What Developers Choose to Simulate in a Simulation Game

Simulation games have been around for a while, and as technology has evolved their accuracy has hewed closer and closer to real life. Games like Microsoft Flight Simulator are being sold on being accurate enough to teach you how to actually fly. This accuracy is part of the appeal, but sometimes accuracy can mean taking out a few knobs and levers as technology changes. Is accuracy worth it in that case where it ends up removing interesting mechanics? We discuss this issue in F1: 2020 and more on this episode of Waypoint Radio. You can listen to the full episode or read an excerpt below.

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at https://www.vice.com/en_us/article/bv8pjv/what-developers-choose-to-simulate-in-a-simulation-game-waypoint-radio

As someone who used to be huge into flight sims but now is only casually into them, I absolutely feel Rob’s pain. There’s just so much fucking about you have to do before you get to do the thing you want to be doing. But at the same time, I’m just not satisfied any more with pure arcade flight games, because as Patrick said there’s some level of manual control that’s necessary to sell the fantasy.

Part of the problem, I think, is that a lot of casual sims tend to automate out the wrong things. You know, I want the feeling of feeling the control surfaces lock up when I’m in too steep a dive, I want the feeling of having to adjust my radar sweep and manually interrogate IFF to figure out if that blip that I can just barely pick out from the ground returns is friendly, I want to know the difference between CCIP and CCRP bomb modes. The thing I don’t want is to have to build a complete 1:1 recreation of every plane I might want to fly in order to get that experience, but that’s just what you have to do, apparently, if you want that stuff. You get Ace Combat or DCS, with absolutely nothing else in between.