It must be pretty annoying to constantly have your hard work compared to an existing franchise. Please everybody this isn't Ace Combat. RBD has a good shot of making a better fusion of combat and arcade with what he's been doing so far. All I can say is the game is going beautifully. Make the perfect game you always dreamed of. If you keep this up it will PAY off!
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I too share concerns of the Missile tracking and Target Acquisition System in the game. I was going to mention them In my previous review but it started to get way too long. Im not going to say that either system is currently broken. The TAS in the game should be adjusted though. It seems to be looking for the closest enemy in the field of view out to like 140 degrees. This or a system similar to this makes it difficult to track the target we were originally pursuing. Forcing the player to smash the target button over and over before we get the right one. I think the system should look for the closest target in the direction the player is pitching towards primarily. A double tap of the target button should scan for the nearest target secondarily. That would fix the current situation. But there is room for you to integrate Intel's eye tracking technology in this system as well. For the most part our eyes usually remain fixated on targets we are having trouble getting the game to acquire. If we had a system that automatically targeted what we were looking at, needless to say would fix a decades old problem.
Now as far as the missile system goes. The game loses its arcade feel the more that missiles seem to miss there target for no reason at all. The missile mechanics seem to be from missiles early in the development of long range Air to Air combat in the 70s. This may be by design however it will start to run you into (realism) problems if you try to add in aircraft like the F 22 with Aim 9x and Aim 120D missiles that have extreme maneuverability and Su 35S/F35 with its helmet mounted bore sight missile tracking system. You will end up with a choice do you add overpowered missiles into your game that never miss. Or do you add a meta game into the current system to explain why missiles dont track when they should?
So currently missiles right fully do not track when the player is engaging in a high G turn. However, if you were to incorporate the AIM 9x in a future update. That missile can be fired and accurately track a target at mach 1.8 at 9+ G. This will be an issue to use this missile because it will either never miss if its its coded for reality or will miss all the time like they do in the current system. I say keep the missile track system currently and add a feature in the HUD that shows 3 new things. 1 the G force being applied to the plane. (granted it may make you want to add some kind of G lock to the pilot for black outs and red outs) If the player can see the g forces being applied to the air-frame then they are able to understand its meaning as to why there missile seem to go off in the distance when shot at close range. This will make 1v1s that much more nail biting because mistakes from over zealously will be punishing. The second and third thing would be aesthetics by having the HUD have two modes and missile mode and a gun mode. In the missile mode. Have the theoretical path of the missile follow the intended target via a line that curves to show how the missile would track. This would show the player whether or not the missile has a good chance of hitting the target. This system can be seen in real life modern day aircraft now in training sim mode. With this amount of info to the player you could drastically reduce the amount of missiles to a more closer to a realistic situation and also increase the enemy AI difficulty. Having a similar system to the guns to show how much the player needs to lead the target in order to land bullets on the targets trajectory would also be a nice touch.
So after playing this game for several hours now. I am pleased with the progress of the development of this game. I understand this is indeed a work in progress. However, there are a few things that should be considered in near future updates. Mostly there are only minor cosmetic details that are still missing the game-play is right where it should be. In-between Ace Combat and DCS.
Cockpit: So far, the cockpit looks great. Having some indicator lights corresponding with messages from the on screen HUD would be nice EI the 'warning' and 'missile' messages in the middle of the screen are kind of awkward and hard to see. Having micro scratches and abrasions on the cockpit glass itself, would be a nice touch towards attention to detail. Maybe a visible moving joystick in-between some olive green legs would also be nice (especially for VR).
HUD: The HUD for whatever reason seems to display incorrect altitude and speed information. This maybe a result of the engine but it is something I'd look at early. The ceiling in game seems to be 13,000 but not sure if its feet, meters, kilometers. There should at least be a method to change the speed from Knots to MPH or KPH. This would at least eliminate confusion for gamer unfamiliar with aeronautics.
Graphics: Graphics are great. Having dynamic weather systems you are almost forced to fly into is a great touch. While traveling through the rain storms there should be an occasional lightning strike similar to ones in DRIVECLUB (for reference). Also while traveling through dense clouds and rain bands there should be a light camera shake in the cockpit mode to simulate turbulence. After pitching the nose beyond cloud cover which should be around 30,000 feet contrails should be still visible and thick and long lasting. At around 50,000 feet contrails should be skinnier and shorter. The game looks as if the ceiling is around 60,000 feet. You should exaggerate the Earth's curvature at that altitude if possible. So to upset the flat Earthers.
Sound: The sounds in the game seem very good. I'd only add one sound effect from my perspective. The sound of sand or small particles colliding with the fuselage of the air frame when flying into smoke or close to debris from an explosion. Maybe the occasional enemy radio chat interference. That would hearken very close the Ace Combat but by the time this game is done you will be competing with Ace Combat 7 directly so why not?
Game-play: There needs to be more indication on which settings are being adjusted in the view padlock configuration. This will prevent the need to invert some settings. There needs to be some type of countermeasures for missile lock. The visualization for where a missile is coming from is confusing. There needs to one primary method (radar map) and one secondary method. The secondary method would be better off as something that doesn't obscure the missile and the path. But shows the angle where the missile is coming from, Im thinking like a red arrow that gets larger as the missile gets closer. Enemy AI should also be coded to evade/hit the deck when they are last alive. Its very easy to kill a single enemy so the last alive should be the most difficult if they are trying to leave the engagement to regain a better position. Having them use the beautiful terrain as cover would make for an epic experience.
Honestly so far for what this game has already done it is amazing, you should ask the community for help. Im sure if you detailed the right formats to follow and had the right agreement you could get quite a bit of help from the community. Keep up the good work. Ill be donating to see this through.