Mad Otter’s Kickstarted reboot of Red Baron is flying along steadily, having just hit $30k of their $250k target with 23 days to go, and they’ve taken this opportunity to enlighten us as to some specifics on the flight model, the realism, and the controls.
First and foremost, plenty of realism elements will be tweakable; the screenshot above shows the “Realism Panel” which lets you enable or disable things like stalls, weapon jamming, redouts, and instrument damage to your liking. In multiplayer, these will be set by the server or the host. Seems fair to me.
Secondly, the game will use a realistic flight model regardless of how skilled you are or how you’ve set things up in the Realism Panel. You’ll have to deal with thrust, drag, lift, gravity, and torque; you’ll be able to adjust pitch and rotation with ailerons, rudder, elevators, and throttle. There’ll even be terrifyingly complex things like… oh, look, I’ll just quote the email I got: “We’ll also have some of the more nuanced effects such as gyroscopic precision caused by propeller and engine rotation (in the case of airplanes with rotary engines like the Triplane and the Camel), carburetor freezing, and icing when flying in visible moisture.” So there you go. Gyroscopic precision. Yes.
Thirdly, if that terrified you into silence, you don’t need to worry too much. While it’s going to be very easy to spiral and lose altitude if you’re as rubbish as the controls as I expect to be, there are in-game handholds to help out, with a system that will automatically apply “the necessary rudder to coordinate turns, apply back pressure when banked, and use the rudder to counteract torque.” Newbies will still be using the same flight model, but the game will basically help out by handling some of the more complex parts of flying by itself. If that has you sneering into your flying goggles, then fear not: you can override these inputs whenever you like or even permanently disable this feature to give you full control of your aircraft.
If this sounds interesting – and, honestly, I’m sort of interested even though it really doesn’t sound like my sort of thing – you can back the Kickstarter here, with $15 to $20 being the price required to get you a copy of the game at launch. Red Baron is also on Steam Greenlight if you fancy giving it a thumbs up over there.