Cockpits or no Cockpits

Edx

Spaceman
I liked the cockpits in WC3, but to be honest I did turn them off most of the time to make things easier to see. I felt claustrophobic.
 

Edfilho

Cry some more!
I'm with most people, I love the cockpits, but when the shit hits the fan i.e. the kilrathi start shooting at me, I'd rather have the option of turning them off.

toggleable cockpits do detract from gameplay issues, like the relief of going from the tarsus to the Centurion.
 

Aplha 1-1

Spaceman
I was annoyed and felt ripped off when WC4 came out and there was no cockpits. Without them it felt like some generic space-sim :(
I loved how in 1/2/3 it felt like you where there in your ship and when the shit hit the fan the panels would pop out, wires fizz and scorch, and it added a sense of desperation that the simple damage report in 4 and 5 just couldn't. Wing Commanders major appeal was that it evoke emotions in the player that helped draw them into the Wing Commander universe but for some reason in 1996 they dropped some of its special something.
Not to mention the fact I'll never know what those new ships cockpits where like except the Banshee's.
 

Delance

Victory, you say?
I like the way things evolved. I prefer the standard HUD with a non-intrusive, toggable cockpit on the background like on WCP, or simply no cockpit-wc4-style. Cockpits look good, but are intrusive, and you can play better without them.
 

Lt.Death100

Spaceman
Delance said:
I like the way things evolved. I prefer the standard HUD with a non-intrusive, toggable cockpit on the background like on WCP, or simply no cockpit-wc4-style. Cockpits look good, but are intrusive, and you can play better without them.
However, there will always be people like me who like the cockpits and removing cockpits entirely just makes it feel bland. WC1-3 handled it well with togglable cockpits.
 

Delance

Victory, you say?
The thing is, the makers like to put tons of ships on a game, and to creat a unique cockpit for each one would cost too much. It was easier on Priv.
 

Bandit LOAF

Long Live the Confederation!
Delance said:
The thing is, the makers like to put tons of ships on a game, and to creat a unique cockpit for each one would cost too much. It was easier on Priv.

People say this, but I have *never* heard that it's true -- games have thousands of art objects, a cockpit is just one that you see more often.
 

Confed

Commodore
I liked having the option to activate the cockpit in WC3, but only did it a few times to add more realism, but mostly I kept it off.
Consequently, I wasn't really disappointed when it was gone in WC4. On the other hand, the cockpits in Privateer were really annoying. They blocked visibility way too much.
 

Cardinal

Spaceman
Confed said:
On the other hand, the cockpits in Privateer were really annoying. They blocked visibility way too much.

Exactly. I remember there was one cockpit in Privateer (Tarsus or Orion...it's been a while) that was very frustrating; critical viewpoints were blocked for no discernable reason. I guess the designers wanted to give the ship the feel of a non-milspec craft, but it didn't work for me. Howard Day's Hydra cockpit, on the other hand, looks almost exactly like what I'd want in a Privateer-type craft. It gives the appearance of being worn down and constricting, but not so much that it detracts from the gameplay.

If the ability to toggle between cockpit/no-cockpit wasn't an option, I'd rather have one. As someone said before, it gives the ship more personality. For some strange reason, I just miss that moving flightstick from WC1/2.
 

Rylex

Rear Admiral
Confed said:
On the other hand, the cockpits in Privateer were really annoying. They blocked visibility way too much.

I have to disagree here completely! The cockpits gave the game much more reality! Yeah sure you can't see that much but hey you still have a radar. The Tarsus cockpit was really hard ... Orion was better and Galaxy... but hey once you had the Centurion you didn't had to think about that problem :)
And that is very good. Consider the fact that you need to buy a new ship because you want to see more... I really love this idea!

I really loved these cockpits and was very disappointed with the WC4 cockpits. Prophecy was a bit better but not nearly as good as WC3.

OK all my opinion... I'm sure lots of people here have different opinions :rolleyes: :p
 

Delance

Victory, you say?
Bandit LOAF said:
People say this, but I have *never* heard that it's true -- games have thousands of art objects, a cockpit is just one that you see more often.

It's just an observation, when games begame to offer more ships you can fly, cockpits were dropped. Maybe there's no cause and effect.
 

Bandit LOAF

Long Live the Confederation!
I don't think that's even accurate -- Armada had ten ships which each had four cockpit sides... WC4 and WCP would had had less than that (especially if, like WC3, they didn't have side and back views).
 

Mace

Vice Admiral
I was never bothered by the cockpits, i missed them in WC4 too, the most practical was prophecy's because your vision was "leading" the cockpit, giving a slightly better view of your target.

I liked wing commander 3's cockpits best.
 

Howard Day

Random art guy.
Delance said:
The thing is, the makers like to put tons of ships on a game, and to creat a unique cockpit for each one would cost too much. It was easier on Priv.
And
Delance said:
It's just an observation, when games begame to offer more ships you can fly, cockpits were dropped. Maybe there's no cause and effect.
I can tell you that this isn't entirely true. It takes me a standard of 2 to 2 and a half days to get a new ship into the game, and takes closer to a week to get a cockpit into the game. That said, I've had ships that have taken be 2 weeks to finish and cockpit that have taken only 2 days. I all evens out in the end, I suppose. Anyhow - I'm only one guy. If there was a team on each cockpit then it would take a lot less time to do. Anyhow, the more you know.
 

Dundradal

Frog Blast the Vent Core!
I enjoyed cockpits, however some of the earlier games had ships that had aweful fields of vision. Later ships with the bubble canopies were much more to my liking. WC4's HUD was a let down and made you feel like you were just looking through some eyepiece on your helmet instead of through the windshield.

WCP's return of some cockpit structure is a nice medium, not to cluttered but lets you know you're inside a fighter.
 

Edfilho

Cry some more!
Thing is, the only cockpit that's remotely "realistic" in WC is Prophecy's. Try flying a realistic Flight Sim, you spend most of the time "seeing" mostly the HUD and what's in front of the plane, and look down/zoom out if you need to check some data on the panels.

Better yet, sit in the driver's seat of any car. You don't see a huge instrument panel, the ceiling and a tiny slit of glass. You see mostly the windshield, and glance down quickly to check the instruments. Drivers and pilots keep their focus on the "road", they don't see the whole thing with the same emphasys.

Big huge cockpits like in WC1-3/Priv/Armada are awesome and increase immersion, and are also a gameplay issue, but they're not realistic, per se.

I like them, but I like the option to toggle them off sometimes.
 

Warghost

Spaceman
Cockpits definitely made the WC games immersive. It's a real shame that most other space combat sims got rid of cockpits, but I think that was just a way for developers to cut corners and get their games out faster.

Although I loved Freespace 1&2, the lack of cockpits was that series' only serious flaw.
 

Spertallica

Rear Admiral
Yeah, but the instrumentation in a car is always there, your attention just isn't focused on it all the time- you're paying attention to the road, but that doesn't make the instrumentation leave your field of vision. I like the idea of cockpit art- it's been mentioned throughout this thread as a good way to immerse the player, and I agree with that, but I think it serves a secondary purpose- it's another way craft can be better or worse then each other. I think it's cool how some craft have the advantage of better visability, like the Arrow, but consequently, tend to have crummier armor- unlike the Crossbow, which has horrible visibility, but heavy armor.

Besides, going back to the car analogy- real cars and aircraft have blind spots, so I think it adds to the gameplay experience to force the player to deal with that too- and while I'm not sure I'd make the side and rear views so claustrophobic as the early WC's, (I remember looking behind you was next to worthless because you had a window about an inch tall by 2 inches wide) I really didn't like the "flying in an invisible bubble" feel of WC4 / Prophecy (and IIRC, the side and back views in WC3). WC1 even tried to build that blindspot factor into the gameplay- I recall someone in game saying the reason Dralthi were so quick to fly up or down as opposed to sideways was bad visibility. Why take that game element out?
 
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