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Tutorials/Missions/Adventures: requests for features

Interactive in-sim tutorials and missions

Re: Tutorials/Missions/Adventures: requests for features

Postby FighterAce » Mon May 29, 2017 5:08 pm

I am not exactly sure what you mean. Can you please explain more in depth?
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Re: Tutorials/Missions/Adventures: requests for features

Postby Marius_A » Mon May 29, 2017 5:49 pm

  • Start the flight using UFO as your aircraft;
  • Fly to the location which coordinates you want to find out;
  • Mouse-click on the scenery;
  • Press "e" on the keyboard;
  • Coordinates will be saved in "ufo-model-export.xml"

http://wiki.flightgear.org/UFO_from_the_%27White_Project%27_of_the_UNESCO
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Re: Tutorials/Missions/Adventures: requests for features

Postby Thorsten » Mon May 29, 2017 6:02 pm

This could be a beginning of big breaktrough in FlightGear's learning curve. Or just learning avionics in general.


You don't learn from clicking switches a tutorial points out to you with red arrows.

Consider a simple takeoff scenario. Suddenly you get too slow and the stall warning sounds. What's the checklist going to suggest?

It depends on what the problem really is.

Maybe you're not climbing with full throttle. Or maybe the engine is damaged and doesn't deliver full power. Maybe the propeller pitch setting is wrong. Maybe you're pulling up too steeply and getting behind the power curve. Maybe there's nothing wrong with the aircraft but the pitot tube is freezing and you're getting a wrong airspeed reading. Maybe you forgot to retract gear and have unusually high drag.

There's a lot of things that could be the cause. A real flight instructor would check a dozen possibilities at a glance and know what is happening because he understands the situation.

Trying to get that kind of situational awareness from a pre-programmed tutorial is... tough - it'd have to check at every point for dozens of things you could have done wrong before or are doing wrong now and develop a real understanding of the situation by giving you good advice.

That's what you have to learn to be a pilot - not what sequence of buttons to press.
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Re: Tutorials/Missions/Adventures: requests for features

Postby archy » Mon May 29, 2017 8:16 pm

Thorsten wrote in Mon May 29, 2017 6:02 pm:
It depends on what the problem really is.

Absolutely.

Thorsten wrote in Mon May 29, 2017 6:02 pm:Maybe you're not climbing with full throttle. Or maybe the engine is damaged and doesn't deliver full power. Maybe the propeller pitch setting is wrong. Maybe you're pulling up too steeply and getting behind the power curve. Maybe there's nothing wrong with the aircraft but the pitot tube is freezing and you're getting a wrong airspeed reading. Maybe you forgot to retract gear and have unusually high drag.


Yes so many situation we can try to simulate in-flight also. Some situations will not be possible to simulate offcourse but we could have "Random Failures" and still complete the flight and/or "Find the problem -> Fix -> then complete mission".

Yes you are right! Situation awareness is hard to simulate but situations can be triggered by mission programming and then its up to pilot to take right action from that situation.

Many things can be learned by this mission/tutorial system i think. Learning the basics of navigation, both IFR and VFR is mostly teorethical and straight forward in a cockpit.
It could be nice to have a "In-Flight Course" in navigation. Like flying a VOR/NDB route by instrument, or ILS (LOC/GS) approach. Even how to program the FMC for VNAV.

For advanced pilots many of the missions/tuturials probably will NOT be of MUCH advantage, but for beginners there could be a really good start to know the basics.

It's really just up the the imagination what missions could be made out of this.
I am very positive to this idea. I think it could make FlightGear seem much more a complete flight simulator. And the basics Marius_A already implemented, so it seems that this is possible to implement in near future?
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Re: Tutorials/Missions/Adventures: requests for features

Postby FighterAce » Mon May 29, 2017 9:51 pm

Okay, thanks Marius_A! I will see if I have the time to make one of those, and when I do, I will post it here.
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Re: Tutorials/Missions/Adventures: requests for features

Postby Thorsten » Tue May 30, 2017 6:01 am

Situation awareness is hard to simulate but situations can be triggered by mission programming and then its up to pilot to take right action from that situation.


My point is that the AI instructor/tutorial/mission has close to none because it's very hard to anticipate everything the user or the FG core could do.

I've read through one report where due to a problem in the install aircraft-side Nasal was not working properly. The aircraft startup tutorial still came up though, and guided the user through what buttons to press, and partially the aircraft responded (when things were implemented as JSBSim system), yet eventually the thing got stuck.

I've read through another report where the random failure system was active, and the tutorial mindlessly tried to guide the user to start the plane despite having no electricity. The tutorial didn't *actually* check for voltages etc, but assumed there'd be power and just checked switch position to move to the next item.

In the takeoff scenario, assume the user retracts gear (thus satisfying the checklist to move to the next item) but accidentially re-deploys it. To catch that, you'd have to check for 'gear retracted?' every time step in the air. Same for 'have fuel', 'have electricity', 'canopy closed', 'doors closed',... There's a gazillion of stupid things developers /tutorial designers never do - because they know they're stupid and don't even think of them. But novice users just might try them out. Or let them happen.
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Re: Tutorials/Missions/Adventures: requests for features

Postby DFaber » Tue May 30, 2017 6:29 am

Thorsten wrote in Tue May 30, 2017 6:01 am:
Situation awareness is hard to simulate but situations can be triggered by mission programming and then its up to pilot to take right action from that situation.


My point is that the AI instructor/tutorial/mission has close to none because it's very hard to anticipate everything the user or the FG core could do.


this is true, but I guess it isn't the point for the mission/adventure feature. This is not aimed at teaching basics, but rather give a more "thrilling" scenario to solve with the various Aircraft FG offers.

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Re: Tutorials/Missions/Adventures: requests for features

Postby Thorsten » Tue May 30, 2017 7:01 am

this is true, but I guess it isn't the point for the mission/adventure feature.


That's what I'm saying - I was commenting on the idea to use this feature for instruction, not on its usefulness in general.
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Re: Tutorials/Missions/Adventures: requests for features

Postby Talkless » Tue Aug 22, 2017 11:28 pm

Marius_A wrote in Fri May 26, 2017 10:47 am:I have a working prototype of a mission system on my local copy of FG, but I'm limited by my imagination while creating actual missions.


Thanks for taking initiative!

It is already hard to have someone working on feature you like, but if there is also requirement that some one also has to create content for it, i.e. missions definitions in this case, that too unrealistic IMHO :( .

So how about tackling this problem by creating procedurally generated mission system?

Imagine like this. Player starts FG with some aircraft, let's say it's Eurocopter.

First of all, there should be aircraft mission traits "database", describing what type of missions it should support.

Missions could be of various types, from just a quick though:
  • Search & Rescue [earth] (for helicopters only)
  • Search & Rescue [water] (for helicopters and amphibians)
  • Passenger transport (maybe some subtypes, idk)
  • Refuelling (multiplayer? :) )
  • Reconnaissance (to take a photo with target on screen within required distance? :) )
  • etc...

So, user selects mission type (or it could be called a template), let's say its S&R.

Then, user selects starting point:
  • User entered airport/helipad
  • Random (Eurocopter being a helicopter supports helipads, airports, carriers. Priority for helipads).
  • Random helipad
  • Random airport
  • Maybe something else...

Then, user selects distance limit (might not want to play for an hour..), daytime (exact time, random, midnight (if aircraft mission traits says that it can perform these missions at night, and Eurocopter with searchlight can), dusk, ...), maybe weather conditions (true, random, selected...)

There could be gazillion of additional settings, like probability for failures (mission traits should define how mission system should access failures, may be some sort of hooks, not sure how FG failures works anyway), G limit, fuel limit (if Eurocopter has defined it's fuel quota in mission traits database), disabled map for realistic navigation, time limit (should be suggested by cruise speed defined, again, in aircraft mission traits database) etc, etc.

And, well, if user selected search & rescue mission, you can make route with two or three (if destination is "hospital" were rescued passenger has to be delivered) waypoints:

First waypoint, is user selected or random airport/helipad.

Second = first waypoint + random distance with regard to user entered limits (and of course amphibian aircraft should not have it's rescue mission target selected on land, because it's traits did not allow "Search & Resqcue (land)"). Waypoint would be on approximate position of person to be rescued with random deviation, so player will be actually searching for him.

Third waypoint - could be same as first or some another airport/helipad nearby. It would be super cool if Flightgear would have database of coordinates of actual hospitals with helipads, but don't dream to much for now, any helipad/airport would suffice :) .

There could be penalty point system of some sort, for rating players performance, depending on how fast it is done, how much fuel spent, did it hit G limit specified, if managed to reach main objectives, but for starters it would suffice a "success!".

And with this kind of mission generator, with all different aircraft Flightgear has, different mission templates and whole Earth of play area, that would be huge fun!
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Re: Tutorials/Missions/Adventures: requests for features

Postby Hooray » Sun Sep 03, 2017 2:58 pm

Actually, we have previously talked about coming up with a simple "missions generator" in Nasal space, one where certain aspects of the mission would simply be variables, while other factors may depend on those variables.

For instance, let's say we have a simple SAR mission - the mission generator could ask for an airport to be used as the base for the mission:
KSFO
Next, it could support randomizing the location given a radius around KSFO
30 nm
Next, it could ask for time-of-day to be used:
night-time
Next, it could ask for the weather settings:
CAT III

As can be seen, this would not need to be very difficult, but there is sufficient room to randomize things using some sane defaults.

A while ago, I came up with a simple wizard-like framework that would walk people through creating a custom -set.xml file, the same approach could be used for such a "missions generator":

http://wiki.flightgear.org/Aircraft_Generation_Wizard
Image

These days, I would suggest to use a native Canvas UI to do this, because it is much more flexible.

At this point, I guess it is more important to gather a team of people who know a little about Nasal coding, so that we can prototype a simple generator.
And as a matter of fact, rleibner's recent work on supporting "AI-ATC" via ground-controlled-approaches (GCA) could be considered the foundation for a multi-variable "mission generator":

http://wiki.flightgear.org/Howto:Implem ... GCA_system
Image

As can be seen, this is a simple Canvas GUI dialog, but it takes roughly a 10-12 parameters to configure the GCA, which could be considered "mission variables".
It would be a piece of cake to extend this for other purposes, turn it into an actual wizard and hook it up to some kind of mission/adventure system, possibly in conjunction with the spoken atc addon rleibner is developing: http://wiki.flightgear.org/Spoken_ATC

And actually, once you think about it, using the checklists feature, it would be relatively easy to customize different missions for different aircraft semi-automatically, because the various V-speeds etc are part of the checklist.

I guess that's the kind of approach, I'd use to make sure that a single "mission" could be applied to different locations (airports/runways).

And yeah, I am volunteering to help with prototyping this, because it's something we've been contemplating to do anyway: http://wiki.flightgear.org/Talk:Tutoria ... gnostic.29

So, my suggestion would be that the first "mission/adventure" is indeed a ground-controlled-approach, and make the whole thing sufficiently generic to support arbitrary aircraft/airports and weather settings, and then take it from there :mrgreen:
Please don't send support requests by PM, instead post your questions on the forum so that all users can contribute and benefit
Thanks & all the best,
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Re: Tutorials/Missions/Adventures: requests for features

Postby FighterAce » Mon Sep 04, 2017 1:44 am

Looks great! I am glad that someone is working on this.
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Re: Tutorials/Missions/Adventures: requests for features

Postby Hooray » Sun Oct 22, 2017 8:53 am

Everybody interested in eventually seeing a "mission editor" materialize, I've taken some of the more relevant comments and moved them over to a dedicated wiki page, trying to provide an overview by summarizing our ideas - feel free to get involved:

http://wiki.flightgear.org/Mission_Editor
Please don't send support requests by PM, instead post your questions on the forum so that all users can contribute and benefit
Thanks & all the best,
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Re: Tutorials/Missions/Adventures: requests for features

Postby Talkless » Fri Aug 10, 2018 6:33 pm

Ping? (9 months has passed since last message).

I routinely (and naively) come back to Flightgear forums to check if there's anything new regards "jobs"/"missions"/similar...
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Re: Tutorials/Missions/Adventures: requests for features

Postby Thorsten » Fri Aug 10, 2018 7:22 pm

It's Open Source - if you're interested, you can contribute.

(It's unlikely that anyone else is going to do it, because most of us see a simulator as just that - you define whatever you want to do with it and you decide whether you succeed, not any 'mission').
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