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Orbiter 2016 released


rodion_herrera
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"The latest release of Orbiter Space Flight Simulator has been published today. The first major release for six years, this edition introduces support for planetary surface elevations and an improved surface collision model. Together with higher resolutions for surface textures and improved visualization of water surfaces, this provides a significant step forward in visual quality of the simulation"

Check this PDF for the complete release statement.


http://orbit.medphys.ucl.ac.uk/press/pressrelease2016.pdf


http://orbit.medphys.ucl.ac.uk/

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I wish they'd put some side-by-side comparisons with Orbiter 2010 to give an impression of how much it's changed. It looks like a massive improvement though.

I used Orbiter 2010 myself, then after getting addicted with KSP, I booted it up again years later then found myself having forgotten how to space.

Edited by Columbia
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1 hour ago, Columbia said:

I wish they'd put some side-by-side comparisons with Orbiter 2010 to give an impression of how much it's changed. It looks like a massive improvement though.

I used Orbiter 2010 myself, then after getting addicted with KSP, I booted it up again years later then found myself having forgotten how to space.

I think it's mostly appearance/graphics and bugfixes. Featurewise, aside from the new DG 3D-cockpit enhancements I don't think there's much difference. Of course if you've only been using vanilla Orbiter without any DirectX9 enhancements, the D3D9 Plugin by Jarmonik will really blow your socks off because it pushes Orbiter's graphics to the contemporary gaming level.

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2 hours ago, rodion_herrera said:

I think it's mostly appearance/graphics and bugfixes.

Not according to the press release linked in the OP.  Its physics engine has been almost completely replaced, and the surface collision model has been improved.  (I'm especially looking forward to that latter one; I remember running a scenario years ago which involved landing on Phobos, and finding out to my surprise that the "surface" of the moon was a sphere.  The press release claims it will help in making different kinds of spacecraft as well.)

Edited by Nikolai
Removed a redundant "also"
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13 hours ago, Nikolai said:

Not according to the press release linked in the OP.  Its physics engine has been almost completely replaced, and the surface collision model has been improved.  (I'm especially looking forward to that latter one; I remember running a scenario years ago which involved landing on Phobos, and finding out to my surprise that the "surface" of the moon was a sphere.  The press release claims it will help in making different kinds of spacecraft as well.)

Yes, sorry that I skipped on the changes to the physics engine, but I have a reason why I did that. If we think about it carefully, that change was done to specifically accommodate mesh terrain (and thus mesh terrain collisions). Ergo, users wanted mountains (collidable mountains at that), but then Orbiter's pre-2016 physics can't have that, so Martin S had to rewrite the physics code specifically, to address an AESTHETIC issue (allowing collide-able mesh mountains). I don't think (apart from bugfixes) there were any other changes to the physics engine apart from that accommodation. Which is why I said the changes were mostly graphical (i.e. that the physics change was a necessity done to accommodate the new terrain meshes).

Edited by rodion_herrera
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10 hours ago, rodion_herrera said:

I don't think (apart from bugfixes) there were any other changes to the physics engine apart from that accommodation.

He also mentions that the physics improvement allows sub-sampling for higher precision, where "forces change rapidly over short time scales".  This has an obvious tie-in to graphics improvements as well, but the mention of "forces" seems to indicate that calculations controlling spacecraft position are different from what they used to be.

I'd be surprised if changes under the hood had absolutely nothing to do with aesthetic improvements.

Of course, the definitive way to answer that one would be to take different snapshots of code and run the diffs on them.  We're both kind of shooting in the dark otherwise.

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On 01/09/2016 at 3:39 AM, pincushionman said:

Opened as a .pdf for me.

The link is fixed now. Whatever the endpoint was (like a .pdf), it got routed through Facebook servers without much warning. Considering Facebook's reputation on tracking any and all traffic, it was not a great situation.

Of course, links that actually go where they say they go are a common sense way of making the internet a little bit safer and internet etiquette to boot. Obfuscated links are a great way of ending up in deep waters sooner or later.

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