• Which the release of FS2020 we see an explosition of activity on the forun and of course we are very happy to see this. But having all questions about FS2020 in one forum becomes a bit messy. So therefore we would like to ask you all to use the following guidelines when posting your questions:

    • Tag FS2020 specific questions with the MSFS2020 tag.
    • Questions about making 3D assets can be posted in the 3D asset design forum. Either post them in the subforum of the modelling tool you use or in the general forum if they are general.
    • Questions about aircraft design can be posted in the Aircraft design forum
    • Questions about airport design can be posted in the FS2020 airport design forum. Once airport development tools have been updated for FS2020 you can post tool speciifc questions in the subforums of those tools as well of course.
    • Questions about terrain design can be posted in the FS2020 terrain design forum.
    • Questions about SimConnect can be posted in the SimConnect forum.

    Any other question that is not specific to an aspect of development or tool can be posted in the General chat forum.

    By following these guidelines we make sure that the forums remain easy to read for everybody and also that the right people can find your post to answer it.

FSX What has technically changed in FSX_STEAM ?

Fsdeveloper would seem to be the most appropriate place to ask this question, and/or to open up a discussion on this subject.

Q: What are the details of the changes in FSX_Steam, vs FSX.

Some changes are obvious - Removal of Gamespy. Addition of steam services. Changes to Multiplayer (no longer able to connect via Lan or IP ?).

Has anyone come up with a detailed list of changes. Fsdeveloper would seem to be the ideal place for such a list to be created and maintained.

Most addons seem to be compatible -- but some are not. Is the reason for incompatibility known. ?

Is FSX-Steam a complete new re-compilation/build of the whole of FSX, or only a few of the modules (dlls) ?

Did Dovetail really get access to ALL the FSX source code, allowing them to do a a few changes, and then a complete re-build. ?

If so, they probably did a lot better than Lockheed Martin did, when they got ESP --- or did they ?

So many question -- so few answers . But then, its early days. Got to have something to look forward to and be surprised by.

Geoff

BTW: No, I do NOT have FSX_Steam. It took me long enough to remove Flight form my PC. I do not relish having to go through that again with FSX-Steam, (until such time that I can put FSX_Steam on another "test" computer).
 

scruffyduck

Administrator
Staff member
FSDevConf team
Resource contributor
To be honest while these are worthy questions I suspect that the only answers you will get here will be pretty much speculation. And we know where that leads. Unless there is a DTG insider lurking on this forum who is prepared to answer then the best information is on the FSX:SE forum over on Steam.
And they are not saying much beyond the original statement.
 
"Changes to Multiplayer (no longer able to connect via Lan or IP ?)." I have found this to be the case and is
a definite 'deal breaker' as far as the usefulness of FSX-SE for me.

I fly on the DTP servers in Multiplayer exclusively so the inability to do so with FSX-SE makes it useless
for my purposes. I may keep it installed for the purposes of beta testing addons just as is the case
with my P3D V2.4 install, however FSX 'boxed' will remain my sim of choice.

Paul
 
To be honest while these are worthy questions I suspect that the only answers you will get here will be pretty much speculation. And we know where that leads. Unless there is a DTG insider lurking on this forum who is prepared to answer then the best information is on the FSX:SE forum over on Steam.
And they are not saying much beyond the original statement.
Agreed -- I am not holding my breath to get any answers from DTG, so I was opening the subject up for discussion/speculation here on FSdeveloper.

There are many technically smart members here, who are intimately familiar with FSX, so it should be possible to come to some technically correct answers.

For example, Gypsy Baron (above) confirms that Lan & IP Multiplayer are no longer an option in FSX-Steam.

What to me is interesting, is how they achieved this change.

Did they simply edit the Menu Scripting (simple task) so that Multiplayer was not a Menu option, or did they actually go in and modify the source code, and compile/build a new FSX-Steam, with all traces of MP removed.

Depending on that, there may exist the possibility of restoring LAN/IP Multiplayer ( or not :( )

Have DTG been given enough from MS, to be able to re-compile & rebuild a new version of FSX ?

--------

Also, would be interesting to see some feedback from Addon developers, who find their addons are not working, and have discovered why, and how to correct this.

Geoff
 

n4gix

Resource contributor
Considering that every .exe and .dll file were recompiled, that indicates that DTG have access to all of the FSX/A source code. DTG have made the statement that during the process of removing Gamespy and replacing it with the Steam version of multiplayer, the direct LAN/IP Multiplayer had to go as well...

...which seems to me a bit specious since the two features are/were separate functions within the base platform.

As for add on compatibility, there are several separate issues at play here.

One is the necessity of creating installers that will account for different Registry keys and paths depending on how FSX:SE was installed as either Stand-Along (which is seen as just "FSX") or Side-by-Side (which is seen as "FSX-SE")

Another issue is the changes required by add ons that depend on specific memory offsets in FSX:SE, such as what Pete has to do for FSUIPC with each iteration of FSX and P3D.

Yet another issue affects those add ons that rely on modifying default files within the scenery folders.
 
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scruffyduck

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Staff member
FSDevConf team
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OK - here is my take:
  • DTG have no rights to change the FSX code other than that which they have stated: Steam Enable it and change the Multiplayer to Steam. How they did it is irrelevant and you can be sure that it they left any old code behind it has been orphaned. Nothing else is or will be changed or enhanced and nothing will be fixed unless it is in the code they created that generates bugs
  • DTG recompiled the code but all that means is they ran the current source and their mods as outlined above through the current compilers. Result is the functionality as outlined above plus some side benefits in memory management and performance
  • DTG failed to provide a workable SDK by leaving out all the executables. They eventually stated that Microsoft has not licensed the SDK to them so they can't deliver it.
  • Failure of third party addons is primarily about installers and registry keys plus perhaps some other small collateral damage which meant folks like Pete Dowson has to mod FSUIPC and I ill have to make minor changes to ADE to read the FSX:SE registry entries
  • FSX is dead as far as a future version is concerned. DTG have the right to publish but MS retain the code and the rights to change it
  • Any new flight game that DTG are working on is based on the Flight platform and not the FSX platform - well actually we know that Flight is pretty much FSX anyway with some really nice improvements. The fact that Steve (Stonelance) can pretty much import FSX into Flight should tell you that,
  • So I go to sleep at night secure in the knowledge that I have FSX delivered on the Steam platform with nothing else new or planned to be new.
 

ollyau

Resource contributor
Has anyone come up with a detailed list of changes. Fsdeveloper would seem to be the ideal place for such a list to be created and maintained.
Yes, Dovetail Games posted the change log from FSX Acceleration to FSX Steam Edition here: http://steamcommunity.com/app/314160/discussions/0/622954747293264584/ (And for good measure, this is the change log between the initial release of Steam Edition and build 62608: http://steamcommunity.com/app/314160/discussions/1/622954302093637525/)

Most addons seem to be compatible -- but some are not. Is the reason for incompatibility known. ?
Addons that are not compatible most likely run in-process and rely on specific ordinals to get pointers to undocumented function calls. Because the assemblies have changed, the ordinals no longer point to the appropriate functions. Addons that are SDK compliant (e.g. scenery, aircraft, SimConnect addons, or gauges) will most likely still be compatible.

Is FSX-Steam a complete new re-compilation/build of the whole of FSX, or only a few of the modules (dlls) ?
Yes. See the aforementioned change log or relevant quoted section below:

FSX: Steam Edition is now built using the VS2013 compiler for better optimisation and performance. (Still makes use of VS2005 libraries for backwards compatibility.)
Did Dovetail really get access to ALL the FSX source code, allowing them to do a a few changes, and then a complete re-build. ?
Yes, see above.

If so, they probably did a lot better than Lockheed Martin did, when they got ESP --- or did they ?
Whether they do better or not is up to their developers. Dovetail Games acquired the source to FSX and Flight. Lockheed Martin acquired the source to ESP.

Did they simply edit the Menu Scripting (simple task) so that Multiplayer was not a Menu option, or did they actually go in and modify the source code, and compile/build a new FSX-Steam, with all traces of MP removed.

Depending on that, there may exist the possibility of restoring LAN/IP Multiplayer ( or not :( )
The UI is still there, but connecting by IP address and LAN no longer seems to function properly.

Have DTG been given enough from MS, to be able to re-compile & rebuild a new version of FSX ?
Yes, see above.
 
Addons that are not compatible most likely run in-process and rely on specific ordinals to get pointers to undocumented function calls.
That's nothing new. I can remember "clever" programmers who based applications on Windows undocumented function calls. Unfortunately when Microsoft released real documention for the next release of Windows those applications often crashed - sometimes when they were RTM!
 

JB3DG

Resource contributor
Undocumented function calls are a key part of FSUIPC. So careful about the "clever" bit:scratchch
 
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JB3DG

Resource contributor
Indeed....but use of undocumented function calls isn't the mark of such a one.
 
Yes, Dovetail Games posted the change log from FSX Acceleration to FSX Steam Edition here: http://steamcommunity.com/app/314160/discussions/0/622954747293264584/ (And for good measure, this is the change log between the initial release of Steam Edition and build 62608: http://steamcommunity.com/app/314160/discussions/1/622954302093637525/)
To any professional developer, those changelogs look like they're only comfortable changing constants and doing one-line fixes. Which implies FSX is either horrendously complicated and/or legacy spaghetti code... I wouldn't expect any major changes.

FWIW my company had inquired about buying source to FSX/ESP back in 2008 and we were quoted around $4 million for the source and rights. It's probably less now but I'd guess in the millions still. I hope Dovetail can recoup their investment.
 
Here is an "interesting" change that does not seem to be listed in the FSX > FSX-SE changelists.

Multiplayer, audio chat compression bandwidths.

FSX & P3D : 2400, 3600, & 128,000
FSX-SE : 2400, 3600 & 16,000

Is it really 16K ? (or is that a UI error)

How did Dovetail manage to get that option from a codec, that both Aces & P3D claimed did not have that compression option, and who have both claimed, that they did not have access to the source code of the codec library they used, to be able to change, or "fix" it's existing 7.2K codec option.

One reason why it is so "interesting", is that if Dovetail could really do it, maybe LM could as well ??

The 16K codec option would be such a significant improvement on the the low bandwidth, (below real world aviation fidelity) of the 3.6K codec option, without having to resort to bandwidth hogging, aviation radio unrealistic CD quality 128K option.

Geoff
"A curious cat"
 
I guess you can ask them ;)
I guess they could(n't) be bothered to reply as well. :banghead:

Does anyone go their their FORUM ? (or what Blogging Mess passes as their forum).

As far as Forum Software goes, it must be the worst on the Internet.

Not what I would expect from a leading USA Military Contractor. :eek:
 
It was mentioned that DTG didn't get the SDK rights. Yet in the link that ollyau posted (http://steamcommunity.com/app/314160/discussions/1/622954302093637525/) the list of modified files contains an number of SDK core utilities files to include my "Big Three"
SDK\Environment Kit\Special Effects SDK\visualfxtool.dll
SDK\Environment Kit\Traffic Toolbox SDK\traffictoolbox.dll
SDK\Mission Creation Kit\Object_Placement.dll
and
various SimConnect files.

I guess it all depends on what they mean by "Modified" - Modified to run with FSX Steam?

One would think that 3rd party developers–to include individual developers of freeware add ons–has been the key to the continued success of the MS Flightsim line. Thus maintaining a compatible SDK would, IMHO, be a prudent business strategy. However, Steam's business model is very different from the traditional "disk in a box" model…dare I say revolutionary? So perhaps they have something different in mind.

We live in interesting times. :D
 
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