Category: News

Meet the X-Plane Team at FlightSimExpo

X-Plane will be attending FlightSimExpo 2018 in Las Vegas, NV on June 8-10. Nearly the entire team will be there–they’re even letting me attend this event!

Members from the development team, such as Austin Meyer and Ben Supnik, will be presenting the latest news and behind-the scenes-information on our work on X-Plane on Saturday, June 9 at 10:15 am.

We’ll also have a booth open all weekend so you can stop by to say hello. Add-on developers should come by and pick our development team’s brains while we’re all in one place!

 

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X-Plane 11.20r2 Available

X-Plane 11.20r2 is up – we’re just killing off the last show-stopping bugs – full notes here. Steam build should be available Real Soon Now™ – it’s already uploaded and just waiting to make we didn’t blow something up.

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X-Plane 11.20r1 Available

Before Ben left on his family trip (and he was very adamant that it was not a “vacation” because the kids were going along) we got an X-Plane 11.20r1 build ready for possible release this week. Tyler and I must feel lucky because we’ve gone ahead and pulled the trigger to make this build public now.

This means that we need you to test your add ons now–seriously we mean it–speak now or forever hold your peace. All our features and changes that are going in 11.20 are in*, and the only changes we will put in from here on out are any regression bugs you bring to our attention. Read More

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X-Plane 11.20b5 Is Out

X-Plane 11.20b5 came out this week – notes here. Beta 5 fixed the rest of our open rendering engine/material bugs, including artifacts on orthophotos. If you are a scenery or aircraft developer, please check your aircraft or scenery against 11.20 beta 5 and make sure there are no rendering changes compared to 11.10. If it looks different than 11.10 in a bad way, we don’t know about it and it’s not going to be fixed if you don’t say something.

Over the last year we’ve been working quite a bit internally to automate testing. We still do a lot of hand-testing (that is, Jennifer flies the sim and then tells us we’re bozos) but we also have extensive infrastructure to script the sim. So we’re looking to automate the process of checking third party scenery for rendering artifacts, so we can catch more rendering bugs more often.

I’ll post once 11.20 is final about how to get your custom scenery into our test. My hope is that with automation, we can catch bugs faster and you (the third party author) can have your add-on tested without having to do the work yourself.

I’m OOTO next week but if things go well, we’ll have a release candidate when I get back.

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More X-Plane, More WED, More Docs

After much bug fixing, X-Plane 11.20 beta 4 is out – here are the fixes. This beta fixes Linux performance, a few material rendering bugs for custom aircraft, and a bunch of X-Plane SDK bugs for VR.

We have a new WED 1.7.0 release candidate – hopefully the third time’s a charm!

And…we have docs on the vrconfig.txt file format. The VR config file is used to add VR-specific data to an aircraft, including:

  • Hot spots for seats (E.g. where does the pilot sit).
  • Extra data for manipulators.
  • Parameters for the yoke in VR.

Please do not ship your add-ons based on 11.20 VR tech – wait for us to go final. All file formats are subject to change during beta!

We are reaching the end of beta, for both WED and X-Plane. We’ll see, based on incoming bugs, whether we need a beta 5 before RC; hopefully WED 1.7.0r3 is a keeper.

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Beta 4 and VR Docs Are Coming

We’ve been working on 11.20 beta 4 for a while now – the goal for beta 4 is to fix all of the SDK/authoring bugs and have docs for the new VR file formats. We’re making good progress; beta 4 should be this week, barring an unforeseen bugtastrophy. (Linux users: perf should be fixed with beta 4.)

We received a number of bug reports that beta 3 was showing large numbers of _vrconfig errors with third party aircraft. So this seems like a good time to re-iterate our policy on file format stability and betas.

  1. Don’t ever ship an add-on that uses an undocumented file format. You can’t guess what the fine print is from example aircraft.
  2. File formats are subject to change during beta, and are not stable until we go final. Don’t ship your add-ons against beta file formats.

In our case, the _vrconfig.txt file format changed in beta 3 and will change again in beta 4; as Chris wrote docs, he found issues that he is fixing.

Our priority during beta is not stability of your add-on, it is getting the file format right, so we’re not stuck with a buggy file format for the rest of time.

Once we go final, we’ll put compatibility code in to support the final version shipped in X-Plane when needed.

Similar logic applies to the SDK – it’s fantastic that people are using the latest SDK to test their plugins in VR, but don’t hit the “ship it” button until we’re final – it is always possible that the SDK will change in a way that breaks compatibility during the beta.

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X-Plane 11.20 Beta 3 Is Out

Release notes detail the bug fixes here. We have another set of bug fixes that will go into beta 4 next week.

We’ve received a number of bug reports from plugin developers trying to use the new plugin APIs. We’ll have another beta next week to address the rest of the open issues, including the ability to (finally) use widget-based UI in VR.

Beta 3 fixes the MFD brightness going crazy in the G1000 C172, and fixes shadow casting on transparent-alpha-textured objects, but we still have an open bug with panel brightness in a Carenado aircraft that looks like a low level rendering bug. 11.20 has a lot of change to the rendering engine to support VR, performance and our migration to Vulkan and Metal, so authors: please be on the lookout for changes to how your models render compared to X-Plane 11.11.

If beta 3 isn’t found to be a smoldering wreckage of poorly thought out C++ over the next day, we’ll post a Steam version of the beta.

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X-Plane 11.20 Beta 2 Is Out

It’s like beta 1, but without the missing art asset. 🙂

We’re working on beta 3 now, which will have some fixes for rendering bugs. A few notes:

  • This is not going to be a typical eight-week beta. Please go check your add-ons this week.
  • The biggest area of code change for VR that affected other parts of X-Plane was the rendering engine. I’ve fixed 3 rendering bugs where I broke something while restructuring the renderer for VR, and none were surprising. Please check your aircraft or scenery pack for visual defects and let us know!

Steam users: we should have beta 2 up shortly.

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