Asobo March 2022 Developer Q&A summary and highights

A new Microsoft Flight Simulator Developer Q&A is out and it covers a wide variety of topics surrounding the sim. I’ve put together a few highlights from the Q&A that you might find interesting.

Summary!

A lot of ground was covered in this latest Developer Q&A. It started out on a sombre note considering the news surrounding the war in Ukraine with Jorg expressing sympathy for the people affected. He confirmed that their original plan for Famous Flyers was altered as they have lost contact with Antonov (instead we got the Beechcraft Model 17 Staggerwing).

The rest of the Q&A was focused on sim items including talk about the new Xbox cloud gaming system, talk about new and different types of clouds, an update on wind, the ATR, as well as a number of community questions around helicopters, performance, and default aircraft updates.

Below are some of the notes and summaries that I took of their answers. Or, watch the video above for the full thing.

  • Antonov AN-2 has been delayed because of the war in Ukraine. They have lost contact with Antonov.
  • Jorg talked about how Xbox cloud gaming is making the sim more accessible on much older hardware and a greater variety of hardware.
  • The team talked about more and different types of clouds. Explained that there are about 60 layers of weather information coming in. Cloud rendering has somewhere between 32 and 64 cloud shapes at present. A new slider for density was introduced in SU8. More weather details are being built in and weather data continues to improve.
  • Wind gusts will return and be improved in the live weather. New more organic wind and features like high altitude turbulence.
  • Working to bring in some other sources of data for weather. Jorg mentioned that he wanted to see other weather effects like sandstorms at some point.
  • Dornier update: On track to launch the Dornier Do J Wal on March 22nd. Coming with the Spain update.
  • ATR is still being worked on. Things are going well but it’s a complex airplane.

That covers most of what was talked about in their opening segments. They then pivoted to a Q&A session answering questions that were coming in from the community.

  • Testing performance degradation over time. Trying to figure out what the cause is. Difficult to recreate. Asobo is following up on community reports.
  • Working on tracking down shimmering issues in VR.
  • Asobo aware of lengthy loading times (especially with lots of items in Community folder). Deep architectural change required to solve and make it load faster. Can’t commit to a date but they are working on it.
  • Ground handling and friction is being tweaked. Are working on a more realistic implementation to improve tire and handling.
  • Community Gateway: Currently testing with community partners and are one step away from testing with community.
  • Will max number of engines increase? Currently a max of 4 engines and they are planning to increase it but haven’t settled on what the number should be.
  • Asobo is still planning on adding opening/closing doors and windows for default aircraft.
  • Helicopters update: Working on them including all of the physics and dynamics involved. Still working on finishing up these building blocks. Also setting up relationships with helicopter manufacturers.
  • Next aircraft getting propeller upgrades will be the Cessna 172 in Sim Update 9 with both the CFD and propeller.

There’s plenty more in the Q&A but those were the highlights for me.

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