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View Full Version : IL-2: Fantastic Flight-Sim, Appalling Video Game



MrQBerrt
12-06-2005, 02:31 PM
I really like video games. I'm sure many of you do too, but I have a point I'd like to make here: I consider the whole IL-2 series to be a very bad example of a video game, and I blame this on Oleg Maddox.

Hopefully, I've caught your attention because I'll need it (just look at the length of this thing).

Here are two key elements of successful video games that come to mind. I'm sure there are many more, but be gentle with me; I'm pulling these out of my ***. With time, I could probably do better. But for now, here they are: a video game should €¦
<UL TYPE=SQUARE>
<LI>Help the player learn the game
<LI>Reward the player for playing the game
[/list]
I believe IL-2 fails at both of these and please bear with me while I elaborate on why I think this.

I hope you have played a Tony Hawk game, or at least know of it, because I'm going to use it as an example. When you first play Tony Hawk, you don't know the controls or how to play or if the game is fun or not. But within a few hours of starting, the game itself will have taught you how to do simple tricks and where to go in the level to have fun. By this time the game will be a blast to play. Within a few days, you will probably be doing complex tricks and have your favorite levels with your favorite spots. You will have learned all of this without going online to read tutorials on "How to skate" or "Where to have fun in Tony Hawk," you probably wont even have read the manual yet.

Most games accomplish this teaching aspect in some way. How do games accomplish this? I'm not here to say how exactly, there are a huge number of ways and even a large number of articles out there describing the phenomenon. What I am saying is that these techniques exist, they make the game fun, many are not hard to implement, and that IL-2 is sorely lacking in the utilization of them.

Also, I hope you have heard of EverQuest, because I'm using that as my next example. I've never played it, but I've heard of people playing EverQuest everyday for years before they learn; "Hey, I'm in an endless cycle of leveling-up." Yet, even when they realize this, they often keep playing, yearning for that next level. The fact is, EverQuest rewards the player for playing. Most games reward players like this in order to get them to keep playing the game. I know that I'll play a game for hours just to get that next level, that next spell, that next cut-scene, or that next piece of the story line. It's simple, stupid, and almost petty; but it works. People will play a game more, spend more money on it, and buy all the sequels if that game rewards them in some small way for playing it.

Now in IL-2 we do have a rewards system. We have the joy of shooting down a plane, and the joy of gaining respect in the online community and quite a few other small pleasures. Once we hit these rewards, it turns us into addicts, willing to purchase thousands of dollars worth of game input devices, new gaming rigs, and whatever Oleg throws at us next. I am one such addict, but the point I would like to make is that it takes a long time to get these rewards with this game. In fact, I would say it takes a good week before many players have any fun at all in IL-2, and it takes months if not years to really breed an IL-2 addict.

Does Oleg really hope keep players around and attract new players when it takes so long to have fun in the game? He does, and it is to his financial detriment. Compare this attitude with the outlook of leading game makers such as those of Halo, whose makers called it "30 seconds of fun repeated over and over again." Where is the 30 seconds of fun in IL-2? I think Oleg should ask himself this question, and if he cannot conceive of a way to get a brand new player access to those 30 seconds within an hour of installing the game, he needs to hire someone who can.

If he hired me for this position, here would be my first suggestion: Imagine this €¦

I buy the next big flight sim from Oleg Maddox. As I load the game for the first time, it asks me to create a pilot. This loads a webpage where I can create a unique pilot with a unique call sign. I then am presented with the main page of the game. There with all the other options is a button called training. I click this button and am presented with a slew of training options. From flight basics to aerial attack tactics to landing on carriers, it's all there. As I complete these training lessons, they show up as completed in my personnel log for my unique pilot that anyone can see on the web or in game. Completing the carrier qualifications for example will now allow me to play campaigns and online co-ops that require the pilot be carrier qualified. Here is both a reward and way to learn the game.

I'm not going to go too far into what the training would look like, but I'll give a few examples. In carrier landing, the game would start you on final approach to a carrier. The game would be paused asking you if you are "Ready to Start?" Pulling the trigger starts the training. As soon as you start you see the ghost of your plane right in front of you. This plane is on the correct flight path. On the left, there is a ghosting of your controls, these controls tell you what you need to do to match that ghost plane. As you stray low, it might show the throttle moving up, or your stick pulling back to match that ghost plane. Staying inline with the ghost means landing perfectly, but any landing that leaves the prop and the gear intact lets you pass the training and go on to carrier landing level 2 where you have to set up for final approach and so on.

As another example, wingman tactics level 1, sets you up with a bandit on your 6 and a friendly heading towards you at your high 12. At the correct time the ghost plane pulls left and if you follow, the friendly shoots the bandit off your back. In wingman tactics 2, the scenario is reversed and the bandit is on the friendly's 6. If you pull behind the bandit and miss him, no problem, there is a "Quick Restart" button that lets you start the training over. It doesn't do this by reloading the whole map, it just quickly teleports all objects back to their original position with original damage, ammo, etc, and pauses the game asking, "Ready to Start?" Of course, wingman tactics level 1 wouldn't be open to your pilot until you had passed some sort of gunnery practice, which would immediately give the new player another reward, the unlocking of new training pages with the eventual reward of updating your world viewable pilot profile.

And speaking of gunnery, the gunnery training, level 1, would open up with you right behind a bomber flying straight and level, the goal to down him, if you fail, just restart. Level 2 would show you where to shoot to knock a wing off, level 5 would start you on deflection shots. And while in the beginning stages of training there would be a "Shoot Now" indicator telling you when to shoot, and large explosions showing you where exactly you hit. There would also be a cumulative gunnery test that you could take to pass all gunnery training at once or to brush up on your skills. The scores of this test would be seeable by others so that you can brag about your marksmanship, which again gives the new player an easily accessible reward.

Many of these lessons would have a name that you would have to remember. So that when Maverick and Goose want to join my squad, I can look up their pilot profiles and see they have gotten to level 13 of wingman tactics, and so I can expect them to know how to perform and call out certain maneuvers like "Drag&Bag" and "Bracket Attack". They have formation flying level 5, so I expect them to know what a "Figure 4" is but I know that they might not be able to stay in a tight formation, else they'd be level 8. Also, I'd see that Maverick had 6 Rising Suns under his name meaning that he had shot down 6 bandits while not dying once and that he probably prefers flying as an American.

Imagine other scenarios as you like. Personally, I start drooling if I think about it too much.

This game mode doesn't exist, but the work involved wouldn't be too back breaking for Oleg. However, he refuses to do much besides update the internals of the flight sim and add new planes (how long has the community been complaining about the in-game menus?). These things are what make this flight sim great, much greater than any other in my opinion. However, it doesn't make the game more approachable or add any really new experiences to the game. I know that I'd spend a lot more time playing if the game taught me how to play and rewarded me for doing so, but what is more important is that other, newer players would also find the game more fun, and sales would go up.

To summarize both this game and this article, I'll say that IL-2 is a fantastic flight sim, but an appalling video game. There are a number of ways to improve this, I've given an example, but only one of many. I hope others will read this thread and share their ideas, especially the ones that involve teaching new players how to play the game and reward them for doing so. I believe that these ideas, if implemented, would grow our community and make Oleg more money.

joeap
12-06-2005, 02:50 PM
Excellent post, we in the community have had to do a lot of what you suggested ourselves. 3rd party static campaigns or engines like DCG, some squads offer training and qualifications etc. If Maddox would incorporate this "out of the box" it would make it better for beginners. I laready had several years experience in FS when I discovered IL2, so I could jump right in and was impressed with the technical aspect. I must say MS especially in their civilian sim do a fine job in introducing beginners with flight lessons and different certificates (private, instrument etc.) I hope 1C follow this

MrQBerrt
12-06-2005, 02:56 PM
Thanks joeap,
and I'm glad you brought up the community. I believe we have an excelent community here and it is one of the only approachable things about the game. There are hundreds of people that bend over backwards trying to get new people flying and making the game better. I think every box containing an IL-2 title should come with large block lettering informing the buyer how to get to the community for help.

Rattler68
12-06-2005, 03:15 PM
I would reply that this game does not attempt to be a "video game", but rather a fairly high fidelity simulator, such as Falcon 4.0 (which many people also complain is too hard to fly.) Simulators simulate, the closer to reality the better. While many people complain about the flight models, I think that the game has accomplished one of the better simulations of WW 2 air combat than most others. I've played WW 2 Fighters, and CFS 3. I don't think that they come close to what this game has acheived. If you want a video game, buy Crimson Skies, and have a blast!

CapBackassward
12-06-2005, 03:17 PM
Good post, but...

You have to remember that this is one of the first great software programs for gamers that I remember coming out of Russia. I'm sure there are others and my apologises for missing them. But this is one hell of a great first go for Maddox. I'm sure with time and more sim developement under his belt, we may see more innovation and different designs from Oleg.

I agree there are other ways of Presenting a sim, but I for one would rather have it error on the side of realism and not arcade. That being said, it would be a good approach to design a sim with a full arcade mode for the many that seem to want it, and perhaps supplying different levels that can be applied much like the realism options in the setup menus. This way you could lean one way or the other depending on your personal settings.

Some ideas: Campaigns that have a kind of story line with a log book and log entries would be a cool, novel approach. More info on fellow pilots and the ability to fly with Aces, or against. More real life Aces like in the Red Baron series. And this is just a couple ideas that would be fun to see implemented, and - of course - there are other good ideas out there.

my two cents,

Rick

-HH-Quazi
12-06-2005, 03:34 PM
Echo Rattlers post. This isn't a video game. It is a simulator. I am sure Tony Hawks skateboard isn't modeled with the feeling of true weight, aerodynamics, and gravity. Although this sim has arcade settings, most fly it because it is simulating, as close as possible, the real ac the real pilots flew in real life. Hence, a simulation. To look at this sim as a video game is nuts, for lack of a better word. I wish I was good at analogies, this would be a good place for one. I play video games on a console. I bought my son a PC version of Madden NFL 2005. Even bought a USB controller to "simulate" a console. Nothing doin.

MrQBerrt
12-06-2005, 03:38 PM
Thanks CapBackassward (Nice name btw)

Good point about the developers being in a different country/culture. I didn't think of that.

A story mode is a good idea; it is a tried and true way to get new players into a game. It gives them easy missions first and lets them advance their skills while motivating them to acheive the next bit of the story.

However, I disagree about the arcade mode making the game more accessible to new players. I think the more modes and options a new player is presented with, the more unaccessible the game will seem to that new player. I'm sure many will disagree with me on this, but remember that IL-2 does have an arcade mode, but very few will say they found the game easy to get into.

What I propose instead of an arcade mode is to set up default options that are almost full switch (cockpit on, icons on, limited ammo/fuel etc). But give the player a place to go right away that lets them "get into" the game. This is where my training suggestion comes in, or your story suggestion could come in (if I may borrow that idea).

Right now we have "Quickstart" and I believe I would have given up on the game before ever getting addicted if that option had not been there. But the quickstart did not lower the realism, it just got me going quickly in a sence in that I could fly right away. But we need a better quickstart into this game. This will sound corny, but new players need a quickstart to having fun. And for many, flying is not fun 'till they know how.

MrQBerrt
12-06-2005, 03:46 PM
Rattler and Quazi, I agree whole-heartedly. This is a sim, not a game. I beleive that is almost the title of this discussion.

Also, Crimson skies, Tony Hawk, etc are games, not sims. It is easy to say, "Go play a Crimson Skies," just like it would be easy for me to say "Go fly a kite" http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif (I mean this in jest)

But my point is not that I am looking for a good video game, there are lots of those. My point is I want something that is both a good video game and a good simulator. Give me an example of one of those and I'm there (or at least I'll be telling my friends about it so they'll eventually want to play IL-2). However, I doubt one will come to mind.

Last, I don't want this "game" aspect of a sim simply for myself, though I would like the stat keeping and training. I want it so I can show my friends the game and say "come play this" without getting so many bewildered looks.

*Edit* One more thing to add on this line of thought. I believe Oleg agrees with you two and not with my on this point. I get the feeling he wants IL-2 to be a great sim and a bad game.

Oz_Canuck
12-06-2005, 03:59 PM
This is an advanced flight sim, which does have a big learning curve for the rookie, but it is worth it. I'm still no good, really, but love it.
I love playing racing games like Grand Prix Legends, which I think is harder than IL2 to learn. I cut my teeth on simple "games" like Need for Speed before I craved a more realistic experience. GPL is awesome, but not easy. Same for IL2, I came to that after getting tired of arcade type fighter games. I suppose an "arcade mode" might be good for the noobs, but the Easy mode is pretty easy, specially with the "wonder woman" view. I would agree that the amount of "fun" missions included in the basic box is lacking, especially in PF. A Community Mission Pak disk in the box might be be a good idea.......
Maybe there should be a PSP version of IL2 I can play on the train......

3.JG51_BigBear
12-06-2005, 04:35 PM
I've always said they left the game out when they put this software together. I think 1C actually cuts itself off from a much larger market by making a product that lacks a fun factor unless you're willing to download a whole lot of third party mission, campaigns, etc. or are just a total nerd for WW2 airplanes. I happen to be both so I'm good but I can see why the austere menus, lack of included missions, and overall ghetto nature of this game turn people off. I mean really, how many people actually want to start messing around with a game's config file.

Other great flight sims that were also great games: Jane's World War 2 Fighters, European Air War, CFS2 and Red Baron 3d just to name a few.

LEXX_Luthor
12-06-2005, 04:37 PM
Qbert, great thinking. Thanks...


What I propose instead of an arcade mode is to set up default options that are almost full switch (cockpit on, icons on, limited ammo/fuel etc). But give the player a place to go right away that lets them "get into" the game. This is where my training suggestion comes in, or your story suggestion could come in (if I may borrow that idea).
Flyable historic basic trainers should be placed on the opening game menu, with options for in-air start or airfield start.

Training campaign can be made, with increasing levels of tasks, and near the end, a possibility of the player's training field being attacked from the air.

I disagree about making a personal Pilot with a logg. I have never done this in any flight sim, and its a false or easy thing to call "development." Players don't need an alter personality, they do need immersive training missions or training "campaigns" -- fully populated with other (friendly) aircraft also on their own operations near the training field. All this on a properly crafted game menu which has never been done in a flight sim.

VF17-Twisted
12-06-2005, 04:42 PM
Just to add also, there are two ways to play on line. Ubi and hyperlobby. Only ubi is supported in the game initally. While there will ALWAYS be Ubi only people most seem to fly on hyperlobby.

Now another critical part. 98% of the servers are FB+AEP+PF NOT just Pacific fighters. Now go and try finding FB and AEP in the stores. While SOME may carry it most don't, at least both games, which you need to fully enjoy the total experience.
I see it time and time again on Hyperlobby, and that is " Are there any PF only servers? " If you're intention is to include this part of the game as an add-on then you should also offer a total package deal with an explanation on the packaging somewhere, and the Pacific Fighters only as another option.

arcadeace
12-06-2005, 04:44 PM
Its a well considered post. Your examples, or some variation, may have potential to draw more members, but the biggest draw has been stated and that is its a simulation. Reality is the ideal and the closer it gets, the greater the motivation. I've always felt folks who want to enjoy serious combat flight simming are different in disposition. Not saying better or worse, but patient, wanting a hobby/pass-time to be 'real' pilots.

People are always joining this community who are new, not only to FB/PF but serious flight simming. I think its probably true the majority who play this sim have played CFS, Janes, Rowans etc., but there are genuine newbies.

There is a fairly steep learning curve but Oleg and Co. know the market and its future potential well enough to realize the likely profits are there, as they continue with BoB.

SeaFireLIV
12-06-2005, 04:49 PM
Originally posted by MrQBerrt:

To summarize both this game and this article, I'll say that IL-2 is a fantastic flight sim, but an appalling video game. There are a number of ways to improve this, I've given an example, but only one of many. I hope others will read this thread and share their ideas, especially the ones that involve teaching new players how to play the game and reward them for doing so. I believe that these ideas, if implemented, would grow our community and make Oleg more money.


Very eloquent, but this also leads to a few problems...

A long time ago, games where made because programmers had a particular interest in the genre and wanted to bring it to an interactive environment. The programmer wanted to see his particular idea come to `life`. If he made money from it, great, but that was NOT the sole goal.

Examples of such games created recently (ish)...

Need 4 Speed Hot pursuit (PC).
Shogun Total War.
Morrowind.
Black and white.
Combat mission 1 2 & 3
There are more, but this will do.

Excellent games, but for some, a little slow to immediately get into. So, with the exception of Combat Mission, the programmers decided to make them more `video gamey`, more `fun`...

So now we have Rome Total War.
Black and White 2
Need 4 Speed 3.

and Oblivion soon... There`s more sequels on the list.

The result, gamey games with very little depth compared to the original. `Fun` for the 1st 30 seconds then forgotten after a week. Now RTW was saved by the expansion `barbarian Invasion` and patches but only due to indignant complaints about its lack of depth.

Black and white was a dismal dissappointment, losing all the good stuff (except for graphics) in this incarnation compared to BW1.

And don`t even mention NFS which was awful and completely ignored the forum complainers.

I haven`t played Oblivion yet, and while I look forward to it, I hear worrying reports... There will be a special `jump` mode to skip long distances without any need for normal travel modes (as with the not so good fable). Players may be charged for official plugins like extra armour, etc. hmmm...

The only thing to survive so far is the flight sim and Combat Mission 1,2 and 3..

I agree that IL2 could use a little more of the `Human` touch, but I don`t agree with making it `video gamey` to try and drag in EVERYONE.

It`s a flight sim and if a programmer succeeds in attracting EVERYONE to it within the 1st 30 seconds then i guarantee it would no longer be a flight sim. It would be Crimson Skies. Not every one wants to learn how to take off and land, even with ghost images and controls - they just want to be in the air already. Not EVERYONE wants to feel the adrenalin rush of getting out of a spin at 3000metres with the correct use of flaps, joystick and rudder.

But that`s why Oleg provided an EASY FLIGHT MODE!

Oleg can make it more video gamey, but if he wants to keep it as a Flight Sim, it is impossible to make more video gamey and `fun` for EVERYONE.

A true flight sim, by its own definition cannot be accesible to everyone.

Of course, with the way things are going with games/simulaters these days and how no one cares about authenticity (as long as their fave plane blows all out the sky) it wouldn`t surprise me if Oleg gave in to pressure and produced a BOB Crimson Skies - Shattering my support forever.

Yes, I`m one of those people who thinks that money is important, but NOT as important as the idea... Guess I`m just naive that way.

I`ve seen a lot of evidence that people don`t want a simulater, but just want to pretend they`re flying a simulater. Companies like EA knows this... It does indeed appear that only a core group of people REALLY want to fly a sim http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_frown.gif


Sorry for my waffle.

MrQBerrt
12-06-2005, 05:14 PM
When I originally started this post, I just wanted to mention how the Platinum pack is a good idea as it will make the game more accessable to new users. Then I got on a bit of a rampage and completely forgot to mention it. Thanks for reminding me Twisted.

SeaFire makes a good point that Oleg has never sold out. He doesn't compromise (at least too much) on the fact that he is making the kind of flight sim that he wants. That we all love his game so much is a good testiment to what a great sim he has made.

Reading many of your replies makes me regret using the word "game" in contrast to the word "sim." I see that the word "game" makes the community think of a low quality sim, or at least a non-realistic sim. This is not what I intended.

Chuck_Older
12-06-2005, 05:28 PM
I'm glad it sucks as a video game

Some of what you suggest, QBert, also imples that this game is for online players only

Leave me out of it, 100%. When this becomes an online game/sim only, I am gone like a cool breeze

WWII aviation has been my passion since I was 4 (30 years ago). Sims are not things that cater to the people that don't care to know the first thing about the subject they simulate

There is literally 60 years' worth of literaure published regarding Aerial combat in WWII

The heart and soul of a sim, like it or lump it, is, even if they are called 'rivet-counters' the guys and gals who really, really know their stuff about real-world WWII aviation. I know a little. They breathe life into it by demanding more realism. The community always has and always will be, until it dies, the easiest and most correct place to go for things like training scenarios-

Is it easier for Oleg Maddox to be All-Knowing about All Things WWII related, or is it easier for a large group to have experts who know intricate detail about specific things?

The problem is that the Il2 community isn't an integrated one- new players either stumble on it or have to be given directions. I can make (actually I have) missions in which you learn to fly at night in a manner very close to how a US Army Cadet did in 1943. My mission is much more intricate than one that would come with the sim and more correct as well. I sweat out if trees are too close to each other in my missions http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-very-happy.gif

An integral Truth to the flight simmer is that Playing the sim is it's Own Reward. In-game rewardsSome folks fly flight sims that have no combat http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-surprised.gif But it is more fun to blow stuff up, I'll grant you. What good are six .50 machine guns if you can't shoot something down http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-wink.gif

But as far as creating a character-pilot goes, and having a reward system in place like some online games...a sim suspends your disbeleif that you're not really a pilot. making a pilot-character shatters it. It's close to playing pretend already, and making up a pilot-character for me, and others I think, is too close to playing pretend

Popey109
12-06-2005, 05:31 PM
I don€t understand why your suggestions would be arcade? In fact I think they fit very well with what a good Simulator should be. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/25.gif

Bearcat99
12-06-2005, 05:39 PM
Originally posted by SeaFireLIV:
Very eloquent, but this also leads to a few problems...

A long time ago, games where made because programmers had a particular interest in the genre and wanted to bring it to an interactive environment. The programmer wanted to see his particular idea come to `life`. If he made money from it, great, but that was NOT the sole goal.

Examples of such games created recently (ish)...

Need 4 Speed Hot pursuit (PC).
Shogun Total War.
Morrowind.
Black and white.
Combat mission 1 2 & 3
There are more, but this will do.

Excellent games, but for some, a little slow to immediately get into. So, with the exception of Combat Mission, the programmers decided to make them more `video gamey`, more `fun`...

So now we have Rome Total War.
Black and White 2
Need 4 Speed 3.

and Oblivion soon... There`s more sequels on the list.

The result, gamey games with very little depth compared to the original. `Fun` for the 1st 30 seconds then forgotten after a week. Now RTW was saved by the expansion `barbarian Invasion` and patches but only due to indignant complaints about its lack of depth.

Black and white was a dismal dissappointment, losing all the good stuff (except for graphics) in this incarnation compared to BW1.

And don`t even mention NFS which was awful and completely ignored the forum complainers.

I haven`t played Oblivion yet, and while I look forward to it, I hear worrying reports... There will be a special `jump` mode to skip long distances without any need for normal travel modes (as with the not so good fable). Players may be charged for official plugins like extra armour, etc. hmmm...

The only thing to survive so far is the flight sim and Combat Mission 1,2 and 3..

I agree that IL2 could use a little more of the `Human` touch, but I don`t agree with making it `video gamey` to try and drag in EVERYONE.

It`s a flight sim and if a programmer succeeds in attracting EVERYONE to it within the 1st 30 seconds then i guarantee it would no longer be a flight sim. It would be Crimson Skies. Not every one wants to learn how to take off and land, even with ghost images and controls - they just want to be in the air already. Not EVERYONE wants to feel the adrenalin rush of getting out of a spin at 3000metres with the correct use of flaps, joystick and rudder.

But that`s why Oleg provided an EASY FLIGHT MODE!

Oleg can make it more video gamey, but if he wants to keep it as a Flight Sim, it is impossible to make more video gamey and `fun` for EVERYONE.

A true flight sim, by its own definition cannot be accesible to everyone.

Of course, with the way things are going with games/simulaters these days and how no one cares about authenticity (as long as their fave plane blows all out the sky) it wouldn`t surprise me if Oleg gave in to pressure and produced a BOB Crimson Skies - Shattering my support forever.

Yes, I`m one of those people who thinks that money is important, but NOT as important as the idea... Guess I`m just naive that way.

I`ve seen a lot of evidence that people don`t want a simulater, but just want to pretend they`re flying a simulater. Companies like EA knows this... It does indeed appear that only a core group of people REALLY want to fly a sim http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_frown.gif


Sorry for my waffle.


What he said.....

Edit by Tully: fixed quote tags to make it easier to read http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

MrQBerrt
12-06-2005, 05:49 PM
Some of what you suggest, QBert, also imples that this game is for online players only

I think I might be risking hijacking my own thread here but do you feel that IL-2 caters to offline gamers very well? I have to disagree on that one, I think it caters to online play much more so than it does to offline play. I almost listed that as one of the points in my little tirade, but I thought it had been covered so much already that I'd just let it lie.

I think that IL-2 would be much more accesible and be a much better game/sim if the offline campaigns were done better, or shipped with some of the excelent user made campaigns/missions.

As another related point, it seems to me like the only way to really have fun with the game and learn how to play the game is by getting online. And I'm not talking about flying online. The config file editing is a great example of this, how would I know how to make the game look good if I wasn't an internet user?

actionhank1786
12-06-2005, 05:51 PM
I've got to agree, part of what makes a sim so much fun, is knowing that this is as close as you'll ever get to the real deal.

Also, it rewards you for your time and effort.
I came into this game, knowing a bit about WWII, mostly that the US fought Germany and Japan, and i figured that we owned everyone for the most part.
All of the wars were fought, then America jumped in and saved the day. that was about 4(?) years ago. (is that how long this game's been out?)

Then i found Il-2, and having read a preview for it in Il-2 i installed the Demo. The game destroyed what i thought i knew about flying from CFS2. The first time i tried taking off in a P-39, i left little more than a crater tribute in the russian country side, it didn't help that it was windy, and raining, and visibility was limited to about as far as i could throw a rock.
But slowly, i figured you had to nurse the plane into the air. I gave the Il-2 a try simply because it was much easier to fly, and had bombs, a handful of canons and machine guns, and a gunner to watch my *** for me.

As these years have progressed, i've learned a lot more about this game (take that people who say games can't teach) and definitly bettered myself as a sim pilot. Thanks to the info learned from the game, books i became interested in, and just the general out pouring of information from the many brilliant members of the community has given a young mind a lot to soak up.
So in short, as the years have passed i've "mastered" (to the best of my skill, i'm sure i'd still get served online) the planes for the most part. I'm not a killing machine in all of them, but i just took down 4 Shinden's in a Seafire in my last, so i'm not the worst.
But it's amazing to think back to not being able to nurse a plane into the sky, and now being able to blow others out of it, survive without a scratch, and then put your plane down onto a moving, rocking hunk of metal in the middle of an ocean.
So as a game, yes it sucks, as a sim. Well it's been said time and again, it doesn't get better than this.

ElAurens
12-06-2005, 05:54 PM
+1 to SeafireLIV's post.

If this franchise became a video game I would bolt.

Be sure.

It's like Bearcat's tag line: "IMMERSION BABY!!"

I have never played an immersive video game. Ever. But this piece of software continues to suspend my disbelief an plops me right in the cockpit, online or off. Every time.

MrQBerrt
12-06-2005, 06:17 PM
ElAurens

How would training hurt immersion?

To quote a Capitaine Haddock (over at simhq),

In BoB having a proper training campaing on the Tiger Moth could also make the game far more realistic.
In many trainers, you can feel how the instructor is flying the plane (through the linked controls), hence my idea of the ghosted out controls. I don't see another way to do this. Although, now that I think about it, force feedback while the instructor was flying the trainer would be awesome. Especially if the instructor let you fly, and then would try to take over (This would be especially fun if it let you fight the instructor/FFB).

I realize that some of my ideas may be too gimicky, but the thrust of my original post was not, "Hey, here is what Oleg should implement." It was (and continues to be) that Oleg should do something that will make the game teach new players how to have fun (i.e. fly) in this game. This doesn't have to make the game less of a sim, it can in fact make it a better one. Or do you think that real pilots had no training?

Weather_Man
12-06-2005, 06:28 PM
I initially bought Il2 thinking it would be a cool video game. See, I had just gotten tired of CFS2 after a few months of playing and wanted to see what else was out there. CFS2 was a fun little game with a story. Cool, right? A video-sim-game unlike the regular shootem-up stuff I was used to. Fun, but lacking something.

So, I plopped in Il2 thinking I was a decent pilot by now with the CFS experience and promptly crashed on my first 9 attempts to get airborne. Huh? I'd never had any problems learning a game before and this one was kicking my butt! I was intrigued and hooked right then. This, to me, was how to do a video game right!! Make you work HARD to fly, fight, and land. That's the reward, and it's huge. I consider every aspect of learning and succeeding the Il2 way far more satisfying than any other game I've ever played in my entire life.

After how many years has it been now?, Il2 is still on my computer. If this were a game trying to be like all other games, I'd of dumped it after couple of months (or sooner) like all the other games I've bought. Can it be better? Of course. Just don't make it like the rest.

-HH-Quazi
12-06-2005, 06:32 PM
You know. This might sound crazy and a bit far fetched. I am not sure how I need to explain this so read broadly to try to grasp what I am trying to say. If the sim would go a step or 10 further and if you get shot down and have to bail out, the game goes with you and then you are having to make your way back to your base or to friendly territory, having to be very stealthy on your escape.

That is about as simple as I can put it. But something like this would encompass the flight sim as a simulator and a FPS as you try to navigate your way back to base, or at least friendly territory. Could give the best of both worlds. It would be cool if it could be online as well. Suppose a squadm8 gets shot up to the point of having to bail, then you two could hook up on the ground and try to get back to safety together.

I know it is propbably a bad idea and wouldn't make for a good game, but just a thought I have had for quite a while just as a "what if".

VF-17_DWolf
12-06-2005, 06:46 PM
What would be helpful is a trainer with a co-pilot/instructor spot, and a Pilot and Co-Pilot spot in Bombers. The above pilots stations could be used to help train people online. the co-pilots seat could be used by the instructor to show the student in the pilots seat how to do any number of moves. And then the student can try what was just shown to him.

I'm talking a AT-6 and Navy version called the SNJ with a tailhook. And similar planes for Germany and Japan. In fact Japan had a version of the AT-6 they got before the war.

The instructor could be in the plane and tell the student what he is doing right or wrong.
That was online above.

For offline, they could have the same thing, with the instructor AI telling the student what he is doing wrong, ie...To fast on final Approach, to high...etc.

I enjoy working with a Squadron online and learning new things with real people. Just the other day VF-17_Twisted showed me a killer move in a Corsair I could never learn off-line in a AI envirement.

Just my thoughts,

VF-17_DWolf

jds1978
12-06-2005, 07:31 PM
Q-Bert: I hear what you're saying but i have to disagree...

I'm a history enthusiast first and a simmer second. The only "games" that have gotten any ammount of love from me are Hearts of Iron 1&2, the Combat Mission series, and now the IL2 series. Why is that? Because when i load up any of these games i know i'm getting the real deal...that is, that i'm going back to the past to re-create the WW2 era. Whether i'm managing the socio-economic structure of the 3rd Reich in HOI, commanding a Red Army tank battalion in CM 2, or dive bombing the Japanese TF off Midway Is. in PF, i know that the developers of these games have paid enough attention to historic detail to make it as real as possible w/o actual lead flying.

About a month ago, a good dozen of my friends had an XBox party. They hooked up 4 TV's and as many consoles and had it out with a Halo 2 "Death Match-athon"....i was bored stupid. That's when i realized that i was a "Simmer" not a "Gamer"

Funnily enough, a lot of the time i fly around just to sight-see and put different AC through their paces. What is the plane capable of? How does that compare w/ planes "X, Y, & Z?"

I share your concern about us being stuck in a niche market. The consoles are taking over and i fear the day when people like 1c cave into corporate and or market driven demands to dumb their products down in order to appeal to a larger auidience.

I think simmers are ahead of the curve in relation to gamers in the smarts department.
They know that anything good is worth putting a little effort into. In order to get good at a sim and enjoy it to it's full potential you have to do some research and be open to instruction.

You're dead on about the lack of training content out of the box. It would be cool to have some sort of basic training followed by advanced fighter tactics school. I'm not sure i agree with your methodology though.

I hope this didn't come across as patronizing or condescending...i like the way you're thinking and share some of your concerns.

Great Topic

sukebeboy
12-06-2005, 08:13 PM
I agree that the game needs more of a human touch. I love the technical aspects and the complex flight models, but the single player experience (which is primarily what I look for in games) is decidedly lacking in atmosphere.

I would love to see more polish and extras thrown in to increase a sense of immersion, risk, and reward.

Apart from the AI problems which have plagued the game since it's inception (I played a mission in my IJN campaign last night and the Kate torpedo bombers I was escorting STILL managed to all ditch into the sea rather than launch their torps), the game just feels dry. The mission briefings and AARs are flat and uninspired and there's no sense of continuity within the campaign.

There are a bunch of little things that other games have gotten right that would add so much to the game if they were implemented. LucasArts Their Finest Hour and even X-Wing had a great pilot roster system€€and accompanying AI routine that tracked every pilot's progress in your squadron and you could actually see the results as your wingmen went from rookies to veterans and became more profficient as time went on. They also took the time to add easily accessable squadron logs with individual pilot pictures (and in later X-Wing series games, voices). It felt like you were more a part of a real, living squadron and you felt the loss if an ace went down during a mission.

More immerisive briefings like those from B-17 II or even EAW would add a lot.

CFS3's flight model sucked, but the dynamic campaign was pretty well done. I liked the fact that you could affect the war's outcome, if even in a little way. Rowan's Flying Corps did this well too. The maps actually reflected what you'd done on past missions so if you took out a bridge and some AA in a certain area, they'd still be gone in later missions. (You could even go and take out repair crews that showed up later in certain instances in Flying Corps).

Some more tangible rewards for doing well would be nice. Little things such as kill paintings on your aircraft skin or the ability to put in a custom skin or rename the squadron, etc.

Once you become a squadron leader, the ability to attract certain types of recruits based upon your rep would be cool. Again, done in Flying Corps.

I don't think the OP was suggesting dumbing down the actual in-game flight model, just adding some bells and whistles to improve the overall experience.

I'm all for that. (And for the love of God, Oleg, please, please, PLEASE hire some professional voice actors to replace the UK/Commonwealth pilots. They're too painful to listen to.)

ronison
12-06-2005, 08:42 PM
I have to agree with what Chuck_older and Bearcat said. They are 100% on with that. I have a few things to add too.

I personly am not a super pilot in IL-2. I do have some, not much, real stick time in aircraft, my brother in law use to be a flight instructor. The thing is I do know how to fly and land. I find simulators that are true simulators fun and challanging if done correctly. I have yet to find one other than IL-2 that has even come close. I have not tryed all that are out there but even the microsoft ones don't really cut it for me. IL-2 even has room for improvement but again is the closest I have found.

Back in the day I was impressed with Aces of the Pacific and even Aces of Europe being they were cuting edge and were some of the first to support rudder controls and HoTS systems. They were still arcady and so were not what I concidered real but had their fun moments.

I got IL-2 and had to say WOW! This is great. My borther in law has tryed many of the flight sims I have had over the years and has hated every one of them. He recently sat down in frount of IL-2 at my dads and said that it was very realistic and he would play it if he had the time, which unfortunetly he does not.

Going to a even simi arcade like style would totaly turn me off to any flight sim. I dont want to be known as "Robert Fox Super Sim fighter pilot" I want to be known as just another guy that is enjoying the flight sim that is trying to reach for reality profection.

Yes that will turn alot of people off right there because they dont want to spend the time learning how to really and I mean (Really) fly an aircraft. But for thoes of us that do want that we are very thankful that out of all the video game designers out there one is doing just that. Out of all the games I have played only 2 and arguably 3 have come close. There are literly 100s of flight sims that have come out sence I started in 88 and few have held my intrest.

I have tryed thoes that you have a script, ones that you make a pilot, ones that you have to fly mission 1 successfuly to get to mission 2 etc. IL-2 does not restrict me that way. I can try more in this sim that reaches for what really happened than any I have ever tryed and I like that.

I dont like learning to fly or even having to learn to fly every sim... or every plane for that matter. I like the challange of geting into it and learning that what the last flight sim did does not work 100% in this one. I like the challange of having not only diffrent shaped planes but actully ones that fly diffrent because in reality they were diffrent and did act diffrent than the other modle.

Geting down to it Im so happy that one person is out there not doing what every other designer does that I cant thank Olga more for IL-2. Yes he may make more money if he catters to all the "I want a game" flight simmers out there. But then for thoes of us that dont want that we would never have the oppertunity of enjoying what really, or at least almost really happened out there in WWII.

No offence but I say thanks for your suggestion but I will be much happier if Olga goes even further the other direction than what you suggest. I want something more realistic and less "Learn to fly". Thoes that need to learn to fly can take up another sim and learn the basics then move on to the next IL-2 like game. Someday I hope for 100% reality. I cant wait for the day computers and programing reach point.

actionhank1786
12-06-2005, 09:29 PM
Sukebeboy's got a nice idea.
I do think little touches could be added to the campaigns. I love the campaign, but little things like that would be an excellent addition.
I've just started a career with the Seafire, we're taking on Iwo Jima and i've decided i want to model the plane like it would be going through the missions, and taking the hits.
If i took shots in a mission from flak, i'd paint some repaired patches on my skin, with each kill, i'd add a kill mark to the skin.
It'll add that much more immerssion.

Freelancer-1
12-06-2005, 10:57 PM
As I see it, there are two distinct camps here. Fanbois and realists.

The fanboi's narrow minded view boils down to, "if it ain't in the package, it ain't needed". So, anything resembling training, a manual, missions geared to skill level are belittled as too arcade.
Falcon 4 was mentioned by this camp. The difference is IL2 has a manual of maybe five pages while F4's is more like five hundred.

The realists see that although this is an excellent sim, it is only one mans vision. And that vision includes the use of a crystal ball to figure out the controls, map them, and learn to use them. There is IMO, nothing arcade about training and complete and useful instructions.

The game would not suffer by having a tutorial, like most every other "sim" produced in the last number of years. If you are honest with yourself you will see that this series is a good core wrapped in a poor package.

At a time when sales of flight sims are in decline, I don't think it would be asking too much to make this and future sims more accessible to people who may be open to trying them.

To think otherwise is elitist and a major contributor to the demise of the genre.

Skoshi Tiger
12-07-2005, 12:11 AM
What I think is missing from the training missions (and the actual combat missions for that matter) is informative feedback.

The thing that sticks in my mind (going back to when I did my private pilots licence) was the instructor continually telling me to 'Step on the Ball, right rudder, right rudder' so often that it was easier to do it right than put up with the anoying voice in the headphones!

So... If your doing the right thing you don't have to put up with the canned voice. and the anying prompts

In PF training mission there are only general instruction at the begining no feedback during the actual training and only basic success/fail message after the mission.

Not a good way to analize your mistakes.

A 'good' was to implement traing would be like in Janes 'Longbow' sim with an instructor talking you through the missions and telling you where and when you go wrong.

Because we are flying in a sim its easy to develop bad habits that would be unforgivable in real life, but we can get away with because we get a new plane everytime we fly. (ie overheating our engines, landing alot faster than we should be etc.) It would be good to be told about it( in training missions anyway) when we do it! Even if it is just an angry note from the maintenance crew in the mission debrief!

SeaFireLIV
12-07-2005, 12:37 AM
Originally posted by Freelancer-1:
As I see it, there are two distinct camps here. Fanbois and realists.

The fanboi's narrow minded view boils down to
The game would not suffer by having a tutorial, like most every other "sim" produced in the last number of years. If you are honest with yourself you will see that this series is a good core wrapped in a poor package.

At a time when sales of flight sims are in decline, I don't think it would be asking too much to make this and future sims more accessible to people who may be open to trying them.

To think otherwise is elitist and a major contributor to the demise of the genre.

I am obviously a fanboi, but I do believe that a good TUTORIAL would immensely help and not detract at all from the sim.

Mr.QBerrt`s idea for a training tutorial is a good one. If I were in control of the dynamic Campaign offline system...

1. I would have it that the player pilot started off at flight school with a spoken introduction and then guided to take off by an instructer in a 2-man biplane, given the controls and allowed to fly a bit with the leader retaking control whenever the player lost it. The AI pilot leader would explain the basic principles of `stall` and `spins`, etc, demonstrating then allowing the player a few tries...

2nd mission would have takeoff and landing practises. Repeating (in a realistic manner) as needed.

3rd mission - you`re on your own with your 1st takeoff and land, again with animated instructions.

By the 4th mission, I`d throw in a `real-life` incident like an emergency or the German attack on Russia, or surprise attack on Pearl harbour. The game engine could `decide` when a player may be ready for such incidents.

After that, the Campaign would go dynamic. Of course the player could skip the tutorials if he wished. There could always be variations to this with enough effort (bomber tutorials, fighter shooting tutorials). The point is, I would try to make the training feel as part of the real world, with possible chances of being caught in the war.

My message is simply avoiding trying to net EVERYONE, because it simply isn`t possible to keep a simulation and still draw in EVERYONE. As real life aircraft flying is not for everyone, a sim can only reflect that fact, whether it means less cash or not...

I say again, if a flight simulation manages to get everyone into it, from children to adults with NO interest whatsoever in flying, then something`s wrong - the flight sim can`t really be simulating flight as in reality.

(Still, there is the old trick of making the FM very easy and gradually updating through numerous patches until everyone`s got used to it... which is technically what happened with IL2... http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-surprised.gif)

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v31/SeaFireLIV/p39.jpg

WOLFMondo
12-07-2005, 02:54 AM
Originally posted by 3.JG51_BigBear:
I've always said they left the game out when they put this software together. I think 1C actually cuts itself off from a much larger market by making a product that lacks a fun factor unless you're willing to download a whole lot of third party mission, campaigns, etc. or are just a total nerd for WW2 airplanes.

100% agree there. I don't want a video game though, I want a sim. However tutorials like LOMAC etc would be a good idea.

bogusheadbox
12-07-2005, 06:49 AM
Originally posted by Freelancer-1:
As I see it, there are two distinct camps here. Fanbois and realists.

The fanboi's narrow minded view boils down to, "if it ain't in the package, it ain't needed". So, anything resembling training, a manual, missions geared to skill level are belittled as too arcade.
Falcon 4 was mentioned by this camp. The difference is IL2 has a manual of maybe five pages while F4's is more like five hundred.



To quote the difference in manuals between f4 and IL2 is ludicrous.

When have you seen a WW2 plane with IFF, Guided missiles, guided bombs, aircraft with 6 different modes of tracking a target, aricraft with jammers to counter 6 defferent modes of tracking, lasers, blackboxes, fly by wire, night vision, heat vision, in flight fefueling, awacs.

That is just absurd.

And your comment about the fanboys against the realists is a load of dung as well.

In my opinion from time spent on these boards is that the fanboys know most what would benefit the game. Its just that they are so happy even having a game of this callibre that they don't care too much for further improvements as they are aware that Oleg's new title is in the making.

As for the realists. they just know almost the same as the fanboys on average, but like to whinge a lot more.

We all know what this game needs as an improvement. The AI tweaks, a dynamic campaign, so forth and so forth. All these things have been discussed.

As for the discussion regarding game or sim. Well that is open to conjecture. I like the game because of the way it tries to emulate realism. And its that side of the simulation that makes it a great game for me.

I would be bored, if it had less realism. I would be bored if it didn't have the best online playability. I would be bored if there was only one plane to fly.

Quite simply. This IS a game. A game that emulates realistic flying. And for me, that is why my other games are either shelved or get played once in a blue moon. And that is why the IL2 series has been a huge success.

Why is it a success. Becuase this game has found a ready market. If there was no such market for a simulator then this game would have failed.

So i think you can agree that, despite some downsides, this game fills it neiche with abundance and provides fun, entertainment and learning to the better side of 1000 online players every night (of course no way of guaging the offline campaigne players.

You know, some people would like the mona lisa changed as well becuase a picture of Anna Kournikova would look much better. But would you dare tell the artist to his face after all the work he has put into it?

DmdSeeker
12-07-2005, 07:58 AM
Interesting thread; with a great initial post.

I can only agree with the initial poster; and I think many here are confusing content with presentation; as IL-2 is potentialy already one of the most arcade air games around; just as it's potentialy one of the most hard core sims. By that I mean the plethora of difficulty options which Oleg very wisely included in his sim.

So the fact is; the arcade game is already here; on your drive; hidden in the difficulty options; so let's get over that one right away.

I don't read the initial post as a critisim of Oleg's content in any way; I read it as a critisim of presentation.

As far as that goes; he's right on the button. The fact that we're all here on the Internet via Windows boxes prooves that Interface is all; as Windows it's self is the triumph of Interface of Function (arcade computing; if you like http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif ).

Knowing this has made Bill Gates increadibly rich; and learning it will do no harm to Oleg.

Yes; IL-2 is a great sim; but it's also a very poor game.

Any one who's ever flown Red Baron knows there's been better games; even if the "sim" part would be sorely lacking today.

Simple things; like campaign generation for every flyable plane are missing; and even a manual which states authoritively how one uses game features such as bombsites and the myriad types of engine augementation is lacking.

I'd much rather see campaign folders added; the ability for campaign builders to set skins and an interface update than another new plane which I can't fly offline other than in the QMB.

IL-2 is a great product. But it's not good enough; and it's been blessed by a lack of meaningfull competition. Pacific Fighters was simply shoddy.

It'll be interesting to see in which direction Oleg goes with BoB.

MrQBerrt
12-07-2005, 09:37 AM
DmdSeeker,

Well said

triad773
12-07-2005, 09:41 AM
Great thread; thought provoking. I was recently looking at the new "game" named Heros of the Pacific. I read some reviews and considered buying it. Which is why this thread is so interesting to me: IL-2 and the subsequent additions are, no doubt, a simulator.

Undoubtedly, most of us are veterans of other sims. I've done Jane's USAF, F/A-18 Hornet (Mac & PC), MSFS 04, MS CFS 2 and the like, so learning the sim wasn't as much an issue as much as it was just seeing how 1C (in thier own way) has implemented what had been laid out before. This isn't to say that originality is lacking (what can I say about the finest flight SIM to date), but being more of a tech head than gamer I gravitated to where there is a balance of realism and great graphics. That, and I've also loved WWII aircraft since a child, and Oleg not only does WWII right (IMHO) but raised the bar of what a flight sim should be.

So to summarize my point, I don't think I will be buying Heros of the Pacific for the very reason that it IS more of an arcade game than flight sim. I can't wait for BoB!

Cheers!

Triad773

raaaid
12-07-2005, 09:44 AM
i also agree i would like to see a simulator that considered you know nothing and it taugh you the combat manoubers

you would start in the academy and would end fighting online

MrQBerrt
12-07-2005, 09:56 AM
I started this same thread over in simhq, and I posted this reply to a quote over there. So I thought I'd copy it over to this thread as well.

So this is what I said over at SimHQ:

Wow, I stirred something up. Thanks for the replies everyone, a lot of them have changed my views a little bit.

Now I'm going to do something stupid and disagree with myself.
Someone posted this:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Don't get me wrong, I'm not against accessibility in concept, just saying, "Beware what you wish for... you just might get it!" In a way, I agree with that person. One of the most refreshing parts of this game is the lack of prepubesent kids gunking up the servers and the comms. At 25, I am one of the youngest people in my squad and I like it that way. I'd play much less if I had to deal with all the team kills, cheating, and trash talk from script kiddies that you have to with other games (like online FPS's).

In a way I like the game inaccessible and cold. Oh, and bah humbug http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

SeaFireLIV
12-07-2005, 10:44 AM
Yep. I`ve tried some online games and the children who consistently bring their whines online, then get into a girl fight verbally has instantly turned me off going online to many games (although, you can get some surprisingly mature kids, but they`re rare).

IL2 greatly reduces this problem.
Go onto a server in UT2004 and as an adult who wants to play a game and work as a team - forget it!

But in IL2 I can go on Warclouds and hear people who don`t squeak in my ear and are actually over 10 years old!

Big difference.

mean_mango
12-07-2005, 01:54 PM
There's still something no one has really hit upon yet. A lot of the realism also comes from the OPENNESS of the sim!

There's just a point where the imagination has to take over. That's the critical connection that makes a simulation immersive. If the user is spoon fed every detail and given too much in-game direction and rewards, the player feels that he (she) is watching a movie, rather than participating in something special.

My favorite thing about IL2 is you are given a briefing, then you're on your own. No one leads you by the hand to tell you what to do (like linear shooters), you have to take off and make your own decisions and hope it works out. Never mind flying and combat, how many other games/sims make you think so much about how you're going to approach a problem and decide the best execution? Use the radio! Look around! Assess the situation and figure out what to do next. This is GREAT!! http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/11.gif

Half-life 2 is a good example. Exciting game, sweet graphics, neat story. But I feel like I'm **watching** things happen instead of **making** things happen!

I don't disagree, training and a few extra's are a good idea, care must be taken not to bring it too far.

(my rant for today) http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/35.gif

"Make you work HARD to fly, fight, and land. That's the reward, and it's huge. I consider every aspect of learning and succeeding the Il2 way far more satisfying than any other game I've ever played in my entire life." - Weather_Man

I couldn't have put it better myself!! http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/25.gif

Kuna15
12-07-2005, 02:36 PM
@ Good post Berrt. With some points I agree with some I don't.

Anyway, for me the best reward is knowledge I gain from game and info from forum about my favourite free-time fun occupation: (ww1/2) aviation.

Platypus_1.JaVA
12-07-2005, 02:43 PM
Bl@st, I wished I was in this thread before it ended in the stalemate between the Sim n@zi's and the arcade kiddies.

Anyways, I am a sim n@zi so, I'm quite satisfied with this game.

brimigus
12-07-2005, 03:39 PM
It's a hard game to learn and even harder to master.What more fun than that.I dont know you but I think you might have terminal consoleitis.

Bearcat99
12-07-2005, 09:22 PM
Originally posted by MrQBerrt:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Some of what you suggest, QBert, also imples that this game is for online players only

I think I might be risking hijacking my own thread here but do you feel that IL-2 caters to offline gamers very well? I have to disagree on that one, I think it caters to online play much more so than it does to offline play. I almost listed that as one of the points in my little tirade, but I thought it had been covered so much already that I'd just let it lie.

I think that IL-2 would be much more accesible and be a much better game/sim if the offline campaigns were done better, or shipped with some of the excelent user made campaigns/missions.

As another related point, it seems to me like the only way to really have fun with the game and learn how to play the game is by getting online. And I'm not talking about flying online. The config file editing is a great example of this, how would I know how to make the game look good if I wasn't an internet user? </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

It does fine by me offline. Between my HOTAS, VAC TIR and the hundreds of great missions out there.. not to mention the UQMG and being able to vary the skill set of the AI.. I enjoy the heck out of this sim offline. But Im a pushover.... http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/35.gif

As far as learning to tweak the sim online.. well that goes for anything. Do you really think there would be so much out for the CFS series if there was no online community? Or all the 3rd party books tat come out for a lot of games? No way.

VFA-195 Snacky
12-07-2005, 09:22 PM
It is possible to tweak and mess with a game so much as to make it unrealistic. case in point

horseback
12-07-2005, 10:54 PM
A lot of people have made some very valid points about the nature of this sim; I have to say that I belong to the camp that thinks it could be a lot more user friendly, and have a much better dynamic campaign. Certainly, the Red Baron campaign format was far superior, and the training missions were more user friendly.

However, Red Baron was originally conceived as an offline experience, and the campaign/pilot career concept was fully developed over a number of years by people who speak and write English. Oleg started froma quite different concept and language/cultural base, and realized that his customer base would necessarily be international.

Language and cultural differences make a universal training program a real problem.

I started with the original Il-2 Sturmovik, before its first patches, it had a useful training syllabus; the player would watch about 10-15 minutes of instructional video, and then be allowed to fly a repeat of the demo.

I spent several weeks just learning how to fly my Sturmovik and then the 109, taking off, strafing and bombing before once again landing (sort of). I found that once you mastered the CFS2 carrier landing training mission in the Wildcat, landing the Bf 109 in Il-2, while still not exactly cake, was doable.

Unfortunately, the patches made the demos unuseable, and the player who patched the game before mastering it was on his own. It looks to me as though the expectation that every iteration of the Il-2 game engine will need patching has led to the lack of an interactive training program. Training missions, such as they are, are relatively sparse.

Not a problem for me, I got in on the ground floor, but it does make it a lot harder for the newcomers. We have a moviemaking forum, with a number of gifted virtual pilot/filmmakers, that have the ability to fill the gaps. A series of movies/tracks, showing how to take off, maneuver, and land, for each major aircraft type, could be very useful to the community, particularly if they were hosted at these forums. The best tracks could be adapted for texts in each major language group, for easier access for all newcomers.

There is a recognized need, but Oleg and his crew can't afford to come up with yet another freebie. It's up to the community to train the new members.

cheers

horseback

Professor1942
12-08-2005, 10:23 AM
Sim, video game, it doesn't matter what it's called; the fact is the User Interface is terrible. If you study systems and GUI design you will see a lot of the "never do this" examples in IL-2... confusing layout, lots of "what am I supposed to do now" situations, etc. This would not take too much work to clean up and help to hook in more people who might be discouraged because of the bad design. The 'game' itself is, of course, great.

triad773
12-08-2005, 10:32 AM
I agree with the Professor. From a development standpoint, the GUI's a mess. BUT I always accepted this as a given due to the fact of where the code was written: they may not have the aesthetic value that MS has, but the functionality is there. Unfortunately it is left to the end user to figure it out. Perhaps use of more Subject Matter Experts in the System Development cycle would iron out some of those kinks. Still a great sim, but it could use more polish.

Chivas
12-08-2005, 11:52 AM
IL-2/FB/AEP/PF is an incredible achievement. Its remarkable that a game so complex could be so smooth and relatively bug free from the beginning of the series.

Oleg has continued with the highest possible support including many free aircraft, maps, and objects. Along with that there is the outstanding work of the Sturmovic community providing skins, missions, and campaign engines.

Out of the box the airfields and terrain felt a little deserted and can take away from some of the immersion, but I'm sure this was intentional to preserve smooth game play for people with weak systems. This is easily rectified.

The feel of flight ,ground terrain, incredible cities, and outstanding damage model all lend to a very satisfying experience.

I'm a huge Oleg fan (very old boy) and hope I live long enough to enjoy BOB for many years.

Chuck_Older
12-08-2005, 04:57 PM
Originally posted by MrQBerrt:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Some of what you suggest, QBert, also imples that this game is for online players only

I think I might be risking hijacking my own thread here but do you feel that IL-2 caters to offline gamers very well? I have to disagree on that one, I think it caters to online play much more so than it does to offline play. I almost listed that as one of the points in my little tirade, but I thought it had been covered so much already that I'd just let it lie.

I think that IL-2 would be much more accesible and be a much better game/sim if the offline campaigns were done better, or shipped with some of the excelent user made campaigns/missions.

As another related point, it seems to me like the only way to really have fun with the game and learn how to play the game is by getting online. And I'm not talking about flying online. The config file editing is a great example of this, how would I know how to make the game look good if I wasn't an internet user? </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Well, yes I do feel it caters to offline very well. It's what you make of it. I have very elaborate scenarios on my PC here that won;t ever be co-op or dogfight missions. Ever. They are for offline play. It's like anything else- you put something into it, you get something back

My other ("real" if you like) Hobby (passion?) is old cars. I'll tell you what, I use my old (37 year old now) car as transportation and as a hobby, I have for over 16 years. That hobby doesn't take you by the hand and show you how to have a good time- the car alone can't do it, see what I mean?

You put time and effort into it. You learn about it. As I said before, literally 60 years worth of info on the subject of aerial combat from WWII is available- for free- and that lends itself much more to the offline aspect than the online aspect, if you're into accuracy or historical scenarios or whatever you may call it

The single play aspect of this sim is not great out of the box. However, it does alright- it's just not as good as the rest with the exception of sound quality. I would not make my campaign efforts available to ship with this sim though. I do this for fun, and I'm not going to get married to this or any other sim in any commercial manner in which my work is featured, regardless of whether or not I get paid.

I can't agree that you have to be online to learn to play the game. Since I have an interest in aviation, I knew the principles of heavier than air flight when I was a kid (many flight simmers love aviation, not just flight sims, it's one of the differences between players and simmers- I'd know how many rounds the inner pair of guns on a P-51D carried or who Don Gentile was regardless of whether flight sims existed or not) I played the orignal Il2 and this sim for about a year before I went online to play. Sims kind of rely on the player knowing that it's a simulation of real thing, and that the player has limitless opportunities outside of the simulation to learn the rudiments of the sim- and from sources much, much better than any game manual ever was- it's simulation of something that really happened or could have at least. Simmers are "into" it more than players. Some players couldn't care less how it really was...I see scary posts about "fairness" and "balance" sometimes...hoo boy you'd think this was a game of Dungeons and Dragons when you read that! Imagine this:

"Well your Platinum Cloud Dragon's MV is clearly overmodelled Oleg, fix it at once! Unless you rememdy the situation post haste I will express my opinions on every forum. I have already banned your Silver Scimtar+2 from my servers because you have not defined how a soft metal like silver can be enchanted sufficient to supprt the rigors of melee!"

Balance? Fairness? No thanks. I want the real advantages and disadvantages. We have it easy- you know already the P-40 can't out-climb a Zero so you don't have to learn the hard way http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-wink.gif

regardless of all that, I said it seems you feel that:

"this game is for online players only"

Not that it is *better* for online play than off. Online can be a mob scene. Offline is always at your own pace. No time restraints, no players logging off, your time is your own, you can learn and play at your pace- you can ever play with a book on combat maneuvering at your desk- press pause- and you can look up hpw to do an aerobatic manuever, then try it. Save a track and then examine it.

You feel you must get online help to play? How so?

Bearcat99
12-08-2005, 09:38 PM
VAC is the number one enhancement to the offline experience for me. Hands down.

Markku38
12-09-2005, 01:10 AM
When I'm talking about this game with other people I'm using word "simulation" or "sim" - never game http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/35.gif

And I'm offliner http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/10.gif

Oh and btw I think I'm suffer Olegolish http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/blink.gif http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/25.gif

sapre
12-09-2005, 03:01 AM
Originally posted by SeaFireLIV:
[QUOTE]Originally posted by MrQBerrt:

I haven`t played Oblivion yet, and while I look forward to it, I hear worrying reports... There will be a special `jump` mode to skip long distances without any need for normal travel modes (as with the not so good fable). Players may be charged for official plugins like extra armour, etc. hmmm...


Whats wrong with the 'jump' mode?
Didn't you used silt striders and guild guides in Morrowind?
I never heard of players being charged official plugins.

FlatSpinMan
12-09-2005, 04:20 AM
I love this sim but I think the original poster has some good points, particularly in terms of how the game starts - a screen of switches followed by a screen of switches, plus all all the "No XXXXXX" labels. I know it wasn't designed on a huge budget or anything but it isn't the most approachable game to get into.

Hoatee
12-11-2005, 05:35 AM
If you want to feel rewarded, there is one other game which you can only play online - very rewarding experience guaranteed.

dieg777
12-11-2005, 08:58 AM
Baisically what chuck_older said... there are lots of levels in this game for both the on line player and off line player.

So what if some of these are on the internet- there are very few who are into games that dont have an internet connection- think of all the game patches you have to download.

The user community here have supplied immense offline campaigns, tutorials, mission generators, single missions, utilities and programes to make the game more interesting.For free.

I really cant think of a single PC game I have played that was complete out of the box and hasnt either needed a patch or was updated to shooterdriversportsgodsim 2 and 3 over the years

Yes there are things that could be improved like a better tutor system, and Id love to get back to paper manuals like in Flying Corp , however times change and publishers realise that most information is available on the internet.

I dont know how you would get flight sims out of the niche market- I think it is a bit chicken and egg.. it would need publicity and active marketing to push them to the consumer, however if publishers cant see a return then they wont invest in this.

Too many games publishers seem to only be interested in "safe " generic followups or copies to existing titles that can be made multiplatform to return their investment, its going too far away from small developers, only Peter Molyneux seems to push the envelope and he has a great track record behind him.

Professor_06
12-12-2005, 10:36 PM
1. This game is the best value with a balance of fun and realism. The best WWII flight/ combat game.

2. Sorry, but genre is not really a true simulation but more of a reality based game. Its in the same "sim" catagory as GPL or Sim Racing or GTR. IMO. Close desktop sims would be Falcon 4 Allied Fighters or Xplane 8.15 or FS2004 but only with the high fidelity addons. I have several.

3. Thank God for guys who spend their valuable time doing missions like the UQMB and Aces Collection. (few others deserve mention too)
This project suffers from very poor dynamic campaigns and pathetic single mission collections.

4. i agree with the original poster that this project could use use something to give it some personality, like you find in B17 Mighty 8th or RB. Hes not talking about Crimson Skys, just some personality.

5. Im in the minority here. I prefer static missions, real historical personalities and historical cambat scenarios.

6. Im glad 1C/ PF exists otherwise I would still be playing CFS2.

Treetop64
12-13-2005, 12:06 AM
Originally posted by Bearcat99:
VAC is the number one enhancement to the offline experience for me. Hands down.

BC, I'm pretty much an offliner myself. What is VAC and how do I get it?

Thanks!

Ijnpilot
12-13-2005, 03:04 PM
I agree with the need for a better method of training new players. I jumped on the Il-2 boat in 2001 after having "played" or simmed on Falcon 4.0, MS FS, CFS 1 and 2, and Jane's F-15. One of my first reactions when I purchased Il-2 was "where's the how-to-fly section in the manual(existed on a very sparse level) and the training missions?" I could for the most part jump in, land and take off, dogfighting, and completing missions wth all the settings no problem.

I still thought about how someone that hadn't played other sims before could jump into Il-2. The training still seems to be some late WW2 Luftwaffe training where after a 30 minute film, they expect you to jump in an Me-262 and defend the Fatherland. Added thorough training missions like having to learn to fly with instruments, landing and taking off, navigation, night fighting, a real aerial gunnery trainig mission, formation flying, and engine management would really up the accessibility to the sim. Think Silent Hunter III. Being a WW2 aircraft fan does not a flyer make.

DDastardlySID
12-17-2005, 10:05 PM
Originally posted by Treetop64:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Bearcat99:
VAC is the number one enhancement to the offline experience for me. Hands down.

BC, I'm pretty much an offliner myself. What is VAC and how do I get it?

Thanks! </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

VAC (Voice Activated Commands) is a wonderful program by Shift-E which lets you define sequences of key presses to be triggered by spoken phrases. This means that you can give orders to your AI wingmen verbally rather than having to reach for your keyboard, greatly increasing immersion in offline play. And it's not limited to just radio commands -you can change views or adjust settings on your plane too. In fact you could even (theoretically) steer by saying "left a bit, right a bit" etc into your mic, although a joystick might be easier for that lol.

You can download the program (along with a pretty comprehensive profile of FB/AEP/PF commands) from http://www.dwvac.com.
Cheers,
DickDastardly

Interminate
12-19-2005, 07:04 PM
I would have like some sort of walk through mission for complex engine management, full realism.

lupo81
12-20-2005, 02:54 AM
HEI! THIS IS A FLIGHT SIMULATOR,not a simple video game. If you want to earn money shooting down planes and buy new guns ,you must buy crimson sky. Il2 (fb,pf....) is a fantastic simulator.

neural_dream
12-20-2005, 03:33 AM
...but an appalling video game http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-wink.gif

Hoatee
12-20-2005, 03:49 AM
I consider the whole IL-2 series to be a very bad example of a video game, and I blame this on Oleg Maddox.

Well that last post looks slightly better. Keep working on it.

theco
12-20-2005, 09:21 AM
Just don't impliment a ranking system. Ranks and ladders are very bad.

wehyam
12-21-2005, 03:29 AM
Excellent post.. I agree totally..
The responses emphasising the 'sim status' of IL etc vs games miss the point. History shows.. real flyers had to learn techniques and very few learnt them in the battle, unless maybe by slaughtering the even worse trained novices.

I would certainly pay the money for a 'training game sim' which opened up the flying techniques.. I dont need campaign editors yet,nor hundreds of different planes I need to do it like the airforce does it. The training section of the IL series is frankly, awful..
Of course I've got better after hours of hacking around in quick mission builder but I for one would have enjoyed 'going' to flying school, taking the exams, putting the hours in, doing navigation, complex engine management.. landing on carriers crosswinds, deflection shooting .. attack strategies ets..etc etc.
Peccator you're right.. that would be a real game and paradoxically, the more real the simulation, the more what you say is needed.. SO.. Anybody going to write it? (Oleg?) I think I've now paid over 100 pounds for the total 'IL2 game set' (and I daren't even think about the TrackIR costs..) I'd give it all for the 'training' that would have allowed me to really do the simulation (that everyones so proud of 'playing'), the justice it deserves.

chaikanut
12-21-2005, 08:07 AM
Il2 doesnt have to be dumbed down to make a better videogame and as for the tutorials, I only look at them as novelties, nothing more. Il2 at the moment is like a theater play with the very best actors but no script. All of its missions are bland and monotonous and the environment feels artificial. You only begin to notice this after you play for a while. What il2 would need are missions where a real war is going on around you, both on air and in the ground, like advancing columns, tank battles etc, ie a bit more life inside the game.

stubby
12-21-2005, 09:32 AM
Originally posted by chaikanut:
All of its missions are bland and monotonous and the environment feels artificial. You only begin to notice this after you play for a while. What il2 would need are missions where a real war is going on around you, both on air and in the ground, like advancing columns, tank battles etc, ie a bit more life inside the game.

I just downloaded the WWI for CFS3 (OFF). That thing is money. You want immersion, get that thang. The only good to come out of CFS3 has been this gem.

ZK-DABLIN
12-21-2005, 10:20 PM
I agree wholesemly with MrQBerrt.

This is a simulator I do recognise this fact. It is for this very reason it has developed such a strong following ; anything which represents reality can surely not be denied.

But what must be considered are the potential users of this game as an important factor to improving the overall efficiency of IL-2 or any game/simulator for the matter.

It would already be known that to makes further sales in this product requires new potential users to buy it. We all aren't exactly going to go buy a second copy of IL-2 just for the sake of improving IL-2 are we? Or atleast in the sense of the same version of it at any rate.

Many may consider allowing less realistic training aids within IL-2 or anything even remotely arcade to diminish to the overall quality and realism of the product.

I am surprised to find the number of people or lie against stepping aside from the reality of the simulation, without regarding that this is infact a computer 'simulator' and therefore isn't real anyway. Also I would like to know how many of these greviances come from people without any real pilot training or flight experience to begin with. When it comes to computer simulations, realism is nothing more then an illusion.

What must be considered is that everyone sees this illusion differently and some may be so completely oblivious to it that they become confused and lose interest in the simulation.

What I believe MyQBerrt was getting at was rather an increasing stage of training which allowed the virtual student pilot to gain hands on approach on isolated aspects of the simulation in an overall constructive and enlightening manner.

This system would allow the pilot to be come proficient at all the minor aspects of the simulation which in time would come together to provide the student with a greater realisation of how these aspects are related, and how to bring them together to develop better coordination and become a better pilot.

This is simuliar to real pilot training. On my first flight I wasn't thrown into the deep end and expected to perform everything required to get the plane in the air and perform the cicuits etc without violating airspace rules and posing a risk to other aircraft.

For example, initially I was removed entirely from all radio communication. This was my first introductory flight and it was considered only as a means of teaching me to understand and correctly use the primary flight controls of the aircraft. In terms of radio communication it was virtually on autopilot, with the flight instructor as the autopilot. This was also true for the rudder, it not necessarily an essential flight control I was given the freedom to ignore it for that first flight.

In terms of IL-2 this could be considered at many levels. Most of which I would not go through here.

For another example, following on the same lines of MrQBerrt; lets consider the training and licencing systems used within the PS2 title - Grand Turismo.

This training system is sequential in the matter that only basic driving movements, like accelaration and braking are first considered to gain achievement and accend through the licencing system. Once the driver has perfected this practice atleast within three notable levels (Gold, Silver, Bronze), the driver is given a new challenge. This is usually in the same fashion of the last test but uses a much faster and less controllable car to be used.

After this, corners become considered, then multiple corners, and the progress continues on from there.

This ommision of the other realitys of the game aren't their to make the product any less realistic but are their to give the driver greater proficiency toward the smaller aspects of the entire simulator so they can become a greater overall competitor in the races.

Once all minor aspects of any simulator become understood the the entire system will become obvious. This is true in any cases whether a simulator or real life.

Using unreal means of pilot training can only be considered arcade if it does not consider progress to total realism as the final achievement of the training in general.

With better training systems, rewards systems, and a more arcadic feel to IL-2 I foresee that the IL-2 community would grow considerably, IL-2 sales would greatly increase and because of so OLEG can spend even more resources improving the simulator even further.

And in time, these new pilots in IL-2 will grow sick of the unrealistic aspects of the game, especially as their experience grows, they will increase the realism settings, challenge themselves further and who knows, maybe become great virtual combat pilots which we all may even find challenging and a worthwhile participant of the online community.

At any rate. What ever the state of IL-2, it is a great product so please enjoy it as much as I do, and you will spend countless hours of enjoyment and challenge and all have a greater understanding of air-combat, and all other things aviation.

All of you guys have a Merry Christmas, enjoy the new year and all be safe and happy http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

Dablin

Das_Aucklander
12-21-2005, 11:53 PM
yep, i have left PF on my shelf after no more than 20 games of it. it just get to a point where the game is not fun when the game becomes too real. how can you have fun when you crash everytime trying to take off?

i will never buy another game from the russian guy again

Hoatee
12-22-2005, 06:38 AM
It's a free world.

Chivas
12-22-2005, 12:18 PM
Originally posted by Das_Aucklander:
yep, i have left PF on my shelf after no more than 20 games of it. it just get to a point where the game is not fun when the game becomes too real. how can you have fun when you crash everytime trying to take off?

i will never buy another game from the russian guy again

Taking off isn't that hard. Like anything worth while you may have to try alittle harder. If that isn't possible Oleg has provided many options to dumb down the flight model for novices.

Asgeir_Strips
12-24-2005, 03:37 AM
Originally posted by MrQBerrt:
I really like video games. I'm sure many of you do too, but I have a point I'd like to make here: I consider the whole IL-2 series to be a very bad example of a video game, and I blame this on Oleg Maddox.

Hopefully, I've caught your attention because I'll need it (just look at the length of this thing).

Here are two key elements of successful video games that come to mind. I'm sure there are many more, but be gentle with me; I'm pulling these out of my ***. With time, I could probably do better. But for now, here they are: a video game should €¦
<UL TYPE=SQUARE>
<LI>Help the player learn the game
<LI>Reward the player for playing the game
[/list]
I believe IL-2 fails at both of these and please bear with me while I elaborate on why I think this.

I hope you have played a Tony Hawk game, or at least know of it, because I'm going to use it as an example. When you first play Tony Hawk, you don't know the controls or how to play or if the game is fun or not. But within a few hours of starting, the game itself will have taught you how to do simple tricks and where to go in the level to have fun. By this time the game will be a blast to play. Within a few days, you will probably be doing complex tricks and have your favorite levels with your favorite spots. You will have learned all of this without going online to read tutorials on "How to skate" or "Where to have fun in Tony Hawk," you probably wont even have read the manual yet.

Most games accomplish this teaching aspect in some way. How do games accomplish this? I'm not here to say how exactly, there are a huge number of ways and even a large number of articles out there describing the phenomenon. What I am saying is that these techniques exist, they make the game fun, many are not hard to implement, and that IL-2 is sorely lacking in the utilization of them.

Also, I hope you have heard of EverQuest, because I'm using that as my next example. I've never played it, but I've heard of people playing EverQuest everyday for years before they learn; "Hey, I'm in an endless cycle of leveling-up." Yet, even when they realize this, they often keep playing, yearning for that next level. The fact is, EverQuest rewards the player for playing. Most games reward players like this in order to get them to keep playing the game. I know that I'll play a game for hours just to get that next level, that next spell, that next cut-scene, or that next piece of the story line. It's simple, stupid, and almost petty; but it works. People will play a game more, spend more money on it, and buy all the sequels if that game rewards them in some small way for playing it.

Now in IL-2 we do have a rewards system. We have the joy of shooting down a plane, and the joy of gaining respect in the online community and quite a few other small pleasures. Once we hit these rewards, it turns us into addicts, willing to purchase thousands of dollars worth of game input devices, new gaming rigs, and whatever Oleg throws at us next. I am one such addict, but the point I would like to make is that it takes a long time to get these rewards with this game. In fact, I would say it takes a good week before many players have any fun at all in IL-2, and it takes months if not years to really breed an IL-2 addict.

Does Oleg really hope keep players around and attract new players when it takes so long to have fun in the game? He does, and it is to his financial detriment. Compare this attitude with the outlook of leading game makers such as those of Halo, whose makers called it "30 seconds of fun repeated over and over again." Where is the 30 seconds of fun in IL-2? I think Oleg should ask himself this question, and if he cannot conceive of a way to get a brand new player access to those 30 seconds within an hour of installing the game, he needs to hire someone who can.

If he hired me for this position, here would be my first suggestion: Imagine this €¦

I buy the next big flight sim from Oleg Maddox. As I load the game for the first time, it asks me to create a pilot. This loads a webpage where I can create a unique pilot with a unique call sign. I then am presented with the main page of the game. There with all the other options is a button called training. I click this button and am presented with a slew of training options. From flight basics to aerial attack tactics to landing on carriers, it's all there. As I complete these training lessons, they show up as completed in my personnel log for my unique pilot that anyone can see on the web or in game. Completing the carrier qualifications for example will now allow me to play campaigns and online co-ops that require the pilot be carrier qualified. Here is both a reward and way to learn the game.

I'm not going to go too far into what the training would look like, but I'll give a few examples. In carrier landing, the game would start you on final approach to a carrier. The game would be paused asking you if you are "Ready to Start?" Pulling the trigger starts the training. As soon as you start you see the ghost of your plane right in front of you. This plane is on the correct flight path. On the left, there is a ghosting of your controls, these controls tell you what you need to do to match that ghost plane. As you stray low, it might show the throttle moving up, or your stick pulling back to match that ghost plane. Staying inline with the ghost means landing perfectly, but any landing that leaves the prop and the gear intact lets you pass the training and go on to carrier landing level 2 where you have to set up for final approach and so on.

As another example, wingman tactics level 1, sets you up with a bandit on your 6 and a friendly heading towards you at your high 12. At the correct time the ghost plane pulls left and if you follow, the friendly shoots the bandit off your back. In wingman tactics 2, the scenario is reversed and the bandit is on the friendly's 6. If you pull behind the bandit and miss him, no problem, there is a "Quick Restart" button that lets you start the training over. It doesn't do this by reloading the whole map, it just quickly teleports all objects back to their original position with original damage, ammo, etc, and pauses the game asking, "Ready to Start?" Of course, wingman tactics level 1 wouldn't be open to your pilot until you had passed some sort of gunnery practice, which would immediately give the new player another reward, the unlocking of new training pages with the eventual reward of updating your world viewable pilot profile.

And speaking of gunnery, the gunnery training, level 1, would open up with you right behind a bomber flying straight and level, the goal to down him, if you fail, just restart. Level 2 would show you where to shoot to knock a wing off, level 5 would start you on deflection shots. And while in the beginning stages of training there would be a "Shoot Now" indicator telling you when to shoot, and large explosions showing you where exactly you hit. There would also be a cumulative gunnery test that you could take to pass all gunnery training at once or to brush up on your skills. The scores of this test would be seeable by others so that you can brag about your marksmanship, which again gives the new player an easily accessible reward.

Many of these lessons would have a name that you would have to remember. So that when Maverick and Goose want to join my squad, I can look up their pilot profiles and see they have gotten to level 13 of wingman tactics, and so I can expect them to know how to perform and call out certain maneuvers like "Drag&Bag" and "Bracket Attack". They have formation flying level 5, so I expect them to know what a "Figure 4" is but I know that they might not be able to stay in a tight formation, else they'd be level 8. Also, I'd see that Maverick had 6 Rising Suns under his name meaning that he had shot down 6 bandits while not dying once and that he probably prefers flying as an American.

Imagine other scenarios as you like. Personally, I start drooling if I think about it too much.

This game mode doesn't exist, but the work involved wouldn't be too back breaking for Oleg. However, he refuses to do much besides update the internals of the flight sim and add new planes (how long has the community been complaining about the in-game menus?). These things are what make this flight sim great, much greater than any other in my opinion. However, it doesn't make the game more approachable or add any really new experiences to the game. I know that I'd spend a lot more time playing if the game taught me how to play and rewarded me for doing so, but what is more important is that other, newer players would also find the game more fun, and sales would go up.

To summarize both this game and this article, I'll say that IL-2 is a fantastic flight sim, but an appalling video game. There are a number of ways to improve this, I've given an example, but only one of many. I hope others will read this thread and share their ideas, especially the ones that involve teaching new players how to play the game and reward them for doing so. I believe that these ideas, if implemented, would grow our community and make Oleg more money.

Great Post man!

Im looking forward to future sim-projects by shockwave and oleg, but this time (with oleg) im going to wait until some other guys have checked it out first, because i dont want to spend like 40 bucks on a product thats similar to Pacific fighters, just with new locations and airplanes.

if oleg could just refine the AI,Campaign system (something comparable to BoBII but you can also just be a pilot in a squadron and not be "commander")

I would also like to see if you were like "Group Commander" (say this scenario is under the D-Day invasion) you could plan an air attack by your group, like that squadron has the task of providing air cover, while some other squadrons attack ground forces, but, you DO have to assign yourself to a permanent squadron (wingleader etc) so you aren't able to fly as anyone.. if he just could implement that kinda stuff into his next sim, it would be the best sim i've ever played.

and also i think you should be able to select which "era" you want to start "in" if the first game only contains the northern Europe theather (like, invasion of norway, low countries etc - battle of britain- start of the daylight bombing raids in 1943- D day and so on)

and i also think that they should take their time to implement the fleet air arm even in the first sim (before the addons that will follow)

and also regarding the possibility of hundreds of aircraft in the air, i think it should be user selectable, as those with lower end machines probably dont want to have that "enabled" if they play massive bomber escort missions with like 100 bombers and fighters at the same time..

just some thoughts :P

Hoatee
12-24-2005, 04:48 AM
I am absolutely and dead against any reward system, whatsoever. There is already one game out there which caters for the 'need to be rewarded' - and that just leads to class structures.

At best, it should be an option, as it is now. While the campaign engine might not suit everyone (and my sympathy to those who don't like it), I'm not shedding any tears over it mainly 'cos I don't play campaigns - I'm a QMB and to a lesser extent an FMB junkie. It's a pity imo that those areas were not expanded to include ground and/or naval warfare.

But I really am happy with what I have now.

ZK-DABLIN
01-01-2006, 05:23 PM
--- [Start Quote] --- Hoatee
I am absolutely and dead against any reward system, whatsoever. There is already one game out there which caters for the 'need to be rewarded' - and that just leads to class structures.

At best, it should be an option, as it is now. While the campaign engine might not suit everyone (and my sympathy to those who don't like it), I'm not shedding any tears over it mainly 'cos I don't play campaigns - I'm a QMB and to a lesser extent an FMB junkie. It's a pity imo that those areas were not expanded to include ground and/or naval warfare.

But I really am happy with what I have now.

--- [End Quote] ---

I would have to dissagree. The reward system much like it is now within IL-2 campaigns is necessary in atleast two factors I can think of now.

1. It reflects reality the way it was in the military sense air combat even still is. Rank is an important factor in any military organisation and provides as a sort of resume to all those around regarding the pilots experience and capabilities.

2. With the previous in mind, this would work greatly in online tournaments especially regarding squadrons as it would allow people to be able to identify which potential pilots are more suitable to be included within the team depending on their rank and related abilities.

Any reward or ranking system would not be intended to devide people but to identify someones ability (or atleast qualified ability) over another. Everyone would in their equal right be just as potentially capable as anyone else so stating that someone is inferior to another because of their lower rank would only hold true in experience; and is nothing which can bare any prejudice as expierence is linear and is something we must all transcend through.

Scharnhorst1943
01-02-2006, 10:19 AM
Hear Hear! Hear Hear! http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/351.gif

Capt_Kernel
01-02-2006, 04:31 PM
http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-very-happy.gif I feel sorry for all you chumps. You need to get a freakin life, and stop wasting time on this sort of ****. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/34.gif http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/59.gif

vanjast
01-02-2006, 05:36 PM
Ditto

Hoatee
01-03-2006, 03:01 AM
Let me revise my pov, slightly.

Of course, rank is an essential part of any military institution. Just don't let the simulation thereof restrict access to equipment in ridiculous manners. If you know me long enough, you'll know what game I have in mind when I say this.

Post scriptum : by all means, have tournaments and keep stats of kills but do not let that restrict access to equipment. Rank is (or should be) accorded on the ability to command and organize, etc.

CARBONFREEZE
01-04-2006, 03:44 PM
Originally posted by MrQBerrt:
Where is the 30 seconds of fun in IL-2?

I think 30 seconds of fun is bouncing a bunch of Yak-3s in line astern formation with my Fw190 =)

--------------------------------
Regarding the training, there are already tracks that have some text messages telling you how to do certain maneuvers. They aren't that great, but 1C Maddox has not included any additional training tracks similar to this since FB came out, and I have never found out how to add those text lines to the track. If it was possible for the player/community to create tracks with "comments" such as are in the training tracks included with FB I am sure someone would have come out with some training tracks already. Or you could make a dogfight map and record it as an ntrk for training with your text commentary in the chatbar, because this would allow you to both add comments and be playable by all versions of the game.

I haven't read all 4 pages of this thread so I am not sure if someone has brought the above up already.

Edit: added additional comment on NTRK.

sugaki
01-11-2006, 02:41 PM
There is faulty logic being employed here by most posters.

Simulation and video game are not mutually exclusive. Pacific Fighters can be a simulator *and* a video game. Video game does not automatically mean Crimson Skies.

Games always make compromises for the sake of fun--PF included. That's why you don't have 4-6hr long missions of just flying. That's why you don't have to go to the bathroom in your pants.

I agree that flight models should be realistic, but flight sims should spend an equal amount of attention in other aspects. Like a robust career mode for true roleplaying. Or particle effects that take advantage of DX9. I think the OP's point is valid in that flight sims often forget that they should focus on other areas other than flight models. There's more to flight sims than flight models, and unfortunately a disproportionate amount of time gets spent there but not anywhere else. Hence they're boring. Again, I don't think that means games should be easier, flight models more arcadey. But games should be, well, games. And just because a game has realistic flight models doesn't mean it can get away with being dry and dull in other areas.

Unknown-Pilot
01-12-2006, 07:56 AM
Originally posted by sugaki:
There is faulty logic being employed here by most posters.

There is no such thing as "faulty logic". People simply don't understand logic. It either is, or it isn't. There is no inbetween. No "faulty", no "your" or "my", and no "circular". The process is either followed properly, or it isn't. Period. Starting information can be incorrect however, and that will, in turn, lead to an incorrect result, but that's independent of the process.


I agree that flight models should be realistic, but flight sims should spend an equal amount of attention in other aspects. Like a robust career mode for true roleplaying. Or particle effects that take advantage of DX9. I think the OP's point is valid in that flight sims often forget that they should focus on other areas other than flight models. There's more to flight sims than flight models, and unfortunately a disproportionate amount of time gets spent there but not anywhere else. Hence they're boring. Again, I don't think that means games should be easier, flight models more arcadey. But games should be, well, games. And just because a game has realistic flight models doesn't mean it can get away with being dry and dull in other areas.

There is only 100% of time available.

Therefore, if more time is spent on things other than FMs, it will eat into what was spent on FMs. The total can never exceed 100%, so if you increase one area, you have to decrease another.

That means that you are suggesting one of 2 things, either the development cycle should take longer, costing more money, in an already slim margin field, or, that FMs should be considered less important than they are, and as such, be less 'realistic' than they are.

Of course, you've said that you don't think they should be made less realistic, but there's not much choice. - If you shift the time spent over to campaign, role playing, eye-candy, etc, you end up with...... Crimson Skies - because you've taken so much dev time away from FMs in the process.

All sims are games. Even mil-sims would be games (to us) if we could get in there and play with them and not have our performance in them have any impact on our lives.

The biggest thing missing from IL2, has finally been added in PF - truly dynamic campaigns. Campaigns that allows the historical victor to lose. I don't know if the merged install allows this to work back and affect ETO campaigns (though I would really hope it does), but as long as BoB supports this and furthers PF in every category (save graphics - what we have is more than good enough, no need to waste dev resources, or CPU cycles on even more eye-candy while there are so many other things that could be worked on instead), then it will be a grand slam.

Anyone who would gripe about that (or about PF), just isn't a simmer. Such people would be happier with CS, or perhaps console stuff.

sugaki
01-12-2006, 10:58 AM
There is no such thing as "faulty logic". People simply don't understand logic. It either is, or it isn't. There is no inbetween. No "faulty", no "your" or "my", and no "circular". The process is either followed properly, or it isn't. Period. Starting information can be incorrect however, and that will, in turn, lead to an incorrect result, but that's independent of the process.

Well, who's saying "faulty logic" is refusing that something "is either followed properly, or it isn't"? Faulty logic means it isn't, obviously. I have no clue what you're getting at here.


That means that you are suggesting one of 2 things, either the development cycle should take longer, costing more money, in an already slim margin field,

That's the whole point. The margin field is slim precisely because flight sims are only focusing on FMs. Increased dev time for better mass market appeal--yeah it'd require a willing publisher and a risk on part of the dev team, but interest in sims is out there. The problem is, sims have simply become too esoteric for most to understand. The other problem is that sims aren't scalable enough in realism--somebody with 0 sim experience should be able to get into the game--that won't happen with IL2, FB, or Falcon 4.0. AoA, boundary layer, prop pitch, fuel mixture is stuff that's overwhelming for the regular consumer.

And yes, I'm saying sims should cater more to mass market consumers. Because not doing so is exactly the reason why flight sims have been languishing as a genre.