Why485's Space Sim/Game Dev/Planes/Touhou Blog

Sep 30

What a day. Battlefield 4 CTE patch, Elite Dangerous Beta 2, and Star Citizen control patch all in one day.

Sep 29



Sep 27



After having played a bunch of Falcon last night I’m reminded again why even after 15 years, Falcon is still the benchmark in a lot of ways. Between the dynamic campaign, the chatter, and the dynamic weather, Falcon just feels so alive. DCS always feels like I’m just flying missions designed for my entertainment. Meanwhile, Falcon feels like I’m just a pilot doing my job in a much bigger world.

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It’s so good and even though I’ve been spoiled by DCS in a lot of ways (cockpit,systems, and graphical fidelity) I really wish it was more like Falcon. There’s so much Falcon does so right that DCS does so wrong.

I think it’s the modern multi-role swing-role jet fighter that you get in Falcon, that isn’t available in DCS. That’s what Falcon’s doing right.

That’s a part of it, but not all of it.

The mythical F-18C will fill the same role as the F-16 does in Falcon except it can land on boats too. There is no question that DCS lacks an equivalent to the F-16 simulated in anywhere near as much detail as it is. The closest we have right now is either the F-15 for its American concepts of a radar, and the MiG-21 is sort of a multi-role do everything fighter.

That is exactly why I am so looking forward to it, and that’s exactly why MiG-21 is my favorite module right now. It’s a fast moving jet that can do everything (sort of). The F-15C is simple, and only capable of air to air, and the A-10C is hideously complex and super slow and boring to fly.

DCS F/A-18C might be the last DCS module I feel compelled to buy because it’s such a final solution endgame to DCS.

However the addition of a slickly modeled F-18 will not give DCS “a soul” as I’ve sometimes heard it referred to. Falcon feels alive because of the talkative AI, unscripted where anything can happen, and a battlefield where things can matter. I don’t think DCS will ever have these things for a number of reasons. The engine just isn’t built for it and it would require such an extensive rework that it would require building a brand new game.

It’s interesting how completely opposite DCS and Falcon are. Everything that one sim excels at, the other fails.

DCS has graphics, an incredible attention to detail in modeling, and very good (relative to the sim world anyway) tutorials and new user experience. However it lacks in AI, mission scripting, and has a serious problem with long distance spotting.

Meanwhile, Falcon has an incredibly immersive and alive world, an actual stable framerate, and very dynamic AI. Falcon’s problems lie in its terribly unforgiving treatment of new players, very dated graphics, and its hero jet, the only flyable jet, is not as fully simulated as your average DCS module. I was actually surprised at how much of the cockpit doesn’t work or isn’t interactive.


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Sep 23


Anonymous said: Hey Why485, I was quite surprised to find you again after all these years! I followed you and your mod shenanigans from the early days of Freelancer, needless to say I've been a fan of your high quality work. I got hooked into Ace Combat Infinity with /aceg/ recently and discovered you translated Flight Highschool, it was a name I haven't seen in a long time! Is there anything Freelancer related you're still working on these days? I'd love to have a chat with you some day :)

I wish I knew who you were but that’s really nice to hear, thanks! I’m glad there are still people around from my Freelancer “glory days.”

I’m basically retired from Freelancer. Aside from a handful of reunion sessions with old friends, I haven’t touched Freelancer in years. Instead, I screw around with Unity for a ton of little pet projects, the biggest of which being a simple space sim which you can check out on this tag.

I adore Flight Highschool, and it’s something that I’m really proud to be working on and helping anyan with. Even if I am terribly slow about it…

Ace Combat has pretty much dropped off my radar ever since the reality of my needing to buy a PS3 set in. I can’t play Infinity so aside from checking up on /aceg/ once in a while, I don’t really pay much attention to it anymore. It’s a shame because it’s one of my favorite video game franchises ever.

If you’d like to talk I’m open about that as usual. Shoot me an invite on Skype or Steam, preferably Skype. (It’s the name you’d expect). Just make sure to tell me who you are when you add me