14

January

2021

January 14th, 2021 Development Update

Screenshot by no1home on Discord

Our Feature Discovery Series: Aerodynamics, will be postponed until further notice as we are still making a few edits to the video to ensure we hit the same quality bar for information that we have in the past. We are aiming to have this released next week but will update you should anything change. January is already in full swing and so is the team. This week we have a big update in the marketplace with 3 new and 18 updated items releasing this week. Our Layover with Devs this week focuses on two of our amazing community managers. We have also opened up the forums for questions for the upcoming Live Dev Q&A. Feel free to add a question or upvote your favorites!

As always, we are excited for what’s to come and can’t wait for what’s in-store for 2021. 

MSFS TEAM-

FEEDBACK SNAPSHOT

Click here for the web-friendly version.

Update on “Spikes on Terrain” bug: Our team has successfully found the root issue. The fix is currently in testing. Thanks for your patience!

SDK UPDATE

  • DevMode:
    • Asset wizards will be added to the Project Editor. They will provide a way to create packages without having to manually create or copy asset files. The first one to come will be the Airport Wizard.
    • We continue to improve the Visual Effects Editor.
    • A new feature in the Scenery Editor will soon allow you to rename, group and reorder the objects in the Scene list, for a more flexible and organized hierarchy system.
    • We are working on a notification system to keep you informed of our latest releases directly in the DevMode.
  • WebAssembly:
    • Some security weaknesses in the WASI layer that were reported have been fixed.

 

THIRD PARTY UPDATE

The creator community was incredibly productive during the last few weeks as an additional 121 products have been released on the platform since December. In total, 451 add-ons are now available and there are new and delightful announcements every single day. An additional 131 projects have been announced and we know of another 137 unannounced projects from 3rd parties. In total, there are 719 add-ons that are either released or an in production.

As this is far more content than we expected to see after only 5 months in market, we recently hired two additional team members to help with the ingestion process and to ensure that new add-ons are available in our marketplace as soon as possible.

  • Airports:
    • 324 airports (+39) have been released for the platform so far.
    • 101 airports (+4) are already in our in-sim store.
    • 61 airports (-4) beyond the released airports have been announced.
    • 167 airports (+46) are not announced but in dev based on information from 3rd parties.
  • Aircraft:
    • 15 aircraft (+0) have been released for the platform so far.
    • 7 aircraft (+0) are already in our in-sim store.
    • 67 aircraft (+0) beyond the released airplanes have been announced.
    • 37 aircraft (+14) are not announced but in dev based on information from 3rd parties.
  • Scenery:
    • 111 scenery add-ons (+5) have been released for the platform so far.
    • 10 scenery add-ons (+0) are already in our in-sim store.
    • 3 scenery add-ons (-+0) have been announced.
  • High-End Aircraft:
    • Aerosoft is putting the final touches on the impressive CRJ and we are looking forward to welcoming this cool plane on the platform very soon.
    • DC Designs is releasing their F-15 later this month and we cannot wait to try it out. The team also announced several other great aircraft for 2021.

As the community has asked us to work with the teams at Working Title and Fly By Wire (and Saltys and others), we have intensified our communication with these teams and continue to be very impressed. The know-how and dedication of these teams is just awesome and we are increasingly confident that we will be able to deepen this collaboration. We hope to share more during the community stream later this month.

MARKETPLACE UPDATE

Today we have 3 new releases with a focus on updating current products (18).

3 NEW PRODUCTS

18 UPDATED PRODUCTS

LAYOVER WITH THE DEVS

Today, meet two of our Community Managers: Jayne and Alex.

Tell us about yourself and your role within MSFS.

Jayne: Hi everyone! I’m Jayne, one of the Community Managers here. I’m originally from Florida but I promise you I don’t know Florida Man. Leading up to this role I studied Media Production at Florida State University and have had various jobs in video production, social media, partnership management, influencer relations, and website production. My current role here on the flight team encompasses everything community – from monitoring and reporting community sentiment and feedback to producing our Twitch shows, and everything in-between. I absolutely love the MSFS community and am grateful to be a part of it! Outside of flight sim I am an avid D&D player and love playing in my community orchestra.

Alex: Alex here, though most would know me better as Royal, one of the Community Managers. One could say I was born into Flight Sim. It all started in the Soviet Union, Moscow, where I was raised until my father was recruited to help build a Flight Simulator for a small company called Microsoft in the mid 90’s and then 24 years later almost to the day, I joined the team. My role as a Community Manager is to be involved in anything community related: forums, social media, Discord etc. Mainly it is to be the conduit of sentiment and information between you all, the community, and the team, Asobo and Microsoft. In my spare time you will find me painting, golfing, playing in or judging Magic the Gathering events or more than likely- chasing after my 3-year-old daughter.  

Has the sim gotten you more interested in becoming a pilot?

Jayne: Absolutely. I knew when I started to manage this community that a vague interest in flight would not enough – I was either going to go all in or miss out on this giant opportunity I have to learn about aviation. I’ve always had a pretty irrational fear of heights but that has somehow diminished the more I’ve learned about flying. The flying lessons I’ve been doing on the Official Twitch Streams on Wednesdays have really pushed me to learn about the principles of VFR flying, the basics of ATC, and a whole lot of new flying techniques. I can confidently say that I will absolutely be going on a real-life discovery flight and will start ground school once I save enough money. I can’t wait!

You have primarily been in charge of Social Media and Discord these past few months. How do these social platforms help you be in sync with the community and how do you feel we can continue to improve our transparency with them using our social channels?

Alex: Great question! I believe social media in general is our proverbial pedestal or mountain top. We climb and tell the world what is on our minds and hope that someone is listening. With that in mind, it can be difficult to quantify ‘this X percentage of users feel Y and Z’ but it does help me extrapolate the prevalent pain points while letting our community know: we are listening. In the end, we simply want to be heard and feel like our voice matters. I want to tell the community bluntly: your voice and feedback are not falling on deaf ears.  

How can we improve going forward? ‘Transparency’ has been the word of the year. Though, I think that underneath the lingo what the community is truly seeking is vulnerability. That we, the team of people working on the sim, are vulnerable enough to share in our successes as much as our failures, that we listen and show through action that decisions are made with community sentiment in mind.

You’ve been with the MSFS community for over a year now. What were your expectations of the community when you started and how has your perception changed over the last year? Jayne: Going into it, I knew being a Community Manager for MSFS would be very different than being a CM for a regular game. The first piece of advice I got when I joined on day one was, “Try to remember to always call this a simulator, not a game. That is our mindset.” I expected the community to be passionate, yes, but after a year managing it, I’ve learned so much more. This community is full of people from all walks of life: The IRL pilots who want to share their wisdom with others, classic flight simmers who have helped give us feedback, geography and cultural gurus who get a kick out of exploring the planet, teenagers who are just starting their path in aviation. Everyone from young to old has a place here and it’s blown me away to meet so many intelligent people. As we kick off this new year, I’m excited to work even closer with the community to focus more deeply on bettering the sim and will strive to do my best to represent their needs and provide feedback to our team.

 

TWITCH SCHEDULE 

We had a great lesson this week learning about take-off and climb, steep turns, and joining traffic circuits. You can check out the latest videos here! Join us tomorrow for a community fly-in flight through Snowy Canada, or stay tuned for next Wednesday’s flying lesson where we will be learning about landing a C152!

COMMUNITY VIDEO

That moment you break through the clouds from r/MicrosoftFlightSim

Edit: Slight profanity mid-video. Take caution. Thanks!

COMMUNITY SCREENSHOTS

Want your screenshot featured here? Check out this week’s Screenshot Challenge! Discover new places to fly and capture your journey along the way (and enjoy a little friendly competition).

Today, we celebrate screenshots from our Official MSFS Reddit and Discord!

Screenshot by u/horseball1899

Screenshot by u/lukepistol

Screenshot by u/pink_cheetah

Screenshot by u/hoquillo

Screenshot by u/taxiwaydixie

Screenshot by u/e4rthdog

Screenshot by u/horseball1899

Screenshot by u/chumacprachu

Screenshot by goose from Discord

Screenshot by magicaviation from Discord

 

NEXT DEVELOPMENT UPDATE BLOG – 1.21

Sincerely,

Microsoft Flight Simulator Team