Microsoft is starting a new video series regarding the development of Flight Simulator calling it the Feature Discovery Series, and the first episode is out now. This episode focuses on the world within Microsoft Flight Simulator, and how the development team is trying to recreate it in-game. Some of the stats include the game featuring 2 Petabytes of map data which within it contains all the cities on Earth, every airport on the planet, all the roads, and every single mountain. It basically means the entire planet is available to fly around in, with accurate details so you will be able to fly over your street.
Alongside the 2 petabytes of data fed in Microsoft is also using its Azure AI platform to run algorithms to process more data including the locations of all tress in the world, improve how buildings are generated in the game, and adds any missing building that was not in the original data set. As Microsoft Flight Simulator will be streaming some data the developers confirm how that is handled. First there is adaptive streaming so the game detects your bandwidth and adjusts accordingly, but the better the bandwidth the better the experience will be.
However, if the internet connection is unavailable Microsoft Flight Simulator will have an offline mode that contains most of the data including the cities and ground textures, though some areas may be missing trees as that data is streamed in. The world accuracy won’t be as high as if you were online though. Players can pre-cache areas they want to fly in and fly around in them with accurate representation in offline mode. There is some procedural generation involved when it comes to things like grass, dirt, and asphalt as no has the data of where every bit of grass and asphalt is in the world. The water is affected by wind and this generates wave activity, and night lights in the city are also generated.
Microsoft Flight Simulator will be released in 2020 for Xbox One and PC, and will be available on Xbox Game Pass.