Dear X-Plane community! We all know that establishing solid P2P connection for SmartCopilot sometimes is a complicated task. Especially for users who don’t want to mess with all IT staff behind it. A big part of users falls into VPN usage, which in most cases makes connection laggy and not stable. The solution would be to create a full-featured game server. But we don’t want to spend resources for maintaining such server and increase the price tag of the final product. Instead, we want to introduce a new connection method which is somehow in between – SkyServer mode! By using this method you don’t need to exchange IP and port addresses. Only one simple Connection-ID number. Just share this number with your flight partner and be able to connect each other from any location in the world (some exceptions applies). Furthermore, we continue to search for a cheap backend service for user management which will make the connection even simpler. Joining the flight session should be as simple as a Skype call. This is where SmartCopilot version 3 will move!
Wait, what about many SmartCopilot users who already know how to connect? Well, there is another couple of important features and fixes:
- New single-window UI – many users don’t want to jump between different windows to set up the plugin.
- Fixed VR compatibility issues.
- Hotkey to hide/show UI.
- Switchable TRANSPONDER section in the configuration files – transponder could be enabled/disabled from UI (very handy for IVAO/VATSIM shared flights)
- Switchable WEATHER section – weather synchronization could be enabled/disabled from UI.
- Only Master’s config file is taken into account – no need to share the files between users before the flight.
- INCLUDE section – a new way to define synchronization for the external plugins like BetterPushback etc. (planned)
- Improved aircraft position synchronization preventing micro jitter on Slave.
- Observer mode for a third pilot (planned).
- Demo mode changed to 30 min of unlimited flight to test all plugin features.
- Many other improvements and fixes.
As always, we don’t want to charge the existing users for an update. However, for SkyServer usage, if we later decide for an external service provider and user management, we could charge some fees to cover infrastructure costs. Direct connections will always be without additional service fees.
P.S. Details about new configuration file features will come later.