Concept and Features Gallery
A detailed feature breakdown of MotorWings gameplay at the future state of "Mk.1 Cycle Completion".
The following features are included and/or planned for as a part of the MotorWings Mk.1 release.
Further features for Mk.2 and beyond are listed in broader terms where noted.
Build versions are identified by Mark Number (Mk.1) and a set of increasing alphanumeric tags to denote progress within mark-numbered feature cycles. Thus, Mk1b (the first public release) could be followed by a Mk1c, or more likely by a minor update that reads as Mk1b1, or an even smaller patch dubbed as Mk1b1a, and so on...
There is no "full v1.0" in our plans. We start from Mk.1 and continue to increase until all features listed below and any others we find convenient to include along the way are good enough to leave alone.
Then Mk.2 starts off and proceeds in the same way. Mk.2 features will be sold as part of a separate release (DLC).
(Mk.1 Completion Cycle)
Hybrid-Procedural Open World Terrain:
Terrain in MotorWings is dynamically generated as you fly. Based on the "Map Magic" system created by Denis Pahunov, It uses random algorithms to fill in fine detail based upon a broad continental scale map of our alternate-reality world.
At present, terrain features include the Haven Rock Airfield and trading outpost township around it. It then extends for hundreds of kms in every direction following a continental guideline map.
The complete system will feature various distinct biomes, with various destinations to visit and explore.
See the World Map for more details (Work in progress, Click to zoom and look around)
Realistic Aerodynamic Simulation:
Flight modeling is performed using a novel approximation method called "Open State Parametric Airflow Simulation". This was developed specifically for MotorWings, allowing your creations to fly in an authentic manner which is entirely based on the airframe's geometry for the plane you create.
Each part on the aircraft has its particular effect on the air flowing around it. This in turn, affects other parts causing the whole setup to fly in a realistic (even if not scientifically accurate in a strict sense) way that is tailored to match the "feel of flight" as closely as possible.
In it's current state, (Mk1c) flight simulation includes:
Wingtip Vortex Effects (consequently causing phenomena such as induced drag)
Wing Downwash on aft-mounted airfoils
Realistic stall and spin behaviors based on airframe construction and part-specific lift profiles
Propwash effects on airfoils behind motors
At present, there is no simulation of propwash rotation, P-Factor and propeller torque effects. These will be implemented in a near future after joystick support is up to at least basic standards. This is mostly because these effects would be very awkward to counter using only keyboard controls.
Engines and Systems :
Aircraft systems are not implemented at the moment. This is Planned for the Mk.1 Cycle at some point.
Presently, engines are rather basic and generate thrust based upon approximate performance curves only.
The complete Mk.1 feature set should allow players to mount parts such as engines, fuel tanks, weapons, etc. on specialized attachment points for internal components of fuselage and wing sections.
Engines then should be simulated down to fine operational details, such as the effects of running temperature on oil pressures, plug fouling, pre-detonation (knocking) and all the damage that can do to your ride that way.
As of Mk.1f3, All engines feature constant-speed propellers, realistically simulated in all normal flight conditions.
(Feathering and Reverse Pitch Coming Soon)
Other typesd of ropellers should also be made fully simulated, to correctly depict the operations of fixed-pitch, variable-pitch or constant-speed models and their respective pros and cons.
Systems simulation is planned to be as detailed as is reasonable given gameplay considerations. This should cover things like electrical wirings, hydraulics, fuel tanks and pumps and whatnot.
With the career-based part reliability system, (read below) proper handling and maintenance of your engines may be critical to ensure they continue turning when you need them most.
All technology in the world of MotorWings is loosely set at a 1950's era level of advancement. One may expect mostly propeller engines, with the rare jet as something novel and less than completely reliable.
Different locations around the world will have distinct manufacturing specialties, thus offering various kinds of parts with proportionally better availability and prices than found elsewhere.
Not all places will have all types of hardware or services one might need. Something is always cheaper or easier to find somewhere else. This can be quite an opportunity for trading in career mode.
Weapons and Combat:
Weapons will be featured for aerial combat as planned for the Mk.1 cycle
Weapons will be mainly of a World-Wars era nature, relying primarily on pilot skill and marksmanship for their effectiveness. It'll be basically guns, bombs, rockets and all that.
Combat gameplay as of Mk.1 completion remains intentionally vague in concept at this time. Player feedback is expected before in-depth decisions are made regarding the exact implementation of this set of features.
In any case, all plans for Mk.1 include various things for shooting at; (and to get shot at by them in return)
Perhaps the most vague of all proposed features listed here. The plan is that there will be MP in the game.
Most probably this would focus on cooperative gameplay, though the finer points of how, when, or in what scale will this be added remains to be decided from player interaction and feedback.
In other words: There's no sense in planning for this now only to have to inevitably change all plans after we learn what players actually want this to be like.
Our ideal best-case-scenario for this would be to have a full fledged massive multiplayer environment where everyone plays together in some way. This however, is immensely demanding on our capability to provide server support on an industrial scale. At present, our very small team is unable to afford such a thing.
As described in the illustrated concept page, the game revolves around an open-world, crew based career mechanic. A vast open world will offer dynamically generated opportunities and challenges, leaving the player free to decide how best to take on, or stay well away from situations that arise in the course of their adventures.
Each "crew" represents one career save-game. The state of crews is persistent across sessions and features elements such as crew-owned aircraft fleets, parts stocks, fuel supply, cash reserves and others.
While independent, crews should exist in a common environment, such that an opportunity found and seized by one would later be unavailable to another. Similarly, the actions of one crew may create conditions that would benefit another group.
Crews start with one user made character to pilot his first career aircraft. A minimum set of parts available at the Haven Rock aerodrome can be used to assemble a career-starting airplane, or a ready-made one may be purchased using the same career startup funds.
Locations around the world of MotorWings all have Saloons where pilots converge and their services are sought for hire. One may visit these and pick up assignments of natures varying from the perfectly lawful passenger charter to the more questionable combat engagement requirements of less morally scrutable individuals. There's always a war going on somewhere, isn't there?
New crew members may be hired or persuaded to join for a share of the earnings. These may then be tasked as gunners, copilots, mechanics, wingmen and whatnot.
At present, none of these career features are implemented. They are planned for Mk.1 completion.
Career-Based Part Reliability, Damage and Maintenance:
In career gameplay, all parts of your airplanes are subject to wear and tear. They will require servicing in order to prevent possible failure as they wear out from use.
Parts will definitely require even more servicing should one take his aircraft into harms way.
Part conditions will be persistent through careers as planned for Mk.1
At present, damage is fully disabled and planes can be flown out of any crash that ends with the wheels on the ground. This will not last for long, so enjoy immortality while you still can.
As of Mk.1c, airplanes take realistic damage from gradual airframe overstressing, or fall to pieces far more quickly by flying into inconveniently located bits of terrain.
Stress Damage will accumulate from sustained heavy forces, rough landings and various many things that aren't good for you. As metal fatigue sets in from this, parts become less resistant to subsequent impacts and stresses, eventually ending in a fiery crater somewhere if left unchecked.
At present, repair facilities aren't open for business, but this is also planned for Mk.1 and should be a big deal in career mode gameplay.
Even more spectacular rapid disassembly effects are planned for later Mk.1 completion.
Crew character creation editor:
Crews are initiated by a player-designed "captain" which may be created by using a character editor tool. This would allow customization of characters with free selection of gender, name, face, clothing and gear.
Additional characters will be generated using random combinations of these same options. Modding support should allow for even more possibilities once this becomes exposed through the SDK.
Dynamically Ocurring Inflight Events, World Trends and Take-On Missions:
As you fly your way across the wild frontier reaches of The Outlands, Chance events such as ongoing battles, air pirate raids, bandit encounters and whatnot are a constant possibility. These occur semi-randomly, with likelyhoods determined by the general state of things at the area you're flying through.
The ideal implementation of this is planned as having these events and their frequencies linked to a constantly changing set of "world politics conditions". These underlying trends are only partially apparent to your crews, yet their actions may influence things so far as goes their capability to affect the outcomes of major battles or deter outlaw and pirate bands.
Or perhaps, your crew would rather act as raiders or pirates themselves instead. A dangerous style of life, but one man's grief just might be another's gold. It's your choice.
All this is also tied in with the dynamic generation of missions your crew might sign in for. The outcome of these missions will also affect the overall balance between the powers that be, thus the actions of one crew may create hardship or opportunity to others in an ever-shifting world of possibilities.
Make yourself infamous enough, and maybe some other crew will be offered a chance to collect a price on the heads of your own band. Or instead, be a champion for hard justice and enjoy the increase in local trade opportunities.
There is always a war going on somewhere. Or you can always start your very own, if that's your thing...
However you fly, life in the Outlands is never boring.
While the complete feature set for Dynamic World gameplay extends beyond the scope of the Mk.1 cycle, Mk.1 is expected to feature it at least partially. This should be gradually implemented over a course of various updates.
More details will follow as development progresses towards this end.
Realistic Dynamic Weather:
Planned for Mk.1, even if not currently implemented in any shape, is a realistic depiction of general weather conditions. (clouds, wind, turbulence, rain, snow, and whatnot...)
MotorWings now features volumetric 3d clouds and a full set of atmospheric lighting effects.
Further plans feature dynamic weather conditions that change over time and locations.
Day and Night cycles are already implemented, though not accessible through the UI as of yet. Night Time skies include real-world constellations and geographically accurate placement of the Moon and Sun.
Also planned for Mk.1 is to simulate and graphically depict ice accumulation on aircraft surfaces from flying in icing conditions. This can have serious consequences on any aircraft, and must be accounted for in a frontier-world setting as is the adventure filled reality of MotorWings.
Parts for dealing with ice accumulation (de-icer systems) are planned for the Mk.1 Cycle
Advanced Construction Tools:
The hangar interface of present is a minimalistic set of functionalities required to assemble a flyable aircraft.
Planned for the near future are more advanced tools, such as:
Manual rotation and fine positioning gizmos to adjust placement of installed parts.
Tools for assembling internal systems (electrics, hydraulics, etc.) and making connections between them.
Mesh Boolean Operation based tools, for parts which should cut out sections of other parts for use as retractable gear doors, bomb bays and anything that requires holes dug into an airframe.
Tweakable Parts, allowing parts to be reshaped from their original models. This would provide for wing sweep and taper adjustments, fuselage tail and nose cone reshaping, (extending their curves along adjacent parts) and many other fine alterations that can be made to any given part.
The framework for the latter two is already implemented, yet the set of features needed to work them into an usable set of tools remains largely pending.
Mk.1d introduced tweakable wing sections. This is but a first step in adding similar capability to most parts, making them flexible enough to suit the needs of your creativity.
Cockpits, Instruments and a way to put them together:
A flexible cockpit editor tool is planned for Mk.1 completion. This is to allow users to install flight instruments and systems into the cockpit or airplanes.
This is not yet implemented. There is also no cockpit view in the current build at this early stage.
Basic cockpit view should be covered sometime soon.
Basic cockpit view is featured already, with a few basic flight instrumentation and engine gauges inside.
More cockpit instrument, controls, and editor tools to place them will follow at a later time within the Mk.1 cycle.
Things that hover and things that float:
Even though the game has a 1950's era state of technology, the alternative reality of MotorWings is to stretch somewhat further as far as Rotor-Winged and Lighter-Than-Air flight is concerned.
TurboProp and TurboShaft engines should be generally more available than the pure jet in some parts of the world. These are not as reliable as piston power, yet they are widely used in unruly contraptions such as helicopters.
Airships are an ubiquitous sight above the vast expanses of this frontier world. With sizes varying from the small utility blimp (commonly used for salvage operations) to the eye-boggling SuperCarriers that float their own airplane fleets and crews as large as the population of most small settlements.
Construction of rotor-lift aircraft and small utility airships is tentatively scheduled for the Mk.1 feature cycle. Whether or not this will be possible remains to be determined by the hard constraints of capitalist society.
All craft should be capable of winching and towing objects, though fixed-wing aircraft might have a harder time of doing so than would a blimp or rotor-bird.
Creation and management of a SuperCarrier class airship is something we wish to do a proper job of, however. So this is definitely one that goes on for the Mk.2 DLC. Commanding a super-carrier should be an experience closer to captaining a battleship than that of flying by stick and rudder.
As planned for Mk.1, SuperCarrier airships will be featured as roving NPC destinations, and equipment for docking your airplane with these should be provided as specialized parts.
Support for Multiple Joysticks, TrackIR, VR, SimShaker and all those wonderful things:
All of these are planned for as part of the Mk.1 cycle.
Joysticks are supported as of Mk.1d2 - Up to 8 parellel devices with 8 axes and 20 buttons each.
Exended support for additional buttons and input combinations is planned for subsequent updates. This will be done gradually as the general feature set grows such that new sets of input options become necessary.
Support for VR, TrackIR and such higher-end hardware items is still in the to-do list. Mainly due to the simple fact that on my present non-budget I am not able to afford these very nice things for the nonce.
MotorWings is above all else, a flight simulator. And to properly simulate flight, one has to be able to get the most out of the hardware available. While home-cockpit setups are very much admired and to be provided for, we must not forget also that flying by simple mouse and keyboard should always remain possible.
It is nevertheless recommended to play with at least an XBox-style gamepad. It's just a lot more fun!
Options for Everything:
The "When in doubt, make it optional" rationale is to be applied over most features of the game to which it bears any reasonable meaning.
One should be able to customize their gaming experience by way of adjusting a wide array of gameplay settings.
These will affect the authenticity/difficulty of the simulation, determining the presence, absence, or degree of a myriad factors which influence many things.
Mk.1 plans for a menu (or set thererof) full of options to define points from how your plane handles, to how often you get jumped by raiders of the air while going about your adventures. Or even, choose how permanent is death for your crews in their careers.
It's your game after all. Who's to say otherwise on how it should be played?
Modding Tools and SDK:
As part of Mk.1, we plan on including a set of tools for users to create mods such as new parts, characters, scenarios and anything else one may come up with for the game.
This will be mostly based upon the free personal version of Unity3D. With the Unity editor as a core tool for our SDK, it should be possible to extend the game very flexibly while also being able to rely on support from the Unity userbase and the myriad assets available out there.
Mods released will be subject to basic rules, such as "not for profit", "all code must be open source" and various similar common-sense items of decent civilized conduct. A full list will be published with the release of the SDK
Note that all features listed here are subject to revision and refinement. Each feature may be addressed in incremental steps over the course of an unknowable number of updates.
There is no fixed schedule for update releases. Some things just take longer to get working than others. We'll try to keep updates close to each other, but with our very small team, sometimes things just need to take the time they take before we can call them "done"
Updates are prioritized for regularity rather than feature density. That is: We'd rather you have more frequent smaller updates than a huge one with several months before the next. This is not always possible however, due to the reasons mentioned just above.
Any features that are found to pose a significant delay on the update schedule may be postponed into the next update, provided there are enough other unreleased features working to warrant a new build. We'd rather not release buggy stuff and break your game. We trust you'd also rather we didn't.
There is no fixed number of updates planned for a given completion cycle. There will be as many updates as it takes to get all the above ready and working. All updates are free for users who have purchased the game as of the current cycle.
Updates of features in future cycles will require purchase of their respective releases.
This list may be changed during the course of development to account for team requirements.
We promise we don't expect to cut out anything important though. Still, for boring reasons, we must have it written down that it could happen, just in case something horrible goes down and we get attacked by velociraptors or anything dreadful as such.