Release Notes

2.5.0 (5 Nov 2021)

This update applies to the Viewscreen and Flight Director computers only.  There is no need to update the devices inside the simulator, as long as they were previously updated to version 2.2.0.

  • New content & features:
    • Added: Ambient Occlusion visual effect. When spawned, this effect creates subtle shadows between edges and corners.
    • Added four new space environments: Earth Orbit, Saturn Orbit, Empty Space, and Eridani.
  • Flight Director improvements:
    • Increased the maximum size of the Flight Director sensor map. This allows for the creation of larger scenes in environments that allow it (e.g. open space environments).
    • Added: Two new Event Trigger Cues (“Super Speed On” and “Super Speed Off“).
      • When activated, Super Speed increases the ship’s speed by 10x. This is meant to be used only in special situations, so it is only accessible by the Flight Director via Event Trigger Cues. Please note that the system was not designed with these speeds in mind, so when this mode is activated some strange behavior may occur, such as the ship being able to outrun enemy attacks, etc.
    • A full list of custom Event Triggers, is posted here.
    • Added: More robust rotation controls in the Custom Model Import tool. You can now adjust the pitch and roll of custom models, in addition to their yaw (which was available previously).
    • Added: Long-distance glows can be toggled on/off in the Custom Model Import tool. These glows are enabled by default and help the crew see objects when they are very far away, but in some situations it may be preferred to disable this effect.
  • Bug fixes:
    • Fixed typo in Chromatic Aberration effect.
    • Fixed a bug where detail maps would not show up properly in custom MTL files.
    • Fixed: Star Map labels now face the camera directly, without any weird twisting.

2.4.0 (11 Oct 2021)

This update applies to the Viewscreen and Flight Director computers only.  There is no need to update the devices inside the simulator, as long as they were previously updated to version 2.2.0.

  • New content & features:
    • Added several new visual effects, including:
      • Bloom – produces fringes (or feathers) of light extending from the borders of bright areas in an image, contributing to the illusion of an extremely bright light overwhelming the camera capturing the scene.
      • Chromatic Aberration (also known as color fringing) – a color distortion that creates a rainbow-like outline of color along the edges of objects.  (Note:  “Aberration” is currently misspelled in the app.  This will be fixed in a future update).
      • Field of View – adjusts the maximum area that the camera captures, resulting in a skewed zoomed-in or zoomed-out perspective.
      • Fog – applies a colored mist in all directions, obscuring objects as their distance from the ship increases
      • For the time being, these effects can be added to a scene by spawning the respective “character” from the Flight Director spawn menu under Misc. > Effects.  This may be a bit counter-intuitive, so these effects might be migrated to a panel on the Flight Director controls in a future update.  For now, however, they are accessible in the form of spawned characters.
      • The intensities of these effects are determined by the characters’ “size” value in their spawn settings.  They cannot be changed after the characters are spawned.
      • Similarly, the fog effect’s color is determined by the character’s sensor icon color.  But, unlike the intensity, its color can be changed after the character is spawned.
    • Added: Two demo cue cards showing these new visual effects in action have been added to the Ready-Made Environments script:
      • Diseased Blood Vessels – demonstrates colored fog
      • Quantum Realm – demonstrates Chromatic Aberration, field of view, and bloom.
    • Added support for Detail Maps and Detail Masks in the MTL importer for custom models.
      • To import these textures, please make sure your MTL file includes line entries for “map_Detail” and “map_DetailMask” respectively.
  • Bug fixes:
    • Fixed: Navigators can no longer use the Boost feature when the Flight Director overrides the speed control

2.3.5 (21 Aug 2021)

This update applies to the Viewscreen and Flight Director computers only.  There is no need to update the devices inside the simulator, as long as they were previously updated to version 2.2.0.

  • New content & features:
    • Added Custom Snapping Building and Custom Huge Building presets in the Custom Model spawning options.
      • The Custom Snapping Building will automatically snap down to a terrain, if there is one beneath it when it is created.  In contrast, the Custom Building option will not.
      • The Custom Huge Building has a max size of 10x the standard building size.  Note:  This extreme size exceeds the scale for which most environments were designed.  Use with caution.
    • Added support for Metallic and Specular maps to custom model import.
    • Added Normal map support to MTL importer. Also configured the Emission map settings to be more lenient (accept “map_Ke” entries too, instead of just “map_Ka” entries).
  • Flight Director improvements:
    • Added “Mission Underway” as s built-in option in the Contextual Backdrop dropdown list.
    • Added an arrow to the floor in the Custom Model Configuration tool to indicate the forward direction.
  • Bug fixes:
    • Fixed compatibility issues with Mac OS 10.12 Sierra.
    • Buildings no longer collide with each other or get knocked around by the ship.

2.3.4 (28 Jul 2021)

This update applies to the Viewscreen and Flight Director computers only.  There is no need to update the devices inside the simulator, as long as they were previously updated to version 2.2.0.

  • New content & features:
    • Added new spaceship modelsESC Ranger and Alien Dreadnaught (Pannou Warship)
    • Added Black Holes, which can be spawned from the “Misc. Space” section of the Flight Director spawn controls.
    • Added a brand-new Star Map “environment” that lets you chart out your mission locations on a dazzling array of stars. You can use custom Labels to highlight key locations. You’ll find a sample star map in the Ready-Made Environments script, which you can use as a reference when making your own Star Maps.
    • Added custom Labels, which can be spawned at any location and display their name for all to see.  These are used in the sample Star Map, and you can use them anywhere that you want an object in the simulation labeled.  To spawn a Label, you’ll find it under Other > Misc. > Miscellaneous in the Flight Director spawn controls.
    • Added the ability to import custom models and use them in your spawned characters!  There are presets for buildings, gravity-affected objects, ocean and river creatures, planets, and bloodstream objects.  Full instructions are available here.
  • Flight Director improvements:
    • Added: Auto-save feature! The simulation will now automatically save a backup every 5 minutes. Flight Directors can load this saved backup if something goes wrong in a mission or if they forget to save a backup of their own.
    • The Option to invert the vertical input axis has been added to the Viewscreen’s settings menu. This makes it more convenient to adjust the helm controls to comfortably align with whichever joystick or yoke you use in your simulator.
    • The app’s version number is now displayed inside the app. This can be viewed the launch screens, Viewscreen settings menu, and the Flight Director save/load/exit menu.
  • Bug fixes:
    • Fixed compatibility issues with Apple M1 chips and MacOS Catalina.
    • Fixed: Keyboard shortcuts are no longer double-assigned. The shortcut for Burbles is now Ctrl-Alt-9.

2.2.0 (9 Apr 2021)

We highly recommend that all devices be updated to this version, both in the Control Room and inside the simulator.

  • New content:
    • Added a mondo-sized version of Mars, for up-close-and-personal Mars missions..
      • Increased the resolution of Mar’s texture
    • Added Mars’s two moons:  Phobos and Deimos
    • Added a Directional Light Rig, which Flight Directors can use to override the default lighting in an environment.
      • The light affects all objects in the environment and always points inward from its location toward 0,0,0.  Reposition the rig to control the light’s direction.
      • The light’s intensity can be controlled by adjusting its circular health bar, and its tint can be controlled by changing its sensor icon’s color.
  • Flight Director improvements:
    • Added two new Event Triggers: “Start Rotation” and “Stop Rotation,” which allow Flight Directors to override the rotational behavior of planets.
    • Added headlights to the ship. They are off by default, but they can be manually toggled via two new Event Triggers: “Headlights On” and “Headlights Off.
  • Usability improvements:
    • Significantly reduced the total application size.
    • Cleaned up some misc. visual glitches.
    • Added support for MacOS Catalina and above.
  • Bug fixes:
    • Fixed: Thorium Tractor Beam integration now works correctly
    • Fixed: Setting a character’s hostility to “Benign” will now end its attack against the ship, if one is in progress.
    • Fixed: The Defragmentation feature in the Mainframe Technician controls now works properly.

2.1.0 (26 Aug 2020)

  • New content:
    • Added a Ready-Made Environments script, which speeds up custom mission development by giving Flight Directors some pre-populated scenes, including: an asteroid field in a nebula, a river populated with fish and insects, an ocean with animals and a deep-sea trench, a volcano, and Martian colonies.  Feel free to use these as starting points in creating your own adventures.
    • Added many buildings in four broad themes:  Futuristic City, Neon City, Planetary Colony, and Planetary City.
      • These automatically snap down to the ground when spawned above a terrain.
    • Added several new spaceships:
      • Luminaris
      • Trident
      • Mothership
      • Nautika Cruiser
    • Added multiple colored crystals.
      • Like buildings, these snap down to the ground if spawned above a terrain.
  • Flight Director improvements:
    • Resized the sensor grid in the Flight Director controls so each square is 1,000m wide / tall.
    • Added support for specifying the rotation when spawning characters.
    • FDs can manually adjust position and rotation of characters at a granular level.
      • This feature is accessed from the Target Details panel in the Flight Director controls.
    • Added a simplified physics mode to planetary and moon terrains, which improves performance when those environments are overloaded with too many characters.
      • In exchange for this performance boost, the quality of collision detection with the terrain is decreased when this mode is enabled.
      • To enable this mode, execute an Event Trigger set to “Simple Terrain Physics On” after the environment is loaded.
      • Conversely, use an Event Trigger set to “Simple Terrain Physics Off” to disable this mode.
      • This mode is disabled by default.
    • Added the “Activate Cue Card” cue.  When this cue is executed, it triggers another Cue Card.
      • These triggered Cue Cards can be located anywhere in any loaded script, in either the primary script panel or anywhere on the Support Scripts panel.
      • This new cue can be used to create modular scripts with complex behaviors.
  • Usability improvements:
    • Boosted the volume of the Hang Up sound effect
  • Bug fixes:
    • Fixed:  The Quantum Specialist’s Versabeam Lab no longer has overlapping elements on widescreen monitors.
    • Fixed:  When the Flight Director overrides the helm, typing with the WASD keys no longer moves the ship.
    • Fixed:  Snapshots Cues will only appear in the appropriate script. Spawn cues created from live Characters will only appear in the primary script.
    • Fixed: Changes to the Mainframe Integrity (from viruses or manual adjustments) will now propagate across stations correctly.
    • Fixed: The Pilot “pseudo-station” no longer contributes to crew count calculations.
    • Fixed: Exporting Control Center responses on Windows no longer results in file names with invalid characters

2.0.18b (Hotfix for v2.0.18, 27 Apr 2020)

  • Bug fixes:
    • Fixed: The ability to load saved simulations has been restored.
    • Fixed: It is now possible to edit Cue Cards after dragging them from one script tray to another (on the Support Script tab).
  • Flight Director improvements:
    • Added a new landing animation for ocean environments that smoothly parks the ship above the surface of the water. To activate this animation, use an Event Trigger Cue set to “Hover Over Ocean”.

2.0.18 (24 Apr 2020)

  • New content:
    • A new Viewscreen overlay (Alert Message) has been added.  This displays custom text, similar to the Translucent Overlay, but the text is red and it has a pulsing red background effect to create a stronger sense of tension and urgency.  Many of the Viewscreen overlays in the built-in missions have been updated to use this new overlay.
    • Several new characters have been added:
      • Moon Harvesters (space creature) in multiple color varieties
      • Alien Larva (space creature)
      • Xenna Demonorph (space creature)
      • Renafox (spaceship)
  • Flight Director improvements:
    • New feature: Flight Directors can now export crew responses to Control Center questions. These responses are saved in a HTML file, which can be printed, viewed at a later time, copied into a spreadsheet, or saved as a PDF.
    • New feature:  Support Script tab.  This tab contains four script trays, giving you plenty of space to manage multiple scripts at once.  You can use this to organize cue cards, Control Center Questions, or other script elements separate from your main mission script.  The Combat Helpers script is loaded by default, so you can use it whenever the crew gets into combat.
    • All terrain, river, and ocean environments now support animated landing and take-off sequences.  Use the following Event Trigger Cues to activate: “Smooth Landing,” “Crash Landing,” “Take Off Toward Space”).
  • Bug fixes:
    • Fixed: The Viewscreen Esc menu option to Log On Stations now only logs on stations that are connected.
  • Usability improvements:
    • At the beginning of all built-in missions, crews will now receive a Control Center question that prompts them to enter their names.
    • Added some sound effects to crew stations to provide audio feedback where it was missing.
  • Thorium integration:
    • Support for Thorium tractor beams has been added.  The nearest towable DFA character will appear as the tractor beam target.
    • Added navigation controls to the Pilot psuedo-station.
    • Thorium should clean up contacts more reliably when the DFA Viewscreen shuts down.
    • Removed the cooldown timer for torpedo launching (this logic is handled by Thorium).
    • Phasers only fire if they are positively charged.

2.0.17 (9 Apr 2020)

  • New content:
    • Added three moon terrain environments (Moon, Lilac Moon, and Barren Rust)
    • Added comets
    • Added fixed-color variants of the Gas Cloud.  The original Gas Cloud automatically adjusts its color to match the surrounding space scene.  These variants instead hold constant colors.
  • Flight Director improvements:
    • Flight Directors can now log in all connected staton consoles by accessing the Viewscreen menu (Esc key) and holding down the Option/Alt key while selecting the “Log Off Stations” button.
    • Cue Cards can now be collapsed and expanded to aid script readability and organization.  They are collapsed by default.
    • When spawning Characters, Flight Directors can specify whether Characters automatically regenerate health.
  • Bug fixes:
    • Tactical Officer’s alert no longer remains on the Viewscreen after the shields are raised.
    • Control Center questions and answers now properly reset at the beginning of each mission.
    • CAPCOM messages should now always display in the inbox list properly.
    • Fixed a typo that prevented the Dolichorhynchops from being spawned.
  • Usability improvements:
    • Control Center free response entry field now responds as expected on physical keyboards (e.g. Enter key, shift-key combos)
    • Enhanced the visual feedback of the Biomechanical Engineer station to make it more intuitive.
  • Added the Detection Array (sensors) “pseudo station.”
    • This is not a full / regular crew station.  Instead, it is a slimmed down console that just contains a sensor screen, similar to what is shown on the Navigator’s console, but without the navigation controls.  It is meant to be used as a supplemental screen when DFA is integrated with bridge simulators running Thorium (more on that below).
    • To access this “pseudo station,” in the Station Selection screen click/tap and hold on the Reconnaissance Officer button for 5 seconds.
  • Thorium integration:
    • DFA now augments bridge simulators that use Thorium controls.  In this first phase of integration, DFA Characters automatically appear as sensor contacts on Thorium targeting screens, and crews can fire using Thorium’s phaser and torpedo controls.

2.0.16 (28 Mar 2020)

  • Quarantine mission added.  Quarantine is based on current events, and it features a contagious virus that is spreading like wildfire.
  • Escape Velocity mission added.  This mission is modeled after the classic Carmen Sandiego games. The crew moves throughout the solar system, and at each planet they receive clues pointing them toward the next location. They must work quickly to stop a space pirate from stealing top secret technology.
  • Flight Director improvements:
    • Saving and loading simulations now captures/restores the Viewscreen overlay and status of external interaction (Versabeam, Chimera, and Robotic Swarm).
    • Flight Directors can now reset Control Center Questions and Responses separately from each other, either through the Reset Cue or directly with buttons on the Control Center tab.
    • Added extra keyboard shortcuts for sound effects, communications, and videos
    • Added an invisible Harmful Area character, which may be useful in custom missions
    • Photo Control Center Questions can now be sent to individual Squad Leaders instead of all three.
    • Added the Random System Damage Cue.
    • The Flight Director sensor screen is now more snappy and responsive.
    • Adjusted the default missions to take better advantage of some recent new features
    • The Flight Director throttle control now reflects the Navigator’s throttle when the Flight Director is not overriding the ship’s speed.
    • When copying and pasting Cue Cards, names and colors are now copied.  Also, keyboard shortcuts for copying, pasting, and submitting Cue Cards are in place (Cmd/Ctrl-C and -V, and Return, respectively).
    • Added a Mission selection screen to greet Flight Directors when the software first launches.  This includes links to the website where Flight Directors can find helpful information about each mission.
    • Added an option to expand the Note panel, making it easier to read large notes included in mission scripts.
    • Flight Directors can manually (or with a Cue) display / restore the Special Procedure Viewscreen overlay. Likewise, they can manually (or with a Cue) display the latest mail message.
  • Bug fixes:
    • Restored the save/load character menu in the character spawn screen
    • Adjusted the long-distance weenie effect to look better in different environments
    • Fixed Whimsical music option
    • Spawning characters within the Warp Stars environment is disabled.
    • Adjusted the Infinite Asteroid Field so it harms the ship but not other Characters.
    • Fixed bug preventing Cybersecurity alert from being resolved.
  • Usability improvements:
    • Minor UI tweaks on CAPCOM, Reconnaissance Officer, Material Scientist, Technology, and Chemical Engineer to improve usability
    • UI polish
    • Cleaned up default planet descriptions
    • Adjusted screen dimming so devices will put themselves to sleep when they are unable to connect after multiple attempts (based on the device’s sleep settings).
    • Resumed automatic connection attempts when restoring the app from the device going to sleep or being turned off.

2.0 rc1 (8 Mar 2020)

  • Maelstrom Mission added.  The last mission from the DFA 1.x software has finally been ported into DFA 2.0!  Now we can start working on new missions.  And there was much rejoicing!
  • Automatic Connection:  Devices should now connect automatically the to Viewscreen without needing you to enter in the Access Code.  If this fails you can still enter the code manually, but hopefully you won’t need to in most cases.  Please let us know how well this works on your own simulator networks.
  • Added two new spaceships:  Rebel Cruiser and a variant, Unidentified Cruiser, which were created by our friends at Lakeview Academy
  • Bug fixes:
    • Fixed:  Attempting to spawn something while the ship is in Hyperspace will no longer cause the Flight Director controls to freeze
  • Usability improvements:
    • UI polish in the Flight Director controls
    • Help screens added to various stages of the startup / connection process.

2.0 b13 (10 Feb 2020)

  • Bug fixes:
    • Fixed:  CAPCOM and the Flight Director controls should now display all mail messages properly
    • Fixed: The Orion Base will now Hold Fire when directed
    • Fixed:  Number entry in the Control Center should how work properly and consistently
    • Fixed:  Loading a saved simulation will now automatically load the saved environment
  • Viewscreen Settings menu: A new settings screen is now available on the Viewscreen. It is accessed by launching the Viewscreen, hitting the Esc key, and tapping the “Settings” button. The Settings menu includes controls to easily:
    • Set the name of the ship
    • Toggle in and out of fullscreen mode
    • Specify the location of Custom Videos (see below)
  • Custom Videos are now supported! Flight Directors can now play third-party video files on the Viewscreen. These are considered Viewscreen Videos and are found in the corresponding controls (on the Flight Director’s Dashboard and in the Video / Overlay Cue controls).
    This is an advanced feature that requires a bit of extra setup:

    1. Obtain the video files that you’d like to play.  If they are not your own videos, be sure to have the copyright holder’s permission and/or ensure that they fall under Fair Use.
    2. Save the video files to a folder on the Viewscreen computer of your choice.
    3. Launch the Viewscreen.
    4. Press the Esc key to show the Viewscreen menu, and select “Settings” to open to Settings menu.
    5. Click on the Custom Video setting to point the Viewscreen software to the folder containing all your custom video files.
    6. Once steps 1-5 are done, you do not need to do them again.  To add more videos, simply drop the files into the folder you specified.
    7. Then, from the Flight Director controls (either the Video / Overlay controls on the Dashboard or in the Cue Card controls), you can select “Custom Video” from the drop-down list of video options.  This will reveal a list of all the video files in the video folder on the Viewscreen computer.
    8. Select the video you want, and then play it as desired.

2.0 b12 (29 Jan 2020)

  • Added the Vesuvius mission!
    • Vesuvius includes several new environments, such as a volcanic island and several volcanic passages.
  • Flight Director improvements:
    • Flight Directors can now view and edit the Radiation level from the crew health tab.  When the radiation level is high, medical problems are more likely and severe.
    • Adjusted the character sensitivity labels to range from -100 to 100 (instead of -1 to 1).  This number indicates how much damage (or healing) a character receives when hit by the corresponding Versabeam, Robotic Swarm, or Chimera ability.
    • Answers to Control Center questions are labeled to more clearly indicate whether any automatic “grading” was performed.  Note:  All answers are accepted, regardless if they are graded or correct.  Flight Directors can review and respond to crew submission as desired.
    • Misc. small user interface improvements
  • Bug fixes:
    • Fixed an issue where some Cue Cards would cause the Flight Director controls to freeze up and stop receiving network updates.  Please let us know if this problem returns.
    • Volume levels will no longer default to zero.
    • Increased scroll wheel sensitivity throughout the software.  If we overlooked any, please let us know.
    • Versabeams will now consume charges when fired.
    • Fixed a typo in the Phyicist’s Control Center.
  • Improvements to CPU and GPU performance.

2.0 b11.3 (4 Jan 2020)

  • Surgeon Station added
    • The Surgeon uses both a traditional control console (e.g. iPad or Computer) and a small handheld mobile device (e.g. iPod Touch or iPad mini) called a Surgiscope to treat patients.
    • To use the Surgeon, select the Surgeon button from the Station Selection screen.  This will reveal buttons for both the Surgeon (for the traditional control console) and Surgiscope (for the handheld mobile device).
  • Pilot “station” added
    • This is not a traditional station console; there are no onscreen controls.  This “station” is meant to help simulators whose Pilot flight yoke / joystick cannot easily be plugged directly into the Viewscreen computer.  Instead, the Pilot flight yoke / joystick can be plugged into a computer running the Pilot “station,” and the Pilot’s input will be sent to the ship’s helm over the network.
    • Because of its unique nature, the Pilot “station” appears as unavailable in the Station Selection screen.  To use the Pilot “station,” tap and hold on the Pilot button for 5 seconds, after which the Pilot “station” will be enabled.
  • New Spawnable characters:
    • Blood clots
    • Arterial plaque
    • Floating space wreckage
    • Razorfang
  • Mission improvements:
    • Malignant is now available as a built-in mission.
    • Contaminant now has a more epic combat sequence in the final scene.
    • A blank Solar System template for custom missions is now available.  You’ll find it in the Script drop-down menu of the Flight Director controls.
  • Flight Director improvements:
    • Saving / Loading missions now includes crew responses to Control Center Questions, system health, and shipboard materials.
    • Spaceships will attempt to remain in the Viewscreen’s view during combat
    • Numerous miscellaneous bug fixes and stability improvements

2.0 b10.0 (8 Dec 2019)

  • Bug fixes for Doctor and Quartermaster stations
  • Numerous Flight Director enhancements, including:
    • Combat Helpers are fixed
    • An empty mission template is now available, to aid with custom mission creation
    • Special Procedures can automatically trigger Cue Cards upon completion
    • Similarly, Cue Cards can be triggered automatically when Characters are identified.
    • The timing and delivery of Control Center Questions to crew stations has been updated. There are two key changes:
      1. If you deliver a new Control Center Question to your crew, it should appear on their Control Center screens in about 5 seconds.
      2. Auto-generated Gadget Questions will no longer cut in front of your question, so the entire crew should get the same question at the same time.
    • Saved Simulations now include Mail messages and a record of which Cue Cards have already been played.
    • Characters will no longer enter combat when told to Hold Fire, even if they are attacked.
    • On Collide event can be triggered once or multiple times, based on spawn settings
  • Improved visibility underwater
  • Added ESC Leo and Warp Ring characters for Lakeview Academy

2.0 b9 (19 Nov 2019)

  • Bug fixes thanks to the help of the great students at the IKS Marvel

2.0 b8 (5 Nov 2019)

  • Added three new planetary terrains:  Venus, Mars, and Pluto
  • Viewscreen Video playback has been added to the Viewscreen Overlay feature, and a variety of built-in video options are found in the drop-down list.  Custom video playback will be added soon.
  • Usability improvements to drag-and-drop elements on crew stations.
  • Added several new Lakeview spaceships.

If you want to look further back in time, you’ll need to get a TARDIS.