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FranceVFR avatar image
FranceVFR asked virtuali answered

Photoreal area coverage (CGL) running on XBox

We always encounter the same problems with other editors with large CGL files under XBox!

We encountered problems with crashes on XBox from the start, while the PC version worked perfectly! By dint of testing and cross-checking we have found the bug, these are crashes that occur when using a large ground photo coverage at an airport, for example.

The test team has always validated the product for us, but once on the marketplace we noticed scores of 1/5 from the first sales! We very quickly removed the XBox product from the catalog (we lost precious points because of that).

We now know that the problem comes from there, and by removing the ground texture from the project there are no more crashes, but in some cases it cannot be removed (blurred or poor quality area).

Have you referenced this bug and do you have solutions?

Thank you

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mamudesign avatar image
mamudesign answered

Here you can find the official answer from the Devs (basically the solution is decrease quality/area)

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FranceVFR avatar image
FranceVFR answered

Ok it is easy to do :-) but the problem is : microsoft test & validation team validates the product but as soon as available in the marketplace simmers get crashes under xbox version ! This is certainly a memory issue but it should be interesting to be advised by the validation team...

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DrzewieckiDesign avatar image
DrzewieckiDesign answered

We've got exactly the same issues - both with Xbox crashes and consequently with ratings of either 1 (Xbox) or 5 (PC). Since the products are correctly validated and we can't test Xbox products prior to release, this puts us in a weird place ;) and bad ratings for perfectly validated products are a pity indeed.

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FranceVFR avatar image
FranceVFR answered

I agree !

We are certainly not the only two to have this problem, I already have 2 editor colleagues in France who also have it!

It would be desirable for Microsoft to offer a more reliable test service for XBox, but above all for them to separate the ratings of the PC and XBox versions, because in the current case, the bad ratings seriously impact the PC version while the latter works perfectly and gets very good grades. For my personal case, I had one of my airports which was at 4.8, I released the XBox version and 3 days later it was at 3.5, and it will almost no longer be possible to find a rating level as before this is really unfair! I immediately removed the XBox version and asked for the XBox notes to be removed and of course it's impossible...

It would be nice to feel a little more support from Microsoft, because on our side too, tens and hundreds of hours of work are stupidly wasted!

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virtuali avatar image
virtuali answered

We already had a thread about allowing local testing on Xbox:

There, I suggested a possible solution that could play nice with the existing Xbox Dev Mode, which is something already in place for testing *any* game, but only works if you compiled the whole game yourself.

The main problem is, while the Xbox is in Dev mode, you can't see the disk partition where retail games ( MSFS ), are installed so, a workaround might be something like this:

- While the Xbox is booted in Dev mode, we could upload from the network the compiled package to one of the partitions we *can* see in Dev mode.

- If the Xbox MSFS version could be updated to look, either directly or from a Symbolic link into this folder we uploaded earlier, and mount the package, we could test the package on a retail Xbox, which might even solve the issue of Debug Xbox not being exactly the same as the retail version, which caused issues to some products.

- To increase security, the Xbox MSFS version might enable this special testing feature ONLY to accounts registered to developers that have been accepted on the Marketplace. If the goal is to prevent regular users from sideloading stuff outside the Marketplace, linking the testing feature to selected accounts will fix it. We KNOW this is possible, because during the Alpha period, from Jan to Aug 2020, only known developers had access to the MSFS Dev Mode so, clearly, the sim is already designed to enable/disable features depending on the account.

Another possible solution might be loading a package from an USB drive, this might be even simpler and not require the Xbox Dev Mode to be activate ( although Microsoft might want you to pay the yearly fee for it ), and can still be tied to selected accounts.

I understand there are concerns that, if this feature had bugs/vulnerabilities, it could *possibly* expose the whole Xbox to possible attacks but, what could possibly happen if:

- The only thing that can be uploaded is a package compiled by the MSFS own SDK, with the only possibly executable code being the heavily sandboxed WASM ?

- How this is any different than the standard Xbox Photo app, which CAN import user pictures from an USB drive ? Even purposely corrupted .JPEG can, at least in theory, allow possible exploits, an MSFS package made of mostly models and texture is not really different.

- And, this feature can be tied to selected accounts only.

I think this issue should be dealt with sooner than later, because if it's not, it will make the whole Marketplace + Xbox compatibility not sustainable anymore, and the last thing Microsoft wants is that:

- PC users all realizing (some of them already have) they are getting the best version of the product, with faster updates and more features if they don't buy from the Marketplace

- Xbox users, who don't have any choices, will be more and more frustrated when they realize everything they buy is completed UNTESTED.

And no, I don't think having separate ratings for Xbox and PC is a real solution, the real solution is allowing testing of what we are selling *before* it goes on sale, on the actual hardware.

I think it's the one and only product ever sold on Xbox that doesn't have offer a chance for developers to test it on Xbox. Even the smallest game from the tiniest indie developer CAN be tested locally, by means of Xbox Dev mode, only MSFS add-on can't, and user are asked to pay good money for it, just like any other product.

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