Posts Tagged ‘The Flare Path’

The Flare Path: A Titanic Task

By Tim Stone on April 10th, 2015.

When it comes to monumental transatlantic ambition, no-one takes the biscotto like Gianni Caproni takes the biscotto. No-one, that is, except Four Funnels Entertainment, the Titanic obsessives from the US who want to use a million crowdsourced dollars to build gaming’s largest and most elaborate virtual vessel. Read the rest of this entry »

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The Flare Path: Extravehicular Activity

By Tim Stone on April 3rd, 2015.

The world of simulation would be a much drearier place without TML Studios. Over the last decade this small team of Erfurt eccentrics has released around a dozen standalone vehicle sims. Often odd, occasionally downright unhinged or hilariously broken, weak physics and unchecked ambition mean you’re unlikely to find any of their games in ‘Top 10 Sims’ lists. Those who admire TML – and lately I’ve realised I’m one of these curious creatures – tend to admire the studio for its mercurial talent for atmosphere evocation, and its endearing belief in drama and player freedom, rather than its quality control or respect for realism. Read the rest of this entry »

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The Flare Path: Demonstrably Narcissistic

By Tim Stone on March 27th, 2015.

Five and a half of the following seven questions will be answered in today’s column:

* What happens when you pass a red signal in World of Subways 4?
* Do wargame demos work?
* Whatever happened to Command Ops?
* Just how dreamy is the Assetto Corsa Dream Pack?
* How much does my neighbour’s ex-wife make an hour?
* Was Glenn Miller’s Norseman brought down by Nazi geese?
* Daffodils? Read the rest of this entry »

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Wot I Think: Vietnam 65

By Tim Stone on March 20th, 2015.

A lot of water, flip-flops, and dead dogs have passed under PC wargaming’s pontoon bridge in the three decades since Johan Nagel coded the Vietnam 65 [official site] prototype on his Commodore 64. Can a military TBS conceived in 1985 really cut it in a world awash with Combat Missions, Tiller titles and Paradoxiana? Here’s wot I think. Read the rest of this entry »

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The Flare Path: Oliver’s Armies

By Tim Stone on March 13th, 2015.

RPS statement on Tim Stone/The Flare Path

Last Friday, Tim was involved in a fracas with an RPS employee. Incensed by the “wildly inconsistent” curvatures of the bananas in the canteen fruit bowl, Tim accosted and then struck canteen manager Paul ‘Do you want custard with that?’ Spence. As a result of the incident Tim has been suspended pending an investigation. In place of today’s column, we bring you news of an Automation milestone and a staggering solo project inspired by Total War and 18th Century imperialism. Read the rest of this entry »

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The Flare Path: Ablaze

By Tim Stone on March 6th, 2015.

… The last time we saw Golovina was on the evening of the 14th. We passed her on the road to Lipsk. She was bringing in a Sd.Kfz 11/5, a real nice example. Said she’d found it “under a gooseberry bush”. There were rumours that a big Kraut convoy had gone down in the wets near Krikštonys, and Golovina and that idiot winchman of hers, had found it. Most magpies steer clear of that part of the world on account of the wisps, but she had balls as big as Tiger turret bearings. She went where she liked. Anything that so much as glimmered at her funny, got a signal flare in the mush … Read the rest of this entry »

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The Flare Path: Draftees And Deserters

By Tim Stone on February 27th, 2015.

Keeping tabs on all 238 of the world’s active vehicle sim projects week in, week out is an exhausting and expensive business. Why, just yesterday an overworked FP staffer fell asleep at his post, crashing a £12,000 recon drone into The Motherland Calls‘ cavernous cake-hole. It would make life a lot easier for us if there was just one sim – a globe-spanning, multi-discipline jack-of-all-transport. Most of the bleary-eyed blog watchers and forum combers in the FP office think that super-sim should have Outerra at its core. Read the rest of this entry »

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The Flare Path: Muskets, Moscow, And M4s

By Tim Stone on February 20th, 2015.

Tim’s pre-FP checks

  • Is it Friday morning?
  • Is coffee pot within reach?
  • Are biros arranged according to ink content?
  • Are members of Perry Miniatures SAS squad a) upright and b) equidistant from each other?
  • Do all visible D6s display odd numbers?
  • Has photo of Neville Duke been saluted?

Yes?

COMMENCE WRITING Read the rest of this entry »

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The Flare Path: Dave Does Dovetail

By Tim Stone on February 13th, 2015.

A Crown Copyright image Private Eyed with the help of www.superlame.com

Six Sure Signs That Your Sim Studio is a Spectacular Success:

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The Flare Path: Black Sea Battlecast

By Tim Stone on February 6th, 2015.

Phone switched off? Bladder empty? Puffed corn snacks to hand? I only ask because last time The Flare Path ran a Combat Mission battle commentary, I seem to recall you missed that amazing turn where I dropped a mortar bomb down the hatch of an unbuttoned King Tiger then wiped out an entire squad of Fallschirmjäger with a single ricocheting ATR round.

I can’t promise jammy Tiger II kills or preposterous PTRD shots today (Combat Mission Black Sea imagines a contemporary conflict involving Ukraine, Russia and the US) but the combination of CM’s hi-res ballistics and my tactical hamfistedness is sure to generate the odd “Gosh!” and “Well I never!” Read the rest of this entry »

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The Flare Path: In Search Of A Sub Title Subtitle

By Tim Stone on January 30th, 2015.

The eyecatching Yellow Pages advert that is currently serving as my bookmark, is tucked between the pages of Bob Whinney’s ‘The U-Boat Peril’ at the moment, a fact that may explain why work-in-progress sub sim Wolves of the Atlantic is on top of this week’s word heap. A mobile game destined for the PC, WOTA seems eminently dismissable until you glimpse the screenshots, peruse the feature list, and realise that lone creator Mark Hessburg is drawn to realism like a GNAT is drawn to propeller noise. Read the rest of this entry »

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The Flare Path: Dreadnoughts And Droid Thoughts

By Tim Stone on January 23rd, 2015.

Though my Battle-of-Jutland-through-the-eyes-of-a-ship’s-cat war movie remains unfunded, untitled and largely unwritten, I have mentally sketched out the final scene.

EXT. FIRTH OF FORTH. DAWN.

Passing under the awesome edifice of the Forth Bridge, the bruised and battered HMS Warspite is pelted with coal by disappointed railway workers. Tickles, asleep in her customary spot atop ‘A’ turret, wakes and dashes for cover. Scampering across the bloodstained, shrapnel scored deck, she is struck by a flying lump of anthracite and drops down dead. As the camera rises incorporeally into Warspite’s swirling smoke plume, we see Able Seaman Peters run to where Tickles lies, and fall to his knees beside her.

THE END Read the rest of this entry »

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The Flare Path: Arrivals And Departures

By Tim Stone on January 16th, 2015.

Afflicted by something clinicians call ‘a bad back’, I’ve been playing Nonagenarian Simulator 2015 for the last couple of days. It’s an eye-opening game. Mission 3. Pick up that dropped pen in under sixty seconds. Mission 7. Put on both of your socks without wincing, grimacing, or turning the air blue. Mission 10. Stoically refrain from mentioning your condition while writing the intro to a Flare Path on Vietnam ’65 progress, PicaSim experimentation, the next instalment of World of Subways, and the death of one of wargaming’s most influential designers. Read the rest of this entry »

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