FUNDAMENTALS OF GAME DESIGN, SECOND EDITION

The Player’s Role

The player's role in a flight simulator seems quite straightforward: It's that of a pilot. In single-seat aircraft, that's all that is required. However, if you're going to simulate larger aircraft such as bombers or two-seat fighters, you'll have to decide how you want to handle the varying roles available. In LucasArts' excellent World War II simulator Their Finest Hour, the player can play any of the waist and tail gun positions of the Junkers Ju 88 bomber while leaving the plane on autopilot, or he can set the guns to fire automatically at any target that comes into view. To drop the bombs, however, he has to take over the bombardier's position personally. Three-Sixty Pacific's game Megafortress required the player to manage no fewer than five different stations: pilot, copilot, navigator, electronic warfare specialist, and offensive weapons officer. Each station had its own instrument panel and responsi­bilities, and the player had to move constantly from one to another to check on conditions and respond to emergencies. At times when the player was away from the pilot's seat, the plane flew on autopilot toward the next waypoint.

In racing-oriented driving games, the player's role is that of a racing driver most of the time, but the more serious simulations, such as IndyCar Racing, also allow the player to be a mechanic, modifying the angle of the airfoils, changing tires to com­pensate for weather conditions, and so on.

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FUNDAMENTALS OF GAME DESIGN, SECOND EDITION

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