Cockpits or no Cockpits

Falcon988

Commodore
I agree that space sims are better with cockpits. Unlike most of you, I never turned mine off either. They add such superb atmosphere which you just don't get with a HUD. I was just playing X-Wing a few hours ago and got jumped by a TIE Fighter. The way I knew I had been attacked was because my cockpit practically exploded! And the alarms that sounded when your ship took critical damage in the early Wing Commanders is forever embedded in my nightmares.

My favorite space sim of all time if Freespace 2 but I still believe it could have benefitted from cockpits. And Wing Commander esque funerals, award ceremonies, wingmen... (WC1 is my second favorite space sim). All the immersion and "you are there" feel that was present in Wing Commander 1 largely disappeared by the mid 1990's and it is such a shame. Why was it so difficult for companies to recreate such a winning formula?

I love the Freespace series for different reasons but you never forget the feeling you had when you booted up WC1. It truly felt as though you were onboard the TCS Tiger's Claw, leading ace of the Black Lion squadron, here are your wingmates, here's your commanding officer, the briefings gave you the feeling of the overall war effort... and then you suit up and go into the COCKPIT of a sleek fighter and go to war.

I always loved the cockpits but they're only part of the problem. No space sim has ever recreated the same level of immersion for me as the original Wing Commander did. Vengeance of the Kilrathi was great as well, Heart of the Tiger a little less so, and then IV was a movie. And IV influenced all the space sims after it. Then the genre died after Freespace 2, which I consider to be a pure masterpiece.

At least we have games like Standoff. That one brings me back to the good ol' days. I'm also eagerly anticipating WC Saga, hoping it'll bring me the best of both worlds... will Saga have cockpits? :cool:
 

Lt.Death100

Spaceman
Falcon988 said:
At least we have games like Standoff. That one brings me back to the good ol' days. I'm also eagerly anticipating WC Saga, hoping it'll bring me the best of both worlds... will Saga have cockpits? :cool:
Check the Saga forums, I think there was something said about having cockpits but with no sticks.
 

Mace

Vice Admiral
Lt.Death100 said:
I think that quote may be from Bossman but I'm not sure.

Wasn't that Paladin, also adressing that because of the engine configuration they always break to the left when you are chasing them?
 

Mjr. Whoopass

<FONT color=lightblue><B>I was going to say someth
Lt.Death100 said:
Maybe, but as I said I'm not sure.
Yes Paladin made the quote about (I think the Salthi) always turning left. I'd have to get home and break out the Super NES to find out who refers to the Dralthi's maneuvering verticle "probably" due to the cockpit setup.

I just bought a Super Nintendo and WC1 and Secret Missions yesterday, so I've finally had a taste of why so many people like cockpits. I can see that it adds a certain flavor and feel to each fighter and can influence how you fight. I HATED flying the Scimtar primarily because I disliked the cockpit setup. I would prefer to take a hit on performance in order to have better visability and a better setup for the instrumentation- especially the radar.
 

Lt.Death100

Spaceman
Mjr. Whoopass said:
Yes Paladin made the quote about (I think the Salthi) always turning left. I'd have to get home and break out the Super NES to find out who refers to the Dralthi's maneuvering verticle "probably" due to the cockpit setup.

I just bought a Super Nintendo and WC1 and Secret Missions yesterday, so I've finally had a taste of why so many people like cockpits. I can see that it adds a certain flavor and feel to each fighter and can influence how you fight. I HATED flying the Scimtar primarily because I disliked the cockpit setup. I would prefer to take a hit on performance in order to have better visability and a better setup for the instrumentation- especially the radar.
Actually the original question partained to the Dralthi not the salthi, so I think it wasn't Paladin who he quoted.
 

Mjr. Whoopass

<FONT color=lightblue><B>I was going to say someth
Bossman says: "Seems to me that when you’re hot on a Dralthi’s tail, and he pulls a loop to shake you, he always goes up or down, never to the side. Ever notice that?"..."I think it’s because those big wings block their vision to the sides, but above and below – between the wings – their vision is clear."


Paladin says: "That day, we learned that a Salthi will always turn ta the left. It’s got somethin’ ta do with the way ’er engines an’ ducts are arranged."
 

Mace

Vice Admiral
the scimitar has the most visible cockpit IMHO :confused:

Still, it is slow and lacks power(but in unknown enemy it rocks!)
 

Mjr. Whoopass

<FONT color=lightblue><B>I was going to say someth
Mace said:
the scimitar has the most visible cockpit IMHO :confused:

Still, it is slow and lacks power(but in unknown enemy it rocks!)

My problem with it wasn't as much with the visibility, although I don't think it was great, but also where the instruments were placed. I played it yesterday and remember I had a hard time keeping track of the data I needed.. I think the radar was above instead of below? I think some of the other data I referred to at the same time as the radar was below (don't remember if it was gun recharge, shields, fuel, etc.). I had to look on the screen for a visual of the enemy while keeping tabs on the radar above and some of the other info below, so my peripheral vision and subconcience were working overtime.

I really liked this aspect of the game because it gave the fighter it's own flavor.. even realism since I'm sure throughout history these issues have been concerns for certain fighters and would merit extra training being required to fly certain fighters.
 

Maj.Striker

Swabbie
Banned
I never turned off the cockpits in any of the WC games that had the option. It was just too uber cool to watch your radar explode as you rammed that last Krant in a last ditch effort to survive. Besides, I would say that especially in WC 1 & 2 that the combat was of such that the extra field of view wasn't needed. (i.e. the combat was a slower pitched "angling" of ships rather than a series of zipping about here and there sort of thing where you needed to see what the other ship was doing 100% of the time. I never had a problem with any of the cockpit's field of view in any of the games. The Orion's cockpit was cluttered but that added to the immersion of the game (in my humble opinion).
 

Edfilho

Cry some more!
Spertallica said:
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?

I wasn't argueing AGAINST the cockpits! I pointed that they're a geat way to increase immersion indeed! I just pointed that, considering that the in-game instrument panel stays in our main field of view all the time, while the instruments in a car or plane are actually slightly relegated to the periferic view... WCP's view kinda mimicks this, only you CAN'T glance down, unlike flight sims like Lock On, Il-2, etc. It would be great if full virtual cockpits showed up on space sims. But what we have on WC1-3 and P are better than not having any.

The blind spot part is totally ok, though. It is as it should be.
 

Venom

Spaceman
I remember Falcon 3.0 (or was F-15 III?) that had a "virtual" cockpit, when you move the directional hat on the flightstick the field of vision slides over the istrumentation. Just like when in a car your eyes go to check the tachimeter. And no huge cockpit covering your field of vision.
I personally like the cockpits of prophecy, 'cause they do not block your FOV and being different each one gave personality to every ship.
I never could play privateer, that huge cockpit of the tarsus blinded my FOV and i can't get far on dogfighting. Never had a problem playing any other WC game!!!
Another space sim with no cockpits was the elite series (elite, frontier, firts encounters) and them was great, you had the same standard cockpit for all the ships, giving you a huge FOV.
 
Cockpits

I personally liked the added view of a good cockpit that combined the art and functionality with view. I found out that in WC4 there was no visible 'pit and i was a bit angry bout that one. I feel that need for view should be consider but also the need for art to exist with it. If a developer can thus blend the two then it will turn out beautifully. I prefer the distinction of cockpit and they also help a person to distinguish between crafts.
 

ChrisReid

Super Soaker Collector / Administrator
Lt.Death100 said:
The kind of cockpit I would like is where the pov hat moves your head slowly instead of instantly.

Why would your head move slowly? I can turn my head in different directions pretty fast. The reason you have a POV hat-head look is so that you have a quick option for checking directions that's much faster than steering the ship in that direction.
 

Lt.Death100

Spaceman
ChrisReid said:
Why would your head move slowly? I can turn my head in different directions pretty fast. The reason you have a POV hat-head look is so that you have a quick option for checking directions that's much faster than steering the ship in that direction.
Well slow compared to instantly.:)
 
Venom said:
I never could play privateer, that huge cockpit of the tarsus blinded my FOV and i can't get far on dogfighting. Never had a problem playing any other WC game!!!
Could it have been the radar. I remember that somewhat limited field of view could be balanced by a good radar setup in a game. Besides, an actual fighter plane/spacecraft would have a large field of view or there would not be many models of that type for very long.
 

Loozer

Rear Admiral
I favored the cockpits. Especially in the first 2 wing commanders,very colorful. When i first played WC1 didint realize the cockpit style would change with each ship, was expecting the same thru out the game. Big surprise at age 11

Just a side note: I loved, the Origin intro in the first one, with the symphony, it rocked, was dissapointed when KS didint have it :(
 
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