Microsoft Flight Simulator, the game that just keeps on surprising us, has released another dev diary: this time speaking more specifically on the airports and, quite astoundingly, announcing that the game will include every airport in the world (for context that’s around 37,000 airports, a full 10,000 more than the older Microsoft Flight Simulator X).
“Geographically you’ll find airports all over the world: nestled on small islands, adjacent to major cities, and perched on mountainsides.”
“North and South America, Europe, Africa, Asia and Oceania are all represented.”
Even more incredible (because this game won’t stop being insane), each airport has been manually edited. They first took the original database collection in FSX, then increased it by adding more airports for better coverage and a larger amount of locations. They then used satellite images to copy real airports: “This technique involves editing each airport manually, which means particular attention to detail has been given to every single one of them, to bring them a step closer to reality.”
What they mean is modelling every airport by establishing a perimeter, outlining all the runways, taxi lanes and parking spots, then assigning a material to each surface (either grass, dirt, stone or concrete) as the planes react differently to different surface materials.
Additionally. They have created two higher groups to focus on for more detail: the ‘Most Wanted Airports’ for places that are the most popular in real-life and in-game (not most wanted as in because an airport robbed a casino, or murdered a political figure), and the ‘Most Iconic Airports’ for places that, presumably, are very famous (I’m not a flight simulator guy, or an airport enthusiast for that matter, but are there famous airports? I’m genuinely interested so please tell me).
There are around 80 airports under the ‘Most Wanted Airports’ category, which received extra special treatment by providing more accurate “surface definition”.
They didn’t specify how many were under the ‘Most Iconic Airports’ category, but these even more extra-extra special treatment with uniquely modelled buildings and props to more closely match reality. They’ve even terraformed certain landscapes to match them in their real environment.
They’ve also improved the ambient life and airport traffic, by adding vehicles to airport parking lots, improving the ai and animations of cars, and even workers have been added who walk between areas (so now there’s little tiny people you have to worry about running over).
There’s even an XDK tool so that you can customise all the objects you want, or create custom scripted behaviours with your own objects and animations, and you can place them wherever you want.
There is so much stuff in Microsoft’s Flight Simulator it’s almost unbelievable. Even I, a humble gamer who has never been interested in playing a flight sim, now wants to deep dive into this newer instalment and explore the world; soaring through the skies with my winged brethren.
Are you excited for Microsoft’s Flight Simulator? Did you play the original? Let us know!