Live Dev Q&A - November 18th, 2022

Introduction

Jayne - Hello, simmers! Welcome to our end-of-the-year Microsoft Flight Simulator developer stream! My name is Jayne. I am the Senior Community Manager for Microsoft Flight Simulator, your host today. Thank you, all, for taking the time out of your day to join us for today’s stream! As you can see, Martial [Bossard, Executive Producer, Asobo Studio] is unable to make it today. But we have two fantastic people on to talk about all things flight sim. First, welcome back, Jorg Neumman, head of Microsoft Flight Simulator. How’re you doing, Jorg?

Jorg - I’m doing great! Been a few months. [Jayne - It has!] Good to be back!

Jayne - Glad you’re back! Thank you. Second, welcome back, Sebastian Wloch, CEO of Asobo Studio. How have you been, Seb?

Seb - Hi! Happy to be back.

Jayne - Happy to have you both! I already see some questions rolling in. So, I’ll take this time to just go over our schedule of events for this stream, so everyone knows what’s happening. So, first of all, we’ll talk about our latest release, the 40th Anniversary Edition. At that point, we’re going to be asking everyone here for feedback and questions from the 40th and how your experience has been. We’ll also go over how it’s been on our side. A couple of feedback items we definitely want to discuss with y’all. After that, we will talk about 2023, what you can expect from us in the coming year. And we’re going to follow that up with a fantastic presentation from Matt Nischan at Working Title, and a surprise update from one of our aircraft developers! And at the end of the stream, we’ll be answering your questions and we’ll have a discussion on some of the questions and feature requests that we’ve received in the forums. So, that’s our schedule of events. I hope everyone enjoys! So, we’re going to kick it off to Jorg to start our presentation.

40th Anniversary Overview

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Jorg - Hi everyone! Thank you all for being here! And happy birthday! Happy 40th birthday of Microsoft Flight Simulator. I know some of you have been here since the very beginning. So let’s go celebrate! We had a chance to celebrate the 40th in style at the Evergreen Aviation & Space Museum in McMinnville, Oregon last week. And I thought I should give you a quick mini-tour! I’ll keep it really short. But we had such a fantastic day, I just thought, “We’ll share something.” So we invited 30 creators and press from around the world. They all came. We started the day in a huge theater with my favorite quote from DaVinci that I look at every single morning when I get to work:

“When once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the earth with your eyes turned upward, for there you have been, and there you will always long to return.”

Jorg - And talked a little bit about the history of the franchise: Forty years, six times “best sim”, 30+ million simmers. (And that is before Flight Sim 2020, by the way.) And then we quickly talked about the time since launch, and that we did 27 updates in 27 months, which was fun and kind of shocking, in a way. And then, we talked about the top three community wishes, and we started with the A310, which we went into some detail with. (I think a lot of you tried it already. So we can talk about this later.) Seb then demoed helicopters and all the cool innovations that went into the development of that. Martial, who’s not here today, demoed gliders. And he nailed the landing at the very end…barely, I might add! And then we talked about some classic planes, including the Spruce Goose, which was super appropriate because that’s the museum where we were in McMinnville that houses the Spruce Goose. Then we had a quick Q&A. That was fun! And I felt really connected to the community, which was great. (And then…just couldn’t resist putting that picture in!)

Jorg - Sérgio [Costa, Helisimmer.com] peppered us with helicopter questions. In particular, Seb. (I don’t know, Sérgio, if you’re here, but it was great fun to see you there.) And so, yeah, and that was basically the setup. And we went over to the other museum. What’s cool about that is that there are a bunch of docents there that are super knowledgeable. They explained everything to the people who attended. (So here they are.) I’ve learned a ton from those folks, just talking to them. And then, I wanted to show a picture of the Spruce Goose [from] outside of the cockpit. And just how huge this thing is! We always say, “Oh, it’s the biggest plane in the world.” Yeah. Wow! It’s like a ship…crazy! And then, here’s a picture from the other side, which is where there’s a setup where everybody was playing, and simming. (And then the next picture.) Yup, people hard at work, testing the 40th Anniversary Edition. Then a bunch of cool interviews. We celebrated a bit, here, with Howard Hughes’ hat. Made a special wine. [Jayne - That’s pretty cool!] And it was a truly wonderful day. And it was just great to celebrate with members of the community and the press. And then, what I think was cool about this 40th is – I put this [picture] together for everyone – when we launched in 2020, we had 20 planes in the Standard Edition. Now we have 37. And that’s cool. And we also have a new visual ID, for what it’s worth. We worked on this quite a bit just to basically pay tribute that we now have helicopters and gliders, going forward. So, just wanted to give you a super quick, “Hey, this is what we did.” It was great. Something else. It felt like we honored the franchise appropriately.

Jorg - Alright. And I think now we’re going over to the first Q&A session. Jayne, you wanna go…?

40th Anniversary Questions and Feedback

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Jayne - Absolutely! Thank you, Jorg. So, let’s discuss the 40th Anniversary Edition with you, chat. If you have any questions about it, in particular, how it went for you, any feedback, please feel free to share it now. We’re definitely going to be answering some questions here. I already have a couple lined up that I would love to ask while we see questions rolling in. One is for you, Seb. I have a couple of helicopter questions that I’ve been seeing throughout the forums and everywhere else on socials.

So now that helicopters are officially in the sim, do we plan to continue to improve the flight model and the helicopters, themselves?

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Seb - I would say yes. So basically, the helicopters have been put out in a state where we went all the way we could go using the feedback of pilots and instructors. Basically, we’re now in a state where we’re waiting for feedback from the community and also from people who would make helicopters. If there’s requests for new features, feedback on improving the flight model, we will listen while we work on the plan for bigger improvements for the long-term future. But short term, right now, we have time to make improvements, fixes, anything that would be reported. So I’ve booked some time for that. And yeah, looking forward!

Jayne - Awesome! Thanks, Seb. I know helicopters are a different beast. I learned that this week in our helicopter stream with Sergio from Helisimmer. Throughout that stream and in general,

A lot of the community was wondering if we ever plan on adding some type of helicopter tutorial in the sim.

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Seb - So there is no tutorial right now because helicopter flying, from my experience, is mostly about the flying. When I flew, I did exactly the same circuits that I did on the Cessna. Navigation was very close. Everything was close except controlling and taxiing because we taxied in the air. So we thought it was much more important to have good assistance because the difficult part is controlling the helicopter. I would agree that, yeah, helicopter tutorials would be great, but as we had only time to do one tutorial, gliders, where I would say the flying is close to any airplane, it’s more important: How do you launch? How do you get up in the air? There was a lot more to learn about outside of just the simple control of the aircraft. We chose gliders. So maybe down the road. But right now, for the flying, yeah, the assistance does a great job. And the other – the hint I got is just – there is not so much to explain; you’ve got to feel it. Turn on assistance. Turn off the cyclic and do a few hours. And when you’re comfortable, turn back on the cyclic and then turn off rudder assistance. That’s going to be difficult, especially hovering. And when you’re comfortable, then you can try turning off both. Except getting in the hours, there is not much on the pure flying that I would say. We can explain the whole physics and everything. And there’s a little bit of that in the introductory flight, in the flights you get on the main screen. And of course, maybe in the future, there’s going to be more. We’ll see. [Jayne - Yeah!]

Jorg - I would say – I was reading the thread while Seb was answering – hopefully by now, a little over two years in, you know that we read the forums religiously. We pay attention to what you’re saying. When people say, “Hey, gliders need work, helicopters need work,” you can always make things better. We pay attention. If helicopter tutorials are something that people really, really need, we’ll do it. It’s just a question of time. So, just keep the feedback coming, please.

Jayne - Perfect! Thank you, Seb and Jorg. So, great question I’m seeing in chat, here, about the connection error.

This is the error that users get whenever there’s a blip in the online service. It’s been noted, as it can be distracting, especially if they’re on final [approach]. So they have to click OK and regain control of their aircraft. Is this something that you’d be able to change or improve for future updates?

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Seb - So yeah, I think improving would be easy. We can. This is the first time I’m hearing this and the error has been out there for a while. So thank you for the feedback. I think the goal of making this very visible is that we see quite a lot of people who send images or videos in offline mode and don’t always realize. So, we wanted it to be very clear when people were losing online connection. And we’ll look at, maybe, adding a way to mute this thing or something like that, of course. If that’s a request, we will work on that.

Jayne - Absolutely. Thanks, Seb. And the other piece of feedback I’d like to talk about is Xbox.

Many users have reported there’s been a reduced level of detail on Xbox. I know you’ve been looking into it this week. Do you have any information to share with us on what might be causing it?

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Seb - Yeah, unfortunately this is something that got broken that was not caught during testing. So, we looked into it and we were lucky it wasn’t too long to find the fix. The explanation is very simple: Basically, there’s a system in the console because the console has limited resources. (I mean, the PC also has limited resources, but way more than we need.) And so, there’s a system that protects the memory and performance on the console. If the content is too heavy, or if there’s too much stuff going on, we turn down detail. Usually, this does not kick in at all. And, it is based on frame time. If the frame time gets really slow, we say, “Okay, maybe there’s too much going on at this time in the sim.” And we turn down some details like that. Unfortunately, with some work on DirectX 12 or recent work, the frame time measure got changed or broken. And so basically, the sim thinks it’s running slower than it is, and it’s turning down detail. So this is already fixed and it’s going to come out in one of our future updates, as soon as we can. So it was not deliberate. It was an accident that unfortunately, we didn’t catch during flighting or testing.

Jayne - Yeah, so now that the issue has been identified, we’re working on a fix. One of the users, here, wants to know:

In the future, will you be able to balance stability with visual quality on Xbox, going forward?

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Seb - So yes, what we have in place is a system that automatically adjusts things when it’s getting too heavy. But we also, on the other hand, try to optimize constantly. We’re always, even now, still making little improvements and making everything more efficient, which, every time we do that, also benefits back into the PC. At some point in the future, we will probably reach a limit where we can’t just make things better anymore, where the detail will not just be able to grow. But for the moment, our plan is that we have this system that automatically adjusts. And we continue to improve things wherever we catch improvements.

Jayne - Okay. So, there’s a question in the forums, a couple questions about snow (and I have some visuals to go along with, here). So the snow question was,

Will we ever get rid of the snow on runways, taxiways, aprons, and roads?

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Seb - So, yeah, I was surprised by this question because actually, snow got introduced in Christmas 2020. And we did have a system to remove the snow on runways and streets and everything. So, I was surprised about this. And then yeah, I checked the sim, now. It’s winter now, almost, and there is more snow around. And I said, “Oh yeah! The snow is back on the streets, and what’s going on?” So actually, earlier this year, maybe around Sim Update 9, the snow removal on roads and runways got broken. Maybe because it was the summer, it wasn’t that visible or noticed. And so now that it got reported, we saw it. And also, the same thing: Very easy fix to get that back to working as it was, probably last winter. And same thing, on the LOD [level of detail] change, we will push this out as soon as we can with the upcoming update. So yeah, it’s unintended and did not get noticed probably because most of the people are in summer and didn’t have snow.

Jayne - Yeah, and the second part of that question is,

Will we see high-quality snow coverage so we don’t see snow and frozen water in places it shouldn’t be, like in the Alps, Norway, Alaska?

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Seb - Yeah, so I did a quick investigation. Here’s the places that got reported. Indeed, currently, we have data coming from the live weather provider [Meteoblue], that tells us, “Hey, this is how much snow there is in this area.” And indeed, the area resolution is a few kilometers. It’s quite big, which actually works most of the time. But in this case, the valleys are extremely narrow and deep. (I think it’s two or more kilometers deep.) And so there is snow on the top of the valley, on the side. And the bottom is completely snow-free. And so it looks like it’s a completely snowy area. If you go to the next screen, I look at the data that is actually out there. There is data that has enough accuracy. You can see, clearly, there’s only snow on the top. So basically, this is something we need to improve in the future, so I will have a discussion with the data provider and how we can get better data. So the data is there, and it’s just about time and how fast we can implement this. But I think there’s a hope that this can get better.

Jorg - This is actually related to something that’s in the chat, here, about the weather radar API [application programming interface]. We have a quarterly sync with Meteoblue [the weather data provider]. And we’re going to bring both of these things up. This one, the resolution is there but we’re not currently seeing it in the sim. Then, people want access to the weather via the API differently than the 2D map that we’re currently giving. That’s something we need to chat with them about. We have some – we have all kinds of things. We have future features that we are going to discuss with them, as well. So, we’ll get back to you early next year with answers on this.

Jayne - Perfect! Thanks, Seb and Jorg. So, I’m seeing a question:

Going back to the Xbox LOD, [you] mentioned a fix coming soon. They’re wondering, does “soon” mean next week? In this beta branch or in a future flighting?

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Jayne - Do you have any information on that, Seb?

Jorg - I do. [Jayne - Yes, Jorg.] So, I think the likely scenario is that it’s coming in mid-January. [Jayne - Okay!] We all looked at each other. Seb said, “Hey, I found a bug!” I said, “Darn! It’s going to take us a little bit.” There’s obviously snow. But we have a flight going already that we can’t inject this into. That’s why, basically, we have to wait until this is over, and then we’ll get it.

Jayne - Okay. Thank you! Alright, next question for Seb about weather. So, this was from the forums asking about: They were going through the Feature Discovery Series 3: Aerodynamics video and they were wondering about some of the features that were showcased in it:

Volumetric clouds to match turbulence, towering cumulus clouds, up and downdrafts to match actual weather. And they feel like this is missing.

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[Editor’s note: This may have been a reference to Feature Discovery Series 2: Weather instead of 3.]

Jayne - They were wondering if you could go over some of these features and how you feel about them, if you think it’s missing or if it’s there.

Seb - So, I can answer right now if you’re done with the question, Jayne. So, everything we showed in the feature discovery video was captured in the sim. Everything is in the sim. (So I just saw a screenshot.) In preset weather, you can pretty much make anything. You can’t do everything, but you can do a lot of things. So all the thunderstorm cloud formation, whatever, you can do all that. In live weather, well, it really depends on the live weather data we get. Some thunderstorms do have pretty high clouds, sometimes, mostly in the summer.

Seb - I just looked outside this morning, driving into work. There was actually something that felt and looked like a towering cumulus cloud. The only thing is, it’s pretty cold now, here, too. The thing was barely 3 km high. But it really looked like a mini-towering cumulus cloud with rain on the bottom. And so, where there’s sun right now, the same things exist, here. Now they’re smaller, updrafts are smaller, and that’s the kind of stuff you would get in the live weather data. Whereas in June, we have, here, giant storms sometimes, where maybe they’re 12 or more kilometers high. And so, this is all in live weather. It’s very much dependent on the data we get. But it can do everything that the weather presets can do, which is as many structures as you want, which can take the form of a thunderstorm.

Seb - The drafts are – I’m going to give a little bit of history on the turbulence and drafts: So they were there since launch. At launch, we had automatic simulation of airflow in the world that was doing hills, slopes, houses, buildings, trees, and basically, obstacles. It was simulating the airflow around obstacles, and clouds were sort of pushing upwards in the middle and downwards, so it was creating some sort of airflow on clouds. Any other turbulence, if you were outside of the cloud, behind the air was purely random. It was, depending on the wind speed, there was some random turbulence that was generated. A bit later, I think it was in 2021, we added support for water surfaces, so that, basically, turbulence and everything is different on the water. Still the same system. And earlier this year (I think it was Sim Update 9), we changed the system for turbulence and said, “Hey, now we want to have realistic up- and downdrafts in preparation for gliders.”

Seb - So we introduced in Sim Update 9 thermal simulation. So it really calculates the sun coming in. The angles, so in the winter, there’s much less energy. Or at night, there is no energy. Depending on the slope of the hills, how much energy is coming, reduced by clouds or air like, if the air is clean or whatever. And then it hits the ground. There’s ground albedo, ground type, if it’s forest. All that creates heat on the ground that heats the air. And if the air is hotter than the average surrounding air, it goes up. And when it’s colder, it goes down. So we introduced that in Sim Update 9. What we did is, we tried to have the turbulence intensity be about the same. It’s just that they’re not random anymore. If you look down, you will find something that generates turbulence, which actually makes sense. And that was in preparation for the gliders. However, since launch, vertical wind speed has always been limited to 1000 feet per minute.

Seb - Then in Sim Update 10, the only change we did is, we increased the limit to 2500 [feet per minute]. Basically, looking at the feedback, well if everything is crazy, we would have fixed it. But if people said, “Hey, it’s not too crazy, it’s too weak sometimes,” we made it bigger. What we changed, also, in Sim Update 10, we made it so that turbulence is dependent on the wind. So if there is no wind, you turn wind to 0, you can remove turbulence. Unfortunately, we don’t have a turbulence button or slider where you can turn it off. But you need to know that if you don’t want any turbulence, just take the winds, turn them to 0. You will not have any drafts. Nothing. It’s gonna be completely clean air. Which is something that is temporary. At some point, we’re gonna introduce a turbulence UI [user interface] and you then you can have a lot more control. And we’ll have wind without turbulence or turbulence without wind and all that.

Seb - And then the change in Sim Update 11, for gliders, is really just a visualization of everything that was always there. We unlocked the maximum vertical speed to 2000 feet per minute. So it’s the same intensity. It’s just, it can go higher up. And the only change is really that we introduced the conservation of energy, so you can’t have something where, in a desert, everything goes up everywhere, which is not possible. If something goes up somewhere, it has to go back down somewhere else. So what we did is, basically, we conserve energy and where there’s the most updrafts, it goes up. And then somewhere else, it has to go back down. So that can be water or forest. Or if that’s in the desert – I checked a lot of desert. I checked all sorts of areas in the world – in the desert, there was some darker rock that was going more up. And then the more sandy area, it was going back down. So it tries to create this, where it’s going back up, pushing down.

Seb - Clouds still work the same. They also have energy conservation now. So if you have a cloudy sky, it’s going up in the cloud, it’s going back down around. Depending on if you have a few clouds only, there’s going to be more updrafts under the clouds. But very few downdrafts around. If you have less area where there’s no clouds, when there’s less area for air to go down, it’s going to go down stronger. So that’s the current state, here. We’re looking for feedback and we’re starting to get a lot.

Seb - What’s also important is a visualization introduced with gliders. You also have a new dev menu (I think that’s in one of the screenshots, here). If you go into dev mode, in the options, at the bottom, you see “Experimental” and there’s some weather debugging window that you can now turn on. And there, you see all the data that we have: it’s the data we get from the provider, the calculations that we make, how we compute the energy, everything’s there. And you have more visualizations, debug mode, you can turn on to see how the wind is reacting. Our goal with that is that people who have feedback can see the tools, can see the data and give us facts. “This should be this much,” or “this is not working right.” Because you can’t see turbulence, so you have to talk about something you can’t see. That you just feel and it’s hard to describe. Now there’s tools that allow us to get this better. And then, we have our own plans to make this better. I think I talked about a full CFD [computational fluid dynamics] simulation. Currently, this is sort of partial. It does some of the energy conservation, but it doesn’t have everything. So, this is still in R&D [research and development]. We’re basically going to move forward, step by step, and get the whole atmospheric flow more realistic, based on feedback. I think it’s already a big step forward. And also, as soon as we get some UI to control turbulence, then we can really go free and say, “Hey, there’s 20,000 feet-per-minute upwinds.” Like, you could get in the storms now. But users have a way to turn it down. Let’s say you’re in an area and you want to fly in live weather. There’s a giant storm but you don’t want that much turbulence because you would not be able to fly in this sort of plane. We need that additional control to limit turbulence, which we don’t have right now.

Jayne - Thank you, Seb. Alright, we will move onto the future. So, Jorg, I’ll hand it off to you for the roadmap.

Roadmap

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Jorg - Roadmap! I was looking back quickly at Roadmap 2022, and what’s cool is that our little Advent calendar is now full, and I would say, what a year it’s been! Five world updates, the city update, six local legends, three famous fliers. And then we combined a lot of things we had planned into the 40th [anniversary]. And it was all free, so that’s cool. Seven classic planes, gliders, etc. And then we launched xCloud that doubled our audience. That made me happy! Then [Top Gun] Maverick in May was the highlight for many. The [Halo] Pelican was kind of cool. So it was, overall, a great year. I would say, before we close the year, there’s one more thing we’re doing that is not in these types of things. For those of you who are into Local Legends, Oliver [Moser] has been hard at work to make improvements to the three planes that he’s shipped, so the Junkers 52, the [Dornier] Do J, and the [Junkers] F13 are all planned to get an update in early December. He added a bunch of features, so it’s gonna be cool.

Jorg - And then, I had a lot of fun last weekend to put down the grid for 2023. Wheee! And the funny thing about it was, I had to make the boxes smaller because there’s even more things we’re doing! So we’re planning. Currently, this is not 100% locked. Things move around, you know. But four world updates are planned, maybe five. I heard, loud and clear, someone say on the chat, “Do city updates. People like those.” So we’re planning on three of them. Seven Local Legends, seven Famous Flyers, sim updates, AAUs (more ion that, here, in a second), and three surprises. (Those are always fun.) And we’re starting in January with the AAU. And to explain what that is, Matt Nischan is, from Working Title. Go, Matt!

Jayne - Hey, Matt!

Working Title Presentation

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AAUs

Matt - Hey everybody! Thanks for having me on. Super cool to talk about this. As Jorg said, we’ve got this new thing called. It’s called “AAU”. What is AAU? It’s “Aircraft and Avionics Update”. So, it’s a thing we’re going to focus specifically on certain aircraft. Kind of very targeted. You know, specific avionics systems, and we’re really going to dial in a lot of the stuff that exists in the sim today is going to be improved. There may be some things that don’t exist. You guys will have to find out. But that’s kind of what the spirit of the aircraft and avionics updates are going to be.

Matt - And the other thing that we heard, loud and clear from you guys, is you wanted to have the things that were in the sim, like the premium planes, you wanted to see more effort put into those and those evolve over time as some of the other planes have evolved over time. And so, we heard you guys loud and clear. And we are definitely going to be bringing some great stuff coming up here soon that we can talk about.

Garmin GNS 430W / GNS 530W

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Matt - So, you guys may have already seen the [Garmin] GNS 430W, 530W. It’s in the Marketplace right now. That is going to become more of a default in some planes in AAU 1. And some stuff about this: We went and we really kind of did the GNS from the ground up, kind of like we’ve done with other systems. It looks almost identical to the real thing. It’s got the next gen flight plan stuff, full RNAV [area navigation], procedure previews, we’ve got the keyboard entry mode that we know you guys liked a lot about the G1000. It’s a lot easier than – sometimes it’s hard – speaking of, we were just talking about a lot of turbulence — you know, those little knobs in turbulence can get a little bit tricky. So you know, you can click the input field and just type into it. That’s kind of a shortcut. We kind of went pretty deep on this, too. We’ve got ADS-B [Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast], the TAS [Traffic Advisory System] traffic system. It works exactly like the real traffic system does, straight to the specifications. And, speaking of going crazy, we’ve got a full GPS [global positioning system] simulation now. It tracks the positions of satellites in the sky. It tells you if you’ve got the right navigational accuracy for RNAV approaches. (It’s SBAS (Satellite-based Augmentation Systems) for all the nerds out there.) And we did a bunch of other stuff, too. We’ve got the “nearest” pages and the waypoint pages and stuff like that and maps and stuff.

Screenshots

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Matt - And so, we’ve got a couple of screenshots to show you. We won’t do a super-big set of screenshots, but we’ve got a couple here. First one, here, we’ve overhauled the bootup. So I know, the little details are fun for folks; it increases immersion. So we’ve got a whole boot-up screen now, with power on, self test and all that kind of stuff. And then also, after this, we’re showing our full GPS simulation. So again, you can see the positions of the satellites. Those are real on the menu: We’re using orbital mechanics to plot those and to make sure you have the right signal. It uses SBAS, and you can see those at the end, there. And then, the next one we’ve got here is, we are also doing the VNAV [vertical navigation] calculation page. Now, the GNS doesn’t have a full coupled VNAV; that’s outside the capability of the real-world unit. But it does have this VNAV calculation page, which is super nice. And it allows you to calculate the vertical speeds that you might need, and get a descent profile and all that kind of stuff. So, it’s really super happy. So that’s the first thing, and that’s gonna be, like I said, default. Not in every plane, but we’re going to bring it to some planes because it requires a few changes. And yeah, so we’ll be bringing that.

Cessna Citation CJ4 Overhaul

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Matt - And then, I know, everybody has been waiting for the CJ4 overhaul for a long time. It’s taken us a little bit of time, but we took the mod and we said, “You know what? That’s great, but we’re not going to use any of that.” We’re gonna start fresh. We’re gonna get with all the framework that we built with the [G1000] Nxi and now the GNS and really make it at that same level. So we’ve got some improved soundscape that’s coming, we’ve got a totally overhauled flight model, which has been really fun to fly. We’ve got the avionics that are in the unit, they’re getting totally overhauled as far as the visuals go. And even though we were very, very close to the visuals before, folks that fly the plane in real life and other folks that are really into it are going to see the differences, which is really nice. Also has the next-gen flight plan stuff, which the mod did not. So you know, you’ve got RFs [radius to fix], RF legs, intercepts, all the crazy complex procedures and arcs and all that stuff is in there. One thing that people have been asking for for a long time is the split FMC [flight management computer] and MFDs [multi-function displays]. And those have their own settings. You can store them separately, you can set them up totally separately. And that’s really handy, especially for having the tuning page on the copilot’s side and maybe the legs page on the pilot’s side. So that’ll be super neat.

Matt - We’ve got an improved CAS [Crew Alert System]. So the crew alert messages are all on the MFD now, the copilot MFD as they are on the real plane. And we added a whole bunch of new messages, we’ve got a new FMC message system, so you’ll see a bunch of things, like a lot of the VNAV messages will pop up now. So if you’ve got cross-track error and things like that. Full TCAS-II, again spec accurate. You’ll get traffic alerts, resolution alerts. We did bring in keyboard entry mode again. (We know it’s super popular, so you know, convenience. Just click on it, type in.) We’ve even enhanced the VNAV we had in the mod. This is even a little bit more advanced. We handled a couple of more edge cases. And we did the details like the boot-up screen and stuff like that.

CJ4 Screenshots

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Matt - So, got a couple of screenshots, too, of the CJ4. This first one, here, just showing the more advanced flight plan stuff. You can see we’ve got this crazy RF leg approach. You know, we’ve got this hold depicted on the missed approach, there. And you can see we’ve got two different things up. Two MFDs, they’re totally different. One’s in plan mode, one’s not. We’ve got different stuff up on the FMCs. (It’s super fun. It’s a lot of fun to fly.) And then similarly, on the next screenshot, here, just a nice overview of all the different screens. Got the tuning page up on the right side. You’ve got the FMS [flight management system] text up on the right side so you can kind of keep track of everything. It’s a little bit easier. And then on the next one there, kind of a similar view, just a little bit closer, and with the FMS text, you can have the flight plan you’ve got going on.

Matt - So, yeah, we’re really excited about that. I think the CJ4 is going to be a blast to fly. Hopefully, a lot of the things that were weird with the mod are addressed here, too. So that’s really cool.

Garmin G3000 / G5000

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Matt - And then, something that I know people are really excited about is the Garmin G3000 and G5000 updates. So we’ve gone again with kind of a ground-up approach to this. You will not be able to tell the difference if you take a screenshot of our unit and the real unit. They look completely the same! It’s wild. Super proud of everybody that worked on it. Even the little animations. It’s just a visual delight to use, and super snappy.

Matt - Again, next-gen flight plan. It actually has two types of VNAV. The real units do have this. They have a more limited version, which is kind of what’s on the [G1000] Nxi. And then theer’s an advanced version which the Longitude has. Everything is split: PFDs, MFDs, GTCs split. You know, separate settings. I know a lot of people have been asking for user-defined waypoints, especially in the Nxi. We did develop the tech for that finally and that is going to be in the G3000, and we will be porting that back to other units, as we go forward in the future. Future aircraft and avionics updates. Again, the full GPS simulation. We’ve got RNAV support, waypoint pages, all that stuff.

Matt - And one of the cool things is, we’ve got plugin support for developers that want to use the G3000. They can actually get into this by loading a separate JavaScript plugin and they don’t have to fork the code. We just kind of load up their stuff, and it will slot right into the engine instruments, to the GTCs, each screen, all that stuff. Super cool.

G3000 / G5000 screenshots

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Matt - A couple screenshots on this. The first one here, showing the coupled VNAV on the TBM. I know people will be excited about that if you’ve wanted to fly VNAV in the TBM for a while. On the next one, we’re showing the split PFDs. Again, sort of on the TBM, here. And it’s really cool: Having split PFDs is really fun because it’s nice to have a map up on the right side and your PFD gets a little more condensed and stuff. It’s super neat. Next screenshot here is showing a custom waypoint so you can do lat-long, you can do distance and radial. That stuff. So it’s really super cool.

Daher TBM 930

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Matt - And then, just a few small things, here, on the TBM. So, we are doing some EIS [engine indication system] tweaks. The EIS, as you can see, more visual accuracy. Obviously, it includes the new G3000, so we’ll work to integrate that into the TBM. We did model the electrical system. So that’s modeled, now. The sim has that; we ported the stuff into that, which is super great, and did a few tweaks on top: System synoptics. And the doors, I know there have been some unofficial mods for doors for a while. But, we got the doors opening for you, now, for you guys. So it’s all official.

Daher TBM 930 screenshot

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Matt - Kind of saw some screenshots for the avionics, but this next screenshot here is the door. The door’s open, so if you need to exit, for whatever reason, you can now. Good. [Jayne - Nice!]

Cessna Citation Longitude

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Matt - And then, I know, very much awaited, we heard you all, loud and clear. People said, “The Longitude is a premium plane. We don’t feel like it flies like a premium plane.” Well, it’s gonna fly like a premium plane, now. Again, it’s got the advanced VNAV. We’ve got path smoothing you can edit. And all of the altitude restrictions, your flight path angles. The auto-throttle is completely accurate to the real thing. All the real auto throttle modes exist. They work like the real thing does. Again, the full traffic system. We do have performance calculations that are direct from real data. This is not fake stuff. And then we’ll get you the real speeds of the real aircraft. And then after that, the systems are very deep. We’ve got a whole bleed air simulation. It affects how you start. Can you start things? It goes into the environmental control system. Is your cabin going to be pressurized? Full hydraulics simulation. We’re doing some crazy stuff. We’re doing, “What are the temperature of the hydraulics system?” And it’s based on the pressures that are coming in, where things are being routed. All that kind of stuff. We’ve got the PTCU, which is kind of a Longitude-unique thing. It’s a hydraulic power and transfer control unit. It takes electrical power and makes hydraulic power. Or it takes hydraulic power and makes electrical power. All the modes of that are fully simulated! The fuel system, we also built on top of the super great flight sim fuel system. We didn’t have to do a lot, but we did a lot to kind of make it feel realistic. Again, temperatures, pressures, all of the automatic routing logic. Pressurization system, which has the 100% accurate climb and descent schedules from the real plane. The electrical system with all the automatic bus tie logic on the ground.

Matt - And, here, you’ll see I say, here, “NORM!” So, the Longitude is a cool plane. A lot of the systems work without you having to do a lot as a pilot. So it keeps the workload low for pilots. So when the plane is in norm, there’s a lot of automatic logic happening. And when you open the synoptics pages, you can kind of see that logic in action, and it’s all happening in the background for real. So this is going to be a super deep plane, and we think that people are going to really like it.

Longitude screenshots

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Matt - So, got a couple screenshots here of that. [Jorg - Too much, Matt! Too much!] The first screenshot, here, what you saw, in the hydraulics synoptics page. The new EIS, you can see we’ve got the landing elevation and all that stuff is properly automated. We’ve modeled the hydraulic accumulators, the PTCU icon here.

Matt - On the next one, we’ve got the advanced VNAV that we’re showing. You can see all the different constraints, altitudes, flight plan, flight path angles. All that stuff. And then, real quick, on the last page is the grandiose cockpit view. You can see we’ve got both PFD split, we’ve got the pre-flight page, which has real tests, and the tests are actually performed at the right times. As well as, you can see the ECS page here, which is showing the path of the bleed air and all that stuff operates and the logic does the thing. So, we think you guys will really be happy. We think it’s gonna be something that you would be proud to own in the premium package. And we hope it kind of reinforces that we are in this for the long-haul. We want to give you the best stuff that we possibly can to fly with.

Jorg - Hey Matt, is this all for January?

Matt - I believe it is, isn’t it? Hmm!

Jayne - All of it!

Jorg - There’s two more of these things [AAUs] coming in 2023. [Matt - Yeah!] Seriously, we heard you. Honestly, we felt bad that the premium planes got under-served over time and that is all gonna get rectified this next year. So thank you for waiting and for the patience. But yeah, I agree with the chat. The combo of Asobo making the base sim, making this whole thing work, and having a specialist team like Working Title is an awesome combo. So, I hope you all will enjoy it!

Matt - We’re super excited. I know the joke on our [Discord] server has been “on or before December 31”. That will still be true: There will be a flighting for this stuff. So, we’ll get that stuff in your hands. You can test it and we’ll get feedback. We do want to make this the best it can be. So, we’re super excited.

Jayne - Incredible work! Thank you for sharing that. And as always, we appreciate you joining us for our steam. It’s very obvious from chat that we’re all very excited about this. We’ll see you soon. Can’t wait for January!

Matt - Yeah. Thanks, guys!

Jayne - Alright, so Jorg, we have our next announcements!

Jorg - Well, it’s stuff we should’ve talked about a while ago. We got a little bit on a rhythm because the 40th [anniversary] was such a monster. (Is there another slide, Jayne?) [Jayne - There is. It’s the announcement slide. If you’re ready!] I think I’m ready!

World Update 12: New Zealand

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Jorg - The next world update? (Is that it?)

Jayne - Yup. Next world update, 12!

Jorg - I’m very happy to say it’s gonna be New Zealand, which was much requested by many. I have to say of New Zealand, I’ve been there. It’s my favorite country, now – it used to be Switzerland – from a beauty perspective. But New Zealand is also so nice! So they have a beautiful country and they’re so nice! So, we are going to update everything. I’m seeing Orbx, here: They did most of it. So we have all new aerials, all new DEM [digital elevation model].

World Update 12: New Zealand screenshots

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Jorg - I have a couple of pictures, so if you want to go through it [Jayne - Sure thing!]. Just a few, just a tease today. (Well, you know. Just keep going. Just some impressions.) New Zealand is beautiful. Yup, yup. And, the summary page. Yeah, we’ll have four bespoke airports. Maybe more. We’re still talking to some folks. We have 30 POIs, right now we’ll probably make some more, because we’re talking with some folks. There are six photogrammetry cities; they’re done. Cool. And then we’ll make landing challenges, bush trips, discovery flights there, always. I think it’s going to be a beautiful update, really. A very beautiful country.

Jayne - And to go along with that, Local Legend 8.

Local Legend 8: De Havilland DHC-4 Caribou

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Jorg - Local Legend 8! We thought about, which one makes a lot of sense for New Zealand? We landed on the De Havilland DHC-4 Caribou. And also, it’s made by Orbx. I was hesitating to show you these first pictures. I was like, “Well, it’s not textured yet!” But they’re hard at work. But I asked everybody else on the chat, and they were like, “Well, it looks cool!” So here’s the exterior. It’s currently being textured. And here’s the interior. And I think that the team is making tons of progress. I think it’s gonna be a really nice local legend. All coming to you, by the way, February 7th or maybe 8th. (They’re still discussing because it’s a holiday in New Zealand at that time.)

Jorg - And then in March (I didn’t put a slide here), there’s Sim Update 12, and Sim Update 12 will bring, finally, WASM support, which we’ve all been waiting for patiently. And it’s gonna be really cool for people on Xbox. But it’s also something that held back a highly-complex plane that we’ve also talked about for a while. And we have a guest! A long lost friend is here today. So, hey!

Jayne - We do! Welcome, Hans Hartmann!

Hans Hartmann, developer, ATR 42/72-600

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Hans - Hello, good morning to you!

Jayne - Good evening! Thank you so much for joining us. So, can you tell us how development has been going on the ATR?

Hans - Yes. We have been hard at work all the time since we started the project in January. A little summary for people who don’t know about it, yet: We’ve been working with ATR, the company ATR in Toulouse [, France]. And the contents of the project are the ATR 42-600 [and] 72-600 freighters.

ATR advanced avionics

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This is all up to – we have full support from ATR, which allows us to simulate the full standard free software on board. So for example, we have advanced avionics which includes a synthetic vision system, which means you can see the ground and terrain outside on the PFD like in the G1000, for example. Terrain awareness warning system, which is on the upper-right picture on this slide. That’s taken from Innsburck [,Austria] so you can see the small valley rising up from the airport. So everything is red and yellow, but this is probably the best way to show it. It also includes weather radar, which I said earlier will be improved. (So it will hopefully look a little bit better than on this screenshot!) And, of course, the ground map, ground terrain, which in this case, in the left picture, would be the Elbe river in Hamburg, in Germany. And it also includes airport ground maps and the full set of ATR procedures and alerts, technologies.

Hans - In these screenshots, you can see in the lower area of the right display, the so-called virtual control panel. This allows you to configure the whole avionics. It’s completely unlike anything I’ve seen before. So you set your frequencies for communications for VOR [very high frequency omnidirectional range], ILS [instrument landing system], and ADFs [automatic direction finder]. You can set your traffic and weather configuration. You can control the synthetic vision system. And whatever you want to see on the MFD and PFD. This is controlled by a panel next to the throttle levers. However, we decided to add an optional touchscreen support for this. This is not realistic, of course. But it makes using this menu a lot easier. (Okay, can we have the next one, Jayne? [Jayne - Yes, here you go.]

Hans - Okay. So, this is another one where you can see the avionics. And, in this case, turning on an ILS for London City [, England]. There’s nothing special to add here, I think. (So, next…yup).

ATR electronic flight bag

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Hans - We’re working on an electronic flight bag [EFB]. This is totally based on real ATR data, on documents they send us. It can can calculate any sort of speed, the center of gravity [CG], takeoff trim, and whatever you like, including landing data: how many feet or meters to stop. No matter what different surface conditions, as well. It includes icing conditions, which the ATR is known for, to be sometimes a bit challenging if you don’t follow procedures the correct way. So this is all included in the electronic flight bag. You get every information you would look up from the manuals. And what you get is beyond what is beyond what is written in the FCOM [flight crew operating manual] or QRH (quick reference handbook]. (Okay, can we get the next one? [Jayne - Yes!])

Hans - These other three pages are mostly to control the aircraft: Open doors, close doors, set the aircraft states to these four presets. Things like calibrating throttles so you can use any hardware you like with the power levers and condition levers. It also includes maintenance functions like replacing the fire protection system squibs: That’s a very small explosive charge that opens the bottle that discharges the fire extinguishing agent. And of course, to refill the bottles and several other things. But that belongs to the aircraft maintenance.

ATR detailed aircraft systems and FMS

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Hans - Okay, the next is systems and FMS. In this one, people with eagle eyes will instantly notice the high speed upon leaving Hamburg. That’s already fixed! But I prefer to say it myself before I read it elsewhere. All the systems are simulated in-depth based on ATR’s documentation, including the FMS with all calculations including things like single-engine cruise altitude calculations, the propeller, brake, hotel mode: Hotel mode is something like an APU, but it’s realized by letting the right engine run and stopping the propeller hydraulically. So all the systems are there, electronics, hydraulics, anti-ice, and so on. Same for the FMS. It’s two separate FMS with all the pages implemented except for, there are a few hover and technical pages in the documentation. But those are probably not available in the civilian plane.

ATR Advanced engine systems

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Hans - Okay, from the outside, you can see the propeller brake, here. The same screenshot from the same plane. On the left, the left engine is running, the right right propeller is not moving. On the right side, you can see that the left engine is running and the right engine produces torque, but the propeller brake is on, and it only produces power. It doesn’t produce aunty thrust in this case.

Hans - On the bottom of this screen, you can see one of the checklists. The checklists are based on data we received from ATR. It’s the exact same data as in the actual aircraft. There’s no difference between that, including one typo, but I think we fixed that. So furthermore, the ATPCS [automatic takeoff power control system], that’s the system that increases power on one engine if the other fails on takeoff. The so-called up-trim. And of course, the power management system with the whole, again, the whole set of data for all possible modes from takeoff maximum continuous torque to climb to cruise mode, including reserve takeoff if an engine fails on takeoff. And go-around mode. So everything is in there, data-wise. Which together with the next one…

ATR engine and flight model

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Hans - With Alexander Metzger’s flight model and engine model, it’s hard to depict how good this works, but if you look at the third column in the Excel part, you can see that everything is very close to reality. Sometimes within less than 1%. And this makes the aircraft really fly like the real thing in the end. We also have very accurate modeling of the payload and all based on original load sheets. Which also allows, as you could see in the EFB section, earlier, the graphs that give you center of gravity and calculate the takeoff trim. So all this is in the product. I think that’s all for the flight….

ATR visual model

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Hans - And on the last slide – this is done by Asobo, not by my team. We have a full, highly-detailed passenger cabin that also is not low [polygon]. So everything is absolutely detailed, and it uses lots to use fewer polygons on faraway items. So it’s both high-polygon, high-quality and it doesn’t affect your performance, which overall, is very good on the whole plane. And the final one, [which] is the favorite of most, I think: the document door, this time in a further state than when I did the last developer Q&A in May. You can even see the outside livery. In this case, it’s just white at this place. But when you open the flap to hand out or receive some documents, you really see what the plane looks [like] on the outside in this place. So, that’s a really nice thing. Yeah, okay. And with that, I guess I’m back to work until March! [Jayne - Absolutely!] To complete this totally. And I’m really looking forward to how it’s received by the public.

Jorg - This is our first plane in the expert series, as you remember, maybe. We talked a lot about the A310 videos that the iniBuilds folks made. And the feedback has been great, by the way. So I’m glad that it’s happening. And I think for the ATR, we’re going to look at something similar - I haven’t decided exactly what, but I think it’s good practice. I saw a bunch of things about manuals. I agree. We need to find a single position, so Matt [Nischan, Working Title] wants to put up the manual for the Longitude somewhere. So we’ll work on that.

Jayne - Alright, we appreciate you coming on today, Hans. I know a lot of people, here, are thrilled to see your progress. Thank you, again for joining us. [Hans - Thank you!] We can’t wait for March!

Updated Roadmap Slide

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Jayne - Alright. So, let’s move on. I know, now that we’ve talked about all of this, Jorg, you have a little flipping of the screen, here.

Jorg - I do. It was just my little road-mappy thing. I mean, I like this. I said that last year. Advent calendars are fun. Because you open the next doors, always, in anticipation. So this is what we announced today: AAU 1, coming in January. In February, New Zealand and the [De Havilland DHC-4] Caribou. And then in March, Sim Update 12 and the ATR. And then we’re going to flip them over as we go. I think you will be very happy with some of the surprises we have in-store.

Jayne - Fantastic! Alright, let’s move on, then, to our final portion of the stream.

Q&A Round 2

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Jayne - Our final Q&A. This is where we will answer some of your questions. We will have a discussion about some of the feature requests that we received on the forums. So at this time, chat, feel free to ask any development-related questions. (And just a reminder that we have an SDK Q&A next Wednesday at the same time this stream was. So if you have any SDK questions, hold them for that stream, because that’s when we will have our SDK team on to chat about what’s coming there.) So, first, I just want to say we reviewed a lot of the forum questions over the past few weeks. There were a lot of great feature requests. I think the overall feeling in the forums, they’re asking, “What’s next? What do you plan on prioritizing?” So, Jorg and Seb, I’d love to just run down this list a little bit to some of these questions. Get your thoughts on them. As much as you’d like to answer.

Jorg - I mean, I should just say, planning is a dynamic thing. We always say, if you plan out every minute of your life, then you’re not flexible at all. We are keeping ourselves agile. That is what I would say. So just take it from that perspective: We haven’t locked everything for the next 12 months.

Jayne - Right. I have seen this question come in throughout the past several minutes. A more sensitive question is:

How are things going with the Antonov AN-2?

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Jayne - They know it’s a subject that’s a bit sensitive to talk about.

Jog - Oh, I don’t know. Andre [Tsvirenko, ATSimulations], is cool. I don’t know if I can’t or should say, but he’s moved and he’s situated in a new location he’s at. We talk. And we are tantalizingly close. So we’re talking with Antonov. And it’s going really well. And, honestly the way it goes with contracts, you talk for two years and then it takes a day. So I think we’re very, very close. And it could be that the Antonov is one of those next plane things we flip over [in the Advent calendar]. No ideas! It’s coming. He’s working hard on it. Our team is testing it and everything. So don’t worry about it. It’s coming.

Jayne - Okay. Alright, so let’s get into some of these questions we are seeing. So, some of the feature requests we saw in the forums.

Was there any update on ray tracing coming to the sim?

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Jayne - Seb? I think this is for you.

Seb - So I don’t have an ETA [estimated time of arrival]. The team is working on it. So, when we have an ETA, we’ll talk about it more. But right now, the team is working on it.

And going back to WASM. I know we announced it’s coming with Sim Update 12. Some forum users wanted to know what kind of challenges have you encountered that pushed it out? And how’s it been trying to implement this on Xbox?

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Jorg - Speak to what I know, which isn’t that terribly much. We want to make sure that the consumer experience is good because it’s never been done. It’s working, but the consumer experience wasn’t good enough. And that requires additional work. And that is what the team is working on. Seb I don’t know if you have any more specifics.

Seb - Yeah, I’m not looking into this too much. No more than you.

Jorg - But, once it’s done, it’s a milestone for console gaming. That is the thing. But it really takes time. We need to get it right, so that’s why we moved it to March. We tried hard. At one point, it was planned for late November and then we said, “You know what? We’re going to do the AAU, very focused work from Working Title, which I think is going to delight everybody. And we’ll give the other one a little more baking time in the oven.” Which is, I think, good.

Jayne - One of the top-voted questions was about water physics.

Have you thought about future improvements to water physics? How things steer or maneuver in the water, especially choppy water?

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Seb - Yes, this has been on the backlog for a long time. I would say that generally, a lot of our time went into helicopters and gliders, lately. And now that we are through this, so we have reserved some time for feedback and improvements there. But yeah, as many things, we have already done a few tweaks. And I think the next step into water physics is to really get it right. So, this is something that is down the road. I don’t have an ETA, but we are starting to look at these things.

Jorg - When we say that, there are three topics like this: seasons, ATR ATC [air traffic control], and water. It’s all kind of in the – Yeah, yeah, it’s a nice simple short word, but the implications of it all are huge. So it’s going to take a good long time. So don’t be all sad if it doesn’t happen in 2023.

Jayne - Here’s a fun one I saw.

Now that gliders are in, what do you think of the future of birds in our sim? They help us find those thermals. Have you thought about that?

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Jorg - Yep. That’s another one of those features. You can stick in birds – I’ve seen some birds. I’ve bought some airports that have some birds flying around. But it’s super simple. It does a little script and there are some birds flying around. You can do that. It’s kind of, you know, it’s one-off-y nice. But we are a platform, so we need to do this systemically right. And that is a lot more work. So I think you’ll see that at some point. But it’s one of those, we talk about it, but it’s not been prioritized. There’s other things that are more important.

Jayne - Yep. Here’s a question. I know we don’t have Martial, so I don’t know if either of you will know this one, but this one’s about AI traffic, specifically. This question is,

What’s Asobo doing to ensure both internal AI solutions and those by third parties are not regressed by changes you make?

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Jayne - And I think this is in reference to some of the issues that popped up in Sim Update 11 and the implications of SimConnect.

Jorg - Do you want to speak to this, Seb?

Seb - I think we have introduced the flighting, which really helps a lot. We do as much testing as we can. And then, during flighting, there’s a lot of stuff that is brought up. And we have longer and longer flightings, so that’s really helping. And I think that’s the best way. We always do code reviews, we try to not break things. But systems are so complex that you can just not see the change, the relationship to another system, change it, break it, and nobody sees it in any QA team. There’s not just one QA team: There are several.

Seb - And then even sometimes, people don’t see things during flightings. But yeah, I think flightings help us a lot to get out releases that have as few regressions as possible. Right now, we’re doing a flighting on a new hotfix. So that’s what we’re doing on these topics.

Jorg - I would say, I mean, it came up iImmediately. Kai [Alpha India Group] wrote us a detailed email. And obviously, that went straight to the team. The team looked at it. I think that’s – what Seb said is the base point. Please play the betas. That’s what we’re doing them for multiple months. And then getting enough information, I think in this particular case, we got the information too late. And we should probably look into why is that? But in general, I think communication lines are open and the team will do the best possible work to make everything harmonious.

Jayne - Yep. Thank you both. So, I know we talked about this in a previous Q&A.

When we see roads that look too green in the sim, why is that and how do we fix that on the Asobo side?

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Seb - Yeah, so it’s either because in the satellite data, the road is green, which can happen. Sometimes exposure or ambient lighting makes the road green. Sometimes, the road can also be – there is a system – when you look at some satellite data, sometimes you see cuts. Some pictures are taken in the morning, some pictures are taken in the evening or different seasons or different air color. So there’s color cuts. And so, there’s a system that takes different satellite images and tries to color correct them so you don’t see the cut anymore. And sometimes, something that was gray in the satellite data runs a little bit into green in order to fix the junction with whatever’s next to it. And also sometimes, this is not perfect. So this is stuff where we’re doing R&D to try to improve things. And it’s going on. And as soon as we have a better solution to fix this, we’ll move forward on this.

Jayne - Thank you, Seb.

With gliders, are there any plans, down the line, to make multiplayer for tow planes, for the glider pilots? Not AI-controlled, but actual people?

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Jorg - Down the line. It came up during development but it just didn’t fit.

Jayne - Another question:

Do you all plan on doing more feature collaborations like what you did with Halo and Top Gun?

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Jorg - Hmm. Could be some surprises. Could be! Possible.

Jayne - Thank you. And this is a question about:

Do we have any details to share on the DLSS [deep learning super sampling] issue that blurs the cockpit avionics a little bit?

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Jayne - I don’t know if you know. You might have….

Seb - Jorg, I have not looked into this.

Jorg - I’ve heard about it. I know the team is aware of it. (Where’s Martial?) I think they’re looking into it. But honestly, we were so busy with the 40th [anniversary] it was kind of…we are just now getting back to work. Look ahead: that’s why I made the little grid and all that stuff. So yeah, we’ll look into all these things, and as you know, we read the feedback. It’ll be looked at.

Jayne - So, you’re certainly aware and looking into it.

Photogrammetry and bridges

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Jorg - Ooh, can I say one thing? [Jayne - Yes, go for it.] A couple of people said it: So I think we had a fantastic year with you all. So thank you for all that. There’s one thing I’m not exactly proud of, which is the ten [photogrammetry] cities in World Update: Canada. And I just wanted to assure everybody that we are hard at work at making them better. And on top of that, I also wanted to say, I am, like you, quite tired of bridges that I can’t fly under. So we put a team on – it’s going to take time – we put a team on fixing all the 3D bridges. All the ones that you can realistically can fly under. There’s the little foot bridges and stuff, we’re not going to fix those. But there’s a team at Gaya [Simulation], now, fixing bridges and we will release them as we go. At some point I was like, “Should we wait? Should we just do one big thing?” I was like, nah. So I think the first one that’s going to come out is the City 1 Update: Germany. Because Gaya is already done fixing all those bridges. And they’re currently working on Canada. So just know, I read all this. It hurt this time because, honestly, we got a little bit ahead of ourselves. We’re like, “Ooh, we have all these cities for Canada! Thirteen cities, let’s do it! And those things are ginormous and we didn’t clean them up well enough. So that’s learnings. I think we hope we’ll learn for that next year. But it’ll be better. Sorry for all the Canadians.

Jayne - We appreciate you letting us know an update about that, Jorg. And we’re looking forward to it! A couple more feature requests I saw in the forums.

Do we plan on increasing the number of Azure ATC voices?

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Jorg - It’s been talked about. I don’t know exactly what the timeline is. I know there are more than what we’re currently using. There’s sort of a balance to be found with – there’s something we call “G for E”. Gaming for everyone. We’re looking for appropriate representation and being inclusive. And that’s important. So in the context of that, we’re looking into this.

Jayne - A few more. This is,

Particle effects for wipers wiping away rain. Is that something we’re considering?

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Jorg - Seb, do you know?

Seb - I think I’ve seen it somewhere.

Jorg - I’ve seen it, too.

Seb - I don’t know when.

Jayne - So possibly? And last few…

Plans to update runway and taxi lighting to look more realistic and positioned correctly?

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Jorg - Look, the answer to all these questions is, I think as you probably know by now, 27 updates in, there’s going to be more updates. So we’re continuously trying to prioritize. I know I’ve actually been slacking on the feedback snapshot, so I’m going to get back on this with Martial and Seb. We prioritize that way. We prioritize on votes, often. Sometimes it takes longer. I think this weather radar thing has been around forever. Same with the photogrammetry cities. And some of these fixes take a long time. But in general, when you say something, something comes up, we look at it, put it on the list. And whenever we have bandwidth to do it, we do it. And I think that’s true for what you just said with the runway lights.

Jayne - One question here about the Marketplace. Moreso about how it works. The pipeline.

When a third-party developer submits a product to the Marketplace, what kind of checks – what do we do internally before it gets released out to the public?

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Jorg - Well, we ingest it. The thing – that’s an interesting topic because – I’m from Germany, as you can hear. I said, “You know? This is a worldwide game. We need to translate everything.” That’s Jorg’s general attitude to things. And then I said, “We need to translate the Marketplace. Otherwise, people don’t even know what they’re buying.” And so, I think we’re translating in 13 languages. (And somebody was asking about Korean. Yep, we’re doing Korean and all that.) So it’s gonna be 15 languages. And guess what: That is hard. Coordinating because people write their own descriptions. And then we have to go blast out into the world of translations. Until that gets back, that is actually weeks and weeks of time. So then the developer is like, “Hey, I want my stuff out there.” We’re like, well, we want to translate it. And at some point, I’m going to take a look at this again. Do people actually care that it’s translated? Do they really want it faster? That’s one of the real issues that is making this slow. Another is just the volume. There’s been a shocking amount of content coming from creators. And what’s also great is, people are fixing things. They’re making them better. So we’re getting more and more and more and more updates, which we prioritize. The logic is, when somebody bought something, and there’s an update, we need to get it out there ASAP [as soon as possible] because they already trusted us or the developer with money. The more items we get, so we are hiring more people on both the program management side and the dev side to automate more things. Because there’s just thousands of things. So that’s what we’re doing. But we are fully aware and highly motivated to fix this. Just wait a little bit. But we are investing.

Jayne - Okay, good to know. Thanks, Jorg. (I see someone: “Faster instead of translating!” Thank you for that feedback, chat.) We are coming up to the end, here. Is there anything you, Jorg or Seb, would like to say or chat about before we end the steam?

Closing Remarks

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Jorg - [reading a chat comment] “Convince Phil Spencer [head of Xbox] for VR support.” Heh! I don’t know if he’s going to listen to little Jorgie! It comes up.

Jorg - I would just say, again, like always, I want to say thank you for being with us and being on the journey. And it really is a journey, and it’s kind of shocking to say it’s been 27 months. But it’s been super fun. And looking ahead, next year, I think you saw the chockful of calendar goodies. And I think it’s going to be a great year of simming. And for aviation, in general. And I couldn’t be more excited. The 40th was awesome! The event was awesome, the love from everybody doesn’t get any better. There are some reporters that asked me, “Hey, what’s next? Are you done with Flight Sim?” I was like, “We’re just at the beginning of things!” And I couldn’t be happier. We are working with a dedicated community who actually care, or in Jorg language, “Give a :poop:.” And we get to make things better and make people happy. It doesn’t get better than this. It’s the best job ever! So thank you.

Jayne - Thank you, Jorg. Alright, we’ll wrap it up, here. Thank you so much to everyone who made this stream today and contributed. Feel free to stick around, though. I’ll be transitioning to our Community Fly In Friday, with me, SeedyL, Pieter, and Simtom. Everyone’s welcome to fly along, no matter your skill level or platform. And thank you again, Jorg, Seb, as well as Matt and Hans, for joining us today. We’ll see you at our next developer stream in a few months. So everyone have a great holiday and stay tuned for a special video and a community fly-in. Bye everyone!

Jorg - Not the video! [Jayne - Bye, everyone!] Thank you all! Have a wonderful holiday!

Special Video

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