Crash Fixing, Airports, Photometric Lighting
We're focusing almost all of our effort on future technology, but Stairport reported a bug severe enough that we went for a patch: X-Plane would randomly crash when plugins use the new "instancing" drawing APIs.
The instancing APIs are the Vulkan-compatible way to draw objects from plugins, the way to add particle effects via plugins, and will someday support sound as well. Simply put, instancing is meant to be the foundation for plugin-created dynamic content. Third parties did a great job of switching to instancing to be Vulkan compatible when we released X-Plane 11.50, so having this API be rock-solid is really important.
With X-Plane 11.55, correctly written add-ons should "just work." The interaction between instancing and datarefs does sometimes confuse developers, so I'll cover that in some nerdy detail in a future post.
The latest Gateway Airports
While we were cutting a hot patch, we took another set of airports from the X-Plane Airport Scenery Gateway - 11.55 features over 1000 new 3D airports and 443 brand new airports. I remain amazed at the Gateway community's progress and results.
What Is Photometric Rendering
I'm excited to finally be able to talk about something I've been working on for a while now - the new photometric lighting pipeline. Here's the preview video Chris and Thomson made: