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Research

Before we continue vigorously beating away at the keyboard, we’re going to have to do some research, much like we did to aid the concept art. In this case, we’re not just interested in photographs to help us see how things should look, instead we need schematics, abstract mechanical descriptions, and some prior examples of good flight simulators to compare the example game with. To create believable motion in games is an art. Initially, you may think that it’s all based on scientific equations, but just like brush strokes on a canvas, it’s how the science is applied that makes a game fun and accessible. Some of the most scientifically accurate physics simulations are also some of the most infuriating to play because the physics don’t always transcend the input method of a game. To meld the input and the science, it’s important to understand what you are trying to simulate on multiple levels: visually, conceptually, and interactively. Only by getting a complete understanding from multiple intellectual vantage points can you really nail gameplay time and time again.

For Tropical Tailspin, we need to first research general aviation mechanics. Without understanding and seeing the parts of a plane that make it fly, we cannot begin to program a more accurate and complex version of the prototype. To achieve a greater understanding, we’re going to do some quick Internet searching and also play the most successful flight simulator for the iPhone, X-Plane.


  

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