Discussion: Live dev Q&A January

For all of you, if you really wanna know what is this sim capable off (regarding aircrafts), look into the SDK manual. From my point of view it is definetly not a game but also not a full grade simulator neither.

They are starting from scratch, x-planes on the other hand is in devolopnent from nighties (dont know what year exactly) they have already everything functional (Navigation systems, Hydraulic systems, Fire Systems, Electrical buses,Turbine Pressures, Engine Bleeds, Cockpit and Cabin environments and so on…) and all that within the simulator.

It will take few years according to me for MFS20 to get there, question remains if they really want to get there since they are focusing more on the scenery.

I think they do.
They have several teams at work.
Some do fixes, some work on new material that will be added.
The added stuff team isn’t bogged down with fix issues, so yes, that stuff gets added as planned.

I think the big issue is that MS/ASOBO underestimated the amount of realism that serious simmers want/need.
As such, ASOBO thought the sim was mostly usable when released, as none of them were serious simmers, and none had piloting experience, though several did take lessons due to the necessity of understanding flight, and thus sims, better.

Now, they have found otherwise.
Add the expected issues into the mix that always will arise with new software, and here we are.
They are way behind the 8 ball as far as fixes and improvements go.

As the “fix” team catches up, these improvements should come.
Both MS and ASOBO have committed to at least ten years work and support with this title.


And I wish them best of luck. Weather coding is an masterpiece (except that orange overcast) and scenery is mind blowing.

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I had to make icing conditions to test the King Air in because I got the infamous clear, blue, and standard temperatures in the middle of the NOREASTER. Metroblue fail today. Yep flying the King Air reminds me quickly why I put this plane in the hangar, it is really bad. Making weather really shows the limitations of the weather simulator. No place to put in dewpoint, have to use clouds and play with temperatures until the weather engine agrees you are in icing.

The King Air’s anti-ice/deice systems are poorly simulated. Boots just did not work, ice vane torque drop is overly dramatic, windshield heat clears side windows, etc. However, in the middle of icing, I got zero performance decrease over cruising in the clear. Other than pushing the vane out. At least my quick look having to make my own icing, it seems on the King Air to be a visual effect only.

The windshield icing effect looks like ice on the King Air, not frost. In fact, this is one area at least how shown on my system I have to give them a thumbs up. Well except for the fact that windshield heat clears everything…

I did not try to fly it into aileron snatch based on my observations at cruise. Again the King Air has such poor flight dynamics it seemed silly to test advanced effects.

The King Air mod seemed to make no difference.


Might differ per aircraft, I saw a comment about the CJ4 also not being as bad as some other aircraft…

I also noticed that the icing looked like there was not much depth to it. In the King Air the boots are a build and blow type system. So we look for 1/2” to 1” of icing before activating single cycle auto. It does not seem that the ice builds with depth but as I played with the icing the more severe the conditions the more area of the fuselage was covered with icing.

Maybe severity is simply modeled by greater area of the airplane covered by the ice? Also I run high graphics so maybe different graphics settings effect the visual effect.

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Are you sure about what you’re writing here?

Didn’t Asobo and Microsoft told us in the very first videos and/or PR published materials, they were building FS2020 from the FSX code base:

They are keeping what is good in FSX because there are things working well in FSX, and they are reworking the other things which are not good ‘enough’

Please understand FSX is built upon FS9, built upon FS8, etc… Look at the FS2020 SDK and you still get the FS4 area gauge and system SDK structures and principles…

Given the PR statements and the reality of the gauges and system SDK, you might believe therefore these antiquated and creativity limiting constructs of a Pascal/C area might still be considered good enough for FS2020 because they are kept as-is.

In my opinion, the reason X-Plane is vastly superior to any other FSX, FS2020 or Prepar3d simulator in the gauges and system department is simply because:

  • XP11 is exposing dozen of thousands low level fine grained data points, whereas FS is exposing a mere couple thousand pre-digested pre-filtered values. The former is the equivalent of low level data probes from within the very core of all these systems simulations, the later is equivalent to what is needed to drive gauge needles and lights in a cockpit only.

  • XP11 is not limiting creativity in giving direct access to the Video Card silicon right in the context of the rendering loop, FS is shielding the add-ons from the rendering loop and from the hardware therefore with lower perfs.

  • XP11 is not imposing a graphics API but the core video card OpenGL layer, FS is only giving add-ons a software based blit function (most likely a memcpy to a RAM backing store for a VRAM texture) and a bunch of path drawing APIs we don’t know anything about their latency, resources and performance impact.

  • XP11 is letting add-ons being called back on the frame, the simulation, the panel, the rendering update loops, FS is limiting add-ons to whatever it is it limits add-ons to with no latency guarantee when using SimConnect

  • XP11 data and event system is based on a comprehensive override and callback system (which would make the 10deg increment bug a no question at all) whereas FS is not letting any add-on interposing in the middle, which is directly depraving FS customers from a certain number of add-on types, and/or a certain number of add-on features.

  • Prepar3D 4 and 5 at least, are offering lower level access to some core internal simulator architectural elements and data, but is still suffering from the same FS4 area SDK heritage regarding simvars and APIs.

  • FS9 to P3D5 are not sandboxing the add-ons and can therefore be augmented with all the missing features. The Reality XP GNS and Reality XP GTN are examples of products augmenting all these simulator versions with a complete simvar override system, autopilot override system, and much more. This is mandatory in order to make these products available in the “Flight Simulator” type of simulators, whereas the same Reality XP products are implemented solely on the XP11 SDK with no hacks whatsoever.

  • FS9 to P3D5 and XP9 to XP11 are all running add-ons in the process address space and experience shows professional add-ons developers are doing it right and poses no risk to the simulator stability whatsoever in general. FS2020 sandboxing for stability argument is questionable therefore.

I can make the list way longer but the truth of the matter is that XP11, P3D5, FS2020 (to list only the latest) are not much different for many aspects, but XP11 has a clear differentiator in terms of SDK and I believe it is all rooted in a very simple explanation which shows clearly when you’ve been working in this industry for ages like me:

  • The FS SDK originate from the internal private headers ACE studio (and maybe even before them) developers were using for developing the stock aircraft. The only need therefore was having access to pre-digested events and variable suitable to binding with a 3D animation or a panel gauge element. The first public SDK was just the same header files “sanitized” from internal private things. The idea most likely was if this was good for us building our own aircraft, it is good for 3rd parties building theirs. And today’s is not different: if this is good for Aerosoft building the CRJ, it is good for all developers (Jorg’s comment 2 Q&As ago).

  • The X-Plane SDK originate from the same need to build aircraft but it was thought first and foremost for 3rd party developers, in a way which is not shielding the developer form the internal core simulation. Over time it has grown larger and bigger with an increasing number of simvars but few more API functions because of the simple reason there is no need for more: in giving access to low level API and constructs form the get go, there is no need for XPlane devs to provide add-ons developers with new functions anytime there is a need for something new, because the low level access already in place gives you access to this directly.

Please understand I’m not saying XP11 is superior to FS2020 or P3D, I’m just saying the SDK is superior because it lets developers doing what they do best: create new stuff the simulation developers can’t envision nor provision in advance for you. And in this department, at least for gauges and systems, I’m afraid to say FS2020 is a giant step back from P3D let alone XP11.

Having said this, it is also important to note Asobo did a marvelous job with the gauge and system “interface” in the form of the JS/HTML layer. I still don’t understand why they are not just documenting and solely focusing on this layer* instead of trying to build the legacy SDK bridges to WASM, with a pseudo GDI+ on top of NanoVG on top of their own bare bone (but sufficient) path tracing API. Fundamentally what is needed is simple:

  • JS/HTML for everything presentation

  • JS and/or WASM for everything computation

  • JS <=> WASM pipe for communication between the two

  • Overriding and interposing any event and data

  • SIM (JS and/or WASM) <=> External apps
    .Simconnect, why not, but no guarantee to latency or throughput.
    .Better letting 3rd party build their own transport too if they need/want (needing ShareMemory and/or Sockets)

  • Getting rid of most, if not all, ancient SDK concepts:
    .Enums for vars instead of plain text really? see the last SDK update the mess it is causing with enums and how this is limiting the expansion
    .User events using number ranges which makes them non usable in any add-on because you never know if another addon is using the same range as you?

I’m not trying to let you think I’m any “authority” about these matters. I’m just sharing my expertise and knowledge so that you understand these questions, what matters to some 3rd party developers, and how the topic is much more complex than what it seems if you’re just listening to what is said in the Q&A…

[update] I’ve just posted the following which didn’t occur to me before, but there are some other aspect of FS2020 which are more “game” than “simulator” (please vote! Stars are useful for navigating sometimes): Stars too close?

*I’m putting these in bold because although the points I’m listing above are conceptual, it doesn’t diminish at all the great work done with the JS/HTML implementation and I want to make it clear: the FS2020 Gauges and Systems SDK is just the same as in FSX with less possibilities for 3rd party developers because of sandboxing. But the FS2020 Gauges and Systems JS/HTML Interface is the modern foundation I’d expect they document and I’d like they focus on with the 3rd party vendors. This new foundation is still however based on a certain vision of the 3rd party developer needs and methods which is still strongly infused by old FSX standards and there is not much to do to open this to more capabilities. There are notably a few core concepts needing slight changes, not hard to implement nor disruptive to the whole, which would radically help breaking some of the hard-limits 3rd parties are struggling with since FS9 at least. I’ve no doubt they are actively working everyday with a select few developers but the lack of transparency is in my opinion really hurting a lot of other 3rd party developers eager to help contributing to the franchise success.


I would like to know what happened to the visibility enhancements mentioned months ago?. Nothing have been said since then. I talking about changes in aerosol parameter or haze option in weather as well as in live weather.

Well they did a pretty poor job of reworking ATC.

And I’d like to know what happened to the ATC improvements mentioned in Q&A #1.

I’d also like to know why there’s never any mention of the less obvious bugs in any Q&A. Right now it’s pixilated clouds and 5 story office blocks all over the UK since the Japan update and neither has had a mention.

And as for being unable to replicate the live weather bug…we’ve only been badgering them since August, at least they’re looking now I suppose. Although I find it very hard to believe they can’t replicate the bug, it happens to everyone else without fail every time…which means either they’re doing something very odd in flight setup that isn’t obvious to the rest of us or…there has been a gross misrepresentation of the facts. That’s lawyer speak for someones pants are on fire.

No, it doesn’t. I’ve never had it happen to me.

ATC rework is underway, scheduled for Update #4.
That is listed in the “Top Wishes List”.
It says phraseology, but my understanding is, it will be more than just a terminology patch.

The weather bug showing incorrect weather is one thing, and ASOBO is aware of that.
What they can’t reproduce is the weather not working correctly after a second and susbequent legs of a flight.
That is not consistent between users.
Myself and several other posters in here do not experience that particular issue and ASOBO says they don’t either, but with help from posters here, they are starting to narrow it down.

You should read Abriael’s interview with Jorg Neumann, head of the sim.
A lot of the topics you mention here are covered in that.

Obviously, things aren’t going to get an instant fix, but reading that may give you a lot more ideas as to what is actually going on with this sim.

That means it is scheduled for late May at the earliest as they have gone to update the base software one month and update the scenery the next month. The last sim update was December and the UK scenery update was supposed to be in January. Of course, they delayed the scenery update so the next base software update may now get pushed as well. So late May is hopeful whereas early June may be more likely.

So hurry up and wait, it is going to be awhile before we see some of these updates, and if they break something you could end up waiting 60 more days for the fix.

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Yeah I read that. The trouble with all the interviews and Q&As I’ve read/seen is that the interviewer is very friendly, polite and easy going on the interviewee. Just once I’d like to see some hard questions posed…but, of course, that interviewer would probably just get the one interview.



Since the Japan update back in October we’ve had 5 story office blocks on every farm and rural location in Britain. If they’re still there after the UK update…ya know, I wouldn’t actually be that surprised.

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Lucky you.

Right then, problem diagnosis time: What server do you connect to? Is there a specific location you like to fly in or do you fly anywhere in the world? Are you on the full version or the Xbox live $10 a month version (hey I don’t know, it might correlate)? What game version are you running? What setup options do you fly with (live weather, live players, live traffic, etc)?

Well, at least that is just a scenery issue. I’ve been plagued with the random CTD after the (VR) update. Exception code 0005 which is a memory address error. Some random set of events is causing the sim to write to or read from a protected or stale register. I’ve tried all the placebo fixes, some don’t work, some work a few days, some a few weeks. But, eventually, the software will CTD. A few times it has caused a BSD. The last time I thought I found the magic bullet and the software was stable for almost two weeks before it once again gave me a CTD. I really wish they made VR an optional update in the marketplace as opposed to shoving the code onto all of our machines and introducing instability in a handful. :frowning_face:

Believe it or not, the weather bug (at least currently) only affects a relatively small number of folks. My son also has MSFS and runs it on a similar rig to mine, and he doesn’t have the issue at all, whereas I do.

I’ve tried repeatedly to replicate it on his system. I’ve tried every permutation of switching weather, server, etc that I could possibly think of. Every single time without fail, his live weather works as intended.

I’m convinced it’s something server side, as over the weekend, my Live Weather started working fine without having to restart between flights nor having to use the workaround. It just worked. And it was wonderful. I didn’t change anything at all. I went from it not working one day (and it hadn’t since the last November update) to working. Then after 3 days, it stopped working again. Now it’s hit or miss if it will even work on the 1st flight. No settings were changed on my end. Nothing.

Now with the videos that were posted, hopefully they realize it’s an actual problem and not user error as they had been assuming.

That’s another discussion, which, incidentally, has been going on for some time elsewhere in these forums. But to quickly answer your questions:
Don’t know (I let the system decide, but I reside in Denmark), I’ve been to every continent, Steam Premium Deluxe, same as everybody else, live weather (obviously, as that’s what I have no problems with), no live players, typically no live traffic.

Just my 2 cents: I don’t count in which proportions this is happening but very often, when trying to setup a flight at Hawaii with live weather, the icon on the top right showing the kind of weather is depicting a storm over a gray background, but once loaded and ready to fly it is live weather as expected (no storms).

However, it is very had to diagnose this kind of problem without proper metrics and I’d suggest you also support this with your vote:
Debuging log - Self-Service / Wishlist - Microsoft Flight Simulator Forums

Blimey, really?!

Ok, so your son…he lives with you? So you’re on the same internet connection, same server, etc… What’s the hardware differences between PCs?

Years ago, with Operation Flashpoint I think it was, the in game voice chat didn’t work for anyone with a particular network card for some reason. I remember distinctly having to remove my network card and use the onboard intel network socket. Maybe it’s something like that?