Post by Travis on Jul 28, 2017 18:21:10 GMT -5
We're finally ready to offer access to Version 1.8.0 as Beta 1. This starts with a change to our build & release process... which has itself only just stabilized this week. Instead of our previous approach of using "Omnibus Installers" which included each gauge, EXE and DLL no matter your simulator platform, there are FULL and FIXPACK installers for FS2004, for SimConnect 32-bit, and for SimConnect 64-bit simulators. (Technically there isn't a SimConnect-64 Fixpack in this release since there has been no Full installer until today.)
Each Installer download has an obvious README file (README-9 for FS9 and README-32 & -64 for the SimConnect versions), but also a READ ME BEFORE INSTALLING file. This file is customized for each Installer... mentioning items which may be new to your installation.
It also preaches the need to FULLY BACKUP any current FSCaptain installation before installing.
See... this is a major release in its own terms. There are many new features which were being added to FSCaptain, as well as a slew of bug fixes. Then when the release of Prepar3D Version 4 came, we realized that we had to stop everything and focus on getting FSCaptain in shape for 64-bit.
Dutch worked for weeks on creating a new and reliable sound engine - AcmeSound. It's worked for us in our test flights, but we know that we need all of you to give it a whack. Travis worked on simpler coding things, while Peter supported both by testing everything and taking on the chore of front-line support....
The same occurred for getting working 64-bit versions of FSCaptain.dll and our FCDU gauges. (There's only one FCDU.gau in the "SC64" package with this release, and once we're through Beta 1 with a steady working FCDU.gau... we'll release the Bronze and Bright versions too.)
Dutch and Peter have both jumped into P3D4, while Travis (the builder... and the cranky one) kept his system stable. (He's really hankering to make the jump... which he will once you have deemed Beta 1 to be "mostly harmless.")
Please know, there may be some mistakes or gaps in these builds. If any of you spot something that doesn't work remotely close to what you expect, please consult the "What to do" area of your READ ME to be able to give us the details we would need to diagnose.
And for those who are SimConnect-64 interested... there may be the possibility that current or future Hotfixes from LM will compromise what we've done. If that's the case please allow us the time to catch up with the 'latest standard.'
FS9 doesn't have SimConnect, so FS9 Captains won't have access to some of the new features. We're disappointed in this, but we're making every effort to ensure that the FS9 build of FSCaptain has all possible non-SimConnect features up and front and properly working.
So what's new in FSCaptain 1.8.0???
We'll there's obviously support for 64-bit simulators... and there's a new sound engine... but the program itself has many new (and some "Early Adopter") features for your discovery and exploration....
Assignments (a.k.a, "Action Pack") - EA - this is our newest twist to SimConnect editions of FSCaptain. Are you tired of flying Air Transport Pilot flights and want to do something exciting?? This is a loosely scripted environment where you can go out into the world and drop fire retardant... fly a (virtual) banner over a city to advertise a local business... and even engage in virtual combat with ground opponents! (There's an ever-growing document which describes this in detail.) This version of
Designated Deicing Facilities - EA - it's summer up in our Northern climes, so what better time to prepare for Winter Operations with both off-stand deicing and visible (although static) deicing trucks? Two detailed documents (one for users and one for builders) will begin to explain this new feature. Plus, we can now spawn static SimConnect trucks!
I'll Be Back - EA - Has reality ever interfered with an ongoing flight? Now, with a few clicks on the FCDU, you can have your FO (if you have one) monitor your autopilot while awaiting your return - pausing your simulator if something out of the ordinary arises!
PLN Awareness - You can now have your FCDU automatically (or manually) react to PLN data which has been changed in your simulator. Do you use an ATC add-on which can add SID and STAR/Approach data after you contact Clearance Delivery? If so, your FCDU can be made to honor an updated PLN... offering you the ability to auto-change the fuel load and to be granted an additional (gratis) Block Time Extension....
Navdata Support - These Installers include data from Aerosoft's NavdataPro (as of AIRAC 1702) to support two new small features... Automatically updated Transition Altitude and Transition Level data for all supported aerodromes, and Native Frequencies for Navaid-Waypoints in PLN data (displayed in your Dispatch Release).
VoiceText - EA - when enabled, you can see (as simulator 'message text') what your FO and/or FA are saying.
... and lots more.
With all that said, please find and download the Installer for your simulator, read through the READ ME and the README files... make your backups... then install & test FSCaptain 1.8.0 Beta 1.
With best regards,
--Your FSCaptain Team
Dutch, Peter, Travis
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