New X-Plane 12 dev update

We have a new X-Plane Developer Blog update and it’s a big one that gives us a great picture of the current status of the project and where it is planning to be. Let’s have a look!

An overview

The first thing we learn right off the bat is that X-Plane 12 is now being shared with third party developers and subject matter experts. That’s generally a good sign as developers can get to grips with the new updates and start updating their aircraft or preparing their next generation aircraft for the new sim.

We also have a snapshot of what the team has recently completed and what’s still to come. Here’s the list of what has recently been completed:

  • Default Fleet Updates
  • Rain/Snow on Runways
  • Prop Physics Updates
  • 3D HUD
  • ATC Overhaul
  • Seasons
  • 3D Trees
  • UI Refresh
  • FMOD 2.0
  • Moving Jetways

Currently in progress:

  • Low Visibility (i.e. fog)
  • Water
  • Anti-Aliasing and FSR
  • Night Lighting
  • Third Party APIs

And coming up next:

  • Rain Improvements
  • Performance Tuning
  • Restore VR
  • Recut Default DSFs
  • Bug Fixes

Key feature updates

The developer diary also goes into some details on a series of features that are being prepared. Among them are the lighting engine which we’ve heard about before. The new system runs in what they say is “true HDR” at all times and uses photometrics to match lighting precisely with real world values.

They also talk about how they are calibrating the low visibility effects for the sim. I imagine this applies to fog but also potentially to flying through clouds (which we saw was very much a WIP during the recent demo videos).

Then they go on about water and how the new waves are not only 3D in appearance but their 3D nature now interact with the aircraft’s flight model. Expect better seaplane behaviour as a result!

Anti-aliasing is given some attention in this update too. X-Plane 12 will now support MSAA (in addition to FXAA and SSAA). While FXAA is faster and SSAA produces very high quality images, MSAA is a mix in between so its inclusion is a welcome one. Also of note is the implementation of AMD’s FidelityFX Super Resolution (FSR) which should be useful for 4K pilots. FSR is somewhat similar to nVidia’s DLSS but it is supposed to be GPU agnostic so nVidia fans should be able to take advantage too.

Finally, there are updates on third party support with a range of updates. The SDK for example now supports ARM M1 Apple computers. XP12 is now going to run the Chromium Embedded Framework which will let plugins run web pages within the sim.

Up next

It sounds like the next steps are for X-Plane 12 to progress to an unrestricted early access program. That means that the rest of us will be able to test the new sim for the first time.

Check out all of this and more on the latest Developer Blog Update.

2 Comments Add yours

  1. _BringTheReign_ says:

    I wonder if that F-4 Phantom will be part of Early Access?


    1. ShamrockOneFive says:

      Very likely if we follow Heatblur’s previous F-14 and AJS-37 release. However, unlike other Early Access launches, Heatblur tends to ship with most features enabled from the start and then refine the details and add additional content (campaigns, more esoteric weapons, etc.).


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