New round of screen shots have been released on the Flight website – it is definitely a monthly trend now – I think its a great way to reconnect with all the fans they may have lost along the way. Shows they are serious about taking back a big share of the flight sim market again. As with the other previews, some interesting hints in these new shots.
1. The new shadow model will affect the scenery – Notice how the valley in the top right of this frame is darker, and how the slight ridges are also darkened by shadow (also, the Stearman 75 has now featured in a number of these previews, so safe to say it will feature in the release):
2. Airports using photo scenery – this is new. I suspect they are tapping into the Bing Maps photo database for this stuff (not in real time though, they would want to colour match the photos etc. before using them). It looks like we can expect much higher resolution textures for scenery also from this shot:
3. This shot shows two impressive things: (1) The cloud polygons, when interacting with the land polygons, don’t seem to do a hard intersection – notice ho hard lines where the clouds meet the mountain, and (2) the texturing of the land has been massively improved – notice how the sides of the cliffs now are correctly textured with a cliff texture, adding a lot of realism (getting away from the ‘tablecloth draped over a wire mesh’ look of past versions):
4. And a nice shot of the Stearman over the ocean. Can’t tell very much about the water from a still, but it’s a nice picture nonetheless 🙂
The emphasis of the Stearman suggests that Boeing will once again be a partner in the release. Is it too much to hope that the 787 be one of the aircraft in this release?
And now for some interesting wild speculation…
This leaked video from Live talks about the long term plans for the new Windows Game eXperience strategy. There may be some hints of what is in the future for Flight in each of the four verticals mentioned in the video:
- Social – they have already announced that there will be more of a multiplayer element to Flight
- Identity – this one could easily be added into any game; could we see the Xbox Live avatars in the menus etc for matchmaking in the server browsers?
- Search – this one does not seem to fit into Flight, but one could imagine a good way to search for other players who want similar experiences, a global search for addons…
- Transaction – I would be very, very surprised if we do not see a marketplace around Flight. My prediction is there will be one version of this game (no deluxe), with the extra stuff for sale one by one. I would also not be surprised if the major publishers (Just Flight etc) are not brought on board into the marketplace.