- nella bassa bergamasca
A few moments ago we made live a series of updates for the DC-6 and the entire fleet of MSFS 737s. Details are as follows:
PMDG 737 for MSFS (all versions):
This update is largely focused on small changes and items that are focused on structural code improvements, preparations for new functionality, and back-side improvements that improve the overall stability of the product line. Along the way we also clean up some small service reports, builds upon continued improvements to the AFDS and adds some background preparations for the PMDG Universal Flight Tablet, that is about to enter into beta testing.
The change list from tracking is pretty small, since most of the changes are background, but for those who like lists, here is a non-exhaustive sample:
0012284: [Virtual Cockpit - Geometry/Textures] Small hole on VC (vscimone)
0011971: [General - Engines] Handling MSFS inbuilt model for in flight engine restart at high altitudes (emvaos)
0012338: [Main Panel - PFD] Meters Marker remains after deselection (abashkatov)
0011178: [Main Panel - PFD] SINGLE CH Annunciation shown with green frame (abashkatov)
0012358: [FMS/AFDS - LNAV] Custom waypoint off another custom waypoint naming (emvaos)
0011698: [General - Flight Model] AP roll channel revised with emphasis to engine out situations (emvaos)
0012348: [Virtual Cockpit - Geometry/Textures] Typo in VC (vscimone)
0012346: [General - Comms/Navs] Aircraft Type Not Used by MSFS ATC (cbpowell)
There are also a number of changes designed to smooth entry of the product into the Xbox environment.
These updates can be pulled via the PMDG Operations Center for pmdg.com users. Marketplace users will receive the update once Microsoft completes their intake process.
PMDG 737 for MSFS - XBOX:
Xbox Releases: The 737-700 and 737-800 are both involved in the Microsoft MSFS Marketplace intake process. We did not see any progress for a week, and thus haven't yet been able to run a final round of testing on these builds in the Xbox environment, so that must still take place. To do that we need Microsoft to release the airplanes to us in the test environment- which we had expected would happen last week, but still has not happened.
If everything goes perfectly, we currently estimate they will may go live to customers on either 25MAY23 or 01JUN23, depending upon Microsoft and depending upon whether we find problems that need further testing updates. It seems the intake process has been running more slowly than it was, so patience is the best strategy at this juncture.
PMDG DC-6 for MSFS (all versions):
The PMDG DC-6 received a small update today that is focused on UI improvements that became important with the introduction to Xbox. The Marketplace PC/Xbox version went live yesterday for Marketplace customers. All other customers can update to Build 2.00.0049 using the PMDG Operations Center.
The change list for this build is as follows:
- Tablet now clicks to stow / unstow (instead of drag)
- Additional gust lever click spot for easier access
- Easier clickspots on the tablet's Fuel & Load Manager
- Bugfix: whole tablet no longer glows blue when clicked to stow
PMDG Universal Flight Tablet (737):
We expect the tablet will go into beta testing before end of May- which means we will begin considering a release timeframe for users. We still want to take the UI/UX through a round of improvements and clean-up, so no- we won't be previewing it for you until later.
We are also now evaluating logistical problems that will impact how we distribute the tablet to Xbox users. Our goal is to provide a seamless, unified distribution mechanism for the tablet, but there are some barriers we are hitting that will change how we distribute the tablet to Xbox users. We are evaluating how best to deal with these issues and will have more information on them at a later date.
A quick refresher for those who wonder why this tablet has taken so long: PMDG have included a tablet in our products going back a decade. Tablets aren't anything new- nor are they terribly difficult or magical. All PMDG airplanes are coded in C++, which is a good, solid engineering language for simulation. The use of C++ within the MSFS environment takes place within a container that limits some of the "normal" C++ capabilities for communication with the outside world. (I suspect this was done for security/commonality across PC and Xbox- but I don't honestly know... this is my guess...)
In order to ensure our tablet can communicate with the outside world, we wrote that in script language. Script language is great for stuff like this- and has great support from Asobo. The technical challenge comes when it is time to hand information between the tablet and the airplane- and this has necessitated the creation of an entire language parsing module to respect the limitations placed on C++, while leveraging the capabilities of script language. If you are reading this sentence and this doesn't make sense to you- think of it this way: We Imagine you are speaking your language, and you have to talk to someone else in their language, but you can only do so using the numbers 0-9.
Anyway- we have that piece solved and we are on to the fun part of actually fleshing out the functionality. We are working with our first external-to-PMDG dev who will be adding some cool functionality to the tablet that is unique to his own application as well- just to strut our stuff and show what the tablet is capable of.
Initial release of the tablet will bring you a number of features, with a few more coming over time. Navigraph and simbrief users will be pleased by the care that has gone into ensuring a nice, tight weave between our technology and theirs. I am still not going to project a release timeline for this item, but once I get a green light to share a bit of this with you I will.
PMDG 777 for MSFS (all versions):
Work is progressing on this project, and we are really really happy with how things are going. There has been some dev-time bleed off as we continue to support the work needed for continued improvements on the 737, tablet development, Xbox testing and workout- but overall things are moving along and the pieces are finally coming together in a polished form. I do not anticipate showing you in-development shots until later. The reason for this is that we are leveraging much of what we learned during 737 development between 2020 and the present, and it is yielding some absolutely spectacular results and features that we know you will love. Rather than dribble them out in partial form, we want to show them to you as they are ready so as to preserve the "moment of ah!" that comes from seeing something new and exciting that incorporates ideas and changes that come from our work and your suggestions.
Note: These last two notes are direct copies from previous notes since the information hasn't changed. That is intentional.
We hope you all have a nice weekend- and that you have some fun flying planned to far-flung destinations!