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HiFlyer

Comments from a former Flight Sim journalist...

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Found this thread on the Ipacs website and thought it was interesting enough to repost: http://www.ipacs.de/forum/showthread.php/7462-Comments-from-a-former-Flight-Sim-journalist

 

Hey Aerofly FS 2 team,

First of all, congratulations! It's so awesome to see a superb next-generation flight simulator taking form. For context, I used to be the Flight Simulation editor for Computer Gaming World magazine, which was the top-selling PC gaming magazine in the USA in the 1990s. Back in those days, there was enough activity in the sim market that I could write about a new sim every month! So you can imagine how excited I was to come across this sim after such a drought of simulation advancement!

I haven't seen a sim with so much potential in over a decade! Great job so far. I have some feedback below. I know some of this is already in the in the works, and some of it's going to take time, but just wanted to share my thoughts as someone who's been writing about flight simulators since the 1980s, and has seen how the market has changed over the years. I fully know that prioritizing customer feedback has to be balanced with the realities of marketing and bringing in new customers -- and how companies listening too much to the most vocal users in the past helped push sims into a tiny niche. But hopefully you'll find something useful in the brain dump below! smile.png

Also, one quick thing to add: I'd seriously consider branding the mobile and PC versions slightly differently, as I know some users dismissed the PC version as being just a mobile game ported over. The mobile game is super-impressive given the platform, but the PC version obviously IS more advanced, so maybe brand the PC version Aerofly FS 2 Professional or something? (Though I bought the mobile version and all the add-ons and it's really impressive on my iPad Pro 12.9!)

Bugs:
• Fuel gauge never changes when flying F/A-18 in afterburner.
• Clouds rotate when you change angle of attack or look up/down
• Some shimmering polygons on tops of mountains in Switzerland in VR. (GTX 1080, Win 10 Anniversary, Oculus Rift.)

Some cool features that would be pretty easy to add:
• Ability to turn off the engine (so you can practice dead-stick landings)
• An external camera that's not as rock-solid as the current one, but is just subtly shaky or delayed so it feels like someone is in another plane filming you. Those make external views feel so much more realistic. The "6" view is close, but too "solid," like the camera is on rails. Check out the F2 view in IL-2: Battle of Stalingrad for a nice external camera view that isn't overdone, but feels realistic.
• Ability to set fuel load
• Local time. UTC calculations are annoying when you get as far away as the USA

Key Features I'd like to see eventually:
• AI Air traffic, particularly around airports!
• Air Traffic Control 
• Night lighting on the photoscenery textures
• APIs for third-party planes, scenery, and maybe stuff like weather/air traffic. That's going to be the key for pulling the FSX/P3D crowd over. 
• Storms and really bad weather. Morning fog over rivers.

Other nice-to-have features:
• G-force effects in high-performance planes
• Settable and random system failures
• Emergency scenarios
• Multiplayer

Wishlist for paid add-ons:
• Pacific Northwest US/British Columbia scenery
• Hawaii scenery
• Alaska Scenery
• Space Shuttle landing (your Edwards AFB looks so good, a Shuttle gliding in would be awesome)
• Carrier ops (this could be a paid add-on)

Things I noticed that I love, so this isn't just a list of wants, but also a thanks for a great job!
• The planes look spectacular. Sounds are great too!
• Turbulence! I've never flown in a small plane and had it feel like it's on rails like in MSFS. Love how Aerofly FS 2 planes actually bump around a bit.
• The VR. Wow. It's amazing. My favorite thing for my Oculus Rift. It's so good.
• You guys did an amazing job on the scenery. Hopefully we'll get moving traffic (at least lights at night) and stuff later, but what an amazing start!
• On my first PC it picked up almost all the settings automatically for my Logitech G940. It was nice to only have to program a few things!
• Frame rate is much better than other sims on both my monitor and Oculus, despite all the detail here
• Excellent sense of speed
• The Grand Canyon. Wow.
• Hit airbrakes in the Corsair and the front wheels extend -- nice attention to detail!

Anyway, super-excited to see what you guys have coming down the road!

And thanks for making my Oculus Rift purchase worthwhile!

 

 

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 From the writer of the article --

• Turbulence! I've never flown in a small plane and had it feel like it's on rails like in MSFS. Love how Aerofly FS 2 planes actually bump around a bit.

 

Guess he hasn't flown in small planes much.....

 

Sometimes, they're just too smooth. A real lack of sense of motion. Even when doing 200+ in a small aircraft.  And of course, there is always those times for turbulence.  But the idea of constant air movement, moving the plane in different directions, is pure misconception. It really does get smoother than even a train on rails. 

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Guess he hasn't flown in small planes much.....

 

Sometimes, they're just too smooth. A real lack of sense of motion. Even when doing 200+ in a small aircraft.  And of course, there is always those times for turbulence.  But the idea of constant air movement, moving the plane in different directions, is pure misconception. It really does get smoother than even a train on rails. 

Yup.  I agree.  They are normally very stable.   

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You guys have not flown in Iowa much then, all my daytime flights in the 150 were bumpy and sometimes a roller coaster. Nights were generally like glass but those cornfields on a hot summer day can make like an amusement ride. 

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Agree to all the comments HiFlyer. This 64 bit sim really has the potential to go to the top quickly. I for one am tired of running into VAS issues and out of memory errors with P3D as I was with FSX. Even last night flying with Flyinside and P3D I had an out of memory error . I'd like to move on from the endless tweaking to just get the sim not to suck.

 

This has great potential as a platform and with the SDKs available the next level is waiting. I'm patient. It took 64-bit X-Plane quite a while as well to get some decent programs for ATC and traffic AI (though traffic AI is still well behind MyTraffic/UT on P3D/FSX), airports, quality aircraft with full functionality, etc.

 

And the Oculus implentation -  what a great quick move by the developers because to me this is the future of flightsimming.

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   Maybe it's just my cynicism interfering, but the above article reads like a "aerofly dreamer's" wishlist. Not that everything on the list wouldn't be appreciated. I just think that there are much more important "features" missing.

 

just my .02c

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You guys have not flown in Iowa much then, all my daytime flights in the 150 were bumpy and sometimes a roller coaster. Nights were generally like glass but those cornfields on a hot summer day can make like an amusement ride. 

Since I had the whole Mountain West, from the Grand Canyon to the south, to Yellowstone northward, can't think of any reason I'd want to fly over Iowa.  :smile:  Never the less, I did live next to the airport, had my own plane there, and was able to pick out very nice days to go flying. The mornings could be seriously calm. A return flight in the early afternoon would usually get bumpy as the earth heats. Later in the evening could be relaxing again.

 

Point is, there is an assumption, for many simmers, that the plane is always moving in different directions. They farther believe, that the pilot is always making small corrections, because they see the stick or yoke moving. In reality, our hands just move, because the flight surfaces are actually moving the yoke/stick. We just ride it out. If needed, by all means, pick up a wing with aileron, if it dips too much.  

 

MSFS just defaults to a smooth ride. Turbulence can be added. It's not riding on rails.  As far as I'm concerned, anytime some says it, then they don't know what they're talking about. I also don't like computer programmed "dutch roll", where the nose is yawing side to side, or constant aileron trim, with power changes,  due to faulty "torque" flight dynamics, like X-Plane had in the past.  This made some simmers believe that X-Plane was more of a challenge, that X-Plane must be more realistic, and therefor, MSFS was truly like riding on rails.

 

edit -- directions

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You really can't tell simmers something other than what they believe. I had a website once called rcwarbirds.com and had advisors such as a real Air Force Cornell that flew P-47's and Mustangs in WWII. This great gentleman also flew Jane's WWII Fighters sim and whipped all our a**'s online. 

 

He told me that for some reason all sim developers think that the early prop fighters were a handful and stalled and snapped on a whim. He tried to tell them that they flew smooth and easy and had no real nasty habits but no one would listen and some even claimed he just forgot over the years. 

 

Point is a real pilot cannot make a sim pilot understand.. You have to have flown real yourself to understand. I did the first time up in my buddies 150. After that I wanted to delete FSX because there was no way, and never will be a way to replicate the real forces acting on a real airplane. 

 

I love my sims and no longer fly real and have come to terms with the vast differences between real life and virtual life. 

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like riding on rails

 

I got to thinking, after reading this thread, that using the statement 'riding on rails' to describe an artificially smooth experience is actually a bit silly. I've ridden on quite a few 'rails', and depending on quite a few factors such as age, usage, quality, ballast, etc, rails can be pretty darn bumpy. :wink:

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Some people just can't accept that some other people prefer the flight dynamics of other simulators (be it Aerofly, Condor Soaring, IL2, etc.) than FSX's one. :wink:

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