Home Forums Space/SciFi Combat and Simulation Game Discussion Why is Space Sim Gaming so unpopular?

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  • #70435
    AvatarXenoHelix
    Participant
    DarkOne wrote:
    I think we have dumbed down the games for the youth today that they generally shy away from a challenge or failure at not being good at something … The kids gave up playing after about 30-40mins of failing the level and they just call the game stupid/lame and have yet to play it again.

    “Dumbing down” a game is simply a “match-making” action between the player and the AI. We can go on complaining as to why (btw, my son also don’t like sims … 😥 dissapointed father i am) people don’t like them but it’s either us or them. If sims were a “point and click” we wouldn’t be talking right now. Simulators are a special kind of game for a special kind of people. To them we’re “mentally unstable” to us they’re “mentally disabled” 😆 .

    JamesCoote wrote:
    Another thing that helps spatial awareness is a map. Here you get the problem of having to map a 3d space onto a 2d square. The best way I saw was actually to just have a flattened birds-eye view 2d map

    Actually, a “map” in the traditional sense is not helpful. What is needed is a “situation display” as they call it. That display, along with the direction carets around the monitor, dumbens down the game enough for them to cope because it displays the spatial relation between you and other moving objectives (e.x enemy of friendly ships, bases, … etc). It’s not a “navigational” aid, although it can also be used as one.




    A bunch of classics here on the cheap if you get them all in one bundle

    #70436
    AvatarJamesCoote
    Participant

    Maybe this is a good example of why the genre is unpopular. It may be a situation display, but if you call it a map, people get the idea of a map.

    #70437
    AvatarOverlord
    Participant

    The map problem could one day be easily fixed with 3D gaming. A spherical true 3D “situation display” would be pretty cool.

    #70438
    AvatarJamesCoote
    Participant

    Are there any space sims (or combat flight sims for that matter) that have two pilots per fighter? Now that would be an interesting challenge

    #70439
    GeraldineGeraldine
    Participant

    Now that is an interesting suggestion! <img src='http://spacesimcentral.com/forum/public/style_emoticons//icon_e_smile.gif&#8217; class=’bbc_emoticon’ alt=’:)’ /> Maybe you should mention it in this thread http://spacesimcentr&#8230; … =83&t=2878

    Heliosphere has a working cockpit. Perhaps there could be a second seat usable through a co-op mode?

    #70440
    AvatarJamesCoote
    Participant

    You can. I’d rather not dump an “oh and by the way, you could also add this really cool feature that utterly changes the game and massively increases development time” on someone 🙂

    Actually, having thought about it, if the second pilot is a gunner, and the guns can shoot anywhere, the first pilot is going to get the boring job of simply flying around like crazy to avoid getting shot at whilst the gunner gets all the fun job of blowing stuff up!

    #70441
    PinbackPinback
    Keymaster
    JamesCoote wrote:

    Actually, having thought about it, if the second pilot is a gunner, and the guns can shoot anywhere, the first pilot is going to get the boring job of simply flying around like crazy to avoid getting shot at whilst the gunner gets all the fun job of blowing stuff up!

    Off hand the only couple of games I can think off which have tried some thing with two + crew are games like Artemis viewtopic.php?f=69&t=1430

    or the Nes version of Elite witch had a two player mode in which one player controlled the ship and other the weapons.

    #70442
    Avatarevan9808
    Participant

    All in all, I think the primary problem with space sims is, that space is a big place. To accurately depict this travel takes time, and as a function of that becomes boring.

    This problem is dealt with in many ways. Free-space, Star-lancer, and other purley combat games drop you into the action. Forgoing the tedium of point A to point B travel, but loosing the scope of being in the vastness of space.

    EVE online, X series, and others like it, give you that travel in an accelerated format. I’m sure that like me you feel that a nine sector jump in EVE is like watching a ten minute movie. Each subsequent time, it’s an ad in front of a YouTube video you have to watch, but wish you could skip. (X does give you a jump drive later on) Freelancer did a good job with this in the story missions, using that time for exposition. (I-WAR 1&2 is in this category, but I still get a fun rush when I go into LDS.)

    Last example is Evochron. Instantaneous travel via gate, or jump-drive. To me, it’s a lot better than starting in the action or watching my game play for me. It still loses some of that open feeling though.

    I would like to see a game where space travel is challenging, or at the very least engaging. Unstable space (I-WAR 2 mod) has a great idea of making the jumping portion of travel a mini-game of sorts. It reminds me of how interesting jump piloting was in the Vorkosigan universe. Read The Warriors Apprentice for the best description. Space travel shouldn’t be something to sit through so you can play a game, it should be one of the best parts of the game. Hyperspace Is a Scary Place, and it should be fun.

    http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/M … ScaryPlace

    #70443
    GeraldineGeraldine
    Participant
    "evan9808" wrote:
    Space travel shouldn't be something to sit through so you can play a game, it should be one of the best parts of the game. Hyperspace Is a Scary Place, and it should be fun.

    http://tvtropes.org/&#8230; … ScaryPlace

    Hi evan9808

    Welcome to the SSC <img src='http://spacesimcentral.com/forum/public/style_emoticons//icon_e_smile.gif&#8217; class=’bbc_emoticon’ alt=’:)’ /> And your totally correct, space travel should be the main feature in a space sim. The only other game genre I can think of that uses their environments to the full are sub sims like Silent Hunter, Aquanox or (an oldie) Sub War 2050 as in thermal layers or crush depths. Space also has it's share of hazards and other things for a player to exploit to their advantage and space sims should use their environments to the full also <img src='http://spacesimcentral.com/forum/public/style_emoticons//icon_e_smile.gif&#8217; class=’bbc_emoticon’ alt=’:)’ />

    #70444
    AvatarDoctorRoXo
    Participant
    Geraldine wrote:
    evan9808 wrote:
    Space travel shouldn’t be something to sit through so you can play a game, it should be one of the best parts of the game. Hyperspace Is a Scary Place, and it should be fun.

    http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/M … ScaryPlace

    Hi evan9808

    Welcome to the SSC 🙂 And your totally correct, space travel should be the main feature in a space sim. The only other game genre I can think of that uses their environments to the full are sub sims like Silent Hunter, Aquanox or (an oldie) Sub War 2050 as in thermal layers or crush depths. Space also has it’s share of hazards and other things for a player to exploit to their advantage and space sims should use their environments to the full also 🙂

    Evan makes some good points. hyperspace travel should be more engaging.

    And Aquanox, to me, is a space sim…just underwater. wish they would make more games like this.

    #70445
    Avatarevan9808
    Participant

    Thanks for the welcome.

    I agree, submarine games can teach us a lot about making this genre more interesting. I’m reminded of Jane’s 688I Actively adjusting sensors and managing your own detectability, sound like the most yawn inspiring activities you could ever be taxed with. In actuality these components turn the game into live chess, where you yourself are one of the pieces. Even the limited maneuverability was an asset instead of a curse. Flying through rings is one thing, narrowly avoiding sea mines when you can only turn at about 3 degrees a second is another. Not to mention the limited visibility granted to you by your sensors during this maneuver.

    I also think that with all of these seamless space to planet transition games, reentry needs to be a lot more challenging. Anyone who has played orbiter, knows just how difficult this portion of space flight is. If done correctly though, nothing was more satisfying than seeing the burning hot plasma swing around your spacecraft as you just barely escaped your fiery death. I always wanted to pilot that drop-ship from Aliens, or be Wash on firefly.

    I suppose at some point this game I have in my head becomes more like X-plane than Freespace. Is that bad?

    #70446
    PinbackPinback
    Keymaster
    evan9808 wrote:

    I suppose at some point this game I have in my head becomes more like X-plane than Freespace. Is that bad?

    Depends on who the game is aimed at, Orbitor and the Xplane are simulations not games I think theirs a very big difference between them and and something like Freespace.

    Look no further than Babylon5 for a great example of what hyperspace should be like in games.

    #70447
    GeraldineGeraldine
    Participant
    "PINBACK" wrote:
    Look no further than Babylon5 for a great example of what hyperspace should be like in games.

    Well, there is this in the download area <img src='http://spacesimcentral.com/forum/public/style_emoticons//icon_e_smile.gif&#8217; class=’bbc_emoticon’ alt=’:)’ /> http://spacesimcentr&#8230; … -Found_Her

    Info here http://ifh.firstones.com/project/faq/

    #70448
    AvatarTaymar
    Participant

    I don’t believe that Space Sim gaming is that unpopular, not with the gaming community anyway. . .

    I mean look at this place there are hundreds of active members giving feedback to indie devs on their projects. I know this thread was started to bash the mainstream publishers and I have to join in on that given what a certain publisher has done to my beloved JumpGate.

    Publishers are being told that games with a quick in and out, like FPS games are the road to making money. They’re not prepared to invest in an audience over a long term as the return will always diminish over time until there’s none at all. We now live in an age where games and the machines we play them on are disposable and easily replaced over a one or two year period. They look at the hardware, that’s still moving forward at a rate of knots and think, if we create a game for this platform how long before a newer platform makes the game obsolete ? What does really annoy me about the current games market is this push to create more and more console titles, forgetting the ever faithful PC gamer who once again will get the shitty end of the stick when it comes to releases, simply down to the fact that publishers can charge more for a console title than they can a PC game.

    Yes I know I’m ranting.

    The recent failures and closures in the PC market are a pointer to what’s to come –

    Jumpgate – Closed by the publisher after nearly 12 years of being online, no explanation, no remorse and very little communication with the player base.

    Star Wars Galaxies – Closed by the publisher after 8 years because they don’t believe there’s room for two Star Wars MMO’s in the market place.

    Black Prophecy – A game that’s been hung out to dry by it’s own publisher and community, there’s so much wrong with game that there’s very little chance of it ever being fixed.

    Jumpgate Evolution – Vapourware thanks to legal wrangles between publishers and disagreements over the game’s direction.

    Star Wars: The Old Republic – Treats the space aspect of this massive franchise as a mini game in a console title, it’s utterly pointless and very unrewarding.

    I’m just frustrated with the state of things.

    I’d like publishers to think about one simple fact – You can’t please all of the people all of the time but you can please some of them all of the time. So give us Space Sim Gamers a break and a game that pleases us and we’ll reward you with cash and loyalty. . . .

    #70449
    Avatarevan9808
    Participant
    PINBACK wrote:

    Look no further than Babylon5 for a great example of what hyperspace should be like in games.

    Thank you for the recommendation. I loved the hyperspace portion of the game. It was interesting, challenging, and a little scary too. The Newtonian physics were spot on too. The time it takes to accelerate to a travel speed adds to the feeling of speed, rather than taking away from it. And taking as much time to decelerate was not only accurate, but difficult. I flew right past my destination several times before I got the hang of it.

    I’m also very excited to see the new games coming out soon. Heliosphere is exactly what I was picturing when talking about marrying combat and simulation. Rogue system seems to be in the same realm. It will be interesting to see how the games mature in the coming months.

    This may very well be the space sim Renascence. And it’s a privilege to see it.

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