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Outerra Tech Demo download. Help with graphics driver issues

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Author Topic: Survey  (Read 140674 times)

cameni

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« on: July 08, 2010, 04:50:37 am »



Gals and lads,

There's a tiny chance that we might be doing or participating on a global simulator thing with Outerra. I say tiny, but a chance.
We have been approached by "a second biggest player in the flight simulation in Germany" some time ago, and there are other possibilities gradually opening as well.

The ultimate goal would be an integrated simulator for air/ground/water/space simulation, where possibly different companies will be able to provide specialized simulator cores for particular vehicles or scenery plugins and other types of addons, on a unified platform.

We'd like to gather some opinions about the whole business here, particularly with regards to the viability and market space.

For example, is the option of having different vehicle classes at disposal in a single world more/less important than the highest possible fidelity of a single simulator type? If you say less, should we try to compete with other players just because of the unique properties Outerra engine has, or it would be more reasonable to focus on the non-covered segment of multi-sims and boost the fidelity in successive steps later?

There are surely other aspects you could see and tell.

But please don't get too wild, would you? It's just a survey to gather some raw information for us, nothing ever may come out of it :)
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corona

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« Reply #1 on: July 08, 2010, 05:34:08 am »

"is the option of having different vehicle classes at disposal in a single world more/less important than the highest possible fidelity of a single simulator type?"

Personally, I would have to say less, but I don't see how that is a choice we would have to make.

Outerra provides visuals, IMO it should do very little else as an engine. Physics model, input handling, etc should come via plugins. This way, eg. Aerosoft can bring a weather engine and flightsim tailored physics engine to the table, along with a base library of say airports. Then another company for instance could plug into that, and provide a visual Airliner, or they could even develop their very own physics model, outside of the base flightsim model someone offers. Someone completely different could do ATC simulation. This way, even more potential depth is achieved.

Stepping outside of flightsim, lets look at a racing sim on top of outerra.
Such a racing plugin would probably bring in proper physics model, as well as tons of carefully designed tracks. (when im in my flightsim helo I can fly over those for instance). A racing sime could also bring police AI, and more immersive city scapes, perhaps pedastrians. As long as lod levellin is done propertly, a flightsimmer can profit from all of those things as well, and vice versa. Race your Porsche to the airport and see AI generated traffic take off over you, something like that.

So, for me personally, I want maximum immersion in a genre. However, I believe the multi vehicle/simulation aspect helps rather than hurts/limits this aspect. I also think that with one united base engine, the modding community will be huge.

Edit: I appologize, removed reference to specific companies.
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RaikoRaufoss

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« Reply #2 on: July 08, 2010, 12:40:27 pm »

Outerra is a graphics engine.  The most it should be involved in vehicles is in making them look as realistic as possible.  Of course, air/water/ground/space simulation will affect how the vehicles behave, but that should be all.
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cameni

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« Reply #3 on: July 08, 2010, 12:50:25 pm »

Guys, we are not talking here about the engine, but about a simulator built on the engine.

And anyway, it's not just a graphics engine, at minimum it will also provide the data for collision handling (since it generates the world when refining real data), object management, spatial queries, and many other tightly tied services for the possible addons.

And since directly upon the start there won't be many addons right away, it would have to provide default implementation of physics for the supported vehicle classes.
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RaikoRaufoss

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« Reply #4 on: July 08, 2010, 12:53:51 pm »

Oh.  In that case, I think that variety should take precedence to individual detailing.  While some vehicles may not be very detailed, others can make them more detailed later.
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Abc94

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« Reply #5 on: July 08, 2010, 02:36:42 pm »

Quote from: cameni
There's a tiny chance that we might be doing or participating on a global simulator thing with Outerra. I say tiny, but a chance...

We'd like to gather some opinions about the whole business here, particularly with regards to the viability and market space.

For example, is the option of having different vehicle classes at disposal in a single world more/less important than the highest possible fidelity of a single simulator type?

I don't quite understand.  Are you asking if you should focus more on making a specific simulator rather than trying to make more of a base engine that others can use to create games/simulators with?
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cameni

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« Reply #6 on: July 08, 2010, 03:04:02 pm »

Apparently I phrased it somewhat wrongly :)
It's not about the engine, that's why this is in a separate category. This is solely about a simulator product that would be using the engine, and given its specific properties it could combine several simulators into one. People not interested in such a simulator should just ignore this section, the engine goes on.

But the thing is, there is a possibility such project might happen, and thanks to the state of the engine and its architecture we'd be deeply involved. So that's why I'm basically asking what's the market potential here.

Like, is the sim world comprised of disjoint groups of hardcore sim fans of their specific genres, so that the product would be getting equal bashing from all sides because not being focused on their sim domain, or is there a significant base of users wishing for a universal simulator platform, that would probably evolve more slowly? (but it might not, in the end, if the architecture is open to allow companies providing the sim cores)

Hopefully it's more clear now :)
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MatthewS

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« Reply #7 on: July 08, 2010, 06:28:03 pm »

Quote from: cameni
Like, is the sim world comprised of disjoint groups of hardcore sim fans of their specific genres, so that the product would be getting equal bashing from all sides because not being focused on their sim domain, or is there a significant base of users wishing for a universal simulator platform, that would probably evolve more slowly? (but it might not, in the end, if the architecture is open to allow companies providing the sim cores)

There are both hardcore and casual simmers.  

If Outerra supported plugins so that the physics/systems/weather/AI simulations could be written by 3rd parties then those plugins could be as hardcore as the 3rd party developer desires.

If the company approaching you is Aerosoft then you should really jump on the chance to have them partner with you in a global sim.  They are leaders in flight sim development (aircraft and scenery) and to have them developing products for an Outerra based global sim would be a dream come true.

Why would a global sim partner slow down Outerra platform development? What extra features do you need to support a global sim?

A global sim is the holy grail...  I would buy it in a instant even if initially it only had a single basic aircraft available.

Just think with a global sim we could have a single weather addon producing weather for flight, train, driving and ship activities.

With a global sim we could do things like fly into Athens, drive to marina, jump into yatch and do some sailing around the Greek Isles... how amazing!
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corona

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« Reply #8 on: July 09, 2010, 12:58:42 am »

I think I understand better now.

Personally I think the market for a "do everything but only so-so" type of world sim is rather small. But I think the market for a "do everything but only so-so out of the box, but extend it with both commercial and free addons" type of sim is huge.

My personal oppinion is that you should jump onto this opportunity, if only to get some funding, and generate more buzz at the start. Hell I'll buy it if only for a bit of sandbox mode to play around with.

But the key thing IMO is to get modders interested. As I'm sure you know, MSFS is a goner. Aerosoft is at least 2 years out from a product, if they do one at all. Other alternatives are so so. So make it real easy, click and play easy (like the road layout demo u showed) to for instance create new airports/change existing ones. Same for roads/rivers. People can easily recreate their corner of the world. Have an option to sync it to a server, and others to pull from it. Ship, right at the start, right there, an exporter for 3d modelling software. People need to see the potential of this.

As I'm sure you noticed, alot of people look at this from a flight-sim perspective (me included). There is a reason for that. Try to take advantage of it. If MSFS were still alive, quite frankly, you wouldnt have this opportunity. But you have to jump onto it, before another company takes the lead and the modders jump to them. Your mentioned simulator could be a way to get it into peoples hands.

Extensibility, extensibility, extensibility. And, engagement with the community. If that's not happening, then this hypothetical sim will forever stay nothing but a little toy.
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cameni

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« Reply #9 on: July 09, 2010, 03:01:08 am »

Not Aerosoft, Matthew, no need to flood their forums there :)
But thanks for the support.
Not sure if this one will have the courage in the end .. started with big enthusiasm but as the scale uncovers, they are cooling down :/
Nevertheless this is starting to appear more and more as people are realizing the possibilities, so I think this will come sooner or later.

A global sim won't slow down the Outerra platform development, because a global environment is what defines the platform in the first place. It could postpone the development of non-platform games using the engine, simply because the platform is more work. But I think that a normal version of engine will be developed sooner than a global stuff will be realized, so it's a non-issue.
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MatthewS

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« Reply #10 on: July 09, 2010, 04:05:16 am »

It's a shame about Aerosoft since they have a lot of scenery products (Airports) that could be ported over relatively easily I imagine.  Frankly I'm a little sceptical they will even go ahead with AFS 2013.
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cameni

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« Reply #11 on: July 09, 2010, 02:56:40 pm »

Well, since somebody still keeps mentioning Aerosoft. Honestly, I don't think it would work with Aerosoft even if they actually asked us to show something on a round earth, with sight lines of 100 miles, using DX11 and not using more then 30% of resources (their recent comment) *

One thing is that we aren't using DX11 and given their fixation to it, that thing alone would be a huge obstacle. Never mind OpenGL4 with OpenCL matches the functionality while allowing porting to Macs and Linux .. but let's say that they may have their reasons.

But a more serious issue here is that our engine works differently from the engines used in flight simulators, which (among many positive outcomes you might have seen here already) brings one significant disadvantage - content creation pipeline must be rebuilt too, and the tools will be different as well. This would actually have big consequences, and I don't think they would be wishing to work it off.

And somehow I got this feeling it would probably not work also because of other incompatibilities in other areas ..


* Reading some threads on their forums, I see Kok saying they tested several engines that rely heavy on fractals and found them unsatisfactory, so that's probably why they didn't bother. Somebody please enlighten me, which ones could these be?
And this one - after multiple posts that make no sense for me, apparently upon finally reading what's it about, suddenly also relaxing the tone, he brings the final lethal argument against the fractal model. Saying that it generates level of detail unnecessary for a flight simulation. Well, what can I say :)

Edit: cooled down :)
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corona

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« Reply #12 on: July 09, 2010, 04:19:54 pm »

DX11 is more of a marketing thing I guess. Somehow I was under the assumption though that they were in contact with you at some point, are you saying they never even actually bothered to do so? Eg. get a tech demonstration?

My personal opinion is that the whole thing is stuck in business negotiations behind closed doors and all they have done so far is look at a few engines out there, and by look I mean probably just gathered publicly available data, and used that to build a rough concept to convince investors. At this point, I'm fairly sceptical it will happen at all.

That being said, I think with this forum the last hope of cooperation is gone. From a business perspective I wouldn't have posted that honestly, though I can see and agree with your arguments.
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cameni

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« Reply #13 on: July 09, 2010, 04:48:01 pm »

No, no tech demo, they just expressed initial interest with rather appreciative words, we expressed interest to participate, and then it died off :)
I too thought they were in business negotiations and all that, then I read that stuff on their forums and I just don't understand. Clearly they are failing minimally in communicating their stances, as there are negative comments on their forums and elsewhere already and they seem to not know why is that.

But this thread is really not about Aerosoft :)
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MatthewS

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« Reply #14 on: July 09, 2010, 06:05:06 pm »

Quote from: cameni
he brings the final lethal argument against the fractal model. Saying that it generates level of detail unnecessary for a flight simulation. Well, what can I say :)

If he believes that then he doesn't understand the VFR "low and slow" segment of the market. Every "bush flyer" out their will absolutely love the naturalistic level of detail Outerra can provide.

It will be very interesting to see how simmers respond when you start posting pictures of scenic areas which showcase features such as lakes, rivers, coastlines, eg the Pacific North West of USA.  Have a look at this FSX product called Full Terrain (http://fullterrain.com/).  Simmers love detail!
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