Sci fi sim speed

Star wars used ww2 dogfighting as a basis for it’s starfighter combat, where newtonian physics don’t apply and ships zip around at considerable speeds (yet relatively tame in relation to the distances ships would need to cover from point A to B in space). When Xwing first came out, I was floored to actually have the universe modelled in 3d, and was sucked in despite movement speeds being ridiculously slow. From a gameplay and technology standpoint it made sense; if ships could move as fast as in the movies, bomber interception missions and the like would be very difficult to manage, ships might appear small in comparative time it took to fly past them, and the gamepace required very large. I can’t recall if Tie Fighter upped the ship speeds, but it definately felt like Xwing Alliance was substantially faster. Even still, watching a dogfight from afar looked silly; a jumble of sluggish ships pew-pewing inelegantly in tight little turns.

However, since I’ve moved on to actual ww2 sims such as IL2, it amazes me how even XW Alliance was a paltry crawl compared to 450-600 mph speeds attained by certain 1940’s fighters, and how even the SW movies were slow in comparison to F-15’s (in Lock On) and the like. Zip by a Frigate in Alliance and then do a high speed strafing pass in your real world sim of preference and check it out.

What I’d really like would be another xwing (like) game that made a sci-fi sim-like experience at the high speeds we see in the movies (and not incredible-speed-on-a-rail-blast-everything-that-appears-in-front-of-you game). I’m thinking a reduction in shield absorption would make kills more viable, but make surviving a larger encounter more dubious. The speed of ships might be adrenalizing but managing a coherant mission plan and achieving set objectives much more difficult. WW2 sims make it work by keeping goals very simple; intercept fighters, bombers. Strafe here or bomb there. Shit hits the fan once contact is made anyway, so secondary objectives and the like are rarely achievable… So is there room to supercharge a sci fi sim?

You wouldn’t want those high speeds in a space arena because you’d have to slow yourself down with your own thrusters. Things like turning and such become a majorly problematic issue the higher your speed gets.

IMO, gameplay trumps realism in this case, no contest.

Cause I mean really, in space, why would you use fighters at high speeds? Makes more sense to build missiles.

I always felt those Star Wars sims were a bit too slow in relation to the films. Normally, I played them at 2X time compression; it felt right. I judged it by the refire rate on the lasers of an X-Wing.

It made the games a lot harder, I think, but felt more like the film representation.

Note: this post contributes nothing to this thread.

Oh, and to build on my previous comments, the faster an object flies, the slower it can turn, and in space, with no drag issues, it’s far easier to predict where they are going to be. Any ship with a projectile weapon of any type that could detect the ship would be able to blow it out of the sky with one shot.

I suppose in this case I’m arguing in favor of our made-up Lucas Flight Model… I agree actual space battles involving newtonian physics require a different realistic set of rules, but here in the fantasy scifi universe (where gunpowder is discarded in favor of slow, position-betraying blaster bolts) anything kind of goes. In this case ships could be so fast and maneuverable as to render missiles useless (unless you fill the warheads with little robots that even jedi can’t stop… hm … let’s stick to episodes 4-6).

one word: Mantis

(a.k.a. “why you shouldn’t use realistic physics in a space sim”)

This sounds like some kind of crazy mishmash of real and imaginary physics. If we are talking about what’s good for the game, then there’s arguments both ways. If we are talking about realism, then what you say here isn’t true. The size of the sphere of uncertainty in predicting a ship’s future position is going to depend on it’s acceleration potential, not it’s velocity.

One word and a letter: I-War.

(a.k.a. “why you should use realistic physics in a space sim”) :>

I-War mostly has you in a lumbering cruiser, but there are a couple missions where you get to use low-mass, high-speed remote controlled fighter drones. The sense of speed is terrific.

Ask yourself the question : When you were 5 years old, was it more fun playing Cowboys and Indians with a stick that in some abstract way looked like a gun or would it have been more fun playing with a fully loaded, very real revolver?

Sometimes games can just be about fun.

I don’t think spiffy is arguing about fun vs. realism. His point is that the games often slow it down more than is necessary, and we can see this by comparing the space sim to regular fighter sims. If IL2 can have certain speeds in air, why can’t a Star Wars game use THAT speed? If they want it to be like dogfights, that’s fine, but they don’t have to be half-time dogfights.

play either ‘Frontier’ or ‘First Encounters’, the follow up games to ‘Elite’ and you get a pretty good idea of what a real space sim flight/combat experience could be like using real dynamics. It’s a bit like jousting.

Actually, the ridiculous velocities and inherent g-forces involved in “real” space combat would be pretty interesting if you were a tactical computer. Especially at anything above .10c where you get to factor in relativistic numbers as well. Not much fun for us humans, though, unless you’re a mentat or something.

Give me glorified WWII in space every single time to please my avatistic primate response capabilities.

exactly. I’ve played Independance War2, loved it, but what I’m arguing for here is if we’re going to be pretend flying in space for maximum coolness, it really ought to be faster than say X3, where at full thrust my ship was about as fast as a car rolling down a hill. Rather, I want it to be by the seat of my pants, threading the needle around goliath capital ships, trailing nimble fighters and rocketing about like a bat out of hell. But at the same time, making it possible to track and intercept targets, execute planned maneuvers and generally be forced to apply sound dogfighting tactics to succeed despite the more frenetic pace.

Have you tried Starshatter? How does it compare to IWar?

The only thing about Starshatter is that it caps maximum efficient velocity to a fairly low level, after which point it costs an additional amount of energy to reach the next level of speed; so it’s relativistic at unrealistically low speeds essentially, for gameplay balance.

Starshatter is the closest i’ve played to the late IL-2 WW2 fighter experience. But then again, i don’t have that much experience in SciFi sims.

I’d love the option to slow down my flight simulators. I can’t react/think that fast and I like to enjoy the view.

I’ve bought and installed StarShatter, but I’m waiting on some peripheral support before I get into it. The few minutes I spent familiarizing myself with the controls gave me the impression of a cross between WC and IW2 (on ‘realistic’ control scheme)(seemed very cool), but definately not the straight line no drift of XWA (which is what I’m talking about revising).

jpinard, IL2 lets you slow down the game as much as 1/4 real time…

Wing Commander: Prophecy was pretty much on par with what you’re describing, I think. It had the made-up WW2 fighter physics, minus gravity, plus more: there were a few ships you could pilot where you could keep flying on your vector while you turned your ship in any direction you wanted.

The game was much faster paced than any space sim I can think of. It was definitely faster than Xwing/TieFighter/XWA, faster than Freespace 1 and 2, faster than X:BtF, X2, X3, faster than Freelancer, although Freelancer did bring the sense of speed but its tough to judge since it only had mouse controls.

It’s the sense of speed that still makes Wing Commander Prophecy such a favorite of mine for years. Even after Freespace 2 came out (which I LOVE), I would still sometimes go play the battle simulator in Wing Commander: Prophecy because it was so fast paced and adrenaline inducing.

Of course, as for flying by capital ships, you’d fly by them much faster, but capital ships weren’t all that big in WC:P as compared to the Freespace games, for example. Or X-wing Alliance. So I’m not sure we can do an apples to apples comparison on the relative cruising speeds for ships without some kind of equal yardstick like that. But it sure “felt” faster. Much faster.

Really? I played Prophecy…it was probably the first space sim I ever played, and I finished it. It was a fantastic game, but I don’t remember it being different in the ways you suggest. However, since it was the first I played, I may not have the proper sense of how it relates to other games.

Was it Terminus that tried to do the Newtonian physics thing? One of those 3 sims that came out around the same time did, and I remember people liking it.

Spiffy, I get the gist of what you’re saying but not I think it would help to narrow down on what you mean. What are the parts of the WW2 flight that you find lacking in your space fights? For instance: is it closing speeds on targets other fighters? Is it apparent speed in the environment (how fast the terrain, or celestial bodies, go by? Or something else.

Have to agree with the other posts about realistic space combat being teh suck. Mike Jamieson made a very good point about acceleration being key. In Peter Hamilton’s Neutronium books, the ultimate ship-to-ship weapons were anti-matter fueled missiles with an acceleration of 40Gs (compared to ~20G Max on ship). They needed to be anti-matter fueled to achieve those velocities, which made uber-deadly, which consequently made them highly illegal.

I think it ultimately would have more in common with submarine warfare than dog-fighting, especially for larger ships. Detection = death.

Right, but if the ship has a squishy inside, it’s acceleration potential is extremely limited. Given human-controlled controls, at any kind of high speed, the ability to blow something out of the sky with projectiles would be pretty easy. And the faster everything gets, the narrower the prediction cone.

Anyway, as I said before, if you are going the realism route, you won’t have piloted ships and everything would simply be done with smart-missiles. So the whole conversation is rendered moot, as real space battles would be nearly impossible given actual orbital speeds of satellites and mixed in with potential space speeds given gravitational influences and near-unlimited top speeds.