Page ContentsPage Contents (click to expand)
  1. Creating A New Project
    1. Adding A Package
    2. Adding An Asset Group
    3. Building A Package
  2. The Inspector
    1. The Package Inspector
      1. Summary Content Manager
      2. Release Notes
    2. The Asset Group Inspector

THE PROJECT EDITOR

The project editor allows to create and edit add-on packages for Microsoft Flight Simulator which are used to add new content to the simulation. To enable the project editor, Developer Mode must be enabled in the simulation. Once enabled you can open the project editor from the Tools menu or by by creating a new project using New Project from the [DevMode] menu. Either way, the following Project Editor window will open:

The Main Project Editor Window

This editor has the following menu items across the top:

Below the menu items you have a button, Export All, which is explained in full on the following page:

 

This window then permits you to set a Default Company Name and a Default Creator Name for the different add-ons that will be a part of the project. These fields cannot be left blank, and if you are an individual and not a company, you will still need to fill the company name in (you can use your own name, or some other "alias" like a forum username, for example). Note that if you try to create a new project from the [DevMode] menu, you will be prompted to give these details first:

Giving A Creator Name And A Company Name

NOTE: You may cancel this window, or you may choose to create a project without giving these details, however this will cause issues later on when you start to add asset groups and so we recommend that you always give a default Creator and Company name).

The Creator name can use special characters, have spaces, etc... but the Company name must be as short as possible - there is a 25 character maximum limit - and cannot contain capital letters, special characters, or spaces. Essentially only a-z and 0-9 are permitted.

 

The main area of the Project Editor window will be taken up with a list of packages that form a part of the current project. If you have loaded a project or have created at least one package, you ill have a Filter option to show only those packages that contain a specific input keyword, or - if you prefix the filter text with "-" - you can omit items with the filter keyword from the list.  You will also have Add Package and Remove Package buttons. As you would expect, these are used to add new packages to the project - which can be scenery, an airport, aircraft livery, etc... - or to remove already existing packages from the project. Adding a package to the project editor is explained in the sections below.

 

 

Creating A New Project

All add-ons in Microsoft Flight Simulator are created as projects, and within each project you can have one or more packages. A package is a self-contained add-on item, and can be an aircraft, an airport, some scenery, a mission, etc... To create each of the packages in the project you need to add asset groups which are the individual components that go together to make up the package. For example, an Airport package may have BGLMaterialLib and ModelLib asset groups. In this section we'll walk you through the creation of all these parts - projectpackage and asset groups - from the beginning.

 

To start with you will need to create a new project which is done from the New Project option in the [DevMode] menu, or by opening the Project Editor and then selecting New Project from the Project menu. Either will open the open the "Create New Project" window:

The Create New Project Dialog

IMPORTANT! Make sure you have given a default Creator and Company name before creating any new project!Here you give a location where the project folder will be saved to (this folder is where all the package source files will be stored for the entire project), and the name of the project. Clicking OK will create the <ProjectName>.xml file and you will then be prompted to add your first package:

The Add Package Window FOr The Package WizardHere you need to give the package a Title, which is essentially the "display name" for the package that the end-user will see, and is also the display name for the package on the Marketplace.

 

Once you give the package title you can click Next, which will then open the Package Wizard. Note that every project that you make for Microsoft Flight Simulator must contain at least one package, which is a collection of files that will be bundled together to create the final add-on for the simulation. For example, you could have a package that adds scenery to the world, or adds an aircraft, or changes the livery of an existing aircraft. Your project can even contain multiple individual packages that do all these things and more. So, the first thing that you are required to do when you create a new project is add an initial package, using the window shown above.

 

 

Adding A Package

The Package Wizard is shown when you initially create a new project and name the initial package, or it will open when you click the Add Package button from the main Project Editor window:

The Add Package Window In The Project Editor

Each of these buttons is a wizard to help you though the asset group creation process for your package. Currently you have a choice of three main package types:

Since the other wizards are covered elsewhere in the documentation, we'll be using the Custom type, so click the Custom button and note how the window will changes:

Adding A Custom PackageHere you need to give the following details about the package that you are creating:

Once you have filled in the required data and selected the package type you would click on the Create button.

 

Adding An Asset Group

When you first add a package, a new window will open where you can add your first Asset Group to the package:

NOTE: All packages require at least one Asset Group, although you can add more later through the Inspector window, if required.

The Add Asset Group Window In The Project Editor

Here you need to give the following details:

 

Once you have added the asset group, it will be shown in the Inspector window for the project and you can see that the relative paths within the project for the packages assets and output have already been set up and you can then click the Load In Editor button (if available for the asset group type) to open the asset in the relevant Dev Mode editor and start working on it.
The Project Editor Inspector Showing An Asset group

If a package needs to have further asset groups - for example, a scenery package may also require ModelLibs or Materials - then this can be done by selecting the package in the Project Editor, and then clicking the Add Asset Group button at the bottom of the Inspector window:

Add More Asset Groups To A Package

This is also how you would add assets if you cancelled the initial package wizard when you first created the package.

 

 

Building A Package

Once you have added the assets and made the editions you need, you can build the package and test it in the simulation. This can be done by clicking the Build button at the bottom of the Inspector window for the package:

The Build Button In The Inspector For A PackageThis will build (compile) the package into a format that can be used by the simulation, and save it to the Packages folder within the project files. This package can then be zipped and shared with other users, who can unzip it into The Community Folder and see the package contents in their version of Microsoft Flight Simulator. The Build button will also temporarily add the package to the simulation. So, if it is - for example - an aircraft, you can test it by going to the main menu and looking for it in the available aircraft.

NOTE: The build progress can be tracked by opening the console (in the menu bar choose Windows > The Console).

If your project has multiple packages - or you want to build a package for Microsoft Marketplace - then an alternative to building them individually is to use the Build & Export option from the Project Editor Project menu. This will build all the packages within the project at the same time, adding them all to the simulation and saving them to the Packages folder. This option is explained in more detail on the page covering the Export Window.

 

 

The Inspector

The Inspector window can be opened from the View menu of the Project Editor and is used to show additional information about the Packages and Asset Groups that are currently listed as part of the project. To change the item being inspected, simply click on it in the Project Editor Package List (note that you can expand a package to see it's contents by clicking on the little arrow on the left): 

Packages And Asset Groups In The Project Editor

 

The Package Inspector

The Inspector Window For A PackageWhen you select a package from the list in the Project Editor, the Inspector window will change and three tabs are available for editing.

 

Summary Content Manager

The Summary Content Manager tab is where you set the main meta-data for the selected package. Some of the data here is already set based on information you gave when you created both the project and the package, but it can all be edited and changes as required. The available options are:

 

 

Release Notes

The Inspector Release Notes TabThis tab permits you to add release notes for each version/update of the package. To start with this section will be empty, and you need to click the + button at the bottom to add the first (and subsequent) set of release notes to the list. Beside that button is the X button that can be used to remove any release notes from the list. Once you have added a set of release notes you can start to set the following values:

It is worth noting that the release note text can use MarkDown, so you can easily add some basic formatting to them (like bullet points, bold text, etc...).

 

 

The Asset Group Inspector

The Inspector Window For An Asset Group

When you select an asset group from the Project Editor list, the Inspector window will change to show the following input fields:

 

 

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