View Full Version : Poll: Ambience... Is it needed?

04-20-2004, 08:52 AM

04-20-2004, 08:52 AM

04-20-2004, 09:06 AM
I agree - atmosphere is important as it adds to the immersion factor

Immersion is a good thing, but these things can eat up computer resources quickly and reduce the quality of the FM, and up the RAM requirements, etc. significantly..

04-20-2004, 09:06 AM
That would be nice. The briefing room could be interactive as well. For instance you could click on the map and get detailed waypoint info. There could be different icons for weapon load outs and your kill tally etc.... But I have to agree with heywooood this kind of thing is not that important although it would be nice to have. I would rather have the developers focus on the aircraft flight models. Anyway I would rather be flying than hanging out in the briefing room.


A speck of dirt on your windscreen could turn into an enemy fighter in the time it took to look round and back again. A little smear on your goggles might hide the plane that was coming in to kill you.
Derek Robinson
From the book Piece of Cake.

[This message was edited by Jagdgeschwader2 on Tue April 20 2004 at 08:15 AM.]

04-20-2004, 12:45 PM
I realise that the potential of the devs adding something like this is slim to none, but I honestly think that it wouldn't be THAT tough to create a few "sets" to do what has been suggested above.

I, myself, know a thing or two about 3d, and I could make a few sets in a short while. Obviously, it may take longer to create something for Il-2 for the realism that has become expected of it... but its still possible.


VFA-195 Snacky
04-20-2004, 12:57 PM
I don't think you will find too many folks who are against atmosphere. After all this is why we fly these sims on the computer is to get away and relive what it is/was like to fly these planes.

Along with visuals though I would say sound is equally important.

Fight to fly, fly to fight, fight to win.
" U.S. Navy Fighter Weapons School, TOPGUN.

04-20-2004, 02:12 PM
Sure it would be nice, but keep in mind you will NOT see an improved GUI in PF. You will see new maps, vehicles and a few engine tweaks.

People are expecting a whole new game, PF will not be.

(I have no inside information, this is just an obvious assumtion based on the parts of luthier's posts that are always ignored)

Toujours prªt - 'Always ready'

[This message was edited by ARSNL on Tue April 20 2004 at 01:53 PM.]

04-20-2004, 02:19 PM
I voted No. I don't think fancier menus add "ambiance". They look good for a while, and they just become background images that nobody pays attention to.

04-20-2004, 02:25 PM
In addition, 3D briefing rooms and other animations soon become annoying. After a little bit you just want to select your options fast and go flying!

VFA-195 Snacky
04-20-2004, 02:38 PM
When I say "Atmosphere" I am actually talking about ingame, but since we are only talking about menu screens,etc then I will agree that they aren't all that important.
Just don't give us a comic book style layout.lol

Fight to fly, fly to fight, fight to win.
" U.S. Navy Fighter Weapons School, TOPGUN.

04-20-2004, 03:05 PM
Think about 20 years down the road when we will be able to sit in a virtual ready room and talk on voice comms with other virtual pilots sitting at the table and reviewing flight plans. Then we walk out to the flight deck and climb into our customized planes.

"He that falls in love with himself will have no rivals."
~ Benjamin Franklin

04-20-2004, 04:10 PM
I voted no-time spent on that is time that could be spent making the actual flight part of the game better.


04-20-2004, 04:18 PM
Just like the boring animations, once you see or use it once, you skip it and never bother with it again LOL

I think I just said "NO"

04-20-2004, 04:43 PM
I'm in favor of some levels of atmosphere.

Namely, good interface and good music to go along. Everyone knows that we listen to the music each time...and many hvae replaced it with better stuff but it'd be nice to have something decent right off the bat.

RCAF 412 Falcon Squadron - "Swift to Avenge"

04-20-2004, 05:40 PM
You mean more CFS3-like? Nah.

04-20-2004, 08:05 PM
I don't understand why not. EAW did this and it is 6 years old. Falcon 4.0 had it and it is 5 years old. Almost every other game genre has some form of immersive atmosphere. I don't understand why a sim made in 2004 cannot have features that sims made half a decade ago had. It would certainly boost mainstream appeal to the sim.


Biohazcentral Staff
23rd VFG: Assistant Training Officer

"The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants"
-Thomas Jefferson 1776

04-20-2004, 08:05 PM
... with the music and radio broadcasts, a good base point to model from would be SDOE (Screaming Demons over Europe). The use of actual radio broadcasts (German, US and the BBC) with excerpts of speeches (Churchill, Roosevelt) was a nice touch.

They simulated an collection of music, news and special broadcasts that you might actually hear if you were sitting in front of a radio during WW2 (rather elaborate atmosphere, like the old Mission Impossible ploys on TV)

This use of actual broadcasts would be especially useful for Pacific Fighters in the background (before/during/after) of major Campaigns/Battles. This would also play well for the upcoming Battle of Britain.

1C and UbiSoft could get the details worked out in Pacific Fighters, in time for BOB. And remember (Oleg and Company) that the British are very keen on their history, even to the point of people (still) joining social clubs that re-enact WW2 lifestyle (clothes, music and dancing)

They would appreciate the added realism of the day-to-day or weekly broadcasts that would match up with a mission on a particular day.

And since BoB has already been done at least once before, you'll want something like this to set it apart fron the crowd and capture the public's imagination.

With the additional sound/music/graphic (newspaper?) added to BoB, you might even bring in some of the "older" people to play.

It's an opportunity you shouldn't miss a good attempt with, especially since BoB will be written from scratch on a new engine.

04-20-2004, 11:41 PM
For one, I'd like to actually care about the squadron and my wingmen. As is, my wingmen feel like sacrificial lambs so I can bag kills - and they're annoying as hell!

I'd really like to feel when I loose that wingman I've been flying with for 10+ missions. Right now, you barely really know them.


04-21-2004, 01:36 AM
Caring For Wingmen comes from proper programing for AI behavior, workable radio comm with your flight or with AI ground observers/radar stations. For campaigns, Caring For Wingmen comes from good programming that keeps record of individual AI pilots.

Atmosphere Ambience comes from AI not seeing through clouds and not seeing well at night, as well as AI seeing the sun and getting blinded (The sun in DOS Flaker 1.0 could trick heat seeking missiles so its trivial to program sun awareness). Programming AI to use the sun to advantage may be more difficult--and we grant that a Ambient Mission Briefing Atmosphere would be much easier to program and advertise as well as being more visible to the amatuer game reviewers writing for gaming magazines. http://ubbxforums.ubi.com/infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

Immersion comes from bailing out behind enemy lines and evading enemy units (right now, P~38 and TB~3 make the best "trucks" for simmers wishing to prowl around on the ground).

A 2D map, text briefing, and AI sun/cloud/night awareness is what I need.

04-21-2004, 09:45 AM
Who would say 'no' to this? Even SWOTL had a parked plane, a coffee jar and an angry officer staring at you after a bad mission.

It makes the experience more enjoyable. Some rendered movies of decorations, promotions, war progress and deaths would be great...

- Dux Corvan -
Ten thousand years of Cantabrian skinning.

04-21-2004, 11:21 AM
I agree that the one thing IL2/FB/AEP lacks is ambience, from the initial splash screen, lack of an intro movie, and "loading humans..20%" messages, to the Campaign menu screens and messages, to the music (which in Il2/FB/AEP is so annoyingly tinny that I just turn it off). I realize all this has no bearing on the SIMULATION, but it is important to the GAME, especially for the off-line player. In EAW and CFS2, I found the graphics and messages made it much more enjoyable to finish single-player campaigns than the dry stuff we get in Il2/FB/AEP, and I'd fly around in Janes WW2 Fighters just to hear the music.

Little things, like the angry officer in SWOTL or nicely synthesized "victory" music when you get a metal or do particularly well help a lot.

Nonetheless, I will be perfectly happy with PF if it looks and acts just like FB, and will trade all the ambiance for a Fall 2004 delivery and all the planes I want!

04-21-2004, 11:39 AM
I think that we are all in agreement that an additional amount of ambience could go a long ways to making this game more enjoyable and immersive. However, some would rather the devs concentrate on flight models and the actual simulation, instead of working on ambience. -Again, I must say it wouldn't be THAT terribly difficult to add just a tad more enviroment to this game. I think it would be WELL worth it.

/me hopes the devs read this.

04-21-2004, 11:51 AM
Environment is clear skies on one side of the map and clouds building to 10km high thunderstorms on the other side of map. http://ubbxforums.ubi.com/images/smiley/16x16_smiley-wink.gif (this possible with modern grafix cards)

We already have a Intro Movie in FB startup and its pretty good. I saw it once and turned it off (set Intro=0 in "conf" file).

An olde fashioned jam box stereo with CD and AM/FM tuner sounds better than computer speakers, and one may choose what one wishes to hear.

I kinda like the Loading Humanoids message during mission load, its looks so silly it *has* to be funny.

04-21-2004, 11:58 AM
anyone remember a great game by the name of Aces of the Pacific?

Even the small narratives and timelines from that game made it so much better. You had a small choice of assignments to different authentic squadrons, and your wingmen had personalities to the point in which you could fly with real aces such as Boyington and Blackburn ect.... When your character was injured he would have to stay in hospital for a number of months while the war theatre timeline continued. This would take a minimal amount of work I believe. Keep it simple but immersive with those types of details. I dont need to see an amazing detailed virtual hangers or long movie cutscenes , but correct dates, ace personalities, and historically accurate squadrons in the right place and time with the right equipment would be great. They would also be in keeping with the realism and immersion level sought after by simmers. If you dont get my drift, ask someone who has played AOTP...


Alienware Aurora Extreme
AMD64FX-51, 1 Gig RAM
BFG nVIDIA 5950 256mb (56.72)
2x36Gig Raptors (RAID 0)
Audilogy 2 7.1
XP Pro
P8000/ TrackIR2
ditched my Satiek X45
4 CH Pro HOTAS and Pedals...

04-21-2004, 12:09 PM
Forget the menu,

THE GAME, Pacific Style--> http://www.chitambo.com/clouds/cloudshtml/calvus.html#Anchorcal2

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>http://www.chitambo.com/clouds/cloudsimages/low/cb_cal_guam_oct00.jpg

This awesome tropical cloud looks like it's growing from the ocean. Well, it basically is, growing into incredible heights. In the dark portion to the left it's raining, to the right the weather is fair. This shows how quickly weather can change in the tropics.


http://ubbxforums.ubi.com/images/smiley/35.gif ---&gt;&gt; Navigating around these big fellows can take you quite close sometimes. Here the top and horizontal extension is unusually clear in contrast. This particular cloud is part of an ITF, Inter Tropical Front, see further below.


The same cloud as above forming the ITF, Inter Tropical Front. This front system is formed in the tropics and follows the sun's movement in the sky. The front wanders north to south and back to the north throughout the year giving the rainy seasons in the affected region. This particular front extends to more than 15000 metres altitude. http://ubbxforums.ubi.com/images/smiley/11.gif Note the normal cumulus clouds in front of the front.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Now we know what game Atmosphere, game Environment, and game Ambience looks like.

04-21-2004, 02:09 PM
64BIT chip architecture with corresponding hardware and software support should take care of it...

04-21-2004, 02:14 PM
No, very large clouds are less grafix intensive then landscape (see Kuban mountains). This is possible with today's video cards, but computer flight sim Devs (and flight simmers too) don't think "weather" but real life WW2 mission planners and pilots had to live with it every mission.

http://ubbxforums.ubi.com/images/smiley/10.gif Flyable Swedish "Gladiator" listed as J8A ...in Aces Expansion Pack

"You will still have FB , you will lose nothing" ~WUAF_Badsight
"I had actually pre ordered CFS3 and I couldnt wait..." ~Bearcat99
"Gladiator and Falco, elegant weapons of a more civilized age" ~ElAurens
"Damn.....Where you did read about Spitfire made from a wood?
Close this book forever and don't open anymore!" ~Oleg_Maddox http://ubbxforums.ubi.com/images/smiley/16x16_smiley-surprised.gif

04-21-2004, 02:24 PM
Well, I agree LEXX. One of my very first threads on these forums was about the lack of wheather effects and lack of detail in clouds structure. Hopefully, they'll do something about that.

04-21-2004, 02:38 PM
Actually, we don't need more cloud details as much as cloud SIZE.

In FB, the thin high level (7km) cirrocumulus clouds way up high are nicely detailed. Oleg did a great job with them. Fantastic.

Question for Luthier1:: Can FP make those high level 7km clouds cover the sky over the maps? If so, can FP give an Option for turning the cirrocumulus layers OFF when we want or get assigned a cloudless sky on some missions?

The low level FB cumulus clouds are also "detailed" enough. They just need to range from the same SIZE now to 20 times taller and 20 times wider (about 20^3 or 8,000 time larger in volume--think about that). ** larger clouds means fewer clouds.

We also need to have cloud "masks" or cloud "map" that can be overlayed on the landscape maps instead of the clouds fixed to the maps for all time. Some very creative skies can be made by 3rd Party people and just changing the weather clouds can totally bring FP maps to new life.

Don't worry, I believe Luthier1 hinted that we should hang onto our pants as far as FP clouds go. I can't wait.

http://ubbxforums.ubi.com/images/smiley/10.gif Flyable Swedish "Gladiator" listed as J8A ...in Aces Expansion Pack

"You will still have FB , you will lose nothing" ~WUAF_Badsight
"I had actually pre ordered CFS3 and I couldnt wait..." ~Bearcat99
"Gladiator and Falco, elegant weapons of a more civilized age" ~ElAurens
"Damn.....Where you did read about Spitfire made from a wood?
Close this book forever and don't open anymore!" ~Oleg_Maddox http://ubbxforums.ubi.com/images/smiley/16x16_smiley-surprised.gif

04-21-2004, 02:44 PM
Really - the kind of clouds depicted in your photo's Lexx?..

What about FPS? would frame rates be affected at all?..

even if they were - with the lack of other objects in the maps - such as terrain for the most part- maybe it wouldn't matter..

I would gladly trade terrain for those kinds of clouds http://ubbxforums.ubi.com/images/smiley/16x16_smiley-wink.gif oh yes.

04-21-2004, 02:49 PM
Does not have to be as "detailed" as in the photos. Don't forget the basic nature of clouds:: up close the most "detailed" cloud looks like FOG. From far away the smoothest clouds show detail. The same with FB clouds.

When I had Trident motherboard video I could run FB "detailed" clouds with no fps hits from clouds--Oleg's cockpits were fps killers though. Now I have ATI 9200 and the FB clouds are NOT even close to challenging...and this an ATI 9200 *and* I found a secret "conf" file setting trick to let me see the detailed clouds all the way to map horizon (~20km). My 9200 does not even notice the FB clouds. Think about this, these are OLD video hardware I have been running. Oleg's FB clouds are 3 YEARS OLD.

04-21-2004, 02:57 PM
Clever Taube...

You have a good amount of prog. background don't you.

What conf. trick is it,precioussss *gollum*
sharing?.. I cant even figure out how to reduce the plane count in BOE so it will run on my crapbox.. I got the slideshow, sure.

04-22-2004, 08:26 AM
You may NOT get the same results depending on video card and possibly other settings, but...


If I set that to =1 then the low level cumulus cloud rendering is limited to maybe 10km distance. Set to =0 and the cumulus clouds much further away can be seen.

This one... TexFlags.DisableAPIExtensions=0

If I set this =1 then the high level "cirrocumulus" lose all detail and become very dense white smooth "cirrus." As cirrus are generally smooth clouds I use this for a little variation in sky appearance.

Basically, here are my (OpenGL) settings....







I find that setting...


...keeps instrument panels from rendering so dark and unreadable when you are flying toward sun. Still experimenting though.

04-22-2004, 09:44 AM
Thank-you Lexx...

I will check it out. http://ubbxforums.ubi.com/images/smiley/16x16_smiley-wink.gif

04-22-2004, 09:49 AM
I know special mention was made that BoB would be supporting a much more powerful weather (or cloud) system than is present.

Obviously there are and will always be limitations but I would be nice to see some real thunderheads from time to time.

BTW: We can get these nasty big storms over the continent too and you can go from sunny to gale force winds in a matter of 10 minutes. It would be nice to see that in-game. For BoB I'm hoping to be able to set all sorts of levels from ambient lighting or cloud density...so you can create the grey and dull October or November skies or bright sunny like we have right now or a nice summer day with lots of haze and some nasty thunderstorms looming...

RCAF 412 Falcon Squadron - "Swift to Avenge"