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byork

An interesting article about developing Flight Sims

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Those of you who are interested in the "development-end" of major stand-alone flightsims might find this interview with one of the Devs of the upcoming Falkland's war Flight Sim interesting.He makes some interesting comments about the state of flight simulation, and what it's like to trying to develop a "study-sim" type flightsim.http://www.cleared-to-engage.com/2010/08/26/cleared-to-engage-interviews-dante-de-patta-on-jet-thunder/Cheers,

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Interesting read and his comments parallel comments made by a developer I interviewed in the past about developing games that are "hardcore" compared to more mainstream games.

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I'm happy to pay far more for a real sim if it were available. I was one of the ones who paid 200 bucks for xplane 15 or so years ago. Janes was great, Sonalysts, and the first couple Tom Clancy games too. Remember EF2000? Look at how much you would spend using a real simulator. How many thousands of hours have we all spent on FS over the years and it costs the same as those other games. That's why im happy to pay good money for the good add ons.

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I'm happy to pay far more for a real sim if it were available. I was one of the ones who paid 200 bucks for xplane 15 or so years ago. Janes was great, Sonalysts, and the first couple Tom Clancy games too. Remember EF2000?  Look at how much you would spend using a real simulator. How many thousands of hours have we all spent on FS over the years and it costs the same as those other games. That's why im happy to pay good money for the good add ons.
It is interesting you brought up the first couple of TC games as the company that released them is now laying off 38 developers, though Ubi has offered the former RSE employees jobs at other studios that they own. We have been having a discussion about this and where RSE is at today compared to when R6/RS and GR first came out. Ironically, this is on a former RSE employee's new studio's forums and is interesting to say the least.

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Those of you who are interested in the "development-end" of major stand-alone flightsims might find this interview with one of the Devs of the upcoming Falkland's war Flight Sim interesting.He makes some interesting comments about the state of flight simulation, and what it's like to trying to develop a "study-sim" type flightsim.http://www.cleared-t...on-jet-thunder/Cheers,
Excellant article. I thought the interviewer asked all the right questions as well so it was a good read and very enlightening. I wonder sometimes if the real simulation companies in the aviation industry, companies like Thales and Lockheed Martin with their huge bank balances would kindly fund some of the hobby that we enjoy. Flight sim hobbyists be it programmers or modellers may feed into the serious simualtion end of the market, esepecially at the desktop training simulator level. With DCS (Digital Combat Simulator) it was the other way around. The new A-10 game being developed is virtually a consumer version of a commercial platform developed for the flight school classroom. I have a feeling the new AirbusX from aerosoft was also born out of a training aid for a commercial company.I agree with the interviewee that however much "hardcore" simmers like to hate games like HAWX and Ace Combat it is garnering interest in the hobby of simulation and would probably boost our profile which surely can't be a bad thing. Thanks for posting this Bryan.CheersRhydian

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HAWX might be OK if one didn't get forced outside of the cockput when the assistance off mode is engaged even with endless supplies of missiles or machine gun rounds.

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Guest FengZ

Great article that applies to game development as a whole.Back when I first got into the industry, 5 million US would be considered a lot to develope a AAA title. Now days, the budgets are around 50-75 million per game (with another 50-75m for marketing). That's a lot of risk for an investor (publisher) to take on. Therefore, games at those budgets must appeal to a wide audience to make their investment back (and thus why so many games are catering to the same audience (males who loves violence, sex, etc.). Flightsims are hard to dev for because the market is too small. It's not worth it to make something that cost 15m, and you only make back say 18m. It's great to think that someone will do it for the "love" of it...but somebody has to pay the light bills....The indie studios can fill this gap, but the quality/production values will fall short of the 50m+ games. Not sure what the future holds for hardcore flightsims...maybe it had its time in the 90s and it's time to move on....-feng

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It is interesting you brought up the first couple of TC games as the company that released them is now laying off 38 developers, though Ubi has offered the former RSE employees jobs at other studios that they own. We have been having a discussion about this and where RSE is at today compared to when R6/RS and GR first came out. Ironically, this is on a former RSE employee's new studio's forums and is interesting to say the least.
Do you have a link? That sounds interesting. One more I forgot was the original Operation Flashpoint, that and GR, were great for "simulating" actual combat which is 98% boredom and walking around to the next destination while always being alert.I was pretty excited for the new OF, but highly disappointed when I got it. The giant flashing icon on the screen that tells you where your objective is is pretty lame. All you need is a good map and compass to find your way around.It used to be a good sim meant a few weeks of just learning about whatever the sim was. 600+ page manuals were a norm.

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About developing flight sims, this article sums it up nicely. Combat simulators are a complex thing to develop, and do not have as massive of a following as CoD. That's why you don't see anywhere near as many as you used to.As for what Noah said about Operation Flashpoint, Dragon Rising was a sequel in name only. The real sequels are the ArmA series.

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In our discussions re sim development, I see little or no mention of the potential impact of 3D visual presentation.Think of a cockpit panel displayed three dimensionally- where a switch or lever appears to actually stick out- and rather than a mouse arrow, a finger or hand or forearm appears to set it. Then consider this displayed on a very large screen or perhaps multiple screens so that the entire panel is full size. Then forget the mouse itself and instead use an interactive device (WII?)in each hand.Expensive? Sure but the time was not so long ago when an automobile was only for the rich. Today, there are 2 or 3 in every driveway.But don't limit the dream to only airplanes- visualize an interning neurosurgeon practicing tieing off a sudden bleeder blood vessel. In his hand not a mouse but replicas of scalpel and clamps.And he/she can practice this a thousand times before he does it for real- on YOU!My guess is that the era of simulation is only just begining- for all sorts of applications. Perhaps even for training the operating crew of an offshore drill rig!Simmers- you ain't seen nothing yet!Alex Reid

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