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  1. Sebastian Wloch speaks about FS2020 rendering technic: https://www.wired.com/story/microsoft-flight-simulator-2020/?
  2. https://cdn.microsoftstudios.com/fsi/wp-content/uploads/2019/12/Inverted-1.jpg This is Porto, Portugal
  3. yesterday´s news 😉 https://www.avsim.com/forums/topic/567632-about-fps-and-hardware/
  4. The whole interview (translated with deepl) Xboxygen: Hello Sebastien. We asked the question earlier about the timing of the game. It will arrive first on a PC and then on a console, right? Asobo: So we announced an initial release on PC on 2020, and Xbox later, without being able to give a date or year. Xboxygen: Are you already working on it? Asobo: You can't say it, but in general a console game is quite long. Xboxygen: So regarding PC gaming, does it take a war machine to run Microsoft Flight Simulator? Is it the fact that the game is connected to the Internet that makes it look so pretty, or is it the configuration that does that? Asobo: The Internet connection allows you to have a world of this size with so many definitions. In fact, it can even make things a little more difficult because it's a lot of data to display and we have an incredible level of detail. We have 20 levels of detail, from the smallest to the largest. As soon as there are things a little far away, you can then lower the level of detail, which helps a lot with graphics cards. Here[on the X019 stand], we have a relatively big machine but we run in native 4K, i. e. without upscale. Clouds for example are also rendered in 4K, with an ultra level of detail. For example, I don't have such a big config since I take care of everything aerodynamic so I need it to be very responsive. I have a 1060 and I play in full HD or sometimes in 1440p. Here[on the demo for the X019] on average we are at 45 fps here and in 4K, and we aim for 4K 60 fps on these big machines. Then it's a game that suffers very little from upscaling, I personally don't see the difference, and it often allows to double the number of frames per second without touching the level of detail. Then we have 5 or 6 levels of detail with different options inside. Xboxygen: We know there's a multiplayer mode planned in the game, what can you tell us about it? Asobo: In the video we made for the E3, we showed that there were several planes, so yes that's multiplayer between several humans, and we also have live traffic with more than 10,000 planes in the sky. Xboxygen: Live, that is, in relation to there, now, those in the sky? Asobo: Yes, so we can turn it off of course, but we have 15,000 live planes, and then we add the virtual players and we can enable/disable seeing only our friends or something else. Xboxygen: But that's a lot of people then. Are you going to put everyone in? Asobo: Yes, everyone. On the other hand, the world is a big place, and we don't see everyone. Xboxygen: But what if 1 million players decide to go to New York at the same time? Asobo: We have made a system that if there are too many people in the same place, you only see the most interesting players for you. For example, friends first, or players who are in the same geographical area, etc. Otherwise it's not possible. What I like is that when I go to Merignac and there are other planes, we have to wait, they will put us in a holding pattern, then when I land there is another one waiting... I love exploring the world. In fact, we can go to a different place every ten minutes and it will take us years. If you are interested in beautiful landscapes... it's a bit like going on holiday. Xboxygen: Exactly, that's what I said earlier to one of the developers here. And as far as the aircraft available are concerned, will you have, for example, large pieces like the A380 or Antonov 225? Asobo: We have a lot of planes planned. There's the licensing side, everything has to be ready, and you have to show what it looks like because it's not interesting to say there's an aircraft without showing it. The list is growing and things happen regularly. Xboxygen: Does that mean we could have new ones after the game is released? Asobo: There's also the fact that Flight Simulator has always supported third-party aircraft, and that's something that remains. So even if these are not aircraft made by us, we can imagine that there could be anything and everything since third parties can create them. Xboxygen: To create the game, did you use old data or did you start from almost 0? Asobo: When we started the development, we started from Flight Simulator X which we renovated. But as things have gradually disappeared and in terms of data I think there is nothing left now. Data from the world, airports etc. for example. The aircraft data were also redone. Xboxygen: About the accessories: are there any specific accessories for the release of the game? Asobo: We can't answer right now. What we can say is that we already support a lot of accessories and that the list is constantly growing. Xboxygen: Last question: Did Microsoft come to you to develop this new Flight Simulator? How did it go? Asobo: In fact, we have been working with Microsoft for a very long time, for more than 10 years. We have worked on Fuel, we are crazy about giant worlds and technological challenges and we also love simulation. When the discussions started, Microsoft thought of us because we had the technologies and the passion for this kind of thing and when we started talking about it, I immediately flashed. We generally avoid making games that we don't like to play, but this is even more in line with what we like. But it's not like we never had any contact or if they made "knock knock knock" at the door, you shouldn't see it like that. Xboxygen: Thank you for these answers and good continuation in the development of the game.
  5. "Love for the Flight Simulator was always there." The procedurally created earth, the source code of the last MS flight simulator and a commonality with Star Citizen: Golem.de talked to Jörg Neumann about technology and flying. Neumann leads the development of the Flight Simulator at Microsoft. An interview with Peter Steinlechner The German developer Jörg Neumann is responsible for the development of the new Flight Simulator at Microsoft. Neumann has previously worked for a studio founded by Chris Roberts (Star Citizen) called Digital Anvil, which was purchased by Microsoft in 2000 - this is how Neumann joined the software group. The Flight Simulator was developed for Windows PC and Xbox One in a cooperation between Microsoft and the French development studio Asobo. There is no release date yet. Golem.de: Why is a new flight simulator being developed after all these years? Jörg Neumann: I'm responsible for that. I've been making games for ages, among other things I used to work with Kudo Tsunoda on games for Kinect motion control. Then Kudo was busy with the Hololens and I was one of the first employees in the responsible department. We had a program called Holo Tour that allowed us to show parts of the world in 3D within Virtual Reality. Rome, San Francisco and the Inca city of Machu Picchu. I've never been to Peru before, but especially with Machu Picchu, I thought it felt incredibly real. Then we tried to see if we could make a bigger place with the same graphics quality. I asked around inside Microsoft and got data from Seattle - about 25 GByte, from Bing. The data recorded from the plane was photogrammetric - that is, 3D point clouds that can be displayed as a mash. Golem.de: But why a flight simulation? Neumann: With such data, it is best to look at them as they were recorded. So we let a virtual Cessna 172 fly over virtual Seattle. I tried that with two programmers and an artist and it worked. I showed the result to Phil (Phil Spencer, head of games at Microsoft). And he asks me why I'm showing him a video of Seattle. So I took the controller and turned the plane to the right. Only then did he understand that it was all happening in real time. Golem.de: Was it difficult to push through the project after the meeting with Phil? Neumann: No, that wasn't a big problem. By the way, there are quite a few pilots at Microsoft, the love for the Flight Simulator was always there. After all, the series is older than Windows and Office - the oldest thing we have at all. Golem.de: Then why wasn't there a new flight simulator from Microsoft before? Neumann: There was simply no team. Sometimes several things also have to come together. In this case it was the new possibilities influenced by Hololens, among other things. In the last Flight Simulator there was also no cloud and much less data at all. Golem.de: Which map data from Bing do you use? The map view that I can access via my browser? Neumann: At Bing we have satellite data, which we call Area Photography, which go up to 30 centimeters per pixel. The better images come from airplanes, they have several cameras and take one image per second, the resolution is then 5 centimeters per pixel. From these points you can build the cities. But then it gets complicated. For example, skyscrapers have a dark side, and you can't use that in a flight simulation. When the sun goes around 360 degrees, you have to solve a lot of problems. Golem.de: Is the world created completely algorithmically or is it reworked by hand? Neumann: There are about 300 sights, like the Space Needle in Seattle, which we build manually - but it was really difficult to make the choice. Otherwise, we use algorithms. We work a lot with machine learning. In our team there are people who have written their doctoral thesis on topographic analysis of roofs. It analyses the roof so that you can see exactly how the gable is assembled. We take the floor plan from the satellite photos. The shadow lengths tell us how high the building is. In principle, we build 1.5 billion houses in the cloud every day. They don't exist on a hard drive - they don't actually exist anywhere. Golem.de: They're not buffered either? Neumann: No. It's the same with the trees. There are two to three trillion trees on earth. We have algorithms that search for trees in photos. We also know which tree species exist where. We have 3D trees and we plant them in the right places all over the world. Golem.de: What other data does the Flight Simulator use? Neumann: We use real weather data in real time. And every airplane that is currently on the move can also be found in the air with us. You can fly there yourself and watch the other airplane fly over the clouds. Golem.de: Which engine do you use? Neumann: I don't know if it has a name, but it comes from Asobo. I've been working with Asobo for twelve years, first on a Kinect game called Pixar Rush. Around 2008 Asobo already made a game called Fuel, in which the whole world was procedurally worked out on the basis of satellite data. There are very few engines that can do this. Unity and Unreal Engine can't do that. My friend Chris Roberts rebuilt the Cryengine to 64 bit and Double Floating Point for Star Citizen, and it's still difficult for him. The good thing about the Asobo engine is that it has always been good in this area. In the meantime, however, we have also switched to Double Floating Point. Weather data and computer resources Golem.de: A good world generation engine is not necessarily a good flight simulation engine. Neumann: Right. And Asobo hasn't produced any flight simulation before. When we started talking about the project, the boss immediately booked test flights for his employees. 20 or 30 people of them have taken the pilot's license in the meantime. We need that, you can't do a simulation like that without knowing how flying works. We also got them the old flight simulator from 2007. There they could see how it was all put together. From day one we had Air Traffic Control in our program, and the airports were there too - not all right, but at least. Golem.de: Were elements from the Flight Simulator taken over from that time? Neumann: We took over the code at the beginning, but then rewrote everything. We started with that in 2016, so we're working on it now for about four years. But that's necessary because the aerodynamics, for example, were totally outdated. But the computers at that time couldn't do multithreading either. Now we have over a thousand control points per plane, we have all the wind vectors. This means that each of our aircraft has around a thousand surfaces for which we calculate the aerodynamics. Anyone who has ever flown a plane knows that flying is a bit like swimming. But in the early flight simulators, airplanes were very rigid. They were basically a block with a point that you could turn left or right. But airplanes don't work that way. Golem.de: The weather comes in real time from a weather service. Is there a storm, a cloud or a hurricane where every pixel is reproduced, or do you have some kind of wind shader? Neumann: We divided the world into squares with a side length of 64 meters each, up to a height of 65,000 feet. For each of these cubes there are values for humidity, air pressure, which particles float around and other sensor data. This also means that the air is moving in the right wind direction and strength. The clouds in the Flight Simulator consist of voxels and are represented by raymarching - a kind of raytracing. In addition, the clouds are generated dynamically. When it rains and gets warmer, it generates lift. Golem.de: And that still runs fast enough on a computer available in the trade? Neumann: Flight simulators require comparatively few resources for artificial intelligence. Normally the CPU in games is used to calculate the opponents and the NPCs. We have an airplane - and a few other airplanes - but they're usually 30 or 100 kilometers away. We use the computing power of the CPU in principle for the instruments as well as for the autopilot. Everything else is done by the GPU. And this is 'many thread' and offers a lot of computing power. Golem.de: Is there a casual mode? Neumann: No, not at all. We don't want to do this as a game. Our target group are people for whom flying is a hobby. They know a lot about it. Golem.de: If I can fly in the Flight Simulator, then also a real 747? Neumann: Many pilots tell us that they have learned to fly with the Flight Simulator. You get very close to real flying. However, our goal is that everyone who has the dream to fly should be able to do it in the Flight Simulator. There are a few planes, like the Piper or the Cessna, which are very easy to fly. You can learn that in a few days. Golem.de: How important are mods? Especially in Germany they were and are very popular with fans of the previous flight simulators. Neumann: Absolutely! There are about 240 companies for professional mods. I talked directly when I was 60 or so. We know what they want and need, and we're working on an SDK. Then the developers can also give us feedback. Some people do that when they visit us. I see the Flight Simulator as a platform, not as a game or simulation. And as a platform you have to be very careful that those who are involved are fully involved. Golem.de: How many people work on Flight Simulator? Neumann: About 200. At Asobo we have about 120 people. In addition, there is another group of 20 to 30 people at Microsoft who help us with machine learning and a few smaller teams, including in Austria. Golem.de: How far has development progressed? Neumann: We're in Pre Tech Alpha. The simulation is there, you can do anything. But not all planes are ready yet. For the 47,000 airports, we would like to go through the data and correct them if necessary. We are still working on accessibility. There is always something to do. We simulate the world, you can go into endless detail."
  6. November 27th, 2019 – Development Update “25,001 – wishing everyone a safe and wonderful start to the holiday season!” FEATURE DISCOVERY SERIES EPISODE 4 IS HERE! We are pleased to announce the fourth episode in our Feature Discovery Series has been released! Presented at our Global Preview Event, Episode 4 (COCKPITS) features a detailed look at few of the cockpits we’re building for the next iteration of Microsoft Flight Simulator. Head into the Insider area to watch Episode 4! FEEDBACK SNAPSHOT To accommodate many of the recent discussions happening across the community from the news coverage coming out of X0, the team has decided to delay the preview of the Feedback Snapshot to mid-December. This will allow us to provide a version of the snapshot that contains all recently discussed topics and will provide a more accurate view of the information we are tracking. We apologize for the delay. Next update – 12.05! Sincerely, Microsoft Flight Simulator Team
  7. "STANDARD: How is the Flight Simulator technically possible? Jörg Neumann: Future technology! It all started when I was working on a project around Hololens. The idea behind it was that you can visit certain places in the world. It all looked good and felt like you were right there. Then I asked myself if you could do it worldwide. I then showed the project to Phil and he looked at me and asked: "Why are you showing me a video of Seattle in some airplane? I then drifted off to the right and he looked at me and said, "Oh, real time?" But that was just one city, and there are more than two million cities worldwide. Then I went to the Bing people and they sent me two petabytes of data. And then you need a streaming engine that can do that. I looked around the world, and I've already worked with Asobo, they had the technology. So we looked to see if we could fly around the world, and that all worked. The cloud makes it possible. STANDARD: How does the simulation work? Neumann: On the one hand, we have a real-time simulation of the weather that takes things like air temperature, air pressure and so on into account. We have around 65,000 sources at our disposal. Our provider is based in Switzerland and leaves all this data to us. But we also have other partners. For example, we have the data from all planes worldwide - they then fly accurately through the landscape. We also collect data from ships and want to take trains and animals into account. We want to make the planet right! STANDARD: You've already mentioned VR. How high is the topic on the priority list? Neumann: Very high! Asobo and I have years of experience with VR. We know what a lame-word not allowed and a good implementation look like. We want to find a good solution, for example by cutting the cockpit off from the rest of the world. Then you can move around freely and the world in the background doesn't start to shimmer. We already started with VR, but we want to do it right. STANDARD: Will there be a software development kit for add-on developers? Neumann: Yes, that will be published soon. Normally such a tool comes out when the game appears. We do it differently, at least six months in advance. The add-on developers were all happy. Basically, we're not doing a flight simulation, we're doing a platform. There has to be an ecosystem all around, otherwise it can't be healthy. I often talk to the add-on developers and have asked them each time what features they need to do a good job. STANDARD: Will the Flight Simulator stay open for third-party software? Neumann: Yes. The development of Flight Simulator X ended in 2007, and the game has been kept alive by third parties ever since. I often talk to the developers, and one of them builds airports for the game. He told me that was his life. He takes weeks off, then gets an all-access pass to an airport, takes 40,000 photos, and then builds on it for a year. Bizarre, that's so great! That's exactly the kind of people we want. STANDARD: Do previously saved landscapes remain on the PC? Neumann: Yes. So you can either stream the game - of course that depends on the connection. We rely on adaptive streaming. If you have a line between 15 and 25 Mbps, you can stream in HD. Below it is then in SD. But when the Internet is completely gone, you still have a world - that's dynamic. You can also download your flight route in advance. Then the streaming is completely gone. Most pilots will stay local. They will fly from Munich to Augsburg. I think they will download the route in advance. STANDARD: For years the Flight Simulator was completely silent, now it's back with a bang. Why actually? Neumann: Technology and tools. We want to offer as much realism as possible - the world is important for this. And in order to present that, we need two things: photorealistic rendering and all the sensor data. The whole world is now full of sensors. That didn't exist in the past. What there wasn't was a way to get this data to people. For example, we can transfer forest fires into the game in real time. This data is all free of charge. So it wouldn't work without the cloud and our many partners. STANDARD: Who's the game actually aimed at? Neumann: Our goal is that everyone who has the dream to fly can also fly. In addition to aspiring and real pilots, we also have people who simply want to visit the planet. Our game should also be accessible. The Flight Simulator is like taking flight lessons. You can work your way into it with tutorials and explanations. Using a Cessna is not that difficult. If you spend a week with it, you can fly with it. The big airliners are a completely different subject - it's a real job. We noticed with our trailers that a lot of people are really interested in them, who normally don't use a flight simulator. My job now is to give them the opportunity to learn how to play and fly and that it's fun. I feel responsible for that. STANDARD: The next Flight Simulator will be released in 2020. What are the construction sites until the release? Neumann: We're almost finished with the planes. We still have to sit down with the people who actually developed the planes. They then tell us what we need to improve. The airports are also okay, but of course there is still room for improvement. As a biologist, it is also important to me that as many animals as possible are involved. The planet is simply more interesting with life. We are currently also working on trains and ships. Season is also such a topic. Basically, you can easily add snow. But you'll also need things like snow clearance vehicles. The snow must thaw sometime, then the rivers are completely different. But that's also the case with animals. Bears are known to sleep in winter. Some animals fly south, others north. There we talk a lot about how far we can get." Fast translated with deepl. Original (in German): https://www.derstandard.at/story/2000111300866/flight-simulator-chef-wir-wollen-den-planeten-richtig-machen
  8. New interview with Phil Spencer: "STANDARD: Will we even be buying games in five years? Spencer: Absolutely. That's why I'm against the Game Pass being called the "Netflix for Games". You can buy a game from us - that's the difference. That's what our customers want. So why should we deny them the opportunity to buy a game?" Link (in German): https://www.derstandard.at/story/2000111204264/xbox-chef-phil-spencer-cloudgaming-wird-konsolen-so-bald-nicht
  9. Most important question: can we have road traffic on the other side of the road in the UK?😥
  10. Specification of the upcoming XBOX Scarlett (to be announced) should be a good hint.
  11. The same applies here: https://binged.it/2qcKXu9 It's a civilian, formerly military area. Censorship is obsolete. Alpha testers please report this! The naval port 1 km south is well visible. 🤐
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