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R.I.P. Steve Blankenship - Long Live BMS and VR

Posted By: Sleepdoc

R.I.P. Steve Blankenship - Long Live BMS and VR - 05/31/19 05:21 PM

I Love VR.

High Res Helmets are increasingly available

DCS F-16 will likely make Falcon 4 obsolete to the vast majority (although the die hards will hang on forever)

R.I.P. Mr. Blankenship, my dear old friend.

R.I.P. Falcon 4 - Long Live Falcon BMS

Hey BMS? make your install VR!!!

Sleepdoc
Posted By: DBond

Re: R.I.P. Falcon 4 - 05/31/19 05:27 PM

Can I haz your stuff?

Quote
DCS F-16 will likely make Falcon 4 obsolete to the vast majority


rofl
Posted By: CyBerkut

Re: R.I.P. Falcon 4 - 06/01/19 12:29 AM

Originally Posted by Sleepdoc
I Love VR.

High Res Helmets are increasingly available

DCS F-16 will likely make Falcon 4 obsolete to the vast majority (although the few die hards wont openly admit it)

R.I.P. Mr Blankenship, my dear old friend.

R.I.P. Falcon 4

Sleepdoc


A while back, E.D. ran a poll on their forums, and the top item desired by their participating customers was a Dynamic Campaign. Until such time as E.D. delivers an effective D.C., I suspect you will find more than a "few die hards" will maintain a higher loyalty to BMS / Falcon 4. Especially when one factors in the people who are disenchanted with E.D.'s module completion rate, etc.

No doubt, E.D. will sell plenty of copies of the F-16 module. In and of itself, that doesn't mean that all of those folks who were previously BMS users are going to abandon BMS. Some will, I imagine... but to project that out to the BMS / F4 community as a whole? That seems to me to be too much of a stretch as things currently stand.
Posted By: Phoenix54C

Re: R.I.P. Falcon 4 - 06/01/19 10:36 AM

Yeh

Gimme some of that stuff as well?

Falcon 4 has a PLAYGROUND built into it that puts DCS to shame...

DCS modules LOOK amazing but a set of scripted missions put their overpriced modules in the back seat.

Most falconeers will buy and try but after a while they will run back to F4 because the module is USELESS without a proper playground to enjoy it in.
Posted By: ricnunes

Re: R.I.P. Falcon 4 - 06/01/19 04:08 PM

Really, what's the purpose of this thread or more precisely the purpose of the Op's??

If you the OP (Sleepdoc) think that will say goodbye to Falcon BMS and dedicate to solely to DCS, what's the purpose of posting that specially soon after BMS releasing the latest version which adds even more features that are "light years" ahead of what DCS has (more on that below)??
Are you the OP by any chance an ED employee and a "die-hard" fanboy and the purpose of this thread/post of yours is doing some DCS advertising?? It sure looks like that to me...


Originally Posted by Phoenix54C

Falcon 4 has a PLAYGROUND built into it that puts DCS to shame...

DCS modules LOOK amazing but a set of scripted missions put their overpriced modules in the back seat.

Most falconeers will buy and try but after a while they will run back to F4 because the module is USELESS without a proper playground to enjoy it in.


Absolutely!
I imagine that with "PLAYGROUND" you mean the Dynamic Campaign, right?

What's even more interesting regarding BMS is that with the latest version the IFF and ATC modeling is "light years" ahead of DCS (with a level of detail that we probably won't ever see in DCS).
Posted By: schnidrman

Re: R.I.P. Falcon 4 - 06/01/19 05:33 PM

Originally Posted by Sleepdoc
I Love VR.

High Res Helmets are increasingly available

DCS F-16 will likely make Falcon 4 obsolete to the vast majority (although the few die hards wont openly admit it)

R.I.P. Mr Blankenship, my dear old friend.

R.I.P. Falcon 4

Sleepdoc


[Linked Image]
Posted By: Phoenix54C

Re: R.I.P. Falcon 4 - 06/01/19 07:01 PM

@ ricnunes

Yeh by playground i mean the Dynamic Campaign...

Ive already got DCS F15C and Georgian campaign,
and i have to say that it was worth the 20 bucks i paid.

But that will be the last module i will get until i see a proper Dynamic Open ended campaign with which to fly these modules in.
Posted By: theOden

Re: R.I.P. Falcon 4 - 06/01/19 07:43 PM

Phoenix, DCS DynCamp with current radio protocol would drive me insane.
I get borderline whacko from just taxi-takeoff as it is today (it seriously puts me in a bad mood/temper).

I think ED will need 16 years hard work before they even reach what radio-talk we have today in BMS.

DCS F-16C?
No thanks.

I'd say anyone selecting DCS F-16C over BMS hasn't really understood BMS after all these years (or is a covert FSX e-pilot in for the looks).


SleepDoc, have fun waiting for core systems the coming years, I'm sure you will take numerous screenshots meanwhile.
Posted By: Phoenix54C

Re: R.I.P. Falcon 4 - 06/01/19 08:04 PM

Agreed,

And these newer modules are a disgraceful price for what little you get.

BMS FA18 is FREE...

Shows us the way its all gone huh?
Posted By: Sleepdoc

Re: R.I.P. Falcon 4 - 06/01/19 09:00 PM

So......

I admit it was a bit of a troll. But only in good fun.

Ill explain.....

1. BMS has kept this community together for many years. No one can touch that. Its a true tribute to the man i mentioned. He had undying respect for BMS

2. I wrote the first published manual in 1998 (i think it was?? #%&*$#. Its been long) on how to build missions in the mission builder. THE DYNAMIC CAMPAIGN was (and is) a truly artistic and passionate commitment to the art of the sim. So i was part of F4 community in my day. But no more. 2 kids, age, etc.

3. That 36 page attempt at a user manual for the mission builder got a guy named Steve Blankenship to call me. Any one know who that is? Anyone remember his name? His call led to us becoming life long friends. But thats just a small part of this post.

4. The important part of my post was really addressed to Steve. He passed from cancer suddenly a few years back. Before that, he was my nightly coop mission wingman in F4 and any other “SOMEWHAT serious” coop game we could get our hands on. GRAW, that sniper game, rainbow 6 etc. He was rock solid on CAP, ground attack and bounding overwatch (Rainbow etc)

5. Now that he has long passed, he probably wouldn't mind me hinting at his secret. Lets just say that the iBeta realism patch and BMS wouldn't exist without him. All the rest of us that have benefitted from his giving nature should wish him, alongside me, a great rest in peace. He was an incredible guy who cared as much about Falcon as any of us. Maybe even just a tad more.

6. The VR part is just a personal thing. I had not spoken to him for about 2 years after i got my HTC Vive. Then this awesome sub sim (coop) came out. I had talked him into upgrading more than a few times in our years as coop players and i needed him to get on board and buy one. When i reached out, i learned he had passed. I was crushed.

7. I love VR. I get that you guys love dynamic campaigns. I respect that. You are honoring his memory more than you know.

Look him up. Remember him. He gave BMS the greatest gift of all.


RIP Steve.

Respectfully,

Sleepdoc
Posted By: Pooch

Re: R.I.P. Falcon 4 - 06/02/19 01:40 AM

Isn 't Steve Blankenship the guy who designed Falcon 4.0?
Posted By: CyBerkut

Re: R.I.P. Falcon 4 - 06/02/19 11:10 AM

Originally Posted by Pooch
Isn 't Steve Blankenship the guy who designed Falcon 4.0?


Designed and produced, along with Gilman Louie.
Posted By: sobe

Re: R.I.P. Falcon 4 - 06/02/19 05:00 PM

Sleepdoc

I love to read all the flame wars that are caused by anyone who attacks BMS/Falcon. They keep me laughing in my retirement years in Oregon.

I don't know if you remember me, but we flew together a few times when you lived in Miami as a resident and I lectured on employment contracts for docs.
Posted By: MarkG

Re: R.I.P. Falcon 4 - 06/02/19 06:24 PM

"Su-27 Flanker was a runner-up for Computer Gaming World's 1995 "Simulation of the Year" award, which ultimately went to EF2000."

"PC Gamer US nominated Flanker 2.0 for its 1999 "Best Simulation" award, but it lost to MiG Alley."

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Su-27_Flanker_(video_game)

Hmm. What did EF2000 and MiG Alley have that 'Flanker' still doesn't have after almost a quarter of a century? biggrin
Posted By: Sleepdoc

Re: R.I.P. Falcon 4 - 06/02/19 08:21 PM

Originally Posted by sobe
Sleepdoc

I love to read all the flame wars that are caused by anyone who attacks BMS/Falcon. They keep me laughing in my retirement years in Oregon.

I don't know if you remember me, but we flew together a few times when you lived in Miami as a resident and I lectured on employment contracts for docs.


Hi Sobe,

Sure I remember you. How are you? I'm in Denver these days with a wife, kids, a mortgage, a couple of tech companies (yep... no more medicine) ... you know... no time to retire yet....and sadly, no time for real sims like Falcon. I'm relegated to 30-minute sessions of VR games one a week if I'm lucky.

To be clear, I wasn't trying to start or engage in a flame war. I respect the hell out of BMS. Was just having a little nostalgic fun, sharing my enthusiasm for the deep immersion of VR, and remembering my old buddy Steve. His death came as a true shock to me.

I changed my original Post title and content to make it more respectful to Steve and BMS. My humor is often hard to see....

I have no doubt that the passion and intellectual prowess of the BMS guys are just as high as any other group that came before them. And since they hung on longer than any other group that came before them, their contribution is likely greater in volume and iterative improvement (all software needs refactoring and rethinking)


and BTW. when I referred to his "secret gift" to this community, I wasn't talking about the fact that he was the producer of the sim. He was paid for that... and that was no secret.

<wink>

Wish I could just have one more flight with you, Steve.

Sleepdoc

Posted By: cdelucia

Re: R.I.P. Steve Blankenship - Long Live BMS and VR - 06/03/19 04:45 PM

Falcon 4.0 entry on Wikipedia:
"The game was originally designed and produced by Steve Blankenship and Gilman Louie and published under the MicroProse label."

You're lucky to have known/flown with him.
Posted By: schnidrman

Re: R.I.P. Falcon 4 - 06/04/19 12:42 AM

Originally Posted by Sleepdoc
To be clear, I wasn't trying to start or engage in a flame war.


I don't think it got close to that... biggrin

It's old hat and once every two years or so, someone comes along and says it. We wouldn't be doing our duty to the creators if there wasn't a bit of kick back from such blasphemy. kneeldown

Who's to say that posts like these aren't what keeps the gears grinding sometimes? I truly believe however, that the Devs just do it purely out of their own satisfaction and if they ever tire of it or worse, pass on...then that will be when Falcon will truly die.

But on a happier note 4.35 will be out in 3-4 weeks! exitstageleft
Posted By: piper

Re: R.I.P. Falcon 4 - 06/04/19 02:36 AM

The more I play with 4.34 the more I'm impressed. BMS folks put a heck of a lot of goodness into it.

One of the little touches I just love is the visor effect. I can now actually see the HUD on a sunny day.
Again, a little thing, but it mattered to me, and they came up with such an elegant solution to the problem.
Posted By: cdelucia

Re: R.I.P. Steve Blankenship - Long Live BMS and VR - 06/04/19 10:30 PM

"4.35 will be out in 3-4 weeks" <-- Do tell wink
Posted By: Juggernaut

Re: R.I.P. Steve Blankenship - Long Live BMS and VR - 06/04/19 11:48 PM

Originally Posted by Sleepdoc
So......

I admit it was a bit of a troll. But only in good fun.

Ill explain.....



5. Now that he has long passed, he probably wouldn't mind me hinting at his secret. Lets just say that the iBeta realism patch and BMS wouldn't exist without him. All the rest of us that have benefitted from his giving nature should wish him, alongside me, a great rest in peace. He was an incredible guy who cared as much about Falcon as any of us. Maybe even just a tad more.



RIP Steve.

Respectfully,

Sleepdoc



Hi,

Well, did we ever find out who leaked the source code?

Juggernaut
Posted By: Boomer

Re: R.I.P. Steve Blankenship - Long Live BMS and VR - 06/05/19 05:22 PM

Long time Falconeer and DCS flier back to Flanker circa 1995.

Aint no way the ED F16 will supplant what BMS offers, for reasons already noted.
Posted By: DBond

Re: R.I.P. Steve Blankenship - Long Live BMS and VR - 06/05/19 06:48 PM

I'm all for the in-memoriam stuff, can't fault that. RIP mate.

But the rest is boggling me. Like, I find it difficult to believe that someone would ditch BMS for DCS because of VR. I can see flying both, but considering BMS is dead because of it seems odd. I suppose people have their own motivations for what they fly, but specifically in regards to BMS I reckon most (but clearly not all) players do so because of the high fidelity jet and the campaign. VR's cool, but can it really be enough to cause a BMS player to ditch it?

I don't know in what state the DCS Viper will be released, or what state it will eventually reach, but I certainly have my suspicions. If EDs entire track record is applied to the F-16 module I think you're going to see a beautiful, awesome sounding F-16 with many missing, incomplete or broken systems. Systems that BMS nails. Could a simmer really decide that they prefer the incomplete jet just because it looks nicer? Consciously decide that graphics trump detailed systems, avionics and a persistent dynamic battlefield in which to fly it? I know the answer to that is yes, but it still gives me trouble smile
Posted By: Bard

Re: R.I.P. Steve Blankenship - Long Live BMS and VR - 06/07/19 02:54 PM

I will admit - i don't flight sim anymore because of VR. It was like getting trackir - once you had it you can't go back. DCS Viper ALMOST has me deciding to fly again, but without the dynamic campaign and being unable to play it smoothly turns me off doing it.

The main VR related issue for DCS is that the system requirements to run with VR, AND upscale the resolution to make visual fidelity approach what is available on a monitor are astronomical.

With VR games requiring high visual fidelity (like flight sims) the main issue isn't about the resolution of the headsets, but the resolution of what is being passed to the headset coupled with high enough framerates. If you look at many of the Steam Labs game they look excellent because the graphics are simple enough that supersampling can upscale without a huge impact on framerate.

Similarly, games like Falcon4 or IL2Sturmovik are at what I consider to be the sweet spot for conversion to VR - allowing similar upscaling as the Steam labs stuff.
Posted By: WolverineFW

Re: R.I.P. Steve Blankenship - Long Live BMS and VR - 06/24/19 12:00 AM

I am still trying to figure out how to activate the Nose Wheel Steering......... :p
Posted By: schnidrman

Re: R.I.P. Steve Blankenship - Long Live BMS and VR - 06/24/19 02:39 AM

"Shift /" on your key board.

If you are not using rudder pedals you can enable roll linked steering in the UI/Setup/Advanced/View Control page. Otherwise, use the arrow keys to steer.

Clear skies!
Posted By: theOden

Re: R.I.P. Steve Blankenship - Long Live BMS and VR - 06/24/19 08:06 AM

Originally Posted by WolverineFW
I am still trying to figure out how to activate the Nose Wheel Steering......... :p

Haha long time since I heard that one smile
All we need now is Aragorns HARM incident for the complete Time-Warp
Posted By: DBond

Re: R.I.P. Steve Blankenship - Long Live BMS and VR - 06/24/19 05:44 PM

Originally Posted by schnidrman
"Shift /" on your key board.

If you are not using rudder pedals you can enable roll linked steering in the UI/Setup/Advanced/View Control page. Otherwise, use the arrow keys to steer.



I think he was having some fun smile

And anyway, the answer is clearly Ctrl-E (Hold)
Posted By: schnidrman

Re: R.I.P. Steve Blankenship - Long Live BMS and VR - 06/24/19 06:10 PM

Yeah, went right over my head... hahaha
Posted By: JohnnyChemo

Re: R.I.P. Steve Blankenship - Long Live BMS and VR - 06/25/19 11:23 PM

Originally Posted by theOden
[quote=WolverineFW]
All we need now is Aragorns HARM incident for the complete Time-Warp


I used to LIVE for letting that thread disappear from the front page on Frugal's board only to bring it up again, or using "frubles" to make it sticky for a bit!! Thanks for that memory!

I may have to give BMS another crack...it's been a while!
Posted By: DBond

Re: R.I.P. Steve Blankenship - Long Live BMS and VR - 06/26/19 04:34 PM

Frug's sniff sniff

When's the last time you flew Falcon JC?

It's in the best place it's ever been in my opinion, with BMS.

Wait until you're done with Subnautica though biggrin
Posted By: JohnnyChemo

Re: R.I.P. Steve Blankenship - Long Live BMS and VR - 06/29/19 05:38 PM

I'll admit it's been a while since I last strapped into the F-16. Had a lot of fun flying in the Freebirds, as well as with the iBeta team right after Microprose went belly up.

I've dabbled in DCS lately, but nothing was ever quite the same as the campaign in Falcon. I went and downloaded the newest BMS, and grabbed the first Falcon disk I could find to install it.
Unfortunately, I grabbed Allied Force, and that didn't seem to be one of the approved installs. So rather than go through the trouble of hunting down the old CD (I still have my binder!!) I just picked it up
on Steam since the sale is going on.

So it's installed, but that's about it. I don't know if I'll actually do anything with it, but I think I'd like to (even if it isn't in VR!)
Posted By: ricnunes

Re: R.I.P. Steve Blankenship - Long Live BMS and VR - 07/01/19 10:41 AM

Originally Posted by DBond
Originally Posted by schnidrman
"Shift /" on your key board.

If you are not using rudder pedals you can enable roll linked steering in the UI/Setup/Advanced/View Control page. Otherwise, use the arrow keys to steer.



I think he was having some fun smile

And anyway, the answer is clearly Ctrl-E (Hold)


Alternatively, ALT+F4 also worked as well (at least in the past) biggrin
Posted By: DBond

Re: R.I.P. Steve Blankenship - Long Live BMS and VR - 07/01/19 01:07 PM

Originally Posted by ricnunes

Alternatively, ALT+F4 also worked as well (at least in the past) biggrin


Well, yes of course, if you want to go full extreme nose wheel. Very advanced, not for beginners.
Posted By: Whammo

Re: R.I.P. Steve Blankenship - Long Live BMS and VR - 07/06/19 10:04 AM

Originally Posted by Phoenix54C
Yeh

Gimme some of that stuff as well?

Falcon 4 has a PLAYGROUND built into it that puts DCS to shame...

DCS modules LOOK amazing but a set of scripted missions put their overpriced modules in the back seat.

Most falconeers will buy and try but after a while they will run back to F4 because the module is USELESS without a proper playground to enjoy it in.


I'd have to agree with this statement!
Posted By: Icer

Re: R.I.P. Steve Blankenship - Long Live BMS and VR - 08/11/19 03:03 PM

Originally Posted by Bard
I will admit - i don't flight sim anymore because of VR. It was like getting trackir - once you had it you can't go back. DCS Viper ALMOST has me deciding to fly again, but without the dynamic campaign and being unable to play it smoothly turns me off doing it.


And here is where the allure of DCS ends. Their static battlefield with "trigger points" to accomplish the canned missions reminds me of Wolfenstein with planes. You miss a point, start over and fly for an hour again, only to find out you failed again. Save the game so you can skip the 45 minute ingress? Not a chance, NO SAVES. Is it pretty, absolutely, right up until your i7/32GB/RTX 2080 machine starts stuttering and it looks like someone is fanning cards with terrain pics on them. Try and create a big TE mission with multiple moving entities? Forget it, they will move but watch your frame rates disintegrate to an unplayable level. So all good TE builders use static enemies that just sit in the same spot until you kill them. Cool maps like Normandy? Would be great if it wasn't so horribly flawed and unplayable, but I hear the people that created/sold it are going to fix it "as soon as they are done with their next (broken) map"... I really tried to like it, even upgraded my machine in hopes of making it run well, then made the mistake of picking up BMS 4.34 and hopping back in (after many years away). Enormous learning curve? Yep. But the 1st campaign mission I turned on far labels (forgive me) and just thought "Holy crap, the sky is ALIVE!" There is no comparison, and I have 0 confidence in DCS getting a functional dynamic world going when they can't even get a static one right!

Oh, and for F4 history buffs, take a look here - http://www.combatsim.com/review.php?id=451 done by Sleepdoc.
I remember well all the names, including the outspoken Papadoc (was a BIG Flanker fan IIRC?) from the forums. Hope all is well with them now..
Posted By: damson

Re: R.I.P. Steve Blankenship - Long Live BMS and VR - 08/12/19 10:46 AM

Just to throw in some of my experience. I play both titles - BMS is more robust, has more unpredictability with it's dynamic campaign but someone might argue you can craft unique experiences inside DCS single missions which you wouldn't be able in BMS. Like this one:



Seeing that laser marker while using NVGs is really cool feature I haven't seen in BMS. (yet)

Also after flying so many missions in BMS they start to feel repetitive. Obviously you fly somewhere else and have diffrent encounters each time, but the core is the same. In DCS you may have limited single missions but they can be filled with scripted story making each one unique and unforgetabble.

Both sims have their flaws and advanteges. I fly both mainly in single player and enjoy them evenly for different reasons. Especially lately I started to enjoy DCS more (to the same level as BMS) after getting fast SSD (M.2 NVMe) drive - it basically reduced the problem with stuttering entirely for me. And I dont have super fast PC, i5 6600K, GTX970 and 16GB of RAM, my previous hard drive was the bottleneck for DCS, BMS run fine before the upgrade.
Posted By: Icer

Re: R.I.P. Steve Blankenship - Long Live BMS and VR - 08/12/19 11:15 AM

No taking away from the breathtaking beauty of DCS! Imagine if BMS had the cockpit and plane graphics (I could care less about terrain in a jet).. that would be heaven. I have a good SSD now (surely not as good as an M.2, next system will have two M.2s!). This helps with the terrain loading but the engine can't handle a lot of activity without killing FPS, that's the big issue, and I have a fairly robust system even now.
Posted By: damson

Re: R.I.P. Steve Blankenship - Long Live BMS and VR - 08/12/19 11:51 AM

Yep, that would be awesome indeed.

Sadly if you wanted to put as many units in DCS map as there are in BMS campaign you would need prabably NASA super-computer that's for sure. BMS Falcon 4.0 was smartly coded from the start with the bubble concept, unfortunatelly with the advent of large scale multiplayer and many units "mannable" (even ground ones ithanks to DCS Combined Arms) that approach would not fit into DCS well. But even so, with smart scripting and units placements / spawning / de-spawning you can still achieve a good feeling of being a part of a bigger battle. There are some MP servers that feature persistant "dynamic" campaigns, but I haven't tried them yet so can't comment on those.

I'm also finding carrier ops more fun in DCS than in BMS (in which I fly the Viper pretty much exclusively anyway) . Tomcat and Hornet in DCS are a dream to fly. And with the upcoming Carrier module the experience will be even better.

Posted By: MigBuster

Re: R.I.P. Steve Blankenship - Long Live BMS and VR - 08/20/19 05:09 PM

Originally Posted by damson

Seeing that laser marker while using NVGs is really cool feature I haven't seen in BMS. (yet)

Also after flying so many missions in BMS they start to feel repetitive. Obviously you fly somewhere else and have diffrent encounters each time, but the core is the same. In DCS you may have limited single missions but they can be filled with scripted story making each one unique and unforgetabble.

Both sims have their flaws and advanteges. I fly both mainly in single player and enjoy them evenly for different reasons. Especially lately I started to enjoy DCS more (to the same level as BMS) after getting fast SSD (M.2 NVMe) drive - it basically reduced the problem with stuttering entirely for me. And I dont have super fast PC, i5 6600K, GTX970 and 16GB of RAM, my previous hard drive was the bottleneck for DCS, BMS run fine before the upgrade.





There is actually a spot on the ground in NVGs for the laser marker currently in BMS.

The equivalent in Falcon is the Tactical Engagement mission builder - where you can build bespoke single missions or whatever you want with the in game TE builder or the 3rd Party Mission Commander. Similar in other games - if I wanted to recreate an actual mission from history in Strike Fighters then I would create a single mission either scripting in Notepad (SF1) or using the mission Editor (SF2). I would be bringing in new objects and flying to locations you would never see otherwise (also see Yankee Air Pirate)


The DCS scripting allows quite a lot of detail and flexibility - probably a lot more in some areas than previous games. However one slight problem is having to spend time creating them yourself and people creating good ones for free has generally been the exception. The time that needs to be invested in creating these things is probably one reason why only what seems a small minority ever attempt it. Creating basic missions for yourself is fairly easy in most cases but that is not the same thing.

The DCS paid campaigns have clearly provided incentive for people to create some exceptionally good single missions - I would say I would be 90% satisfied overall ignoring trigger overuse. Use of triggers has to be balanced otherwise you can spend part of a mission trying to satisfy gaming elements only.
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