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[15MAR22] Developer's Update - PMDG 737-700 for MSFS: Remind Anyone of Candy Apples?

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    [15MAR22] Developer's Update - PMDG 737-700 for MSFS: Remind Anyone of Candy Apples?


    A quick update to let you know that testing continues to progress on our new product for Microsoft Flight Simulator. The PMDG 737-700 for MSFS has completed four full weeks of very thorough testing, and has now entered into it's fifth week of testing with great progress being made.

    I predicted last week that I felt we would soon turn the corner, with progress being shown in the form of the development team resolving more items than are reported by the beta team. This is a normal pattern that emerges looking back at all of our beta programs and I was pleased to see that pattern emerge this week. The beta team opened 71 new issues this week, and the dev team resolved 121.

    These numbers are not an exact science, as the dev team works on quite a bit more than just the issues that get reported into our tracking system, but the trend lines that it shows are generally the larger picture that describe the arc of progress of a product at this stage in development.

    While we are still working through open reports and generally improving the stability of the product, we are slightly hampered in one regard due to the lack of tools in MSFS that we would normally be using to improve code stability and look for areas that require optimization. Overall performance under MSFS/SU8 is good and on-par with products that we consider to be in the peer group but our inability to gain insight into areas that might be less efficient than they should be has us all pulling at the reins a bit.

    One of our main channels of effort right now is to begin slowly dialing up detail levels in certain areas in order to evaluate the impact different techniques may have on the performance of the simulator. Obviously our goal is to provide "like-real" image quality with 100fps performance, but since those are mutually exclusive on mondern hardware the goal is to balance the two in such a way as to give you the best performance possible while also giving you the greatest image quality. With that in mind we are gently increasing detail levels all over the airplane models and screens and the like while measuring the change in performance of the sim, if any.

    The interesting news is that we are coming away from the effort with increased confidence in Asobo's rendering engine, as it seems to handle levels of detail that our experience in FSX/P3D tells us should not perform well at all. This is the beauty of a modern engine for simulation and I think Asobo really deserves a tremendous amount of credit for this piece of the puzzle. Building engines is not easy, and this one is really quite good at managing the visual environment in such a way as to make it highly detailed without turning it into a slideshow.

    Here is one example of what I mean: We have completely rebuilt the fire handles and you can see how much detail has gone into the surface of the plastic lens, for example. Scratches, micr-surface detail layers as well as incredible clarity of the materials and the surface type all come together to produce a really beautiful model. In particular I like these new fire handles because the read plastic lens has just the right hardness, shininess and clarity to it. It reminds me a bit of the candy apples I used to consume at the county fair as a kid. (Remember those?)


    Taking a slightly different view of the dimmer knobs than the one I showed you last week, we drove the viewpoint in really close to the knobs I showed you last week so that you can see what the surface detail looks like. This kind of dialing-up of the detail level is taking place all over the airplane and it is really coming together stunningly.


    I want to point out that these are not "rendered" images coming out of the modeling software. These images are taking right out of the sim itself in order to give you an idea what you are getting in terms of the detail level of the model and textures. Everything from dirt around the set crews in the dimmer knob to the hardening of the powder-coat finish on the fasteners gives you a level of detail that has never before been attainable on previous platforms. We are working through whole sections of the airplane bringing the detail level up to this point while carefully measuring performance in order to ensure we are making good decisions with regard to where to spend computer resources.

    Some users are eager for us to remove the embargo from our beta testers and I do want to say that I anticipate them being under embargo a bit longer. We have some more detail improvements we want to get through before we let them begin to show you the airplane as they see it and through their own perspective.

    Some users have been asking "will it have X" and "will it have Y." We are planning a full bore promotional process for the upcoming release to start in the very near future. That process will give you all the answers you need. Some of our long-time PMDG customers have wondered whether the MSFS version of the airplane will be as robust and detailed as the P3D versions and I can assure you that it is. In many areas it is even more detailed because the MSFS platform allows us to do more than we could with Prepar3D.

    Lastly- we know everyone is dying to know when this will release. (Including us!) The reason we are not sharing a release date with you at this time is that we simply do not know. We have a very robust process of testing products, as well as tracking all of the various bits and pieces that may still require attention. As we work through that process we are effectively ignoring the "when will it be released" question because it has been our experience that a product tells us when it is ready for market. It is a hard thing to describe, but as a long-time development house we know what we are looking for and when we see it, that means it is finished.

    We are actually very close to that point now. You will know that our confidence level is good when we release the beta team from embargo and you begin to see previews created by folks OTHER than us. That is how you know it is really imminent.

    We hope you all are well and safe. I'll have more update information coming for you soon!
    Robert S. Randazzo
    PMDG Simulations

    Many thanks for the update, RS. Although I wish to get more info about a release date, I know that in software that complex it is nearly impossible to set a release date while it should be bug free. Take the time you need.

    And keep up the good work. You all are the best =)
    Sebastian Hepp


      Thanks for the update, sounds like we're are extremely close

      I've been noticing performance degradation in MSFS when using the sim for a longer time, i.e when doing multi leg sessions, although I now believe it's aircraft based issue. Have you or the team noticed any performance related issues when flying for a longer period in the 737? Thanks
      Last edited by EasternT3; 15Mar2022, 10:57.
      Joe Colehouse


      • jonesbutler4
        jonesbutler4 commented
        Editing a comment
        Yep Same Here I get my system goes lazy on long flytes with the Flybywire. Like when I have been away from the sim for 1 hour and come back to it... Could be My System but only seems to happen when on the Flybywire. But AMAZING Free wear.

      • al3handrito
        al3handrito commented
        Editing a comment
        Just so you know if you use your controls they really bring down performance a lot I was never able to do long-hauls flight but as soon as I removed your controls from the community folder it flew wonderfully a friend also had troubles with the crj removed your controls and worked great

      • HeadlessHershel
        HeadlessHershel commented
        Editing a comment
        Any having issues with FBW A320 on long hauls try pressing โ€œreset panelsโ€ in the panel settings drop down window

      Pmdg like always making amazing things. Thanks Robert for information , indeed these details are just spectacular.

      Hasan Sattorov


        Thank you for another great development update Robert. Always nice to hear from you that you are progressing nicely and with that pace! You've certainly set the bar too high!

        Any chance for the promised video from Drzewiecki Design or we are waiting for the embargo to be lifted first?

        Keep up the good work!

        Many thanks,
        Filippos Apostolopoulos


          Thanks for the update! I for one rather have a good finished product that you are proud to present than having immersion / sim-breaking issues that will only unnecessarily draw away from the first impression!
          Mark Engelhart


            The pictures looks pretty greats and looks real ! the immersion is very impressive. I'm looking forward to flying with this product !
            thanks for the update

            ESCOUDE Link


              Excellent news, we can wait a few extra weeks/months to get a bugless product, I am eager to see the beta testers videos and to create my own when it releases!
              Enrique Hugo
              Youtube channel:
              Twitch channel:


              • Crabby
                Crabby commented
                Editing a comment
                You are not going to get a bugless product even if the beta goes on for a decade. That is the nature of software to wit all you have to do is look how many updates and fixes you get on Windows. Microsoft has never retired a bug free product and I am sure that that is the case for every software developer. Expect good on release with the knowledge it will get better and before it gets perfect you will be hit with SU35 or something, rinse and repeat.

              Sincerely appreciate the update, Rob.

              I understand this may be something you're limited in discussing being related to internal development, but I'm curious about the thought processes of dialing up details versus leaving enough overhead for features that aren't currently supported by the Sim or even things that haven't necessarily been apparent to date but could become so with a particular feature becoming available down the track? Obviously the latter is harder to predict without knowing what "that" could be, but I would imagine it's a delicate balancing act in working out how much detail to add whilst still leaving enough headroom for those (potential) scenarios.

              Haydn Burgoyne


                I remember candy apples, though we called them toffee apples in England. A frequent treat for us on seaside holidays. That fire handle screenshot shows the translucency very well. I wouldn't want to bite into a fire handle though.


                  Woah that is some seriously impressive detail ๐Ÿ˜ Thanks for the update, Rob!
                  Rob Crawshaw
                  ๐Ÿ“บ Flight Sim Content Creator |


                    Great news Robert. It is good to hear that you can add a lot of details without degrade performance.
                    Marcelo Erigson
                    Campinas - Brazil


                      Thanks for the update!
                      Fabio Loyola


                        That new fire handle is beautiful. In prior screenshots, I've noticed that the texture was lower resolution and somewhat grainy in its appearance. This makes me very happy that this level of attention to detail is present. I'm very excited to take it on its first flight!
                        Elijah Meadows


                          Originally posted by rsrandazzo View Post
                          In particular I like these new fire handles because the read plastic lens has just the right hardness, shininess and clarity to it. It reminds me a bit of the candy apples I used to consume at the county fair as a kid. (Remember those?)
                          So you eat fire handles?
                          Captain Kevin

                          Kevin Yang


                            If it takes longer to release than expected because of extra work on the texture, I have absolutely no problem with it.
                            Benjamin MATHON
                            Abidjan, Ivory Coast


                              WOW my question is Will I see the flight deck that looks new but has some dirty dust around and can we change this type of look via CDU menu or will I see all the flight deck with the same look appearance for all the variant models ? -) RO
                              Rolando Olmo


                              • sebihepp
                                sebihepp commented
                                Editing a comment
                                RSRandazzo stated there will be only one cockpit textures variant, as it would be to much work to do multiple ones.


                              Hello Mr. Randazzo and the development team. Thank you for the latest update. They really know how to make you more and more curious ๐Ÿ˜œ. Since I still know the quality of all the PMDG planes from FSX, I'm all the more excited to see how the 737 looks and works in the new simulator. Even if it might take a while, I'm really looking forward to the plane. Thank you and keep it up ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿป๐Ÿ€ I had the text translated again ๐Ÿคญ Greetings from Germany
                              Rocco Jakob


                                Originally posted by PelicanEagle View Post
                                WOW my question is Will I see the flight deck that looks new but has some dirty dust around and can we change this type of look via CDU menu or will I see all the flight deck with the same look appearance for all the variant models ? -) RO
                                Have a look here:

                                Captains, As we turn the corner, entering the fourth week of testing on our new PMDG 737-700 for MSFS product, I wanted to give you just a small view into how things are going. I neglected to update you last weekend as I was coming off a week of flying and was highly engrossed in digging through our tracking system and mapping
                                Captain Kevin

                                Kevin Yang


                                  โ€œSome users are eager for us to remove the embargo from our beta testers and I do want to say that I anticipate them being under embargo a bit longer.โ€

                                  So next year, I hope?
                                  Jackson Dart
                                  MFS DC6 & 737-700 NG3


                                  • Crabby
                                    Crabby commented
                                    Editing a comment
                                    Yea, next year. That is what RR really said.

                                  Wow, fantastic details you guys are squeezing out of msfs, canโ€™t wait to see more! Thanks for the update.
                                  Jeff Hendershot


                                    Ohh I see we will look a all the FD the same appearances thanks Kevin for looking at this post fast! she would look amazing in any angle LOL!
                                    Rolando Olmo


                                      Greetings. When you have a moment..... Is wx radar to be implemented upon release? TCAS ? Thanks.
                                      Dave in Winnipeg
                                      Dave Wilton


                                      • DrFilippas
                                        DrFilippas commented
                                        Editing a comment
                                        Dave - I'm not part of the team but since SU7, if I remember correctly, Asobo has blocked the access to the Weather API, therefore no module has this feature at the moment. If the aircraft is released prior to this blockade then I guess it won't have Wx radar in first place.

                                        In terms of TCAS I'm pretty sure it will be there.

                                        Many thanks,


                                        P.S. Any PMDG member, correct me if I'm wrong.

                                      • RonE
                                        RonE commented
                                        Editing a comment
                                        Yeah, I believe Asobo said that 3rd party devs will be able to have weather radar with SU9? They also said they have no plans to release an API for 3rd party weather engines.
                                        Ron Erickson

                                      Great update! I only hope to see this before May/June because once northern summer hits, my routine changes and I'm outdoors all the time - boating - and will struggle to find sim time...

                                      Michael Leung


                                        The level of detail is incredible. This is the sort of detail I expect to see in those PC benchmark tools like 3DMark. Not something taken directly from the actual sim.
                                        Fahad Al Riyami
                                        PMDG 737-800 for MSFS, 737NGX, 737NGXu, 747 (+ -8), 777 (+ -300ER). MSFS-exclusive, Honeycomb Alpha & Bravo.

                                        PC: Ryzen 7700X, RTX 3090 FE, 32GB DDR5-6000,


                                          would it have a passangercabin?
                                          Nevio Varveri


                                          • Crabby
                                            Crabby commented
                                            Editing a comment
                                            If it does, I hope it can be removed and the door bolted shut. Personally I don't simulate flying as passenger on a plane, nor care what my wings are doing in a storm. I only care about the view out the front/sides of the cockpit. Every pixel takes up resources. At some point you have to make choices and live with the consequences.

                                          • Moridin
                                            Moridin commented
                                            Editing a comment
                                            Hope it does.

                                          As my dad tells me when he's grilling and I'm absolutely starving for a good steak or burger, "Buddy, I cook to a temperature, not a time". Patience ๐Ÿ˜Ž
                                          Jordan Warner
                                          i7-9700k @ 4.9 GHz, RTX 3070, Corsair 32 Gb Ram 3200 Mhz


                                            Great work. Thank you for the update.
                                            Pablo Vazquez
                                            Flight Attendant for a major US airline


                                              Although I'm a clean cockpit fan, I can see the added realism of the aging, it looks like a balance between "brand new" and "years of service" was found. Thank you for creating the "recently added to the fleet" look, rather than much more intense wear in other vendors products.
                                              Kind regards.
                                              Sam Stratton


                                              • rsrandazzo
                                                rsrandazzo commented
                                                Editing a comment
                                                Sam- We actually model a specific airplane, and the one we used for this purpose was relatively new to it's fleet. Our 777 model is a bit older and in service longer, and the wear you see will reflect that. The 744... Looks like the well loved battlecruiser that it is. - RSR

                                              • Sam Stratton
                                                Sam Stratton commented
                                                Editing a comment
                                                Robert, that actually is quite intriguing, your modeling of an individual aircraft allows tremendous attention to detail even to the minutia of wear and tear. What a great insight into your design philosophy. Realism requires attention to detail and learning how you pursue that is quite enlightening.

                                              Again, Thanks for the update Rob! It is looking pretty nice, I can't wait to see the "embargo" lifted and see this beautiful thing in motion. I guess one question to continue is the sound, will that be similar to the P3D version or has that been overhauled as well? Well done, team! It's really coming along!
                                              Jason Ellis
                                              Instrument Pilot wishing I was more.