Sign in to follow this  
Dillon

Wish DTS would have got the FLIGHT code instead of FSX

Recommended Posts

The elephant in the room is whether it's P3D or DTS's offerings, the FSX code has been problematic to fix.  Because of this I would far from give DTS a hard time fixing it and wish them well.  I believe hands down if they were upgrading and/or expanding the FLIGHT engine we'd be have a whole different conversation right now.  

  • Upvote 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Help AVSIM continue to serve you!
Please donate today!

Talking about things to wish for, that surely would have been nice.

Even better imho would have been for them to work together with the developers of Aerofly FS 2, which i consider a superior engine without a doubt but maybe not fitting their business plan or their capabilities and know how.

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 minutes ago, france89 said:

Talking about things to wish for, that surely would have been nice.

Even better imho would have been for them to work together with the developers of Aerofly FS 2, which i consider a superior engine without a doubt but maybe not fitting their business plan or their capabilities and know how.

 

When the news hit DTS was licensing Flight Simulator I remember we all were like, 'Why FSX?'.  We all knew the work needed with the code to bring that engine up to speed.  A better move for DTS would have been to purchase the FLIGHT engine and build on that, oh well... Guess we were right.  I wish them well with this and hopefully seeing this rollout they modify their 3d' party policy so they can get the support for this thing and not run out of money... Talk about choosing the harder road.

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Dovetail did purchase the Flight engine. They chose not to pursue that code. Please note, most of the scenery and some aircraft from FSX can be imported to the Flight game. But Flight lacks much of the capability of FSX, like AI, SimConnect, etc...

 

Dick

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
56 minutes ago, rhumbaflappy said:

Dovetail did purchase the Flight engine. They chose not to pursue that code. Please note, most of the scenery and some aircraft from FSX can be imported to the Flight game. But Flight lacks much of the capability of FSX, like AI, SimConnect, etc...

 

Dick

It still surprises me that they didn't use Flight. Technology-wise, they could have started 5 years further ahead. With how modern and organized Flight supposedly was, it would have made upgrades much easier, I'd imagine. As well, to my understanding, code for AI traffic and ATC was there, just disabled as it needed to be reworked to work with the new engine. Time could have instead been spent reworking these systems and improving them rather than trying to modernize 10 year old code. However I'm sure there's reasons that they chose to use FSX (likely they were already familiar with it due to Steam Edition).

  • Upvote 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Flight only runs on DirectX 9. It came out way back in 2001. FSX can use up to DirectX 10, which was released in 2006.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

They didn't use MS Flight because that would mean they'd have to program the ATC, AI, and other systems from scratch. By using FSX, the foundations were already there.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, magnetite said:

Flight only runs on DirectX 9. It came out way back in 2001. FSX can use up to DirectX 10, which was released in 2006.

What?

Flight came out in Feb 2012

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, GHarrall said:

What?

Flight came out in Feb 2012

Yes, but it's rendering engine is based around DirectX 9, which came out way before FSX existed. That's what I was referring to. I didn't say Flight came out in 2001. I was referring to the DirectX versions.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, magnetite said:

Flight only runs on DirectX 9. It came out way back in 2001. FSX can use up to DirectX 10, which was released in 2006.

What stops them from just updating the rendering engine to use the new DirectX version just like Microsoft did for FSX? With Flight as modular as it was, it would have been an even easier task, if I had to take a guess.

 

2 hours ago, fsxkitty said:

They didn't use MS Flight because that would mean they'd have to program the ATC, AI, and other systems from scratch. By using FSX, the foundations were already there.

To my knowledge, these systems were in the code for Flight, just disabled as they needed to be reworked for the new engine. Time could have been spent improving these systems instead of reworking the entire core.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
14 minutes ago, HughesMDflyer4 said:

What stops them from just updating the rendering engine to use the new DirectX version just like Microsoft did for FSX? With Flight as modular as it was, it would have been an even easier task, if I had to take a guess.

To my knowledge, these systems were in the code for Flight, just disabled as they needed to be reworked for the new engine. Time could have been spent improving these systems instead of reworking the entire core.

When Microsoft updated FSX to DirectX 10, it was a major rewrite of the FSX code (second last paragraph). It wasn't simply patched in. They rewrote a lot of FSX's code when they upgraded it from DX9 to DX10. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The issues with the rendering of FSX has little to do with DirectX version.

Also, I have a feeling a bit of FLIGHT has ended up inside FlightSimWorld.  Just because FSX and Flight were separate products doesn't mean you can't use code from one in the other... I've been writing software for far too many years to believe that.  I'm pretty certain the map interface in FSW is based on FLIGHT, and maybe even the UI itself.

  • Upvote 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I had a feeling some part of Flight was borrowed as well. FSX has 5 tabs of rendering options you can set, while FSW and Flight have one. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Both the FSX and Flight engines have IMO outlived their usefulness. They're outdated and based on old tech and ideas, with things duct taped on throughout the years. A new engine, written from the ground up for multi threading, 64-bit and DX12 would both perform much better and look more comparable to modern PC games released in the last 5 years, rather than like some time anomaly from 2004.

The problem is that developing a new engine from scratch is crazy expensive. Even big AAA game development studios rarely develop their own engines in house any more. Many that do, license it out to other developers to pay off the R&D, or are under the umbrella of a massive publisher so they can re-use the engine across multiple development teams and franchises.

So why not license some third party engine? Very few engines are suitable for flight sims and the unique demands they place on scaling and draw distance (from ground level to 50,000+ feet, with a visibility distances of hundreds of miles). Licensing costs and the development time/cost of adapting such an engine for a flight sim would be too high compared to the expected sales. 
So we have good old FSX/ESP. It was state of the art in open world rendering 15 years ago, so it still gets the job done even though the cracks are showing through everywhere.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, JimmiG said:

Both the FSX and Flight engines have IMO outlived their usefulness. They're outdated and based on old tech and ideas, with things duct taped on throughout the years. A new engine, written from the ground up for multi threading, 64-bit and DX12 would both perform much better and look more comparable to modern PC games released in the last 5 years, rather than like some time anomaly from 2004.

There's a lot of recent games that don't use DX12. There's also a lot of older games which had their rendering engines upgraded to DX11 from DX9 like FSW had done.

FSX has actually had multithreading since SP1. It was only a single threaded app in the RTM days.

At the end of the day, there isn't a lot they can do about it. If nothing short of scrapping FSX's code and rebuilding everything from scratch with a new engine will satisfy someone's performance expectations, I'd suggest finding a sim to use that isn't based around FSX/ESP codebase.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've said my opinion many times as majuh has quoted.  I'm very familiar with both FSX and Flight code as I worked on both.  Flight could have been converted to a more modern rendering API easily.  Between FSX and Flight we completely abstracted the low level rendering layer to make it easier to convert to other APIs.  The entire time during development I had my fingers crossed that we could switch to DX11 before releasing, but to the leadership the market penetration of Vista\Win 8 wasn't enough to justify it.  As a exercise in learning how DX12 works I took the Flight code and converted it in a few weeks.  There would still have been work to get it shippable, but overall it was pretty easy and very little game code changed.  It probably could have been ported to vulkan almost as easily.  There is no way Dovetail will be able to move their sim over to DX12 as easily as it was to move Flight, but they probably have no intentions to do that.  It would be another complete re-haul of the graphics and because of the design of FSX, it would touch a lot of the affected systems that need to render things.  Also, the DX10 support in FSX was a total hack just to get it in so ACES could say it really supports Vista.  Why do you think it was so buggy?

There are pros and cons to both FSX and Flight.  The right choice depends a lot on what they want, but ultimately I feel the long term right choice would have been Flight.  I think to some degree they may have picked FSX because they figured less fans would ###### about that choice.  Unfortunately fan reception of Flight was not great either (some of it deserved, and some of it not).

They put a lot of emphasis on it being fantastic because it is 64 bit because that is what a bunch of noisy fans want, but really the problem was not the lack of 64 bit, but the lack of efficient memory usage.  64 bit is great, and it should have been done, but it is a long term bet, not really a short term one.  Also, in general 64 bit slightly increases memory usage and slightly reduces perf, so it isn't great unless it is actually needed.  The amount of GPU memory on newer cards helps as well since you can be a 32 bit app and still access all 8 or 12 GB of memory on the GPU.  The main issue is system memory usage, and getting that data from the hard drive to the graphics memory.  One of the downsides of FSX was that it did a lot of work in the CPU and Flight moved a lot of it to the GPU.

  • Upvote 5

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Why did Dovetail not use the much-more modern MS Flight code? On the surface, it makes perfect sense. However, I suspect they feared the destruction of their company via another event like the 'Occupy Redmond' movement - a famous event in Avsim's history - one that almost brought Microsoft to its knees, before that organisation was saved by the Obama administration/NWO.

Does anyone know if Dighost is still in a FEMA camp?

Solidarity forever!

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
19 hours ago, magnetite said:

There's a lot of recent games that don't use DX12. There's also a lot of older games which had their rendering engines upgraded to DX11 from DX9 like FSW had done.

FSX has actually had multithreading since SP1. It was only a single threaded app in the RTM days.

At the end of the day, there isn't a lot they can do about it. If nothing short of scrapping FSX's code and rebuilding everything from scratch with a new engine will satisfy someone's performance expectations, I'd suggest finding a sim to use that isn't based around FSX/ESP codebase.

Some DX11 engines indeed also look pretty good. Those that have been upgraded from DX9 have had way more resources poured into them than the ESP engine, so that's not really comparable. GTA 5 is probably an evolution of the GTA IV engine, and it looks pretty good and runs at 60+ FPS..but think about the development budget of Rockstar compared to someone like DTG...

FSX doesn't have multi-threaded *rendering*. The scenery loading/compositing is multi-threaded, but the actual rendering engine is single threaded. If you just fly around in a circle (no new scenery being streamed in), it only uses one CPU core.

If they think they can meet my performance and quality expectations by just tweaking FSX, then fine. But I'll have to see the results before I get excited. Will also be interesting to see what LM can do with P3D v4. It's moving to 64-bit, and they are talking about features like PBR. The problem with that engine, as with any ESP derivative, is performance and single-threaded CPU dependency. There's also AFS2 and X-Plane 11. FSW doesn't exist in a vacuum.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, JimmiG said:

FSX doesn't have multi-threaded *rendering*. The scenery loading/compositing is multi-threaded, but the actual rendering engine is single threaded. If you just fly around in a circle (no new scenery being streamed in), it only uses one CPU core.

If they think they can meet my performance and quality expectations by just tweaking FSX, then fine. But I'll have to see the results before I get excited. Will also be interesting to see what LM can do with P3D v4. It's moving to 64-bit, and they are talking about features like PBR. The problem with that engine, as with any ESP derivative, is performance and single-threaded CPU dependency. There's also AFS2 and X-Plane 11. FSW doesn't exist in a vacuum.

You know, even the latest version of P3D doesn't use multithreaded rendering. Who's to say that would magically fix the performance problems? If that's all FSX was doing was rendering it might. However, it also has to do a whole bunch of calculations like physics, weather, AI, etc. All those would be competing with the rendering threads for resources.

 

Quote

If they think they can meet my performance and quality expectations by just tweaking FSX, then fine. But I'll have to see the results before I get excited. Will also be interesting to see what LM can do with P3D v4. It's moving to 64-bit, and they are talking about features like PBR. The problem with that engine, as with any ESP derivative, is performance and single-threaded CPU dependency. There's also AFS2 and X-Plane 11. FSW doesn't exist in a vacuum.

How are you so sure it's this single threaded rendering that is the cause of all the performance problems? I've done many tests with Intel GPA that showed me, least on my system, that the bottleneck was the time it took to transfer things from the CPU to the GPU. The results for FSX DX10 and P3D 3.4 were very similar. The CPU was actually the fastest part of the system, and thus not the bottleneck. Most of you guys just look at the task manager, and assume because there's one thread at 100%, that it is the cause of the problems. You really can't diagnose performance issues staring at the task manager. It requires under the hood diagnostic software like Intel GPA or Nvidia PerfHUD to actually figure out these issues.

Edited by magnetite

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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