Microsoft Flight Simulator (2020) - We're really sorry about Microsoft Flight

Approaching Tayshet, a city big enough to have an airport!

I think I’d love this part of Russia in real life, it’s all really pretty, heading Southeast towards Irkutsk.

One of the Twin Otters is supposedly available now. I can’t wait to try it.

Twotter’s still a ways off before it ships, alas.

I’ve been eyeing it myself. I think it may become the first third party aircraft I buy for MSFS.

Ooooh, nice spot on that! That’s another one to add to my list.

I’d love to go there on a weekend. Especially if I lived somewhere further east in this terrain.

Game saving/loading needs some work in this game still, I think.

Last night was the second time this happened, where I loaded a save game and my throttle was set to zero. The first time it happened it took me a while to figure out why the heck I was going so slow and almost stalling. And my … I forgot the name of it, the automatic up and down left and right that you set using Y+dpad, that thing was set to make me go way higher than normal, and yet, because of the zero throttle I wasn’t going very high, but when I set the throttle to full, hooooo boy, suddenly I was climbing to 10,000 feet whether I wanted to or not.

The other thing that I don’t like about reloading my saved game is that when you first start on your journey you can set the date and time, and weather. So you can set it to live time and live weather for instance. But every time you load the game, you can’t touch that stuff anymore. So it’s always a clear sunny day when you load the game, even if it was set to live weather when you took off.

Where in North Carolina do you live? :D

I’ve finally got round to putting stuff back into my community folder after the UK world update. Is this the mod manager people use?

Yes, that’s the one. Very handy.

Yep. That one’s easy to use, and the feature set is “just right.” I can set up groups like “baseline” (has all my main planes, liveries, tweaks, and worldwide scenery items), and then create regional groups like “Western US,” “England and Ireland,” “South America and Antarctica,” etc. You can culmulatively activate sets, so I’ll, say, load Baseline and then add “Western US” if I want to fly from Seattle to Junea.

There’s another one called MFS Addon Collector that has an insane number of features and is updated about three times a week. But IMHO it’s way over-designed – it does so much the learning curve is staggering, and I don’t really need the extra functionality.

How tough is it to figure out the SDK? I’d like to add some custom POIs to help me learn my hometown RL practice area better and I’ve done enough research to understand that can be done through the SDK. I can’t find a good tutorial how though - plenty on building new airports though.

This video goes into it, makes it look easy.

Here’s the first video in that series, which describes how to install the SDK and get started:

Back to Padagonia, leg 2 this time. God, this whole journey is just going to be so gorgeous isn’t it?

I look at some of these hotel looking buildings out in the mountains and lakes and think “wow, I want to stay there”.

Honestly, the hardest part of using the scenery editor is just getting a project set up in the first place. There are a number of things that need to be set, but there’s no “wizard” for it, and if you get them wrong the compiler just complains at you but doesn’t actually help you fix them. Even though I’ve created a number of scenery packages myself I still find it a PITA, and I actually just keep a project skeleton around that I adapt when I want to make something new rather than dorking around with the GUI.

I’ve adapted it to something you can use to start your own project, if you wish. Just download this and unzip it somewhere: https://1drv.ms/u/s!AkAqheka1pUVrCd20J2tXitbhq4Q

Start up the sim and go to somewhere near where you want to add POIs. (If you want to see the one I put in this already, launch at Nahuatl Airstrip, MMVQ, and look around, though it won’t show up until you’ve built the project.). Enable dev mode if you haven’t already, then open the MyPOIProject.xml file wherever you expanded that zip file.

If you haven’t used the dev tools before you’ll want to take a moment to set up your workspace. For adding POIs you’ll probably want to open the Project Editor, the Scenery Editor, the Inspector, the Object Viewer, and the Property Viewer. You can move the windows around, dock them on the sides of the screen, or attach them to each other in tabs as you see fit.

The first thing you’ll want to do in the project editor is select the poi-locations package, and then click Load In Editor in the inspector window. Once that’s done, open and arrange the windows the way you want. This is a setup I like, that also shows you what you’ll want to do next:

Go to the Object Viewer, select LandmarkLocation in the Object Type dropdown, then POI in the selection list that pops up below. Then just click the Add button and you’ll get a little adjustment widget like you see in the red box which you can use to position the POI. (It’s also used to scale and translate 3D objects if you insert any into the scenery, so it has a bunch of other handles on it you can use for that.)

You’ll want to name any POIs you create or they’ll show up red in the list in the Scenery Editor. You can do that by selecting them then going to the Property Viewer and filling in a name.

When you’re all done, click on Save Scenery in the Scenery Editor, then go to the Project Editor and click the Build All button. Then click it again. (You usually have to build a new scenery twice due to the way the build process works. After that you should only need to click it once.)

Give it a moment, and you should see your POI pop in, like this:

You can create as many as you want in one or multiple packages. You can also delete that one if you wish. When you’re happy with the final product you can either hit the Export All button, which creates a zip file for you, or, more simply, just go explore the project directory and go into Packages, and you should see a folder there that you can copy to your Community folder.

Et voila.

(Also, if you have a bunch you want to create and you know their coordinates, you could just edit PackageSources\data\poi-locations.xml. If you look at the sample you’ll see what a POI entry looks like. You can copy and adjust that within the file itself, then build the package. You’ll need to create a GUID for each one; it doesn’t matter what they are as long as they’re all different, you can use an online generator if you want. If you do it this way you don’t even need to launch the sim, you can use the command line builder that comes with the SDK. It’s a bit more efficient. You’ll probably want to determine and verify the altitudes on your POIs, though, if you do it that way.)

Anyway, that should hopefully be enough to get you started. If you start messing around and get stuck or want some advice, just shout. 😀

(That goes for any of y’all, anyone’s free to use the template I linked above and play with it all you want.)

Yay @kaosfere! I tried using those videos and it’s certainly not user-friendly. I’ll make another attempt using your template this week. Thank you so much!

For those interested, you may recall that I started taking lessons around Christmas. I passed my prog check on Friday, and am scheduled for my first solo Wednesday. Very excited! One of the things that was recommended was to learn my practice area better. I found an overlay for ForeFlight, and thought it would be a good exercise if I could put those POIs into MSFS.

Very nice @kaosfere ; the SDK is a bit impenetrable in regard to setup/order of actions, so thanks for that!

Congrats @IkeVandergraaf ! Sounds like things have really progressed.

Happy to help! It really is much easier to create content than in previous sims, once you get over the initial hump of getting a project configured. Hopefully that process will improve with time once some higher-priority items are taken care of.

And congrats, @IkeVandergraaf! Excited for you.

Oh, I should mention, about this…

In case you weren’t already aware, it’s possible to hook FF up to the sim and drive it with telemetry from your sim plane so you can use it as a moving map like you actually would in flight. If you’re interested in practicing for real-world operations, I thought maybe that might be of interest to you.

The connector I’ve used before is XMapsy, which has a whole bunch of options and supports multiple systems, but you have to pay for it if you want to fly outside of three demo areas.

It actually looks like ForeFlight recently added a page to their support site which goes over this, and lists some ofher feeders you can use. Some of them are free, even.

Anyway. Now you know, if you didn’t already. :D

I’ve been using Skypark for a few days now and enjoying it quite a lot. If I have all afternoon to fly I’ll do some airliner flight, but when I just want to kill an hour I’ll look for a contract on Skypark and invariably end up flying somewhere I’d never previously considered.

I also love that it has a very nice UI, and it’s still in heavy development too so more features are to come. The contract search feature is particularly good; it’s configurable as hell and lets you find exactly the kind of flight you feel like doing.