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Hearthstone Interview - Inside the Halls of Scholomance Academy
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The World Game is back, natch, so we go through all the big changes coming in EA’s FIFA 21.
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Microsoft Flight Simulator
Microsoft Flight Simulator

Genre: Simulator
Developer: Asobo Studio
Publisher: Microsoft
Release Date:
August 2020
Friday, 31 July 2020
Post by KostaAndreadis @ 02:54pm 31/07/20 | 0 Comments
Recently we had the awesome experience playing Microsoft Flight Simulator as part of a special preview event. We also put together some 4K videos set to the sweet chill musical vibes of Kbit (aka lil' ol' me). But, there comes a time when you need to strap in and get serious. Ask the important questions like, what happens when you fly over Area 51?

Which is exactly what we did. And the answer was... surprising. Spooky even.

From the preview build of Microsoft Flight Simulator. Where it's stunning use of AI-rendering, satellite data, cloud streaming, and cutting edge visuals pointed us in the direction of that place we've always wanted to fly over - Area 51. What happened next... was nothing short of freaky.

For more serious Flight Sim action check out our in-depth preview - Microsoft Flight Simulator is As Awe Inspiring as Flight Itself.

Thursday, 30 July 2020
Post by KostaAndreadis @ 05:44pm 30/07/20 | 1 Comments
There’s no doubt that one of the most impressive looking games (or digital things) for 2020 is the latest Microsoft Flight Simulator. Developed by Asobo Studio this Xbox Game Studios production sees the long-running simulator return in style. From its groundbreaking use of live satellite and cloud-based data through to its use of AI to correctly render buildings and other structures based on high definition images, trust us, you haven’t seen anything quite like this before.

The fact that you can hop in a cockpit and fly over any place on the planet… is to quote one of our favourite after-school programs from back in the day - Amazing. And thanks to the dual combo of an AMR Ryzen 3800X CPU and NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 Ti GPU we were able to capture and put together the following 4K 60fps Microsoft Flight Simulator videos.

Microsoft Flight Simulator - Around the World in a Day

As per the whole you can go anywhere on the planet hook that’s exactly what we did - visiting places from all over on July 26 - using live satellite info for things like weather and other conditions. It’s the sort of thing that not only appeals to the pilot in all of us but our appreciation for the planet too. Not to get all hippy but Microsoft Flight Simulator soothes the soul and presents a one world vision in a way that an all-star pop song never could.

Microsoft Flight Simulator - New York Landing at 0400

Another awesome thing about Flight Simulator is that with real-time weather and data (and you can turn this off to bring the pain, storm-wise, to any place you want) is it gives the chance to be in two places at once. This video was inspired by the simple rhetorical idea, ‘Hey, wouldn’t it be cool to land a plane in New York?’. The answer was a resounding yes, and with 6pm in Melbourne (the time of the flight) that meant a 4am New York skyline had a truly stunning orange glow.

For more on Flight Simulator, be sure to check out our in-depth preview.

Both videos were edited from footage captured thanks to access to a special Microsoft Flight Simulator preview. Music and direction by Kbit - aka Kosta Andreadis (me) - from an unreleased 2020 album currently in the works. For more Kbit jams, head here: https://kbit.bandcamp.com/.
Post by KostaAndreadis @ 05:12pm 30/07/20 | 7 Comments
At a recent digital preview sessions for the game, we put the question to the Microsoft Flight Simulator team: for those that aren’t familiar with sims and simply want to fly around – would that be possible? Their answer was surprisingly non-simulation heavy, and quite a breath of fresh air.

Recently we were lucky enough to attend a special preview event for Microsoft Flight Simulator (check out our in-depth write-up here), and even though we have some sim experience we were a little worried that the latest Flight Simulator might be a little too hardcore. That worry was mostly born from not being able to experience some of the stunning detail seen in the most recent launch trailer due to a high degree of complexity.

And that’s coming from someone who has no problem spending hours trying to improve traffic flow in Cities: Skylines. A flight simulator is a vastly different thing.

"Above all we did not want to dumb down the plane. It was always going to be a realistic simulation..."

Turns out it was a feeling that several members of the development team at Asobo Studio – including Jorg Neumann, the head of the Microsoft Flight Simulator team had once development began. “When we started this project, I thought back to the time before I started flying,” Neumann recalls. “With planes there are so many buttons and things. It is complex. For us it was asking ‘how was that going to work?’, but also asking how people would be able to fly... easily?”

“Back when I had my very first flight lesson with an instructor though, I was surprised at how easy it was.” Jorg continues. “And that was because the instructor took that deeper control away during the first lesson. All the complex stuff, the rudder, the checklist -- all I did was move the yoke around, and it felt like it felt like flying in a videogame. The feeling was, like, ‘this is easy. I can do this’. And with every lesson, the instructor added one more thing, another little thing to learn, and it built up from there.”

And it was this realisation that drove the approach to the latest, and most impressive, version of Microsoft Flight Simulator. Where the learning curve is modelled after real-world flying lessons, easing even the most awe-struck into the world of flying planes. The magic here being those first few moments feel like a videogame – with later lessons feeling more like flying in the real-world.

“That is how our training lessons are built, we train you how to use the software,” Jorg explains. “But at any time, you can turn on the co-pilot and they will handle the checklist for you. Assistance options go so far as to take away rudder control too. But rather than automate all the complex stuff, you delegate to the co-pilot. Above all we did not want to dumb down the plane. It was always going to be a realistic simulation.

“There’s never a moment when it’s a ‘fake’ aeroplane,” Jorg concludes. “By delegating, it makes the experience approachable to anyone, just like a real-world flying lesson.”

Click here for our in-depth hands-on with Microsoft Flight Simulator (complete with our own video capture).