In a development update posted on the X-Plane blog, software engineer, Ben Supnik writes about the recent elements of the simulator that has now been complete to include ATC system overhaul, seasons, trees as well as a brand new look user interface.
The team are currently working hard on various areas such as water which will be 3D and will interact with the flight model and aircraft. There will also be third party developer support who will have the ability to cut out waves to ensure the ortho-scenery looks the best without having waves cutting through the 2D photo-scenery.
Anti-aliasing within X-Plane is also being upgraded to make use of multisample anti aliasing (MSAA) which will make the rendering much more efficient meaning better performance in terms of frame rate when compared to 4x SSAA. X-Plane 12 will also support AMDâ€™s FidelityFX Super Resolution which renders the world and then scales the result to 4K which is a process more friendly on frame rates.
Night lighting is currently being perfected and takes into account many different light sources such as urban, street lights as well as runway, turnoff and PAPI lights. Lights in X-Plane 12 are native HDR at all times as well as being photometric which reflect and refract off of their environment by default. The final touches to the lighting system are being completed with a careful pass carried out by the team and the alpha testers.
In a separate blog post, Laminar Research’s Philipp Ringler has disclosed a brand new feature that will be delivered with X-Plane 12 in the form of wake turbulence. The flight model will create vortices from the wingtips of all aircraft including default, third-party as well as any traffic using the TCAS override API.
The wake turbulence of each aircraft is modelled on the force of lift created by the wing and disruption of air created by the aircraft meaning the larger the wing, the larger the vortex effect which can be dangerous if you are following a 747 in a Cessna 172. The vortex then dissipates and sinks over time as it does in the real world.
In terms of next steps, the team will turn their attention to implementing and restoring VR in X-Plane 12 along with improvements to the newly designed rain system and fixing bugs and performance issues that have been highlighted by the Alpha testers.
Although it seems that there is a lot to do, it is looking like the team can see the light a the end of the tunnel and are working towards a fully open Beta for both demo users and those that purchase an X-Plane 12 licence. Unfortunately, no further details in terms of date has been disclosed.
We will be sure to keep you updated with everything X-Plane 12 in the run up to the release of the open beta and beyond.