May 2023 Developer Stream



Introduction from Jayne

Jayne - Hello, happy Wednesday, simmers! Welcome to our May development livestream. Thank you for joining us today. We are happy to be back to chat about all our recent and all our upcoming releases in the sim, and of course, answer some of your live questions. My name is Jayne and I am the Senior Community Manager for Microsoft Flight Simulator. Below me is our regular panel. First up, we have Jorg Neumann, head of Microsoft Flight Sim. Hello, Jorg, welcome!

Jorg - Hey, y’all!

Jayne - Glad to have you here! In the middle, we have Sebastian Wloch, CEO and co-founder of Asobo Studios.

Seb - Hello!

Jayne - Welcome back! And last but not least, we have Martial Bossard, Executive Producer at Asobo Studios. Welcome!

Martial - Hello!

Jayne - Great to have you three here! We have, of course, lots to share. And, some housekeeping for chat: We have a few different Q&A segments throughout the show. So, we do ask that you hold your questions until those specified moments. And of course, we will go ahead and kick it off. Lots to talk about and share. So, Jorg, as always, let’s start!

Introduction from Jorg


Jorg - Hi, everyone! It’s good to be back. Yeah, I was just looking. It’s been six weeks since we last talked. It was March 22nd, and…I dunno. So, it’s spring, at least here in Seattle. And, I’m like – I feel like…it’s been busy. So I looked back a little bit and I said, “Yep, sure enough, we launched – in the last ten weeks we launched four planes and a world update.” And so, no wonder I feel a little bit…you know, it was busy. [Jayne - Yeah!] So, we launched the Caribou from Orbx – it was really nice – back in late February. (Keep going.) Then we launched the Antonov An-225. I actually wanted to say something about this because this is obviously a special plane with a special purpose. So, it’s been awesome to see how many people have been enjoying the plane. And, as you know, we are going to give the proceeds to Antonov. And I was so hoping that I could say today that we are sending the first million dollar check to Antonov. And we are this close! But we’re this close, which is great. And, it’s been really great. The people at Antonov are super thankful. And, I think I said it already, maybe, but I got an email from the…essentially their CEO thanking all of you. And how excited they are about Flight Sim and the community engagement. So this is a, in my opinion, a total success. So, thank you for making it that. (Alright, next!) Then, we have the Antonov 2.

ATR 42-600/72-600


Jorg - And then, recently we had the ATR. And just a couple words for the ATR: It’s been fascinating to see. It’s, as you probably saw, we priced it such that – I tried to, anyway – so that everybody could play, everybody could have fun. It is the fastest-selling plane on the platform in its history. So, that’s great. There’s been quite a bit of discussion about the “Expert Series”. I think some people were expecting, you know – I didn’t explain what I meant about the Expert Series. And, just a couple of words about that:

Jorg - So, as you know, we are licensing all the planes, and therefore, are in a relationship with the plane manufacturers. And what we are trying, sometimes, is that we want to have things like failure systems and whatnot, but the manufacturers are really hesitant to allow us to do that. So, the next best thing we can do is to work very closely with them, get the plane as accurate as we can. Which is exactly what happened with ATR. They supported Hans and his team a ton. We had complete access to their documentation, they answered any questions that were asked of them. And then, as the story goes, it was two days before we launched, or maybe it was the day before we launched, I got a call, pretty much out of the blue, from the head of training of ATR. And he basically said, “Hey Jorg, just wanted you to know, we have it here in the training center. My pilots are testing it. They all think it’s awesome!” So, at that point, I said, “You know, these are the people that make the plane.” And when they tell us that this is good, I feel really good about this. So high praise! A word of the – some of you – so we have this new system that we kicked off last time we talked, which was: People who have the Premium Deluxe and Deluxe edition of the sim get a discount. Turns out, that is a manual thing. We didn’t really know that, ‘cause it was the first time we’ve really applied it to a new plane. And there were a few of you that paid the full price. (I think it was like 80 people or something. I don’t exactly know.) But, I just wanted to let you know, it was a human error that we are not going to make again, and we are obviously refunding those folks the appropriate amount.

Jorg - And so then, I talked to Hans just like 20 minutes ago. I said, “Hey, what do you want me to say?” And he said, so, the first update is coming. It’s coming next week. We have it in hand and we are testing it right now. And he also wanted me to say, he is working on additional functionality, like Simbrief support and the payload can be set in the EFB [electronic flight bag]. Those are in the works. [Jayne - Nice!] Then, maybe one last point about the ATR. ATR is so excited about this, they have a booth at the Paris Airshow in June. And there’s an ATR – I think…that’s what they told me – there’s an ATR on the runway, and then there’s a pavilion, and in the pavilion, they have Flight Simulator stations and a big video screen. And they are super excited! There’s going to be some other stuff we are doing for that. So, keep your ears to the ground. There’s gonna be cool stuff coming with the ATR. [Jayne - That’s fantastic!]

World Update 13


Jorg - Okay! And then, we did World Update 13 (next slide, right?), World Update 13 [Oceania] a few days ago. It was interesting. I’m very glad people liked it. So, we had a good talk with the Community team. “How is the perception?” The people really like it. That’s awesome. I personally was a little bit bummed because we wanted to have TIN [triangular irregular network] in Hawaii. And the company that’s getting us all the TIN data also really tried, and it was just too rainy! (I was like, “What is this atmospheric river thing?”) Anyways, so we just got an email yesterday that they now have the TIN, and we will launch that as soon as it’s cleaned up. We need to ingest it and a bunch of other stuff. But we’re gonna get Hawaii TIN for a bunch of cities like Honolulu and all that stuff. So it’s coming. And it’s gonna be awesome.

Jorg - Alright, so that was a quick look back! Couldn’t resist. Quite proud of it, honestly, what we’ve accomplished. And when you look at –

Roadmap 2023


Jorg - This is our roadmap. We’re sort of – you know, it’s early May, so we’re sort of moving through it. Making good progress. And we’ll talk about this in a little bit more. There is actually a change that is coming in the next slide. (I made a slide: What are we actually doing in May?) So in May, as I said, Hans is working on – has already finished the first update to the ATR. We’re also having updates from Orbx. And from iniBuilds. And from Andrei [Tsvirenko] from ATSimulations on the other three planes. They’re all targeting May 11. And then, there was a world update planned for the 30th of May. And I have to say, it’s kind of a similar problem with Hawaii. In this particular case, I’m not going to really say what it is, but one of the really important cities that I think that are wonderful, we got 73% of the capture. And then, it started raining. And it’s been raining ever since. And so, we are currently waiting for a 3-day window. The plane is on the ground in the country, waiting to fly. And, I really want you guys to have the city in the best possible format. So we’re moving this world update a few weeks back.

Jorg - And in June (not that we’re not busy), we are doing a couple of things. So, we are doing the aircraft. No, first, we’re going to the Paris Airshow. So, that’s on the 19th. And in that, we are bringing out City Update 2: France, because this’ll all be in Paris. And, we’re also launching a Local Legend. And we’ll talk about this later today. And then, on the 23rd, we are launching Aircraft and Avionics Update 2. This one is being driven by Working Title. And we’re shipping a Famous Flyer at the same time. That’s also later in the presentation.

Jayne - Awesome! So, a lot happening the next two months. [Jorg - That’s Jorg talk: Let’s go!] Looking forward to all of it! I do have a few questions based on some of the updates we just got on those slides, specifically related to the ATR. So, we obviously got a really great video series that dropped on our YouTube recently for the ATR. I think it’s six parts, right now, on how to use the ATR. And I know:

Q&A 1

A lot of our community is wondering if a manual is something we can expect for the ATR


Jayne - Or something that would be prioritized, moving forward, for future Expert Series-level planes, since they can be quite daunting to learn.

Jorg - Specifically, something like the ATR…that’s not like the most common exact thing. I mean, honestly, so we have talked about – somebody approached me and said he was willing to write the manual. I don’t want to say exactly how much he wanted for that. But it was, you know, I dunno, it’s like a Ferrari, maybe, or something. It was like, “Wh-what?!” And then I asked Hans. I said, “Hans, do you have time to write a manual?” And Hans – Hans is awesome, right? But he’s a “dev” dev, right? He actually likes writing code. So, instead, then we were approached by another gentleman who said, “I can make you a video series.” And as you said, the first six videos are released. The seventh one is coming out pretty soon. Once the update is out on – ‘cause it’s actually – so, it shows you what the update on the 9th will bring. But I heard that. I think we need to do it. And I need to find a way. I don’t have a way yet, but we’ll find a way.

Jayne - Yeah, awesome. And a question, here, from chat:

Has the ATR freighter been axed or are there still plans to release it down the line?


Jorg - It’s down the line. You know, there’s always tons to do. And I think systems depth is more important than some of the other stuff. So, I thought that we had talked about it. There’s lots of things. I mean, I sometimes say that. We have about 100 planes in development in different stages. This one, we probably should have said nothing about the freighter thing because it wasn’t really quite baked if we were or were not doing it. At some point, we’re going to do it.

Jayne - Yeah. And a general question:

Can you help define what we can expect from Expert series-level planes?


Jayne - What should the community’s expectations be around these releases?

Jorg - So, it’s what I tried to say before. Like, there is the notion of “study level.” And then, there are the things we are allowed to do. So, we will push it as far as the manufacturer allows us to go. So in the case of the ATR, we talked, actually, about ClearVision and ended up not going for it for a variety of reasons, most of them actually housed at ATR 'cause it’s their plane. So, for me, the definition of “Expert Series” is we’re working with the manufacturer directly. The manufacturer is heavily invested to get the plane as correct as we can possibly make it with the restrictions that they have. And, I can speak to this more. But so far, we’re poking around on this all the time, like “Can we do failures?” You know, “Can we do some stuff?” It’s a case-by-case, manufacturer-by-manufacturer conversation.

Jayne - Perfect. And in regard -

Jorg - I would say it this way. Like, I want to say something else. [Jayne - Sure.] For me, it was really important to price it right. I don’t, like – my intent is to keep that – we want to make really great system-depth-high planes. And we’re going to sell those for USD 19, and for those who have discounts, it’s USD 15, which I think is fair play.

Jayne - And on that note, Alexander [alexander_p_civ], you asked,

Is your idea of expert-level planes leaning more towards airliners or commercial passenger-carrying aircraft?


Jayne - Is there any range or are you sticking more to airliners for that series?

Jorg - So, there are a couple that are currently baking and they are both in that category. But long-term, it’s complex airplanes with modern avionics. It’s kind of the stuff that Matt’s [Nischan, Working Title] going to talk about later. It’s attempting to be great at the system level. And so, some of the older planes, you know, they’re much more simple. So, do we really want to be doing an Expert Series Spirit of St. Louis? I don’t know what that means! You know? So, it needs to be a complex aircraft. I think that – I mean, look, down the road, can I see us making some military planes that have high complexity? Yes, but there are a lot of restrictions, right? You get into ITAR [International Traffic in Arms Regulations] stuff and things like that. Things that you don’t ever want to talk to anybody about. You know, the national arms trade agreement and stuff. Yeah, no, not that fun. But yeah, I think it’s just that. “Expert Series”, to me, are planes that stand above the complexity level of what we do in Local Legends and Famous Flyers.

Jayne - Yeah, awesome. And, a great question that might lead into our next slides, here. Someone asked:

How far in advance are world updates picked out and scoped out?


Jayne - So perhaps, we could get into your next slides and include that in the conversation.

Jorg - Oh that was a real question? Because Jayne asked me if I could do a presentation about world updates. So you’ll hear me talk even more. (I’m sorry about that!) I’ll try to go fast. Was that it for the Q&A? No…?

Jayne - We have three Q&As today. So, we can keep – if you want to keep going. Unless you’d like to start talking about world updates.

Jorg - No, actually I would like to keep going with the Q&A.

Jayne - Absolutely, alright! I do have a question, here, about shared cockpit. Now, that’s obviously been a feature on our planned list on our feedback snapshot for the future.

Shared cockpit: Could you explain some of the challenges that you expect to encounter as you develop this feature?


Jayne - Including some of the support for all these complex add-on planes having two people in the cockpit, et cetera.

Seb - Do you want me to take this? Yeah, technical challenges, I figure? I mean, so yeah, so I have been developing physics but also online [capabilities]. And, well, “online” is always a step up in terms of difficulty because of the testing and reproducing. And the amount of data to transfer on some of these planes is huge, and to synchronize. I would say, what is complex in online development is synchronizing states of stuff and making sure it happens exactly at the same [time]. States of stuff is what influence the simulation. If you don’t have the same state at the starting point, you don’t get the same simulation down the road and your states diverge. And so, there’s a whole bunch of simulation and synchronization going on. And that’s extremely difficult when the state is huge, right? When the state is a thousand buttons and fuel and extremely complex things, the state is huge, the state is difficult to synchronize, and when the state drifts apart, you may not even realize immediately.

Seb - You know, let’s say there’s, on the 747, there’s half a pound of fuel difference on both sides. It may just not do anything for a long time. And so the difficulties, yeah, it’s making sure this all works. And building test tools. And when – the difficulty we expect down the road is someone doing a shared cockpit flight and after 10 hours, something is different on one side. Maybe not the same fuel amount or something. And then, okay, what happens? Why? Stuff like that makes it a difficult challenge. So it’s a very – well, we want things to work well, right? We don’t want something that works maybe for half an hour and then you can’t really experience anything. So there’s a whole – we need to build tools, we need to build [a] solid technology foundation, synchronization, and make sure it gets… What is very difficult to solve gets easy with a toolset we can set up. So yeah, I would say it’s going to be – I mean, it’s quite a challenge.

Jayne - Absolutely. Thank you for that, Seb. This is a question that was almost asked the last time. We didn’t quite get to it, but perhaps you could address it today:

Could you update us on the future of freeware in the Marketplace?


Jayne - Will we ever see things on Xbox like the We Love VFR freeware and other popular freeware that lots of PC users get to enjoy today?

Jorg - Yeah, so I’m a big believer in freeware. I was just talking to the team about the 747 from Salty. There’s a bunch of cool – there’s so many cool things that are out there in the freeware place. The issue we have – and there’s actually a section later about the Marketplace – the issue still is the backlog. (I can tell you some of the stories, but I think I’ll tell them later.) So is the intent to have a freeware section? Absolutely. So, let’s get out of the backlog situation so the developers make money. They put their heart and soul into some of these things and then hopefully we’ll have time to do the freeware. [Jayne - Yeah.] But I definitely want it.

Jayne - Absolutely.

Do we have an update on the low bandwidth issue that some users have been experiencing over the past few months?


Jayne - What has the team discovered? What kind of fix might be in place for us to see soon?

Martial - “Might” is the key, here. Because as always, in the science of debugging, we need to be able to reproduce. As a matter of fact, that hasn’t been the case in – not in Asobo. Not in the studio. But not even outside the studio. So, it looks like we are in a situation in which we have to guess. We are using a lot. The feedback we are collecting on the forums here. So, we’ve got three hypotheses:

  1. The first one, we have pushed a modification on the way, on how we are doing the request on HTTP. And this is going to be delivered soon. And we also did two actions:

  2. The second one is to put some telemetry events so we can collect information in order to be able to understand exactly what is going on.

  3. And one of the other hypotheses we have might be related to providers. It looks like some providers are doing some limitations on software that costs a lot regarding bandwidth. And we are consuming a lot of bandwidth. So, some providers may have included some limitations between our CDN [content delivery network], the CDN that distributes the data, and the clients. So that would also be one hypothesis. But thanks to telemetry, we should be able to get more information, and if you do have – like if you have just changed a provider, for instance, from providers, and now you are not seeing the issue anymore, please give us the feedback on the forums. That will help us.

Jayne - Yep. Awesome. Thank you so much, Martial. Glad to – hope to see how those two fixes do. But thank you for the update.

In our feedback snapshot, we have a logbook fix coming up in Sim Update 13.


Jayne - We have some folks in the community wondering what that meant and if we could go into more details about which issue we are fixing for the logbook.

Martial - For the logbook, we have different issues. The biggest one, and the one that causes the most trouble, is the fact that people are having so many flights that it creates a logbook that exceeds the size of the file that can be synchronized with the cloud save. So we have done some refactoring to limit and compress the data we are collecting here. That should be pushed very soon.

Jayne - We also listed a number of world update fixes that are coming down the line to TIN [triangular irregular networks], POIs [points of interest], airports.

So how do you go about discovering and choosing which areas are going to get that second or third fix for an update in the future?


Jorg - Well, we have a bunch of bugs. Obviously, we’re looking at the forums. Some people go through Zendesk. We obviously find our own bugs. I think in the past, world updates – so, I separate them out into two things, really. (Well, maybe three.)

  1. There are the issues around bespoke things. “Bespoke” are airports, POIs, those types of things. Those are – we just burn them down. All we have is left is small bugs. It’s less than 100, total.

  2. Then there is TIN, which we’ll talk about here in a minute. “TIN” is the 3D cities, right? They are not exactly precision objects, right? They are taken from an airplane. Not everything looks super sharp, right? It’s just the nature of the tech that we’re using. But there are some things we want to fix. And, specifically, if you remember, we had a world update: Canada, World Update 11, which was disappointing to quite a few people simply because some of the landmarks were not even – like some of the main things, like the Calgary tower, weren’t looking good. So I staffed that team. It’s now ten people working on this. And we are going, basically, from back to front, like so, from World Update 12 to 11 to 10 to 9 to 8 to 7…. And that is going to be ongoing. It’s gonna take a long time. We have hundreds, if not thousands of things that we need to fix and want to fix. Like, I heard everybody loud and clear: You want to fly under bridges. So do I. The bridges are currently…you collide with the bridges because there’s basically just sort of a skirt. [Jayne - Yeah.] That’s all going to get fixed. I say “all”…there are some bridges that are so small that in reality, no plane could possibly fly underneath it, right? So there’s sort of a limit of what we’re going to do. But we’re making a real effort to go continue and improve that.

  3. And then there are some systemic things. There are – we know about – I would say it’s three things that we’re looking at. And Martial and I were just talking about that we’re doing Monday triage to talk through those things. Like elevated rivers, for example. There are some in Canada, something with the water shade that’s not quite right. So those are global fixes that will come with a sim update. Probably Sim Update 13 or something.

Jayne - Okay, fantastic. I am seeing some pretty great Marketplace questions. We do have a Marketplace section a little bit further. I’d love to save those for then, but I’ll keep a pin on those. Thanks, everyone. Alright, we are on the hour, so let’s move on. We’ll have two other Q&A sections very soon.

World Update Development Process


Jayne - But right now, we’re going to talk about world update development process.

Jorg - Yeah, alright, so Jayne asked me, “Hey, people don’t really understand what’s happening.” So I’m like, “Okay.” So I put this together, and then, excuse the really butt-ugly graphics (because I just did that this morning). So basically, The ingredients are these five things: TIN, DEM [digital elevation model], satellite, airports & POIs, and activities. (If you go the next slide. I try to break it down a little bit.)

  • So TIN stands for “triangulated irregular network”. You can think about it this way: A typical height field is on a rigid grid of points that’s triangulated. This is not: Basically, the points can be shifted , and what you get out of that is the ability to have point over point, essentially much more granularity. That’s all it really means. I broke it down into phases, just to give you sort of a sense [of] what’s happening. So, there’s a research phase which is typically me, my partner at GAYA – his name is Raz [Goeta], and a gentleman in the Bing Maps team. And we research what TIN is available. And that is actually much more complicated than one thinks because it’s fairly new and it is definitely not a worldwide-available data set. So when we say, “Let’s look at, say, Africa,” that is an interesting process to find if there’s any TIN. Has any plane with these types of sensors ever been in Africa? Because you have to get approval from the government. Just if you really – I’ll keep it short. There’s sort of a bubble camera with many, many cameras shooting down the ground flying overhead pretty low. Shoots a picture and creates a 3D point cloud. That’s what it is, and that then gets pushed through a pipeline that the Bing Maps team has to make these 3D cities and textures of the surfaces. So production (no, go back), we get most of our data from Vexcel. Not all of it. Like, for example, Paris was from a company called Blue Sky. There are some other data providers that we’re working with. But Vexcel is the one that we mostly work with. They have also really great cameras. So in that production phase, we have a couple of people from Bing…devs, basically. We have what we call LCC editors. They do markup. Like, what’s a road? What’s a green space? What is a river? What is a building? Those types of things. We have seven of those on the Microsoft Flight Sim team side, which is a different team. And then we have eight editors at Gaya who are basically fixing up all the ugly cranes, or some landmarks that are not looking as good as they should. So that’s the effort during production. And then post-processing, we have roughly ten testers on the Microsoft side. There’s an Asobo dev that basically ingests all these things. There are processes that need to be run like color correction and all kinds of other things that Asobo has to do. And we have other people at Asobo. There’s testers. I’m not even sure if the number is 100% right, but it’s a very contained, good team that is now focused on these types of things, and it’s working well. But so, all up, maybe there are 40 people plus a whole bunch of data that comes in from the outside. That’s TIN.

  • And the next thing is: digital elevation model [DEM]. So it’s basically – think about it as the bare Earth without trees and without houses. That also gets captured, typically, from airplanes. And, we have a research phase. Say, we want to – like, I read the community requests all the time – say it’s Brazil. People are like, “Hey, can we do World Update: Brazil?” Well, so we go into the research phase, and then it means we have to talk to either the government, or the geographic institute in the government, or sometimes it’s power companies because they have to have the land modeled to know where power lines go. And it takes us months. And it really comes down to, you know, are people responding? Are they interested? Like, for example, in Australia, I think we ended up talking to a mining company that had the great mines in the center of Australia. (I was like, “Okay, great.”) So, we get the data wherever we get it from. There’s a Bing dev associated with that, as well, because he owns the pipeline. So the data is a little random. We write hundreds and hundreds of emails. I used to do this just by myself. Wasn’t that fun. There’s now – you see that we hired a team at Orbx to help with the – Those are GIS [geographic information system] experts that help us with research. And that’s helping a ton, I can tell ya. And then, there are two GAYA editors that are basically fixing the DEM. Because it’s also – sometimes there are spikes and things like that. Then, post-production is very similar. It goes: Microsoft puts data on an Azure server. Asobo pulls it down, the Asobo devs then put it into the engine. They have to do their own things in there. (Not even sure exactly what it is.) And then, out comes the height field as we see it in the sim.

  • The next one is easy: satellite. We have a data provider: Pretty much one. They’re called Maxar. If you watch CNN or something like that, you typically see that type of data, because that’s what they’re showing when they show Earth. So, we have a standing agreement with them as Microsoft, and we get all the data that they have. They update that fairly frequently. [cut] Actually, until World Update 13, we didn’t really do anything else, like on the pre-production and research side. Turns out that we can actually custom-order things. So, the testers at Microsoft found a bunch of bugs with, you know, some atolls in the middle of the Pacific. You know, the shallow water was missing because it was taken on a day when it was cloudy or that type of thing. Well, turns out, we can actually go – there’s different data sets that they have, and we can go search through those. And we could buy those different better visuals for the flight sim, which is what we are now starting to do. So, that’s brand new. It just happened. And then there’s quite a bit of work on the Asobo side, like, they do color correction because [of] the way planes fly, right? They fly in strips, basically, and there’s color breaks everywhere. So, Asobo does color correction and cloud detection and tree detection and building detection and all kinds of detections, and that really creates the 3D aspect of the world that we have that’s so cool. So that’s all on the Asobo side.

  • Then, airports and POIs…I’ll wrap up here in a minute because, I dunno, it’s a little long. So, airports, POIs, we do research, for example, Brazil. What’s famous in Brazil? Let’s go build that. Typically spend a few months. We then – I typically either have a team at Gaya or a team at Orbx that we partner with. They tend to be like 30 or 40 people working on that for a few months to make those POIs and airports. And then we go into post production. It’s mostly on the Microsoft side, basically just making sure collisions work and there are no other bugs.

  • And then, lastly, activities. We typically try to do nine, right? Like, three landing challenges, three bush trips, and three discovery flights. So far, there’s two people at Microsoft that do research. There’s one person at Perfect Flight that does most of the implementation. There is now another person that was just hired. And we are thinking of hiring two more, simply to get the quality up and to make it a little bit more distributed because that person sometimes wants to go on vacation.

Jorg - So if you think about world updates, net, we by and large have about between 100 and 120 people working on this and then get data from the big Microsoft data providers. That’s how this works. Hopefully that was useful, not too long!

Jayne - Awesome, thank you so much, Jorg! I learned some new things. Hope you did, too, chat.

City Update 2: France


Jayne - And we have, here, our City Update 2.

Jorg - Uhh, another Jorg section? [Jayne - Yep!] How about Martial talks about that? [Martial - Oh!] ‘cause it’s France!

Jayne - It is France!

Martial - I’m not the only French here! So yes, we are going to get five new TIN cities for France:

  • Amiens: The very first one is Amiens, which is the birthplace of our president, actually. [Jorg - Nice.]

  • Angers: And this one is actually dear to my heart because I was born between two towns. The very first one is Angers. The other one is not. (We’ll talk about that.) So Angers, the town very next to the Loire River.

  • Nantes: And Nantes is another one. So, you can see Château des Ducs de Bretagne. So these are two towns [that] are very…I’m very…that’s residence for me, I would say.

  • Nimes: We’ve got the one, I think. It’s Nimes. So, Nimes was a former city during the Roman empire, and there is still this arena. Actually, I’ve got, also…I’m talking about me, right? I’ve got, also, a story because I went to a concert to this place. And it’s an amazing place to listen to music. It was David Skidmore. It was brilliant! Well, let’s go to some other places. [Jayne - That’s awesome.]

  • Reims: And I said, the last point…let’s do the last one. There’s another one. It’s a town in France. And you can see some vineyards here. And [in] the vineyards you can see create some champagne. So it’s a good place for a champagne.

Jorg - Glad you did this, Martial, not me! ‘cause I don’t know [indistinguishable]. So basically, the whole point is, we want to – like, Flight Sim is going to be present at the Paris Airshow. Actually, we’re not going. Microsoft isn’t. But other people, like manufacturers, are going. So we’ll be at the…I think the ATR booth. And we’re going to be at, I think at Daher? And there are some other ones that are talking about showing us. And we said, “Hey, let’s go celebrate!” Paris Airshow is every two years. Let’s go make the airport [LFPB Paris le Bourget]. So iniBuilds is currently building that airport. And then, we wanted to flesh this out by having new 3D cities in France. We already have Paris, right? So there’s a couple missing. I tried to get Lyons, I tried to get Toulouse. Didn’t work out yet, so we’ll do it in a future year. But, I think it’s going to be nice to celebrate aviation in France.

Local Legend 9: Latécoère 631


Jorg - And then there’s a plane! [Jayne - Yes!] It’s Local Legend 9. And most of you will never have heard of this: Latécoère 631. I can say conclusively, the reason why we’re making this plane is because of Martial. Because he was talking to me about this plane, like, “Hey, this is cool! We need to go do this!” And then we hired another Frenchman, believe it or not. His name is Jimmy [Battut], who is leading Bluemesh. And you might know him. He did the Spirit of St. Louis, the Wright Flyer, and the Spruce Goose for the 40th Anniversary Edition. And I can just say, Jimmy is awesome. I asked Jimmy to come today. Jimmy’s written English is very good, but he doesn’t feel comfortable speaking it. So that is why I am talking and not Jimmy. But, I mean, look at all this stuff that he did. He made a boat. The boat is controllable via the pad. He made a dock. He made the little undercarriage. It’s just…I love it! Like, see, so this plane – there is not – there are no survivors of this plane. They only made ten plus a prototype. But given the proximity, Jimmy actually got to work with the family, Latécoère. And the family had archives and provided him with every piece of information that was remaining on this Earth, really, seems like. [Jayne - Wow!] It’s a labor of love. Which is why I love that. That is why we’re doing this. Right? So, Frenchmen for the French update, making a labor of love. And he made a video, and I have to say, I was thoroughly impressed with the video. So, it’s coming up here in a minute.

Jayne - Yeah, I’ll go ahead and play that video now.

Jorg - It’s a little longer than the ones we make. But it’s still beautiful. Give it a few.

Jayne - Okay, here we go.

[Editor’s Note: Embeds do not seem to be working properly. Please visit 35:22 in the stream.]

Jayne - Wow! Well, I’m sold! That trailer!

Jorg - I mean, so, Jimmy. claps [Jayne - Good job, Jimmy!] It really is awesome. This is, to me, exactly in the spirit of a Local Legend. It’s a plane that not that many people know about, you know. If you care about older planes or classic planes, this is hopefully making you happy. Makes me happy!

Jayne - Yeah, fantastic! Looking forward to that! Thank you for sending that trailer, Jimmy. We appreciate it.

Q&A 2


Jayne - Alright, moving on. We have our next Q&A section, here. Go ahead, start asking questions. I already have a few queued up from earlier that I’ll start off with. Alright, first question I have: So, there’s been some feedback going on recently related to VR [virtual reality] development. The history with some bugs that hav surfaced since Sim Update 5.

What is the status of VR development for our future in Microsoft Flight Simulator?


Seb - Okay, I guess this is for me, right? So, in the past, we had a team dedicated to VR. That’s not the case anymore. The team is now working with the rest of the team on all the features we’ve got to develop. So it is all a matter of priorities. So, as a matter of fact, we are following all the forums about VR. The one that we’ve got here, some forums on Facebook. People look to be pretty pleased about VR, but there are still some bugs and some improvements to make. So that’s going to be prioritized with the rest of the features we want to bring on Flight Sim now. But we are still looking at VR. We are still investigating. As I said, it’s all a matter of priority.

Jayne - Yep, and for that forum thread, we saw a list of bugs that were sent up, made sure they’re all internally looked at. So they are just in our regular prioritization feed. So it’s not something that we are putting aside. We are still very much VR.

Martial - Just one more thing, perhaps. It’s also, sometimes, very hard to have a proper combination of hardware. [Jayne - Yeah.] You know, the hardware of the PC, the hardware of the headset, so in the team, VR is considered a platform. So, every time we are doing a test on a release, we are using VR. If you go to the QA [team], you will see a lot of different headsets. But sometimes, you know, you don’t have the right combination that creates the bug. So on that matter, so…it is great to get some feedback from the flighting when we’ve got some to see if some piece of code, for instance, that has changed is creating some issue on that kind of combination. PC…you know… [Jayne - Gotcha.] the combination of hardware that can create bugs sometimes.

Jayne - Gotcha.

Jorg - I want to say one more thing, here. So we are, as you know, one of the things we are using to guide our development is the feedback snapshot. And Martial and I just talked with test leads and producers earlier today about this. The feedback snapshot is great, but we need to go – we focus a lot on the top items because they seem like they’re most important to everybody. But VR, we have about…somewhere between 10-15% of folks play with VR. So therefore, the number of votes, by definition, is lower than what you get from, you know, a topic that 100% of people experience. So it’s a little lower down the stack when you just look by pure numbers. But, I can tell y’all, Jayne, Shaun, the Community team are doing a good job of making us aware when there are some pain points. And we are aware of the VR issues, and we’re going to talk about it in more detail. When somebody said, “Oh no, nothing will be done,” it’s not true. We will try our best to do something that seems important to everybody playing VR. Like moi.

Martial - Me too!

Jayne - Awesome, thank you. Next question I have, also related to the feedback snapshot:

There is an item called “freelook” where the mouse causes controls to freeze.


Jayne - This was marked as “fixed” in the feedback snapshot, but feedback has come in from some users about it not being resolved or improved. Is this something we can speak to, or are there plans for a fix or a change in the future for how this currently works?

Martial - Okay, I’ve been cut. I think you were talking about the freelook, right?

Jayne - That’s correct. Yes.

Martial - Okay, so yes, it’s a long conversation that is happening here [at] Asobo because when we did the change story for Sim Update 5, it was because the design that was taken was the best situation for being compliant with all the inputs we had and were planning to have, including VR. So we knew that side effects. We tried different solutions for that. What we could do was priority as a priority, we could offer adoption to go back to the previous version we had. Sim Update 5. And could pick up. So, he would get some side effects on VR, because we were talking about that. And so, we knew that this design solution had some side effects. So we tried [a] different solution for that, and it looks like every time that the one that we’ve got was the best. What we could do, we’re talking about priority, but if we take that as a priority, we could offer an option to go back to the previous version we had prior to Sim Update 5, and people could pick up. So, you would get some side effects on VR or when you’re playing the sim with the pad, but if you’re able to select the method you want to use, that could be a viable solution.

Jayne - Yep. Certainly. That does sound like something they would be interested in, for sure. So we will check back on that to see how that gets prioritized. Thank you, Martial.

Jayne - Question from [chat]. So they say: "With so many amazing flying boats and seaplanes…

Is it planned to add an option to take off on water with engines off?


Jayne - Basically to do a cold and dark startup from a seaplane port on water.

Jorg - Seb wants to say it. Come on!

Seb - Yeah, let’s add that to the [Jorg - Exactly.] backlog. It’s a – yup, definitely something that should be possible. And you cannot currently write. You have to, always engine running or… [Jorg - Airport, yeah.]. You can land, you can go cold and dark and start again, but you can’t start directly cold and dark in the water. Okay, yeah, that’s something we could add to the backlog. Yeah, sure.

Jayne - Cool! Thank you.

Jorg - I agree, by the way. There’s more water planes coming, by the way!

Jayne - Seems like a good idea, yeah. Question from bornaweekago: Will the six engines be controlled differently? Say, six-throttle axis?

Martial - So yes and no. “Yes”, because if you are in the cockpit, you will get an access, direct access to every single engine. And “no” because for now, until we change the architecture of the inputs, you cannot add six different (I’m sorry, what’s the English for that) levers. Yeah.

Jorg - Yeah, we looked at it. It was five – if we added it to the UI, I think it would have added 500 entry points or something. It was something [unintelligible] matrix. We’re like, “Oh God.” There’s, at some point, this is going to be, as Martial said, redesigned. But right now, it was just untenable.

Jayne - Yeah. Alright:

Is any progress being made on allowing camera APIs to allow developers to move the cameras dynamically inside and outside the aircraft without visual artifacts?


Jayne - Believe that one’s from a third-party developer.

Martial - So, we’ve got to spend more time on that question. Because there’s plenty of things we want to change. And it also implies some refactoring in the coding in the architecture. So, I’m not very sure what we are talking about here, the exact issue, so if it’s going to be fixed or not.

Seb - Yeah, let’s investigate….

Jayne - What was that?

Seb - I said, let’s investigate further because I don’t know exactly what API that that’s referring to. So maybe it’s SimConnect.

Jayne - Sure. We’ll send that question up to you. Alright, we have one more Q&A segment. But we do have something very special to get to now. I still have more questions I want to ask, but I will save those for a little bit down the line, here, because we have a special guest waiting and excited to talk with us!

Aircraft & Avionics Update 2


Jayne - And we have Matt Nischan from Working Title. Hey, Mat!

Matt - Hey! How are you all? Thank you for having me on!

Jayne - Always a pleasure!

Martial - Hi, Matt!

Jorg - Good to see ya!

Jayne - Now, we obviously have an update coming in June that you are heavily involved with. So, if you want to talk to us about AAU Update number 2, would love to hear –

Matt - Yeah! AAU 2. I know a lot of people have been wondering and positing and theory-crafting as to exactly what we were going to do for AAU 2. And without further ado, we’re gonna tell you exactly what we’re going to do for AAU 2.

Boeing 787


Matt - So, you see right here? We’ve got the Boeing. We are getting into the 787, which I know a lot of people have thought that might be the case but weren’t totally sure. But yeah, we know people have been asking for updates to the 787 for a long time. We know it’s a premium aircraft and all that. So, we wanted to bring the Working Title flair to the 787, and I think everybody’s going to dig it. Just going down the list, here:

Matt - We do have the usual Working Title LNAV [lateral navigation] and VNAV [vertical navigation]. The VNAV is all performance-based, so just like you would expect to see on the 737 and the Airbuses and all that kind of stuff. It follows a geometric path and a performance-based path with idle descents. We’ve got econ speeds, we’ve got cost index, we’ve got the autothrottle with all the right modes, V-speeds and stuff coming straight out of the FMC [flight management computer]. We took a bunch of time to get the fly-by-wire law correct, so now, you know, you can trim the aircraft kind of [the way] like the Boeings have. The Airbus has the kind of – you point the joystick and it goes where you want to go. And there’s a different way that that operates. But the Boeings, actually…you still have to keep the aircraft in trim. So that’s in there, as well. We’ve got the TPR [turbofan power ratio] for – because the version that comes with the sim is the Rolls Royce, so we’ve got the TPR listed there. All of the screens and stuff have been overhauled. The HUD [heads-up display] has also been updated a bunch, including – we’re going to have the HUD takeoff mode. There’s the declutter mode, which gives you the runway outline so you can take off and land in very limited to zero visibility, which is very cool.

Matt - And some updated systems. It’s going to be probably a little bit above where the CJ4 is, probably a little bit under where the Longitude is, as far as the actual aircraft systems go. But it’s going to be a lot of really great stuff to play with. And then some flight model tweaks and stuff to get a little bit closer to book numbers, and a little bit of extra engine sound design and things like that, too. So, we have some screenshots here. You can see we’ve got the MFD [multi-function display] here. You can see we’ve got a lot of updated CAS [crew alert system] messages. The 787, unlike some of the previous Boeings, has a full, you know, crew alert system. (If you want to go to the next…)

Matt - Just a shot, here of, in flight, we’ve got the VNAV speed. We’re using VNAV climb. The 787 has VNAV climb and descent. You can kind of see, we’ve got our fight plan in there. On this slide, here, you can also see we’ve got the checklist. So, we know folks really wanted the checklist on the CJ4, and we didn’t manage to have time to put that in on the CJ4, but we have had the time to put it in on the 787. So we’ve got the checklist there, and you can see the flight control synoptics on the right-hand side. (If you want to keep going…)

Matt - And you can see here, CDUs [control display units] are split. So, it’s gonna be split CDUs. We’ve got the progress page up on the left. We’ve got the legs page on the right. And some more synoptics. This is the CDUs in a split mode, sort of that lower MFD there. You can see we’ve got the cruise display up, we’ve got hydraulics showing. (If you want to keep going…)

Matt - Another shot of the PFD [primary flight display] and MFD side. We’ve got the ND [navigation display] up in full screen mode. This is actually doing – we’ve got it in plan mode, there, so we’ll have a bunch of the different map modes like you would expect.

Matt - Here’s the HUD, which is super fun to use, and looks absolutely spectacular. And this shot of the HUD is the decluttered mode. You can sort of see the – it’s a little bit hard to tell, there, because the autoland is right on target. So you can see it’s right on that 3° point. So, the runway outline that you would get in the HUD mode and the decluttered mode, there. You can just barely see that green outline, but that will lead you straight to the runway, even if you couldn’t see the runway at all. You could do the zero-zero [visibility] landings manually, which is a super cool thing. So yeah, all the autopilot modes. You’ve got autoland, you’ve got rollout flare, all that kind of stuff. It’s super, super fun. So, yeah, we’re super excited about the 787, and we hope everybody else is, too. It’s been a lot of fun to fly, so… [Jayne - That’s awesome.] But…

Jorg - “And?” “But?”

Matt - Haha, yeah, but that’s not all!

Jayne - That’s not all, folks!

Matt - That’s not all, folks!

Boeing 747


Matt - We are also doing the 747 for AAU 2! So, you folks who don’t necessarily have the premium package, we wanted to bring the Boeing experience to everybody and not just that. So, you’ll notice a lot of this stuff looks very similar. The planes are actually relatively similar from a pilot’s perspective in a lot of ways. Boeing does that on purpose so that type ratings are easier to get for everybody. You don’t have to re-train everybody when you go up to a different plane. So, there’s a lot of the same stuff. Again, all of the autothrottle modes. We’ve got autoland, all that kind of stuff. Some updated flight model, which has been really, really hitting a lot of the fun book numbers lately. We’re super close on all the unreliable attitudes and speeds, which is just a lot of fun.

Matt - So yeah, we’ve got some shots of this, as well. [Jayne - We do? Here we go.] Again, PFD, MFD, we’re in a little VNAV climb here. The same flight plan so you can see we’ve got top of descent out there, the little T/D [top of descent] in green.

Matt - Yup. Here, we’ve got the CDU. We’ve got it split. We’ve got the lower engine data being displayed, which is super cool.

Matt - Showing again the MFD, we’ve got a little weather radar up here. And if you notice on the bottom, we’ve got – you see the VORs [very high frequency omnidirectional range] get tuned. In all Boeing airplanes, the VORs get tuned automatically. So, you’ll see those change as you proceed throughout the flight, which is super neat. And then, yeah, we’ve got – econ is available on all this. So you can see, here, it’s showing you your optimal and also maximum flight levels that you can cruise at. So, we got all the performance stuff straight out of the books built into the plane. Super cool.

Matt - Again, a little bit more: This is the main middle display, there, the main MFD. And you can see we’ve got just a – I’m really stoked the team just really nailed the look of it. We got the font and we tweaked it, and you can see it really gives you the sensation of being in the 747 there. It’s super a lot of fun.

Matt - A nice shot of the whole panel. All of the autopilot modes are now functional. So, there were some that were functional before. Most of them were functional, but we’ve got a couple of the additional modes in there, as well. Especially VNAV. I know that’s the one that people asked for a lot. So that’s cool. And you’ll get your VNAV speeds, all your VNAV speed targets, the bracketed speeds and everything. And it follows, as I mentioned before, both the geometric path and your idle descent path. It’s super neat.

Matt - And here is one actually in descent. So you can see, we’re right on that 280 speed target. We’ve got the VNAV speed window on the left, there, on the speed tape. On the right-hand screen, here, you can see you have also got the VNAV bracket showing you your deviation. So, it’s – they’re going to be super fun to fly. We’ve been having a blast flying them. And yeah, I’m just – I’m excited, I hope everybody else is excited. Just have to thank the team for letting us tackle this one.

Matt - Ahh yes! Checklists also on the 747! Excited about that, as well, because the -8 which this is, also has the checklists. So, yeah! People who have wanted to do long-haul, you’ve got an itch, we know that you have an itch, and hopefully this scratches it. So, lots of over-the-ocean flights and all kinds of intercontinental stuff. It’s gonna be a blast. So, yeah!

"Jayne - Wow! “Excited is an understatement” from what I’m reading in the chat right now! It’s really exciting to hear about the two planes. Coming up in June, I think?

Jorg - The 23rd. So, we’re launching this with FlightSimExpo, actually.

Jayne - Aah, okay! A lot to look forward to.

Matt - Absolutely! Well, cool!

Jorg - Thank you, Matt! Great job from you!

Matt - Thanks, guys. Thanks, guys. [Martial - Thank you!] We’ll see you later. We’ll have more little teasers as we go, and we’ll see you when it arrives.

Jayne - Exciting! Thank you so much for joining us, Matt! [Matt - Thanks!] Looking forward to it.

Q&A 3


Jayne - Alright, we are onto Q&A 3! Feel free to ask questions now, at this time. I already have a few pulled up here. And the first one, I believe, is for Seb and Martial:

There is a brand-new feature that just came last week with World Update 13. It is a state report that you can do in the Experimental menu. Could you explain a little bit about what this is?


Jayne - How it works? There was a little confusion on if this is like a crash dump or just simply information for when you submit a Zendesk ticket or forum post.

Seb - Yeah, so I talked about this exactly. The thing is to get all the details. So, in order to fix all the crashes – so what happens – giving a bit more detail, right? When the game crashes, we get, sometimes, what’s called a Watson report. So basically, we get something like a call stack. We get data that explains what happened when it crashed. Usually it’s the simulator, which accesses some memory, which it is not allowed to, or like, it can be a division by zero. It can be something happening that is not obviously planned, and which breaks the machine. And so, we already have a lot of data about that, all the crashes. The problem is, very often, you don’t really know what to do with it. It’s crashing somewhere where you shouldn’t crash. You shouldn’t even get there. Also, sometimes you get a crash where you don’t get these reports because, whatever, the machine just shuts down when you crash and you don’t even have enough time to get that. So what the team did is they added – they made a feature that basically allows us to catch a crash before it happens, or at least exactly when it happens. And if the machine is not yet dead, we can make the crash report rich so we add a lot of stuff. We add information: What plane you’re flying, where you are, all sorts of stuff, which can help us find the cause of the crash. And that’s automatic: You don’t have to, whatever, try to click a button just before you crash. That’s completely not possible. When the machine crashes, it’s too late: We can sometimes intercept it, but not always. And we can attach data to the crash. And that’s all automatic: That’s not the same as this feature. The thing is, because we did develop a feature that was basically creating this little bag of information that is useful to debug, we thought, “Well, why not find this bag of information to find other bugs than crashes, right?” When someone has an issue, when something is not working. And so, what is – this button allows us to create this piece of information. And this is really for support. So, if you’re contacting for support for some issue, support may ask you now for this data. And they will just tell you how to send it – how to bring it up – how to send it to them. It’s not something you’re supposed to press before you crash or something like that. It’s really there for support. But this basically allows us to create the data that is gonna help Support to say, "Ooh, you know what? We have a lot of people who have this issue who have the same state of the game as you have, whatever, same plane, same airport, something, you know. Find: What is the common piece of data? What is the pattern here? And a) Maybe help fix – maybe people can fix it for themselves or walk around, or b) for our devs, have information to say, “Hey, this is always happening when people do this and this and this.” And this is going to help us debug. [Jayne - Yeah.] So that’s what this is.

Jayne - Okay! Is there any personal information in these reports, or is it something they can post on the forums with each other?

Seb - I would say nope.

Jayne - Okay, perfect. Good to know. Thank you! And here’s a question I meant to ask Matt when he was still on:

When is the beta for Aircraft and Avionics Update 2?


Jorg - I think it’s May 15 now. We tried to get it out this week. I think it’s a little bit late.

Jayne - Yeah. But very soon, sounds like. So that’s something to look forward to in the next couple weeks. Very exciting. Alright! Question:

We have a question about the World Hub alpha. It’s marked “Start” here in May. Any updated information we can share?


Jayne - How it’ll work? What to expect?

Jorg - Well, so it’s about – what’s the word for it, Martial?

Martial - I don’t know. I don’t speak English! laughter

Jorg - It’s “compliance”! That’s right! In order to have a website where you login with your Xbox login, it needs to be compliant with a whole bunch of rules. And what we have is ready to go, except [for] the rules. So we are currently – the team is currently working through it. I predict it’ll take a few weeks. It bums us out. We thought we had this baked, and it would ship in April. And then we got the rules committee [who] came in, and we need to do some stuff before we can roll this out. But at least it’s working. It’s coming.

Martial - Yes. The software is working.

Jorg - Yup.

Jayne - Okay. We are excited to see that launch and provide updates along the way. A couple Marketplace questions here. So:

How have the recent Marketplace changes affected your end?


Jayne - What are your thoughts on how it’s going so far, with everything you’ve done in the past couple months?

Jorg - Let’s hold on this, ‘cause right after this slide comes a slide about the Marketplace.

Jayne - Ahh, yes! Then I will hold [Jorg - Yeah!] on my other Marketplace question. And let’s ask a couple of other ones unrelated to the Marketplace right now.

Are there plans to revisit the UI elements of the sim to improve quality of life for the user experience?


Jayne - An example would be a method to organize planes in the World Map, plane selection, ability to reload the Community folder from the Content Manager with the sim still running, ability to spawn a plane on the ground outside of a parking spot or runway, et cetera? So, small quality of life improvements just for user experience.

Jorg - So on the UI, I would say we’re currently not thinking about the – certainly not the menu system or any of that stuff. As far as the “start anywhere” [feature], Seb already said we’re going to take a look at the water thing. I’m sure that there are things like that. I would say, if you really have lots there, start a thread on the Community side and we’ll read it. You know, the feedback snapshot will not capture this, right? So we need to go into a little bit more detail.

Jayne - Sure, yeah! I think we have a tag called #ui that will probably cover some of these Wishlist items for you. [Editor’s note: The questioner asked about quality-of-life items and referred to them as “UI elements”. While some quality-of-life wishes involve the UI, some may not. Most quality-of-life wishes can be found with the #ux tag.] I think one of those that we spoke about in past updates was, I think, a favorites list for planes to easily select your favorite plane instead of scrolling. Small changes like that.

Jayne - Alright. Other questions from our community, here:

Are there any plans to open more SDK options for developers?


Jayne - “Vector placement tool outside airports, autogen SDK [software development kit], et cetera”. I know we don’t have an SDK person on this call. If you can answer this, or maybe we’ll save it for an SDK Q&A?

Martial - I think that the solution [is]: We are always doing some new features for the SDK. So this one, exactly, I won’t – don’t know.

Jorg - I mean, DevSupport works, right? I got to answer plenty. I get a daily email on it. I think that communication seems really good, actually. And I know the team is reading it. Eric, if you’ve met – if you ever went to Eric and Alyzée on this, they’re pretty attentive to all the feedback.

Jayne - Yep. Alright. We have one from mglickman:

Will there be a fix? Currently, the FPS drops when you pop out panels.


Jayne - For people using Air Manager, we lose [at] minimum, 10-15 FPS [frames per second] when we pop out even one panel. Is this something we are looking into?

Jorg - I believe the answer is yes. I’ve seen it on the Sim Update 13 list. Doesn’t mean it’s gonna happen, but it’s at least planned.

Jayne - Yeah. Alright:

When will you ever allow third-party developers to access things like weather engine and more to develop WX radars?


Martial - That’s also a question for the SDK team. It’s always a matter of priority. We want to, but, Jorg, I think we can say that we want to keep the software as open as possible? And we are working on getting new APIs and new options for being even more open than we are today.

Jorg - Yeah, I mean, it comes up all the time. So, like, fundamentally, the philosophy is this: In order to have everything great, we don’t think – like, I think payware is cool, right? It’s actually driven the sim forward and all that good stuff. But some functionality seems fundamental. And so, we therefore said, we’ll put this into the base sim instead of having people buy it, right? Because when you look at what’s happening, you know, let’s just say a million, million and a half, two million people play. How many people are going to pay [for] this payware addon? You know, tens of thousands, maybe? But we think it should be ideally in the base sim. So, that was the mental model: Let’s make sure the base sim is awesome. Then, there’s also the reality: You can’t do everything. The Asobo team works plenty hard. Can’t do everything! And so we are looking at, should we bring some of the third parties in that have solutions? And just, basically let it go in the Marketplace and go? So, I think you will see us thinking about this a lot more in the few weeks and months. I certainly – you know, how many times did chase cam come up in this chat here that I’m reading? A lot? So we need a – At some point, we’ll talk about this again and talk about what’s the right thing for the greater public? And then also, if people have legitimate complaint that something doesn’t work as they like, you know, why are we really blocking this? So anyways, give us a few weeks. It’s on my mind, for sure. We just talked about it this morning.

Jayne - Yep. Awesome!

Do you have anything to share, right now, about the future of ATC and improvements that you are making there?


Seb - We’re working on it. I would say, probably in the future, yes. But right now, we’re working on it.

Jayne - Okay.

Martial - It’s going to take some time because [Jorg - Yeah.] ATC has dependencies on so many systems if you want to change the way it’s working. The architecture of it. We have to change a huge amount of code. So, it’s a long road.

Jorg - But, it’s not – so, to say it another way, I think three out of the top eight items in Wishlist have something to do with ATC. So it’s not like we’re not aware of it. It’s just, best people will work on it. I can tell you that.

Jayne - Absolutely. Awesome.

Marketplace Updates


Jayne - Well, Jorg, are you ready to speak about the Marketplace?

Jorg - I just have a little bit. I mean, this was obviously a topic for those of you who don’t remember, but even though, I think all of you do. There was concern that it takes too long to get into the Marketplace. So we changed the rules. We put over functional testing to the developers, and the Microsoft test team is doing more compliance testing. And then there’s some results. (Do we have those slides, by any chance?)

Jayne - I do. Here we go.

Jorg - It’s been fascinating. I would say that. (So, here you go!) You can pretty much see what happened. So, we started this four weeks ago. And the very following week, we had like 116 (or something) items that got released. Then, we were all very surprised, what happened the week after that. We actually think it had something to do with Easter holidays. And then, the next week, it was back up. Well, so, that’s cool. It turns out, though, that while we shipped, now, 100 things or so, per week, there are also more things coming in. So, the total backlog actually stayed pretty much even. The intent, obviously, is to make that go down. And so, that’s why Mabel gave me those slides. So she – (could you go to the next slide?) There’s some interesting data. (Yup, here we go.)

Jorg - So, on the Microsoft initial validations status. So:

  • 65% of the backlog has passed initial validation. So 700 of roughly 1000 things.

  • 20% are being processed for testing and have not started initial validation

  • 12% have been handed off to Microsoft test

  • 2.6% are blocked because they failed for some reason or another.

  • And then, 0.4% are in progress

Jorg - And then, on the other hand – so, this is the Microsoft side – and on the other hand, is the third-party functional tests status. And 72.3% of the backlog have not been handed off for functional testing from above. So 65% have passed initial validation, and we’re driving to get more content handed off more quickly. So that’s kind of where it sits right now. So, we’ve liberalized this whole thing. People can basically sign off on their own stuff, outside of, does it even fit the system? And then, functional testing on the developer side. Not surprisingly, because they’re also all new to this, too, right? Now, they have to do this. That’s kind of where the backlog is right now. But we’re all very optimistic that this will be very fruitful.

Jorg - So, that’s the update. There’s not that much more to share yet. I mean, we’re four weeks in. It’s looking good. But so far, no dip.

Jayne - Yeah. A question, here from runshotgun:

Will devs who have things in this queue know where they stand in the queue as they go throughout the process?


Jorg - I’m not the right guy to tell you this. So, there’s this thing called Slingshot, which I think is used to submit all these things. I think you see your status. I’ve never done it, myself. I think the answer is yes, but we need to get – I’m hoping that next time we meet, probably in June or something, we’ll have the leader from the Marketplace team join us, and then she will explain this in more detail.

Jayne - Yeah.

How do you think the new prioritization system has gone, as far as which developers and products you’ve been prioritizing for release the past four weeks?


Jorg - Oh, we got feedback from y’all, right? So, there was one week where 44% of the items were all from one developer. People didn’t like that, so we actually came up with some adjustments to this. And we made sure that that doesn’t happen again. I think it’s working pretty good. I think the #1 thing that I heard was, there are some things that are really high-quality products that sometimes seem to get stuck. And, some – at least many people’s prescription might be lower-quality products somehow get through. I think it’s starting to fix that. When you look at it the way we do, it looks like it’s very thin on the high-priority products that are not through yet. So, when one of those comes in, we pretty much immediately file and release. So I think, doing well. I think so. It’s early.

Jayne - True. As you evaluate this process over the next several months, if things go well,

If the backlog goes down, does that open opportunities for more partners to get accepted in the future?


Jorg - Yep. Oh yeah. That’s the intent.

Jayne - Fantastic! Awesome. Thank you for the update on the Marketplace. Super insightful to know how it’s going. Glad things are changing for the better.

World Update 14 Tease


Jayne - Oh, what’s this?

Jorg - What’s what? Oh, a tease! Yeah, well, so I feel a little bit sad about World Update 14 moving. But I have to – this is to have a quality bar that is great. So, I thought I would do a tease. I told Jayne to put it up for 3 seconds and then –

Jayne - Okay! One, two, three! Alright. It’s gone! I’m sure you could screenshot that one.

Jorg - I know! I know! Anyways, it’s going to be – I mean, I can tell you, our just, internal feedback, our test team is super excited about this one. Because it’s beautiful. It really is beautiful. I’m loving it! But anyways, it’s gonna take us a few more weeks.

Roadmap 2023


Jorg - Okay, so this is just to reflect that there is a little bit of a shuffle, right? So, it’s the same amount of boxes. We just moved the world update to July. There is obviously a content update…CU [city update] coming. That has been discussed. There is a CU 3 coming. Yeah, and we’re on our way! I mean, I think we’re making lots of progress towards all the things we want to accomplish in 2023.

Jayne - Awesome!

Closing Remarks


Jayne - Well, thank you, Jorg! Thank you, Seb, thank you, Martial, for coming on this stream today, going over all – and Matt, as well – for going over everything happening the next couple months. Lots of excitement. Lots of – thank you, chat, for all the feedback you’ve given, not only on this stream, of course, but throughout socials and the forums. We are obviously constantly looking at that, trying to improve the sim as best as we can. Anything you want to add, Jorg, Seb, or Martial, before we close out?

Jorg - I can say – I mean, we don’t ever really talk about the specific numbers. There’s reasons for that. But I can say in the last – since Christmas, the number of simmers that are coming back, month over month, is going up. [Jayne - Nice!] Pretty wild. That’s really cool to see. That means people having a good time.

Jayne - Love to see that. Seb?

Seb - Yeah, well, thank you. Thank you for the feedback, the questions.

Jorg - Yep.

Jayne - Absolutely! Anything from you, Martial, to close this out?

Martial - Just wanted to say that sometimes, people are getting frustrated because they’ve got the feeling that we are not working on their thing. We are. As I said always, it’s always a matter of priority and we are trying to listen to everybody and to make the community be pleased by our choices. It’s not always the case. Sorry for that.

Jayne - And we, yes, as always, we appreciate the three of you for being so transparent and answering so many questions and giving your time to do this. And chat, we will see you in the forums, see you on Discord, on socials. We hope you have a great week! We’ll be back in a month or so, of course, to talk more about the future of Flight Sim and updates coming down the road. So, hope you have a great week! Yeah?

Jorg - And…before we break, [Jayne - Sure!] I hope to see some of you, you know, it’s in Houston and not everybody [Jayne - Yes!] can come down and make it down to Houston. But really, very much looking forward to meeting some of you in person. [Jayne - Yeah!] And Jayne and Shaun are planning stuff, too. I know you don’t want to talk about it, but we’re gonna plan stuff. So, it will be fun.

Jayne - We’ll do some fun stuff! Anyone who’s planning on coming to FlightSimExpo, absolutely looking forward to meeting you and chatting. So, we’ll see you there! [reading chat] “Have your questions ready,” yeah! I’m excited to say hello to you all!

Jayne - Alright, have a great week. We’ll see you next time. Ciao, bye everyone!

Jorg - Bye!

Martial - Bye!