The manager of Asobo Studios in France, in charge of Flight Simulator development, was interviewed by Gameblog last week at X019 Show, the Microsoft event for X-Box held at London. They spoke in French for 15 minutes (YouTube video linked below) but we edited the following summury of the main relevant information :
Beginning of the partnership between Asobo and Microsoft until Flight Simulator project starts :
- Asobo worked on Holo Tour for Holo Lens, the virtual reality device by Microsoft
- Before FS2020, Asobo developed “Fuel” among other PC games, a car racing game evolving in a wide and detailed world.
New technologies for FS2020 :
- photoreal Earth data stocked in the cloud and accumulating PetaBytes (millions of GigaBytes)
- take advantage of the new graphic cards able to render volumetric atmosphere and lights, whatever are the weather, date and time settings
- immersion : realistic flight performance of aircraft, actual flight sensations, in a living and dynamic world, to bring more realism into the simulator
All CPU cores are used :
- advanced audio : numerous and realistic audio effects are simulated and played according to the situation
- camera physics simulation : movements, effects, advanced controls are included
Optimal PC hardware have not been communicated yet because they are still working on the engine optimization, influencing the different components abilities : CPU, memory, graphic card..
- until now, tests are run in 4K resolution on setup as found in the current market
- for example, they can aim at 60 frames per second with a graphic card dated in years by using “upscale” feature : graphics are rendered at a lower resolution then displayed at a higher definition without too much visual degradation
- or in another situation, they can lower the terrain definition setting by one step, and then observe that the detail loss is relatively low for a much higher framerate.
Online and multiplayers features :
- No official and detailed communication on that topic yet
- but real time air traffic will be available, to include 10,000 to 50,000 aircraft in flight world wide
- and / or other aircraft controlled by other connected simmers
- Settings available to control or deactivate these features
Virtual Reality in MSFS :
- official Press Release confirmed they were looking into it
- base technology already available
- Asobo knowledge and company history are VR oriented already
- interaction between the VR device in one hand, and on the other hand the user interface or the virtual cockpit remain to define, with high standards as goal
- calendar and development steps not clearly defined yet
What’s next :
- 48,000 airports, 3D detailed aircraft stock
- Alpha tests will be important to retrieve the feelings, comments, requests from the simmers community
- Set the priorities among the features, usage for all gamers
- To enhance, fix, and add items according to the most reported comments
- 120 people currently working full time on MSFS development at Asobo Studios, in Bordeaux, France + 20 more at Microsoft,
Release information : For Windows PC confirmed in 2020, and for X-Box to follow without detail.