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I have a lurking 'red alert' in the back of my neck about how seasons are going to be accomplished in this new sim. 

I hope that this concern can/will be put to rest quick, because seasons is that one worldwide thing that has not been covered in any interview I have seen or heard. 

Just hoping we will not have a single season limitation. I'm sure there are a ton of ideas about seasons and how important that are in a flight sim.

If I had my way some of the seasonal features would include but not limited to:

  • accurate foliage color change complete with leaves falling and blowing in the wind. Wet leaves make runways/taxiways more slippery.
  • accumulating snow accurate to real world wx data and AI so the snow does not just suddenly disappear on a specific date, it actually has to melt...sometimes into late spring in some areas.
  • Ice bergs and realistic freezing of bodies of water.
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6 hours ago, pracines said:

have a lurking 'red alert' in the back of my neck about how seasons are going to be accomplished in this new sim. 

Valid concern.  

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Posted (edited)
10 hours ago, pracines said:

If I had my way some of the seasonal features would include but not limited to:

  • accurate foliage color change complete with leaves falling and blowing in the wind. Wet leaves make runways/taxiways more slippery.
  • accumulating snow accurate to real world wx data and AI so the snow does not just suddenly disappear on a specific date, it actually has to melt...sometimes into late spring in some areas.
  • Ice bergs and realistic freezing of bodies of water.

I have no doubt that all of that is possible, but modelling individual leaves, gradually freezing water and the particle modelling required to produce real-time accumulating/drifting snow would probably cripple even the most powerful of desktops and certainly any console. Is that a trade-off you'd be willing to make? Seasons would definitely be desirable on my list, but I certainly wouldn't die in a ditch without them. Good aircraft/flight models, scenery, general weather (and the associated graphics), ATC and decent AI would all come much higher on my list than seasons. The chances are good that just to get the quality we've seen in the demo is going to take a very capable system. That said, I'd think that just as with every sim that's come along so far, you'll be able to dial-back the quality to make it run acceptably on lesser PCs.

Edited by vortex681

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Landclass based scenery is seen towards the end of the first trailer, I would imagine that would support seasons as to not do so would be a regressive step.

The ortho/photoscenery I'm not so sure if there would be seasons support, although it is possible with shaders and processing.  Whether they'd consider it worth the effort or not is another matter. I have a theory (with no evidence to back it up I should add) that ortho will be offered on a subscription basis with data streamed from the cloud and if you don't subscribe, you'll get standard landclass stuff that would support seasons anyway.


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The hard part isn't rendering different seasons. They can do it easily with shaders use. 

The hard part will be having a good weather system to make it all work flawlessly. The system has to know where is right to snow or not (like in the higher mountains having snow all the year). The system has to know where the leaves of the trees changes colors or not. 

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Frankly, if they give me what I saw in that trailer, I'd take that over P3D w/ seasons every day of the week.

BUT, I can almost guarantee they've got seasons figured out. They aren't going to punt on something so fundamental to MSFS going back decades.

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3 hours ago, vortex681 said:

I have no doubt that all of that is possible, but modelling individual leaves, gradually freezing water and the particle modelling required to produce real-time accumulating/drifting slow would probably cripple even the most powerful of desktops and certainly any console. Is that a trade-off you'd be willing to make? Seasons would definitely be desirable on my list, but I certainly wouldn't die in a ditch without them. Good aircraft/flight models, scenery, general weather (and the associated graphics), ATC and decent AI would all come much higher on my list than seasons. The chances are good that just to get the quality we've seen in the demo is going to take a very capable system. That said, I'd think that just as with every sim that's come along so far, you'll be able to dial-back the quality to make it run acceptably on lesser PCs.

You make excellent points and I agree, because of what we have experienced in the past, however...

The reason for the boldness or audacity of my wish list is because when FSX was first released to us beta testers, I (and many/most others) experienced CTD's for months. So I was essentially helpless in the beta. Fast forward to the end of the beta and CTD's were gone, but performance was bad. Performance remained bad. When the expansion came out performance improved. Fast forward to FSX-SE and with the same PC system, performance increased again. Fast forward to P3D v4, performance has been increasing even more, again same PC.

I expect this new (era) MSFS could very well be much more optimized, which could very well allow for such bold wish lists.

But as the saying goes "you do not have, because you do not ask"; and another phrase comes to mind, "aim high". 

My suggestion to everyone is to not hold back in their suggestions for features, no matter how impossible it seems, this is not FSX in the early days.:biggrin:  

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8 minutes ago, pracines said:

 You make excellent points and I agree, because of what we have experienced in the past, however...

 The reason for the boldness or audacity of my wish list is because when FSX was first released to us beta testers, I (and many/most others) experienced CTD's for months. So I was essentially helpless in the beta. Fast forward to the end of the beta and CTD's were gone, but performance was bad. Performance remained bad. When the expansion came out performance improved. Fast forward to FSX-SE and with the same PC system, performance increased again. Fast forward to P3D v4, performance has been increasing even more, again same PC.

 I expect this new (era) MSFS could very well be much more optimized, which could very well allow for such bold wish lists.

 But as the saying goes "you do not have, because you do not ask"; and another phrase comes to mind, "aim high". 

 My suggestion to everyone is to not hold back in their suggestions for features, no matter how impossible it seems, this is not FSX in the early days.:biggrin:  

I'm sure performance-wise it will be way better than P3D, but have in mind it will feature a lot of new good tech that P3D doesn't have.

It's a matter of priorities. Will you prefer to spend the performance overhead on 3d clouds or individually modelled leaves in the trees? 

That said, I believe they will bring a nice weather engine, maybe a seasonal one and maybe they will bring almost everything we asked. We will see. At least there will be volumetric grass, it points out they care a lot about the low level flights visuals.

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3 hours ago, ca_metal said:

The hard part isn't rendering different seasons. They can do it easily with shaders use. 

The hard part will be having a good weather system to make it all work flawlessly. The system has to know where is right to snow or not (like in the higher mountains having snow all the year). The system has to know where the leaves of the trees changes colors or not. 

Exactly.  The seasonal texture changes can be done with shaders.  The challenge lies in determining what season to render based on the location and date.  The current FSX/P3D seasons.bgl file contains this data but it is inaccurate, plus it forces seasonal changes to activate on the first day of the month with the fall season only lasting one month in many areas.

There is indeed snow cover data available from the U.S. National Ice Center, which is updated daily, I believe, that could possibly be used to put snow on the ground in the right places at the right time.

Dave

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16 minutes ago, ca_metal said:

I'm sure performance-wise it will be way better than P3D, but have in mind it will feature a lot of new good tech that P3D doesn't have.

It's a matter of priorities. Will you prefer to spend the performance overhead on 3d clouds or individually modelled leaves in the trees? 

That said, I believe they will bring a nice weather engine, maybe a seasonal one and maybe they will bring almost everything we asked. We will see. At least there will be volumetric grass, it points out they care a lot about the low level flights visuals.

Yes I agree, performance rules and wins.

But we could have both, in the form of settings. For example, in P3D I don't find myself needing dynamic reflections more than 10 extra FPS when flying airliner flights into HQ airports with lots of AI. This is one of the reasons I have found no need to get a new PC. But if I had to scale back autogen, AI or Wx too much, I would simply just get a new PC (speaking for myself). 

So blowing leaves could be a setting in the UI (off-low-med-high), this way nobody suffers loss, but realism go up a notch, especially for GA/Bush fliers when they have, or acquire a PC up for the task.  

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2 minutes ago, dave2013 said:

The seasonal texture changes can be done with shaders.

It's clearly not quite as straightforward as that because that's what LR have been saying for years and it still hasn't happened in XP.

3 minutes ago, pracines said:

So blowing leaves could be a setting in the UI (off-low-med-high),

Moving trees - yes, but blowing leaves? Seems like an awful waste of development resources.

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I'm not overly concerned at this point.  I doubt there will be much in the new sim that is worse than what we've had in the past.

A few times in FSX and P3D I've seen snow accumulating on the ground.  The effect isn't all that great, as what you see is square tiles suddenly turning white, but the effect is there.  The last time I saw it I thought it was a bug. 🙂

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16 minutes ago, vortex681 said:

It's clearly not quite as straightforward as that because that's what LR have been saying for years and it still hasn't happened in XP.

Moving trees - yes, but blowing leaves? Seems like an awful waste of development resources.

Laminar didn't get into that because of time/money constrains, but the XEnviro team made it, at least it's working for the snow and looks good enough. P3D is also capable to do so, but nor LM nor any developer is willing to use it.

Having the XEnviro in mind, lots of issues they are facing lies on the fact they don't have full control over the engine and Laminar isn't willing to get them the access (at least is what I've read they say). Now, if you developing the platform yourself, you can implement or take features the way you want.

A lot of modern games use shaders for that, they don't have multiple textures for each season, they just have shaders working on a single texture.

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I too want seasons, but don't see that as a concern with MFS 2020...that had it with FSX and if most of the scenery is pulled from the cloud, year round captures of land with snow, fall seasons, etc. is going to be available...those satellites keep pretty busy year round taking Kodaks.


Scott Robinson

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