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In the light industrial districts that have sprung up around FSX, X-Plane, and DCS World, genuine craftsmen aren’t all that hard to find. The machine tools that whirr and thump and whine in the workshops of add-on makers like A2A Simulations and PMDG are operated by passionate perfectionists – driven micrometer wielders whose scrap bins brim with components that look, on first, second and> third inspection, absolutely flawless. Elsewhere in Simulatia, it’s a different story. Just about the only sim that can boast a third-party add-on as lovingly fashioned as this Texan or this Fishbed, is Train Simulator. I enthused about that add-on – a delightful Class 205 DEMU – a few weeks ago, and in today’s Flare Path I talk to the outfit behind it, Armstrong Powerhouse.
With the 100th anniversary of warfare’s first armour action less than a week away, I was rather hoping I’d be able to fill today’s gaping word trench with a fat fascine of WW1 tank game news. Graviteam are working on a landship sim! Rev Sudasana is to release a Whippety version of Armoured Commander! Noble Empire are going to let us assemble A7Vs!> As it’s now Friday morning and my OPs have yet to sight a single rhomboid on the horizon, it looks like Plan B will have to be put into operation instead. A few inches below yonder html parapet lurks news of Dovetail’s TS replacement, plus talk of the latest Sengoku Jidai add-on and a WW2 MP tactics game with hints of Close Combat, Men of War, and Jagged Alliance. … [visit site to read more]
In the alphabetical news round-up waiting like a pre-pounce puma beyond the break ‘A’ is more likely to be for ‘airship’ or ‘angry house’ than ‘apple’. Stripy ungulates probably won’t feature in the entry for ‘Z’ but simulated Bf 110s or Mitsubishi A5Ms might. If you’ve an eye for a shapely engine nacelle or a finely chiselled turret if you’ve an interest in the bloodier bits of history – I guarantee your curiosity will be piqued by something> in the 26-compartment specimen drawer below. … [visit site to read more]
The dimmed lighting, the rearranged seating, the bowls of hydrogenated corn snacks… by the time you’ve put two and two together it’s already much too late. Your persuasive host – Tedious Tim from next-door – is directing you towards a chair and fussing with his laptop. After the interminable ‘SE Asia 2014′ and ‘South America 2015′ you vowed never to attend one of his holiday photo slideshows again yet here you are, jammed between Bella the Bull Terrier and Old Mr Richardson from across the road, contemplating 2? 3? 4hrs? of ‘Africa 2016′. … [visit site to read more]
Q’s tail is a trip hazard. V and J often fall over in high winds. B lacks dignity*. Rain tends to collect in M and U… Many letters of the alphabet have inherent flaws but here at The Flare Path we treat all 26 with equal respect when we’re compiling one of our breathtakingly superficial alphabetical sim and wargaming news round-ups.
* It’s easily transformed into a cartoon bum.
(provided for reader convenience)
There’s no kind way of putting this: this week’s Flare Path was a disgrace. You’ve done some pretty unprofessional things in the past but slyly writing-off an ambitious work-in-progress flight sim because you’ve seen similar projects fail, and recommending a wargame that you’ve played for a mere two hours, sets new standards of irresponsibility. Where was the detailed TS2016 coverage and the piece on the imminent DCS: Nevada? I turned up expecting topical analysis of genre stalwarts and found instead multiple paragraphs on an obscure half-finished Dora sim! And the less said about that awful title pun, the better. You are aware, are you not, that Loos is a good hundred miles from the Ardennes, played no part in the Battle of the Bulge, and was never visited by a WW2 railway gun? Your Meuse seems to have deserted you on this occasion.>
(your name here) … [visit site to read more]
There are good reasons why the likes of Canal King, Despatch Rider 1944, and Schwerer Gustav Simulator seldom get mentioned in The Flare Path.* The glaring absence of X-Plane, rFactor and iRacing coverage is harder to explain and justify.This week, in a feeble attempt to make amends for years of negligence, I mark rFactor’s 10th birthday by grilling Image Space Incorporated’s Tim Wheatley over a very low flame.
*Flare Path Games still lacks a coder, a budget, and a work ethic.
Ready to discover once-and-for-all whether X-Plane is better than FSX? Whether Falcon 4.0 is better than Milk Float Simulator 2012? Ready to read the word ‘realism’ 46 times in a single hour, and spit feathers on discovering that the sim that
caused got you through your divorce has been cruelly cold-shouldered by an idiot with a bus fetish and a sci-fi blindspot the size of the Crab Nebula? You are? Splendid. You’re in the right place.
I sometimes fancy visiting the countryside in the driver’s cab of a virtual train, especially now I’ve seen the new Japanese DLC route inspired by Spirited Away>, but know I’ll never put the time into teaching myself to drive one from manuals and tutorial videos.
Almost as if they knew train simulators appear terrifyingly complex from the outside, Dovetail Games have announced they’ll tackle that with Train Simulator 2015. This year’s refresh will bring a train-driving academy teaching how to make choo-choos chug-chug, along with new base routes and trains–including a train from the future.
When a Flare Path Friday falls on Chinese New Year, it s traditional for all the stories to be Sino centred. Back in 1997 that meant coverage of Taiwan invasion TBS , thoughts on Ding Ding, a work-in-progress Hong Kong tramway sim, and an interview with Implicit Sextant, the team behind heavenly 14th Century fireworks sandbox, The Fire Drake of Fuzhou. Today it means Silent Service II patrols in the South China Sea, and a swift inspection of Just Trains’ new SS7C CR electric loco. (more…)