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You may not have snatched him in a drunken stupor in a bar in Shanghai, but you may have snatched him in a drunken (and jetlagged) stupor in a Thai restauarant in London :P

Well, beggars can't be choosers, y'know. A flight ticket to Shanghai would have been so much more expensive, but we had to grab someone from somewhere. :debile2:

So, London was the next best option. ;)

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The graphics in SB aren't the best, but they along with the rest of the environment still gives me those "oh shit" moments that truly immersive sims tend to provide.

Agreed.

Eyecandy is always nice, but I think the graphics are fine. I just wish the engine was a bit more optimized so that it ran smoother. See: IrisZoom engine.

You know, I get that SB's graphics are, by gaming standards, far too long in the tooth, but compared to what the big boys use for training (i.e. CCTT et al) it holds its own or is considerably better. I'm glad the Beast is getting a make over, but remember, to the military customers, what's under the hood is typically the first priority.

Which is why commanders don't like simulators or encourage the use of them - because it looks like a joke [a bad video game] and as a Soldier it's very difficult to take seriously. I really wish the US Army would get off the can, and invest in some graphical updates.

The CRYEngine is among the competitors, and some folks that I know in the Army simulations field claim that the Army will eventually adapt the CRYEngine to replace VBS2 (dont even get me started on THAT engine), however, right now the plan is to use it for individual soldier training.

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Sorry but what is all the fuss about?

I’m pretty sure this new staffing and work on graphics was mentioned months ago?

Am I one of the few who reads these things and remembers (as opposed to wanting monthly announcements of old news)?

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Getting information across is more of a process, rather than a one-time announcement. Not everybody always reads every thread, and not everything is being remembered, and besides: As long as certain fundamental things stay the same, the same issues will inevitably come up over and over again (it's just the inducement that changes).

Somewhat unrelated to your comment, but still: It's also easy to forget that while there is constant updates and therefore somewhat visible progress for classroom version users, due to the Personal Edition's longer release cycles the process must appear more obscure.

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Sorry but what is all the fuss about?

I’m pretty sure this new staffing and work on graphics was mentioned months ago?

Am I one of the few who reads these things and remembers (as opposed to wanting monthly announcements of old news)?

No you aren't - although it's clear you think you are. The announcement that eSim had actually recruited a programmer to bring the enhanced graphics project forward was new and well worth a post.

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Hey, DCS may be a little cold, but that's only because there are no humans on the other side, eg. There is no playable SU-25 to face off against the A-10C, no Apache for the Black Shark, etc. If you make it like SB, with a wider variety of vehicle to choose from ( slowly happening ), and make a dynamic campaign, then that would make it better. About switches and over modelling the aircraft's systems and all of that, it's necessary and I wouldn't have it anyway else, because everything modeled, if you notice, has an application to combat. It allows you to customize how you fly the aircraft, and fight it. Without that, DCS would be another COD like series. When making tanks, you can slack off, because not everything in the tank is pertinent to combat or driving ( Focus switches, the other buttons on the CCP, etc. ) But in an aircraft with 3 dimensions to travel in, and a wide variety of threats and targets, every switch counts. Ask me the purpose of any switch in DCS A-10C, and I will tell you why it is important.

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A playable SU-25 would miss the point a bit.

The job of A-10 and the like is killing tanks...not anti-tank planes.

The pairing would be A-10 vs Tunguska or SU-25 vs Gepard.

So it was the right step by ED to introduce ground forces

Edited by Grenny
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Comparing DCS to SBPro, even with the prospect Combined Arms module, is little over enthusiastic, if not naive. It needs to be mentioned that DCS Matt Wagner did promptly make the clarifying statement on the subject. Lesson learned is that time flies fast and all cutting edge simulations, no matter how deep and sophisticated, need constant improvement on all fronts.

The real positive news from eSim here is, that coincidentally to release of those DCS pictures or not, new programmer is on board (no more plan, but fact) to work on SBPro graphics. This is good thing and it would be very interesting to hear some tidbits about his plans and then work progress.

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The unspoken but real limitation of DCS and Black Shark is that it apparently can only model single pilot aircraft that lack any type of radar. While this was OK for the A-10, it forced them to model the KA 50 when they wanted to make a helicopter.

An odd choice for an attack helicopter if you ask me. Forced to find something with only one pilot, they ended up modeling a heli that isn't really an attack heli, but more of a flying missile truck, that was designed to automatically fly its pilot to a target area let him expend his weapons, then automatically fly him back home. As far as I know it never even went into production. Maybe a dozen or so were made.

All the buttons and switches in the world cannot hide that or hide the sterile environment of its battlefield. But that been covered elsewhere.

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The unspoken but real limitation of DCS and Black Shark is that it apparently can only model single pilot aircraft that lack any type of radar. While this was OK for the A-10, it forced them to model the KA 50 when they wanted to make a helicopter.
DCS is the development of LockOn Series, where radar is modeled for at least 2 human controlled jets: su-27 and f-15, and for several not-controlled, like mig-29, f-16, mirage etc.
An odd choice for an attack helicopter if you ask me. Forced to find something with only one pilot, they ended up modeling a heli that isn't really an attack heli, but more of a flying missile truck, that was designed to automatically fly its pilot to a target area let him expend his weapons, then automatically fly him back home.
It has autopilot system, but it was never designed to perform like attack UAV.
As far as I know it never even went into production. Maybe a dozen or so were made.
It was adopted by the Army, but due to the economic turbulence in Russia in 90ies it wasn't produced in the large numbers. The modernized version, Ka-52, should be produced in over a hundred of copies in the next 10 years.
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DCS is the development of LockOn Series, where radar is modeled for at least 2 human controlled jets: su-27 and f-15, and for several not-controlled, like mig-29, f-16, mirage etc.

OK If you now want to include lock on in the discussion than, yes, some aircraft have A to A radar. However, none of them have Air to Ground radar and this curious refusal has left them with some curious subject matter. Such as a helicopter that never entered production and has had to be upgraded to even be considered to be put it into production. (KA-52) And the fact it has two crew members will remove it from contention of DCS modeling it.

And to follow up their self imposed single pilot, no air to ground radar subject matter? That menace of the modern battlefield, the P-51D Mustang.

It has autopilot system, but it was never designed to perform like attack UAV. It was adopted by the Army, but due to the economic turbulence in Russia in 90ies it wasn't produced in the large numbers. The modernized version, Ka-52, should be produced in over a hundred of copies in the next 10 years.

No. It was designed to get a poorly trained or low skilled pilot automatically to where he is supposed to be, let him attack targets in a low to medium threat environment, then get him back home. On auto pilot. The fact that it was majorly upgraded just to be considered for production should tell you all you need to know about the KA 50.

Black Shark has nice simulation of helicopter flight, and pretty good graphics, but IMO it goes downhill from there.

Mog

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However, none of them have Air to Ground radar and this curious refusal has left them with some curious subject matter. Such as a helicopter that never entered production and has had to be upgraded to even be considered to be put it into production. (KA-52) The fact that it was majorly upgraded just to be considered for production should tell you all you need to know about the KA 50.
Ka-50 production was planned for the beginning of 90ies. These plans didn't work out not because of the Ka-50 performance, but due to collapse of the Soviet Union. The helicopter itself was top-notch at that time. It shouldn't be a surprise that after more than 20 years (!) it was upgraded, and this new version is going into production.
No. It was designed to get a poorly trained or low skilled pilot automatically to where he is supposed to be, let him attack targets in a low to medium threat environment, then get him back home. On auto pilot.
It's incorrect. Quite the contrary, Ka-50 required a very skilled pilot. It was one of the weak points, comparing to its main contender Mi-28, which has 2 pilots, thus they don't need so much training as Ka-50 pilot does.

Soviet engineers had made special tests before they made the decision to design one-pilot helicopter to understand, if it could be controlled by one man. They used the newest technologies to produce the machine, but in the end Ka-50 became to sophisticated, so middle-trained pilot could't use it safely.

Frankly speaking, I don't know where could You take the information about this "automatically take to the point and back" concept. I doubt, that even USAF had such technologies at the 80ies. So sophisticated battle drones appeared not so long ago.

Edited by solus
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Thread seems to be effectively hijacked :) Single pilot attack helicopter concept is not mature enough- there are some serious safety, survivability and situational awareness issues to be solved. High degree of automation, implemented to Ka-50 still insufficient to reduce pilot`s combat burden for successful employment of this gunship in many tactical situations(this is why russians are switching back to twin-seaters)...

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Which is why commanders don't like simulators or encourage the use of them - because it looks like a joke [a bad video game] and as a Soldier it's very difficult to take seriously.

Hmm. Surely a good commander would point out that SB is a military SIMULATOR - and a damn good one - NOT a computer game. 'So just forget all about Battlefield III, and get on with the job, Soldier'. And the soldier would accept that. Or am I woefully out of date?:(

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Well, user acceptance does play a role. Soldiers are human too; they may do as ordered, but if they are unwilling to accept the simulator for its looks, the question is how open their mind is to learn the lessonst that it might provide.

So, you can't fully decouple functionality and visual appeal. What armies are challenged with is that the technical evolution of computer games is much faster than the innovation cycles of trainer systems can possibly be, so the gap between what soldiers see on their playstation and what they get presented with inside a simulator cabin widens every day.

I wish I could say that Steel Beasts Pro is the answer. It certainly helps to reduce that gap. But visuals aren't everything, they are just an ingredient among others. They become more important, the worse they look in comparison to the state of the art. To that extent, good looks in a computer game are a "hygiene factor". Sure, looking best attracts more impulse buyers, but in order to have people stay with a game for an extended period other factors are more important, as long as (insufficient) visuals do not distract from the game experience.

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Thanks for your thoughts Ssnake. I guess one of the problems is that photo realistic computer games have virtually eliminated the need for the player to use his/her imagination. I started with Silent Service on the Atari, where ships were represented by about 50 blocky shapes with no curves at all - so SB graphics are no problem for me. That said, the very angular roads can be a minor distraction occasionally.

I suppose that if military simulator companies are encountering sales resistance from the military because their graphics aren't as good as modern computer games, that aspect will have to become a higher priority. Which might benefit us PE players I guess. :)

But the cost/benefit ratio must be a tricky conundrum.

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Well, it's not as if the defense contractors are sitting on their hands. They will eventually license some render engines just like game companies do and integrate them into their own proprietary solutions.

Some can do it quicker than others, and clearly they rather license just an engine than to give away their entire simulation business to companies like eSim, or Bohemia (as long as they still see profitable business opportunities in this area). Some may have been taken by surprise a few years ago, but surely we will see a reaction in a not too distant future, I guess.

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Yes.

Recently saw a Rheinmetall (small German outfit you maybe familiar with) Leo 2 crew trainer, the same setup they have sold to the Canadians.

They use VBS2 to depict the 3D world but apparently have their own underlying physics model beneath the pretty pictures.

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Eagle Dynamics was awarded a contract by the Russian government to produce a simulator for their (small) fleet of Ka-50s. ED was then given permission to use that product as the basis for a commercial product, which evolved into DCS: Ka-50 Black Shark.

Eagle Dynamics was awarded a contract by the US Air Force Reserve to produce a Desktop Training Simulator for the A-10C to assist in training pilots that are transferring from the A-10A to the A-10C, primarily as an avionics trainer. ED was then given permission to use that product as the basis for a commercial product, which evolved into DCS: A-10C Warthog.

As an in-house project, some personnel at Eagle Dynamics, in association with The Fighter Collection, created a simulator based on the P-51D Mustang. (Note that The Fighter Collection, in addition to having a business partnership with Eagle Dynamics, operates, rebuilds and maintains Europe's largest collection of airworthy WWII aircraft...including several P-51s.) At some point in the development of that project, the determination was made to add more manpower to the project and release it as a "full blown" DCS module. That product has evolved into DCS: P-51D Mustang.

So while it would be true to say that all three aircraft produced by the "DCS line" to date have been out of convenience, it would be highly unfair to say that they have done so because they could not be bothered with two-seaters or radar. Of course, those are both rather large hurdles that I hope are crossed in the near future, and I believe that Eagle Dynamics plans to do just that.

As an aside, the AH-64A was already in development when the decision was made to switch to the A-10C once permission was granted by USAFRES. Whether or not work returns to the AH-64A remains to be seen.

On a more humorous note, it does appear that rivers and bridges are just as lethal in DCS as they are in SB. I submit:

SwampThang.jpg

Fired.jpg

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Thanks for a sensible reply, Alpha.

Those are all facts indeed. :)

I wish to touch upon the statment earlier on about the 'highly realistic terrain' in DCS. It isn't. At least not for ground combat.

SB's is far more realistic with undulating terrain rather than shap edges.

ED is working on a new terrain engine dubbed 'EDGE'. The Nevada theatre of operations should be the first to utilise it and the Crimea is bound to be upgraded on a later date.

From several hours fiddling with DCS: CA, I must conclude that the module is fun, but basic. The best parts are human JTAC control and the ability to create missions where you can also direct the ground war while flying a sortie in one of the aerial platforms.

But for high-fidelity mechanized warfare simulation it has nothing on SB at all. DCS: CA is more a functionality extension than a sim in itself.

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