Why485's Space Sim/Game Dev/Planes/Touhou Blog
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 :)
Anonymous

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 

Do you have any recommendations on a good introductory flight stick?

intrepidillusionaire:

why485:

How introductory?

If you’re talking entry level non-HOTAS, then the two sticks I often see recommended are the Logitech Extreme 3D Pro and the Thrustmaster T1600m. I can’t give you much info beyond a superficial comparison. If you’re just starting out and not sure if you really want to commit to a full HOTAS, those are your two best options based on what I’ve heard.

If you’re talking entry level HOTAS, your options are very limited. The HOTAS market is pretty crappy with very little choice and each product has its downsides.

Here’s a simple breakdown of the three cheapest ways to get a HOTAS and one bonus that is not so cheap but absolutely deserves mentioning:

Thrustmaster T-Flight HOTAS X: $55

  • Cheapest option
  • Twisty stick
  • Splitting base (can be used as one unit or split)
  • Only 12 buttons (Same as Logitech Extreme 3D)
  • Only 1 hat switch.
  • (I honestly don’t know that much about this stick)

Saitek X52 Pro: $165

  • Saitek “reliability”
  • Twisty stick
  • 3 hat switches
  • 15 buttons
  • 1 slider, 2 rotaries
  • Built in mouse nubbin
  • Dual stage trigger (!)
  • Relatively large deadzone, but can be fixed with ~$10, 5 minute mod.

Saitek X55 Rhino: $200

  • Saitek “reliability”
  • Twisty stick
  • 22 buttons
  • 5 hat switches
  • 4 rotaries
  • 1 two-way switch
  • Built in mouse nubbin
  • Single stage trigger
  • Split throttle
  • Supposedly pretty accurate and sensitive.

CH Products Fighterstick + Pro Throttle: $200

  • Not a twisty stick. For rudder input you either have to assign to something on the stick or spend an extra $100 for pedals.
  • Indestructible and reliable
  • 7 buttons
  • 7 hat switches (!)
  • Analog thumbstick
  • 2 two way-switches
  • Likely the most accurate of the group
  • (You’ll have to correct me if I’m wrong about any of the above.)

For the record, I use a 6 year old Saitek X52 Pro with no pedals. It’s the only one I have direct experience in. The rest is info from friends (X55) or hearsay from forums and chat.

Saitek is notorious for quality control issues. The X52 Pro I have now, I got because my X52 broke, and this Pro has a lot of quirks and problems. However, if you get lucky and get a Saitek stick with no problems, they’re great sticks and relatively cheap for what they can do.

I have to make special mention of the X52’s dual stage trigger. I love it and if I upgraded to an X55 it would be sorely missed.

CH Products is a staple of the HOTAS market. They’ve been around forever and have been making the same stick forever. These things are infamously indestructible and extremely reliable. They’re a great choice, however, they do not twist. This means that you will probably be spending an extra $100 to buy a set of pedals for the rudder.

For some games (Elite and modern flight sims) this isn’t that big of an issue and you could live without it. However, if you plan on flying simulation level prop planes, precise rudder control is absolutely essential and you’ll need either twist or preferably pedals.

Look around in the right used markets, and you’ve got a decent chance of someone listing the entire CH Fighterstick, Pro Throttle and Pro Pedals combo for well under $200 shipped. I’ve seen it happen several times over the years, and if you manage to snap up such a deal, you just got the most bang for your buck possible.

If you get a Saitek X-52, you need to magnet-mod it to fix the response on the stick axes. Shim the gimbals while you’re at it, they’re cheap, sloppy plastic crap, even on the Pro model, and the magnet mod will ruthlessly reveal this. But once you do those things, it’s great bang for the buck at under $100 for an X-52 Pro. Wouldn’t pay more than that considering how cheap it is.

If that’s still too expensive, just buy the Thrustmaster T.16000-M and learn on that until you feel like you enjoy flight sims enough to spend some serious dosh. How serious? The stuff I’d be likely to recommend would run $500+ easy, but at least you wouldn’t feel the need to buy anything else afterward.

Reblogging for a second opinion from someone who is willing to spend a lot more money than me and is much more informed than I am.

Do you have any recommendations on a good introductory flight stick?

How introductory?

If you’re talking entry level non-HOTAS, then the two sticks I often see recommended are the Logitech Extreme 3D Pro and the Thrustmaster T1600m. I can’t give you much info beyond a superficial comparison. If you’re just starting out and not sure if you really want to commit to a full HOTAS, those are your two best options based on what I’ve heard.

If you’re talking entry level HOTAS, your options are very limited. The HOTAS market is pretty crappy with very little choice and each product has its downsides.

Here’s a simple breakdown of the three cheapest ways to get a HOTAS and one bonus that is not so cheap but absolutely deserves mentioning:

Thrustmaster T-Flight HOTAS X: $55

  • Cheapest option
  • Twisty stick
  • Splitting base (can be used as one unit or split)
  • Only 12 buttons (Same as Logitech Extreme 3D)
  • Only 1 hat switch.
  • (I honestly don’t know that much about this stick)

Saitek X52 Pro: $165

  • Saitek “reliability”
  • Twisty stick
  • 3 hat switches
  • 15 buttons
  • 1 slider, 2 rotaries
  • Built in mouse nubbin
  • Dual stage trigger (!)
  • Relatively large deadzone, but can be fixed with ~$10, 5 minute mod.

Saitek X55 Rhino: $200

  • Saitek “reliability”
  • Twisty stick
  • 22 buttons
  • 5 hat switches
  • 4 rotaries
  • 1 two-way switch
  • Built in mouse nubbin
  • Single stage trigger
  • Split throttle
  • Supposedly pretty accurate and sensitive.

CH Products Fighterstick + Pro Throttle: $200

  • Not a twisty stick. For rudder input you either have to assign to something on the stick or spend an extra $100 for pedals.
  • Stick (but not throttle) is based on the F-16’s
  • Indestructible and reliable
  • 7 buttons
  • 7 hat switches (!)
  • Analog thumbstick
  • 2 two way-switches
  • Likely the most accurate of the group
  • (You’ll have to correct me if I’m wrong about any of the above.)

For the record, I use a 6 year old Saitek X52 Pro with no pedals. It’s the only one I have direct experience in. The rest is info from friends (X55) or hearsay from forums and chat.

Saitek is notorious for quality control issues. The X52 Pro I have now, I got because my X52 broke, and this Pro has a lot of quirks and problems. However, if you get lucky and get a Saitek stick with no problems, they’re great sticks and relatively cheap for what they can do.

I have to make special mention of the X52’s dual stage trigger. I love it and if I upgraded to an X55 it would be sorely missed.

CH Products is a staple of the HOTAS market. They’ve been around forever and have been making the same stick forever. These things are infamously indestructible and extremely reliable. They’re a great choice, however, they do not twist. This means that you will probably be spending an extra $100 to buy a set of pedals for the rudder.

For some games (Elite and modern flight sims) this isn’t that big of an issue and you could live without it. However, if you plan on flying simulation level prop planes, precise rudder control is absolutely essential and you’ll need either twist or preferably pedals.

intrepidillusionaire:

rocketumbl:

Cockpit Photo Collection

F-22 Raptor, F-35 Lightning, F-117 Nighthawk, a really strange F-16 Fighting Falcon cockpit that’s not quite F-16C Block 50 or F-16E Block 60…

I don’t recognize the remaining three after the F-16 pit. Does anyone else know?

That bizarre uncanny valley F-16 is actually the Korean T-50. It looked really familiar to me because at one point I had to do some work with it and it stuck in my mind as being super F-16-like.

The rest I had guesses on, but they stumped me.

The one under the T-50 I thought was some kind of trainer. Turns out, it’s actually a U-2S. This is the modern U-2.

The one under that at first I thought was the SR-71 because of the triangular design and strut down the middle, but then I noticed the radar looking thing and got really confused. Turns out it’s an F-106 Delta Dart, the last of the century series fighters and the last US high speed, no frills, interceptor of its era. The F-106 in that photo is the one at the Air Force Museum in Wright Patterson. I’ve seen this jet in person.

The last picture I’m ashamed I didn’t recognize other than it looked old. It’s an F-104 Starfighter. Judging by the lighting and the position of the silver fuselage in front of it I’m pretty sure this is also the one I saw at Wright Patterson. I tried taking pictures of the Starfighter’s cockpit, because they actually let you get right up to it, but the glare made it impossible.

I can’t believe I’ve talked this much and put so much time and effort into a show that I think is just okay. All I really wanted was to just have my own opinion of season 2. I didn’t have to be so thorough about it.
Why do I even care to try to analyse an anime like this that clearly isn’t? Why do shows like Sabagebu and Yuru Yuri get free passes?
I thought about it some more and what I think it comes down to is that there’s a line that a comedy show can cross where it tries to be more than just a comedy about cute X doing cute things.
Love Lab crossed that line with flying colors and so far exceeded my expectations that I’m still not sure it really happened. Chuuni didn’t.
The best parts of Chuuni are when it’s not trying so hard to be something more. That’s why all the Lite miniseries are so enjoyable. They’re just the characters being themselves and doing fun and silly things. I don’t know who’s at fault, the source material or KyoAni, but Chuuni just isn’t very good at tackling serious issues and story progression.
Had Chuuni just been the first half of the first season, or the non-story heavy parts of the second, it would have been a much better show for it.

I can’t believe I’ve talked this much and put so much time and effort into a show that I think is just okay. All I really wanted was to just have my own opinion of season 2. I didn’t have to be so thorough about it.

Why do I even care to try to analyse an anime like this that clearly isn’t? Why do shows like Sabagebu and Yuru Yuri get free passes?

I thought about it some more and what I think it comes down to is that there’s a line that a comedy show can cross where it tries to be more than just a comedy about cute X doing cute things.

Love Lab crossed that line with flying colors and so far exceeded my expectations that I’m still not sure it really happened. Chuuni didn’t.

The best parts of Chuuni are when it’s not trying so hard to be something more. That’s why all the Lite miniseries are so enjoyable. They’re just the characters being themselves and doing fun and silly things. I don’t know who’s at fault, the source material or KyoAni, but Chuuni just isn’t very good at tackling serious issues and story progression.

Had Chuuni just been the first half of the first season, or the non-story heavy parts of the second, it would have been a much better show for it.

So, I’ve finally finished Chuuni S2. I don’t even know where to start with this.
On one hand, I can see exactly why it’s so unliked. On the other hand, it’s not like I disliked it. I still had fun watching it. It’s a problematic season, even more so than the first season because the first season exists. If the first season never happened beyond the backstory that’s given in S2, it would’ve worked a lot better.
I’m still trying to make sense of some of the things I saw and reconciling them with what happened in the first. Is my understanding of what happened in the first season that wrong? Or did something else go wrong in the production of this show? Is this a flaw of the source material, or was it a poor adaptation? Considering how many anime-original characters there are, would this show have been better if played even looser to the “canon” or did it suffer because they were bound by it?
I honestly don’t know. After spending so much time with a show that in the end I only liked but wouldn’t exactly recommend, I really don’t think I care enough to investigate even further.
Since it is so hard for me to come up with coherent thoughts about the overall quality of the season, I’ll just list things I liked and things I didn’t like.
Good stuff:
The relationship between Utah and Rikka is STILL happening. I honestly can’t even remember the last time I saw a show continue after the two leads got together.
Nibutani and Dekomori get the screen time they deserved.
I honestly did like Satone. I think she’s an interesting character to add to the mix. I loved the old and close friends angle. However… see below.
I thought I was going to hate Satone’s very brief love triangle arc. I actually liked a lot of it. However… see below.
For the better part of the season, Satone is kind of just there, and I liked her brief appearances because of that. However… see below.
I also liked how she tied everybody together such a way that it now logically makes sense for everybody in the show to have the same compatible and “universally” understood method of imaginary fighting. It was something that bugged me about S1, but it’s solved here.
Rikka’s “too close!” alarm whenever Satone got close to Utah.
Nibutani 300% solidifies her place as best girl. Utah and friends have no idea what they have in Nibutani. As a somewhat outside observer, only Kumin sees it.
Shinka and Sanae’s pseudo-friendship is great and handled great. Considering Dekomori was made up for the show, and considering how good she is in the show, it makes me wonder who was at fault for the rest of the show.
I love the way all the girls come together to scheme up ways to push Rikka and Utah closer. It’s so much fun to watch how invested they are in their friend’s relationship.
It took me all of the first season, but you’ve finally convinced me that Rikka is adorable. Even if she does have a few screws loose.
Bad stuff:
Isshiki was demoted from a funny bro side character to an insulting and annoying joke.
The special’s super overt ship teasing between Dekomori and Nibutani was off-putting and felt really cheap. Pandering, basically. Thankfully this didn’t really carry over into the full on season.
Satone as a whole felt like she was poorly handled.
When they started to turn it into a love triangle, and had it “resolved” so quickly in such an ambiguous way. I don’t know. The whole thing doesn’t sit well. I cant even pinpoint why it didn’t feel right, but it didn’t. 
There’s one vaguely Inception like episode and a few other scenes that indicate that maybe their fantasy fightings aren’t all in their head and have physical implications. That’s too weird for me and I don’t like that in an otherwise very grounded show.
This season has a very selective memory about what did and didn’t happen in the first. I noticed this in the recap movie as well. They glossed over and sometimes outright skipped important parts of S1 that would suggest Rikka should be over her chuuni-ness.
I don’t even know:
Satone’s feelings are left pretty ambiguous. She needs help. I really hope she grows out of her chuuni even if she insists she never wants to.
Satone suggests some really stupid things at times that, on the surface at least, directly contradict what I thought the point of season 1 was. If I remember right, she wants to turn Utah chuuni again? God, that is so wrong and is exactly the opposite of what Rikka should be hearing.
But maybe that was the point? Rikka only half acknowledges that idea in the end and she does brush off some of Satone’s stupider suggestions. Except, Rikka still does want Utah to be more Chuuni. The more I think about that episode the less sense it makes to me. I might need to rewatch this one.
Was Satone’s arc resolved? On the surface it seems like it, but Satone is very much the one to bury her feelings under a smiling face. It seems like sequel bait for if they ever do one. There’s a lot little inconsistencies in her character which could either be chalked up to good writing of a flawed person, or just plain bad writing. Considering how a lot of Chuuni’s attempts at real storytelling go, I can’t decide which it is.
You know what this reminded me of? Two things. Legend of Korra’s second season, and Hayate no Gotoku’s second season.
Both of those seasons felt more like reboots and retellings of their respective series than they did continuations of a previous season. They both had a very selective memory of what happened and what didn’t, to the point where you start to assume that anything that occurred in the first season just didn’t happen unless explicitly stated otherwise.
I don’t know. Maybe this I’m missing something. I almost feel like this will all make more sense on a second watch through, but at the same time I doubt that there’s enough care put into Chuuni that it really deserves a second watch-through for those reasons alone.
I guess that’s it really. Season 2 of Chuuni wasn’t bad at all, but in the greater context of the series there’s a lot of things that don’t make sense. Taken alone, it’s better than if viewed as part of a whole.

So, I’ve finally finished Chuuni S2. I don’t even know where to start with this.

On one hand, I can see exactly why it’s so unliked. On the other hand, it’s not like I disliked it. I still had fun watching it. It’s a problematic season, even more so than the first season because the first season exists. If the first season never happened beyond the backstory that’s given in S2, it would’ve worked a lot better.

I’m still trying to make sense of some of the things I saw and reconciling them with what happened in the first. Is my understanding of what happened in the first season that wrong? Or did something else go wrong in the production of this show? Is this a flaw of the source material, or was it a poor adaptation? Considering how many anime-original characters there are, would this show have been better if played even looser to the “canon” or did it suffer because they were bound by it?

I honestly don’t know. After spending so much time with a show that in the end I only liked but wouldn’t exactly recommend, I really don’t think I care enough to investigate even further.

Since it is so hard for me to come up with coherent thoughts about the overall quality of the season, I’ll just list things I liked and things I didn’t like.

Good stuff:

  • The relationship between Utah and Rikka is STILL happening. I honestly can’t even remember the last time I saw a show continue after the two leads got together.
  • Nibutani and Dekomori get the screen time they deserved.
  • I honestly did like Satone. I think she’s an interesting character to add to the mix. I loved the old and close friends angle. However… see below.
  • I thought I was going to hate Satone’s very brief love triangle arc. I actually liked a lot of it. However… see below.
  • For the better part of the season, Satone is kind of just there, and I liked her brief appearances because of that. However… see below.
  • I also liked how she tied everybody together such a way that it now logically makes sense for everybody in the show to have the same compatible and “universally” understood method of imaginary fighting. It was something that bugged me about S1, but it’s solved here.
  • Rikka’s “too close!” alarm whenever Satone got close to Utah.
  • Nibutani 300% solidifies her place as best girl. Utah and friends have no idea what they have in Nibutani. As a somewhat outside observer, only Kumin sees it.
  • Shinka and Sanae’s pseudo-friendship is great and handled great. Considering Dekomori was made up for the show, and considering how good she is in the show, it makes me wonder who was at fault for the rest of the show.
  • I love the way all the girls come together to scheme up ways to push Rikka and Utah closer. It’s so much fun to watch how invested they are in their friend’s relationship.
  • It took me all of the first season, but you’ve finally convinced me that Rikka is adorable. Even if she does have a few screws loose.

Bad stuff:

  • Isshiki was demoted from a funny bro side character to an insulting and annoying joke.
  • The special’s super overt ship teasing between Dekomori and Nibutani was off-putting and felt really cheap. Pandering, basically. Thankfully this didn’t really carry over into the full on season.
  • Satone as a whole felt like she was poorly handled.
  • When they started to turn it into a love triangle, and had it “resolved” so quickly in such an ambiguous way. I don’t know. The whole thing doesn’t sit well. I cant even pinpoint why it didn’t feel right, but it didn’t. 
  • There’s one vaguely Inception like episode and a few other scenes that indicate that maybe their fantasy fightings aren’t all in their head and have physical implications. That’s too weird for me and I don’t like that in an otherwise very grounded show.
  • This season has a very selective memory about what did and didn’t happen in the first. I noticed this in the recap movie as well. They glossed over and sometimes outright skipped important parts of S1 that would suggest Rikka should be over her chuuni-ness.

I don’t even know:

  • Satone’s feelings are left pretty ambiguous. She needs help. I really hope she grows out of her chuuni even if she insists she never wants to.
  • Satone suggests some really stupid things at times that, on the surface at least, directly contradict what I thought the point of season 1 was. If I remember right, she wants to turn Utah chuuni again? God, that is so wrong and is exactly the opposite of what Rikka should be hearing.
  • But maybe that was the point? Rikka only half acknowledges that idea in the end and she does brush off some of Satone’s stupider suggestions. Except, Rikka still does want Utah to be more Chuuni. The more I think about that episode the less sense it makes to me. I might need to rewatch this one.
  • Was Satone’s arc resolved? On the surface it seems like it, but Satone is very much the one to bury her feelings under a smiling face. It seems like sequel bait for if they ever do one. There’s a lot little inconsistencies in her character which could either be chalked up to good writing of a flawed person, or just plain bad writing. Considering how a lot of Chuuni’s attempts at real storytelling go, I can’t decide which it is.

You know what this reminded me of? Two things. Legend of Korra’s second season, and Hayate no Gotoku’s second season.

Both of those seasons felt more like reboots and retellings of their respective series than they did continuations of a previous season. They both had a very selective memory of what happened and what didn’t, to the point where you start to assume that anything that occurred in the first season just didn’t happen unless explicitly stated otherwise.

I don’t know. Maybe this I’m missing something. I almost feel like this will all make more sense on a second watch through, but at the same time I doubt that there’s enough care put into Chuuni that it really deserves a second watch-through for those reasons alone.

I guess that’s it really. Season 2 of Chuuni wasn’t bad at all, but in the greater context of the series there’s a lot of things that don’t make sense. Taken alone, it’s better than if viewed as part of a whole.

dekomori is the besST

That is objectively wrong.

image

I’ve been waiting for this moment for two seasons, three miniseries, a special episode, and a movie.

I’ve been waiting for this moment for two seasons, three miniseries, a special episode, and a movie.

It’s been about a month since I got my Track IR and I have to say, it’s one of the best purchases I’ve made in along time. Not only did it make the games I play more fun, but it opened new doors and re-opened others.

It’s now a new tool that I have in my Unity arsenal. After finding and refining a TrackIR script/plugin, I was even able to get TIR support added to Enemy Starfighter, the game I’m currently looking forward to the most.

The games that I was already playing got a whole lot cooler. Elite is fun with head tracking, it’s practically essential in Star Citizen, and War Thunder simulator battles is no longer blocked off for me.

But the biggest effect it’s had is that I’m finally able to get back into flight sims. I love flight sims. I’ve been playing them in one form or another almost as long as I’ve been using a computer. The earliest I can remember are the old Jane’s sims like US Navy Fighters and Advanced Tactical Fighters.

By and large, the most influential flight sim was Falcon 4.0. I forget the events that led up to it, but my father gave me the big binder manual one day and let me loose. It was the first time I played flight simulators “seriously.” I used to study that manual and loved to look up how these things worked online. Without having flown Falcon 4.0, I can safely say that I would not have seen and done many of the things I have in my professional career.

That binder is, to this day, one of my most prized possessions.

However, once I started university I no longer had time to fly flight sims like I did before. I still kept a close eye on them though, even if I rarely played outside of some occasional IL-2 or Flaming Cliffs. In a curious twist of fate, on my second year of university they literally became my day job, and I got to work on something that I’m very proud of having worked on.

Ever since then though, I had been really yearning to get back into it. I missed reading about the history and switchology of these things. They’re fantastically complicated systems, but have to be easy to use under stress and in as small a space as possible.

Unfortunately, by that time TIR had become the standard and my old X52 Pro was barely working. I would have to invest in equipment before I wanted to get back into it, and money was very tight. I have a hard time spending money on myself, so I could never bring myself to pull the trigger.

Fast forward to today, and here I am thinking that Track IR is the best purchase I’ve made in a very long time. I’ve forgotten how much I love detailed flight sims of modern combat aircraft. It’s something I haven’t really done since my Falcon 4.0 days almost a decade ago and I am loving every minute of it. It’s like reuniting with an old friend you haven’t seen in years. It really takes me back.

Contrails are really cool.

Doing the intercept mission, I wanted to see if I could knock out the two F-16s that come after you once you shoot down the F-5.

Shooting down the F-5 was no problem. When it came to the F-16s, I ordered my wingman to engage bandits. Fortunately, he targeted the F-16 I wasn’t, so when we were in range we simultaneously fired on each F-16. I shot a radar guided R-3R (AA-2) while my wingman shot an IR guided R-60M (AA-8).

My missile hit first against an F-16 evading in a horizontal left turn. Meanwhile, the far F-16 went into a climb and started dropping flares to evade my wingmans AA-8. The AA-8 hit its mark shortly after.