Microsoft and Asobo Studios have shared with us their weekly development update regarding Microsoft Flight Simulator.
Around the World Series Episode 5 – North America
The first major item of this update is the latest episode of their Around the World series, this time focusing North America. The Series aims at showcasing various places where the simulator is at its best on the whole globe. This could give ideas of new places to visit for those who still wonder on where to go.
SDK Update List
It is no secret that several developers (PMDG and FSLabs to name a few) have voiced their concern regarding the Software Development Kit which is not advanced enough for their add-ons to be ported in the near future. As such, the MSFS Development team wanted to share with the general public that they are indeed fully committed to also improving the development side of their platform, and shared with us the latest improvements made to the SDK.
- The new Export Window is ready and will be made available in a future update.
- The node-based Visual Effects System is about ready to be used in production by the internal team. We will make it available broadly after the internal tests are complete.
- Improvements, new options, and small features continue to be added here and there in tools. To list just one of them: an optional auto-hide behavior is currently being implemented for the DevMode bar.
- As a background task the DevMode team is always working on improving the overall stability of the DevMode, giving
aspecial focus to the Project Editor, the Scenery Editor, and the Aircraft Editor. The community’s feedback continues to be helpful to identify & fix bugs and thus make the tools better.
- The WASI layer filesystem functions have now all been implemented.
- Mouse events are now forwarded to gauges through a new callback.
- Preparing the new GDI+ implementation for release.
- New samples (windsock and bears) have been added to the SDK.
Of course, this might seem light and probably will not speak much to the general public. However, what is to bear in mind at all times is that Asobo has been working closely with 3rd-party developers since the beginning. There are certainly many more things happening behind the curtains between all involved parties and this development update is mostly here as a reminder on how committed Asobo and Microsoft are with the sim.
Development Roadmap & Feedback Snapshot
As such, the developers have shared an updated development roadmap you will find below. Nothing much as changed for the upcoming weeks, and this is mostly to show that the roadmap is on track. In the mean time, the developer has shared their Feedback Snapshot, displaying what were the most reported bugs and demands. As we can see, the G1/3000 improvements are still on top of the list, closely followed with the weather system and turboprop behaviors. In the top wishes, the FlyBYWire A320 Mod integration is on top of the list along with the very “console-ish” style “Press Any Key to Start” screen.
Virtual Reality Closed Beta
The team is closing in on the Virtual Reality side of the simulator and should issue invitation emails to the closed beta within the week. There will be two waves for VR, Wave 1 will be for Windows Mixed Reality users and Waved two will be for non-WMR users.
Partnership Series, Marketplace 3rd-party Update
The success of the simulator will also come from expanding the array of available add-ons. In addition to the special relation the developers have had since the beginning, Asobo and Microsoft have just approved 65 new partners in the store. This means we should see very soon a flooding of new products on the marketplace. As for the moment, only 6 products will also reach the market place this week, but they are undisclosed at this time.
The team also reiterated in this development update their special thanks to several of their partners, among them meteoblue (real-time weather system), Blackshark.ai (procedural building generation, etc.), VATSIM (online air traffic control and flying community), Bing Maps (satellite and aerial imagery as well as DEM), Textron (close partnership in the development of 10 of our 30 launch planes), Gaya Simulations (development of airports and POIs for World Updates), and Aerosoft (retail edition and feedback on our SDK). It is interesting that 3 of these major partners come directly from the simulation world, 3 others are IT companies and Textron is a major aerospace company which is now behind the names of Cessna, Beechcraft or Bell Helicopters just to name a few.
This concludes our report regarding Microsoft Flight Simulator. The next development update is scheduled for October 29th, and make sure to write down the date of the next patch, Update 5, which is planned for release on October 27th, so before the next dev update.