Home > Flight Simulation, Flightsim > First impressions of FSX retail – for addon scenery folks

First impressions of FSX retail – for addon scenery folks

Thursday, October 5th, 2006

For developers and those using third party addons in FSX here’s some early impressions. These could change as we learn more.

What works:

  • landclass appears to work, but more analysis is needed of details
  • elevation mesh, although there is a new apparently faster mesh system
  • custom object placement works fine
  • day and night textures appear
  • AI 1′ water runways work properly and are not visible
  • semi-transparent (DXT3) textures (like windows)
  • AI traffic

What sort of works:

  • water AI works, but there is an issue of conflict with the default water traffic. Default traffic wanders at will and cannot be selectively disabled: either it’s enabled or the global water traffic file is disabled
  • support for the current method of land-water-mask (LWM) polygons seems to be mostly ok, but I have some areas where this is not working
  • CYVR has been significantly improved in FSX, but unfortunately an area of pre-load fill (now removed) was misinterpreted as a large non-existent building on the North-West corner of the terminal complex. We’ll have to remove this.
  • a number of very nice building models have been added to downtown Vancouver. Some we may use, some not. Regardless a bunch of new exclusion work needs to be done.
  • textures that use single-bit (DXT1) alpha channels for transparency show a black edge at the transition
  • FS9 elevated platforms seem to function if there is an AFCAD directly under them, but platforms without an AFCAD do not support aircraft.  That’s a first guess: the reality is that part of the platform seems to work, and the aircraft/heli falls through the rest
  • some of my FS2002 gmax ground polys work, others don’t appear
  • if you have helipads, and airport vehicle traffic turned on, you may get airport vehicles clustered on the pad. Hopefully we’ll find a way to exclude them

What doesn’t work: (we’ll get all this stuff to work, which may mean creating FSX-specific files, and this could take a while, or not):

  • some ship models have been changed: they look good, but are a different size
  • animations in default objects, such as the amusement park objects, no longer seem to work (with advanced animations enabled)
  • untextured gmax objects appear as black rather than the material colour
  • the flight folder structure has been changed. This may prove a challenge for addon developers to allow easy access to flights intended to match with a particular scenery
  • Sbuilder photoreal scenery does not work.  (FSX has a new nifty system for photoreal)
  • VTP shorelines replacement does not appear to work properly, old shorelines are not overridden and still appear.  New shorelines sometimes do not seem to appear, but that may be a custom texture issue