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View Full Version : If I were developing a Sim



Bull_dog_
01-01-2005, 10:04 AM
Some thoughts for Oleg and others about sim development. First I'll state a few premises about games...they last as long as the player is engaged which requires interaction, learning and uncovering the games secrets...the longer this occurs, the longer the game stays alive. The more the interaction, the more the immersion. I say this because sometimes we get enthralled with the details of the game like polygon counts and nice to have details like flyable gliders that just don't mean anything.

1) For immersion every player online and offline should have a wingman. The wingman has scalable settings but the idea is for the wingman to talk to you...describes your flight path, target info, warns you of bandits, and generally describes things to you that you might be unaware of flying in a virtual world. Lose your wingman and you will be deaf and blind in some ways so you will fight to keep him alive...this would be great in full cockpit servers on line.

2) Very scalable situational awareness...this is all about your senses...that is how you perceive things. Make it very scalable and the game life will be extended...from WW view, high vis cockpits, regular cockpits...the arrows and icon types, distances, colors etc... online and offline. In game now, on line is fairly scaleable of offline is lacking. There should be the element of suprise built in too...you should be able to sneak up on your enemy from time to time or hide in clouds.

3)Steal the best mission builder and add to it...I love mission building and the CFS2 mission builder was far and away the best that exists. Don't get caught in ego mode and go out and steal the good things from various other sims. A good mission builder and supporting maps and objects can add so much life and enjoyment to the sim.

4)Sight and Sound. Understand that we all have only 5 senses with which to sample the world. In a sim you have only sight and sound. If you have force feedback, you get a little touch too. Most sims rely on eye visuals...don't forget about the sound! Radio chatter, engine sounds, gunfire, flak...really big explosions that you have to fly through, bullet strikes and take care of high and low altitude. FB seems really good on the eye stuff, but the sound is lacking...that is 50% of the experience. Use the radio, vector onto targets etc.

5) This might be controversial, but I'd set the game up with aircraft of closed architecture but allow for the introduction of third party add-ons for offline play. This would combine the offline experience and growth of cfs or Janes while protecting the online integrity. There are tons of modellers out there that love to do the stuff and over the course of a couple of years there is almost no aircraft you can't fly offline in CFS2.

6) Expanded mission types for offline play. That would be recon missions where you use the photo created in one mission for another mission or snap a picture and use in mission builder. Have a sub in the area or Pby land and pick up downed pilots.

7) AI is really good, but as always this is a big deal and a make or break for offline play. You should want to preserve your wingmen, not kill them. Also, any variability in routines and the more scalable you can make their behavior the better...two axis to consider skill and aggressiveness. Some pilots should flee if things are tough, some might be suicidal. The fight should expand in three dimensions quickly and that should be modelled as well.

8) Creation of grouped objects in mission building like task forces, attack squadrons, firebases etc....the idea being you can locate objects in a spacial context and save them so if you wanted to create an airbase, you can save it and use it again in mission building.

9) For online play, I'd allow for the placement of aircraft by the mission designer on various airstrips. When you start your mission, you drive your jeep to the hanger or area with the aircraft you want to use and mount up. Once those aircraft are gone, they are gone. Either by flying away, being destroyed or being run into with a jeep. You could place 16 G6 109's, 8 Fw 190'S and 4 Me262's on a base and that is what that group of pilots would have to pick from...when they are gone, the mission is over.

10)Did I say sound? Well there would be a random quick mission generator that functions something like a dynamic campaign generator...for example, I pick armed recon with my destination being Calais and I take off from Middle Wallop in my spitfire...I warp out there and poof I pop out somewhere and the radio controller vectors me onto some incoming enemy aircraft...again it is the interaction between the game and player that makes for immersion. The game needs to be alive. It needs people in it too.

Now having said all this, I have no idea what it would take to program it, but I do know that the gaming experience must be an experience heavy with sights and sounds and interaction along with learning. The complexity of FM's and AI is where Olegs game really separates itself from the crowd. I'm not going to argue accuracy, but rather complexity which means that it takes lots of time to learn various aircraft. I don't know why it is so hard to patch this game, but if I were developing a sim I'd have an "aircraft, object of the month" where I would release a new one every month...just to keep my audience looking for more and keeping the game alive until it is time to develop the next generation.

I'd be curious as to some of the ideas you all have...I'm sure many have given this alot of thought.

Bull_dog_
01-01-2005, 10:04 AM
Some thoughts for Oleg and others about sim development. First I'll state a few premises about games...they last as long as the player is engaged which requires interaction, learning and uncovering the games secrets...the longer this occurs, the longer the game stays alive. The more the interaction, the more the immersion. I say this because sometimes we get enthralled with the details of the game like polygon counts and nice to have details like flyable gliders that just don't mean anything.

1) For immersion every player online and offline should have a wingman. The wingman has scalable settings but the idea is for the wingman to talk to you...describes your flight path, target info, warns you of bandits, and generally describes things to you that you might be unaware of flying in a virtual world. Lose your wingman and you will be deaf and blind in some ways so you will fight to keep him alive...this would be great in full cockpit servers on line.

2) Very scalable situational awareness...this is all about your senses...that is how you perceive things. Make it very scalable and the game life will be extended...from WW view, high vis cockpits, regular cockpits...the arrows and icon types, distances, colors etc... online and offline. In game now, on line is fairly scaleable of offline is lacking. There should be the element of suprise built in too...you should be able to sneak up on your enemy from time to time or hide in clouds.

3)Steal the best mission builder and add to it...I love mission building and the CFS2 mission builder was far and away the best that exists. Don't get caught in ego mode and go out and steal the good things from various other sims. A good mission builder and supporting maps and objects can add so much life and enjoyment to the sim.

4)Sight and Sound. Understand that we all have only 5 senses with which to sample the world. In a sim you have only sight and sound. If you have force feedback, you get a little touch too. Most sims rely on eye visuals...don't forget about the sound! Radio chatter, engine sounds, gunfire, flak...really big explosions that you have to fly through, bullet strikes and take care of high and low altitude. FB seems really good on the eye stuff, but the sound is lacking...that is 50% of the experience. Use the radio, vector onto targets etc.

5) This might be controversial, but I'd set the game up with aircraft of closed architecture but allow for the introduction of third party add-ons for offline play. This would combine the offline experience and growth of cfs or Janes while protecting the online integrity. There are tons of modellers out there that love to do the stuff and over the course of a couple of years there is almost no aircraft you can't fly offline in CFS2.

6) Expanded mission types for offline play. That would be recon missions where you use the photo created in one mission for another mission or snap a picture and use in mission builder. Have a sub in the area or Pby land and pick up downed pilots.

7) AI is really good, but as always this is a big deal and a make or break for offline play. You should want to preserve your wingmen, not kill them. Also, any variability in routines and the more scalable you can make their behavior the better...two axis to consider skill and aggressiveness. Some pilots should flee if things are tough, some might be suicidal. The fight should expand in three dimensions quickly and that should be modelled as well.

8) Creation of grouped objects in mission building like task forces, attack squadrons, firebases etc....the idea being you can locate objects in a spacial context and save them so if you wanted to create an airbase, you can save it and use it again in mission building.

9) For online play, I'd allow for the placement of aircraft by the mission designer on various airstrips. When you start your mission, you drive your jeep to the hanger or area with the aircraft you want to use and mount up. Once those aircraft are gone, they are gone. Either by flying away, being destroyed or being run into with a jeep. You could place 16 G6 109's, 8 Fw 190'S and 4 Me262's on a base and that is what that group of pilots would have to pick from...when they are gone, the mission is over.

10)Did I say sound? Well there would be a random quick mission generator that functions something like a dynamic campaign generator...for example, I pick armed recon with my destination being Calais and I take off from Middle Wallop in my spitfire...I warp out there and poof I pop out somewhere and the radio controller vectors me onto some incoming enemy aircraft...again it is the interaction between the game and player that makes for immersion. The game needs to be alive. It needs people in it too.

Now having said all this, I have no idea what it would take to program it, but I do know that the gaming experience must be an experience heavy with sights and sounds and interaction along with learning. The complexity of FM's and AI is where Olegs game really separates itself from the crowd. I'm not going to argue accuracy, but rather complexity which means that it takes lots of time to learn various aircraft. I don't know why it is so hard to patch this game, but if I were developing a sim I'd have an "aircraft, object of the month" where I would release a new one every month...just to keep my audience looking for more and keeping the game alive until it is time to develop the next generation.

I'd be curious as to some of the ideas you all have...I'm sure many have given this alot of thought.

WWStarkey1986
01-02-2005, 03:08 AM
i can't really think of nothing right now, u've said alot there, but as u said the game needs to be interesting or have something new. its like those deer hunting games, they are cool for a day or two, then u get the cheat codes off the net and go blasting deer with ur star wars laser and u blasting grenades lol, after 15 mins of that you have done everything there is to do, and game is so boreing that u can't even stand to watch someone play it lol.

WWMaxGunz
01-02-2005, 06:14 AM
A lot of good points put very thoughtfully, Bulldog. S!

If it don't mess with ya though; opening up the FM to allow 3rd party planes either means the
3rd party is both NDA and expert enough to really understand the FM or the basic ways that
the FM become public knowledge and since the start I've understood that knowing as valuable
trade secrets of 1C and can't blame them a bit for sitting tight on them.

On campaign engines I have seen 1C do something that could really open that up and all but
has. You see the way that 3rd party campaign generators already are usable? The actual
part that runs the missions uses generated data to set itself up and in the case of DF
servers to make some changes even while running. The part that runs the missions also
puts out data constantly which 3rd party programs can read, the DF servers use that while
running and the interaction there is beautiful in a program sense.
I believe that for campaigns if the pre and post mission briefings could also be by outside
programs, the 3rd party generators such as DCG, or even work the presentations by using web
browsers (trigger a named browser or the user default) and html both stored as part of the
game, by users as well as made by the generator on the fly, that the richness and variance
of the campaign parts would be amazingly better and continue to grow with little or no
time and effort by 1C. Given what browsers can show and do, the limits are beyond sight.

I would also like to see campaign generators to be able to load missions and DF's with
planes already damaged or having worn engines even if only to simulate poor fuel and
factory defects. This I think would really allow a huge jump in allowing historic realism.
1942 the planes that flew out of Henderson Field in the worst months... well I believe that
being able to play as that way would bring home just a small bit more of what those pilots
faced and endured. We won't have the sickness and lack of sleep unless maybe with a job
and home life that would not leave room for games (hallo OLEG! someday I hope you laugh!)
but not knowing if the plane will start or make it to formation or even if it will quit
before you are up far enough to parachute safely. Yes, end of that pilot for no reason of
the player... Talking small realism, player only loses line of campaign in that case with
the realization of that can happen to only point towards the how it was. I am sure that
on the Russian Front, both sides one time or another or together the pilots there also
faced the unknowns of 'will the plane be running right and stay that way today?' with your
life in the balance and the cards you have this hand and knowing how luck is running --
If the mission maker has it right then here is a HUGE part of the history lesson possible.

I only hope some day because the code is really so very close.

LOL Starkey... takin a Goober-break ole trooper? WW-S!

Aaron_GT
01-02-2005, 07:25 AM
"I believe that for campaigns if the pre and post mission briefings could also be by outside
programs, the 3rd party generators such as DCG, or even work the presentations by using web
browsers"

That would be especially good for online campaigns.

Actually it would be nice to be able to extend this such that a briefing room could be supported. In theory for coops you could get everyone to meet up via netmeeting, use a shared whiteboard, and so on, but it is going to be a pain to do so. Plus the opposition could log on to your session. A way to integrate a 3rd party shared whiteboard application that could log in all the participants on a side and load in the map and allow COs to detail the mission more than the briefing does would be very nice.

MrOblongo
01-02-2005, 04:20 PM
Anyone remembered SWOTL campaing mode, its really unique and inmersive. In that mode u could manage wich aircraft to produce, assign the new squadrons to airports, and of course fly the missions. Well, i know that SWOTL had a lot of limitations but its an old game (1991), and i think most of the limitations (planes, graphics, and maybe more complex managment would be possible with new engines). Anyway, thats a nice idea to mix an strategy game with a great flight sim...imagine that in MP http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif...

Anyway still think one of the most inmersive campaings in flight simulators is the one we have in Red Baron II (3D). Great stuff made there.

JG7_Rall
01-04-2005, 08:59 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by WWStarkey1986:
i can't really think of nothing right now, u've said alot there, but as u said the game needs to be interesting or have something new. its like those deer hunting games, they are cool for a day or two, then u get the cheat codes off the net and go blasting deer with ur star wars laser and u blasting grenades lol, after 15 mins of that you have done everything there is to do, and game is so boreing that u can't even stand to watch someone play it lol. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

LOL! I know exactly what you mean.