Today Microsoft hosted a livestream with the developers of Microsoft Flight Simulator providing development updates and new information on the growing sim.
We hear from head of Microsoft Flight Sim Jorg Neuman, Asobo CEO Sebastian Wlock, and executive producer Martial Bossard.
First and foremost, the team talked about the delayed Update 5 that was supposed to come yesterday. It should come “very soon,” possibly this week. Patch notes should be announced tomorrow.
The patch improves sensitivity and twitchiness on some of the aircraft, the autopilot, and a “host of other things.”
This includes support for the A320 quadrant by Thrustmaster, night lighting, water reflections, a fix for the black hole in Brazil that slipped into a previous patch.
The patch also removes the much reviled “Press any key to continue” splash screen.
A server-side fix should also improve live weather starting today. Apparently, there was an issue with the CDN that injected METAR data in the simulator causing it to be up to a day old. This should be fixed with this update.
Here’s a list of more information that was provided.
- Update 6 will include a 6-10 FPS performance improvement, mostly for users who are restricted on the CPU side. Support for the Honeycomb quadrant will also be added.
- Update 7 will be the new World Update dedicated to the United States. It will include a “great digital elevation model” up to one meter and completely new aerial textures for many areas. The visual appearance of “many states” is going to be “significantly improved.”
- New handcrafted airports for World Update 2 will include Atlanta International, Friday Harbor, Dallas/Fort Worth International, and New York Stewart International. There will be 50 points of interest and an Alaska bush trip. The update will come in late November.
- Update 5 will improve a lot of the autopilot formulas including the interception of ILS glideslope, the Cessna Citation Longitude’s pitch issues. More improvements for the autopilot are coming in update 6. The point in the Feedback Snapshot (of which you can see an updated version below) is more related to general issues and improvement to the Garmin G1000 and G3000.
- The new server-side update to weather implemented today should correctly inject METAR data when you’re around an airport, and it will take precedence over MeteoBlue data. METAR data will be visible within the simulator but not displayed on the world map. The development team is considering having METAR data displayed on the world map to support flight planning.
- About the issue that causes lightning to appear too much, it’s being investigated and the developers are looking into what causes it before it can be fixed. Regarding icing, the formula used by the sim is a bit too aggressive and will be reduced, also taking into consideration the composition and humidity of the clouds.
- Update 5 will improve street lights by augmenting their draw distance to 30,000 meters.
- Speaking of Russia and Nordic countries, the developers are looking for better data sources. Russia is currently a focus and the developers hope to update it sometime next year, while data for Nordic countries have already been found.
- Speaking of AI traffic, the goal is to get as many of the passive planes correct as possible. This means having the correct model and livery. The development team is working on that and this is going to be added to the simulator for free with a sim update or a world update directly by Asobo. A bunch of models is being worked on to populate the skies. The developers are committing to make sure that planes in the air will be appropriate. An effort is being made to officially license all models and liveries from all manufacturers and airlines on the planet.
- The Aviators Club livery pack is still coming. There are bugs that need to be solved.
- “Quite a bit of progress” is being made on the aircraft SDK. There were missing elements in the WebAssembly modules, but according to the developers, those are gradually going away. It’s a transition period for a new platform, and things will take time. The team dedicated to the SDK is very large.
- About the lack of elevation authority at low speeds on fly-by-wire airliners, there was a bug in the formula and it has been fixed in the previous update. That being said, the developers are looking into it again. Further improvements should come soon for some of the planes and if they work well, they will be expanded to the rest of the lineup.
- The development team is very impressed by how the community is working on many features and addons. Users doing this kind of work who are interested to collaborate with the development team directly should contact them at [email protected].
- At the moment, the developers are focusing on performance. When that is done, they will consider increasing the visual options to push them further upward. Possible bugs with LOD, antialiasing, and draw distance are under investigation. No changes to this have been done by the developers intentionally.
- There were two bugs affecting fuel consumption. They should be fixed with update 6.
- Asobo is planning to release new aircraft even if they have not announced which ones. They will also work on more things to do in the simulator.
- There are a lot of improvements coming to the flight model and the accuracy of the simulation including visual cues for the user so that they can better visualize what the flight model and the air around the aircraft is doing. When that is implemented, more complex physical effects that require the tactile feeling of the aircraft to be interpreted like powerful updrafts in storms will be implemented.
- Contrails are coming very soon.
During the same event, the developers also talked about the success of the simulator, defining it as a “thriving platform” and detailed the upcoming world update focusing on the United States.
If you want to learn more about Microsoft Flight Simulator, you can check out our review that will tell you everything you need to know about Asobo Studio’s new and groundbreaking game.
You can also check out our growing guide wiki that includes more information to help you get started in the game.