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#4418663 - 05/01/18 08:30 PM Will WWI Flight sims ever become popular again?  
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Hellshade Offline
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Remember in the 90s when there were so many WWI flight sims that you had a huge choice? Then, the market just kind of died away for various reasons.

Dungeons & Dragons was popular in the 80s and then it lost a lot of popularity until only just 2014 when the 5th edition came out. Now it is, quite literally, more popular than ever before.

Of course there are huge differences in the two markets. Modern flight sims are a massive undertaking to build and players have an almost unreachable bar of expectations regarding flight models, damage models, historical accuracy, etc. Furthermore, home computers in general are rapidly giving way to ever more powerful tablets and those who do have home computers often don't have all the flight aids like TrackIR, joysticks, etc to get the most out of a sim. D&D has none of those issues. Just new books with new rules and they were off and running. Not so for WWI flight sims. The base of PCs is actually shrinking even as the technological capability to produce a high fidelity WWI flight sim improves.

The closest thing recently to a WWI flying game is not even remotely a sim. It's Battlefield 1...and even EA is rumored to be going back to WWII for it's next Battlefield game. Rise of Flights development or even patches has not been a thing for years now and even the newly minted Flying Circus is essentially just a very small plane set using existing flight models from RoF wrapped inside a new engine on a small map. Historical depth will be around zero. WOFF UE is beautiful and the mod community works miracles, however official development is on pause while OBD focus on WOTR as a way to generate additional income, because the WWI flight sim market is too small at this point for even a single developer to stay afloat on it. Even one as passionate and dedicated to WWI flight sims as OBD.

So my question is - what do you guys think? Do you think WWI flight sims will ever flourish again in the future, maybe when VR becomes more common and so being in an open cockpit would be a perfect fit for such technology? Or has the WWI sim market already peaked long ago and WOFF UE, potentially still with some future updates maybe from WOTR technology, will be the last great WWI flight sim for the forseeable future?

It's all speculation, of course, but I would like the opinions of my esteemed WWI co-fliers.


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#4418673 - 05/01/18 08:59 PM Re: Will WWI Flight sims ever become popular again? [Re: Hellshade]  
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I'm certainly holding fire on FC until I'm absolutely sure what it's future really is. I was pretty excited when I heard about it, thinking it would be an improved RoF... but when I realised it would not have the single player element or career I kind of lost interest.
Hopefully the developers will let us know their full vision for the game, but then again, that might depend solely on how profitable it is on release.

That brings me (as always) back to WoFF... I am always drawn back to it when I want a WWI fix. It's like an old friend, always there and willing to oblige me.
Even if there are no more patches or add ons, I am sure it will forever be on my hard drive, waiting for when I feel the need to get the wind in my face and a Hun on my tail.

As to the future of WWI aviation games, I have heard nothing of any new titles (bar FC) unless you chaps can enlighten me further. frown
I certainly have zero interest in BF1 so therefore will not be indulging in that games version of WWI aviation.
I can only think that if a developer did decide to venture into the WWI skies, they have a tall order in trying to come up to the SP game standard of what we have in WoFF.

#4418685 - 05/01/18 10:19 PM Re: Will WWI Flight sims ever become popular again? [Re: Hellshade]  
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FC will be just like ROF when it was released--nothing like it turned into. According to the devs, FC will have a SP campaign eventually, if not right away, which is how it was for ROF. Remember ROF had NO campaign only had TWO PLANES when it was released! It's come a long way. FC is slated to be Volume 1 and will build from there with subsequent volumes--just like some other sim we all know and love. It won't be perfect--no sim is--but I don't expect it to be bad. Certainly I don't expect to be rooked as I was with the DCS WW2 Kickstarter.

As far if WW1 sims will flourish in the future... This question comes up from time to time. My answer: who the hell knows? My WOFF UE and ROF still work, so I don't worry about what won't happen or might not happen in the WW1 flight sim future when I'm still enjoying the present, which is pretty damn good. I keep reading how flight sims in general are "dead," yet every year there are new sims, new planes for existing sims, new planes, updates, improvements, etc. I don't have time to fly it all.

As an aside, I think it's a mistake for devs to attempt to make their sims "user friendly for the noob." Especially when noob-friendly sims/games already exist. It seems to dilute dev focus on other aspects of development. From my observation, people either want to fly (for instance) an Albatros, or they don't. Look at D&D that Hellshade mentioned. More popular than ever, he said, yet--no disrespect--I couldn't give a rat's ass about that game, no matter how user-friendly it is. I'm just not interested in it. Same with, say, racing games. If you can drive them with the mouse alone, so what? I'm not going to spend one second doing that, because I'm not interested in racing in the first place.

#4418700 - 05/01/18 11:29 PM Re: Will WWI Flight sims ever become popular again? [Re: Hellshade]  
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Regarding the future of WW1 flight sims. If the hundredth anniversary of WW1 hasn't stimulated interest, the only other thing I can think of that might would be a really GOOD ACCURATE movie of the Genre. Excellent movies always seem to stimulate interest in after market stuff...at least for short period.

IMHO

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#4418730 - 05/02/18 01:37 AM Re: Will WWI Flight sims ever become popular again? [Re: Hellshade]  
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Only the Shadow knows! Seriously... who knows? ''Noob Friendly' games' is the same attitude that museums and other entities attempt to generate interests. Ever go to a museum and see those crappy displays that are supposed to encourage kids? What a waste of money, time and space (that could have been used FOR THE MUSEUM or whatever), in my opinion. If you desire something bad enough you will eventually get it if you don't die first! When I was a kid I made things for entertainment using materials scrounged here and there. We didn't have 'disposable income' for 'foolish pleasures'. Personally, my interests are in early aviation and it waxes and wanes which periods and types are the 'fave of the day'. I would be in Heaven if WOFF UE had some more aircraft types, pilotable Zeppelins and an Austro-Hungarian/ Italian Front with proper aircraft. I'll 'fly' WOFF UE forever unless the Devs come up with something better!

#4418801 - 05/02/18 02:50 PM Re: Will WWI Flight sims ever become popular again? [Re: Hellshade]  
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Well in fairness, I didn't ask for what people "know" and specifically stated it was all speculation and was looking for opinions. We have many esteemed members on this forum and they have quite a repitoire of skills amongst them but "crystal ball gazing" isn't going to be one of them. wink

I agree with JFM that the flight sim market isn't dead. DCS, the new IL-2 line, etc seem to be flourishing or at least doing well enough to keep expanding. It's specifically the WWI flight sim market that isn't flying high anymore like it once was in the 90s. I guess if I had to rephrase the question, it would be "What do you think made WWI popular in the 90s that is missing from the market today?"


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#4418851 - 05/02/18 06:34 PM Re: Will WWI Flight sims ever become popular again? [Re: Hellshade]  
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Hello gents', stimulating thoughts.

Some of my speculation: I think in the 1990s there were more die-hard computer (not tablet) users around...we tend to gravitate towards more historical and/or obscure topics anyway smile so WWI flight "simming" becomes a natural place to go.

Currently there's a mix of tablet and smartphone casual gamers out there, and a smaller crowd of pro computer users (and simmers) - even joysticks aren't as prevalent as they once were....although flying with a mouse is possible, it's not the most pleasant experience (as I can remember from the F/A-18 Hornet Korea days spent on a beige Mac).

It's also possible that jet jockeys feel more comfortable switching between WW2 and Cold War based sims, instead of getting into a WW1 crate - and so most flight sims remain in this more financially profitable area, of high-speed prop planes and jets. Although I think we have our bases nicely covered with WOFFue and FE2 smile

Happy flying,
Von S

#4418918 - 05/03/18 03:45 AM Re: Will WWI Flight sims ever become popular again? [Re: Hellshade]  
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When people stop making bad sims they will become popular again.


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#4418959 - 05/03/18 02:45 PM Re: Will WWI Flight sims ever become popular again? [Re: Ace_Pilto]  
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Originally Posted by Ace_Pilto
When people stop making bad sims they will become popular again.


"Bad" is of course subjective but while I and many other people here, obviously, love the depth of historically accurate detail in WOFF UE, you bring up a good point Ace. It's possible that the majority of gamers and simmers out there are far more interested in the PvP combat experience that WOFF UE simply doesn't provide. Without that, maybe it's a "bad" sim to them. Clearly the trend has been towards player vs player for quite some time in digital entertainment in general. Witness the rise of MOBAs (Multiplayer Online Battle Arenas) and various versions of "air quake" you can find with War Thunder, etc.

I know there was a faction of players in OFF:BH&H that worked furiously to try and make multi-player an option for OFF:BH&H but ultimately couldn't keep it going. Indeed even some of the preview images of WOFF (not UE) in the preview movies showed Multiplayer as an option in the Workshop, but clearly it was removed before release for reasons unknown. If it was intended to be PvP or Co-op multiplayer, I couldn't say.

Wild speculation on my part, but perhaps it's not that WWI isn't "interesting" as a flight sim subject, but rather that single player only sims no longer hold the interest of simmers that they once did and PvP aspects are now the primary draw. Battlefield 1 is WWI themed obviously and is popular but certainly not for it's historical accuracy. It's for the PvP aspect. The sims that are popular, including DCS and all the IL2 series have a very strong PvP component. Maybe it's not just about the WWII planes or the modern jets as much as its the quality of the PvP experience, of which WOFF UE has none.

While many of us think WOFF UE is a work of art, for many others, the lack of a PvP component may make it a "bad" sim. What do you guy think?

And in beating what is sure to be a very long dead, horse - I will ask. Is it even possible to give WOFF UE a multiplayer component?

Last edited by Hellshade; 05/03/18 03:39 PM.

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#4418997 - 05/03/18 09:00 PM Re: Will WWI Flight sims ever become popular again? [Re: Hellshade]  
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I am not even remotely interested in a Woff UE MP component...

#4419032 - 05/04/18 12:27 AM Re: Will WWI Flight sims ever become popular again? [Re: Trooper117]  
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Originally Posted by Trooper117
I am not even remotely interested in a Woff UE MP component...


I presume that would probably be a true statement for many of the people who already have WOFF UE.

For the vast majority of simmers who don't own WOFF UE, it isn't hard to imagine them saying "I am not even remotely interested in a SP only flight sim." Not that there's probably anything that can be done about it anyway, but the more I think about it, it's quite possibly more a lack of MP for WOFF UE than the fact that it's a WWI flight sim that keeps a great many others from buying it.

I personally don't have a great need for a MP component either but I sure would like to see more money in the devs pockets while they keep developing WOFF UE.

Last edited by Hellshade; 05/04/18 12:44 AM.

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#4419040 - 05/04/18 01:44 AM Re: Will WWI Flight sims ever become popular again? [Re: Hellshade]  
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(I'd like to see them throw in with Laminar and use the X-plane 11 engine)


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#4419111 - 05/04/18 02:25 PM Re: Will WWI Flight sims ever become popular again? [Re: Ace_Pilto]  
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Originally Posted by Ace_Pilto
(I'd like to see them throw in with Laminar and use the X-plane 11 engine)


It would probably result in a total re-write from scratch.


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#4419113 - 05/04/18 02:35 PM Re: Will WWI Flight sims ever become popular again? [Re: Hellshade]  
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X Plane 11 does look cool. I can only imagine that re-writing everything to work in that engine would require far more $$$ and developer code time than is an option for the Devs and with a high probability they wouldn't get their full investment back. frown


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#4419715 - 05/09/18 02:26 AM Re: Will WWI Flight sims ever become popular again? [Re: Hellshade]  
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Well, I just hope this community of wonderful WOFFers hangs in there until I can frequent the skies more often. I post here more than I fly! Life has been getting steadily more busy - I should be working now, but it's late and thought I"d engage in recreational chatter before bed.

One issue with WOFF - or any WWI aviation SIMULATOR, as opposed to an arcade shoot'em'up - is just that. It requires patience; it requires more than fast thumb reflexes and control combos that have little to do with physical reality. It requires knowing how aircraft- old aircraft- flew, handled, and fought. You lumber into the sky, you circle the field, you attempt to stay in formation, you have real failures, you get shot at unexpectedly- and when you finally do get into a dogfight, it's real. No solid rod of bullets sticking out of the front of you plane, no unlimited power to climb and pursue, no "gratifying" (horrifying, actually) fireball - heck half the time I'm not even sure I hit the guy; you all know better than I - the guy could be faking it just to get out of the fight. And Hellshade, I have to thank you as well for being one of the guys that's always out there for WOFF - your video collection is mesmerizing and very helpful for a guy who has little time for practice.

I have often wondered what the Devs could've done if they had the advantages of modern core code that can take advantage of processor and GPU features I can only imagine; but by glory, what they've done is mind blowing - you wanna have your head spun around, stick in a native CFS3 disk and see what it looks like! Not only is it amazing, it is sobering. I've said it before and I'll repeat it again here - you all have felt it as well. I actually don't want to get to the point where putting a man to a firey death is anything but awful. I hope I can get to the skill levels some of you have, as Olham, bless his heart, used to say- to be happy to bring his wing man home. Just the small amount of flying I have done, it still blows my mind that these guys could even find their way home, much less fight in these things.

If we can do anything besides indulge our own appetites with this artfull sim, let us do as Mike (Stache) and some of the others have- as I have and will do with my grandkids - and get the kids away from flash-bang-blow and show them that really fighting and really dying is an awful thing, wasteful and sickening. That's another reason why hope to be able to make it to Dayton in September, because I like what he's doing.

We as mature folk (mostly) have to inject some moderation into this increasingly cruel society - look at how some poor girl was pilloried on (anti)social media for wearing a Chinese-style prom gown by people who had no part nor lot in the matter, until the Chinese themselves stepped in and said they have no ax to grind, but instead are complimented, as I'm sure she intended. We're increasingly insane; that's only one in thousands of examples. Surprisingly, by practicing war, I believe we can spread peace.

And I do think the market will come back. It always does.


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#4419731 - 05/09/18 04:41 AM Re: Will WWI Flight sims ever become popular again? [Re: Hellshade]  
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Humandrone, that was a beautiful post. Thank you for expressing what, I'm sure, many of us WOFFers feel.

#4419750 - 05/09/18 10:13 AM Re: Will WWI Flight sims ever become popular again? [Re: Hellshade]  
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I agree with Raine, that was stated perfectly HumanDrone, and I feel the very same way.

.

#4419753 - 05/09/18 10:30 AM Re: Will WWI Flight sims ever become popular again? [Re: Hellshade]  
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Amen Brother!


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#4419761 - 05/09/18 10:53 AM Re: Will WWI Flight sims ever become popular again? [Re: Hellshade]  
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#4419776 - 05/09/18 12:58 PM Re: Will WWI Flight sims ever become popular again? [Re: Hellshade]  
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I can't say it any better than HumanDrone already did. I just wanted to second that assessment. I'm often pulled in two directions when it comes to my gaming hobby. For a decade I've spent a lot of time in the twitch-reflex world of FPS titles like Call of Duty and Battlefield. But, as the genre and I both age, I find it less and less attractive. The types of games I've always been called too - when the FPS drum wasn't beating too loudly in my head - were what I call "process games." Titles like Gran Turismo, or F1, or flight sims. Games that require me to think, manage, and respond - in other words, games that make me process things, have always been tremendously grounding for me. They actually improve my mental health rather than leave me feeling frazzled and irritable afterwards. WOFF has always done that - the sim just requires you to be mindful and aware of what's happening at all times. Sure I have "throw away" pilots - go to campaigns set in high volume areas late in the war when I want to hop on when I don't have a lot of time - but even then you have to keep your head on a swivel.

And for WOFF's development - it's astonishing. I haven't written anything long form in over a year - the consequences of completing a dissertation and the burnout that follows - but I'm seriously considering writing up a piece about how I was pulled into the genre, and how it led to what I study (this topic) for a living, and how things have changed over time. Think it would be a fun way to warmup the old writing skills again. So thanks Hellshade, for sparking the idea this morning over a cup of strong coffee.

As for the genre recovering - I hope so. I'm optimistic that in the age of independent developers and digital distribution, we can keep the magic going. (As a complete aside, what I'd really like to do is compile a set of interviews with the developers and get their story down on paper about how they got here and where they see the genre in 2018).

#4419781 - 05/09/18 01:32 PM Re: Will WWI Flight sims ever become popular again? [Re: Hellshade]  
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I concur with everything HumanDone so eloquently stated. Well done, sir. Capt - I hope that you can get the interviews you are looking for, but good luck pulling them away from WOTR development. The devs have been quiet as field mice this past year or so and I am sure that means every spare moment is working on pushing out WOTR. Hopefully we will at least get some more work in progress screens soon. That we haven't gotten any preview movies yet like we did with WOFF leads me to believe that they are still some time away from completion. Hopefully in the 3rd quarter of 2018 - but that's just me hoping, not the devs promising anything.

As for how I got back into WWI flight sims Soppy, you sent me a Phase 2 CD and I have been hooked ever since. Thank you for that remarkably kind gesture. It's just one of countless acts of good will that this community has displayed, making the community itself every bit as special as the sim.


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#4419784 - 05/09/18 01:59 PM Re: Will WWI Flight sims ever become popular again? [Re: Hellshade]  
Joined: May 2003
Posts: 559
CaptSopwith Offline
Barmy WingNut
CaptSopwith  Offline
Barmy WingNut
Member

Joined: May 2003
Posts: 559
United States
Originally Posted by Hellshade
I concur with everything HumanDone so eloquently stated. Well done, sir. Capt - I hope that you can get the interviews you are looking for, but good luck pulling them away from WOTR development. The devs have been quiet as field mice this past year or so and I am sure that means every spare moment is working on pushing out WOTR. Hopefully we will at least get some more work in progress screens soon. That we haven't gotten any preview movies yet like we did with WOFF leads me to believe that they are still some time away from completion. Hopefully in the 3rd quarter of 2018 - but that's just me hoping, not the devs promising anything.

As for how I got back into WWI flight sims Soppy, you sent me a Phase 2 CD and I have been hooked ever since. Thank you for that remarkably kind gesture. It's just one of countless acts of good will that this community has displayed, making the community itself every bit as special as the sim.



I always forget that I got you pulled into this odd band of fliers, Hellshade! I was just paying it forward. OvS sent me my copy of Phase 2 back in the day as well - I've kept it for sentimental value as he signed the sleeve the CD came in. My feeling on WOTR is shared with yours - and I've always had complete faith in OBD that "it'll be done when it's done." Frankly, with grad school and insane life schedules over the last five years, I'm still barely scratching the surface of what WOFF:UE has to offer - so I don't feel lacking for gameplay at the moment. I think I'll start writing a piece on twenty years of playing WWI flight sims. I begged my parents for a copy of Red Baron II twenty years ago this fall and well... here I am. Should be fun and hopefully the folks around here would like to read it.

Thinking about firing up a super-early war campaign with the French, maybe give some reconnaissance work a try for a change. Should be interesting!

#4419851 - 05/09/18 06:25 PM Re: Will WWI Flight sims ever become popular again? [Re: Hellshade]  
Joined: May 2012
Posts: 473
cptroyce Offline
Member
cptroyce  Offline
Member

Joined: May 2012
Posts: 473
Flying WOFF UE is like standing on the "Everest" of WW1 flight sims, IMHO.
Don't believe the future for WW1 sims will hold anything further; but if so it won't compare at all.

I have been flying WOFF for years and years; still find it totally immersive, "relaxing", surprising, and getting better with all the modding that is going on.

#4420123 - 05/10/18 08:55 PM Re: Will WWI Flight sims ever become popular again? [Re: Hellshade]  
Joined: Sep 2009
Posts: 10
Gordohk Offline
Junior Member
Gordohk  Offline
Junior Member

Joined: Sep 2009
Posts: 10
Maryland, USA
WOFF has to be one of the coolest games on my PC.

#4420164 - 05/11/18 12:55 AM Re: Will WWI Flight sims ever become popular again? [Re: Hellshade]  
Joined: May 2012
Posts: 785
HumanDrone Offline
Just shoot me...
HumanDrone  Offline
Just shoot me...
Member

Joined: May 2012
Posts: 785
Near Pittsburgh, PA USA
Thanks to all of you for the kind words. I'm very glad to see RAF_Louvert post - and humbled by his complements. Raine, Capt. Sopwith, Hellshade, MFair (who put his money where his mouth is) - I stand among those greater than myself. Truly. All of you have done far more than I have to support this work. Ace Pilto, thanks for the drinks! bottles

And yeah - this is the Everest of WWI sims. It can only get better! Soppy, I hope you get time - and material - to write your article. It's amazing that you could probably do your interviews from halfway around the world via Skype or something similar - as long as one of you was willing to get up early or stay up late!

Well, I got this conference paper that was due last Friday, so back to work. I feel like Charlie Brown dragging "War and Peace" around with him all Christmas vacation!


Box: Win7 Pro 64 bit / I72600K @4.1 GHz / EVGA GTX580 OC'd / 16GB RAM / Corsair 240 GB SSD / WD 600 GB Velociraptor / 1050W Power
FS Stuff: Saitek X52 Pro Stick/Throttle & Combat Rudder Pedals, TrackIR 5
Sims: FSX Gold, REX 2.0 OD, UTX-NA, FSGenesis 10m mesh/ CFS3 ETO 1.40/Wings Over Flanders Fields Ultimate Edition (more gorgeous than ever!)
Proud BOC inductee 4/30/12!
#4420492 - 05/13/18 02:47 AM Re: Will WWI Flight sims ever become popular again? [Re: Hellshade]  
Joined: Sep 2015
Posts: 536
Stache Offline
Member
Stache  Offline
Member

Joined: Sep 2015
Posts: 536
Michigan, USA
Great post HumanDrone. Thanks for the shout-out. September is coming up fast - looking forward to the WW1 Dawn Patrol Rendezvous in Dayton.


Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. A. Einstein

(System Specs:)

I7-6700k OC 4.4GHZ, 16GB DDR4 3200Mhz; Gigabyte Gaming 7 MB, G1 OC'ed GTX980ti; Three-Acer XB271HU WQHD Gsync 144Mhz; Samsung 950-512GB NVMe SSD; WD 2TB-7200rpm; Cooler Master HAF XB EVO, Nepton 240M cooler, V1000 PS; Windows 10 PRO; VKB GunfighterPro Stick; Saitek Pro Flight Pedals & Throttle; Dual TM MFD panels; TrackIR 5; home grown cockpit, � la RogerDodger.net
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