Friday, January 16, 2009

Two Squashed Bugs for 930

These two issues have been discussed a lot in the forums, so I thought I'd mention them:

First, I finally found and nuked that star-burst pattern in the rain.  It turns out that for some textures, compression was destroying the lower res mip-maps, causing the geometry that the rain drops are drawn on to show up as that starburst pattern.  It should be fixed for 930 beta 1.

Second, it turns out that the code that converts the 900-format generic instruments to 920-format generic instruments* was being run on the user's airplane whenever a multiplayer airplane older than version 920 was being run.  That could cause generic instruments to disappear, appear incorrectly, or just crash the sim, because the aircraft data in the user's plane (once the user is flying) is already in 920 format...if you interpret it as 900 format again, you get non-sense.  

I am fixing this for 930 beta 1; there may be other bugs relating to multiplayer and generics, so we'll see if this fixes most of the problems, or others crop up.  The panel system is essentially "global" (that is, there is one panel for the user in all of x-plane) but the instrument data is there is always a risk of code mistakes where the multiplayer planes affect the user's panel.

When will 930 beta 1 be out?  I don't know.  Hopefully pretty soon - when bug fixes make it into the blog, we're usually in the push to get to beta.  But I'm working on features on a few fronts, so it's hard to say which ones will be done first.

* X-Plane 920 revised the ACF format from version 900.  The file format for generic instruments was pretty much completely changed to accommodate new features like key frames.  920 has code that converts the 900 generic instruments into 920.  For example, simple key frame tables are built out of the older offset-scale parameters per instrument.


Paploo said...

Speaking of the rain starburst, (assuming what I'm seeing is, indeed *the* rain starburst), it did do one interesting thing for me that would be an interesting feature to add to X-Plane.

When flying in a light rain, a starburst pattern seemed to show, dancing around the screen as my plane rolled, yawed, and pitched. This dancing around was quite disorienting as it was related to the velocity and acceleration of the plane, rather than its orientation.

Now for an aside: One thing I've always felt was missing from flight simulations is the disorientation of IFR flight; that one is constantly fighting their inner ear, having to rely on their instruments rather than their instincts.

The starburst dancing around the screen brought that too me. Laid against the windscreen, even if it was in my peripheral vision, it constantly added a conflicting signal of what the plane was doing. It would give me the "sensation" that the plane was pitching into a dive when the instruments were telling me I was on course.

In other words, it did a *wonderful* job of adding a sense of the realism of the human element to the simulation.

I would *love* to see there being an option to have IFR conditions add some sort of "starburst" to the screen that dances around based on the accelerations on the aircraft, in order to help add this sensory conflict.

I think such a feature could add value to IFR training. (and, indeed, when I first observed this issue, I thought it was a feature to do just that!)

Anonymous said...

Agreed - I kinda got that too. I didn't think it was intentional, but maybe some implementation of artificial vertigo (or... is that real vertigo?) would be great.