Dovetail Games’ director of brand Doug McConkey on how today’s technology is driving the simulation genre forward.
It’s been a busy year here at Dovetail Games.
We spent the first half of the year quietly growing our development team as we prepared to announce that we were going to be expanding from creating one simulation product in Train Simulator to working on three, with Dovetail Games Fishing and our future flight simulator, based on Microsoft’s renowned flight technology.
Simulation is what we at Dovetail ‘do’. We’ve always had a clear goal and that is to become the No.1 simulation entertainment company in the world. But we’ve also realised that there are other layers beneath that overall goal, which need to mesh together to take us to where we want to go. One of those is diversifying into new areas of simulation and we’re confident that our new projects will sit well alongside Train Simulator, providing our fans with a variety of ‘digital hobbies’ to try and enjoy. But a key element of future success is realising the opportunities that new technologies are providing for simulations to be cutting-edge again.
There was a time when simulation gaming was at the forefront of entertainment, spearheaded by the likes of Microsoft Flight Simulator. The PC was the dominant gaming machine and the joystick was the de facto peripheral, a perfect mix for simulation. In the generations that followed, the largely console-led technology innovations helped to develop other genres, with gamepads allowing shooters, action and sports games to deliver greater immersion than before.
Other genres also capitalised successfully on the rise of internet gaming, with games ranging from World of Warcraft to Counter-Strike, and more recently the likes of Dota 2 creating highly compelling online multiplayer experiences.
Whilst simulation has continued to innovate with head tracking and the rapid integration of VR and voice commands, these haven’t yet become mainstream propositions. So although simulations continue to be popular, the genre isn’t perceived to be at the cutting edge of gaming. That’s all about to change thanks to new technologies that will revolutionise how we create and consumer play simulation games.
Authenticity and immersion are critical to simulation. The processing power of the new consoles and computers combined with technology like Unreal Engine 4 makes it possible to deliver photo-realistic experiences that can truly immerse the player in a virtual world.
VR is another advancement that is perfect for simulation experiences. With the player in a static position like a train cab, plane cockpit or fishing peg, VR technologies give us the opportunity to let the player experience first-hand the world that they want to be in control of, creating incredibly powerful sensory experiences that deliver greater authenticity and entertainment than before.
At Dovetail we’re embracing the future and we’re committed to delivering simulation experiences. If you share our passion for creating the next generation of simulation entertainment, we’re always looking for exceptional talent. Click here to see the latest opportunities.