ORBX have today released their roadmap for 2018! in the roadmap, they discuss some major subjects that will make a lot of people happy, such as ‘The year of photoreal regions’ and the entry to X-Plane 11 with airports and photoreal scenery! As well as further development for aerofly FS 2 with HD airports and regions, 2018 is looking to be a great year for flight sim already! Here are all the details…
Firstly, please allow me to thank all our customers for the incredible support which you’ve given Orbx through 2017 as we continued to aggressively roll out new tech, refine the OrbxDirect and FTX Central platforms, and embrace new simulators. This year has shown record double-digit growth for Orbx in terms of revenues and customer base and we don’t expect this momentum to slow down.
I’d also like to wish everyone and their families a relaxed and positive festive season these holidays, and may you stay safe and in good health as we welcome 2018.
Now onto the good stuff…
*** Please note! *** Many of the screenshots shown here are from pre-alpha, alpha and beta stages and not indicative of the final product.
2018 – The year of photoreal regions
Next year we will release some milestone products never seen before from Orbx – entire regions will be created in photoreal imagery instead of landclass. This does not mean we are moving away from landclass-based regions altogether; it is purely the result of spending R&D on refining techniques for adding millions of autogen objects onto imagery and keeping it to region sizes which are manageable from a project point of view.
These regions will still be labour intensive and expensive to produce, because as you’ve come to expect from us we will add hundreds of POI models, thousands of aerial obstructions and millions of houses, buildings and trees. In the simulators that support it, we will add 4/5 seasons, night lighting, water masking and hundreds of thousands of miles of traffic on roads.. In other words, these will be as close in features to the normal Orbx regions as before.
Netherlands Photoreal for P3D/FSX
New autogen housing and building facades for Netherlands Photoreal FSX/P3D
Netherlands Photoreal for X-Plane 11
Pacific Northwest Photoreal for P3D/FSX
Pacific Northwest for AeroflyFS2
2018 – The year of CityScapes
We are working with some of the brightest people in the FS industry to develop some amazing CityScape products for many parts of the world. We have some ready to be released soon and we will be able to refine and speed up the process of producing these so that customers can vote for which cities they would like to see in the sim and have their local areas represented much more accurately. These cityscapes will initially be released for FSX/P3D with photoreal underlays, full seasons, traffic, lighting and perfectly blending into FTX Global or our regions. Expect to see every building footprint accurately placed and with correct styles and heights. It won’t be a perfect rendition of a city but a very realistic facsimile which will certainly impress.
Cityscape Gold Coast
CityScape Cote Dazur
2018 – The year of new simulator platforms
Orbx has already released several titles for AeroflyFS2 and this trickle will turn into a tidal wave through 2018, so expect dozens of new HD airport destinations in AFS2 and also a region or two. Orbx is working with IPACS on an almost daily basis to introduce new tech and systems into this amazingly efficient and versatile sim. Once you have experienced scenery like this at 120fps it’s hard to dismiss it.
Here are some shots of adding much denser autogen to Switzerland in AeroflyFS2
KJAC Jackson Hole for AFS2 … and much more to come from Jarrad Marshall!
KBID Block Island for AFS2
… and many more AFS2 airports coming in 2018 including many of your Orbx favourites! Remember, during non-sale periods we offer a 40% cross-grade discount for customers who own these airports on other platforms.
We will also be releasing airports and photoreal regions for X-Plane 11. We have added some very talented people to our team who have years of XP development experience between them to help us with this initiative. Many of the senior Orbx developers are also working on X-P tech and projects.
KCGX Meigs Field for X-Plane 11
Here are a bunch of random shots from X-Plane 11 works-in-progress that several of our lead developers are working on. You can probably guess the locations of some of these screenshots but I’m sharing these with you to show that we have a lot of work going on with X-P under the hood at Orbx.
Brand new X-Plane 11 airports are also under way by various developers and in this case the reverse may happen in that we release these for X-Plane first and port them across to other platforms later.
EGCB Barton Manchester for X-Plane
FSX/P3D Core Platform Airports
Of course we also haven’t forgotten our core customer platform of FSX/P3D so what follows is a sneak peek of what to expect through the coming year. We have a few dozen projects underway in some form or another. Some of these projects may be ported to AF2/XP/FSW although it’s too early for us to commit to that at this stage.
ENBO Bodo Norway
KHAF Half Moon Bay
KBIL Billings Logan
PAOT Kotzebue / PAVL Kivalina / PABR Barrow
What I’ve shown you above is by no means everyone that is happening at Orbx next year, but it’s a peek under the hood of some of the cool projects that are underway.
This is a very exciting time for the team at Orbx as we explore new sims and the intricacies of developing for them, whilst also remaining committed to our core FSX/P3D customers with constant releases of new content.
Orbx will also be headline sponsor of FSExpo 2018 in glamorous Las Vegas with over thirty vendors already confirmed and many more sure to commit over the next month or so. If you’re in North America this is the premiere event to attend this year and Orbx will have a large contingent of developers and staff on hand to show you sneak previews of our latest products. We will also be at Cosford again in 2018 and possibly also in Lelystad.
2018 promises to be an amazing year for us all, so come along for the ride!