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Microsoft Flight Simulator’s dynamic flight conditions sound like Left 4 Dead’s AI director

If it's going too easy, the AI will throw some nasty weather your way

The first trailer for the new Microsoft Flight Simulator promised it would be “powered by satellite data and Azure AI,” but it was never really clear how that would manifest in-game. There are still plenty of questions to be answered, but now we have some detail on how artificial intelligence will change the game – and it sounds a whole lot like Left 4 Dead’s AI director.

The Azure tech in the new Microsoft Flight Simulator will make use of artificial intelligence and machine learning to adjust flight conditions on the fly, according to a new feature from The Guardian. In one example, a player who gets too comfortable running a standard flight might have to deal with a sudden bout of stormy weather as the AI attempts to provide you with fresh challenges.

Left 4 Dead’s AI director is perhaps the most famous example of something similar, where the game would dynamically adjust enemy encounters for a challenging time with well-paced moments of action and quiet. Of course, other games have been doing dynamic difficulty adjustments for years – they’re just less explicit about it.

But it seems Microsoft still hasn’t given up on its cloud tech dreams, even if that’s less of a talking point than it was at the launch of Xbox One. Microsoft Flight Simulator will also make use of cloud-based streaming to provide the petabytes of data its geographic data will encompass – though the game will still feature an offline mode.

The cloud is “a system that kind of understands how much capability I need at any point,” Xbox chief Phil Spencer says. “It’s no different than what we’ve done in years past, streaming into available RAM that’s available on our consoles.”

On the official site, the developers of Microsoft Flight Simulator say that we’ll get new details on the game’s development tomorrow, covering plans for the next handful of months – which includes the launch of Insider testing.