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DCS + BIS = Marriage made in Heaven


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i agree, posted this in the wishlist thread some time ago.

 

always wanted a ground based module for DCS done by bis. even if its non playable. and vice a versa, a Flight model by ED for A2.

 

regarding military contracts etcetra, wouldnt it be good to see the miltary combine a need and request from both these developers.

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Actually, I believe there already is a military product that combines ED flight simulation with a ground combat element. BIS was not involved in that though (IMO that's a "thank the gods" :P ). If memory serves that was a mission rehearsal tool for special forces and their CAS flights. (If you catch those old screenshots of an A10 flying over some nicely detailed buildings with car-parks, that's the thing I mean.)

 

Sadly I don't recall the name of the other companies involved in that.

 

EDIT

Here we go: http://www.totimm.com/RealWorld-military-dod.php

 

Sadly, I don't think that that will ever get ported to the civilian market, since it's a complex product involving several companies.


Edited by EtherealN

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Yes, there was another thread that debated this.

 

Alot of people in the flight sim community bust on BIS because of their (lack of) flight models.

 

The fact is that, when it comes to a ground warfare tactical simulator from the first person perspective, nothing gets as close as the BIS products have. A five time combat veteran myself, I can say they've done a bang up job considering it's a computer sim.

 

There are those who say that the character movement in COD4 is more realistic because it's smoother. That's true if you were fighting in spandex within an air conditioned enviroment. Movement in full combat gear is not that fluid and you generally don't move that fast in a combat enviroment. The character movements and ballistics in the BIS products (of which COD4 and other titles in that genre had zilch for ballistics) have been amazingly close to reality.

 

In the end, nothing on a computer can trully replicate reality. Only simulate.

 

Then there are those that complain of the bugs. Well, if bugs were such a turn off, then why are we even here at these forums. Look at the bug fix requests in the 1.13 thread in the LockOn discussion. It's difficult to release a complex sim without bugs. Actually, it's almost impossible. You can only push a sim/game engine so far before you compromise performance and have a product that the majority cannot even get to run smooth at low settings. ArmA2's biggest flaw at the moment is in it's data transfer from the HDD (reference THIS THREAD)

 

Eventually though, I would hope that an air & ground simulator will come out. The question is though, "Would it be worth the development cost?"

 

Such an endeavor to combine the ground physics and enviroment suitable for large scal ground combat combine with the physics and flight models of a flight sim would be a major undertaking for any development studio. Of course, the goal is to make enough money to live on. So, would such a game sell enough to recupe the costs of development and further support?

 

With the console market eating the majority of the gaming industry, I don't know if any studio would see that as a cost positive endeavor. No matter how much they really wanted to do it for the sake of conquering such a feat, losing money is not a prime goal in any business.

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Sure, most software products have bugs, but to be quite honest ArmA was absolutely horrible (and even managed to break Vista support with a patch, which I noticed when I made the mistake of updating my copy from vanilla way back). It all sorted itself out eventually, of course, but I'd much rather have something as solid as 1.0.0 DCS that only barely needs a patch in the first place. (I loved the people that were starting flame threads back before 1.0.1 complaining that by that time most companies would have many patches out... As complaints go it's even worse than the strange request of "please make DCS use more of my high-speed RAM". :P )

 

But as a ground combat simulator, yeah, it's without competition (on the civilian market). What we need is to give BIS a more uniform platform to work on so that the Q/A job is made easier.

 

With the console market eating the majority of the gaming industry, I don't know if any studio would see that as a cost positive endeavor.

 

Well, people said the same about proper study simulators - until TFC and ED had the brilliant idea of spreading the development costs to both commercial and military customers. So I don't think it's impossible per se - what would need to happen is a single development house that has experience in both types of simulator since it becomes so much easier to oversee the product then. (Not like in the military market where it's often cost-basis and team integration costs are covered.)

 

I'd say a bigger obstacle, most likely, would be to make it interesting enough for all sides. The "solution" I think is most likely would not be a DCS+ArmA2, but rather something like DCS+C&C, allowing one player on either side to give orders to both air and ground units. That would make for a very interesting online scene.

 

But there again would come the issue of whether it's feasible for the development cost, but with a bit of luck it would be something military clients want as well and then it just might become reality, some day, some year. :)

 

Hope is the last thing that dies.

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I will agree that ArmA was a horrid release. The demo for ArmA crashed my machine and had me reformat.

 

ArmA2's release was much smoother though. The developers said early on and kept saying that ArmA2 was being designed around XP and DX9 since that's what the bulk of their customer base was using.

 

As an XP user at the time of release, I had no problems with ArmA2. I was also running the Win 7 beta and had no problem. I simply did not install it into the x86 Program Files directory and it worked flawlessly. I never did run Vista. I ran the beta for that and it was doomed from the start. I always thought of it as a 64 bit version of Win ME. An OS that ate itself everytime it was turned on. After all of the patches and service packs, Vista is almost stable.

 

You are right though, DCS Blackshark was one of the most stable and feature packed releases I have ever seen. But, ED was also in a position to take their time with it.

 

ArmA2 has the RTS elements already there. It just depends on the mission being played. Domination and Evolution can offer some good squad coordination, but Warfare missions and the likes offer a good bit more. Combine the RTS elemts of Warfare with the infantry and machanized infantry capabilities of ArmA (enviroment as well) along with the flight dynamics of the DCS engine and throw in the Naval warfare element.......

 

hehe, it's a heckuva thought isn't it? :D

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That's the thing...I'm not talking about a total realistic war simulation because the market is just not there for these guys to make money. I tihnk BIS did a great job in giving us a total package as far as a war sim goes. I love to fly Helos that is why I bought Blackshark but after awhile, I get bored with it. I'm enjoy more of the flight experience w/ Arma 2 and although I wish the Helos were more in depth like DCS I am having more fun being part of the battlefield. Some times, I get to fly gunships but most of the time I'm just transporting troops and medivacs and that is ok for me. Of course like everyone else here I'm waiting for DCS:AH-64 but my dream is to be able to fly Helos in an environment where we get DCS flight modelling w/ clickable cockpit in a combination of BIS Arma 2 battlefield where it is not totally realistic but somewhat realistic and yet fun. I think Arma 2 delivers this. I don't expect ED to make this happen I only wish there were such a combination. I do think that ED should have included the AH-1W in their future though instead of the AH-64A. IMHO, the AH1-W would be more fun to fly than the AH-64A. If you're going to simulate the Apache, I think it should be the Longbow version instead as I think alot of folks like the electornics.

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The obstacle here is making the maps correspond, enabling the ground guys to realistically conceal themselves etc.

 

Keep in mind that even FC, whose map is smaller than in some sims (and bigger than in others) has a huge amount of terrain to cover compared to ARMA2 or any other infantry simulation.

 

While it isn't impossible to get everything to sync up, it is a major undertaking - these are two different sims with different goals etc, and now you have to sync up damage-dealing methods, weapon sensor behaviour, armor behaviour, ballistics, flight models, AI, all sorts of other things.

 

Also consider the viewdistance difference between these as well.


Edited by GGTharos

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Aye, that issue is one of the reasons why I think DCS+C&C is a much better proposition than DCS+ArmA2. No problems integrating the playstyles (have to keep it interesting for both side, and have a good ratio of players seeking the play styles - can't have 8 Ka-50's vs 8 infantrymen and a tank... :P ) - you basically have players flying as per normal but with a player sitting effectively in F10 view giving orders to units.

 

Whether that's good enough to actually develop, well... It would be fun! :D

 

As an XP user at the time of release' date=' I had no problems with ArmA2. I was also running the Win 7 beta and had no problem. [...'] I never did run Vista. I ran the beta for that and it was doomed from the start. I always thought of it as a 64 bit version of Win ME. An OS that ate itself everytime it was turned on. After all of the patches and service packs, Vista is almost stable.

 

That's just funny when you have just heard 3 billion people complain about win7 just being a repack of Vista. ;)

 

...and Project Mojave was a fun expose of the tired anti-Vista rants. (But hey, one of these days these sims will be made natively for GNU/Linux and then I'll be a happy camper with my Debian installs. :P)

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Hey Tharos,

 

I didn't really think about all those technical stuff that comes into play. I agree about the two different sim w/ two different goals. I see your point.

In the end, I'm just happy that we have both to enjoy!

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(But hey, one of these days these sims will be made natively for GNU/Linux and then I'll be a happy camper with my Debian installs. :P)

 

 

But even the more recent Fedora cores are over-infalted to make it more like Winblows....so what's one to do lol!

 

The biggest difference between Vista and Win 7 is they fixed a good portion of the compatibility issues and those blasted widgets don't still take background resources even when turned off.

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The obstacle here is making the maps correspond, enabling the ground guys to realistically conceal themselves etc.

 

Keep in mind that even FC, whose map is smaller than in some sims (and bigger than in others) has a huge amount of terrain to cover compared to ARMA2 or any other infantry simulation.

 

While it isn't impossible to get everything to sync up, it is a major undertaking - these are two different sims with different goals etc, and now you have to sync up damage-dealing methods, weapon sensor behaviour, armor behaviour, ballistics, flight models, AI, all sorts of other things.

 

Also consider the viewdistance difference between these as well.

 

I think DCS already has an FPS element with the fact you can walk around after you eject it wouldn't take much to turn it into an FPS because of that if the right tools were available.

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Unfortantaly the technology in the home computers isn't there...

 

You'll need at mininum a 4 core CPU and a very good GPU plus the Engine.

 

I say in about 3 years time the tech would be there for the home user. Plus the tinternet side of things if you want to play on-line.

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But even the more recent Fedora cores are over-infalted to make it more like Winblows....so what's one to do lol!

 

...not use Fedora. ;)

 

I think DCS already has an FPS element with the fact you can walk around after you eject it wouldn't take much to turn it into an FPS because of that if the right tools were available.

 

Making a model of a little guy walking around on a screen is simple.

Turning that into a functional FPS however leaves 99.8% of even just the technical work left to be done, not to even mention the balancing, testing, feature's needed to make it worth anything...

 

That guy is a little piece of eyecandy, nothing more.

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I think a more plausible method of combining Arma, LO/BS, and other sims is based more around the idea of a meta game between each of them rather than actually directly implementing their features into one another. Something were you decide to take on specific missions in any of the games and the outcome has an effect on the overall picture.

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... then on the other hand, all participating sims still need common ground...

 

A flightsim has a different type of terrain (large-scaled, 10m-resolution being "high-res"), while a FPS needs much more detail to be called state of the art. Vehicles on the ground are in between there, but still, they need enough detail to play "hull-down" n stuff.

 

So how to decide, whether a soldier/vehicle on the ground is visible from above? What about the details of buildings - can a soldier in a building can be seen from a fighter/helicopter/vehicle - how to decide, when the flight-sim does not have enough detail/data at hand?

 

Guess those problems won't be feasible in the near future, closest thing I have seen so far is ARMA (yet with a smaller area of conflict) and maybe ww2online (with bad graphics/terrain-features for infantry).

 

.... but still, one needs a dream ;)

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Yeah ... like SB PRO has an fps element because you can control a dude, right?

 

There are no FPS elements in DCS.

 

I think DCS already has an FPS element with the fact you can walk around after you eject it wouldn't take much to turn it into an FPS because of that if the right tools were available.

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No there is an FPS feature eventhough its just the ability to walk around its a start I think its possible to expand on it. If you look at the armoured vehicles and ships I believe a mod is possible for those and also submarines. The main limitation is terrain but although FPS is limited to smaller terrain that doesn't necessarily mean the Flight sim aspect has to use a small map as all the flight sim requires is that chunk of terrain the FPS uses it can work with a much larger map than the FPS afterall the only common feature is network code.:pilotfly:

As for view distance again the flight sim uses its own although an FPS may need an improvement there to allow more realistic visual detection of air targets. Another thing is if such a sim were to use a global map then you would need to employ a bubble method to save PC resources and allow it to work. Its good to see ACE2 is now out for Arma2 as that is the ultimate FPS mod and it goes to show what is possible if a decent SDK is available for people to make mods.

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No there is an FPS feature eventhough its just the ability to walk around its a start I think its possible to expand on it. If you look at the armoured vehicles and ships I believe a mod is possible for those and also submarines. The main limitation is terrain but although FPS is limited to smaller terrain that doesn't necessarily mean the Flight sim aspect has to use a small map as all the flight sim requires is that chunk of terrain the FPS uses it can work with a much larger map than the FPS afterall the only common feature is network code.:pilotfly:

As for view distance again the flight sim uses its own although an FPS may need an improvement there to allow more realistic visual detection of air targets. Another thing is if such a sim were to use a global map then you would need to employ a bubble method to save PC resources and allow it to work. Its good to see ACE2 is now out for Arma2 as that is the ultimate FPS mod and it goes to show what is possible if a decent SDK is available for people to make mods.

 

 

The ACE2 mod doesn't begin to approach the fidelity and scope of DCS, or even FC for that matter, at least in terms of flight simulation; nor can it, given the inherent limitations of ARMA. Personally, I don't think the integration of a FPS and a high-fidelity military technology sim is worth the attempt. The two types of games operate in completely different domains. FPS games are about representing human actions in a given environment. Military technology sims are about representing the operation of sophisticated weapons systems in combat.

 

That said, I do think that ground combat can be integrated into a flight sim, primarily in the form of vehicle combat and close air support. For example, I think adding a reasonably faithful tank simulation component to DCS is feasible. Most of the elements are already there. You would need to create a control scheme, add some vehicle physics, create some interior and exterior views, and add some AI, but none of that would involve completely rewriting the engine, like integrating a decent FPS would.


Edited by GhostDog
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No there is an FPS feature eventhough its just the ability to walk around its a start I think its possible to expand on it.

 

No, you are overestimating what that "feature" is. It's a piece of eyecandy with zero functionality. It doesn't even have the ability to transmit pilot position to other users on multiplayer. If ED decided to implement an "FPS feature" it would most likely not have anything at all to do with the code that creates that thing. That was most likely one of the coders staying up one evening after he had an idea for "something funny".

 

And it's not just a question of view distances. You need to increase the level of detail for the simulator part as well as the FPS part, since the infantry player needs to be able to use terrain to hide. If you have differing levels of detail for the two, the infantryman will think he just hid behind a rock or in a trench while the aircraft player sees him clear as if he stood in the middle of a field with a roman candle. And if you increase the detail for the flight sim part, with it's view distance, you just required every customer to purchase their own BlueGene from IBM.

 

Not going to be feasible until at least some 10 years of further computer development has happened. At least ten years.

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Last night I had a dream DCS announced their next module. DCS MIG 25!!!! I have no idea how the mig 25 popped into my head as I've maybe seen it a few times in a manual somewhere, but I until now (I searched it online when I woke up) had no idea what it looked like off hand. Now I've seen it I can say I saw it, but how it jumped in my head to be the next DCS module I have no idea.

 

Why I'm even THINKING of the next module with FC 2.0 and DCS Warthog I have no idea.

 

Sorry to derail there a second, back on topic.

 

I would honestly like to know how many people would actually play a combined ground/air sim to it's fullest potential. It always seems to me unless you're in a squad the organizational element is almost none existant. As much as it would cost to develope and produce do you think financially it would be successfull in a world where sim's (for the most part) are few and far between.

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The ACE2 mod doesn't begin to approach the fidelity and scope of DCS, or even FC for that matter, at least in terms of flight simulation;

 

Actually I mentioned that because ACE2 is actually level with DCS in complexity and I wasn't refering to the flight sim part of Arma I was refering to the increased complexity in Arma due to ACE. For example how many FPS feature the level of detail ACE has, none ACE is the most complex FPS mod ever made.

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No, you are overestimating what that "feature" is. It's a piece of eyecandy with zero functionality. It doesn't even have the ability to transmit pilot position to other users on multiplayer.

 

If thats the case then why is it there, you're assuming that it has no potential theres nothing stopping someone making a mod for that when the SDK is released and expanding it further or even ED could build on it in a future patch.

 

And it's not just a question of view distances. You need to increase the level of detail for the simulator part as well as the FPS part, since the infantry player needs to be able to use terrain to hide. If you have differing levels of detail for the two, the infantryman will think he just hid behind a rock or in a trench while the aircraft player sees him clear as if he stood in the middle of a field with a roman candle. And if you increase the detail for the flight sim part, with it's view distance, you just required every customer to purchase their own BlueGene from IBM.

 

It seems to work ok in Arma I don't see a difference between the two aside the view distance. Another what if is, what if part of Arma were turned into a flight sim and that has been attempted before although unsuccessfully the potential is there. IMO the minimum requirements for a decent flight sim element in order to make the Air combat element functional is Lockons SFM with LOs level of complexity. Thats the minmum for it to work effectively. DCS level is ideal but SFM is enough for performance. Ideally you would still want to retain the ability to ground lase or heli buddy lasing.

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No, you are overestimating what that "feature" is. It's a piece of eyecandy with zero functionality. It doesn't even have the ability to transmit pilot position to other users on multiplayer. If ED decided to implement an "FPS feature" it would most likely not have anything at all to do with the code that creates that thing. That was most likely one of the coders staying up one evening after he had an idea for "something funny".

 

And it's not just a question of view distances. You need to increase the level of detail for the simulator part as well as the FPS part, since the infantry player needs to be able to use terrain to hide. If you have differing levels of detail for the two, the infantryman will think he just hid behind a rock or in a trench while the aircraft player sees him clear as if he stood in the middle of a field with a roman candle. And if you increase the detail for the flight sim part, with it's view distance, you just required every customer to purchase their own BlueGene from IBM.

 

Not going to be feasible until at least some 10 years of further computer development has happened. At least ten years.

 

:yes: Yeah, that.

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The obstacle here is making the maps correspond, enabling the ground guys to realistically conceal themselves etc.

 

Keep in mind that even FC, whose map is smaller than in some sims (and bigger than in others) has a huge amount of terrain to cover compared to ARMA2 or any other infantry simulation.

 

While it isn't impossible to get everything to sync up, it is a major undertaking - these are two different sims with different goals etc, and now you have to sync up damage-dealing methods, weapon sensor behaviour, armor behaviour, ballistics, flight models, AI, all sorts of other things.

 

Also consider the viewdistance difference between these as well.

 

Tharos I was actually discussing this over at a few other forums. Let me give some thoughts.

 

For a generally good method of LOD, it would be preferable to use a combination of 3 things for calculating the LOD: Distance, Speed, and Altitude. A faster moving object will have less rendering, the same with higher and further, on the other hand, a similar approach as the grass layer from ArmA 2 may help for cover and concealment.

 

Furthermore, as for data, remember that you can reuse game assets, even on a ground level, so the main issue would be rendering it and placing it, not hard drive space.

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