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Guest DocMoriarty

Proposal for Entering Dialog Mode in FSX

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This is primarely meant for developers in the Aces team though add on developers might have an opinion about that too:Playing Games is all about immersion and one thing i really don't like is that the screen turns black whenever the sim is entering dialog mode (example: map display, create flightplan, ...).So wouldn't it be possible to just let the last frame produced by the engine as background instead of turning it black?In case of entering dialog mode via SimConnect it might also come in handy to pass the name of a bitmap file to use as background along with the dialog mode request so that the sim could post this instead of a black screen or last frame. Example: My addon is about a virtual airline and when i pop up my dialog i could use a background showing off my "office".That would be a rather simple method of not completely breaking the immersion whenever an external dialog pops up.

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Or write gauges like the Mindstar G1000 where you enter the flight plan directly from the gauge!! :)

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The reason we black out the rest of the display in dialog mode is because there are some incompatibilites between GDI mode and full screen DirectX mode (don't remember what exactly they are at the moment), so instead of fielding tons of phone calls from folks claiming that FS is broken because it renders really badly while a dialog is on the screen, we instead just black out the screen behind the dialog.I imagine we'll be replacing the GDI based dialogs with something else next time around. Basically an "everything that's old is new again" situation, in the old DOS days, games had to provide all their own UI handling code in graphics mode because there wasn't anything provided by the OS to handle that, now we are basically having to do the same thing with DirectX games :->

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Thanks for the info. A couple monhts ago i came to the same conclusion about frame rates and rendering GDI windows over a DirectX window in the DirectX mode which allows to do that (would have to look up the details too). It works but is slow and had some drawbacks.I stopped my experiments then since i didn't feel like reinventing the windows gui wheel again by implementing my own windows gui as DirectX 3D rendered objects. If you do this for a next version of FS though, make sure that we get access to it via SimConnect and/or SDK dialog design utility so that more complex add on's can use similar dialogs and therefore integrate better or seamless with FS :)

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