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rsrandazzo

12SEP14 - General Update on Many Topics

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Captains,

 

I have a few update items for your weekend that should make some folks quite happy!

 

PMDG 777-200LR/F SP1c:

We are preparing to put SP1c out to testing at some point between now and Monday.  (I keep promising that I am going to stop working weekends, and it never happens...  LOL)  This update is geared primarily toward resolving the outstanding issues related to the airplane wandering aimlessly during time acceleration, as well as a couple of other "odd-ball-one-offs" that have come our way and were found to be attributed to the same problem...

 

The wandering during accelerated time problem was traced back to some changes we made in the connection between the 777 and FSX.  We optimized the method of communication in order to more gracefully handle some of FSX's shortcomings, and in doing so it appears we might have outsmarted ourselves and created a circumstance in which data being fed to the air data system became unreliable.  This was surprisingly difficult to identify- but it has been found and fixed and we are putting this together for the testing teams shortly.

 

In this update we have a bunch of other items, but they are mostly nice-to-do items that we knocked out because we had the time while the other items were being researched.  As I mentioned- the focus of this update is the time acceleration problems.

 

I do not suspect the SP1c testing will take very long- and perhaps we will have this version into your hands before the 26th.  (Possibly by next friday?  This is our goal, but I am leaving some slack room in the schedule...  stay tuned...)

 

 

PMDG 747-400 V2 Development Update:

Development work on the 747-400 has been humming along at full speed over the past couple of months.  We are in early alpha testing with this product, and moving closer to the the point where we can begin to preview our progress for you.  The 47-400 has always been our flagship, and we are very excited to finally get around to adding this fleet to the modern list of PMDG product offerings. 

 

One of the best aspects of thi product is the fact that it is being built on top of a stable code structure that we have used for both the NGX and the 777, so we anticipate it will really hum and sing.  From a development standpoint, there are so many things we have learned, and so many new techniques that we have developed since we started working on the original 747-400v1.0 ten years ago...  This will truly be the state of the art simulation of this airplane when we are finished.

 

When will that be?  Soon.™ :lol:

 

NGX SP2:

No plan has been established for an NGX SP2 and no ETA has been established.  Our original thought process had been to simply roll updates from the 777 backward into the NGX, but this has proved unfeasible, which means the NGX would ahve to undergo a very invasive code update.

 

The sheer breadth of changes that we made to our code structure in order to complete the 777 makes it exceedingly difficult to work them backward as we had originally planned, and thus we must make an economic decision as to whether it is viable for us to release a no-cost SP2 update for NGX.

 

There are a range of alternatives for us to consider here and we will do so at some point in the future.

 

PMDG's First Product for use with Lockheed Martin's P3D:

Early this month we officially kicked off our development process to begin moving our headline products into direct compatibility with P3D.  We have been working with P3D and the P3D SDK since mid August, and we are in the process of discerning precisely what changes need to be made so that we can begin offering licenses that are for use in P3D.

 

A couple of details here that are important:  We are conducting a look-forward study on the first product that will be ported into P3D because we want to be able to offer x64 compatibility when the time comes for Lockheed Martin to release an x64 product.  Because this will be a vastly different project for us structurally, we want to be certain that we have an avenue open to support customers that may convert to x64 in the future.

 

There has been a significant amount of forum-lawyer discussion about EULAs and the like as they relate to P3D- and PMDG has taken the time to get multiple independent legal opinions on the matter- and this has shaped how we will be offering licenses for use with P3D.  We will announce pricing and licensing requirements once we get a bit closer to actually releasing a product into P3D.

 

We do not currently have a release timeframe because the developer leading this effort is also a key player in the 747-400V2 development process- and the 400 is a higher priority through the next couple of months...

 

 

PMDG's First Product for use with Laminar Research's XPlane:

The promise of PMDG's entry into the Xplane platform has been dangling out there for a couple of years now- and has recently taken some pretty bold steps toward finally being realized.  Xplane has offered some significant challenges to us in terms of fundamentally changing the way in which we develop products so that we can offer our Xplane products across x32, x64, Windows, iOS and Linux... 

 

Part of the reason it has taken us so long to bring an Xplane product to market is that our first project is a "from the ground up" development effort that was chosen primarily because it would give us the opportunity to work with a broad range of capabilities within Xplane in order to build the expertise we need to move one of our full fledged airliner products into this simulation platform.

 

Our goal, ultimately, is to offer the NGX, 777 and 747-400V2 to Xplane customers so that users of the Xplane platform can take advantage of all the sophistication and detail a PMDG airliner has to offer.  This has taken a bit more time than we had anticipated, but we are "darn close" now.  (to quote the project lead...<cough>)

 

 

And in Conclusion...

Okay, I think this covers the major topics that I have for you this weekend...

 

Seems like quite a bit of words to tell you not a whole lot... so for those who like quick summaries:  "Now that we have the 777 stablized where we want it, we have been making incredible progress on moving projects into P3D and Xplane, while also pushing the 744V2 very far down the path toward the finish line!"

 

Maybe I should start out with executive summaries from now on?  hmmmm....  :ph34r:

 

Oky- I am back to messing with fuel tanks on the 747...  You all enjoy your weekends!

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Tanks for the update! Everything keeps getting better

Really enjoying the 777 and the NGX gets flown all the time too :)

 

One comment though, could we get a comment on NGX sp2 timeframe? Would be nice to be able to say something with an official source on it :)

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Robert: Thanks for the news on the Queen. That is what I have been waiting on. Just a quick question. Is the DC-6 still in Dev?

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Awesome news Captain!...I'm especially excited for the 747 release and obviously the continued improvements of the777. Keep up the great work.

 

Cheers,

Troy

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Can't wait to see the first pics of the new 744.  Will have the drool bucket ready!! 

 

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Gents-

 

I added a note to the post regarding NGX SP2, then suspended a fellow for 12hrs for posting without signing his name..

 

The DC-6 is still in development...  (it really is coming along nicely too!)

 

I have updated both the Xplane and P3D development threads- and that is all of the information we have for you on those two platforms at this time. (Neither update tells you much you didn't already get from this update- but i wanted to keep them in sync with the latest at least...)

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Will it be possible to port the WXR module of the 777 to the NGX with the help from the guys at HiFi?

I think this is the only feature that is currently 'required' to bring it a lot closer to the 777...

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I hope we can somehow see the P3D compatibility by end of year. I wish it was your #1 priority :P good luck with everything guys. Great products require patience. 

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Thanks for the update Rob other than x-plane pretty much what I thought was going to happen - great news

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I added a note to the post regarding NGX SP2, then suspended a fellow for 12hrs for posting without signing his name..

 

And he has been subsequently banned. He had two previous accounts that he abused and he found himself banned with those.

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I'll confess to being a little annoyed..perhaps not the correct word...perturbed, regarding the NGX SP2; while i personally don't see anything seriously wrong with it it would have been nice to get at least the weather radar.  I hope at some point this decision may be reconsidered.

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Ian-

 

We have evaluated whether this is a simple change to make- and it is not.  Please keep in mind that the capability did not exist when the NGX was released three years ago... and as such no provision was made for it.

 

Unfortunately the 777 SP process has taken far more resources than we would have liked- and we have to start getting developers back to their primary tasks- so I don't have the flexibility to pull four developers aside to do the update for the NGX at this time.

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Ian-

 

We have evaluated whether this is a simple change to make- and it is not.  Please keep in mind that the capability did not exist when the NGX was released three years ago... and as such no provision was made for it.

 

Unfortunately the 777 SP process has taken far more resources than we would have liked- and we have to start getting developers back to their primary tasks- so I don't have the flexibility to pull four developers aside to do the update for the NGX at this time.

 

I understand and appreciate your reply.  I was a little disappointed that's all, the NGX remains one of my top 2 planes.  

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Thanks for the update Robert!

My first reaction to the NGX SP2 information was disappointment.

But then I thought a bit more about it:

- The NGX is, in it's current state, an amazing product.

- We're comparing it to the 777, which is quite a bit newer.

 

So, my current opinion:

1) I would LOVE (yes, all caps!) a free SP2 for the NGX.

2) If the price is right, and the added functionality is worth it, I'd be willing to pay a small fee for an updated NGX.

3) But even if it doesn't come, I still love my NGX as it is now! :wub:

 

In the end, the NGX is amazing. The problem is that the 777 is even better, and we all want to the NGX raised to that level. Dear PMDG, this is a luxury problem that is entirely of you own making. :P

 

Apart from my going on on the NGX, looking forward to the 747... Keep it up!

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I'm somewhat shocked that PMDG is shortening the lifespan of the NGX so quickly after the release of this milestone and defining product. 

 

With this method and the long development cycles, we will only have one product in the most current & up to date state and actively supported by the dev's. 

 

I think the WXR is too important for the majority of the community to be scratched due to practical reasons...

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Henk-

 

Wait...  I made three announcements today in which two of them clearly state that we are going to be moving the NGX into both Xplane and P3D- which means that the product does have an active development plan still in the works.  Even a very cursory consideration of this would cause a reasonable person to see that both of those are development cycles that will benefit the NGX in FSX.

 

From a business standpoint, it would be sheer stupidity for me to realign development resources as inefficiently as you have suggested.

 

Don't get me wrong- like you- I am excited to get some of the new stuff into the NGX, but at the end of the day I have to make smart decisions about running the business.  If I start making decisions using your criteria- there won't be any products to update. 

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All sounds excellent, and sensible to me.

 

The NGX is my all time favourite add-on........ but to me, it is wanting for nothing! ...... It Is perfect as it is..    I may be the only person on the planet who couldn't give a good cahoot about getting a weather radar into it.      When the current model is so good, and gives so much pleasure, why crave for more?

Great news about the 747 too.    I was initially worried not to see a mention of the DC-6 but glad that Robert mentioned it in a subsequent post, and that it's still developing nicely.

:smile:

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I really hope we'll see the 747v2 in the not too distant future. Air New Zealand just retired their last 747 yesterday.

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