Microsoft Flight Simulator has all the airports on earth


Microsoft Flight Simulator has all the airports in the world, its developers have said.

37,000 airports were manually edited by the developers.

In the video below, Sven Mestas, lead game designer at French studio Asobo reveals the astonishing work done by its airport team, which expanded on the 24,000 simulated airports in 2006’s FSX, to the hugely ambitious target set for this year’s game.

Expect to see airports of all types, from small countryside airstrips to iconic international airports, from airports nestled in small islands to airports adjacent to cities. Airports shown in the video include the Szombathely Airfield in Bulgaria, John F. Kennedy International Airport, and Aspen Pitkin County Airport.

The developers used a three-step process and a specially created tool to edit the thousands of airports in the game. First up, the developers trace logical elements straight onto the Bing aerial view map (yes, Bing – this is Microsoft after all). Then they draw the airport perimeter, followed by the runway, defining taxiways and placing parking spots according to real world data.

Secondly, the developers define surfaces. And finally, post-processing is automatically applied via algorithm.

The airports in the game are incredibly detailed. They even have animated wind socks that change direction according to the virtual wind. Asobo gave more attention to 80 of the most-played airports, including our own Gatwick, naming taxiways and signs according to official data.

Airport life is simulated, too, with people walking about and vehicles going about their business on the roads – day and night.

Microsoft Flight Simulator continues to look incredible. Earlier this month I reported on impressive gameplay footage that leaked from the ongoing, non-disclosure agreement-protected Microsoft Flight Simulator alpha. That footage was eventually pulled from YouTube by Microsoft, but official videos show off the hotly-anticipated game in an equally positive light.

Halo Infinite may be Microsoft’s big Xbox game for this Christmas, but I’m more pumped for Microsoft Flight Simulator. And the first thing I’m going to do when I get my hands on the game is see if it’s got what remains of Croydon Airport!





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