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Latest series to be dumbed down: Flight Simulator

Discussion in 'General Gaming' started by Data4, Jan 9, 2012.

  1. Data4 Arcane

    Data4
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    Don't know how many of you have an interest in flight simulation. I know there's the occasional mention of the IL2 games and such, but not much. Still, I guess it's worth mentioning that the latest iteration of one of-- if not THE-- longest running series of PC titles has finally succumbed to XBoxification.

    Flight Simulator was originally released in the very early 80's by a programmer named Bruce Artwick. Eventually, Microsoft picked it up and since then, it's seen 10 versions. Ever since version 4, the program went from being a completely self-contained sim with a boxed set of planes and places to fly to a platform for a cottage industry of third-party addon developers, as well as what is probably the largest pool of freeware dedicated to one title in the history of freeware. Newer and more complex planes, sceneries, and utilities were developed to go along with each version of Flight Simulator, culminating into the most complex and true-to-life representations of modern jetliners possible on the home PC. Within the online Flight Simulator community, names like PMDG, Level-D, Orbx, among others, are considered legendary for what they have to offer.

    Like with genres such as RPGs and MMORPGs, fans and followers of Flight Simulator always anticipated with hope what the next iteration would bring as computer power increased. More avionics system simulation, better handling of computer-controlled traffic in the airspace, improvements in the weather engine top the list of things people looked forward to.

    Flight Simulator 10 (or X) is the current version, and shortly after release, Microsoft disbanded the Aces Development Studio, which included the entire Flight Simulator development team. It would seem that the venerable series had ended, and the lack of any statements to the contrary from MS, for all intents and purposes, confirmed that.

    Then, early last year, talk of a new Flight-based game from MS came out, titled simply Microsoft Flight. The early word was that it was a complete rewrite from the ground up, dispensing with legacy code that made it's way from version to version, and never took advantage of newer hardware tech, particularly multiple cores. Flight Simulator would live on, and speculation ran rampant. MS released screen shots and teaser videos that looked pretty good, except they all were in Hawaii. People started to speculate that the program would just consist of Hawaii, but the notion was poo-pooed by most as ludicrous. Surely, Hawaii was just an area they paid special attention to-- just as they did with select geographical areas in earlier versions-- and they wanted to showcase it in previews...

    ...until it was revealed a few days ago that it was indeed only Hawaii, would be F2P, and contain only ONE aircraft in the free version. Additional aircraft and areas would be offered as DLC. Further, their requirements for third-party licensing was ridiculous and flatly turned down by all the big players in the third party development arena. Further still, freeware would be completely shut out. Historically, the massive amounts of freeware content was what gave Flight Simulator a long shelf-life, as well as the high quality premium addons developers produced.

    And to add insult to injury, the one aircraft available is the ICON A5, which while cool as fuck and something I wouldn't mind having for real, it represents a sort of real world dumbing down of flight, rendering the cockpit to something akin to a sports car. A minor point in the grand scheme of things here, but worth noting.

    So, yeah, I don't know how many of you enjoy the minutia involved in plotting flight plans or watching bland scenery fly lazily by, but I'm a complete sucker for it. Most here would say they're RPG gamers who like other genres. Me, I'm a flight simmer who's into RPGs and other games, and this news pisses me off. I guess the only good thing about this is the public reaction on their social sites has been extremely negative, and all the flight sim forums are pretty unanimous in their negativity about it.
     
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  2. DwarvenFood Arcane Patron

    DwarvenFood
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    I enjoy your rage, and feel both happy and disappointed about the MS Flight Sim series dying. Maybe a new contender can stand up now, and until then there is always version 10. It's like with the combat flight sims, where Falcon 3.0 is still an high acclaimed title to this very day.
     
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  3. Fens Ford of the Llies

    Fens
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    sounds a bit like flight unlimited, which had ironically a very limited area to fly around in... it of course had more planes and was not that much of a dumb down

    not that bothered by this development... at least i don't have to update from FS:X and rebuy/hunt down stuff for a new version... also: it's microsoft, so you can expect the UI to be a buggy mess anyway

    still waiting for someone to simulate this: http://360vr.com/2011/06/22-discovery-flight-deck-opf_6236/index.html properly
     
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