PMDG have issued a “state of the nation” address over on their AVSIM forums. It contains an update on where they are at with various development processes as well as more information on the Prepar3d V3 compatibility and the progress of their DC-6 for X-Plane.
It also introduces a cool new feature to the Prepar3d V3 777-300ER product – a fully functioning taxi camera within the cockpit! It shows what kind of extra bells and whistles we can hope for in the new version of the popular flight sim platform.
The full text is shown below, or you can click here to read it at the source.
With three platforms and multiple products underway all at one time, I have shied away from our traditional habit of providing all-inclusive updates on what is happening in the background at PMDG- due entirely to the fact that it was rapidly becoming impossible to answer provide complete information on every aspect of each project.
Instead, we have been shifting toward occasional updates with some bits and pieces of what we are currently at work on, and some notes as to how and why.
Today’s update includes a couple of items that will give you an idea of some of the things that are percolating behind the scenes:
Installer and Operations Center Updates:
We have spent some time going through all of the data we collect via the support portal in order to figure out “what problems can we solve that will cut down on support visits?”
We settled in on a few items related to installation and the Operations Center that are largely registry based, and spring from the fact that nobody ever envisioned having two versions of FSX on your computer at the same time. Since that can be a factor for some users, we have invested a bunch of time in changing the way that our installers evaluate your machine and your registry prior to installing our software for you.
Specifically, we have focused on developing ways for our installers to proactively identify problem scenarios before the installation takes place, so that we can bring them to your attention (and you can fix them!) before you install our product and then have a headache trying to make ti run.
We are currently testing these installers and will roll them out as they are ready- and with some luck that will solve a few underlying problems that cause folks to wind up needing our help at tech support.
Some of these new diagnostic techniques are being rolled into the Operations Center, which has seen a few updates during the past couple of weeks. These updates are all designed to add greater stability to the OC.
We are starting to evaluate some changes to shrink the OC’s footprint a bit and simplify it’s ability to work across multiple platforms. If we continue with that work, I envision it coming out with the 747 release.
Updates for the P3D product line:
We are currently working on some changes to the Prepar3D product line that we hope will make our products a bit more robust with respect to P3D. With the advent of v3, we are seeing a number of users trying to use our products after having had a non PMDG product loaded, and this causes some chaos.
We have some development assets dedicated to working with Lockheed Martin to determine why this is so. If we find a solution, we will update the NGX and the 777 and hopefully resolve the issue for good.
Some folks have asked if we are going to follow LM’s guidance toward moving the PMDG products outside of the P3D installation tree. The answer is “at some point.” We are keeping them where they are for now because it is important to maintain compatibility with the v2 users. I would be we start to separate from the LM installation path when there is a clear break in the product line.
We are starting to see more and more functionality added to Prepar3D v3 that separates the platform from the capabilities we have traditionally had available to us- and we are starting to work on taking advantage of these changes.
Below is an early image of our work to move the taxi cameras on the 777-300 into the airplane. This version we are working with right now works very well and has only a slight impact on frame rates- which makes it entirely more usable than the FSX version.
There are still a few challenges we are solving with this process- but it will be rolled into an update relatively soon, we think.
And Those Other Projects:
The DC-6 for X-Plane continues along in beta testing. We are taking a very loose approach to this as far as release dates are concerned, primarily because we are using this product as a way to learn how best to develop for the X-Plane platform. Overall the product is coming along…
The 747s (both of them!) are also coming along very nicely and will get their own update here…
Okay- time to get on an airplane and go fly. I’ll be back with you later in the week!
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