• Which the release of FS2020 we see an explosition of activity on the forun and of course we are very happy to see this. But having all questions about FS2020 in one forum becomes a bit messy. So therefore we would like to ask you all to use the following guidelines when posting your questions:

    • Tag FS2020 specific questions with the MSFS2020 tag.
    • Questions about making 3D assets can be posted in the 3D asset design forum. Either post them in the subforum of the modelling tool you use or in the general forum if they are general.
    • Questions about aircraft design can be posted in the Aircraft design forum
    • Questions about airport design can be posted in the FS2020 airport design forum. Once airport development tools have been updated for FS2020 you can post tool speciifc questions in the subforums of those tools as well of course.
    • Questions about terrain design can be posted in the FS2020 terrain design forum.
    • Questions about SimConnect can be posted in the SimConnect forum.

    Any other question that is not specific to an aspect of development or tool can be posted in the General chat forum.

    By following these guidelines we make sure that the forums remain easy to read for everybody and also that the right people can find your post to answer it.

Project Antoinette: Unreal Engine for Flight Simulation

Messages
1,912
Country
us-ohio
It is still a very limited world size. The world is 509,600,000 square km, the Unreal Engine isn't capable of anything near large enough to do the world. That's it's biggest drawback. I wish they would get beyond that.
 
Messages
375
Country
canada
I believe at the speed they are making improvements in the engine, I have no doubt it could reach the level of a regular world engine + requirements
 

Ronald

Resource contributor
Messages
859
Now that are some serious-looking (almost Unreal) crispy aviation images
Thanks for sharing Claviateur<bookmarked>
 
Messages
375
Country
canada
The idea of having a DIY simulator probably paves the way to a new era in this field... Just like music and film making or editing became more accessible at one point with the digital world....

I am following this, let's see how many indie groups bring their own simulation solutions to the market and compete with the big players we know

EDIT: Even Flight Gear, can magically become a new gen platform if Unreal become a 100% world engine
 

DragonflightDesign

Resource contributor
Messages
874
Country
northernireland
The Unreal Engine has been notoriously hard to mod in the past. The fact that they are releasing tools for it is interesting because of the Law of Unintended Consequences: those tools will be reverse-engineered pretty smartly and UE5 games will suddenly become much easier to mod.
 

Ronald

Resource contributor
Messages
859
The idea of having a DIY simulator probably paves the way to a new era in this field... Just like music and film making or editing became more accessible at one point with the digital world....
I am following this, let's see how many indie groups bring their own simulation solutions to the market and compete with the big players we know
Start to think on a much bigger scale and on a much higher flight level.

Question: Have you read the content of their "The Trends and Best Practices for Flight Simulation information paper" document over here?
- https://cdn2.unrealengine.com/trend...ght-simulation-whitepaper-v1-ee7403bf0e4a.pdf
This shows the absolute huge an global potential when an entire world of professional organisations and truly talented people start to co-operate and work together in a way which has never seen before inside the entire flightsimulator industry.

I sense that - when this project gains true and full momentum from both indi-developers and already established industrial_grade (aviational training) parties:
A - It will become (only at first) healthy old-skool "competition" for the currently re-emerging MSFS2020 ecosystem and everyone operating inside its borders.
B - It has the potential to blast MSFS2020 and Prepar3d straight of the map ,
Since this project works with 100% Open, Globally Industry Supported (data, digital_twin driven) Standards!

And that is something very important - which almost everyone inside the current "Microsoft and Prepar3D flightsim add-ondevelopment scene" has never had since Bruce Artwick's / Sublogic "Flightsimulator V1"
- https://fshistory.simflight.com/fsh/index.htm
- https://fshistory.simflight.com/fsvault/

It will be the usage of these open standards which will enable and thus empower the entire open-source loving community around the planet.
It enables way more individuals and companies to start working together (again) then the current "elite few" few who have themselves to be totally
vendor locked_down into the Microsoft, Asobo studios, (payware, choking licensing) AutoDesk 3D Studio and PhotoShop ecosystem. Those days are numbered.
And once the flight-simulation part has been worked out, nailed down and fully matured... What else can be added up / integrated into this virtual Unreal-empower Digital World?


Ask yourself this question: How many developer are working on product-X for platform_Y?
Would it be great to have a globally supported (kind of digital twin) toolchain inside which a group of people can simple decide to, start collaborating on a VENDOR and PLATFORM NEUTRAL project
(for example the Default Cessna 172) and then upon completion simply dynamically compile their neutral C172 model into a native (flightsim) platform specific code?

Just like the prinicple the Java programming langues has given the world: "Design and Write once, Run everywhere" (either via a Virtual Machine of in specific platform runtime-code?
- https://www.w3schools.in/java/questions-answers/write-once-run-anywhere-wora
- https://www.geeksforgeeks.org/why-is-java-write-once-and-run-anywhere/



EDIT: Even Flight Gear, can magically become a new gen platform if Unreal become a 100% world engine
Why not? and while the a part of the global community is doing this, lets add / integrate Digital Combat Simulation as well
 
Messages
375
Country
canada
@Ronald I agree and I look forward to seeing the reaction of the big players and how they will make their platforms jump to yet another level to make them or keep them viable.

I think for example about XP12, they call it next gen... I call it an update to 11. It should have been 11.5...

With what Unreal is offering and making democratic and accessible, will push the established sims to look for a real next gen concept and level...

Well MSFS is already there but they might certainly need to push the bar higher.
 

Ronald

Resource contributor
Messages
859
I think for example about XP12, they call it next gen... I call it an update to 11. It should have been 11.5...
Could be , since I'm not a X-plane user and have no personal experience with this simulator.

With what Unreal is offering and making democratic and accessible, will push the established sims to look for a real next gen concept and level...
Before saying anything about this, you need to have a crystal clear definition on what "next gen" really is?
- Just another hollowed out out bla bla bla bs sales phrase from somebody's marketing department?
- A totally never seen before open and fully transparent flight-simulation-algorithm?
- An innovative and brand new way of doing things together towards a common goal?
- Option 4,5,n

Well MSFS is already there but they might certainly need to push the bar higher.
Are they really? I do not think so myself.
What I see is that MSFS has made a huge leap forward from the moment they abandonded Aces Studio and their "FSX-Brand" (back in 2009)
-https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aces_Game_Studio

And sold their ESP_SDK to Dovetail Games (FSX-SE) and to Lockheed Martin (Prepar3d)
 

Ronald

Resource contributor
Messages
859
EDIT: (part 2 of my reply)
Now take a good look at what has happened to other major players in the same period (2009-2020):
- Dovetail Games ported MSFS FSX into FSX:Steam Edition and that's it folks - No evolution what so ever, just more of the same.
- Lockheed Martin turned FSX(32-bits) into an industrial-strength "Prepar3D" (64-bits) (more then flight alone) simulation platform.
But in its essence LM-P3D feels to me like "just a linear continuation" of what MSFS herself could have been doing, if they had not chosen
to abandoned Aces Studios and had allowed FSX / ESP (and add-on industry) to grown the naturally way.

Now look at the other player(s) in the field: Laminar Research: XPLANE: (1995)
XPLANE - to me - has steadily grown into a great(er) flightsim over the past 11 years.
Look at the amount of free tools it comes with out of the box:
-https://www.x-plane.com/desktop/extend-it/development-tools/

Look at the way XPLANE truly empowers! their own client-base by providing a lot of free and OPEN_SOURCE tools.
For example:
A - World EDitor - which allows everyone to create their own portion of the world and share it with others.
-https://developer.x-plane.com/tools/worldeditor/

B - Planemaker - which allows everyone to create their own aircraft into XPLANE:
-https://developer.x-plane.com/docs/aircraft/

To me personally the XPLANE ecosystem is "next-gen" (in relation to the FSX / FSX:SE / P3D eco-systems)
since XPLANE has embraced transparency and open-source(d) philosophy from its very start.
This mindset enables the entire planet to make a positive and long lasting contribution into this simulator.

Let's look at a seriously under-reported player: "FlightGear" (open-source) project (1997)
-https://www.flightgear.org/
-https://wiki.flightgear.org/Main_Page
-https://sourceforge.net/projects/flightgear/

Flightgear is - to my knowledge - the only sim which embraced 2(3?) open-source flight-dynamics engines
-https://wiki.flightgear.org/JSBSim
-https://wiki.flightgear.org/YASim
-https://wiki.flightgear.org/LaRCsim <- A real world NASA flight dynamic model
Now that is what I call "next gen": Having the ability do be able to re-develop the very heart of the simulator. And this has been present since 1997 inside FlightGear

Now imagine to take this "Spirit-of-(editable)-Flight-(model dynamics)" into Microsoft Asobo's MSFS2020...
-https://docs.flightsimulator.com/ht..._Aircraft/Contents/Files/The_Flight_Model.htm
 

Ronald

Resource contributor
Messages
859
Part 3 : Lets take a look at the new brand "new-kids-on-the-hangar-blocks" since 2009:

GEOFS (2010):

An online (only), browser-based flightsimulator by one single talented developer Xavier.
GEOFS enables injecting real-world aviation traffic ad multi-player via a live adsb-feed
That is what I call "next gen": Merging the virtual with the real-world of aviation.
-https://www.geo-fs.com/

"Infinite Flight" for mobile devices: (2011):
This is one to keep a close watch on, so refreshing.
A brand new and "next gen-eration" developer-team empowering its fast growing
community with absolute cutting edge and great tools
-https://infiniteflight.com/
-https://infiniteflight.com/about

Remex Software - "DeadStick" bush flight simulator: (2018)
A true back-to-the-bush-flying basics simulator.
-http://deadsticksimulator.com/
-http://deadsticksimulator.com/press/

IPACS GbR - "AeroFly FS2" (????)
They brand themselves as "next gen" but in its essence their only thing relatively "new" is build-in VR support.
For the rest is it more of the already existing same materials that are out there for many years now.
-https://www.aerofly.com/


And above all - Let us not forget those kick-ass awesome (major) military combat/flight simulators developers:

Benchmark Sims - "Falcon BMS" with their absolute legendary "Falcon" flightsim (1984->2000)

This is - to me - the ultimate example of modern-day flightsim development community power.
MicroProse stopped with this product(2000), its source-code was leaked to the public en the rest of the passionate military simulation developers
in the entire world took over development, in a way never seen before in flight-simulation history ever!
- https://www.falcon-bms.com/
- https://sites.google.com/site/falcon4history/


Eagle Dynamics: "Flanker"(1995) -> "LockOn"(2003) -> "Digital Combat Simulations"(2012)
Another wonderful example of passionate military combat flightsim development
-https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Su-27_Flanker_(video_game)
-https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lock_On:_Modern_Air_Combat
-https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Digital_Combat_Simulator
-https://www.digitalcombatsimulator.com/en/

This DCS project too, shows to what great heights a community is capable of - once truly and limitless empowered.
 

Ronald

Resource contributor
Messages
859
CLOSING WORD FOR NOW:
The world has evolved, Human civlisation has evolved , Individuals People have evolved, entire new (next?) generation of flightsim developer have emerged in those 11 years.
The rest of the existing (big) global flightsim ecosystems have evolved naturally.
New-kinds-on-the-hangar-blocks have emerged, starting fresh from scratch empowering themselves with new cutting-edge-digital technologies
and their minds are totally liberated from old MSFS FSX legacy thought patterns and hidden industrial hierarchies

From what I've seen myself and read here on this forum and elsewhere on other forums / GoogleTube on the Internet:
- Asobo MSFS2020 absolutely LOOKS "next gen" with stunning visuals I must give them that compliment. Having VFR globally. I love it!
- BUT... having said this: How does Asobo's MSFS2020 FEEL? and FLY?

How will Microsoft and Asobo embrace, support and enable all add-on developers inside their newly created eco-system?
- Will their developer wings be clipped through way to expensive payware tools and a choking toxic legal licensing cultures ?
- Will their developing wings be spread and uplifted (The Open Source Way) and allow them to breathe and create freely and soar like never before ?

MSFS2020 great LOOKS will make it a great GAME (for young immature kids) which can be assimilated into their existing XBOX-GAMING eco-systems.

Just look around your since (MSFS)2020: I - personally - look and see an entire MSFS220 community which allows themselves still being used as beta-tester of their products and toolsets.
Question: Would you accept such an attitude from - for example - your new car / GA-aircraft dealer ???


I think that - If Asobo does not quickly start to LEVEL_UP their own internal quality of flightsim-software, development tools and documentation efforts in relation to how realistic MSFS2020 FEELS and FLIES,
they are going to loose a lot of talented add-on developers and (professional/business-grade) customers who simply want to continue their own personal legacy / experience with the MSFS flightsim franchise,

fsd_jetman.jpg

Why? Because they want to "FEEL" and "FLY" as "Real as (their own hardware is capable of delivering) it gets" (Jetwing anyone?)
For them ("Flight == Freedom") {unbound by anyone or anything};


Totally new "next gen" like "Project Antoinette" are showing the rest of planet, that entire base_attitudes of ecosystems are changing rapidly.
- The OpenSource mindset and culture - is here to stay and those who not embrace it to the max, will be phased out of business/existence by those who do.
- Global Cooperation - instead of that ancient, outdated, time, money an resources wasting game of "competition", That soon will be a thing of the past.
And I think more of these wonderful collaboration projects - like "Project Antoinette" - will emerge soon, evolving on top of the-best-of-the-best this project already has to offer.

I am really looking forward to such real and truly "next gen" (flight)simulators, which are empowering by-design-and-by-default from their very //Roots and which are passionately
and truly democratically supported by the People for the People. (and not only to mandatory vender_lock_down developer and customers in order to maximize corporate profits and stake-holder value)

Designed and Build on open, rock-solid industry-grade (hardware / software) foundations, proven technologies and totally free and open industry standards.
 
Messages
375
Country
canada
@Ronald Very interesting analyze!!

MSFS flight model in my opinion, out of the box, is fair enough if we look at the real positioning of the title. And speaking of box, as we know, it is part of the XBOX Studio obviously and we are being reminded about this every time we open the software...

So even if it was mentioned multiple times that MSFS is a "sim for simmers", it is clear that the level of accessibility that MS aims for is clearly for their gaming ecosystem to increase revenues and make it viable on multiple platforms... obviously...

If we look at the GUI look and feel and usability , we can see clearly that it was designed for XBOX first (in terms of GUI user experience)... It is obviously not a PC first user interface design and experience... Unlike the dev mode...

Now even if for a lot of "simmers", it sounds like an "insult" to have their "sim" part of the XBox world, realistically and pragmatically, the positive side in this, obviously, more revenues are followed by more dev budget and more improvements for PC users...

The flight model itself could benefit from that, the SDK etc that yes, still need work.... but I think we feel that things are happening as promised initially...

This being said, MSFS is the most immersive simulation platform out there (more than any entertainment or certified training alternative). I do not think it is just a question of graphics here... We talk here about a world engine tech and data that boosted immersion to a much higher level than any platform...

LR never cared about real immersion for XP and kept refining the flight model over the years for their niche pool of fans... The only work on the world engine they did and will do for XP12 is part of their tentative to make their sim more attractive to the fans of their competitions... But they never had the budget or vision to aim for innovation in terms of immersion tech until the competition put pressure on them....

The rest is very well described in your analyzes
 

rhumbaflappy

Administrator
Staff member
Resource contributor
Messages
5,066
Country
us-wisconsin
I think we'll eventually see a divergence between Xbox and PC versions, with Xbox aiming at entertainment, and PC aiming at more complex simulation.
 
Messages
375
Country
canada
I think we'll eventually see a divergence between Xbox and PC versions, with Xbox aiming at entertainment, and PC aiming at more complex simulation.
What we are seeing is that niche simulation for PC in all genre not just civilian aviation, is gaining again importance. As Epic are advertising for the Unreal Engine, there is a strong return to the early 90s with many initiatives in PC simulation...

As for MSFS, perhaps, who knows, if a lot of add on groups start requesting this level of sophistication for their aircraft addons, MS might split the business model of MSFS. For now, it is part of the Xbox gaming world to keep it profitable.

I think the old FS turned niche in the eyes of MS during the days when DLCs start to be the trend and FSX payed the price by being put to rest... MS Flight was a rushed irrelevant strategy considering that prospect users saw the all dressed one stop one price sim and would never adopt a business model like Flight.,..

MSFS came in a sweet spot as the all dressed sim a la FSX yet with a wider business model courtesy of the gaming world of Xbox and a DLC model that adds revenues to the basic revenues.... This is why it works nicely for MS right now and it takes a lot of pressure from mighty aircraft addon groups to split the branches and try again with a niche version of MSFS... It could happen who knows!
 
Top