Flight Simulator – Interview of Asobo Studios Manager by Gameblog

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.

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