Its not often I get that feeling of being a kid again, but let me tell you… the moment I saw the E3 announcement about Flight Simulator returning to us, it all came flowing back. It was actually the reason I even came back here to look at my blog and think about putting it back to work.
This… for me… is stunning.
The memories of Flight Simulator for me as a kid, and as an adult are difficult to explain to someone that doesn’t “do” Flight Simulator. But I can tell you that I spent many hours playing, building, designing and later as part of the MVP program working with Microsoft on the product. Good times!
I met lifelong friends through Flight Simulator. Some I had to bribe to become my friend (Hal Bryan) and others I just wore down with endless requests for help (Adrian Woods). People like Joel DeYoung, who I worked with on Squawkbox even came to visit in Ireland.
All in all, this Simulator and its community made me feel really good and most of all, I loved helping others who were designing for the simulator. Arno Gerretsen was a teenage genius when we linked up and we started fsdeveloper.com – which he still runs to this day (I don’t know how). It helps thousands of third party developers around the globe and still amazes me. Graham Smith and I started Irish Flight Sim Design, and developed Cork, Shannon, Dublin airports for the sim. You can still see some of that work which we gave over to Eirsim. HOURS of our lives went into that… but that was before children and business growth 🙂
I visited the ACES team in Redmond on I think three occasions, and that team were just amazing. I really hope that the current team are the same, and I sure hope that I can somehow be involved in the new version that is due in 2020.
For those of you, like me, that want to be a kid again. You can now sign up to the Insider Program for Microsoft Flight Simulator here and then check out the rest of the new site that Microsoft put up.
In my blogpost back a few years ago. You can see a rather angry me asking Steve Ballmer why he axed the entire team (just before i got to the summit). From the post on the new site, it has the feeling to me that a lot of those good guys and girls are back… I sure hope so, though so far I have not found a specific person 🙂
They put up these points on the new site, and they are key:
We are making Microsoft Flight Simulator. Emphasis on the word SIMULATOR.
Designed for PC, optimized for multiplatform support (e.g. Xbox).
Yes. We are supporting 3rd Party Content Development and Community Content creation. We are aware of the concerns in the current eco-system and are working to address them.
Yes. We genuinely want to work closely with the community in the development of this title.
Accessibility is important to us. Whatever your abilities are, if you want to fly, we are going to do whatever we can to make that happen. Yoke and pedals, mouse and keyboard, controller, etc. No pilot should be left behind.
I AM SO EXCITED!