Microsoft and Asobo have just shared their weekly development update throughout their Development blog. The development part itself is relatively short, with the confirmation that the round 2 of invitations for the VR Closed Beta will be posted soon. This time, non-Windows Mixed Reality (VMR) products owners will be called for contribution.
Development Roadmap and Feedback Snapshot
As usual, the developers have shared their Development Roadmap and User Feedback snapshots, which you will find below. Noteworthy, this unveils a future Honeycomb partnership and the World Update II which will include the United States of America and will release on November 24th.
Nothing much else has changed since the previous update, as it reflects the previous released which happened during Update 5 and 6.
The post went on with further fixes on the Software Development Kit, as each update seems to be going about lately. It is clear that Asobo and Microsoft are taking very seriously the concerns voice by some major developers regarding the current status of the SDK, and are working full steam on providing the most efficient platform as soon as possible. However, bear in mind that these public updates are just the top of the iceberg, and that there is a lot of work done behind the curtain to ensure that 3rd party developer will be able to take the most out of Microsoft Flight Simulator, not all of this being made public.
- The console interface continues to be improved and we are now close to making it available in production. Internal tests still need to be completed before we release these improvements in a future update.
- The new asset creation system from within the Project Editor is still a work-in-progress.
- The node-based Visual Effects System is now ready for internal production. At the same time, we are still working through some performance issues, fixing bugs and addressing feedback from our internal power users before making it available to the third party developer community.
- As a background task, the DevMode team is always working on improving the overall stability of the DevMode, with special focus to the Project Editor, Scenery Editor, and Aircraft Editor. The community’s feedback continues to be helpful in identifying & fixing bugs which ultimately makes the tools better.
- We added support for standalone WASM modules. These should be placed in a “modules” folder located at the root of the package, and will be loaded automatically when the said package is mounted. The “module_init” and “module_deinit” functions will be called upon loading/unloading.
- We are investigating several SimConnect bugs while also trying to expand its capabilities to suit third party developers’ needs.
- We are still working on improving iteration times and the debugging experience.
3rd Party Update
Now jumping to the 3rd party content, Asobo is proud to announce that just 3 months after the official launch of Microsoft Flight Simulator, the Marketplace lists more than 1,000 products of which 200 come from “well-known” development companies. Going on further with facts and figures, there are now 70 approved members of their partner program. Interestingly, with the current state of affairs, 50 airports have already been released through the Marketplace, and Asobo expect that more than 150 sceneries will be released in 2021. This figure probably does not even include future new partnerships. On the other side, only 7 aircraft have been released so far, but the team is happy to report that they are aware of at least 60 aircraft have been announced by various developers so far, with 20 more projects they are aware of but have not been announced yet.
In summary, it is again very clear that Asobo and Microsoft are paying close attention to what is happening in the community and will heavily rely on 3rd party developers to make the simulator a platform that is here to last.
Concluding this development update, Asobo has chosen to put forward user Smef and his community website Worldtour.flights. This website helps user share some of their flightplans in order to give ideas of flying locations to other users. In essence, this can help people share their knowledge of nice flying areas that other users are not aware of. With each flightplan, a small briefing, map and altitude profile is included, as well as recommended add-ons.
This concludes the November 12th Development Update. Next milestone will be in a week on November 19th with the unveiling of the EAA Partnership series.
Screenshot provided to the Microsoft Community by LK2PRGM