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F4 PHANTOM


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14 minutes ago, upyr1 said:

How much code do the developers share? If we have one version the community will be upset. I know if we only have a Navy Phantom people like myself will be upset we don' have USAF Phantoms and our British friends will be unhappy we don't have a Royal Air Force or Royal Navy Phantom. I'm not sure that multiple versions by differnt companies would be a good idea but I do think that would work smoother if they shared code.

 

 

Thats the thing, IMO its too big for just one dev. But TBH so is the 21. And really we are likely only to get 1 version of that at this point.

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21 minutes ago, Harlikwin said:

 

Thats the thing, IMO its too big for just one dev. But TBH so is the 21. And really we are likely only to get 1 version of that at this point.

You are probably right which is why the question about code sharing is so important.  Hypothetically If some Indian developer wanted to do the MiG-21 BISON would they be able to licenses the existing flight model and teak it a bit for a more powerful engine and add modern avionics or would they have to re-invent the wheel? 

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2 hours ago, upyr1 said:

You are probably right which is why the question about code sharing is so important.  Hypothetically If some Indian developer wanted to do the MiG-21 BISON would they be able to licenses the existing flight model and teak it a bit for a more powerful engine and add modern avionics or would they have to re-invent the wheel? 

 

Yeah that was kinda my point with ED doing some "base" version possibly and letting 3rd parties mod it. IDK if thats really practical though. 

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8 hours ago, upyr1 said:

How much code do the developers share?

 

None. There is ED, that develops the API for the general DCS environment, which 3rd parties can then access, but when it comes to the actual aircraft development, there is pretty much no code sharing at all AFAIK. The devs are competing businesses, who compete for the same customers, so this is not suprising.

That's another reason why I think it would be a very bad idea to have multiple devs working on variants of the same aircraft, as a lot of the same systems would have to be developed by each developer on their own, which would be a waste of ressources. And it would lead to the community fighting over which developer has coded which system better and why the other developer(s) do such a shite job in comparison...


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10 hours ago, QuiGon said:

 

None. There is ED, that develops the API for the general DCS environment, which 3rd parties can then access, but when it comes to the actual aircraft development, there is pretty much no code sharing at all AFAIK. The devs are competing businesses, who compete for the same customers, so this is not suprising.

That's another reason why I think it would be a very bad idea to have multiple devs working on variants of the same aircraft, as a lot of the same systems would have to be developed by each developer on their own, which would be a waste of ressources. And it would lead to the community fighting over which developer has coded which system better and why the other developer(s) do such a shite job in comparison...

 

IMHO the Phantom is defiantly one plane that should should consider adjusting things so likening code is done b default. I'm wondering if anyone from ED can chime in on this subject

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On 2/6/2021 at 10:29 PM, TLTeo said:

The L-39, C-101 and Spitfire all have different variants. The upcoming Mirage F-1 will as well.

 

 

Uh... two simple trainers, a warbird, will likely be massively simpler to develop than a Phantom of any variant. Actually, just getting enough documentation for the Phantom could prove it's undoing.

 

And a single seat strike jet product that's not finished? Look, if the Mirage was a product we could buy now, fly it today, in multiple variants, then I'd agree with your assertion. But it's not yet ready. And developer promises don't always materialize, the multi-variants might not happen. Is there a truly dramatic difference between the various proposed variants of F-1, or is it relatively minor changes in onboard mission computers and cockpit layout?  Or is it significantly different like an F-4B compared to an F-4E, that likely would be similar effort to building a whole new module?

 

Look, I'm just saying that getting ANY module in DCS is a minor miracle, expecting 31 flavors of a specific airframe is... well, I think unlikely, even for a popular jet like the Phantom!

 

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Consider that once one Phantom module is available, developing more variants results in "diminishing returns" for sales. Even if every one of us in this thread are enthusiastic to buy every single variant of Phantom at significant expense, many DCS players may not even buy even one. Or maybe buy one variant and ignore the rest. So a lot of work goes in for very few more sales. 

 

But I do hope we get a Navy carrier version (like a J ?), and an E gunfighter. I'd pay for both those!

 


Edited by Rick50
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33 minutes ago, Rick50 said:

Is there a truly dramatic difference between the various proposed variants of F-1, or is it relatively minor changes in onboard mission computers and cockpit layout?  Or is it significantly different like an F-4B compared to an F-4E, that likely would be similar effort to building a whole new module?

They are extremely different in both avionics and cockpit layout. Just check the thread in the 3rd party section, they have shown completed cockpits for both the C and M variants. I agree that the project isn't close to be done though, but it looks very mature compared to, say, everything Razbam.

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Well fair enough!  I just wonder how much effort would be required to make say 3 or more variants of the Phantom, compared to how much sales they would realistically generate.  I do think one or two Phantoms would sell... but 3 through 6 variants? I doubt it would make more than 5% more sales than say a J and E combo module would.

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I would imagine that doing an J and an S or alternatively a B and an N wouldn't be too difficult to do-ish.

 

And I'll still stand by that at probably minimum, we should see either a J or an S and an E Block 53- and preferably variants from the 70s, going beyond that, the F-4M.

 

But yes, if you look at the Aerges forum on the Mirage F1, it is maturing nicely it seems, though we've only really seen 3D work - we haven't seen any avionics working - particularly the RADAR which in the F1EE should have an A/G mode (or rather they all should AFAIK) - hopefully employing some form of raycasting.


Edited by Northstar98

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See that's what I'm saying. Making 3D models of the airframe, that's good. It's nicer to see a beautiful accurate cockpit. But... it's the radar systems, the fire control systems and switches, the hidden workings, that seem to be the most time consuming, the most difficult to get working well and acurate to real life. 

 

For instance, look at Razbam. Tons of models that look beautiful. Yet they still get complaints about the three aircraft they finished years ago. None of those complaints are about the exterior model, nor the cockpit model... the complaints are about this system behaving this way instead of that, about how this doesn't work like the flight manual says it should. Similar complaints exist about the Gazelle flight handling. And that's for released modules. And no, I don't want to pick on either company, just illustrating the real world difficulty of bringing a module to sell to the public. Nor do I want to minimize the incredible work of these 3D artists! But it's seemingly really not an easy thing to do for a single variant of anything. Takes time, patience, loads of documentation and subject matter experts (will be fewer and fewer of these for the older aircraft. I'm not seeing many Phantoms in flying condition the way say Warbirds have several generations of new pilots. Probably too expensive per hour of flight time to run a Phantom compared to even a Mitchel or Flying Fortress).

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Just now, Rick50 said:

Consider that once one Phantom module is available, developing more variants results in "diminishing returns" for sales. Even if every one of us in this thread are enthusiastic to buy every single variant of Phantom at significant expense, many DCS players may not even buy even one. Or maybe buy one variant and ignore the rest. So a lot of work goes in for very few more sales. But I do hope we get a Navy carrier version (like a J ?), and an E gunfighter. I'd pay for both those!

Diminishing returns is a risk as the possibility the project is going to be too big. Diminishing returns is the main argument against different companies doing different models. Anyhow the one question which any developer would have to determine is how much would the code differ for the various F-4 models. The only way I could see multiple modules working out, would be if we got discounts. The only way multiple developers would work out is if the developers licensed out code and we still got the discounts.  Any speculation over how many modules is worthless with out first known the answer to the simple question- how much code could be reused. 

 

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I think for this aircraft, it would have to be either ED because of their experience and resources, or Heatblur because of their familiarity and experience on the Tomcat doing a complex multi-crew with backseater AI.  I'd pay a lot for an E and J, but that's me. Or maybe a colaboration between these two companies, dividing the various tasks between them (painting and art by one, the fire controls, flight dynamics and systems by the other?)

 

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1 hour ago, Northstar98 said:

RADAR which in the F1EE should have an A/G mode

I think almost all Spanish F1s Had Cyrano IVM, so in theory should be mostly similar, though it appears there were still updates throughout the service life of Mirage.

There's some cool info here, but since I don't speak Spanish, had to read it with Google Translate: http://fdra-aereo.blogspot.com/2013/04/cazabombarderos-los-mirage-f1-espanoles.html

 

As for the variants and diminishing returns, in case of F-4, as I've said many times, experience and features offered by different years/variants are so different, doing only one will inevitably end up with fans of the other kind of experience stomping their feet and not getting the module 😛 I for one, *need* F-4E Block 53 or 58, but would probably also get a naval one after that one too, but if we only get a naval Phantom, I'll get it on a 50%+ sale at some point, perhaps. For others, it is the other way around. Phantom is one of the rare cases where multiple variants seem very desirable for community. However, given the differences, I don't know if amount of shared development be enough to make it feasible for developers, I certainly hope they are.

Quite honestly though, while I would love for as many variants as possible to be a thing, I don't see more than 2, or 2.5 (3rd one being a similar/slightly older/newer version of one) being likely, if that.

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6 minutes ago, WinterH said:

I think almost all Spanish F1s Had Cyrano IVM, so in theory should be mostly similar, though it appears there were still updates throughout the service life of Mirage.

 

Yeah I goofed, thanks for the clear-up.

 

6 minutes ago, WinterH said:

As for the variants and diminishing returns, in case of F-4, as I've said many times, experience and features offered by different years/variants are so different, doing only one will inevitably end up with fans of the other kind of experience stomping their feet and not getting the module 😛 I for one, *need* F-4E Block 53 or 58, but would probably also get a naval one after that one too, but if we only get a naval Phantom, I'll get it on a 50%+ sale at some point, perhaps. For others, it is the other way around. Phantom is one of the rare cases where multiple variants seem very desirable for community. However, given the differences, I don't know if amount of shared development be enough to make it feasible for developers, I certainly hope they are.

Quite honestly though, while I would love for as many variants as possible to be a thing, I don't see more than 2, or 2.5 (3rd one being a similar/slightly older/newer version of one) being likely, if that.

 

Agreed.

 

As I've said before, the F-4E (at least block 53), and the S or J are essential, and then the M or K (but would prefer M) would be a nice-to-have, alongside maybe the F. There are obviously a few others. 

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3 hours ago, Rick50 said:

See that's what I'm saying. Making 3D models of the airframe, that's good. It's nicer to see a beautiful accurate cockpit. But... it's the radar systems, the fire control systems and switches, the hidden workings, that seem to be the most time consuming, the most difficult to get working well and acurate to real life. 

 

For instance, look at Razbam. Tons of models that look beautiful. Yet they still get complaints about the three aircraft they finished years ago. None of those complaints are about the exterior model, nor the cockpit model... the complaints are about this system behaving this way instead of that, about how this doesn't work like the flight manual says it should. Similar complaints exist about the Gazelle flight handling. And that's for released modules. And no, I don't want to pick on either company, just illustrating the real world difficulty of bringing a module to sell to the public. Nor do I want to minimize the incredible work of these 3D artists! But it's seemingly really not an easy thing to do for a single variant of anything. Takes time, patience, loads of documentation and subject matter experts (will be fewer and fewer of these for the older aircraft. I'm not seeing many Phantoms in flying condition the way say Warbirds have several generations of new pilots. Probably too expensive per hour of flight time to run a Phantom compared to even a Mitchel or Flying Fortress).

 

Yup, this is the problem. IMO any talented 3d guy or group can make a DCS plane. But you need a good team of coders to make it work. That being said Aereges at least has the C101 under their belt so they kinda have a clue coding and FM wise. I'm still laughing about the A7 team that was like yeah, we'll bang one out in 8 months, be done in late 2020. 

 

As for an F4, yeah the worry is we get one or at best 2 variants... Which kinda sucks since there were soo many different ones.

 

And yes I'm the guy thats pissed we have 1 f16 and 1 f18, and doubly so that they are from 200x...

 

 


Edited by Harlikwin
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52 minutes ago, Harlikwin said:

I'm still laughing about the A7 team that was like yeah, we'll bang one out in 8 months, be done in late 2020. 

Still a more realistic estimate than anything Razbam does 😛

 

On a serious note, yes I do agree on diminishing returns. I think DCS has a bit of room to explore DLC or packs or whatever you want to call it, where maybe two variants of an aircraft are available for 60 dollars each, but if you get one variant, the second is off by 30 dollars, up to 40 during sales, or something. I can see that working quite well for all of these cases where we would like to have multiple variants of the same aircraft, but they are so different it's very tough to pack them in just one release.

 

Beyond existing modules, the F-104 is also a widely requested aircraft that would work well like that, since the C, G and S (let's face it, the A makes no sense) are very different and could appeal to a few different crowds.


Edited by TLTeo
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See, in the past I guess I didn't realise that the Phantoms had really significant differences in the computers and cockpits between variants, but knowing this now, it becomes an issue for a developer aiming for very high realism.

 

Not that it's really the correct thread for it, but I too would love to see the '104 Starfighter as well!  There's a thread that shows just how good that might look in DCS, as a forum member paints a '104  3rd party AI to an amazing level of artistry:

 

Again, this is AI not "flyable" with full fidelity that we would expect... but check this beauty!!!

 

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On 2/10/2021 at 4:44 PM, Harlikwin said:

 

I mean that would be great. But how would it work. You pay for the "module" and get all of them (probably the best case IMO). And which ones would be included, which ones would be first. I mean there is no way they are going to do ALL of them. At best you'd get 1 or 2 navy phantoms, 1-2 USAF phantoms. And maaaybe 1 or 2 foreign variants like the brit ones and maybe the germans. Thats still 6 frikkin planes, which while cool for the low low price of 79.99 or whatnot, I think at some point they would loose interest or money on it.

I figure this is why the F-4 Phantom II is taking so long. A multiple version pack where all the definitive blocks are covered will be biting off more than they want to chew, multiple modules will mean the possibility of diminishing returns.  I just hope that we can at least get AI  B,C,D and Js

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oh, and don't just look at the thumbnail pic, click on it for the webpage with a great many hi rez screens of these incredible beauties!!  It would be wonderful to have Phantoms and Starfighters streak across a virtual European sky hunting for lost Migs!!!  Especially Migs in multiplayer who know BFM !!  

 

Long time ago I flew a few VIRTUAL Phantoms (am not a pilot!!)  in... uh, I think it was called "project 1" or something. For some reason, almost certainly my poor BFM skills, I got the impression that the Phantom was heavy and sluggish... yet accounts from actual pilots suggest it was a powerhouse and pretty decent at doing maneuvers. I was probably just trying to wrench the thing around at high AOA and being disapointed at the inevitable energy dump that caused! I'm guessing I probably needed a lot more discipline to get the best out of that sim! It seemed to fly well by the retail sims of the time, but years later a civilian sim featured the Phantom (Navy variant) as one of many included default aircraft and that seemed to fly a LOT more like what I thought this glorious legend might... but honestly I haven't really got a clue. 

 

A very long time ago I read a good book about the Phantom's fight over South East Asia, called Scream of Eagles. I don't recall much from it, think I read it 30 years ago, but it was good. I think it was basically descriptions of many of the dogfights between Phantoms and Migs in that war, who spotted who, what positions were they in, the fluid nature of the tactics the Phantom driver was thinking of employing, and how it worked out:

 

Image result for scream of eagles


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So, brand new to DCS: World, and came across this topic as I was looking for info on a module for an F-4.

 

I've worked in software long enough to know that developers have to balance the time and effort (and therefore money) required to develop a product vs the projected revenue the product will generate.  Add in the fact that any time spent on such a project is time not spent on some other possible revenue generating work, or even necessary non-revenue generating work such as bug fixes. So, while there is definitely demand for the F-4 and while I'd love to see a variety of F-4 variants, I just don't see it happening. Once you factor in that purchasers are going to want a useful AI back-seater, which is going to have to operate differently for each type, I don't see how they can offer multiple variants at the cost of a single mod, or even necessarily develop multiple variants each at the cost of a full mod each. Would they get enough purchases of less popular variants to pay for development, and how could they encourage people to purchase those variants that may not be their favorite?

 

That having been said, if I was picking variants, given that Vietnam was where the F-4 made its name, so I'd like to have a US Navy version (J), and a US Air Force (D or E) version. And given how many other variants there are, I'd like to see at least one more, maybe an F-4K or F-4M, and finally maybe some other version TBD, such as a late E. Now, how to pay for it all, I'm not sure.  Maybe offer some graduated discount structure, where the first is at full price, the 2nd is at 75% and the 3rd is at 50% when purchased together.

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4 hours ago, Triple-R said:

So, brand new to DCS: World, and came across this topic as I was looking for info on a module for an F-4.

Once you factor in that purchasers are going to want a useful AI back-seater, which is going to have to operate differently for each type, I don't see how they can offer multiple variants at the cost of a single mod, or even necessarily develop multiple variants each at the cost of a full mod each.

I don't see why the AI-GIB would have to operate differently for each type.  The only differences between a RIO (Navy/USMC) and a WSO (USAF) WSOs were more likely to use guided Air to ground weapons and they could at least on paper fly the plane (I've heard air to air refueling was easier to do from the back of a USAF Phanotm). the F-4 isn't the only two seat fighter which people might be interested in. We already have an IA GIB right now, Jester. I don't know what the licenses with Heat Blur is like right now but I think it would be a good move if ED licensed Jester  as the standard AI GIB.

 

 

 

Quote

Would they get enough purchases of less popular variants to pay for development, and how could they encourage people to purchase those variants that may not be their favorite? That having been said, if I was picking variants, given that Vietnam was where the F-4 made its name, so I'd like to have a US Navy version (J), and a US Air Force (D or E) version.

 

One issue that would always need to be kept in mind, is how much do the different models actually differ.  From there any road map can be made.


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4 hours ago, Triple-R said:

So, brand new to DCS: World, and came across this topic as I was looking for info on a module for an F-4.

 

I've worked in software long enough to know that developers have to balance the time and effort (and therefore money) required to develop a product vs the projected revenue the product will generate.

I am not brand new in DCS, been using it for a little over 7 years (holy crap the time goes by...), but I have also worked in software long enough. There are ways to make that work in DCS, and we are coming rapidly to a point where multiple variants are very desirable. Devs can choose two variants that will share some components for example, and would need tweaking instead of building from scratch when it comes to other things like flight models. Then, offer additional variant to owners of original variant 50%+ discount, but sell it full price to who didn't own any other versions etc. This way additional revenue can be made for relatively little effort/time compared to another aircraft from scratch.

 

The reason some people including myself are semi-insisting for more than one F-4 variants is that, you simply can't please with one when it comes to F-4. Your idea for example, Vietnam is where F-4 made its name, is true enough. But I personally don't care an iota about a Vietnam F-4 unless it is in addition to an 80s or at least late 70s one. Similarly, if we get an F-4, but it isn't F-4E Block 53 or 58, but it is a naval F-4, again, we may as well not get one as far as I am concerned. And others feel exactly the opposite way I'm sure... some want Vietnam birds, others want later birds to represent a strike fighter and its worldwide service. Some want an air force bird with internal gun, smart munitions, targeting pods, others want naval aviation phantoms and their look down capable radars. Phantom is a bird that offer many, many flavors in its different versions, but is also secretly rather divisive in that one period/variant will not do anything for fans of the other. We'll either get latest-greatest of production variants, which happens to be the variant I like anyway, but that will not please a lot of others, or we will get a naval variant that will be alien to great majority of F-4 operators and conflicts they took part in. And that one will not please a lot of others as well.

 

Spanish studio Aerges is coming with Mirage F1 and they are planning to do 4 variants in a single module, without even additional payments. Granted, they are not as different among one another as F-4E vs F-4S or any early F-4 vs any late F-4. Well the final variant they wil do, F1M is still considerably different anyway. We also have had modules with two versions that feature different cockpits, systems, even engines: L-39C & ZA, C-101EB & CC, F-14B & A-135GR early & A-135GR late & A-95GR etc. We have also had cases of owners of one module getting a discount for other, or get discounted bundles of two etc. I do think, and hope, that the situation is ripe for multiple versions of F-4, at least 2 I'd hope.

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Wishlist: F-4E Block 53 +, MiG-27K, Su-17M3 or M4, AH-1F or W circa 80s or early 90s

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1 hour ago, upyr1 said:

I don't see why the AI-GIB would have to operate differently for each type.  The only differences between a RIO (Navy/USMC) and a WSO (USAF) WSOs were more likely to use guided Air to ground weapons and they could at least on paper fly the plane (I've heard air to air refueling was easier to do from the back of a USAF Phanotm). the F-4 isn't the only two seat fighter which people might be interested in. We already have an IA GIB right now, Jester. I don't know what the licenses with Heat Blur is like right now but I think it would be a good move if ED licensed Jester  as the standard AI GIB.

 

 

 

Yeah IDK how much the backseat work differs. But you start with one model and do it, and do your best to reuse the code for the second one.

 

Frankly we have no idea how jester actually "works" or how sophisticated it is an AI (frankly jester mostly sucks IMO). I also don't see ED licensing code from HB, or other 3rd parties. Nor do I see HB licensing it to other 3rd parties.

 

In fact, ED looks to just be making their own API for it with "Drunk Gunner Ivan" for the Mi24. So hopefully that will develop into a standardized product.

 


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