June 2024 Developer Stream Transcript

Thank you to @HamMan2118 who generously volunteered to put this together!


[Jayne] Hi and welcome to our monthly live dev Q&A! Happy to be back with you today and look forward to answering lots of your questions. My name is Jayne, I am the Senior Community Manager from Microsoft Flight Simulator hosting today’s stream. We’re really glad you guys could be here. Now last time I did ask you where you were tuning in from and I loved seeing those. Feel free to share where you’re tuning in from. We’d love to see where you are in the world and just appreciate the worldwide audience that we have here today. Let’s see we have Dallas, Chicago, India… Awesome. While we look at that, I’ll go ahead and introduce our panel here today. I’m sure you recognize all of them if you tune in monthly. Of course, we have Jorg Neumann, head of Microsoft Flight Sim. Jorg, how are you doing today?

[Jorg] Great. Good to see you all.

[Jayne] Thank you! And we have Sebastian Wloch. How are you doing today?

[Seb] Hello! I’m doing very good.

[Jayne] Awesome. And we have Martial Bossard. How are you doing?

[Martial] Hello, [I’m doing] fine. And I’m from Bordeaux, France!

[Jayne] From Bordeaux, France, haha. How about you, Seb?

[Seb] The same, but three meters higher, haha.

[Jayne] Yes, of course. And Jorg - where are you tuning in from?

[Jorg] Seattle or Kirkland. It’s finally not raining!

[Jayne] Oh, yeah. I know. It’s exciting. Also tuning in from Seattle area here as well. All right, so we have received tons of questions over the past couple of weeks. So we’ll have three different Q&A sessions today. But we’ll also answer, of course, some live questions from chat. We do ask you hold those questions for when we are in those sessions. And we will just go ahead and get started on our presentation here. So I’ll kick it off to you, Jorg.

[Jorg] All right! Well, so we are two way two weeks away from the expo in Vegas. Obviously it’s far away for most of us, including Seb and me, but for we are looking forward to meeting hopefully many of you. And by the way, because somebody asked last time, did we make it to Aero? We didn’t because we’re just too busy [right now] but next year we’re planning FS weekend and Aero. We are coming to you! So anyways, let’s get started. Like I oftentimes do these days, I just want to say thank you, obviously, for your dedication to the hobby, but really also for your patience for SU15. After a few delays, we finally shipped it on May 23rd, and the feedback was very good. Actually, so much good, I wanted to share some numbers. So here we go.

SU15 Statistics


[Jorg] For example, stability, that was a big push, specifically pushed hard, and obviously lots of people at Asobo. This is the best stability we’ve ever had, and we’re quite proud of it. Obviously, we set ourselves, in case you’re looking at this table, we set ourselves at 98% stability, that is super unusual in the industry. We are already in really good number range, and we’re going to keep pushing (And Seb, We’ll talk about this in a little bit


[Jorg] Also doing good [with performance]. As a matter of fact, also just about the best we’ve ever had.

iniBuilds A320neo

[Jorg] And then the next thing I want to talk a little bit about is the A320. I think it’s super appreciated that much [and it] is obvious. I saw a couple of comments since we last talked about “why are we doing another A320?” I wanted to say that one more time. We had an A320 from the 2020 launch originally. Like, you know, most of the airliners we had were not super complex at that time. Working Title updated the 747 and 787 with an AAU last year, but that sort of left the A320neo just hanging. And so I basically talked to the iniBuilds guys, I ended up hiring them. Initially, the intent was to improve the A320 that we had, and then they ended up making an all new one. At which point we said, well, they’re different enough. Let’s leave them both in there and see how everybody’s liking them. And so far, I just checked the numbers. We’re nearly at 500,000 downloads in just two weeks. Nice, nice number. It is the most flown plane in the sim. Last I checked, it was like 700,000 sessions. By the way, the third most flown plane was the Asobo A320. It’s A320 everywhere! And there were lots of other fixes, you know, air traffic improvements, the ground fiction fixes from Seb, Working Title added the G3X touch, peripheral support, lots and lots of aircraft fixes and world fixes. We added the gyro [as well]. And then the thing that popped last time, really popped last time when we had a conversation was that the DX12 issue with terrain. Martial, maybe you can explain a little bit?

DX12 Fixes

[Martial] So yes, some titles were broken using DirectX 12. This is due to something which is called Occlusion Queries. It’s a part in DirectX that helps us to know if we have drawn some details over the road data we’re getting from Bing. So basically, the pipe is that if you if we don’t do any improvements on the tiles, they are drawn like in a raw manner. And this sorting was not functioning anymore. So, it was a little bit more the case on AMD than on NVIDIA. And so, we have decided to change the way this sort was done. And now with, well, it has been rewritten using a little bit more CPU, but it’s working and well, and voila, it’s done, it’s fixed. So thanks to the team.

City Update 7

[Jorg] All right. And then we’ve been busy. Just five days later, we launched City Update 7,* European Cities 2*, which is one of the best rated City Updates. And it makes the team very proud, all the positive feedback about how good the TIN is, because there’s a team that is totally dedicated to just improving the TIN quality and making bridges better et cetera. So thank you.

Local Legend 16

[Jorg] And then we launched the… The flying shoebox, the super cute aircraft. Obviously, I love the livery. And I just want to say, there’s something else that I sometimes hear, [for example] “Why do you guys make all these aircraft? Asobo should be focusing on the sim.” Just to be super clear, these aircraft are made basically between the developer, in this case, iniBuilds and Microsoft. Asobo really doesn’t work on world updates. Asobo is completely focused on either making thoughts in 2020 better or working on 2024. So. Don’t worry about that, but hope you had fun. Looked like lots of you enjoyed the plane.


[Jorg] And so when we look at the roadmap, we are about halfway through the year, sort of halfway filled up. We obviously did one world update, two city updates, three planes, the Dune update. We just shipped the Sim Update, so we’ve been busy. But when you look at June and July, there’s a lot, lot, lot coming this month and next month. And we’ll talk about a lot of this. And at the end of the session, you’ll see that the calendar is much more filled out. All right, enough about this. Let’s go to the first Q&A.

Q&A Session 1

[Jaye] All right. I can’t believe it’s already halfway through the year. Okay, let’s get started with our first Q&A session. Chat, go ahead and ask some questions. I’ll look at those as we go along, but first we will answer a few pre-asked ones here. So, the first question we have is…

A lot of Xbox users have asked: Will we ever see the updated GDK? Since this is the last SU of the year, as you’re transitioning to FS2024, will there be another update to Xbox users when and if a solution for the new GDK is found?

[Seb] Yep, so I think I will take this question. Yeah, so we test every GDK that comes out, and we’re always lagging a little bit behind because we want to make sure it’s working fine. The sim is, I would say, a very specific product that uses very specific things. And a GDK may be out and working well for many other software, and we may have issues. And so this is what happened on Sim Update 15. We tested, I think, two different GDKs, Martial? And they were very interesting to us because they were bringing… improved, I mean, changes that gave us more memory on Xbox. And unfortunately, there was an issue with, I think it’s the [Unintelligible] library that was creating big, big lags. And unfortunately, no time to fix this. So work is continuing to see if this is something to fix in the GDK on our side. And we will continue testing and in the future, And the next update, there will be hopefully a new GDK that will bring the memory improvements.

[Jayne] Yeah. Thanks, Seb. And related to this, I’ve seen a few questions.

Can we talk about some sentiment Xbox users are feeling about the dynamic LOD change as it relates to black Avionics?

[Seb] So, yeah, I can give a little bit of details or maybe go a little bit over the… I mean, the process of Sim Update 15 was very long. I’ve seen people say that the changes on Xbox may be due to some new memory system coming from the development that is ongoing on 2024. There was a new memory system that has been ported from 2024 to 2020, but only on PC. So Xbox is not affected by that particular change. And we did that change on the memory system because on PC, it was pretty random. But after, I mean, pretty much the longer you were flying, the more memory allocations that were happening, the more we would eventually see this going slower, which would create worse frame rate and big stutters. No, on Xbox, this has not been changed. The only thing that we changed on Xbox in the… going in the direction of less crashes and less black avionics is there’s settings because on the Xbox, the memory is fixed. We don’t have something that we have on PC. On PC, there’s also fixed memory, but you have a virtual drive, a virtual memory on the hard drive, and you can swap, which means that most of the time, if you open your task manager, you will see that many software and PC use way more memory than your PC has. And the system just elegantly swaps it out onto the hard drives. We don’t have that on the console. So the only thing we can do when the software uses more memory than we have is to play with load balancing on quality. And if we do this wrong, if memory runs out, the system will just crash. And so previously, on Sim Update 14 and before, The crash rate, which Jorg just showed on [Sim Update] 15, was a lot higher because, well, it happened that the system would run out of memory. And one of the triggers we play with is we switch off glass cockpits because they cost one gigabyte, just the glass cockpits. And with the goal to switch them back on, obviously, for example, doing the initial loading, everything is loading in and then maybe sometimes something is loading and then going away. And so we switch off glass cockpits and normally they’re supposed to come back or we delay them being switched on. And sometimes they just stay off because the one gigabyte we need to switch them back on is not there. And so we’ve done a lot of changes on settings to improve this. And the result was positive on the crash rate. But what also happened on Sim Update 15 is there’s been improvements to traffic. liveries, all sorts of stuff. And this has pretty much eaten away a little bit of the memory that we made. And then there was the GDK, which would give us half a gig, which was a really good news, but unfortunately we couldn’t get it in. So the setting we left in the end was a trade-off, which still significantly reduces crashes. And our QA did, and I think Microsoft QA as well did, did quite a lot of testing. And during the flighting, we did a lot of testing. In some cases, and especially on Xbox S, which has a lot less memory than X, we did see degradation. So what can happen is sometimes the LOD distances will get closer, which means that some meshes you will see lower LODs. Some others depends on the LODs of the meshes, if they have any, what distance they are. And sometimes textures will be of lower resolution. I think the Xbox Series S would be a lot more affected than the Xbox Series X because they don’t have the same memory constraints. And our plan right now is pretty much that the new GDK will solve all of these issues on Xbox Series S. The added half a gig is only on Xbox Series S, not on X. And on X, we don’t think there’s that many problems. So what we pretty much need is on our side, a bit more testing and investigation of the different cases to see if it’s just S or X or both. See if the GDK will solve most of these issues and gather more feedback also to maybe just adjust. I mean, we can adjust these sliders and keep, I would say, the same crash rates or maybe even get better crash rates. So it’s a matter of optimizing the settings and doing a better job on that side. It was not that easy on SIM update 15 because of all the other changes that came in at the same time. And we didn’t have just a clear A, B difference between Sim Update 14 to 15. Nothing has changed and we can only choose to set this. So there was a little bit of interference, but we will get more data and if possible, also improve the setting on that side to find a better compromise. But I think high on the GDK side.

[Jayne] Awesome. Thank you so much, Seb. All right. A couple of questions from chat here.

Thank you so much for your commitment to the community. Any update on ATR bug fix releases? So are there future ATR updates that we’ll see soon?

[Jorg] Yeah. So we collect all the feedback from the forums every week. Hans has them all and he’s been busy fixing bugs. There’s also something we’re going to be adding to the ATR. So that we’ve talked about a long time ago and some of you undoubtedly remember, and there’s some other surprises. So we are finishing up some artwork, which I believe last time I talked to the team, I think it’s on track to the artwork to be done end of July [and] could go into August and then we need to send it over to Hans and team and they can fix the remaining bugs. But there’s definitely something coming this year.

[Jayne] Awesome. Good to hear. All right. One more chat question.

When do we get new version of Bing data?

[Jorg] Depends what you mean. So basically, we have two things from Bing. Well, three. So, it is aerials and aerials. We just got a 200-terabyte update for what we think of as locked FS2024 launch data. But the world between FS2024 and 2020, as far as aerials is concerned, is shared. So this will go benefit flights in 2020 as well. So you will see that whenever we launch FS2024. Then there’s DEM data. We update DEM data all the time. We have world runs. And then there is some work to be done on our side. Basically, we have to make sure that the airports didn’t get affected and the POIs don’t get affected and those types of things. So we do it essentially based on World Updates that we launch. But again, for FS2024, we’re doing a full refresh of the entire world, which then will also benefit 2020. And then the last thing is TIN. And TIN, it’s from Bing, and it’s using the Bing Tile system. But they come in when they come in. Like you saw, Stockholm was late. We finally shipped it in City Update 7. So we launched them at a certain cadence. Right now, every month or two, we launch something.

[Jayne] Great. Thanks, Jörg. All right, back to the questions.

The SIM object limit of 1,000 hard-coded into MSFS since around Sim Update 10 is causing popular add-ons such as GSX and FSLTL at high density airport issues such as no traffic on return trips of multi-legged routes or objects such as jetways failing to be triggered by third party add-ons. Is it possible to remove this limit or allow developers to control it. It is stopping the enjoyment of turnaround flights without restarting the entire sim?

[Martial] So I can speak to that. So I will not redo the explanation that Sebastian just did, but it’s always a matter of getting a right balance between performance, memory consumption, and the features that you’re going to get in the game. So this was some trick the team did to improve the stability and performances. So we talked about that with the team. We could introduce some new ways of doing some setups, especially on PC, because on Xbox, we still have some hard limits. because of exactly what Seb just explained to us. When we talked about that, it was a little bit too late to do the introduction of the settings on SU15. It was already on the pipe. So it’s something we have to look for the next versions.

[Seb] Also, something maybe I can add. So, Martial, I did a bit of investigation also on this and ask around. And the only limit we found on 1,000 things is a SimConnect maximum number of object limits. And apparently this is per add-on. It’s not a global limit of 1,000. It’s 1,000 per add-on. And so there I would say, I mean, if there was a 1,000 global limit, I could understand that one add-on… is normally working well, and then all of a sudden, another add-on is doing, like, what, 900 objects, and then the first add-on only has 100 left, and then it doesn’t work anymore. But, I mean, maybe I’m wrong, but that’s what everybody told me and what I saw in the code, is this limit is 1,000 per add-on. So I would say it’s also maybe the add-on’s job to make sure that they sort of prioritize. I mean, 1,000 objects is still a lot, and you can do a lot of jetways and stuff. They could also prioritize and only send you the 1000 objects that that are relevant to you. And maybe there’s something to do there. I think this has been done for performance for users if we set a limit and the add-on manages to squeeze into the limit and to work well, users will get a better performance. If we just open this to 10,000 or whatever some add-ons may just push everything to the user and then the sim will be slow. So there’s maybe something on, unless this is not the case, but what I found is that it’s per add-on, and so it’s a good idea to change this for the best.

[Martial] That could come with an option, so letting people know that if they choose or they’re opting for getting more objects, it’s because they know that they’ve got the PC that goes with it, and they can offer that, but we can’t open it directly as can’t be as free as it used to be because we had some issues about that.

[Jayne] Okay, thank you. We have the last question here.

Can you please explain what the main thread is and why it is usually the limiting factor?

[Seb] Is that for me? That’s a good one. To better explain what a main thread is, I took a photograph of the main thread. So here you can have the sim completely multi-threaded, I don’t know how many there are, but usually we have 30 to 40 threads, and I just braked in the debugger, in the same in the middle of somewhere. and displayed all the threads. And that’s not everything. And on the multithreading side, we have up to 1,000 fibers. So there can be a lot of fibers, even though in the middle of the sim, fibers are mostly used for loadings. But because the sim is trimming all the time, loading all the time, you can have 2,000, 3,000 fibers at some point when you load into an airport. So it’s very multithreaded. And the main thread is really the… It’s pretty much just the thread that is launched when Windows is launching the .exe. And they go into the main thread, and that’s the main thread. And it’s the thing we do to what in computer games or in real-time simulations people call maybe the main loop. It’s this sort of loop which every frame does the same stuff. I don’t know, render, get inputs. And historically, I would say maybe 20 years ago or something, in Flight Sim, there was just one thread. when everybody just had one core and there was not more. Even though Windows already supported multi-threading, most software didn’t do any multi-threading because it wouldn’t really bring any benefits. Now that everybody has more cores, it’s really a good thing to do more threads. And we unload as much as we can onto multiple threads. But still, there is a little bit of organization. There is stuff you can’t just put on another thread. Sometimes because it’s completely impossible. Sometimes because it just requires a lot of work to make sure there is no collision. When two threads read or write the same data at the same time, it usually breaks the sim and crashes. So, we need to be very careful. Either make stuff very parallel and they don’t touch the same data, which is the best because then every thread can just work as fast as they can. Or have little gates where we lock data to make sure nobody touches it at the same time. Then these gates, they create blockers, which can create stutters. And it completely kills the benefit of threads. So there’s a lot of architectural work. But currently, we already have all these threads. One of the bigger ones are the rendering threads, which is completely always running and pushing as much stuff to the GPU as we can. There is one thread which is just always doing I.O., like loading, streaming, online. The physics is on many different threads, getting as much compute power as we can. The terrain, when it’s loaded, we need to decompress it, generate it, change it, augment it. This is all done in threads. So there’s many, many, many threads. And the main thread is just the one which is waiting for everybody to finish, and then it can move to the next frame. So that’s why the main thread is usually the blocker. And when there’s too much stuff going on, the main thread waits. It takes a lot of time for everybody to finish. The main thread waits a long time. And sometimes this is longer than the GPU needs to draw. And that’s when you are main thread bound, when the main thread is pretty much the bottleneck of your frame rate. If your GPU is slower or if you have a very fast CPU, then usually it’s the GPU which is the bottleneck.

[Jorg] I love the answer because I still read in the forums that some people say, “Why is Microsoft Flight Simulator single-threaded?” And we’re all sitting there like, “well, it sure ain’t.” But, you know, I mean, I saw a bunch of people that, I mean, I think you want to maybe dig in. Seb, I think this screenshot is too small, right? Let’s just put it on the forum so people can look at it a little bit more in detail, just as a snapshot, just for **** and grins. But anyways, discussion. Yeah, that sounds good.

[Jayne] All right. Next question.

What is the update on the cloud opacity fix? Two streams ago, it was mentioned that the transparency issue would take two weeks of work to fix. But as of now, the clouds in the sim are too transparent in live weather. I shouldn’t be able to see stars shining through clouds at night.

[Seb] No, we have not yet. I mean, for sim update 15, we have not had time to look into this. Not yet. It’s still on the radar, though. It is.

[Jayne] Thank you. All right, now we’ve been seeing this a lot in chat already…

Can you provide any update for the weather radar API request?

[Martial] So we addressed this, I think, in one of the previous updates. So nothing new on this side. I think what we said last time is that there is… two or three different issues, one of them being data. Basically, we are streaming the weather data down from a server which is coming from a weather provider. And I think we have just the rights to use this for the same. And if you have an API where people can take this and pull this and send this back or whatever, save this or redistribute it or whatever, then there’s that. And then I think there’s also performance a little bit where the currently existing One thing I had a lot of issues with when I worked on the turbulence and wind and make clouds bumpy, is that a lot of the weather only exists in the GPU. It’s somewhere in the GPU memory, and the GPU is doing its thing to generate clouds and fog and whatever. And when you want to create a bump in the flight model, you need to have that in the CPU. And I know that the weather radar, for example, I think it’s just right now taking a slice. And people were saying, okay, can we have an API to access randomly the memory and get the weather around the user? The issue is that we can’t give an API to have random access into the GPU memory because that would be crushing performance. So I think that’s another issue. And I don’t know, Martial, do we…

[Jorg] There’s something else. I think we’re sort of tapping on the subject, but not fully, right? So there’s, I think, three things. There’s the live weather. So that’s on us and MeteoBlue. You heard plenty about this. I just looked at the comments. Yep, yep. We talked about this plenty. We’ll have a call with MeteoBlue again. I think Seb did fix a bunch of stuff just recently, right? When you look at the, I think, where was it, Seb? Like South America or whatnot. But there are some issues for sure. Then there is the, can we share the data that we don’t own with y’all? That’s a business discussion we need to have with MeteoBlue. It hasn’t happened yet. I’m not very optimistic that they say, “oh, yeah, give our data away forever.” I don’t know. It’s not our stuff. But we will certainly talk to them about it. And then the last one is plenty of people seem to like ActiveSky. Do we let this, if there’s some sort of thing that we need to do in order to let this to be more open? That is a discussion we need to have. We haven’t had it yet. I’m spiritually not against it. But we need to talk about it a little bit more and see what the real impact is. Is that answering the question? I’d love to. I hate reading like,” oh, don’t brush away the questions.” We don’t. We really try to answer the questions. So please let me know if it doesn’t answer the question.

[Martial] Yeah. So just to give you a little bit of information also, I’ve seen that people are complaining that MeteoBlue is providing an API for reading the weather. So it’s not the same thing. First, because they own the data, they can do whatever with it. And B, they are doing some special computation for us, to include the METAR so we can get a better integration of what’s provided by METAR into their weather model. These are some costs.

[Jorg] Honestly, for what it’s worth, we pay a lot of money for this stuff because I think there’s somewhere between 60,000 to 80,000 weather stations. They grab all that data, munch it together, then they have their own forecasting model. At some point or another, that is what arrives in the sim. We don’t really want to go talk to a bunch of weather stations across the planet, right? So there’s a real benefit of having a weather expert company doing this. But as I said, it’s not like we’re not listening or we’re not seeing it. It’s certainly on our minds. Just not, we can’t answer it today, not fully.

[Jayne] A chat user said, is it possible if you can’t provide access to add on to the radar, you do provide like tilt functionality, et cetera, so the default radar has more functions. Would that be a future possibility?

[Martial] I don’t think I get it, but as Jorg said, we’d have to take some time to dig a little bit deeper into that matter.

[Jorg] Let’s talk about it. We really try to understand what exactly is needed. There are some limitations that we have. We’ll see exactly where we net out, but we will try. I update the feedback snapshot every few weeks, right? It’s at the very top. I’m not blind - so it’s clear to me that this is important.

[Jayne] All right. ATC question here.

So the in-game ATC, what source does Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020 use to decide which runway to land on? Example, flying into KDCA, FAA digital ATIS shows runway 19 in use. SimBrief flight plan also has runway 19 as the landing runway. On descent, ATC gives me runway 1 with vectors to land, which is total opposite of what digital ATIS in my flight plan says I should land. And I don’t want to have to use enforce ATC flight plan option because it ruins the immersion.

[Seb] So I think I explained this when we implemented the enforce flight plan option, but basically when ATC chooses the runway, the test is very simple. A, it looks if you have the option set, “Enforce ATC flight plan.” If you have the option set, it takes the runway of your flight plan, arrival or departure, and it locks that as the active runway for you and every AI plane. And the only issue is live traffic. Well, we can’t just reverse live traffic if it doesn’t match whatever the real world is doing. And so it’s obviously better if your flight plan matches real-world conditions if you’re live and that you don’t choose the opposing runway. If you don’t have this activated, what the user here says he has, then there’s an algorithm running, which is pretty good. So let’s say, first of you, which is not the case here, but if you’re in the mountains or if there’s a slope or there’s all sorts of… Or if there’s a hard… If the airport has a only one-way runway or stuff like this, then it’s choosing these conditions. Or if the, I don’t know, if it’s a heavy aircraft, grass, whatever, it’s doing all these things. And once it’s eliminated all the hard conditions, it takes the wind and computes the active runway based on wind direction. And here, the issue is that if the wind, so first of all, maybe it’s possible that we don’t have the same wind in the same from our data provider and from the one you’re choosing on your side or the real world. When I’ve been flying, I’ve even seen people on my small airport aligning one against each other because the windsock moves around and it’s left, it’s right. The thing is we use meta in this case, and meta may be half an hour old, and it may not be exactly what’s happening right now. And also, the data source of the meta may be a few minutes off. So first of all, there is something which can cause just inconsistent data with whatever other data source you’re using. And even if the data is inconsistent, what I’ve seen in the code is that when it’s not very obviously one way or the other, when it’s a little bit like this, then it can be one or the other. So it has a magic formula with the default. So for example, where we fly here, If it’s sort of not very clear, you take the default, which is, I think, in our case, south. And so here again, it can be possible that we are right on the edge with the wind. You know, maybe we are right at the level on the data we have that says it’s this way. And maybe in the real world, it’s the other way. Or sometimes it can also happen that when there is no clear wind direction, the ATC just prefers the other one for whatever reason. Maybe in no time. I don’t know. And so there’s a lot of reasons which can make it not be the right runway, but the calculation is this. It eliminates all the hard courses, the option you set, and then it’s just wind direction of whatever the wind is currently indicating. And I think when you prepare your flight in the world map, you can see the wind and maybe you can check during the flight also that that should be an indication, but there’s nothing else going on than, hey, what’s the wind and which way should it be?

[Jayne] Great explanation. Thank you, Seb. All right, some chat questions.

Hello from the UK. Will it be possible to have multiple different views which can be moved onto multiple displays?

[Martial] So it’s a little bit something we did for the multi-screen options. But on the multi-screen options, you have to stay in the same rendering context. you want to have multiple views in the same theme, we’d have to change the way some rendering systems are computed. There’s a lot of things which are screen space. And we’ve got just one screen space. So maybe Seb, you can tell more about that subject. But it’s not that trivial.

[Seb] I think I remember we had this question in the past. And currently, when you have several monitors, you can stretch the view, right? And I think we also addressed how we can do reprojection with some dot body tools. And here what the user wants is really have two different windows, two different renders. And so that almost goes back to a little bit of our simulator, right? How we have almost like, I think we have 180 degree or something. So we are always doing the stretch. We don’t do, what you need to do this is to have pretty much two cameras, like we call it cameras, but it’s really a different view, like one left, one right. And It’s a different thing to reproject 3D than to actually do a completely different 3D. Then we need to render twice, but we need to also do the shadows this way and this way and the lighting this way and this way. And so if you have two windows, it would pretty much, I would say, almost linearly double the GPU cost. So maybe, yes. I mean, some users may have two GPUs or a super overpowered GPU. Why not? I think it’s something we could add one day as an option to have a… And I think you can already position cameras in the cockpit. So then you could maybe just assign a camera to a view. Just note that it’s going to be very, very expensive on the GPU. But some GPU sure can handle two or three views. So I think we should add it to the backlog at some point. I think it’s already there. I have seen this request.

[Jorg] Yeah. It’s in the feedback snapshot.

[Jayne] All right.

Will we ever get a long-awaited city update to fix London photogrammetry?

[Jorg] No, but not the way I mean no. You’re going to get something else, but you’re going to get a new London. And it’s going to look great. Yeah, finally. It’s in editing right now.

[Jayne] That’s awesome. All right. Okay, so we will have our next Q&A session shortly, but first…

Famous Flyer 9

[Jorg] Yeah, me. Tomorrow is an important day. Tomorrow, we celebrate the 80th anniversary of the D-Day landings along the Normandy coast in June 1944. So veterans have been gathering in Normandy. I don’t know if you follow this. If you’re in Europe, I think you probably can’t even escape it. Ahead of tomorrow’s activities, there’s tons and tons of stuff that people do. We were actually thinking about going. I remember, Jayne, you, me, Sean, we talked about, hey, should we have a stand somewhere? And we said, what are we doing? So instead, we said, look, we’re a flight sim. Let’s make something in the sim. And that’s the next thing. We are dedicating Famous Flyer 9, which is an aircraft by Aeroplane Heaven. By the way, I talked to the Baryon team probably a year and a half ago about this. That’s how important it is for us to do something for D-Day. And we’re doing a SkyTrain, which is obviously a derivative of the DC-3, and then the Waco glider. And if you know anything about this, they landed. I think about 50,000 troops in the Normandy with these. If you go to the next picture…

…it’s just to sort of get us in the mood. Here’s the couple, the pair together. And the next picture, I think, just shows you the glider…

…It fit 13 people. They landed 50,000. It’s good math. Then the next thing is a screenshot. I wanted to show the trailer in this meeting, and it’s literally still uploading. I’m like, darn. But it’s going to come out tomorrow. So tomorrow, we’re celebrating D-Day with the release of this pair of planes, as famous as Famous Flyer 9, and the next slide is, oh, yeah, there’s another picture…

…I couldn’t resist. Sorry. And then there’s another slide. And we’ve made an agreement with the USO. So that’s the famous organization. I don’t know to what degree you know it.

[It was] founded in 1941. United Service Organization basically provides things like entertainment and actors. Back in the war days, they sent actors to entertain the troops. They still do that. It’s an awesome organization. And the first month of revenue, we’re going to send straight to them. So if you want to celebrate D-Day with us, the plane is going to be there tomorrow.

[Jayne] Exciting. Awesome.

[Jorg] It’s cool. Airplane haven’t done a good job. They put like paratroopers and stuff. I think it’s great.

[Jorg] Fantastic. Looking forward to that tomorrow. OK, hopping back into our second session for questions, some miscellaneous questions here.

Q&A Session 2

Can you share the latest number of players for each platform, PC, Xbox, VR, Cloud? If not, why not as this could help developers prioritize their development.

[Jorg] Yeah, so there’s some rules in the world of Microsoft where we don’t share those types of numbers. At some point, I said in some, I think it was at the expo, I said, oh, we have 12 million people. Oh, man. Did I hear about that? Like I was not supposed to say that. And you know, I need to get approval and blah, blah, blah. So anyways, the number, the truth is the number fluctuates. It depends on what we release. For example, not too surprisingly when we released the Dune add on, which was by the way, no longer in the startup screens. Thanks for that feedback. If you look at the graphics back, it was, it was almost exactly even 50, 50. And those weeks between the two platforms, I would say in general, it’s about 60-40, 60-50, 60-40 for PC, so PC versus Xbox and xCloud. And xCloud is sort of a mix, right? Some people stream to their PCs. Some people actually stream to their old Xboxes. That’s a little bit fuzzy exactly what they’re playing on. But if it helps you for your development, either think about it as 50-50 or maybe 60-40. Yeah. Awesome. Thanks, Jorg.

[Jayne] All right. I’ve been seeing this question in chat, but we have it here to ask now.

Places such as Arizona, Madeira, Azores, Newfoundland, Hawaii, and many more have incorrect time zones. Will the time zones be corrected in the current or future sim? / Any chance this can be fixed?

[Martial] Oh, yes. I think we do have slides, right, to the explanation. This is the actual situation on the planet, on planet Earth. This is obviously the one that you’ve got on top. And this bluish thing is what we’re getting in the sim. So basically, we’re doing some discretizations of areas. And on each square, each rectangle, you get information about time zones. So there’s two things here. The very first one is that, well, reading the… this information on forums, the largest time zones, the one, the bandage you’ve got for each hour, they’re wrong. They’ve been shifted for some reason. So that’s back in the days when we got the data from the former version of the flight sim. So we need to fix that, the full situation. And after that, as you may see, there’s some missing. We are missing the items in the Pacific for instance we’ve got some resolutions issues. So we’ll have to fix that for both for FS2020 and FS2024. So we are currently working on that. That’s Christophe, which is working right next to me, we will do some improvements. And these are some of the areas that we want to improve on. Also, I haven’t seen that screenshot maybe Jorg or maybe Seb, can you talk about this one?

[Seb] So we spent the day on this with Christophe. So what we did is we took the… On the previous screen, the blue map is the data which is currently in the sim and which apparently has been there the old 2020 and probably FS6 and before. It’s very old data. Very, very old data. And we didn’t touch it yet. And what we found is on what Martial says, all the time zones, which are not exceptions, are off by half an hour. Instead of being centered on GMT Greenwich, the hour change was on Greenwich. So that’s all 7.5 degrees off. So we’re shifting it all to make that correct. And this here is pretty much the data between the time zones in Greenwich in 2020 and the real world. So every time it’s blue, it’s wrong. So we made this sort of, we made an algorithm that checks the differences so that all the blue is wrong. And I think it’s done right now, Christophe did the algorithm later to just create the zones in, in the 2020 format to fix all the wrong zones, and I think you have a few images. I mean, there’s so many, I just took a few, which is the next screen shot. I think Hawaii was wrong, now it’s right. Tasmania was wrong, now it’s right. This Isle of Man was wrong. These are all fixed in the new data set we have built. Now it’s just a matter of checking, testing, and getting it out in the next update.

[Jorg] Let’s be clear. It’s the community making us aware of this. We all jumped on this because it’s actually the benefit of some of the benefit of these Q&As is we see what is really of importance, so we jumped on this team, immediately did it work, and I think we’ll fix it in the next update.

[Martial] Yes, but no well unfortunately it won’t be a World Update, it has to be a Sim Update.

[Jorg] So we talked about this, we’ll do another update later this year. But it’s coming.

[Jayne] All right, next question. These two questions are about the connection lost messages. First one,

The red flag connection loss message, along with the green flag messages, tend to display in the center of the screen while flying. It can become annoying. Any chance of them displaying, say, in the upper right-hand corner instead?

[Martial]. So let’s only talk about the UI first. Well yes, we’ve not, we’ve noticed that, and it’s going to be fixed for FS2024. Unfortunately, we’ve got layouts. It means that on Flight Sim 2020, the screen has been divided in areas on which we are displaying different layers of information. And the bad thing would be to reorganize that and to have some messaging being written over the other one. So I don’t think we are going to change this display on FS2020, but it has been completely rethought on FS 2024 because of that.

The red flag message that says switching to offline mode is frustrating because of us having to go back into the data menu to toggle it back on. Can’t this be done automatically or the first message in action not to occur at all?

[Martial] So there’s also two things here. Well, no, there’s two things. The very first one is that we’ve got a bug on the save, and we’ve noticed that sometimes when the game is triggered in the off-light mode, it’s kept like that. And so, this should not happen. And also, we want to add another mechanism so you won’t get bothered by the same message that so often. And we’ll have to add mechanisms that do some computations, do some math to only display the message when it’s new enough, I would say.

[Jayne] Thanks, Martial. A clarification back with the D-Day update. Someone asked,

Will the C47D and Waco be free?

[Jorg] No, we are giving the money to a nonprofit, which I think is, that’s really what our heart tells us we should do. It’s to say thank you for the veterans.

[Jayne] All right. Thanks, Jorg. Okay, so some questions.

Is SIM update 15 not the last update of the year?

[Jorg] It’s not. We’ll get to that in a little bit, I think

[Jayne] All right. We will approach our other Q&A session soon, another break to talk about.

City Update VIII

[Jorg] Quick break. Yeah, so I was thinking about announcing this as a surprise. And as I was putting this deck together, I’m like, ah, screw it. So City Update 8 is Las Vegas. Yeah, we’re updating Las Vegas. We’re putting lights on The Strip. We’re putting a globe in. This is the new city. It’s brand new. It’s just finished editing. So we will launch this in celebration of the expo. Very quick.

Q&A Session 3

[Jayne] That was quick because we are already back to our session three for Q&A! So continue to ask questions as you’d like, chat, and I will read through some. But this section right here is on Marketplace. So our first question, on the Marketplace for Xbox,

Can we limit how many releases certain developers have per weekly update to give all parties a chance to release new content?

[Jorg] Yeah, so I don’t think it’s related to Xbox, per se. So we had something similar previously when our release capacity was limited. You might remember this. That was basically because of our own testing bandwidths, and we could only release that much in a week. And at that point, we actually had swallowed that only 25% of what was released could come from the same developer. But we changed the system, right? So the developers now do their own functional testing and sign off, and we are able to now release all the content online. that comes in and is signed off by developers. So we’re no longer blocking anything. And we’re releasing twice a week. I don’t know if you noticed that, Mondays and Thursdays. But as far as the throttling, it’s actually a pretty epic debate that we have inside the team. We’ve taken this approach so that anybody can release pretty much an open marketplace. Anybody can release however much they want to. Some people release a lot. You know, there’s probably a connection between the amount of releases and the amount of work that went into some of these releases. Well, yeah. Anyways, so this is a longer discussion. I think we’ll, I hear you, and my heart is with you here. And so we will have that discussion if we need to change our policy.

[Jayne] Yeah, certainly.

[Jorg] And yes, this is live. I have the same reaction sometimes when I read the weekly releases. I’m like, really?

Any news on the World Hub public availability?

[Jorg] So I think what’s happening is the World Hub is in a pretty happy state. So we have, I forgot the exact number, but 1,200 people, I want to say. The number of submissions has gone pretty much down. And I don’t think we should put this out wider. I mean, A, I actually don’t know if there’s lots of people still waiting for the public release. But what’s happening now is we are getting new aerials. And the new aerials will move faster. We’ll move stuff. That’s what happens when you get new aerials. But there’s always, not always, but oftentimes an offset. So I don’t want people to go edit a bunch of stuff that then potentially changes under their feet. So I think we’ll leave it in the current state. We might actually, it’s probably a good idea to update where the aerials are new. So as I said earlier, we get, I think, 200 terabyte. It’s about 50% of the planet coverage is new since the last World Updates basically. But it doesn’t really make sense to take the world up much further. We’ll do it right after. We’ll flip the switch right after we have launched.

[Jayne] Yeah. All right. A chat question with 24 on the horizon.

We scenery developers don’t have information about the 2024 SDK and how we can update our products to make them properly compatible with 2024. Will we developers get access to the SDK prior to the release to make our products compatible?

[Jorg] For sure. So first off, Backwards compatibility is something we said we’re doing. So we are, you know, we have some people like Gaya that work with us basically as a first party developer and we’re using them to test the tools, make sure that everything works. It’s hunky dory and they give us feedback and not, I would say not everything was perfect. So we’re still, the team is still working on making sure that there’s no impact because the whole point of backwards compatibility is that you don’t actually have to do anything. It’ll just move over. So I think it’s massive progress was made. But to answer the actual question, will the SDK be available prior to launch? For sure. It’s not quite ready yet.

[Jayne] Gotcha. Thanks, Jorg. All right. Back to this question.

We’d like to follow up in the answer from the January dev stream about the possibility to apply discounts to products based on other purchased previously. Jorg said he will get back with us after asking Mabel, for example, an approach similar to the model adopted by MSFS, where premium deluxe users receive discounts on other Microsoft products in the marketplace. We propose something similar to what is done in third-party stores, where devs publish new versions of products, and customers who own the first version only pay a small fee to upgrade.

[Jorg] Yeah, so first off, I saw Raul’s comment about Mabel. Thank you. You’re awesome, too. The team is kicking ***. I mean, so basically, I did talk to her actually, because of this Q&A. So for the Premium Deluxe, we are giving a discount. At some point, I felt like y’all gave us more money, $90 or $120, and we’re like, how can we give back? So we’re doing this hard-coded discount, special discount of 33% off to all of our first-party things. So that’s one. The second scenario, where the first product allows customers to upgrade to a new version for a smaller upgrade fee, is basically… facilitated right now by putting the two versions in the bundle. And then that bundle price is less than the total price would be of the two separate versions. So it’s doable, but it’s super clunky. So we will follow up to see if we can do something similar to the Microsoft Premium Deluxe discount. And that’s something that there’s an engineering sync that runs once a week with the Asobo dev team and Mabel’s team. And they’re going to discuss this this week.

[Jayne] Great. Thanks, Jorg. Another chat question.

Any news on the freeware version of the marketplace?

[Jorg] So it’s interesting. So I love that whole thing. So basically, this came up, freeware. I’ve been a proponent for a while. And then I asked Jayne, you, to put this channel up, basically, where we ask people, hey, which freeware is actually missing? Or what are the add-ons that are missing? And we’ve been nibbling away on this actually ever since we had that meeting. And just yesterday, we had a marketplace meeting where we can’t let like tons of companies in, right? Because there’s actually overhead to chat up the channel and other things. But we are trying to do two or three a week. And I would say the last three, four weeks, we’ve been adding freeware flow. Not only, but definitely did by some of the priorities we got from y’all. So it’s happening, maybe not as a dedicated… big thing, you know, but in the confines of what we can actually handle, we’re doing it.

[Jayne] Sweet. Thanks, Jorg. All right. Next question.

Has any improvement been done in regard to DRM and have there been any findings on how marketplace products still make it to illegal web websites?

[Jorg] So we get a lot of emails on this from obviously from, from developers because they, In many ways, the stuff gets stolen. There’s no other way to say it. It’s a scourge, I think, of our existence here. I can’t really. So have we done things? Yes. Can I talk about it? Nope. This is super, super sensitive. And while I would love to tell you about it, I really would. I really can’t. But we are doing things about it. And I think things have gotten better and they will continue to get better. But I can’t really give you details. Sorry.

[Martial] We have increased, well, we have threatened the team that’s working on that.

[Jorg] Yeah, we now have dedicated people to just do this, but we can’t really say what is our steam, what are we doing? Awesome.

There was some confusion the past few weeks about certain products having an advertisement in the sim.

[Jorg] Yeah, I was a little sad because people immediately blamed us. I had never even seen this thing before, before I saw the forum thread, and then I think it is a third party addon that doesn’t exist in our marketplace, so somebody got that somewhere else. So I looked and thought “what is our actual policy” and so basically our marketplace agreement stipulates that “addons that negatively affect the consumer experience can be removed immediately” and we think this would qualify. Now, we don’t have this addon, but we wouldn’t let it in. But maybe one more thing to say here, and I just said it a few minutes ago, that the marketplace functional testing, we’re not doing this anymore. It’s too big, there’s hundreds of things. So we can’t test everything. But if you see something that somehow made it on the marketplace that is that way, that’s going to negatively impact the consumer experience, just let us know.

[Jayne] Absolutely. Speaking of the marketplace…

[Jorg] Oh, yeah!

Top-Rated Aircraft Sale

[Jorg] Yeah, so this is a longer-term plan, this isn’t just a reaction like “hey, you guys have too much low-quality content in the marketplace” but we had planned for a while. You know we used to do something that was a marketplace sale based on World Updates, and some of those things really, were probably too obscure, quite frankly. It really didn’t generate any energy and we were like “Ok, that’s kind of wasted.” So then we said “why don’t we celebrate the best stuff in the marketplace?” The top-rated products. So basically, the first sale of this is an aircraft sale. What we did is we looked at the scale that they used for feedback, you know, the rating something scale. I always forget what it’s called. We look at everything that’s in the marketplace, we look at who has the best rating based on this particular scale. We picked the top 50 aircraft and contacted the developers and said “Hey! We’re doing a top-rated aircraft sale, want to participate?” So that’s happening. And it’s happening suspiciously on June 9th, Jorg winks, so I don’t know if there’s anything going on with flight sim on June 9th, but it starts on June 9th, goes for a week, and we hope you enjoy it! Because it’s all the stuff that we all love, the best addons.

[Jayne] Awesome, thanks Jorg. We’re going to go back to a few more chat questions here, before we move on.

Chat Q&A Session

Will we ever be able to have AI traffic models replaced with models from Airport Static Traffic from LVFR, it’s an addon that has all of the models already.

[Jorg] So yeah, probably not. I’ll tell you why, so basically the way we work is we license everything. Not saying that they don’t, but I can tell you we license everything. So for example we can’t just have some [unintelligible] plane just flying around just flying around with air traffic that we don’t have a license for. We can’t have 3rd-party like “Hey! They have an awesome addon of stuff.” Just because it’s awesome doesn’t mean we can legally have stuff like that. So, there will be good news on this front in 2024. Let’s put it that way.

[Jayne] Alright, one more question for the next slide.

In the sim there is an option to change the unit of measurements from Metric, Imperial, and Hybrid. Will this be changed to change the individual units for weight, volume, altitude, and altimeter, and on the topic of altitude and altimeter, will ATC change based on the region you are flying?

[Jorg] Hmm!

[Martial] That’s a good question. We have to dig into that. Well, I fly in France, and we are not so keen on meters when we are flying. Because it is used everywhere, so I’ll get back to you on that but I don’t think it’s very accurate because we don’t use the metric system while flying.

[Jorg] I mean, this is the kind of stuff. We benefit from your questions, some we can’t answer everything on the fly since we don’t know everything, clearly.

[Jayne] Yeah, thank you so much. Ok, next slide.

City Update IX

[Jayne] Jorg, another announcement.

[Jorg] Oh! Right, I realized because we see some of each other at the expo, but we’re not going to have another session before July 4th, which is sort of an American thing, so City Update 9 is the United States Northeast! And I’m super excited about this next slide…

…4 and a half years! 4 and a half years it took for us to get approval over downtown Washington, D.C. Yes!! So we finally got it, super happy that we finally got it, and this is not the only city, in fact we’re trying to get a lot of cities done, and it’s in editing, the team is working hard, so we don’t know quite how many cities yet, but we’re going to celebrate July 4th appropriately with the nation’s capital. So happy about that.

[Jayne] Awesome.

Famous Flyer 10

[Jorg] With it, comes with a Famous Flyer, again from Aeroplane Heaven, and that’s an important one. So obviously a 707-320C, the beginning of the Boeing jets. Aeroplane Heaven has been working on this plane for a long time, it’s coming along well, and we are confident that we can have this in a good state for July 4th.

[Jayne] That is amazing. Cannot wait for that too.


[Jayne] Here’s the roadmap.

[Jorg] Alright, so this is just the roadmap, as I said at the beginning, it’s a lot fuller now. You know, we added a bunch of planes, the City Updates, and things like that. I added a couple of other things. I left something blank, there is a Local Legend, we might get it done for the Expo, but it’s a little in the balance so we may not be able to get it. We’ll see about that. One thing I did add was Sim Update 16. We had a good old discussion on whether it should be called SU16, because it’s most of the GDK thing, but, as it so goes, I think there’s two crash bugs we want to look at, the time zone thing we just looked at, so I think we’ll end up calling it Sim Update 16. Just realize that it won’t be some epic sequel to SU15, which had like tons and tons of things. It’s going to be smaller but we’re going to try to get this done the moment we have the GDK.

[Jayne] Awesome.

Top Gun: Maverick Expansion Updates

In the image, 07/25 refers to July 25.

[Jayne] Alright.

[Jorg] Ah! Yeah, that thing. So last time there was sad news at the very beginning I said [that] our contract with Paramount [expired] so we have to take this down. And in May, I read the comments (I always read the comments afterward) after the sessions and everyone was like “ah, that’s a bummer.” So I ended up talking to Paramount and said “Hey, are you really sure you want to take this down? The community loves it and people want to keep playing” and I think they said “Hm. Leave it on for now and let’s talk more.” So I can’t guarantee that this is a longer-term thing but I really don’t know, I really don’t know what Paramount will be looking for for this, so we have it for another two months, and I will keep it as long as we can keep it.

[Jayne] Hehe, awesome. That’s good to know.

MSFS2024 Update

[Jorg] And then everyone says “Hey! Can you talk about FS2024?” Well, kind of. What I can do is continue what we did last time. So the last time we talked about aircraft developers that are helping us deliver awesome aircraft. So we had FlightFX and iniBuilds last time, and then I basically said “Ok, let’s look at the rest of the trailer.” …

…It’s a little retro, last year’s announce trailer. So here you see all of the planes that are in the announce trailer. And we just wanted to go through who does what!

  • CL415: Asobo
  • H125: Asobo
  • C208: Asobo
  • C188 AG Truck: Carenado
  • S-64 Aircrane: Blackbird
  • A-10 Thunderbolt: DC Designs

[Jayne] Wow.

[Jorg] So I think that is it, we caught up with last year’s trailer. There’s obviously more to be said, pretty soon, but we’ve talked about the aircraft makers that are with us.

FSExpo 2024 Update

[Jorg] And then I did say, the Expo, so Seb and I will be there, we are giving an encore to last year’s presentation. It’s not quite the same, just to set some expectations, but I think it’s going to be a lot of fun. And we are doing that on Saturday. Then on Sunday, there is a strong likelihood that the marketplace team will give a presentation on the marketplace. And I can’t wait for you to meet some of those folks, and there’s obviously some other people from the team there, it’s going to be great. Looking forward to it.

[Jayne] Yep! And for those coming to FSExpo, we’ll see you there.


[Jayne] Thank you for all of your questions today, hope we were able to answer plenty of them, we’ll be back in I suppose a couple of months, end of June or July sometime. But until then, I hope you enjoy your summer. Jorg, Seb, and Martial, thank you for joining. Does anyone have anything to say before we log off here for the day?

[Martial] It was a pleasure to share this time with you.

[Jorg] It was a pleasure. I mean, it’s finally summer, I don’t know if it is in your part of the world, here it was eight months of crap and it’s finally summer and I’m seeing all of the amazing things that are coming in with FS24. It’s going to kick ■■■. It really is.

[Martial] That’s why Jorg was wearing a white shirt!

[Jorg] Did anybody notice? Haha.

[Jayne] Alright, thanks all, this Friday we have our Fly-in Friday stream, we will do a D-Day 80th Anniversary flight, so feel free to join us at 11 AM PST. We’ll see you then for those who want to fly together, and if not, have a great summer! Bye everyone!

[Team] Bye!