HiFi issues September 2020 Update
September 16, 2020
Discreetly published on their forums, Damian Clark from Hifi posted a short update to address the community's mounting request for an Active Sky product in MSFS. Posting on behalf of the entire HiFi team, the announcement starts with a short summary of the major events in the past few months and how the team has come to address:
"Over the past months we have seen some amazing things in the simulation community along with big events including the release of P3D v5, MSFS and X-Plane 11.50."Along the way the team has adapted to every change in the midst of a rapidly changing flight sim development scene, from a "restructuring of the sim community and market" to new changes in demands and the general market direction. The paradigm shift is the cherry on top off the challenge of developing and maintaining products for multiple flight sim platforms. And these challenging new conditions mean that the small team are unable to operate as efficiently, with tasks piling up, updates and upgradesnot being rolled out, and communications with the community faltering as the team has hoped to maintain.
The team then addressed the recurring question about MSFS support, the elephant in the room. "We have received tremendous support and encouragement from the community to create an Active Sky for MSFS weather engine and we really appreciate all the feedback! While Asobo and MS have done an incredible job with the new weather system, it has clearly stoked the demand and need for Active Sky features for more advanced weather experiences."
The team announced their interest to expand into developing for MSFS, looking at it as a potential new platform to make new products on. Although information surrounding the SDK in regards to weather development for the new MSFS remains scarce, and the team are not sure at this time "what the timeline is or what the eventual possibilities will be". The underlying components are readied for a potential port of Active Sky for MSFS, and as soon as there is an ability to "interface with MSFS", the team will push forward. At the current state, the HiFi team, like so many other developers are waiting for more news and details surrounding MSFS's development roadmap and any planned SDK updates and improvements to answer their questions.
As a sidenote, the developers ask the community who wanted to see MSFS weather-related SDK functions potential weather add-ons from any developer, to upvote the requested feature in the wishlist website: https://forums.flightsimulator.com/t/open-up-the-weather-system-to-3rd-party-devs.
The update then shifted focus to X-Plane, with the recent finalisation of X-Plane 11.50, the team has updated ASXP and "related systems accordingly" to bring full compatibility with the new version. The latest ASXP Open Beta is available to download, and soon enough, will become official.
Other than the updates, the team has queitly worked further on developing and extending the ASXP product that was released in 2018 and will shortly provide details of the next major version "very soon". Said new version wil encompass a wider range of features, including visuals this time; "Covering all ends of the weather experience, we are working to improve everything from visuals to realism while preparing for expected new improvements in the X-Plane weather visualization system."
The team expects development to be completed around the middle of next year, but as with most tentative release dates - things remain uncertain given the unpredictability of add-on development in general.
Follow the HiFi team on their website at https://hifisimtech.com.
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