Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Spaceflight Sim Dark Horizon Set for Release

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 6 years ago | from the zen-and-the-art-of-flight-sim-creation dept.

PC Games (Games) 88

Paradox Interactive has just announced the release date(s) of their latest game, Dark Horizon as September 23rd in North America and September 26th in Europe. Offering flight-sim style space combat (with joystick support, even) and many RPG elements like ship customization and weapon creation, this is the first serious attempt at the genre I have seen in a while. Hopefully game studios will realize that there are still many loyal flight-sim fans out there just drooling for a chance to dust off their joysticks and accelerate to attack speed.

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

Sweet... (1)

mattgoldey (753976) | more than 6 years ago | (#24480093)

Hopefully this can fill the hole in my heart left by the Wing Commander series.

VO (2, Informative)

PunkOfLinux (870955) | more than 6 years ago | (#24480313)

First serious, recent attempt my ass. This sounds like Vendetta Online in so many ways... that game kicks ass.

And yes, it runs on linux. Quite nicely, in fact.

Re:VO (1)

g0bshiTe (596213) | more than 6 years ago | (#24483839)

Let's not forget Microsoft's offering of Allegiance. The game was decent enough, single pilot fighter, bomber could have people manning turrets, and a commander that was in charge of sending out mining crews to mine ore.
Really ahead of it's time, combined RTS, with FPS flight sim, and in space no less.
It's major pitfall was the $10 monthly access fee required to play.
Was still a decent game for what it was.
This was circa Microsoft Combat Flight Simulator.

Re:VO (1)

paganizer (566360) | more than 6 years ago | (#24493281)

and it's now free.
I grabbed a copy, logged into the free server, but that was about it. without a single player game I'm just not interested, I didn't even dust off my Gravis Phoenix to see if it had joystick support.
But it looked like a pretty good online space combat sim.

Re:VO (1)

g0bshiTe (596213) | more than 6 years ago | (#24495371)

Very true and yes it does have JS support. I used a Wingman Extreme Force 3d and it was fun.

Main issue I've had with the free servers, is no one hardly plays it.

Re:VO (1)

MBraynard (653724) | more than 6 years ago | (#24529701)

yeah, I *loved* that game but, unfortunately, it required a player base.

Re:Sweet... (1)

Lisandro (799651) | more than 6 years ago | (#24480771)

Hopefully this can fill the hole in my heart left by the Wing Commander series.

Have you tried Freespace? Nothing will really fix a Wing Commander withdrawl, but regular doses of Freespace may allow you to live a healty life.

BTW, Dark Horizon looks really good.

Re:Sweet... (1)

Knara (9377) | more than 6 years ago | (#24481991)

IMO, Freespace is, quite frankly, superior to anything WC did after the first sequel. It's fairly easy to find updates/TCs of it now, due to the source being available.

Re:Sweet... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24482965)

YES. Freespace 2 SCP is friggin' awesome.

Here's a good video overview:
http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=8HFEmGcJcWA

And a shorter, older trailer, which has better dogfighting footage, IMO:
http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=-6VhyMzu12c

Check it out, and drool!

Re:Sweet... (1)

CaptnMArk (9003) | more than 6 years ago | (#24493523)

Hopefully it has good mouse support, just like Wing Commander did.

A Wing Commander Replacement? Maybe Not (2, Informative)

AKAImBatman (238306) | more than 6 years ago | (#24480143)

I know I don't have much to go on at the moment, but the game looks more like the X series [wikipedia.org] than the Wing Commander and Privateer series. While X was cool, it simply didn't manage to impress the same... aliveness? of the Wing Commander universe.

Case in point: WCNews [wcnews.com] did a first look piece on the game, but it didn't get much enthusiasm from the crowd. While one can HOPE that the game revives the Wing Commander genre, I think too many space sim developers focus too much on realism and/or pretty graphics to truly understand why the simplistic Wing Commander engine was so popular.

Re:A Wing Commander Replacement? Maybe Not (3, Interesting)

Omnifarious (11933) | more than 6 years ago | (#24480275)

I liked Independence War [wikipedia.org] myself. They had a realistic space flight sim and showed how it could actually be playable. The tactics you used there were considerably different than the tactics you would use in any sort of flight-sim like space game.

Re:A Wing Commander Replacement? Maybe Not (3, Interesting)

halivar (535827) | more than 6 years ago | (#24480405)

Yeah, every new space-sim I play is measured up against Gemini Gold [solsector.net] (successor to the Wing Commander Privateer Remake project). Universally, they are found wanting. It isn't just nostalgia talking; Privateer is still the funnest space-sim available.

Re:A Wing Commander Replacement? Maybe Not (1)

Captain Splendid (673276) | more than 6 years ago | (#24481417)

I still don't understand the Privateer love. In general, the game was well-written and thought out. But when it came time for space combat, I was bored to tears.

Re:A Wing Commander Replacement? Maybe Not (2, Insightful)

Captain Splendid (673276) | more than 6 years ago | (#24481495)

Argh! I meant Freelancer! Freelancer's combat sucked. Guess I have to try out Privateer, though...

Re:A Wing Commander Replacement? Maybe Not (1)

jollyreaper (513215) | more than 6 years ago | (#24481425)

Yeah, every new space-sim I play is measured up against Gemini Gold [solsector.net] (successor to the Wing Commander Privateer Remake project). Universally, they are found wanting. It isn't just nostalgia talking; Privateer is still the funnest space-sim available.

Privateer was fun for the time but they chopped out a ton of gameplay to make the ship date. If you looked through the data files, there's tons of storyline that was simply commented out.

A better version of the Privateer concept was Escape Velocity: Nova. The gameplay was top-down but all the trade and exploration elements are there along with storylines. On the downside, the storyline scripting was kind of sucky and often times you ended up needing to play with the walkthrough to make sure that you didn't screw things up. Since this was an amateur shareware game, I'm willing to cut them some slack on that.

The whole Independence War flight model seemed like it would do well with a large expansion into a Privateer setting. They had the starmaps and everything but they stuck with the missions format.

I thought that EVE Online would give me my space exploration, trading, and combat fix but while it is a strong contender, it has too many of the inherent MMORPG weaknesses, namely being a huge bloody time sink.

Re:A Wing Commander Replacement? Maybe Not (2, Interesting)

ceoyoyo (59147) | more than 6 years ago | (#24482435)

Agreed. I loved the first Privateer, and the second was okay. Independence War (I and II) were great, but they lacked the open endedness. The free travel patch for the first one helped, but there really was nothing to do as you roamed the galaxy.

Have you tried X3 Reunion?

Re:A Wing Commander Replacement? Maybe Not (1)

andphi (899406) | more than 6 years ago | (#24481161)

I'd like to see a demo of the thing. Screenshots are one thing, but a playable demo would be a much better indicator of this game's promise.

I really enjoyed the TIE fighter games, but haven't had much time for space combat sims since then.

Re:A Wing Commander Replacement? Maybe Not (1)

elFarto the 2nd (709099) | more than 6 years ago | (#24481197)

The flight controls in X3 at least, where like flying through a thick atmosphere. I personally like Babylon 5: I Found Her [firstones.com] , It plays exactly how you'd expect a Starfury to.

Regards
elFarto

Re:A Wing Commander Replacement? Maybe Not (1)

fistfullast33l (819270) | more than 6 years ago | (#24486261)

I kind of have to agree. I think that while the scale of X3 was a bit larger and the economy made huge strides, it really took a hit in terms of combat versus X2. It was so much easier to capture a ship in X2 and I really kind of miss that. I'm a horrible pilot and I found X2 much more easier to manage in terms of flight controls.

That, and the ship design just wasn't as good in X2. I missed the ships from X3, and I really got pissed that they removed the ship's cockpits. Sure, someone hacked them back in, which is a testament to the game's mod-ability, but they really did de-humanize a game that wasn't very humanized to begin with.

But in terms of economy, the game was lightyears ahead of X2 if you had the patience. I don't think that the X series was ever designed for the hardcore combat pilot anyways - it was designed for those who want to conquer the galaxy in their big-ass capital ship.

Re:A Wing Commander Replacement? Maybe Not (1)

RogueyWon (735973) | more than 6 years ago | (#24482567)

Wing Commander was for me at least as much about the story as about the space combat. If I wanted a really decent tactical space-flight simulator, I'd play X-Wing, TIE-Fighter, or, later on, X-Wing Alliance (XvT left me cold). Wing Commander was about cheesy, fast-paced combat and a stupidly melodramatic, but nevertheless enjoyable, story. The final "battle" in Wing Commander 4 (which isn't a battle at all, but a debate), ranks for me as one of the finest moments in gaming history. The Freespace games never engrossed me - they didn't have the rich universe of the Wing Commander games, or the tactical depth of the Star Wars ones.

I really hope that they've got some good lore behind Dark Horizon. I used to love this genre and it'd be nice to see it rise from the ashes. If that is to happen, then we need some games where the artistic elements have been given as much attention as the flashy graphics and the physics.

Re:A Wing Commander Replacement? Maybe Not (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24483369)

It was formerly called 'Trade Wars: Dark Horizons' Hence the X^2/X^3 look.

Does nobody else remember this?

Nevermind that TW2k2 hasn't been updated since what... '03?

Nevermind that the Trade Wars name predated Martech's version by what.. 5-10 years?

Re:A Wing Commander Replacement? Maybe Not (1)

Babbster (107076) | more than 6 years ago | (#24486771)

While one can HOPE that the game revives the Wing Commander genre, I think too many space sim developers focus too much on realism and/or pretty graphics to truly understand why the simplistic Wing Commander engine was so popular.

I hate to tell you, but the "simplistic" Wing Commander engine drove people to increase their memory and upgrade to 386 from 286, and it was all about the pretty-pretty. Later installments continued to up the ante with their live-action video cutscenes (starring real actors - Mark Hamill, John Rhys-Davies, Malcolm McDowell, to name three who aren't Ginger Lynn Allen) and higher resolution graphics.

Take a look at Freelancer [wikipedia.org] if you'd like to see where Chris Roberts probably would have gone graphically with the Wing Commander series if he hadn't left it behind. Heck, you can even see increased "realism" in Wing Commander IV where the graphics took a pretty big jump past those of III.

The truth is that the Wing Commander games were about graphics and a simple (perhaps simplistic) storyline from start to finish. Even Privateer 1 and 2, despite being spinoffs of the main series, had graphics that, at the time, were about as good as space games got.

Re:A Wing Commander Replacement? Maybe Not (2)

AKAImBatman (238306) | more than 6 years ago | (#24487081)

Perhaps I'm not explaining myself very clearly. When Wing Commander was around, technological advancements were used to give us bigger cap-ships, more weapons fire, cool shield glow, better stardust, etc. Little things that really improved the experience. At no point did they make a change to the engine just to make it "pretty" or "realistic" at the expense of playability.

Modern space sims, however, seem to be enthralled with the idea of having "pretty" nebulae, bright lights, and realistic shading everywhere. Right down to the point where I can't see a damn thing. Especially not what I'm shooting at. Throw in "realistic" physics and distances and you have a recipe for mind-numbing boredom.

That's why I refer to the Wing Commander engine(s) as "simple". The engines are designed around fighters in a constrained area of space, with small distances between them. (Despite the sensors exaggerating the "number of [k|c]licks" between you and the enemy.) Keeping the space constrained like that makes the game more interesting and intense. Plus, the straight-forward graphics ensure that you're not going to suddenly be blinded by an unexpected bright light, or be unable to see an enemy because he happens to fall in your shadow.

Re:A Wing Commander Replacement? Maybe Not (1)

Babbster (107076) | more than 6 years ago | (#24487801)

I actually continued to think about your post as I was reading on, and decided that this was probably the direction you were going with your thoughts. Well said. :)

I prefer Elite style games... (1)

Nick Ives (317) | more than 6 years ago | (#24480173)

Just about the only mission based space combat game I enjoyed was TIE Fighter; I'm still waiting for a decent Elite style game. I know there's X3 but it's just so dull. Having to cruise around through jump-gates makes the start so slow and I've never been able to get past that.

I'd love a remake of Frontier, or even a version of First Encounters where the main plot line has been finished!

Re:I prefer Elite style games... (1)

sabre3999 (1143017) | more than 6 years ago | (#24480385)

Agreed. I loved the X games and Freelancer because they were so freeform in how you could advance, but starting from scratch was always such a bear. You couldn't just jump into the action, and the long trips in-between systems made minutes seem like hours and doing anything involved took forever because of it.

Re:I prefer Elite style games... (1)

KDR_11k (778916) | more than 6 years ago | (#24481815)

I agree, though I read that X3 supposedly let you start with enough money to buy a factory right away so you can start with the enterprise management right away and I knew a guy who simply won the lottery in X2, bam, instant riches.

Re:I prefer Elite style games... (4, Insightful)

jollyreaper (513215) | more than 6 years ago | (#24481663)

Just about the only mission based space combat game I enjoyed was TIE Fighter; I'm still waiting for a decent Elite style game. I know there's X3 but it's just so dull.

The technology is pretty much here now. They nixed true flying in EVE Online because lag would have made it impossible to play. But with a more modest set of goals, a 3D flight sim version of Elite would be great. Provide a single-player game where you can trade, explore, etc, without having the MMO problem of keeping up with the Jonses. Multiplayer element would be for general combat. Just look at the way they did it in GTAIV, multiplay and singleplay are two entirely different experiences but both are tremendous fun.

The thing I remember wanting as a kid was what I always considered to be the impossible game. The way I put it at the time, "I want a space game you can fly around in like TIE Fighter but where you can land and get out of the ship like Doom." The technology is pretty much here now. The engines can handle taking off from a planetary surface and flying out into space. Games from Flashpoint to Halo to Oblivion have shown that frickin' massive worlds can be created on the current hardware and it's only going to get more impressive in time. The only drawback I can think of is that too much detail can clutter the game. The original Master of Orion was a great space empire game. The sequel threw in more detail but those details didn't really add to the game, it just made each turn take longer. There's a huge difference between adding depth versus annoying extraneous crap but it often isn't clear which is which until after it's been added.

I hear Mass Effect was along the lines of "imagine if they took Starflight and made it also more of an RPG and stuff" but there were some holes in the concept that made the game that were hard to overlook. I dunno, did anyone else like it?

I still want a game where I can get in my fighter, take a trip to a space station, explore it, take a jaunt to an alien world, take a stroll on the surface, and have all sorts of fun. The development costs would be huge, of course.

Re:I prefer Elite style games... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24482555)

The way I put it at the time, "I want a space game you can fly around in like TIE Fighter but where you can land and get out of the ship like Doom."

An attempt at such a game was made with the Battlecruiser:Unverisal Combat (www.3000ad.com) line of games, but I could never get into those. They lacked the polish of a AAA game title. Great concept, just poor execution.

Re:I prefer Elite style games... (1)

jollyreaper (513215) | more than 6 years ago | (#24483935)

An attempt at such a game was made with the Battlecruiser:Unverisal Combat (www.3000ad.com) line of games, but I could never get into those. They lacked the polish of a AAA game title. Great concept, just poor execution.

Yeah, but the legendary flamewars were pretty funny. I remember usenet back in the day, dr so and so, the developer of the game, he was a trip, yelling and screaming at everyone who had something bad to say about his abortion of a game.

BC3K - (possibly) great game, terrible interface (1)

Nick Ives (317) | more than 6 years ago | (#24484419)

Title says it all. I'm convinced if Derek Smart had come up with a saner interface or at least put in a tutorial that went through all the many menus/options that it would have been a great freeform space sim.

As it is I rank it just below X3 for the same reason of being too hard to get in to, although obviously BC3K is a lot more extreme.

Re:I prefer Elite style games... (2, Informative)

KDR_11k (778916) | more than 6 years ago | (#24481745)

There's a game named Darkstar One that might work for you, the hyperspace mechanism is a lot like Elite's (though fuel doesn't need to be restored, the drive recharges automatically over time). What might or might not be an issue is that your wanted status works kinda like in GTA, you build up wanted stars but they decline over time again (though maybe that's a good thing as you can afford doing some piracy without near-permanently fucking your savegame over). The combat controls much like Freelancer IIRC and you don't get to buy a ship (you get alien artifacts to upgrade your one-of-a-kind alien-like ship or something) but since it's very cheap now (10€) it might be worth a look.

Re:I prefer Elite style games... (1)

Nick Ives (317) | more than 6 years ago | (#24484525)

Thanks for the suggestion! Hopefully I should have it by the weekend :)

wow flash back (1)

topnob (1195249) | more than 6 years ago | (#24480179)

Damn that was a good game

Realistic space sims! (5, Funny)

LiquidCoooled (634315) | more than 6 years ago | (#24480197)

Realistic space sims would be good.
Waiting 17 years to reach the next destination will be exciting.

Re:Realistic space sims! (2, Interesting)

i kan reed (749298) | more than 6 years ago | (#24480601)

This got labeled funny, but it reminds me of the only open source space sim I know of, which got obsessed with realism. The devs thought it would be a great idea if 90% of your time was spent accelerating and decelerating between planets, and battles would be most interesting if they were spent 99% of time outside weapon range after flying past your target. No offense to those who worked hard on vega-strike, but it is a stunning example of the horrors of realism in a game.

Eve Online (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24481721)

If you think of Eve online, if they added more realism the Amarr would instantly win in nearly every situation. Caldaris and their missiles? Lasers blow them up far away already. Minmatar and their artillery? Pfft, they would explode far away already. (In fact the US Army has already stopped 155mm artillery shells onflight with lasers.) Gallente and their drones? Quite likely dead, especially if they added some realism to the tracking.

The bottom line is: The realism would instantly ruin that game. Realism would instantly ruin every battle as they would last only for the first salvos... And I'm not going to even get started with using the lasers to burn the sensory systems of the other ships and capsuleers...

Re:Realistic space sims! (2, Informative)

Kjella (173770) | more than 6 years ago | (#24481767)

Did you play Frontier: Elite II? Time controls baby, if you ever played that at 1x you would be waiting forever. Realism with a healthy dose of magic works.

Realistic Sims (2)

hal9000(jr) (316943) | more than 6 years ago | (#24481813)

Falcon 3/4 was similar. A real-time simulator where you taxied, flew through way points, completed your engagement, and then flew home. Often times without incident.

While you could set-up the mission to start closer to your goal, I always liked flying the whole thing. It gave me time to plan, think about my strategies, take in what was going in around me, and if I was running a mission deep in enemy territory, I would have to dodge SAMs and CAPs.

You have to be *really* into the SIM to like real-time, though.

Re:Realistic space sims! (1)

discord5 (798235) | more than 6 years ago | (#24481817)

if they were spent 99% of time outside weapon range after flying past your target

Maybe it's one of those games where you get to shout "RAMMING SPEED!" once and then try to oneshot your opponent with several tons of hyperaccelerated steel of doom (coincidentally named the same as your spaceship)?

No offense to those who worked hard on vega-strike, but it is a stunning example of the horrors of realism in a game.

I never tried Vega strike, but one game that did "realistic" space combat remarkably well (as in "fun"-well, not "physics"-well) that I tried was a demo for a fan-made Babylon 5 game. This was several years ago, but it the demo was quite fun and it looked pretty neat (back then) and for a fan made game it was remarkably polished.

I don't think they ever got past the demo stage, and I forgot the title. Before someone mentions the Freespace 2 mods, that wasn't it.

Re:Realistic space sims! (1)

Knara (9377) | more than 6 years ago | (#24482077)

Well, there was the original B5 game planned to release called "Into the Fire". There was also one called, "I've Found Her" which, in spite of the strange name, I recall being an impressive looking demo.

Re:Realistic space sims! (1)

slashgrim (1247284) | more than 6 years ago | (#24483841)

They could make a great B5 game if they got a good writer!

Re:Realistic space sims! (1)

discord5 (798235) | more than 6 years ago | (#24484139)

There was also one called, "I've Found Her" which, in spite of the strange name, I recall being an impressive looking demo.

Yeah, that's the one. "I've found her" [firstones.com] was the name and they released a prequel campaign called "Danger and opportunity". You can still download it from the site.

The site looks kinda dead on a first glance since januari last year. Too bad.

Re:Realistic space sims! (1)

Knara (9377) | more than 6 years ago | (#24488629)

It wouldn't surprise me if they started working on one of the FS2 TC's instead.

Re:Realistic space sims! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24482187)

The devs thought it would be a great idea if 90% of your time was spent accelerating and decelerating between planets, and battles would be most interesting if they were spent 99% of time outside weapon range after flying past your target.

I'm not being sarcastic when I say that it sounds cool as hell. I've been wanting something like that for a long time, that would let me think how a space battle would actually occur and try some strategies out.

No offense to those who worked hard on vega-strike, but it is a stunning example of the horrors of realism in a game.

Thanks for mentioning the name of the game, I'm downloading it right now. This is actually an example that people have different tastes. Turns out that it's also an example of niches free-as-in-beer open source projects can provide, since I don't think people like me are enough of a market that any game company could make a profit creating such a sim. It does scratch an itch though, and I may actually try to contribute to it.

Re:Realistic space sims! (2, Informative)

malkavian (9512) | more than 6 years ago | (#24482823)

BattleCruiser 3000AD was the one that felt that way to me.. Coupled with trying to run the whole ship.. It was certainly a hard work game, but realistic for all that!

Re:Realistic space sims! (3, Insightful)

MrNiceguy_KS (800771) | more than 6 years ago | (#24485675)

This got labeled funny, but it reminds me of the only open source space sim I know of, which got obsessed with realism. The devs thought it would be a great idea if 90% of your time was spent accelerating and decelerating between planets, and battles would be most interesting if they were spent 99% of time outside weapon range after flying past your target. No offense to those who worked hard on vega-strike, but it is a stunning example of the horrors of realism in a game.

As much as I have tried to love Vega Strike, I have to agree with you. It's fun for the first few cargo runs, but it gets old really quickly.

It's kinda strange. The Vega Strike project started out as a remake of Privateer, but they left out the freakin' autopilot. The developers say that the left out the autopilot in favor of a "Velocity Multiplier" that means you just fly really fast if you're not near a planet. The way it works in practice is that you sit and wait (and wait...) to get far enough from the planet for it to do any good, zip up to an insane speed, then overshoot your goal and spend a couple more minutes getting turned around and going back.

I realize that the space physics are meant to be realistic - you have to spend the same amount of time decelerating as you did accelerating. But is it really realistic that a space-faring race that has energy shields and FTL travel can't design a freakin' autopilot? A simple "Set the destination, wake me when we're almost there or if we're attacked". Privateer's autopilot worked that way and it was so much nicer.

Re:Realistic space sims! (1)

Workaphobia (931620) | more than 6 years ago | (#24491317)

Ah, yes, I played vegastrike back around 2005 and haven't been near it recently. It always had such a half-completed feel to it (although half is probably not the best fraction to use), where you could see the intent and the dream but still lament over how far they had to go.

I miss Wing Commander II, which is about the extent of my space flight sim nostalga. WCIII was good, but I never forgave them for making Hobbes a traitor in the story.

God, I still can't believe how much fun I had playing WCII as a kid. It's just one of those games that really sticks to you, at least if you were the age that I was (eight? *shrug*).

You had that much trouble with VegaStrike? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24491755)

I've played it a bit, on & off, and found it to be quite enjoyable. I never had any trouble at all staying within weapons range of the enemy, indeed, it was an interesting challenge to pick long-ranged weapons for my ship, and stay inside my effective weapons range, but outside theirs... :-D

Maybe you just needed to, dare I say it, RTFM? ;-)

Re:Realistic space sims! (1)

servognome (738846) | more than 6 years ago | (#24481833)

Don't worry, we'll freeze you.... Interested in joining the closed beta so we can work out the bugs?

Re:Realistic space sims! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24483017)

Orbiter (http://orbit.medphys.ucl.ac.uk/orbit.html) - THAT'S what I call "realistic".

Forget about warfare, travelling throughout the solar system is enough of an adventure when actual newtonian physics are involved. Travel times can be on the order of several years for the outer planets, but 100000x time acceleration greatly helps!

I just wish Orbiter was open-source - in about seven years of existence, it might have become even better if the original author had benefitted from outside help (although he is by a small closed team of devs/testers).

Yes! (1)

sabre3999 (1143017) | more than 6 years ago | (#24480337)

I've been waiting years for another good space sim to come out... I miss my Freespace and my TIE Fighter. And Wing Commander too. All the great times I had back in the day, playing with friends or proceeding through the campaigns alone. I hope it lives up to all those that same before it.

Re:Yes! (1)

hypergreatthing (254983) | more than 6 years ago | (#24480503)

Tachyon was awesome. It had good voice acting and good gameplay.

Re:Yes! (1)

sabre3999 (1143017) | more than 6 years ago | (#24480597)

Have not heard of it, will have to look it up and give it a try. Would be great to find something that could utilize my X52.

Re:Yes! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24486959)

Tachyon was pretty good, I never got around to finishing it, since I believe my computer fried right about then. Had Bruce Campbell play the protagonist. Had some SICK multiplayer too, but it only worked well with even sized teams starting at the beginning together (jump in half-way and they'd have researched too much tech for you to defend against).

Why the genre is dead ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24480647)

I did a bit of research to find out why this genre is not attracting developers. It is believed that you can't have graphics that fully utilize the newest video cards. I disagree fully ... show me a game with graphics that look like they are out of Firefly!!!

Re:Why the genre is dead ... (1)

Dr_Barnowl (709838) | more than 6 years ago | (#24484971)

So there's lots of black and thus fewer polygons in space... who the hell cares if you're not utilising the hardware! The point of the games is to utilise the wetware - particularly the enjoyment centres...

feed me! (1)

Taibhsear (1286214) | more than 6 years ago | (#24480667)

I was just thinking to myself recently... "Self, you haven't played a good space sim in a while. You should see what is out there." And here we are. Wing Commander got me hooked. Privateer mastered the genre. Freelancer and Darkstar One were good but never quite hit on exactly what I was looking for. Eve online is way too extensive for me to bother with. If I were younger and had no job... maybe I'd have considered it. I really hope this fills my privateer void. I just hope the AI on the enemies is more varied. That was always one of the downfalls of these games. All the enemies always seemed to fly the same way. Darkstar One at least touched on this a little bit. Graphics definitely look pretty good on this so far though.

Re:feed me! (1)

KDR_11k (778916) | more than 6 years ago | (#24481853)

Strange, no mention of X.

Re:feed me! (1)

Divide By Zero (70303) | more than 6 years ago | (#24482005)

Try Jumpgate (aka Jumpgate Classic) or Vendetta Online. Both are twitch-based space flight sims that might be able to scratch the itch. Jumpgate Evolution might be worth a look as well, but it's not out yet, while JGC and VO will give you a free, no-CC trial today.

Flight Simulator Style Combat? (1)

Hektor_Troy (262592) | more than 6 years ago | (#24480751)

Does that me we, yet again, have a completely lame need of roll and pitch to turn the space ship left or right?

I've seen that on way too many space games, and I think it sucks. You're in space, there's no air to make you turn using aerodynamic methods, and conversely there's no air to stop you from making a 90 deg turn across the normal axis nor smash your craft to pieces if you tilt it 90 deg across its lateral axis.

Frontier: Elite II had a really good physics simulation wrt flight though, and I'm constantly flummuxed when I see space games not even offer that option. Hell Frontier offered the option of flight simulation control.

Re:Flight Simulator Style Combat? (1)

vertinox (846076) | more than 6 years ago | (#24481829)

You're in space, there's no air to make you turn using aerodynamic methods, and conversely there's no air to stop you from making a 90 deg turn across the normal axis nor smash your craft to pieces if you tilt it 90 deg across its lateral axis.

Conversely, there is also the issue about ranges of actual combat. Seeing that space is a vacuum, missile and laser engagements should be in theory far outside the range of human sight.

Re:Flight Simulator Style Combat? (1)

ObjetDart (700355) | more than 6 years ago | (#24482643)

Seeing that space is a vacuum, missile and laser engagements should be in theory far outside the range of human sight.

This is already the case in modern warfare! Hell, my dad was in the Navy back in the 50s and he tells me about gunnery practice where the targets were routinely so far away they were invisible over the horizon. So it's not hard to imagine that in space-based combat, combatants would be separated by hundreds or even thousands of kilometers.

Re:Flight Simulator Style Combat? (1)

AKAImBatman (238306) | more than 6 years ago | (#24483169)

You're in space, there's no air to make you turn using aerodynamic methods, and conversely there's no air to stop you from making a 90 deg turn across the normal axis nor smash your craft to pieces if you tilt it 90 deg across its lateral axis.

Actually, there's a very good reason for the seeming "banking" combat in many space sims. (At least in Wing Commander, anyway.) It's not that you aren't able to spin on your axis, but the problem comes down to the ducting of the ship. Since you have your missile loadouts hanging off the sides of the ship, many of the craft have a low yaw rate.

The solution is to use a combination of roll and pitch to turn your craft toward the enemy. (i.e. spin about your Z axis until your Y axis places the enemy "above" you. Then pull up to rotate around the X axis toward the enemy.) This maneuver ends up being significantly faster than relying on the yaw rate alone.

In fact, there was a bit of Intel in the original Wing Commander that Dralthi never bank left or right. Because their large wings make yaw difficult, they always broke up or down. (Usually up.) If you took advantage of that fact, you could blast them to smithereens when they tried to evade.

Of course, that was the same game that gave detailed specs on the effective range of weapons. Despite Paladin's warnings, I used to love playing chicken with the enemies because I'd lock on to the nearest one, slam the afterburners, and count down the clicks. As soon as I was at maximum effective range, I'd open up with all guns and drain the batteries. Once my guns were depleted, I'd dive and come around back. That little maneuver usually netted me one or two enemies dead right off the bat. If I did it right, they didn't even have chance to return fire!

*sigh* God I miss those games.

Re:Flight Simulator Style Combat? (2, Insightful)

Hektor_Troy (262592) | more than 6 years ago | (#24484265)

Well, who says space crafts have to look like either airplanes or ships? An interesting take on the whole idea is Peter Hamilton's "Night's Dawn Trilogy" is the need for any interstellar travel to be done in spheres.

Besides, if we go with the idea that space crafts should look like air craft, then why don't we have air craft shaped like sea vessels? I mean, wouldn't it make a whole lot more sense if you had massively huge floating tankers, hundreds of yards long, dozen of yards across instead of those puny tanker planes?

No? Gee, I wonder why? Maybe ... because they are entirely different realms.

Why would you want to make a space craft that cannot turn equally fast around all axes. If you need to change direction, wouldn't it be a whole lot simpler if you simply pointed your craft in the right direction and applied thrust, instead of spinning a bit around one axis, then a bit around another axis and THEN applying thrust? This is especially true if you need to point at something directly to the left/right of your position. If you can simply turn your craft to 90 deg around one axis vs turning the craft 90 deg around one axis and then 90 around another, why would you settle for the latter? The ONLY reason turning around two axes instead of one would be faster is crappy engineering.

Re:Flight Simulator Style Combat? (1)

T-Bone-T (1048702) | more than 6 years ago | (#24485947)

Spacecraft often turn like aircraft because that is the easiest on the human body. A 9G turn is hard when it pushes straight down on you, imagine being pushed against your armrest with that force. Not to mention, you can only handle -2-3G without redding out.

Re:Flight Simulator Style Combat? (1)

AKAImBatman (238306) | more than 6 years ago | (#24486555)

In addition to T-Bone's point, the "wings" were often not wings. They were weapon mounts and pods. When you are carrying several tons of highly explosive ordinance, having that ordinance hanging off side pods is a Good Idea(TM). If those pods get damaged in combat (which they often did in Wing Commander), you were less likely to lose the entire ship.

Of course, some of the craft DID have actual wings because they were capable of atmospheric flight. (The Dralthi I mentioned were a good example.) So your comment is a bit like looking at a seaplane and saying, "It's stupid to have pontoons on a plane! It's like having boats in the air!"

Anyone remember (1)

warlorddagaz (1242518) | more than 6 years ago | (#24480939)

in 1997 Star Trek: Starfleet academy was released, which sounds similar to this.

It was a space combat sim, that actually allowed quite a lot of control over various aspects of the ship, with some rather amazing (!) 3D graphics. It might have had joystick control too.

I never spent enough time playing it to finish it, but it made quite a nice cross between generic star trek game and first spaceship shooter.

Space Shooter with RPG Elements (1)

Cornflake917 (515940) | more than 6 years ago | (#24480963)

When I heard this I immediately thought Freelancer. It's about time that some one made a "sequel" to the game, after Freelancer 2 got scrapped. Unfortunately, when they started talking about 22 missions it sounds like this will won't even come close to the sandbox style game that Freelancer was. Looking from the screenshots, it looks like more of a Descent: Freespace clone if anything.

It's really too bad that the Descent (non-Freespace) and Freelancer franchises have fallen away. I would pay good money to play new releases of those series.

Don't Get You Hopes Up, Think: Tarr Chronicles (4, Informative)

rsmith-mac (639075) | more than 6 years ago | (#24481103)

Don't get your hopes up guys, this is being made by the same Russian developers that produced the positively awful Tarr Chronicles [gamespot.com] back in September of 2007, Akella and Quazar Studio. Furthermore if you watch the Dark Horizon trailer [ign.com] and look at the dialog text, you'll find the name "De'khete" in there, that was one of the enemy factions from Tarr Chronicles.

It looks like this is the sequel to Tarr Chronicles under a different name to hide the fact that it's related to that flop. I hate to judge developers before they even get their work out, but when their last title was an abomination and their next title is a sequel coming out a mere year later, I wouldn't put much faith in the game being anything more than a hunk of junk even more rushed than their last game. Go read the reviews for Tarr Chronicles, Dark Horizon is probably just going to be the same thing all over again.

Re:Don't Get You Hopes Up, Think: Tarr Chronicles (1)

KlausBreuer (105581) | more than 6 years ago | (#24493229)

To allow you not to waste time on the review (as I did), here are some quick quotes of interest:

GameSpot Score 4.0 (poor)
Tarr Chronicles is the painful combination of incomprehensible and insipid.

The Good
        * Attractive space scenery.

The Bad
        * Unintelligible storyline
        * Incredibly peculiar dialogue
        * Dull, linear missions. ...

English teachers should stay far away from Tarr Chronicles. Actually, let's go a little bit further and extend that caution to, well, everybody. Mangled English is probably the least of the problems afflicting this arcade-style space simulation from Russian developer Quazar Studio. Dull, repetitive missions make this one tough game to endure for very long, even when you're not puzzling over what the hell is going on due to the absolutely bizarre dialogue. ...

Given the head-swimming story, it's kind of a blessing that the actual gameplay is so simplistic...Virtually every assignment is a generic "destroy all enemy ships" jaunt...Even when there is a specific purpose to your sorties, you still don't do anything more than zip around blasting enemy craft with energy beams and missiles. This all gets extremely mind-numbing in short order, due largely to the excessive number of opposition ships and the subpar artificial intelligence. ...

Overall, there isn't a great deal of challenge on offer here, just endless repetition. The game tries your patience more than your flying skills and marksmanship. ...

There are some things that man was not meant to know, and Tarr Chronicles is clearly one of them. But unlike so many other awful games, at least Quazar Studio doesn't hide this fact. On the contrary, it pretty much wallops you over the head with its incomprehensibility from the very moment you load it up. So, you might want to thank the developer for not wasting too much of your time, if not for anything else.

trailer (1)

Joe the Lesser (533425) | more than 6 years ago | (#24481169)

Re:trailer (1)

Jim Hall (2985) | more than 6 years ago | (#24482925)

Thanks for the trailer. You know, watching the trailer, some of the graphics and fill-in music reminded me of War Planets (aka "Shadow Raiders"). [youtube.com] Suddenly I wonder how cool it would be for someone to take that license and run with it. Would make a kick-ass space flight combat sim. Lots of opportunities to fly craft from the different planets, against Beast ships, eventually taking on the Beast planet itself. Awesome!

(Too bad I don't see this game being made.)

Too bad they are copying another game's name (1)

Longwalker-MGO (816354) | more than 6 years ago | (#24481491)

Dark Horizons Lore: Invasion was published over 2 years ago. Being a russian company they dont care.

http://www.dhuniverse.com/ [dhuniverse.com] http://www.dhuniverse.com/

I miss X-Wing (2, Informative)

Khan (19367) | more than 6 years ago | (#24481549)

Man, talk about one of my all time favorite games along with Tie Fighter. Great story and overall game play. It's too bad that X-Wing vs Tie Fighter just didn't work out as well as the originals. Now, the game that I really wanted to play was the Babylon 5 space sim that was canceled waaay back in early 2000. That baby looked great!

Re:I miss X-Wing (1)

ceoyoyo (59147) | more than 6 years ago | (#24482491)

Lucas Arts really needs to make a sequel to XvT, but with a storyline that's as good as X-Wing.

I used to love taking on star destroyers solo in my A-wing.

Re:I miss X-Wing (1)

jollyreaper (513215) | more than 6 years ago | (#24483895)

Man, talk about one of my all time favorite games along with Tie Fighter. Great story and overall game play. It's too bad that X-Wing vs Tie Fighter just didn't work out as well as the originals. Now, the game that I really wanted to play was the Babylon 5 space sim that was canceled waaay back in early 2000. That baby looked great!

you're talking about X-Wing Alliance. It is the final evolution of the X-Wing/TIE development line and by far the apex. LucasFarts expressly said they were going to avoid doing any more classic SW games in favor of the prequel universe. *barf* No word on whether they're relenting on that one yet.

The great thing about Alliance is you can see it's still the original engine, just with glossier graphics and more detail. Keyboard shortcuts, flight model, all are the same, just extra pretty.

Re:I miss X-Wing (1)

MrNiceguy_KS (800771) | more than 6 years ago | (#24485861)

Alliance was pretty good, but the "Family cargo business" missions kinda ruined it for me. They were a really good idea, but too many of them turned into, "sit in the turret and shoot the incoming missiles". Which wouldn't have been so bad if they'd given you a decent way to control the ship from the turret.

Imagine Privateer as a MMORPG... (1)

cookie_token (1048774) | more than 6 years ago | (#24481671)

.. the economic aspect of second life, the social aspect of WOW and the privateer engine... man that'd be THE game for me, having played Privateer over and over.. Privateer II was quite a disappointment..

Re:Imagine Privateer as a MMORPG... (1)

Divide By Zero (70303) | more than 6 years ago | (#24482029)

google://jumpgate
google://"vendetta online"

YESS (1)

MBGMorden (803437) | more than 6 years ago | (#24481693)

This is a long neglected genre that I'm itching to play something new in. I think I'll even dig out my old Logitech Force Feedback joystick for this; the OLD one that weighed a ton - I payed $125 for that thing while I was still in high school - 3 weeks worth of pay. I was really into the space sims back then :D. Particularly the story driven ones. Freespace (and it's sequal, but moreso the original) were just masterpieces IMHO.

Nice HUD (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24481805)

Is it just me or does the HUD look like an evolved version of Freespace 2's HUD?

Terminus (1)

isorox (205688) | more than 6 years ago | (#24484939)

Hmm, Terminus [wikipedia.org] was a nice one, came out 8 to 9 years ago, supported Mac and Linux, fully 3D, first real physics game since Elite.

Haven't played it since my 15 pin joystick went out of fashion.

Re:Terminus (1)

Free the Cowards (1280296) | more than 6 years ago | (#24485487)

Terminus was great. Full of problems and overall kind of half baked, but still great. The enormous range of customization allowed in ship configuration took things to a whole new level.

I Wonder... (1)

Fished (574624) | more than 6 years ago | (#24486607)

Reading this got me to thinking about what, exactly, I would like to see in a new space sim in this post-WoW age. And what occurred to me was this: a realistic space sim would have a fairly unique advantage over most other mmo's. Namely, the physics of it are well understood and easily modeled. And that in turn set me to wondering whether it would be possible to have a truly distributed gaming universe. That is, one in which people could create their own weapons/ships/whatever, and it would be fair because such items would have to follow a shared set of well understood rules in order to work. These rules could then be enforced on the server side, and you could (perhaps) have a working economy. Think of it as an open source MMORPG, based around space combat, space exploration, trading (a la Elite), all built around a shared physics and economics engine enforced on the server side... I really think it could be quite cool.

I play a lot of WoW, but I think the thing that frustrates me most about it is that it's all arbitrary. I can only craft what Blizzard says I can craft. If Blizzard decides to make all of my hard-won T6 gear obsolete (say with the release of Wrath of the Lich King?), then I'm up the proverbial creek, and have no choice but to go back to grinding just to remain competitive. If they choose tomorrow to release a leather helm with 5000 armor and +1000 stamina for the bargain price of 10,000 gold, they can. Not that there's necessarily anything WRONG with that... just would love to have something a bit more open.

Sadly, while I'm a programmer, I'm not a games programmer, so I'm not in a position to do anything about this idea. But let me place it in the public domain, and hope someone else gets what I'm not managing to express very clearly enough to run with it. I'd certainly pay for the server side :)

needs to by highly community moddable (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24490433)

That's the most important thing to have, IMHO. The community always delivers more content than the developer could ever dream of.

Also, it helps if it's as fun to explore as: http://www.thexuniverse.com/forum/showthread.php?t=2780 [thexuniverse.com]

too bad (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24520813)

The real game is about to get canned :(
http://www.spacetimestudios.com/
lots of ex ORIGIN developers at spacetime and their blackstar game looks kickass. Has full ground and space combat :( The real simmer's dream.

Check for New Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?