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So..... I was wondering.....

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Just something that was rolling around in my head.

 

During the lead-up to Flight School, DTG asked potential purchasers exactly what they wanted from a new sim.

 

In aggregate, I felt that the majority of the replies (maybe it was just me) added up to pretty much "FSX but moreso"

 

Now we have Xplane11, which pretty much covers the vast majority of user requests.

 

So now I wonder a bit. In a world where P3D also exists, whats the usage argument for another iteration of ESP, and what can DTG do to create a product that's not an instant also-ran?

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I think there is still room for DTG to create something different, that doesn't compete directly against P3D with its established add-on market, or XP11 with its new tech and growing add-on market. I hope they can pull this off, because some solid competition would be good for both P3D and XP11.

 

My suggestion would be to focus only on light GA flying at first. Forget airliners, forget AI-filled major airports and forget fancy ATC, because there's no way they're going to compete with what's in P3D now and what's coming to XP11 in that area. Make a sim oriented to flying the fun, smaller planes. Build in a great weather engine that doesn't need an add-on to look good, and include seasonal terrain (both a major weakness in XP11). 

 

Finally, focus heavily on providing canned missions the user can fly, like basic training, aerial photography, SAR, etc. Give a newcomer to flight sims some hand-holding and direction, so they don't sit on the runway and think "what now?" Don't get silly with flying hoops in the air, but include a lot of built-in things to do in a directed way. Include a mission editor so users can create and share their own custom missions. Make the first DLC a cargo game, something like FSEconomy or Air Hauler that uses the initially small stable of planes to good effect.

 

I know this sounds perilously close to MS Flight and what DTG tried to do with Flight School. But it's a direction they could go to set DTG Flight sim apart from the two 800 lb Gorillas in the room -- P3D and XP11. Although I enjoy flying X-Plane, I'd buy a DTG Flight Sim that let me fly a few interesting canned missions once in a while.

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Interesting. That's a pretty narrow line to walk between the existing sims......

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My suggestion would be to focus only on light GA flying at first. Forget airliners, forget AI-filled major airports and forget fancy ATC, because there's no way they're going to compete with what's in P3D now and what's coming to XP11 in that area. Make a sim oriented to flying the fun, smaller planes. Build in a great weather engine that doesn't need an add-on to look good, and include seasonal terrain (both a major weakness in XP11). 
 
Finally, focus heavily on providing canned missions the user can fly, like basic training, aerial photography, SAR, etc. Give a newcomer to flight sims some hand-holding and direction, so they don't sit on the runway and think "what now?" Don't get silly with flying hoops in the air, but include a lot of built-in things to do in a directed way. Include a mission editor so users can create and share their own custom missions. Make the first DLC a cargo game, something like FSEconomy or Air Hauler that uses the initially small stable of planes to good effect.
 
I know this sounds perilously close to MS Flight

 

Exactly! And they got it in front of  their eyes right away, just do it the Flight way!

 

-eelis-

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Following the flight school experience I think DTG pretty much put their flight sim on the back burner. What can they offer that is different? Tons of very expensive DLCs and small maps aka train sim 17/ world. Xpl 11 will probably do quite well but look how long it has taken for them to get where they have. I can't see a DTG flight sim being any better than P3D, XPl, DCS or Aerofly 2. Whether it's 32 or 64bit isn't the point. To make a mark it would have to be sooooooooooooooo much better than any of them. And I don't think that's reality.

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If DTG decides to bail out of the civilian market rather than go head-to-head with P3D and XP11, then I have another suggestion besides the mission-based sim I mentioned earlier:

 

Go into air combat!  :smile:

 

The historical air combat genre is stagnant right now, with 777 focusing on the Eastern Theater and the only other major options being arcade games like War Thunder. I think there is a lot of pent-up interest for a major combat sim focused on Battle of Britain, or WW2 Pacific, or a new Mig Alley.

 

Even if updated FSX code might not be quite as good as what 777 and DCS are doing now, you don't need perfection to make a popular air combat sim. There has been too much focus in recent years on study sims, and not enough on what made the classic combat sims of the past. Like dynamic campaigns, which everyone seems to have forgotten how to program.

 

If DTG wants to actually make money, instead of fighting an uphill battle for respect and acceptance in the civilian world, maybe this is the path to take.

 

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Its interesting that there seems to be almost a taboo against military simulation in the civilian community.

 

And part and parcel of that is a pretty aggressive commitment towards non-violence in simulation, (try starting a damage model thread that doesn't go south)

 

Also, I vaguely remember something in the DTG mission statement (or somewhere) that mentions non-violent entertainment.

 

If my memory is correct, that might effectively block that path, as well.

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My suggestion would be to focus only on light GA flying at first. Forget airliners, forget AI-filled major airports and forget fancy ATC, because there's no way they're going to compete with what's in P3D now and what's coming to XP11 in that area.

Stunned... OMG, amazing how quickly memories fade. If you've forgotten the sheer hate and vitriol that MS Flight encountered from many users on this very website I suggest a quick review of the Flight archive sub-forum to remind you. Please note that I'm not against the concept as I loved Flight, even more so once it was subsequently possible to import the whole world from FSX.

 

If DTG went down that route then really they should start from the Flight code, which was of course an evolution of the FSX code, in the first place. DTG have however started with the FSX code as they were already familiar with it. At this stage, on financial and timescale grounds, they have to stick with that approach. Equally I believe that DTG have no choice but to go down the route of offering some sort of commercial aircraft even if only one or two.

 

DTG Martin has tried to give DTG as much as leeway as possible in the timing of when stuff will arrive in DTFS but I think they need to offer dual prop, dual jet as a minimum in their initial release. Whether or not dual jet gets as large as A320 or 738 or just business jet sized is another matter.

 

I will not be at all surprised if the initial release fails to meet expectations and has performance and scenery issues. What I'll be more interested in will be the improvement from Flight School. Just my thoughts.

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Stunned... OMG, amazing how quickly memories fade. If you've forgotten the sheer hate and vitriol that MS Flight encountered from many users on this very website I suggest a quick review of the Flight archive sub-forum to remind you. Please note that I'm not against the concept as I loved Flight, even more so once it was subsequently possible to import the whole world from FSX.

 

Nah, I remember the reaction all too well, which is why I said "perilously close" to Flight.  :smile:

 

Flight died because Microsoft had a short-sighted design. Too many 2D cockpit planes, too limited a flying area, and trying to do it all in-house without the 3rd party ecosystem that supported FSX. It was a half-hearted effort, like they weren't really interested in it. Or maybe the funding just wasn't there, with Microsoft focused more on Xbox game development during that period. 

 

There are plenty of lessons to be learned in making something similar but better, and avoiding direct competition with P3D and X-Plane. Start small, and grow it out from there. 

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Cant imagine what the competition against p3d really is though. It is not in the same target or price segment, will never draw most users and become mainstream. Furthermore it is more of a professional usage oriented software so more of reliability/optimization directed than expansion/creative development as in a next gen sim. Due to stagnation of ESP years ago XP11 now somewhat surpassed in graphics and scenery department but it has much to go in other areas to draw preference. Doesn't look like DTG has much competition at present, the question is whether they are actually interested and able in involving with the core niche market and their interests or just casual short term arcade oriented gamers. The recent "what you want from the new sim" campaign for FS2016 was not a promising sign in this regard, it looked kind of superficial. Perhaps the delay and silence that has followed says it all.

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Start small, and grow it out from there.

 

That's what Flight was all about, most of you just didn't give it time to grow.

And now, that Flight has all the world to explore and few more planes (yes, with cockpits, thanks to Stonelance and few other talented persons) to fly, it's unbeatable. 

 

-eelis-

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