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What is it and how do we define it? 

How do replicate the feel of flying to a desktop simulator?

One would think that the MSFS dev team had to ask themselves this question when beginning the new simulator.

A realistic looking world would be one and that includes weather, scenery and lighting.

Realistic looking / operating aircraft would be another.

But the feeling of flying when we're stuck at a motionless desk, how do we reproduce that.

For me it would be those brief few moments when the wings take the weight of the aircraft at rotation and you see and get a feeling of flight in the fluid medium of air as the aircraft gathers itself.

I only see this for those precious fleeting few seconds in X-Plane.

To see and feel the squirminess (for lack of a better word) of the aircraft moving in pitch, roll and yaw and how P Factor and wind affects the aircraft at the lower airspeed envelope. 

When I fly an aircraft in the real world, takeoff is the most exciting as that transition from the ground to the air is beyond exhilarating.

How can the MSFS dev team reproduce this?

How would you define realism or what makes a sim realistic to you?

 

 

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Other times I talk about graphics, or weather... But now I’m going to talk Dynamic, breathing airports.

I mean, I want to feel how airports are alive, how vehicles go to make their tasks (pushbacks making pushbacks, operations guiding, ground crews, shuttles, de icing...), how AI traffic populates the airport in a smart way (realistic traffic density, app and dep routes), jetways docking, some specific AI traffic on the airport surroundings (shuttle buses, taxis, emergency vehicles...). 

And probably I’m forgiving tons of things. I mean. Just imagine one high density airport of your choice, and now think what you miss from it in a sim. Apart of the building models (Which is also important, I’m bored of the same airport buildings all over the world). Now I’ve Frankfurt airport in my mind, but there are thousands of examples.

I know, maybe I’m asking for too much, but that’s the change I would like to see. A true dynamic and living world... a true change from what we have now. That is realism for me... 

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3 hours ago, skully said:

But the feeling of flying when we're stuck at a motionless desk, how do we reproduce that.

I have a friend who used to do programming for the sims at a major airline. Pre-9/11, she used to bring me in some evenings to go flying with her. Sometimes we'd get lucky and there would be a bored instructor who would come in with us -- then we could go up on motion and really have fun.

But most of the times, no instructor was around, so she was only authorized to run the sim with the motion turned off. Interestingly, while you didn't get the amazing acceleration sensation when you pushed the throttles forward, once you lifted off you still got fooled into feeling like you were flying. And this was like I said, pre-2001, so the graphics you saw out the window weren't exactly stunning. But that didn't matter - you still felt like you were flying more than you ever do even with really beautiful eye candy in P3d or DCS.

That convinced me that a big part of the secret is to eliminate any reference that tells you you aren't flying. And that makes sense, because if you've ever seen a flying movie in an Omnitheater, the same thing happened - you feel like you're moving even though you aren't.

 

Making that concept work at home used to exclusively mean you needed several monitors and an enclosed simpit where the only external visual cues came from the sim running on the monitor. Even if you have a giant UHD TV as your monitor, as soon as you look to the left and you see a printer sitting on your desk, you know you're not flying. Now, of course, we have VR, but when I was looking into it awhile ago it's still not quite ready for flight sim prime time yet. Perhaps FS2020 can change that.

Either way, VR is the only way that FS2020 could fool you into thinking you were flying unless they sell a special edition that comes with an enclosed simpit. 😉

 

 

 

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Posted (edited)
23 minutes ago, eslader said:

Now, of course, we have VR, but when I was looking into it awhile ago it's still not quite ready for flight sim prime time yet. Perhaps FS2020 can change that.

I don't think the new sim will make any difference, no matter how well it incorporates VR. It's the VR hardware that needs to change and, in spite of what some people may say to the contrary, we're probably still a generation or two away from that. The sense of immersion may be good with current technology but the resolution and clarity are still way off what you'd get from a 4k monitor (or even a QHD monitor, in many cases).

Edited by vortex681
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I am reminded of a conversation that I had with the guy who's team painted the inside of our new house..  He explained that "the task is not to make the joints straight, but to make them look straight"..

That is true for flight simulation also IMHO.. it does not have to be "real", it has to look and feel "real".. :cool:

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7 hours ago, skully said:

What is it and how do we define it? 

On par with Zibo Mod.

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7 hours ago, eslader said:

if you've ever seen a flying movie in an Omnitheater, the same thing happened - you feel like you're moving even though you aren't.

A most excellent post, thanks.  Lots of very good points made.

 

6 hours ago, vortex681 said:

we're probably still a generation or two away

When I read that I thought you meant generation as in human generation, 20 years.  

The Reverb VR has pretty good resolution.  We're getting there.

I still have high hopes for a Microsoft/Asobo VR system that might help move VR into mainstream.  

What I'm looking for is not realism or immersion, it's suspension of disbelief:  you're no longer sitting at a computer, you're flying a real aircraft.  I've had that for a few seconds at a time and it is quite magical.  

Hook

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Posted (edited)

Two things:

1- As stated before, a world full of life like airports, trains, traffic, cars, animals...

2- How the camera moves in Virtual Cockpit: the main problem is camera is always too static and that is an immersion killer, which is not very difficult to resolve. Look at accufeel or XPRealistic addon which has head anticipation and touchdown effects, that's what we need to feel we are moving. If this can be made in current sims, it as to be present in MSFS. But from what I saw in the trailer, I am very optimistic that will be the case. Look at the trailer at 1min15s and 1min17s you can clearly see the point of view moving with inertia or G-forces and vibrations from the engine. It would be very immersive if turbulence effect is present in clouds too!

I think this vid just about sums it up

 

Edited by Noooch
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Posted (edited)
13 hours ago, Bert Pieke said:

I am reminded of a conversation that I had with the guy who's team painted the inside of our new house..  He explained that "the task is not to make the joints straight, but to make them look straight"..

That is true for flight simulation also IMHO.. it does not have to be "real", it has to look and feel "real".. :cool:

Well said Bert, this is exactly what I have been saying for ages. I think the closest you will ever come to that "real" feeling is with VR, it always amazes me when people try out my setup on the roller-coaster and end up getting motion sick. VR in IL2 and DCS really does take it to another level. Add VR to the experience above and you really start to push the envelope.

Edited by SierraHotel

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3 hours ago, Noooch said:

 

I think this vid just about sums it up

The only thing missing from that is the smell of vomit from the cabin... :) 

 

What is realism? Suspension of disbelief. An experience so immersive that you think you're there. Hence, you need excellent graphics, sounds and a living world. And to me, simulating every system of the aircraft is of less importance than having an aircraft that acts and behaves like it is flying in air, not on rails. Systems are all fine and dandy, but most of us fly single pilot and there are usability concerns as most of us have limited cockpit hardware. Using a mouse to operate a fully functional virtual cockpit is impossible to do in real time if realism is a concern. 

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Until a PC sim is able to reproduce both the actual feel of the aircraft, along with the actual motion, in full fidelity, along with an actual fully functioning cockpit, you can only get to a point. PC based sims are great for learning systems and procedures, but simply can't create a true stick and rudder experience.To be honest, even the multi million dollar simulators my airline use, still don't fully feel like the actual real airplane, despite the fact type ratings are issued on them. Anyone who has done an MV (maneuvers validation) test) in the SIM, which is required for getting a type rating will tell you that the real airplane does feel a bit different. Different enough to notice.... Especially during landings. 

While graphics, 4K, and a bunch of add-ons can make the sim more immersive, until we can have a full cockpit setup, with multi-axis movement and feedback, full realism will be a stretch.

 

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17 hours ago, vortex681 said:

I don't think the new sim will make any difference, no matter how well it incorporates VR. It's the VR hardware that needs to change and, in spite of what some people may say to the contrary, we're probably still a generation or two away from that.

Yeah, I agree that it will be nice when VR gets up to the resolution of today's monitors. But I don't think that'll make it *feel* any more real. The DC-9 sim that I "flew" in with my friend had, by modern standards, pretty lousy graphics because it was fairly old even back then. P3d with just a few scenery addons blows it out of the water from a visual perspective.

But you still really felt like you were flying because the immersion was there. Did it feel exactly like the real thing, per Busdriver's comment? Nah, probably not, but that's a secondary concern to home simmers. We'll be delighted if we feel like we're flying, even if the feeling of flying is slightly different than the flying feeling you get in the real plane. Most of us won't ever know the difference because we won't be lucky enough to pilot anything more interesting than whatever our local flying club owns, if that.

You could get a more immersive "feels like I'm flying" experience with VR goggles and FS4 level graphics than you could with bleeding edge graphics on a single flat monitor because you'd kill any visual reference that would tell you you aren't actually flying.

 

But you're right - if you want that feeling along with stellar graphics, right now you still need to build an enclosed simpit.

 

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If you crash your aircraft , it gets deleted from your SSD and you have to buy it again.

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It'll never feel like real life, but these are the things that help and the things I feel like sims are missing the most vs. my real life flying. 

1) Proper ground physics and a proper simulation of ground effect. Both XP and ESP based sims miss the marks on these in the opposite direction (one is too on rails feeling, the other way too unstable and all over the place). 

2) Better camera movement that can simulate things like turbulence, the feeling of lifting off, the feeling of a hard landing, etc. Both sims have decent plugins that do this, but having it native and more refined would be great. 

3) Graphics are always helpful in suspending disbelief. 

4) Better scaling of terrain/autogen + a realistic viewpoint. This is especially bad in ESP based sims. Just default the view to what you'd see in real life. Then give people the option to fish-eye things if they want. Even at 1.0 zoom in P3D, it's never really right and by the time you zoom in that much, texture sharpness becomes an issue. Trying to land with the scale of the runway all out of wack has always been a chief complaint of mine. 

5) Better visibility and weather representation. I'm talking more visually. One of the ways you spot cells in real life is simply looking out the window and seeing rain under a cloud bank. No sim, as far as I know, simulates that and rain only appears when you are physically in it. 

6) I really do think VR is going to make a big difference here as the technology improves. Support for VR is a must going forward. 

 

 

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The best thing MS could do to increase realism other than supporting VR, which is probably a foregone conclusion, is make a big industry push towards force-feedback controls so we can feel onset of buffet stall, onset of vortex ring state in helicopters, and all the rest. 

And not just chintzy plastic joysticks either. Although that might be a start with a MS-branded stick and yoke option to revitalize the market. I want a force-feedback version of my Thrustmaster Warthog joystick, with full sim support for things like trim release in helicopters. 

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1 hour ago, bonchie said:

One of the ways you spot cells in real life is simply looking out the window and seeing rain under a cloud bank. No sim, as far as I know, simulates that and rain only appears when you are physically in it.

Only FlightGear shows rain shafts. Would be great if MFS will do that.

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We have found that immersion works better than realism. 

In our 3 sims that we've built, real pilots, on landing, brace themselves in their seats, anticipating the touchdown bump.. And this is in FS2004, with freeware scenery.

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The first step towards realism is turning off the FPS indicator and go fly :wink: 

I don't have much immersion when it comes to my setup, but like most simmers I suspect, I try and get into a "mindset" that I'm about to fly a plane .. and heck, I do enjoy flightsimming all the same!

I have a single small monitor in front of me with the PC tower next to it and my peripheral vision takes in the room around me, before I turn to look away from the screen!

HOWEVER, when I landed the Carenado Cessna SkyMaster at Courchevel, forgetting to put the undercarriage down beforehand, the impact and the scraping sound genuinely shocked me for that split second until I realised that I'd done something in the sim which I never thought I would do, apart from possibly in a real plane with all the real workload going on for approach and landing (I'm not a real pilot...) . Occasionally real pilots forget to lower the gear, but I'm just flying the sim - I've never forgotten the gear, word not allowed! :blush:

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I personally would like to have the feeling of sitting in a dynamically working machine!  An airplane is subjected to many forces and wears out! Engines have different operational times, therefore different values, which are displayed in the cockpit! All this can also cause errors and MEL events and a little simulated maintenance on the ground would not be too bad, as some racing car simulations already have!

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15 minutes ago, Andiroto said:

I personally would like to have the feeling of sitting in a dynamically working machine!  An airplane is subjected to many forces and wears out! Engines have different operational times, therefore different values, which are displayed in the cockpit! All this can also cause errors and MEL events and a little simulated maintenance on the ground would not be too bad, as some racing car simulations already have!

Buy an a2a plane.. :wink:

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Just now, Andiroto said:

@Bert PiekeGood tip but is something like that also available for Heavys?

Do not know... airlines have a maintenance department, I would think..

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