Sign in to follow this  
FlyBaby

Third Party Development Priorities….

Recommended Posts

I was just in the FSX forum and looking at vids of the new Active Sky Next weather engine to be released soon for FSX, and then later for P3D.

 

While I have not yet picked up P3D because I am waiting for a patch to clear up some issues, I wonder what the platform priority will be for future third party development: FSX or P3D?

 

In this transition period, will devs continue to develop for FSX first and then later cut a release for P3D? I realize that many addons work in both platforms already, but with the new capabilities for the P3D SDK, will developers leave FSX totally and focus mainly on the new possibilities with P3D? Ultimately, will third party developers burn their time trying to support both platforms (bugs etc.) if their product does not support both platforms without major modifications?

 

Before the choice was develop for FSX or XP10, now P3D throws another dimension into how third party devs will invest their time in the future.

Share this post


Link to post
Help AVSIM continue to serve you!
Please donate today!

The thing you've not mentioned though is the ease in developing for FSX and P3D at the same time. Since FSX and P3D are both based on ESP, it's much easier to develop for them both at the same time instead of for FSX and X-Plane.

Share this post


Link to post

Although it would appear that the V2 DX11 option may require some signifcant programming differences to its DX9 counterpart.

 

At least thats how the addons appear to be behaving right now.

Share this post


Link to post

If we look to how it was done for FS9 developers will continue with FSX add-ons for the foreseeable future. FSX will be the priority and P3D v2 support will come second. As P3D v2 catches steam in the next year we may see a shift. It all depends on how well P3D v2 is adopted. Just like FS9 we have some die hard FSX users that aren't parting with that sim anytime soon. Judging by what's being reported many FSX add-ons don't flawlessly migrate to P3D. Work has to be done to make some add-ons function efficiently in the new sim. I would give it 2 years max before we'll see a full shift by add-on developers to P3D v2.

 

Now LM could work wonders with updates and new add-ons with features not possible in FSX could make things move faster. It usually takes some time for developers to pick up steam with the new options they have and actually release products based on that new reality. As always enjoy the sim of your choice, nothing is going away anytime soon. I won't be uninstalling FS9 anytime soon as there's too much content that will take P3D years to catch up with.

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post

The thing you've not mentioned though is the ease in developing for FSX and P3D at the same time. Since FSX and P3D are both based on ESP, it's much easier to develop for them both at the same time instead of for FSX and X-Plane.

I don't know if it is easy to develop for both FSX and P3D at the same time; that would depend, I imagine, on the functionality of the addon. However, given that P3D claims that developers can do much more with P3D than they could with FSX, the new additional “P3D only” functionality alone would cause a break in a joint development effort.

 

If we look to how it was done for FS9 developers will continue with FSX add-ons for the foreseeable future. FSX will be the priority and P3D v2 support will come second. As P3D v2 catches steam in the next year we may see a shift. It all depends on how well P3D v2 is adopted. Just like FS9 we have some die hard FSX users that aren't parting with that sim anytime soon. Judging by what's being reported many FSX add-ons don't flawlessly migrate to P3D. Work has to be done to make some add-ons function efficiently in the new sim. I would give it 2 years max before we'll see a full shift by add-on developers to P3D v2.

 

Now LM could work wonders with updates and new add-ons with features not possible in FSX could make things move faster. It usually takes some time for developers to pick up steam with the new options they have and actually release products. As always enjoy the sim of your choice, nothing is going away anytime soon. I won't be uninstalling FS9 anytime soon as there's too much content that will take P3D years to catch up with.

I see your point; I would hate to switch between 3+ sims for my flight fix. I will most likely have to wait a little longer for newer products to reach P3D.

Share this post


Link to post

I think we are going to see two very different types of development priorities.

 

There will be those developers that will maximise both core markets (FSX and P3D) with exactly the same FSX coding but the product also being P3D "capable", much like FTX Global and its multi platform setup as it is today. An ideal way to maximise potential profits and contain development costs. The problem here is that you may not see the full potential of the P3D capabilities within the simulator.

 

The second type of development path may quite possibly take advantage of the better capabilities available to them through P3D2 to showcase their product, but with a watered down "FSX capable" second tier comparable product.

 

I hope we see more of the second development path rather than held back by (what are in theory) lower FSX capabilities.

Share this post


Link to post

 

The second type of development path may quite possibly take advantage of the better capabilities available to them through P3D2 to showcase their product, but with a watered down "FSX capable" second tier comparable product.

 

 

Agreed. Developers are going to have to focus on PROPER texture management..  With v2 having more overhead at the core the stuff people once got away with no longer will be able to as some of the stories are proving.  Carenado is one of the best at it. Opinions vary on his flight models but you can't discredit the magic he performs on models. He uses 4096 textures BUT ONLY where necessary, and even if necessary.. He doesn't just add them just for the sake of adding them. I've never had one of his aircraft OOM on me despite them looking better than almost anything available.  His Commander 114 is a great example.. It's a 1024 exterior texture and you can't tell because all the lines are as sharp as a razor.. Yet, take the Orbx Lancair non-HD variant that uses 1024 textures and it looks absolutely terrible with jagged lines. 

 

I mean.. I just saw someone release a 4096x4096 detail1.bmp texture.. Insanity.  Little things like this seem innocent one at a time.. You start adding 4096 grass, 4096 planes, 4096 runways, 4096 moons, 2048 AI aircraft.. *KABOOM*

 

Side note: Not discrediting any other aircraft developers  for their texture work.. Just highlighting a particular ones work. Aerosoft, Realair also don't get insane with textures and they still look great among many others.

Share this post


Link to post

I think within 1 year it will be p3d first. This is because the p3d audience is growing while fsx is declining.

Share this post


Link to post

You only have to take a quick look at some of the posts on the P3D Forums under the Prepar3d Development sections to see some of what is going on.

 

Its a veritable whos who of Flight Sim add on devs - off the top of my head Pete Dowson, Limesim, 29Palms, Milviz, Scruffyduck (& the ADE guys) are all currently in there asking questions (with no doubt many more also in there).

 

Its reasonably clear that P3D is capable of doing things that FSX should have done, but never quite got there and some creative devs found clever little "workarounds" and performance enhancing tricks that may have worked wonders in FSX, but now have an unexpected result in P3D v2.

 

For example, airports created using Airport Design Editor by Scruffyduck (the simple, free "Afcad" add on creator) didn't use a specific flag for taxiways because FSX never used/honoured this flag.......as P3D v2 DOES now honour the flag it has led to taxiways disappearing or not showing. The developer has had dialogue with LM in that forum and they have solved the problem. That in turn has led to the dev having to release an updated version of ADE to deal with this fundamental difference between the 2 sims.

 

29 Palms (I think) are in there querying why the method they use to create a gentle glow underneath a taxiway light in FSX does not work in P3D v2 and there are many more examples in those forums of these subtle but key differences in how P3D renders, or in how it displays differently to FSX.

 

Its clear that whilst FSX and P3D v2 are based on the same core code, LM appear to have made significant changes to it that aren't just related to increased performance......it looks like theres alot thats changed under the hood that might prevent some devs from just porting stuff over depending on the methods they have used to create their product - it may take a while for devs to get up to speed with P3D v2.

 

Eventually, I think devs are going to want to create for P3D v2 almost exclusively, as I am led to believe the SDK has far more potential.....I just think it will be a good while before that shift is noticable as alot of very good/experienced add on creators are almost having to reinvent the wheel as far as how their own addons are created for P3D v2.

 

I also think that as time goes by, one of the questions we will hear more and more with new product releases, and its going to quickly become more and more important is the "is it P3D native or an FSX port??" question.

 

Regards

 

Steve

Share this post


Link to post

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this