PMDG Update on Their Future Flight Simulation Plans

Robert S. Randazzo today updated the community with PMDG’s official stance on their future with regards to development on future flight simulators. This includes both Prepar3d V4 and the recently announced Dovetail Game’s Flight Sim World.

RSR started by saying how over the past decade, the development community has been somewhat stable. With a core codebase that has remained mostly the same, it’s been easy for developers to understand, learn and enhance their products because they learn new techniques for the software they develop for rather than learn new software all over again every few years. In light of the recent announcements of new sims and rumours of code changes, it means development may got back to how things were many years ago.

Prepar3d v4

PMDG have re-confirmed what was already said back in January 2015. So any P3D customers (including the upcoming DC-6) will be supported through “at least” P3D v4 – whatever changes that product may bring. RSR stated that it’s “reasonable to expect” that version 4 will bring new features and PMDG are expected to adopt those features for their current line of products. This obviously includes the 737, 777 and the recently released 747 Queen of the Skies II.

Dovetail Games’ Flight Sim World

Next, RSR wanted to address what PMDG’s official stance is on FSW.

As is known, PMDG and Dovetail were in communication during the development process of the simulator, but as RSR puts it, “communication dried up” after they declined to use their method of product delivery through Steam. Despite this, PMDG are very much open-minded when it comes to developing for the platform.

Once the team get their hands on a copy of the simulator and an SDK, as well as the marketing direction for the sim, then they will have a look and evaluate whether they will support the sim. There is also mention of whether current products can be ported over to the new sim.

“It’s safe to presume that they can…After all- it is just software”.

Of course, it will require development time and work. As for how much, PMDG don’t know which is why development plans are simply undecided for sure at this point.

In other news, the PMDG DC-6 Cloudmaster is coming along nicely for both FSX and P3D, and the PMDG 747-8 Queen of the Skies II is moving towards testing. There will probably be a few more updates for the 744 at some point soon using the new download toolFinally, there was a hint that we should “wait until we see what else we are working on.”

Sadly a lack of X-Plane future plans at this point.

We’ll let you discuss what you think it can be in the comments section below.

Head over to the Avsim forums for PMDG’s full post.

 

Captains,

There is an ancient curse that occasionally comes to mind:  “May you live in interesting times.”

As a software developer and a pilot, I am a big fan of boredom.  Boredom means everything is stable.  To my point of view, stable is good.

A few years ago the sim world went into panic when Microsoft killed off their flight simulation development and walked away from the market.  Those of you who have been here a while will recall that I have been quite vocal in my musing that this was a good thing, as it would open the door to newer ideas and innovation and might signal a renewal of the hobby after a period of pain.  I have continued to support this point of view- and I think 2017 will be the year that finally begins to see modern software and hardware architecture bringing joy to simmers.

We are coming out of a period of unprecedented platform stability.  A full decade with a single platform has allowed developers to innovate and build capability without having to re-learn the process every two years as we used to do “back in the day.”

With that in mind- we are starting to get quite a few folks asking questions about future platforms so I wanted to put a bit of information out to you in order to ease any concerns you might have about our plans for the future:

Prepar3D v4:

There is quite a bit of “noise” in the community, none of which has been confirmed, indicating that Lockheed Martin is working on the next iteration of Prepar3D.  For our P3D customers, please know that our long-standing policy has been that we intend to support our existing products through P3D v4 “at least.”  This is included in the purchase you have already made and will not require further costs.  It is reasonable to expect that a new version will include new features, and we expect that we will adopt those that make sense and roll them out using the micro-update process we have been developing over the past couple of years.

All of this is just a re-statement of the policy we announced in January 2015 when we launched our first products for Prepar3D- nothing has changed.

 

Dovetail Games’ Flight Sim World:

A number of folks have been wondering what our official position is with regard to the recently announced Dovetail Games’ Flight Sim World package.  I wanted to summarize our thoughts in hopes that it will prevent some of the uninformed conjecture that has started up on the topic.

Summary:  We are very excited to see Dovetail’s work beginning to bear fruit and we look forward to learning more.  At this juncture it is really not a simple task to answer the many questions being asked about whether or not PMDG will support the platform, whether our existing product line can be converted to FSW, etc etc.  The bottom line is that we don’t know much of anything about the platform.

For a period we were in fairly regular communication with DTG regarding their plans and progress, but that communication dried up shortly after we declined to offer our product line via the DTG controlled Steam channel for FSX-Steam Edition, and we haven’t really heard much of anything from them since that time.  We received a few email announcing staff changes, but we received no replies to our ongoing outreach effort, so at the moment when I look at the planning board for the next year, I see only a question mark next to the DTG platform.

We are simply waiting to hear, and remaining open minded.

With that said, I can boil the whole thing down pretty easily:  Once we have a platform and an SDK and some marketing direction from DTG to work with, we will make a business decision:  If the platform is capable of supporting highly complex simulations of modern airliners (we presume it will) and if we are able to market our products through our existing channels then there is a high degree of certainty that we will support it.  If the market will require participation through a market controlled channel such as steam, the likelihood of our support diminishes rather significantly depending upon the costs of doing business through that channel.

As for whether our products can be ported to their new platform- it is safe to presume that they can…  After all- it is just software.  We do not doubt that it will require some dedicated development work and that is why we have the big question mark next to DTG on the planning board…  We know work will be required, but we don’t know when or how much to plan…

So stay tuned…

In the mean time, work progresses on the nearly completed PMDG DC-6 Cloudmaster for FSX and P3D, and the PMDG 747-8 Queen of the Skies II for both FSX and P3D is well on it’s way to testing.  We will likely have another couple of updates for the 747-400 very shortly, as we have been continuing to chip away at open items as we move the 747-8 down the assembly line.

As you can imagine, adding in all of the 747-8 functionality has created a bit of chaos in the code base, which has slowed down the update cycle for the 744, but I think we are through the worst of it now.  (touch wood, hold thumbs, cross fingers and toes, etc…)

These may not be “interesting” times, but they are darned exciting!

Oh and wait until you see what else we are working on.


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