March 2023 Developer Stream


Introduction from Jayne

Jayne - A warm welcome, everyone out here today! Welcome to our March developer livestream featuring Jorg, Seb, and Martial from Microsoft Flight Simulator. Happy spring, everyone! Thank you for joining us. My name is Jayne. I am the Senior Community Manager for Microsoft Flight Simulator. Really excited to be here to get started, talk about what’s been going on behind the scenes, what’s in store for the near future of the sim. Of course, below, Jorg, how are you doing today? Thank you for joining!

Jorg - Great! Hi, everyone!

Jayne - Hello, Seb, how are you doing?

Seb - Hello! I’m doing great.

Jayne - And Martial, welcome in!

Martial - Thank you! Welcome to you too! I dunno…very nice to be with you. (I’ve been a bit surprised by…I was expecting something more like what you said to Seb.) Very nice to be with you! [laughs]

Jayne - Well, we are really excited! We’ve got some great things to show you. So, we’re gonna just jump right in, because I know you want to get to the meat of all of this. So, we’re gonna kick it off by talking about what we’ve released this past year. And Jorg, off to you!

Introduction from Jorg


Jorg - Yeah, so hi, everyone! It’s been busy so far in 2023. That’s why I said we’re off to a flying start! (Haha.) [Jayne - Good one!] Several weeks ago, we celebrated the launch of AAU 1 [Aircraft and Avionics Update 1], which was really positively received. Working Title’s improvements to the CJ4, for the Longitude, and the TBM were really appreciated. Obviously, the G3000, P21 [Pro Line 21] were all updated, which was great. Then four weeks ago, we launched World Update 12: New Zealand, our highest-rated world update yet…made us very happy. And with it, we launched Orbx’s Caribou, which was also really well-received. And frankly, I just want to say that when we get positive feedback from you guys, nothing gives us more energy than that, so thank you! Thank you for all the positive comments.

Jorg - And then a few days later, on the 27th of February, we launched the Antonov [An-225] on PC. Partners with Antonov, the manufacturer, iniBuilds developer did a great job with the plane. And just to repeat that, Microsoft is giving 100% of the proceeds of this to Antonov, and the money will be used to build a new Antonov in the future. ([Ukrainian President Volodymyr] Zelensky actually was just talking about this just recently again.) And just to give you a quick update, it’s the fastest-selling plane in the sim ever! And we will announce nice round numbers hopefully very soon. And thank you all for supporting this effort.

Jorg - And then yesterday, we launched Sim Update 12, and with it, Famous Flyer 5, the Antonov An-2 from Andrei [Tsvirenko] from ATSimulations. (At long last, I would say that! That plane had been in the making for a long time.) It’s a great plane. It urned out really, really wonderful. And we’re proud of it. And then with Sim Update 12, we’re also finally bringing WASM [WebAssembly] to Xbox. The Antonov 225 is now also out on Xbox.

Discounts on first-party aircraft for Deluxe and Premium Deluxe users


And I wanted to say – I’m not sure if you noticed – but just, if you bought the plane, you might have seen that there was some price cut for first-party planes. And it’s something I wanted to say in the last dev Q&A and I totally forgot. So, I had read over the holidays, some feedback in the forums that people felt that we are not really supporting those who really support us the most, the people that buy Premium Deluxe or bought Premium Deluxe or Deluxe versions of Microsoft Flight Simulator. And I sort of leaned back and said, “They’re right.” Totally agreed. So, then decided to do a price cut for all first-party planes for Premium Deluxe and Deluxe users. Basically all first-party planes from here on out are going to be 33% off. And that plus the fact that we have started to upgrade the planes from the Premium Deluxe Edition (obviously started with AAU 1). I think, hopefully, you see this as a clear indicator that we really do care and really appreciate all of you that support the sim that particular way.

Roadmap 2023


Jorg - Alright, so today, let’s look at the next slide. Here’s the roadmap so far. Starting to fill up a little bit. (We’re like a fourth through the year already, which seems crazy!) We’ll talk in a little bit about Sim Update 12 in more detail. Today, we’re announcing World Update 13, as we should. We have Hans Hartmann here to show us where he is with his team with the ATR [42-600/72-600], which launches at the same time as World Update 13. Then, we talk a little bit about the challenges of the Marketplace: actions we took based on the feedback that you’ve given us in last month’s Q&A and before. And then, we’ll obviously have several Q&A sessions. At the very end, we also have a nice delightful surprise. So, aright, let’s talk a little bit in detail about Sim Update 12. (And I think, Martial, you go first!)

Jayne - You’re muted.

Sim Update 12

WASM on Xbox


Martial - Yes, WASM on Xbox. So, maybe let’s start with an explanation of what WASM is. So to start with, we’ve decided on PC, on both on this and Xbox, not to use the native code anymore. In the past on FSX, you could use some DLLs [dynamic-link libraries]. There were two reasons for that: The first one is that when you launch DLLs, you can get some bad DLLs that do bad things on PC. We want to prevent that. And this is not compliant with Xbox. So, we have chosen to go to a different direction, and this direction was going through JavaScript. But there’s a problem, here, in that, because most of the third parties have a history in doing planes, in doing add-ons for flight sim, and this was not compliant with JavaScript. So, the solution was called WASM. WASM turns C++, C code into JavaScript and make that code be available on now both PC and Xbox. So, that was a bit straightforward on PC. On Xbox, we had some issues. It was linked to the platform, itself. On Xbox, you need to get some signed code to be running. We thought that WASM was compliant, initially, with the Xbox team, and it wasn’t. So, we had to find some other ways of doing WASM on Xbox. It took some time to do that. But it’s now working. And we are pretty proud and happy that now we can bring all these planes to Xbox, the ones that are WASM. So, that’s to give a technical explanation. Maybe, Jorg, you want to add something else. [Jayne - Also muted.] Yeah, also.

Jayne - (Okay, can’t hear you yet.)

Jorg - Hello! [Jayne - Oh, there you are!] Good morning! (Mute buttons, severe problems!) I mean, I think that this is hopefully – I think this is a momentous moment. At least, at Microsoft, we think about it this way. Because this has this has never been done before. And I think it represents a major highlight for consoles in general. And you should take just a moment: It’s because of the flight sim community that this is changing. You know, you can now run native code in the sandbox on a console. That allows creators to do a lot more things than in the past on consoles. And it’s because of the creators in the flight sim community that this change is coming. I predict this will go to other game products, hopefully other sim products. And it’s just the beginning of something. I think it’s huge. And we should track how that is really going to change the ecosystem. But I’m super happy how this all came together. Asobo did a great job making it work!

Jayne - Great! Thanks for your comments on WASM. And we’ll move on to you, Seb, to talk about both helicopters and thermal improvements in Sim Update 12.

Helicopter improvements


Seb - Yep, so there were quite a few improvements on Sim Update 12. A lot of bug fixes. Basically, we looked at feedback, whether it was feedback on issues or people wanting improvements. Also, third parties who needed things on helicopters. I have a short video that shows one of the improvements that applies to the [Guimbal] Cabri, which is basically when you have the governor, you can turn it on and off. It was not perfectly smooth. It was not perfectly nice and smooth. (So if you can play the video, I will comment on the other things while the video is playing. It’s pretty long.) In the video, so what I’m doing is I’m putting the helicopter to its 530 RPM [revolutions per minute] and turning the governor on and off, and then I’m just playing around with the throttle and turning the governor back on and off, and seeing it’s always perfectly smooth and matches the RPM as it should. Whether on ground – so I did it on ground…it’s easier than, especially to record the video – but in the air and all situations.

Seb - And on the Cabri, there’s also little bug fixes, like when you were on the ground and there was a little bit of wind, the helicopter was very slowly drifting. It was small, right…it was 10s of inches, but it was a small drift. Little improvements like this. And then also, we did improvements that are, so, not applying to the Cabri, but to other helicopters. For example, we have now switch support for governors, which is on turbine engines, which was not the case before. And, we have added something that is important: It’s the engine trimmer. So, for helicopters, about that you can, basically, imagine the Cabri has 530 RPM. You could trim this up or down and say, “Oh no, I don’t want 530. I want the governor to go for 525,” or something like this. So, this is now supported.

Seb - We added support for a correlator. (Actually, the Cabri is supposed to have a correlator. So this, I think we will improve and add in the future.) It will make a small difference when you change the collective. We improved the support for multi-engine rotor friction. So, how fast the rotor is slowing down when you un-clutch, for example, can now be tuned on helicopters. And you can tune how strong the brake is on helicopters. So, there are quite a lot of improvements we made, and we’re continuing to listen to [the] community and helicopter makers’ feedback and keeping track of what is requested.

Jayne - Fantastic! And then, on to thermals. (There we go.)

Thermal improvements


Seb - Yeah, so on thermals, so as we said, we improved thermals in Sim Update 11, together with gliders. There were a lot of changes in the system. And I think at the time, we asked for feedback. We got a lot. Really a ton of feedback. Some people actually did a lot of detailed feedback with drawings and explanations. Some people did research and we’re very, very, extremely thankful for all that! It helped a lot. We did quite a lot of improvements in Sim Update 12 on thermals.

Seb - So first of all, one thing that was slowing us down a little bit is that some people, some simmers don’t like turbulence or that it moves around all the time a lot. And the problem we had is basically, in order to get thermals and turbulence more realistic, we had to add more. So what Sim Update 12 has is options. If you go into the Assistance menu > Piloting, you have at the very bottom an option where you can have three different settings of how much you want the air to be turbulent. It does not take away thermals. So, you can still soar around with the glider. You will still get updrafts. But they will be smoothed out a lot. If you turn it to low, which means that it’s going to be a lot less shaky. And thanks to this, we could now improve thermals even further in Sim Update 12 in Realistic mode.

Seb - So, there’s a video that is going to go over all the changes we did. So, it’s a 10-minute flight, which we speed up 3x. (So if you want to start playing this right now, so I can talk through the changes while we’re flying.) So, the plane is on an autopilot heading. But on the pitch, I have a pitch hold. I don’t have an altitude hold. And so, one of the very important things is that the thermals are very much dependent on the solar irradiance. So, how much sunlight is hitting the ground. So, this is obviously time of day. So, you’re gonna get the biggest thermals at 2:00, 1:00 when the sun is vertical, or just right after [the] sun is vertical. Latitude plays a big role. Time of day plays a big role. Anything changing the sunlight hitting the ground plays a big role.

Seb - Then, you have clouds. When there are clouds added to the system, the system is going to change, adding more thermals to clouds. The more there are clouds, the more clouds are going to have thermals under them. And less, there are going to be thermals on just the areas where there’s blue sky. So, I changed the cloud density and wind speed. So basically, the stronger the cloud density above the ground, the more thermals you will get. So, it’s really a column thing. If you have a very dense cloud, which is 1000 feet thick, it’s gonna be thick, it’s gonna be some thermals. But if you move up to maybe, let’s say 20,000 feet, you’re gonna get extreme thermals. So, depending on really how big and how thick the clouds are, there’s going to be an impact.

Seb - Another thing we changed is we improved the alignment of thermals with the clouds. So here, there’s a big thing people need to know: The visual representation of thermals in the sim – these little lines – it’s really just something to help people. Thermals don’t look like that in reality, basically, because in reality, the thermals are going much less up, right? Let’s say you have a 3 knot horizontal wind, and a 1 knot upwind, well, it would be looking like this. So, what we actually do is we, we 4x the vertical components, so that it just looks like something going up. The problem is, when you fly relative to the air, while to you, it looks like the air is going up, but from the world’s perspective, no, the air is going up and to the side. And so, we try to align it so that it looks visually okay, that the thermals are still along with the clouds, like you can see here, and that they also sort of aligned with where they actually are. But because of this visual representation, it’s not – I can’t align the visual representation perfectly well where they are. They are, in reality, quite well-aligned.

Seb - Also, we cut off the thermals at the top of clouds, not exactly to the cloud pixel, but quite at the correct height. They tend to go over a little bit vertically, just because when the thermal goes up and forms the cloud, the dry air that used to be there needs to go up and to the side, too, right? So there’s a little bit of updraft. It’s not cloud anymore. It’s not humid air anymore, but still it’s air getting pushed away to the up and to the side above the clouds. So clouds…thermals align much better to cloud altitudes on Sim Update 12. They may still go over a little bit, sometimes. Also, we unlocked, because of this new assistance, the maximum turbulence you can get. So here, I’m simulating extreme thick clouds, you’re getting more and more vertical speeds, you know, so the plane is on pitch hold. But I’m gonna get vertical speeds of 3000, 4000. It’s going up and at the end, I’m creating a cloud area that is like 10 or 20,000. It’s pretty much a TCU [towering cumulus]. It’s extremely thick. And it completely…like, you shouldn’t go in there with a Cessna. I can barely hold speed. I’m getting a lot of wind shear because thermals on clouds…there’s some sort of a vortex system. So, it goes to the side so I can get a lot of abrupt, I would say, wind changes. And so, let’s say you’re flying at 100 knots steady, and then all of a sudden the wind, there is a 100 knot gust and then you can get up to 200 or 20, right? Depending on which direction the gust comes from. And in the end, I think that the plane just does a looping because it’s completely out of control. Just saying, so the people who want to have unlocked, I mean extreme turbulence in clouds, just find places on Earth or set the weather system so that you have very large cloud systems that are very dense, and you will get extreme turbulence.

Jayne - Awesome. Thank you, Seb. And thank you to everyone who’s put feedback in the forums about thermals. I think one, just overall question from them is,

Are there more planned thermal updates in the future for our sim?


Seb - Yeah, so we have had a lot of feedback on Sim Update 11. We implemented, I would say, everything that was extremely clear and where there was basically no question that it’s correct. We implemented it right away. There were a few areas where it was not perfectly clear, and so the difficulties in the real world, you don’t have something where you can turn on a button, and you can see airflow, right? So there’s books, you can do experiments, there’s some weather simulations, but who knows how it really should happen? And so, we’re trying to answer on stuff which is a bit more questionable, we’re continuing to gather feedback. Also, feedback from pilots. We’re looking at other threads where people discuss because what I really like is in these threads, some some people say something. Some other people say “Hey, it should be this way, this way.” So, it’s extremely helpful. And yeah, please continue providing feedback. We will continue to improve, moving forward, obviously, as much as we can. Yeah.

Jayne - Okay. Thank you so much! We are going to move on now to talk about the AI [artificial intelligence] traffic improvements in Sim Update 12 with Martial.

Jayne - (Check your mic. Yup!)

Traffic improvements


Martial - (I think that we can stand to gimme on this one. [laughs]) So yes, we’ve been working on the AI traffic for Sim Update 12. So, we did a few fixes. Everything is working in the [release] notes of this build so… (Oh, my phone is falling.) Regarding planes, we have worked on the behavior of those planes, especially when landing and taking off. So, we fixed some incorrect placing for the departure procedures, we have fixed planes being stopped at “hold shorts” on airports. We fixed, also, planes’ behavior on low altitude after takeoff. I think, also, we have some planes spawning in [the] wrong position. That has been fixed. And during go-arounds on low altitude, we had some issues there: Also fixed. We also had some different fixes regarding the displaying of the names, some crashes with ATC [air traffic control]. And then lastly, our fixes we did was fixes with SimConnect. You know, you can use SimConnect to inject your own AI plane there. (It’s used by a lot of third parties that do some AI traffic.) And we were not injecting some of these planes correctly. Especially on our system, we needed a flight plan to be able to put an AI on a plane. So the planes that are injected with SimConnect have been fixed, too. And also the same for departure gates. So SimConnect now should work better for injected planes. So, different layers of fixes, there.

Jayne - Yup. And in here, we did also get some great feedback throughout the beta on these fixes. So, thank you to those who did submit. We have those with us already. One just – another general question for those in the forums and community. Just wondering: So, these fixes that came with Sim Update 12. They also would like to know,

Are there deeper architectural fixes or bigger AI fixes coming for traffic in the future, as well?


Martial - Like all features, we will try to improve everything in some time. I also saw some question about [if] third parties have been able [Jayne - Yes.] to have some benefit from the improvements we did. So, it’s yes and no. Everything that I said regarding SimConnect will be a benefit for third parties’ add-ons. And, if you see everything that we’ve done in our whole engine for the AI traffic, this is not shared yet. Another word about the AI traffic: During [the] last update, we also did some work because sometimes, we are missing. So now, we are much more accurate. The filtering was a bit too strong. When I’m talking about filtering, we’ve got a partner that delivers us the data. And in order to make the AI run, the sorting was a bit aggressive in the past. We had to have like a full set of information to simulate the planes. Now, we’ve done some interpolation. So even if some data are missing, the plane will still be there. So, if you do a comparison between the data that the partner is giving us and what is displayed in the game, it’s way more accurate now.

Jayne - Yeah. Great! Thanks, Martial!



Jayne - Can you talk to us about stability?

Martial - Oh, I can! I think we’ve got some slides about that. [Jayne - Yeah!] So stability, it was a huge topic for Sim Update 12. So, those slides are here to explain a bit how the team is working on stability. So we’ve got, basically, two tools for stability. The very first one is the telemetry, itself. Because the stability on bugs, the reproduction of these bugs is a must-have. It’s very hard to fix a bug when you don’t have any reproduction. If you don’t have any [reproduction], it means that every fix is a guess rather than being sure. If you got a reproduction, you can try with a fix and see that the bug is not happening anymore. So, that’s why we are trying with the telemetry to get the best reproduction of what was the behavior of the simmers before the sim was crashing. So we’ve got telemetry events for that. So, two things here: We’ve got plenty of stuff like that. And these are maybe the simplest ones that we have, just to share with you.

Distribution of crash categories


Martial - So, the very first one is explaining when the crashes happen during the simulation session. So as you may see, most of the crashes are happening during gameplay. (Let me see my notes because it’s a bit small for me.) The other causes of crashes are during the loading phase. (And so, what can I say about that?) We’ve got a bunch of others. This batch of others. (I will talk about that later.) Sometimes, we’ve got some crashes when the session ends because of many reasons. So, it might not be seen as a crash for the final users. But we are still collecting this to have the best experience.

Martial - The other layer that we’ve got here is to explain that even telemetry is not science. We still have some [fuzziness] here. So, these are some bars representing some different versions on Xbox, Steam, and [Microsoft] Store. Basically, here, the numbers we’re showing, every time that we’ve got a blue bar, it means that we have both received the starting session and the end session. When it’s orange, it means that we’ve got the crash events session. So, we know for sure that we’ve got a session that has ended well or that has ended with a crash. And the gray zone is that sometimes we are not getting any feedback from the telemetry. So, it can be because of telemetry surges, some package not received, but also maybe because we’re just getting too busy, and we don’t have the time to send the telemetry events.

Martial - So, telemetry is used for getting the view of your simmers and to try to get the reproduction. We’ve got another tool, and this is Watson. Watson is a tool that reads the dumps generated by the collection of the crashes done by the system. So, on both Windows and Xbox, every time you have crashes, if you have agreed on the send, this is sent to a giant collection. And Watson is here to do some deep dive into this database and to help us to understand exactly what’s going on. (So we can maybe move to next slide.)

AAU 1: Microsoft Store


Martial - And this is the kind of data that we are using for helping us to understand exactly what were the major issues for the simmers. So, I will show you what we did, starting with the AAU 1 and what hard numbers we’re getting now on Sim Update 12. So on AAU 1, I will talk about three different versions: the Store, Steam and the Xbox sessions. So, here are the stats we are getting from Watson: So basically, Watson is getting cognition into this giant database. And we’ve got the statistics. So, the very first one we had on AAU 1, on [the] Store was linked to our anti-piracy system. So we’ve got a partner that helped us to get some tools for DRM [digital rights management] and the protection of the executable. And we had an issue with that. And this bug has been fixed in Sim Update 12.

Martial - The next two ones are pretty known. And this is important because it’s also the kind of bugs that are very difficult to reproduce. This is linked to the famous “device removed” bug that we had. This is linked to [the] GPU [graphics processing unit]. So, we are working here directly with manufacturers to fix the bugs. And I will say, also, that it’s super important for you guys to update the driver because we had a lot of issues with device removals with Nvidia GPUs. It’s no less the case – it’s still the case. So please, guys, update your driver so you will have fewer issues, there.

Martial - The next one is still a bug that we are getting using Oculus, here. So it’s not really painful for users because this crash is only happening when you’re closing the session. But yet, this is the kind of bug we are tracking. The other one, it was a bug in the ATC system, which has been fixed in Sim Update 12. And after that, we’ve got [an] “out of memory” crash, which is a kind of bug that you can get when your hard drive is full, for instance, or if you have a limitation in your virtual memory system. You know, the one that uses the hard drive for caching. (If we go…) The next one is “device removed”…because even with the new drivers, we still have some “device removed” issues. (If you go to the next slide…)

AAU 1: Steam


Martial - For Steam, you will see almost the same kind of statistics, except that the second one is linked to a crash we had in Xbox Live, which will also be fixed. The next bugs are pretty much the same. Let’s see what was happening on Xbox, then.

AAU 1: Xbox


So on Xbox, we know that our biggest issue is an issue linked to the management of memory. So, you can see that exactly, but we have also some other bugs. The very first one was the one that I was talking about on PC, linked to the ATC systems, which is fixed in Sim Update 12. And we also know that we had some crashes with the Xbox Live library that has also been fixed in Sim Update 12. So now, if you move to the next slide, we will see what is the stages of the build now on the flighting we had for Sim Update 12.

Sim Update 12 Flighting: Microsoft Store


Martial - So, good news, we now have some bugs [that] have been gone. And, we can see now that the major issue is linked to the video card driver. So please, guys, update your drivers so you won’t get these bugs anymore. We still have some new bugs linked to SimConnect. This is under investigation. And we need more info with that. But the occurrences is lower, and you will then get the same bugs for “out of memory”. So Mixed Reality – so it’s the same for VR users – we still have some crashes when you close the session, but this should not affect the quality of your experience while playing.

Sim Update 12 Flighting: Steam


On Steam, you will see almost the same bugs. I would say, also, that the bugs on video cards on the sim update flighting is more happening on DirectX 12. Because the ones who help us do flightings are early adopters. And early adopters often use the latest technologies like DirectX 12. So, to do that quick, you will see exactly the same kind of bugs. They’re all the crashes we had linked to the previous systems on the protection is gone. We still have some memory leaks, here. But also, these are not crashes, it will just happen when you’re closing the experience. So as you can see, there’s no more big and major issues, as we had in the past year.

Sim Update 12 Flighting: Xbox


Martial - And finally on Xbox: So now, you can see that all major issues are linked to the memory. So, we are working on that. The team has now put some information in the dumps on Xbox. And the goal, here, is to get some statistics on what are the usage on Xbox and to help us to fix the “out of memory” stuff. So, every time the crash is happening now on Xbox events, a lot of information about the memory, the content, the state, the behavior of the sim, so it will help us to understand exactly what were the major issues we’re getting an Xbox. And hopefully, that will help us to fix the “out of memory crashes”. (Maybe [this talk] has been a bit long?) I don’t know. So, this is exactly what we are working on dealing with that.

Jorg - I think for what it’s worth, right – so thanks for all this – stability is our #1 priority, just to be clear. So, the team has been looking at this. I think this is the first time we shared some of the breakdowns. By the way, I saw some – don’t take the numbers from Watson as the numbers of players, by the way. I saw some people [in the chat], “Whoa, I thought people were playing with hundreds of thousands of people playing every day.” So don’t worry about that. But yeah, so it’s it’s ongoing, you know. On Xbox, memory is more constrained. And on PC, there were some questions about that before. But we need to get a little bit more information of what exactly is causing it. So…

Martial - So the key the key on fixing bugs is always the [reproduction]. I’ve got an example for that. On the bug we had for the device removal things: No PC at Asobo was doing the crash. So we had no [reproduction]. It was a nightmare to try to fix that. And helpfully, one of the community members on the dev forums, he had this very bug with a 100 persons [reproduction]. So is somebody…I’m sorry, I don’t have his name here to thank him now in the credits. So, he helped us in doing some [reproduction], trying to understand exactly what’s going on. And thanks to him, we were able to find a crash that removed most of the crashes linked to the device removal. So thanks to him. Thank you. And if you’ve got some issues like that, please share that to the forums because every single [piece of] information that we are collecting helps us to understand and to help that [reproduction] that is mandatory to fix bugs. At least to be sure that the bug is fixed.

Jorg - By the way, Martial, I think there’s something up with your mic. If you could just move it up a little, I think it’s [indistinguishable] something, [Martial - Is it?] Yeah, everybody’s…

Jayne - Just popping for some reason.

Martial - I’ve been cursed with my mic! I’ve brought a new one to have a better sound. I don’t know what’s going on. I’m sorry, guys!

Jayne - We’ll manage! We can still hear you. So that’s what’s important.

Connection lost / low bandwidth messages


Jayne - So, speaking of stability, there have also been plenty of comments regarding not only the "connection lost’ pop up, but also “low bandwidth” pop ups that users have been getting for a while. But of course, over the past few months, we’ve been collecting feedback and threads in the forums about this issue. So, just looking for a little insight on what you think might be going on, or anything we’re doing to help look into this to fix for the future.

Martial - Is this a question for me? [Jayne - Yes.] Okay. So on the “connection lost”, we also have…so we’ve got some issue. And we know that we were talking about that, just before this call. We had some issues depending on the CDN [content delivery network] you’re using. We also know that we have tried different iterations for this notification saying or informing the simmer that he has lost his connection. And I think that the one we’ve that we’ve got today is a bit too aggressive. You know, you’ve got a popup on that you need to interact with. If not, your sim is blocked. We’ve got some conversation here. I think we are going to turn that into some notification that will be…that you won’t have to interact with. So, there’s some technical issues we are working on. And there’s this UI/UX [user interface/user experience] experience that is not optimal. And we want to fix them both.

Jayne - Yep, so we’re gonna continue tracking, for those who are posting in the forums. If you’re getting this pop up, we will post any updates that we can in there, as well. So thank you so much.

Content updates / roadmap


Jayne - Jorg, any more content updates or roadmap you would like to talk about before we get to Q&A?

Jorg - I want to – because I’m reading the chat – so, I just wanted to say, we read the forums all the time. I mean, as a matter of fact, half of my weekend is spent reading forums, and we have a team of people that is dedicated to reading forum posts, and they surface issues to us all the time. And we have meetings about it. Honestly, that’s what the feedback snapshot was also for, and the Wishlist and all that stuff. So, please keep the communication open on the forums. It is our direct connection outside of this Q&A. So, don’t ever doubt that we’re not paying attention. So, just wanted to say that.

Jorg - Yeah, on content. Yeah, I mean, I don’t know if you looked at the release notes of Sim Update 12. Just wanted to give a shout out to our development partners, Gaya and Orbx. Specifically, Gaya fixed hundreds and hundreds of open bugs. And we are now actually pretty clean. So that’s good for old world updates, then Aeroplane Heaven, Asobo (of course), BlueMesh, iniBuilds, Nemeth [Designs], Working Title, all made major efforts to make improvements small and large to the various planes. We are gonna do this one more time, at least this year, and most likely with what we are now internally calling Sim Update 13 in August.

Jorg - And we’re also in a position, now (I think I mentioned that) to tackle TIN [triangular irregular network] bugs or TIN improvements, specifically the bridges that have been mentioned. But I just wanted to temper expectations: It’s going to probably take us all year. We have thousands of bridges. I think it’s close to 10,000 bridges identified that could use that treatment. And you know, it takes hand editing of somebody to do this, but we have a team now. So expect the quality of the TIN to also improve over time. Just wanted to say all those things.

Q&A 1


Jayne - Fantastic! With that, we’ll move on to our first Q&A. So chat, feel free to ask any questions, there. And in the meantime, I will pull up some questions I’ve already received from the forums or from other users. The first question that I have is:

What is the future of the legacy flight model?


Jayne - And do you plan on having it remain implemented? Right now, we have modern and legacy for most planes to pick from. So what will we what should we expect from that legacy flight model in the future?

Seb - I think that would be for me. So, there are no plans, right now, to remove it. So, we’re trying to stay compatible with existing aircraft. And every time we do a change, it’s an additive change most of the time. We try to make them optional if we can. There was a bug introduced with the legacy flight model on Sim Update 11, I believe, which got fixed on Sim Update 12. We are very thankful to the developers who brought up this this issue, helped us find it. There were symptoms with load factor and, and some planes were climbing without reason and stuff like that. So we continue debugging it, we continue maintaining it. I don’t think we will add a lot of new things to the legacy flag model. But trying to keep it running. And there are no plans right now to remove it. So…

Jayne - Okay, great, thanks. Question about DX12 [DirectX 12].

There weren’t many updates to Sim Update 12 regarding DX12. So our community’s wondering if this is something we are continuing to iterate on and improve in future updates.


Martial - Always! Yes. So, we are always working on rendering issues, optimization. So yes, on both DirectX 11 and 12. So, we are still working on DirectX 12.

Seb - And you know, DirectX 12 is in beta. So basically, we’re testing it. Just going back to the crash statistics Martial showed earlier. You can see that some of the driver crashes were still present on the DirectX 12. So I would say, when the background is gone, when everything is super stable, maybe it can go out of beta and become the default. Currently, you have still fewer crashes on DirectX 11 than on 12. So that’s why it’s the default. But yeah, we’re the really in the debug phase of DirectX 12.

Jayne - Great, thank you. Alright, another question from chat:

Will we get DLSS 3 support for [Nvidia RTX] 4090 users in the future?


Martial - We should ask Lionel. I don’t know.

Jorg - We don’t know. But typically, he is right at the cutting edge of supporting those types of video cards. So…[indistinguishable].

Martial - On top of that, Lionel is working directly with Nvidia and AMD, so…

Jayne - OK.

Seb - I thought it was working.

Martial - I thought it was working. So that was a big surprise. [Seb - Yeah.] Because earlier on the beta of Sim Update 12, the one that that went to flighting, we had an issue with this DLSS [Deep Learning Super Sampling] 3. The frame that is been included when you’re using DLSS 3. So…I thought it was working. There’s something I’m missing, here.

Jayne - Okay, we’ll look into that. Question from the forums: Whenever a serious issue impacts the sim, like a bandwidth issue or otherwise, there’s plenty of discussion regarding the expected resolution time and expected communication approach.

If there is a serious issue impacting the sim, where users can’t play in it, what kind of resolution approach should be expected?


Jayne - This is [regarding] our working hours, especially on the weekends, or while we’re on vacation, what can the users expect from us as far as communication goes?

Martial - So we are using different layers of services. So, we are using, for instance, for everything regarding the authentications, we are using Xbox Live, or we are using PlayFab as a backbone for everything managing the content. We are using some CDNs. We are using our own services that are running under Azure. So for our own services, we’ve got a service team here. And they are on call. So there’s a rolling [shift] responsible for everyday admin needs. It includes weekends, also, and so, for everything that we are doing ourselves, we’ve got that organization. For every other layer of services, for PlayFab or CDNs or for everything else, we are relying on those services. So they do have their own policy about this management, so I can’t tell for them.

Jorg - They actually public. So the Microsoft services are public, like PlayFab, which is a modular back end: It powers a lot of the Microsoft games. I can’t tell you exactly what the SLA [service level agreement] is, but it’s it’s there for people all the time. Like, it’s 24 hours a day, seven days a week. On some of the other services, like, depends what you mean. If it’s Meteoblue or something like that, we have specific arrangements with them when the data goes down.

Jorg - But like more, maybe to the point that I think is being asked, because these low bandwidth issues…we’re looking at it, obviously. So this has been increasing over the last few days. And about communication, the communication will go through the Community team and our website. But this is a – we try to not have the “red button” thing all the time. This might be one, but it seems to get worse, even though I just recently read a report that it got better. So, we need to dig into this a little bit more. But fundamentally, in the base services. Asobo is – I don’t know if you’re working 24 hours a day? I don’t think so. But like, I think there’s a window where Asobo actually sleeps. (Shocking!) And on the Microsoft side, we have rolling shifts of people. So, the Microsoft services are full, full support.

Martial - Yeah, it’s seven days a week. And I would say, the only period that is not covered is when the one in charge can’t hear his phone ringing. That’s the only rule we’ve got.

Jayne - Next question I have is a release notes to question from Sim Update 12: We put that we have improved loading times before booting to the main menu.

Can you please talk about what changes you made to the startup process and the rough estimate as to how much time you’d expect to save in the startup process?


Martial - So yes, we’ve been working a lot on that. So, we did two things:

  1. The first one is, you know, the checkup that’s in the past, this has been optimized a lot by doing some refactoring on the request. (We are using PlayFab for that.) So basically, we used to have around 45 seconds to a minute for requesting all the package information in order to be sure that we are up to date. It’s now almost completely done, I would say. So it’s a gain of 45 [seconds] to one minute.
  2. On the downloading parts, what check has been done, we were downloading some packages, updating some packages. And we are also revising the way the package downloaded and installed, so it’s now completely parallelized. And it’s also again – so it’s hard to say how much time we will again, but it’s obviously a significant gain on the standalone installation process. I can’t give you numbers, here, because it will depend on your ping, your download, the speed of your hard drive. But everything is now parallelized. So, it should be optimized a lot.

Jayne - Another chat question:

Would it be possible, in the future, to increase the limit on folders that you can have in your Community folder?


Jayne - Right now, there’s a bug where the Content Manager will shut down if you’re over the limit.

Seb - And do we know what that limit is right now? I don’t know. It’s big. Isn’t there also a limit on the number of folders you can have on disk? It’s pretty high, I imagine. But –

Jayne - Around 1000. Okay, in the forms I was seeing, like 1028 or so. But you do have to have a lot of add-ons for this happen. But it seems to be a breaking point. It’s a very certain number.

Jorg - I’ve never heard of this before. So I it’s just a…it’s good feedback.

Jayne - So possibly, we’ll update you. I know which thread that’s in. So I’ll keep track of that one. Okay, we’ll do a couple more. Another chat question here:

What about ground handling?


Jayne - Last year, Seb said that there would eventually be a total redo of ground handling. When will the coding on the ground handling start, or has it started already?

Seb - Yeah, this is [a] work in progress. So far, we’ve done small adjustments to ground handling in terms of small updates and small patches. We’re continuing to look into this, if there are small improvements we can do. Small tweaks. We’ve already added a lot of parameters to planes, which allow you to improve this. I think it’s been added to the documentation. So, it’s also about, I would say, planes to use the parameter. And, we started to the rework of improving the ground handling. That’s a longer rework.

Jayne - Okay. Here’s a fun question:

Are you going to start using some of the new AI tools in Microsoft to generate ATC?


Jorg - I mean, you know, who is not playing with this right now? [Jayne - That’s true.] But I mean, to make something robust? It takes time. That’s all I would say to that. It’s cool tech, though.

Jayne - Very cool stuff. Alright, we have another Q&A coming up a little bit later. So I am seeing your questions. We’ll continue to ask those in a little bit. But we’re gonna move on to talk about, Jorg, World Update 13!

World Update 13: Oceania


Jorg - Alright, cool! World Update 13! See? It is Oceania! I remember, there were two pieces of feedback: One was, “Stop just having Europe and North America.” Got it. And then at some point, in my mind, given that I’m living in the northern hemisphere, I thought, when it’s cold here, maybe we need to get some summer going. So that’s why we did Australia last January. We did New Zealand just in February, and now we’re doing Oceania. In case you don’t know, so actually, it was kind of hard to make a video. Oceania is really large from a…where it is on the planet, but it’s only eight million square kilometers. The population is only 41 million or something. So, it’s the smallest in land the second and the second-smallest population after Antarctica.

Jorg - So, the region includes 13 countries:

  • Micronesia
  • Fiji
  • Indonesia
  • Kiribati
  • Marshall Islands
  • Nauru
  • Palau
  • Papua New Guinea
  • Samoa
  • Solomon Islands
  • Tonga
  • Tuvalu
  • Vanuatu
  • Then there’s the Cook Islands
  • Niue
  • And 28 sovereign territories, including Guam, Easter Island, Galapagos, et cetera

Jorg - And we added and Antarctica and Hawaii.

Jorg - So, I made a bunch of pictures for you. (Or rather, Holger did. [laughs]) Oh yeah, like, here’s the scope. So, new DEM [digital elevation model] and new aerials, 14 bespoke airports. (And, you know, I don’t want to overstate it: Some of these things are really air strips.) We have 140 POIs [points of interest] or more, three research stations. Photogrammetry is TBD [to be determined]. And that is simply because there is nobody flying these areas. I’m trying, still, very hard to get Hawaii photogrammetry. And some of it is now available. The weather in Hawaii was terrible. So we’re a little bit behind. But we’re trying to get to Hawaii TIN. Three landing challenges. (And just keep going.) Three bush trips and four discovery flights. So let’s look at a little bit more detail. Here’s McMurdo Station [, Antarctica]. Looks pretty cool. Here you can see we find – Wait, whoa whoa whoa! I don’t want to go by this fast! I want to go celebrate! – This is actually a big deal.

Jorg - I annoyed everybody when I said, “Hey, we really need to get the poles.” Because the poles before were like, “Oh, yeah, trust me.” All kinds of people at Asobo were like, “Ugh, Jorg!” But flying over the poles was like this weird experience. It was just gray. You know, there was nothing. And now there is terrain, which makes me super happy. But it was a bunch of work, so thank you [Martial - Yes!] for actually doing the work!

Martial - Yeah, it’s a good opportunity to thank the engine team, because of the projections of assets on the globe, you’ve got the two poles issues, and they had to rewrite brand new systems just for the poles.

Jorg - Well, not not just Asobo. [Martial - Yeah! And Bing, too] Bing didn’t have any data there. So I had to get Bing devs involved to go like, “Hey, Jorg wants poles.” So, it was a big undertaking. But yay! We have poles. I mean, just to set expectations, the data on the polls is not exactly amazing because there are not very many planes flying over. In doing the research, I actually ran into a company that told me that they’re flying the poles, I think next year, with high resolution equipment, which is…then we’re going to actually get really good stuff. But at least we have something now, so we can land.

Jorg - So onto the airports, this is just the list. (Keep going.) There’s plenty of them. We try to – like always – we try to spread them out to make you have some nice landing places. Kona airport is cool, in Hawaii. And then, I think I have some pictures of some of the fascinating airports that we have. [Jayne - Whoa!] (Keep going!) Yeah, this is more of a joke. Right, so this is a Pohnpei – this is a POI near Pohnpei Airport in Micronesia. But it sets the mood, right? We’re down there in the nice summer area. Here’s Easter Island. (Orbx is making all this by the way, doing a great job.) I’ve never been to Easter Island but I want to go now just because of seeing all this. Here’s some…I picked a random airport in Java [, Indonesia]. See all the nice volcanoes? And here, you see how small some of these airstrips really are. It’s basically a landing on a, you know, a little sand beach. And that’s it.

Jorg - Alright then, POIs. I mean, basically, because there wasn’t…you know, there aren’t really that many big cities. Some of these islands are, you know, they’re like two meters above water and those types of things. So it’s not like they have gigantic metropolises or something. So, we offset that by making a whole bunch of POIs. (Keep going there, Jayne.) I know! I wrote it all down. I’m like, Oh, my God, how much? There’s more! (Keep going.) Yeah, exactly. So there’s 150. And they’re really lovely. So I mean, I’d picked I think, 10 or something, I don’t know. (Keep going.) And I will I love about this area, how diverse it is sort of like from the from the almost mythical mystical things of Easter Island, to the awesome temples in Indonesia. Makes me want to visit Indonesia. There’s amazing, amazing artwork. Again, I think Orbx is doing a great job here. Then there’s modern towers here in Indonesia. There’s Jakarta, which is, I think, the second biggest city on Earth. There’s lighthouses (keep going), cultural centers [in] places like New Caledonia. And then almost-forgotten places, like here on Midway. And then offset that was a big tourist attraction thingies, and then obviously, island getaways, which seemed like that’s where we want to go. Here’s – just to just to say – we have Hawaii.

Jorg - We, by the way, have great data in Hawaii. There was new data released, so I’m very happy. Even the interiors with the volcanoes. Now we have like, I think like 1-meter DEM, which is cool. And here, it’s just a list of the various activities. (Keep going.) Anyways, I think it’s a fascinating region.

Expert Series 1: ATR 42/72-600


Jorg - And we have a perfect plane for it! So that’s, I think, what’s next.

Jayne - Yes, our Expert Series 1!

Jorg - There is a little video. Like, when we did that last time, I think people liked it. So, you’ll see the beginnings of the trailer. That’s still in progress, by the way. (I think you have to hit one more time. Yeah.)

Jayne - Alright! That’s off just when we’re getting really excited! But that’s okay. Because we have someone here to explain more about it.

Hans Hartmann, developer, ATR 42/72-600


Jayne - We have Hans Hartmann back with us today. Welcome, Hans! How are you doing?

Hans - Hello! I’m doing fine, thank you.

Jayne - Glad you’re doing great! Thanks for joining us again for another Dev Q&A to give us an update on all things ATR. You’re sharing your screen with us. We got some really cool stuff to look at. First of all, we’ll go over a couple slides, here, before we get started.

Hans - Yes, this is just the introduction slide. So we’re doing the 42-700 and 72-600 series aircraft. (We can go on…yes.) And today’s presentation will be focused on avionics. Unlike the last times, I won’t use slides. But this time, show you a bit in the actual live aircraft, which I have here on my PC.

Jayne - Alright, we’ll go over to your screen. There we go.

Hans - Okay. So first, let’s have a look around the cockpit. This is how it looks. (I have to move it a bit slowly so it doesn’t stutter too much.) And what I want to show you, today, is part of something that’s quite unique in the ATR compared to many other aircraft. And that’s the avionics. It’s the displays, specifically. So let’s start with the multifunction display. This is just the normal mode it shows in. But what you can see, down here, is the so-called virtual control panel. This allows quite a few things. It’s controlled by this panel below the MCDU [multi-function control and display unit]. (So, you can go on.) And for example, enter a new frequency here, press Enter and then also swap it left and right. To make this easier, because if you look at the cockpit like this, you can’t see the panel, really. So, we also added a click interface to allow selecting things and clicking buttons on the MFD [multi-function display], itself. So, they have several modes for this. For example, you we have the communications mode with the COM frequencies, the navigation mode, which also allows entering VOR [very high frequency omnidirectional range], ILS [instrument landing system], and ADF [automatic direction finder] frequencies. You can select the auto tuning or deselect the auto tuning here. (Oh sorry. I should use the right instrument!) Okay, and the same for the ADF NDB [non-directional beacon].

Hans - Then, we have what is controlled on…usually controlled via an EFIS [electronic flight information system] panel up on the glare shield. The display of airports and NAVAIDs on the moving map. This is done through the virtual control panel on the ATR. We have the terrain display. (This is Fuerteventura Island.) And to the right, it’s mountainous. So, this part is shown red to us. The TCAS [traffic collision avoidance system] options can be set here. And finally, for the primary flight display, the synthetic vision system, which can be switched on and off just as you want. Many preferred the conventional way. Some will want to use this. And this sector here, this arc here, is the field of view that you’ll see.

Hans - Okay, the third or last button, which is controlled by the ND [navigation display] controls, is transponder and TCAS settings, which can also be set here. Now, the MFD does not only show the ND: It also serves as a system display. Means it shows you all the all the separate systems on the aircraft. In this case, hydraulics and AC wild [ACW]. AC wild is something, again, ATR specific: It’s a generator based on the propeller turning. So it doesn’t doesn’t deliver a stable frequency power. That’s why they call it “AC wild”. This is used to drive the hydraulics pumps. As you can see here, the propellers for the hydraulics pump, and these serve those systems.

Hans - The same again, and this time the secondary engine display. The primary is always visible on the middle display. Cabin temperature, air conditioner, and oxygen supply. Then the AC [alternating current] and DC [direct current] power system. The ATR doesn’t have AC generators like most aircraft. It has two DC power generators and AC stable frequency. AC is generated through inverters. Something special about this aircraft again. Okay. (That’s back to the hydraulics.)

Hans - Then, this is the aircraft performance data. It allows you to see what V1, VR, V2 frequency you need, bleed on and off, torque for takeoff, flap settings, and so on. You can select icing conditions here and get the appropriate speeds. And other settings, then. So you say, “Confirm takeoff data,” everything turns green, and you’re ready to go.

Hans - Okay, “Misc”: This is the most complex page. It’s really not available. We couldn’t find anything that’s on this page! [laughs] Video. Unfortunately, it’s not yet possible to add an external camera, maybe on the tail, which points forward and lets you look into the flight direction like the cameras on, for example, on the A380. So we are having just a static image of the cabin interior.

Hans - And finally – this might be something very interesting for you – is the map mode. (So, I’m going to increase this a bit.) So far, it just shows one of the ground maps of flight simulator, but this one has a very special feature: and that’s search. So, you click “Search”, you get a list of parking positions or gates. You can select the gate or parking position where you want to go. (Let me go to parking position 34.) You select it and you get to you see it on the map. So it’s – oops, clicked the wrong thing. So, with the result, you pretty much have your complete ground map for the airport without needing extra charts. You can easily find the taxiway towards your destination. We don’t have taxiway numbers yet, or taxiway names. As soon as these can be loaded in a time that’s acceptable, we can add those, too. But for now the search function and all the lines and everything are in the display.

Hans - Okay so far for the multifunction display. One more, this time, for the engine and warning display. (Going back a bit.) This is controlled by this panel down here. And it allows you, well, there’s a number of procedures and checklists included in there. Let me start with a normal checklist. If…let’s use “before taxi”, you get the display of the taxi checklist and you can confirm step by step. Once the procedure is completed, it leads you back to the procedure menu. Now it’s also the complete list of emergency and non normal procedures. So let’s let’s try this. Both DC generators fail. First is, Captain takes over, both DC generators are reset, and then (previous choice), and then you choose which problem which result the reset gave you. “No generator was recovered,” you choose the first one. “Generator was recovered”, you choose the second. And then complete the procedure. Good.

Hans - Of course, there’s also situations where, and tests where these procedures are shown. For example, the engine fire and flight procedure, when you use the fire test, or the warning for the loop test. And in this case, smoke detection. So, there’s a whole lot of things that you can do, you can pretty much go through all the procedures. The aircraft does not have any failures at this point, though. So it’s more for looking at than the system actually fails. Yeah, so my time is almost up, already up! I talk way too much!

Jayne - We do have one question from chat earlier [Hans - Yeah, sure]: Those who are very excited to fly this maybe don’t have a lot of experience. Do you know, yet, if there’s something planned for either video tutorials or a manual that they’ll be able to look at?

Hans - This is a question for Jorg, I guess.

Jorg - Well, so the iniBuilds guys make awesome videos. Hans is – I don’t think he has the same setups. So I think, Hans, you were talking about maybe doing a manual. But we need to take this offline. Honestly, we don’t know yet. I see this all this thing about price point. Maybe that’s crazy, but we haven’t decided yet. I typically – and it was the same with the [Antonov] 225I, I let everybody do their work, the plane reaches a certain quality bar. And then we decide. The idea was, this is an expert-level plane. Hans, I think, has plenty of access to ATR and ATR pilots, I don’t know, Hans, you never really talked about this. You want to chat about this real quick? (But just keep it short, because I do think we need to move on.) Like how many people are helping you test the actual –

Hans - So, we have about a dozen testers and pilots who inform us about things. Of course, we have ATR, itself, which provided us with lots of data. For example, these procedures you saw, they are based…they use the same XML file that the real aircraft uses. So that’s really, really precise stuff. And to be honest, I couldn’t be any happier about the support I got from people, you know. Many of you know, from from YouTube, and so on. So, this really went well. And of course, every day, possible new features come up. Once you show them something, they get new ideas.

Jayne - That’s fair. Lots of compliments in chat for you, Hans. Thank you so much for giving us a brief overview. [Hans - Thank you, all, on chat!] Yeah, really excited. Really excited to see this plane in the sim! [Hans - Yes.] We’ll see you again soon, Hans.

Hans - I see, “Just check out Magnar’s YouTube channel” on the chat. He’s actually one of the advisor pilots on our team. [Jayne - Ahh! That’s fantastic.] So, he’s been a great help.

Jorg - Yeah, thank you! And ATR just added – I think it’s the manager of their training center that they just added to the test. So, I think ATR is totally invested in helping us get this right. That’s, by the way why, you know, this plane was…it could have been shipped earlier. And we always said, “Nope, not ready. Not ready.” But I do think, Hans, you’re feeling good about the April 25th date, right?

Hans - Yes, very good. So it really went forward. By a big step with the involvement of pilots.

Jayne - Yep. Alright! Thank you so much, Hans. We’ll talk to you soon. Appreciate you joining us.

Hans - Thank you!

Q&A 2


Jayne - Alright, on to our Q&A 2. I think the first question I have for chat. Jorg,

Can you explain what “expert series” is?

Jayne - I think that’s maybe the first time people have seen that or [are] curious what you mean by that new series.

Jorg - I mean, honestly, when we started, we – David and I had a conversation about famous planes, and we called them “Famous Flyers”. And then, we had a conversation about like, I had this idea about world updates. And then we said, let’s make plans that are in the region. So we call those “Local Legends”. And there are some other ideas. I think there’s like, what is it? “Record breakers”. And you know, there’s all kinds of ideas of things, but with the expert series, we want to just set it apart and to make sure that this is a, it should make core simmers really happy because nothing is in our…you know, it really goes as far as we can. I saw some comments on the failure system. Yeah, well, so I agree with the person who made the comment. However, the manufacturers don’t. They are not really [indistinguishable]. I mean, we’re trying, honestly. We’re trying to convince them like, “Hey, you know, we’re trying to make sure that simmers really understand what to do, what the procedures are when there’s a failure,” and they are quite sensitive of showing their equipment breaking. So this is something we are still nibbling on, but beyond that, I think it should just be: Everything works as it should. And real pilots that fly these planes every day give us the A-okay, that this is great. Yeah.

Jayne - Awesome. Thank you, Jorg, for explaining that. I have a question here for Martial. This was one of the forum questions from our forum moderator:

Jayne - In Sim Update 12, we had a fix for this windsock bug where the windsock was turned 180° with respect to the wind. So, that was fixed. But there is…they say, "At first, I thought it was just a leftover remnant of developers who compensated for this bug that we had in Sim Update 4. But:

We continue to see this issue in default airports where the windsock is flipped 180°. Is it possible to address this holistically?


Jayne - Or is this something you have to do airport-by-airport?"

Martial - Yes, it’s unfortunately, something you will have to do airport-by-airport. So, this is an engineering issue, here. So, the SDK team has the option to turn the windsock from 180°. Because some people had some issue, they did an export…they exported the windsock in the opposite direction. So instead of changing that, they asked the coder to do that, having an option to. And well, I was a coder, and I would have said no. But the team we’ve got here, maybe they’re a bit too nice. They have decided to bring these options. And now we’ve got an issue with the option when there’s a discrepancy between the orientation of the other windsock and this option that allows the windsock to be turned. So from my point of view, I would love to talk to the…I will take some time to talk to the team so we can see if there’s a way of fixing that because it will be an ongoing issue if we don’t find a holistic way or automated way of getting the right rotations. But yeah, maybe yeah. To start with, I think the SDK team has been too nice saying ‘yes’ for an option that should have been fixed by re-exporting the asset first.

Jayne - Gotcha. Okay. Thank you, Martial. And kind of on that note,

Is there any update on the World Hub beta that we’ve mentioned in previous Q&As?


Jorg - Yeah, there was an update just yesterday. So this was, it was…“stuck” is not the right word. It was under consideration by our legal team. (I know…) Whether or not people need to do some release notes. And it was finally deemed unnecessary. So there’s nothing now blocking it anymore. And I’ve…literally that was yesterday afternoon. So I need to go sit with Guillaume and the team that actually is managing this and we’ll come up with a plan. We have, I think 60+ people [who] volunteered to help. And that is where we’re going next. So, it’s coming and we’re excited for it!

Jayne - Question:

Is there a process for scenery devs to get a payware-level airport into a world update instead of selling it?


Jorg - There is no process, but you can always write me an email. [Jayne - Ooh, okay!] Okay, honestly, that’s what happens is, I have to think about this more likely so with New Zealand right? At some point or another, I said, “We really ought to reach out to people who live there because New Zealand is pretty far away.” And it’s always best to have local people who have all the information and can just visit and make photos and whatnot. And that was a terrific collaboration with Josh and his team. So I want to do this more. Please, if you’re interested, write me an email.

Jayne - Awesome. (Um, let me see here. A couple more questions that we have.)

So, is there any news on the freeware category in Marketplace and backlog in the Marketplace for the future?


Jorg - Wait, so, I think there’s a segment coming up where I’m talking to the Marketplace? [Jayne - That’s true.] So, might be good there.

Jayne - Yeah, we’ll address it there.

Jayne - I know there have been a lot of comments here regarding full weather radar functionality.

Are there any updates that any of you have to share about weather radar in particular?


Martial - We are talking about this weather and terrain API. This is taking time. I don’t have a clear status right now.

Jayne - Okay.

Jorg - But to be clear, we obviously see it at the very top of the Wishlist. So, it’s not like we’re not seeing it. [Martial - No, no, no. Yeah.] It’s an implementation question. And, you know, do we even have the data that people want? That’s not at all clear.

Jayne - Next question.

Currently, we have the replay beta functionality on PC. What technical details are holding it back to, say, be on Xbox for Xbox users to try?


Martial - On Xbox, it would mean that you would replay the file on Xbox because you don’t have direct access to the data, to the hard drive once you’ve got your replay. And also, it’s taking lots of space on the hard drive. And it’s costing, also, a lot of memory. So, if you have a nice place with a nice plane that cost lots of memory, and then you trigger the capture, we’re going to have some issues. So, we did some technical choices here. The first one was to link the tool to the developer mode, as there is no such developer mode on Xbox for this reason. But we…like Jorg said, for the weather and terrain API, it’s also something that we keep in our mind. So, if we find a way to bring the features, we will.

Jayne - So let’s talk about –

Jorg - So I’m going to say, because somebody [in the chat comments] says, “Weather radar is a no go.” No, it’s not. What we’re trying to say is, it’s not trivial. So, we need to go be thoughtful about it and let the devs come to the right conclusions and solutions.

Jayne - Alright. I think this is a good segue to talk about the Marketplace. Jorg?



Jorg - Marketplace! Yeah, so was a big topic, obviously. We talked about it last time, and I wanted to give an update. There was a – I wanted to say that is a manager of the Marketplace. Her name is Mabel. She’s awesome. And she was thinking about maybe coming today, but she’s interviewing because we’re hiring more people to help with the Marketplace. And I think that’s an important thing. There’s some promising candidates. So, I’m talking about the marketplace today. But just know what I’m talking about is a lot of Mabel and the business team that came up with all this. So…feedback. And I’ll just read some stuff:

Jorg - “Current backlog, content takes too long to be released.” That was feedback number one. We have implemented a change. We defined and rolled out a new process for content creators to own the functional testing and sign off on their content for release. That means the content can be released much more quickly, it enables and empowers partners who have obviously know the most about the add-ons and how they work to make sure that the functionality works. Microsoft only does compliance testing. So there’s some rules and pictures that you need to have and texts and whatnot. And it reduces the back and forth. So that just got kicked off, I think on the 24th. And we have also started to show numbers so you can see this in our weekly updates that are on the website. So, we believe this is going to you know we had a we had, literally, a backlog of 1000. So, we are very interested to see how quickly that backlog comes down with this new process.

Jorg - Second feedback: “Lower-quality content is being released over higher-quality content.” Implemented a change. We’re not going to go into the specifics. We are not going to go into specifics, but we are now taking into consideration quality for release planning versus a strict first-in, first-out policy, which is what we had before. So now, we’re evaluating performance of previously released products. We think about like, we could look at sales versus ratings. I don’t know. But we are now looking at, for the first time, we’re looking at the quality of what a particular group has released in the past, we’re looking at community feedback on content they deem as exceptional. Like when you guys say “this is amazing,” that is noted. So it’s, you have a direct impact of how we do this. And it’s iterative. We are going and adjusting and learning as we go. We’re going to review this on a regular basis and make sure that specific developers don’t get stuck or pigeonholed into one bucket or another, and make this more dynamic. So that’s the whole thing. We have a very rigid system in place of priorities. And that is no longer the case. And quality matters a lot more.

Jorg - Feedback three: “The system can be gamed by submitting empty packages to get a place in line and updating the package while keeping the place in line.” So, people literally did that. They sent us packages that were basically empty. And that meant, the “first-in first-out”…it meant they could keep working. So, we changed this already. We’re taking release readiness into consideration for release planning versus strict first-in first-out. We noticed this from our own tracking and process because that means is we get a package like 10 times or more before release. And it’s like, this wasn’t ready at all when we first got it. So, we’re no longer allowing incomplete packages to hold a spot in the processing queue. And keeping things fair and a level playing ground so all content has an equal starting point.

Jorg - And then additional efforts: (So, those are the three big pieces of feedback.) And additional efforts…let’s see, here: Still prioritizing being a global product, but no longer blocking of localization. So this something is important to me, right? I’m obviously from Germany, right? Like, we have now more, I think, more languages than just about any other thing at Microsoft. I think we just added Korean and Turkish. (I don’t know if you saw that.) And this is our effort to make – you know, I always say, flight and the dream of flight is universal. And it sucks when people can’t speak the languages. And then they don’t have a good time. But, there used to be a process where we waited for the Marketplace text to be translated. And that’s sometimes held up release. We asked you this, I think two dev Q&As ago, and everybody said, “Don’t wait for that [localization] stuff.” And we don’t anymore. So that’s that’s already done.

Jorg - Then, we’re hiring more people. We already hired a new dev on our side to help with tooling. And then we’re hiring a new PM [project manager], which will also help matters quite a bit. And then, we’re continuously reviewing both internal and external processes of workflow, how it can be optimized. We will keep listening to what you’re saying, how it’s actually going. And then enable…we are talking about maybe enabling Xbox testing prior to ingestion. It’s speculative. Because on PC, you can do it. On Xbox, you can’t. So it’s something the team is looking into. But overall, I just would say: We’re super thankful for our development partners and third parties. The community feedback has been critical and been heard loud and clear. And please keep it going. And we’re not perfect, right? There’s always room to improve. But the goal is to have the best Marketplace it can possibly be, both from a workflow perspective, that you get what you want, when you want it. And that is safe and stable. And protected.

Jayne - Awesome. Thank you so much –

Jorg - Maybe there are some questions because I talked for like 10 minutes. And –

Jayne - Yup. I did see a question. They said, first of all, thank you for implementing all these changes based on feedback.

Are any changes coming in the future regarding communication with those who are waiting in the queue to become a Marketplace partner?


Jayne - Any kind of communication like if they should [Jorg - Yup!] do anything different if they’re not accepted. Stuff like that.

Jorg - I mean, I think we were so underwater…like there’s no other way to say it. We hired and hired and hired and that still didn’t do the trick. And then, we sat there on a mountain of 1000 add-ons that are not released. And the notion of adding more people to this was not really appealing. I mean, we have a meeting. Every week, we have a meeting that’s called a priority meeting or something where we wanted to decide what are the next partners that are coming to the Marketplace. And the team was just in no mental space to let more third parties in. That is now – that the intent with all these changes we just made is that that’s changing. [Jayne - Yeah.] So don’t do anything. I mean, if you apply through the proper process, then we know about you, and we are hopefully now freeing up to actually do this again.

Jayne - Fantastic! Another question:

Are there ever going to be changes to have [an] equitable and fair Marketplace refund policy?


Jayne - For those…if the add on doesn’t work or anything else?

Jorg - Honestly, I have to look into this. Let’s follow up next time. I’m not the business guy. So, I don’t know what the rules are and whatnot. But it’s a fair question. If – I mean, Jayne and I, by the way, we always get the chatlog, we always talk about “What are the takeaways?” and I’ll try to take action. So this is one, Jayne, that we need to follow up on.

Jayne - Sounds great. Alright. Um, we got about six minutes left, here. And we have one more thing to talk about. So we’re gonna move onto that.

Surprise: FlightSimExpo


Jorg - Yeah! There’s a surprise? There’s a tease? How about that? [Jayne - What could this mean?] What is that? Anybody know what that is?

Jayne - Well, it looks like a baseball stadium…somewhere.

Jorg - But where is it, folks? Where is it? Okay. [Jayne - “America!”] Well, this is from our – this is from our, oh my God! [laughs] So this is where we’re heading, right. This is from our launch trailer. And it’s Houston! Yay, you got it, Limac333! Perfect! [Jayne - Yeah.] What’s in Houston this year? (Next slide. And person!)

Evan Reiter, FlightSimExpo


Jayne - And in person! We have Evan joining us from FSExpo. Welcome, Evan! How are you?

Evan - Hello! I’m phenomenal. How are you, Jayne?

Jayne - Great! Thanks for hanging out with us, especially waiting to speak with us throughout the stream. But we are super stoked to have you on. Jorg and Evan, I’ll let you take it away to chat about this.

Jorg - Yeah, I mean, obviously, so I think – I remember in 2019, when we released the trailer, I think it was the same day, I want to say, that there was a FlightSimExpo in Dallas. And I can only imagine the bewilderment of everybody in Dallas saying, “What the heck just happened? You know, there’s a flight sim we never heard of at some game show…what the heck?” And, so we did – obviously, we weren’t there. And that was, I mean, you know…Microsoft tends to release stuff on shows like E3, and it’s just what it is. And then in 2020, we talked, but somehow it was just not working out. And then there was [the] pandemic side. And we couldn’t do anything, so…but Evan is a very persistent, and very effective communicator [about] how the FSExpo is beneficial to the community at large. And I agree. So, we are finally coming this year! And I’m really excited! Evan, I don’t know what you want to say to this.

Evan - Yeah, I mean, exactly. We’re just super excited, as well, to bring this show to the community. And of course, to have you there and to have Microsoft there. It’s really…you talked about back in 2019 in Orlando, where we all were. I remember that Sunday afternoon, and I was there with a bunch of – like Ed [Correia] from Orbx, and a bunch of our top, sort of, sponsors. And nobody had any clue. Right? So we were all there, and we’re like looking at this trailer. And we’re like, “What the heck’s going on? Did you know about this? Did you know about this?” So, it’s phenomenal, you know, that this really actually turns out. Funnily enough, FlightSimExpo is the show where a lot of this news comes out, and where you can try the latest in hardware and virtual reality and setups and sim on everything from a laptop to a mobile device to a desktop. So, the fact that we’re having, you know, Microsoft there, we’re able to celebrate the flight simulation community together. It’s just phenomenal for us.

Jorg - Yeah, it’s Microsoft and Asobo. So we’ve chatted and, our plans are honestly not 100% baked. Going to be transparent. So we booked a nice, big space on the floor, which is going to be cool. And we are…and Seb committed to coming, which is also wonderful. I think…right Seb?

Evan - Sounds like he’s committing right now!

Jorg - So Seb’s coming. I think Martial cannot come for very good reasons. Right, Martial?

Jayne - No. He’s muted, but I see head shakes.

Martial - I don’t want to talk about it. I’m so disappointed! I’ve got some other personal thing that I can’t miss.

Jorg - But a beautiful positive personal thing. It’s a good thing! Anyway, Seb and I are going to be there. I would predict others from the team are going to be there. There is an idea to invite some of our dear first-party developers. Maybe Hans [Hartmann] will come. Maybe Oliver [Moser] will come. I think maybe Fernando [Herrera] will come and people like that. So it’s because it really it should be a celebration. I think that’s what really…what I fully get about the expo: that it’s celebration of simulation. And I think we want to be there, and it’s gonna be great to meet y’all.

Evan - Yeah, and that’s what it’s all about. It’s just meeting people that you’ve really only talked to in this format, or that you’ve only interacted with online, or that you’ve actually never seen in person. That’s what this show has always been about. And of course, Houston: great spot for it. So much around. You’ve got the [Johnson] space center there we’ve arranged tours of. Got a bunch of Air Traffic Control tours happening in and around the show. And then of course, you know, there’s the show itself at an air museum. Lots of people are flying in airplanes. I guess I can’t talk, or I shouldn’t talk too much about that! But, of course you can all find the details on our website if you’re interested.

Jayne - Yes, I’m already seeing a lot of questions, like what kind of stuff we’re going to have. As Jorg said, we’ll be working through those details and start sharing them out with, you know, throughout the next several months before June. But we are just super excited to have a presence there and hang out with everyone at FSExpo.

Jorg - I know Jayne, you’re planning on stuff for you and Shaun, right?

Jayne - Yeah, we’ll do some kind of community event. Looking forward to it!

Jorg - It’s not gonna be hot at all!

Evan - No!

Jayne - Well…bring a hat, everyone! if you plan on coming!

Jorg - I’m gonna get a white version of this 'cause I ain’t wearing black! No!

Jayne - That’s great! Anything else you’d like to add, Evan?

Evan - I think just for people who are interested in learning more, our website is You can see the floorplan. Of course, you can’t see where Microsoft is going to be because we wanted to make this announcement a surprise. But, if you see there’s a big gap in the middle of one of those hangars, that might be the space that we’re saving for Microsoft! So, all the details on how you can get to the show, our travel discounts, our hotel discounts. We’ve really tried to make the event, you know, a really cool experience for the community that anybody can attend, even on a low budget. So please visit our website if you’re interested in learning more. It’s You can always send me an email, give me a phone call, reach me on Discord. And, we’re looking forward to, just as Jorg said, celebrating the community and bringing everyone together in Houston on June 23 to [the] 25th.

Jayne - Fantastic! Thank you, Evan! We look forward to hanging out with you in June. [Evan - Thanks, everybody.] Chat’s stoked. Alright.

Roadmap 2023


Jayne - We’ll move back now to our content roadmap, after we’ve discussed all the things. So, a couple updates here, Jorg?

Jorg - Oh! Yeah. Well, this is just the update. I’ve moved a few things around. I don’t know…you’ll probably see it. But it’s…obviously, we announced Oceania, which is nice. And then next time we meet, we’ll announce World Update 14 and the new Local Legend. And then June is jam-packed full of things, in part because I think Evan wanted me to announce something. So we have even a little announcement for his show. So it’s gonna be great, great summer. Hopefully you see we’re on a on a good path to having lots and lots of activity and new things in Flight Sim. And yeah, so I added it here. It came up a few times. I added a Sim Update 13. We call it a surprise. There’s actually something coming with it in August, but there’s going to be something like that.

Jayne - Awesome.

Closing Remarks


Jayne - That brings us to the end of our developer stream. Thank you, Seb, Martial, and Jorg for your time and efforts to tell us everything going on with Microsoft Flight Simulator and keep our community informed. Just as a heads up for everyone here: While this stream is ending, we will be back in roughly 45 minutes for our Reno Series round two finals, where seven of the greatest sim Reno racers are competing in all four classes. We’re gonna have both Greg Gibson and Fred Telling, the CEO of Reno Air Racing Association join us to cheer on the pilots. Lots of giveaways, as well. Martial, is there anything you want to add before we end?

Martial - No, thank you, Jayne, for doing this for us, and have a very nice time with the Reno races!

Jayne - Thank you! How about you, Seb?

Seb - Thank you very much, everybody! Thank you for the feedback, for the questions.

Jayne - Awesome! And Jorg?

Jorg - Well it’s [a] great talk. I just want to say thank you, Hans, for coming. For your lengthy explanation of the ATR. You know, I think everybody’s convinced how system-deep you went. And then Evan, we’re looking forward to meeting you and hopefully many of you in person.