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FarflungWanderer

What will IL-2 look like a decade from now?

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The future of IL-2 will be decided by technological development (hardware and software), user base evolution and trends.

 

Technological development

CPUs won't be getting significantly faster. GPUs will, and will also be capable of executing more complex shaders, allowing for e.g. real-time ray-tracing. Integration between CPU and GPU will have improved, i.e. exchange of information between CPU and GPU will be such that maybe they'll be able to share memory. High-resolution VR will be available.

Internet bandwidth will increase, but ping will remain the same. Memory technology is an area when we can look forward to big advances. Some predict that the difference between RAM and static storage will be gone.

 

Trends

There are advances that will be possible in theory, and yet might not see success on the market. Joysticks with force feedback is an example. We used to have those, then they disappeared. Whether they make a come back depends on the evolution of the market. PC gaming will remain threatened by other forms of computing and entertainment. Maybe we'll have portable devices (such as phones, consoles) that are about as powerful as today's PCs, and that will be enough to threaten the PC-on-a-desktop even more than today. On the other hand, PC gaming appears to have made a comeback these last years, so who knows. I think that portable wireless VR may threaten that.

Economical development of Russia will have a major effect on the game's development. I wonder if today's combination of highly-skilled developers and relatively low wages isn't what's keeping this niche alive. Would it be possible to fund development of this game with Western-level salaries? If the quality and cost of living rise, so will the cost of the game's development. Revenues would however also rise, so hopefully things would even out. If things go to hell between the West and Russia, we won't be worrying about the state of the game much, hopefully we won't get to experience that.

 

User base evolution

The current player base will get older, possibly moving on to other forms of enjoyment. I doubt future young generations will keep the same interest for WWII-era flight combat. Those who remain will be the hardcore players, and they will spend most of their time on the forums arguing about details, under- and over-modelling of performance (I'm half-joking on this last part). On the other hand, there is a big potential with the Asian player base, but it's unclear if they can be captured. I'm not sure if the fighting in the air over China around WWII is very popular there. On the other hand Asians seem very open to Western culture, probably more so than Westerners towards Asian history and culture, and maybe adoption is not a problem. Of course Korea and Vietnam could spark interest, but it's not really WWII any more.

 

Effects on IL-2

Visual effects will keep improving. More resolution, both on screen and in VR. I'd expect VR to have gained enough resolution that it might out-compete flat screens. I mean, is there any reason to go (much) beyond 4K? VR should might be achieving similar resolutions by then. And I don't just mean in number of pixels, but in pixels per degree.

Improvement in GPUs capability and integration with CPUs will allow for new breath-taking atmospheric effects. Clouds will be finally virtually indistinguishable from their real-life counterparts. The terrain mesh will be smooth, Kuban's mountains (although already nice today) will have no popping triangles and no pyramid-like edges. Thick glass panels will be rendered using real-time ray-traced refraction.

The increase in rendering quality will put bigger strain on the art teams, who will be pushed to model more details. This has been a challenge since games moved from 2d to 3d, and will remain so.

The limits of CPUs will keep the number of AIs to a "similar" level as today. Although one can expect a move to multi-core AI in the game, this will at best open the door to 8 times more planes... which isn't bad. I'm sure many will still lament the lack of large bomber formations. AI itself might have improved, but primarily as the result of the devs spending time on its development. For many players, it will still "suck", because AIs can't be humans.

Improvements in bandwidth and its availability will open the possibility to have about 200 players per server, maybe. Cool, but not so vastly different from today, I would say.

We (well, some of us) will have high quality force-feedback joysticks, and they will be expensive, because produced in small quantities.

 

TLDR: Essentially the same game, but better looking.

 

PS: I wonder if a large number of players with competence reaching employment age or having their kids leave home wouldn't open the possibility for an enthusiast-based competing project running on a 3rd-party 3D engine, e.g. a future version of Unity or Unreal. In ten years time the software tools might be available. Without the focus of a professional team it might not be real competition, on the other hand I can't help notice the relatively high density of highly skilled people in the community and the genre in general. With time and no need for heavy funding, it could achieve something comparable to what this team is doing today. Realistically, ten years might be too short. Give it 20 years, and it's a possibility. Another 20 years and the makers would definitely "retire", leaving a work of art played only by a small decreasing player base. A poetic thought for you.

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He, was it ten years ago there was a guy called Jason on the SimHQ forums who worked for TrackIR in some capacity?... - I wonder whatever happened to him...  ;-)

 

Just to say that it is REALLY hard to predict how flight simming will look ten years from now! I just hope we haven't been *deleted* by our new AI Overlords. 

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From my experience it`s never as good as we`d like. In fact we tend to lose things that previous versions had. Sequels that are 10 years old are often better than the present day versions except that graphics, sounds and animations are better.

 

Xcom 2 gives less options than the original Xcom which I loved. Total War games today actually give less with fewer mechanics than the originals, etc, etc. Even BOS today has more restrictions than IL2. You can`t even play the Career mode (which is very good btw)  Offline which is actually a step back from the original, basically you`re stuck online forever which is a weak link.

 

Just pointing out the truth.

 

So I wouldn`t get too excited about it in 10 years... I`m sure it`ll look great though as it flies itself for you.

Edited by seafireliv

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I like a lot of what has been said already. I'd love to see dynamic visual damage and "deformable" aluminum skins and fuselage parts, wrinkling and crumpling realistically upon contact.  I've seen some of this in racing games even today and think it'd be a neat bit of eye candy in a flight sim.

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I would love if what happened to il2-1946 happened to BoX: that wonderful team like TEAM DAIDALOS kept developing content (mo' planes!) even after the game's commercial life had expired already.

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4 minutes ago, danielprates said:

I would love if what happened to il2-1946 happened to BoX: that wonderful team like TEAM DAIDALOS kept developing content (mo' planes!) even after the game's commercial life had expired already.

I get the feeling that this will be BoX's fate in the end, but it's hard to say.

 

Across the industry, there has been a shift towards "Games as Services," meaning that everything is starting to slowly take on MMO-esque lifespans as they are updated and updated again for good measure. It is entirely possible, assuming no catastrophic changes to the world or to 1C in particular, and also assuming that the technology available to 1C cannot be improved beyond a certain point, that BoX could keep running for a very, very long time indeed.

 

I think the fact that War Thunder was able to update its engine with their latest patch makes me hopeful that perhaps the same will happen to BoX in the future as more and more modules are released.

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A decade from now, Il-2 will be largely abandoned unless there are continuous updates, comprehensive modding, or zero alternatives.

 

The longevity of 1946 well into its second decade can be attributed to these three things. Team Daidalos kept releasing new content and fixes. Mods such as UltraPack and HSFX added many exciting features. Meanwhile, there was no real competition until War Thunder thanks to the CloD debacle. 

 

Tank Crew adds even more uncertainty. Suddenly, we have a game that can shift gears and take us to new types of battles.

Edited by Mitthrawnuruodo

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I think "Games as Services" is the right approach, along with engine updates and engine upgrades (dx12) like shown by other games like WT, Wot, Eve, MMOs, etc. 

 

BoX is a good brand with positive reception and the one to keep, and it should be avoided to get abandoned like 1946,  or the back then negatively perceived CloD. 

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8 hours ago, seafireliv said:

From my experience it`s never ....

God, man, you wrote my own words.

The commercial actual times are producing visually stunning products without a soul, without a "hook" that catches you.

Games 10 years ago a man played because "playability" was awesome. Now all new games I play just 1/2 hour they have wonderful graphic, BUT its boring.

IL2 BOS is exception, just because of love in planes, and FM, and VR. 

But the last update, is in the same principle.... more visuals, but more stuttering, and lagging and less playable for me. thats how it is. 

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12 hours ago, FarflungWanderer said:

I get the feeling that this will be BoX's fate in the end, but it's hard to say.

 

Across the industry, there has been a shift towards "Games as Services," meaning that everything is starting to slowly take on MMO-esque lifespans as they are updated and updated again for good measure. It is entirely possible, assuming no catastrophic changes to the world or to 1C in particular, and also assuming that the technology available to 1C cannot be improved beyond a certain point, that BoX could keep running for a very, very long time indeed.

 

I think the fact that War Thunder was able to update its engine with their latest patch makes me hopeful that perhaps the same will happen to BoX in the future as more and more modules are released.

 

Quite agree. Companies like "paradox"  have found the way to give games a longer lifespan,  by constantly updating the "basegame" as they release new content over the years. Il2 seems to be going that way,  which is awesome.

 

Now,  if it hits a technological dead end,  where there is no choice but to scrap the game and create a new one,  I'll be very sad about it. It is certainly the worse scenario for us players. I say that because newer generations of games get increasingly more "watered down",  for commercial reasons. Even the current Il2 does not escape that logic. In 1946 and CloD we could set magnetos,  carburator heat,  fuel feed.... that was simplified in BoX. What would a future installment be?

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12 hours ago, Mitthrawnuruodo said:

A decade from now, Il-2 will be largely abandoned unless there are continuous updates, comprehensive modding, or zero alternatives.

 

 

I don't think so. With the quality content that is likely to come in the next 2-6 years (Bodenplatte, Pacific), if not something major happens, this sim is likely going to stay longer then you'd think. It's more than 4 years "old" already, and you know that a lot of things have changed for the better. As long as the developer is actively standing behind the product he has been improving ever since this will most likely only get better.

 

We are at a point where in the department of quality you can not make a lot of things better without a major effort in time and money, not in the next 20 years at least. The bottleneck in development is the strength of the development team, not the computers limitations (mostly). So until we have completely new technologies to compute and access information this generation of sims are not going to be surpassed. Il-2 has a strong foundation now, and I hope they can expand on it.

What will really make this series last for a long time however is accessability for new players. I think the campaign for example is a great entry point and something that quickly grabs you and maybe holds you for a long time. And things like custom Icons would also be very welcome so you can scale the difficulty a lot more for intermediate players.

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44 minutes ago, danielprates said:

 

Quite agree. Companies like "paradox"  have found the way to give games a longer lifespan,  by constantly updating the "basegame" as they release new content over the years. Il2 seems to be going that way,  which is awesome.

 

Now,  if it hits a technological dead end,  where there is no choice but to scrap the game and create a new one,  I'll be very sad about it. It is certainly the worse scenario for us players. I say that because newer generations of games get increasingly more "watered down",  for commercial reasons. Even the current Il2 does not escape that logic. In 1946 and CloD we could set magnetos,  carburator heat,  fuel feed.... that was simplified in BoX. What would a future installment be?

I don't imagine that you can simplify a WW2 flight sim beyond this point without losing the "sim" title. Managing magnetos, carburetor heat, fuel feed, and the like are features I imagine will return to BoX through the power of modding or by developer addition in future modules.

 

As for a future installment, I don't believe that 1C will "casual-ify" the game to the point of irrelevance. They know their audience, or are at least aware of their legacy, and will likely continue making sims until the company eventually passes into history. I do expect them to make a new BoX series when eventually the technology of today reaches its limits, but that might be a long time from now.

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14 hours ago, Necrobaron said:

I like a lot of what has been said already. I'd love to see dynamic visual damage and "deformable" aluminum skins and fuselage parts, wrinkling and crumpling realistically upon contact.  I've seen some of this in racing games even today and think it'd be a neat bit of eye candy in a flight sim.

 

*drools

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23 hours ago, coconut said:

The future of IL-2 will be decided by technological development (hardware and software), user base evolution and trends.

 

Technological development

CPUs won't be getting significantly faster. GPUs will, and will also be capable of executing more complex shaders, allowing for e.g. real-time ray-tracing. Integration between CPU and GPU will have improved, i.e. exchange of information between CPU and GPU will be such that maybe they'll be able to share memory. High-resolution VR will be available.

Internet bandwidth will increase, but ping will remain the same. Memory technology is an area when we can look forward to big advances. Some predict that the difference between RAM and static storage will be gone.

 

 

 

 

But won't the game (potentially/theoretically) use that CPU more efficiently? As I understand it we are not using all of the cores available to share tasks and make computations of those shared tasks. Or has this been resolved currently? Plus, separate issue, DX 12 offers the potential to increase object numbers, details and speed of rendering. Hoping both increase for future iterations of this already excellent game.

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Something like this with any luck... :) 

 

the_time_machine_large_01.jpg.e3576927f165956e6bc707a604ceab51.jpg

 

Edited by Pict

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