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Advanced Graphics Summit: Designing the Terrain System of 'Flight Simulator': Representing the Earth

Lionel Fuentes  (Technical Director, Asobo Studio)

Location: Room 3005, West Hall

Date: Monday, March 21

Time: 10:50 am - 11:50 am

Pass Type: All Access Pass, Summits Pass, All Access Online Only Pass - Get your pass now!

Topic: Programming

Format: Session

Viewing Experience: In-Person/Virtual

Vault Recording: Video

Audience Level: No

In Microsoft Flight Simulator, one can take off from any location on Earth and fly in realistic conditions over any place on the planet, while experimenting real-time weather and air traffic from the real world. Thanks to Bing Maps and Azure, more than 2 petabytes of data are streamed in real-time to the game client, making it possible to represent the Earth in a much more accurate way than ever before. This session goes over the technical details and choices that were made when developing the terrain system of Microsoft Flight Simulator, allowing it to meet a unique combination of flexibility, scalability and real-world fidelity constraints.


Attendees will get a deep dive into the choices and techniques behind the accurate representation of the Earth terrain in Microsoft Flight Simulator. They will learn about the particular hybrid procedural/real-world-data methods that have been developed to make this ambitious project possible.

Intended Audience

This talk is intended for all game programmers and technical artists interested in terrain systems, procedural generation, 3D rendering and the challenges behind representing large worlds in videogames. 3D programming knowledge is appreciated but not required.