Sign in to follow this  
Guest

Structure, Dynamics and Glitter my take

Recommended Posts

There have been many opinions voiced regarding the importance of so called glitter in a sim. Glitter has taken such a prominant position in importance in the minds of many simmers that I feel we are loosing the plot which should be to have a sim which gives as realistic a flying experience as possible.Arguements against realism point out that this is only a $70 sim and what do you expect yet a million copies of a $70 sim add up to one heck of a lot of revenue matching the professional sims.Okay, as I seem to be going head to head with many on this issue I want to lay out my angle on this and why I think this subject is so important.Lets take structure as it refers to scenery. Fly! made a big mistake in dealing with their generic scenery purely on glitter using very nice textures which layed out meaningless fields and woodlands against incorrect coastlines.This meant that there was little meaning to VFR flight.The structure was lacking in the Fly! generic world. That structure for VFR flight should have been accurate coastlines, accurate elevation data showing every little hill, accurate roads, town and city shapes, railways etc.Add the glitter to that structure and you have a cracking scenery, without that structure we have something which looks nice but has little meaning.Moving to the sky we have something that is forever changing, something which is alive and not constant something which is dynamic.The clouds are a result of air movement, temperature and moisture as well as dust and pollution so that it is equally important that those clouds comprise of structure, dynamics and "glitter". Just add the glitter and you end up with something which is dead and sterile and may as well be a photograph.Aircraft fly in the sky and again those aircraft have structure, dynamics and glitter. Aircraft move through that mass of ever changing air and its that intereaction which causes the sensations of flight as well as the challenge of flight.We simulate the aircraft dynamics through the flight dynamics engine from the point that the aircraft ceases flying to the slow flight high drag scenarios which are typically large control movements with sloppy handling which comes alive as speed builds.The flight dynamics engine is vital to a sim as again without those accurate dynamics we are left with a toy a sterile gamey thing.The structure of all the parts which operate that aircraft from flight dynamics to navigation aids is vital to a true sense of operating an aircraft. Navigating that aircraft from point A to point B and safely landing the aircraft without hitting terrain other aircraft or obstacles on the approach to a safe landing is the name of the game .Once the Structure and Dynamics are in place as the core fundamentals of those aircraft then we can make them look realistic and attractive by adding the glitter in the form of attractive accurate textures.It doesnt take a genious to work out where the sim is lacking in structure and dynamics and yes there are many areas. For me structure and dynamics are the most important building blocks which make up a realistic flying experience.Infact structure and dynamics are so important that I feel you can use these two principles to disect each part of a sim and judge its failings.Yes Glitter is the icing on the cake but not the Cake itself. Lets not forget that fact.Peter

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Help AVSIM continue to serve you!
Please donate today!

I couldn't agree more, Peter. I think also that you need to be actually flying to appreciate that fact fully (and that may even mean being a frequent passenger, as well as in command). There's a payware FS2002 panel product that I often use (heavy jet in this case) that doesn't have all the eye candy and "glitter" of some others, but which I find (from my limited knowledge of such aircraft) to be much more realistic. Perhaps the extreme in this case is the comparison of anything to PS1, a DOS product that has virtually no "glitter" for no other reason than it's (old) OS won't support it. But then you take realism and it's way up there with the other professional PC-based sims.On the GA front, I fly a 172SP here in the Denver area. I would love a much improved atmosphere model, although some have made some good advances in flight models too. If I ever go "simming" after flying, it seems somewhat sterile (the best words I can find).Bruce.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

BruceThe glitter is important but meaningless without the structure and dynamics.Just taking the famous scenery example it needs the STRUCTURE which are the roads, rivers, elevation data, coastlines, rivers, forests, cities etc then it needs the DYNAMICS to give it life which are moving cars on the roads, smoke from the chimneys, moving shadows, sounds etc.Airports also need Dynamics to bring them alive.These three principles of Structure, Dynamics and Glitter can be used to judge every element of the sim if one principal is missing or poorly done then thats a weakness in the simPeter

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

>We simulate the aircraft dynamics through the flight >dynamics engine from the point that the aircraft ceases >flying to the slow flight high drag scenarios which are >typically large control movements with sloppy handling which >comes alive as speed builds. >>The flight dynamics engine is vital to a sim as again >without those accurate dynamics we are left with a toy a >sterile gamey thing. So who's flight dynamics we talking about? I wouldn't want an assumption made that a number of aircraft for this sim (not all), are anymore of a "toy" than those for other sims. OF course, they're all really toys! :) I'll be danged if I've ever worried about running out of fuel, looking for an emegency landing spot, or my life threatened in general, when "flying" these aircraft IMO--- aircraft such as the Dreamfleet Archer, FSD Cheyenne, and Flight1 C-421 do quite well in the flight dynamic department of lift & drag, and related speed. We won't cover the whole---- out of the norm flight envelope, because I'll just start bashing every PC sim known to mankind..........which is usually what I do. L.Adamson

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Agree with you 100 pct. on weather---keep pushing that one!But I still feel I'd rather see smooth, fluid scenery and a 90pct accurate flight model, vs. 10 fps and a 100 pct. accurate flight model combined with a fully functional cockpit. I feel it's unfair to simply use the general term "glitter"--what does that mean? What have people said that you feel the sim can do without, for now? If you mean people in airports, cars on the freeways, birds flying around airports, etc.... I'm 100 pct. with you. But I'd like to see more VFR coverage similar to what Terrascene did for Fly (and with my work, can do for FS2002). I'd like to see FS move away from its very simplistic road network. Although pilots fly this sim, it is still an entertainment title. Like it or not, the millions of casual users who don't stress over the flight dynamics, and who'd rather recognize their hometowns from the air, have helped keep this genre afloat. I feel it prudent not to disenfranchise them by generalizing their feelings and wishes as "glitter".-John

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

>the millions of casual users who don't stress over the flight dynamics, and who'd rather recognize their hometowns from the air, have helped keep this genre afloat. I feel it prudent not to disenfranchise them by generalizing their feelings and wishes as "glitter".<-John But then we come full circle as to when does the sim become a scenery viewer or purely a creative tool rather than a flight simulation.Taken to the extreme in that case we might as well have an up down left right scanner made to look like an aircraft which has no feel, no character, no inter reaction with the elements it flies in, no challenge, just a device to home in and view that scenery.Ok that is extreme and not directed at MSFS.What would I like to see using my three principals?A/ a fluid dynamic and living Sky invironment with glitter or should we say realistic looking clouds B/ dump the 2D VC poor marriage and really look at optimising pheripheral views on one flat screen with one new method of panel display (Im looking forward to the Lago all VC product)C/re model the flight dynamic engine to really model slow flight a weakness at present.In summary more attention to the aircraft we fly and the sky invironment we fly in ;-)Peter

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'd say the area we agree on the most is probably going to be the most challenging to deliver (in a realistic way) without obsoleting systems of poor folk like myself. But I'm still sticking my neck out by saying that we need to have weather systems and more accurate, 3-d cloud environments, weather fronts--things that can be entertaining and challenging to real pilots and armchair pilots.I'd probably put the cockpit issue at the bottom of my personal priorities, and the slow flight issue (add to that ground handling, such as rolling resistance) just under the flight environment. Last, I should add a truly 3-d globe where transpolar flight is possible.You've flown many types of A/C....how would you rate aircraft like the new Flight1 421, in terms of accuracy (within the current limits of FS)?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

JohnThe 421 is good and gives a realistic flavour of the real thing it has to be a favourite in light twins at the moment.You have to look at IL2 for a better slow flight engine with an aircraft shuddering near the stall and a more pronounced dead feel in slow flight becoming sharper as the speed builds.This makes for a more realistic landing and takeoff experiencePeter

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hey PeterJust a tad off subject, Whats the status on the 260??BobG

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

One has to respect that one persons icing is another's cake-and one person's cake can be another person's icing.Lets of course keep improving in all areas-but I don't really see the point of clasifying one aspect of simming "eye candy" or "glitter" and another the substance-especially when what is important to one can be subjective and even depend on the type of real world flying one does.Its all eye candy and illusion frankly, without motion to go along with it.I had the experience of doing the "disorientation chamber" run by the FAA in Oshkosh a few weeks ago. It is basically a small box you get into with the most primitive of flight sims-looks like a cross between fs4 and ift pro. You "takeoff" -start get some instructions from atc-then the box you sit in starts whirring around in just the right way to totally screw up all your senses. That was about as real a "feeling" I've had yet in simming-even though the cockpit, graphics, and most certainly flight dynamics were about as backward as you could get.The control input followed by an appropriate motion-or even one that confuses you in the above case-is a true flight model in my opinion.A flat screen with a response from a joystick is just gonna be another aspect of "eye candy" until motion is introduced-imho-and at this point it is certainly based mostly on the control input-a reason why the same flight model can feel so correct or incorrect on different users machines.Again-I am most certainly interested in improvements in sky, models, and systems for the future-but one "eye candy" being more legitimate than another...it's all eye candy!http://members.telocity.com/~geof43/Geofdog2.gif

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That shuddering is just "faked" anyway. It's impressive, but not because of some kind of computerized airflow detachment over the wing. All my slow speed MS testing is done from an outside view in about the 2:00 position. Much better to see the aircrafts reaction than from inside, where we see little & feel nothing. L.AdamsonBelow is my typical flight enviroment. Not much going on in the "sky", but the topography (my eyecandy) is much more of a concern.It's been this way nearly all summer.First pic BTF - Skypark about 5 miles from KSLC, 2nd pic 36U about 30 miles from KSLC

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

GeofI cant go with you on this :-) It isnt all eye candy.Yes a simulation is just that tricking the senses by creating visual stimulus, sound stimulus and motion as well as smell.As we dont have motion in a home PC we have to use a combination of visual and sound to give the sensation of motion.Look at the way panels work in IL2, push your control column forward and visuals are used so that the viewpoint of the panel moves up and forward as you do so a clever way of giving the impression of acceleration.Look at how bank was modelled in FU3. Increase bank and they attached a whooshing sound to give the impression of resistance.We all know that there are no whooshing sounds as bank is increased real world yet this method was effective in fooling the senses into believing that those wings were in air.Sounds are not visual eye Candy yet they are effective in making up for that lack of motion.Yes we are using all manner of code and electronics to "simulate" the sensations of flight.Smell is a forgotten sense and not used in a simulation but they exist Real world.When I talked about icing on a cake I wasnt using that as a preference.People will use a sim for different reasons and those reasons will become priority to them.One person may use the sim as purely a creative tool. They may not use the aircraft as aircraft but knock out the panel view to admire scenery that they create.To them the simulation isnt a flight simulation at all but a scenery viewer and a means of being creative.Maybe building a house would be a better example where you first lay foundations, then add structural walls and pillars to hold the weight and to give the shape.You then add the decorative brickwork, roof tiling, window shapes and colours to finalise the visual attractivess of your house as well as paint.You dont see the foundations but they are there as an important STRUCTURE.a simulator is no different each part has to have Structure, visuals(glitter) and dynamics to bring the thing to life.all the bestPeter

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

>That shuddering is just "faked" anyway. It's impressive, but not because of some kind of computerized airflow detachment over the wing.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Not sure then where the difference of opinion is-that was exactly what I was expressing.Since at this point it is all about illusion since a computer screen is static and perhaps the most important aspect namely motion is missing-why call one part of the illusion "eye candy" and another not?Every part is structure and every part is important to create that illusion.Therefore my first question-how can one part be more legitimate than another?P.s.-I also use my plane as a scenery viewer-for me that is the whole reason to fly! I like clouds too-but find them much less intersting than the ground below.http://members.telocity.com/~geof43/Geofdog2.gif

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this