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styckx

Prepar3D - What's different

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I figured I'd put together a consolidated list of all the changes, additions etc made in Prepar3D since release, to current date (Version 1.3). I've seen quite a few potential buyers who seem unsure of exactly what is even different which tells me they don't know where to find good information about Prepar3D other than "It runs better and no blurries". It really doesn't do any justice to everything that is new or different in Prepar3D.

 

Anything listed below is copy-pasted directly from Lockheed Martins release notes that are publicly available. The only thing that has changed is the formatting to consolidate everything into one long flowing change log. Other than formatting nothing has been changed or modified.

 

New Features or Ehancements

  • New user interface – Users now have a Windows 7 compatible drag n’ drop interface with customizable settings. Quickly create and save your favorite missions.
  • Multiple monitor settings saved – Users can quickly save panel and scenery window locations across multiple monitors with flight files. Prepar3D remembers the settings upon restarting a flight and restarting Prepar3D.
  • Sensor camera options – Users can experience night vision and infrared sensor camera options to enhance military mission or night flying training.
  • Realistic scenery – Millions of square kilometers of the earth have been checked and upgraded to accurately represent the urban environment. High resolution 12 cm content added for specific locations.
  • Underwater environments – Users can take their simulation experience underwater with submarines and the U.S. Geological Survey’s coastal bathymetry.
  • Enhanced developer toolset – Developers can use the Prepar3D environment to create new training solutions for the most modern platforms. To aid in rapid development, Prepar3D is now compatible with Windows 7 and Visual Studio 2010; it offers a Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF) user interface, an external simulator capability that provides enhanced control of the simulation code, new code samples updated in the Software Development Kit (SDK) documentation and support for the latest 3DStudio Max tools. Developers can also create a richer user experience with higher resolution terrain by taking advantage of the increased texture limits.
  • Expanded Hardware Controls – Users, especially fighter pilots, can now train with realistic hands on throttle and stick (HOTAS)
  • Multi-Touch support added
  • Multi touch on single touchpanels and across multiple touchpanels
  • New functionality to save and load custom control configurations
  • Additions to the standard vehicle model set
  • Lockheed P-38 Lightening courtesy of Just Flight Inc
  • Lockheed C-69 Constellation “Connie” courtesy of Just Flight Inc
  • Beechcraft Baron 58
  • Beechcraft King Air 350
  • Users can specify where flight plans are saved and loaded from
  • Enhancements to the Submersible SimObject Class
  • Users can specify where flight plans are saved and loaded from
  • Enhancements to the Submersible SimObject Class
  • Animations and lighting support added to submersibles
  • Proper lighting at depth
  • Submersibles are properly rendered on the ground
  • Observer view system enhancements
  • User interface redesigned for clarity and ease of use
  • Observer views can be easily configured with sensor and color views
  • Users are prompted when they attempt to load an incomplete or incorrect mission file that does not load correctly
  • Users can sort the columns of data in the Select Airport user interface
  • Tail number, call sign and flight number can be set on an aircraft’s ‘View details’ screen
  • Underwater scenery is now visible from above water if appropriate detail settings are selected
  • Menu system font has been changed for increased visibility and readability
  • The scenery library dialog now defaults to a user’s Prepar3D installation directory, not the desktop
  • The ‘Use Directly’ and ‘Cache Scenery’ radio buttons have been further explained with tooltip text
  • ExternalSim based SimObjects can now participate in Air Traffic Control distributed simulation/multi-player sessions
  • The simulation can now play sound when it does not have focus in Windows. Accessible via a checkbox in the ‘Options – Settings – Sound’ menu. Or as the ‘MUTE_ON_LOST_FOCUS’ entry in the Prepar3D.CFG file
  • Used distributed simulation/multi-player mission roles will now be recycled. If a player leaves the distributed simulation session their role will be recycled back to available so that the player can re-join or a new player can take their role
  • Ground Vehicles can now support left and right wheel animations
  • Custom weather themes are now supported and will be loaded into the simulation

GPS Gauge Enhancements to Allow FAA Qualification

  • GPS welcome/verification page
  • Support for SIDs (Standard Instrument Departures) and STARs (Standard Arrivals)
  • XML format defined for SIDs and STARs
  • Added synchronization of CDI scale with analogue instruments

Performance Improvements

  • More efficient handling of Bathymetry
  • Optimizations for running with Bathymetry disabled
  • Upgraded rain/snow shaders to 3.0
  • Upgraded default aircraft shaders to 3.0
  • Default system performance configuration has been updated
  • Rendering pipeline performance improvements show a marked performance improvement in all cases
  • Enhancements to water detail effects and rendering settings
  • Water effects settings are now divided into two sliders, Reflection Detail and Refraction Detail, which are clearly labeled
  • The Low, Med, High names have been replaced with text describing what scene elements are rendered at each setting
  • The water clarity slider controls the transparency of the water surface

User Interface Updates/Modernization Continue

  • Redesigned, dynamic menu system
  • New modernized screens

Kneeboard

Settings

ATC

Fuel payload

Multiplayer chat

Flight plan

  • Two additional levels of detail (LOD) are now available for the Terrain LOD Radius slider. Very Large (5.5) and Extremely Large (6.5) are now available options
  • The existing ‘WideViewAspect’ configuration setting in the Prepar3D.CFG file for wide screen monitors is now accessible via a checkbox in the ‘Options-Settings-Display’ user interface
  • Simple and advanced control settings sections have been redesigned and simplified in the ‘Options-Settings-Controls’ user interface
  • Air Traffic Control (ATC) window is now resizable
  • Minimum sizes have been enforced when resizing the multi-player chat, ATC and learning center windows
  • Modeless windows now return the focus back to the main application when closed
  • The “minutes until session starts” notice in multi-player exercises can be expanded up to 100 minutes
  • Tooltips have been added to the multi-player user interface to give more detail on available settings

SimConnect Enhancements for Developers

  • New SimConnect APIs added to support enhanced development
  • Synchronous SimConnect
  • Allows for “blocking” callbacks, meaning that the SimConnect server side will wait until you release it to continue running the sim
  • Both new APIs and additional flag values for existing APIs
  • Ground info query
  • Allows querying for a grid of ground alt info around a point or a SimObject
  • Can query for just ground, or ground and platforms (landable surfaces)
  • External Simulation support available through SimConnect
  • Allows writing an external simulation via SimConnect
  • Primary External Sims are the main sim for a SimObject, they compute everything
  • Secondary External Sims allow adding additional secondary sims to handle simulating/animating subsystems
  • SimObject containers can be created that use External Sims (via the aircraft.cfg/sim.cfg file)
  • Existing objects can be created and have their existing simulation overridden with primary external sim at runtime
  • Secondary external sims can be attached to existing simobjects at runtime
  • Simple sample external sim included in the SDK‟s SimConnect samples directory

SDK

  • Updated sensor view integration, examples and documentation
  • Multi-channel instructions rewritten for clarity, additional examples added
  • GUID generator example
  • Documentation to add SIDs and STARs
  • How to control observer views through SimConnect
  • Modeling tools have been updated to support 3D Studio Max 2010, 2011 and 2012
  • Configurable ground clamping capabilityo Added ability for SimConnect to "tag" the SimObjects that it creates
  • Added new API, AISetGroundClamp, that allows turning on the ground clamping facility which will push objects that are underground back up to ground level
  • Additional ExternalSim capabilities
  • Additional SimVar support to External Sim
  • Added fallback support for any SimVar not natively supported by the current Category Sim Class, so all SimObjects inherit this ability.
  • New example and article documentation on leveraging the new ExternalSim APIs to run the user’s own aerodynamic model and simulation through SimConnect in Prepar3D

Full Windows 7 Support

  • User interface redesign
  • New interface and extended multiplayer experience
  • Observer view camera management redesigned and expanded
  • Save flight user interface redesigned
  • Alert system and progress dialogs redesigned for continuity
  • End flight interface redesigned and clarification added

Multiplayer Experience Redesigned and Improved

  • Redesigned, streamlined multiplayer user interface
  • All multiplayer screens have been redesigned including the mission resolutionand racing results windows
  • Multiplayer simplified and streamlined for the end training user
  • Connect to IP now works on a global scale
  • Several improvements to the internal voice communication system
  • Removed local echo
  • No longer sends communication data packets when no one is talking
  • Able to select a sound device other than your default system sound device for multiplayer voice communication
  • Submersible and other SimObject categories are now supported by multiplayer
  • Multiplayer chat redesigned and able to be maximized and resized
  • Other miscellaneous multiplayer updates
  • When ending your multiplayer session you are no longer placed back to your simulator’s default flight
  • Add-on scenery is now an allowable option in multiplayer sessions
  • Tower controls now have access to the map feature
  • The ‘Join Aircraft’ button now swaps to ‘Leave Aircraft’ when joining a shared aircraft
  • If the map is chosen to be disabled, users can now not access it via the map button on certain aircraft panels

Content Update

  • Updated airport geometry, taxiways and aprons for
  • Langley Air Force Base (KLFI)
  • Orlando Executive Airport (KORL)
  • Eglin Air Force Base (KVPS)

* - The "Known Issues Resolved" portion of all the change logs has been left out of this list as the changes there are mainly bug fixes that varied between versions and would just be very confusing to read.

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Wow thanks! P3D seems to be in its early stages but after digging deeper, you soon find that it has evolved into a whole updated version of ESP.

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It may be a futuristic option but after using for a few weeks I found FSX is still the most viable option. Many of the enhancements are hardly noticible and the lack of certain addon support and integration has turned me back to old reliable FSX. Will see where it goes with the leaving of the John. I have a gut feeling.

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can anyone check if in P3D they added Suvarnabhumi BKK/VTBS.

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It may be a futuristic option but after using for a few weeks I found FSX is still the most viable option. Many of the enhancements are hardly noticible and the lack of certain addon support and integration has turned me back to old reliable FSX. Will see where it goes with the leaving of the John. I have a gut feeling.

 

I doubt his leaving will change things. AFAIK, he was not team leader, just the PR guy that interacted with us. There are other people in the P3D team and you can interact with them in the official P3D forums. LM is working to get ver 2.0 out of the gate by year's end. I guess that's top priority right now and upgrades to the current version are done on a priority basis.

 

As for the add-ons, LM have a policy that all add-ons must work through simconnect. Also, I believe it is too early in the game to see a major shift from FSX to P3D. The shift will happen as the universe of P3D users increase. My bet is that the shift will happen when ver 2.0 is rolled out.

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My bet is that the shift will happen when ver 2.0 is rolled out.

 

I believe so too.

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Stychx this is a great list which may even under-sell the changes made given that not all of them have been so publicly announced to meet your criteria of being documented here.

 

As Akila flags some new airports have been included (was this what was meant in the early information of "45 airports"?!?). The list of which has alluded me..... Though I have a sneaking suspicion that Hong Kong was part of that.

 

Furthermore couldn't see a specfic mention to the upgrading around Norfolk, Virginia with its naval shipyards and the airport (NNAS). According to PCPilot this is at 12cm imagery done by Pictometry. This is of course the oft used location for many of their screenshots.

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Thanks Stychx for that excellent list.

 

The topic before this one could do with having the original poster referred to here.

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As Akila flags some new airports have been included (was this what was meant in the early information of "45 airports"?!?). The list of which has alluded me..... Though I have a sneaking suspicion that Hong Kong was part of that.

 

The 45 airports refer to certain airports that have been fully fleshed out instead of just being a runway and autgen buildings.

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