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Author Topic: Once again, Janes will clean up
Cliff
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posted 09-19-1999 02:34 PM     Profile for Cliff   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
I noticed the Oct 5 rekease date for USAF. If this sim is non buggy, and the graphics are as in the screenshots, other games will be crushed in the fall season. The other sims of interest to me inc. Mig Alley, and Rhino S. E. Asia. Alas, by the time these arrive in the US, I, and the largest segment if the simming community will have spent our money on USAF. Sorry, but eight planes for fifty bucks beats one (F2) or a few (Mig Alley).

I'm puzzled why empire and SSI do not hustle and get their products out while it's still profitable. I know, I know, F4... but selling 100,000 units then patching beats selling 100 units that are quite remarkable.


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BEAR 257th
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posted 09-19-1999 04:24 PM       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
If JANES was 'cleaning up' on their flight sims they would not have fired two of the three inhouse development teams & contracted USAF out to Pixal. Paul Grace USNF/FA IAF USAF & Andy Hollis LB/LB2 F15 A-10 F18 are also long gone from the Janes team & Grace is not even with EA anymore.

I think only F-15 cleared 100K units sold & it was well short of the 150K that is concidered necessary for a exceptable ROR on the development investment.

Addtionally the average price was in the upper $30's which means it did not bring in the revenue even though the sales were not to bad.

It remains to be seen if the sole remaing inhouse team is still around very long after F-18 is released.


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cid
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posted 09-19-1999 05:06 PM     Profile for cid   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
keep in mind that Jane's is the name for more than one company. ORIGIN fired some people, not EA baltimore. The teams doing USAF and F/A-18 are not under the leadership of the company that cancelled A-10.
Posts: 87 | From: jellico TN | Registered: Sep 1999  |  IP: Logged
BEAR 257th
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posted 09-19-1999 08:03 PM       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
I have not forgotten where the companies all fit into the EA group.

EA is the holding company that Origin is part of & is the one calling the shots & setting the finicial goals.

The Origin Baltimore team doing F18 is the same team that did F15 & they reported directly to Andy Hollis who also ran the Austin Texas team that did LB & A-10. The Austin team has all been fired or transferd to non flight sim work.

Except for F-18 patches there are no hardcore sims in the pipeline at EA/Origin & the hardcore guys at Baltimore are the only inhouse flight sim resource left. One might wonder what they will be doing as all the new work looks to be contracted out.

The guys doing USAF are outside contractors from Israel named Pixal. The same ones who gave us that winner IAF. They were reporting to Paul Grace during the IAF build. Paul also had the San Mateao team that did Chuck Yeager & the USNF/FA series.

All the San Mateao engineers are either off flight sims or fired & Paul Grace is with a new company that has nothing to do with EA/Origin.

Personally I could care less about USAF as it is a "son of FA/IAF" mass market game with improved graphics. I am more concirned about the loss of the resources for producing quality sims like LB & F-15. Based on the loss of both the management & development talent at EA/Origin it seems cetain that they are bailing out of the serious sim market.

Right now its hard to see anyone outside of SSI, MPS, & DID doing the type of sim many of us are interested in.


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jw
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posted 09-19-1999 09:28 PM       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
Hmmm seems like Bear likes to rain on parades that is typical of his posts. Oh well for everyone that will enjoy USAF and other Janes sims let's hope we all don't get as cynical as Bear is about the sim industry.

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BEAR 257th
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posted 09-19-1999 10:07 PM       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
Jeff,

Exactly which part of the post is cynical?

Grace is gone
Hollis is gone
Austin is gone
San Matao is gone
Baltimore has nothing past F-18 release.

EA/Origins publically announced reason for A-10 cancellation is it does not fit into the online World War plan. A-10 was a high fidelity sim. These are all facts.

Only dumbed down flight games like USAF will be made for the World War by EA/Origin. I have seen USAF & will stand by my comment that it is FA/IAF with improved graphics.

Yes, there is a big market for simplistic flight games. Yes the producers of actual flight sims are getting to be fewer & fewer. Again these are facts.

As I prefer high level sims its my parade thats getting rained on not the mass market parade.

BEAR


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Barron
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posted 09-20-1999 07:33 AM     Profile for Barron   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
I gotta agree with Bear. Looks like we're going to be in for a dry spell for the foreseeable future, as far as hardcore sims goes. The good thing (for me) is that once I get these last titles that I feel are worthy, I will have plenty to keep me busy for years. There have been many sims that were either late arrivals for me or ones that I haven't had time to fully digest (TAW,LB2,EAW,IWAR). Between these and Flanker 2, Falcon4, F-18, and maybe Mig Alley, I will have no shortage of fun.

I remember the end of our last dry spell, I was "forced" to have to buy A-10 cuba. Yeah, good flight model to be sure but it needed a game to go with it.

Barron out


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cid
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posted 09-20-1999 07:55 AM     Profile for cid   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
I fail to see that USAF is dumbed down. While not a super detailed sim, it does not even compare to a novalogic sim. Those are dumbed down, USAF is not. The real issue here is that some of you guys don't want to play online, and USAF will be an online sim, so you make comments such as this.

Just my 2 cents.


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Akulashaker
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posted 09-20-1999 09:12 AM     Profile for Akulashaker   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
Cid, I suggest you re-evaluate your comment. Flanker 1.x also rocks online (Kali), and F2 seems to be much more stable online than F4, but I haven't seen anyone calling it "flight-game" because of that. We all pretty much know the recipe for USAF, we've been there and done that. Yeah, it may be somewhat more complex than FA/IAF, and the graphics and sounds may be better than anything on the market (with the exception of F2 when it comes to detail), but when you get to the nitty gritty, the thing has "Joe Topgun" written all over it. And that's a sin that you cannot defend.

My own 2 cents.


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BEAR 257th
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posted 09-20-1999 09:24 AM     Profile for BEAR 257th   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
CID,

As for not playing or being interested about on line sims, I admin a number of Combat Ladders on the 714th site including Janes F-15, MSCFS, Janes WWIIF, & Flanker 2. The site also supports a number of other ladders including Falcon 4.

There will be a USAF ladder on the site as soon as it is released but it is concidered to be a beginers sim that is easy to fly & has simplified avionics.

In addition I am a beta tester for both Flanker 2 & the Falcon 4, both of which have a very high online content. The specific section of Falcon 4 I work on is the I-Beta unit I standing for Internet

BEAR


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Impaler
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posted 09-20-1999 04:28 PM     Profile for Impaler   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
I don't see the reason to bicker about what is a real flight model or dumded down FM.I'm sitting on a chair at a computer pretending to fly a plane. It is'nt real. when I pull back on the joystick I still only feel 1G.
USAF will de a good game, I thought IAF was good and still play it. I used to play F-117 stealth fighter years ago and thought that it was great yet it does'nt compare to todays sims/games graphic or detail wise I did'nt care because it was fun to play. There are several flight sims/games coming out next month and soon after, and I'm sure not one of them will feel like flying a real jet, but they will all make us wish we were. Don't bash a product because you think it is dumbed down,They all are.
Just my 2 cents.

Impaler.


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BEAR 257th
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posted 09-20-1999 07:59 PM     Profile for BEAR 257th   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
Actually, while the flight models of the USAF/IAF games are not at the level of F-15/Flanker2 type sims that is not where I think the major dumbing down takes place.

Also, I agree with Andy Bush that since not to many people have ever flown in a high performance jet a lot of the flight model talk on the BBS is not valid anyway.

That being said, when you are working to keep the yaw under control, maintain a vertical velocity, that is in spec to your current gross weight, while landing an F-15E on one engine that is overheating & smoking (you already blew your fire extinguisher on the APU & the now dead other engine) you can easily see the difference between the hard core sim & the just for fun games in the area of flight.

The place I think the fun games are really lacking is in the avionics & weapons systems. Sitting in your Mach 0 chair trying to plot a solution to a tactical problem using one of a number of available radar modes & sub modes while your opponent is doing the same thing is a lot more satisfing to me then hitting the "R" key, the "enter" key, then the "space bar". The same holds true for ground attack missions where again in the simplified games you hit the 'next target' key & the space bar. I would like to see the fun games get a little more into the avionics & weapons delivery, but then thats me

I do agree however that bickering is a waste of time as there is a place for both types of games in the hobby. Hey, I will even admit to beta testing the Fighters Anthology patch for Janes Combat.net

What started this thread was the comment on how sucessful Janes sims have been & that is where I had the real difference of opinion with the guy who kicked it off. I did some checking & the last group of Janes sims had the following sales numbers. LB 106K units LB2 99K units F-15 126K units & WWIIF 61K units. Generally to be sucessful a flight sim needs to move near 150K units. I am sure these numbers are why they dumped 66% of their flight sim personel, closed 2 of the 3 studio's, & have put hard core sims on a short leash

BEAR


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Impaler
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posted 09-20-1999 08:31 PM     Profile for Impaler   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
I sit corrected

Impaler


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Bigshot
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posted 09-20-1999 08:39 PM     Profile for Bigshot   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
The sales numbers of the recent Janes Sims doesn't surprise me.

I bought WWII fighters and kept it only because of the eye candy. It certainly doesn't get played much because there's no immersion, no support, and it's really hard to keep and hold a long term interest in the sim.

I bought F15 and reluctantly returned it after discovering my TNT v4400 wasn't supported. I couldn't believe that D3D was not included in the sim. I just couldn't stand to play it in software mode even though it seemed like a good sim. It looked awful.

I looked at IAF and some of the others and decided after some research that the graphics just were not up to par with other sims of the same period.

I don't know who at Janes was making the decisions on the tech aspects of these sims, but I can understand the reason for the poor sales. They got to be quality all around.

Hopefully, USAF and F18 will be quality in all respects. If so, they should be successful. Janes seems to have high hopes on this "world war" concept so I'd think they'd be taking special care to make sure the final products on the new sims are high quality.


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mbaxter
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posted 09-21-1999 01:21 AM     Profile for mbaxter   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
Will USAF give us the ability to make our own dynamic missions or mini-campaigns? I hope so because without the dynamic environment the replay value is limited. I don't think I'd buy it if that were the case.
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BEAR 257th
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posted 09-21-1999 08:23 AM     Profile for BEAR 257th   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
It has a mission/campaign builder, & it is an improvemnet on the one in F-15, but it is not dynamic as it the one in Falcon 4 where you have a complete air ground war going on in the background.

When/if it is played as part of the Word War Online program it should have a presistant battelfield that goes on regardless of you being there, but only as part of that "world"

BEAR


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Matt Wagner
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posted 09-21-1999 08:55 AM       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
Bear,

Regarding your quoted sales figures for F-15, you should be aware that those are US ONLY figures. World-wide sales for F-15 more than doubled the figure you stated.

Matt


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BEAR 257th
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posted 09-21-1999 11:25 AM     Profile for BEAR 257th   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
I only used numbers that could be confirmed, & they are the ones posted, anything else was estimated so not included, I would be intersting to know the source of your non-US data.

Typically, overseas sales do not generate the same dollars per unit sale to EA/Origin as the US market does because of the local marketing arraingements. It would also be interesting to know if EA/Origin has a better the average revenue stream from non US sales.

At any rate, F-15's 126K units sold pale in a direct comparison to the 261K units sold by MSCFS in one half of the time frame & using the same reporting base as the F-15 info.

BEAR


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jw
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posted 09-21-1999 01:05 PM       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
Matt would prob know since he worked on F-15 and works for EA

jw out


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Matt Wagner
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posted 09-21-1999 01:10 PM       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
The data is from PC Data, the primary reporting source for the industry. In fact, worldwide numbers almost triple the 126k units quoted. F-15 sold very well; particularly given its genre.

Matt Wagner
Designer/Jane's F/A-18


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BEAR 257th
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posted 09-21-1999 02:26 PM     Profile for BEAR 257th   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
Jeff, I know who Matt is as both he & CJ Martin have stated in the past that F-15 has done well in unit sales concidering the type of sim it is. They just never gave out any numbers before.

Matt, what I was trying to find out is if
the non-us sales contribute to revenue at the same rate that dometic sales do, & thereby making the "almost double" statement meaningful in bottom line results.

If your revenue streams are equal for both domestic & international sales, it would seem to be a good business to be in.

Finally, if you are doing this well in hard
core sims why all the studio shut downs, staff reassignments & outright layoffs?


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mbaxter
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posted 09-22-1999 02:10 AM     Profile for mbaxter   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
Ok, let me try again. Does anyone know if USAF will have a mission builder or mini-campaign builder?
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Jon
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posted 09-22-1999 06:45 AM     Profile for Jon   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
Good question mbaxter. I've heard is does indeed have a builder. What I haven't heard is how flexible it will be? Could someone please answer the guy's post if you have a better info? Thanks


Jon


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Glen Bolderson
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posted 09-22-1999 09:25 AM     Profile for Glen Bolderson   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
Ill certainly be buying Flanker2 and probably F/A-18E Super Hornet. As for USAF, well 8 planes for 50 bucks, who freakin cares? I want a sim thats detailed with a top notch flight model and AI. I dont give a hoot how many types are available. Substance over eye candy, substance over silly gimmicks like "you can fly 8 different planes" yipee! BTW ill take Mig Alley any day, with its average graphics over some of these over hyped fantasy games like ALL of the F-22 titles released in the last 2 years. They have more in common with X-WING than anything else.
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507
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posted 09-22-1999 11:16 AM       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
USAF does indeed have a comprehensive mission builder. In fact it comes with 2 editors. 1 is accessible from the main game screen it allows you to change basic mission parameters. The second one is a full featured mission builder. You have access to all mission objects and features. What I can't comment on is how it compares to say Janes F-15 editor that is what will wait to see on.

507


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Bigshot
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posted 09-22-1999 06:10 PM     Profile for Bigshot   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
I see Janes F18 is postphoned and now planned for a 1st Q, 2000 release.
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Viking1
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posted 09-22-1999 06:45 PM     Profile for Viking1     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
hi Matt! How's life at Janes?

Hardcore sims are far from dead, though for some developers to continue making them they need to look at new business models.

Coming soon or in 2000 (no, not all flight sims)..


B17 II: The Mighty Eighth -Wayward Design
Battle of Britain -Rowan
Destroyer Command - Mindscape
F15 E - Microprose
F/A 18 - Jane's
Flanker 2 - Mindscape
Flight Combat - Looking Glass
Gunship III - Microprose
Jane's World War - Jane's
IL2 Sturmovik - Maddox Games
M1 Tank Platoon III - Microprose
Nations: Fighter Command -Psygnosis
Panzer Elite - Wings Simulations
Silent Hunter 2 - Mindscape
Super Hornet - DI
Team Alligator - SIMIS
Typhoon - DiD
WW2 Online - Playnet


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Viking1
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posted 09-22-1999 06:46 PM     Profile for Viking1     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
Postponing Janes F18.. best thing that could have happened for DI's Super Hornet!
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Viking1
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posted 09-22-1999 06:48 PM     Profile for Viking1     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
btw, in case you missed the news, Dynamix no longer exists =(
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mbaxter
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posted 09-23-1999 02:07 AM     Profile for mbaxter   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
Jon, 507, BEAR 257th - thanks for the response. Too bad USAF isn't more "dynamic". Unpredictability is good. USAF sounds like a "canned" game. I guess I'll wait until the reviews are out before I make a decision. Hopefully combatsim.com will tell us more about the mission builder when they review it.

[This message has been edited by mbaxter (edited 09-23-1999).]


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Jon
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posted 09-23-1999 08:41 AM     Profile for Jon   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
Anyone out there with a clue on what the release date of USAF might be? EB keeps playing musical release dates with this one. First it's 10/2, then 10/13, now 10/20. Anyone care to share what reality might be??
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BEAR 257th
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posted 09-23-1999 10:54 AM     Profile for BEAR 257th   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
For what its worth CJ Martin has just posted on simhq "winter" which could mean any time before mid March. He also said it was the project was on time.

There had been speculation on simhq about a Jan 00 release but CJ's post did not comfirm that time frame & the wording suggests it might be later in the winter.

BEAR


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BEAR 257th
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posted 09-23-1999 11:00 AM     Profile for BEAR 257th   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
Sorry I posted to wrong thread, the above info refers to Janes F/A-18 not USAF

BEAR


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Radman
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posted 09-23-1999 11:51 AM     Profile for Radman   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
I, personally, am highly undecided about USAF. More US aircraft? Recent US conflicts? The F-15? The F-16? The F-22? A slightly revamped terrain engine taken from IAF? Oh whoopee, jump for joy, and look at the paint dry. It sounds like 3,000 other sims that have hit the market in the past year. Thanks but no thanks, I have enough of them already.

Maybe if it was "Russian Air Force" I would buy it. The Su-35, The Mig-33, The Su-25, The Mig-21, etc. Sounds much better. It sounds original, unlike 3,000 other sims that have hit the market in the past year.

Unless USAF is really good, and I am talking so good it is voted a "must have" by every jet simmer here, I am going to look elsewhere. Currently I have my eye on Flanker 2.

Thanks Janes, but I am tired or reinventing a USAF sim for the 3,001 time.


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Spectre
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posted 09-23-1999 02:58 PM     Profile for Spectre   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
I think that its time for me to jump into this cheesyly named forum...

What Jane's really wants to do with USAF is 'introduce' the wonderful world of combat flight sims to the average joe. They want to create a virtual world where they can live out their fantasies.

Personally...they're going about it all wrong. This looks to me like USNF/ATF all rolled into one... I'm not going to bother thinking about the flight dynamics, the AI, the fps, etc since its quite obvious that this is not their intention.

Jane's/EA are jumping into what they perceive as being a money maker. Whatever... To me, USAF looks more like a Quake II server deathmatch in aircraft than anything else.

X number of planes for 50 bucks...woohoo...that's the average joe's look on things. Attention to detail this sim won't have and its basically a rehash of IAF...

Bottom line: I won't even touch it...just like I never bought the Novalogic F22 series. Save your pennies folks...


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Bigshot
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posted 09-23-1999 04:03 PM     Profile for Bigshot   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
Well, the graphics look good. There's eight jets to fly. The amount of harddrive space necessary for a full install is around a gig from what I've heard. Sounds to me like one hell of a sim. I'll be first in line for this one and for DID's Superhornet.

If you think USAF is gonna stink, then don't buy it. Wait for the reviews from your buddies. It'll be on the shelf when you make up your mind. I don't think anyone should be Novalogic-ing a sim until after it's on their harddrive and they've tried it out.


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Kidd
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posted 09-23-1999 06:27 PM       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
Hey guys I was really thinking, that if Janes do really decided to make a game like USAF, and because A10 was not "world war" compatible, then is it possible that they might make a USFN? I think that if the USFN does come out then it would be the best thing! I mean think about it fly 8 other planes... F14(A/D) (my favorite) , F18C, Vikings S-3, EA-6, Carrier Type F-4 Phantom, the A-7 Corsair II, F-8 Crusader, and I donno something else... (can't think of the 8th one). But anyhoo you catch my drift eh? And so then you can have a carrier full of real time and stratigy scale war, we can have the F14 patrol and intercept, while the US-3A viking can go and jam radars and stuff =) we can intertwine that with USAF and create a real WORLD WAR!.. ahem... just onlee hope that Janes will make it so I can fly the F14 =) and also carrier traps better than Fighters Anthology, not like they are bad or anything =).

Check my six
Kidd


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507thSH
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posted 09-23-1999 08:46 PM       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
Hehehehe spectre a classic post from you. Oh well to each his own everyone has an opinion. The way I look at it is the more people that fly sims like USAF the more future hardcore guys there will be. To sit here and bash a game before it is even released well is kind of ignorant, but like I said everyone has an opinion. Personally I think USAF will compliment my usual stable of hardcore sims. So I will buy it and prob enjoy it. Hardcore sims have their place and I think USAF will fit in somewhere way ahead of any Novalogic sim.

507 out


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Swampthing
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posted 09-23-1999 08:49 PM     Profile for Swampthing   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
Once again the mentality of the Flight Sim "community" never ceases to amaze me. Who gives a crap if it's a hard core, dumbed down or whatever other label you choose to put on it? If it's fun and it has something in it you enjoy play it and don't worry about the label. USAF has some terrain graphics, that if done without the shimmering of IAF, will be some of the most realistic looking yet, and that is enough for me to at least check out the demo, and if that is fun, buy it. I could care less if it's dumbed down or not as long as i enjoy it.


It's like because you fly Falcon 4 on maximum realism your better than everyone else or something, or you think you could actually fly a F16.

Take what we get and evaluate it for what it is not what you think it should have been or even want because that game is a long time coming.


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cid
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Member # 257

posted 09-23-1999 10:02 PM     Profile for cid   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
Hopefully USAF's purpose is online play for squad vs squad strategical combat, and not air quake. I believe it will in fact be World War, and not Air Quake. Who cares whether it is hardcore or not, and like 507 said it will be way ahead of any novalogic sim, and in my opinion, it will be fairly close to hardcore, we'll just have to wait and see. It's purpose is not to dumb down for the avg joe, it is for online play and we all know Spectre won't be joining us.
Posts: 87 | From: jellico TN | Registered: Sep 1999  |  IP: Logged

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