Weather or Not

(From the Archive – 2/3/06)

A lot of people have posted wish list threads and sent in suggestions for things they’d like to see in the next version of Flight Sim. Most of us that work on it do the same thing. Our internal wish lists usually, but not always, start with bugs that were postponed from last time.

One of the individual features I was most heavily involved with on FS2004 was weather. In fact, tdragger blames me for the ugly way that visibility layers interact with terrain. I fought for that, and, yes, I’d do it again, because, bad as it was, it was better than not seeing anything at all . . . which was the only other choice.

The fact that tdragger, as the program manager in charge of weather at that time, was the only one with the actual authority to make the choice to go with my recommendation is inconvenient, and I won’t bring that up here . . . Instead, I take my share of the responsibility with pride. Fire away!

Anyway, Blogger-in-Chief Jason Waskey just sent me back an old email of mine in which I listed, hastily, my personal "Top 10" (that naturally goes to 11) wishes for weather in FSX, and suggested I post it here.

How many, if any of these changes will we get in this version, or the next, or the one after that?

I can’t say.

When I say I can’t say, I don’t mean it like I can’t say big words like "deoxyribonucleic", "obtufiscation", and "mayonnaisse".

I also don’t mean "I could say, but I won’t, because I enjoy keeping secrets". I mean I can’t say because A) some information hasn’t been announced, and 2) for some of these, I just don’t know yet.

With all that baggage put out there, here’s my Weather Wish List, in no particular order:

  1. “Real” overcast – full on 8/8 coverage with no holes.
  2. Better interaction – visibility + terrain.
  3. Gradual transitions in and out of visibility layers.
  4. Multiple visibility layers.
  5. Improved precipitation curtains (ie, no more curtains.)
  6. Falling precipitation affected by wind.
  7. No more impostors (2d "walls" of distant clouds that we draw when 3D cloud percentage is less than 100%), even on low-end. 
  8. Fog when METARS demand.
  9. Rainbows.
  10. Wind smoothing ala FSUIPC.
  11. Better forming / dissipation effects for clouds.

Time will tell, but wouldn’t it be nice . . . ?

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