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Peter Lürkens

Announcement "ms Flight"

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Yes, seen that and have been wondering about the wording. Is it going to be all "live", or will it be something similar to the Flight Simulator series. Graphics are pretty good though, but there's something not quite right about the video. Does anyone else get that feeling? About midway through the video (shortly after the biplane enters), the backdrop and the aircraft gets confused or something, like they are not actually in the same scene together.

Scott

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we can keep this thread alive as/if any soaring features on the new platform become apparent. At the moment there is absolutely zero news but a bit of speculation based on zero news.

I emailed the msflight contact address (msflight@microsoft.com) to let them know the expertise in soaring features is over here, but have only had an automated reply.

B21

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There's been a small update on the MS Flight site:

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What is "Microsoft Flight?" A: "Microsoft Flight" is a new PC game from Microsoft Game Studios. The new title will be available on the Games for Windows – LIVE service and will bring a new perspective to the long-standing "Flight Simulator" franchise. From new game play elements and enhanced scenery and terrain to new aircraft and integrated content marketplace, it is an entirely new breed of virtual flight. The Games for Windows - LIVE platform sets the stage for all your virtual flight needs while connecting you to a global base of users, content and endless exploration. Microsoft Flight builds off its heritage of deep, immersive simulation and is redesigned to make the experience easier for virtual fliers of all interests and skills.

Q: How does "Microsoft Flight" differ from "Flight Simulator?" Why the new name? What's changed? A: With "Microsoft Flight" we're approaching the virtual flight genre from the ground up, with the focus on the universal appeal of the experience of Flight. We believe the simplicity of "Microsoft Flight" perfectly captures that vision while welcoming the millions of existing Flight Simulator fans. The new "Microsoft Flight" retains the full fidelity simulation longtime fans have come to expect while offering all players a whole new look and feel, a wide range of new game play and challenges, persistent experiences and social connectivity.

Q: How does Games for Windows – LIVE factor in? A: Games for Windows – LIVE introduces a new level of connectivity to virtual flight, enhancing both the social and game play experiences of the title. Content is updated virtually. You can fly solo or join an entire global flight community online. You can easily connect with and facilitate flight experiences with your friends. The addition of Games for Windows - LIVE creates an ubiquitous virtual world of flight that offers easy and engaging access to the magic of flight for all.

Q: Who is developing "Microsoft Flight" now that ACES is gone? A: "Microsoft Flight" is being developed internally at Microsoft by a team that includes many of the same creative minds that helped deliver countless entries in the "Flight Simulator" franchise.

Q: Why did Microsoft shut down ACES Studio last January? A: Microsoft Game Studios is always evaluating its business model to determine what is best for both gamers and the company. Many factors were considered in the difficult decision to close ACES Studio, but we feel the 2009 closure helped us better align with our goals and long-term development plans. "Microsoft Flight" is being developed by many of the same creative minds that shaped "Microsoft Flight Simulator," and we're excited about delivering a new take on this classic franchise.

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Well, I MIGHT be sold on the idea of a new flight simulator from Microsoft. I'm really going to have to look into what Games for Windows - LIVE is all about. The thing that bothers me though, is why did Microsoft REALLY put an end to the Flight Simulator series. I have not read the forum here at Aerosoft about a 2012 flight sim, so I'm unsure of it's existence yet, but it seems as though Microsoft would have let some of it's main addon suppliers know of the existence of this new Flight experience, before someone putting in a lot of time and effort into a new flight simulator that would be placed in competition with Microsoft. I hope Microsoft knows what it's doing with this flight sim, and hope for sure that they haven't arcaded something that used to be great realistically (as far as what could be done with simulation). I've been a long time fan of the Flight Simulator series, that my heart drops just thinking about Microsoft replacing it. But it's got to be good, do you think???

Scott

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I'd really like MS Flight to be a significant step forward and be successful.

But even Aces weren't able to create a realistic soaring experience (no thermals, no ridge lift, no compensation to the vario) but at least they provided the SimConnect API so we could program to that. However, SimConnect has no feature to inject lift or sink into the sim so only a wizard like Peter could get around that limitation - CumulusX uses really complicated micro-adjustments of aircraft altitude to create a lift effect. SimConnect also has no feature to allow you to sample the terrain so you can program appropriate ridge lift - CumulusX uses a formation of stealth AI aircraft around the user which can report back the ground elevation at a point immediately beneath each... So really CumulusX works miracles with what's available in FSX to make simple, realistic thermal and ridge lift available to a soaring pilot. I very much doubt MS will design-in realistic soaring from the start, so it depends on the add-on programmability.

MS Flight will be multiplayer from the ground up, so that'll provide new possibilities, but we'd need some control of a server so the soaring weather was reliable.

So there are lots of things MS could miss out, and that would make realistic soaring a no-go, but we can be hopeful I guess.

B21

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Yep, I hear you. And definitely we have to thank Peter for CumulusX!! But don't we need to thank you for getting ridge lift off and running? Or at least, you were the one that began the process. I still have video of when it was in beta....one of the beta's had falling Pink/Purple objects bombing the ground in front of me. I can still hear the explosions. I'll have to post that video later maybe to show people just how far this project has really come.

Scott

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WOW. From the looks of it, the objects were actually going from the ground up. Not sure if I noticed that back then or not.

Without sound

With sound

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Yeah, those were the days, my friend. I remember it took us some time to find out that the phenomenon was related to FSX-acceleration only.

BTW did you know one can still encounter those pink bullets in the current version? Only nowadays you can see them when flying around 30.000ft up in the sky.

Bert

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Ah yeah, happy days... that was when the 'AI object placed in formation with the user aircraft' *really* was experimental. I remember you trying to describe what was happening on your machine and me being incredulous. With Acceleration for some reason my carefully placed AI objects moved vertically until I learnt what other tricks to pull to persuade FSX to leave a non-flying object up in the air.

Once you know what is going on you can see my code was placing an AI object (actually a 'food pallet with a parachute') at a fixed distance from the user aircraft in a specific (windward) direction, so my code could read back the 'ground elevation' from that object. On your machine they slewed *to* that position complete with FSX crash effects. And as Bert said, the finalized version of the code did actually have four 'food pallets' flying in formation with the user aircraft but up at 10,000 meters so you never saw them unless you slewed up there. I could have made the AI objects invisible or used a 'water droplet' or something, but it was fun having the big purple food pallets because I could check what was going on and nobody seemed to mind.

By now this technique will be super-refined in CumulusX I'm sure, but the video definitely shows what is still involved under the covers in calculating the ridge lift!

cheers,

B21

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The next teaser video has been added to the MS Flight website, viewable without Silverlight on youtube (to increase the size right-click the video, play in youtube, and play full-screen)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=keTDuAz8Hbo

No other information... I looked at this trying to glean whether the airport or 3d scenery was any better than FSX but it's hard to tell with such a low-res video (for the original using MS Silverlight instead of flash see the MS Flight website)

B21

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Thanks B21. I wonder if Microsoft is releasing at the low quality, so as not to give too much of the product away yet. I'm getting anxious about when the product may be released.

Scott

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Overall the environment looks very familiar to me. However, if you spot the aircraft shadow, in the top down view and others, it is totally different from what I'm used to. Maybe there are many of those more subtle difference which could change the immersion feeling quite a lot. Also the gauges seem to be real-3D and with better fluidity rather than the old billboard-animations, but that is not new and was already shown in some FSX addons.

best regards,

Peter

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After a few months off, MSoft have added new screenshots to their Microsoft Flight marketing site. You can go to the site if you can be arsed to install proprietary Msoft plugins just to view an image, or check out the versions below to see if it's worth following up:

5784580297_c1e425d5fd_o.jpg

5784580157_e6d920cf6f_o.jpg

5785136662_4ae31c63f4_o.jpg

5784580261_72303ab6c4_o.jpg

These images are hosted on a blog somewhere - I'm guessing they're reduced resolution.

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New video at msflight.

Seems, as if (some) autogen trees are shaking in the wind. Interesting.

For what MS has shown so far, msflight seems much to be on eye candy.

Cheers,

Peter

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right-click 'play in youtube' to get the HD version.

I agree there's lots of eye candy, but that was always the MSFS advantage. Condor's a better soaring sim but the scenery is not as good. And MSF will have multi-player that works out of the box. If we end up with FSX+(working multiplayer) that will be a significant advance. At the same time I'm assuming soaring in MSF will be seriously borked due to some technical oversight, e.g. no thermals.

B21

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