Live Dev Q&A - March 23rd, 2022

Xbox Cloud Gaming - Timestamp

Jorg - I don’t know if you’ve tried it. I personally think it’s pretty amazing how well it works. But what I really wanted to say was, we have to celebrate something: We are breaking records again. We are seeing the highest number of users in any month playing any flight sim ever. And the really good news is 80% of the people who try it via Xbox Cloud Gaming are brand new to the hobby. New people are looking at flight simming for the first time. Cloud streaming is fascinating. It’s just going to continue to grow into different countries, different devices, there’s going to be different controllers. It’s really great. I encourage you to try it if you haven’t yet. Best news is there are new people coming in. It’s good for all of us.

Jayne - Reminders: We are going to get new people into the community. Be kind. Be helpful to each other. We are really excited about that!

Follow-up Questions from Last Q&A - Timestamp

Vegetation Slider - Timestamp

Seb - Last time, I said that there was already a slider for vegetation distance, which is the case. People are already referring to the terrain LOD [level of detail] distance, which is really a slider that tells the system how far to load in streaming data. There is trees (low, medium, high, ultra). That is specifically the tree draw distance. The distance also defines density. If you push them out, you see them further. They also get denser close to the camera.

It’s sort of a hybrid quality and distance option. But because it’s hard to actually see, what’s coming in Sim Update 9, there’s a new window that’s going to be available in dev mode. It allows you to switch trees to red so that it’s super easy to see trees. It displays all the information on how the system works, what it’s doing, and what tree distance you get.

In this little debug window, you can actually see this matrix of all the distances of trees depending on what terrain detail you have, from 25 to 400, and what tree distance option you chose. Low is always 4.1 km, but ultra varies depending on how far you get the data.

So if people, for example, want to have only trees on ultra, what they need to do is put the terrain distance to 400 to get the data, put the trees on ultra, and make everything else low. Then only the trees are going to be on the highest distance. But if you are playing at just on ultra, when you put the graphics setting on ultra, we put the trees on ultra. The trees reflect the graphic setting. So if you’re already on ultra, you can’t move it up. But if you’re on a lower option than ultra, you can always move the trees alone to up to ultra.

This little window is really nice because people who have questions, issues, feedback on trees can look at this. We didn’t change the way the distance option works. We added information on distance, we added it in the debug window. And if people have further questions, feedback, they can use that tool to send us information. And they will probably see how the distance works because it’s latitude-dependent. It depends on the vegetation type. It depends on the data that we have. It depends on all sorts of things and it’s much clearer with that tool.

Martial - Seb, maybe you can answer a question because people are saying they want further distant trees without increasing the size of the LOD. But we have some restrictions regarding trees on LOD.

Seb - The little debug window shows the low tree setting is 4.1 km. The ultra tree setting, the largest distance, goes as far as we have data. So if you have terrain LOD at 25, it goes to 6 km. So terrain LOD means how far I’m downloading data. In order to put trees somewhere we need to have the data to put the trees. And the other options being how far are we displaying buildings, grass, bushes, textures, whatever. But the terrain LOD is how far we’re putting down data. So the tree distance slider allows you to go between 4 km and as far we have data. The highest we have is currently 21.8 km. If you want to have trees farther than that, we have to get more data in. In order to plant a tree, we need to have the aerial color from the satellite picture to know what color the tree is supposed to be. We need to have the altitude to put it at the right altitude. We need to know if there is a forest for a forest mask. We need to know if there is a road or building to take away the tree. We need almost all the data to just to be able to put a tree somewhere.

Mystery Update - Timestamp

Jorg - Basically, we made an update to fix a few things on the entitlement side, which is basically invisible to most people. It wasn’t supposed to be a big deal at all. Somehow it ended up being 8 GB or so. And the reason for that was not because we had a massive amount of data: It’s because we switched build machines and the build machine has a different timestamp, and then due to the timestamp, you get a bigger size. But in the end, there is no mystery, here. In the end, I got that loud and clear from Jayne and from Shaun from the community side: We will be more verbose. Even when we do a little tweak, we will tell you what it is so there’s no mystery.

Mouse Bugs - Timestamp

Jayne - In the last Q&A, we talked about a couple mouse bug issues. Martial, we wanted to check in on the status of those. The first one being that there was an issue where the mouse cursor could disappear in freelook when you are moving around.

Martial - This was fixed and is going to be published with the next sim update, Sim Update 9 in April.

Jayne - The second mouse issue we were looking at is the input from the second peripheral not recognized when the virtual cursor is active.

Martial - We have an issue when you are selecting cockpit views or some kind of input, we are inferencing some context and there’s a collision there. So we think we will bring that for the next sim update at the end of July for Sim Update 10.

Roadmap - Timestamp

Jorg - Last time, we talked about cloud streaming. That was actually the first surprise. Then we had announced that Iberia was coming. It was planned for yesterday, but honestly, we saw that the plane crashed in China. I don’t know how you see the interaction between simming and aviation: We think there’s a connection, so we did not feel it was right to celebrate a release of Flight Sim a day after over 100 people lost their lives in a plane. So we moved it to tomorrow, so apologies for that. At least today, we will show you a tease:

Jayne - Full version tomorrow. Link to full trailer

Jorg - I think it’s a really nice update. We saw, Gaya did a great job with 99 new POIs [points of interest]. There’s four bespoke airports. Orbx worked on 100 generic airport fixes: 100 airports were basically improved. And we have six new photogrammetry cities, new DEM [digital elevation model], new aerials, missions, bush trips, landing challenges, and discovery flights. Really a nice celebration of Iberia. And I’m glad somebody [in the chat] said, “Go Andorra!” So, coming tomorrow.

World Update IX: Italy & Malta (mid May 2022) - Timestamp

Jorg - As it’s tradition, every time we launch a world update, we say what the next one is. The next one is Italy and Malta. This is going to be our biggest world update yet. There will be 18 AOIs [areas of interest], which are essentially photogrammetry areas. Think about it as 12 cities and 6 suburbs. It’s gonna be 8000 km² of photogrammetry. (The biggest so far was Australia, with 6800 km², so we keep ratcheting this up.) The Bing team did a great job. Gaya is making the POIs. If you’ve been to Italy, it’s a beautiful country. I think it’s going to be just great. We have brand-new 2021 aerial data coming from Bing, which is great. We have worked with almost all of the Italian states, so we have new DEM data for everything. I am super looking forward to this one, and it is coming to you in mid-May.

Q&A Session 1 - Timestamp

Forum Community Question - How does internal testing work at Asobo? Does Asobo have dedicated full-time Q&A personnel? What are the requirements for a build to pass testing? - Timestamp

Martial - We do have testing. If I had to describe the test process, it would be like a rocket with several stages. The first one is at Asobo: We are here to create the build and to test that. Then, Microsoft test teams can have their hands on it. Then the last stage of the rocket would be the certification stage at the end of the process to ensure that the builds are compliant with the requirements for Xbox, for instance.

Martial - So what we are doing at Asobo: The team is split into several parts. I will start with the first part, which is the build and release management team. They are creating packages, they are creating the executable and make sure it is working on every platform: Windows Store, Steam, and Xbox. So this is a team of five.

Martial - After that, we have a team of 15 people to test the content. So the very first content is the flow, itself, to test the features: Everything including UI/UX [user interface/user experience], sales, [menu] selections, everything like that.

Martial - We have a team of five plane specialists, and three of them are actual pilots. Most of the time, we are trying to get pilots who are in between situations, like Airbus pilots that are waiting for their missions, for instance. We added a team commercial pilots. It’s not the case anymore. But it should be something that will happen very soon. So we’ve got five people on the plane team.

Martial - We also have three people on the world test team, with one coordinator. These guys are taking all of the assets you’ve seen presented by Jorg and are testing the implementation in the sim to see if it’s fitting well with the landscape and if everything is working, if streaming is working.

Martial - After that, we’ve got a small team testing the airports. So same here: Everything that has been created by partners to make sure they’re included in the sim. To make sure we have the right navigation data. After that, I can talk about the input and VR [virtual reality]: It’s pretty hard to ensure we are compliant with all the inputs and outputs we can find on the market. We have several headsets, several HOTAS [hands-on throttle and stick], and yokes. These are distributed to the whole team. We have some coordinators that make sure everything has been tested. We can’t guarantee that it’s the case for all assets because there’s so much hardware in the market.

Martial - I will conclude by talking about the people who are reading the large community, that are collecting all the feedback. We are in a super important part, here, because it is almost impossible to test all the assets. To test the whole world every time. To test all the hardware that is available on the market. So that’s why we need the community to be helping us. That’s why we introduced the flighting sessions.

Martial - Two testers that are monitoring the community activity to ensure that everything is going fine. And also, I’d love to talk about three other people who are collecting feedback in the tools we are using, which is Zendesk. If you do the math, it is more than 20 people who are working on quality assurance. (I hope I am not forgetting someone!)

Jorg - On the Microsoft side, there are 50 folks testing in various ways or interacting with bugs. What’s fascinating about the product is, we have 10 people by and large, sometimes more, dedicated to the Marketplace to make sure that things work inside the Marketplace. We test the planes that they actually they fly. The third parties have been so impressively creative and their output is so huge that it’s starting to – I wouldn’t say “worry me” – but just: Recognize that there are already 1000 addons. Recognize that there are about 100 things coming out every week. Our team is growing. The development team is getting larger and larger as you probably know. We are 250 or something. With that, there is more and more surface area. In my mind, we need your help. There is no way we can learn everything about everything. Every single plane in the world, every airport. So we will really start to be more structured about getting flighting feedback in specific areas. My dream would be that some of you help out with specific planes before they come out. Some of you help with airports or whatnot. And that would be a great collaboration. We have some tools coming, as you know. There’s the airport scenery tool so you can fix your own bug. If you find something we don’t know about, just go fix it and submit it to us. So the surface area of the flight sim is just huge. And I think we will continue to grow and add more people as we need to, but it would be terrific if you also help us.

Martial - I forgot two members of the team who are dedicated to dev mode and the SDK.

Chat question - We just talked about Xbox Cloud Gaming. Does the future hold HOTAS, mouse, and keyboard support? - Timestamp

Jorg - I put my foot in my mouth the other day because I said mouse and keyboard are coming. It’s not officially committed to. There is a part of me that is convinced that cloud gaming is the future because you can stream to anything. You can stream to your PC. You can stream to your Xbox. Whatever device you have, and it is a really good experience. I know the team is delighted by how well the reception has been on Flight Sim. And that helps us if we maybe have specific requests. Things we can control are Touch and Gyro. That’s more on our side. Mouse and keyboard are a platform thing. Everything beyond (HOTAS and every single piece of equipment) is a platform-side thing. But we are successful: Flight Sim is a big deal. We have very good cards that over time, this will continue to grow. It’s what I tried to say earlier: Xbox Streaming Service will continue to grow. More countries, more devices that are supported, more input devices. I don’t have any specifics. I can always be excited about what the future holds for this. I know that team is very supportive. A little vague, but I think we’ll be in good hands.

Forum question - Will Sim Update 9 be focused on bug fixes or new features? - Timestamp

Martial - It doesn’t have any theme. This time, we’ve got more than 800 bug fixes. So sometimes very small bug fixes, sometimes more important bug fixes. And the build notes, we aleady have 154 entries. So it’s not dedicated to one thing. Even though, we are going to do some nice improvements. The first one is the Cessna 172. The CFD [computational fluid dynamics] that we showed last time is going to be introduced with the Cessna and the Cessna will also benefit of the propeller system and improved settings. We are also bringing a large number of improvements to the F/A-18. That will be super cool to use now. We have a bunch of improvements.

Jorg - Seb has made some videos!

Chat question - Is there a fix coming for the jet engine sounds in the cockpit that surfaced recently? - Timestamp

Martial - Yes, in the next sim update [Sim Update 9].

Sim Update IX - Timestamp

Seb - I made a few updates regarding flight model. The last video is a teaser of what is partially Sim Update 9 but also what is coming after. Martial talked about CFD simulation. That is now in the sim. It can be enabled on any plane. We did that on the Cessna 172. The 172 is using this as well as the new propeller model. But in the editor you can turn it on. You can visualize, you can choose the different visualization modes on any plane that is out there: your plane, our planes, third-party planes. Anyone can open dev mode and just turn this on. If you like it, if it works, you can add this to the .cfg file of your plane and enable it by default. This can be tested on any aircraft. This is more like a beta. You can already test it on all the aircraft out there, but we only enable it once we have been able to fully test the aircraft with it to make sure it really works. There is a ton of information in there based on the CFD so that can be useful for plane makers to make sure that everything is working right. For example, it tells you how the airflow goes faster over the wing than under the wing. Or the impact on temperature. This is the kind of data that is going to allow us to get better condensation effects in the future. So this is updated in Sim Update 9.

Improved Forces Display Tool - Timestamp

Force vectors, which were already available in the dev tool, which was very useful to see what’s going on in the flight model, has been improved. Colors are better. Red means that the airflow is detached and stalled. You see the force vectors going back when it stalls. This can be entirely tweaked in the flight model. Plane makers can define how the forces move on the wing when the air changes.

Improved Weight Tool - Timestamp

There is a tool that has all sorts of properties about the weight of the aircraft. For example, you can see how the pressure center, the lift center, where the flight model aerodynamic processes are applied. This has been cleaned up and made better so that it’s easier to understand. There’s been a lot of feedback in the forums about: “What happens with the swept wing?” “The pressure center is not right.” All sorts of questions. This debug is much clearer and allows you to understand what is going on. We also improved the moment of inertia. This is what makes the plane feel heavier or lighter or more stable or more twitchy. The debug tool has been improved and makes it easier for plane makers to check if the plane’s data is correct. This is an overhaul of this debug window that was there already, but it’s been improved.

Stall Debug Tool - Timestamp

This is a new debug tool to improve stalls. We used it to improve the Cessna 172 when we moved it to the CFD. When you see on the vectors when the plane stalls, sometimes one wing stalls, sometimes both wings stall. This is the lift polar curve of the aircraft. The green is the whole aircraft. Blue is the middle. Orange and yellow are the left side and right side. When I move the ailerons, you can see the lift polar moving left and right, and that’s what can cause an asymmetric stall. If you want to make sure your stall is behaving exactly as you want when you make a plane. For example, stalls if you are full power, if you have flaps or not, if you are climbing, depending on the speed, if you’re flying in the curve. The stall is different in all situations. And this debug really helps you understand why and how the stall is happening. And to change it and make sure it’s working correctly.

New Soft Body Simulation - Timestamp

This is a new effect available in Sim Update 9: We enabled it on the Cessna 172 and it has been added for helicopters. On helicopters, rotors do what is called “flapping”: The flapping is really the blade, which stores aerodynamic energy. It is a spring force and then it goes into the whole airframe. For the force vector system, which was there before, if you enable the soft body simulation, you will see two vectors instead of one. The red one is the air pushing on the surface. Then the surface is going to slightly bend/twist and store energy. The green one is the energy, the force that is applied from the surface to the aircraft. It’s propagating. So if you enable this on the 172, in the core simulation is now a soft body. It’s a little bit squishy like a real aircraft. It’s very little on this plane: The plane is really small, so it’s maybe half an inch. It’s not going to have big wing flex or anything. But it has an impact: You can see the two vectors are not exactly the same. There is a small delay. This creates a little bit of lag on the inputs. A little less twitchiness on the plane. It feels globally a little heavier. A little less fast to respond. But as I said, it’s very subtle on this aircraft. This can be enabled on the .cfg [file] of any plane. There are parameters to configure it. We use it on the Cessna 172. Just like the propeller system, we will roll this out to other default aircraft, but plane makers can start using this in Sim Update 9 if they want to.

New Air Simulation - Timestamp

This is something that is going to come out in the next few sim updates. We have had a lot of feedback on turbulence, wind, updrafts, downdrafts, clouds. So here, you can see this is a tool that helps to visualize the airflow in the world. You can see on the sea, there are no updrafts. It’s the afternoon [in the video]. The air is hot, the land is hot, the forest is cold. You can see where the air goes up, where it goes down. This is simulated all around the aircraft. It creates the turbulence that creates the bumps. If you want to use the updrafts to gain energy to go up, you can use that. So this tool is not available yet. I’m just showing what is coming over the next months. However, the effects of updrafts, downdrafts: These are the ones that are currently in the sim. It’s just the tools that allow us to visualize. We are going to bring this bring this tool that will be more user friendly. [For example], the ribbons that allow you to have a trajectory, landing in the circuit around the airfield. There’s going to be an option to enable a visualization of air in the world so you can see the bumps, see the updrafts, and the winds. It is also nice because people can report, “In the real world, there was a lot of hot air and in the sim it didn’t work in live weather.” So maybe you can use it as a debugging tool. We’re going to run a CFD over this. We’re going to improve the way the whole simulation behaves. And so, for example, small fields are not going to generate updrafts. Larger fields, yes. It’s going to create more turbulence behind mountains and all these things. A teaser is coming. Sim Update 9 has this air, but you don’t have the visualization yet. It’s going to improve how the airflow works.

Jayne - Does this have a negative effect on performance?

Seb - In the video, the CFD cost 100 microseconds and the airflow was 130, so 230 microseconds. We’ve optimized the rest of the flight model and we gained a little bit, so It costs a little bit. And it’s not a lot, maybe 1% of the CPU. But we gained about 1% of the other hand. So the impact on performance should be completely neutral.

Q&A Session 2 - Timestamp

Forum question - Will the new propeller simulation allow native VTOL [vertical takeoff and landing] simulation?

Seb - I’m going to answer it this way: The new propeller simulation is compatible with VTOL, whether you use a helicopter blade or propeller. For example, in a propeller engine, you can turn it up and make it VTOL, and with the propeller blade, the airflow physics completely works. You can make a drone, you can make a helicopter, you can make anything. Is the new propeller simulation enough to make a VTOL? No. It is compatible with it. If you want to make a VTOL, we are still limited to four engines. Most VTOLs have more than four engines. So we are going to need to unlock the number of engines to allow VTOL. Some VTOLs can change the [engine] axis, so the engine can move forward or upward or stuff like that. So the angle can be different but I don’t think/know if it can be animated (changed in real time). So that is something we also need to add to completely support VTOL. What we have is already compatible. I actually tried: When I did the very first helicopter tests, I took a plane, moved the engine upwards, made a giant blade, and turned on the engine to see what happened. It’s already compatible, but there’s other stuff that’s missing. And, of course, VTOLs have a very subtle system that controls the RPM. If you want to turn this way or tilt or move up or just stabilize. It’s all controlled by propeller RPM. That’s something that you also need to have a VTOL fly and be stable. You don’t only need propellers.

Chat question - Do we have an update for a short-term solution for the Xbox WASM [WebAssembly] issue? Timestamp

Jorg - The team is working on it. It is unclear, yet, if we can get this in Sim Update 9. I think the more the more realistic time would be Sim Update 10, which would be late July. We know it’s not super fast, but we also need to test this. There’s lots of work being done. We think the solution will work, but we need to really be careful. I think people have been waiting. There’s a bunch of different planes we need to look at.

Martial - There’s also another layer of loading things and adding some pieces of code that have been signed. Also, we need to do some regression [testing]. That’s why we need to test the system to make sure it works with everything so the community will be pleased by the solution.

When do we plan on tackling VR issues? - Timestamp

Jorg - It came up last time and we had planned on talking about VR last time and I saw some chat comments: “When are you guys talking about this?” We know that 10% of you play pretty much exclusively in VR. I’m probably close to one of you. I play on different devices. [Martial - Me too.] I play in VR all the time. We just need to dedicate the time. I’m sorry, there’s a lot going on. Right before the call, Martial and I were just talking about this. We are going to sit down this week, next week, and talk this through. We have your feedback, we know what’s important and we just need to go do the work.

Chat question - DirectStorage API [application programming interface] just got released. Will this be coming to Microsoft Flight Simulator? Timestamp

Jorg - I just looked into this. Honestly, I wasn’t as aware of this as someone might think. It sure seems cool, but we need to evaluate it, exactly what it means for us.

Chat question - What are the photogrammetry cities in World Update IX? - Timestamp

Jorg - I wanted to answer one question. I’ll tell you all the photogrammetry cities: Lisbon, Barreira, Cascais, Coimbra in Portugal, and Málaga and Bilbao in Spain.

Chat question - Do we have any update on the black avionics bug where the screens go black towards the end of the flight, which sometimes results in a CTD? Timestamp

Martial - I’m very sorry because I’ve spent some time with the team to connect on the status of the fact that the framerate is going down on some configurations while flying and I didn’t ask the question on that and I don’t know the status right now. I’m very sorry. I will try to bring more information during the next Q&A.

Aircraft Update - Timestamp

Local Legend #1 (Junkers Ju 52) - Timestamp

Jorg - There is going to be an update. The update is coming tomorrow [March 24, 2022]. Our QA team and Oliver [Moser] read literally everything there is in the forums and we think we fixed just about everything. That is coming tomorrow.

Local Legend #2 (Fokker F.VII) - Timestamp

Jorg - I think you heard from us before that we didn’t feel great. The plane wasn’t quite as put-together as we wanted it to be. A big team has been working on this since release. They fixed literally hundreds of things. We thought we might get it done by tomorrow. But honestly, there is no real rush. We want to get it right. Either it’s going to be next week or the first week of April. We took your feedback really seriously.

Local Legend #3 March 29, 2022 (Dornier Do J ) - Timestamp

Jorg - We always launch our first-party planes on Tuesdays. We are going to launch this plane next Tuesday, March 29. There’s a little trailer. It’s not done, by the way. You’ll see it as raw as it is. So we will not publish this [version of the trailer]:

Jorg - I love this plane. I don’t know how much you know about it. In 1925, [Norwegian explorer Roald] Amundsen flew with it to the North Pole. In `26 – which is why it’s associated with World Update 8 – [Spanish aviation pioneer] Ramón Franco flew it from Spain to Argentina with the Plus Ultra. Then, [German aviation pioneer Wolfgang von] Gronau flew it to the North Atlantic. He actually used the same plane as Amundsen did. Then he flew it around the world in 1932. That thing is awesome! And just to say, we were so lucky. This gentleman [Jorg held up a book of M. Michiel van der Mey’s book, “Dornier Wal: A Light Coming Over the Sea”] – his family has dedicated themselves to researching this plane for the last 70 years. He has an amazing collection of photographs and information. We read everything we could possibly read. We had support from Dornier. We want to the [Dornier Museum] Friedrichshafen [, Germany] where they had the replica of the N-25. Then we flew – and it took us a year to make contact with – the [Museo del Transporte] in Luján, Argentina where the Plus Ultra is. We went to the Plus Ultra to scan it. And the Dornier family is supporting us. It’s just been a great – I’m so happy.

Jorg - And somebody said, “Is every Local Legend German?” The Fokker isn’t German. It sounds German. [Fokker Trimotor founder Anthony Fokker] lived in Germany for a while, but the guy is actually not: He’s Dutch. I think we will take a break from German planes just because you say that, but I love this plane. I hope you will, too. And it’s coming next week.

Famous Flyer #2 April 26, 2022 (Granville Gee Bee) - Timestamp

Jorg - This comes out on April 26 together with Sim Update 9. And it is not a German plane: It’s a Granville Gee Bee. It’s made by Carenado. Hopefully you all enjoyed the Staggerwing that they made. And it’s not just one of them: There’s two of them, the model Z and the R-2. I think these are the cutest, funnest, most awesome-looking things ever, and I think we’re going to have a great time flying them in April.


Roadmap Update - Timestamp

Antonov AN-2 - Timestamp

Jorg - The Antonov we talked about before: The plane is essentially done. We were a day or two days away from finishing the license with Antonov. Antonov is located in Kyiv [, Ukraine,] and we cannot reach our colleagues that we have worked with. So we are sitting here with a finished plane, and we are waiting for Antonov to reemerge after the chaos has subsided.

ATR 42-600 / 72-600 - Timestamp

Hans [Hartmann] is working directly with Asobo on the ATR 42- and 72-600. Making great progress. I think we will have him here maybe next time. I think it would be good to get an update. It’s our expert-level plane. It’s going to take a while to get it done to get it done, but progress is really good.

Q&A Session 3 - Timestamp

Forum question - Would we ever have the possibility of a demo area in the Marketplace for addons that people want to buy?

Jorg - That’s interesting. As I’ve said a few times, we’ve been pretty overwhelmed by the amount of addons that third parties have generated. It’s over a thousand. We know there’s thousand pretty much already done. So we’re in the thousands of things. Our team is now eight dedicated people. We have to ingest all the content. When you sometimes say, “Where’s all the stuff?” We have to ingest it. We talked to the Minecraft team, which is the closest equivalent we have, and they have really good tools to automate this. Their goal is to have 0 humans touching the actual ingestion. So I’m completely up for doing a demo area. But what I think you really want is us to ingest it so you can go play it via the Marketplace, not via some Community folder. If we would do it right now, it actually would delay all other publications, and I don’t think that’s the right thing. I think that third parties would be happy with us if we would do this. But I want to. It might take us until next year. It will take a while. We are writing tools. We’ve hired some programmers to write tools. It’s just going to take time. We were much more successful than we thought we would be with the Marketplace. It’s a great thing for everybody that so much stuff is coming, but there are pipeline things we need to sort out.

Chat question - There’s been some issues with bush trips since Sim Update 5. Do we have a plan to address those bush trip issues? - Timestamp

Martial - We have scheduled some bush trip improvements for Sim Update 10, the one that will be published in late July. It includes some improvements in the experience, itself, but also on the UI side. We have problems on both sides.

With [planes like the Dornier] coming out, Are there going to be improvements to water physics? Can you start the Dornier in the water cold and dark? - Timestamp

Seb - There are already a few water planes in the sim. So, nothing planned for the Dornier release. It’s going to have the same water plane physics as every other water plane. Are we going to improve water physics in the future? Maybe looking in the backlog and seeing how high it is in the priorities?

Could there be a sharpening option in the menu if you want to un-sharpen or sharpen your graphics? 1080p monitors, they say, have an over-sharpened look. Timestamp

Seb - We have a sharpening postprocessing filter linked with TAA [temporal anti-aliasing]. I don’t think there’s an option right now. It’s definitely feasible to add a sharpening slider. We should add that to the list and see when we can do it. I think it was in the options file at some point. (Maybe or maybe not; maybe I’m wrong.) I’ve definitely seen it in our code options. We can add that to our list of things to do: Sharpening or un-sharpening. People may want to have it both ways.

Is the new CFD system usable on water physics? - Timestamp

Seb - CFDs can do air. But is it usable right now [on water]? Not yet. It is something we would need to change. So in the future at some point, probably. But right now, not yet.

Would it be possible to get a more complex crash report if the sim has a CTD [crash to desktop] so users can better identify third-party issues or conflicts? - Timestamp

Martial - We are working on that.

Jorg - I think stability has been a focus. We see pretty significant stability improvements in Sim Update 8. Sim Update 9 is also looking at this, including tooling that you were just asking about. I think it’s rolling out with Sim Update 9. (Martial, I think so?)

Martial - I don’t know if we had the time to include everything we wanted to bring.

Chat question - How is the glider development going? - Timestamp

Jorg - Good. [Martial - Fine.] We built the first few gliders.

Seb - I can already say what is in Sim Update 10. We fixed negative flaps. There is one plane that already has this out there: The Flight Design CTSL. It has a flap position that is default at 0 but it can go to -10, which is something a lot of gliders also have. It is almost like a spoiler flap position. That did not work correctly so that has been fixed in Sim Update 10. What I just showed at the end of my video series, the whole draft simulation, is also being worked on because it’s important for any plane because it’s nice to have bumps and everything, but it’s even important for gliders because you want to have updrafts to glide on and go get thermals and go up. So that’s the thing that’s been moving forward for that specific need, and maybe other people can comment on other features.

Chat question - Do you think we will have Working Title back on [the Developer Q&A] soon for what they are working on? Timestamp

Jorg - We want something to be fully integrated and done. We don’t want to show roadmaps all the time. It’s more important what’s in the software. We’re going to have Matt [Nischan] on once it’s in the sim. The team has grown, which is good. But let’s get one thing complete before we talk about more stuff.

Are there any improvements coming for the Boeing 787 Dreamliner or Premium Deluxe planes in general? - Timestamp

Jorg - Yes.

Jayne - If that’s the case, do we know when? Are they just going to be continuous or big updates?

Jorg - No. It’s probably going to be a specific moment in time. Probably later or late this year. It’s a variety of planes that are being touched.

Will snow be removed from runways of large international airports? In real life, runways are kept clear of snow. - Timestamp

Seb - Currently, snow is entirely procedural. Depending on the runway, if it is too thick, it even holds on runways. It is supposed to be like snow that has been rolled over/flattened. We have not tuned airport-by-airport: We did a global snow layer tuning and some airports have a lot more because it’s the way the runway looks. We simulated that dark surfaces receive more heat from the sun, and from the environment in general, so snow melts faster on dark surfaces. So airports with very bright runways (sometimes because it’s not tarmac but concrete) or just because the aerial is brighter, they will have more snow. So that’s something we need to rework to get runways completely without snow. I would say that’s only true on large airports. On our small airfield, when it snows, they don’t. They don’t immediately remove the snow, or even at all.

Can we expect any fixes for frozen oceans, especially in live weather, like Norway where it wouldn’t usually be frozen? - Timestamp

Martial - It’s a feature we haven’t included yet. [Seb - Yeah, there is something.] On lakes but not on oceans.

Seb - It has to be cold, and there is ice shelf data that is coming. I think there is a specific bug because I checked it a lot in Greenland. Because Norway, that person said, it doesn’t usually have a lot of ice. I didn’t check it in Norway. I checked it in Greenland. Now it’s probably over, anyway. But, if there’s a specific place, the issue with that is that it’s very time-dependent on the live weather data we get. We have to wait until January/February to actually see or test it. If people can report it before the summer comes, we can go have a look and see what’s going on. But last time I checked it in Greenland, all around the island, it was mostly okay.

Jayne - They’re saying the Norwegian fjords.

Martial - Not in deep seas?

Seb - If you go north in the winter, it’s frozen.

Chat question - Earlier, we mentioned improvements coming to the F/A-18. What types of improvements are coming to that plane? Timestamp

Seb - I can list quite a few. We are lucky to have feedback from actual pilots who have flown it. The roll rates are now correct: They are 220-something [degrees/second] below 550 kts and 150 [degrees/second] above. Whether you are on MIL thrust or on afterburner has been corrected. The speeds are correct. We have a speed chart per altitude per thrust setting. So now at sea level, you can get 1.02 Mach in afterburner and 0.95 on MIL. That is going to be correct 25,000 feet or 35,000 feet. So the thrust is going to be correct. There have been improvements on yaw damping. The effects have been improved. A ton of stuff.

Martial - This is for the plane dynamics. But we also have included some improvements on the HUDs [heads-up displays]. Airspeed. NWS [nosewheel steering], CRS indication. So, plenty of new things. We have also changed the layouts of the display from the feedback we’ve collected from the pilots Seb was talking about.

Jorg - Remember when this was supposed to come out with [Top Gun] Maverick, then the movie slipped twice? So I think what we shipped for Christmas, in the Game of the Year Edition, we just wanted people to just be able to start flying this. This is the version that was intended.

Could we give insight on how we work as a team being in different countries and places, and how we coordinate together? - Timestamp

Seb - Jorg gets up very early.

Martial - Yes. And sometimes we’ve got to stay very late at night.

Jorg - My day starts at 5:00 am, typically. Think about it this way: There are teams around the world. Obviously, Asobo is in France. The bulk of the development is there. Working Title is distributed, Gaya is distributed. All kinds of other kinds of people we work with are distributed. Maybe the methodology – we talk a lot on [Microsoft] Teams and Discord. Phone calls are more for things where maybe you have to coordinate with more people. But that’s typically how we run.

Chat question - Is there any more OSM [OpenStreetMap] data coming to the sim? - Timestamp

Jorg - Bing is doing an initiative to update the data in South America. We have not updated it, but we need to. So we need to make a decision when to do it. It’s a pretty big deal. We have to run the protection everywhere, which is a computationally interesting thing that we need to do. We know we’re going to do it. That’s the whole point of it – that’s the cool part about OSM. One step at a time. I certainly have hopes and dreams of direct integration into OSM. There’s a cool tool that I could see, but first things first: the scenery gateway for airports. That’s the most important thing. After that, we can do great things together with the OSM community.

Chat question - Are there more complex planes coming to Xbox? Timestamp

Jorg - Regarding third-party planes, at the beginning [of the stream], somebody was asking, “Is Concorde coming to Xbox?” The answer is, I don’t know. I can’t wait for that plane (from DC Designs). We don’t have the package, yet. So it comes down to what they have up and running. Once we see the package, we test it.

Martial - We’ve got to be honest here: Not having WASM working on Xbox doesn’t help, also.

Jorg - People who have legacy code – I think there are plenty of cool planes being made – The new ones don’t have legacy C++ code, and they are completely fine. It’s the people that have a few hundred thousand lines of code that they don’t want to rewrite, and I understand. But fundamentally, we are making some, and then third parties are all eager to bring it to Xbox because they know we have tons of people there. Ultimately, they would like to reach all the fans. Just be assured: Once this is resolved in WASM with Xbox, it’s nothing to do with performance: It’s really a security issue.

Is there any progress on the investigation about making it possible improve Premium and Premium Deluxe aircraft with mods? - Timestamp

Jorg - Yes. We talked about it. The SDK team has a solution and it is currently sitting with a few aircraft manufacturers. As you know, we license aircraft, and they need to be comfortable that we are making the aircraft moddable. We asked just about everybody we needed to ask, and there is one left. Once we have that, there is a way to do it.

Chat question - We spoke about Maverick briefly. Is there any content tease or any update for Maverick? - Timestamp

Jorg - The team is having fun? I’m sorry, it’s a movie thing. We can’t be working on the trailer. We’re not even allowed to put everything in the trailer that we’re making. So we are very limited in what we can say outside of, people are having fun internally, which is always a good sign.

Martial - The other good sign is that Seb was talking about the pilots we had in the studio, here, and I’ve seen them flying the content we were going to offer in Maverick, and it was super impressive. Super impressive to see what this guy was doing with the planes and the missions. It was super cool!

Jorg - Just to set expectations, I think I might’ve said it to you guys: This is a sim. We are not making a game, here. Just to be true to the our of core simulation.

Do you know the airports coming with the World Update 8 release tomorrow? - Timestamp

Jorg - Someone was asking a question [in chat] a few pages ago about Vaasa airport [EFVA] that was part of World Update 5. Gaya [Simulations] did the fix. We are currently testing it, so it’s coming. Just be assured, that we are always reading all the feedback. Sometimes, it’s not instantaneous or anything, but we are getting these things fixed. Basically the airports are Andorra [LESU], Pico [LPPI] and Faro [LPFR] in Portugal, and A Coruna [LECO] in Spain.

Weather - Timestamp

Martial - Still a work in progress. We are working on that. It will be a work in progress during the whole time we are going to do the sim. There are always new things, new data, new graphics improvements.

DirectX 12 - Timestamp

Seb - There are a lot of questions about DirectX 12, DLSS, raytracing. I’ve seen a great prototypes internally, and we’re working on it. It’s going to come at some point. It’s being worked on. It’s cool.

We’ve had the replay beta out for a while. How has feedback been on it, and do you already know what types of improvements you want to make to make it more user-friendly? - Timestamp

Jorg - There was very little feedback. Honestly, I would appreciate more feedback. Because we said, “Hey, there’s a beta. Let us know.” And people said, “Hey, it needs to work on Xbox.” Yeah, we know. But, even on PC, please let us know what you think. It’s super helpful. Ultimately, these tools, we’re making – yeah, it’s also for the video team, but it’s good to know for y’all.

Chat question - Will there be a Sim Update 9 beta and do we have an announcement on when that’s coming? - Timestamp

Jorg - Yes.

Martial - It should be soon. We’ve got to publish the world update first. So everything’s ready. I’m not going to go too deeply in the explanation, but we’ve got a trend, and we need the next wagon to leave the train station before we can put the other one.

Marketplace Charity Campaign - Timestamp

Jorg - I wanted to talk to you about Ukraine. Many of you have been saddened, outraged about what’s going on. We feel compelled to help those impacted, and we are running a charitable campaign from March 24 - 31, and we will donate $5.00 for every purchase within our in-sim Marketplace to the International Rescue Committee to help fund their response in the crisis. It’s a great organization. So starting tomorrow, if you buy anything in the sim, $5.00 goes to them. I’m very, very, very, very happy we can do this.

Closing remarks - Timestamp

Jorg - Thank you for everything. It’s on my heart: I know how many people came in who have never played a sim before. Help them out. There are people just entering our hobby. Be nice, answer questions if you can. I think it will help our hobby, long term. It’s what we always hoped for: That Flight Sim would grow and it would attract new people who would ultimately fall in love with aviation and stay, and I think we have that right now. There’s many, many, many that are coming.