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  • FSX Multiplayer Aircraft Substitutions

    Good Morning All,

    What I would like to do is gather all known information and initiate a general discussion on the following topic:

    Is it possible to manipulate the FSX multiplayer aircraft substitution system?

    Having done no precursory research on the topic, I envision a tool/file-system that will replicate the basic elements of an aircraft not in your hanger when another player flies it. To this end, I ask the following sub-questions:

    1) What file(s) is(are) absolutely necessary to properly display an aircraft not flown by yourself (AI or another player) in-game?
    * I imagine a model is required, but without textures or effects, will FSX consider it the same aircraft?

    2) What must match in order to trigger a same-aircraft match and avoid a substitution altogether?
    * As far as I know, even a modest change to an aircraft's configuration could mistakenly result in a substitution scenario, even if another player has the same base/original aircraft that you had prior to said modest change.

    3) What might be the easiest way to document/warehouse all of the required files (see 1 above) and requirements (see 2 above) for all FSX add-on aircraft?
    * I understand that this is a daunting endeavor... just asking for ideas here.

    4) What potential is there for copyright infringement when undertaking such a task as warehousing all of this data and files into a package deliverable and install-able for the entire FSX multiplayer community?

    Also, if this has been done or attempted already, I'd love to know what was learned in so doing.

    Thanks in advance for your thoughts.
    Take the time, a second to soar; for soon after, beckons a second more.

  • #2
    I would love to participate in the data gathering for such a worthy project. My lack of knowledge of FSX simobject file structure and utilization would limit my data analysis participation but I've been known to catalogue accurate data before.

    I'm particularly interested to know prior efforts here. Did I see something in FSHost by Chocolate Software once that indicated ability to control substitutions? I once heard a member (404mike, I believe) ask another pilot in the same flight for a cut-and-paste of his exact airplane simobject filename. Seems to me 404mike was trying just substituting an exact name of file for a plane he wanted to see substituted.

    Remember when we all had such fun researching Wingman's packet requirement spreadsheet? (Back in the days of limited internet speeds.) I know Flyingdreamz still maintains and improves on that packet requirement project.


    Thanks for spurring the community on to productive and useful projects again, Wingman.
    Respects, Bob ...

    Comment


    • #3
      I think it is not possible! at first you need to collect a BIG database of all existing aircrafts, than u need to give it to everybody , who join your flight. there it will come to copyright issues, because of the payware aircrafts. and... maybe you got all data's , how u will manage it to make shure everybody got it. and if every day come two new pilots, where one never comes back. i remember that Hawg one day want's to give a datafile from his Blackhawk to us for a Heli groupflight and it doesn't work. further u have to make shure that this datafile is not making a piracy download to an fly-able or cracked one. and if you wanna do this on a multiplayer server, where we turn back to the BIG database, you need to start every aircraft by aircraft.ini what slowes down the performance of the server, because , you know it from your fsx, as more aircrafts u install, as longer he needs to boot. and for me, i would never give some of my payware aircraft data's or files to anybody.
      CaseyRyback59/Andreas
      Staff Member
      VA-Manager
      https://www.facebook.com/CaseyRyback59
      Feel free to visit my YouTube Channel https://www.youtube.com/user/Fairdriver

      Comment


      • #4
        I have looked in to this quite a bit. Part of the issue I have found is simply the textures and models of most add on aircraft are to complex for the substitutions.

        Another issue is how FSX substitutes aircraft.
        its a if then way of looking at it.
        1. How big is aircraft
        2. How many engines
        3. If there is a default aircraft that shares that simobject name, then use that aircraft.
        4. if there is an addon aircraft that shares that simobject name, then use that aircraft.
        5. if no aircraft matches, then search subutions folder.
        6. if no aircraft shares simobject name, index aircraft by size, weight, number of engines
        7. if aircraft is close to the size, weight and number of engines use that airplane.

        This is why an F-22 gets subbed for a Lear 45, its close to the same size, weight and number of engines and not the f-18.
        This is why most High performance taildraggers are subbed in for the Extra 300.

        One of the things you can do to minimise the this issue is to start an add-on data base for aircraft.
        If you could take the payware aircraft. Find a free solution and change the aircraft CFG to match that of the payware aircraft.
        I did this with my msflights barron so that it could have its own folder that way you didnt have to add any repaints, it could just be a drag and drop aircraft.

        [fltsim.0]
        title=MSFlights Beech Baron 58 w G1000
        sim=Beech_Baron_58
        model=g1000
        panel=g1000
        sound=
        texture=g1000
        kb_checklists=Beech_Baron_58_check
        kb_reference=Beech_Baron_58_ref
        atc_id=MS-NET
        ui_manufacturer="Beechcraft"
        ui_type="Baron 58 G1000"
        ui_variation="MSFlights Glass"
        ui_typerole="Twin Engine Prop"
        ui_createdby="Microsoft Corporation painted by flyingdreamz"
        FSX indexes the information in read "sim" being the first thing it reads, so as long as you have the same "sim" name it will use search for that name, once it sees that, it then sees model, so it knows which model to render, then it checks the UI type and then lastly it sees which textures it needs to load in.
        You can see the stock barron for example

        [fltsim.0]
        title=Beech Baron 58 Paint1
        sim=Beech_Baron_58
        model=
        panel=
        sound=
        texture=1
        kb_checklists=Beech_Baron_58_check
        kb_reference=Beech_Baron_58_ref
        atc_id=N71FS
        ui_manufacturer="Beechcraft"
        ui_type="Baron 58"
        ui_variation="White/Blue Stripes"
        ui_typerole="Twin Engine Prop"
        ui_createdby="Microsoft Corporation"
        Now you can have an indefinite number of aircraft with the same sim. However, they can not have the same title for user interface indexing. This method also insures that if you set up the aircraft with the paint you want to see in "FLTSIM.0" that will be the one texture that renders when the maximum of number of unique user, same simobject name aircraft on screen (I believe its around 64 aircraft with in 20NM). This is why I tried to encourage everyone about 3 cross community flights ago to create there groups own aircraft to distribute and not put them in one big package (I am looking at you easternhops).

        Utilization of the sub folder would be great however the primary problem is I am unaware of the file stucture that needs to go there. I have tryed to drop both AI and addon aircraft in that folder and all aircraft removed from the simobjects folder but the trike and it was still subing everyone in as the trike.

        Comment


        • #5
          In addition to my last post-

          Originally posted by Wingman View Post
          4) What potential is there for copyright infringement when undertaking such a task as warehousing all of this data and files into a package deliverable and install-able for the entire FSX multiplayer community?
          There would be no copyright infringement on simply warehousing this information below.
          [fltsim.0]
          title=Beech Baron 58 Paint1
          sim=Beech_Baron_58
          model=
          panel=
          sound=
          texture=1
          kb_checklists=Beech_Baron_58_check
          kb_reference=Beech_Baron_58_ref
          atc_id=N71FS
          ui_manufacturer="Beechcraft"
          ui_type="Baron 58"
          ui_variation="White/Blue Stripes"
          ui_typerole="Twin Engine Prop"
          ui_createdby="Microsoft Corporation"
          description="With the wonderful control harmony that is the hallmark of the Bonanza line, the Beech Baron 58 is considered a classic light twin. The Baron 58 is the spiffed-up version of a time-tested favorite, made more modern by its new Continental Special engines. The Baron combines the attractiveness of Beechcraft design with the reliability of twin engines, resulting in a gorgeous workhorse of an aircraft."
          The reason why is its just text, however anything more then that and you run in to issues. Now if you contacted the creator for every aircraft that you put in this I dont see that anyone would have an issue if its freeware. Payware on the other hand is going to be more complicated.

          Comment


          • #6
            Is fun to see super ultra fast jeeps!!!, Flying firetrucks!!!, very pissed off pipers flying at FL36 @.84mach!!! and sometimes gliders!!!! at supersonic speeds!!!
            Central American living wanna be pilot

            Heavy hauler favorite! Jets:anonymous:
            Most of time near MPTO (Panama) and SPIM (Peru)

            Favorite ACs for multiplayer
            B737-800 Any
            CRJ-700 Pacifica
            B747-400 Global Freights
            KingAir-350 Tricolor

            http://www.youtube.com/user/CzarWilkins

            CPU:i5 4670k @4.2Ghz
            RAM:8Gb
            Video:GTX770 2GbRam

            Comment


            • #7
              btw, i guess , that is actually the point. this stupid substitutions are not made on the the server, they are made in your FSX. you allways see what you have in your hangar. so it will not make sense to build a database on the server, because the substutions are build of matching aircrafts in your own hangar!!!
              CaseyRyback59/Andreas
              Staff Member
              VA-Manager
              https://www.facebook.com/CaseyRyback59
              Feel free to visit my YouTube Channel https://www.youtube.com/user/Fairdriver

              Comment


              • #8
                lol Cesar; yes, sometimes it is. Thanks, all, for the wealth of speedy replies!

                Casey, I understand your concerns (and share them), which is exactly why I opened the idea up to the public. I have a feeling we can circumvent most of those hurdles because, well, we know they're there.

                FlyingDreams, based on your experience and last post and my theoretical understanding on the matter, is it correct to say that dropping a whole bunch of modified aircraft.cfg files into the folder structure (i.e. each into its own subfolder under \simobjects\aircraft) would excessively clutter the aircraft selection user-interface? If so, I would be OK with prefixing a "zz" to the title of each custom cfg aircraft (while maintaining the sim name), unless/until a better workaround is available.

                The ultimate goal would be to see a P-3 Orion (a.k.a. the Oreon [OH-re-on], in our community) when someone flies a P-3 Orion, even if I don't own the complete aircraft. While I understand that your research is an integral part in making that happen, I would still need something resembling a P-3 Orion installed in my hangar. What if I work backwards -- what if I started deleting files from my P-3 Orion until just before I could no longer see it when someone else flew it? What files would I be left with? The .cfg, of course, but what else? If I can get a 600 MB add-on aircraft down to its simplest form -- a single model/texture combo with no moving parts, no cockpit, no effects, etc -- that takes up 6 MB, I'd say we start building a library!

                I understand and agree that it would be necessary to find a freeware alternative to payware aircraft in this solution, otherwise I imagine we would be at least teasing with copyright implications.
                Take the time, a second to soar; for soon after, beckons a second more.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Wingman View Post
                  lol Cesar; yes, sometimes it is. Thanks, all, for the wealth of speedy replies!

                  Casey, I understand your concerns (and share them), which is exactly why I opened the idea up to the public. I have a feeling we can circumvent most of those hurdles because, well, we know they're there.

                  FlyingDreams, based on your experience and last post and my theoretical understanding on the matter, is it correct to say that dropping a whole bunch of modified aircraft.cfg files into the folder structure (i.e. each into its own subfolder under \simobjects\aircraft) would excessively clutter the aircraft selection user-interface? If so, I would be OK with prefixing a "zz" to the title of each custom cfg aircraft (while maintaining the sim name), unless/until a better workaround is available.

                  The ultimate goal would be to see a P-3 Orion (a.k.a. the Oreon [OH-re-on], in our community) when someone flies a P-3 Orion, even if I don't own the complete aircraft. While I understand that your research is an integral part in making that happen, I would still need something resembling a P-3 Orion installed in my hangar. What if I work backwards -- what if I started deleting files from my P-3 Orion until just before I could no longer see it when someone else flew it? What files would I be left with? The .cfg, of course, but what else? If I can get a 600 MB add-on aircraft down to its simplest form -- a single model/texture combo with no moving parts, no cockpit, no effects, etc -- that takes up 6 MB, I'd say we start building a library!

                  I understand and agree that it would be necessary to find a freeware alternative to payware aircraft in this solution, otherwise I imagine we would be at least teasing with copyright implications.
                  In summery, you build a database on msflights website-
                  - payware simobject name
                  - modified CFG freeware aircraft
                  - limited aircraft download offered with one basic repaint

                  - Make it a singular download or a bundle
                  - put it in sub folder or aircraft folder

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    The fallback textures (or perhaps even the texture files themselves) also appear to make a difference. I had installed a "weathered" texture pack for the Manfred DC-3 which altered only the fallback texture entries in the texture.cfg of each aircraft and not only did I stop seeing them in the correct livery, I stopped seeing them in the DC-3 altogether. No alterations to any of the files or aircraft.cfg entry, just the texture.cfg. Just something to keep in mind I suppose, I don't have all that much else to contribute unfortunately but I'm always up for some testing.
                    Facebook: www.facebook.com/msflights
                    Steam Group:
                    http://steamcommunity.com/groups/msflights
                    YouTube Channel: http://www.youtube.com/user/MSFlightsMedia


                    http://i.imgur.com/6AWkXSP.gif

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                    • #11
                      Not that I have a great deal of experience in this matter, but this sounds something like what VATSIM produces so people can be seen in the correct aircraft type?

                      Or am I way off the mark?

                      Safe Skies

                      Novawing24
                      Per Ardua Ad Astra

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                      • #12
                        It may be possible to create a database of your own controlled by a created app that allows you to select which aircraft get substituted in different categories, heavies for example.... The way in which FSX chooses your substitution can be manipulated because it follows a certain criteria for choosing aircraft and part of that criteria is to list them in a certain order. If we could isolate that algorithm it may be possible to set a certain aircraft with the needed criteria to make it first in the list to choose from for substitutions. I read some in depth doc about FSX and how it chooses substitutions. I will have to find it again, but for now, I have to go to work.
                        HawgDawg4Life.....

                        HawgDawg4life@msflights.net
                        See my videos Here

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                        • #13
                          Thanks to all for continuing to add to this very open topic!

                          Nova, I did a quick search on your suggestion and did find that FsInn (freeware used by many VATSIM pilots) links to AI aircraft/liveries installed on your system to make substitution matches. I'll look more into this when I get home from work.

                          Hawg, I fear that even tricking the substitution algorithm would lead to the occasional mis-match. We already know, after all, that a turbine powered helicopter could end up being substituted by a fixed-wing C208 Caravan or other dissimilar turboprop.

                          For now, I'd stick to the brute-force method of aircraft-matching via .cfg modifications (I'll have to look more into AK's suggestion of the texture CFG also having an effect on substitutions) and dedicated substitution aircraft shells -- light weight variants of the real thing, installed solely for the purpose of substitution, i.e. no VC/2D cockpit, no specific sound pack, one base livery, etc.

                          Keep those ideas coming!
                          Take the time, a second to soar; for soon after, beckons a second more.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Just to add my 2Pence (cents ) worth.

                            FS Host does this.
                            You can edit a list to tell FS Host to substitute another users aircraft for one of your liking.

                            I have included the file below and I hope it helps you find a way to do what you want to.

                            ATC_ROO

                            # This is a list of plane name translations. It's used when another player
                            # in the session is using an aircraft that you don't have.
                            #
                            # If you do have the other player's aircraft, that aircraft is always used,
                            # even if an entry here would normally change it. For example, if the other
                            # player is flying the "My Fancy 737", and you have it, it will be used as
                            # normal. But if you don't have it, it will be changed to whatever aircraft is
                            # specified below.
                            #
                            # Format for lines below: <pattern> = <aircraft-title>
                            # Aircraft titles must match the "title=" line in the aircraft.cfg files.
                            # For FS2002 and FS2004, see the "Aircraft" subdirectories.
                            # For FSX, see the "SimObjects" subdirectories.
                            #
                            # You can use the * character in patterns to replace zero or more instances
                            # of any character. For example, 737* would match any plane starting with
                            # 737, and *737 would match any plane ending with 737, and *737* would match
                            # any plane that contained 737 anywhere in the title ("My 737 Plane").
                            #
                            # If an aircraft title matches more than one pattern below, it is not possible
                            # to predict which one will be used (i.e. it'll be chosen randomly). For that
                            # reason, don't create overlapping patterns such as *737* and *My 737*.
                            #
                            # If another player is flying a plane that you don't have, and if the plane's
                            # title does not match any pattern below (or if it matches, but the title you
                            # specified on the right side of the = sign is not a valid aircraft in FSX)
                            # the pattern named "default" is used.
                            #
                            # All entries must be on a single line. Do not use tabs.
                            # Blank lines and lines beginning with # are ignored.
                            #
                            # This file is automatically reloaded every minute.

                            *Airbus A321* = Airbus A321 Paint2
                            *Aircreation582SL* = Aircreation582SL Blue
                            *Beech Baron* = Beech Baron 58 Paint1
                            *Beech King Air* = Beech King Air 350 Paint1
                            *Bell* = Bell 206B JetRanger Paint1
                            *737* = Boeing 737-800 Paint1
                            *747* = Boeing 747-400 Paint1
                            *777* = Boeing 747-400 Paint1
                            *Bombardier CRJ* = Bombardier CRJ 700 Paint1
                            *Cessna*Caravan* = Cessna Grand Caravan Paint1
                            *Cessna Skyhawk* = Cessna Skyhawk 172SP Paint1
                            *Cessna Skylane* = Cessna Skyhawk 172SP Paint1
                            *Concorde* = Boeing 737-800 Paint1
                            *Corsair* = Mooney Bravo
                            *Curtiss Jenny* = Piper Cub Paint1
                            *de Havilland Dash 8* = de Havilland Dash 8-100 Paint1
                            *de Havilland Comet* = DeHavilland Beaver DHC2 Paint1
                            *DeHavilland Beaver* = DeHavilland Beaver DHC2 Paint1
                            *DG808S* = DG808S Paint1
                            *Douglas DC-3* = Douglas DC-3 Paint1
                            *Extra 300S* = Extra 300S Paint1
                            *Glider* = DG808S Paint1
                            *Grumman Goose* = Grumman Goose G21A paint1
                            *Heli* = Bell 206B JetRanger Paint1
                            *Learjet* = Learjet 45
                            *Maule* = Maule M7 260C paint1
                            *MD-83* = McDonnell-Douglas/Boeing MD-83 Paint1
                            *Mooney* = Mooney Bravo
                            *Piper Cherokee 180* = Piper Cherokee 180 Paint1
                            *Piper Cub* = Piper Cub Paint1
                            *Robinson* = Robinson R22 Paint1
                            *Ryan NYP* = Piper Cub Paint1
                            *Sailplane* = DG808S Paint1
                            *Sopwith Camel* = Piper Cub Paint1
                            *Tri-Motor* = Piper Cub Paint1
                            *Vega* = Piper Cub Paint1
                            *Vickers Vimy* = Piper Cub Paint1
                            *Wright Flyer* = Piper Cub Paint1

                            # Default aircraft used when all else fails. Pattern must be "default_fsx" or "default_prepar3d":
                            default_fsx = Cessna Skyhawk 172SP Paint2
                            default_prepar3d = Mooney Bravo Retro
                            If you don't use BOINC or World Community Grid then you should!

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Just thought I would chime in here. We at the VUSN.org have been doing MP substitutions for many years. If you are on VATSIM, then you can use FSinn, Squawkbox, or vPilot to do the substitutions for you. If, like the VUSN, you use FSX MP then you will need to create a substitution system. In FSX we have found that the MP substitution is based on the title= in the aircraft.cfg. While others has said that it looks for other things, if the title matches it doesn't matter what the other things are. As such, we have created a naming convention that everyone puts in their flyable aircraft (e.g., VUSN MP F-18) as a separate fltsim.x. We then use similar freeware versions of that aircraft and place it in our own folder called VUSN MP under Simobjects (you will need to add this folder to your fsx.cfg or you can just use the Misc folder). Each VUSN MP aircraft is placed in this folder and has that same title added.

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