• xEnviro 1.17 Update On Progress

    xEnviro 1.17 Update on progress


    Since the launch of 1.16 (The Vulkan hotfix for 1.15) on January 1st 2021, a lot has happened. The development cycle of 1.17 has been a nightmare timewise, and we acknowledge that the timespan has been very long. I will not elaborate on the events since all the factors involved are private. But significant external factors such as Covid and the war in Ukraine have been fundamental for the dev team members and had their toll on available development time.

    In January 2021, we started on the “Spherical Buffer path” since it is the last performance-increasing direction we had on our list. We chose this last since we knew it would take a while to finish and so we could release 1.15 (later 1.16). 1.17 was anticipated to take 6-8 months. In pure development time, this is approximately where we are today.

    X-Plane 12

    X-Plane will be released as a public Beta. xEnviro will not be released in this Beta run. Laminar Research has closed off all access to the platform by not giving access to the 3D draw callback, depth buffer and so on. X-Plane 11 was already limiting us and thus demanded a lot on performance to work. Especially when Vulkan was released, and our dynamic seasons got abruptly cut off.

    However. We are in a dialogue with Austin on the matter, and I am optimistic that we will find a solution to our limited access so that we can release 1.18 in XP12. Regardless of when this access is given, we must finish 1.17 in XP11.

    Where Are We Now?

    We have tried not to get "greedy" with the possibilities the SphericalBuffer has given us. We could never foresee the impact the SphericalBuffer would have on performance. But some new features are built-in into this version:

    • Full volume rendering
    • Unlimited layers of clouds and layer mixing
    • Full 3d uninterrupted and non-divided smooth volume rendering
    • Different cloud types (Including towering CB’s)
    • Dynamic cloud density
    • VR groundwork for future VR compatibility

    We are currently finalizing the rebuild of xE and getting the beta test team back up and running. I am still afraid of publishing a time frame. The situation for the development team is still uncertain. But the progress we have had the last month has me optimistic, albeit no ETA will be given...

    To return to a, for some, familiar analogy: We’re at the final stretch before the chicanes that lead to the finish line.

    Again, no ETA will be given. We don't give any regardless but times are, as I said, uncertain.

    Performance So Far

    Performance wise it is impossible to say what the result will be for you. But it does look promising at the moment. Here is one example:

    On a Laptop 1060 GPU @ 2k resolution (2560x1080) we see a 40-100% FPS increase. This WILL vary from system to system since it depends on many factors but we are pretty sure you will see a good boost from previous versions.

    Beta Testers Needed

    We are soon entering beta. And we are looking for beta testers. As mentioned xE1.17 will be for X-Plane11 but as soon as we get the access we need from Laminar we will embark on XP12 immediately.


    Tags: xenviro

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