Future of flightsims

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Pacman
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Future of flightsims

Post by Pacman » 14 Sep 2005, 00:01

We have been attending a round table discussion at Simhq.com regarding the insight of current flightsim developers in the genre.
Parts 1,2 and 3 are allready up.
http://www.simhq.com/_all/all_006a.html for part 1/

Is a very interresting read.

Best,

Dirk
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Jedi Master
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Post by Jedi Master » 14 Sep 2005, 05:32

Yeah, I've been following it.

The issue of continually adding on to a base product instead of making possibly one addon then moving on to the full-fledged "sequel" is an interesting one. I've often wondered why a game engine that has life left in it is abandoned (or if not merely heavily altered to ruin compatibility) instead of releasing more using it.
Is that normally a publisher-dictated route? "This game came out 2 years ago, no more addons, make a new one that's prettier!"

I remember all of us hoping back when Falcon 3 came out and they added the MiG-29 and F/A-18 to it that they'd be able to add the A-10 and AH-64. Then when Falcon 4 came out there was talk of the A-10 and/or F-15E.

Actually, Falcon 3 was the ONLY study sim to take this path, even though it seems 90% of those asked are willing to buy more planes for the basic game. Only the Russian sim devs seem to be following this path again to date, although I know you plane to do something along these lines.

I guess I'm just puzzled as to why it's taken until now for this, to me, obvious path to be taken, ESPECIALLY when online forums have been full of "I wish they'd make an addon adding X plane and/or Y theater for sim Z" statements for at least 15 years!
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Pacman
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Post by Pacman » 14 Sep 2005, 05:53

I have to agree there.

Thee trick now is that everything needs to be coded in modules so when we want to modernise certain area's we don't need to start all over again, but can work out that specific module we want to improve.

In our opinion it is very much possible and should be the way to go if you want to keep adding content to your product and on the other hand keep up with current and future technologies.

Dirk
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daofcmacg
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Post by daofcmacg » 14 Sep 2005, 08:16

Will there every be a true dynasty in this Genre???


DA
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Pacman
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Post by Pacman » 14 Sep 2005, 08:53

Well that is the whole idea/ design behind FO.
We are working on it.

I'll let you know in 2-3 years after about 2 releases ;)

Dirk
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Post by Jedi Master » 14 Sep 2005, 09:35

Right, so although in the past you didn't have much modularization because of the performance penalties that would incur, modern systems suffer very little if at all from those types of designs.
If you can actually separate the rendering engine from the physics engine and the AI and the campaign and so on, then there's every expectation that in 2 years you could swap out the DX9 renderer for a DX10 (or whatever MS is calling it now) version while keeping the same FMs, AI, campaign, etc. Later on release a new plane with a new campaign engine. Down the road another plane with a new AI engine, etc.
You literally would never have to start from scratch again...but only if you can successfully get it THAT modular from the start. If you can, you've likely got half your technical problems solved going forward.

I remember Carl Norman stating that a major obstacle to adding certain types of planes to LOMAC were design decisions made way back when. They couldn't add AG radar without MAJOR code work. Likewise for putting two cockpits into one plane. That meant planes like the F-16, F-15E, F/A-18, and so on were completely off the table because it would take so much work it would warrant a new title.

From what we've seen of your business model so far (admittedly based solely on your stated hopes going forward combined with the $100 price for the initial release), the only reason I can think of it not succeeding is getting people to see past the initial sticker shock. Assuming of course no technical difficulties torpedoing the entire thing, you could proceed along the lines of releasing another hi-fi plane for say $40-50 every 6 months or so, with perhaps annual $100 "roll up" editions for those who hadn't gotten aboard at the start. That way customers would only pay that $100 the first time, with subsequent addons being $40-50 but late adopters wouldn't be forced to pay $100+$50+$50+$50 etc for the whole deal. Their initial $100 would get them the base game plus everything up to perhaps the previous addon. That way they'd be paying less perhaps than the first comers, but you wouldn't completely alienate the early adopters with a "hey, if we'd waited 8 months we could've gotten all this for half-price!"

Believe me, we totally get the "can't have something for nothing" concept (unlike some gamers online who seem to believe once you pay $40 you're entitled to more stuff for as long as you like for free), but with an initial outlay being twice that of the average game you create a higher level of expectation. Buy a Toyota, you expect one level of service. Buy a Mercedes, you naturally expect it to be noticeably higher! :)
We've all been waiting for the Mercedes of jet sims since F4 went bust almost 6 years ago. ;)
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Post by Hammer » 14 Sep 2005, 10:59

i would expect most of us that love flight sims will easily pay the $100...

i would not expect most of us to pay $40-50 for a single addon plane.

i think a more reasonable cost would be $20, maybe $25 per plane after shelling out an initial $100.

addon aircraft is the way to go...with a modular system as mentioned. you have to be able to swap the graphics engine, as well as be able to add other component sub-systems - say for instance a dynamic campaign engine (i don't know if this is intended from the initial release). add on theatres could be a great component to add on as well.

the add on sales should be able to keep a steady flow of income to continue development of new stuff, and garner interest in funding of new projects as well...
Helmut

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Post by KODIAK » 14 Sep 2005, 12:00

Sure that sounds about right to me too, but with the following suggestions maybe?

Have the sim, with all those lovely planes, however you can only fly a certain select few on initial version of the sim.

Patches should as always be a free venture, to improve the game as a whole, and also any later mods/add-ons which may need tweaking.

The more popular / current aircraft could then be integrated as add-ons/mods which of course could be commercial.

In the method suggested above, all the aircraft are there in the sim rearing their ugly heads as AI aircraft only. Your mate, who may have the Typhoon or Rafale add-on, then wouldn't have to worry about you not having it, because to you, his aircraft is AI, right?! And your computer doesn't have to worry about him being 'see' or 'experienced' correctly, because of that fact. The idea being, you only have to purchase the add-on that you specifically wish to have for yourself.

Now granted this could be said to cause problems, because I am guessing that part of the code for add-on would be utilised for the AI version too. So you might say it would make sense to only put the aircraft in as AI once it was available as an add-on, because this would reduce the workload for producing the add-on by doing them both concurrently. Fine, so you make a patch available to coincide with the release of the add-on with the relevant data for FM, skins etc., included. 8) :idea:
What do you think? Food for thought?

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Post by Jedi Master » 14 Sep 2005, 14:00

Well, I was supposing more than just a plane for an addon. If it's ONLY a plane, yeah, $40-50 is too much. If it's multiple planes and/or theaters and/or other major enhancements, then it's not.
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daofcmacg
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Post by daofcmacg » 14 Sep 2005, 14:02

Kodiak that is genius, now if they can just put that into code everything will work out fine. The idea of integrated AI/Human control and how the engine perceives it on each individual computer will be a hurdle to overcome, a independant server would definately be needed to hand out proper protocols and such to let computer A know that even though on computer A the SU-25 is a AI controlled plane and now Computer B with an addon for the SU-25 which is now controlled by the human host. There would have to be a higher authority handing out commands or things just might go wrong quick fast and in a hurry. I might be wrong in my understanding but thats how I see it.

DA
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Post by Jedi Master » 14 Sep 2005, 17:12

It worked just fine for EEAH/EECH. People who had both could fly Havoc, Apache, Comanche or Hokum while those with just EECH could only fly Comanches and Hokums. They could still play online together, though, the difference being the EECH-only players had no way to jump into the Havoc or Apache. The game still had AI versions of the copters no matter what.
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daofcmacg
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Post by daofcmacg » 14 Sep 2005, 21:32

Please don't revoke my WOF status after you read this question. :lol: :shock: . What the heck is EEAH/EECH??? Sorry but I just don't know and don't really care to do a search on it.
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Hammer
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Post by Hammer » 14 Sep 2005, 22:21

my guess is that you really don't want to know then... so why the effort for the question? you could have had the answer in less characters than you typed above if you just put eech or eeah into google...and clicked a couple of times.
Helmut

KODIAK
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Post by KODIAK » 15 Sep 2005, 15:33

Yeah, c'mon DA.!!! :lol: :wink:

daofcmacg
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Post by daofcmacg » 17 Sep 2005, 20:30

yeah yeah I know but I really wanted to hear you guys tell it.


DA
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If you can see it you can take it down!
MAVERICK!!!!

KODIAK
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Post by KODIAK » 18 Sep 2005, 02:22

Bad Dog . . . . . .BAD DOG!! :lol: :lol:

daofcmacg
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Post by daofcmacg » 10 Sep 2007, 14:31

Come Back KODIAK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

DA
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If you can see it you can take it down!
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PanzerMeyer
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Post by PanzerMeyer » 10 Sep 2007, 15:28

Kodiak has been seriously MIA for several months now.
I have learned from experience that a modicum of snuff can be most efficacious - Baron Munchausen

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Post by Jedi Master » 13 Sep 2007, 17:16

He's not the only one, he's just the most noticeable.
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