Next-gen flight simulator graphics possible, Microsoft look at this!

The Flight Simulator genre has some exciting technology-developments that it needs to consider for the next release. Microsoft, look here This is NOT filmed, it is just autogenerated 3D!

We have the whole world covered with satellite images, and this technology takes all this and autogenerates a 3d-model! Houses, streets, forests, everything gets mapped.

Imagine getting yourself into a helicopter and fly around in vegas like this!!! With every building and every tree perfectly modeled.

Check out the video above and demos here: <- Hoover Dam! I want to fly here!!!

Please please Microsoft, make this happen!!!


Piezoelectricity powers artificial bunny

B. Gillespie

Illustration by B. Gillespie

Well, maybe  not an artificial bunny but ScienceNOW Daily News Reported this on Mar. 26, 2009

Georgia Institute of  Technology researchers have built a piezoelectric effect (mechanical pressure converted to electricity) nanogenerator, the first to use this effect at the nanoscale.

This could allow microsensors and miniature medical devices to derive their electrical needs from their surroundings instead of from batteries.

Microsoft shuts down Flight Simulator Studio

Microsoft has closed down one of their most profitable and oldest studios, the ACES studio that makes the Flight Simulator series. Rumors were confirmed yesterday.

“I can confirm the closure of Aces Studio,” a Microsoft representative told GameSpot.

As a Flight Simulator enthusiast myself i think it’s really sad to see ACES go. I’m still flying FS9 and FSX will be giving computers something to think about for some more years, but loosing all this talent must mean that there is an enormous task ahead to re-take the lost momentum in the development of this franchise, should they decide to continue it.

“You should expect us to continue to invest in enabling great Live experiences on Windows, including flying games, but we have nothing additional to announce around Flight Simulator specifically at this time.” the same source told Gamespot.

Well I guess we’ll just have to see, but it’s sad indeed….

Crysis: Enable Very High (DX10) Settings in XP, New updated hack

This hack should work for Crysis Warhead Enthusiast Settings, because it is using the same cryengine 2!

Enable the “Very High” quality setting in Crysis and Crysis Warhead on your dx9 or dx10 compatible hardware without having Vista and DX10 (DirectX 10)!

After building a new PC-rig, I had to try it out with the best PC game on the market today. At least as far as near photorealisticgraphics goes, Crysis. Under Windows XP (DirectX9) you can’t select the “Very High” settings in the graphics menu. These are reserved for Vista (DX10). However I don’t know if this is because of a Vista marketing thing, but the Very High quality can easily be achieved under Windows XP (DX9) , replacing a few textfiles in the Crysis Folder. (CRYSISGameConfigCVarGroups)

This  has been known for quite some time. What it does isthat it changes crysis “High” settings to have “Very High” quality. The old version of the hack just changed this. This meant that there was no way of selecting the old “High” setting, because “High” was now “Very High” and the step below was Medium.

My version of the hack changes the “Medium” setting to high quality, and the “Low” setting to medium quality.

You are right, then there is no way of achieving low quality anymore. But if you are interested in “Very High” settings, youare probably not going to want to run that on a machine that only can display low settings…

Here is some further technical explanation:

I did a remake of the Cvar files. Instead of just copying the high settings to [3] I also renamed old [3] to [2], old [2] to [1] and removed old [1]

This way what used to be:

High is Very High
(This is all the candy!)

Medium is High
(What used to be our highest setting is now activated when we choose medium)

Low is Medium
(It doesnt go any lower since there are only 3 steps in XP i had to get rid of low settings alltogether)

Before with the old cVars “hack” if I chose to lower some settings, I actually had to go two steps to medium (from very high) now since meduim corresponds to high it’s only one step in that sense. There will of course be no Low settings, since they are now like the old medium, but I think anyone who uses thisk hack does not need to have anything set at low

Before we had 4 2 1 now we have 4 3 2 Which makes more sense.

Just like the original hack, I didn’t touch the MotionBlur file which is set to 1 (Very High Would be 3)


It seems to work fine, these are screenshots taken at 1280*800 scaled to 50% and auto contrast corrected with Microsoft office image editor to sharpen them a bit.

This is Low (as standard Medium):

This is Medium (as standard High):

This is High (the tweaked mode Very High):

This means that if you install these cvars files, just go back to the menu and select “Medium” settings and everything will be just as it was previously on “High”, consequently setting something to “Low” will correspond to the old “Medium” setting.

I think you get the point

Here is the zip-file with the cvars

Unzip to the folder CRYSISGameConfigCVarGroups

“CRYSIS” represents the install folder for crysis. It might vary. Thx Jonno.

If you think this was helpful, consider buying me a cup of coffee:


Disclaimer: I’ve had one report of losing savegames after changing the cvars files. This makes no sense at all, because the two things don’t have anything remotely to do with eachother. Sometimes updating the game with a PATCH might make you appear you lost your savegames, just see that you load the game with the same profile as before and your savegames will be back. However this hack only changes some graphics card settings and should in no way make you lose your savegames. But of course, you should use common sense when editing gamefiles. If you don’t know what you’re doing don’t mess with it, and buy a console 😉

If you want a free way to automatically backup your savegames try 2GB Free Online Backup – Mozy

Out of body experience explained. Not!

Reality by Eran

“The experiments, described in Science, provide a scientific explanation for a phenomenon experienced by one in 10 people. Using virtual reality goggles, researchers managed to fool the brain into believing the body was located elsewhere. The visual hoax plus the sensation of their real bodies being touched made volunteers sense that they had moved beyond their physical bodies.”

This is what it says on Cognews regarding the new experiments on the out of body phenomenon.

This is what I have to say about this:

“provide a scientific explanation for a phenomenon experienced by one in 10 people.” No it does not provide an explanation for the NDE phenomenon.

It does however show that the feeling of where one’s body is, can be altered using virtual reality and haptics. Nothing new. This experiment is not that dissimilar to a simple 3rd person computer game. Combined with said haptics that would immerse the player even more. This is, again, well known to anyone working with VR. The whole point with VR is to immerse the player into a world where the body is not. We do this by providing the senses with artificial cues. Eyes with visual cues, auditory system with sound, and we are starting to use haptics (touch) to also fool the body’s sense of touch. These inputs are all made by some sort och gadget. VR-goggles, haptic gloves, headphones. Just like in the experiment.

“Scientists have long suspected that the clue to these extraordinary, and sometimes life-changing, experiences lies in disrupting our normal illusion of being a self behind our eyes, and replacing it with a new viewpoint from above or behind.”

The question is, how is that possible? This is a virtual reality and immersion experiment, it can not explain the extrasensory perception phenomenon of NDE. In a real out of body phenomenon you don’t wear VR goggles and have a camera in the roof pointing down at your body, to feed your eyes with the altered viewpoint. How is it possible to have another viewpoint unless something somehow connected to your awareness changes physical position? This experiment tells us nothing about that.

The NDE and VR implications of this experiment are seriously exaggerated, and people seem to not understand what it actually tells us.

A good example of how important it is to explain an experiment and findings in an easy way for the public, to avoid misunderstandings.

More on NDE (Near Death Experience) here

And more on VR (Virtual Reality) here

Also check a fellow Blogger’s input on this!

Flight Simulator X – Multiplayer, VATSIM and IVAO



The new Flight simulator X will include a major improvement in multiplayer capabilities. Amongst other enhancements it will be possible to share a plane, as pilot and co-pilot, with someone over the internet. It will also be possible to act as ATC (Air Traffic Controller). Now the ATC function has existed for several years for FS8 and FS9 through the online multiplayer communities of VATSIM and IVAO. These communities are quality controlled, mess up here and you will lose your membership and ability to log in. ATC is trained in a peer system, and only qualified ATC will be able to take control of the airspace. This is much needed since the ATC duty is not an easy one. Pilots also have to follow the same rules as real world pilots, which can be a daunting task at first.

The question

Now the question is, is FSX going to change all this with it’s multiplayer options?

The short answer


The slightly longer answer

First of all, The VATSIM and IVAO community is going to exist with FSX as a client too. The special software designed for the interface, radio communication and logon (Squawkbox for example) works with FSUIPC as a base. FSUIPC is a 3rd party addon to Microsoft Flight Simulator that works as an interface to the Software. Using FSUIPC other software can be programmed to talk to the simulator. Microsoft has stated it works together with 3rd party developers to ensure their addons will work with FSX. This is good news, as it means FSUIPC and Squawkbox for example, will work in FSX. This probably means that addon aircraft eventually will work in FSX, probably needing an update from the manufacturer.


Another good news is that the SDK, the developer kit for FSX will be released at the same time as the FSX game. This means that 3rd party developers will have a much easier task adjusting their addons to fit the new game. FS9 SDK was released much later than the game, and I’m glad that Microsoft this time has realized the importance of 3rd party addons for the FS community. for example has stated that their next version of FSNavigator, v5, will work in fsx.

Another possible issue, that I at the time of writing don’t have an answer to is if the scenario is going to be compatible with FS9 senario flying online. That is, will runways and taxiways be the same in both clients? Will airport height and obstacles be the same? If not, we are going to have problems with aircraft positions between the two clients.


Finally, my conclusion is that the built-in multiplayer will be fun for the mainstream user, and used in smaller portions, say between a coulple of friends, rather than directly competing with the big structured online communities like VATSIM and IVAO. These communities are truly aiming for “as real as it gets!” and have achieved that now for quite some time. Being able to talk directly to a human ATC is breathtaking and scary at first, but it gives you a whole other insight into the world of real pilots. I would recommend it for anyone who doesn’t mind a steep learning curve, knows how to act responsibly and dosn’t fear tinkering a day or two with settings making it work 😉 Perhaps the new FSX Multiplayer options will be a step into the world of online flying in the big leagues 🙂