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Thoughts? [RPG Flight Sim/Wetdream] WARNING LONG READ

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Recnetly I had a serious (e-mail) conversation with thirdwire about me becomming a potential investor. Thirdwire was kind enough to return my inquiry and after wondering how serious I was about doing so they also warned me that I wouldn't get a dime back. Considering the cost for most companies to make a game (and their company as well) it would be a lucritive investment.

 

They mentioned that appealing to one crowd will alienate the other. True to an extent I think. I know what I like the Thirdwire games because its not too easy nor do i have spend hours upon hours, upon hours, and more hours learning how to take off and operate the MFD and engage A2A and land.

 

My beloved flight sim industry is kind of going down hill, for me anyway. IF someone does a flight sim they half ass it and put WAY too much empahses on making the plane look good rather than let the plane's attributes shine. BF2 for instance or Jet Fighter come instantly to mind, as I type this, I'm sure there others. I remember a few of you mentioning how horrible a few of Jane's planes were.

 

I think, know, and feel. That our beloved genre of gaming could benefit from a little CPR. Bring back some of the classic elements with twist. Elements such out of pit experience. A news reporter that let's the player see just how well s/he is doing and how their actions affect the game universe around them. Employ new technology and methods for multiplayer (I hear World of Warplanes is comming out btw). WHILE TAKING NOTHING AWAY FROM THE AIRCRAFT.

 

Of course such a thing from the start should be open for user modifications. Also three maybe four modes. Casual, Relaxed, Hardcore and Commander.

 

Casual mode _ think battlefield just jump in the damn thing and fly around and shoot stuff yeehaw!

 

Relaxed mode_ Like Thirdwire games. Nothing too easy something modest and sexy but not overly complicated.

 

Hardcore mode_ If you don't fly the thing in real life ... you better start reading a manual or two.

 

Commander mode_ Unlocked through Relaxed or Hardcore (Hardcore having a bit more features added) Basically when you beat a Relaxed or Hardcore mode campaign you get your Veteran status and when you start a new game you can either fly or utilize the RTS feature and call the shots and what not. Using budgets, politics(come on you're an officer of course you're going to have to do a little politicking here and there.) yada yada.

 

Each mode would have its own features and rewards. I.e A casual player wouldn't get the achievement a hardcore player would or the unlocked aircraft or fantasy aircraft. And vise versa the yay you landed without crashing achivement wouldn't be awarded to relaxed or hardcore player I mean come on the reward is living to fight another day.

 

A uniqure feature for the hardcore player. Death file. What's that (you might have seen elsewhere) when you die so does all your saves. There's no going back in real life when you die so there will be no going back on hardcore mode either. ... might work something out where it will dock you two or three saves or something.

 

A key feature for the relaxed and hardcore is the ability to paint targets for other jets. i.e the F-22 lazing targeting for the B-1 so using the LANTIRN or other device. Casual ... well probably not.

 

Rank system for all three modes. Squadrons that actively recruit based on performance or allow transfers (only for relaxed and hardcore, which will have more prestige squadrons available to them) (Hardcore not sure for relaxed yet may have demonstration teams unlocked i.e Blue Angles and/or Thunderbirds)

 

 

 

Out of cockpit experience:

Well there's more to being a fighter pilot than sitting in front of a panel with instruments and looking good. A player's character will be affected by.

 

Reflexes: How quick your pilot responds to a situation means life or death.

 

Fatigue. Self explanatory needless to say it will be harder to land or make precision strike. Also negatively affects reflexes

 

Injury. Some injuries could affect the player's character at high altitudes so maneuvering of the aircraft at a high altitude would take a while.

 

Health for when you punch out (I'll get to that later)

 

Morale all work and no play makes a dull pilot. Low morale will drastically eat at the fatigue meter.

 

Teamwork can your squad mates count on you? Can you count on them? Doing your part goes a long way ... and so does being an asshole.

 

Service Record. How well you perform your missions and execute orders goes a long way to getting that new plane, rank, or lucrative assignment. Staying out of bar fights help too (or do they?)

 

Informal service record. Didn't back your squad mate up in that fight huh? Let's see how you can handle the enemy on your six with no one covering it. >:) Your record looks good but the rumors of you being a complete jackass might hurt that postpone that advancement.

 

Out of pit experiences.

 

Watching the news in your house (used very loosely) or living space (if on carrier). See how your actions contributed to the conflict.

 

Playing pool help keep your morale up and earns points with squad mates.

 

Watching the game and getting drunk. Builds points with morale and squad mates, may also trigger a fight which causes negative points on service record and health. If done too much will give you a hangover that may ground you and force you to loose a mission (even a critical one).

 

Shooting range. Only thing I can think of for reflex building also helps with last Out of pit experience.

Items can also be bought to improve reflexes I guess.

 

....not sure about this one but why not

sex. yeah I said it. probably won't happen but what the hell leave that one for the mods right. Should help morale, could hurt service record if its the admiral's daughter.

 

Lastly

Bailing out(not available for casual ... just punch out and see if you get rescued): Survie five minutes (ten for hardcore) or reach extraction point ::times and distance are doubled if behind enemy lines::

 

Starting off a few and only a few aircraft should get things rolling. Each aicraft comes with it a new story. Each addon will be sold sepeartely too.

 

Basic. One rotor wing of some sort the Apahce *Number will have to crunched to find a chopper most will like*

 

A Fast mover or two A-10 F-18 Mirage *Numbers will have to be crunched to find a plane most will like*

 

And a bomber. either a B-2 or B-1

 

 

 

So that's pretty much what I'm thinking There are other things many minute things I'd like to add but that's main plan. Thoughts?

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Sounds like you are investing in The Sims game. :drinks:

 

(1) Sex:: Replace sex with B-47E navigation for gameplay, roughly simulating the whole 3 man crew, but don't include the pilot worrying over the nav being pregnant. But then, if aircrew pregnancy were modelled, there could be a 1950s SAC Commander Giving Out Cigars video.

 

(2) Watching a game and drinking:: Replace with B-36J ECM gameplay. Why?

 

Back in ye olde Su-27 Flaker 1.0, the most challenging missions I made were solitary penetration of heavily defended air spaces with all different types of SAMs and patrolling or GCI'd interceptors I had to be on the lookout for on my radar. It could take hours to fly a short distance, because I had to fly around long range SAM sites at high altitude, and if I went low level, I had put dozens of short range mobile SAMs and they'd pop up in front by surprise, and I'd have to hard tail away and guess another route. It was pretty nerve wracking doing that kind of thing, especially in the dark relying ONLY on the red lighted panel guages to fly hard evasive manuevers. I couldn't relax much, as I designed the missions to be that way. Best was taking off at sunset in the Crimea, approaching the nasty Ukraine air space in twilight, and getting lost in a maze of SAMs and occasional hostile aircraft in the dark, and THEN finding a way OUT of that nasty space, with afterburning hostiles in tow if I couldn't avoid them, hopefully to meet return escorts I had setup to meet me on the way out. I randomized that too, and it was scary if they weren't there -- or I was off the planned exit route.

 

I couldn't just hit the burner and outrun these guys, since I was very low on fuel from flying so long. Man, its nice to see your return escort patrolling on your radar about 60km away, and when they turn to you in their orbit waypoint (yes), they can see on their radars your pursuers, its a nice feeling. But can you get to them in time, cos the bad guys are coming up behind? Just a "bit" of afterburner may be needed, but that depends on how well you managed fuel/distance in your mission.

 

The challenge was to destroy the target, and get out without ever engaging any enemy fighters -- NO AIR COMBAT.

 

 

(3) Bar Fights ... If you like throwing real punches, replace Bar Fights with modelling B-58A targeting, using hysterically correct payloads. For the "anti nuc" types, they can always fly Red with Su-15, which would be, finally, a real sukhoi, in a combat flight sim; a first.

 

 

F-22 A-10 F-18 B-1 B-2

 

Seems everybody has "invested" in that kind of game before, and didn't always do well. We have a "lomac" or "dcs" thread about a game like that, I think. If you want to "invest" you do something different.

 

 

I always said, the first combat flight TheSim with a great white B-70 on the box cover will outsell all those Flaker, Flacon, and Rapper games.

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"Survival Kit contents check. In them you will find: one 45 caliber automatic, two boxes of ammunition, four days concentrated emergency rations, one drug issue containing antibiotics, morphine, vitamin pills, pep pills, sleeping pills, tranquilizer pills, one miniature combination Rooshan phrase book and Bible, one hundred dollars in rubles, one hundred dollars in gold, nine packs of chewing gum, one issue of prophylactics, three lipsticks, three pair of nylon stockings -- shoot, a fellah could have a pretty good weekend in Vegas with all that stuff.... "

 

Will there be a 'big-board'? :)

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Great idea.But,the out of jets gameplay might not be completely possible with the current Sf2 engine.Anyways,a great idea.Maybe in the future?

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Not possible yet. This is something for later on way down the road. I'm going to invest in some other things before turning around and doing this.But this is something I really want to do. I've been talking with some other people about this and as plausible and possible it seems we do realize the obstacles that lay ahead. The big things are cost and will we make any profit off of it. I think the ratio is like 1 in 5 or something like that. One great game pays for the last five that didn't fair so well.

 

I think it cost $100,000 to make a plane more depending on complexity. So already my project is going to cost millions upon millions to make. But I know it can be done. Out of pit experiences are there to break the monotony of the game they aren't there to upstage the game for it is just something to add a new dynamic.

 

The reason for the ability to mod the game is hopefully allow the rivet counters to get something out of the game as well. Because the planes other sims have used and used again will bore you. And its hard for me to please a person like myself while trying to get a crowd in. They like A-10s F-18s and what not. We've seen those airframes used so many times there's nothing impressive about the game. I'll admit that seeing these airframes will just make me want to keep playing SF2 or some other game with an F-16 in it that cost a lot less too!

 

That's why I want unique features for the cockpit that are on the real planes that many sims leave out. (if the DOD will allow us to employ or portray those features)

 

Its going to take a while but once my dream turns into a reality you'll be the first to hear about it. For now when I'm looking to invest to make some money (or what little I can make back nowadays) then turn around and play around with this.

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For the bail out, escape and evade, I've thought before that it would be interesting to turn it into a FPS type situation; not that you could blast your way out of being captured with a .38 or .45 with one reload, but that you could make your way to friendly lines in a timely manner. You could even be commendeered by friendlies, rebels whatever, and be pressed into a short ground mission in order to "buy" your way back home (ala Call of Duty 2 where your bomber gets destroyed and you're thrown out and used to destroy a bridge) or decline. At least the player would have some control over whether they actually make it home, POW, killed, etc.

 

I really like your plan, and it would be very unlike anything out (unless someone steals it, China). It needs to be well scripted, as the stories need to make sense, and the reasons for things need to be "realistically portrayed", but man, you're on the right path!

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"Survival Kit contents check. In them you will find: one 45 caliber automatic, two boxes of ammunition, four days concentrated emergency rations, one drug issue containing antibiotics, morphine, vitamin pills, pep pills, sleeping pills, tranquilizer pills, one miniature combination Rooshan phrase book and Bible, one hundred dollars in rubles, one hundred dollars in gold, nine packs of chewing gum, one issue of prophylactics, three lipsticks, three pair of nylon stockings -- shoot, a fellah could have a pretty good weekend in Vegas with all that stuff.... "

 

Will there be a 'big-board'? :)

 

FYI the original line was "weekend in Dallas" (and you can see his lips actually say Dallas, it was looped over later) but was changed as the film came out not too long after JFK's death and Dallas was apparently "unfunny" at the time.

 

Anyway, while I agree starting from scratch doing that would cost big bucks, maybe you have the right idea but the wrong target. TK has proven very resistant to listening to others after his experiences with publishers like Strat First and Destineer.

 

However, ED is now working with numerous smaller devs (Thirdwire-sized) that have focused on FS9/FSX planes to have them make planes for DCS World. Perhaps what you want to do can be accomplished to some extent, for less money, with them?

Combined Arms is already adding an RTS-type element to DCS World. There will be planes from the hardcore DCS A-10C and Ka-50 to less rivet-counting models like the F-22.

I honestly don't know how much the 3rd party people will be able to do other than add planes, terrain has been mentioned, but only ED themselves know what their plans include. As a serious potential investor you may or may not get them to talk to you (depending on how much you can invest and what their numbers look like). If ED won't talk, maybe you can invest in IRIS or one of the other 3rd parties. You wouldn't be able to affect what ED will let the 3rd parties do, but you could affect what that particular 3rd party would look to do within ED's larger framework.

 

Some of the other stuff you've mentioned sounds like what Mad Catz is doing based on FSX, I forget the name of it now.

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I'm sure this project will see the light of day.Here are a bunch of interesting situations that can be implemented in first person gameplay.

1.Scramble:

It would be real fun to take part in a small minigame(Chess,cards) with your squadron mates and then suddenly hearing the scramble siren.The players could run to the gear bay and then to their aircraft parked at the flight line.

2.Airfield under Fire:

The airbase is under attack from both aerial and ground based elements.Run,Hide,Fight and do pretty much everything you can to survive.

3.Crash:

A friendly plane has crashed inside the airbase vicinity.Race along with the medical crew towards the wreckage.Evade smoke and fire to rescue the trapped crew.(The time taken to complete the mission could determine the casualties:more time taken,more dead).

4.S.A.M control:

An enemy flight is inbound to attack your airbase.The S.A.M crew have either been killed or are injured or are missing a few members.As a pilot,take control of the S.A.M batteries and bring down or chase away the intruding flight(s).

 

Well,these are most of the common scenarios which can be implemented on the ground.I'm sure a lot of people have better ideas.Good Luck!

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Thank you for taking the time to give me your thoughts on this guys.

 

Lazarus I like those ideas. When it comes to the rescuing and SAM missions perhaps we can use these moments to honor the support personnel that help keep a base functional. Pay Homage to them and let other people see that behind every pilot there are hundreds of others that work just as hard to keep him/her in the air.

 

Cost to for copyrights on something like this are going to be a bitch....(so China can't steal it :) )

Edited by Skyviper

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I'm not trying to bastardize or over-simply your ideas, which would be awesome if accomplished.

 

But it seems like you are:

  • taking "life" sandbox elements from something like Grand Theft Auto (most recent releases San Andreas and IV), where the player could interact with the "world" and the player's action in the storyline had affects on the side world (i.e. hearing of exploits on the radio while driving, getting control territory, or having increased or decreased police and/or rival gang presence).
  • Infusing the storyline of the ACE Combat series, without the overemphasis on a melodramatic samurai based anime storyline.
  • Sprinkling the the ground combat and scale of Operation Flash Point, especially when the player is down behind enemy lines or SAR/Spec ops crews have to go in and get the pilot out.
  • Adding the fidelity of Falcon 4 and all if reincarnations, such as cockpit functions, switchology, resource management, and mission/campaign dynamics.
  • The modabilty of the Strike Fighter Series
  • The sim world immersion and options of the Jane's line of sims
  • The graphics of DCS the series
  • The world coverage of FSX.

Just marrying up two or three of those elements would make an excellent game or flight sim the world has not seen in many years.

Taking elements from all of those would herald in the second coming. However, it all comes down to money, time, money, and a system that has the ability (just for the developers alone) that can process all of that information.

Edited by ironroad

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Like Jet Lii said Take the best of everything has to offer and make it your own.

 

So Ironroad, like you said,By taking the best elements and blending them together will make an epic game something true to what the game portrays and to the gamer. I miss when games where about whisking me away and letting me explore another world. Now its just there to distract me and make more money off me. $60 for a four hour game? Hello no. $60 for a game which is another digital life with things to do and places to go? Hell yes.

 

I'd be a fool not to realize how difficult and expensive something like this will be and a bigger one to rush things. That's why I'm taking my time and getting my money saved and invested properly. Researching things now so later when the moment comes I'll know exactly what I want.

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Like Jet Lii said Take the best of everything has to offer and make it your own.

 

So Ironroad, like you said,By taking the best elements and blending them together will make an epic game something true to what the game portrays and to the gamer. I miss when games where about whisking me away and letting me explore another world. Now its just there to distract me and make more money off me. $60 for a four hour game? Hello no. $60 for a game which is another digital life with things to do and places to go? Hell yes.

 

I agree, past games and sims were about providing options and immersion. Very few console games do that anymore and sims (the few that get made) hardly do that all anymore. Somewhere the sim developers (as well as the console crew) that idea graphics was the only thing that ever needed be worked in for gaming. That eye-popping bloom effects and constant "lens flare" trumped game-play, mechanics, context, storyline, etc.

 

 

I'd be a fool not to realize how difficult and expensive something like this will be and a bigger one to rush things. That's why I'm taking my time and getting my money saved and invested properly. Researching things now so later when the moment comes I'll know exactly what I want.

 

Sounds good, and I look forward to it because I certainly would buy whatever the end product may be. I would gladly pay more for something with a lot of effort put into it, then something slapped together for sake of using the latest "pretty effects" game engine.

Edited by ironroad

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Last time this was tried for a flight sim was Back to Baghdad...except they did NOT deliver. They made an F-16 combat trainer with no real "sim" accompanying it!

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I definitely like the idea of adding more immersive elements to a flight sim. However, I believe that the focus should always remain on the flying.

 

What a sim like SF2 would benefit from is:

 

1) Context

 

The campaign introductions are great, but after that there isn't a great deal of background info. Along with each mission briefing there should be some general "campaign" information, possibly in the form of news headlines, that indicate the progress of the war. The historical campaigns could even be fleshed out with details of important military or political events happening at the date of that mission.

 

2) Greater sense of cause and effect

 

I don't mind flying 20 strike missions to bomb a warehouse or repeatedly bombing runways, but I'd like the game to tell me that my outstanding success has had an effect on the war. I'd like to know that, for example, the bombing of that warehouse has led to the enemy tank battalion being unable to progress to their objective, or has decreased their combat effiency. I'd like to know that my SEAD sortie has led to the success of the other flights in the region, or that attacking the runway will disable that airport for the next 3 weeks, or something to that effect

 

3) Pilot progression

 

I see where you are going with the RPG elements, but I don't think that they should directly affect our flying ability. I like the way the old Red Baron game handled it. As you increased in rank and prestige, you get more influence in choosing your personal aircraft, airbase, flight arrangement etc.

 

At present, in SF2, whether you are an Ensign or Captain makes no difference. Also, its odd that my rank and kills from flying in the Suez Canal crisis gets automatically carried over to a career with the US navy. Different campaigns should have different profiles similar to the IL2 sturmovik series.

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