Sign in to follow this  
Mace

What FS11 could look like...

Recommended Posts

I'm not used to post this kind of message, but I've been blast away by Bandai/Namco.I've downloaded the demo on my X360 and I can tell you it has all it should look like on DX9 type hardware... Dynamic HDR, realistic light scatering (missing in FS for a long time), incredible autogen (trees and buildings), lots of terrain (I know, less than FS but still...), realistic looking tile based texture (I find FSX look like a technical demo patchwork personally, not something like artistically crafted by an artistic director - I know I'll be flamed with this one LOL).http://www.acecombatsix.com/Again, I know perfectly well we are not talking about the same thing (same old same apple and oranges, combat arcade sim and real civilian flight simulator, etc...) Nevertheless, if only this could give some inspirations, for those with X360, download the small demo (300MB) and try it out. I've been trying avoiding missiles just to low level flight to see the textures and the polygons up close LOL!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Help AVSIM continue to serve you!
Please donate today!

I really agree that I hope that by the time we get to later version of FS that hardware has moved forward enough to allow enough headroom to give us graphics like this and still have realistic flight simulation.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

>http://www.acecombatsix.com/>>Again, I know perfectly well we are not talking about the same>thing (same old same apple and oranges, combat arcade sim and>real civilian flight simulator, etc...) Nevertheless, if onlyYes indeed stunning graphics and environment :-)Andr

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Given the pacific nature of my main vocation (priest), I've no real interest in combat flightsims, but I will going on record as saying that the graphics and lighting are outstanding!The video trailers have made that abundantly clear! ;)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

the XBox 360? What's in it that a computer can't have?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

>the XBox 360? What's in it that a computer can't have?Oh, nothing. I wasn't saying that at all.I was just pointing out that programs like Ace Combat have very simple arcade-style flight models.As they say in the 1UP preview:"Isaki also talked about how the team approaches the balance necessary to make it feel like you are flying all these sophisticated aircraft while keeping it a game that you can play without hours and hours of practice. He noted that no one thing makes it work. Instead, it's a combination of everything working together to keep you suspended in the game world. For instance, from going up in real planes they picked up on how much buffeting the wind can cause, and how loud it can be rushing by the canopy. When they worked these effects into the game it added another touch, but they didn't hit you with crippling crosswinds that would be overly difficult to fly through. Add to that the dynamic fight going on all around, with radio chatter reflecting your raids and you quickly get wrapped up in it all."So they have all their eggs in the graphics and sound baskets, and not in building a super-accurate depiction of flight. That takes a lot of extra processing that takes away from making it look that good.I don't doubt that if ACES was programming specifically for one hardware set (the 360) and didn't have to worry about things like crosswinds or real-world data coming into the sim, they could make something comparable.I was simply saying that I hope that by FS11, hardware is good enough so that we can get what we get now from FSX, plus graphics like Ace Combat 6. I'd be happy with that.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I find it more and more difficult to believe that simulating an aircraft is such a straining task with today's computer technology that graphical features generations old cannot be implemented. The hardware is here, the computer I'm typing on is more powerful than the Xbox in my living room. I know it's a different animal altogether, with having to have Windows running in the background, millions of different possible hardware/software configurations etc but even with that I simply don't think this a "hardware hasn't cought up" issue. I can't help but feel that FS has become a complicated mess of previous versions and backwards compatability fixes with "new" features like bloom just sort of jammed into this big pile of mush. Heck, look at what the OP, JeanLuc is doing with the AXP A320. From what it sounds like he's created a simulation of a very complex modern airliner and made it so the performance is very close to that of the default 172. And from what I understand how it works, he did that by moving the simulation part out of FS and into a separate entity. Now, using the same hardware, with just the right amount of ingenuity I would be able run the sim that gets, let's say 24 FPS with the PMDG 747 to 60 or 70 FPS with the same settings. And all of that is because of efficient programming.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That is exactly how I feel what has happened over the years with MSFS; just keep jamming stuff into a very old engine

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

the one hardware set. But I have a hard time believing that the difference between AceCombat's flight modeling and FSX's is greater in terms of computing power than the difference between the graphics... I mean, graphics have always been our main hog.My guess is that the flyable area is restricted. Although with jet fighters...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

>the one hardware set. But I have a hard time believing that>the difference between AceCombat's flight modeling and FSX's>is greater in terms of computing power than the difference>between the graphics... I mean, graphics have always been our>main hog.>My guess is that the flyable area is restricted. Although with>jet fighters...There are 15 "arenas" with 100 square km operational areas. They are handbuilt, of course, and loaded ahead of time.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Brian,are you sure about the 100 sq km number? That would be a circle with a radius of less than 6km/3.5mi. Sounds like flying a fighter jet in a phone booth? ;-)Cheers, Holger

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

>Hi Brian,>>are you sure about the 100 sq km number? That would be a>circle with a radius of less than 6km/3.5mi. Sounds like>flying a fighter jet in a phone booth? ;-)>>Cheers, HolgerI was pulling it from http://www.1up.com/do/previewPage?cId=3162962"That will be important because this Ace Combat also significantly enlarges the game both in geographical area and the amount going on at any point in the battle. Each of the 15 singleplayer stages come in at around 100 square kilometers of operational area. To further emphasize the sense of being a part in a larger battle, the pre-flight briefing lays out multiple potential objectives. As you tackle them the conflict steadily evolves in direct relationship to your actions. Depending on how the battle flows you may even receive distress calls from units in trouble which you then must decide whether to veer away from your current task to help them or not."

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm just taking my best guess at it. I could be completely wrong. It could be just that outdated methods have finally caught up with the engine.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This is a real wake up call to MS because this is really how FSX DX10 should look like. Its time to stop making excuses about FSX because this is what todays hardware can do. You can no longer say "but it's a flight simulator!". You can no longer say "but we do the whole world!", or "we do real flight models!", or just blame it on the hardware. It doesn't cut it any more. The fact is the FSX graphics engine is junk and its pointless to keep hacking it! So, will there be a new graphics engine in FS11? Of course not! It's too much work, too bigger "risk", and it just won't happen. So it will be another hackfest.The other thread with the FS11 wish list had some interesting comments and this one by Orlaam is really quite amusing.> Seriously, why do so many people ask for the kinds of things that> computers won't be able to render for years? You have a fairly> basic implementation of ATC, terrain, autogen, and weather, yet you> want bugs, grass, roads you can drive on (?? seriously, come> on...), human models!, perfect real world lighting, and God knows> what else.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't believe the ACES were part of this team...as for as the development is concerned. I had done the whole Ace Combat 4 from beginning to end in Playstation II. My nephew had rented this from Blockbuster during a weekend and we played together and I loved it. I went an got a whole Playstation II just for Ace Combat 4. NAMCO is an independent company who produces amazing stuff. XBOX was withiut Ace Combat for so long. They finally got an exclusive deal for Ace Combat 6 with NAMCO. But its probably for a year so before they would put it for Play Station III...I would thinkEven Ace Combat 4 was amazing. The whole production... It had a narrative...a story behind everything, It could have been real corny..but they actually did a great job.. it was like a well made movie.Mannyhttp://www.acecombatsix.com/?l=poll

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The hardware isn't much the problem, it's the graphics engine as well as which platform it runs off of. Vollumetric fog/clouds for instance have been around for close to 10 years now. Fly! had awesome clouds and fog in it, and it wasn't a system drain due to the platform it ran on. FS's scenery engine is way behind in terms of what can be done; it's basically just a modified FS2K2 engine with some differences. The funny thing is, like I said, vollumetric fog/clouds were even around before that.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi there,interesting math, "wyoming": 15 times 100 sq km is 1,500 sq km, or a square of ~38.7x38.7km! 150km x150km are 22,500 sq km, not quite the same ;-)Anyhow, I wonder whether they mean 100km x 100km (10,000 sq km), which would make much more sense for combat arenas. It's not uncommon for people to confuse 100 square kilometers with 100 kilometers squared.For comparsion, our detailed GlacierBay v2 package covers 90,000 sq km, not that I'd want anyone to fight battles there ;-)Cheers, Holger

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hey there wingnut,would you mind explaining to me why coverage area would NOT be a factor in comparing these kinds of applications?Cheers, Holger

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

> would you mind explaining to me why coverage area would NOT be a> factor in comparing these kinds of applications?No problem. Whether the coverage area is 150 square kilometres, 1,000 square kilometres or 10,000 square kilometres, it should not be a factor. That is the content, and it should not have a limit. If you look at a modern graphics engine such as Cryengine, the graphics content is streamed in by the application as necessary (and not "pre-loaded"). Flight simulator has the advantage that it runs on PC only. So memory can be increased and is not limited as it is on consoles.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The usual, for me, square error... Yes, 40 Km seems a little tight.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi there,thanks, but isn't FS content streamed in as well? Also, with extended ground textures set to maximum, FS loads ~20,000 tiles of 1.4 sq km each, i.e, 28,800 sq km. Mesh (plus basic terrain textures) is loaded at a much wider circle (albeit at low LOD) while autogen is loaded in a much smaller circle (with the lovely "popping" in FSX). If autogen is loaded in a 6-km radius with up to 6000 items per tile we're talking >250,000 objects in the viewshed of the pilot. I'm not saying that there isn't room for improvement, I'm sure there is, but I believe that people often underestimate the sheer amount of data that a flight simulator of the scope of FS has to dynamically load, hold, and drop at any given moment.Cheers, Holger

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Holger,yes you are right, there are many polygons and objects loaded in FS. But in fact, how many objects do Ace Combat also loads at once too? how many polygons do a game like Rainbow 6 Vegas loads as well at once?I also like the comparision with Crysis engine (or any engine, but take this one in particular). What do you see in Crysis? a limited distance mountain (say 3-4km away), with grass near you, trees near and farther away, water reflection everywere and a number of items/objects. Now imagine the scale is different: the mountain (the same on the screen) is now a virtual mountain at 100km. The grass blades are small houses, and the trees are trees (just scale them down on the screen to match). What do you get? the same amount of objects and polygons, only in the first case it was a 4 km away sight, and in the second case, it is an as much detailed (imagine all blades of grass turned to houses - autogen) sight but representing the visible surface on earth around you (100 km away in this example). In my opinion, the Crysis engine, or any engine, can render the whole world, with as much complexity as a limited world they are usualy used for, it is just a matter of scale: object scale and texture scale (to some extent). And I have no doubt that these engines are way faster and better than the one used in FS. If not done already, you can see some videos or read some texts of J. Carmack and how he explains the optmizations they went through in the first Quake engine for example, you can also download Quake II and III source code from the ID website. It tells a lot about efficiency in the rendering pipeline. It seems with FSX SP2 we are going in a good direction though. Only a few years later than most other game software houses like Ubisoft or Bandai :-)Hope this helps!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Brian,the sole and only bottleneck in any game: graphics and the rendering pipeline. If you look closely at the public information about the SP1 and the SP2, you can see than significant gains of performance in FSX are achieved only thanks to enhancing/improving/extending batch processing of 3D objects, as well as several other key optimisations between the software and the 3D API, plus a couple inner algorithms optimizations.In fact, if you have had the chance to view Beckman's video on game physics, he explains the physics behind FS (and tells they are 10 times less complex than car simulation), and shows how they are basically not computationaly expensive nowadays.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't disagree with any of your points in particular, I just wanted to point a few things out:In my opinion, the Crysis engine, or>any engine, can render the whole world, with as much>complexity as a limited world they are usualy used for, it is>just a matter of scale: object scale and texture scale (to>some extent). That's not really true, for a couple of reasons. Currently, Flight Simulator renders a round earth model, and engines like Crytek 2 or Source or Unreal 3 load levels, and a lot of their efficiencies come from their preloading and caching of objects. From the Source SDK FAQ:The maximum map size is currently set at +/-16384 units (16x the horizontal area of Half-Life 1, 64x overall volume).Mods can choose their own unit scale for the world. For example, 1 unit could be made to be equal to 1 foot, or to 1/10 of an inch. Physics will be adjusted accordingly, but collisions are only guaranteed to be accurate to 1/32nd of a unit.So there is a maximum size to the levels. If it was just a scale issue, then realistically, maps or levels could be of infinite size. But the truth is, in any of these graphically intense games, you hit a loading screen at regular intervals. If it was just streaming in the info as needed, the games could be designed as one seamless level without any additional loading screens or levels. However, a good deal of preloading and caching is done to optimize the engine's performance.On top of this, I know that with the Source engine powering HL2, and previous games like the Quake series that you mentioned, when you build a level with the level editor, there is a step where lightmaps are generated for the level to determine the lighting on static textures. This is something that is done real time in Flight Sim, and updated for the changing position of the sun. >And I have no doubt that these engines are way>faster and better than the one used in FS. If not done>already, you can see some videos or read some texts of J.>Carmack and how he explains the optmizations they went through>in the first Quake engine for example, you can also download>Quake II and III source code from the ID website. It tells a>lot about efficiency in the rendering pipeline. It seems with>FSX SP2 we are going in a good direction though. Only a few>years later than most other game software houses like Ubisoft>or Bandai :-)>>Hope this helps!>I don't disagree that First Person shooter engines are more efficient at what they do. I am also in favor of a rewrite of the graphics engine in Flight Sim to support up and coming dx10 features. I am pretty forward-looking when it comes to computer games, and I am always look at the next thing, so sure I want FS11 to perform better and look nicer.But the straight comparison of saying "ACES are incompetent because Crysis has better looking trees" is not an apples to apples thing. I understand the similarities, and yes, I actually learned C++ by modifying the Quake 2 code. So I respect the skill it takes to produce AAA games and I am studying 3D graphics right now so that I can do things like that. However, as a guy who has been playing first person shooters since 1994 and as someone who has been picking apart the AI system in FSX, I feel I have a strong platform to work from when making these assumptions. And the final analysis from me is that most games dedicate about 90% of the workload produced into graphics rendering and 10% into game logic, physics, AI and other features, while with flight simulator, I believe it is closer to 60/40%. I've done a lot of tests with trying to my own copy of FSX more efficient, and a lot of times beefing up the weather or adding more AI or road traffic puts more of a hit on my system than straight graphics improvement. From that, I draw the conclusion that a large portion of the processing power needed for FSX is in the simulation and game logic aspects, moreso than in other games on the market.That's just my analysis of things. As you've said, I agree with you that a brand new engine like Crytek 2 or Unreal 3 is more efficient at what it does than the continually upgraded Flight Sim engine. I also agree that for future versions, FSX should dedicate more to rebuilding the engine for a modern architecture. But I also believe that to suggest that Flight Simulator should do what it does in the way of simulation and real world data and also look like the latest first-person shooter is not practical at all, even if the engine was rewritten from scratch.Then again, the final course in my studies will have me building a basic modern game engine as a demo piece to show prospective employers, so maybe I'll put my money where my mouth is and make it a flight simulator.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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
Sign in to follow this