A Space Fighter Versus the World

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Deviate:
Not going to make a long post or anything, even though this subject is extremely close to my heart. I'll just say two things:

1. For the love of God get us Freespace 3 and Tachyon: The Fringe 2.
2. Tachyon:TF, y u no on tiemlien article?!?!

dont jinx it but freespace 3 were the first words that came across my mind when the words space sim making a comback came onto the sceen I WILL BUY THREE COPIES!!!

Much in the way of the X-Wing franchise love, though I did think that X-Wing's original interface so far as mission failure was abysmal. "You have failed your mission. You have died, so that means you get to start over! Completely!"

TIE Fighter improved on that and gave some great updates - the Assault Gunboat, Missile Boat, and TIE Defender were a lot of fun, and we got a good, original storyline that brought in elements of the EU and expanded them.

X-Wing vs. TIE Fighter was I think almost too early - if it had been made now, with broadband and networked consoles I imagine it would succeed.

I would love to see Freelancer ported onto XBLA. But we're not likely to see Freelancer 2 anytime soon, given the folding of Digital Anvil due to the studio head embezzling profits from Microsoft...

Here's my personal request to anyone that wanted to make a mission based space combat game(rather than the free roaming trading games that are more common these days): capital ships need to be a setting, not a target. They need to be huge, floating, city sized monsters that make single pilot fighters seem like flies. Battles involving them should revolve either around the player trying to place bombs at strategic points while trying not to get shot down by defending fighters or as a battle between two giants as the fighters fight between(and try not to get caught up in the barrage). Capital ships should be interesting set pieces that provide opportunities for fun battles(see the Death Star trench run).

Other possibilities for great battles would be around(and inside) orbital colonies, factories, etc. and large fleet battles in low planetary(or even star) orbit.

Hoplon:
Freelancer had this problem licked, the mouse was a viable control system with that game.

Poor freelancer 2, so close yet snatched away by the monsters of microsoft... see this is why I hate consoles, ruined freelancer and Mechwarrior.

Personally, the mouse control with Freelancer ruined the experience for me. Pointing and clicking at a target on screen had none of the thrills I associate with other space sims in controlling a space fighter. While the joystick is ideal you don't actually need it, the same functionality can be had with an analogue stick or keyboard arrow keys (though the latter isn't ideal). It's not like racing games are broken if you don't have a steering wheel.

Actually the funnest I ever had with a flight sim type game was with a PSone controller. Unfortunately it was only a demo game which had it's NA release canceled, Macross VFX. Closer to an Ace Combat game in that it used 3rd person view, but the real innovation was the non-fixed camera. Most flight sim combat games you spend a lot of times chasing arrows on the edge of the screen until the target comes into view, but in this game the camera would angle itself to put your target in view at all times. Similarly, when they got a lock on you and launched missiles the camera would shift to the back so you could see them coming and dodge appropriately.

Probably made it a little disorientating to watch but it was a blast to play once you got the hang of it.

Having owned one of thsoe games (Rebel Assault II) for the PC, I can sympathize with everyone's love for the genre, and I really hope this does sell well.

And so what if joysticks don't fit the game perfectly? I know a lot of people that complain that the arcade stick is infinitely better for playing fight games like Tekken and Mortal Kombat with, yet I know a lot of people that still use the controller for playing those games. It's all in how you've started and how you adapt to the game's controls.

This would be an instant pre-order for me. This has always been my favourite genre, since I started playing Elite back in the eighties. I still own three joysticks, even though I've had nothing to use them with for a long time. I just hope he doesn't make it too arcadey, I want a space sim, damnit!

TBH, I just want someone to make I-War 3, then I would be happy.

Accessibility and hardware are not issues. The problem is the game companies don't understand what makes a game objectively entertaining. Space game devs continue to shove the same core concepts down our throats with only minor graphical enhancements and new "features" that are typically nothing more than a single (usually worthless) upgrade to the AI or a particular facet of the setting that has no real bearing on depth or gameplay.

The real problem throughout the games industry is that consumers of games are typically not capable of expressing what they like about "good" games in a complex, objective manner. Good is defined here as those games which are universally revered by all people as a quality entertainment product.

These same people then go out and purchase the schlock like CoD:MW3 and pretend to like it to assuage their sense of normalcy. Corporations see these dollar votes and produce more of the schlock that gets heavy marketing and the cycle perpetuates. Objectively awful games continue to get made and sold indefinitely. Games with a space setting are no different than the rest of the industry in this regard.

Very few developers in industry understand why we derive enjoyment from a particular product, marketing departments don't care, and executives base their decisions on profits. So we are left with the unfortunate side effect that no one takes risks and even if they could developers aren't savvy enough to create something lasting.

Dastardly:

Scars Unseen:

Dastardly:

And no joysticks. Sorry, but that ship has sailed.

Bullshit. Sure, provide keyboard/mouse and gamepad support for those that prefer it, but no flightstick support means no purchase for a lot of existing space combat fans. I would say that if anything, the more peripherals supported the better in the space sim genre(but none of the required). I have a TRackIR that tracks my head movement and translates it into the POV controls in a space game I play. It isn't needed, but it is quite immersive to be able to look around without using controls to do so.

On the rest of your post, I've long believed that space sims should have an "action mode" where the controls are simplified so that anyone can just jump into the game and play if that's what they want to do. So I agree with you on that part, though I would still want the possibility of more in depth control.

That's what I mean. No joysticks required, so that people don't see it and think, "Great, $60 for a game and another $30 for a joystick? No thanks." But that also means designing games with non-joystick folks in mind, too. This inevitably pisses off the flight sim purists, but at this point I think they might start realizing that, if they don't broaden the audience by broadening the appeal, they might not get any new games made...

How so? I know a mouse can do a 2-button joystick's job, as I've used one very successfully for it. I modded a driver way back when that turned a mouse into a joystick, and later on I saw games like Freelancer successfully doing about the same thing.

What works surprisingly well for true 3-D flight is to go with the old WC/Descent model of having the l/r be yaw instead of roll, and then add Q/E for roll. Works like a champ and is pretty easy to get used to.

X-wing vs Tie was the game that got me into gaming and i am forever in its debt, if Sol Exodus gets up i will buy it.still got my joystick in a box somwhere.

Was So excited about space combat aspect of SWTOR until it came out it was on Rails. i remember buying Rebel Assault 2 as a kid and being very annoyed with it. Rail Shooters are not space combat!

I loved Freelancer. I remember buying it, getting back to my flat, putting the disc in and then wondering why it was suddenly 5am in the morning. Its only downfall was that it was very much a grind fest - complete main mission, do a few fetch quests, rinse and repeat. Online though it was great fun, I remember being involved in Protect the Convey style games where someone would go the trade ship class and a few friends would protect while others would try and take the trade ship down. Having an intense space battle with your friends, yelling out weapon and shield charge status across Roger Wilco was immense fun. :D

The only games made from the SW franchise from here on should be a a space fighter, or Battlefront 3. Nearly everyone I speak to who played X-Wing or Tie Fighter wishes for either an HD remake, or a brand new game.

I think the real problem is that some of us used to love the economics sub-genre. Running Luxuries to Zaonce and back with Computers was what got us into Space Sims.

But the adrenaline junkies had been lured in - and are still bloating the charts with BattleWarefarefield 9000.

Why do you think MMOs took off? Economic models are what fuelled them - that and EVE, of course.

Then the economic's sub-genre went into Echo Bazaar and all the other web based/casual genre.

While the Space Flight went to FPS, the economics went to Casual.

w00tage:

Dastardly:

Scars Unseen:

Bullshit. Sure, provide keyboard/mouse and gamepad support for those that prefer it, but no flightstick support means no purchase for a lot of existing space combat fans. I would say that if anything, the more peripherals supported the better in the space sim genre(but none of the required). I have a TRackIR that tracks my head movement and translates it into the POV controls in a space game I play. It isn't needed, but it is quite immersive to be able to look around without using controls to do so.

On the rest of your post, I've long believed that space sims should have an "action mode" where the controls are simplified so that anyone can just jump into the game and play if that's what they want to do. So I agree with you on that part, though I would still want the possibility of more in depth control.

That's what I mean. No joysticks required, so that people don't see it and think, "Great, $60 for a game and another $30 for a joystick? No thanks." But that also means designing games with non-joystick folks in mind, too. This inevitably pisses off the flight sim purists, but at this point I think they might start realizing that, if they don't broaden the audience by broadening the appeal, they might not get any new games made...

How so? I know a mouse can do a 2-button joystick's job, as I've used one very successfully for it. I modded a driver way back when that turned a mouse into a joystick, and later on I saw games like Freelancer successfully doing about the same thing.

What works surprisingly well for true 3-D flight is to go with the old WC/Descent model of having the l/r be yaw instead of roll, and then add Q/E for roll. Works like a champ and is pretty easy to get used to.

Trust me, that is so not the same. I -can- drive my car by fastening three pieces of rope to certain bits underneath the hood, pulling them through the firewall. It'll let me drive the car both accurately and without the need for pesky gas pedals or steering wheels... but it's still not the same as driving a car, is it?

A joystick in hand is pretty much the defining part of a spacefighter sim for a lot of us. Freelancer got really boring for me, and that was a game optimized for mouse/keyboard.

Leave the option for mouse/keyboard/gamepad controls, absolutely, but don't skimp on the joystick controls either in these games. They are fairly important for a large chunk of the gamers who want these games.

Now, are we talking space flight SIM games? Or dogfighting in spaceships? Because there's an enormous difference there.

Don't see what'd be so hard about making a decent space game though. Take the all-range mode from the Star Fox games, put it in an open world, and BAM! Fun space game.

Now for anyone who loves games that take place in space I recently discovered a program called Space Engine [http://en.spaceengine.org/] that lets you to explore most of the known Universe. Yes you heard right, it allows you to explore thousand of galaxies, trilions of star systems and whatever -illions of planets there are :P. Now this is actually a program, not a game, its sort of like Google earth version of the Universe, also lots of stuff is automatically generated, because at the moment its just close to imposible to actually create trillions of unique individual stars.

I recomend this for anyone who likes space in general, it absolutely blew my mind. Also, its in beta version at the moment, but even now it's possibilities are mind bogling.

Here are few videos:

Well it's good to hear that the genre might be making a comeback. I do however have two quick little pointers -
1) Lack of joysticks killed the genre? Sorry pal but there've been two joysticks under the thumbs of gamers since the PS1.
2) Plate armour instead of shields? Aaw, man... One of the best things about space sims over regular flight sims was jimmying your shields around to prepare for a head on attack against a capital ship or defend against a swarm of fighters...
Those two points aside, this is great news and I want to assure Seamless Entertainment that as far as their new enterprise (hur hur hur) goes, they already have my money. Thank you.

RandV80:

Hoplon:
Freelancer had this problem licked, the mouse was a viable control system with that game.

Poor freelancer 2, so close yet snatched away by the monsters of microsoft... see this is why I hate consoles, ruined freelancer and Mechwarrior.

Personally, the mouse control with Freelancer ruined the experience for me. Pointing and clicking at a target on screen had none of the thrills I associate with other space sims in controlling a space fighter. While the joystick is ideal you don't actually need it, the same functionality can be had with an analogue stick or keyboard arrow keys (though the latter isn't ideal). It's not like racing games are broken if you don't have a steering wheel

Okay, one; the analogue sticks are joysticks. two; you didn't point and click, the mouse was set up to act like a joysitck the further up you pushed it the harder you dived, pull back and you start to climb. I'm not sure you ever actually played freelancer, those controls allowed the immersion of a joystick with out having to buy the hardware.

Deviate:

w00tage:

Dastardly:

That's what I mean. No joysticks required, so that people don't see it and think, "Great, $60 for a game and another $30 for a joystick? No thanks." But that also means designing games with non-joystick folks in mind, too. This inevitably pisses off the flight sim purists, but at this point I think they might start realizing that, if they don't broaden the audience by broadening the appeal, they might not get any new games made...

How so? I know a mouse can do a 2-button joystick's job, as I've used one very successfully for it. I modded a driver way back when that turned a mouse into a joystick, and later on I saw games like Freelancer successfully doing about the same thing.

What works surprisingly well for true 3-D flight is to go with the old WC/Descent model of having the l/r be yaw instead of roll, and then add Q/E for roll. Works like a champ and is pretty easy to get used to.

Trust me, that is so not the same. I -can- drive my car by fastening three pieces of rope to certain bits underneath the hood, pulling them through the firewall. It'll let me drive the car both accurately and without the need for pesky gas pedals or steering wheels... but it's still not the same as driving a car, is it?

A joystick in hand is pretty much the defining part of a spacefighter sim for a lot of us. Freelancer got really boring for me, and that was a game optimized for mouse/keyboard.

Leave the option for mouse/keyboard/gamepad controls, absolutely, but don't skimp on the joystick controls either in these games. They are fairly important for a large chunk of the gamers who want these games.

Sorry, but you're assuming I've never had nor used a joystick. The exact opposite is true. I did the whole flight sim deal from the early days up until joysticks went away (including dual joysticks for that chopper simulation - what was it again? great now I have to look it up).

Of course it's not the exact same, but the point was that you could make a mouse a fair substitute if you use an altered control model like the ones that early joystick games used.

I don't think I've ever seen a true space combat sim game. All of them I've seen were just air combat sims with a black backround. Zero G combat would be vastly different. For one thing, since you wouldn't fall if you didn't fly straight you could straff your target. Has anyone ever seen one where you could pull off maneuvers like that?

archvile93:
I don't think I've ever seen a true space combat sim game. All of them I've seen were just air combat sims with a black backround. Zero G combat would be vastly different. For one thing, since you wouldn't fall if you didn't fly straight you could straff your target. Has anyone ever seen one where you could pull off maneuvers like that?

The Star Wraith series features a Newtonian flight model that allows for such things. The series has diverged into two branches: Evochron, which is a space trading game like Elite, and Arvoch, which is a mission based combat game. Here's the features list for the latest in each respective series.

Evochron Mercenary:

True freeform gameplay without plot restrictions, conditions, or limitations. No character attribute/skill limitations to hold you back. Experience ultimate gameplay freedom and play the game the way you want to. Your decisions and abilities define your role in the game and establish your reputations, wealth, progress, and ranking.

Diverse gameplay choices and activities including racing, spying, mining, trading, commodity shipping, escorting, combat (both in civilian space and military war zones), exploring, asteroid clearing, equipment cleaning, crew management, station building, and ship designing. There are many ways to make money and advance in the game.

New starting role selection system. When you create a profile, you can now select which initial role you want your ship to be optimized for. The role you select also establishes your starting location, what ship you get, and how many credits you're initially given.

New 'quest' system that features multiple objectives spanning many solar systems throughout the game's universe. The quest can further train you for the game, teach you details on the history of the Evochron quadrant, and guide you through systems useful for upgrading your ship. Completing quest objectives also provides information on secret locations and hidden benefits in the game.

New clan territory control system. Clans can take partial control of solar systems through cooperative contracts and clan-vs-clan battles in multiplayer. The server tracks events involving completed contracts and clan wars, then awards percentage points to victorious groups, giving them a partial ownership interest in the system. When clan control is above 80% in a system, they are paid a percentage of earnings from that system.

Double the number of available ship frames, including both civilian and military. New ranges, capacities, and capabilities expand the ship designs available to you. A new frame storage space resource management system lets you customize any civilian frame for different crew, countermeasure, equipment, and secondary weapon hardpoint capacities. You can now adjust the frame's default design in these areas for the role you want to play.

New graphics engine supporting higher resolutions, greater detail, and new effects/technology. Broad compatibility includes support for most 3D video cards with at least shader 2.0 capability.

A vast seamless universe that lets you fly anywhere without in-game loading screens. The Evochron universe is not boxed in by 'walls' or 'rooms' that require a jumpgate 'door' to access, there are no required gates or trade lanes to restrict your travel and hold you back. You can travel virtually anywhere you want. Descend into planet atmospheres to land at city trade stations, mine valuable materials, or explore for hidden items. You can escape to nebula clouds for sensor cover or hide in a massive asteroid cave for protection. Fly from planet to planet, star to star, and solar system to solar system.

Expanded interactive training mode with selectable stages to provide the necessary basics for flying your ship, managing its systems, docking/landing, and surviving in combat.

Unified gameplay architecture and profiles let you keep the ship, upgrades, equipment, money, weapons, crew, and commodities you acquire in the game for use in both single player and multiplayer.

New Multiplayer system with much higher performance for improved precision and gameplay. Integrated voice chat lets you talk with other players using your PC's mic.

Clan ID linking system lets you establish your indicated threat levels with other players in multiplayer. Players sharing a common ID in their callsigns are linked together as friendly contacts while different ID's are indicated as hostile. You can also link together in-game with another clan to form a larger group for better odds of success.

Cooperative multiplayer objectives that pay all linked players. Join forces with other players to complete more challenging activities that can offer much better pay. More advanced players can link with new players to give them access to higher paying contracts that they would not otherwise have access to early in the game. Being part of the same team lets you combine reputations and contract pay for improved results.

New gun turret binding mode in multiplayer allows players to link their ships together. One player controls a 360-degree gun turret attached to the player's ship they've linked to.

New fleet command system. Send single player commands to AI ships and multiplayer commands to other players. You can order your fleet ships to form up, attack hostiles, defend you specifically, mine asteroids, or order them to reload and refuel which parks them in a local station until ordered to do something else. In multiplayer, the new command system broadcasts the order in a message, so clans can use the same command system to issue orders to their human wingmen.

New planetary engine offers a much higher level of detail along with new effects including far more realistic clouds, water, and terrain. Other planet effects include weather such as rain, snow, and turbulence. Explore planets for hidden benefits, trade at city stations, mine their surfaces for valuable materials, recover cells from plants for valuable biological material, or hide in their atmospheres. New gas giant planets feature moving cloud layers and powerful winds.

Ship-to-ship trading and cargo system. Ship and trade weapons, upgrades, fuel, credits, and equipment in addition to commodities. You can even load items from your cargo bay onto your ship, letting you carry more weapons, upgrades, and equipment beyond what you can install on your ship. Challenge other players to multiplayer ship-vs-ship races with the trade console and place the race course where you want in space.

The new deploy system lets you place temporary energy stations, repair stations, refueling stations, sensor stations, shield arrays, and mining probes. They can offer important benefits for deep space exploration, resource harvesting, and hidden item hunting. In combat, they can also provide significant advantages from tactical information on the battlefield to front line support.

The new build system lets you construct space stations, dynamically expanding the game's universe with new trade routes, docking points, and economies. The online multiplayer universe system supports this station placement, letting you or any other player construct stations at new locations in the game's universe while you are playing online. Player built stations are stored with the server so other players can have access to the new stations and trade routes you create.

Dynamic economies with realistic variable item availability and specialized industries. Larger inventory pools now offer a wider variety of items. New scrollable inventory list lets you easily browse through more items at every station and planet docking point.

Three weapon classes - beam weapons, particle cannons, and secondary missiles/equipment. New equipment technology includes an anti-missile system, shield array recharger, cannon heatsink, afterburner drive, constructors, and automatic counter-measure launcher.

5 mining and tractor beam types (4 new specialized models). The 'classic' general purpose device, one optimized for metal ore, one for diamonds, one for platinum, and one for gold. Specialized devices are designed and built exclusively in systems with the right technological economy.

New and improved contract objectives including escape pod rescue missions in war zones, ship specific bounty hunting, and satellite orbit placement and recovery. New mining contracts provide additional payment options for recovering and successfully delivering desired materials to local stations. Includes both asteroid and planetary mining options.

New shipwrecks scattered throughout the game's universe that often provide valuable items trapped in their wreckage.

Capital ships engaged in battle now have powerful flak cannons for fighter suppression and anti-shield torpedoes to knock out the shield arrays of an opposing capital ship.

Carriers now have their own dedicated inventory systems and also frequently stock secondary weapons you currently have mounted on your ship (allowing you to reload after a combat mission in a war zone).

Use your wealth to design and build a new ship, buy better weapons, hire crew members, recruit other ships, install upgrades, load commodities, and more.

Constructor stations can fabricate new items from raw materials. In more technologically advanced economies, they can now also build weapons from metal ore and electronics.

Shipyards let you design and customize your ship for the role you want to play. Optimize your ship for defense, exploration, combat, racing, or transporting... the choice is yours. You can also position and scale each component to give your ship a unique appearance. Save your designs with the template system to rebuild it later. Store ships and cargo in hangars you can rent at trade stations.

Improved physics system allowing for far greater speeds with velocity adjusted acceleration curves and accuracy for mass, thrust, and vector calculations. Realistic zero gravity inertia based 'Newtonian' style flight model including complete 3-way rotation and 3-way direction control with optional variable input. An advanced inertial dampening system helps keep flight control simple in space, atmospheres, and gravity fields.

Realistic environment interaction far beyond the genre's typical 'background wallpaper'. Nebula clouds, asteroid fields, planet atmospheres, moons, and more all provide unique options for shelter and strategy. Such environment elements include changes in gravity, fuel consumption, physics, sensor range, and visibility.

Quick one-key access to jump drive navigation and inventory management. You control all system travel and inventory decisions right from the cockpit.

New dynamic music system (with music by Rich Douglas). Music changes with the level of hostility around you from soft ambient to high intensity action.

Supports keyboard, mouse, gamepad, and joystick flight control. Use the control device you prefer to play the game. Force feedback control is also supported.

Supports Natural Point's TrackIR 3D head control system for managing the viewpoint from the cockpit with all six degrees of movement.

Arvoch Alliance:

3 Single Player Gameplay Modes - Campaign, Custom Campaign, and Instant Action. The Campaign features 30 missions of diverse objectives including escorting, spying, planet surface strikes and recovery, rescuing, capturing, mining, and building. The Custom Campaign mode lets players load missions they design using the mission editor. The Instant Action mode creates a randomly generated combat mission.

4 Multiplayer Gameplay Modes - Cooperative Campaign, Dogfight, Squadrons, and Strike. The Cooperative Campaign mode lets players join together to complete the game's built-in campaign. The Dogfight mode is a battle for survival with all players hostile to each other. The Squadrons mode is a team-vs-team battle that lets players choose which side they will fight for. The Strike mode is also a team-vs-team battle, but it adds a command ship for each team to defend. The first team to destroy the opposing team's command ship wins. The host can define a kill limit or a time limit for the latter 3 modes and can add AI controlled ships to fill in empty player slots. The multiplayer mode also lets players quickly set up battle scenarios to play on their own using the mission options available to the host.

Advanced Order/Command System - Lead your squadron(s) by issuing commands to specific groups or individual ships using the mouse driven command interface (optional key and button bindings are also available). Give orders to attack, defend, join formation, hold at a particular location you select, or reload, repair, and refuel. Giving the right orders at the right time may often be critical to victory. Your ability to plan and lead can be just as important as your skill in combat.

Player Controlled Ship Selection And Configuration - Your command authority puts you in charge of which ships your flight group will use during most missions as well as what weapon and equipment configuration your ship will have. A simple drag-n-drop interface lets you quickly select ships and a loadout configuration prior to each adjustable mission.

Diverse and Interactive Environments - Descend into planets from space, travel through dense nebula clouds, fight the powerful winds of a gas giant, balance the pull of a high gravity star, navigate clusters of asteroids, and battle it out in the no-excuses realm of open space. Arvoch Alliance features several environments that can impact ship performance, fuel use, weapon availability, visibility, sensor range, and more.

Extensive Target Selection and Combat Tracking Systems - Monitor the conditions of the battle with the new Tactical Console and select ships for orders or targeting right from the console menu. Select targets by mouse clicking on them or use the proximity, gunsight, and list selection options. Track a target's missile count, particle and beam weapon types, speed, shield status, hull and subsystem damage, and even its trajectory with the new HUD motion ladders.

Realistic Newtonian Style Physics Model - Utilize the flight tactics available with the inertial physics system that lets you drift freely and perform maneuvers such as high speed strafe passes and flipping around to fire at a target while flying backwards. Use the afterburner for quick speed and course changes while manually controlling the hull thrusters for additional adjustments. An optional Inertial Dampening System (IDS) is available to help keep flight control easier to manage.

Detailed 3D Cockpit and Instrumentation - The pilot view offers an in-scene 3D cockpit that moves and responds to control input and impacts for a realistic sense of being in the ship itself. A helmet visor based Heads-Up-Display (HUD) renders important information that matches the pilot's view and stays locked while the pilot turns their head. Players who prefer an unobstructed view can optionally turn off the 3D cockpit, leaving only the HUD and displays.

New Graphics Engine and Effects - From explosion waves to massive capital ships breaking apart in pieces, the new graphics engine provides a much higher level of detail and many new special effects. The new graphics engine is heavily shader based and includes normal, specular, and emmissive details for ships, stations, and other objects.

Event and Time Driven Missions - The new mission structure allows for in-game dialogues, ship departures, ambushes, and other timed events to occur. Players can even design their own dynamic campaigns in branching mission structures (where victory or defeat determines the next course of the campaign) using the optional mission editor.

New Music and Sound Effects - Dynamic music system (with music by Rich Douglas). The music changes with the level of hostility around you.

Diverse and Flexible Control Options - Supports keyboard, mouse, gamepad, and joystick flight control. Use the control device you prefer to play the game. The game supports up to 10 simultaneous control devices with up to 32 buttons each.

Full Support for TrackIR - Natural Point's TrackIR 3D head control system lets the player manage the viewpoint from the cockpit with all six degrees of movement.

Both have demos available.

I know that it had more of an arcade feel to it than a true space flight sim, but Rogue Squadron 2 was one of the best games I've ever had for the GameCube. As an early teen, nothing gaming-wise beat the wide-eyed awe as I saw the dozens and dozens of TIE's flying in at the Battle of Endor, or racing through the trenches at Cloud City, or single-handedly taking on a Star Destroyer in my dinky little B-Wing.

I object. The Smashing Pumpkins never once "screamed" they just whined.

Grospoliner:
I object. The Smashing Pumpkins never once "screamed" they just whined.

Tales of a Scorched Earth says hello.

About a year ago I bought a joystick for ~$15 just so I could play the remake of Privateer. It was totally worth it. The new graphics are lovely, and the old game mechanics have always been fun.

More recently I beta tested the Battlestar Galactica Online MMO spaceflight sim, but it was just too grindy for my taste (as are all MMOs except Planetside).

If new space combat IP was released, I'd be all over it. An HD remake of X-Wing and TIE fighter would be cool too.

archvile93:
I don't think I've ever seen a true space combat sim game. All of them I've seen were just air combat sims with a black backround. Zero G combat would be vastly different. For one thing, since you wouldn't fall if you didn't fly straight you could straff your target. Has anyone ever seen one where you could pull off maneuvers like that?

Vega Strike has physics that are so realistic that I find it impossible to play. It's like trying to hit a bullet with a bullet, without computer assisted aiming.

Part of me wants this to do good just so we can stop seeing so many shooters.

The other part wants it to do good because I miss the genre

Four words: Freespace-2 Open Source Project

I finally tried this the other day after not having played the game for years, in spite of having it somewhere around #3 in my all-time favourites.

Bloody awesome, and FS2 was a damn good-looking game in the first place.

I'm actually stoked, because I found a Saitek Aviator in the local thrift store for $6, and I'm busy setting up the profile software to bind all 50 or so necessary controls to the 12 buttons & hat switch.

Never buying another Logitech joystick, that's for sure.

Any love for Miner Wars 2081 around here? Minecraft meets Descent basically. Just putting it out there.

I guess when FPS was getting popular there wasn't an easy way to impliment the control scheme on very different controllers being the PS1 and N64. Now the rapidlly adopted dual stick standard allows someone to preform 6 actions at once with one thumb on the left stick/d-pad and the other on the right stick/action buttons. I think it shouldn't be too hard to adapt.

I am personally holding out major hope that this is the next thing Bungie does. The space section of the Long Night of Solace mission in Reach was the greatest part of the game and was only a 10-20 minute section... testing the waters perhaps?

Bungie's been great at leading the way before and I could see them spearhead the new genre.

I would be disappointed with another FPS by them as they've proven they can tackle other genres brilliantly before. With Bungie making a game 100% behind that space combat aspect... I feel they could start a gaming revolution as big as they did with Halo in the first place if they craft it as masterfully as their last blockbuster series.

Why not sell the joystick with the box, and pick up the loss with microtransactions?

IDK from my experience most really hardcore FPS gamers never really fit the bill of "poeple who enjoy anything other than FPSs" ie they probably think that space fighters, star ships and even space are lame and features befitting a game that is some how inherently flawed because of a lack of SOPMOD or Black Hawk helicopters.

Now that's not to say that there wasn't a period of ship jumping back at the end of what I consider the golden age of gaming but I don't think that people were leaving the space sim genre in droves for their Quakes and their Call of Dutys but rather I think that those people were becoming the dominant force in the market and everyone else was being given the shaft. I mean look at the sales numbers of any game in it's first year or two up until the early 00s and you'll notice that very few games pushed nearly as many copies as many of today block buster, once-a-year-ever-year gravy train titles. It's not that these genres were failing as much as they were never able to whore themselves out to the lowest common denominator to the same extent as safer, more accessible titles.

Basically the flaw of the Space Sim was that it actually had a target demographic smaller than "the human race" while more vague and generic titles like Mass Effect, Call of Duty and so on aim to sell a copy of their game (and all their DLC)to every living person on Earth. The gamers haven't failed the genre as much as the industry has all but abandoned anything other than uber-expensive once-a-year-every-year block busters aimed at any person, age 1-110, who breaths and has hands opposed to actually targeting specific interest groups and cultivating their fan base.

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