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turbofandude

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  1. Fall 2022 Development Update It has certainly been a while since our last update, but we were holding off making a post to add some highly anticipated features. In the background, we have made significant changes to our infrastructure to support the productivity of our developers and our supporting roles. With that being said, we would like to welcome @Ethanb_UK to his new role as Support Representative, and @lscott122 on his promotion to Community Manager. We look forward to seeing what both individuals can contribute to their new roles and how it will make a difference to our customers every day. We've got some exciting content to share today, so read on for more (yes, we know the videos are low resolution; this is to assist in viewing and uploading). PACX Although we periodically update PACX, it’s due for something new and exciting. @lscott122 and @Jishwaah have been working in the background preparing for the upcoming Voice Packs Expansion! The Voice Packs Expansion will add a whole slew of new voices (in both their native tongue and English) to further enhance the realism and localization of the PACX experience. With that said, we are pleased to confirm the following languages for the update: English (United Kingdom, English language only) Australian (English language only) Spanish German French Mandarin Japanese Portuguese Arabic As for the question that will inevitably get asked, we do not have an exact release date, but we are targeting a release during Q1 of 2023. We are now also hiring for voice actors to support PACX development by lending their voice and becoming virtual cabin crew! This role is open to anybody to apply, regardless of whether they have professional experience or are real-world cabin crew. If you are interested, or know somebody who is, and speak one of the languages above, get in touch today by submitting a short application at https://invernyx.com/apply. Successful applicants will be contacted to arrange an informal interview and to practice with the script before the official recording takes place. If you have any questions about the role, please reach out to Josh Riley via email at jriley[at]invernyx.com. smartCARS 3 We have been spending time working on smartCARS 3 behind the scenes. Finally, we are happy to present some solid shots (and a video) of some new features, as well as a more in-depth technical explanation. video.mp4 Although that doesn’t seem like a great deal of functionality, what is happening under the hood is quite significant. As we have mentioned before, smartCARS 3 is a platform, not simply an application. This platform allows developers (both third-party and first party) to add functionality at any time. What you are seeing above is this concept in practice. The flights page seen above is a plugin that we ship with smartCARS 3. That plugin manages your bid flights, will let you search and book a new one, and of course, will let you start a flight the way a smartCARS user expects. The difference is that if a virtual airline wanted to customize their booking experience (think dispatch system, etc.), they could simply create a plugin with our documented SDK that would entirely replace our booking system while still allowing users to benefit from the rest of the smartCARS experience. Plugins can add menu icons, provide background services, and interact with the rest of the application with the same level of access we are using to develop core functionality. This means that the days of having to develop or purchase a custom ACARS for a virtual airline are over. You can simply leverage smartCARS and customize it to suit the exact needs of your users. Above, we see the new “Virtual Airline Selector” experience. By default, partner virtual airlines will be displayed with their logo visible. A user can search for their virtual airline via that box and select the appropriate one. You will be able to link virtual airline accounts to your TFDi Design account to make restoring previously selected VAs easier. This new ease of use will not come at the expense of virtual airline customization, however. Virtual airlines will still be able to have custom icons, change colors, modify behavior, and give users shortcuts to launch directly to their instance of smartCARS. Under the hood, there is a plugin repository system, notification system, and inter-plugin communication system driving backend of smartCARS 3. With those features out of the way, you can expect to see significantly more visual progress as we approach the alpha testing/developer preview phase of the development lifecycle. MD-11 The highly anticipated TFDi Design MD-11 is progressing well and we are thrilled to announce that the aircraft should be released by the end of September, 2023. We are still leaving this to be very ambiguous, as we would like to allow some breathing room for any issues that may crop up. Since our last development update, we have welcomed another 3D modeler to the aircraft design team, with @arwasairl taking up the work on our newly modelled MD-11 cabin. The virtual cabin will allow you to move around the aircraft freely and get the experience of an airline passenger during your own simulator flights. Initial tests in P3D V5.2, the performance impact of the cabin was negligible. It will still be optimized before release, of course, and for those working on more performance constrained systems, we will provide an option to disable it entirely. Below are some in-sim screenshots of the cabin! Our cabin is based on the KLM 3-class configuration, so there may be some variances from cabin pictures you may have seen. We have continued work on the systems while the art team has been hard at work on the visual items. The autoflight system has quite a few of its more advanced features in-place. We are still tweaking exact numbers and performance, so we are not going to show it off in-flight just yet, but as of now, the following basic modes all work: Heading Hold Vertical Speed Hold Altitude Hold Level Change (Speed-On-Pitch) Speed Hold The important thing to note about those modes is that they are the foundation of the more complex modes. We have already worked heavily on the magenta line and navigation data usage (as you can see by the BAYPO9 SID displayed on the ND in the video). We have been really trying to capture the nuances of the autoflight system and it will vary from what you experienced in the 717, even if just slightly. One of the variances in the MD-11 is the pitch up guidance at 80 knots on the flight director (shown below). takeoff.mp4 We have also spent quite some time working on the stability assistance systems, the LSAS and RCWS systems. The LSAS is a complex system that assists in landing nose-down authority, speed protection, and pitch smoothing in-flight. We will post another video and/or dev update specifically detailing the ins and outs of the LSAS. We also have the (optional) roll control wheel steering (RCWS) feature. This assists horizontal stability by holding the roll wherever it was left by the pilot. It also will return the aircraft to a standard flight envelope if it is left outside of one (shown in the video below). rcws.mp4 Of course, there is the elephant in the room: Microsoft Flight Simulator (MSFS). We have been hard at work testing, optimizing, and refining our code and libraries to run in MSFS. Credit goes to Asobo for correcting a bug in the WASM compiler recently, so that has enabled us to progress further. Rest assured, although we're showing a lot of content in P3D or our standalone environment, nearly all of this progress translates directly to MSFS. We will have updates dedicated solely to MSFS progress over the next few months as we progress toward a fully flyable state. Community Discord has recently released a forum feature for channels, and this has prompted an internal discussion from some of our team about the future of the forums on the website and changing to a standalone blog for our development and news updates. A transitional period will then take place as we train our staff and moderators about how to manage the forum topics and how support will be given to customers who request it on Discord, and how downloads will be done. Our Discord has proven to be popular and active amongst our community. Please let us know your thoughts, as well – we want to ensure the best experience for our customers and followers as well as paving a more efficient path for our support staff to assist when needed. Closing As always, we greatly appreciate your support! As we end the quiet period of development on both the MD-11 and smartCARS 3, we are happy to start sharing more with everyone as we progress toward an exciting product line-up over the next year.
  2. It binds to any IP on the port specified, so port forwarding would 100% work (as far as I know).
  3. I've seen this report but I have yet to be able to recreate it. Can you open a ticket with us so we can try to do a one-on-one AnyDesk session?
  4. This is a very interesting idea. I don't know that we'll do this for the initial release, but a legitimate charter version of the plane does sound intriguing.
  5. We keep finding more and more variations the further in we get. We're going to try to do as many as we can get adequate reference for, so if you have any further details, please be sure to let us know so we can work them in!
  6. It isn't actually unusable according to the thousands of users not having a problem. That said, we've taken special care on the MD-11 to ensure it exceeds the 717's performance.
  7. I believe this was resolved in the latest beta - has it repeated at all since? It was caused by a passenger not having an assigned seat and it checking if they were sitting - that shouldn't be possible due to how seat assignments are generated. Can you give me some further details on how exactly you got it to crash? By this, I mean the exact aircraft and flight parameters you used to get it to crash.
  8. I'll take a look at this ASAP.
  9. We do have plans to integrate with GSX (as much as possible) as well as smartCARS for the ACARS up-link. It's possible that we'd introduce Simbrief as an alternative if you aren't using smartCARS. That said, yes, we're shooting for an immersive experience as well.
  10. I'll get this on our list - we may need to rebalance the likelihoods. I'm not sure if we'll implement this exactly in this format, but we can try to find a happy medium.
  11. I really like this idea. I've added this to our board to review ways we can implement something like this.
  12. There are indeed several sub-variants, but due to their popularity (or lack thereof) in some cases, we may not include them. The idea is something like this: if you only care about cargo, you can purchase just the cargo version for the base price. Then, if you decide you want passenger options later, you can add it on for a fraction of the base price. Inversely, if you decide you want passenger first and then cargo, it works the same way in reverse. The failures pack will be its own thing - we're going a la carte to make sure nobody is forced to purchase something they don't want or won't use.
  13. Is this something you can provide us more information on? I'll discuss it with the team at the next meeting.
  14. As we are preparing to end another year, I'd like to take a look back over what 2021 has been for us. This year was a year of learning and dedication for us. We got the opportunity to meet up face to face at FlightSimExpo for the first time since the pandemic began and it was a much-needed break from the every day routine we'd gotten used to. Spending time with each other and with the members of the community that were able to attend was definitely a highlight for me. This year, we also got the chance to grow our team, refine our processes, and set ourselves up to be the best that we can be. We've been hard at work developing and improving our products across the board in our most asynchronous and efficient manner yet. Armed with the largest and most efficient team we've had yet, we are prepared to make some impressive progress and have some exciting news for everyone who has been patiently waiting for the projects we've been working on. Finally, as always, we are honored to be a part of this community and to be in the position we're in. The support and appreciation we've received over the last year has been humbling and we plan on continuing to impress in 2022. We look forward to getting more hands-on with some of our development progress and participating in more community events, both in person and online, as the world continues to settle into its new normal. From all of us at TFDi Design, and Invernyx as a whole, we wish you a fun, safe, and happy, New Year.
  15. Opening We've been quiet while we've had our heads down recently, but it is time to show everybody what we've been doing! We have changed how we structure some of our development planning by splitting it into seasons. These seasons coincide with the traditional fiscal quarters and, for now, we plan on doing a major development update at least once per season with development streams and shorter updates in between. PACX We've been working slowly and steadily on improvements to PACX. Since the last time we talked about it, we've crushed a number of bugs and implemented a few requests from the community. Among these are items like improvements to record filtering, refinements and fixes for certain in-flight announcements, and general stability and performance improvements. We plan to start testing on this update relatively soon after the holidays to keep things fresh. One of the most requested items for PACX was additional voice packs and we intend to deliver. We've been working on the internal tools needed to create a thorough and immersive voice pack expansion remotely. This expansion will include a number of new voice packs in different languages and accents, as well as some changes to make the experience more realistic in those areas. The good news is that these tools are almost complete. We will soon be putting out a call for voice actors/actresses and/or flight attendants from around the globe to work with us in creating the new voice packs. smartCARS 3 The smartCARS 3 team has been working on some impressive items. The user interface is still very much a work in progress, so I will not be sharing any images here, but I will go into more technical detail about what's going on under the hood. smartCARS 3 is a platform as much as it is an application. We have created a plugin system that allows third party developers to have the same level of access to the core functionality that we are using to create it. This means that virtual airlines and communities can create a truly custom and personalized experience while still benefitting from the existing work done by others and by our team. For example, let's say a virtual airline created a completely custom booking and dispatching system that is totally incompatible with the way smartCARS handles it. This virtual airline could spend a few hours and create a new booking module that their pilots can install that works with their custom system. These pilots can still use smartCARS and benefit from the rest of the features without having to sacrifice the individuality and immersive experience that the virtual airline created. smartCARS 3 will be a huge improvement from the pilot's perspective as well. We've taken a huge number of requests over the years and we are implementing those as faithfully as possible. Little inefficiencies, such as the un-resizable window and auto-scrolling chat will become things of the past. The flight tracking and logging experience will be much more thorough and refined. The review of past flights will be much more detailed and useful, instead of simply seeing the PIREP text a second time. Even the smartCARS Premium features will become much more compelling and useful - allowing a greater amount of flexibility and dependability from your flying experience. When the user interface is ready, we will do a deep dive into the details of some of these new features and demonstrate all that it is capable of. In the meantime, just know that we have heard your requests and feedback and they are shaping the future of smartCARS. MD-11 The MD-11 has been making significant progress over the last several months as well. We can now officially announce that we have partnered with Turbine Sound Studios to create an immersive sound experience for the MD-11. More and more systems have been brought online in the last few months and functionality is getting more complex and realistic. Since the last development update, we've got the FADEC and engine computers implemented, the first part of the flight control systems and FCC working, improvements and additions to the electrical and hydraulic systems, and work has begun in the pneumatic system. The standby display is also now nearly complete, bringing another complex piece of electronics online in the cockpit. In the visual and artwork front, huge improvements have been made. The texturing of the cockpit has started, as well as the mapping and animation of the buttons and switches. It's worth noting that the cockpit seems VERY worn/dirty. This is an option - it's easier for us to create it at maximum wear and tear then reduce it than it is to go the other way. You will have the ability to select the level of wear and tear you'd like. The tools we've created to help develop and test the aircraft outside of the sim have also made getting it into the sim faster, so we expect to see a lot of functionality in the cockpit very soon. The cockpit isn't the only area getting attention, though. The exterior texturing and liveries are well underway. We have a pretty solid list of liveries we want to have available at launch and we're making good progress on them. As always, all of the images shown here are work-in-progress and not necessarily reflective of the final, refined product. If you see something that is out of place or not quite perfect, feel free to let us know, but it may be an issue we're already aware of and will fix at some point before release. We actively encourage participation via our Discord server. One final item that we've discussed on some of our streams but haven't officially stated yet is the price point. As of now, we anticipate the product being available as a base pack and two expansions. The base pack will either be the cargo or passenger version (your choice) and the other will be available for a small upgrade. We also plan on releasing a failures package that will include a full failures menu, operations-based failures and faults, and more. As of now, the base price is expected to be $89.99 USD. The expansion packages will be priced fairly with respect to scope and significance of the work required to create them. Closing Thank you for reading and if you haven't already, I posted our yearly review article here.
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