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Re: My new flight sim: MotorWings - Build your own aircraft.

PostPosted: Mon Dec 28, 2020 9:53 am
by cevans
Looking good!
How do you build your scenery? What areas?

Amazing looking work!

Re: My new flight sim: MotorWings - Build your own aircraft.

PostPosted: Mon Dec 28, 2020 6:04 pm
by Moach
Scenery is all procedurally generated - It's a fantasy world, so the trick is making it look authentic rather than match reality.

There's a built-in generator system which is quite complex and creates details according to a large-scale continental guide map, with pseudo-random terrain anywhere that isn't modelled by hand - The generator allows setting up areas where it doesn't interfere with manual editing

I'm still working on it, of course.

Re: My new flight sim: MotorWings - Build your own aircraft.

PostPosted: Thu Dec 31, 2020 4:09 am
by Moach
I've just set up a Patreon account where anyone may help the project along however they can. Somebody had suggested that I do this some time ago, and now I've finally got around actually doing it.

I hope this project can become viable as a real business some time this year.
Our current 2-man team has been mostly just myself until now, as the other half has a full time day job and can't fully commit to it as I have done (which has cost me a rather inglorious "move back in with mom at age 35" career investment path to allow for it)

Kinda hard, doing it all alone... After a year of it one starts taking the constraints for granted, which isn't really a good thing, as this leads to a growing subconscious aversion to ambitious design choices. I have to continuously police myself to keep my head and ideas on track lest that should happen.

I am aware that I do have a very unusual combination of skills that would in theory (that wonderful place where nobody is ever wrong) allow me to pull off the entire project on my own should push come to shove. This is not something that should be taken for an alternative, as it would literally take decades for it to happen that way.

So the main plan is to try and find some source of funding that this may be turned into a full time job not just for myself, but for a small group of talented people working together to make this game come about as best we can.

If you wanna help out, check out the Patreon link I just set up on the MotorWings main page - It's a big red-ish button right on top, you can't miss it.

Anyways, happy new year everyone! ​​​​​​​​​​​​​ :dance:

Re: My new flight sim: MotorWings - Build your own aircraft.

PostPosted: Thu Dec 31, 2020 4:39 am
by JanC
I am stunned all the way from Scandinavia! :clap:

Re: My new flight sim: MotorWings - Build your own aircraft.

PostPosted: Sun Jan 03, 2021 1:52 pm
by Moach
Couldn't get the forum to actually embed the player for some reason, but here's a short video of the game in action and my ongoing work on adding guns and stuff:

Re: My new flight sim: MotorWings - Build your own aircraft.

PostPosted: Wed Jan 06, 2021 7:37 pm
by Moach
Adding some new parts today:

Also gave the old runway a good revamp, with an overlay arrangement for much sharper textures

This should be in the next build, but for now there isn't enough new stuff to be worth doing a whole release just yet - Gonna make some more parts first :think:

Re: My new flight sim: MotorWings - Build your own aircraft.

PostPosted: Thu Jan 07, 2021 7:27 am
by cevans
Watched the video. Looking good! :clap: :clap: :clap:

So the scenery is a random generation?

Re: My new flight sim: MotorWings - Build your own aircraft.

PostPosted: Thu Jan 07, 2021 9:26 am
by Moach
It is random for the most part - wherever nothing else is specifically designed, that is.

Scenery is dynamically generated by a complicated arrangement of noise functions and filters assembled into the "Map Magic 2" terrain plugin for Unity. It can generate an infinite world on its own if you let it, but making it look authentic and pleasant to behold still takes a lot of fiddling around.
Despite what the name implies, it isn't really magic... It's a very powerful tool, no doubts that, but like all such things, it's equally good at making sceneries that are totally awesome or egregiously repellent - You can hook it up any way you like.

My setup here for now has only one Biome, which is good enough for plains and rolling hills with some casual heights here and there - It follows a continental-scale map which determines just how vertically intense any given area may get as you fly through it. (at zero, you get the ocean) - Eventually there will be other biomes, for making deserts, jungles, glaciers, etc, and then we'll map these to different parts of the world in a similar way.

This allows us to have a "Known World*" mapped out, so we can have a number of common destinations charted up before you start exploring "here be dragons" country.
* map is a work in progress -- The starting airfield location is "Haven Rock"

This area comprises a real estate of just about exactly one million km²...

At those scales, the terrain system has to be capable enough to do it's own thing and populate that huge land with stuff like towns and villages and whatnot - Most of the smaller towns and settlements will be thus dynamically generated.

Yet I'm making a point of working it out such that major locations and terrain features can still be inserted "by hand" at arbitrary coordinates so that they get included in the whole process. The end result should be that one cannot easily tell what bits of the world were made by man or machine.

This is pretty similar to how FSX handles scenery layers, though Unity allows us working in a far more visual, hands-on way for it

Anyhow, it's not totally random, that is: Two different players will always find the same randomly generated features at a same given location. This is called "pseudo-random", and it takes a "seed number" to roll the logical dice and create random results unique to any given number. Naturally, the seed number for our world is 42

And of course, as you get closer to the "edge of the world", the known-world continental map gradually transitions away, smoothly giving full authority to a fully procedural system which then goes on to infinity. And there'll be support for mods, so that custom terrain features can be added wherever you like... but that's still quite a bit ahead for now

Anyways, that much is still quite some way ahead of me on the almighty to-do list - There are more basic things to sort out before we come back around to the terrain engine (but soon, we shall)

Re: My new flight sim: MotorWings - Build your own aircraft.

PostPosted: Sat Jan 30, 2021 12:49 pm
by Moach

Re: My new flight sim: MotorWings - Build your own aircraft.

PostPosted: Sat Feb 20, 2021 4:28 pm
by Moach
Added constant speed propellers!

And new build up today!

Make sure to spread the word - MotorWings needs more players getting excited about it!

Tell all who loved old Crimson Skies that a "spiritual successor" to it is here in the making. Tell all who never heard about it too, why not? Tell everyone!

Now see:

I will grant players who make videos showcasing the game, it's concept and potential, the title "Media Partner" and with it, a free copy with all updates and future expansion packs when it becomes a commercial product.

This offer stands as long as it takes to make it popularly known as "An open-world Crimson Skies remake, with KSP mixed in". - The day I google "crimson skies remake" and find MotorWings videos and images near the top, that's when the offer will no longer be necessary.

The MotorWings theme music is free to use in any videos of the game. (or in videos of other stuff too, as long as you mention where it came from (I'm the author))

I'd make videos myself, but that takes away lots of time which would otherwise have been for development. Plus, my PC is a derelict made out of scrap bits found lying by the side of the road, it just won't do to record in decent quality at any FPS. So I need help with that.

Re: My new flight sim: MotorWings - Build your own aircraft.

PostPosted: Mon Feb 22, 2021 1:08 pm
by Moach
Showing off the new propeller features and engine sounds aboard a Crimson Skies Devastator remake!

Re: My new flight sim: MotorWings - Build your own aircraft.

PostPosted: Tue Mar 02, 2021 12:49 am
by Moach
Another build today!

Mk.1f4-NT is now live!

Bunch of bugs got fixed on this one - simulation feels lots more cromulent! :handgestures-salute:

Game is still free, so please keep telling people about it so that one day this may become a real thing that I can make a living from...

I wouldn't have the gall to charge for it until more game-making features (like things to shoot at and get shot by) are in - Until then, it's all about spreading the word.

Re: My new flight sim: MotorWings - Build your own aircraft.

PostPosted: Thu Mar 04, 2021 12:50 pm
by striker

What areas does it cover? Or is it a fictional landscape?

Re: My new flight sim: MotorWings - Build your own aircraft.

PostPosted: Fri Mar 05, 2021 4:21 pm
by Moach
As I had mentioned earlier, the scenery is a fictional place called "The Outlands" - A fantasy, heavily balkanized frontier world where any homestead and its outhouse may declare itself a sovereign kingdom at a whim's notice.

The known world is a square of a million km² - This follows a general guideline map which specifies approximate coastlines and rough elevation of the terrain -The area beyond that (infinite, as long as you don't run outta fuel) is fully procedurally generated.

Before anyone flies out all that way though, I haven't actually programmed in the "infinite beyond" just yet. Mostly because without other destinations in the known world, there's not much point in flying all the way out to "here be dragons" country anyway. I'll get to that eventually - One thing at a time... At least, until I find an investor or some such, then there can be a team of folks doing more than I alone can manage.

There's a good reason for the world to be a fantasy one, and not some real place on our version of Earth: That is, there has to be a contextual premise which justifies the notion of building your own unique airplane, and validates then taking it up to fly around like you don't give a damn.

If this were set in the real world as we know it, it would be out of place, and one would wonder what the FAA thinks about the airworthiness of your custom ride. And one must cringe to think of what they'd make of you flying through hangars or doing loops around airships...

But in The Outlands, there is no FAA, there is hardly any law, except in the larger cities and that goes only as far as those enforcing it brother to travel. It's a boundless country of bad roads beset by bandits and brigands and everything in between

Think of it as a mix of Westeros and the Wild West, but with fighter planes for horses and huge airships and stuff.

Also, it's easier for me to dynamically generate an authentic-looking made-up world in such a scale than it would be to somehow stream in, then adapt GIS data to make some kind of alternate-reality world that's geographically matched to the real one.. Plus, I'm a big fan of authors like Tolkien, Martin and Rothfuss.

But mainly, the fantasy world is a feature that's there to validate the planes you make and how you choose to fly them.

I find this gives a very strong sense of freedom.
Daredevil flying just for the hell of it always felt to me a bit "out of touch" in MSFS and other real-world based sims. I never had any such sense of "I should probably not be doing this" while buzzing under bridges and through hangars in Crimson Skies. There it all just feels like perfectly natural behavior. :D