It's been pretty jaw-dropping to see the visuals on Youtube over the past months. I hope it's every bit as good as it looks...that screenshot showing the city lights at evening is just a beaut.
I'm not sure if I'll splurge sooner or later, but I like to set up homebrew missions in the flight sims I have on hand here. It's been fun to throw the dice and add some variables into what can become an air-taxi game (dice determine time of day, passengers, weather, location, payment, maintenance costs, etc.), a rescue game, a stunt-flying game, and so on...
My son and I once tried simulating an Indiana Jones-style adventure by stealing a Ju-87 from Berlin, but the flight model for that thing was a bit too detailed and we couldn't recover from my son's urgent zoom-climb. :-) Anyway, I had fun imitating John Rhys-Davies with the soundtrack playing in the background, all the way down.
It's a great hobby, major props to Microsoft on their attention to this new effort.
Another interesting aspect of FS is a chance to practice real ATC comms. At least with the older version, there was a way to connect to a network of actual people "manning" ATC points. IIRC, it was called squawk box addon.
I never tried it, but always thought I should learn the protocol and lingo.
This would add more realism. I imagine it may be also a way to appreciate the complexity of ATC operator's job.
I've been a PC game pass subscriber since they started it up and haven't been disappointed. I honestly think it's one of the best values in gaming right now. Not every game on game pass is something you're going to love, but they have big depth and variety and a commitment to NEW releases, no waiting years for big titles like PS+ (to be clear, I own a PS4 and a PC, no actual Xbox).
Here I am, and all I ever wanted was a decent car driving simulator. Not racing. Not off-roading. (And no, not GTA either...) Just following various traffic rules, dependent on which country you're driving in, and following along digitised roads of places I once knew. Partly because I don't have the driver's license yet, partly because I still can't afford a decent car anyway, and partly because I kinda like the thought of being able to try out so many more different brands without needing to have car collecting as a hobby. I mean, sure, I really liked Gran Turismo, but then that's racing again. Is there just no market for this thing?
Creating a realistic driving simulator would actually be much more difficult than creating a flight sim. Creating a virtual globe with ground details and buildings that look even moderately acceptable when viewed from ground level is very hard. This is as compared to flight simulators where terrain detail is mostly focused on accurate height maps and orthographic surface textures (which are readily available from USGS and other sources). Most of the urban environments in flight sims are poor quality procedurally generated structures - poor from a general game quality standpoint, they're fine for their usage in flight sims. For the most part, flight sims only bother to manually model and place the objects in major cities and landmarks, as well as around airports.
I don't buy that. I think procedural programming could do the trick, with details only for key buildings, for instance (which is how Google Maps started their modelling anyway). Yes, that would necessarily mean that you won't recognize your own house, but it would mean that you could drive along in a virtual world that is very similar (simulated even) to the real thing. As before mentioned, Outerra^ already did this for the entire Earth. It's a great project. Check it out if you haven't already! :)
All of the screenshots for outerra on the web site only show terrain with no urban environments.
This video shows urban environments, but the buildings seem to be low poly structures. Okay enough for a flight sim, but I doubt it would be pleasing driving simulator where you regularly see these buildings up close.
The fundamental problem is that the buildings aren't procedurally generated - they're discrete models. They're procedurally placed on the map, but it still cycling through a fixed list of buildings. It looks similar to the real world from the sky, but if you were to go down and drive around you'd see the same apartments and stores again and again.
I think those are valid conserns. And I also think it can be handled, for instance by fractal algorithms. Most houses are just subsets of a general style, so I'd be quite interested in seeing some work done on procedurally modelled houses. I think doing it in a believable way completely feasible with todays technology. Hell, I could even take a crack at it myself, with POV-Ray^ lol. But given that it's an old ray tracer I don't think it would translate very well to modern game engines. It is entirely script driven, though, which makes things a lot easier when it comes to generating procedural contents.
TBH, I wonder why there wasn't a product like that sold to the K-12 market at least.
When I took driver's ed in 1998 or so, the class had 20 kiosks with steering wheels, LED-bar speedometers, and panels of lights for out-of-range behaviour. We were supposed to follow along with the same canned video being played for everyone. Nobody took it seriously-- people tried to just christmas-tree the warning lights.
I'd expect putting each student on an individual screen would be much more educational-- you can see dangerous situations as they develop and compensate earlier in their lifecycle, rather than just discovering you were fully out of lane when a light goes on. That seems like the skills they'd want to teach, and I'm sure they could have done something with Wolf3D level graphics running on a 386-class PC and got it to an affordable price point by then.
In original Mafia cars behave quite appropriately given time period, so they accelerate slowly. You can also switch to a high gear to drop acceleration further.
They are preparing original Mafia remake to release this fall, which I’m extremely stoked but also slightly cautious about. The update seems to be mostly concerning graphics and I really hope they leave car handling alone.
Honestly, to me a completely faithful representation isn't necessary. I want to learn to drive a car, or enjoy a very realistic car driving experience in simulated traffic. While having a one-to-one representation of the world would be great, it's not strictly necessary for that goal. To that end, car physics, different driving condidtions caused by weather and surface, and realistic modelling of traffic charachteristics (including law enforcement and the odd drunk driver) is far more important to me.
(But ummm.... Right now I just want to say sorry for hijacking this flight sim thread with car sim posts... :p I never thought it would get this much traction. No pun intended.)
There was a thing called Birdly at the SF exploratorium that was just insanely great. It was a metal frame that you strapped into with a fan in front of you and VR goggles. As you flew though the city by moving your arms, the frame tilted so you could feel the attitude and the fan sped up when your bird speed increased. I would have paid $10/minute to get more time on it.
Definitely approaching real holodeck hours, with many implications for society at large. VR already has a reputation of being "uncool" and just being a way to vicariously experience things others actually do IRL (think of the "are ya winning son" meme). Wonder if that trend will continue as the tech gets more realistic.
If you fast forward the progress 30 years you can imagine the near-perfect simulation of any experience which just has wild implications for society. If everyone's house can feel like Versailles and their food taste like lobster and their sex partner look like People's Sexiest Man/Woman alive a lot of what drives human motivation disappears.
I kind of agree. I have the same issue, although I'm not prone to motion sickness in life. My senses get ready for g-forces which are not there so my whole nerve system goes brrrrrrr. Then I need to put in mental effort to stop expecting motion and just concentrate on the visuals which ruins the experience. An hour in Digital Combat Simulator with VR is my maximum, and I usually need a recovery period for my internal gyroscopes to get in line.
I play IL2 which is a WW2 combat sim in VR and have no motion sickness issues at all despite it involving quite a lot of spinning around that would make a lot of people sick IRL. Flight is one of the sweet spots for VR sickness as you have a cockpit which anchors you somewhat and for the majority of the time the rest of the scenery is actually quite far away.
When I was about 3, my dad left his computer at home. He used to set me up with MS Flight Simulator when it was on a single floppy. Anyway, I was so motivated to play I remember getting on and punching in:
Microsoft probably could not have chosen a better developer to continue work on Flight Simulator. Incredible work by Asobo. I was very impressed with the quality of the alpha back in february. It felt more like a beta. Unfortunately it does seem like they are in a hury to release the game, as there are still issues in the public beta that I doubt can be fixed in the coming 3 weeks.
I absolutely love Asobo studio. I do not really play games but many years ago I bought their Fuel game for a single purpose of driving around that vast terrain and exploring. Also in a hope of guessing the ways they created this large world as I had similar project in mind at that time.
En tant que développeur et Bordelais, je suis très fier de vous les gars. Bravo, et merci pour votre enthousiasme et la qualité de votre travail.
Je serai super intéressé d'avoir un peu de détails sur votre engouement pour l'aviation au fil de ce projet. Je crois avoir lu qu'une grosse partie de l'équipe a passé son PPL ? Comment cette idée est née et quel était le sentiment général de l'équipe quand vous avez entrepris ce challenge ?
When I bought the original Compaq Portable in 1984 the first commerical program I purchased was the Microsoft Flight Simulator, and it was stunning to have that running at home. It is amazing that this is still around and what progress in simulation and graphics have been made in all this time.
Unfortunately he's been shut out of the current version. And is selling/has sold his southern Illinois mansion. Although that might not be really due to financial stress but that a nearly seventy year old man may not need such a large house.
> Artwick owned it until 2015, when it was sold at auction for $4,000,005. It was never clear who bought the property, as it was sold to a trust. “That was by design, and I’m not allowed to say. They want their privacy,” Tabeling said.
Dad bought an Apple II when I was a kid, and the A2-FS1 flight simulator simply blew my mind. And then I discovered A2-3D1, subLOGIC's 3D graphics library, on which their flight simulator was based, which started a lifelong interest in the math behind computer graphics.
That explains something I've wondered about. I have memories of playing something that looked like Microsoft Flight Simulator once with some friends of the family on some kind of Atari computer. I think we were trying to fly under the Golden Gate bridge, as one does. It didn't make sense that we were running a Microsoft program on an Atari computer.
You'll probably have a decent experience if you happen to have an Xbox or PS4 controller lying around. The next step up would be a joystick (maybe $50-$300 depending on how fancy you get). If you're super hardcore you can also get a yoke and pedals, but I think that's overkill unless you want a super realistic experience
You can get a Thrustmaster TS16000M for less than $50, which is a great joystick to start flying. There are much more complex and true-to-life systems, which can cost several hundred dollars. It all depends on how much realistic you want your experience to be.
And yes, playing FSX with Xbox controller, landing is where I wish I have throttle or sometimes even rudder controller (since by default the directional control controls nose gear, ailerons, and rudders at the same time)
If you want to get a bit fancier the next step up would be something like a Logitech X56, which will give you twin throttles, several other slider/knob axes (prop/mixture controls, etc), and a lot more buttons of the stick. That's around $250.
From there you can get to pretty crazy high end stuff, some of which use real airplane hardware.
You need a stick and a throttle. I've been using Saitek X52pro which has both (HOTAS) to play Elite Dangerous with Rift since it came out and they are good but there are many other options available out in the market. For MSFS you may also want to have rudder pedals.
I love DCS, but their business model is killing them.
Without a subscription-style revenue stream, they are forced to create and sell new products constantly. This leads them to be in a constant state of "early access" -- often with some substantial issues. I would prefer it if they let me pay ~$10/month and I just get access to every module.
Hoping this is available on some kind of cloud gaming platform as I’d love to have a play, but I doubt my MacBook will be able to handle it and I’m not generally interested in games so don’t want to invest in a machine just for this.
Yea, gotta rake in that sweet DLC money. In fact, the base game is just a vessel to extract as much money from people as possible. Flight Sim X has 272 pieces of DLC costing many thousands of dollars. It's obscene, and they should be ashamed. I can't believe people are actually hyped about this money sink.
I don't think it's something to be ashamed about. It's an economical model that works for them. Sims in general are not your traditional game, people buy one plane at a time and they spend hundred and hundred hours in a given plane.
There is a presumption that MSFS is the be-all of flight sims. It really isn't. It is the little things that drive a flight simulator, like the selection of aircraft and locations. Will MS open this to user-generated content? How easy will it be to import aircraft or scenery? What about 3rd party realism mods (engine failures etc)? Could it qualify for FAA simulator time? Those are the sorts of thing I look for in a flight sim. Over the years a few MSFS incarnations have allowed such things, just not in the last decade or so.
Bing Maps may turn out to be the edge for MSFS over other sims. The 2020 version streams in map data that other sims aren't likely to be able to access or replicate. Maybe they can make a deal with a third party vendor for similar data but that won't come cheap. For Microsoft it's just another use for data they already have.
Most of the serious users moved to Prepare3d. It's the FSX code base sold off to Lockheed Martin... upgraded for 64bit and some limited multithreading, which actually solves a lot of the underlying issues with heavily modded FSX.