Following a release only a few days ago, Parallel 42 has updated its FreedomFox & Fox 2 for Microsoft Flight Simulator.
The new update includes a number of new features that were in response to community feedback following its release earlier this week. In particular, new natural and immersive sound transitions were added when you open/close the door to the aircraft. Furthermore, the volume for the wind and engine noise on the door open was also increased for a deeper sense of immersion.
The door to the FreedomFox and Fox2 plays a pivotal role in this update as the new build sees new door animations driven by the wind velocity and throttle. You will have to be careful though as you could damage the door and literally blow it clean off the aircraft if you overspeed the aircraft with it open.
When we reached out to Parallel 42 about the update, Edson Soriano from //42 gave us a little more insight as to how this update came to be.
Earlier this week, in response to a review by someone in the community, Edson took to Medium to talk about the process of using WWISE to develop the soundscape for the aircraft. In the post, Edson speaks about how Trent Palmer (who worked in collaboration with //42 on this aircraft) said the aircraft in the simulator sounds “EXACTLY like [the] FreedomFox; you couldn’t get any better with the best equipment.” However, the team at Parallel 42 were not able to take advantage of the WWISE sound system for the aircraft. He details that COVID restrictions, cost and other implications meant that the team were unable to bring it with the aircraft. I asked Edson why he decided to write a blog post about the inner details of their decision:
“My post was to address customer concerns openly and sincerely. We watch every bit of feedback and read every post we can on our releases, and even tho we may not comment, we digest it all internally. When assumptions are made, I don’t think I’m known for holding back facts to clarify things. Of course, regardless of the transparency in the post, there was still a reply citing Covid19 as an excuse to be lazy for me not going to see Trent. Stating we could have just sent a whole sound crew there. I don’t need to break down the silliness of that reply, do I?”
So whilst WWISE sound is still on the table for the team, it will depend on what kind of help they can get. I asked Edson why WWISE wasn’t on the original ‘to-do’ list found on the product page.
“WWISE is not a requirement for an aircraft to be great. Not yet, at least. With a year into development and no success finding someone able to do the audio in a reasonable timeframe or at a reasonable cost, there would be no positive gain to us listing it as a to-do item. We treat those as active bullet points that WILL one day join the feature list.
Internally we know we’d like to go WWISE, and we’ve publicly reached out for help doing so; if we can, fantastic. If not, we’ve still delivered a rockstar aircraft; the proof is in the public opinion.”
This post spurred on motivation within the team to start addressing the feedback from the community about the sounds. Edson told us what happened behind the scenes on how this update came to be.
“Let’s talk about what that blog post sparked internally. By morning I woke up to an angry Raul, coding to push the envelope of the sim in a way that would allow us to deliver what the people wanted without the wait for WWISE reengineering. By coffee-time, he was joined by Keven, and next thing you know, It’s late evening. The two sat in a room and delivered something BRILLIANT. When I sat in the aircraft to test, it was about 11 pm and what I saw blew my mind. Not only did they succeed in creating an organic and accurate transition of sound, but it was also linked to all the appropriate variables. Experience it on the ground, where a pilot would likely have no headphones on yet. Engine off, open the door, close it, and see if you can only do it once! Take it up to the skies, and open that same door again and experience the wind disrupting the cabin.
A day that was supposed to be autopilot diagnostics and rewiring before the holiday break turned into a frenzy of creative energy. The AP did get rewired btw…but not before they managed to allow pilots to rip the doors off if they open doors in-flight. I won’t spoil the experience much more, grab the update and take #FreedomFox or Fox2 for a spin yourself! Happy Holidays from your team at //42.”
If you haven’t picked up the FreedomFox & Fox 2 by Parallel 42 yet, you can do so by heading over to OrbxDirect for $42.00 AUD.
- Added door vibrations driven by wind velocity and throttle
- Increased wind and engine noise on door open
- Added natural and immersive sound transitions, not exaggerated tornado sounds on door open.
- Added door damage animation caused by overspeed with door(s) open. – Tidied up AutoPilot wiring to give a more consistent AP experience, we found a short.
- Update by Photosbykev to “Desert Oasis” scenery which is in active development
- Update by TwoSeventyInc to “Trent Buddy Mod” to squash a bug where default pilots would no longer show in the avatar list
- Update CanuckShaw on his livery pack to correct misaligned dashboard labels.
- and more…