Jump to content

About competition (a 'dear Leatherneck')


scaflight
 Share

Recommended Posts

TL;DR: In this thread I submit a short opinion/letter to the LN team about competition between developers, and ask a few questions at the end whether people think it's acceptable behaviour.

 

--------------------------

Dear Cobra and all others in the Leatherneck team,

 

I saw a note on Razbam's forum about a team working on the Mig-23 and -19 being included in their organization. This prompts me, an avid fan of the Mig-23 and a starstruck customer of the Mig-21, to put out an opinion that I think is rarely heard on these forums. Or at least, I've never come across the discussion before. Namely that of competition between developers.

 

Not having purchased any of their products, I can't speak about Razbam's abilities as developers. Therefore my post to you is not born from anxiety or mistrust about them.

 

Not being a developer, I have no clue at all about how ED 'structures' the efforts of its third-party developers, through licensing, sanctioning, or whatever other forms of framework ED puts in place. Maybe this has already been discussed to death elsewhere?

 

I also don't know what sort of plans you as a team have in the future. Therefore I can't begin to assume that you should be making a Mig-23, even if it has been my hope for a long time.

 

All I have learned is that you and I seem to want the same things from our modules. I've bought addons for flight sims before, but I've never been as entertained and enthralled as with your product. The tiniest details reek of love for what you do.

 

So from a principled point of view, regardless of your future endeavours, however many years your internal roadmap runs... I wholeheartedly believe that direct competition between third party developers for DCS is a good thing. And that there should be room for two identical aircraft from different developers, even full-release modules, for the audience to pick from.

 

I know the profit margins for DCS modules can't be -that- great, so it might seem the proper solution to not step on someone else's toes, or at least to merge efforts. It's a perspective I can understand. But ultimately, I can't completely condone it as the only valid view. As a self-interested consumer I wish for the best modules possible, and I think competition would be highly beneficial to that end. To me, it would be extremely saddening to learn that such competition is "just not the done thing", and that perceived community norms* get in the way of what could be a fantastic project.

 

 

I've qualified this statement enough now; if you're doing a Flogger or not, my sentiment is still the same about competition within a relatively small market like this.

 

 

Cheers. :)

 

 

* (I don't even know if anyone does perceive these as norms, but I could imagine so)

--------------------------

 

For the rest browsing this forum, I guess the question is -- how do you feel about direct (module-to-module) competition between developers? It's a question I've thought about before, but it never seemed to pop up as relevant. But then, with VEAO's enormous roadmap and the ongoing Mig-23 work, it seems quite pertinent.

 

I'm half tempted to make this a poll, just because it's an interesting question. But ultimately that's a 'general discussion' sort of thing, and I'm more keen to address this to LN proper. Would people go nuts if developer A tomorrow said "We're doing a (whatever)", but that airplane was on developer B's roadmap? Or was even being made by developer B, right at that time?

 

If this is a discussion that has happened before, I'd love a link to the thread where it was brought up. :thumbup:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

For the rest browsing this forum, I guess the question is -- how do you feel about direct (module-to-module) competition between developers?

 

As we have all seen, the creation of an aircraft module takes a great deal of time and effort. I feel that if two developers were making identical aircraft, it would greatly reduce the number and diversity of aircraft in DCS. I am all for third party developers sharing knowledge and resources but they should concentrate their efforts on creating unique aircraft modules. I understand your comment about healthy competition but I believe that the current quality of DCS aircraft is at such a high standard right now that it isn't needed. In my opinion, more aircraft created to the highest standards and released in a timely manner is something we all want. To achieve this, we need as many third party developers making their own aircraft.


Edited by =BJM=

i5 7600K @4.8GHz | 1080 Ti | 32GB 3200MHz | SSD | DCS SETTINGS | "COCKPIT"

Link to comment
Share on other sites

There is just not enough return on investment to have such direct competition in such a niche market. Maybe if we can grow the player base on the future it may happen. Just my opinion.

PC:

 

6600K @ 4.5 GHz, 12GB RAM, GTX 970, 32" 2K monitor.

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

[i]+1 to Scaflight's comment above,[/i]

 

I agree that there should be friendly competition amongst 3rd party developers & sharing of resources of possible road maps of future aircraft.

 

Most importunately they should reliably inform the end stage stakeholders (us) about these things when it happens.

 

Not a couple months before or after the decision has been made already to do or not do it and then blame it on "unforeseen challenges."

 

Because lets be honest, while we do need as many developers/ DCS modules to create/have awesome things for us at the highest quality possible- (which most developers are doing now, not all but most; you know who you are..)

 

-at the end on the day we (the applicable stakeholder-customers, dollars out of your wallet/ purse) hold the power regardless of whatever the can or cannot do or whomever they have or have not talked with.

 

Because they are performing a service (A pleasantly decent one). Dont get me wrong it could have easily been a lot worse, (Both ED & a lot of the 3rd Party Developers dont seem to be intimidated by taking a "stab" at modern aircraft for which I am greatly appreciative of) DCS could have died off back in 1.2! So we as a Community + ED +3rd Party Developers have to make DCS the best it can be.

 

Its probably the reason why I feel so strongly about it, so when we all see promised features not simulated on modules that have or have not come out of early access because of "unforeseen challenges", it kind of makes you wonder when you see a popular more advanced project is being pursued pursued. Is the project going to end up like the last???

 

IDK

 

What I do know is that to prevent this upsetting situation from occurring while still getting the the project in a timely matter and upholding promised capabilities I personally think that effective communication & friendly competition amongst 3rd Party Developers is a positive thing, it aids substantially in the end product to continue keeping DCS to such a high Quality level.

 

It will keep DCS alive and kicking way into the future, there is a lot of potential here lets not go and squander it unknowingly by letting quality, promising projects, us investing in quality projects and again the general appreciation towards ED and the 3rd Party Developers unanimously diminish.

 

So lets get some more effective communication across the board with a daily dosage of friendly competition and continue to deliver projects to DCS; I think we can do it dont you?

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Since development of a DCS module requires the approval of ED, I doubt they would issue multiple approvals for the same aircraft.

 

Unless something has changed, that's incorrect. See Point 2 from the L-39 statement from when the Virtual Patriots threw their toys out of the pram:

All third parties enter a license agreement with the full knowledge that they are not granted exclusive rights to develop the aircraft for DCS.

 

Whether it's a good idea as a Third Party to compete directly considering the time, effort and sheer cost to bring a DCS level aircraft to market is another matter, but ED aren't stopping anyone.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

From what I've seen here over the course of quite some years, it seems that 3rd party developers are pretty friendly towards each other. Of course I don't know what happens behind the curtain, but it seems they get along very well.

 

About project choice: As Buzzles has already pointed out, there are indeed conflicts, so far mostly with ED themselves like the L-39. I think one of the reasons (although not the most imprtant one) why Cortex Designs stopped their F/A-18 project was the F/A-18 project by ED, although they worked on a different variant.

There are also three different 3rd partys atm, that seem to be interested in doing the Tornado (my favorite aircraft), so I'm curious how this works out :D

Intel i7-4790K @ 4x4GHz + 16 GB DDR3 RAM + Nvidia Geforce RTX 2080 (8 GB VRAM) + M.2 SSD + Windows 10 64Bit

 

DCS Panavia Tornado (IDS) really needs to be a thing!

 

Tornado3 small.jpg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

FWIW I believe devs can showcase their products and make their own case for excellence with different modules already, look at LNS and they way they handled the Viggen build up, it's been marketed, they have developers getting in the public eye and a lot of non dev time was spent making videos and doing things like the livestream and so on.

 

At the current rate of module output, it would be a catastrophic financial mistake to duplicate efforts and split the rewards and whilst the sentiment of the OP is correct and well intended, the correct business approach would be to establish PARTNERSHIPS in the community to increase brandname marketability. For example, perhaps LNS pull together a great Mig-23 ASM and model but are needing to get an EFM out faster and subcontracted BST to provide that as they have expertise there. Even that is quite far fetched as the proprietry nature of technology has real value. For example the ground radar that LNS developed for Viggen where it offsets the CPU to another core would be something they would not want to give away, and LNS does have unique development skills they should be proud of, especialy in innovation. (Side note, perhaps they can patent their concept if it is unique enough)

 

ED takes a massive chunk of the sales due to them providing the framework and keeping DCSW under continual development. I recently went round and collected all the information on the forums and wikis to test the modding requirements and found that one thing holding back startups is the enormously broad skillsets that for an average age of 30 for a dev, would need two careers to span. What this means is that you need teams working in disciplines. Those people ar enot easy to find, the more they understand the other teams skillsets the better they are. Point in case would be Novak, an ex Mig-21 pilot, who took up coding after he left the airforce. The subsect of people that are pilots, have mathematics and aeronautical fluid dynamics coding to create flight models, that can texture and rivet an aircraft, model it to a cm accuracy, animate the gears and moving parts, who can code C++ and lua and decipher the partially documented Eagle Dynamics structure whilst providing project management, marketing and can engage the audience, is precisely ZERO. You have to have specialists, there is no one man band out there and many people who compeltely underestimate the work involved and fall on their face with a beautiful model in their pocket (which sadly is the easier part).

 

Lastly, and most importantly, after refreshing my memory of Wags' L39 post, the critical part is how the licensing has changed. To get a license to develop and aircraft you have to demonstratrate it or something similar pretty much already done in terms of skillset. The requirements are listed on the forums and showcase the Flight Model requirements which are very specific, highly detailed. This means, in short, that you need to prove you can do it and are a long way in before ED will give you much help. What this also means is that no way would two developers do the same thing twice and present it to ED for a license without one being chosen over another.

 

TLDR; no, this is all way too niche and specialist to have any risk, licensing terms prohibit start with a blank sheet of paper.


Edited by Pikey
tpyos and licensing

___________________________________________________________________________

SIMPLE SCENERY SAVING * SIMPLE GROUP SAVING * SIMPLE STATIC SAVING *

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Unless something has changed, that's incorrect. See Point 2 from the L-39 statement from when the Virtual Patriots threw their toys out of the pram:

 

If you also read Point 1 you see that ED halted development of their own L-39. It wasn't developed in competition. The license was revoked, and ED re-started their inhouse development.

The way I understand that post, is that you're granted a license to develop a module, but if you don't keep your part of the agreement, you may lose that license.

I don't think multiple developers will be granted licenses for the same module, and compete about who gets to release it. But I could be wrong.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If you also read Point 1 you see that ED halted development of their own L-39. It wasn't developed in competition. The license was revoked, and ED re-started their inhouse development.

The way I understand that post, is that you're granted a license to develop a module, but if you don't keep your part of the agreement, you may lose that license.

I don't think multiple developers will be granted licenses for the same module, and compete about who gets to release it. But I could be wrong.

 

True, but I believe ED probably felt they could have worked on multiple modules with an equal potential success rate, so they simply shifted their effort from the in-house L-39 to the Su-27 PFM or whatever was being worked on in that timeframe.

 

Many artists will have multiple projects in flight, just waiting on the flight model and systems coder to show up with spare time.

 

--gos

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Competition......

 

I think with diferent models....there can be a healthy competition....and why waste resources with the same models..........

[sIGPIC][/sIGPIC]













---- " In Peace.....Prepare to War "--------


Wishlist : F-4 Phantom / F-20 TigerShark / Su-34



Processor Core i7 4790, 32 Gb RAM, 2 Tb SSHD, GTX 750 2Gb, 1920X1080 Gaming Monitor, Senze Joypad, Windows 8.1 Pro 64Bit, VMware Workstation 12 for WindowsXP with Office 2007 and Linux OpenSUSE for Net Access.



Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think with diferent models....there can be a healthy competition....and why waste resources with the same models..........

 

I agree!

That's a much more productive competition, and a competition we alread see happening. Developers seem to learn from eachothers releases. The rate at which modules are updated. The level of completion. Features. Quality of FM and art.

Sure, same module competition would be interesting. But I think we users are divided. I mean, how we experience the different modules is very subjective. Some like jets, others like props. Some want full fidelity, som want FC3. Just think of the endles debate on which FM is the better one ;-)


Edited by Goblin
Link to comment
Share on other sites

You shouldn't read Wags post as that imo, i think it simply clears out the possibility, but it would be a stupid decision to compete between each other in a super niche market as DCS is. Also it is a dick move to do so. There are very few third parties this is not like in FSX/P3D. You have a fixed framework that is integrated on a common version for everyone regardless if you have or not the same thing.

 

Wasting time and money developing the same product would only hurt DCS because then, people would complain because X model is better. Different devs for different versions of the plane? That could be a possibility. But i don't see it either because having already a big part of the work done is less money you put down the road in terms of development.

  • Like 1

DCS Discord community - https://discord.gg/U8aqzVT

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hey Scaflight,

 

Let me put my own input and view on things in there.

 

As you've surely stated, developers are trying to develop different aircrafts in order to stand out and attract customers without the impediment of competition.

 

Remember that we can only assume that the first thing that prevails in these studios when they're making a choice about developing an aircraft or another is passion and will. They're developing what they want to see available on the platform, with funds that initially and generally come straight out of their own pockets. That means that they still have to make strategic choices when creating content, in addition to their passion. In fact, developing a professional simulation of an aircraft is VERY costy and many factors come into play (wind tunnel calculations, attendance at international and local airshows to see an aircraft's behavior once in the air, getting the proper licences and contracts, hiring a team of experts in their own boundaries, developing the necessary assets and tools for the virtual reproduction of the aircraft and its systems, etc). Two studios developing the same aircraft wouldn't really ease their task in filling the gap of their expenses, would it? Hence the fact that studios are trying to release different aircrafts, because, hey, anyway there's so many of them! Why would one make the exact same aircraft as another which is already being developed by someone else when they can simply develop another version of the airframe or a completly different one and create something that is cost-effective and that makes the DCS platform alot richer and more fulfilling?

 

This being said, Eagle Dynamics and third-party Developers are bound by contracts. DCS modules that are labeled as such and developed by third-party developers have to meet the quality standards set by ED and the Fighter Collection, and their flight models are generally based on the EFM layout (External Flight Model) which is incorporating a small part of the Professional Flight Model layout that was developed by Eagle Dynamics. Henceforth, even though all studios are different, you can expect, as a customer, that a third party module would meet a certain standard, good enough so that you wouldn't find a completely different behavior (unless the aircraft is still in beta or a WIP) if that aircraft were to be developed and released in parallel by another studio.


Edited by Quent

Kind regards,

Quentin.

 

[sIGPIC]http://forums.eagle.ru/signaturepics/sigpic105862_2.gif[/sIGPIC]

Link to comment
Share on other sites

There are also three different 3rd partys atm, that seem to be interested in doing the Tornado (my favorite aircraft), so I'm curious how this works out :D

Good, we´d need atleast three variants to get the most out of it...

[sIGPIC][/sIGPIC]

GCI: "Control to SEAD: Enemy SAM site 190 for 30, cleared to engage"

Striker: "Copy, say Altitude?"

GCI: "....Deck....it´s a SAM site..."

Striker: "Oh...."

Fighter: "Yeah, those pesky russian build, baloon based SAMs."

 

-Red-Lyfe

 

Best way to troll DCS community, make an F-16A, see how dedicated the fans really are :thumbup:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thx leatherneck


Edited by Mking

System

 

Hydro H115i with 8700k @ 4,9 ghz all cores, Asus strix Z370 f, 32gb ddr4 3600Mhz, Asusrog swift 34 gsync ,Vr hp Reverb .Palit gaming pro 2080 ti Thrustmaster Warthog f18grip and th pedal

Steamvr ss 100% and dcs world ss 180%

 

tomcat eats the viper for breakfast :P

Lange lebe die Tomcat": Long live the Cat!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I would not worry too much that we will have two competing Mig-23 and 19 and that it will negatively impact both. Because may I remind you that right now we have zero.

 

Where does it even say that Leatherneck is working on any of these planes? I read somewhere that a long time ago Beczl was planning on a Mig-23 asfter the Mig-21, but after he departed the project was abandoned. Whenever such issue is mentioned I just see vague statements, like "possibly maybe we will start working on new models when the AJS37 and Tomcat are completet, but dont expect this to happen before 20xx."

 

I see no indication that LNS is currently working on any such planes, nor is there any enthusiasm, As to work that was done before by Beczl, it is my understanding that it's not like someone else can simply come and take over the work he completed. It may sound easy in theory, but in practice it just doesn't work that way.

 

And now with these snips from Razbam I am actually happy that someone is building on a Mig-23 at all (the Mig-19 is also something I would buy as it fills a nice gap). If there should be two competing projects in the future I would worry about that once I know it is a fact.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Well I was quite disappointed by the direction that LN took after Mig-21. For me the 23 was the next logical step as it shares so many systems/avionics with 21( it has been stated that 60%). Moreover it would be far easier to maintain and polish 21/23 modules, the team would mature and exploit all the knowledge about Soviet Era systems and aircraft. I feel that this potential was somewhat wasted with decision to discontinue eastern aircraft development. I understand that it has to be distracting now for the team to bugfix the 21, while concentrating on completely different aircraft, designed with completely different mindset. Tomcat, while hugely popular is a step into the unknown and is a more complicated aircraft than 23/21 combined. Of course I wish LN only the best in their present and future endeavors and hope that none of the upcoming aircraft in development will break their neck.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 Share

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...