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FSX 3rd Party Issues:Early Warning

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I just made another blog post about 2 issues that we will not be able to fix in SP1:1)VS 2005 SP1 redist issues2)Round Earth CorrectionThe second issue is a lot trickier than the first, and we can partially fix. The first issue is really a 3rd party issue.I hope you find the information valuable.

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Thanks Phil, I appreciate you and the other Aces team members taking the time to keep us in the loop. Even if the news isn't always what we want to hear nor, I'm sure, what you would like to tell us, it's good to learn some of the reasoning that goes into the decisions that are made.

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Does this mean that we can not get any great scenery packages like flight scenery portland for fsx? This whole round earth thing has me confused and why devs are saying they can't develop for fsx unless it's fixed. Why can't they fix it with the SDK if you said it is available for them? Is it because they can't figure it out or because they don't want to be bothered? I'm confused. One guy on another thread even said this problem was already fixed even though I was sure it hadn't been. I think he was confused too.________________________________________________________________________________________________Intel D975XBX2 'Bad Axe 2' | Intel Core 2 Duo E6600 @ 3.20Ghz | 2 GB Super Talent DDR2 800 | Big Typhoon VX | eVGA 8800GTS @ 565/900 | Seagate 2x320GB SATA RAID-0 | OCZ GameXStream 700W | Creative X-Fi | Silverstone TJ-09BW | Matrox Triplehead Setup

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No, if the new FSX SDK tools are used to author the content for FSX and the correction I mention is added to SP1 then new content is fine. The remaining issue is going to be legacy ( FS9 ) content with long polygons because FS9 did not have a round earth to deal with.Note 1, the legacy content isnt unusable. The end of a runway may appear to hang above the terrain by some distance and the planes may appear to go thru the runway since they follow the terrain. Outside of that visual artifact, however, the legacy content should load and run.Note 2, we have yet to find 3rd party content that needed the correction fix we are going to add so I do think many 3rd parties are either confused or conflating the issue with loading legacy content and hoping we fix legacy content. This is non-trivial to do in all cases as I mentioned.

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Phil,Firstly many thanks in keeping the community informed and we all look forward to further news / timescales for FSX SP1.Not being a programmer myself, I am seeking one point of clarification. Gary Summons (author of great UK airports for FS9/FSX) commented:Quote: MS went to the effort of accepting the old BGL Opcodes, but simply got the wrong polygon side visible with this type of code. I reckon its a 5 second job to fix it in FSX source code. And also with Ground Polygon problems probably easy to fix in FSX source code, do both of them and it is then just a case of few flattens and AFCAD changes. UNQUOTEProblems also seem to appear with add-on airport sceneries from FS9 whereby ground textures do not sit correctly on the mesh in FSX causing tearing and flickering - is this due to the 'round earth' issues mentioned in your post, or some other issue, and will this be fixed in SP1?Again, thanks to the dev team for all the hard work in doing whatever is achievable to enable some degree of backward compatibility to FS9 and also to improve on the overall performance issues being experienced.

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You mean this thread:http://www.uk2000scenery.org.uk/forum/index.php?topic=192.45where Gary goes :"Eureka After days of frustration and a few colourfull words, I have found the reason and the cure for ground poly problems.The basic change is that the FSX world is actually round!Of cause discovering the earth is round was made a few hundred years ago, but all FS releases where actuallly flat and we programmers were used to just making ground polys that would assume to be displayed in the flat"and"See http://www.uk2000scenery.org.uk/forum/index.php?topic=211.0 for Ground problem fixMore good news.Someone has come up with a easy to use tool that creates FSX flattens "I think its quite a bit more detailed than that early comment of Gary's, as it appears he has discovered. Without looking at each and every problem, its hard to characterize a priori. We are trying to do the right thing, and we did take 3rd party blocking bug fixes in SP1, the dawn/dusk fix is just one of them.I cant guarantee we are going to fix each and every problem, and the real fix is to reauthor for FSX using the new SDK. Then its clearly our problem.

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Phil,So you do read the forums!I take it from your comments then that the answer is NO.Does that also apply to the disply of FS9 buildings in 2D?Seariously, sarcasm is the lowest form of wit ! I appreciate that some of Gary's posts may seem a little curt, but he is passionate about the great work he has done for the flightsim community and over the years he has been in the forefront of scenery add-ons. It is down to the likes of Gary and others that keep the FS following and provide the marketplace for MS/ACES to continue to improve on the product. I am sure that scenery titles following the new SDK will be forthcoming, but I just feel that MS/ACES would have not alienated the FS community so much from FSX, and could win back alot of support, if some of these seemingly minor irritations could be accomodated. Don't get me wrong, there is loads that is great about FSX, but also does not appear a leap from FS9, given that to run it at reasonable fps, most have to tone it down to something which doesn't even resemble FS9.Also, you refrained from making any comment on the overall performance issues that people have been experiencing. It is unlikely that many die-hard FS followers will have the where-for-all or finances to go out and grab the latest and fastest hardware in order to run FSX with new complex aircraft as they are released. For example we all miss the Level-D 767 in FSX, but fear is that, given the current performance overheads, FSX would may not be able to cope with such add-ons. Come on Phil, give us all some hints as to the areas of performance which SP1 is likely to address. Dawn/dusk fixes, whilst fully appreciated, are in the area of eye candy. Also, the screenshots of fixes to Lisbon, London etc. I thought had already been fixed with the Terrain.cfg fix. so what's new there?

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I apologize if you mistook my tone as I didnt intend sarcasm.My intent is to show I see Gary made quite a few comments as he was discovering how to use the SDK and that over time he found solutions to most if not all of his issues. I also see, from http://www.uk2000scenery.org.uk/forum/index.php?topic=179.0, that he has a plan to release his content where in that original thread he didnt believe he could get there without it taking years. From that I gather his initial take was just that, an initial take, and after deeper investigation he can indeed deliver high quality content on FSX. As I have stated repeatedly, we are fixing a variety of issues. Performance is the only set of issues we will hold the release on so it is the most important component of SP1. And these are the hardest issues to fix. We are not done with the perf part of SP1, so it is still too early to make any claims. Beyond that, I am not clear what you are asking. Saying "better instancing to reduce Draw calls" without the underlying analysis isnt telling you much is it? Lets just say we want more than 20% frame rate gain in urban as well as rural areas. Across the board. How far beyond that we will get - its just too early to tell. I will say that we do hope to provide enough headroom for the types of 3rd party add-ons you mention, but again we are not done yet.I dont believe you can fix the issues in Lisbon harbor, the Thames, the Danube, etc with any cfg fixes - those issues are in the data files and required a re-export to fix. I'd love to be proven wrong as it would drop the size of the patch significantly but I dont believe you can fix those issues with a cfg change.As far as the technical leap, using WGS84 and having a round earth is a huge improvement. You cant even fly circum-polar in FS9. Much less get outside the atmosphere and take shots of the curvature. There are a myriad other improvements. Part of the problem is the current performance problems do mask some of the goodness.

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I notice a LOT of buildings and such that don't connect to the earth in fsx. For example, fly a helicopter and land in front of the white house and you will see all kinds of buildings, including the White House that have gaps between the terrain and the building. Is this a round earth problem and if so how come it affects your own autogen buildings? I wouldn't say I am nitpicking so much as I just think that is kind of cheesy and is a bit on the no attention to detail side.Also I would like to add my thanks for maintaining a link to the community during this process. Customers are much more willing to work with companies and problems if they feel that the company actually cares what they think and are willing to work with them to solve the problems. Nvidia could learn a thing or two from you guys. Put some pressure on those nincompoops to fix their vista drivers! ;)________________________________________________________________________________________________Intel D975XBX2 'Bad Axe 2' | Intel Core 2 Duo E6600 @ 3.20Ghz | 2 GB Super Talent DDR2 800 | Big Typhoon VX | eVGA 8800GTS @ 565/900 | Seagate 2x320GB SATA RAID-0 | OCZ GameXStream 700W | Creative X-Fi | Silverstone TJ-09BW | Matrox Triplehead Setup

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"Part of the problem is the current performance problems do mask some of the goodness"So true!I have high expectations for SP1Take all the time you need to get it right. We have FS9 and a semi useable FSX until then..........Glenn

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Phil,Many thanks for your reply and please accept my apologies too for suggesting sarcasm - I am sure now that your response was sincere.Don't underestimate many users awareness of techncial jargon like "better instancing to reduce Draw calls", there are many techies amoungst the FS community. I myself have been IT for the last 18 yeas, and whilst not a programmer, can understand the advantages to reduce the number of input/outputs and calls to redraw graphics etc.Even comments that you made re. "more than 20% gain in frame rate" and "provide enough headroom for 3rd party addons" (like LD-767) are music to our ears.The Terrain.cfg fix that I was referring to is this one, which certainly resolved the various land/rocky outcrops appearing in the Thames in London.http://forums.avsim.net/dcboard.php?az=sho...ing_type=searchI do appreciate the 'technical' improvements in FSX, but there are only a few that may wish to fly over the poles (scenery is pretty boring for one thing!) or fly outside of the atmosphere, the majority are seeking a more realistic flight dynamic and experience ("Real to life") nearer terra-firma.Again, please don't take any of our comments as negatives, and we all look forward to whatever updgrade can be achieved in FSX.

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I'll have to go look at the White House. I don't know what is happening there.I do know if there is any slope, we do the same "pick an end-point to anchor the building and lay it down" without doing any terrain modification for the foundation. It was my understanding we picked the lower value so the buildings slid into the terrain and didn't float.

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Its often easy to misread email, so I have no problem explaining.Sure, its easy to see the benefit. The key data points are where are we on Draw calls today and what is our reduction goal. That far I cant go today.There are no screenies in that link anymore, but there were several bad things at the Thames. The craters on the side, the polygons in the water, and the accordion effect on the water surface. Its hard for me to see how the cfg tweak could fix all of that.I can only talk to what we changed, not what we didnt. I appreciate the enthusiasm of the community. No problem.

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>I'll have to go look at the White House. I don't know what is>happening there.>>I do know if there is any slope, we do the same "pick an>end-point to anchor the building and lay it down" without>doing any terrain modification for the foundation. It was my>understanding we picked the lower value so the buildings slid>into the terrain and didn't float.We actually take the elevation sample at the reference point of the object, which in the case of an individually modeled building will *likely* be near the center. Many models have a "foundation" that goes down a ways below the terrain to mitigate these gaps.-Doug

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