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Changeing MP SIM Time


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Peter,

Is there any chance you could add a FSUIPC offset to set SIM TIME. ?

( for the HOST of a Multiplayer session, on their Hosting/Server machine)

ie the "Time of day" that the simulator is running when in MP mode.

This does not appear to be the same as LOCAL TIME or ZULU TIME, which both seem to get re-synced to some SIM TIME, when any attempt is made to change them when in Multiplayer Mode (using FSUIPC or Simconnect)

Being able to READ "sim Time" would also be nice, but not so important as being able to SET the SIM TIME.

This function, like many others, is not yet available in SimConnect, thus adding another reason why FSUIPC will never be replaced by SimConnect :)

( Multiplayer Hosts would fine it a great advantage to be able to change their sessions time while it is running, mainly to revert back to daylight, without having to throw everyone off their session to reset the time, which they are forced to do at the moment )

Regards

Geoff

(Registered FSUIPC user)

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This does not appear to be the same as LOCAL TIME or ZULU TIME, which both seem to get re-synced to some SIM TIME, when any attempt is made to change them when in Multiplayer Mode (using FSUIPC or Simconnect)

I'd be delighted, if you could tell me how? The only access I have is to Local and Zulu time.

Surely, the Host's zulu time is imposed on the MP clients as their Zulu time, and this sets their Local time according to their offset, based on time zone. Trying to change the time on the clients would be futile as it would be reset on the next packet from the host.

If you mean to change the Host's Zulu time, surely that would not be allowed, not be possible, as that would affect all clients!

Being able to READ "sim Time" would also be nice, but not so important as being able to SET the SIM TIME.

Are you saying that the time you can see in the client PC is not the same as or derived (by time zone) from that imposed by the host? I don't understand that.

This function, like many others, is not yet available in SimConnect, thus adding another reason why FSUIPC will never be replaced by SimConnect :)

I'm afraid that is not correct, or at least that is not the intention -- at present FSUIPC uses Simconnect for 99% of the things it does in FSX, and the remaining 1% are promised, along with further things in the future we hope. Additionally, Simconnect will expand beyond what FSUIPC will offer, as time goes on (in some areas it does already, of course). FSUIPC's interface is essentially only there for backward compatibility.

I think you need to put forward your needs in this area to Microsoft themselves (tell_fs@microsoft.com). I really do doubt that it is possible to do what you suggest with the current FSX code. If the FS team won't do it, then someone who is familiar with the MP protocols will need to write a program to act as a filter between FSX and the Internet packets and change the times being set. I'm afraid this is not my area of expertise at all. You may want to talk to someone like Jose Oliveira, who wrote AIBridge, or the Ivap or Squawkbox folks who can perhaps do something their end.

Regards

Pete

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Peter

Thanks for your very informative reply.

It would seem that Multiplayer runs on a seperate time CLOCK, that is initially set to a given time when the HOST starts the session, and thereafter "Free runs".

I have tried changing LOCAL or ZULU time using FSUIPC. The time starts to change, textures start to reload, and then it changes it mind, and reverts back to the old time SIM_CLOCK time. (Hint hint)

Yes, I appreciate that one cannot change the time as a player, as your time is constantly being update by the host.

I wish to change the HOST's time (as the host), so that both the HOST and all the Clients TIME is changed to the new time (Typically back to a early daylight time, wrt the HOST's time zone).

So, what I was looing for was a FSUIPC offset, that would modify this internal SIM CLOCK time. I realize the trick is finding this "Ticking Clock", but since you found the LOCAL & ZULU clocks in earlier versions of FS, if anyone can, it would be you.

While I agree that the ideal thing would be to request, and obtain a simconnect function to achieve this, I think we both know that hell will freeze over first :(

Hacking packets, while possible, and a sure way to achieve the desired functionality, is far from ideal, as you can appreciate :)

Yes, if one was able to Change (read/write) to this 3rd Clock, then every time it was changed by the HOST, it would cause both HOST & PLAYERS to reload textures etc. This is what is wanted, expected and totally reasonable. One would NOT want to change time every few minutes, just typically once every 12 hours at the most.

Geoff_D

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It would seem that Multiplayer runs on a seperate time CLOCK, that is initially set to a given time when the HOST starts the session, and thereafter "Free runs".

That doesn't seem terribly likely -- each PC connected to the host would gradually drift and be operating on different times. That would give a controller some nightmares. How do you know the time isn't regularly refreshed? (I know nothing whatsoever about the MP side of FS I'm afraid).

I have tried changing LOCAL or ZULU time using FSUIPC. The time starts to change, textures start to reload, and then it changes it mind, and reverts back to the old time SIM_CLOCK time. (Hint hint)

I'm not sure what the "hint hint" is for here, but doesn't this just confirm what I think, that the time is synchronised regularly from the host?

Yes, I appreciate that one cannot change the time as a player, as your time is constantly being update by the host.

Ahso you are NOT saying it free runs in the local PC!?

I wish to change the HOST's time (as the host), so that both the HOST and all the Clients TIME is changed to the new time (Typically back to a early daylight time, wrt the HOST's time zone).

If you are a host, surely the host time is the host's time. Are you saying the host PC has no way of setting its own time? I think I'm confused here, or you are. Not sure which! ;-)

So, what I was looing for was a FSUIPC offset, that would modify this internal SIM CLOCK time. I realize the trick is finding this "Ticking Clock", but since you found the LOCAL & ZULU clocks in earlier versions of FS, if anyone can, it would be you.

So you ARE the host, you have control over the host PC, yet, you are saying, you cannot set the time?

Sorry, I evidently don'ty understand this at all. I find it rather incredible that the host cannot set the time.

Yes, if one was able to Change (read/write) to this 3rd Clock

How are you so sure there's a third clock, which no one can control? I think you must know more about the insides of FS and particularly MP than I do -- how is this host clock set, at random, or from some Internet time, or only by the host PC's system time?

When the host says is it, say, 12 noon Zulu, then I would assume those local PC's connected would see their Zulu time as 12 noon, too, and their local time appropriate to their location in the FS world. Is this not so? Are you saying the read-out of local and Zulu time, from e.g. FSUIPC's offsets or the relevant SimVars, show whatever they have set locally, but the sim nevertheless continues using this "third clock" of yours, set to some unknowable (unreadable) time at that PC? If this is so it seems to be one of the most glaring bugs in the history of FS. How can the local pilot not know what the time is??

Maybe I am completely misunderstanding you? If so, can you perhaps explain in some clearer details please? For instance, why do you think there are three clocks -- Zulu, Local and Host -- being maintained in each PC? I just cannot get my head around that.

Regards

Pete

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Sorry Peter,

I was probably not precise enough with my descriptions.

Here is how I "believe" it works, based on outside observation of FSX operating.

(1) The Host starts a session, and sets where geographically he is in the world, say London Airport.

(2) The Host sets the time that the Sim will start at, that time being the local time at London Airport.

(3) The MP Sim starts, and the Host sends out this time to all players, telling them that the local time at London, that they are to use.

(the players machine then calculate the corresponding time if they are anywhere else in the world, ie if in NY, they subtract 5 hours etc etc).

So everyone is in a MP Sim, simulating a period of time (date, time) as defined by the Host for this particular simulation, and this 3rd Clock (SIM_TIME) starts ticking away on the Host machine.

On a regular basis, the HOST tells the client what the correct time is at LONDON, and the clients remain "in sync" with the host.

--------------------------------------

This "theory" is based on the following observations in FSX.

(a) The Host can set any time they like for their given location when they start the session.

(b) This time is seen by the Host and Clients when they look at CLOCKS within the session, so everone is synced to the corect SIM time, with corresponding Time Zone Offsets as appropriate.

© If FSUIPC or SimConnect attempt to change the LOCAL TIME or ZULU Time on the HOST, it starts to react, and load the textures in for that time, and then, within a few secinds, reverts back to the previous SIM TIME, and loads in those appropropraite textures.

ie The Local time , changed by FSUIPC, gets reset back to this previous running SIM time.

(d) Individual payers cannot define their own local time, as they could in FS2004.

Ideally, it would have been nice if the HOST had the option to enforce SIM time, or to allow players to set any time they wanted -- as was the case in FS2004.

It is this SIM_TIME I am looking to change on the on the SERVER/HOST, so that it runs at a new SIM_TIME, and therefore also updates all the players with this new time.

Does that make it clearer ??

Geoff

PS: If anyone else knows better how this works, PLEASE correct me :)

I am only Guessing, based on observation.

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Here is how I "believe" it works, based on outside observation of FSX operating.

(1) The Host starts a session, and sets where geographically he is in the world, say London Airport.

(2) The Host sets the time that the Sim will start at, that time being the local time at London Airport.

(3) The MP Sim starts, and the Host sends out this time to all players, telling them that the local time at London, that they are to use.

(the players machine then calculate the corresponding time if they are anywhere else in the world, ie if in NY, they subtract 5 hours etc etc).

So everyone is in a MP Sim, simulating a period of time (date, time) as defined by the Host for this particular simulation, and this 3rd Clock (SIM_TIME) starts ticking away on the Host machine.

On a regular basis, the HOST tells the client what the correct time is at LONDON, and the clients remain "in sync" with the host.

Well except for your assertion about a "third clock" with SIM TIME, this is EXACTLY how I assumed it would work. It is how I would do it if I were in charge! But I wouldn't need a third clock because there would be nothing at all wrong with using the one I already have -- the one called ZULU time and offset in my own Host PC to my local time.

Ideally, it would have been nice if the HOST had the option to enforce SIM time, or to allow players to set any time they wanted -- as was the case in FS2004.

Well, I think an local Zulu offset option would be nice. I would keep it to a nice round value like 6 or 12 hours, so that the controllers and pilots could still talk about ETA's etc meaningfully.

It is this SIM_TIME I am looking to change on the on the SERVER/HOST, so that it runs at a new SIM_TIME, and therefore also updates all the players with this new time.

Yes, but surely only the Host PC can change that time. You surely cannot allow each user of each client PC to choose the time he wants everyone else to be on?

Does that make it clearer ??

Well, no, not really, because now, apart from this third clock notion, you seem to be agreeing with my view of how it would work.

The point now is, if you agree that the clients shouldn't be able to change the host time, is how the host, i.e. the guy in charge of it all, can change it. So, let me ask the questions which seem to be unanswered so far:

Are you saying that the Host time cannot be changed by the guy sitting at the Host PC?

Are you saying that the Zulu and Local times at the Host PC are NOT at all related to the times that host is sending to all of its clients?

Where does this "third time" come in?

Regards

Pete

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Are you saying that the Host time cannot be changed by the guy sitting at the Host PC?

Are you saying that the Zulu and Local times at the Host PC are NOT at all related to the times that host is sending to all of its clients?

EXACTLY -- The Host cannot change the time of his own session, once it starts, even if he uses FSUIPC or SIMCONNECT to alter his Local or Zulu time while the sim is running in HOST mode. Those Changes just get overwritten by, what I am calling this 3rd SIM_CLOCK, which was initialized when the session started.

( Actually the host cannot change many aspects of his own session, that he would like to, time being just one of them. He can allow the players to change things, like aircarft, display settings, airport, (but not time!!) etc, which he cannot even allow himself to do !!! go figure)

I would just be happy, as a host, to be able to change the time of day of MY MP session.

Geoff_D

Peter:

I understand your confusion now.... you were missing the important, and not obvious fact, that even the HOST cannot change the time of his own session, once it starts, no matter what he tries to do to force a change of Local or Zulu time. !!!

One would obviously, "assume" that he would be able to (sigh).

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Are you saying that the Host time cannot be changed by the guy sitting at the Host PC?

Are you saying that the Zulu and Local times at the Host PC are NOT at all related to the times that host is sending to all of its clients?

EXACTLY -- The Host cannot change the time of his own session, once it starts, even if he uses FSUIPC or SIMCONNECT to alter his Local or Zulu time while the sim is running in HOST mode. Those Changes just get overwritten by, what I am calling this 3rd SIM_CLOCK, which was initialized when the session started.

Okayso the Zulu and Local times are maintained, so you know what they are, but you can't adjust them -- even via the Menu I assume?

If you've got some idea about this "SIM_TIME" write to me by email and we'll go into it more. I do have good tools for delving, but I need as many details to start with as I can get, especially to an area completely new to me.

In order to find it and work out how to access it I might also need some brief instruction on making myself a host -- treat me completely as an MP newbie, please.

Regards

Pete

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