View Full Version : Suggestion for pre-flight/planning in future sims.

12-14-2005, 11:54 AM
I'd like to see better pre-flight/planning pages for the next generation of flight simulations.

As flight models get more realistic, it becomes more important to plan accordingly. The pre-flight screens in IL2/PF are adequate for a quick rumble, but lack the information necessary for a real cross-country flight, much less a combat strike.

The following are things that I've seen in past flight simulations (some over 10 years old), so the CPU computing power is there. They would go far in helping immersion and reducing frustration in the ever more-realistic modelling being introduced into flight simulations:

1) Display of "estimated range" on the briefing map to reflect current fuel load (including use of drop tanks). [yes, yes, it changes with altitude and mixture, but for the novice, it would help to know if you're not even going to get close without those droptanks]. Some sims use circles on the map, others just turn the last few waypoints red to warn the player that they may not have adequate fuel.

2) Ruler for the briefing map, so we can measure distance between points. Most games implement an "anchor and line" implementation that has the player click a start point and then pull a line around the map that shows distance on the map.

3) Display of takeoff weight vs maximum takeoff weight in the ordnance/fuel selection screen (so players don't overload their airplane and then post to forums screaming about why they can't take off http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_razz.gif).

4) Ability to move waypoints, select cruise altitudes, and cruise speeds. DGen is very nice, but I often don't like the direction it chooses into the target, and never like the altitudes it chooses (I can't see altitude on the briefing map(see item [5]), but the autopilot follows some awfully low altitudes).

5) If we can't edit our own waypoints, I would like to see a display of altitude and cruise speed at each waypoint.

6) More detailed elevation data on the briefing map (quite frustrating to plan a 5000' flight through a 8000' mountain...). [In KM and FEET please, for international appeal http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif ]. Realistic flight planning always takes into account terrain elevation.

7) Display of exact type of target in briefing screen (so players know if they are hitting tanks, buildings, or "soft" targets and select the appropriate ordnance).

8) Presence of other flights -- in particular if I will have escort for a strike/bomb mission. This influences my choice of ordnance and waypoint positioning.

These are not revolutionary features, and have shown up in previous flight simulations, but this information has disappeared from the most recent flight sims. This is the WRONG way to go with the constantly increasing realism. They are all things that appear BEFORE the 3D-engine, and shouldn't be too taxing as far as CPU/RAM requirements are concerned.

I hope you can find a way to make your sims better by adding these things in the future. They would certainly make things more enjoyable for me and many other virtual pilots.

Thank you for providing this forum room and listening to our suggestions.

12-14-2005, 07:22 PM
Something between Falcon F AF (which is probably the best) and any other sim. This one is the worst.

Preflight briefings like...Today you escort some lazy SBDs for a bomb raid. Uhhh. bla bla bla. Bad.

Anyway. It wont happen.

12-14-2005, 07:48 PM
I've said it before. Oleg's team knows an amazing amount of stuff about what makes an airplane fly and amazing small amount of stuff of how wars are fought.

12-14-2005, 09:02 PM

Up until now, very little if any attention has been given to online wars. Its all gone to the dogfight crowd. However there are signs that the lessons may be sinking in. Time will tell. However even the most die hard dfers have been forced to admit that even a 'fun' war like IL2war has quadrupled the online numbers in a matter of days. One can only imagine what could happen if a concerted effort were made at providing the structured play that the majority of the Lobby craves.

Lets see, an awful lot of power still rests in the hands of the dfers and they don't want to give it up or adapt for that matter.

Good post and excellent points.


12-15-2005, 09:22 AM
My comment doesn't apply to online wars. The lacking in the game can be made up for in online wars. Not arguing they couldn't improve it, but the online crowd of war gamers versus dogfight players is only about 1% of the problem.

I'm talking about offline campaigns--the place a majority of players play. The ability to participate in a "war" feeling truly sucks. The improvements from DGen and DCG help a lot but fall far short of what is needed.

Simple things like proper briefings and kneeboard maps. The kneeboard map is a good example. We have three choices to choose from and NONE of them are even close to historical.

We have the option to have a map with complete information adn AWACS capability to track every aircraft, or we have the option of a GPS system tracking our aircraft location at all times, or lastly we have the option to have a completely blank map.

Pilots did none of those. We need an option that shows the planned route, waypoints, altitudes and speeds. Pilots actually write this info on their kneeboards. The lack of waypoint information presneted in the briefing or the map just goes to show how appalling little 1C understands non-flight model related parts of warfighting.

Right now, if you lead an escort flight and have to rendevous with bombers you have no idea, once in game, when you are to meet them, what altitude and at what speeds. The only way to find out is to drop out of the mission and load it up in FMB.

That's just stupid. Sorry, but it is.

Going up with a blank map is just as bad. No waypoint markings, no target markings etc. Not talking about the little floating airplane icon, just normal flight info.

Not asking for rocket science, just for features that have been available in far older and far less complex simulations from 10 years ago. Let's just get this feature up to date with mid-90s simulator functionality and I'll be happy.

12-15-2005, 12:21 PM
have often thought that information like that would be useful http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_rolleyes.gif . Bump.

12-15-2005, 01:43 PM
Also being able to insert a picture ("recon photo") in the briefing would be great. If mission name is "bombing" you could have a "bombing.jpg" file automatically displayed in the briefing.

Not having the waypoints (with height) marked in the inflight map (with the "awacs" and "gps" options disabled)is the worst thing now.


12-16-2005, 04:01 AM
http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/25.gif http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/25.gif http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/25.gif

12-21-2005, 05:18 PM
Why don't you say it : we want Falcon 4 set in WW2 ;-)
I agree wholly, while FB is a great game, it lacks the refinements F4 has, preflight etc.

12-21-2005, 06:38 PM
A little more informative AI comms (such as a simple per flight callsign) would also go a long way. Constantly hearing generic "Course XX, height YY" actually adds to the sterile feel because you can't associate it with a particular flight.

12-26-2005, 06:01 PM

Wow what an important thread. Although IL2 is the best sim for flight modelling, it has always been the worst for options and features. Its a real tradgedy. I remember Aces over Europe for windows 3.1 would give yo a recon photo of the target you were about to attack and highlight primary and secondary targets, then after the mission it would tell you how many you and your flight shot down or destroyed and keep a record for each pilot in your squadron. Even CFS3 gives a detailed debriefing, including very handy stats like percentage gun, bomb, and rocket hits, and exactly what you destroyed. Such basic features and so sorely needed.

There are so many things that could be added to IL2 to make it an interesting game as well as a simulation. For example, in a dynamic campaign you could have an mission to escort a recon bomber to a target, then if the plane makes it back you get a detailed description of the target you are about to destroy if its the next mission you do. Random flights could even be reconing it for a subsequent mission.

Or, for real dynamic campaigns, the program could keep a record of how many of each type of plane are stationed at every airbase on the map and a rate of replenishment based on historical production figures. Then every single plane shot down of every single type during any mission (even static planes) could be recorded and subtracted from the map. Random AI flights could even occassionally represent resupply flights. The possibilities for a true WAR are endless and would be very easy to implement. Just a simple counter of shot down planes and their numbers would be so easy... and make it so REALISTIC.