What are events ?
Events are group flights for the community to take part in, organised in advance. They are open to everybody, and can be arranged by anybody.
Configure your multi-player settings
If you want to see other people within the simulator, you'll need Flight Simulator configured for "All Players" in the flight conditions settings, and you'll need to be connected to the same in-game server as the rest of your group. Check the notes for the event or invitation you are responding to, and failing that, ask in the Discord event voice channel.
Join Discord to talk to each other
If you want to listen to and talk to others in flight, you will need to join the Discord server. Discord is an application you can run alongside Microsoft Flight Simulator, and provides excellent live voice-chat and screen-sharing facilities for free.
Where are events advertised?
Events are listed in the Discord server in the following locations:
The main place to find upcoming events is the "Events" section of the discord server - at the top of the left margin.
The "Events Forum" channel lists further information about each event - such as flight plans, and any helpful guidance.
How do I take part in an event?
All you need to do is arrive in the right place, at the right time, on the right multi-player server.
PLEASE read the event information to find out about the flight. Having 30 people ask "which server are we on?" gets really old, really quickly.
If joining the Discord server for voice communications during the flight, conversation must remain family friendly, respectful, and not stray into any subjects that may offend such as adult jokes, politics, religion, racism, drugs, or hate-speech.
Try to stay with the group if you're doing a group flight. If you find yourself 20 miles ahead of everybody else, it's no longer really a group flight.
Can I create my own events ?
Yes! In order to arrange events for the community, you just need to be a member of the Discord server - anybody can create events.
Pre-requisite - Two Factor Authentication
To create events in Discord, you must have multi-factor authentication configured on your Discord account. This is a rule set by Discord - not by us. To do this:
Click the cog next to your user name at the bottom left of the Discord application
Visit the "My Account" section
Follow the prompts to setup "Two Factor Authentication".
You will need a smartphone.
Create an Event in Discord
Click the "Events" link at the top of the left margin in Discord - this will show you a list of upcoming events (if there are any), and a button to create a new event - click it.
The "Create Event" form takes you through a number of questions:
Where is your event? - choose "Voice Channel", then choose the "events-chat" voice channel from the drop-down that appears.
What's your event about? - give your event a title, a date and time (local to you), a description, and a cover image. Notice that you can only have 1000 characters in the description - so see the section below about also creating a thread in the #event-info channel. You can find nice cover images at unsplash.com.
Create Event - finally, the form previews your event - click the "Create Event" button if you're happy with it.
Create a topic in the Events Channel in Discord
When you created the event (above), you were only allowed 1000 characters to describe your event - you may have wanted more, and might like to also upload images, or flight-plan files. To do so, create a topic in the Events channel in Discord - where you can upload flight plans, paste pictures, links to downloads, and any further information people might need.
Please prefix the title of your forum post with the date in YYYY-MM-DD format to help people find event topics easily.
Market Your Event
Just because the event is there doesn't mean people will necessarily see it. Feel free to tell others about the flight on social media platforms - if you need to direct them to VirtualFlight.Online, send them a link to Discord:
Host Your Event
In good time before the start-time of your event, go and hang out in the Events Chat voice channel, and welcome people as they arrive - from here on in, you're the host - it's your show. Please keep the "family friendly" rule foremost in your mind throughout your event.
Example Event Text
As noted above, here's an example description from a past flight using markdown syntax for an event - which you can modify, and paste into a new event thread.
Here's a quick primer on the markdown syntax that Discord understands:
Double **asterisks** around words make them bold
Single *asterisks* around words make them italic