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#1392271 - 08/31/04 10:57 PM Re: The Death of the Flight Simulation Genre  

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WallDog::
Quote:
nobody would force other developers to follow a similar model.
oh :p

well, okay then!!

Although I am now a pure offline simmer, I enjoy the potential shown by the TargetWare online war sim. In fact when I upgrade I may join the WAR, and the cost for a year is much less than a medium grade video card. I just hope the pay~for~play will serve to discourage the internet dogfighter brownie point hunters from joining to kill steal or team kill. Which brings up another point...

WallDog::
Quote:
Sometimes a new idea is radical enough that it might warrant a complete restructuring or reclassification of one of the global areas. I for example am suggesting that we might use real pilots instead of just AI even in what are typically considered 'offline' environments.
WallDog, what are you talking about?


-------------

McGonigle::
Quote:
Who stole all those cycles????
Windows?

Java?

With a new Athalon 2000+ booting pure DOS 6.22 my old Flanker 1.0 jet sim can handle about 500 AI aircraft in combat at one time, along with several hundred SAM sites and large ships. The limit on my old Pentium 133MHz was about 100 aircraft and 40 SAM sites and ships.

Granted, the AI in Forgotten Battles is actually far more detailed than Flanker 1.0, but I believe alot of FB code is written in Java and the max my 2000+ can handle is about 30 aircraft in combat at one time and no surface units. Sadly, the newer AI does not give any more overall battlefield gameplay immersion than the old AI from 1994. I believe this is mostly because you can make more "realistic" dogfighter AI but you get diminishing returns of immersion if you don't also program the AI for larger concepts of behavior such as multiple ways of defining aircraft formations as described above about the O-R-B um_er spaceship AI, or programming AI for environmental awareness such as blinding by the sun, not seeing through clouds, and loss of visibility at night or in missions where the weather is set to poor.

Has any flight sim ever programmed AI to be aware of clouds?

Inline advert (2nd and 3rd post)

#1392272 - 09/01/04 09:02 AM Re: The Death of the Flight Simulation Genre  
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Quote:

Has any flight sim ever programmed AI to be aware of clouds?
Yes, Miro "Jamm0r" Torrielli.
It is not 100% yet (what is in flight sims?) but in some circumstances the clouds block the view of the AI to you.

#1392273 - 09/01/04 09:50 AM Re: The Death of the Flight Simulation Genre  

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What is Miro "Jamm0r" Torrielli?

#1392274 - 09/01/04 10:03 AM Re: The Death of the Flight Simulation Genre  
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Quote:
Originally posted by Lexx_Luthor:
Who is Miro "Jamm0r" Torrielli?
A programmer who works on improving Falcon 4 and Rowan's BoB.

#1392275 - 09/01/04 10:24 AM Re: The Death of the Flight Simulation Genre  

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Ah, I sorely wish I had picked up Rowan's BoB.

Flight sim developers can "get away" with AI seeing through clouds if the clouds are very small. That may be one reason for the tiny established "standard" size of white flak puff flight sim clouds.

Thanks

Good towering cumulus would be essential for the next generation of Pacific flight sim--probably Maddox after the new BoB. For clouds this size you have to program AI to not see through them.



~ http://www.chitambo.com/clouds/cloudshtml/calvus.html#Anchorcal1

#1392276 - 09/01/04 05:54 PM Re: The Death of the Flight Simulation Genre  
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Both McGonigle, and Fly-x-Wire mention the "Living Aerodrome" concept. Fly-x provides a link describing one version of it. I first heard this concept brought up years ago by Kessler, of Full Canvas Jacket/Promised Land fame, in a discussion of what he would like to see in the next flight sim. Kessler did envision this as an online theme only, and applied it to online squads in a dynamic online war.

WallDog has a concept out there. Concepts are very hard to defend with specifics, especially when in their formative phase. Whether his will come to fruition only time will tell.

Lexx, I personally feel that your attacking what WallDog does for a living as a means of shooting down his concept is a bit off base. IMO it only weakens your argument by making it seem you are paranoid about IT professionals.

Both sides have very good arguments and a well reasoned discussion is what a good forum is about. The concept of computer gaming has undergone many changes since RB1 and TNN online play. I doubt that anyone believes there won't be more and larger changes.

#1392277 - 09/01/04 07:22 PM Re: The Death of the Flight Simulation Genre  
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Quote:
Originally posted by von Stalhein:


McGonigle, your pilot-centred idea is very close to my idea of the ideal flight sim too. I suppose what I want is not so much a flight sim as a pilot sim. I'm more interested in the experience of being a combat pilot than I am in the performance statistics of a bunch of aircraft. And current flight sims always intrude the interface between me and the air combat experience. Sometimes it's a good, immersive interface (EAW, RB), sometimes it's a constant reminder that I'm just sitting at a computer manipulating a program (Il2). But it's always there, in the way.
Let do away with the user interface then!

You hit the nail on the head Von S. That interface is really a great example of the stagnation in creativity. Every game and sim has it. Why haven't anyone found a way to be much less dependant on it?

The hardware can be calibrated and tested automatically, either at the time of install or right after the user starts the game.

The user can specify what difficulty level should be set before even starting the sim.

So why should the user do any of these things through an interface, unless the user specifically tells the software to reveal that user interface for further finetuning, - by pushing alt+U or whatever.

So, the first thing that happens, when you think you are starting the sim to play for the first time is that you're greeted by a recruiting officer, telling you to put down your name on the enlistment form, and then off you go, on your merry adventures.

No interface at all! \:D


Jens C. Lindblad


Sent from my Desktop
#1392278 - 09/01/04 07:36 PM Re: The Death of the Flight Simulation Genre  

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mmm, yes. Its possible if WallDog is hoping to create a new sim, and has some new ideas, he/she may not want to reveal them on an internet webboard: Totally understandable, indeed admirable! If so, he/she could have stated this for not wishing to reveal specifics for us.

I am confused here because online flight simming is not a new idea. TargetWare seems a potentially great online-war flight sim, with no programming for offline play except for solo flight training. There is a market here, and one that could grow. What could help it grow is new ideas to program into sims, such as this Miro "Jamm0r" Torrielli programmer did for AI and clouds in BoB. Such work would improve both online and offline simming interest, immersion...and "fun."

Kat....

WallDog [page 2]::
Quote:
'Better Programming' is a cop-out answer. No matter how good the programming is or how strong the AI is, you can always say that if it was 'better' then things would be 'better.' That's a circular logic that just can't stand on its own. Current technology doesn't support 'better' as you envision it, Lexx.
WallDog [page 3]::
Quote:
So what can we do? Well, we can keep trying to 'get blood from a rock' and watch our genre shrink while other genres grow, or we can try to program things better...
-----------


The reason I posted the article about Microsoft's IT security chief using FireFox is because Kat can go to Microsoft's Stephen Toulouse and talk about the weather, Tailgunner can talk to Toulouse about the Beef Market, but nobody here can *talk* to Toulouse about web~browsers. I cannot talk to WallDog about flight simming. ;\) Sorry folks, but its weird to visit flight sim webboards and find a computer industry press release claiming offline simming has no future....like Intel's press claims about nobody needing 64bit desktop until 2008 while Unreal Tournament developers cry now for more than 4GB of memory.

Quote:
Current technology doesn't support 'better' as you envision it, Lexx.
Miro "Jamm0r" Torrielli does support 'better.' \:\)


WallDog [page 2]::
Quote:
Why doesn't anyone buy flight sims anymore? Because they are no longer fun.
Flight simmers, are flight sims no longer fun?

#1392279 - 09/02/04 07:50 AM Re: The Death of the Flight Simulation Genre  

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McGonigle::
Quote:
No interface at all! \:D
A sloppy design of interface intrudes between game and gamer. A well crafted interface gives gaming Power to the gamer. It all falls back on the programming.

I'd love to see a flight sim interface that when you start the game every time, the basic interface shows click pictures of historical era trainers that the flight sim Newbie can fly. These should be rather large, and placed where they are in your face. Clicking these would start you in the air flying an easy to fly trainer. The trainer flying environment should be near an airfield for landing and touch~n~go practice perhaps. Other click buttons can start the Newbie on the airfield . Best of all, even old timers who have had the game for a while would be tempted to hop into these sweet flying trainers, so the interface is not for Newbies alone but would be useful to crusty old timers.

Experienced flight simmers installing their new sim may not like having to sit through recruiting officer video sequences or inputting their name into a text forms. Everybody here does already in their computing, and we most likely just filled in our names in the product registration form before starting the game. Be careful about asking for video sequences often seen in past sims. You may get what you ask for along with rocket armed Triplanes. The programming resources that has gone into the Cornball video sequences would have been better spent on programming the sim to be Newbie friendly without turning off the experienced flight simmer.

Word is that the new 1C:Maddox BoB will include flyable Bf~108 Taifun and Westland Lysander. A serious attempt at useful interface will place these easy aircraft where the Newbie cannot miss them at game startup. Just thinking of this alone makes me think that Maddox Games may bring the Re~Birth of the Flight Sim Genre...especially that Microsoft has retreated from the World War 2 flight sim market by cancelling 4FSC--Microsoft reatreating in the face of competition (Maddox) is a very rare event. :p If its flyable, I will be flying the Bf~108 all the time just for flying and so as experienced encrusted old timer would not mind Bf~108 being in my face at the game startup interface.

#1392280 - 09/02/04 03:05 PM Re: The Death of the Flight Simulation Genre  

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S! All!

I guess I'll start this thread by continuing to point out that Lexx_Luther refuses to debate rationally, preferring to create his own version of 'the other side' by misquoting, and then by making personal attacks. What is the motivation behind that Lexx? The best way to deal with thest kinds of tactics is to point out that they are being used - I'm going to continue accusing Lexx of using these tactics until he stops using them.

To Lexx's credit, he shows the skill of a politician in creating misquotes and clouding issues!

Here are his latest jabs:

WallDog [page 2]::
quote:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
'Better Programming' is a cop-out answer. No matter how good the programming is or how strong the AI is, you can always say that if it was 'better' then things would be 'better.' That's a circular logic that just can't stand on its own. Current technology doesn't support 'better' as you envision it, Lexx.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

WallDog [page 3]::
quote:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
So what can we do? Well, we can keep trying to 'get blood from a rock' and watch our genre shrink while other genres grow, or we can try to program things better...
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Lexx calls that a contradiction. It's easy to find contradictions like this in long posts, particularly when you are creative in taking quotes out-of-context! In the first quote I said that continiously calling for 'better programming' for AI a cop-out. In the second quote I call for programming things 'better.' It sure does sound like I want things both ways...

...until you read the ENTIRE second quote - including the parts Lexx chooses to omit! Here is the whole thing:

Quote:
That is not to say that you should't try to make 'better' AI, but it is to say that we should recognize that no matter how 'good' we make it, AI will never be 'good enough.'

So what can we do? Well, we can keep trying to 'get blood from a rock' and watch our genre shrink while other genres grow, or we can try to program things better, focusing more on experiences and less on pre-concieved notions of what constitutes 'online' or 'offline.' If we can break-down those traditional barriers we can start to experiment with environments that are neither 'online' nor 'offline,' but really a mix between the two. And then we can start to do some really intersting things like use real people when possible for the 'AI' portion of an offline campaign.
Not much of a contradiction when you read the whole thing. Both quotes carry the exact same theme - that 'better' computer AI is not by itself the answer.

In fact, I've been VERY consistent throughout. If you read all of my posts and do not read any of Lexx's, you'll see that. Lexx is very talented as a 'spin doctor' but at the end of the day it is still 'spin.'

Jeez Lexx - your misquotes are intentional. You can't win with a legitimate debate, so you resort to tricks and wordgames. Those tactics are only effective until someone points out that you are using them. Move past it.

OK.. Now that I've gotten that out of the way..

I'm really not all that concerned about 'giving away' the idea. I would like the opportunity to build this myself, but I'm a realist. The idea of taking an IT Manager out of the manafacturing world and giving him millions of dollars to build a flight sim will be a VERY hard pill to swallow for the publishing houses. It is very likely that I will not be able to get enough funding to start this project. I'll finish my full business plan and present it to venture capitalists and publishing houses, but it is likely I will not get any serious investment. It costs a lot of money to build a flight sim and I'm not willing to start this venture unless I get enough funding to make a legitimate attempt. I have a family to feed. I can't afford to take the kinds of risks associated shoe-string development budgets.

So what am I after then if I probably won't be able to build it? There are two other possibilities - one is that some existing development company will like the idea and decide that I am the right person to do it. I'd then be doing it as an employee in someone else's company.

The other possibility is that a development company (like the one that made WoW) might read this thread and say 'I can do that.' They will then steal my idea and run with it. That isn't really that big a deal to me. I'd prefer to do it myself (and think I would do a wonderful job!) but really my priority is in seeing a game like this come about. I'm much less concerned with who builds it than I am with seeing it happen.

What do I forsee for the future of simming? I forsee further development along the lines of 'Joint Operations' style games. I think the 'Massive Multiplayer Online War' concept represents the future of combat sims in general. It's tough to do a 'war' with a first-person shooter though. Even games like Joint Operations don't really have the feel of a real war. For that you need a real front line with missions that are created to impact the front and thus the war. Nobody has done that yet, but that is the direction I think things are heading.

Flight simulations are the perfect environment for such an endeavor. What do you do in a flight sim? You take off, fly a mission, and land. Even on dogfight servers you have some semblance of this. Take that and apply the 'massive multiplayer online war' to it, but spread it out over a wider front and make REAL missions that have a REAL impact on the war. Don't just have 'objective points' that change hands back and forth! Make a real strategic environment and let the cyber pilots have an impact on what happens. Think of it like 'Joint Operations meets Panzer General meets Red Baron 3D'.

I'm not going to re-hash the whole concept again here though. There is a seperate thread dedicated to that idea. Suffice it to say that I forsee options that will allow pilots to fly what will be essentially 'offline' campaigns using elements from the 'Massive Multiplayer Online War,' but doing so in such a way that it would still represent what is traditionally looked at as an 'offline' experience.

To me, it is all about the experiences you provide for the players. We are rapidly reaching the point where the average player won't care whether they are 'online' or 'offline' anymore. We should focus more on the actual experiences provided and less on how we provide those experiences. Once we take that perceptual step and focus on generating an experience rather than being 'offline' or 'online', we can do some very cool things.

More than that - the concept of taking online and offline elements and mixing them together is one that can be looked at globally. Any sim could do this. We have in the past always thought of simming as either an offline or an online experience. Sure - games usually support both - but no flight sim has ever been developed that allowed you to use elements of both AT THE SAME TIME.

Why do gaming environments have to be purely 'online' or purely 'offline'? Why can't we use different elements from both at the same time?

As for being an IT professonal, I think that is a strength. It allows me to bridge the gap between what would be 'cool' (which as a flight sim enthusiast I think I have a feel for) and what can actually be done! Lexx_Luther would like people to forget that I am a flight sim enthusiast AS WELL AS an IT professional. Lexx is also guilty of painting his view of 'IT Professionals' with a wide brush, applying negativity to ALL of us when really his comments probably only apply to a few...

Lexx - your turn... What are you going to misquote this time?

#1392281 - 09/02/04 04:23 PM Re: The Death of the Flight Simulation Genre  
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Well pardon my French, but I must again assert:

L'art d'etre ennuyeux, c'est de tout dire.

(The art of being boring is to tell all.)

There can come a point in any lengthy conversation when it no longer resembles true discussion, and that point was reached in this thread days ago.

There have been many interesting points presented in this thread, and this will hopefully be the lessons learned from the endeavor.

Presenting your original ideas has been much appreciated Wall-dog!

#1392282 - 09/02/04 05:39 PM Re: The Death of the Flight Simulation Genre  

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S! FlyXwire!

You are correct. We are at this point arguing for the sake of argumentation.

'Nuff said!

#1392283 - 09/02/04 08:40 PM Re: The Death of the Flight Simulation Genre  
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Would that be just the 3 minute argument, or the full half hour ;\)


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#1392284 - 09/03/04 12:55 AM Re: The Death of the Flight Simulation Genre  

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We are at this point arguing for the sake of argumentation.

Agreed.


Okay WallDog, how does one play offline without internet connection with real human opponents?

#1392285 - 09/03/04 04:13 AM Re: The Death of the Flight Simulation Genre  

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S! Walldog!

WallDog::
Quote:
I think the 'Massive Multiplayer Online War' concept represents the future of combat sims in general. It's tough to do a 'war' with a first-person shooter though. Even games like Joint Operations don't really have the feel of a real war. For that you need a real front line with missions that are created to impact the front and thus the war. Nobody has done that yet, but that is the direction I think things are heading.
Okay! now this is worthy of investing in.

Is this similar to TargetWare online war simming? Don't know much about TargetWare, but I may sign up when (and if) I upgrade this autumn. Just found this...and I thought it was to be played *only* on their servers--I was wrong and it reminds me of WallDog's posting that his/her idea of a sim can be played on a LAN...

Quote:
Introduction to the Targetware Flight Sim Environment
An Engine for Community-Developed Flight Sims

The Targetware Engine has been created with the goal of allowing the community of players to modify and change most things in the game including 3D Plane models, flight models, weapons, scenarios, campaigns, terrain, and buildings.

The engine itself is the base program (Targetware) and associated files. It is independent of the data modules (or 'mods'), such as Target Korea and Target Rabaul. To operate, the Targetware engine must have a data module installed. Without data installed, the sim won't operate.

Targetware is both a client and a server, enabling each player to host his own game with as many as 250 players. Server hosts can choose what options they wish to enable for their game, including what planes and scenarios are available.

Player-created material can be submitted for quality validation and official certification by Targetware staff. These officially sanctioned (and digitally signed) planes can then be used on Targetware official corporate servers, or on players' servers worldwide. Players are also able to certify (and digitally sign) their own personally designed aircraft, 3-D models and terrains for use on their servers and to share with others. At the same time, other players have the power to accept or reject these modifications, and maintain control over the environment they are providing.

The Targetware staff will continue to provide function and feature enhancements to the core engine, as well as new aircraft, terrains and other resources. However, we believe that the majority of new planes, flight models, cockpits, terrains, ground objects, personalized skins, etc., will be designed by the community at large.

With an open approach to graphics, flight models, terrains and even servers, Targetware combines extensibility and customization with a high-fidelity simulator that insures that everyone is playing by the same rules.

Scenarios and Campaigns
Targetware scenarios are an easy way to create exciting combat situations. With a simple text editor, they can be created or modified. These scenarios enable much of the tedium of flight to be avoided because players can begin in-flight. As soon as the scenario is won by either side, the next scenario begins, much like popular multiplayer first-person shooters, such as Counter-Strike.

Scenarios can be arranged into a branching tree that creates a small campaign, in which the outcome of one scenario determines which scenario will begin next. "Furball" style scenarios can also be developed, of course. Targetware gives you the tools, but you decide what to do with them.

For more information, please refer to the Targetware Developer's Guide.

~ http://www.targetware.net/documentation/tw_about.html

This is clearly written language that I understand. And it is very attractive.


WallDog [page 2]::
Quote:
Why doesn't anyone buy flight sims anymore? Because they are no longer fun.
Apologies for making so much fun WallDog, but its that type of webboard claim I find very false, and also the claims that offline simming has no future. Granted offline simming may not provide profit for your online war sim. That I also understand--and am wondering if that is why you make such claims. If you program and market well, you may attract offline simmers like TargetWare is attracting me now. Telling offline simmers they don't have fun is not the best marketing strategy.

Now, does anybody know how much a package of TargetWare will cost when it is finished, a package that, if I read TargetWare's statement correctly, can be set up on one's own server? Is this what WallDog means by massively ramping the price of flight sims? I was earlier thinking that I would accept higher flight sim prices if the developers put more programming into offline AI and battlefield environments that offer "a real front line with missions that are created to impact the front and thus the war." (not just dogfighter AI) This online server would also be worth the extra cost if it offers...

WallDog::
Quote:
...a real front line with missions that are created to impact the front and thus the war.
Sold! WallDog! \:\)

(S! means Sold!)


The most interesting thing is that both online and offline share about 95% (guess) of the game code and 100% of the modelling. There will be markets for both online and offline simming. Perhaps the best products will offer both. This begins to make sense.

#1392286 - 09/03/04 04:34 AM Re: The Death of the Flight Simulation Genre  

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Now....not trying to say TargetWare is "as good" or "better" than WallDog's idea. It may be, or may not. For one thing, TargeWare has no AI aircraft and apparently never will, but WallDog will allow the option of AI in his/her online war to flesh out the ranks if needed or desired, as he/she stated earlier. Thus WallDog's idea is the more advanced at least in this one area. And its an area very important to me.

WallDog for this to succeed with human opponents you need to make AI see clouds, lose at least some vision at dusk/dawn and even more loss at night. AI must be blinded by the sun. WallDog you can be the *first* to do all these together in one sim if you want. More programming efforts are needed than we have seen in many flight sims past.

And if we don't make fun, WallDog may allow Mods to create pure offline simming with the best AI ever made (at a profitable price of course).

Sold!

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