One of the first "killer" game applications for what was then the nascent personal computer gaming market in 1983, was Microsoft Flight Simulator. While the graphics weren't spectacular by today's standards, they were graphics; which were a change from what had come before. With the IBM PC Jr. up and running, it turned out to be a good time to take a look at this dinosaur application.
This gallery was originally published in August 2008.
Mark Kaelin is a CBS Interactive Senior Editor for TechRepublic. He is the host for the Microsoft Windows and Office blog, the Google in the Enterprise blog, the Five Apps blog and the Big Data Analytics blog.
That's the game I always remember wanting to play on the "display PC" whenever I went to the electronics store as a kid. Makes me pine for my old combat flight simulator game, [b]Birds of Prey[/b] (Eletronic Arts). Was on a single 3.5" floppy, & you flew as either a US/NATO or a Soviet/Warsaw Pact pilot with just about any 1980s Cold War plane available (including being able to fly a B-52 or a B-1). And just like this game, a lot of the manual was about how to fly a plane, since it was super-realistic (i.e. you had to turn the engines on [i]before[/i] you could set your throttle speed, you had to check your flaps & landing gear, etc.). IIRC, it also had a bit of a "speed" problem with my later PCs. Alas, being a DOS/Win3.1 game, I had trouble getting it to run on my old XP machine, let alone my new Win7 machine....
Flight Sim was always the first application I would run to test the performance of any new computer I got. I remember remarking to myself when I first got my hands on a 486 and ran Flight Sim "wow! who needs this much processing power?!" LOL. Well things still haven't changed. I still run Flight Sim every time i upgrade my computer
I have every copy of Microsoft Flight Simulator since it's inception. I even have the original version of FS by Sub-Logic that was originally written for the Commodore 64. I am disappointed with FS-X though because I don't have a gaming machine that it needs to operate it so I still use the 2004 version.
You're correct. As a former flyer of the Microsoft Flight Simulator, I found it a great experience for that time and enjoyed it immensly. I would however say that other games have taken my interest away, not only for the skill levels but also in the super graphics, which they offer.
Do you remember the bug in the Europe game? If you fly upside down and cut the engines, the plane "falls" straight up much quicker than flying up. The plane will eventually quit falling and level out once the maximum ceiling is achieved. Excellent way to quickly escape from the enemy planes.
Yep, you could fly from Chicago to Champaign, IL. As I recall, the software was developed by SubLOGIC which was a company located in Champaign IL. SubLOGIC was/is? a builder of flight simulators. That was a so cool game.
Hey, as I remember it was Chicago, not NYC. That's why you can't see the twin towers: basically, they aren't there.
...Flight Simulator was the grand test of compatibility. At the time, it was the single program that would test nearly all aspects of a computer's capability and compatibility with the standard IBM machine; especially for graphics. Back when we were first selling clones, booting up a disk of Flight Simulator was what ultimately made the sale. One interesting problem was that when clones with clock speeds above the standard 4.77 MHz started to appear, early versions of Flight Simulator actually ran too fast, as events were timed via the processor and not the system clock.
...from the original SubLogic for the Apple ][ on up. The originals had no shading or terrain databases; just rectangular outlines for airports and a grid outlining the "world". On the early versions, the screen updated roughly once a second.
You're not missing too much with the FSX version. I've found a few bugs in it too. The ILS localizer is way off for SAC 16R. The controllers also vector you in too close for some instrument approaches, unless you choose an IAP fix first. It also has crashed on me a few times. No idea why, as I run it on my game-only machine. Flight Sim is great for getting to know airports I've never been to, before I actually fly there - which has been very helpful. It also is good for keeping instrument skills sharp. Does anyone use the other flight simulator software, like X-Plane?
I'm too young to have played this game but I'm old enough to remember the many hours that I watched my dad fly from the different cities that the game offered. I still remember waiting until he put it on auto-pilot to go to the bathroom during a marathon flight and I quickly crashed the plane. Good stuff.
If I recall correctly, Bruce Artwick (whose name appears on the initial splash screen) was the founder of SubLOGIC and developper of the "SubLOGIC flight simulator" on the TRS-80, the Apple II, and the other popular 8 bits computers of the late 70's early 80's. A version was eventually released for the IBM PC. Microsoft licensed the game from subLOGIC and released it under the "Microssoft flight simulator" name. Bruce Artwick left subLOGIC and formed BAO (Bruce Artwick Organisation) in the mid-80's, keeping the copyright to "Flight Simulator" and licensed several versions of his software to Microsoft until BAO was purchased by Microsoft in the mid-90's. SubLOGIC continued to produce flight simulation software and released "Flight light" in the mid-90's. The company was purchased by Sierra who went on to realease the "Pro-Pilot" flight simulator.
Well, no wonder it seemed so unfamiliar. I don't know why I always thought it was New York. However, in my defense I did spend most of my time in the 1917 mode.
And you take off from the (now non-existant) Miegs Field. The building you saw is the Sears Tower and the body of water is Lake Michigan. I know... I owned the first three versions of this!
Bzzzt,that building isn't the Sears Tower either. That building is the John Hancock Center (http://www.johnhancockcenterchicago.com/) The Sears Tower was the red wire frame building further inland in this version.