France from the sky

A plane flies over Paris in a video showing the update of Flight Simulator, a flight simulation video game introduced by Microsoft on April 13, 2021. (FRANCEINFO / RADIOFRANCE)

Admittedly, we can hardly travel, nor get on a plane during this health crisis, but the video game lets us do it with Flight simulator, Microsoft’s oldest license, was launched in 1982. Microsoft, thanks to the Bordeaux Asobo studio responsible for licensing development, has released a new update for the latest release released in August 2020.

The entire planet is designed but the studio there brings, with this update, real added value to France’s landscapes. Explanation with Brice Nguessan, managing editor Video Games Magazine.

franceinfo: The photos are amazing. How can one reach this degree of realism?

Price Nguessan: Thanks to the work of machines allied with humans. First of all, to successfully reproduce the environment in this way, we use the photogrammetry technique. This includes recovering environmental items that have been scanned by aircraft or satellites. Then, thanks to the artificial intelligence of computers, they will be able to give life to the environment by creating on their own the most realistic buildings, materials or trees.

We call it M.achine learning but sometimes machines reach their limits?

Actually ! Machine learning is efficient because the computer collects a lot of data and manages to build a base from which it can draw, and on the other hand there is only one Eiffel Tower. There, the machine can no longer produce an honest rendering like reality. This is when the artists come.

So the studio worked on what they call points of interest …

Yes, it is actually a matter of symmetrically reproducing the symbolic places. And there is indeed the human, the artist who will create, for example from A to Z, the Princes’ Garden, Notre Dame de Paris, the Arc de Triomphe, the Sacred Heart or even the Arch of Defense.

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Isn’t Paris the only city that has the right to this attention to detail?

Yes, the studio has tried to survey the must-visit attractions in France. We find Etretat Cliffs, Strasbourg Cathedral, Pilate Dunes, Lille Castle, Château DF, Somme Bay, Boyard Fort, so obviously I don’t have time to mention them all. But I know it is a real invitation to the tourism we can bring you there while you are comfortably seated in front of your computer. Finally, Small Resolution, the game available today on PC will be arriving for the Xbox Series console this summer.

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