September 2020 Development Update

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damian

Developer
Staff member
Hello Everyone,

It's time for a HiFi development update!

Over the past months we have seen some amazing things in the simulation community along with big events including the release of P3D v5, MSFS and X-Plane 11.50. Through it all, we have been doing our best to respond to all the changes, technical considerations, compatibility challenges, and restructuring of the sim community and market, with new market directions and demands. This is in addition to continuing development on multiple projects on multiple platforms while supporting our existing products and data network. Of course, we are also dealing with the local, national and world-wide issues that we all face lately in an unprecedented fashion. In short, our plate is very full and as a very small team, and we haven’t been able to respond or engage as frequently as we’d like to, nor have we been able to release as many updates, upgrades and new products as we had hoped.

Despite the slow-coming updates and community engagement, we are definitely making progress on several fronts and wanted to take the opportunity to give everyone an update on what to expect from HiFi over the next months.

MSFS: We have received tremendous support and encouragement from the community to create an Active Sky for MSFS weather engine and we really appreciate all the feedback! While Asobo and MS have done an incredible job with the new weather system, it has clearly stoked the demand and need for Active Sky features for more advanced weather experiences. We're looking at this as a future potential platform to develop on, but currently, we are not aware of any weather extensibility and we are not sure at this time what the timeline is or what the eventual possibilities will be. We have prepared foundational components for an eventual MSFS Active Sky weather engine, and as soon as we have the capability to interface with MSFS, we certainly will. We are anxiously awaiting more news and updates to the MSFS roadmap along with planned SDK improvements and will provide further updates when we can.

Anyone who would like to see MSFS weather-related SDK functions and potential weather add-ons from any developer, sooner rather than later, should upvote this wishlist item posted on the flight simulator forums: https://forums.flightsimulator.com/t/open-up-the-weather-system-to-3rd-party-devs.

P3Dv5: As we are all expecting further updates to P3D especially to the EA TruSky cloud depiction implementation, HiFi has been preparing for this along with finalizing the ASP3D product in preparation for release. We have extended the OPEN BETA that is open to all ASP4 licensees and we hope to move to the release candidate stage very soon. See the ASP3D page at https://hifisimtech.com/asp3d for more information. As a reminder, every ASP4 customer who participates in the OPEN BETA will receive ASP3Dv5 FREE of charge when released.

X-Plane: X-Plane 11.50 has officially released and we have updated ASXP and related systems accordingly to provide full support. The latest ASXP Open Beta is available and expected to become official very soon. Beyond that, we are actively developing and extending the ASXP technology we debuted in late 2018 and will be announcing details of our next major version very soon. Covering all ends of the weather experience, we are working to improve everything from visuals to realism while preparing for expected new improvements in the X-Plane weather visualization system. We are expecting to have development wrapping up sometime around the middle of next year, but as always, cannot make any guarantees as to when it will be ready. As always, significant discounts via upgrade pricing are planned for all new major versions. Stay tuned for more at our website at https://hifisimtech.com.

Thanks go out to all our customers and supporters! In these very challenging times we sincerely appreciate you and everything you do to enable us to continue our passion of developing advanced aviation weather simulation for desktop flight simulation.

Get the latest news and upcoming product information from the HiFi website at https://hifisimtech.com.

-The HiFi Dev Team
 

dbarnea

New member
Hi Damian,

Thanks for sharing. Question about the X-plane 11.50 version. Can you now inject weather directly to the sim like you do in P3D or it's still a file refresh that, unfortunately, causes the re-draw of the clouds to be far from realistic.
 

ianfisher

New member
Hi Damian. I'm confused. The REX Weather Engine is about to drop for MFS but you say above that we are not aware of any weather extensibility and we are not sure at this time what the timeline is or what the eventual possibilities will be. So how come REX can do it but you, as the market leaders can't, or is there more to this that meets the eye.
 

vgbaron

Virtual Sky Beta Team
Ian - remember when they announced SkyForce? Took almost 18 months for the release. Announcing and delivering are two very different things. Currently there are no official methods of accessing the data - the SDK is non existent in that area - any attempt at accessing weather would require unapproved methods. When the SDK makes weather available I am sure that HiFi will step up.

Vic
 

damian

Developer
Staff member
Hi Damian. I'm confused. The REX Weather Engine is about to drop for MFS but you say above that we are not aware of any weather extensibility and we are not sure at this time what the timeline is or what the eventual possibilities will be. So how come REX can do it but you, as the market leaders can't, or is there more to this that meets the eye.
The developers (Asobo) have made it clear (based on things including several publicly posted developer chats on the SDK subject) that they don't want "extra-SDK" development for reasons of interoperability and compatibility concerns and have attempted to "button things down" to make things better for the user. Out of respect to Asobo and their apparently desired integration methods, we have so far refrained from such kind of "extra-SDK" integration. There are no SDK functions for weather at this time, the previous functions are disabled, and the docs indicate "to do" and "deprecated" statuses for weather category and previously-working functions respectively. We have made a tremendous effort at discovery of potential undocumented or unexpected weather control functionality using the available SDK, but we have not found any. In addition, there are issues/bugs with the existing functionality that prevents even basic weather representation, persistence, saving and loading with manual existing UI controls. There are simconnect issues preventing even basic proper flight/situation control. There are many other issues and concerns, but we feel these things will be addressed in time. When that time comes, we are ready and have already prepared a product for rapid integration and completion.

Until then, we are focusing on other new things for other platforms! We wish the other developers (who we don't consider competition) the best of luck and great success with their "own SDK" and their new "weather engine" for MSFS, whenever it releases.
 

hvw

Beta Team Member
The developers (Asobo) have made it clear (based on things including several publicly posted developer chats on the SDK subject) that they don't want "extra-SDK" development for reasons of interoperability and compatibility concerns and have attempted to "button things down" to make things better for the user. Out of respect to Asobo and their apparently desired integration methods, we have so far refrained from such kind of "extra-SDK" integration. There are no SDK functions for weather at this time, the previous functions are disabled, and the docs indicate "to do" and "deprecated" statuses for weather category and previously-working functions respectively. We have made a tremendous effort at discovery of potential undocumented or unexpected weather control functionality using the available SDK, but we have not found any. In addition, there are issues/bugs with the existing functionality that prevents even basic weather representation, persistence, saving and loading with manual existing UI controls. There are simconnect issues preventing even basic proper flight/situation control. There are many other issues and concerns, but we feel these things will be addressed in time. When that time comes, we are ready and have already prepared a product for rapid integration and completion.

Until then, we are focusing on other new things for other platforms! We wish the other developers (who we don't consider competition) the best of luck and great success with their "own SDK" and their new "weather engine" for MSFS, whenever it releases.

Keep up the good work Damian and team. You are doing a great job !

Best regards,
Hans van Wijhe
 

torkermax

New member
Thanks Danian. I'm not falling for that "other guys" hacking weather engine that does very little than the default weather depiction..
 

dbw

New member
Just got an email from REX that says it’s for sale. I am a long time asn customer and would prefer to stay with you as a customer as I am happy with your products. That said I’d like to have accurate weather for MSFS 2020.
 

Raphael_Chacon

New member
+1 Waiting for Active Sky Magic!

REX Team´s work is awesome as well, specially on texture works, but ActiveSky was by ages the best WX engine. I still remember the first time i used it when flying FSX..... i felt the clouds in my mouth!

So, lets get the hang of this in MSFS and move on! I will wait a bit more for Activesky for sure........ :cool:
 
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glc100

Member
How about update to ASCA with Volume 2 that was mentioned couple of years ago? Is that still under development?

Thanks for detailed update on MSFS 2020, I did not know the challenges. status. Love your products.
 

Daveo

Community Manager
Staff member
How about the cloud redraw issue in xplane? One guy has asked again and again the same question but no response!
Hello,

You already have multiple posts regarding this in addition to an active support ticket.
 
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