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Wags has talk about Whole world has incoming officialy to DCS on a last interview on PcPilot Magazine.

https://www.key.aero/article/dcs-world-infinity-and-beyond

 

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Cannot read the whole article without subscribing, any hints on what is said?

 

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"I went into the British Army believing that if you want peace you must prepare for war. I believe now that if you prepare for war, you get war."

-- Major-General Frederick B. Maurice

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I wonder if that will involve reshaping our current maps such that they'll fit on a sphere? I imagine the Marianas will probably be the most easiest.

Though switching over to a proper spherical coordinates system and a spherical map has been long overdue.


Edited by Northstar98
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17 hours ago, Ala13_ManOWar said:

Cannot read the whole article without subscribing, any hints on what is said?

In another thread about this topic some time ago, the author of the article stated that we can soon buy a digital copy of the magazine (just the one), without having any recurrent costs.

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2 hours ago, Raven (Elysian Angel) said:

In another thread about this topic some time ago, the author of the article stated that we can soon buy a digital copy of the magazine (just the one), without having any recurrent costs.

Cool!! Was looking for that option but found any.

 

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How is it going to work, because Syria map alone takes 60GB of space, so roughly Europe alone would take like 1200GB and that's being very optimistic, so it would take around 

200 000GB  to make the whole world with the same level of detail and for that we need 200x 1TB of m2 ssd drives which can cost around 2000euro. 😄

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Nobody knows yet out of ED how it'll work, but the reasonable thing, and if I remember something of what was talked in the past, would be low quality everywhere off the maps we have, similar to low quality textures we already find off the detailed areas, but farther away to the "infinite", plus coast lines, so no need for 2 petabyte of World textures and meshes though a World mesh would be nice to have in order to make those areas usable even in low quality.

But it's just conjecture until we know more.

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It might take a similar form to that of MSFS020... that is, as you fly to a new area, the terrain streams in onto your machine. Not as much hard drive space needed, but you'd need a darn good 'net connection.

 

It's probably a wee bit early to try and guess ED's sales strategy for such a product, it might be before they have even concluded a plan.

 

The future of ED and DCS, might need a global terrain system, not short term but for the long term. This way, all terrains from conflicts past present and future get represented. Fictional conflicts too.  The global map would help to make heavy long range bombers fully worthwhile, whether it's old Flying Fortresses or B-21 Raiders, Hustlers or Aardvarks and Backfires. It would also make it easier for campaign creators and mod makers to put new content into region-appropriate locations, instead of trying to make a map "resemble" a totally different place on the other side of the world!

 

A global map would also make advanced dynamic campaigns require more effort using cargo supplies brought to the front. Imagine Hercules flights being an integral part of a campaign plan. Or a possible future C-17 and Antonov maybe. 

 

A global map would make a LOT more sense for a future possible expansion of the complexity of true Naval operations, that might in future include a full sonar system, complete with ocean salinity and density layers, ASROC launchers, Sea Hawks, Los Angeles class subs, magnetic anomaly detection and simulation. As well as an even more detailed ocean weather simulation, with the vast of the sea.

 

Also, think of alll the bandwidth and time saved by no longer having map discussions on the ED boards! 

(joke!)

 

 

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35 minutes ago, Rick50 said:

that is, as you fly to a new area, the terrain streams in onto your machine. Not as much hard drive space needed, but you'd need a darn good 'net connection.

there is official info that it is not going to happen. But low res textures even without buildings and some simple forests is fine with me, as long as we have airfields around the world.

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2 hours ago, Peter5on said:

... But low res textures even without buildings and some simple forests is fine with me, as long as we have airfields around the world.

 

Hmm... yes. So basically the globe, in low detail. And you have "high detail maps" that you purchase, that get precisely placed. 

 

The benefit is very long range flights, though don't look too closely!  It also give them time to maybe eventually purchase/partner with a full detail global map, say 5 or 10 years from now, perhaps from a Bing competitor. Maybe Giggles or Yandecks or another new upstart?

 

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4 hours ago, Rick50 said:

It might take a similar form to that of MSFS020... that is, as you fly to a new area, the terrain streams in onto your machine. Not as much hard drive space needed, but you'd need a darn good 'net connection.

First thing coming to my mind is how Google Maps handles offline maps: you choose an area by dragging a rectangle on the map and this area gets downloaded. No one would probably need the whole damn world on his PC, just a certain area. So people could customize/balance their disc requirements.

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16 hours ago, Peter5on said:

But low res textures even without buildings and some simple forests is fine with me

That's fine if you stay above FL300, but not so much when flying helicopters...

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19 hours ago, Peter5on said:

How is it going to work, because Syria map alone takes 60GB of space, so roughly Europe alone would take like 1200GB and that's being very optimistic, so it would take around 

200 000GB  to make the whole world with the same level of detail and for that we need 200x 1TB of m2 ssd drives which can cost around 2000euro. 😄

By probably only including a low-detail map comprised mostly of autogen, with maybe generic airfields (though with the correct layouts), our current theatres would then replace the areas they cover.

Also, 70% of the planet is water, where the only thing we need at the very most is a semi-accurate depth-map with autogen clutter. Though yes, having the whole world to the high level of detail we get with our maps wouldn't be feasible from a storage perspective.

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I know this would be an uber-low likelihood scenario, but for the hard core squadrons imagine taking off from the States, tanking several times over the Atlantic etc ... then grouping up in Saudi Arabia and then prosecuting the war over that region. Or the other way to Korea if that's likely.

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10 minutes ago, C3PO said:

I know this would be an uber-low likelihood scenario, but for the hard core squadrons imagine taking off from the States, tanking several times over the Atlantic etc ... then grouping up in Saudi Arabia and then prosecuting the war over that region. Or the other way to Korea if that's likely.

Sure, I've tried doing operation Black Buck from Waddington in another, civilian simulator that really wasn't very suitable for it (not just in capability but performance), though I didn't plan on doing it all in one go (which would be rather ludicrous).

But likewise if people aren't interested in flying long distances, there's nothing stopping them from not doing that. I think it would be great to pick wherever you wanted fly, and I'm definitely interested in adopting a spherical coordinate system.


Edited by Northstar98
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Exactly - I've done four hour driving stints at Le Mans in another simulator ... just depends how real you want it to be.

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On 10/17/2021 at 9:50 PM, Peter5on said:

there is official info that it is not going to happen. But low res textures even without buildings and some simple forests is fine with me, as long as we have airfields around the world.

Agreed, not only is texture/world streaming a massive technological logistics challenge only silicon-valley cloud giants can afford, it's also not something hopefully the majority of DCS users really want or need for many reasons. It's already distracting if textures don't stream locally from Storage or even RAM to VRAM fast enough (or other CPU processing/programming bottlenecks), let alone from a variable and/or unreliable network connection.

Technically anytihng's possible and DCS could lease cloud-server providers but it would cost a fortune. It's a costly convenience feature without that much of a core gameplay value.

It's not that of a problem to have the Whole World with only the existing maps. While the core technology would need to be completely done and working, actual curvature and all the rest, then you don't need much of any world data, all it needs is low poly terrain and temporary textures in between the existing maps and it's enough for a first beta test, water is free because it's generated so it takes no time to develop, except shallows and coasts (and extras later), whole world is basically a giant water ball by default and then the terrain surface is inserted ontop.

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On 10/18/2021 at 7:07 AM, Northstar98 said:

Also, 70% of the planet is water, ...

 

So true... but as you point out, that 30% is absolutely HUGE, overwhelming amount of data for home recreation use at this time! 

But in our lifetimes that will change, and you'll eventually be able to pick out details of your friends' local parks, and the color of their car, anywhere in the world, look through windows to see your father watching the football match on the tele!  Just not today or next year in DCS... but in 5 or 10 years, maybe/probably...

 

Maybe a partnership with big-G, or a commercial sattelite company, or a mapping company...

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24 minutes ago, Rick50 said:

So true... but as you point out, that 30% is absolutely HUGE, overwhelming amount of data for home recreation use at this time!

Well, what would make the most sense is to have a lower-resolution mesh and satellite textures, with our current terrains overwriting the areas they cover.

Airbases could be made generic, just having the correct layout, and have buildings, forests etc controlled through autogen + landclass.

It wouldn't be brilliant, but it would be in line with what other simulators in the past have done.

The problem here is that we'll only have a few areas that are high resolution, a potential solution to that is for ED to open up the TDK for modders.

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On 10/17/2021 at 6:57 PM, Peter5on said:

How is it going to work, because Syria map alone takes 60GB of space, so roughly Europe alone would take like 1200GB and that's being very optimistic, so it would take around 

200 000GB  to make the whole world with the same level of detail and for that we need 200x 1TB of m2 ssd drives which can cost around 2000euro. 😄

Probably the same way it works in X-plane, P3D, FSX, etc... Without being able to read the article, why would we expect to get a fully realised world and not just a basic mesh with auto gen scenery, which you can then fill in with paid for maps? Again without reading the article, I would assume the general gist of it is that rather than disconnected maps, we're getting one contiguous globe that can then be supplemented with paid DLC much like other flight sims. That's a much more reasonable explanation.

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Since this article is locked behind a paywall, can someone TLDR what whole world API is and what Matt actually said about it?

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On 11/7/2021 at 3:42 AM, spacenavy90 said:

Since this article is locked behind a paywall, can someone TLDR what whole world API is and what Matt actually said about it?

From Hoggit:

Quote

Modelling the whole world

“Oh, and the other big aspect of course is rather than having just simple maps to play on, we’re having an entire global world map for DCS World,” he revealed.

So yes, if you wanted to, you could take off from an airbase in the States, refuel several times and take part in a war on the other side of the world - if you had the time and energy of course. Yes, the entire world will be modelled as ‘one global map’ effectively.

Matt continued: “Right now our current maps, which are actually individual discrete maps, can be up to about 1,500km by 1,500km but again once you go to the new map technology, there is no limit. It's not maps, it’s just a single world and how it folds is that map technology. We've been working on that technology for about a year and a half now and it's coming along quite well.”

“So, in three to four years perhaps?” I asked. “I certainly think within then,” he said. “But again, it kind of comes back to what I was talking about earlier, Vulkan and multi-threading. Until it actually goes into testing, there's really no way to give any kind of good estimate, as you just never know. You know how extensive the new work is going to be to get to the point for release. It's only when you get actually pretty close, then you are really comfortable with giving an actual release date.”

As Matt explained the new technology, my mind wandered towards the complexity of delivering such a mammoth world. Remember, each structure has to effectively have a damage model and, once part of a campaign system, some kind of ‘usefulness’ functionality values attached to each - unlike what you see in the current flight simulator.

“Again, it was kind of like with a cloud system,” Matt continued. “It's something we've been researching and putting the technology together for literally years. So, we're developing a clever system which we think is going to look absolutely fantastic but be a world system that's going to be applicable to an actual combat simulator.” What’s not clear yet is how existing maps would be integrated into this new world system. ED points out too they still have to account for World War II maps that cannot be based on GIS (Geographic Information System) data. Different options are currently being evaluated by the developer.

So, it looks like Vulkan with multi-threading won’t just be a nice feature in the years ahead but an essential component to the simulator, especially when you have so many units operating in this new virtual globe.

Matt explained one of their biggest challenges. “One of the big things we're looking at now is creative ways to have almost unlimited numbers of units without having a huge performance impact, so as you would imagine, we cannot do it the way we're doing right now, where really every unit is tracked in detail, anywhere in the map. It’s going to have to be a much smarter system based on where the player is in the world.”

MicroProse’s Falcon, all those years ago, had a ‘bubble’ system for its dynamic campaign. Any entity in the virtual world only had its ‘full-fat’ feature and behavioural set fully operational once it was within a certain distance of the player. Beyond that distance, ie outside of the ‘bubble’, a hugely simplified level of functionality was applied to the unit to stop the whole sim from computationally grinding to a halt. Remember, all this in the days of single-core CPUs running at just 700MHz plus. It was a genius but complicated feature, from MicroProse.

Would a similar system be implemented for DCS’s dynamic campaign engine and virtual globe I asked? “Not so much of a bubble, it will be more of a dynamic calling system,” Matt said.

TL;DR:

  • Whole world map technology has been in development for a year and a half.
  • Current maps are limited to 1500 x 1500 km, new technology has no limit.
  • We could see it within 3-4 years, but can't give a good estimate without testing, and this is dependent on multi-threading and Vulkan.
  • Different options for map integration are being explored.
  • One of the biggest problems is facilitating missions with lots and lots of units, without the performance impact, will make use of a dynamic calling system.

Edited by Northstar98
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4 hours ago, Northstar98 said:

From Hoggit:

TL;DR:

  • Whole world map has been in development for a year and a half.
  • Current maps are limited to 1500 x 1500 km, new technology has no limit.
  • We could see it within 3-4 years, but can't give a good estimate without testing, and this is dependent on multi-threading and Vulkan.
  • Different options for map integration are being explored.
  • Biggest problem is for missions with lots and lots of units, without the performance impact, will make use of a dynamic calling system.

Wow that is very exciting, if not a tad optimistic by the ED devs... but if MSFS can do it why can't DCS? Look forward to see if ED talks more about this in the future.

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Well that sounds very promising!!  

 

Think it could take more than 4 years, but who knows, a lot can happen in the next 4 years too. Including a MUCH more powerful "average DCS sim unit" than today... 

Obviously this would be the ideal instead of being limited to maps of modest size... one could see the Koreas invade each other, defend Norway from a rogue resergent Soviet 2.0, and see a Naval attack force on the west coast of North America... all on the same server at the same time!

 

I do hope though that they think beyond present day maps, and WW2 maps, to include all the decades, as many of these places simply don't look the same as they did in the 1980's or 1960's, what with all that Cold War and dustups in the Middle East...  but I would be fine with that all being a later development than a full global map. 

 

Such a map would greatly increase the interest in future developments, like long range cargo planes like the C-17, bombers like the B-17, Lancaster and B-52, Backfire and Bone. It would also give a real starting point for an eventual future high fidellity Navy expansion, with ultra long range radars, magnetic anomaly modeling, undersea geographic models, salinity layers for the SONAR model... one could replicate WW2 Navy operations, and also much more modern Naval systems and ops.

I'm not saying that everyone's gonna ditch their Falcons and Apaches for SeaHawks to go dip sonar while in a hover for hours on end, but rather that one or several players might take control of an attack sub, or a Ticonderoga, and control it, and maybe also command a whole task force in a more "real time strategy" style of controls. Obviously with a lot of AI routines to help with all the functionality that would be needed.

 

I don't know if a detailed Navy expansion is really in the cards, but changing from tiny maps to all the world's oceans and landmasses, makes such an expansion at least a plausible possibility!

 

https://www.mobygames.com/game/windows/janes-combat-simulations-fleet-command

 

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