Game Development Reference
In-Depth Information
to the compelling fantasy of being a modern-era hero battling for supremacy in a
high-intensity, kill-or-be-killed, may-the-best-man-win arena.
During the late 1980s and throughout the 1990s, simulator games were one of
the dominant genres of computer games, but by 2000, sales of simulators were in
decline. Today simulators are a small but not insignificant segment of the market.
Few AAA games are released in any given year, and there has been a decided shift
toward more “arcade” style flight models and complexity. Part of this is explained by
changing demographics (a larger more diverse audience with different interests) and
partly by a general shift toward console gaming. There is also the inherent limitations
of console hardware (gamepad-type controllers are simply not suitable for modeling
the range and complexity of a real aircraft's controls). Where realistic controllers
are used, simulator games typically lack the “under-the-hood helpers” of most games
and tend to have literal rather than relative or simplified controls. The complexity
of simulator games is itself a steep barrier to entry—it is quite difficult to master a
realistic simulator. Most people simply have trouble thinking in three dimensions
and so are unable to develop the situational awareness required to succeed at such
games. Unsurprisingly, these factors weigh heavily in publisher decisions regarding
what types of games to fund.
Outstanding Simulator Games
Ace Combat 6
X-Plane 9
Silent Hunter IV
Flight Simulator X
Freespace 2
MiG Alley
MechWarrior 4
Longbow 2
TIE Fighter Collector's Edition
Falcon 3.0
M-1 Tank Platoon
Secret Weapons of the Luftwaffe
Red Baron 3D
F-15 Strike Eagle
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