SSW skunkNET officially distributed for P3d v 4.2 or later
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Thread: SSW skunkNET officially distributed for P3d v 4.2 or later

  1. #1

    SSW skunkNET officially distributed for P3d v 4.2 or later

    SIM SKUNK WORKS, after months of works, is proud to present the skunkNET, the SSW multiplayer environment.
    All you need to know is in the skunkNET site
    http://www.simskunkworks.com/skunkNET
    However here a little abstract on what skunkNET is below:

    skunkNET is an high performance peer-to-peer multiplayer system for Lockheed Martinís Prepar3D and Microsoftís Flight Simulator X (WIP for FSX).

    It has been developed by Sim Skunk Works with the specific goal of providing a multiplayer environment for formation flight and combat simulation.

    It incorporates several new technologies, which have been developed to provide a smooth flight, without sudden lags or jumps caused by bad or slow internet connections. A Kalman filter is used to estimate the airplane position and the network latency each frame, and a new control system is used to provide smooth, jitterless airplane movement in the air.

    Thanks to a scaling method, skunkNET bandwidth consumption is extremely low. Data rates are decreased with relative distance, so that airplanes far away have very little effect on your connection speed.

    skunkNET is completely free, and is available 24/7 on Sim Skunk Works server. A simple registration is required to receive a user ID that will allow you to connect to the skunkNET network and use skunkNET with your friends for formation flight. With skunkNET's account, you will be able to connect to vACMI, Sim Skunk Works weapon engine.

    Together, skunkNET and vACMI provide the ultimate multiplayer combat flight simulation for P3D/FSX. You will be able to use your airplanes to shoot missiles, use guns, and drop bombs, causing real damage to other airplane and ground targets. Such targets can be both real players, connected to skunkNET, or AI objects, providing a full combat simulation.
    http://www.simskunkworks.com/store/images/ssw_sig.png

  2. #2

  3. #3
    Thanks the information! I registered, and look forward to trying it NC

  4. #4
    I also registered as this sounds really good. In my usual online group we have different platforms, P3D v4, v3, and FSXSE and Accel. So far we used JoinFS and at least we could all see each other through our different platforms but lag was an issue when being very close. You mention FSX is still WIP. Any estimate of when it could also be available for FSX?

    Also are carrier ops with AI carriers possible in skunkNET, and if so how? Still waiting to be authorized into the support forum so not sure if these questions are answered there.

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Dimus View Post
    I also registered as this sounds really good. In my usual online group we have different platforms, P3D v4, v3, and FSXSE and Accel. So far we used JoinFS and at least we could all see each other through our different platforms but lag was an issue when being very close. You mention FSX is still WIP. Any estimate of when it could also be available for FSX?

    Also are carrier ops with AI carriers possible in skunkNET, and if so how? Still waiting to be authorized into the support forum so not sure if these questions are answered there.
    Guess your account at skunkNET forum has been activated now.
    We do not have date for the FSX version, however we will do it.
    skunkNET is still WIP, actually we are focused on P3D v4 to enhance vACMI integration and to provide sharing cockpit.
    About carriers, operation capability is linked with vACMI, actually 2 VSTOL a/c carriers are implemented, but more can be easily added.
    The FSX version of skunkNET won't have vACMI support since vACMI for FSX developing was stopped 1 year ago, skunkNET for FSX will provide basic support only.
    At this stage of development using skunkNET and vACMI in multiplayer one can do both following air-to-air and air to ground operations:
    - air to air: one can use both gun and missiles against a live target such as another player, it will suffer damage (fire and engine seizure) or not pending on vACMI server operation mode
    - air to ground: one can use both gun and other weapons against ground targets that can be dynamically constructed, if the target is hit it explodes with different type of explosions pending on target class and shows a damaged model of itself, several target classes are available others are WIP.
    - naval/ground convoys can be made and routed along a planned track to be used as targets
    - also ground to air defences enter in play with SA-2 SA-3 AAA sites that are active against aerial targets, IFF codes are used to identify friend or foe targets.
    All above needs skunkNET and vACMI connected with vACMI server into a combat zone, however most of the features above are also available in single player using vACMI as a standalone module.
    For further info please visit the skunkNET site.
    cheers
    SSW
    http://www.simskunkworks.com/store/images/ssw_sig.png

  6. #6
    Account is activated indeed. Thanks!

    Noted about FSX, we will just wait. We are actually not much interested in the weapons side of things so we will not be using VACMI, unless we would like to experiment with AI carriers on line. Our main interest with this is to be able to fly close to one another lag free. However we will need to wait for the FSX version as not all of us have P3D.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Dimus View Post
    Account is activated indeed. Thanks!

    Noted about FSX, we will just wait. We are actually not much interested in the weapons side of things so we will not be using VACMI, unless we would like to experiment with AI carriers on line. Our main interest with this is to be able to fly close to one another lag free. However we will need to wait for the FSX version as not all of us have P3D.
    We do not expect to have FSX version of skunkNET before this summer, since we are focused to complete it with cockpit sharing which seems to be more attractive.
    I'm amazed at why so many simmers are still anchored to FSX, 64-bit P3D is another and higher level of simulation, SSW won't develop for FSX anymore.
    cheers
    /SSW
    http://www.simskunkworks.com/store/images/ssw_sig.png

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by SSW1 View Post
    We do not expect to have FSX version of skunkNET before this summer, since we are focused to complete it with cockpit sharing which seems to be more attractive.
    I'm amazed at why so many simmers are still anchored to FSX, 64-bit P3D is another and higher level of simulation, SSW won't develop for FSX anymore.
    cheers
    /SSW
    Thanks! I fully agree with you in all. However, you can not force people to buy a new sim if they are happy and content with what they have, especially if they can not afford to upgrade their computers.

  9. #9
    I'm looking forward to the feedback from users here. Especially from people flying military jets with FPS settings set to "unlimited".
    At the moment, with my friends we use mainly two programs to fly in network: JoinFS or FFS2Play.

    JoinFS is the program that gives less lag when flying close to each other. However, it doesn't show the movements of the other planes very well. For example, if one of us does a barrel roll, his plane "rotation" will not be smooth, and might update just 3 or 4 times during the roll, which doesn't look very nice... Also, when flying helicopters, JoinFS shows them with a constant banking angle even when flying straight, which totally ruins the experience in close flight.

    FFS2Play does a much better job in showing the movements/angles of the other planes. However, the lag is a nightmare and close formation flight in fast jets is simply impossible. Below or around 100 knots it's still tolerable, but during our last flight at Mach 1.2 around 25.000 feet, we couldn't get closer than 100 meters from each other because of the jitters...

    Now I'm really curious to see how the SSW client will behave in comparison to these two programs. I might register in the coming days.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Dimus View Post
    Thanks! I fully agree with you in all. However, you can not force people to buy a new sim if they are happy and content with what they have, especially if they can not afford to upgrade their computers.
    absolutely, I do not want to force nor judge anyone, however 64-bit P3D runs better than FSX even on non-high-end PCs
    /SSW
    http://www.simskunkworks.com/store/images/ssw_sig.png

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by Daube View Post
    I'm looking forward to the feedback from users here. Especially from people flying military jets with FPS settings set to "unlimited".
    At the moment, with my friends we use mainly two programs to fly in network: JoinFS or FFS2Play.

    JoinFS is the program that gives less lag when flying close to each other. However, it doesn't show the movements of the other planes very well. For example, if one of us does a barrel roll, his plane "rotation" will not be smooth, and might update just 3 or 4 times during the roll, which doesn't look very nice... Also, when flying helicopters, JoinFS shows them with a constant banking angle even when flying straight, which totally ruins the experience in close flight.

    FFS2Play does a much better job in showing the movements/angles of the other planes. However, the lag is a nightmare and close formation flight in fast jets is simply impossible. Below or around 100 knots it's still tolerable, but during our last flight at Mach 1.2 around 25.000 feet, we couldn't get closer than 100 meters from each other because of the jitters...

    Now I'm really curious to see how the SSW client will behave in comparison to these two programs. I might register in the coming days.
    We never tested skunkNET with unlimited FPS, our common use is with FPS locked near 30 FPS.
    Under this conditions all test show it exceptionally stable and smooth, the Kalman filter makes close formation flight precise and smooth even with poor connections.
    Due to low bandwidth consumption we did not have any problems also with several players, we tested it successfully with about 20 players.
    /SSW
    http://www.simskunkworks.com/store/images/ssw_sig.png

  12. #12
    I have received the email from skunknet with my username and password on Thursday.
    Today I have installed the Skunknet client and launched it. A popup appears asking for my credentials, but it keeps telling "no user with this username exists"...
    Anybody has tried this program yet ?

    I have registered on the support forum a few minutes ago, but I have to wait for account activation for now.

  13. #13
    Working nicely. Reallly smooth, no stutters, great with vACMI system. A must!

  14. #14
    Finally I could give it a try today.
    I believe a bit of feedback is due, since a lot of things happened.

    Let's start with the registration to join Skunknet. It's easy to do, and it takes a few days to receive the confirmation email containing the username and password.
    Unfortunately, in my case things didn't go well from there: the application refused to acknowledge my existence. It was always telling my user didn't exist.
    On the support forums, I could see somebody else reporting the same problem. The solution consisted in contacting the support team by email, so I thought I would do that after my business trip.

    One week later, before sending the email, I tried to connect to Skunknet again and this time it worked !!
    I contacted my brother who registered at the same time, but hadn't installed the client yet. I forced him to install the client to try it immediately.
    He could connect successfully, we both went to server 1, we were alone.

    For the context, both my brother and I use a VR helmet (Lenovo) to fly in P3Dv4.4.
    We have now a lot of experience with JoinFS and FFS2Play, which work well but suffer from a lot of lag, with a lot of jitters/stutters in the other player's aircraft movements/position.
    Our FPS are set to unlimited in the sim for various reasons (VR and blurries, mainly), and that doesn't work well with JoinFS and FFS2play...

    So we set a flight in the French Alps, with Dino's Tomcat. We saw each other on the airport, plane movements seemed fine.
    After take off we quickly regrouped.... and then we were amazed.
    The other player's aircraft movements were silky smooth ! Almost unbelievable. The technology you used to transmit the information over the network sure is efficient. It's like night and day compared to FFS2Play and JoinFS, and I'm not exaggerating. Congratulations for this, SSW.

    That being said, there were still a few issues though:

    1- When looking at the other player's Tomcat, only one engine was showing throttle response (nozzle position, afterburner ON/OFF). The other engine was like switched OFF. Same problem from both sides, so I suppose Skunknet transmits only one engine data for the moment ? (I understand it's not a final version still in dev, no issue )

    2- Just like JoinFS and FFS2Play, the other player's position is a little bit behind what it should be. For example, my brother came in close formation, told me he was in my 9 o'clock, but I was seeing him in my 8 o'clock. Same from his side, when I tried to get close to him. The other plane is like one or two aircraft lenghts behind. We would like to try to simulate a airborne refuel, but this problem makes it impossible.

    Another thing I wonder: will Skunknet allow the casting of our AI traffic ? Typically, if I make a tanker appear in the sim, will other players see it ? Same question if I use AICarriers to make an aircraft carrier appear in the sim ?

  15. #15
    Isn't anybody flying in multiplayer here ?

  16. #16
    Sure! 16 of us last Tuesday night on a joint mission

    I dont have video, just some screens, but it was smooth using Skunknet+vACMI









    I have the Tacview file, you can also take a look

    https://drive.google.com/file/d/1pMV...ew?usp=sharing
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails WhatsApp Image 2019-02-12 at 22.56.07 (1).jpg   WhatsApp Image 2019-02-12 at 22.56.16 (1).jpg   WhatsApp Image 2019-02-12 at 22.56.12 (3).jpg   WhatsApp Image 2019-02-12 at 22.56.12 (1).jpg   WhatsApp Image 2019-02-12 at 22.56.06.jpg   WhatsApp Image 2019-02-12 at 22.56.05.jpg  

    WhatsApp Image 2019-02-12 at 22.56.04.jpg  

  17. #17
    16 pilots ? Wow
    Must have been nice

    Do you know if it is possible to substitute the aircraft of another player, like in JoinFS or FFS2Play ? I couldn't find any way to do that yesterday...

  18. #18
    It is possible. Sometimes we substitute complex and frame eater planes with simple ones. I think that the trick is to keep the aircraft title in the aircraft.cfg

    AFAIK the is no way to substitute them using the Skunknet interface

  19. #19
    Can't wait till I have time to try this.
    Very Respectfully,

    Jim 'Doc' Johnson, SMSgt, USAF (Ret)
    Fac Fortia Et Patere
    ____________________________________________
    Win 10 Pro 64 Bit, i7 6700K 4.0 GHz, ASUS MAXIMUS VIII IMPACT Z170 Mini ITX, G.SKILL TridentZ 16GB DDR4 4000, ASUS GeForce GTX 1080 8GB STRIX, P3D 4.5.12.30293

  20. #20
    likewise! can't wait until it's activated and I can try it out!... it's been a week or so... i'll give it another few days then drop a support mail...

  21. #21
    Quote Originally Posted by Matt Wynn View Post
    likewise! can't wait until it's activated and I can try it out!... it's been a week or so... i'll give it another few days then drop a support mail...
    For some reason we never received the confirmation mail for this user that is registered as skunkNET site user but does not have access to skunkNET server.
    As far i know we do not have any skunkNET server access request pending.
    Trying to activate his server account manually and send him login data.
    Thanks to those that reported such issue.
    /SSW
    http://www.simskunkworks.com/store/images/ssw_sig.png

  22. #22
    Quote Originally Posted by Daube View Post
    Finally I could give it a try today.
    ......
    That being said, there were still a few issues though:
    1- When looking at the other player's Tomcat, only one engine was showing throttle response (nozzle position, afterburner ON/OFF). The other engine was like switched OFF. Same problem from both sides, so I suppose Skunknet transmits only one engine data for the moment ? (I understand it's not a final version still in dev, no issue )
    This is an old story that involves the concept of congruence, in other words "what I see must be what you see".
    It is necessary to understand that what you see on your screen is "local" a more or less faithful copy of what happens on the aircraft of your mate.
    The congruence can be obtained only if the model has been developed to be congruent in multiplayer, which is rare, most of it is not because in the animations develpers use "local" variables that can not be transmitted on the net.
    Most of the developers do not take this into account and therefore generally only a small part of the animations can be transmitted over the network correctly, another side effect is that the external stores are rarely congruent in the net.
    SSW Tornado, twin engine, is congruent in skunkNET, as far afterburner, reverse, nozzle controls, and external stores.

    2- Just like JoinFS and FFS2Play, the other player's position is a little bit behind what it should be. For example, my brother came in close formation, told me he was in my 9 o'clock, but I was seeing him in my 8 o'clock. Same from his side, when I tried to get close to him. The other plane is like one or two aircraft lenghts behind. We would like to try to simulate a airborne refuel, but this problem makes it impossible.
    Not an expert on skunkNET development, however this should be the "net latency" effect that cannot be reduced to 0.
    Another thing I wonder: will Skunknet allow the casting of our AI traffic ? Typically, if I make a tanker appear in the sim, will other players see it ? Same question if I use AICarriers to make an aircraft carrier appear in the sim ?
    Answer is NO, necessary to avoid "quadratic complexity" inherent to JoinFS, it constructs all object of all players, with the result to overfill bandwidth causing jitterings, lags, etc.
    skunkNET constructs only those objects that are requested through the connection (players) or by vACMI.
    However vACMI (that supports also TacPack at some extent) has sufficient objects to not to feel the lack of others.
    SSW
    http://www.simskunkworks.com/store/images/ssw_sig.png

  23. #23
    Thanks a lot for the explanations, SSW.

    Concerning the user registration/account activation, there might be a problem with the website registration, since the same problem happened to a friend of mine.

  24. #24
    Hi SSW,

    Thanks a lot for your help to solve the account problems and the email(s) you sent.
    My friend could try Skunknet for the first time tonight, and he was blown away ! Best multiplayer experience for us so far.

  25. #25

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