Parallel 42 (//42) continues to push the boundaries of what’s possible to do in Microsoft Flight Simulator. The hugely creative and innovative team who brought us the excellent Skypark (v3 is coming, by the way, with some awesome new features), Campout, or “Scenes“, has now teased an exciting new product that promises to put a lot of power in simmers hands. It’s called “Flow“, it’s potentially revolutionary, and it’s coming this year!
//42’s Edson Soriano was live this week with our friend TwoToneMurphy, in a lengthy conversation that offered a lot of background about the team, how it came to be, their entire product philosophy, and much more. It’s a must-watch if you’d like to know more about //42 and the people behind the project, and it came with a nice bonus at the end: the announcement and first look into Flow and its incredible capabilities! Watch it below!
Flow is, essentially, a new user interface that will allow simmers to quickly interact with a vast amount of functions in MSFS. It looks like a kind of widget overlay from where users can run actions (flows) that can range from typical aircraft buttons and switches, to global actions like changing the time of day, resetting aircraft position, opening doors, and more.
The basic idea behind Flow is for it to work like a menubar replacement in MSFS, but way more powerful. And we mean way more powerful! So powerful, in fact, that power users will be able to write their own scripts and basically make Flow do whatever they want to do, not only in the simulator itself, but possibly even interacting with external apps (i.e., skipping Spotify tracks).
During the live stream with TwoToneMurphy, Edson shared a preview video showcasing some of the many actions that users will be able to run with Flow. Some are as simple as toggling landing lights, starting the engine, or opening doors, thus saving users the time and distraction of hunting for a button or switch. Others are especially cool, such as setting the time to dawn (and keep it there with a time lock).
Flow will be capable of doing a lot out of the box. Other features shown in the preview video are a simple switch to reset aircraft position (very useful in case of a crash, for example), changing autopilot settings, and teleporting to another location in the world! Users will even be able to teleport to the location of a friend.
Flow promises to be particularly useful for Xbox users, translating the click-based UI in MSFS into a more tactile and controller-friendly way to interact with the sim.
//42 says that Flow may not be available at first in the Marketplace (Orbx will be the first launch platform), but it will eventually arrive there as soon as technically possible. The team is planning to launch two different versions of Flow: a standard version, targeted to most users, and an advanced version, especially targeted to creative power users who wish to expand the tool’s functionality by writing custom scripts (to interact with complex aircraft, external apps, and whatever they can think of).
Flow by //42 is currently planned to be out before the Holidays, so it’s really coming soon! It looks like another fantastic creation from the team and one that can significantly change simmers’ experience with MSFS. Make sure to watch the presentation above to get a deeper insight into what Flow is all about. It’s very cool and powerful, so stay tuned for further news and updates!