Threshold Expands to Add-On Development With LevelUp

August 13, 2020


OSLO/SYDNEY, Thursday. 13 August 2020 -- Flight Simulation’s best source of news and discussion, Threshold, is entering aircraft add-on development.

Hello again.

Friends, it’s been a while since anything substantial has come out of this project - we’re sorry for that. In the time we were away, we’ve had a complete restructure.

When the two developers announced the exit from the 737 Ultimate development, it marked the beginning of a new chapter for the project. The core developers of the Ultimate project discussed the transfer of the project to Threshold’s product development section for continued development. After a few days of negotiations, the keys were handed over, and shortly thereafter, a new team was assembled to continue the legacy.

During the planning and early development phase, it became apparent that these 737s are less becoming a continued development of the existing planes and more of an entirely new project. What resulted from this is a completely reimagined line of 737s extensions, engineered and developed from the ground up again.

Working with Zibo and his excellent 737-800X as a starting platform, we began deconstructing the plane down to it’s core, to produce the most vanilla and clean outcome possible. We’ve also been working directly with Laminar Research and using their developer copy to redevelop the visuals and optimise the entire package. We’ve set three primary goals in this redevelopment:

·        Reduce file size through comprehensive asset sharing

·        Maintain product continuity with the default 737

·        Ease of system updates for Zibo

The end result is a seamless all-in-one package containing the entire line up of the 737 Next Generation series. From the -600 to the -900 & -900ER, each comes fully equipped and driven by Zibo’s code and decorated by a crack team of developers.

Feature List:

  • Redeveloped exterior: The -600, -700, -900, -900ER has all been redone inside and out, with all of the visual changes adapted to the -800.
  • Redeveloped textures: Based on the default 737 textures, reauthored to take further advantage of X-Plane 11’s PBR
  • Retextured cabin interior: Supersampled in 4K
  • Runs on ZiboMod: The entire lineup is still powered by the ZiboMod you know and love, currently being rewritten for better optimisation in C++. We’re working with Zibo on this project, as we have previously.
  • Brand new LevelUp UI: Redeveloped Tablet interface that brings added accessibility and clarity, with Threshold news and media right at your virtual cockpit.
  • Integrated Real Display Mod: Developed by Max Smith, the new 737 series comes with realistic PFD displays out of the box
  • Modular Visual Architecture: Common components such as the entire cockpit, wings, engines, gears, and tails are used for all 737s; animated into position to adapt to different fuselage lengths.
  • Redeveloped Cockpit Textures: Based on the default textures, super sampled to 4K, all with PBR work done by FSEnhancer’s Enrico Del Bono
  • Redeveloped Flightmodels: Each variant has its own dedicated flight model, completely redeveloped to behave as is in real life, continually cross-referenced with simulators and pilot input.
  • Automated Load & Save: Load and Save is removed entirely in favour of an automated system that remembers your last configuration and settings
  • Eyebrow Windows: toggleable eyebrow windows, accessible through the Tablet.
  • Performance Improvement Package: toggleable visual changes with the installation of PiPs: shorter engine exhausts, reshaped strobe housing, and louvred belly vents.
  • Remodelled wingtips: reshaped blended winglets, new scimitars, and completely remodelled standard wingtip.
  • Animated aft-exit for -900ER: Users flying the -900ER has the option to toggle the aft exit: either plug the aft exit (in less dense configurations), or leave the aft-exit there for single class high density configurations
  • Optimised for efficiency: file size and performance
  • System assets commonality: The entire fleet of 737 NGs sit in one folder, using the same system code, enabling faster ZiboMod feature updates.

Of course, the initial release doesn’t spell the end of development for the 737s. Here is a list of our proposed update pipeline (subject to change):

IMMEDIATE:

-          Improved flight model behaviour issued for each update

-          Default FMOD sounds refactored into the 737NG series [courtesy of Daniela Careri from Laminar Research]

MAJOR UPDATES:

RETRO:

-          Honeywell MCP

-          Original Cabin design

LUXURY & FREIGHTLINES:

-          737 BBJ

-          -700 & -800 Freighters [subject to information availability]

737 MAX SERIES:

As a natural progression, the 737 MAX will be covered as a standalone series in the nearer future, you can expect the same quality and immersion you’ll expect from the 737NG series with Zibomod. Preliminary redevelopment has begun though we do not have a set release date. However, we will begin full-development of the new series once we have the NG series matured to provide a reliable platform for the MAX’s.

What’s your name again?

While the 737 development was in advance, the team agreed that a new brand name to act as the successor to the 737 Ultimate would be deemed more appropriate. So today, I am very excited to introduce you to LevelUp. It’s a name that reflects our values to produce immersive planes that are accessible to all, and a promise to you that if you fly with our work, you’re bound to climb higher than ever before.

Having a new name would mean less baggage and a clean slate for a new journey, and most importantly - allowing us to explore beyond the Boeing 737.

As part of this clean slate, we’re decommissioning this Discord server in five days and shifting to a new one, dedicated to all of LevelUp’s projects. You can join it with this link: https://discord.gg/vRUhK6j

FACEBOOK PAGE: facebook.com/ThresholdLU

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