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Flight Model, Controls, and Realism

Discussion in 'News & Announcements' started by Chris, Oct 24, 2013.

  1. Chris

    Chris Art Director Developer

    We’ve had a few questions about the flight model, and its level of fidelity.

    [​IMG]
    Red Baron's Realism Panel


    The flight model will manifest all the primary forces of aerodynamics: thrust, drag, lift, gravity; and the player will be able to manipulate the pitch and rotation of the aircraft with the ailerons, the rudder, and the elevators; and as pilots know, the throttle will also affect pitch and bank (due to torque). Of course, high angles of attack will result in stalls, and should one wing stall before the other, spins. We’ll also have some of the more nuanced effects such as gyroscopic precession caused by propeller and engine rotation (in the case of airplanes with rotary engines like the triplane and the camel), carburetor freezing, and icing when flying in visible moisture. Additionally, there’s a human component to flight. We will include blackouts from positive and negative Gs, and blackouts when flying at high altitudes for too long.


    Closely related to the flight model are the controls. As a real pilot, I’ve learned to apply right rudder to counteract torque, use the rudder to maintain a nice coordinated turn, and apply back pressure in a turn to keep the nose above the horizon so that I don’t inadvertently lose altitude. However, these things take practice before they become automatic reflexes. I’ve spent a lot of time watching novice gamer-pilots try flying in a flight game, and what I’ve seen is that often flight games can be very difficult to learn. Even a simpler maneuver like a banked turn will often send a novice player into a spiral, loss of altitude, and a total loss of orientation. If we want to help those new players along so that they can learn to love the genre as we do, I think we can do a much better job. I think it’s the responsibility of the game developer to do a good job bringing new players on-board.

    We have developed a nice system that will assist novice pilots by automatically applying the necessary rudder to coordinate turns, apply back pressure when banked, and use the rudder to counteract torque. The important thing here is that this is NOT a dumbed down flight model-- the flight model is the same. It's just a layer on top that handles the more finesseful parts of flying for novice pilots. The pilot can override these inputs at any time. Expert pilots can turn off this feature permanently so they are in full control of the aircraft at all times. This will remove ALL the training-wheels.

    Finally, we are going to include a Realism Panel. We've found a realism panel is a great solution so that every player can customize their experience to their own liking. In the single player campaign, players will be able to turn off any or all of the more advanced and challenging features at any time (we will not limit this in anyway; players will have access to the realism panel form the moment they first launch the game). Of course, in multiplayer, it's not fair to have some pilots turning off all the more challenging realities, so players realism settings will be set to that of the dedicated server or host. Each host will have the opportunity to change realism settings before the game is launched.

    In the coming days and weeks, we'll continue to answer any questions and welcome any feedback about Red Baron's flight and damage models.
    Last edited: Oct 24, 2013
  2. West

    West New Member

    Trackir Support I may hope, sorry but falling point for me.
    I see however you mention Oculus Rift and you are completely right to support it only I think it is still early days there, lacks resolution and suffers from grid screen sight.
    However without Trackir, stick and foot rudder no go for me.

    No mention of automated engine management settings on the realism panel makes one suppose there is none - over-revving engine, gas mixture, radiator management, warming up engine at take off?

    Will server settings make it possible to block track views, I mean lock the pilot in the cockpit - also blocking look trough cockpit view.
    Same for spectator views where one may jump between views from other players or AI.
    Last edited: Oct 26, 2013
  3. Damon

    Damon Developer

    TrackIR: I like the device, but it's too early for us to promise it. We need to do some research to determine how long it will take to add the support. If it's just a couple of days, no problem. I think Oculus will increase resolution-- they'll have to to win over all the gamers.

    We are months from Alpha so the Realism Panel settings aren't finalized.

    On the view blocking: I suppose it provides some advantage to be able to have the computer keep the target in view automatic tracking, but it's really just overcoming the unrealistic problem a PC has in that the human can't rotate his/her head to keep an eye on the enemy (since the display is not 360 like the real world). TrackIR and Oculus solve this, but what about all the players that don't have the device? Still, I could see make this an option if there's a demand for it from the players. I agree the tracking should be automatically lost whenever the LOS is broken between pilot and target. And, if using an external view, the target should not even be displayed if there is no LOS between pilot's eyes and target. And, we will block looking through the cockpit. I understand your sentiments, and I agree with them: that the visibility provided by an aircraft's cockpit design is one of its gameplay features, for better or worse, and allowing a player to override this by being able to look through the cockpit or see things from external view that would not actually be visible to the player removes some of the characteristics of the aircraft that give it uniqueness. So, short answer: we won't let the player see things he should not be able to, but I'm not sure auto-tracking should be removed so long as it is implemented in a fair way.
  4. West

    West New Member

    Hi Damon,
    thx to drop me a line and answering some Qs.
    Problem with LOS is it is automated fail safe and far less easily outfoxed compared to trackir.
    With trackir you still have to eye-ball the adversary the while making the distinction between an enemy or a possible team mate.
    Camo/distance/counter light may make you overlook the boogie or worse yet take a team mate for an adversary.
    LOS does it for you failsafe within restrictions imposed by dev like looking in the right direction while pushing the LOS button.
    So it is only logical to take trackir for a far fairer way to play the game compared to LOS and of course as far as MP is concerned.
    However if one does not have trackir LOS is almost the only option.
    That is why it should depend on server options if LOS is admitted or not.
    Most aviation sim nuts are trackir users. Once used to it and presented with a cockpit one unconsciously starts operating it even when e.g. watching a video LOL
    I guess supporting OR is far more complex than trackir while OR is still in full development, growing pains/wards and all but seems to hold the future, while adding it along the way of developing is prob more convenient than having to add it later. Trackir has been there for years now with every problem ironed out and lots of ppl used to it ...
    Chosing not to implement trackir will prob turn away a lot of flight sim adepts.
    Last edited: Oct 26, 2013
  5. Zilski

    Zilski New Member

    I agree on server options if LOS is admitted or not.
    But for me the views F1, F2, F3, F5, and F8 are what make RB so much fun to fly!
    I like to watch the action as others fight and learn, this may not be for aviation nuts but is fun!

    Salute!
    Spartan and halibut like this.
  6. Damon

    Damon Developer

    I'm convinced. Auto-Track should be a server option. It's easy enough to implement, and players should always be able to customize their play style. Thanks for making the case.
    Spartan likes this.
  7. Pips

    Pips New Member

    My very first sim was Red Baron II. Bought it in 1998. And have been hooked ever since. Doesn't matter what computer I've had over the years, it (in the form of RB3D) has always migrated. When I bought my latest (Win 7 i5-2400 3.30Ghz 64bit system) I kept my old Windows XP computer so that I can still fly RB.

    Since then I've flown EAW, MiG Alley, BoB II, FSX, OFF and all the IL-2 variants.

    But I have to add my support for TrackIR too. These days it's a must in any flight sim. It really does wonders for making the sim pilot feel that he is keeping an realistic eye out - far more so than simple key actions. To be able to hit a key and lock onto an enemy is ok, and in furball's associated with most online play that's the most used function. But there's no associated thrill in that action. Having to rely on yourself to pickup an aeroplane using nothing but TrackIR, then stalk it until you can confirm whether it is enemy or friend really makes you feel like a fighter pilot. More importantly being in a fight and madly looking around for a possible enemy on your own tail REALLY gets the palms sweaty. That's real immersion.

    I don't really know much about Occulus Rift, but from what I've read it sounds absolutely brilliant.
  8. West

    West New Member

    Last edited: Nov 7, 2013
  9. Spartan

    Spartan Member

    I'm still wending my way through the threads as I have the time, but probably should have started here instead of immediately firing off suggestions and questions in other locations. My bad.

    In my opinion having both systems as options are an absolute must. Yes, almost all hard core flight sim gamers will have and use TrackIR, but we can't expect everyone who wants to play the game to have the resources to plop down $100 to $170 just to participate. It's clear that the devs want to have this game appeal to a wide range of experience and interest levels, which is exactly the right approach. Get them hooked first, then watch them (and help them) become hard core on their own.

    Use of TrackIR and LOS should be mutually exclusive for players competing in the same event, either one or the other, but not both. Both, however, should be available for selection at all levels as a precondition before the event begins.

    Like Pips, RB3D was my first flight sim, and I have not met its match since. I do not have TrackIR, although I always wanted the system. I have a family and bills and this is a game. We are not poor, but not rich either and I just couldn't justify paying that money, especially after my favorite flight sim began to chug and wheeze to an ignoble end (the day the Metaservers died). I played on in EAW (although it was already close to death also), Mig Alley, BoB and IL-2, but found that switching manually between views I just couldn't compete with the pilots using TrackIR, so my interest faded and I went in other directions. I haven't played an online sim in years now and my skills are badly degraded (I was a good pilot, but never one of the aces, like Ritter or Butcherbird) (.....of course, some of the old "aces" were merely good hackers as I recall, like......? :) I'm sure you remember them, bullets the size of trucks). Only the word that "Red Baron is back!" from one of my friends brought me here, hungry for a replay of my earliest online experiences.

    I pretty much agree with Zilski. As much as I love accuracy and realism, I also loved all of the views he mentioned. If nothing else, just to take in the beautiful jobs on the skins and landscapes provided to the community from a multitude of skilled artists like Rens, Kessler and the great folks from SWWISA. Yea, not for the purist, I suppose. But, as long as everyone flying the same event has the same view options, why not?

    (Egad! I just looked up Flybert's Chateau on google to find Fly and Kess still there!! Never say die, WTG guys!)
  10. Ernst Udet

    Ernst Udet New Member

    As a novice Ace of Aces flyer, I flew with a mouse and was still able to gain a fair degree of skill by outmanuevering my opponents. I was playing off a work server (T1) and later I had access to a joystick for a brief period of play. I was jumping into existing games and fought mainly with German Squadrons. Eventually, I received enough kills to warrant recruitment under Gary Trotman's careful tutelage. Just as I got started, my IT pulled the plug on my On-Line play. I finally have a home PC and was wondering if you could recommend a Joystick suitable for your realistic flight sim characteristics. Keep the Sun to Your Back, Ernst
  11. Spartan

    Spartan Member

    I was very happy with my Microsoft Sidewinder, but Microsoft stopped supporting it years ago for some reason, unless things have changed. (I should probably check that out as I still have the old joystick.) I have an old Saitek Cyborg EVO which I am happy with, but others may tell you differently. Primarily I think it is what you are comfortable with that makes you most effective.
    Ernst Udet likes this.

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