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#4364942 - 06/20/17 02:30 AM Re: Is the decline of simulations because people are getting dumber? [Re: Ssnake]  
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"the decline of simulations..."

No money to be made is all. For a few years fighter planes were the bees knees but like anything popular they come and go. Coupled with a tech bubble burst that left bad tastes.

How much do you pay a coder in russia.. compared to how much in the Valley...

Personally I dig abandonwares. I can play around with them and mod them freely, aka make my own game updates. They're not as great as developer updates, but self made ones are close to the heart.

Originally Posted by Ssnake

No, I think that the argument about stagnant gameplay is spot on. Strike Commander, for example, wasn't a bad simulation at the time but it had a storyline (how ludicrous it may have been) that also appeled to people who would usually not play a flight simulation. These days - and that includes my own product - there's absolutely nothing comparable in the field. There are a number of reasons for that - unreasonable demands from certain vocal minorities certainly being a contributing factor, though not the only one. Systems simulation is easier, as are improvements to the rendering quality, and the core market actually largely rejects attempts at storytelling for "compromising fidelity". The pre-launch public atmosphere quickly turns toxic, which is a massive deterrent to publishers to try it. I've seen a similar process at work with Cold Waters. It never wanted to be anything but a glorified remake of Red Storm Rising, and it perfectly delivers exactly that. But immediately after release some people started the comparisons with Dangerous Waters and pointed out all the things that CW didn't have because it didn't attempt to replace DW in the first place.


[slightly different but related]

I wonder why most indie(?) developers involve themselves so much on the forums. IMHO it is a double edged sword, sometimes it does more harm than good. Have seen a few devs taking a quiet approach to their forums and I think it is pretty good. The forums are given to users to communicate and share gameplay experiences, and well, vent. hey...:) Tech support and bug fixing is promptly provided but other than that the devs stay quiet. They remain true to their own vision and no need to get influenced by a minority group of forum users.

Last edited by Schwalbe; 06/20/17 02:35 AM.
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#4364954 - 06/20/17 04:36 AM Re: Is the decline of simulations because people are getting dumber? [Re: VF9_Longbow]  
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Here's my story in terms of flight simulation: The death of MSFS almost stopped my enthusiasm.

Never could really get into X-Plane, although I'm now thinking about it......

I've been mostly out of the MSFS loop for like 7 years now - I have it installed, I have addons, but.......

Used to be every couple years we'd have these totally "new" versions, with incredible upgrades.

And anyone could walk into a store, see a copy of MSFS, and maybe buy it and get into it.....

That kind of transaction isn't happening with Prepar3d or X-plane - let alone DCS et al....

I "stopped" at FSX, LOMAC/Flaming Cliffs, and a few others.

VR is the only reason I'm getting back into flight simulators - don't have the gear yet, but that's going to get me back into it.

But the death of MSFS definitely was a huge downturn in this genre, and it didn't even need to happen. They made a profit from that, not like Windows, Exchange, SQL, etc, but it wasn't a money loser.....

#4364996 - 06/20/17 12:13 PM Re: Is the decline of simulations because people are getting dumber? [Re: PanzerMeyer]  
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Originally Posted by PanzerMeyer
There's absolutely no doubt that the dynamic "living" battlefield of Falcon 4 is unique and will most likely never be replicated by any other sim but it is still nonetheless something that appeals to a relatively small niche market.


Something i have been wishing for and tried to replicate with my meagre modding skills in EAW, IL2 and CLoD. The sim worlds all felt lifeless after you got over the initial wow factor. For a groundpounder it is fly to target, some flak at target, bomb, get in a scrap with some fighters and make it home or lawn dart. A lot of the mission is making it to and getting back from target and that can the boring part imo. Flying over a mostly lifeless world. Once again at first you don't notice this and everything feels busy in the cockpit from takeoff to landing but after a while it gets repetitive and you notice the lack of a world you are in. Sure limping home can be a challenge as can night flying but the sterility and detachment of most sim maps is painful. I spent months trying to liven up certain IL2 maps and the CLoD map adding historical airfields, towns, roads, hot spot flak points etc as it was so freaking sterile it hurt . Offline, ai basically sucks, bad, which doesn't help the cause either. Hopefully one day we get to point where flight sims don't feel so dead on the ground and the ai isn't terrible. I imagine i am a niche within the niche as most air combat you don't see what's below at 15-20k feet anyway. The general feel whenever the subject about ground sterility has been broached here is who cares, you don't look at the ground and what's around you when you are moving fast..that one always made me wonder..

War Thunder was fun for a bit but the grind factor sort of kills it. I found instead of learning how to use the plane i had properly my mindset was more, i need this much xp/credits to get to the next plane/module/crewxp so i need to kill x amount and bomb x amount plus we have to win yadda yadda and wasn't playing it how i would a traditional war based flight sim. Plus the made up maps pretty much suck and like someone above said, Sim mode is basically dead. IL2 and HL was the high water mark for me but hoping something catches my eye again in the future.


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#4365044 - 06/20/17 03:41 PM Re: Is the decline of simulations because people are getting dumber? [Re: VF9_Longbow]  
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Over the decades I've played many games including sims that came with a thick book full of many pages of details on weapon and navigation systems, etc. As mentioned already those only appeal to a relatively small % of the computer gaming population and most if not all of those companies or production teams fell into extinction.

Ask Blizzard Entertainment - do you want to sell 100,000 copies of a simulation or charge a $16.00 month recurring fee to 10,000,000 loyal subscribers ?


"everything lives by a law, a central balance sustains all"
#4365435 - 06/22/17 12:46 PM Re: Is the decline of simulations because people are getting dumber? [Re: VF9_Longbow]  
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Once upon a time, I worked here at SimHQ. My primary focus was being a utility infielder. I worked on a little of everything, wrote commentary on a lot of different kind of games. I can tell you exactly the moment that combat flight simulations held no further interest for me.

My go-to flight game of choice was Strike Fighters. I long regarded it as being a brilliant, low-cost option to play those old Jane's survey sims of yore. I played Flaming Cliffs 2 as well, but only on occasion because the sterility of LOMAC drove me nuts. Once you mastered a mission, there was little point in playing it again, because you knew exactly when and where things would happen.

Then came Strike Fighters 2: North Atlantic. What was supposed to be the apex of Third Wire's little omniverse became its swan song as it literally broke so much of the game's mechanics. No more flying at night in campaigns involving naval aviation. AI could no longer use external chaff/flare pods and didn't seem to know what ECM pods were for. Active radar homing missiles were introduced, but the avionics weren't upgraded to tell you when one was locked on YOU.

Then, one day I was looking through the DCS forums and saw that someone had uploaded a mission track in which an AA-11 successfully guided on and killed an AIM-9 Sidewinder. That was when I realized DCS wasn't realistic at all. It was just difficult.

I uninstalled it and never looked back. I concentrate on FSX: Steam, racing sims and the occasional shooter. I'm interested to see how Combat Air Patrol 2 will work out, but I'm not hopeful.

/end

Last edited by PFunk; 06/22/17 03:14 PM.

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#4365438 - 06/22/17 12:57 PM Re: Is the decline of simulations because people are getting dumber? [Re: VF9_Longbow]  
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I view PC flight simming in the same way I view opera. Both are stagnant creative forms that have failed to attract younger generations of fans while the current small fanbase is slowly dying away.


“Whoever fights monsters should see to it that in the process he does not become a monster. And if you gaze long enough into an abyss, the abyss will gaze back into you.”
#4365576 - 06/22/17 07:50 PM Re: Is the decline of simulations because people are getting dumber? [Re: PanzerMeyer]  
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Originally Posted by PFunk
My go-to flight game of choice was Strike Fighters. I long regarded it as being a brilliant, low-cost option to play those old Jane's survey sims of yore. I played Flaming Cliffs 2 as well, but only on occasion because the sterility of LOMAC drove me nuts. Once you mastered a mission, there was little point in playing it again, because you knew exactly when and where things would happen.

Then came Strike Fighters 2: North Atlantic. What was supposed to be the apex of Third Wire's little omniverse became its swan song as it literally broke so much of the game's mechanics. No more flying at night in campaigns involving naval aviation. AI could no longer use external chaff/flare pods and didn't seem to know what ECM pods were for. Active radar homing missiles were introduced, but the avionics weren't upgraded to tell you when one was locked on YOU.

Any reason you're not playing BMS, PFunk?


Originally Posted by PanzerMeyer
I view PC flight simming in the same way I view opera. Both are stagnant creative forms that have failed to attract younger generations of fans while the current small fanbase is slowly dying away.

Do you have to do anything to "attract" other people? Isn't the nature of the thing enough to be either something someone enjoys or doesn't enjoy? I mean if you're into flight sims, you're into flight sims. If you're into racing sims, you're into racing sims. You'll end up with your favorite sim-of-choice after trying a few sims, but it is YOU that goes to your hobby. When you have to do something to "attract" a crowd then it becomes popular, is it really "popular" or are people just jumping on the bandwagon?


- Ice
#4365609 - 06/23/17 12:05 AM Re: Is the decline of simulations because people are getting dumber? [Re: VF9_Longbow]  
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Millennials have ADD, and no way could they get through reading a SIM manual.

#4365627 - 06/23/17 01:31 AM Re: Is the decline of simulations because people are getting dumber? [Re: Robbster]  
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Originally Posted by Robbster
Millennials have ADD, and no way could they get through reading a SIM manual.


Save for the fact that a lot of us Millennials started playing a lot of sims when we were young. F-15 Strike Eagle II and Red Storm Rising were my first two sims at 6 years old. TFX, DI's Apache, Jane's Longbow & Longbow 2, WW2 Fighters, USAF, Comanche 3 & Gold, and other similar sims were the mainstay of my computer time in the '90s.

#4365647 - 06/23/17 08:13 AM Re: Is the decline of simulations because people are getting dumber? [Re: - Ice]  
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It was somewhat well known around Strike fighters that it doesn't really support the 90s era.
But, one won't go for an elitist sim if he's looking for sim-lites for all these years.

Originally Posted by - Ice

Any reason you're not playing BMS, PFunk?

#4365651 - 06/23/17 10:52 AM Re: Is the decline of simulations because people are getting dumber? [Re: - Ice]  
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Originally Posted by - Ice

Do you have to do anything to "attract" other people? I



When you are a business trying to make a profit on your product you most certainly do. Why do you think so many developers/publishers dumped flight sims? They could make a much higher ROI making other types of games.


If stuff like Falcon 4 and DCS was just as popular as games like Skyrim and Call of Duty, you better believe that the big time publishers like EA and Ubi would be making them.


“Whoever fights monsters should see to it that in the process he does not become a monster. And if you gaze long enough into an abyss, the abyss will gaze back into you.”
#4365659 - 06/23/17 11:23 AM Re: Is the decline of simulations because people are getting dumber? [Re: VF9_Longbow]  
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I understand the concept of marketing and advertisement, but what I'm saying is that no matter how much marketing and advertisement you do, you cannot make a person who is interested in Skyrim play DCS. Sometimes, some products just aren't for some people. Sure, you market and advertise flight sims and racing sims as well, but it's more to "get the word out" or get awareness to the masses about this genre, but not to "attract" them.

The higher ROI is both due to the type of games (easier to code) and the projected market (short attention span, brief gaming sessions). I would wager it's easier to make a first-person shooter with 20-30 different guns than it is to code a DCS A10C-level aircraft. A typical "session" of Call of Duty or the like is also what? 10-20 minutes? Whereas that's probably only ingress to target area for flights or a practice session for races. So with less production overhead and bigger target audience, it's no wonder big-time publishers go for that market. Marketing and advertisement is just a minor icing on top of an already big cake.


- Ice
#4365660 - 06/23/17 11:55 AM Re: Is the decline of simulations because people are getting dumber? [Re: PanzerMeyer]  
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Originally Posted by PanzerMeyer
Originally Posted by - Ice

Do you have to do anything to "attract" other people? I



When you are a business trying to make a profit on your product you most certainly do. Why do you think so many developers/publishers dumped flight sims? They could make a much higher ROI making other types of games.


If stuff like Falcon 4 and DCS was just as popular as games like Skyrim and Call of Duty, you better believe that the big time publishers like EA and Ubi would be making them.


I think there are indeed 2 sides to this argument.

There are small studios that consider advertising a waste of money because their target audience is so small. Word of mouth would already be enough to saturate the market.

However on the other hand, it is a pessimistic prophecy... if one don't advertise, there's no market, then one's less likely to have money to advertise. essentially it is somewhat like survival mode.

One cannot compare flight sims to those blockbuster games imo, even in their prime years the FS genre is still a small one. Otoh the mindset of non-profit modding groups that basically consider their public users of little value certainly is also an outlier.

In the end tho I agree with the saying that these are like menstruation threads now. In how many wayz does one say "there's no money".


----- I think the future of FS will be going/continue to go high end. 40$ a pop is pffft what. Ice, you assemble a cockpit and frequent viperpits.org I bet. How much does a quality part usually cost. Well-off individuals, governments, companies, those that can afford premium prices are the customers. Mass market volume no longer is the top priority on high end sales. There still is a business it's just usual ppl have little to do with it.

#4365662 - 06/23/17 12:09 PM Re: Is the decline of simulations because people are getting dumber? [Re: Schwalbe]  
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Originally Posted by Schwalbe


There are small studios that consider advertising a waste of money because their target audience is so small. Word of mouth would already be enough to saturate the market.

.



"Small studios" is the key phrase here. Small studios have lower overhead and they already know that their target customer base is a small one so they run their business accordingly to that.

It's analogous to these small film studios that make artsy/independent films that appeal only to a small niche audience. Hence these films are very low budget.

Last edited by PanzerMeyer; 06/23/17 12:10 PM.

“Whoever fights monsters should see to it that in the process he does not become a monster. And if you gaze long enough into an abyss, the abyss will gaze back into you.”
#4365663 - 06/23/17 12:19 PM Re: Is the decline of simulations because people are getting dumber? [Re: - Ice]  
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Originally Posted by - Ice

The higher ROI is both due to the type of games (easier to code) and the projected market (short attention span, brief gaming sessions). I would wager it's easier to make a first-person shooter with 20-30 different guns than it is to code a DCS A10C-level aircraft. A typical "session" of Call of Duty or the like is also what? 10-20 minutes? Whereas that's probably only ingress to target area for flights or a practice session for races. So with less production overhead and bigger target audience, it's no wonder big-time publishers go for that market. Marketing and advertisement is just a minor icing on top of an already big cake.


I do think marketing is a big expense for the big titles. For amount of dev work it probably will have to be judged on a case by case basis. There're FPS games that are more dev intensive and there're also niche-market games that are less.

Personally I even think realism based flight sims are just "copy-paste" from someone else's work (LM, Boeing...) and doesn't require much creativity from the development side. It is labor intensive, but code monkeys (over here we call them code peasants) can do it. A dynamic campaign engine or a rich story drive campaign for that matter even, does require good creativity to develop.

#4365664 - 06/23/17 12:24 PM Re: Is the decline of simulations because people are getting dumber? [Re: PanzerMeyer]  
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Originally Posted by PanzerMeyer


Small studios have lower overhead and they already know that their target customer base is a small one so they run their business accordingly to that.


Yes but that is after the fact. My "self fulfilling prophecy" questions what factor drives them to that small market decision. If they expected they have a chance to reach the wider audience, ala "our flight sims should be popular", they certainly will do ads. Put it another way, if you do it, you might fail. But if you don't do it, you will 100% fail.

Last edited by Schwalbe; 06/23/17 12:28 PM.
#4365669 - 06/23/17 01:16 PM Re: Is the decline of simulations because people are getting dumber? [Re: Schwalbe]  
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Originally Posted by Schwalbe
----- I think the future of FS will be going/continue to go high end. 40$ a pop is pffft what. Ice, you assemble a cockpit and frequent viperpits.org I bet. How much does a quality part usually cost.

Ah, but here's the dilemma now. I would say I would happily pay $100 for Falcon BMS. I'm sure people who play Steel Beasts would say the same. However, such cannot be said for an individual "on the fence" about a certain simulation genre. So do you charge more per customer? Or do you charge less in hopes of attracting those "on the fence"? I think charging more is the key ---- but then provide a free demo. Imagine Falcon BMS, with DCS World demo where you can fly over a limited part of Korea and a limited part of Balkans... heck, make the tutorial missions free! Several TEs to show you how to fly the Falcon, a few missions of dropping bombs and firing missiles, then maybe a short mission. That should be enough for people to get a feel of the simulation with minimal or even zero outlay. Once they buy, they get the whole sim, the whole map (Korea, Balkans, etc.), and all the toys (GBUs, LGBs, AMRAAMs), plus other aircraft as well.

I think Steel Beasts did this a while back (are they still doing so now?) where a user can request a key that grants access to the FULL game for a LIMITED time.

Originally Posted by Schwalbe
I do think marketing is a big expense for the big titles.

But for a niche market, a small amount on marketing should be enough then most of it will be word-of-mouth.


- Ice
#4365672 - 06/23/17 01:33 PM Re: Is the decline of simulations because people are getting dumber? [Re: - Ice]  
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Originally Posted by - Ice

Ah, but here's the dilemma now. I would say I would happily pay $100 for Falcon BMS.


LOL 100$? That is like chump change. A core dev once implied 500$+ to 1000$.

Personally for 500$ they'll be stoned to death by the amount of bugs. But I digress...

More importantly, this is the price range of institutional buyers.

#4365675 - 06/23/17 01:54 PM Re: Is the decline of simulations because people are getting dumber? [Re: VF9_Longbow]  
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Anything more than $100 and expectations change... smile
Although looking at DCS and Star Citizen...


- Ice
#4365676 - 06/23/17 01:58 PM Re: Is the decline of simulations because people are getting dumber? [Re: VF9_Longbow]  
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PanzerMeyer Online centaurian
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I have no problem paying top dollar ($100 or a bit more) for a hardcore flight sim but it better have a dynamic campaign and full cooperative multiplayer support.


“Whoever fights monsters should see to it that in the process he does not become a monster. And if you gaze long enough into an abyss, the abyss will gaze back into you.”
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