The panel and gauge side of MS Flight Simulator

  • Some more entertainment

    We recently (FS Ideas subscribers) got this e-mail (name name of sender omitted). I think it was thoroughly enjoyed by many of us on the team; my favorite part, I think, is the reference to astrology at the end. From: <A rabid fan>...
  • WoCo

    Well, it's certainly been a very long time since I posted anything here, so here we go... For the last 3 days, Microsoft hosted a "Women's Conference." Well, to say that it hosted it might imply that women from other companies attended, which isn't...
  • A Pathetic Lot

    Hal recently posted a couple of e-mails sent to FS Ideas that he thought were, um, interesting... So I can't resist sharing my all-time favorite. (OK, I've been in this group for less than two years, but this one is over a year old and really stands...
  • Beta 1 is ready to ship!

    Pretty exciting stuff...
  • The news

    I hate to break a long silence with an unhappy note, but here you have it: http://pc.ign.com/articles/947/947737p1.html?RSSwhen2009-01-23_103300&RSSid=947737 Yes, the studio is closing and development on Flight Simulator 11 is being "indefinitely...
  • How do I share data between C++ gauges in a shared cockpit scenario?

    Based on the lack of references to "process_shared_event_out()" and "GAUGE_HEADER_FS1000" in a popular search engine and the fact that I've gotten a few questions on the subject, I'm guessing that the understanding of how to share data between two instances...
  • You learn something new with each blog post...

    IIRC = "If I remember correctly". And I thought it might have something to do with IMC . :)
  • What is "Shared Cockpit"?

    I've gotten some questions about Shared Cockpit over the past months, and I believe that a response is well overdue at this point. I plan to cover the topic in several posts, focussing on the aspects of shared cockpit that apply to 3rd party add-on developers...
  • XML Gauge Text, Part III: Mind your %'s and ('s

    It looks like a common mistake made by people creating XML gauges is to use too many percent signs (%). For example, I saw this in a 3rd-party gauge recently: %{if} % (On)%{else} % (Off)%{end} The underlined percent signs are unnecessary, and the...
  • Variable A:Struct Eyepoint Dynamic Offset

    So, you'd think that STRUCT EYEPOINT DYNAMIC OFFSET might have something to do with the camera position as set by SimConnect_CameraSetRelative6DOF(). But you'd be wrong. FSX doesn't actually have any way to query for the current camera position from SimConnect...
  • Text in XML gauges, part III

    It's been over a year since I mentioned text in XML gauges (an area where we don't do a good job of documentation) and a while since I posted anything truly useful on this blog, so I guess it's about time... A coworker and I were looking at some XML...
  • Querying for failures in C and XML gauges

    The Flight Simulator SDK describes a method of using FAILURE_RECORDS to fail gauge elements via an enumerated list of failure types (freeze, zero, and no_draw). See the "Programming C Gauges" section of the SDK for detailed information. But what if...
  • Walking around in FSX

    I like this video because it demonstrates what I expected to see in FS when I started using it years ago: the ability to walk around and into an airplane. :) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ly0eo2cuT6g
  • GDC

    I attended GDC 2007 the week of March 5-9; it was my first time there and was pretty excited about it. I tried to attend a variety of sessions, from the very technical (some of which were way over my head) to the general (those that were part of the game...
  • How did we get a transparent 2D HUD in the FA-18? I thought that wasn't possible?

    Someone was asking about this earlier today, and now that we're not busy getting XPack out the door, I finally have time to answer it. We made some changes to the XPack code base to allow this. And we added a flag to gauges.h: IMAGE_ERASE_ALWAYS...
  • A little bit about fs9view

    There's a little-known CustomDraw element (you may or may not already be familiar with the fs9gps:map customdraw element) you can add to your XML gauge pretty easily. Someone asked me about fs9view:view recently, and since I was adding to my knowledge...
  • GPS detail level enumerations

    In the XPack SDK we added more documentation about the enumerations relating to the GPS, but it looks like we left out some, too. Some people were investigating what each meant based on trial and error, but I think I can help out a bit here. For example...
  • Glideslope info on the G1000

    Someone e-mailed tell_fs over the weekend asking if the G1000 in Flight Simulator (deluxe edition) had a bug: they couldn't get glideslope information. It is indeed possible to get glideslope information using the G1000. Do make sure that "LOC1" is visible...
  • Laughing out loud

    Bollywood loves Flight Sim! I'd recommend watching at least to the halfway point... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mQD4xs_M3rQ&mode=related&search =
  • Creating alpha gauge images

    Warning: I'm not a technical writer. I just play one on TV. There are no guarantees that the following instructions will work for you. Sometimes a gauge author/developer will want to add a (static) shadow element to a gauge. This is pretty easy...
  • How can an 8-bpp bitmap contain 256 values of alpha?

    The question was posed to me yesterday (which relates to the entry I wrote about creating a .bmp-with-alpha to use in the panel system of Flight Sim: what IS the deal with the .bmp files that are used by the panel system that have alpha in them? A great...
  • Jagged edges in your needles?

    One issue that we've seen internally is that some of our needles sometimes appear jagged on our analog gauges. If it's been a while since encountering this issue, we may not remember that gauge bitmaps need to be at least 4 pixels wide in order for the...
  • Displaying text in XML gauges

    Since this topic isn't covered at all in the FS 2004 SDK documentation, here's some info that I haven't yet seen covered online anywhere: Displaying Text in Gauges Formatting numbers To display the value of a sim variable in text, use the following...
  • A word to the wise

    Let's say you're posting to a forum and not getting responses from the person or people who you think should be responding. If you think that voicing your concerns in an aggressive manner to that person in front of a hundred or so of their colleagues...
  • RNOR - a bit of a bug

    So, our friend Rafael dos Santos pointed out to us last week that there was a bug in the rnor function that can be used in XML scripts (in both gauges and modeldef.xml). He noticed that 4.0 rnor should be 4.0 , not 0.86 as FS returns. The problem is...