The folks at Laminar Research have just posted a blog entry on their developer site that details some of the areas that their recently released X-Plane 12 will build on. There’s some key details in here on what they have planned and if you’re an X-Plane fan you’re going to want to know what they are doing. Let’s have a look!
Early access and next steps
The first thing that the Laminar Team mention is the whole concept of early access and why they have released the sim into the public now. Essentially they wanted to open it up so they can bring the public in and, perhaps more importantly, all of the devs that want to bring their entire teams into the process.
While I’m sure they could do that with a closed beta, I can understand the desire to ease and speed the process along. Not needing to seek access, sign NDA’s, and otherwise vet or manage a closed beta test does smooth things out.
And of course the other benefit is that the rest of us get to see what’s happening with the sim as well.
Then the blog turns to the things that the team are working on. Clouds is a big one and Laminar report that they are working on improving the shape and quality of the clouds. The same goes for lighting which they report has quite a few lighting and atmospheric scattering bugs for them to squash.
A notably exciting moment for airliner pilots is the news that one of their developers, Philipp, is continuing to work on the Airbus MCDU which will come to the A330 later in the early access period. At present, the A330 is using a Boeing FMC as a stand-in.
Bugs to squash
The dev update also mentions that there are quite a few bugs left to deal with. They reportedly have over two-hundred open bugs. Some of those bugs include blurry textures of which they provide a lengthy explanation on. The long and short of it is that it has to do with Vulkan and insufficient VRAM and some other items.
There’s also the magenta bug which is apparently a debugging system intended to show off where a numerical error has been encountered in the rendering engine. Some folks are seeing this frequently while others haven’t spotted it at all. GeForce 900 series are one of a few culprits that they have mentioned.
They also talk about their use of AMD’s FidelityFX™ Super Resolution. Some using FSR have noted a fuzzy appearance which the team report is largely to be expected when running at a lower resolution and then sampling up. The technology is similar to nVidia’s DLSS which X-Plane currently doesn’t support.
Beta 3 is reportedly coming soon as is the Steam release which has been in review status for several days now and is due… soon. That’s all they’ve said.