2017 in Review by Stephen Hood
It's been an exciting year for the team working on Flight Sim World at Dovetail! We released into Early Access six months ago, which marked the moment we started developing FSW alongside the community. We'd been working behind the scenes for a lot longer, but it was different reading your feedback on the Forums on Steam and our social media profiles.
We kept plugging away at development, bug fixing, and working on larger updates. The Cold & Dark implementation in FSW is a great way to introduce people to simulation or a new aircraft; highlighting what needs to be done to start an aircraft through our interactive checklist. It's an intuitive system that highlights our commitment to welcoming new enthusiasts to the hobby, whilst not compromising on the complexity demanded by those of you with years of experience.
We introduced advanced weather, overhauling the skyline and introducing a number of new weather effects (there's no more fitting time to check out the "Heavy Snow" weather setting just FYI). Another highly significant visual upgrade saw the introduction of more sophisticated PBR lighting calculations to our engine. FSW aircraft and scenery are now rendered with more realism than ever before, and with a greater range of materials being accurately displayed.
Most recently we released the Flight Sim World SDK V1.0, which puts the same tools used internally and by our flight development partners into the hands of the community. As we further develop the core simulator, we'll also be developing the SDK, opening the doors for more complex creations.
We made a number of fixes based on your feedback, altering difficulty on some training missions, introducing Workshop support to allow mission creators to share their content and numerous other tweaks that have brought Flight Sim World to where it is today.
So, what's next for Flight Sim World?
A lot of the work done on Flight Sim World has been about laying foundations, foundations that we'll build upon as we keep developing the simulator. I've stressed before that we're a small but highly specialized team, working on a variety of different things.
With the release of SDK V1.0 we've moved onto our next big project, bringing the first jet into Flight Sim World. This involves laying new foundations, we'll need to implement full IFR functionality in order to bring this business jet into the simulator.
That's not the only thing we're working on! We outlined a few of these during our October developer update and are eager to bring further improvements into the sim. One of those we teased recently was a set of floats, marking us working on the first amphibious aircraft in the sim. Eventually, opening up new opportunities for those of you looking to take off and alight on water.
As we whittle down the number of bugs in Flight Sim World, you may have noticed that the time between updates has grown larger. As we move onto bigger projects, the time it takes to develop these increases. We're expecting longer gaps between updates, but more impactful updates for the community when they release. It also means we'll be sharing what we're working on when we can, to ensure you know the direction we're taking Flight Sim World.
Lastly, I'd like to take a moment to wish you all to hope you've had Happy Holiday's and wish you all a fantastic New Year.
See you in 2018!
In honor of the ball dropping in Times Square at midnight, why don't you explore the skies over New York today? Bonus points for flying in snowy weather!