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Instructor Mode?


frostycab
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Apologies if this has cropped up before.

 

Now that shared cockpits have been available for a while and most of the kinks ironed out, I would love to see DCS include the ability for an instructor to sit in any aircraft in order to really help new pilots get to grips with the systems.

 

For example, I recently tried to help a friend get used to the basics of BVR and ACM in the Hornet, using a simple mission with drone targets. We flew in close formation in the hopes that he would see virtually the same picture I had, but trying to get things matched up (range, elevation, mode, target designation etc.) proved to be quite hard.

 

It would be great if we could have an "instructor" slot for single-crew aircraft that would allow you to sit in the pilot seat with the student, enabling you to see his switches and displays so that you can give meaningful help when they're struggling with something.

 

Is this something that ED has considered, or might consider in the future?

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People have been calling for this for a while actually, particularly using the actual training versions of the specific aircraft (like the D model hornet or Falcon). The F-15E will probably end up being a decent 'instructor' aircraft since the GIB has mirror controls and can fly the plane if necessary

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While some planes allow this (dedicated trainers like the C101, Albatros), and the Huey and Gazelle (kind of on the Gazelle) allow Pilot/Co-Pilot), a savvy user recently pointed me to a different but easy approach (since usually, this kind of flying is only required for a couple of hours): use Skype or some other screen sharing-enabled product and talk your colleague through what you see. Not ideal, agreed, but it does work (if you have the bandwidth and processing power), and very soon you two can fly as two separate planes

 

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51 minutes ago, cfrag said:

While some planes allow this (dedicated trainers like the C101, Albatros), and the Huey and Gazelle (kind of on the Gazelle) allow Pilot/Co-Pilot), a savvy user recently pointed me to a different but easy approach (since usually, this kind of flying is only required for a couple of hours): use Skype or some other screen sharing-enabled product and talk your colleague through what you see. Not ideal, agreed, but it does work (if you have the bandwidth and processing power), and very soon you two can fly as two separate planes

 

 

Although doing this leads to someone inevitably screaming "YOU'RE OTHER LEFT!" as the new pilot frantically looks around the cockpit for the one switch his instructor is telling him to find.

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7 hours ago, cfrag said:

use Skype or some other screen sharing-enabled product and talk your colleague through what you see.

 

  The instructor thing is a good idea, although this is probably even better, as it eliminates not being sure what the student is looking at. I've used Steam and Skype both for streaming, and it is really good for this sort of thing.

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Skype is an option I guess. While I appreciate that you can kind of teach in the dedicated training aircraft, I'm talking about being sat on the pilot's lap while still being able to look around as if you were flying yourself. Being able to see his whole cockpit from his perspective would be such a great aid when teaching the more complex systems. All it would take in the 2-seater aircraft would be moving the second viewpoint's centered position, or adding another position to the single-seaters. You wouldn't even need any control sharing, just the ability to observe.

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It’s an interesting idea but it’s amazing that people would need this much handholding.

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On 6/8/2021 at 4:58 PM, SharpeXB said:

It’s an interesting idea but it’s amazing that people would need this much handholding.

You are amazed at how people actually learn how to fly aircraft? That, if anything, is amazing. How can you play a flight simulator and not be familiar with such utterly fundamental and blindingly obvious facts? 😄

 

Obviously this should be a thing in a game that likes to label itself as a study sim.


Edited by Tippis
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It is sometimes difficult for we 20 or 30+ year simmers to appreciate just how overwhelmed someone new to DCS and simming can be . I'm all in favor of any methodology to make that transition easier .

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On 6/8/2021 at 3:58 PM, SharpeXB said:

It’s an interesting idea but it’s amazing that people would need this much handholding.

I don't find it amazing at all. At times I've found myself trying to help people who are partially-sighted make sense of what they're trying to do, and without seeing how they've got their cockpit and displays set up it's bloody hard. I've tried to help people ranging from 70+ years old down to about 13, meaning I've dealt with learners who sometimes aren't quite "all there" down to those who haven't tried anything more complex than Animal Crossing. 

 

For anyone relatively new to flight sims DCS has a huge learning curve, and many people find it hard to tab out of the sim and trawl through a 500-page manual to find the one footnote that explains what they're doing wrong, especially when they don't even know the right name for the switch they need to flip. The ability to let a student see what an instructor is doing in real time and vice versa would be such a boon.

 

To me it can sometimes be amazing that some people need dozens of driving lessons before they manage to pass their driving tests, especially as I was lucky enough to do it with 7 or 8, but it doesn't change the fact that some do need the extra guidance.

 

I'm not suggesting that ED need to make shared controls available in every plane, but just let us sit there and watch, natively, without having to resort to things like Skype to work out why someone isn't able to IFF the bandit you're practicing on, or if they're looking in totally the wrong place with their TGP. 

 

ED announced a massive incentive for new players today. If we can help them make sense of things before they get disheartened and give up then its going to be good for all of us. 🙂

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It’s a good idea, it just amazes me that people need so much help. Honestly at some point in learning anything, a sport or skill or whatever. You need to put in some personal effort. I got the A-10C on a Steam sale and read the manual on my iPhone. I knew nothing whatsoever about aircraft at all. But I figured it out. This is actually a game. It’s ok to screw up a lot. In the real world it takes a lot of serious instruction to teach someone to handle a firearm or drive a car. In a game? No so much…


Edited by SharpeXB
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You really don't need 2 seater or the ability to sit in some ones lap to be able to teach in DCS, you will only use it for few hours and then what? you want ED to model all that stuff for few hours of use,

you can use discord stream, they can even pause the game so you have time to explain, they can pause the game to watch a youtube video on how to do a specific task (there is a vid on just about anything in DCS), they can even Active Pause (which will stop the world around them but not the pilot or their plane) so they have all the time in the world to place that TGP or Mav crosshair on the target etc etc, pilots in real life don't have those options, that's why they have 2 seat aircraft.

 

As Sharpe said, its amazing how much hand holding is needed to learn something, you really need some personal effort, I learned my self using youtube and manual and google etc, and I've learned how to use the planes that I fly, I learned how to Air to Air refuel, how to land on a carrier etc and so can they, its not science fiction, all that takes practice ofc.

trust me with holding hands like that you are not helping them in the long term, they will need your hand again and again.

 

In my opinion its better to teach them how to use the resources they have available to them and the human race, for example how to use youtube in combination with "pause" or "active pause". This may be a little harsh for some people, and I really don't want to offend anyone, but this is reality.

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2 hours ago, Furiz said:

As Sharpe said, its amazing how much hand holding is needed to learn something, you really need some personal effort, I learned my self using youtube and manual and google etc, and I've learned how to use the planes that I fly, I learned how to Air to Air refuel, how to land on a carrier etc and so can they, its not science fiction, all that takes practice ofc.

trust me with holding hands like that you are not helping them in the long term, they will need your hand again and again.

😄 Trust me, holding hands is exactly what is needed for long-term learning. It's why this kind of hand-holding is the universal standard for how every good learning process is managed: because it's needed, because it works, and because it is immensely effective. Learning on your own is a good way to learn the wrong thing and to impart all kinds of training scars that take ages to repair after the fact.

 

What you do on your own is to repeat the things you have been taught, but it will never be a good way of actually learning them. When you say that you learned using youtube, guess what? You were simply employing a vastly inferior variant of the same methodology.

 

It is not really  amazing in any way. It's as bog-standard, common, and natural as anything can be, simply because it is just a reflect of how all learning works. What would be amazing is if it wasn't needed for this one thing, for some unfathomable reason… but as it is, it's needed here the same as everywhere else. And since it's so universally applicable, it is also not something that would just see a few hours use — it's something you can (and indeed should) come back to over and over again as you transition to new aircraft and as you transition from learning to teaching. If anything, it's amazing how common a philosophy it is that, just because I had to learn the hard, inefficient way, everyone else has to suffer as well, so let's do everything we can not to make the lives of newbies any easier, ever. 😄 

 

2 hours ago, Furiz said:

This may be a little harsh for some people, and I really don't want to offend anyone, but this is reality.

The reality is that you're suggesting the exact same thing, only a much much worse implementation.


Edited by Tippis
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It is amazing how wrong you are ;D

 

Just one question, is the instructor certified to be teaching in specific plane?

If he is what is he doing in DCS, he should be teaching real pilots, if not how is he any better than youtube?

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2 hours ago, Furiz said:

It is amazing how wrong you are ;D

How so?

 

2 hours ago, Furiz said:

Just one question, is the instructor certified to be teaching in specific plane?

That's not actually relevant, now is it?

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3 minutes ago, Tippis said:

How so?

 

That's not actually relevant, now is it?

 

Ofc it is relevant, you are trying to say that your instructor is better than youtube, so how is he better than youtube? is he certified for the plane?

I mean you cant just make fun of something or some one with no backup or no references at all.

So I'm asking what are your claims based on? Are you a certified instructor? Or you are a long time player that has learned to fly and use the plane how? some instructor taught you or?

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Just now, Furiz said:

Ofc it is relevant, you are trying to say that your instructor is better than youtube, so how is he better than youtube? is he certified for the plane?

He's better because he's there, not just recorded. Being certified is not a factor in that.

 

Just now, Furiz said:

So I'm asking what are your claims based on? Are you a certified instructor?

Yes. Now answer my question, please.

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2 hours ago, Furiz said:

It is amazing how wrong you are ;D

 

Just one question, is the instructor certified to be teaching in specific plane?

If he is what is he doing in DCS, he should be teaching real pilots, if not how is he any better than youtube?

This has nothing to do with being certified. As for Youtube, I think most people hate having to constantly tab out of the sim to keep checking videos. As I said before, DCS has an extremely steep learning curve which can put off new players. When I first dipped my toe into it after many years flying complex airliners in FSX I didn't have the patience to learn it on my own, and online resources at the time were few and far between. As a result I walked away from it for about 2 years before I gritted my teeth and tried again.

 

I'm not a programmer. I have no idea if this is something that would be easy or hard to implement. I confess, in my mind I kind of thought all they'd need to do would be to reuse part of the code from the existing MP aircraft, but I know its not that simple. Yes, streaming your game is an option, but as daft as is it sounds there are a lot of people who simply don't have the bandwidth to stream or screen-share, myself included.

 

It seems like this is a really divisive subject, and it disappoints me that even floating an idea for a new tool that could help new players could meet with opposition not from ED but from experienced players. Honestly, I'm not looking for an argument. I just know that its something that friends and I have constantly discussed when doing training flights with newbies.

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24 minutes ago, Tippis said:

He's better because he's there, not just recorded. Being certified is not a factor in that.

 

Yes. Now answer my question, please.

You didn't say which plane, but now I know you are not, cause you'd say the plane and year you got the certificate etc...

 

You are wrong because this is not real world, it is a simulation on a computer, you don't need a live instructor because you can pause the game at any time and review the correct procedure for a specific thing you are trying to do, you are not in a real jet. If you crash you wont really die, you can respawn in a new jet, if you drop a bomb on a wrong building no civilians will get hurt. if you click the wrong switch nothing bad will happen, you can always restart, no dmg no extra repair cost nothing, just a little bit more time.

For all the switches in any plane there is a video, you can watch those videos together with your student and you can point out the faults in the video.

There is stream that you can set up and see what ever your student sees, there is endless possibilities rather than modeling a 2 seater or doing work so you can watch what your student is doing, when you can what your student is doing by other means.

 


Edited by Furiz
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38 minutes ago, Furiz said:

You are wrong because this is not real world,

And how does that make me wrong? Just because you can pause and review (which you can in the real world as well, by the way), doesn't mean that having an instructor doesn't make the learning process massively more efficient. It may affect the solo repetition part of the process (depending on exactly what process you're trying to learn), but that's a separate part of the learning process as a whole. And if even more of that solo process was turned into direct tutelage, it would be even better (but there is a balance to be struck there, and both the real and the simulated world will put a restriction on the availability of the instructor).

 

Quote

For all the switches in any plane there is a video, you can watch those videos together with your student and you can point out the faults in the video.

…and in none of those videos, you can turn to the lecturer and ask “Hey, why is that, and what's that over there, and why when I did this did it not happen like when you did it? Why is the ground approaching at a rather precipitous speed at the moment?” while following along with what is being taught.

 

For the purpose of instructing a student, an instructor can do things a lecturer can't even dream of. An interpreter to a lecturer is not much of an improvement over that base lecture.

 

Quote

There is stream that you can set up and see what ever your student sees, there is endless possibilities rather than modeling a 2 seater or doing work so you can watch what your student is doing

Good news. No-one is asking for the former, and the latter is in large part already in the game. It's effectively how tracks replays work. Hell, it's almost how multiplayer works as it is. The only piece that is missing is a way to view that data stream live, in real-time, alongside the pilot. That doesn't require anything in the way of bandwidth or setting up streaming services, or having to devote resources to parallel render capture, or any of that — it is just a viewer for data that is already being recorded and sent by the game.

 

e: Oh, and you asked for the basis of these claims.

I would suggest starting with Nonaka & Takeuchi (1995) on the general issue of transferring tacit (and explicit, for that matter) knowledge. Maybe a bit of Gibbs (2010) on transferable skills, although that's more academic in nature. You can also wade your way through 45 years worth of SHE articles, or almost 40 years of HER&D articles, but that's just for a general orientation of the publications that immediately come to mind. I can comb through the dungeon library if you want more.

 

  

38 minutes ago, Furiz said:

You didn't say which plane, but now I know you are not

Lol no, you know nothing. But I now know with increasing certainty that you have absolutely nothing in terms of an actual argument in favour of your position since you have to resort to ad hominem and red herring fallacies in a massively desperate attempt to try to disparage what I wrote, not because of what is actually written, but because it was written by me, as if that made even the slightest bit of difference. I'm sad to have to be the one to tell you this, but it doesn't. The only reason why you'd try this is because you can't actually argue the point I made.

 

And even if your lack of logic were even relevant, it still wouldn't matter for the reasons given — reasons that you have yet to address.

 

 

50 minutes ago, frostycab said:

It seems like this is a really divisive subject, and it disappoints me that even floating an idea for a new tool that could help new players could meet with opposition not from ED but from experienced players.

You'll find that a lot here. The hazing culture is strong in most sim circles, and DCS is no different: if the old guard had to suffer, the new one must as well… and preferably, there would be no new guard at all. You'll have no trouble going through suggestions for improvements to the game, and especially improvements that would make it more popular or palatable to a wider audience, be shot down for no other reason than exactly because it would make it more popular and palatable.

 

In particular, proper teaching and learning assistance tools are somehow utter anathema to a subset of posting regulars, which seems a bit at odds with the notion that this game is meant to be both a study sim and an approachable entertainment product. For double bonus fun, try to keep track of how often they flip-flop between saying that something shouldn't be in “because it's not realistic and this is a study sim” and it shouldn't be in “because it's just a game, so who cares if that's how it's done in the real world”: 😄


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  • 4 weeks later...

I requested this very thing many moons ago. It would be so very useful. I went so far as to also request to have the "instructor" have a pointer that the trainee can see to assist in instructing. I think it would be a real boon for DCS.

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On 6/11/2021 at 6:36 PM, Svsmokey said:

It is sometimes difficult for we 20 or 30+ year simmers to appreciate just how overwhelmed someone new to DCS and simming can be . I'm all in favor of any methodology to make that transition easier .

 

To this I agree. I still say the best option is to have training versions of specific aircraft where possible, and most importantly, some actual flight training aircraft that come with the game (IE, aircraft built to teach people how to fly, for free). They don't have to be anything more complex then a two-seat crop duster for all I care, just so long as a new player can understand the basic fundamentals of getting their plane in the air and flying around before you start teaching them how to use all these complex systems that most aircraft of the last 50+yrs are packed with.

 

I just wish certain people would understand that we're not all Captain Eric Melrose "Winkle" Brown after all, most people can't learn how to fly a plane by just flipping through the manual like Johnny 5, many need time to learn, try, and apply, and then move into the aircraft they want to fly for real.

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I think more practically. You can already just fly along in spectator mode and talk to the V-Pilot through voice chat. 

 

Being able to basically sit with the pilot in the cockpit at the same time would have two fold advantages.

 

1) No need to modify any aircraft for it to work. It would simply be a different kind of spectator mode.

 

2) Both V-pilot and instructor can see the exact same thing at the exact same time. Both could point to things in the cockpit to help ask questions and give instructions and training. This is something you will never be able to do in a trainer aircraft.

 

I know it's not realistic, but it's supposed to be tool for helping people learn to fly and operate aircraft in DCS, and not be DCS - Flight Training Simulator.

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19 hours ago, Captain Orso said:

I think more practically. You can already just fly along in spectator mode and talk to the V-Pilot through voice chat. 

 

Being able to basically sit with the pilot in the cockpit at the same time would have two fold advantages.

 

1) No need to modify any aircraft for it to work. It would simply be a different kind of spectator mode.

 

2) Both V-pilot and instructor can see the exact same thing at the exact same time. Both could point to things in the cockpit to help ask questions and give instructions and training. This is something you will never be able to do in a trainer aircraft.

 

I know it's not realistic, but it's supposed to be tool for helping people learn to fly and operate aircraft in DCS, and not be DCS - Flight Training Simulator.

 

You can do that with Discord Stream.

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Posted (edited)

Thanks for the reply, Furiz!

 

45 minutes ago, Furiz said:

 

You can do that with Discord Stream.

 

You can be an independent camera view with a pointer that the V-pilot can see? 😮 Or do you mean, the V-pilot can share his display?

 

You can do that with any number of video conferencing apps - Skype, Zoom, etc. - without having to be on someone's Discord page. A quick search for discord screen share results in many reports of extreme lag while playing games, so that doesn't sound like a viable solution.

 

Additionally, it might also cause a performance hit on the Discord channel, which certainly wouldn't be welcome by the channel owner. Will everyone on the server be able to access the screen share? That will definitely cause many players to reject using it. I've heard too many talk about how they don't want others to see their training, because they are embarrassed and afraid of being ridiculed.

 

Baring technical/performance issues, I guess that could be used, but it would not be terribly user friendly, because the instructor would be restricted to viewing only exactly where the pilot is looking, including every head motion he makes (VR, TrackIR), which can quickly lead to motion sickness.

 

If the instructor could "be in" the pilots cockpit, the only traffic it would cause would be the current instrument settings being sent from the pilot's client to the instructor's. The instructor would already be in DCS and therefore be doing his own rendering, which should not be any different than when flying himself, thus very little, to no addition performance cost.

 

Instructor Mode™ would be native in DCS. No need for additional software, no or very little additional network load, no additional burden on foreign servers. A simple solution providing a large benefit.


Edited by Captain Orso
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