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steveh2112

flight sim game, what engine or renderer?

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hi all, i am in the beginning stages of planning development of a flight simulation game. the game will require high speed (30-100fps) rendering of detailed terrain (1920x1080) on a 'reasonable' spec gaming pc. the idea is to fly very close to the ground, though canyons, valleys, mountains, etc against the clock or another player (or AI). there will be obstacles to fly through along the way so it will need collision detection. besides that, i don't need a lot else. animated waterfalls would be nice but not necessary. lots of trees good, but again not essential. no special lighting or environmental effects.

the most important thing is terrain detail at the highest level you would find on google earth over say Yosemite valley and frame rate.

i've flown the google earth flight sim around Yosemite and its actually very cool, so something like that but much faster (smoother animation, no cache loading) and with game elements like racing against another plane, shooting the other player, flying through gates, keeping score, maybe networked multiplayer, etc.
 
i don't need a lot of GUI stuff and i don't care about rendering inside a cockpit or any of the standard flight sim stuff. i'll have a simple HUD (heads up display) for flight parameters like airspeed, altutude, heading, etc, which i can do with a simple 2d overlay.

i'm a c++ programmer, so irrlicht looks like a good choice vs. say orge3d (maybe too slow and not enough built in) or torque (maybe more stuff than i need), but i don't know. any advice please?

also, i'd like to import terrain from google sketchup (which can grab from google earth). i know there are licensing issues there, but besides that, i also need an engine with good, large scale but high detail terrain management
 
oh, and i should also mention, free, or almost free, this is a hobby project at the moment but maybe morph into freeware or paid game
 
i'm thinking a game a bit like this https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=efHIfkVSQH4 but more realistic, less cartoon looking graphics
 
thx
Edited by steveh2112

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Well, this game really isn't a flight simulator of any sorts, but just an arcade flying game.

 

These types of things are pretty specific, so I don't think a generic engine would be your best option... maybe try writing your own? Not to say that it can't be done, but depending on what you want you may be putting more effort into using an engine than writing one.

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thanks, yes i'm looking for something more like this

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fKJprpo04ss

 

it turns out ms flight sim x has an extensible API called simconnect so i think i can do what i need in there

 

steve

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The thing is that modding APIs aren't very pleasant to work with when you get to a certain stage of development (they can be pretty limiting).

 

I personally think you're best off just starting from scratch. You're going to most likely rewrite everything anyways once you hit the limits of the modding API (which will happen sooner or later).

Edited by Avilius

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I recommend that you do not build an engine from scratch. You will end up spending more time programming an engine than making a game. I would look for a pre-built game engine that supports LOD, occlusion culling, and instancing. Maybe open source code could be useful to you also. Some free engines you can look into are Torque 3D, JMonkey, Panda3D, Grit, and Neoaxis. I like Torque. It is a nice piece of software if you can figure it out.

Edited by wburton

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I also recommend that you need to find an engine you are comfortable with. Wburton has some nice suggestions. Back in 2000 I wrote a very small scale "flight sim" for a local programming competition, and the physics math alone was enough to drive me crazy!

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