MS Flight Sim in 2020

Read and report on flightsim developers progress of upcoming or completed products

Re: MS Flight Sim in 2020

Postby Charl » Sat Sep 14, 2019 10:39 am

Thanks for the link, the MS Insider site was totally swamped.
I signed up for the Alpha, but noted that:
If you are not part of the first wave of beta users, don’t fret! Over the duration of the beta program, we will be regularly inviting new users to help us as we shape the future of Microsoft Flight Simulator.

Ah well. Maybe my hot computer at the end of a copper wire "broadband" feed will be of interest...
The best comment yet came from AVSIM:
The slow descent into madness here is at times amusing and at other times hilarious.
Take a deep breath guys. We're going to be ok
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Re: MS Flight Sim in 2020

Postby toprob » Sat Sep 14, 2019 11:11 am

I do have my own thoughts on what Microsoft are trying to accomplish here, but so far all we have to go on is a bunch of screenshots and some very short videos, so we can only speculate. I did mention my thoughts on another forum, but this was dismissed early on, although I do think that this is because of the flightsim community in general, which tends to believe that FS is the only pure and proper use of a PC, and that MS's ultimate goal is to serve the FS community. I don't believe this at all, I think that MS are looking to become the one and only solution for world-building and visualisation, and FS is a good place to start as the community is kind of vocal...

I guess the question is 'is it going to be revolutionary, or just a major update to what we have?' So far, the things which are important to me -- as a non-aviator, and with very little interest in the technical aspects of aviation -- are well-covered, the lighting/atmosphere, ground detail, autogen etc. It's a better-looking sim and nothing else gets close at the moment. One thing I learnt when I started looking at developing for X-plane was that I didn't really have anything local to compare, so it wasn't until I dropped in some photoscenery of my own that I could see the potential. So seeing the Tekapo (although I am a keen supporter of the new name, Takapō) video, which is an area I first covered in FS2002, and have updated over the years for FSX and Prepar3d, I've had the chance to actually make an early comparison.

I did post a comparison screenshot from P3D on the AVSIM Takapō vid discussion, but I do have some thoughts on the video, which I wouldn't share there. My comparison screenshot was in reply to a question about the lighting/angle/bloom etc. The pronounced blooming may or may not be accurate, but I think it does show something which Prepar3d HDR doesn't depict well, the fact that looking into the sun is going to strongly affect what you see, as the bright bits -- in this case the clouds -- are going to be very, very bright compared to everything else. Bloom is a good way to depict this, otherwise all you can do is to wash it out to pure white, which is not realistic.

The main thing which struck me with that video, though, is the fact that it must be winter, because of the angle of the sun, but there is almost no snow depicted. So like Real NZ scenery, it seems to be summer only:) This makes sense because of the photo base, and MS may come up with a solution, but if not some of the community are going to be annoyed.

I don't think I'll sign up for the first Tech Alpha, as I need to sort out some extra storage at some point. I may want to get involved later on when/if there's a SDK test (that's how I got involved in the FSX beta) but I'll leave it to the real simmers in the meantime. I do think that a lot of people are going to breach the NDA, though, so maybe those of us not involved won't miss out much.

Some more random ramblings:

If the new sim really works out, people will need to come around to using the word 'xbox', which seems to be very offensive to a lot of simmers at the moment:)

Although we all have our favourite sims, and tend to clump into our own communities, which may not change much in the near future, I do think that in general 'people' (which includes non hard-core simmers) would prefer one sim to rule them all. Microsoft have what it takes to make this happen, provided they don't just wander off somewhere and get lost;

As far a scenery development is concerned, we already have far too many sims, so bugger MS. I'm kidding... Hopefully I'll be too old and retired to have to worry about the new one.
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Re: MS Flight Sim in 2020

Postby cowpatz » Sat Sep 14, 2019 1:55 pm

toprob wrote: I'm kidding... Hopefully I'll be too old and retired to have to worry about the new one.


Sorry to break it to you Rob but 'we here' don't see that being an option for you for quite some time..... :D
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Re: MS Flight Sim in 2020

Postby Charl » Sat Sep 14, 2019 2:23 pm

toprob wrote:If the new sim really works out, people will need to come around to using the word 'xbox', which seems to be very offensive to a lot of simmers at the moment:)
It is clearly of interest to MS why folk stick to PC gaming.
In the Alpha signup, they ask you why, with options like "I have no interest in consoles" and "better graphics" and "hardware customisation" and so on.
In the perfect MS world, everyone will be wirelessly implanted with an Xbox receptor in the prefrontal cortex :)
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Re: MS Flight Sim in 2020

Postby toprob » Sat Sep 14, 2019 8:04 pm

cowpatz wrote:Sorry to break it to you Rob but 'we here' don't see that being an option for you for quite some time..... :D

Looking at the length and breadth of my post yesterday, I don't think there's much chance of me quitting FS any time soon.

Charl -- for me 'Microsoft Flight Simulator' would be the answer to this question, although I've always been a fan of Xbox, and until the earthquakes, and a resulting power surge, I owned two different versions. My Xbox Live name early on was ChildrenOfTheCorn (only my kids played online), but I lost that when the different markets were combined into one, so I was surprised the find out that I already had another Xbox user name when I signed up for the Insider site -- TweedyHail94. That was a random suggestion, which I must have selected at one point, but it's good to be back... call me Tweedy... Maybe I might get another Xbox if the simulator works out, but I can't imagine developing on it. So once again, here comes retirement....
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Re: MS Flight Sim in 2020

Postby Charl » Sun Sep 15, 2019 9:21 am

Howdy from FiftyThrower38 :blink: also randomly assigned...
MS have alluded to 3rd party dev involvement so it just might make sense for the first time in years to get collaborative projects underway.
They have a way of spawning spinoffs and who knows where it goes?
The FS community is full of talented people with Ideas.

Any case, retirement sounds too much like a Death Penalty,
The Baby Boomers are really the first generation where the rules needn't apply.
Why would you stop doing something that gives joy to you and others?
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Re: MS Flight Sim in 2020

Postby toprob » Sun Sep 15, 2019 2:32 pm

You are 100% spot-on, it's just that at the moment I have a kind of 'perfect storm' of issues caused by changes to Prepar3d plus Orbx Central, which leaves me day-dreaming about just walking away... I wouldn't have any reason to get out of bed if I didn't have FS scenery issues to deal with!

Still, I am keen to get started on the new sim, because obviously looking at the Tekapo video they posted there is work to do. A big feature of these lakes are the sediment spilling into the lake, and with Tekapo in particular the glacier 'flour' suspended in the lake gives it it's distinctive turquoise colour. Neither of these features show up in the video, so that may be my first job. Tekapo has always been special, I can remember it was the first and only photoscenery I've done with seasonal images, back for FS2002 I think, I carefully painted winter snow onto the aerial image and saved a half-way point for spring/autumn. Far too much work for a bigger project, or at a higher res than FS2002's 4.8 metres, though.
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Re: MS Flight Sim in 2020

Postby Radar88 » Mon Sep 30, 2019 8:12 pm

The latest from Microsoft they invited some media YouTube content creators to an event that gave them the chance to ask questions and get up close and personal with the new Microsoft Flight Simulator and the Microsoft development team.

Check out the latest from Flightchops Incredible Scenery, but how does it Fly? Real Pilot 1st look: NEW Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020

Along with Froogle's thoughts clip Microsoft Flight Simulator - PREVIEW

And a round up from the Three Grumpy Simmers - Microsoft Flight Simulator Preview!

Also Tristan "Novawing24" Ayton one of the Three Grumpy Simmers who is a highly opinionated YouTube content creator with his Microsoft Flight Simulator - Preview Event Personal Thoughts

and another Three Grumpy Simmers BelGeode [Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020] Bel Geode's MSFS Seattle Experience

FSElite from the event interview core members of the development teams at Asobo Studio and Microsoft Microsoft Flight Simulator Developer Interview - Episode 1: World and Weather #fs2020
Last edited by Radar88 on Tue Oct 01, 2019 12:07 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: MS Flight Sim in 2020

Postby toprob » Mon Sep 30, 2019 9:46 pm

Yes, it looks finished, I'll just post my credit card details here and Microsoft can just help themselves.
I'm not sure how much actual new footage was given to the media, but there's plenty to see. And a lot of 'wow' moments for me.
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Re: MS Flight Sim in 2020

Postby Charl » Tue Oct 01, 2019 6:44 am

Thanks for the links, a nice browse later.

Found this one pushed to my phone:

"For people that just want to chill!"

MS are really pushing the marketing envelope, this is about as far from the known FS demographic as you get!
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Re: MS Flight Sim in 2020

Postby Peter65 » Tue Oct 01, 2019 4:52 pm

Good update preview by frooglesim posted yesterday.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fj8h6yibHHc&t=219s
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Re: MS Flight Sim in 2020

Postby chopper_nut » Tue Oct 01, 2019 6:28 pm

I don't pay too much attention to what froogle says about new sims... his kind were responsible for the death of FSW which had a lot of potential... and he's already started nailing the coffin shut on this new sim. The Three Grumpy Simmers video is much more balanced.
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Re: MS Flight Sim in 2020

Postby Radar88 » Tue Oct 01, 2019 7:28 pm

chopper_nut wrote:I don't pay too much attention to what froogle says about new sims... his kind were responsible for the death of FSW which had a lot of potential... and he's already started nailing the coffin shut on this new sim. The Three Grumpy Simmers video is much more balanced.


Actually if you watch his clip and the other clips, you will learn and see that he attended the invited Microsoft Event, "And that he fully admits that he was wrong about MSFS 2020", He is now eating his words after Microsoft invited and paid for all the Event attendees including himself, their flights and accommodation that enabled them to attend the Microsoft hosted Event. This also included a real world hour long flight in a C172 with a flight instructor for each attendee all paid for by Microsoft. He is now converted and singing praises that MSFS 2020 raises-the-bar above and beyond for flight simulators and the flight sim community.

Here's another link for the Microsoft hosted event that shows the actual Developers Q&A Panel for Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020 from the Event.
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Re: MS Flight Sim in 2020

Postby NZ255 » Tue Oct 01, 2019 10:02 pm

I went off Froogle but watched his video because I'm sucking up all the info :) Glad to see he admitted he was wrong.

Man, I'm really excited for this sim!!
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Re: MS Flight Sim in 2020

Postby Radar88 » Wed Oct 02, 2019 9:08 am

toprob wrote:Yes, it looks finished, I'll just post my credit card details here and Microsoft can just help themselves.
I'm not sure how much actual new footage was given to the media, but there's plenty to see. And a lot of 'wow' moments for me.


It's always interesting to see what appears on You Tube for those "wow" moments.

Here's a new take on the new Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020 footage featuring a pleasant listening audio sound track of the January 20, 1961, President John F. Kennedy inaugural address in which he announced that "we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe to assure the survival and success of liberty." He used rhetorical strategies he challenged the nations to come together through peace, offering friendship and companionship.

My how the world has now changed over the past 58 years either for better or worse as some might say, it is a very poignant JFK inaugural speech to listen to while watching the spectacular "wow" moments which we look forward to experiencing, in the years to come.

The Story Of Prepar3d Ends - New Story Of Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020 Begins!

As the late President John F. Kennedy says, "And so my fellow Americans: ask not what your country can do for you--ask what you can do for your country.

My fellow citizens of the world: ask not what America will do for you, but what together we can do for the freedom of man.


Finally, whether you are citizens of America or citizens of the world, ask of us here the same high standards of strength and sacrifice which we ask of you. With a good conscience our only sure reward, with history the final judge of our deeds, let us go forth to lead the land we love, asking His blessing and His help, but knowing that here on earth God's work must truly be our own."
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Re: MS Flight Sim in 2020

Postby cowpatz » Wed Oct 02, 2019 11:07 am

Uuummmm it’s a flight simulator program. The only world it will change is the digital one on your desktop....... :rolleyes:
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Re: MS Flight Sim in 2020

Postby Charl » Wed Oct 02, 2019 3:19 pm

We await, starry eyed, and Youtube reflects our wonder.
But Youtube is a hard taskmaster, and often more entertaining when crossed.
We all fondly remember these, do we not, and there are many:

Watch on youtube.com
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Re: MS Flight Sim in 2020

Postby toprob » Fri Oct 11, 2019 1:15 pm

I'll assume that the few of us still reading this are keen enough to have joined the MSFS Insider program, so have access to the episode 1 of the Feature Discovery Series.

Another glimpse of New Zealand, the Central Plateau with Ngauruhoe in the forefront. Now this has always been a feature of flying in New Zealand, I've built more than one photoscenery covering the volcanoes, so really the ground detail etc was pretty much what I would have expected from a new sim based on aerial imagery. Still, we have never seen anything like the sky/weather/cloud/atmospheric represented here! I've spend a lot of time and effort trying to improve the atmospherics, but considering that this new sim appears to be straight out of the box (well, virtual box, anyway) it may be hard to keep using any of the older sims once this hits the shelves (virtually...) not matter which features might still be to come.

The first episode in the series was shorter than I expected, but certainly packed a lot in. And it seems that MSFS has its first pinup boy, Lionel Fuentes of Asobo Studio, with a growing fan-base on AVSIM, and he certainly did a good job presenting the episode. The way Microsoft has handled this announcement has been a marvellous thing, being a good step ahead of the community, and really making it clear that this is a dual venture. It's like they've set a bunch of flightsim enthusiasts free in a candy store, with Microsoft picking up the tab.

This has been received very well, which kind of surprises me, as the things which people love the most seem to be the things which they would normally grizzle about -- the eye candy. Now we all know that a sim is not just good-looking visuals, but it does look like good-looking visuals is a great place to start. Yes, this all blows me away, as it really does fulfil a lot of my list of what is missing in our current sims. LM have done a great job improving some things, but there's still no sign of any update to autogen etc, but the way that MS seems to handle this is kind of a dream come true. One of those things which I daydream about is the ability to place vegetation to match the actual colour of the base photo, and while this would be possible today using a lot of custom work, MSFS seems to handle this 'by default'. Landing in any meadow and seeing 3D grass is the sort of thing I think about showing up one day in the far future. Yes, I know we might have to wait for our helicopter to actually land there, but that will come probably within my lifetime:)

The Lake Takapō shot was given another glimpse, and that is where I have to think about how the sim will really look in New Zealand. Takapō has always been a favourite location of mine, and has had a lot of different iterations in the sim over the years. Takapō was in fact the first -- and only -- scenery where I actually created seasonal textures, including painting snow on the aerial images. Sure, that was back in the early days, before we has the ability to use more that 2 metre resolution, so it was manageable, but it does beg the questions of how these mountains will look during the winter.

Another aspect I've mentioned before is the water representation. In episode 1 we get to see a close-up look at the Statue of Liberty, and the water is just stunning up close. This is 'computer' water, for want of some actual terminology, the sort of thing which game developers love to feature, and it will certainly be a great improvement over what we have in our current sims. But in this particular Takapō video it is obvious that there would have to be some work done to get this very distinctive lake looking as it really should. The silty runoff from the river where it meets the lake is not represented at all, although in other places there is definitely some work done on this, with reefs and other underwater detail showing well. And of course the real lake colour is something which makes it pop enough to make it really stand out when you fly over it. The video here seems to show a generic water colour.

There are plenty of questions I still have regarding New Zealand in particular. How will the native vegetation be represented, for instance -- Orbx's NZ regions handle this beautifully, but it did take a lot of custom work. What about our homes and other buildings? Our current sims have always had trouble with New Zealand's love of low-pitched roofs, especially industrial areas, with nothing but barely-pitched iron-roofed warehousing.

Some of the things that Microsoft have said have really hit the mark, they really seem to want to make this the sim which the community really wants, despite that fact that they may be hoping to sell a lot more Xbox versions in the long run. I have been impressed with everything I've seen, but it is only just in the last week that I've begun to think that this might be the sim worth building a new system for, and that it could easily grab the lion's share of the market. Having MS staff saying that nobody wants to have to pay a subscription, and that they'll have a 'feedback snapshot' for the community really hits the spot.

The 'other' big question for me is whether I'll be developing for the new sim. I did mention on AVSIM that although I was expecting potential customers to pause for a bit to evaluate the new sim, this didn't really happen until the media frenzy was released last Monday. Since then, sales have plummeted, and although there are a lot of things I can do to handle this, it does beg the question of whether some smaller developers can actually survive until the new sim is released, and whether they will have the opportunities to take advantage of it. After all, it will be less than a year after the release of MSFS before I get to collect my pension, so maybe that might be a good time to start winding things up. Yes, at the moment I just can't wait to get stuck into the new sim, and I will hopefully end up doing this until I'm too old to sit up straight. This is the biggest thing to happen to sim development since the 'gamepack' days, but if I need to survive on dreams and hopes for a year, I'll be very peed off.
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Re: MS Flight Sim in 2020

Postby Radar88 » Fri Oct 11, 2019 2:53 pm

toprob wrote: Another glimpse of New Zealand, the Central Plateau with Ngauruhoe in the forefront.


Instantly recognizable in the new clip Discovery Series Episode 1 (WORLD)


toprob wrote: There are plenty of questions I still have regarding New Zealand in particular. How will the native vegetation be represented, for instance -- Orbx's NZ regions handle this beautifully, but it did take a lot of custom work. What about our homes and other buildings? Our current sims have always had trouble with New Zealand's love of low-pitched roofs, especially industrial areas, with nothing but barely-pitched iron-roofed warehousing.


This is covered off in the clip under the heading The Fine Details where Lionel Fuentes from the French Asobo Studios discusses in the clip with a slide showing Add Ground Details, he says they will be adding details to the buildings. All this will likely be done through using Procedural Generation which is a method of creating data algorithmically as opposed to manually, typically through a combination of human-generated assets and algorithms coupled with computer-generated randomness and processing power. In computer graphics, it is commonly used to create textures and 3D models.

Which brings me to the question now if you are willing to voice your concerns. Are you willing to participating in the Insider program flighting and signup for Tech Alpha and completed the Survey to enable registering for the early versions of the Game and participate in early test phases?

On behalf of our NZ Flight Sim community since you are a well known NZ Developer with a voice in the NZ Flight Sim community, it kinda sounds like your New Zealand related questions need to be more directed to the Microsoft Developers and the French Asobo Studios Teams.

I would urge you to signup for the Tech Alpha. So that you can voice your feedback for NZ Flight Sim community concerns. That you have strongly commented on.

That's if
toprob wrote: Some of the things that Microsoft have said have really hit the mark, they really seem to want to make this the sim which the community really wants,


Anyway that's food for thought, here's the latest Youtube commentary out including the full Insider Microsoft clip Flight Simulator 2020 Update (Oct 10th) World Episode!

The latest Froogle update from the Event that he attended where he asked the hard questions Microsoft Flight Simulator - Answers

And here's another take on the Developers Q&A session from another Youtube Flight Simming content creator Chewwy who also attended the Event this one appears to have better audio quality Microsoft Developer QnA | Microsoft Flight Simulator Global Preview Event | Episode Three
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Re: MS Flight Sim in 2020

Postby toprob » Fri Oct 11, 2019 3:39 pm

Radar88 wrote:Are you willing to participating in the Insider program flighting and signup for Tech Alpha and completed the Survey to enable registering for the early versions of the Game and participate in early test phases?

Yes, I have signed up, but I suspect that my current system specs will mean that I won't be accepted early. I originally meant to wait until there was a working SDK, which is pretty much how it worked with FSX -- I became a beta tester when the SDK became available, as that was my main focus. I didn't take much notice of the other aspects, which was probably a mistake -- the first thing I'll check with the new sim is the 'Whenpuapai' spelling which I forgot to report in the FSX beta, and we've been stuck with ever since:)

If I am not able to get on the alpha test initially, I may approach them as a developer, as they have shown an interest into talking with a lot of developers.
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