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#1391876 - 07/23/04 08:15 PM An open letter from a former KOE developer  
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Xeidos2 Offline
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(originally drafted May 19, 2004)

An open letter to the flight simulation community,
especially those interested in World War One aviation.

By now youve heard that the development of Knights Over Europe has been stopped. This letter is not an attempt to explain what happened during the development of KOE that lead to its demise nor is it an attempt to fix blame on those people and companies responsible. Instead, this letter is an attempt to explain to the community what their options are in getting a new WW1 flight simulation made.

What would it take to finish KOE? If you had approximately $125,000 and 9 to 12 months of solid engineering time and a really good lawyer, you could have it on your store shelves by Christmas, 2005. (These are estimates made by an artist, take them with a hugh amount of skepticism)

Where would this money come from? Large game publishers? Not likely. The mainstream game industry has abandoned flight sims since 1999. Why? Its very difficult to make a good one and not that many people buy them when compared to other types of games on the market. So theres no point in trying to have the members of your favorite forum have a petition drive to get some large publisher pick us up and finish KOE. Theyre not interested in anything unless they can be guaranteed sales of 100,000 copies. And as we all know, its when a game is re-designed to reach a mass market that most game-play problems are introduced into flight sims.

At the recent E3 convention there were over 1000 new games presented. According to the information on the official E3 site, only 3.9 percent of those games were simulations of any kind. KOE wasnt there even though we could have been and should have been, but thats not my point in writing this.

What about a mid-size or small independent publisher? When Aspect Simulations first went looking for publishers in 2003, some small publishers showed interests in KOE. But none of them could offer the financial support needed to complete the game.

What if we took the parts of KOE that were finished and put them into a different package than the one originally announced and publish it ourselves over the internet? We could use the revenue that came in and then finish KOE as originally designed. That course of action was studied but not pursued. The flight sim community had pretty high expectations as to what KOE was going to be and if we put out anything less, we would have been criticized so badly on the forums that no one would have bought any copies, certainly not enough to support finishing development. The concept of the flight sim community supporting a product through different stages of development is too different from what has been done in the past to expect that it would work now.

So what options does the community have if they want to see a new flight simulation game? Especially one devoted to World War One aviation. From my perspective I see that there are two options open to them. One is what I call the hobbyist development team. A bunch of programmers and 3d artists get together and in their spare time they build a flight sim. I can think of at least 3 different examples of this kind of project: Target For Tonight, The Targetware series (Target Flanders) and Birds of Prey. The 3d content in these sims has been incredible and there are talented modelers all around the world who have helped these projects. But the programming or engineering side of things hasnt gone so well. Correct me if Im wrong, but none of these projects has yet to get beyond open beta, even though theyve been worked on for years. I dont think theres anything wrong with the teams. I just think that theyre all keenly aware of how incredibly hard it is to make something as complex as a flight sim in your spare time.

The second option would be for the flight sim community to set-up a not-for-profit organization. Call it the Society for the Preservation of Flight Simulation, or whatever name people can agree on. Then use this outfit to have fund raisers, much like the public radio stations in the States do, and use the money to pay the salaries of programmers who are hired to write the code for a flight sim. There are all kind of things that could be done to raise money. Artwork made for game UI screens could be made into art prints and sold. Squadrons could raise money to commission certain textures made or even specific aircraft created. If people paid dues, then theyd get a big discount on the price of the finished game. The non-profit could publish a newsletter letting members know the inside scoop on the progress of the games development. Of course, if the outfit was set-up in Canada they could always apply for a grant from the government. Or we could go to the Department of Defense and say that were training future operators for UAVs.

Once the basic code was written, it could then be adapted to whatever kind of flight sim the society wanted to make. 3d content could be purchased or donated. Once a game was assembled and tested, it could be distributed over the internet and people could download the game or have a CD mailed to them. Money from the sales of the game would go back into the not-for-profit and they would use the money to pay programmers to do research and development on the next generation of flight sims. If a game did well Im sure some publisher would buy the rights to it and put it in a box so that it could be put in the stores.

Why is it so hard to program a flight simulator that youd have to hire someone to work on it full-time? The way it was explained to me (remember Im the art guy and not one of the engineers) is that almost all of the code that programmers have to work with in making games is designed primarily for first person shooter style games. To get this code to work in a flight sim requires a great deal of customization and optimization. To get it to work right a programmer needs months of time to focus on the details. If one is trying to do this in their spare time and there are a lot of outside distractions then the task is next to impossible.

The part of this concept that I like the best is that the marketing people dont have to get involved. It would be flight sim people having flight sims designed and made for themselves, not the mass market. The making of a good flight sim can still be a profitable undertaking it just will never be as big a profit as some other types of games.

So as I make back-ups of the KOE development files and store them away, and I get ready to stand in the unemployment line and practice saying paper or plastic I reflect on the future of flight sims and wonder if the flight sim community has the will and the wisdom to change the way it works. If they keep waiting for big publishers theyll have to settle for more and more arcade style games if they get anything at all. If they wait for hobbyists the wait will be a long one. The content will be first class, but the underlying code writing will take a long time. I like what theyre doing over at Targetware but Im not going to pay $120 a year to fly online. If they organize and support a not-for-profit theres no telling what will happen as thats not been done before.

If the past is any indication, Im sure the future will be something totally different than anything I imagined.

John MacKay aka Xeidos2
3d/2d artist Knights Over Europe Aspect Simulations
3d artist Target Rabaul Beaufighter greatly modified by YAK
3d artist Target Korea F3D Skyknight and texture for F9F-2 Panther
3d artist Victory Over Guadualcanal Aspect Simulations
3d/2d artist Confirmed Kill Eidos Interactive
3d/2d artist Flying Nightmares II Eidos Interactive

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#1391877 - 07/23/04 08:52 PM Re: An open letter from a former KOE developer  
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Thanks to you and Eddie W for replying to us on the forums to let all of us know what was going on with KOE.

The idea of a community funded flight sim was discussed in another thread, first jokingly, but I truly considered the prospect. Some thought it would be impossible, others thought it would be truly feasible. I truly think that a community funded and designed sim is the only way we will ever get the style products we want. Thankfully for WWII there is an Oleg Maddox with a publisher like UBI who is willing to publish and distrube a high quality sim. But for us in the WWI community we have no such man, and no such publisher.

So why not attempt to do this? If we don't the end result will be what we have now, nothing! And it will remain that way for a long time as there are no other major WWI flight sims anywhere near completion. I think we truly should discuss the possibilty, and I'm open to help in anyway I can. I've got a website, and can build them to, so I think I could help with the promotion of a project like this.

What would you be willing to do is the next question I ask, and does anyone else think a project of this scale s possible?


-Blacksheep
The Sheeps Pen
#1391878 - 07/23/04 09:15 PM Re: An open letter from a former KOE developer  
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Thank you John for taking the time to explain this, and thanks for your efforts even if it didn't work out this time.

Quote:

The second option would be for the flight sim community to set-up a not-for-profit organization.
I actually think that's a brilliant idea. The 125.000 USD you mentioned comes to 2500 people investing 50 USD per person. Surely this is not an impossible number?


"I prefer to fly alone ... when alone, I perform those little coups of audacity which amuse me" - Ren Fonck
#1391879 - 07/23/04 09:28 PM Re: An open letter from a former KOE developer  
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This post is full of nutrients I will have to digest it and also I will forward the link to someome that might find it interesting \:\) .

Still, some random first thoughts. :p
Excuse me if most of my replies are to secondary issues.

Quote:

By now youve heard that the development of Knights Over Europe has been stopped.
:(

Quote:

What would it take to finish KOE? If you had approximately $125,000 and 9 to 12 months of solid engineering time and a really good lawyer, you could have it on your store shelves by Christmas, 2005. (These are estimates made by an artist, take them with a hugh amount of skepticism)
The lawyer bit sounds bad \:\( . $125,000 is peanuts to a big publisher, but of course, like you say, if they are not interested in flight sims, that does not help.

Quote:

The concept of the flight sim community supporting a product through different stages of development is too different from what has been done in the past to expect that it would work now.
It is a bit different, yes, and so it would turn of some potential financiers. OTOH it is what IMHO has to be done (generally speaking) and for example you could say Oleg does it with Il2, Il2:FB, AEP, BoE, PF etc. To create a flight sim engine fomr scratch is a HUGE job. To use it for one game is financially stupid IMHO. Also, you can not up the price much without loosing so many customers that on the end you get less money than for a standard price of say 50$. So, you need to sell the engine multiple times, using different enough "clothes" (possibly theaters) so that you can re-sell it. This is IMHO a win-win situation for developer and customer.

But the problem in your case will probably be that the first iteration already has to be fun to play. One problem why a flight sim is so hard to produce is that you can leave off very little without it stop being fun.

I am a coder, so let me speak mainly code. You NEED the following modules:

1. 3D gfx (planes, objects)
2. Terrain engine
3. FM. You might just get away with one FM instead of two (easy and realistic), but it will reduce appeal.
4. Weapons model and damage model if peaking a combat sim
5. Sound
6. GUI
7. AI and/or MP. leaving off one of the two is possible but limits audience a lot.
8. Input code

Things for a "full sim" that you might leave off:
9. Communications with other planes and/or the
ground (ground controller in WWII etc).
10. Campaign

A few words about how hard it is to do a flight sim. IMO it is more difficult to do a high quality flight sim than a high quality fps. You need virtually all the aspects of a fps plus historic research and missions, campaign plus physics model (FM / weapons model / DM) is more complex. The only thing where I would see the code for a fps as more complex is if the code is equally well suited for indoor and outdoor. Then it virtually needs two gfx engines.

On a forum for professional game developers, I recently saw this sentence about a buggy fps: "They had no chance. They only had 30 developers for 3 years".

The reason that flight sims are still produced in spite of the staggering costs is that a modern (last 5-10 years I would say) flight sim may contain all modules it needs, but the quality is far below most fps. There are a ton of things that could be improved in any current flight sim.

Quote:

A bunch of programmers and 3d artists get together and in their spare time they build a flight sim. I can think of at least 3 different examples of this kind of project: Target For Tonight, The Targetware series (Target Flanders) and Birds of Prey.
You should say a hobby team that ultimately wants to sell the sim. There are more than 10 "hobby" teams altogether. Apart from some teams that are simply not up to it, the problem with all teams I know is that they are too small.

#1391880 - 07/23/04 11:06 PM Re: An open letter from a former KOE developer  
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Osram,

I appreciate your comments, especially since you're a person who has "been there and done that."

While I'm still not at liberty to go into details about what we had and still needed to do on KOE, of the list of things you mentioned I had the impression that we had over half those things well covered. Again - I'm the 3d guy and not a programmer. But I could fly my models around and shoot other planes down and each plane handled differently.

We were a small team to begin with (I had to smile to myself when I read some people's posts, they must have thought we had 30 or 40 people)so when we lost only a few people we quickly got to a point where finishing KOE as it was originally announced became almost impossible. But we were relunctant to announce anything because we weren't about to give up until we considered every possibility and we were trying to figure out what we could do. My folks are from Canada and I was born in Texas, which means I'm inclined to be stubborn and don't know the meaning of quit.

Well, we do have a plan and we're starting to execute it, but it will be a few months before we have anything to say or show publicly.

I got the idea for setting up a not-for-profit org after listening to the public radio station here in Denver. They just raised $600,000 so people could listen to classical music on the radio. Judging by what we were able to do with our small team, we could have made 2 or 3 sims with that amount of money.

It'll be interesting to see what comes of all this.

#1391881 - 07/24/04 01:37 AM Re: An open letter from a former KOE developer  
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IL2 used a Lucas Games Star Wars game engine

which i dont know (x-wing vrs TiE ? dont laugh , its true)

#1391882 - 07/24/04 02:09 AM Re: An open letter from a former KOE developer  
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I would put up 50 usd if that would keep non arcade sims in development even if it meant years of waiting...god its only a good bootle of scotch and the cost of fuel to the shop and back ;\)

I am sure all the whining on forums does not help sims at all and would not be surprised if it is actually the simmers themselves who have done most of the damage to this market.How hard must it be when you are only in development and people are whinging their ass off because of some bloody trivial thing they see in a screenshot.

Idiots.

My 50 bucks stands when or if it is ever needed...who knows i may even be able to contribute in some other small way to with models as well.

cheers..lets keep sims alive and stop shooting ourselves in the foot.


My il2 page
Seelowe Campaign
Cliffs of Dover page
CloD
My Models
Tanks/Planes/Ships


#1391883 - 07/24/04 10:28 AM Re: An open letter from a former KOE developer  
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Good luck to you and the other members of Aspect on your future endeavors and I'm sorry that it didn't work out. We waited and got nothing, but you worked on something that never got to see fruition. I do not envy your position.

This is really sad news. I hope KOE can get the financing in order to continue. If they find another publisher, are they legally allowed to use the development made with Destineer's financing?

I wish Aspect had been more forthcoming about this. It seems they have learned some hard lessons and hopefully in the future they will realise communication and self-promotion are important, especially if they feel their position is tenous. A backup plan next time?

S!

#1391884 - 07/24/04 11:21 AM Re: An open letter from a former KOE developer  
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\:\( \:\(

Truly , the worst case scenario again happened. But I appreciate that a team member took the time to enlighten us.

It's a shame that in a market saturated with indifferent RTS and FPS games no major publisher does see any potential in presenting a simgame to stand out from the rest.

It appears that the future of flight-sims, if there is ssuch a thing, is in the East. I'm skeptical about hobbyist approach ever producing a WWI simgame I'd like to play. Perhaps forthcoming BoB engine of 1C/Maddox Games could do the trick. Since 1C has released "fantasy" planes in FB/AEP series the lack of definite data about many WWI crates should be no absolute barrier anymore.

In any case, any successor to RBII is far, far beyond the horizon \:\(

A sad day.


-It's the campaign engine, silly!-
#1391885 - 07/24/04 11:46 AM Re: An open letter from a former KOE developer  
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So sad to learn such news - even if for some years now, we're unfortunately used to such simulation "industry" news.

Be sure we'll keep an eye on this tragedy - and don't hesitate to ask us if there's something we may do - you know we were with you from the start, and that's still true!

Best luck and wishes.

S!

Alain-James

#1391886 - 07/24/04 12:37 PM Re: An open letter from a former KOE developer  
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That is really sad.

I was looking forward to a up to date ww1 sim more than anything else. However I'm not the mass market.

Thank you for your letter. It is appreciated.

Good luck for your future.

#1391887 - 07/24/04 02:22 PM Re: An open letter from a former KOE developer  
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Bloody interesting, Xeidos2.

The very low number of sims being developed is amazing for those of us that love sims, but then you only have to look at the volume markets such as FPS's and RPGs to understand.. (I happened to see the other night that there are 1.4million registered users at the main site for the RPG Neverwinternights, for example.)

We have seen some of this small developer/small distributor stuff with Battle of Britain (both the original release and our current work). If you have a niche product, you will be dealing with a niche channel/publisher and therefore find eagerness high but cash low.

People really don't see the thousands of hours that go into developing a game engine, as you rightly say. You can fiddle with Artwork in a moment, but that's all a bit pointless if the core game is no good. They also almost never appreciate just how many issues 'trivial' changes can introduce. With BoB we have a different situation in that we are working on a 'finished' game, but it has been quite repeatable that a single new feature will yield multiple new issues, and these often come out much later. If only people knew just how long it takes and how hard it can be to pin things down. Mercifully it is possible to attract a mature and reasonable community who don't destroy your efforts on a whim but expectations are nevertheless very very high when dealing with highly informed sim buyers.

I have been following Target for Tonight with anticipation for a long while, and that one is certainly suffering. Did they not have a not-for-profit motive too? Of course, I don't think they had an organised funding campaign in mind.

It's a great shame that your project has stalled. The worst thing would be that the code now rots away somewhere. Rowan had the goodness of heart to release the source code of their last two sims to the community, but they were in a different place from where you are right now, so I am not suggesting that as an option for you.

Unless WW1 suddenly becomes more sexy and combat aviation simmers become less demanding, this is a tricky situation.


"Ah yes, Michael (Parkinson)," Bader replied, "But these Fockers were Messerschmitts..."

BDG BoB Developers Group: Eleven! years of passion for historical recreation of the Battle of Britain.
#1391888 - 07/24/04 04:39 PM Re: An open letter from a former KOE developer  
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Quote:
Originally posted by Bader:

Unless WW1 suddenly becomes more sexy and combat aviation simmers become less demanding, this is a tricky situation.
Too bad Mr.Cruise did not choose to do a WWI movie - not that I complain about a BoB movie, mind you. Now something like a major (good) movie about WWI airwar would definitely do the trick.

Ok, I'm dreaming.


-It's the campaign engine, silly!-
#1391889 - 07/24/04 06:59 PM Re: An open letter from a former KOE developer  
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As far as movies go I think the closest we're going to get is King Kong. It's going to have Curtiss O2C-1 Helldivers. Finding plans for one is like finding hen's teeth.

#1391890 - 07/24/04 07:09 PM Re: An open letter from a former KOE developer  
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Quote:
Originally posted by JAS Gripen:
Too bad Mr.Cruise did not choose to do a WWI movie - not that I complain about a BoB movie, mind you. Now something like a major (good) movie about WWI airwar would definitely do the trick.

Ok, I'm dreaming.
I've always considered writing a WWI aviation movie. It would bring attention to WWI, which has become the most forgotten war, and perhaps it just might get people interested in WWI aircraft. I always think stuff like this is possibe because I'm still a college student trying to figure out what I'm going to do. I actually worked out a basic outline for a WWI aviation move 3 years ago, its just sitting in a notebook along with 5 other movie script outlines I've written. Maybe I'll actually get working on it. What the hell, mine as well try and write it and see where it goes from there


-Blacksheep
The Sheeps Pen
#1391891 - 07/24/04 08:00 PM Re: An open letter from a former KOE developer  
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Hey Blacksheep , no need to scratch your head trying to come out with an exciting story - just take Nungesser and make him American for the movie. (With the present anti-French climate in the US I guess this is not only advisory but mandatory...)

Nungesser had it all: a major ace, hairy escapes, stubborn guts to fly when he should have been grounded for wounds, women, wine and an the affair with notorious Mata Hari. And to cap it all a mysterious disappearance after the war instead of boring "he grew old" or some anti-climatic death in a mail-flight crash.

Make him shoot down the Baron and to have a brush with young Gring who cowardly escapes.

There, a surefire blockbuster for you \:D \:D


-It's the campaign engine, silly!-
#1391892 - 07/24/04 09:29 PM Re: An open letter from a former KOE developer  

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Im real sorry to hear this, hopefully things will work out in the future.

Kess
The Promised Land


#1391893 - 07/25/04 12:54 AM Re: An open letter from a former KOE developer  
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Quote:
Originally posted by aussie jim:
I am sure all the whining on forums does not help sims at all and would not be surprised if it is actually the simmers themselves who have done most of the damage to this market.

Idiots.
I second that...
I third that...
I fourth that...

#1391894 - 07/25/04 01:23 AM Re: An open letter from a former KOE developer  
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Well gee wiz, how loyal do you have to be to a genre, or a marque, or for that matter a market before we get a new retail WWI flight sim?

How passionate do you have to be for flight sims in general, and how much time should we spend on these forums discussing ideas and wants for the "next generation" to come?

Some of us have spent hours here forwarding ideas, and exchanging views, keeping the flame, and generally making talk in the dark days while we waited for KOE to surface with another update!

The question again is "who the heck is to blame when a sim project tanks"?

Blame the simmers..............what the hell are you talkin' about!!!

#1391895 - 07/25/04 02:30 AM Re: An open letter from a former KOE developer  
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What some in the flight sim community consider the exchange of ideas and information, others consider to be the continual rantings of obsessed whinging and moaning caveman who really ought to go out and get (at least part of) a life beyond flight simming.

#1391896 - 07/25/04 03:37 AM Re: An open letter from a former KOE developer  
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All this passion hasn't hurt the Il2 series at all. All that passion is the force behind all these otherwise dead games like EAW, Rowan's BoB and MA, RB3D.

Well, there are always the arcade flight games.


"We have come to bring you Liberty and Equality, but don't lose your head about it. The first one of you moves without my permission will be shot." Marshal of the Empire Francois Lefebyre
#1391897 - 07/25/04 04:04 AM Re: An open letter from a former KOE developer  
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Quote:
Originally posted by Ironhand:
All this passion hasn't hurt the Il2 series at all. All that passion is the force behind all these otherwise dead games like EAW, Rowan's BoB and MA, RB3D.

Well, there are always the arcade flight games.
But I think it can only be taken so far. There comes a point where community enthusiasm infact denegrates into a cyberspace freakshow. I think that if this "passion" continues unchecked, publishers simply aren't going to be bothered anymore.

As for IL2, I don't necessarily agree that input from the community has made it a better sim, although of course that is my subjective opinion. imho every update of that game has simply made it worse than the version that came before it.

Reading between the lines of Oleg's latest post at the official IL2 forums, I can't help wondering whether the community has put a noose around Oleg's neck and he's now in so deep with his IL2 series that he can't undo the knot...Why exist on 4 hours sleep a night if you could possibly have it any other way?

I'm not trying to draw a direct parallel to the KoE saga, but any publisher needs to think a lot harder about supporting a project nowadays than they would have 4 years ago.

I think the users are habitually setting the bar dangerously high and thus creating a pressure cooker situation ready to explode.

#1391898 - 07/25/04 10:24 AM Re: An open letter from a former KOE developer  
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LISTEN, we are THE CUSTOMERS!!!

WE buy these products!!!

Companies want OUR money, and these are the pure and simple FACTS!!!

If a company can't deliver a good product, or if it can't deliver it's code on time, OR if a publisher fails to provide the necessary capital or support then a project fails........ONE WAY OR ANOTHER!!!

You think customers are too DEMANDING (and forums are too harsh on their developers), THEN WHERE IS KOE NOW.............there's nothing to be HARSH ABOUT, and we'll never know what KOE was going to be all about!!!

You want to talk about "enthusisam", and how it can HURT a sim's development...............OH PLEASE!!! I'm hurtin' right now, and it's because a promised product many of us were dreaming about has been YANKED out from under us!!! You want to talk about discouraging, how many "what-if WWI sims to be" must us WWI flight sim fans endure before we say "the whole genre is jinxed".............again (I want to fly WWI, not WW2, or IL-2, or LOMAC, but WWI)!!!

This all stinks to high heaven, and I'm not going to apoligize for the failings of others, OR possibly for the double-dealing of ruthless publishers who renege on there deals BECAUSE THEY CAN!!!

SO WHAT IS IT??? Did Aspect fail to deliver it's product on a deadline? Did the publisher pull it's support of OUR sim because they ran out of money............WHAT???

Yes, I agree it's time to get a life, because I (WE) have spent TOO MUCH TIME ON THIS FORUM (and others) talking about products THAT NEVER COME TO BE!!!

I'll tell you what, some genre's would be blessed to have loyal fans that wait for months for the next update, or leak of progress, or screenshot, or whatever to keep their enthusiasm going, but we know the end of that story..........again, and AGAIN!!!

Sorry, but there IS someone to blame for this debacle, and I'm getting tired of being taken FOR A RIDE!!!

#1391899 - 07/25/04 11:05 AM Re: An open letter from a former KOE developer  
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AND FURTHERMORE!!!

There were a few of us here on this forum who constantly advised Aspect to maintain a focus on their development, to not set their sights too high, to not attempt to build lots of planes and terrain, but to build focused depth, and immersion!!!

We wanted the core package, a tight, well integrated core package, and we voiced our sentiments that we were prepared to wait for additional "modules" which could add more content later!!!

This is what a few of us argued (quite a few in fact), what we pushed for, what we "fought over" on this forum! We wanted this sim, and we wanted to support the "quality over quantity" approach so that we could get "more out of less"!!!

So again, where did Aspect fail???

Were they still mapping all of France and England when work ceased???

Were they mired down in trying to create every historical squadron and aerodrome of 1916-18, and with all the panoply of the ground war to accompany it???

Did they think we had to have Zeppelins, and Staakens, and warships???

All we needed were a few excellently modeled aircraft, with some focused terrain, a nice campaign mode to enable a player to be immersed in his squadron's battles, and some rock-solid online code.

HELLO...............was anybody listening???

WHAT A WASTE OF TIME ALL THIS WAS!!!

#1391900 - 07/25/04 01:53 PM Re: An open letter from a former KOE developer  
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Just to set the record straight.

I and the producer were following the posts on this forum. But I was given very strict instructions not to get involved in any public discussions about KOE. Many times Mat wanted to put more screen shots up and put more information out but he was told that was the responsibility of the publisher, they would have to be the ones to do such things.

Many times I was told the focus was to be on quality and not quantity. We just shook our heads when we read Von Heltons (sp?)claims about how easy it would be to build 50 different planes.But in many respects we were building the sim FlyXwire was hoping for.

We made the first milestone on time. The second milestone was a week late. (The Handley Page O/400 proved to be very problematic) The third milestone was complete and on time and that's when Destineer said they weren't going to pay us. An explanation as to why was never provided to us grunts in the trenches.

About the influence of forums on development. The perception amongst developers and publishers that I've been told over the last nine years is more in line with what JonPO1 has written. Whether this is right or not is another debate, but most developers regard the forums as a hostile environment. They do however motivate the developers to be much more historically accurate than they might have been otherwise.

#1391901 - 07/25/04 03:48 PM Re: An open letter from a former KOE developer  
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Gromit Offline
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What a bummer. \:\(

*sigh*

I'll guess I'll break down and purchase the Promised Land's upgrade to RB3D.

It's better than nothing.


MSgt, USAF (ret)
#1391902 - 07/25/04 04:00 PM Re: An open letter from a former KOE developer  
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Oh my God Xeidos2............THAT CLOSE!!!

This is a travesty!!!

What on earth is WRONG with Destineer!!!

They took the responsibilty, THE DREAM of OUR sim, and they cast it away as if WE don't MATTER!

HOW DARE THEY!!!

I will forever boycott any product they publish!!!

They must pay for their arrogance!!!

#1391903 - 07/25/04 04:23 PM Re: An open letter from a former KOE developer  
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Only one person was constant in his opinion of how easy it is to do aircraft models for this now dead product. Or how it would fail if it wasn't done his way.

Almost all of us know just how hard it is to do what Aspect was trying to do. Many would of been happy if it was done as a series. We didn't expect 100 aircraft. Or aircraft that were so obscure you never hear of them in any pilot account you may read.

This forum, by and large, with one glaring exception, has not been hostile to AspectSims.
Destineer would not or could not come up with any more money.

Did they read the post that said that the fan base for a WW1 sim is only 50 people?

If the constant whining is what kills sims, then why is Pacific Fighters coming out, maybe this year? Why is BoB being developed?


"We have come to bring you Liberty and Equality, but don't lose your head about it. The first one of you moves without my permission will be shot." Marshal of the Empire Francois Lefebyre
#1391904 - 07/25/04 04:31 PM Re: An open letter from a former KOE developer  
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FlyxWire...dude...take one of these man.



Maybe you need to take two...the game might not be dead yet.

Do you drink a lot of coffee?

Chef


The road less traveled is filled with fewer needy people.
#1391905 - 07/25/04 05:04 PM Re: An open letter from a former KOE developer  
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LOL Chef!!!

I will have my say, as I always do!!! \:D

WE drive this market, or at least we should!

I refuse to accept the unacceptable, you can cope in your way, but for something I feel strongly in, and for which I have invested my energies in too, I will have my say.............

AS YOU SHOULD TOO!!!

#1391906 - 07/25/04 07:57 PM Re: An open letter from a former KOE developer  
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I'm dealing with it by flying Targetware/RS. \:D

If KOE can be pulled from the ashes I am all for it. However, if it isn't, my life isn't over either. I feel bad for the guys at Aspect but there isn't a whole lot I can do to cange what has happened.

The guys at Aspect are in a better position to evaluate what they need to keep KoE alive. If they ask for help then I will try and give it to them but I need to know what they need to from us to salvage this sim.


The road less traveled is filled with fewer needy people.
#1391907 - 07/25/04 08:10 PM Re: An open letter from a former KOE developer  
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Chef...........I'm tired of waiting, and YES, RS holds great promise..............maybe the only promise!

Still, Destineer must hear!!!

#1391908 - 07/25/04 08:15 PM Re: An open letter from a former KOE developer  
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Trajan Offline
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I don't think Destineer cares.
And I have a bottle of Wellbrutin SR that I don't use \:D

But at $160/bottle, I can't afford to.


"We have come to bring you Liberty and Equality, but don't lose your head about it. The first one of you moves without my permission will be shot." Marshal of the Empire Francois Lefebyre
#1391909 - 07/25/04 09:05 PM Re: An open letter from a former KOE developer  
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If we could harness the energy of FlyXwire's passion we could have KOE ready for beta testing in 30 days. And there is also the problem of having to rebuild the team. Of all the members I'm the only one collecting unemployment. All the others have found new jobs.

I really don't think writing to Destineer will help the fate of KOE. They never publicly acknowledged that they were our publisher, even though it was in the contract that they were to do so. We have our theories about what happened and why it might have happened, but none of them are anything I want to discuss in public. If I were in a court of law anything I had to say would be treated as hearsay or speculation since I wasn't directly involved. When the president of Aspect gave me the green light to tell the forums what happened to KOE, his instructions were: stick to the facts. I've been trying to do that.

If you should happen to get any response back from Destineer I'd be interested in reading it, but first I'd have to find a big pair of rubber boots.

#1391910 - 07/25/04 09:48 PM Re: An open letter from a former KOE developer  
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FlyXwire Offline
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Well what a sorted chapter this has been.

Xeidos2, best of luck to you! Please remember that what you guys had shown us of KOE was superb, and I was particularly impressed by the 3D detailing of the model airframes...........just phenomenal!!!

You know, for all the hassles and hurts that occurred on this forum, I'll miss it (and YOU guys)!

If I hear anything (or if anyone else hears from Destineer), we'll certainly want to post it here.

#1391911 - 07/25/04 10:20 PM Re: An open letter from a former KOE developer  
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I can understand FlyXwire's sentiments. Actually, his post was much less acerbic than the one I was originally going to put here. ;\)

As it stands, since Destineeer reneged on their deal to promote, publish and distribute KOE, do they still have some sort of legal ownership written over the code and game mechanics that Aspect produced?

If they did not fulfill their obligations, can Aspect use it with another publisher or continue to work on it?

I certainly don't buy that "There is no viable market for flight sims anymore." tag line. I noticed Destineer is also co-publishing/distributing with Take2 Interactive the latest Close Combat war-game. If anything I would think the web-grognard market was even a more risky venture.

From a marketing standpoint a company like Battlefront manages to develop, produce and distribute their Operation Overlord war-game and receive glowing reviews, top ratings and enough purchasers to make 2 sequel war-game titles, plus an air strategy title. So that tired old line is not going to convince me. Maybe ask them how they did it. ;\)

There are other publishers in the world than Destineer. I guess the real question is Aspect willing to believe that there is a market and pool their collective resources together to complete the title. You had enough to come this far. If you distribute via the web yourselves, you may end up with more profit in the end.

I remember the full-spread reviews of that Battlefront wargame and the biggest impression was gaming magazines found it a refreshing change and a revival of the genre. Makes ya think. ;\)

Anyways hopefully you are approaching this as a setback and not the death knell for your sim. Raise the capital and get it out there. You managed to get one publisher interested, I'm sure there are more out there who might be more supportive certainly.

But hey, what do I know being a naive consumer...enough to put cash down on a product I like and not what some marketing demographic tells me I should like.

Anyways I'm gone from this forum till something positive happens for a change.

Good luck.

S!

#1391912 - 07/25/04 11:28 PM Re: An open letter from a former KOE developer  
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Mahoney Offline
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Sad, but not massively unexpected or unsurprising. A very high percentage of IT projects fail, and a flight-sim is a very high risk IT project - far more complicated than the vast majority of war games, where you have pre-established and well tested rules operating in a basically turn-based system.

I feel most sorry for the Aspect developers - must be very tough indeed to do all that work and then not have your baby see the light of day. Apologies if this sounds patronising, but congrats for trying - not many in this world have the guts to have a go at something for love when you know before hand it's not likely to make you much money, if any. No-one makes sims because they want to make money - lots of much, much better ways to make money as a programmer.

Not necessarily any need for talk of blame, either. Here's a scenario for you - one project manager at Destineer takes on KOE. Then he moves on for whatever reason, and his replacement is emplyed with a brief to cut cost. So he cans the project that had the least projected sales. Happens all the time in this world - that's business. Tough for the people whose project was canned, of course - happened to me a few years ago, we'd almost finished phase 1 of a major web application when they had another look at the business case and realised they'd over estimated the benefits from the project by a factor of ten, so they cut their losses.

Real problem is that we need to be paying much, much more than 30 for these "games". They are highly specialised and complex pieces of software for a niche market, like video editing suites or 3D modelling programs - items of software you can spend thousands of pounds on. I'm a lowly web developer, and 30 buys you 20-30 minutes of my time. Think about it, half the people who take sims seriously will have spent 2,000 or more on the hardware, is it really too much to ask for them to spend 100 or 150 on the software they are going to use so much on that hardware over the course of 2 or more years?

Just some thoughts.

#1391913 - 07/25/04 11:44 PM Re: An open letter from a former KOE developer  
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Wing Chaps Offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by Xeidos2:
About the influence of forums on development. The perception amongst developers and publishers that I've been told over the last nine years is more in line with what JonPO1 has written. Whether this is right or not is another debate, but most developers regard the forums as a hostile environment. They do however motivate the developers to be much more historically accurate than they might have been otherwise.
Boy, there's a mouthful here! I could just cry when I think of how bitter, negative, and demanding folks sometimes are, whether it's directed to a game in development or to modders. Hence my rule of making sure the positive outweighs the negative, the encouraging over the lecturing.

That being said, I think this forum was much more positive and enthusiastic than otherwise... The one real case of terminal negativism was negated!

And I don't get the decisions some 'suits' make... Looking back on a graveyard of abandoned games is frustrating. Sierra REALLY torques me off, with the likes of their Babylon 5 game, and the sim set in the deserts of WWII. It is really telling that this game met or was so close to all it's deadlines.

The marketing strategy that's killing sims is being seen in other areas of entertainment. It's like, once one formula of success becomes apparent, that's the ONLY type of thing we'll see...

Oh, boy... Another stupid situational comedy. Ah, a reality show, I can't wait! YES, a show/movie/documentary on horny teenagers, I haven't seen one for, oh, it must be 15 minutes now! A superhero movie! Which hero this time, Earthworm Jim?

And so what are going to be two of the most striking movies this year? The Passion of the Christ and Fahrenheit 9/11. Two more dissimilar movies I can't imagine, but both done by men in tune with their audiences, and with a passion for their work!

And what's up with this 'sims are dead' thing? So, HOW many WWII-themed First Person Shooters are out or will be out? Don't get me wrong, I LOVE the genre, but there's only so much my wallet or my computer's system can handle! (the mods for Operation Flashpoint are the best, by the way, you've got room to MOVE...)

So, developers, go ahead. Run like a lemming to do another WWII FPS. You'd better be better than ALL the rest, though, or your game will be lost in the crowd!

'Sa shame you don't have the vision to do a game that's a bit more unique, like a WWI sim!

Here's an idea... A WWI FPS! :rolleyes:


I like cheese too!
#1391914 - 07/25/04 11:56 PM Re: An open letter from a former KOE developer  
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franksvalli Offline
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Hmm - things don't look so good for Destineer either:

Quote:
Subject: Returned mail: delivery problems encountered
To: <----------------->


A message (from <----------------->) was received at 25 Jul 2004 23:02:03 +0000.


The following addresses had delivery problems:



Permanent Failure: 550_5.1.1_..._User_unknown
Delivery last attempted at Sun, 25 Jul 2004 23:02:04 -0000
Reporting-MTA: dns; comcast.net
Arrival-Date: 25 Jul 2004 23:02:03 +0000

#1391915 - 07/26/04 12:48 AM Re: An open letter from a former KOE developer  
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FlyXwire Offline
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LOL...........got the same FV! \:\)

Send it to the other addies listed there too (if you haven't already). At least they haven't returned undeliverable..........yet.

Have you got your boots ready? \:D

#1391916 - 07/26/04 01:52 AM Re: An open letter from a former KOE developer  
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Wing Chaps Offline
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I sent my letter to press@ that site, so far so good.

They're working on a combat tactical FPS!?!

How original! How many of THOSE will they be competing with? They'd better be good, real good, or Brothers In Arms will eat their lunch!


I like cheese too!
#1391917 - 07/26/04 03:20 AM Re: An open letter from a former KOE developer  
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FlyXwire Offline
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You've got that right Chappy!!!

I had a feeling Brothers In Arms was going to be a benchmarker for the next crop of shooters, still do, but I've got one question for ya............who are we talking about anyway?

See, I've forgotten anything their doin' or apt to be doing already! ;\)

Glad you e-mailed btw!

#1391918 - 07/26/04 01:55 PM Re: An open letter from a former KOE developer  

**DONOTDELETE**
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Quote:
Originally posted by Gromit:
What a bummer. \:\(

*sigh*

I'll guess I'll break down and purchase the Promised Land's upgrade to RB3D.

It's better than nothing.
Good to see you Gromit! Tried e-mailing you last month but didn't get a response. How are things going?

Droops

#1391919 - 07/26/04 01:59 PM Re: An open letter from a former KOE developer  

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Quote:
Originally posted by Xeidos2:
If we could harness the energy of FlyXwire's passion we could have KOE ready for beta testing in 30 days. And there is also the problem of having to rebuild the team. Of all the members I'm the only one collecting unemployment. All the others have found new jobs.

Xeidos,

Thanks for the update and the explanation. I appreciate the time and effort to do so, even though I know it wasn't pleasant.

I'm glad that the other developers have jobs, and hope that you find a new one soon. Can you tell me, is there one person who has the rights to what's been developed so far, or is it spread out amongst a lot of you?

Droops

#1391920 - 07/26/04 02:42 PM Re: An open letter from a former KOE developer  
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Osram Offline
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Xeidos2 wrote:
Quote:

We were a small team to begin with
On the Aspect team page I see only two coders? How long has it been in development?

Quote:

when we lost only a few people we quickly got to a point where finishing KOE as it was originally announced became almost impossible.
Loosing people is always a problem, since you can not just have another one in your team take responsibility for the module the missing person did. But in a small team it is of course even worse. I worked on only one commercial sim and IMHO the road downwards towards the sim being cancelled as well was started when one person out of about 20 we had went. He fell in love with a woman that had her own company, so he decided to be with her all day. We did not manage to find someone that was able to replace him. In (sim) development, you not only need to be good, you also need luck.

A crazy idea about the financing through the community / users:
IMHO the problem with this is that people do not like to spend money when they do not know whether they will receive something and when some people might even think it was a hoax or that people are just saying it progresses when it does not, to make money. Yelling destructive things on a forum is very, very easy \:\( . While I do not believe in these things, i DO believe that even when you would start travelling such a road, there is a definite chance it dies and will never be finished. Even of projects in good shape, half die.

So, how about using the mantra normally used for open source - "Release often release early". You say you can already fly around and shoot things. I am sure there are 1000 missing things and 1000 bugs. But the idea would be to be honest and to simply always give out the latest version to the people that pay. So, in effect you would not say "pay now and maybe you get a great sim later (and maybe nothing)", you say "pay now and you DO get something, it is just completely unfinished right now". You would pay say 5 or 10$ a month and get a new version each month. Oleg publishes a dev update each week showing screenies of the 3D models. But with this idea, there would be a look behind the scenes of all development (3D models, sound, GUI, coding etc etc) and you would get to interactively try the newest version.

Ok, I admit I have no idea on financial stuff and should go back to coding.

Quote:

We made the first milestone on time. The second milestone was a week late. (The Handley Page O/400 proved to be very problematic) The third milestone was complete
Wow - that is seldom!

Quote:

About the influence of forums on development. The perception amongst developers and publishers that I've been told over the last nine years is more in line with what JonPO1 has written. Whether this is right or not is another debate, but most developers regard the forums as a hostile environment.
I am not surprised at all. Just look at the people on some Il2 forums (worse on the non-SimHQ forums) that say they are sw developers, and then come up with some completely ridiculous (sp?) argument showing Oleg and co are idiots. Probably they feel better afterwards, after all they do not consider themselves idiots. Also, you have the purely destructive behaviour that has shut down several of the big MSFS/CFS modding groups. TK (developer of SF:P1) has completely left the fora.

However, you see positive fora members as well. Not only the people that directly contribute with a mod, but also those that motivate or that help out with an idea or historical tidbit.

#1391921 - 07/26/04 03:17 PM Re: An open letter from a former KOE developer  
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Mahoney Offline
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Quote:
So, how about using the mantra normally used for open source - "Release often release early". You say you can already fly around and shoot things. I am sure there are 1000 missing things and 1000 bugs. But the idea would be to be honest and to simply always give out the latest version to the people that pay. So, in effect you would not say "pay now and maybe you get a great sim later (and maybe nothing)", you say "pay now and you DO get something, it is just completely unfinished right now". You would pay say 5 or 10$ a month and get a new version each month. Oleg publishes a dev update each week showing screenies of the 3D models. But with this idea, there would be a look behind the scenes of all development (3D models, sound, GUI, coding etc etc) and you would get to interactively try the newest version.
Excellent way to do testing, too - nobody tests like users.

#1391922 - 07/27/04 02:55 AM Re: An open letter from a former KOE developer  
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It was about two months between the time Destineer stopped paying for KOE and the remaining people from Aspect (me and the president of Aspect, Gary Stottlemyer) started to excute the plan we came up with to rescue our efforts. We discussed many of the ideas that people have shared on this forum and I'm impressed with how insightful some of the comments have been. You would think these people had been in the meeting room with us, their thoughts were so similar to ours. But there were many ideas that came up that had to be left on the table simply because there was no way to know what the market really would support.

So I'm going to write to the moderators of this forum and see if they can help us do a couple of more polls.

I'd like to find out how many people would be willing to pre-pay for a flight sim like KOE.

Would they be willing to subscribe to an internet newsletter that covered the development of the sim? The proceeds from the newsletter would help raise the capital to pay for the completion of the sim. Subscribers to the newsletter would get a big discount on the costs of the sim once it was ready for sale. They would get exclusive screen shots during development and they would get a chance to help in the beta testing.

Are people willing to buy a sim over the internet or do they want to get it in a store, where they can take it back if they don't like it?

How would we make ourselves credible to the community? Is there someone from these forums whom people trust? If we flew that person to Denver and gave them some stick time with KOE, or whatever we decide to re-name it, and they said it was the real deal and that it was good, would that be enough to get people to invest money in us?

Would people be willing to have their name's and e-mails put on a list so that we could contact them when there was some positive news about the rescue of KOE?

We'll never know until somebody starts asking questions. The more we know, the better decisions we'll make. I believe it's possible to be successful at something that's not been tried before. I suspect there's a lot more support from the community than developers or publishers ever realized. I believe the key is being open and honest and accountable. I also believe in not being stupid and setting unrealistic goals. I also believe no matter what we do, some will be critical of our efforts. I also believe this is not the end of the KOE story.

#1391923 - 07/27/04 03:07 AM Re: An open letter from a former KOE developer  
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Xeidos2 Offline
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A quick answer to Droops questions. The rights to the assets that were deveolped for KOE still belong to Aspect Simulations, LLC.

#1391924 - 07/27/04 04:43 AM Re: An open letter from a former KOE developer  
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FlyXwire Offline
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The short answer is YESSSSSSSSSSS!!! \:\)

Come on Xeidos2, most of what we play nowadays as "WWI Flight Sims" are mods in one form or another now.

Red Baron is probably not played by many people anymore without one form of mod applied (afterall FCJ is really a commercial super-mod in my mind.....albeit a most excellent one), FS-WWI obviously is a mod, Targetware's Richthofen's Skies is even termed a mod by the TW designers, and there's add-ons to CFS 2/3/and FS 2004! The point I'm trying to make is that out of the necessity to survive in this retail desert that's been WWI flight sim aviation in the past 7 years, us enthusiasts have had to learn how to connect with one another, and have gone forth to join up with this fan group and that mod squad, or this sqaudron or that development team, just to get what we can to secure something that come close to resembling a "modern" WWI flight sim package. To a certain degree (whether we realize it or not), the WWI flight sim community has gotten allot tighter and interconnected over these past years, and we're getting more and more use to communicating across the lines of our favorite sim platforms out of the necessity to share and network our resources and developments!

With these points in mind, I think it is reasonable to assume that the internet plays a vital role in keeping the WWI flight sim community alive and kicking, because afterall we haven't been able to expect the marketplace to be there to satisfy our appetites for new product offerings...........we've been doing the updating, and improving, and modding OURSELVES!!! ;\) So it sounds like the ideas you and others have been presenting here about using the internet to market a revived KOE, or having a newsletter site that could also serve as a preview venue, and perhaps a module download location eventually, and/or where forumites could congregate to brain-storm on new feature ideas, or theaters, or exchange missions, and team up on making new aircraft models, or just discuss last night's online missions for that matter..........well these are very much tried and true activites already, and the WWI flight fan community have been doing these things for years!!!

So I hope what all this forum activity and the sentiments expressed here in these past few days indicates is that there IS a strong demand for some savy marketer to fill this void for a new WWI flight simming product!!! That there is a great need and opportunity for someone to assume the commercial leadership position of the WWI flight simming genre, like what Oleg has done for WW2, and that there is money to be made by a creative entity that realizes it's just right there at the finger tips!

Would we prepay for KOE...........where do I send my money!!! \:D

Would a newsletter/forum/product-oriented fan website get a few hits if it offers to become the new home of modern WWI flight simming...........it's almost a fore-gone conclusion!

Great War avaition fans have been searching and yearning for years for someone to offer to take the reins of this deserving and expectant community.

Build it, AND THEY WILL COME!!!

#1391925 - 07/27/04 04:49 AM Re: An open letter from a former KOE developer  
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Yes to all the questions you asked Xeidos. FlyXwire has captured the sentiments of many I'm sure. I'd pay for a newsletter in order to get info, or I'd pre order the sim as long as there was a reasonable chance that it would at least reach flyable beta status!

We all desperatly want a new WWI flight sim, anything I can do to help that process, I'll be more then glad to do! \:D


-Blacksheep
The Sheeps Pen
#1391926 - 07/27/04 05:05 AM Re: An open letter from a former KOE developer  
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I paid for FCJ several months before it was released and that was a mod, so at this point I'd pay for a WWI flight sim prior to release. Its not like there are "other" games I'm buying these days. \:D

Except for the fact that I won't be able to pick it up for $9.99 at Gamestop, I'd actually rather buy over the internet and keep the profit in the hands of the guys bringing me a WWI flight sim.

I'd pay for the newsletter in this brave new world, especially with that discount.

ArgonV, Kess, Pat Wilson, Flyxwire, Otto Von Stachel, Flybert, anybody in Swwisa, Tailgunner. I trust all the WWI mod making guys.

#1391927 - 07/27/04 06:00 AM Re: An open letter from a former KOE developer  
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A newsletter is a GREAT idea. I'll lend my help when and where it's needed for free - if I have much to offer.

Maybe we can have the option of people receiving the newsletter via PDF format?

I can see this newsletter gaining popularity as it might grow to encompass WWI flight sims in general!

I know there are definitely 250+ people who pre-ordered FCV when it came out - at least in the first couple of months. Maybe I'm mistaken, but that is a good base, especially since there are more who bought it and keep buying FCV.

A conservative estimate: 250(people)*5($US per issue)=$1250.

100000(estimated $ to complete project)/1250(VERY conservative guess as to revenue per issue)=80(issues).

Eeek, it doesn't fulfill all of the costs obviously - unless you increase time. But even at one issue per month that is six-and-a-half years! Eeek. Of course, speculation was always daft - it couldn't hurt to test it out as one of the multiple sources of income.

Personally, I would definitely subscribe to a newsletter - and you see how much we crave news (check these boards over the last couple of months). I think it's a perfect opportunity to keep our interest as well as invite the interest of others - in other words, it doubles as a marketing campaign!

-FranksValli

#1391928 - 07/27/04 11:36 AM Re: An open letter from a former KOE developer  
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The realities are that WWI flight sims are such a niche market that they will likely never get a large enough fan base to warrant a big publisher and large development budget.

It's a pity that some big rich benefactor with a passion for WWI aviation wouldn't just throw money towards the completion of this project. But, as Daddy Warbucks hasn't posted yet ;\) we all are left with scratching our heads looking for viable solutions. The problem is, lot's of guys have the necessary passion, but that same passion often clouds their judgement.

Look at this thread for an example. What have we here...a dozen guys posting about this? Maybe 20? Is that what some guys are using as their benchmark for support of this, or any WWI project?

I know the above sounds negative, and it's not meant to be. I want a WWI flight sim, almost as much as the next guy, but (IMO) what we need is a dose of realism.

For such a small market as it is, it's much to fragmented. If the guys who so passionately support RB, Richthofen's Skies, and SDOE's WWI project, and other more marginal offerings would get behind an effort to complete just ONE project, it might get done. I'm hopeful, but a little dubious.

Maybe what WWI sim fans need is one unified home to discuss projects, not the current dozen or so different places where they currently hang out.

My hopes are that KOE finds a publisher to continue their work. I hope it's carried through to completion, and is everything we all want it will be. If it's not meant to be, I'm crossing my fingers that Oleg Maddox can be convinced to do to WWI what he is currently doing for the Pacific, that being make it an add-on to one of his future sims (likely Battle of Britain). Beyond that...

Just my .02

PVT.Roger


#1391929 - 07/27/04 12:12 PM Re: An open letter from a former KOE developer  
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Mindful words Pvt., but I would like to see a SimHQ News page poll nonetheless, to see how many flight sim fans in general (across the sim-spectrum) would sincerely entertain the idea of buying, or pre-paying for KOE.

Even though I love WWI, and spend most of my time with it, I've got CFS-3 over on that PC, and IL-2 FB on all four here, and FS 2004 installed on another...........we're flight sim FANS, and I truely believe that there's a sizeable segment of the flight sim community at large that were/are looking for a new WWI flight sim replacement to buy (and this isn't all smoke and mirrors, and steamy passion, but what I feel the market would bear)! ;\)

#1391930 - 07/27/04 03:17 PM Re: An open letter from a former KOE developer  
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Xeidos2,

A lot of people paid $70 for an internet download of War in the Pacific from Matrix games. For another $10 they mailed a CD to you as well. So yeah, I'd pay money for a downloadable game via the net. I think you ought to include the option of getting a CD mailed to the customer as well, for an extra fee.

Would I pre-pay for a game? Yes, if I am guaranteed a game *or* if the game falls through then all the people who paid for the game gets access to the source-code so they could continue on with the development...*or* our money back. Something like that would make me feel better about putting my money out there in good faith.

If I had to pick someone to fly out to Denver I trust any of Droops, Flybert (if he has showed up here), Flyxwire, AragornV or Swampfox. These guys have been around for a while so I don't think they would decieve us.

You know a website isn't expensive to make and update. Interviews in game magazines probably don't cost much either, if at all. At least it would keep those people interested in following the progress informed. The silence really bothered people as you could tell.

Good luck!

Chef

P.S. If my post sounded incoherent its because my newborn kept me up all friggin night long.


The road less traveled is filled with fewer needy people.
#1391931 - 07/27/04 03:46 PM Re: An open letter from a former KOE developer  
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It's great to see there's still fighting spirit left in the developers and in the board members!

I'd also like to stick my nose out and think that given the opportunity, there are memebers here who would like to contribute in anyway they can with time and talent. Just to give one example, we have a quite a few artists here who would probably be thilled to design a box-cover (which the downloading buyers would then print out and put in a DVD or jewel case).

I'd trust any of the mod's here at SimHQ, as well as the distinguished members of the forum that have already been mentioned.

However...
OSRAM's suggestion of getting something out, to make the coming product real, to take it out of vapourware land and into the consciousness of potential buyers has merits, and it would be ideal to get a limited beta or demo out as fast as you could possibly manage.

You could ask an amount of money for that, or make it available only, when the customer pre-buys the full sim.

A first release would not necessarily be the full product either, Perhaps get the planes and objects that are nearest completion in there, and then add new objects in patches. If we're thinking long term for a short moment here, larger updates, say a different section of the front or an expansion of the timeframe covered by the sim, could be sold as add-on packages.

I'd have no problem with such a scheme as I'd rather pay more for a sim and it's updates, as long as the product is supported by its developers, than I'd pay a smaller amount for a retail product, which is then forgotten by the developer/publisher the moment it hits the streets.

Personally I'm not so sure about taking money for a newsletter, but that's just me. I think it will primarily attract us "nutters" here and as such only offer a limited amount of capital.

A potential web-site for communicating with the community and sharing deveolpmental info/screenshots etc. sounds like a good idea. Perhaps with a pay-to-view section including the info for memebers only, so subsribers to those pages would actively help financing the project?

I'd keep a forum on the site pretty small,if I'd have one at all.

The reason why is this (and here's another true story from the wacky world of racing sims):

Almost exactly 2 years ago this site was found on the net: http://www.racing-legends.com/news.htm.

To cut a long story short, the racing sim community has now been waiting in total for something like 5 years for even a pre-alpha demo, anything tangible.

The mood on the forum there has cycled between extatic and downright depressing several times.

We can all see the up-sides in having a forum in terms of keeping in touch with the community, but very quickly it can become quite a burden: With potential customers *demanding* regular updates, a new screenshot, preferably news once a week. And there is also the potential for the forum-owners for spending a lot of time moderating and to answer questions, explaining how this and that part of the sim is going to work, will there be this or that functionality, and why don't you include this plane or that model, or cover that particular period in the war etc. etc.

It takes a lot of discipline and understanding from the users, yes us, to let you have your freedom of designing *your* sim and not to bug you with interminable requests and suggestions for improvement, however well-meaning these suggestions are.

Perhaps this KoE forum at SimHQ is the better option, as it will be your choice entirely when and what to post?

Regarding downloading; Even though I'm on ISDN, I could arrange download through a faster connection for myself. But there are bound to be people on dial-up, and a postal delivery option should not be discounted I feel. The disc & the boxart, perhaps the manual printed out against a small fee as an option? I'm sure if users want a jewel case or DVD box they'll be able to supply one themselves.


Jens C. Lindblad


Sent from my Desktop
#1391932 - 07/27/04 04:11 PM Re: An open letter from a former KOE developer  
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Excellent points Jens, and very inciteful words from those participating in this discussion!

Please continue.

#1391933 - 07/28/04 02:22 AM Re: An open letter from a former KOE developer  
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I read something that put me off buying this game if it becomes true.


"We have come to bring you Liberty and Equality, but don't lose your head about it. The first one of you moves without my permission will be shot." Marshal of the Empire Francois Lefebyre
#1391934 - 07/28/04 06:37 PM Re: An open letter from a former KOE developer  

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Hello

FlyXwire asked us for support over at The Aerodrome forum, and I am here to give support for KOE. So whatever I can do, time, money? Just ask.

#1391935 - 07/28/04 08:51 PM Re: An open letter from a former KOE developer  
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Germany!
Don't forget the other countries. RB is still played by a large number of Europeans (more than in the States I'd be willing to wager.)
I know my German friends are following what is going on here.
Need to reach out and tap that market...and also for polling purposes.

Hautz

#1391936 - 07/28/04 09:49 PM Re: An open letter from a former KOE developer  
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Thank you very much Hookman, and maybe we'll learn soon more details of what's being considered for KOE's future!

Hautz is reinforcing the point that simming is certainly world-wide, but that perhaps enthusiasm for WWI flight simulation is even greater in Europe, and I think that he could very well be right!!!

So many friends from England, and Holland, and Belgium, and France, and Germany enjoy this genre.

In fact I've met more good people from Canada, and overseas flying online, or on the forums than I could ever have expected to meet in person!

Lets not forget South American too, and Austrialia, New Zealand, and Japan. \:\)

Come on Aspect.......there's a market that needs KOE!!!

#1391937 - 07/29/04 06:58 AM Re: An open letter from a former KOE developer  

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Actually if i remember correctly, presale orders for Full Canvas Jacket while i was completing the work ended up being over 500+ units. Not a huge number at all, but it is a mod, and has had zero promotion (except for the 20 or so magazine article, reviews, and online reviews - that i know about).


Kess
The Promised Land


#1391938 - 07/29/04 07:04 AM Re: An open letter from a former KOE developer  

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I would say that roughly 65% of FCJ sales have been from non US countries, of that, at least 40% were from the UK alone.


Kess
The Promised Land


#1391939 - 07/29/04 10:26 AM Re: An open letter from a former KOE developer  
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Well there's some important full canvasing market research right there from Kess!

Hey, I think it's time for Tom Cofield or Andy Bush to get their airline tickets for Colorado because............we gots to know!!! \:D

#1391940 - 07/29/04 10:31 AM Re: An open letter from a former KOE developer  
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Kess, do you have an idea (and are you prepared to tell us!) how many copies of FCJ you've now sold?

#1391941 - 07/29/04 06:06 PM Re: An open letter from a former KOE developer  

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Well i lost track, but several months ago i figured out that i had sold over 2000 units.


Kess
The Promised Land


#1391942 - 07/29/04 06:50 PM Re: An open letter from a former KOE developer  
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Whoa nelly! Nice work Kess. I'm jealous - just did the math (2000 * 25 = $50,000) \:\) \:\) \:\) .

If we could make a newsletter at $5 a pop and sell it to 2000 people, that would be $10,000 for each issue (not including printing and shipping expenses).

Just playing around with numbers - whether it's accurate or not \:\) .

-FranksValli

#1391943 - 07/29/04 06:58 PM Re: An open letter from a former KOE developer  
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Indeed!

If Aspect were to sell KOE direct over the internet for $50 US, and does as well as FCJ, we're talkin' grossing over 100 grand.

Of course it could sell better than FCJ, or worse I suppose..........

Perhaps the bottom line is how much it would cost to finish and promote the product, and whether Gary Stottlemyer finds any of this as intriguing as we do! \:\)

#1391944 - 07/29/04 08:00 PM Re: An open letter from a former KOE developer  
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I don't want to put a damper on your enthusiasm, but Gary doesn't read the forums, any of them. It took three months of coaxing just to get him to let me say something about what happened with Destineer. Who knows how long it'll be before he let's me tell you what we're doing now as part of step A of our rescue plan.

The best thing the community can do right now is start to collect data on what they've done in the past, and what they're willing to do in the future. Those numbers from Kess about FCJ and where the buyers were from are a big help. I've been in contact with the people at SimHQ and they're putting together a poll. When it comes out the more people we can get to take it, the better decisions we can make.

We need help with setting up and running a website. Aspect still has access to a server and I'll ask Gary if we can start using it more. In a sense we'll start doing what Destineer promised to do, but never did.

We need to find some people who can volunteer help in running the site.

We need to get a list of names of people who want to know news about the rescue efforts of KOE.

We need to get a list of names of people who are interested in buying once we have something worth offering.

When people say, "I'm willing to help. What can I do?" We need to have a place to send them.

I suspect that in many ways this will become like a military operation, in that there will be many times when it becomes a case of hurry up and wait. And there will probably be a SNAFU or two. People will have to remember that there's only two of us left, so whatever we do, it will take some time. I think there have been many insightful comments made by others on this forum just how hard it is to make a flight sim so people will appreciate the difficulty of what we're trying to do. I'm hopeing that Gary will let me post some small AVI files of the aircraft in action. I want people to see what we have and that we're not just a bunch of talk and smoke and mirrors.

#1391945 - 07/29/04 08:40 PM Re: An open letter from a former KOE developer  
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Well we've seen the vestiges of what was meant to be, and the faint glimmer of maybe something more than this past week's gloom and doom.

Hopefully some of the IT guys will come forward here to lend their expertease to this potential website project, and although we do understand that things will be slow going, there's probably much for which we can be thankful for.

Thanks for considering an alternate plan Xeidos2, and for not letting KOE die without a fight!

Not trying would have been UNACCEPTABLE!

I'll be spreading the word, and lending what assistance I can.

Now it's time for a roll call!

#1391946 - 07/30/04 12:40 AM Re: An open letter from a former KOE developer  
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This could turn into an interesting project.

I have no real idea how best to get the ball rolling; but it needs to get rolling that's for certain!

Talk of the lips tends only to penury
But in all labor there is profit.
Proverbs

#1391947 - 07/30/04 02:33 AM Re: An open letter from a former KOE developer  
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I'm more than willing to help run the website. I have to leave for dinner right now - I'll edit this post with more details.

EDIT: I'm not an expert in terms of developing the layout, but I do an O.K. job. Certainly I would put in a large amount of effort to develop a professional layout if you guys want.

In terms of coding, I have been working with PHP and MySQL as a student worker at my job and have been cranking out databases.

The latest job I had was importing a database for my boss - and making it searchable (by several fields), and have the results display 10 per page. You can view this latest project here .

I just made the basic functional page a couple days ago, working from 12:00 to 4:00 am, sleeping (more or less), then working the rest of the day on it.

So though I'm not very good at layouts, I am adequate at coding. This is useful in making things like photo galleries (where you could also have the ability to display a random screenshot on the front page), easy news updates (basically you just type in the news update into a form on the website, and the news gets sent to the MySQL database).

I'm going on vacation in a week, and school is starting up in a month, but I'm ready and willing! Where do I sign up? \:\)

ANOTHER EDIT: P.S. - Elasmoworld's layout was designed by someone else, who is very good at making websites. His site is here . My site is here (and it uses PHP-MySQL for updating news items, but that's about it!) \:\)

-FranksValli

#1391948 - 07/30/04 03:16 AM Re: An open letter from a former KOE developer  
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I have constructed a few websites in the past, including my current simple site (in my signature) for SDOE which I intended as a central location for links and info. I'm not at the level of a professional developer, but I know a fair amount. I'd be willing to help in some aspect, and if helping with an official website of some kind proves out of my skill range then I'll gladly promote KOE on my current site or construct an additional fan site of some kind for promotional purposes. Whatever it takes to get the word out, and get people invested in this WWI Flight Sim!!!!


-Blacksheep
The Sheeps Pen
#1391949 - 07/30/04 04:13 AM Re: An open letter from a former KOE developer  
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Wow lots of reading here! \:D

I do like the ideas thrown about. I would certainly subscribe to a news letter.

I would also like to offer some of my time to the KOE project. I could indeed keep a web site up to date once it's been completed. I am no web master tho... I know HTML and that's about it. (See the FS-WWI site: http://argonv.tripod.com/FSWWI_Page/readme.htm) But, that being said... I could post news, pics, dev updates, links and whatever else. I could also keep track of the WWI simming forums for you guys and update the communities there regularly so you guys don't have to mess with the community at all, or as little as possible. I would also like to offer my organizational skills to you guys. I do manage the FS-WWI mod and do a lot of the current 3d modeling touchups and projects with FS-WWI, as well as aircraft coding and assembly (Not in C++ or Java but coding in an aircraft compiler which reads data from the game files and displays it where I can edit that data. I also import textures and 3d objects with this program and basicly assemble and code the aircraft for the game) I can also beta test, assemble beta teams and I'm a regular on the net with hi-speed cable. I also help manage two web sites, http://www.ww1sims.com and http://forum.biohazcentral.com/index.php?showforum=46

\:\)


"Go Fly A Kite!"
-Jason R.
FS-WWI Project Leader
FS-WWI Plane Pack Site

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#1391950 - 07/30/04 05:00 AM Re: An open letter from a former KOE developer  
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Germany!
S!

Just one note to follow up my earlier comment of KOE and other countries.

One of the things that the discussion of KOE has revolved around amongst my German friends is the fact that most of them have older computers and probably don't have the horsepower to run a graphics intense game like KOE.
This is not a little concern for them, but a big one.

The RB community is an older one, for the most part, and come in three flavors.

The guys who have pretty up to date machines and run the game with a glide wrapper.

The guys with two machines--one having a voodoo card of some type.

The guys with older machines who run RB on their primary computer--usually with a voodoo 5 card.

This is consider to consider if you start polling a potential audience.

Some guys will upgrade their machines to play KOE, some won't be able to afford it.

Again, I bring this up just to think about, as it's something I've seen discussed (here in Europe) since KOE loomed on the horizon.

Hautz

#1391951 - 07/30/04 06:09 AM Re: An open letter from a former KOE developer  

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I am greatly disappointed that KOE has been put on hold. It was one of the very few games/sims I was looking forward to. I have been missing a WW1 sim since RB3D and am willing to help get this one back on track. I would be willing to pay $15 for a newsletter, access to beta's and a discount on the release version. The actual release version I would be willing to pay $60 for not including any discounts. This is only for an "average" flight sim though. Average being something with a list of features and planes similer to that of the Red Baron series. Of course it would need improved graphics, flight models, damage models and the other usual upgrades. If more stuff is added I would be willing to pay more. I am aware that there were alot of completly different plane types during WW1 so I would be willing to go for a sim that doesn't cover the full war. Something from 1916 to the end of 1917 would be plenty IMHO. I prefer boxed games that I can get at a local store but I am willing to buy online if need be. I am not terribly well known here but I am a well known and a reasonably respected member of the IL2/FB/AEP community.

#1391952 - 07/30/04 08:38 AM Re: An open letter from a former KOE developer  
Joined: Mar 2002
Posts: 13,406
Goodwood Offline
Bit of a chowderhead
Goodwood  Offline
Bit of a chowderhead
Veteran

Joined: Mar 2002
Posts: 13,406
Detroit - in the Danger Zone!
I can skin.

Goodwood\'s ILL-2: Forgotten Battles Skins

They've gotten pretty good lately... ;\)


LukeFF: Oleg got rid of his moustache! eek

akdavis: Noooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!
#1391953 - 07/30/04 11:48 AM Re: An open letter from a former KOE developer  
Joined: Dec 2006
Posts: 273
franksvalli Offline
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franksvalli  Offline
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Joined: Dec 2006
Posts: 273
Here's what I've got so far: http://www.themaingate.net/koe/

It might look a little better with some content on there \:\) .

It has a couple of spacing problems, plus a problem with the main body being too big height wise (because of the table?), so there's a sliver of repeating background at the bottom.

It alright, but it should be improved. The original source Photoshop PSD can be found here .

I'm going to put some more work into it soon - this was just an attempt to see how far I could get with the preexisting photos and everything \:\) .

The quick news and random screenshot sections would utilize PHP (so the news is easy to update and the screenshots come out randomly).

-FranksValli

#1391954 - 07/30/04 11:55 AM Re: An open letter from a former KOE developer  
Joined: Jul 2001
Posts: 1,080
FlyXwire Offline
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FlyXwire  Offline
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Joined: Jul 2001
Posts: 1,080
St.Charles, Missouri U.S.A.
Well it certainly doesn't sound like there's any lack of enthusiam for helping to get this sim project to market!

Maj_Death and Goodwood, I would think you guys and the IL-2/FB/AEP community are just as important to this project as anyone else.

Hey, wonderful artwork Goodwood.............and 150 of them!!!

Gee Xeidos2, you're getting volunteers stepping up to the task already...........things moving to fast for ya? LOL! ;\)

#1391955 - 07/30/04 12:01 PM Re: An open letter from a former KOE developer  
Joined: Jul 2001
Posts: 1,080
FlyXwire Offline
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FlyXwire  Offline
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Posts: 1,080
St.Charles, Missouri U.S.A.
Dave, that page is lookin' good! \:\)

#1391956 - 07/30/04 12:26 PM Re: An open letter from a former KOE developer  
Joined: Jul 2001
Posts: 41
Chevelle Offline
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Chevelle  Offline
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Joined: Jul 2001
Posts: 41
Rochester, NY
I offered to support a KOE website complete with forum many months ago. My offer still stands. If KOE is a serious contender, I am prepared to completely turn Wings Of Valor over to a KOE site or put up another.

I offered to work on utilites similar to the ones that I've done for Red Baron.

I provided the outline of specifications for control features building on the work done by RB modders, the Tail Wind effort, and others.

I offered to use Wings Of Valor as a central point of communication between Aspect and the community for the exchange of ideas and suggestions and the release of information regarding the development progress. "Buzz Central" if you will.

Frankly, all I got a patronizing pat on the head basically saying, "Thanks but we've got it handled."

Even so, all those offers still stand. Then, as now, you know where to find me.

Chevelle
chevelle@wings-of-valor.net

#1391957 - 07/30/04 01:20 PM Re: An open letter from a former KOE developer  
Joined: Jul 2001
Posts: 1,080
FlyXwire Offline
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FlyXwire  Offline
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Joined: Jul 2001
Posts: 1,080
St.Charles, Missouri U.S.A.
We feel your pain Chevelle!

Just here recently Xeidos2 mentioned that Gary Stottlemyer (president of Aspect) doesn't even read these KOE forums (any of them)!

Well, it's time he did..............

Sure they're a hot bed of debate and discussion, but they're also one of the best sources for pulsing the marketplace........from the enthusiasts that are most interested in buying your product!

Lastly, and I'll try not to be too curt (again ;\) ), but once, and if a reoriented KOE effort goes forward, there's going to be a much greater demand for information than what we've grown to experience with this sim thus far (somewhat understandable now tho). Again, that's the point of a community/corporate driven effort, it's a symbiotic relationship.

WE need you, and YOU need us!

#1391958 - 07/30/04 02:45 PM Re: An open letter from a former KOE developer  
Joined: Aug 2003
Posts: 87
Kemal Offline
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Kemal  Offline
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Joined: Aug 2003
Posts: 87
I was really sorry to hear the news regarding Aspect and KOE.Like a lot of other people,i was really looking forward to this sim/game.
I enjoy skinning aircraft for IL2/FB and i would be very happy giving up my free time to do some for KOE.This probably isn't the most important type of help that is needed but my offer will stand if you need it.Good luck.

Hector.

You can find my skins at il2skins.com under the name hector.

#1391959 - 07/30/04 04:40 PM Re: An open letter from a former KOE developer  
Joined: Jan 2001
Posts: 677
Tailgunner Offline
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Tailgunner  Offline
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Joined: Jan 2001
Posts: 677
UK
I don't know...nip off for a fewdays, and it all starts to get interesting again \:D

As far as some of the points raised here go, I see a lot of cause for hope. I am surprised, though, at the reluctance of game developers to read the forums. Sure, they cop a hefty dose of 'Archie' from the plebs...but they also get loyalty from the calmer heads. Additionally, had Xeidos2 not posted here, the dev team would still be unaware how many people want them to find a way to finish!

Anyway....if there is any way my humble skills can be of use, just say the word \:D


Athlon 64 3000 ( S939)
1024Mb DDR 400 (Don't leave home without it)
GeForce 6800GT
Abit AV8 Pro
#1391960 - 07/30/04 05:26 PM Re: An open letter from a former KOE developer  
Joined: Jul 2001
Posts: 1,080
FlyXwire Offline
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FlyXwire  Offline
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Joined: Jul 2001
Posts: 1,080
St.Charles, Missouri U.S.A.
WTG WTG.............um, make that WTG WakeupTailGunner! \:D

#1391961 - 07/30/04 06:05 PM Re: An open letter from a former KOE developer  
Joined: Mar 2002
Posts: 13,406
Goodwood Offline
Bit of a chowderhead
Goodwood  Offline
Bit of a chowderhead
Veteran

Joined: Mar 2002
Posts: 13,406
Detroit - in the Danger Zone!
If you're serious about having me skinning for any future builds, email me at goodNOSPAMwood_englandNOSMAP@yahooNOSPAM.com

(just remove the NOSPAM tags)

I have some experience in skinning pre-incorporated aircraft (like the Spit XVI for FB that wasn't wanted), so I should be able to help.


LukeFF: Oleg got rid of his moustache! eek

akdavis: Noooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!
#1391962 - 07/31/04 12:51 AM Re: An open letter from a former KOE developer  
Joined: Mar 2003
Posts: 8,169
Polovski Offline
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Hotshot

Joined: Mar 2003
Posts: 8,169
I'd be willing to help with anything I can.

The guys kindly offered me the chance to join SWWISA a while ago on the basis of help I gave in the forums etc.. can do technical and graphics.
(currently work for security software company),

My (basic ;\) ) website is here..
http://people.delphiforums.com/Polovski/

Also I would be willing to pay a good amount (like 50 UK) in advance to help with dev of the game given the idea of newsletter/insider info/good discount on final game etc, maybe even early release of a smaller game that builds up over time. Like a magazine sub with model parts each month \:D


Regards,

Polovski,
OBD Software, developers of epic, immersive flight sims;
Wings Over Flanders Fields and Wings Over The Reich
http://www.overflandersfields.com
http://www.wingsoverthereich.com
#1391963 - 07/31/04 05:06 AM Re: An open letter from a former KOE developer  
Joined: Jan 2001
Posts: 25,139
RSColonel_131st Offline
Lifer
RSColonel_131st  Offline
Lifer

Joined: Jan 2001
Posts: 25,139
Vienna, 2nd rock left.
Sorry to hear the news...the community needs a new WW1 sim badly, the WW1 nuts have been waiting so many years and all hope was put in KOE...

John (Xeidos), I can't be off much help. One thing is I for one would be willing to pre-pay for development, even if you dont release "early and often" as Osram suggested.

I'm not sure if it's good advise, but you could try contacting Carl Norman from Eagle Dynamics - perhabs he could hook you up with Nick Grey, the Boss of The Fighter Collection. Grey has his own Spitfire, he's certainly a certified aviation nut - and got plenty of cash. Perhabs 125.000 Bucks are not too much for him.

Guess that depends mainly on how satisfied he is with the LOMAC Results.

I belive, judging by the rumours about LOMAC and Addons, that ED is currently looking into ways of going without Ubisoft for their next project, whatever that may be - Carl had good plans for independent flightsim development in 2003 when I met him at Duxford.

I guess if he views you as competition you won't get much help - but Carl has been part of the flightsim community since the old SSI Days, he's a cool guy, perhabs he's willing to help the community get a WW1 sim - if his next project is still what I belive you're not targeting the same corner of the market anyway...

Furthermore, the only other puplisher I could perhabs see as helpfull would be 1C in Russia - Oleg's Guys. But I guess that 125.000 are a little steep for them.

Perhabs a mix of community pre-payment and a small puplisher would yield results. Afterall if you cut out most of the marketing and make it an online-only venture you'll only need 2500 to 3000 sales to break even.

Online Only is certainly fine with a lot of the dedicated simmer community...that's how Battlefront started with their combat mission series, same for Steel Beasts.

So, that's my ideas so far. I'm currently too busy for building/maintaining websites outside of my day work, but should that change I'll give you a holler.

Good luck, anyway.

#1391964 - 07/31/04 06:52 AM Re: An open letter from a former KOE developer  
Joined: Oct 2000
Posts: 9,522
Wklink Offline
Permanent Latrine Orderly
Wklink  Offline
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Joined: Oct 2000
Posts: 9,522
Olympia, Washington
I'll offer whatever help I can. With the way my time is right now it may not be much but whatever I can do I will try to help.

At least the folks at SimHQ can probably try to keep the thought alive.


The artist formerly known as SimHq Tom Cofield
#1391965 - 07/31/04 06:59 AM Re: An open letter from a former KOE developer  
Joined: Oct 2000
Posts: 9,522
Wklink Offline
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Wklink  Offline
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Posts: 9,522
Olympia, Washington
Quote:
Originally posted by FlyXwire:
We feel your pain Chevelle!

Just here recently Xeidos2 mentioned that Gary Stottlemyer (president of Aspect) doesn't even read these KOE forums (any of them)!

Well, it's time he did..............

Sure they're a hot bed of debate and discussion, but they're also one of the best sources for pulsing the marketplace........from the enthusiasts that are most interested in buying your product!

Lastly, and I'll try not to be too curt (again ;\) ), but once, and if a reoriented KOE effort goes forward, there's going to be a much greater demand for information than what we've grown to experience with this sim thus far (somewhat understandable now tho). Again, that's the point of a community/corporate driven effort, it's a symbiotic relationship.

WE need you, and YOU need us!
Agreed.

Yes Oleg Maddox got a lot of crap on the boards he visited but he also got some really good ideas and his participation really made the interest in the game peak. I do honestly believe that part of the reason IL2 sold as well as it did was due to his continued presence on the boards. People knew exactly what was coming and where and the anticipation made the release even more spectacular.

I don't say that he should answer every question but there are folks here that come up with some intelligent questions from time to time. Right now the posts here are small enough that he won't have to work too hard. However if this does move forward it will get quite busy here, or wherever the 'main board' for the game ends up.


The artist formerly known as SimHq Tom Cofield
#1391966 - 07/31/04 08:28 AM Re: An open letter from a former KOE developer  

**DONOTDELETE**
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Anonymous
Unregistered


Hi!

I'm new to this board and I'm sorry to hear that the game has been cancelled. After reading the postings here, I cannot help but saying this.

Please, do not involve Oleg in this. Why? Because IL2 is way overrated. Sure, the graphics are nice, real nice, and the FM is OK but the atmosphere? The game is completly without a soul. It could aswell have been a "JANE's" product where you have to succed in each mission before you're allowed to play the next. How silly!. In IL2 you start the game, press play and you're of into the air. You don't get any feeling that your accually in a squadron. After the mission you get a small note on how many kills you've got and then you press play again. I know there has been som enhancements with add-ons, but if you compare this with the old RB2, IL2 doesnt stand a chance.

I think this community is looking for a WWI experience more than "just a flight sim". That means that pretty graphics alone won't do. What i've read so far about KOE sounds promising and in order to satisfy the WWI flight community they will have to stick to this. Don't panic! Don't rush something out to the market which is halfdone or slimmed down. That won't work. Remember what happened when RB2 first was launched. People were less than happy.

Please, feel free to comment on this.

Best Regards,

Hptm. Otto Von Braus

#1391967 - 07/31/04 04:04 PM Re: An open letter from a former KOE developer  
Joined: Jan 2001
Posts: 25,139
RSColonel_131st Offline
Lifer
RSColonel_131st  Offline
Lifer

Joined: Jan 2001
Posts: 25,139
Vienna, 2nd rock left.
Like it or not, Oleg's 1C Puplisher in Russia may be one of the few who you can thrust when it comes to flightsim development.

Also you are talking about IL-2...you seem to have missed Forgotten Battles, which has a lot more soul.

Furthermore, trying to get some kind of deal with 1C doesn't mean Oleg will decide what kind of gameplay KOE has.

#1391968 - 07/31/04 05:14 PM Re: An open letter from a former KOE developer  
Joined: Jun 2003
Posts: 324
PVT_Roger Offline
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PVT_Roger  Offline
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Joined: Jun 2003
Posts: 324
Davenport, IA U.S.A.
If not for Oleg, those of us who enjoy WWII aerial combat online with friends would be in a real pickle right now.

As for what he could do with WWI, we can only dream...



#1391969 - 07/31/04 05:30 PM Re: An open letter from a former KOE developer  
Joined: May 2006
Posts: 2
ivanmoe Offline
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ivanmoe  Offline
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Joined: May 2006
Posts: 2
As flight sims, IL2 and FB, quirks aside, are terrific products. But they are limited by the public's RELATIVE lack of interest in flying on the Eastern front in WW2.

Then there's that creel of eels, CFS3. The subject matter is of higher interest, given that 90% of potential buyers are from countries that were involved in the campaign. But darn't, the damn thing still locks up my machine sometimes.

LOMAC is doing well enough sales wise, no?

These things said, I think that Pacific Fighters is gonna make Ubi a nice profit, one that will hopefully encourage more publishers to give QUALITY products a shot.

The whole point being that flight sims AREN'T dead. To be successful, they just have to bring together the right technology and the right subject matter. Devotees can't depend on the likes of Micro$oft or EA to churn them out for us any longer, that's all. But when there's money to be made, some outfit will emerge to make it all happen.

My two cents,

Ivanmoe

#1391970 - 08/01/04 05:26 AM Re: An open letter from a former KOE developer  

**DONOTDELETE**
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Anonymous
Unregistered


S! all,
Dang, this thread is a long read!

Realy sorry to hear about the probable demise of our long awaited WW1 sim.

I've been flying the RB3D sim since it first came out (before Multiplay) and I have seen it come a long way beyond what the original developers ever dreamed of.

If I could offer my opinion based on no real understanding of how to put a game like this together:

Dynamix created RedBaron3D with the capability of allowing the user to customize the look of the planes, swap out sound files, etc. In essence I think RB3D's long life is due to this "crack in the door" which others expanded on to include new plane models complete with FM's, rear fireing guns, new terrain, etc. all I might add for virtualy no profit (Kessler being one of the few exceptions, I love my FJC BTW, well worth the money).

So, really we just need some open architecture here. We need to get about 64 folks in a game and be able to customize the dickens out of it so we can build war games in every theater from WW1 to beyond our atmosphere (we being the end users).

This sim community seems to have many programers, artists and historians within its group, more resources then most game companies most likely.

Tying the sim to a publisher may only get us into the same fix we are in with RB3D and apperently are in with KOE; They won't sell the code and they won't support the sim! either way we are getting screwed. As stated above, I bought a copy of Kessler's FJC. He sent me a CD with no fancy graphics, just a plain white wrapper, heck I didn't care! I was after the game not the box.

Creating a sim model that is truely versital, customizable and open to the end use will broaden the user base and insure long term interest.

If Kessler can do it why can't someone else? Having a sim created by a world wide network of developers and artisans should be worth some magazine articles, etc. This kind of colaberation by end users does not happen often, this fact could be used to gain media coverage and this kind of exposure will certainly boost interest and help gain supporters.

I find it hard to believe that we have no lawyer amoung us with the ability to create an agreement between the potential developers of a game like this.

Whatever happens; best of luck Xeidos2, hope you find a new job soon. Your efforts are appreciated.

BTW got my $50 waiting just in case somthing should happen ;\)

#1391971 - 08/02/04 02:05 PM Re: An open letter from a former KOE developer  

**DONOTDELETE**
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Anonymous
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Quote:
Originally posted by LE_Razor:
Having a sim created by a world wide network of developers and artisans should be worth some magazine articles, etc. This kind of colaberation by end users does not happen often, this fact could be used to gain media coverage and this kind of exposure will certainly boost interest and help gain supporters.
It's been tried before. Ever heard of 17 Hours? Check my recent thread about whistling in the empty room to see a quick discussion about what happened there.

Droops

#1391972 - 08/02/04 10:43 PM Re: An open letter from a former KOE developer  
Joined: Aug 2003
Posts: 115
scary_pigeon Offline
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scary_pigeon  Offline
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Joined: Aug 2003
Posts: 115
britain
the community can be rather useful - keen they are on seeing new flightsims. and when problems arise, particularly research problems, the community knows much.

So you only really need a couple of techical people and a bit of determination.

#1391973 - 08/03/04 10:12 AM Re: An open letter from a former KOE developer  

**DONOTDELETE**
Unregistered
Anonymous
Unregistered


If you're serious about continuing development of KOE, why not speak to some people with experience of developing a sim in this manner: I'd recommend getting in touch with Live For Speed , they marketed a racing sim released in stages and seem to have done it very well. I'm sure they'd be willing to give you some advice.

Good luck with KOE, I hope this one sees the light of day

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