• Preview: Deadstick Bush Flight Simulator

    Deadstick Bush Flight Simulator

    By Michael Hayward

    At EGX Rezzed 2018 at the National Exhibition Centre in Birmingham, REMEX Software was showcasing their yet to be released title 'Deadstick Bush Flight Simulator' to those who attended the show. While I was only playing a tech demo at this time, there was definitely a lot to see and a lot that we could do, giving me a good idea as to what we can expect once the simulator is released to the wider community.

    At the show, I sat down with the lead developer of REMEX Software, Chris Cheetham, and we played the game for 30 minutes. During this time he told me all about what the simulator already had, and what was to come in the short and long term.

    In this article, I aim to cover what we talked about, as well as discuss how as a flight simulator, Deadstick has already taken a massive step in where the genre is heading.

    Deadstick Bush Flight Simulator

    Customisation & Maintenance

    The first thing we talked about was aircraft customisation and how this system works. Situated at your main hangar is a small customisation bench where you can look over the aircraft and customise/upgrade it in any way you see fit. This includes new wings, cockpit modules and engine parts to name a few.

    Each part of the aircraft also exhibits wear the more you fly, and depending on how well you fly too. If you overstress the engine, the parts wear down quicker than in normal operation. This means before you fly each time, you are required to do a pre-flight check. This is easily achieved by opening the engine cowling and looking over each part. The part will then turn green, amber or red, and will indicate a percentage depending on how much life it has left. The more wear a particular part has, the less efficient it will be and as a result, the harder the aircraft will be to fly.

    Once the full game is released and the whole career mode is implemented, it will then be possible to buy new parts and work on your aircraft. This will be in a lot more depth than is currently available on any flight simulator currently available.

    The Environment

    The first thing I must point out is that the environment that we saw in this show was not final. When the Flight Sim Show at RAF Cosford on October 6th comes around, there will be a whole new map to explore with so much more to see and do.

    Deadstick Bush Flight Simulator

    The map we flew was 8km x 8km in size and featured mountainous terrain, inspired by Alaskan and Canadian territories.

    Graphically, the scenery looked fantastic. There were one or two rough edges where the ground textures did not appear properly, but with this particular demo map now being a year old and going through a number of updates, there was always going to be a small error here and there which will be patched in the next major update.

    The mountainous terrain also meant that winds could be rather unpredictable. When you fly over the peak of a hill, the downdraft you were flying in, can quickly change to become an updraft, and as such, the aircraft dynamics change as you would expect. The winds in the game are highly dynamic, and interact with the aircraft. This can be viewed by selecting an option via the debug command, and shows a visual representation of the wind around the aircraft. The way the weather and the terrain work with one another is very nicely done and is something that will definitely catch out even the most advanced of simulator pilots.

    Clouds and fog are also 3D and volumetric. This means no more popping and no more billboarding when terrain peaks through the cloud layer and when your aircraft flies through them. When you fly through a cloud, this will surround you and affect your visibility as you would expect. This is one of the benefits of using the Unity Engine to build the game, as it has pre-defined modules which when tweaked, can give you some rather stunning visuals - something I saw when flying over the clouds in clear weather, with only the highest of points being visible.

    Deadstick Bush Flight Simulator

    Eventually, REMEX aims to add full icing simulation too, meaning when you fly into a cloud at high altitude, components of the aircraft will start to freeze, affecting your instruments and controls.

    We should also talk about the main airfield you start at. One of the main features of Deadstick is that you have the ability to leave the aircraft and walk around the environment, not just fly in it. This gives the simulator a whole new aspect of how you will manage your aircraft.

    This is an uncontrolled airport, with a number of buildings and hangars for you to walk around. Two of these buildings in particular, you can enter: the main company hangar and the maintenance facility.

    The company hangar is essentially the spawn point for you and your aircraft. Here you can modify the plane, do your pre-flight checks and control the day-to-day running of the 'airline'. You can also load cargo onto the aircraft either via the small cargo hatch on the tail section or by removing the rear seat of the aircraft - this I will talk about later on.

    The maintenance facility lets you repair your aircraft so that it's ready for your next flight. If you manage to clip the end of your wing, lose a tire or shatter the windshield, this is where you will take the aircraft for general repairs and bring everything back to tip-top shape.

    I was also told that when released, there will be around six major airports, as well as numerous smaller airfields dotted around the map at various distances and locations from one another (some being more difficult to spot and approach than others). This will add an extra challenge to the game with pilots now having to navigate the world with nothing but a compass, a map and an idea of where they are in the world. One wrong turn could send you the wrong way, never to be found again! However, another may help you find a shortcut to your destination! You also have the option to purchase a GPS for your aircraft, but will it be worth the investment?

    Deadstick Bush Flight Simulator

    Eventually in the long-long term once the base simulator has been completed and everything is finalised, there is the potential for DLC to add new environments and aircraft the game, but Chris has stated that he wants to perfect the main game first, their main product that everybody will be using, before thinking about implementing paid add-ons making it more of a side note than the main talking point.

    Tags: bush, deadstick

    4 Comments
    1. Tall_Paul's Avatar
      Tall_Paul -
      The screenshots in the review are nice, I`d like to play this simulator. Thanks for the thread.
    1. DominicS's Avatar
      DominicS -
      Wow...that looks fantastic Michael; thanks for the preview!

      The detailing on both the aircraft and scenery is quite spectacular!

      See you at Cosford

      Dom
    1. anthony96's Avatar
      anthony96 -
      Looks awsome
    1. hangar32's Avatar
      hangar32 -
      Looks great but they lost me with the 6X time rate. Why? I can understand making mechanical parts wear out faster but 6X fuel burn? Sounds like noticeably moving sun angles / shadows, especially at dawn & twilight. Realistic?

      Great write up.
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