Upcoming Prepar3D 1.2 Release Notes

Hi Everyone,

The upcoming release of 1.2 should be available for general download and distribution early next week as we wrap up testing and assuming we do not find any major issues.  If there are any changes, we will post updates to let everyone know.  The features and fixes in this release are:

Full Windows 7 Support

There was quite a lot of work that needed to be done here to update the product for full Windows 7 support and stability.  A lot of underlying code was modified and enhanced to allow solid stability for Windows 7 users.  The more visible user interface (UI) changes include:

  • New interface and extended multiplayer experience
  • Observer view camera management redesigned and expanded
  • Save flight user interface redesigned
  • Alert system and progress dialogs redesigned for continuity and to replace last remaining legacy UI elements
  • End flight interface redesigned and clarification added

Additional Aircraft Added to Standard Vehicle Set

We have been working hard behind the scenes to secure permission from various OEMs to allow us to use their aircraft in Prepar3D.  In this release we have added (re-added from ESP) two aircraft:

  • Beechcraft Baron 58 ( and with optional G1000 glass panel)

  • Beechcraft King Air 350

Multiplayer Experience Redesigned and Improved

The move from the legacy multiplayer system allowed us to fix a few things and to add in features that the developer and user community asked us for.

  • Redesigned, streamlined multiplayer user interface
    • All multiplayer screens have been redesigned including the mission resolution and racing results windows
  • Multiplayer simplified and streamlined for the end training user
  • “Connect to IP” now works on a global scale
  • Several improvements to the internal voice communication system
    • Removed local echo
    • No longer sends communication data packets when no one is talking (really helps with performance)
    • Able to select a sound device other than your default system sound device for multiplayer voice communication
  • Submersible and other SimObject categories are now supported by multiplayer
  • Multiplayer chat redesigned and able to be maximized and resized
  • Other miscellaneous multiplayer updates
    • When ending your multiplayer session you are no longer placed back to your simulator’s default flight
    • Add-on scenery is now an allowable option in multiplayer sessions
    • Tower controls now have access to the map feature
    • The ‘Join Aircraft’ button now swaps to ‘Leave Aircraft’ when joining a shared aircraft
    • If the map is chosen to be disabled, users can now not access it via the map button on certain aircraft panels

Other New Features/Enhancements

We continue to make improvements to the user experience with new features and enhancements to existing or legacy code in Prepar3D.

  • Users can specify where flight plans are saved and loaded from
  • Enhancements to the Submersible SimObject Class
    • Animations and lighting support added to submersibles
    • Proper lighting at depth
    • Submersibles are properly rendered on the ground
  • Observer view system enhancements
    • User interface redesigned for clarity and ease of use
    • Observer views can be easily configured with sensor and color views
  • Users are prompted when they attempt to load an incomplete or incorrect mission file that does not load correctly
  • Users can sort the columns of data in the Select Airport user interface
  • Tail number, call sign and flight number can be set on an aircraft’s ‘View details’ screen
  • Underwater scenery is now visible from above water if appropriate detail settings are selected
  • Menu system font has been changed for increased visibility and readability
  • The scenery library dialog now defaults to a user’s Prepar3D installation directory, not the desktop
    • The ‘Use Directly’ and ‘Cache Scenery’ radio buttons have been further explained with tooltip text

Performance Improvements

We always like to get performance gains and visual improvements!

  • Rendering pipeline performance improvements show a marked performance improvement in all cases over v1.1
  • Enhancements to water detail effects and rendering settings
    • Water effects settings are now divided into two sliders, Reflection Detail and Refraction Detail, which are clearly labeled

    • The Low, Med, High names have been replaced with text describing what scene elements are rendered at each setting
    • The water clarity slider controls the transparency of the water surface
    • Learning center article expanded upon to further explain details of each setting

Multichannel Capability Extended

We support 100 separate image channels within a single simulator!  This means a PC per channel to spread performance and improve the user experience.  (Note that you will need a license of Prepar3D per channel to take advantage of this feature.)  We also support multiple screens per PC, so if you have a PC with two, three, four (or more!) monitor or projector outputs, you can have up to 400 + channels !    Not too many people will need that, but we continue to develop this capability and amazing feature.   In this release we have the included the following:

  • Expanded field of views able to support up to a 360 degree field of view
  • Documentation and samples expanded in the Learning Center and further examples added to the Software Development Kit

Learning Center Documentation Enhanced

  • Additional examples for new multichannel 360 degree field of view support (see Multichannel Capability Extended above)
  • Additional articles added including navigation section and glossary
  • Multiplayer learning center article expanded for new features
  • Updated user interface screens

Software Development Kit Enhancements for Developers

We are committed to supporting third-party developers by providing an extensive software development kit (SDK).  This can be used to build solutions with Prepar3D and to enhance and extend the capabilities of the simulation platform and environment.  We have listened to the developers using the SDK and continue to improve it based on this valuable feedback.  Updates and improvements in version 1.2 are:

  • Modeling tools have been updated to support 3D Studio Max 2010, 2011 and 2012
  • Configurable ground clamping capability
    • Added ability for SimConnect to “tag” the SimObjects that it creates
    • Added new API, AISetGroundClamp, that allows turning on the ground clamping facility which will push objects that are underground back up to ground level
  • Additional ExternalSim capabilities
    • Additional SimVar support to External Sim
      • Added fallback support for any SimVar not natively supported by the current Category Sim Class, so all SimObjects inherit this ability.
  • New example and article documentation on leveraging the new ExternalSim APIs to run the user’s own aerodynamic model and simulation through SimConnect in Prepar3D

Known Issues Resolved

We received a lot of great feedback from the community on issues that are in the product from the legacy code we started with and since we began development on Prepar3D.    Here are the main fixes in this version:

  • Kneeboard and mission issues
    • HTML code is no longer improperly rendered in the missions tab on the kneeboard
    • The screen location of the kneeboard is saved and loaded from saved flight files
    • Prepar3D now recognizes and processes the ‘MissionBrief’ entry in a mission’s ScenarioMetadata
    • The kneeboard is rendered after a mission loads 100 percent, not before
  • Various crash issues resolved
    • Prepar3D no longer crashes upon exiting on Windows XP in certain cases
    • Prepar3D no longer crashes in certain cases if the user chooses to show the desktop as the splash screen is loading
    • Prepar3D no longer crashes when loading the Pilot Records on Windows XP
  • Other issues resolved
    • Prepar3D correctly restores from the task bar if another window has focus
    • The user is prompted when trying to save an observer view with the same name of a previously created observer view
    • The “Show/Hide Airports” and “Show/Hide ILS Feathers” are correctly de-coupled in the map user interface
    • Map mouse buttons now change state after clicking on them, not after the mouse leaves the button
    • The save flight dialog now correctly shows in full-screen mode on Windows XP systems
    • Check marks rendered in white in Windows XP are now rendered in black