In an exclusive interview with FSElite, Ben Supnik has confirmed to us that Laminar Research will begin development on overhauling the weather, cloud and lighting engine within the world of X-Plane.
When asked about what the future of X-Plane will look like, Ben said that “The very next thing on my to-do list, […] we can examine everything about weather, clouds, lighting and all that stuff. We haven’t had time to update that code in a while. We know that it can look much, much better. […] With Vulkan, we had to focus on just drawing and drawing fast. Once we have Vulkan, we can ask is the v10 clouds really the best way to do clouds? God no, of course not.”
Ben then went onto say, “when we did the V10 clouds, almost 9 years ago, we looked at them and said this is the last particle billboard we will ever write. This isn’t the greatest way to do it and we could always see that voxel clouds were a better idea. When we wrote the code in V10, we couldn’t do voxel clouds as people didn’t have the hardware for it. Most of our users wouldn’t have been able to run it at all. We knew that something much better was coming. So, once we get Vulkan done, we can get working on this in earnest.”
Ben sadly stopped short of confirming whether this mean that version 12 of X-Plane was coming, but did say that the team are always looking forward to what the future holds, with many ideas already in the works.
The full interview will be published soon and will focus heavily on the upcoming Vulkan update, the current state of third-party development and also understand how the X-Plane team feel about the upcoming release of Microsoft Flight Simulator.