Getting a flight sim ready for launch sometimes requires some unique testing methods. While most games need to remain stable for just a few hours, a sim like X-Plane 12 requires potentially dozens of hours of stability out of the product to simulate long distance flights. In the spirit of that testing, Laminar has released a 10-hour timelapse condensed down into 6-minutes. Let’s have a look at the video and the reactions.
Ten hours crammed into six minutes
Starting out in the dark with rain coming down and transitioning into sunrise and variable clouds, this latest X-Plane 12 video gives us a good look at many of the sim’s facets. Condensing 10-hours of testing down into just a few minutes really lets us cover a lot of ground really quickly.
The test is likely seting using an AI that is pre-programmed to fly from airport to airport. The aircraft, a Lancair Evolution, transitions between airports, lands, taxis, parks, and then does it all again. In the background we get to see the sim’s new lighting model, clouds and weather, the ATC window is open so we can see some of the functions there, and we get a look at the scenery, terrain, textures, runways, and more.
Have a look for yourself.
My reactions and reactions from the community
The video on the face of it is a really good technical demonstration of the sim and its various functions working together over a prolonged period of time. That its seemingly running smoothly and stably is important for those long flights. I got to experience this with X-Plane 11 and my cross Atlantic journey that I did last year.
That it also gives us our most complete look at X-Plane 12 in many respects also has quite a few people paying attention to not just the flying but the scenery and the weather. And there are a few things that stick out.
The scenery appears to not have really evolved all that much from what we see with X-Plane 11 although it does appear that there are better textures. To be sure, airport textures on the ground do appear to be excellent. Airport buildings do look a little less impressive than I had assumed they might be.
The weather is also cause for some questions. In a lot of instances there appears to be cloud banks that pulse in and out of existence relatively quickly. Although I do expect the weather to be dynamic, a cloud bank shouldn’t disappear in the time that it takes to do a pushback.
It seems that similar concerns are being shared across the X-Plane community with threads popping up on the Facebook and Reddit groups. Those threads include this one with divided opinions, questions and concern in places.
I do want to put a giant caution on judging everything at this point too. Although X-Plane 12 does appear to be nearing early access release, we do know that there are lots of rough edges to smooth out as the sim makes the journey towards a full release. Often, a lot of hard work over years take time to fully integrate into a product and its really only in the last stretch where things really solidify.
Of course, the sim’s flight model might be so impressive as to negate some of these other concerns. But for those looking to X-Plane 12 for a complete sim experience, there are no doubt going to be some question marks at this point. Others will find the scenery and weather quirks to not be an issue.
What do you think? Is any of this cause for concern? Or is it just to early to know? Let me know in the comments!