• PMDG News On Upcoming 737-700 For MSFS 2020

    PMDG News On Upcoming 737-700 For MSFS 2020

    As we turn the corner, entering the fourth week of testing on our new PMDG 737-700 for MSFS product, I wanted to give you just a small view into how things are going. I neglected to update you last weekend as I was coming off a week of flying and was highly engrossed in digging through our tracking system and mapping out strategies for bringing testing to a successful conclusion. It is always amazing to me how quickly two weekend days can slip by when you get into a good work-groove, and Dr. Vaos and I spent pretty much all of the last nine days working hand-in-glove on a battery of issues that have been wrapped up for a new beta build that we just pushed out a few moments ago.

    At the end of Week 2 of testing, our beta team had added 145 new taskings to our tracking system, and we had resolved 94 of them by Friday. At the conclusion of Week 3 of testing, our teams had added 110 new items to tasking and 106 of these had been resolved.

    To help you understand what these numbers mean, we have in our tracking system, every open, validated bug/service/incident report for our 737 product line dating back to 2003. As our testers find items, they add them into the system along with documentation of how to reproduce issues and then we link these reports to other related items or add developers to them in order to promote discussion, research and resolution. We can see a ton of trend data that tells us the general trend line of product health, and also breakouts of the types of issues testers are finding and the sorts of issues the development team is resolving. It is all very data driven and nerdly- but it gives us a really good site-picture as to what is being found and how things are going.

    Right now I would say that the 737 is doing slightly better than I would expect for a new product on a new platform. The number of knee-knockers we are hitting that are related to PMDG-platform interface issues is dropping rapidly, and the number of "this system/functionis behaving incorrectly" reports is rising as a percentage of the whole. This tells me that the platform side of the 737 is really quite stable and that the few issues we know of where there are PMDG-platform interface concerns are well identified and have been mitigated to the greatest extent possible.

    On the general system logic/airplane behavior bug side of things, we are right about where I'd expect to be at this phase of development. We continue to work things that come in, while also turning an eye toward improvements that are more focused on visual stimulation and refinement, such as dust, dirt, stains, wear and really focusing on fine detail while dialing up the overall fit and finish of the product and measuring performance carefully.

    In these two images, which I must warn you is an untouched, unposed screen grab from my testing efforts earlier tonight, you can see that we have begun to add in some of the dirt layer that we haven't included up to know, as well as dust, fingerprints and general light wear around this relatively new flight deck.

    PMDG 737

    One of my favorite aspects of this top image is that you can see the turned-up aluminum edge of the backing plate for the right-most dimmer panel just to the left of the captain's CDU. the edge of this panel backing plate had just the slightest signs of having been removed/reinstalled a few times and the paint along that edge has worn off- leaving a clean aluminum edge shown.

    There are literally thousands of such details throughout this cockpit, and they give it a visual quality that really brings the cockpit environment to life.

    One of the interesting facets of these two images is that if you compare the image above to the image below, you can see how the dust/oil from fingerprints is visible differently from different angles, which is realistically representative of how it looks on these types of screens in the real world. Also present, but not evident in the image, is that the sun angle and light reflection angles play a role in how he dust layers interact with light to make parts of the screen harder to see in certain lighting conditions. I tried to capture this for you but it is really something that requires video to see well. Still images just don't cut it for this sort of thing.

    PMDG 737

    Speaking of video!

    One of the nice things about not having played a role on the development of the DC-6 is that I had plenty of time to be a content creator on youtube, preparing videos to show you how to operate the airplane. Unfortunately, I am one of the key developers on this project so my time available for such content creation is quite a bit more constrained, but the good news is that I am starting to have some time to work more assertively on some preview videos.

    These are being created in partnership with our friends over at Drzewiekci Design, and I think you'll really appreciate what is being put together.

    Mean time, enjoy the new week. We continue to push through to bring this product to the finish line for you!


    Tags: 737, 737-700, boeing, pmdg

    1 Comment
    1. JHaley's Avatar
      JHaley -
      Can you still use a keyboard to fly it?
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