Friday, October 31, 2014

Queen of the Skies, Part 2

First of all, if you haven't already, go subscribe to our reddit community, there is a bunch of Infinite Flight Live events happening there. Feel free to post your best shots as well as tutorials and stories from your experience with Infinite Flight.

Speaking of events, David from our team is hosting a recurring Infinite Flight Live fly-in on fridays (same as last week). There are now 2 times for this event: 12:30PM PST (for european pilots) and 6:30PM PST (for US pilots). Regardless of where you are from, you are welcome to join both :) Check out the official event post for full details.

For those of you who want to learn more about Infinite Flight Live, we created a tutorial video on our YouTube channel that should help you get started and learn about how to properly interact with others. We also have a couple other tutorials to improve your takeoff and landing skills.

As you saw last week, we are revamping the 747 available in Infinite Flight. We are actually doing a lot more and adding many new models of the 747; one of them is ready for a test flight:

Friday, October 24, 2014

Queen of the Skies

A few cool things to share before the weekend :)

• David from our team is organizing an Infinite Flight Live event tonight at 6PM PST. Check out the event thread on our reddit community and join in the fun! Use the event thread to comment and post pictures of the event!

• iOS users: we are still waiting on Apple to approve the hotfix we sent last week to address the orientation issue happening with iOS 8.1. In the meantime, refer to the previous post for a workaround.

• Below is a sneak peek at what we have been working on (and there is much more coming). It has been long overdue, but we are confident it was worth it! Let us know what you think in the comments :)

Monday, October 20, 2014

Launching Infinite Flight Reddit Community

We actually have 2 things to talk about today:

Let's start with the less pleasant one. We recently noticed that the last iOS version that is being released today (8.1) doesn't play well with Infinite Flight: if you launch the simulator when your device is in portrait, Infinite Flight screen will appear cropped. We already sent to Apple a hotfix to address this issue last week, and we hope it will be accepted by the end of this week. In the meantime you have 2 options:
- Wait until we the hotfix is accepted by Apple before upgrading to iOS 8.1
- When launching Infinite Flight, press the home button and then come back to the simulator. The screen should have the proper orientation (avoid rotating your device).
We sincerely apologize for the inconvenience and we will let you know as soon as our hotfix has been accepted.

Now on to more interesting stuff :) Today we are officially launching Infinite Flight Reddit community.

During the past few months, we experimented with different options for our growing community to connect and share their experience with fellow pilots. You already know about our facebook and Google+ page; however those aren't ideal to encourage quality content. There are many advantages to having our community on Reddit (voting system, user curated content, highly customizable, integrated wiki, easy signup process, etc...) and we can't wait to see some of the great content you guys will share on there.
We have selected (from our most loyal fans) a handful of amazing moderators to help with the community and improve it down the road. Official Infinite Flight Live events will also be posted there on a regular basis.

To always be in touch with our great community, there are some great official and unofficial apps available out there to make for a great reddit experience:
- iOS: we highly recommend Alien Blue, it is the official reddit app for iOS devices and so far the best.
- Android: Reddit is Fun, BaconReader, Reddit News
- Desktop: checkout the RES extension

Happy landings!

Monday, October 13, 2014

iOS hotfix and a sneak peek at what we are working on

Today we released a hotfix for the iOS version of Infinite Flight. It includes a fix for the crashes some of you have been experiencing, especially when flying in Infinite Flight Live. It should be a lot more stable now on all devices. If you are still experiencing random crashes, remember to lower your quality settings and also try restarting your device.
We also included proper support for the new iPhone 6 and 6 Plus in order to take advantage of their increased screen resolution.

Last weekend, the Infinite Flight development team took a field trip to work on something you have been asking for a long time: new (better) sounds. We hired a sound professional who has a lot of experience recording aircraft and we are working with him to dramatically improve our engine sounds. Below is a sneak peek at a (long) recording session to capture sounds for piston engine aircraft.

We can't wait for you guys to enjoy those new sounds in Infinite Flight.

Happy landings!

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Infinite Flight Live landing on iOS

As some of you already know we just launched our latest update on iOS. This new update, already available to Android users, includes some cool new features:

• Introducing Infinite Flight Live, our new multiplayer experience for Infinite Flight (requires monthly or yearly subscription)
• Added Cessna Citation X with Night Cockpit (requires in-app purchase, included with yearly Infinite Flight Live subscription)
• Improved water rendering with reflections and animated waves
• Taxiway Lines (at the most popular airports)
• HUD is now visible in the Virtual Cockpit
• Added new advanced settings to tweak graphic options (use at your own risk)
• Improved map performance

About Infinite Flight Live, we encountered some server issues in the first few hours of the iOS release and we have been hard at work to fix them. In order to improve your experience, we already upgraded our database as well as performed a few optimizations in our server software; things should already be better at this point. That being said we are not done yet; we will continue improving the reliability of Infinite Flight Live and start adding more cool features when things settle down. In the mean time, if you find an issue, send us an email and we will do our very best to help you as soon as possible.

Happy Landings!

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Upcoming Infinite Flight Live improvements

It has already been a week since we started to roll out Infinite Flight Live on Google Play. During this week, we were hard at work to improve the stability of our servers as well as the overall experience for Infinite Flight Live subscribers.

We are about to release another hotfix (most likely tomorrow) for Google Play users that will contain the following improvements:

Multiple server support w/ dynamic scaling

As most of you noticed, taxiing at the default airport (KHAF) in the default region (San Francisco) was a bit of a mess last week due to the overwhelming number of new Infinite Flight Live subscribers.
Fortunately we did anticipate this and we already had a solution ready; we needed to see how our server would handle a large number of people at once in order to optimize the right things and make the right decisions about how to improve the overall Infinite Flight experience.
In order to solve this, we now have multiple servers to handle all pilots. When connecting to Infinite Flight Live, you will be directed to the first server with enough resources to handle the current number of pilots + you. If all current servers are full, new servers are launched to handle the load.
In the future, we might improve the heuristic used to select the best server including your starting airport, your standing, XP, etc. The goal is to give everyone the best flying experience.

Custom server selection to play with friends

As mentioned in the previous section, when connecting to Infinite Flight Live you will be assigned to a random server. This solves the issue with having too many pilots in the same location but it makes it hard to fly with your friends.
For this, we added a new server selection menu that allow you to specify which server (from the list of currently available ones) you want to connect to. Be aware that this setting is not persistent: it will revert to the default behavior (random selection) the next time you fly.

High standing servers

Most pilots like to follow procedures but others like to crash in everything ;) There is not much we can do at this point to prevent some pilots to ruin the experience of others; we could increase the price of a subscription in order to deter people with bad intentions or we could add a voting system as some of you suggested but none of those solutions seem to fit our vision for Infinite Flight Live. High standing servers is an attempt to solve this issue; in the same server selection menu mentioned above, you will find a server dedicated to pilots with 90% standing and more. Connecting to this server will guarantee you to be flying with like-minded pilot.
As we improve our automatic server selection algorithm, we might get rid of those specific high standing servers since we will be able to better match pilots together.

Servers in multiple location (USA, Europe, Asia, for now)

In an effort to improve the performance for everyone around the globe, we have servers that are located in different physical locations. This has a couple advantages:
  • Redundancy: if, for some reason there is a catastrophic failure in the datacenter hosting our dedicated servers, we can quickly spawn a few more instances in another location so everyone can continue to enjoy Infinite Flight Live
  • Performance: you might experience better performance if you manually select a server that is physically closer to you (this is not always true but you can try). We will probably include this in our server selection algorithm in the future to make it even easier for the end-user.

Prevented selection of big airplanes at small airports

In this past week, we noticed that a lot of pilots were getting violation for starting at an airport with an airplane that was too big for it. There is indeed a rule that will generate violation if you land at an airport that cannot handle the airplane class you are currently flying, however we forgot about the case when pilots start at that airport.
This indeed was a bug that will be fixed in our upcoming hotfix release.

Other issues that should be fixed

There are a couple other issues that were reported that should be fixed:
  • Black scenery tiles appearing after multiple flights
  • Only top left portion of the screen is displayed when starting Infinite Flight while holding the device in portrait

Note to iOS users

We understand that you have been waiting to have access to Infinite Flight Live and we appreciate your patience and support. Unfortunately we won't be able to release this week (this is exactly why we prefer not to give dates since we anticipate some of you to be disappointed). We did send the update to Apple, but with all the changes we recently made, we need to resend a new version and wait another week (or so) for it to be accepted. That being said, we believe this is for the best and will guaranty a smoother experience when we launch Infinite Flight Live on iOS.

In the meantime, here are a few screenshots from this past week

Thursday, August 28, 2014

First day with Infinite Flight Live Post Mortem

First of all, we want to thank all the early adopters and we appreciate your patience, support and feedback as we work through the remaining issues with this first release of Infinite Flight Live.

Since the release on Android yesterday, we have learned a lot and we wanted to give you an update about what is going to happen next.

Over the course of the next few days we are going to focus on performance issues in order to improve the experience when there are too many pilots in one location (like it happens in KHAF for example). In the meantime, you can fly in less crowded regions to increase your standing and XP quietly :)

We are also going to continue experimenting and testing the following improvements:
  • Having a dedicated server for pilots with high standing so they can enjoy a more realistic experience with like-minded peers (we could even have a low, medium and high standing server)
  • Randomize default starting airport to avoid having everyone start at KHAF :)
  • Limit the number of pilots that can be at an airport and only allow to start there if it is not full (with a queue system)
This is of course just a start and we will keep you posted about the changes we bring to Infinite Flight Live. Feel free to send us constructive feedback through the usual channels.

About the iOS update, we will do our very best to release it as soon as possible but we first have to address the issues that were reported so far so we can have a better experience for everyone when we starting adding all the iOS pilots :)

Happy Landings!

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

New Infinite Flight Update available tomorrow on Android

Today we have 2 good news to announce.

We will start rolling out our new Infinite Flight update tomorrow (Android only for now, read below to know why)

This is a big update, and while we did everything we could to make sure it goes smoothly, bad things can always happen. This is why we will release this new update as a staged rollout: the update will be available to a percentage of our users and we will quickly increase that percentage over time once we confirm everything is running as expected. Unfortunately staged rollout is something that can only be done on Google Play so tomorrow only our Android users will get the update. Another reason for us to release on Android first is that it is easier to quickly a release new version in case we need to fix a critical issue (on iOS we have to wait for more than a week for every update).
Infinite Flight Live signups will also be limited so we can make sure there is no issues with our servers; at the same time we increase the percentage of users who have access to the update, we will increase the number of ppl who can signup for Infinite Flight Live.
We will send the update to Apple for certification tomorrow as well and once we confirm everything is running as expected and is stable, our iOS users will get the update next week.

Now on to the second surprise we have for you,

Our yearly subscription to Infinite Flight Live includes All Aircraft and Regions.

As long as you maintain your yearly subscription, all Aircraft and Regions will be available for you to enjoy, even the future ones, on all your devices (both Android and iOS with the same subscription). As we said many times, we want to create an active community of committed Infinite Flight pilots and we feel that offering an easy way to fully enjoy our simulator on all platforms is the right thing to do!

Mandatory Infinite Flight Live teaser screenshot:

Friday, August 22, 2014

Announcing Infinite Flight Live

We are pleased to announce Infinite Flight Live, the official name for the new multiplayer experience that will be released as part of our upcoming update.
The update is not available yet but we wanted to give you more details by answering some the most frequently asked questions.

When is the update coming out?

Soon, we wanted to release this month but last minute issues made it difficult. We can't give you an exact date (and it is pointless to speculate) since there can always be new issues, but rest assured that we are doing everything we can to get it to you as soon as possible. The update is "feature complete" but there are still a few issues we need to address.

What is Infinite Flight Live and do I have to pay for it?

Infinite Flight Live allow pilots to fly together in the same environment. Continue reading for a more detailed list of features.
As we mentioned in the past, Infinite Flight Live will be available as a subscription. We spent a lot of time looking at the various surveys that our community conducted and we made sure that our pricing model is in the expected range to satisfy the most people.

At launch, Infinite Flight Live will be available at $4.99 per month or $49.99 per year.

Why do I have to pay for Infinite Flight Live?

You don't have to pay for it. You are completely free to not spend any money in Infinite Flight. We keep adding and improving a lot of free features and content with each update, all that for less than the price of a Big Mac meal :)
Another reason for a subscription model is that we want users who are committed to what we are trying to achieve and will do their very best to make Infinite Flight Live a great experience for everybody.

Do I need to create an account to use Infinite Flight Live?

In order to use Infinite Flight Live, you will need to create an account using your Google or Facebook credentials. We might add more ways to create an account but at launch, a Google or Facebook account will be required. We only use those for authentication purpose and will never post anything without your explicit authorization (we hate apps that do that!).

I purchased an Infinite Flight Live subscription on iOS, can I use it on Android as well?

Yes, you can use the same subscription on any supported device as long as you sign-in using the same credentials.

Ok fine, I'll pay, but what are the features included with Infinite Flight Live?
  • 24/7 access to Infinite Flight Live from any supported device
  • ATC (Unicom only for now)
  • Live Weather
  • Realistic airspace classes
  • Ranking system
This is of course just a start and we plan on adding a lot more in the future, mostly based on your feedback:
  • Flight tracking
  • Improved ATC
  • Temporary Airspace Restrictions for events
  • Virtual Airlines
What about performances? Isn't having many aircraft at the same time very slow?

For now there will be a limit of how many aircraft can be displayed at the same time based on your device. Only the closest aircraft will be displayed, the others will appear as simple dots in the sky. As we add more features and new devices come out, we realized it was too complicated for us to automatically adapt the quality based on the device. Also, someone might care more about having beautiful aircraft rather than our new and improved water (in case he can't have both due to having an older device). For that matter, we decided to expose a few quality options in the settings in order for you to tweak and optimize your experience based on your personal preferences. Keep in mind that those are experimental and changing those settings might cause issues and crashes.

Will you release the update for iOS and Android at the same time?

We will start with Android and will limit how many people can signup for Infinite Flight Live. If all goes well, we will launch on iOS and quickly open new spots. This is to make sure our servers can handle the load and to ensure a smooth start. We count on your support and understanding in the first few weeks of Infinite Flight Live as we make sure everything runs smoothly for everyone.

It's Friday, where is my eye-candy screenshot?

Here you go :)

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Update on Multiplayer - June 2014

As most of you already know, we are working on a new multiplayer experience that will take Infinite Flight to new heights for flight simulation enthusiasts around the world.

Designing and implementing such a feature is not easy and takes time to develop and test, this is why we decided to keep you in the loop. In this post we will give you a bit more details about some of its aspects.

With this new feature we are introducing 2 modes for enjoying Infinite Flight:
  • Solo: this is how you are playing Infinite Flight right now
  • Live: this mode will let you fly online with everyone else.
In order to ensure a good experience, we added the concept of Airspace in our Live mode. Similar to real life, airspace limit who can fly in the busiest airports. In order to determine who is allowed to enter certain airspace, each pilot has a "Standing" (percentage): with a good standing you will be able to takeoff and land at all airports and with a bad standing you will be limited to small regional airports this way new pilots can learn without getting in the way of experienced ones who follow procedures in larger airports.
All new pilots will start with a 50% standing and for now there are 2 ways to increase it:
  • Logging more flight time
  • Performing more successful landings (faster)
However there are a number of ways a pilot's standing can go down, we call them "violations":
  • Exceeding maximum taxi speed
  • Exceeding maximum airspeed when flying below 10000 feet
  • Landing on runway too small for aircraft type
  • Entering airspace that require higher standing
  • Performing aerobatics in proximity of an airport
Another metric we are introducing is XP (experience). This is something that will increase at the end of each flight depending on the length of the flight, the number of successful landings and also the number of violations. XP will allow you to compare your skill against other pilots and we also might use it for other simulation related mechanics.

Of course all of this is subject to change and we will give you more details later down the road; Feel free to already send us feedback and suggestions :)

One last thing before we wrap this up; a lot of people have been wondering if the Infinite Flight Multiplayer feature will be free or paid; as much as we would love to provide everything for free, servers cost a lot of money (thousands of dollars per month) and maintaining them is also not free. Also we want to provide the best experience to users that will be committed to what we are trying to achieve with Infinite Flight. This is why we decided to have a subscription model for our online service. The exact pricing is not yet final so we can't give you a number just yet but this will help us ensure that Infinite Flight will continue to grow and get better for all of the flight simulator enthusiast out there.

For those of you who made it all the way to the end of this post, here are a few shots fresh from our beta showing our progress: