1. Friends don’t let friends use pretend BASIC.

    while (annoying_developer_comments() > 0)
    {
    poke_developer_with_stick();
    remove_useful_api_calls();
    listen_for_screams();
    }

  2. quantumac I am sure you mean:

    while ( annoying_developer_comments() > 0 ) {
    poke_developer_with_stick();
    remove_useful_api_calls();
    listen_for_screams();
    }

  3. Hello Ben,
    It’s a shame that there isn’t any way to check what bugs are already filled. This would help a tester to judge if it’s needed to be reported. This would saves your time too. (If there’s a reported bug list and I don’t know about it, sorry about the comment :D)

    Was the bug about S-76C autopilot (pitch trim) acknowledge?

    1. I agree it would be nice to see what bugs have been reported as an aid to both testing the beta and determining if a bug should be reported.

    2. Even if a bug is already reported you should send in a report. You may have something the others don’t and it will help them with more information. Given the fact that there are so many different computer configs having more information about bugs is always good I’d say. Ben may have a different opinion however.

    3. +1 for Pablo Bressan’s comment, I think it would be very useful if we could see the reported bugs list.

  4. Hi Ben, any news on XPD-9512 reflections bug?
    That makes reflections unusable.
    I am also happy to hear that we may still get performance improvements in b5 but I am wondering if and when the reflection bug is fixed we will see any reduction in performance cost which is currently very heavy.

    Thank you for all your hard work, bugs are just fact of life, ask any windscreen.

    1. Sincerely, thank you for getting b5 out but…
      I tested against b3 and performance almost identical, maybe 1 or 2 fps less b5 if anything.
      The new reflection bug created with 11.3 is fixed but the old bugs remain (bouncing reflections in water) and crazy performance hit when turn reflection on, even low/med.
      One day I will be able to fly with reflections and not half by fps, one day.

  5. The attention to airports , buildings and environment is clearly evident and looking superb in 1130…only downside for some (multiple platforms on high/minimal systems )still taking a -10 fps hit with 11.30 ( sym linking to 11.26 global/custom scenery folders initially seemed to fix – possibly due to ini/photo scenery but issue remains .Is the bug XPD-9540 under investigation, any clues as to the cause?
    Thanks for all the great work
    T

  6. I hope, the AA will be better in the next updates, I’ve sent a bug report In 11.25 time. Which was files as XPD…. I hope it comes soon.

  7. Hi!
    Has the engine inlet condensation effect been removed?
    I’m unable to see it in the default B738.
    Thanks!

        1. That’s already been solved, which was due to an FMOD event/trigger being dropped in Audiobirds 737 FMOD Pack.

  8. Hello! Good job. Only one complaint… Why did you decide not to be able to ask for the altimeter if you don’t file a flight plan? In real life operations, you can request an altimeter or any other flight operations inquiry without filing a flight plan. Please bring back the option of requesting the altimeter without filing a flight plan.

      1. But we have the callsign of the service for doing the request, don’t we?
        Like in reality, the system could get the callsign out of our request

      2. Its been ages since I’ve flown outside of the sim, but last time I recall asking for an altimeter, I used my call sign to call the tower.
        ” San Luis tower, N2384L, Altimeter check please”

        1. Right. In the real world, tower knows who you are because of your callsign. If you call in and go “jackrabbit1234” they’re gonna be like “okay, that’s the guy’s callsign” and call you back with the same name.

          Our issue is a _ui design_ issue of X-Plane: the ATC flight plan dialog _is_ the way you establish your callsign in 11.30.

  9. “11.30b4 via just f***s up our helicopter’s flight model.” I doubt they (LR) could f*** _your_ flight model. Maybe you can be specific.

  10. Hmmm. Are the jet engine exhaust effects suppose to be grandfathered in for earlier aircraft or will we developers have to change something in XP11.30 PlaneMaker to get the exhaust effects to come back? I’ve noticed there is no longer exhaust shimmering behind my BD-5J.

    Also, I’ve noticed ground shadows tend to pop in and out a bit more abruptly, or at least it seems like that to me. I think they don’t fade and out as gradually as they did before.

    Not sure if these are bugs or something you guys intended.

  11. I’ve been getting NVIDIA display driver crashes with beta 4. I tried both 416.34 and 416.94 drivers. This only started happening after installing beta 4. Anyone else?

  12. Are there any plans to improve the functionality of the WMR controllers. Samsung just released a new version of the Odyssey at an aggressive Black Friday price of $299. I was able to pick one up yesterday, and my initial impression is that the improved resolution and reduced SDE are nice, but the reduced functionality of the controllers vs the Rift (i.e. cannot access VR Menu with right controller) make it a real toss up on whether it gets returned. X-plane is the only VR app I spend any time in (my wife would say way too much time:).

    Looking forward to B5. Eta?

    Very happy VR pilot in X-plane!

  13. Is there a possibility the VR vsync rate is hard coded at 45 fps in your VR code? I was reading the docs for Oculus SDK, and if you dump more than the vsync rate it changes the formula for calculating frame syncing. I think if this is the case, it is creating a vicious application drop rate loop and it’s killing the frame rate for anyone that can make more than 45 fps causing the window tonget shorter and shorter. Under 45 fps and ASW kicks in so it goes unnoticed by most except systems with fast CPUs and fast GPUs

    1. It’s not hard coded, but if there are things that won’t run above, say, 60 or 65 fps, the VR run-time may keep us at 45 to hit their internal refresh timing.

      1. Thanks for the answer. I read a bunch more on Oculus and have a much better understanding of how it all works since I posted this. From what i gather, xplane has 11 ms to render a frame or its an app frame drop.

        I did find what was causing my stutters and issues. My network. I turned my wifi network card off because it turns out Oculus software was doing a LOT of taking back to Facebook servers, maybe since their software update last week. I never looked before.

        The Xplane update today made a big difference in a lot of things, so thanks for that!

  14. Ok my bad, I think I just had the controller settings set wrong or perhaps there was some crossover from the Rift. I reset to default and I can now access the VR menu. The WMR controllers are still not as intuitive as the Rift, but at least they are functional . Sorry for the confusion.

  15. Hello Ben and everyone over laminar. 1st let me say this patch fixed my crash problems. So thank you for that. I have a question regarding the particle system. 1st of all the contrails coming off the wingtips look awesome if not a little much in clear conditions where there shouldn’t be any. But more importantly, the smoke trails coming from the engine are still those little black intermittent puffs. Any intention to use the particle system on the exhaust? Because that would look so cool. Same for the smoke system. Those 2 areas have always been weak in this sim. And is there any way to convert older aircraft from say version 9 over to version 11. I keep getting error messages that say this aircraft was from an older version. And refuses to work. I tried using the plane maker conversion but no joy. Once again, keep up the good work guys and can’t wait to hear how you’re progressing on the net code for multiplayer. VFAT, virtual Festival of airshow teams Event takes place this year . December 7-9th . It’s a 3 day event live streamed on twitch TV. ( https://www.twitch.tv/virtualairshows ) Teams from around the world including the Virtual Thunderbirds , Virtual Blue Angels, as well as our own team, The Virtual Black Diamond Jet Team and many many others will be performing . please have a look because we really want to do this with Xplane. Hopefully by next year. Or, at least, in time for the summer airshow schedule. We also have the virtual air racing series. And multiplayer Red bull style and Reno style air racing series Also, live streamed. The quality of the flying done in this event rivals real world events with its precision and showmanship, and professionalism. Hopefully you look in on us mention that I sent you there if you do. Thanks. I once again thank you for a great simulator. Many of us really want to move our show to Xplane. Keep up the good work

    Jim Zane
    Jaz-Aero-Designs

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