Updated on 2024-02-02, viewed 14640 times

Tacview 2.0 – The future of flight analysis

A glimpse into the future of flight analysis

Tacview 2.0

Get ready for an all-new Tacview experience with Tacview 2!

We've been listening to your feedback and are excited to bring you an enhanced experience. Whether you're a gamer or a professional pilot, Tacview 2 has something new for everyone.

Cross-Platform Support

Soon, you'll be able to access Tacview on a broad range of devices—from Windows to mobile platforms like iOS and Android. Picture debriefing your latest flight while riding the bus!

Content Sharing

Easily integrate custom content and addons. Imagine downloading new terrains instantly through platforms like the Steam Workshop.

Enhanced Graphics Engine

Our upgraded engine offers improved performance and more realistic visuals, helping make your after-action reports even more insightful.

Enhanced Customization

With Tacview 2, we're handing you the keys. Customize almost every aspect of Tacview through addons to make it yours, thanks to new scripting capabilities and developer tools.

Please, feel free to post any suggestions and remarks – regardless of your aircraft or simulator – on the official threads:

Interface

Q: Will Tacview 2 have more than one 3D view?

Yes, indeed! This is a feature that has been requested for quite some time, but it would have necessitated a total overhaul of the rendering engine. Well, guess what? Tacview 2 has been rebuilt from the ground up, and its new 3D engine can display as many views as your system can handle! This means you'll be able to display all the 3D views and tools you need across multiple monitors.

Q: Will there be a search function to search for player names?

Yes. Assuming the player names have been properly recorded in the flight data, you will not only be able to quickly look up any player, but Tacview will also attempt to track the same player across multiple respawns during an online session, for example.

Q: Will Tacview 2 come with a detailed user manual?

Tacview 2 will include comprehensive, integrated hypertext documentation. As we develop each component and feature, we are updating the corresponding technical reference documentation. However, as the ergonomics are not yet finalized until the first stable release, the user guide will be developed later. In the meantime, please feel free to consult and contribute to the wiki.

Q: Will it be possible to chart any telemetry value?

In Tacview 2, users will have the flexibility to chart any telemetry data, not limited to predefined ones like in Tacview 1.x. If a telemetry value is not recognized by Tacview, you can manually specify its unit of measure and adjust drawing parameters to get an optimal result every time.

Q: Is it feasible for Tacview 2 to implement a 'fog of war' feature that hides undetected assets?

As Tacview is not a simulator, it doesn't inherently simulate a fog-of-war. However, if the source data provides this information, it is a feature we may consider incorporating. Instead of rendering these objects invisible, we would likely develop a sophisticated method to display them as "hidden" based on the perspective of the currently selected objects.

Q: Will Tacview 2.0 get a dark/darcula theme?

Definitely! Not only will Tacview 2 honor the light/dark theme of your operating system, but it will also offer several skins. These skins will be customizable via configuration files, and you will eventually be able to share them with the community.

Q: Will Tacview 2.0 feature a new icon?

Although we still like our current icon, it's likely we'll redesign it for Tacview 2.0. That way, users can easily distinguish between the two generations of Tacview.

Visual Experience

Q: Will users have the capability to utilize background maps that feature varying scales depending on the zoom level, similar to the functionality in Google Maps or OpenStreetMap?

Yes! This feature wasn't available in Tacview 1 due to technical limitations. However, the revamped terrain engine in Tacview 2 allows for the overlay of numerous textures with different resolutions, seamlessly blending based on the zoom level.

Q: How will the new terrain in Tacview 2 be different from before?

In Tacview 1, terrain management heavily relied on your computer's CPU and consumed a significant amount of memory. This led to restrictions in both visual detail and speed.

Tacview 2 shifts most of this workload to the GPU, significantly reducing memory use and boosting performance. You can expect more detailed textures, smoother transitions, and enhanced visual effects. The result is a visually stunning, highly responsive landscape that enhances debriefing clarity and experience.

Q: Will Tacview 2 be compatible with VR headsets?

Not at launch. However, the new 3D engine should eventually support all VR headsets on Windows and Linux, likely through OpenXR. It will simply be a matter of opening a new "VR" viewport and putting the headset on your head.

Additionally, we are considering the extension of VR support to macOS, although it is too early to provide specific details at this time.

Licensing & Upgrades

Q: Is Tacview 2 a free upgrade for paid Tacview 1 users, or will a new license be required?

If you have a Tacview 1 license, it will be compatible with Tacview 2 for desktop editions (Windows, macOS, and Linux). This means you can enjoy the same advanced features you're used to, along with improved ergonomics, performance, and detail at no additional cost. Over time, we will introduce new advanced features, which you can access by upgrading your existing license.

Please note that iOS and Android versions of Tacview 2 will require separate licenses, as they involve significant development work and will be available on different app stores than the desktop editions.

Flight Data Recording

Q: Can we expect more and more accurate telemetry data from DCS in Tacview 2.0?

Potentially. As part of Tacview 2's later development stages, we're aiming to overhaul the DCS telemetry exporter. This means, if things go according to plan, we'll not only be able to gather data from a broader range of aircraft but also ensure this data is more accurate.

Q: Will Tacview 2 be able to display the destruction of DCS World map objects, such as bridges, bunkers, and static objects?

This is a feature we've always wanted to implement, but we've been hindered by a lack of necessary data. We plan to rewrite the DCS World exporter for Tacview 2 with a goal of obtaining more data from moving objects. Additionally, we aim to access mission data, which will enable us to export key static map objects like buildings and bridges. While we can't guarantee success, we're certainly going to make every effort to make it possible!

Q: Due to anti-cheat restrictions, I cannot review the cause of my death in multiplayer games, even after an hour has passed. Is it possible for Tacview to make this data available for viewing after a set time period?

Yes! We plan to update the exporter for improved usability during multiplayer sessions. After a real-life time delay set by the server, you'll be able to review your entire flight without the need to stay connected for extended periods.

Q: Will Tacview 2 improve performance with Multiplayer DCS World scenarios with lots of units or this is still a problem that only DCS can fix?

Currently, we have maximized performance as much as possible on our end. Tacview exporter code takes a negligible amount of CPU, the remaining performance issue lies within DCS World Lua interface.

For much more details, see the post on that matter: FPS Loss While Recording Your Flight in DCS World

Now, with Tacview 2, we are considering the development of an official third-party paid exporter, which could – in theory – grant us access to more powerful tools, not only to export more data, but also to get better performances out of this process. Do not worry, the standard exporter will always be available at no extra charge.

Tools

Q: Will Tacview be able to directly handle Web Map Service (WMS)?

Yes, Tacview 2 will support both Web Map Service (WMS) and Web Coverage Service (WCS). In other words, it will be able to load mapping, satellite, and elevation data to display real-life terrain, similar to other tools such as Google Earth.

Q: Can Tacview 2 share the flight data during an online debriefing?

Absolutely. During an online debriefing with Tacview 2, any participant can seamlessly download the necessary flight data from any other participant in the background. This allows for just a single person to need to record the flight, thereby streamlining the online debriefing process like never before!

Q: Will it be possible to share video and multimedia files during Online Debriefing as well?

Telemetry and multimedia are two very different types of data. While telemetry data is relatively light and can be easily handled and transferred by Tacview, multimedia files are typically much larger. Transferring them during an online debriefing would require a specialized solution which falls outside of Tacview's scope. Therefore, while it may eventually become possible, this feature is likely to be part of a future update.

Q: Will Tacview 2.0 feature a specialized interface for merging .acmi files (e.g., editing time, renaming objects, filtering objects, etc.)?

While we can't guarantee this functionality will be included in the initial release, it's definitely something we can implement. At a minimum, there would be an option to select which objects should be added or merged with existing ones. More advanced processing could potentially be managed via a custom Lua script.

Miscellaneous

Q: Over the years, Tacview has become heavier and heavier (e.g., version 1.2.4 was only 114MB). Will Tacview 2 be lighter? Will we be able to install only what we need?

Indeed, with Tacview 1, the majority of the space is consumed by terrain and maps for various simulators, while the rest of the program hasn't grown significantly in size. Tacview 2 is introducing a new data management approach, allowing for on-demand installation of various packs. Although the final solution has not been determined yet, the base Tacview 2 will be considerably smaller, with the flexibility to install additional packs as needed, possibly through platforms like the Steam workshop.

Compatibility

Q: What are the system requirements for Tacview 2? Will my old computer be able to run it as effectively as Tacview 1?

It's a bit challenging to provide an exact answer at this early stage of development. Tacview 2 is being completely redeveloped to optimally utilize the latest CPUs and GPUs. This implies that, on comparable hardware, it should operate as efficiently as Tacview 1, if not more so, due to its enhanced resource management capabilities, such as extensive multithreading.

Nevertheless, it's important to note that Tacview 2 will necessitate a GPU that's compatible with the Vulkan 3D API and a fairly recent version of Windows, likely Windows 8.1 or later. So, while Tacview 2 is designed to make the most of your system's capabilities, it will require a relatively updated setup to run.

Q: To what extent will Tacview 2 be compatible with the previous acmi format?

Yes, Tacview 2 will be compatible with your current acmi 2.x files!

Tacview 2 introduces an improved acmi file format that offers additional telemetry types and easier implementation for third-party programs.

Over the years, there have been several iterations of the acmi file format:

  • The old (1.x) binary format, which hasn't been used for almost a decade, will not be supported by Tacview 2.
  • The first text iteration (1.x) of the acmi file format is also not planned for support in Tacview 2.
  • However, the current major revision of the acmi file format (2.x) will be supported by Tacview 2, ensuring all flights you're presently recording can be seamlessly viewed in the new version.

Please note that the new acmi file format introduced by Tacview 2 will not be supported in Tacview 1. It would require significant effort and wouldn't be practical, as Tacview 2 offers many more capabilities.

Q: Will Tacview 2 have native support for macOS and Linux, as more users in the community are looking forward to benefiting from acmi files on these platforms?

Tacview 2 will be able to run on macOS and Linux. While it is developed on Windows, its engine is fully portable and runs well on Linux, including Ubuntu, Debian, and even Raspberry Pi.

The 3D engine of Tacview 2 is programmed using Vulkan, which needs to be ported to macOS. However, the core engine of Tacview 2 already works natively on the new M1 Macs.

We are working hard to make sure that Tacview 2 can be supported on all the main operating systems. At launch, Tacview 2 will be released for Windows first, followed by Linux, macOS, iOS, and then Android. To ensure everything runs smoothly, we'll fix any bugs on each platform before releasing the next one.

Q: Will the real-time telemetry protocol evolve in such a way that existing setups will no longer work?

While there is a possibility for the real-time telemetry protocol to evolve, there are currently no plans to upgrade it in the short term. Upon the release of Tacview 2, the ACMI file format will be updated to version 3. However, Tacview 2 will continue to support real-time telemetry data using the current protocol and format.

Extensions & Developer Tools

Q: Will it be easier to share add-ons?

Yes. Everyone will be able to create and share add-ons easily, whether it's improved textures, new terrain, 3D models, or even new tools.

You do not need to know any technical details to install an add-on: Just download a ZIP file and open it with Tacview to install it. Even better: we are also planning to support Steam Workshop, enabling users to comment, vote, and share improvements and new content with the whole community.

Q: Will it be easier to write add-ons?

Absolutely! In Tacview 1, the concept of add-ons was introduced after the project was already mature, which made addon development somewhat limited and less accessible than it could have been. Tacview 2, on the other hand, has been designed from the ground up with add-ons in mind. This approach makes it much easier to create them and customize almost any part of the program.

Language support is more robust as well; beyond Lua, C++, and C#, we're planning to add support for JavaScript and Python. If you're working with C++ and C#, you'll find creating and developing projects much easier than before. We have even planned a Lua debugger, and our integrated HTML documentation will clearly present all the tools and concepts at your disposal, along with nice examples, making the development process more accessible and efficient.

Q: Will Tacview 1 add-ons be compatible with Tacview 2?

Possibly, with modifications. Tacview 2 represents a comprehensive rewrite of the original program, bringing along with it an improved Software Development Kit (SDK) offering more features and usability compared to Tacview 1. Existing add-ons will require modifications to function within the new application and to harness the potential of the updated API. However, this process is anticipated to be straightforward due to the unified, simplified API and forthcoming associated tools, such as a Lua debugger. Additionally, we are considering the introduction of a compatibility layer. Still, minor changes will be necessary for Tacview to properly recognize and load the older add-ons.

Q: Will SSL/TLS HTTPS request support available in Tacview 2's Lua SDK?

Absolutely! The Tacview 2 Lua SDK is designed to be versatile and will include an API for straightforward handling of HTTP and HTTPS requests. This will be particularly useful for loading custom terrain and textures from mapping services such as OpenStreetMap.