|Fighter Ace II with Peter Connelly
by Leonard "Viking1" Hjalmarson
Q: Thanks for taking the time! Fighter Ace II builds on the original and is attempting to push the boundaries in a number of areas. Can you summarize how you are moving beyond the original?
PC: We are introducing hardware acceleration, which was not available in FA 1.X: We will continue to support our software only pilots, and indeed improve the software rendered quality, but under D3d or Glide, users will see dramatic enhancements to the current offering. We will look awesome!
We are adding the concept of Territorial Combat, offering a fully dynamic war environment using tanks for capture of ground targets and train and road units for logistical supply. The actions you take in the air as a pilot determine the success of both attack and defense of your country on the ground. Providing the ability to take and lose runways allows us to run events with specific victory conditions and also enables us to accurately recreate actual historical battles.
FA II will provide a much more realistic flight model. Our new physics engine enables us to model many more of the intricacies of realistic flight, as well as offer a complete range of flight difficulty levels and game types. This means that ANY player, from the just-hatched newbie to the hardened grognard can find a flight difficulty level and game to match their level of play.
The foundation of Fighter Ace is our community, so our concerted effort in FA II was targeted at developing tools to enable creation of more robust tournaments and events.
Some of the things we've made possible with Fighter Ace II include: Historical scenarios with accurate maps and terrain characteristics; Scriptable AI units which can simulate enemy ground or air forces; Even larger arenas to support the typically large numbers of players we get for events:
Victory conditions that can be specified and enforced by the server; Ghosting for players after death in combat that will allow continued spectator mode creating a virtual stadium for any events.
User Definable arenas will also allow users to create and host private games with many of the settings available on our servers. Essentially giving them the power to create their own customized events!
Like all other combat flight sims, FA 1.X suffered from the traditional problems of getting people used to this new environment and aware of what to do and how to maneuver in a virtual plane. Computer games cannot model the "seat of the pants" forces that provide real pilots with feedback about what is going on in their environment. Thus, all games introduce user feedback methods that may not be familiar to new players and impose a substantial learning curve.
With FAII we will guide our users through this unfamiliar territory with a series of focused offline missions. Players will learn about instrumentation and terminology in a safe offline environment, giving them the time to learn essential combat skills before being plunged into the online arenas.
Users will have the opportunity to learn combat techniques: situational awareness, and bombing and ground attack techniques. The ability to do all this offline, without the pressure of a hundred hungry bogies in the same sky, is essential to a good first time user experience.
Typhoon in Trouble
As with our User Defined games, this whole offline section for FAII is a complete departure from the Fighter Ace 1.X model. Our players are empowered to choose nearly every aspect of the experience, not just setting flight difficulty, but also all of the elements within each flight type so that they can focus on whatever aspect, at whatever level of flight combat they want to.
Go to Part II: Physics and FM
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Last Updated September 1st, 1999