Chock

A bigger problem with our memory than VAS...

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I think we are all guilty of sometimes forgetting what flight simulation is about, to the extent that it's prudent to occasionally step back from the constant tweaking and remember what it is we are trying to achieve; i.e. the simulation of flight, as opposed to the simulation of a pretty landscape.

Yes it is nice to have both, but when the ability to perform a flight from A to B in our simulator isn't even possible due to a VAS crash, because we were more bothered about a pretty field below us than a realistic emulation of an aeroplane in flight, we would do well to remember what we are trying to simulate. So when our PMDG Boeing 737s or FSL A320s start dinging away, warning us that we are out of VAS, don't blame them, recall that what we longed for above all back when a Commodore 64 and the Macintosh SE were the pinnacle of home computing, was a realistically simulated aeroplane we could fly at home, and we've got that now if we are prepared to accept that it may require a bit of a compromise to use it. Because don't forget...

When we were flying over terrain which looked like this. We never worried about VAS, we were too busy enjoying ourselves:

640full-microsoft-flight-simulator-4.0-s

Less tweaking, more flying! Happy landings. :biggrin:

 

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Doesn't matter what versions of FS we flew over the years, the point is, our shiny PMDG Jumbo will happily fly if we accept that when we turn down the graphics a bit, it will make it all the way to touchdown. Every version of FS has always required us to turn the graphics down a bit, the need to do so these days is nothing new. :cool:

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I thought it was amazing what computers were capable of then and could spend hours flying around with - that.     It's amazing how you can be presented with a stick figure of something and how comprehensively your mind is capable of filling in the rest - if you are willing to believe it.

 

 

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25 minutes ago, Chock said:

Doesn't matter what versions of FS we flew over the years, the point is, our shiny PMDG Jumbo will happily fly if we accept that when we turn down the graphics a bit, it will make it all the way to touchdown. Every version of FS has always required us to turn the graphics down a bit, the need to do so these days is nothing new. :cool:

Maybe not so much turning down graphics as it is restraining ourselves from buying too many add-ons.  If you were to compare those old days of FS with just green for land and blue for water, then these days, default terrain provided should be sufficient for the needs of those who want to fly, rather than creating an Ansel Adams portrait, to be plastered on every forum. :biggrin:

It took me quite a while to realize how jaded I was to what I perceived as the right way to set up a sim, buying several dd-ons to "fix" the dullness of default, when in reality, all I was doing was making more trouble for myself later on down the road. Those misconceptions, based on clever marketing, telling me "you too can have THIS!", and there I was, a stupid fool for buying into it and ultimately, getting depressed.  The last time I reinstalled P3D, I slimmed down my install, only installing and running what I needed to fly, rather than having those snappy, pretty visuals racing by.  I found a balance based on what I felt I needed and in turn, my sim runs perfectly fine.

We are all tempted by the concept of having the most realism in a sim (why not, right?), mainly due to those beefy rigs we have at our desk and thinking that we can install anything and the rig can take it. Through all of that though, we overlooked what is really needed, and you touched on that so eloquently, where compromise must enter into the final solution, as well as being well informed with accurate, fact-based proof, in order to maximize the enjoyment of the sim.

With that advent of emerging sims in a 64-bit environment, it does open up our options a little more, but if we stick to the mantra you outlined above, then even when 64-bit is the norm, we won't have to exercise disappointment when our "you can see his nosehairs" scenery, no longer runs right, and that's a fear I have for the future of flight simulation.  When 64-bit catches on, developers are going to push the limits, we'll keep buying into ti, and then we'll be right back where we started from.

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Yup, FS (and it's derivatives) are old, the sledgehammer to crack a walnut approach with hardware is not going to change that any more than bolting a rocket to the back of a Model T Ford is going to stop it from being a Model T Ford. The fact that we have to have PCs which even most ardent FPS gamers would regard as overkill, just to get a half decent frame rate out of the thing is proof enough of that.

Dragging FS kicking and screaming into 64 Bit land will surely be an improvement, but it won't be the magic bullet which makes it start looking like Call of Duty on steroids, running at 300 fps with every add-on you can buy jammed into the thing, especially when developers start pushing the envelope again, and we know they will when we give 'em enough rope to hang themselves lol, which is exactly what making it 64 Bit will do.

It's as well to remember that nobody is going to sit down in a Level D simulator and complain about it not having 64x full screen ant-aliasing, a 400 mile draw distance and 128 Bit 4096 pixel cloud textures lol.

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52 minutes ago, ErichB said:

I thought it was amazing what computers were capable of then and could spend hours flying around with - that.     It's amazing how you can be presented with a stick figure of something and how comprehensively your mind is capable of filling in the rest - if you are willing to believe it.

 

 

Exactly, i started with fs4 and that was my first "experience" with being a "pilot", something i wanted to be from like 5 years old. I remember finding out about flaps, i didn't know what flaps were, never heard of them, i didn't know about feet or knots, i didn't know the instruments, or vor's, ndb's, etc. It was a wonderfull new world full of secrets and new discoveries every day. And never have i experienced that same thrill again, with not one later version of any flightsimulator. I can still hear the sound of that simmering engine in the Cessna spinning.

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Agree wholeheartedly Chock. I spent untold hours flying in that green and blue environment with the wireframe buildings. Started with Sublogic and a Commodore 64 and worked my up the chain of MSDOS based machines with every version of Flight Simulator that came along. It was a nice ride.

When I was the computer administrator for my department, I also used FS to text the compatibility of components and software as it was one of the most complex pieces of software at the time. I would test almost every component in the box, graphics, hdd, memory, and cpu. Much fun.

 

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I had loads of fun with of "Microsoft Flight Simulator As Real As it Gets".  It was a monster, requiring 25MB of disk space if you loaded up everything.  I thought it was for WIn 95, but after looking at the install guide, plain old MS-DOS was required.  I know I used some earlier version, just can't remember which one, but I still have the CD to this one.

Compared to that, FSX is a beauty.

 

 

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I probably go back as far as you with flightsim and it's always been a great hobby, I remember many a happy hour with my Amiga 500. However, as things have progressed, I have been ever more wanting of low and slow with fantasic realistic outside visuals, no not ORBX please!

So what I'm saying is it's each to their own, you're happy with your complexities, I'm happy with my visuals, it's al part of the same excellent hobby just taken in different directions.

Have fun and enjoy whichever way you go.

Phil

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Hopefully it wont be too much longer for us to be able to kiss the " lower the sliders" solution goodbye -- hello 64-bit. Those of us who can buy power systems often will be the most happy, the rest still have a very alive FS9/FSX community to join or remain in.

I personally still occasionally fly in FS1 thru FSX, MS Flight, XP 11, but P3D 3.4 is my main sim currently.

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4 hours ago, Chock said:

I think we are all guilty of sometimes forgetting what flight simulation is about, to the extent that it's prudent to occasionally step back from the constant tweaking and remember what it is we are trying to achieve; i.e. the simulation of flight, as opposed to the simulation of a pretty landscape.

Yes it is nice to have both, but when the ability to perform a flight from A to B in our simulator isn't even possible due to a VAS crash, because we were more bothered about a pretty field below us than a realistic emulation of an aeroplane in flight, we would do well to remember what we are trying to simulate.

I disagree. What flight simulation is about is up to each different flight simmer. As I said in a previous post, from a certain point of view the most "natural" thing one should try to achieve in recreating real flight, is exactly the pretty landscape, i.e. the visual realism of the outside environment, atmosphere, etc. Then comes the flight model, the sounds, the interactions with the outside world (e.g. ATC), and lastly the simulation of complex systems.

I'm sure that the vast majority of real world pilots, have not started taking flight lessons because they loved to program an FMC someday, but because they loved seeing exactly that "pretty field below", the clouds up close, maneuvering the aircraft in the sky.

Even the "serious" simmers here are much more interested in "eye candy" than they themselves believe. PSX is more realistic than the PMDG 747, but 99% of serious simmers here use PMDG and not PSX, and that would be true even if the two had the same price. Why is that? That is exactly because PMDG+FSX can provide a lot more "eye candy" than PSX.

What sometimes bothers me, is the attitude that the "real" flight simulation is the one that prioritizes the realistic simulation of an aircraft systems, while on the other hand virtually flying for the visual aspect foremost (landscape, etc.) is some inferior form of "playing".

As a provocation, I say it's the exact way round. :smile: "Serious" simmers pretending to fly a complex airliner are actually just "playing" with a complex toy; instead someone using a VR headset and trying to achieve the most possible eye-candy in his flight sim, is actually pretty serious in trying to recreate as realistically as possible the most important feeling of a real flight...

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I think you're missing the point of what you quoted from me, where it says, 'it is nice to have both, but when the ability to perform a flight... etc'.

In other words, I'm not saying it isn't nice at all to have gorgeous visuals if you can manage it, but if a PC cannot manage it because it is those which are causing the problem, then live without for example, anti-aliasing or a larger draw distance or whatever, so that the simulator runs okay instead of chasing something which is beyond the capability of that PC system, so you spend more time enjoying it and less time tweaking to try and achieve something which can be forgone without changing the experience too drastically.

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I agree totally however, let everyone have what they want, if full systems turn some people on, thet them have it, so be it,  no need to get worked up about it, we like the view out of the glass, let's enjoy what we enjoy!

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"Knowing is half the battle"

The very first time I ever used a flight simulator, was in high school ROTC, where we had a IBM-type pc setup in the classroom, using a very early version of MS Flight Simulator, and the only places we could fly were from Meigs Field, Chicago, an aircraft carrier somewhere in the middle of nowhere and Windsor Lock, CT.  Sure, the thrill of controlling an aircraft with a flightstick was cool, then firing missles and other mundane things were neat too...it was a sim!  Much much later on, I got back into flight simulation with the intent of learning it as a hobby, not too dissimilar to HAM radio operators or RC airplanes, in that you can get various experiences out of it and you can take it as far as you like.  I take flight simulation seriously, because not only can I "see my house from there", but understand what it takes to get a beast of an airliner on the ground without crashing.  Since I got back into it, in a more serious fashion (while still maintaining it as a hobby), I enjoy real life flying even more because I know how the operations work, what goes on while you're sitting in 2A, sipping champagne, I know why we need to sit on the taxiway...it's things like that, that I have a better understanding of.  As it is today, flight simulation has come a long way and we can now have different experiences, based on our own desires and we are in complete control of them.  I don't begrudge someone the opportunity to create really cool flight photos or someone who is part of a VA.  It's our choices that help shape flight simulation to what it is today.  If it weren't for the nitpicking of night lighting or if tire pressures weren't up to spec, then the simulation would quickly be re-branded just another game. :biggrin:

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