FlyByWire A32NX developer complaining about the sad state of the developer / third-party experience

I saw an interesting post on r/MicrosoftFlghtSim of someone presenting as a FlybyWire A32NX project developer complaining about the sad state of the developer / third-party experience in the simulator, especially after the last update.

Original Post

I don’t want this post to be interpreted as a childish complaint or as an entitled demand. I am simply expressing what I feel should be improved in order for this sim to thrive.

This game was marketed as supporting the huge part of the ecosystem made up by third-party addons. It’s not a secret to anyone here that any sim without third-party content is almost DOA, and I think it’s not a secret to Microsoft / Asobo either. Yet, it seems like the development experience and communication for third-party developers has been completely neglected.

I am an active dev on the FlyByWire A32NX project, and our team has contacted Asobo multiple times. We have NEVER gotten a SINGLE response. We asked if we could modify the model of the A320, we NEVER got an answer. Not even a simple “no, the licensing doesn’t allow it”. We would have started developing our own model THE SECOND we would have gotten that email.

Ever since this simulator has released, the development experience has been pitiful. The bundled tools are almost useless. Live-reload for aircraft barely works. Live-reload for JavaScript barely works without modifying the game code. Oh, and guess what, now it doesn’t work at all because they decided to enable Coherent DiskCache in the latest update, rendering part of the development tools we have started building completely useless. And of course, there is absolutely no way to disable it.

The Microsoft Store edition prevents you from accessing base aircraft files. Those are plain JavaScript and XML files that are easily edited in the Steam edition, that are almost necessary to access in order to understand how the spaghetti code that makes up the instrument UIs.

We have been hearing for weeks that communication will improve, yet as stated in point 1 we have gotten absolutely no information regarding support of freeware and open-source mods like ours. Even in the official Q&A they said “we haven’t thought about it” COME ON. Freeware and open-source mods are an ESSENTIAL parts of all modding communities. The documentation for the SDK is a joke, with some pages containing “TODO” and that’s it. Some parts are literally copy-pasted form Prepar3D / ESP docs.

If you’re not going to make an extremely realistic A320neo, then that’s fine. Nobody expected a study-level default plane. But please, let us improve it if we want it. it is utterly unacceptable that something as basic as starting an engine was broken in a base aircraft file that we cannot even overwrite, and that MS Store users can’t even read. Where was all the “testing” you mentioned in the last 2 dev updates?

I’ll happily accept everything you guys do to help out developers. But please, show us you will be on our side.

I wanted to hear the other side. Does anyone from the Microsoft / Asobo team have anything to say regarding these complaints?

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I think it’s kind of expected for the game, let alone the development kit to not be 100 percent fleshed out. The team is pretty busy, and I cant speak for how swamped their inboxes are from all of the other modders that have inquiries too, but I think time to get things ramped up should be expected. I feel like everyone for some reason has the misconception that this game will be fully fleshed out in every aspect and wont have any catching up to do in some departments. Just be patient, at the moment there is nothing you can do but wait.

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And best part the 787 is locked behind DRM so there have been no 3rd party mods to fix the issues or at least thats what I read.

Yep, guess Boeing didn’t want people to modify their aircraft. They probably thought someone would make a TCAS meme mod that makes it fall out of the sky or something lol.

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When someone is SHOUTING every OTHER word, they are probably very DIFFICULT to deal with. The sim is out just 1 month, and the devs are very active and open considering how busy they are. They will respond in time, you know… when they have some of that ‘time’ We are already at patch 2 and this jumping up and down to be noticed is cringe-worthy.

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IMHO, the default A320neo is superbly modelled visually, has a fabulously textured flightdeck so was worthy from the get go, to be a candidate for an ongoing mod.

Like the OP said, what is a great looking default model, has been badly let down by “flyability”

I do hope communication gets restored, pronto, so we can all enjoy the sim, and all its aircraft mods (some of which were progressing nicely) up to now

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Yes, the misconception that a piece of software that reaches the “release” phase of development will be substantially complete in all of its core respects. Shame on me for having such lofty expectations.

I mean, there is definitely no such thing as early-access games that are sold for a reduced price because they are still being developed…

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PMDG and Areosoft have totally different story, they communicate and the team add things by request, this started in early alpha ( they posted on their forum)

Usually SDK are released after 3-4 months after release, this time it was started on very early, there should be not even any SDK available at this time, but there is.

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I think this is really sad.

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Personally, whom ever was in charge of this project should start looking for another job…clearly their organisational/management abilities are pretty well zero…OR they received zero meaningful support from the powers that be…in their rush to have this product released. (which could well be the reason…if this is the case they have my deepest sympathy )
I have just installed the second patch…and errors just keep on rolling in.
The game does appear to run smoother, which is a bonus and a good step in the right direction, the C172 appears to have the algorithms of the throttle and mixture pretty well right (acceptable for a default aircraft anyway…)…however on a quick flight out of YSSY to YMML in the CJ4…the taxiway has a step in it as you taxi over the road bridge…after take off the aircraft banks sharply to the left and right and becomes pretty well uncontrollable. Also Sydney Harbour Bridge is still a platform bridge…These incidents have been reported, along with the over population of trees, to the Zendesk.
So it appears that, whilst, a few bugs have been rectified there is still a long way to go…forget the 10 year project…more like a 20 year one I reckon.
Maybe they have just bitten off more than they can chew? Fantastic idea but maybe the technology is just not there yet.
The developer comments, if true, (and why the heck would he lie?) are very disconcerting…I agree 100% re his comment re 3rd party developer taking sims to their next level…just look at P3D and Xplane…they’d be pretty ordinary without the 3rd party developers add ons.
The base for MSFS is there…but is the technology?

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Shouldnt it be expected with flight sims? How is the dev team supposed to catch all of these bugs with the relatively small beta they had?

By listening to the people who posted? The missing sensitivity issue might actually be the first bug I’ve come across that wasn’t discovered and reported multiple times prerelease.

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Why on earth is it expected with flight sims?! I want to quote myself again…

By not having a small beta?

Fish’s Asobo Strategy Meeting Simulation 2020:

Okay team, our marketing department and our publisher Microsoft have been talking up this game for a long time now. We’ve got a lot to live up to because this is the first flight sim title in 14 years, this is a AAA game title, and our reputation and financial success is riding on this. In order to make sure that we succeed, we’re going to have a very small beta with a limited number of participants in a short time frame. Hands in team, let’s do it!

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Exactly. What was that program that had everyone participate in the beta? Was it Windows 10 few years ago before the official launch? Users caught more bugs than ever.

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Seems counter intuitive to me, and will very likely explain why there is so many bugs. A bigger beta team would have revealed many of these obvious bugs, and would not have passed muster

Just why the beta team was so small on such a MASSIVE project, the reasons elude me

They didn’t want to give too many 'free" copies away or they were working on less people, less chance of disclosure?

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They didn’t give away free copies to testers.

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its got nothing to do with boeing not wanting people to mod there aircraft ALL aircraft in Deluxe and Prem Delux are locked behind DRM to stop STD users being able to use them with the STD edition.

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Sounded like a whine too me lol

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We are the beta team guys! Wake up!

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Sucks, those guys were really starting to get the a320 to be amazing quality in regards to the fly systems.

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