Author Topic: Why Aces High should consider the route of 'alternate reality'  (Read 1006 times)

Offline Arlo

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Wait. Just hear me out.

Aces High is the premier WWII air sim for event play in my opinion. It is also the premier sandbox for non event play (again, my opinion). Having said that, are the events hosted here reenactments? I mean, are they designed to exactly replicate the event right down to the end result? No. Of course not. The battles are designed (or attempted) to go either way (even the battles that were lop-sided).

And the MA? It isn't close to being an historical setting. Nor should it be.

Why are we (the AH community) so dead set against alternate reality settings? Is it because we think of ourselves as purists when it comes to this game and its relation to simulating WWII air war? We aren't. Not really. Certainly not as a whole. I, myself, have supported the idea that the restrictions placed on some things but not all things in Aces High serve a purpose that differentiates this game and community from others and perhaps it does. Now I wonder if that difference is necessarily serving the best interests of either. I bring this up just to explore the possibilities of helping the game to shrug off some of the 'staleness' that some seem to express when it comes to the 'same ol-same ol.'

'Alternate reality' is a very popular element in the gaming world now. Players seem to be entranced by the novelty of it. And it doesn't have to be completely off the wall stuff like dog-fighting against dragons or ground battles against Cthulhu. We've all wondered (or maybe not all but many) what if this battle took a slight twist here and what if that victory turned out to be a loss. What if World War II didn't end in 1945 but in 1946 or 1947 or even later? What if the Manhattan Project failed? What if it was never attempted? What if the planes that never quite fought in that war .... did?

I know, that sounds a bit like War Thunder (*spit*). But Dolby mentioned to me, in another thread, that there is a demographic among online air sim enthusiasts (in that other game *spit*) that are drawn to aircraft not featured in Aces High (granted, he was referencing the Beaufighter but in looking closer at the WT crowd and what they fly we could have just as easily been talking about Bearcats or Meteors). Players want to play with rare toys. 'What if' toys.

What if Dale loosened the restrictions a bit and expanded the sandbox timeline a couple of years both ways? Lets say Aces High evolves to air combat with plane models from 1938-1948? A decade of war and progress. Players could experience uber-bipes to early jets and the inventory could easily double. In my opinion, it would draw in players.

Now, I know that such would be a heavy load on Dale under current circumstances. I've played devil's advocate more often than I care to admit in the Wishlist forum when it comes to practicality or achievability (if that were a word). But this isn't something that would have to be an overnight thing or even as dauntingly comprehensive as is sounds. It could be tested in 'baby steps.' Maybe a rare plane from WWII that failed in real life but fills a void in AH. A German heavy bomber, the Heinkel He 177 Greif, for instance. It doesn't really fall against current model acceptance rules with there being over a thousand built and it was organized into units that saw some form of action. It still opens the 'what if' curtain just a little for both events and the MA. Same to be said for the Meteor jet. Planes that just almost saw war service like the Bearcat, the P(F)-80 or were introduced within a year or two after like Yak-15. These new toys would bring with them curiosity of what it would be like to play with them in Aces High from new and veteran players.

At the opposite spectrum, yes, here it comes, planes that flew in the Spanish Civil War may inspire just as much curiosity.

If the envelope was pushed just a little further from the beginning of the Spanish Civil War to the end of the Korean War (1953) you would have a window of 17 years of aircraft innovation with more 'what if' possibilities available. And it could be done much better than in WT.

Back to Dale taking on such a monster. What I'm suggesting could be just that ... a monster. But if, in small steps, it does bring in more revenue then that might open up an opportunity to expand the staff a bit. Without knowing the details of Dale's business model (and I'm not asking/prying) I see re-expanding as a possibly good thing (even if it still involves staff working from home).

What if ....

*ShruG*

Offline CptTrips

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Re: Why Aces High should consider the route of 'alternate reality'
« Reply #1 on: June 25, 2020, 05:47:51 PM »
I wince when people ask for new rare aircraft.

Not that I'm against as having as many toys as possible, but it is a cost/benefit thing. 

I suspect producing a new aircraft from scratch (not merely a performance tweak variant) entails a huge amount of very specialized labor for modeling, animation rigging, flight model crafting.  It's probably one of the more expensive enhancements to the game that can't easily be off-loaded to the community (other than a stable of excellent skinners).

Unless it is likely to get a lot of use in the Melee on an on-going, regular basis, or a large percentage of events, then it is probably very hard to justify from a business sense.  How many hangar queens do we have already that hardly ever see the light of day?  Even if it would get used in the Melee, it is probably one of the most expensive things you can ask for.

You'd be much better off exploring AR scenarios that can be implemented with the current plane-set with maybe only custom terrains/skins.  Keep it free for HTC to agree to.  Shift the work to the community.

Hmmm U.S./Common Wealth conflict on the Northern border?  War Plan Red anyone?   https://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2018/06/21/that-time-the-us-almost-went-to-war-with-canada-218881

:D

« Last Edit: June 25, 2020, 07:32:57 PM by CptTrips »
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Offline Shuffler

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Re: Why Aces High should consider the route of 'alternate reality'
« Reply #2 on: June 25, 2020, 06:54:06 PM »
Simply no.
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Offline Arlo

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Re: Why Aces High should consider the route of 'alternate reality'
« Reply #3 on: June 25, 2020, 07:31:47 PM »
Simply no.

Can't argue with that.  Thanks for the input. :old:

Offline Shuffler

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Re: Why Aces High should consider the route of 'alternate reality'
« Reply #4 on: June 25, 2020, 08:03:42 PM »
Can't argue with that.  Thanks for the input. :old:

I had plenty of time thinking about it while reading your post.
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Offline Mongoose

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Re: Why Aces High should consider the route of 'alternate reality'
« Reply #5 on: June 25, 2020, 08:27:06 PM »
 Simply put, that "alternate reality" you propose is not what Aces High is about.

Now if you were to suggest that such an "expansion" be allowed, but only in custom arenas, that might fly.  This would preserve the ideals of Aces High, and still let people experiment with the different planes, as you suggest. 

A custom arena gives us players a whole world of flexibility.

Offline Arlo

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Re: Why Aces High should consider the route of 'alternate reality'
« Reply #6 on: June 25, 2020, 08:38:55 PM »
Simply put, that "alternate reality" you propose is not what Aces High is about.

Even if its not how I described it to potentially be, AH is already alternate reality 24 hours a day, seven days a week in the MA. And even with events, everything has to be massaged and manipulated to 'even the playing board' so history can be changed (either side can win). Alternate reality already exists in Aces High. :)

Offline Spikes

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Re: Why Aces High should consider the route of 'alternate reality'
« Reply #7 on: June 25, 2020, 08:58:36 PM »
And even with events, everything has to be massaged and manipulated to 'even the playing board' so history can be changed (either side can win). Alternate reality already exists in Aces High. :)
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Offline 1stpar3

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Re: Why Aces High should consider the route of 'alternate reality'
« Reply #8 on: June 26, 2020, 02:16:47 AM »
I see the point you are trying to explain, Brother! I have always wanted to see a Scenario...that represents EVERY PLAYER's preferred game play style. I am talking GROUND AND AIR! More people in Scenarios would be a GREAT THING. Sure...bomb**** accusations might get loud...but as I understand it....Later years of the war, was mostly supporting ground units? Most of the Russian fronts were PURE support role(thus why the IL-2)? Heck, the Typhoon was designed to be BOMTARDS. Something like this might actually draw more participants? Maybe once Air and Ground superiority is obtained(for X amount of time) the Fronts would advance? I liked that sort of format in CFS 3. Teamwork is all but dead in MA these days...and hear relentless bemoaning of that fact...so maybe those guys would give it a go? OH...and run it every Friday(if doing it in FSO) or on Saturdays like scenarios, until the Capture/Win Point is occupied. This would break up the monotony of Defending/Attacking EXACT SAME TARGETS for 3 straight sorties...for 4 straight weeks. Those that are good at strategy could make this "Fluid Front" into awesome game play(fronts adjusted at close of each frame)...IMHO MIGHT....even get those "we need a 2 front war" guys to participate :rofl I would bet...this would get pretty competitive with the MA..I think it could bring the Guys that miss the old AVA,Mid War/Early war arenas to check it out?
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Offline Eagler

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Re: Why Aces High should consider the route of 'alternate reality'
« Reply #9 on: June 26, 2020, 06:22:16 AM »
No ty

Its already unbalanced in MA most days, most air battles

<S>

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Offline Hajo

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Re: Why Aces High should consider the route of 'alternate reality'
« Reply #10 on: June 26, 2020, 06:52:03 AM »
Please Arlo don't take my reply the wrong way.  I'm an older Gent who grew up watching WWII Air Combat movies. I built, starting at age 8  (1958)  until the age of 60 many model aircraft.  I have a large Library on WWII air combat all theaters.  I've read and done research of air combat that took place in WWII.  The development of Aircraft from all countries, the Squadrons and men who flew them   during that conflagration. So I'm pretty much stuck in my time warp world.

Also anything that has a piston engine (preferably radial), a prop or wheels gets my attention.  This includes automobiles as well as aircraft.  I too also bemoan the fact that Scenarios don't reflect the reality of what, who, and where.  But I still love them.  I just think the reality of the situation at that time and date including number of aircraft, type and Pilots were taken into more account.  It's extremely hard to do here or we'd have fewer in Scenarios then we do now.

In essence I'm not a "what if guy."  I appreciate your suggestion.  It's an intelligent one.  I'm not actually happy when I shoot down a Mustang or a B24 in a Jug.  It's the best we have.  There's nothing to compare our game to imho so I'm quite pleased with what we have.  I've seen nothing better. The Scenarios that have been the closer to reality were Der Groose Schlalg.  There were no aircraft substitued from column A for balance.  We have the plane set for it.

You presented intelligently, a different format.  Not a bad idea really.  It would just not be my cup of tea.
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Offline LCADolby

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Re: Why Aces High should consider the route of 'alternate reality'
« Reply #11 on: June 26, 2020, 09:15:17 AM »
But Dolby mentioned to me, in another thread

The proof that I don't stir the pot, I provoke thought  :D  :old:

Offline Arlo

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Re: Why Aces High should consider the route of 'alternate reality'
« Reply #12 on: June 26, 2020, 10:14:36 AM »
The proof that I don't stir the pot, I provoke thought  :D  :old:

That's you all over.  :aok

Offline Shuffler

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Re: Why Aces High should consider the route of 'alternate reality'
« Reply #13 on: June 26, 2020, 10:54:05 AM »
This makes me think.... hmm it is hot today but I might make a stew this evening.  :D
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Offline Ramesis

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Re: Why Aces High should consider the route of 'alternate reality'
« Reply #14 on: June 26, 2020, 01:43:58 PM »
It seems to me, when AH revamped leaving out the Early War, Mid War and Dueling Arenas, the drop off of attendance
began... I may be wrong but that is my thought...

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