Previous Thread
Next Thread
Print Thread
Rate This Thread
Hop To
Page 1 of 2 1 2
#1392847 - 08/26/04 11:31 PM An Open Concept Letter to the Community  

**DONOTDELETE**
Unregistered
Anonymous
Unregistered


S! All!

I've been chewing on something in the back of my mind for a couple of years. Reading the forums over the past few days has cemented in my mind that this is a good idea, so I will post it here and see what others think.

Everyone has seen the NASCAR simulators in some of the malls? You sit in them for like $5 and drive against others. These simulators have hydraulics, wrap-around screens, etc. and really give the feeling of driving in NASCAR.

Why not offer the same thing with WWI aircraft in combat?

The mall simulators would be just a part of the project though. Really, what I see is making TWO WWI Flight Simulators. One would be for use in malls and would have hydraulics, etc. The other one would be a computer program sold for home use.

You would have three different difficulty levels. The easiest level would be somewhat arcadish whereas the hardest level would be as realistic as possible. Each level would operate within its own virtual world. We would represent as large a front as necessary to accommodate all of the mall and online players on at any given time, and the front would shrink and expand as players come and go in order to keep everyone involved.

In the mall we would charge on a per-mission basis. When you start you would be flying in a flight along with other people who are starting at the same time. Some of the other people mall players fly with would be in other mall simulators and others would be on their computers at home. You would then take-off and fly the mission. If you die, your mission ends. If you are successful you go back to base and land - and your mission ends. There are some issues here in terms of how to handle the length of time missions would take, but those are addressable. You might have all air-starts for mall players. Maybe you have air-starts that are far enough away from other flights that having people pop-up from nowhere doesn't effect anyone else's immersion. Suffice it to say that this is an addressable issue albeit a legitimate one...

The campaign theatre would be completely dynamic in the ground and in the air. You would not just be playing for some semblance of 'points', but also to help win a real war. There is even the possibility of incorporating ground and air strategy gaming kind of like Scorched Earth.

Home users would fly the same basic software with the same three difficulty settings and would be flying in the same virtual worlds as the mall pilots. Home users however would always get to take-off and land.

The online environment would be perpetual, and we could store information for individual pilots such that the line between online and offline would blur. In other words, every player would be a part of an online campaign with various options for playing in an actual squadron with their online mates, for playing in a 'virtual' squadron in kind of an emulation of off-line, or to play in a 'fly now' mode where you don't worry about the campaign but just go out and fly.

I'm looking at this as a serious project. This is something that can be done. To do it though I would need to be able to do it full-time and I would need to be able to put together a small team of full-time developers (I have people in mind already, though I have not approached anyone). This would also need to be funded. I would essentially be putting together a development company. Our project would be 'for profit.'

This is a very do-able project. I would not be able to do this by myself, but with the right team I can do this.

Here is my offer: if the community can talk a software retailer (anyone with the resources) into funding this, I'll build it. I don't have any contacts within the software development world but there are people here who do.

We'll start by getting the right people together - a couple of developers, skinners, a project manager, etc., and within a couple of months we'll put together full project specifications and start getting all the design details worked out. I envision this thing being done in stages, with the in-home software being developed first, followed by the perpetual online environment, and finally by the in-mall simulators. This would allow us to start with a reasonably modest budget and prove the concept before we required the serious funding necessary for the mall deployments.

I can't do this as a hobby, but I would really love to do it. If the community can help me with the contacts necessary to fund this and get it off the ground, I'll do it.

I keep reading that flight sims are a niche market. I say we have niched ourselves. I hear that the games are too inaccessible for new players. I say I can make one that is not. We need a fresh idea and a fresh start. I have that idea, but I'll need help getting a start.

Inline advert (2nd and 3rd post)

#1392848 - 08/27/04 12:38 AM Re: An Open Concept Letter to the Community  
Joined: Jul 2001
Posts: 1,080
FlyXwire Offline
Member
FlyXwire  Offline
Member

Joined: Jul 2001
Posts: 1,080
St.Charles, Missouri U.S.A.
Geesh, either you've got a clone out there, or I've been having e-mail conversations with you Wall-dog while you've been using a different name (I won't reveal your secret identity though). \:D

It's bold, it's big, it's a dream, but I wouldn't kill the idea by any means!!!


All is needed is the money or the connections........... ;\)

#1392849 - 08/27/04 01:22 AM Re: An Open Concept Letter to the Community  

**DONOTDELETE**
Unregistered
Anonymous
Unregistered


S! FlyXwire!

It's more than a dream. This is a very do-able project.

This would be a major undertaking, but with funding making this a reality would not be a problem.

I don't know about clones. Has someone else been talking about a similar idea? I don't have any alter-egos. I've always just been Wall-dog...

#1392850 - 08/27/04 01:34 AM Re: An Open Concept Letter to the Community  
Joined: Jul 2001
Posts: 1,080
FlyXwire Offline
Member
FlyXwire  Offline
Member

Joined: Jul 2001
Posts: 1,080
St.Charles, Missouri U.S.A.
Well I think he lives in Michigan too.........and this is so very strange, because your ideas and his are so similar (at least in my mind)!

I'll PM you, ok?

#1392851 - 08/27/04 09:40 AM Re: An Open Concept Letter to the Community  

**DONOTDELETE**
Unregistered
Anonymous
Unregistered


Excellent idea ! I wish I could move over to Michigan now and 'partner-icipate' in your project \:\)

I have been in the Nascar simulator myself in a Grand Rapids (or was it Lansing ? hmm) mall. Awesome ride 4 sure !

I am convinced kids (and other immatures :p ) would love to fly in big prop and jet simulators in malls. Only downside is the competition from arcade halls, if you know what I mean. I mean there's some awesome hardware there to play with @ a lower price tag.

But hot damn, I'd go for it if I were in your position ! Live your dream.

#1392852 - 08/27/04 11:58 AM Re: An Open Concept Letter to the Community  

**DONOTDELETE**
Unregistered
Anonymous
Unregistered


S! Bobby!

I thought about linking in arcades, but that just wouldn't work. For one, it would completely turn-off the hard-core gamer. You just can't have a coin-slot on a flight sim - I think that is in one of the Ten Commandments or something.

But the NASCAR racing sims really work. People literally line up to play them. Perhaps more importantly, people walking past WATCH what is happening. You don't even need to draw them into the store. All you have to do is get them looking at WWI aerial combat. I really think conventional wisdom is wrong here. I don't think WWI flight simulations are hard to sell. I think the converse is true. I think they are remarkably easy to sell. The hard part is marketing the WWI era.

If you can generate a little interest in WWI, the flight simulations would sell themselves. The romanticism of the whole thing is entirely too appealing for people not to be compelled by it if they are exposed. The mono-est-mono atmosphere of the combat and the chivalry of the participants draws you in.

WWI pilots were looked at much like professional atheletes today. People had trading cards with them on them. Richtofen wrote a book. The interest was not only real - it was intense! And what better environment to capture in a simulation? The environment if modelled correctly really has the feel of a game, with the pilots competing for 'top ace' and a host of other coveted positions.

I remember playing Joust and Centipede when I was a kid. It wasn't the 'game' that drew me in. It was when I hit #8 or whatever on the high-score list and thought maybe I was good at the darn thing.

I remember the game 'Knights of the Sky.' That wasn't the best simulation ever made, but they sure did get the atmosphere right. Atmosphere is critical. That is particularly true for WWI flight simulations because the historical atmosphere at the time lends itself ideally to gaming.

#1392853 - 08/27/04 12:29 PM Re: An Open Concept Letter to the Community  

**DONOTDELETE**
Unregistered
Anonymous
Unregistered


And when that's been done, can you arrange it so I become the next President? \:\)

#1392854 - 08/27/04 01:32 PM Re: An Open Concept Letter to the Community  

**DONOTDELETE**
Unregistered
Anonymous
Unregistered


S! All!

I knew when I wrote the post that there would be some skepticism. Let me tell you a little about myself, what I can do, and what I can't do.

First of all I'll talk about what I can not do. Me and my M-16 are not going to take Omaha Beach. I can not develop this by myself. I have some of the skills, but not all of them. I might not even be the person most responsible for the success of the project.

Now what I can do... I am the IT Manager for a mid-sized manufacturing company. I have years of professional experience within the IT field in military and manufacturing environments. I have a very diverse range of IT skills, but as such I am a true 'expert' at only a few of them. I am remarkably competent IMHO in a very wide range of areas for someone who has such a wide range of skills, but in most of them I consider myself someone who could become really skilled if I did them full-time for a little while rather than someone who is already very skilled. Everyone knows the saying about a 'jack of all trades.' That's me.

I do however have an excellent background to help lead a project such as this one. More importantly I have a wonderful idea. In my mind's eye I can already see the finished product. I can see the players sitting in front of their computer screens. I can see children tugging at their parents' sleeves, asking to try the in-mall simulators (and I can see the parents itching to try it themselves!). I can see the game.

By myself, I probably have enough skill to sound good to uninformed masses. By myself I could maybe sell this idea to someone and then fail dramatically. But I have no intention of doing this alone! I would bring together a team of people who have some of the skills I lack and I would empower them to help flesh-out this vision. It would be a true team effort.

How confident am I in this idea? I have a family to support and as the IT Manager for a mid-sized manufacturing company I carve out a reasonable existence right now. More than that I am quite secure in my position and somewhat upwardly mobile within my industry. Going from manufacturing to software/game development is a somewhat radical shift, but I am confident enough in this idea and in the team I would be putting together that I would be willing to throw my professional future and the future of my family into the mix such that they hinge on the success of this project.

I don't view this as a pipe-dream. I view this as a legitimate business opportunity. The skills necessary to make this a reality are in this very community. Most of the people I would ask to join me are people I already know.

Look at the concept and then tell me it is not a good idea. Look at the wealth of talent surrounding us and then tell me I couldn't put together the right team to make this a reality.

This is no pipe-dream. Without funding this won't happen. I am NOT in a position to do something like this as a hobby. I will not even try unless I am in a position to get behind this 100%! But if one of the major software companies will get behind me even a little, I'll put together a development team and that team will blow everyone's socks off.

#1392855 - 08/27/04 01:45 PM Re: An Open Concept Letter to the Community  
Joined: Jul 2001
Posts: 1,080
FlyXwire Offline
Member
FlyXwire  Offline
Member

Joined: Jul 2001
Posts: 1,080
St.Charles, Missouri U.S.A.
.......and some of you think I have passion, well I'm certainly believing the sincerity of Wall-dogs statements here!!!

#1392856 - 08/27/04 02:23 PM Re: An Open Concept Letter to the Community  
Joined: Mar 2004
Posts: 55
Xeidos2 Offline
Junior Member
Xeidos2  Offline
Junior Member

Joined: Mar 2004
Posts: 55
Colorado
You should contact MK2

#1392857 - 08/27/04 03:02 PM Re: An Open Concept Letter to the Community  

**DONOTDELETE**
Unregistered
Anonymous
Unregistered


S! Xeidos!

Can you e-mail me contact information? Is there someone there who will talk to me? I'd love to talk to them!

#1392858 - 08/27/04 05:27 PM Re: An Open Concept Letter to the Community  
Joined: Jun 2001
Posts: 9,189
Osram Offline
Hotshot
Osram  Offline
Hotshot

Joined: Jun 2001
Posts: 9,189
Bielefeld, Germany
Do you plan to create this sim from scratch or on top of an existing engine / engines?

#1392859 - 08/27/04 05:34 PM Re: An Open Concept Letter to the Community  
Joined: Dec 2000
Posts: 2,774
Cas141 Offline
Senior Member
Cas141  Offline
Senior Member

Joined: Dec 2000
Posts: 2,774
Northern hemisphere
Wall - dog , I admire your vision. And I wish you the best of luck.
I would like Bill Gates to be reading this thread when he is feeling like having a bet!
Keep buying the lottery tickets. After me, I'd like you to win \:D


Mankind's problem is not failing to know the difference between right and wrong; - It is failing to know the difference between different and wrong
#1392860 - 08/27/04 06:38 PM Re: An Open Concept Letter to the Community  

**DONOTDELETE**
Unregistered
Anonymous
Unregistered


S! Osram!

I would look very hard at open-source flight engines. I would also look at licensing the parts from Red Baron 3D that I wanted. I really think the AFM, if finished, would be perfect for 'advanced' mode. NFM is probabaly about right for the 'normal' setting. I'd scale it back for the 'Easy' mode - something like we all grew up with in the '90s with games like SWOTL and BOB. I really think the GWIV FM had the right 'feel.' Is it possible to divorce the flight physics from Red Baron 3D such that you can build a completely new sim off of that engine without taking anything else? I don't know... I do know that I would prefer re-using an engine to trying to develop a new one. But the engine has to work, and unlike many flight sims I would try to build the engine around the dogfight instead of the dogfight around the engine. If I can't find an engine that dogfights well, I wouldn't use an existing one. It is all about the dogfight - everything else is secondary. If you don't sweat when you are in combat, the flight engine isn't right.

S! Cas!

I don't think it would necessarily have to cost that much to make. I mean - it wouldn't be 'cheap' because I wouldn't be a part of it if the game were going to be made 'on the cheap,' but I think you can take a frugal approach to design, making use of open-source and/or licensing arrangements to make a higher quality sim for less money.

You'll notice that the game I envision doesn't have a true offline mode. Everything happens in an online arena - one big mock war (well - actually three big online wars - one for each skill level). Why try to emulate a 'dynamic' campaign when it is easier to build a truly dynamic campaign? Why use AI and then try to emulate different skill levels when you can use real players who really do have differing skill levels? I'd emulate offline play for those that want offline characteristics, but everything would happen online, at least behind-the-scenes. So there would be no coding of AI or scripting of campaigns. Everyone would be a part of everyone else's AI... That saves a big chunk right there.

By having control of the online environment, We would not necessarily have to be afraid of having an open-source game. I don't need to charge for the actual software if I can prevent you from playing it (or limit what you can do with it) until you pay. Maybe I only let people do 'fly now' until they ante-up whatever the cost of the game is.

There are some licensing issues with open-source that would really need to be addressed. I can't ask a software developer to spend millions of dollars building a game that someone could then hack into a new game for very little money and give theirs away for free. But clearly there are enough good flight engines out there that using one should be a real option.

I haven't completely thought out how to charge for this yet. I've contacted a potential business-partner (I don't have the business sense by myself and need someone to help with that side of things). How to charge is really more of a business question than a technical question. I do know that I envision something somewhat perpetual, that would lend itself more to a subscription base than a one-time payment base, but I would stress that if we went that route the subscription price would be made to reflect boxed-game costs such that our game isn't any more expensive than staying caught-up with the Quake world. I don't know. Would you pay $50 or $75 per year for a perpetual war and a constantly improving framework?

Costing is a good question. I've really spent far more time thinking about technical questions that business ones.

I think that would be a good mix though. The community would have a perpetual game that is constantly being improved, potentially in open-source environment. You would never need a 'new' WWI sim again, because the game would always be 'new.'

Flight simulations are generally built as 'build and walk away' projects with no real life of their own after development. That is a good model for FPS, but not for us. We need a model that more accurately reflects how we use flight sims. Maybe that means a new title that plugs into the same online war every six months to a year such that you can upgrade the basic game engine whenever you upgrade your computer. Maybe that means a subscription-based pricing structure. I don't know other than that the game would be a perpetual project, with no real 'end date.'

This post probably gives more questions than answers, but hopefully it will fill in some more of the blanks and continue to show that my idea is legitimate. We can make money on this...

#1392861 - 08/27/04 08:29 PM Re: An Open Concept Letter to the Community  

**DONOTDELETE**
Unregistered
Anonymous
Unregistered


Oh - Bobby! I forgot.. That was Rivertown Mall in Grand Rapids. Nice place! My family goes there often.

Wall-dog

#1392862 - 08/28/04 03:25 AM Re: An Open Concept Letter to the Community  

**DONOTDELETE**
Unregistered
Anonymous
Unregistered


S! All!

I have had enough support to start heading down this road at least a little. I have started a formal business plan, and expect to have something I am reasonably happy with in about two weeks.

I am however a father and husband. I have a family to feed. Unless I can do that and build this sim at the same time, I'll have to choose feeding my family first! But if I can build the sim and feed my family at the same time I will!

I'm somewhat optimistic about the idea. I know I could do this if properly funded. Can I get the funding? That is another matter. But I can make a business plan (already started) and I can make some contacts. We shall see what we shall see.

Wish me luck! I'm going 'against the grain' here...

#1392863 - 08/28/04 09:41 AM Re: An Open Concept Letter to the Community  
Joined: Jul 2001
Posts: 1,080
FlyXwire Offline
Member
FlyXwire  Offline
Member

Joined: Jul 2001
Posts: 1,080
St.Charles, Missouri U.S.A.
All the luck Wally!

#1392864 - 08/29/04 12:55 AM Re: An Open Concept Letter to the Community  
Joined: Mar 2003
Posts: 6,403
Polovski Offline
Polovski  Offline

Hotshot

Joined: Mar 2003
Posts: 6,403
Good luck Wall-dog !


Regards,

Polovski,
OBD Software, developers of immersive flight sims;
Wings Over Flanders Fields and Wings Over The Reich
http://www.overflandersfields.com
http://www.wingsoverthereich.com
#1392865 - 08/29/04 09:42 AM Re: An Open Concept Letter to the Community  

**DONOTDELETE**
Unregistered
Anonymous
Unregistered


Did all the IT experience tell us to help the Newbie customer by modelling a truly easy to fly flight sim trainer...like Etrich Taube?



~ http://www.fiddlersgreen.net/AC/aircraft/Etrich-Taube/taube.htm


This is below basic thinking, but flies high above the brains of flight sim Devs.

#1392866 - 08/29/04 04:03 PM Re: An Open Concept Letter to the Community  

**DONOTDELETE**
Unregistered
Anonymous
Unregistered


S! Lexx!

One of the things that would be very helpful and that flight sims used to use in years past was a legitimate training mode. You would start with an aircraft doing a slow circle that you would maneuver behind and shoot down. This allowed you to work on basic gunnery and flight skills, but it didn't involve AI. I could see adding features like that for the newbie.

Actual training aircraft? Interesting idea. I'll chew on that.

#1392867 - 08/29/04 04:30 PM Re: An Open Concept Letter to the Community  
Joined: Mar 2003
Posts: 6,403
Polovski Offline
Polovski  Offline

Hotshot

Joined: Mar 2003
Posts: 6,403
Wings of War does this sort of thing with its first mission, when you choose a new campaign, the mission seleced is "newcomer" however you can click on the previous mission in the list called "flight scool"

It starts off "Welcome to how-to-fly school"

Takes you through about 10 items, take off, shooting static targets etc..


Regards,

Polovski,
OBD Software, developers of immersive flight sims;
Wings Over Flanders Fields and Wings Over The Reich
http://www.overflandersfields.com
http://www.wingsoverthereich.com
#1392868 - 08/29/04 04:31 PM Re: An Open Concept Letter to the Community  

**DONOTDELETE**
Unregistered
Anonymous
Unregistered


S! Polovski!

When is WoW coming out in the US?

#1392869 - 08/29/04 04:33 PM Re: An Open Concept Letter to the Community  
Joined: Jul 2001
Posts: 1,080
FlyXwire Offline
Member
FlyXwire  Offline
Member

Joined: Jul 2001
Posts: 1,080
St.Charles, Missouri U.S.A.
Isn't that the point of having different aircraft in a sim..........for the simple fact that they fly different from one another?

Of course the Avro 504K, or the Be 2, or the Taube, or the Maurice Farman M.F.11 could be mastered quicker than say something like a Camel, or a Fokker Dr.I ..........

We're not talking about dumbed-down flight modeling here, we're talking about incorporating balancing game features and/or mechanics that allow oneself to fly these aircraft with the degree of SA, and proficiency that was available to the real pilots!

So what sim feature/game mechanic is going to enable us simmers to feel g-forces?

What sim feature/game mechanic is going to allow us to have quick and accurate spatial referencing?

What sim feature/game mechanic is going to allow us to feel the pressure coming through our control columns or rudder bars?

What sim feature/game mechanic will let us feel when our engine is running rough?

What sim feature/game mechanic will inform us when we're receiving battle damage as it occurs?

The simple point here again is to emphasize that PCs don't fly...........aircraft do!

#1392870 - 08/29/04 07:03 PM Re: An Open Concept Letter to the Community  
Joined: Mar 2003
Posts: 6,403
Polovski Offline
Polovski  Offline

Hotshot

Joined: Mar 2003
Posts: 6,403
Quote:
Originally posted by RAF74_Wall-dog:
S! Polovski!

When is WoW coming out in the US?
S! Wall-dog
I have seen 30th Aug mentioned on some websites not sure if that's the US PC release or XBox?

I have definitely seen 7th Sept mentioned as US PC release on a few others.


Regards,

Polovski,
OBD Software, developers of immersive flight sims;
Wings Over Flanders Fields and Wings Over The Reich
http://www.overflandersfields.com
http://www.wingsoverthereich.com
#1392871 - 08/30/04 11:13 AM Re: An Open Concept Letter to the Community  

**DONOTDELETE**
Unregistered
Anonymous
Unregistered


Quote:
Originally posted by RAF74_Wall-dog:
Oh - Bobby! I forgot.. That was Rivertown Mall in Grand Rapids. Nice place! My family goes there often.

Wall-dog
Thanks WD, Rivertown Mall could very well have been it !

It's so clear in my mind's eye. We were there in Aug. 2001. 2 stories mall. There was also a game store on the first floor where I got me the 2 flight sims I have regretted buying most, both @ 'fool price': Jet fighter 4 deluxe box' \:o and X-plane 5.61 (just after that it became publicly known the free upgrades concept of that sim was abandoned, and docile flight sims like FS-series and X-plane are not my style anyway \:\)

My GF and I agreed we could very happily live in Michigan \:\) But it will not happen. Doing well over here too \:\)

S!

Page 1 of 2 1 2

Moderated by  RacerGT 

Quick Search
Recent Articles
Support SimHQ

If you shop on Amazon use this Amazon link to support SimHQ
.
Social


Recent Topics
Checking in from Spokane our new home
by JimK. 07/18/19 11:45 PM
Old Crow Mustang
by DBond. 07/18/19 08:42 PM
Trailer for you know what!
by archermav. 07/18/19 07:58 PM
Epic Game account hacked? Any suggestions?
by Coot. 07/17/19 09:38 PM
Blink of An Eye - movie trailer
by David Kennard. 07/17/19 08:26 PM
Interesting article on Apollo 11
by oldgrognard. 07/16/19 06:07 PM
Random Thoughts
by vonBaur. 07/16/19 04:49 PM
Renovations
by Alicatt. 07/16/19 10:48 AM
The Darwin Effect
by vonBaur. 07/15/19 04:02 PM
Copyright 1997-2016, SimHQ Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Powered by UBB.threads™ PHP Forum Software 7.6.0