Yesterday I was curious to see how faithful the design of DI's Tornado cockpit instruments was.The artists of the development team were then working under the "320x240 pixel screen" limitation. So it would have been quite a challenge to accurately reproduce the actual gauges in the PC simulation game. I find it fascinating that the Tornado developers were able to abstract the real-life gauges and controls of the pilot and WSO cockpits. To me, this is an interesting study in area Human-Computer-Interfaces (HCI).
One of the hallmarks of Digital Integration's classic flight simulators is the ability to make the game ACCURATE yet FUN to play. In Tornado, the developers struck a rare balance of accuracy and fun. Today in 2016, Just Flight
have modelled the Tornado in astounding detail and accuracy. In 1993 however, the Tornado game designers were blessed with less resources. Therefore, to me, Digital Integration's achievement of modelling a complex aircraft like Tornado, is simply brilliant.
I like what the Author of the book The Video Game Theory Reader
, Mark J. P. Wolf, said:
| || || || || || || || ||"So limited were the graphics capabilities of the early games, that the medium was forced to remain relatively abstract for over a decade. Gradually as technology improved, designers strove for move representational graphics in game imagery, and today they still continue to pursue ever more detailed representations approximating the physical world. ... The player's mind is forced to complete or imagine game details, which engages and involves them more in the game. At the same time, the simplified versions of situations found in video games allow players to feel a sense of order and understanding that may be more difficult to find in their own real lives..." || || || || || || || || || || || || || || || || || |
To me, what that simply means is that a game like Tornado (circa 1993), allowed the gamer's imagination to fill in the details which the abstracted flat-shaded polygons lacked. Also, DI's Tornado also gave them enough control to make them feel that they could understand how to operate the real deal - the complex two-man Panavia Tornado. Something that would have been impossible for most people, if not for the gaming industry's talented game designers and programmers.
Here's what I have come up with for now.http://www.moodurian.com/tornado/seats/navigator.html
From what I can see, the artists and designers did a pretty good job using tools like Electronic Arts Deluxe Paint software
BTW, if you do a mouseover some of the gauges, you will see a tooltip appear. Cick on the area and the real Tornado gauge or component will be displayed in a CSS pop-up. The CSS po-up will show even if your web browser is set to reject pop-ups.
My next project is to map the Pilot's cockpit instumentation. Enjoy.