The latest Flight Simulator update is out and this week we’ve learned about what they are doing with the audio, how it will be affected by the simulation, and also a few pieces of new information about what the third party SDK will entail and how that will affect the sim going into the future.
Sounds are amazing
An area that some flight simulators put a lot of effort in and others seem to neglect is the sound experience. Sound can communicate a lot of information to a flight simulation pilot and in my mind is nearly as important as having superb visuals. Together they and the physics system can come together to complete the experience and it looks like Flight Simulator is working very hard to make that come true.
In the latest update, Aurélien Piters, Audio Director from Asobo studios details the sound system being built for the new Flight Simulator. He talks about their efforts to get detailed recordings of the aircraft they are representing, how they have built a whole soundscape that works with the audio both within the cockpit and in the world around, and even how they have built sounds based on different biomes (desert, savanna, forest, etc.) around the planet and how those change over the day and night cycle.
It’s almost ridiculous to say but even the AI aircraft taxiing at the airports have their own sounds (looking at you X-Plane 11).
Check out the Episode 5 of the Discovery series (shared far and wide now so I don’t feel bad about linking it here) and be sure to sign-up for the Insider Access on their website if you haven’t already done so.
More Alpha invites out
By the end of the month, the second round of Tech Alpha invites will be out with more people getting access to the early development version of the new Flight Simulator. The Tech Alpha has actually been renamed to just ‘Alpha’ and that should help simplify things as time goes on.
All invitations will be out by the 27th with a new download available shortly thereafter.
SDK gives us third party glimpse
Only third party developers will have access to the Flight Simulator SDK but that doesn’t stop us from learning what kinds of things that the SDK might be able to offer us in the future as third parties come onboard.
This one line from the most recent update is most telling:
Only 3rd party development partners will have access to the SDK in which they will be able to create and edit airports, sceneries, planes and missions.
As impressive as the new scenery system is for Flight Simulator, it seems that a hand touch for airports and different areas is still something that could be capable of adding to the experience – at least that is what the team is suggesting through this update. That is an interesting development and it will be interesting to see just how detailed areas are by default as opposed to with a third party putting in their own efforts.
Third party aircraft is almost a given and remains one of the most high profile ways for the series to add more content and more depth to the world. Although past Flight Simulators haven’t done this, I am curious if there will be external models added to the simulation core as in DCS World instead of offering up similar type class substitutions – which occasionally looked ridiculous in multiplayer.
Also of note is the missions on the list which definitely confirms that there will be scenarios that we’ll be able to take part in and that additional scenarios will be something that third party developers can put together – here’s hoping that functionality is open to the community at large as well.