02-29-2012, 03:13 PM
FWIW, I'm not sticking up for my employer, Divorced, though I certainly see why folks would assume that. But I was on Qt3 for years before I joined MS, and shilling wasn't part of my job contract when I was hired. :)
If anything, this is purely personal greed, because I ended up really liking Flight, and I want people to give it a chance so that it will be successful and I will be able to get more cool stuff for it down the road!
FWIW, the island of Oahu is super-detailed, with tons of actual buildings downtown, Pearl Harbor modeled in detail, and lots of other well-known areas modeled. I landed the Icon on Waikiki Beach and got out and my son was using FPS controls to run around the streets downtown. Plus there are a lot of additional missions included, and those are surprisingly fun.
02-29-2012, 04:05 PM
Originally Posted by DennyA
Same it defo needs artificial horizon in game and IRL. Just wish I had the $150K.
02-29-2012, 05:17 PM
My camera is stuck in fly-by mode, no button or key presses fix it. I restarted the computer and changed video modes, still stuck in that mode.
I have no idea where to contact tech support either - the website's support section is ridiculous.
02-29-2012, 05:27 PM
Mmm, Oahu. That's actually the only island I spent significant time on, so urge to $$ is rising. Darn you, DennyA, darn you to heck.
02-29-2012, 05:54 PM
I fired it up tonight. Even though they're vastly different genres and barely even comparable, I think I prefer Rise of Flight to it, and not solely because there's air combat in Rise of Flight. I think the eye candy in Rise of Flight is better (although it admittedly falls down in places). For me, someone with an interest in military aviation and rather less in civilian aviation, a civilian flight sim with the focus on down-low flying really, really needs to nail the terrain textures and clouds in a way I don't feel MS Flight does. It's a shame, too, because until I notice the little details, it makes Hawaii look really good.
There's also probably an element of excitement in flying rickety, barely-airworthy warbirds that isn't present in the somewhat more stable Stearman and the rock-solid Icon.
02-29-2012, 07:07 PM
Yeah. I wonder if including the Icon isn't actually a disservice. It does an amazing job of sterilizing what could be a wonderfully tense experience.
That was one of my initial gut-reactions as well - "I can feel this trying to act like RoF, but it can't" - and the Icon hinders that greatly. The wind sheer on approach in the Icon was great to feel in such a tiny plane, but I wonder if it could be a more (I hate to use this word) visceral experience if the starter plane was more rickety so you could appreciate the flight model.
02-29-2012, 09:12 PM
One thing this release has reinforced for me is how much I've come to loathe the flightsim community.
03-01-2012, 01:11 AM
Gotta agree there. I spent my first 20 minutes of flying looking everywhere for the artificial horizon, thinking "surely, it can't be missing from such a plane?".
Originally Posted by DennyA
I'm nearly tempted to get a proper stick for this. And the Thrustmaster T-Flight Hotas X Joystick (PC/PS3) looks like incredible value for money with a horrible name.
Does anyone have any views on the joystick itself and how well it might work with Flight? Also, what would the rudder (if I don't want to twist) and trim controls be mapped to and how well would they work?
03-01-2012, 02:14 AM
Spent more time with it last night; realized there is mouse look with the middle and right mouse buttons held down.. not sure if I can tie that to head track mouse emulation, but I'll try tonight. Otherwise, mouse looking is inconvenient when both hands are on the Hotas.
Had a great time flying with some random people, a gaggle of 6 planes flying the trench run through a valley near Pu'u O Umi, I think. Eventually we hit the end of the road, no space to turn around, not enough power to fly out, and we stalled and piled down on top of each other on the valley floor. Great fun to hook up like that, although not nearly as smartly as we do in RoF :)
Couple of things: the HDR is either very faint or non-existent... I want to feel the glare of the sun. The scenery color also seems a little washed out, I'd love to tweak the saturation or gamma.. or at last balance the green of the tree objects to the lighter green of the ground texture. Ahh, the urge to tweak never dies. I agree, Rof seems better balanced in terms of art direction, and especially clouds.
That said, more fun was had, and I haven't even visited those giant mountains and craters yet.
03-01-2012, 05:34 AM
I had one of these before I bought the CH setup I use now. It's actually remarkably good for the price. There's a little adjuster for centering force on the bottom of the stick, which is a nice feature. If you don't want to use twist for rudder, there's an analog rocker switch on the front of the throttle that is, in my opinion, a way better choice anyway.
Originally Posted by Wendelius
My biggest gripe about it is that there's a 50% detent on the throttle that was always getting in the way in Il-2. It wasn't really an issue in Rise of Flight or (I'd imagine) MS Flight, because it's rare to need precision throttle control around the middle. My second-biggest gripe is that the cable that connects the throttle and stick when they're separated isn't particularly long or retained in its channels particularly well: it barely fit underneath my keyboard, and when I moved the stick and throttle around, the cable would come out and cause both parts to rest unevenly.
03-01-2012, 06:33 AM
Thanks for that, Fishbreath. So would it be an issue if I wanted to set the throttle at 45 or 55%? Would it snap back to 50?
Also, how did the games you played handle trim on that joystick? Is there a control which can take care of that?
For those interested, I have posted screenshots of the game elsewhere. I have to say I enjoyed the time I spent on the game yesterday. So much so that I'm tempted to get the joystick, pay for the other islands and missions (don't want a cockpit-less plane though) and fly quite a bit more. Nicely done MS. The hook is in. :)
03-01-2012, 07:21 AM
Yep, that's the issue I had. It wasn't terribly noticeable, but it was occasionally a pain.
There are probably enough buttons to do trimming that way. I normally used the hat switch for trim and the mouse/head tracking for view control.
03-01-2012, 07:58 AM
I'm enjoying my Flight time so far. I was disappointed that the game doesn't look as good as Just Cause 2, but that was just me setting my expectations too high. Once I started flying around the big island, I realized just how much bigger it is compared to Oahu (which I know from Test Drive Unlimited) and even Panau from Just Cause 2. I am disappointed that the free area is the big island though, not Oahu, since Oahu has some really interesting sights. I guess they want you to pay for the best area. The Big Island seems fairly boring to look at in comparison so far.
I love all the objectives, and flying around getting little icons, all the gamey portions of the game, in other words.
This is my first real flight sim, so I have a question: Is it normal for an aircraft of this type to default to tilt upward slowly when you keep the stick centered? So you constantly have to keep pushing the nose down to keep the plane leveled?
03-01-2012, 08:02 AM
Quite normal depending on your airspeed. Use the trim to fix this.
Originally Posted by Rock8man
03-01-2012, 08:05 AM
Yes. That's why you trim airplanes both in simulators and in real life. It's like a way of applying a constant corrections to the controls to correct that slow upwards or downwards creep. Another way to control it could be to adjust your throttle a bit (or a combination of both).
Originally Posted by Rock8man
As long as the conditions remain fairly constant (altitude, weather, throttle, ...), the correct trim will keep you flying at a constant altitude hands off. This is actually a fairly scary experience the first time you try and pilot a small plane (I took a few lessons a lifetime ago). You need to get used to the fact that the plane is not going to fall out of the sky and enjoy the hands off flying. Without trim, you'd be constantly fighting the plane.
03-01-2012, 08:11 AM
Cool. Thanks. That's interesting.
I'll continue to play the tutorial missions and see if the Trim controls come up in those.
Btw, I'm still only playing with the 360 controller. I'll try it with my Sidewinder Precision Pro sometime though. Hopefully they ignore the throttle. I hate games that make you use the Precision Pro's little dial that's called a throttle.
Still, even if the joystick support for the PP is bad, at least the game plays really well with a controller.
03-01-2012, 08:19 AM
Yes, trim is mentioned in one of the tutorials. I play on the 360 gamepad too and trim is controlled by the D-Pad. Same logic as the pitch control. Apply small corrections.
03-01-2012, 08:53 AM
I just ordered this. I have an old Saitek joystick but it's dusty and creaky and the separate throttle is too big for my desktop. I'm going to wait to play the game until this arrives.
Originally Posted by Wendelius
03-01-2012, 09:00 AM
"Thanks" to Amazon One Click ordering it seems I just ordered it too. It was an accident. But I'm not cancelling!
Originally Posted by skyride
03-01-2012, 10:24 AM
I tried Flight this morning for like 10 minutes before I went into work. The little of it that I experienced was pretty charming. Then I went to a flight sim forum where people were claiming that Flight means the world is ending. People are stupid.
Last edited by peterb; 03-01-2012 at 11:26 AM.
03-01-2012, 12:45 PM
I've figured out how to use TrackIR in Microsoft Flight. It's not perfect, but it does a reasonably good job.
Essentially, it's simply using the TrackIR mouse emulation. But to do this, you have to assign a button on your joystick to emulate holding down the right mouse button as well. So, download Joy2Key, a free joystick keyboard emulation program. Choose your preferred joystick button and assign either/both mouse buttons.
Then, open up the trackIR mouse emulation utility found in your TrackIR folder.
Then, once in the game, holding down the joystick button and moving your head will move your mouse cursor, essentially giving you sorta-normal trackIR movements. It's not smooth and depending on your profile, might throw the center out of whack and you'll need to ce-center once in a while, but with normal acceleration curves it's not too bad.
03-01-2012, 01:08 PM
Yeah, I regularly visit the Sim-Outhouse forums for FSX stuff, but I'm not even going to LOOK into the Flight forum there, lest my brain explode.
03-01-2012, 01:15 PM
I didn't know the place so had to check it out. The flight forum was wiped for release and the 9 threads in there at the moment seem fairly positive. So there might be no need for bits of your brain to lie scattered all over the place. :)
Originally Posted by DennyA
03-01-2012, 01:22 PM
Phew. The FSX forum there is the place to hang out if you like flying warbirds in Flight Sim.
Originally Posted by Wendelius
Before the wipe, the Flight Forum was mostly rants by the same guys who ranted about changes in FSX and FS9 and probably FS2002 before that, and angry posts by an FSX developer who just bought Computer Pilot magazine... So it's gonna be interesting to see how that particular publication reacts to Flight. :)
03-01-2012, 01:35 PM
Yeah, I was in the beta and was surprised that things felt fairly flat and featureless. The textures for some of the fields were nice, but the terrain didn't encourage me to go exploring. Looking at satellite maps it seems like there is some pretty big mountains on the Big Island, but I never got a sense of zooming through canyons or such. Perhaps the compressed topography of the other islands will make them more interesting.
Originally Posted by Rock8man
I didn't spend more than an hour or two with the beta. The controls were really twitchy and I couldn't get them to calm down. I'm sure with some perseverance I could get it smoothed out, but the lack of Track IR is a bit of a deal breaker.
03-01-2012, 01:48 PM
OK, I played for about an hour more, bought the Hawaii pack, did some missions, and otherwise dorked around.
Overall: I think this is really nice. The planes all fly very differently, and the variety of missions gamify things wonderfully for casual scum like me. I can already tell the aerocache stuff is going to be nifty. Multiplayer seems to work fairly seamlessly (although it's not really 'my thing').
I do miss the super-detailed and simmy 'flight lessons' from FSX. I'd pay MS for a download pack of those. (There are "how to fly" missions but they're a lot more loosey-goosey than in FSX).
I couldn't find a way to get a map in-flight. FSX also had a bunch of complicated stuff dealing with the radio stack, GPS, VOR transceivers, etc - for all I know Flight has that too but I haven't had a reason to use it, or maybe it's gone. I could see a 'real' pilot missing that stuff. For me it's not really that big a deal yet.
My knee jerk uninformed and probably wrong reaction is that they doubled-down on everything VFR and more or less threw IFR stuff out of the window. I cannot bring myself to say that this is a bad decision, if their goal is "sell games to people who will enjoy them."
03-01-2012, 02:05 PM
This thread encouraged me to buy the OTX PNW terrain for FSX and fly that instead of Flight. Awesome. Hey Denny, I imagine by linking the OTX airport in your post above you have the whole PNW terrain, right?
03-01-2012, 02:49 PM
I am thinking that the free bit is probably the only bit for me. My FS2004 folder was 100+GB in size and cost me a good bit.
That said, most of my flying is in airliners. I have FSPax and enjoy it greatly. I also love flying tiny planes into rough altiports! I spent so much time doing that in Idaho and Washington that it was really quite wretched, and that was using sloped runways in FS2004! In essence, I think this is probably a nice diversion for me, but nothing to really invest in.
03-01-2012, 03:04 PM
Had a chance to give Microsoft Flight a whirl. Firstly, I have to say my fears about GFWL were completely unfounded. The installer for MS Flight from the website did bundle GFWL and the GFW Marketplace programs as part of the package, but it didn't abuse my pets or anything like the thread on this forum would have me believe. In fact, I did not even have to run either program so for now they are sitting, well behaved, in my add/remove programs list.
I also did not need to set up a gamertag or sign into anything to play the first aircraft and basic challenges. The game does entice you to sign up, though, with the promise of a second aircraft, the Steerman. A very good first impression so far.
When you start the game you are dropped into the tutorial, which does a good job getting you going. I think Microsoft have realized that, with something niche like a flight sim, the first five minutes must be polished to a mirror shine or people will give up and never come back. It shows. Controllers were detected and configured automatically, and which was active would switch depending which I was pressing. The tutorial would even change what help message is displayed to be relevant to your input method, although it would have been nice to show the keyboard alternative too, since I have no idea which button 8 on my HOTAS setup is. WASD control for the throttle and rudder made me chuckle.
Another nice thing which added to that good impression was that the game starts quickly. This is something sadly lacking from Rise of Flight or X-Plane; the five minutes it takes with RoF to get me into the air does discourage me from just kicking it up for a quick joyride, whereas Flight takes less than 90 seconds. Actually this is the killer feature of Flight - the game is based around quick missions, typically 5 or 10 minutes, with the length estimated before you start, so it is very easy to fit in a few minutes of flying into a busy schedule.
While not jaw-dropping, the graphics are fine once you've punted them up from the default low, although the clouds, even at the highest setting, are still unimpressive. The weather effects are not all that inspiring either, and there does not seem to be any dynamic scenery, such as traffic to bring things to life. On the other hand, the game runs smoothly while looking decent enough, so it is a fair trade-off.
I apologize to whomever I told the X-Plane interface is not that bad: Flight's GUI is slick indeed. Click on mission icons on the map or drag your aircraft to a position and choose free flight and you are off. Want to change the time or weather conditions? Just two clicks. The game will remember your position between sessions so you can get back to where you left off just by hitting the "m" key to close the map which also acts as the main interface.
The ability to get out of the plane and run around on the ground is also an interesting one, not often seen in flight sims. If you move yourself on the map while not in plane you will leave it behind! You can get a new one from the hanger screen, but Microsoft missed an opportunity for Grand Theft Biplane here.
The metagame of earning experience to level up your pilot, earning achievements, unlocking skins and so on isn't exactly to my taste, but it is nicely implemented. It also gives you some goals, something often missing in what can be the very dry and procedural world of flight sims (and real aviation, for that matter). But it does work - I'll retry a challenge just to do it a little better and get that gold medal. Some of the achievements are interesting ... "suspicious activity": transport a ton of unknown cargo without being detected? So Microsoft have made a smuggling simulator after all!
As for the flying itself, the simulator did not give me that visceral, seat of the pants, feeling that I get from RoF. I also missed seeing all the lovingly rendered ways you can make your wings fall off. Other people have commented that the extremely forgiving handling is a feature of Icon A5 trial aircraft but, as I was effortlessly looping the loop at treetop height, racing through checkpoints, I did wonder if I'd missed the option to turn arcade mode off. But then it occurred to me: this isn't a replacement to MS Flight Sim, this is an update to Crimson Skies. I can see the Hollywood hills in the distance.
Will I come back to MS Flight? Sure. Will I be buying the add-ons? Not quite yet, but I'll see how Microsoft supports it and what they release in the future. Missionary flights to unmarked airstrips in the Congo, you say? Where's my wallet...
03-01-2012, 03:16 PM
The Icon doesn't seem to be the right plane to give any visceral seat of the pants flying impressions. It's more for people who like comfy and relaxing.
Originally Posted by Airscrew
Did you turn off the flying helps (and maybe the HUD) in the options? All those things are very nice for a new crowd but would likely hold back the enjoyment of a simmer.
I think you gave a very good description and assessment of the game, Airscrew. Though I just gave in and bought the Hawaii pack anyway. I'd like to try the Vans RV-6A and see what the instruments panel is on that one. The Maule is also supposed to have a better cockpit than the freebies, but I'm not getting that one yet. No cockpitless plane for me though. Yuck!