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ED's move into WWII simulation - a newcomer's perspective


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Yes, we don't know all the business reasons ED may have to do what they need to do. I have said that before in other posts, and you are right, people need patience for this sort of thing.

 

At the same time, what ever parallel work you can pull off, there will still be aspects of a release that will have to go through bottlenecks in ED's processes for releasing a game. I may not know their business inside out, but I am qualified to talk about running small to large businesses. Since you mention it, it is part of my career.

 

In the end, regardless no matter how legit, waiting for something while other things are released can be a letdown.

Sorry but you cannot know ED's situation and how they're working - period.

 

Whatever self reflections you may place on them doesn't mean anything other than to yourself.

 

I'm qualified too and say that with some projects we can handle multiple things quite nicely while others have been a pita. But what I'm not qualified to say is how another team does their thing.

 

Just because you cannot handle something does not mean that another team can't, unless you know how they operate intimately.

 

Anyway, we have Wags saying the development is running in parallel meaning there's no delay with the fast jet. They're probably where they should be with the jet (ie we'd still have heard nothing about it) even without the Mustang been announced.

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Openness

 

It might also be helpful for ED to move from very expensive proprietary 3d software (3d Studio) to something more open and accessible such as Blender. IMO this is major hindrance to community involvement.

Nate

 

Mate you hit it right on the head. Closed plugins and closed formats are good for no-one in the long term.

 

The other thing that needs to happen (as a modder, now an ex-modder since I've given up modding DCS out of frustration) is that the modding interfaces need to be:

 

* stable: no arbitrary changes from patch to patch. For example, when introducing event-based triggers in A-10C (around v1.0.0.7 or so, IIRC) the event logging was completely broken.

 

* sensible: an example of the non-sensible, at the moment logging has a multitude of time units (eg. wallclock in some, date with no time, time since mission loaded, time since mission started). Initiator IDs are not unique within a game session and it is a PITA to convert from that into the unit type and associated callsign (not impossible, just a PITA).

 

* accurate: example, things like the MiG-29 fuel flow from the export interface are not in any useful unit. The fuel unit reported seems to depend on the aircraft you fly. Game events callbacks often log incorrect or bogus data and can't be completely trusted. The get unit into calls were broken or inaccurate. All of these little things are easily testable and if automated and systematic unit testing is put in place they get caught and never regress.

 

* interoperable: Lua tables for configuration might be convenient for the ED developers but it is awful for everyone who doesn't want to use Lua. XML would make more sense (it has much better interoperability).

 

* documented: if you want modders then you have to document your interfaces, and maintain that documentation. Documentation that is incorrect is even worse than no documentation. The documentation has to be in English and written by a native english speaker. They also should be trained in a proper technical writing methodology (eg. Information Mapping, which is simply excellent IMHO).

 

* open standards: choose open standards where you can. IEEE-1278 (DIS) over TCP or UDP for the multiplayer wire protocol; XML for configuration, with XSD schema for validation; OpenFlight for models with animation, damage states and level-of-detail; SOAP or REST webservices for non-time-critical information. Sometimes you can use open standards (eg. license restrictions on third-party models may require proprietary formats), but where you can, you should.

 

In my opinion the more modders there are the greater the ecosystem around ED's products. The greater the ecosystem the more likely it is that players will stick around and buy ED's products. Being more open and having stable interfaces is the key to keeping modders on board.

 

For me personally, after a sisyphean effort trying to mod EDs product in advanced ways (eg. moving map/flight computer; pilot stats; virtual controls etc) I got fed up because the things on the list above were only partially met, and each new product and release made it harder and more time-consuming, not easier, to integrate.

 

From what I've seen the modders have been trying to communicate their needs to ED - it may seem like whinging but really the modders are trying to point out what would be most useful. We've received some support, and ED's devs have been very helpful where they can, but a more systematic approach would be wonderful. The reality is the recent restriction of Lua environments with no replacement interfaces has been a real pain (understandable for security reasons, but pretty much breaks more sophisticated mods, such as 16th_Speed's excellent slmod).

 

More openness and stability would greatly facility modding and grow the resulting ecosystem. The resulting screenshots and tools attracts paying customers when they see a third party has adapted FC2/3/ DCS to match their own interests. This means a better experience for modders and players, and ED gets more players and more money.


Edited by Moa
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Sorry but you cannot know ED's situation and how they're working - period.

 

Whatever self reflections you may place on them doesn't mean anything other than to yourself.

 

I'm qualified too and say that with some projects we can handle multiple things quite nicely while others have been a pita. But what I'm not qualified to say is how another team does their thing.

 

Just because you cannot handle something does not mean that another team can't, unless you know how they operate intimately.

 

Anyway, we have Wags saying the development is running in parallel meaning there's no delay with the fast jet. They're probably where they should be with the jet (ie we'd still have heard nothing about it) even without the Mustang been announced.

 

Kind of. As you well know pretty much all projects take longer and are more troublesome than initially anticipated. This means that to make a deadline resources are often borrowed temporarily from other projects to get something past the finish line. If DCS:Jet is not intended to be the first cab off the rank then it will have the lowest priority when it comes to stealing .. er .. reassigning .. resources temporarily. I think Eagle Dynamics have been very canny in not promising anything early, they are free to change their priorities around and we are none the wiser (just as well, since the howls of indignation would be deafening if any date slipped).

 

There are inefficiencies of working in parallel. Quite often there are specialised resources (eg. certain people) who are needed on multiple projects. Yes, some tasks can be done happily in parallel - but some cannot if they rely on a single person (there is but one Yo-Yo; alas he cannot yet be cloned). If they spend longer getting one project done then the reality is that it either pushes back other projects, or corners get cut (usually in testing, anything late gives testers less time to work with). I'm sure you have seen this yourself.

 

The sad fact is we're so desperate to get a modern fighter or multi-role jet that we'd rather not see those other projects until that project is delivered.

 

So, you are right in that we don't know the specifics of Eagle Dynamics' development process, but we do now the broad outline of how all projects generally pan out.


Edited by Moa
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I agree with your post but there are assumptions that you're making that just doesn't apply unless you're part of the ED team. Your generalisations are just that - a generalisation and may or may not be indicative of how ED will progress with the fast jet.

 

From what I've heard the Mustang was a side project by the developers that had already been worked on significantly and the call was made to release it instead of letting such work go to waste.

 

I'll make an assumption here and say that the majority of the work's been done already (as seen by the screenshots) which implies that this has been going on for months now - maybe even through the Russian holiday period. If that's the case then any impact to DCS: modern theme is minimal if at all, hence Wag's line about parallel development.

 

I think most of the outcry is due to exactly this:

 

The sad fact is we're so desperate to get a modern fighter or multi-role jet that we'd rather not see those other projects until that project is delivered.

 

 

Kind of. As you well know pretty much all projects take longer and are more troublesome than initially anticipated. This means that to make a deadline resources are often borrowed temporarily from other projects to get something past the finish line. If DCS:Jet is not intended to be the first cab off the rank then it will have the lowest priority when it comes to stealing .. er .. reassigning .. resources temporarily. I think Eagle Dynamics have been very canny in not promising anything early, they are free to change their priorities around and we are none the wiser (just as well, since the howls of indignation would be deafening if any date slipped).

 

There are inefficiencies of working in parallel. Quite often there are specialised resources (eg. certain people) who are needed on multiple projects. Yes, some tasks can be done happily in parallel - but some cannot if they rely on a single person (there is but one Yo-Yo; alas he cannot yet be cloned). If they spend longer getting one project done then the reality is that it either pushes back other projects, or corners get cut (usually in testing, anything late gives testers less time to work with). I'm sure you have seen this yourself.

 

The sad fact is we're so desperate to get a modern fighter or multi-role jet that we'd rather not see those other projects until that project is delivered.

 

So, you are right in that we don't know the specifics of Eagle Dynamics' development process, but we do now the broad outline of how all projects generally pan out.

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I think we are forgetting the amount of work that true DCS polish requires. No doubt the demo started with a cockpit and external model, maybe even an advanced flight model. But there must be loads of work behind the scenes to make something prettying into a true DCS product. Hopefully given that ED and TFC saw the potential to turn a tech demo into a fully fleshed out expansion, they also invested in the product by hiring new staff to carry the extra demands of a new product line running parallel to its several other projects. If they didn't, it can't be accurate to state that DCS mustang will have not impact on the release of other products, unless many of their employees spend their time standing around not working, looking for something to do (which would be wasteful), or they are working their employees doubly hard and paying them the same salary.

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I think I remember ED saying, years ago, that the development of DCS:Fighter would demand creating a completely new radar simulation (up to DCS standards) and a completely new Advanced Missile Flight Model.

So maybe this additional work created some additional time window for the development of the Mustang, since it doesn't share any of those components and can be finished while the avionics and FM team finish the radar and missiles.

 

Just saying.

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yes, efficient use of resources... and quite easily done if the management skills are present, which they seem to be.

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Have you ever wondered how ED manage to stay in this business while others couldn't? Obviously, they know what they're doing.

Or they are charging outragous amounts of money from their military customers. Either is fine with me. :thumbup:

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Have you ever wondered how ED manage to stay in this business while others couldn't? Obviously, they know what they're doing.

 

In the world of business, it doesn't matter what you did in the past, how big you became, etc. What matters is that you remain profitable today. Look at Kodak, Atari, Acclaim Entertainment, Sega, 3dfx etc.

 

Anyway, that is a bit off topic. In the end I hope for ED to do well at what ever it decides to do, even if releases are not to my personal taste. :thumbup:

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Personally I was a bit shocked when I 've red the P-51 announcement. I wouldn't be if it was a standalone product not inter graded in the DCS series. I mean, here's a BlackShark and a Warthog with their missiles and stuff and now we have a P-51 roaming the skies? What for?

 

A WW2 fighter which will fight Ka-50s and A-10s? DCS lacks A-A combat and ED decides to set it up with a WW2 fighter? Its a weird decision to me.

 

It would be great if Flying Legend would be a separate product with WW2 and early-jet era aircraft but mixing these with modern jets and helicopters is just weird.

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Personally I was a bit shocked when I 've red the P-51 announcement. I wouldn't be if it was a standalone product not inter graded in the DCS series. I mean, here's a BlackShark and a Warthog with their missiles and stuff and now we have a P-51 roaming the skies? What for?

 

A WW2 fighter which will fight Ka-50s and A-10s? DCS lacks A-A combat and ED decides to set it up with a WW2 fighter? Its a weird decision to me.

 

It would be great if Flying Legend would be a separate product with WW2 and early-jet era aircraft but mixing these with modern jets and helicopters is just weird.

 

I get why ED is putting out the Mustang b/c I follow the forums on it and FAQ: it makes perfect sense that ED doesn't want to waste the hard efforts of its employees (especially if they turned out well). At the same time, I agree with the line of thinking that Isoul has stated, or at least what I'd really like to see from ED is a WWII combat simulator like IL-2 AND a modern combat simulator (Like A-10C). And with any luck, ED may someday go that route. For now though, I'll just be happy to fly their Mustang when they let it out of the stable :D ED does great work and for me supporting them has been worth every penny.


Edited by Azazel

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Personally I was a bit shocked when I 've red the P-51 announcement. I wouldn't be if it was a standalone product not inter graded in the DCS series. I mean, here's a BlackShark and a Warthog with their missiles and stuff and now we have a P-51 roaming the skies? What for?

 

A WW2 fighter which will fight Ka-50s and A-10s? DCS lacks A-A combat and ED decides to set it up with a WW2 fighter? Its a weird decision to me.

 

It would be great if Flying Legend would be a separate product with WW2 and early-jet era aircraft but mixing these with modern jets and helicopters is just weird.

 

Why artificially separate them though?

you are welcome to play DCS:P51D any way you like...if you want to restrict you experience of the game in that way, then great :)...I'm sure you most people will do the same...but there's no need for the Devs to enforce it

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Your mind... I am infiltrating it! biggrin.gif

 

It grew on me, I admit, but I mostly rejected the AT-802U initially because some people actually thought it was serious and were acting like it was the greatest, most brilliant decision ever made by any company ever and couldn't wait to bury their faces in ED's backside, while being completely oblivious to what a let-down it would have been.

 

what I'd really like to see from ED is a WWII combat simulator like IL-2 AND a modern combat simulator (Like A-10C)
This, I don't get. Might as well ask for a smudgy brown blood-on-screen-when-shot modern / near-future FPS game involving terrorists while you're at it.

 

I put together a list in another thread, and the number of WW2 combat flight sims released in the last 8 years outnumbers the list of modern aircraft flight sims by nearly 3:1. To top it off, 80% of the modern aircraft flight sims on that list were made by ED.

 

A high-fidelity WW2 combat flight sim was released less than a year ago, why do you need another modeling the exact same aircraft that have been done over and over? It's not exactly as if ED's P-51 is going to be much different from any other P-51, since they're all the same relatively simple aircraft with pretty well-known flight profiles and physics.

 

Like I said, I'm not offended that they're doing the P-51, but I see it as an opportunity to do something special and unique that is going sort of wasted. Making the bog-standard P-51 makes it no different from IL-2's Mustangs, and frankly I see WW2 as being even more a blight on the simulator genre than it was on the FPS genre - every aircraft ever imagined that flew in WW2 has been done in other games. Given how small the flight simulator genre actually is, that most of it is clogged with WW2 combat sim after WW2 combat sim makes the whole thing kind of distressing, and I don't see how doing "Yet Another WW2 Sim" makes it any different from being excited about the next Gears of Bore game.

 

I love the Black Shark (even if I never did learn to properly fly it) and the Warthog sims because of their incredible attention to detail. Flipping switches and pushing buttons is always its own reward, having all kinds of neat things to keep you busy is why I want more modern (or mostly modern) aircraft. Thus why I said it would be really cool if ED put their own twist on the P-51 and modeled a fictional version of it that combines the flight simplicity of a prop-job with some snazzy new updates.

 

There's literally nothing they can add to the vanilla P-51 that hasn't been done in other sims and that's why I'm ambivalent about the whole thing. I doubt I will buy it.


Edited by Frostiken

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I love the Black Shark (even if I never did learn to properly fly it)

 

There's literally nothing they can add to the vanilla P-51 that hasn't been done in other sims and that's why I'm ambivalent about the whole thing. I doubt I will buy it.

 

Those two sentences are probably highly correlated.

Westinghouse W-600 refrigerator - Corona six-pack - Marlboro reds - Patience by Girlfriend

 

"Engineering is the art of modelling materials we do not wholly understand, into shapes we cannot precisely analyse so as to withstand forces we cannot properly assess, in such a way that the public has no reason to suspect the extent of our ignorance." (Dr. A. R. Dykes - British Institution of Structural Engineers, 1976)

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We have waited through FC1, A-10C, Ka-50 and FC2, now we must wait through FC3, Combined Arms, and P-51D before we see a DCS Jet fighter.

 

Thats like asking for ice cream but being told you can't until you have first had the jelly, cake, trifle and chocolates.

 

I wish I got told that sort of thing more often.

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.....

 

There's literally nothing they can add to the vanilla P-51 that hasn't been done in other sims and that's why I'm ambivalent about the whole thing. I doubt I will buy it.

 

honestly, I felt the same way originaly...I'm a bit of a buttonologist , and not really a "flying sensation" type of guy.

But....I gotta say, so far I'm converted....

I think you'll have one go at it at a mates place (or try the demo or something) and be hooked...

 

I've gone from being a " hmm..ok well...hurry up and get past it" when it was announced , to being "This thing is awesome, can't wait till it is at release!" now.

 

it is a genuine challenge to fly (let alone fight), and there is a lot more variables to worry about in flight that you would think.

 

 

just wait

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Thats like asking for ice cream but being told you can't until you have first had the jelly, cake, trifle and chocolates.

 

I wish I got told that sort of thing more often.

 

lol! Well, when you put it that way... not the end of the world. You sir, are a true optimist, the glass is half full :thumbup:

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honestly, I felt the same way originaly...I'm a bit of a buttonologist , and not really a "flying sensation" type of guy.

But....I gotta say, so far I'm converted....

I think you'll have one go at it at a mates place (or try the demo or something) and be hooked...

 

I've gone from being a " hmm..ok well...hurry up and get past it" when it was announced , to being "This thing is awesome, can't wait till it is at release!" now.

 

it is a genuine challenge to fly (let alone fight), and there is a lot more variables to worry about in flight that you would think.

 

 

just wait

 

I'm not really one who needs a lot of convincing, but this is good to hear.

 

MAC

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"1942: Pacific Air War" is the best FS i ever played. Being in midair with 30+ planes around me, a dozen Ships below me...such a intensity...i never felt that again. One of the Milestones of Flight Simulation. Its not only the ultimate realism, that makes a Simulation good. If its a soulless technological klickiklacki...im getting bored. Unfortunately ED could never master such a big thing. The quality of a single Airplane is so high, that it would take many years to build such a game. RIP "1942..."

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"1942: Pacific Air War" is the best FS i ever played. Being in midair with 30+ planes around me, a dozen Ships below me...such a intensity...i never felt that again. One of the Milestones of Flight Simulation. Its not only the ultimate realism, that makes a Simulation good. If its a soulless technological klickiklacki...im getting bored. Unfortunately ED could never master such a big thing. The quality of a single Airplane is so high, that it would take many years to build such a game. RIP "1942..."

 

We were yonger that time... great sim with great atmosphere. I must confess - .ricochets in DCS were inspired by this sim... :) I remember how it was after a patch for "1942".

Ніщо так сильно не ранить мозок, як уламки скла від розбитих рожевих окулярів

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Ничто так сильно не ранит мозг, как осколки стекла от разбитых розовых очков (С) Me

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We were yonger that time... great sim with great atmosphere. I must confess - .ricochets in DCS were inspired by this sim... :) I remember how it was after a patch for "1942".

 

One of my members was the developer and producer of that sim.

 

i'll pass this on to him.

 

Hope all is well yoyo

 

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