Chock

A bigger problem with our memory than VAS...

Recommended Posts

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:

 

  • Upvote 8

Share this post


Link to post
Help AVSIM continue to serve you!
Please donate today!

Never flew in that simulator before, so don't know what that would have been like.

Share this post


Link to post

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:

Share this post


Link to post

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.

 

 

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
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.

Share this post


Link to post

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.

Share this post


Link to post
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.

Share this post


Link to post

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.

 

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post

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.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post

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

Share this post


Link to post

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.

Share this post


Link to post
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...

  • Upvote 2

Share this post


Link to post

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.

Share this post


Link to post

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!

Share this post


Link to post

"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:

Share this post


Link to post
1 hour ago, Chock said:

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.

The reasoning is correct but subjective, again it depends on which is the order of priorities for each simmer.

Someone could write a post like yours but looking at it from a different side, e.g.:

"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 flying above the earth, as opposed to the simulation of managing some complex hydro-electronic system.

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 programming some numbers in the FMC than a realistic simulation of the landscape below us, we would do well to remember what we are trying to simulate."

It's as valid as your post, but looking at the issue from the opposite side. :smile:

My point is that suggesting to give up some "eye candy" for the sake of complex systems is equivalent to suggesting to give up some aircraft complexity for the sake of having the most possible realistic scenery. Neither one is more "correct" than the other, they're subjective choices.

Share this post


Link to post

When flying with FMC one has a lot of time to look outside.
The approach the same, and of course one likes a good/perfect airport to look at untill 200 ft..

But, when really flying, and trying good airmanship, and get away from FMC, and just try visual or VOR/DME
approach, then the real work starts, and seeing nice airports isnt there due to workload.

Thus, I discovered recently flying with FS9 and a buttload of addon airports, I didnt saw anything of it during
the approach, nor the takeoff. And there was the catch.

 I realised with FSX, default airports, ORBX textures, I had enough. Add a good airplane, like the A2A connie or the CS L1011, and I was set. Heavy workload, no time to skim around the scenery, (almost during cruise.. updating INS, tracking
VOR's) I didnt missed detailed airports at approach and after landing, way too busy.

So, ergo, a good immersive plane, with default airports, and better textures (no FSX yellow) is best. Good FPS also.

Less is really more.

I wonder how many FMC flyers really can fly.. manual, dme circle approaches etc ?
They would be stuck and paniced when the FMC is shut off ?

Share this post


Link to post
18 minutes ago, Johan_Dees said:

But, when really flying, and trying good airmanship, and get away from FMC, and just try visual or VOR/DME
approach, then the real work starts, and seeing nice airports isnt there due to workload.

The bias is evident in some key words you're all using. For example, when you say "when really flying", you're automatically assuming that managing a complex aircraft without having time to look at the scenery, is somehow more "real flying" than someone who's casually buzzing aloft in AeroflyFS2.

I tried to explain that someone could look at it from a different side, and think that maneuvering over photorealistic scenery in AeroflyFS2 is vastly more "real flying" than managing a complex airliner using a less advanced rendering engine.

Who is right? Of course both, and that is exactly my point. It's great that many of you find great pleasure in flying the likes of PMDG 747, not having visual realism as the first priority.

Just don't pretend that somehow, you're engaged in some kind of "more real" flying or a more "serious" simmer compared to someone having fun in AeroflyFS2...

 

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
6 minutes ago, Murmur said:

The bias is evident in some key words you're all using. For example, when you say "when really flying", you're automatically assuming that managing a complex aircraft without having time to look at the scenery, is somehow more "real flying" than someone who's casually buzzing aloft in AeroflyFS2.

I tried to explain that someone could look at it from a different side, and think that maneuvering over photorealistic scenery in AeroflyFS2 is vastly more "real flying" than managing a complex airliner using a less advanced rendering engine.

Who is right? Of course both, and that is exactly my point. It's great that many of you find great pleasure in flying the likes of PMDG 747, not having visual realism as the first priority.

Just don't pretend that somehow, you're engaged in some kind of "more real" flying or a more "serious" simmer compared to someone having fun in AeroflyFS2...

 

I agree with you fully, I've said very simular things using different words,  if someone want's to play at being a 747 captain good luck to them, in reality, I've more chance in achieving my goal at of flying a Piper Cub, there's room for us all.

Share this post


Link to post

My first try at flight simulator was on my daughters commodore 64 in the 70s just a couple of gauges and white lines for graphics :biggrin:

Share this post


Link to post
5 hours ago, philmurfin said:

I agree with you fully, I've said very simular things using different words,  if someone want's to play at being a 747 captain good luck to them, in reality, I've more chance in achieving my goal at of flying a Piper Cub, there's room for us all.

I think you've just proved Chock's point. Both in the sim and in reality, flying a real Cub (or any of A2A's single engine prop jobs in the sim with settings turned to max) is much more readily achievable than any of us ever getting in the left (or right) seat of a jetliner. A PPL is within reach of most of us and both FSX and P3D (with the various add-ons available) can give us a very realistic rendering of the world outside your Cessna / Piper / etc windows and allow you to practice your flying skills and comms (especially with Pilot Edge).

For the rest of us wannabe four stripers we have to make a choice between eye candy and systems (including the flight model). At FL350 on a clear day you will not be seeing very much detail down below. What does catch your attention is the light-shadow interplay on the various cloud formations. Despite the latest and greatest weather engine offerings and texture progs that still hasn't been achieved in either sim. And on approach to one's destination I very much doubt that either one of the guys in the pointy end of the tube are much bothered by how pretty the world outside looks when they are concentrating on getting 300+ pax on the ground in safety and on time.

It comes down to a choice we have to make. Low, slow and very realistic views (VFR mainly with some IFR thrown in for good measure) or high and fast and simulating a day in the life of a airliner aircrew. It really is an either / or situation. And 64-bit is not the magic bullet.

Cheers.

Share this post


Link to post
21 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. 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:

 

Alan...

That looks a good Flight Sim. Any idea whether it's a scam ? I might buy it...

Seriously, I recall that 'jaw dropping moment' many moons ago in that version when planning my flight from O'hare to Champagne, navigating via VORs. Performing the correct approaches, setting up for Champage ILS - fantastic.

My jaw dropped when I saw, for the first time, the legend displayed VERTICALLY on the side of a building for the first time in FS - I thought wow - these programming aces are BRILLIANT !

It became one of my favourite flights for a long time...

..and then being able to fly THROUGH two hangars for the first time - near the Bay area. Wow !

(I still am lucky enough not to have any OOMs - even with the FSL 'bus)

Regards
Bill

Share this post


Link to post

Good quality scenery is extremely important to me. Whilst I accept that we are trying to simulate the flight characteristics of various aircraft, if the scenery I was flying over was not acceptable to me, then I would not be able to use the simulator. That might sound daft to some flight simmers, but good quality scenery is imperative for my overall enjoyment. I fly around at altitudes of less than 5000 feet at all times, so the outside view needs to look good!!

That screenshot of an early version of Microsoft Flight Simulator is interesting. It is no great secret that I thought that the "textured terrain" graphics in FS5 were rubbish. I personally think that Microsoft should have stuck with coloured vector graphics, increased the number of 3D objects on screen, and combined that with the global terrain mesh model. It would have looked a damn sight better than the shimmering garbage that my eyes had to endure when I fired up FS5 way back in 1993 :blink:

Share this post


Link to post

Thanks, guys. This is probably one of the best threads I've read for a long time.

Yes, we do get caught up with eye candy. This was really brought home when, at our Young Falcons Academy, 95 kids every 2nd Saturday, where we are using FS9 on our vintage machines, with our local scenery added on, we have an MB326 simulator, known as an "Impala' trainer here in South Africa, built into a real chassis, a twin seater with 2 screens in each position, 1x for scenery, the other for the panel.

One of the kids had turned off the scenery screen, & was doing IRF flights. So, often we do get carried away & forget what FS9 gave us. Great fun, good flight models & total immersion.

Share this post


Link to post
Quote

  16 hours ago, Murmur said:

The bias is evident in some key words you're all using. For example, when you say "when really flying", you're automatically assuming that managing a complex aircraft without having time to look at the scenery, is somehow more "real flying" than someone who's casually buzzing aloft in AeroflyFS2.

I tried to explain that someone could look at it from a different side, and think that maneuvering over photorealistic scenery in AeroflyFS2 is vastly more "real flying" than managing a complex airliner using a less advanced rendering engine.

Who is right? Of course both, and that is exactly my point. It's great that many of you find great pleasure in flying the likes of PMDG 747, not having visual realism as the first priority.

Just don't pretend that somehow, you're engaged in some kind of "more real" flying or a more "serious" simmer compared to someone having fun in AeroflyFS2...

 

I agree with you fully, I've said very simular things using different words,  if someone want's to play at being a 747 captain good luck to them, in reality, I've more chance in achieving my goal at of flying a Piper Cub, there's room for us all.

I couldn't agree more.

I love to do both with P3D; flying the complex tube liner or strolling low and slow and enjoying the landscape - and all without OOMs. And it's so easy. We have all the tools at hand to customize the sim according our needs. FSUIPC lets us measure the remaining VAS, and setting up different configurations for graphics and scenery complexity only requires a bit of trial and error (something we flight simmers anyway like to do, isn't it :wink:). Once I found and saved configurations for the sweet spots I only have to choose between two different settings, and off I go. No debate needed on which type of flying is the right type. It's always: everyone to his taste.

Cheers and clear skies
Frank

Share this post


Link to post

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