Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  

graphics in flight sims

Recommended Posts

Flight simulators got me in to computers

About 20 years ago with games like

Aces over Europe and interceptor

And F22 now can someone tell me

Why in 20 years the graphics are still

Rubbish the planes are good but the

Ground detail stinks if they can make

Something like the battle of midway

With half way good ground detail why

O why can’t they make a really good?

Flight simulator with great ground

Detail I think storm of war is just going to

Be IL2 over England with no better

detail why can't they to it?

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Yeah Frame Rates - says it all really.


Theres also a LOT of ground to cover in flight sims - Take WOV - so thatll be Thailand,Cambodia,Laos, Vietnam and a bit of china to map out then!.


Most of your time is spent up in the air so any detail will be put around places where are more likely to see it (ie airbases) - and on the actual planes themselves.


Most people dont care about the ground so its unlikely that a small developer (ie just about about all sims devs these days) has time to waste adding eye candy to it.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

I miss the ground detail too. Maybe most players don't need it. I like low level 

flying through valleys and over industrial areas or even under bridges? 

But the problem is also, that it's often not destroyable or just heavy for collisions.

For example in the third wire games You just fly through houses and trees.


This was solved already or even better in "tornado", which is an really old game.

God bless digital integrations!


I think the frame rate loss of good detail can always be avoided by good level of detail.

And in my opinion it's not so important to have many light effects and high resolution textures,

than a lot of vectorized buildings and other ground objects, that's really "heavy".

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

if you want better ground graphics you would need a much more powerful graphics card thats capable of rendering better graphics. it also depends on the particular game you are playing. the most powerful gpu want do any good on a substandard game. not that the games you mentioned are substandard. they came out before more powerful graphics cards came out. i hope that helps you a little bit.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Not always about hardware limits...

Console games have some outstanding graphics.

Where do you want your cpu clock cycles spent?

Where do you want your developer's budget spent?


Decent flight models and functional 3d cockpits take lots of development time and money and with hi-res textures, cockpits take lots of cpu cycles too.

The terrain really stands out in some of the console games, but they can't compete in terms of flight model fidelity and in-the-pit functionality.

The SFP1 series may not have clickable pits, but in their present state, they are very detailed models (lots of polygons and animations) with fairly hi-res textures... the very things that sap your frame rate.


However, having said all of that, some games simply have better coding: they look better, have decent textures and details, and don't kill frame rates.

IMHO, Jane's USAF had outstanding terrain for its time frame and in some respects is still superior to the SFP1 series, but ran great on Pentium 3 PCs with 128MB of RAM and 32MB graphic cards.

But I gladly gave up the eye-candy, advanced mission editing, and decent multiplayer of Jane's USAF for the much better flight modeling, sensation of flight, and far superior 3d pits.


If only there was some way to take the best features from the past 20 years of combat flight sims and roll them all together into one fantastic game with awesome graphics, believable flight/weapons/damage modeling, fun AND realistic gameplay, fabulous single player action with AI so good you would swear you were playing online, multiplayer support so good you would swear you were playing detailed single player missions/campaigns but with people able to man anything and everything... backseats, guns, ground units, and playable on the typical PCs the average person buys at a retail store. I know its a pipe dream... but that's the way technology works. First you imagine something that seems inconceivable, then 5, 10, or 20 years down the road it shows up in stores for some petty low price.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

I tend to agree with most of what you presented. However if you really

compare flight sims of today to their distant ancestors of 20 years ago,

I'd say they really are a huge improvement visually. This goes for the

ground details as well.


Ok for me the first 'sim' that I ever encountered was one called

"Spitfire 40", and my roommate and I played it on his Commodore

128(?) IBM PC. The cockpit was rendered nicely, but the sky was solid

BLUE and the ground solid GREEN. It was so choppy that it was nearly

impossible to play. The ammo was even unlimited as well. The German

109s looked like birds and when one got on your tail, you see it in the mirror

getting closer and closer (all the while wagging its wings). No matter what you

did, you'd die at that point! This was back in 1986 :haha:


The next one that I did was called "Their Finest Hour" and, compared to

Spitfire 40, this game was a quantum leap forward! You could take off, land,

do a campaign, do single missions and create your own missions. And the

game ran very nicely on my girlfriends IBM Cordata PC. Good grief I remember

playing that one for HOURS. I would play it until I simply couldn't sit in the

chair any longer because of aches and pains, LOL!


Now when I look at Strike Fighters Project One compared to these ancient

fossils, there is NO comparison really. They can't be compared - period. I

have tried out some old flight games from time to time just for the nostalgia,

but very quickly get tired of them and delete them. The reason is simple in

that flight sims of today look better :yes:




Edited by MrCraig41

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

I believe the truth is its time and money

Microsoft make there flight simulator x

Then you have lots of other company’s

Making and selling add-ons

So it can be done and it’s the same reason

We get games full of bugs its time and money

A company says we are going to

Make a game let’s say its called storm of

War then they say we are going to spend

So much on making it let’s say it’s $20.000

And we are going to make it in 6 months

And that’s it once the money as run out

And the time is up

They don’t care what the game looks like

Or what bugs are in it

All they want to do is get it in to the shops

And start making money from it

Then its up to the mod’s to try and make the

Game what we wanted in the first place

And it happens time and time again

We forget we are doing these for fun

But the game company’s are in it for the money

Edited by rugrat

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

The whole world revolves around money, and why should a game developer be any different.

What makes the difference is the company culture.


Example 1: Digital Illusions and 2015 rocked the world with Battlefield 1942 and Medal of Honor Allied Assault.

Nowadays, EA has completely taken over the task of building "their" games and produced a number

of sequel games NOT better than the originals. Reason; money.


Example 2: Thirdwire has made Strike Fighters: Project One, Wings over Vietnam and Wings over Europe.

It could have milked out the popular basic game. Instead they tweaked it, built First Eagles and Wings over Israel

and always gave the freedom to the community to built oodles of add-ons. THAT is the way to create

a crowd of followers, THAT is the real way to make games.


In my view most game developers who create simulation games belong to the category as described in example 2,

because it is known simulations never are blockbusters but are still made for the small crowd. Therefore it is

safe to say that the main drive is NOT money, or they should have made crappy FPS's instead!

I do not know how long you are dwelling the simulation forums, Rugrat, but you should take the effort in

really discovering this site in order to see what potential a small company as Thirdwire has given the community

to make something fun and nice, with games costing almost half what giants like Activision, Ubisoft and EA ask.

There will always be something to complain about, but the last time I checked there wasn't a man from a game

company behind me forcing me to buy and play a game....


So, concluded, enjoy the games, enjoy the add-ons, enjoy the forum.




Edited by muesli

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Flights sims have two special, and interrelated, problems: view distance and map size. You obviously can see much further from the air, and since you move faster as well it requires a much bigger map than in a ground-based game.


It looks like Storm of War will set the new benchmark for ground graphics, but there we're talking about a fairly big team and five or so years spent in development. Compare that to what TK has, for example...

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  


Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use, Privacy Policy, and We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue..