Sunday, June 4, 2017

Prepar3D v4 and vLSO


As you know, another version of Prepar3D has been released some days ago. The most significant change is the 64-bit architecture (yes, they finally did it!).

The Prepar3D v4 release brings many exciting changes and enhancements to the platform. This new release completely changes the simulation landscape with a comprehensive baseline update to a 64-bit architecture. Higher resolution visuals, more objects, increased data precision, larger scenarios, and improved performance are now all possible at levels never seen before in the product’s history. The sky’s not the limit!
Additionally, the Prepar3D v4 release brings dynamic lighting, rain/snow particles, global 3D trees, increased autogen draw distances, a fully reworked software development kit (SDK), new default vehicles, and an extensive list of other features and improvements.

A new P3D v4 feature worth mentioning is its Unicode compatibility. FSX and previous P3D versions use ASCII character set, or 1 byte per 1 character. The new P3D version uses Unicode, or 2 bytes per 1 character. As far as I know, all INI/CFG files in P3D v4 are Unicode now. This is a problem for vLSO, because it reads such files as ASCII.

Also, according to the SDK of P3D v4, its SimConnect client uses wide strings for entity/object names. Wide strings are actually Unicode strings, i.e. those 2 bytes per 1 character, and this is another problem for vLSO...

Considering all this, the implementation of v4 support will require additional time and effort. It's challenging. But doable, I believe 😉

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